Saturday, October 30, 2010

Allen Iverson’s Turkey Adventure Tells the Story of the Black Athlete in America

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I never thought I'd see the day that Allen Iverson, one of the most talented players in the history of the NBA, would be pushed out of the league like a loaf of moldy bread. "The Answer" left us all full of questions, as most of us really wondered what in the heck happened to his stellar career. This week, Iverson signed a deal to play for a Turkish team called Besiktas (I haven't heard of them either). The 35-year old veteran is likely going to be the star of the team and was given a two-year deal worth $4 million.
"There are a lot of things that I'm not proud of," Iverson said. "I came into this league 21 years old, never having nothing in my whole life and then given everything in the world. I met a lot of people that were bad people that I had around me. I met a lot of people that were good people. I had to at a young age distinguish who were good and who were bad. And I made a lot of mistakes along the way thinking I knew things that I didn't know. A lot of times I was a fish out of water, I thought I was in the biggest ocean in the world. I made mistakes, so me not being on an NBA roster, and me being bad-mouthed throughout the league, a lot of things I have to own up to. A lot of those things were true. I made a lot of mistakes. And obviously it cost me."


Click to read.

Should We Be Using the N-Word?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I had a chance to chat the other day with award-winning filmmaker Dorian Chandler. Chandler is the author of the film "Nigger Nation," which explores the use of the n-word, and why people might think it's O.K. I've always been impressed with Chandler's work and consider her to be the best young filmmaker in America today. Her film has won several awards, including The Emerging Filmmaker Award from the "Women Make Movies," organization and the 2005 Flicker Film Festival Jury Prize.

The n-word is an interesting and perpetually controversial topic within and outside of black America. It is also misunderstood by most of us. First of all, I've never thought of the n-word concept in a singular sense, as there are multiple variations of the word used in casual conversation. There is the word that ends with an "r" and the other version that ends with an "a." Yes, I do believe that the version of the word being used makes a difference. Also, there are a long list of voice inflexions that can change the definition on the spot: If I say "What's up my n*gga!" in a high pitched, enthusiastic voice, that's very different from me twisting my lip, cocking my head to the side and saying "What's up n*gger" in a low, grumbling voice. In the first case I want to hug you, but in the second, you're about to get knocked out.


Click to read.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Importance of Owning Your Own Business – Dr. Boyce Video

Dr. Boyce Watkins and Danielle Douglas

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

In case you didn't know this, one of the things that most people think about every single day is how they are going to make enough money to get by. Life is tough and finding enough money to live can be even tougher. What's worse is that the black community's struggle to build economic institutions and obtain financial security are things that keep us from being truly liberated in a fundamentally and historically racist society. The link between civil rights and economic prosperity was the seminal reason for my book, "Black American Money."
The commitment I made to the black leadership and the audience at the "Measuring the Movement" forum this year (hosted by Al Sharpton and the National Action Network) was to promote the idea of black entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is not just a matter of having your own business. It can also be as simple as finding some extra streams of income in order to obtain critical financial security. In this economy, you have no job security if you've only got one job. You have to find (what I would call) "a side hustle."


Click to read.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Black People and the N-Word: A Filmmaker Explores the Concept


Dorian Chandler (pictured above with Pras from “The Fugees”)  is my favorite filmmaker.  Her film “Nigger Nation,” is an award-winning exploration of the N-word and what it means in black America.  I highly recommend taking a look at the film, which you can view by clicking here.

Juan Defends Fox News Against Racism Charges – Why?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Fox News commentator Juan Williams has been in the news quite a bit lately. It started when he was fired from NPR last week for going onto Fox and saying that Muslims on airplanes make him nervous. Apparently, in Juan's world, every Muslim he meets might want to blow him up. I've always wondered how Juan would feel if a white woman said that she believes that every black man she meets (including Juan) wants to mug her. I should probably stop speculating, since Juan might actually agree with that statement.
Fox News took the interesting step of rewarding Juan for his racist rant by giving him a three-year contract reportedly worth a cool two-million dollars. Apparently, racism pays in an allegedly post-racial society. Fox proves the value of racism every day with their record ratings and massive profitability. A small fraction of that dough trickles down to Juan, one of the few black men in America willing to stand up for the network that has rejuvenated racial terrorism in our country.


