Obama to Unveil Debt-Reduction Plan

Zachary A. Goldfarb of the Washington Post reports that President Obama will announce a proposal on Monday to tame the nation’s rocketing federal debt, calling for $1.5 trillion in new revenue as part of a plan to find more than $3 trillion in budget savings over a decade, senior administration officials said.

The proposal draws a sharp contrast with Republicans and amounts more to an opening play in the fall debate over the economy than another attempt to find common ground with the opposing party. It also represents a more populist approach to confronting the nation’s economic travails than the compromises he advocated earlier this summer.

Obama will propose new taxes on the wealthy, a special new tax for millionaires and eliminating or scaling back a variety of loopholes and deductions, officials say. About half of the tax savings would come from the expiration next year of the George W. Bush administration tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans like Paul Ryan are calling the special new tax for millionaires “class warfare.” The plan will not call for any changes to Social Security.

Well, we’re glad the president is taking a more “populist” approach to handling the debt, because the compromises have not been working for the populace; instead, they have been working for the wealthy. We don’t understand why taxing the wealthy is seen as class warfare but not taxing the wealthy isn’t.

Read more at TheRoot.com.

‘Hole in the Head’: What Happened to Vertus Hardiman?

A promo of the film Hole in the Head is making its way around the Web. The promo features the late Vertus Hardiman, who, along with nine other children, was experimented on with radiation in 1927. The children all attended the same elementary school in Lyles Station, Ind., and were severely irradiated during a medical experiment conducted at the local county hospital.

Narrated by Dennis Haysbert, the documentary reports that the experiment was misrepresented as a newly developed cure for the scalp fungus known as ringworm. In reality the ringworm fungus was merely the lure used to gain access to innocent children whose unsuspecting parents blindly signed permission slips for the treatment.

Vertus was 5 years old and the youngest. Now, after 20 years of friendship with writer-producer Wilbert Smith through their church choir, Vertus unburdens himself to Wilbert with an incredible story, finally exposing the severe physical complication caused by this shocking medical crime. The crime had severe physical complications for Vertus — namely a harshly irradiated and malformed head, with an actual hole in his skull.

Remarkably, not one person in his community had ever been aware of Vertus’ suffering because he always wore a wig and woolen beanie to cover the shame. During filming, Vertus revealed his secret, stating, “For over 80 years, only four individuals outside a few medical specialists have ever seen my condition; I hide it because I look like some monster.”

Over his life, Vertus was criticized, teased and scorned by acquaintances who had no idea what the wig had been hiding for 80 years.

Wilbert’s in-depth research led to his discovering four additional survivors of this horrific event. The promo for this film is unbelievable and literally uncovers the unimaginable and unthinkable results of medical experimentation gone awry. Many are familiar with the Tuskegee experiment and other high-profile cases of medical experimentation, like the case of Henrietta Lacks, but few are able to actually see the results of those experiments.

This promo and film go where others have not, informing and shocking viewers, while demonstrating Hardiman’s capacity for love and forgiveness (NSFW).

Read more about the documentary on the official website of Hole in the Head.

Kicked While Down: Unemployed and Uninsured

While America is fixated on the BP oil spill, another crisis has been brewing under the radar: the denial of insurance coverage to the unemployed. Talk about being kicked when you’re down.

According to a June 12 Associated Press article: “Congress allowed emergency health care assistance for unemployed workers to expire May 31, and seems unwilling to renew it despite pleas from President Barack Obama.”

If you talk to most unemployed people, you will find that they do not want to be unemployed. In fact, they want jobs. Unless you’ve been living in an alternate reality (like some of our wealthier citizens), jobs have been few and far in between since before the government and free world admitted that we were in an actual recession.

Speaking of that recession, which was caused by the economic policies of the Bush administration and a Republican-controlled Congress, it’s repulsive for them to now say that they do not want to extend this benefit because it will add to the deficit. And I am disgusted with Democrats who won’t press the issue for fear of not being re-elected. The same politicians who spent countless months trying to get health care reform passed in order to be elected are now turning away from extending this benefit. With representatives like this, who needs enemies?

Lawmakers want to pretend that this deficit and this recession came out of thin air, but it didn’t, and it has impacted North Carolina in a horrible way. Last year, North Carolina’s unemployment rate was the highest it had ever been in 30 years. We won’t even mention the thousands who actually managed to keep jobs, but had to let go of insurance because they couldn’t afford it — or their small businesses couldn’t afford to offer it.

