Fifty years ago this week, the U.S. Senate passed the version of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that would be passed by the House and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The bill faced a filibuster of 14 hours and 13 minutes by the late Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Between the passage by the Senate and debate by the House, three young civil rights workers—Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Earl Chaney—disappeared into the night on June 21, 1964, driving in the rural area near Philadelphia, Miss. Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney were later found dead, having been murdered for trying to register African American voters in Mississippi.
A recent interview of Morgan Freeman by CNN host Don Lemon lit a firestorm of conversation. Freeman argued that his personal success, and that of Lemon’s, made it clear that racism was not a factor in closing America’s growing problem of inequality. Freeman argued that inequality was a crisis because a vibrant middle class was needed for the growth of the economy and stability of society, and the current chasm between the 1% and the 99% was unhealthy. Clearly, Freeman’s views on inequality are incontrovertible, so why the storm about his statement on the role of race?
This week marked the loss of a powerful voice in Maya Angelou. Fortunately, many in the nation paused to notice her loss. Dancer, actress, poet and teacher, Angelou captured everyone’s attention because of her ability to talk honestly out of her own pain and to get people to empathize, to share in the human experience.
In what should be considered standing logic on its end, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that while public colleges have an interest in having a racially diverse student body, nonetheless, the racial majority of a state can vote to remove racial diversity as a goal. This is a radical and activist reinterpretation of the Constitution, since by strict construction, the 14th Amendment had been added to explicitly limit white majority action to deny full legal protection to the newly freed slaves and their descendants. The purpose was to limit majority rule from becoming mob rule, continuing a legacy of inequality.
In addition to the many other benefits we've spotlighted about raising the minimum wage, a new report released by the AFL-CIO today finds that raising the minimum wage would help millions of African American families. The report, which is based on Economic Policy Institute data, shows that African Americans often live in a state of economic insecurity and that raising the minimum wage would be an effective way to counter that insecurity for some 4 million African Americans.
Black Girls Code. The name is simple, but the goal is groundbreaking. Today, black women only make up 3% of the computing workforce. Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, is looking to change that. By providing computer training and coding skills to young women of color, Bryant is on a mission to change the future of the tech industry. Check out the video in the post.
We've heard of the looming retirement security crisis, but this statistic is extremely sobering: The majority of black and Latino workers (62% and 69%, respectively) do not own assets in a retirement account. This is from a new report by the National Institute on Retirement Security released this week.
Although African American workers are significantly better educated than they were three decades ago, they're actually less likely to be in good jobs, according to a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
Over the weekend, young people watched or read about President Obama speaking at Morehouse College and first lady Michelle Obama addressing the graduates of Bowie State University. Hopefully they were inspired by seeing so many young and gifted people finishing the course they chose to follow. Well, here is a little known set of facts.