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"I do not expect the white media to create a positive black-male image." -
Huey P. Newton
The NorthStar News & Analysis -
August 25, 2010
Meek Wins Florida’s Democratic Primary For The U.S. Senate
Prior to Tuesday’s election, three polls reported U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek was leading in Florida’s Democrat primary for the U.S. Senate and that he probably would win.
Meek didn't disappoint. He defeated billionaire rival Jeff Greene, who spent $25 million on his campaign, by a wide margin. Meek won 266,960 votes, or 54.5 percent of the 489,384 votes cast to Greene’s 160,541 votes.
Meek now becomes the first black U.S. Senate nominee from Florida and the only major black senate candidate nationwide. He will face Republican nominee Marco Rubio and Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running as an independent.
A jubilant Meek said “wow” after his victory.
“We did it! Tomorrow starts a new campaign against not one, but two tough opponents,” he said in an email to supporters. “With fewer than three months until election day, there is a lot to do. Tonight, we celebrate.”
The Ouinnipiac University poll reported Monday that Meek held a 10-point lead over challenger Greene among 757 likely Democratic voters.
Two other polls, Public Policy Polling and Mason-Dixon Polling and Research showed that Meek was leading by 24 points and 12 points, respectively. Meek represents Florida’s 17th Congressional District, which includes North Miami and Hollywood.
Only 47 Percent Of Black Boys Earn High School Diplomas
The nation’s public schools began opening this month for a new academic year. The new school year holds the promise of a new start, but for many black-male high school students their potential for academic success unfortunately is trapped in an inglorious past of poor grades and harsh discipline in comparison with their white-male classmates. These factors result in black boys being pushed out of school, according to a new report released by the Schott Foundation for Public Education.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based foundation recently reported that an estimated 47 percent of black boys graduated from high school during the 2007/2008 academic year, according to statistics provided by the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics. The center, which is based in Washington, D.C., calculated the percentage of students enrolled in the ninth grade who received their diplomas after completing the 12th grade.
The study, “Yes We Can: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males,” identified 19 states and seven cities and counties, including New York City, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Buffalo, N.Y., Rochester, N.Y., Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., Norfolk, Va., Richmond County, Va. and Pinellas County, Fla., where black-male graduation rates were at or below 50 percent.
Black-male graduation rates in 13 states ranged from 50 percent to 59 percent, and in six states, graduation rates ranged from 60 percent to 69 percent. In seven states, over 70 percent of black boys earned their diplomas.
The study notes that in New York City, which has received national praise for its educational reforms, only 25 percent of black males graduated from high school during the 2007/2008 school year. “New York City is one of the least successful, and New York State has the lowest black male graduation rate in the nation,” the report said.
Other states with alarmingly low black male graduation rates are Nebraska and Wisconsin. In Nebraska, 40 percent of black males received diplomas, and 50 percent graduated from high schools in Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s graduation rate, however, is higher than Washington State’s 48 percent; Illinois' 47 percent; South Carolina’s 39 percent; Florida’s 37 percent; North Carolina’s 46 percent and Alabama’s 42 percent.
Not all large urban school districts are performing as poorly as those in New York. In Newark, N.J., which is near New York City, 75 percent of black boys earned their diplomas compared with 62 percent of white male students in the same city.
The lowest graduation rates mostly occurred in districts with the highest number of black teachers and black administrators.
On the other hand, the highest high school graduation rates for black boys occur in states where the African-American population is small. “Vermont, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Maine had graduation rates for their black male students higher than the national average rate for white, non-Latino students,” the report said.
In Maine, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Vermont, the percentage of black boys walking across the stage to receive their diplomas exceeded the number of white males who graduated, the report found. In Maine, 98 percent of black males graduated compared with 81 percent of whites, and in New Hampshire, 83 percent of black boys received their high school diplomas compared with 78 percent of white-male students, the study found.
The Schott study blames faceless, nameless education bureaucracies for the high dropout rate of black boys. But a study published in August 2009, titled, Race, Gender, School Discipline, and Human Capital Effects, put a face on that bureaucracy. The report published in the
Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics
, monitored four unnamed schools in an unnamed rural/suburban school district in Georgia. Researchers studied middle schools because most students drop out of school between the 9th and 10th grades.
The study found that black women teachers in three of the four schools sent black-male students to the principal’s office for discipline 2.3 times more often than their colleagues.
The Schott Foundation for Public Education and the
Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics
conclude that low-graduation rates affect the economic well-being of the black community.
“Out of the 48 states reporting, black males are least likely to graduate from high school in 33 states. To add insult to injury, black-male students are punished more severely for similar infractions than their white peers. They are not given the same opportunities to participate in classes with enriched educational offerings. They are frequently inappropriately removed from the general education classroom due to misclassifications by the special education policies and practices of schools and districts,” the report said.
