Saturday, July 31, 2010

New 50-foot mural at UNC School of Government celebrates African-Americans

A creative interpretation of the Greensboro lunch counter sit-in of 1960 is the first in a series of murals that will commemorate the contributions of African Americans and Native Americans to the state. Titled “SERVICE,” the 5-by50-foot painting by Charleston, S.C., artist Colin Quashie was dedicated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Government this week.

“We serve all of North Carolina’s public officials and all North Carolinians,” said Michael Smith, dean of the School of Government. “This painting not only represents the full breadth of our work, but also the value we place on the accomplishments of African Americans in North Carolina.”

The mural showcases 40 individuals and more than eight events symbolizing North Carolina’s African American history associated with civil rights, government, business, journalism and education. The painting shows a gathering of African-American leaders at the counter of a diner not unlike Woolworth’s.

The artist has featured the Greensboro Four—Joseph McNeil, David Richmond, Jibreel Khazan (formerly known as Ezell Blair Jr.) and Franklin McCain, students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University who took part in the lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro—as chefs. “They literally took possession of the lunch counter with their refusal to leave until served. By seeking service they were, by extension, serving a cause greater than themselves," Quashie said.

Funding for the project was provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union. “The decision to fund this project was a no-brainer for us,” said Maurice Smith, president of the credit union. “Our mission is to improve the lives of North Carolinians. Sometimes we do that by offering affordable financial services; sometimes, by setting an example. This is truly a proud moment for the credit union and for me personally.”

“SERVICE”is located on the first floor of the school’s Knapp-Sanders Building, and may be viewed any time the building is open. Call (919) 966-5381 for more information.

School of Government contact: Ellen Bradley, (919) 843-6527,


The mural, a single 5' x 50' painting, visually consists of eight panels, each representing an event, place, or particular accomplishment in the history of North Carolina.

Panel 1—Princeville, North Carolina
Freedom Hill was a community of freed slaves following the Civil War. In 1885 it was renamed after ex-slave Turner Prince and incorporated as Princeville, NC. It is the oldest incorporated municipality of freed slaves in America. The Town Hall, originally a Rosenwald school, is now the community's African-American museum.

Panel 2—Pea Island Lifesavers
The Pea Island Life-Saving Station on the Outer Banks of North Carolina was the first life-saving station in the country to have an all-black crew, and a black man, Richard Etheridge, as commanding officer.

Panel 3—Menhaden Fishing Fleet and Chanteymen
Beaufort, North Carolina, is the menhaden capital of the world. The shipboard crews employed by the fisheries were predominantly black over the years and the work assigned to them was physically demanding. To help ease and pace this extraordinary labor, the men sang "chanteys" or worksongs that were drawn from many sources, including hymns and gospel songs, blues, and barbershop quartet songs, and were often improvised.

Panel 4—Parrish Street, Durham, North Carolina
In the early twentieth century, Parrish Street in Durham, North Carolina, was the hub of African American business activity. This four-block district was known as “Black Wall Street." Although other cities had similar districts, Durham’s was one of the most vital and was nationally known.

Panel 5—North Carolina School Integration
After the integration of Charlotte schools in 1957, many whites showed their objection by refusing to allow their children to ride school buses with black children.

Panel 6—U.S. Colored Regiment
The 27th regiment of US Colored Troops, under the command of Gen. Charles Paine, played a prominent role in the capture of Fort Fisher in February 1865, after which they constituted the vanguard of the Union's march on Wilmington.

Panel 7—Somerset Place Plantation
The Somerset Place Plantation was North Carolina's third largest by 1860. Designated as a State Historic Site in 1969. In 1986 Dorothy Spruill Redford planned a gathering of descendants of slaves known as Somerset Homecoming. More than 3,000 descendants nationwide attended the homecoming at the plantation.

Panel 8—Dr. King and Ralph Abernathy
A week after the sit-ins began, F.W. Woolworth temporarily closed the lunch counter. Two weeks later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev. Ralph Abernathy came to Greensboro to lend their support to the movement


Colin Quashie began his art career in 1989 and is best known for challenging audiences with his brand of controversial social commentary. Since 1996 he has financed his art by writing comedy for television and freelancing as a graphic artist. Born in London, England, he currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hidden Heritage

A wire fence, a wood pile, a stand of maples strewn with stones, a dog meandering up with a half-hearted warning bark -- we could be one of countless places along a Vermont back road. Historian Elise Guyette knows better. The dog, for one, is friendly and so is the landowner, familiar from Guyette's previous visits to this spot just east of the crest of Lincoln Hill Road in Hinesburg. She steps around the fence and into the past, pointing out a rough stone that likely marks a grave, picking up broken shards of a tombstone, etchings of a weeping willow, perhaps, still visible. Known to locals for years as "the old negro burying ground," the Clark family plot is at the heart of the acreage where an African American community of farm families pioneered the land and made their living in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

"Standing here and seeing the stones and knowing where I was and that nobody knew anything about them, that's what amazed me," Guyette says while discussing the research process of her recently published book. "A lot of people around here know this is a cemetery, know this was a black cemetery, they've known this forever -- but nobody knew one thing about the people who lived here."

Elise Guyette

"A lot of people around here know this is a cemetery, know this was a black cemetery, they've known this forever," says alumna and historian Elise Guyette, "but nobody knew one thing about the people who lived here."
That moment and that historical void helped spark Guyette's drive to find these people's story and share it, years of work that came together with the spring publication of Discovering Black Vermont: African American Farmers in Hinesburgh, 1790-1890 (University of Vermont Press/University Press of New England).

Searching for shreds

As settlers braved the wilds of northern New England in the 1700s, a truism of the era stated "if you can't carry 100 pounds on your back for ten miles, you aren't fit for settling the Vermont frontier," Guyette writes in Discovering Black Vermont.
Shubael and Violet Clark, already at home in the relative comfort of Monkton, put themselves to a harsh test in 1795 when they bought 100 acres and struck out to carve out a home and a livelihood from the thick forest near the top of what was then known as "Vermont Hill."

Not only did they make it, but they thrived - as far as that word can apply to a rocky Vermont hill farm. Together with the Peters families who would settle land lower on the hill three years later, the African American community grew to at least eight families. Guyette's research suggests that, particularly in the early years, farmers' need for a strong community to weather the rigors of pioneer life sometimes trumped racism. In such circumstances, valley people versus hill people, might have been viewed as a starker division than black versus white.

But the challenges of later years are suggested by the fact that the history of this community has been so long hidden. One descendant told Guyette, "See they came from the time period where black people were seen as second-class people, and they were treated poorly and tormented by other children, and those hurt feeling don't go away and never will."

With no direct family journals or diaries to work from, Guyette found the collective history of the families on the hill through painstaking research. She spent hour upon hour in local town clerks offices and libraries, pouring over documents from tax records to store ledgers to accounts of estate sales for glimpses of their lives.

"I didn't know if I'd be able to find a shred of evidence that they had lived here," says Guyette, who earned her bachelor's from UVM in 1971 and added two master's degrees and a doctorate in later years. "You sit there and you keep turning the pages, and then when you find something you're like, (she whispers) 'Oh, god, thank you,' then you start taking notes. I kept coming back and coming back, finding more and more stuff. I couldn't believe how much was in the records about these people. I just knew at some point that this was more than an article; this was a book."

A richer history

Though Guyette's research was years in the making, the motivation pushing her was built over deacades. Growing up in a rich cultural mix of Rutland, Vermont, her own family of French-Lebanese-Irish descent, Guyette recalls being a fourth grader eager for a Vermont history unit -- "I couldn't wait to read about all of the people around me." Instead, she was handed a standard text of political leaders and war heroes -- decidedly white, male, and protestant.

Years later, as a teacher in Swanton, Vt., Guyette was given the very same pale little volume as a teaching resource. But what she had quietly accepted as a child and a student, was not going to do as an adult and a teacher. Not long after, she set to work on a Vermont history for young people that would include all of the different ethnic groups. The result of that work was Vermont: A Cultural Patchwork, published in 1986.

Guyette's path as a historian would take a distinct turn toward the hill in Hinesburg when she was working on her master's thesis in history. She set her sights on the experience of blacks in Vermont as a little-studied area. Originally, accepting the conventional wisdom, she believed the story of blacks in Vermont would not go much beyond the Underground Railroad. Hoping to find background on this connection, she visited Tom Bassett, longtime UVM archivist and Vermont historian, at his home.

Bassett had nothing to offer on the Underground Railroad, but he had something better --basic research he had done for his brother, a sociologist, in which he had gone through past census reports and written down the names of every black person he could find. The shoe box was stuffed full of index cards, each with a name. Guyette says, "It was like it was waiting for me."

Now that her book is published and a green Vermont historic marker titled "Early Black Settlers" is planted where Lincoln Hill Road bends east off North Road, Guyette hopes that her long research and writing process will help to change perceptions about the diversity of Vermont's cultural history. As she writes in the introduction to her book, perhaps the most important aspect of this story is its most fundamental fact -- "the revelation that such a place as this hill existed."

Release Date: 07-20-2010

Author: Thomas James Weaver Email: Phone: 802/656-7996 Fax: (802) 656-3203

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DVC's Stacey Shears awarded doctorate

Stacey Shears, the Disability Support Services Manager at Diablo Valley College, has completed her doctorate program in educational leadership at San Francisco State University (SFSU). California State University system was recently granted permission to offer educational doctoral degrees independent of the UC system, and Stacey was part of the first cohort of the SFSU Educational Leadership Ed.D. program.

Stacey took a sabbatical leave during spring term 2010 to finish her dissertation, a study titled, “Understanding African American Community College Transfer Students’ Experiences: A Qualitative Study.”

She was awarded an Ed.D. in educational leadership, and attended the SFSU College of Education Doctorate in Educational Leadership Recognition Ceremony.

Stacey earned her B.A. degree in Latin American Caribbean Studies from the City College of New York, and her M.S. degree in College Student Personnel from the University of Rhode Island. She was hired at DVC in 2002 as Disability Support Services Counselor.

Stacey Shears

Stacey Shears
“I wanted to understand more about African American community college students’ interpersonal experiences with transfer since they are one of the groups with lowest transfer rates throughout the state. And I wanted to accentuate successful transfer outcomes within this group of community college students,” Stacey said, in explaining how she chose her topic.

She said the work on the doctorate coursework and dissertation “improved my writing skills and my ability to understand how to help underrepresented students with transfer success.
It also helped me understand how racism and ethnicity impact community college students in the District.”

Dr. Helen Hyun, SFSU chair of Shears’ dissertation committee, said “Her important study has the potential to improve practice by reconceptualizing student services and campus climate to better serve African American students in higher education. It will also contribute to the theoretical literature on Critical Race Theory.”

Helen and Stacey plan to publish the findings of her dissertation study and present at the American Educational Researchers Association Annual Convention in April 2011.

Diablo Valley College - Press Release - DVC's Stacey Shears Awarded Doctorate.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Study Finds Blacks More Likely to Die From Cancer

ALBANY, N.Y., July 23, 2010—Blacks are more likely to die from cancer than members of other racial and ethnic groups because they are often diagnosed later—with a more advanced stage of the disease—and because they have less access to high quality care. That’s the conclusion of a study co-authored by Albany Medical Center Surgeon-in-Chief Steven Stain, M.D., that was published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. The study, which was led by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Care Center, was funded by the American Cancer Society.

The study examined outcomes following cancer surgery using recent statistics from the National Cancer Institute. Among their discoveries, researchers found that five-year survival rates varied by 10 percent between blacks and whites with colorectal cancer and by 25 percent among uterine cancer patients.

Steven Stain, M.D

Steven Stain, M.D
According to Dr. Stain, blacks are often less likely to receive appropriate or timely screenings, and therefore often diagnosed with more advanced cancer along with other underlying health problems. In addition, black patients— due to their geographic locations or lack of insurance— tend to be treated at hospitals with a reduced ability to deliver high quality care.

“Successful elimination of these disparities will require change at multiple levels,” said Dr. Stain.
The researchers recommend several policy changes, including expanding public insurance systems to patients who are underinsured or uninsured, many of whom include racial or ethnic minorities. They also suggest developing tools to better assist patients in navigating the health care system to make screenings and follow-up care easier to access. In addition, the researchers challenge the “carrot” approach assumptions underlying existing programs that offer financial incentives to hospitals that meet certain benchmark performance measures, claiming that hospitals that are already resource-constrained cannot possibly benefit.

“Hospitals that treat predominantly black patients tend to have fewer resources, so withholding additional resources will not improve care,” said Stain. “We would prefer to see these hospitals receive incentives for quality improvement efforts.”

Albany Medical Center is northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center. It consists of Albany Medical College, Albany Medical Center Hospital and the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Inc. Additional information about Albany Medical Center can be found at or

Monday, July 26, 2010

Study of Death Penalty in North Carolina Shows That 'Race Matters'

A new study examining death sentences in North Carolina over a 28-year period ending in 2007 shows that among similar homicides, the odds of a death sentence for those who are suspected of killing whites are approximately three times higher than the odds of a death sentence for those suspected of killing blacks.

The study, to be published in The North Carolina Law Review next year, was conducted by Michael Radelet, a sociology professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Glenn Pierce, a research scientist in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University in Boston. It is the most comprehensive study of the modern administration of the death penalty in North Carolina to date.

"It's just kind of baffling that in this day and age -- race matters," said Radelet, one of the nation's leading experts on the death penalty.

Michael Radelet

Michael Radelet
One of the top states to use the death penalty over the past 30 years, North Carolina has one of the nation's largest death rows with 155 men and four women facing execution.

And with its passage of the Racial Justice Act last year, North Carolina became the second state in the nation after Kentucky to allow murder suspects and those already on death row to present statistical evidence of racial bias. The law is aimed at ensuring that the race of the defendant or victim doesn't play a key role in the sentence a person receives in death penalty cases.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that statistical evidence of racial bias could not be considered in individual cases, but that states could pass their own legislation to do so. The study by Radelet and Pierce is the first to be released since North Carolina passed the Racial Justice Act.

Radelet and Pierce examined 15,281 homicides in North Carolina between 1980 and 2007, of which 368 resulted in death sentences for those convicted.

Using Supplemental Homicide Reports from the FBI, as well as other records from the North Carolina Department of Correction and the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the authors obtained information on all death row cases in which the victim was either black or white. The other 16 cases were eliminated.

The authors also looked for any additional factors -- such as multiple victims or homicides accompanied by an additional felony, such as rape or robbery -- that might explain the disparity in death penalty sentencing. These additional factors partially explained death penalty decisions, but even after statistically controlling for their effect, race remained an important predictor of who was sentenced to death.

An examination of these factors "show that the reason why the probability of a death sentence is higher for those who are suspected of killing whites than for those who are suspected of killing blacks is not because the former cases tend to be more aggravated," the authors wrote. "Regardless of whether there are zero, one or two additional legally relevant factors present, cases with white victims are more likely to result in a death sentence than are cases with black victims."

Specifically, the study found that the odds of receiving a death sentence in North Carolina "in a white victim case are on average 2.96 times higher than are the odds of a death sentence in a black victim case." The finding is statistically significant and the probability of obtaining a similar result if racial bias were not an option is less than 5 percent, according to the authors.

"Given these findings the authors would advocate continuous monitoring of the death penalty in North Carolina to see if patterns of racial bias change," Radelet said.

Contact: Michael Radelet, 303-938-1860 or 303-886-6401
Peter Caughey, CU-Boulder media relations, 303-492-4007

Office of News Services 584 UCB • Boulder, CO 80309-0584 • 303-492-6431 • FAX: 303-492-3126 •

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lack of Black Doctors Traced Primarily To Pre-College Factors, Study Finds

African-Americans have long been underrepresented among health care professionals. As of 2005, blacks made up slightly more than 8 percent of first-year medical students in the United States – roughly half of their share of the U.S. population (15.4 percent in 2007), and just 1 percent more than their share of first-year medical students in 1975.

Much of that overall gap can be traced to social and economic problems that generate substantial group differences that become entrenched before the college years, according to a new study led by an associate professor of economics at California State University, Sacramento, and co-authored by six University of Virginia professors representing four disciplines: economics, psychology, education and nursing.

Jessica Howell

Lead study author Jessica Howell. (Photo: Courtesy of California State University, Sacramento)
The study, "The Educational Pipeline for Health Care Professionals: Understanding the Source of Racial Differences," is based on research done while lead author Jessica Howell was a visiting professor of economics at U.Va. during the 2005-06 academic year. It appears in the Winter 2010 issue of the Journal of Human Resources.

This study, the first to examine the educational pipeline for black health care professionals, is based upon the National Longitudinal Study class of 1972, a comprehensive longitudinal survey of more than 13,000 Americans who graduated from high school in 1972, including about 1,450 African-Americans.

The cohort was tracked into their 30s, long enough to collect data on college attendance and graduation, post-collegiate schooling and career choices, Howell said.
The representation of blacks in the 1972 cohort declined from 11 percent at the point of high school graduation, to 9 percent at college entry, to 7.2 percent at college graduation, and to 4.1 percent at the stage of entry to the health professions (which, for this study, included physicians, therapists, dentists, registered nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, optometrists, dietitians and veterinarians, among others.)

Howell and her team modeled the changes in the cohort at each stage along the educational pipeline. The modeling found that when personal background factors (including rural versus non-rural location and parents' educational attainment) were taken into account, black students were more likely than others both to enter college and to graduate from college. Although this finding may seem surprising to some, this general finding has been well documented by social scientists, Howell said.

The majority of the differences in the representation of blacks and whites at the post-baccalaureate stage of entry to a health profession can be traced to gaps generated much earlier in the educational pipeline, Howell said, and stem from factors like parents' education level and students' attending schools with lower per-pupil spending, higher poverty rates, and lower average scores on standardized tests.

