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Each week, there is an overflow of news that happens in every corner of the nation which is of interest to people living across the African Diaspora. But quite often these stories do not get known beyond a small geographic area. Telling these stories is the goal of Across Black America. We offer an informative snapshot of those news stories each week for the world to read. This special edition is a compliation of news by state Across Black America 2017. ABA is compiled/written by Carol Ozemhoya.

Alabama

March 2

The mayor of Selma refused to back down Feb. 24 in a fight that has united unlikely allies – Black civil rights marchers and white Civil War re-enactors who refuse to pay thousands in fees to hold their events. Both groups say the city is squeezing them with demands for thousands of dollars in up-front payments to stage annual events that bring tens of thousands of visitors to an otherwise sleepy community where unemployment is high and boarded-up homes and businesses are a common sight.

March 16

A Black University of Alabama student supported by a secretive campus group long controlled by Whites was elected student government president, breaking a barrier that seemed unlikely to fall a few years ago, reported the Associated Press. Junior marketing major Jared Hunter won the office in balloting March 7, carrying 54 percent of the vote in a three-way race. Hunter won after writing a column in the student newspaper, The Crimson White, stating he was supported by a campus organization called the Machine, which is composed of the most prestigious, historically white fraternities and sororities on campus.

May 25

A Black judge has refused to recuse himself from a case over a White police officer’s shooting of a Black man, accusing his defense lawyers of wrongly injecting race into the case, reports the Independent. Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin ruled after a contentious hearing in which the defense for police officer Aaron Cody Smith argued the judge should give up the case.

June 1

A new bill signed into law May 25 by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) protects Confederate monuments in the state, even as other states have started to do away with them, reports the Huffington Post. The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017 disallows removing or renaming any memorial streets or buildings on public property that have been in place for 40 or more years.

Aug. 3

Greene County celebrated its annual Freedom Day Festival on July 29, with Black leaders looking two years down the road when they’ll have something really special to salute, reports the Montgomery Advertiser. That’s when they mark the 50th anniversary of Black political control in a county where the white minority had always ruled. Greene is Alabama’s smallest county with 8,422 residents. Racially, Blacks represent 80.6 percent of the population.

Oct. 12

Randall Woodfin, called a “progressive” challenger, was elected mayor of Birmingham, unseating the incumbent, William Bell. Bell was the Democratic incumbent who has been in office for two terms. Woodfin, who is Black, took in about 58 percent of the vote to Bell’s 41 percent.

Arizona

March 9

The Metropolitan Sun Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) celebrated its 10th year of existence in Maricopa County and the state of Arizona. The group honored several Black business owners, including Elizabeth White and Carolyn Lowry. “Black women from the days of Sojourner Truth, Harriett Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, all the way up to Rosa Parks and Shirley Chisholm, and beyond, have made a difference,” said NCNW President Kath Kennard. “Our organization was founded to celebrate women, sisterhood, the community and families.”

Arizona/California

Nov. 15

Lil Peep, a 21-year-old California-based rapper who blended hip hop with a music called emo, died while on his tour bus near Tuscon. Initial reports said he died from an overdose of Xanax and another drug. A spokesperson for his record label, First Access Entertainment, confirmed the death. The CEO of First Access added that his mother said she was proud of her son and what he had already accomplished in his short life.

Arkansas

March 23

Arkansas legislators voted March 17 to separate Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the holiday that celebrates the memory of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. The proposal cleared the state House by a vote of 66-11. The legislation will move Robert E. Lee Day from the third Monday in January, which it currently shares with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to the second Saturday in October. Mississippi and Alabama will be the only remaining states to honor both Lee and King on the same date. The bill not only separates the two commemorative dates but will also require the state’s Department of Education to create a special curriculum on the fight for civil rights and the Civil War, starting with the 2018-2019 school year.

July 13

The Little Rock Black Police Officers Association sent a letter to the Little Rock City Board of Directors, alleging racial discrimination by Police Chief Kenton Buckner, reports KATV ABC News. Members of the LRBPA say they’re speaking out now after repeated attempts to bring their grievances to Chief Buckner and city manager Bruce Moore. In the letter obtained by ABC’s Channel 7 News, the organization members are calling for an independent investigation into the “discrimination, inequities and disparaging treatment of minority officers and supervisors under the command of Chief Kenton Buckner.”

