November 19, 2004 Newsletter
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spot was racial, Colts' Dungy
By Gary Mihoces,
by a Detroit Native Captures National Award
Kevin Boyle's "Arc of
Justice," which focuses on a black family's fight to live in
a white Detroit neighborhood in the 1920s, was among the winners
Wednesday night at the National Book Awards ceremony. Boyle's book
tells the story of Ossian Sweet, a black physician who moved into
a white neighborhood on the east side in 1925. Sweet, family members
and friends were in the house when a mob of people converged on
the home, throwing rocks.
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The publication of this updated Status of Women in Michigan report offers new benchmarks, data, and analyses to strengthen policy and program development for women in Michigan. This report will act as a catalyst for bringing about positive change for women in Michiganstimulating policy, educating voters,inspiring activism, strengthening nonprofit organizations, and challenging new corporate initiatives.
head coach Tony Dungy said if ABC continues such promos, he hopes
the Colts are not scheduled on Monday nights.
During a teleconference Wednesday
with Chicago media, the coach brought it up at the end of the call:
"I'm going to get on the soap box for a minute. I am very disappointed
in ABC for what took place on Monday night. ... I've got a 12-year-old
that does his homework early on Monday to watch that, and I was very,
Dungy said ABC wouldn't use Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, Eagles coach Andy Reid or a team owner in such a scene and consider it "just a spoof."
Would there be as much backlash if one of them had been involved?
"I don't know. But to me that's the
first thing I thought about as an African-American man, that we're
going to put Terrell Owens in this situation,"
Dungy said when the Colts played last week on MNF that ABC asked his players to do spots but they declined: "Nothing in that (Desperate Housewives) regard but just trying to get our players involved in a lot of things that are non-football questions and non-football settings that we just didn't think were appropriate."
He added: "If that's the way they're going to promote things, I hope they never have us on Monday Night Football again. ... I think something needs to be done about it. Hopefully, the commissioner (Paul Tagliabue) will."
The NFL has called the opening "inappropriate and unsuitable." League spokesman Greg Aiello said, "We'll be paying closer attention to openings of prime-time games, as will our teams."
Michael Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, didn't rule out the possibility of fining ABC.
Powell said Wednesday on CNBC that broadcasters
complain about FCC "indecency enforcement," such as its
proposed $550,000 fine of CBS for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction"
at the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, he said, "They keep it hot and
steamy in order to get financial gains and the free advertising it
The Color of Love
Maria P P Root.
The American Prospect.
Apr 8, 2002.Vol.13, Iss. 7; pg. 54, 2 pgs
WITH AT LEAST THREE MILLION PEOPLE IN the
United States in interracial marriages, racially mixed marriage is
no longer a rarity. And with one degree of separation-all the family
members of these couples-it touches many millions more. Allowing a
second degree of separationfriends, coworkers, acquaintances-intermarriage
likely affects most people in this country. Younger people, on average,
are far more open to intermarriage than those who grew up in an era
of segregation. This trend is a major gain for tolerance and pluralism
in America, and families that successfully navigate the challenge
of interracial marriage often become more open generally. But large
pockets of discrimination continue to exist.
Nevertheless, interracial marriage can create deep conflict within families. Opposition reflects not just bigotry. It can reflect fears about loss of valued traditions, and concerns that children and grandchildren will suffer society's lingering prejudice. A NORC poll in 1990 asked Jews, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics how they would feel about a close relative marrying someone from outside their racial or ethnic group. Blacks were most strongly opposed, with 57.5 percent of 1,362 respondents against it; next came Asian Americans at 42.4 percent; then Hispanic Americans at 40.4 percent. Jews were the least opposed, at 16.3 percent, but also had the largest response neither favoring nor opposing intermarriage of a close relative (63.1 percent). Just over 46 percent of Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans were neutral on the question. These data show that despite the increasing acceptance of intermarriage in this country, people are not necessarily pleased when it becomes personal. Families remain highly protective of their most significant "product": future generations.