"The flow of blacks into the health care professions has been reduced at an early stage in the educational pipeline, so we must go back in the pipeline to open up that spigot," Howell said. "This research and other research confirm that you have to go back further in that pipeline than many people realize."

Remedies that narrow the pre-college educational gaps between black students and other students, Howell said, would improve not just the proportion of blacks in health care, but would also affect any number of professions, such as black representation in law or in business management.

Although the majority of "leakage" in the educational pipeline toward health care professions occurred due to pre-college factors, there was also some leakage at the point when blacks made post-college decisions about what type of graduate schooling and career to pursue.

Controlling for background characteristics and the type of college attended, measured by both institutional selectivity and status as a historically black college or university, black college graduates were "substantially" less likely than other college graduates to pursue post-baccalaureate health care programs, the study found.

This post-college leakage can probably be explained by financial incentives, the study suggested. Alternatives to medical school, such as MBA programs and law schools, are pathways to professions where the gap in wages between blacks and whites narrowed rapidly in the 1970s and 1980s, making those fields more financially attractive.

Proposals to provide subsidies to encourage blacks to enter the health care professions could reduce the post-college leakage, but would not address the main cause of black underrepresentation, said study co-author Steven Stern, a U.Va. professor of economics who served as Howell's doctoral adviser at U.Va. (Howell completed her Ph.D. in 2004.)

The fact that much of the difference in pre-college outcomes can be traced to parental education levels, Stern said, suggests that if the average educational achievement of blacks continues to rise, related ramifications such as black underrepresentation in health care will become less of an issue over time.

The ratio of black to white health care professionals has ticked up slightly over the past two decades, but those modest gains have been driven by an erosion in the number of whites choosing health professions rather than a sustained increase in blacks choosing health care, Howell added.

The study's five additional co-authors hail from several departments at U.Va.: Ivora Hinton, a coordinator of data analyses and interpretation at the School of Nursing; Elizabeth Merwin, a professor and associate dean for research at the School of Nursing; Sarah Turner, a professor of economics and education; Ishan Williams, assistant professor of nursing; and Melvin Wilson, a professor of psychology.

Contact: H. Brevy Cannon General Assignments Writer (434) 243-0368

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Employer Must Provide Names and Addresses of Possible Victims of Discrimination to EEOC

Court Finds Production of Contact Information Appropriate in Litigation and Refuses to Restrict EEOC Communication with Potential Class Members

CHICAGO – Magistrate Judge Susan E. Cox for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has ruled that a major trucking industry employer must provide the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with a list of the names with last known addresses and phone numbers of all African-American employees employed at its Chicago Ridge facility from 2004 until the facility was closed in 2009.

The EEOC has alleged that the trucking company, Yellow Transportation/YRC (“Yellow”), engaged in widespread discrimination against its African-American employees by fostering a racially hostile work environment, including the presence of nooses and racist graffiti, and by subjecting African-American employees to discriminatory terms and conditions of employment The EEOC is seeking relief on behalf all affected African-American employees who worked at Yellow’s Chicago Ridge terminal from 2004 until the facility was closed in 2009.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EEOC moved to compel Yellow to produce contact information for all African-American employees who worked at the Chicago Ridge terminal from 2004 until the facility was closed. Yellow had argued that the EEOC’s request for the full list was beyond the scope of discovery.

The court rejected Yellow’s argument and held that, in the course of the on-going litigation, production of the complete list of all African-American employees who worked at the facility was warranted. The court further found there was no basis to limit the EEOC’s request to the specific job categories held by the charging parties, since there is no reason to believe the alleged conduct was limited to those specific job categories and the EEOC’s complaint did not limit its class allegations to specific job categories.

The court also rejected Yellow’s request to restrict the EEOC’s communication with potential class members, finding that the company had provided no basis for restricting the EEOC’s communications with the prospective class for whom it is seeking relief.

EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago, John Hendrickson, said, “It’s ironic how some employers are so recalcitrant about identifying those who are most likely to be within the class of individuals who suffered discrimination, and then later try to block relief on the grounds that EEOC delayed identification of the very individuals the employers attempted to conceal. Of course, that’s nonsense and stands reality on its head, so we are pleased whenever courts decline to encourage defendant employers to go down that road.”

EEOC’s case is captioned EEOC v. Yellow Transportation Inc. and YRC, Inc., Northern District of Illinois No. 09 C 7693. The decision was entered by the court this Wednesday, July 21, 2010.

In addition to Hendrickson, EEOC is represented by Supervisory Trial Attorney Gregory Gochanour and Trial Attorneys Richard Mrizek, Ethan Cohen, and Deborah Hamilton. The EEOC Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information.

about the Commission is available on its web site at

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Study links African ancestry to high-risk breast cancer

Harder-to-treat ‘triple negative’ cancer more common in African, African-American women, U-M study shows.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A new study finds that African ancestry is linked to triple-negative breast cancer, a more aggressive type of cancer that has fewer treatment options.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that, among women with breast cancer, 82 percent of African women were triple negative, 26 percent of African-Americans were and 16 percent of white Americans were.

Triple negative breast cancer is negative for three specific markers that are used to determine treatment: the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor and HER-2/neu.

Lisa A. Newman“The most significant recent advances in breast cancer treatment have involved targeting these three receptors. But these treatments do not help women with triple-negative breast cancer. Outcome disparities are therefore likely to increase, because fewer African-American women are candidates for these newer treatments,” says study author Lisa A. Newman, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Breast Care Center at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The study, published online in the journal Cancer, looked at 581 African American women and 1,008 white women diagnosed with breast cancer at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, plus 75 African women diagnosed at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana.

Researchers found that Ghanaian women were diagnosed at a younger age than American women, and with larger tumors and more advanced cancer. In addition, the Ghanaian women were more likely to test negative for each of the three markers.

Prior studies have shown that while African-American women are less likely than white women to develop breast cancer, those who are diagnosed are usually younger and are more likely to die from the disease. These characteristics, including the triple negative disease, are also more common among women with a known hereditary predisposition for breast cancer related to BRCA1 gene mutations. Other studies have also shown a hereditary breast cancer risk associated with racial-ethnic identity -- most commonly among Ashkenazi Jewish women.

“African ancestry might be associated with other links to hereditary predisposition for particular patterns of breast cancer. We hope that by studying breast cancer in African and African-American women we can identify biomarkers that might be useful for assessing risk or treating triple-negative breast cancer,” says Newman, professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School.

Breast cancer statistics: 194,280 Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 40,610 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society

Additional authors: From U-M: Celina Kleer, M.D.; Valerie Takyi, M.D.; Maria Braman, M.D.; and Max Wicha, M.D.; from Henry Ford Health System: Azadeh Stark, Ph.D.; and Richard Zarbo, M.D., D.M.D.; from University of Illinois: Iman Martin, M.P.H.; from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital: Baffour Awuah, M.D.; Anthony Nsiah-Asare, M.D.; and Solomon E. Quayson, FWACP

Funding: None

Reference: Cancer, published online July 13, 2010, DOI: 10.1002/cncr.25276

Media contact: Nicole Fawcett E-mail: Phone: 734-764-2220

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Empower Yourself: More Than 200 African-American Financial Professionals Attend Dynamic Event

BRYN MAWR, PA - July 19, 2010 - Financial services industry leaders recently joined forces to help promote the education and advancement of African-American financial professionals. Led by The American College and MetLife, the Fifth Annual Conference for African-American Financial Professionals was held on June 3-4, 2010 at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA.

The conference, themed "Empower Yourself: Commit to Your Education, Connect to Your Future," was hosted by The American College, the nation's leading educator of financial services professionals. MetLife, known for its commitment to diversity, inclusion and education, served as the founding and platinum sponsor of the event.

"The American College was delighted to host this groundbreaking event for the fifth year," said Larry Barton, Ph.D., President and CEO of The American College. "The support The American College and MetLife have received from leading organizations throughout the industry speaks volumes about the importance our profession places on education and its ability to empower African-American financial services professionals."

The American College and MetLife

This was the first time that so many leading companies came together to promote continuing education and diversity. Gold sponsors of the event included the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and Prudential. Nationwide, New York Life, Penn Mutual, State Farm and Western & Southern Life, a member of Western & Southern Financial Group, were Silver-level sponsors.

"As the founding and presenting sponsor of this progressive initiative, MetLife is proud that the industry is coming together to promote this important educational event," said Michael Vietri, CLU®, Executive Vice President of MetLife. "Financial services organizations are increasingly aware that their workforce needs to reflect the diversity of their customer base. The companies that took part in this year's event clearly recognize the importance of providing an opportunity for African-American professionals to share best practices and network with their peers."

