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Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women. Powered by Real Times Media

Volume 89 • Issue 30

www.AtlantaDailyWorld.com

-Maya Angelou March 2-8, 2017

SCANDAL

comes to City Hall


March 2-8, 2017

COVER STORY

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Mayoral candidates say culture of corruption stops now

Atlanta Daily World

Founded August 5 1928; Became Daily, March 12, 1932 W.A. Scott, II, Founder/Publisher August 5, 1928 to February 7, 1934 Published weekly at 100 Hartsfield Centre Parkway Suite 500 Atlanta, Georgia 30354 Periodicals Postage Paid at Atlanta Mailing Offices. Publication Number 017255 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Atlanta Daily World, 100 Hartsfield Centre Parkway Suite 500 Atlanta, Georgia 30354 Subscriptions: One Year: $52 Two Years: $85 Forms of Payment: Check, Money Order, VISA American Express, MasterCard MEMBER: Atlanta mayoral candidates address corruption at Judicial Qualifications Commission forum on Friday, Feb. 24 at Georgia State Bar Association headquarters By Roz Edward, ADW Managing Editor As news broke last week of scandal and corruption at Atlanta’s City Hall, mayoral hopefuls scrambled to address the issue with remarkable candor at a recent Judicial Qualifications Commission forum. Expressing contempt for those involved in the conspiracy and bribery scandal, each vowed to upend the current culture of corruption once they took office. “It’s absolutely horrific what’s been uncovered at City Hall and what has been going on, and we all should be appalled,” said former City of Atlanta COO Peter Aman. Sen. Vincent Fort launched headlong into a heated discussion, with a pointed commentary and some blatant finger pointing at others in the race to replace term-limited mayor Kasim Reed, demanding to know of their involvement with the woman at the center of the storm, former city hall employee Mitzi Bickers. The political consultant became the subject of a federal investigation zeroing in on a pay for play bribery scheme which resulted in the firing of chief procurement officer Adam Smith. “There are several people on this [mayoral candidate] panel who have solicited Mitzi Bickers to work on their campaigns, and I would like to know all of the candidates who have either themselves or otherwise solicited Mitzi Bickers to work on their campaigns,” he said motioning toward others on the panel, adding “the question is when did folks know it, what did they know and why didn’t they do anything about it.” City council member and fellow candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms picked up on the accusationlaced charge and responded forcefully. “Senator Fort is a very good friend of Mitzi Bickers and I’d like to ask him ‘When did you know it?’ I was looking at disclosures the other day and I noticed that she was on your 2015 disclosure in 2016, so did you know it?” Procurement and politics are often risky business, and sometimes, unfortunately tricky

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business. City Halls from New Orleans to Detroit have been shaken by the scourge of political greed, monetary misconduct and campaign-contracting conspiracies. But in Atlanta’s case the damage may be more impactful on the city’s successful minority contracting programs which play a critical role in ensuring contracting opportunities for minority companies and have historically helped to spread wealth to minority businesses. In 2016, the city of Atlanta embarked on a comprehensive campaign to broaden its minority contracting program to take into account the metro region’s true diversity. The city’s Office of Contract Compliance expanded Atlanta’s Equal Business Opportunity Program based on recommendations from a disparity study that found the program was being under-utilized by minority- and womenowned businesses. Advances in those programs may be hindered as the investigation widens its scope. Since the two contractors involved in the federal investigation have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, the city’s contracting and procurement programs have been compromised and are subject to enhanced scrutiny causing possible contracting delays While candidates and contractors alike are working feverishly to distance themselves from the City Hall scandal, others are taking a more direct approach, determined to right the ship as quickly as possible. City council president and mayoral candidate Ceasar Mitchell, said he will commit to have future contracts posted online. “To know people would allow this type of activity in our city when it is not necessary is disappointing.” Former City of Atlanta COO Peter Aman added that he had in the past and if elected would impose tough penalties for government misconduct. “When I was chief officer in the first nine months I fired multiple people for comparatively minor procurement code violations. At the time I made a series of statements where I repeated don’t (expletive) with the procurement code of the City

of Atlanta.” A Change is Going to Come: While all mayoral candidates agreed that the conduct of those involved in the still unfolding pay to play scandal was at best reprehensible and at worst criminal, former Atlanta Workforce Development Agency director Michael Sterling, who earned the nickname “The Reformer” during his tenure at ADWA, promised to take a hard line with offenders. “I was an assistant United States attorney in an office that prosecuted two consecutive governors. We didn’t play any games when it came to public corruption. I personally indicted individuals who committed billion dollar frauds and who bribed city investigators. So if you want to change the culture of corruption you have to put someone in office who understands how to fix it.” City councilmember Mary Norwood commented that she introduced stringent legislative measures in 2016 to facilitate total transparency in financial dealings. “That means every expense, every check, every single financial item should be on the web and available for public scrutiny,” she said. Cathy Woolard, a former city councilmember questioned why more checks and balances were not in place to safeguard against the multi-level corruption scams, noting that Atlanta was without a chief executive office for a year, although qualified candidates were eligible and prepared to fill the position. “We are going to review the procurement code. It’s been in place for almost a generation if not longer and identify those measures we can put in place to create greater firewalls against fraud and abuse,” promised Council president Mitchell. “Citizens expect that governments are going to be open, transparent and deliberative… that means what is done in government is seen and available to all who are tax payers and are investing in government … so we have to ensure that it is right and respective of the public trust,” concluded Mitchell.

Associated Press Atlanta Business League Central Atlanta Progress Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce National Newspaper Publishers Website: www.AtlantaDailyWorld.com Lorraine Cochran General Manager lcochran@realtimesmedia.com

Roz Edward

Managing Editor redward@realtimesmedia.com

Juan Sifuentes

Graphic Designer jsifuentes@realtimesmedia.com

Atlanta Daily World is powered by Real Times Media The Atlanta Daily World is not responsible for unsolicited photos, manuscripts, etc., unless return is requested with postage. Address all correspondence to and make checks payable to Atlanta Daily World, rather than to individuals.

