African-American

Education
4:50 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

U.S. Education Secretary Hosts Austin Roundtable for Male Students of Color

US Education Secretary Arne Duncan sits with local high school and college students of color to get feedback on issues facing young males of color.
Credit Kate McGee, KUT News

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was at Austin Community College Friday afternoon meeting with male high school and college students of color. It’s part of the White House’s 'My Brother’s Keeper' initiative to close the achievement gap between young men of color and their peers.

Sitting in a circle, about 15 young African American and Hispanic male students sat with the secretary telling him about their role models, their aspirations and the struggles they face at home and school. Some had disciplinary problems, many were raised by single parents. Others were bullied or said they needed mentors.

Alberto Garcia is an ACC student who’s also taking care of his sister’s son.  He says one of the big problems for minority students in low-income neighborhoods is a lack of employment networking opportunities.

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In Black America Podcast
11:42 am
Mon October 7, 2013

'The Butler:' A Witness to Presidential History

Washington Post reporter and author Wil Haygood.
Credit University of Charleston

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Wil Haygood, Washington Post reporter and author of “The Butler: A Witness to History.” 

Before he died on March 31, 2010. Eugene Allen was one of few men to have had personal interaction with the last twelve presidents of the United States. He was at the White House for 34 years and served eight presidents.

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Texas
4:44 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Hidden For Years, African-American Statues Find Home at Carver Center

The Carver Museum already has a set of statues. This piece is called "Go Forth".
Joy Diaz, KUT News

A scene of five statues, originally intended to go on the Texas Capitol grounds, have finally been dedicated.

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Austin
9:01 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Three Ways Black Austin is Rebuilding a Sense of Community

In Dr. Charles E. Urdy Plaza, "Rhapsody," a 50 foot mosaic mural, depicts the legacy of African American culture and community on East 11th Street.
flickr.com/wallyg

The process of desegregation in Austin began in the 1950's. Blacks were no longer bound to live in one part of town and that allowed people to move into different neighborhoods. But some African-Americans left Austin completely. 

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Politics
7:39 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Austin's Black Voters Hope Youth Keep Momentum Going

African American voters exceeded white voters in the last presidential election, but in Austin, elders wonder if youth will keep casting their ballots.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Last Saturday, on June 15, Brian Lemons took a clipboard in his hand, hoping to register voters at a Juneteenth event, where people were commemorating the end of slavery in Texas. Lemons volunteers with Battleground Texas, a group that wants to get more Democrats elected in the state. But here in East Austin, everyone he approached was already on the rolls.

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Health
1:38 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Austin African-Americans Face Mental Health Care Barriers

Some mental health professionals have found difficulty among African American in Austin. The Hogg Foundation is looking to address concerns of both patients and caregivers.
ocw.jhsph.edu/

Yesterday was Juneteenth, a holiday that celebrates progress and societal advancement of African-Americans in Texas. While there is plenty to celebrate, some advocates in Austin are still trying to promote mental health and overcome treatment barriers for African-Americans in Austin.

And, although African-Americans are just as likely to encounter mental health problems as the rest of the population, there are fewer options when it comes to seeking help.  

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Juneteenth
4:20 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

First Person: Young, Black and Hispanic in Austin

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

To celebrate Juneteenth, KUT News is bringing you voices from Austin's black community on their past, present and future.

Carlos Wilson is a young Austinite whose heritage is rooted in Central America. 

"I imagine that people aren't going to care about what your heritage is and they're just going to think that we're all the same in the future."

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Austin
11:24 am
Thu May 2, 2013

African-Americans Are Austin's Only Shrinking Ethnic Group. Here's What Some Are Doing About That

The historic Victory Grill in central east Austin. Gentrification of once traditionally black neighborhoods has helped shrink Austin’s African-American population.
flickr.com/wallyg

To say that Austin is growing is an understatement. But amid Austin’s exponential growth, one group is declining – and fast. The African-American community in Austin is shrinking, due to two major factors: moving out of the city’s core, and a mortality rate higher than any other group.

Last night, a diverse group of people met on the UT campus to discuss if there’s a future for black life in Austin.

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Education
7:44 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Texas Education Experts Weigh Proposals' Impact on Students

Bills passing through the Texas Legislature stir debate on impact to students, especially minorities.
flickr.com/alamosbasement

The Texas Legislature is debating bills intended to help more students graduate from high school, by reducing the emphasis on standardized tests and increasing the emphasis on the kinds of education they need to be productive members of the workforce.  

This week, the House passed House Bill 5, which would let high school students take a path to college or take a route intended to lead them more quickly to work. The bill also would drop the number of STAAR exams from 15 to 5.

