All Articles Tagged "african americans"
Well-known organizations such as the NAACP, Rainbow Push Coalition, National Urban League, National Action Network, and the United Negro College Fund have given back across the country. But here are nine other nonprofits that also support African-Americans. Check them out!
Naturally, time spent on social media is on the rise across all devices, according to the new Social Media 2012 report from Nielsen and NM Incite. Mobile is leading the way, with 34 percent of all time spent on social networks happens via mobile applications and five percent via mobile Web.
When it comes to break outs by race and ethnicity, African-American Internet users spent 8 hours and 7 minutes on social networks on their PCs in July 2012, the most time compared to all other ethnic groups. African Americans spent 8 hours and 20 minutes on social networks through mobile Web and applications, second only to Hispanic users, who spent 11 hours and 13 minutes on mobile social networks.
Nielsen also took a deeper look at Pinterest, which until now did not have much data on the audience composition of the site. According to Nielsen, 86 percent of Pinterest users who access through a PC are white, eight percent are Hispanic, six percent are African American, and three percent are Asian. When it comes to Pinterest users who access the site via the mobile app, 79 percent are white, 22 percent are Hispanic, five percent are African-American, and seven percent are Asian. (We took a look at growing interest in Pinterest just yesterday. Click here for that.)
African Americans make up 10 percent of Pinterest users who access the site via mobile Web, while 22 percent are Hispanic, 74 percent are white, and 7 percent are Asian. Additionally, female users outpace male users of Pinterest, as 70 percent of PC users, 84 percent of mobile app, and 72 percent of mobile web Pinterest users are female.
Overall, Facebook remains the top social network among all Internet users, increasing for mobile users and dropping slightly for PC users. More than 152 million PC users accessed Facebook in July 2012, 78.4 million accessed it via the mobile app and 74.3 million accessed via the mobile Web.
We find the PC figure pretty surprising given the amount of time people are spending on their smartphones these days. According to a ZDNet story that’s basically detailing the demise of Microsoft’s PC business, in the weeks after the launch of Windows 8 “sales of Microsoft-powered PCs fell 21 percent from a year earlier. Desktop PC sales are down by nine percent, while notebook sales down by 24 percent.”
What sort of device are you using most these days?
Drowning statistics in the United States are sobering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ten people die from accidental drowning every day and, of those, two are children aged 14 and younger. What’s worse is that this crisis disproportionately affects monitory communities. African-American children aged five to 14 are three times more likely to drown than their white counterparts, says the CDC.
In the face of such depressing trends, Talia Mark has made it her mission to attack the problem head-on. As the Manager of Multicultural Marketing for USA Swimming, it is her job – and her passion – to generate interest in swimming and create awareness for the importance of water safety, particularly among blacks and Latinos. And it’s a sweet gig. She jets around the country with Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones, organizing community swim events and private lessons with black and brown kids, and she just spearheaded a partnership between USA Swimming and the sorority Sigma Gamma Rho to spread the water gospel even wider. (Jones will also be on the “Make a Splash” tour come 2013.)
While it may seem like a responsibility too large for the 29-year-old Michigan native, Mark is cruising confidently on comfortable terrain. Before joining USA Swimming, she served as the Manager of Diversity Affairs for NASCAR, similarly working to increase minority interest in a sport that many of us overlook. Recently, we sat down with Mark to discuss her career path, why she’s so committed to getting more folks into the pool, and her advice for other aspiring women.
Madame Noire: You’ve held some pretty high profile positions at both NASCAR and USA Swimming. Did you always have a dream to work in sports?
Talia Mark: Actually, I wanted to go into event planning, but nobody told me out of high school that public relations was not event planning. So I studied public relations at Central Michigan University.
My first internship was with a place called PineRest Christian Mental Health Institution. One day my best friend called me because she was doing an internship at this place called TCG Campbell in Dearborn, MI, and they were having this big crisis. She was calling me to see how to fix it, and when I got off the phone with her I was like, “Look, I don’t know what it is that you’re doing, but I want to do that. This is not where I want to be, and I can’t sit in the office everyday.’ And come to find out, she was working with the Ford Racing team.
