Historic win for African American in 1st District

Ocean City Councilman Antwan McClellan will be the first African American to represent the state’s 1st Legislative District after a Republican sweep Tuesday.

McClellan was in the lead after the machine vote and the counting of most mail-in votes, along with running mates Michael Testa for state Senate and Erik Simonsen for Assembly.

“This was a historic election,” said campaign manager, Brittany O’Neill, adding McClellan will also be the only black Republican in the state Legislature.

And Testa, a Vineland attorney and the Cumberland County Republican chairman, is the first Republican in New Jersey to flip a Democratic Senate seat in 12 years, said campaign strategist Chris Russell.

The 1st legislative district lived up to its reputation as a hard-fought battleground distri…

The Democratic incumbents — Sen. Bob Andrzejczak and Assemblymen Bruce Land and Matt Milam — have conceded the election, and Milam said he reached out Wednesday to the winning assemblymen-elect and offered to help in any way he can.

“If they need anything — transitional-type things — if I can be of any help, they’ll have help,” Milam said. “We share cellphone numbers, and that’s how it should be. We have to stay united.”

The 1st District covers all of Cape May County and portions of Cumberland and Atlantic counties.

McClellan said his election wasn’t about his race, but he called diversity in the district’s representatives “extremely important.”

“There has got to be a voice for everyone. There can’t be if you don’t have the representation,” McClellan said.

Incumbent 2nd District Democrats Vince Mazzeo and John Armato were in a virtual dead heat wi…

McClellan works for Cape May County Sheriff Robert Nolan and said the two are taking some time off and when they get back will discuss how McClellan’s work schedule will accommodate his Assembly schedule.

Two important things happened just before the election that motivated Republicans to vote, said John Froonjian, interim executive director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University.

The House of Representatives voted on rules to proceed with impeachment proceedings against President Donald J. Trump, and Gov. Phil Murphy’s attorney general issued a demand that Cape May County end its cooperative agreement with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Clearly the Republicans were better at getting their people out than the Democrats were,” Froonjian said. “As popular as he’s been, (U.S. Rep.) Jeff Van Drew has not able to transfer his political capital to a team when he’s not on the ballot.”

Pundits are predicting low turnout for Tuesday’s election in New Jersey, based on the Assemb…

Van Drew, D-2nd, held the state Senate seat in the 1st District for years, then left it to enter Congress Jan. 1.

Turnout was about 35% in the 1st District, which is low, but more than the 2nd District’s 25%, Froonjian said. It’s about typical in each district for races with the Assembly at the top of the ticket, he said.

There are still provisional votes and mail-in ballots to count, but the Republican lead is likely to hold and results to be certified soon.

The 1st District had long been a GOP stronghold. But Democrat Van Drew was elected as an assemblyman and senator, and had built a strong moderate-conservative Democratic team there.

The Democrats’ campaign manager, Sam Rivers, said Wednesday the incumbent 1st District team wishes the newly elected Testa team well.

The 1st Legislative District, where there is a tight Assembly race and the state’s only stat…

“We hope they do the best they can for the district,” Rivers said.

But they will face an uphill battle, he said, being in the minority party in the Assembly and Senate. Democrats dominate both houses.

“We were pretty confident. We knew it was going to be close,” Russell said of the Testa team. “We felt it on the ground throughout the campaign — the energy behind Mike and behind the two (Assembly candidates).”

O’Neill remained confident of a Republican victory as well, she said. When a Stockton poll came out about a week before the election saying Testa was down by 14 points, she predicted the polling institute would have to issue an apology after the election.

“At the end of the day, South Jersey families can see through lies and smears that come out of Camden County,” she said of a political action committee tied to Democratic powerbroker George Norcross.

“Michael’s done a good job (showing himself) as a likable man and an incredible guy,” O’Neill said.

Magi Helena, Acclaimed Astrologer, Chosen One of L.A.’s 100 Most Fascinating People for 2019

Magi Helena, Acclaimed Astrologer, Chosen One of L.A.’s 100 Most Fascinating People for 2019 – African American News Today – EIN News

Trusted News Since 1995

A service for global professionals · Friday, November 8, 2019 · 501,603,061 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

News Monitoring and Press Release Distribution Tools

News Topics


Press Releases

Events & Conferences

RSS Feeds

Other Services


RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

‘Story of a family’: How developers are restoring an African American home back to life


Meggan McCarthy looked over a piece of paper in her hand. 

