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D er ornia voters panics and r.game a cathird KristiofKthe se and watching. series the Dodgers ose rause other mino across the ppotentially On shefinal polathe H , a e ex v is ri p et ec zi k er n ri ts ee in g o ti p th li es liv- Con ar ing his focu ti out lasted Sox b7-4 a gamee 1that than ia ,4tells th l spec 1-potook By Ricki Fairley ack in un more trumthe tinued on into the w s on fairncaes (5-kilogranm are hours page A2 ild after itd re s and7-4. Vice President, Sisters Network, Inc. ) cat to M ju cG st ice th gains stand uir The Dodgers then ine took on th the Phillies visited rength. Though Black women get breast cancer at a slightly at ifwent e heAs b o se b es ca launched a 19 hit attack. Bellinger hit his 32nd and t it on Friday. again, ll lower incidence rate than white women, Black women are e a tiand 33rd homer of the season. Alex Verdugohe’ hadis3suhits cket fo 42% more like to DIE of breast cancer than white women. Joc Pederson , Max Muncy and Cory Seager all chipped r ja That is an astounding number and indicative of a variety of in with two hits a piece. factors, many reflecting racial disparities. (Press time) The Dodgers were (63-33) and Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer leading Arizona by 14 games. Some teams may become among black women, and an estimated 33,840 new cases complacent but skipper Dave Robert’s is trying to avoid are expected to be diagnosed in 2019. An estimated 6,540 that. deaths from breast cancer are expected to occur among “I would rather be 14 games up than 14 down,“ said black women in 2019. manager Dave Robert’s. “We still have a lot of work to do Women do not need to DIE from breast cancer. It and it looks like at the series. There are things we need to can’t be prevented but early stage breast cancer (meaning get better at, things we need to clean up.” it has been localized within the breast) has a 99% 5 year survival rate. Note the inequity here: the overall 5-year relative survival rate for breast cancer diagnosed is 81% for black women versus 91% for white women. And, 54% of breast cancers in black women are diagnosed at a local stage, compared to 64% in white women. To add more fuel to the fire, Black women under age 35 get breast cancer at two times the rate of white women CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – The National Trust and DIE from breast cancer three times as often as white for Historic Preservation has awarded two South Caroliwomen. So, what’s the problem? Why are Black women dying Black women need to demand the attention and care of health care professionals. (Photo: iStockphoto / na locations and one organization grants in an initiative to preserve African American historical sites. NNPA) unnecessarily? The Post and Courier reports the Emanuel AME Higher death rates among Black women reflect the women agree breast health is important, only 25% to understand their risk for breast cancer. following: have recently discussed breast health with their family, • Black women lack information about the severity of Church in Charleston, the Hutchinson House on Edisto Island and the South Carolina African American Her• Black women are not taking action. While 92% of black friends, or colleagues. And, only 17% have taken steps Continued on page A3 itage Foundation were selected as recipients of a combined $285,000. Representatives from Emanuel AME and the Hutchinson House say they’ll use the money for big-dollar restoration projects. The Foundation says it’ll develop a five year sustainability plan with the grant. Founded in 1816, Emmanuel AME is the oldest African Methodist Episcopal church in the South. It was the site of a 2015 mass shooting of nine black worshippers. The Hutchison house was a post-Civil War gathering space for the black community.
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Clark Atlanta University Hosts Mandela Washington Fellowship for Sixth Year
This year’s fellows represent the following countries: Benin, Cameroon, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo and Zimbabwe.
Clark Atlanta University (CAU) welcomed 25 rising leaders from 19 African countries as part of their institute partnership with the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The fellows, who arrived on Wednesday, June 19, will spend six weeks on campus and at several Atlanta-area businesses and establishments to learn critical skills in project management, model innovation, balanced scorecard, human systems engineering, leadership and entrepreneurship. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and administered by the International Research & Exchange Board (IREX). This year’s fellows represent the following countries: Benin, Cameroon, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo and Zimbabwe. Here are some highlights included in the CAU Leadership in Business program: • Fellows will connect with local industry partners, including The Coca-Cola Company, UPS, IBM, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport through experiential learning site visits, collaborative projects and networking
Fellows will connect with local industry partners, including The Coca-Cola Co., UPS, IBM, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport through experiential learning site visits, collaborative projects and networking events.
events. • Fellows will give back to the community through service opportunities at non-profit community organizations, such as Atlanta Community Food Bank, Trees Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity and MedShare International, among others. • Fellows will interact with the Atlanta business community at networking events, receptions and campus-based events, including the President’s Welcome Reception. • Faculty and community members are invited to host YALI Fellows individually or as a group in their homes for an American family dinner experience. The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and local community engagement. Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 3,700 young leaders from 49 countries across Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaborations with U.S. professionals. The cohort of Fellows hosted by CAU will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 28 educational institutions across the United States. This year, Clark Atlanta University is the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the nation to host a Leadership in Business institute. At the conclusion of their Leadership Institutes, these exceptional young leaders will convene in Washington, D.C., for the sixth annual Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Following the Summit, 70 competitively-selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development at U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.
