Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
Old-school, Hip Hop radio station KDAY will be sold for $19.5 million to a media company with ties to China, according to Federal Communications Commission documents. The sale will be finalized after the close of escrow, according to the sales agreement that is on file with the FCC. KDAY-FM (93.5) is based out of Redondo Beach. KDEY-FM, which simulcast KDAY programming out of Ontario, is included in the sale. The stations are owned by Magic Broadcasting based in Florida. According to radio industry reports, the new owners plan to change the format of the two old school Hip Hop stations to Mandarin-language talk radio.
The Hollywood Black Film Festival (HBFF) is now accepting submissions for the 2013 festival, to be held Oct. 2-6, 2013. Regular feature, short, student and documentary film submissions, Project Stargazer submissions, and scripts for the Storyteller Competition will be accepted through June 16. The late deadline is July 8. All films submitted must have been completed after Sept. 1, 2012. HBFF will introduce a new competitive sidebar this year, Film Diaspora, to showcase independent films and filmmakers from the African Diaspora. Feature, short and documentary films submitted to compete in Film Diaspora must have been produced by filmmakers residing outside the U.S.–in Africa, the Caribbean, Central or Latin America.
The Mountain Region Black Economic Summit has announced the eighth annual MRBES Success Summit & Expo to be held on May 31 and June 1 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. The theme is “Inform, Inspire, Imagine!” The summit, which seeks to improve the economic standing of minority communities, is the only event of its kind in the mountain states. More than 750 people are expected to attend. The luncheon keynote speaker is Julianne Malveaux, Ph.D., an economist, author and founder of Last Word Productions Inc. The emcee is Denver Nuggets’ public address announcer, Kyle Speller.
District of Columbia
The Arab American Institute Foundation honored Marian Wright Edelman and the Children’s Defense Fund with the Award for Institutional Excellence at the 15th annual Kahlil Gibran “Sprit of Humanity” Awards Gala. For 14 years, the Gibran awards have recognized individuals, organizations, and corporations whose work reflects the ideals of the great Lebanese-American poet by promoting inclusion, cooperation and greater understanding among people of diverse backgrounds. “For 40 years, the Children’s Defense Fund has been the nation’s strongest advocate for at-risk children and families,” said Arab American Institute President James Zogby. “Its tireless work has resulted in significant policy changes and programs for children, bringing about better access to healthcare, education, and proper nutrition. We couldn’t be more pleased to honor their vital and important work at Gibran.”
The Liberty Counsel Action sent a letter to every member of the U.S. House of Representatives urging support for Rep. Doug Lamborn’s (R-Colo.) letter to John M. McHugh, secretary of the Army, calling on him to rescind, apologize, and investigate an Army Reserve training brief that labels Evangelical Christians and Catholics as religious extremists. “Make no mistake about it, religious freedom is under attack in this country,” said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel Action. “The news of an Army Reserve training brief labeling Evangelical Christians and Catholics as ‘religious extremists,’ is insulting. To lump Evangelical Christians and Catholics in with Hamas, Al Qaeda, or the Ku Klux Klan is outrageous. Such false labeling is dangerous and unacceptable,” Staver said. Liberty Counsel Action is a 501(c)(4), nonprofit, grassroots lobbying organization advancing religious and civil liberties, the sanctity of human life, the family, limited and responsible government, national security and support for Israel.
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the Southampton County Historical Society dedicated a highway marker in honor of Dred Scott, a slave who is one of the five people credited with precipitating the Civil War that led to the end of end of slavery. The event was held at Route 58 and Buckhorn Quarter Road in Southampton County, to honor Scott near the place he was born and grew up. The area was once part of a plantation owned by Peter and Elizabeth Taylor Blow. Dred Scott’s original name was Sam Blow, and the ceremony also honored them. The Southampton County Historical Society selected the site, following five years of research in determining where Dred Scott was born. Researchers were able to learn that Scott’s mother, Hannah, lived on the Blow plantation in rural Virginia, where some residents to this day still fly the Confederate flag and refer to the Civil War as the war of northern aggression.
The NAACP launched a website www.naacp.org/pages/hotels providing advocacy tools aimed at improving hiring diversity and inclusion practices in the country’s leading hotels. The site features an interactive map highlighting diversity data for the top 100 tourism cities nationwide as well as an action guide for diversity advocacy. The site builds on the data provided in the NAACP’s Opportunity & Diversity Report Card released in November. “Hotels must reflect the communities they serve,” states Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP president and CEO. “The lodging industry has a notorious history of racial exclusion that must end now, if all American children are to have equal opportunity in 21st-century America.”
Award-winning author and public speaker Lana Reid will debut her inspirational/motivational talk show “Don’t Box Me In” on TalkZone Internet Radio. Don’t Box Me In will air every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon, starting April 24, 2013. Claudette Robinson, named the First Lady of Motown by Berry Gordy, is an original member of The Miracles, and the first woman signed to Motown. Having received the first gold record for Motown (“Shop Around”) participating in the Civil Rights Movement, and eventually having two “miracle babies” after facing many years of difficult pregnancies, Claudette will join Lana Reid as her very first guest to share her journey, including her faith in God’s daily “miracles.”
On May 11, history will be written in the Ugandan town of Jinja, when the first African Ice Swimming Championship is arranged. Jinja residents received inspiration for ice swimming from the city of Skellefteå in Northern Sweden, where over the past two years the Swedish and Scandinavian Winter Swim championships have been arranged and hosted. “In order to succeed in implementing this spectacular event, we will fill a swimming pool with about 50 tons of ice,” says Jinja’s mayor, Mohammed Baswari Kezaala Al-Hajji. When the first Swedish Championship in winter swimming was conducted in Skellefteå in 2012, the air temperature was minus 34 degrees Celsius. However in Jinja, it is anticipated that temperature can be as high as plus 34 degrees Celsius (or around 80 degrees Fahrenheit) during the competition. However, organizers will attempt to get the water temperature down to plus 10 degrees Celsius. The Big Steve from England team together with the association of The Happy Friends of Cold and Darkness are co-organizers of the competition. The city of Jinja, the Metro Green company, and the Uganda Swimming Federation are also involved in organizing for the championship.
Compiled By Juliana Norwood