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"I do not expect the white media to create a positive black-male image." -
Huey P. Newton
The NorthStar News & Analysis -
August 2, 2012
President Barack Obama
Happy Birthday, Mr. President
Poll delivers early birthday gift
President Barack Obama, the nation’s 44th President and the first African American to hold the office, celebrates his 51st birthday Aug. 4, with some good news to help him blow out the candles.
The president is leading in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to a poll by Quinnipac, CBS News, and
The New York Times.
President Obama leads Mitt Romney, his presumed Republican opponent, in Ohio and in Florida by six points. He has a double-digit lead over Romney in Pennsylvania, according to the polls (see stories in this issue about voting rights in Pennsylvania).
President Obama was born Aug. 4, 1951, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Report: Businesses Added 163,000 Jobs in July
Payroll-check processor Automatic Data Processing (ADP) announced on Wednesday that the nation's nonfarm private businesses added 163,000 jobs in July, compared with 172,000 jobs in June.
Employment in the private, service-providing sector expanded by 148,000 jobs in July after increasing by 151,000 jobs in June. The private, goods-producing sector added 15,000 jobs in July, and manufacturing employment rose by 6,000 jobs in July.
Employment in the construction industry rose by 5,000 jobs, the second-consecutive monthly increase. The financial-services sector added 9,000 jobs in June, marking the 12th consecutive monthly gain.
The ADP National Employment Report is derived from ADP data. During 2011, ADP averaged 344,000 U.S. business clients, representing more than 21 million U.S. employees.
Roseland, N.J.-based ADP, releases its data several days before the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issues its jobs' report.
T. J. Holmes
Tweeting While Black
Black Entertainment Television host T. J. Holmes tweeted on Monday that he was angry that two Georgia sheriff’s deputies pulled him over for no reason a mile from his home in the Atlanta suburbs.
“I’m still pissed beyond words right now, but Lord knows I’m not the only one this happened to today,” Holmes tweeted on
Holmes tweeted a running account of the incident. He photographed one of the cop cars from his rear-view mirror with the caption, “Driving while black ain’t no joke.” He added, “Yep, [I’m] sitting on the side of the road 1 mile from my house with 2 cop cars behind me.”
He later tweeted that the officer had yet to give a reason for why he was stopped.
“This is a damn shame. [The] officer is literally stumbling over his words trying to explain why he stopped me,” Holmes said.
Finally, the cops provided him a hurriedly made-up excuse.
Holmes said the cop’s reason for pulling him over was “ ‘to make sure [I] have insurance on the the car.’ I kid you not,” tweeted Holmes, who added that he managed to stay out of jail but that his relationship with the county police may have just soured a bit. The last part of the sentence included the Twitter hashtag, #showmeyourpapers, which Holmes added to mock the police.
A long-time CNN host, Holmes recently left the network in December for a show on BET. His late-night show, ”Don’t Sleep With T. J. Holmes,” is scheduled to debut later this year on BET Networks.
Pennsylvania State Senator
Vincent J. Hughes
Injunction Sought to Halt Pennsylvania Voter ID Law
Frederick H. Lowe
Plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction to block Pennsylvania from implementing one of the nation’s most-restrictive voting laws. Pennsylvania is an important swing state with 20 electoral votes in November’s presidential election.
If implemented, the legislation, which Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled House and Senate passed and Republican Gov. Thomas Corbett signed into law on March 14, would have a disparate impact on African Americans, Hispanics, women, the elderly and other groups, Penda Hair, co-director of the Advancement Project, a Washington, D.C.-based policy organization, told reporters during a conference call on Tuesday.
The Advancement Project, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the Public Interest Law Center and Arnold & Porter, LLP, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, sued the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in a case titled
Vivette Applewhite v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The lawsuit, which is being heard in a state court, alleges that large numbers of Pennsylvania residents will not have their votes counted in November’s presidential election because they are unable to obtain acceptable photo ID as required by the photo-ID law. Gov. Corbett and Carol Aichele, Pennsylvania secretary of state, are named as defendants in the lawsuit. Aichele is responsible for implementing the law.
Republicans argued that they passed the law to prevent voter fraud, but Pennsylvania State Sen. Vincent J. Hughes said during the conference call that Gov. Corbett, who served as Pennsylvania attorney general from 2005 to 2011, never prosecuted a single case of voter fraud while in office.
“This law is not about protecting against voter fraud, it is about the very real, systematic disenfranchisement of approximately 750,000 individuals –-- mostly the poor, the elderly, students and racial minorities. It is voter suppression, plain and simple, and we must not stand for it,” Hughes said during a July 24 speech.
The legislation’s opponents suspected that the motive behind the law was “partisan and racial.” Their suspicions were realized when Mike Turazi, the Republican House Majority Leader, said during a speech that the photo-ID law would deliver Pennsylvania and its electoral votes to Mitt Romney, who is expected to be the Republican nominee for president.
Pennsylvania is one of 10 states that require residents to produce specific types of photo identification before they can cast a vote that will count, Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, told reporters during the conference call. Weiser said the restrictions represent a significant rollback in voting rights.
