Category Archives: black motivational speakers

The NCAA is In Need of Serious Reform

Dr. Boyce Watkins – The Institute of Black Public Policy

I wrote about a new book regarding the NCAA’s alleged exploitation of black athletes, written by University of Georgia Professor Billy Hawkins. In his recently-released book, “The New Plantation,” Hawkins goes out of his way to help us understand that the method by which the NCAA does business is not much different from the mindset of plantation owners of the old south.

The analogies used by Professor Hawkins are thought-provoking and appear to be alarmist at first glance. After all, citizens are commonly comparing nearly every modern-day injustice to slavery in order to make a dramatic point. But in this case, the analogies are appropriate, in large part because slavery is not a dichotomy. Instead, it is actually a continuum, with complete freedom on one end and total servitude on the other. One could even argue that slaves themselves were not completely devoid of freedom, since they could have always chosen to run away, buy their freedom, maim themselves or even commit suicide as a way to escape their condition. The point of this very grim example is not to say that slavery was not entirely horrific; rather, it is to say that something does not have to be entirely horrific to be compared to slavery.

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NBA Gets a Good Diversity Report Card

 

To view the entire report card for the NBA on race and gender, Please click here

 

Highlights from the Report (released by the press representative for the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport):

 

· In the NBA, 82 percent of the players were people of color, remaining constant from last year’s totals. This ties the highest percentage of players of color since the 1994-95 season. The percentage of African-American players also remained constant from last year’s report at 77 percent. The percentage of Latinos and Asians remained constant, at three and one percent respectively. The percentage of international players stayed steady as well at 18 percent.

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Teenage Boy Beaten by Police in Indianapolis

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Around the Web — Jay-Z in Rolling Stone, Drake Was Rihanna’s ‘Pawn’? + More

  • In his third Rolling Stone cover article, Jay-Z speaks on aging gracefully in a youth-oriented … Read More
  • By Journey Ade on Jun 10th 2010 5:45PM | Comments (2)

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UNC Scholar Outraged Over Exclusion of Black Professors

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

Dr. M. Cookie Newsom

is the Director for Diversity Education and Assessment at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also a trouble maker and an angry black woman, which is likely going to cause her serious problems with her colleagues (we talked yesterday about how being angry can get a black person into serious trouble). Dr. Newsom, however, has good reason to be angry. In a recent interview with Diverse issues in Higher Education, Dr. Newsom stated in plain language that most major universities are not serious about diversifying their faculty and that this hurts all students, especially students of color.
"The dismal truth is academe doesn’t really want a racially-diverse faculty," Newsom said during a faculty diversity presentation at the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) annual national conference in Washington, D.C. "It’s totally a myth."

Dr. Newson based her conclusions on statistics and data she collected which shows that most major universities are good at documenting plans to increase faculty diversity, but most of it’s nothing but lip service.

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Dr. Boyce Watkins: Talib Kweli Weighs in on Slim Thug’s Remarks about Black Women

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

A note to Slim Thug: You probably just need to be quiet for a while. It’s not to say thatyour comments about black women were outside your rights to freedom of speech, but if you keep dissing the audience most likely to go out and buy your records, you are probably going to end up in the same poorhouse as MC Hammer. Don’t get me wrong, black men love your music (at least I do), but the bottom line is that brothers don’t buy albums, books, or anything else put up for sale. But when black women turn on you, it’s a wrap son. Settle down and go back to the studio; it’s good for your financial health.
I wrote yesterday about the comments made by Slim Thug regarding how he perceives white women to be a better dating choice than black women, as well asColumbia Professor Marc Lamont Hill’sresponse to Slim Thug’s words. It seems that the debate has taken a life of it’s own, now that rapper Talib Kweli has joined the conversation. In a recent essay he wrote for Vibe Magazine, Talib Kweli was ever the diplomatic artist, as he showed respect for Slim Thug, but also expressed his own concerns for his colleague’s remarks about black women:

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To read more about the debate regarding Slim Thug’s comments about black women, click here.

