California

A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project will host its 18th annual gala Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Omni Los Angeles. This year’s event, with the theme “Passing the Torch … Igniting the Spirit of Leadership,” will honor six women who the organization feels have forged paths of leadership to promote human dignity and have inspired others to follow. Those being recognized include: New York Times best-selling author Michelle Alexander (”The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”), filmmakers Emma Hewitt and Tessa Blake, Cheryl Tawede Grills, Ph.D., (director, Psychology Applied Research Center, Loyola Marymount University), Vasanté Bailey (former A New Way of Life (ANWOL) resident/certified nursing assistant) and Carolyn Robinson (current ANWOL resident/recent college graduate). FOX news anchor Christine Devine will host the event, which will also feature several special guest presenters including KPFK’s Margaret Prescod and Tamala Jones, known for her work in ABC’s “Castle.”


Contra Costa County sheriff’s officials said that they have arrested one of the three suspects sought in the fatal shooting of 28-year-old William Sims, who they say was targeted because of his race. Sims, who is African American, was discovered in the early morning hours of Nov. 12 by a sheriff sergeant on patrol. Sims was found lying in the roadway with a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. Late Wednesday, Nov. 23, Daniel Porter-Kelly was arrested on robbery and murder charges and is also facing hate crime enhancements, while deputies are still looking for 32-year-old Ray Simons of Hercules and 31-year-old Daniel Ortega. Both are considered to be armed and dangerous. Contra Costa County prosecutors and sheriff’s officials did not give details on the alleged hate crime, because of the ongoing investigation.

Delaware

Former Delaware Labor Secretary Lisa Blunt Rochester won Delaware’s U.S. House race, becoming the first African American and first woman elected to represent the state in Congress. Rochester defeated Republican Hans Reigle in the Nov. 8 election. Rochester, a political newcomer, loaned her campaign more than $400,000 and spent almost $1 million to top a crowded field of Democratic primary candidates before defeating Reigle, a retired military pilot and former mayor of the Kent County town of Wyoming. Rochester, who has said her focus in Congress will be jobs, the economy and equal pay for equal work, will succeed fellow Democrat John Carney, who vacated Delaware’s lone seat in the House to run for governor.

Florida

Rapper T.I. is being sued for allegedly skipping out on a high school graduation party in Florida. According to TMZ, the rapper missed a scheduled gig at the graduation bash, and now the event organizers want him to pay back the $390,000 spent on booking and marketing. According to the story, Planet Productions had reservations about booking the rapper because of a shooting that occurred at his concert at New York City’s Irving Plaza back in May. But his team reportedly convinced the firm that the show wouldn’t result in violence. In the end, T.I. reportedly never showed up, despite being paid $90,000 to perform. The company also claims that it spent $300,000 on marketing and licensing costs.

Georgia

Atlanta celebrities and other volunteers dished out Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 24 as part of the annual Hosea Feeds the Hungry. And this year there was an added twist. Celebrity kids raised donations of 500 bikes for underserved families to be given out on Christmas morning. Rapper Future’s son Prince, in conjunction with Hosea Feeds the Hungry, Hot 107.9, Carver Family Y, Young Stars 360 and University Reality Source, showcased his new clothing line “Prince & Pepper.” Celebrity kids moms and dads include Young Joc, R. Kelly, Nivea, Dream and more. The show was hosted by P.J. Rose (son of NBA player Derrick Rose) and Marley T. Taylor, one of the cast members of “Almost Christmas.”


The first-in-history Black beauty supply training center that teaches store ownership opened in Atlanta last month. Beauty Supply Institute, a training and consulting organization founded in 2007 by former business and economics professor and three-time store owner Devin Robinson, began with offices and rented training rooms. Beauty Supply Institute has opened 87 beauty supply stores across America, Canada and the Caribbean. However, in November, the organization expanded into hands-on training by moving into a 5,000 square foot facility that now houses its headquarters, training rooms, consulting rooms and a fully functioning beauty supply store. Shelly’s Beauty Supply Store and Training Lab, a full-scale over-the-counter retail store, now gives current and aspiring store owners the opportunity to get trained for competitiveness in a one-stop shop environment. The store operations will serve the people of Atlanta, while catering to students in need of actual hands-on training. For more information, contact Ronnalyn Simmonds at Beauty Supply Institute at (404) 551-4398 or email ronnalyn@beautysupplyinstitute.com.

Illinois

Yet another Chicago police officer has shot and killed a 19-year-old Black teen he says twice pointed a gun at him, but so far, no weapon has been found, reports CNN. Police say 19-year-old Kajuan Raye fit the description of a suspect. Raye ran when police arrived and a sergeant gave chase. The sergeant then told investigators that the offender turned and pointed a weapon in the direction of the sergeant on two separate occasions during the pursuit, Superintendent Eddie Johnson said. Video taken by two surveillance cameras outside a church shows Raye running and the officer chasing him out of the cameras’ view, yet the footage does not show the gunfire where Raye was shot and killed. Police have not released the sergeant’s name. He will be taken off patrol and placed on administrative duties for at least 30 days, as is routine for officers involved in a shooting while it is reviewed. “We were not able to locate a weapon (of Raye’s) as of yet,” Johnson told reporters. “There’s still many unanswered questions, and we are working diligently to find those answers.”

New Jersey

The Toms River High School South entrance road has been renamed Gaiter Way to honor the legacy of an immigrant African American family that attended school here. Between the 1920s and 1940s the family graduated 10 children, all of whom went on to successful careers, mostly as educators. One of was a Tuskegee airman. School principal James Ricotta called the story of the Gaiter family an “American treasure.” It began in 1910, when Wilfred Granville Gaiter came to the United States from the Bahamas. The following year, he was reunited with his wife Ernestine Jane Cash Gaiter and three young children. By 1913, the family had settled in Seaside Heights, where Wilfred built a hotel and preached education to his children.