Some 758,000 Pennsylvania residents do not have a state-issued photo-ID card, representing 10 percent of the commonwealth’s population and 18 percent of Philadelphia’s population, Weiser said. The Brennan Center recently published a report titled, “The Challenge of Obtaining Voter Identification.” It said that 25 percent of African-Americans, 16 percent of Hispanics and 18 percent of Americans over the age of 65 do not have photo IDs.
Vivette Applewhite is 91 years old and has voted in nearly every election since 1960. Applewhite marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to secure voting rights for African Americans, but she would not be able to vote under Pennsylvania restrictive law if it takes effect.
“Applewhite has never driven a car and thus has never had a driver’s license. Many years ago her purse, in which she carried her important documents, was stolen,” the lawsuit said. “She has attempted on at least three occasions to order a birth certificate from Pennsylvania’s Division of Vital Records. Despite paying the fee to obtain a birth certificate, she has never received one. She recently engaged a lawyer, who is trying yet again to obtain her birth certificate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” A birth certificate is needed to obtain a state-issued photo ID to vote.
The Brennan Center study also found that 2.3 million or 24 percent of Pennsylvania’s voting age citizens live more than 10 miles from the nearest Photo ID issuing office.
The case against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is expected to wrap up this week, and Hair expressed optimism that the judge hearing the case will rule in favor of the plaintiffs. The judge is expected to rule in mid-August.
DOJ Challenges Pennsylvania Voter ID Law
Elected Republican Official said the Stricter Rules Would Deliver the State to Romney
(World News Service) -- In an effort to determine whether Pennsylvania’s new voter-identification law discriminates against non-whites, the U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation requiring the state to hand over information on individual voters by late August.
In a letter sent July 23 to Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele, the Justice Department said it needs the information to “properly evaluate Pennsylvania’s compliance with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.” Section 2 prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership.
Most of the cases arising under Section 2 since its enactment in 1965 involved challenges to at-large election schemes, but the section's prohibition against discrimination in voting applies nationwide to any voting standard, practice, or procedure that results in the denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language-minority group.
According to the letter, the Justice Department also wants the state to provide its voter-registration list, including each registered voter’s full name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license, Social Security, or other identifying numbers, as well as their ethnicity and voting history.
The administration of President Barack Obama has taken the stand that voter-ID laws disenfranchise voters, including minorities who may not have a state-issued ID. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law agrees with the Justice Department.
In 2006, the Brennan Center published a report, Citizens Without Proof: A Survey of Americans' Possession of Documentary Proof of Citizenship and Photo Identification, that found that 25 percent of African-American, voting-age citizens do not have current, government-issued, photo ID, compared with 8 percent of white voting-age citizens without such ID.
Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, however, argues that voter-ID laws increase turnout among African American and Hispanic citizens.
“The position of the Department of Justice and progressive organizations is that voter ID is an attempt to suppress the vote---that minorities, particularly African-Americans, Hispanics and others will be unable to vote, and that this is intentional and that they are trying to keep them out of the polls,” von Spakovsky said on a video recorded in April. “That’s been disproven in the polling place. States that have had photo ID law in place for years, like Georgia and Indiana, have seen an increase in the turnout of minority voters.”
But Mike Turazi, the Pennsylvania House GOP Leader, said the Commonwealth’s photo ID law would deliver Pennsylvania to Mitt Romney, who is expected to be the Republican nominee for president.Turazi made his comments during a speech on June 25 before the Pennsylvania Republican Steering Committee.
Pennsylvania passed its voter ID law in March.
Thirty states require voters to show identification before casting a ballot.
Pennsylvania, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee have all passed voter ID laws since 2010. So far this year, the Justice Department has blocked both Texas and South Carolina from enacting voter-ID laws. A state judge blocked Wisconsin’s Photo ID law on July 17.
Nigeria and Russian Firm Clash Over Rights to Aluminum Plant
) – Nigeria’s Supreme Court has ruled against one of the most powerful industries in Russia, promising what could be a very nasty fight.
Moscow-based Rusal, the world’s biggest aluminum producer, claims to have bought the former state-owned Alscon aluminum-processing plant, fair and square. It was sold by Nigeria’s privatizing agency that now faces scrutiny for selling off Nigeria’s state assets for less than their worth.
But this week, Nigeria’s highest court ordered that Rusal be stripped of its ownership, noting that the U.S.-based firm Bancorp Financial Investment Group had offered double Rusal’s amount.
BFI sued Nigeria's Bureau of Public Enterprises, the agency overseeing the asset sell-offs, when its bid of $410 million was denied over Rusal’s offer of $205 million.
Rusal, meanwhile, maintains that it is still the rightful owner and that the Nigerian government must “bear responsibility” for the court ruling. The aluminum plant, gas-fired power station and a port, based in the southwest Akwa Ibom state, is one of Rusal's core assets in Africa.