Mental Health Stigma Still Affecting Blacks By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Correspondent Historically, seeking psychotherapy has been difficult for African Americans, said Dr. Viola Drancoli, a licensed clinical psychologist who wrote a master thesis about the barriers to seeking mental health services in ethnic minority communities. “It is not only a concept with European origin, but also a concept that does not fit the community-oriented, collective approach to healing and support that has been so helpful to this population,” Drancoli said. “Instead of finding healing in coming together, the client is separated, often sitting in a one-on-one session with a professional. The idea of being focused on, analyzed, can be perceived as threatening,” she said. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health says poverty level affects mental health status and African Americans living below the poverty level, as compared to those over twice the poverty level, are three times more likely to report psychological distress. Further, African Americans are 10 percent more likely to report having serious psychological distress than Non-Hispanic whites, and the death rate from suicide for African American men was more than four times greater than for African American women, in 2014. A report from the U.S. Surgeon General found that from 1980 to 1995, the suicide rate among African Americans ages 10 to 14 increased 233 percent, compared to 120 percent for non-Hispanic whites. Yet, experts said even as the conversation around
mental health has grown significantly with celebrities and others in the spotlight sharing their stories, most African Americans still refrain from seeking help. “Unfortunately, among African Americans it remains taboo to talk about, and one reason is the fear of being labeled as crazy,” said Arron Muller, a licensed social worker. “The intense fear of being judged has been a huge deterrent,” Muller said. “In the African American community there is also an association that mental illness means weakness and the inability to handle your problems on your own or that anxiety or depressive symptoms should be addressed with praying and fasting,” he said. Prayer and a relationship with God have their place in the full picture of health and wellness and a connection to God and leaning on a higher power does promote tremendous benefits for the brain and brain health, said Dr. Catherine Jackson, a licensed clinical psychologist and board certified neuro-therapist in Chicago. Jackson founded Dr. J’s Holistic Health and Wellness at DrCCJ.com. “While having the strength to work on your own problems is a good characteristic to have, not recognizing when to seek help can be detrimental to overall health,” Jackson said. “Turning to our pastors was needed in the past, but as concerns have grown, more resources are available,” she said, noting also that many African Americans eventually visit hospital emergency rooms with complaints that are in
Officer Suspended Over Racist Texts
OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky police officer has been suspended largely without pay after he admitted to sending racist text messages to an ex-girlfriend. According to the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer , Officer Steven Phillips was suspended 26 days beginning July 3 under a complaint opened by Police Chief Art Ealum in May. Phillips, who is white, signed a June 28 document accepting the suspension. The documents were obtained through a public records request. The messages described as racist texts’’ weren’t provided. Ealum, who is African American, said Phillips reported the messages and provided a letter from his ex-girlfriend’s attorney about them. Ealum said an investigation found no complaints of Phillips making racist comments in the community and nothing suggested racial disparity in how Phillips arrested people. Phillips will receive some pay for mandatory K-9 training.
NY Expands Racial Bias Law to Include Hairstyles, Traits
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – New York state has expanded laws against racial bias to include hairstyles and hair texture. The bill aims to ensure no employee can be fired or passed over for a job because of racially biased criticism of their hair. The change to the state’s human rights law, approved by lawmakers this year, was signed into law Friday by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Supporters say minorities often face discrimination that’s couched in criticism of their hair texture or style. Specifically, the change adds to the legal definition of race to say it includes traits historically associated with race, including hair texture and styles. The change would also prohibit racial discrimination by teachers or school employees against a student based on their hair texture or style.
Tennesee Govenor Honors KKK Leader & Confederate For detailed information about mental illness and where assistance is provided visit, www.nami.org; www.mentalhealthamerica.net; or www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov. (Photo: iStockPhoto / NNPA)
fact mental health issues. “Some hospitals give referrals to mental health practitioners, but without proper education and information shared, follow through is unlikely,” Jackson said. Educator and life coach Elaine Taylor-Klaus said Continued on page A2
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is facing backlash for signing a proclamation ordering a day to honor Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Lee told reporters this week that a 1969 state law required him to sign the proclamation but declined to say whether he believed the law should be repealed. The proclamation designates July 13 as “Nathan Bedford Forrest Day.’’ Forrest was a Confederate cavalry general who had amassed a fortune as a plantation owner and slave trader in Memphis before the Civil War. By Friday, Lee was receiving pushback from both Republicans and Democrats for signing the proclamation. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted signing it was wrong and urged Lee to change the law.
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Thursday, July 18, 2019
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Trump Racist Attack in Social Media Screed
Trump’s direct messages or racism and xenophobia to his base have increased as the 2020 presidential campaign gets fully underway. The Iowa Caucuses are 203 days away as of July 14.
As is his general habit, Trump lies in his communications and brands places where people of color reside as dangerous. President Trump has a long history of racism as does his late father, Fred Trump. Fred Trump was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Queens, New York on May 30, 1927 when he was 21. By Lauren Victory Burke NNPA Newswire Contributor President Donald Trump went on a racist screed on Twitter and attacked Democratic congresswomen of color and their ancestry. The 45th President, who succeeded the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama, has often attacked Black female elected officials, such as Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Black athletes, immigrants, and other women of color. As is his general habit, Trump lies in his communications and brands places where people of color reside as dangerous. President Trump has a long history of racism as does his late father, Fred Trump. Fred Trump was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Queens, New York on May 30, 1927 when he was 21. Their company, Trump Properties, was sued by the Justice Department for housing discrimination against Blacks in 1973. On May 1, 1989, Donald Trump took out ads in several of New York’s major newspapers demanding that the Central Park Five be given the death penalty. Even though the five have been exonerated, Trump has never admitted he was wrong or apologized. A hint of Trump’s racist views now on international display in The White House, was seen in 1989 as Trump linked the Central Park Five case to an overall decline in society.
“At what point did we cross the line from the fine and noble pursuit of genuine civil liberties to the reckless and dangerously permissive atmosphere which allows criminals of every age to beat and rape a helpless woman and laugh at her family’s anguish? And why do they laugh? The laugh because they know that soon, very soon, they will be returned to the street to rape and maim and kill once again,” Trump said in a 1989 interview. On July 14, 2019, Trump wrote, “So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……” read one communication on Twitter the morning of July 14. Consistent with his racist attacks and communications both verbal and on social media, President Trump attacked three Congresswomen of color who have gained national prominence as they oppose Trump’s policies: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). Trump implied in a series of consecutive messages on Twitter on July 14 that the Congresswomen weren’t born in the United States and added, “they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Rep. Illan was born in Somalia and her family arrived in New York on 1992 and secured asylum in the U.S. in 1995. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx, New York and Rep. Pressley was born in Chicago, Ill. Another Congresswoman Trump has attacked before, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), was born in Detroit, Michigan. Though Trump did not name who specifically he was referring to, the context of his communication on Twitter was clear to political observers. Earlier in July, Trump referenced the three women. All three, as well as many other members, have been outspoken about Trump’s immigra-
tion policies. The conditions of detention facilities at the Mexican border came into stark light after Vice President Pence visited a center on June 12. Video from the visit showed a large group of Mexican men grouped in a fenced in enclosure with no cots, food and few signs of running water or other basic needs. Trump’s direct messages or racism and xenophobia to his base have increased as the 2020 presidential campaign gets fully underway. The Iowa Caucuses are 203 days away as of July 14.
