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Bethune-Cookman University Announces 2019 Commencement Speakers

Free

AFRO-DESCENDANT REPARATIONS IS DIFFERENT

Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) Spring Commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., at the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center located at 698 International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach, Florida. Internationally-renown civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, Esquire, will provide the 9 a.m. commencement address. Foreign policy and national security legal professional Johanna Leblanc, Esquire, will deliver the 3 p.m. commencement keynote. B-CU will provide live video streaming of the Spring Commencement ceremonies on its website at Live @ B-CU so that family and friends of the graduates, and the general public will be able to share in this most memorable occasion. Eight reserved

seat tickets will be issued to each graduate who has fulfilled the academic and financial clearance process by the University. A limited number of tickets will be available

to the general public. See NATIONAL NEWS, page 10

Remember Our Ancestors and The Struggle Continues

• The Afro-Descendant Nation want a “Special Native Identity Status” and recognition of our Native Rights to land and special subsidies worth Billions of dollars. • The Afro-Descendant Nation want the U.S to cooperate with the UN Decolonization Committee so that we can obtain the additional Billions of dollars in infrastructure funding that we need • The Afro-Descendant Nation want the Federal Government to fund Local and National Plebiscites to determine how many of us want to be a citizen of our own Afro-Descendant Nation or to remain at the status quo of a “simple minority” citizen in the American Nation. • The Afro-Descendant Nation want an INDEPENDENT “Free Association” relationship with the United States • We want Dual Citizenship with the United States like the other American Natives American Institute of Human Rights 7245 Rockbridge Rd Ste 300 #4D Lithonia, GA 30058

Trump-Backed Texas Lawsuit Would Devastate Coloradans

See SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT, page S1

BLACK PRESS: THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE AFRICAN AMERICAN VOICE!

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President Trump is trying to rip away our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. If the Trump lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from millions of Americans, raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. The result will be to.. See POLITICS, page 9

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Labor Union

AFSCME’s Saunders:

‘Anniversary of Dr. King’s Death is a Call to Action on Civil Rights’ (Washington, D.C.) – One year after leading thousands of labor and civil rights advocates to Memphis, Tennessee, as part of the union’s I AM 2018 initiative, AFSCME President Lee Saunders issued the following statement on the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was

shot and killed in Memphis where he was helping 1,300 AFSCME Local 1733 sanitation workers strike under the iconic slogan “I AM A MAN”: “The anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death is a call for action and a potent reminder that workers’ rights and civil rights are inextricably

linked. Dignity, fair wages and a voice on the job. AFSCME will continue the I AM initiative to fight for dignity for all workers, a voice on the job and an end to discrimination. Dr. King’s values are AFSCME’s values.”

Read: Strong Unions Mean Strong African-American Communities By Lee Saunders, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Natalia Perez Santos, NPerezSantos@afscme.org

‘Strong Unions Mean Strong African-American Communities’

By Lee Saunders

When I was growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1950s and 1960s, there were three principal ways for African-Americans to make the climb into the middle class. One was working in the industrial manufacturing mills that were the economic lifeblood of so many midwestern communities. The second was the United States Postal Service, traditionally one of the nation’s most reliable employers of African-Americans.

And the third was working in public transit. That was the path for my family. My father was a city bus driver; and while we certainly never got rich, his job gave us security and stability, allowing my brother and me to have more options than our parents had enjoyed.African-Americans. Those three career paths had one common element  —  they almost always came with membership in a labor union union (two of them in a public-sector union like the one I now serve as president: the

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American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME). The union provided a voice on the job and a seat at the table. By building power in numbers, African-American workers were able to negotiate for a fair return on our work — for fair wages, decent benefits and a pension that would allow us to retire with dignity. At a time in our history when so many doors of opportunity were slammed in the faces of African-Americans, labor unions  —  and public-sector unions, in particular  —  offered a beacon of hope. This is no small thing in a nation that was literally built on the exploitation of black labor. To gain a better understanding of black history, as we strive to do each February, we must recognize the powerful role unions have played in improving millions of African-American lives. At the same time, we need to examine the dark underbelly, remembering that the most brutal forms of racial oppression were directly linked to crackdowns on workers’ rights. So-called “right-to-work” laws, which undermine the freedom of working people to stand together in a strong union, have sinister origins in the Jim Crow South. Right to work’s most influential advocate was a Texas oil lobbyist named Vance Muse, an unapologetic white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan supporter. His rabid opposition to unions was rooted in his fear of workers building solidarity across racial lines.

This 1944 anti-union statement from Muse’s Christian American Association leaves little to the imagination: “From now on, white women and white men will be forced into organizations with black African apes whom they will have to call ‘brother’ or lose their jobs.” Notwithstanding this vile racism, African-American working people continued to organize in unions, allowing families like mine to raise their living standards and capture a piece of the American Dream. Unions became a driving force in the civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s public support for striking AFSCME sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee cost him his life in April 1968. To be sure, the labor movement itself has not had a flawless record on race over the years. And there is still plenty of work to do on that front. But to this day, union membership closes racial wage gaps and levels the playing field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, AfricanAmerican union members enjoy median earnings 22.7 percent higher than AfricanAmericans in non-union jobs. Indeed, union membership allows AfricanAmericans to approach (although not quite reach) the pay rate of non-union white workers  —  highlighting both how important unions are and how deeply structural racism is baked into the system. Right-to-work momentum stalled in the second half of the 20th century. But the

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attacks on unions, while not quite as ugly and shameless as Vance Muse’s, never abated. The Koch brothers and other billionaires have taken up the cause, and last year they succeeded (in a case called Janus v. AFSCME Council 31) in getting the Supreme Court to overturn decades of precedent and make the public sector nationwide right to work. This is a direct threat to the livelihoods of teachers and other school employees, EMTs and first responders, many social workers and sanitation workers  —  public service occupations that have sustained the black community for generations. Despite the threat, public sector unions have proven resilient in the wake of Janus. AFSCME has added seven new members for every one who has dropped their membership. But the attacks will continue, from wealthy special interests who want to rig the economy in their own favor. As we fend off those attacks, we at AFSCME will never lose sight of the connection between racial justice and economic justice. As we continue the struggle, we will lean on one of the enduring lessons of black history: a thriving AfricanAmerican community, with economic security and upward mobility, depends on strong unions. Lee Saunders is President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. https://medium.com

MAY 2019


Economics

They Won $1,000 and Your Child Can Too!

9TH ANNUAL “I GOT BANK!” FINANCIAL LITERACY CONTEST JOIN US TO PROMOTE FINANCIAL LITERACY FOR YOUTH!

OneUnited Bank is sponsoring the ninth annual financial literacy contest for youth between the ages of 8 – 12 years old. Simply either write and submit a 250-word essay (250 words not 250 characters) or create and submit an art project (PDF only) about what you learned from the book “I Got Bank!” (or from another financial literacy book available in your library or home) and how you can use what you learned in your life or the life of your family. You must have your parents’ permission to participate. Your essay or art project will be published by OneUnited Bank. All submissions must be postmarked or emailed by June 29, 2019. (Children of employees of OneUnited Bank are ineligible to participate.) Winners will be selected by OneUnited Bank in our sole discretion. Ten (10) winners will receive a $1,000 savings account by August 31, 2019 (with cooperation from parents). No purchase required. Awards are subject to 1099 reporting. To submit your essay or art project (PDF only), see details below.

$1,000 URBAN YOUTH FINANCIAL LITERACY CONTEST To participate, have your parent(s) approve the form. Submit your 250 word essay or a PDF of your art project by June 29, 2019 explaining or showing what you learned from the book “I Got Bank” (or from another financial literacy book available in your library or home) and how you can use what you learned in your life or the life of your family to OneUnited Bank, Financial Literacy Submission, 100 Franklin Street, Boston, MA 02110 or online. Winners will be announced by August 31, 2019.

