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Grand Concourse Neighborhood in the South Bronx Gentrifies

Grand Concourse Neighborhood in the South Bronx Gentrifies

In the 1970s, the South Bronx was beset by arson and other crime. But now, the neighborhood around the Grand Concourse is seeing an influx of white middle-class professionals.

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The Thirteenth Amendment

As I have posted on before, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United
States Constitution officially outlaws slavery and involuntary
Servitude, EXCEPT as punishment for a crime.

OK, so technically they ‘nationalized’ the slave trade and banned
The private ownership of slaves.

I’ve also posted on the criminalization of normal human behaviors
As an effort to keep prisons filled with cheap labor.

Now, with the rapid and profitable privatization of prisons all
Across America, we are very very close to being back where we

Corporations owning/leasing human laborers.



Goodman Green
– Brasscheck



RACE FOR ACKERMANS SEAT BEGINS WITH JEWISH APPEALS: City Councilman Dan Halloran will launch his campaign for retiring Rep. Gary Ackermans seat today (http://bit.ly/GXOEV6) just as Assemblywoman Grace Meng did yesterday (http://bit.ly/GOGhZy), talking up their strength on Israel in hopes Jewish voters can seal a victory.


* Allies of Congressman Ed Towns, Assemblyman Vito Lopez and Councilman Erik Martin Dilan have landed high-level positions at Wyckoff Hospital in Brooklyn, despite questionable qualifications, further weakening the hospitals already deeply flawed management, the New York Times reports: http://nyti.ms/GPZolY

* Some key Senate Democrats, shocked by the possible victory of Republican David Storobin in last weeks special election in Brooklyn, are privately conceding they have little chance of retaking control of the Senate in November, Fred Dicker writes in the Post: http://nyp.st/GPl19c

* One of the worlds major gun manufacturers is threatening to pull its plant out of New York over the gun microstamping bill being pushed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Ken Lovett writes in the Daily News: http://nydn.us/H7ynZx

* Facing tremendous pressure from teachers unions, Albany lawmakers are pushing to insert a provision in the state budget that would ban the public from seeing new teacher report cards, the Post reports: http://nyp.st/GRu8Xl

* Nearly two years ago, the New York City Community Preservation Corp. Won the rights to build 2,200 apartments on the site of the former Domino Sugar factory in Brooklyn, but work never started, and now it’s struggling to keep a hold on the project, the Wall Street Journal writes: http://on.wsj.com/GSmczr

* Good government groups want a constitutional amendment for an independent redistricting commission placed on the ballot in 2014 to ensure the best odds of passage, the Times Union reports: http://bit.ly/H4GDuc


Raise your voice for Trayvon

I wish I were e-mailing under different circumstances, Rufus.

All of last week, I was in Sanford, Florida, pursuing justice for Trayvon Martin. I listened to community concerns about the Sanford Police Department, and stood with Trayvon’s parents and 30,000 others in Sanford, a town with only 50,000 residents.

Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton have been pillars of courage. Like Mamie Till after the brutal murder of her son Emmett, Tracy and Sybrina have stood and shown the world what hate and violence have done to their child, and the nation and the world have responded. Their leadership has resulted in a global movement for justice for Trayvon and, most recently, in the appointment of a special prosecutor to review their son’s case.

The Seminole County branch of the NAACP has played a critical role in igniting this movement for justice in Sanford. For more than 24 years, Seminole County NAACP President Turner Clayton has served as a community leader, holding the city of Sanford accountable and responsive to community concerns. On Thursday – in light of pressure from Mr. Clayton and the branch to step aside – Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee temporarily resigned from his post.

The actions of you and millions of others like you have already helped get the wheels of justice in motion. We know Trayvon and his family have been in your thoughts and prayers.

Now stand up publicly and send those thoughts to Florida State Attorney Angela Corey, who will be overseeing the grand jury case:



It is clear that the Sanford police have badly mishandled the investigation into Trayvon’s death. The routine mishandling of similar cases by police, prosecutors and judges has eroded the Sanford community’s trust and fueled the perception that justice for our young men and boys is of little consequence to law officials.