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NEWS

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March 2-8, 2017

Attorney General Carr warns of fake email from scammers posing as government agency By Roz Edward, ADW Managing Editor Attorney General Chris Carr is warning the public about a phony email circulating that purports to be from the “Department of Consumer Affairs.” The email, which allegedly targets attorneys, says that a complaint has been filed against the recipient’s company and urges recipients to click on a link to view the complaint. This email is NOT from the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit or any other legitimate government entity. It is a fake email. Clicking on the link or attachment provided may allow the scammer to install malware on your computer. The scam has been reported in Georgia and South Carolina. To avoid this type of scam, follow these tips: • Check the email address. Since email addresses and domain names from legitimate government entities typically end with .gov, an email address ending in .com or .org that claims to be from the government can indicate

it’s a scam. • Review the email for any misspellings, grammatical errors or suspicious requests. When in doubt, pick up the phone and contact the sender directly by looking up the actual phone number for the organization; do not use the number provided in the email. • Never give out financial or personal information to unverified sources. • If you get a suspicious email, you should not reply to it, open any attachments or click on any links. • Report phishing and imposter emails to the organization that the email purports to come from. Also, consider reporting the email to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, http://www.IC3.gov and your email provider. Then DELETE the email.

President Trump’s meeting with HBCU leaders mired in controversy

President Donald Trump, right, meets with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Also at the meeting are White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, left, and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, on the couch. (AP Photo/ Pablo Martinez Monsivais By Kamau High When the administration of President Donald Trump announced that there would be a “listening session” with HBCU presidents at the White House there were concerns that the meeting would be nothing more than a photo opportunity for a president that has stumbled badly when it comes to reaching out to Blacks. Those concerns appear to have been proven correct. Among the reportedly close to 100 HBCU presidents in many reported that from the beginning of the meeting, things appeared to go wrong for the administration. Kellyane Conway, counselor to the president, was photographed casually kneeling on a couch in the Oval Office while the presidents of the gathered HBCUs posed standing with the President. The photograph has been condemned

as not showing sufficient respect to the HBCU presidents and the office of the President. In addition to a lack of respect, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a statement about the meeting. In it, she said that HBCUs were started as a way of offering Black students “school choice” instead of the reality that they were created as a result of state-sanctioned segregation. “[HBCUs] started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education. They saw that the system wasn’t working, that there was an absence of opportunity, so they took it upon themselves to provide the solution,” she wrote. According to HBCU Buzz, there are more than 100 HBCUs in the United States. “HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice. They are living proof that when more options are provided

to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality,” DeVos continued. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) quickly issued a statement condemning Devos’ remarks. “Let’s be clear, HBCUs were started because of Jim Crow laws. Black students did not “choose” HBCUs over all White colleges—they were barred from attending due to their race,” he wrote. “This statement by Mrs. Devos reveals either a stunning ignorance of history on the part of the person tasked with overseeing our nation’s education system, or an inability to acknowledge our nation’s shameful history of racial discrimination in education, both public and private.” Responding to the DeVos controversy, Morgan’s Wilson said in a video posted on Twitter that it was a “very unfortunate choice of words expressed very inartfully.” On Feb. 28 DeVos issued an apology on Twitter where she acknowledged that HBCUs began due to segregation. “#HBCUs are such an important piece of the fabric of American history—one that encompasses some of our nation’s greatest citizens. Providing an alternative option to students denied the right to attend a quality school is the legacy of #HBCUs. But your history was born not out of mere choice, but out of necessity, in the face of racism, and in the aftermath of the Civil War.” Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University published a commentary saying “…there was very little listening to HBCU presidents today — we were only given about two minutes each, and that was cut to one minute, so only about seven of maybe 15 or so speakers were given an opportunity today,” he wrote. On Feb. 28, Trump signed an executive order moving the White House Initiative on HBCUs—started by then President Jimmy Carter—from under control of the Dept. of Education to the White House. Washington D.C. Editor LaTrina Antoine contributed to this article. khigh@afro.com

‘Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine’ joins Detroit-based multimedia company, Real Times Media ADW Staff report Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine Joins Detroit-based Multimedia Company, Real Times Media as Part of New Alliance to Broaden the Brand’s Impact Throughout Metro Atlanta Tribune publisher, Pat Lottier, to lead new combined Atlanta operation Real Times Media, a Detroitbased multimedia company focused on media, marketing, and entertainment expressly for urban audiences today announced that Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine (ATM) is joining the Real Times Media family of brands. With this transaction, Real Times Media is partnering with arguably the most respected African American print outlet in Atlanta. The outcomes of this alliance will broaden the impact of both brands on communities throughout metro Atlanta creating even more impactful, culturally relevant content, engaging digital experiences, and live events. “In order to be a stronger national brand, we decided that we needed to be stronger in Atlanta because it is such a hotbed for African American content and programming,” said Hiram E. Jackson, chief executive officer, Real Times Media. “We currently have a presence in the market with the Atlanta Daily World and “Who’s Who In Black Atlanta,” but adding the Atlanta Tribune to our family of brands shows just how committed we are to this market and to shoring our position as a national media voice. ” Despite the change in ownership, Pat Lottier, founder and publisher of the Tribune, will lead the new combined Atlanta operation which now includes the Tribune, the Atlanta Daily World, and “Who’s Who In Black Atlanta.” “The Atlanta Tribune is excited to become a part of the Real Times family,” said Lottier. “We’ve invested decades of passion in becoming Black Atlanta’s leading source for relevant, thought-provoking news and information on business lifestyle and look forward to the opportunity to expand our reach through our new partnership with Real Times and its brands.” Headquartered in Detroit, Real Times Media (RTM) is parent company to the nation’s largest African American-owned newspaper and digital media operation, including the Atlanta Daily World, the Chicago Defender, the Michigan Chronicle, and the New Pittsburgh Courier. In addition to its news brands, Real Times Media also offers custom programming and publishing in 20 markets across the United States through its Who’s Who brand, producing more than 50 events annually.

3 | ADW


BUSINESS

March 2-8, 2017

MARTA’s Avondale development named Project of the Year by Dekalb Chamber of Commerce

www.AtlantaDailyWorld.com

Wells Fargo commits $60 billion to increase African American homeownership Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), the leading U.S. home loan lender, recently announced a $60 billion lending commitment to create at least 250,000 new African American homeowners by 2027. The company’s commitment is a direct action to address the lower homeownership rates in the African American community. Wells Fargo’s commitment seeks to: • Lend $60 billion to qualified African American consumers for home purchases, • Increase the diversity of the Wells Fargo Home Lending sales team, and • Support the effort with $15 million to support a variety of initiatives that promote financial education and counseling over the next ten years.

