Across Black America for March 15, 2012

3/14/2012, 5 p.m.

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


Nonprofit senior housing provider American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW) has added five California communities to its growing affordable housing portfolio, bringing the total number of affordable housing communities to 31. The new communities are: Hillcrest Gardens Livermore, Vineyard Village and Arbor Vista, all under the auspices of Livermore Interfaith Housing of Livermore; Parnow Friendship House, owned by Center Interfaith Housing of San Rafael, and Lomita Manor in Lomita. These two developments are living the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In the wake of his assassination in 1968, churches in many communities carried on his vision, with these two agencies choosing to focus on affordable housing for seniors. Members of 10 Livermore churches serve on the nonprofit board of Livermore Interfaith Housing, which has developed and managed three communities for 43 years.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will serve as keynote speaker at the 2012 African American Leadership Weekend (AALW) during the mid-day luncheon on Friday, March 30, at the Doubletree Hotel. The California Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the California Black Health Network will host this three-day gala affair March 29-31. Mayor Johnson will address statewide African American business owners and provide details of the community action program to change and take greater responsibility for growth and sustainability. He will also discuss the benefits and challenges of implementing President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).


The 2012 Soul Beach Music Festival recently announced recording artists LL Cool J and Ledisi will host the event on May 26 which will be headlined by R. Kelly and Melanie Fiona. For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest updates sign up for Club Soul Beach, at http://www.soulbeach.net.


Winners of the 2012 season Ford Black College Quiz Show shared nearly $20,000 in cash prizes. Awarded the championship medal and $5,000 was student Gabriel Smith from Tuskegee University. He earned top honors in the Jeopardy-style nationally televised competition. Second-place finalist Joseph Franklin of Kentucky State University was awarded $2,750; $1,500 went to third-place finalist Latyra Stinson of Wilberforce University, and fourth-place finalist Mario Johnson from Southern University earned $750. Focused on higher learning, the Ford Black College Quiz Show featured 12 gifted students from historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) skillfully displaying their knowledge of notable African American facts in four fast-paced rounds of play.


"Defeat at Waterloo: Fighting on the Frontlines" is a new book by community activist, political organizer and FAMU alumni Amanda V. Wilkerson. The book shares a firsthand account of Hillary Clinton's historic 2008 presidential run, as seen through the prism of her defeat at the Iowa Caucuses. Seeking to speak to others like her who spent time campaigning or are considering future political engagement, Wlkerson offers a candid and moving account of the tense weeks leading up the Iowa Caucuses, a turning point that foreshadowed Barack Obama's eventual nomination. The book reveals the highs and lows on the front lines of political activism. "I wanted to offer insight on the inner workings of Hillary's run for president from the perspective of a young African American activist," says Wilkerson, "It's for countless counterparts who, like me, tossed caution into the wind to run buck wild after their dreams, even the unpredictable political ones that despite the outcome of their work they keep faith in the process and the politics."