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

Tanya Kersey, founder and executive director for The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) has announced that “Note to Self” will open the 12th Hollywood Black Film Festival tonight at 7 p.m., at the Montalban Theater, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood. The festival will close with “24 Hour Love” on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m. at the same location. The festival runs Oct. 25-28. “Note to Self” centers around a handsome and popular student-athlete who embarks on a journey of self-realization while navigating the choppy waters of a love triangle.

District of Columbia
Black Youth Vote! (BYV!), the youth program of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, is hustling hard as it transitions the iThink 2012 Campaign efforts from voter registration to voter education and mobilization for the last days of the 2012 presidential election cycle. Active in 14 states and Washington, D.C., Black Youth Vote! is making waves at the grassroots level. The young leaders are dorm-knocking, staging vote raids, working with the fraternities and sororities to get their members to the polls, and collecting voter pledge cards. Florida BYV! organizers Lucas Melton and Jamaal Rose even convinced their college president, Florida A&M University (FAMU) interim president Larry Robinson, to sign a BYV! pledge card and cancel classes for a few hours so FAMU students could participate in a march to the polls on the first day of early voting.
Dennis Garcia of Trek for Peace has partnered with Sudan Sunrise and Highways Performance Space to bring attention to the crisis in South Sudan. He will be accompanied by a film crew led by award-winning multi-disciplinary artist Patrick Kennelly and Sudanese-American peace activist Rudwan Dawod to document the reconciliation project in Torit, the Manute Bol school project in Turalei, and the Yida and Abyei refugee camps located in South Sudan. Garcia joins a growing list of Sudan Sunrise supporters, including Board Chairman John Zogby and advisory board member Ambassador Sharon Wilkinson. Sudan Sunrise supports projects that facilitate reconciliation efforts aimed at providing education, healthcare, and community development in South Sudan and Sudan.

Political analyst and Washington Watch host Roland S. Martin has been named one of “The Speaking Elite” in the October issue of Ebony magazine. Martin specializes in politics, media, civil rights and motivational speeches. “I am truly honored to be recognized with outstanding orators such as Donna Brazile, Ed Gordon, Boyce Watkins and Nikki Giovanni,” said Martin. “I consider myself lucky to be able to utilize my passion for politics to inform, educate and inspire people through my syndicated columns, television show and speaking engagements.” Martin is a nationally syndicated, award-winning journalist and columnist. Currently, he is a political analyst for CNN.

Black Classic Press has announced the release of the book, “A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X.” The new collection of essays is a critical response to Marable’s biography, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” which was controversially acclaimed as the late scholar’s magnum opus and awarded a Pulitzer Prize this past spring. Though lauded by many, Marable’s book was also debated and denounced by others as a flawed biography full of conjecture and errors and lacking in new factual content. In Black Classic Press’ “A Lie of Reinvention,” editors Jared A. Ball and Todd Steven Burroughs lead a group of established and emerging Black scholars and activists who have taken a clear stance that “A Life of Reinvention” is a political reshaping–a contradiction and a distortion of the life and times of Malcolm X.

The November/December 2012 issue of Gospel Today, dubbed the “Family” issue, will feature the legendary Sheard family–Bishop J. Drew Sheard, Karen Clark Sheard, Kierra Sheard and J. Drew Sheard II–in an exclusive cover story, “Lessons in Legacy.” In this six-page interview, which took place with a photo shoot last month at the Sheard’s Detroit home, the tight-knit family discusses how they’ve managed to build, and maintain, a strong bond, and create a lasting legacy. The Sheard family also makes its first public statement about rumors of a television show, confirming to Gospel Today that it has wrapped filming for an original docu-series, slated to premiere on BET in 2013. The November/December 2012 issue hits newsstands on Oct. 30, 2012, with subscriptions also available at

The Church of God in Christ 105th Holy Convocation will convene Nov. 5-12 in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be the biggest convention in the city this year. One of the highlights of the convention will be the preacher and leadership expert Bishop Tudor Bismark of Zimbabwe. TV Judge Greg Mathis will be the guest speaker at the annual presiding Bishop’s “We Care” Scholarship Banquet sponsored by COGIC Charities. Award-winning Gospel singer Micah Stampley is the musical guest. Presiding Bishop Charles Blake will deliver the official message of the convention on the theme “Seeking God’s Way…Through Obedience and the Word.” The official Holy Convocation website includes up-to-date information about the event including a list of speakers and musical artist for the week. Go to for more information.

New York
New York City Black fathers are invited to organize in person at a meet-up to share their Black Fatherhood Challenge/Fatherhood journey highs and stumbling moments, harvest the light bulbs, clarify strategic priorities, spark powerful action commitments, and boost each other’s collective spirits. The event is being hosted at the offices of Interactive One, a division of Radio One Inc. and the nation’s No. 1 African American digital platform. All Black men are welcome to attend and share.

The Pan African Entre-preneurs Conference (PAEC) president, Kay DeBow, has announced the launch of a new nonprofit global business organization. The first conference convenes in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 15-18. PAEC’s mission is to create an arena for entrepreneurs and business people within the Black Diaspora to come meet and further business connections. They will also suggest policy improvement and issue awareness that will benefit the status of Black entrepreneurs internationally. This conference is for entrepreneurs who are doing business or who desire to do business globally. The conference will focus on agribusiness, technology, infrastructure and energy, water sustainability, healthcare, entertainment, fashion and beauty. There will also be ample time to network and have face-to-face meetings. The speakers will include corporations that are doing business globally. Notably, Robert Agbede, chairman, president and CEO of Chester Engineers will present a talk on doing business in Africa, Asia and the U.S.
Held every November, the National Alliance of Black School Educators conference attracts nearly 6,000 attendees for four days of inspiring plenary sessions, school tours, informative presentations and educational workshops. The conference includes an exhibition area with more than 300 vendors of educational products and services. The NABSE conference is also the site of the annual Hall of Fame Awards, honoring outstanding African Americans in the field of education and those who have made indelible contributions to the African American community. This year the event will be held on Nov. 14-18 in Nashville.

Sisters Network Inc., the only national African American breast cancer survivorship organization in the United States and Sisters Network Central Virginia Inc. chapter recently unveiled the organization’s new affiliate chapter office. The facility, located at 105 E. Clay St. in Richmond, is supported through Sisters Network Inc. The Sisters Network Central Virginia chapter was selected by a corporate partner Eisai from more than 40 Sisters Network affiliate chapters. The chapter will provide breast health awareness and support to the Richmond community, particularly the African American community; implement and increase advocacy initiatives; and promote national programs and services.

FedEx has launched its first-ever, nationwide small business grant competition, which will award a total of $50,000 to six deserving U.S. small businesses. The top winner will receive a $25,000 grant and the remaining five winners will receive grants of $5,000 each. Small businesses, defined as having fewer than 100 employees, will compete for the grants by completing a profile to be voted on by Facebook users. The grant contest registration has opened, and small businesses can now begin uploading and promoting their profiles. To register, participants must answer three questions, each in 500 characters or less, and describe their business, explain why they deserve a grant and state what they will do for their business with the money should they win. The campaign is designed for participants to promote their profiles among their own customers and fan bases throughout their social media networks to generate votes for their businesses. For more details about the FedEx Small Business Grant Program, visit