Meanwhile, at a state-of-the-nation lecture in Lagos this week, scholars and politicians discussed the country’s deeply entrenched culture of corruption. English Prof. Niyi Osundare called for more street protests like those that forced President Goodluck Jonathan to back down on “his callous, inequitable fuel price hike.”
“Let us begin to ask: ‘Why are a few Nigerians so rich and all the rest of us so poor?’” he said.
The conference was organized by the opposition Save Nigeria Group.
John Evans Atta Mills, the late president of Ghana
Ghana's President Died of Cancer
) –Ghana’s President John Evans Atta Mills died of throat cancer despite repeated visits to the United States to consult with specialists who were unable to prevent the spread of the disease.
President Mills apparently realized the finality of his condition, because he had sent a letter to Parliament saying Vice President John Dlamini Mahama should succeed him, according to news reports.
He died suddenly at a military hospital, Martey Newman, his chief of staff, announced on Ghana’s official portal.
Mills performed his last official function on June 3, when he toured the site of a devastating plane crash in Accra, Ghana's capital and largest city.
A scholar and a professor, Mills taught at Temple Law School in Philadelphia, Stanford Law School and the University of Ghana. He wrote several books on taxation.
Israel Deports Refugees Who Fled Violence in Ivory Coast
) – Israel is deporting African refugees from the Ivory Coast as anti-immigrant fever sweeps the Middle East country that once welcomed asylum seekers fleeing wars abroad.
On June 7, a Jerusalem court overturned a long-standing policy, ruling that Ivory Coast citizens were no longer at risk in their homeland. This cleared the way for the expulsion of what rights groups say is 700 Ivorians. Israeli officials put the number at about 1,500.
The ruling came coincidentally as Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"Illegal" immigration was on the agenda, and Ouattara agreed that "illegal" immigrants should return home. However, he disputed Israel's refugee numbers.
"So far we have managed to reduce the number of [our] refugees around the world to around 60,000, and we hope that they will return to Côte d'Ivoire in the coming months," he said.
"To me, it's quite humiliating to see African citizens trying to reach another country at almost any price," he added. "It's terrible to see African youth trying to cross the sea and drowning on the way to Europe."
110 Black Victims Killed by Police, Guards and Unofficial Watchmen in First Half of 2012
Frederick H. Lowe
In the wake of Trayvon Martin's shooting death by Florida neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, a human-rights organization for Afrikans based in Washington, D.C., published a report that revealed that police, security guards and self-appointed law enforcers killed 110 black men and women from Jan, 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012. One hundred and five of the murder victims were men. Five were women.
"Every 40 hours another black woman, man, child is killed by police or security guards and self-appointed law enforcers," the report said.
The study, which is titled "Report on the Extrajudicial Killings of 110 Black People," noted that the killings are not accidental, the result of random acts of violence or the work of rogue cops.
The organization defines extrajudicial killings in which the killers act with impunity and are often rewarded and promoted for murder," the report said.
It lists 24 states and the District of Columbia as locations where African Americans have been killed in extrajudicial shootings by police. New York, Texas and Florida reported the highest numbers of shooting deaths of black people with 11 each.
"The use of deadly force against black people is standard practice in the United States and woven into the very into the very fabric of the society," the report says. "Nowhere is a black man or woman safe from racial profiling, invasive policing, constant surveillance and overriding suspicion. All black people --- regardless of education, class, occupation, behavior or dress --- are subject to the whims of the police whose institutionalized racist policies and procedures require them to arbitrarily stop, frisk, arrest, brutalize and even execute black people."
The 22-page report names each individual who was either shot and killed by the police, a security guard, or a self-appointed law enforcer during the six months covered in the report. Organization officials studied each of the 110 deaths, including inconsistent police claims and witnesses' reports that contradict police reports.
The report notes whether the victim was armed or unarmed and describes the circumstances surrounding the person's death. In addition, the report discusses whether police, security guards or self-appointed law enforcers eventually were held responsible for the shootings. In most cases, nothing happened.
In one case, Canard Arnold, a 17-year-old Atlanta teenager, was shot in the back and killed by Christopher Hambrick, a white security guard, on January 1. Hambrick said he felt threatened because Arnold had been involved in a gunfight, but several witnesses said the unarmed Arnold was running away. Despite pleas by family members to have the security guard arrested, police ruled the shooting as justified.
In other cases, the shooting was so questionable that it led people unrelated to the deceased individual to get involved.
Manuel Loggins, Jr., a 31-year-old former Marine Sergeant, was shot to death by an Orange County, Calif., deputy sheriff in San Clemente, Calif., as Loggins' two daughters, 9 and 4, waited for their father inside the family SUV.
Initially, the deputy said he feared for his safety, but he later said he feared for the girls' safety. The shooting, which occurred Feb. 10, 2012, angered the Marine Corps Commander at Camp Pendleton, who defended Loggins. The former mayor of San Clemente raised funds for Loggins' family. Loggins' widow filed a wrongful death suit in federal court and accused the sheriff's department of false arrest and imprisonment because deputies detained the two girls for 13 hours in isolation following their father's murder. As of June 29, the district attorney office had not completed its investigation.
