(228257)

Alabama

Jan. 14

LaShandra Warren made history in Montgomery by becoming the first African American named as county administrator at the Montgomery County Courthouse. Warren was a judicial assistant for 11 years, working with Judge Charles Price for 10 of those years. Warren grew up in Montgomery and attended Alabama State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, as well as two master’s degrees. In addition to being the first African American in the position, she is also the first woman.

March 24

The Grio reported that a high school student started a movement to stop boys from wearing saggy pants. “Seeing a bunch of boys sagging at school and in public … I was just so disgusted by it that I wished that somebody or something would make them change,” said Morgan McCane, 15. So her mother told her that she should start a movement, which inspired the teen to create Girls Against Boys Sagging (GABS).

July 21

Ellenae Fairhurst became the first Black female to own a Lexus dealership in Huntsville. According to St. Louis Biz.com, even though women comprise 85 percent of car sales, they only own 975 dealerships out of 20,000, with ethnic women only owning 56 of those. According to the National Association of Minority Auto Dealers, six Black women own dealerships within these numbers.

Aug. 4

The lone surviving Ku Klux Klan member convicted in an Alabama church bombing, that killed four Black girls in 1963, is up for parole after spending 15 years in prison for murder, but civil rights activists spoke out against any early release. Members of the Birmingham NAACP and other groups held a news conference across the street from the church to protest the possible early release of Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., 78. Blanton is serving a life sentence for being part of a group of Klansmen who bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church, a gathering spot for demonstrators during the civil rights movement in Birmingham.

Sept. 1

The interim Mayor of Midland City took her loss pretty hard, exposing her racist attitude on Facebook. The reaction happened after Republican candidate Patsy Capshaw Skipper lost her seat to a Black candidate in last week’s mayoral election in the small Southern city. “I lost. The nier won,” said Skipper when someone asked her how the election had turned out. Skipper was beat handily by Jo Ann Bennett Grimsley, former assistant city clerk and an employee of the Dale County government for 27 years.

Nov. 17

On Nov. 8, nine Black women were elected to become judges in majority Democratic Jefferson County, The Birmingham Times reported. The Black women, who came out on top in the district and circuit courts are all Democrats. Javan Patton, Debra Bennett Winston, Shera Craig Grant, Nakita “Niki” Perryman Blocton, Tamara Harris Johnson, Elisabeth French, Agnes Chappell, Brendette Brown Green and Annetta Verin are to be sworn in during January.

Alaska

May 12

University of Alaska Aanchorage history professor Ian Hartman agreed to work on an edited volume about the history of African Americans in the state, scheduled for publication later this year. “We were talking about how there really isn’t any comprehensive or current treatment of African American history in Anchorage,” said Hartman, a Cook Inlet Historical Society board member. “And it’s a pretty interesting history—this is Fairview and Mountain View and redlining and urban renewal and civil rights activism and the military’s involved, all kinds of things. I volunteered to write that chapter.” Hartman applied for-and won-the 2016 Selkregg Community Engagement and Service Learning Award. Hartman hopes to use the $5,000 award to continue his research into the history of African Americans in south central Alaska, with plans to preserve oral histories from African Americans who migrated to Alaska years ago and use archived accounts to better understand what life here was like for African Americans who faced obstacles like housing and employment discrimination.

Arizona

Jan. 7

A man in Phoenix has been accused of assisting in planning attacks in Texas in the name of ISIS. Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem has been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, according to the AP.

Feb. 18

The Arizona Department of Corrections, which reportedly had a long-term practice of assigning inmates to housing and employment based on their race and ethnicity, will now be required to desegregate its 10 prison facilities and end its racially discriminatory practices for all of the state’s more than 35,000 inmates, under a landmark agreement approved by U.S. District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson.

Aug. 11

A killer targeting victims of color remains on the loose, terrifying a small suburban neighborhood outside of Phoenix, reports NBC News. On Aug. 3, authorities announced a ninth shooting that took place on July 11, when a gunman fired at a man and a 4-year-old boy sitting in a car. Fortunately, both victims survived. The town of Maryvale has remained on high alert since March 17, when a 16-year-old boy was fired at while walking down the street.

