How The Black And Missing Foundation Shines A Spotlight On Otherwise Ignored Missing Black People

Last month, about a few dozen people distributed fliers in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood with a photo and description of Keshaun Williams, a 15-year-old, 5-foot-7-inch, 130-pound teenager. Kee, as his family and friends call him, went missing on June 17. That night, Kee called his mother to say he was on his way home from a house party but never arrived.

“These are our mothers and fathers, our children, our neighbors who are disappearing at an alarming rate,” Wilson said. “Media cover

Barber-Scotia College’s New President Charts A Course For Revitalization For The HBCU After Years Of Decline

In 2000, Barber-Scotia, founded by the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. shortly after the Civil War to educate Black women, later becoming co-ed, borrowed $12 million from the federal government. But the college defaulted on the loan five years after it lost accreditation in 2004, which caused enrollment to plummet and the school to spiral down an abyss.

It doesn’t help that the school has been $460,000 in debt to Concord, N.C., for tearing down dilapidated structures a decade ago, and a contenti

Explainer: What To Know About The Sudan Conflict That Created A Humanitarian Crisis

The conflict in Sudan between rival generals has killed or injured hundreds and displaced more than a million people as ceasefire promises have failed to materialize.

Even the youngest Sudanese are paying the ultimate price in the power struggle. Over the past six weeks, at least 60 children died inside an orphanage while fighting raged across the capital city Khartoum, The Guardian reported. Orphanage and humanitarian workers on the ground said 26 children, including 3-month-old infants, died over two days (May 26-27), mostly from fever and a lack of food.

Fighting first erupted April 15 across Khartoum and a few other cities...

Tim Scott Announces Presidential Bid: 5 Policy Positions He's Taken In Congress

GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina officially stepped into the ring Monday (May 22) to square off against several other candidates vying for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination. As a presidential candidate, the conservative Black Republican is now under national scrutiny over his policy positions and views on race in America. During his time in Congress, Scott has often opposed policies that many in the Black community favor...

How Taraji P. Henson Is Helping To Boost HBCU Mental Health With ‘She Care Wellness Pods’

Alabama State University senior Diamond Richard is making great strides toward achieving her goal of entering medical school and becoming an OB-GYN physician. But it hasn’t been easy because of the mental health problems she battled from her freshman year, Richard told

She’s far from alone. The African American community is quietly facing a mental health crisis, with Black youth and young adults taking the brunt of it. Yet we seek and receive treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems at a lower rate than Whites.

Fortunately for Richard and other ASU students, Taraji P. Henson’s Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, in partnership with the Kate Spade New York, brought free mental health resources to the campus in April with its delivery of “She Care Wellness Pods.” ...

How The Black Press Is Surviving The Newspaper Industry’s Decline

It’s no secret the newspaper industry is in crisis. Competition from both the internet and television have for years taken away market share from all but the widest circulation publications. Among journalists it is a constant conversation, especially in times of major media layoffs and cutbacks. In fact, a 2022 report shows a 52 percent decline in newspaper revenue between 2002 and 2020.

But the challenges are nothing new for Black-owned papers that, like our community, have always found ways to survive challenging times.

“I wish I could say we were impacted more by the newspaper crisis, Denise Rolark Barnes, publisher of The Washington Informer, told “But I have to go back to when my father was publishing the weekly newspaper. One of the things that he used to always say is, at times, it felt like a “w-e-a-k-l-y,” Rolark Barnes said, highlighting her dad’s play on words to make a point about the challenges he faced...

Why Spotsylvania Va., Banned Two Toni Morrison Books From School Libraries

Two acclaimed novels by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison once again made a hit list – this time at a Virginia school district that directed libraries to remove the novels from bookshelves.

Morrison’s novels have consistently appeared on book banning hit lists in recent years. In 2021, the American Library Association (ALA) condemned what it described as a widespread attempt by a few organizations to censor books about the Black experience and LGBTQ issues.

“Falsely claiming that these works are subversive, immoral, or worse, these groups induce elected and non-elected officials to abandon constitutional principles, ignore the rule of law, and disregard individual rights to promote government censorship of library collections,” an ALA statement said at that time.

Ed Gordon Returns To BET: Former Anchor Talks About His Career, Personality Behind The Camera

Over the years, Ed Gordon has showcased his ability to delve into complicated issues that matter to our community, in a career spanning decades. But he didn’t set out to become a journalist.

