Georgia county approves larger homes for Gullah-Geechee enclave as residents vow to continue fight

Descendants of enslaved people living on a Georgia island vowed to keep fighting Tuesday after county commissioners voted to double the maximum size of homes allowed in their tiny enclave, which residents fear will accelerate the decline of one of the South’s few surviving Gullah-Geechee communities. Black residents of the Hogg Hummock community on Sapelo Island and their supporters packed a meeting of McIntosh County’s elected commissioners to oppose zoning changes that residents say favor wealthy buyers and will lead to tax increases that could pressure them to sell their land. Regardless, commissioners voted 3-2 to weaken zoning restrictions the county adopted nearly three

Inaugural UNCF Baltimore Mayor’s Masked Ball raised scholarship money for HBCU students

By Nicky Zizaza This weekend’s United Negro College Fund Baltimore Mayor’s Masked Ball was aimed at fundraising for Black college students. WJZ is the proud media sponsor of the gala. For more than 70 years, the United Negro College Fund has pledged to honor education and award scholarships to students like Morgan State student Rachel Simpson. “I saw the email and I was like, ‘Hey, maybe I will just apply,” said Simpson, a scholarship recipient. “You never know if you are going to get the scholarship or not, but I wrote the essays that came along with it, and a

Queens nonprofit immerses kids in music by recreating HBCU marching band experience

By Elle Mclogan At the Rochdale Village Community Center, kids ages 6 and up are learning drums, horns and the performance fundamentals they’ll need to someday join the marching band at a historically Black college or university. “A lot of the students that I’ve had here will go on and graduate from HBCU, whether it’s Hampton, Howard,” founder Larry Carthan said. He left his job on Wall Street and founded the Elite Marching Band of Queens in the 1990s. Weekly practices culminate in a year-end showcase. “My favorite thing is that you can express yourself in different ways by doing

Majority of Black Americans say race shapes identity


By Associated Press A majority of Black Americans say being Black is central to how they think about themselves and shape their identities, even as many have diverse experiences and come from various backgrounds, according to a new report by Pew Research Center. About three-quarters of Black people said so despite where they come from, their economic status or educational backgrounds. Overall, 14 percent say being Black is only somewhat important to their identity and 9 percent say it has little to no impact, highlighting the diversity of thought among Black Americans, which include U.S.-born Black people and Black immigrants,

An Alabama family started an antiracist library to promote racial justice and the importance of diversity in reading


By Alaa Elassar, Kristen Berthiaume remembers when George Floyd was murdered, with body cam footage revealing his struggles to breathe and cries for his mother as a police officer knelt on his neck. Berthiaume couldn’t stop thinking about Floyd, his loved ones, and the Black community as nationwide protests and demands for justice were often met with what she says was blatant racism and ignorance. After talking with her family about what role they could play in promoting racial justice in their community in Homewood, Alabama, an idea was born. “Our library was closed due to Covid, but I noticed that books about

TSU Thanks Healthcare Workers on the Frontlines Fighting Covid-19


By Emmanuel Freeman Tennessee State University recently showed its appreciation for frontline workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by gifting more than 2,500 potted African Violet plants to healthcare workers at several hospitals, clinics and other facilities in the Nashville metro area. Representing TSU President Glenda Glover, the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Dr. Chandra Reddy, led a group of university officials and staff to deliver the plants to doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers at Ascension Saint Thomas West, Select Specialty Hospital, Nashville General Hospital, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Clinic, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The act

Childhood friends bring message of racial justice

By Howard Monroe Two childhood friends are teaming up to bring a message of racial justice to Philadelphia’s suburbs. “This symbol is used as a way for people to talk and people to have conversations,” Brian Bowens said. A colorful talking point for one of the darkest times in history. Bowens is the artist behind the Symbol of Solidarity mural in Jenkintown. “To me, with this symbol, it just shows an illustration of all types of walks, all types of backgrounds and experiences coming together in power, in unity and agreement,” Bowens said. The two-story mural on Johnson Street began

One of the longest marches of the civil rights movement is honored in Louisiana


By Leah Asmelash The Louisiana Civil Rights Trail is steadily growing after officials in the state unveiled a fourth marker this week honoring a historic march against anti-Black violence. The new marker, unveiled on Monday, is in Young Park in Baton Rouge — marking the 105-mile march from Bogalusa to Baton Rouge. The march, known as the Bogalusa Civil Rights March, took place in 1967, four years after the March on Washington. Started by activist A.Z. Young, the 10-day march was a protest against the general treatment of Black Americans, following years of harassment by the KKK in Louisiana. Monday’s unveiling ceremony

Authorities in this community say they’re facing a gun violence ‘crisis.’ They’re asking residents for help


By Christina Maxouris Saleemah Graham-Fleming had been told she wouldn’t be able to have children. That’s why she always called Sanaa Amenhotep, the oldest of her three daughters, a miracle. The two loved each other fiercely: they had frequent “cuddle time” sessions and dedicated Friday girls’ nights. The teen would often join her mom for errands, riding in the passenger seat and snapping photos for her social media accounts, which she always kept up to date. On April 5, Sanaa stepped out with her younger sister to take some pictures near their Columbia apartment, but she never came home, her

Toledo-raised performers headline African American Festival


By Madison Hahamy Homegrown talent is a highlight of the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union’s African American Festival, which is back after a pandemic cancellation for its 16th year on Friday and Saturday. The festival includes a prayer breakfast, parade, and performances, most notably by singers Lyfe Jennings and Shirley Murdock, both native Toledoans who have not returned to the city in more than a year. Suzette Cowell, CEO of the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, said that the local ties that can be found throughout the two-day festival are intentional and ensure that the festival has “a hometown feeling.”

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