Expert Voices

Op-Ed: The Treatment of Black Women in Business

Editors note: this opinion piece comes from Anthony Baldini, Founder of Athlete Strategies & “Sports in LA” | Sports business analyst | Investor in women’s sports properties. Baldini is a communications and business development advisor at the intersection of sports, technology, and venture capital.

This post is about the treatment of Black women in business. If you can’t handle it respectfully, don’t comment. Our collective goal for any discussion should be progress, not ego on who is right/wrong.  Nike is signing Caitlin Clark to an eight-figure deal and giving her a signature shoe – an obvious decision for the apparel behemoth. 

However, this means that the only active WNBA players with active signature shoes are: CC, Breanna Stewart, Elena Delle Donne, and Sabrina Ionescu. 

What do they have in common? They’re all white women playing in a dominantly Black league.

This is a new development. Previously, almost every WNBA player signature shoe from 1995-2011 belonged to a Black woman: Sheryl Swoopes, Rebecca Lobo (Cuban), Lisa Leslie, Dawn Staley, Cynthia Cooper, Nikki McCray, Chamique Holdsclaw, Diana Taurasi (Argentinian-Italian) and Candace Parker. 

Stardom drives shoe deal decisions, but shoe deals also drive stardom. Marketers and media have the ability to dictate culture and what’s popular. And right now, basketball companies are saying *only* white women are the face of the WNBA, when A’ja, Arike, Jewell, AT and Sky are right there. 

Some say “they’re just the best players right now and more marketable,” but come on. COME ON. Stop that. Anyone who is authentically working in women’s sports genuinely understands that representation matters, both ethically and economically. Anyone disagreeing with that is a false actor. This is a truth I have seen first-hand. 

The U.S. economy stands to add trillions annually if there were more women entrepreneurs (which would require VCs funding women at a greater clip than the current 2-13% rate). Meanwhile, underrepresentation of Black businesses is costing the economy additional billions in unrealized revenues. And so it as a member of both these groups, the Black woman, who faces hardship and unequal footing in America in society and in business, from private civilians to premier basketball players. 

A’ja Wilson is on the 2024 TIME100 List. And yet for all the progress in society regarding race, and the celebration that is made of A’ja now in media, when it comes to actual *business transactions* that require supporting Black women there is a statistical-based significant fall off that is supported by anecdotal evidence like this WNBA shoe example. 

Credit to shoe brands for their aforementioned work from 1995-2011. But how in the 12+ years since have we not had a Black woman in the WNBA with an active signature shoe line? It’s not enough for a player to just have a colorway. The signature shoe and the marketing push behind it comes with social implications.

I’m asking those with the power to create change to value Black Women.

The Stolen Wealth of Slavery: A Case for Reparations

The United States has a long and complicated history with slavery and its aftermath. The issue of reparations for Black Americans has been debated for decades, and there is no easy answer.

What is reparations?

Reparations are a form of compensation paid to individuals or groups who have been harmed by past injustices. In the case of Black Americans, reparations could take many forms, such as financial payments, land grants, or educational opportunities.

The case for reparations

Advocates of reparations argue that Black Americans have been systemically discriminated against for centuries, and that reparations are a way to address the harm caused by this discrimination. They point to the fact that Black Americans still face racial disparities in areas such as wealth, income, education, and criminal justice.

The case against reparations

Opponents of reparations argue that it is unfair to make current generations pay for the sins of their ancestors. They also argue that reparations would be impractical and difficult to implement.

The debate over reparations

The debate over reparations is likely to continue for many years to come. There are strong arguments on both sides of the issue, and there is no easy answer.

Recent developments

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to support reparations for Black Americans. In 2020, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would create a commission to study the issue of reparations. The bill is currently pending in the Senate.

The Stolen Wealth of Slavery: A Case for Reparations by David Montero and Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D.

