Toni Morrison/Granta
Black History

At 88, Toni Morrison Personifies the Strength of Black Womanhood

NNPA NEWSWIRE — With each masterful stroke of her pen, typewriter or (later) her computer keyboard, Legendary author, Toni Morrison keeps readers of her works and listeners of her words spellbound. “We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives,” she once said. […read more]

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The District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY) has endorsed the recommendations and has now urged lawmakers to examine the study and embrace some of the specific elements in their efforts to improve the bail system in New York. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Commentary

New York May Join Other States in Ending Cash Bails

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “Defendants charged with certain non-violent crimes should be presumptively released. But there are a small number of crimes which we believe prosecutors should have the opportunity to rebut the presumption of release at arraignment,” said District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY) President and Albany County District Attorney David Soares. […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]

A new and independent research report entitled, Driving Into Debt, found that the money now owed on cars is up 75 percent since the end of 2009, an all-time record. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Business

Auto loan delinquencies climbed to $9 billion in 2018

NNPA NEWSWIRE — … in April of last year, Congress used the Congressional Review Act to nullify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) auto finance guidance that held auto lenders responsible for discriminatory lending practices prohibited under the Equal Credit Protection Act. This distorted use of the Congressional Review Act, sometimes known as another CRA, was never intended to overturn long-standing agency practices. […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]

Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA
Community

Most and Least Ethnically Diverse U.S. Cities Identified

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “A growing body of social psychological research suggests that information about increasing ethnic diversity can lead white Americans to express greater concerns about their ethnic group’s status and, further, these concerns can have implications for interethnic attitudes as well as political attitudes,” said Dr. Maureen Craig, a WalletHub expert and assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at New York University. […read more]

15-year old Victoria Shaw went missing Monday, Feb. 11, in West Hartford, Connecticut. Teandah Slater, who is also only 15-years old, was reported missing on Thursday, Feb. 7, from Noble Square in Chicago. 28-year old Amber Evans disappeared in 2015 and is still missing.
Community

Our Black Women and Girls Have Gone Missing but Few Seem to Care

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “To recognize Black girls as magical means defining them as precious, unique and valued. When society recognizes their worth and value, I believe that more attention will be paid to this matter. In addition, it will call for all people to recognize this as an epidemic and cause for action,” said Ginger Lavender Wilkerson, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles. […read more]

President Trump on Feb. 15 declared a national emergency to allocate additional funding to build a wall at the southern border. (Photo: Washington Post / YouTube)
Featured

DENIED! Bi-Partisan Pushback Leads Trump to Cry, “Emergency”

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Trump said he’ll get money from multiple sources including tapping into the $3.6 billion earmarked for military construction, $600 million in asset forfeitures seized by the U.S. Treasury Department, $2.5 billion available through the Department of Defense’s drug interdiction program and the nearly $1.4 billion Congress approved earlier in the week for border barriers – an agreement that proved vital in avoiding another government shutdown. […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]

Kathy Kraninger, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced the agency’s plan to repeal a rule aimed at stopping the payday lending debt trap. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Business

CFPB Makes Move to Support Payday Lenders During Black History Month

NNPA NEWSWIRE — When given the chance at the ballot box, Americans overwhelmingly vote to impose a 36 percent or less rate cap. Today, 16 states and the District of Columbia have these rate caps in place, providing strong protection from payday loan sharks. In remaining states – those without a rate cap – interest rates run as high as 460 percent in California, over 400 percent in Illinois and 662 percent in Texas. […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]

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest book “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy” is available via www.amazon.com for booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visitwww.juliannemalveaux.com
Commentary

COMMENTARY: Our Planet is Melting. Who Cares?

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Our world is melting. Glaciers are disappearing. Oceans are rising. Lowlands (mostly populated by low income and Black people) are disappearing. And, before Democrats took power in this term, few other than Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the New Green Deal have been able to address matters of climate change and, in the words of the New Poor People’s Campaign, “ecological devastation.” […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]

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, and Congressman Al Green (D-TX), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, wrote to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Business

Representatives Waters and Green Request Documents from Consumer Bureau on Recent Settlements

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“Consumer Bureau”) has recently announced several settlements against entities for engaging in unlawful practices without requiring the payment of redress to consumers harmed by the illegal conduct,” the lawmakers wrote. “This stands in stark contrast to the Consumer Bureau’s practice under the leadership of former Director Cordray. During Director Cordray’s tenure, the Consumer Bureau recovered nearly $12 billion in relief for harmed consumers over its first six years.[1] American consumers deserve a Consumer Bureau that will fight to recover their hard-earned money when they are cheated.” […read more]

Colleges are failing to provide black students with the individualized support they need to overcome the deficiencies of their K-12 educations to give them their best chance of success. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Commentary

Activists Criticize American Bar Association over Law School Exams

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “There’s no dignity to be found in being inadequately trained to sit for the bar exam. A mountain of debt and dim legal career prospects don’t advance the cause of social justice. The real injustice is the ABA voting against making law schools accountable for valuing black students as merely a statistic,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a former professor of law at George Mason University. […read more]

“This exercise is a thinly veiled attempt to advance the voter fraud myth to justify restrictive voter requirements and suppress voting rights,” said Sophia Lakin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
Commentary

Civil Rights Groups Sue Texas over Voter Citizenship Question

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the national ACLU, the Texas Civil Rights Project, Demos, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit against Texas Secretary of State David Whitley and Director of Elections Keith Ingram over the creation and rollout of a flawed voter purge list that discriminates against naturalized citizens. […read more]