During the two-day event, participants had the opportunity to network and learn from other successful African-American professionals and attend workshops led by powerful leaders throughout the industry. Thomas McLeary, CLU®, President of Endow, Incorporated and Trustee at The American College, delivered the opening remarks. Among the featured presenters were ShirleyAnn M. Robertson of the Prudential Insurance Company of America, Ross Shafer, Motivational Speaker and Business Innovation Seminar Leader, and Cheryl D. Creuzot, CFP®, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wealth Development Strategies.

The American College is the nation's largest non-profit educational institution devoted to financial services. Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has served as a valued business partner to banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and others for over 83 years. The American College's faculty represents some of the financial services industry's foremost thought leaders. For more information, visit our homepage.

MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its domestic and international subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance, reinsurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, please visit # # #

The American College FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Elizabeth Lavin Public Relations & Communications Coordinator (610) 526-1453

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

University of Detroit Mercy Co-Host Detroit Black Expo IV

University of Detroit Mercy will be a co-presenter for Detroit’s fourth annual Detroit Black Expo from July 28 through August 1, 2010. The Expo is the largest African American Consumer Expo in Michigan, featuring more than 200 black-owned businesses throughout the state. The DBE is the official conference of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

Designed for people of all ages, DBE will showcase business opportunities for Detroiters, helping them find ways to utilize their talents with entrepreneurial initiatives. There will be valuable and informative seminars and forums all weekend long. DBE is a perfect opportunity for networking with other business owners and our city's leaders and talented workforce. . The Detroit Black Expo is the official conference of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

Helping Detroit business owners put their best foot forward toward the future is the overall goal of this event.

Detroit Black Expo IV To support this, many of our business leaders will be on-site to speak to attendees on various business development topics including how to grow a local business and the local economic outlook and business growth in Detroit.
The Detroit Black Expo is a non-profit organization that strives to cultivate prosperity among African American businesses through economic, entrepreneurial, educational and networking opportunities that will further enhance the quality of life for the State of Michigan and geographic cities, while bridging those who choose access to the global marketplace. # # #

Release date: July 20, 2010 University of Detroit Mercy A Catholic University in the Jesuit & Mercy Traditions 4001 W. McNichols Road, Detroit, MI 48221-3038

Monday, July 19, 2010

Statistician David Blackwell dead at 91

BERKELEY — David Harold Blackwell (April 24, 1919 – July 8, 2010), an eminent statistician at the University of California, Berkeley, who was the first black admitted to the National Academy of Sciences, died Thursday, July 8, of natural causes at Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley. He was 91.

Blackwell joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1954 and was the first tenured black professor in campus history. He later chaired the Department of Statistics, one of the world's top centers for mathematical statistics, and served as president in 1955 of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, an international professional and scholarly society.

A mathematician as well as a statistician, Blackwell contributed to many fields, including probability theory, game theory and information theory. In an interview for the book "Mathematical People: Profiles and Interviews" (1985), he referred to himself as "sort of a dilettante," and said that he chose problems because he was interested in understanding them, no matter what the field of mathematics or statistics.

David Blackwell

Statistician David Harold Blackwell was the first tenured black professor at UC Berkeley.
"He had this great talent for making things appear simple. He liked elegance and simplicity. That is the ultimate best thing in mathematics, if you have an insight that something seemingly complicated is really simple, but simple after the fact," said Blackwell's colleague Peter Bickel, a UC Berkeley professor of statistics who has known him since 1960. "Blackwell was a wonderful man and, given the trials and tribulations of his life, a very optimistic person."
According to Bickel, Blackwell was known for his independent invention of dynamic programming, which is used today in finance and in various areas of science, including genome analysis. He also is known for the renewal theorem, used today in areas of engineering, and for independently developing the Rao-Blackwell Theorem, a fundamental concept in modern statistics.

"He went from one area to another, and he'd write a fundamental paper in each," said Thomas Ferguson, professor emeritus of statistics at UCLA and coauthor with James MacQueen of a 1996 collection of papers in Blackwell's honor. "He would come into a field that had been well-studied and find something really new that was remarkable; that was his forte."

Teaching was Blackwell's other passion.

"He never introduced himself as a professor, he always called himself a teacher," said his son, Hugo Blackwell of Berkeley.

David Blackwell, in explaining why he liked to teach mathematics, once said that "in transmitting it, you appreciate its beauty all over again." The American Mathematical Association and the Mathematical Association of America filmed Blackwell and a small group of other mathematicians giving lectures on various topics accessible to undergraduate students and distributed the films to colleges across the country. The film about Blackwell was titled "Guessing at Random."

During his career, he also participated in United Nations conferences on educational development in Africa, and was selected by the Mathematical Association of America to visit 30 colleges and give 120 lectures throughout the southern U.S. from 1959-60 to enhance mathematical education in undergraduate colleges, many of them historically black.

According to Blackwell's colleague David Brillinger, a UC Berkeley professor of statistics, Blackwell was a major reason Brillinger joined the department in 1970.

"Blackwell made a difference by being a member of many communities; a tremendous role model for the black community, but also interested in the anti-war movement and an advocate for fairness," he said.

In the early '70s, for example, Blackwell brought students to campus in a program for disadvantaged students. As a teacher, he "stripped things to their elements, often saying, 'Look for the simplest solution,'" Brillinger added. "He did much of his teaching by talking about picking balls from boxes."

Early years

Blackwell was born in Centralia, a small town in southern Illinois, on April 24, 1919, as the oldest child of Grover Blackwell, a railway worker, and Mabel Blackwell, who raised the family's four children. Expecting to become an elementary school teacher, David Blackwell entered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1935 at the age of 16, at a time when there were no black professors. After graduating with a B.A. in mathematics in 1938, he set his sights higher and continued at the University of Illinois to earn his M.A. in math in 1939 and eventually his Ph.D. in math in 1941, at the age of 22.

After graduating, Blackwell was appointed a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., one of the top research institutes in the nation that included Albert Einstein and John von Neumann among its fellows. Blackwell left after a year, however, because of objections to allowing a black to be an honorary Princeton University faculty member, an honor typically accorded institute fellows.

He subsequently applied to 104 black colleges, assuming, he once said, that the doors were closed to blacks at non-black institutions. After a one-year stint as a statistician in the U.S. Office of Price Administration, originally set up to control prices and rents during World War II, he took an instructorship at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., and at Clark College in Atlanta, Ga., before joining the faculty of Howard University in 1944. By 1947, he had become a full professor and head of the mathematics department, a position he held until 1954.

While at Howard, Blackwell became interested in statistics after hearing a lecture by Abe Girshick, and the two collaborated for many years. Blackwell developed an interest in the theory of games during three summers, between 1948 and 1950, at RAND Corporation. There, he studied games of timing, as when two duelists approach one other with a loaded pistol, a type of problem that resonated with researchers during the Cold War. He became a leading expert in the area. He coauthored with Girshick the book "Theory of Games and Statistical Decisions," in 1954.

Even before Blackwell moved to Howard, Jerzy Neyman, the leading statistician at the time at UC Berkeley, had courted Blackwell to come to the campus, but had run into objections about his race. After World War II, however, the atmosphere throughout the country had improved, and Neyman was able to convince the mathematics department to hire Blackwell. Blackwell arrived in 1954 as a visiting professor and joined the statistics department as a full professor when the department split off from the mathematics department in 1955. He succeeded Neyman as chair between 1957 and 1961 and served as assistant dean of the College of Letters and Science between 1964 and 1968,

'Totally dedicated'

Although Blackwell retired in 1988, he continued to visit the department until recently, talking with colleagues about statistical ideas, according to his son Hugo.

"He was totally dedicated to his field, and always thought that it's not what you have, but what you think, that is important," he said.

Brillinger added that David Blackwell loved track and field and often went to the national championships even when they were the other side of the country.

In addition to his membership in the National Academy of Sciences, Blackwell also was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the American Mathematical Society and the American Philosophical Society and was an honorary fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

He also served as president of the international Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability, and as vice president of the American Statistical Association, the International Statistical Institute, and the American Mathematical Society. In 1979, Blackwell won the John von Neumann Theory Prize from the Operations Research Society of America and the Institute of Management Sciences.

Blackwell mentored 65 Ph.D. students, wrote two books and published more than 80 papers during his career. He held 12 honorary degrees, including from Harvard, Yale, Carnegie Mellon and Howard universities and from the National University of Lesotho.

Blackwell is survived by four of his eight children: Hugo of Berkeley; Ann Blackwell and Vera Gleason of Oakland; and Sarah Hunt of Houston, Texas. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ann Madison Blackwell, who died in 2006 after 62 years of marriage; and children Julia Madison Blackwell, David Harold Blackwell Jr., Grover Johnson Blackwell and Ruth Blackwell Herch.

A funeral is tentatively scheduled for July 31, while a UC Berkeley memorial service is planned for the fall.

UC Berkeley By Robert Sanders, Media Relations.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Whether you’re mowing the lawn, playing in the pool or enjoying a cookout, there is one constant for everyone – the sun. While African Americans are at a lower risk than other groups for skin cancer, it is still important to use sunscreen.

Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, affects nearly 70,000 Americans each year and its rates are rising. Melanoma can be treated effectively when found early, but African Americans’ melanoma often isn’t caught until later stages when the survival rate is much lower. Although recent advances in treatment, such as the drug ipilimumab, have extended survival, the best approach is prevention.

“Although dark-skinned persons have an increased protection from the sun, they are still susceptible to the damage that the sun can do to the skin,” said Janice Bonner, an aesthetician in Richmond. “Sunscreen is the best protection, she said, and “although there are cosmetics that may have some form of sunscreen, the SPF in the cosmetics is not sufficient in getting the job done.”

ABCD skin cancer rulesSkin cancer screenings are available in Richmond at Thomas Johns Cancer Hospital, 1401 Johnson-Willis Drive. For more information call 804-320-3627.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the rate of new cases of melanoma among African Americans in the United States is low, with only one out of every 100,000 diagnosed with melanoma from 2000-2007. That is the lowest rate of all races, including Asian and Hispanic. Whites had the highest rate of new cases at 24 per 100,000. In Virginia, an average of 212 people died of skin cancer each year between 2002-2006.
Although Blacks are much less likely than Whites to get melanoma, only 61 percent of Black Americans diagnosed with melanoma live 5 years, compared to 93 percent of Whites. The main reason: later diagnosis.

Although melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, other forms of skin cancer are much more common. The American Cancer Society and the NCI recommend that every person, regardless of skin color, take precautions:

· Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

· Seek shade: Look for shade, especially in the middle of the day when the sun's rays are strongest. Practice the shadow rule and teach it to children. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest.

· Slip on a shirt: Cover up with protective clothing to guard as much skin as possible when you are out in the sun.

· Slop on sunscreen: Use sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen (about a palmful) 30 minutes before going out into the sun. Reapply after swimming, toweling dry, or perspiring. Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days.

· Put on a hat: Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat, shading your face, ears, and neck. If you choose a baseball cap, remember to protect your ears and neck with sunscreen.

· Wrap on sunglasses: Wear sunglasses with 99% to 100% UV absorption to provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.

Because a person’s risk of melanoma increases with lifetime sun exposure, adults need to take extra precautions to protect children and grandchildren. Parents and grandparents should check children regularly for moles or other spots on the skin and help them apply sunscreen. At the next family reunion, bring hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen for everyone to use.

For more information about skin cancer prevention and detection, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at or the American Cancer Society at

Erica Lee, Richmond correspondent for the Ozioma News Service, contributed to this story.

About Ozioma: Ozioma is a national cancer news service based in Missouri. It is funded by the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. Ozioma provides minority media outlets with information about cancer risks, treatment and prevention with a focus on taking action to improve health in African-American communities.

For more information, visit our Web site at:

For immediate release Contact: Tim Poor Phone: (314) 935-9398

Friday, July 16, 2010

Couple-Focused Intervention Appears Effective in Reducing HIV Risk Behaviors Among African Americans

CHICAGO—A risk reduction program focused on African American heterosexual couples appears to diminish risky sexual behaviors among couples in which one partner is HIV-positive and the other is not, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the September 27 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The study was published online today in advance of its upcoming presentation at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria.

Rates of new HIV infections are about seven times higher among African Americans than among white individuals, according to background information in the article. Although African Americans represented only about 12 percent of the U.S. population in 2006, 45 percent of new HIV infections that year occurred in this population. Heterosexual exposure was the most common source of HIV transmission among African American women, and the second most common among African American men; studies have documented infrequent condom use among African Americans with steady partners. "This low prevalence of condom use among couples and high rate of heterosexual transmission suggest a need for couple-based HIV/sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention interventions for African Americans," the authors write.

Dr. Nabila El-BasselNabila El-Bassel, D.S.W., of Columbia University School of Social Work, New York, and colleagues in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Multisite HIV/STD Prevention Trial for African American Couples tested one such intervention between 2003 and 2007. A total of 535 serodiscordant (differing in HIV status) couples enrolled at four sites. Of these, 260 were randomly assigned to the Eban HIV/STD risk-reduction intervention, which incorporates a traditional African concept meaning "fence" and invoking safety, security and love within one's family and relationship space.
Couples attended eight weekly structured two-hour sessions, four with individual couples and four with groups of couples, that addressed communication, problem solving and other interpersonal factors associated with sexual risk reduction.

The other 275 couples were assigned to a comparison group. They participated in an intervention that was structurally similar but designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity and adherence to medical treatments, including HIV treatments. All couples reported their sexual behavior and supplied biological specimens for STD assessments at the beginning of the study, immediately after the intervention and six and 12 months later.

Attendance at the sessions of both interventions was high—on average, couples in the Eban intervention attended 91.4 percent of the sessions and those in the comparison group attended 84.1 percent. After the intervention, including at the six- and 12-month follow-ups, couples in the Eban group reported more consistent use of condoms (63 percent of the couples used condoms consistently, vs. 48 percent in the comparison group). In addition, the average number of unprotected intercourse acts was lower in the intervention group than in the comparison group (an average of 1.5 fewer).

The cumulative incidence of STDs did not differ between the two groups over the 12-month follow-up. Of the partners who began the study HIV-negative, two in the intervention group and three in the comparison group became HIV-positive during the study, an overall rate that translates to 935 per 100,000.

"Public health scientists have urged a shift beyond individual-level HIV interventions to prevention strategies that have an impact on social structures and context to curb the epidemic among African Americans," the authors write. "The intervention used here, in structure and content, was relationship based and redirected the focus to changing the relationship factors that influence sexual decision making and increasing the likelihood that risk reduction will be stable over time. Individual, couple and group formats were used to maximize discussion of relationships and communication about risk reduction."

The rate of conversion to HIV was substantially larger than the overall incidence estimate for African Americans, 83.8 per 100,000, suggesting that HIV-negative African Americans in serodiscordant relationships are at high risk for acquiring HIV even if their relationships are stable. "Future studies must explore the generalizability of the findings to couples irrespective of serostatus and in settings where individuals and couples are not aware of their risks for HIV transmission, but whose relationships can be supported as they learn to minimize risks for themselves and each other," the authors conclude. "Moreover, the approach of engaging couples should be tested elsewhere in the United States and in other parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa, where sex-based power imbalances make it especially difficult for women in couples to reduce their risk of heterosexual exposure to HIV and other STDs."
(Published online July 12, 2010. Arch Intern Med. 2010;doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.261. Available pre-embargo to the media at

Editor's Note: This trial was funded by research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Pequegnat was the federal principal investigator on the study and her involvement on the study did not present a financial conflict. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

For more information, contact JAMA/Archives media relations at 312/464-JAMA (5262) or e-mail

Thursday, July 15, 2010

First African-American Astronaut Who Walked in Space Visits NJIT July 15

Astronaut To Teach Laws of Buoyancy to 52 Minority Middle School Students.

WHAT: The first African-American astronaut, Bernard Harris, ExxonMobil engineers and 52 middle school students will design and construct at NJIT small rafts of aluminum and straw designed to hold pennies. The exercise will demonstrate Archimedes’ law which explains buoyancy, or why objects seem to lose weight in water or other liquids. This principle has been applied ever since the age of Archimedes to test precious metals. NJIT is the New York metro region’s only location (of 25 around the U.S.) for Harris and the free, two-week ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp.

WHO: Bernard Harris, the first African-American to walk in space, NJIT instructors, Exxon-Mobil engineers and 52 students from Clifton (1); Dover (1); East Brunswick (1); East Rutherford (1); Hoboken (1); Jersey City (3); Kearny (2); Montclair (3); Morris Plains (1); Newark (22): North Bergen (4); Readington Township (1); Rockaway Township (1); Stewartsville (1); Teaneck, (1); Toms River (2); Union (1); Union City (2); West Orange (1). NJIT will be Harris’ only New York metro appearance. Camp closes July 17, 2008. To set up photo(s) and/or in-person interview(s) with Harris and area student(s) call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436.

WHEN: July 15, 2008, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. NOTE: Program closes July 17.

WHERE: NJIT, 323 Martin Luther King Blvd., Newark

The first African-American astronaut, Bernard HarrisWHY: Studies show that the United States will face a critical shortage of engineers, scientists and other technically trained workers. To address this crisis, Harris and ExxonMobil have teamed up to develop a camp offering innovative math and science programs to encourage middle school students to stay in school, develop their knowledge in these disciplines and foster their interest to eventually pursue careers in these fields.
NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, at the edge in knowledge, enrolls more than 8,400 students in bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 92 degree programs offered by six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. NJIT is renowned for expertise in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. In 2009, Princeton Review named NJIT among the nation's top 25 campuses for technology and among the top 150 for best value. U.S. News & World Report's 2008 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities.

PRESS RELEASE Contact Information: Sheryl Weinstein Public Relations 973-596-3436

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Texas State hosts 'Empowerment Today' roundtable

The School of Social Work at Texas State University-San Marcos will host the Empowerment Today roundtable for young African American men July 15.