Donate to support FAN’s vision of an informed and compassionate community:

David Montero:

Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D.:

Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America:

“Slavery isn’t just a Southern story. The North benefited from stolen labor,” review of Montero’s book in the Christian Science Monitor, April 25, 2024:

Jonathan Eig, 2024 Pulitzer Prize winner (Biography), for “King: A Life”:
Book Club: Kickback – Exposing the Global Corporate Bribery Network – by David Montero, Thom Hartmann Program, Aug 31, 2018:

The New York Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery, and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War, by Jonathan Daniel Wells:

“How Wall Street Funded Slavery,” Montero’s Feb. 9, 2024 piece for TIME magazine:

“Book on slavery’s wealth touches prominent Pittsburgh philanthropists,” 90.5 WESA:

Cinco de Mayo: The History, People & Multicultural Celebrations

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the Mexican army’s victory over the French army in the Battle of Puebla on 05-05-1862. The battle was a major turning point in the Franco-Mexican War, and the victory is celebrated as a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign invasion.

The origins of Cinco de Mayo can be traced back to the 1840s, when Mexico was in a state of economic and political turmoil. In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico, and the two countries fought a war that lasted until 1848. The war ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ceded a large portion of Mexican territory to the United States.

In the years that followed the war, Mexico was plagued by political instability and economic problems. In 1861, the Mexican government defaulted on its foreign debt, and the French, British, and Spanish sent naval forces to Mexico to demand repayment.

The French, however, had ulterior motives, and they soon invaded Mexico, hoping to establish a puppet government.


E63MJX Mexican dancers, Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Old Mesilla, Las Cruces, New Mexico USA

The Mexican people were outraged by the French invasion, and they rallied to support the government of President Benito Juárez. The French army was much larger and better equipped than the Mexican army, but the Mexicans fought bravely and managed to defeat the French at the Battle of Puebla on 05-05-1862.

The victory at Puebla was a major boost to Mexican morale, and it helped to rally the country against the French invaders. The war continued for several more years, but the French were eventually defeated in 1867. Cinco de Mayo is now a national holiday in Mexico, and it is also celebrated in many parts of the United States. The holiday is a time for Mexicans to celebrate their heritage and to commemorate the victory at Puebla.

Why Americans Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated on May 5th to commemorate the Mexican army’s victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Although the battle was a minor victory for Mexico, it became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign invasion and has since been celebrated as a day of Mexican pride and heritage in the United States.

There are several reasons why Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo:

  • Mexican-American heritage: Cinco de Mayo is a significant holiday for Mexican-Americans, who make up a large and vibrant community in the United States. Many Mexican-Americans use Cinco de Mayo as an opportunity to celebrate their culture and heritage.
  • Cultural exchange: Cinco de Mayo is a time for people of all backgrounds to learn about and appreciate Mexican culture. Many cities and towns in the United States host Cinco de Mayo festivals and celebrations, which often include traditional Mexican food, music, and dance.
  • Commercialization: Cinco de Mayo has become a major commercial holiday in the United States, with businesses offering special promotions and discounts. This has helped to raise awareness of the holiday and make it more popular among Americans of all backgrounds.

While Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in the United States, it is widely celebrated across the country. Many people use the day to enjoy Mexican food and drinks, listen to Mexican music, and learn more about Mexican culture.

Experts Urge Investigation Into NYT Story of Hamas’ Sexual Violence on Oct. 7

More than 50 journalism professors are calling for an independent review of the debunked NYT story “Screams Without Words.” 

According to the independent investigative journalism publication, Consortium News, “The professors, many of whom worked as full-time journalists before turning to academia, wrote to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, executive editor Joe Kahn, and international editor Philip Pan, calling for a “thorough and independent review” into the article “Screams Without Words: Sexual Violence on Oct. 7.”

It is being reported that the letter is urging the newspaper to form a commission made up of journalism experts to examine the “reporting, editing, and publishing processes” for the story.

