By Torrance Stephens
The question is why so many African-American members have been in the ethics violations and so few of any other races on Capitol Hill? Several reasons have been proposed. One is that African American politicians are being unfairly scrutinized. It has also been advanced that since many hold what are considered “safe” seats in congress, that they become too comfortable and forget to follow the ever changing standards for ethics in Washington. Last, it is speculated that another reason is due to a process that depends on outside information from watchdog groups like the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, who have their own agendas. Regardless the fact remains that African-Americans make up 10 percent of the House, but currently, five of the sitting six named lawmakers under review by the House Ethics Committee are African Americans.
Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, celebrated her 70th birthday in royal style on Saturday, March 24, in New York City. About 80 friends and colleagues gathered at The Helmsley Park Lane Hotel in Manhattan for the celebration, which included a four course meal and outstanding entertainment.
The guest list spanned the worlds of entertainment, publishing, media, business, and academia, and included: music mogul Clive Davis, Diane Sawyer, Rev. Al Sharpton, opera mega star Kathleen Battle, author and professor of sociology Michael Eric Dyson, BET President and CEO Debra Lee, ESSENCE Communications President Michelle Ebanks, entertainment attorney L. Londell McMillan, Tony Award-winning choreographer George Faison, Harlem musical theater great Vy Higginsen, music great Nona Hendryx, and numerous others.