Arkansas

May 12

An attorney for the family of a Black man fatally shot by Little Rock police in 2010 says the roughly $1.5 million settlement in the family’s lawsuit marks the largest settlement in the city’s history for a police shooting. The city agreed to pay the family of Eugene Ellison $900,000 and formally apologize. Attorney Mike Laux says that brings the total settlement to about $1.5 million, when added to the agreement reached in April with the apartment complex where the shooting occurred.

California

Jan. 28

The Los Angeles City Council agreed to pay a total of $24.3 million to two men who spent decades incarcerated for crimes they reportedly did not commit. Kash Register will receive $16.7 million and $7.6 million will go to Bruce Lisker, according to the Associated Pres. Register served more than 34 years for the shooting death of a 78-year-old man in 1979. His conviction was overturned in 2013. Lister served 26 years for the stabbing death of his 66-year-old mother when he was 17. He was released in 2009.

May 26

San Francisco’s police chief resigned at the request of the mayor hours after an officer fatally shot a young Black woman driving a stolen car—the culmination of several racially charged incidents in the past year. Pressure had been mounting for the resignation of Chief Greg Suhr since December, when five officers fatally shot a young Black man carrying a knife.

Aug. 4

A Compton teen has become the youngest Black pilot to fly around the country. Isaiah Cooper, 16, made history when he landed in his hometown on July 18 after an 8,000-mile flight from California to Maine, Washington, Florida and back to Compton-Woodley Airport.

Aug. 11

Damien Hooper-Campbell has been hired by San Jose-based eBay as the director of diversity, a first of its kind position for the company. Hooper-Campbell is from the Morehouse College graduating class of 2002 and brings to the job a wealth of experience. After graduating from Morehouse with a B.A. in economics, he also received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Before working for eBay, he previously held roles at Google, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Sept. 15

San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York pledged $1 million to improving racial and economic inequality and building a stronger relationship between law enforcement authorities and the communities they serve, according to news sources. York announced the donation Sept. 8, following quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s pledge to give $1 million to help underserved communities. Kaepernick announced his pledge last week after he refused to stand for the national anthem in protest of racial oppression and police brutality in the United States. York said the team will partner with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation in this effort.

Oct. 6

The Oakland Museum of California’s (OMCA) major fall exhibition, “All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50,” opened Oct. 8 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party (Oct. 15, 1966) and continued OMCA’s commitment to examining topics and themes that are socially relevant and meaningful to the community.

Nov. 17

Councilman Michael Tubbs was elected as Stockton’s first Black mayor. Just 26 years old, Tubbs will also serve as the city’s youngest mayor.

Colorado

Jan. 14

Six sheriff’s deputies in Denver were put on leave and placed on restrictive duty, after the death of a Black inmate was ruled a homicide. According to a recently released report, deputies at the Denver jail forcibly restrained 50-year-old Michael Marshall who was reportedly experiencing a psychotic episode. When he became unconscious, he was sent to a hospital, where he was put on life support and died nine days later.

Connecticut

Sept. 8

It was just the start of another school year, but the greeting was anything but routine for students arriving at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Hartford. One by one, the students received high-fives as they filed past rows of Black professional men on their way to the school entrance, introduced individually like members of a playoff team taking the court. Dozens of businessmen, policemen and others answered a call to show up to the dilapidated Hartford school in their work clothes or uniforms on Aug. 31. Organizer and local pastor, A.J. Johnson, said the welcome ceremonies began last year as a way to counter stereotypes of Black men, and do something positive at a time of heightened tensions over police shootings of Black men.

Delaware

Dec. 1

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. Riding voter registration numbers that heavily favor Democrats, 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 would 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.

District of Columbia

April 21

The Smithsonian Museum has become a home for historic treasures in hip-hop history museum with the announcement of plans to obtain and preserve more in hip-hop relics. Famed music journalist and former Def Jam publicity director Bill Adler plans to bring his collection of rare photos featuring veteran hip hop artists such as Run D.M.C, KRS-One, Queen Latifah, Nas, Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J, Jay Z and more to be displayed. The collection was set to go on the walls of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a branch of the Smithsonian.

Sept. 8

Georgetown University will give preference in admissions to the descendants of slaves owned by the Maryland Jesuits as part of its effort to atone for profiting from the sale of enslaved people, the president of the prominent Jesuit university in Washington, D.C., announced on Sept. 1.