The National is also reporting that the “lengthy investigative story “‘Screams Without Words’: Sexual Violence on Oct 7”, which was published in December under the byline of international correspondent Jeffrey Gettleman and two freelancers, detailed how Hamas used sexual assault during the attacks.” The full report can be found HERE

Additional coverage by Democracy NOW: 

The 1866 Memphis Massacre Remains a Dark Stain on American History

This historical account is yet another node of reflection of what Black folks have had to endure in the making of America under the brutality of slavery, and as Freemen. This is why the call for reparations continues to echo across the land, and rolls over mountains,  even crossing oceans and seas for all mankind to hear. The calls for reparations will never die, just like the memory and the legacy of our enslaved ancestors who built America without ever being paid for it. 

Today marks a tragic and unjust moment in American history, as we remember the racial brutality and sexual violence inflicted upon newly freed enslaved African Americans. The 1866 Memphis massacre, also known as the Memphis Riots, was a three-day racial massacre in Memphis, Tennessee, from May 1, 1866 to May 3, 1866, during the Reconstruction Era.


The massacre occurred in the context of widespread social and political tensions following the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery. African Americans in Memphis had made significant gains in terms of political and economic power during Reconstruction. They had won the right to vote and hold office, and many African Americans had established businesses and acquired property.

On May 1, 1866, a white mob attacked a group of African American veterans who were gathered at a polling place to vote in the municipal election. The mob shot and killed several African Americans and wounded others. The violence escalated over the next two days, as white mobs looted and burned African American homes and businesses and killed dozens of African Americans.


The massacre shocked the nation and led to widespread condemnation. The federal government sent troops to Memphis to restore order, and President Andrew Johnson appointed a commission to investigate the violence. The commission concluded that the massacre had been a deliberate and organized attack by white supremacists.

Despite the federal investigation, no one was ever held accountable for the massacre. The white perpetrators were never punished, and the African American victims received no compensation for their losses.

The 1866 Memphis massacre remains a dark stain on American history. It is a reminder of the racism and violence that African Americans faced during Reconstruction and the long struggle for civil rights that followed.

Watch a short YouTube video on the Memphis Race Riot HERE, or see the comprehensive lecture below by Dr. Steven Ash who authored, A Massacre In Memphis: The Bloody Race Riot Of 1866.

Dr. Steven Ash – “A Massacre In Memphis: The Bloody Race Riot Of 1866”

$1 Bills With Printing Error in Circulation Worth Thousands

The $1 bill and the U.S. Mint

The $1 bill is the smallest denomination of United States currency currently in circulation. It features a portrait of George Washington on the front and the Great Seal of the United States on the back. The $1 bill is printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) and is minted by the United States Mint.

The U.S. Mint is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury responsible for producing coins for the United States. It was established in 1792 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Mint also produces medals, tokens, and other numismatic items.

According to officials, “two batches of $1 bills were printed in 2014 and 2016 with a specific error from the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and they went into circulation before it was noticed, the personal finance blog reported. The first batch was issued in New York and the second in Washington D.C., for a total of 6.4 million banknotes. Under the right condition and matching serial number, currency collectors are willing to pay between $20,000 and $150,000 for a pair from these batches. Only nine of these extremely rare pairs have been matched, leaving millions of these special $1 bills out there.

How to check your $1 bills? WealthyNickel says look for the following:

  • Series date that reads “Series 2013.” The series date can be found on the right side of the George Washington photograph.
  • The “B” Federal Reserve Seal above the serial number.
  • The serial number features a star and sits somewhere between “B00000001★ – B00250000★” or “B03200001★ – B09600000★”
  • You must have two $1 bills that match this criteria.

History of errors on the $1 bill in circulation

The $1 bill is the most common denomination of U.S. currency in circulation, and it has a long history of errors. Some of the most notable errors include:

  • 1869 printing error: In 1869, a printing error resulted in the Treasury seal being omitted from the back of the $1 bill. This error is known as the “seal-less $1 bill,” and it is one of the most valuable errors in U.S. currency.
  • 1934-1935 printing error: In 1934 and 1935, a printing error resulted in the date on the $1 bill being printed upside down. This error is known as the “upside-down date $1 bill,” and it is another valuable error.
  • 1963 printing error: In 1963, a printing error resulted in the “E” in “ONE” being printed backwards. This error is known as the “backwards E $1 bill,” and it is a relatively common error.
  • 1995 printing error: In 1995, a printing error resulted in the Treasury seal being printed in the wrong color. This error is known as the “wrong-color seal $1 bill,” and it is a relatively rare error.
  • 2014 and 2016 printing error: Two batches of $1 bills were printed in 2014 and 2016 with a specific error from the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and they went into circulation before it was noticed.