In their book Multiracial Couples: Black and White Voices, Paul C. Rosenblatt, Terry A. Karis, and Richard D. Powell suggest that disowning interracially married family members may be a way of disowning racially different in-laws. Through denouncement, families attempt to avoid possible contamination by an undesirable status or stigma. The NORC data and my own interviews indicate that people of all races sometimes fear contamination, though for different reasons. Whites may fear loss of privileged status for their children and grandchildren, while people of color may fear loss of cultural identity.
If the couple has children, as most couples
do, the children have a blood tie to both clans, which strengthens-and
complicates-the links immeasurably. Parents who resisted the intermarriage
of a child may soften their opposition when grandchildren come. Or
their resentment may harden because of the embarrassment of a blood
relation who is a mixed-race child. Late marriages (those that occur
past child-bearing age) may receive less opposition for this reason.
unprecedented fracas in the Indiana Pacers game at Detroit on Friday
brought an unprecedented series of penalties from NBA commissioner
David Stern today. Stern, citing
personal "shock, revulsion and fear" upon viewing video
replays of the brawl between Pacers players and Pistons fans at The
Palace of Auburn Hills, announced the following suspensions for Pacers
Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal, who threw punches at fans during the melee, were suspended for 30 and 25 games, respectively.
Anthony Johnson, who threw a punch at a fan who rushed the court, was suspended for five games.
Reggie Miller, cited for leaving the bench while Pistons center Ben Wallace tried to attack Artest after drawing a hard foul late in the game, was suspended for one game.
Wallace -- who shoved Artest in the neck after the foul with 45.9 seconds left in the Pacers' 97-82 victory -- was suspended for six games. Pistons Elden Campell, Chauncey Billups and Derrick Coleman were suspended one game each for leaving their bench.
Stern said the reaction of Artest, Jackson and O'Neal "wildly exceeded" the level of self-control the NBA expects from its players and called it the worst incident in his 21 years as commissioner.
O'Neal's agent, Arn Tellem, said they would appeal the suspension.
"Without any consideration of the danger
created by fans running wildly and aggressively on the court, without
any consideration of the players' fear for their own safety while
they were under attack, without review of the security failures of
both the NBA and the Palace, and without any consideration of past
player disciplinary rulings, the NBA has singled out Jermaine O'Neal
in an arbitrary and capricious way," Tellem said in a statement
released by the Pacers.
majority of blacks take to the football field at Division I-A colleges
as players, but only a few are head coaches or athletic directors, according
to a study released Wednesday by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics
in Sport at the University of Central Florida.
The report entitled The Buck Stops Here: Assessing Diversity Among Campus and Conference Leaders in Division I-A Schools, shows there are only five black head football coaches out of 117 at major colleges, while more than 50 percent of players on those teams are black.
The expectation is that there would be more African-American head football coaches given the number of African-American football players on college teams, Richard Lapchick, author of the report, told BlackAmericaWeb.com.
But when it comes time to hire a new coach, college presidents and athletic directors, who are mostly white men, often look within their circle of contacts. White men, said Lapchick, will likely hire people who look like them.
Many African-Americans are waiting in the wings, ready to lead Division I-A programs, but when significantly more than 90 percent of our campus leaders are white, chances are they will seek who they know, Lapchick said.
Only five out of 120 athletic directors at Division I-A schools are black, and there are only four Division I-A schools with black presidents.
The number of black head coaches at major colleges has dropped since 1997-98 when there were eight, said Lapchick, with Sylvester Croom at Mississippi State University being one of the most recent hires. The first black coach hired at a Division I-A school was William Jeffries, who took the job at Wichita State University n 1979. Since that time 18 black men have filled 21 coaching positions at Division I-A schools.
