Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Justified Outrage of African American Scholars

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

Professor Larry Moore at The University of Memphis is on a mission. The African American professor has decided to take on his campus for not being diverse enough. Dr. Moore has done what black professors and students across America are doing, which is holding their campuses accountable for their lack of desire to recruit, promote, and reward faculty of color. This issue affects everyone, since most black college students never have the chance to be taught by an African American without taking courses in the African American Studies Department.

In an open letter written to state legislators, Dr. Moore has made his issue clear to the American public and put his university "on blast" for problematic recruitment and retention procedures. As a fellow business school professor myself, I say to Dr. Moore, "Way to go brother."

Click to read more.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Black Business Law Scholar Accuses University of Memphis of Tokenism – Is this a Nation-wide Problem?

An Open Letter to the Shelby County Legislative Delegation
With Regards to the 1960's Style of Black Tokenism
Practiced at the University of   Memphis Under
Joyce Raines and Ralph Faudree

To the Legislative Delegation:

This letter is addressed to you as representatives of the taxpayers of the state of Tennessee who contribute a substantial portion of the operating budget of the University of Memphis,  as trustees of state businesses who donate substantial funds to the University, and as  guardians of our students who pay tuition to the University. This letter  concerns  the operation of the University under the current President Shirley Raines and Provost Ralph Faudree, particularly with regards to none foreign born black faculty and graduate students at the University of Memphis.

While most major universities are aggressively trying to recruit, retain,  and promote qualified black faculty and graduate students, the University of Memphis,  under this  current administration, appears to operate under a 1960s form of tokenism, of marginalization, and of benign neglect of  those black  faculty members who have not been hand-picked by the administration for success, positions,  promotion, and salary, as well as an apparent lack of interest in black Phd candidates.

Click to read more.

Dr Boyce on MSNBC’s TheGrio – 8/26/09

about Dr. Boyce Watkins

Dr Boyce on the cover of

Teddy was a lion for civil rights

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University  – MSNBC’s

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, FILE)

Many of us once joked that Bill Clinton was the "first black president" (which he wasn't). We had it wrong. If such a title were to be given to any white man, that should have to be the late Senator Ted Kennedy. He was never president of the United States, but he was certainly one of the kings of his generation.

As a member of the Senate since 1962, Senator Kennedy had a long career fighting for those forced to live in the underbelly of a capitalist society. Over the last 47 years, he has done it better than nearly any politician in American history. African-Americans were among the many beneficiaries of his passionate life's work, and for that, we will always be appreciative.

In a multitude of areas including housing, income, civil liberties, and equality, Ted Kennedy has been on the front lines. His brother John introduced the Civil Rights Act of 1964, considered to be one of the most impactful pieces of legislation ever produced by our government. After John's death, Ted and his brother Robert were instrumental in seeing that the bill was passed.

Senator Ted Kennedy then went on to help pass one law after another to support the rights of the elderly, the sick, the poor and the incarcerated. He introduced the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Civil Rights Act of 1991, The Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act, among others. He also helped to amend the Fair Housing Act, and has fought relentlessly for those who've never known the comfort of attending an Ivy League University.

Senator Kennedy's political compassion, as well as his complicated coping mechanisms, may be linked to the tragedy he experienced during his life. As a young child, he watched his sister Rosemary endure a failed lobotomy, saw his brother Joseph die in World War II and then witnessed his older sister Kathleen's death in a plane crash. This tragedy was compounded by the assassinations of his two brothers, Robert and John during the 1960s. This kind of pain doesn't heal easily, and few families endure such an amazing amount of personal tragedy. It is quite possible that the weight of his psychological pain gave Senator Kennedy the ability to empathize with the struggles of others, as well as the strength to fight through hurdles presented by his adversaries.