By Nicole Chavez Special from CNN/AP Authorities say a beloved activist and founder of an African-American museum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who was discovered in the trunk of a car last week has been suffocated. The body of Sadie Roberts-Joseph was recovered about 3:45 p.m. Friday after an anonymous caller reported finding her, Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola said. The preliminary cause of death was “traumatic asphyxia, including suffocation,” the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office determined following a Monday autopsy. The 75-year-old did not die by strangulation, coroner Beau Clark told CNN, saying without elaboration that her nose and mouth were blocked. Asked if he found any wounds on her body, Clark said he is not releasing any such details at this time. A toxicology report will be available in three weeks, he said. Roberts-Joseph’s family had seen her earlier that day,
Coppola said. The vehicle in which she was discovered was about 3 miles from her home, Coppola said. He would not say to whom the car belonged. Police were still seeking leads in the case over the weekend. Roberts-Joseph was a renowned advocate in the Baton Rouge area. She founded the Odell S. Williams Now and Then African American Museum in 2001. For years she hosted the city’s Juneteenth festivities, which celebrate the last slaves in the Confederate states learning of their independence more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. It’s unclear if Roberts-Joseph had received any threats before her death, Coppola said, adding that it’s too early to determine whether her death is a hate crime. “Ms. Sadie was a tireless advocate of peace in the community,” the police department said in a statement. “Ms. Sadie is a treasure to our community, she will be missed by BRPD and her loss will be felt in the community she served.
She also founded Community Against Drugs and Violence, a non-profit organization focused on creating a safer environment for children in north Baton Rouge. Local politicians, advocates and community members on Saturday mourned Roberts-Joseph’s death. State Representative C. Denise Marcelle said in a Facebook post that the activist “never bothered anyone” and was looking to expand her museum. The NAACP Baton Rouge Branch remembered Roberts-Joseph in a Facebook post. “We lost a Cultural Legend Yesterday! #RIP Sadie Roberts Joseph,” the group wrote. “From reviving Juneteenth, to the Culture preserved at Her Museum, she was a trendsetter and icon in this City.” The community organization, Together Baton Rouge, said Roberts-Joseph embodied everything that is right about her city. “While her death is a tragedy, it would be an even greater injustice to let her death overshadow her tremendous life that left behind (a) legacy of activism and Black pride
that endeared her to the Baton Rouge community,” the group said in a statement.
Activist and Museum Founder Found in Trunk
Arrest of Hospital Patient on Walk Was Racist The attorney for a black Freeport, Illinois hospital patient who was accused by a white security officer of stealing hospital equipment contends racism was a factor in the accusation.
Shaquille Dukes’ (center) along side Attorney Ben Crump (left) and Reverend Jesse Jackson (right) at Shaquille’s press conference. (Courtesy photo)
CHICAGO (AP) — THE attorney for a black Freeport, Illinois hospital patient who was on a walk while attached to an IV when accused by a white security officer of stealing hospital equipment contends racism was a factor in the accusation. Attorney Ben Crump says Shaquille Dukes’ crime was simply “he was in a hospital while black.” The 24-year-old Dukes, who was hospitalized with pneumonia, was accused by the security officer on June 9 of trying to steal the Freeport Health Network IV stand. He and two men with him were arrested on disorderly conduct charges after arguing with the guard. Crump said Thursday his law firm is continuing its investigation into the incident and wants the charges dropped. Freeport Health Network asserts admitted inpatients aren’t allowed to leave the hospital. Dukes insists he received permission to go for the walk. An independent third party review of the incident found no evidence of police misconduct or racial bias in the incident.
Mental Health Stigma Still Affecting Blacks Continued from page A1
there’s something else that happens in the African American community that should warrant consideration when discussing the stigma of mental illness. “In all aspects of life, the African American community has had to appear better than the average person just to be seen as good enough,” Taylor-Klaus said. “African American families have long been conscious of a need to dress their kids a little nicer in public, to expect their kids to behave more respectfully in public, and to follow directions immediately,” Taylor-Klaus said. “The implications for the adults when kids don’t behave has been a risk-factor — when an ‘uppity’ child acts out, an African American adult can get in serious, life-threatening trouble. It’s not reasonable — but it’s a reality of African American life in the United States,” she said. There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness and some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, according to Mental Health America, the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal. Mental health problems may be related to excessive stress due to a particular situation or series of events.
As with cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental illnesses are often physical as well as emotional and psychological. According to Mental Health America, mental illnesses may be caused by a reaction to environmental stresses, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of: • Confused thinking • Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability) • Feelings of extreme highs and lows • Excessive fears, worries and anxieties • Social withdrawal • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits • Strong feelings of anger • Strange thoughts (delusions) • Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations) • Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities • Suicidal thoughts • Numerous unexplained physical ailments • Substance use In Older Children and Pre-Adolescents: • Substance use • Inability to cope with problems and daily activities • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits • Excessive complaints of physical ailments
• Changes in ability to manage responsibilities - at home and/or at school • Defiance of authority, truancy, theft, and/or vandalism • Intense fear • Prolonged negative mood, often accompanied by poor appetite or thoughts of death • Frequent outbursts of anger In Younger Children: • Changes in school performance • Poor grades despite strong efforts • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits • Excessive worry or anxiety (i.e. refusing to go to bed or school) • Hyperactivity • Persistent nightmares • Persistent disobedience or aggression • Frequent temper tantrums For detailed information about mental illness and where assistance is provided visit, www.nami.org; www. mentalhealthamerica.net; or www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov. Part 2 in this series will tackle the growing number of suicides among young African Americans, an alarming trend that experts say is the result of poverty, racism, and post-traumatic stress syndrome both from military service and domestic and social problems.
African-American history museum founder Sadie Roberts-Joseph found dead in the trunk of a car in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Courtesy photo/CBS News)
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Thursday, July 18, 2019
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Parham, who turned 101 in February, spent more than three decades as publisher of the Cincinnati Herald, which was established in 1955 and counts as the longest running African American newspaper in the city.
