Category Archives: How we see it

Best Grandma Ever

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I regret I only have a few physical photos of my grandma born Fannie Mae Young Posey born on July 9th, 1898, but I have many beautiful pictures of her in my heart. She was the rock and true foundation of our family.  Although she passed many years ago, she had a profound influence on my life.  And on this Mother’s Day, I honor her and all other wonderful mothers and grandmothers raising black kids in America.

Portland’s Black Professional Brain Drain

Portland’s Black Professional Brain Drain

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Dr. Rosco Shields

Today, I shed several tears about the departure of Sharon Seven Day Adventist church Pastor Rosco Shields. Not just because he was the Chair of our NAACP Religious Affairs committee but because I recognized an unmistakable pattern of black professional talent leaving Portland in what seems like droves. We have experienced, for some time, a defacto African American brain drain. Dr. Rosco Shields and his family are the latest. My point is that these people are not only valuable assets to our community in a general sense, but they also are our best hope for solving critical problems and creating an ecosystem essential for developing black prosperity and healing. If we are ever to change the negative black community paradigms, we must stop the unfettered exit of our best and brightest.  

Several other recent losses:

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Biko Taylor Chief Procurement Officer-City of Portland

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Latrica Tillman Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer in Washington Co.

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Dr. Markisha Smith Director of Equity and Human Rights City of Portland

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Danielle Outlaw Portland Police Chief

Riding on our shoulders

As a grandparent, I am acutely aware of what is riding on my shoulders. We need you to step up for the future of our Kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. We need your help at the NAACP to foster a “Kids First” agenda focused on what Byron Allen has tried to tell us.

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Byron Allen at the Grio talking about closing the achievement gapRiding on our shoulders 13

Join us at the NAACP to demand canceling student loans and closing the Achievement GAP. pdxnaacp.org

It’s my birthday

IT’S  MY BIRTHDAY

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I woke up this morning the sun was shining knowing that today was my birthday. I was thinking if anyone wanted to give me a gift, I would ask them to JOIN our Portland Branch of the NAACP 1120-B (pdxnaacp.org). This is not too much to ask because God knows the fight against racism, discrimination, and hate is a battle we cannot afford to lose.  I am reminded that at 78 we need every weapon on the battlefield including us old folks.

Check out our Mission:

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More Dangerous Insidious Trash in Portland

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Columbia Sportswear Chair, President and CEO Tim Boyle’s unhealthy obsession with the garbage on the highways is not his alone. (comments at the 2023 Oregon Business Leadership Summit) Most of us hate it, too. But most don’t have the collective wherewithal to do much about it. However, I would like to suggest that while the trash on streets is a physically visible problem we can all see and commiserate about, we have deeper problems with how our most vulnerable citizens, especially Black people, are treated.

That is, the city of Portland continues to treat its Black citizens like trash. For example, how is it that the city continues to accept a 50% educational achievement gap between Black and white students? And as if we didn’t already know it, a recent State disparity study graphically shows that Blacks are continually being economically discriminated against in acquiring government contracts.

As sure as the neck bone is connected to the shoulder bone and the shoulder bone is connected to the backbone, likewise we can see why Black unemployment numbers continue to be triple that of whites. Furthermore, Black folks similarly disproportionately populate our prisons and the criminal justice system. And it is straight up ugly to realize that Blacks have the lowest home ownership rate of any ethnic group.

If you want to see some garbage, these are only a few devastating indicators of the real trash problem in Portland. Perhaps we can enlist Tim Boyle and many other successful private sector capitalists here to be more pissed off and obsessed enough to help clean up this mess.

A Veteran’s Day Why

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Why??????

On this veteran’s day, I want to remember my only brother who caught a bullet in the back in Vietnam. His wounds never healed and he died just a few years ago in a VA hospital with lingering pain and suffering.

Like a lot of young black men who went to war to serve our country, we find ourselves wondering why. So that half the country could eventually elect a clown scum bag like Donald Trump.

And they tell us he has a good chance of being elected again in 2024.  God help us.

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A Night of Pride and Inspiration

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I was so proud of the Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators (ORABSE) for Hosting the Black Community Science Night last Friday. I got chills thinking about how this group could be inspiring new black doctors, entrepreneurs, astronauts, bio-techs, electrical engineers, etc, etc. For sure Carlton Hart the black architect was in the house inspiring folks and so was the NAACP ACT-SO program Dr. Sheryl Means and others.

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Here again, the omnipresent Michael Chappie Grice was a participant and had this to say:

“On the evening of Friday, October 13, the Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators (ORABSE) convened, for the second consecutive year, a Black Community Science Night at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry.  Guided by the vision of Kevin Bacon, president and community stalwart and executive board member, Renee Anderson, some 680 Black parents and their children and grandchildren descended on the magnificent OMSI facility from 6 PM to 9 PM.  Hundreds of children explored the OMSI exhibits and science-focused, hands-on activities. A local band provided a rich tapestry of jazz and African Music in the background while the children danced and played during excitement about the chemistry, physics, robotics, mathematics, and science wonderland. ORABSE was very proud to have such a “full house“turnout and guaranteed not only that it was worthwhile but shall be continued in future years. The rainy weather seemed to add an authentic Portland signature to the event and did not deter attendance nor mute the spirit of enthusiasm and adventure that filled the facility for the entire three hours.  OMSI sponsors and investors can’t help but see that such a partnership only amplified people’s enthusiasm to bring their children into the OMSI arena. We look forward to more collaborations between the NAACP and organizations like ORABSE for the benefit of the community and its children.  The need is great, in these times.  Of particular note was the obvious mutual benefit of encouraging access to established cultural and educational institutions as partners like the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.  With OMSI’s leading example of sponsoring hundreds of admissions, there are dozens of “win-win” opportunities awaiting birth and nurturing in Portland and beyond that encourage diversity and equality in real-time community investment.  Thanks to all that promoted this culturally specific experience to “embrace the worth of all.”

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