Healthy Communities

The dream of Ujima Enterprises is to have students who are centered in their own historical experiences. Such students, given the objectives of the Ujima project, will be capable of creating healthy communities by transforming themselves into viable citizens. Nothing is so correct for these students as the attachment to cultural truths that produce in the children the kind of values that are necessary for advancement.

Dr. Molefi Kete Asante

Little Rock Nine Facts: ‘Little Rock Nine”’ Enter High School That Forcibly Banned Them On This Day In 1957 | Breaking News for Black America

The events surrounding the controversial and moving spectacle of the “Little Rock Nine” still reverberates in the minds of many with its stark imagery and political implications. The barring of nine Black African-American students who were prevented from entering Arkansas’ Little Rock Central High School on September 4, 1957, became known historically as the “Little Rock Crisis,” with then-Governor Orval Faubus calling in the National Guard to stop the students at the door. On this date in 1957, the nine students would begin integration of Little Rock Central along with federal and nearby Army troops.

MORE: Little Rock Nine Facts: ‘Little Rock Nine”’ Enter High School That Forcibly Banned Them On This Day In 1957


The Emancipation Proclamation is 150 Years Old | The White House

One hundred fifty years ago Monday, on September 17, 1862, the Union army commanded by Major General George McClellan met a Confederate force under Robert E. Lee at Antietam Creek in western Maryland, outside the town of Sharpsburg.

For 12 hours, 87,000 Union soldiers launched a series of attacks against 45,000 Confederates. The result was a staggering loss of human life. When dark approached and the fighting ended, almost 25,000 were dead, wounded, or missing. Neither before nor since have more Americans been killed in a single day.

But when it was over, Lee’s advance into Northern territory had been halted. Union forces held the field.

And in the space of that victory, President Abraham Lincoln issued the initial Emancipation Proclamation — specifically joining the cause of the Union with the advancement of freedom.

President Lincoln signed that preliminary order five days after Antietam — on September 22. When it went into effect on January 1, 1863 — 100 days later — the Proclamation freed all those held as slaves in the Confederate states.

via The Emancipation Proclamation is 150 Years Old | The White House.

NY Graduation Rates for Black, Hispanic Boys Lowest in Nation

For African-American and Hispanic male students, New York has the worst four-year high school graduation rate in the country, according to a study by the Schott Foundation for Public Education.

In fact, the researchers say, a meager 37% of black and Hispanic boys are graduating for New York high schools in four years.

The number for male, white students is 78%, according to the foundation’s report titled, “The Urgency of Now.”

“I think this is just an enormous tragedy and it’s happening under the nose of the people in the wealthiest city in the country,” said Michael Holzman of the Schott Foundation.

NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott says the city is working to improve graduation rates and his office points out that while the Schott study focuses on four-year graduation rates, many students do graduate in five or six years.

MORENY Graduation Rates for Black, Hispanic Boys Lowest in Nation | NBC New York.


The Root 100 2012 List: Black Influencers to Know

One core mission ofThe Root is to reveal and recognize African Americans who are breaking ground, raising the bar and effecting meaningful change in the world. We do that in many ways throughout the year, but our signature means of recognizing our community’s best and brightest, since 2009, is through The Root 100 annual list of black achievers and influencers, ages 25-45. The Root 100 honorees not only excel in their fields but also are people who use their influence to shape the world and make it a better place. Otherwise, what is all that influence really good for?

It’s in that spirit that we reveal our top-ranked honoree for 2012: scholar, author and MSNBC television-show host Melissa Harris-Perry. “For me, success is when I’m making a contribution and fully engaging all of my talents,” Harris-Perry once said. Evidence of that success over the past year is clear in how the Tulane University political science professor has handled the national platform that came with her new MSNBC news show, Melissa Harris-Perry. She has used it not only to air the typical hot-button issues that feed the cable-news beast, like the latest politician’s gaffe, but also to discuss the tough topics that many would rather not face, like felon voter rightsanti-Muslim bigotry and the way the poor are being ignored and vilifiedin politics.

Harris-Perry’s approach to success is one that is shared by others on The Root 100 2012 list, all of whom were noted for how they exercised their influence within the past year.

MOREThe Root 100 2012 List: Black Influencers to Know.