Deadly shootings involving mentally ill black children are also common, the report found. On Feb. 2, 2012, Calumet City, Ill., police shot and killed Stephon Watts, a 15-year-old boy who suffered from Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. Stephon's family had called the police because he was upset, and they were unable to calm him down.
Police said they shot and killed Stephon when he lunged at them with a knife. The teenager's mother said he had a harmless pen knife. The Cook County, Ill., States Attorney refused to charge the cops. The family, however, sued for damages alleging a wrongful death.
In many cases, the news media quickly accept and publish the justification given by police for deadly shootings of black men.
Miami police shot and killed Rudy Eugene, allegedly for eating the face of Ronald Poppo, a 65-year-old homeless man. The news media reported on May 26, 2012, that the 31-year-old Eugene was high on the drug "bath salts" when he attacked Poppo. Police shot Eugene four times, killing him. Newspaper, television and radio reports called Eugene a 'cannibal.'
An autopsy did not find human flesh in Eugene's digestive system, and a toxicology report did not find "bath salts" or other drugs in his system.
The report notes that mainstream media and the police often march in lockstep when it comes to reporting negative stories about black men.
"Nearly all of the mainstream media join in a chorus that sings praises of the police and read the same script that denounces the alleged 'thuggery' of the deceased," the report said. "Lurid headlines about cannibalism fuel demonization of black men."
Although the majority of shooting deaths that appear, on the surface at least, to be racially motivated, one involved a black security guard shooting to death a guest of a Birmingham, Ala., motel during an argument. The guard, Pierre Myles, 24, is charged with murder in the May 25, 2012 shooting death of 27-year-old David Winston, who was unarmed.
Unlike the majority of black shooting deaths, Trayvon Martin was not afforded a small amount of local news coverage, buried and forgotten.
"Thirty-seven percent of the black people who were executed in the first half of 2012 seem to have been totally forgotten," the report found. "A careful internet search could not find their names after an initial flurry of news about their killings."
Zimmerman shot and killed an unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012. After a worldwide outcry, pushed through social media, Florida prosecutors charged Zimmerman with second-degree murder 44 days after Martin's killing.
The report notes the following statistics of blacks murdered in extrajudicial shootings:
13 or 12 percent were children under 18 years old
20 or 18 percent were 18 to 21 years old
45 or 41 percent were 22 to 31 years old
17 or 15 percent were 32 to 41 years old
9 or 8 percent were 42 to 51 years old
4 or 4 percent were over 52 years old
2 or 2 percent were of undetermined age
The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement has launched an online petition drive to implement a comprehensive plan for racial justice. Its website address is
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Congressman Jackson Enters Mayo Clinic for Treatment of Depression
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., was admitted to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where is he is being treated for depression and gastronintestinal problems, a clinic spokesperson said on Saturday.
Additional information about Jackson, a Democrat who represents Illinois' second congressional district, will be released when his evaluation proceeds, the spokesperson added.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., father of the Congressman, said on Saturday there is no timetable for his son's recovery.
Jackson took a leave of absence on June 10, but his congressional office did not disclose it until two weeks later. Under mounting pressure for information, his office said he was being treated for a mood disorder at a Tucson, Ariz., clinic.
The treatment for a gastrointestinal problems adds to the mystery regarding Jackson's physical and mental health problems. In 2004, Jackson went under the knife to undergo a weight-loss procedure that involved removing part of his stomach and rearranging his intestine.
The Chicago Sun-Times
reported in Sunday's editions that the duodenal bypass surgery involves the removal of 70 percent of the stomach. The surgery immediately cures type II diabetes, but patients must take large amounts of vitamins and mineral supplements following the surgery. The procedure is not reversible because physicians have removed part of the stomach.
The surgical procedure can cause long-term difficulties, including a disruption of the body's ability to absorb nutrients.
Mayo Clinic officials also reported that Jackson and his family were grateful for the outpouring of support and prayers they have received throughout his care.
Jackson is up for re-election in November. Unless something even more dramatic occurs, he is expected to be a shoe-in because his district is heavily Democratic.
The Mayo Clinic is considered a worldwide leader in medical care, research and education.
Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll
Florida Lt. Governor Apologizes for Anti-Gay Remark
Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who has been accused by a co-worker of having a lesbian tryst in her office with an aide, has apologized for the making anti-gay comments when asked about the alleged incident.
Carroll responded to the allegations by telling a Tampa, Fla., television station on July 14 that “usually black women that look like me don’t engage in relationships like that.”
Her comments prompted an immediate response from Equality Florida, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community, which launched a petition drive. Carroll wrote a one-paragraph letter to Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida to apologize.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest apologies to anyone I may have offended with my recent comment. It is wrong and inexcusable to make a comment that hurts people and that was not my intention,” Carroll said in the letter on her official government stationery. The letter was dated July 26, 2012.
Smith, who spoke on the telephone with Carroll, praised the lieutenant governor for her apology.
“Apologies by elected leaders for public mistakes are rare, and it is to the lieutenant governor’s credit that she has taken this step,” Smith said.
