Insight News

Feb 08th


Playing for keeps

I was an innocent – not pure as the driven snow, but certainly unwise as to the level of the stakes at which we were playing.  I entered the debate believing it would be an intellectual exercise; we would joust with each other and after it was all over shake hands and exit with mutual respect.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Mutual respect?  The Black panelists on my side of the question were called uncle toms, the white member was accused of seeking to repeal the civil rights act. Honesty?

The Citadel: A symbol of freedom and hope in Haiti

The Haiti Support Project of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century has just completed its Third Pilgrimage to Haiti to visit the Citadel and other important cultural/historical sites.  The vision/mission of these Pilgrimages is to transform the town of Milot, which is strategically situated at the foot of the Citadel, into a Mecca for cultural/historical tourism as the engine for people based economic development in the area/region. In a broader sense, however, the Pilgrimages are intended to introduce people of African descent to the Haitian Revolution which produced the first Black Republic in this hemisphere - one of the most incredible feats in human history. The magnificent Citadel, which sits atop a mountain 3,000 feet in the sky, is a powerful symbol of freedom and hope.

Blacks willing to pay more for beverages

Should the federal government help finance expansion of U.S. health coverage by taxing products such as sugary soft drinks?  Polls show at least 50 percent public support for taxes on soft drinks and rises as high as 72 percent when respondents believe revenues would be used for programs to help the poor.  Support for the tax is highest among African-Americans and Hispanics; and is stronger in low-income than in higher-income groups.

The roots of "good hair"

Do Black women get their “hair did” to look European?  Chris Rock's latest flick 'Good Hair' provides a timely focus on a multi-billion-dollar Black hair business.  Rock was moved to film the subject after an occasion when, in the company of a white girlfriend, daughter Lola Simone asked him: "Daddy, why don't I have good hair?"  The question has historical context and financial significance in regards to Black Beauty in America.

What exactly does “affordable” mean?

A very good friend of mine has lately taken me to task for my opposition to a single payer, universal medical coverage.  She argues that she is one of those the president speaks of when describing Americans that do not have “affordable” health insurance.  She has a pre-existing condition and coverage is expensive.  When I point out that while the cost of her coverage may be high it is certainly affordable (in that she is managing to pay for it) she rejects the argument on the basis that the high cost eats into other equally important expenses.

Blacks and mental health

Too often, those who suffer with mental illness suffer in silence.  Close family members may know the full extent of the affected person’s condition but co-workers and friends rarely do. The individual who has been diagnosed would much rather bear the weight of their illness alone that risk being ostracized for something that is out of their control.  What about those who are mentally ill and not even aware that they are? In the African American community, there are far too many such individuals. And it’s time for that to change.

From dropout to jail

It’s no surprise that high school dropouts fare far worse than their peers who graduate.
From the lack of sustainable jobs available to them to the loss of income over the course of their lifetimes, a young person who fails to finish high school is at a serious disadvantage in society.  One more issue dropouts have to contend with: they are more likely to wind up in jail or a detention center than those who earn their diploma.

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