Floyd Keith, executive director of the Black Coaches Association, puts it like this: If you are black, you have a greater chance at becoming an Army general than a head football coach in Division I-A.
The Army is 26 percent black, and 8.3 percent of the generals are black. In Division I-A schools, 51 percent of the players are black, but only a paltry three percent of the head coaches are black.
The Indiana-based Black Coaches Association, which includes more than 3,000 members, released a related report last month that questioned the low number of black football coaches at major universities and why the trend persists.
Since 1996, only one African-American male each year has been hired to fill head coaching positions out of a possible 142 openings, the BCA report stated.
Most people assume that when 51 percent are on the field and playing that everyone is happy, said Keith. When you go to the game, you dont pay to see coaches. You pay to see the players. You dont notice the sidelines unless you are sensitive to the issue. Keith said he wants more people to be sensitive and ask why.
Robert Vowels, commissioner of the historically black Southwestern Athletic Conference [SWAC] said HBCUs are a good place to look for job candidates for vacancies at Division I-A schools.
We will always have a plenty of folks for consideration for all positions, said Vowels, who heads one of the largest HBCU sports conferences in America. When you look at the SWAC, the MEAC, CIAA and the SIAC, you are talking about more than 50 schools with good programs and leaders, he said.
Vowels also heads the NCAAs Minority Opportunity Committee, a group he said is working to bring more inclusion through college sport.
Since Floyd (Keith) and Richard (Lapchick) have been producing reports on this issue, there is a greater awareness, said Vowels. Just this week, I received a call from an [athletic director] at a Division I-A school who wanted a list of potential candidates for a job. With football season coming to an end, there will be more jobs opening up.
The BCA also can help link colleges with candidates coaching and AD jobs, Keith said. And theyve started a new program that grades universities on the diversity of their hiring practices when feeling vacancies.
Lapchick says colleges part of the answer could be in having more diverse search committees for coaches and athletic directors instead of making quick decisions with input only from a few.
They need to follow their university affirmative action guidelines and allow groups such as the Black Coaches Association to weigh in, Lapchick said. Dont simply shrug your shoulders and say, We cant find anyone.
Clarence Major, in his study Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang, traces the origins of hip to the Wolof verb hepi ("to see") or hipi ("to open one's eyes"), and dates its usage in America to the 1700s. So from the linguistic start, hip is a term of enlightenment, cultivated by slaves from the West African nations of Senegal and coastal Gambia. The slaves also brought the Wolof dega ("to understand"), source of the colloquial dig, and jev ("to disparage or talk falsely"), the root of jive. Hip begins, then, as a subversive intelligence that outsiders developed under the eye of insiders. It was one of the tools Africans developed to negotiate an alien landscape, and one of the legacies they contributed to it. The feedback loop of white imitation, co-optation and homage began immediately.
From these origins, hip tells a story of
black and white America, and the dance of conflict and curiosity that
binds it. In a history often defined by racial clash, hip offers an
alternative account of centuries of contact and emulation, of back-and-forth.
This line of mutual influence, which we seldom talk about, is not
a decorative fillip on the national identity but one of the central,
life-giving arteries. Though the line often disappears in daily lifethrough
segregation, job discrimination and the racial split in any school
cafeteriait surfaces in popular culture, where Americans collect
their fantasies of what they might be.
Anyone can be hip, even if everyone can't.
In a nation that does not believe in delayed gratification, hip is
an instant payoff.
Hip is a social relation. You cannot be hip in the way you might be tall, handsome, gawky, nearsighted or Russian. Like camp, its unruly nephew, it requires an audience. Even at its most subterranean, it exists in public view, its parameters defined by the people watching it. You decide what is hip and what is not. Hip requires a transaction, an acknowledgment. If a tree falls in the forest and no one notices its fundamental dopeness, it is not hip.
From Hip: The History © 2004 by John Leland. HarperCollins Publishers.
Charles G. Ransom
Multicultural Studies Librarian
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