Here's a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
California Community Foundation has launched IamBLOOM (www.iambloom.com), a new website and online community, as part of a strategic initiative to create a viable pathway to better educational and job opportunities for Black male youth who have been involved with the probation system. BLOOM's spokesperson, Larenz Tate, has taken a great interest in the well being of Black male youth and continues to be a voice for these marginalized youngsters. IamBLOOM features the profiles of the Black youth who are turning their lives around, as well as opportunities for companies, government agencies, charitable foundations, service organizations and concerned individuals to provide much-needed support. BLOOM seeks to create jobs and educational opportunities for at least 2,000 young Black men, ages 14-18, by 2017.
Essence, the magazine for African American women, continues its commitment to recognizing excellence and achievement during its fourth annual Essence Black Women in Music event on Feb. 6, in Los Angeles. The invitation-only, red-carpet Grammy-week event will highlight the contributions of Black women in music, with a special salute to what's current, what's new and what's next. Hosted by global, multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Rowland and Essence editor-at-large Emil Wilbekin, the 2013 event will shine a spotlight on artists Lianne La Havas and Solange Knowles, who will each perform live as part of the celebration.
The 11th annual Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase, presented by Verizon and official banking sponsor SunTrust Bank, will welcome celebrated actress and Grammy-winning singer Brandy to the stage as a special guest performer at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Jan. 26, alongside eight of the nation's top Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching bands. This year's "House Party" theme will be brought to life with additional performances and an on-the-field fan-participation dance contest. The 2013 Invitational Showcase will feature performances from the HBCU marching bands from Edward Waters College, Albany State University, Tennessee State University, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Winston-Salem State University, Bethune-Cookman University, and North Carolina A&T University. In honor of this year's theme, the showcase will open with a performance by American dance music singer and songwriter, Crystal Waters, popular for her dance music hits.
The Black History Month Parade committee has announced that it will hold the annual parade in downtown Atlanta, on Saturday, Feb. 23. The parade will celebrate the culture, heritage, history and accomplishments of Black Americans in the United States and around the world. The 2013 Black History Month parade is scheduled to take place on Peachtree Street leading to the historic Underground in downtown Atlanta. The route will wind through the location of many corporate headquarters, special attractions and an area that is the central most traveled historic tourist attraction in the South. A post-parade event will feature live entertainers performing modern music, live arts performers and artists, public speakers, food, beverages, art and family-oriented programs in the historic Atlanta Underground plaza. For more information, visit www.BlackHistoryMonthParade.com.