Here’s a look a African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
Los Angeles Clippers superfan Darrell Bailey, more widely known as “Clipper Darrell,” has been in headlines recently regarding what he feels is unfair treatment by his beloved team, to which he has been a fan for more than 30 years. Reports stated that the team asked Bailey to drop the Clippers from his name and to stop speaking or acting as an unofficial spokesman on its behalf. Speculation has arisen from both sides as to what the real story is and why after so long his behavior is suddenly an issue. The Clippers franchise issued statement that they don’t want to lose Bailey, they just want to have control over his behavior, if he continues to represent them and that it has become an issue now that he is trying to make money off of the team. Bailey, who wears a bright team-colored suit (which also matches his car and home) to every home game released a statement saying the team “no longer wants me to be Clipper Darrell…. I am devastated…I felt powerless as a fan, as I was stripped of my identity,” he wrote.
District of Columbia
TV One’s political editor Roland S. Martin recently hosted a special Super Tuesday edition of “Washington Watch with Roland Martin,” from Howard University’s School of Business Theatre, which was broadcast live on the web. The three-hour broadcast was held in conjunction with Super Tuesday, when voters in 10 states went to the polls or caucuses to select their candidate for the GOP nominee for president. The production was a partnership between TV One; Martin’s company, Nu Vision Media Inc.; UStream.tv; and NewsOne.com. Martin says the web broadcast was done to offer the Black perspective on an important night, and allow African Americans to be able to weigh in on the election results.
In celebration of Women’s History Month and the 185th anniversary of the Black Press, Woman leaders will hold a celebratory luncheon and issues forum themed “Stateswomen for Justice: From Whence We’ve Come, Where We Are, Where We Must Go From Here.” Panelists for the event include Julianne Malveaux, president of Bennett College for Women; Barbara Arnwine, executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Barbara Reynolds, syndicated columnist; Roslyn Brock, chairman of the NAACP; and Laura Murphy, director of the Washington Legislative Office, ACLU. This forum and celebratory luncheon will feature the wisdom, guidance and visions of five pioneering heroines, who have not only broken barriers through their sacrificial service and leadership, but who continue to fight the causes of equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all.
The National Conference of Black Mayors will hold is 38th annual convention in Atlanta from May 30-June 3. The theme for this year’s convention is “Mayors Agents for Change: Thinking Global, Acting Local.” The conference will introduce and elaborate on the organization’s plans for the 2012, and getting out the vote.
Fashion Fair Cosmetics has recently forged a partnership with the “Steve Harvey Morning Show” to help women find their love and realize their beauty potential on the Locate Your Love Dating Game. Female contestants of the show will receive first-date makeovers and an arsenal of beauty tips from Fashion Fair Cosmetics makeup artists. Clarisa Wilson and Sam Fine, president and creative makeup director (respectively) of Fashion Fair Cosmetics, launched the campaign with a live interview on the Steve Harvey Morning Show this week.
Baltimore native Sheena Young is launching “Nael Coce Ambi Collection,” a new line of eco-friendly high heel shoes that have a built-in flats that are comfortable and have antibacterial features. Young, a chemist working on her Ph.D., is unveiling the new footwear, with their distinctive green soles, at a launch party, Saturday at the Milan Restaurant and Lounge, 1000 Eastern Ave., Baltimore. The $35 event will feature shoe giveaways, shoe sales, a fashion show and a performance by Mario, the Grammy-nominated singer who also is a Baltimore native. A portion of the proceeds from shoe sales will go to the Women’s Funding Network, a global initiative that helps fund women’s businesses. “This is the perfect solution for all of us women who want to wear trendy, fashion-forward high heel shoes and want the comfort of wearing flats. They provide a simple solution to painful high heel shoes,” said Young. To purchase tickets, go online to www.naelcoce.com/launchparty.html.
Distinguished environmentalist and author Nnimmo Bassey will hold an evening of discussion and readings from his book “To Cook a Continent-Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa” at the Global Information Network. Bassey is the chair of Friends of the Earth International and a recent winner of the Right Livelihood Award “for outstanding vision and work on behalf of our planet and its people.” He was one of Time magazine’s 2009 Heroes of the Environment and the author of “Genetically Modified Organisms and Oilwatching in South America.” “To Cook a Continent” traces the history of the extraction of resources in Africa. Bassey will be a panelist at the opening plenary of the Left Forum conference on March 16 and at a second panel on environmental issues facing the continent. For more information, see the website www.leftforum.org.
Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor at The Potter’s House of Dallas Inc. has announced the two entities’ support of the Black and Missing Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization that brings awareness to missing persons of color. According to recent statistics, persons of color make up an estimated 40 percent of missing people in the United States. Of that 85 percent were Black–far greater than their approximately 13 percent share of the U.S. population, and yet they were the subject of fewer than 23 percent of all news reports. The collaboration was created as a campaign to support the April 13 theatrical release of “Woman Thou Art Loosed!: On the 7th Day,” produced by T.D. Jakes and distributed by Codeblack Entertainment. The film’s plot elements deal with the impact of abduction on an African American family. A counseling outreach at The Potter’s House combined with the information and awareness championed by the Black and Missing Foundation Inc. created an opportunity to form a relationship to address the issue of abduction in the film and the lack of media coverage when persons of color are missing.
Recording artist and soul innovator Rahsaan Patterson recently announced the release of his new original song “Don’t Touch Me.” Proceeds from the song will raise money for the nonprofit organization RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. “I was sexually assaulted when I was 6-years-old and wasn’t able to share it with my family until I was 18-years-old,” said Patterson. “Looking back on it, I wish there was an organization like RAINN that I could have turned to for help with dealing with what happened to me. After 30 years, I finally have an appreciation and love for myself that has been missing for most of my life. The most important thing for me at this point is to be able to communicate through music and art and help others. What happened was extremely traumatic and will forever be embedded in my mind and in my life. It’s nothing I can avoid so it’s really about accepting it, owning it and knowing that it’s happened but it doesn’t have to represent who I am for the rest of my life.”