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Black Middle Class

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NEWS
August 4, 1991 | By Gary Blonston, Inquirer Washington Bureau
Shouted in a schoolyard or whispered at a cocktail party, it has been a bruising slur within black America for decades: "Acting white. " It might mean speaking standard "white" English, working hard to impress a teacher or boss, moving to the suburbs, voting Republican. Once a criticism of a few black elitists in the segregated society of years past, its targets today most often are the millions of black people who have risen into the middle class of post-segregation America. At base, the issue is loyalty - loyalty to mainstream black America, its styles, its history, its values.
NEWS
December 10, 2007 | By Cynthia Tucker
A recent poll has found that 61 percent of black Americans believe that the values of poor blacks have become "more different" from the values of middle-class blacks in recent years. With the possible exception of Bill O'Reilly - who professed astonishment at the good manners of black patrons at a Harlem restaurant - no one should be surprised at those findings. There have long been two Americas - both black. One is inhabited by the accomplished, the educated, the pragmatic. The other is the home of the marginalized, the undereducated, the incarcerated.
NEWS
July 30, 1994 | By William Raspberry
People who believe a problem can be solved tend to get busy solving it. Doubters spend their time making sure everybody knows it's someone else's fault. Hugh B. Price is a believer. The new president of the National Urban League used his keynote address (at the league's annual convention in Indianapolis on July 24) to take on some of the toughest problems facing black America - not to distribute blame but to talk, in plain language, about possible solutions. "We must not let ourselves - and especially our children - fall into the paranoid trap of thinking that racism accounts for all that plagues us," he warned, noting that the culprits include economic trends that transcend race, even though inner-city blacks may be disproportionately victimized by them.
NEWS
January 14, 1994 | by Valerie M. Russ, Daily News Staff Writer
In his new book, "The Rage of a Privileged Class," Newsweek contributing editor and essayist Ellis Cose writes that despite its prosperity, the black middle class is angry and "in excruciating pain. " According to Cose, the black middle class has worked hard to obtain educational, career and material success, yet its members believe that America has broken a covenant that says if you work hard and play by the rules, you get to achieve to the limits of your ability. "For most blacks in America, regardless of status, political persuasion or accomplishments, the moment never arrives when race can be treated as a total irrelevancy," he writes.
NEWS
September 1, 1986
I reply to the major article of Aug. 25 by Gary Blonston of the Knight- Ridder News Service about blacks moving to suburbs. Plagued with a view of a wide gulf between black rich and poor, a perceived cohesive population seems agitated over the loosening of bonds. What is lacking in this sometimes vocal expostulation is this: The now-loosened bonds never were tightly fettered. Still living in urban areas, masses of blacks know the trickle-down theory is working horizontally instead of vertically.
NEWS
February 12, 1998 | By Acel Moore
With great expectation I watched on Tuesday evening the PBS television Frontline documentary titled The Two Nations of Black America, cowritten and narrated by black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates. But I was sorely disappointed. There is no disputing that Gates is a gifted scholar and the leader of a group of outstanding black thinkers now at Harvard. They include Cornel West, William Julius Wilson, Christopher Edley, Randall Kennedy and Orlando Patterson, who were among those he interviewed in the show.
NEWS
October 8, 2000 | By Walter F. Naedele, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Cable television talk show host Tavis Smiley, speaking yesterday in Philadelphia at a national conference on preventing crime, accused middle-class blacks of failing to fight black-on-black crime. "We're losing the war to turn the tide against crime in our community," said Smiley, host of a nightly program on the Black Entertainment Television network. "Are we ready in our community to contemplate our complicity in crime?" he asked. The Organized Anti-Crime Community Network, founded in West Philadelphia three years ago, sponsored the four-day gathering, which ended yesterday at the Philadelphia Marriott at 12th and Market Streets.
NEWS
March 5, 1993 | by Julian Bond, From the New York Times
To: Journalists and Pundits From: Media Central Re: NAACP This memo is prompted by the news that more than 75 people have applied to replace Benjamin Hooks as executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the speculation that Jesse Jackson is a leading candidate for the job. Jackson's interest and the avalanche of applications mean we who control the media must try harder to reinforce the...
NEWS
September 22, 1998 | by Salim Muwakkil
This is one in a series of op-ed pieces from the Progressive Media Project that provide commentary from leading voices of the African-American community. African Americans are increasingly divided by class. The middle-class Chicago enclave of Lake Meadows is located just a few blocks away from the Ida B. Wells homes, a public housing project. While both communities are predominantly black, they have little else in common. Crime-fueled antagonisms have proved so divisive that since 1986 Lake Meadows' residents have paid for a private security force.
NEWS
April 7, 1988 | By Acel Moore, Inquirer Associate Editor
Although much is being said about how much has or has not changed between black and white Americans since the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., there have been significant changes in the relationships within black communities all across the nation. The major differences among blacks stem from the emergence of a black middle class. In many ways, the differences are as distinct as those between blacks and whites. Far too many black Americans are members now of the so-called underclass, functionally illiterate and without the skills needed to survive in this high- tech society.
