A Black fourth grader was suspended for having a BB gun visible in his online class

Laveta Brigham

Ka Mauri Harrison, a 9-year-old in Harvey, Louisiana, got suspended for showing a BB gun during his virtual class. <p class="copyright">Boston Globe / Contributor / Getty Images</p>
Ka Mauri Harrison, a 9-year-old in Harvey, Louisiana, got suspended for showing a BB gun during his virtual class.
  • A Harvey, Louisiana elementary school suspended a Black fourth grader for unintentionally showing a BB gun during class. 

  • NOLA.com reported that 9-year-old Ka Mauri Harrison moved a BB gun that his younger brother tripped on during an English test. Because the gun was visible during class, school officials said it violated their internet usage policy.

  • Harrison’s suspension is one of several instances of Black children being disciplined during the country’s disorganized shift to online school. In May, a Michigan judge incarcerated 15-year-old Black girl for not completing her homework, which led to national petitions and protests.

  • Black students are disproportionately suspended or expelled, and some educators worry the virtual school could perpetuate racial bias in discipline. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

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Making Black banks matter

Laveta Brigham

Kevin Cohee has a vivid memory—one of his earliest—from when he was about 4 years old, hanging out in the basement of his house in Kansas City, Mo. It was the early 1960s, and his uncles were there with some friends; some of them entrepreneurs (one uncle owned a pharmacy), all active in the civil rights protests of the era. As they plotted the future, one man pulled Cohee aside—he was the only kid present—and gave him a mandate: “That we didn’t need more Black men to fight on the streets; that we needed Black men to control institutions—like a bank,” recounts Cohee.   

Cohee, who calls himself “a child of the Black Panther party,” ended up owning not just one bank, but several. After graduating from Harvard Law, his career took him from investment banking at Salomon Brothers to a successful leveraged buyout and turnaround of a financial services firm … Read More

As Trump courts Black voters, critics see a ‘depression strategy’

Laveta Brigham

President Trump wants to Make America #Woke Again. 

Viewers who watch the Trump campaign’s online programming aimed at Black audiences are encouraged to tweet the hashtag #Woke when announcing their support for the president. Viewers are also asked to text the word to a number that will sign them up for updates and allow the campaign to harvest their data. 

This subversion of the term, which originated in the Black community as slang for becoming attuned to the injustice and systemic racism prevalent in American society, is part of a larger effort by the Trump campaign to erode Democrats’ longtime advantage with African-American voters. 

Trump’s effort to win over Black voters may seem quixotic. Only about one in 10 Black Americans identifies as a Republican, a number that’s remained relatively stable for decades. And President Trump, with his history of racist statements, would not seem to be a natural candidate

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7 Myths About Black Lives Matter People Need To Stop Believing

Laveta Brigham

In the wake of police violence against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and countless other Black men and women, the Black Lives Matter movement once again has the national spotlight. But with so much confusion and disinformation plaguing the conversation, not everyone understands what BLM is or how it works.

At best, myths about Black Lives Matter prevent people from giving their support. At worst, these myths actively detract from the movement and the anti-racism work its members have been doing.

“What some people might call myths, I don’t see them as myths ― I see them as tools by other groups used to do harm, stop change and maintain the status quo,” said Richard M. Cooper, a clinical assistant professor at Widener University who specializes in race and social justice. 

In other words, myths don’t just fall down from the sky. They’re created. “They are a tool

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Black, Hispanic and American Indian Children Make Up 78 Percent of All Youth Coronavirus Deaths

Laveta Brigham

Black, Hispanic and American Indian children are dying due to COVID-19 at a disproportionally higher rate than their white peers, a new Centers for Disease Control study found.

While children are significantly less likely than adults to die from COVID-19, minority youth represent 78 percent of current fatalities.

For this study, the CDC tracked all known pediatric COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. for the first time and found that between February and July, there have been at least 391,814 cases and 121 deaths in people under 21 years old.

