Arva Rice is President and CEO of the New York Urban League.
#NNPA BlackPress

A New Year’s Resolution for Children in New York: School Improvement

NNPA NEWSWIRE — If we want to improve education outcomes and strengthen our state, we need to improve our schools and assure that every child has access to a high-quality education, no matter their zip code or the color of their skin. […read more]

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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra/Courtesy Office of California Attorney General
Commentary

16 States and Counting Sue Trump over ‘Vanity’ Wall

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Trump is willing to manipulate the Office of the Presidency to engage in unconstitutional theater performed to convince his audience that he is committed to his ‘beautiful’ border wall. We’re suing President Trump to stop him from unilaterally robbing taxpayer funds lawfully set aside by Congress for the people of our states,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. […read more]

Irving High School Aviation Science students include: (From left to right) Gabriel Sanchez (senior), Caleb Fancher (junior), Javier Ramirez (senior), Jason Bernal (senior), Anthony Stahl (junior), Erika Gamboa (junior), Angie Maravi Campos (junior) and Craig Heckel (sponsor and the program’s coordinator), are from Irving High School's aviation science who worked on the Real Life Design Challenge. (Photo credit: Irving Independent School District)
#NNPA BlackPress

Irving students take flight to new adventures

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The industry is trying to grow, and it can’t grow because there are not enough people coming in the front door to match the people who are going out of the back door,” said Craig Heckel, program coordinator for Irving High School of aviation science. “…they were going to the colleges to do recruiting but that wasn’t good enough. So now they are going to the high schools to start these programs to get people interested, and let them know there is a huge umbrella of aviation that you can work in: electronics, computer programming, or be a fireman under aviation.” […read more]

Description: Pastor Henry Lavender gives DeAndre Bramlett, who broke into Lavender’s church, something Bramlett said he’d never had – a birthday cake. (Photo: Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell)
Community

A tale of love and redemption: ‘Spiritual parents’ throw surprise party for man who broke into their church

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “I appreciate DeAndre because he broke a cycle in his life,” said Pastor Henry Lavender. “Now, he has his own son to raise. The cycle is broken. Jesus makes it possible for DeAndre to live free. His son can be free. The logo of our church has the Jewish symbol in it. That is on purpose. It means Israel shall live. We do have victory when we forgive and love one another.” […read more]

A relatively small component of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in December of 2017, was the creation of Opportunity Zones in every state in the U.S., as well as in the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Business

The “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” Creates Opportunity Zones to Spur Economic Development

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Opportunity Zones have the potential to address many of the country’s most vexing economic problems, notes Tami Bonnell, CEO of EXIT Realty International. “One in six Americans lives in an economically distressed community,” said Bonnell. “There is something wrong with the way we’re operating when we have that much poverty in the United States.” […read more]

“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.” Smollett stated through his attorneys.
Chicago

Chicago Police Announce “Shift” in Investigation Regarding Jussie Smollett Case, Confusion

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed in a statement. “We’ve reached out to the Empire cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview,” he added. […read more]

FedEx Logistics is relocating to the Gibson Guitar Building, Gov. Bill Lee and local officials announced Tuesday at the former guitar factory off Beale Street.
#NNPA BlackPress

FedEx Powering Up Its Downtown Presence

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “FedEx Logistics will receive a PILOT from the city and county,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “To meet the requirements, there is a required level of participation to include women and minority contractors, or they will not qualify. So, it is assured that there will definitely be minority contract participation.” […read more]

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a fourth-term Congresswoman from Florida representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties.
Commentary

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Statement on the Anniversary of the Parkland Shooting

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “After the Parkland shooting, young people stood up and spoke both forcefully and passionately about gun violence’s impact on their ability to feel safe, which led to the passage of new gun control laws in 26 states, including Florida. Unfortunately, the Florida House is considering a bill that would repeal the measures passed last year. […read more]

