The One Story: HBCUs And The Gatekeeping Of Black Culture
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I don’t even know why people bother to lie in front of children — they ALWAYS bust you, and in the case of this teenage babysitter in Washington state, set you up to possibly go to jail.

A 17-year-old girl hired to watch a 4-year-old named Abby in Ferndale got more than she bargained for last week after she told police two armed Black men broke into Abby’s home, stealing an iPod, a piggy bank, an Xbox and a Nintendo Wii.

She claimed one of the robbers looked like the family’s next-door neighbor, Cody Oaks, who the cops promptly arrested.

But when they talked to little Abby she told them the thieves had white skin, not Black.

Turns out the sitter had not only lied on Oaks she had plotted the robbery herself, carrying it out with the help of her 16-year-old boyfriend and another 18-year-old male.

Now that she’s confessed and the items have been returned the sitter and her two accomplices face potential robbery, burglary and perjury charges.


God don’t like ugly.


Speaking of ugly – things don’t look very good for Black children living mostly in the South and the Midwest.

According to a new study published by family advocacy organization the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that kids being raised in chronic poverty “contributes directly to stress at a level that can affect children’s health, brain development, social and emotional well-being – a response known as “toxic stress.”

And Black kids living in 10 states in particular — evaluated by12 indicators measuring a child’s success from birth to adulthood to include family income and education — are living with a higher level of chronic stress than other children.

From “terrible” to “most terrible” they are: Illinois, South Carolina, Indiana, Alabama, Ohio, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Wisconsin, which, per the report, “scored a 238 on its ability to prepare Black children for educational and financial success, the lowest of all the states (the average score was 345). Of course Wisconsin was ranked 10th (at the other end of the scale) for its excellent preparation for White children.

Go figure.


One way we can prepare our children for success regardless of where they live is to read to them every single day.

The American Academy of Pediatrics announced Tuesday that from now on its doctors will tell parents to read aloud to children from birth in order to aid them in brain development.

Given that a crucial period of brain development occurs within the first three years of a child’s life the docs say reading to kids greatly enhances their vocabulary and gives them a leg up on other critical communication skills.

In fact, says the organization, expect your child’s doctor to remind you every time you take him or her to the pediatrician’s office – though my hope is that this is the only reminder you’ll need.

This is the first time the 62,000-member organization hassounded off on early literacy education so you know its real.


And there’s more good news coming out of the doctor’s office.

According to the New York Times it looks like a new 3D mammography test can increase the detection rate for breast cancer while decreasing the likelihood of a false alarm.

Tomosynthesis – which takes X-rays at different angles to form a three-dimensional image of the breast – was approved in the United States in 2011.

This may be particularly great news for African American women, who have a 41 percent higher chance of dying of breast cancer than white women.

The bad news is that the machines – which are still being evaluated for their long-term benefits — are super pricey at $500,000, twice the price of a digital mammography machine. This means the average medical center can’t afford one. Yet another advantage of being wealthy and, more often than not, white.


But the biggest advantage of all has to be not being forced to endure the humility of racial profiling, nefariously known as Stop and Frisk. But would you believe that some Black folks are now calling for MORE of it after 12 people were shot last weekend in New York?

Look, I get it. I understand the fear of violence. I also understand the frustration over not being able to predict where and when and to whom it will happen. I live with it, too. But Stop and Frisk is not the answer. Giving the cops the power to stop us disproportionately when 90 percent of those stops don’t result in arrest is just open-ended invitation for racial discrimination and abuse!

Don’t get distracted by what “they” want us to believe. Violence in our community is a public health crisis and while the police are needed, they alone can’t cure the disease.

After all, Stop and Frisk was around when 4-year-old Lloyd Morgan, Jr. was killed in The Bronx, wasn’t it? It was around when 13-year-old Chris Owens was gunned down in Harlem. It was around when 13-year-old Kevin Miller was killed in Queens. The point? Stop and Frisk didn’t keep these kids from dying, and who is to say it will protect any others?

Our community has never lived with a shortage of racial profiling and disrespect. What we HAVE gone for too long without is hope and the resources necessary to make our lives better. So let’s hear less about Stop and Frisk and more about how we can achieve the latter.