Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
The vice president and Black leaders, commemorating a famous civil rights march on Sunday, said efforts to diminish the impact of African Americans’ votes haven’t stopped in the years since the 1965 Voting Rights Act added millions to Southern voter rolls. More than 5,000 people followed Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma’s annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee. The event commemorates the “Bloody Sunday” beating of voting rights marchers—including Lewis—by state troopers as they began a march to Montgomery in March 1965. The 50-mile march prompted Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act that struck down impediments to voting by African Americans and ended all-White rule in the South. Biden, the first sitting vice president to participate in the annual re-enactment, said nothing shaped his consciousness more than watching TV footage of the beatings. “We saw in stark relief the rank hatred, discrimination and violence that still existed in large parts of the nation,” he said. Biden said marchers “broke the back of the forces of evil,” but that challenges to voting rights continue today with restrictions on early voting and voter registration drives and enactment of voter ID laws where no voter fraud has been shown.
District of Columbia
The 2013 Symposium on U.S. Healthcare at Howard University has announced Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, as its keynote speaker on Wednesday, April 10. Health professionals from across the nation will assemble at Howard for the one-day event, held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Armour Blackburn Center, 2397 6th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. Attendees and speakers from health professions will focus on minority health disparities, building the capacity to combat issues through education, research and community leadership, and establishing a pipeline for minorities in STEM careers. Health disparities among minority U.S. populations and ethnic groups are apparent in the adult deaths, infant mortality rates and other oft-cited health measures. By promoting minority preparation for leadership roles and improving access to a more diverse group of health professionals, health outcomes can be improved in vulnerable communities. The event is free and open to the public, although registration is required. To register, visit http://hu2013symposiumonhealthcare.eventbrite.com/