Friday, October 17, 2014
Maggie Anderson gave a Black business empowerment sermon! Based on her family's experience of buying black for one year, she provided with great detail the impact that the lack of Black support for black businesses has played in the nation. Few black grocery stories or dry cleaners. Just a few black banks. When she indicated that a black dollar stays in the community for 6 hours, versus 28 days or so in Asian communities, you can see why there are problems with unemployment in these communities.
It really was an ouch and Amen kind of program as I hope people left, like I did, asking what I can do to be more supportive. Knowing that New Orleans is a city that needs to employ black men, and thriving black businesses could mean jobs, maybe now is the time for the kind of movement we need to fix this problem.
We had a great time and learned a lot from a great guest. But the question remains:
What are we going to do?
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Monday was Columbus Day. But I know many brothers who discover America every time they have a run in with police. So in this era of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, and others, we partnered with St. Augustine High School to host a summit where we want to begin a conversation on bettering the American experience for Black men.
I don't think this city has seen a panel like this before: Mayor, Police Chief, Sheriff, Judge, US Attorney and College professor. All but one a Black man. We began to start a conversation to teach young Black men how to engage the police. The students at St. Aug had fabulous questions, and we really needed more time.
But again this was a start. We will look for new ways to engage young men all across the city so that they can have good interactions not only with law enforcement, but with each other as well.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Last week we had a great conversation with Uncle Luke, formerly of the 2 Live Crew. For some folks having him speak on campus is a problem since their music was very sexual and profane. But we heard a man that has matured, who talked about First Amendment rights, and the state of music today.
I believe the music is worse today than anything they did, especially because there was always a comical element to the 2 Live Crew. That is gone today. Completely. But Campbell really articulated the complexity of defining the values of a society by which we make ethical decisions. Was what they did ethical? Based on who you ask and their value system, the answer might vary.
And that makes ethics a tough field to understand.