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Nas Reacts To Seeing An Ancestor’s Bill Of Sale Into Slavery


During Tuesday’s episode of PBS’ documentary series “Finding Your Roots,” rapper Nas was shown a devastating document from the past: a paper receipt for an ancestor’s sale into slavery.

Sitting opposite the show’s host, scholar and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates, Nas flipped through a book of documents and photos related to his predecessors. Among them was an 1859 bill of sale announcing the sale of his great-great-great-grandmother, Pocahontas, to a Virginia landowner when she was around 15 years old.

“A receipt for a human being,” Nas responded with an exhale.

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For Black Students the School to Prison Pipeline Is in Higher Gear Than Ever


The focus has been intense on the wildly disproportionate number of black students who are suspended or expelled from America’s public schools. But what has flown quietly under the radar is the even more wildly disproportionate number of black students who are arrested on high school and even elementary school campuses for alleged behavior that in decades past was handled in the principal’s office and with a call home to parents. That’s still the way school infractions are handled with most white students and in most suburban public schools.

But if the student is black, a cross word between students, a glare at the teacher, or a scuffle is likely to bring the police. The hard numbers tell the brutal tale of the iron fist treatment of blacks by school administrators. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights in separate reports in 2012 and 2014 found that more than 70 percent of black and Hispanic students were involved in school related arrests or simply turned over to local police and the courts. The report found that the actual arrest rate for black students was one-third higher than for white students. In the Chicago public schools in 2011 the number of black students arrested even topped the national average. Nearly three-quarters of all arrests were of African-American students though they comprised less than half of the Chicago public school students. They were arrested at a rate nearly four times higher than even that of Latinos.

School officials have grossly overreacted to the real or perceived bad behavior of some black students for two reasons. One is what the book on enforcement and public policy mandates. The Federal Gun-Free Schools Act, passed in 1994, requires that states order their schools to kick students out for weapons possession in order to qualify for federal funds. (School officials later expanded the list of violations for student expulsion to include fighting and other violent acts.) The zero-tolerance school laws and policy in many school districts mandate that a student be expelled for one year for infractions that include drug sales, robbery, assault, weapons possession and fights that cause serious physical injury.


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5 Things About Slavery You Probably Didn’t Learn In Social Studies: A Short Guide To ‘The Half Has Never Been Told’



Edward Baptist’s new book, “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery And The Making Of American Capitalism”, drew a lot of attention last month after the Economist said it was too hard on slave owners.

What you might not have taken away from the ensuing media storm is that “The Half Has Never Been Told” is quite a gripping read. Baptist weaves deftly between analysis of economic data and narrative prose to paint a picture of American slavery that is pretty different from what you may have learned in high school Social Studies class.

The whole thing is well worth reading in full. Baptist positions his book in opposition to textbooks that present slavery like a distant aberration of American history, cramming 250 years into a few chapters in a way “that cuts the beating heart out of the story.” To counter that image of history, Baptist devotes much of the book to depicting the lived experience of enslavement in a way that’s vivid and immediate.

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Poverty The Strongest Factor In Whether High School Graduates Go To College

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Students from high-poverty public schools are less likely to attend college than those from wealthier ones, regardless of whether they’re from urban, suburban or rural areas.

A report released Tuesday by the research branch of the nonprofit National Student Clearinghouse, which examined data from more than 3.5 million high school graduates, found that poverty remains a more important indicator of whether a student will go to college than high school demographics or location.

Class of 2013 students from low-minority, low-income, suburban and rural schools were the least likely to have enrolled in college by last fall –in the semester immediately following their graduation — according to the report. Students who went to low-minority, higher-income suburban schools were the most likely to have enrolled in college. Among higher-income schools, those with high populations of minority students posted lower college enrollment rates than low-minority schools.


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Calling all Freshmen



8a.m.’s are the best… said no one ever. You wake up at 7a.m. to get ready, and at 7:55 you’re on your way rushing to Ballantine. On your way to Ballantine, you remember that you didn’t do your homework the night before because you decided to hang with your friends instead. Now, you are stressing trying to decide if you should attend class or not. Does this sound like you? A freshman who doesn’t have control of their social life and academic career? Do you go to your dorm every day and take a nap instead of doing your homework? Or do you avoid attending office hours because you think you are too smart?

