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By Molly Dunham and Molly Dunham,Evening Sun Staff | February 20, 1991
MANY SCHOOL systems across the country have finally caught on, celebrating February as Black History Month and using it as a chance to teach many aspects of African-American culture.The benefits for black children are obvious: Their self-esteem grows in proportion to their sense of ethnic pride.But what about white students? My old college roommate teaches at a high school in one of the poorer counties of West Virginia. There are no black students, and little effort is made to include books about blacks in the curriculum.
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NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | August 21, 2014
What next? That's what should concern us now. When the nightly dance of angry protesters, opportunistic criminals and inept police clashing over the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown finally ends, what steps should civic-minded people take to address the ongoing abuse of African Americans by the criminal injustice system? Not just in Ferguson, Mo., but in America? There will be no shortage of good ideas: dashboard cameras, community policing, the hiring of more black cops, the removal of military hardware from police arsenals, sensitivity training.
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SPORTS
By KEVIN COWHERD | June 18, 2009
If you love baseball and care about the future of the game, you have to root for the Baltimore Black Sox. The Black Sox are a youth team in the 16-year-old division of the Mid-Atlantic Baseball Association. All but two of their players are African-American. Their coaches are African-American. And if you don't think this is remarkable, you haven't paid attention to what's going on with baseball in this country. The bottom line is this: The game has become an afterthought for many African-Americans.
NEWS
Leonard Pitts Jr and Leonard Pitts Jr | March 27, 2014
What excuses will they make this time? Meaning that cadre of letters-to-the-editor writers and conservative pundits who so reliably say such stupid things whenever the subject is race. Indeed, race is the third rail of American conscience; to touch it is to be zapped by rationalizations, justifications and lies that defy reason, but that some must embrace to preserve for themselves the fiction of liberty and justice for all. Otherwise, they'd have to face the fact that advantage and disadvantage, health and sickness, wealth and poverty, life and death, are still parceled out according to melanin content of skin.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | November 25, 2007
GASTON, N.C. -- Who you is?" That's how a student greeted me years ago in a Miami classroom. I waited to see how the teacher would respond to this insult against grammar, but she did the last thing I expected: She answered the question, as if it had been posed in English. So it makes an impression on me, standing in a classroom here, when a student says "ain't" and a teacher promptly and gently corrects him. It is a small difference, but on the basis of many small differences, Gaston College Preparatory and KIPP Pride, a middle and high school side by side in a former peanut field, have carved out one big difference: They work.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,rashod.ollison@baltsun.com | September 25, 2008
The multiracial five-piece band Black Kids, which has an affinity for '80s British rock, is something of a sensation in Europe. There, the band has ascended the charts, packed venues and secured prime TV spots. And in the United States, the critical praise is deafening. Of course, the musicians didn't expect all the buzz. Music bloggers and hipster circles gush over the group's tongue-in-cheek multicultural image and the irreverent neon pop-rock of its debut CD, Partie Traumatic. The album has been out for about a month, and the scruffy band from Jacksonville, Fla., is already tired of hearing about itself.
NEWS
By Stanley Crouch | September 4, 2000
NEW YORK -- I have been writing for some time about the problems of public education. I also have been highly critical of the elements in popular culture that encourage young people toward illiteracy, brutishness, hatred of women, whorishness and mindless materialism. Now we find that these troubles are combining in yet another way: as obstacles that prevent black kids from doing well in society. It is often difficult to talk about these things, because those who function on the racist circuits of our nation describe poor academic performance by black kids as proof of inherent inferiority, the intellectual quicksand of bad genes.
SPORTS
By Don Markus | August 10, 1994
TULSA, Okla. -- Jack Nicklaus, whose recent comments to a British Columbia newspaper about the lack of black players in professional golf drew criticism from Sports Illustrated and from blacks in the sport, tried to clarify his remarks yesterday.In a two-paragraph statement released through his publicists, Nicklaus said, "I would like to personally clarify an issue which has unfortunately been misinterpreted by some of you. Despite confusion over my initial comments and the resulting publicity, let me make clear the position and feelings: I have never knowingly or willingly made a statement or action that is racist."
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | May 19, 1991
Bernard Booker, 16 years old, is going through change of life. The throwing of rocks at cars is behind him. So is the running from cops, which was considered sporting activity in his old crowd. On weekends, when he sees his buddies from the neighborhood, they talk across a communications gap."They consider me a white boy," Booker says, "or a nerd.""A nerd, of course," laughs Sharonda Alston, sitting next to him. The two of them nod knowingly at each other. Sharonda is 16 and says she's heard accusations of nerdiness all of her young life.
NEWS
By LEONARD PITTS JR | July 9, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Perhaps you are familiar with Kenneth B. Clark's landmark study of children and dolls. Beginning in 1939, Mr. Clark and his wife, Mamie, conducted tests in which they presented black and white children with dolls, also black and white. The kids were asked to decide which of the dolls were "nice" and which were "bad." Overwhelmingly, the white children favored the white dolls. Overwhelmingly, the black children did, too. Mr. Clark's study helped persuade the Supreme Court to strike down segregation in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education; it offered stark proof of the emotional harm that practice was doing black children.
