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Freddie Allen

Stories by Freddie

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Race for Results shows Black children rank last on milestone index

Despite great progress that grew out of the Civil Rights Movement, “a web of stubborn obstacles remains” that prevents children of color, especially Black children, from reaching their full potential, according to a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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Suspended from Preschool?

Black student discipline triple that of Whites

Even before they typically learn to read, African American children – some as young as 4 years old – are taught a disgusting lesson: discrimination.

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Task force to revitalize the Black community

Rev. R.B. Holmes, a civil rights leader and pastor of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla., is heading up a task force of 40 ministers to undertake a 12-point action plan to revitalize the Black community, taking on issues ranging from the repeal of controversial “stand your ground” laws to supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

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Final push to get Blacks signed up for ACA

With less than two weeks left to sign up for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, grassroots supporters of the mandatory law and federal health officials are rushing to enroll Blacks, other people of color and young people in order to meet the Obama administration’s goal of reaching 7 million people by the end of this month.

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Are Black Students Worse?

Bias a factor in suspending Black students

A new collection of research shows that despite the myths surrounding Black student behavior, poverty and severity of the offense have very little to do with the rate Black students are suspended from school.

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Obama signs ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative

No one had seen President Barack Obama more emotional than last week when he announced “My Brother’s Keeper,” a new initiative aimed at helping young Black men.

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Obama receives new agenda for jobs, freedom

A group of civil rights leaders met with President Obama and several members of his cabinet last week to discuss the 1963-2013: 21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom, a formal document with more than 90 legislative policy and priority recommendations.

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Blacks still victimized by ‘stand your ground’

Two years ago, 14-year-old Trayvon Martin was returning from a trip from a nearby 7-Eleven store in Sanford, Fla., to purchase a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona tea when he was confronted by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman.

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Not enough Blacks receiving HIV treatment

Even though Blacks get tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, more than other groups, health care providers continue to struggle to get Blacks into treatment and keep them there, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Unemployment rate falls to 11.9 percent for Blacks

The unemployment rate for Blacks dipped to 11.9 percent in December, according to the Labor Department, largely because likely workers, discouraged after months of searching for jobs with little prospects, have simply stopped looking.

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Millions of Blacks still not covered

As the Obama administration makes strides to improve the functionality of HealthCare.gov, the flagship website for the Affordable Care Act, Republican lawmakers continue to block federal funds that would help millions of poor Blacks get health insurance coverage.

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Many in-home workers live in poverty

In-home workers, 90 percent of them women, often live in poverty, earn low wages and work grueling hours without many of the protections enjoyed by most workers, according to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit think tank focused on public policy that affects low- and middle-income families.

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New report calls for full employment

Fifty years ago, civil rights leaders dove headfirst into the on-going debate over American economic policy by placing the fight for equal employment opportunities at the forefront of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

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Having access to excellent teachers is civil right

A new study suggests that access to “excellent teachers” should be a civil right and that students should be able to “take legal action” to get better results.

Young Black voters pay higher ‘time tax’ at the polls

As the American electorate becomes more diverse, new voting laws threaten to disenfranchise young Black and Latino voters in what a new report called “the largest wave of voter suppression since the enactment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.”

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Blacks continue fight to secure voting rights

When lawmakers ratified the 15th Amendment in 1870, protecting voting rights for Blacks, opponents of the law lashed out, violently at times,

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Racism costs U.S. billions annually

Closing the income gap between Whites and minorities would boost earnings by 12 percent, an economic windfall of $1 trillion, for a nation burdened by debt and an anemic job market, according to a recent study by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Altarum Institute.

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Unemployment for Black women at 4-year low

As job prospects for Whites and Black men have slowed or stalled completely, Black women continue to gain ground in a weak labor market, according to the latest jobs report.

