Ahmad Givens (124156)

Alabama

Republicans have elected a woman and Black man to head the party’s hierarchy in the state. Terry Lathan of Mobile has been elected chairwoman and Troy Towns as the Alabama Republican Party’s vice chairman. The move comes at a time when the GOP is attempting to chip away at the Democratic Party’s hold on female and non-White voters. However, Republican leaders in the state made it clear that the party’s platform won’t change. Lathan has spent 35 years in various leadership roles for the Mobile County GOP and the state party. Towns is a businessman who has worked as the party’s minority outreach director.

California

Legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry died last week at the age of 94. He was a 2010 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner. He was often featured on NBC’s “Tonight Show” and played with many of jazz’s renowned artists and bands, including Duke Ellington. Terry joined the “Tonight Show” band in 1960, becoming the first Black to be on the network’s musical staff.


A reality star from VH-1’s show “Real Chance of Love,” Ahmad Givens, succumbed to cancer last week. He was 33. Givens was diagnosed in 2013 with stage 4 cancer and had surgery, which doctors thought was successful. But the cancer returned in recent months. Givens was known with his brother, Chance, as the “Stallionaires.”

Colorado

Thaddeus Murphy has been arrested on arson charges in connection with the pipe bombing near the state’s NAACP office in Colorado Springs. Murphy, 44, has allegedly admitted to placing the homemade bomb outside of a building that houses the NAACP offices, although he reportedly claims that he was not targeting that office. Court documents show that Murphy says that the explosive device was directed at a tax accountant he thought was in that building. He told cops that he was in financial straits and needed money, and the accountant was not returning phone calls.

Georgia

People magazine is reporting that Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, was under the influence of drugs when she was found unresponsive in her bathtub. She remains in a coma in an Atlanta hospital. People claims Bobbi Kristina used cocaine, heroine and Xanax on a regular basis and that was also a heavy drinker. The story also claims the 21-year-old has been in and out of rehab. It was three years ago that her mother, Whitney Houston, was also found in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, unresponsive. She died and autopsy results showed she had cocaine in her system. Meanwhile, the Brown and Houston families remain vigilant at Bobbi Kristina’s bedside, while area police are investigating the circumstances around her situation, as well as her longtime boyfriend, Nick Gordon. It’s also being reported that Bobby Brown has made it clear to Gordon that he can’t see Bobbi Kristina until he tells Brown what happened.

Illinois

International Pretty Brown Girl Day will be held Saturday in Chicago’s South Shore Cultural Center from 2 until 5 p.m. This special day for young ladies was established by the Pretty Brown Girl Foundation as a special day to empower, inspire and encourage girls

of color to love the skin they’re in. The call to action is for organizations, schools, churches and community leaders to start a Pretty Brown Girl Club and launch them with celebrations on International Pretty Brown Girl Day, where girls of color will have a social platform to address, discuss and celebrate this very important topic. The theme this year is to “Dream Big” with confidence, courage and character. Pretty Brown Girl also offers a K-12 after-school program curriculum with interactive engagement and learning activities. More information is available at www.prettybrowngirl.com.


President Barack Obama visited Chicago last week to designate an historic neighborhood on the South Side as a national monument. Railroad car manufacturer, engineer and industrialist George Pullman founded the Pullman Historic District in 1880. It wasn’t long before it became home to porters, factory workers and laborers and their families during a time when most laborers lived in poor conditions. “This site is at the heart of what would become America’s labor movement and as a consequence at the heart of what become America’s middle class,” the president said at the site.

Louisiana

On March 11, in New Orleans historical and cultural groups, scholars, students and direct descendants will host a ceremony honoring Black Reconstruction-era activist and newspaper publisher, Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez (1823-1890). The date marks the 125th anniversary of Roudanez’s death. The event will start at 1 p.m. near the entrance to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. A graveside musical tribute and a blessing will precede the unveiling of a historical marker honoring Dr. Roudanez and the dynamic community of African peoples that shared his vision. A free man of color with ancestral ties to colonial Saint-Domingue (Haiti), Dr. Roudanez was educated in France. In 1862, Roudanez and other free men of color launched a bilingual journal L’Union (The Union), the first Black newspaper in the American South. In 1864, a successor paper, the New Orleans Tribune, became the first Black daily paper in the United States.

