July 14, 2015 |
THE NUMBERS that drive Philadelphia prison-reform advocate Patricia Vickers on her mission aren't the big abstract ones. Not 36,000, the shocking recent estimate of young black men in Philadelphia either behind bars or dead before their time. Not 1,500,000, the national tally of what academics now call "missing black men. " No, the digits that motivate the 66-year-old mom have been pounded with a sharp needle, black ink jabbed into the soft flesh under Vickers' right bicep - 20 digits that mark the birthdays of her four kids as well as her own. Vickers' stark tattoo serves as the tangible reminder of what's missing from her life . . . her three sons.
January 19, 2015 |
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights leader who was beaten as he and others marched in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., had already seen the film Selma three times. But he was invited to watch it again Friday - with President Obama at the White House. "I tell you, I cried some more," said Lewis, 74, who was teargassed and clubbed on the head by Alabama state troopers during the historic march that led to passage of the Voting Rights Act. His head bears the scars. "I saw death.
January 17, 2015 |
Oscar overlooks Adams, etc. Whelp, Thursday morning they announced the Oscar nominations. It was a great year for movies, artistically if not at the box office (down 5 percent), and not all the good stuff could get in. But when the dust settled, it was weird. And it was . . . white. And guy. As in white guy . We're sort of ticked that such Sideshow favorites as Amy Adams and Jennifer Aniston were snubbed. But it's nice to see Laura Dern recognized in the best supporting actress category for her work in Wild . . . . Also, The Lego Movie got bupkis.
June 17, 2014
DIANE PETERS was looking for love in all the wrong places, or at least one wrong place. Peters, 44, is pretty, single, a social worker for a Center City medical nonprofit, happy even while wanting a counterpart - a committed, successful male. A Colorado native who never married or had kids, Peters tried the usual things. She asked friends if they knew "anyone" (meaning an eligible male), went to wine tastings, sporting events, church, some singles events, but couldn't connect with the man of her dreams.
April 2, 2013 |
As if it weren't bad enough to lose your hair, a University of Pennsylvania researcher has added a medical reason to worry about what seems to be a cosmetic problem. She found a connection between baldness and prostate cancer in African American men. Other studies have examined whether bald men - mostly white bald men - are at higher risk. Some studies suggested a relationship, but the results are not clear-cut. Charnita Zeigler-Johnson, a Penn epidemiologist, decided to focus on African American men because they have a 50 to 60 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer than white men and are twice as likely to die of it. The study compared 318 African American men with prostate cancer to 219 healthy African American controls.
April 2, 2013 |
IMAGINE if African-American men and boys were committing mass shootings month after month, year after year. Articles and interviews would flood the media, and we'd have political debates demanding that African-Americans be "held accountable. " But when the criminals and leaders are white men, race and gender become the elephant in the room. Nearly all the mass shootings in this country in recent years have been committed by white men and boys. Unlike other groups, white men are not used to being singled out. So we expect that many of them will protest that it is unfair if we talk about them.
November 19, 2012 |
Charles A. Gallagher is chair of the department of sociology and criminal justice at La Salle University Whites are back in the news. They never really left, but the way whites as a demographic group are currently being discussed in the media has shifted from marketing niches or political collectives (soccer mom, Joe Sixpack, suburban voters) to a population that is now in an accelerating death spiral. Fox News' Bill O'Reilly recently explained how the rug had been pulled out from older white men like himself, as the nation becomes strikingly less white and more racially diverse.
October 4, 2012 |
Prostate cancer is especially tough on African Americans. They are about 50 percent more likely than white men to get the disease and twice as likely to die of it. The Prostate Cancer Foundation wants to help research institutions in Philadelphia take the lead in figuring out why, the foundation's founder and co-chair, Michael Milken, said Tuesday evening during the group's 10th annual fund-raiser in Philadelphia. Milken said he wonders, "What can we learn from this that would not only help them but will help all men on the planet?"
September 7, 2012 |
CHARLOTTE - For women, there was health care, abortion rights, and access to contraceptives. For gays, a celebration of the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage. Latinos got the keynoter, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, and President Obama's decision not to deport children of undocumented immigrants. The Democratic National Convention seemed to offer a little something for every important demographic group in the party's coalition. On Wednesday night, though, it reached out to Bubba.
September 7, 2012
DEAR Mr. President: I'm not sure you'll get this. Rahm Emmanuel told us on Tuesday that you had quite a collection of mail from other Americans and that you made him read and digest the letters because they spoke of values you "fought for every day. " So, while I know you're busy just now, I'm writing on the off chance you've got a few free moments. Given the number of people who've fronted for you at the convention, I'm hoping you've had time to put up your feet. Speaking of those people, they were an interesting bunch.