Chicago-bred rapper Common (pictured) is known for his socially conscious music; Sunday night at the Golden Globes, he delivered a moving speech about how what happened in Selma during the Civil Rights Movement is mirroring what’s happening in our local communities today. After receiving the 2015 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, for his song “Glory” that was featured on the Selma soundtrack, Common dedicated his acceptance speech to Michael Brown as well as fallen NYPD cops Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. “The first day I stepped on the set of ‘Selma,’ I began to think this was bigger than a movie,” he said. “As I got to know people of the Civil Rights Movement, I realized I am the hopeful black woman who was denied her right to vote; I am the caring White supporter killed on the front lines of freedom; I am the unarmed Black kid who maybe needed a hand but was instead given a bullet; I am the two fallen police officers murdered in the line of duty. Selma has awakened my humanity.” Read more.
Black Unemployment Rate Nearly Doubles That of Whites
Although there has been a drop in the overall unemployment rate, African Americans are still having a harder time finding jobs than Whites. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report for December 2014, the unemployment rate for African Americans almost doubles the unemployment rate for Whites. The reported showed that 4.8 percent of Whites were unemployed compared to 10.4 percent of African Americans who were jobless. According to the Census Bureau, Whites make up 77 percent of the population and Blacks make up 13.2 percent. For African Americans, ages 16 and above, there was a slight drop in the percentage of people who were unemployed between November 2014 and December 2014; going from 11.0 percent to 10.4 percent. Prior to this, the last time that the national unemployment rate for Blacks was below 10.4 percent was more than six years ago. Read more.
Report: Women, Students of Color Experience Microagressions on College Campuses
Although college campuses are becoming more diverse, women and students of color say that their college experiences are plagued by demeaning microaggressions. According to a study released by Harvard University’s Voices of Diversity project, many students feel as if they are confronted with subtle discrimination from their peers on a regular basis. For African-American students, many of them feel like their classmates and faculty are surprised to see them enrolled in an elite colleges and universities. Researchers also discovered that both ethnic studies and women’s studies are held in “low esteem” on college campuses. Women and students of color also shared that they feel as if their ideas and contributions to their college community aren’t taken seriously. “Simply changing the representation of various groups does not in and of itself ensure that the experiences of racial/ethnic minority and women students are as positive as those of their White and male counterparts,” read the report. “Since institutional change tends to be slow, one cannot assume that increases in numbers of students of color have been accompanied by adequate changes in what has been called the ‘chilly climate’ for students of color and for women in undergraduate populations at predominantly White institutions.” Read more.