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Opinion

Multiple screen viewing & you

Multiple screen viewing & you

Today, of course, when we talk about what we watch, that doesn't necessarily mean just television or the big screen. We have the choice of watching content (e.g. movies, TV, shows and videos) on a number of our cool devices whenever we feel like it.

We have the choice of watching this content on a number of cool devices whenever and at times wherever we choose. We have our computers (African Americans are 10 percent more likely to spend time on the Internet searching for information on electronics than the total population); smartphones (71 percent of us own smartphones compared to 62 percent of the total population); and television of course (African Americans watch 37 percent more television that the total population, which is the most of any other group).

Although how we watch continues to evolve, what we watch remains consistent, as Nielsen's latest report on African-American consumers, Resilient, Receptive and Relevant: The African-American Consumer 2013 Report, details. We prefer shows and movies that star or feature people who look like us – even though they might not always act like the average African-American person (When was the last time you threw a drink in someone's face or tried to pull someone's wig off?). Marketers who want to reach African-American audiences and a piece of our $1 trillion buying power should be paying close attention.

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  • Written by Cheryl Pearson-McNeil/NNPA News Service

Bullying does not lead to suicide

Bullying does not lead to suicide

Hardly a week goes by when there is not a tragic story of a teenager committing suicide. Tragic as these deaths are, there is absolutely no causation between bullying and suicide. The media's simplistic and sensational coverage of these teenage deaths are very problematic in this regard.

Suicide is never, let me repeat, suicide is never the result of one cause. Suicide is always the result of a culmination of events that triggers the deadly act; any one event could be the tips the scales.

Every kid is teased, picked on, or bullied growing up. I can guarantee that most people born in the '60s and '0s do not know anyone who committed suicide as a kid. So, why in today's times, does it seem to be so prevalent?

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  • Written by Raynard Jackson/NNPA

Coping with student loan repayment

Coping with student loan repayment

A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that many of the same types of loan servicing problems that affected consumers in the mortgage market are now affecting student loan borrowers.

Just as troubled homeowners were often unable to pay their mortgages, refinance their loans, or receive timely assistance from loan servicers, many student loan borrowers are now experiencing many of the same difficulties. Although the report focuses on private student loans, some of the servicing problems identified also affect federal student loan borrows.

"Unfortunately, with few refinancing options, many student loan borrowers tell us they feel stuck in loans with high rates, well after they've graduated and landed a job," said Rohit Chopra, CFPB's Student Loan Ombudsman.

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Teachers are key to our children’s success

Teachers are key to our children’s success

As a pastor and longtime member of the Frayser community, I have a strong interest in seeing our children do well in school. And although I believe their success is driven by a range of factors such as class sizes and the availability of good texts and other materials, I also know that having a great teacher is the most important school-based factor in student achievement.

Research in a recent report by Shepherding the Next Generation shows that a student assigned to an excellent teacher may gain more than a full year's worth of additional academic growth compared to a student assigned to a weak teacher. Indeed, a highly effective teacher has a greater impact on achievement than any other factor within the school environment.

That report also examined a Tennessee study that found that an average student with three highly effective teachers scored in the top 10 percent of students after three years, while a similar student with ineffective teachers scored in the bottom 40 percent after the same period of time.

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Trayvon Martin Halloween costume sparks outrage

Trayvon Martin Halloween costume sparks outrage

The world of social media erupted in outrage this weekend when white Twitter users posted a picture of themselves dressed as Trayvon Martin, complete with blackface and a hoodie, and George Zimmerman, Global Grind reports.

The scandalous photo features a man pointing his fingers like a gun at the individual dressed to look like Trayvon. The picture has since been removed.

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Book review: ‘A Matter of Life or Death’

Book review: ‘A Matter of Life or Death’

"Life for many black boys is akin to a war. Wars on their minds, souls, spirits and yes, even their bodies take place on a daily basis. It is my desire that our sons become equipped with an artillery of excellence, weapons of mass knowledge/information and a navigation/GPS system that will help them avoid life's roadblocks...

"The co-author of this book, Dr. Michael Nellums, an accomplished educator... and I are dedicated to creating a resource for parents, students and community members. Our work in environments populated with black male students has propelled us to join in the pursuit to write this book...

"It is our firm belief that readers will find our project meaningful and helpful in their fight to combat the numerous and varied challenges that impact our boys."

– Excerpted from the Prologue by Dr. Walter Milton Jr. (pgs. 1-4)

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$50 million to save black and brown boys

$50 million to save black and brown boys

Imagine that you walk into the newborn-nursery ward at an American hospital and you see 100 babies in their bassinets. You are then informed that 33 of these babies will spend time in jail or prison.

This is the reality today for African-American males born in our country. As a black husband, father and physician, I am sick of it.

So I asked the board of the private health foundation I lead for a three-month leave to investigate why opportunity and wellness elude so many of our black, Latino and Asian Pacific Islander sons. Their shades of brown may be different, but many of them face the same challenges: growing up fatherless, dropping out of school, going to jail or getting killed.

 

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