We Have A New Website

Posted in Black Men, Black Men In America, Gary A. Johnson with tags , , , on January 1, 2015 by Gary Johnson

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We have a new website and a new look.  Click here to visit the new website. If you are a subscriber to our posts or e-mails you will have to sign-up on the new website.  Please check out the new site now!

Gary Johnson
Founder & Publisher
Black Men In America.com

Wealth Inequality By Race Has Widened Since 2007

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Money/Economics with tags , , , on December 15, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Cash

By Black Men In America.com Staff

The Pew Research Center released a study on Wealth Inequality.  Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.  According to the study, the wealth of white households was 13 times the median wealth of black households in 2013, compared with eight times the wealth in 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Likewise, the wealth of white households is now more than 10 times the wealth of Hispanic households, compared with nine times the wealth in 2010. The study was conducted by Rakesh Kochhar and Richard Fry.
The current gap between blacks and whites has reached its highest point since 1989, when whites had 17 times the wealth of black households. The current white-to-Hispanic wealth ratio has reached a level not seen since 2001. (Asians and other racial groups are not separately identified in the public-use versions of the Fed’s survey.)

For many middle-class Americans, wealth is tied to the value of their homes. When the housing market crashed in 2007, the value of Americans’ assets took a beating across racial groups. Yet in the recovery, blacks have not bounced back as well as whites.

housing-literacy_lg

Black homeownership rates in the U.S. have historically been lower than white homeownership rates for a variety of reasons, but primarily due to a long history of racist housing policies that legal reforms have not entirely erased. During the housing boom of the last decade, blacks were more likely to get stuck with high-cost subprime mortgage loans than whites. In the crash, blacks were more likely to lose their homes than whites.

Leaving aside race and ethnicity, the net worth of American families overall — the difference between the values of their assets and liabilities — held steady during the economic recovery. The typical household had a net worth of $81,400 in 2013, according to the Fed’s survey — almost the same as what it was in 2010, when the median net worth of U.S. households was $82,300 (values expressed in 2013 dollars).

The stability in household wealth follows a dramatic drop during the Great Recession. From 2007 to 2010, the median net worth of American families decreased by 39.4%, from $135,700 to $82,300. Rapidly plunging house prices and a stock market crash were the immediate contributors to this shellacking.

Our analysis of Federal Reserve data does reveal a stark divide in the experiences of white, black and Hispanic households during the economic recovery. From 2010 to 2013, the median wealth of non-Hispanic white households increased from $138,600 to $141,900, or by 2.4%.

Click here to read the full study.

Americans' Wealth Since Great Recession

Tim Wise Discussing Race and Racism on The Rock Newman Show

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , , , , on December 12, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Talk show host Rock Newman leads a very insightful conversation with Tim Wise, a man who has spent much of his adult life fighting racism and educating others about white privilege.

Forgiving Ferguson

Posted in African Americans, Black Men, Trayvon Martin with tags , , , , on December 8, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Ferguson Looters2

By Ulysses “Butch” Slaughter

I know Michael Brown lived in Ferguson. I know Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson. I know Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson. I recommend forgiving in Ferguson.

I see the frustration in Ferguson. I hear the cries in Ferguson. I sense the fear in Ferguson. And I still recommend forgiving in Ferguson.

But what does Forgiving Ferguson mean?

Maybe we should start by asking and answering the question: What is forgiving? Yes, let’s start there.

What is forgiving?
No. We shouldn’t start there. That is too broad. You and I need to be more specific.

I think it makes more sense to start this discussion with me: the writer, the author, the channel of this idea called Forgiving Ferguson.

Yes. Let’s start with me.

Why start with me? Because that’s how all of us start to understand anything: we start with our individual selves. We start with our individual understanding based on our individual experiences. We start from within. We don’t start with FOX, CNN, OWN or CNBC. I start with Channel ME. You start with Channel YOU.

Michael Brown

So – yes – let’s start with me and then we will talk about the idea of forgiving and then we will go to Ferguson and revive Michael Brown. We will go to New York and resuscitate Eric Garner. We will go to Sanford and reawaken Trayvon Martin. We will even go to Money and resurrect Emmett Till.

But before we talk about anything else, I have to start with me and you have to start with you. As I share with you what I know about forgiving, I want you to think about what forgiving means in your life. More often than not, it is through your personal lens of forgiving that you see the possibilities of forgiving for others.

