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

Michael Croslin holds more than 40 patents for medical inventions and has established his own company, Medtek Corporation. His inventions include a computerized, digital blood pressure measurement device; a refractometer (used to measure the index of refraction of a substance) that measures levels of urinary sugar and pro-tein; and a pump that measures and dispenses intravenous medications.


Born in 1933 in the U.S. Virgin Islands (in Frederiksted, St. Croix), Michael Croslin was abandoned as a baby. A family named Britto gave him a home as a child and named him Miguel (later Anglicized as “Michael”). By the time he was 12, he fled the islands for the mainland United States. He worked odd jobs, living in Georgia for a time, and he obtained a brief education at a Jesuit school. He eventually wound up in Wisconsin, where he was adopted by the Croslinfamily. He, in turn, adopted their name.

Despite his uneven educational opportunities during childhood, Michael Croslin was a brilliant student. By the time he was 14, he had graduated from high school. Within another three years, he had completed his B.S. degree atthe University of Wisconsin.

Croslin joined the U.S. Air Force in 1950, serving in both Korea and Vietnam. Upon his return to the States and after discharge, he went back to school, earning a second, this one in mechanical engineering from New York University (NYU) in New York City.He has earned two additional degrees from NYU: a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1963 and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering in 1968. Simultaneously, he earned a master’s in business administration from Columbia University......Read More (serach for Michael Croslin)


                  News by dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor


The wealth gap between black and white families is greater than ever. Here’s how to close it. The New Republic: The $236,500 Hole in the American Dream.
here are many ways to convey the effect that Thomas Piketty, the cover-boy economist, has had on the global debate over inequality. But a good one is to imagine a building uprooted from its foundation and moved, overnight, to the other side of the street. Before the publication of his blockbuster, Capital in the Twenty First Century, the collective consciousness was fixated on the problem of divergent incomes, particularly the runaway compensation of the 1 percent. Piketty argued that the more important factor driving the divide was not compensation but assets. The machinery of a market economy, he demonstrated, grinds out returns on wealth that are higher than income, summed up in the simple formula: r > g. Thus it is ultimately stocks, real estate, and so forth, even more than fat paychecks and bonuses, that produce ever greater economic stratification. “Once constituted, capital”—that is, wealth—“reproduces itself faster than output increases,” Piketty writes. “The past devours the future.”

But Piketty’s analysis does miss a few things. The product of an economist’s class-based view, his elegant formula fails to capture—is not meant to capture—the ways in which historical circumstances might affect how wealth is accumulated by different groups in the first place. And in the United States, one of the most glaring examples of those circumstances is race. Accordingly, the global tax on wealth that Piketty endorses as a solution would do nothing to address the race-based factors that are fueling the economic divide.

As if on cue, two months after Piketty’s book, Ta-Nehisi Coates published his powerful essay on racial discrimination in the June issue of The Atlantic. Though not intended as an addendum to Capital, it proved to be a useful one. In the piece, Coates frames centuries of discrimination against African Americans as a story of wealth stolen or denied. Retracing 250 years of ugly U.S. history, he inventories the many ways blacks have been suppressed economically, and sometimes violently: slavery, Jim Crow, predatory lending scams, barriers to advancement— both legal and de facto—of astonishing variety. Government programs that gave white families a leg up, he reminds us, either excluded or shortchanged African Americans, from Social Security’s omission of agricultural and domestic workers (among whom blacks were overrepresented) to the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation’s redlining of black neighborhoods during the New Deal. Any serious push for economic justice in the United States, Coates asserts, must take the different experiences of the races into account.


The spelling of his name is as distinctive as he was. The Grio: Jimi Hendrix biopic ‘Jimi: All Is by My Side’.
It’s J-I-M-I?” a character in “Jimi: All Is by My Side,” the new Jimi Hendrix biopic, asks the musician (played by OutKast’s Andre Benjamin), in a new trailer available exclusively on

“Yeah, yeah, I like it that way,” replies Benjamin as Hendrix, with a musical lilt to his voice.

The unusual spelling was accepted, but not everything else about Hendrix was. “You’ve never been nothin’ to them but a curiosity,” he’s told in one scene. But when he takes the stage, things change.

“Watch out for your ears!” Hendrix yells to the audience as he fires up his guitar, later explaining, “I want my music to go inside the soul of a person.”