California

Jan. 26

A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project has partnered with McKinney and Associates to highlight women’s experiences with mass incarceration through a new multimedia storytelling platform known as JustUS Voices Storytelling for Change. It’s being billed as “a special opportunity for formerly incarcerated women to be heard in a compelling space,” according to Susan Burton, founder and executive director of A New Way of Life.

Feb. 2

Jessica L.A. Pipkins has been selected as the new president of the Black Public Relations Society’s Los Angeles (BPRS-LA) chapter. Pipkins takes the helm from Shawn Smith, who served for the last four years. Pipkins brings with her an impressive list of credentials and professional achievements garnered over 12 years as one of the industry’s preeminent media strategists.

April 6

A man in San Francisco has video proof of racial harassment in his workplace and he is using the evidence to sue popular new automaker Tesla. DeWitt Lambert filed an 11-count complaint against Tesla last week in Northern California. The lawsuit claims Lambert’s supervisor repeatedly used the n-word to address and insult him. Lambert is accusing electric automaker Tesla of failing to address alleged incidents of racial harassment and threats from assembly line co-workers, reports CBS News San Francisco.

May 18

Another positive use for medical marijuana has been targeted by actress and TV personality Whoopi Goldberg, who recently launched a new cannabis line – available only in California at this time – that is specifically designed to relieve painful menstrual cramps.

May 25

Former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young was among the honorees at the 2017 Celestial Awards of Excellence at the Alex Theatre of Performing Arts & Entertainment in Los Angeles. The awards were created to acknowledge the accomplishments of people of notability considered masters of their professions and that have made outstanding contributions to society.

June 22

Dr. Dre donated $10 million to help build a performing arts center at the new Compton High School in his hometown neighborhood of Compton, reports Rolling Stone. Compton High School students and members of the community will have access to the performing arts center. It will feature state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for digital media production, as well as a 1,200-seat theater.

July 27

A Los Angeles County Superior Court granted a motion for class certification in a lawsuit that alleges that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act in its employment practices, reports A New Way of Life. The community organization estimates that 40,000 people may have been affected, many of which have past criminal records.

Aug. 10

Several dozen Oakland residents, including Councilmember Desley Brooks and Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, have published an open letter to Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth and Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick alleging that the city isn’t doing enough to address “systemic racial inequalities in policing.” The letter’s authors say that the mayor and police chief appear to lack control over the department, and they also question why several officers who led the department’s internal Celeste Guap sex crimes case were promoted in May, despite findings from an independent court investigator that they mishandled and prematurely closed the probe.

Sept. 7

San Diego State University is offering a course called “Black Minds Matter: A Focus on Black Boys and Men in Education,” that was inspired in part by the Black Lives Matter movement. The weekly course opened to the public for enrollment in October and features various speakers who talk about how Black men are undervalued in the classroom.

Sept. 28

Colgate and Black Girls CODE (BGC), a non-profit on a mission to teach one million girls of color computer programming by 2040, culminated its 2017 CODE a Brighter Future Hackathon Workshop Series last weekend in San Francisco, reports PR Newswire. More than 100 young girls, between the ages of 12 to 17, convened at Galvanize for a two-day workshop to learn to code and design mobile apps to address and solve problems in their communities.

Oct. 5

California resident Kendrick Lamar was Forbes’ keynote speaker at its fourth annual Forbes Under 30 Summit. The four-day gathering took place at Boston’s City Hall Plaza and feature several addresses by young artists, entrepreneurs and activists. Forbes Senior Editor Media and Entertainment Zack O’Malley Greenburg said “Kendrick Lamar is the voice of the under-30 generation, and we can’t wait to hear more from him. “Not only does he write and record groundbreaking songs, but he also embodies the same sort of spirit, drive and thoughtful passion of his peers across science, tech, the arts and beyond.”

Dec. 7

Since President Donald Trump’s September decision to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), Hollywood-based actor Bambadjan Bamba has been preparing for his coming out. The “Black Panther” actor had not publicly revealed his immigration status, but this month he took the bold step of joining a campaign to legalize immigrants like him, becoming the public face of DACA recipients working in Hollywood. DACA is the Obama-era program granted temporary resident status to an estimated 800,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Bamba, 35, has managed to work for a decade in Hollywood, thanks in part to a work permit secured through DACA.

Dec. 7

Prince Harry of Great Britain is marrying American actress Meghan Markle. The young lady from Los Angeles is actually mixed race. Her dad is White and her mom is African American. Markle is 36 and Harry is 33. Harry is fifth in line to the throne. A Spring 2018 wedding is planned.