Marjorie Parham, a Living Legend of the Black Press By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Correspondent The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) honored Majorie B. Parham with the organization’s Legacy Award during its annual convention in Cincinnati on Friday, June 29. The NNPA is a trade association that represents African American-owned newspapers and media companies in the United States. Parham, who turned 101 in February, spent more than three decades as publisher of the Cincinnati Herald, which was established in 1955 and counts as the longest running African American newspaper in the city. “She was a real radical,” said Dorothy Leavell, the publisher of the Chicago and Gary Crusader newspapers. “Marjorie Parham was something else and she was straight forward with her words and you didn’t have to guess what she meant … she made it very clear. She is a wonderful human being and she was a great asset to the Black Press of America,” Leavell said. Parham was unable to attend the ceremony but was represented by the husband of her granddaughter Rhonda Spillers, and Parham was feted with proclamations and commendations from Ohio State Sen. Cecil Thomas, State Reps. Sedrick Denson and Catherine Ingram; Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young; and Hamilton County Commissioner Stephanie Dumas. Former Ohio State Sen. Eric Kearney served as master of ceremonies and co-chair of the convention. Kearney’s wife, Cincinnati Herald Publisher Jan Michele Lemon Kearney, served as the host for the annual convention which this year celebrates 192 years of the Black Press of America. The convention’s partner and sponsors included Ma-
cy’s; AARP; Procter & Gamble; Ford; General Motors; Chevrolet; RAI American Services Company; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; American Petroleum Institute (API); Volkswagen; MillerCoors; Fifth Third Bank; Ascension; AmeriHealth Carita; Wells Fargo; and Pfizer Rare Disease. Born in 1918 in Clement County, Ohio, Parham graduated from Batavia High School and attended Wilberforce University, a Historically Black College, according to her bio. Later, she took classes at the University of Cincinnati before working as a clerk for the U.S. Veterans Administration. In 1954, Parham married Gerald Porter and one year later he founded the Cincinnati Herald. Within six years, Parham would retire from the Veterans Administration and take over as publisher of the Dayton Tribune, which her son ran until he was drafted in the military, her bio said. In 1963, Parham also became publisher of the Cincinnati Herald, where she became a legend and often noted for her work at the newspaper and in the community through her involvement in numerous civic organizations. In 1982, Parham became the second African American to serve as a trustee for the University of Cincinnati, and she also chaired the board of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio. Active in the Urban League, the American Red Cross and various scouting groups, Parham also was known for her work as a member of NNPA where she served on the organization’s board as treasurer. “I know [NNPA leadership] will continue their high standards of excellence,” Denson said.
Rename Space to Honor Chef Leah Chase
“Her daily joy was not simply cooking but preparing meals to bring people together. One of her most prized contributions was advocating for the Civil Rights Movement through feeding those on the front lines of the struggle for human dignity,” Chase’s family said in a statement announcing her death. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Blake Nelson Boyd)
By Lauren Victoria Burke NNPA Newswire Contributor A petition has been launched to rename Lee Circle in New Orleans after famed restaurant owner Leah Chase. Chase passed away on June 1 in Madisonville, Louisiana at age 96. Her restaurant, “Dooky Chase’s Restaurant,” which she owned with her husband, the late Edgar “Dooky” Chase II, who died in 2016, was a gathering place for Civil Rights leaders. “A statue of Leah Chase would bring all New Orleanians together in honor of one of our greatest culture bearers,” the petition reads. Chase was the recipient of numerous cooking awards. Chase was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America in 2010.
In 2000, Chase was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Southern Foodways Alliance. National Food and Beverage Foundation President Brent Rosen launched the petition. The petition says the cost of installation of a statue of Leah Chase would be paid for by the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Over two years ago, the statue of Robert E. Lee was removed from Lee Circle. Now with the new petition, a group of New Orleans residents are focused on replacing the name of the vacant landmark. Dooky Chase’s Restaurant became an important stop as Dr. Martin Luther King and the Freedom Riders stopped in New Orleans. As King and the Freedom Riders were beginning to organize the Montgomery bus boycott they held meetings in Dooky Chase’s meeting rooms. There were no black-owned banks in many African-American communities in the South but people would go to Dooky Chase and have their checks cashed by the owners. On Friday nights people would cash checks and order a po-boy. Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist and writer for NNPA as well as a political analyst and strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on twitter at @ LVBurke
Breast Cancer Most Diagnosed for Black Women
Continued from page A1
breast cancer, breast cancer symptoms and the need for screening. • Black women take care of others at the expense of their own health. • Black Women are often at a more advanced stage upon detection. • Black women may not have access to health care or health insurance so may have lower frequency of and longer intervals between mammograms. • Because they may not have health insurance, Black women may not follow up on abnormal mammogram results because they can’t afford the diagnostic testing. • Black women often don’t have access to the same prompt high quality treatment that white women have. They express that they are often feel disrespected by physicians and staff • Black women face logistical barriers to accessing care (such as transportation issues or not being able to miss work or arrange for child care). • Black women fear a cancer diagnosis. • Black women have the highest odds (2 times more
likely) of getting Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a kind of breast cancer that often is aggressive and comes back after treatment. It has the highest mortality rate and is the only breast cancer sub-type that does not have a therapy to prevent recurrence. Note that younger women and women diagnosed at later stages are more likely to get Triple Negative Breast Cancer. We MUST STOP THE SILENCE! Early detection saves lives. Black women of all ages need to check their breasts monthly. We need to know what our “normal” feels like so if there is some abnormality, immediate action can be taken. Black women need to understand the severity of this health crisis. We need to be talking about our health, our family histories, and educating all of the women in our lives. The ongoing conversations in this country around access to affordable health insurance must include acknowledgement and action regarding the inequities for Black women. Black women need to demand the attention and care of health care professionals.
Senior Advocate Legacy of Love and Service
“My doctor said they made a mistake on my birth certificate because I can’t possibly be 87 years old,” said Ruth Tate as she celebrated her birthday. “But I say, we are going to keep living and enjoying our life. We’re not going to let age stop us.” (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley)
By Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell Special to The New Tri-State Defender It’s hard to surprise a woman like Ruth Tate, especially at the Ruth Tate Senior Center in South Memphis. For 35 years, she directed the activities, special events, bus excursions, and even a trip to Europe for senior participants. Tate is now director emeritus. Even at the age of 87, not too much goes on without her input. But on May 1, the staff of the Ruth Tate Center did something about that. “Ms. Tate started the senior center. She was honored
some years back, and the center was named after her,” said Alton Edwards, president of the Ruth Tate Council at the center. “We thought it would be a great idea to surprise Ms. Tate on her birthday with a party!” Edwards and the other seniors pulled off the near-Herculean feat of keeping the party under wraps during the careful planning and execution of one of the year’s most highly-anticipated events.
