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Village People frontman will not perform ‘Y.M.C.A.’ for Sochi Olympics protest

village 600Victor Willis, original lead singer for the Village People, said he doesn't mind that their hit "Y.M.C.A." has become a gay anthem, but he will not perform the song in protest of Russia's anti-gay laws at this year's Sochi Olympic games.

Gay rights activists have suggested the "Y.M.C.A." be played when American Olympians are introduced at the opening ceremony.

The song has long since been a gay anthem, but Willis said it was not intended to be.

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Top 10 HBCUs by starting average salary

salaries1 600A college education is viewed one of the essential stepping stones to a fulfilling career – but its cost traditionally does not come cheap.

In particular, the tuition of some of the nation's many historically black colleges and universities range across the board but the rewards of a college degree often outweigh the costs.

While tuition costs and school population sizes are strong determining factors when considering which school to attend, one website HBCU Lifestyle, has listed which HBCU graduates would earn the most in salary after earning college degrees.

Here are the top 10 HBCU's by starting average salary:

salaries2

College Name  |  Average Salary  |  Tuition  |  Location

1. Prairie View A&M University |  $49,300 |  $4,062 |  Prairie View, TX

2. Bowie State University |  $46,400 |  $4,547 |  Bowie, MD

3. Hampton University |  $46,300 |  $16,888 |  Hampton, VA

4. Tuskegee University |  $44,700 |  $17,070 |  Tuskegee, AL

5. Morehouse College |  $44,200 |  $21,616 |  Atlanta, GA

6. Xavier University of Louisiana |  $42,300 |  $16,900 |  New Orleans, LA

7. University of Maryland Eastern Shore |  $41,900 |  $4,362 |  Princess Anne, MD

8. Howard University |  $41,700 |  $19,150 |  Washington, DC

9. Morgan State University |  $41,500 |  $4,540 |  Baltimore, MD

10. Southern University and A&M College |  $41,400 |  $5,074 |  Baton Rouge, LA


Visit HBCU Lifestyle to learn more.

Relationship breaks: Won’t fix the issue, may bring more drama

breakups 600"How do you feel about couples taking a break? My girl suggested it, but I don't know how I feel about people being able to check in and out of a relationship when they feel like it. Does it say something about my self respect if I let her take a break?" — R.Y.

Taking a break isn't an indictment of your self-respect, but it does seem to indicate that there are some glaring issues in your relationship that you may be overlooking. The most obvious concern is poor communication. You and your lady seem to be facing an unnamed conflict that you aren't able to resolve via communication — and I'm sure you've tried — or compromise. The suggestion of a break is the result of ongoing frustration and an attempt to avoid a major issue.

Here's one of the problems with breaks: They don't solve anything — and they often make the problems worse. The idea is that you take some space to clear your head. But if it's a conflict between two people, it will take both of them to resolve it. On break, you're free to do as you please as a single person, including dating and having sex with other people.

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Black folks are key to Obamacare’s success

obamacare1 600Over the holidays, first lady Michelle Obama took to the airways to promote the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, on the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show, Joe Madison's radio broadcast and in other outlets with a large black audience, as well as with a group of mothers who were invited to the White House.

Before that, she had mostly steered clear of policy issues related to the ACA, so why is the first lady now going on the offensive over her husband's controversial health care plan? Well, not only does the public think highly of her — she routinely polls as one of the most popular figures in the country — but African Americans are a key constituency for the Obama administration, whose signature health care legislation has gained ground in recent weeks but still lags in its numerical targets.

Simply put, if Obamacare is going to work, black folks need to be on board. Here's why:

 

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Why Frederick Douglass would support ‘selfies’

selfie 600It's no surprise that 2013 was the year of the selfie, with everyone from Kim Kardashian to President Obama making headlines for taking self portraits on their smart phones.

While pictures featuring shirtless septuagenarian Geraldo Rivera might serve as cautionary tale about taking selfies too freely, the practice marks a huge shift in our relationship with the photograph.

Pictures have been around for over 180 years, but the ability of everyday people to take pictures of themselves with the phones that they carry with them all the time has transformed the process. This is a tremendous change. Just two decades ago, none of this selfie-making was really possible.

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The 2014 Black Agenda: 5 things to focus on

5rules 600As we enter into a new year, the black community should remain focused on five key areas that are vital to the promotion of racial justice and economic equality in 2014.

Reducing violence in black communities nationwide

Chicago's violence-plagued communities have received the most national attention, in part because of President Barack Obama's ties to the Windy City, but also due to its prolific number of murders. The latest victim was a 17-year-old pregnant teenager who died of a gunshot wound to the head. The miracle of this tragedy is that her baby survived. Local activists have done heroic work to stave off increased gun violence, efforts that have drawn the participation of national civil rights leaders such as Al Sharpton. Unfortunately, this has not been enough to stanch the bleeding. Obama must prioritize the issue of violence in Chicago and other predominately black, brown and poor communities, as the national crisis that it is.

