Updated: 2 hours 34 min ago
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 23:54
Detroit-based rapper Danny Brown is known for painting dark and vivid images in his music. But this week on Twitter, he opened up about about how his own battle with depression impacts his work:
He was, however, speaking candidly about his mental health issues, talking openly about depression, insomnia, drug use and death.
"I can't sleep my anxiety is at an all time high (sic) but don't none of y'all care about that sh*t," Danny confessed. Then, "Depression is serous y'all think I do drugs cause it's fun."
It's not the first that Brown has spoken publicly about his struggles with depression and anxiety. Back in 2011, he told MTV about self-medicating with drugs like Aderrall, which needs to be looked at in the bigger picture. As Kellee Terrell pointed out at BET not too long ago, too many black boys and men are suffering through mental illness in silence.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third cause of death among African-American males between ages 15 and 24, behind homicide and accidents. And while suicide rates among Black men are lower than their white counterparts, our rates have gone up dramatically. A report from the U.S. Surgeon General found that from 1980 to 1995, the suicide rate among African-Americans ages 10 to 14 increased 233 percent, as compared to 120 percent of whites. Not to mention the suicide rates of Black men are four times higher than Black women.
Even facing that dismal reality, black men are the least likely to access mental health services thanks, in part, to how difficult it is for black men to get affordable health care. But, most importantly as Terrell points out, there's also the stigma associated with mental illness that equates manhood with being "devoid of emotions."
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 23:32
What's worse than a Google Bus? Try a new Google office that houses startups in San Francisco's Mission District, the longtime home of the city's Latino community.
According to the Venture Capital Post:
The former office of newspaper and catalogue printer Howard Quinn is big enough to accommodate 200 people. Located on 298 Alabama Street, the printer had been in business for half a century when it closed in 2012. The increasing popularity of online publishing, fueled by the technology of the search company, has proven to be very detrimental to printers, the report said.
Hardware firms could utilize the site for gadget and device development since the building which was constructed in the 1920s is zoned for manufacturing. With the leasing of the space, Google could be thinking of acquiring more startups focused on making hardware as it grows from web search and dips its hand into other markets like wearable technology, robotics and the Internet of Things, the report said.
The move highlights the growing trend of Internet firms in Silicon Valley where a fierce competition for tech talent has led them to expand in San Francisco so they can lure new employees who don't want to commute to Mountain View, Palo Alto and Cupertino, the report said.
The Mission has long been a hotbed of displacement for the city's Latino residents thanks to widespread evictions and gentrification. Case in point: the average rent for a one-bedroom in the Mission is more than $2,700.
(h/t Mission Local)
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 22:45
Young Women United, an Albuquerque-based reproductive justice organization that helped win a hard fought victory against New Mexico's recent anti-abortion bill, is now focusing its lens on pregnant women who are battling drug addiction.
The group says that instead of criminalizing these women, there should be more resources to help treat them. From Indiegogo:
Women who are substance using and pregnant at the same time face a criminal (in) justice system that only serves to shame and stigmatize addiction. Mothers who use are often judged and told they must love their drugs more than their kids or that if they really loved their kids they would simply stop using. We want to make a short video to highlight the powerful stories of strength and resiliency of our communities and shed light on the lived realities of people who struggle with addiction every day. By challenging exiting narratives around parenting and addiction, we hope to demonstrate the need for increased access to prenatal care and treatment for women who are pregnant and substance using.
The group has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for their campaign to educate the public and impact public policy. The public education campaign draws from the first-hand experiences of women who have been pregnant and using substances at the same time. The goal is to "change the landscape of the way people think of addiction and parenting."
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 22:40
Before Michael Sam was known to the world as an openly gay football player -- before the sports pundits debated his upcoming NFL draft stock, before his future teammates and opponents publicly fretted over their locker room showers, before he became a hero of the nation's top gay rights organizations -- there was the dinner party in Los Angeles.
Seven men, some gay, some not, gathered at the home of publicist Howard Bragman at the behest of NFL agents Joe Barkett and Cameron Weiss of Empire Athletes, the agency Sam had chosen to represent his professional interests. They included Cyd Zeigler and Jim Buzinski of Outsports.com; Dave Kopay, the former NFL running back who had come out in 1975; former NFL players Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbedajo, who both emerged as vocal allies and lost their jobs because of it; another former player, Wade Davis; former Major League baseball player Billy Bean, who came out after his playing days with the San Diego Padres; and Sam, the University of Missouri star defensive end who is poised to become the league's first openly gay active football player in nearly four decades.