The report takes its name from Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. President Obama is pictured on the report's cover speaking to a young black boy who is mesmerized by the President’s attention.
John H. Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, said the fate of black males depends on the availability of systemic opportunities by states and communities. Read the entire report at
National Jazz Museum In Harlem Acquires Savory Collection
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem announced Monday that it acquired the 975 music discs known as the Savory collection. This historic collection is a series of recordings of live performances primarily by American jazz masters broadcast on radio during the years between 1935 and 1941, a period known as the golden age of jazz.
The aluminum and vinyl discs, now in the process of being digitized by the museum, represent over 100 hours of music and were created by William (Bill) Savory, a Harvard-educated physicist and jazz aficionado, who worked as a recording engineer for a New York City radio transcription service. Making use of the equipment available to him at his work site, Savory recorded live jazz performances as well as some live classical performances directly from the radio. He eventually amassed hundreds of discs and more than a hundred of hours of music that would have otherwise been lost.
Because the equipment used by Savory was the most sophisticated recording equipment available at the time and because Savory was a particularly skillful engineer, the quality of the discs he created were far better than others being produced during the 30’s and 40’s. Though the now acquired discs are in varied condition, only a small number of them are sufficiently deteriorated to obviate their being preserved by digital processing.
The Savory collection includes recordings of live extended-play performances by Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Lionel Hampton, Fats Waller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and many other artists. Recordings of live classical broadcasts are also featured in the collection and include full-length orchestral performances conducted by Arturo Toscanini and Eugene Ormandy.
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s executive director, Loren Schoenberg, discovered the existence of the collection of recordings after meeting William Savory in 1980. The value of these exceptional recordings was immediately apparent to Schoenberg, and he hoped to acquire them for the museum. Savory died in 2004, and Schoenberg gained possession of the entire collection of discs in April 2010 through Savory’s heir, Gene Savory, who lives in Malta, Ill.
The museum’s acquisition of the Savory collection coincides with the museum’s preparations to establish a permanent home at “Mart 125” in Harlem, an historic row of real estate in Upper Manhattan across the street from the Apollo Theater on Harlem’s legendary 125th Street.
The Savory collection of recordings will be made available to audiences by appointment only and during September as part of the museum’s “Jazz for Curious Listeners” program. Individuals can also listen to excerpts of the recordings on Saturdays when they are featured as part of the museum's "Panel" series.
For more information about the Savory collection, its restoration and its availability to the public, visit the website for the National Jazz Museum in Harlem at
Jean is no longer a candidate for president
Wyclef Jean’s Bid For Haiti’s President Is Over
When Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council released on Friday its list of approved political candidates, it did not include international hip-hop performer Wyclef Jean, 40. Jean announced his candidacy for president of his native country on August 5 during an appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live" show.
The council disqualified Jean’s candidacy along with that of 14 others. Though they did not offer a reason for disqualifying Jean, Haiti’s constitution requires that presidential candidates reside in Haiti for five consecutive years before declaring their intention to run for office.
Jean has lived periodically in Haiti for a number of years, but he does not meet the constitutionally mandated residency requirement (
The NorthStar News & Analysis, Aug. 10, 2010
Jean was born in Haiti but moved with his family to the United States at the age of 9 and grew up living in New York and New Jersey. His primary residence is a sprawling two-acre estate in Saddle River, NJ.
Saying he accepted the electoral council’s ruling, Jean said during a press conference that his ‘heart has been and will always be in Haiti,’ and that he is committed to helping Haiti to recover from the ravages of a devastating January earthquake. He said he is especially interested in improving educational opportunities for Haiti's youth.
Now a solo performer, Jean became an international star during the mid-1990s while performing with The Fugees, a hip-hop-reggae fusion group based in the U. S.
Jean established the Yele Foundation to promote grassroots economic development in Haiti. Through that foundation, Jean was one of the first international celebrities to offer aid to Haitians displaced by the earthquake.
Harold Dow Dies
Harold Dow, a longtime CBS-Television correspondent, died Sunday morning, following a severe asthma attack.
Mr. Dow had been suffering from adult-onset asthma. On Monday, Aug. 16, he checked himself into the Valley Hospital emergency room in Ridgewood, N.J. The hospital released him. Later, Mr. Dow was found dead in his car. An inhaler was found on the car’s floor.
Mr. Dow’s death tragically ends an extraordinary career. A correspondent for CBS’ “ 48 Hours” since 1990, Mr. Dow won five Emmy awards, including one for his reporting on American troops’ movement in Bosnia.
Mr. Dow, a native of Hackensack, N.J., began his career with CBS News in 1972 as a broadcast associate.
Mr. Dow was 62. He is survived by a wife and three children.
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