For the unemployed, insurance premiums are more of an issue because they are cost-prohibitive for anyone without a trust fund. The North Carolina/South Carolina jobless rate was at its highest level in 20 years, hitting 12.8 just in January. The unemployment rate remained above 12 percent for some time in Charlotte, prompting President Obama to make a visit in March to discuss job creation, small businesses and a green economy. As of this printing, the unemployment rate has actually been dropping for the last three months, which is good news; however, even though unemployment has dropped to 10.3 percent, 472,614 people are still currently unemployed in the Queen City. So, what happens when these folks and their families get sick?

Under President Obama’s economic stimulus plan, the government provided a 65 percent COBRA subsidy to ensure that those newly unemployed would have health insurance coverage while they looked for a job. It’s one thing to be unemployed, but unemployed and uninsured? Crazy things happen when people are under that type of stress.

Take for example Kathy Myers, the unemployed and uninsured Michigan woman who shot herself in the shoulder in order to get medical attention that she needed for a shoulder injury. It is illegal to deny emergency medical treatment to someone because they lack health insurance. Myers took advantage of that law so that she could get medical attention. That’s extreme (and hopefully Myers got some psychiatric help, too), but this incident is an example of what people should not have to do to get medical care.

Charlotte hasn’t had a “Kathy Myers” yet, but — with almost half a million people out of work and presumably uninsured — how long will it be before we have one? How much can people take? Myers reached her breaking point. What will be ours?

Not all of our elected officials have turned their backs on the uninsured unemployed. According to the AP report, “Democratic Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Sherrod Brown of Ohio have introduced a measure that would allow the program to continue helping people who get laid off through Nov. 30.” Now if only Congress would entertain it.

May 31 has come and gone, and millions of people don’t know whether they will have subsidized insurance coverage. Some people are calling it welfare. Call it what you want, but when people are desperate, they do desperate things — to themselves and to others. It’s not rocket science. Most people obtain insurance through their jobs. When they’re jobless, they don’t have insurance and this measure helped them to have something to offer their families.

I once met an Australian man who told me that he didn’t understand why Americans were up in arms over universal health care. He said that society is only as strong as its weakest members, so it is imperative that you take care of them or your country will not thrive. With more than 10 percent of Charlotteans out of work and even more without health care coverage, it’s a sure bet that we are not thriving.

This article originally appeared on Creative Loafing, where Nsenga serves as cultural critic. She also serves as editor-at-large for TheRoot.com where she writes the Buzz section and contributes features.

Where is Charlotte’s Independent Film Community?

Recently, I had the opportunity to watch Don’t Blame the Lettuce, an independent film written, produced and directed by David Jones. Jones is a South Carolina native who honed his skills at the University of South Carolina before moving to Charlotte to pursue his dream of filmmaking. When choosing Charlotte, Jones believed that moving to an emerging metropolis like ours would allow him to get what he needed — such as equipment and a talented cast and crew. Well, he was able to get all of those things, but the process, he said, was like pulling teeth.

Jones stated: “It’s very difficult to get people in Charlotte to work on films. They don’t have the commitment like you find in other cities. Many people seem to be all about the money, and not about filmmaking as a craft.”

Jones’ statement made me think about when I first moved to Charlotte to teach production at Johnson C. Smith University, which at the time had the only comprehensive production program that included radio, television and digital video production. JCSU had the foundation for a great program and eventually we developed a state-of-the-art facility for students. There were definitely students who were willing and able, but they also complained of the lack of opportunities outside of the university — which is why many bolted for other cities after graduation.

I feel what Jones is saying; I’d worked in film my entire adult life in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles … but came to a screeching halt here in Charlotte. I met lots of people who talked about making films, but very few who were actually doing it. Initially, I thought it was just in the African-American community, but upon branching out, I learned that there were a lot of pretenders in general in Charlotte. I found that many folks didn’t have knowledge of the nuts and bolts of filmmaking (white balancing for instance) and really weren’t that interested in the actual production process. In other cities, and not just traditional film cities, that wasn’t the case.