The first-year Ph.D. student from Middle Tennessee State University is one of the many who will chronicle the contents of the John Carothers House, a farm home built in the 1930s by an African American family in Williamson County. 

On the table in front of her sat piles of paper, newspaper clippings, an old camera and letters among the Carothers and Kinnard families, who both occupied the house during the last 80 years. She and other students from MTSU and Columbia State Community College are documenting its contents and organizing what they find. 

“It’s amazing how all of this paper brings someone to life,” McCarthy said. “We are definitely looking for what’s interesting, but also what tells the story of this family.” 

The house has sat vacant for years on Huffines Ridge. As a result, the inside of the home was turned upside down as animals and vandals strewed the contents onto the floor. Stone on the outside of the house suffered purple graffiti, and some of the glass in the windows has shattered. 

Thank you for being a subscriber. Your support allows us to write the stories that matter to you and our community.

The John Carothers House restoration is part of a two-year development project from company GCI, which will put a hotel and apartments on the 20-plus-acre property. But for Evan Vlaeminck, vice president of development, the task is less about the excitement of the hotel and apartments. 

Instead, Vlaeminck has found the property on the National Register of Historic Places a treasure trove of opportunity.

“I have always been a history nerd since the second grade,” Vlaeminck said. “But my company has never done anything like this before.” 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Share your thoughts in the Franklin Hub about historical preservation and other topics that matter to your community.

The story of the house

In 1937, John Carothers used limestone from his property to construct the house that still stands today. 

Documents submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior show that he purchased the property in 1933 for $25 per acre. With the help of his son Ezeal Carothers, the two built the 1½-story home.

The Carothers family gardened and farmed the land beside the home for wheat, tobacco and hay. Cows and chickens lived there as well. Ezeal Carothers also farmed 355 acres across the road owned by a Nashville businessman.

“The Carothers House is a good example of a local adaptation of stock building plans using native materials,” historians wrote in the 1989 application to add the home to the National Register of Historic Places. “The Carothers House was the first stone house to be constructed by John Carothers, who later built two other stone houses from stock architectural plans. One house is now demolished and the other, located on Jordan Road and built circa 1941, is slated for demolition. All three houses were constructed from limestone quarried from the Carothers farm by Ezeal Carothers.”

Historians also said the home should go on the registry to preserve African American history in Williamson County. The property provided an example of farm life before the civil rights movement. 

“Black sharecropper-tenant farmers were seldom able to escape the debt owed to the white landowners and to acquire their own farms,” Tennessee Historic Preservation Specialist Elizabeth A. Straw wrote in the application. “In Tennessee, three-fourths of all blacks lived in rural areas and were primarily farmers. Housing for rural black farmers consisted mainly of small cabins constructed loosely of logs or slab boards. Windows rarely had glass or screens and were usually covered with wooden shutters.”

Phases of the project

Restoring the house and developing the land will be a two-year process. 

Physically fixing the home will take about six months and will happen concurrently toward the end of the development of the apartments and hotel. Once it’s finished, the City of Franklin will maintain the house and use it as a community center and gateway to mountain bike trails on the property.

In the meantime, students from the two schools will go through the furniture, documents and other artifacts of the house to build a history of the family and the land. 

Standing in the front yard, MTSU Center for Historic Preservation field director Savannah Grandey held a leather-bound ledger from 1895. It’s one of the oldest pieces discovered in the house. 

“A lot of what we are finding is more modern, but we are finding old photos of the house and the property,” Grandey said. “We’ve found a lot of old checks, one even paying for a mule. But we are going through four or five generations of people who are from this family.”

The two colleges will divide up the time eras. Columbia State associate professor Thomas Flagel said the research had only just begun for his students. He noted stories like these were proving the most valuable to the community. 