If you have already decided you don’t want to take this journey of forgiveness then it is best that you stop here and stay here. It’s your channel. It’s your choice. You can ignore this call to forgiving Ferguson.
But remember: time will reconcile all of your problems with or without your permission. You can stop but the world will keep spinning. Forgiving offers you an opportunity to enhance your channel and experience a miracle. Want to experience a miracle? Forgive.

So I’m starting with me. I know something about forgiving. I’ve had to consider this idea and its implementation. I’ve had to consider the theory and how I apply it. I know a little about forgiving. That’s all any of us can ever know: our little part. And we know it intimately. Our experience with forgiving is like the blood running through our veins and arteries. We feel it. It feeds us. We can talk about our relationship to forgiving. We can tell others what we know but they won’t ever really know what we’re talking about. They have to do the forgiving work to know the forgiving work.

I was a 12-year-old boy when I heard my father shoot my mother in her head and kill her. I was a 12-year-old boy when I found my mother’s body fallen outside my bedroom door bleeding from a hideous hole in her right temple. I was a 12-year-old boy when the State of Illinois called on me as a chief witness against my father.

I was 45 years-old boy when I went to my father’s house to kill him. For 33 years, I deteriorated inside memories of my father’s cruel domestic violence. For 33 years I was steeped in rage, anger and hatred. So I went to kill my father. I went to his doorstep and put my frustrated face in front of his fragile face. I thought murder was the answer. I thought revenge held the key. I was wrong.

I forgave my father. I took him to my mother’s gravesite. I took him to meet my children. He died two months later.

Before I reunited with my father, I often said “I hate him.” People would say “you should forgive him.”

When I reunited with my father, I often said “I love him.” People would say “how can you love him?”

I stopped tuning in to other people’s advice on the matter. I tuned into Channel Me.

I didn’t want the “weight” of hate and I despised the burden of revenge. I forgave my father, liberated myself and established a new family legacy.

I know something about forgiving. But the word forgiving means something different for everyone who says the word. We’ve all got different experiences. We all have different translations. We all have different truths.

Generally speaking to forgive is to surpass limitations. Forgiving is an expansion not a concession. Forgiving is forward. Forgiving is not failure. To forgive is to free your mind from the deceptive demons that whisper in your ears and say “you were defeated.” Forgiving brings on an instant and deep inner justice that no verdict can reverse. To forgive is to journey forward completely unshackled by chains of the past.

People will say: “I will forgive, but I will not forget.”

That popular, but questionable, saying is a discussion for another article. But to be sure here, I am not suggesting that you forget. I am suggesting you embrace liberating memories. Liberating memories are the channel through which you create a liberated future. Pain-filled memories can create a pain-filled future.

Change your channel and let the dead bury the dead.

Like a lot of people – like too many people – I watched the news on some television channel waiting for a verdict. FOX, CNN, CNBC. Doesn’t matter which channel, doesn’t matter the talking head. I was running their “objective” information through Channel Me. I looked at scenes from a place called Ferguson. I’d seen images like these before. I’d seen Black people respond like this before. Is this our best response? Is this our only response? Have we lost our imaginations?

How do we disrupt what we say is a vicious cycle perpetrated against Black Men? Is the answer to set fires? Loot for material shit? Turn cars over? Fight police? Throw bottles? Are these actions part of a spontaneous ritual in honor of people we claim to love?

We can and should do better. We can and should forgive Ferguson.

What would forgiving look like in Ferguson? It could start with a massive silence. It could continue with people quietly returning to their own homes, looking at their family members, expressing gratitude for life and recommitting to deep love. It could start with people forgiving and seeking forgiveness from those closest to them. It’s easy and maybe even convenient to go running out into the big crowds, getting lost in the group mentality and forgetting you have rifts right in your own home. Forgiving in Ferguson could start with each individual and in each individual household. I bet Michael would be cool with that.

There was a time when I would look at my children and wish my mother was alive and could see them. It took some time, but eventually it became very clear to me that my mother lives inside of my children. Her blood runs through their veins. Her blood supplies their heartbeats. She sees through their eyes. She is alive and very well.

My father did not and could kill my mother. Darren Wilson did not and could not kill Michael Brown. But is our inability to forgive killing Michael? Is our lack of imagination setting us up for more of the same shit on a different day?

When I was a little boy, I used to ask my mother when I would be old enough to fight my father. She always said the same thing: “I don’t want you to fight your father. I want you to be better.” She didn’t say I was better. She said “be better.”