Oct. 13

In its 45th year, Howard University’s School of Communications is set to formally rename itself after media mogul Cathy Hughes, according to the scool’s student paper, the Hilltop. An undisclosed source from Howard’s Department of Development and Alumni Relations reportedly told Hilltop that Hughes donated a monetary gift of $4 million. Hughes, chairperson and secretary of Radio One, served as general manager at Howard’s Radio station WHUR in the 1970s. Hughes founded Radio One in 1980, along with then-husband Dewey Hughes. Today, Radio One is the largest African-American owned and targeted multi-media company in the United States.

Florida

Jan. 21

No White person in modern history has been executed for killing a Black person in the state, so says the Huffington Post in a startling report on Florida’s death penalty. That comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 last week that capital punishment in Florida is unconstitutional.

Feb. 4

Florida State University reached a $950,000 settlement with Erica Kinsman, the former student who accused QB Jameis Winston of rape in 2012. The school agreed to pay the money, which includes attorney’s fees, in exchange for her dropping the case.

Feb. 11

A Black man who was paralyzed, after being shot by a sheriff’s deputy in Palm Beach, was awarded $23.1 million. A federal jury that included six women and two men ruled that Sgt. Adam Lin violated the civil rights of Dontrell Stephens when he shot him in September 2013.

June 9

A former Florida police officer was arrested after a grand jury found he had used unjustified force in the fatal shooting of a Black musician whose car broke down. Prosecutors charged ex-officer Nouman Raja with manslaughter by culpable negligence and attempted first-degree murder following the grand jury’s finding. Raja was fired from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Dept. after the Oct. 18, 2015, shooting of Corey Jones, 31. Raja was in plain clothes when he approached Jones in the early morning hours in an unmarked van.

Nov. 3

It’s been almost five years since Trayvon Martin was shot down, and the shooter was found not guilty, but pop star Lady GaGa wants people to remember the slain teen. She says that the current political climate inspired her latest song, a tribute to Martin titled, “Angel Down,” a track off her latest album “Joanne.” Says GaGa, “It’s a very extreme year and a very high, stressful time; people of all ages I think are feeling it. Especially with politics and with society—the way things have been moving, the chaos in America …” She also went on to say that the song was a response to “the epidemic of young African Americans being murdered in this country. How can I not say something?”

Nov. 17

After a fruitful career on the hardwood, former Washington Mystics (WNBA) player Tamara James has taken on politics. The 32-year-old activist was recently named mayor of her old stomping grounds, Dania Beach, considered Broward County’s “oldest community,” the Miami Herald reported.

Georgia

Jan. 14

District Attorney Robert James Jr. said he would ask a grand jury to indict a DeKalb County police officer for the death of Anthony Hill, an Air Force veteran. Hill, who is Black, was shot by Robert Olsen in March 2015, when he came across Hill, naked and “acting strangely.” Hill reportedly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of time he served in Afghanistan.

Feb. 18

It was called “staggering corruption.” Some 46 corrections officers were arrested in a statewide FBI sting. Contraband the corrections officers were allegedly wheeling and dealing included cocaine, meth, alcohol and tobacco. The arrests were the result of a two-year undercover operation that included nine facilities throughout the state.

March 17

It was announced that Mary Schmidt Campbellm Ph.D., would be inaugurated as the 10th president of Spelman College. A leader in education, the arts and the public sector for nearly 40 years, Dr. Campbell was dean emerita of Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and university professor in the department of art and public policy prior to joining Spelman.

June 30

Law enforcement raided three restaurants owned by R&B legend Gladys Knight in Atlanta. Knight’s Chicken and Waffles chain is owned by Knight but run by her son, Shanga Hankerson, who was taken into custody, along with dozens of files from the popular eatery on Peachtree Street and two other locations. According to news reports, Hankerson faced two counts of felony theft on $52,000 in sales tax that was never sent in to the Georgia Department of Revenue. In addition, the 39-year-old is charged with taking a total of $650,000 in state sales and withholding taxes. After interest and penalties, it all ads up to more than $1 million.

Aug. 18

Actor/producer and Atlanta resident Tyler Perry offered to pay the funeral costs for two infant girls who died tragically recently after being left in a hot car, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. After watching an interview by reporter Dave Huddleston that he did with their mother, Breal Ellis, Perry said he had to reach out and help. Ellis’ daughters, 15-month-old Ariel Roxanne North and Alaynah Maryanne North, were found dead in a hot car. The father, Asa North, 24, was arrested and is facing two involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct charges.

