This is truly funny…And true. Republican controlled states which have implemented the tax cut, destroy public services mantra are in free fall economically. The two most prominent examples of which are Kansas and Louisiana. Even in those states which have good economies such as North Carolina, Republicans rip the wheels off, passing one stupid law after another like the anti-LGBT laws which still may cost North Carolina billions more.
Success was a long-time coming for singer Charles Bradley, who was born in 1948 but released his debut album just five years ago. His experiences during those 60-plus years make for quite a story — fitting for a soul man strongly influenced by the late James Brown, reports “CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-host Anthony Mason.
Early in his late-blooming career, Bradley’s backing band gave him a nickname: The “screaming eagle of soul.”
The “screaming eagle” got his inspiration from the “Godfather.” Bradley was a teenager in 1962 when his sister took him to the Apollo in Harlem to see James Brown perform.
“That’s what started it ’cause I always liked the blues, but see, James Brown is the one who put rhythm in the blues. And that’s what made it funky,” Bradley said. “And I said, ‘Now that’s what I want to be.'”
But through his first five decades, Bradley drifted between jobs. He worked as a short order cook in Maine, at a hospital for the mentally ill in New York, and much more.
“Jesus, I can’t count because I was like anywhere, anyone was going to give me a job that made me keep going. I hitchhiked to Ketchikan, Alaska,” Bradley said.
Bradley was in his fifties when he finally landed back in Brooklyn. In 2011, he was doing a James Brown tribute show in Essence Bar in Brooklyn when he was spotted by Daptone Records, who paired him with producer Tom Brennick.
“He said, ‘You do James Brown. You’re good at James Brown. Now we want to see you do you,'” Bradley recalled.
Brennick wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.
“Tom kept drilling me and I thought he was one of the evilest persons in this world. And he said, ‘No, you can hit that note’ and I said, ‘Tom you trying to burn my throat out, you know?’ And he said, ‘Charles, do it again.'”
But with that, Bradley gained something he did not know he had.
At age 62, Bradley finally got his break when Daptone released his debut album in 2011. The small Brooklyn label had had success with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings ,who’d also played on the Grammy-winning Amy Winehouse album, “Back to Black.”
The age wasn’t a concern for Neal Sugarman, co-founder of the label. In fact, the reaction surpassed all expectations.
“People were responding to it. And it was – it was amazing,” Sugarman said.
Bradley pours himself into every performance. Last year, he even went on stage the night he lost his beloved mother, which he called the “hardest thing I’ve ever did in my life.”
“If I didn’t, I think I really, truly would have hurt myself. I couldn’t take no more and I was looking anywhere I could go to get this pain out of me,” Bradley said.
He thinks of her, he said, whenever he sings the title track of his new album, a cover of the black Sabbath song, “Changes.”
The segment opens with Rhiannon Giddens’ show-stopping performance at the one-night-only, multi-artist concert Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis at New York City’s Town Hall in 2013. “How often can you witness a moment that changes a career?” Teichner asks. “Giddens was like a musical explosion onstage. What happened next was like an explosion in her life.”
The program goes on to examine the monumental months that have followed that performance, joining Giddens and her family during a recent leg of her tour for Tomorrow Is My Turn, which has been nominated for a Grammy Award, and looking at the musical road that brought her here.
You can watch the CBS Sunday Morning piece below.
To pick up a copy of Tomorrow Is My Turn and Rhiannon Giddens’s recent EP Factory Girl, visit the Nonesuch Store, where you can also find music by Carolina Chocolate Drops. To find out where Rhiannon Giddens’ tour takes her in the coming months, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.
HBCUs percentage of college graduates is dropping. However, HBCU graduates still make up about 50-60% of those students matriculating to graduate studies in the STEM Fields.
One of the major issues with HBCUs has been graduation percentage. On average only about 35%. Spelman, Howard, Hampton, Morehouse, and Fisk are the only HBCUs with graduation rates above 50%. Despite issues the top HBCUs are graduating people competitive with anyone from the non-HBCU Universities in their fields.
