Across Black America
Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
The California State Legislature recently passed a bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Davis, to end so-called prison-based gerrymandering in California, and Assembly Member Mike Davis sponsored the bill. This legislation will help bring California’s redistricting process in line with basic principles of democracy, and will serve as a model for other states in the effort to count incarcerated populations correctly in the next round of redistricting. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund consulted on drafting the legislation and advocated its adoption. During the current redistricting cycle, California counted prisoners where they are incarcerated, a practice known as “prison-based gerrymandering.” Prison-based gerrymandering artificially inflates population numbers, especially in outlying areas where most prisons are located—and thus, political influence—in those districts at the expense of mostly urban districts, where most inmates typically come from. With approximately 140,000 incarcerated persons in California, the proper counting of individuals is critical to ensuring fair representation throughout the state.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League’s (LAPPL) Eagle and Badge Foundation, which provides funding to families of Los Angeles police officers and children in the communities they serve, recently held its 10th anniversary gala honoring the new Los Angeles Lakers Coach Mike Brown at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live. Also honored were Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, and the Los Angeles Lakers. TheVoice finalist Frenchie Davis performed at the event.
District of Columbia
Registration for the 29th annual Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week conference, which will bring business leaders and top minority business owners to Washington this month, is now open. The MED Week conference, hosted jointly by the Small Business Administration and the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency takes place Sept. 27-30, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. This year’s MED theme is “Emerging Industries & Markets: A Blueprint for Success,” and its focus will be on helping minority-owned small businesses expand their operations and establish a presence in the global marketplace while helping them weather the current economic climate. The conference also will include sessions on high-speed rail construction projects, public utilities and green business.
The National Black MBA Association Entrepreneurial Institute, an all-day series of business development workshops and breakthrough training sessions, will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5, during the association’s 33rd annual conference and exposition, taking place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The Entrepreneurial Institute was created to help aspiring, newly established, and seasoned business owners jump-start growth, collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs and generate new ideas. Designed to encourage and support entrepreneurship among Black professionals, the institute is divided into three tracks—Start-up, Growth, and Social—tailored specifically to address the unique needs of each entrepreneur and the different phases of their business.
University of Louisville faculty researchers and clinicians with expertise in polypharmacy, care-giving and more will join with Washington-based Thomas Obisesan, M.D., chief of geriatrics at Howard University Hospital, to host a free conference examining Alzheimer’s disease on Sept. 17. Admission, parking and lunch are free to participants but pre-registration is required by Sept. 15 to email@example.com. The conference will provide information on the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, the reasons why certain populations are at greater risk for developing it, and current practices in care-giving. Obisesan’s research is focused on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and disentangling the overlap of cardiovascular disease with Alzheimer’s disease risk.
New Orleans Super Bowl Champion Lynell Hamilton was the keynote speaker at the California Legislative Black Caucus’ annual scholarship luncheon at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Hamilton spoke to the 51 student winners on the importance of college education. Sen. Curren Price, chair of the California Black Caucus, announced the scholarship winners. The scholarship program is one of several youth programs sponsored by the caucus to prepare the next generation to become community, business, governmental, and organizational leaders in the African American community.
Laila Ali will co-host a new television series “Everyday Health,” which will profile ordinary people who overcome extraordinary obstacles and who are helping others lead healthier, happier lives. The program premiered this week on more than 95 percent of the country’s ABC affiliates, including ABC-owned stations. Each program addresses a medical condition, sometimes includes a celebrity guest, and always provides a surprise reveal for the person profiled.
Young rapper and actor Romeo Miller has launched the back-to-school “I am the Next…” campaign in conjunction with his College Boyys clothing line. The campaign inspires youth to dream big by making college a reality for underprivileged kids across the country. His company, College League Apparel, is also launching a girls clothing line, College Girlls, as a cross-promotion. Miller and College League Apparel donated school supplies to help prepare inner-city kids for back-to-school in Memphis, Los Angeles and New Orleans. The program is expecting to reach even more communities next year. “With the success and performance at retail of the College Boyys clothing brand, it’s a no-brainer to introduce College Girlls into the mix, making it a lifestyle brand with shoes, accessories and fragrances to come,” Miller said. “It was a successful event, the kids were definitely inspired. They wore their individual T-shirts that read ‘Who Am I?... I’m the next doctor, teacher, lawyer,’ etc. Going to college and getting a higher education really makes a difference.”
Mathew Knowles’ Music World Gospel, an imprint label of Music World Music, signed an exclusive international distribution agreement with Houston-based Gospel recording artist James Fortune and Fiya World, LLC, for recordings distributed worldwide. Fortune is a Stellar Award winner and the winner of two ASCAP awards for “You Survived,” the Gospel Song of the Year in 2006, from his debut CD of the same title, which peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Song chart, and “I Trust You,” (2009) from his sophomore CD, “The Transformation.” “I Trust You” is the longest No. 2 hit single in Gospel music, eclipsing the six-month run of Marvin Sapp’s hit single, “Never Would Have Made It.” “I Trust You” remained at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Song charts for 29 consecutive weeks.
National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is mobilizing urban communities across the U.S. to get active outside. NPLD is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands and parks nationwide and is held on Sept. 24. The event will involve more than 170,000 volunteers around the nation dedicated to improving and promoting use of national, state and local public lands. This year, NPLD is actively recruiting cities to join their neighbors and visit local parks and green spaces. The initiative aims to beautify urban communities, increase care for the environment and positively impact participants’ health. From trash removal to planting trees, NPLD volunteers at more than 2,000 sites will join the national effort hosted by local organizations, government agencies, companies, and parks and public land managers. Volunteers will discover uses of local parks for family-friendly activity and enjoyment while demonstrating environmental stewardship. NPLD is also supporting first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Outside! campaign emphasis on involving children and families in outdoor recreation as a way to help reduce and prevent childhood obesity.
The recent trip President Obama took to Asia to bring business and trade to the United States has exposed a critique that many have observed for some time—allowing false and petty criticisms to go unchecked.
Obama’s opponents are not just criticizing him. They’re attempting to trivialize his presidency, and that’s upsetting. They don’t care where and how they do it; they give him as little respect (and credit) as they can.
The Monday night football game this week was a lesson in life and redemption. I only saw the first half, but that was enough. I got so excited about the performance of Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback, Michael Vick, that I shelved my intended column topic for this week and started over.
The election night results brought forth a much expected outcome, a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives and some “slippage” in Democrat seats held in the Senate. The reasons were several for the outcome, but it is not the end of the world. The Democrats (and everybody else) need to stop their snivelin’.
Wipe your nose and move on with the outcome. What happened is a combination of historical politics, race realities, fear-mongering and voter suppression.
That “silly season” called the mid-term elections is over. Thank God this campaign season is over.
And guess what? It’s not the end of the world (although political parties would make you think that Armageddon would come, if you didn’t vote them or their party).
A new community plan for the West Adams, Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park and Hyde Park communities is proposing to roll back current limits on the number of stand-alone fast food restaurants in Council District 10 for up to 20 years.
In 2008, the City Council passed an ordinance restricting new fast food restaurants from being constructed within 0.5 miles of an existing fast food restaurant.