Mostly Black Cities, Mostly White City Halls

Since moving to this small city on the eastern flank of Atlanta’s suburban sprawl, Lorna Francis, a hairdresser and a single mother, has found a handsome brick house to rent on a well-groomed cul-de-sac. She has found a good public school for her teenage daughter. Something Ms. Francis, who is black, has not found is [...]

It’s the Inequality, Stupid

President Barack Obama said last December that inequality is “the defining challenge of our time.” Americans agree. A Pew survey from June found that 62 percent think the country’s economic system unfairly favors the powerful, and 78 percent believe that too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies. Campaigning against [...]

Racism is so insidious, even black people underestimate it

There is a tendency to respond to racialized tragedies with a sudden effort at self-reflection – an attempt to quantify our collective attitudes on race for clues as to why, yet again, we must somehow make sense of the senseless killing of a black teenager. Of the numerous recent polls that measure American perceptions of [...]

No black agenda on the election table

“There’s no strength left in the world of men. They’re scattered, divided, leaderless.” So pronounced Elrond, on the state of the Middle World, in “The Lord of the Rings” epic film trilogy. Scattered, divided, leaderless. Also an apt capsulation of the state of the African-American policy agenda in the run-up to the Nov. 4 statewide [...]

Ex-Brown Walter Beach Recalls Black Athletes’ Support of Ali

In June 1967, Walter Beach III received a call from his former Browns teammate and close friend Jim Brown. Brown, maybe the greatest running back in N.F.L. history, had stunned pro football a year earlier by retiring at 29 after an All-Pro season. Now he wanted Beach, who was working for Mayor Carl B. Stokes [...]

Obama: Men of color feel ‘targeted’ by justice system

President Obama says his administration is working to close “the justice gap” involving African-Americans and other people of color. It’s not just “how justice is applied, but also how it is perceived, (and) how it is experienced,” Obama said Saturday night at the annual Congressional Black Caucus Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C. Citing the summer [...]

More Blacks Headed to Congress

There are 44 African American members of Congress. Next year, five more are expected to join them, bringing the total to 49. That will represent the highest number of Blacks in Congress in American history. But will it make a difference? Can they leverage their numbers? Another record-breaking development in the record-breaking 114th Congress will [...]

Poll: Californians’ Support for Affirmative Action on the Rise

Affirmative action may be dying the death of a thousand cuts, but don’t tell Californians that. A new poll by the National Asian American Survey released Thursday suggests that in the Golden State, support for race-conscious admissions and hiring policies is actually greater today than it was 20 years ago. The Field Poll data (PDF) [...]

NBA still must deal with the race issue

While the NFL was rightfully being hammered over turning a blind eye to domestic violence, the NBA got a bit of a pass on its latest brouhaha. No longer. Training camps are starting up around the NBA, so it’s time to ask a blunt question: Does the league celebrated for its diversity and inclusiveness actually [...]