Black Health

Nielson Report Finds Blacks Don’t Spend More than Whites

One of most repeated criticisms of the African American community is that it spends too much and invests too little. Now the Nielson Company has released a study entitled, “”The State of the African-American Consumer”, outlining the spending habits of African American shoppers. Most striking is that the report estimates the total buying power of African American consumers at 1 trillion dollars. The report also contradicts some commonly held assumptions about African American shoppers, such as the commonly held notion that blacks spend more than whites. Although it is true that blacks shop more than whites, they actually spend less per trip. According to the report, “African-Americans made 165.7 shopping trips per household over the past year, compared with 153 trips for non-African-Americans. However, African-Americans’ average basket ring per household was $37 per trip compared with $45 for non-African-American households. Overall, they spent $6,138 per household per year, vs. $6,883 for non-African-Americans.” In addition, black households made fewer trips per household to grocery stores, supercenters, mass merchandisers and warehouse clubs than non-black households . However, African American households made more trips to convenience stores than non-black households. The report goes on to point out a number of other interesting facts about the African American community, including the fact that the number of African-American households earning $75,000 or more has grown by 63.9 percent in the last decade and percentage of African-Americans attending college or earning a degree has increased to 44 percent for men and 53 percent for women. Read full report HERE .

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Dr. Boyce: America Celebrates New Unemployment Numbers, but It Got Worse for Black People

by Dr. Boyce Watkins Various media outlets are celebrating the fact that November and December were very good months in the battle against chronic unemployment.  This month, overall unemployment dropped from 8.7% to 8.5% and 200,000 jobs were created.  This is a big win for the Obama Administration, which has taken heat for economic problems.  This is the second  straight month where the overall data has gotten better for the US economy as a whole. But one untold story within the numbers is what has happened to black America.  In both November and December, nearly all of the gains in unemployment went to white Americans, with black American unemployment actually getting worse.   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , black unemployment rose once again from a startling 15.5% to an even worse 15.8%.  This is the second-straight increase, after last month’s increase from 15% to 15.5%. Black women experienced the worst of the unemployment outcomes for this month, with their jobless rate rising from 13% to 13.9%.  Black teens saw their unemployment rate rise from a tragic 36.9% to an even worse 42.1%.   Black males, surprisingly, saw a decline in their unemployment rate (16.4% to 15.7%), but continue to have the worst unemployment rate of any gender/racial category in the country. The racial disparity in unemployment is not the kind of information that will be revealed in “mainstream” media, cable news or network television.  Even MSNBC, the liberal organization that they are, would likely ignore such data because it undermines their desire to paint the Obama Administration in a positive light. Anyone who gave me flack for the piece I wrote about Melissa Harris Perry joining MSNBC would be wise to remember that the network only cares so much about racial inequality. But we must speak to this matter and realize one important, fundamental fact:  The current economic plan is not working for black America, and it has not worked for the last three years.  This is not a direct challenge to the Obama Administration, but they certainly must take responsibility for promoting a racialized version of trick down economics by making it clear that they have never felt compelled to promote targeted economic policy for those hit hardest by the recession. In the last calendar year, white unemployment has dropped from a relatively mild 8.3% to an even rosier 7.5%.  At the same time, black unemployment has risen from a 15.2% to 15.8% today.  When the recession is over, black unemployment will still be worse than white unemployment is right now.  Most hilariously, black people will be expected to cheer for the numbers that currently have white folks rioting in the streets – the same 7.5% that makes Tom Smith furious at President Obama will be fine for Shaniqua Jackson.  This makes no sense and speaks clearly to racial inequality in America. It’s time for a change in policy and time for us to start speaking up.  The media isn’t going to talk for us, so it’s time to demand our own voice.  Also, inequality must be confronted squarely by our political leaders in order for our country to move forward.  If political leaders aren’t acting to removing economic inequality, educational inequality and the effects of mass incarceration, they don’t deserve the African American vote.  This goes for Democrats, Republicans and everything in between – we deserve to feed our families too.    Dr. Boyce Watkins  is a Professor at Syracuse University  and founder of the Your Black World  Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.    

