As an author, one of the most gratifying experiences you can have is for people to tell you that your book saved their life, or was extremely useful and relevant to them. But when you write a book like “Justice While Black: Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System,” your feelings are a lot more complicated. I was hoping it would prove useful to the Black community, but it’s turned out to be waaay more relevant than I’d ever want.
When Atlanta attorney Robbin Shipp and I sat down more than a year ago to start writing “Justice While Black,” it was the specter of Trayvon Martin that hung over the room. The Black community had just suffered through the numbing shock of George Zimmerman’s acquittal. For nearly two decades, Robbin had been witnessing the parade of Black males carted through the criminal justice system in Georgia. For just as long, I had been writing about the stultifying list of African Americans who had been summarily executed by American law enforcement, often for no apparent reason other than their skin color. We both felt compelled to do something, to use our respective talents to make a difference.
But in the months leading up to the book’s release and in the two weeks since “Justice While Black” has been out, the nation has witnessed an outrageous number of African Americans dying or suffering at the hands of law enforcement. As the book’s publication date approached, I was even asked to pen an essay in the October issue of Ebony, looking at the issue from a dad’s perspective, because the topic of the book was so incredibly relevant. Read more…
Sustainable Action for Everyone (S.A.F.E) Puts Going Green at Your Fingertips
September 28th, Atlanta, GA – On September 3oth, International Sustainability and Green Technology pioneer, Onaje Jackson, announces the unveiling of the Sustainable Action For Everyone Program (S.A.F.E Earth) and will launch their much anticipated Indiegogo campaign. S.A.F.E Earth is a first of its kind, website designed to support the growth of a global grass roots sustainability movement that will bring about global balance. The online portal will make available all of the necessary tools to save Mother Earth and place them right at your fingertips. It includes a resource center designed to provide technical support for both the collective and individuals that are committed to the cause, as well as big bold apps that gives you step by step instructions on everything you ever wanted to know about being green on and off line. Read more…
ASPiRE Announces Partnership with The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs)
ASPiRE ADVANCES ITS EDUCATION OUTREACH
THROUGH A NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH
THE WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE ON HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES
Network Aligns with the Billion Dollar Roundtable to Sponsor the Inaugural Class of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ HBCU All-Star Students during the
2014 National HBCU Week Conference in Washington, DC
ASPiRE Will Produce ‘I ASPiRE’ Profiles Highlighting HBCU All-Star Students and “ASPiRE to Change the Game” Vignettes
ATLANTA – September 19, 2014 – ASPiRE, the television network that celebrates the groundbreaking achievements of African-Americans, announced today a partnership with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCUs) to increase awareness of the value and the legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), to expose college students to entrepreneurs and professionals in corporate and private businesses and, to guarantee the future success of African-American students, our communities and our nation. The strategic collaboration is a part of ASPiRE’s initiative to promote excellence in education among African-American students at HBCUs and to provide those students with professional development and support.
UP Sponsors “Evolution of Gospel” Celebration w/The Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation – Sept. is Gospel Music Heritage Month
UP SPONSORS “EVOLUTION OF GOSPEL” CELEBRATION
Event at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Highlights September’s 6th Annual Gospel Music Heritage Month
2014 Honorees Include Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin and Sen. Blanche Lincoln
ATLANTA – September 8, 2014 – The Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation (@gmhmonth) is proud to announce that UP (@UPtv) will sponsor and help promote the annual “Evolution of Gospel” celebration at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The sixth annual event commemorates the month of September as Gospel Music Heritage Month (GMHM) and features scintillating performances and special tributes. This year’s honorees include Gospel music legends Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin, and former Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, who, along with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), was instrumental in the passage of the resolution that established Gospel Music Heritage Month.
NEW WEB SITE MAKES IT EASY TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE ONLINE
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — MyHealthPlusDental.com is a website that allows users to get quotes for and purchase health insurance, dental insurance, Medicare supplements and life insurance completely online.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also commonly referred to as “ObamaCare” gives Americans access to affordable health care while reducing the rising costs of health care in the U.S. Open enrollment through the health insurance marketplace ended March 31, 2014 and the extended special enrollment ended May 1. Those without insurance may be forced to pay a penalty fee. However, the opportunity to enroll in ACA health care coverage may still exist for those who qualify under special enrollment. Read more…
The Little Miss African American Scholarship Pageant
Laila Ali and Meagan Good to Host Annual Event,
Dawnn Lewis is Mistress of Ceremonies
|Los Angeles – The Little Miss African American Scholarship Pageant (LMAA) comes of age this year with its 21-year anniversary celebration on August 10, 2014 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. Actresses Laila Ali and Meagan Good will co-host, joining Dawnn Lewis, the mistress of ceremonies, as a bevy of little beauties, ages six to 12, make their way on stage to compete for over $10,000 in scholarships and prizes. Pageant producer Lisa Ruffin notes that this year’s event will also celebrate past contestants who have grown up and gone on to accomplish wonderful feats!
