2010CensusHand 2010CensusHand

Wrath of the Math: Understanding the Census (Pg 2)

“I’mma tell you right now, you come to my project tryna knock on a door, you going to have a problem,” says another young man seated at the far end of the table. But the bold comment doesn’t match his persona. Avoiding all eye contact, he lets his voice trail off. 

“That’s why I’m here speaking with you guys,” says Content, 29. Her age and hip-hop sensibility allow her to speak to this group as peers instead of inferiors. “I could have come here and dropped off some fliers and kept it moving,” she says. “My job is to let people know about the 2010 Census and to empower them to become voices within the community.” The conversation goes on for two hours, and even then Content finds it hard to walk away.

But there is one breakthrough: “I want my daughter to go to a good school,” says Washington. “If all I got to do is fill out 10 questions, I’ll do it. Give me some Census forms now. I’ll go give them out in the ’hood.” 

The United States is the third largest country in the world, with an estimated population of 304 million. Of that number, thirteen percent, or an estimated 40 million people, categorize themselves as Black/African American/Negro—yes, the word “Negro” is still on the Census. Analysis of 2000’s Census data shows that Hispanics were missed four times as often as Whites, followed by Blacks (three times) and Asians (two times). Young Black males are one of the most under-represented groups of all.

Census forms are mailed out in March. April 1 is National Census day, a reminder to send the forms back. The next step is door-to-door follow up at households that didn’t mail back their form. All results are due to President Obama on December 31st.

New York is the most populous city in the country, home to America’s largest Black and Latino/Hispanic population (more than 2 million each). And Brooklyn is not only the most populous of the city’s five boroughs, but it’s also home to some of the hardest to count predominantly Black neighborhoods: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Flatbush, East New York and Brownsville.

As a Census Partnership Specialist, Content goes into these “hard to count” African-American and Caribbean communities, meeting with business owners, pastors, parents and young adults—anyone who might recognize the importance of filling out the 10-question survey that comes around every 10 years.

A native of Brooklyn, Content grew up and still lives in Brownsville, one of the troubled neighborhoods that she now covers. The daughter of Haitian immigrants, she graduated from New York University in 2002 and has been working in public service ever since. “My parents had no money and worked hard for me to go to all Irish private schools,” she says, explaining what drives her. “That pissed me off. I never went to school in my community. I had to commute two to three neighborhoods away to go to school. Why couldn’t kids that lived in my apartment building get the same education I received?”

Jay Mobley, Program Manager of the Justice Corps, appreciates Content’s motivation. He knows it is an uphill battle. “There is a term used for this population: disconnected,” he says after the meeting. “For so long, they felt like they didn’t matter. They see politicians and none of their needs are taken into account.”

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Issa Rae Is Now Co-Owner Of A Natural Hair-Care Brand

Issa Rae is expanding into the world of natural hair care. The Insecure creator and star became the co-owner and face of Sienna Natural, a vegan product line for textured hair.

Rae partnered with Sienna Naturals CEO Hannah Diop to rebrand the company. “I think hair has always been part of my identity,” Rae told Allure. “[Even my] debut was a big chop that I did for Awkward Black Girl.”

Rae’s interest in the natural haircare industry was peaked after watching Diop’s “journey,” in products creation. “I’d been watching Hannah's journey for a while, seeing her developing these products. I got interested in the natural, organic side of hair care. I felt like this was a great opportunity to partner up — not to mention obviously loving what the products did for my own hair.”

Sienna Naturals products are made from “lightweight natural ingredients free from synthetics, harsh chemicals” and “heavy oils.”

The product line includes a Salon in a Box collection for $75, H.A.P.I. Shampoo ($18), Dew Magic leave-in conditioner, and Plant Power deep treatment ($22). Shoppers can visit the Sienna Naturals website to get on the waitlist for product restocks and updates.


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Allow us to reintroduce ourselves… ✨ We are Sienna Naturals and the countdown begins until we’re fully restocked in your shower, so make room! 🚿 Our products are made with lightweight natural ingredients, free of synthetics, harsh chemicals or heavy oils— formulated by women with textured hair for women with textured hair.
 We are so excited to be back with: 💫 Larger product sizes 💫 More accessible price points 💫 A whole new look and whole new face Join the waitlist to get your favorites the second we’re back! Link in bio. Also, here’s your friendly reminder to check your voter registration status.