MARTA receives the 2017 Project of the Year Award from the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. Pictured LTR: 2016 DeKalb Chamber Board Chair Diane McClearen, Chamber President Katerina Taylor, Delta Community Credit Union Brandon Stuckey, MARTA Board Member Robert Dallas, MARTA Senior Director of TOD Amanda Rhein, MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker, Chamber Board Member John J. Funny, MARTA Chief of Staff Rukiya Thomas, 2017 Chamber Board Chair Frederick L. Daniels, Jr. ADW staff reports A $120 million mixed-use development, led by MARTA’s reinvigorated transit-oriented development (TOD) program, was named 2017 Project of the Year by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. The TOD, located in the Avondale Estates community, is currently under construction and will feature a pedestrianfriendly development comprised of 378 market-rate apartments as well as 92 affordable, independent housing options for seniors. The development, known as “E. Co” in reference to the project’s proximity to East College Avenue, also includes 22,000 squarefeet of commercial space for future entertainment, dining and retail businesses. “We are elated and honored to be recognized for our E. Co project as we work to enhance our transit options and reimagine various stations throughout our system,” said MARTA GM/CEO Keith T. Parker. “At MARTA, we are always exploring innovative ways to enhance the overall transit experience by introducing new amenities, innovations and conveniences for our broad range of customers across the region.” The E. Co project sits on 7.7 acres of previously underutilized parking. The converted site will connect visitors and residents directly to the East Decatur Greenway PATH and a designated greenspace, creating a more walkable community. Last December, MARTA broke ground for the mix-used development. It is the Authority’s fourth TOD project to begin construction. The first phase of the E. Co development is scheduled for completion in 2018. “MARTA has been a critical partner of the Chamber and DeKalb County, and the MARTA Avondale Station TOD is crucial to connecting DeKalb County to the metro Atlanta region and preparing us to support future growth,” Katerina Taylor, DeKalb Chamber President and CEO said.

“Wells Fargo’s $60 billion lending goal can contribute to economic growth by making responsible homeownership possible for more African Americans in communities across the country,” said Brad Blackwell, executive vice president and head of housing policy and homeownership growth strategies for Wells Fargo. “We are proud to be the first mortgage lender to make a public commitment to help increase African American homeownership. And, we are grateful for the support of key housing and civil rights organizations, who work alongside us to increase economic prosperity in our communities.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by the year 2024, 75 percent of the expected 14 million new households (renters and owners) in the U.S. will be diverse. African Americans are projected to represent 17 percent, or the third largest segment, of the new households. Joining Wells Fargo in the effort are the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (composed of African American real estate professionals), which has also set a homeownership goal, and two of the nation’s most influential civil rights organizations, the NAACP and the National Urban League. The National Urban League provides homebuyer education and counseling through its network of affiliate offices across the country. “NAREB applauds Wells Fargo’s $60 billion loan commitment. The bank is the first financial institution to acknowledge publicly Black Americans’ wealth-building potential which could be greatly improved through homeownership,” said Ron Cooper, president, National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB). “NAREB welcomes their entry into the struggle to close the ever-widening wealth gap for Black Americans, and looks forward to having Wells Fargo as a partner in NAREB’s ‘2 Million New Black Homeowners in 5 Years’ program. Let us all work together and grow this initiative which represents a solid and meaningful start for more Black Americans to become homeowners and wealth-builders.” The African American lending commitment is the second initiative from the company’s Housing Policy and Homeownership Growth Strategies group, a Wells Fargo Home Lending team advancing homeownership for minorities, first-time homebuyers and low- to moderate-income customers. In 2015, the team announced an agreement with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals to support their Hispanic Wealth Project. “Homeownership has become an indispensable part of being a full participant in American society,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “An erosion of homeownership rates among African Americans represents not only a devastating financial loss but a barrier to full participation in the American dream.”

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(Left to right) Vickee Adams, Wells Fargo Senior Vice President, External Communications; Brad Blackwell, Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo Home Lending; Anika Khan, Managing Director, Senior Economist, Wells Fargo Securities; Wade Henderson, President & CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights; Martin Eakes, CEO, Self-Help Credit Union/Center for Responsible Lending; Ron Cooper, President, National Association of Real Estate Brokers and Cyrus Richardson, Senior Vice President for Economics & Housing Programs, National Urban League In addition, according to NAREB’s 2016 commissioned study, “The State of Housing in Black America,” housing finance industry barriers such as credit-scoring models, the lack of affordable housing inventory and economic constraints like unemployment and under-employment contribute to low homeownership among African Americans. In addition, barriers to homeownership in black communities include the costs associated with accessing mortgage credit, limited funds for down payment and lender averseness to extend credit to consumers with lower credit scores and smaller down payments. Additional research concludes that the lack of exposure to generations of long-term homeownership and the persistence of myths about homebuying may keep future homebuyers on the fence. Despite these factors, Wells Fargo has learned through a series of consumer surveys with Ipsos Public Affairs that African Americans view homeownership positively. According to the 2016 survey, 90 percent of African Americans say homeownership is a “dream come true,” 79 percent say it’s essential for building families and 51 percent are considering buying a home in the next two years. Wells Fargo offers a number of home financing choices for a wide range of homebuying needs. For example, yourFirst MortgageSM has a homebuyer education incentive and offers a down payment as low as 3 percent for fixed-rate loans; for veterans, a VA loan requires no down payment; and Wells Fargo is the exclusive provider of the Union Plus mortgage program, which offers benefits for most union members and their families. There are also low down payment options for jumbo loan customers. The Neighborhood LIFT program, celebrating its 50th event on March 3, offered down payment assistance and homebuyer education to low- and moderate-income homebuyers, and has created more than 13,000 homeowners since 2012. There are still LIFT dollars available in some markets. Learn more at www. NeighborhoodLIFT.com. For more information or to speak with a home mortgage consultant, consumers can call 1-877-937-9357.