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Many poor Blacks in the South will remain uninsured

Even if healthcare.gov, the web portal for the federal health insurance exchange, worked perfectly, more than 5 million poor, uninsured adults, many of them Black, will continue to go without coverage, because they live in states that didn’t expand Medicaid, according to a recent brief by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Website stumbles on launch

Last week, President Barack Obama said what many people who visited healthcare.gov to browse and buy affordable health insurance already knew: The website, tied so heavily to the success of the Affordable Care Act, wasn’t working properly.

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Black farmers collect $1.2 billion

For decades, Black farmers fought the United States Department of Agriculture over racial discrimination. The farmers, mostly in the South, lost crops, their farms and their homes. Some farmers grew old and died waiting for the slow hand of justice to turn in their favor, but those that still toil in the fields can proclaim victory, the government has finally started cutting checks in the $1.2 billion settlement case known as “Pigford II.”

Bank to pay minority borrowers $2.85 million

Chevy Chase Bank agreed to pay $2.85 million to Black and Latino borrowers, following allegations of discriminatory home lending practices. The Maryland-based bank joins Wells Fargo and Bank of America as banking institutions that paid out million dollar settlements in class action lawsuits following the housing crisis.

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HBCUs must adapt to teach 21st century students

As Historically Black Colleges and Universities adapt to the rapidly changing educational landscape, advocates say that collaborative partnerships in business, in the community, and on campus will be needed to ensure that HBCUs survive and thrive in the 21st century.

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Black farmers collect $1.2 billion

For decades, Black farmers fought the United States Department of Agriculture over racial discrimination. The farmers, mostly in the South, lost crops, their farms and their homes. Some farmers grew old and died waiting for the slow hand of justice to turn in their favor, but those that still toil in the fields can proclaim victory, the government has finally started cutting checks in the $1.2 billion settlement case known as “Pigford II.”

Justice Department will sue N.C. over new voting laws

Stepping up efforts to combat voting laws that discriminate against Blacks, Attorney General Eric Holder announced plans to sue North Carolina over restrictive, new voting laws that critics say will suppress the minority vote.

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Black children among the nation’s poorest

As the American economy stumbles through an uneven economic recovery, Black children continue to suffer record levels of poverty, including 1 in 4 Black children under 5 years of age that live in extreme poverty, according to the Census Bureau.

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Insurance exchanges will extend coverage to millions

In less than a week, health insurance market exchanges will open across the nation and more than 40 million Americans, including 7 million uninsured Blacks, who were previously shut out of the health care system, will finally get access to neeeded care.

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Yes, the rich are getting richer

A new report confirms the old saw: The rich are getting richer. According to a report titled, Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, “From 2009 to 2012, average real income per family grew modestly by 6.0 percent but the gains were very uneven. Top 1 percent incomes grew by 31.4 percent while bottom 99 percent incomes grew only by 0.4 percent. “Hence, the top 1 percent captured 95 percent of the income gains in the first two years of the recovery.”

Obama’s reform plan ‘misplaced’ for HBCUs

President Barack Obama’s proposal to make colleges more affordable has some good points, but could disproportionately harm Historically Black Colleges and Universities, many of whom are already reeling from changes in the college student loan program that is causing fewer students to remain enrolled in Black colleges, according to education experts.

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Ben Jealous resigns as NAACP president

Five years ago, Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, made two promises. The first was to the NAACP to help the organization get to the next level, revitalizing the mission and the relevancy of the storied civil rights group for the 21st century and old and new battles ahead.

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New Black Paper seeks to call activists to action

“There is a ‘state of emergency’ without urgency in Black America,”

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Fiftieth Anniversary of March on Washington more diverse

The 50th Anniversary for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom celebrated a more diverse coalition and needs, but the central themes resonated around voting rights, jobs, gun violence and equality in minority communities.

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‘Stop-and-frisk’ policy declared unconstitutional

The stop-and-frisk policy practiced by the New York City police department was little more than “indirect racial profiling,” according to a federal judge who ruled that police routinely violated the Fourth and 14th Amendment rights of Blacks and Latinos.

