Across Black America Week of Jan. 19, 2017.
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 1/19/2017, midnight
President-elect Donald Trump struggled to find performers for his inauguration ceremony. The list of groups and artists who have declined invitations to perform outnumbered those who have accepted. But an HBCU marching band from Alabama will be there, reports the Grio. The Talladega College Marching Tornadoes officially confirmed they would journey to D.C. to participate in the inauguration ceremony. Mario Scorggins, a former band member of Grambling State University, says there's nothing to celebrate about this transfer of power. Scroggins was once in Grambling's marching band, which at the time was preparing to perform at George W. Bush's inauguration. “When HBCU bands perform in the mainstream, they always in a sense, represent the community,” Scroggins told theGrio.com in an interview. “We represent all HBCUs and all HBCU values. I think them performing, while it's a good experience for the kids, it would be contrary to the views of the person that they are performing for.”
It was announced last week that the San Diego Chargers NFL franchise will move to Inglewood. The move comes after San Diego-area residents voted against building a new stadium for the team in the recent election. Last year, the St. Louis Rams team relocated to Southern California as well and became the Los Angeles Rams. Said Inglewood Mayor James Butts: “This is the second January in a row that we've had a NFL team relocate to the City of Champions. We are so grateful that the NFL has found us to be a desirable site for the flagship of the West Coast. It is true that lightening does strike twice in the same place and it struck here in the City of Inglewood.”
Students at a Jacksonville high school protested last week, demanding that an African American history course be taught year-round, reports the Huffington Post. Police were called to Terry Parker High School, according to First Coast News, when a group of about 10 students staged a sit-in to urge the school to change their current half-credit, semester-long Black history course to a full-credit, year-long course. In an Instagram video taken in the classroom, sophomore Angelina Roque, who said she organized the protest, tells authorities that calling the police won't silence her. A man can be heard telling her and the other students to “please get out of here now.” Students told CBS 47 that the subject matter deserves more attention and that all of their classmates could benefit from it. Roque said they protested to “make them hear us, make them see us, make them listen to us.” Terry Parker High School and other schools in the Duval County Public Schools district only offer the class as a half-credit class, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti told the news outlet. In a statement to CBS 47, Vitti said the students won't be punished for protesting, and that administrators are willing to consider extending the course.
Bishop Eddie Long, who came under fire several years ago after being accused of sexually assaulting young men during his term as pastor of mega-church New Baptist in Atlanta, died last weekend. He was 63. Pastor Long remained a minister with the 10,000-plus member church, and in fact, received the support of many of his church members amid calls to for him step down. In the last couple of years, however, his health had taken a turn for the worse, and there were rumors he had cancer. Long proclaimed that God would heal him, as he reportedly went on an all-vegetable diet. At press time, no cause of death had been released. He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.