September 19, 2013 

By Freddie Allen

NNPA Washington Correspondent


WASHINGTON (NNPA) – A new report confirms the old saw: The rich are getting richer.

According to a report titled, “Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States” by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, “From 2009 to 2012, average real income per family grew modestly by 6.0 percent but the gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by 31.4 percent while bottom 99 percent incomes grew only by 0.4 percent.”

The report continued: “Hence, the top 1 percent captured 95 percent of the income gains in the first two years of the recovery.”

On The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio, economists and financial journalists discussed the implications of the University of California at Berkeley report and how race often plays a role in perpetuating economic inequality in America.

Thomas Edsall, author of Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics said on the program that since the 1960s, there’s been a growing sense among many Whites that government programs are providing benefits to minorities, Blacks at first and now Blacks and Hispanics.

Edsall said that feeling of resentment has helped drive up the opposition to raising taxes to provide for more benefits.

He continued: “There are a lot of very poor White counties in West Virginia, Kentucky, all through the Appalachian area where the Republican strength has become overwhelming. And a lot of that is based, I think, on racial matters, where people are disregarding their own interest and want to distinguish themselves from minorities in effect.”

Dante Chinni of the Wall Street Journal agreed.

Chinni said that when you look at the constituencies for congressional Republicans and congressional Democrats, the constituency for Republican House members looks like America circa 1994. The constituency for Democratic House members looks like America as it’s projected to be in roughly 2025.

Chinni added: “They really are right now representing two very different countries.”

The latest unemployment figures don’t provide any encouragement that the gap between Blacks and Whites is likely to close soon. Black unemployment rose to 13 percent in August, after dipping to a four-year low in July (12.6 percent), according to the latest jobs report from the Labor Department. The national unemployment rate fell from 7.4 percent to 7.3 percent, but economists agree that it decreased mostly because people exited the labor market and stopped looking for jobs altogether.

The Labor Department also revised jobs numbers for June and July down, which meant that there were 74,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported.

“As we’ve been seeing over the last several months, the recovery is just barely moving along,” said Valerie Rawlston Wilson, an economist and vice president of Research at the National Urban League Policy Institute. “We haven’t seen a lot of upward progress. The economy is just treading water.”

And if the nation’s economy is treading water, the Black economy is underwater. The Half in Ten campaign, a cooperative project by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Coalition on Human Needs and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, reported that 11 million Blacks lived below the poverty line in 2011. Whites account for less than 1 in 10 of Americans living below the poverty line.

The unemployment rate for Black men was 13.5 percent in August up from 12.5 percent in July. The jobless rate for White men ticked down to 6.4 percent down from 6.6 percent in July. The unemployment rate for Black women was 10.6 percent in August edging up slightly from 10.5 percent in July. Over the summer, Black women enjoyed the greatest gains in the weak labor market. Economists speculate that it’s likely due to more opportunities for women in retail, hospitality and healthcare.

The federal government added zero jobs in August, possibly because of steep cuts from forced sequestration. Blacks hold government jobs at higher rates than their White counterparts, which means Blacks feel the sting worse when federal jobs dry up.

“That’s significant because those jobs tend to be very well-paying jobs and tend to provide good benefits,” said Wilson. “When that happens, we see this eating away at the Black middle class, especially.”

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an organization that studies fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals at the state and federal level, the unemployment rate for Blacks was 4 percentage points higher in August than at the start of the recession. The jobless rate for Whites was 2 percentage points higher in August than it was when the recession began.

In a statement on the Labor Department’s August employment report, Chad Stone, chief economist for the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, wrote: “If lawmakers want to restore normal employment more quickly, they need to step up to the plate and replace the sequestration budget cuts with a balanced package of tax and spending changes that phase in more slowly so that they don’t weaken the recovery but that also build up more rapidly in later years — putting deficits and debt on a better long-term trajectory.”

Wilson said that because some lawmakers have a general distaste for spending money any federal stimulus will be hard to swallow on Capitol Hill, but if that doesn’t happen, we’re just going to continue to tread along.

