February 2, 2016
BLACK HISTORY MONTH, celebrated each February, routinely draws attention from legislative bodies at all levels. Why, just last week the state House unanimously passed a resolution in recognition of Black History Month, honoring Army Brig. Gen. Charles Hamilton, an African American. Never mind that he's not a historical figure but is very much alive at the Philadelphia Navy Yard as Defense Logistics Agency troop support commander. Still a nice gesture, one of many such measures passed each year.
January 23, 2016
By Emmanuel D. Babatunde The comments about historically black colleges being lesser schools that were credited to Justice Antonin Scalia during recent oral arguments on an affirmative action case are supremely disturbing. It is not only minorities who will suffer from an end to affirmative action. The two forces that propel the development of a vigorous nation or institution in a globalizing world are diversity and competition. Therefore, diversity is not an act of largesse to the minority.
January 13, 2016
ISSUE | MAYOR KENNEY Embracing diversity Congratulations to Mayor Kenney ("Kenney takes charge," Jan. 5). I was happy to hear a theme throughout his inauguration speech - his commitment to diversity and inclusion. As a Latina living in the city, and as a diversity and inclusion leader at Comcast, I am passionate about this topic. I couldn't help but smile as I watched Nolan Atkinson Jr. being sworn in as the city's first chief diversity and inclusion officer. The mayor's commitment to increase participation of minority- , women-, and disabled-owned businesses in city contracts hit home, since I work every day to ensure that Comcast celebrates and supports diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the business.
December 31, 2015
THE ST. PATRICK'S Day Parade is overwhelmingly white - and Christian. Same for the Columbus Day Parade, the Von Steuben Day Parade, and the Pulaski Day Parade. The Puerto Rican Day Parade is mostly Hispanic. The Odunde celebration is mostly black. I don't recall complaints that they were not "diverse" enough. But mostly white, mostly male, Mummers, who trace their roots to ancient Rome and Greece (in the modern era, Sweden and Britain): Wow, what a bunch of racists! It's enough to make a wench retch.
December 30, 2015 |
Just in time for 2016, fans of community, coffee, and comic books will have a new place to visit. Although Philadelphia has a rich tradition of quality comic-book shops - and could brag that Showcase Comics on South Street was the largest black-owned comic shop in the United States for quite some time - Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse will be the first black female-owned comic book shop to open its doors on the East Coast. This "geeky" hybrid hopes to contribute to the burgeoning Kensington section of Philadelphia.
December 28, 2015 |
The 2015 Mummers Parade had ended just hours earlier when Rue Landau read an account in the next day's newspaper and decided enough was enough. ". . . a Wench Brigade performer standing in front of City Hall in what appeared to be blackface, while other performers were shown toting signs that read, 'Wench Lives Matter,' " the Philadelphia Daily News reported. "Another, dressed as President Obama, carried an 'Illegal Aliens Allowed' sign. " The controversial displays were exceptions in a sea of thousands of comics, string bands, and feathered fancies strutting proudly in the city's century-old extravaganza.
December 15, 2015 |
When Antoinette Ford attended Chestnut Hill College in the early 1960s, she didn't have one African American professor. Fifty-plus years later, not much has changed. Only two of the college's full-time professors - 2.2 percent - are black, despite a student body that is nearly one-third black. All 29 members of the college's board of directors are white. No deans or vice presidents are black. "Institutions that are what they have always been are missing something," said Ford, an oceanographer with a Harvard MBA, and the first African American woman picked as a White House Fellow.
November 25, 2015 |
WHAT DO 1950s lesbians, a transgender prostitute, stop-action animation, African soldiers and Bah-stan Globe journalists have in common? They're part of the nominated films for the 31st Spirit Awards, announced yesterday, and the five films vying for best feature are "Anomalisa," "Beasts of No Nation," "Tangerine" (a film shot on iPhones), "Carol" and "Spotlight. " Film Independent is behind the awards, which honor "uniqueness of vision, original and provocative subject matter," and are American films made for $20 million or less.
November 19, 2015 |
FIVE YEARS AGO, Nolan Atkinson Jr. made headlines when he successfully petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to posthumously admit his great-grandfather to the state bar. After being denied admission on the basis of race in 1849, George Boyer Vashon drifted north, becoming the first African-American to practice law in New York, and later the second in Washington D.C. He taught at what would become Howard University but again was denied admission...
November 13, 2015 |
Move over, wenches, and make room for Mexican dancers and kung fu fighters. The 2016 Mummers Parade is getting more diverse. A new division - the Philadelphia Division - is being added to the 115-year-old parade next year after ongoing complaints about racial insensitivity and xenophobia. The expansion also reflects a desire to sustain the parade, a longtime draw to the city on New Year's Day, for decades to come, said Leo Dignam, the city's deputy commissioner for parks and recreation.