The event will be held in the LBJ Student Center on campus from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Participants are high-school aged youth identified by well-respected adults as full of potential that could help identify solutions to the challenges faced by young men today. Participants will take a closer look at environments they interact with for the purpose of identify empowerment strategies and developing a personal action plan.

The roundtable focuses on building on participants' strengths to maximize their potential regardless of individuals' history, labels, appearance or circumstances. This workshop provides a new way for youth to look at the obstacles that often exist in their lives, including the interaction between street and school as well as how early life impacts later life.

African American men in the lobby of the Chicago colored Y.M.C.A Ultimately, the workshop will help participants identify new and improved goals using these resources, and then develop strategies for healthy decision-making.

Texas State>/em> For more information, call (512) 245-3521 or email Posted by Jayme Blaschke University News Service July 14, 2010.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

IU sport sociologist creates 'Modern Sport and the African American Experience' anthology

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Modern Sport and the African American Experience, a new anthology by Indiana University sport sociologist Gary Sailes, contains 19 essays about male and female athletes, "trash talking," the glass ceiling and other topics related to how sport and African-American culture intertwine.

"African-American culture has a very special relationship with sports," said Sailes, associate professor in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. "For a lot of African-American youth their career is sport."

Sailes, also an adjunct professor in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at IU, teaches a course, "Modern Sport and the Afro American Experience," for which he regularly compiled a reader for his students.

"There was not a single book out there with what I wanted to do so I figured I would have to do my own anthology," Sailes said.

Modern Sport and the African American ExperienceAlthough Modern Sport and the African American Experience is Sailes' second anthology and seventh book, he admits that he was guilty of not studying black women in sport prior to working on this anthology.

"I have a thick folder about black women athletes and boy, did I learn a lot," Sailes said. "The socialization of the woman athlete intersects and parallels the male athlete, but there is stuff that impacts them and not the male athlete. They deal with the double negative of gender and skin color."

The works in the anthology also analyze the "unique individual that is the black athlete" and how he performs on the court.
Sailes said that when a black male athlete plays basketball, "He can't just do a lay-in, but he has to go through the back, through the legs, slam dunk and trash talk."

Sailes explains that black males do this "cool pose" as a means to compensate for the obstacles they face due to race discrimination. "They play tough. They play hard. They play above the rim. They play in your face. They trash talk," Sailes said. "It is nothing more than a cultural response to perceived discrepancies, inadequacies and inequalities that exist in society."

The last chapter of the anthology is "Power, Conflict & Cultural Identity," which discusses the realities of the glass ceiling for African-Americans pursuing sports professions outside of being an athlete, including the professions of coaches and athletic directors.

"The whites who have control don't have the faith and confidence in people of color because of race based beliefs on their part," Sailes said.

Sailes' anthology does not just focus on the black athlete. He explains that white and black athletes do not necessarily play worse or better than one another; they just perform their sports differently.

"According to white scholars, blacks play a more athletic game, they perform differently and their biology is different," Sailes said. "I don't talk about superiority or inferiority, but I do talk about how those types of attitudes lead to barriers."

The essays include compelling arguments, Sailes said, but material is not controversial.

"All I am saying is we are different and here is how, which is nothing more than the core of diversity literature," he said. "I'm not talking about anything that is not mainstreamed. Controversial? That book is in the future."

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 13, 2010 Sailes can be reached at 812-855-0538 and

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Minority kids face more obstacles to health and success than whites

Commissioned by the Kellogg Foundation, survey finds fewer opportunities for minorities.

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Minority children and teenagers have fewer opportunities than white counterparts to be healthy, obtain a quality education and achieve economic success, according to a national survey of adults whose jobs involvechildren’s education, health and economic well-being. The groundbreaking poll was released today by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, which sought to gauge the level of disparities affecting children of color.

Researchers with C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan Health System polled more than 2,000 adults, such as teachers, childcare providers, healthcare workers, social workers and law enforcement officials. Their findings indicate that African American, Latino, Native American/Alaska Native, Asian American/Pacific Islanders and Arab American children from birth to age 8, as well as teenagers ages 13 to 18, face diminished opportunities that reduce their chances to succeed.

Matthew Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P.

Matthew Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P.
“This is the first known national assessment of health, educational and economic opportunities for children, as reported by individuals at the community level who can affect such opportunities through their work,” said Dr. Gail Christopher, Vice President for Programs at the Kellogg Foundation. “The results clearly establish that children and teenagers of color face significant disadvantages, many of which are the result of structural racism.”

For instance, the poll respondents said minority teenagers face significantly more obstacles than their white counterparts in graduating from high school.
Specifically, respondents noted several circumstances that are bigger barriers for minority teenagers than whites in obtaining a diploma: 31 percent cited family financial problems, 25 percent cited unfair or inappropriate treatment by law enforcement, 22 percent cited inadequate academic support for vulnerable children, 22 percent cited children’s health or social needs, 21 percent cited a lack of counseling or mentoring about opportunities after high school and 20 percent cited lower-quality teachers in some middle and high schools.

Moreover, 58 percent of the respondents said white children in the community where they work have “lots of opportunity” to live and play in healthy environments, safe from lead and other toxins, but only 42 percent said the same about African American children. Sixty-two percent of the respondents said that white children have a good chance at having a healthy birth weight, but only 48 percent said the same about Latino children. And 59 percent of the respondents said white children have lots of opportunity to play in homes and neighborhoods without violence, while only 36 percent said the same about Latino children, 37 percent said the same about African American children and 42 percent said the same about American Indian/Alaska Native children.

“These results are alarming because the inequities within a given community are so clearly visible to people who work with children and families,” said Matthew Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., who directed the study and is Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases in the CHEAR Unit at the University of Michigan Medical School. “Because they see firsthand the education and health opportunities for children in the communities where they work, they have a different perspective than parents or policymakers. Their views are absolutely essential to improving opportunities for young children at the community level.”

The poll respondents included 2,028 adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, ranging in age from 18-65. Of the respondents, 71 percent were white, 12 percent African American, 7 percent Hispanic, 3 percent Asian American/Pacific Islander and the remainder from other racial and ethnic groups. Respondents were all members of KnowledgePanel, a nationally representative Web-enabled panel of adult members of households recruited by Knowledge Networks. Knowledge Networks engages all of its panel members via the Internet (current panel size is approximately 50,000).

Throughout the survey, respondents said children and teenagers from low-income families have considerably fewer opportunities than those from specific racial and ethnic groups. Furthermore, the poll also identified many key areas where white children and teenagers have more opportunities than minority youths:

* 46 percent of respondents said white teenagers have lots of opportunity to receive quality care for mental health issues, but only 31 percent said Latinos have the same opportunities, 32 percent said African Americans do, 35 percent said American Indian/Alaska Natives do, 36 percent said Arab Americans did and 37 percent said Asian American/Pacific Islanders do.
* 55 percent of respondents said white children have lots of opportunity to access quality healthcare, but only 41 percent said the same for Latino, Arab American and American Indian/Alaska Native children, and 45 percent said the same for African American and Asian American/Pacific Islander children.
* 60 percent of respondents said white children have lots of opportunity to grow up in communities that support children, while 36 percent said Arab American children have the same opportunities, 43 percent said Latino and African American children have the same opportunities, 44 percent said American Indian/Alaska Native children have the same opportunities and 47 percent said Asian American/Pacific Islander children have the same opportunities.

Dr. Christopher said the poll results demonstrate that an unlevel playing field exists for minority children and teenagers, a circumstance underscoring the disparities that people of color face in health outcomes, education achievement and job levels. She noted that the Kellogg Foundation recently launched a $75 million, five-year America Healing initiative that is addressing the devastating impact of structural racism on communities and aims to improve life outcomes for vulnerable children and families.

“This poll shows the need to create more opportunities for minority children and teenagers,” Dr. Christopher said. “This will be our baseline for assessing whether our initiative, coupled with the work of many others, is succeeding at providing minority children and their families with more opportunities for better health, education and life outcomes.” ###

Data in the above release is based on responses from adults working in a wide variety of occupations that affect children’s opportunities at the community level. The most common occupation groups were: teaching (includes early childhood, elementary, and secondary) 25%, healthcare (including mental health) 19%, business owner or manager 6%, childcare / early childhood education 6% and non-elected government office or agency 6%. Over a 10-day project period, more than 9,700 panel members aged 18-65 and currently employed were invited to participate in the project. The participation rate was 56%. Participants then completed screening questions; 37% of participants identified themselves as having occupations that affect children and were therefore “screened-in” and met the qualifying conditions to complete the survey. Among respondents, 1,516 selected one or more of the pre-set job categories and 512 wrote in “other” occupations as relevant for children. Data collection and analysis was completed in late April 2010.

Media contact: Margarita Bauza E-mail: Phone: 734-764-2220

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dr. Phillips joins UNCG as ACE Fellow

Dr. Clarenda Phillips, chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminology at Morehead State University, will spend the 2010-11 academic year as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Started in 1965, the ACE Fellow Program has provided professional development opportunities for more than 1,500 emerging leaders in higher education, including more than 300 who have become chief executive officers at colleges and universities.