Click to read.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tea Party Candidate Says Black Men Only Want to Sell Drugs

Al Reynolds, Tea Party Candidate, Says Black Men Prefer Selling Drugs to Education

1:40 PMOct 27

Source: BV Black Spin

Illinois State Senate candidate Al Reynolds (pictured) is in hot water, after making some comments about black men that even his fellow Republicans have found to be quite offensive. When asked about black men going to college, Reynolds had this to ... Read More

Head of State Spoof on President Obama is Incredibly Ignorant

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action

When I was asked my thoughts about a YouTube video spoof of Barack Obama rapping the song "Hard in Da Paint," by Atlanta-based rapper Waka Flocka Flame, I didn't quite know what to say. Knowing what I know about Waka Flocka Flame, I figured that the spoof would be a reflection of the kind of ignorance that seems to breed itself in modern day hip hop. I also expected that the video might consist of insulting depictions of President Barack Obama in an environment that involved weed, liquor, half naked women and maybe a gun or two. For some reason, there are people who seem to think that this represents everything about being black in America.
After seeing the spoof, I can only say that I was right. The video throws together a bunch of twisted lyrics being recited by an Obama look-alike who keeps telling us that he's "the head of state n*gga." The lyrics aren't exactly creative and the video is short of inspirational to anyone. But it has gotten tens of thousands of views on YouTube, which means that somebody out there likes it.

Click to read.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Racism in the Workplace: Many African Americans are Affected

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Most of us know Hanes Brands as the company that has Michael Jordan peddling underwear. The company is also responsible for other leading brands such as Champion sports apparel and Playtex, among others.

The company is now in the middle of controversy after an African American employee, Yunusa Kenchi, filed suit for discrimination. An embarrassing email has allegedly surfaced in which Kenchi was referenced using the n-word. The employee has taken the case public, and Hanes has yet to respond.


Click to read.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins on Twitter – 10/19/10

To follow Dr. Boyce on Twitter, please visit


  1. It's in the Patterson Office Tower, room 21316 minutes ago via web
    • For anyone who lives near the University of Kentucky, I'll be on a panel on race and sports Thursday at 3:30 and again at 8:20.17 minutes ago via web
      • Rapper TI gets dumped by Axe Body Spray: 2 hours ago via web
        • Six reasons that the black woman's body is sacred: 3 hours ago via web
          • Magic Johnson finally sells his stake in the Lakers: 8 hours ago via web
            • A deputy was asked to resign at the jail where the deaths occurred last week - perhaps our protest worked: 10 hours ago via web
              • My interview with Rev. Al Sharpton is here: 18 hours ago via web
                • The shocking album cover of Kanye West: what does it really mean? PM Oct 18th via web
                  • Rev. Sharpton and I are on his radio show right now -sharptontalk.net3:22 PM Oct 18th via web
                    • Popular Facebook apps found to be selling private user information: PM Oct 18th via web
                      • Tyra Banks sued by the mother of a teen sex addict: PM Oct 18th via web
                        • Insight into the real Boyce Watkins: PM Oct 17th via web
                          • Democrats spend to try to get the black vote: Why Should we listen now? - AM Oct 17th via web
                            • Don't let the criminal justice system kill your sons: PM Oct 16th via web
                              • I'll be on in the morning with Rev. Jesse Jackson - his show affiliate are listed at Keephopealiveradio.com8:43 PM Oct 16th via web
                                • Have race relations gotten worse under Obama? Sharpton and I discussed that this week: PM Oct 16th via web
                                  • Poll says race relations have gotten worse under Obama: AM Oct 15th via web
                                    • Would you vote for a candidate with the name "Rich Whitey"? PM Oct 14th via web
                                      • Black America must outgrow the Jay-Z business model: PM Oct 14th via web
                                        • Obama invites black bloggers to the White House. Why I am HAPPY not to go: PM Oct 13th via web

                                        Monday, October 18, 2010

                                        Are the Democrats Loyal to African American Voters?


                                        Click to listen to Al Sharpton and Dr. Boyce Watkins discuss whether or not African Americans should go out and support the Democrats in the mid-term elections.  You can listen by clicking here.

