Across Black America

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 12/1/2016, midnight


A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project will host its 18th annual gala Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Omni Los Angeles. This year’s event, with the theme “Passing the Torch … Igniting the Spirit of Leadership,” will honor six women who the organization feels have forged paths of leadership to promote human dignity and have inspired others to follow. Those being recognized include: New York Times best-selling author Michelle Alexander (”The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”), filmmakers Emma Hewitt and Tessa Blake, Cheryl Tawede Grills, Ph.D., (director, Psychology Applied Research Center, Loyola Marymount University), Vasanté Bailey (former A New Way of Life (ANWOL) resident/certified nursing assistant) and Carolyn Robinson (current ANWOL resident/recent college graduate). FOX news anchor Christine Devine will host the event, which will also feature several special guest presenters including KPFK’s Margaret Prescod and Tamala Jones, known for her work in ABC’s “Castle.”

Contra Costa County sheriff’s officials said that they have arrested one of the three suspects sought in the fatal shooting of 28-year-old William Sims, who they say was targeted because of his race. Sims, who is African American, was discovered in the early morning hours of Nov. 12 by a sheriff sergeant on patrol. Sims was found lying in the roadway with a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. Late Wednesday, Nov. 23, Daniel Porter-Kelly was arrested on robbery and murder charges and is also facing hate crime enhancements, while deputies are still looking for 32-year-old Ray Simons of Hercules and 31-year-old Daniel Ortega. Both are considered to be armed and dangerous. Contra Costa County prosecutors and sheriff’s officials did not give details on the alleged hate crime, because of the ongoing investigation.


Former Delaware Labor Secretary Lisa Blunt Rochester won Delaware’s U.S. House race, becoming the first African American and first woman elected to represent the state in Congress. Rochester defeated Republican Hans Reigle in the Nov. 8 election. Rochester, a political newcomer, loaned her campaign more than $400,000 and spent almost $1 million to top a crowded field of Democratic primary candidates before defeating Reigle, a retired military pilot and former mayor of the Kent County town of Wyoming. Rochester, who has said her focus in Congress will be jobs, the economy and equal pay for equal work, will succeed fellow Democrat John Carney, who vacated Delaware’s lone seat in the House to run for governor.


Rapper T.I. is being sued for allegedly skipping out on a high school graduation party in Florida. According to TMZ, the rapper missed a scheduled gig at the graduation bash, and now the event organizers want him to pay back the $390,000 spent on booking and marketing. According to the story, Planet Productions had reservations about booking the rapper because of a shooting that occurred at his concert at New York City’s Irving Plaza back in May. But his team reportedly convinced the firm that the show wouldn’t result in violence. In the end, T.I. reportedly never showed up, despite being paid $90,000 to perform. The company also claims that it spent $300,000 on marketing and licensing costs.