Challenges to Diversity from an African-American Perspective. A complete understanding of challenges to Extension diversity from the African-American perspective requires recognition of the very different and difficult social, political, and cultural history that characterizes the presence of people of African decent in this country.
This paper presents an historical overview of social and political factors that limit the amalgamation of African Americans into the mainstream of American life, briefly describes traditional response behaviors of African-Americans given this historical background, and identifies current barriers to Extension diversity efforts resulting from the factors. Historical Perspective When Africans first came to America approximately 350 years ago, they were not fleeing religious persecution, not intent on finding a better way of life, not seeking haven in the economic and political systems of this country, and it was not of their own volition or will. Tavis/West: - Los Angeles Sentinel. We Know We’re Hurting, Now Tell Us the Truth About Why This is a reprise of an article that I did back in December of 2005.
At the time, I pretty much predicted what we’re going through today. No, I don’t claim to be a prophet, but the writing on the wall was so clear back then that anyone with common sense could easily connect the dots. The very same is true today. That’s why it is so hard to fathom why Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are spending so much time and effort stating the obvious instead of telling us what we need to hear as a people, and then coming up with a plan of action–that is, unless you take their own self-interest into account:
LEADERSHIP ACCOUNTABILITY CRUCIAL FOR BLACKS - Los Angeles Sentinel. A lack of accountability among Black leaders stifles Blacks’ progress.
And their usual silence on many important issues is egregious. Predictably, they do join in expressing outrage over blatantly racially motivated killings like that of Michael Brown by the police in Ferguson, Missouri. BLACK IMMIGRANTS NOT PART OF IMMIGRATION REFORM First of two parts - Los Angeles Sentinel. Immigration is again on the front burner for President Barack Obama and Congress.
A bi-partisan group of eight senators crafted an immigration bill and plan to meet with business and labor leaders, this week, who have agreed to an outline for bringing foreign workers into the U.S. However, as usual, the latest rash of meetings on immigration has virtually excluded Black immigrants from continental Africa, Haiti, the Caribbean and Latin America. Since Blacks’ views on immigration reform are largely ignored, today’s column and next week’s revisit a position which, though controversial, mirrors the feelings of many African Americans and provides information and an afro-centric focus rarely, if ever, mentioned in the immigration reform debate.
In California, the “Dream Act” creates new hope for undocumented immigrants throughout this country who have completed some college or served in the military. However, for Black undocumented immigrants no such opportunity or hope exists. NEW ACCOUNTABILITY NEEDED FOR BLACKS' PROGRESS - Los Angeles Sentinel. The word “accountability” is used so often and indiscriminately, it has become an almost meaningless buzz word, especially for those in leadership positions.
Today’s column examines some implications of a disconnect between the rhetoric and reality of accountability among African Americans. (The definition of accountable includes “obliged to account for one’s acts…and accepting responsibility for one’s actions or inactions.”) For purposes of this discussion, accountability applies to virtually every stratum, from formal organizational leadership to individuals’ obligation to be accountable for their own behavior. Accountability seems most often mentioned when describing the performance of elected or appointed public officials.
However, the community’s failure to recognize and acknowledge the need for broad, overall accountability absolves everyone, leadership in particular, from any sustainable accountability. SILENCE PREVAILS AS SCHOOLS FAIL BLACK STUDENTS - Los Angeles Sentinel. Public schools fail to educate Black students and a prolonged silence of the total community, parents and Black leadership especially, contributes to the problem.
Inequities and near criminal negligence by urban school districts like the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have virtually ensured that Black students do not receive a quality education. The African American Learners Initiative (2001) was a notable exception; it focused exclusively on LAUSD’s Black students, but out of the public’s eye, the Initiative morphed into the circuitous, “Action Plan for Culturally Relevant Education that Benefits Black Students and All Other Students.”
SILENCE PREVAILS AS SCHOOLS FAIL BLACK STUDENTS - Los Angeles Sentinel.