The Increasing Danger of Addiction to Video Games in Children

The Increasing Danger of Addiction to Video Games in Children


It is estimated that between 5 and 8 percent of children and teens are addicted to this form of entertainment. In recent days, the World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized video game addiction as a mental health disorder, an opinion that is not shared by all experts on these games.

One of the conditions that make their use attractive for children is that they can be practiced with very few elements, unlike more traditional games. At the same time, they allow children to have an escape from the difficulties and demands of the real world.

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Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

Black History Note – Betsey Stockton: Missionary and Educator

Betsey Stockton: Missionary and Educator


Karen A. Johnson,

Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies & Education at the University of Utah

English: Betsey Stockton was born in slavery c...English: Betsey Stockton was born in slavery c. 1798 in New Jersey. She traveled to Lahaina, Hawaii with Rev. C. S. Stewart in 1823 and worked as a teacher. She returned in 1825, and taught in Philadephia, Canada, and then Princeton, where she died in October 1865. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prior to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1890s by foreign businessmen who were “unofficially supported by the United States military,” Catholic Presbyterian, Mormon, and other Protestant missionaries were “especially prominent in their religious zeal to convert and save the souls,” of the indigenous Hawaiians (Au 78; Jackson xix). During the early 1820s, a number of young female Christians took up the torch and embarked on missionary work overseas. Indeed, their desire to do the Lord’s work in remote regions of the world has its roots in the gospel of Matthew: 12 v. 50, which states: “For whosoever shall do the will of my father which is in Heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Zwiep 40). During this time, it was not uncommon for 19th century Black women missionaries and evangelists to travel in the U.S. and its territories to do ministry work. As Marcia Riggs explains, 19th century Black women evangelists and missionaries were “like biblical prophets … who brought faith out of the … sanctuary to the marketplace of human affairs where history was in process” (Riggs xii).

Betsey Stockton, a former enslaved person in the U.S., was one of the earliest Black women missionaries to travel to the Sandwich Islands (later Hawaiian Islands) in the early 1820s. No doubt Stockton felt a special calling to be part of history as God’s prophetic witness in an era when women Black women were still enslaved, considered second-class citizens due to their race and gender status; and generally denied the opportunity to become Protestant ministers (Johnson 7; Collier-Thomas).

Betsey was born in 1798 in Princeton, New Jersey into the slaveholding family of Robert Stockton. Robert later gave Betsey to his daughter, Elizabeth and son-in-law, Reverend Ashbel Green. Green, who was president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton College), taught Betsey reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and theology. He gave her “books and encouraged her to use the family library” (Johnson 7; Takara 14). In 1815, Green gave Betsey her manumission papers and the next year, she was accepted into the First Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey.

Betsey became a devout Christian and was very much immersed in the Presbyterian doctrines. In 1820, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missionaries granted her permission to travel with the second mission to the Sandwich Islands. Two years later, Betsey sailed to Honolulu, Hawaii with the Reverend Charles Stewart and his wife “on the Thames from New Haven, Connecticut” (Takara 14). Three days into her voyage, Betsey wrote the following in her diary on November 23, 1822:

“Saturday morning at daybreak shipped a sea. The water rushed into the cabin. I saw it with very little fear and felt inclined to say, ‘The Lord reigneth [sic], let us all rejoice.” … At 10 o’clock, I went on deck. The scene that presented itself was to me the most sublime I’d ever witnessed” (“Betsey Stockton’s Journal”).

Stockton arrived in Honolulu on April 27, 1823 and a month later, she traveled to Lahaina, Maui. In the 1825 issue of the Hawaiian Missionary Herald, it reports that “a colored woman connected with Mr. Stewart’s family … makes herself highly useful to the mission” in Maui (qtd in Nordyke, 243). From 1823 to 1825, Betsey cared for sick infants, secured clothes for the needy, and established a school on Maui for Native Hawaiian children. It should also be noted that while engaging in missionary work on the islands, Stockton continued to work as a domestic servant for the Stewarts.

While Stockton lived in Hawaii during the early 19th century, she was accorded the respect and trust of the local Hawaiians and fellow missionaries and her “advice and opinions were sought after in many matters” (Takara 15). After residing in Hawaii for over two years, Betsey Stockton relocated to Cooperstown, New York, with the Stewarts. In subsequent years, she taught indigenous Canadian Indian students on Grape Island and “led a movement to form the First Presbyterian Church of Colour in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1848” (“Betsey Stockton’s Journal”; Ravage 158). In addition, between the period of 1848 to 1865, Stockton moved to Philadelphia to teach Black children.

Betsey Stockton made pioneering endeavors as a missionary in Hawaii, but her legacy is not well known. Still, Stockton’s school “set a new direction for education in the Islands … [It] served as a model for the Hilo Boarding School,” and may have influence Samuel C. Armstrong, the founder of Hampton Institute, who also worked as a missionary in Hawaii during this period. After a full and productive life of service for the Lord, Betsey Stockton passed away in October of 1865 in Princeton, New Jersey (Takara 15).