Nov. 24

A judge in Atlanta ordered Bobbi Kristina Brown’s longtime boyfriend Nick Gordon to pay $36 million in damages to the Brown family estate more than a year after her tragic death, the Associated Press reported. In September, Gordon was found legally responsible for Bobbi Kristina’s death after the estate filed a $50 million wrongful death suit against him, when he failed to appear in court. Bobbi Kristina was singer Whitney Houston’s only daughter with singer Bobby Brown.

Hawaii

Sept. 15

Things your teacher never taught you in school include the birthplace of the original people of Hawaii. Their ancestral linage is shrouded in lies, assimilation, deception, murder, genocide, myth, mystery and historical manipulation. All in an attempt, reports EUR Web, to deceive and cover-up the fact that indigenous Hawaiians were Black and Brown people, descendants of the “motherland” whose ancestral DNA link them directly to Africa. The online news agency reports that it’s an historical fact that when European Americans invaded the islands of what is now called “Hawaii” capturing the Black Queen Liliuokalani, and holding her prisoner in her own palace until her death, they made her the last Black queen of Hawaii, forever breaking and interrupting the royal African blood-line and historical legacy. Europeans then imported tens of thousands of Asian immigrants who outnumbered the indigenous people and would soon replace the native population, becoming indentured servants for the invaders of the new illegally acquired islands.

Idaho

May 26

Three White high school football players have been charged with sexual assault of a Black teammate at Dietrich High School. After several months of investigation, the state attorney general’s office filed charges against the three, with two being charged as adults. Under Idaho law the two could face life in prison. The victim’s family has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the school, as well as 11 of its employees, claiming they did nothing to stop the racial and physical abuse of the victim.

Illinois

Jan. 7

Responding to mounting pressure from the public, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a policy overhaul of the police department. Noted changes include a goal of having Tasers in every squad car along with extensive Taser training. One focus of department training, Emanuel said, would be “de-escalation tactics so that force can be the last option, not the first choice.”

May 26

One of Chicago’s two remaining African-American-owned banks was saved from failure with a $9 million equity infusion that will keep it under Black ownership. Illinois Service Federal Savings & Loan, a South Side lender tracing its Bronzeville roots to the Great Migration, on April 28 completed a sale to a Ghanaian-American family. The acquisition, which the family says was recently approved by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is a stay of execution for a low-profile South Side institution that has made mortgages and small-business loans for decades.

June 23

Chicago-based Ebony magazine and the digital version of Jet magazine, two of the most popular publications that have chronicled African-American life for the past 71 years, were both sold to Clear View Group, a private equity firm based in Austin, Texas. The sales price was not disclosed, but Michael Gibson, chairman of Clear View Group, says the company will retain its Chicago headquarters and much of its staff.

Nov. 17

Kim Foxx won the position of state attorney of Cook County in a landslide election against Republican candidate Christopher E.K. Pfannkuche, according to NBC Chicago. The high-profile position is responsible for prosecuting criminals and protecting the state against litigation. Foxx was nominated as the Democratic candidate for the role, after winning the countywide primary election against incumbent Anita Alavrez in March, securing 59 percent of the vote. Foxx’s nomination came in the wake of a firestorm of criticism for Alvarez, who was highly criticized for her poor handling of the death of unarmed teen, Laquan McDonald, at the hands of police in Chicago.

Indiana

March 17

Darren Vann, 64, a confessed serial killer who preyed on poor Black women, was charged with five more counts of murder. Vann was arrested in 2014 and charged with killing Afrikka Hardy, 19, and Anith Jones, 35. He has since confessed to killing five others and led police to their bodies in abandoned buildings in Gary.

Iowa

March 24

A 47-year-old man claimed he is allergic to Black people. Andy Benavidez reportedly used racial slurs during an altercation in Iowa City when he attacked a Black man. Police say he was wearing a surgical mask at the time of the assault. According to CBS News, police say Benavidez said he wore the mask so that “he wouldn’t catch germs from Black people.” He has been charged with assault in violation of individual rights, which is a hate crime under Iowa law.

Aug. 4

Braiding hair without a cosmetology license used to be a crime in the state, but as of July 1, the law has changed. Before the new law was in place, however, hair stylists without a license could face a misdemeanor charge and could be sentenced to prison for up to a year. The law was challenged by two Black women activists: Aicheria Bell and Achan Agit. With the support of the Institute for Justice, they were able to file a civil rights lawsuit against the state. Governor Terry Branstad responded by removing the stipulations in a veto.