“Over the years, Ms. Tate has helped so many families,” said Crystal Conley, the acting director for the center. “It is so important for seniors to stay actively engaged in socializing with their peers and being a part of a social network. The center is an important outlet, an extension of the family. “Keeping seniors active and happy contributes to longevity and enhances the quality of life,” Conley continued. “So many seniors and their families over the years owe so much to the work of Ms. Tate.” Even after 35 years as director of the center, Tate still spends most of her days there at the senior complex. She remembers the surprise party as one of her brightest and most memorable days. “They really got me that time because I was truly surprised,” she said. “It was such a wonderful day, and I just felt very special and honored for them to remember my birthday like that. “So many people were there who came by to wish me a happy birthday,” she added. “My son from Houston was even there, and that really surprised me. It made me feel good to know that so many people appreciate what I tried to do for seniors.” The beginning of Ruth Tate Senior Center was an humble one, but the call to lead the project seemed tailor-made for Tate. “It all started with a study that was done at Memphis State, well, you know, it was Memphis State at the time. We know it’s the University of Memphis now,” said Ms. Tate. “And they said that we needed a senior center in South Memphis because of the large number of seniors who lived in the area. “It was part of Senior Services, and we started out in the basement of Christ Missionary Baptist Church when Eddie Currie was pastor. Senior Services was giving us
$200 a month for rent, but we were told they needed more money. That’s when we asked Dr. Reuben Green over at Central Baptist Church if we could start meeting there. And he said, ‘Come on, Ms. Tate.’ We stayed there until our building was finished. When it was time to move, Dr. Green said, ‘Don’t leave, Ms. Tate.’” Her love for planning activities and facilitating special events is legendary. The center’s annual Pre-Mother’s Day Luncheon is the big fundraiser, hosting more than 500 participants. “I asked the Lord to give me something for Mother’s Day that wasn’t sad,” she said. “My own mother died at the age of 32, leaving two small children behind. So, I understand people grieving their mother on Mother’s Day, even when they are seniors. But our luncheon is fun and uplifting. People take their vacation during that time so they can come take their mother to this event. It continues to be the big highlight of our year.” This director emeritus still has the magic touch. She planned a Father’s Day luncheon at the center, Tuesday, June 11 at 11:30 a.m. Along with the luncheon, was a men’s health conference. “United Healthcare is sponsoring the health component,” said Conley. “Although the emphasis will be on men, the women are not excluded. We are looking to have a wonderful time celebrating fathers at the luncheon.” As for Ms. Tate, she plans to stick around indefinitely. “My doctor said they made a mistake on my birth certificate because I can’t possibly be 87 years old,” she said. “But I say, we are going to keep living and enjoying our life. We’re not going to let age stop us. “Many of our seniors live alone,” she continued. “It’s no good staying home thinking about all your aches and pains. We spend time at the center. That’s really the secret to staying young.”
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2019 Summer League Wrap Up By Cameron Buford Whatsgoodinsports.com The Las Vegas NBA Summer League tournament is an easy way for NBA fans to see their fresh crop of rookies enter the league. It also is a great way for fans to interact with young and old NBA legends, as many young and experienced representative members of the various teams have been in attendance in Las Vegas over the past couple weeks. Since this is often the first opportunity teams get to see their young guys compete, it’s not surprising to see the likes of Jerry West, Masia Ujiri, and Vlade Divac in attendance for their respective Summer League games. Luke Walton, Terry Stotts and Frank Vogel were among the NBA Coaches that came out to support their teams along with numerous players which also showed up to support their young teammates. Monday night hoop fans at the Thomas and Mack Arena finally crowned their champion after 83 Games over a 10-day period where over 130,000 fans came out to attend. To claim Las Vegas Summer League supremacy, the Memphis Grizzlies took on the Minnesota Timberwolves. This game was sure to be competitive as both teams came in with a combined 11-1 record, from their play over the past 10 days of play. To get to the Championship Game the 6-10 and #3 seeded Minnesota Timberwolves had to overcome the #6 seeded Dallas Mavericks in the quarter finals on Saturday. On Sunday, they ran #7 Seed Brooklyn Nets, led by 3rd year professional Jarrett Allen, off the court for an opportunity for the Summer League title, in the semifinals. The 5-1 and #8 Seeded Memphis Grizzlies used the agility and ability of rookie Brandon Clarke to lead them past the #1 Seeded Boston Celtics. After dispatching the top seeded team in the Tournament, the Grizzlies needed overtime to get past the New Orleans Pelicans in a nail bitter. This 23-point and 14 rebound game from Brandon Clarke likely earned him the Tournaments MVP, which was announced prior to the Tournament Championship. With everyone scoring except for one player, the Grizzlies Jump out to a quick lead 17-8 lead, midway through the first quarter. The backcourt of Memphis helped them to get up to a 29-15 lead late in the 1st quarter. One impressive thing I witnessed about the Grizzlies, is their youthful exuberance, teamwork and togetherness type of culture the Grizzlies are developing. The Grizzlies second year Forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and rookie Ja Morant attended each of the games and actively cheered on their young teammates and also participated in the huddles during timeouts. Newly signed Head Coach Taylor Jenkins addressed the when I asked him about what their presence means, “There’s a youthfulness that I want to embrace.” I also asked how this run will be helpful to him to build that culture he’s talked about throughout the summer. “This will be super helpful to me, when you’ve got individuals, player or staff, that enjoy working with each other and bring that positive spirit. That’s what we want to create. That’s going to translate to some great stuff!” Feel free to share your thoughts on the Las Vegas Summer League and whether or not you believe the Summer League would be an accurate opinion of what these guys will do in the NBA next season by commenting in the comment section of this article on www.whatsgoodinsports. com or follow me on Twitter at “Voice of the Fans” for immediate engagement. Additionally, subscribe to our weekly “Voice of the Fans” Podcast which is available for you on Apple and Google Podcasts including Spotify, TunedIn, and iHeart Radio. We certainly appreciate you for making our voice your choice!
