Breaking News! History in the Making

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Digital records from 19th Century give Black families a glimpse of their ancestry

By Curtis Bunn, NBCBLK After more than 20 years researching her family’s origin in America, Nicka Sewell-Smith found the name of an uncle who had filed a complaint about having his horse stolen. Another notation said he had shopped for bacon, a broom and tobacco in “Short’s Place” in Louisiana about seven months before the 13th…

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DOJ Announces New Limits on Chokeholds and No-Knock Warrants

By Rachel Pilgrim, TheRoot.com The agency acknowledged that the tactics lead to unnecessary deaths but doesn’t outright ban them in the new directive. In the past year, the calls to end fatal encounters with law enforcement have only gotten louder. Many of the physical restraints and apprehension tactics that result in the unnecessary deaths of Black…

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He Taught About White Privilege and Got Fired. Now He’s Fighting to Get His Job Back

In his Contemporary Issues class that day at a Tennessee school, social studies teacher Matthew Hawn led a discussion of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha WI. Over the next several months, Hawn, 43, used the news cycle to show students, almost all of whom are white, how systemic racism is an indisputable element of American life. When he got fired, Hawn became one of the first casualties from the nation’s debate this year over “critical race theory” and whether or how teachers should acknowledge racism in class.

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Maia Chaka Makes History as the First Black Woman to Officiate an NFL Game

By Rashad Grove, Ebony.com Maia Chaka made history by becoming the first Black woman to officiate an NFL game on Sunday, Sporting News reports. Making her debut as a line judge during the New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers game, Chaka is only the third on-field female official in the history of the NFL. She joins Sarah Thomas,…

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Special News Series: Rising Up For Justice! – Lawsuit Filed Over Century-Old Confederate Statue in the Majority-Black City of Tuskegee, Alabama

Macon County officials covered the base of a Confederate statue, Friday, June 12, 2020, in Tuskegee, Ala., after it was vandalized with spray-painted obscenities. The Alabama county is seeking to remove the statue that sits in a town square. Photo: Kim Chandler (AP)

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George Marshall Clark: Unmarked Grave of Milwaukee Lynching Victim Gets Headstone After 160 Years

Nearly two centuries after his brief life and brutal death were entered into public record as the only recorded lynching in Milwaukee history, George Marshall Clark’s unmarked grave was memorialized with a granite headstone during a special ceremony at Forest Home Cemetery on September 8. The moving event was sponsored by ABHM and Forest Home Cemetery.

Olympia LePoint

Olympia LePoint, An Engineer Who Helped Launch 28 NASA Space Shuttles, Explains Why It’s Crucial That More Black Women Enter STEM Fields: ‘ We Offer New Insight’

Successful Black scientist Olympia LePoint explains why hiring more Black women in STEM fields is critical for advancing scientific pursuits.

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On Labor Day, we remember the Black women who helped win labor rights

Many black women throughout the history of the United States have fought for labor rights. Nannie Helen, an African-American, played a crucial role.

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Watch: America’s Racist History of Labor

Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 after a railroad strike led by the American Railway Union known as the Pullman Strike. This was a turning point in the labor movement, though it didn’t benefit all American workers. Black Pullman porters weren’t allowed to participate in the strike because they were not allowed in the white unions. But black people did unionize. In this exhibit, you can watch a short video about the history of the Labor Movement.

Nia DaCosta attends The African American Film Critics Association’s 11th Annual AAFCA Awards on January 22, 2020 in Hollywood, Calif.
Photo: JC Olivera (Getty Images)

Candyman Is the First No. 1 Film Directed by a Black Woman

Almost 30 years after the original film traumatized a generation in 1992, its reboot, directed by Little Woods’ Nia DaCosta, grossed $22,370,00 in its initial domestic weekend, making DaCosta the first Black woman to helm a No. 1, according to IndieWire.

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Hate crimes rise to highest level in 12 years amid increasing attacks on Black and Asian people, FBI says

The number of hate crimes in the United States rose in 2020 to the highest level in 12 years, propelled by increasing assaults targeting Black and Asian people, the FBI reported Monday.

Black-Education

Corporate America’s $50 billion promise

After the death of George Floyd, corporate America promised African American’s millions of dollars towards economic development, but has it been successful?