Works Cited

Au, Wayne. “The Price of Paradise.” Rethinking our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice II. Ed. Bill Bigelow. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools LTD. Vol. 12 Issue 4 (Summer 1998).

“Betsey Stockton’s Journal, November 20, 1822 to July 4, 1823.” African American Religion: AHistorical Interpretation with Representative Documents. Ed. David W. Wills and Albert J. Raboteau. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, (2006). Web. January 5, 2014.

Collier-Thomas, Bettye. Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and their Sermons, 1850-1970. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1998.

Jackson, Miles M. “Introduction.” They Followed the Trade Winds: African Americans in Hawaii.Ed. Miles M. Jackson. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press (2004).

Johnson, Karen A. “Undaunted Courage and Faith: The Lives of Three Black Women in the West and Hawaii in the Early 19th Century.” The Journal of African American History. Vol. 91, No. 1, (Winter 2006): 4-22.

Nordyke, Eleanor C. “Blacks in Hawaii: A Demographic and Historical Perspective.” The Hawaiian Journal of History. Vol. 22 (1998).

Ravage, John W. Black Pioneers: Images of the Black Experience on the North American Frontier.Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press.

Riggs, Marcia. Can I Get A Witness?: Prophetic Religious Voices of African American Women: An Anthology. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books (1997).

Takara, Kathryn W. “The African Diaspora in Nineteenth Century Hawaii.” They Followed the Trade Winds. Ed. Miles M. Jackson. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press (2004).

Zwiep, Mary. “Sending the Children Home: A Dilemma for Early Missionaries.” The Hawaiian Journal of History. Vol. 24 (1990).


Editors Note: This guest post is part of the Blog Carnival of Blogging While Brown for Black History Month 2014. -M.P.


Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System l Chris Hedges

Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System

April 1, 2013

Photo illustration by PZS based on an image byLin Pernille Photography

By Chris Hedges

A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.

Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential—and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point. The No Child Left Behind program, modeled on the “Texas Miracle,” is a fraud. It worked no better than our deregulated financial system. But when you shut out debate these dead ideas are self-perpetuating.

Passing bubble tests celebrates and rewards a peculiar form of analytical intelligence. This kind of intelligence is prized by money managers and corporations. They don’t want employees to ask uncomfortable questions or examine existing structures and assumptions. They want them to serve the system. These tests produce men and women who are just literate and numerate enough to perform basic functions and service jobs. The tests elevate those with the financial means to prepare for them. They reward those who obey the rules, memorize the formulas and pay deference to authority. Rebels, artists, independent thinkers, eccentrics and iconoclasts—those who march to the beat of their own drum—are weeded out.

“Imagine,” said a public school teacher in New York City, who asked that I not use his name, “going to work each day knowing a great deal of what you are doing is fraudulent, knowing in no way are you preparing your students for life in an ever more brutal world, knowing that if you don’t continue along your scripted test prep course and indeed get better at it you will be out of a job. Up until very recently, the principal of a school was something like the conductor of an orchestra: a person who had deep experience and knowledge of the part and place of every member and every instrument. In the past 10 years we’ve had the emergence of both [Mayor] Mike Bloomberg’s Leadership Academy and Eli Broad’s Superintendents Academy, both created exclusively to produce instant principals and superintendents who model themselves after CEOs. How is this kind of thing even legal? How are such ‘academies’ accredited? What quality of leader needs a ‘leadership academy’? What kind of society would allow such people to run their children’s schools? The high-stakes tests may be worthless as pedagogy but they are a brilliant mechanism for undermining the school systems, instilling fear and creating a rationale for corporate takeover. There is something grotesque about the fact the education reform is being led not by educators but by financers and speculators and billionaires.”

Teachers, under assault from every direction, are fleeing the profession. Even before the “reform” blitzkrieg we were losing half of all teachers within five years after they started work—and these were people who spent years in school and many thousands of dollars to become teachers. How does the country expect to retain dignified, trained professionals under the hostility of current conditions? I suspect that the hedge fund managers behind our charter schools system—whose primary concern is certainly not with education—are delighted to replace real teachers with nonunionized, poorly trained instructors. To truly teach is to instill the values and knowledge which promote the common good and protect a society from the folly of historical amnesia. The utilitarian, corporate ideology embraced by the system of standardized tests and leadership academies has no time for the nuances and moral ambiguities inherent in a liberal arts education. Corporatism is about the cult of the self. It is about personal enrichment and profit as the sole aim of human existence. And those who do not conform are pushed aside.

“It is extremely dispiriting to realize that you are in effect lying to these kids by insinuating that this diet of corporate reading programs and standardized tests are preparing them for anything,” said this teacher, who feared he would suffer reprisals from school administrators if they knew he was speaking out. “It is even more dispiriting to know that your livelihood depends increasingly on maintaining this lie. You have to ask yourself why are hedge fund managers suddenly so interested in the education of the urban poor? The main purpose of the testing craze is not to grade the students but to grade the teacher.”

