Monday, February 28, 2011

Dr. Boyce: Carol Moseley-Braun Campaign Was Marred by Financial Problems

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

One of the most interesting political events in America was the race to become mayor of Chicago. After yet another seemingly endless regime under the Daley family, black Chicago had a chance to elect one of their own. Carol Moseley Braun, the seasoned politician and history-making former Senator, positioned herself to be the great black hope for the city of Chicago.

Unfortunately, the Moseley-Braun candidacy was simply not meant to be. After a series of missteps, Rahm Emanuel used the power of President Obama's backing to convince the vast majority of Chicago citizens, white and black, to give him their support. Apparently, unspoken endorsements from Barack Obama and Bill Clinton goes a long way, even if you can't readily prove that you've done very much for the African American community.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dr. Boyce Watkins Interview: How College Athletes Should be Paid

With March Madness approaching, Dr. Boyce Watkins did a recent interview regarding the details on how and why college athletes should be paid.  The interview is below:

1.  If college athletes are to be paid for their performance, how do you decide who is paid and who is not?

The market can decide who gets paid.  That's how coaches find out who earns $2 million per year vs. those who earn just $500k.  Better performers typically get paid more money on a job, so why should it be any different for athletes?

2. How do you decide how much to pay them? Is it enough to provide for their families and some for extra activities, or is it solely based on something like jersey sales, winning record, etc.?

I don't think any of us should decide how much to pay someone - no one "decides" that Rick Pitino is worth $2 million per year.  He negotiates and the highest bidder gets his services.  I am a believer that athletes should have access to the same fair market that their coaches receive.  To argue differently is to imply that coaches are more important than athletes or that they deserve better treatment.  This is a classist and racist thing to believe.

Click to read.

Creflo Dollar Accused of Saying that Non-Tithers Should Be Shot by a Firing Squad

by Dr. Boyce Watkins 

I wasn’t sure what to think when I heard this audio, in which Creflo Dollar appears to be arguing that if you don’t tithe, you should be put in front of a firing squad.  I did some research and found media outlets reporting the video, and I can only hope that he doesn’t truly believe this.

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce Watkins speaks on the value of education and being a black achiever


Click here to listen to Dr. Boyce Watkins talk about what it means to be a black achiever and the value of education.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Should Black People Be Offended by the Obama Motown Event?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I have the interesting privilege of being on an email list owned by the White House. Whenever the administration holds an event that they believe to be of interest to African Americans in media, they shoot out an email to all of us. This week, at least two times in my email inbox, there was a message from the White House bragging about the administration's Black History Month celebration of Motown music.

I saw news of the event everywhere. Most interesting was the image of President Obama dancing with Michelle and his kids with Stevie Wonder, Smokie Robinson, Jamie Foxx and John Legend crooning in the background. The president, who appeared to be doing his best, had the stiffness of a corpse, and the posture of a 92-year old woman, but the nation appreciated his effort.

Click to read.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Former NFL Superstar Kills Himself: Was This Due to a Brain Injury?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

This weekend, I was driving through the middle of "Nowhere's Ville," Indiana, on my way to Chicago. Right as I was approaching South Bend, the home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, I ironically received an email from former Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz. Holtz and I had recently debated whether college athletes should be paid (we disagreed on the topic), but the coach was gracious enough to email me twice since the interview to say that he now considers us friends. I have a tremendous amount of respect for both Holtz and his noble gesture.

Adding to the irony of the trip was the fact that I also received a text message from a friend informing me that former Notre Dame/Chicago Bears football Star Dave Duerson had just been found dead in his condo. So, on a trip past Notre Dame on my way to Chicago, I receive both an email from Lou Holtz and a text message about a former Notre Dame/Chicago Bears star dying that day. Perhaps this was a signal from a higher power that I needed to dig further into the issue.

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Strong Evidence that Rodney K. Stanberry Never Committed Murder, but was sent to prison nonetheless

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Dr. Artemesia Stanberry has been relentless in fighting to free her cousin, Rodney K. Stanberry, who appears to be in prison for crimes he did not commit. I first heard about the case from Dr. Wilmer Leon, as we were headed to Missouri last year to rally on behalf of Heather Ellis, a college student threatened with 15 years in prison for cutting in line at a Wal-Mart.