Each man was there with a very specific purpose, according to reports from Outsports and Sports Illustrated: Ziegler had been covering gay athletes since 1999 and made a mean peach cobbler. Davis could relate to Sam's experience as a gay black boy growing up in a small Southern city and knew how to appreciate a good rack of ribs. In his own way, each man had done his part to speak out against homophobia in a sport that promotes a very rigid form of masculinity. Officially, the dinner party was a "coming out party" for Sam, an opportunity to acknowledge the small but powerful support network that surrounds him. Unofficially, it was a celebration of all the work that had led up to this moment where, in less than 24 hours, Sam's truth would be splashed across the front page of the New York Times. But first there were drinks to be had, gay bars to be visited, and karaoke to be sung at one in the morning.
Sam's support network represents the tectonic shift about to take place in America's manliest pastime. For years, there's been a push to find and celebrate an openly gay player in the NFL, and now that he's almost there, the league, its players, coaches and fans will see the fruits of a movement that's been fueled in no small part by individual men called to collective action.
Take Davis, for example. He retired from the NFL Europe in 2003 and didn't come out as gay until years later, after he moved to New York City and put 2,000 miles between himself and his hometown of Little Rock, where he risked someone tapping him on the shoulder at a gay bar, furrowing a brow and asking, "Don't I know you?" He wasn't an indignant young man who wasn't afraid of the world's judgements; he was a man who loved sports and other men and didn't quite know how to reconcile the two. So in New York City he read lots of James Baldwin and did his homework on Sylvia Rivera and learned to appreciate the people who had traveled this path before him. But even more important than the homework he did was the day job he took with the Hetrick-Martin Institute, an advocacy organization for gay youth. There, his official title was Assistant Director of Job Readiness, but what he took away were the lessons from queer folks as young as 13 and 14 who risked the homes they lived in and the families that raised them to be themselves. He thought, "What the hell am I waiting for? I'm a grown man with a job, a little bit of money, and not nearly as much to lose."
And so he didn't just tell the world his truth, he surrounded himself with it. He joined a local gay flag football league and wrote publicly about his experiences. He joined the advisory board of Go Athletes!, a national network of LGBT athletes and allies. Then he became executive director of a group called You Can Play and co-founded another called You Belong with his good friend Darnell Moore, both aimed at developing young people's leadership skills through sports.
When he got Bragman's call to come to Los Angeles to celebrate Sam's bravery, he didn't hesitate, and when he writes about Sam on Facebook, he calls him "my brother" because at dinner they connected by speaking the language that only black men raised in Southern cities could possible know. He, along with Zeigler and the others, are fielding the dozens of interview requests coming Sam's way so that he can focus on football. They know that if he doesn't make it to the league, this moment won't mean a thing. His visibility, his playing on Sundays, is all the advocacy he needs to do.
"The NFL is not this homophobic place that we like to imagine it being," Davis says after only two hours of sleep due to the media firestorm sparked by Sam's going public. He believes that players on every team know that there's at least one gay player in their midst, and it really doesn't matter to them at all as long as he can actually play. Sure, the straight players may not be skilled or interested enough to talk to the media about it, but doesn't it mean anything, Wade says. That all of these guys are keeping their mouths shut to protect their teammates' privacy? That's brotherhood.
But it's the silence, the unofficial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of what's arguably America's biggest cultural institution that everyone at that dinner party in L.A. wanted to vanquish. Yet change doesn't come without consequences, and few know this better than Kluwe and Ayanbedajo. The average NFL career only lasts about three and half years, yet both men were in their 30s and maybe it was their age that gave them a more mature perspective, or at least the practical sense that the clock was ticking and they didn't have much to lose. So when the state of Maryland was debating its same sex marriage ballot initiative, Ayanbedajo, a linebacker for the state's only professional football team, said publicly that he supported it. And when Maryland State Representative Emmett C. Burns Jr. wrote to Ayanbedajo's boss, Raven's owner Steve Bisciotti, demanding that Bisciotti "take the necessary action ... to inhibit such expressions from your employee," Chris Kluwe, a kicker for the Minnesota Vikings, published a response to Burns on Deadspin siding with Ayanbedajo and reassuring the legislator that gay people "won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster." Eventually someone did take necessary actions to inhibit such expressions from their employees. Kluwe was fired, and after winning the Super Bowl in 2013, Ayanbadejo was released.