The National Black Justice Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that also supports gay and lesbian rights, however, launched a campaign with the twitter hashtag #whatablacklesbianlookslike. The twitter site posted 30 photos of black women who are same-gender loving “sisters.”
Carletha Cole, 51, a former aide to Carroll, charged in court documents as part of a criminal case that she caught Carroll and her travel aide in a compromising position. Cole, a senior program analyst, has since been fired.
“The false charges that have been lodged against me are no excuse for what I have said that may have been hurtful to members of your organization and to other Floridians,” Carroll wrote in the letter to Smith.
President Creates Initiative to Bolster Education of African Americans
President Barack Obama last week signed an Executive Order to improve the academic performance and opportunities for African-American students.
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans will work across federal agencies and partner with community organizations nationwide to create a more effective continuum of education programs for African-American students, according to the Executive Order. The initiative aims to ensure that all African-American students receive an education that fully prepares them for high school graduation, college completion and productive careers.
The initiative is designed to meet eight objectives:
• Increase the number of African-American children enrolled in kindergarten by improving access to high-quality early learning and development programs;
• Ensure that all African-American students have access to high-level, rigorous course work and support services that prepare them for college, a career and civic participation;
• Provide African-American students with equitable access to effective teachers and principals in pursuit of a high-quality education and support efforts to improve the recruitment, preparation, development and retention of successful African-American teachers and principals;
• Promote a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools and decrease the disproportionate number of referrals to special education by addressing root causes of the referrals;
• Reduce the dropout rate of African-American students and increase the proportion who graduate from high school prepared for college and a career;
• Increase college access, persistence and attainment for African-American students;
• Strengthen the capacity of institutions of higher education that serve large numbers of African-American students, including community colleges, historically Black colleges and universities, predominantly Black Institutions and other institutions;
• Improve the quality of and expand access to adult education, literacy programs and career technical education.
The Executive Order also creates the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African-Americans to aid and advise the work on the initiative. In addition, the order establishes a Federal Interagency Working Group on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
President Obama has set a goal for America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans will be housed within the U.S. Department of Education and will work with the executive office of the President and cabinet agencies.
Florida A&M University Awarded $5.6 Million Grant
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Florida A&M University’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science a $5.6 million grant over five years to study novel approaches to treating breast and lung cancer --- two of the leading causes of cancer deaths among African Americans.
The funds will also support the establishment of sustainable organizations through university and community partnerships to reduce health disparities in African-American communities and to train more health-care professionals from neighborhoods that suffer from health disparities.
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities approved the grant, which was announced on Wednesday, July 25.
The grant, which is titled, “Center for Excellence for Cancer Research, Training and Community Service,” was awarded to Dr. Karam Soliman, distinguished professor of basic pharmaceutical sciences at FAMU, which is based in Tallahassee.
In addition, NIH awarded FAMU approximately $1.5 million over five years for the indirect costs of administering the grant.
“I want to thank Dr. Karam Soliman and his research team for securing this grant,” said Dr. Larry Robinson, Florida A&M’s interim president. “This research initiative provides the opportunity to faculty and students to apply their expertise to address health issues that impact citizens in Florida and throughout the nation. It does this by working directly with members of the communities disportionately impacted by breast and lung cancer.”
The American Cancer Society recently reported that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among black men and women and that breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among black women.
The funding will help FAMU work to mitigate cancer in our communities, said Dr. Ken Redda, acting vice president for research and professor of medicinal chemistry at FAMU.
The award will enable Florida A&M to support Ph.D. students’ independent research on populations suffering from large health disparities. In addition, the funds will support forming partnerships with community-based organizations that are concerned with fighting cancer.
The grant will also:
• Support Innovative research to promote minority health and eliminate health disparities;
• Increase the number of individuals from minority and other health-disparity populations engaged in research activities;
• Build research infrastructure and capacity;
• Increase the number of well-trained researchers from health-disparity populations;
• Engage minority and other health-disparity communities in sustainable activities for improving the health of their communities by increasing health literacy and knowledge of health disparities.
Excavator of Black Egyptian Dynasty to Meet the Country’s President
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi will meet on Friday, Aug. 3, with Anthony Browder and Dr. Elena Pischikova, who have been excavating the 25th dynasty of Karakhamun since 2008.
The two archeologists were selected from a field of foreign researchers on excavation missions in Egypt to to meet with the African country's first democratically elected president.
The meeting will take place at the Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt, Browder said in a news release. He is now in Egypt, and he could not be reached for comment to learn the meeting's agenda.
Dr. Pischikova, director of South Asasif Conservation Project, and Browder, director of the ASA Restoration Project, were the first foreign team to return to Egypt following the 2011 revolution.
The work of Browder and Pischikova is expected to expand substantially the knowledge surrounding the 25th dynasty, an often-ignored period of ancient Egyptian history.
The 25th dynasty is the only one that contemporary Egyptologists acknowledge as being "black," Browder told
The NorthStar News & Analysis
during a 2010 interview. Dr. Pischikova is an authority on the 25th dynasty.