Think of the work coming out of locales like Austin, Texas, Philadelphia, Boston and Savannah — one has to wonder why Charlotte’s film community isn’t thriving in the same way. We’ve got a great cost-of-living, nice weather (which is perfect for outside shooting) and I, would argue, some talented people here. Why is there no real community?

Now, let me clarify before you start writing letters: Watching independent films is one thing, but making them is another. Groups like The Charlotte Film Society and Reel Soul Cinema (among others) do an excellent job of screening independent films and making people aware of what’s out there. Dennis Darrell, CEO of Reel Soul Cinema, sees the filmmaking community as something real and concrete.

“A community as I see it — as an active network that comes together to view and make independent films — we have that,” said Darrell. “To demonstrate how much the community is changing, we now have [a number of] groups screening films as opposed to one or two, which is good. The more people, the better.”

The Queen City is home to the Charlotte Film Festival, Charlotte Film Society, the Charlotte African-American Film Festival, The Light Factory, and many other celluloid-centric organizations. Read more.

This article originally appeared in Creative Loafing where Nsenga serves as cultural critic.

2010 CIAA Tournament: A Perfect Storm

The CIAA has finally arrived. The 65th annual Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament took over the Queen City last week as the five-day tournament returned for its fifth year in Charlotte.  The CIAA is the premiere basketball conference for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Over the years, it has evolved from a regional basketball conference to a national destination for upwardly mobile African-Americans due to numerous special events, activities and conference basketball.

If the conference is in its fifth year of operation in Charlotte, why has it finally arrived? Because finally the City of Charlotte has gotten over itself and realized what we’ve been saying all along – the college educated black folks that attend CIAA are here for a cultural experience that includes networking, socializing, spectatorship and fellowship.

The trepidation, with which Charlotte greeted the CIAA conference in 2005 when it first arrived, has largely been replaced by open arms, with local businesses and venues literally rolling out the red carpet for conference attendees.  This year felt different from previous years. Most businesses were welcoming, events were well planned, organized and executed and attendees seemed to be delighted with the outcome.

Some would argue that Charlotte businesses and venues were so jovial and welcoming because of declining dollars throughout the year due to the recession.  There is money to be made during the tournament, which has been consistently proven, even during rough economic times.  According to the conference website, CIAA accounted for the direct spending of over $25 million and a total economic impact of $38.2 million dollars over the one-week period in 2009. Neither the recession nor bad weather kept the dollars from rolling into the city during last year’s tournament.

This year’s tournament had even more events and much better weather, so the anticipated economic impact is tremendous from this year’s receipts.  According to veteran live music promoter Michael Kitchen of The Sol Kitchen, “Last year’s tournament was negatively impacted because of the bad weather. Even though there were a lot of people here, some promoters felt the heat because there were fewer attendees than during previous years.  Those that came spent less money. This year was much better because people came out in droves because the weather was much improved, which helped to make this year’s tournament one of the best ever financially and socially.”

April Garrett, 31, of Miami shares Kitchen’s sentiment. “I went to North Carolina A&T, so I always attended the conference. In Raleigh, everything was spread out and there wasn’t a lot to do. This year’s conference is the best because there is so much going on – parties and events and Charlotte is such a nice city.” First-time attendee, Craig Robinson, 31, of Washington, DC says, “I came down because I heard a lot about it from my friends. I think it’s cool because the conference has a small time flavor to it, but it is a major event.  It is great to see African-Americans coming together to support HBCUs and you can’t beat the networking. Everyone is getting along, which is great.”

Like the city of Charlotte which is becoming more and more diverse in terms of its influx of young, urban professionals, the CIAA tournament is attracting people from all over the country. Dallas, Miami, DC and Chicago boasted strong contingencies. Event planner Felicia Gray who was co-hosting a party with the Digital Divas at Zink stated, “It surprises me the number of people from Chicago and Dallas. We’ve met three people tonight that are from Minnesota. It’s amazing.”

CIAA caters to a broad range of African-Americans. It is one of the few places where you can find African-Americans of various generations intermingling and sharing space, which lends itself to the huge number of events that are ongoing during the conference. CIAA events included the Ford Fan experience at the Charlotte Convention Center, Food Lion Women’s Health & Wellness Symposium and Laugh 4 Life in the Time Warner Arena. Performers included En Vogue, Ginuwine, and local artist Lacee who sang the national anthem on Saturday.