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Yvette Carnell: What ‘Cain’s Solutions Revolution’ Tells Us About Herman Cain

One of the most harrowing aspects of American politics is that all politicians lie, making it  difficult, if not impossible, to pin them down. So when I confronted my conservative friends with the idea that Herman Cain wasn’t a serious candidate and was, instead, just hawkin’ books and pushin’ Islamaphobia as a way of enriching himself, I was rebuffed.  “He’s a serious candidate” they said. “He’s a principled conservative” they ranted. Now, as Cain re-emerges with a “Cain Solutions Revolution” tour, his intentions have been unmasked. His campaign has always been about raising his profile in hopes of winning a coveted FOX show or ratcheting up book sales. And he’s not going to give that up just because his campaign imploded. He’s a hustler. He may as well don a zoot suit, a perm, and pinky ring. “The biggest comment when I ended my candidacy was, ‘Keep 999 alive,’ ” Cain said. “And that’s what this is about. The first solution we’re going to promote actively is ’999: The Revolution.’ ” Whatever. Plans are designed by serious candidates and elected politicians, and if those folks need input from a campaign drop-out, they can call Cain. No one needs a Cain sideshow but Cain. No one benefits from this spectacle but Cain. Cain is now, and has always been, a man out for himself, country be damned. And although his new initiative won’t benefit any of us, it has vindicated some of us. For that, Cain has my gratitude.  

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Chicago Bear Indicted: Faces 10 Years to Life on Drug Charge

A federal grand jury in Dallas indicted former Chicago Bears receiver Sam Hurd and alleged co-conspirator Toby Lujan on Wednesday, each with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, U.S. attorney Sarah R. Saldana of the Northern District of Texas announced. Agents in Chicago with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations arrested Hurd at a Rosemont, Ill., steakhouse in December, and the receiver was cut by the Bears two days later. Read more at blacklikemoi.com        

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Legendary Singer Etta James Leaves Hospital

Legendary songstress Etta James was released from Southern California Hospital on Thursday, according to her manager. The 73 year old singer was hospitalized two weeks ago for terminal leukemia and dementia. According to her manager Lupe Deleon, James is “home with her husband and family by her side.” James is most famous for her song “At Last”.

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“Single Ladies” Holds a Casting Call – You Interested?

The VH1 show “Single Ladies” needs extras for its upcoming season. Casting folks say they are “searching for super attractive, sexy, hot African American women ages 25-35 height and weight proportionate.” who are available Jan. 20. If that’s you email three photos and your dimensions along with contact information to Singleladies2atl@gmail.com. Put “HOT” in the subject line. Read more at blacklikemoi.com      

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Colombia Will Return Mistakenly Deported Teen

A Texas teenager who was mistakenly deported to Colombia when she ran away from home  in 2010 will be transferred to U.S. custody on Friday, officials said. Jakadrien Turner, who had been missing since 2010 after she ran away from home, was arrested for theft, and gave the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the name of a 22 year old Colombian woman who had numerous warrants. “It’s a giant step. I’m relieved, but I won’t be completely relieved until I get her in my arms again,”  said her mother, Johnisa Turner. “A weight has definitely been lifted.”   Read the original story HERE .

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Ryan Mack: 2012 – Back to Basics