Karakhamun was a priest, and he is believed to be a member of the royal family of Shabaka, the second king of the 25th dynasty. Karakhamun was buried more than 2,700 years ago in a tomb on Luxor's west bank.
Browder and Dr. Pischikova will present their findings to an international gathering of Egyptologists Oct. 1-4 in Luxor.
Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Police Seek Cuba Gooding, Jr.
TMZ, the celebrity news website and television program, is reporting that actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., is wanted by New Orleans police.
According to TMZ, Gooding, who is in the Big Easy making a film, shoved a bartender at The Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street early Tuesday morning.
TMZ reports that Gooding became angry when several bar patrons began snapping his photo.
He allegedly shoved a woman bartender who asked him to leave. Gooding, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the 1996 film,
, is wanted on a misdemeanor battery warrant.
Gooding has been in contact with the police, according to news reports.
The Gun Victims We Ignore
) - The national support for the victims of the Aurora, Colo., shootings is great. However, if we believe in the equivalency of life, what about the lives of young men in Chicago, where there have been more deaths than in Afghanistan so far this year?
While the hospitals in Aurora say they will cover hospital bills for those without insurance (one in three in Colorado), who will cover bills for those who are hospitalized after a drive-by? We mourn some deaths and ignore others, which suggests that some life is valued and some life is cheap.
Does it have anything to do with media attention? In Tuscaloosa, Ala., a crazed man walked into a bar looking for “a Black man”. He shot a man who did not know him, and with whom he had no beef. He also wounded 17 other people. Why has this story not made national news?
If we spend a minute watching any news, we have heard about Veronica Moser, the 6-year-old who was massacred in Aurora. We’ve seen pictures of her smiling face and of her playing. Certainly, we can all mourn the tragedy of her young life being snuffed out by a madman.
Still, some young lives are valued, while others are not. One of the young deaths that rocked my soul was the 2004 murder of Chelsea Cromartie, who sat in her grandmother’s window playing with her dolls when she was killed by a stray bullet. She wrote, in a classroom exercise, that she was an “amazing girl.”
We don’t have to go back to 2004 to find a child’s death. Just last week, Heaven Sutter, who had just had her hair styled for a trip to Disney World, was shot, again, by a stray bullet.
Details of the lives of those who are killed humanizes them and tugs at our heartstrings. In Aurora, we have learned about a man whose wife just gave birth, about another who died saving his girlfriend, of a young woman who missed a Toronto mass murder by a few seconds, aspired to be a sports journalist, and was killed in Aurora. Rarely do we hear about the lives of those who are killed in the inner city, about the lives of Chelsea Cromartie and Heaven Sutter.
The disproportionality of death commentary hits home when one remembers the stories in the New York Times after Sept. 11, 2001. For months, postage-stamp-sized photos accompanied short but revealing blurbs about those who lost their lives. On one hand, the blurbs were humanizing. On the other hand, for me, they were a reminder of the equivalency of life and the lives we choose to ignore.
There were 12,000 gun-related deaths in the United States in 2008. Eighty percent of the gun deaths in the world’s 23-richest countries happened in the United States, as did 87 percent of the deaths of children. We have more than 270 million privately owned guns in this country; when we add the number of military (police, sheriffs) guns, there is at least one gun for every man, woman, and child in this country.
Some hark their Second Amendment rights in their gun ownership, but the Second Amendment was passed before assault weapons and Glocks. If people have the right to bear arms, perhaps they have to right to have 6,000 rounds of ammunition, obtained on the Internet. If we can’t limit guns, can we at least regulate the distribution of ammunition?
In the same year that there were 12,000 gun deaths in the United States, there were a scant 11 gun-related deaths in Japan. Indeed, while the United States has 90 privately held guns per 100 people, the next-largest per capita rate of privately held guns is in Yemen. In contrast, China has three guns per 100 people.
The National Rifle Association loves to say, “guns don’t kill, people do." As usual, they display limited thinking. People with guns are the ones who kill! Why won’t we address that by dealing with issues of gun and ammunition control?
The 12 people who lost their lives represent a fraction of one percent of those who die from gun violence annually. As we mourn these lives, let us mourn the lives of the thousands who were also killed because it is easier to buy a weapon than it is to buy marijuana in most parts of our nation.
Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, D.C.-based economist and author.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.
A Party Lincoln Wouldn’t Recognize Wages War on the Vote
) - Aug. 6 marks the 47th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Passed by large majorities of both Democrats and Republicans, the act reflected the overwhelming consensus in America that had been finally forged on Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge during the civil-rights march from Selma to Montgomery.
In the end, only one Republican senator voted no --- Strom Thurmond of my birth state of South Carolina, founder of the Dixiecrats Party.
Think of that: In 1965, only one Republican senator voted against this great expansion of voting rights for the disenfranchised and dispossessed.