2018 WINNERS

DONTAYE BALL JR., 11, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

JAEDIN FEASTER, 8, ROXBURY, MA

ZIONTAYE BALL, 11, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

EVAN CORGAIN, 10, BROCKTON, MA

MAY 2019

WHY ONEUNITED?

OUR MONEY MATTERS OneUnited Bank, the nation’s largest black-owned bank and FDIC insured, understands we have to focus on money to improve the lives of our community! Black buying power in America today is over $1.2 trillion dollars. When focused on improving our neighborhoods and supporting Black-owned businesses that are more likely to hire Black people, those dollars become a powerful force. We want you to stand up and represent. We want you to be part of the movement – to BankBlack® and #BuyBlack – to demonstrate our economic power. Yes… Black Lives Matter. Black Money Matters. OUR HISTORY OneUnited Bank began almost 50 years ago with the opening of Unity Bank & Trust in Boston, Massachusetts. OneUnited Bank was established by combining Black-owned banks across the country – Founders National Bank of Commerce in Los Angeles, Family Savings Bank in Los Angeles, Peoples National Bank of Commerce in Miami and Boston Bank of Commerce – with the same mission, to create an institution to garner our spending power and channel it back into the communities we serve. WE ARE ONE UNITED We are the first Black internet bank and the largest Black owned bank in the country, with offices in Los Angeles, Boston and Miami. We are a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) serving low to moderate income communities. We are committed to increasing financial literacy within our communities through workshops and events – like #BankBlackMiami, our Smart Money Summer School Workshops, the OneUnited

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Mural Project, and Money on My Mind symposium with the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) – and by offering affordable financial services to meet the needs of urban communities – like UNITY Savings, UNITY Visa secured credit card to rebuild credit and U2 Checking, our second chance checking account.

LOCATIONS

Corporate Office & Crenshae Branch 3683 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016 1.877.ONE.UNITED Compton Branch 205 E. Compton Blvd. Compton, CA 90220 1.877.ONE.UNITED Miami Branch 3275 NW 79th Street Miami, FL 33147 1.877.ONE.UNITED Corporate Headquarters Non-Cash Branch 100 Franklin Street Boston, MA 02110 1.877.ONE.UNITED Roxbury Branch 2343 Washington Street Roxbury, MA 02119 1.877.ONE.UNITED Grove Hall Branch 648 Warren Street Dorchester, MA 02121 1.877.ONE.UNITED https://www.oneunited.com/

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HEALTH

Detroit Medical Center and Meharry Medical College Expand Medical Student Training Affiliation

By Sandra Correa The Detroit Medical Center (DMC), and Meharry Medical College (MMC) based in Nashville, Tenn., today announced the expansion of their affiliation to provide additional medical education and training for Meharry students in the Metro Detroit area. This new, two-year agreement will increase the number of medical students across all DMC hospitals. Detroit Medical Center initially began accepting students into the program in July 2018. Currently, Meharry has medical students training at DMC’s Sinai-Grace Hospital and with the new agreement, more students will be added. “DMC’s focus on serving as a leading academic medical institution remains as strong as ever with training and education core to our mission,” said Anthony Tedeschi, M.D., DMC’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to all of our academic partner relationships, and this expanded affiliation with Meharry provides even more medical students with an optimum learning environment. There are few other instructional settings with the type of patient diversity found at the Detroit Medical Center.” The Detroit Medical Center (DMC), and Meharry Medical College (MMC) based in Nashville, Tenn., today announced the expansion of their affiliation to provide additional medical education and training for Meharry students in the Metro Detroit area. This new, two-year agreement will increase the number of medical students across all DMC hospitals. Detroit Medical Center initially began accepting students into the program in July 2018. Currently, Meharry has medical students training at DMC’s Sinai-Grace Hospital and with the new agreement, more students will be added. “DMC’s focus on serving as a leading academic medical institution remains as strong as ever with training and education core to our mission,” said Anthony Tedeschi, M.D., DMC’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to all of our academic partner relationships, and this expanded affiliation with Meharry provides even more medical students with an optimum learning environment. There are few other instructional settings with the type of patient diversity found at the Detroit Medical Center.” Detroit Medical Center is one the largest academic institutions in the U.S., with more than 100 years of providing medical education and training. The DMC currently sponsors more than 100 residency and fellowship programs, training more than 1,000 physicians annually. As an academic health sciences center, MMC exists to improve the wellbeing of minority groups and underserved populations by offering exceptional education and rigorous training programs. This year alone, Meharry received thousands of applications for its MD, DDS, MSPH, and PhD programs, providing enormous opportunities for people from various diverse backgrounds facing different degrees of difficult circumstances. Upon graduation, more than 48 percent of Meharry’s alumni choose to serve as primary care physicians in various underserved communities across the country. “Meharry understands that Detroit is facing a shortage of primary care physicians,” said Veronica Mallett, M.D., MMM Senior Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean, Meharry Medical College School of Medicine. “By providing our students early exposure, they will think of the DMC for residency and possibly return to further their training. This pipeline could ultimately help the citizens of Detroit through improved access to quality of healthcare.” DMC remains on the cutting edge of healthcare research, diagnosis and treatment in cardiology, trauma, orthopedics, rehabilitation and emergency medicine. The union between these two renowned institutions will further solidify their positions as premier academic destinations.

About the Detroit Medical Center, www.dmc.org

The Detroit Medical Center operates eight hospitals and institutes, including Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Receiving Hospital, Harper University Hospital, Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, Hutzel Women’s Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, Sinai-Grace Hospital and DMC Heart Hospital. The Detroit Medical Center is a leading regional health care system with a mission of excellence in clinical care, research and medical education. The Detroit Medical Center is proud to be the Official Healthcare Services Provider of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings. The DMC is part of Tenet Healthcare. For more information, visit http://www.dmc.org. “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dmcheals, follow us on Twitter at @dmc_heals or check out our YouTube page athttps://www.youtube.com/user/DetroitMedicalCenter.

About Meharry Medical College, www.mmc.edu

Meharry Medical College is an academic health sciences center that exists to improve the health and health care of minority and underserved communities by offering excellent education and training programs in the health sciences. Today, Meharry receives nearly 11,000 applications for admission to its M.D., D.D.S., MSPH, and Ph.D. programs, providing opportunities for people of color, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and others, regardless of race or ethnicity, to receive excellent education and training in the health sciences and to conduct research that fosters the elimination of health disparities. Sandra Correa Coast Public Relations 917.319.8472 (direct) Sandra@coastprgroup.com

“People are more afraid of Black unity

W i s d o m i s w e a l t h . than Black rage.” ~ African proverb

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-DeRay Mckesson

MAY 2019


FINANCIAL

CFPB Denies Duty to Enforce Military Lending Act Despite Support from Department of Defense and Congress By Charlene Crowell

America’s 1.29 million member-strong, all-volunteer military includes men and women from all 50 states, according to the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. Regardless of race or ethnicity, each made a choice and swore an oath to protect our nation. Together, they wear our nation’s uniforms and carry our flag on assignments and deployments in times of both peace and war. I’d like to believe that our entire nation respects and appreciates their sacrificing service that takes them away from families, our stateside, and deployments. Further, while these brave men and women protect us, the nation should also protect them – including the clutches of predatory lending. It was that kind of perspective that led to strong bipartisan enactment in 2006 of the Military Lending Act (MLA), a reform that was strongly supported by the Department of Defense. At the time, DoD warned how severe financial stress diminished “military readiness”. Years later with the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), MLA enforcement was assigned to the new agency along with other laws, and MLA was updated to include the phrase, “shall be enforced by the CFPB”. That kind of language eliminates discretion or interpretation, thereby ensuring appropriate actions when warranted. For years, CFPB’s enforcement levied fines against businesses that broke consumer finance laws and made consumers financially whole with proportional restitution. From July 2011 through September 2017, CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs delivered $130 million of financial relief as a result of actions taken on 91,482 military complaints filed. In just one lending area – payday loans -- CFPB projected that servicemembers saved $35 million every year as a result of MLA rules. Justification for continued aggressive enforcement is attested to in CFPB’s own reports.

