.
April 30th, 2012
06:00 PM ET

Running group turns into nationwide movement

By LaNese Harris, CNN

(CNN) – African-American women are joining forces to battle the alarming rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity that are affecting millions of Americans.

The movement is called Black Girls Run!, and it was formed to encourage women of color to get fit and live healthier lifestyles.

Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks are the creators of Black Girls Run! They wanted to drop some pounds and get in shape, but they soon saw their personal goals turning into a nationwide movement.

"I had no idea that Black Girls Run! was going to grow to be this size," Hicks said. "Toni and I feel really blessed and excited that we are able to help so many people."

Read the full post on CNN's This Just In blog

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Filed under: Black in America • Health • Race • Women
Opinion: Why are young women more ambitious than men?
A Pew poll reports that two-thirds of young women say that "being successful in a high-paying career" is an important life goal.
April 30th, 2012
03:00 PM ET

Opinion: Why are young women more ambitious than men?

Editor's note: Kathleen Gerson, author of "The Unfinished Revolution: Coming of Age in a New Era of Gender, Work, and Family," is a professor of sociology and collegiate professor of arts and science at New York University. She is a 2011-2012 Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

By Kathleen Gerson, Special to CNN

(CNN) - In a headline that calls out for attention - "A Gender Reversal on Career Aspirations" - the Pew Research Center reports that two-thirds of young women now say "being successful in a high-paying career or profession" is one of the most important goals in their lives.

While it may not be surprising that these women express more ambition than their mothers and grandmothers, it is surprising when they also display more ambition than their male peers. Is this a sign, then, that we are witnessing "a gender reversal"? Or does it represent a kind of denial - on the part of young women and men - about the obstacles they will ultimately face at the workplace and in life?

In the same poll, marriage and parenthood remain important life goals for all young adults, with 86% of women and 82% of men listing marriage as "very important" or "one of the most important things" in life. Children are even more desired, with 95% of young women and 90% of young men placing "being a good parent" in these same categories.

Yet young people's actions, at least when it comes to family commitments, appear at odds with these stated aspirations.

Read Kathleen Gerson's full column

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Filed under: Age • Gender • Girls • What we think • Women
Engage: Thousands gather in celebration of Native American heritage
‘Gathering of Nations’ is said to be the world's largest annual meeting of indigenous and Native American people.
April 30th, 2012
01:12 PM ET

Engage: Thousands gather in celebration of Native American heritage

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

Native American powwow draws thousands to New Mexico - Chicago Tribune

Henry Louis Gates helps actor Samuel L. Jackson find his roots - The Huffington Post

More children identify as biracial, but what does that mean? - The Washington Post 

New wave of African-American networks aim to relate to large black audience  - Variety

Opinion: Education vs. the lure of pro basketball
From left: Kentucky's Anthony Davis, Doron Lamb,Terrence Jones, coach John Calipari, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague.
April 30th, 2012
12:07 PM ET

Opinion: Education vs. the lure of pro basketball

Editor's note: David J. Pate Jr, is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. He is a member of the Ford Foundation Scholars Network on Masculinity and the Wellbeing of African American Males. The piece was written in association with The Op-ed Project, which seeks to expand the range of opinion voices.

By David J. Pate Jr., Special to CNN

(CNN) - As a father, my heart breaks.

The starting five of the University of Kentucky basketball team — the 2012 NCAA champions — announced earlier this month that they're leaving college to go pro. It happens every year in the wake of March Madness, but as an African-American father, I feel my heart crack a little.

Yes these young champions will make money, lots of it, and will have access to instant fame.

I understand why they made the choice, but their collective decision says something about the options in front of all young African-American men. The Great Migration that saw my elders move from the farm to the factory has shifted; these days, too many men of promise move from college to pro sports.

I've been researching the lives of black men for much of my entire career, as a social worker for 15 years in Chicago and since 1998 as a college professor and scholar in Milwaukee. I've interviewed them, written about them and filmed them, capturing their lives and hopes; I've spent most of my time with men who had little to no incomes and limited academic and employment skills. They are often frustrated, homeless, unemployed and debt-ridden.

Read David J. Pate Jr.'s full column

Opinion: Why wave of Mexican immigration stopped
Migrant workers load cilantro in Colorado. The farmer said business is suffering because there are fewer Mexican workers.
April 30th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Opinion: Why wave of Mexican immigration stopped

Editor's note: Jeffrey S. Passel is a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center and a nationally known expert on immigration to the United States and the demography of racial and ethnic groups. D'Vera Cohn is a senior writer at the Pew Research Center. From 1985 to 2006, she was a reporter at The Washington Post, writing chiefly about demographic trends and immigration.

By Jeffrey S. Passel and D'Vera Cohn, Special to CNN

(CNN) - To those of us who have studied the largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States - the four-decade-long influx of millions of Mexicans - it seemed inconceivable that it would ever come to a halt. Yet, as our new Pew Hispanic Center report has shown, it has.

Study: Mexican immigration to United States slows to a standstill

Our analysis of Mexican and U.S. data sources indicates that at least as many Mexicans and their families are leaving the United States as are arriving in the United States from Mexico. As a result, the Mexican-born population in the United States decreased from 12.6 million in 2007 to 12 million in 2011. This appears to be the first sustained decline in the number of Mexican immigrants since the Great Depression, and it is entirely because of a reduction in illegal immigration - more going home and fewer coming. Today, we estimate that 51% of all Mexican immigrants living in the United States are unauthorized. In 2007, that figure was 56%.