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

September 12, 2013

City News Services


Assemblymember Chris Holden (Pasadena) and members of the California Legislative Black Caucus recently honored Mrs. Rachel Robinson, the widow of former Hall of Fame baseball player Jackie Robinson, in the state Assembly and Senate.

 “The legacy of Jackie Robinson means so much to the citizens of my district.  Jackie Robinson was raised in Pasadena, played ball at Pasadena City College before transferring to UCLA,” said Holden. 

“He was not only a pioneering black baseball player, but was a civil rights leader. His widow Rachel Robinson carries on his legacy through the Jackie Robinson Founda­tion.  I am privileged to join in recognizing Rachel Robinson for her spirit and her efforts to champion civil rights.”

 Holden joined members of the CLBC in voting for House Resolution 24 (Bradford) which urges the county of Los Angeles and several South LA cities to rename Manchester Boulevard (formerly State Route 42) after Dodger baseball great Jackie Robinson. Forty two was Robinson’s jersey number when he played for the Dodgers.

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

September 12, 2013

By Edward Rice, III

LAWT Contributing Writer


KCBS Channel 2 News Anchor Pat Harvey will serve as co-chair for second consecutive year and the CBS Family will again be a premier sponsor at the 8th annual ‘Taste of Soul’ Family Festival on October 19 on Crenshaw Blvd.

The CBS Family, includes a few of the southland’s favorite media outlets: KCBS Channel 2, KCAL Channel 9, 94.7 The Wave and KNX 1070 AM Newsradio.

“CBS 2 and KCAL 9 are excited to be back for our second year as premier sponsors of the Taste of Soul,” exclaimed Steve Mauldin, President and General Manager, CBS 2 / KCAL 9. “We are honored to be associated with this event and it’s a pleasure for us to be able to use the reach of our two television stations to help promote this well-organized and family friendly community celebration as it continues to grow in popularity year after year.”

The Taste of Soul also welcomes back for a third year, the Wave Stage (sponsored by 94.7 The Wave), which will provide the soundtrack for the day’s celebration.  Fans can expect to hear the smooth, mellow sounds the Wave’s become known for throughout the festival. This year’s Wave Stage lineup is shaping up to be one of the most exciting ever. For more details on Wave Stage performers, log on to

Popular southland news radio station, KNX 1070 will make its Taste of Soul debut with a live broadcast from the event. “We are very excited and proud to bring our award-winning community series, KNX On Your Corner, to the Crenshaw District on Friday, Oct. 18,” said KNX 1070 Newsradio Marketing Director, Howard Freshman. “With a 10-hour live, primetime broadcast on KNX, special features produced by our news team which will air throughout the day and guest appearances by civic leaders, we look forward to showcasing to our Southern California audience the heritage, development and hidden gems of South Los Angeles.  We hope a lot of our longtime listeners stop by when we bring our broadcast operation to the L.A. Sentinel as we celebrate Taste of Soul weekend with our sister stations 94.7 The WAVE, CBS2, KCAL 9 and the entire community.”

The ‘Taste of Soul’ has evolved into media partnership giant throughout the years, as the nearly one million attendances throughout its history has become an attraction to leverage brands and expand viewership.

“We are delighted to have CBS back in this partnership that has benefit both the community and their millions of viewers and listeners,” stated ‘Taste of Soul Creator and Sentinel Executive Publisher Danny Bakewell Sr..”It is relationships such as these that allow for our community enjoy the best family festival in the nation and it further demonstrates CBS commitment to the community.”

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

September 12, 2013

By Nicole Williams

LAWT Contributing Writer


Taste of Soul Creator and Sentinel Executive Publisher Danny Bakewell Sr. announced this week that newly elected Mayor Eric Garcetti will serve as one of  four chairs of the prestigious ‘Taste of Soul and Family Festival’ that will unfold before hundreds of thousands for the 8th time on Crenshaw Blvd. on Oct. 19th.

“We are pleased to welcome the Honorable Mayor Eric Garcetti as Chair to the 2013 Taste of Soul. He has always been supportive and we look forward to his leadership this year in making the 2013 Taste of Soul one of the biggest and best ever,” Bakewell released in a statement.

Joining Mayor Garcetti as chair of ‘Taste of Soul’ will be Second District Supervisor Mark Ridley- Thomas, Council President Herb Wesson, Council member’s Bernard Parks.