                                        Sunday, October 17, 2010

                                        Meet Dr. Boyce Watkins: What He Stands For

                                        Q: What do you stand for?

                                        A: I stand for fairness and doing what is right.  I am not a Finance Professor who happens to be black, I am a black man who happens to be a Finance Professor.  There is a great deal of inequality in America that runs along racial lines.  This is due to the fact that our country has built a 400 year social, financial and educational infrastructure that promotes the advancement of one group over the other.  It is my job as a public scholar to challenge this imbalance and work to find solutions to these problems.  My primary tools of choice are education and economic empowerment.  I work hard to teach youth, especially African Americans, the value of being highly educated and the additional value that comes from becoming Financially independent and empowered. Those were the choices that changed my life and gave me the freedom and strength to express myself honestly, creatively and (some think) intelligently.

                                        I also want to challenge the NCAA to rethink the way it treats college athletes.  As a Finance Professor, I am not sure how we can justify earning millions for our coaches and administrators,  while allowing the sources of labor (the athletes) and their families to live in poverty.  This is wrong and unAmerican, for capitalism should give us the rights to freely negotiate our wages.  When we engaged in our campaign on CNN, ESPN and CBS to challenge the actions of the NCAA, people thought I was trying to attack them.  The truth is that I don't enjoy attacking anyone, I only want to fight for fairness.  One thing that my students have always said about me (whether they love me or hate me) is that I am fair.  I call it for what it is.

                                        Q: Your work can be controversial, why do you do it?

                                        A: I ask myself that question every single day!  Personally, I believe that the role of the black scholar in America is to work hard to uplift our communities.   Our intellect is needed, and in addition to engaging in scholarly research that lies in dusty academic journals, we should become active in our communities and throughout the world.  I believe strongly in the concept of Scholarship in Action.  The thing about Scholarship in Action is that it requires the combination of intellect, creativity, curiosity, commitment, passion and courage that stands at the root of all true genius.  I do not consider myself a genius, but I wake up every day thinking "I am one day closer to my last day on this earth.  How can I get the best return on my investment?"  That is what keeps me going.

                                        Click to read more.

                                        Saturday, October 16, 2010

                                        Poll Says Race Relations Are Getting Worse

                                        by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                        A recent Rasmussen Poll has revealed some interesting information about the state of black-white relations in America. According to the poll, only 36 percent of Americans think that race relations between blacks and whites are getting better. This number is down dramatically from 62 percent last year at the time of the Henry Louis Gates debacle.
                                        The study also says that 27 percent of respondents say that race relations are getting worse, which is a 10 percent increase since July 2009. Another 33 percent of Americans think that relations are about the same.
                                        As usual, whites and blacks don't view race relations in the same way, with African Americans being much less optimistic than whites. A full 39 percent of whites think relations are getting better, while only 13 percent of African Americans agree with that assessment.


                                        Click to read.

                                        CDC: 1 in 22 African Americans Will be Infected by HIV

                                        by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                        More “good” news from the Center for Disease Control:  African Americans have a 1-in-22 chance of catching HIV in their lifetimes.  This is eight times the rate for white Americans.  Of course the numbers are no surprise, given that HIV is already spreading quite rapidly through our community.   This confirmation from the CDC is simply another depressing reminder of the risks of irresponsible sex.

                                        Obviously, sex is as natural as breathing, given that it’s the reason we even exist in the first place.  But the power of sex must also be respected, and some of us grow up in a culture where casual sex is considered the norm and the pursuit of good sex is worthy of being a lifelong endeavor.  While I am certainly not here to judge, perhaps we should consider a few thoughts:

                                        Click to read.

                                        Friday, October 15, 2010

                                        TI Headed Back to Prison: Artist Gets 11 Months

                                        by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                        The rapper T.I. appeared in court today, pleading with the judge not to send him back to prison. The artist faced five to 11 months in prison for violating the terms of his probation after being caught in possession of illegal narcotics. He and his wife Tameka "Tiny" Cottle were arrested last month, with the arrest taking over national headlines for several days.
                                        T.I. (a.k.a. Clifford Harris Jr.) told the judge that he needs help for drug addiction instead of incarceration. The U.S. Attorney's Office, however, is asking that the artist spend two years in prison. The media was not allowed into the courtroom during the hearing, at the request of the judge.

