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Military families face financial hurdles
Priscilla Schrubb is married to a Marine and has relocated five times.
March 27th, 2012
11:21 AM ET

Military families face financial hurdles

Editor's note: Overseas, they fight for freedom. In America, they fight for jobs. “Voters In America: Vets Wanted?” is the first part of a CNN In America documentary series on American voters. Narrated by J.R. Martinez. Airing May 13th 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on CNN.

By Jessica Dickler, CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Unemployment, debt and a troubled housing market are plaguing families across the country, but for those in the armed forces, there is an even bigger burden to bear.

Often young and required to move frequently, many military families struggle to maintain a two-income household, find affordable childcare and save for the future.

Service members and their families have a tougher time because the military isn't a high-paying job and most "are very young and without formal financial literacy training," said Robert Joshua, executive vice president at Navy Federal Credit Union, which serves military and civilian personnel and their families.

The average junior enlisted member with less than four years' experience earns just over $40,000 a year, including housing and food allowances, according to the Defense Department. The salary goes up, however, for service members with families. Those who are married with two kids earn $52,000.

Read the full story on CNNMoney

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Filed under: Documentaries • Economy • Veterans • Who we are
'Hunger Games' fans tweet displeasure over black actors
"I was pumped about the Hunger Games. Until I learned a black girl was playing Rue," was one tweet posted on Tumblr.
March 27th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

'Hunger Games' fans tweet displeasure over black actors

(CNN) - You can't please everyone when adapting a book for the big screen, especially one as beloved as "The Hunger Games," but director Gary Ross and the casting team likely weren't anticipating this.

According to Jezebel, there appears to be a group of fans who are displeased that black actors were cast to portray Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), Rue (Amandla Stenberg) and Thresh (Dayo Okeniyi). While Cinna's complexion isn't described in the novel, author Suzanne Collins does describe the latter two characters as both having dark skin.

As chronicled on the Tumblr "Hunger Games Tweets," it seems some readers either didn't pick up on the description or didn't read the description as depicting two African-American characters, and as a result have been vocal about their disappointment.

Read the full post on CNN's Marquee blog

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Filed under: Black in America • Pop culture • Race • Who we are
March 26th, 2012
04:27 PM ET

The Latino star dancing into living rooms across America

Editor’s Note: Juan Carlos Arciniegas is based in Hollywood, as a correspondent and Showbiz anchor for CNN Espanol.  You can follow him on Twitter @JuanCarlosCNN.

By Juan Carlos Arciniegas, CNN Espanol

Hollywood, CA (CNN) - He is an international star.  Tens of millions of  fans in the U.S. alone follow his telenovelas, collect his magazine covers and post his picture on high school lockers.  Odds are good, however, if you are not Latino, you may have never heard of him - until now.

Some people call William Levy the  “Latino Brad Pitt” (lazy comparison, I know) but until last week Levy was not a familiar name for most of the American television audience.

It all changed last Monday, when Levy was introduced as one of the new contestants on season 14 of the popular TV show, “Dancing with the Stars.” Levy and Cheryl Burke, his dance partner, left that day with a score of 24 out of 30, placing him in second place behind competitors Jaleel White and Katherine Jenkins.  Levy also received a standing ovation and, finally, recognition in America that extends beyond the Latino audience.

William Levy and his "Dancing with the Stars" partner, Cheryl Burke.

FULL POST

Engage: Cuban-Americans head to Cuba for Papal visit
Pope Benedict said last week that Cuba's Marxist political system "no longer corresponds to reality."
March 26th, 2012
04:13 PM ET

Engage: Cuban-Americans head to Cuba for Papal visit

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

Pope Benedict travels to Cuba on Monday - FoxNews Latino

Some "Hunger Games" fans upset about race of characters - The Huffington Post 

The sexual revolution has not been good for women - The Wall Street Journal

Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim nominated to head World Bank -  TheDartmouth.com

70 years later, interned Japanese-American  to receive degrees from USC - The Los Angeles Times

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Filed under: Engage
Opinion: A national ID card that protects voting rights
Voter ID efforts in South Carolina and other states have created controversy.
March 26th, 2012
11:36 AM ET

Opinion: A national ID card that protects voting rights

Editor's note: David Frum, a CNN contributor, is a contributing editor at Newsweek  and The Daily Beast. He was a special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002 and is the author of six books, including "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again."

By David Frum, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - In December, the U.S. Department of Justice intervened under the Voting Rights Act to stay a South Carolina voter ID law.

