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Across black america

African American news for the week of June 26, 2014

Complied by Carol Ozemhoya | 6/27/2014, midnight
Kobe Bryant

California

Cupertino-based Apple is reportedly on the verge of cutting a deal with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant to promote its “next big thing”—the iWatch. The wrist-sized device will run Apple's iOS system and connect people to their messages, voice calls and other notifications related to health, such as calories burned. Other celebrities the computer and high tech giant company is considering include Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown and a player from the Boston Red Sox. Word is that the iWatch is in production with a big roll out expected later this year.


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Michael "Blue" Williams

The seventh annual Toast to Urban Music Executives will be presented in Beverly Hills this week by Urban Network Digital and Lynn Allen Jeter and Associates. Memphis Will of BET's “Comic View” will host the toast, which is a pre-BET Awards event celebrating Black Music Month. The years’ honorees include Taj Stansberry, director and photographer of some of the biggest names in the urban industry; Michael “Blue” Williams, music manager and president of Primary Wave Management; Malik Yusef, five-time Grammy Award winner and six-time ASCAP awardee; Jeanine McClean, MBK Entertainment vice president and managing partner; Eesean “E” Bolden, A&R rep for Capitol Records; and Felicia “The Poetess” Morris, owner of Radiofreqz.com.

The mission of the Toast to Urban Music Executives Awards is to recognize influential urban music and entertainment executives for their outstanding commitment, contributions and sacrifices made to preserve the heritage and value of the urban entertainment landscape.

Georgia

Executives from HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) met last week for a national summit to discuss developing regional and national strategies for improving student success. Atlanta, which is home to four HBCUs, including Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College and Morris Brown College, was the host city of the meetings. The summit included discussions on diversity and inclusion, effective retention and graduation programs, and increasing international opportunities.


The National Center for Civil and Human Rights opened this week in Atlanta as a new museum dedicated to the history of the Civil Rights Movement. The 42,000-square-foot facility devotes separate sections to various aspects of the movement and includes the papers, handwritten notes and some 1,100 books from the library of Atlanta native Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The new facility aims to link the Civil Rights Movement with ongoing struggles in America and around the world.

The entrance to the civil rights exhibition is through a tunnel depicting life in the Jim Crow era when local and state laws enforced segregation from the end of the Civil War through the 1960s. Visitors will then pass through a brightly-lit portal chronicling “Brown v. Board of Education,” the 1954 United States Supreme Court case that declared “separate but equal” unconstitutional. One of the most powerful installations depicts the “lunch-counter” protests. Here visitors can put on headphones as they place their hands on the counter and hear the taunts that protesters had to endure. A brightly-lit upper floor examines present-day battles for human rights.