“These are the Williamson County stories that need to be told,” Flagel said. “I feel like the thing that’s great with this project is that certified and trained professionals are documenting this history. This is a great step in the right direction to talk about stories that may have otherwise been erased in Franklin.”

Join the conversation about preservation in Franklin on the new Franklin Hub.Reach Emily West at erwest@tennessean.com, at 615-613-1380, or on Twitter at @emwest22.

Read or Share this story: https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/williamson/2019/11/04/john-carothers-house-franklin-tn-gci-restoration/2497954001/

Democrats in Battleground States Prefer Moderate Nominee, Poll Shows

A New York Times/Siena College survey in six key states also showed voters want a candidate who can work with Republicans.

If the Democratic presidential primary were being held today, whom would you vote for?


209 surveyed











Don’t know

Source: New York Times Upshot/Siena College polls of Democratic primary voters conducted Oct. 25-30. | Note: Only candidates who received 1 percent in any of the six states are shown above.

Nov. 8, 2019

WASHINGTON — Democrats in the country’s most pivotal general election battlegrounds prefer a moderate presidential nominee who would seek common ground with Republicans rather than pursue an ambitious, progressive agenda, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll of primary voters across six states.

As the Democratic candidates intensify their argument over how best to defeat President Trump, their core voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona and Florida are counseling them to pursue a political middle ground.

A majority of those surveyed said they wanted a Democratic nominee who is more moderate than most Democrats, and they overwhelmingly preferred one who would bridge the partisan divide in Washington.

Would you prefer a candidate who would…

… promise to find common ground with Republicans

… promise to fight for a bold progressive agenda

… be more moderate than most Dems.

… be more liberal than most Democrats

… promise to bring politics in Washington back to normal

… promise to bring fundamental, systematic change to American society

Source: New York Times Upshot/Siena College polls of Democratic primary voters conducted Oct. 25-30.

The party’s voters are more evenly split on the scale of change they are seeking from their nominee: 49 percent said they preferred a candidate who would return politics in Washington to normal, while 45 percent hope for one who will bring fundamental change to American society.

The poll showed a top tier of three candidates in the battleground states: Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Mr. Biden was leading in five of the six states, while Ms. Warren enjoyed a narrow advantage within the margin of error in Wisconsin, where Mr. Sanders also appeared strong. No other candidate registered in double digits in any of the states surveyed.

While Democrats have unambiguously moved to the left in the decade since President Barack Obama took office, as Republicans eagerly point out, the poll illustrates that the party’s identity is more complex than the opposition and some progressive activists would portray it.

Democratic voters in the six states, each of which Mr. Trump carried three years ago, are split almost equally in how they described themselves ideologically: 49 percent say they are moderate or conservative, while 48 percent indicate they are very liberal or somewhat liberal.

And this presidential primary reflects the party’s contrasting impulses.

Primary voters who long for a moderate standard-bearer and a return to normalcy in Washington strongly prefer Mr. Biden, according to the survey. Those Democrats who prefer a progressive nominee and want them to fight for a bold agenda while bringing systemic change to American society are nearly evenly divided between Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren.

The divisions go beyond ideology and ambition: Older, nonwhite Democrats and those without college degrees strongly favor Mr. Biden. But younger Democrats of all races prefer Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, while those with college degrees overwhelmingly prefer Ms. Warren.

None of the six states where voters were polled are casting ballots in the first stage of the primary next year, and only North Carolina votes on Super Tuesday, in early March, immediately after the initial early-voting states. So the candidate preferences could change by the time these states hold their nominating contests.

The Times/Siena survey of 1,568 Democratic primary voters in the six states was conducted from Oct. 13 to 26. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points. Sampling error in individual states is higher.

In preferences for individual candidates, the major distinction between the six states and Iowa, where The Times and Siena polled caucusgoers late last month, is that Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., is in the top tier with Ms. Warren, Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders in Iowa. But he has scant support in the battleground states and despite winning a wave of attention in recent months, he was one of several candidates to poll at zero percent among black voters in those states.

The ideological and generational divisions shaping this primary are strikingly similar in the Iowa and battleground surveys. Mr. Biden has nearly three times the support from voters over 65 that he does among those 29 and younger. And he does three times better among self-described moderates and conservatives than he does among those who say they are very liberal.