“I cannot say for certain—not with the certainty of a Bill Gates or a Mike Bloomberg who pontificate with utter certainty over a field in which they know absolutely nothing—but more and more I suspect that a major goal of the reform campaign is to make the work of a teacher so degrading and insulting that the dignified and the truly educated teachers will simply leave while they still retain a modicum of self-respect,” he added. “In less than a decade we been stripped of autonomy and are increasingly micromanaged. Students have been given the power to fire us by failing their tests. Teachers have been likened to pigs at a trough and blamed for the economic collapse of the United States. In New York, principals have been given every incentive, both financial and in terms of control, to replace experienced teachers with 22-year-old untenured rookies. They cost less. They know nothing. They are malleable and they are vulnerable to termination.”

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The World As It Is: 

Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

A collection of Truthdig Columns
by Chris Hedges

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Black men increasingly hard to find in medical schools



Black men increasingly hard to find in medical schools

A dwindling share of students pursuing physician careers are African-American men. Experts warn that the trend could exacerbate racial health disparities and doctor shortages.

By KEVIN B. O’REILLY, amednews staff. Posted Feb. 25, 2013.

As a medical student, Frank A. Clark, MD, was one of the few African-American men in his class. It wasn’t that he saw black men being rejected from medical school. The bigger problem was that he didn’t see many on track to get there at all.

“Even during my collegiate career, I was a biology major with a minor in chemistry, and I didn’t see many other African-American males on the premed route,” says Dr. Clark, now a psychiatry resident at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, S.C.

Black men are notable in that their numbers are lagging even as other minorities and women are continuing a long-term trend of gaining greater representation among medical school applicants and students, according to the most recent Assn. of American Medical Colleges report on medical education diversity.

The report said 2.5% of medical school applicants were black men in 2011, a drop from 2.6% in 2002. That compares with 9% and 11% increases in the share of Asian and Hispanic male applicants, respectively, during the same period. A 10% greater share of matriculating students were Asian men in 2011 than in 2002, and Hispanic men made up a 24% larger proportion of new medical students. The share of white male applicants and matriculants was stable.

10% of U.S. men 30 and older are black, but less than 3% of practicing doctors are black men.

Growth in the number of African-American women applying for — and attending — medical school has been comparatively weak as well, with their representation, as a percentage of all applicants and graduates, also in decline. However, their numbers are still enough to create, as they have for some time, the biggest gender gap among all racial or ethnic groups.

Twice as many African-American women as men applied to medical school, and black women accounted for nearly two-thirds of black students who were accepted and eventually matriculated. That disparity translates into graduation rates, with 63% of new black MDs in 2011 being women.

By comparison, the non-Hispanic white gender gap in favor of men is 55%-45%, and while most other racial and ethnic groups skew female, they don’t come near the African-American gender gap. Overall, according to AAMC, the male-female gap in applicants and matriculants in 2011 was 53%-47% favoring men, a near-historic low ratio that has held steady for the past few years.

The AAMC report said the “persistent” problem of black male underrepresentation among medical school applicants speaks to a need for medical schools, which have stepped up minority recruitment efforts in recent years to try to get their student bodies to reflect the American population, “to institute plans and initiatives aimed at strengthening the pipeline.” Efforts include attempts to interest more black male youth in medicine and hiring more faculty members “from racially and ethnically underrepresented groups.”

“We have a major, major problem in this country,” said Marc Nivet, EdD, the AAMC’s chief diversity officer. “There is just simply an enormous amount of indisputable evidence that we’re not intervening as effectively as we’d like as a society to increase the talent pool of African-Americans who are capable of taking advantage of the science curricula available up and down the pipeline.”

Despite a 3% rise in the total number of male African-American medical school graduates during the last decade, the proportion of new doctors who were black men fell from 2.6% in 2002 to 2.4% in 2011. African-Americans account for 13% of the U.S. population, but only 6% of 2011 matriculants were black, as are just 4% of practicing doctors. And while the Census Bureau reports that 10% of U.S. men 30 and older are African-American, less than 3% of practicing doctors are black men, according to American Medical Association data.

Multiple repercussions

The underrepresentation of black men in medicine is problematic for multiple reasons, experts say.

The shortage could worsen access to care in low-income communities, because black medical students are likelier than any other group to have a firm commitment to practicing in underserved areas, with 55% saying they plan to do so. Meanwhile, several studies have found that patients who are treated by physicians with whom they share racial or gender characteristics report greater satisfaction with their care and higher rates of medication compliance.

63% of new black MDs in 2011 were women.

With the U.S. Census Bureau projecting that nonwhites will account for a majority of the American population by 2050, a sputtering pipeline of black male doctors could worsen the physician supply problem. The AAMC projects that by 2025, the country will be short by 130,000 doctors of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

“This has huge implications,” said Rahn K. Bailey, MD, president of the National Medical Assn., which promotes the interests of African-American physicians and patients.