Kamala Harris is running for president and should be critiqued. She should also have the opportunity to speak for herself and answer questions about her record as a candidate in the present day.
Black History

COMMENTARY: #CancelKamala: Kamala Harris and Cancel Culture

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Harris, who obviously knows who she is, lived her life as a black woman in America because in America, particularly during her childhood, you did not have the option of reinvention or all of the privileges of self-identification racial and cultural groups have today. There were no multiple racial categories being checked and personal pronouns being chosen or eschewed. […read more]

Kristoff St. John, the fan favorite was found dead in his home by a friend. Although suspected, St. John's death has not yet been ruled a suicide and there are no signs of foul play. He was 52. (Photo: Screen capture, CBSN / YouTube)
Commentary

IN MEMORIAM: Kristoff St. John, ‘Young and the Restless’ Star Dies at 52

NNPA NEWSWIRE — St. John had been struggling recently with the death of his son Julian, who committed suicide in 2014 while in a mental health facility. The popular actor had been released from a psychiatric facility days ago where he was being treated for depression. He previously took a leave of absence from ‘Young and the Restless’ in October 2017 to undergo psychiatric treatment after a reported mental health-related scare. […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]

Elizabeth Primas is an educator who spent more than 40 years working to improve education for children. She is the program manager for the NNPA’s Every Student Succeeds Act Public Awareness Campaign. Follow her on Twitter @elizabethprimas.
#NNPA BlackPress

COMMENTARY: A Dream Deferred — Is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Just Another Elusive Dream?

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Parents must get engaged to hold legislators and educators accountable for their ESSA State Plans. Parents must also hold themselves accountable in prioritizing the education of our children. Research shows that just one year with a bad teacher can put a child three years behind. Now, think about what happens after years of neglect and lack of advocacy. […read more]

Sen. Booker has already made stops in key primary states over the last few months. He now plans to travel more extensively as he joins the most diverse presidential field in American history.
Black History

Sen. Cory Booker Announces 2020 Run for the White House

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind, where parents can put food on the table. Where there are good paying jobs with good benefits in every neighborhood. Where our criminal justice system keeps us safe, instead of shuffling more children into cages and coffins. Where we see the faces of our leaders on television and feel pride, not shame,” said Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, during a video announcing his bid for President of the United States. […read more]

Steve Hightower is the CEO and president of Hightowers Petroleum, a privately-owned, Ohio-based company.
AutoNetwork on BlackPressUSA

AUTONETWORK: Black Millionaire Steve Hightower Talks About His Drive to Create A Billion-Dollar Petroleum Business On SiriusXM’s ‘Auto Trends’

Hightowers Petroleum is one of the top 15 black-owned businesses in the nation, according to Black Enterprise and provides fuel to a number of Fortune 500 companies. Hightower’s business portfolio includes investments with a number of American and foreign automakers, where his company holds the exclusive gasoline account to fuel vehicles upon final build, at various assembly plants throughout the world. […read more]

If you would like to see Mike Conley and Marc Gasol get a shot an an NBA Championship, sending them to Los Angeles to join Lebron James would likely do the trick, while bringing young talent back. (Photo: Warren Roseborough)
#NNPA BlackPress

COMMENTARY: Should the Grizzlies trade Mike Conley and Marc Gasol to The Lakers?

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Though beloved in Memphis, Conley and Gasol have played in relative obscurity for a decade now. Playing alongside Lebron would certainly put a spotlight on their game while requiring neither one to be “The Alpha” on the team. If they can win rings while making history with The King . . . well, good for them. They’ve earned it. […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]

Harris’ name recognition and charisma will likely giver her an advantage as the first candidate outside of the baby boomer generation whose candidacy is a reminder of the historic and successful 2008 run of former President Barack Obama.
Black History

Sen. Kamala Harris Officially Enters the 2020 Presidential Race with Bold Morality

NNPA NEWSWIRE — A graduate of Howard University and a member of the AKA sorority, Harris’ rollout has been the most methodically of anyone who has entered the 2020 sweepstakes. Right down to the typography and campaign slogans, which are in the style of the historic 1970s campaign of the first Black woman ever elected to Congress, Shirley Chisholm, Sen. Harris’ rollout has reached for clarity. […read more]

Photo: Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (left) and Reverend Al Sharpton of the National Action Network are concerned about the proposed nationwide ban on menthol cigarettes. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
#NNPA BlackPress

New York City Council Ignoring ‘Unintended Consequences’ in Discussing Menthol Ban

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “So, here we are proposing another policy that will put the police front and center in enforcing that policy and it’s going to be enforced in communities of color, our poor and black communities and this doesn’t make sense,” said Major Neill Franklin, the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – or LEAP. […read more]

The 2019 Academy Award Oscar® Nominations have been announced.
#NNPA BlackPress

2019 Oscar Nominees: #OscarsSoBlack?

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Fans familiar with the history of the Oscars and racial inclusion know by now that the Oscars aren’t the NAACP Image Awards and aren’t trying to recreate that experience for black fans. However, it is evident –at least this year– Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs’ A2020 mandate for more diversity and representation has been heard and is working. […read more]

Caption: Texas State Senator Borris Miles
#NNPA BlackPress

COMMENTARY: Elected Enemies – The Government Shutdown That’s Crippling America

NNPA NEWSWIRE — This has been the third shutdown of the federal government since President Donald J. Trump took the oath of office. However, as a result of the current catastrophic and life-altering shutdown, millions of the people who rely on the government for their livelihood — directly and indirectly — have been severely impacted. […read more]