Imagine a large, poised group of Black Men in Ferguson holding a press conference – a forgiveness press conference and asking Darren Wilson to join them. He agrees. They look him in the eyes and they forgive him. They embrace him. Together with Wilson, these Black Men establish an annual ritual for Michael. They get together to “be better” and remember together. This could actually happen. There are all kinds of possibilities when you journey into forgiving.

Can you imagine breaking bread with someone who killed your loved one? Can you imagine getting to know someone who killed your loved one? I can.

You can’t? Maybe it’s time for you to tune out the social static and change your channel. Maybe you should reflect on what you can do where you live to Forgive Ferguson and bring honor to this moment.

Michael is watching us. Eric is watching us. Trayvon is watching us. Emmett is watching us. Like my mother Clarice, they are alive and very well. What do they see? What would they want? Fighting or forgiving? Bitter or better?

Forgiving changes everything and everywhere.

Even in Ferguson.

Butch SlaughterUlysses “Butch” Slaughter is author of the forthcoming book “Forgive: the new mantra for Black Men.” Mr. Slaughter has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Network, The Dr. Phil Show and The CNN Headline News Network with Suzanne Roberts. Visit www.butchslaughter.biz for more information about his work.

R&B LEGEND CHARLIE WILSON ANNOUNCES FOREVER CHARLIE TOUR WITH SPECIAL GUESTS KEM AND JOE

Posted in Music, Music and Video Releases with tags , , , on December 7, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Charlie Wilson Forever

Pre-Sale Tickets: December 9
Tickets On Sale Nationally: December 12

The New Album Forever Charlie In Stores January 27, 2015

New York, NY – Grammy nominated artist Charlie Wilson announced today his new national tour Forever Charlie will kick off on February 12, 2015 in Cleveland, OH and will wrap on March 27 in Oakland, CA. The tour is named after Wilson’s upcoming album that is slated for a January 27 release on RCA Records. Charlie Wilson’s new single “Goodnight Kisses” was the #1 most added song at Urban Radio and Billboard says about the single “…Over snap-and-swing doo-wop-inspired production, the GAP Band co-founder sings sweetly about his loved one’s smoochies. At 61 years old, Wilson is still as convincing a romantic as ever.”

Fans who pre-order Forever Charlie, from the singer’s official on-line store, will gain first access to pre-sale tickets for the upcoming tour (http://myplay.me/1cv2). At the time of purchase, buyers will receive a pre-sale code. This particular pre-sale will begin on December 9 at 10 AM local time. The general public on-sale begins December 12 starting at 10 AM local time. Detailed information will be available on http://www.charliewilsonmusic.com.

American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Wednesday, December 10 at 10 AM through Thursday, December 11 at 10 PM. All times are local.

VIP packages will be available and will include a seat within the first 10 rows and a meet and greet with Charlie Wilson (among other exclusive VIP tour items).

“I am so glad to be on the road once again and to bring my show to so many cities across the country. It’s going to be a special night for all the ladies that will join me and my special guests!” says Charlie Wilson. “I am looking forward to sharing the stage with my two talented friends Kem and Joe. They are both artists that I admire and am honored to have them on my tour. We are planning a show the audience won’t ever forget.”

Jeff Sharp, Vice President of Urban Touring AEG Live says “The Forever Charlie Tour is the most prominent R&B tour for an adult urban audience that is scheduled to hit the road in 2015 thus far. The fact that three of the most important male vocalist/entertainers of our era are sharing the same stage nightly is something that brings AEG as a company to commit any and all of its many assets to the project.”

Wilson has received seven Grammy nominations and multiple awards throughout his career; he was named Billboard magazine’s #1 Adult R&B Artist and has had eight #1 records that topped the Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary radio chart including, “Without You,” “Charlie, Last Name Wilson,” “Magic,” “There Goes My Baby,” “Can’t Live Without You,” “You Are,” “Life of the Party” and “My Love Is All I Have.” Most recently, Wilson received a Grammy nomination for the song “If I Believe” in the Gospel category; he was also an NAACP Outstanding Album Award winner for the album Love, Charlie and BET presented to Wilson a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

For the latest on Charlie Wilson please visit his official website at www.charliewilsonmusic.com.