Dr. Phillips will work directly with Chancellor Linda P. Brady, herself an ACE Fellow in 1997-98; Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David H. Perrin; and other senior administrators. ACE Fellows observe and participate in key meetings and events, take on special projects and assignments while under the mentorship of experienced campus leaders, participate in three-week long national seminars, visit other campuses, and attend national meetings.

Clarenda Phillips“We are delighted to welcome Clarenda Phillips to UNCG for the 2010-11 academic year,” Chancellor Brady said. “The ACE program is the premier leadership development program in higher education today. As a former ACE fellow myself, I know this will be an exciting year of learning and discovery for Dr. Phillips. We look forward to learning from her as well.”

Dr. Phillips’ research investigates the social factors that contribute to the resilience of African- Americans, especially African-American women, with an emphasis on social support networks and religiousness. In 2007, she became chair of the university’s Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminology.
“The senior administration, faculty, staff and students as well as the Greensboro community make UNCG the ideal placement for my fellowship,” Dr. Phillips said.

She is particularly interested in community partnerships and engagement, and collaboration between UNCG and N.C. A and T State University, which includes a joint master’s degree in social work, the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, and Gateway University Research Park.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology at DePauw University and her master’s and doctorate in sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduate school, she spent three years in Washington, D.C., evaluating the effectiveness of youth development programs like the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and education programs like the U.S. Department of Education’s Program for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.

Dr. Robert A. (Bob) Bylund, professor of sociology, will serve as interim department chair.

Posted: 7-8-10 Morehead State University 150 University Blvd. Morehead, KY 40351 1.800.585.6781

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

President Reagan's Remarks at a National Black Republican Council Dinner - 9/15/82 TEXT VIDEO

President Reagan's remarks at a National Black Republican Council Dinner on September 15, 1982.

Thank you very much. Mrs. Daniels, I thank you very much for those most generous words. Mr. Toastmaster, reverend clergy, the distinguished honorees and the ladies and gentlemen here at the head table, and you ladies and gentlemen:

It's a pleasure for Nancy and me to be here with you tonight. We know that you're in the forefront of one of the most important political battles of this election season, and we're with you heart and soul.

Now, I know that there are those who have accused the Republican Party of writing off the black vote. Well, I'm here to tell you that we're not writing off anyone. And, Mr. Claiborne, [Clay J. Claiborne, founder and national director of the National Black Silent Majority Committee of the USA] Maria Montessori once said that if she were trying to climb a ladder and a dog was snapping at her heels -- [laughter] -- she could stop and kick the dog or climb the ladder. And you have encouraged Nancy and myself to keep on climbing the ladder.

I'm sensitive to the unique and sometimes difficult position in which you often find yourselves as black Republicans. What you're doing takes great vision and true courage. Under the superb leadership of individuals like your chairperson, Legree Daniels, black Republicans have been performing above and beyond the call of duty. The rest of us in the GOP are grateful for your commitment and deeply impressed by your tenacity.

For too long now, black Americans seem to have been written off by one party and taken for granted by the other. And for the vast majority of black Americans, that's been a strictly no-win situation. Changing it will require a commitment from all of us. So, tonight I want you to know that the Republican Party stands ready and willing to reach out to black Americans.

This conference is part of that outreach effort, as are the regional conferences and our support for black congressional candidates. And this is only the beginning of the outreach efforts. Perhaps if we failed at anything in the past as Republicans, it's been a failure to let black America know us -- to know our hearts and our sincere dedication to improving the well-being, expanding the opportunity, and protecting the rights of every American. And while there's been a certain lack of communication on our part over the years, the other party seems to have capitalized on the rhetoric of compassion. They don't accomplish much, but they sure do talk about it. [Laughter]

It's time to set the record straight. When I first ran for Governor of California, I ran against an incumbent with impeccable liberal credentials. And then I was elected and discovered that in 8 years, he had made only a handful, a tiny handful of minority appointments, all to relatively minor positions in State government. I figured it was time to play catch-up. I appointed more blacks and other minorities to executive and policymaking positions in State government than all the previous 32 Governors of California put together. And my continued commitment at the national level is no 11th hour conversion.

So far, we have placed blacks in over 130 top executive policymaking positions. But more important, these appointments are not on the basis of color. They have been made because of ability and skill, and they cover a wide range of responsibilities.

When it comes to improving the economic well-being and protecting the rights of all our citizens, our party doesn't play second-fiddle to anyone. When I entered office less than 20 months ago, we were in the midst of an economic catastrophe from which we're just now beginning to recover. All of us were suffering, especially the poor, the elderly, and the disadvantaged. Some of our political leaders were even saying that nothing could be done and that we had to accept a lower standard of living and that America's best days were behind us. Well, to those on the bottom end of the economic ladder, that kind of talk is disaster. It robs them of hope and condemns them to a life of dependency and deprivation.

Our economic hardship is not some kind of mysterious malaise suffered by people who have suddenly lost their vitality. The problem is that the liberal economic policies that dominated America for too long just didn't work. It was not that those in power lacked good intentions; in fact, most of the compassionate rhetoric I mentioned a moment ago was not about accomplishments -- it was about the wonderful intentions of the costly liberal programs. Well, too often the programs didn't do what they were supposed to and in many cases, they made things worse.

You know, they reminded me -- those programs -- and I've told this before, if you'll forgive me, and life not only begins at 40 but so does lumbago and telling the same story -- [laughter] -- --

But they reminded me of that old story about the fellow riding the motorcycle on a chilled, cold, winter day. The wind coming through the buttonholes in the front of the jacket was chilling him. So finally he stopped, turned the jacket around, and put it on backward. Well, that protected him from the wind, but it kind of hindered his arm motion. And he hit a patch of ice and skidded into a tree. When the police got there, and they elbowed their way through the crowd, and they said, ``What happened?'' They said, ``We don't know.'' They said, ``By the time we got his head turned around straight, he was dead.'' [Laughter]

The record is there for all to see. This country entered the 1960's having made tremendous strides in reducing poverty. From 1949 until just before the Great Society burst upon the scene in 1964, the percentage of American families living in poverty fell dramatically from nearly 33 percent to only 18 percent. True, the number of blacks living in poverty was still disproportionately high. But tremendous progress had been made.

With the coming of the Great Society, government began eating away at the underpinnings of the private enterprise system. The big taxers and big spenders in the Congress had started a binge that would slowly change the nature of our society and, even worse, it threatened the character of our people.

By the end of the decade, the situation seemed out of control. At a time when defense spending was decreasing in real dollars, the Federal budget tripled. And, to pay for all of this spending, the tax load increased until it was breaking the backs of working people, destroying incentive, and siphoning off resources needed in the private sector to provide new jobs and opportunity.

Inflation had jumped to double-digit levels. Unemployment was climbing. And interest rates shot through the roof, reaching 21\1/2\ percent shortly before we took office. Perhaps the saddest part of the whole story is that much of this Federal spending was done in the name of helping those it hurt the most, the disadvantaged. For the result of all that big spending and taxing is that, today, those at the lower end of the economic ladder are the hardest hit of all.

The decrease in poverty I referred to earlier started in the 1950's. By the time the full weight of Great Society programs was felt, economic progress for America's poor had come to a tragic halt. By 1980 the trend had reversed itself, and even more people, including more blacks, were living in poverty than back in 1969.

It's ironic that if the economic expansion and low inflation of the years prior to the Great Society had been maintained, black families and all Americans would be appreciably better off today. In fact, if we had just maintained the progress made from 1950 through 1965, black family income in 1980 would have been nearly $3,000 higher than it was after 15 years of Great Society programs.

In 1980 the American people sent a message to Washington, D.C. They no longer believed that throwing tax money at a problem was acceptable, no matter how good the intentions of those doing the taxing and spending.

In 1980 the people turned to the Republican Party because we offered hope. Setting things straight would not be an easy job. Bringing back real growth to our economy and real increases in our standard of living would not be easy. But we Republicans knew it could be done, and we still know that. America's best days are not behind her, and we're moving forward to tackle the serious problems just as we said we would.

Having said all that, you can see that 20 months ago, when I started my current job, there were some tough decisions that had to be made. It wasn't easy. But together, we've laid the groundwork for better economic times ahead.

The signs that our program is working are just now on the horizon. Gross national product is up. The leading economic indicators are up. Inflation is down dramatically, and so are interest rates. Housing permits are up. The stock market is up and so, for the first time in years, is real income.

Yes, there have been other indicators saying the economy isn't well yet. But we've managed, despite all the gloom and doom spouted by our opponents, to instill a new spirit of confidence in the country.

It's been tough on all of us. But we Republicans made a commitment not to try quick fixes but to get to the heart of our economic problems and turn things around.

It's taken time. You can't reverse 20 years of irresponsibility in 20 months, but we've made a great start. I reworded that from a speech I made out in the Middle West the other day when I said, ``You can't clean up in 20 months what's been piling up for 20 years.'' And I decided -- [laughter] -- to say it the other way.