In an effort to inform and transform urban youth into cognizant leaders of tomorrow through distinct travel, cultural service, and international experiences, PYNK Magazine and PYNK Girls Care have partnered with non-profit organization, TWIYO (The World Is Your Oyster) to provide the opportunity for students from underprivileged areas to travel to Martha’s Vineyard over the July 4th holiday weekend.
On July 2nd, the students will travel from East New York Brooklyn to Martha’s Vineyard. The students will go on a tour of Martha’s Vineyard TV studios, as well as participate in other activities to expand their horizons.
“Meeka Claxton and I as well as the other board members of PYNK Girls Care felt it was important to partner with TWIYO to give these children the opportunity to see something outside of their neighborhood. We had a chance to meet many of the students involved and they honestly all deserve this trip and so much more. We are honored to be a part of this cause and ask that you support this very deserving organization and initiative as we work together to make these children aware that their possibilities are endless and that the world is truly their oyster.”- Mecca Moore (Founder/Publisher, PYNK Magazine) Read more…
Strategic Media Books Releases “Tarnished Heels” an Investigation into the University of North Carolina’s Tarheel Scandal
Strategic Media Books Releases
into the University of North Carolina’s Tarheel Scandal
NICKELODEON, FRENCH EMBASSY
HONORED AT ‘MY DREAM SPEAKS’
Antonin Baudry, Cultural Counselor for France in the United States poses with the voice of Nickelodeon’s “Dora The Explorer,” Fatima Ptacek and Angela Jackson, Founder of the Global Language Project
Jo is currently on the road performing the entire Comfortable EP as the opening act on Stephen Marley’s Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life Tour. The tour spans over 30 cities in the United States and concludes in New Orleans, LA on May 24. See full schedule below.
Jo’s Comfortable spans pop, hip hop, EDM and dancehall influences while showcasing his deft vocals, clever songwriting and flourishing production skiills. Each of the EP’s riddims (except for “Bogus” which was produced by his uncle Damian Marley) were created by Jo, working alongside his father’s keyboard player Llamar “Riff Raff” Brown, with Stephen Marley handling the final productions. Many of the EP’s songs focus on Jo’s personal experience with women and their complex relationships. On the sleek electro-dancehall hybrid title track, which is also accompanied with a video, he cleverly rhymes about a budding relationship contrasted by his sweetly sung hook. On “Bogus,” he addresses a lack of sincerity in some women, while club-friendly tunes like “Bad So,” All To Me” and “Perfect 10” ft. Jemere Morgan deliver romance with a rude boy twist. On the EP’s first single “Sunshine,” Jo nimbly rhymes over a bubbling dancehall rhythm embellished by gentle guitar strands. Jo came up with “Sunshine’s” melodic hook while singing to his baby sister and is one of the EP’s most intimate songs.
Feel free to post/listen to Jo Mersa’s new single now:
Damien Sneed Presents The Levites’ Gathering June 5- 7 in Detroit
The Inaugural Conference is a Forum for Music Ministers, Musicians, Psalmists, Praise and Worship Leaders and More
Special Guests Include Bishop Jason Nelson, Elder Mark Jackson and Prophetess Denise Blaze
(New York, NY –May 8, 2014) – Conductor, pianist, producer and recording artist Damien L. Sneed presents The Levites’ Gathering, a forum for spiritual refreshing, prophetic impartation and strategic empowerment in the areas of the Levitical priesthood: music ministers, musicians, psalmists, prophetic minstrels, praise and worship leaders, sound engineers and more. The conference theme is “The Season of Synchronization,” and will feature guest speakers Bishop Jason Nelson, Elder Mark Jackson and Prophetess Denise Blaze. Musical guests include James Ziegler, Judy Ray Tucker, Damien Sneed & The Levites and more. The conference will be held Thursday, June 5, through Saturday, June 7, at the Abyssinia Christ Centered Ministries in Southfield, MI, where Bishop Iona E. Locke, serves as a senior pastor and host of this year’s conference.