Too many freshmen think this way and find themselves in a bad position because they are in denial about the transition from high school to college. It’s true, arriving at college seemed like the best time of your life. No homework and all the free time in the world, until Monday, the first day of classes, hit. The professors give you these weird syllabuses that most of us just threw away in high school, but here at IU, they became the center of our lives. Plus, compared to High school it is becoming clearer that at college, the biology, psychology, and chemistry classes are fast paced and teachers don’t check to make sure you read—they expect it.

I don’t know about you, but I am starting to realize that college isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Unlike, high school I have to actually study to get an A. I am also learning that once you start slacking off in college you cannot catch up quickly. So whatever you are doing now, DON’T FALL BEHIND! Yes, your friends will knock on your door, and call you on Thursday nights because they don’t have classes Friday, but sometimes you have to say NO. There are many opportunities at Indiana University, but you are here and you must put your Academics first. So remember that when you skip your homework to go to a callout meeting, or take a 3 hour nap before a huge test the next day, the consequences will be costly.


Here are some solutions to keep you on track:

 Take control.

For many students, the most striking difference between college and high school is that at college there’s no one there to stand over you and tell you what to do. Getting to class, doing the homework, getting your papers in on time—all of these are things you’re going to have to do without a parent or teacher to push you. Step up to bat and take responsibility. You’re in charge of this thing.

Get to class.

 Most students have a “cutting budget”: the number of classes they think they can miss and still do pretty well in the course. For four, five, six, seven classes, you might think: “No problem, I’ll get the notes.” But, miss seven classes and (if the course has 35 meetings) you’ve missed 20 percent of the content. This can do major damage to your GPA come the tests. Also, most courses have a limit to how many classes one can miss before grades drop by policy, SO GO TO CLASS!




Adjust your attention span.

 You’re used to getting your content in short, entertaining blasts: one- to three-minute YouTube videos, hyper abbreviated text messages, and 140-character tweets. But your professor is thinking in terms of a 50-minute lecture, divided into perhaps two or three segments. Retrain your attention span to process long—very long, it will seem—units of content (rather than zoning in and out as things strike you).

Study; don’t “study.”

Though nobody quite tells you this, at college most of the work is done outside the classroom. Rule of thumb: one hour of lecture, two hours of preparation. As soon as the semester starts, find yourself a quiet place to study and block out the times of the week you’re going to do the studying. Above all, don’t count study-related activities as actual studying: copying over your notes, getting the e-readings, listening to the lecture again, and “getting acquainted” with your study group are all fine activities, but they don’t count as studying.

Connect with your professor (or TA).

 The single most underutilized resource at college is the office hour, now available in-person, by e-mail, or by Skype. You might not have realized it, but professors are required to be in their office two to four hours a week to meet with students and help them with the course. Your tests and papers will go better if you’ve had a chance to ask about things you’re confused about, and, with any luck, received some guidance from the professor about what your thesis sentence should be or what’s going to be on the test.

Sources: http://www.quintcareers.com/first-year_success.html


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How A Police Officer Shot A Sleeping 7-Year-Old To Death

A1 a2 a3

 A Detroit police officer accused of manslaughter in the death of a 7-year-old girl will go on trial this week, as national attention remains focused on the militarization of U.S. law enforcement and police violence perpetrated against people of color.
Aiyana Stanley-Jones was sleeping in her home on the east side of Detroit on the night of May 16, 2010, when officers barged into the house. They were conducting a police raid in search of a murder suspect who lived at that address — and being filmed for a reality TV show in the process — when Officer Joseph Weekley accidentally fired his gun. What exactly caused him to fire is still a matter of dispute. But the shot killed Aiyana.

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Urban Outfitters Hits New Low With Faux Blood-Stained Kent State Sweatshirt



In its endless quest to seem edgy, Urban Outfitters has gone too far once more.

The store offered a one-of-a-kind Kent State University sweatshirt splattered with red coloring for $129. The tactless garment is a clear reference to the 1970 killing of four students protesting the Vietnam War by the Army National Guard at the Ohio school.

As of early this morning, the Urban Outfitters website said the item was sold out. The store did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment.

Officials at Kent State expressed their outrage over the item.

“We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit,” read a Kent State University statement posted on Monday. “This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.”

Urban Outfitters posted an apology to Twitter around 10 a.m. EST Monday, saying that it “was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such.”

Check out the pictures and tweets on the link below!



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