But today a different GOP wages war on our right to vote. The modern Republican Party is largely a creation of that same Strom Thurmond, who helped Richard Nixon defeat Hubert Humphrey in 1968 with his famous “Southern Strategy,” which helped turn southern Democratic Wallace voters into Republican Nixon voters, and later into Reagan voters and Bush voters.
The foundation of the modern Republican Party is no longer rooted in Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation; its roots lie in the racism of Thurmond, who did everything he could to block African Americans from gaining expanded voting rights.
Now, the party that he warped is doing everything it can to abandon one of our nation’s proudest legacies, the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Fannie Lou Hamer and LBJ: the expansion of voting rights to all our people.
Instead of automatic voter registration, Republican legislators in states such as Florida are making it harder for even groups like the League of Women Voters to register voters. Instead of emulating the successes of same-day voting and early voting, GOP legislators in states such as Maine and Ohio have fought to roll back these successful reforms.
Instead of making it easier for working people to vote by instituting voting holidays, conservative legislators in states such as Pennsylvania and Texas have enacted voter ID laws to depress and restrict turnout of poor people, students and minority voters.
The situation has grown so bad that in his speech to the NAACP national convention, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently compared the Texas restrictions to the reviled “poll taxes” of the Jim Crow era.
Mitt Romney spoke to that same NAACP convention. Here’s what he said about the wave of restrictive voting laws promoted by GOP legislators across the country:
“All types of conniving methods are still being used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters. The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic traditions and it is democracy turned upside down.”
Oh, wait. That wasn’t Mitt Romney last week. That was King in 1957 in his “Give Us the Ballot” speech.
Sadly, King’s words still ring true. And Mitt Romney’s silence on these restrictions speaks volumes.
Unfortunately, the existence of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 may soon hinge on the whims of the U.S. Supreme Court, which contains members with partisan and ideological hostilities towards voting rights.
My judgment is that this fight is not over.
My judgment is that the 47th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act is a great day for America. It’s a day for celebrating one of our finest achievements, not a time to continue destroying it.
And it’s a reminder that voting rights still need to be expanded, not abandoned; protected, not rejected.
The NorthStar's Week in Black History
August 2 through August 8
1924 ------ James Baldwin, who flew to Paris in 1948 with $100 and a duffel bag for his belongings to become a writer, was born on this day in Harlem.
When his first novel,
Go Tell It on the Mountain
, was published in 1953, Baldwin had to borrow a friend’s suit to attend a book party in his honor because he couldn’t afford to get his own suit out of the cleaners.
Baldwin was a prolific writer of novels, essays and plays. His novels include
, a groundbreaking 1956 novel about a gay love affair,
Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone
Just Above My Head
His plays include
The Amen Corner
Blues for Mister Charlie
(1964). His book-length essays include
The Fire Next Time
No Name Street
(1972). His nonfiction work,
Price of the Ticket
, was published in 1985.
Baldwin died in 1987. Black history scholar Molefi Kete Asante included James Baldwin on his list
100 Greatest African Americans.
Archibald J. Carey
August 3 ----- President Dwight D. Eisenhower named Archibald J. Carey, Jr., a Chicago alderman, attorney and minister to chair the President’s Committee on Government Employment Policy.
In that role, Carey, who was the first black person to hold the position, helped to reduce employment discrimination. At the 1952 Republican National Convention, which met in Chicago, Carey spoke to convention delegates, calling for equal rights for all minorities.
"Long" John Woodruff
1936 ---- Then a 21-year-old freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, “Long” John Woodruff won a gold medal in the 800-meter run in Berlin in one of the most exciting races in Olympic history.
Woodruff, finding that he was boxed in during the Olympic event, stopped running in order to avoid fouling a fellow runner but then resumed the race. Coming from behind, he ran around everyone else, winning the 800-meter run in 1:52.9 and bringing home the gold.
The University of Pittsburgh had a hall of fame, but Woodruff was not admitted despite his having won a gold medal that brought the school international recognition (
hear Woodruff being interviewed in The NorthStar's video of the week
The Berlin games are widely remembered as the Olympics in which American track and field star athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals. Ten African-American athletes---nine in track and field events and one in boxing---were awarded medals at the 1936 games.
Black track athletes swept every running event, as well as the high jump and the long jump.
Following his Olympic triumph, Woodruff joined the Army in 1941, served in both World War II and the Korean War and retired in 1957 as a lieutenant colonel. He earned a master’s degree in sociology and later worked as a public school teacher, a coach and a parole officer.
Woodruff died in 2007 of kidney failure, secondary to diabetes. Both of his legs had been amputated some years before his death. He was 92.
Each year a five-K run is held in Woodruff’s honor in his hometown of Connellsville, Pa.
1984 ----- Evelyn Ashford, 19, a native of Shreveport, La., and a UCLA sprinter, won the gold medal in the 100-meter run on this date in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. She set a new Olympic record, clocking in at 10.97 seconds.
As the anchor runner in the 4 x 100-meter relay race, Ashford won another gold medal during the Los Angeles games.
Beaten in the 100-meter run by U. S. teammate Florence Griffin Joyner, Ashford captured a silver medal in the race at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. She was once again the anchor runner for the 400-meter relay team, which won the gold medal that year.