The former vice president’s support from older voters is especially pronounced among nonwhite Democrats. Nearly half of the racial minorities surveyed who were 45 and older backed Mr. Biden, while Mr. Sanders received 10 percent and Ms. Warren 9 percent.

What’s more ominous for Mr. Biden is that his support with younger nonwhite voters is far more tenuous: Among racial minorities under 45, Mr. Sanders was the favorite at 28 percent, followed by Ms. Warren at 19 percent and Mr. Biden at only 11 percent.

Xiomara Alarcon, a 24-year-old postal worker from Greensboro, N.C., described Mr. Sanders as “pure-hearted,” a true-believing advocate for progressive policies like “Medicare for all.” She also approvingly noted that he was arrested as a young activist in 1963.

“He fights for all people of color,” said Ms. Alarcon, who identifies as Hispanic. “Not just himself and his people.”

Among African-American voters of all ages in the six states, Mr. Biden was the overwhelming favorite, receiving 42 percent of that vote. Ms. Warren captured 13 percent, and Mr. Sanders had 10 percent.

That finding aligns with other polling through the year that reinforces Mr. Biden’s high standing with black voters, forged through ties with congressional and community leaders, and most significantly, through his relationship with former President Obama.

“He was Obama’s vice president and some of the things Obama supported, he supported,” Michael Elliott, 61, of Jacksonville, Fla., said of Mr. Biden. “Vice president, that’s as close as you can get to being a president. I’m looking at experience, too.”

Nearly 300 miles down the Florida coast, William Stewart, 39, raised concerns about Mr. Biden’s ability to appeal to younger voters and said he was currently supporting Ms. Warren.

“It would be great for a woman to be president,” said Mr. Stewart, of West Palm Beach. Mr. Stewart, a logistics manager, identifies as African-American. “I believe in some of the thoughts she has about health care and equal rights for everybody.”

As for Mr. Biden, he said, “I have a little reservation about if he’s connecting with the younger people.”

Ms. Warren was strongest among voters who identified as “very liberal,” winning 35 percent, while Mr. Biden captured just 13 percent of those voters. She also dominated with white college graduates, capturing 33 percent, far more than Mr. Biden or Mr. Sanders.

Mr. Biden was strongest among white voters without a four-year degree, taking 30 percent — double Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, who both captured 15 percent of these voters.

“Joe Biden has the experience,” said Diane Ethridge, 60, of Green Bay, Wis. “I also think he’s more willing to listen and he will do far better with trade with this country, he will do far better, I think also even in the Democratic Party, with health care.”

Ms. Ethridge, who attended vocational school and worked at a phone company, said she opposed Medicare for all and efforts to make college free, proposals supported in various forms by Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders.

“She’s doing well in the polls,” she said of Ms. Warren, “but I am not for her political platform of Medicare for all. I don’t know where this money is going to be coming from. I am not in favor of education for all, either. I don’t feel we should be paying for someone who could afford to pay for it.”

Even some of Ms. Warren’s supporters expressed concerns about the practical and political considerations of her Medicare for all plan.

Ms. Warren has said her proposal will not raise taxes on the middle class. Last Friday she unveiled a plan describing how she would pay for an initiative that she says would cost $20.5 trillion in new federal spending over a decade.

“I’m very skeptical” about the tax implications, Mr. Stewart, of Florida, said. “That’s the only discrepancy. I don’t know how it’s possible.”

African-American Heritage Action Initiative uncovering, preserving history in Winston-Salem

Data pix.Data pix.

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — African-American history is rooted deep in Winston-Salem streets. The launch of the African-American Heritage Action Initiative will capture those stories and record them.

“The businesses and just how we did things and how we achieved in an oppressive environment,” said Annette Scippio, on Winston Salem City Council.

She said the goal is to inspire people of all ages and educate them.

“Also to determine how the history of African-Americans in Winston-Salem will be melded in the permanent history of the city,” she said.

In order to tell these stories, the group needs your help.

“I’d love for people right now to look into their photo albums and say, ‘Oh I’d love to share this and I need to share that,'” Scippio said.

