05-21-2018  5:32 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

3 high school seniors die in crash weeks before graduation

YONCALLA, Ore. (AP) — School officials say three senior girls were killed in a car crash on Interstate 5 in western Oregon, just weeks before graduation.Eagle Point High School said on its Facebook page that Luciana Tellez, Giselle Montano and Esmeralda Nava died Saturday night after their...

The Latest: Cougar that attacked cyclists was underweight

SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a cougar attack that killed one mountain biker and wounded another outside Seattle (all times local):4:10 p.m.Authorities say the cougar that attacked two cyclists east of Seattle, killing one of them, appears to have been emaciated.Washington Department of Fish...

Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle.They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. After it charged, one even smacked the cougar with his bike, and...

The Latest: Cougar that attacked cyclists was underweight

SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a cougar attack that killed one mountain biker and wounded another outside Seattle (all times local):4:10 p.m.Authorities say the cougar that attacked two cyclists east of Seattle, killing one of them, appears to have been emaciated.Washington Department of Fish...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Native American lacrosse teams leagueless in South Dakota

Travis Brave Heart was planning to spend his senior season this spring and summer tuning up to play college lacrosse in the fall. Instead, the 17-year-old standout from Aberdeen, South Dakota, is faced with the prospect of not playing at all.His Lightning Stick Society team was one of three Native...

2018 midterms show start of Democratic scramble for 2020

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie...

Black women look to flex power in Georgia governor's race

ATLANTA (AP) — This week's primary election in Georgia presents black women voters with a rare opportunity: To give a Democrat who looks like them a chance at occupying the governor's mansion in a Republican-controlled state.A Democratic primary win Tuesday for Stacey Abrams or Stacey Evans...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Deadpool 2' ends Avengers' box-office reign, rakes in 5M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the Avengers.Fox's "Deadpool 2" brought in 5 million this weekend, giving it the second-highest opening ever for an R-rated movie and ending the three-week reign of Disney's "Avengers:...

Winners in the top categories at Billboard Music Awards

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A list of winners in the top categories at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, held Sunday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.— Top Hot 100 song: "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber— Top Billboard 200 album: "DAMN." by...

The Latest: Janet Jackson honored at Billboard Awards

The Latest on the Billboard Music Awards (all times local):7:18 p.m.The youngest of the legendary Jackson musical family, Janet Jackson gave her first televised performance in nine years at the Billboard Music Awards.She was honored as the first black woman to receive the Billboard Icon Award on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

School victims honored at Billboard Awards; Janet, BTS shine

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards paid tribute to the students and teachers affected by recent deadly shootings in...

Economic talks between US and China lead to trade war truce

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China are pulling back from the brink of a trade war after the...

In North Korea nuke site closure, spectacle trumps substance

TOKYO (AP) — Foreign journalists will be allowed to journey deep into the mountains of North Korea this...

Abbas, 83-year-old Palestinian leader, still in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Palestinian president's condition has seen a "clear improvement" after he was taken to...

4 years after coup, Thailand wearies of junta rule

BANGKOK (AP) — Four years after seizing power, Thailand's junta has a singular success it never hoped for:...

Nurse dead in Congo as Ebola vaccination campaign starts

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — A nurse has died from Ebola in Bikoro, the rural northwestern town where the...

By Martha Waggoner of the Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)— An unpublished study by Duke University researchers that says black students are more likely to switch to less difficult majors has upset some students, who say the research is emblematic of more entrenched racial problems.

The study, which opponents of affirmative action are using in a case they want the U.S. Supreme Court to consider, concludes black students match the GPA of Whites over time partially because they switch to majors that require less study time and have less stringent grading standards. Opponents of affirmative action cite the study in a case they want the U.S. Supreme Court to consider.

About three dozen students held a silent protest Sunday outside a speech by black political strategist Donna Brazile that was part of the school's annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance. And members of the Black Student Alliance have met with the provost to express their unhappiness with the study and other issues on campus.

"I don't know what needs to happen to make Duke wake up," said Nana Asante, a senior psychology major and president of the Black Student Alliance.

The reaction from black students has surprised one of the researchers, who said he wanted to show the need to find ways to keep minorities in difficult majors such as the natural sciences, economics and engineering.

Peter Arcidiacono, an economics professor at Duke, wrote the paper in May 2011 along with a graduate student and Ken Spenner, a sociology professor. Spenner and Arcidiacono are white. It's been under review since June at the Journal of Public Economics.

The statistics would likely reflect trends at other schools, Arcidiacono said. The study notes that national science organizations have spent millions to increase the ranks of black science students.

"It's not just a Duke issue. It's a national issue," he said.

The researchers analyzed data from surveys of more than 1,500 Duke students before college and during the first, second and fourth college years. Blacks and Whites initially expressed a similar interest in tougher fields of study such as science and engineering, but 68 percent of blacks ultimately choose humanities and social science majors, compared with less than 55 percent of Whites. The research found similar trends for legacy students –those whose parents are alumni.

The study's claim that majors such as natural sciences required more study time was based on students' responses to survey questions about how many hours they spent each week on studying and homework. The study found that those fields required 50 percent more study time than social sciences and humanities courses.

"I view the lack of (minority) representation in the sciences to be a problem, and I include my own field of economics," Arcidiacono said. "I'd like to see programs that are successful in increasing that representation."

Black students at Duke haven't taken that impression from the study, which came to light when the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote about it earlier this month. Affirmative action opponents cite the study in briefs involving a challenge of the undergraduate admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin.

"What kind of image does this present not only of the academic undertakings of black students at Duke, but also of the merit and legitimacy of our degrees?" Asante asked. "And then, of course, it's calling into question ... the legitimacy of how we even got to Duke in the first place."

Duke, a private university, has about 6,500 undergraduate students, about 47 percent of them white and 10 percent black. The largest group of minorities is Asian-American at 21 percent. Duke has no set formula for admitting students, school spokesman Mike Schoenfeld said. Instead, the admissions process takes into account many factors, including race, ethnicity and legacy status. The school selects about 1,700 students each year from more than 31,000 applicants.

"The experience of black students, and indeed of all students, at Duke is of deep and ongoing interest to the university, and we take very seriously the issues that have been raised," Schoenfeld said.

The study is the latest issue to trouble black students at Duke, Asante said. She said administrators have not responded to questions about plans to renovate the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture and have not given support for the black student group's recruitment weekend.

Schoenfeld said the Williams Center is a gem and officials are working with students to find a new, visible location for it. And he said the recruitment weekend is more important than ever because Duke received a record number of black student applications this year.

But a letter to the editor of the student newspaper, signed by the provost and other administrators, failed to address concerns about those issues and the racial climate, Asante said.

"In failing to do that, it reaffirmed its own ignorance in terms of the necessity of acknowledging, accepting and working to change that climate," Asante said.



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