Redistricting and California’s African Americans

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Jasmyne Cannick: The bottom line is that they can draw all the Black voter-friendly districts they want but if Blacks continue on this mass exodus to the South, there won’t be enough Blacks left to vote anyone into office and the ones that are left won’t have the same adoration for the political process as their ancestors.

Provincetown’s Not Safe for Black Lesbians

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Rev. Irene Monroe: The sexual and homophobic harassment many of us LBT sisters endure from many of our heterosexual brothers of African descent back home in our communities, or imported from one of the Caribbean Islands has, too, become an inescapably reality at P-town.

LA’s Reluctance to “Bet on Black”

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Anthony Samad: Then it hit: this city will always be reluctant to make a significant infrastructure investment in the black community. “Betting on black” is not this city’s strong suit. Trickin’ the community on votes that build for the future is.

Pseudo-Scientific Attack On Black Beauty

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Anthony Samad: Satoshi Kanazawa, a Japanese psychologist and controversial researcher, wrote an article that was a purported study on anatomical beauty traits, originally entitled, “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?”

Depression for Blacks, Recession for Whites

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Sherwood Ross: Instead of investing in a framework to help blacks advance by their own initiative, the Federal government has flushed billions down the toilets of friendly foreign strongmen such as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarek.

Black Atheists in the Pulpit

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Sikivu Hutchinson: Congregants of Zion Hill Baptist Church in South Los Angeles probably thought Pastor Seth Pickens was certifiable when he proposed a community dialogue with the L.A. Black Skeptics Group.

Like Black Church, St. Patrick’s Day Parades Are Anti-Gay

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Rev. Irene Monroe: St. Patrick’s Day has rolled around again, and like previous March 17th celebrations nationwide, its LGBTQ communities are not invited. As a contentious and protracted argument for now over two decades, parade officials have a difficult time grasping the notion that being Irish and gay is also part of their heritage.

Cops Are Missing the Bad Guys While Profiling the Black Guys

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David Love: Reading 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today made me angry, not because the subject matter was brand new to me, but because it was far too familiar – not only as a black man, but also as a human rights advocate who worked with police brutality victims and their families back in the 1990s, and decided to go to law school as a result.

To Be Atheist, Feminist, and Black

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Sikivu Hutchinson: Sadly, there is still a fair amount of ignorance and bigotry toward black non-believers in African American communities due to the stereotype that atheists are immoral, rudderless, and not authentically black.

The Other Down Low: Sagging

Gardena Councilman Steve Bradford and Carson Councilman Mike Gipson

Jasmyne Cannick: Don’t expect an end to sagging by Black men in or out of prison coming anytime soon. Heavily influenced by mass media, what started off as a signal for other prisoners that one was gay, is now a part of pop culture.

Finally, Black Civil Rights Movement is Dying

Rev. Irene Monroe: For many African Americans of younger generations, who are now the beneficiaries of the racial gains from the Movement, feeling the Movement’s’ slow death is like a welcoming boulder gradually being lifted from their shoulders, especially for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.

Should Kwanzaa Stay in Black Neighborhoods?

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Rev. Irene Monroe: This Kwanzaa holiday, I’ll head out to the neighborhood store to purchase my red, black and green candles for the kinara, because I know that the strength of the U.S. economy is found in its multicultural small community owned businesses that reflect our nation’s diversity. And in so doing, I would also be honoring the fourth principle of Kwanzaa which is cooperative economics.

Black America Still Sees AIDS as a Gay Disease

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Irene Monroe: If black America were its own country, standing on its own like Haiti or Nigeria, black Americans would rate 16th with the epidemic in the world. And the epidemic is heavily concentrated in urban enclaves like Detroit, New York, Newark, Washington, D.C and the Deep South.

Fetishizing School Chiefs Hurts Kids

Cathleen Black, with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (left) and outgoing Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.

Randy Shaw: Unfortunately, the media’s excessive and irrational devotion to school chiefs as saviors for the nation’s schools ignores the reality that no school chief, can overcome inadequate school funding by running schools like corporate turnaround specialists, and fetishizing their importance distracts from schools’ real needs. Education seems to be the only field where rising to the top requires no experience. Careers spent in the profit-driven corporate world are now identified as the best backgrounds for public school leadership.

Heretics, Humanism, and the Hood

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Sikivu Hutchinson: The mental health crisis amongst African Americans is a devastating indicator of racial and social inequity, of which the prayer as therapy epidemic is an insidious symptom. Frederick Douglass once wrote, “I prayed for twenty years and received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” What would Douglass, a trailblazing male feminist, have made of the brutal ironies of twenty first century black America?

The Tea Party and Himmler’s Black Legion

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Omer Bartov: The revelation that Rich Iott, the Republican candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat in Ohio and a Tea Party favorite, has been in the habit of dressing up as a Waffen-SS soldier, is just one more sign of the heroic ignorance that characterizes large sectors of American politicians, the media that covers them, and the public that votes for them.

“Voices” — What a Sizzling Saga

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Ed Rampell: Voices: A Legacy to Remember does have a memorable story combined with snazzy costumes, great foot stomping choreography and finger snapping music, from traditional Negro Spirituals to Gospel to Jazz,

My Own Bishop Eddie Long and My Exodus from the Black Church

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Jasmyne Cannick: After having heard this same person lecture about leaving the children the alone and the importance in strong adult role models in the church, I felt brutally betrayed and made my final exit from the church and organized religion. I was not going to co-sign behavior that I knew was wrong by staying in the church.

Atlanta’s Own Bishop Feelgood—Eddie Long

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Jasmyne Cannick: Much to the chagrin of Black gay men everywhere, who have enough to deal with without the latest outing of a Black pastor, and to the relief of Catholic priests everywhere, all eyes are on Atlanta’s Bishop Eddie Long.