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Nelson Mandela’s World Cup Appearance Historically Significant

Dr. Boyce Watkins

Dr. Boyce Watkins

Author and Finance Professor at Syracuse University

World Cup may be Mandela’s last great goal for South Africa

8:03 AM on 06/10/2010

OPINION – To say that this event has significance to Mandela would be a tremendous understatement…

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Black Social Commentary from TheGrio – 6/7/10


  • Dr. Boyce Watkins

    Dr. Boyce Watkins

    Author and Finance Professor at Syracuse University

    Rand Paul puts foot in mouth again with MLK comparison

    2:56 PM on 06/07/2010

    OPINION – I am not sure why Rand Paul keeps working to convince black people that he loves us…

    > MORE

  • Earl Ofari Hutchinson

    Earl Ofari Hutchinson

    Journalist, author and broadcaster.

    Why BP keeps stonewalling Obama

    12:32 PM on 06/07/2010

    OPINION – BP’s corporate arrogance is made out of cash. It can and has bought its way out of trouble repeatedly and when need be even bought governments…

    > MORE

  • Dr. Boyce Watkins

    Dr. Boyce Watkins

    Author and Finance Professor at Syracuse University

    Arizona isn’t the only state with a racist agenda

    9:18 AM on 06/07/2010

    OPINION – The collective outrage expressed over the civil liberties issues in the Arizona immigration law has been hardly present during other more serious racial atrocities…

    > MORE

  • Monique W. Morris

    Monique W. Morris

    Author and VP for Economic Programs, NAACP

    Blacks blocked from serving on Southern juries, study says

    9:13 AM on 06/07/2010

    OPINION – Knowing that this type of discrimination continues is the first step toward holding district attorney’s offices accountable for fair treatment…

    > MORE

  • Marcus Vanderberg

    Marcus Vanderberg

    Sports and social commentator

    Record-breaking Ray Allen saves NBA Finals

    8:38 AM on 06/07/2010

    OPINION – If Allen thinks of more things to do to be better, it could spell the end for the Los Angeles Lakers…

    > MORE

  • Clutch Magazine

    Clutch Magazine

    Weekly magazine for young contemporary women of color

    What ladies can learn about men from the NBA playoffs

    10:05 AM on 06/05/2010

    OPINION – But besides the raw comedy, the league is also a great source of education for any woman who has wondered why guys act the way they do…

    > MORE

  • Monique Harden

    Monique Harden

    Co-director of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights

    Can the Gulf Coast still be saved?

    1:08 PM on 06/04/2010

    OPINION – President Obama should respond to the oil gushing from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico as he would to a foreign invading army…

    > MORE

  • Ronda Racha Penrice

    Ronda Racha Penrice

    Author of African American History For Dummies

    Is ‘blackface’ always beyond the pale?

    12:05 PM on 06/04/2010

    OPINION – Blackface is not going anywhere anytime soon…

    > MORE

  • Earl Ofari Hutchinson

    Earl Ofari Hutchinson

    Journalist, author and broadcaster.

    Why Democrats are the greatest danger to Obama’s agenda

    11:44 AM on 06/04/2010

    OPINION – President Obama’s deadliest enemy is not Sarah Palin, GOP congressional obstructionists, the Republican National Committee or even Fox News…

    > MORE

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    Should Black Women Be Offended by Kagan’s Nomination?

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

    To the disappointment of the Black Women’s Roundtable, Elena Kagan was the latest white American to leapfrog in front of black women for a chance to serve on the Supreme Court. The second-class citizenship of African American women has been consistently enforced by our nation, going back 221 years to the date that the Supreme Court was founded. This nomination was especially disheartening for those who felt that the year of Dorothy Height’s death would be the perfect time for the nation’s first black President to do what should have been done long ago and nominate a black woman for the highest court in the land.

    "Needless to say, we are disconcerted by the perceived lack of real consideration of any of the extremely qualified African American women as potential nominees," reads the statement released by the Black Women’s Roundtable.
    After this is over, President Barack Obama will have serious trouble re-inspiring the millions of African American women who left the Hillary Clinton camp to back his "Hope and change" campaign. There was no logical reason for him to pass over a black woman for consideration for this post, only political reasons. Kagan was the nominee that could shore up the white female vote for mid-term elections and help the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party stop the bleeding set to occur in November. Roland Martin does a wonderful job of breaking down the losses within the black female demographic that are set to occur as a result of the Kagan snub on the Supreme Court.

     

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    Dr. Boyce on MSNBC’s TheGrio.com – 4/27/10

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    Dr. Boyce Watkins: The NCAA Signs a Huge Deal and Players Get Almost Nothing

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    The NCAA just got a bit richer this year, signing a new contract with CBS Sports and Turner Sports for $10.8 billion dollars over 14 years. This contract is a 41% increase over the mammoth deal they originally signed back in 2001. They are also going to expand their tournament field to 68 teams, from the original 65. This is not the total annual revenue for the league. Instead, it simply represents the television rights to air March Madness each year.