Written By Ryan Mack, Author of Living in the Village   Here we are in the middle of yet another bad economy. Technically it is not a recession as the GDP numbers were better than expected for the year of 2011, the Dow Jones has recovered its losses, and analysts are expecting a stronger 2012 for the banks. Yet if you ask the average Joe in the Detroit area and across the country, most are concerned about their own personal economic well-being.  Is Greece going to successfully deal with their debt crisis? Is congress ever going to function properly? Will the housing market recover? Will the banks start lending again? Will the labor market pick up pace to increase employment? All these and more are questions that loom within the minds of many across the country. However, are these questions the most appropriate questions to ask at this time?   When the world seems to be in total chaos and you feel as if you are losing an economic grip, the beautiful element of financial literacy is there are always factors you can control regardless of the economic situation. So for the year of 2012 it is time to start asking the right questions which enable us to focus on those things that we can control.  Here are a few basic questions you should be asking yourself for this year:   Are you spending less than you earn each month?   This sounds like a simple question but most in this country are not accomplishing this task and operating their household in a deficit mode because of excessive amounts of personal debt. Don’t let another day go by this year without putting together a budget for your household that reflects less spending than your earnings.   Have you done everything possible to minimize your debt?   You would be surprised how few people actually take the time to assemble a strategy to eliminate their debt levels. This is the year that you must start your journey to being debt free; here are some simple steps.   1.         Go to  www.annualcreditreport.com  and print a copy of your credit report. 2.         Write down all the debt you see on your report from the largest debt on the top to the smallest. Make sure you organize the headings of each column to read the name of the creditor, telephone number, amount owed, total line of credit, interest rate, telephone number, minimum due, and any other information you feel is pertinent. 3.         Call EACH creditor and attempt to negotiate both the amount owed and the interest rate. 4.         With your budget you have already assembled, use any surplus to pay extra money on the smallest debt until it is completely paid off and then do the same for the next smallest debt owed. This is called the “snowballing” method.    Are you ensuring more of your purchases add to your net worth rather than decrease your net worth?   You should be putting yourself in a position to purchase more investments that add to your net worth, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and savings accounts, where the interest works for you. You should be gradually eliminating as much wasteful spending as possible on items that depreciate (decrease in value), such as cars, clothes, material things and bad debt; these are items where the excessive interest works against you and your money disappears into “money heaven.”   Are you doing all you can to minimize your taxes?   The top 400 income earners in the country have a tax rate of less than 17% because they are very proficient in maximizing tax loopholes.  You have access to loopholes as well but they mean nothing if you are not taking advantage of them. Purchasing a home, maximizing tax-deferred savings accounts and that new business that you should have started long ago are great ways to take advantage of tax advantages. Plan properly and succeed at minimizing your taxes.   Is your social status more important than financial independence?   This question resonates to the heart of financial literacy.  Rent-A-Center preys on those who desire to look good on the outside with instant gratification, while being financially strapped because of  excessive fees and interest paid for material items.  The Rush Card preys on those who want to look good by using a card with a Visa logo because that gives you “status”, but those who hold it pay fees they can’t afford and more than likely don’t have a bank account which can help them accumulate wealth more effectively.  Someone is dead today because a mob of people were so desperate to purchase a pair of Jordan sneakers. One unfortunate individual was trampled to death while spending $200 for a pair of shoes that were perceived to add to their social status (and incidentally cost $5 to make.)    How much time, energy, and thought have you allocated to create ways to build wealth?   We must be real with ourselves in 2012. The jobs that once were will probably be never more. The companies that have been laying off have now discovered how to work more effectively with a smaller workforce by maximizing productivity from the current work pool and maximizing the use of technology. If you are amongst the unemployed, underemployed, or simply are looking for additional ways to increase streams of revenue, it is up to you to create opportunities for yourself.   ·          If you currently have expertise in a specific area, are not looking to acquire additional skill sets but were laid off, you might consider relocating in order to find employment with a firm looking to hire someone like you. ·          If you are willing to invest the time and energy you might consider taking additional courses at the local community college or university to learn an entire new trade or skill set. ·          If you are looking to create another stream of revenue you might consider doing some research on the needs in your community and creating a business that intersects your passion in life with the needs of your community.    None of these are quick, none of these are easy, none of these are without risk, and most likely you will have some setbacks. However, on the other side of your hard/smart work and effort lies empowerment for yourself and community.   I recently saw a graph that outlined a few employment scenarios. According to the graph, if we duplicate the BEST jobs creating year of the 1990s we won’t return to full employment until 2016.  We are in this for the long haul and there is no quick fix! The chickens have come home to roost as a result of the years of greed and excess on every level from the government, to corporations, and the people. While reality states that we will be in slow economy for some time, the bright side is that we can get out; we must, however, recognize that it will not be a quick turnaround. Let 2012 be the year where we ask the right questions, have the right mindset, and collectively do the right things that will benefit us and our communities. Let’s begin the task of righting a ship that has been going in the wrong direction far too long! Let’s get to work!   Regards, Ryan Mack, President of Optimum and Author of “Living in the Village” Who is Ryan Mack? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUQENite18U Pick up a copy of Ryan Mack’s “Living in the Village” and empower yourself AND your community today! www.livinginthevillage.com [The "Living in the Village" Commercial]   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrxiSnEeo1A