A couple weeks later I was able to get an interview with TCG Campbell, and they asked which department I wanted to work in. I was 20 years old, and I just knew that I wanted to travel, so they put me in racing.
MN: Did you have any preconceived notions about NASCAR or racing, in general, before you took the position?
TM: Honestly, I didn’t even know what NASCAR was. I had no idea. My first race was at Talledega, AL. That was my first experience, and it was actually during the taping of Talledega Nights, and I absolutely fell in love with it. It was so big, and so loud, and so fast, and everybody was so nice. There was just so much happening that I couldn’t go back. I ended up staying at TCG Campbell for about 2 ½ years.
MN: How did you move from NASCAR to USA Swimming at the beginning of 2011?
TM: In my last position at NASCAR, I was the Manager of Diversity Affairs, so my overall goal was to get more people interested in the sport who weren’t previously interested. The goal was to bring opportunities to diverse communities that may not have thought about racing as a viable option for entertainment or for job opportunities.
Going into the Olympic year, USA Swimming knew that the world is evolving and its much more diverse, and since they are the leaders in the Olympic movement, they wanted to be ahead of the curve in terms of diversity. So they were looking for someone to develop a multicultural marketing plan and reach out to people who may not swim. Essentially I was doing the same thing at NASCAR, but now there was the chance that I could actually help save someone’s life.
MN: How did you get the call? Did you have to actually apply?
TM: I had a number of people – some of my mentors and other people that I know in the sports industry – tell me that USA Swimming was really looking to promote diversity in swimming and they asked if it was something I would be interested in.
MN: That’s interesting because I think a lot of people are still relying on filling out job applications to get hired, but it doesn’t often happen that way, does it?
TM: No, I don’t think I’ve ever filled out a job application.
MN: So what advice do have for others to best position themselves for career opportunities?
TM: I think the first thing is to recognize opportunities. When I first took the job at NASCAR in Florida, my grandmother told me not to do it. She said it was far from family, far from my home, far from everything that I knew. But you have to have confidence in yourself, and let that fear go. A lot of people don’t want to let go of what’s comfortable.
Secondly, networking is going to be a big thing. When I first got into NASCAR, I sent out notes to people who I respected in the industry, and I still do this today.
I’m not coming at them looking for a job – that’s what they’re used to. I simply tell them that I respect what they’re doing in the industry, and I respect [he/she] as a businessperson, and I ask if they would be willing to mentor someone like me. And I will tell you right now that I would not be able to do half of the things that I am doing without my mentors. They have opened so many doors for me and stopped me from going down the wrong path so many times.
MN: So what’s next for you?
TM: I definitely have big dreams and goals, but I’m very happy with what we’re doing at USA Swimming, and what we’re doing is so important right now. You only get that chance once in a lifetime to make such an impact on someone’s life, a culture, a community. And I’d love to do bigger things within USA Swimming, so I’m looking forward to seeing what that growth will bring.
Andrea Williams is a journalist and writer based in Nashville, TN. For more, follow her @AndreaWillWrite.
High-fructose corn syrup. It sounds pretty tasty and makes some of your favorite foods and drinks irresistibly delicious. But how detrimental is this sweet ingredient to your health?
A recent study discovered a link between high-fructose corn syrup and diabetes. A joint study conducted by the University of Southern California and the University of Oxford suggests that Type 2 diabetes rates are higher – a whopping 20 percent more – in countries with the highest rates of high-fructose corn syrup consumption. The study, published in Global Public Health, also notes that the rates of diabetes are lower in countries where consumption is at a minimum.
The United States tops the study’s list with the highest per capita consumption rate: 55 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year. The findings are particularly disconcerting for blacks because Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease – and diabetes disproportionately affects the black population. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH), blacks are twice as likely as whites to develop diabetes. In fact, fourteen percent of the black population is afflicted with the disease.