Confused? You’re not alone. Last October, a bipartisan group of 33 states attorneys general (AGs) wrote then Acting CFPB Director Mulvaney following his announcement that the Bureau would no longer ensure that lenders would comply with MLA as part of its supervisory examinations. “We are perplexed by reports indicating that the CFPB has determined that it needs further statutory authority in order to conduct examinations for MLA violations,” wrote the AGs. “We are disappointed to learn that CFPB did not consult the Defense Department in developing its new examination policy, even though Congress specified that the Defense Department – not the CFPB – is the primary federal agency responsible for interpreting the MLA.” The officials signing the letter to Mulvaney represent states as far west as Alaska and Hawaii, to as far east as Massachusetts and New York, and southward to Mississippi and North Carolina. Together, these state officers understood and embraced that when it comes to consumer finance, predatory lenders make no partisan distinction. “There’s no utility in arguing the fine questionable difference between enforcement and supervision,” said Scott Astrada, the Center for Responsible Lending’s Federal Advocacy Director. “The bottom line is that consumers – especially those serving in the military – need their government’s protection against those who would exploit their personal finances and at the same time, jeopardize their military service and careers. Our nation should protect them with just as much dedication as they give to protect all of us.” Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s Communications Deputy Director. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.

Only a wise person can solve a difficult problem. ~Akan proverb

From 2016 to 2017, CFPB recorded a 47% increase in the number of servicemember complaints. The following year, 2017 to 2018, the number of complaints were still rising at 12%. According to the Pentagon, military members can and do lose security clearances and/ or less than satisfactory discharges each year. Every discharged soldier’s separation costs the government an estimated $58,000. Despite this abundance of complaints and warranted enforcement, CFPB’s first Trump-appointed leader, Mick Mulvaney as Acting CFPB Director, turned an about face on our military families by halting its use of its supervisory powers to fulfill its mandate of MLA enforcement. CFPB’s new Director Kathleen Kraninger made it clear that she supports the same policies and practices begun under her predecessor in a March 8 letter to Ranking Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Further in a recent Capitol Hill hearing, Director Kraninger went even further, advising, as reported by POLITICO, Director Kraninger went even further, claiming that Congress via legislation should provide CFPB with appropriate authority.

MAY 2019

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know your history

By Ruby Jones

Our 400 Year Sojourn: RECONSTRUCTION ERA Part 2 of 5

The bloodiest conflict the nation has ever seen was initiated by uncompromising differences between Union and Confederate states over the power of national government to limit states’ rights. Slavery played a pivotal role during the United States Civil War, as Southern political leaders resisted attempts by antislavery political forces in the North to block the expansion of slave labor into newly acquired western territories. The abolition of slavery was a war tactic, meant to destabilize the rebellious Southern states and garner the surrender and reunion of the Confederacy; it was not well thought-out and did not consider the colossal challenges that would affect entire generations. After 245 years of bondage, over 3 million people of African descent were granted freedom with the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. Without being acclimated to freedom or returned to their native lands, former slaves were expected to integrate into the foreign country where they had been forced into captivity. Facilitating the transition from slavery to freedom was a tremendous failure on the part of the United States government. The devastating effects of its abortive efforts are still seen in social and political inequities that exist in the outdated systems we use today. The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863, freeing slaves from the rebellious Southern states and crippling the Confederacy. The Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln, was an executive order meant to slow the Southern economy to a halt and suppress rebellion. In 1863, there were approximately 4 million people of African descent living in captivity, but only about 3.5 million of them were living in the 11 Confederate states where the order applied. The issuance of the Proclamation added the emancipation of African slaves as a primary war goal, in addition to maintaining a Union that had been ripped apart because of opposing views on taxation and states rights. The Emancipation Proclamation was not a law passed by congress; it did not grant freedom to slaves living in the border Union states; it did not outlaw slavery; and it did not grant citizenship to freed slaves.

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The Proclamation did allow ex-slaves, or freedmen, to enroll in the United States armed forces, and ordered the Union Army and Executive branch of government to recognize and maintain their freedom. After the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, thousands of African slaves were immediately released from captivity in areas under Union control, but for slaves living in Confederate territories, freedom did not come quickly. Many slave owners withheld the news of the Proclamation, but as Union troops advanced through the South, hundreds of slaves were freed each day. Some simply walked off the plantations in search of a better life, and nearly 200,000 enlisted in the armed forces and immediately joined the fight. With the nation still at war and no formal plan, freedmen faced tremendous challenges, including neglect, disease, and starvation. Described as, “the largest biological crisis of the 19th century,” historians estimate nearly 1 million freedmen either died or suffered from grave illness between 1862 and 1870. After leaving the plantations, many ended up in encampments near Union army bases, where they were abandoned and forced to scavenge for food in the war torn land. Often the only way to leave the camp was to go back to work for plantations. Slavery was partially abolished in the United States in 1865 with the Thirteenth Amendment, which provides that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” By the end of the Civil War in 1865, most of the Southern plantation owners could not afford the cost of labor to produce effective crops. With an economy on the brink of collapse and no cash or independent credit systems following the war, landowners created an exploitative system of sharecropping that allowed poor Southern Europeans and freedmen to live as tenants and work the land in exchange for a share of the crop. Plantation owners leased equipment, seeds, and other items to the sharecroppers but the unregulated system of sharecropping enabled landlords to charge high interest rates that kept most families indebted, requiring the debt to be

settled with the following year’s harvest. State laws favored landowners, keeping tenants from selling their harvest back to anyone other than the landlord and restricting them from moving away from the property; thus, the cycle of enslavement continued under the guise of wage slavery. On March 3, 1865, the United States Congress established the Freedmen’s Bureau Bill, which created the Freedmen’s Bureau. The bureau, operated through the War Department, was primarily concerned with land management, but despite attempts to disburse ex-Confederate land to freedmen, Congress determined that the land would revert to its original owners. The Freeman’s Bureau distributed food, operated hospitals, helped freed slaves locate family members, provided employment, supervised labor contracts, provided legal representation, and established over 1,000 schools and Black colleges. When the Civil War ended on April 9, 1865, freedmen began to mobilize, with meetings, parades, and petitions calling for the right to vote. President Lincoln revealed his intentions to move forward with reconstruction during a speech on April 11, 1865, in which he proposed that some freed slaves, including those who had enlisted in the military, deserved the right to vote. He was assassinated three days later, on April 14,, 1865, leaving plans for reconstruction to his successor, the Union Democrat Vice President Andrew Johnson. When Johnson became president, he opposed political rights for freedmen and believed that Southern states did not give up their rights to govern themselves, preventing federal intervention for voting rights. Johnson ordered all land confiscated by the Union army and distributed to freed slaves to be returned to the prewar owners. Apart from having to uphold the abolition

of slavery following the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, Southern state governments had free reign to rebuild and govern themselves. With resentment growing amongst Europeans in the splintered South, social order was in a state of rapid decline. Many worried that the Southern economy would collapse without slave labor, so a system of oppressive laws called Black Codes were enacted by each state to keep freedman in control. The Black Codes mandated the use of labor contracts, which gave European landlords rights to control, discipline, and enforce the work of Black tenants. Any violation of the Black Codes was cause for arrest. Upon imprisonment, individuals were forced into hard labor or leased to European landowners and treated as slaves. It was illegal for Black people to be vagrant, possess firearms, make or sell liquor, travel from state to state without permission, or practice any occupation except farmer or servant without permission from a judge. The children of Black Code violators were assigned to European landowners as apprentices, where they were taught a trade and forced to work. The Black Codes established racially separate court systems in many states; and the punishments for crimes carried very harsh penalties, including the death sentence. Local law enforcement swelled in size and authority as police officers made sweeping arrests to fuel the system of imprisonment. In response, a congressional Joint Committee on Reconstruction shifted control of Reconstruction efforts to the Republican Party, extending the life of the Freedmen’s Bureau to combat the mass incarceration of Black people. See KNOW YOUR HISTORY, page 7