Controversy rages over similar laws in Georgia and Texas. Many expect Justice Department action against the Texas law. (The Georgia law was approved in 2005 by the Bush administration Justice Department.)

The argument against voter ID goes as follows:

The most common form of ID in the United States is a driver's license. Nonwhite registered voters are somewhat less likely than whites to have driver's licenses. In South Carolina, for example, the gap is nearly 20%. Therefore, voter ID will have a discriminatory effect.

National Urban League report names voting as No. 1 issues for African-Americans

But then we're left with a question: What happens when those minority South Carolinians need social services? How do they identify themselves then? Then, of course, they rely on a Social Security number. But Social Security numbers are notoriously prone to theft, fraud and tampering.

Read David Frum's full column

Opinion: Why black people don't trust the police
A memorial to Trayvon Martin outside The Retreat at Twin Lakes community where he was shot by George Zimmerman.
March 26th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

Opinion: Why black people don't trust the police

Editor's note: LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for CNN.com, was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and a 2011 Online Journalism Award finalist for commentary. He is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter: @locs_n_laughs Watch him on Tuesdays on CNN Newsroom in the 9 am ET hour.

By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - I don't trust cops and I don't know many black people who do.

I respect them. I sympathize with them. I am appreciative of the work they do.

But when you've been pulled over for no good reason as many times as I have; when you've been in handcuffs for no good reason as many times as I have; when you run out to buy some allergy medication and upon returning home, find yourself surrounded by four squad cars with flashing lights and all you can think about is how not to get shot, you learn not to trust cops.

Read LZ Granderson's full column

Trayvon's death: Echoes of Emmett Till?
Some see similarities in the death of Trayvon Martin, left, and the 1955 killing of Emmett Till.
March 24th, 2012
08:10 PM ET

Trayvon's death: Echoes of Emmett Till?

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) -  Both were African-American teenagers who left home and never came back. Both forced the nation to talk about unwritten racial codes. Both didn’t live to see what symbols they became.

Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till.

They died 57 years apart, but their names and legacies may be forever merged. Some are saying Martin, a 17-year-old black teenager who was shot to death by a white Hispanic neighborhood watchman is on the verge of becoming this generation’s Emmett Till.

Thousands of angry Americans – of various races - have taken to Facebook and news sites and the streets to compare Martin’s fate to Till, the 14-year-old black boy who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for allegedly violating an unwritten Southern racial code by whistling at a white women.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Black in America • Discrimination • How we look • Race • Social justice
March 23rd, 2012
02:41 PM ET

Obama: 'If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon'

By the CNN Wire Staff

Sanford, Florida (CNN) - President Barack Obama waded into the growing national controversy of the killing of an unarmed black teenager in Florida, saying the nation should do some "soul-searching to figure out how something like this happens."

"I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal state and local, to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened."

Obama said Trayvon Martin's death particularly resonated with him as an African-American parent.

"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," Obama said in brief remarks outside the White House.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Black in America • Politics • Race • Social justice • Who we are
Engage: Growing number of women have never been married
March 23rd, 2012
12:08 PM ET

Engage: Growing number of women have never been married

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

Poll: Nearly 40 percent of women in U.S. never married; nearly half of marriages are over in 20 years – Chicago Sun-Times

Study: 70 percent of female Hispanic youth view themselves as leaders – Huffington Post

Irish Immigration bill draws critics – USA Today

Muslim Americans' identity story one of  'rapid assimilation' – Wall Street Journal

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Filed under: Engage
African-American CEOs still rare
McDonald's promotion of Don Thompson will make him one of six black CEOs of a Fortune 500 company.
March 23rd, 2012
07:00 AM ET

African-American CEOs still rare

By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney

New York (CNNMoney) - The United States government now has a black chief executive. But 99% of the nation's largest businesses do not.

When Don Thompson assumes his new title as CEO of McDonald's (MCD, Fortune 500) on July 1, a promotion announced Thursday, he will be only the sixth active African-American CEO at a Fortune 500 company.

Thompson, who is currently No. 2 at the fast-food chain, will join Kenneth Frazier of Merck (MRK, Fortune 500), Kenneth Chenault of American Express (AXP, Fortune 500), Ursula Burns of Xerox (XRX, Fortune 500), Clarence Otis of Darden Restaurants (DRI, Fortune 500), and Roger Ferguson, who heads privately held TIAA-CREF, as the African-Americans in the nation's top 500 corner offices.

Read the full story on CNNMoney

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Filed under: Black in America • Education • Race • Who we are
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