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COMMUNITY

March 2-8, 2017

HOPE Atlanta transitions 40 families from hotels to permanent housing

ADW reports There are an estimated 220 children and over 170 families with children attending DeKalb County Schools who are currently residing in hotels that are havens for drug trafficking, prostitution and substance abuse. HOPE Atlanta, in addition to several collaborative partners, participated in the Hotel to Permanency project (H2P) which aims to identify homeless individuals and families who live in hotels and transfer them to permanent housing. As of today, 147 people living in the unsafe residences, 97 of them children, have been relocated to permanent housing. HOPE Atlanta initially became involved in the H2P project when a DeKalb County School Student Support Services/Homeless Social Worker informed the nonprofit organization that an estimated 10 hotels had recently been deemed unsafe by DeKalb County Code Enforcement, the Health Department and the DeKalb County Police Department. The identified hotels housed several families with school-aged children, many of whom were not attending classes. Out of concern for the occupants’ safety and the children’s education, HOPE Atlanta and a team of nonprofit organizations that serve the homeless sought to identify and relocate those living in the hotels in to more stable housing with supportive services. “As a nonprofit, your mission is to positively impact the lives of those you serve,” Edward Powers, executive director of HOPE Atlanta says. “Working with committed collaborators and knowing that you share the same goals makes the job easier. We enjoyed working with this group of organizations and look forward to changing more lives with them in the future.” This highly successful program involves extensive interagency collaboration. A member of HOPE Atlanta’s Street Outreach program visits the hotels to build

relationships and assess needs with the families and communicate about options. Decatur Cooperative Ministries, with the assistance of DeKalb Workforce Development and Salvation Army organized an outreach event where families completed an assessment of their needs and obtain the required information necessary to be placed in the housing program. The Housing Authority of DeKalb County received documents from Decatur Cooperative Ministries to determine program eligibility. For eligible families, HADC gives a Tenant Based Rental Assistance Voucher. Case managers from the HDAC, Decatur Cooperative Ministries, Salvation Army, Partnership for Community Action, HOPE Atlanta and New Life Ministries are assigned families. HADC works with the case managers to locate housing, schedules the inspections, completes the contracts and administers the payments on behalf of DeKalb County Community Development. The dedicated social servants work with the families using the Arizona Self-Sufficiency Model to assist the family in meeting their goals in order to achieve self-sufficiency and become independent of the housing subsidy after the 12-month period. They link the families to services such as; Education, Employment, Job Training, Mental Health, Health Care, Financial Literacy, Food Stamps, Child Care, and Medicaid. The families that participated in the H2P project were provided with HOME Tenant Basic Rental Assistance Program (Vouchers) for one year through HADC and case management is provided through the collaborative. Partnering agencies include: Decatur Cooperative Ministries, DeKalb County Police, Housing Authority of DeKalb County, DeKalb County Community Development Department, DeKalb County Schools (Homeless Social Worker Program), DeKalb County Workforce Development, Faith Based Organizations and HOPE Atlanta.

LISTENING SESSIONS MARTA is continuing its outreach in the City of Atlanta to get input on the service improvements you would like to see in your neighborhoods and communities. We are hosting six (6) Listening Sessions throughout the City of Atlanta. Please come out and provide your input as we implement the MORE MARTA program.

LISTENING SESSIONS

MARTA is continuing its outreach in the City of Atlanta to get

input on the to see in your 9 March 7service improvements Marchyou8would likeMarch

neighborhoods and communities. We are hosting six (6) Listening-Sessions of Atlanta. come and pm 6:30 pm 8:00 pmthroughout 6:30thepmCity - 8:00 pm Please 6:30 pmout - 8:00 provide your input as we implement the MORE MARTA program. ROSEL FANN THE AGAPE HELENE

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FOR MORE INFORMATION Email: MOREMARTA@itsmarta.com Phone: 404-848-6546 FOR MORE INFORMATION Web: www.itsmarta.com/moremarta

Email: MOREMARTA@itsmarta.com 5 | ADW Phone: 404-848-6546 Web: www.itsmarta.com/moremarta


ENTERTAINMENT Chance The Rapper rents out theater for SNL’s Leslie Jones faces more heat on Twitter for making fun of white women critically acclaimed film, ‘Get Out’ for the hood

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March 2-8, 2017

Roz Edward, ADW Managing Editor Leslie Jones can’t seem to get a break. Last year, led by now disgraced “writer” Milo Yiannopoulos, the Saturday Night Live player was viciously harassed online with users comparing her to Harambe the gorilla and sending her porn. These days, she’s facing a backlash after making a joke about white people who claim to support Black Lives Matter during a stand-up routine at the famous Carolines Comedy Club in New York City last week. “If I see another 45-year-old white woman from Williamsburg saying ‘black lives matter,’ I’m going to punch you in the mouth,” said Jones, 49, according to the New York Post. “Stop doing that.” Jones also poked fun at herself during her set, including the aforementioned harassment (and hacking of her website last summer) and the protests against President Donald Trump, which poked a little fun at black women. “Not one black woman out there,” she said of the marches. “Black woman at home watching ‘Housewives of Atlanta.’” Some people took to Twitter to blast Jones for Twitter’s “double standard”— Yiannopoulos was actually banned from the social media platform because of his harassment of Jones. One user even called her “racist.”

Chicago South Siders got to see the “social thriller” for free because Lil’ Chano loved the film so much.

Little Ladies Leading, Inc. hosts private screening of critically acclaimed film, ‘Hidden Figures’ On March 4, Dr. Alexcius Branch, Founder of Little Ladies Leading, Inc., a newly formed non-profit organization, is hosting a private screening and Red Carpet Reception for the critically acclaimed film Hidden Figures for girls age 12-21. The mission of Little Ladies Leading, Inc is to equip girls with the leadership skills to achieve social, economic, and political excellence. Dr. Branch initiated a call-toaction for 50 progressive, selfless, female mentors (business entrepreneurs, professionals, community leaders, college leaders and socialites of Atlanta Georgia) to join her in sponsoring an under-served future female leader to attend this girls empowerment event. The event will start at 4 p.m. and is being held at AMC Parkway Pointe 15. Hidden Figures is an amazing drama based on the true story of three black women who worked at NASA to accomplish one of the greatest space operations in history is a work of art sure to inspire all that witness to dream big. Each young lady will be given a reading assignment related to leadership, personal courage, defying the odds, etc. to be completed prior to the viewing. After the viewing, Dr. Branch, her special celebrity guests, and confirmed Hidden Figures

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NewsOne Staff As has been the case with quite a few celebs recently (Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson buying out theaters for Hidden Figures), fresh Grammy winner Chance the Rapper has gotten in on the action and rented out a movie theater on Sunday so folks could see Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele for free. “I bought all the tickets to #GetOut at Chatham Theatre on 87th. Just pull up with ID and enjoy the movie,” tweeted the rapper. In an earlier Tweet, he called the film “incredible” and apparently wanted to share the love by buying out all of the shows that day. Get Out, released Friday, is a “social thriller” and stars Allison Williams and Daniel Kaluuya. The buzz is that it’s a must-see satirical thriller with a pointed yet nuanced take on race. Get Out received a rare “100 percent” Rotten Tomatoes rating and just dethroned the Batman Lego movie at the box office, raking $30.5 million in its debut. Lil Chano apparently did this one for the culture and the hood.