Read Jeffrey S. Passel and D'Vera Cohn's full column

'Think Like A Man' and the legacy of 'Love Jones'
Theodore Witcher's "Love Jones" grossed $12 million at the domestic box office when it was released in 1997.
April 27th, 2012
06:30 PM ET

'Think Like A Man' and the legacy of 'Love Jones'

By Stephanie Goldberg, CNN

(CNN) - It's been 15 years since Darius and Nina fell in love after that pivotal poetry reading in Chicago, but fans of "Love Jones" are still talking about the pair's epic romance.

A highbrow, dramatic love story between two young African-Americans, "Love Jones" grossed a mere $12 million at the domestic box office in 1997, but it has an enduring cult following that can certainly be attributed to the film's authenticity.

One month after "Love Jones' " 15th anniversary, however, "Think Like A Man" earned more than $39 million domestically in its first week. Featuring a predominantly African-American ensemble cast, the film adaptation of Steve Harvey's best-selling nonfiction book, raises a frequent question: Is Hollywood finally ready to support more movies featuring African-American love?

Read the full story

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Filed under: Black in America • How we look • Pop culture • Race • Relationships
The third man: The forgotten Black Power hero
In 1986 Australian sprinter Peter Norman was the third man on the podium during the infamous Black Power salute.
April 27th, 2012
03:00 PM ET

The third man: The forgotten Black Power hero

By James Montague, CNN

(CNN) - It is perhaps the most iconic sports photograph ever taken.

Captured at the medal ceremony for the men's 200 meters at the 1968 Mexico Olympics, U.S. sprinter Tommie Smith stands defiantly, head bowed, his black-gloved fist thrust into the thin air.

Behind him fellow American John Carlos joins with his own Black Power salute, an act of defiance aimed at highlighting the segregation and racism burning back in their homeland.

It was an act that scandalized the Olympics. Smith and Carlos were sent home in disgrace and banned from the Olympics for life. But they were treated as returning heroes by the black community for sacrificing their personal glory for the cause. History, too, has been kind to them.

Yet few know that the man standing in front of both of them, the Australian sprinter Peter Norman who shocked everyone by powering past Carlos and winning the silver medal, played his own, crucial role in sporting history.

Read the full story 

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Filed under: Black in America • History • How we live • Sports
Engage: Pitcher on anti-gay kiss cam practice: 'Enough with this stupid trend'
Pitcher Brandon McCarthy spoke against homophobic responses that commonly arise when two men are shown on kiss cams.
April 27th, 2012
02:40 PM ET

Engage: Pitcher on anti-gay kiss cam practice: 'Enough with this stupid trend'

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

Oakland A's pitcher calls Kiss Cam stunt 'homophobic' - The Advocate

George Zimmerman: Before the shots were fired - Reuters

Study shows discrimination towards blacks in North Carolina restaurants  - The New York Daily News

The L.A. Riots through the eyes of Korean-Americans – KoreAm Magazine

April 27th, 2012
11:56 AM ET

The Los Angeles Riots: 20 years later

Twenty years ago Sunday, Los Angeles erupted in riots that forever changed the city. Some conditions, like the LAPD's relationship with the community have improved, while the areas blighted by the riots still struggle today. Now hear from others as they tell their stories about a time that changed the way America saw race.

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1992: The day the music stopped

Lon McQ talks about the day the music stopped when KJLH, a black owned music radio station based in south Los Angeles stopped playing music when the riots began.

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Protester 'needed to vent' during riots

When Mark Craig heard the verdict, he was filled with rage. He got in the car with friends from his diverse suburb north of L.A. and raced downtown, ready to express his anger.

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Fireman relives day he was shot in riots

Los Angeles firefighter Scott Miller was driving his fire truck through the thick of the riot when a car turned its headlights off and pulled up on the passenger side.

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L.A. riots through the eyes of a child

On April 29, 1992, Rosalina Nieves was just 9 years old. After coming home from school, she watched in horror as local TV stations broadcasted live images of mobs in South L.A.

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Covering the Los Angeles riots

CNN journalists look back at their coverage of the 1992 riots that engulfed Los Angeles following the acquittals.

Opinion: Promise of the American Dream is broken
A boy sits in his uncle's home April 21 in Owsley County, Kentucky, where 44.5% of residents live below the poverty line.
April 27th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Opinion: Promise of the American Dream is broken

Editor's note: Tavis Smiley is the host of the late-night television talk show "Tavis Smiley" on PBS and Cornel West is a professor at Princeton. They co-host "Smiley & West" on Public Radio International, and their new book is "The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto."

By Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced that the unemployment rate fell to 8.2%. That should have been a signal that jobs are coming back and that the economy is about to rebound. But, as many economists say, the numbers fell primarily because unemployed Americans have become so discouraged with trying to find a job that they've simply quit looking.

Because nearly one-third of the American middle class, mostly families with children, have fallen into poverty or are one paycheck away from poverty, it is paramount that we dissect the root causes of this mass disenfranchisement within the American workforce. This was the motivation behind "The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience," our 18-city bus tour that traveled across the country last year. It was designed to bring more attention to the plight of impoverished Americans.

These citizens do not fit the negative stereotypes and propaganda that we've heard during the Republican presidential primary contests. The candidates who have vowed to cut government subsidies speak of the poor as if their constituents had been exempted from the millions who, despite their middle-class identification and aspirations, now fall beneath the established poverty line.

Read Tavis Smiley and Cornel West's full column

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