For press inquiries, please contact:

For Charlie Wilson – M2M Construction:
Roberta Magrini\roberta@m2mconstruction.com
Sonia Muckle\sonia@m2mconstruction.com

For Charlie Wilson Tour Press:
Karen Lee\kl364@aol.com
Juanita Stephens\juanitastephenspr@gmail.com

For AEG – It Is Done Communications:
Linda Stewart\ljstewartprpro@aol.com

For RCA Records:
Theola Borden at Theola.Borden@rcarecords.com

America’s Police Brutality = Code of Silence and Blue Wall!

Posted in Black Men, Black Men In America, Racism with tags , , , , on December 7, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Barkley Poster

By Harold Bell

The names Jack Johnson, Jesse Owens, Paul Roberson and the list goes on and on when it comes to athletes and politics. Jack Johnson was the first black heavyweight Champion of the world. He won the title in 1908 and he was free in every sense of the word. He openly dated white women. Olympic sprinter Jesse Owens won four Gold Medals in the 1936 Olympic Games in spite of the cry of white supremacy by Adolph Hitler. He single handedly crushed the myth in Berlin, Germany with Hitler watching in a private box.  Paul Roberson is considered one of the greatest all-around athletes in American history. He starred in football at Rutgers University. He was also a star in both stage and film versions of the Emperor Jones and Show Boat, and established himself as a popular screen and singing superstar. Paul spoke out against racism and became a world activist and was blacklisted during the paranoia of McCarthyism created by Senator Joe McCarthy in the 1950s.

The uproar caused by the five NFL St. Louis players supporting Michael Brown in Ferguson was nothing new when it comes to the black athlete. They were not re-inventing the wheel. In the late 50s NFL legendary running back Jim Brown founded the Black Economic Union to encourage black athletes to give back to the black community and establish their own businesses. He was the leading force of the black athlete’s involvement in support of Muhammad Ali’s stand against the Vietnam War!

In the 1968 Olympic Games sprinters Tommy Smith and John Carlos won the Gold and Bronze medals respectively. But their actions during the award ceremonies made the world take notice. They both raised their hands with Black Gloves opposing racism in America.  Dr. Harry Edwards of San Jose State. Dr. Edwards is the author of The Revolt of the Black Athlete and was the architect of the 1968 Olympic Project for Human Rights. Smith and Carlos were student/athletes at San Jose State.

Harry Edwards

Dr. Edwards was once an outstanding athlete on the San Jose State track and field team. He has been a contributor to The Original Inside Sports for over four decades.

When former NBA great and ESPN analyst Charles Barkley’s interview on CNN went viral as it related to his opinion on black men in America/Michael Brown and Ferguson. I contacted Dr. Edwards to make sense of the uproar. I also spoke to Michael Wilbon of ESPN to get his take on his friend Barkley’s views on racism and black men in America. Wilbon has agreed that we can disagree!

He has written two books on Charles Barkley. He said “Harold I didn’t hear the interview but I will see Charles tomorrow and I will get a response!” I turned to ESPN’s PTI to watch Wilbon and his partner Tony Kornheiser, but during that segment of the show there was no mention of Kenny Smith’s Open Letter to Barkley so I moved on.

This was Dr. Harry Edwards’ take on Barkley and Wilbon:  “I love Charles Barkley– as long as he is sitting on the sports desk at TNT trying to explain why the Clippers will never win a championship as long as their toughest, most consistently competitive player is a 6’1″ point guard.  But when he begins to offer jaw-droppingly ignorant and uninformed opinions on issues from Obama’s Syria/ISIS policy to the “criminal” predispositions and proclivities of the Black community, I find something more productive to do like taking out the garbage or cleaning up my lawn. And the saddest part of it all is that he apparently doesn’t realize that the networks and interviewers are just flat out CLOWNING HIM!!!  It’s a “What crazy crap can we prompt Barkley to say. And all the better if it is an attack on Black people!”

The “guess what Charles Barkley said on CNN?” factor is incentive enough for the networks to persist in presenting and promoting this clown show– long past the time when it is either funny or even remotely engaging. Now both Barkley and the interviewers look like clowns– and justifiably so.”

Forget Michael Wilbon – he is as sick and confused as Barkley. He is the guy who while sitting on a major cable network anchor desk said ” I call my Black friends “Nigger” all the time – and there is nothing wrong with that.” This is a sentiment that Barkley agrees with– until the White boy sitting next to them calls somebody “Nigger” and then they want him fired! So don’t hold your breath for Wilbon to exercise either the balls or the intellectual integrity to challenge Barkley on his bull shit.