Atlanta Daily World

cast members Ali Epson, Isoken Obaseki, Yulonda Calhoun & Judy McCee will lead a 20-minute dialogue that will connect the reading assignment, the movie, and how participants saw or see their future selves in the movie characters. Afterwards, attendees will adjourn to Main Event Entertainment, co-located in the AMC complex, for the Official Red Carpet Reception and ribbon cutting ceremony for Little Ladies Leading, Inc. Young ladies between the ages of 12-17 and women interested in becoming mentors will be afforded the opportunity to be considered for membership in Little Ladies Leading, Inc. Little Ladies Leading, Inc. and Dr. Alexcius Branch are honored to have the Atlanta Daily World Newspaper as a media partner in this inaugural event as We Empower Girls to Change the World! Little Ladies Leading, Inc. is still seeking sponsors, ambassadors, and girls between the ages of 12-21 to participate in this inspirational event. The cost is $20 per person. For more information on becoming a sponsor or ambassador, please contact Mike Styles at 646-801-4437, and to purchase tickets log on to wwww.littleladiesleadingscreening.eventbrite.com.

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ENTERTAINMENT

March 2-8, 2017

Jazz in the Gardens returns for 12th Year of Xscape announces official reunion with music, sun and fun original members

By Danielle Jennings

By AJ Williams In one of America’s hottest cities of sun and sand, nestled in the city of Miami Garden is the fastest growing destination jazz & R&B festival in America, the Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival. The annual music festival which attracts concert goers from across the U.S. and the Caribbean Islands, will celebrate its twelfth successful year with a mix of new stars and old-school acts over two days, March 18 and March 19, at the newly named Hard Rock Stadium. Renowned for its soulful vibe, the festival has consistently celebrated the best in jazz, R&B, and soul with the likes of Maxwell, Run DMC, Toni Braxton, Brian Culbertson, Fred Hammond and many more having graced its stage. Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert is pleased with the festival growing year after year. In one of America’s hottest cities of sun and sand, nestled in the city of Miami Garden is the fastest growing destination jazz & R&B festival in America, the Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival. “The Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival is coming back to Miami Gardens with a bang.

We’re excited to bring some of the hottest, most talented performers in music, such as Jill Scott and Common, and welcome hip-hop performers who are heavily influenced by jazz, like The Roots and LL COOL J feat. DJ Z-TRIP,” said Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert. “In our twelfth year, we feel positioned to evolve and reach across generations and genres to take Jazz in the Gardens to the next level.” Boasting an annual attendance of over 70,000 music fanatics, the City’s signature event will also showcase local artists along with an array of tropical food vendors and a buzzing marketplace where concert goers will find a variety of goods and wares. Tickets are still available for both Saturday and Sunday. To enter to win a ticket package of four tickets to Saturday and Sunday concerts, visit www.jazzinthegardens.com Winners will be selected at random and notified by phone and/ or email. Deadline for entries is March 8. Prize package does not include accommodations and transportation to/from Miami For festival and ticket information visit www. jazzinthegardens.com

The ‘90s were filled with some of the most iconic and beloved girl groups of alltime, something that hasn’t been duplicated in the years since. One of the more popular R&B girl groups of the decade was Atlanta’s own Xscape, which was the first R&B act on Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def record label. But like many groups before them, they broke up amid lots of drama, however they just dropped a major announcement that fans will be more than happy about. During a visit to Atlanta radio station

V-103, original Xscape members Kandi Burruss, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle and Tamika Scott dropped the bombshell that fans have been waiting decades for; the group is officially reuniting with all four original members. Lead singer LaTocha Scott was out of town and couldn’t be present during the in-studio interview, but she joined in the announcement via phone. As fans may remember after the very messy breakup, the group was split down the middle with Kandi and Tiny on one side and sisters LaTocha and Tamika on the other. Kandi also stated at one point that the group would never get back together, which was made clear when only the Scott sisters showed up to perform at the So So Def 20th anniversary concert in 2013. There was a drama-filled episode of TV One’s “Unsung” that followed leaving fans convinced that a reunion was pretty much out of the question … until now. During the interview, Kandi said “This year at some point, we gonna pull it off together,” addressing exactly when fans can expect new music or a new tour. Tameka Scott chimed in to let everyone know that Xscape is back and better than ever when she added, “The vocals are even better baby, the talent went nowhere.”

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LIFESTYLE

March 2-8, 2017

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Fruits and veggies go big with more than 85 celebrities Celebrities rally behind the Partnership for a Healthier America’s FNV campaign, fueling a movement behind fruits and vegetables FNV, a first of its kind national brand, has signed on major celebrities like Stephen and Ayesha Curry, Cam Newton, Cindy Crawford, Jessica Alba, Kristen Bell, and Victor Cruz as the brand continues to build a fresh and bold movement behind fruits and veggies. Of the $2 billion per year spent on advertising food & beverages to youth, less than one percent is spent on healthier foods. Now, celebrities are gracing billboards, infiltrating internet radio and dominating newsfeeds to give fruits and veggies some skin in the game. Launched in 2015 by the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), of which former First Lady Michelle Obama is an honorary chair, the FNV campaign has been flooded with support from new celebrities, partners and fans who want to support the work that Mrs. Obama began during her years in the White House. Committed to building a healthier America, read in the former First Lady’s own words how proud she is to be on Team FNV alongside so many celebrities using their star-power to get America to eat more fruits and vegetables. “I hear from my fans and blog readers constantly about their frustrations with making healthier choices and the challenges of incorporating fruits and vegetables into their everyday routines.” Said dancer, singer and actress Julianne Hough. “When I think about the overwhelming amount of marketing power behind less healthy options, I’m proud to support the FNV brand’s effort to spark a movement behind fruits and veggies.” Fruits and veggies need a campaign as bold, bright and colorful as they are. FNV has already seen the power in using out of the box marketing as a tool to inspire young people to eat more fruits and veggies. Research conducted by PHA in pilot markets shows that seven out of 10 survey respondents reported eating more fruits and vegetables after seeing