The city is currently working on a database to help collect documents and photos submitted by the public.

36.099860 -80.244216

Study ranks Milwaukee as worst city for African Americans

… as the worst city for Black Americans. This is according to … s not new to most African Americans who live in Milwaukee,… caused some serious problems for racism and poverty." Benson … has had lasting impacts on African Americans in the city living equally … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

Leftism Isn’t Very Appealing to Nonvoters. But Bernie Sanders Is.

Feeling a mild Bern. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

There are some intraparty arguments that Democrats perennially rehash, as though they were a kind of ritual. Bitter Twitter fights over why George McGovern lost, whether “neoliberals” are real or a superstition, and who was the best candidate in the (never-ending) 2016 Democratic primary mark the passing of blue America’s seasons.

But it’s possible that no intra-Democratic-pundit dispute recurs with more grim regularity than this: Should the party prioritize winning over swing voters, or inspiring sympathetic nonvoters? Or, more succinctly, is the key to winning power persuasion or mobilization?

The abysmal state of state education

Yet another national report has confirmed that Milwaukee’s entrenched system of educational apartheid is dooming African American children to mediocrity and second-class citizenship.

The report released last week by the National Assessment of Education Progress (Nation’s Report Card) revealed our city hosts the widest racial academic achievement gap in the country.

Equally disturbing is the total silence from stakeholders to this tragedy.  I’ve been anxiously waiting since the results were revealed for a response from stakeholders.

Instead, I’ve heard nothing but silence: not a word, murmur, or even a cough or sneeze.

And given the potential ramifications, the deafening silence is nonsensical, if not inexplicably damning.

The “Report Card” revealed our state has the fewest number of African American students proficient in fourth and eighth-grade reading.

Moreover, as was revealed last year (and the year before that), our children’s lack of basic skills ensures we rank below all but a couple of cities in high school graduation.

That latter statistic partly explains why Wisconsin has the highest Black male incarceration rate in countries south of the North Pole.

As this publication’s education reporter, I’m not surprised by the revelations. And maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that no one—politician, community leader, teacher or parent—has stepped forward to raise the flag of alarm, if not surrender.

Check that.

Pressed by education columnist Alan Borsuk, a Department of Public Instruction appointee did pull her head out of the sand long enough to say the results represent a “crisis.”

But, she then tripped over her tongue by providing the disingenuous “justification” that Black children do poorly elsewhere, too.

But that was it.

There was not a single noun, adjective or verb from any state legislator, even though they are entrusted by the state constitution to ensure all Wisconsin children receive a quality education.

Same for the local school board, which is known for calling press conferences to tout the lunch menu or the need for unisex bathrooms, but not to a word to explain the abysmal state of education.

Even if you purchased one of those super hearing devices they sell on cable television after 2 a.m. in the morning, you could not pick up a buzz from the local teachers’ union (MTEA) about this unacceptable tragedy.

I assume the MTEA will respond to this column with a few choice words about how the “good” students have abandoned government schools to enroll in those Satanic charter and community schools.  You can expect another press release about privatization “stealing” MPS money, or how the poor parents who chose to go elsewhere are traitors, atheists and pawns of the conservative right.

Of course, they won’t tell you that DPI rates only two MPS elementary non-specialty schools in the state’s top ten—Milwaukee College Prep—one on 36th Street and the other 38th Street. Both, ironically, are chartered by MPS.

Nor will the union officials tell you how another study revealed recently that most public/government schoolteachers prefer private schools themselves, or how Milwaukee teachers lead the country in that category.

Most surprisingly (or maybe not), there was total silence from parents, civil rights groups, and liberal missionary organizations that control the Black agenda.

You may recall the NAACP sued to stop Black parents from participating in the school choice program after successfully selling us a bill of goods about how school “integration” would close the achievement gap and provide Black children a passport to enter the “Promised Land.”

Oh, by the way, several studies have revealed Milwaukee government schools are today more segregated than they were 40 years after the school desegregation settlement.

I’m surprised the NAACP and the missionary groups have not said anything about that dichotomy.

But maybe I shouldn’t be since nobody else seems to care about the plight of Black students either.