African Americans who graduated from majority-minority colleges feel more professionally and personally fulfilled than their peers who attended predominantly white schools.
Anyone who has spoken with alums of a historically black college or university (HBCU) can attest, they really love their schools. Whether it’s the swarms of current and former students who travel to attend homecomings year after year, the (mostly) friendly competition among schools, or just the ferociousness with which grads defend and promote their alma maters, there’s something about most HBCUs that inspires intense loyalty.
A new poll from Gallup and Purdue University might help explain why.
The “Quad” at Howard University
The report takes a look at the post-graduation outcomes of a broad sampling of American college graduates to determine how they measured their own well-being, defined as physical health, social relationships, finances, goal achievement, and community engagement. The researchers then categorized individuals as either thriving, struggling, or suffering in each area. The method is highly subjective, but there were some noticeable differences, especially when it came to black college graduates: Graduates of HBCUs ranked their well-being higher in all five areas than their black peers who attended predominantly white institutions. Additionally, HBCU alums were more likely to say that they’re engaged and fulfilled at work and ranked significantly higher in measures of financial success and fulfillment than black grads who went to other schools.
This achievement is notable for HBCUs given the struggles that black Americans continue to face when it comes to completing college and finding gainful employment afterward, compared to graduates of other ethnicities. Black students are less likely than other ethnicities to complete a bachelor’s degree within six years. They also have a higher unemployment rate after graduation. When compared to other races in the Gallup poll, black grads ranked lowest on every measure of well-being except for social relationships. Black women ranked the lowest in most measures of well-being.
Part of the reason may be the education that HBCU students received while enrolled: HBCU grads were substantially more likely to say that they had professors who cared about them and mentors who helped them pursue their goals. They also felt certain that their school prepared them well for post-grad life. These feelings may help help explain why alums of HBCUs are so much more likely (49 percent vs. 34 percent for black grads who didn’t attend HBCUs) to say that their university is the perfect place for someone similar to them, and why they have so much affinity for these institutions, despite the fact that many of these colleges and universities are struggling.
But the strength of HBCUs may also derive from another resource, one that lives off-campus, and that is a robust and engaged alumni network. The warm feelings that HBCU grads have about their schools may stem from deeper feelings of belonging and connection created at such schools, and that can help create a sense of kinship not only among classmates, but among all grads, which makes them more open to assisting and mentoring the students who come after them.
As more black Americans attend colleges outside of the HBCU system, some wonder if such institutions have outlived their usefulness. Attendance at the country’s 107 HBCUs as a share of total black-student enrollment has dropped in recent years. In 2010 through 2011, these schools accounted for 16 percent of black college graduates, in 1976 to 1977, the share was more than double that. The schools have a lower-than-average graduation rate: about 35 percent for HBCUs compared to 59 percent nationally, though that’s in part because these schools are more likely to enroll low-income, first-generation students, a population that’s more likely to drop out before finishing.
There are other problems, too. Morris Brown, an HBCU in Atlanta is struggling to stage a comeback after losing its accreditation years ago. Howard University in D.C., which remains one of the most popular and well-known HBCUs has publicly struggled with financing and has been forced to cut staff and been subjected to credit downgrades in recent years. Fisk University in Nashville was placed on probationby the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges until the university overhauled its finances a few years ago. With all of their challenges, the survival of many of these schools—once the only places where black Americans could get a college education—is largely uncertain.
But for now, both alums and current students aren’t hesitant about supporting and promoting the value of these institutions. I conducted a much less robust, more informal survey, taking to social media to ask HBCU alums if they had good feelings about their college experience. The answers were largely similar to Gallup’s results: People were mostly positive, noting that the benefits of their education were as much personal as they were professional…Read the Rest Here…
To hear most conservatives tell it, Obama’s foreign policy is a complete and utter failure…
The fly in the smelly, rotten conservative ointment is the fact that President Obama has managed to succeed, despite the conservatives own very best efforts – sometimes treasonous – to make him, and thus America fail.
Obama has cut the number of troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq by half. From 180,000 when he took office to 90,000 today.
Obama has an exit strategy for Iraq, and the US should be out by the first of next year.