CHARLI XCX, RICO LOVE, AMERICAN AUTHORS, HEZEKIAH WALKER, RICHARD GOTTEHRER, ANGELA HUNTE AND MORE TURN OUT TO CELEBRATE THE 18TH ANNUAL SESAC POP AWARDS
Little Miss African American Scholarship Pageant
Announces Nationwide Registration
Reggae Sensation Hezron Delivers the Hits with Massive Debut Album, ‘The Life I Live(d)’ – Tad’s Record
HEZRON DELIVERS THE HITS
WITH MASSIVE DEBUT ALBUM,
THE LIFE I LIVE(D)
Tad’s Record Releases the Double-Disc Album
Worldwide on May 27, 2014
Bill Duke, Robert Townsend, NBC and SAGIndie Present Master Classes at The 18th American Black Film Festival in New York City!!!!
AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL (ABFF) ANNOUNCES LINEUP OF 2014 ABFF UNIVERSITY MASTER CLASSES
Featuring Robert Townsend’s “The Ultimate Pitch” and Bill Duke’s “Actors Boot Camp,” Held at New York City’s Metropolitan Pavilion
–Presented by Time Warner, in association with the ABFF Foundation–
Film Life, Inc. is proud to announce its lineup of the highly lauded ABFF University Master Class Series to be held during the 18th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in New York City on June 19-22, 2014.
Aspiring writers, actors and filmmakers have the opportunity to participate in intense workshops led by highly respected film industry leaders and experts such as actor, writer, director Robert Townsend (In the Hive) and actor, director, producer Bill Duke (Dark Girls).
This year’s Master Class lineup includes, “Bill Duke’s Actors Boot Camp,” one of the Festival’s most anticipated, is a 2-day scene study program where performance and the craft of acting is shaped through hands on direction and supportive critique from Mr. Duke. Session I is scheduled to take place on Friday, June 20, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and session II, Saturday, June 21, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Read more…
Black Women in the US:
Progress Made, But Key Areas Need Dire
National Attention and Urgent Action
Washington, DC – A report released today by Black Women’s Roundtable Public Policy Network (BWR), Black Women in the U.S., 2014, found that significant progress has been made since key historical markers however, there are many areas that remain in need of dire national attention and urgent action. The report was released during a legislative briefing at the historic headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). The event kicks off the BWR National Summit taking place over the next three days.
7 SUPER, ABSOLUTELY DO-NOT-FORGET, IMPORTANT DATES FOR BLACK PEOPLE IN MARCH AND APRIL 2014
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Spring time has finally arrived, and the summer months are closer than ever. But don’t start getting lazy yet! Below are the top seven dates that are crucial to African Americans during the months of March and April. They include scholarship deadlines, a business grant deadline, a healthcare deadline and as you already know – a tax deadline.
Here they are:
#1 – MARCH 24TH: Deadline For The Jerry Malloy Negro Baseball League Scholarship
The Jerry Malloy Negro Baseball League Scholarship is open to high school seniors who plan to attend college and work towards a college degree. Two scholarships will be awarded to the students who write the most compelling essay on a topic pertaining to Negro League baseball. Read more…
If you have any interest in understanding how to raise brilliant and successful African-American children, particularly boys, you have to grab a copy of “Promises Kept: Raising Black Boys to Succeed in School and in Life.”
Written by married couple Joe Brewster, M.D., and Michele Stephenson—the filmmakers behind the masterful documentary “American Promise”—with the considerable assistance of writer Hilary Beard, this book is a profoundly important work presenting the latest research and innovations that can nearly guarantee improvement in the outcomes for Black children.
Thanks to President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative—and, unfortunately due to the disturbing murders of Black boys like Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis— the challenges surrounding Black boys in America have suddenly found a place on the front pages of the nation’s newspapers and websites. But as you know, it’s an issue that we’ve been writing about for years here at MyBrownBaby.
When I was working on my series for Ebony magazine on the state of Black boys in America, which Ebony called “Saving Our Sons,” one of the first people I turned to was my good friend, writer Hilary Beard. Hilary is a three-time New York Times bestselling author who is a master collaborator, working over the years with such big names as Venus and Serena Williams and Angela Bassett and Courtney Vance to bring their stories to life in books such as Venus and Serena: Serving From the Hip: 10 Rules for Living, Loving, and Winning and Friends: A Love Story. In other words, Hilary does the same thing that my wife Denene and I do—helping celebrities and other successful folk tell important stories that advance our understanding of the human condition, particularly that brand of the human condition lived by African Americans. Read more…
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA TO HEADLINE THE NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK (NAN) 16TH ANNUAL NATIONAL CONVENTION APRIL 9–12, 2014
NAN CONVENTION TO BE LARGEST GATHERING OF ACTIVISTS THIS YEAR
ALSO PRESENTING WILL BE US ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER, NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO, AND NYC MAYOR BILL de BLASIO
New York, NY –Rev. Al Sharpton announces that President Barack Obama will address National Action Network’s (NAN) 16th annual national convention being held April 9-12, 2014. Also confirmed are US Attorney General Eric Holder, Obama administration cabinet members; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. This will be the largest civil rights convening of the year bringing our nation’s top activists, political strategists and leading academia together to create an action plan for a civil rights agenda. On the heels of thousands joining NAN in Tallahassee, FL for a ‘stand your ground’ rally, participants will address additional key policy issues such as jobs, voter ID and immigration; which will be key in this midterm election year. Read more…
If You Do Say So Yourself…. – Daily Word February 24, 2014
7 FREE HELP LINES AVAILABLE TO HELP AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILIES WITH MONEY TROUBLES
– As a public benefit, CareConnect USA has published several toll-free help lines for families seeking financial assistance. —
Waxhaw, NC (BlackNews.com) – When a household relies on two paychecks, budgets are strained if one job is lost. In cases like this, a family can tread water for a time. But as they struggle to find work, many will fall into troubling debt. Fortunately, more households are finding lifelines for help.