Oct. 12

A $700 million project to redevelop a neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles has been approved by the Los Angeles Planning Commission. The proposal was made by Black-owned Capri Investment Group, headquartered in Chicago, and includes homes for low-income earners and an expanded and revitalized shopping mall. Chairman and CEO of Capri, Quintin E. Primo III, has been waiting for approval for eight years. After final approval from the Los Angeles City Council, he can begin his master plan, which includes 961 condos and apartments, a new 400-room hotel, a 10-story office building, retail stores and restaurants.

Colorado

Nov. 16

At the end of September, five Black cadet candidates at the Air Force Academy Prep School in Colorado Springs found racial slurs written on message boards on their doors. The incidents caused the launch of an investigation and the head of the academy to issue a firm warning that drew national attention to the academy and what had happened. Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria made it clear that kind of behavior would not be tolerated. “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.”

Connecticut

Feb. 9

The pastor of a Connecticut church was charged with stealing about $8,000 worth of electricity, according to news reports. The Connecticut Post reported that Bishop William Marshall, pastor of City of Life Worship and Deliverance Center in Bridgeport, was charged with third-degree larceny. Marshall was released on a promise to appear in court.

Feb. 16

Confronting its slave-tinged past, Yale University says it will change the name of the residential college of White supremacist John C. Calhoun for computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper, also known as “Amazing Grace.” The decision was a “stark reversal” of the university’s decision last spring to keep the name in an effort not to “erase history.”

District of Columbia

Feb. 26

Proposed legislation was submitted to the D.C. Board of Elections as a model for legislators to provide opportunities for previous slave owners, and those that participated in enslavement of African Americans families, to make amends. The proposed legislation submitted by John Cheeks, head of the United States Citizens Recovery Initiative Alliance Inc. (USCRIA), is the first legislation to provide benefits, at no cost to the taxpayers.

April 6

During the last academic year, only 57 percent of the students at Ballou High School graduated. But this year, every single senior has applied to college, reports The Grio. The school is located in one of Washington, D.C.’s poorest neighborhoods, which is also predominantly Black, and because of that, it has a poor reputation, with many of its students dropping out before they can make it to graduation. But Ballou Principal Yetunde Reeves said in speaking to the Washington Post that the school is trying to change not only its reputation but its reality. “There are some schools and communities where college is an automatic next step. There is no celebration,” Reeves said. “Our kids don’t get that same message. We are trying to create an environment where going to college is what Ballou does as well.”

May 11

The White House has fired its chief usher, the person responsible for managing the residence, staff and overseeing events, reports the Washington Post. No reason was given for Angella Reid’s dismissal. Reid is Black. Two White House officials confirmed that Reid, hired in late 2011, had been let go. The officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss personnel matters publicly. Reid was the first woman and second African-American to hold the post.

June 8

The owners of a company that successfully commercialized Mambo sauce were honored recently with the Family Business Award by Black Enterprise, the business, investing and wealth-building magazine for African Americans. “It feels kind of surreal. We never won an award recognizing how much work we’ve done,” said Arsha Jones, who, along with her husband, Charles, operates Capital City Co. out of a 2,000-square-foot warehouse in the area.

Oct. 12

Former Oscar Peterson drummer Alvin Quuen, 67, was denied entry into the U.S. by Homeland Security based on a “run-in with the law” that happened 50 years ago, forcing him to possibly miss an upcoming performance at Jazz Meets France on Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C. at the behest of the French-American Cultural Foundation. The charges – one a DWI, the other a minor drug offense – both resulted in dropped charges. The concert, for which Wynton Marsalis is Honorary Chair, commemorates the centenary of the U.S. entry into World War I and specifically honors the Harlem Hellfighters (the 369th Infantry Regiment), composed mainly of African-American soldiers who served in WWI.

Florida

Jan. 26

She’s only 13, and an aspiring astronaut, but this Black teen has already affected hundreds of young girls’ lives. Jacksonville teen Taylor Richardson raised more than $14,000 to send her peers to see “Hidden Figures,” which won Golden Globes and Oscars. According to Mashable, after having the opportunity to attend a “Hidden Figures” event at the White House in December and view a special screening of the film, Richardson decided to raise money to send other young girls to see it.