For an institution that's built its brand on world class athleticism, the NFL is its own worst player: too big to change quickly, too slow to know when it's coming. There are hundreds of people -- scouts, trainers, agents, general managers, owners -- who have a say in whether or not a player ultimately takes the field, and not everyone will be on the same page. Wade says that he's optimistic about the league's commitment to inclusivity because he spends a good deal of time traveling to and from its headquarters in midtown Manhattan, meeting with people like Troy Bennett, the league's Director of Diversity, about ways the league can engage. When I tried to reach Bennett, a representative sent back the following statement: "We admire Michael Sam's honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in the NFL. We look forward to welcoming and supporting Michael Sam in 2014."
But it's the teammates who will ultimately need to welcome and support Sam, and not too many people were asking how they felt until Cyd Ziegler of Outsports put it atop his list of editorial priorities back in 2012. He was inspired by his conversation with a New York Times sports reporter who said that sexuality shouldn't be discussed in football because it just didn't matter to the game. But he disagreed. Despite that 18th century revolution led by George Washington, America did, in fact, have a King, and it was football. No other cultural institution has done more to define American masculinity than the NFL, and when that masculinity acted out, Ziegler didn't think it was fair to vilify players for being closed minded about a subject no one had bothered to ask them about. So he did. "Would you mind playing with a gay teammate?" he asked. RG3 didn't mind, neither would Trent Richardson, or Ahman Green or Javon Kearse. "A lot of them had gay family members and they understand the issues a lot better [than they're given credit for]," Zeigler told me.
But Michael Sam is a different story. He is the issue that we all hope his skeptics can understand and, at the very least, let him play on Sundays.
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 21:13
Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" took home the British Academy of Film and Television Award's prize for best film.
In his acceptance speech, McQueen put the film in political context. "Right now there are 21 million people in slavery," the director said. "I just hope that 150 years from now our ambivalence will not allow another film-maker to make this film."
British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor won the award for best actor for his portrayal of Solomon Northup, a black man who was born free and later sold into slavery.
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 19:59
Repercussions are still being felt from a closely watched vote this weekend where workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee rejected representation by the United Auto Workers union. Theories abound for why workers--even with company support for unionization--rejected the UAW, 712-626 late Friday evening. But one conclusion is certain. The vote deals a huge blow not just to the UAW but to any union hoping to further organize workers in the South. Historically the least unionized region of the country, the South has been, over the last 20 years, the favored destination over the upper Midwest, of foreign-owned carmakers. It is also the region, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a higher than average growth rate in temporary employment. Roughly 39 percent of all temp employment in the country is in the south.
African-Americans, according to this 2013 ProPublica investigation into temp work, are 11 percent of the overall workforce but more than 20 percent of temp workers. Latinos comprise 20 percent.
(h/t In These Times)
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 19:35
Already finished with the second season of "House of Cards?" Then get ready for a new season of Netflix's other hit original series "Orange is the New Black." All 13 episodes of the second season will be available starting on June 6. Check out the above trailer.
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 17:06
A jury of 12 people in Duval County, Fla., could not make a unanimous decision about whether to find Michael Dunn, 47, guilty in connection to the killing of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. The jury did find Dunn guilty of three counts of attempted murder, and of shooting a firearm.
Dunn, who is white, shot and killed Davis, who was black, after complaining about what Dunn described as “thug music” coming from Davis’ friend’s SUV in a Jacksonville convenience store parking lot in November 2012. Dunn testified that he saw the barrel of a gun in the vehicle—yet an investigation revealed that there was never a weapon in the SUV. He claimed that the vehicle’s music was blaring “ridiculously loud,” yet he also says he heard Davis threaten to kill him.
Dunn grabbed his semi-automatic pistol from his car’s glove compartment, fired nine bullets into the vehicle Davis was occupying, along with Tevin Thompson, Leland Brunson, and Tommie Stornes, and killed Davis. Dunn, along with his fiancé, who was purchasing snacks at the convenience store when the killing occurred, returned to the hotel room where the two were staying, ordered pizza and went to sleep. The following morning, they drove home, nearly 200 miles away from Jacksonville. It was then that Dunn finally contacted a friend in law enforcement about turning himself in.
