(c) Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board, Inc. (GBCHRB) June, 2006 / Vol.12, No. 3


FAIR HOUSING NEWS

A newsletter about fair housing, community development, and neighborhood quality of life



NATIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP MONTH GREETINGS!

Welcome to Fair Housing News!, a newsletter produced by the GBCHRB as a public service. Contact us for a free copy of any article or if you would like this e-mailed to you: 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 / mail@gbchrb.org. More info/resources: http://www.gbchrb.org.

IN THE NATIONAL NEWS

Study Finds Black & Hispanic Home Buyers Pay Higher Interest on Mortgages. The study by the Center for Responsible Lending compared borrowers with the same risk characteristics, used federal & industry statistics from 2004 and examined a sample of 50,000 loans. Among subprime borrowers with similar credit rankings, Blacks & Hispanics were 30% more likely to be charged the higher interest. Approximately one in five home loans are now subprime, according to the lending center. The study's authors said this was the first time credit scores and down payments were taken into account in such an analysis. The findings were supported by the NAACP and the National Council for La Raza. (http://www.responsiblelending.org; New York Times, June 1, 2006:A20)

Pardon Denied for Civil Rights Advocate Falsely Imprisoned in 1960. Clyde Kennard was prevented from racially integrating a Mississippi college - which became the University of Southern Mississippi - in 1960 by being framed for robbery. Although current state Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) acknowledges Kennard suffered a wrong, he stated he will not pardon him despite many supporters' pleas. March 30th, however, was Clyde Kennard Day in Mississippi, and Governor Barbour issued a proclamation. (New York Times, May 4, 2006:A16)

LOCAL NEWS

NAACP Urges Community Leaders to Decry Recent Hate Crimes. In response to recent hate crimes in Ellicott City, the Howard County branch of the NAACP called on the government and community to strongly and publicly refute hate crimes. The branch's president said 15 of 2006's 22 racially-motivated crimes were in Ellicott City. Police said eight incidents of white supremacist graffiti was chemically burned into that town's lawns in the past week. The NAACP will meet with the County on June 26th. In addition, the state branch of the NAACP said they "are increasingly concerned about racist incidents in Maryland, particularly last Saturday's rally at the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg." (The Examiner, June 12, 2006:5)

Baltimore's Book Program Selects Civil Rights Book for June. The novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham was selected by the Enoch Pratt Free Library. "The book deals with the civil rights movement, racism, family conflict, but it manages to walk the fine line between humor and pathos," said the Library's school & student services coordinator. While it is narrated by a 10-year-old, the book is sophisticated enough to be relished by adults. Previous choices of the Program, now in the fifth year, included autobiographies of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and surgeon Benjamin Carson. (Baltimore Sun, June 12, 2006:3B)


Help Take Down the Signs & Help Neighborhoods on June 24th. The Community Law Center - working with Citizens Planning & Housing Association, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, & many other organizations - will hold a community event intending to remove the illegally posted "We Buy Houses" signs that dot some neighborhoods. Participants are invited to bring signs removed that day to the Law Center at 2500 Maryland Avenue (north of 25th Street) from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. that day. Contact Rob Strupp for more information: 410-366-0922 or http://www.communitylaw.org.

DID YOU KNOW?

The website of the Center for Predatory Lending - on the web at http://www.responsiblelending.org/ - has a wealth of interesting and informative articles and links about predatory lending. It includes a useful glossary, a media center, and a section on how to take action. It's well worth checking out.

Contact the GBCHRB for FREE Fair Housing Info, Brochures, & Posters in English, Spanish, Korean, and Russia. We have informational brochures, Self-Help Guides to Fair Housing for individual counties, curricula for renting & buying housing, and much more! 410-453-9500 / 800-895-6302 / mail@gbchrb.org.

The GBCHRB's Neighborhood Beat TV Show Is on Cable Stations Throughout Maryland! Hosted by Dr. Bill Kladky, the 30-minute interview show runs in Baltimore City, and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Calvert, St. Mary's, Talbot, Prince George's, the City of Takoma Park, and Montgomery! Call us at 410-453-9500 for days and times!

INTERESTING BOOKS

The Passion of My Times: An Advocate's Fifty-Year Journey in the Civil Rights Movement. by William L. Taylor. Carroll & Graf, 2004. 352 pp. $26.00 hardcover. A memoir by the civil rights lawyer who worked with Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in 1954, helped to write the Little Rock desegregation brief, was staff director of the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, and founder of the Center for National Policy Review. The focus is the nuts-and-bolts, behind the scenes work that made the spectacular victories possible. His analysis of the continuing challenges to securing racial justice are illuminating.

Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. 416 pp. $15.00 pbk. Interesting autobio of Franklin, famed historian of Blacks in America, researcher for Thurgood Marshall, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work in civil rights. After he hosted a dinner on the evening before receiving the Medal, a white woman gave him a numbered ticket and asked him to retrieve her coat. The struggle goes on, thanks to men like Franklin.


REST IN PEACE

The Rev. William Sloan Coffin, Civil Rights Campaigner, 81. As chaplain of Yale University, Coffin was a vocal and powerful advocate for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. A firm believer in the power of civil disobedience to bring social and political change, he was arrested as a Freedom Rider in the 1960's, and supported the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Coffin also worked against nuclear power with the freeze movement, opposed the 1991 war in Iraq, and spoke against the invasion of Iraq in 2005. As pastor of Riverside Church in New York, Coffin promoted international arms control, but also got congregants to "work on local issues like unemployment and juvenile delinquency." (New York Times, April 13, 2006:A21)

Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, Scholar & Civil Rights Advocate, 84. As president of the American Jewish Congress, Hertzberg advocated for Jewish rights, but also was an early advocate of full equality for Blacks. He was a primary participant in the March on Washington in 1963, and worked for interfaith dialogue and understanding. Among his many influential books was The French Enlightenment and the Jews: The Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism. (New York Times, April 18, 2006)

Lee D. Hoshall, Civil Rights Lawyer, 52. Hoshall represented clients in racial, sexual, and disability discrimination cases for almost 20 years as Assistant General Counsel for the Maryland Commission on Human Relations. A fellow attorney said, "He was a tireless advocate for human rights for people." Lee also was a good friend. (Baltimore Sun, April 14, 2006:6B)

H. B. Patterson, Arkansas Published & Advocate, 91. Patterson was the published of The Arkansas Gazette in 1957 when that newspaper supported desegregation of the public schools during a federal-state confrontation. As a result of its stand, the newspaper had huge losses in advertising and circulation, but also won two Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage. The confrontation developed after Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to block nine Blacks from enrolling at Central High School and - belatedly but firmly - President Dwight Eisenhower sent in federal troops to enforce a court order (following Brown v. Board of Education) to desegregate the schools. (New York Times, May 31, 2006:A21)