The fool speaks, the wise man listens. ~ Ta n z a n i a n p r o v e r b

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MAY 2019


special supplement MAy 2019

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Free

Do You Know the Meaning of Memorial Day? Here’s the History Behind the Holiday By Lauren Matthew

National Moment of Remembrance Act in 2000, which asks Americans to pause and observe a National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 p.m. local time. A number of organizations throughout the country observe this moment, including Amtrak (whose trains blast their whistles), Major League Baseball, and NASCAR.

& Jennifer Aldrich

What’s Memorial Day? It’s easy to forget, but Memorial Day weekend is much more than an extra day off work to spend hosting a backyard barbecue or taking a day trip with the family. The holiday, which is observed on the last Monday of May every year, falls on May 27, 2019. Although you probably know the special day honors those who lost their lives serving in the U.S. military, you might be unaware of the origins behind the day of remembrance. Here are nine fascinating facts about Memorial Day. 1. Memorial Day celebrations might have started in ancient times. Way back in 431 B.C., soldiers killed in the Peloponnesian War were honored with a public funeral and speech given by Greek statesman Pericles, according to History.com. This is thought to be the first communal ceremony of recognizing those who had given their life in war. Year after year, ancient Greeks and Romans hosted similar commemorations. 2. One of the first Memorial Day celebrations in the United States was by newly freed slaves on May 1, 1865, in Charleston, South Carolina. Not long after the Civil War ended, about 1,000 freed slaves, members of the U.S. Colored Troops, and some locals organized a ceremony to bury Union troops who died due to horrendous conditions of a prison created at what was once a racetrack, History.com reports. They honored the dead by singing hymns and placing flowers on their graves. An archway over the cemetery was engraved with the words “Martyrs of the Race Course,” according to The New

MAY 2019

York Times. 3. The observance was originally known as Decoration Day. By the late 1860s, many Americans had begun hosting tributes to the war’s fallen soldiers by decorating their graves and with flowers and flags. It gradually came to be known as Memorial Day over the years. 4. It was Union General John A. Logan who called for an official nationwide day of remembrance on May 30, 1868, a date chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of a particular battle. Meant to honor those lost in the Civil War, the southern states originally observed a different day to honor the Confederate soldiers who died. In the aftermath of World War I, the holiday evolved to commemorate fallen military personnel in all wars. Currently, 11 states still set an official day to honor those who lost their lives fighting for the Confederacy—Virginia is the only one that observes Confederate Memorial Day on the same day as Memorial Day.

5. In 1950, Congress passed a resolution requesting that the President issue a proclamation calling on Americans to observe Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May, in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. But Memorial Day didn’t actually become an official federal holiday until 1971. 6. In 1966, Waterloo, New York was officially declared the originator of Memorial Day. Many places in the U.S. claim to be the first to celebrate Memorial Day, but there’s only one small town officially identified as the birthplace. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation stating that Waterloo, New York, is the originator of Memorial Day in the U.S. The town first observed a day to remember fallen soldiers on May 5, 1866.

8. Cities across the country host Memorial Day parades, but some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York, and, of course, Washington D.C. In D.C., the National Memorial Day Parade hosts an audience exceeding 250,000, who watches as marching bands, active duty and retired military units, youth groups, veterans, and floats head down Constitution Avenue. 9. The President requests that all governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico direct the flag to be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels. U.S. citizens are asked to display the flag at half-staff from their homes before noon, as well.

7. President Bill Clinton signed the

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special supplement

5 Surprising Facts About High Blood Pressure What you don’t know about high blood pressure could hurt you. High blood pressure affects one in three Americans,1 yet many people with the condition don’t know they have it. Uncontrolled high blood pressure raises the risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death in the United States. Fortunately, high blood pressure is treatable and preventable. To lower your risk, get your blood pressure checked regularly and take action to control your blood pressure if it is too high. 1. High blood pressure may be linked to dementia. Recent studies show that high blood pressure is linked to a higher risk for dementia, a loss of cognitive function.2 Timing seems to matter: Some evidence suggests having uncontrolled high blood pressure during midlife (age 45 to 65) creates a higher risk for dementia later in life.3 The takeaway? It’s never too early to start thinking about your blood pressure and taking steps to manage it. 2. Young people can have high blood pressure, too. High blood pressure doesn’t just happen to older adults. About one in four men and nearly one in five women age 35 to 44 has high blood pressure.4 High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke, a condition that is on the rise among younger people. Experts think the increased risk for stroke among young adults is a direct result of the rising rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes— conditions that are preventable and treatable. Younger people should get their blood pressure checked at least once each year. You can get your blood pressure checked at a doctor’s office, a pharmacy, or at many grocery stores. 3. High blood pressure usually doesn’t have any symptoms. High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer.” Most people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms, such as sweating or headaches. Because many people feel fine, they don’t think they need to get their blood pressure checked. Even if you feel normal, your health may be at risk. Talk to your doctor about your risk for high blood pressure. 4. Many people who have high blood pressure don’t know it. About 11 million U.S. adults with high blood pressure aren’t even aware they have it and are not receiving treatment to control their blood pressure.1Most people with uncontrolled blood pressure have health insurance and visit a health care provider at least twice a year, but the condition remains undiagnosed, hidden from the doctor and patient.5 CDC is working with providers to find patients with high blood pressure who are ” hiding in plain sight.” Ask your provider what your blood pressure numbers mean and whether they are too high. Stick to your treatment plan and follow your provider’s advice if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure. 5. Women and minorities face unique risks when it comes to high blood pressure. Women with high blood pressure who become pregnant are more likely to have complications during pregnancy than those with normal blood pressure. High blood pressure can harm a mother’s kidneys and other organs, and it can cause low birth weight and early delivery. Certain types of birth control can also raise a woman’s risk for high blood pressure. Women with high blood pressure who want to become pregnant should work with their health care team to lower their blood pressure before becoming pregnant. African American men and women have higher rates of high blood pressure than any other race or ethnic group.4 These individuals are also more likely to be hospitalized for high blood pressure. Experts think this is related to higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and stroke among this group. Lifestyle changes, such as reducing sodium in your diet, getting more physical activity, and reducing stress, can help lower blood pressure.