Click to read.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dr. Boyce in Hip Hop Wired Magazine

by DANIELLE CANADA August 25, 2009, 13:09pm

HipHopWired contributor and headstrong Black intellect, Dr. Boyce Watkins had a meeting of the minds August 19th with the honorable Reverend Al Sharpton over several topics. The Black figureheads engaged listeners on Sharpton's radio show on 1380 WAOK particularly touching on President Obama's health care reform plan, the president's reaction to the Henry Louis Gates Jr. Case, and the reinstatement of NFL quarterback, Michael Vick. The Reverend posed a question to the intellect asking his opinion on the president's consideration to remove “public option” out of the reform bill. He poses the question saying:

“If public option is out, does that kill reform as a real reform?”

To which Dr. Watkins responds:

I don't think it kills the ability of it to be real reform, I think it's a compromise that I didn't necessarily want to see happen. If you look at what's happened with the president and his ability to do the impossible. I don't know what's more impossible. Him being elected the first Black president or trying to reform a system that is incredibly flawed and filled with so many individual interests. You can't imagine somebody being able to do that, a lot of people's careers have been ruined for trying to take on this system. So I applaud the president for doing that. I think that at this point we have to stick to the guns, keep our eye on the prize and that is that there are millions and millions of Americans who can't get insurance. People who are limited by preexisting conditions that are uninsurable, millions of Americans go bankrupt because of medical bills. So my big question with health insurance has always been, what are the hospitals going to contribute to this? What are the pharmaceutical companies going to contribute this? That's the most profitable industry in America or at one of the top three and it's because they charge a lot of money for drugs that shouldn't cost as much as they actually do cost."

Click to read.

Dr. Boyce on AOL Black Voices – 8/25/09

The Latest

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Michael Jackson: Murder, Money, Medicine and Mayhem

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Dr. Boyce Money: Fox News, Glenn Beck Lose Advertisers

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Protecting Yourself When Dealing with Insurance Companies

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John Calipari Doesn't Care about Black People?

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Are Doctors to Blame for the High Cost of Healthcare? Not Quite

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Al Sharpton and Dr. Boyce Talk Barack Obama, Michael Vick

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Black Boy Kidnapped in Oakland: Some Questions I'd Love to Ask

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Costco Responds to the 'Lil Monkey' Black Doll Controversy

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BV on Money: Is the Economy Really Recovering?

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Financial Lovemaking: 2 More Links Between Sex and Money

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Financial Lovemaking: What Sex and Money Have in Common

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Dr. Boyce: Sgt. James Crowley Comes Back in the Public Eye

Monday, August 24, 2009

John Calipari’s Funny Relationship with Black People

Dr Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

After reading about Kentucky Coach John Calipari being found guilty of cheating by the NCAA, I wasn't surprised in the least. Calipari has never been known for producing the most highly educated athletes in the world (his graduation rate among African American athletes is 44 percent), and he seems to want to win above anything else. The idea that my alma mater, The University of Kentucky, would immediately step in to pay tens of millions of dollars to a coach that has been proven to be a cheater makes a powerful statement about the ethical disposition of this university. Kentucky is like many NCAA institutions in their mass pillage of African American athletes for the sake of their multi-million dollar fortunes.

John Calipari and his old school, The University of Memphis, have been charged with having an SAT exam taken for a player on the basketball team (believed by many to be Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls). According to several published sources, the SAT exam was falsified during the 2007 - 2008 season. The team has been required to give back 38 wins from that season, costing the school millions in revenue. These kinds of abuses don't just occur at The University of Memphis. The University of Kentucky's basketball program has nearly received the death penalty for its long list of violations in the past, so it is only fitting that they hire yet another arguably unethical coach to continue their storied tradition. Here are some quick thoughts about John Calipari and The University of Kentucky:

Click to read.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dr. Boyce Joins the Al Sharpton Show

Dr Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition is now slated for a weekly segment on "Keeping it Real with Al Sharpton."  The show is currently syndicated in 18 cities across the nation and adding new affiliates each week.  Every Monday from 1:15 - 2:15 pm EST, Dr. Watkins and Rev. Sharpton will discuss political issues of the day and matters affecting our nation.  To find out more about the show, please visit or

To see Dr. Watkins' latest articles with MSNBC's "", please visit this link:

To see Dr. Watkins' latest work with AOL Black Voices, please visit:

To listen to Dr. Watkins' last conversation with Rev. Sharpton, please click here.