New Mexico

Being Black and a female did not stop Ayla Bystrom-Williams from beating out 13,000 competitors to win this year’s Miller Lite Tap the Future competition in Chicago. Her company, Honeymoon Brewery, co-founded with her business partner/boyfriend, James Hill, won the competition’s $200,000 award. They are planning to use the funds to lease a building, purchase equipment and expand their brewery in Santa Fe, where they are based. Their product line includes: Kombucha Wine, Kombucha Beer, Kvass, New Mexican Sour Ale with local fruit profiles, New Mexican Herbed Bitters with Chapparral and Sage, and Roasted Dandelion Root American Stout.

South Carolina

Accused White supremacist Dylann Roof is mentally competent to stand trial for the shooting deaths of nine Black parishioners at a Charleston church last year, a federal judge ruled on Nov. 25, according to Reuters. Roof’s competency was the subject of a 16-hour hearing held behind closed doors. Earlier this month, defense attorneys had raised concerns for the first time about whether Roof was able to understand the nature of the proceedings against him and to assist in his defense. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said in an order that he had carefully considered the testimony of a renowned psychiatrist who evaluated Roof, 22, as well as arguments from lawyers. The judge kept under seal his detailed findings about Roof’s competency, saying that making them public would jeopardize the defendant’s right to a fair trial. Roof faces 33 counts of hate crimes, obstruction of religion and firearms charges in the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston South in June 2015.

Texas

Police in Houston have launched an investigation after officers allegedly Tasered a Black woman in a wheelchair during an argument with deputies, which caused the woman to fall to the ground out of her chair. Sheketha Holman had confronted police following her daughter’s arrest, when the incident occurred. She was surrounded by three deputies when one of them deployed the stun gun and shocked her to the point that she fell out of her wheelchair. She claimed that she was shocked a second time once she was in handcuffs. “It’s bad what happened to me and whatever, but I feel like once the word is out, then they won’t be so quick to attack people like that,” Holman said. Holman added that she thought she was shocked because she used her smartphone to take pictures of the officers, when they arrested her pregnant daughter. “I was taking pictures of them, and he was like, ‘Just leave the property, you’re trespassing. They don’t want you here,’” Holman said. The incident is now being investigated.


An Army veteran who on Veteran’s Day was denied his free meal at Chili’s in Cedar Hill when his service was questioned has had to move out of his home, because of threats that he received since his contact information was published with the original story, reports The Grio. The day after Veteran’s Day, Ernest Walker told CNN’s Don Lemon. Walker told CNN’s Don Lemon. Walker had posted to Facebook to tell the story of how his free meal was taken away after a customer questioned the uniform that he was wearing. “He (the manager) really made me feel like I was almost like a slave who had to show paperwork to show my freedom,” Walker told CNN’s Lemon. The story went viral, and while it did spark the restaurant into action, and the manager seen in the video no longer works at that restaurant, it also sparked significant backlash against Walker, who has received threatening messages both to his phone number and also on social media. Because of those threats, he has now been forced to leave his home.

Washington

A Somali American students group has been set up in Seattle to help teens go to college. People often gape openly at Ahlaam Ibraahim. Covered from head to foot in a hijab, the college freshman and daughter of Somali immigrants has grown accustomed to stares from fellow students on the University of Washington campus, just as she did at Rainier Beach High School when she enrolled there four years ago. But thanks to her entrepreneurial spirit, Ahlaam, 18, is as American as they come, reports the Seattle Times. This fall, the double major in business and education put her ambition to work by creating a group to help other East African high school kids navigate the application-and-financial-aid gauntlet. Most of the 50 young men and women who have come to early meetings of Educating the Horn will be, like Ahlaam, the first in their families to go to college.

West Virginia

A remorseless White man accused of shooting an unarmed Black teenager to death in Charleston, W.V., after they bumped into each other one evening confessed and called his victim a “piece of trash,” police said. William Pulliam, 62, was jailed on a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting of 15-year-old James Means, whose aunt said he was a loving teen who “could put a smile on anybody’s face.” Police said Pulliam “expressed no remorse.” “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street,” Pulliam told investigators, according to a criminal complaint filed by Charleston Detective C.C. Lioi. Means bumped into Pulliam outside a dollar store and the two “exchanged words,” according to the complaint. Pulliam then walked into the store, and James went to sit on a friend’s nearby porch. Clayton Ferguson, who was on the porch with James, told police that Pulliam later came out of the store and walked past them. Pulliam and James began arguing again, Ferguson told detectives, and when James walked across the street to confront him, Pulliam drew a gun and shot the teen twice. James was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

National

African American brothers and entrepreneur team Justin and Terry L. Raimey have launched the Black Streak Kitchen mobile app. Through the app, the brothers publish recipe comic books, animated nutrition fact videos and kitchen safety music videos featuring their original characters that teach kids and families about cooking, nutrition, health and wellness. “There is a need for this app in America, especially among African Americans,” Terry said. “Parents are cooking less and feeding their families more fast food and takeout. This, of course, has led to rising rates of obesity, type-2 diabetes, hypertension in adults and even children. Black Streak Kitchen’s goal is to teach kids and families how to cook delicious meals, and inform them of the nutritional benefits of the ingredients within each recipe.” Justin and Terry are using the Black Streak Kitchen app to promote their upcoming monthly comic publication “Black Streak Kitchen Comics.” Black Streak Kitchen will deliver recipes in the form of comic books digitally to their subscribers every month. More info at www.blackstreakkitchen.com.