Saw a story on AOL/Blackvoices about the alleged leveling off of popularity for the holiday of Kwanzaa. I, for one, didn't know the holiday was "popular." I know some people celebrate it, love it, observe it, but when I say "some," I really mean I've known only one black family my entire life who actually took it seriously and went through all the lessons, observances and traditions.
Entries in black people (115)
Found this story a last week on the Politics Daily Web site:
Unemployment for 16-24-year-old black men was 34.5 percent in October, as high as it was during the Great Depression, the Washington Post reports. Young black women face similarly bleak employment numbers: 24.5 percent of them currently do not have jobs. Combined, young blacks have an unemployment rate of 30.5 percent, also equaling Depression-era numbers.
Employment status for young blacks statistically seems to be more affected by their race than their education or previous employment and income. Statistics from the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University show that lower-middle-class white teens have an easier time finding jobs than upper-middle-class black teens. Even African-Americans with college degrees have a jobless rate double that of their white peers.
Unemployment rates at more than 20 and 30 percent is beyond bleak and in many ways explains a lot of the problems many African Americans face. While I've been mostly fortunate throughout my career, even with my job experience and a degree I still went unemployed for almost two years while I worked on this blog and freelanced. It wasn't for lack of trying (or applying), but in the end I had to leave my hometown to find work.
This also explains why the President has received flack from members of the Congressional Black Caucus who get tired of hearing about the health care debate and want to know what's up with the economy? They want to know when are jobs returning (or in some cases, finally coming to) their districts. Even if the health care bill passed tomorrow, we wouldn't feel the results until a few years from now. People are broke and trying to eat TODAY. So I can understand their impatience.
What do you think about the job crisis in black America? How is it personally affecting you? And why do you think so many African Americans struggle to find work even if they have degrees?
Elayne Fluker recently penned a column for Essence.com opining if black women are being unfairly targeted and punished for daring to be successful.
Study after freakin' study—from CNN, to MSNBC, to ESSENCE—has told us, warned us, that as educated, accomplished Black women, we run the risk of being "punished." That we won't be able to find a suitable mate, nor get married, nor have children. Ever! I think I speak for us all when I say: WTF?
... Now that I'm "ready" (to settle down), I pay more attention to what "they" say about my options, and I'm reeling from the cruel statistics. "45% of Black women in America have never married; compared with 23% of White women," they say. The rate of childlessness among highly educated Black women born between 1961 and 1970 is 38% they say. "African-American females, even with lots of education, do not fetch as much ‘value' in the marriage market," they say. "Black women outnumber Black men almost 2 to 1 in higher education," they say. "The disparity is important because Americans have a strong tendency to marry those with equal levels of education."
Well, damn. How does an SSBF debunk the stats and find a man during this recession of romance?
When my boyfriend and I first made our relationship official almost a year ago, the most common question I was asked by my friends was, “...Is he black?” As an educated young black woman, the meaning and weight behind the question never ceased to surprise me and is continuously reflected in the dynamics of black relationships. While I've dated inter-racially before, dating an African American man in the U.S. brings an endless amount of joys and challenges like no other. Our relationship has functioned as a sounding board for many issues facing black people in America, and it is necessary to note that this has become an inescapable reality. To date a black man in America is to date the entire race and over 500 years of history.
Watching Tyra Banks In France
By Lynsey Saunders
Like a good bottle of French wine shipped to the US, all of our crappy TV is imported straight to France. The French brown people learn words common to the English language like ‘fierce’ (you’re fabulous Tyra) and know what it means to cook a good rack of ribs (thanks Kyle!) from shows like America’s Next Top Model and College Hill. Some of them LOVE it. I’m not sure if it’s the shows themselves or the idea that this is what a young black American like myself is watching, so somehow they become apart of the cool club. Think about that theory... The French learn all about us from the great shows on the classy networks like BET and MTV. I’ll prove to you how I know this theory to be true.
Let’s set the scene shall we?
Old News: Did "Hot Ghetto Mess" Fail Because Black Folk Don't Get Satire, Or Was the Show Just Lame?
A reader emailed me this Black Voices story, "The Coonery Paradox," by Jam Donaldson, the creator of the failed BET show "We Got to Do Better," nee "Hot Ghetto Mess." In the article Donaldson chastizes people for not getting the satirical angle of the show and that it was about calling out what she calls "coonery," not about endorsing stereotypes. Yet the show faced a ton of criticism before and after it aired and was quickly cancelled.
Here's what Donaldson writes:
We rarely publicly castigate those who are in the media making us all look bad, but God help you if you ever point out the fact that they're making us look bad. Then you are automatically a self-hating, Uncle Tom, elitist, wannabe-white sell-out who is exploiting their people. The Coonery Paradox.
But there is some concern that in Obama's efforts to transcend race and unite the country, the African-American community could inadvertently lose political clout in determining crucial social-policy issues -- from education to healthcare -- vital to its well-being.
"What was the price of Obama's election? In part, it was that we can no longer talk about race explicitly around national policy issues, or at least [Obama] can't, without being accused of playing identity politics," says Eddie Glaude, professor at the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. "So the question is then: How do African-American communities engage issues in light of their particular experiences without being accused of pushing a racial agenda?"
The first person to die during the Boston Massacre was a black man, Crispus Attucks. I honesly don't know why homie was there. Was he throwing a block of wood or relaxing, leaning on a stick? Either way. He was the first to take two to the chest and go down for the emancipation of colonies from the British.
Despite being lauded as a symbol of the American Revolution and abolitionist movement, I'd argue that most black people didn't get too wistful on the Fourth of July until right ... about ... now.
What a difference a black president makes.
Of course by "Big Boned," they mean higher muscle mass or a large body frame.
From Science Daily:
The body mass index (BMI) and waistline measurement overestimate obesity in African-Americans, according to a new study. The results, which were presented at The Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., suggest that conventional methods for estimating body fat may need to become race-specific.
"Compared to Caucasians, African-Americans of the same age, gender, waist circumference, weight and height may have lower total and abdominal fat mass," said principal investigator and study leader Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, professor of medicine and chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis. "These findings argue for a review of the existing cutoffs for healthy BMI and waist circumference among African-Americans" ...
Therefore, body fat is likely to be lower in blacks than in whites of the same weight and height, Dagogo-Jack said. He said their data suggest that muscle mass may be higher in blacks, which would explain the dissociation between weight expressed as BMI and measured body fat.
"If our results are confirmed in a larger study population by other researchers, the obesity field will need to develop ethnic-specific cutoffs for what values represent overweight and obesity," he concluded.
So THAT'S why when I was 242 lbs no one actually believed I was 242 lbs and why when I was 165 lbs everyone thought I was 132 lbs. I can't help it if all my weight is carried in my ass! I knew I wasn't that fat! In your FACE, body mass index!
Side note: My baby sister, aka Baby Snob, who is 4'11" and only about 120 lbs is considered borderline obese by her BMI. You could pick her up and throw her, she's so tiny! SCREW YOU, BMI! You don't know know shizz about black people!