    The league also has a $55 million dollar, three-year contract with ESPN for the womens basketball tournament and 21 other NCAA championships. Beyond that, the league is also attempting to sell the rights to 60 other national national championships. To make a long story short, the NCAA is making money hand over fist and it’s all because they have the biggest, baddest, most entertaining product that "hoods" across America can produce.

    As a Finance scholar and businessman, when I hear that someone is working to "sell" something and get money in return, I think about free enterprise and capitalism. I think about the fact that someone (that someone being the NCAA) is working overtime to ensure that they get fair market value for the product they are offering to the world. These ideas of free enterprise also translate to college basketball coaches, many of whom earn as much as $4 million dollars per year, with salaries on par with NBA coaches. In fact, the NCAA earns more money during its post-season tournament than the NFL, NBA and Major League baseball. These are all the symptoms of a professional sports league, and some argue that college athletes should be paid for their work.

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    Guest List for the National Black Leadership Forum in NYC

    Host: Tom Joyner- Host, “Tom Joyner Morning Show”

    Moderator: Roland Martin- TV- ONE’s “Washington Watch” / Political Commentator

    Leadership Roundtable

    Rev. Al Sharpton- President, National Action Network

    Marc Morial- CEO, National Urban League

    Ben Jealous- President &CEO, NAACP

    Dr. Elsie Scott- President and CEO, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) in Washington, D.C.

    Angela Sailor- Coalitions Director, Republican National Committee

    Lezli Baskerville- – President & CEO, NAFEO- America’s Black Colleges and Universities

    Congressman James Clyburn

    Discussion Panel

    Moderator: Roland Martin- TV- ONE’s “Washington Watch” / Political Commentator

    Warren Ballentine- Host, “The Warren Ballentine Show”

    Dr. Boyce Watkins- Assistant Professor, Finance- Syracuse University

    Dr. Charles Ogletree- Professor, Harvard Law School

    Jeff Johnson- BET Personality/ Political Motivator

    Chuck D- Recording Artist

    Judge Greg Mathis- Judge and Star of Court TV Series “The Judge Mathis Show”

    Reverend Doctor Frederick D. Haynes III-

    Senior Pastor, Friendship West Baptist Church, Dallas Texas

    Michael Eric Dyson- Professor, Georgetown University/ Author

    Hermene Hartman- President/CEO, Hartman Publishing Group, INC.

    LaKimba B. DeSadier- Executive Director, The National Black Caucus of State Legislators

    ** Michael Blake- Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement& Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

    ** Danny Bakewell

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    Black Social Commentary at TheGrio – 4/10/10

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    Black Leadership Forum Held in New York City on April 17

    APRIL 14-17 SHERATON NEW YORK HOTEL & TOWERS, NYC

    New York, New York – Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network (NAN) will host its annual national conference from April 14th – 17th at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers in New York City. This four-day event will convene hundreds of delegates and prominent leaders in civil rights, business, politics, labor, entertainment and the religious community from around the country to address key issues impacting people of color. Among some of the confirmed notable participants are United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Housing Shawn Donovan, Michael Steele, Chairman of The Republican National Party, Dr. Bill Cosby, Mariah Carey, Wyclef Jean, Ben Jealous, President of the NAACP, Marc Morial, President of the National Urban League, Tom Joyner, Roland Martin, Michael Eric Dyson, and many other high profile attendees.

    Among the highlights will include the annual Keepers of the Dream Awards on Wednesday, April 15th honoring those who are committed to furthering the ideals and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event will be hosted by Tamron Hall, MSNBC and honorees include Wyclef Jean, humanitarian and world-renown musical artist, Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of NBC Universal, Mariah Carey, Award-Winning Actress and internationally acclaimed Singer, Dr. Robert M. Franklin, President of Morehouse College, Kimberly Davis, President of JPMorgan Chase Foundation and more. There will be a special keynote address by Dr. Bill Cosby.

    The National Action Network convention will include discussions about health care policy in the wake of the historic passage of the President’s Health Care Reform Bill, Media and whether the press is covering issues fairly that involve people of color, education as a civil rights issue and combating the racial achievement gap, labor and employment, the state of the Black Church and assessment of the public response to African-American achievement, issues crucial to young professionals, and much more.

