1 The New Deal
China’s business with Africa skyrocketed, with the Chinese making trade and infrastructure deals across the continent, pledging $20 billion in financing. Oppositionists say the relationship reeks of colonialism, but Chinese officials and African allies call it a win-win situation.
2 Men of Honor
Brothers made big moves in 2007: Barack Obama joined the presidential race, Deval Patrick governed Massachusetts, Forest Whitaker took home the Best Actor Oscar, Chris Gardner’s The Pursuit of Happyness was a New York Times best seller, and Spike Lee won three Emmys.
3 Southern Injustice
Thousands marched in Jena, Louisiana, protesting unduly harsh criminal charges against six Black teens for assaulting a White schoolmate after nooses were hung at their school.
4 So Long, Brown v. Board of Ed?
In June the Supreme Court struck down public school integration plans, restricting the use of race to decide where children attend school. The ruling suggests a conservative shift in the high court since President Bush’s appointment of two judges.
5 Home Security
In response to Philadelphia’s soaring homicide rate, which clocked one murder or more nearly every day this year, the city’s police chief and civic leaders began recruiting 10,000 unarmed Black men to patrol the streets and keep the peace.
6 Who You Calling a B—-?
Former New York Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders was awarded $11.6 million in a sexual harassment suit against Knicks coach Isiah Thomas-who Sanders claimed frequently called her the B-word-and Madison Square Garden.
7 The 2.2 million
The number of families at risk of foreclosure due to subprime loans (high-interest home loans given to low-income borrowers). The NAACP sued lenders for targeting Blacks.
8 Debatable Tactics
Tavis Smiley hosted two “All-American Presidential Forums” focused on minority issues. All eight Democratic presidential candidates attended the first debate, sounding off on AIDS and Katrina relief. But the top Republican contenders were no-shows.
9 You’re Fired!
Radio shock jock Don Imus said he was joking when he called the Rutgers University women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos” in April. We didn’t get the punch line. After a firestorm of commentary from journalists, politicians and activists, CBS canceled his show. But at press time, there were rumors of a comeback.
The city councils of New York and Irvington, New Jersey, passed resolutions banning it. The NAACP held a funeral, complete with a pine coffin and headstone. Even Russell Simmons petitioned the music industry to denounce it. But, despite efforts to quash it this year, the N-word keeps coming back.
-Compiled By Cynthia Cordy