Obama succeeded where Bush failed for 8 years and brought the architect of the greatest terrorist attack in history on the soil of the US to Justice – Osama Bin Lauden.
Obama has succeeded in killing more Al Quaeda terrorists in his first 3 years of office, than Bush did in 8 years with the help of 350,000 troops on the ground.
Successful negotiation of a new START Treaty.
Staying the hell out of Egypt, and not sending troops in to protect a dictator.
Ghadaffi has met his end, and without a major force of American troops ever landing on Libyan Soil.
Even conservatives who aren’t blinded by their racism are beginning to figure it out. Had this been a conservative President, undoubtedly we would have been treated to the sight of an American President in tight, sock stuffed pants prancing around on the deck of a Carrier thumping his chest.
Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi is dead. The news from the Middle East is vindication of the Obama administration’s policy in Libya. A man who was an enemy of the American people, someone who killed Americans aboard Pan Am 103, someone who was taking out Americans and acting against our interests in the Middle East for decades has finally been eliminated from the scene.
And all this talk about “leading from behind” needs to be put in context. First of all, President Obama never said anything about “leading from behind.” What the president said was he didn’t want to put additional American troops in the Middle East in the middle of a Muslim country.
We are already fighting not only in Iraq but in Afghanistan. We have tremendous troubles in Pakistan. President Obama allowed the multi-national force to be in a position where they could act with tremendous American support.
The American public would never have supported pouring additional troops into Libya. By building an international coalition, the president managed, nonetheless, to make Americans part of the fight and oust Qaddafi. Critics on the right have flip-flopped on this issues from the beginning on whether or not America should have played a role, any role, in supporting the anti-Qaddafi forces. Today’s events are another reminder of how pure political concerns can blind people to America’s best.
Essentially America has been at war in Libya. And tonight or today, this morning, what we’ve seen is that that policy has led to the ouster and also the death of Muammar Qaddafi.
That’s good news for America. I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. This is good news.
For President Obama, after the death of Bin Laden, Al-Awlaki and now, indirectly, Qaddafi, he’s left with a terrific narrative in terms of making the case that Democrats aren’t weak on national security and that he has pursued a number of President Bush’s policies in terms of being aggressive. This has been in service to America’s national interest and the best outcomes for every American.If you look at the president’s use of drones, for example, he decision to keep using Guantanamo Bay to house detainees, these are things that have absolutely antagonized the left in this country.
But if you’re looking at results, you can’t argue with the results. A man who was America’s enemy, who was a destabilizing force in the Middle East and a supporter of anti-American forces has been removed from the stage.
This has been a long time coming. The DC School System’s performance has been the fodder of conservative racial grist for years, ignoring the fact that for a number of those years Republicans controlled the House which controls the City’s Laws and Budget. Mayor Adrian Fenty, one of a new generation of black elected politicians, made a controversial choice to hire a releative unknown, Michelle Rhee as Superintendant of the City’s Schools.
Rhee has shaken things up, and that is beginning to pay dividends…
DC School Superintendent Michelle Rhee and Mayor Adrian Fenty
Analysis of the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress, better known as the national report card, showed significant progress during the past two years in student reading skills. Fourth-graders — and this does not include those in public charter schools — gained about six points on a 500-point scale, and eighth-graders gained four points. Of the 11 urban school systems that administered the exam, only the District registered significant improvement at both grade levels. The eighth-grade growth outpaced the average growth in the nation, while fourth-grade growth trailed only that in Houston.
D.C. schools still score well below the national average. “We still have a ridiculously long way to go,” Ms. Rhee said. But the changes she is bringing to the troubled system are beginning to make a difference.
Some who questioned Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s takeover of the schools or his selection and steadfast support of Ms. Rhee are beginning to reconsider. Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, had reservations about mayoral control, but — as he writes on the opposite page today — his careful study of the past three years convinces him that the gains achieved under mayoral control are not accidental. Ms. Rhee has been controversial, in some cases gratuitously and in some cases inevitably, given her commitment to change. But, as Mr. Casserly writes, she has made a positive difference for children, which is in the end what matters.