In light of President Obama's recent announcement that African American education should be a top priority for Black leadership, Dr. Watkins will be speaking with Rev. Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and other African Americans on ways to directly challenge the astronomical dropout rates for African American students.  Many of these issues are addressed in Dr. Watkins' book, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About College."   To start the academic year, Dr. Watkins will be distributing free e-copies of this book to members of the Your Black World Coalition during the month of September, 2009.  We will also be reaching out to President Obama to offer support in solving this problem, for we firmly believe that managing the dropout rate is one of the keys to saving our great nation.

For more information, please visit

Dr Boyce Watkins on Money: Is our Economy Turning Around or What?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

The economic downturn has hurt us all. Black unemployment has been nearly 70% higher than that for white Americans, and the blow is even greater for people of color, since there is less black wealth to fall back on during tough financial times. We must remember, however, that the global recession has literally led to starvation around the world, as there were many citizens who could barely buy food even during the good times.

The IMF's chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, says the global recession had "left deep scars, which will affect both supply and demand for many years to come." Blanchard also makes the additional point that economic models used to understand past recessions cannot be used to understand this one. When attempting to understand the cyclical nature of African American wealth, the models are even sketchier than they are for the rest of the world.

If you want to understand what happened to our economy, imagine you have a friend who appears to have the flu. The standard flu recovery time is going to be just a few days, so you expect to see them back at it within a week. They then go to the doctor, and it turns out that they have a sinus infection, extending the recovery period at least another week. But instead of coming back to work in 1 - 2 weeks, they are sick for an entire month. Well, this warrants another trip to the doctor, where you find out that the person actually has HIV. This changes the entire treatment strategy, since the short-term problems were nothing more than symptomatic triggers of serious long-term health issues. What's worse is that with or without serious intervention, the patient may never be completely healthy again.

Click to read.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Black Love, Black Money and Black Relationships – What they have in common

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

Some people think that money and sex have nothing in common. Actually, they have everything in common. The act of merging your assets with another person's can be an exhilirating process leading to the high of a lifetime, or it can be a devastating and emotionally crippling experience.

In a series of articles, I plan to lay out some examples that explain what sex and money have in common. Follow along, so that you can avoid the mistakes that are made by milions of people every single year.

Sex and Money Comparison Number 1: You could actually get the job done by yourself if you wanted to

No one says that you have to merge your money or your body with another person's. There is a word we use to describe when someone takes care of his/her own physical needs, and I am not going to say it here. If you are not sure what the word is, then ask your mother, your boyfriend or your priest.

Just as you can take care of your physical needs yourself, the same is true of your financial needs. There's an old saying "I can be broke all by myself." Thus, the choice to merge finances with another human being is not a choice we have to make. Merging assets with another person is also not a decision that should be taken lightly. It's a decision you make only if you see potential benefits from the interaction.

Click to read more.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dr Wilmer Leon: The Problem with Our Post-Racial America

Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

In 1903 W.E.B. DuBois wrote in The Souls of Black Folk, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line, --the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.” In 1968 the Kerner Commission determined "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—-separate and unequal."

In 21st Century so-called “post racial” America the problem is still race. African American’s like Derryl Jenkins are still being brutalized by the police in north Minneapolis, MN; shot in the back of the head while handcuffed like Oscar Grant in Oakland, CA; and mistaken for perpetrators and killed by fellow officers like Officer Omar Edwards in New York City.

Many questions still need to be answered about these latest tragedies. What leads these officers to perceive people of color as a threat? Why do the police feel the need to use excessive force first and ask questions later? This takes me to the continual discussion about racism (white supremacy), its perceptions, and emotional responses that people of color deal with all too often.

Click to read.