‘Taste of Soul’ Wesson indicated that he expects the same excitement;

“The ‘8th Annual Taste of Soul’ promises to be another community spectacular!  It’s again my honor to be a Co-Chair of this amazingly successful event, and I want to welcome everyone in Southern California to Crenshaw Boulevard.  You and your family will experience the incredible food and entertainment that’s been planned. I look forward to seeing you!”

Parks added; “The Taste of Soul Family Festival has been such a treat to go to year after year. I can’t wait until October 19th when people from all over will descend on Crenshaw Boulevard to taste the delicacies and enjoy the sights and sounds our community has to offer. ‘Together We’re Amazing’ is a fitting theme for this year’s event and embodies our community’s positive and collaborative spirit.”   

“Taste of Soul is an exceptional event in the heart of the Crenshaw community that celebrates family, music and yes – delicious food. Whether your taste ranges from burgers to barbeque, gumbo or a gourmet salad, the Taste of Soul is always a wonderful experience. Since its inception eight years ago, it’s become a South Los Angeles tradition, and now like so many Angelenos, I look forward to it every year,” said Ridley-Thomas.           

Recognized as one of the largest street festivals in America, and the biggest in Los Angeles, ‘Taste of Soul’ has attracted close to one million Angelenos since its inception and this year will continue to grow.

Last year alone, an estimated 300,000 people, some of those being families from all over the state and U.S. converged on Crenshaw Blvd. for a day that serves as the major economic engine for local vendors and merchants.

The event celebrates the community and the African American culture through exhibits of food, music and entrepreneurships.

Complementing the host neighborhood of Crenshaw by allowing residents to invite their families and friends to celebrate their community.

Co-chairs named by Bakewell include; and Curren Price, and Assembly members Isadore Hall, III and Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Los Angeles School Board Member LAUSD District 1 Marguerite LaMotte, KCBS Channel 2 Anchor Pat Harvey and the prestigious law firm Ivey, McNeil & Wyatt.

Bakewell selected ‘Taste of Soul’s Chairs and Co-Chairs who believe in the atmosphere of Black culture that ‘Taste of Soul’ represents, which resonates with this year’s theme  “We’re Amazing Together.”

Each of co-chairs praised their involvement with ‘Taste of Soul.’

“I am pleased to join with the Los Angeles Sentinel as Co-Chair of the 8th Annual Taste of Soul 2013. The Taste of Soul is a culturally rich event celebrating Angelenos of all ages. Much like a street fair, folks come together from across our great city to the Crenshaw corridor and surrounding South L.A. neighborhoods. It’s a great way to connect our diverse communities through food provided by local restaurants and eateries, featured entertainment from popular entertainers & music artists, and local talent, and an array of merchandise for sale at vendors’ booths. The Taste of Soul is the place to be on Saturday, October 19. I hope everyone will come out join in the festivities,” Price explained.

Hall praised Bakewell saying, “I’m most honored to serve as a Co-Chair of the 8th annual Taste of Soul. Mr. Bakewell and the Los Angeles Sentinel have taken this momentous occasion to levels beyond belief. Congratulations Mr. Bakewell.”

“I am very excited in my first year as an Assembly member to partner with the Bakewell Company on the 8th Annual Taste of Soul street festival. This is an uplifting, enriching community event that has set a new standard of excellence when it comes to cultural and civic pride. And although it has its roots in the African American community, the entire city of Los Angeles, with all of its ethnic diversity, is included in the theme ‘Together We’re Amazing,” said Jones-Sawyer

 ““I am delighted to be one of the co-chairs for the upcoming Taste of Soul event. This event is important as a showcase for local vendors and retailers within the community, and as a resource to residents, who may be unfamiliar with the services provided by civic and community-based organizations.  Additionally, Taste of Soul provides a fantastic opportunity to socialize with others and enjoy great entertainment,” concluded LaMotte.

“The 8th Annual 2013 Taste of Soul is a great festival that brings us all together for a memorable day of family, food, music, and lots of fun,” asserted Attorney Bob McNeil.


Parent Category: News
Category: Community

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