“Society does better with balance all the way around,” he said. “And we don’t have balance if we have disproportionately twice as many females as males applying to enter the profession, or twice as many from California as from New York, or twice as many people who want to go into surgery as into pediatrics. We need everybody. We need all hands on deck.”

Disparities begin early

The gap seen among African-American men in medicine does not start when students apply to medical school. About 3% of college graduates are black men, and women account for nearly two-thirds of black students to earn bachelor’s degrees. Nearly three-quarters of African-Americans majoring in biology or biomedical sciences are women, according to 2009 U.S. Dept. of Education data.

Nationally, 52% of male African-Americans earn high school diplomas, compared with 58% of male Hispanics and 78% of male non-Hispanic whites, said a September 2012 report published by the nonprofit Schott Foundation for Public Education. For every black male physician, there are about 50 African-American men incarcerated at the federal, state or local levels, according to 2009 U.S. Justice Dept. data.

Twice as many African-American women as men apply to medical school.

Reaching male African-Americans at younger ages is critical, experts say. Twelve medical and dental schools now take part in the six-week, tuition-free Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, administered by the AAMC and the American Dental Education Assn. The program, launched in 1989, each year offers intensive preparation for dental or medical school, clinical experiences, and academic enrichment in math and science to about 1,000 college freshman and sophomores who are from underrepresented minority groups or low-income families.

Some medical schools are working to encourage math and science among elementary and secondary school students. The Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., works with the local public schools as early as the third grade, offering field trips to Duke health care facilities. Starting in the fifth grade, 25 students from underrepresented minority groups or low-income families are selected from each participating school to join Duke’s BOOST program, which offers extra math and science instruction, overnight field trips and summer workshops. The outreach effort continues with high school students, said Brenda Armstrong, MD, dean of admissions at Duke’s medical school. The school had more black graduates in 2011 — 20 total, 14 women — than all but four other medical schools.

“A lot of this has to do with giving [male African-Americans] the academic tools to work with at an early stage, and you have to reinforce those successes and keep them in the system,” said Dr. Armstrong, a professor of pediatrics.

Affirmative action’s future in doubt

Experts’ concern about the diminishing share of black men entering medicine is accentuated by uncertainty about the future of affirmative action. A case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, could produce a ruling this year that restricts how publicly funded medical schools factor race, ethnicity and gender into admissions decisions. The AMA joined in a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold the ability to use race as one part of the admissions process.

The AMA also co-founded the Commission to End Health Care Disparities in 2004 with the National Medical Assn. The commission studies gaps in care and convenes expert panels to provide practice and policy recommendations. In 2002, the AMA launched the Doctors Back to School program, which sends black, Hispanic and other physicians to visit schools to encourage minority students’ interest in medicine.

Dr. Clark, the Columbia, S.C., psychiatry resident, has taken part in the back-to-school program and also made other trips to talk with area elementary and high school students. Role models are key to encouraging more male African-Americans to pursue math, science and medicine, said Dr. Clark, a member of the AMA Minority Affairs Section’s governing council.

“As physicians, we have an obligation to not only serve our community in terms of providing good patient care, but also to be mentors, to reach out to those people who look up to us,” he said. “People do look up to us. We may not be Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. We may not have won championships, but we still have a role in the community to play, and a role that’s vital to the community.”




The last decade reshaped medical school diversity

The proportion of African-American men in medical schools has fallen since 2002, while a rising share of medical students come from Asian and Hispanic backgrounds.

Group 2002 applicants (%) 2011 applicants (%) 2002 matriculants (%) 2011 matriculants (%)
White men 10,483 (31.2%) 13,506 (30.8%) 5,355 (32.5%) 6,252 (32.5%)
White women 8,974 (26.7%) 10,451 (23.8%) 4,619 (28.0%) 4,808 (25.0%)
Asian men 2,965 (8.8%) 4,645 (10.6%) 1,474 (8.9%) 1,968 (10.2%)
Asian women 2,984 (8.9%) 4,296 (9.8%) 1,556 (9.4%) 1,891 (9.8%)
Hispanic men 1,167 (3.5%) 1,655 (3.8%) 549 (3.3%) 790 (4.1%)
Hispanic women 1,274 (3.8%) 1,804 (4.1%) 581 (3.5%) 843 (4.4%)
Black men 874 (2.6%) 1,107 (2.5%) 391 (2.4%) 445 (2.3%)
Black women 1,738 (5.2%) 2,108 (4.8%) 735 (4.5%) 737 (3.8%)
Total 33,625 43,919 16,488 19,230

Note: Individuals who did not mark a race or ethnicity, or who identified as multiracial, foreigners, Native Americans, Alaskans, Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders are not included in this chart.