“I just got off the phone with you and we were taking about how racist the blacks are up here. The more time I am exposed to these people, the more prejudiced against them I become.”
In another, Dunn complains that “jails are full of blacks,” and proposes a troubling solution:
“This may sound a bit radical, but if more people would arm themselves and kill these fucking idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.”
He also wrote about his plans to find a “slimy civil-law lawyer” to sue Duval County for “reverse-discrimination.”
Jurors could not come to one decision about the charge of first degree murder, but did find Dunn guilty for the attempted murders of Tevin Thompson, Leland Brunson, and Tommie Stornes, who were riding in the SUV with Davis the evening of his death.
Dunn has maintained that he was acting in self-defense. The case stems out of Florida—where more than one million people carry concealed weapons—and has consistently drawn parallels to the George Zimmerman case, which ended in a not guilty verdict for Zimmerman in connection to the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Sat, 02/15/2014 - 00:23
Whether you love or loathe Valentine's Day, this take on it from Brooklyn comedian Marie Faustin will make you chuckle.
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 22:33
Jesse Williams thinks everyone in America should be outraged over the death of black teenager Jordan Davis, and they should channel that outrage to the man on trial for his murder, Michael Dunn, the 47-year-old white man who reportedly shot Davis over loud music. "It is not a black problem," Williams told HLN. "It is a white problem. This is an American problem. It is a societal problem."
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 22:05
West Hollywood's Mr. Musichead Gallery is set to exhibit a set of photos of Prince from 1977. Photographer Robert Whitman was apparently the first to shoot Prince, who was either 18 or 19 at the time, in his studio, at a friend's home and on the streets of Minneapolis.
The exhibition, which runs for a month, opens for a private reception on February 20, and then to the public on February 21.
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 19:37
Palestinian "Arab Idol" winner Mohammad Assaf said at a recent press conference that he's been banned from performing at the World Cup opening ceremony this summer because of some "countries" or "groups" -- he didn't specify who -- pulled the plug.
Milanna Knezevic explains over at Policy Link:
Assaf, a former wedding singer, has become somewhat of Palestinian hero; when his victory was announced, people in Gaza and Ramallah poured onto the streets in celebration.
In addition to singing patriotic Palestinian songs, Assaf has made political statements on a number of occassions: "We are searching for our rights, for peace, unity and the end of the occupation and illegal Israeli settlements," he said to the New York Times in December.
But Assaf's popularity, which has made headlines abroad, has also drawn criticism.
In an email complaining to Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Palestinian children are "educated to hate Jews, while Palestinian officials continue to call for their deaths." He also included a link to one of Assaf's performance of ali al-keffiyeh, a Palestinian folk song.
But there is some good news in all of this. Shakira, who performed at the World Cup's opening ceremony back in 2010, has reportedly decided to boycott this year's opening ceremony in Brazil in protest of Assaf's ousture.
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 19:16
A student-led social media effort to generate conversation about what it’s like to be a black student at University of Michigan has morphed into an organizing effort to win concrete changes on campus. And it’s moving.
Students from the university’s Black Student Union kicked off a social media conversation centered around the hashtag #BBUM—Being Black at Michigan—last fall.It triggered an outpouring from students and alumni which got the hashtag trending on Twitter. A sampling:
That first class when black culture becomes the topic and you suddenly become the voice of all black people #BBUM— Jeremy A. Cook (@cjeremya) November 19, 2013
"Apparently my race is the only thing that makes me diverse..FALSE. It is my wide body of experiences" #BBUM— Bayan (@ThatAlgerian) November 20, 2013
Assuming that because I'm black I don't deserve to be here and am a result of affirmative action, which is not even in place right now #BBUM— Dezha (@Dezha_Marshae) November 19, 2013
The original goal was to have a public conversation about what it’s like to be black in an increasingly stratified, and racially segregated higher education ecosystem. But it didn’t end there. Spurred on by the outpouring of dialogue the hashtag triggered, the BSU began using the hashtag as an organizing tool, then returned to the university in the new year with seven demands to improve the campus climate.