Since 2009, phone calls to financial help lines have risen 10% per year. As a public benefit, CareConnect USA publishes help lines for families seeking financial assistance. According to national director David Moakler, awareness is the key. “Although we are pleased that more people have learned about programs to ease their money troubles, the sad news is that the need for such help continues to grow.” The national rise in calls to the help lines has been especially strong from African-American regions. Read more…
THESE THREE BLACK HISTORY MONTH SCHOLARSHIPS WILL SOON BE HISTORY — IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO APPLY
— All Have Deadlines on February 28, 2014 —
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — There are only 28 days in Black History month, so the month does seem to go fast. As a part of their celebration of African American culture, many companies launched initiatives including special programming on TV, celebratory web sites and even scholarship funds. There are actually just three more major Black History month scholarship programs left, and all of them have a deadline to apply on February 28, 2014.
Here they are: Read more…
FAMED ARTIST AND WRITER ANDRE’ LEROY DAVIS BRINGS US THE LAST WORD: 17: THE REVOLUTION WILL BE VISUALIZED
WANT TO WORK FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA THIS SUMMER?
— African American Interns Wanted For 2014 Summer White House Internship Program; Deadline to Apply is March 15 —
Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — The White House Initiative’s Year-round Internship Program provides current undergraduate and graduate students with an opportunity to learn about African American-focused education policy, communications, and outreach at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.
Until March 15, 2014, the program will be accepting applications for summer interns. Their responsibilities will include, but are not limited to: Collecting and compiling research and data on African American education, institutions and communities; Performing data entry and managing the office database; Greeting and escorting visitors to meetings; Participating in strategic planning and staff meetings and other Department policy briefings and meetings relevant to the work of the Initiative; Responding to constituent inquiries verbally or in writing; and more. Read more…
Who: Dexter Story
What: Life Force Trio Entertainment
Why: Life Force Trio Entertainment is a company dedicated to expanding what’s possible in music composition, recording, film composing and live music. Life Force Trio started as a collaborative recording project between Carlos Niño and Dexter Story and has grown into a full service creative entity. Upcoming projects include a an early 2014 East African soul album release entitled ‘Wondem’ produced by The Life Force Trio on Plug Research Records; a 1960’s protest song tribute concert entitled ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ at Grand Performances in downtown Los Angeles; and an Ethiopian music-inspired score for ‘Eyes of Amhara,’ a documentary demonstrating the effects and cure of trachoma in East Africa. LFTE is based in Los Angeles.
Where: Based in Los Angeles Read more…
STATEMENT BY REV. AL SHARPTON, PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK (NAN) ON ACCESS TO EQUAL EDUCATION AND UPKNYC
Oh, if a simple blog post about Black Santa can get Fox News’ Megyn Kelly all riled up, let me hip her to some African American family truth that’ll make her effing head explode: practically every African American family I know sticks not only to Black Santa, but brown people on any and every item that has a face on it.
If we give birthday cards, we’re reaching for the Hallmark Mahogany joints with the Black people on it. If my daughters wear shirts with people’s faces on their chests, you best believe those faces are brown—or the shirt will not get bought. Art that I spend my hard-earned money on? Black artists. Black faces. Same for pillows, wallpaper and magazines I display on the tables throughout my home.
Raise your hand if you went to a church that had a Black Jesus on the big stained-glass window behind the pulpit at your church. Bonus points if his hair mirrored scripture and looked like “lamb’s wool” and his feet were the color of “brass.” Triple that if you’ve ever purchased a card from a drug store that didn’t carry the Mahogany line, and colored in the faces/hands/feet and anything else that looked like skin with brown crayon/marker/anything that can make the characters look like you and the people you love.
What you know about the wrapping paper with the Black Santa on it?
Oh, it’s out there. I got some, please believe it. Read more…