or hearing about the campaign while grocery retailers who brought the campaign in-store saw an a measurable rise in produce sales. “When I make a decision to put my support behind an effort, I look for brands and causes that I can feel proud of as a mom,” says actress Kristen Bell. “FNV is exactly that. I think about all of the ads I see for less-than healthy products and how my kids watch what I put on my own plate. So I jumped at the opportunity to endorse fruits and veggies and join this one of a kind campaign.” Now in major cities nationwide, FNV is making waves with headlines like Kristen Bell Likes Her Veggies Frozen, through viral content like Michelle Obama and the Final Five powering up with fruits and veggies that has garnered over one million views to date, and at events like iHeart Radio’s Fiesta Latina giving away peach better have my money swag. The national FNV campaign is powered by partners such as powerhouse brand Ocean Spray Cranberries, leading healthcare providers BlueCross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Trinity Health, and influencer engagement leaders Whistle Sports, which brings their over 213 million social followers to the campaign. Fueled by their nationwide expansion, FNV is now launching innovative public private partnerships at the state level aimed at addressing public health challenges through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) initiatives reaching low-income individuals and families in communities that lack access to affordable and diverse produce options. Celebrating their two-year anniversary this month, FNV is just getting started in the effort to inspire people to eat more fruits and vegetables – or as best said by comedian Jimmy Kimmel, “Eat Your Effin Vees.”

Atlanta’s black yoga – Melanated Chakras: Yoga Conference ADW Staff report On Saturday March 4, , the yoga world will be changed forever as The Melanated Chakras Yoga Conference gears up to offer an exhilarating life-changing experience to the Atlantans. Practitioners at all level, from novists to life-long enthusiasts are welcomed to attend. In this beautiful time of self-empowerment, it is imperative to find fun and exciting ways to maintain mental, physical, and spiritual wellness, as striving for maximum health should be the foundation for all of our successes. “This is a spectacular opportunity to participate in classes with many styles of yoga all in one place. The atmosphere is one where you won’t feel intimidated by what you don’t know, and where one will feel completely comfortable just being among

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great people who are coming together to have an extraordinary time and learn freely with an open mind. Our expectations are high and the response has been phenomenal. We are really excited about the fact that yoga is spreading like wildfire in the melanated community where chronic disease tends to be so prevalent. And, we are extremely grateful to have some of the best and most dynamic

instructors that anyone can ask for. All who attend are truly in for a treat,” affirms Nyemay, who is the mastermind behind this first of it’s kind happening. The Melanated Chakras Conference allows participants to decide on your workshop of choice or attend them all. Learn from powerful world renowned instructors such as Nzingah Oniwosan, who is a yogi and also a wholistic health counselor, vegan/raw chef, a jewelry maker and visual artist. She has been featured in Essence Magazine, the Huffington Post and NBC. Catch a class with some other amazing yogis such as Jay Atom, who’s power yoga workout assisted in his going from overweight to fit and feeling great. Aba Bailey focuses on the incredible results of restorative yoga, and Aaliyah Kamala dives deep into proper breathing and meditation. Still there are other equally magnificent options, like Nzinga the Queen, who emphasizes the balance and peace yoga brings

to one’s life, while Jordan Carter shares yoga techniques that assist in connecting with the flow of life. Drink from the fountain of youth with 18 year old Basu Essence , who became the youngest advanced level II Kemetic yoga instructor under the Thef Neteru Sema Paut System and has been professionally into wholistic healing since the age of 12 and a certified yoga instructor since age 15. She enjoys witnesing the positive changes people are able to make due to the impact of practicing yoga. And last, but certainly not least, check out Vanya Francis who specializes in prenatal and postnatal yoga for mommies who know the importance of the healthy birth experience. The Melanated Chakras Conference is your gateway for greatness. For more information or to register, visit www.BazaarNoir.Weebly.com or call 917.541.9986


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EDUCATION

Alliance awaits President’s Executive Order on HBCUs ADW staff reports Loretta Parham, CEO and Director of the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, cautiously awaits President Donald Trump’s new executive order on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. According to media reports, Trump will issue an executive order soon making HBCUs a priority. “HBCUs certainly deserve the recognition and attention of the White House,” says Parham. “I am encouraged that there is conversation surrounding our imprint in education. It’s also important to note that the mark of a great institution is the strength of its library. It is the nucleus to learning on campus, and we should be included in the dialogue.” Parham is the co-founder of the HBCU Library Alliance, a consortium that provides resources to strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their constituents. She is also the CEO of the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library which serves more than 8,000 students and faculty for

Atlanta’s four HBCUs; Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College. “HBCU Libraries play a critical role as the center of the academic experience, supporting the career aspirations of students in all fields,” says Parham, who was awarded the 2017 Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. “We support the humanities which protect and preserve the history and legacy of individuals and institutions. We also contribute to the STEM fields by ensuring current materials are available in traditional formats and in open access, giving students and faculty advanced access to critical research findings.” Under Parham’s leadership the library was awarded the 2016 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, the first time that a HBCU Library received this national honor. “Receiving this award was a stamp of recognition that the programs we offer compete with what top ten universities and Ivy leagues are offering as well.”

Georgia Piedmont Technical College holds annual State of the College address Technical College Innovation: Building a Workforce for Now and the Future Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) hosted its annual State of the College Address, which drew leaders from business and industry, as well as elected and appointed officials. Dr. Jabari Simama, President, delivered his address during a breakfast meeting on the college’s DeKalb campus. “As we come together for the 2017 State of the College Address, I am pleased to announce the state of our college is exceptional,” said Dr. Simama. “Our student body today looks very much like the workforce of tomorrow. Our college is providing a pipeline of skilled graduates who are well-prepared for highdemand career fields.” Throughout his presentation, Dr. Simama thanked faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as private and public partners, for their commitment to Georgia Piedmont. He also spoke about innovative academic programs for which the college is known, including its film and television production department. Dr. Simama said Georgia Piedmont is partnering with the Georgia Film Academy to offer a certificate program in film and television production, which Gov. Nathan Deal recently stated is a $6 billion growth industry in Georgia. Other key academic areas Dr. Simama mentioned included advanced manufacturing, 3D printing, drone technology, cyber forensics, and transit and transportation technologies. “Georgia Piedmont Technical College partners with high schools in its four-county service area to offer dual enrollment classes, and this has become a very popular initiative,” Dr. Simama stated. This program, known as Move On When Ready (MOWR), allows high school

students to enroll in college classes and enables students to obtain both high school and college credit once they have completed their courses. Dr. Simama also touted many of the college’s other initiatives, such as adult education, continuing education and customized business and industry training. Experts predict that over 60% of jobs that will exist in 2020 most likely will require some form of post-secondary training, and Georgia Piedmont stands ready to help train the 21st century workforce, Dr. Simama said. “At $89 per credit hour, Georgia Piedmont Technical College remains one of the best higher-ed values in the state. For a third of the cost of attending the University of Georgia, a student at our institution can earn a higher education credential,” Dr. Simama stated. “The decision to enroll at Georgia Piedmont is a wise investment,” he declared. In his speech, Dr. Simama also touched on transfer agreements that will allow Georgia Piedmont’s students to transfer seamlessly to four-year colleges and universities. He highlighted a groundbreaking agreement that Georgia Piedmont just this month put into place with Clark Atlanta University. “This agreement is a multi-tiered partnership that will expand college access to individuals who never dreamed they could graduate from a university as prestigious as Clark Atlanta,” said Dr. Simama. “Under this new agreement, an individual can go from not possessing a high school diploma to earning a Ph.D. This is further evidence of how we are making a difference in the communities we serve,” Dr. Simama concluded.

