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William Covington

Stories by William

The funkiest UFO in the galaxy

The untold story of the ‘Mothership Connection’

I was first introduced to the term “Mothership” in the summer of 1968. During that time, it was very common to find African American male youth hanging out in the inner city, enjoying the simple pleasures of summer vacation. There were no trips to Disneyland or summer camp. Just treks to our neighborhood public swimming pool at South Park, bikes, skates, balls, and the large magnolia tree (which we would congregate under, if there was no money to pay for swimming), and Brother Eddie Grayson, a member of Mosque No. 27 of the Nation of Islam Los Angeles, who all the neighborhood boys knew as the recruiter.

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‘In the war on drugs, which side is the CIA on?’

The Hollywood film industry has churned out two movies this month covering the crack cocaine epidemic that ravaged Black communities in the 1980s. One, a docu-drama produced for the big screen called “Kill the Messenger,” and the other is a documentary titled “Freeway: Crack in the System.”

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African American serial killers

Little known, but always there

Author’s note: As a fourth grader, wanting to be accepted by older guys as “cool” is an important milestone in any culture. In my old neighborhood, a small part of socially fitting-in with the older teenagers was the ability to endure scary stories.

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The Ebola epidemic: no end in sight

Promising trial drugs denied for those most in need

Authors Note: I was first introduced to the Ebola virus in 1978 while attending California State University Long Beach. At that time, Ebola was just two years old and known in the scientific community as a Marburg-like virus (a virus first discovered in Marburg, Germany, in 1967. Since then the virus has hit Africa seven times.)

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The Ebola epidemic: no end in sight

Promising trial drugs denied for those most in need

Authors Note: I was first introduced to the Ebola virus in 1978 while attending California State University Long Beach. At that time, Ebola was just two years old and known in the scientific community as a Marburg-like virus (a virus first discovered in Marburg, Germany, in 1967. Since then the virus has hit Africa seven times.)

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Shot in fear

The role phobia plays in the deaths of Black men

At a National Black Peace Officer conference held last week in Los Angeles, officers spoke on the recent series of shootings involving African American men. Officers were polled and felt, in most cases, incidents like these are based on fear—the fear of the African American male.

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Nigerian unrest due to unequal distribution of resources

Abducted school girls pawns in a dangerous game

Three months after 276 young girls were stolen from the “safety” of the private Chibok School in Northern Nigeria by armed insurgents of Boko Haram, one native of the region with a deep understanding of the history and geopolitical dynamics, said the real story has not been told by the mainstream media. According to Ebuna Naka, a successful businessman who made millions importing hair relaxer into his homeland during the jheri curl fad, and whose family served in politics, medicine and owned two hospitals, there is a back story that underlies the kidnapping.

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Nigerian unrest due to unequal distribution of resources

Abducted school girls pawns in a dangerous game

Three months after 276 young girls were stolen from the “safety” of the private Chibok School in Northern Nigeria by armed insurgents of Boko Haram, one native of the region with a deep understanding of the history and geopolitical dynamics, said the real story has not been told by the mainstream media. According to Ebuna Naka, a successful businessman who made millions importing hair relaxer into his homeland during the jheri curl fad, and whose family served in politics, medicine and owned two hospitals, there is a back story that underlies the kidnapping.

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The power and influence of African American Gospel

More than simple words, this music inspires action around the world

As the end of June comes upon us and we prepare for our nation’s celebration of its independence from the English, we bid farewell to the time that has become known as Black Music Month.

Murders of prominent Gospel musicians remain unsolved

Killed as L.A. became music hub

Author’s note: Sept. 30 1975. I was traveling southbound down McKinley Avenue, and I noticed something very odd—a church building draped in black fabric. It appeared to be hundreds of yards of cloth hanging from the roof along the front of the building and blowing periodically in the wind. As a 16-year-old youth, I thought it was a special religious celebration or some Christian holiday I wasn’t aware of.

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Nigeria’s abducted girls

Nearly 300 failed by a system built to protect them

Authors Note: On October 25, 2006 OurWeekly Publisher and CEO Natalie Cole interviewed former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young. They discussed several topics both local and international. Among the topics was the failure of the United States to intervene in the genocide that was taking place in the Sudan at that time. Ambassador Young responded, “There are several issues when planning covert action in Africa. The primary issue is logistics. The secondary, war is expensive and we had our nose bloodied during the Clinton administration’s involvement in Mogadishu. Lastly, the political culture of Africa can be difficult; you are not only dealing with different political parties, you are dealing with Christians versus Muslims, old tribal issues, and numerous social factors.

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Haze Daze

California’s emerging medical marijuana economy

The American crime drama Breaking Bad created and produced by Vince Gilligan depicts the main character, actor Bryan Cranston, as high school chemistry teacher Walter White, who uses his knowledge of physical science to produce crystal methamphetamine, or crystal meth as it’s more commonly called. White can be best described as an “American citizen gone bad” according to a recent article in TV Guide

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Breaking Buds

South Los Angeles’ and medical marijuana economy

Author’s note: On December 9, 2010 OurWeekly ran a cover story on the medical marijuana industry in South Los Angeles with a focus on African American dispensaries. There has been a marked increase of new medical marijuana clinics and clubs in the community since that article published. This may appear at odds with an ordinance approved by the Los Angeles City Council to shut down hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries and impose strict rules on the operation and locations of these cannabis clubs, shops and collectives. The ordinance capped the number of dispensaries at 70 (with the exception of those registered with the city prior to 2007). At press time, hundreds of new establishments have opened in the city since the passing of that ordinance. In anticipation of April 20, or “420” widely recognized as the Smoker’s Holiday, OW decided to take another look into the budding industry.