    A major convention highlight will be leadership forum entitled: Measuring the Movement: Black Leadership’s 12-Month Action Plan featuring Black leaders of constituencies across the country who will assess where we are and what they and their respective organizations will pledge to do over a 12-month time-frame to further critical issues impacting people of color including, but not limited to, education reform, unemployment, health care and more. The event will air on TV One, MSNBC, C-Span and other forums, and the collective will discuss the real problems and how we will not only hold the President and Administration of the United States accountable, but how we will hold ourselves accountable and tangibly measure our movement over a 12-month period to enact change. The event will be hosted by Tom Joyner and Roland Martin and will be co- hosted by Boyce Watkins, Assistant Professor of Finance, Syracuse University and Warren Ballentine from "The Warren Ballentine Show." Among the featured panelists will be Reverend Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network, Marc Morial, CEO of the National Urban League, Congressman James Clyburn, Dr. Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School professor, Dr. Elsie Scott, President and CEO, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), Jeff Johnson, BET Personality, Ben Jealous, President & CEO, NAACP, Michael Eric Dyson, recording artist Chuck D, Angela Sailor, Coalitions Director for the Republican National Committee, and others.

    A complete schedule of NAN’s annual national convention is below and updates will be posted regularly on NAN’s website www.Nationalactionnetwork.net. For press credentials please contact Rachel Noerdlinger, President of Noerdlinger Media (646) 981-5903 or rachel@noerdlingermedia.com.

    # # #

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    Prisons More Segregated than Apartheid

    This data was gathered from the prison initiative and shows that there is more racism in the US prison system than there was in South Africa During Apartheid:

     

    Incarceration is not an equal opportunity punishment

    by Peter Wagner
    Updated June 28, 2005

    On June 30, 2004, there were 2,131,180 people in U.S. prisons and jails. That’s a rise of 2.3% during the 12 previous months. Federal prisons are growing almost 5 times faster than state prison populations.

    As of June 30, 2004, the U.S. incarceration rate was 726 per 100,000 residents. But when you break down the statistics you see that incarceration is not an equal opportunity punishment.

    U.S. incarceration rates by race, June 30, 2004

    incarceration rates by race graph

    Gender is an important "filter" on the who goes to prison or jail:

    incarceration rates by gender graph

    Look at just the males by race, and the incarceration rates become even more frightening

    incarceraton rates for males by race

    If you look at males aged 25-29 and by race, you can see what is going on even clearer

    incarceration rates for young males

    Or you can make some international comparisons

    International rates of incarceration graph

    South Africa under Apartheid was internationally condemned as a racist society. What does it mean that the leader of the "free world" locks up its Black men at a rate 5.8 times higher than the most openly racist country in the world?

    Statistics as of June 30, 2004 from Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2004, Tables 14; except for the race rate statistics which are calculated from Table 13 and Census Bureau population estimates. South Africa figures from Marc Mauer, Americans Behind Bars: The International Use of Incarceration. All references to Blacks and Whites are for what the Bureau of Justice Statistics and U.S. Census refer to as "non-Hispanic Blacks" and "non-Hispanic Whites".)

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    Dr. Boyce on MSNBC’s TheGrio – 4/1/10

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    Dr. Boyce on AOL Black Voices – 3/23/10

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    Tea Partiers Deny The Use of Racial Slurs

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    Rush Limbaugh Back Pedals on Pledge to Leave the Country

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    Michael Steele Looks Even Worse as a Black Man Defending Tea Partiers

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    Police Officers Charged with Beating Celebrated with Free Beer

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    Jesse Jackson Jr. Presides Over The Health Care Debate

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    Young Mom’s Body Found in Bed Frame of a Hotel Room

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    Tiger Makes His First TV Appearance

    Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University


    Tiger Woods
    chose ESPN and the Golf Channel as the venues for his first interviews, since his sex scandal began four months ago. He gave the interviews with the requirement that they be only five minutes long.
    "If you limit it to five minutes, when you account for structure, there’s not much time to get into anything, which is probably best," said Syracuse University professor and pop culture expert Robert Thompson.
    Woods had to be careful to ensure that the interviews were done in a such a way that they did not overshadow the PGA event being played this weekend. Woods has been able to transcend the game of golf in ways that no player in history has been able to accomplish. His presence (or lack thereof) can make or break a golf tournament’s financial outcome.
    "We really had two main things that were most important," said an ESPN spokesman. "No. 1, no restrictions on questions, and No. 2, we chose the interviewer."