When I first heard about Rodney's case, I couldn't believe my ears. From what Dr. Leon was telling me, it sounded like a case of lazy police work, where officers didn't want to go through the efforts of going all the way to New York to find the true killers. Additionally, like so many others affected by our racially-skewed criminal justice system, Rodney K. Stanberry ended up in prison because he was the most convenient person to incarcerate. This is particularly true in Alabama, a state where the modern prison system has powerful links to slavery.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Dr. Boyce, Rev. Sharpton Speak at Ohio Education Rally

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Most of you by now know about the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar. You also know that I've taken a personal interest in Kelley's case since we first hit the issue on Black Voices. Kelley, in case you don't know, was convicted of a felony after sending her children to a school district that was not her own. This case against a single mother seeking a better educational situation for her kids set off a firestorm of international support.

I arrived in Akron yesterday to prepare for the rally on Kelley's behalf, and Rev. Sharpton got here tonight. When we arrived at the church, the parking lot was full, the news trucks were everywhere and police were on hand to control us "rabble-rousing black folks."

The National Action Network was necessary in creating the infrastructure for the rally, for which I was extremely appreciative. The community was particularly gracious in coming out to take a stand for educational equality, which I found to be equally impressive. A glaring absence from the room was Ms. Williams-Bolar, but the issue is bigger than just one person, so I personally wasn't concerned. I honestly can't say why Kelley wasn't at the rally or why her attorneys advised her not to show up, but I hope it was for a good reason. I also hope that they will one day allow her to thank the citizens who came out in bad weather to support her case.


Click to read.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dr. Boyce: OJ Simpson Reportedly Beaten in Prison by Skinheads

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

OJ Simpson has, according to the National Enquirer, been having a hard time in prison. The magazine is claiming that some White Supremacists have been targeting Simpson for bragging about his sexual conquests with white women.
"Inmates cheered as a muscular young skinhead knocked him to the ground, punching and kicking him to a bloody pulp and inflicting injuries so severe he secretly spent nearly three weeks in the infirmary before he recovered."
While the Nevada Department of Corrections is denying that any such incident took place, I know enough about corrections departments to know that their words have as much credibility as Sarah Palin at a Mensa convention.

Click to read.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dr. Watkins/Rev. Sharpton rally in Ohio for Kelley Williams-Bolar and Educational Equality in America


On Thursday, February 17 at 6 pm, Dr. Boyce Watkins and Rev. Al Sharpton will rally in Akron Ohio on behalf of the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, the single black mother who was jailed for sending her kids to the wrong school district.  The information for the rally is below:


Mountain of the Lord Church
Rev. Eugene Norris
1477 Copley Road
Akron, OH 44320
(330) 873-9793

Friday, February 11, 2011

Rapper J-Kwon Sent to Jail on Child Support, but Baby Wasn’t His

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse universityScholarship in Action 

Hip Hop News 24-7 recently interviewed the rapper J-Kwon about his interesting child support situation. During an interview with Miss Georgia, J-Kwon informed listeners that he'd been paying $2,500 per month in child support for seven years for a child that was eventually determined to not be his.

The artist goes on to say that he was jailed for not making the child support payments, which derailed his entire career, killing his ability to earn income. He also said that when it was determined that he wasn't the child's father, the courts provided no remedies whatsoever for him to retrieve the tens of thousands of dollars he'd paid over a seven-year period.

J-Kwon is now saying that he plans to start a foundation for fathers who are having their rights violated by the child support system. I support his initiative, because many of us forget about the millions of fathers out there who are doing all they can to have access to their kids and trying to do the right thing, but are left alienated by deceptive mothers and a court system that would rather see a man in jail than with his own children.

Click to read.

Tupac Shakur Being Brought Back to the Big Screen by Antoine Fuqua

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

The movie we all expected to see years ago is finally being brought to the big screen. Antoine Fuqua has committed himself to bringing the late Tupac Shakur back from the dead with a soon-to-be-released biopic about the life of the legendary rapper.
Tupac Shakur is nothing less than the most respected hip-hop artist in history, primarily because he lived an incredibly memorable life. His greatest claim to fame during life was his album "All Eyez on Me," which was one of the first to produce a double CD with a long list of hits. Only "Thriller" by Michael Jackson and "Straight Outta Compton" could compare in terms of an album's impact on an entire generation.

Some seem to feel that Tupac's career was just taking off when he died at the age of 25. He was just starting to come into his own as an actor, and he ended up releasing more songs as a dead man than most artists ever release during life. With everything that's come out of the studio since Tupac's untimely death, it appears that he was planning for several years of virtually unprecedented artistic productivity.