In addition, compared to whites with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that blacks with the disease have a 50 percent chance of going blind, and are from 2.6 to 5.6 times as likely to develop kidney disease. Amputations also increase in likelihood by 2.7 times. And as of 2009, the OMH noted that blacks were 2.2 times as likely to die from complications related to diabetes.
Black women are more likely to be affected by diabetes than any other gender/race combination. The ADA notes that the disease affects 25 percent of black females over the age of 55.
Genetics may be to blame for the level of susceptibility among black people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that some researchers have concluded that black Americans – and other ethnic groups, such as Hispanics, Asians, and Pacific Islanders – are heirs to a “thrift gene.” In essence, their ancestors stored food energy in their bodies during plentiful times so they could survive during times of famine. But now that most of these ethics groups are not subject to issues of food scarcity, the thrift gene has become something of a curse.
In 2010, it was estimated that treating diabetes costs patients $6,000 per year. Of course, that doesn’t take into account any lost wages and quality of life issues, which can’t be quantified.
After the release of this most recent study drawing a connection between diabetes and high-fructose corn syrup, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) was quick to issue statements discounting the validity of the research. The CRA’s president called the study “severely flawed, misleading, and a poorly conducted analysis.” In addition, the CRA accused the researchers of ignoring other components of a person’s diet that may lead to diabetes.
However, this is not the first time that high-fructose corn syrup has come under fire. In 2004, researchers at Louisiana State University and the University of North Carolina found a link between high-fructose corn syrup and obesity. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggested that “the overconsumption of HFCS in calorically sweetened beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity.”
In addition, as far back as 2005, Diabetes Health warned of the dangers of high-fructose corn syrup for diabetics, and cautioned against consuming any food that listed this product as one of its first ingredients. Diabetes Health has not changed their stance, and has provided the following list to help consumers identify popular products that contain the syrupy substance:
- Soft drinks
- Artificial fruit juices and fruit drinks
- Breads, cakes, cookies and other baked goods
- Fruits and vegetables, such as pickles and baked beans
- Salad dressing, pancake syrups, sauces (ketchup, mustard, BBQ)
- Breakfast cereals and bars
- Canned soups
- Canned fruits (in artificial juices)
- Yogurt (frozen and fruit-flavored)
Health is an irreplaceable resource, and identifying and limiting – if not completely avoiding – health-depleting ingredients is one of the most important steps that an individual can take to maintain and improve their physical condition. An anonymous Facebook quote says it best: “True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington.”
African Americans love Twitter. In fact, according to studies, blacks are more likely than whites to join Twitter. So it’s no wonder blacks are driving national Twitter slang.
A recent study by computer scientist Jacob Eisenstein of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and his colleagues found that much of the shorthand used on the social networking site evolves in cities with large African American populations before spreading out more widely, reports The Root.
And according to BBC News, “Spelling bro, slang for brother (male friend or peer) as bruh began in the southeastern U.S. (where it reflects the local pronunciation) before finally jumping to southern California. The emoticon ‘-__-’ (denoting mild annoyance) began in New York and Florida before colonizing both coasts and gradually reaching Arizona and Texas.”
Why does this happen? One possibility, notes The Root, is that innovations spread by simple diffusion from person to person. Another suggestion is that bigger population areas “exert a stronger attraction on neologisms, so that they go first to large cities by a kind of gravitational pull.” Still, others think words might spread initially within some minority groups but remain invisible to the majority.
As it has been widely reported, African Americans are early adopters of new technology. And, as we recently noted, blacks are also over-indexing on sites like Tumblr.
Just as African Americans have had influence through radio — with popular shows such as “The Tom Joyner Show” and Steve Harvey’s morning program — and television with Oprah Winfrey and BET, social media has become the new microphone for news, entertainment, and influence for the black community.
In a 2011 study from multicultural agency Burrell, 73 percent of white consumers and 67 percent of Hispanics said they believe that blacks influence mainstream American culture, and social media amplifies that. In 2012, LeBron James was the most influential athlete on social media during the London Olympics and the black community turned to social media to rally around the family of Trayvon Martin.