In addition to these printing errors, there have also been a number of other errors on the $1 bill in circulation. These errors include:

  • Mismatched serial numbers: Some $1 bills have been found with mismatched serial numbers. This error is likely due to a mistake at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
  • Counterfeit bills: Counterfeit $1 bills are a problem in the United States. These bills are often made with high-quality counterfeit materials, and they can be difficult to distinguish from genuine bills.
  • Mutilated bills: Mutilated $1 bills are bills that have been damaged in some way. This damage can be caused by fire, water, or other factors.

If you find a $1 bill with an error, it is important to keep it. Error bills can be valuable, and they can also be interesting to collectors.

Haiti Installs New Transitional Government

Haiti has installed a new government, following the official resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry. According to news reports the provisional government has been sworn in during a secret ceremony at the presidential palace nearly two months after a criminal insurrection plunged the capital into chaos.

The controversial former  Prime Minister, a neurosurgeon and former health minister, is currently in the US after he was denied a return to Haiti. The nine-person “transitional council” was officially established on Thursday during an event at the national palace in Port-au-Prince, according to The Guardian.

The new government faces a number of challenges, including:

  • Choose a new prime minister: “Its first task will be to choose a new prime minister before paving the way for elections. At a second ceremony marking the establishment of the council, the recently appointed US ambassador to Haiti, Dennis Hankins, said he hoped his country could help Haiti return to a path of stability, democracy and economic growth.”
  • Political instability: Haiti has been plagued by political instability for many years. The assassination of President Moïse has further destabilized the country. Many say the US is partly responsible for Haiti’s current drama partly because of the large number of weapons flowing into the hands of Haiti’s gangs from the US.
  • Economic crisis: Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy has been hit hard by the pandemic, political instability and gang violence. 

The international community is watching closely to see how the new government will address the small island nation’s challenges. As reported, the US Ambassador to Haiti said, “We won’t be the solution but hopefully we’ll be part of helping those finding the solution.” In an official statement Hankins said, “Haiti deserves peace, security, and prosperity.  I am dedicated to being a humble partner to the Haitian people at this time of crisis and throughout our shared journey to a future with democracy, stability, prosperity, and peace.”

However, there are still concerns that the new government may not be able to overcome the challenges facing Haiti. The country is deeply divided and there is a great deal of poverty and inequality. Any new government will need to work hard and collaboratively to build consensus and address the needs of the people.

The relationship between the United States and Haiti has been complex and often strained. The two countries have a long history of political, economic, and social interaction, dating back to the early days of the Haitian Revolution.

U.S. and Haiti Relationship and Historical Timeline

  • 1791: Haitian Revolution begins, led by Toussaint Louverture.
  • 1804: Haiti declares independence from France, becoming the first independent black-majority republic in the world.
  • 1825: The United States recognizes Haiti’s independence.
  • 1862-1877: The United States occupies Haiti.
  • 1915-1934: The United States occupies Haiti again.
  • 1957: François Duvalier becomes president of Haiti.
  • 1971: Jean-Claude Duvalier succeeds his father as president of Haiti.
  • 1986: Jean-Claude Duvalier is overthrown in a popular uprising.
  • 1991: The United States invades Haiti to restore President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power.
  • 2004: Aristide is overthrown in a coup d’état.
  • 2010: A devastating earthquake hits Haiti, killing hundreds of thousands of people.
  • 2015: Jovenel Moïse is elected president of Haiti.
  • 2017: Hurricane Matthew devastates Haiti.
  • 2018: Moïse is re-elected president of Haiti.
  • 2021: Moïse is assassinated.