CIAA added Chowan University to the conference this year, which shocked the hometown favorite JCSU Golden Bulls, by knocking out the two-time defending champions in the first round.  The conference also welcomed TV ONE as a television partner, which aired the men’s quarterfinal and semi-final rounds of the tournament, which was a first for the CIAA. The St. Augustine Falcons won the men’s tournament and the Lady Broncos of Fayetteville State won the women’s tournament.

Basketball games and CIAA sponsored events were buoyed by events hosted by celebrities and entrepreneurs. Rick Ross, Allen Iverson, Greg Oden, Melanie Fiona, Michael Vick, Diddy, Lil’ Kim, Doug E. Fresh, Chuck Brown and MC Lyte were among the celebrities in attendance who either hosted or performed.

Perhaps the most anticipated celebrity party of the weekend was Taylor Massey Entertainment ’s (TME) party at the Ramada Hotel at Woodlawn, hosted by Diddy, who made an appearance around 1 a.m. The event was well attended and had lots of buzz and energy, recovering nicely from a shaky start due to organizational challenges.

The Sol Kitchen’s Friday party at Mez was packed, with partygoers singing along to every cut that Grammy award-winning producer and DJ 9th Wonder spun. While the party was fantastic, there was gouging going on in V.I.P. with bottle service starting at $800.  If folks wanted to pay those prices, they would party in Las Vegas, Miami or New York. Part of the charm of Charlotte is the affordability of the city, which seems to disappear during CIAA when hotels raise rates exponentially.  In addition, V.I.P. is sky high during the tournament and includes little to no personal attention or additional services. Add drink prices that are triple what is normally charged, and Houston, we have a problem.

Although the parties seem to get better each year, they are still marred by novice issues like ticket issuing. Part of the reason for buying tickets in advance is to avoid standing in line. If people buy advance tickets, then there should be a designated entrance for ticket holders separate from those who need to purchase tickets. Unless there is a capacity issue, advance ticketholders should not be standing in line with folks waiting to purchase tickets. This happened at a number of venues.

Despite challenges with tickets and lists, which always seem to be somewhere floating around inside of an event as opposed to being at the door, the day parties are by far the best.  People are partying, networking and socializing in the middle of the day. 3 p.m. in Charlotte looks like midnight in New York. This is something that is specific to the CIAA and rarely happens in other cities, even during other major sporting events. The only thing better than the day parties is the DJs spinning throughout the day.

DJ DR, DJ Jazzy Jeff, 9th Wonder, Kid Capri, DJ Drama, DJ Stacey Blackman, DJ Skillz, DJ Bro Rabb, DJ D-Nice, DJ Vince Adams, DJ Slice, DJ Kool, DJ Trauma, Biz Markie, DJ Bonie B and DJ Daddy D were on the wheels of steel, moving the crowd and keeping the parties jumping.

Perhaps there is a little too much focus on partying and too little attention on philanthropic events during the conference which were well attended, but not “packed” like the legendary day parties and celebrity sponsored events.

For instance Uptown Charlotte / VIBE’s Friday event at the Ritz Carlton was a fundraiser for the CIAA General Scholarship Fund. Instead of attending the event, tournament attendees hung out in the lobby socializing. Some said that they didn’t go upstairs to the event because of the large number of people congregating in the lobby. They thought that the event was in the lobby, although there was clear signage directing people upstairs to the charity event.

While the parties are an important part of the CIAA experience, the philanthropic efforts need to be remembered and supported. The basketball tournament is already a fashion show with more people walking around the game profiling and chatting, than sitting and watching the actual game. There’s something that doesn’t sit right with dropping copious amounts of money at the bar, but not ponying up a few dollars towards a scholarship fund.  As the conference grows, more time, money and energy needs to be spent marketing philanthropic events to a greater extent so that they stand a chance against the outstanding entertainment events, especially in the Uptown area.

Jamell Hamilton, 34 of Charlotte who has attended the conference in Charlotte and other cities enjoys attending events in Uptown. “Uptown is able to accommodate so many people because there are so many venues. In Charlotte, you have 20 parties in a 3-block radius. At the EpiCentre, everyone is hosting something. That’s unheard of in other cities that host events like this.”

