Biden closes out Black History Month with White House event
President Joe Biden welcomed Black leaders to the White House Monday for a jovial Black History Month celebration, where he used the moment to call on Congress to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, and pass voting rights bills.
In and outside court, Smollett fights for reputation, career
As Jussie Smollett fights criminal charges that he lied to Chicago police about being the victim of an anti-gay, racist attack, his supporters are also working on a broader strategy: Ensuring the 39-year-old emerges from the scandal with his reputation and career intact, whatever the outcome of the trial.
Black hospital faces vaccine mistrust from unlikely source
Dr. Rita McGuire, an obstetrician and infection control specialist at Roseland Community Hospital talks Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, with staff members about taking the COVID-19 vaccine. "It’s not something that I trust right now,’’ says Bland, 50, who worries about how quickly the COVID-19 vaccines were developed. Many holdouts come from the mostly Black, working class neighborhoods surrounding the hospital, areas hard hit by the virus yet plagued with vaccine reluctance. She acknowledged "centuries of medical injustice’’ against Black Americans but said COVID-19 vaccines resulted from years of solid research. Many workers ‘’have not forgotten about those studies where they used us as experiments,’’ McGuire said, including the infamous Tuskegee research on Black patients with syphilis.
Jesse Jackson released for therapy post gallbladder surgery
Jackson has been released to a Chicago physical therapy center following gallbladder surgery and medical observation, a spokesman said Sunday, Feb. 7. Jesse Jackson has been released to a Chicago physical therapy center following gallbladder surgery and medical observation, a spokesman said Sunday. Jackson's longtime spokesman Frank Watkins confirmed Sunday it was gallbladder surgery. Jackson is continuing his civil rights and organizational work and is in high spirits,” the organization's statement said. Martin Luther King, Jackson was key in guiding the modern civil rights movement on numerous issues, including voting rights.
Questlove uncovers 'Black Woodstock' in his hit Sundance doc
The film will debut at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. (Sundance Film Festival via AP)Sundance Institute programs. Known as “Black Woodstock,” the festival occurred during the same summer as Woodstock — and just 100 miles away — but received far less attention. It debuted Thursday night at the Sundance Film Festival where it spawned immediate acclaim and countless at-home dance parties for virtual festivalgoers — a party Questlove extended with a live-streamed after-party DJ set. Morris Park for a celebration of soul, gospel, funk and, most of all of Black identity at a pivotal point in African American culture.
Virginia's Lee statue has been removed from the US Capitol
The statue that has represented Virginia in the U.S. Capitol for 111 years has been removed after a state commission decided that Lee was not a fitting symbol for the state. (Jack Mayer/Office of Governor of Virginia, File)WASHINGTON – A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that has represented Virginia in the U.S. Capitol for 111 years has been removed. Ralph Northam said in a statement that workers removed the statue from the National Statuary Hall Collection early Monday morning. Northam had requested the removal and a state commission decided that Lee was not a fitting symbol for the state. Lee's statue had stood with George Washington's statue since 1909 as Virginia’s representatives in the Capitol.
Voting nearly impossible for eligible voters behind bars
The advocacy organization released a report detailing voting access for jail inmates with Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a civil rights advocacy group formed by the Rev. The advocacy organization released a report detailing voting access for jail inmates with Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a civil rights advocacy group formed by the Rev. “The way to avoid that is to not get arrested or get sentenced to jail.”Efforts to increase voting access for incarcerated people aren't new. A 1974 U.S. Supreme Court decision upheld the voting rights of some incarcerated people without government interference, though some lower courts have allowed more restrictive absentee voting deadlines for detainees in some states. In March, the Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois became one of the first in the nation to operate as a jail polling station.
NASCAR meets with minister pushing for racial equality
Greg Drumwright, a minister at the Citadel Church & Campus Ministries, helped organize a group of Black fans to attend the NASCAR race at Talladega and support driver Bubba Wallace. We want to see that the call for diversification and true equity in the sport extends beyond the banning of the Confederate flag, Drumwright said. The group was about two dozen strong but only one had been to a NASCAR race before. We were there to stand with Bubba but what we learned through the media coverage is that it seems as if were standing with NASCAR, Drumwright said. Theres a willingness to listen and engage that NASCAR has that I dont believe they were sincere about earlier, said Bill Lester, one of at least seven other Black NASCAR drivers before Wallace.
AP Exclusive: Black Lives Matter groups plan convention
The 2020 Black National Convention will take place Aug. 28 via a live broadcast. The first-ever Black Lives Matter convention was held in Cleveland in 2015. Convention organizers said this years event will pay tribute to the historic 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana, which concluded with the introduction of a national Black agenda. Somewhat similarly, the Vision for Black Lives platform and its characterization of Israel as an apartheid state committing mass murder against Palestinian people drew allegations of anti-Semitism from a handful of Jewish groups, which had otherwise been supportive the Black Lives Matter movement. We dont just say Black lives matter and beg people to care.
A model for 2020? Candidates once let voters come to them
Historians offer up precedent that might come with some lessons: James Garfield let the people come to him. What Garfield started in 1880, other Republicans would emulate and another future Ohio president would perfect. With McKinley's 1896 campaign, the front porch campaign became a front porch strategy. But in the age of COVID-19, echoes of Garfield's front porch strategy are apparent again. Biden's campaign strategy against Trump might be seen as a sort of virtual front-porch campaign in itself, said retired long-time Democratic consultant Gerald Austin.
Warren's outreach to black voters could help VP standing
But some black leaders say Warren's progressive politics, economic populism and specific policy proposals addressing everything from maternal mortality to the coronavirus could put her in a strong position. But some black leaders say Warren's progressive politics, economic populism and specific policy proposals addressing everything from maternal mortality to the coronavirus could put her in a strong position. She gave a memorable speech in Atlanta in November on empowering black women and combating institutional racism that some African American leaders laud as prescient. I think that she could be an interesting and compelling pick for Vice President Biden in regards to reaching out to African American voters, Garvin said. Some 61% of African American voters supported Biden, according to AP VoteCast surveys in 17 states that voted between Feb. 3 and March 17.
Senate panel OKs removing Confederate names from bases
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is demanding that statues of Confederate figures such as Jefferson Davis be removed from the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON A GOP-led Senate panel has approved a plan by Sen. Elizabeth Warren to have the names of Confederate figures removed from military bases and other Pentagon assets, taking on President Donald Trump, who has vowed not to change names like Fort Bragg and Fort Hood. In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is demanding that statues of Confederate figures such as Jefferson Davis be removed from the U.S. Capitol. Jefferson Davis, a former U.S. senator from Mississippi who was president of the Confederate States of America, is represented by one of two statues from that state. Pelosi noted that Davis and Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, whose statue comes from Georgia, were charged with treason against the United States."
US faith leaders lead congregations through tumultuous time
Protests continued following the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)NEW YORK American religious leaders across faiths are grappling with the heavy burden of helping to heal two active traumas: rising civil unrest driven by the police killing of George Floyd and the coronavirus pandemic. "Stay on high moral ground and we will win.Among the religious leaders in Minnesota organizing for spiritual care since Floyds death was Bernard Hebda, the Catholic archbishop of the Twin Cities. Imam Asad Zaman, the Muslim American Society of Minnesotas executive director, outlined multiple law enforcement reform proposals in response to Floyds death. Lewis, senior minister at New York Citys Middle Collegiate Church, urged other faith leaders to respond to Floyds killing by taking their sympathy from words to actions.