Community

FILM REVIEW: Alita: Battle Angel

NNPA NEWSWIRE — As a self-contained film, this sci-fi/anime/action/thriller is fascinating but not perfect. Viewed as a set-up for a future franchise, it makes more sense. Studied as the next advancement in 3D anime, it’s groundbreaking. And, a teenage Latina lead is unique and could bring a host of young movie goers into the theater to see what’s up. […read more]

Business

OP-ED: Upholding Our Values and Standing Against Discrimination

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “I’m outraged that anyone at Toledo Transmission – or any facility – would ever face threats or discrimination. My heart goes out to anyone who was touched by this bigotry. This is not who we are. I and the entire leadership team at GM, condemn – in the strongest possible terms – any type of intimidating or intolerant behavior…” — Gerald Johnson, General Motors North America Vice President of Manufacturing & Labor […read more]

(Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Commentary

OP-ED: Why the New York City Council Proposal to Ban Menthol Cigarettes is Wrong

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Seventy-eight percent of the cigarettes consumed in the Black community are menthol-flavored. As the selling of menthol products become prohibited within Black communities, do we honestly believe that people will stop smoking them? It doesn’t take the brilliance of Albert Einstein to recognize the financial opportunity of smuggling in a new supply of menthol products from another state or country. The perfect smuggling model is already in place that of smuggling lower-taxed cigarettes.” — Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), Executive Director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) […read more]

Over the next two to three years, according to Richardson, The HistoryMakers will focus on adding 150 additional interviews of noted African American business leaders to its collection – increasing its BusinessMakers category to 500. (Image of Ken Chenault, Black Enterprise / YouTube)
Business

PRESS ROOM: The HistoryMakers Kicks Off Black History Month on PBS with a One-On-One Interview Program: An Evening with Ken Chenault as part of its Groundbreaking Business Initiative

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “We’re excited to have produced the ‘must see’ program,” says Julieanna Richardson, Founder and President, The HistoryMakers. Having the opportunity to showcase the life and career of the most preeminent business leaders of our time – Ken Chenault presents a unique master class on corporate and civic leadership. […read more]

Photos from “What Men” Want, starring Taraji P. Henson
Commentary

FILM REVIEW: What Men Want

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Twenty minutes into it, the outrageous sight-gag sex scenes, flippant dialogue and over-the-top performances yank the old premise firmly into the 21st century with a brand of humor fans of Bridesmaids will enjoy. There isn’t one subtle comic turn in this entire film. That gives Henson a chance to show her Tiffany Haddish side, which is more than willing to do anything to make viewers laugh. […read more]

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Chair of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy
Commentary

Waters and Cleaver Express Concerns About Nomination of David Malpass to Lead World Bank

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “It’s difficult to believe that any serious effort to find a qualified candidate with a compelling vision for the mission of the World Bank and a belief in the legitimacy of international development finance would lead to the nomination of Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass,” said Chairwoman Waters. […read more]

MDC’s heat and electricity being off to more than 1,600 inmates caused the facility to become a tortuous below-freezing block of ice during the recent extreme cold weather in New York, forcing inmates inside the detention center to endure sub-freezing polar temperatures.
Commentary

COMMENTARY: Black Millennial Voices: Stop the Torture of U.S. Prison Inmates

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The disproportionate mass incarceration of people of color in America continues to grow. It is bad enough to be confined and locked up in over-crowded jails and prisons in the United States. But what just went down inside the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York was a serious violation of the United Nations Convention Against Torture. […read more]

Specifically, we are asking that you accept the request of membership of all Blacks in Congress, including Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), a former undocumented individual who, like you and I, is of African descent.
Commentary

OP-ED: If Kamala Harris Is Black Enough for the Black Caucus, So Is Adriano Espaillat

NNPA NEWSWIRE — We recently celebrated the birthdays of two visionary Black leaders, Martin Luther King Jr. and Arturo Alfonso Schomburg. Yet, this February, as we honor the birthday of the pioneer Rosa Parks and celebrate Black History Month, it is a perfect time for the CBC to address our request and petition for an inclusive Black agenda and membership. […read more]

