DANCING DELIGHT  Melissia Council, of East Liberty, dances to music during the 52nd Annual Harambee Ujima Black Arts Festival on Homewood Avenue and Kelly Street in Pittsburgh on Sunday. The festival was sponsored by the Harambee Ujima Black Arts and Culture Association and works to promote a sense of community and celebrate art. —Caitlin Lee/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP


Melissia Council, of East Liberty, dances to music during the 52nd Annual Harambee Ujima Black Arts Festival on Homewood Avenue and Kelly Street in Pittsburgh on Sunday. The festival was sponsored by the Harambee Ujima Black Arts and Culture Association and works to promote a sense of community and celebrate art.

— Caitlin Lee/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP

81-year-old photographer opens civil rights museum

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — A South Carolina photographer has single-handedly opened a civil rights history museum, putting some of his work on display and offering first-hand accounts of the events he witnessed years ago.

The Post and Courier reports 81-year-old Cecil Williams opened the self-titled museum in his old Orangeburg studio using about 350 photos, some taken by him.

Williams says he’s waited a couple decades for the community to build a civil rights museum, but decided to finally open one on his own.

The museum follows events in South Carolina that Williams says changed America, including the Orangeburg Massacre in 1986 that left three African American college students dead. Williams documented the events as a photographer.

— The Associated Press

Mayor appoints city’s first ever Chief Health Officer

ATLANTA — The City of Atlanta is receiving its first-ever Chief Health Officer, courtesy of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms who recently appointed Dr. Angelica Geter Fugerson to fill the position, effective immediately.

“Dr. Fugerson is uniquely qualified to lead our city’s efforts on improving the overall health and wellbeing of Atlantans,” Bottoms said. “Her experience and expertise tackling public health issues—including in-depth research on HIV/AIDS—will be invaluable as we continue to build healthier, thriving communities in Atlanta.”

A health expert with 15 years of experience, Fugerson is a former research fellow of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with education in health science from Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, and the University of Kentucky.

She specializes in research on HIV/AIDS and public health services as well as equity and health disparities in the Southern United States.

In her new position, Fugerson is tasked with creating an action plan to combat the leading causes of illness and disability in Atlanta, improving health literacy rates, and assessing emerging health needs to improve community health.

She is also expected to build coalitions across the city to reduce new HIV transmissions, as asthma rates, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses affecting the Atlanta community; which has been outlined as a primary goal of the position.

A trusted advisor to the Mayor, Fugerson will be responsible for identifying priorities for action and direct municipal activities and investment with the goal of improving the long-term health outcomes of Atlanta residents.

And she will serve as the bridge between key stakeholders including Fulton and DeKalb counties (which are tasked with public health by state law), local hospitals, and other community health organizations to ensure coordination and consistency across overlapping areas of service.

The Bottoms Administration has taken an active role in addressing public health needs and issues in Atlanta. In 2019, Mayor Bottoms allocated funding to the Atlanta PrEP Expansion Project (ATLPrEP) to establish an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Atlanta and the Fulton County Board of Health (FCBOH) to increase the scope and reach of PrEP via the Fulton County Board of Health’s mobile health units.

— The Atlanta Voice

Teen charged after racist videos threatening Blacks

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A 16-year-old student has been arrested and expelled from a private Catholic school in South Carolina after posting racist videos that showed him shooting a box he said represents Black people.

The videos were made in May, weeks before school let out for the summer and the teen also threatened to shoot up the school in Columbia during the break, Richland County deputies said.

The videos appeared to be sent among some students in May, although school officials didn’t bring them to investigators until July 15, according to a police report obtained by The State newspaper .

In the videos, the teen uses a racial slur and calls himself “a hater of all Black men.” He then shoots a Black box numerous times that he said represents black people.

The teen was charged with making student threats. His name was not released because of his age.

Cardinal Newman sent a letter to parents after the newspaper put the story on its website. Diocese of Charleston spokeswoman Maria Aselage said church officials determined the danger to students was minimal since school was out and police were investigating.

The letter said the student was expelled and ordered to stay off school property.

“The next few days may be challenging for Cardinal Newman School, so I ask your prayers for our students, teachers, staff and administration,” Cardinal Newman Principal, Robert Loia wrote in the note sent out Friday night.