In 1992, Ashford, then 35, competed for the third and final time in the Olympics. The games were held in Barcelona where she won her third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 4 x 100-meter relay race. In this race, she was the frontrunner.
Ashford is one of only four women in Olympic track-and-field history to win four gold medals.
In 1981 and 1984,
Track and Field News
named Evelyn Ashford “Athlete of the Year.” In 1997, she was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.
1984 ----- A largely self-coached Morehouse College graduate, Edwin Moses, dubbed the “Bionic Man” by his fellow students, won an Olympic gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles on this date at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
It was the second gold medal Moses won in the event, having captured the gold in 1976 at the Olympic games in Montreal, Canada. That year, Moses set both Olympic and world records with a time of 47.63 seconds.
Moses was the second man in Olympic history to win two gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles. The first athlete to do so was Glenn Davis of the United States, who pulled down the gold at the games held in 1956 and 1960.
In the 1988 Olympic games in Seoul, South Korea, Moses gave his best-ever performance in the 400-meter hurdles, but came in third, taking home a bronze medal.
Moses retired from track following his win in Seoul, but, surprisingly, he turned to bobsledding, winning a bronze medal in 1990 for the two-man team event at the World Cup championships held in Winterberg, Germany.
When he was no longer competing athletically, Moses was nonetheless committed to athletics. He became a member in 1983 of the Athletic Congress and spoke out against anabolic steroid use among athletes. He supported stringent standards for drug testing. He later served on the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission and was named president in 1997 of the International Amateur Athletic Association.
Edwin Moses worked for the Special Olympics and has lent his efforts to the United Negro College Fund, as well as to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
In 1984, Moses penned his autobiography,
Astonishment of Heart
(Macmillan). In 1994, Moses was named to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. Since 2000, Moses has served as chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, which promotes athletics for social change.
President Johnson shakes hands with
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., after signing
the Voting Rights Act.
1965 ----- President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law on this date the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The act guarantees the right to vote for racial, ethnic and language-minority citizens of the United States. The act also prevents states from establishing discriminatory tactics aimed at preventing fair opportunities for minorities to vote.
The passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act had resulted in violent outbreaks throughout the South, and white racists engaged in all-out efforts to undermine the effective civil-rights gains made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and those following his example. King and other civil rights activists promoted voting rights and worked tirelessly to register black voters in the South. It became clear that further federal safeguards were needed to protect the constitutional rights of African Americans and other minorities.
President Johnson introduced to Congress the Voting Rights Act, saying in a speech before the body,
“….Rarely are we met with a challenge to the values and the purposes and the meaning of our beloved nation. The issue of equal rights for Negroes is such an issue….the command of the Constitution is plain. It is wrong---deadly wrong---to deny any of our fellow Americans the right to vote in this country.”
The Voting Rights Act outlawed literacy tests and poll taxes as a way of determining an individual’s fitness to vote. All that was required of voters was U. S. citizenship and registration on an official electoral list.
By late 1966, only four of the 13 Southern states had less than 50 percent of African Americans registered to vote. By 1968, 59 percent of African Americans living in Mississippi were registered to vote. Previously, Mississippi had the fewest registered African American voters of any state in the country. Gradually, a greater number of African Americans were elected to public office in the South and elsewhere in the country.
1948 ----- Alice Coachman, a 23-year-old sprinter, high jumper and Tuskegee Institute graduate, became the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal when she won the high jump at the games in London on this date.
The only American woman athlete to win a gold medal in 1948, Coachman leaped 5 feet 6 1/8 inches in the high jump, setting an Olympic record. England’s King George VI presented Coachman with her medal.
Following her Olympic victory, Coachman retired from athletics, returned to her hometown of Albany, Ga., and earned a second bachelor’s degree, one in economics, from Albany State College.
Coachman was also the first African-American woman athlete to benefit from product endorsements. In 1952, she signed an endorsement contract with Coca Cola.
Though she earned income through these and other endorsements, Coachman became a teacher and a track coach at both the high school and college level and was later involved in the Job Corps. She established the Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation in 1994 in Akron, Ohio. The foundation is dedicated to providing financial assistance to young, promising athletes. Coachman’s son currently runs the foundation. Alice Coachman is now retired.
One of the 12 torchbearers for the opening ceremonies at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, Alice Coachman was honored as one of the 100 greatest Olympians of all time. Coachman was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and to the Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004.
U.S. Rep. Mickey Leland
1989 ----- U. S. Representative George Thomas “Mickey” Leland, D-Tex., members of his congressional staff and U.S. State Department officials, died in a plane crash near Gambela, Ethiopia.
Leland, who represented Texas’ 18th Congressional District, had been studying Ethiopia’s famine conditions when the crash occurred. Leland was sworn into office on Jan. 3, 1979.
The NorthStar's Week in Black History is compiled and written
by Frederick H. Lowe and Susan M. Miller.
The Northstar News & Analysis, Inc.
Chicago, IL | 312.504.0223
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