Given the response to the Report Card, I assume an outside observer would agree with my assessment. And I would be hard-pressed to convince them otherwise.

I can, however, join them in predicting if nothing changes in the foreseeable future, we face a future of haves and have nots, social anarchy, and another generation of lost souls.

And, while I try not to overplay the race card, this exemplar dictates an exception.

If the report showed a suburban district’s students were doing even half as bad as our children, I would guarantee former DPI superintendent and current Governor Tony Evers would be surrounded by their respective school boards, teachers’ union, parents, and the entire state assembly demanding immediate action.

But because we’re talking about Black children…well, I don’t have to finish that sentence.

What makes matters worse is that even the blind saw this coming.

We’ve witnessed this disparity worsening for years. It was the system of educational apartheid and a much smaller achievement gap that prompted the school desegregation lawsuit of the 1970s.

Yes, an achievement gap existed, but it was based more so on equity than on culture.

We were poor, but we still excelled despite limited resources, outdated books, and rookie teachers.

The major difference was we had a community and culture that prioritized education.

As ironic as it may appear, there are many who theorize things started going downhill after the school desegregation court order.

And therein lies part of the reason for the current state of apathy, ignorance, or blind acceptance of the failing status quo?

I hypothesize there are three reasons for this abysmal state of education. But let’s start with a rhetorical question once asked by the late, great political pioneer Annette Polly Williams.

She offered, “The problem is rooted in either the system or the child. Either there is something wrong with Black children or with the educational system.”

Far too many government teachers—consciously or subconsciously—believe it’s the latter.

To illustrate my point, a North Division high school teacher told me during a community hearing to discuss turning around that failing school, that the reason for the children’s failure was their inability to learn because they are “poor” and are traumatized from “hearing gunshots every day.”

I’m not making this up.

Several people heard her comments in response to my questions about the academic failure of students at North and the MTEA’s nonsensical campaign to stop any reform that threatened the failing status quo.

This same teacher said she was an expert in African American history because she “owned Black art.”

She was also heard telling several North students “chosen” by the union to attend the meeting, to “attack Howard Fuller (a presenter at the meeting) because he was trying to privatize their school.”

(Interestingly, when questioned, none of the students could tell me what privatization meant. Nor could they spell it.)

But I’m not going to get into a discussion about “liberal” racism. If that teacher’s comments doesn’t provide you with clear evidence of how low expectations and prejudices are undermining the educational process for our children, you’re living in a fool’s paradise and are part of the problem.

Instead, let’s focus on the three reasons for failure.

Poor parenting, the entrenched system of educational apartheid, and resistance to change inspired by a conspiracy to under-or-miseducate our children.

The primary reason Milwaukee has the highest poverty rate in the country is not necessarily because a single, Black woman heads 70% of all African American households.

It’s because half of them subscribe to the “Culture of Poverty (COP),” which includes an indifference, if not abhorrence to education.

Few Black parents attend parent/teacher conferences, check their children’s homework (or assist them) or motivate their child to put forth 100% effort.

To add insult to injury, studies have shown that in the average White family home, a child will hear one million words before they start kindergarten.

In the average Black household, a Black child will hear one-tenth that number, and that’s only if you include racist epithets and profanities I wouldn’t use around adults, much less children.

In middle-class homes, parents invest resources into music, art, and tutoring. They send their children to academic summer camps and enroll them in college preparatory programs.

Many if not most COP parents enroll her child in programs chosen because they offer food and safe environments.

They allow their children to waste summer vacations running the streets and rarely impress on them the importance of the printed word.

As a result, most of our COP children will begin their schooling with a significant handicap. Few ever catch up to their socioeconomic peers.

From that perspective, it’s not poverty that hinders them but the culture of poverty.

I was a single parent trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents. I’ve never owned a new car because I put my priorities elsewhere—in my children. I believe father means to take your children further—then you and your generation.

Fortunately, I remarried, so my sons had the benefit of an activist father and mother with a PhD in parenting Black boys.

When my oldest son—an acclaimed teacher—died, I stepped in to assist his mother in raising one of my grandsons.

He attended an all African American charter school. His grades were impressive enough that he won a full scholarship to a prestigious private school academy.

