Across Black America for April 1, 2010

3/31/2010, 5 p.m.

Here's a look at African American issues and people making headlines throughout the country.

Many Alabama residents lined up early to get their tickets for the newest play from Tyler Perry, "Madea's Big Happy Family." The production was on its Alabama leg of the nation-wide tour last week at the Birmingham Civic Center. The play showcases many familiar faces from previous "Madea" plays and a few new faces; two of which were discovered on Youtube.

The Arizona Young Artists' Competition held its 11th annual competition recently and showcased the talents such as acting, dancing and singing, of youth age 16 to 20. The winner of the competition was awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

EBONI (Elimination of Bias, Oppression, Negativity and Ignorance) is hosting the Crackdown Youth Summit at California State University San Bernardino on April 3. The keynote speaker of the event will be Chuck D of the rap group Public Enemy. Isaiah Washington from Grey's Anatomy will also speak. The summit will highlight issues such as education, abstinence, drug abuse and violence. The event is free but donations are encouraged.

The city of Denver is one of few that has made it a point to officially recognize Harriet Tubman Day, March 10, 2010. There were many festivities around the city and many schools took it as an opportunity to further discuss civil rights and Women's History Month. State Representative Rosemary Marshall and Governor Bill Owens declared the official holiday.

Delaware and Tennessee have been named the winners in the "Race to the Top" competition which encourages states to implement innovative education reform. Delaware's new plan has been estimated to cost $107 million and the decision on whether or not they will get as much as they ask for will be determined this week. Their plan is one of the less expensive, especially in comparison to Tennessee, whose plan for reform asked for $502 million.

District of Columbia
For the last eight years, Black Marriage Day celebrations have occurred all over the country. The purpose of the day, which was established by Nisa Muhammad, executive director of Wedded Bliss Foundation, Inc., is to educate and promote the importance of marriage in the Black community. Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., will be the host cities for the event and many pastors are preparing for marriage vow renewals. One couple from each of the participating cities will win a trip to the Bahamas.

Four South Florida residents will be honored at the 2010 African American Achievers awards ceremony on April 14th. The ceremony is meant to highlight the contributions of Blacks in the areas of education, community service, business and entrepreneurialism, and arts and culture. The event is being sponsored by JM Family Enterprises, JM Lexus, and Southeast Toyota which have agreed to donate $20,000 to community organizations in honor of the winners.

The Atlanta Student Movement began in the '60s when student were fighting for civil rights and against segregation in school. This year marks the anniversary of that fight and in honor of the movement; the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center will put an exhibit on display from now until September 25. Admission is free and open to the public.