March 2-8, 2017

Clark Atlanta students named University Innovation Fellows

Congratulations are in order for Clark Atlanta University students Char’nae Davis, Madisyn Dudley and Allen Lee, who just finished the necessary training to become participants in the University Innovation Fellows (UIF) program. They are among 224 students from 58 institutions of higher education around the world named University Innovation Fellows. UIF is a global program at Stanford University, which empowers student leaders to increase campus engagement through innovation, entrepreneurship and design thinking, according to a statement by Stanford. The University Innovation Fellows program is run by Stanford University’s

Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. Each CAU student developed a list of strategic priorities to address during their fellowship, including eradicating information silos, collaborating across disciplines and fully developing innovation lab activities as a marketplace and design thinking area for students. Fellows will work to ensure their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete in the economy of the future and make a positive impact on the world, according to Stanford. “During their training, Fellows learn how to analyze their campus innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems and understand the needs of stakeholders with the goal of uncovering opportunities to enrich the educational opportunities for their peers,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “They utilize frameworks like Design Thinking and Lean Startup to bring their ideas to life and work with peers from different backgrounds and disciplines.” For more information on the University Innovation Fellows program, contact Laurie Moore at 650.561.6113 or email laurie@universityinnovation

“Growing Businesses, Growing Wealth: The $10 Billion Opportunity” THE 10TH ANNUAL

CONGRESS ON THE STATE OF BLACK BUSINESS IN METRO ATLANTA

THE OBJECTIVE of this year’s Congress is to understand the $10 Billion

opportunity that is available in 2017 and beyond. This is an opportunity unlike any other that we have seen since the 1996 Olympics.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? • Meet key decision makers at organizations who will create billions of dollars in economic activity Keith T. Parker • Meet bankers and other funders to learn how CEO MARTA Luncheon Keynote Speaker to fund and grow your business • Network with potential partners, customers or employers • Learn from successful business owners who will share tips on how they succeeded Dr. Thomas “Danny” Boston CEO, EuQuant 2017 Economic Outlook

MEET TOP EXECUTIVES FROM MAJOR ORGANIZATIONS WHO WILL SHARE PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES WHEN Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. WHERE The Shirley A. Massey Executive Conference Center at Morehouse College 830 Westview Drive, S.W. • Atlanta, GA 30314 Visit atlantabusinessleague.org for more information and to register online, or call us at 404-584-8126.

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March 2-8, 2017

ANNOUNCEMENT Does your landlord owe you money? Did your landlord not return all of your security deposit? You may be able to recover the amount taken from you or more. We are actively seeking tenants who have had their security deposits taken by landlords in Georgia. Please call The Offices of Shimshon Wexler, P.C. at (678) 699-1938, 315 W Ponce de Leon Ave, Ste 250, Decatur, GA 30030. C. W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc will be accepting quotations from subcontractors, including GDOT/MARTA certified DBE companies, for City of Atlanta Project #FC-9561 Resurfacing of Streetcar Routes. This project is bidding on March 24, 2017 @ 2:00 P.M. Items of work include: Hauling, Milling, Asphalt Paving, Joint & Crack Sealing, Concrete Flatwork, Water and Sanitary Sewer, Drainage Structure, Signs, Traffic Signals and Thermoplastic Pavement Marking. Subcontractor quotations (including all Required City of Atlanta Forms) will be accepted by C. W. Matthews’ Estimating Department in person, by e-mail: mikek@cwmatthews.com or Fax: #770422-9361 until 12:00 Noon on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. All bidding documentation will be available at the C. W. Matthews Contracting website (www.cwmatthews.com) as well as the City website (http://procurement.atlantaga.gov/fc-9561-resurfacing-ofstreetcar-routes/) If you have any questions regarding the project, please contact Mike Kleuckling at (770) 422-7520 X1254. You must register a User ID and Password to access the CWM website. For additional website information, contact C. W. Matthews’ Estimating Department at 770-422-7520.

LEGAL NOTICE Commonwealth of Massachusetis, The Trial Court, Probate and Family Court, Docket NO. BA15D0795DR Barnstable Probate and Family Court 3195 Main Street P.O. BOX 346 BARNSTABLE, MA 02630 [508] 375-6710 TRECIA ANTOINETTE SENIOR-PLAINTIFF vs JOSEPH DEXTER GRADY- DEFENDANT The plaintiff has filed complaint for divorce requesting that the court grant a divorce for irretrievable breakdown. The complaint is on file at the court. An automatic restraining order has been en¬tered in this matter preventing you from taking any action which would negatively impact the current financial status of either party. See supplemental pro¬bate court rule 411 You are herby summoned and required to serve upon: BERNARD F. YETMAN JR., ESQ 110 STATE ROAD, SUITE ONE SAGAMORE BEACH, MA 02562 Your answer if any, on, or before 3/21/2017. If you fail to do so, the court will proceed to the hearing and adjudication of this action.You are required to file acopy of your answer,if any, in the office of the register of this court. Witness, Hon Robert A Scandurra, Frst Justice of this Court Complaint for divorce pursuant to G.L. C 208 Sec. 1B Plaintiff resides at 10 Beach Rd., West Yarmouth, MA Barnstable County was lawfully married to the defendant who now resides at 2649 Vance Drive, East Point, GA 30344. The parties were married at Atlanta, GA on 04/27/2013 and last lived together at 3132 Sorrento Circle, Atlanta, GA 30331 on May 2013. There are no minor children of this marrieage. Plaintiff certifies that no previous action for divorce, annulment etc. Has been brought by either party againt the other. On or about May 2013 an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage under G.L. C 208 sec. 1B occurred and continues to exist. Wherefore, plaintiff request that the court grant a divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown and allow plaintiff to resume former name of Trecia Antoinette Senior.