A post shared by Sienna Naturals (@siennanaturals) on Sep 22, 2020 at 3:00pm PDT

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Mural Honoring Chadwick Boseman Unveiled At Disneyland

A new mural honoring Chadwick Boseman made its debut at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney on Thursday (Sept 24). The beautiful art work was painted by Nikkolas Smith, a former Disneyland Imagineer.

The art installation includes an inscription from Smith that reads: “As a former Disney Imagineer, I had the honor of working on a major children's hospital initiative and Avengers Campus as my final two assignments. Seeing Chadwick's heart for people in-person, and later discovering his courageous battle with cancer, I was inspired to create this tribute to honor his life and legacy. To us, he was and will always be T'Challa. Long Live The King.”

The image shows Boseman kneeling alongside a child in a hospital gown while both make the Wakanda salute. The photo is a nod to Boseman’s many hospital visits with sick children, all while he secretly battled colon cancer. The 43-year-old actor passed away from the disease in August.


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A post shared by Disneyland (@disneyland) on Sep 24, 2020 at 12:18pm PDT

The piece, which will be on display until the end of the year, was Smith's final project as a Disney Imagineer, a job that he held for 11 years.

“This one is special,” he explained in an Instagram post. “My King Chad tribute is now on a wall on display at Downtown Disney. It is a full circle moment for me: my final two projects as a Disney Imagineer last summer were working on the Children’s Hospital project and the ‘Avengers’ Campus. To millions of kids, T'Challa was a legend larger than life, and there was no one more worthy to fill those shoes than Chadwick Boseman. I'm so thankful to be able to honor Chadwick's life and purpose in this way.” Smith added a note of gratitude to Disney for being supporting of his artistic journey.

See more photos of the mural below.


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This one is special. My King Chad tribute is now on a wall on display at Downtown Disney. 🐾 It is a full circle moment for me: my final two projects as a Disney Imagineer last summer were working on the Children’s Hospital project and the Avengers Campus. To millions of kids, T'Challa was a legend larger than life, and there was no one more worthy to fill those shoes than Chadwick Boseman. I'm so thankful to be able to honor Chadwick's life and purpose in this way. I am grateful to the Disney family for being so supportive of my journey as an artist. @waltdisneyimagineering @disney @marvelstudios @disneyland 🐾✨ #LongLiveTheKing #KingChad #WakandaForever #Phambili #DowntownDisney #BlackPanther #ChadwickBoseman #RIPChadwick #WDI

A post shared by Nikkolas Smith (@nikkolas_smith) on Sep 24, 2020 at 10:01am PDT

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Breonna Taylor’s Mother Speaks Out After Cops Who Killed Her Daughter Get Off Without Charges

Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, says the system failed her daughter. Palmer posted a painting portrait of Taylor on Instagram on Wednesday (Sept. 23) which she hashtagged, #ThesystemfailedBreonna.

The Instagram post serves as her first public response to a grand jury failing to bring charges against three Louisville police officers for killing Taylor. On Thursday (Sept. 24), Palmer shared a photo of a woman carrying a sign with the Bible verse: “It’s wrong to favor the guilty and keep the innocent from getting justice.”


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It’s still Breonna Taylor for me💙💔💙 #ThesystemfailedBreonna

A post shared by Tamika L. Palmer (@tamikalpalmer) on Sep 24, 2020 at 10:19am PDT


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A post shared by Tamika L. Palmer (@tamikalpalmer) on Sep 24, 2020 at 4:52pm PDT

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron held a press conference on Wednesday where he announced that no charges would be brought against Louisville officers Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison for killing Taylor. Hankison was the only one among the three to be charged, but not for Taylor’s death.

In an interview with NPR last week, Palmer expressed her hope that charges would be brought against the officers. “I’m hoping to hear that there will be charges,” she said at the time. “That these people will be fired and arrested.” Hakinson is the only one of the three officers to be fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department after Taylor’s death.

Speaking to her daughter’s character, Palmer stated that the 26-year-old emergency room tech was a “beautiful person inside and out.” She pointed out that Taylor “kept saying that 2020 was her year.”

“And she was absolutely right,” said Palmer. “I hate that it came in that form, but it definitely is her year.”

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