Of those 121 deaths, Black, Hispanic and American Indian children accounted for over three-quarters, despite making up just 41 percent of the U.S. population under 21. Hispanic children had the highest rate of death, at 44 percent, followed by Black children at 29 percent and 4 percent for both American Indian and Asian or Pacific Islander children. White children

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Black women again turn to midwives, some fearing coronavirus in hospitals

Laveta Brigham

Midwife Kiki Jordan examines TaNefer Camara during a routine postnatal visit about a week after the birth of her son Esangu. In centuries past, Black midwives often functioned as spiritual advisers and parenting teachers as well as birth attendants. <span class="copyright">(Rachel Scheier / California Healthline)</span>
Midwife Kiki Jordan examines TaNefer Camara during a routine postnatal visit about a week after the birth of her son Esangu. In centuries past, Black midwives often functioned as spiritual advisers and parenting teachers as well as birth attendants. (Rachel Scheier / California Healthline)

From the moment she learned she was pregnant late last year, TaNefer Camara knew she didn’t want to have her baby in a hospital bed.

A mother of three and part-time lactation consultant at Highland Hospital in Oakland, Camara already knew a bit about childbirth. She wanted to deliver at home, surrounded by her family, into the hands of an experienced female birth worker, as her female ancestors once did. And she wanted a Black midwife.

It took the COVID-19 pandemic to get her husband onboard.

“Up until then, he was like, ‘You’re crazy. We’re going to the hospital,’” she said.

As the pandemic has laid

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Black scientists highlight racism in the lab and the field

Laveta Brigham

Overt harassment and subtle intimidation during fieldwork compound the discrimination that Black scientists already feel in academic settings

WASHINGTON (AP) — University of Washington ecologist Christopher Schell is studying how coronavirus shutdowns have affected wildlife in Seattle and other cities. But when planning fieldwork, he also thinks about how he’s perceived in neighborhoods where he installs wildlife cameras.

“I wear the nerdiest glasses I have and often a jacket that has my college logo, so that people don’t mistake me for what they think is a thug or hooligan,” said Schell, who is African American.

The recent episode of a white woman calling the police on a Black birder in New York’s Central Park shocked many people. But for Black environmental scientists, worrying about whether they are likely to be harassed or asked to justify their presence while doing fieldwork is a familiar concern.

Tanisha Williams, a botanist at

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Schools that are mostly Black, Latino favor starting online

Laveta Brigham

Missi Magness wanted her children back in school.

The parent of a first-grader and a sixth-grader who attend schools on Indianapolis’ southeast side struggled trying to oversee her children’s schooling while working from home this spring.

“They need the structure, they need the socialization, they just need to go,” said Magness. “‘I love you, but here’s your backpack, here’s your lunch … have a good day!’”

Many other local parents agreed. Now, their school district, Franklin Township — where two-thirds of the 10,000 students are white, as is Magness — has allowed younger children to return to school buildings full time.

But two districts over, it’s a different story. In Indianapolis Public Schools, where nearly three-quarters of about 26,000 students in traditional public schools are Black and Hispanic, the school year started virtually — despite relying on the same local health guidance as Franklin Township.

That dynamic is playing out

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Don’t miss out on black start-ups, investors told

Laveta Brigham

Zack Smith has created a platform for jobs in the gig economy
Zack Smith has created a platform for jobs in the gig economy

“I think a lot of folks like myself never even get a chance, because folks don’t answer their phones, or listen to their idea, but put them in a box they shouldn’t be in,” says Zack Smith, the founder of Boston-based Jobble.

He’s talking about how hard it can be for black tech entrepreneurs to raise money.

But Mr Smith saw it as a challenge.

“It doesn’t matter what box they put me in to begin with, I’ll get out of that box and prove to them I’m bigger and better. I think this fuels me,” he says.

His firm is a US platform for jobs in the gig economy, offering work to those who want flexible hours.

‘Supportive’

According to a study of 9,874 US business founders by California-based social enterprise RateMyInvestor, only 1% of start-ups receiving

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Why are there so few black tech entrepreneurs?

Laveta Brigham

“I think a lot of folks like myself never even get a chance, because folks don’t answer their phones, or listen to their idea, but put them in a box they shouldn’t be in,” says Zack Smith, the founder of Boston-based Jobble.

He’s talking about how hard it can be for black tech entrepreneurs to raise money.

But Mr Smith saw it as a challenge.

“It doesn’t matter what box they put me in to begin with, I’ll get out of that box and prove to them I’m bigger and better. I think this fuels me,” he says.

His firm is a US platform for jobs in the gig economy, offering work to those who want flexible hours.

‘Supportive’

According to a study of 9,874 US business founders by California-based social enterprise RateMyInvestor, only 1% of start-ups receiving venture capital were black.

But Mr Smith was fortunate to have New

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