                                        Click to read

                                        Thursday, October 14, 2010

                                        Candidate’s Name Changed to “Rich Whitey” on Ballot in Black Neighborhoods

                                        by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                        The Green Party candidate for governor of the state of Illinois is a man by the name of Rich Whitney. Unfortunately, if you take one letter out of his name, you turn him from a serious candidate into a serious joke.
                                        That's what happened to Whitney this week, when his name was misspelled as "Rich Whitey" on voting machines in almost two dozen wards in the city of Chicago. Even worse is the fact that the wards are in predominantly African American neighborhoods.

                                        Click to read.

                                        Wednesday, October 13, 2010

                                        Black Bloggers Invited to the White House: Are They Being Influenced?


                                        by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

                                        President Obama recently invited a slew of African American bloggers to the White House for a “black online summit” of sorts.  Many commentators from Black America Web, News One and even my very own AOL Black Voices were brought in to talk turkey with the president before the election. 

                                        I do a lot of writing on the web, and I actually do work with several of the sites that were invited to the White House summit.  But I wasn’t asked to be part of this particular gathering.  I am not ashamed to admit that I wasn’t invited, because I never expected to be brought in anyway.  In fact, I despise the idea of spending all my time around politicians, many of whom only seem to care about their own agenda. 

                                        Click to read.

                                        Tuesday, October 12, 2010

                                        Morehouse College President Responds to Vibe Article About His Gay Students

                                        by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                        Morehouse College President Robert Franklin apparently doesn't like to see himself or his institution embarrassed. Vibe Magazine seemed determined to do just that by recently publishing an article entitled, "The Mean Girls of Morehouse," which seemed to be an interesting analysis of the gay student population at the institution.
                                        Franklin's letter to the public in response to the article, showed that the president found little humor in the approach used by Vibe:

                                        "It seems clear from the headline alone that the Vibe editorial team's intent is to sensationalize and distort reality for the purpose of driving readership. The title of the article speaks volumes about a perspective that is very narrow and one that is, in all likelihood, offensive to our students whether gay or straight."


                                        Click to read.

                                        Julianne Malveaux Discusses Her Trip to Haiti

                                        by Dr. Julianne Malveaux 

                                        The earthquake that killed nearly 300,000 people in Haiti transformed its capital, Port-au-Prince into a tent city layered with rubble. Ten months later, thousands still live in now-frayed tents or even on the streets. Food is still scarce in the tent camps. Thousands of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are working on everything from housing construction, to economic development, to agricultural development, to education. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been pledged to Haiti, but Haiti's leaders have not been able to access or spend the money. There will be a Presidential election in about six weeks, and one of the reasons some say the money has not been funneled through government is because of political weakness and instability.

                                        Click to read.

                                        Monday, October 11, 2010

                                        Dr. Boyce Watkins Gives More Coaching on MSN’s “The Invested Life”


                                        A new episode of our MSNBC special is out.  You can watch it by clicking here.


                                        Dr. Boyce Watkins,Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action

                                        CBC Finally Steps Up on Black Unemployment

                                        Congressional Black Caucus

                                        by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                        From Black America Web via Clutch Magazine

                                        On the heels of September's mixed unemployment report, the Congressional Black Caucus renewed its call for President Barack Obama and Congress to do something to specifically address the nation's high black joblessness rate.
                                        The country's unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.6 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. The economic monthly report was a mix of good news and bad. The good: The private sector added 64,000 jobs last month. The bad: Government agencies cut 159,000 jobs, many of them federal Census workers and state and local employees.


                                        Click to read.