March 9

The African American Golfers Hall of Fame, the first in the country, is being built in Riviera Beach. The Riviera Beach City Council approved the contract to build an Inner City Golf Learning Center and an African American Golfers Hall of Fame Museum. The site will also encase a short game area with a putting green and sand trap. The total cost of the project will run from $300,000 to $500,000.

March 30

A state official was suspended without pay after tweeting that Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who is Black, should be “hung from a tree.” He stated that Ayala “should be tarred and feathered if not hung from a tree.” “Maybe SHE should get the death penalty,” Stan McCullars wrote the comment on Facebook under an Orlando Sentinel story about Ayala’s decision not to seek the death penalty in capital murder cases. Ayala, the first African American state attorney in Florida’s history, was removed by Gov. Rick Scott from the Markeith Loyd murder case on March 17. She filed a motion to stay that decision on March 20. Maitland attorney Jennifer Jacobs said when she saw the original posts, “I was pretty disgusted by it. … but I didn’t know the person who posted it. I looked him up and I saw he was an employee of the Clerk of Courts office. I sent his boss a screen shot and advised him what his employee was posting in the Internet.” Jacobs said there was “no possible way for him to claim it wasn’t a racially motivated comment. He was essentially asking for a lynch mob.”

April 27

A state senator who unleashed an expletive-laden rant over drinks with two other lawmakers last week, uttering a racial slur for Black people and other vulgarities, resigned from his position on April 21. State Senator Frank Artiles, a Republican from Miami-Dade County, apologized the day after the episode, saying that he let his “temper got the best of me.” But Artiles continued to face increasing pressure to resign. The state’s Democratic Party and members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus said that an apology was not enough. On April 21, Artiles said he would step down immediately.

May 4

A principal at an elementary school in St. Petersburg has been placed on leave while an “administrative review” is conducted to investigate a racially charged email she sent to the school staff last month. In preparation for the upcoming school year, Christine Hoffman emailed staff at Campbell Park Elementary – a predominantly Black school – to suggest they keep white students in their own class, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

May 11

Trayvon Martin’s life was cut short five years ago when he was gunned down by George Zimmerman during his walk home from a 7/11 carrying nothing but Skittles and an Arizona iced tea. The tragedy not only divided a nation, but stole the future away from a young man with so much promise. As a gesture of remembrance, Florida Memorial University honored Martin with a posthumous degree in aeronautical science during its commencement ceremony.

Sept. 28

Two corpsmen at the Naval Hospital Jacksonville have been fired after sharing images of themselves inappropriately handling Black newborns and calling the babies “mini Satans.” The employees posted a Snapchat video of a staff member moving an infant’s arms so that it looked like the baby was dancing while 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” played in the background.

Oct. 12

Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown raised his right fist during the national anthem before a game against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 7, becoming the first NHL player this regular season to join the silent protests that has been sweeping the NFL. Brown – who, is one of about 30 Black players in the NHL – chose to stand throughout the anthem but raised his fist in protest.

Oct. 19

The mother of a Black slain U.S. solider says the president showed disrespect to her fallen son. However, President Donald Trump said he has proof that Democratic Congresswoman Fredrica Wilson “fabricated” her account of a call he made to the widow of the Black soldier – Sgt. LaDavid Johnson – killed in an ambush in Africa. But the deceased soldier’s mother said the congresswoman was correct in her characterization of what Trump said.

Oct. 19

An amazing scene went viral of a Black man stepping forward during a protest and hugging a White man wearing a Nazi t-shirt, and asking him, “Why do you hate me?” This all went down while others were shouting at the white man and hitting and spitting on him. The Black protester – Aaron Courtney – in a now-viral video decided to hug a Nazi outside of Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida. Spencer repeated the question until the man finally responded with “I don’t know.”

Nov. 9

Six Miami firefighters have been terminated for allegedly placing a noose over the family photos of a Black colleague, a lieutenant who has been with the department for 17 years. City. On Sept. 9, the lieutenant with the City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue discovered that his family photos in the fire station had been defaced with “lewd and sexually explicit renderings.” Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban described the incident as a “hideous, distasteful act of hate.”

Florida, Texas

Oct. 5

Miami-based rapper Pitbull loaned out his private plane to transport cancer patients off of hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban loaned the team’s private plane to backup point guard J.J. Barea to transport food, water and supplies to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Barea is a native of Puerto Rico who has spent all but three years of his NBA career with the Mavericks.