The United States has been a major player in Haitian history, both for good and for ill. The U.S. has intervened in Haiti militarily on several occasions, and it has also provided significant economic and humanitarian assistance. The relationship between the two countries remains complex, but there is a growing recognition that both countries have a stake in each other’s future and success.

The Supreme Court And The Legalities of Homelessness

The United States Supreme Court has ruled on a number of cases related to homelessness, including the legality of certain laws and policies that affect homeless individuals and families.

Here are some key takeaways from the Court’s decisions:

  • The Court has recognized that homelessness is a serious problem in the United States.
  • The Court has held that the government has a legitimate interest in addressing homelessness.
  • However, the Court has also recognized that homeless individuals have certain constitutional rights, including the right to due process and the right to equal protection under the law.
  • The Court has ruled that certain laws and policies that target homeless individuals are unconstitutional.
  • The Court has also ruled that the government has a responsibility to provide adequate shelter for homeless individuals in certain circumstances.

Here are some specific examples of the Court’s rulings (some forthcoming) on homelessness:

  • In Martin v. Boise (2019), the Court ruled that a city ordinance that prohibited individuals from sleeping in public places was unconstitutional.
  • The Flores Settlement Agreement (1997), which arose out of Flores v. Reno, a 1987 California case. the Court ruled that the government has a responsibility to provide adequate shelter for homeless families with children.
  • In Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson, the justices will decide whether cities and states can effectively criminalize homelessness by penalizing people for sleeping outdoors.

The Court’s rulings on homelessness have had a significant impact on the way that the government and society address this issue. The Court’s decisions have helped to protect the rights of homeless individuals and have ensured that the government provides adequate shelter for homeless families with children.

Today the housing issue is back in the national spotlight after the Supreme Court heard oral argument on Monday and as reported by SCOTUSBlog, “in a case that one legal expert has called the ‘most important Supreme Court case about homelessness in at least 40 years.’ The issue before the court is the constitutionality of ordinances in an Oregon town that bar people who are homeless from using blankets, pillows, or cardboard boxes for protection from the elements while sleeping within the city limits. Defending the ordinances, the city contends that the laws simply bar camping on public property by everyone. But the challengers in the case counter that the ordinances effectively make it a crime to be homeless in the city.”

Follow the latest development on the Supreme Court’s ruling on homelessness and the housing crisis HERE or at SCOTUSBlog.

The AP also reported, “The case started in the rural Oregon town of Grants Pass, which began fining people $295 for sleeping outside as the cost of housing escalated and tents sprung up in the city’s public parks. The San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law under its holding that banning camping in places without enough shelter beds amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.”

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 22: Homeless rights activists hold a rally outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on April 22, 2024 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court heard oral argument in City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson and Smith v. Spizzirri, a dispute over the constitutionality of ordinances that bar people who are homeless from camping on city streets. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The Storied History of Campus Protests in America

History of College Campus Protests in America

College campus protests have a long and storied history in America. They have been used to express a wide range of grievances, from the Vietnam War to apartheid to climate change.

Early Protests

The first recorded college campus protest in America took place at Harvard University in 1766. Students protested the British Stamp Act, which they saw as a violation of their rights. In the 19th century, college campus protests became more common. Students protested the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, and the expansion of slavery.                                                                                                                                                      

A Black Students Union leader addresses a crowd of demonstrators in December 1968.

The 1960s and 1970s

The 1960s and 1970s were a time of great social and political upheaval in America. College campus protests were a major part of this upheaval. Students protested the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the women’s rights movement. They also protested against the establishment and the status quo.

The 1980s and 1990s

The 1980s and 1990s were a time of relative calm on college campuses. There were still some protests, but they were not as frequent or as large as they had been in the 1960s and 1970s.