LOS ANGELES NEWS OBSERVER
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Memphis Grizzlies win the Las Vegas NBA Summer League. (Cam Buford photo)
The Summer League logo at center court of Thomas and Mack Arena. (Cam Buford photo)
2019 ESPN ESPY Awards
By Cameron Buford Whatsgoodinsports.com Last week in downtown Los Angeles, ESPN has once again wrangled up many of the greatest athletes and entertainers from around the world for their ceremonial event. As this award show continues to grow, year after year, sports fan from all backgrounds have a chance to see the who’s who of sports and entertainment show up to this event and engage with athletes and stars who’ve they admired from afar.
This year’s ESPY Awards, which were Presented by Capital One were no different. Broadcasted live on ABC, from Microsoft Theater, The ESPY Awards were created to support ESPN’s ongoing commitment to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, initiated by ESPN with the late Jim Valvano in 1993. The ESPY’s also commemorate the past years in sports as well as recognizing major sports
achievements all the while saluting the leading performers and performances in the sports world. Currently starring in the critically acclaimed television shows The Last O.G., actor and comedian Tracy Morgan hosted the 2019 ESPYS this past week. Morgan was joined by many of the top celebrities from sports and entertainment around the world to present many of the awards. Having previously starred on Saturday Night Live
for seven seasons, Morgan has become one of the most notable and respected comedy actors of our time. He actually received an Emmy Nomination for his work on 30 Rock and is a nine-time NAACP Image Award nominee. After attending this event last year, the Los Angeles News Observer was asked to attend and cover the 2019 ESPN ESPY Awards for a second consecutive year. It was a thrill for me to attend the Red-Carpet event to meet and briefly interview some of the 2019 ESPY award winners, presenters, and athletes in attendance. Click on the links below to view the multiple interviews I conducted last week; Jaime Marseilles https://youtu.be/06tg5xpy-BQ Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin https://youtu.be/atz_ oxon57g Landry Shamet https://youtu.be/27EOMSkEUfg Daniel Cormier https://youtu.be/IAQ9g45NcbI RJ Hampton https://youtu.be/Xtqp0e3Hkc4 James Wiseman https://youtu.be/NaNvhEQ5YUg Francis Ngannou https://youtu.be/EUjn8a-wgRQ Duron Payne https://youtu.be/fQzBw3IrHLk Paige Spiranic https://youtu.be/oySOihzQL7A Shawne Merriman https://youtu.be/rKcTaA0yLAM Ramona Shelburne and Jackie MacMullan A few of the big winners of the evening was the presentation of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award being awarded to High School Football Coach Rob Mendez, having been born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder that caused him to be born without arms or legs. In addition to former Marine Kirstie Ennis, whose leg was amputated after an injury in Afghanistan, was presented the Pat Tillman Award for her service. Lastly, the US Women’s National Soccer Team was awarded the Team of the Year after winning their second consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup just days before the ESPY Awards. ESPN should be commended for this initiative and their continued support of the V Foundation and Cancer research, in addition to their efforts to relive the most memorable moments from the previous years in sports. As a sports fan, this is perfect scheduling for this event, as there aren’t any games scheduled on this day in any of the major sports leagues. The NFL, NBA along with the NHL is currently in offseason while the MLB has just completed their mid-season All-Star Game classic. As a Sports Writer, I enjoy meeting some of the athletes I’ve only seen from a distance as well as interacting with some of the most inspirational people that walk the earth, such as Female Marathoner Bilateral Amputee Jamie Maseilles and New Zealand professional player RJ Hampton. Click on the respective links above to hear their stories from them specifically. Feel free to share your thoughts on the ESPN ESPY Awards or the interviews I conducted by commenting in the comment section of this article on www.whatsgoodinsports. com or follow me on Twitter at “Voice of the Fans” for immediate engagement. Additionally, subscribe to our weekly “Voice of the Fans” Podcast which is available for you on Apple and Google Podcasts including Spotify, TunedIn, and iHeart Radio. We appreciate you for making our voice your choice!
Thursday, July 18, 2019
LOS ANGELES NEWS OBSERVER A5
Former World Champ Boxer Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker Struck, Killed by Vehicle in Virginia Beach
Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker at the end of his fight against Felix Trinidad at Madison Square Garden in New York. Sweet Pea lost by unanimous decision. Picture was taken Saturday February 20th, 1999. (Lawrence Jackson/The Virginian-Pilot)
Special from The Virginian-Pilot Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker, a former professional boxer, died Sunday night after being hit by a vehicle in Virginia Beach, according to police. Whitaker was struck while on foot near the intersection of Northampton Boulevard and Baker Road, police said in a news release. The call came in at 10:04 p.m. He died at the scene and the driver of the vehicle remained there with police. Whitaker, 55, was a four-time world champion who grew up in Norfolk. He won an Olympic gold medal in 1984. Ring Magazine named him its 1989 boxer of the year. Whitaker retired in 2001 and spent six years working as a trainer. By 2006, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Reached Monday morning by phone, his youngest son, Devon Whitaker, was shocked after hearing his dad died last night. “I guess he was wearing dark clothes, the road was dark and the driver didn’t see him,” said the 23-year-old. He said his dad was a “cool guy.” “That’s all I can say about him,” he said. “I can’t really say how I’m feeling because I’m feeling shocked. I’m still trying to process everything that’s going on. But he was a cool guy.” Whitaker was a former World Boxing Council world champion. “Sweetpea” was one of the most brilliant boxers in the past decades and he was always a great friend of the WBC,” Mauricio Sulaimán of the WBC wrote on the organization’s Facebook page. “We are deeply saddened with this news.” The boxer was a staple at Wareing’s Gym in Virginia Beach. “He was a legacy here,” said Jake Wareing. “I grew up watching him all the time.” Wareing said that Whitaker would stop in the gym “from time to time” and give motivational talks to youngsters participating in some of the gym’s programs. Wareing’s uncle, Bob Wareing, was Whitaker’s strength trainer. He died in 2001. Peter Joyner of Norfolk met Whitaker when the fighter was about 12 years old and became his confidante and right-hand man throughout his career. “This is the worst day of my life so far,” Joyner said Monday. “He was like one of my sons. That’s what he called me: the godfather.” Joyner said he last saw Whitaker a couple weeks ago and that he was doing well, working with local fighters several days a week at Powerhouse Gym in Virginia Beach. As for his boxing legacy, Joyner said it speaks for itself. “He’s done it all. He’s a legend, plain and simple as that. There’s not anything in boxing he didn’t accomplish.” Tommy Brooks, who trained Whitaker for part of his career, said he was easy to work with. “I didn’t have to do anything,” Brooks said. “Just give him water and wipe his face off.”
