DETROIT — A Detroit construction worker is suing a contractor for alleged discrimination and racism.
Harold Wilson, 63, filed a lawsuit against Hardman Construction Inc. last week, The Detroit News reported .
Wilson alleges the contractor used fake addresses for its suburban workers so the firm could meet a city requirement regarding the makeup of its workforce on the Little Caesars Arena project. Firms with a $3 million contract receiving public funding must have a workforce of at least 51 percent Detroit residents, according to city law.
Wilson had to wait more than two months to be hired. He alleges that he was segregated on the work site — he wasn’t allowed to use the same water cooler or put his lunch bucket in the same area as other employees.
He was fired in June 2015 on his second day at work, according to the lawsuit.
“All they needed was my Detroit address, and when they got that, they didn’t need me,” Wilson said. “They could then keep my address on the books for a long time.”
Few major Detroit developments have met the 51 percent hiring goal in recent years, according to city officials and others in the construction industry. Dozens of contractors who worked on the arena had to pay a total of $2.9 million in fines for not meeting the hiring goal. Hardman paid almost $22,500 for missing the goal for eight months, but their numbers later improved, according to city data.
Hardman’s attorneys with law firm Plunkett Cooney said the company denies the allegations of discrimination.
2 Miss. students arrested after social media threats
OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — Two north Mississippi high school students have been arrested on charges that they threatened violence on social media.
DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco tells local media the juveniles were arrested Saturday after school and law enforcement officials became aware Friday of material posted on Snapchat.
The 16-year-old boys could face disciplinary and legal consequences regarding threats made against students at Olive Branch’s Center Hill High School.
DeSoto school officials describe the incident as cyberstalking.
Parents says one image singled out alleged bullies, while a second image showed a rifle and discussed racial violence by white people against Black people.
The arrests came days after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 people.
Center Hill Principal Doug Payne urges parents and students to notify officials of threats.
Another Vt. school to fly Black Lives Matter flag
BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Burlington High School is raising a Black Lives Matter flag just weeks after the Montpelier High School did the same.
The flag will go up Monday afternoon in a ceremony that is closed to the public.
The Burlington School Board voted unanimously last week in favor of allowing students to raise the flag after students presented a petition with more than 450 signatures.
Senior Eliza Abedi told WCAX-TV that Black lives matter “means being heard, being seen, being acknowledged, being here.”
On Feb. 1, the Montpelier High School started flying a Black Lives Matter Flag in what officials said was a commitment to making the mostly white institution more inclusive. The student-led flag raising was part of a series of events at the school during Black History Month.
African-American heritage center coming to N.C.
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — A school where African-American college learned to be teachers could become a heritage center if organizers in northeastern North Carolina are successful.
The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reports the “practice school” was built in 1921 on what was then the campus of Elizabeth City Normal School.
Now partners that include Elizabeth City State hope to turn the building into an African-American Heritage center for the region. Organizers say it would be a resource center for researchers of African-American history as well as an interpretive site for the public.
The school was built with money from Julius Rosenwald, who was the president of Sears Roebuck. He and Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute, built more than 5,000 schools for African-American children across the South.
School district to discipline students who made swastika
PHOENIX — School district officials say a group of students from a Phoenix-area high school will be disciplined after they were photographed forming a swastika.
A photo that circulated on social media shows eight students lying on the ground in the shape of the symbol. The photo was taken from above.
In a statement last week, the Paradise Valley Unified School District says it does not “tolerate or condone this type of behavior.”
The district says Paradise Valley High School officials were alerted to the photo that shows students in a “pose depicting a racist symbol.”
The district is conducting an investigation and says the students will be disciplined in accordance with its handbook. The district says it will not provide information about the students or the disciplinary actions it will take.
16-year-old faces charges for racist message on school wall
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A 16-year-old girl is facing criminal charges after she confessed to scrawling a threatening racial message on a school bathroom wall.
AL.com reports the incident happened last Tuesday afternoon at Oxford High School in northeast Alabama. Oxford Police Capt. L.G. Owens says the message was racial in nature but couldn’t specify. It was directed at a group, not an individual.
The teen says she wrote the message because she wanted to see how school officials would react. The student has been suspended. She’s facing a charge of making a terroristic threat, which is a Class C felony in Alabama.
Owens says that school custodians found the message Wednesday while cleaning the stalls. They notified the police who reviewed surveillance footage to identify the student, who confessed to writing the message.
Northwestern celebrates 50th anniversary of student sit-in
EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern University will fund student and faculty proposed events this spring as part of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the school’s first major sit-in.
The school’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion said it will offer up to $2,500 for events and programs related to the 1968 bursar office takeover.
The announcement is part of the school’s year-long celebration of the protest that led to the creation of its African American Studies Department. The university will also host movie screenings and lectures from activists as part of the anniversary.
More than 100 students occupied the bursar’s office in May 1968 to protest the university’s treatment of its Black students. The school agreed to increase services and support regarding housing, scholarships, and curriculum after the 36-hour student sit-in.
Talk scheduled on historic African American town
LINCOLN, Neb. — Members of the public can learn about Nebraska’s historic African-American homesteader town at an event later this month.
The Homestead National Monument of America will host a presentation on DeWitty on Feb. 25 at 1 p.m., followed by a screening of the documentary film “Frontier University Dreams” at 2 p.m.
DeWitty was the longest-settled and most prominent African-American homesteader town in Nebraska. It was established by African-American homesteaders in 1907 in Cherry County. The last of the residents moved away in 1936.
The event is free and open to the public.
Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service, located four miles west of Beatrice.
Pastor and key supporter of Trump to run for US House
GREENVILLE, S.C. — An African-American pastor closely linked to President Donald Trump says he is running for U.S. House as a Republican in South Carolina.
Mark Burns released a video Friday saying he wants the seat left open as Republican U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy leaves Congress at the end of the year.
In the video , Burns touts his service on Trump’s Faith Advisory Council. It also shows his speech to the 2016 Republican Convention where he said under Trump “all lives matter” and the only colors that matter would be red, white and blue.
Burns has never held elective office.
The open seat in the conservative 4th District that includes Greenville and Spartanburg is expected to attract a large number of Republicans. Filing begins March 16.
— Compiled from the Associated Press
Black history author wins annual University of Alabama award
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An African-American author and professor has won University of Alabama’s annual non-fiction writing award for her work on women and Black southern writers.
A university statement last week named Dr. Trudier Harris as this year’s winner of the Clarence E. Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing.
Harris has written or edited more than two dozen books including her award-winning work “The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African American Writers and the South.”
The Tuscaloosa native has also taught for 36 years. She is currently an English professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Clarence E. Cason Award is named after Alabama’s journalism department founder. Cason’s writing criticized southern race relations at a time when they were most tense.
— Compiled from The Associated Press