Event planner Tiffany Jones of Digital Divas agrees. “We host events Uptown throughout the year and have gotten excellent service, so naturally we continue to do this during CIAA. Zink is a great location because it’s two blocks from the arena.”  Promoter George Spencer’s D.M.V. Takeover Party Featuring Allen Iverson and DJ Quick Silva @ Strike City was a major success. “We had over 1,100 people attend throughout the night. I think Charlotte is a great location for the CIAA because of its cosmopolitan flare. Uptown’s killer combination of the EpiCentre, Time Warner Cable Arena, Ritz Carlton, and upscale restaurants, gives Charlotte that touch of swag that compliments the historical tournament.”

While most people enjoyed the tournament, there were some complaints. Garrett, who loved the day parties, disliked her stay at The Blake Hotel. “They ran out of hot water for the weekend and people were paying up to $300 a night to stay there.” According to a promoter, some of the artists he booked at the Blake Hotel last year suffered the same challenges. The conference is also marked by gridlocked traffic, particularly on Saturday night.

Spencer is concerned about the infrastructure in downtown, particularly 2nd to 7th streets. “There needs to be a better job of handling the traffic. Providing alternate routes and transportation options is something the city can work on. For example, keeping the rail open later or providing additional public transportation via shuttles would be invaluable to attendees and help alleviate traffic concerns,” he said.  Uncovered parking, like that at 935 and the Ramada, needs to be better managed.  When promoters are expecting hundreds of attendees, there needs to be a parking plan in place.

CIAA is clearly a national destination and next year is the last year on the contract. Just as the tournament appears to be hitting its stride, there have been rumblings about cities like Atlanta and Washington, DC making a major push to win the tournament. “I’ve been going to CIAA on and off for a long time. I’ve seen it grow so much. This is the best it has ever been and this is the most money that it has ever made. It would be foolish to leave Charlotte. We are the next biggest thing between ATL and DC, 25% black, and none of the other cities can hold it. Charlotte is the only city that can handle a conference like this.”

Many people staying positive, hoping that the CIAA stays in Charlotte because it has added value to the Queen City, just as the Queen City has added value to it. A truly reciprocal relationship exists between the two and should continue to grow and expand.

Keeping the CIAA in Charlotte makes sense. Besides, if the majority of HBCUs are located in North Carolina, why move it to another state?

This year, a perfect storm occurred – decent weather, great venues, positive attitudes, packed parties, veteran promoters, world-class talent and discretionary income made for a great 2010 CIAA conference. Is this enough for the Queen City to do what it takes to keep CIAA in Charlotte? Only time will tell.

An edited version of this article appears in Creative Loafing, where Nsenga serves as cultural critic.

The ‘Surreal Housewives”: Get a Job

I am addicted to Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise. Yes, I watch all of The Real Housewives (Atlanta, New York, Orange County, New Jersey) — and when I say watch, I mean DVR them, which is big for me.

I call it the “Surreal Housewives” franchise because their definition of what passes for high society and wealth is ridiculous. Socialites, for example, don’t need major companies to sponsor their non-exclusive parties. Not to mention, their shameful and ridiculous behavior, which would never go off well in “polite” society or among us regular folks. With the exception of Vicki and maybe Gretchen, the ladies on the O.C. edition appear to be gold diggers.

I was recently watching an episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, and one of the cast members — Lynne — received an eviction notice. This was after she just attended a lovely dinner party and after undergoing a mother/daughter plastic surgery session. The woman who spends hours in the gym and actively works on “staying young” got booted from her California condo.

What tripped me out about the entire thing was that Lynne acted as if her husband was some monster because he did not tell her about their dire financial situation. I’m thinking to myself, “Shouldn’t you know?” If you’re a grown person, then you should know the cost of living of where you reside, especially when it is one of the most expensive areas in the world, let alone the country.

Lynne’s husband clearly was afraid to tell his wife and his two monsters, I mean daughters (who are mean and abusive), because of said fallout. Viewers are not privy to everything that goes on in the lives of these folks, but based on the money that Lynne and her spoiled, potty-mouthed daughters blow on a constant basis, I could definitely see how this family stays in financial trouble.

Apparently, they received an eviction notice because he couldn’t come up with a $10,000 deposit. I immediately thought to myself, double plastic surgeries, a trip to Florida and the recent soiree easily surpassed $10,000. To add insult to injury, that same week, Lynne heads out on a trip to San Francisco with her fellow housewives and drops $1,800 on a leather jacket in the first store that they visit.