Lauryn Hill, female Hip-Hop icon. Photo: Essence.com

Ladies First: Smithsonian Hip-Hop Anthology Honors Women’s Contributions To The Genre

Kierna Mayo, a media maverick and an original staffer for groundbreaking hip-hop magazine The Source, has been one of the premier record-keepers of rap music. With an especial focus on the women of the genre (the debut 1999 issue of Mayo’s late magazine, Honey, featured Lauryn Hill on the cover), she has lovingly bridged the gap between lyricists and fans. Her essay “Hip-Hop Heroines” is a celebration of women’s contributions to hip-hop and is featured in the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap, which is available now.

Giannis Antetokounmpo at the Milwaukee Brewers Media Event. Photo credit: Giannis Antetokounmpo Twitter page

Giannis Antetokounmpo buys stake in Milwaukee Brewers

Fresh off his MVP performance in the 2021 NBA Finals, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is investing in a local business — the city’s professional baseball team, the Milwaukee Brewers. Antetokounmpo also is firmly putting his roots down in the city he plays in. Last December, the then two-time reigning NBA MVP signed a five-year supermax contract extension with the Bucks, worth $228 million, as reported by the New York Times.

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‘Cruel, Unfair and Racist’: Black immigrants whose fathers are U.S. citizens push to overturn law that keeps them from obtaining citizenship

Enacted in 1940, the Guyer Rule prevents U.S.-citizen fathers, but not U.S.-citizen mothers, from passing their citizenship status to foreign-born, non-marital children – in other words, children who were born “out of wedlock.” The rule disproportionately restricts how nonwhite parents could secure citizenship for their children – and for decades has been maintained for just that reason.

Kelvin Silva is one of many Black men held at Stewart Detention Center. He is facing deportation because of this archaic and racially inequitable law that prevented him from becoming a U.S. citizen as a child, even though his father was a naturalized U.S. citizen. Were it not for the Guyer Rule, Silva – who was born in the Dominican Republic but grew up in the United States – would have automatically gained citizenship when he was just 11 years old. Read about his situation and those of other Black men in immigrant detention.

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A New Book Makes the Case that HBCUs Are Owed Reparations

After the death of George Floyd, corporate America promised African American’s millions of dollars towards economic development, but has it been successful?

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8 Suspected Lynchings Have Taken Place in Mississippi Since 2000

There is no more blatant form of racial intimidation against a Black person that one can use than that of a noose. The practice of lynching was used against enslaved Black people, but it was an especially popular form of violence against Black Americans after slavery ended. It is considered a more dated form of violence today, but a story in the Washington Post reports that the practice of lynching never truly stopped.
Jill Collen Jefferson, a lawyer and founder of Julian, a civil rights organization named after the late civil rights leader Julian Bond, has been conducting her own research into lynching in Mississippi and found that at least eight Black people have been lynched in the state since 2000.

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‘Waking up to racism’: New documentary tells truth about Confederacy, tracks root of ‘Lost Cause’ myth

Comedian CJ Hunt’s debut feature documentary, The Neutral Ground, not only exposes why Southerners cling to Confederate iconography but also challenges the “Lost Cause” mythology – a romanticized, and false, version of Southern history in which the Confederacy and its leaders were fighting for “states’ rights” and defending their region against Northern aggression.

“While the Confederacy was not successful at winning wars, it was incredibly successful when it came to creating a myth,” Hunt, 36, told the Southern Poverty Law Center. “When people want to say the Confederacy was not about slavery, those claims are not grounded in facts or supported by the Confederacy’s own founding documents.”

Sons of Confederate Veterans members and others march through downtown Shreveport, Louisiana, on 3 June 2011. Photograph: Val Horvath Davidson/AP

Neo-Confederates worked with other far-right groups in failed efforts to preserve monuments

A coalition of neo-Confederate groups protesting the removal of Confederate monuments include a man with simultaneous membership in Sons of Confederate Veterans and League of the South (LOS), and at least one person who attended the rally at the Capitol in Washington DC on 6 January, which turned into an attack on the building.

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How a white mob lynched a Black man, destroyed a city – and got away with it

The lynching of Will Brown is one of the many riots and massacres of Blacks by whites that took place in and around the “Red Summer” of 1919. This one was meticulously documented in words and photos. It was also witnessed by 14-year-old Henry Fonda, who would become a highly acclaimed Academy Award-winning American film actor, best known for his roles as plain-speaking idealists. A commemoration of the lynching and placement of a marker on Brown’s grave was held in Omaha in 2019, on the hundredth anniversary of this episode of racial terror.

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Scripps National Spelling Bee 2021: Zaila Avant-garde becomes first African American winner

A 14-year-old from Harvey, Louisiana, breezed to the championship at the 2121 Scripps National Spelling Bee, becoming the first African American winner and only the second Black champion in the bee’s 96-year history.