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NEWS
October 11, 2012 | By Charles Lane
When Gallup asked Americans to identify the top challenge facing the country in 1964, 60 percent named racial issues. In 2012, 1 percent picked race. These findings reflect the great distance America has traveled. In the current issue of the American Interest, Walter Russell Mead credits a post-civil rights "Compromise of 1977," encompassing such policies as race-conscious university admissions and the Voting Rights Act, which helped build a black middle class and boost minority representation in government.
NEWS
May 28, 2012
By Charles Lane   Good news for Memorial Day weekend: Since peaking at a national average of $3.93 on April 5, the price of regular gasoline has fallen almost 25 cents a gallon. That's like a $25 billion tax cut for consumers.   In fact, gas is cheaper now than it was a year ago. Futures markets are signaling further possible declines. All hail President Obama! Clearly his brilliant energy policy has gotten results, and fast. Don't believe it? I'm just applying the logic of Republican rhetoric, according to which Obama caused the pre-April 5 surge in gas prices.
NEWS
July 24, 2011
A Life of Reinvention Viking. 608 pp. $30 Reviewed by Kia Gregory In his eulogy for Malcolm X, noted actor and activist Ossie Davis offered something to consider for those who would reduce his legacy to nothing more than fiery demagoguery, asking rhetorically: Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? In the brutal and bloody racial tumult of Jim Crow, when blacks, especially black men, were denied every human dignity, Malcolm X stood for them, as Davis declared that day in 1965, as a symbol for "our manhood, our living, black manhood.
NEWS
September 12, 2010
Here in the nation's capital, something remarkable has happened: Students in the public schools, long regarded as among the nation's worst, have shown dramatic improvement on standardized tests over the last few years. Here's something even more remarkable: Local voters seem indifferent, if not hostile, to the reforms that have produced those gains. If anything points to the difficulty of changing the nation's underperforming classrooms, the controversy surrounding Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee does.
NEWS
December 10, 2008 | By Kay Hymowitz
In the almost half-century in which we have gone from George Wallace to Barack Obama, America has another, less hopeful story to tell about racial progress. In 1965, a young assistant secretary of labor named Daniel Patrick Moynihan stumbled upon data that showed a rise in the number of black single mothers. As he wrote in a now-famous report for the Johnson administration, the growth in illegitimacy, as it was called then, coincided with a decline in black male unemployment. Strangely, black men were joining the labor force more but marrying - and fathering - less.
NEWS
February 29, 2008 | By Michael Matza, Lloylita Prout and Stacey Burling INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Former President Bill Clinton yesterday looked back 40 years to the landmark federal commission that investigated urban riots in the 1960s and warned that persistent racial discrimination "leaves in its wake a quieter riot of disillusion and despair. " In his keynote address at "Kerner Plus 40," a University of Pennsylvania-hosted symposium on the legacy of the 1968 National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorder (known as the Kerner Commission because its chairman was Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner)
NEWS
December 10, 2007 | By Cynthia Tucker
A recent poll has found that 61 percent of black Americans believe that the values of poor blacks have become "more different" from the values of middle-class blacks in recent years. With the possible exception of Bill O'Reilly - who professed astonishment at the good manners of black patrons at a Harlem restaurant - no one should be surprised at those findings. There have long been two Americas - both black. One is inhabited by the accomplished, the educated, the pragmatic. The other is the home of the marginalized, the undereducated, the incarcerated.
NEWS
July 27, 2006 | By Elizabeth Wellington INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
With more than 200,000 members, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. is the largest sorority for black women in the world. Sorors are active well after graduation, and famous Deltas include educator and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, and singer Aretha Franklin. Today, close to 16,000 Deltas will be in town for the sorority's 48th annual convention, which will feature workshops on leadership, economic development and political awareness. Like all black fraternities and sororities, Delta Sigma Theta's social network extends beyond its membership to include the black middle class in nearly every American city.
NEWS
April 25, 2006 | By Larry Eichel INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Rotan E. Lee, 57, a prominent Philadelphia lawyer and president of the city's Board of Education in the 1990s, died of heart failure yesterday as an ambulance was rushing him to Lankenau Hospital. Mr. Lee, who also served as chairman of the board overseeing the Philadelphia Gas Works, was remembered by friends as a larger-than-life figure, a physically imposing man with a wide-ranging intellect and deep love of the English language. "He has a fabulous way of spinning a tale; he could tie together Wilt Chamberlain, jazz music, and the fall of Rome in a few paragraphs and make you look at them all from a new angle," said Seth Williams, the city's inspector general, who regarded Mr. Lee as a mentor.
NEWS
April 12, 2006 | By Thomas Fitzgerald INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In the last two days, the investigation of gang-rape allegations against Duke University's lacrosse team has taken two dramatic turns. First, test results showed that no DNA from the white players was found on the alleged victim, an African American woman who had danced at a team party. Or so lawyers for team members said Monday. Then yesterday, the district attorney said that he was not dropping his investigation. The case has roiled the university and its city, Durham, N.C., with issues of race, class and gender.
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