Here's a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
Caribbean Heritage Organization (CHO) and the Institute of Caribbean Studies announced that actors Antonio Fargas, Lorraine Toussaint, Sheryl Lee Ralph and screenwriter and producer Rob Edwards will be honored at the 2012 Salute to Hollywood & The Arts gala to be held at the Sheraton Universal City in Los Angeles on Friday, June 29, during the 2012 Caribbean-American Heritage Month celebrations. The Caribbean Heritage Organization (CHO) was formed in January 2007 to celebrate the rich and diverse contributions of Caribbeans, Caribbean Americans and friends of the Caribbean international society through conservation and education of Caribbean arts and culture.
The 9th annual "Omni Youth Music & Actor Awards" Red Carpet Gala was recently held at "The Grammy Museum" at L.A. Live. The award recognizes and acknowledges the talent of young professional and emerging artists and strives to encourage, embrace, empower and give the audience an experience and learn to appreciate all genres of music. The gala was co-sponsored by "Beyond the Bell Branch," a division of the Los Angeles Unified School District. This year's honorees were the Gooding family--Cuba Gooding Sr., Cuba Gooding Jr., and Omar Gooding.
District of Columbia
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has announced that Congressman John Lewis will serve as grand marshal of the organization's 50th Anniversary Campaign and National Advisory Commission. Since 1986, Lewis has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia's Fifth Congressional District and recently published a new book entitled "Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change" (2012). He has championed legislation and initiatives central to voting rights, equal employment and workers' rights, education, housing and foreclosure, LGBT rights, and more.
Rev. Thabo Makgoba, Anglican archbishop of Cape Town and metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, recently attended service at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church for a special service in Jacksonville. "This was a unique and wonderful opportunity to host an Anglican leader on the world stage and hear of his efforts in South Africa," said the Rev. David L. Austell, rector. The archbishop succeeded the Rev. Desmond Tutu as the primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and as chancellor of the University of the Western Cape.
Bounce TV celebrated Juneteenth by televising the highly acclaimed TV drama "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman." The film had not aired on broadcast television in more than 30 years. Considered to be the first made-for-TV movie to portray African American characters with depth, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" is the story of a Black woman in the South who was born into slavery in the 1850s and lives to become part of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. The film won eight Emmy Awards, including Best Lead Actress in a Drama for Cicely Tyson as Miss Jane Pittman and Best Director for John Korty. Juneteenth, honors the African American heritage by commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States.
In the last few months, Chicago's homicide rate has jumped more than 50 percent. One Chicago-based organization, The Black Star Project, has been calling for thousands of residents to march for peace. Led by the Rev. Father Michael Plfeger and guest speaker Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the marches brought together thousands of people against violence. The marches happen regularly and Chicago residents can get involved by visiting The Black Star Project website. Thousands showed up to march over the weekend and special recognition was given to Kidz Off The Block, National Block Club University, Temple of Mercy Association, Mark and Paul (Westside), The Nation of Islam, the Faith Community of Saint Sabina, CeaseFire, P.E.A.C.E., Green Acres, and other peacekeeping organizations for their work to make Chicago safer.