Whitaker used to be Terri Adams’ personal trainer at Powerhouse, the gym owned by his nephew. She said she’d see him four times per week, for two hours per night and he helped her lose 20 pounds. For two months, he worked her “hard, hard, hard” she said. “When you felt like giving up, he wouldn’t let you,” she said. Working out with someone so famous was very exciting, but he was just “an ordinary guy, easygoing and motivational and rough at the same time,” she said. The last time she saw him was in March. He had been training up and coming boxers. “He was working on himself and that doesn’t happen overnight,” she said. “He helped everyone else who wanted to be helped.” Norfolk native Wizdom Powell said she remembers how shortly before one of his first title fights, Whitaker visited his alma mater, Booker T. Washington High School. Powell sang in the all-girls ensemble during the assembly, circling the seated fighter on the stage and belting out “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man of Mine.” Whitaker was so moved by the song and performance, he invited the ensemble to sing the national anthem at his fight in front of a packed Norfolk Scope crowd. Powell, who doesn’t remember who Whitaker fought that year, was a big boxing fan growing up, watching all the big fighters on TV. Singing for her hometown hero at his hometown fight was an honor, she said. “We knew we had to get it right,” said Powell, now a psychiatry professor at the University of Connecticut. Powell said she and Whitaker both grew up in tough Norfolk neighborhoods at the height of the crack epidemic, where kids struggled to make it out. “He managed to get out,” Powell said. “There was so much hope around him.” Police said Sunday night’s crash remains under investigation. Residents in the area describe Northampton Boulevard as a highly trafficked, fast-moving road. “It’s a major highway basically,” said Joey Hallman, who lives off Northampton about a quarter mile from the scene of the accident. Adding to the traffic: there are several businesses nearby, including a 24-hour diner, fast food chains and truck stop. The road, eight lanes in some places, is the main thoroughfare for tractor trailers to get to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. At Baker Road, there are no crosswalks going across Northampton. There are crosswalks running along Northampton, so pedestrians can cross Baker. Last year, there were three pedestrian-involved accidents at Northampton Boulevard and Baker Road, according to a query of the commonwealth’s Department of Transportation crash map. There were none listed for 2019.
When you walk out of the theater you may feel like you just left a family meal or a close friend’s house. That familial reaction is the result of Wang’s welcoming storytelling and an ensemble cast that makes you feel at home as you experience a sweet and sour drama, which tends to be more sweet.
Pernell “Sweetpea” Whitaker and trainer Tommy Brooks, pictured March 28th, 1987. (Courtesy photo)
The cast of The Farewell. (Courtesy photo)
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By Dwight Brown NNPA Newswire Film Critic That thing called life. Everyone goes through it, somehow putting a greater focus on the beginning and not the end. Who’s more adorable? Babies or elders? Yea, right. The Farwell dares to venture to the last chapter of our existence as it examines how an Asian family handles the finish-line process. It does so with a warm-hearted and uplifting spirit that is quite affecting. Writer/director Lulu Wang dug into her own experiences to develop the script’s premise, storyline and characters, basing her 98-minute anecdote on an incident that happened to her. Wang’s alter-ego is Billi (Awkwafina, Crazy Rich Asians), a Chinese-born, U.S.-raised twentysomething who is stunned to learn that her grandma, Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen), has been diagnosed with a terminal disease and given a short time to live. Billi is even more shocked when her dad Haiyan (Tzi Ma, The Quiet American, Rush Hour) and mom Jian (Diana Lin) advise her that the family will not tell the matriarch her diagnosis. Instead, they will gather around her in Changchun, China, their hometown, under the pretense of celebrating a wedding. For Billi, who is brash, the impulse to reach out to Nai Nai and console her is almost uncontrollable. It’s so strong, her parents don’t want her to travel to China, in fear that she’ll spill the beans. They leave for their motherland, without her. Billi, poor as a church mouse, finds a way (credit cards) to follow them there. In China, her parents and extended family are on pins and needles wondering if their cover will be blown. Bravely Lulu Wang takes on a dreary subject, but adds an inventive touch of magic, humor and artistry to her narrative. Her Nai Nai character is a magnet of strength. Scenes with her practicing Tai chi and teaching it to Billi are priceless. The tension between Billi and her parents over a tradition of holding back bad news seems authentic. In America, patients hear about the grim reaper all the time. In China, or at least in this family, the focus is on preserving a quality of life for as long as possible. And if that means sheltering the patient from a death sentence with a group charade, so be it.
Many films start or end with a screenshot that says, ‘Based on a true story.” The Farewell begins with the notation, “Based on an actual lie.” So, from the git-go, audiences know that this will not be an ordinary family drama. And it isn’t. Wang is very deft at creating a vibrant family vibe, with rivalries, past history, love and conflict all rolled into one. Her efforts are complemented by an ensemble cast that knows their roles and plays them out accordingly. Tzi Ma as dad is the stodgy patriarch. Diana Lin and Ma make the perfect couple, who have one foot planted firmly in the Western world, and the other in their homeland and its culture. Awkwafina as Billi, is their polar opposite. She’s as American as apple pie and an Apple Computer. She struggles to stay modern, yet respect her culture, traditions and family, too. Her dilemma will resonate with her generation or the offspring of immigrants. Emotional scenes between the three lead actors run quite deep, giving Awkwafina a chance to show her solid dramatic acting chops. Wang is an artist. It’s evident in the way she frames scenes like family photo portraits, and also in the excellent choices she makes with her tech crew: The music, from the original score (Alex Weston) to the eclectic playlist (musical supervisors Susan Jacobs and Dylan Neely), is as impeccable as it is quirky. The clothes looked lived in (Athena Wang, costume designer). The footage’s colors and tones look great and the cast is well-lit and photographed (Anna Franquesca Solano, D.P.). Sets, from banquet halls to homes and apartments (Yong Ok Lee, production designer) look genuine, and you often question whether you’re watching a movie or real life. If there is one imperfection, it’s the editing choices. Some scenes, especially the dinners, run on too long, way after the dramatic point has been made (Matt Friedman and Michael Taylor, editor). When you walk out of the theater you may feel like you just left a family meal or a close friend’s house. That familial reaction is the result of Wang’s welcoming storytelling and an ensemble cast that makes you feel at home as you experience a sweet and sour drama, which tends to be more sweet.
