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Alabama/Georgia

About a year and a half after ex-NBA legend Charles Barkley gave Morehouse College $1 million in support of the Atlanta-based school’s new sports and journalism program, he is doing the same for two other HBCUs. Barkley announced on Giving Tuesday (Nov. 29) that he is donating $1 million each to Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, and Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta. “This is a transformational gift to the institution and a true measure of Mr. Barkley’s commitment to advancing educational opportunities,” said Alabama A&M president Andrew Hugine Jr. His pledge marks the largest individual gift to Alabama A&M in the university’s 141-year history.

Colorado

A Denver station has reported that Dr. Michelle Herren, who posted “racially insensitive” remarks about First Lady Michelle Obama, is not being allowed to see patients until further notice. While the hospital that employs her initially said that they could not control private statements by employees, they have backtracked from that response. Until further notice, Herren will not be seeing patients or providing anesthesia services at Denver Health Medical Center. The University of Colorado School of Medicine has also begun the process of terminating Dr. Herren’s faculty appointment. “She has expressed values that are at odds with ours and she has compromised her ability to meet the teaching and patient care missions of the School of Medicine,” said School of Medicine Dean John J. Reilly Jr. in a statement Thursday afternoon. The comment, where Herren referred to Mrs. Obama as a “monkey face,” has since been removed and Herren has taken down her Facebook page.

Indiana

Another place of worship has been defaced with hate speech in the days after the election of Donald Trump, reports the Huffington Post. It happened in Evansville the day after Liberty Missionary Baptist Church’s Thanksgiving celebration, during which parishioners and volunteers fed nearly 300 people, members discovered the words “Kill All Koons” scrawled on the church’s door. The church van was also defaced with graffiti that read “Koons Inside.” This is the second time threatening language has been gratified on the church, built by slaves in 1865, in the past month. The Evansville Courier and Press reported that members found graffiti written on the sidewalk near the church three weeks prior and washed it away immediately.

Louisiana

The man who police said shot and killed an ex-NFL running back in a possible road rage incident Dec. 1 was released from custody after police questioned him, the Advocate newspaper reported. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand identified the shooting suspect as Ronald Gasser, 54. The sheriff said Gasser and Joe McKnight–a star running back at USC who played four seasons in the NFL–exchanged words after a traffic incident. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s office said the shooting happened at a busy intersection in the New Orleans suburb of Terrytown. Television station WVUE reported that multiple witnesses saw a man in an Infiniti sedan pull McKnight, 28, from his Audi and shoot him multiple times after an argument. One witness told a local paper that she saw the victim lying in the street and heard the shooter yell, “I told you don’t f— with me.” Witnesses said the shooter then waited for police to show up.

Minnesota

The nation’s largest mall featured its first-ever Black Santa Claus last weekend. The Star-Tribune reports the Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis hired Larry Jefferson to play Kris Kringle from Dec. 1 to Dec. 4 as part of its Santa Experience. Santa Experience co-owner Landon Luther says they “want Santa to be for everyone, period.” With that in mind, he tells the newspaper he launched a nationwide search for a diverse Santa and found Jefferson at a Santa convention in Branson, Mo., over the summer. He was the only Black Santa among the 1,000 impersonators in attendance. Jefferson told WCCO-TV that playing the jolly old elf is “no big deal” to him, saying “I’m still Santa … I just happen to be a Santa of color.”

New Jersey

The death of a Black 20-year- old Montclair college student whose parents reported her missing days before Thanksgiving has been ruled a homicide. Family members reported Sarah Butler, a freshman at

New Jersey City University in Jersey City missing Nov. 23. She was last seen the night before and the car she was driving, a 2007 Dodge Caravan, was discovered abandoned in Orange. Police found Butler’s remains in the Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange more than a week after she disappeared and before a scheduled family trip to Jamaica. Butler was remembered as a volleyball player and accomplished, trained dancer. She lived with her parents and two sisters. She was also a lifeguard at the local YMCA. ADDITIONAL INFO??

New York

A hero cop and her 16-year- old son are the victims of New York City’s latest hate crime. A Muslim off-duty NYPD officer was out with her son when a racist screamed at them to “go back to your own country.

Officer Aml Elsokary was not on duty and was wearing her hijab (headdress) at the time of the incident. She was dropping her son off at Ridge Boulevard and 67th Street in Bay Ridge. She had already let her son out, and after parking her car, she saw that her son was being shoved by a White man in his 30s. As she approached the two, the man said, “ISIS (expletive), I will cut your throat, go back to your country!” Officer Elsokary did not identify herself as a policewoman and she was not armed at the time of the altercation.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Unit is now investigating it as a bias incident. In 2014, Elsokary, who wears her hijab while on duty, was lauded a hero, when she ran into a burning building to save an elderly grandmother and a baby girl. Elsokary is a decorated officer who joined the force just after 911 in order to “show people that the terrible acts of that day contradicted the teachings of Islam,” Mayor Bill de Blasio stated.

North Carolina

Black teacher Lee Francis will continue to work in a warehouse after the Cumberland County School Board upheld his suspension for stepping on the American flag during a lesson on the First Amendment. According to television station WNCN, the Cumberland County School board met Nov. 30 and decided to uphold the 10-day suspension without pay for Francis. Superintendent Frank Till, Ed.D., said Francis is still a Cumberland County employee but assigned to a warehouse. Francis said he feels like he won’t be able to teach again, and he will seek other legal remedies.

National

Morehouse College graduate U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Democrat representing Louisiana, was elected to be the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). “I’m honored and humbled by the confidence my colleagues have placed in me to serve as chair of this revered caucus, the conscience and intellect of the Congress,”

Richmond said in a statement. “As we move into a new Congress, and the onset of a new [presidential] administration, our caucus will remain committed to the values that have made the CBC among the most influential institutions in the nation.” Richmond is the first Morehouse graduate to be elected to this position. Now 49 members strong, the CBC is the largest it has been in its entire history.