On Tuesday, as a direct result of the hashtag-driven campaign, the university’s student government passed a resolution to support the seven demands put forth by the BSU, and student activism efforts to increase student-of-color enrollment at the university, including the creation of a scholarship for undocumented students, the Michigan Daily reported. Administrators have agreed to set aside $300,000 to renovate the campus multicultural center, according to Rick Fitzgerald, the associate director of public affairs for the university.
Movement on some student demands has been easier than others, though. The BSU also called for an increase in black enrollment rates at the University of Michigan to 10 percent of the student body, which the university is legally barred from carrying out. The Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that using racial quotas in higher education admission violates the Equal Protection Clause.
“It’s a continuing conversation,” said Fitzgerald. “My understanding is that upon a deeper understanding of what student concerns were, they are continuing to have discussions about what the university may or can and cannot do.” Still, Fitzgerald says, “My understanding is groups continue to believe the discussions are productive and worth continuing.”
Meanwhile online, the conversation is still going, unified by the hashtag #BBUM. “What’s happening is we’re bonding the experiences of students—not just blacks but other marginalized communities at the University of Michigan—and helping that dictate our work with the administration,” says Robert Greenfield IV, BSU’s treasurer and a third year undergraduate.
When the BSU launched the hashtag last fall, students from other campuses, including the rival Michigan State University, picked it up and and adapted it for their own schools, the Michigan Daily reported. NPR reporter Michele Norris, who was the University of Michigan’s Winter 2013 commencement speaker, helped amplify students’ voices by retweeting it.
The conversation comes amidst a recent outpouring of dialogue about what it’s like to be a black student in elite and intensely stratified educational environments. Last fall black undergrads from UCLA pointed out that the university has more NCAA championships than black male freshmen and that the majority of black male students were in fact athletes. Documentaries like “American Promise” and “Prep School Negro” have examined the everyday hardships and deep psychological toll of being black in overwhelmingly white elite school settings. And this week black students at UCLA Law School released a video of their own, covering parallel themes. The constant takeaway? It’s a fraught, often exhausting experience.
For Greenfield, it’s the everyday acts of subtle microaggression which stay with him. As an engineering major, Greenfield says his classmates assume he’ll be the weak link in their group projects, and so he’s typically given easier work. “Or they triple-check what you did in particular as opposed to what other students did,” he says. “It’s kind of like an intellectual superiority imposed on students of color.”
Just recently Greenfield says, “We were doing anthropometric measurements in lab. One of the tests we had to do was measuring a person’s grip and my grip scored higher than others. People said, ‘Oh, it’s just because you’re black.’”
It’s not just these seemingly minor microaggressions. In universities across the country acts of flagrant campus racism and harassment still abound. From campus parties with students showing up in blackface all over the country; to nooses left on campus at the University of California San Diego; to students tormenting black roommates at San Jose State University; to a “whites-only” sign being taped above a water fountain at Oberlin College, college can very often be a hostile environment for black students and other students of color.
The campus’s lack of racial diversity aggravates the campus climate, students have said. University of Michigan’s incoming fall class was 5.1 percent black—much lower than racial demographics in the rest of the state, where blacks make up 14.3 percent of the population. Black enrollment at the school has dipped 30 percent since Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, a 2006 ballot initiative that blocked race-conscious admissions at the school. Proposal 2 is the subject of a current Supreme Court challenge. Greenfield says going to school in the shadow of so many past challenges to affirmative action and active Supreme Court cases adds another layer to the student experience.
“We need to challenge the idea that the only black kids qualified to be here are the ones who are already enrolled,” Greenfield says. “It’s not a matter of lowering standards but making an active attempt to target students who are from different backgrounds.”
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 18:51
Pioneering hip-hop group De La Soul is giving away the best ever Valentine's Day gift--their entire catalogue for free starting Friday, February 14 (yes, today) until Saturday at noon EST. The music will be available on the group's website.
"It's about allowing our fans who have been looking and trying to get a hold of our music to have access to it," De La Soul member Posdnuous told Rolling Stone. "Its been too long where our fans haven't had access to everything. This is our way of showing them how much we love them."
Get your hard drive ready.
(h/t Rolling Stone)
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 18:30
The call went out on Twitter early this morning: #CancelTheInterview. Next Tuesday, CNN's Chris Cuomo will air an interview with George Zimmerman, the man whom a Florida jury last year acquitted of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. His death and his parents' grief prompted demonstrations across the country.