Source: “Diversity in Medical Education: Facts & Figures 2012,” Assn. of American Medical Colleges, November 2012; “Minorities in Medical Education: Facts & Figures 2005,” AAMC



“The Urgency of Now: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males,” Schott Foundation for Public Education, September 2012 (

“Adherence to Cardiovascular Disease Medications: Does Patient-Provider Race/Ethnicity and Language Concordance Matter?,” Journal of General Internal Medicine, November 2010 (

“Diversity in Medical Education: Facts & Figures 2012,” Assn. of American Medical Colleges, November 2012, and earlier years (


Copyright 2013 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

Will Globalization Destroy Black America? l THE BLACK STAR PROJECT

Will Globalization Destroy Black America?

Will Globalization Destroy Black America?

The lack of response to globalization by Black America is frightening and troubling. While much of the world has adapted to the new-world economy and new-world standards of existence, most of Black America is still operating much the same way it did in the 1950s and 1960s. But now, throughout Black communities in America, there is a whisper campaign by Black people who don’t know each other and Black people who live in different parts of the country, saying to each other, “We are in trouble!” We know it and the rest of the world knows it! Black America, as we know it, is in danger of not surviving globalization.

In the 21st century, there are only two kinds of people. Not Black or White, or rich or poor, or foreign or national. The two kinds of people in the world today are those who are educated and those who are not. Although education has become the new currency of exchange in the 21st century, the old American educational paradigm stopped working decades ago for Black Americans. Simply sending Black children to American schools without a clear purpose or goal has contributed to the demise of the Black community. Black America watched formerly third-world countries catapult over America to become educational super powers while America rested on its old, stale educational laurels and fell way behind much of the world in educational performance. And because Black America unthinkingly depended on the American education system to educate its children, we have fallen way behind.

The horrific educational, social, health, economic and criminal justice indicators in much of Black America predict a meltdown of gargantuan proportions in the near future for the Black community. But still, the thing that is most remarkable and unbelievable is the lack of response by Black Americans to this impending doom! Without numerous positive changes, practical well-thought-out ideas, massive mobilization and immediate action, the fate of many Black Americans is sealed. We will not be able to prosper in the cities of America or possibly in any city in the world where the new currency for existence is access to global information, higher-order critical thinking and advanced technological skills. There used to be a time when it was better to be poor in America than rich in other countries. Now it might be better to be poor in some other countries than to be poor in America.

Black people in America must immediately disengage from the diversions of mind-deadening entertainment, useless sports, hyper-sexuality, excessive social celebrations, pointless conversations and debates, meaningless media and the civil rights issue de jour approach to managing our problems. We must focus on the most important issue in our communities — making education the highest priority. We must create a culture of literacy and learning that replaces intellectual apathy and resistance to educational progress. Somehow, we must re-inspire our children to want to learn and to love to learn. But having educated children is not enough. We must have educated families and educated communities. Every Black man, woman and child must become part of this new community of learners.

Black America must take education out of the schools and universities and root it in our homes, our workplaces, our communities, our churches and even in our streets and prisons. The purpose of education as defined by the Equipped for the Future initiative, a federally sponsored effort to develop a framework for accountability in adult education, is to help people actualize their roles in society as parent/family members, citizen/community members and workers in the economy. If the education system that serves us is not meeting these objectives, it is a disservice to our children and our communities.

The ability of a people to survive in changing times is not magic, nor is it by chance. Success depends on people being able to change to survive in a new environment! And new environments demand new skills for survival. Equipped for the Future tells us that without certain basic skills, survival will be extremely difficult for Black people, or any people, in the 21st century. These essential skills are the ability to read with understanding; convey ideas in writing; speak so that others can understand; observe critically; listen actively; solve problems and make decisions appropriately; plan and put those plans into action effectively; use math to solve problems and to communicate; cooperate with others; guide others; advocate and influence; resolve conflict and negotiate; take responsibility for life-long learning; learn through research; reflect and evaluate; and use information and communication technology. These are the skills necessary to survive in the 21st century.

The solution to the issue of Black America’s poor response to globalization is to 1) Deconstruct value systems that have caused Black people to arrive at the precipice of non-existence; 2) Construct value systems that will rebuild the Black family as a purveyor of positive values, cultures, mores and education, and re-establish the Black family as the primary and most important social unit of our culture and society; 3) Embrace education as the highest value in the Black community; 4) Effectively manage the negative cultural influences that hugely impact the thinking and actions of Black boys; and 5) Understand that for the rest of existence, change is a required part of the living process. The faster Black America is able to put this plan into action, adopt these new principles and manage change, the more likely we will survive.

Today, many Black people seem to be having “cosmic flashbacks” to our time in slavery, which was the first crude effort at globalization that helped to set the stage for today’s globalization. For years, Black America was buffered from modern globalization by political boundaries and economic barriers. Now globalization has come to our country, our cities, our communities, onto our blocks and into our homes, schools and workplaces. Globalization has happened, whether Black America is ready for it or not. We still have time to make the necessary changes that will guarantee that Black people will survive into the 21st century and that we will thrive in this global economy. But there is not much time. With globalization, Black America has entered into the “Educate or Die” era. In this era, there are only two questions worth answering: “Will we change? Can we survive?” How we emerge from this era is up to us.

