Springside Chestnut Hill Academy is a prestigious pre-K through 12th grade school on Willow Grove Avenue in Philadelphia, the kind of place that will set you back over $130,000 for four years of high school. It has earned a reputation as a progressive, diverse learning environment, but one faculty member has stirred outrage with a Halloween costume that some would say goes against those ideals. Read more »
Philadelphia is standing up for young men and boys of color.
Statistics have long identified the plight of black men across the country — on average, one in three black men will have some level of contact with the criminal justice system at some point in their lives. In Philadelphia, 75 percent of homicide victims and about 80 percent of the known perpetrators arrested for violent crime are young black men.
These figures were at the crux of Mayor Nutter’s announcements yesterday about the city’s ongoing efforts to improve the lives of young men and boys of color. At City Hall he was joined by Broderick Johnson, Assistant to President Obama and Chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force; Christine Piven, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor and My Brother’s Keeper Philadelphia’s Project Director; Superintendent Dr. William Hite; Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey; and Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel.
“One shooting, or one homicide is one too many,” said Mayor Nutter, “we have work to do.”
Nutter’s words came on the day after his successor, Jim Kenney, was officially selected. Yet Nutter made it clear that his support for initiatives around helping young men and boys of color wouldn’t dwindle even after his term. Read more »
David Scott was a SEPTA transit police officer for over 30 years and served as deputy SEPTA police chief for over 18 years. After retiring a few years ago, he consulted with the United States government on anti-terrorism, and now he is suing Secretary of State John Kerry and others, claiming he is the victim of racial discrimination. Read more »
Correction: A quote in the original publication of this story was incorrectly attributed to Commissioner Joshua Grimes. It was actually said by Commissioner Brian Gordon.
The snow shovels may still be in storage in Ardmore, but they’ll be coming back out soon, and when they do, the residents of South Ardmore would rather not use them while keeping one eye cocked for the Lower Merion Township Police.
They made this point and more loud and clear to the Township Commissioners at their regular meeting last night at the Township Building.
The triggering event that brought some 60 to 80 African American township residents and their white neighbors to the meeting was a recent incident in which township police manhandled 58-year-old Nathaniel Williams as he was waiting for a bus across the street from the Ardmore branch of TD Bank. The bank had been robbed, and police were responding to a call stating that a “black male in a hoodie wearing glasses” had done the deed.
Williams was all three. But, after he had been forced to his knees and handcuffed, it quickly became clear that he was not the robber. Nonetheless, several officers continued to hold him until a bank employee came across the street to confirm that he was not the robber. Read more »
When video surfaced of a South Carolina school security officer yanking a high-school student from her desk because she had allegedly disobeyed orders to put her cellphone away, observers howled. Although the white officer, Ben Fields, was fired, many blamed the girl — an African American teenager — for not complying with her teacher. The incident was one of thousands that have played out across the country in which reported misconduct by Black girls at school prompted a seemingly disproportionate — and often violent — response by school and local authorities.
“Girls of color face much harsher school discipline than their white peers but are excluded from current efforts to address the school-to-prison pipeline,” according to “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected,” a report by Columbia Law School’s Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies and the African American Policy Forum. The report, based on a new review of national data and personal interviews with young women in Boston and New York, cites several examples of excessive disciplinary actions against young Black girls, including the controversial 2014 case of a 12-year-old in Georgia who faced expulsion and criminal charges for writing the word “hi” on a locker room wall. A white female classmate who was also involved faced a much less severe punishment. Read more »
Saturday was a good day to be a Philadelphian. A great day. Collectively, maybe one of the best days.
After a not-too-shabby introduction by Mayor Nutter calling for LGBT rights, Pope Francis took the podium at Independence Hall with a speech that the place was built to host. At times speaking in Spanish – and drawing cheers from the crowd – the man of the hour seemed to hip-check Donald Trump. “I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation,” he said. “You should never be ashamed of your traditions. Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which are something you can bring to enrich the life of this American land.”
That’s right. A politician and a leader of the Catholic church got together and said a real thing. And this real thing felt good, maybe even holy. It was weird, it was wonderful, it was the essence of Saturday in Philadelphia.
And yet, it was within the same state that Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is promoting a bill to make English the “official” language of Pennsylvania. And within the same week that he cut the mic of Leslie Acosta – a bilingual immigrant as well as the General Assembly’s first/only Latina lawmaker – who was arguing that the bill is unconstitutional. Read more »
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) September 23, 2015
The time has come again, folks! Time to register for the third annual Love Run half marathon, going down April 10th, 2016. And you’re going to want to register earlier rather than later: Today only, organizers are giving 150 randomly selected runners half off the $60 opening day registration fee.
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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 »
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 »