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Americans’ views on human evolution

evo 600WASHINGTON – (PRNewswire-USNewswire) – Six-in-ten Americans say "humans and other living things have evolved over time," while a third (33 percent) reject the idea of evolution, saying "humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time," according to a new Pew Research Center analysis.

The share of the general public saying that humans have evolved over time is about the same as in 2009, when Pew Research last asked the question.

About half of those who express a belief in human evolution take the view that evolution is "due to natural processes such as natural selection" (32 percent of the American public overall). But many Americans believe God or a supreme being played a role in the process of evolution. Roughly a quarter of adults (24 percent) say "a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today."

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Melissa Harris-Perry apologizes to the Romneys

mhj 600MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry has apologized to the Romney clan on Twitter for off-color comments she and a panel of comedians made about a family photo in which Kieran Romney, Mitt Romney's adopted black grandchild, is front and center.

On Sunday, Perry hosted a gang of funny men and women for her year-end "A Look Back in Laughter" episode. MHP introduced the Romney family portrait as one of the "photos of the year," and the jokes promptly followed.

Panelist Pia Glenn remixed the lyrics to a popular "Sesame Street: tune and sang, "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn't the same." MHP followed up with her hope that in 2040, Kieren would marry Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's daughter, North West.

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Winners and losers of 2013

raynarrd 600Well, it's that time of year once again for me to pick my biggest winners and losers for 2013. Unlike most of the year-end lists, mine will not be based on polling data, or popularity. Rather, it's from the lens of a businessman. Based on the contribution of time, money, or intangible capital, did the person or group receive an appropriate rate of return on their investment?

I will begin with the three biggest losers and work down from there. By far, the biggest loser of the year and of the Obama presidency was and is the African-American community.

How can a group give a president 96 percent and 94 percent of their vote to him and have little, if anything to show for it. If the white unemployment rate was the same as the African-American unemployment rate, it would be declared a national crisis. No sitting president, regardless of party, would have won reelection with that dynamic at play.

 

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Preserving Nelson Mandela’s legacy

manstatue 600PRETORIA, South Africa – Nearly a month after his death, there is a bitter struggle to define – and, in many instances, re-define – the legacy of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first democratically elected president.

"There is an attempt to do in his death what they could not do in life – take away his story," Jesse Jackson said in a speech at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg. "... He did not go to jail as some out-of-control youth who needed to be matured. He went in as a freedom fighter and came out as a freedom fighter."

The effort to soften the image of Mandela as a freedom fighter began long before his death.

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White House prepares for Michelle Obama’s Big 5-0!

mo 600(NewsOne) – First Lady Michelle Obama is turning the Fabulous Fifty and the White House is pulling out all of the stops, reports Politico.com.

Obama reaches the birthday milestone on Jan. 17 and the White House is throwing a dance party themed "Snacks & Sips & Dancing & Dessert," according to a Chicago Tribune report.

Read more from Politico.com:

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A war on broke people erupted in 2013

poorpeople 600America has always been a tough country if you're starting from zero. Sure, we praise and salute rags-to-riches stories because they make us feel better about the gross inequities in our society, but the reality is much bleaker. Systemic poverty is real. One job loss or serious health scare can take you from being solidly middle class to couch-surfing destitute.

Maybe, if you're lucky, you can move into your mother's basement, if your mother didn't lose her basement and the house it was attached to during the housing crisis of 2008.

You'd think that the myriad of job and financial crises would have forced our government – namely our Congress – to band together to get America "back to work" or whatever slogan they're using these days, but you'd be wrong. In fact, you could argue the opposite happened.

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Removing the punch bowl too fast

FEDS 600Last week the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee announced it will ease back on its "pedal to the metal" monetary easing policy. The Fed will remain in an expansionary mode, just slower.

To an optimist, this is a sign from an independent authority that the economy is stabilized and on a sustained path forward. Unemployment rates are falling, job creation over the last few months is averaging more than 200,000 net new jobs a month, the Gross Domestic Product (the value of all goods and services made in America in a year) rose 4.1 percent last quarter, led by investment, and housing starts increased to a five-year high in November. Those are good signs. President Obama could take a bow. Republicans, who have conceded nothing to the president on economic policy, would be left with more whining. But it may be too early to remove the punch bowl.

The Fed believes the good signs in the economy prove its policy is moving the economy forward. It is obviously true that with Congress locking the president into endless debates on shrinking the government and slowing the economy that the Fed is the only economic policymaker trying to expand the economy. Clearly, if the Fed did not take action, things would be worse. But that is different than whether the policy actually is moving the economy. Here the story is more difficult.

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