Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
Colorful patchwork quilts known as kawandi made only by craftswomen living in the little-known Siddi communities of Africans in India will be on display at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) as part of its exploration of how traditional practices are adapted over decades throughout the African Diaspora. The exhibition presents more than 30 quilts of a variety of styles and techniques as well as the story of the Siddis, descendants of East African slaves. Siddi quilts are being seen outside India for the first time, and are coming to San Francisco. “Soulful Stitching: Patchwork Quilts by Africans (Siddis) in India” opened at the Museum of African Diaspora this week and will be on view until Sept. 18.
The American College will host the sixth annual Conference for African American Financial Professionals in partnership with MetLife and Northwestern Mutual. Leading companies from across the financial services industry will come together to help promote the education and advancement of African American financial professionals during the event. Cory A. Booker, mayor of Newark, will present this year’s keynote address. Recently named one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” by Time magazine, Mayor Booker brings his passion for social change to the podium, drawing from a deep belief in service and social justice. Byron Pitts, CBS chief national correspondent and “60 Minutes” contributor, will also serve as a keynote speaker. Pitts is the author of “Step Out on Nothing,” an inspirational autobiography chronicling his rise from a disadvantaged youth.
McDonald’s will recognize five prominent African Americans who influence and inspire greatness through outstanding community service at the 2011 365Black Awards. This year’s ceremony will be co-hosted by radio personality Tom Joyner and actress Angela Bassett and will be held July 1 in New Orleans, La., at the start of the Essence Music Festival weekend. The 2011 365Black Awards honorees are multi-platinum recording artist Mary J. Blige, Grammy Award winning actress Ruby Dee, Radio One network founder Cathy Hughes, NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Jealous, and civil rights activist and McDonald’s owner/operator Henry “Hank” Thomas. Co-host Tom Joyner was one of the first recipients of the 365Black Awards, which exemplify outstanding community service.