Click to read.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jamail Johnson, the Omega who was shot, Died a Hero

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Jamail Johnson, the Youngstown State University student who died at an off-campus party Saturday morning, has been reported to have died trying to save his friends from gunfire. Jamail was a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
The Trumbull County Conservative Examiner says that when the gunmen began to shoot, Johnson ran toward them and pushed them out of the house. This, according to observers, saved the lives of dozens of other students. He even fought with the gunmen after being shot.

The two alleged shooters, Columbus Jones Jr. and Braylon Rogers, 22 and 19 years old respectively, are facing charges for aggravated murder.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Survey: Two in Three Black Women Offended by the Pepsi Max Ad with the “Angry Black Woman”

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

In a recent survey taken at, two-thirds of the female respondents said that black women should be offended by the recent Pepsi Max Super Bowl ad featuring the violent African American female. In the survey, when asked, Do you feel that African American women should be offended by the Pepsi Max ad featuring the "angry black woman?", 63.7 percent of the black female respondents said "yes," while 32.4 percent of the male respondents gave the same reply.
When asked if African Americans should boycott Pepsi because of the ad, women were more than twice as likely to advocate for a boycott than men. Thirty-seven percent of all female respondents to the survey said that a boycott is necessary, while 16.2 percent of male respondents agreed.


click to read. 



To see the survey results graphically, please click here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Jamail Johnson: Student Murdered, 11 Injured at Omega Psi Phi House Party


by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Two men opened fire after an argument occurred at an Omega Psi Phi fraternity house in Youngstown, Ohio this weekend. The two men shot multiple rounds into a crowd of people, killing a student and critically injuring a 17-year old with a head wound. The student who was killed was shot while trying to break the two disputing groups apart. The university said six of the injured were students.
The murder victim was 25-year old Jamail E. Johnson of Youngstown. Most of the 11 injured were shot in the foot. The men were arrested and charged with aggravated murder, shooting into a home, and felonious assault, according to Chief Jimmy Hughes of the Youngstown Police Department.
"These guys were in the location for a little while before the shooting occurred," he said. "Something happened that they became unhappy. They had some type of altercation."


Click to read.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dr. Boyce: Sarah Palin and the Tea Party are Part of Black History Too

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

It might surprise you to hear me say this, but I believe this statement to be fundamentally true: While most of us think of Black History as a celebration of black achievement and the recognition of meaningful historical figures, the reality is that the Tea Party Express, Sarah Palin and other peculiar figures in the Right Wing are a part of black history as well.

Black History is not just a collection of names, dates, places and faces. It also tells stories of triumph for people of color as we've worked to achieve equality in a society that was trained to hate us. In order for us to have heroes, there must sometimes be a deadly villain.

In the past, those villains have been the Ku Klux Klan, slave owners who didn't want us to learn how to read, men like Bull Connor and even the federal government itself. As black people have had to fight for what is ours, we've often had to confront those who worked overtime to sabotage, distract or even kill our greatest heroes in the struggle for Civil Rights. The Tea Party and their associates, for right or wrong, are perceived by millions of African Americans to be a continuation of the legacy of Civil Rights villains who will be written about in Black History textbooks for many decades to come.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Meet Prof. Khalil Muhammad: New Director of the Schomburg Center

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

One of the men for whom I have a great deal of respect is Dr. Khalil Muhammad, the new Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Professor Muhammad is currently a scholar of African-American history at Indiana University.
Professor Muhammad's selection for the post was not without controversy. Some thought he was too young and unknown to be granted such a serious and prestigious post. I don't agree with the criticism, but only time will prove us all correct. From my meetings with Professor Muhammad, I found him to be sharp, insightful and down-to-earth. He is a scholar who fully understands, respects and appreciates the gravity of his appointment and the importance of The Schomburg.


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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eddie Long Goes to Youtube to Talk about Financial Fraud within New Birth

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in action 

Bishop Eddie Long has made yet another public appearance, this time on Youtube. Rather than discussing his own legal issues, Long spoke about an investment company that allegedly left many of his members on the brink of financial ruin. In the video, Long discussed a dispute that his church is having with City Capital Corp, a company that came to the church to convince members to invest money with their firm back in 2009.
In the video, Long said that since City Capital Corp. came to visit his church, some members have faced bankruptcy, foreclosure, or significant losses in their retirement accounts. Bishop Long made a public appeal to the company's former CEO, Ephren Taylor, and the rest of the company to do the right thing and return the money to those who've been hurt.
In a press release issued on Monday, Bishop Long informed the media that several members of his church alerted him to concerns they had about City Capital. Roughly 20 members of the church invested with the company, according to published reports.


Click to read.