As a kid in Detroit, Gordon said he was mesmerized by television lawyers who won their cases in dramatic courtroom scenes. But while his mind was set on becoming an attorney, his heart was elsewhere.

“There was just something about being a storyteller. I've always been one of those people who tells a fairly good story. Everybody at the family reunion would say, ‘Skip (his nickname), tell that story,’” he said, also recalling that in junior high school he and his buddies would pretend that they were local newscasters.

Later, a professor saw a talent in Gordon and encouraged him to pursue a broadcast journalism career. After graduating, he landed an unpaid internship at the local PBS affiliate in Detroit and worked his way up from there.

Ed Gordon Deep Dives Controversies Surrounding Reparations Movement

A San Francisco reparations committee caused more than a few eyebrows to raise when it recently recommended packages that include a $5 million lump sum payment to each qualified Black resident as compensation for generations of systemic racial discrimination.

If the progressive city acts on the proposal, San Francisco will become the first major U.S. city to fund reparations.

Conversations about how to redress slavery and years of government sanctioned racial discrimination, as well as recovering stolen Black-owned property are happening in Congress, state capitals, city councils and living rooms across the nation.

With the issue bubbling under the surface, former BET News anchor Ed Gordon takes a deep dive into reparations on the next episode of Black in America, which airs April 2 across BET and CBS platforms.

Majority White Legislatures Taking Control Of Predominantly Black Cities In Emerging Pattern

Earlier this month, a group of angry but peaceful protesters gathered near Capitol Hill after a Republican-led effort in Congress nullified Washington, D.C.’s criminal code reform bill.

Many of the activists were part of the Hands Off DC coalition of more than 50 organizations that demand autonomy for the district and advocate for a range of other issues, including voting rights and criminal justice reform.

“Congress overturning the bill and Biden allowing that to happen have set a dangerous precedent when it comes to justice and safety in D.C., and specifically, Black self-governance for D.C. And now they're trying to overturn another law, which is a police reform bill,” Makia Green, a co-founder of the social justice group Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, told

Could Florida’s College Anti-Diversity Bill Harm Black Sororities And Fraternities?

Florida A&M University student Robert Tucker was one of several Black fraternity and sorority members who appeared at a state legislature meeting March 13 to oppose passage of a controversial bill that many consider a existential threat to Black Greek life on college campuses.

Tucker, speaking on behalf of Omega Psi Phi founded in 1911 at Howard University, explained that Black Americans created their own Greek-lettered organizations, known as the “Divine Nine,” more than a century ago when White organizations wouldn’t allow them to join. Since then, Black sororities and fraternities have worked to uplift the Black community and engaged in the struggle for racial equality.

Many universities and colleges in Florida – both HBCUs and predominantly White institutions – have collegiate chapters of the organizations on their campuses.

Justice Department Adjusts Longstanding Drug Policy On Crack, Powder Cocaine To End Racial Disparities

For decades, civil rights activists have demanded an end to the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine that have targeted the Black community for mass incarceration in the so-called War on Drugs.

A recent Department of Justice announcement could signal a turning point as Senate lawmakers try to hammer out a deal to ensure a permanent change.

In a memo, Attorney General Merrick Garland instructed federal prosecutors on Friday (Dec. 16) to end charging and sentencing disparities in cases involving crack and powder cocaine.

A New Focus On Africa: 3 Takeaways From The US-Africa Leadership SummitTube

The Biden Administration hosted 49 African leaders for a three-day summit in Washington D.C. that began on Dec. 13. President Joe Biden told the delegates that America “is all in on Africa’s future,” signaling a renewed interest in Africa as the United States competes with China across the continent.

It has been eight years since former President Barack Obama organized the first U.S.-Africa summit. The three-day gathering in the nation’s capital was the largest event that any U.S. president held with African leaders...

Biden Signs Landmark Respect For Marriage Act To Protect Same-Sex, Interracial Marriage

President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law at a White House ceremony on Tuesday (Dec. 13). The landmark legislation enshrines marriage equality into federal law, codifying protections for same-sex and interracial couples.

“Deciding whether to marry, who to marry is one of the most profound decisions a person can make,” Biden told a large crowd of supporters gathered at the White House lawn for the signing ceremony.

He added: “I mean this with all my heart. Marriage is a simple proposition. Who do you love? And will you be loyal to that person you love? It’s not more complicated than that. The law recognizes that everyone should have a right to answer those questions for themselves without the government interference.” ...