A London reporter circa 1966 poses a question to the Seattle-born musician. “There’s so much competition right now,” she challenges him. “Queen, The Who … do you think you’re better than all of them?”

Hendrix doesn’t answer, but the trailer fades out on his music and Benjamin’s confident smile, making his opinion pretty clear.


As Islam becomes the second-most-practiced faith in the U.S., it is important to remember that Ramadan was first celebrated in this country by slaves who brought their faith traditions from West Africa. The Root: African Slaves Were the 1st to Celebrate Ramadan in America.
his past weekend marked the beginning of Ramadan. Nearly one-fourth of the world will observe the annual fast and 8 million Muslims in America will abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during the holy month. A grueling task at any time of the year, Ramadan this year will be especially daunting during the long and hot summer days.

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the nation, and the second-most-practiced faith in 20 of these united states. And these demographic shifts prompted a prominent Los Angeles-based imam to comment recently that "Ramadan is a new American tradition." The cleric's forward-looking pronouncement marks Islam's recent arrival in the U.S. But this statement reveals a pathology afflicting a lot of Muslim Americans today—an inability to look back and embrace the opening chapters of Muslim-American history, one that was written by enslaved African Muslims.

Social scientists estimate that 15 to 30 percent, or "as many as 600,000 to 1.2 million," slaves in antebellum America were Muslims. Forty-six percent of the slaves in the antebellum South were kidnapped from Africa's western regions, which boasted "significant numbers of Muslims."

These enslaved Muslims strove to meet the demands of their faith, most notably the Ramadan fast, prayers and community meals, in the face of comprehensive slave codes that linked religious activity to insubordination and rebellion. Marking Ramadan as a "new American tradition" not only overlooks the holy month observed by enslaved Muslims many years ago but also perpetuates their erasure from Muslim-American history.        

Charles William Peale’s 1819 portrait of Yarrow Mamout, a Muslim and former slave who died a free man

The first woman in the history of the Navy to be a four-star officer.Washington Post: Adm. Michelle Howard becomes first four-star woman in Navy history.
The ceremony included a bit of comedy, but there was no denying the significance: For the first time in its history, the Navy promoted a woman on Tuesday to become a four-star admiral.

Surrounded by friends, family and peers, Adm. Michelle J. Howard was promoted to her new rank at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. She’ll take over as the vice chief of naval operations, the No. 2 officer in the service. She is not only the first woman to hold the job, but the first African-American.

It’s the latest achievement for Howard, who previously was the first African-American woman to serve as a three-star officer in the U.S. military and command a U.S. Navy ship. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said her promotion is a “representation of how far we have come, and how far she has helped bring us.”

“She is also a great example of how much we as a nation and a Navy lose if we put artificial barriers in,” Mabus told a crowd of about 150 people. “If we don’t judge people based on their ability, based on their capability. I hope I have always been passionate about that, but I know the intensity has increased since I am the father of three daughters, and I refuse to believe that there are any ceilings for them, glass or otherwise. That they can get to wherever their abilities can take them. And with that, they and countless others in the Navy now have a wonderful role model in Michelle Howard.”

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, left, promotes Adm. Michelle Howard to her new rank on Tuesday with the help of her husband, Wayne Cowles. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Armando Gonzales)

Essence Festival will take place in New Orleans July 3-6, and this year’s festival is expected to be bigger than ever. The Grio: 20th Anniversary of Essence Festival set to break attendance record.
The Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary on the heels of the largest and most successful Festival ever in 2013 — which hosted 543,000 attendees and brought in $231 million in revenue for the city of New Orleans and state of Louisiana.

According to Essence, this year’s festival is “set to surpass last year’s record-breaking attendance.”

The 4-day event features entertainment, empowerment, and cultural experiences during the day and the world’s best performers each night.

There are 80 artists performing on 11 stages, including Grammy and Oscar winner Prince, who’s headlining the festival along with Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Lionel Richie, Nas and The Roots, among many others.

The Essence Festival is now the largest live event in the U.S., with attendance 6 times that of Coachella and 7 times that of SXSW.

Welcome to the Black Kos Community Front Porch!
Pull up a chair and sit down a while and enjoy the company.


Originally posted to Black Kos community on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 01:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.

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