A Change.org petition with more than 500 signatures so far, has also been posted. Zimmerman resurfaced in the news recently because of an on-again, off-again boxing match, originally with rapper DMX. That fight was called off via Tweet on February 8th. But conflicting reports suggest a fight, opponent and location unknown, may happen after all.
Is it irresponsible for journalists to interview Zimmerman? Or, is the media simply doing its job? Weigh in.
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 01:20
UPDATE 02/13/2014 AT 5:00PM EST -- The White House postponed today's announcement of the "My Brother's Keeper," initiative because of the snowstorm. A new date has not yet been made public.
So that thing for young men of color the president quickly mentioned in one line during his State of the Union speech? It's almost here. This Thursday, Pres. Obama plans to announce, "My Brother's Keeper." The Washington Post describes it as a national initiative that will bring foundations and companies together, "to test a range of strategies," to support young men of color. The new initiative will be accompanied by, "a more vigorous evaluation of what policies work best."
Look for more details, including cost and scope, on Thursday. In the run-up to that announcement, a Chicago program, Becoming a Man, is being promoted as a White House-approved model intervention program.
It is unusual, notes the WP, for this president to focus attention on a relatively narrow demographic group.
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:13
In case you haven't already heard, San Francisco is in the middle of a class war. The city's tech-driven gentrification is now part of a national conversation about income inequality. But if there's one symbol for it in San Francisco, it's the much-maligned Google buses that shuttle workers from the city's hottest neighborhoods to the company's campus in neighboring Mountain View.
But Bay Area-based journalist Susie Cagle is tired of talking about the buses. She's more interested in talking about money, and to that end, she's made a brilliant comic that details what's happening in San Francisco. For us, it's particularly worth nothing that as the city gets wealthier, it also gets decidedly whiter. My colleague Julianne Hing has reported on the increase in evictions in the city, which have pushed many families of color out of their longtime homes.
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:04
Sports anchor Dale Hansen sent shockwaves throughout the sports world this week when he quoted Audre Lorde on live TV in Dallas to defend Micheal Sam. It's an impassioned defense even before he quotes Lorde, but to see an older white man do this on television in the South? Amazing.
(h/t Mother Jones)
Thu, 02/13/2014 - 22:05
Despite big gains in the number of AP exam test takers in the last decade, large racial gaps among test-takers persist according to a new report released by the College Board (PDF) this week. In 2013, the College Board administered 3.1 million AP exams for 1 million students, compared to the 1.3 million exams the College Board administered in 2003 for 514,163 students. Still, AP exam takers are more likely to come from wealthier families, and black students in particular are underrepresented among those who take AP tests, which offer high school students a chance to gain college-level credit.
Nearly half, or 48.1 percent, of U.S. students qualify for free or reduced lunch, but among AP exam takers 27.5 percent qualify for free or reduced lunch. Black students were 14.5 percent of the graduating class of 2013 in the U.S., but 9.2 percent of the nation's AP exam takers. Black students are the most underrepresented racial group among AP exam takers. In only two states in the country--Hawaii and Idaho--is there parity between the two.
American Indian students were 1 percent of the 2013 U.S. high school graduating class but 0.6 percent of those who took AP exams, while Latino students made up roughly 19 percent of both the graduating class and AP exam takers. Asian American and Pacific Islander students are 5.9 percent of students who graduated from high school in 2013 but 10.7 percent of AP exam takers. White students are 58 percent of those who graduated from high school in 2013 but 56 percent of AP exam takers.
What's more, the College Board found that nearly 300,000 students who are AP-ready haven't taken an AP-level courses. Read the full report (PDF) for more, including state-by-state breakdowns.
Thu, 02/13/2014 - 20:36
The highly anticipated and often delayed 2pac biopic is one step closer to actually becoming a reality. John Singleton has been tapped to rewrite, direct and produce the film, which he's long wanted to do anyway.
"Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with," Singleton told Variety. "His passing deeply affected my life as well as countless people in this world. His life story [is] important to my generation."
Singleton directed Shakur in his breakthrough role in the film "Poetic Justice" alongside Janet Jackson, and has grown close with the slain rapper's family since his death in 1996. Here's how close the two were back in 1994:
The next step is casting the actor who will play 2pac. Singleton said that he hopes to begin production in June.
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