Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.

California

Nonprofit senior housing provider American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW) has added five California communities to its growing affordable housing portfolio, bringing the total number of affordable housing communities to 31. The new communities are: Hillcrest Gardens Livermore, Vineyard Village and Arbor Vista, all under the auspices of Livermore Interfaith Housing of Livermore; Parnow Friendship House, owned by Center Interfaith Housing of San Rafael, and Lomita Manor in Lomita. These two developments are living the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In the wake of his assassination in 1968, churches in many communities carried on his vision, with these two agencies choosing to focus on affordable housing for seniors. Members of 10 Livermore churches serve on the nonprofit board of Livermore Interfaith Housing, which has developed and managed three communities for 43 years.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will serve as keynote speaker at the 2012 African American Leadership Weekend (AALW) during the mid-day luncheon on Friday, March 30, at the Doubletree Hotel. The California Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the California Black Health Network will host this three-day gala affair March 29-31. Mayor Johnson will address statewide African American business owners and provide details of the community action program to change and take greater responsibility for growth and sustainability. He will also discuss the benefits and challenges of implementing President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Florida

The 2012 Soul Beach Music Festival recently announced recording artists LL Cool J and Ledisi will host the event on May 26 which will be headlined by R. Kelly and Melanie Fiona. For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest updates sign up for Club Soul Beach, at http://www.soulbeach.net.

Georgia

Winners of the 2012 season Ford Black College Quiz Show shared nearly $20,000 in cash prizes. Awarded the championship medal and $5,000 was student Gabriel Smith from Tuskegee University. He earned top honors in the Jeopardy-style nationally televised competition. Second-place finalist Joseph Franklin of Kentucky State University was awarded $2,750; $1,500 went to third-place finalist Latyra Stinson of Wilberforce University, and fourth-place finalist Mario Johnson from Southern University earned $750. Focused on higher learning, the Ford Black College Quiz Show featured 12 gifted students from historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) skillfully displaying their knowledge of notable African American facts in four fast-paced rounds of play.

Iowa

“Defeat at Waterloo: Fighting on the Frontlines” is a new book by community activist, political organizer and FAMU alumni Amanda V. Wilkerson. The book shares a firsthand account of Hillary Clinton’s historic 2008 presidential run, as seen through the prism of her defeat at the Iowa Caucuses. Seeking to speak to others like her who spent time campaigning or are considering future political engagement, Wlkerson offers a candid and moving account of the tense weeks leading up the Iowa Caucuses, a turning point that foreshadowed Barack Obama’s eventual nomination. The book reveals the highs and lows on the front lines of political activism. “I wanted to offer insight on the inner workings of Hillary’s run for president from the perspective of a young African American activist,” says Wilkerson, “It’s for countless counterparts who, like me, tossed caution into the wind to run buck wild after their dreams, even the unpredictable political ones that despite the outcome of their work they keep faith in the process and the politics.”

New Jersey

After 14 years of leading the transformation of three different urban middle schools and one high school, renowned New Jersey educator, speaker and author, Baruti Kafele is taking his work to a higher level. Disgusted and fed up with the gross underachievement of Black male students at the elementary, middle and high school levels throughout America, Kafele, recently left the nationally recognized Newark Tech High School in order to go on a one-man mission of transforming the attitudes of Black male learners, both nationally and internationally. Instead of reporting to Newark Tech every morning, he now reports to hundreds of different schools throughout America in order to conduct professional development workshops for educators, parental engagement seminars, community forums and male empowerment assemblies–all geared toward closing what he has coined, the Attitude Gap of the Black male learner.

Rhode Island

An 81-year-old Rhode Island woman last week claimed the $336.4 million PowerBall prize, the third biggest jackpot in the game’s history, lottery officials said. Louise White bought the ticket at Stop & Shop grocery store in Newport and won the jackpot by matching all five numbers plus the PowerBall number. White will take the prize home in one lump sum payment of $210 million, the highest cash jackpot ever, lottery officials said. “I’m very happy and I’m very proud and this will make my family very happy. We are truly blessed,” White said during a brief appearance at a press conference. Reuters reported that White kept the winning ticket in her Bible and then moved it to a safe deposit box for about a month, even after she knew she had one the prize.

Texas

Citing the need to develop a vehicle to collaborate with Black newspapers and businesses in empowering listeners and redirecting Black commerce, the Nuvibe Media Group has launched its online radio network, NuVibeRadio.com. The network streams music, news, and talk show programs through its custom media player 24 hours, seven days a week. NuVibe Radio currently has five genres, namely Classic Jazz, Old School (R&B/Soul/Funk of the 70s, 80s and 90s), Hip Hop, Gospel Soul, and News/Talk. In April, the network is slated to increase listener choices to seven genres by adding R&B/Soul and Fusion Jazz stations. “NuVubeRadio.com, presents a unique set of opportunities for Black media, our valued listeners and our advertising partners,” remarked marketing director, Jihad Sharif. “In effect, our network will be a conduit through which businesses can cross-promote in our targeted local markets, as well as nationally.”