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Intellectual White Girl vs. Three Booty-Shaking Black Girls – Which One Is Going to be Successful?

by Madam President I’m a 25 year old woman without any children, so I don’t know all the details to parenting. However there is something wrong with this picture (video) below. I know many young women aspire to be the next Amber Rose-who admitted being a 15 year old stripper, and of course young women and even adults aspire to be Kim Kardashian-whose fame was elevated by a sex tape! For young women being a HO’fessional has taken the place of aiming to be a doctor in America. A perfect world does not exist; however there comes a time where African Americans must realize that they are no longer chained- Metaphorically speaking. A week ago-A 3 year old white girl met Diane Sawyer on good morning America because of her ability to distinguish between gender stereotypical… Read more on MadamPrezident.com

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Miranda P. Kincaid: My Secret Life – Having a Dad with Mental Illness

by Miranda P. Kincaid, Your Black World Growing up, my life was complex.  I was the child of an interracial couple who lived in Mississippi.  My father, who was disabled, stayed at home and did most of the things that a stay at home mom would do, like cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, and taking me to my numerous extracurricular activities.  My mother, on the other hand, worked outside of the home.  She was the one who took care of the bills and for the most part, was the breadwinner in the home.   Growing up, I never thought twice that this type of gender role reversal was strange.  After all, my parents provided everything my brother and I could possibly want and need.  All was well in my world, until my already complex life turned upside down forever. I didn’t know that my father had been diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia.  When I was younger, my parents would argue, which was normal for married people to do, but my father was more violent with his actions.  I remember one time my parents had gotten into this huge argument and he chased her around the car, while he carried a huge stick.  After he had calmed down, he didn’t even know that it had even taken place.  I was mortified at the entire experience, but since no one talked about my dad and his peculiar ways, I kept these feelings buried within me. Over the years, my dad’s illness had gotten worse.  He would constantly pace the house and look out of the blinds.  He would say things like, “I know they’re trying to kill me”, and “Look at them, they’re laughing because they want me dead.”  I would not even have friends over because I’d never know what type of “mood”, as my mother called dad’s outburst, he would be in.  Shame and embarrassment could not begin to describe how I felt.  Sometimes I wish that my parents would divorce or that my dad would just die. My father’s illness began to affect me in other ways.  For example, I would try extra hard to do things in a “normal” way to make extra certain that none of my dad’s “craziness” would somehow show through me. I tried extra hard to be perfect in everything I did.  It’s ironic that in order to escape all things insane, I actually almost drove myself to it while trying to live a sane life.   I would pray every night that I would not catch schizophrenia and that those voices my dad had would leave him too. With therapy and medication, my dad’s symptoms got better.  He began to hear the voices less and less and the paranoia subsided as well.  I began to connect with my father and understood that he was a person with an illness and not as an ill person.  I learned that living with someone with a mental illness was no different than living with someone who had cancer or some other health problem.  The only difference is our perception of people with illnesses. I lost my father in October of 2007 to renal failure.  As a typical “Daddy’s Girl”, I find it very hard sometimes, especially around the holidays and particularly on Father’s Day.  Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.  A person’s actions do not define who one is as a person and I now realize that my dad’s illness had nothing to do with me. It took me a long time to realize that everyone is one breaking point away from needing the assistance of a mental health professional.  In our community, it’s the unspoken acknowledgement that a person is “touched” or “not quite right”.  We tend to ignore it instead of understand it.  I hope my story   inspires others, who may be living with someone with a mental illness, to understand  that their struggle is not your shame.

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