National News

Black Americans living abroad reflect on Juneteenth

As the United States marks only the second federally recognized Juneteenth, Black Americans living overseas have embraced the holiday as a day of reflection and an opportunity to educate people in their host countries on Black history. President Joe Biden moved quickly last year to federally recognize the day Black Americans have been celebrating since the last enslaved people were told they were free in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. In Liberia, Saqar Ahhah Ahershu, 45, from Jersey City, N.J., is organizing the country’s first “Journey Home Festival.” “Because this is part

Juneteenth was finally recognized as a federal holiday. Then came commercialization.

By Michelle Garcia “Companies that are having these picnics for their employees and feeding them fried chicken and watermelon — who made that call?” Torrina Harris of Galveston, Texas, quipped. Juneteenth may be the country’s newest federal holiday, but for many Black Americans, June 19 has long been associated with homegrown community celebrations, if not at least understood as a day to symbolize freedom.  “For Black folks, there has been a long tradition of commemorating Juneteenth,” said Amara Enyia, policy and research coordinator at Movement for Black Lives. But now that Juneteenth is a federal holiday, complete with offices and schools closing

VP Kamala Harris Calls Out Republican-led States In D.C. Pride Event Speech

By Murjani Rawls States like Florida and Texas have passed laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community in the classroom or with medical procedures. Vice President Kamala Harris used her speech at a pride event in Washington D.C. Friday to denounce those actions, as reported by The Hill. Texas Governor Greg Abbott made it legal for the state to investigate parents of transgender children to be investigated for child abuse if they sought gender-affirming care. (It has since been temporarily blocked) Florida Gov. Ron Desantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law which does not allow topics like sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. Tennesee, Alabama, and Georgia have passed their

The UNCF’s Month-Long Initiative “HBCU Bound” Partners With Michelle Obama’s College Signing Day

By Sammy Approved The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) launched their month-long initiative titled “HBCU Bound,” in celebration of high school graduates heading to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in conjunction with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s ongoing “College Signing Day” campaign. “HBCU Bound” is a nationwide student advocacy and recruitment initiative in collaboration with UNCF’s National Alumni Council (NAC) to support students committing to attend HBCUs including UNCF’s 37 member institutions. The widely celebrated campaign has partnered with several visionary Black luminaries and change agents who are advocating for equitable education and utilizing their platforms to advance educational enrichment. The initiative has

How one Black leader sees trademarking Juneteenth as protection of Black culture

By Claretta Bellamy There was a wave of anger from Black Twitter users last month when Walmart released its Juneteenth-themed ice cream, with a flavor created by the New York-based company Balchem. Spotting a trademark symbol for Juneteenth on the product’s label, many on social media criticized both companies for trying to capitalize off Black culture. But what got missed in the uproar was a simple fact: Someone else had claimed the term before any of the major companies could. That person was Mario Bowler Sr., an assistant director at his alma mater, Lincoln University, a historically Black university in

Black Leaders React To Biden’s Policing Executive Order

By Bruce C.T. Wright President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order in an effort to bring some semblance of meaningful reform to policing in America. The signing at the White House coincided with the two-year anniversary of the horrific police murder of George Floyd. The executive order comes as the U.S. Senate has allowed legislation in Floyd’s name to languish for nearly a year in a time span that has seen police killings, particularly of Black people, continue to go unpunished with apparent impunity. Specifically, Biden is signing the executive order “to advance effective, accountable policing and criminal justice practices that will

More police isn’t the answer after Texas shooting, experts say

By Char Adams The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District in Texas has its own police department, complete with four officers, a detective and security staff who patrol the campus and its entrances. This didn’t prevent a gunman from killing 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School last week. Despite this inability to stop the shooter’s hour-long siege, the attack has renewed demands to increase police presence in schools as a solution to shooting incidents. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, continued the pattern when he called for more armed school police, describing them as “the most effective tool for keeping kids safe.” However, experts

Minneapolis renames intersection to honor George Floyd

By Associated Press The intersection where George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police officers was renamed in his honor Wednesday, among a series of events to remember a man whose killing forced America to confront racial injustice. Floyd’s brother Terrence was among family members to attend as a commemorative street sign marked the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue as “George Perry Floyd Square” on the two-year anniversary of his death. Floyd thanked hundreds of people who turned out to honor his brother, singing songs as they marched a block-long stretch to finish at the intersection. The renaming was followed

Black-Owned Company City Fresh Foods Inks Historic Contract With Boston Public Schools

By Brandee Sanders Black founders are making strides in the realm of business while simultaneously evoking transformative change in their communities. According to Boston 25 News, the Black-owned company City Fresh Foods has inked a historic deal with Boston Public Schools. When it comes to the distribution of city contracts throughout the country, Black business owners are often locked out of opportunities. The Boston Globe reported Black and Latinx-founded businesses landed a mere 1.2 percent of the $2.1 billion in contracts allocated to companies in the professional goods and construction industries over five years. The $17 million contract awarded to City Fresh Foods marks the

Black Buffalo determined to rebuild while dealing with grief and sorrow

By Curtis Bunn Local leaders call on Mayor Byron Brown to commit to fixing concerns that have been amplified by the killing of 10 Black people at a Tops supermarket. The national media has packed up and moved on to the next mass shooting in America. But residents on the eastside of Buffalo, where 85 percent of the population is Black, are still grieving — while also trying to figure out how to rebuild. “This isn’t one of those situations where we can just go on with our daily lives,” said Jillian Hanesworth, Buffalo’s first poet laureate and a social justice

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