The 21st Century

College campus protests have made a comeback in the 21st century. Students have protested the Iraq War, the War on Terror, and the Great Recession. They have also protested against racism, sexism, and homophobia. Today, students have launched protests and encampments at more than a dozen schools across the country, from Massachusetts to Michigan to California. They’re protesting the genocide occurring in Gaza following the October 7, 2023 Hamas attack on Israel that sparked the recent war the international community is now calling a genocide.

On January 26, 2024 South Africa filed a case against Israel at the ICJ accusing it of ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Palestinian people.

Columbia University Student Protest History

Columbia University has a long and storied history of student activism and protest. Some of the most notable protests include:

  • 1968 Columbia University protests: In 1968, Columbia University students protested the university’s ties to the Vietnam War and the construction of a gymnasium in Morningside Park. The protests culminated in a five-day occupation of five university buildings.
  • 1985 divestment campaign: In 1985, Columbia University students launched a campaign to divest the university’s endowment from companies doing business in South Africa. The campaign was successful, and Columbia University became one of the first major universities to divest from South Africa.
  • 2007 graduate student strike: In 2007, Columbia University graduate students went on strike to demand better pay and benefits. The strike lasted for three weeks and ended with a tentative agreement between the university and the graduate student union.
  • 2015 student protests: In 2015, Columbia University students protested the university’s handling of sexual assault cases. The protests led to the resignation of the university’s president, Lee Bollinger.
  • 2016 Black Lives Matter protests: In 2016, Columbia University students protested racial injustice and police brutality in the wake of the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The protests included a sit-in at the university’s main library.
  • 2024 Anti-Israel protests: Students are calling for an end to the genocide in Gaza, an end to the Oct. 7th Israel-Hamas war and their universities’ investment in companies that profit from it or do business with Israel.

Supporters of Palestine gather at Harvard University to show their support for Palestinians in Gaza at a rally in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 14, 2023. Thousands of Palestinians sought refuge on October 14 after Israel warned them to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip before an expected ground offensive against Hamas, one week on from the deadliest attack in Israeli history. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP)

These are just a few of the many student protests that have occurred at Columbia University over the years. Student activism has played a significant role in shaping the university’s history and culture, and it continues to be an important force for change on campus. 

Significance of College Campus Protests

College campus protests have played an important role in American history. They have helped to bring about social and political change. They have also helped to raise awareness of important issues. College campus protests are a sign of a healthy democracy. They show that students are engaged in the political process and that they are willing to stand up for what they believe in.

Restitution Study Group Take Fight Over Benin Bronzes to United Nations

Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, Harlem, USA’s Ambassador to the United Nations, and Antonio Isuperio of Brazil, representing the Restitution Study Group, delivered a compelling statement at the United Nations, urging action on the ownership and management of the Benin bronzes.

The statement was delivered during the Arts and Culture Panel Discussion at the 3rd session of the Permanent Forum of People of African Descent in Geneva, Switzerland. The session commenced on April 16th and continued until April 19th.


The Restitution Study Group’s statement outlined five key points:

  • Recognition: Emphasizing the slave trade origin of the Benin bronzes, calling for global acknowledgment of this historical context.
  • Inclusion: Advocating for the inclusion of Afrodescendants in the global management of these cultural relics.
  • Ownership Rights: Asserting Afrodescendants’ rights to ownership of the Benin bronzes.
  • Provenance Research: Proposing the implementation of the PFPAD protocol for provenance research, considering the slave trade origin of the Benin bronzes and all African artifacts to prevent repatriation to slave trader heirs and ensure protection of the moral ownership rights of Afrodescendants.
  • Healing Dialogue: Encouraging dialogue between Nigeria, the Benin kingdom, and Afrodescendants on the issue of the slave trade Benin bronzes for mutual understanding and healing.

They also announced the forthcoming establishment of the Benin Kingdom Museum in Harlem USA — a place for cultural heritage education, atonement and healing.

The Restitution Study Group’s impassioned plea at the United Nations reflects a global call for justice, recognition, and healing concerning the ownership and legacy of the Benin bronzes.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, J.D., M.A., Executive Director
Restitution Study Group – – 917.365.3007