Across Black America
Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
Emmy Award-winning casting director and producer Robi Reed recently hosted her annual End of Summer Celebration at the private estate of Judge Greg Mathis and Linda Mathis in Beverly Hills. The star-studded Labor Day weekend party benefited Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization, The Black AIDS Institute. Actress Vanessa Williams (Showtime’s Soul Food) and actor/comedian Gary “G-Thang” Johnson were co-hosts. The annual soiree is one of the most highly-anticipated parties in Hollywood. Among the approximately 400 persons in attendance were Denzel Washington, Ron Artest, Affion Crockett, Kimberly Elise, Johnny Gill, Fonzworth Bentley, other entertainment industry insiders, politicians, business executives and community leaders.
District of Columbia
The Prostate Health Education Network Inc. (PHEN) will host its 7th annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit in Washington, D.C., from Sept. 22-23, at the U.S. Capitol and Washington Convention Center, respectively. The summit is free and open to the public. This year’s theme is “Saving Lives: Strategies for Eliminating the African American Prostate Cancer Disparity.” Congressman Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) will host the event as an official part of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Annual Legislative Conference. More than 30 speakers and presenters are slated to attend and will assess various efforts to help eliminate the African American prostate cancer disparity, the largest racial disparity for any type of major cancer, as well as map strategies for new activities in the fight against prostate cancer.
Actress Ella Joyce, remembered for her co-starring role of Eleanor on TV’s “Roc,” Jasmin on “My Wife & Kids,” and Det. Waller in the film “Set If Off,” captures the famous moment in the life of Rosa Parks, affectionately called “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” in her highly acclaimed, one-woman play “A Rose Among Thorns: a Tribute to Rosa Parks.” The show is stopping in Washington, D.C., after headlining Stage Aurora’s 4th annual Black Arts Festival in Jacksonville, Fla., last July. Four shows will be presented by The Essential Theatre in Washington, D.C. Performances will be located at Under Croft Theatre Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, Sept. 21-24. Shows are already being scheduled through Black History Month 2012.
Girls Who Rule the World Mentoring Weekend is a three-day, two-night program designed by Marjorie Harvey, president of the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation, to enhance the development of young girls and provide a forum to expose them to the benefits and the importance of positive self-image, responsible personal conduct, respect for self and others via educational achievement, cultural enrichment and mentoring. One hundred young women from the metro Atlanta and surrounding areas are pre-selected to attend the weekend of mentoring, Oct. 28-30. The weekend leadership is comprised of women business and community leaders who will provide wisdom and resources to help guide girls through the importance of financial literacy, balanced nutrition, proper etiquette, self-esteem and professional and educational development. The goal of the Girls Who Rule the World Mentoring Weekend is to empower young women to pursue excellence in every area of their lives.
Award winning playwright, filmmaker and author David E. Talbert brings his newest stage production, “What My Husband Doesn’t Know,” to the Fox Theatre on Oct. 23. Tickets are on sale now and are $42.50 and $37.50. The play stars television and film star Morris Chestnut and stage actress and Grammy Award-winning former member of Destiny’s Child, Michelle Williams. The play is called “a mesmerizing tale of lust, lies and temptation that puts a whole new twist on the fatal attraction theme.” Written, directed and produced by Talbert, heralded as “one of the most prolific theatre makers in America” by the Los Angeles Times, the play also stars Ann Nesby of “The Fighting Temptations” and famed film and television actor Clifton Davis of “Any Given Sunday.”
B Holding Group has launched its Inaugural HBCU “b Healthy Tour” through Oct. 22. The “b Healthy Tour” will visit 15 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) classics, homecomings and campuses to highlight health disparities prevalent in the African American community by promoting health and wellness and encouraging students to get tested for diseases prevalent in minority communities. The tour is being organized in collaboration with Greater Than AIDS, a national movement that brings together a broad coalition of public and private sector partners to respond to the AIDS crisis in the United States, in particular the severe and disproportionate epidemic among Black Americans and other disproportionately impacted populations. Through a national media campaign, strategic corporate partnerships and targeted community outreach, Greater Than AIDS aims to increase the public’s knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS and confront the stigma surrounding the disease.