One of The Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) primary mandates involves building systems of support for educators through the use of additional funding and initiatives provided in Title II.
Commentary

COMMENTARY: What More Can Be Done Under ESSA to Support Highly Qualified Teachers

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Teacher concerns transformed into organized protests when, in early 2018, the West Virginia teacher’s strike made headlines, lasting over 2 weeks. Local education activists and teacher advocates forced the state legislature to address many of their concerns through the statewide strike. Afterwards, teachers returned to their classrooms with a 5 percent pay raise. […read more]

Every time a Black child is sent home for a minor offense, they are sent the message that they are unwanted or don’t belong. But Black children do belong, and they deserve to be safe, included, and to have access to a quality education.
Commentary

COMMENTARY: For Black Children, Attending School Is an Act of Racial Justice

NNPA NEWSWIRE — In the 2015-16 school year, Black boys made up 8 percent of public school enrollment, but they were 25 percent of the boys suspended out of school. Black girls were 8 percent of enrollment, but 14 percent of the girls suspended out of school. While Black children are overrepresented in practices that exclude or remove students from school, White children are underrepresented. Such data are clear evidence that racism and bias often drive exclusionary practices. To ignore this is to preserve the status quo. […read more]

Tika Sumpter in An Accessible Loss
Commentary

FILM REVIEW: An Acceptable Loss

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Controversial ex-U.S. security advisor Elizabeth “Libby” Lamm (Tika Sumpter, Southside, Ride Along, Sparkle) becomes a visiting professor on a liberal college campus. Under her guidance, and at the insistence of the aggressive VPOTUS Rachel Burke (Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween) and chief of staff Adrian (Jeff Hephner, Interstellar), a bomb was dropped during a war against terror and thousands of lives were lost. […read more]

Beale Street is too important to the history of African Americans to be trivialized in a movie title.
Black History

If Beale Street could talk, it would tell Memphis to ‘copyright me’

NNPA NEWSWIRE — I will never forget the colorful characters of Beale Street: Men wearing coordinated suits, shoes and hats, with processed hair; curvaceous women walking with advertising gaits and long eye lashes; impromptu street concerts by bands and musicians; “barkers” pleading for customers to enter their stores and shops; shoe shine boys with their mobile shine parlors and the bustling crowds. […read more]

“We must continue to stay vigilant and not let this administration use yet another mechanism to devalue and stifle the voices of people of color," says NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson
Commentary

COMMENTARY: NAACP President Derrick Johnson Responds to Federal Judge Jesse Furman’s Ruling on the 2020 Census

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census only increases the likelihood of a substantial undercount of immigrant communities, particularly immigrants of color including those from the African Diaspora who are essential to determining U.S. elections, congressional seats and federal funding decisions for a decade. […read more]

No matter what side of the political fence one falls, farm and rural development advocates will agree that the shutdown will cause much harm if not resolved very soon.
Commentary

PRESS ROOM: The Government Shutdown: Another Storm for Black Farmers, Cooperatives, and Southern Rural Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Cornelius Key, the Federation’s Georgia State Coordinator, who is also a farmer and rancher says, “Small farmers that normally submit farm loan applications in December and January can’t submit loans at the moment. The shutdown will have a domino effect as it ultimately leads to a decreased harvest, greater farm debt, and loan defaults that could translate to land and farm losses.” […read more]

Eddy Murphy is one of the most successful actors in Hollywood history in terms of box office. As of 2014, his films have grossed over $3.8 billion in the U.S. and over $6 billion worldwide.
Commentary

Coming to America Again: Eddie Murphy to Star Again in Blockbuster Hit

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “After many years of anticipation, I’m thrilled that Coming to America 2 is officially moving forward. We’ve assembled a great team that will be led by Craig Brewer, who just did an amazing job on Dolemite [Is My Name], and I’m looking forward to bringing all these classic and beloved characters back to the big screen,” said Eddy Murphy in a statement on January 11. […read more]