As of August 2011, 70 percent of US black Internet users ages 18 and up were on social networks, a higher percentage that whites (63 percent) and Hispanics (67 percent), according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
This number has only grown. In its “African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing” 2012 study, Nielsen reported that 72 percent of black consumers have more than one social networking profile.
With a younger population than other ethnic groups, it makes sense that African Americans are more likely to use social media, which has always skewed younger. As these younger consumers mature and become the main consumer segment in the US, their influence and preferences when it comes to social media will be critical for marketers.
“As we’ve seen over the past couple of years with the Honda Battle of the Bands, social media is definitely an effective and authentic way to connect with African-American consumers, said Gina Jorge, assistant manager of multicultural marketing for American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in an email with Madame Noire. (We covered this event here.) “We see a continued increase in engagement across emerging digital, social and mobile platforms.”
Pew also released data this year about how social networking impacts political activities. Blacks have shown how they leverage social media to influence and connect with others around political issues of importance to them. Among black US social network users, 42 percent said they think social networks are important for recruiting people to get involved with political issues that matter to them, and 38 percent said social networks are an important forum for political discussions or debates. These percentages were higher than those for whites or Hispanics.
“Social allows people to have a voice on a grassroots level and that’s one of the things that has been hard for the African-American community to do: get their voice heard and heard loudly,” Keisha Brown, senior vice president and general manager of multicultural agency Lagrant Communications, told Madame Noire. “With social, and the campaigns and election showed this as well, you are able to create groups for African Americans [and others].”
So as the black community leverages social media as a channel to build its cultural influence, what does the future hold?
Brown told Madame Noire that the opportunities for African-American entrepreneurs within social media and technology will grow: “For millennials and Gen Y, they are growing up with this medium and their thought process is different. They see the sky as the limit because social media brings in so many different aspects of business and you can reach so many different people.”
Verna Coleman-Hagler, a brand manager for Procter & Gamble, told Madame Noire via email that the future will also include more philanthropic and community initiatives that build a greater reach through social.
P&G and its My Black is Beautiful program turned to social when it launched “Imagine a Future” in 2012, which will “work to impact the lives of one million black girls over the next three years,” she said, and will partner with Black Girls Rock! and The United Negro College Fund.
As social media usage continues to rise overall, African-Americans will become more prominent players in the technology industry and as entrepreneurs, expanding the community’s influence even more.
When it comes to social media, of course Facebook is the top dog. But within the black community, Twitter has become a go-to social media site.
In February 2012, Pew released data about the demographic profile of US Twitter users and found that 28 percent of black Internet users said they were Twitter users. Comparatively, only 14 percent of Hispanics and 12 percent of whites said the same.
Looking deeper into this trend, there are two main reasons why blacks turn to Twitter more than their general market counterparts: the age and mobile-readiness of black consumers. A third, not as noticeable, reason is that black consumers are more active in using social media to follow news, entertainment and politics than other consumers — areas where Twitter is already making an impact, especially because of its real-time nature.
Just as the overall black population is younger, so are Twitter users in general.
In 2011, the Census reported that the overall median age in the US was 37.3 years old, nearly five years older than the median age for US blacks, which was 32.7. Because of the young age of the black population, they are more likely to use social networks, increasing the current penetration rate.
And looking specifically at Twitter, a June 2012 study from website monitoring company Pingdom found that the average Twitter user is 37.3 years old, compared to 40.5 for Facebook and 44.2 for LinkedIn.
Indeed, Twitter’s unique shorthand, including hashtags and @ replies, and the ease with which it supports real-time communication, are appealing to younger consumers who have grown up spending more time texting with friends than sending emails. Facebook, on the other hand, expands upon more traditional forms of sharing and communication comfortable for older consumers, with its photos and messages.