Dr. Harry Edwards

Summary:
Jeff Roorda business manager of a white St. Louis Police Association called for disciplinary action against the five NFL St. Louis players whose “Hands Up” gesture was an expression of their Freedom of Speech as they ran on to the field of play. He demanded that the players be punished and that the team issue an “public apology.” Roorda has a history of corruption as a St. Louis police officer.

In the meantime, the black Ethical Society of Police (220 members strong) said, “We completely supports the actions of the St. Louis Rams football players in which they showed support for the family of Michael Brown by entering the stadium with their hands up.”

I had the opportunity to listen to the videotaped debate between Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith on Inside the NBA held on Thursday night. The topic, Kenny’s Open Letter to Barkley as it related to Michael Brown and Ferguson.  I was further confused by Barkley’s response to Smith for adding the word “Slavery” to the dialogue in his Open Letter, but he found nothing wrong with his friend Michael Wilbon using the word ‘Nigger’ as his word of choice while addressing his everyday buddies? What ever happen to common sense?

My opinion, Kenny had every right to bring slavery into the conversation. There is an old saying “If you don’t know your history you are bound to repeat it.” It is evident to me that Barkley does not know his black history. Shaq O’Neal made a valid observation when he said, “I don’t believe all the evidence is in the Ferguson case” but he was smart enough to leave the debate in the hands of Smith and Barkley. Shaq is a big supporter of law enforcement.

Any objective person no matter the color of one’s skin could easily see that black folks in the town of Ferguson were set-up to fail—they were in a no win situation. Still burning and looting should not have been an option.
First, it does not take a Grand Jury 100 days to reach a decision on whether Officer Darren Wilson should be send to trial. Second, why would the Governor of the state of Missouri put 400 National Guardsmen on standby before the decision is handed down and why is the decision read at 9:00 pm? Why would a responsible leader put the town in danger by giving the looters an opportunity to seek and destroy under a cover of darkness? Where were the 400 National Guardsmen that the Governor put on alert once the burning and looting started—nowhere to be found? Why were there no arrest made on the first night of the looting and burning? Smells like a set-up to me. The same set-up I was an eye/witness to in DC in 1968 when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, TN.

I was working in the U Street corridor when the orders were send down to the police to only moderate the looting and burning on the first day. The next day there were wholesale arrest, much too late for many businesses and residents of the inner-city—they had lost everything! A piece of Black History Charles Barkley knows absolutely nothing about because of his hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil mentality.
Charles Barkley claims without the police many black communities would be like “The Wild, Wild West!” And his most ridiculous observation ‘I don’t think the death of Eric Garner was a homicide.”

Garner was the black man choked to death on a New York street corner while selling loose cigarettes. He died while six white cops wrestled him to the ground, one had an illegal choke hold barred by the NYPD. He said several times to his attackers, “I can’t breathe.” But no one was listening. The Grand Jury freed the white cop.
But there are still claims that body cameras are the solution to police brutality but when the crime was caught on camera the guilty cop still gets a free pass. Something is wrong with this picture!

I have spent 50 years working in the schools, streets, playgrounds and courts here in the DMV.  I have seen the Good, Bad and the Ugly in law enforcement. There are some goods cops but they are outnumbered by the bad and ugly. The bad and ugly are usually the cowards who hide behind their guns and badges. In today’s world it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish the thugs from the cops. Some people say, “They are one of the same.”

For some reason beyond me the Powers-To-Be can’t see the Big Picture when it comes to police brutality in this country. No amount of body cameras are going to solve the Ebola like disease of racism embedded in police departments throughout this country. “The Code of Silence and The Blue Wall” established to protect crooked and corrupt cops are the real problems. Plus, the criminal justice system is overrun with judges who go along to get along with the corrupt cops. Until we can find a way to change the plantation mentality thinking of Charles Barkley and the “Us against Them” attitudes of cops around the country, we are going to continue going in circles while the Al Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons are allowed to keep hustling the black community pretending to keep hope alive while our children and black men die in the streets.

Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC.  Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities.  The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for over 40 years with the help of his wife through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc.   To learn more about Harold Bell visit his official web site The Original Inside Sports.com.

What Happened?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , on December 3, 2014 by Gary Johnson

The 1950’s and 1960’s

1950 Black MenSammy on GQ

1950 Black Fashion

Today

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Sagging Pants

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