In a country where Latino and Black communities will soon become the majority, the United States is faced with a political dilemma. Should undocumented immigrants be allowed to become citizens or should politicians tighten border policing and increase deportation rates?
This hotly debated topic has views that fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. While President Obama deported as many people in his first term as George Bush did in two, some progressive measures have been advocated by his administration. In June of 2012, President Obama issued a Department of Homeland Security directive to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants under the age of 30 who obtained a high school diploma, its equivalent or served in the military. Meanwhile, many Republican legislators who rejected proposals like the DREAM Act derided the President’s decree, equating it to amnesty. In the same month then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney claimed he would veto the DREAM Act if it came across his desk, but he would work hard to pave the way for legal residency – a move away from his previous recommendation of “self deportation.” This type of immigration policy focuses on exploiting financial gains from legal immigrant labor instead of granting migrants what they really need – citizenship and voting power to improve their access to basic human rights like healthcare, education and labor protections. If an estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants – a large portion of which are anticipated to vote democratic – are granted citizenship, they could put the Republican Party in danger of losing political strong holds like Texas and Arizona.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on May 30, 2013
Immigration from Africa to Europe is not a new phenomenon. In fact, people of African descent have been living in Europe for centuries, pre-dating the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Yet, as economies worsen throughout the world and the livelihoods of impoverished individuals continue to deteriorate, waves of Africans have migrated to Europe in search of better lives and opportunities. Of all European Union member states, Spain, arguably, has the most liberal immigration policies, allowing thousands of African immigrants into the country each year. That being said, the migration management system Spain has adopted for the many people who make the treacherous journey between Africa and Europe by boat casts doubt on its seemingly lenient immigration policies. These people often find themselves detained or deported after reaching the shores of Spain rather than having repatriation options.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on May 25, 2013
Photo courtesy of Global Fund for Women and Josh Warren-White.
In the United States – whether we are aware of it or not – domestic workers play a huge role in most of our lives. Some of us had nannies growing up, have relatives that work as in-home caretakers for elderly people, or babysat our way through college. Furthermore, 47 percent of Americans have used or would consider using household cleaning help. In any case, we know that these types of jobs require the employer to put the people and things they care about the most into the hands of another person. And yet, until recently, domestic workers had very few rights. While they work tirelessly to maintain homes and care for loved ones, they struggle to support their own families – living on low wages and often no health care. How is it possible that the basic rights of a group – totaling 1.8 million in the United States – could be disregarded for so many years?
Posted by Progressive Pupil on May 23, 2013
Ida B. Wells, journalist, editor, Civil Rights activist and suffragist. Photograph by Oscar B. Willis, courtesy of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Our Social Media Education and Outreach program is a big part of how we make Black studies for everybody. Rarely seen pieces by beloved artists, thrilling performances and fascinating facts about Black history are consistently featured on our Facebook page andTwitter feed. There is also inspiring information about the work of grassroots organizations that are currently solving problems such as violence, lack of educational access and police misconduct in Black communities around the world. “Like,” “Follow” and Click to make Black studies and progressive change a part of your everyday life. It’s an easy way to be part of the solution.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on May 21, 2013
Mountains that Take Wing is an intimate portrait of two revolutionary lives. The documentary follows activists Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama in a series of dialogues which trace their lifelong struggles against racism, oppression and violence. Topics range from the legacies of Japanese internment and Jim Crow segregation to their contemporary efforts to end prisons, poverty and imperialism.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on May 18, 2013
Sonja Sohn speaks with community members in Baltimore. Photo courtesy of Hector Emanuel and The Washington Post.
Most of us are familiar with Detective Shakima Greggs and her work in Baltimore from the hit HBO series The Wire. Few of us are as familiar with Sonja Sohn, the actress who played Kima Greggs, and her continued work in youth development and community empowerment.
After The Wire ended in 2008, Sonja Sohn couldn’t leave Baltimore behind. Having spent years of her life in a city where the leading cause of death for African American males ages 15 to 35 was homicide, Sohn was anxious to use her experience on the show to help. She was especially inspired by the impact the cast of the show had on a voter empowerment tour of Virginia and North Carolina with the National Urban League. She used this experience to launch ReWired for Change, an organization that empowers at risk youth, families and communities living in under-served areas through educational programming, community building support and media and social advocacy.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on May 16, 2013
Funded by the China National Mechanical and Equipment Corporation, the Imboulou Dam in the Republic of Congo is a 120-megawatt power plant that will double the DRC’s national production of electricity and bring light to a large part of the country. Photo courtesy of Time Magazine/Paolo Woods.
On the anniversary of Ghana’s independence, we wrote a blog piece about Former Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah‘s Pan-African ideology and how important it is to be aware of neocolonialism — the use of economic, political, and cultural pressures to influence other countries. While the definition of neocolonialism generally refers to the exploitation of former colonies, China’s recent economic boom has led to an increased investment in the many resources that makes Africa a literal and figurative goldmine.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on May 11, 2013
Grace Lee Boggs’ message to Occupy Wall Street from American Revolutionary.
At the age of 96, Chinese American grassroots activist, organizer, philosopher and author Grace Lee Boggs has more than seven decades of experience in Civil Rights activism, the Black Power movement, feminism, labor rights, Asian American rights, and environmental and food justice. Boggs, along with her husband and fellow activist, James Boggs, founded Detroit Summer — a multiracial, inter-generational collective based in Detroit. This collective has been working to transform communities through youth leadership, creativity and collective action for over 20 years.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on May 9, 2013