Now, our most important task is to make sure that the state’s attorney assigned to this case will handle it with passion and an eye for justice.

Join our open call for justice for Trayvon and our children:


The strength of this community gives me hope that justice will indeed be achieved in Sanford. In the face of tragedy, the community has banded together and continues to raise its collective voice for justice.

Trayvon’s family, the Sanford community and the world lost a precious gift in Trayvon. Unfortunately, he is not the only young person we’ve lost to senseless violence. Across the country, our precious sons and daughters are being sacrificed all too frequently, with justice arriving far too infrequently, if ever.

We won’t let it continue to happen. We will keep speaking out, and we will keep raising our voices for Trayvon and for all of our precious children.

Thank you for your support,


Benjamin Todd Jealous
President & CEO

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What Happens to “Us” When Obama Is No Longer President?

What Happens to “Us” When Obama Is No Longer President?

Black history may soon find that it is defined by one line of demarcation:  BB (Before Obama) and AB (After Obama).   There might even be some historical reference to the volatile period called DB (During Obama), where an archive will contain images of black people going to blows over where our community should be positioned on the Obama issue.

The Obama presidency, unfortunately, has done more to divide black leadership than any event in the last 100 years.   There are those who’ve chosen to side with the winning team, refusing to critique the Obama Administration on even the tiniest issues.  Such criticism is readily interpreted as an assault on the absolute dictatorial authority that the Obama Administration seeks to maintain over African American political activity; they give us their agenda, not the other way around.  The seemingly silly idea of “free Democratic thought” is as dead as the 8-track tape.

Then, there are those who challenge Obama to varying degrees.  Some provide reasonable and justifiable concerns, while there are some who criticize the president without trying to even observe the pragmatic limitations of running the most powerful (and racist) nation on earth.    One can’t help but notice how factions of black leadership have formed as a result of the Obama presidency, with pro-Obama leaders on one side, and “Not-so-pro Obama” leaders on the other.  Mind you, they all voted for Obama; but it’s the depth of your love and loyalty for the administration that determines if you are considered to be a “hater” or not.  For the record, asking the wrong questions or requesting any degree of accountability whatsoever defines you to be a hater.

One of the questions that attorney Karen Wallace posed to me the other day was “What happens after Barack Obama is no longer President of the United States?”  Sadly enough for those who love Barack Obama like a husband, best friend, boyfriend or baby daddy, the truth is that he can only be in the White House for another four years.   As President Obama retires to Martha’s Vineyard with the other Harvard alums, many of the most honest advocates for black America may no longer be empowered to fight for our causes.  I doubt that President Obama will be volunteering to take their place.

To some extent, the black community is going through a period that can be compared to high school, where the issues we face over a four year period seem as if they will matter for the rest of our lives.  Once high school was over, some realized that attempting suicide over a broken relationship or telling your parents that you hate them might have been an immature way to deal with a transitory situation.

In correlation, undermining the credibility of black public figures who’ve served the community for decades (i.e. Jeremiah Wright) might not be the best way to defend a man who will be out of office by the year 2016.  We must learn how to love President Obama while simultaneously supporting advocates for our community, and honestly realize that one is not a substitute for the other.  It is possible to take advantage of the present without mortgaging the future.  Integration into the White House is not the same as building an independently prosperous community that doesn’t need white American validation in order to be strong.

My point is not to say that the Obama presidency should not be respected or supported.  Instead, it is to say that the divides in black leadership that have been caused by the Obama presidency must heal quickly in order for us to move forward as a collective.  Also, no group of politicians should be allowed to play black public figures against one another by rewarding some for their loyalty and blocking others from having access to the negotiating table.  Divide and conquer is a common political tactic, and it ultimately leads us to waste our votes by providing political support without having a clear agenda.   The bottom line is that Obama is not going to be president forever, and we’ve got to have a Plan B.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

What Happens to “Us” When Obama Is No Longer President?
Dr. Boyce Watkins
Mon, 26 Mar 2012 00:18:35 GMT