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May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month. About 1 in 3 or 2.7 million North Carolina adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure by a health care professional. Another 1 in 3 may be at risk for high blood pressure. High blood pressure causes or contributes to at least 1 in 4 deaths in North Carolina each year. High Blood Pressure Education Month aims to save lives by increasing awareness and educating the public about cardiovascular risks and how to prevent them. By encouraging everyone to take at least one heart healthy action today, we can raise awareness of and potentially reduce high blood pressure across the state. Getting your blood pressure checked for the first time this year, asking someone you love to get their blood pressure checked or even going for a long walk can help. By coming together and taking action, we hope to help North Carolinians get, and keep, their blood pressure under control and reduce their risk for heart attack and stroke. Health Risks Of High Blood Pressure Also know as hypertension, high blood pressure increases the risk of serious diseases and conditions such as heart disease and stroke. In the US, heart disease is the most common form of death whilst stroke is the third leading cause. Other risk factors of high blood pressure include congestive heart failure & kidney disease. High blood pressure can have a huge impact on a persons life. During 2007, over 46 million people in the US visited a health care provider about this condition. Overall, the incidence of high blood pressure is about the same in men and women. However, there are gender differences between age groups. In people under the age of 45, the incidence of high blood pressure is higher in men whilst in the over 65 year age category it is higher in women. There are also race differences; it is more common among African Americans than Caucasians and less likely to occur in Mexican-Americans. In the US, approximately 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure, however most people are not aware they have this condition due to a lack of signs or symptoms. Reducing High Blood Pressure High Blood Pressure Education Month encourages people to look at various lifestyle factors which may be contributing to high blood pressure. It is well documented that high levels of sodium (salt) is linked to high blood pressure. In the US, the majority of people consume more than twice the level of recommended sodium intake. Guidelines recommend up to 2,300mg of sodium per day for an adult. Those at higher risk should consume even less (up to 1,500mg of sodium a day). Higher risk groups include those who have diabetes, kidney disease, existing high blood pressure and African American people. It is also recommended that people eat potassium rich foods which help lower blood pressure. Potassium rich foods include fish, green leafy vegetables, bananas, citrus fruits and potatoes. Lifestyle changes which can help reduce blood pressure, include maintaining a healthy body weight (check with our BMI Calculator), regular exercise, quitting smoking and following a healthy low sodium diet rich in fruit and vegetables. There are many affordable blood pressure monitors available for the consumer making it convenient to monitor your blood pressure at home.

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MAY 2019


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RACE WAR - May 31 - June 1, 1921 The Greenwood District on the north side of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was once nicknamed the “Negro Wall Street,” because of its thriving black professional and business community. Segregated Greenwood was home to 10,000 people that included laborers, domestics, teachers, business owners, doctors and lawyers. It had its own schools and churches. Overnight, though, from the evening of May 31 through the afternoon of June 1, 1921, white mobs roamed the area, destroying, looting and killing whatever or whomever was in their path. An estimated 300 people died.

A black veteran, thinking the time serving his country would save him, put on his World War I uniform and stepped outside. He was shot dead. A nationally renowned physician, Dr. A.C. Jackson, was also killed when he stepped out on his porch with his arms raised. It’s been called the Tulsa Race Riots or the Greenwood Race Massacre. Today, nearly 100 years later, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission is planning ways to educate the public and commemorate the incident. There are plans to take exhibits into the schools and to honor victims and survivors of the massacre. In 14 hours, 35 square blocks in Greenwood, which is now commonly referred to as “Black Wall Street,” were decimated. “Race riot sounds like black folk and white folk were fighting each other, and that’s not what happened,” said Emory University professor Carolyn Anderson, author of “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.” “There was

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incredible violence that rained down on black people. Tulsa was in the same period of massive domestic terrorism as the Red Summer of 1919, the Klan coming back to power after ‘Birth of a Nation’ in 1915 and the 1924 National Origins Act. It was an era of unvarnished white supremacy.” Nearly a century later, some details are still unknown.What happened in Greenwood is considered one of the worse incidents of racial violence in U.S. history.“Incidents like this were taking place around the county,” said Mechelle Brown, program coordinator for the Greenwood Cultural Center. “What made this different was the number of people killed and amount of damage done.”

The incident was touched off on the afternoon of May 30, when a black teenager, Dick Rowland, was riding in an elevator in the Drexel Building with a white woman named Sarah Page, who was the elevator’s operator, according to accounts on the Greenwood Cultural Center and the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum websites. A store clerk heard Page cry out and contacted police. Rowland fled but was arrested the next day. Some say he may have tripped and accidentally bumped into Page. But the story grew and rumors spread that she was allegedly assaulted, though that was never substantiated. According to a report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, after Rowland was arrested, angry whites gathered at the courthouse. Survivor and teacher W.D. Williams said when word spread in the black community, armed blacks gathered to protect him. “There was a scuffle between a black and a white man, a shot rang out. The crowd scattered. It was about 10 a.m. A race riot had broken out,”

Williams said. “A lot of people felt that he was innocent,” she said. Tulsa, at the time, was riding an oil boom.The black consciousness was also awakening. The war had ended years earlier, and many African-American men had returned home after being stationed in Europe, where they were more accepted.

Experts say there was also underlying resentment in the white community, many of whom referred to the area as “Little Africa.”“There was a sense of anger at black achievement,” said Emory’s Anderson. “America needs that narrative of black pathology that blacks don’t want to work, they’re lazy, they don’t like school. Then you see blacks who have degrees, who have successful businesses that are thriving and who are actually doing that whole American dream thing.” Experts say law enforcement armed whites and did little to protect black residents. Some whites who were deputized reportedly participated in the rioting, according to several accounts. Martial law was declared and thousands of African-Americans were taken into “protective” custody and held at the Convention Hall and the Fairgrounds. In a yellowed manuscript discovered several years ago, B.C. Franklin, a lawyer and father of John Hope Franklin, a historian and activist, detailed what he witnessed:“I could see planes circling in mid-air. They grew in number and hummed, darted and dipped low. I could hear something like hail falling upon the top of my office building. Down East Archer, I saw the old Mid-Way hotel on fire, burning from its top, and then another

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and another and another building began to burn from their top,” according to an article in Smithsonian magazine about its discovery.

Hannibal B. Johnson, an Oklahoma author, attorney, consultant and expert on Greenwood, where his office is located, said he thinks private planes were used to drop gasoline or incendiary devices. “Authoritative sources on the issue say it’s undisputed that airplanes were used during the course of the riot, whether you believe the official version that planes were surveying the area to see what was going on or that they were dropping incendiary devices like nitroglycerin or kerosene,” Johnson said. “Almost certainly, someone in one of those planes dropped something that caused buildings to burn more rapidly and brilliantly.” After the Tulsa violence, some blacks left for good. Others stayed to rebuild. Those who stayed had to deal with insurance companies that didn’t want to pay because of “riot” clauses in their policies, and new building codes that made it harder for property owners to start over. Still, they did and in 1925, the area hosted Booker T. Washington’s National Negro Business League’s national conference, “which I think is remarkable, four years after the devastation,” said Johnson. “There are people in Oklahoma who have not heard of this, and that’s a problem,” said John Franklin, a senior manager in the office of external affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and grandson of B.C. Franklin. “Forget reconciliation. I’m talking about repressed history.”

APRIL 2019


politics

Rep. Tipton and Sen. Gardner Stand With Trump Lawsuit, While Reps. Crow & Neguse Stand Up to War on Health Care By Olga Robak

(DENVER, CO) – Today, Rep. Scott Tipton again failed to stand up for Coloradans with pre-existing conditions when he voted against a resolution condemning the Trump administration’s

support of the Texas v. United States lawsuit and Trump’s continued war on health care. The resolution, introduced by Rep. Collin Allred (TX-32), asked the Trump

administration to reverse its support of the lawsuit. Reps. Jason Crow and Joe Neguse joined all of their fellow Democrats in voting for the resolution and calling on the Trump administration to protect people with pre-existing conditions. The Allred resolution is similar to a resolution introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in the Senate, which Senator Cory Gardner has also failed to support. While Shaheen and all 47 Senate Democrats have signed on to the resolution, not one Republican has. If the lawsuit prevails, 400,000 Coloradans could lose their coverage, and the 2,350,9000 with a pre-existing condition could once again be denied, dropped from, or charged more for coverage. “Democrats gave their Republican colleagues a clear choice today. Republicans could vote to support ripping health care away from millions or vote to condemn the President’s disastrous lawsuit, and, unsurprisingly, they chose the

former,” said Tyler Chafee from the Protect our Care coalition. “Every Member of Congress who promised to protect people with pre-existing conditions and who voted against this resolution is lying about their position on health care. Democrats are focused on lowering costs and improving care, while Republicans remain dead set on their agenda of sabotage, higher costs, and worse care.”