Georgia

Feb. 16

A 19-year-old became the youngest eligible woman ever to run for office in Georgia after she won a legal battle to compete in a local city council race. State law requires that candidates be 21 to seek office, unless a city charter notes otherwise, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. The DeKalb county board of elections ruled that Mary-Pat Hector could run because the Stonecrest City Charter simply says that candidates must be over voting age.

April 13

The man in charge of helping find a new city manager for Villa Rica is himself out of a job after allegations surfaced he was systematically trashing applications of candidates because they were Black or had a military background. This all came to light after an Open Records request from reporters at Fox 5 in Atlanta. Michael Jackson was hired in early March as interim Villa Rica city manager. He was not a candidate for the permanent job. One of his duties was to screen applications as they came in for the open city manager position. But on March 7, according to documents obtained by Fox 5, Jackson told Villa Rica human resources director Stephanie Rooks that “Villa Rica was not ready for a Black city manager and did not want to get their hopes up by interviewing them.”

April 27

Fathers Incorporated, a national nonprofit for the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood, launched its new initiative, Real Dads Read (RDR), in Atlanta. The initial project objective was to create literacy centers in barbershops with the goal of encouraging father-child involvement through reading and improving literacy for young children. Today, with help from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, RDR has established 26 libraries in barbershops around metro Atlanta and nine in Columbus. In addition, 45 barbershops and partners engaged in a citywide book drive, collecting 2,245 books, which included a large donation from the Atlanta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi.

May 18

The ninth annual AAMBC Literary Awards were held in Atlanta. The featured highlight is the Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni.

June 8

On June 3, the Andrew Young Foundation celebrated the 85th birthday of founder and chair, Ambassador Andrew Young, by hosting the biennial Andrew J. Young International Leadership Awards. The awards program was designed to salute extraordinary individuals who are dedicated to improving the lives of those in communities at home and throughout the world. Recipients who were honored included former Vice President Joe Biden, artist Akon, Van Jones and Ron Clark.

June 22

Atlanta-based Patientory, the company behind an advanced healthcare app, has raised $7.2 million in a very successful online crowd funding campaign, according to BlackNews.com. The tech startup, founded by CEO and Black entrepreneur 27-year-old Chrissa McFarlane, enables the connecting of digital medical records without compromising privacy.

July 13

A former security operations manager for the Atlanta Hawks is suing the team for its treatment of celebrities and differing protocols based on race, according to a lawsuit filed by Smith Law, LLC, reports CBS News. The plaintiff, Samuel R. Hayes, claims the Hawks’ security protocols were enforced differently based on race and to the detriment of Blacks, and that he was ultimately fired because of his race.

Sept. 7

Georgia’s Republican state Rep. Jason Spencer told his former colleague on Aug. 29 that she and others supporting the removal of state-sponsored Confederate monuments and landmarks could “go missing,” reports the Huffington Post. Attorney and former state Democratic Rep. LaDawn Jones, who says she regularly debated with Spencer in person and online, was shocked by the menacing comments she received.

Sept. 7

A White Cobb County police lieutenant who told a woman during a traffic stop that “we only shoot Black people” was fired, the police chief said on Aug. 31. Chief Mike Register went on live TV to announce the termination.

Oct. 19

A decades-old investigation in Georgia into the murder of a Black man in 1983 culminated in the arrest of five White people on Oct. 13, including two law enforcement officers charged with hindering the probe, officials said. The body of Timothy Coggins, 23, was found on Oct. 9, 1983, in a grassy area near power lines in the community of Sunnyside, about 30 miles south of downtown Atlanta. He had been “brutally murdered” and his body had signs of trauma, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Police arrested five people in connection with the slaying, including Frankie Gebhardt, 59, and Bill Moore Sr, 58, who were each charged with murder, aggravated assault and other crimes.

Dec. 14

In one of the tightest races in the history of Atlanta, Keisha Bottoms outlasted Mary Norwood to become the new mayor of Atlanta. Bottoms delivered a celebratory speech, accompanied by current Mayor Kasim Reed, who endorsed her during the campaign, and ironically beat Norwood by a narrow margin in 2009.

Idaho

July 6

A Boise restaurant owner recently found himself in hot water over a Facebook video promoting his menu, reports the Idaho News. Brad Breakell is known for posting videos to Facebook promoting the pizza, salad and chicken that can be found at his Pizzalchik restaurant. The character of Jacklyn Jaws – the “talking shark” – was supposed to be a reference to Discovery Center’s shark exhibit, but Breakell had painted his face Black, and that was what brought down calls of blackface against the restaurant owner.

