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

The 9th Annual Artivist Awards recently honored actress Maria Bello and DeVon Franklin, senior vice president, Columbia Pictures. While admiring Bello’s work the audience was allowed to mingle with Haiti Ambassador Paul Altidor, who presented Bello with the award. She received the Arts & Advocacy Award for creating an organization entitled “WE Advance” that empowers women in Haiti to become a part of commerce. She is an integral part in restoring the economy and spirit of Haitians. Franklin received the Community Leader Award for his efforts in supporting the community at large in the areas of AIDS Awareness and Spiritual Mentorship through his authoring of “Produced by Faith.”
November 2012 marks the first official release of HIGH HOPES’ (son of motivational speaker Les Brown) album in collaboration with and The Million Father March since stepping outside of his father’s shadow nearly seven years ago and leaving behind a lucrative career as the highest paid teen speaker in America. Now available for pre-order at, “Platinum Spoon” is a 11-track Hip Hop release by HIGH HOPES (Hip Hop Intellectual Going Higher Helping Other People Everywhere Soar). “I’m expecting this project to catapult my career as a full-time philanthropist,” said HOPES.

District of Columbia
ProPublica’s Dafna Linzer reports President Obama has granted clemency at a lower rate than any modern president, pardoning just 22 people while denying 1,019. “He has given pardons to roughly 1 of every 50 individuals whose applications were processed by the Justice Department,” writes Linzer. “At this point in his presidency, Ronald Reagan had pardoned 1 of every 3 such applicants. George H.W. Bush had pardoned 1 in 16. Bill Clinton had pardoned 1 in 8. George W. Bush had pardoned 1 in 33.” Linzer notes that Obama relies on recommendations from the office of the pardon attorney and they are denying more people more swiftly than other administrations.
Research compiled by the National Coalition on School Diversity demonstrates that White children in grades K-12 benefit significantly from integrated classrooms, a conclusion that mirrors many previous findings that diverse schools also produce beneficial outcomes for low-income students and children of color. In a recent research brief, Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, a member of the coalition’s research advisory panel, writes that diverse schools are linked to a series of positive learning outcomes for White students, including more robust classroom discussions, the promotion of critical thinking, improved problem-solving skills and higher academic achievement.

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) won’t be heading back to Congress after this term. After months of battling through one of the nastiest and most expensive races in the country, the Tea Party freshman was knocked out of his seat, barely, by Democratic newcomer Patrick Murphy. NBC called the race for Murphy early Wednesday morning. By the time all votes were counted, Murphy came out ahead of West by about 2,400 votes. “I am humbled by the outpouring of support from the voters of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches,” Murphy said in a statement. “I pledge to be a representative who will work across the aisle, listen to all points of views, and work to end the divisiveness in Congress. Our country faces many challenges, and by working together we will continue to move our country forward.”

Actor and poet, Omari Hardwick, will host the first live event following the conclusion of season two of “Verses & Flow” this evening from 7-10 p.m. The special guest performance will be musician Eric Roberson. Returning from season one, poets M’Reld Green and Jon Goode, will perform some of their new pieces for this segment of “Verses & Flow Live.” “Verses & Flow Live” is a unique event created to bring the public talented spoken word artists musical performers.
A popular and influential collection of artwork featuring African leaders and rulers has returned for public viewing at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Valued at more than $1 million, “The Great Kings and Queens of Africa” collection of paintings was commissioned by Anheuser-Busch in 1975. The company announced it has donated the entire collection to UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the country’s largest and most effective minority education organization, which will distribute pieces from the collection to six UNCF member colleges and universities: Morehouse College, ClarkAtlanta University, Fisk University, Xavier University, Dillard University and Benedict College. Anheuser-Busch also donated 30 scholarships, valued at $2,500 each, to student leaders from the six UNCF member HBCUs.

Smiley Radio Properties Inc. (SRP) celebrates the second anniversary of its popular radio program, Smiley & West from Public Radio International, with the addition of two new affiliates in Chicago. The one-hour weekly program, hosted by broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Union Theological Seminary professor Cornel West, will be heard Sundays at 3 p.m. on WCPT–Chicago’s Progressive Talk–and Saturdays at 11 a.m. on WVON 1690-AM–The Talk of Chicago–starting Nov. 10. WCPT will also carry SRP’s other radio program, “The Tavis Smiley Show,” Sundays at 2 p.m. The two programs can be heard on more than 94 stations nationwide. SRP also announced new underwriters for the programs. As a thank-you to their loyal Chicago listeners, Smiley and West will co-host a free town hall event, open to the public. “Poverty, Power, and the Public Airwaves: Post Election Analysis and Commentary from Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, and Amy Goodman” will convene at 7 p.m. this evening at Thorne Auditorium at Northwestern University’s Law School, 375 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago.
Amid health issues that have kept him from office since June and various reports of bizarre behavior, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) was re-elected in Tuesday’s election. The Chicago Democrat cruised to an easy victory over Republican Brian Woodworth and Independent Marcus Lewis in Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District, according to the Associated Press. Jackson won 71.7 percent of the popular vote with 43 percent of the precincts reporting. As of early Wednesday, Woodworth had 14.2 percent support. Jackson said in a statement from Mayo Clinic that he was “humbled and moved” by his constituents’ support.

North Carolina
E! News, the global leader in pop culture information, has just announced its first ever African American news anchor. Terrence Jenkins will begin Nov. 12, joining co-anchor Giuliana Rancic on the highly rated program. A native of North Carolina, Jenkins was recently the co-host of BET’s long-running 106 & Park video countdown and can be seen in the feature films “Think Like a Man,” “Burlesque,” and “Sparkle.” “I’ve always had a passion for the wide spectrum of pop culture that E! News covers so well,” said Jenkins. “I can’t wait to get started.”

Just 36 hours before the “final decision” of the 2012 presidential election was called, President Barack Obama commanded the cover of the latest JET magazine issue. JET reflects on the man, the milestones and historic first term. Additionally, civil rights activist Martin Luther King III tells JET exclusively why he supports President Obama. King highlights the successful strides the commander in chief has made over the last four years from the auto industry to healthcare. JET also lists Obama’s notable accomplishments, including killing Osama bin Laden, ending the Iraq War and speaks with a few of the notable African Americans behind his re-election campaign. “I’ve been involved in encouraging people to vote in every election that’s occurred over the last three decades. I support President Obama because I believe he is the best candidate,” said King.