LOS ANGELES NEWS OBSERVER
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Empower Her Project Honors Women in Politics, Community Service, and Activism At The 2nd Annual Women of Color Empowerment Brunch The 2nd Annual Women of Color Empowerment Brunch produced by founders Raquel Wilson and Tynisha Lewis of the Empower Her Network hosted a groundbreaking platform for women of color. The brunch took place in the city of Watts California and was met with an overwhelming community response of young professional women of color starting out in business. The afternoon was hosted by Wilson and Lewis who honored three outstanding women of color in politics, activism, community service for their vast achievements, with a panel of seven influential women of color from various industries, moderated by Syd Stewart, Founder & Executive Director of Better Youth. Each panelist shared their stories, challenges, victories and secrets to success. This year’s honorees included Jan Perry, Former Los Angeles City Councilwoman; Linda Miles, Community Partnership Consultant; Susan Burton, Activist. Panelists included B. René Norman, Celebrity
Photographer; Deborah Griffin, Entertainment Publicist; Ericka Chancellor, Professional Cosmetologist;Natasha D Burton, Producer and Brand Builder; Sauda S. Johnson, Attorney; Tonya McKenzie, Author, Motivational Speaker, and PR Consultant; Umaymah Rashid, Content Creator, Digital Media Producer, and Marketing Manager. Raquel Wilson is a former foster youth and Tynisha Lewis is a former homeless youth who both use the Empower Her Project to provide professional development and advocacy opportunities for young professional women of color starting out in business with the space to network and be inspired. Both women are dedicated to empowering, educating and encouraging young women of color who are in and around the community of Watts, California. The goal is to shed light on the many resources available for young women of color to be able to accomplish extraordinary things through business.
Laker’s Introduce Anthony Davis
California’s 2020 Redistricting Commission Is Accepting Applications: Only 253 African Americans Have Applied
By Tanu Henry California Black Media Every 10 years, Californians have the opportunity to redistricting process. participate in a major political project as part of a special Before the passage of Proposition 11, the state 14-member, state-appointed commission. legislature was responsible for drawing its own electoral The citizens of California, through the California State districts. Auditor (CSA) office, sets up the commission and tasks it “The politicians were choosing their districts instead of with drawing the 120 legislative districts for the state’s U.S. the districts choosing their politicians,” said Mario Blanco, Congress, Assembly and Senate elections. The appointees a member of the outgoing 2010 commission, detailing are also responsible for establishing the boundaries of four how the former process of redistricting before prop 11 was more maps for the California Board of Equalization, an vulnerable to gerrymandering. agency that represents taxpayer interests and standardizes Then, in 2011, California voters approved Proposition county-by-county tax assessments across the state. 20, an initiative that expanded the responsibilities of the As of Sunday this week, a total of about 4,226 commission to drawing California’s U.S. Congressional Californians had applied for a position on the California districts as well. Redistricting Commission, which will convene next year The 2020 Commission will include five Democrats, and last through 2030. five Republicans, and four who are either registered Of that number, about 6 percent - or approximately without, or “independent” of, any political party,” said 253 applicants - are African Americans. Fernandez. On the website of the CSA, which guides the work To qualify, an applicant must be a registered voter who of the commission, there are daily-updating charts and has been a member of the same political party or no political graphs that capture the ethnicity and other demographic party since July, 1 2015. He or she must have also voted in information of the people who have applied so far. three statewide general elections. The CSA also employs The CSA says it wants Californians of all backgrounds other criteria to narrow down the pool of applicants. who have a history of civic engagement to apply in an Last year, a total of 30,000 Californians applied to be effort to make sure the group selected is a close reflection on the commission. of the state’s general population in terms of region, county, According to Fernandez, after the application process income, age, race, ethnicity and other profile information. closes, the CSA narrows down the list of candidates “We are thrilled about the number of applications based on a number of eligibility requirements that are submitted since the application period opened on June spelled out by law. The names that make the first cut, are 10,” said Elaine M. Howle, California State Auditor. “But given a supplemental application to complete with essay the work is not done yet. We want to make sure that all questions designed to determine if they are impartial, Californians are represented in the initial application pool. have an appreciation for diversity and the ability to think That means we need even more of the State’s talented and analytically. They must submit letters of recommendations diverse citizens to take up this once in a decade opportunity as well. and apply by August 9.” Then, a CSA-appointed panel of Republicans, The office of the CSA is an independent agency Democrats and Independents narrows the applicants that neither reports to the governor’s office nor the state down to 60 people through a random drawing that is livelegislature. streamed and available to the public online. Most of the work, drawing the lines of the state’s The names selected are then passed on to the 4 leaders electoral districts, will be completed in the first year of the of the state legislature who strike out names and narrow commission’s tenure from August 2020 to August 2021, the list down to 12 applicants in each pool of Democrats, says Margarita Fernandez, Chief of public affairs for the Republicans and Independents. From that pile, the State CSA. Auditor selects the first eight commissioners and that group “After that, the commission may meet regularly or then selects the final six who will become their colleagues. regroup if there is a lawsuit against the map,” she added. The commission hires its own staff and works Every 10 years, California appoints a new commission independently within pre-set guidelines established by the after the U.S. Census. It is tasked with mapping or re- CSA. Commissioners are paid a stipend of between $300 drawing the state’s electoral lines based on geographic and - $400 per week and all expenses related to work will be other data changes in the state population over the decade reimbursed. between census counts. “Nationally, we are seen as the alternative, the model, In 2008, California voters approved the commission of how you can do redistricting better and in a more through a constitutional amendment called The Voters inclusive way,” says Connie Malloy, another member of the First Act or Proposition 11 that handed the power of 2010 commission. drawing electoral maps over to the hands of citizens. To apply or track demographics The policy was set up to avoid the political influence of visit: shapecaliforniasfuture.auditor.ca.gov government officials or special interest groups on the
Download “Observer Interactive” to watch Anthony Davis speaking to members of the media and more behind the scene photos. (Los Angeles News Observer photo)
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