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GUEST COMMENTARY

GUEST COMMENTARY

by Julianne Malveaux

by Lauren Victoria Burke

Political involvement is necessary, not sufficient The unfortunate election of Donald J. Trump to the Presidency of the United States speaks volumes about the limits of African American involvement in the political system. Don’t get me wrong. I was born and will live and die a political junkie, obsessed with the minutiae of politics. Actually, I’m a recovering politician; having run for office, got my butt beat, and flirted with the possibility of doing it again for years. Politics is about making the rules of distribution, of deciding how laws determine who gets what, when, where and why. Politics importantly ensures that those who make the rules are favorably disposed toward justice and fairness. Politics allows resistance when those elected don’t follow the lead of their constituents. Economics and politics are closely aligned. Economics also determines who gets what, when, where and why. So-called free markets determine the flows of economic distribution, but politics often regulates the way that these so-called free markets work. I say that these markets are “so-called” free because we know that politicians distort markets to their liking. During a recession, for example, politicians agree that bankers need a tight rein on them that they can’t simply exploit for the purpose of earning predatory profits. After a recession, some politicians might loosen the rein on bankers and decide to let predatory markets flow free. African Americans have righteously focused on politics and the political system, especially during the early days of the civil rights movement, when the fight for the right to vote was a priority. People like Fannie Lou Hamer were beaten within inches of their lives because they were determined to vote. Medgar Evers was killed because he was organizing voters. We had a focus on laws. Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “The law will not make you love me, but it will keep you from lynching me.” And so we focus on the laws and on politics. The Trump election reminds us of the limitations of politics, and the need to focus on the economic aspects of our lives. Political involvement is necessary, but not sufficient for Black progress. Every single economic indicator shows African American people lagging. Not much has changed since Dr. King said, in 1967, “Of the good things in life, the Negro has approximately one half those of whites. Of the bad things of life, he has twice those of whites. Thus, half of all Negroes live in substandard housing. And Negroes have half the income of whites. When we view the negative experiences of life, the Negro has a double share. There are twice as many unemployed. The rate of infant mortality among Negroes is double that of whites and there are twice as many Negroes dying in Vietnam as whites in proportion to their size in the population.” The numbers have changed some, but the bottom line is that African Americans are not

full equal participants in our economy. How do we fix that? How do African Americans flex our full economic muscles? How do we reward those corporations that support equality, and punish, through selective buying and boycotts, those who oppose freedom and equal opportunity? How do we stomp with the big dogs like the Koch brothers who buy politicians with the same ease that some of us buy potato chips? Do we even stand a chance? I think that we have to spend as much time and place as much emphasis on economics as on politics. I think we have to be clear that poverty is a profit opportunity for some corporations. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already reversed the Obama executive order that would stop the use of private prisons for federal incarceration. But these private prisons are machines of predatory capitalism, and now that Sessions has approved their use, their stocks are soaring. So we have to ask ourselves if our pension funds, mutual funds, or other financial instruments invest in corporations like Corecivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America, $CXW) and the Geo Group ($GEO). Can we push our investors to withdraw investment from these funds? Or will we be willing, in the name of predatory capitalism, to profit from this chicanery? Similarly, from Ava DuVernay’s film 13th, we are reminded of the others who profit from the prison industrial complex, including those who provide meals (Aramark is one of those companies) and phone calls. How much discomfort do they impose on our incarcerated brothers and sisters to make a profit? Politicians make rules, but money talks when the nonsense walks. We need to spend as much time focusing on economics as on politics. We need to follow the money when we see oppression. And we need to be clear that the clearest path to Black liberation is that path that focuses on economics.

Trump and senior aide are lying about voter fraud There are two subjects in particular that the Trump administration lies about the most: crime and voting. During a recent interview on “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, President Trump’s senior advisor, Stephen Miller, lied about voter fraud during the 2016 elections. Miller said, “And you have 14 percent of non-citizens, according to academic research, at a minimum, are registered to vote, which is an astonishing statistic.” That statement is simply false. Miller couldn’t produce a single shred of evidence when Stephanopoulos pressed him on the subject. But Miller was just repeating what his boss said shortly before the election. At a rally in Cleveland on October 23, 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump said, “Fourteen percent of non-citizens are registered to vote.” President Trump entered office lying about voter fraud and threatening an investigation. Civil rights leaders have called for an investigation of voter suppression during the 2016 presidential election. More recently, the lying crossed over into the topic of an increased “crime wave” that doesn’t exist. Now, the lies about a vast American crime wave and record levels of illegal voting seem to be coming together. On January 23, during a meeting with members of Congress and the White House, President Trump lied about voting again. Trump and Miller, who was sent out on all the Sunday morning talk shows on February 12, appear to be lying for two reasons. First, Trump can’t come to terms with the fact that Hillary Clinton received almost three million more votes than he did, and second, the Trump administration would appear to be laying the groundwork to justify a new law that would make it harder for people to vote, particularly minorities.  Trump’s attorney general, former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions had a history of

prosecuting African Americans, who were registering too many other African Americans to vote as an assistant U.S. Attorney. Having provided no explanation or apology for his past prosecutions, particularly that of the late Albert Turner Sr., there’s no reason to believe that Sessions won’t pick up where he left off in Alabama in the 1970s. Even though Sessions’ past statements and actions as a prosecutor in Alabama are clear, the public perception of Sessions the man is mixed. Turner’s son, Albert Turner, Jr., issued a statement endorsing Sessions that said, “I believe that he is someone with whom I, and others in the civil rights community, can work if given the opportunity.” Still, American history of the disenfranchisement of African American (and other minority) voters is also clear. In the late 1800s, it was a poll tax, literacy tests and other requirements that black voters were unlikely to meet. Today it’s voter ID, closing polling places, cutting Sunday voting and purging voting rolls. The continued strategy used by present day Republicans is still the “Southern Strategy” — they’ve just added Hispanics to the list of targets. The Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids started only two days after Attorney General Sessions was sworn in. “The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers and others are being removed!” Trump tweeted on February 12.  Republicans have lost the popular vote over two presidential elections since 2000. The demographics in the country are becoming more black and brown and researchers estimate that the share of white voters will fall a few percentage points every four years. Donald Trump, Stephen Miller and many others in the Republican Party are well aware of the math. 

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