Category Archives: Black History

African American Financial Experience Survey


Our 2013 African American Financial Experience study shows continued financial progress, confidence and growing affluence in the African American community. At the same time it highlights ongoing hurdles of debt, multiple financial priorities and lagging investment product ownership that for many continue to make it more difficult to achieve long term financial security.

Link to study: African American Financial Experience 

While these are challenges for all Americans, the study brings to light unique characteristics of the African American community. The findings show the African American financial experience is defined by clear family-oriented financial priorities, solid participation in employer retirement savings plans, a focus on protection-oriented financial products, the significant role of faith-based institutions in financial education and optimism for the future.

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Black Ink TV: Oct. 9 show


Black Ink TV is our new web series for aspiring broadcast journalists, on-air talent and producers. We post bi-weekly and members get to share their talent for the world to see. We’re working on making Black Ink TV better with every take.

This week features:

HUABJ’s trip to Washington D.C., Hofstra’s School of Communication name change, a story on college debt and an entertainment piece on Rihanna and more.

-Claudia Balthazar, President 

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WBLS’s Open Line Broadcast Live at Hofstra

What would you do if you found out that one of your favorite stations was coming to broadcast live at your university? You’d probably be just as excited as I was when I heard that WBLS public affairs show, Open Line, was coming to Dempster Hall of Feb, 3, 2013!

WBLS Open Line Live, Photo Credit: Melaine Morgan

WBLS Open Line Live, Photo Credit: Melaine Morgan

I was browsing my Facebook news feed as usual when I came across the article about the Open Line crew coming to my college! I did a double-take because I thought I was seeing things! Especially since I had not seen any promotions around campus or through word-of-mouth. But, everything was validated when I was tuned into BLS and the radio promo told me, “The first stop the Open Line crew will make during Black History Month will be Hofstra University!”

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The Life and Times of Activists

I have been involved with the study of activists and minority activism for quite some time– it’s important to know the people on whose shoulders we stand.

On Friday, Dec 7, I did a little documentary/editorial style film shooting at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, NY: site of the Grand Depot of the Underground Railroad, here numerous slaves were freed, where both Abraham Lincoln and MLK delivered the first drafts of their most famous speeches.

Special Thanks go to everyone involved in this project!

To read more, visit
– Jeanine Russaw

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Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. is resurrected on Hofstra’s Campus


Pictured above are Phi Beta Sigma member, Macario James, and Hofstra students at the Sigma Event Sigmabucks.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., has made a return to Hofstra University Campus.

Previous Members of the Alpha Alpha Iota Chapter, of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity along with other members of Phi Beta Sigma who are living in the area, are leading a movement for the permanent return of the fraternity to Hofstra’s campus.

The fraternity’s last line crossed in Spring 2004, and the last member of the fraternity graduated from Hofstra in May 2008. The fraternity however, was not banned or kicked off campus, but went through a gradual process of declination of members.

“I don’t like to say faded it out, the focus of the brothers that were on campus turned more towards graduation and their career paths. Unfortunately Sigma took a back burner thus us loosing membership at Hofstra,” Brandon Marinia, Hofstra Alum and member of the Alpha Alpha Iota Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma.

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Q and A with Dr. Cornel West

Cornel West with Jeanine Russaw. 10.3.12

Two weeks prior to hosting Presidential Debate 2012, Hofstra has had the honor of welcoming Dr. Cornel West to the campus. One of the more popular pre-debate keynote speaker events (along with Chris Matthews, Van Jones, and the Rove-Gibbs debate), West was gracious and forthcoming in his address to the public. Even more memorable was his snap decision to remain on campus for the Denver presidential debate and view it with Hofstra students.

To read the full story, click here: Cornel West Reaches out to Students on Denver Presidential Debate Night

A lot of powerful things were said that evening, and I had the humbling experience of speaking with him briefly. Here is what he had to say:

JMR: Hi Dr. West, first I would like to thank you for speaking at Hofstra and for your truly inspirational words. Earlier, you mentioned white supremacy, its existence in human beings and how it results in low self-esteem in blacks and other minorities. What advice do you have for those people and what do you think the steps are to realizing one’s self worth?

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Black Fraternity Tackles Greek Life Misconceptions

Divine 9 Panel, Hofstra University Photo taken by Claudia Balthazar

For over 100 years, Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLO’s) have revolutionized the college experience for African-American students through substantial traditions of brotherhood and sisterhood, civic action and numerous amounts of community service and philanthropy. However, these commendable achievements often go unnoticed due to the stereotypes and misconceptions of these fraternities and sororities.

“It is important for others to see personal testimonies of Greek life,” said Lauren Taylor, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. With the media focusing on the social lives of fraternities and sororities, the purpose of these organizations is often hidden. Some people may say they associate Greek life with hazing and extreme partying. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, hazing is defined as the practice of harassment through unnecessary, disagreeable, or difficult tasks or tricks.

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Julian Bond- “From Alabama to Obama: A Critical View of the Civil Rights Movement”

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Hofstra University was fortunate enough to welcome the renowned Julian Bond, former NAACP Chairman of the Board and professor of history at the University of Virginia to speak about the evolution of the American Civil Rights movement on March 29. He prepared a moving and captivating speech entitled, “From Alabama to Obama: A Critical View of the Civil Rights Movement”.

The event was sponsored by Hofstra’s chapter of NAACP, the P.R.I.D.E. Network, The Black Student Union and Hofstra’s Debate 2012 programming. Additional sponsors included the Hofstra Cultural Center and the Office of Multicultural and International Student Programs.

“I knew bringing Julian Bond would move the Hofstra community in a way that it has not been moved before”, said Nick Fils-Aime, senior and president of Hofstra’s chapter of NAACP. “I wanted to leave Hofstra knowing I left some kind of impact.”

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Long Island GLBT Community Center Celebrates Black History Month

For this year’s Black History Month, the Long Island GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender) Community Center at the Garden City Plaza is using an exhibition to commemorate a wide variety of people in the African American GLBT Community.

Pictures and short bios of basketball players, poets, civil rights activists and more surround the room of the exhibit, creating a collage of important historical figures that shed light on black women and men from the GLBT community. The exhibition, titled “The Spotlight Series,” was put together by a group of volunteers along with staff members of the Long Island GLBT Community Center. The exhibition is the first of many recently coordinated by staff members this February who hope to continue with a different theme each month. In March, they will turn their attention to Women’s Appreciation Month

The director of community initiatives, Craig Wiley, is one of the staff members who helped to coordinate the exhibit and said that they intended to show diversity within a group. He said that they try to cover various different aspects of society such as sports, music, law and entertainment.

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