— The Associated Press

7 injured in overnight shooting at Chicago park

CHICAGO — Chicago police said seven people have been injured in an early morning shooting at a park on the city’s West Side.

Authorities say a group of people was standing in Douglas Park around 1:20 a.m. Sunday when someone fired shots from a black Camaro.

Seven people were hit.

A 21-year-old man was taken to the hospital in critical conditions. Six other people ranging in age from 19 to 25 were hospitalized in stable condition for gunshot wounds.

No one is in custody.

— The Associated Press

FUBU, ONE Musicfest partner for festival

ATLANTA — ONE Musicfest, the Southeast’s premier urban progressive music and arts festival – has announced a collaboration with the iconic sportswear brand FUBU to create a limited edition of merchandise for the 10th annual festival taking place Sept. 7-8 at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. The “ONE Musicfest x For Us By Us” partnership will consist of t-shirts and hats and will be available to purchase during the festival. The deal reflects OMF’s philosophy of economic empowerment and cultural pride – key elements that have long set the event apart from other music celebrations.

“ONE Musicfest has always been about bringing the best of urban culture together,” said Jason Carter, founder of ONE Musicfest. “FUBU is a staple of our culture and represents everything we believe in – excellence, innovation, and authenticity. Like FUBU, ONE Musicfest was created for the consumer by the consumer. We’re honored to work with them for this year’s milestone festival.”

Hailed as one of the nation’s “Can’t-Miss Festivals,” ONE Musicfest returns for its tenth year with an unforgettable lineup of performances including Gucci Mane, Rae Sremmurd, Tory Lanez, Rick Ross, DMX, Wu-Tang Clan, Three 6 Mafia, Teyana Taylor, Raphael Saadiq, KP The Great featuring Pharrell Williams and Usher, Florida All-Stars featuring Uncle Luke, T-Pain, Trina, Trick Daddy and more.

Founded in 1992 by four neighborhood friends from trying to make quick cash by selling tie-top hats to their friends and family, FUBU quickly grew from a shoestring budget of into a fashion empire. In 2017, FUBU celebrated the brand’s 25th anniversary with a capsule collection of classics with plans to introduce larger collections and more collaborations in the near future.

“When we started the FUBU brand 27 years ago, our immediate goal was to fill a need and represent urban culture in the apparel industry,” said FUBU founder and CEO, Daymond John. “We saw people that looked like us spend money on brands that did not care to understand the nuances of our culture. ‘For Us, By Us’ was about the empowerment and celebration of Urban culture. Therefore, and in that same spirit, it is only right that we partner with ONE MusicFest, whose goal is also to create spaces for the most amazing people on this planet to be recognized.”

— The Atlanta Voice

Birmingham police officer staged shooting incident

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A Birmingham police officer staged his own shooting last week in a grab for “stolen valor,” leaving the department “polarized and hanging its head low,” the police chief said Thursday.

The officer, Keith Buchanan, who graduated from the police academy in 2012, was relieved of all duties and is likely to face charges of criminal mischief, false reporting and discharging a firearm within the city limits, Chief Patrick Smith said at a news conference.

Smith had to pause several times during the news conference, appearing to check his emotions.

Citing other officers for their legitimate heroism, Smith said Buchanan’s alleged action “is a slap in the face to them and the efforts that they have put out.”

Smith said Buchanan was patrolling near railroad tracks along the Birmingham-Tarrant border early on July 21 when he radioed a call for help, with gunshots audible in the background.

Fellow officers searched for Buchanan for more than half an hour before Tarrant officers found him on the ground beside the tracks, “appearing to be unconscious and holding his gun,” Smith said. Buchanan’s police car was found nearby with a bullet hole through the front window, he said.

Buchanan was found to be uninjured when he was taken to University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital, NBC affiliate WVTM of Birmingham reported at the time.

“I’m here to talk about stolen valor, stolen honor and an attempt to stage a shooting that has left this department polarized and hanging its head low in disbelief,” Smith said. “Our investigation has concluded that this entire event was a hoax. The radio call, the shots fired, the help call, lying injured on the tracks, the damage to the police car — all a hoax.

— The Birmingham Times

Internship program with HBCU students ends

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Interns with Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED’S ‘Pay It Forward’ program closed out their week at the company with a presentation that covered a range of lessons from building relationships to learning the importance of the smallest details.

