Commentary: African American Scientists and Inventors
by Black Kos Editor, Sephius1

Gebisa Ejeta, is an Ethiopian American plant breeder, geneticist and Professor at Purdue University. In 2009, he won the World Food Prize for his major contributions in the production of sorghum.

During primary school, Ejeta planned to study engineering when he reached college age, but his mother convinced him he could do more working in agriculture. With aid from Oklahoma State University, he attended an agriculture and technical secondary school in Ethiopia and also studied at what is now Jimma University. The university and the U.S. Agency for International Development helped him earn a doctorate from Purdue.


An acclaimed plant breeder and geneticist who was born and grew up in rural Ethiopia has won the 2009 World Food Prize for his major contributions in the production of sorghum, one of the world's five principal grains.

The announcement came during a June 11 ceremony at the State Department.

The work of Gebisa Ejeta, a professor at Purdue University in Indiana and a U.S. citizen, has dramatically enhanced the food supply of hundreds of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa, said Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, which is based in Des Moines, Iowa.


The World Food Prize is awarded annually to individuals whose efforts significantly contribute to improving the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world.

Working in Sudan during the early 1980s, Ejeta developed Africa's first commercial hybrid variety of sorghum tolerant to drought. Later, with a Purdue colleague in Indiana, he discovered the chemical basis of the relationship between the deadly parasitic weed striga and sorghum, and was able to produce sorghum varieties resistant to both drought and striga.

In 1994, eight tons of drought- and striga-resistant sorghum seeds were distributed in Eastern Africa. They yielded four times more grain than traditional varieties, even in drought areas.

“By ridding Africa of the greatest biological impediment to food production, Ejeta has put himself in the company of some of the greatest researchers and scientists,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said at the ceremony.....Read More

                                  News by dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor
The Republicans new motto "block the vote". Politico: Study: South Carolina voter ID law hit black precincts hardest.

A new South Carolina voter identification law is impacting majority-black precincts more than others in the state, according to a study by the Associated Press.

The measure requires that every person have photo ID of some kind when they vote, whether it is a driver’s license, military ID or passport, the AP wrote. The law has been under review by the Department of Justice to see if it violates the Voting Rights Act.

The AP found that many voters in majority-black counties in South Carolina do not have proper identification — and the percentage of minority voters without the right identification is higher in those areas than other precincts statewide.

For example, in Richland County, there are 11,087 nonwhite voters without ID, and in Orangeburg County, there are 4,544. The AP study said that means half of those impacted in Richland are not white voters. In Orangeburg, that equals 73 percent of nonwhite voters hit by the law.

The AP’s analysis of the state’s 2,135 precincts reveals there are 10 precincts where almost all of the people who are impacted by the new law are minority voters.

The thing to remember about Barack Obama’s support among black voters in the 2008 election is that it simply wasn’t as remarkable as it was presented.The American Prospect: What Will Happen with Black Turnout in 2012?

Obama won 95 percent of African-American voters, which is not substantially higher than John Kerry’s 88 percent performance in 2004and Al Gore’s 90 percent performance in 2000. In other words, African Americans are stalwarts of the Democratic Party, and routinely deliever huge margins to Democratic candidates in national, state, and local elections. Insofar that there’s a difference between 2000, 2004 and 2008, it’s turnout – Obama managed to boost black turnout to 13 percent of the electorate, a two-point increase over 2004, and a three point increase over 2000.

You should keep all of this in mind as you read this Washington Post story on African American support for Obama. The question presented by the Post is whether the president can “hold on to African American voters in 2012” given the extent to which the president has begun to receive “vocal criticism” from “some members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other African American leaders.”

Even with the criticism that comes from segments of the black community, Obama shouldn’t worry too much about the overall level of support he receives from African Americans. If past voting behavior holds true—and there’s no reason to think that it won’t – Obama can expect 90 to 95 percent support from African American voters. The real question isn’t whether he’ll keep black voters, it’s whether he’ll be able to repeat or build on the turnout gains of 2008.

Botswana should decriminalise homosexuality to prevent the spread of HIV, ex-President Festus Mogae has told the BBC. BBC: Mogae in call to legalise homosexuality

Mr Mogae, who heads the Botswana government-backed Aids Council, said it was difficult to promote safe sex when the two practices were illegal. He also called for condoms to be distributed in prisons.

His views are controversial as many conservative Batswana frown upon homosexuality and prostitution.

Botswana has one of the highest HIV/Aids rates in the world - 17% of the population is HIV positive. A government spokesman on HIV/Aids told the BBC homosexuality and prostitution would remain illlegal until the government concluded wide-ranging consultations to see whether there was a need to change the law.

Mr Mogae said Botswana could not regard homosexuals - a tiny minority in the country - as criminals.

"I don't understand it [homosexuality]. I am a heterosexual," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

"I look at women. I don't look at other men. But there are men who look at other men. These are citizens."

Festus Mogae, a winner of the Mo Ibrahim prize for good governance, is widely respected in Africa

Some of the untold hardships of the Great Recession. The Money Coach tells you what to do if a relative passes away and the burial costs are out of your budget. Black Enterprise: When a Relative Dies and You Can’t Afford the Funeral

When Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away this month, he left behind a huge legacy – and a huge financial fortune too. Since Jobs was one of the richest men in America, his family undoubtedly had no problem paying for his funeral and putting Jobs to rest.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case with many other Americans. It’s a sad reality that many families and individuals have to deal with, but the truth is that when many people pass away, their family members or close friends struggle to afford the funeral.

Knowing what to do when you can’t afford to bury a relative can help to relieve some of the stress and heartache of this difficult time.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the national average cost of a funeral with a vault was $7,775 in 2010. The cost of a burial without the casket was about $4,265 that same year. For many grieving families, paying thousands of dollars to bury a relative just isn’t economically feasible.

If a loved one passes away and the burial and funeral costs are out of your budget, here’s what you need to do:

A recent report confirms that they face extreme discrimination and poverty. The Root: Black and Transgender: A Double Burden

"Can you imagine what it's like to see people you work with refuse to walk on the same side of the street with you or sit with you at lunch, or to be told that you are unhirable, just because you are a transgender man?" asks Kylar Broadus, an African-American lawyer and board member of the National Black Justice Coalition, a national black LGBT civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.

Broadus, who was born a woman and transitioned into a man 17 years ago, has been passed over for jobs because of his gender identity. "I'm basically unemployable because I can't hide the transgender part of me. Most likely I am not getting hired once employers see that my Social Security card and school transcripts all have a female name," he says. "I am a human being who deserves the right to make a living like everyone else."

Broadus' experiences are not rare. The harsh reality is that whether they possess a J.D. or a GED, members of the African-American transgender community face severe discrimination, according to the recent study Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (pdf). The survey, the first of its kind, was a collaboration between the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Black Justice Coalition. It collected data from more than 6,500 transgender Americans and found that all transgender people face severe bias ranging from housing and health care to education and employment.

Dawn Penn - No, No No (Official Video)

The front porch is now open!

The dangers of the auto-publisher. I set the wrong time on it. My bad LOL


Originally posted to Black Kos on Fri Oct 21, 2011 at 05:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by SurviveAndThriveKos, Barriers and Bridges, and Black Kos community.

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