Phillip Jackson, Executive Director
The Black Star Project
3473 South King Drive, Box 464
Chicago, Illinois 60616
773.285.9600 or email at



The Case of Dr. Jahi Issa l RACE, HIGHER EDUCATION AND HBCUs -Update

09-01-12 Issa

Revision of October 26, 2012 publication
See Updates below


 Dr. Jahi Issa, until March 2012, worked as an Assistant Professor of History & Africana Studies at Delaware State University (DSU) in Dover. When a group of students assembled in protest of DSU President Dr. Harry Williams after the state auditor criticized the university’s business practices and for the decreasing percentage of black students at the historically black university, police arrested Issa and escorted him away until he dropped to the ground and requested an ambulance. After being seen at the hospital and later released, DSU police charged him with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, offensive touching of a law enforcement officer, and inciting a riot.

Issa was born and reared in St. Louis, Mo. and was awarded his PhD in history from Howard University. His forthcoming monograph examines the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Louisiana and its contribution to African nationalism. He is currently banned from the DSU campus and is facing a prosecution that could put him behind bars for
more than two years. The incident has fueled concerns that Professor Issa’s arrest and the pending charges represent an act of repression and retaliation for his outspokenness and the EEOC and other complaints he has filed while he was on the faculty at DSU, and not because of any actual crimes he committed. The situation is depressing and he is in need of support in this difficult time.

We ask, what is the crime ?  Is there no freedom of speech for a progressive Black educator in this HBC ? We remember the on-slaught of firings in HBCUs in the 1960s as many began to publish the early works of student involvement in the infancy of the Black Power movement.  Among them, Dr. Nathan Hare who was fired from Howard University.



interview with Dr. Jahi Issa

09-01-12 Issa

YouTube video of the Rally and his arrest

“How Black Colleges are Turning White” in the Black Agenda Report…


Dr. Issa’s Legal Defend Fund. Consider donating and circulating the site address.

His response to the White House Advisor on HBCUs in the Chronicle ofHigher Education

Visit HBCU Institute to lean More and to support Dr. Issa

Commentary on the Case of Dr. Jahi Issa


At the heart of this bizarre response to Dr. Issa’s attendance to the student rally is an essay which he wrote and was published at Black Agenda Report.

How Black Colleges Are Turning White – The Ethnic Cleansing Of African Americans in the Age of Obama

“How Black Colleges are Turning White” in the Black Agenda Report…

How Black Colleges Are Turning White and Keeping Their Historically Black Colleges and Universities Status: The Ethnic Cleansing Of African Americans in the Age of Obama (Part 1 of 3 )
By Jahi Issa, Ph.D.

For more than 100 years, HBCU’s have served as a model for educating a plethora of African American leadership around the country. Although the mission statements of most HBCUs do not state this fact, HBCUs grew out of the social disorder and aftermath of the American Civil War—a period which constitutionally brought millions of formerly enslaved Africans into citizenry in the United States. Similar to colleges and universities that were created for groups such as Catholics, Jews and for immigrant groups, HBCUs were created in reaction to de facto marginalization created by a European American hostile society. Because of the efforts of the Civil Right Movement, HBCU’s were finally recognized as important institutions and were giving special status for Federal funding. However, over the past few decades, HBCUs have been targeted as being too “Black” and many states are progressively trying to eliminate African Americans from these institutions that have served as a buffer zone for the Black middle class. Some HBCUs have and are going through hostile takeovers in order to turn them into White education facilities and thereby permanently eliminating the African American middle class.

African American Perform Better at HBCUs
Although over the years many have argued that HBCUs are redundant and irrelevant in today’s “post racial world,” the fact remains that these intuitions of higher learning, according to the National Science Foundation, graduate more than 33% of all African Americans earning Bachelor’s and doctoral degrees, almost double that compared to African Americans attending predominately White schools . Furthermore, according to the Washington Post, the “post racial” world that many hoped for with the election of President Barack Obama may just be an illusion. Relying on a recent report from the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends, the Washington Post noted that the typical White household in 2009 had 20 times more wealth ($113,149) than the typical Black household ($5,677). Moreover, another report that was conducted by Brandeis University in May of 2010 and concluded that African American will never reach wealth parity with that of White Americans. Both reports note that African Americans with college degrees stand a better chance at edging out a decent life in the United States than those without degrees.

According to a 1977 study that was conducted under the leadership of Dr. Mary Francis Berry, in her capacity as the former Secretary of Education in the Carter Administration, primary reasons why HBCUs tended to be better equipped to prepare students for real world experience was because they offered:

  • “credible models for aspiring Blacks…
  • “psycho-socially congenial settings in which blacks can develop”
  • “insurance against a potentially declining interest in the education of black folk”

Furthermore, the report posits that the ultimate purpose of the HBCU is to “represent the formal structures which nurture and stress racial ideology, pride and worth for Blacks. Consequently, they are what every racial and ethnic group is entitled to have—a political, social and intellectual haven.” The report mentioned above was recently vindicated in a study that was published in January of 2011. Three economists concluded that African Americans who attend HBCUs tend to perform better in the work force than African Americans who attend predominately White universities and colleges.