5 MORE Things College Students Do to Destroy their Lives

Yesterday, I posted a list of 5 things college students do to ruin their lives. Now, I am going to give you 5 more things. This is an excerpt from my book, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About College." Education is one of the most important things for our people, and we need to make sure our kids are prepared.

6)Choosing a major you hate or one that doesn't make as much money as you would like

You should not choose a major just because it makes money. You also should not necessarily choose a major just because it is exactly what you want to do. The best way to choose a major is to figure out what combination of things are going to make you happy in the long-run. I LOVE playing basketball, but I would not enjoy playing basketball for a living, since I am not good enough to make money at it. So, I play basketball in my spare time and I work as a finance professor, which I enjoy, but also pays the bills. You should choose a major based upon the ability of the major to take care of your long-term financial needs, as well as provide you with a job you can enjoy. So, don't pick something just because you love it, and don't pick it just because you have money or prestige. Find out what is going to be important to you in the long run and let that be the basis for your choice. You should also factor in what kind of life you want to have when you are older, say, 30, and how this job fits into that plan. Do you want to have a family? Well, they are going to need time and financial support. Does your future job give you that? Also, you should never let anyone choose a major for you. That is usually the world's quickest way to unhappiness. Instead, you should listen to the advice of others and then use that information to make a decision that works best for you. It is silly to not listen to your elders, but it is also silly to let them control your life.

Click to read.

Dr Boyce and Rev. Al on Tuesday 8/18 at 2 pm

Dr Boyce Watkins of Syracuse university will be appearing with Rev. Al Sharpton on “Keeping it Real with Al Sharpton” from 2 – 3 pm EST on Tuesday 8/18/09.  They will discuss Obama’s educational plans, Michael Vick and Healthcare reform.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Black Lil Monkey Baby Dolls? Not a good Business Move

I received a call from CNN today about a major corporate mistake. We talk about such marketing issues in our Finance and Business Management classes at Syracuse University, and this was surely one that will be analyzed in many case studies for years to come.

In an apparent slip of intellect, someone with the Costco Corporation decided that it might be a good idea to put out black dolls with the words "Lil Monkey" on the top of the doll's forehead. Alrighty then, that makes sense.

I don't think that any executive with the Costco Corporation woke up this morning saying, "How do I offend as many black people as possible today?" But this does not excuse the fact that this move will be interpreted as a racist one, as it should be. The world is no longer plagued as much by good old fashioned racism, where a klan member shows up on your porch and calls you the n-word. We now have corporations and other institutions with white male dominated power structures that have not embraced diversity of ethnicity, thought or perspective. Racial ignorance remains acceptable and economic imperialism over people of color becomes the rule of the day. The point is simple: Someone should have caught this error before those dolls left the door, but no one cared enough to try.

Click to read.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dr Boyce: 5 things college students do to ruin their lives

As a college professor for the past 16 years, I've noticed two things about college: It can be a place to make your dreams come true, and it can also be a breeding ground for your worst nightmares. So, I thought I would compile a list of things that I've seen college students do to ruin their lives over the years. Hopefully, you and your child can learn from what I am about to share.

1) Sex, drugs, alcohol and gambling
College is a great place to pick up a lot of really bad habits. The worst part is that people tell you that these things are ok. It's not that all of these are bad things to do, but at the very least, they should be done in moderation. It doesn't matter if you are in college: If you have sex with too many people, you are going to catch a disease or get pregnant. If you use drugs, you are going to become a drug addict. If you drink too much, you will become an alcoholic. Gambling can also ruin your life as much as drugs or alcohol. I have several dozen friends with really messed up lives to this day, all of whom started their downward spiral on a college campus. You should not think that because you are in college, you are immune to these problems. If something doesn't feel right, then you shouldn't do it. Be mature enough to make smart decisions.