Kansas

Sept. 1

Nancy Wirths lives in Wichita, where she received a hateful note that lambasted her family for merely existing in a mostly White neighborhood. Wirth, who is also White, has bi-racial grandchildren who frequently spend time at her home. Out of her nine grandchildren, six are Black. The handwritten note, addressed to “resident,” began with the following: “We have noticed there are some Black children at your residence. Maybe you are running a daycare or these are your children. In either case, we have put our house for sale. This neighborhood does not need any Blacks in it. Wirths says she is devastated and is trying to find the strength to raise her children with a spirit of inclusiveness and understanding. Police are still investigating the note and if found, the culprit could face a disorderly conduct charge, KSNW television news reports.

Oct. 20

Three Kansas men who dubbed themselves “the Crusaders” plotted for months to bomb a mosque and apartment complex, home to Somali immigrants, according to the Department of Justice, reported the New York Daily News. Curtis Allen, 49, Gavin Wright, 49, and Patrick Stein, 47, were charged Oct. 14 with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. The trio planned to strike after the Nov. 8 presidential election. Allen, Wright and Stein were part of a larger militia group, and were planning to detonate four car bombs at the Garden City apartments, in Garden City, many of whose residents are Somali and Muslim and work at the nearby Tyson Foods beef slaughterhouse. The complex also includes a mosque. FBI agents were able to stop the plot with an undercover informant and Allen’s girlfriend, who reportedly showed authorities Allen’s supply room after he allegedly hit her during a fight.

Kentucky

March 24

Victor Holt and Reginald Windham were indicted in a case involving a Black teen who died while in police custody. They were each charged with one count of second-degree official misconduct in the death of Gynnya McMillen, 16. Medical examiners said that the teenage girl died in her sleep from a rare, previously undetected genetic disorder that caused an irregular heartbeat while she was being held in detention at a state facility.

May 26

After winning a three-person primary race last week and defeating a long-time incumbent, Attica Scott will be the first African American woman to serve in Kentucky’s State Legislature in 20 years. Scott won the Democratic primary for Kentucky’s 41st House District. She defeated Tom Riner who had served in the Kentucky House since 1992, and Phil Baker. Scott won 54 percent of the vote to Riner’s 31 percent. Scott had no Republican challenger to face on election day Nov. 8.

April 21

Eight Black men won a $5.3 million jury award in a lawsuit over claims that they endured a hostile work environment at UPS in Lexington, and that an effigy of a Black UPS driver was hung from a ceiling. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that a Fayette County Circuit Court jury also found UPS discriminated against one of the eight and that the company retaliated against two men after they complained.

Louisiana

Jan. 28

Jep and Jessica Robertson of reality TV show “Duck Dynasty” adopted a Black child. Phil Robertson, the new baby’s grandfather, hasn’t exactly been a bastion of civil rights in the past, and in fact, has made some comments that many would consider racist. He’s also spoken out about homosexuality, saying that it is a sin, according to GQ magazine. However, Phil’s son Jep told “Good Morning America” this week that his father loves the newest addition to the family—an African American baby named Jules Augustus.

Aug. 11

Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson recently sued the city of Baton Rouge and police officials, saying officers responded in a “militarized and aggressive manner” in arresting him and other people protesting a police shooting death. McKesson was among nearly 200 protesters arrested in Baton Rouge following the July 5 shooting death of 37-year-old Alton Sterling, a Black man who was shot during a struggle with two White police officers. The federal class-action lawsuit, which names two other arrested protesters as plaintiffs, accuses police of using excessive force and violating the protesters’ constitutional rights.

Maine

Sept. 1

Republican Gov. Paul LePage expressed his views on Black and Hispanic people at a Aug. 26 press conference while discussing a threatening, expletive-filled voicemail that he’d left for a state legislator. LePage was widely criticized earlier this year for claiming men with names like “Smoothie, D-Money and Shifty” were coming into his state to deal drugs. Earlier this year he said he keeps a binder with mug shots of all the drug dealers arrested in Maine, and he claimed that 90 percent of the people in that binder were Black or Hispanic.