Trump-Backed Texas Lawsuit Would Devastate Coloradans President Trump is trying to rip away our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. If the Trump lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from millions of Americans, raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. The result will be to -- as the Trump Administration itself admitted in court -unleash “chaos” in our entire health care system. If Trump Gets His Way, 400,000 Coloradans Would Lose Their Coverage • 400,000 Coloradans could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 400,000 Coloradans would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 101 percent increase in the uninsured rate. • 40,000 Colorado young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26. If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 130 Million People Nationwide With A Pre-Existing Condition • According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 130 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes: • 44 million people who have high blood pressure • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders • 44 million people who have high cholesterol • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders • 2,350,900 Coloradans have a preexisting condition, including 299,300 Colorado children, 1,169,000 Colorado women, and 532,500 Coloradans between ages 55 and 64.

MAY 2019

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Deny, Drop Coverage, And Charge More Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies will be able to do this again. • A 2010 congressional report found that the top four health insurance companies denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period. denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period. • A 2009 congressional report found that the largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period. • An analysis by Avalere finds that “102 million individuals, not enrolled in major public programs like Medicaid or Medicare, have a pre-existing medical condition and could therefore face higher premiums or significant out-of-pocket costs” if the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful. If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar • 2,519,638 Coloradans Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 2,519,638 Coloradans, most of whom have employer coverage. • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a preexisting condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more

for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer. • Women Could Be Charged More Than Men for the Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage. • People Over the Age of 50 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $4,302 in Colorado. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies would be able to charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, including $4,302 in Colorado, according to the AARP. • 103,753 Coloradans in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 103,753 in Colorado. • 56,531 Colorado Seniors Could Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 CMS report. In Colorado, 56,531 seniors each saved an average of $1,081. If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have the Power to Limit the Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer • Insurance Companies Do Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The

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Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of nongroup plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs. • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits On 1,902,000 Privately Insured Coloradans. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market. • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB) in even some states, states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage. If Trump Gets His Way, Medicaid Expansion Would Be Repealed • 453,400 Coloradans Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage. Seventeen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, including 453,400 in Colorado. • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion. • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving Colorado hospitals with $1 billion more in uncompensated care.

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Beyond the rhetoric

By Mr. Alford & Ms. DeBow We all know about the false promise of “40 Acres and a Mule”. This pledge was formed by Union General Sherman as he raked through the heart of the South during the Civil War. He wrote and assured that after the war freed slaves would be given land (40 acres) and a means to work it (mule). Many freed slaves looked forward to that event. However, some things occurred to prevent that. President Lincoln probably would have supported the “promise”. However, he was assassinated and replaced by Vice President Andrew Johnson, a democrat from Tennessee. Johnson slammed the “door” on that opportunity. That among other controversies would eventually lead to his impeachment. However, there was another event that would prove to be quite beneficial to freed slaves. That was a law known as the Homestead Act of 1862. Wikipedia defines the Homestead Act: “The Homestead Act of 1862 has been called one of the most important pieces of Legislation in the history of the United States. Signed into law in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln after the secession of southern states, this Act turned over vast amounts of the public domain to private citizens. 270 million acres, or 10% of the area of the United States was claimed and settled under this act.” America had been expanding in land size at an exponential rate. Our nation created most of the East Coast through the Revolutionary War. We soon ballooned in size through the Louisiana Purchase from the French. That gave us land all the way to the West Coast (Washington and Oregon). We would eventually seize the massive land mass formerly controlled by Spain and eventually Mexico by way of outright war. President Theodore Roosevelt would

call it “Manifest Destiny”. The challenge was to populate all this new land. That’s where the Homestead Act of 1862 would come in. Blacks, especially freed slaves, were feeling smitten by the betrayal of the 40 Acres and a Mule Promise. However, it was the leadership of a Black visionary from Mississippi named Blanche Bruce. Bruce became a Republican Senator and

partnership with the Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management. The BLM was responsible for issuing and managing land grants under the Homestead Act of 1862. At the same time, a family in Lake Charles, Louisiana, asked the NBCC to help them in a land issue. Their grandfather received a land grant during the tenure of President Grover Cleveland. It was no

his mantra would be for freed Blacks to take advantage of the new Homestead Act. He encouraged all Blacks to apply for these new and free land grants. So, it began in the “new” South. Other Black elected officials encouraged freed slaves to take advantage of this program. We descendants of freed slaves understood that our grandparents and other relatives living in the South had land. We just assumed they always had it. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 21st century that we started understanding how we got that land. During the late 1990’s, the National Black Chamber of Commerce formed a

longer in their possession and they wanted to find out how this happened. They showed me a copy of the grant or deed with President Cleveland’s signature. 160 acres that was once under their command. They lost it through a forced auction. Under “French Louisiana Law” when land is co-owned by relatives and there is a dispute in parceling the land out to inheritors of it, the court could demand a forced auction to be bid publicly and the proceeds go to the sellers (inheritors) pro rata. This is a Secession. One of the relatives of the Vincent family was living in a state prison for murder.

Someone convinced him to sell his inheritance portion of the land. His share was valued at $1,000 as a result of the auction and that made him happy. The rest of the Vincent Family saw their forefather’s estate leave their possession for a fraction of its worth (secession). Wealthy white investors showed up at the auction and took it like “I-40 going west”. We went to BLM and asked how the Vincent’s got this grant in the first place. One of the managers started smiling. He replied, “You say your roots are from Louisiana and your family has significant land. Is that correct?” I replied, “Yes and what does that have to do with it?” He then asked for the names of my grandfathers and great grandfathers. He took that information and went to a BLM website. It was a directory of all Homestead Act grants. He went to Louisiana and entered my relatives’ names. The result was shocking! It showed that my grandfather, Tom Alford, received a land grant of 160 acres in Bellevue, Louisiana in 1916. More shocking, my great grandfather, Cicero Alford, received a similar land grant right next “door” for 160 acres in 1900. I almost went into shock. We had 320 acres of plush Louisiana farmland and now can account for only 40 acres. What’s worse is that this land sits in the middle of the Haynesville Oil Shale. Wow!! What in the world happened? I got on the phone and shared this finding to as many relatives as I could. Before long, we started figuring it out. We will tell you about it next week.

Mr. Alford is the Co-Founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce ®. Ms. DeBow is the Co-Founder, Executive Vice President of the NBCC. Website: www.nationalbcc.org halford@nationalbcc.org | kdebow@nationalbcc.org

Mission Statement The National Black Chamber of Commerce® is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States and via interaction with the Black Diaspora.

Organization Profile The National Black Chamber of Commerce® was incorporated in Washington, DC in March 1993. The NBCC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities. 140 affiliated chapters are locally based throughout the nation as well as international affiliate chapters based in Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, France, Botswana, Cameroon and Jamaica and businesses as well as individuals who may have chosen to be direct members with the national office. In essence, the NBCC is a 501(c)3 corporation that is on the leading edge of educating and training Black communities on the need to participate vigorously in this great capitalistic society known as America. The NBCC reaches 100,000 Black owned businesses. There are 2.6 million Black owned businesses in the United States. Black businesses account for over $138 billion in revenue each year according to the US Bureau of Census. The National Black Chamber of Commerce® is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States.

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4400 Jenifer St. NW Suite 331, Washington, DC 20015 Phone: 202-466-6888  |  fax: 202-466-4918 Info@nationalbcc.org | www.nationalbcc.org

A wise person will a l way s f i n d a way ~ Ta n z a n i a n p r o v e r b

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MAY 2019


Week in Malveaux

UNFIT, UNPREPARED, UNWORTHY:

BETSY DEVOID AND THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

By Julianne Malveaux

Betsy “Devoid” (of good sense), also known as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is an aberration, an abomination, an abscess on the complexion of educational policy and equity. She has been so egregious that at least two members of Congress, Katherine Clark (D-Ma) and Mark Pocan (D_WI) have called for her resignation because of her abject indifference to young people, especially those who are Black, Brown and poor. Additionally, Ronald. J. Mason, President of the University of the District of Columbia, has written an open letter to DeVoid, challenging her interpretation of meritocracy. The letter, published in a recent issue of Diverse Issues of Higher Education, suggests that education can be a bridge to maximize human potential, but only if we are open to the contributions of every human being and especially every young person who aspires to greatness. Instead of supporting our young people, DeVoid has attacked them. There are alarming statistics that the Obama administration attempted to deal with. Black boys are three times as likely to be suspended as their white counterparts. More disturbingly, Black girls are twelve (TWELVE) times more likely to be suspended than white girls. Why? Because Black girls have no girlhood, no presumption of innocence. We are the recipients of Afro-phobia or the fear of Black people. President Obama didn’t do much for Black folks, but he did introduce civil rights division protections for these overly suspended students. DeVoid would roll them back. That’s not the only thing she’d roll back.

MAY 2019

She wants to change the rules on campus enforcement of sexual harassment, giving the attacker the “presumption of innocence,” and more jarringly the right for a rapist to question his (usually, could be her) attacker. And she wants to protect for-profit colleges while President Obama said that students should be protected against these predators. Understand this. These for-profit colleges only exist to take people’s student loan money. They provide little in services and even less in educational support. But DeVoid, whose family seems to benefit from their involvement in the for-profit college space, is protecting her own interest. That’s not unusual in an administration where the Presidential daughter has garnered patents with China, perhaps influencing our nation’s foreign policy. DeVoid’s ignorance was most recently exhibited when she attempted to defend budget cuts that would affect the differently abled, including cuts to the Special Olympics, our nation’s only deaf-focused university, Gallaudet, and to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Really, DeVoid? Don’t you understand that those who are differently abled transcend political party? Don’t you know that these are folks who need special services? Ms. DeVoid’s tepid response to aggressive questioning by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) among others exhibited her unpreparedness and unfitness. We know that the man who lives in the house that Enslaved People Built is sufficiently uneducated to be clueless about this, but even he had to back up and acknowledge that cuts to the Special Olympics sent the

wrong signal. DeVoid favors charter schools over public schools and would put money into charter schools, taking it away from public schools. DeVoid is someplace past wrong on this, but that woman is doing the work she was sent to do – her job is to dismantle public education in favor of publicly supported private education. If folks want to do private schooling, that’s their business, but should public schools suffer for elitism? And should someone whose biases are so publicly visible be in charge of this? I think not. We knew that DeVoid was unqualified when she narrowly squeaked past Senatorial confirmation, only earning it because Vice President Mike Pence cast a historical tie-breaking vote for her. Even Republicans find her out of order, out of line, unqualified, unprepared and unfit. She has spent her time in public office attacking student rights, ignoring students of color, and attacking young people who have experienced sexual assault. She is entirely consistent with the cretin who appointed her, and young people are paying for her ignorance. Members of Congress can request the DeVoid resignation, but she is fully supported by the man who has enabled her to wreak havoc on our educational system. The blessing in her presence is that she can, perhaps, motivate our activism at the local level. More progressive activists must run for school boards. More progressive activists must reject the ways this administration is attacking education. And we must be clear that it did not start with this administration, but it is amplified and exacerbated by this administra tion. If we believe that education is a human right, we must resist this nonsense. Betsy DeVoid is the tip of the iceberg that began melting when Black activists attacked school segregation in a series of lawsuits that culminated in Brown v. Board of Education. DeVoid is on the frontline of a cultural war designed to sideline folks who don’t look or spend like her. Are we ready to fight back, resisting a woman who is unfit, unprepared, and unworthy of educational policy leadership?

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Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest project MALVEAUX! On UDCTV is available on youtube. com. For booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visit www.juliannemalveaux.com

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Continued from COVER STORY, page 1

Graduating Schools Rufus L. and Janice M. Wilson College of Liberal Arts School of Nursing Commencement Keynote Speaker: Benjamin Crump, Esquire Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019 Time: 9 a.m. Location: Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center Auditorium, 698 International Speedway Blvd.; Daytona Beach, Florida Must provide ticket upon entry

About Benjamin Crump, Esquire Through a steadfast dedication to justice and service to others, Benjamin Crump has established himself as one of the nation’s foremost attorneys and advocates for civil rights and social justice. His legal acumen as both a litigator and advocate has ensured that those most frequently marginalized in American society are protected by their nation’s contract with its constituency. He successfully battled to protect constitutional rights at the local, state, and federal levels, using his advocacy skills and the high profile of the cases to provide a voice to those long silenced and underserved. Benjamin Crump has served in leadership positions at the highest levels of the legal profession, and has been recognized for his efforts by numerous esteemed organizations. He served as the 73rd President of the National Bar Association and is President of the National Civil Rights Trial Lawyers Association. He was the first African-American to chair the Florida State University College of Law Board of Directors, and currently serves on the Innocence Project Board of Directors. He was bestowed the NAACP Thurgood Marshall Award, the SCLC Martin Luther King Servant Leader Award, the American Association for Justice Johnny Cochran Award, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha

national news Eleanor Roosevelt Medallion for Service. In 2016, he was designated as an Honorary Fellow by the University of Pennsylvania College of Law, and he has been nationally recognized as the 2014 NNPA Newsmaker of the Year, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers, and Ebony Magazine Power 100 Most Influential African Americans. Attorney Crump has represented clients in some of the highest profile cases in the United States, recovering millions of dollars in damages for them. His work has involved the cases of Trayvon Martin, who was killed in Sanford, Florida, by a neighborhood watch volunteer; Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri; the precedentsetting U.S. Supreme Court case involving excessive force perpetrated against Robbie Tolan; and 10 of the 13 Black women who were victims in the Holtzc law Oklahoma City Police rape case in 2015. He also has used his successes on the national stage to help ensure quality legal representation and access to the courts for poor people in his home community, serving as Board Chairman of Legal Services of North Florida and, with his law partner Daryl Parks, donating $1 million to the organization’s capital campaign. Attorney Crump is the executive producer of the ground breaking documentary, “Woman in Motion,” about Nichelle Nichols and the race to space. Nichols was among the first AfricanAmerican actresses on TV and played Lieutenant Uhura in Star Trek the original series. He is involved in “Who Killed Tupac, Search For Justice “and the host of the critically acclaimed legal docudramas, “Evidence of Innocence” on TV One and “The Search For Justice” on A&E. He can also be seen on Fox’s “You The Jury. “ His Crump Watch column, a legal essay on law, society, and culture, appears on NewsOne.com. He portrays legendary civil rights attorney Z. Alexander Lobby in the upcoming Hollywood movie production Marshall, and has appeared in the documentary Beating Justice, the story of the Martin Lee Anderson case, and BET’s I am Trayvon. He serves as host for the Benjamin Crump Social Justice Institute Annual Contemporary Issues in Civil Rights Symposium, where national thought leaders gather at Tennessee State University. Benjamin L. Crump was born in 1969 in Lumberton, North Carolina. He graduated from Florida State University (FSU) and received his law degree from FSU College of Law. He is married to Dr. Genae Angelique Crump, and is the proud father of Brooklyn Zeta Crump, and legal guardian to Chancellor Isiah Crump and Jemarcus Olajuwon Crump.