This is demonstrated more clearly by March 2012 data from Common Sense Media, an organization that provides media and technology information to families and kids. When asked about the main social networking site that they use, 19 percent of black US teen Internet users said Twitter was their main site, and 49 percent said Facebook. Among teens overall, only six percent highlighted Twitter and 68 percent said Facebook was their main social network.
Another reason for the move to Twitter is that black consumers have been early adopters of mobile technology, texting and accessing social networks on their mobile phones. Twitter, likewise, has always positioned itself as a mobile-first company, even deriving the 140-character limit of tweets from the original character limits of text messages.
During BET’s Hip-Hop Awards show on October 9, social media tracker Trendrr analyzed 2.6 million Twitter interactions related to the show, which included all tweets, @mentions and hashtags, according to an article in Mashable. Of those interactions, 70 percent came from mobile phones and only 30 percent from the Web.
Compare this to the 2012 Oscars, which reaches a more general market. It saw 44 percent of its related Twitter interactions come from mobile, according to Trendrr. BET encouraged this mobile participation, by offering a specific Hip-Hop Awards app, and its mostly black audience responded in full force.
Real-Time News and Entertainment
Twitter has emerged as the go-to platform to follow real-time news and television events, such as the BET Hip-Hop Awards, the presidential debates and MTV’s Video Music Awards, all of which led to spikes in related conversations on Twitter.
There are several topics that overlap as both interests of the black community and places where Twitter shines as a social site.
With its ability to bring together conversations around hashtags, Twitter has become a place for many users to get and follow news. Additionally, Pew found that black social network users were slightly more likely to get news from social networks overall.
Between May and June 2012, Pew asked social network users if they had seen news on a social network during the previous day. Of black social network users, 38 percent said they had, while 35 percent of whites and 34 percent of Hispanics said the same thing. Blacks, however, saw the greatest increase from 2010 in this type of news consumption, up 22 percentage points.
Going one step further, into political news, blacks were interested in using social media as part of political activities, according to the 2012 “Politics on Social Networking Sites” from Pew. Nearly half (48 percent) of black respondents said social networking was important for keeping up on political news, compared to 44 percent of Hispanic respondents and 33 percent of white respondents.
Twitter not only has more users than the smaller social TV applications, but also has the real-time nature that helped it become a go-to platform for TV conversations, more so than Facebook. BET, in particular, has embraced this trend, encouraging viewers to tweet, showing tweets on-air during live TV shows like 106 and Park, and connecting with fans throughout the day on Twitter.
While all social sites can provide entertainment and news information to a degree, Twitter has emerged as the best real-time solution. That is attractive to black consumers who enjoy participating in conversations around news and entertainment on social media.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see if Twitter continues to keep its popularity with the black community. Are you on Twitter? Do you prefer it over other sites and, if so, why?
Hey All! It’s time for another “Behind The Click” profile from yours truly. Now, I recently found out about Kat Calvin because she is behind one of the first-ever black female hackathons. Not sure what that is? Read on. Because there is much more to Kat than just even organizing this event.
Calvin is the CEO and co-founder of Character’s Closet, a site that lists where you can buy the TV wardrobes from your favorite shows. She is also the founder of Michelle in Training, an educational and mentoring organization that teaches professional and life skills to high school girls. And she is about to bring the first black female hackathon to life.
Whew! I’m glad I found out about her through a particular Google Group of tech divas, and I’m glad — with all of that activity — that she had the time to sit down a bit for this interview. Here we go….
2012′s Ultimate goal:
Quote governing your mission:
For as much discussion as there is about African Americans’ overgeneralized sense of homophobia, it’s surprising that a study has found we are actually the most likely racial group to openly identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBT).
A new Gallup Special Report on the LGBT population in the U.S., based on more than 120,000 interviews of adults, found 3.4% of the overall population of the country identifies as LGBT, most of which are non-white, younger, and less educated. In terms of race, African Americans and other racial minorities were more likely than whites to identify as homosexual. Overall, 4.6% of African Americans identify as LGBT, followed by 4.3% of Asians, 4.0% of Hispanics, and just 3.2% of white Americans. Seemingly confirming the double standard of society embracing lesbian women but somewhat rejecting gay men is the finding that women are just slightly more likely to identify as LGBT than men (3.6% vs. 3.3%). In terms of overall numbers, 53% of LGBT individuals are women.
