Here’s What’s Missing From the #BlackLivesMatter Discussion

NEW YORK CITY - AUGUST 23 2014: Thousands rallied in Staten Island demanding justice & accountability in the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown & other victims of alleged police brutality a katz / Shutterstock.com

NEW YORK CITY – AUGUST 23 2014: Thousands rallied in Staten Island demanding justice & accountability in the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown & other victims of alleged police brutality a katz / Shutterstock.com

There are missing pieces in the coverage of Black Lives Matter.

Yes, putting an end to abuse of force by the police is a primary goal. But there are other systemic things that impede the quality of black life: Bad schools. Poor nutrition. Bad health. These things matter, too, but they’re not getting the attention of tragedy-porn dashcam video and police confrontations with protesters.

It’s time that we broaden our understanding of Black Lives Matter to include how the movement affects black lives that are still being lived, to address the issues that impact quality of life for blacks living in America.

The deaths of black youths have galvanized protesters and the children have become the barometer of the movement and how much work is left to be done. The legacy of redlining and its uneven distribution of resources impacts their access to basic needs, ranging from quality public education to quality produce.

So let’s talk about the rest of the agenda: Read more »

Civil Rights Lion Julian Bond Was a Bucks County Cub

Julian Bond, left, with Dr. Martin Luther King in 1966 (AP), and right, with the last book he authored.

Julian Bond, left, with Dr. Martin Luther King in 1966 (AP), and right, with the last book he authored in Philadelphia for his last major public appearance at the 2015 NAACP conference (Bobbi I. Booker).

A couple years ago, I was strolling through Philadelphia International Airport when I came across the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University Libraries photo exhibit of the late John Mosley, a society photographer of Philadelphia’s Black elite.

I eventually came to a full stop as I took in the images, pondering the lives of those who existed before me. Many of the people portrayed where long deceased, but there was one picture of a little boy that I instantly recognized. Standing next to entertainer and social activist Paul Robeson was an 8- or 9-year-old Julian Bond, fully possessed of himself and the moment. When the longtime civil rights activist died last weekend at age 75, I couldn’t help but to reflect on that long-ago picture that showed a slave’s grandchild and a college president’s son at the beginning of a life of activism. Read more »

What Does Alice Goffman Have in Common With Rachel Dolezal?

goffman-on-the-run-criticism-940X540

When last we heard of Alice Goffman, the Penn alum whose undergrad field project became the renowned (and controversial) ethnography On the Run, she was dealing with charges that her book’s account of the years she spent immersed in a poor black Philadelphia neighborhood was something less than truthful. That flurry died down, only to be reignited by a long article in the Chronicle of Higher Education this week by Paul Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior critiques of Goffman focused on her methodology and veracity, and while Campos addresses those, it’s another facet of his argument against the young white sociologist that will ring particularly true for Philadelphians.

Here’s a passage from On the Run in which Goffman describes her reaction upon arriving at Princeton for grad school after her harrowing years in the ’hood:

More than discomfort and awkwardness, I feared the hordes of white people. They crowded around me and moved in groups. I skipped the graduate college’s orientation to avoid what I expected would be large numbers of white people gathered together in a small space. In cafeterias and libraries and bus and train stations, I’d search for the few Black people present and sit near them, feeling my heart slow down and my shoulders relax after I did.

And here’s Campos’s response to that: Read more »

Report: Former Penn State Basketball Player Detained on Suspicion of Terrorism

Penn State’s DJ Newbill, left, drives against Akron’s Alex Abreu during a NCAA college basketball game in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

Penn State’s DJ Newbill, left, drives against Akron’s Alex Abreu during a NCAA college basketball game in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

A former Penn State basketball player was reportedly detained on suspicion of terrorism as he tried to join his new team in France, his European agent says.

D.J. Newbill was stopped by German authorities, Newbill’s agent, Francois Lamy, said in a Facebook post. (The post has been translated from French.) The incident was first reported by the Black Cager blog.

“An officer of the German immigration doubted his statement that he was in Europe to play basketball,” Lamy wrote. “He also doubted that France was the country of final destination. Newbill was interrogated for hours. German immigration officials were convinced he had a terrorist motive.” Read more »

Everything You Need to Know About the Philly 10K Bibs and Beers Pick-Up Party

philly 10k leadWe have a lot of emotions going on right now: On one end, we’re sad the summer has flown by so fast, but on the other, we are oh-so-excited that the Philly 10K is right around the corner. The Philly 10K Bibs and Beers Pick-Up Party — their pre-race party, because as they say, “Expos are lame” — at the Shambles at Headhouse Square is just two weeks away, people! Below, everything you need to know about the beer-filled, food-filled, fun-filled event.

Read more »

The First-Ever Philadelphia Mayor’s Cup Is Tomorrow!

Photo via Fairmount Park Conservancy

Photo via Fairmount Park Conservancy

Time flies, folks. It feels like just yesterday we were telling you about the debut of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Cup, and it’s already upon us! Tomorrow, August 8th, thirty-five Philadelphia-bred running clubs will be competing for a championship title as the top running club in town. The founders of the race are describing the Cup as a cross country meet for adults, and they emphasize the team-oriented nature of the event. And going along with that theme of team spirit, there are no individual winners — participants may earn points for their club depending how they place in a given event. But what the founders seem to be really excited about is that, for the first time, Philly running club members will have the chance to demonstrate their club pride and unity to the larger running community. So if you aren’t already signed up to race, we suggest you get on out there tomorrow to support this awesome event. Read more »

There’s a Reason Players Think Chip Kelly Might Be Racist

Photos | Jeff Fusco except for Tra Thomas | Howard Smith, USA Today Sports

LeSean McCoy, Stephen A. Smith, Tra Thomas and Brandon Boykin (outer photos, clockwise from top left) have all ascribed racial motivations to Chip Kelly’s (center) personnel decisions. Photos | Jeff Fusco except for Tra Thomas | Howard Smith, USA Today Sports

Chip Kelly is not a racist.

But he apparently is oblivious to why some black players may think he’s tinged with a little racism when they unload those charges on their former coach after he has shown them the door.

If Kelly is as smart as we all think he is, he cannot therefore be blind to the fact that his support of wide receiver Riley Cooper has provided the undercurrent of all the sniping done by the likes of LeSean McCoy, Tre Thomas, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith, and, last but not least, recently deposed cornerback Brandon Boykin.

And his response this week to the Riley issue was an insult to every reasonably minded fan in the Delaware Valley. Read more »

5K + Beer and Wine Festival = Chester County’s First-Ever Red, White and Brew Run

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

You may have noticed that we get pretty excited when anyone around here combines food, drinks, and running. So, naturally, we had to share this upcoming event with y’all: The inaugural Chester County Red, White and Brew Run will be happening Sunday, September 13th, at the Historic Phoenixville Foundry. Read on for details. Read more »

Police Respond to Viral Video of Officer Punching Suspect

On Thursday, Mediatakeout.com posted this video to its website and Facebook page:

DISTURBING VIDEO: Philly Police Officers PUNCH A Handcuffed Man TWICE In The Face . . . While Calling Him a P*SSY!! (They Don’t Even CARE . . . That They Are Being VIDEO’D)

Posted by Mediatakeout on Thursday, July 23, 2015

It appears to show a Philly police officer punching a cuffed suspect in the face while shouting a sexist slur at the man, then taunting the person taking the video. The video went viral — as of Friday morning, it had been shared 68,000 times from the Facebook page.

Only one problem? It’s old. A copy of the video was published on YouTube in 2010 — five years ago. Still, the quick spread of the video compelled Philly police to respond on Thursday evening: Read more »

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