“The initial goal of the Diversity Volume Leadership Awards was to create awareness within the U.S. auto industry of the top vehicles purchased by ethnic consumers, women, LBGT consumers and ethnic millennials,” said Marc Bland, vice president of diversity and inclusion, IHS Markit.
AutoNetwork on BlackPressUSA

PRESS ROOM: National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers and IHS Markit Honor the Power of Multicultural Automotive Buyers with the Fourth Annual Diversity Volume Leadership Awards

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Some thirty percent of new vehicle purchases are made by multicultural consumers but only six percent of dealerships are minority owned,” said National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) President Damon Lester. “That means 18,000 dealerships exist in the USA and just 1,100 are minority owned.” […read more]

The Hattiloo will commemorate the African-American experience in “Lest We Forget,” an eight-month-long commemoration, from January to August. Each month, an interactive event is planned to reflect “the Black Experience” in America.
#NNPA BlackPress

LEST WE FORGET: Hatilloo Theatre commemorating 400 years of Africans in America with monthly interactive events

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Artists in the ’70s and ’80s like Curtis Mayfield wrote about and sang about the centuries we have spent in this country – our advances and setbacks, our triumphs and defeats, times of rejoicing and our times of struggle,” said Ekundayo Bandele, founder of the Hattiloo Technical Theatre Center. […read more]

Naomi Shelton has experience in education related community engagement both at the national and local levels and public administration. Currently, she is the Director of K-12 Advocacy at UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization.
Commentary

Equity v. Equality

NNPA ESSA AWARENESS CAMPAIGN — ESSA gives power back to the states to control education policy. Now, members of the community must hold their school leaders and elected officials accountable to implement system-wide and school-specific measures that ensure equity in our schools. […read more]

Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart co-star in The Upside
Commentary

FILM REVIEW: The Upside

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Kevin Hart fans may think that this role of an underling is beneath their favorite comedy actor. Instead they should view it as an opportunity to see him show more than his class-clown approach to performing. Thrown into the deep-sea depths of a dramedy, Mr. Hart proves he can swim just fine. […read more]

“I am committed to holding the Trump Administration accountable and ensuring that the Consumer Bureau can resume its important work protecting American consumers.” — Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA43)
Commentary

Congresswoman Maxine Waters Statement on Proposal to Weaken Enforcement at the Consumer Bureau

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Trump and his appointees have done everything in their power to undermine the Consumer Bureau. Mick Mulvaney, who Trump installed to serve as Acting Director of the agency, dropped lawsuits and investigations into abusive payday lenders, took away the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity’s enforcement powers, fired the members of the agency’s Consumer Advisory Board, scaled back enforcement actions against bad actors, sought to slash the agency’s budget, and apparently made it his mission to help out bad actors….” […read more]

#NNPA BlackPress

FISHER: 2019 is the Year of Legitimate Discontent – let’s get to work!

THE NEW TRI-STATE DEFENDER — The fruit of structural racism is the standardizing of white mediocrity and the suppression of black creative excellence. And we deserve full, equitable, inclusion into the society we have helped to shape, build and sustain. Until that goal is achieved, we must obtain and maintain a maladjustment to the injustice that continues to be normalized. […read more]

Elected City Court Judge On December 10, 1990, Earnestine Hunt Dorse (left) was sworn in by Judge Bernice Donald, who now serves on the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. (Courtesy photo)
#NNPA BlackPress

Retirement signals new phase for Judge Dorse

THE NEW TRI-STATE DEFENDER — Dorse graduated Cum Laude from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University), becoming the first in her family to receive a college degree. She was an exchange student at Dag Hammarskjold College in Columbia, Md., and studied agencies of the United Nations in five foreign countries: Switzerland (Geneva); Austria (Vienna); France (Paris); Sweden (Malmo); and Germany (Luxembourg). […read more]

As the 116th Congress begins to tackle its agenda this term, voting rights is a key issue. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)(Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Commentary