Less surprising perhaps is the fact that younger Americans (age 18-29) are more likely, three times specifically, than seniors (aged 65 and older) to identify as LGBT. The 6.4% of open young adults versus the 1.9% of seniors likely has a lot to do with societal attitudes toward homosexuality over the years. What was once a taboo sexual preference and even seen as an illness has become mostly culturally accepted and even endorsed by the President and legitimized in some eyes by the recognizing of same-sex marital unions in a number of states.
What may be less easier to explain is the finding that Americans with lower levels of education are more likely than their higher educated counterparts to identify as LGBT. The study authors note that this is contrary to many studies using smaller data samples, but among their population, 3.5 % of those with a high school education or less identify as LGBT compared to 2.8% of those with a college degree and 3.2% of those with a graduate education. In all, LGBT identification is highest among those with some college education (4.0%) but not a college degree.
Speaking on the new insight gained from their Gallup report, Williams Distinguished Scholar Gary J. Gates said in a press release:
“This report not only confirms the validity of prior estimates of the size of the LGBT population, but also provides new insight into the diversity within the LGBT community. It will dramatically increase our understanding of the lives and views of LGBT Americans, and I congratulate Gallup for adding this important question to their tracking poll.”
For more highlights of the report, click here.
What do you think about these major findings?
*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
As we’ve reported here a couple of times in the past few weeks, the U.S employment situation is improving with each report. The numbers for black Americans, who have suffered acutely during this Great Recession, has also seen improvement.
The percentage of African Americans with a job has gone from 52.7 percent to 53 percent with the unemployment rate falling to 13.4 percent. Overall, The Root reports, black employment has risen .5 percent over the past year.
However, a shadow cast on all this positive news is that African-American women have made all of the most recent jobs gains.
“Among adults ages 20 and over, all of the gains for African Americans were among women. Although the share of black adult women overall employed rose from 55.1 percent to 55.3 percent, the share of black adult men employed fell from 57.7 percent to 57.5 percent,” the site says.
The story goes on to say that gains are being made across the private sector while the public sector suffers (600,000 jobs have been lost in this area), and for those with a college degree while those with only a high school diploma still struggle.
But, also on a positive note, the percentage of people who quit their job rather than being laid off grew to 7.9 percent and wages are growing, though modestly.
Now that we’re moving into a period where jobs are being created, the middle class needs security and we need to bring everyone at that level and below up a notch.
“The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project recently released a report projecting that 68 percent of African-Americans reared in the middle of the wealth ladder will not do as well as the previous generation,” Business Insider reports. The story continues with the National Urban League’s report showing that gains for the black middle class over the past 30 years have been erased by this recession.
“That nest egg is central to the discussion about the middle class. It’s often key to how well a family rebounds after a financial catastrophe, or whether a kid makes it to college,” the article says. That’s where those wealth numbers become important. And they’re scary. Black wealth fell by half between 2005 and 2009 to just $5,677 per average household. For whites, that figure fell just 16 percent… to $113,149. The problem is two-fold: blacks in the middle class have usually been lower middle class, and they got there through the public sector jobs that have been steadily disappearing during this economic downturn. The economy has pushed many black homeowners into a fragile situation with many losing their homes all together.
“Home values and equity are a huge deal because homes accounts for about 60 percent of black wealth,” BI says.
More on Madame Noire Business!
- Hustling in the Hair Capital: Detroit Stylists Create Extensions Line ‘Hair Crush’
- Too Broke for Babies: U.S. Birth Rate Drops Because Money is Tight
- Sallie Mae is No Joke: Do You Regret Your Degree(s)?
- Job Hunt Tips: Interview Questions You Should Ask
- A Dollar And A Dream: Use Apps To Crank Up Productivity
- Want a Promotion? Organize Your Workspace