He will finish his bachelor’s degree from the top-ranked college in the state, after spending a semester in New Zealand. He will graduate at age 19, and his future if bright.

His mother was a single parent. I was the surrogate father providing the cultural element and taking him through an Africentric rites of passage. That’s why I know it’s not about the ‘po, it’s about the cultural mindset.

Poor parents who “parent,” who are involved as partners in the educational process, and engage the teacher and the system in producing quality students.

You don’t have to read Carter G. Woodson’s “The Miseducation of the Negro” to understand the depth of the second problem.

There are dozens of books that explain how the system is set up to fail our children.

Low teacher expectations, out of date curriculum—specifically outmoded reading methodology–and the refusal to even experiment with reforms that might jeopardize teacher job security and the status quo are at the core of the problem.

And make no mistake, the teachers’ union controls the Milwaukee public school district!

And its leadership (not necessarily the teachers) is not interested in what’s best for the children, as much as what’s best for the union’s members.

Sadly, the MTEA has successfully blocked every major reform since Fred Flintstone texted his first message on his solar phone.

I have taught and counseled in government and community schools. I have mentored. And I have fought for additional resources, including teacher pay and benefits.

But, as a Black Nationalist, I also served as a lieutenant in Polly Williams’ school choice army.

I believe to offer parents options is to empower them. Equally important, I find it hypocritical at best that while government schoolteachers want to chain Black students to failing government schools, another study showed an overwhelming majority prefer private schools for their own children. And Milwaukee leads the nation in that statistic.

Moreover, because I have served on the board of two of the best private schools in the city, I have a unique insight into their viability.

At Harambee Community School, we could barely pay the teachers a living wage.

We had to beg, borrow, and steal to keep the doors open. But we did something right because former MPS superintendent Robert S. Peterkin once said Harambee and its sister schools, Urban Day and Bruce Guadalupe, were producing quality—and culturally attuned—students when MPS, with four times the budget, resources, and technology, could not.

Granted, at Harambee and later Messmer Catholic Schools, we were allowed autonomy, something government schools did not have. We had parental contracts. Mandatory conferences. We even had parenting classes.

We also had a network of families who shared responsibility for the entire student body. Everybody looked out for the “village” children.

It was because of that dichotomy that Peterkin in 1988 asked Harambee and four other schools to participate in a public/private partnership that grew into what is today, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.

As for the conspiracy? I hope I’m right about my suspicions because to think otherwise means all of this is the result of happenstance, luck, or Divine Providence.

The conspiracy is rooted in two overlapping purposes. The first is a desire to limit the field of competition to benefit white children.

The second is that the failing system provides a steady income for missionaries, union members, and poverty pimps. It also fuels the prison industrial complex. There’s big bucks in locking up Black folks who are MPS drop-outs, or who “graduated,” but can barely read the diploma they received telling them they graduated.

I was reading an article in Time Magazine Monday that opened my eyes to this scheme.

Graduates of elite colleges—Harvard, Yale, etc.—are automatically offered the top shelf positions in corporations.

Those who attend middle-ranked schools are offered jobs working for the elites, and those on the bottom earn nice livings but are locked into lower socioeconomic paradigms.

There is a campaign to make the system more diverse by setting aside a smaller percentage of seats for the poor, but academically qualified, minorities.

Don’t expect that to happen in any large number in part because you’re taking away seats from the rich and selected middle class.

Those who have subscribed to the system of meritocracy do not want their children to compete for seats.

There is also the matter of automation. Last week an article revealed that automation—robotics and technology (with a pinch of artificial intelligence thrown in for good measure)—will eliminate a significant percentage of jobs in the next decade. African Americans, the article declared, will be hit the hardest.

Fewer jobs will mean fewer opportunities.

I could be wrong in my assumptions. But since no one else is offering an analysis, much less solutions, I guess I’m the only voice in town. And, apparently, the only one who cares.


RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

The Legacy of Black Catholics in the American Catholic Church

… in disproportionately committing African Americans to the criminal … our nation and eradicating racism, its “original sin … The number of African Americans considered for canonization … downtrodden people. The African American experience bridges across … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News