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Arts and Culture
5:54 am
Fri March 1, 2013

New African-American Center Opens Today

City of Austin

Today is the grand opening of Austin’s new African-American Cultural and Heritage Facility. The center is housed in a historic structure at 912 East 11th Street. The Dedrick-Hamilton house was home to the family of one of the first freed slaves in Travis County.

The center was paid for with $1.5 million from the 2006 city bond, along with about $3 million in federal grants, according to the city.

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Austin
11:10 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Listen: How Austin African-Americans Made History in 1967

Clarence McClure hold a picture of some of the original "lions" from Austin.
Credit Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation was not enforced in Texas until June of 1865, two and a half years after the fact. The state’s history has a mixed record when it comes to change and racial equality. So it may be surprising to know that the capital city is home to the country’s first African American Lions Club, found

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Drugs
12:26 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Austin Police More Likely To Bust African-Americans For Pot (Updated)

Despite comprising roughly eight percent of Austin's population, African-Americans made up 28 percent of APD's marijuana possession cases since 2009.
flickr.com/esqenzo

Update:  The Texas Civil Rights Project wrote this letter to APD yesterday, requesting an explanation of its disproportionate pot busts within ten business days. Citing the statistics in the story below, project director Jim Harrington writes, “These facts raise serious questions, at least, as to whether APD officers are doing racial profiling or consistently exercising their discretion in favor of whites and against African Americans.”

Original Post (Nov. 10, 1:39 p.m.): Despite Austin’s progressive reputation, smoking marijuana in this city can still get you in trouble with the law. And data from the Austin Police Department shows that is more likely to happen if you are African-American. 

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Business
11:51 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Op-Ed: Are There Any Black People in Austin?

Natalie Madeira Cofield argues young black professionals should take more than a city's demographics into account when looking for jobs.
nataliecofield.com

Austin routinely tops national lists for jobs, living and general quality of life. But do those accolades apply equally to all its citizens?

One of the findings of the City of Austin’s African American Quality of Life Initiative was that black Austinites lacked several of the social opportunities African Americans enjoy in bigger cities like Washington D.C. or Atlanta. But the following op-ed from Natalie Madeira Cofield, President & CEO of the Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce, argues that more young African American professionals should consider making Austin – and cities like it – their home. You can read Cofield’s thoughts below.

‘Are there any black people there?’ 

That’s a question I am too often confronted with by my African American peers when speaking about the growing number of professional opportunities that exist in Austin, Texas. Contrarily, I have no problem finding smiling faces of non-African Americans to cheer me on while I am spreading the business gospel of ‘Austin Awesomeness’ around the country. Austin has successfully captured the hearts of hippies and techies alike.

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police
5:07 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Austin NAACP Calls for Justice Department to Resume Police Investigation

Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder has called for another federal investigation of local police.
.naacp-austin.org

Update: Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo refuted claims the department uses excessive force against minorities at a press conference this afternoon.

The chief’s heated speech came after the Austin NAACP formally filed a complaint with the Department of Justice against APD for alleged mistreatment of Hispanics and African-Americans.

Acevedo said that occasional use of force is an ugly reality of the job for many police officers. “We can’t change law to take away officers’ rights to defend themselves or others,” he said.

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Austin
2:15 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

How Does Austin Compare for African-American, Latino Opportunity?

A still of an interactive map from the Urban Institute, ranking equity for African-Americans and Latinos around the country.
Image courtesy metrotrends.org

An interactive map crunching data from the 2010 census gives Austin a letter grade of C on racial equity for Latinos, and B for African-Americans.

The map, published on the Urban Institute’s MetroTrends website, looks at “five indicators of metro-wide racial equity:” the degree of residential segregation, gaps in neighborhood income, school testing scores, employment, and homeownership between the respective minority groups and whites.

The map averages scores across the Austin-Round Rock-San  Marcos-area to deliver an overall grade of C for Latinos, or 56th out of the top 100 largest metro areas. The data displays high reads on the residential segregation gap (43.2%), testing scores (37.2%), and homeownership (33.6%). It ranks equity for African-American Austin metro residents as slightly higher, with a grade of B, ranking the area 31st of 100.

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Politics
4:48 pm
Fri October 14, 2011

Morial: Recession Reversed Economic Gains For Many Blacks

Photo by Teresa Vieira for KUT News

The recession has stripped African-Americans of thirty years of economic gains, according to the president the National Urban League. Marc Morial was in Austin today to speak to a leadership summit hosted by the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.

"It has been difficult for white, Latino, Asian, all people.  But African-Americans have taken the toughest brunt of this,” Morial said.

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