                                        Sunday, October 10, 2010

                                        Shooting of Daniel Covington Leaves the Black Community in an Uproar

                                        by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                        Daniel Covington is a former football player for The University of Louisville. His recent shooting death has been the subject of controversy in the southern urban center of Louisville, Kentucky. Covington was shot at 2:30 a.m. in downtown Louisville, Kentucky on September 16. The shooter was Isaiah Howes, who happens to be a former baseball star for the same school as his victim. The shooting allegedly took place after Covington attacked Howe by reaching into his car and punching him. The incident occurred after a prior altercation at a local bar. Howe shot through his brother's hand and hit Covington in the torso. He died at the scene of the shooting.
                                        The shooting of Daniel Covington has led to an uproar in the black communities of Louisville and nearby Lexington. Many residents are angry that the shooter has not been charged for the incident, in spite of the fact that many claim he left the scene. They also wonder why Howes chose to pull out a gun to shoot someone in a fist fight.
                                        The attorney for Isaiah Howes says that his client was a victim as well. He argues that the shooting was in self-defense and that Howes had no choice but to use the gun. He also denies that his client used any racial slurs toward Covington, as some have indicated.

                                        Click to read.

                                        Friday, October 8, 2010

                                        Dr. King vs. Obama: What Would One Say About the Other?

                                        by Mike Green, Huffington Post

                                        When unemployment in Black America topped 16 percent and Black teen unemployment skyrocketed to an outrageous 45 percent this summer, the voices of outrage were muffled in the pockets of a few media that cared to cover the crisis. The majority of media wrung their collective hands over 9 and 10 percent unemployment challenges in White America, with overall teen unemployment hovering at 23 percent.

                                        Dirty Secret

                                        "A dirty little secret is that many jobs are not going to come back," says Johnathan Holifield, founder of Trim Tab System, LLC, a personal development and organizational leadership methodology, which applies innovation concepts and tools to generate exponential impact.

                                        "Under the old model, recovery meant increased productivity, which meant increased hiring, Holifield said. "That is no longer the case. Because of the ingenious uses and applications and adoptions of new technology throughout our economy, we will continue to experience productivity growth but we will not have the level of job replacement and hiring that our recoveries in the past have been accustomed to."

                                        Dear President Obama ...

                                        Dr. Boyce Watkins, founder of Your Black World, underscores Holifield's point. He wrote a public letter to President Barack Obama that stated in part:

                                        "In addition to massive unemployment, wealth inequality in America remains a persistent problem, causing African Americans to bear the brunt of this economic crisis in ways that are unimaginable to other Americans. Our homes are facing foreclosure more often and we are less able to rely on a source of background wealth to help us get through the toughest times.

                                        "Yet, while we are the least prepared for the recession, we are being hit with a downturn that is twice as forceful as that being experienced by the rest of America. In fact, even after the recession is over, our unemployment rate will probably be as high or higher than the rate that white Americans are agonizing over right now. The United Nations has investigated this issueas a human rights violation, because it appears that we live in a nation that accepts a black underclass as a default way of life.

                                        "To this point, your administration has remained disturbingly silent on the issue of black unemployment. The silence is deafening, but the economic hardship is loud and clear. I am concerned that many of your key economic advisers are unable or unwilling to process and empathize with the depths of black economic misery in America."

                                        Never-Ending Recession

                                        Dr. Watkins called on President Obama to institute political efforts and policy measures that would help create urban jobs through congressional legislation and generate more government contracts with African American companies.

                                        At, Dr. Watkins made a compelling case that suggests even when the economy recovers, the burden of unemployment for Black America will still be in double digits while the nation celebrates a long-awaited return to prosperity. He states:

                                        "Our country spent 400 years firmly placing black folks at the bottom of the social totem poll, only allowing us to recently participate as laborers in the American economic system.

                                        "The conclusion is that even during good economic times, it is acceptable in the eyes of the Obama Administration for black unemployment to be worse than it is for whites during a recession. The recession will never end for us."


                                        Click to read.

                                        Thursday, October 7, 2010

                                        Dr. Boyce Video: What is the Future of Hip Hop? – Part 3

                                        by Dr Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

                                        What is the future of hip hop? I have our panel together to discuss the issue once again. They are the leading figures in hip hop, and I think you'll enjoy the conversation. To see part 1 one of the conversation, click here. To see part 2, click here.


                                        Click to read.

                                        Tuesday, October 5, 2010

                                        Dr. Boyce on MSNBC: Why are companies not hiring?


                                        Click here to watch Dr. Boyce Watkins on CNBC explaining why corporations aren’t hiring across America.  Black Scholarship in Action