The 1965 Higher Education Act and Title III: Federal Funding For African-Americans in Higher Education
One cannot discuss today’s relevancy of HBCU’s without mentioning the Higher Education Act of 1965. The Higher Education Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson as part of his Great Society program that sought “to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education.” Before the law was signed by President Johnson, the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, an African-American Harlem Congressman named Adam Clayton Powell made an amendment that defined HBCUs as “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans.” The amendments also legalized the federal funding of HBCUs through the Higher Education Act of 1965 Title III program. Title III is the federal governing body which sets the standard for providing funding for HBCUs. Over the years Title III had provided billions of dollars to support African-American undergraduate, graduate programs, increasing African American participation in math and science, real estate acquisitions and strengthen HBCU’ endowments to name a few. In all, Title III has helped African American universities to not only increase their numbers in accredited degree programs across the country; it has also allowed many HBCUs to have a tremendous economic impact in the communities that they serve.

Economic Impact of HBCUs and the Origins of a New Era Rifted in Corruption
In 2005 the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), an office within the U.S. Department of Education, published a report that documented the economic impact of HBCUs. Primarily, this study was introduced by President George W. Bush and continued by President Barack Obama administration which sought to include the participation of private sector (corporations) into the governing bodies of HBCUs. The study found that more than 100 HBCUs had in 2001 an economic impact of almost 11 billion dollars in the communities that they served. For instance, schools such as Howard University total economic impact in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area was more than 600 million dollars. For smaller schools such as Delaware State University, their total economic impact was more than 150 million dollars. It must be noted that the economic impacts also made a national impression. Again, according to the National Science Foundation, HBCUs bestowed nearly 25% of all bachelor degrees earned by African Americans in 2001. In the areas of agriculture, biology, mathematics and the physical sciences, HBCUs accounted for more than 40 percent of all bachelor degrees earned by African-Americans. With this stated, it is easy to see why corporations would want a piece of the pie. Furthermore, if one is to evaluate the current lack of transparency on Wall Street, it is easy to see that Wall Street’s collaboration with today’s HBCUs could represent the end of African American higher education as we know it.

The Second Corporate takeover Black Higher Education

Although President Barack Obama HBCU Executive Order 13532 “encourages private investment in HBCUs,” however, research proves that corporate partnerships is not new to HBCUs, nor are their historic input solely motivated by financial gains. Not long after the end of reconstruction, Northern White capitalists sought extreme ways in which they could control the ebb and flow of African American education. This was done to curtail the rapid development of African American educational institutions immediately after the Civil War. For instance, from 1865-1880 federal agents documented that there were thousands of African American schools operating throughout the South independent of White control. When northern White benevolent groups finally reach the South with mythical-preconceived notions that they were coming to “civilize” former wretched enslaved Africans, they were astonished to see that Africans Americans had already had established their own schools systems fully equipped with African American teachers. These schools’ full missions were self-determination and political control over the regions of the South in which they were the majority.

The high level of African American political education created a problem for the nation after the Compromise of 1877. Since African Americans were no longer allowed to exercise political autonomy in the South, strategies were devised on the federal level to control the nature of their education. The federal government along with the corporate conglomerates in the North believed that the only way that they could ensure the continual flow of cheap labor in the South was to train African Americans in a way that they would not advocate for political control of their communities. Furthermore, there was another important issue at play—that was African American competition with Whites for high skilled jobs. The solution was a new type of training for Southern African Americans was called industrial education. This type of schooling served the purpose of supervising and training African American to be subservient to White interest. Schools such as Hampton, Tuskegee and Delaware State were devised as the alternative to the African American independent schools that advocated self-determination after the Civil War. The corporate-handpicked spokesman for this new type of schooling was none other than Booker T. Washington. One must remember that Washington’s entrance exam into Hampton University was sweeping the floor. The ultimate goal of Hampton was to control the emerging Black leadership of the Jim Crow South, and train African Americans in the corporate labor needs of the new South. The financial backing of Hampton University and what would later be Tuskegee was provided by White Northern corporations and philanthropy. This corporate-industrial style form of education continued to dominate Southern higher educational institutions long after the death of Booker T. Washington in 1915.