Missouri

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is said to be drafting papers to sue the Ferguson Police Department over a pattern of racially discriminatory tactics used by officers, sources say. The lawsuit could come to a halt, if the Ferguson Police Department agrees to make changes on its own. Attorney General Eric Holder said he expects to announce the results of the DOJ”s investigation of the shooting death of Michael Brown and a broader probe of the Ferguson Police Department before he leaves office in coming weeks.


The National Bar Association has announced who it will honor with the Gertrude E. Rush and Heman A. Sweatt awards at its 35th annual mid-year conference, March 26-29, in St. Louis at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel. This year’s Rush awards go to Bryan A. Stevenson, Esq., Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Judge Ronnie White, CSEP Barbara Washington and Dr. Deborah Turner; and to Rep. Tommie Pierson St. and James M. Williams, Esq., for the Sweatt award.

New York

Pharrell Williams continues to expand his empire. In addition to being an award-winning performer, songwriter, producer and fashion designer, he has just cut a deal with Putnam Book for Young Readers for four picture books. It will available Sept. 22 and will feature photographs of kids from around the world looking happy.

Nevada

Longtime welter weight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather is set to fight Manny Pacquiao on May 2 in a match that is expected to earn Mayweather $120 million. According to the Associated Press, negotiations took months to complete. A resident of Las

Vegas, Mayweather gets to fight on his home turf, since the fight will take place at the MGM. Pacquiao is from the Philippines and is expected to earn about $80 million.

North Carolina

On October 12, 2013, African American Christian Griggs went to pick up his daughter at his then-wife’s family home. Soon after arriving, Pat Chisenhall, Christian’s father-in-law, allegedly fatally shot Christian six times, including times four in the back. The state medical examiner ruled his death a homicide. Yet, Chisenhall yet to be prosecuted for the Grigg’s murder. Griggs’ mother has started a campaign on i.am.colorofchange.org, a distributive organizing platform run by the national civil rights organization ColorOfChange, calling for North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District for North Carolina, Thomas Walker, to intervene and prosecute Chisenhall. “When local leadership fails, it is the responsibility of state and federal officials to step in and ensure fairness, justice and equity in the justice system,” Griggs mom said in a statement. “It’s been more than 14 months since Christian was killed and District Attorney Vernon Stewart has made it clear that he will not be doing his job.” She added, “There is more than enough probable cause for Chisenhall to be charged. Christian is dead and Pat Chisenhall killed him. This case must go before a jury.” More than 3,500 people have signed on. The campaign may be seen here: www.JusticeForChristianGriggs.org.

Pennsylvania

A member of Nicki Minaj’s touring team was stabbed to death last week in Philadelphia. Another crew member was stabbed but lived and is in the hospital. Minaj and her team were in the area rehearsing for her upcoming tour with Meek Mill. De’Von Pickett, a stage hand, died, while Eric Parker survived the incident. Details were sketchy, but the tragedy happened outside of a restaurant when a fight inside spilled out into the parking lot. The suspect fled in a gray Buick LeSabre and had yet to be apprehended at press time.

Texas

Trinity Designs Inc. of Missouri City is making its footprint as one of the largest, independent, African American women owned manufacturers for dolls of color, as the company has unveiled its newest 16-inch collectible beauty, “The Essence of a Star.” TDI launched initially with a sorority doll collection and expanded its portfolio to include dolls that celebrated beauty across various other organizations as well. TDI is also adding a line of children’s dolls affectionately named “Nubian Bellas” to its future product lines and hopes to introduce them by winter 2015. Some upcoming designs include a special exclusive doll for the ladies known across the nation as Mary Kay Consultants, as well as a diva with fashion on her mind, Dominique La’Shone and “Elan” for a signature holiday collectible. Check out www.trinitydesignsinc.com for more info.

Utah

The U.S. Dept. of Justice is investigating the killing of a young man in Salt Lake City by police. The DOJ and the U.S. Attorney in Utah are investigating the shooting of Darrien Hunt by two police officers in Saratoga Springs. The NAACP had also asked for a closer look at the case last November. Hunt, who is Black, was shot and killed by two White officers as he was running from them; however, he was carrying a sword that the cops say looked real. Hunt’s family says he was not a threat and was only shot because he was Black; they allege he would have been treated differently, if he were White.

Compiled by Carol Ozemhoya.