Therein lies the problem with them and society. Women need to take responsibility for their finances and help contribute to their household finances even when their husbands are supposed to be providers.

I know a lot of people believe that men should provide and protect as stated in the Bible. But where does it say in the Bible that women can’t help their families or themselves? Where does it say that grown men have to be financially responsible for grown women who constantly make poor financial decisions?

I often joke that malls were created to keep women in debt. All you see are women and teenagers walking around spending money on “sale” items that most of them won’t even wear. Is it worth being late on your rent or mortgage because you had to have a fabulous pair of shoes that you may or may not wear? I don’t think so, which is why I stay out of malls if at all possible. Too many trappings — with a direct line to poverty — for me.

Not to mention the fact that we’re in a recession, which impacts everyone. Common sense would tell you that there are only two real options — cut back or get a job. Like many of us in society, the ladies of this show clearly need jobs outside of the home if they expect to continue to live the way that they do.

Lynne actually had a line of jewelry, specifically cuffs, that were being sold in a couple of O.C. boutiques. She was also working on national distribution through a major department store. Her high-end cuffs started at $275, so why they are short on money is a mystery to me. Actually, no it isn’t, as I haven’t seen her work at all this entire season — just drink alcohol, take pain meds and clearly something else.

What’s even most disconcerting is how these women toss their husbands away when they hit hard financial times. Why do we measure men by their wallets? Why do they allow women to do so?

Men are not banks and should not be treated as such.

Families should work as teams. Consequently, as a wife, if there is something that you can do, then you should.

This article originally appeared on Creative Loafing, where she serves as Cultural Critic.

African Americans and Domestic Violence: The Real Cost to Our Community

Domestic violence in the African–American community must stop. It seems like an easy enough thing to say, but doing it seems like something else all together. We live in a society marked by violence. This country was founded on violent acts, many of which were against women, particularly Black women who were slaves. It would seem that having suffered such violence at the hands of former male and female slave owners, our cultural practices would demand that we respect and protect Black women from harm. It is truly sad, when the one thing that we can count on statistically speaking, is harm in the form of physical and emotional abuse from our intimate partners.

According to the study “When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2006 Homicide Data,” released by The Violence Policy Center, a national non-profit organization that conducts research on violence in the United States, 551 African American women were murdered by males in 2006. The study stated that there were 1,818 race-identified females murdered by males. While white women accounted for the largest total of those killed (1,208), African American women were killed at a rate nearly three times higher. How did most of the murders occur? Guns killed 305 of those women.

Intimate partners are literally blowing Black women away for a variety of reasons that include stress, mental illness, control, narcissism and pathology. Mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces and cousins are leaving this earth with wounded bodies and spirits and sadly enough the numbers are increasing, not decreasing. What does this mean for the black community?

It means that we have to do something to break the cycle of abuse and violence in our homes. If the majority of Black households are headed by women, what happens when those women are killed or injured? Talking about domestic violence hasn’t helped. High profile cases like those involving Chris Brown and Rihanna, Bebe Winans, Big Pun, Don Cornelius, Jennifer Hudson’s sister and Tyrese Gibson haven’t helped. Women offering testimony in church and on YouTube hasn’t helped. Men and women creating awareness campaigns during the month of October hasn’t helped.

If you turn on the television or read a newspaper, there is a very high likelihood that a woman murdered by an intimate partner is somewhere in the content.

We know that domestic violence breaks up families. We know that children suffer emotionally, financially and spiritually with the sudden loss of a parent. We know that it leaves irreparable mental and emotional scars on women and men. But do we know the economic costs of domestic violence to the black community? Let me break it down for you.

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, in the United States, the cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, with $4.1 billion going towards direct medical and mental health services.

Victims of intimate partner violence lost 8 million days of paid work because of violence committed against them by current or former husbands, boyfriends or dates. That equals 32,000 full-time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity.

According to the National Funeral Director’s Association, the average cost of a funeral in the U.S. is $7,323 thousand each year. In 2006, Black families spent over $4 million burying African American victims of domestic violence.

According to the World Health Organization, the cost of domestic violence in the United States amounts to 3.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). (read more)

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on TheLoop21.com, where Nsenga serves as managing editor.