The owners of BlackJobs.com are stepping up efforts to alert African American professionals that they have thousands of well-paying jobs listed on their website. The jobs are being offered by hundreds of major corporations, and hundreds of smaller organizations, such as local community colleges, that have highly concentrated diversity initiatives. In other words, they want to hire more minorities. Launched by Columbus, Ohio-based Lee Moss Media, BlackJobs.com is an online career center that allows employers to post jobs, and allows job seekers to upload resumes and apply for jobs. The thousands of full-time and part-time positions listed on the website vary in industry, and are open to both college graduates and non-college professionals with 3-plus years of experience. Although also open to everyone, the positions are specifically being marketed to minority candidates. The site allows job seekers to easily find well-paying jobs from reputable companies and organizations, and also features paid and non-paid internship opportunities for students. At no cost, users can immediately create a profile, upload their resume, and start searching for jobs. Companies that are posting jobs on the site include: Time Warner, Novartis, Best Buy, Kelloggs, OfficeMax, T-Mobile, State Farm, Deloitte, Phillip Morris USA, McGraw Hill, and many others. The site also features daily news, tips and strategies on how to build one’s career.
Kinfolks Cards are produced and distributed by Texas-based company, Amazon Creations. Owner, Georgia Williams, is also the author and artist of all Kinfolks Cards collections. The company began online in the fall of 2009, but made its wholesale debut in 2011. The message the company hopes to convey is that Kinfolks Cards are more than greeting cards, and were created to fill a void in the greeting-card industry. They are a way to honor the memory of African Americans while preserving their legacy. The cards feature six generations of nostalgic photos of Georgia’s relatives, hence the name ‘Kinfolks Cards. Williams believes that all African Americans can relate to the photos, and are proud to send the cards to their friends and relatives. Kinfolks Cards include the traditional mix of all-occasion cards (i.e., birthday, thank you, special occasions, etc...).
According to the Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males, only 47 percent of Black males graduate from high school. In response to this crisis, ASCD presents a new professional development DVD featuring renowned educator Baruti Kafele titled “Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life.” Based on the blockbuster hit book published by ASCD in 2009, “Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life” brings to life the tactics and strategies today’s educators need to motivate Black males to succeed. Through interviews and vignettes from real-life success stories, educators will be inspired to follow the example of Kafele, an educator for more than 20 years with experience as both a teacher and a principal. In the DVD, Kafele helps teachers and administrators understand how to address crucial issues that face many young Black male students, and works directly with a group of students on issues of manhood and responsibility. He provides practical tools and empowering examples that schools can integrate into their programs and practices.
Black youth report considerable pressure to have sex, according to a new survey of 1,500 Black youth ages 13-21 released by Essence magazine and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Of those who have had sex, 47 percent of those 13-21 say they have been pressured to go further sexually than they wanted to. The groundbreaking results are featured in the October issue of Essence. In the article, “Our Teens’ Secret Sex Lives,” Essence senior writer Jeannine Amber interviewed dozens of kids to uncover the truth about teens and sex. Overall, the survey found that almost half of Black teens ages 13 to 21 reported that they have lied to get out of a sexual situation, and 54 percent of Black males said they feel pressure from their friends to have sex. When it comes to sex, pregnancy, and contraception, the survey reveals that the intentions of Black youth don’t always match their actions. Even though more than 90 percent of Black youth say it is important to avoid a pregnancy at this point in their lives, 67 percent have had sex without contraception, 45 percent report using birth control inconsistently, and 20 percent say they will likely have unprotected sex with someone in the next three months.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Los Angeles County probation officers asked for help today in finding a parolee who threatened to kill school children.
Frank Edward Edmonds, 40, who authorities consider “extremely violent and an imminent public threat,” may be in Compton, South Los Angeles or Inglewood, his last known address.
Two “Saturday Night Live” sets, an Instagram snapshot and 66 projector images later, we now have a better picture of what’s to come on Kanye West’s anticipated new album.
As promised, the rapper — not to be confused with a celebrity — didn’t take part in any of the skits for “SNL’s” season finale/swan song for cast member Bill Hader. But he didn’t need to — over the course of two songs, West still left a lasting impression.
CENTURY CITY, Calif. — Jason Collins, the first active player in a major male team sport to announce he is gay, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and U.S. women’s soccer national team goalkeeper Hope Solo were honored Sunday at the 28th annual Sports Spectacular at the Century Plaza.
Collins, who completed the NBA season with the Washington Wizards, received the Inspirational Athlete of the Year Award, presented to the athlete who has persevered, defied the odds and inspired us all, organizers said.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Authorities today identified a man who was fatally shot by Inglewood police after he allegedly smashed the windows of eight squad cars with a sword in a police station parking lot.
The shooting occurred Saturday night, after the man damaged the vehicles using a sword that was thicker and heavier than a machete, police said. The dead man was identified as Charles Curl, 46, of Los Angeles, coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty today to assaulting an inmate in the back of a patrol car, a charge brought nearly two years after the alleged incident occurred.
Matthew John Funicello, 31, is accused of hitting Dewayne Wright, who was then 19, several times with his fist on July 22, 2011. Wright was being moved from the sheriff’s Palmdale station to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility downtown at the time.