Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
Baseball great Barry Bonds was recently found guilty of obstruction of justice, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three other counts that the home-run king lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he specifically denied that he knowingly used steroids and human growth hormones. Following a 12-day trial and almost four full days of deliberation, a jury could not reach a unanimous vote on three of four counts, a messy end to a case that put Bonds in the spotlight for more than three years. The case also represented the culmination of the federal investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative steroids ring. Federal prosecutors and the Justice Department will have to decide whether to retry Bonds on the unresolved counts.
The 13th annual Especially Me High School conference will take place April 30, at Gateway High School, 1300 Sable Blvd, in Aurora. This conference will focus on dignity, excellence, respect and self-value for African American high school girls in grades 9-12.
The Lillian Brian Seays Foundation and Onyx magazine recently announced the ninth annual Onyx Ovation Week, which will take place on May 3, and end with the grand finale: The annual Onyx awards gala on May 7, at the Rosen Centre Hotel. The event is a major social gathering for Florida’s African American professionals and aims to increase awareness and raise donations for sickle cell awareness and various educational initiatives throughout the state. Lucille O’Neal will lead a literary discussion about her new book and raising basketball superstar, Shaquille O’Neal. May 5 features a benefit concert with gala honoree and broadway actor/singer Norman Lewis (Les Miz). On May 6 the Onyx Mixer will take place and allow various industry professionals to network with the state’s top-tier talent; and the week finishes with the annual gala.
Atlanta-based Bounce TV, the nation’s newest broadcast network aimed at Black audiences, is set to debut this fall with free movies, sports and documentaries, officials recently confirmed in a written statement. The company is Black owned, with Martin Luther King III and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young as part of the executive team. Bounce will most directly compete against Lanham, Md.-based Radio One, which operates TV One; and New York-based Viacom, which owns BET and Centric. Bounce has no distribution agreements yet, but the network’s spokesman says the next few months will be spent getting digital space from TV station groups across the country, preferably in markets with sizable Black populations including Chicago, New York and Atlanta.