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What online Black publications are talking about


By Shola Adenekan


Blackbritain.co.uk leads with the victimisation of a black lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University over her use of pioneering teaching methods.


The publication says that the incident has united black academics in the UK in her defence and reignited their determination to fight racism in higher education.


When the Black Colloquium heard that one of their fellow members was told to ‘take leave’ so that an investigation could be conducted into her teaching methods following ‘external complaints’, they were both outraged and angered.

Their colleague, Yvonne Channer, a well-respected academic in the area of social work had introduced pedagogical methods into one of the units on a three year course involving group work.


The approach involves dividing students into groups so that minorities are not on their own and therefore feel more relaxed about exploring issues in a safe environment.


Channer and her colleagues on the course introduced the method this year, taking account of the needs of minorities on the course which included both white men and black students and groups were not strictly divided on a black-white basis.

At the beginning of April a local newspaper contacted the university to say that somebody had made a complaint about Channer’s teaching methods but once Channer explained her methods fully, the newspaper was no longer interested in the story.


But a week ago Channer was hauled into a meeting where she was told that her teaching methods could be construed as ‘racist’ and that she could therefore be bringing the university into disrepute and could be guilty of gross misconduct.


It’s the story that has been making waves in Nigeria and America; the allegation that Representative William Jefferson, a senior figure in the Black Caucus and in the US Congress bribed the Nigerian Vice President, Abubakar Atiku, in order to secure a business contract in Nigeria.


Mr. Jefferson’s Capitol Hill office was raided by FBI agents over the weekend and the FBI issued an affidavit saying they had earlier discovered $90,000 in cash wrapped and stashed in the freezer of his home.


Today, Blackvoices.com says that senior politicians in the US Congress have complained directly to President Bush, while officials said senior Democrats worked to ease the Louisiana lawmaker out of a powerful committee assignment, at least temporarily.


Vibe.com leads with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ determination to bring A Raisin in the Sun to the small screen.


Diddy, who made his Broadway debut in the classic play says Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald and Sanaa Lathan - who all appeared in the Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun - will join him in filming the television version of the play this December in Toronto. The play is then expected to air on ABC in 2007.


Rashad and McDonald earned Tony Awards for their performances in the Broadway revival of the play. While in Britain, Noma Dumezweni, the Black British actress, won UK’s equivalent of a Tony, The Olivier award, for her sterling performance in a British adaptation of the play.


In Kenya, Nationmedia.com leads with the travel ban imposed by the US government on four prominent Kenyans  involved in a government corruption scandal.


The prohibition order was issued by the US immigration authorities against Mr Getonga, who was President Kibaki's personal assistant until February, and Mr Jimmy Wanjigi, a Nairobi businessman named in the parliamentary report on the Sh2.7 billion Anglo Leasing passports scandal.


Also banned were wealthy businessmen Deepak Kamani and Anura Perera.


Mr Perera and Mr Kamani were named in the Public Accounts Committee investigations as either possible owners or likely directors of companies involved in questionable security contracts with the Government.


Allafrica.com (from a news agency report) says that  the 53-member African Group at the United Nations -- the second largest regional coalition after the 54-member Asian Group -- is asserting its collective unity in a world body that is getting increasingly divided over politically-sensitive issues.


Africans countries have so far refused to back down on their demand for veto powers for proposed new permanent members of the Security Council, and have also expressed their public support for an Asian as the next U.N. secretary-general when incumbent Kofi Annan of Ghana steps down in December this year.


In the West IndiesGuyanachronicle.com says Guyana police officials and bankers have issued warning about teams of bandits on motorcycles and in cars who are targeting banks, keeping a close watch on customers withdrawing or depositing large sums.


The warning came after bandits, who were tracking them, robbed two more persons who had just withdrawn money from two banks in Georgetown Monday.


Bank officials said it was clear that criminals are now targeting banks and the Police announced that they have launched “overt and covert operations” against the gangs.


The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Board of Governors says that Haiti will soon become a full-fledge member of the organisation, according to jamaicagleaner.com.


President of the CDB, Dr. Compton Bourne welcomed the announcement by the government of Trinidad and Tobago of its decision to enter a joint constituency arrangement with Haiti, which would pave the way for that country's full-fledged membership in the bank.


"Now that elections have been held and the security situation has improved, we expect that a way has been paved to commence some operational work in Haiti," Dr. Bourne added.


Have we missed a more interesting news in your area? Please e-mail interesting links to comments@thenewblackmagazine.com


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