Illinois

April 6

After meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner earlier in March, Chance the Rapper promised he would come back with a plan on how to better support Chicago’s public school system. On March 31, he announced the New Chance Arts and Literature Fund, reports Rolling Stone. The Grammy Award winner held a press conference at Robeson High School that was streamed across social media platforms. Working with the Ingenuity fund, Chance’s non-profit Social Works will work to identify CPS schools in most dire need of a better arts program. The Chicago Bulls have since donated $1 million to the CPS foundation.

April 13

Mound City made history in electing Allison Madison, the first woman elected to the position of mayor for the small town as well as the first African-American. “It’s history,” Madison told local station KFVS of her win. “Now that part, that’s amazing, that’s just awesome to me and I guess I’m happy about that! I was just happy and I thought ‘okay I’m now the mayor of Mound City, but work is going to begin’.”

May 11

A major shake-up happened at Ebony magazine last week, as the historic Black publication laid off nearly a third of its staff and made plans to consolidate editorial operations with sister publication Jet in Los Angeles, reports The Root. Ebony is a monthly lifestyle magazine that was launched in Chicago in 1945, and has called the city home ever since, but as the Chicago Tribune reports, about 10 to 35 employees were laid off, including editor-in-chief, Kyra Kyles.

May 25

Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker made a $1 million deposit in a Black-owned bank in Chicago, taking a page from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s playbook, reports the Chicago Tribune. Pritzker’s deposit, like Rauner’s three years ago in a South Side credit union, carries the goal of generating support from Black voters.

June 15

The City of Chicago dedicated a 10-story mural to late blues icon Muddy Waters June 8th as part of the Chicago Blues Festival, the AP reported. The mural is painted on the side of the building at 17 North State Street, at the corner of State and Washington Streets.

July 6

A class action lawsuit has been filed after a series of alleged discriminatory practices and an abusive work environment at the Chicago’s water department, reports WLS ABC7. Several African-American employees say they have been denied promotions or forced to resign from senior positions. Workers add they’ve been subjected to a hostile work environment where White employees are favored over Black employees.

Aug. 10

A group of Black legislators and community leaders gathered on Chicago’s West Side to urge passage of state legislation that would provide more money to struggling schools in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. State Rep. LaShawn Ford urged Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign a school funding bill that would distribute $350 million annually not just to schools in Chicago but across the state.

Sept. 28

The last Black-owned bank in Chicago received a $20 million deposit of city funds. Founded in Chicago in 1934 to help give the Black community better access to credit, ISF Bank is one of just more than 20 Black-owned banks in the country. The deposit is meant to help drive economic development in the city’s neighborhoods, according to a city official.

Nov. 23

Angel Flight Marketing, a Chicago-based, Black-owned marketing firm, received the Rising Star Award from CVS. The award was designed to recognize a business that practices diversity and also demonstrates increased levels of leadership, accountability and integrity. Angel Flight specializes in research, call center, direct mail, email marketing and graphic design.

Indiana

June 15

James Hardy III, a former wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, was found dead in an Indiana river at the age of 31, reports the Grio. His body was found in the Maumee River on June 7. It was found in a logjam after a water filtration plant employee saw him.

Oct. 26

The new Center for Black Literature & Culture was unveiled in the historic west wing of Indianapolis’ Central Library Oct. 21. In partnership with the library’s African American History Committee, the space includes a 10,000-item collection of books, CDs, magazines, movies and research tools, all of which showcase Black history and culture.

Iowa

Sept. 14

A group of students from an Iowa high school were disciplined last week after a photo of them wearing white hoods, waving a Confederate flag and burning a cross began circulating on social media. One student was also seen holding what appears to be a rifle.

Kansas

April 13

Topeka’s governing body is naming a bridge on S.E. 10th Street after Nick Chiles, the founder and editor of an African-American newspaper called the Topeka Plaindealer. The Plaindealer was published from 1899 through 1958, becoming the longest running Black newspaper in the United States. The newspaper had the largest circulation of any African-American newspaper west of the Mississippi River.

Nov. 2

Rose McIntyre says she wonders whether her refusal to grant regular sexual favors to a White detective prompted him to retaliate against her Black son, who spent 23 years in a Kansas prison for a double murder he didn’t commit. Her son, Lamonte McIntyre, 41, walked out of a court hearing on Oct. 13 a free man after Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree asked that charges from the 1994 murders be dismi