5 Dos and Don’ts for Flying Your Confederate Flag

The WXTU 31st anniversary concert was held over the weekend, across the river in Camden, and much of the talk following the event was about Metro’s report discussing how Confederate battle flags were much in evidence at the affair.

We like to think of ourselves as free-speech absolutists, so we don’t want to go around telling people they shouldn’t fly whatever the hell they want. Still, unless you want to be thought a total idiot, we’d suggest using the following guidelines to determine whether or not it’s really appropriate to bring a Confederate flag into Camden, New Jersey: Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Philly Moved Away From “Racial Math”

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Philly 10K Registration Is Now Open

Yup, the Mummers made a major appearance at the first ever Philly 10K. | Photo by Matt Stanley

Yup, the Mummers made a major appearance at the first ever Philly 10K. | Photo by Matt Stanley

UPDATE 11/11 at 1:49 p.m.: According to the Philly 10K’s Facebook page, they’ve moved to a new registration company better equipped to handle the flood of folks trying to register for the race, and they’ll be reopening registration at 8 p.m. tonight. There are 2,500 spots left, and they will post the registration link on their Facebook page (here) shortly before 8 p.m. Good luck, runners!  Read more »

LeSean McCoy Is Wrong

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

LeSean McCoy is still very hurt about being traded from the Philadelphia Eagles.

That was the clearest conclusion anyone could reach about McCoy’s comments to an ESPN.com reporter after Shady pretty much labeled Chip Kelly — the man who traded him – a racist, in a nonsensical diatribe that only served to worsen relations between the races.

“He wants full control,” McCoy said to reporter Mike Rodak. “You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest, that’s the truth. There’s a reason…it’s hard to explain with him. But there’s a reason he got rid of all the black players – the good ones – like that.” Read more »

Tony Come Lately?

Hillary Clinton, left; Philly Jesus and State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams.

Hillary Clinton, left; Philly Jesus and State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams.

As a full supporter of the #BlackLivesMatterMovement, I wield a hefty amount of skepticism towards any candidate’s newfound interest or consciousness on this matter — whether in local elections or in the early going of the presidential campaign.

State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams wants to be your next mayor, Philadelphia. As the “Philly is Baltimore” solidarity movement took to the city streets last week, Williams could be seen out amongst the swaths of people. His campaign promise? Zero tolerance.

“I would have a character clause” in police contracts, Williams is reported as saying during a business forum held last month. “You don’t get to come back for arbitration.”

Eliminating the use of hate speech is an interesting idea, but language certainly does not always correlate to intent. There are a lot of bigots out there who’d be smart enough to mind their mouths, or who play the PC game well enough to not even consider themselves bigoted at all.

It’s a valiant effort, but hardly enough to create real change in communities and the laws that police them.  Read more »

Op-Ed: Leave Behind “Reductive Thinking” on Race and Politics

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

(Editor’s note: This is an op-ed from Alba Martinez, chair of Jim Kenney’s policy committee, in response to recent columns from Citified insider Jay McCalla analyzing the recent endorsements Kenney has received from a number of African American and Latino politicians and ward leaders.)

Philadelphia’s rich history has many chapters that are worthy of preservation, but divisive racial identity politics is not one of them. A number of op-eds in Citified, the Philadelphia Tribune and elsewhere have implied Jim Kenney’s recent endorsements by Latino and African American community leaders could only be the result of political horse trading. We must leave that reductive thinking in the past and teach our children that a candidate of any race, gender, sexual orientation or religion can be an effective political representative of their interests provided they bring the right track record, values, ideas and abilities to the table.
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Remembering Edward Robinson, Philadelphia’s Great Champion of African Consciousness

A version of this article was published shortly after Robinson’s death in 2012.

Edward Wesley Robinson. Photo | drrobinson.org

Edward Wesley Robinson. Photo | drrobinson.org

The birth of Edward Wesley Robinson Jr. on April 24, 1918, in Philadelphia laid the foundation for the birth of African consciousness — and the academic excellence of black students — in Philadelphia’s school district. Robinson, who died at age 94 on June 13, 2012, was a historian, educator, professor, author, documentarian, filmmaker, and curriculum specialist who attended Central High School, Virginia State College for Negroes (now Virginia State University), Temple University School of Law, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Robinson said that “Never during all my years in America’s best elementary schools, middle schools, junior high schools, high schools, colleges, and post-graduate schools was I ever taught anything about the huge body of information concerning the beauty, grandeur, and sophistication of Kemet (i.e., ancient Egypt) or the Songhai Empire. I was mis-educated. Fortunately, though, I was later rescued from cultural and intellectual oblivion by the intervention of my ancestors.” That rescue is quite obvious, and he wrote such books as Journey of the Songhai People and Twas the Night Before KwanzaaRead more »

Was the Term “African American” Coined in Philadelphia?

Screen Shot 2015-0ll4-22 at 1.09.00 PMTo be honest, we thought the term “African American” was a relatively recent coinage, one of a million hyphenates to spring up in the post-Civil Rights era as a means of displacing older terms that had come to sound like slurs on minority groups. We were wrong: “African American” is actually a pretty old term.

In fact, it’s older than anybody knew. The New York Times says new research has discovered that the first known use of the term “African American” happened in Philadelphia — a half-century earlier than anyone thought.

The Times says the discovery was made by Yale Law School librarian Fred Shapiro: Read more »

Apple’s New Emoji Have Created Brand New Ways to Be Culturally Insensitive Online


More than half of Americans are in possession of a smartphone, with many using emoticons. It is fair to say that while all races are not represented by emoticons, all races use emojis. As Black-Emoji.com explains, “Emoji & Emoticons are the alphabet of the social media generation.”

Last week, Apple unveiled new diverse emoticons, including a set of emojis with an adjustable range of emoji skin tones to pick from, including yellow, brown and black. It’s been a long time coming — the Black Twitterverse and scores of others online denizens have complained for years that Apple’s emoji set was woefully lacking. As Vice reported in 2014, “emojis include the middle finger, the Vulcan hand salute, an optical disc icon, a chipmunk, and a black droplet. But no black people.” Up until last Thursday, Apple emoticon users could only use yellow Lego-people-colored graphics as representation of themselves. Read more »

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