February 23rd, 2012
09:12 PM ET

I Am America: Historically connected Ross Stoltz

Ross Stoltz is from Camden, New York. He is a descendant of Mayflower passenger Degory Priest, one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact. One of his ancestors was among the original settlers of his hometown; he was a Revolutionary War soldier who fought under George Washington in Valley Forge.

What makes you American?

Check out Ross' story and see other "I Am America" posts on iReport.

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Report: Golden years of blacks, Latinos more likely to be tarnished by poverty
Nearly a fifth of black and Latino elders are living in poverty, says a University of California, Berkeley researcher.
February 23rd, 2012
12:47 PM ET

Report: Golden years of blacks, Latinos more likely to be tarnished by poverty

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) – Nonwhite older Americans are more likely to suffer from poverty in retirement, according to a study released by the University of California at Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education.

"Black and Latino Retirement (In)Security," released Tuesday, found that the poverty rate for blacks (19.4%) and Latinos (19%) over 65 is more than twice that of the national average and nearly triple that of whites.

The report analyzes data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census' American Community Survey.

Another of the report’s findings offers a clue to why such a disparity exists – nonwhites are less likely to work for an employer who offers a retirement plan, and are also less likely to contribute to it when it is offered.


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Filed under: Age • Black in America • Census • Economy • How we live • Latino in America
February 23rd, 2012
12:24 PM ET

Black male teachers becoming extinct

By Allen Huntspon and George Howell, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) - Take a moment and think of all the teachers you had between pre-K and twelfth grade.

Now, how many of them were black men?

For most people, this question won’t take too long to answer. That’s because less than two percent of America’s teachers are black men, according to the Department of Education.

That is less than 1 in 50 teachers.

Terris King, 25, a kindergarten teacher at the Bishop John T. Walker School in Washington D.C., believes that for African-American children, having a strong role model in front of them can make a huge difference.

“I fit a void in their lives,” King says, “A lot of them have never felt what it feels like to shake a man’s hand, [have him] look them in the eye, and tell them right from wrong. They need those things. They need someone in their lives who’s strong—they need an African American male in their lives that’s positive.”

This year, King has just over fifty African-American children from low-income households in his classes.

“I look out of my window, and I see gentlemen that are standing on the corner, and I look at my boys, and I can say to myself what I’m going to teach in a day about what’s right and what’s wrong, might turn the path a little bit.”

It’s this kind of impact that Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he is trying to replicate in classrooms around the country. He launched the Teach campaign and is actively trying to recruit more African-American men to go into teaching straight out of college.

“I think all of our students benefit from having a black male in the classroom,” Duncan says, “But particularly our young black males. I think what we haven’t talked about enough is that we’re competing with the gangs, we’re competing with the drug dealers on the corner, and when students fall through the cracks, when young people don’t have that positive mentor, in a school setting, in the church or community, there’s always a guy on the street corner that can say come my way.”

But if you ask most African-American men why they don’t teach, they’ll tell you—-it just doesn’t pay the bills. King says, “Historically in our society there is an expectation that a man provides for their family. This is an added pressure, that warns against men becoming teachers because of the salary.”

“I just want our teaching workforce to reflect the tremendous diversity of our nation’s young people. [But] I think fundamentally we have done a poor job as a country, historically, of making the teaching profession attractive,” Duncan says. FULL POST

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Engage: GOP hopefuls address border security, immigration in debate
Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney at the Arizona Republican Presidential Debate last night.
February 23rd, 2012
11:32 AM ET

Engage: GOP hopefuls address border security, immigration in debate

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

Republican presidential candidates take hard line on immigration, border security in Arizona debate -The Los Angeles Times 

New Jersey Muslims  "disturbed" by  New York Police Department's "spying", surveillance operations -Northjersey.com

For 2012 campaign, President has targeted outreach to blacks, a contrast to 2008 approach -National Public Radio

New cable networks aimed at Latinos -USA Today

Study suggests women with migraines may have increased risk for depression -Time Magazine

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February 23rd, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Nat Turner's bible donated to museum

By Sarah Springer, CNN

(CNN) - The bible belonging to Nat Turner, an American slave who led the famous slave rebellion of 1831, will be one of the first artifacts on view at The Smithsonian's National Museum of African-American History and Culture scheduled to open in 2015.

As a result of the rebellion Turner became a wanted man and was hunted throughout Virginia. When he was found he was holding a Holy Bible. A descendant of a white survivor of this slave rebellion has donated this bible to the new museum.

John W. Franklin, director of partnerships and international programs at The National Museum of African American History and Culture Smithsonian Institution, said (the bible) belonged to the Person family who were victims in the Nat Turner rebellion, which shows that African American history is not isolated and that it serves both white and black families, white and black individuals.

“It’s not just a black story, it’s never just a black story” Franklin said.


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Filed under: Black in America • Discrimination • History • Who we are