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.
November 11, 2015 |
My earliest memory of Venus and Serena Williams is from 1998, seeing their beaming smiles and beaded braids on a Sports Illustrated for Kids card. Thanks to that image, I began to associate tennis with two young black women. But when I moved from New York to the Poconos and joined the tennis team in my junior year of high school, I realized how white tennis really was - and how special the Williams sisters were. More than a decade later, Serena Williams' portrait is on the cover of this month's issue of Wired, one of the country's most influential tech magazines.
November 6, 2015 |
Growing up in Monrovia, Liberia, Phedel Saye played soccer in the streets of his country's capital. His parents, Wilfred and Helena, encouraged him to play as often as he could, so much so that the forward joked that they "forced him" outside sometimes. When he was 12 years old, Saye and his family left Liberia. But before that, for seven years, he learned how to play the game in much different conditions than those of a grassy yard. After he moved to Philadelphia, he took his talents to Northeast.
October 7, 2015 |
EMMY-WINNING journalist and TV host Cynthia Gouw will serve as the mistress of ceremonies at tomorrow's PHLDiversity luncheon, which celebrates multicultural tourism in our town. "The Impact of Diversity" is the theme for this event, attended by people in the service and hospitality industries who know how to throw a good time when everyone's invited. Last year, PHLDiversity, a division of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, helped book 29 conventions powered by minority spending, resulting in a $42 million economic impact for the region.
October 2, 2015 |
TWO YEARS AGO, Chiwetel Ejiofor was the toast of the Toronto International Film Festival for his heartbreaking, welt-inducing role in "12 Years a Slave. " Last month he was back for "The Martian," in which his relationship with the white man is very different. This time he's trying to save one - Matt Damon, lost in space. "I suppose if there is a connection," Ejiofor said, "it's that the films both do speak to human respect. In the deeper themes of 'The Martian,' there's this sense of community.
October 1, 2015 |
A recent analysis for Philly.com's Next Mayor project shows a glaring lack of diversity among the city's better-paid employees. As disappointing as that it is, it's even more so considering that Philadelphia has had three black mayors over the past 30 years. That doesn't mean Mayors W. Wilson Goode Sr., John F. Street, and Michael A. Nutter didn't try to achieve more diversity in supervisory and other well-compensated positions. But their efforts were no match for an entrenched culture and civil-service system that continue to filter minorities out of contention for many of the best-paid positions.
September 19, 2015 |
A member of City Council on Thursday called for a change to a long-standing city hiring policy that critics say has left Philadelphia's government workforce far less diverse than the citizenry it serves. The policy, known as the Rule of Two, limits the pool of applicants that can be considered for an open position to the two who score highest on the city's civil service exam. "We want to talk about equity in terms of gender and equity in terms of other minorities having an opportunity to be in positions of leadership and responsibility," said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.
September 18, 2015 |
IN AN EFFORT to foster a more racially diverse workforce, a move is afoot in City Council to undo the way the city hires its employees. The problem, according to Councilwomen Blondell Reynolds Brown and Maria Quinones-Sanchez, is the 1950s-era Rule of Two, a part of the city charter mandating that only the top two scorers on a civil-service exam be considered to fill a job opening. A resolution they introduced yesterday calling for hearings to examine changing the charter was approved during Council's regular meeting.
September 18, 2015 |
AFTER A WEEK at the Toronto International Film Festival (more on that throughout the fall), Tattle has returned to a trifecta of apologies. * Comedy Central said yesterday that it is rethinking what to do about Steve Rannazzisi 's planned stand-up special, "Breaking Dad," this weekend after the comic apologized for lying about working in the World Trade Center when terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. Rannazzisi said he didn't know why he told the story, which he called "a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough.