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Who Killed Det. Sean Suiter? 267 Days and Counting August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018, The Afro-American

Volume Volume 127 123 No. No.120–22

The AFRO Celebrates 126th Year

Inside

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AUGUST 11, 2018 - AUGUST 17, 2018

Redefining Beauty

HBO’s ‘Random Acts of Flyness’ Is a Fantastic Voyage

More Chaos at the Baltimore NAACP

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Washington

Open Letter to Trump’s Preachers

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Miss Black USA, now the biggest pageant for women of color, will crown its next national queen August 12. See story D1.

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Maryland Teen Murdered, Police Searching for Answers By Micha Green AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor mgreen@afro.com Kevin Wilson Jr., 16, died after being shot several times behind an apartment building in Takoma Park according to authorities. Police discovered Wilson suffering from several gunshot wounds in a parking lot behind the Belford Towers complex on New Hampshire Avenue after 7 p.m. He was taken to a hospital where he died a few hours later. The 16-year-old was a rising junior at Montgomery Blair High School and a talented athlete. Having

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Kevin Wilson Jr., 16, died after he was shot several times in Takoma Park according to police.

AFRAM Festival Goes Back to Being Big By Brandi Randolph Special to the AFRO

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Baltimore

The AFRAM Festival smells of second chances, first performances and summer every year. With performances by Dru Hill, Ella Mai and more, this year’s festival is expected to be big. AFRAM is Baltimore’s African American cultural heritage festival. It celebrates Black businesses, health, music, job opportunities and more. This year’s event

will take place August 11 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and August 12 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. It will be located at the historic Druid Hill Park (3001 East Drive Baltimore, MD 21217). The AFRO sat down with iconic R&B Baltimore natives, Dru Hill, who are headlining this year’s festival. When asked about how they felt when they were called to perform, Mark “Sisqó” Andrews said, “Being asked to do

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shown a lot of potential, Wilson was captain of the Maryland Seahawks travelling football team two years ago. Wilson’s former coach, Jarvis Thomas, said he was a wonderful athlete with a promising future ahead of him. “He played basically every position: quarterback, running back — [he] was basically one of the star players on the team,” Thomas told NBC 4 Washington. Yet Wilson did not only seek to entertain on the field, as he also brought joy to the people around him.

“Just a great young man, high spirits. Always made you laugh,” said Jarvis Thomas, Wilson’s former football coach. “That’s one thing I can say about Kevin; he always had us laughing.” Police are now investigating to find motives and suspects in the case. Detectives “are following strong leads in this case,” as they do not believe it was a random crime, according to WTOP. Anyone with potentially helpful information is encouraged to call 1-866-411TIPS for a cash reward.

Book Lays Out History of Police Violence in Black and Blue By J. K. Schmid Special to the AFRO “Everybody knows how hard policing is, they just don’t understand why the police are never wrong,” Matthew Horace told the AFRO. Horace, a veteran police officer and federal agent, and now security and policing expert contributor to news organizations such as CNN and MSNBC has co-authored a book with Howard University journalism professor and former AFRO Editor Ron Harris. “I was always being called on air, almost every week for another shooting of a Black man in the United States, and I started looking for a co-writer and Ron and I were brought together through our publisher and some like agents,” Horace said in a phone interview on the eve of the book’s publication. “And I knew after the first time we talked, having spoken to three or four people before him, he was the one for this job.” “The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism, and Injustice in America’s Law Enforcement,” was initially proposed as a deep dive into Horace’s conceptualization of ‘coptics,’ the perception, or optics, of

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Metro: No Special Trains for White Civil Rights Rally

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In a Historic Move, Sens. Booker, Harris Will Co-Chair CBCF Conference By James Wright Special to the AFRO jwright@afro.com The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference will make history when it convenes next month because for the first time in its history, the event will be co-chaired by two U.S. senators. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will be the honorary leaders of the event. The conference takes place Sept. 12-16 in Washington, D.C. “The Congressional

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Courtesy Photo

Sen. Cory Booker will cochair the CBCF’s Annual Legislative Conference with Sen. Kamala Harris.

Copyright © 2018 by the Afro-American Company

Who Killed Taylor Hayes? 20 Days and Counting


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The Afro-American, August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018

WHAT’S TRENDING ON AFRO.COM Prosecutor in Michael Brown Case Loses By Matthew Ritchie AFRO Intern

(AP Photo/Jim Salter) Wesley Bell defeated longtime St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch in the Democratic primary. Some observers saw the race as a referendum on McCulloch’s handling of the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014.

St. Louis voters took a step towards more effective social justice reform August 7. In the Democratic primary for the office of prosecuting attorney for St. Louis, Councilman Wesley Bell defeated Robert McCulloch in an upset victory, ousting the 27-year veteran prosecutor. McCulloch was the prosecutor who oversaw the grand jury inquiry of the 2014 killing of unarmed Black teen Michael Brown. Bell’s victory may have come as a shock to some, but he defeated the incumbent by more than 13 points. His victory in the primary all but guarantees him the position, as there was no Republican candidate in the race. He had gained a large amount of support from progressive Democrats, including influential endorsements from multiple political action committees concerned with social justice such as Real Justice, activist Shaun King’s organization, Democracy for America and Color of Change. McCulloch made national and international headlines with his handling of the Michael Brown case four years ago. He was criticized for how he ran the investigation of Darren Wilson, the White police officer who shot Brown after an altercation

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in the street. McCulloch neglected to indict Wilson himself, instead handing the case off to a grand jury. Wilson ended up not being indicted for killing the unarmed Black teen. This prompted a federal investigation by the Justice Department into the systematic racism of the Ferguson police department. The loss by McCulloch is seen as an indictment on his actions during the investigation. Critics believed that he “cherry-picked” evidence for the grand jury, which led to the lack of indictment. Others believed that he should have recused himself from the investigation and appointed a special prosecutor. Bell hopefully represents a step towards a new era for the St. Louis justice system. He has presented himself as a reformer for the justice system, pledging to end the cash bail system, which disproportionately targets and affects those in poverty and African Americans. He has also promised to never pursue the death penalty in criminal cases. This is in stark contrast to McCulloch, who often sought the death penalty. Bell will also carry the fight for justice reform in the form of drug offenses. During his campaign, he said he would refuse to prosecute low level, nonviolent marijuana offenses. He has said he will allow those with addictions and nonviolent drug offenses to be diverted from the path of incarceration and moved towards treatment. When Bell takes office after the November general election, he will become St. Louis’ first African-American prosecuting attorney. Michelle Obama Announces Week of Action By The Associated Press

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Former first lady Michelle Obama is marking the 53rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act by urging Americans to participate in a week of action to get people signed up to vote.

Michelle Obama is marking the 53rd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act by urging Americans to participate in a week of action to get people signed up to vote. The former first lady, a co-chairwoman of a nonpartisan organization to encourage voting, announced Monday that the When We All Vote Week of Action will be held Sept. 22-29. She said members of When We All Vote will be traveling the country to register voters and get them excited about the November midterm elections, when Democrats hope to capitalize on a wave of

anger against President Donald Trump and take back control of Congress from the Republicans. “With so much at stake in our country, sitting on the sidelines isn’t an option,” Mrs. Obama said in an email to supporters. Flagship events will be held in at least 12 cities, including Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and New York. The group wants volunteers to host events in other communities that week as well. Other co-chairs of the group include actor Tom Hanks; “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda; singers Janelle Monae, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw; and NBA point guard Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets. The organization said they anticipate that Mrs. Obama and other co-chairs will attend some of the events. The Voting Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on Aug. 6, 1965, prohibits racial discrimination in voting. Mrs. Obama said it’s important to recognize the organizers, marchers and other volunteers who helped get the law passed. “We want to honor their legacy and continue their work to ensure that every eligible American cast their vote, work that is far from finished,” the former first lady said in a video.


August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018, The Afro-American

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Police Violence Continued from A1

police in the digital and social media age where police misconduct can come under almost instant national scrutiny. “We couldn’t ignore the things that were happening when we were writing, and there were a lot of these incidents while we were doing the book,” Horace said. The book attempts to bring the reader to the current moment through Horace’s own and a selection of other officers’ narratives. Officers start their careers amidst an apocalyptic crack epidemic, and resort to mass arrest and incarceration against a backdrop of continuing struggles to integrate Blacks into police forces and their communities across the country. It’s a narrow, or at least focused, view that accounts for a current generation of police perspective and goes as far back as perspective of the officers who trained them. It’s a breezy, easy read starting with how Black men are seen by cops and their community-in and out of uniform, and moving on to how the shooting death of Michael Brown came at the conclusion of a long litany of injuries orchestrated allegedly through Ferguson, Missouri’s executive branch colluding with its judiciary to loot the poorest and Blackest parts of town through excessive and sometimes fabricated ticketing of residents. Taking a brief turn to New Orleans, “The

Black and the Blue” describe the start and end of the career of a police officer that was caught robbing a restaurant and murdering as many employees as she could find and the later massacre at Danziger bridge, to show U.S. policing at its worst. The book interviews former Baltimore City Police Commissioner and current Coppin State University Chief of Campus Police Leonard Hamm for insights into the police problems of Baltimore and the country at large. The interview comes prior to the trial and conviction of Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force. The book also concludes prior to the very public arrest of two Black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks in April, but Harris maintains that his and Horace’s book predicts how and why this happened. “They may not have even wanted to do this, so what happened: the policy, the practices, the way we do business said ‘You’ve gotta go follow this order and arrest these guys.’” Harris said. “And even if those officers see this and realize ‘You know, this is not a good look.’ That’s what they had to do.” The book finds itself somewhere between local Baltimore narratives such as police misconduct is attributable to “a few bad apples” and the opposite narrative that these abuses are an entirely structural problem. The authors place much of the burden

Courtesy photo

Matthew Horace is the co-author of a book which explores police problems in Baltimore and the country at large. on the communities being policed to begin repairing the rift, suggesting, for example, the nomination of a liaison between local leaders and the police in their neighborhood. Part of this is inspired by the realization that police cannot adequately manage problems like homelessness and mental illness.

While “The Black and the Blue” is a timely account of the current moment, there’s a sense that the word may come too late. “The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism, and Injustice in America’s Law Enforcement” is available now.

affecting Black Americans. Popular events include the town hall meeting, the prayer breakfast and the annual dinner that has been attended by every Democratic U.S. president since the CBCF’s founding in 1976 as well as prominent entertainers and politicians. Most of the event’s activities take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, D.C. There are hundreds of private parties sponsored by political, fraternal, social, and professional organizations in the District of Columbia as a result of the conference.  U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) is the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s board of directors. Lee said this year’s conference is taking place at a critical time.

“For more than 40 years, the Annual Legislative Conference has provided an extraordinary platform for people – domestic and abroad – to come together and discuss vital issues related to social justice, leadership, economic prosperity, entrepreneurship and much more,” Lee said. A. Shuanise Washington is the president and CEO of the CBCF. Washington said the conference will take place “in a critical time where, now more than ever, diverse voices are imperative to the future of this nation.” “We must rise to meet the demands of the moment and capitalize on actionable outcomes that will advance Black Americans and this country forward,” she said.

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Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference is among the important annual gatherings of Black Americans, and I am honored to lead its 48th convening with Senator Harris,” Booker said in a statement to the AFRO. “The Conference theme, ‘The Dream Still Demands,’ presents an important opportunity for our community to lead the national dialogue on so many pressing issues, from fixing our broken criminal justice system to creating economic opportunities for communities of color. We have so many urgent challenges that must be addressed, and I’m looking forward to hearing from all of the incredible leaders who will be participating in the conference this September.” Harris added, “The Annual Legislative Conference, over nearly five decades, has

brought together some of the country’s greatest leaders, innovators, and job creators to address the most pressing issues facing Black America. This year is no exception. The conference will provide a platform to advocate for the voiceless, the vulnerable, and all who believe in fulfilling the American promise of equality and justice for all.” Historically, co-chairs of the event have been members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Booker and Harris are two of the three Black members of the U.S. Senate and both are Democrats and members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is the lone Black Republican and is not a CBC member. The conference attracts nearly 10,000 people from all over the world and offers more than 90 forums on public policy issues

AFRAM

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an AFRAM performance, [I] was ecstatic,” because, “Baltimore doesn’t just give anyone a key to the city and the AFRAM is like that key.” Which is true -- we do not ask just anyone to come and rock out with our city over the AFRAM days. We ask people like Hadiya-Ayodele & Blacknotes, Jacquees, and Ella Mai to dazzle us. We bring Baltimore natives like Dru Hill and Davon Fleming to come and make us feel something with their music and entertainment. At 12 p.m. on Aug 11, Hadiya, who is a Baltimore based artist that performs an infusion of neo-soul, hiphop, gospel, will start off the performances for the festival. Jacquees, a rising R&B/hip hop artist, performs at 4:30 p.m.. Ella Mai, the newest upcoming singer/songwriter of the summer climbing the charts with her single, “Boo’d

Up,” starts at 7 p.m. Davon Fleming, a semifinalist from The Voice, is a soulful singer who goes on at 1:30 p.m. on Aug 12. Dru Hill is set to close the festival at 5 p.m. Even though, Dru Hill are Baltimore natives, performing

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here feels “good, [especially being] back [in] Baltimore receiving [the same amount of love that we have for our city],” said Tamir “Nokio” Ruffin. The AFRAM festival also shines spotlights on local small businesses. One business to check out is Jasmin Manning Art and Design. The AFRO got a chance to talk to Manning, who said her business, “is a combination of art and design which includes paintings, logos, drawings and marketing materials.” Another vendor to make sure to find at the festival is the Donald Gladden

Works Studio. He makes acrylic paintings that he then imprints on objects such as leather products, homer décor, stationary, beach accessories and more. Lastly, when the heat hits the AFRAM (temperatures are expected to be in the mid-80s with scattered thunderstorms) it is essential to visit Sweet Kam’s Snowballs and Concessions. It is “a youth owned and operated business where nachos, snowballs, hotdogs, and kressles (a nonfried waffle cake filled with strawberries and apples and topped with chocolate or caramel) are sold,” Kamryn Keys told the AFRO.

THE MOVIE EVERYBODY WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THIS SUMMER GAYLE KING

SPIKE LEE’S GREATEST FILM PETER TRAVERS

JOHN DAVID

ADAM

WASHING TON DRIVER A

SPIKE LEE

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HARRIER

TOPHER

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FROM PRODUCER JORDAN PEELE CHARLIE WACHTEL & DAVID RABINOWITZ AND KEVIN WILLMOTT & SPIKE LEE DIRECTED BY SPIKE LEE WRITTEN BY

Based on a true story. PRODUCED BY

SEAN MCKITTRICK JASON BLUM RAYMOND MANSFIELD SHAUN REDICK JORDAN PEELE SPIKE LEE WRITTENBY CHARLIE WACHTEL & DAVID RABINOWITZ DIRECTED AND KEVIN WILLMOTT & SPIKE LEE BY SPIKE LEE © 2018 FOCUS FEATURES LLC.

STARTS FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR THEATER LOCATIONS AND SHOWTIMES


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The Afro-American, August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018

Man at Compound Accused of Training Kids for School Attacks By The Associated Press A father arrested at a ramshackle New Mexico compound where 11 hungry children were found living in filth was training youngsters to commit school shootings, prosecutors said in court documents obtained August 8. The allegations against Siraj Ibn Wahhaj came to light as authorities awaited word on whether human remains discovered at the site were those of his missing son, who is severely disabled and went missing in December in Jonesboro, Georgia, near Atlanta. The documents say Wahhaj was conducting weapons training with assault rifles at the compound on the outskirts of Amalia, a tiny town near the Colorado border marked by scattered homes and sagebrush. “He poses a great danger to the children found on the property as well as a threat to the community as a whole due to the presence of firearms and his intent to use these firearms in a violent and illegal manner,” Prosecutor Timothy Hasson wrote in the court documents Wednesday. Authorities raided the compound Friday in an investigation that has yielded a series of startling revelations — including the discovery of the 11 children in rags and word that Wahhaj wanted to perform an exorcism on his son because he thought the boy was possessed by the devil. Prosecutor Timothy Hasson filed the court documents while asking that Wahhaj be held without bail after he was arrested last week with four other adults at the compound facing child abuse charges. Prosecutors did not bring up the school shooting accusation during initial court hearings Wednesday for the abuse suspects. A judge ordered them all held without bond pending further proceedings. In the court documents, authorities said a foster parent of one of the children removed from the compound had told authorities the child had been trained to use an assault rifle in preparation for a school shooting. Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe previously said adults at

the compound were “considered extremist of the Muslim belief.” He did not elaborate, saying it was part of the investigation. Aleks Kostich of the Taos County Public Defender’s Office questioned the accusation of a school shooting conspiracy, saying the claim was presented with little information beyond the explanation that it came from a foster parent. Kostich believes prosecutors are not certain about the credibility of the foster parent, whom he has no way of reaching to verify the claim, he said. The human remains were being analyzed by medical examiners to determine if they are those of Abdulghani Wahhaj, the missing boy. Earlier this year, his grandfather, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, posted a plea on Facebook for help finding his grandson. The elder Wahhaj heads the Masjid At-Taqwa in Brooklyn, a mosque that has attracted radical speakers over the years. He met Mahmud Abouhalima when he came to the site to raise money for Muslims in Afghanistan. Abouhalima later helped bomb the World Trade Center in 1993. In a Georgia arrest warrant, authorities said 39-year-old Siraj Ibn Wahhaj had told his son’s mother that he wanted to perform an exorcism on the child. He later said he was taking the child to a park and didn’t return. He is accused in Georgia of kidnapping the boy. The arrest warrant issued there says the missing boy has a condition caused by lack of oxygen and blood flow around the time of birth. He cannot walk and requires constant attention, his mother told police. For months, neighbors worried about the squalid compound built along the remote New Mexico plain, saying they took their concerns to authorities long before sheriff’s officials raided the facility described as a small camping trailer in the ground. The search at the compound came amid a two-month investigation that included the FBI. Hogrefe said federal agents surveilled the area a few weeks ago but did not find probable cause to

AP Photo/Morgan Lee

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, left, sits next to public defense attorney Aleks Kostich at a first appearance in New Mexico state district court in Taos, N.M. on accusations of child abuse and abducting his son from the boy’s mother. search the property. That changed when Georgia detectives forwarded a message to the sheriff that he said initially had been sent to a third party, saying: “We are starving and need food and water.” Authorities found what Hogrefe called “the saddest living conditions and poverty” he has seen in 30 years in law enforcement. He said Wahhaj was armed with multiple firearms, including an assault rifle. But he was taken into custody without incident. The group arrived in Amalia in December, with enough money to buy groceries and construction supplies, according to Tyler Anderson, a 41-year-old auto mechanic who lives nearby.

He said he helped them install solar panels after they arrived but eventually stopped visiting. Anderson said he met both of the men in the group, but never the women, who authorities have said are the mothers of the 11 children, ages 1 to 15. “We just figured they were doing what we were doing, getting a piece of land and getting off the grid,” Anderson said. As the months passed, he said he stopped seeing the smaller children playing in the area and didn’t hear guns being fired at a shooting range on the property. Jason Badger, who owned the property where the compound was built, said he and his wife had

pressed authorities to remove the group after becoming concerned about the children. The group had built the compound on their acreage instead of a neighboring tract owned by Lucas Morton, one of the men arrested during the raid. However, a judge dismissed an eviction notice filed by Badger against Morton in June, court records said. The records did not provide further details on the judge’s decision. After the raid, Anderson looked over the property for the first time in months. “I was flabbergasted from what it had turned into from the last time I saw it,” he said.


August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018, The Afro-American

COMMENTARY

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Open Letter to Trump’s Preachers

Dear Colleagues in Christ, With heartbreak, yet hope, we reach out to you in the Name of our Lord and Liberator, Jesus, the Christ. It was unsettling and upsetting to witness the meeting with you, our moral leaders, and one of the most amoral persons to ever occupy the White House in the name of discussing prison reform. We are sure it must have been intoxicating to walk the corridors of power and sit at the table of governing authority. Unfortunately, those precincts of power have been infected by White supremacy and moral bankruptcy. Dr Cornel West is correct, “we are in the spiritual eclipse of decency, honesty and integrity” leaving our nation in the chaotic shadows of emboldened racism, ugly xenophobia, predatory patriarchy and unvarnished greed.” Given your proximity to power and your “seat at the table” in this toxic political climate it’s painfully disappointing that instead of being prophetic clergy persons you became presidential cheerleaders. We could never imagine the 8th century prophets cheering the kings of Judah and Israel who were in similar political climates. We know John the Baptist wasn’t content to cheer Herod on and express his gratitude and honor for a seat at the table, declaring that Herod was the most “pro-Jewish king in our lifetime.” We need not remind you of the posture of the Prince of Peace, our Savior from the streets, when He stood before Herod and Pilate. He didn’t even pray for them. It was errantly exclaimed that “this is probably going to be the most pro-Black president that we’ve had in our lifetime…” Were the fumes from the intoxicating toxins that strong? Was he being pro-Black while building his political platform as the number one purveyor of birtherism, which was fueled by racism? Is it pro-Black to label Black NFL players protesting racial injustice in the criminal justice system you were there to reform, “SOBs?” That’s what your pro-Black president did. Was he at his pro-Black finest and most eloquent when he referred to countries of color as “s-hole countries?” Was he being pro-Black when he equivocated during the White supremacist rally and violence in Charlottesville, that left one person dead and more than a dozen injured, declaring there were “very fine people on both sides?” Was he pro-Black when he appointed a White supremacist, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (who was deemed too racist to be a judge by a bipartisan panel and Coretta Scott King) to serve as Attorney General? Did your cheerleading blind you to the fact that the policies of Sessions contradict and overrule the prison reform you were cheering for? Attorney General Sessions wants to stall a federal review of police departments where racial profiling, excessive use of force and racially discriminatory police practices have been exposed. During the Obama (who was disparaged during the meeting to the delight of 46-1) Administration, the Justice Department began 25 investigations into police departments and sheriff’s offices and resolved civil rights lawsuits filed against police departments in more than 15 cities. Sessions is stopping and reversing these investigations and consent decrees. Were you cheering for Trump and this Justice Department to continue to ignore the broken body of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, the last gasps of Eric Garner in New York, the slain body of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the aborted life of Tamir Rice in Ohio and so many others? We are sure you recognize the importance of judicial appointments in criminal justice and prison reform. The president you cheered for contradicts real reform with his appointments of judges. While purporting to be concerned about prison reform and the negative effects of mass incarceration on communities of color, Trump’s actions demonstrate a blatant disregard for the welfare of people of color by pushing judicial nominees with disturbing records on racial equity issues into lifetime positions as judges, which will have ramifications in the lives of people of color long after he has left the White House. Of the 87 judicial nominations Trump has made, 80 are Whites that have made careers in undermining civil rights. Only 1 is African American. We understand that the stated intent of the White House has been to focus its criminal justice reform efforts on improving reentry, rehabilitation and workforce training programs. That’s nice, but if you have a room filled with spider webs wouldn’t you clean the webs AND remove the spider? You cheered him on for removing a few webs but you didn’t prophetically challenge him to remove the spiders of sentencing

Frederick Douglass Haynes, III et al.

reform, ending the money bail system, profiteering from prisons, and the caste system Michelle Alexander insightfully deconstructs in {The New Jim Crow}. Our dear colleagues, the man you met with yesterday during his divisive and incendiary campaign asked the Black community repeatedly, “What do you have to lose?” In less than two years we’ve lost a lot and you have become his cheerleaders with a collar. Peace and Power, Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes, III, Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant, Bishop Rudy McKissick, Bishop W. Darrin Moore, Bishop Talbert Swan, Dr. Wendell Anthony, Dr. Traci Blackmon, Dr. Amos C. Brown, Pastor Corey Brown, Bishop John R. Bryant, Dr. Iva Carruthers, Dr. Delmon Coates, Dr. Jawanza Karriem Colvin, Dr. Marcus Cosby, Dr. Wayne Croft, Dr. William H. Curtis, Rev. Leah Daughtery, Dr. Marcus Davidson, Bishop James Davis, Rev. Jacques D. Denkins, Dr. James W.E. Dixon, II, Dr. John Faison, Sr., Drs. Elaine and Floyd Flake, Rev. Willie D. Francois, III, Bishop Sam Green, Dr. Neichelle Guidry, Dr. Cynthia Hale, Pastor Victor T. Hall, Rev. J.C. Howard, Rev. Alexander E.M. Johnson, Dr. Jeffrey Allen Johnson, Sr., Dr. Marcus D. King, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Pastor Breonus Mitchell, Dr. Joshua L. Mitchell, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Dr. Otis Moss, III, Dr. James Perkins, Dr. Zina Pierre, President Welton Pleasant, II, Bishop Dennis Proctor, Dr. Nelson Rivers, Bishop Marvin Sapp, Drs. J. Alfred Smith Sr. and Jr., Dr. Gina Stewart, Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr., Dr. Alyn Waller, Dr. Lance Watson, Dr. Maurice Watson, Dr. Howard John Wesley, Dr. Ralph Douglas West, Sr.

All Politics is Local to the Black Church By now most have seen the video or photos of a meeting that took place recently at the White House, between the president and a group of primarily African American clergy. On its face what could be wrong with that? Who wouldn’t take a meeting with the President? The White House described the participants in the meeting as “inner city pastors” who were invited to discuss “prison reform.” The clergy in the room came from places such as Cleveland, Washington, DC, Arkansas, Chicago and Detroit; all cities that have a significant number of Black folks. All cities with a disproportionate number of incarcerated people of color. All cities with families that have been impacted by the prison industrial complex in America. Then there is an overwhelming number of us who have chosen to describe the gathering as nothing more than a photo opportunity for the administration. Obviously, a goal was to promote the idea that the president was concerned about people of color, concerned about the issue of mass incarceration, concerned about the Black church and interested in addressing the school to prison pipeline that has been wreaking havoc on the African American community for decades. This may be difficult for him to convey considering his body of tweets and policies that would paint a different picture. But, instead of pointing out the need to address the long overdue issues of tainted water in Flint or discussing the separation of children from their families on the border, these faith leaders went with a different game plan. What was revealed was a poor attempt at open

K. A. Slayton, Sr.

dialogue that morphed into a praise session of the President. These men and women, who represent the Christian faith, were presented the perfect occasion to address a major concern in the African American community. This was the right occasion to talk about a range of important issues impacting recidivism and the school to prison pipeline. This was the ideal occasion to discuss, not just prison reform, but sentencing reform, which would ultimately deal with the issue of mandatory sentencing and its disproportionate impact on people of color. Other issues should have included education, probation and parole. Certainly, the matter of cash bail bonds should have been an issue on the table. Then there’s the issue of the socioeconomic conditions of the communities in which poor children of color live. And let’s not forget the over policing of Black communities. Sadly, with all the issues in need of immediate discussion around the issue of prison reform, here’s what a few clergy chose to speak to the president instead: “Thank you for taking a stand for those that are disenfranchised.” (De Jesus - Chicago) “Thank you for your heart for all people” and “Thank you for being compassionate and caring about all people.” (Moody – Birmingham, Al) “We’re grateful for your heart toward the urban community” (Searcy – Montgomery, Al) You are “the most pro-black President that we’ve had in our lifetime” (Scott - Cleveland) “You’re a man of your word” and you “have an ear to hear from God, this country is in great hands.” (Freeman – Maryland)

“We really don’t need Black power when we have some green power working” (Jackson – DC/Maryland) It is true that the people are watching and all too often what they see is rather hypocritical. The church has a responsibility to be the top salesman for Christianity. Unfortunately, our church leaders have forgotten the number one key to successful sales and that is “Know Thy Product.” How can you preach faith and that God loves justice and you fail to speak truth to power? How can you preach respect for community, when you fail to do it yourself? And how can you preach political and social justice when you’ve endorsed policies and persons that make life for those in your community more difficult. All politics is local, so I’m not surprised by the actions of clergy on the national stage, neither will I be surprised when a similar group of local Black pastors in the state of Maryland stand behind the Hogan campaign. My only hope is that they will be savvy enough to get some answers and commitments for the communities they represent. It doesn’t matter if you, as a Black preacher, have a seat at the table. And the Black community in this local Maryland state-wide race should not be distracted about where Black clergy stand, but about where they stand. Dr. Kevin A. Slayton, Sr., M.Div. is the senior pastor of New Waverly United Methodist Church in Baltimore. He is also pursuing a doctoral degree from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York.

Democrats’ Immigration Dogma is Damaging African American Communities If you’re a Democrat and you question the party orthodoxy on immigration, prepare to be excommunicated. That’s the grim lesson of a recent fracas involving Our Revolution, the progressive advocacy group founded by Senator Bernie Sanders. Our Revolution fired its “National Justice” director after she publicly pointed out that excessive immigration can hurt low-wage American workers. The staffer, Tezlyn Figaro, a woman of African American and Latina descent, took to Twitter to complain about foreigners “coming into the country and getting benefits that Americans do not get.” Figaro voiced an uncomfortable truth, and her dismissal reveals a stunning hypocrisy within modern Democratic politics. The party claims to champion the economic well-being of Black and Hispanic Americans; yet it also supports unfettered immigration, which depresses wages and reduces job opportunities for minority American workers. Immigrants -- both legal and illegal -- tend to congregate in large cities and join the unskilled workforce. In fact, in the past 20 years, immigrants who lack high school diplomas have increased the size of

Tom Broadwater

the low-skilled workforce by 25 percent. That puts them in direct competition with African Americans, who disproportionately occupy the low-wage urban labor market. Work from Harvard economist George Borjas shows that when immigration increases the size of the labor pool by 10-percent, wages for African American men drop 2.5 percent -- and their employment rate declines by 6 percent. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission Commissioner Peter Kirsanow emphasized how this competition can lock young workers out of the job market: “You eliminate the rungs on the ladder because a sizable number of African American men don’t have access to entry-level jobs.” Democrats can’t be champions for African Americans when they advocate for endless immigration amnesties. This includes their support for “sanctuary cities,” which stymie the deportation of dangerous criminals and their opposition to mandatory worker verification enforcement. In June, a number of high-profile Democratic mayors pulled out of an immigration meeting with President Trump in retaliation for the administration’s crackdown on sanctuary cities.

Pointing out the damage done by free-flowing foreign labor wasn’t always condemned by left-leaning lawmakers. Back in the early 1990s, Barbara Jordan, a civil rights icon and the first African American woman from the South ever elected to Congress, proclaimed that there was “no national interest in continuing to import lesser skilled and unskilled workers to compete in the most vulnerable parts of our labor force.” She called for cutting immigration by a third. A decade later, a Democratic senator warned that a “huge influx of mostly low-skill workers... threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans.” That senator was Barack Obama, writing in his 2006 book {The Audacity of Hope}. Democratic leaders can’t claim to care about Black and Hispanic Americans while supporting immigration policies that rob their most loyal voters of jobs and wages. Tom Broadwater is president of Americans4Work, a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of American minority, veteran, youth, and disabled workers.

The opinions on this page are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the AFRO. Send letters to The Afro-American • 1531 S. Edgewood St. Baltimore, MD 21227 or fax to 1-877-570-9297 or e-mail to editor@afro.com


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The Afro-American, August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018


August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018, The Afro-American

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BALTIMORE-AREA

Race and Politics

What is Going on with the Civilian Review Board? Last month, Baltimore City Solicitor Andre Davis paid a visit to the members of the Civilian Review Board Sean Yoes (CRB), which Baltimore AFRO investigates citizen Editor syoes@afro.com complaints of police misconduct, among other tasks. Davis wanted them to sign a confidentiality agreement, which would in effect render much of the board’s work opaque to the public. The meeting didn’t go well. “You came in here with a conversation about a confidentiality agreement in determining what we can and can’t say to the public. So, you already clearly let us know as a board, that you’re not here for us. You can’t possibly be,” said George Buntin, a member of the board (who is the son of former NAACP Baltimore Branch Executive Director, George Buntin Sr.). Recently, the CRB was placed under the authority of the city’s Law Department, which is led by Davis. “How can this even be a rational, how can we even be having this discussion that this board should be signing this agreement like this? It strikes me as completely insane,” said

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More Chaos at Baltimore NAACP

What Are They Doing To Baltimore’s Parks? John Schmid Special to the AFRO

(Photos: Twitter)

(L to R) Ronald Flamer, president of the Baltimore NAACP was recently removed from his position by the organization’s national leadership. Flamer replaced Tessa Hill-Aston, who left the organization (some argue she was forced out) in October. Baltimore board member Anthony McCarthy resigned following Flamer’s removal.

By Stephen Janis Special to the AFRO

The current president has been removed. Multiple board members have resigned. And a previous leader who left amid accusations of mismanagement has come forward with a rebuke of how the chapter operates. It is the latest series of conflicts that has long time supporters questioning if the Baltimore branch of the NAACP, a storied organization that has played a critical role in the city’s rich civil rights history, can right itself amid ongoing instability. “This is a sad, sad time,” former branch president Marvin “Doc” Cheatham told the AFRO. “We can do better than this.” The chapter’s current president, Ronald Flamer was recently removed by the NAACP’s national leadership. Flamer said he was let go after his membership was suspended. “I’ve been a life member, I never had a blemish on my record,” Flamer told the AFRO. He says he has no idea why his membership was terminated; the lack of specifics prompted him to retain noted Baltimore civil rights attorney, Billy Murphy as counsel and to request a hearing to challenge the suspension. “I just want to restore my good name,” he said. His removal allegedly prompted several board members to resign. One of them, Anthony McCarthy (a former editor

at the AFRO), says Flamer’s departure was the final straw for him and many of his colleagues. McCarthy is a former spokesperson for several Baltimore politicians including mayors Catherine Pugh, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Sheila Dixon, as well as Rep. Elijah Cummings. “I could not serve on board after this,” McCarthy said. “I felt like he (Flamer) was leading us in the right direction.” Tensions between the state and national administrations and the local leadership have been rising since the departure of Flamer’s predecessor, Tessa Hill-Aston, according to Flamer; particularly as he and other board members have tried to jump start fundraising efforts for the local branch and move forward with other changes. “The state conference is jealous and envious of what we we’re trying to do,” he said. Flamer notes that he received an award earlier this year for managing a successful push to sign up new members. “I’ve never been treated like this before,” he added. The state and national NAACP intervened last fall after previous president Hill-Aston resigned amid accusations of mismanagement. President for nearly seven years, HillAston’s departure prompted the national NAACP to put an outside administrator in change of the branch. But in a wide-ranging interview with the AFRO, HillAston said the accusations against her were unfounded. “If I could get back all the money I spent for the branch I could go to the Bahamas,” she said. “We paid for contractors to fix the broken toilet, we paid contractors out of our own Continued on B2

Hanlon Park looks like it was hit with a bomb. A great mound of dark brown earth sits in the park’s center. Jutting out of the heap are the bleaching roots of barely buried stumps. It’s the aftermath of what is left of one of a shrinking number of green spaces in Baltimore City. Building on its success in Towson and the Montebello II filtration plant, Baltimore’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is in the midst of turning over two more parks in the metro area. Federal guidelines demand that any open-air reservoirs, like Druid Hill Park Lake in Druid Hill Park and Lake Ashburton in Hanlon Park (both in West Baltimore), be covered and given additional chemical purification treatment. So, to maintain the parks overall aesthetics in the long term, concrete tanks will be buried in each park. Two tanks in Hanlon park are expected to collect over 50 million gallons of drinking water, while Druid Hill Park’s buried reservoir will hold over 54 millions gallons of drinking water. Baltimore Parks and Recreation did not respond to multiple AFRO requests for information and DPW referred the AFRO to its website for answers to the

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National Night Out, Park Heights Baltimore Youth Fund Grant Winners Close to Being Named By AFRO Staff

By Deborah Bailey Special to the AFRO

A mandate spawned by the death of Freddie Gray and the subsequent uprising in April 2015, is at the threshold of being delivered this month. Reviewers have just completed sifting through 427 applications, representing more than $75 million in funding requests from the City of Baltimore’s recently created Baltimore Children and Youth Fund. The fund has $10 million available for its first round of winners, which are set to be announced after a final review this month. “We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to move this process forward holding true to the values that came from the legislation and the Children and Youth Task Force,” said Dianne Bell McCoy, CEO of Associated Black Charities (ABC), the organization tasked with developing a community involved process for the funding request and review of proposals for the Youth Fund. The overwhelming response of applicants for this year’s initial funding cycle of children and youth funding, revealed the breadth of individuals, groups and organizations invested in Baltimore’s young people, according to Danielle Torain, Project Director, Frontline

Solutions, one of the organizations supporting ABC in coordinating the review process. “The applicants are really diverse in every aspect you can think of,” Torain said. “There are a diverse range of neighborhoods and geographic areas of the city involved; the applicants are diverse in the age range, types of populations of children and young people that will be served, and there is great diversity in the methods that will be used to serve youth,” she added. Torain and Dayvon Love, director of public policy for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, a grassroots Black think tank, were both active in advising how participants in the community driven process the Fund has embraced and emphasized the transformative potential for bringing the funding process closer to the community. “This is an applicant pool that has involved a lot of what the fund intended. A lot of grassroots groups and ‘Mom-and-Pops’. We welcomed different types of practitioners,” Love said. “We imagine there will be a lot of organizations that get funded from the Youth Fund that have never gotten funded before; that’s really the goal, is for organizations that traditionally aren’t able to get resources but do great work, the community knows and respects,” he added.

The fund, conceptualized by Baltimore City Council President Bernard “Jack” C. Young, was created through an amendment to the city’s charter approved by voters in 2016. Young said one of the first concerns expressed by Baltimoreans in the aftermath of Gray’s death was the need for more support for Baltimore’s youth. In 2017, Young established A Children and Youth Task Force, cochaired by Adam Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, and Dr. John Brothers, President of the Program for Charitable Giving at the T. Rowe Price Foundation, to make recommendations on how the Fund would operate. The task force recommended six guiding principles including transparency, communitydriven and youth led processes and accountability to local communities. “The Task Force wanted to make sure opportunities were provided and there was community voice. I think this has been a great process thus far,” Bell McCoy said. The complete applicant list and names of the review panel for the Children and Youth Fund will be available in August in tandem with the names of the first recipients of the Children and Youth Fund.

Courtesy Photo

Community members participating in National Night Out activities in Park Heights.

Baltimore, like many American cities, continues to grapple with violence and crime. National Night Out, the annual community building campaign in cities and towns in all 50 states, which promotes police-community relations, is typically a welcome reprieve for many Baltimore neighborhoods. On Aug. 7, several communities across the city, including Park Heights in Northwest Baltimore participated in National Night Out activities.

Courtesy Photo

Gary Tuggle, Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner talks with Baltimore City Council VicePresident, Sharon GreeneMiddleton and Pam Curtis, president of the Park Circle Community Association, during National Night Out activities in Park Heights.

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Past Seven Days

173 2018 Total

Data as of August 1


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The Afro-American, August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018

NAACP

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pockets to fix the heat.” It’s unclear what specific allegations if any were lodged against Alston because national leadership has yet to release details. But, the picture she painted of the branch was of a volunteer operation reliant upon many hours of work and volunteers coming out of their pockets for expenses. “Nobody can steal money from the NAACP it’s all checks. It goes into the bank and then it goes to national, there is no money to steal,” Hill-Aston said. “We helped people, we fed people and I was stabbed in the back.” State leadership says the removal of Flamer was prompted by concern over local adherence to the bylaws and the constitution of the national organization. “It boiled down to the bylaws,” said NAACP State Conference President Gerald Stansbury. “We wanted to

make sure they were being followed.” He also said there is no ongoing investigation of allegations lodged against Alston. For now, Stansbury said the state officials are working to determine if a special election to select a new president should be held in September, or November. Meanwhile, the state leadership has appointed First VicePresident Sandra Allman Cooper as interim president. “She is doing an excellent job,” Stansbury said. Flamer says local officials clashed with national leadership over ownership of the chapter’s headquarters on East 26th St, in the Charles Village community. The office building is allegedly owned by the local chapter according to Flamer. But, he believes the national leadership has plans for it. “That has been point of contention,” Flamer said.

Stansbury contends the Baltimore headquarters and who owns it, has never been discussed. “That has not been issue at all,” Stansbury said. “We are just trying to get the chapter in shape so it can move forward.” As for who will run in the special election past candidates were non-committal. The previous election’s second highest vote getter, Revered C.D Witherspoon declined to comment for this story. Past president Cheatham was also non-committal with regards to a future run. For him, rebuilding the chapter quickly outweighed thoughts of a future candidacy. “I will consider serving but I am not interested in running,” Cheatham said. ”If people feel I am capable I am willing to help.”

Parks

Continued from B1 paper’s questions. DPW’s website states that the Druid Lake Project is budgeted at $140 million and the Ashburton Lake project is budgeted at $137 million. DPW goes on to state that Maryland and Baltimore County (a longtime consumer of city water) are making financial contributions, but does not specify an amount or percentage. Direct questions to DPW about what, if any federal contributions there would be made in satisfying a federal regulation were not answered. Also, no answers were provided regarding the long or short term impact on housing values in the area. The Hanlon Park project is scheduled to run until November 2022. One resident (who didn’t want to be identified by name), living on the Powhatan Avenue side of Hanlon Park, hoped that the development would ultimately raise the value of her and her neighbor’s homes. In the meantime, while concerned about the seemingly forgotten dead trees browning and withering and the dying grass beneath them, she’s glad for the improved view of the lake. She attended a number of community meetings between the city and Hanlon residents, but grumbled about how the meetings gave out information as opposed to consensus building. “Their mind was already made up,” she told the AFRO. She said she still has her favorite red-wing

blackbird that perches on her house. There’s nowhere else for it to go now. With the tree clearance at the south side of the park, nothing near the lake has strong enough branches to support them. Questions to DPW about the blackbirds disappearing as the trees disappeared and the rise the pests they would eat were not answered. Questions about the trash, styrofoam cups, soda bottles, a Thiru Vignarajah campaign sign now blowing through where the trees used to and into the Ashburton Lake also went unanswered. Herman Kelly, lives on Liberty Heights Avenue. He could not contain himself upon seeing the destruction. “I’m so frustrated because they tore down all the trees and I feel some kind of way about this, I really do,” Kelly said. “The part that bothers me; I love nature, and man, that just hurts. All those trees up there. I used to go sit in the park, look at the water, because to me, that’s spiritual. That’s part of my spirituality.” Kelly also used the quiet space to write, now he goes the distance to work in what remains open in Druid Hill Park. Kelly wished DPW had at least put up a picture of what the finished project might look like, to give him some hope. “Now, I’m looking at this, not knowing what’s going on, and I’m hurt,” he said, pointing to the heap of dirt and stump. “I’m hurt.”

( Photo Credit: John Schmid)

Mounds of dirt replace rows of trees that once lined the reservoir at Hanlon Park in West Baltimore, as a result of construction that will allegedly last for several years.

Race and Politics Continued from B1

David Rocah, senior attorney for the Maryland ACLU. Rocah, who was a frequent guest on my former radio show, AFRO First Edition, is typically not prone to hyperbole. But, he was clearly exasperated during the CRB’s meeting with Davis on July 19. I reached out to the City Solicitor’s office for comment concerning the reaction to Davis’ request for the CRB to sign the confidentiality agreement, as well as the seeming conflict of interest of the Law Department representing both the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) and the CRB. My phone call was never returned. The request of the confidentiality agreement, as well as other actions taken by the Law Department, prompted the ACLU to craft a detailed letter addressed to Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh outlining the group’s opposition to the Law Department’s apparent takeover of the CRB. “The ACLU of Maryland, as a statutory non-voting member of the Civilian Review Board...is deeply concerned about recent attempts by the City of Baltimore, through the City Solicitor, to limit the CRB’s access to Baltimore police records, as well as to limit the CRB’s ability to operate transparently and to communicate with the public and other interested parties, such as the Department of Justice or the BPD Monitor,” the letter states.

“None of these changes is required by law, and all are inconsistent with the City’s past practice, as well as with public demands for greater transparency, accountability, and civilian oversight of the BPD, including in the recent report by the Civilian Oversight Task Force...which you appointed. All of these concerns also reflect a larger concern about the independence of the CRB as an oversight body,” the group wrote. The ACLU also questioned the Law Department’s ability to adequately serve both the BPD and the CRB. “Further, the City Solicitor’s actions regarding the CRB raise significant questions about that office’s ability to serve as counsel to both the CRB and the BPD. At the most general level, as the CRB itself clearly articulated on July 19, the City Solicitor’s demands are inconsistent with the CRB’s statutory mission to be an independent review body concerning officers’ actions and the BPD’s investigations of allegations of misconduct,” the ACLU stated. “And contrary to the assertions of the proposed confidentiality agreement, the CRB is not a City agency like any other. It is a creation of state law (like the BPD itself), staffed by City employees.” Ultimately, the elephant in the room, so to speak, is why isn’t

Sen. Jill Carter being re-instated as director of the Office of Civil Rights? Carter resigned as Delegate representing the 41st District in 2016 to accept an appointment as Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement, the entity under which the CRB operates under. In the minds of many, the CRB, which in the past has been described as an impotent agency, seemed to thrive under Carter as it sought more power (subpoena and otherwise) to fulfill its mission. However, when Carter was appointed to replace Nathaniel Oaks as the Senator representing the 41st in March 2017 (an office she won outright on June 26), she was informed she could not remain in the director’s chair. Yet, she returned to the agency this week officially as deputy director of the Office of Civil Rights, even as the director’s position remains vacant. In the absence of a director, City Solicitor Davis, is in charge of the agency. Sean Yoes is the Baltimore Editor of the AFRO and the author of, Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities


August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018, The Afro-American

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.”  George Bernard Shaw The recent primary election had “joy and pain” with some wins and losses but as we congratulate the winners we must thank Sen. Barbara Robinson, Sen. Joan Carter Conway, and my longtime friend Sen. Nathaniel McFadden, for their years of public service and commitment to the City of Baltimore. “I have often walked down the street before, but the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before. All at once am I, several stories high, knowing I’m on the street where you live.” Nat King Cole The beauty of visiting Beulah and James Brown and their son Jay at their lovely Randallstown home is we get to visit their nephew Judge Jan and Kathy Alexander at their lovely home next door.

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Singing happy 26th anniversary to my daughter and son-in love Lisa Lee and Gregory Packer Jr., happy 41st anniversary to Armstead and Reba Jones and happy 43rd anniversary Donald and Judy Rainey. James 5: 16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Sending get-well wishes to my Delta Sigma Theta Sorority sister Rhonda Nelson-Boglin as she continues to recuperate. Thinking of you violets, to Dr. Lavenia Fitzpatrick.

Stadium Place 1010 E.33rd St. Baltimore MD 21218.

“Somebody prayed for me, had me on their mind, they took the time and prayed for me. I’m so glad they prayed for me” Dorothy Norwood

Friends are mourning the death of our friend the man who kept the party going back in the day at the Alpha House on Garrison Boulevard back in the day Mr. LB Jones died last week after a long illness. Sending prayers to Jean Carter and family on the death of her brother Wayne Carter and to Priscilla Ledbetter on the death of her husband Robert Ledbetter.

Received some great news from Selena Redd, Jerrelle Francois’s sister. She informed me that Jerrelle is progressing nicely as has come from a very long way. On Wednesday, family, former students and friends gathered at the Stadium Place to celebrate Jerrell’s birthday. She appreciates all the cards and expressions of love she has received. Please continue to send cards to Jerrelle at

“I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places that this heart of mine embraces all day through. In that small café, the park across the way, the children’s carousel, the chestnut tree, the wishing well. I’ll be seeing you in every lovely summer’s day. In everything that’s light and gay. I’ll always think of you that way. I’ll find you in the morning sun and when the night is new I’ll be looking at the moon but I’ll be seeing you” Rod Stewart

What’s happening! Jazz on the Avenue hosted by the Pennsylvania Avenue Bakery is Sept. 1.

“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.” Henry David Thoreau The families were celebrating Jan and Kathy’s son Jordan’s graduation from Morgan State University. Had the opportunity to meet former AFRO employee Marilyn Bailey celebrating her 72nd birthday at Capital Grille with her best friend Colette Jackson. “Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September. When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame. One hasn’t got time for the waiting game.” Frank Sinatra Happy birthday to 10-year-old Nylyn Knicole Mosby, Michael Cryor, Sharon Roberson Pinder, Sharon PriceWalker, Nikita Haysbert, Helen McDonald, Edward “Petey” Anthony, Betty Clark, Carole Miles, Dell Perry, Nikita Haysbert, Pam “Ms. Maybelle” Hill, AFRO photographer Anderson Ward. Special 50th birthday to Superstar Kenneth Du-Shawn Fields and a super happy 50th birthday to my nephew Kevin Lovell Johnson. Jenifer Harvey thought that when the girlfriends Angie Burnett, Rorye Jordan, Brenda Baker, Jackie Brown, Kara King, Deborah Courtney, Brenda Baker, Dee Taylor and her cousin joined her for drinks at Owings Mills, World of Beer to celebrate her 60th birthday, that the celebration ended when we all said goodbye. Her husband and sister Dee, who flew in from Georgia were planning a surprise celebration. Jenifer thought her sister just flew in from Atlanta to hangout for the weekend; so what a shock it was when she woke up on Saturday morning to learn they had planned a surprise birthday cookout. Guests came from Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina and Detroit to celebrate this milestone. Among the guests were some of her colleagues when she was a flight attendant; they took to the friendly skies to party with Jenifer. Other guests were Valerie and Cedric Noles, Jeff and Karen Gross, Vickie Conway, Harvey Harris, Loretta and Jack Williams, Irving McDonald, Rev. Kevin and Annette Brown, Brenda Baker and Debbie Hawkins. Andy Nelson Caterers prepared the delicious food and Jerry Stamper provided the music. Welcome to the club Jenifer. “Just Be My Lady. This love I have was meant for you. Just Be My Lady everything you ask of me sweet heart I’ll do for you. My Promise to you is I’ll always be true. No matter what no one. To death do us part you can have my heart forever and that’s a long, long time.” Larry Graham

Connecting Employers and Educators with the Community June 28, 2018 – August 23, 2018

AFRO CLEAN BLOCK

COMMUNITY CONNECTION Whether you’re looking to add to your workforce or recruit new students, The AFRO’s Career Fair is where you can accomplish both. The vast reach and promotional power of The AFRO’s print, web, and social media outlets will give you the opportunity for hiring and enrolling from a diverse and talented pool of jobseekers and aspiring students.

The AFRO American Newspapers’ Career Fair

–Fall 2018– WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 25 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. WHERE: The Forum Caterers 4210 Primrose Avenue Baltimore, MD 21215

For more information or to reserve space in the Expo, please call (410) 554-8200 and ask to speak with an advertising representative. Registration and Payment Deadline: Friday, September 14

This Week’s Featured Community Ashburton

On behalf of Ashburton residents and the Ashburton Neighborhood Association we wish to thank you for sponsoring the renowned Clean Block Campaign that encourages all residents of Baltimore to take ownership in keeping our neighborhoods clean. The historic Ashburton community, located in Northwest Baltimore have tree lined streets with well manicured lawns. Ashburton’s history dates back to 1920 when houses were beginning to be built on an original 300 acre parcel of farm land sold to Lord Alexander Baring Ashburton. Today, this stable community has over 900 unique and varied style homes. Ashburton is a quiet and serene community where families come to raise children and residents take pride in maintaining the quality of the neighborhood. We thank the Afro for having us all remember that it is necessary for everyone of us to continue to maintain beautiful clean neighborhoods. We especially thank Diane Hocker, Community Director for her assistance and dedication in helping our community have a successful clean-up campaign! Denise DeLeaver, Board Member Ashburton Neighborhood Association

PARTICIPATING COMMUNITIES • Ashburton • AFSCME, Local 44 • Berea • Better Waverly • Broadway East • Care Community Association • Greenmount West Community Association • Helping Hands Association • I Carre Foundation • Jonestown Community (Women’s Civic League) Sponsored by

• LaBurt Improvement Community Association • Matthew Henson Neighborhood Association • Oliver Community • Patterson Park • Reservoir Hill • Rosemont • Sandtown • Westport • Winchester


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The Afro-American, August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018

TBT (The Basketball Tournament) held the semi-final games of its $2 million tournament at Morgan State University on August 2. The Overseas Elite and Eberlein Drive teams won their semi-final matches and faced each other in the championship game on August 3, and Overseas Elite defeated Eberlein Drive 70-58. D.J. Kennedy was the game’s MVP. It was the fourth straight TBT championship victory for Overseas Elite. D.J.Kennedy #17, Overseas Elite team

Keyon Jackson, Sharone McRae, Damara Webb, Ryequell Hunter, Bre’Asia Williams, Sanaayah Henderson, Che’Stokes, Jamila Snead and Van Brooks, CEO Safe Alternative Foundation for Education Jerome Randal #2, Eberlein Drive team

Photos by James Fields Sr.

Mayor Catherine Pugh with winners Overseas Elite

Mayor Catherine Pugh and Former Morgan student Harry Smith

Overseas Elite Coach Colin Curtin LaRian Finney, The Finn Group TBT Tournament Director for Baltimore Championships with Derrick Chase

Justin Burrell #24, Overseas Elite team Jerome Randle #2, Eberlein Drive team

Morgan State University’s President David Wilson.

J. V. Scott, James E. Bentley ll and John-Allen Sykes ll Jennette Puzzo, Senior Director of Events

James Michael McAdoo #55, Eberlein Drive team

Will Barton, Lake Clifton High School and player with the NBA Denver Nuggets

Errick McCollum #3, Overseas Elite team

Choo Smith Former Harlem Globetrotter and Bino Ranson University of Maryland assistant men’s basketball coach

Championship trophy


August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018, The Afro-American

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ARTS & CULTURE

HBO’s ‘Random Acts of Flyness’ Is a Fantastic Voyage By Nadine Matthews Special to the AFRO

The promotional material for HBO’s “Random Acts of Flyness” says it is “a mix of verité documentary, musical performances, surrealist melodrama and humorous animation where themes as ancestral trauma, history, death, the singularity, romance and more are woven together creating a television show like nothing seen before.” The late night series, which runs through September 7, is definitely all of the above. “Random Acts of Flyness” is evocative of pleasantly surprising experimental programming that only seems to come once in generation. For those who became fans of the show’s creator Terence Nance through his equally unique, surrealist opus on romance, obsession, and relationships, “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty,” it will delight. “Random Acts of Flyness” also centers Blackness on TV in a way that it ironically hasn’t been seen since the dawn of the hophop era. In one segment there was footage of the late Fred Hampton’s girlfriend, present at the time of his murder. Though not the most well-known footage, it is presented without benefit of explanatory lower third information. You must be familiar with the history. One segment, called “Black Thoughts” poses the question of when restrooms will start carrying shea butter lotion.There are afros,

Courtesy Photo

Filmmaker, Actor, Host of HBO’s Random Acts of Kindness Terence Nance braids, dreads, and knots in abundance. The animations are an impasto of rich browns. The format of “Random Acts of Flyness” defies any common categorization. It looks like what a Sun-Ra composition sounds like. To Dallas, Texas born and raised Nance, the show is an, “Amalgamation of concepts and feelings and tones and rhythms that are in

the show and as opposed to post formulaic TV experience at the intersections of a lot of cultural idioms that are in the zeitgeist. That could be sexuality or White supremacy, etc.” The show’s premiere last week featured Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) and Lakeith Stanfield (“Atlanta,” “Sorry To Bother You”). Future guests include Dominique Fishback (“The Deuce,” “Night Comes On”), Whoopi Goldberg (“Sister Act”), Natalie Paul (“The Sinner”) among others. If the first episode is any indication, there may or may not be a couch for them to sit on and be interviewed. Like Stanfield and Hamm, they may be cast as characters in one of the wacky yet cerebral segments of the show. Nance, who films much of the show out of his studio in Brooklyn, has been compared to the likes of actor, director Donald Glover. “It’s an honor to just be making art right now in this sort of generation with all my peers, Donald included because it’s so impactful what he’s doing aesthetically and politically. It’s an honor to be mentioned with him and people like Issa Rae and Justin Simien,” he tells the AFRO. A Guggenheim fellow who professes strong admiration for filmmakers such as Wes Anderson, Alfonso Cuaron and Satyajit Ray, Nance’s film sensibilities were formed spending time at the movies with his family growing up. “My parents would always take us to see really good stuff,” he remembers. “Movies like “Daughters of the Dust,”

“Sankofa,” Spike Lee’s films, independent films that you couldn’t really find. I think that laid the foundation.” Still Nance considered himself more of a visual artist and was majoring in Visual Art at NYU when he made “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty” which received overwhelming positive reception at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Nance thought of it as more of an art piece than film per se, as he was making it. “I never thought of it as being in theaters or anything. I didn’t have that awareness when I was making it. So when it was actually out and people were seeing it as more like a movie where you go to the theater and watch, it taught me how expansive the idea of a movie is.” Creativity was the order of the day in Nance’s household. His mother is an actress and relatives included musicians and photographers. He says, “It was a really profound privileged to be born into the family I was born into because it wasn’t strange for art to be like the center of my life. It was the center of everybody’s life around me. Making art was not exceptional.” “Random Acts of Flyness” is a family affair. “I have three brothers and sister and I still get a lot of inspiration from them. They all work on the show. My mother does too. It’s like my first band, you know what I mean? It’s just a great environment.”

Baltimore’s Waller Gallery Focuses on Black and Brown Artists By Lisa Snowden-McCray

Special to the AFRO Joy Davis, the woman behind the Waller Gallery (2420 North Calvert St., wallergallery. com) art museum which opened its doors this past April, says it was all her mother’s idea. “I took the idea and ran down the street with it, with both hands with full force. And if a wall was in front of me I would have just ran right through the wall,” she says laughing. She and her mother live in the upstairs part of the gallery, which occupies a rowhome in the Barclay neighborhood. The gallery is where the living room would be. Davis says that the idea of a museum as a space to live and work in was born out of necessity. Retail spaces are expensive. But she also says that it means that the museum feels like something that is really hers – that she helped build from the ground up. “This was all plaster,” she says, referencing the main exhibit space. “Me and my boyfriend, we chipped away and hauled out about 3,000 pounds of plaster out of here. We had people do the walls because we ran out of time, but we probably would have done the walls too, to be honest with you, to both save money and [because] we just wanted it to be ours essentially.” After she got the issue of the physical space sorted out, Davis thought about the people she

to her mother, and to the other women in her wanted the museum to serve. family. “I was thinking about…our mission. Like, “Waller is my mom’s maiden name. It’s my who are we trying to reach out to? That means grandmother’s name. My family is built on a not only people coming into the space, seeing matriarchy, entirely. Like the way our family the artwork, but the artists. What artists are we functions, and I think it functions surprisingly really reaching out to? I decided that we were well considering families don’t always do going to work with people of color,” she says. “Overall I would like to focus on Black and Brown folks because they just don’t get as many opportunities. Not just in the city but it’s a global problem.” Waller is from Howard County, but frequented Baltimore to visit family and because her mother always made sure that she was exposed to as much arts and culture as she could. “It was always important for me to see the ballet, and that could have been the community (Photo by Lisa Snowden-McCray) center ballet it did not matter. Joy Davis (right) and her mother Sandra McMillan (left) at For me to go to museums, the Waller Gallery. for me to go to galleries, for me to take cultural trips of any kind,” Davis that, is based on the rubric and the platform says. “She really instilled that within me as that they’ve built,” she says. “They are always important and anytime that any of that related about learning, always about teaching, they are to blackness in any way then it was doubly always about uplifting, so that’s all embedded important to go.” in that in Waller Gallery.” The name of the museum is an homage Davis attended the University of Maryland,

Baltimore County where she studied media and history and then moved to Baltimore to work. She also attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York where she earned a Master’s Degree in fashion and museum studies. “I grew up in the arts community here, but I grew up in the arts community that was very White here. Like, all the mainstream artists, the artists that were getting write-ups were White, but I was in that community. I was going to the shows, I dabbled in event photography for a hot second and so like doing all of that stuff it really taught me now I could run spaces and later would inspire me to do this.” She says that even though the museum hasn’t been open very long, she’s always thinking of ways to open it to more people, to make it accessible to everyone. She says that she hopes to grow, but to always approach her work carefully and with a mission in mind. “I don’t know if here’s going to be a ‘finished’ version,” she says.” Like I said, I grew up in the art community that yes was very white but now it’s the same arts community but it’s blacker and I really appreciate that. There’s a gift in using small resources but applying it intentionally and I know that’s one of the things that I can be confident about. Applying intention with small resources.”

SPORTS

Convicted Rapist, and Ex-NFL Star, Sharper Requests Early Release By By Perry Green AFRO Sports Editor

pgreen@afro.com Former NFL star safety Darren Sharper is trying to get out of prison early after serving just two years of the 18-year sentence he received for drugging and raping at least 16 women across four different states, according to reports. Per the Los Angeles Times, Sharper’s legal team filed a 50-page memorandum this week in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, claiming their client was not properly advised by his former legal team on a plea deal the former pro athlete took back in 2016. According to the LATimes.com report, the memorandum also argues that the trial and court that convicted Sharper had made errors during its ruling. Sharper initially took a plea deal that carried a nine-year sentence, but a U.S. Court judge reduced it, saying it was too light a punishment. He then doubled the sentence. Sharper’s lawyers said Sharper deserves more credit for being fully co-

operative with prosecutors. “Mr. Sharper intended, and still intends, to accept responsibility for his behavior,” Sharper’s lawyers said in court filings, as reported by the LA Times. “He does not seek to escape blame in this matter.” Prosecutors, reportedly, have until August 27 to respond. A 14-year veteran of the NFL, Sharper retired in 2011, just a year after helping the New Orleans Saints win a Super Bowl. Sharper became a studio analyst for NFL Network, and with his resume as a NFL 2000s All-Decade Team member, the 42-yearold was destined to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That is, until reports surfaced of his arrest in 2014 for drugging women to have sleep with them. According to police reports, Sharper and a friend would meet women at the club and invite them back to their hotel rooms, where they would drug their drinks. He reportedly did this to women in Miami, Fla., New Orleans, La., Los Angeles, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nevada.

(Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times via AP)

Darren Sharper, the disgraced former NFL star, has renewed efforts to get a reduction in his 18-year federal sentence for drugging and raping women


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WASHINGTON-AREA

DC Gears Up for Miss Black USA Contest at UDC

The (Howard) Doctor Is In

By Lenore T. Adkins Special to the AFRO

Current Miss Black USA Daphne Lee will pass on her crown this weekend during the Miss Black USA 2018 pageant in the nation’s capital. A professional ballerina, graduate student and ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Lee previously held the title of Miss Black New Jersey before winning the historic, national competition. Unlike other pageants, Miss Black USA is a scholarship pageant focused on redefining beauty and highlighting the diversity of women of color. It was founded in 1986 to showcase Black women and support them in their pursuit of higher education. “Growing up I often read about the protracted stories of AfricanAmerican she-roes, and I was inspired by them to use whatever talents I had to give back,” Karen Arrington, founder and CEO of the Miss Black USA pageant, told the AFRO. “But as I watched mainstream media I didn’t see positive images of women who looked like me. So, I thought that creating a pageant could be a great platform to celebrate the achievements of AfricanAmerican women who had been disproportionately represented in mainstream media.” Today, Miss Black USA is the largest national pageant for women of color and, according to the pageant’s website, the “largest single source of scholarship funding for Black women” with more than $500,000 in scholarships awarded. Contestants range from college students and graduate students to professional women. The Maryland-based nonprofit organization has also expanded to include additional competitions for teens and older women. “Miss Black USA has changed greatly since we started,” Arrington told the AFRO. “Among many things, we now have a library named in our honor at the Lower Basic Primary School in the Gambia, West Africa. Miss Black USA gets to travel there and read to students while representing our organization.” During what the organization calls her “year of service,” Miss Black USA also travels nationally for the Heart Continued on D2

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DC Council

White Helps Ward 8 Students Get Ready for School By James Wright Special to the AFRO jwright@afro.com

AP Photo/Marcos Moreno

Howard University is America’s No. 1 institution for producing Black applicants to U.S. medical schools, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges. “Howard University prepares more African American pre-med students to apply to medical school and enrolls the most African American students in our own esteemed medical school because we are committed to our mission to diversify the workforce with an infusion of talented, wellprepared scholars,” said President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick in a statement.

Metro: No Special Trains for White Civil Rights Rally Attendees By Micha Green AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor mgreen@afro.com White supremacists and the standard open-minded citizen are like water and oil- they just don’t mix- which is why Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans (D- Ward 2) had previously considered running a separate train for those marching in the “Unite the Right” White civil rights rally on August 12. Despite the inherent discord and rising concerns with the Black Lives Matter and Shut it Down DC counter-protest on the same day, Evans decided to not have separate trains for the White nationalists. “Metro will not be providing a special train or special car for anyone next

Sunday,” Evans said, according to The Washington Post. When initial word about the separate trains began to spread, there was immediate outrage for giving the supremacists “special treatment” of any sort. “We’re not trying to give anyone special treatment,” the Ward 2 Council member said. “We’re just trying to avoid scuffles and things of that nature.” For now no solid safety strategies have been revealed and the police likely will not relay their plans until the day before the event, according to The Washington Post. In the meantime Metro and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) are working together in an effort to prevent a replay of the violence that

Workers’ Co-Op Comes to Ward 8 By James Wright Special to the AFRO jwright@afro.com

An organization dedicated to the empowerment of people of low and working income levels has re-located its headquarters to Ward 8. Cooperation DC, a project of ONE DC Black Workers and Wellness Center, held a cookout for the community at its new home on 2500 Martin Luther King Jr., Ave., S.E. on Aug. 4. About 35 people came to the site to have a meal and learn about Cooperation DC and what a workers’ co-op that focuses on the needs of Ward 8 residents and African-American workers in general could mean for the community. “We want to talk to you about what a cooperative is,” Will Cochrane, who ran the event, said. “We want to let you know what it means to have a cooperative like this in Southeast. We have Continued on D3

took place in Charlottesville, Virginia last year. Jason Kessler, who organized the rally in Charlottesville, is also behind the upcoming one in D.C. “Transit Police are engaged in ongoing discussions with MPD, the lead agency for the August 12 event, as well as Virginia State Police and others as to how to keep everyone safe on that day,” Stessel told The Washington Post. “While details of the plan are security sensitive at this stage, I can tell you that it has not been finalized.” Before the decision was made not to separate the trains for the “Unite the Right” rally, the Amalgamated Transit Unit (ATU) Local 689 refused to provide services for a group that champions Continued on D2

By James Wright Special to the AFRO jwright@afro.com The 1990s is remembered by residents of the District of Columbia as a time of change in the city that still had a sense of community, regardless of where one lived. Talk around the 1990s has risen since WETA released its show, Washington in the 90s, hosted by Channel 4 News anchor Doreen Gentzler. The show was screened for District residents Aug. 1 at the Anacostia Smithsonian Museum in Southeast. Ferne Barrow, WETA’s senior director of outreach and community engagement, was the facilitator of the discussion. “A lot of interesting things happened in Washington during the 1990s,” Barrow said to an audience of 55 in the museum’s meeting room. “This show is a reflection of what happened during that decade.”

– Chris Stukes Courtesy Photo

Continued on D2

DC Residents Remember the 1990s

“It was a fun time to be in Washington.”

Raheem Anthon and Serita El Amin are both active with ONE DC.

D.C. Council member Trayon White kicked off the efforts in his ward and throughout the District of Columbia to get students, parents, and the community ready for school. White, a Democrats who represents Ward 8, held a “Back to School Bash” at Garfield Elementary School in Southeast on Aug. 4. “In addition to giving out free book bags to the students, we have booths that deal with health disparities, the fact that the ward is a food desert, educational inequities, and economic empowerment,” White told the AFRO as he looked at the dozens of vendors and scores of people on Garfield’s playground. Vendors such as Martha’s Table and City First Bank talked about the programs they offer residents of the ward in addition to handing out trinkets and literature. Free haircuts were performed by Donovan Brown, a freelance barber who works with the non-profit, Open Arms Mentoring Group. “I am doing my part to help the

The late D.C. Mayor and council member Marion Barry was prominent in the show, with footage of his controversial arrest in the Vista Hotel in 1990, his decision not to run for reelection later that year, the trial and time spent incarcerated for his crime, the comeback to politics winning the Ward 8 council seat in 1992, his re-election as mayor in 1994, and his decision not to seek a fifth term as mayor in 1998. “Marion Barry was the most dominant figure in D.C. at that time,” Barrow said. Other events such as Sharon Pratt’s rise and fall as mayor, the Mount Pleasant riots, the successful Million Man March in 1995, the Blizzard of 1996, the opening of the then MCI Center in 1997, the Control Board and Anthony Williams as mayor are also discussed during the show. Debra Paschall attended the airing of “Washington in the 90s” and had some issues with it. “There was no mention of Cathy Hughes when she was running WOL,” Paschall said, referring to Hughes who owned WOLAM talk radio when it was on H Street N.E. Hughes is presently the founder of Urban One, a Black-oriented media company that has its hands in television and other multi-media platforms. “I used to listen to WOL on a daily basis.” Chris Stukes was a youngster during Continued on D2


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The Afro-American, August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018

Taste of Tennis a Platform for Top Chefs By Lenore T. Adkins Special to the AFRO

“For Warren Brown, serving up his small bites at the inaugural Taste of Tennis charity event on July 30 at The Hamilton was a no brainer. Brown, a Petworth resident, owns CakeLove, a business he launched 16 years ago that bakes packaged goods and snacks out of Alexandria, Virginia. “My business was founded in D.C. and it’s important for me to be able to make the efforts that I can to just be in Courtesy Photo touch with the D.C. Maryland native and rising community to make sure tennis star Frances Tiafoe poses that they know that I’m at the Taste of Tennis. here, you know?” Brown told the AFRO. “And I like to support D.C. in lots of different ways and this is one way that we can — it’s a fun way that we can.” He pushed two products at the event. CakeLove in a Jar, an indulgent snack of flavored cream cheese icing and cake that he sells at major retailers in 10 states and the District of

Columbia. It comes in several flavors, including key lime, red velvet, coco piña and salty caramel. Meanwhile, Spark Bites is a healthy snack a lot like granola. They’re are made from oats, black seeds, millet, rice, agave syrup smashed together and baked with a little bit of spice, a touch of salt and some “heat.” “(It’s) not trying to be like anything, except a really damn good snack,” said Brown, author of four cookbooks. Taste of Tennis was an evening of chef demonstrations, cocktails, glamour and socializing paired with tennis, as it coincided with the weeklong Citi Open tennis tournament, which ended Aug. 5. It drew tennis player Naomi Osaka, 20, who did a cooking demonstration with Chef Edward Lee, culinary director of the Succotash in D.C. and Maryland. The Japan native, and third seed, would go on to lose in the second round of the tournament. Maryland native and rising tennis star Frances Tiafoe, 20, was also in the building. While he was ousted in the third round of the Citi Open in singles, he made it to the doubles semifinals. Like the Citi Open, the $200 per person party raised money for the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, which helps low-income kids learn tennis and shows them how to succeed in the classroom. “I’m always looking for creative ways to help to give back and then at the end of the day, I’m a chef at heart so I love sharing my cuisine with the world,” celebrity television chief Jernard Wells told the AFRO as he whipped up a barbecued pineapple smoked chicken bruschetta on a toasted waffle. “I’m from Atlanta and this was a creative way to be

Metro

Continued from D1 White nationalism. “More than 80% of Local 689’s membership is people of color, the very people that the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalist groups have killed, harassed and violated. The union has declared that it will not play a role in their special accommodation.” Jackie Jeter, president of ATU Local 689, said “Local 689 is proud to provide transit to everyone for the many events we have in D.C. including the March [for] Life, the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter,” said Jeter. “We draw the line at giving special accommodation to hate groups and hate speech.” Former U.S. attorney, Tim Heaphy, who did an independent study of the first “Unite the Right” rally and counter-protest in Charlottesville last year, said that Metro was doing “the right thing” when considering separating the White nationalists. “It’s absolutely paramount when you’re trying to balance both public safety and free speech to enforce separation,” he said according to The Washington Post. “If they’ve decided that there’s a basis for a permit, then they have an obligation to do everything they can to keep everyone safe.”

Students

Continued from D1 community,” Brown told the AFRO as he cut a Coordinating Council’s Health, Wellness and youngster’s hair. Back to School Festival will have their event In the table next to Brown’s, nails were on Aug. 18 at the Ferebee Hope Recreation being painted for girls. A few feet away, five Center. tables had numerous book bags for the young Dawn Bedminster is the president of people to choose and take away for no cost. Garfield’s PTA and agreed with Edwards but The AFRO was told by a White staffer that had a concern. more than 800 bags were given away. “This is good for the neighborhood and the There were moon bounces and a deejay communities, but I wish that more families playing the latest had turned out for songs over the this,” Bedminster loud speaker, told the AFRO. “We “We need to do more events like and hotdogs, need to do more potato chips, this in the school and the commu- events like this in cookies and the school and the nity.” bottled waters community.” – Dawn Bedminster were available for While White was students. aiding students in The District’s his ward, there have public schools extended school programs been published reports that he may soon be a beginsAug. 13 and the traditional opening student himself. takes place on Aug. 20. D.C. public charter DCist, an online news publication, posted schools start at various times, depending on in its July 31 editions that White is set to be the institution. a student at the Regent University School of Ward 8 had other “Back to School” Law this fall. However, White told the AFRO events such as Bellevue’s Sixth Annual Bash he hasn’t made a final decision on whether he held Aug. 8 near the Bellevue branch of will attend that school, or any other. the District’s public library. The Anacostia

a part of the Taste of Tennis because I’m a big fan of tennis players as well.” Wells has appeared on multiple Food Network programs, including “Chef Wanted,” “Food Network Star” and “Comeback Kitchen,” which he won twice. Other Black culinary stars showcasing their cuisine were chefs Shorne Benjamin and Ron DuPrat. DuPrat was on “Top Chef” and specializes in French Caribbean cuisine. The event’s organizers said it would be several months before they know how much money the sold-out event raised.

Photo by Lenore Adkins

Warren Brown, founder of CakeLove.

According to The Washington Post, Heaphy felt the best plan would be to have the White nationalists meet military or police escorts at an undisclosed location outside of D.C. and then be taken by bus to Lafayette Square. Despite supporting the separation he contends Metro workers are well within their right to refuse assisting in ensuring their safety. “Law enforcement has this professional obligation to protect speech, regardless of how hateful it is,” Heaphy said, “but transit workers don’t sign up for that.”

Miss Black USA Continued from D1

Truth campaign empowering women to take care of their heart health. Arrington continued, “Wherever there is an issue affecting our community, that’s where Miss Black USA will be.” Looking to win the 2018 title are 38 contestants from across the country, according to Arrington. They will compete in four competitions: 1) Onstage Question, 2) Talent, 3) Evening Gown, and 4) Lifestyle and Fitness. On hand to judge this year’s competition are Dr. Myla Bennett, a celebrity doctor and philanthropist seen on Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta; Thomas W. Dortch. Jr., Chairman of the Board of Directors for The National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame; and Ocielia Gibson, a former Miss Black USA, author, and speaker. The event’s host will be Stevie Baggs Jr., a former NFL athlete, who previously starred as the bachelor on WE-TVs Match Made in Heaven. Finals for the Miss Black USA 2018 pageant take place August 12 at the University of the District of Columbia.

DC

Continued from D1 the 1990s but remembers it vividly. “I remember when Marion Barry came back from prison and there was a big, big celebration,” Stukes said. “I also remember the Million Man March and there were lots of people on the National Mall.” Jonathan Hutto Sr. is a community organizer for Empower DC, an organization seeking to make low and working-class District residents more economically and politically viable. Hutto told the AFRO that he liked the show but disagreed with some of its content. “Overall, I thought it was a decent presentation, but it should have shown more of the activity that was taking place among grassroots activists,” Hutto, who served as president of the Howard University Student Association from 1997-1998, said. “One thing I didn’t like was the way the show portrayed the control board. The control board was portrayed as a good thing and I don’t agree with that.” In general, audience members said while the District had its challenges; it was a good place to be. People were friendlier and there was a strong sense of pride in being in “Chocolate City.” “It was a fun time to be in Washington,” Stukes said.

Courtesy Photo

In and out of office, Marion Barry was a dominant figure in the 1990s.


August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018, The Afro-American

D3

Ajani Amiri Thomas Named DC’s Filmmaker of the Month By Hamil R. Harris Special to the AFRO

Calling him “bold, motivated, and unafraid to tackle true stories,” the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment is recognizing Ajani Amiri Thomas as the August 2018 Filmmaker of the Month. The son of a physician and a lawyer, Thomas has followed a childhood passion to make movies on the backlot of Universal Studios, where at 12 years old, he was filming and editing in Hollywood. He developed artistic skills at Duke Ellington School for the Arts and Howard University where he is a senior majoring in TV and Film. “I want to tell bold stories that reflect the times that we are in now,” said Thomas, 21. “I just want to tell stories and stay true to the realities of the people who inspire them. I see film as a surreal art. If the work isn’t bold, then it hasn’t gone far enough.” Thomas produced, wrote, and directed a short-film called “Crispus”. The film is based on the life story of Kalief Browder, a teenager falsely accused of stealing a backpack and thrown into solitary confinement in New York’s infamous Riker’s Island Prison where longing “to remember the sound of his mother’s voice” he committed suicide. “A year later his mother died of a broken heart.” Thomas claims Spike Lee as his inspiration and said after graduation he plans to work on a film called “Kings of Babylon,” which will focus on the real story of a confrontation between the Black Panthers and the KKK in 1970. Thomas said, “The Trump era is forcing artists of color to dig deeper to find a response to the troubling news of today and the goal of myself is to be the mouthpiece for the people to tell the stories that have been silenced over the years. “Its kind of crazy. I didn’t realize until a few days ago that the same White supremist group in Charlottesville is coming to Lafayette Park. It’s kind of surreal because a couple years

ago during the Obama era I was an idealist before the American dream became a nightmare.” Herbie Niles, associate director of OCTFME, said, “OCTFME is proud to have the opportunity to shine the light on the talents and achievements of District resident filmmakers on the rise like Ajani,” Niles said. “Ajani is an incredible talent with boundless potential, and OCTFME’s filmmaker of the month initiative is the perfect platform for letting the local and national film community learn more about an emerging talent like Ajani.” His project, “Crispus”, recently earned him honors at the Equal Justice Society’s Annual Gala. The film premiered at the Kennedy Center as part of the Safe Streets Foundation’s Prison Art Show. Thomas used the District’s Correctional Facility at Lorton, Va. as a backdrop for his film project. After decades of problems, the facility closed in 2001, and now the grounds are converted into an artist’s space, part of the Workhouse Arts Center. Thomas’ film is scheduled to be shown at the former prison following its Kennedy Center debut. At Howard, Thomas is a founding member of the Sesh Art Collective, a group of artists who meet regularly at an

Workers’

Continued from D1

cooperatives across the city.” ONE DC is a non-profit with its mission to preserve economic and racial equity in the Shaw neighborhood in Northwest. It has been vocal in trying to keep people in their homes despite escalating rents and fighting poverty and income inequality in the District. ONE DC is non-partisan but is a progressive institution that promotes social entrepreneurship, openly questions capitalism and believes in the collective use of resources. The location of Cooperation DC to Ward 8 is no accident. Even though the District is experiencing relatively low unemployment rates at this time, 5.6 percent, the unemployment level for Ward 8 is 11 percent, according to the D.C. Department of Employment Services. Cochrane and his colleague with Cooperation One, Raheem Anthon, explained to the gathering how worker cooperatives could lower the jobless

“We want to talk to you about what a cooperative is.” – Will Cochrane numbers. “We can be a resource for Black workers to come and raise their voices about their working conditions,” Anthon said. “We can be the resources where they can share their stories about what they face on the job.” Cochrane explained that worker cooperatives are owned and managed by the workers. When the worker cooperative makes money, it is distributed among its member-workers where as in a private company, profits go to the owners and employees get their agreed upon salaries and benefits only. “Worker cooperatives are an excellent example of workplace democracy,” Cochrane said. Anthon said something must be done to get unemployed people in Ward 8 working.“We are the alternative to D.C. government’s programs,” he said. “We have found those programs aren’t beneficial to the people. With member-led working cooperatives, the people are in charge.” Anthon told the AFRO that cooperatives in general are nothing new to African Americans. “People of African descent have worked together for centuries, they just didn’t call it cooperatives,” he said. In a related issue, Cooperation DC bought the building from the United Black Fund that was co-founded by the late Calvin Rolark and his wife, Wilhelmina Rolark, who served on the D.C. Council representing Ward 8 for many years. When the purchase came through late last year, Calvin Rolark’s name was erased from the building and that has upset some residents. Cochrane said that ONE DC is still talking to Denise Rolark Barnes, the daughter of Rolark and publisher of the Washington Informer, about whether the name will stay on the building.

art space on U Street. Thomas says, in terms of success, one can’t progress alone. “It takes a lot of people to [make] your dreams come true,” Thomas said. “Listen to people and be open to people and it works.” In addition to his school work, Thomas runs a workshop for aspiring screenwriters. Thomas’ advice for aspiring filmmakers is simple. Find “your group of collaborators that you know really care about you and that you really care about eventually you’ll get there.”


D4

The Afro-American, August 11, 2018 - August 17, 2018

Steven Garrison, educator in the Prince George’s County Public School System and at Bowie State University, being presented by Toni Lewis and Harry Staley

FAME - The Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education presented its 14th Anniversary & Awards Celebration program July 26 at the Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville, Maryland. Proceeds from the concert will support FAME’s technology, music and tutoring programs. In addition to presenting awards to several key community supporters, there were performances by The Vince Evans Band and FAME Jazz Band with Artistic Director, Dr. Clarence Knight, Jr.

Moneka Cunningham, Center, accepts the Community & Nonprofit Champion Award for Debbi Jarvis, Vice President of PEPCO Holdings, an Exelon Company Toni Lewis(left) and Harry Staley, chair, FAME

Harry Staley, Chairman, FAME Inaugural FAME Jazz Band Members Celebrating with their parents from  L to R: Ken Burnley, Nia Harris Burnley (piano), Yvonne Harris Burnley, William Porter Jr., Linda Porter & William Porter Sr. (tenor sax)

The FAME Jazz Band and Artistic Director Clarence Knight Jr., opened the program

Honorary guest emcee, Jan Fox, formerly of WUSA9 News

L-R: (Three awards were accepted by colleagues) Leon Rawlings, Gwen Hubbard Lewis, Artis Hampshire Cowan, Lionel Harrell, Denise Rolark Barnes; The Honorable Derrick Leon Davis, Event Co-Chair, A. Toni Lewis, FAME Founder/Executive Director; Steven Garrison, Howard Stone; Harry Staley, FAME Chairman; Karen Brown, Congressman Anthony Brown’s wife; Moneka Cunningham, accepting for Debbi Jarvis, and The Honorable Obie Patterson, Event Co-Chair

Brig. Gen. Jeffery Bozard, 113th Wing Commander, D.C. Air National Guard hosted the ceremony in honor of Chaplain (Col.) Myrtle Bowen to the rank of Colonel on August 3, in the 113th Wing Auditorium, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Bowen’s new assignment will be the Air National Guard Liaison to AFRICOM (US Africa Command) in Stuttgart, Germany. At the ceremony, Bowen was also awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster). Bowen is also a Presiding Elder in the AME Zion Church.

Langston Hughes II is the FAME Jazz Band Captain and scholar; and rising senior at Charles Herbert Flowers High School   Lionel Harrell, Instrumental Music Supervisor

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker (L) and his Community Liaison, LaVonn Reedy Thomas (R) present FAME CEO/Executive Director A. Toni Lewis with a Certificate of Appreciation for the outstanding work conducted by FAME in Prince George’s over the past 8 years

Chaplain, Col. Bowen giving remarks

Gen. Bozard administers the Oath of a Office to Col. Bowen

Co-Chairs for FAME’s 14th Anniversary and Awards Celebration: The Honorable Derrick Leon Davis, District 6 (L), and The Honorable Obie Patterson, District 8 Photos by Cynthia Bennett Photography

AME Zion Bishop (Ret.) Warren Matthew Brown and Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Earnest Talbert pin Col. Bowen’s new rank

Claudia Burley Aurelia Brown, Col. Bowen, Melissa Woodward and father, Walter Bowen Master Sgt. Lewis Finney presents a special award to Chaplain (Col) Bowen Edgar Brookins, AFRO Washington, D.C. General Manager and Chaplain (Col.) Bowen

Edwin Brown Jr., Air National Guard, Command Chief (Ret.) and Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Earnest Talbert

Rev. Shannon and Chaplain (Maj.) Countess Cooper

Capt. Marcus Hunt, Master of Ceremonies

Members of the AME Zion church who attended the Promotion Ceremony with Chaplain (Col.) Bowen

Bowen family members: Tracy Alford, Melissa Woodyard, David King, Harold Johnson, Lorrie Johnson and Curtis Lollar

Photos by Pamela Jenkins

Baltimore Washington 8-10-2018  
Baltimore Washington 8-10-2018