Maryland

Feb. 11

DeRay McKesson, a key member of Black Lives Matter and Campaign Zero, entered the race for mayor of Baltimore. “Baltimore is a city of promise and possibility. We can’t rely on traditional pathways to politics and the traditional politicians who walk those paths, if we want transformational change,” he told the Baltimore Sun. McKesson is a former public school administrator. Campaign Zero is an organization that seeks to end police killings in America.

Feb. 18

Maryland’s General Assembly cleared the way for 40,000 Maryland residents to regain their right to vote. After Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed legislation restoring voting rights to more than 40,000 Marylanders with prior felony convictions in 2015, the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate overrode the veto with definitive majorities. The law will now automatically reinstate the right to vote for individuals released after incarceration, allowing persons on probation and parole to vote.

May 19

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Morgan State University a National Treasure. This significant designation is crucial to the preservation strategy for Morgan State and long-term planning for the largest historically Black college in Baltimore.

Aug. 11

What started as a small goal to make $200 extra a month turned into a record-setting accomplishment and extraordinary success story for Mary Kay’s national sales director, Gloria Mayfield Banks. She the first African American woman to hold the No. 1 position within Mary Kay’s independent sales force in the United States based on year-to-date earnings. Banks started her Mary Kay business in 1988 to earn extra money to pay for her children’s daycare costs.

Nov. 24

A Baltimore city teacher has been fired a day after a video surfaced showing the educator call a room full of Black students a racial slur. The video, uploaded to Facebook on Nov. 16 by a distraught parent, shows a science teacher at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School escorting a student out of her classroom. “Get out of my class,” said the teacher, who has not been identified, can be heard yelling to the student. Less than a minute later, she begins berating her other students, threatening to give them zeros on their assignments and using racist language. “You’re idiots!” the teacher shouts. “You have the chance to get an education, but you want to be a punk-ass nr who’s gonna get shot.”

Massachusetts

Feb. 18

Wellesley College named Dr. Paula A. Johnson, a Harvard Medical School professor, as president, making her the first African American to ever head the school.

April 7

Harvard University was set to install a plaque honoring four slaves who worked on the campus in the 1700s, to acknowledge its role in slavery, the Ivy League university’s president said. University officials installed the plaque on April 6 on Wadsworth House, the second-oldest building on campus, which formerly served as the university president’s home and now is an office building. It will honor four slaves named Bilhah, Venus, Titus and Juba, who worked in the university president’s home in the 18th century.

Sept. 29

Actress Pam Grier, opera singer Jessye Norman and rapper MC Lyte are just a few of the recipients of Harvard University’s 2016 W.E.B. Du Bois medals, which are bestowed upon those who have made significant contributions to African and African-American history and culture. The women will be honored Oct. 6, along with the writer and produce of “The Wire,” David Simon, and the 1966 Texas Western Miners men’s basketball team, which was the first all-Black starting lineup to win an NCAA national championship.

Michigan

Feb.4

Teachers in Detroit sued the district, calling for it to repair “deplorable” conditions and remove the state-appointed emergency manager that they hold responsible, according to the Huffington Post. The lawsuit, which was filed by the Detroit Federation of Teachers, contends that Emergency Manager Darnell Earley should be removed, as he “has not performed his duty to its students, parents, teachers and community to provide a minimally adequate education and to properly maintain the schools.”

March 3

Gwen Jimmere, CEO and founder of Naturalicious, became the first African-American woman in history to own a U.S. patent on a hair care product made with all-natural ingredients. Jimmere received a patent for her Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment, which is reportedly the first hair care product that allows a person to wash, condition, deep condition, leave-in condition and detangle all at once, without sacrificing healthy and safe ingredients.

May 5

Half a century after a civil rights panel investigated Flint’s segregated housing, the commission held its first hearing into whether city residents again faced discrimination or racial bias – this time related to the city’s crisis over lead-tainted drinking water. Dozens of Flint residents spoke before the Michigan Civil Rights Commission about their anger, fear and distrust, two years after the financially strapped city switched its water source while under state control to save money.

May 5

A group of eighth-grade girls, all Black, hailing from Detroit won a battle of the minds last week when they took home the gold at a national chess tournament. Led by 13-year-old Jada Hamilton, the five-member University Prep Science and Math team earned first place in the “Under 14” category at the 13th annual KCF All-Girls National Championships in Chicago, according to The Detroit News.

Minnesota

June 9

Federal prosecutors said last week they would not bring charges against two M