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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 -
September 28, 2010
Recession Forces More Black Children To Live With Grandparents
The nation’s recession has turned more black grandparents into their grandchildren’s primary caregivers.
The number of black grandparents who have become primary caregivers grew 2 percent between 2007 and 2008, the first year of the recession, according to the Pew Research Center study, “Since the Start of the Great Recession, More Children Raised by their Grandparents.”
Economists said the recession-the longest since World War II- began in December 2007. The National Bureau of Economic Research, a group of academic economists based in Cambridge, Mass., recently announced that the economic downturn ended in June 2009.
Pew Research found that in 2008, there were 621,887 African-American senior citizens who were raising their children’s children. Between 2000 and 2008, the number of black grandparents serving as primary caregivers declined 12 percent, the Pew study found.
The growth of black grandparents who became primary caregivers, however, is much smaller than the increasing numbers of white grandparents raising their children’s children. In 2008, 1.4 million white senior citizens were their grandchildren’s primary caregivers, a 7 percent increase during 2007. Between 2000 and 2008, the number of white senior citizens serving as primary caregivers to their grandchildren increased 19 percent.
The increase in elderly white men and women raising their sons' and daughters' children also exceeded their Hispanic and Asian counterparts. The number of Hispanic grandparents raising their grandchildren was 483,182 in 2008, which remained flat during the recession’s first year. The number of Asian grandparents who became their grandchildren’s primary caregiver was 89,603 in 2008, down 3 percent between 2007 and 2008. In 2008, more than 2.6 million grandparents of all racial and ethnic groups were the primary caregivers to their grandchildren. This is an eight percent increase from 2000 to 2008, the study found.
“While grandparents who serve as primary caregivers for their grandchildren are disproportionately black and Hispanic, the increase in grandparents as primary caregivers across the decade has been much more pronounced for whites,” the study said.
Grandchildren stretch their grandparents' finances. The survey found that 468,059 grandparents lived below the poverty line compared with 303,488 who lived at poverty level.
Facebook Founder Donates $100 Million To Newark Public Schools
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the popular social media website, Facebook, donated $100 million to the Newark, N.J., public schools.
During the 2007/2008 school year, the Newark Public Schools were one of the most successful urban school districts graduating black boys from high school.
Zuckerberg, a 26-year-old billionaire, reportedly made the decision after several meetings with Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Mayor Booker agreed to match Zuckerberg’s donation. In a blog post, Zuckerberg wrote, “Education has always been important to me and my family. Growing up, my parents emphasized the importance of learning and academic success.”
Booker said the Newark public school system is no different than many other large urban school districts. “Challenged by such issues as uneven school achievement, cuts in funding and growing mandates, our schools have failed to deliver on the promise of providing a high-quality education to every child,” Booker said. “Newark has made some progress in recent years: several nationally recognized Blue Ribbon Award-winning schools, a thriving charter school sector, and a new district uniform policy.”
The state of New Jersey seized control of the failing Newark schools more than decade ago, but test scores have not improved. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be ceding some of the state’s control of Newark's schools to Booker, a strong advocate for charter schools.
Despite the school district’s troubles, it has achieved success in one important area. According to the Schott Foundation for Public Education in Cambridge, Mass., 75 percent of black males graduated from high school during the 2007/2008 school year. The percentage of black boys who graduated from Newark high schools exceeded the white-male graduation rate during the 2007/2008 school year.
The Schott Foundation listed Newark schools as one of the nation’s best-performing school districts for black boys.
Morehouse Medical School Honors Henrietta Lacks and Her Family
Morehouse Medical School recently honored the late Henrietta Lacks and her family. Cells collected from Henrietta Lacks' body have been vital in developing the polio vaccine and revealing secrets of cancer.
Lacks died nearly 60 years ago, a victim of an aggressive form of cervical cancer. Physicians, without Lacks’ or her family’s knowledge, harvested her cells while Lacks was still alive.
For decades, researchers attempted to grow human cells outside the body to learn how to fight diseases. All of the earlier efforts had failed until physicians harvested Lacks’ cells.
Researchers used the cells in the pursuit of HIV research, mapped genes, created
fertilization and a number of other medical advances. Physicians and medical researchers called cell “HeLa” for Henrietta Lacks for short.
Although Lacks’ contribution was well known throughout the medical community, the general public did not learn of her extraordinary contribution until publication of
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot. Skloot’s book became a national bestseller.
Morehouse Medical School has honored Henrietta Lacks for 15 years with an annual conference on women’s health. The school’s 15th conference, however, was different this time. In addition to honoring Lacks, the school also honored her family.
“This is a wonderful thing that Morehouse is doing,” said David Lacks, Henrietta Lacks’ son. “Everybody wants to part of it.” In addition to David Lacks, Morehouse also honored 16 other members of the Lacks’ family.
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