‘Just Sheer Joy:’ Biden Senior Advisor Keisha Lance Bottoms Recalls White House Reaction To Brittney Griner’s Release

For a lot of reasons, Thursday (Dec. 8) was a great day at the White House. Early that morning, White House staff heard the news that WNBA star Brittney Griner was released from a Russian prison on drug charges after 10 months and was enroute to U.S. soil.

“You could hear the applause,” White House Senior Advisor Keisha Lance Bottoms told “It was just sheer joy and excitement.”

Organization Builds Black Business Ecosystem While Breaking Systemic Barriers To Black Prosperity

In early November, more than 70,000 people from the global tech industry gathered for the annual Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, a tech conference that drew leaders in the field from all corners.

Kelly Burton, the co-founder and CEO of Black Innovation Alliance, brought a large delegation from the United States to network toward BIA’s efforts to build a sustainable ecosystem for Black entrepreneurs.

New York Lawmakers To Renew Reparations Efforts For State Residents Who Descended From Slaves to YouTube

Over the past several years, attempts to pass federal legislation for reparations have failed repeatedly. In February, a House bill to create a commission to study reparations for Black Americans was gaining steam. But with the GOP preparing to take control of the House for at least the next two years, it appears unlikely to advance.

However, for reparations supporters, there seems to be hope. At the city level, Evanston, Ill., a Chicago suburb, in 2021 became the first city to make reparations available to Black residents...

2022 Midterm Elections: Black Georgia Voters Turning Out In High Numbers Despite New Restrictive Laws

Georgia election officials are patting themselves on the back for record turnout, so far, in the 2022 midterm election, suggesting that its wave of voting restriction laws have not suppressed the Black vote.

“As of Tuesday morning (Nov. 1), Georgia continues to break records with 1,638,286 voters casting their ballot during Early Voting, with 130,413 showing up on Monday, October 31st,”

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger touted, adding that there were no “substantial delays” statewide, even in the metro-Atlanta area.

What’s more, Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that a higher share of Black voters and older voters have turned out in Georgia’s early voting period.

“It’s the work of our Elections Division and the county election directors that have gotten us here,” he added. “Voting in Georgia is safe, secure, and accessible – and Georgians know that.”

But voting rights groups see it differently. They do say Georgia has seen record turnout, but it’s despite the new obstacles to ballot access.

How Treating Gun Violence Like A Disease Helps Stem The Rise In Deadly Shootings

Night after night, even as the number of shootings have increased in central Brooklyn neighborhoods, a group of violence interrupters, armed only with the respect they have in the community, try to quash potentially deadly confrontations before they erupt.

Some of Elite Learners Inc.’s violence interrupters are formerly incarcerated gang members. They’ve turned their lives around and are now using their street savvy and connections to mediate conflicts and mentor high-risk young men in the New York City borough’s high-crime areas...

Owner of Bklyn's First Chick-fil-A Uses His Business to Inspire, Teach Financial Literacy to Young Staff

As a lifelong entrepreneur, Brandon Hurst has developed the ability to recognize and nurture the business potential of others.

In 2014, the owner of Brooklyn’s first Chick-fil-A restaurant was just 26 when he opened his first location in Baltimore. Back then, there was an ambitious high school junior on his team who faced similar life challenges as Hurst did growing up in Atlanta. Hurst took the young man under his wing, and today, he’s a college graduate and one of Hurst’s business directors.

How Descendants Of James Madison’s Montpelier’s Enslaved Gained Shared Governance Of Historic Plantation

Bettye Kearse has always wanted to feel connected to her ancestors, who were among the hundreds of slaves at Montpelier, James Madison’s vast estate in Orange County, Va., who served the nation’s fourth president.

She first visited the estate, which is now a National Trust Historic site, in 1992 while researching her family’s history. According to their oral tradition, Kearse descended from an enslaved cook named Coreen and Madison.

“When I first arrived at Montpelier, I felt like I belonged there, and that all of my ancestors wanted me there and had something to tell me,” she recalled at a meeting in April with a group of other Montpelier descendants and their lawyer, as they battled for co-stewardship of the site.

The Gentlemen’s Factory: A Men's Social Club Serious About Black Business. Seriously.

In 2018 and 2019, news began to percolate around the growing number of social networking spaces emerging across the country for and by people of color.

In New York City, for example, there was “Roll Call,” a meetup for Black Theatre-goers; “The Black Mastermind Group” for entrepreneurs; the “Black Baby Boomers Who Just Wanted to Have Fun;” and far too many more to list here.

However, there was one Brooklyn-based group that seemed to grab the most media attention: The Gentlemen’s Factory.
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