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Department of Justice gets smart on crime

In a stunning turn in criminal justice policy, Attorney General Eric Holder announced steps the Justice Department will take to address overpopulation in federal prisons by changing mandatory minimum-sentencing guidelines and pushing non-violent drug offenders into rehab programs instead of prison cells.

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March on Washington for Jobs

Is it headed in the right direction?

Civil rights leaders will march on Washington, D.C., on Aug. 24 to observe the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech. Now economists, labor groups and community stakeholders want to make sure that the Black jobs crisis gets top billing on the agenda.

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Down, but not out

Civil rights leaders meet with President Obama on Voting Rights

The Voting Rights Act is down, but not out, and civil rights leaders joined President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. at the White House July 29 to discuss renewed efforts in the fight against voter discrimination.

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Black clergy stand their ground against Zimmerman verdict

Just as they did during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, last Saturday’s demonstrations in more than 100 cities around the nation to protest the not guilty verdict for George Zimmerman on charges that he murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, many ministers were in the forefront of protests at federal buildings in their communities.

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Activists urge end to War on Drugs

Black activists marked the 42nd anniversary of the War on Drugs with a protest in front of the White House aimed at ending a targeted action that has led to the disproportionate arresting, conviction and incarceration of Blacks for decades.

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‘Forgotten goals’ of the March on Washington

The hoopla surrounding the observance of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom often ignores the lack of progress made since 1963 on tough issues such as persistent unemployment and wage disparities, according to a newly issued report.

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Supreme Court affirmative action ruling a relief to many

Civil rights leaders greeted the Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin with lukewarm optimism.

Housing development for mentally disabled to receive $1.5 million

The Dallas City Council authorized a grant agreement for $1.5 million with Central Dallas Community Development Corporation during its weekly meeting on June 12. The CDC plans to construct 50 permanent housing units to support individuals suffering from mental illness, addiction or homelessness.

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EEOC sues Dollar General, BMW

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency that enforces federal employment discrimination laws, filed lawsuits against BMW and the discount retailer Dollar General alleging that the companies’ broad use of criminal background checks discriminate against Black applicants and employees.

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Autism often goes undetected in Black children

Areva Martin watched her youngest child play with growing concern. Marty was almost 18 months old and he didn’t play like other kids his age. Instead of racing toy cars on a track or across the floor, Marty would organize them in lines. He did the same thing with crayons. Instead of scribbling on paper or trying to color, he would just line them up. Marty played obsessively with random objects that he would find around the house: a house shoe, a cup or a spoon would consume hours of playtime. But Martin, a lawyer living in Los Angeles, was most concerned about his speech.

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‘Food stamps’ cuts will hurt poor Black families

Both the House and Senate have passed bills that would reduce funding of the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps, but the extent of the cuts will not become known until negotiators from both chambers agree to a compromise measure.

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More Black lawyers needed in Supreme Court

In nearly 4,500 minutes of arguments heard by the justices of the United States Supreme Court since October, one Black lawyer stood before them for less than 12 minutes. As the nation’s highest court becomes more diverse – with one Black attorney and three women, one being Latina – the small pool of lawyers that they see tend to lack diversity.

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Black unemployment decreased in April

The unemployment rate for Black men and women dipped slightly in April, with females showing greater progress, according to last month’s Labor Department report.

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Cuts to aid decreases college affordability

As President Obama continues to underscore the need to increase the college-educated workforce significantly by 2020, all except two states have slashed their funding for higher education.

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The road to parity: Urban League reports Blacks are slipping

Blacks have fallen behind in their efforts to reach parity with Whites in several key areas since 2010, according to the National Urban League’s new State of Black America report.

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New loan policies fail Black students in college

WASHINGTON (NNPA) - Like thousands of Black college students, Bethanie Fisher, a psychology major at Howard University, depended heavily on the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students program that allows parents to borrow the full amount of college tuition and fees. During the 2007/2008 school year, an estimated 33 percent of undergraduate students that earned degrees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities received Parent PLUS Loans, double the rate of all undergraduate students nationwide.