Our critics to the contrary, the poor and disadvantaged are better off today than if we had allowed runaway government spending, interest rates and inflation to continue ravaging the American economy. A family of four, for example, on a fixed income of $15,000 would today be $833 poorer, that much weaker in purchasing power, if we hadn't brought inflation alone down as far as we have from the double-digit rates that we inherited. A similar family living at the poverty level would be $472 poorer if inflation had continued at the 12.4 percent rate. It's been 5.4 percent since January.

When one considers that the poor spend most of their family budgets on necessities -- food, shelter, and clothing -- leaving few ways to cut back to beat inflation, the importance of solving inflation is better understood.

We must remain firm and not be lured again into inflation-spending patterns. But let's be frank: The lives of those in the lower income levels are not what we'd like them to be. Some critics, especially in a political season, seem to forget that this administration didn't create the problem. The poverty and unemployment of today is the outgrowth of policies and problems of the late 1960's and the 1970's. Our program has just gone on line. And, if the current indicators are any suggestion, it's beginning to work.

It should also be noted that we've taken steps, along with our basic program which is aimed at restoring health to the economy in general, to make certain that economic stimulus is channeled into the areas of greatest economic need.

Since the end of the Second World War, too many of our major cities have become stagnant and depressed, enclaves of despair even when times were good. Federal spending programs didn't make a dent in the problem. For example, from 1965 to 1974, the Federal urban renewal program spent over $7 billion and ended an abysmal failure, destroying more housing units than it replaced. The Federal regulations and grants of the Model Cities program in the late 1960's again spent billions. Yet, it was unable to halt urban decay.

On March 23d of this year, I proposed a new, experimental approach to the problem -- enterprise zones -- which would harness the energy of the private sector and direct it toward providing economic opportunity for some of our most needy citizens. By removing regulations and offering tax incentives, we seek to accomplish what hundreds of billions of tax dollars and millions of hours of bureaucratic planning failed to do.

The plan seems to have popular support. Fourteen States have already passed their own enterprise zone legislation, not even waiting for action from the Federal level. Hundreds of cities across the country are already mapping out enterprise zone sites. And in a recent survey of Fortune 500 chief executive officers, 67 percent said they would seriously consider investing in the zones after seeing the final version of the legislation. Most of those who responded said they wouldn't have invested in depressed areas before considering the incentives offered by our enterprise zone initiative.

Now, at a time of high unemployment and even higher black unemployment, you'd think the Congress would be anxious to move on an innovative idea to tackle such a serious national problem. Well, think again. The liberal leadership of the House of Representatives has refused to even put the bill before hearings of the main committees responsible for it. The blatant politics surrounding enterprise zone legislation, politics at the expense of some of our most needy citizens, is a disgrace.

The liberals have had a decade to tackle the problem of urban decay and failed. It's time for them to give a chance to some new ideas, even if it runs against their ideological obsession for ever bigger and more expensive government. Or is it the coming election? Do they want the economy to remain stagnant so they can use that as a campaign issue?

Later this month, I'll announce a program which will promote minority business development. Of course, the most important item for minority businessmen, as with all small businessmen, is the tax and regulatory reforms we've instituted over the last 20 months. Yet beyond these, we've committed the Federal Government to promote an economic environment in which minority entrepreneurs can fully marshal their talents and skills to make a go of it in the marketplace.

There are many things that we can do to help minority business take root. Part of this administration's overall initiative for minority enterprise will include a plan for the Federal Government to procure substantial amounts of the goods and services during fiscal years '83, '84, and '85 from minority businessmen -- [applause]. Thank you very much.

And beyond that, we're going to bring the leaders of American industry together with minority businessmen, something that should prove valuable to both parties. This is the type of approach which will strengthen the economic underpinnings of the minority community and strengthen the overall economy as well.

Putting the American economy back on the right track has clearly been the top priority of this administration. But I think it's important for all of us to understand that at the same time we haven't forgotten the Federal commitment to civil rights. Thomas Jefferson once said that no man ever leaves the Presidency with as good a reputation as he brought into the job. [Laughter] Well, that's because even in Jefferson's day there was a constant barrage of wild, politically motivated charges aimed at the man in the White House. Well, usually I try to ignore personal attacks, but one charge I will have to admit strikes at my heart every time I hear it. That's the suggestion that we Republicans are taking a less active approach to protecting the civil rights of all Americans. No matter how you slice it, that's just plain baloney.

There's no room in the Republican Party for bigots, and the record shows that we've been firm in protecting civil liberties ever since entering office nearly 20 months ago. And what we've been doing is nothing new. In 1888 Frederick Douglass, an adviser to President Lincoln and one of the first great black Republicans, expressed our party's commitment at the Republican Convention. He said, ``A government that can give liberty in its Constitution ought to have power to protect liberty in its administration.''

In this administration, I've appointed individuals for whom I have the deepest trust and admiration to head the Department of Justice, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Civil Rights Commission. They are committed, as I am, and as every other member of this administration, to protecting the civil rights of all Americans to the fullest extent of the law. Again I say, look at the record. The level of activity of this administration in investigating and prosecuting those who would attempt to deny blacks their civil liberties by violence and intimidation has exceeded the level of every past administration.

The Department of Justice has, since we came to Washington, filed 62 new cases charging criminal violations of civil rights laws and has conducted trials in 52 cases. And these numbers are greater than those in any previous administration. In addition, the Justice Department has filed nine new antidiscrimination cases against public employers and has reviewed more than 9,000 electoral changes to determine compliance with the Voting Rights Act. And that, too, is a higher level of activity than in any prior administration.

Consistent with this spirit, on June 29th of this year I signed into law the longest extension of the Voting Rights Act since its enactment. As I've said on many occasions, voting is the crown jewel of our liberties, and it's something that we as Republicans and Americans will never permit to be infringed upon.

The record of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, is equally impressive. Under the first full year of this administration, the Commission dramatically increased its activity over the previous year. The number of charges of discrimination processed by the Commission increased by 25 percent. The number of persons assisted through negotiated remedies increased by 15 percent. And total backpay and other compensation provided in negotiated remedies increased by 60 percent.

Similarly, the number of suits filed by the Commission increased by 13 percent. And the number of suits settled by voluntary agreement increased by 25 percent. And in this era of necessary budget cuts, we've maintained the funding levels necessary for this vital protection. Over $531 million is proposed for fiscal year 1983. The difference between 1980 actual expenditures and proposed 1983 expenditures shows a 24-percent total dollar increase for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice and 15 percent increase for the EEOC.

Now, no less important is this administration's first commitment to strengthening the historical black colleges, institutions which have played an important role in the progress of black America. More than 85 percent of black lawyers and doctors, for example, finished their undergraduate training at these schools. We have done our best to ensure that even in these times of necessary cuts, historical black colleges not only will survive but progress and will serve future generations of black Americans, as they have so faithfully for the last 100 years.

Now these are more than numbers. They represent this administration's solid, unshakable commitment to civil rights and human betterment. In the coming months, getting the message out about the progress being made on the economic front and our continued commitment to civil rights will be a major challenge for all of us in the Republican Party. We've got a story to tell and a record worth standing on. We Republicans are the hope for all those who seek expanded opportunity. You and I know that most of those trapped in welfare dependency would like nothing better than a chance for dignity and independence.

Alexander Hamilton, one of our greatest Founding Fathers, once said that ``a power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will.'' What we've seen in too many cases in the inner city is the broken will of people who desire to be as proud and independent as any other American. And perhaps unintentionally, many government programs have been designed not to create social mobility and help the needy along their way, but instead to foster a state of dependency. Whatever their intentions, no matter their compassion, our opponents created a new kind of bondage for millions of American citizens.

Now, together, we can break this degrading cycle and we can do it with fairness, compassion, and love in our hearts. No other experience in American history runs quite parallel to the black experience. It has been one of great hardships, but also one of great heroism; of great adversity, but also great achievement. What our administration and our party seek is the day when the tragic side of the black legacy in America can be laid to rest once and for all, and the long, perilous voyage toward freedom, dignity, and opportunity can be completed -- a day when every child born in America will live free not only of political injustice but of fear, ignorance, prejudice, and dependency.

Earlier in the program you sang, ``Lift Every Voice and Sing.'' The third verse to that beautiful hymn ends with the words, ``May we forever stand true to our God and our native land.'' Tonight, let us make that pledge. Let us be true to our God and native land by standing by the ideals of liberty and opportunity that are so important to our heritage as free men and women. Let us prove again that America can truly be a promised land, a land where people of every race, creed, and background can live together in freedom, harmony, and prosperity. And let us proclaim for all to hear that America will have brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at approximately 8:20 p.m. in the Regency Ballroom at the Shoreham Hotel.

TEXT CREDIT: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, National Archives and Records Administration

For more information on the ongoing works of President Reagan's Foundation, visit at

VIDEO CREDIT: ReaganFoundation