Talk show hosts Elliott Booker and Reggie Raghu make a presentation during the January 17, 2011 Overbrook Environmental Education Center’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Learning and Service. They discuss the plight of the black farmers and their own initiative to help the farmers by providing urban farmer’s market outlets throughout Philadelphia for their produce and crops.
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By Elliot Booker — 9 months ago
It’s an affront or an opportunity, depending who you ask.
The oil interest lobbying organization American Petroleum Institute has launched a campaign targeting minority communities, including African-Americans, to promote offshore exploration and drilling for natural gas and oil. The pitch is it’s a job creator.
The effort is gauged to counter massive opposition to the offshore alternative that numbers in the millions of individuals and groups.
That opposition is largely people who are white — one of its acknowledged weak points.
But the institute’s Explore Offshore campaign has sparked some outrage.
“I’m not surprised in this political climate,” said Marquetta Goodwine, a Beaufort County resident who goes by Queen Quet. She has been dubbed chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
She is among the more prominent drilling opponents who are African-American. “Those things make me highly irate,” she said.
But the campaign has won some support.
“Quite frankly, what I was concerned about was there were a whole lot of white people (at a public meeting on the issue) and not a whole lot of black people,” said Stephen Gilchrist, chairman of the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce and the Explore Offshore effort in South Carolina.
“African-Americans are economically disenfranchised on the coast,” he said.
The campaign has been taken up by the African-American chamber as well as at least 68 other businesses, pro-business groups and anti-tax groups in the Southeast, from Virginia to Florida. In South Carolina, they include the Palmetto Promise Institute and S.C. Association of Taxpayers.
Industry analyst Offshore Technology reported the campaign specifically focuses on minority communities and that its support reflects the focus.
“These groups include a large representation from black, Hispanic and minority communities, which historically have shown less support for offshore oil and gas exploration than others — something the API is keen to change,” the report said.
How many jobs at stake?
The Explore effort has drawn controversy as drilling opponents brace for a long-expected Trump administration announcement of where federal leases will be offered. These leases will permit seismic blasting exploration for natural gas and oil offshore.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, an early supporter of Trump, has joined leaders of other Southeast Coast states lobbying the administration to be excluded from those leases.
Oil industry and conservation opponents have fought for more than six years over opening the Southeast coast to exploration. The Obama administration closed the waters in 2016. President Donald Trump restarted the process for the years 2019 to 2023.
The issue pits a concern for the environment and a billion-dollar tourism industry against potential revenue and jobs.
The millions opposed to the work on the East Coast include more than 120 municipalities, 1,200 elected officials and 41,000 businesses. Nearly every coastal government in South Carolina, hundreds of businesses and thousands of residents have publicly opposed the move.
With federal momentum now shifting toward the leasing, they have been trying to rally against an intensified public push by drilling proponents who advocate “offshore energy exploration and production that can increase jobs, investments, and reliable, safe, and affordable energy,” Explore Offshore says in part on its website.
The jobs issue has been a sticking point from the beginning of the controversy. Drilling proponents say the work could bring $3.8 billion to the state’s budget and $2 billion in industry and support industry development, creating as many as 34,000 jobs, including jobs that could pay more than $100,000 per year.
Opponents say that’s wildly inflated.
“Seismic testing won’t bring the first job to South Carolina,” said Frank Knapp, president of the S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce. The oil industry brings in its own crews from out-of-state, he said.
“The only way you can justify thousands of jobs is to industrialize a portion of the South Carolina coast” at the cost of tourism revenue, existing coastal industries such as fishing and the environment, he said.
Gilchrist acknowledges the numbers might be best-case and the threats could well be real. But he doesn’t think that should “stop the conversation” about what economic benefits the work might bring.
“I’m just as concerned as anyone else. I don’t see this as an either-or. It’s a both-win. Let’s see if we can do this and protect the coast,” Gilchrist said. “We can be proactive rather than reactive here, figure it out on the front end.”
‘Have to get educated’
The shortfall of vocal participation among people of color in the controversy remains a problem for both sides.
“We are always looking for ways to increase diversity within the coalition,” said Samantha Siegel, a Charleston-based senior organizer for the environmental group Oceana, which is among the leaders of the opposition coalition. “We think it is important that decision makers hear from a diverse group of citizens.”
The coalition includes a diverse array of community, political and business groups, she said.
“But I do think there is more work to be done in terms of educating more folks in the state and particularly the folks that live in vulnerable communities where an oil refinery could be built one day if we don’t stop it,” Siegel added.
Gilchrist doesn’t see the Explore effort as exploitative. Asked about that, he said the work could be a shot at economic opportunity and training for a community that needs it.
“The people I know are barely making it,” he said. “We’re talking about the plight of 40 percent of our state.”
Many in the the “target” audience might just be waiting to see.