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | November 26, 2012
President Barack Obama has several stated ambitions for his presidency. He wants it to be "transformative. " He wants to unite Americans of all parties. He wants to build an economy from the middle class out (whatever that means), and he wants to help what you might call the domestic refugees of America's economic transformation. Given the principled disagreements dividing left and right in America, it's hard to see how he can accomplish these goals when it comes to conventional economic policy.
NEWS
November 12, 2012
I really had to mull my response to letter writer Ilene O'Connell ("Ashamed of the country that re-elected Obama," Nov. 8). Initially, I was incredulous and dismissive. I realize that won't help here. First, she could have looked up that he was a U.S. Senator first and that he campaigned for 16 months before becoming the nominee. She's had four years to get to know President Barack Obama and see what he accomplished. Liberals have rolled their eyes at the idea that any president controls the price of gas at anyone's pump.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts | May 6, 2012
I don't care about George Zimmerman's MySpace page. Granted, it was gratifying to read recently in The Miami Herald about his crude animus toward Mexicans ("soft a-- wannabe thugs") and his reference to a former girlfriend as an "ex-hoe. " Given the way white supremacists and other Zimmerman supporters have exaggerated and manufactured evidence to paint Mr. Zimmerman's unarmed 17-year-old victim, Trayvon Martin, as a thug who somehow deserved shooting, this unflattering portrait offers the same satisfaction one feels any time the goose is basted with sauce that was prepared for the gander.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | March 20, 2011
"Then the lie passed into history and became truth. " — "1984" by George Orwell This will be a futile column. Experience dictates that it will change no minds, inspire no reconsideration among those who disagree. It will sit on the computer screen or the newspaper page taking up space, affecting nothing, until another column replaces it. It will be a useless essay, written for one reason only: to protect the writer's mental health. If the writer did not write it, you see, there is a great danger his head would explode.
SPORTS
By KEVIN COWHERD | June 18, 2009
If you love baseball and care about the future of the game, you have to root for the Baltimore Black Sox. The Black Sox are a youth team in the 16-year-old division of the Mid-Atlantic Baseball Association. All but two of their players are African-American. Their coaches are African-American. And if you don't think this is remarkable, you haven't paid attention to what's going on with baseball in this country. The bottom line is this: The game has become an afterthought for many African-Americans.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,rashod.ollison@baltsun.com | September 25, 2008
The multiracial five-piece band Black Kids, which has an affinity for '80s British rock, is something of a sensation in Europe. There, the band has ascended the charts, packed venues and secured prime TV spots. And in the United States, the critical praise is deafening. Of course, the musicians didn't expect all the buzz. Music bloggers and hipster circles gush over the group's tongue-in-cheek multicultural image and the irreverent neon pop-rock of its debut CD, Partie Traumatic. The album has been out for about a month, and the scruffy band from Jacksonville, Fla., is already tired of hearing about itself.
NEWS
By Tom Teepen | May 2, 2000
HERE'S ANOTHER study that tells us what we already know. Do you suppose we'll pay attention this time? Not a chance. We'd have to change some bad habits and give up some prejudices that, if not exactly comforting, at least enjoy the cache of familiarity. "And Justice for Some," a study commissioned by the Youth Law Center and conducted by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, has found that at every step in the juvenile justice system, minority kids are treated more harshly than white kids.
NEWS
By Ethel Morgan Smith | February 26, 1997
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- I'm glad February is almost over. It's during this month that everyone is looking for me -- or anyone who can come and be black for them.I'm the only African-American professor in my university department of 50 faculty members. I reside in a world that is predominantly white and male: a land-grant state university with about 20,000 students, 5 percent of whom are African-Americans.During February, my mailbox is overflowing. Most of the mail wants me to represent ''my people'' for some worthwhile organization during the month of February and February only.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | March 9, 2008
PITTSBURGH -- This is a What Works column. Those of you who are regulars will recognize that as my series spotlighting programs that have proved effective in tackling poverty, miseducation, fatherlessness and other problems that blight the prospects of black kids. In the year and change the series has been under way, it has taken me around the country, from Harlem to Austin to Atlanta. Today, it brings me to this city of bridges and rivers. More specifically, it brings me to the Crossroads Foundation.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | December 2, 2007
GASTON, N.C. -- As I wandered about looking lost, I chanced upon a teacher who volunteered to lead me where I needed to be. When I told her why I was here - a series of columns on "What Works" to change the culture of dysfunction that entraps too many black kids - she told me I had come to the right place: KIPP Gaston College Preparatory and KIPP Pride, two charter schools serving 600 kids here in farm country. She said she believes so much in what KIPP schools are doing - longer school day and year, higher expectations, more teacher freedom - that she came from Iowa to teach here.
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