Happy Birthday Ray Charles!

Completely blind by the age of 7, not long after he witnessed the drowning death of his younger brother, Charles would grow to be a pioneer in the genre of soul music. His risky, solely authentic blend of R&B and gospel shocked and titillated fans around the world and “Rolling Stone” ranked him as No. 10 on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” in 2004, the year of his death.

Though he would battle drug abuse in his lifetime, his legacy of music, resilience, philanthropy, humor and wisdom serve as testaments to his strength and his unwavering belief that we’re “supposed to believe we’re here for a purpose.”

MORE:  Happy Birthday Ray Charles! | Breaking News for Black America.


Michelle Obama Leadership Lessons

Mom-in-Chief. Golden smile. Arguably one of the most progressive first ladies of our time. Michelle Obama has made her mark. Coloring outside the lines of past traditional roles of first ladies, Obama plays an active role in support of her husband’s agenda. Like many first ladies before her, Michelle skillfully weaves a personal identity of her husband— an image that will gainfully assist him to his reelection. However, she accomplishes what few great speakers have done, evoking  exemplary practices of leadership through her words.

In Leadership Challenge (Jossey Bass; $24.95), a Businessweek best-seller, authors James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner point out their five exemplary practices of leadership, all of which are embodied byFirst Lady Obama. Take a cue and learn from these tenants of excellence in your career and overall life:

MORE:  Michelle Obama Leadership Lessons.


Magic Johnson opens school to give high school dropouts a helping hand

The Magic Johnson Bridgescape center helps give those who have left school, or are at risk of dropping out, the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. The program, which has just opened its doors, is free and accepts students aged 14 to 20 years old.

Unlike traditional schools, Bridgescape takes a holistic approach, with life skills counselors as well as teachers on site to provide developmental and academic support. Students get academic credits online, including one-on-one and small group classes.

MORE:  Magic Johnson opens school to give high school dropouts a helping hand | theGrio.


What To Look Out For At Urbanworld 2012

The Urbanworld Festival gives talented individuals such as Ava Duvernay and Mara Brock Akil a chance to shine and display their filmmaking skills on an international scale. The five-day annual event which was founded by a woman–Stacy Spikes–seeks to redefine and advance “the roles of multicultural constituents in contemporary filmed entertainment.”

Because of the limited depiction of women of color in mainstream media and film, it may seem that there aren’t any black female directors, writers or producers, but, there are! This year, urban women hold their own, having a stake in every category of the acclaimed competition.

At last year’s event, Ava Duvernay made history as the first black woman to win the “U.S. Drama Directing” award! And, this year we hope she, or another talented beauty, takes it home as well!

via What To Look Out For At Urbanworld 2012 | Celebrity News & Style for Black Women.

Maya Angelou on Melissa Harris-Perry Show

Who knew Melissa Harris-Perry was a former student of Maya Angelou? This weekend the novelist, artist, activist and teacher spoke to the MSNBC host — who, like many fans and readers, is still clearly eager to learn from her — about topics ranging from the meaning of courage to the importance of education in the formation of identity.

Angelou explained at one point in the Melissa Harris-Perry show interview why she finds the hostile political climate leading up to the election heartbreaking.

Visit for breaking news


via Maya Angelou on Melissa Harris-Perry Show.



Live Your Life With Passion And Purpose [Tips]

If moving forward were as simple as it sounds everyone would be blissfully actualizing his or her unique purpose. But it’s not. It takes devotion, fearlessness and discipline. Luckily, it all starts with one step: Making the decision to change. If you are ready to embrace that choice this week, here are some things that can help you make the room in your life for not just what you have to do, but what you want to do.


1. Reconnect with Your Passion. Are you doing exactly— or at least most of— what you’ve always envisoned? If not, take time to think about what you’ve always dreamed of doing. Write it down. Next, start brainstorming around what that can look like for you today.

2. Create a Space. Many of us are surrounded by physical AND emotional clutter; both prevent us from having the clarity to move forward. Figure out what you need to readjust in your life in order to create a space where thinking is easy.

3. Define a Timeline. Nothing creates accountability like a deadline. Generate action dates for your goals—and honor them.

MORE:  Live Your Life With Passion And Purpose [Tips].