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Ella Baker: My civil rights heroine

ellebaker 600"Until the killing of black men, black mothers' sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother's son – we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens."
– Ella Baker

The quote above is from Ella Baker 50 years ago, and like so much about this visionary civil rights leader it is still just as relevant today. She was talking about the murders of Civil Rights Movement workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, who disappeared together in Mississippi in June 1964. Chaney was black, and Goodman and Schwerner were white.

Ella Baker was an outspoken warrior against injustice and inequality her entire life, and always, always unwilling to rest. Her words continue to be a rallying cry for all of us who believe our nation still does not see and value black and white children's lives the same way.

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Catching up with Spike

spikelee 600At the premiere of the Broadway revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" Spike Lee showed up to support the play's star, Denzel Washington, who he's previously collaborated with on four films.

Lee candidly expressed his desire for his fifth film with Washington to be a sequel to 1998's "He Got Game."

"He Got Game 2 (should be my fifth film with Washington). I hope so." Lee said. "I want to do it, Rosario (Dawson) wants to do it, Ray Allen wants to do it..."

 

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‘Buy Black’ – an economic empowerment strategy

buyblack 600Margarita "Maggie" Anderson wants to transform "Buy Black" from a leftover 1960s slogan to a modern economic empowerment strategy. And because she has lived it, there is no person better qualified to lead the charge.

Anderson and her family spent all of 2009 purchasing goods and services exclusively from black merchants. She is author of a book cataloguing her experience titled, "Our Black Year." She also authored an essay in the State of Black America report issued Thursday by the National Urban League titled, "Facts vs. Fiction: Buying Black as an Economic Empowerment Strategy."

Like the farmer trying to get his mule's attention, Anderson whacks us across the head in the National Urban League report with two disturbing facts.

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‘One Nation Underemployed’

onenation 600WASHINGTON – The wealth gap between African Americans and whites has expanded in recent years and is not likely to narrow without significant reductions in black unemployment and changes in a system that favors the wealthy over poor and middle class Americans, according the National Urban League's 38th annual State of Black America report titled, "One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America."

The report was to be released Thursday (April 3rd) at a news conference at the National Press Club in the nation's capital.

In a statement accompanying the report, Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, said: "The 2014 State of Black America and corresponding Equality Index indicate that while each state and city has its own economic recovery story to tell, the consistent refrain is that there is an urgent and growing disparity between the few who are reaping the rewards of economic recovery and the majority who are still reeling from aftershocks of the Great Recession."

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80 years of service for AKA graduate chapter

GoldenSoror 600The Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. observed the 80th anniversary of the Memphis graduate chapter's chartering last Saturday (March 29th).

Approximately 200 members wearing the sorority's signature colors of pink and green were on hand for the ceremony, which featured inspirational words from fellow AKA member the Rev. Rosalyn Nichols, the keynote speaker of the program held at Middle Baptist Church-Whitehaven.

Nichols's message centered on the theme of "What Motivates a Woman." She drew parallels to how women of AKA share what is precious to them to help others, much like the woman described in the Gospel of Mark who poured expensive perfumed oil on Jesus from her alabaster jar.

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