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Chicken and Watermelon a fabricated history

African Americans and their sordid history with food stereotypes

I never realized that my parents (both deceased) had a problem with chicken and watermelon until the summer of 1968. My mother had just completed nursing school and in celebration of her graduation, my parents decided to take us out to eat at Ontra Cafeteria, a restaurant that was located on Crenshaw Blvd., where the Baldwin Hills Wal-Mart stands today. My brothers and I were instructed to grab a tray and follow our parents down the food serving counters and if we wanted a serving of something just let the server know. A simple task. We were familiar with food lines; between the three of us we had years of experience dining in the cafeteria at 49th Street Elementary School.

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The KGB’s plan to eliminate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Race War

Author Note: During the Cold War era (1947-1989) both the United States and the Soviet Union fought an on going battle without bullets or bombs being used directly against the other—a type of undeclared limited war.

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The handshake

nHistorical context gives insight into actions at Mandela memorial

“This has been an unknown continent to us because it was dominated by Europe. Now it’s opening up, and we want to be part of it. And our interest is wholly disinterested. We have no great commercial history. We have no record of exploitation. We have supported the United Nations effort in Africa. We want them to be independent.” —President John F. Kennedy, 1962

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The transformation of a third grader

Some say it’s “OK” because it’s sports

By now, whether you are a National Football League fan or not, you have probably heard of tackle Jonathan Martin and offensive lineman Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins. Although not verified, it has been rumored that besides protecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill on Sundays, Incognito’s other job was to toughen up Martin, a 24-year-old African American second-year offensive lineman.

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African Slavery: The New Hollywood Renaissance

With the recent release of “12 Years A Slave” and “Django Unchained” and numerous slave genre movies awaiting release, it appears the slavery motif is possibly generating a new African American Renaissance in Hollywood.

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The N word

Time and a generation is heralding a changed meaning

Nearly two weeks ago a federal jury in New York ruled that Rob Carmona, who identifies as Black and Hispanic and STRIVE, the nonprofit employment agency he co-founded, must pay punitive damages to African American employee, Brandi Johnson.

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Who lives and who dies: African Americans and organ transplants

When the 15-year-old Georgia resident was denied an opportunity to get on the heart transplant list by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, allegedly because of his lifestyle, the dark underbelly of the transplant system was exposed.

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Rocker Ted Nugent and experts on fear chime in on Trayvon Martin case

Killing Blacks: fear of the unknown

Rock ‘n’ Roll icon Ted Nugent in a interview with the Rolling Stone in February described how he celebrates Black History Month every day because his “fire-breathing musical career was literally launched by Black musical thundergods,” including Bo Diddley, Little Richard, James Brown, Wilson Pickett and more.

The autobiography of Malcolm Shabazz

People often describe me as troubled. I'm not going to say that I'm not. But...

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Gun culture in South L.A.

The good, the bad and the ugly

Gun culture in South L.A.

View Park resident and retired Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) police officer David Anthony...

What drove Dorners rage?

In the movie "Django Unchained," a slave gets his revenge on White slave owners by...

PAFF brings the Diaspora to the screen

The 12-year-old wears neat pigtails. Her dry, black skin seems to match the barren surroundings...

Following the star

One of the more memorable images in the Bible is that of the journey made...

Throwing Rice at the Benghazi problem

The attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11 followed a violent...

The Africanization of Thanksgiving

Millions of families will come together today and celebrate their bounty by reflecting on God,...

A Veterans Day look-back at the My Lai Massacre

Much like it was in 1968, My Lai is a small hamlet close to the...

Stone cold marketing

The former owner of the Payless Market in South Los Angeles, gleefully described how the...

Theories of how debates are won or lost can fly high

The media have bombarded the public with numerous theories of why President Barack Obama performed...

Theft of the Black butt

"Although she was known as Sarah Baartman, historical scholars aren't sure if she ever knew...

The Mormon curse

For most of the world's post-biblical history the story of naked Noah and his sons...

The Olympic hurdle

For the next few days of the Olympic Games there will still be buzz about...

Big brother is predicting

In the 2002 science-fiction movie "Minority Report," suspects are apprehended based on what crimes it...

Tracking the killers dark mind

In the aftermath of multiple murders like the one that occurred in Aurora, Colo., last...

Travels with Harley

The meeting was held at the clubhouse of the Chosen Few motorcycle club with riders...

Arab Spring: let freedom rap

Music has always had the power to incite the masses, both in celebratory joy and...

Stand your ground: A law or a license to kill?

Ordinarily, Feb. 26, 2012, would have been a normal day for Patricia A. Wallace, a...

The Hunger Games: Blacks and science fiction

When author Suzanne Collins created the "The Hunger Games" trilogy, which takes place in a...

Pilots of the Caribbean

The contribution of Black pilots from the Caribbean during the Second World War bears strong...

A life and all that remains

Investigative reporter William Covington, in an attempt to find out what might have happened to...

The war on women in the military

The transition of the American military into a co-ed fighting force has brought with it...

A true ghost story

Los Angeles resident Robert Jackson [not his real name] tells the story of a boarder...

The glory of Kings memorial speaks of an inglorious history

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial being dedicated this weekend will be only the...

Handguns and havoc on L.A. campuses

To most students enrolled at Jefferson High School on Sept. 16, 1971, it was just...

Whats growing on in South Los Angeles?

As a result of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor's recent decision to ban...

New study finds Blacks sleep less, do more before bedtime

The National Sleep Foundation's annual survey says African Americans get the least amount of sleep...