The White House Initiative on HBCUs Encourages Corporate Collaboration? 
The current encroachment of private corporate input into the affairs of African American higher education could and will be disastrous. It would mean that African Americans will be forced back into the Jim Crow Era. A deliberate attempt to curtail educational advancements that was gained by the Civil Rights and Black Power era seems to be the main motivation. The White House Advisor on HBCUs, John Wilson, Jr., stated in April of 2010 HBCUs “must not be seen as plaintiffs in the struggle for civil rights….” Dr. Wilson, a graduate of Morehouse College, tends to forget that it was struggle for Civil Rights that literally allows him to serve President Barack Obama. The White House Initiative on HBCUs came into existence because of the “plaintiff” of the past. Furthermore, Mr. Wilson’s statement implies that African American should abandon their pursuit for full rights and self-interest. Taking a lead from Dr. Wilson’s statements, A Wall Street Journal editor named Jason L. Liley wrote an editorial stating that HBCU’s were a dismal failure and that “Mr. Obama ought to use the federal government’s leverage” to bring these schools under Wall Street’s control. He went further by stating that HBCUs should all become private and model themselves after the University of Phoenix. One month after Liley’s editorial, a conservative from the Wall Street funded American Enterprise Institute also imputed on Wall Street’s quest to control Black education. He ended his article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by stating that HBCUs “should accordingly be encouraged to enroll more non-black students.” The author mentioned nothing about White universities increasing African American enrollment. He also stated that “some HBCUs, notably two in West Virginia (Bluefield State and West Virginia State University), are in fact no longer predominantly black” but are still receiving special (HBCU) federal funding. Five months after the Chronicle of Higher Education essay appeared, the White House Advisor on HBCUs, John Wilson, Jr. was invited as the keynote speaker to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The title of his speech “Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Albatross of Undignified Publicity” conveyed that HBCU are historically cursed when it comes to publicity in White dominated media outlets. Moreover, the central thesis of his speech, although impressively constructed, was that HBCUs should jump on the corporate bandwagon by accepting funds from good corporate Samaritans such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

Black Colleges Turning White or White Cultural Hegemony: The Signs of the Future 
Although the Higher Education Act of 1965 clearly states that an HBCU is a school “whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans,” economist and scholar at American Enterprise Institute, Richard Vedder, reminds us that there is a trend being shaped were as HBCUs who formally had an African American majority student and faculty body, and now have White majority populations, still receive federal funding geared for African Americans. These two schools are Bluefield State College and West Virginia State University. According to a May 19, 2000 CNN report, White enrollment at HBCUs is on the rise. Other schools such as Kentucky State University, Elizabeth City State University and Delaware State University are only a few schools that have a growing White and non-African American student and faculty population. Furthermore, according to an August 17, 2011 Wall Street Journal article called “Recruiters at Black Colleges Break From Tradition,” HBCUs such as Tennessee State University, Delaware State University and Paul Quinn College are cited as no longer focusing exclusively on recruiting African Americans. The author of the article points out that Tennessee State University’s Black enrollment has reduced to around 70 %, while Paul Quinn College Black enrollment has been predicted to fall from 94% to 85% for the Fall 2011 academic year.

Many have asked the question if White enrollment at HBCUs represent a decrease in African American enrollment at the same schools. The year that CNN published its story, Bluefield College African American faculty had dwindled to less than one percent from previous decades. The African American student enrollment had also decreased to less than ten percent. Nonetheless, research shows that when African American faculty at HBCUs is a majority, African American students tend to enroll at a higher percentage and they tend to be more productive in the work place once they graduate. There seems to be a direct correlation between African American student enrollment and that of its faculty. In other words, if the African American faculty enrollment at HBCU’s is low, African American students tend not to attend HBCU’s. When this occurs, is an HBCU still a HBCU? In other words, can you have a HBCU without Black students and faculty? This is exactly the issue that American Enterprise Institute scholar Richard Vedder was raising in his essay in the Chronicle of Higher Learning. Why are HBCUs that are no longer Black in students or faculty population receiving federal monies geared toward African Americans? The federal government seems to believe that this trend represents the future for HBCUs.

Jahi Issa, Ph.D Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies at Delaware State University and Former Northeastern North Carolina Grass Root Coordinator for President Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign. 

Dr. Issa’s Legal Defend Fund. Consider donating and circulating the site address.

“How Black Colleges are Turning White” in the Black Agenda Report…

His response to the White House Advisor on HBCUs in the Chronicle ofHigher Education

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“Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline” Written Testimony l The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law


“Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline” Written Testimony


Summary. Too many of our most vulnerable youth find themselves caught in the School-to-Prison Pipeline, which has transformed our schools into pathways to incarceration instead of places of learning. Juvenile delinquency can lead to long-term barriers to many life opportunities, such as access to public housing, military service, student financial aid, and professional licenses. Moreover, exclusionary student discipline policies perpetuate the cycle of incarceration within communities of color.

In order to combat the School-to-Prison Pipeline and ensure equal educational opportunities for all children, the Lawyers’ Committee advocates that federal education reform do the following: (1) permit the use of ESEA Title I funds to implement school-wide positive behavior supports; (2) prohibit ESEA funding for exclusionary discipline measures; and (3) improve accountability by mandating inclusion of school discipline data in ESEA state Report Cards.

Read the full written testimony.