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REPORT: Whites Are Minority in Children Under 5 Years-Old

According to census data, nearly half of all children in the U.S. under the age of 5 years-old are minorities.

Furthermore, whites are a minority among babies, and will be in the minority of children under the age of 18 in 5 years.

Read more at the Huffington Post

The imminent tip to a white minority among young children adds a racial dimension to government spending on early-childhood education, such as President Barack Obama’s proposal to significantly expand pre-kindergarten for lower-income families.

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Sesame Street Teaches Kids About Incarceration

We talked a lot about the criminal justice system and prison industrial complex, especially as it pertains to black youth. The astronomical number of people who have been incarcerated and the effects their imprisonment has on those individuals, their families, and the communities they leave and sometimes return to is part of that discussion. Yet we often ignore the way that children are impacted by this. Sesame Street has made headlines recently for including incarceration as part of their “Little Children, Big Problems” series:

The long-running PBS children’s education show launched the ‘Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration’ educational program earlier this week.

Organizers say the campaign is aimed at helping kids aged three to eight in the U.S., which has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

A toolkit of resources has been uploaded onto the Sesame Street website including videos, printable brochures, eBooks and apps.

‘The incarceration of a loved one can be very overwhelming for both children and caregivers,’ reads a message on the website. ‘Here are some tools to help you with the changes your child is going through.’

Read more at The Daily Mail.

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Beyond the Masculinization of Race Issues

The Trayvon Martin case has remained in the nation’s conscious. Just about every news source is covering the trial and the nation is still dialoging about what should happen to the man who killed him. With the national attention this case has received, I can’t help but think back to Rekia Boyd and wonder why there was such a difference in the coverage of her murder and little to no national outrage or civil  mobilization surrounding it.

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New Poll Says Blacks Are Less Concerned about Violations of Privacy

A new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that blacks have less of an issue than others with the government encroaching upon citizens’ privacy:

Fully 45 percent of all Americans say the government should be able to go further than it is, saying that it should be able to monitor everyone’s online activity if doing so would prevent terrorist attacks. A slender majority, 52 percent, say no such broad-based monitoring should occur,” according to the story by Jon Cohen, general manager and director of polling for Capital Insight, the independent polling group of Washington Post Media.

Among African Americans, however, 55 percent said those extra measures were acceptable, while 44 percent said they were not. The overall survey of 1,004 respondents nationwide included interviews with 128 non-Hispanic African-Americans.

Read more at the Maynard Institute.

Why do you think the black people polled tended to be more OK with government surveillance? Would numbers have been different if the government was currently being headed by a white person or a Republican? Thoughts on these findings? Sound off below!!!!

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Multiple Shootings in Chicago

Summer has not even officially begun and yet reports of multiple people dying or being injured by gun violence that we often associated with warmer weather have started coming in. Just yesterday in Chicago, 11 people were injured and one person was killed. Here’s just a sample of what’s happening primarily on the city’s south and west sides:

A 19-year-old man was shot in a drive-by attack about 8:25 p.m. Monday in the Gage Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side, police said. He was walking in the 5200 block of South Fairfield when someone passing by in a red vehicle shot him. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.

About 8 p.m., a person was shot with a BB gun in the 3100 block of West Lake Street, Fire Media Affairs said. Paramedics took the person to Stroger Hospital.

About 5:30 p.m., a bullet grazed a man’s head in the 1400 block of East 66th Place in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side. He was in good condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police said.

Read more at the Sun-Times.

As we get closer to summer, it seems inevitable that the violence in Chicago and other cities will only increase, if serious intervention does not happen. How can we work to make city streets in black neighborhoods safer? Are you bracing for a violent summer? Thoughts on the continued violence in Chicago and other cities? Sound off below!!!!

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Cicely Tyson, Other Black Actors Shine at Tony Awards

Veteran actor Cicely Tyson won her first Tony Award last night. Tyson was one of four black actors to bring home a trophy after last night’s show celebrating the best of the Broadway stage. Tyson had not appeared on Broadway in three decades. She won the award for best actor for her role in The Trip Bountiful. The play also features Vanessa L. Williams and Cuba Gooding, Jr.

In Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful,” Tyson plays a widow in 1953 whose only desire is to revisit her old home in Bountiful and recapture purpose she lost when she left for Houston.

Tyson beat out Laurie Metcalf, Amy Morton, Kristine Nielsen and Holland Taylor. She gave a long acceptance speech and was cut off by music. “‘Please wrap it up,’ it says,” Tyson said, referring to the teleprompter. “Well, that’s exactly what you did with me: You wrapped me up in your arms after 30 years.”

Tyson was nominated for an Oscar for her role in “Sounder” in 1972. Other film credits include “Fried Green Tomatoes,” ”Bustin’ Loose” and “Jefferson in Paris.”

Read more at CBS News.

Black actors Billy Porter, Courtney B. Vance, and Patina Vance also won awards last night.

Did you catch the Tonys last night? Have you seen any of these performances? Thoughts? Sound off below!!!!

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Trayvon Martin Trial Begins Today

Jury selection for the Trayvon Martin trial begins today. George Zimmerman, who has admitted to fatally shooting Martin, is on trial for second-degree murder and is facing at least 25 years, should he be convicted:

A key part of the prosecution’s case will likely be a recording to police dispatchers in which Zimmerman said that he was going to pursue Martin, despite being advised to the contrary. Special prosecutor Angela Corey, who is leading the state’s case, has insisted that if Zimmerman had adhered to the dispatcher’s advice and let police handle the situation, there would have been no conflict.

Prosecutors will also likely use audio recordings from 911 calls placed by neighbors at the time of the incident as a key part of their evidence against Zimmerman, who worked as an insurance underwriter at the time. Muffled screams can be heard on the calls. Prosecutors say the voice is Martin’s; the defense contends that it is Zimmerman’s. Additional statements from neighbors who overhead the confrontation could also be used as evidence.

A likely centerpiece of the defense’s case will be photographs taken of Zimmerman after the conflict showing bruises and cuts that they insist are consistent with his statement that he was attacked, thrown to the ground and punched repeatedly by Martin. Zimmerman has said the fight started when he saw a suspicious-looking stranger walking through the complex. At the time of the confrontation, Martin was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, which later came to symbolize the racial tensions at the heart of this case.

Read more at Time.
We will follow the jury selection and the rest of the trial. We will continue to update this news story.

News Flash

Feds Recommend 4 Year Sentence for Jesse Jackson Jr; 18 Months for His Wife, Sandi

On July 3rd, Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi Jackson will be sentenced for inappropriate use of campaign funds.

Today, federal prosecutors urged for a 4 year sentence for Jackson Jr., and 18 months for Sandi Jackson.

Their proposal allows for the Jackson to do their time back to back, allowing for at least one of them to always be available to take care of their two children.

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Featured Article

Happy 70th Birthday Nikki Giovanni!

Happy Birthday to legendary poet, educator, and activist Nikki Giovanni!

Giovanni is among the most prolific and influential poets of her generation; producing such famous collections as Black Feeling, Black Talk (1967), Black Judgment (1968), Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day (1975), and Love Poems (1997).

Over the past thirty years, her outspokenness, in her writing and in lectures, has brought the eyes of the world upon her.

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Guest Post

In Our Hands: The Future of Our Children and the Restoration of Our Communities Resides With Us

By Susan Taylor

Six years after I first heard them, the statistics still haunt me: Eighty-six percent of Black children in the fourth grade read and do math below their grade level. Black girls between the ages of 15 and 24 represent the greatest number of people with new HIV infections. Homicide is the leading cause of death for our boys. The village is on fire! And our love is the healing water that legions of our precious children are literally dying for. When we listen, we hear their cries rising above the flames; their voices carry the dream-crushing pain and humiliation of intergenerational poverty: days of missed meals, uncertain safety and poorly resourced schools that are the pipeline to prison. These are among the many heart-wrenching things stealing the lives of impoverished Black children in the land of plenty, a land made rich and powerful on the backs of our ancestors where today under-resourced Black children have been all but discarded, even as we note significant anniversaries and strides toward justice and peace.

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