Graduating Schools School of Graduate Studies Joe and Barbara Petrock College of Health Sciences La-Doris McClaney School of Performing Arts and Communications Bishop Cornelius and Dorothye Henderson School of Religion College of Business and Entrepreneurship College of Education College of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Bob Billingslea School of Hospitality Management Commencement Keynote Speaker: Johanna Leblanc, Esquire Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019 Time: 3 p.m. Location: Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center 698 International Speedway Blvd.; Daytona Beach, Florida Must provide ticket upon entryMust provide ticket upon entry

About Johanna Leblanc, Esquire Johanna Leblanc is a foreign policy and national security legal professional and self-proclaimed internationalist. She holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from Indiana University-Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where she focused on international law, a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in national security and U.S. foreign relations law from The George Washington University School of Law in Washington, D.C. She also holds a Master of Science in public administration from Florida A&M University (FAMU) and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU). Previously, Leblanc has advocated for better environmental policies; raised awareness regarding housing issues impacting immigrants; worked on women’s rights issues internationally and nationally; and served on various boards. She has worked extensively in

Southeast-Asia, Southern and Western Africa on issues ranging from access to legal justice to child marriage. Due to her work in the U.S. and abroad, she has earned numerous awards. In 2018, the Association of Haitian Professionals in Washington, D.C., presented Leblanc with the Lifetime Trailblazer Award for Driving Change and Innovation. Leblanc also served as a member of the Military Observation Commission Project (MOCP), where approval by the Pentagon, she traveled to report on military commission war crimes hearings at Guantanamo Bay. In 2017, Mayor Bowser of Washington, D.C., appointed Leblanc to the Commission on African Affairs as a Commissioner. Some of her duties include but are not limited to advising the administration on how to address issues impacting the African diaspora through public policy and testifying at hearings. Currently, Leblanc serves as a Senior Advisor to both Haiti’s Ambassador to the United States and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her portfolio includes promoting the interests of the State of Haiti and its citizens in Congress and advising the State on national security and immigration-related matters. In addition, Leblanc serves as a National Security and Foreign Affairs Legal Analyst, where she provides commentary through national and international press on domestic and foreign politics. She has appeared on FOX 5 DC, Voice of America (VOA), Roland Martin Unfiltered, and other networks. An international speaker who is passionate about women’s empowerment, Leblanc also plans to have an influence in foreign policies that will have a direct political, social, and economical impact on the international community. About Bethune-Cookman University Bethune-Cookman University, founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, is a historically Black, United Methodist Church-related, private, coeducational, residential university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. Located in the Atlantic coast city of Daytona Beach, Florida, the University’s main campus consisting of 66 academic, administrative, and student support buildings spans over 86 acres of land. B-CU offers 44 majors (36 undergraduate; eight graduate) through six academic Colleges: Business & Entrepreneurship, Education, Liberal Arts, Health Sciences, Science, Engineering & Mathematics, Global Online Learning, and four Schools: Hospitality Management, Performing Arts & Communication, Religion, and Nursing to award Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

Phone: 202-466-6888  |  fax: 202-466-4918 Info@nationalbcc.org www.nationalbcc.org

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Continued from KNOW YOUR HISTORY page 6

In 1866, Congress passed the first Civil Rights Act, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment, which established and protected the citizenship of former slaves. President Johnson challenged the legitimacy of the Freedman’s Bureau, but Congress upheld its operation until 1872, when the bureau was abolished. As racial tensions continued to rise throughout Southern states, a shooting altercation between European police officers and Black soldiers in Memphis, Tennessee, triggered the Memphis Riots of 1866. Police, firemen, and some businessmen rampaged through Black neighborhoods, attacking, raping and killing Black men, women, and children. The three-day massacre began on May 1, 1866 and ended three days later with the deployment of federal troops. On July 30, 1866, another major outbreak of violence occurred after police and firemen attacked Black Republicans marching outside of the Louisiana Constitutional Convention in protest of the Black Codes and voting restrictions. Between both incidents, nearly 200 Black people were killed and hundreds more were injured. As a result of the riots, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act, requiring each state to draft a new state constitution that ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and granted voting rights to Black men. From 1876 to 1877, the Reconstruction taking place in Southern states was known as Radical Reconstruction. Branches of the Union League encouraged Black people to engage in political activism to exercise their power as the majority southern Republican voters. Of the 265 Black delegates elected in some political capacity, over 100 had been born into slavery. With growing opposition to Black voting rights, new ruling order was ushered in with the establishment of the Ku Klux Klan, a violent terrorist group with a goal of recreating the superiority that had been lost with the abolition of slavery. The underground group was known for committing heinous, cowardly acts of violence while their identity was hidden under hoods. It is estimated that the loathsome group performed over 3,500 racially-motivated lynchings between 1865 and 1900, in addition to the murder of at least 35 Black officials throughout the Reconstruction era. As a result of the domestic terrorism against freedmen at the polls, President Ulysses S. Grant requested help from Congress after his 1868 election. He passed the Third Ku Klux Klan Act, which enforced the Fourteenth Amendment and guaranteed all citizens rights and legal protection. Later that year, in Louisiana, Oscar J. Dunn, a former slave who had fought in the Union Army for the 1st Louisiana Native Guard, became the first Black lieutenant governor of the United States. He died in 1871, with several examiners saying that his death was the result of arsenic poisoning, and he was succeeded in 1872 by Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, who, after a 34-day interim period as the first Black governor of Louisiana, was forced out of office.

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know your history In 1874, the Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives for the first time since the Civil War. During this time, Robert Smalls, a Black Civil War hero, and Blanche K. Bruce were elected to Congress. The presence of Black politicians contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1875. The law, also known as the Enforcement Act, was enacted to protect all citizens of their civil and legal rights; it mandated equal treatment in public accommodations and public transportation, as well as prohibiting the exclusion of Black people from jury service. The law was later ruled unconstitutional, as it called for Congress to control private people and corporations.

By 1870, each state had Black legislative members. Hiram Revels, a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, became the first Black person to serve in Congress when he was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Republican in February 1870. Democrats were livid, still holding onto the Dred Scott Decision that slaves could never be citizens, much less serve in Congress, but in March 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, guaranteeing all men the right to vote regardless of race, color, or previous enslavement. In 1871, Benjamin S. Turner, Josiah T. Walls, Robert Brown Elliott, Joseph H. Rainey, and Robert Carlos DeLarge served in the Forty-Second Congress’ House of Representatives. The influence of Black politicians was undeniable.

The presidential election of 1876 was the catalyst for the end of the Reconstruction era. With disputes over the legitimacy of the election, Rutherford B. Hayes won the electoral vote despite losing the popular vote to Governor Samuel Tilden. The informal Compromise of 1877 awarded all 20 electoral votes to Hayes, with promises to withdraw federal troops from Louisiana and Florida. With all governing power restored to the former Confederate states, the Reconstruction era was ushered out, and the country was ushered into an oppressive era of economic and political control known as Jim Crow. Ruby Jones, Reprint Urban Spectrum Denver Urban Spectrum P.O. Box 31001 Aurora, CO 80041 303-292-6446 Office

The Denver Urban Spectrum is a monthly publication in Denver, Colorado and has been spreading the news about people of color since 1987. For more information or interest in advertising your product, service or business with Denver Urban Spectrum, please email advertising@urbanspectrum.net. Denver Urban Spectrum P.O. Box 31001 Aurora, CO 80041 303-292-6446 Office | 303-292-6543 Fax

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The African American VOICE - MAY 2019  

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