“They have to bring me something to back up (job creation),” said Awendaw Mayor Miriam Green, a town in the rural, relatively lower-income stretch of northern Charleston County. She has not been contacted by Gilchrist or the Explore Offshore effort.
One reason why her phone has been quiet? She is anti-drilling.
“People really have to get educated to what’s going on in the world today,” she said. ”(Groups) will single you out for their purposes.”Post Views: 300
By Elliot Booker — 3 years agoBy Editorial_Staff –
AFRICANGLOBE – Haiti will officially become a member of the African Union at the next African Union (AU) Summit which will take place in Lilongue, Malawi this June. Although this decision is novel for a diaspora country, Haiti undeniably has some shared links with Africa.
Haiti Is The First ‘Out Of Africa’ Country To Join The African Union, But Is It Really?
Haiti is famous throughout the African Diaspora for a number of reasons other than the fact that it is a predominantly Black country. The first that calls out to most African states is its significant population of African descendants. In 1804 it became the first Black Republic, when a group of Africans defeated the French to earn the nation’s freedom. An act which made the Island special to Africans and African countries all over the world. Haiti has made recognizable diplomatic efforts to the advent of free African States. It was the first Black Republic that carried high the flame of liberation and freedom for Black people. Haiti also greatly criticized the invasion of Ethiopia by Musolini’s Italy, stood against the war in Algeria, held its support for the independence of Libya and impacted on many African countries.
In January 2010, when Haiti was hit with a devastating earth quake, Haiti was shown love and support by several African countries. Senegal offered Haitians free land and Haitian students a place at its university. African countries pledged more than $8 million USD of which Republic of Congo pledged $2.5 million to aid the devastated country. At the AU Summit in 2010, Chairperson Jean Ping asked Haitians to repatriate to Africa. “We have an attachment and link to that country. The first Black Republic…that carried high the flame of liberation and freedom for Black people and has paid a heavy price in so doing,” said Jean Ping.
Also it is no news that Haitian meals are usually a fusion of Caribbean and African delicacies. It is not strange to find a bit of Okra (flowering plant in the mallow family used for soups and other dishes), Tard root and other African delicacies in their meals. Kompa, the country’s national music style can be linked to African music with its reliance on the African drums beat.
What This Could Mean For Haiti
Haiti is a country that depends on foreign aid and has been identified as one of the poorest countries in the world but it seems that is about to change. Becoming a full member of the African Union will avail the country several other options that will help boost its economy. They will be privy to the debt cancellation scheme, and likely benefit from the China- AU investments as Haiti currently attracts very little direct investments. It will also facilitate free trade between Haiti and other members of the African Union.
The country has also been called out as one of the poorest countries in the Americas, with high rates of unemployment, dependence on foreign aid—the list goes on. The devastating earth quake that hit the country about six years ago leaving several dead and displaced, only aggravated the situation as this further crippled an already collapsing economy. However they have since been on a long road to recovery and their soon to be affirmed membership with the African Union is a step closer.Post Views: 236
By Elliot Booker — 1 year ago
By David Masci
1.Roughly eight-in-ten (79%) African Americans self-identify as Christian, as do seven-in-ten whites and 77% of Latinos, according to Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study. Most black Christians and about half of all African Americans (53%) are associated with historically black Protestant churches, according to the study. Smaller shares of African Americans identify with evangelical Protestantism (14%), Catholicism (5%), mainline Protestantism (4%) and Islam (2%).
2.The first predominantly black denominations in the U.S. were founded in the late 18th century, some by free black people. Today, the largest historically black church in the U.S. is the National Baptist Convention U.S.A. Inc. Other large historically black churches include the Church of God in Christ, the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), and two other Baptist churches – the National Baptist Convention of America and the Progressive National Baptist Association Inc.
3.African Americans are more religious than whites and Latinos by many measures of religious commitment. For instance, three-quarters of black Americans say religion is very important in their lives, compared with smaller shares of whites (49%) and Hispanics (59%); African Americans also are more likely to attend services at least once a week and to pray regularly. Black Americans (83%) are more likely to say they believe in God with absolute certainty than whites (61%) and Latinos (59%).
4.The share of African Americans who identify as religiously unaffiliated has increased in recent years, mirroring national trends. In 2007, when the first Religious Landscape Study was conducted, only 12% of black Americans said they were religiously unaffiliated — that is, atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” By the time the 2014 Landscape Study was conducted, that number had grown to 18%. As with the general population, younger African American adults are more likely than older African Americans to be unaffiliated. Three-in-ten (29%) African Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 say they are unaffiliated compared with only 7% of black adults 65 and older who say this.
5.Older African Americans are more likely than younger black adults to be associated with historically black Protestant churches. While 63% of the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945) say they identify with historically black denominations, only 41% of black Millennials say the same. (When the survey was conducted in 2014, Millennials included those born between 1981 and 1996.)Post Views: 230