PRESS ROOM: Asian Americans Advancing Justice Applauds Congressional Efforts to Allow Access to the Ballot Box for all Eligible Voters

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) has worked for decades to preserve the voting rights for every eligible American while fighting against voter suppression tactics that impede Asian Americans’ access to the ballot box. We commend the members of the House who have taken a step in the right direction to recognize the importance of reducing barriers to voting. […read more]

Kamilah Campbell spent a significant amount of time studying and took an SAT prep course. Her hard work and diligence paid off and she increased her score by about 300 points on her second attempt.
Commentary

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson’s Statement on Kamilah Campbell’s SAT Score Challenge

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “As a mother and a former educator, I was extremely disappointed to learn that Kamilah Campbell’s SAT score is being challenged after she showed marked improvement in the second exam. It is my understanding that the first test that she took was a practice round for which she had not prepared. Before taking the second test, however, she spent a significant amount of time studying and took an SAT prep course. Her hard work and diligence paid off and she increased her score by about 300 points… […read more]

A designer told me years ago that the interior is where luxury is conveyed and the Mazda CX-9 struck me as a premium vehicle.
AutoNetwork on BlackPressUSA

AUTO REVIEW: 2019 Mazda CX-9

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Style is not a shortcoming with Mazda. The smooth lines of the company’s KODO soul of motion design have been transferred to the larger CX-9 nicely. The signature look; a long nose, short rump and arching curves over the wheel wells have been proportioned so that the CX-9 does not look like an oversized station wagon. […read more]

Photos from Vice.
Commentary

FILM REVIEW: Vice

NNPA NEWSWIRE — If the long list of characters seems vaguely familiar… Vice will set you straight. Not only does it give a closeup view of Dick Cheney and his agenda, it threads together all the people and machinations that led the country into a misguided war in the aftermath of 9/11 and a severe financial crisis. […read more]

On the name alone, Aquaman should pull hordes of viewers into the theater.
Commentary

FILM REVIEW: Aquaman

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Heard, Kidman, Morrison and Abdul-Mateen are consistently interesting to watch and elevate their scenes. However, the actor of the hour is Jason Momoa. His version of Aquaman is that of a complete badass superhero who displays the right balance of self-doubt and flat out bravura. At 6’4”, with a lion-like mane and beard, he is fun to watch.” […read more]

Congressman Cedric L. Richmond represents the 2nd District of Louisiana, which includes parts of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. He is also the chair of the 48-member, bicameral, bipartisan Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which was established in 1971.Official Photo
Black History

OP-ED: Because of the CBC, the Farm Bill Includes Millions for HBCUs, Black Farmers, and Rural Communities of Color

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “According to federal law, states are required to match federal funding dollar-for-dollar for land-grant universities, but many HBCUs have not been getting what they are owed. In fact, a 2013 report by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities found that from 2010-12, 61% of the historically black land-grant universities did not receive 100% of the one-to-one matching funds from their respective states…” […read more]

Our dignity and respect must begin as Black people in our families, and then our community, our country, and then the world.(Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Business

COMMENTARY: Living in America While Being Black Under the Trump Regime

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The buying power of the African American community is $1.1 trillion, but it only circulates 6 hours in our community, and the Asians keep a dollar in their community 120 times longer than African Americans. The Jewish keep the dollar in their community for 20 days, and the dollar in the White community circulates 17 days.” […read more]

McDougle has been recognized as one of the Most Influential African Americans in the state of Mississippi.(Photo: NASA)
Community

Sharon Caples McDougle, NASA’s Modern Day “Hidden Figure”

NNPA NEWSWIRE — During her career she was recognized with the Astronaut “Silver Snoopy” Award, Space Flight Awareness Honoree Award, USA Employee of the Month Teamwork Award, USA Employee of the Month Community Service Award, and the coveted Women of Color in Flight Award from Dr. Mae Jemison recognizing her career as the first and only African American woman suit tech/crew chief in her field. She absolutely loved her job and is proud to have been a part of our nation’s historic Space Shuttle Program. […read more]