     

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    Michael Steele Bows to the Tea Baggers

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

    The Tea Party Protesters might need a little bit of brand management to overcome the growing perception that they represent a racist, homophobic, extremist fringe of disgruntled voters. The most recent incident of very bad PR came this week, as a small group of Tea Party protesters gathered on Capitol Hill and yelled "n*gger" and "f*ggot" at members of Congress as they walked past the crowd. The group has taken heat for the actions of those who don’t know how to be cordial in their discourse, and it’s not good for the Republican Party.

    Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele was put in yet another awkward position, trying to defend that which is not defensible. A man who appears to be disrespected at every turn by his own party, Steel dismissed those using the n-word within the Tea Party group as "idiots out there saying stupid things." Of course, Steele was not in a position to dismiss the Tea Partiers themselves, likely because they would have put him in a pile with the other black people they hate the most.

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    Tavis Smiley Can’t Win with Anti-Obama Rhetoric

    Tavis Smiley can't win with anti-Obama talk

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University

    Tavis Smiley has a problem. The problem is one that is rooted in egregious miscalculation, poor target selection and mild delusions of self-righteous grandeur. As Tavis plans his symposium this week to define the black agenda in America, most of us are wondering if it’s Smiley’s agenda that will be highest on the priority list. While Smiley presents himself as a consistent political figure who has held all politicians equally accountable, many view his gathering this weekend in Chicago as a Barack Obama bashing festival.

     

    Let’s be clear: It’s not easy to objectively criticize President Obama when his approval ratings in the black community remain above 90 percent. At least half of my articles about Obama have been critical, and I always have to make sure that I am not haunted by the ghostly spirit of Obama-mania, which is just as bad as Obama-haterology. Dr. Julianne Malveaux and Rev. Jesse Jackson have done a very good job of holding Obama accountable in a way that does not appear to be driven by personal motivations or latent hostility. Tavis Smiley, however, can’t shake the perception that he has a personal vendetta against the president, for it is quite rare to see a prominent public figure so obsessed with the career of another person.

     

    The Your Black World Coalition monitors the political mood of our supporters when it comes to issues that matter to African-Americans. With 60,000 African-American members nation-wide, we have the ability to put our fingers on the collective pulse of black America through various forms of statistical sampling. In our analysis, a few things remain abundantly clear: Most of our followers love Barack Obama (probably more than they should), and a large percentage of them, to be quite frank, can’t stand Tavis Smiley. What makes matters worse for Smiley is that many of those who refuse to buy his books were once loyal fans – meaning that he has engineered the double loss of turning many of his friends into enemies. This is enough to make any publishing house or corporate sponsor run in the other direction, undermining the power of the Tavis Smiley brand. With such a terrible approval rating, Smiley wouldn’t even be invited to sell predatory loans for Wells Fargo.

     

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    Dr. Boyce Watkins on TheGrio.com – 3/19/10


  • 11-year-old caught in the middle of health reform mudslinging

    11-year-old caught in the middle of health reform mudslinging

    By Dr. Boyce Watkins

    3:00 PM on 03/19/2010

    OPINION – Marcelas Owens’ story can bring realism and relevance to a debate that has been about posturing, bickering and mid-term elections…

    > READ MORE

  • Presidential disrespect goes prime-time in Obama's Fox interview

    Presidential disrespect goes prime-time in Obama’s Fox interview

    By Dr. Boyce Watkins

    11:22 AM on 03/18/2010

    OPINION – Republicans should realize that when they disrespect the presidency, they are disrespecting themselves…

    > READ MORE

  • Clarence Thomas' wife's Tea Party ties are supremely disturbing

    Clarence Thomas’ wife’s Tea Party ties are supremely disturbing

    By Dr. Boyce Watkins

    9:20 AM on 03/16/2010

    OPINION – When you sleep next to someone who openly states they want to undermine the president’s "hard left agenda" you can hardly call yourself impartial…

    > READ MORE

  • Democrats' crack-cocaine compromise is still 'racist'

    Democrats’ crack-cocaine compromise is still ‘racist’

    By Dr. Boyce Watkins

    9:00 AM on 03/15/2010

    OPINION – While some might call this political pragmatism, others might describe this outcome as the modern-day version of the Three-Fifths Compromise…

    > READ MORE

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