Gregg Reese


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Recent Stories

‘Nixland—My Wild Ride in the Inner City Check Cashing Industry’

Local entrepreneur tells his side of the rise of alternative financing

"…I’m charming, I’m dashing, I’m rental car bashing I’m phony paper passing at Nix Check Cashing.” -from “High Plains Drifter,” by the Beastie Boys, 1989.

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Rev. Al Sharpton an FBI informant?

Allegations resurface on the eve of the Civil Rights Summit

Al Sharpton has never been a stranger to controversy. Bursting on the scene as a street-level provocateur during the racially charged 1980s in his native New York City, he became a polarizing figure as he led protest marches in response to the Bernhard Goetz shootings, the Howard Beach beatings, and the murder of Yusef Hawkins. The Hawkins episode thrust the self-appointed activist the role of martyr when a Bensonhurst resident stabbed the easily recognizable Sharpton in the chest, as the overweight media figure (known for his flamboyant jogging suits and gaudy jewelry) was about to lead a demonstration through that ethnic enclave in Brooklyn.

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Something from Nothing

Dayo Olopade uncovers Africa’s gift for doing more with less at the Zócalo Public Square

Ah, the contradictions that arise from Africa. Alternatively seen as a vast treasure chest of untapped resources, and as a bastion of grinding poverty full of refugees with distended stomachs begging for alms from the civilized world, its media image is a two-sided coin of polar opposites, and never the two shall meet.

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Obama aims to bypass Congress with ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ initiative

Plan reaches out to nonprofit foundations to implement his agenda

OW Contributor President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, and his recently announced “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, might be considered his response to the prolonged inflexibility of Congress during the course of his administration. Designed specifically to target young males of color, it aims to help them economically and educationally, two areas in which assistance is undoubtedly needed. In order to do this, Obama wants to sidestep the legislative arm that thus far has rendered his previous efforts ineffective by tapping an overlooked resource: huge charitable organizations known as foundations.

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White Folks Sing the Blues?

Black leaders converge with Neo Nazi’s for a ‘National Conversation on Race’

Beverly Hills is perhaps better known as a shopping Mecca for those seeking the ultimate in glitz and glamour, but this week it was slated for a discussion on race, that problem that still irks America in this, the second decade of a new millennium. The actual venue selected, H.O.M.E. (House of Music & Entertainment), a site normally utilized for dinner/Jazz concerts, is just a few blocks from the epicenter of Rodeo Drive, with much of the same opulence associated with that more famous address.

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Astro Blackness covers self-identity and determination at Loyola

Two-day event will cover the whole spectrum of expression within the genre of Afrofuturism

So much of Black Identity has been shaped and molded in the cauldron of European tradition. To be sure, a great deal of the energies expended in the last half of the 20th century have been devoted towards a more balanced ethnic representation (hopefully) to make for a healthier psyche for future generations. But by and large, the prevailing Afro-American image is still projected through a lens reflecting the ulterior motives and morals of an outsider culture.

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The Price of Conviction

Authors Note: Last week we investigated the Soviet Union’s KGB (intelligence agency) which attempted to discredit or assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King in hopes of starting a race war during the Cold War (1949-1989). This week we investigate the FBI’s attempt to commit similar acts of sabotage.

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Overt dissent expressed in ‘Party Music’

Black Panthers used music to spread their message

Politics have arguably been a part of the music of the African Diaspora every since the first slave ship off loaded its cargo in the New World. The Africans fashioned musical idioms as a salve for their wretched existence in their new homeland.

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Toys of the Diaspora

They’re more than just playthings

The Christmas holiday stands as a prime example of an event that has strayed drastically from its original intent. The celebration of the birth of a spiritual figure that came forth to atone for the folly of mankind has devolved into an organ for blanket consumerism, especially here in the United States.

Watts Prophet founding member Richard A. Dedeaux succumbs

He was 73

Richard Dedeaux, a founding member of the spoken word/poetry performance art group The Watts Prophets, and a major influence on the Hip Hop/ Rap movement, died on Dec. 3, after a lengthy bout with cancer. He was 73.

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