2) Falling for the credit card scams and ruining your credit
There are no serious credit card scams in college, only the little people who stand out in front of the bookstore trying to get you to take their "free money". Credit cards are very tempting when you are in school, especially since you are broke. If you decide to take one, make sure that you are very careful with how much you buy with the card, and that you have a careful plan to pay it all back. Putting yourself in over your head can easily destroy your credit. That is not a good cycle to get into. Not taking care of your student loan obligations can ruin your credit as well. You should manage your debt as best you can, because if you don't, it can take decades to fix the problems that are created.

Click to read.

Friday, August 14, 2009

5 Words to Describe the REturn of Michael Vick


The return of the prodigal quarterback

By Dr. Boyce Watkins

6:40 AM on 08/14/2009

The return of the prodigal quarterback

  • (AP Photo/Ric Feld)

I was as shocked as the rest of America to hear that Michael Vick has been signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. Although I've always supported Vick's human right to fairness, I never thought he'd be back on the field so fast. I was honestly happy to see him get a second chance, but not as happy as his bill collectors.
I have five words that describe the thoughts running through my mind regarding the return of the prodigal quarterback:

1) Redemption: Michael Vick was in his early to mid 20s when he committed many of his most egregious crimes against animals. His age does not, in any way, excuse him from necessary punishment. But the truth is that if any of us were forced to pay a lifetime price for dumb things we did in our twenties, we'd all die in debt. The problem with the way most Americans decided to attack Michael Vick was that there didn't seem to be any finite point at which we could all agree that his punishment should end. PETA wanted to barbecue Vick and the rest of America seemed to think that he was a modern-day OJ Simpson (he was acquitted, by the way). The public response to Michael Vick was a reminder of America's disturbing past of mob attacks against black men who were believed to have committed a crime.

2) Philadelphia: Michael Vick wasn't going to be signed in a touchy-feely city. He needed to be signed in a place where morality is optional and even a mass murderer can get on the field if he knows how to win. Philadelphia is that kind of town. I love the city immensely, but the truth is that when it comes to sports, many Eagles fans wouldn't care if Michael Vick had run a human death match syndicate. In fact, they might think it was kind of cool. If Michael gets on the field and helps the team win, Eagles fans are going to give him an extra dose of brotherly love.

Click to read.

Dr Boyce on AOL – 8/13/09

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Dr Boyce: Why Michael Vick's Return is a Good Thing

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Dr. Boyce Education: What College Students Should Not Be Doing in the Summer

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Financial Lovemaking 101: How The Wrong Marriage Can Destroy You

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Dr. Boyce: Four Political Viruses That Threaten Healthcare Reform

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Dr Boyce Money: Wells Fargo's Bad Relationship With the Black Community

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Michael Vick is Back

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

He's back. After a 2 year saga that kept my head spinning, the young man who made a terrible mistake is finally being allowed to make a living. I have supported Michael Vick all along, but not because I felt that he was innocent. I've supported him because I do not believe that dog fighting is the kind of crime that deserves a lifetime punishment. So, to the extremists at PETA who want to see Michael Vick burn in the hell of unemployment and incarceration for the rest of his life, I only have one thing to say: grow up.

Michael Vick's reinstatement to the NFL and recent signing by the Philadelphia Eagles unleashed a plethora of thoughts within me. On some level, his return is a bit of an "Athletic Juneteenth" for those who tire of seeing our country make African American athletes into public enemy number one whenever they screw up. To this day, we act as if Marion Jones is the devil, Barry Bonds is a monster, and Terrell Owens is some kind of criminal. This treatment is nothing new, as black athletes have been getting villified for decades, and their molehills are consistently turned into mountains, ripe for high-tech lynchings. This is the tradition of America.

It only seems appropriate that Michael Vick sign his contract in a city like Philadelphia, the place that I love and fear at the same time. I love the city because they've supported me in my work with the great Wendy Williams, Dom Giordano andCharlamagne Tha God. But there is a dark side of "Killadelphia" that shows itself in the way they support their sports teams. They are the fans that cheered when it appeared that Michael Irvin may have broken his neck, so they sure as heck aren't going to pay much attention to animal rights protestors blocking their path to a Super Bowl. In a city like Philly, the slogan is simple: "If you win, we forgive all sin." Vick will be right at home.

