Fearing gentrification, Black Portland neighborhood tells Trader Joe’s ‘no’ to new store

traderjoe 600The Trader Joe's grocery store chain recently announced that it no longer plans to open a store in a predominately African-American neighborhood in Portland after activists claimed the store's prices weren't affordable for black families.

Local community leaders and activists said opening a Trader Joe's in the historically black neighborhood would "increase the desirability of the neighborhood for non-oppressed populations" and risk gentrifying the neighborhood.

In a statement to EurWeb, the Portland African American Leadership Forum said having a somewhat pricey food store in their Portland neighborhood would displace residents and perpetuate income inequality in the area.


‘Humble servant’ at ‘home’ on Africa mission

africa 600My missionary journey to Africa was my third journey as a missionary on foreign soil.

My first two journeys were to the continent of Asia to the "Underground Church," where our main objective was to go and train pastors and other leaders on the fulfillment of "The Great Commission," the command that Jesus has given to all believers – to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). Our secondary objective was to smuggle in bibles that were already translated into their native language to give to the people in the provinces while trying to remain undetected because Christianity is still under serious persecution in most parts of Asia.

I thank God for blessing both of those missions and returning us back to the USA and to our families safely.


Haslam’s tuition-free ‘Promise’ is a no-go for Rep. Cohen

tuition 600During his fourth annual State of the State address Monday before the General Assembly, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam introduced the "Tennessee Promise."

The proposal commits to providing on a continuing basis two years of community college or a college of applied technology (TCAT) absolutely free of tuition and fees to graduating high school seniors.

"Through the Tennessee Promise, we are fighting the rising cost of higher education, and we are raising our expectations as a state," Haslam said. "We are committed to making a clear statement to families that education beyond high school is a priority in the state of Tennessee."


Microsoft turns to Thompson after Gates

microsoft 600John W. Thompson, one of the few African-American chief executive officers in technology, has been tapped to succeed Bill Gates as chairman of Microsoft.

The former CEO of Symantec, Thompson is the CEO of Virtual Instruments, a San Jose-based software company. He will be the second chairman of Microsoft.

Thompson will be chair of the board that oversees Microsoft's top executives, including the new CEO, Satya Nadella, a longtime company insider. Thompson headed the search for Microsoft's new CEO.


Reducing the risk of HIV by 90 percent

hiv90 600This Friday, February 7th, is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). It's an opportunity for the nation to take a look at the AIDS epidemic in Black America from a uniquely and unapologetically black point of view. Given the demographics of the AIDS epidemic in this country, this is a very important day.

The Black AIDS Institute's Black treatment advocate networks (BTANS) are hosting Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) forums around the country (Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Ft. Lauderdale, Jackson, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Oakland) to raise awareness and educate our communities about PrEP.

Here's why Pre-exposure Prophylaxis of HIV is important to black people: 35 years into this epidemic and with all we know about HIV, we still have alarming rates of new HIV infections in this country. Roughly 50,000 Americans are infected with HIV every year and 44 percent are black. In many parts of the country, 1 in 2 black gay men are already HIV infected – and many of them don't know it.


I’m young, African American, female and ... Republican!

youngrepub 600I'm often asked, "When did you become a Republican?" And my answer is the same every time: "I've always been one!"

My mother gave birth to me when she was 16 years old, and we received government assistance during the first few years of my life. When I was growing up, she taught me the importance of making a budget and living by it. In our home I learned the importance of having a plan and delaying gratification for the things I wanted or thought I deserved. It meant generic brands instead of name brands and buying what I needed, rather than what I may have wanted. It meant living more conservatively.

Although she had me at a young age and knew there would be struggles ahead, my mother chose life. For that I am forever grateful to her.


Obama blames Fox News for stirring up political trouble

oreiley 600(The Root Staff) – Each year the news division of the network hosting the Super Bowl is granted a pregame interview with President Obama. This year was Fox's turn, and Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly used the occasion to grill the president on a few of the conservative's favorite topics, including Benghazi and the IRS' targeting of conservative groups.

O'Reilly interrupted the president frequently during the interview to press his contention that the Obama administration withheld information about the attack on the US embassy in Libya for political reasons and a corrupt culture at the IRS.

After quite a bit of sparring, the president finally turned the tables and said Fox was actually to blame for keeping both controversies alive:



What’s the state of America’s Children?

stateofchildren 60The Children Defense Funds's new report – State of America's Children 2014 – is designed to make clear the state of black children in America.

According to the CDF's report, for the first time the majority of children in America under 2 are now children of color. One in three is poor. Black children were the poorest group.

In six states – Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon and Wisconsin – half or more black children were poor and nearly half of all states had black child poverty rates of 40 percent or more.


Highest rate of African-American murders?

homiciderate 600Nebraska, known for its large agricultural industry, has surprisingly claimed the top spot as the state with the highest incidence of African-American murder victims, according to newly published research.

Analysis by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) shows Nebraska has the highest African-American homicide rates for 2011, the most recent year for which comprehensive national data is available.

Nebraska, which has a population of approximately 1.8 million people, led the nation with an African-American homicide victimization rate of 34.43 per 100,000.


Highs and lows of Obama’s State of the Union speech

sotu 600Tuesday night was State of the Union time again, which meant two things:

President Barack Obama had to pull off the most difficult oratorical balancing act there is for any president: delivering a substantive policy speech that manages to inspire and move Americans.

And it means that we do what we do after every State of the Union address—grade his performance. So, below is a list of highs and lows from the president's speech. Please feel free to let us know if you think we missed any in the comments section below.



Top 10 Black History Month scholarships – now accepting applications

bhmscholarships 600( – February is here again, and Black History month is being celebrated all around the world. Many television channels have launched special programming for the month, companies have launched special advertising campaigns, and many of their foundations have launched scholarship programs.

Below are the top 10 Black history month scholarships with deadlines in February 2014:

#1 - The Frito-Lay "Create to Celebrate" Black History Month Art Contest encourages applicants to submit online an original piece of art created in any medium (video, song, photo, sculpture, painting, etc) that celebrates African American achievement.
 Learn more at


Obama to raise minimum wage for some federal contractors

obamawages 600President Obama will sign an executive order that will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for some federal contract workers, USA Today reports.

The increase will affect those federal contractors who sign on after Obama's order and will apply only to contract renewals if other terms of the agreement are changed, USA Today reports.

While it is expected that Tuesday's State of the Union speech from the president will emphasize his desire to work with Congress on legislation to increase the federal minimum wage for all workers from its current $7.25 to $10.10, the executive action makes it clear that Obama is not afraid to use his presidential authority.


‘School Choice NOW’

NoSchoolChoice 600The phrase "School Choice Now" will reverberate in Nashville on Tuesday (Jan. 28th) as multiple groups gather to send the message that "many children continue to be denied their civil right to a quality education."

Billed as the "School Choice NOW Celebration," the event will unfold at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville at noon. Memphis voices will be prominent, with Rep. John DeBerry (D-Memphis, Dist. 90) serving as master of ceremonies and the Rev. Dwight Montgomery, president of the Memphis Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), among the speakers.

SCLC Memphis is partnering with the Federation for Children to sponsor a free bus ride to the event. Boarding at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Southland Mall parking lot (Shelby Dr. and Elvis Presley Blvd.), the bus departs at 6 a.m. Lunch will be included.