— The Birmingham Times

St. Louis County NAACP calls out Trump

ST. LOUIS, MO. — The St. Louis County NAACP calls on President Donald Trump to immediately stop his racist, xenophobic attacks on four United States congresswomen in particular and immigrants in general. His words have been dangerous, inflammatory, and beneath the dignity of the occupant of the Oval Office. The president of the United States must not use hateful, violent, divisive language against American citizens, the Rev. B. T. Rice, pastor of New Horizon Christian Church and vice president of the St. Louis County NAACP wrote.

We are compelled to speak out now. The origin of the NAACP lies in the hearts and minds of all those who refused to stand idly while race prejudice tarnished our nation. For 110 years, we have remained vigilant in our mission to ensure that the promise of America is made real for all Americans.

“President Trump’s racist, nativist and xenophobic statement that elected representatives of color should ‘go back where they came from’ represents a whistle call to white supremacists and increases the risk of racially motivated acts of violence against these congresswomen and people of color more generally,” Derrick Johnson, national NAACP president, said. “This kind of divisiveness moves our country backward, not forward. President Trump should issue an immediate apology to the freshman congresswomen who were the subject of his tweets and to the nation as a whole.”

It is possible to have a legitimate debate about immigration policy. There are reasonable questions about our policy on immigrants who break the law. But President Trump’s statements are none of that. He has attacked American citizens and is questioning their patriotism merely for opposing his policies. He has implied that immigrants are less loyal to our country and less American. We have not seen this open appeal to division by race, ethnicity, and religion since the days of George Wallace. “Send her back” must not be the campaign call of an incumbent candidate for president in America in 2020. This is not the way to “make America great.”

We agree with the resolution passed this week by the United States House of Representatives: “immigrants and their descendants have made America stronger, and those who take the oath of citizenship are every bit as American as those whose families have lived in the United States for many generations.”

The Book of Hebrews in Christian Scriptures tells us, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” We have the right to demand that the president of all Americans not seek to divide us, but to instead appeal to our better angels.

— The St. Louis American

Billionaire launches internship program

CHICAGO — Robert F. Smith, the billionaire investor who erased the student debt of Morehouse College’s Class of 2019, has launched an internship program for ethnically underrepresented students.

The program, called {a class=”color-link” href=”https://internx.org/” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank” data-ga-track=”ExternalLink:https://internx.org/”}InternX{/a}, will guarantee 1,000 students from ethnically underrepresented groups a paid summer internship in the STEM field.

Rising sophomores with a 2.8 GPA or higher are eligible.

AT&T, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and CitiGroup are reportedly among the companies that will take InternX candidates, according to the AJC.

Smith is the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a New York-based investment firm focused on software, data and technology. According to Forbes, Smith has an estimated net worth of $5 billion.

— The Chicago Defender

Congressional Black Caucus travels to Ghana

CHICAGO — Last week, U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and several members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) together traveled to Ghana to observe the 400th Anniversary of the First Enslaved Africans Landing in America.

“400 years ago, African slaves were packed like sardines — head to foot, foot to head — into the bottoms of slave ships and forced to make the treacherous journey across the Atlantic Ocean in what was to become known as the Middle Passage. Millions would not live to see the eastern shores of America, and those who did would be sentenced to a life of hard labor and abject cruelty,” Rush said. “As a part of the Congressional delegation to Ghana, we visited the Elmina and Cape Coast Castles. But these were no castles — they were dungeons. Dungeons where our African ancestors were often forced to lie in their own excrement before they were sent across the ocean to be condemned to a life of seemingly unbearable bondage.

“Despite the solemnness of the occasion, I am grateful that my fellow members of Congress and I were able to bear witness to this historical horror, and I pray we never forget the brutality and inhumanity suffered by African slaves. I am also deeply grateful to Speaker Pelosi for leading the delegation and for being the first woman speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to address the Ghanaian parliament.”

The Congressional Delegation also held high-level meetings and discussions with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Speaker Aaron Mike Oquaye, and other senior government officials. During the trip the delegation also visited U.S. Army Africa Headquarters in Vicenza, Italy.

In addition to Congressman Rush and Speaker Pelosi, the delegation included the following CBC members House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.); U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.); U.S. Rep.Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas); U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.); U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.); U.S. Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-Ga.); U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio); U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.); U.S. Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-Ala.); U.S. Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio); and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

— The Chicago Defender

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.