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Across Black America for September 23, 2010

9/22/2010, 5 p.m.

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

Alabama
Officials in Hobson City, the first Black town incorporated in Alabama more than a hundred years ago, are asking for their own ZIP code. Hobson City currently shares its ZIP code with the nearby city of Anniston, but Hobson City Mayor Alberta McCrory says the small town wants its own postal service identity. "We need to make sure Hobson City is not lost," she said. "We were never a part of Anniston, but we are lumped in with them and that is not a good thing for us." Spokesmen for the post office said that the problem occurs because people are looking at ZIP codes as something other than a tool for delivering mail. Its not a city boundary because cities are continuously growing. Additionally, the postal service said that although most only pay attention to the first five digits, ZIP codes are nine digits, separated by the last four. Narrowing it down to the last four digit would show Hobson's distinction from Anniston.

California
Brenda Hampton, an African American contract employee for ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) allegedly experienced repeated racist remarks and jokes made by fellow Caucasian employee, Officer Bradley Lawless. Hampton claims that she addressed him many times about the jokes, claiming that they were inappropriate and unappreciated. He allegedly would only reply "so what, it's just jokes," said Hampton. According to Hampton, Lawless has made off-hand jokes about Black people, said the 'N-word" in front of her and others, and taken a stuffed monkey, and put her name on it, claiming it was her and her "brothers." Hampton has taken her complaints to her supervisor but to no avail.

Colorado
Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley was found dead in his home Monday in an apparent suicide. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said authorities were called to McKinley's home in Centennial and found his body in the second-floor master bedroom. Robinson said detectives believe McKinley, 23, was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities were called by a female friend of McKinley's who discovered the body after returning from an errand with his child. The sheriff declined to say if authorities found a suicide note." It's still part of our investigation and probably nothing we'll talk about right now," he said.

District of Columbia
The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA), and the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS of Washington, D.C., partnered recently to host a town hall meeting that brought together scores of national leaders and community members to discuss the greater number of HIV/AIDS-related deaths and lower survival rates in the African-American community. "We as a nation recognized long ago that HIV and AIDS are at crisis levels in the Black community," said Rev. Calvin Butts III, chairman of the NBLCA board, in a statement. "This year we must finally put into place policies that address the alarming numbers we have been seeing for decades." Butts is also a member of President Obama's Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.