Click to read more.

Rev. Al Sharpton: Time to Shut Down some Prisons

Prisons bursting at the seams, destroying our future

  • (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

by Rev. Al Sharpton

As the battle lines for health care reform are being drawn - and redrawn - a silent segment of the population is strategically left out of the conversation. It's a group of individuals who have been deemed enemies of society, and cast away behind iron bars to fend for themselves. In California's 33 prisons, healthcare is so inadequate that one unnecessary death takes place per week, as inmates are often stacked in triple bunk beds in hallways and gymnasiums. With nearly twice the number of prisoners than they were designed to hold, California prisons will have to reduce at least 40,000 prisoners in the next two years - and it's about time.

Federal judges just released a 184-page order demanding that California's inmate population be reduced by 27%, and gave the state 45 days to come up with a plan. In what they termed an "unconstitutional prison healthcare system", the three-judge panel concluded that disease was spreading rampantly and prisoner-on-prisoner violence was all but unavoidable. Forced to close a $26 billion dollar budget gap, California will now have to look at mechanisms to reducing its extensive prison spending, which in 2007 topped out at nearly $10 billion (approximately $49,000 for each inmate).

Whether it's for pure economic reasons or for an actual concern over the well being of prisoners, California will hopefully serve as an example for a reversal of the ever-growing prison industrial complex. A system that unfairly profiles and detains minorities, American jails produce a vicious cycle of recidivism and community breakdown. Last year, the Pew Center on the States released a scathing report stating that one in every 100 American adults was in jail, and that an astonishing one in 15 black adults was behind bars. According to government reports in 2007, there were three times as many blacks in jail than in college dorms, with Latinos not far behind at 2.7 times more behind bars than in secondary schooling.

Click to read.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Finally, the NCAA Has Been Sued

By Dr. Boyce Watkins

8:50 AM on 08/11/2009

NCAA treating black athletes like second-class citizens

  • In this April 3, 1995 photo, UCLA's Ed O'Bannon celebrates after his team won the NCAA championship game against Arkansas in Seattle. O'Bannon is suing the NCAA over its use of former student athletes' images in DVDs, video games, photographs, apparel and other material. (AP Photo/Eric Draper, File)

The revolution has been televised.

I always knew it would be, since African American athletes have always been center stage in the NCAA's multi-billion dollar money machine. Millions of Americans go mad during the month of March to see "Tyrone G. Anyhood", the latest corporate product being lined up on the Great American assembly line of mass exploitation and academic fraud.

The NCAA has profited handsomely from the black community's commitment to producing and delivering hoop dreams that put young black men on the court during the hours they should be spending in a book. We perform death-defying athletic circus acts for the amusement of America, while universities profit under the guise of providing education. The NCAA's professional sports league has created hundreds of multimillionaires and has facilitated the purchase of summer homes, yachts and private planes for many of the fat old men who refuse to even hire African American coaches.

Some of the players have finally said, "enough."

Ed O'Bannon, a former star for the UCLA Bruins, has put his name at the top of an historic class-action lawsuit being filed against the NCAA for the illegal use of player images in videogames. This lawsuit is significant and opens a Pandora's Box of disturbing issues, like a maid charged with cleaning out a house with dead bodies and asbestos. To make things simple, here are just a few reasons the suit may actually end up having massive implications for the African American community:

Click to read.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dr Boyce on AOL – 8/11/09

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Dr Boyce: Why Everyone Should Go to College

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Financial Lovemaking: Tiny, Toya, Weezy and TIP

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Dr. Boyce: 'Jungle Monkey' Cop Sues City of Boston?

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Dr. Boyce: Jasmine Sanders Makes it Big in NYC Radio

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Dr Boyce Money: Is the NCAA Racist or Just Getting Rich?

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Financial Lovemaking: Should You Marry a Professional Athlete?