Current Affairs

Over 100 Black Women Participated in Historic Photo in Edward M. Kennedy Institute's Replica of the US Senate Chamber

“Visual protest” highlighted the anniversary of Barbara Jordan’s historic Democratic Convention keynote address; Photo took place after national week of racial tragedy and unrest

BOSTON -- Despite the growing electoral and economic imprint of America’s 23 million Black women, they are still seriously underrepresented and underserved.

After a week of racial tragedy and unrest, Higher Heights and Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley asked 100 Black women on Tuesday evening to “Take Your Seat” in the Edward M. Kennedy Institutes’ replica of the U.S. Senate chamber seeking to elevate Black women’s voices in the political process through a photo taken symbolically in a chamber that currently has ZERO Black women serving.

The epic and uplifting photograph shone a light at the end of a very dreary week. The photo also took place on the 40-year anniversary of Barbara Jordan historic 1976 Democratic Convention keynote. A member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas, Jordan became the first African-American woman to deliver the televised landmark address before that audience. 

“I was overwhelmed by this event. Watching 100 women come through those Senate doors after a week where I felt disheartened was so inspiring for the possibilities that exist for Black women that lead to move this country forward,” said Glynda Carr, Co-founder of Higher Heights. “This chamber and the lack of Black women representation in the US Senate is the most blatant example of us being shut out of the process and our voices not being heard. We are 7 percent of the population, yet we are 3.4 percent of congress, and out the 100 major cities in our country, there are only four black women mayors. There is work to be done, and we all have a role to play.”

According to Higher Heights and Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University’s 2015 Status of Black Women in American Politics, Black women are 7.4% of the U.S. population yet make up only 3.4% of Congress.

Only two women of color have ever served in the US Senate: Carol Moseley Braun, an African-American Democrat from Illinois who was elected in 1992 and served until 1999, and Mazie Hirono, an Asian-American Democrat from Hawaii who was elected in 2012.

"This is a visual protest affirm for ourselves and to the nation that Black women lead, Black women run, and Black women vote. Today we affirmed that Black women are leading, in this city, in this commonwealth, and I honor their contributions,” said Pressely. “The visual shot heard around the world today is merely a snapshot of our contributions, but a visual protest and demonstration nonetheless as we take over a space we have historically been underrepresented in.”

Attendees of the event included Diane Patrick, First Lady of Massachusetts, and Sarah- Ann Shaw, the first female African-American reporter to be televised in Boston, amongst others. 

Faith leader and Dorchester resident, Mariama White Hammond attended Tuesday’s event for encouragement and hope.
“Over the last week we have seen so many images of the ongoing issues of racism in our country. In the midst of so much strife and grief, I came to this event because my soul needed to be lifted by the image of 100 strong Black women claiming their leadership,” said Hammond. “It helped me to imagine the world that could be and to reinvigorate my commitment to working for justice. I took my seat because I know that I stand on the shoulders of amazing and courageous Black women. I took my seat to honor the legacy of my ancestors and in hopes that my life will allow another generation to rise to even higher heights.”
Pressley called Tuesday’s event, “the visual shot heard around the world”, that 
will draw awareness of the gap in Black women’s political leadership but also inspire and empower Black women to imagine the possibilities that exist.

“We gathered over 100 diverse women who are leading every day in their communities to take a seat for the countless Black women across the country that do not think they have a seat or voice at the table”, said Kimberly Peeler-Allen, Co-Founder of Higher Heights. “2016 is a movement building opportunity for Black women to truly harness our collective political power and leadership potential from the voting booth to elected office.”

Photo Credit: Eric Haynes




The Remake of Roots for a New Generation


The much talked about remake of the 1970's television miniseries ROOTS, starts this evening at 9 p.m. EST on the History Channel. Some are outraged at the remake of the classic, others are tired of viewing movies about the enslavement of Blacks. I can understand the first sentiment but the last one saddens me. Regardless of ethnicity, we can't fix what we don't face. Ignoring slavery won't make its history go away. 

Is there are need to expand the narrative so that it accurately portrays history? Absolutely. Without actually viewing the film, I can't offer an opinion so I encourage everyone to watch and give feedback. In 1977, there was not nearly the competition for our time and attention as there is now. There was no internet or hunderds of cable television channels as we know now so this remake might not have the audience draw of the original.

I'm looking forward this mini-series even if it's competing with Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference Finals. It's more important to know your history. Perhaps if we did, there would be more Black team owners and head coaches in professional sports.





FAMU Marching 100 Photo Used in Article on Hazing at Dartmouth

Roland Martin Reports published an article on hazing at Dartmouth University, “Dartmouth Hazing: Faculty Condemn ‘Moral Thuggery’ In Letter To Administration.” So why is the accompanying graphic for the article a photograph of the Florida A&M University Marching 100? The article does not address the hazing death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion.  

Roland Martin Reports
Screen shot of Roland Martin Reports. Article on hazing at Dartmouth. Photo of FAMU Marching 100 used.


The Huffington Post website, referenced in the article on Roland Martin Reports,  includes a photograph of a building one can assume is on the Dartmouth campus.

The Huffington Post
Screen shot of The Huffington Post website on same article.


Note this article was originally posted in early February 2012. I came to know of it only tonight via a friend. 

I make no secret I am a  Florida A&M University alum. I do not condone the brutality that lead to the death of Robert Champion. I fully understand my alma mater will be portrayed in a negative light for quite some time. Some criticisms will be justified and must be addressed by the University administration and the entire FAMU family. 

Yet other situations may arise that are controversial, sensationalistic and unfair such as the use of an unrelated photograph of the Marching 100 with an article on hazing at Dartmouth.


Tyler Perry, Racial Profiling and the Disappearance of Felipe Santos and Terrance Williams

As a subscriber, I received a message from Tyler Perry today. It was a harrowing description of his personal experience with police officers who puuled him over one night. It also goes into the Trayvon Martin situation in Sanford, Florida and two missing men from Naples, Florida --- Felipe Santos and Terrance Williams.

I thought someone had hacked Tyler Perry's e-mail account and blasted a cruel and un-funny April Fool's Day joke. Could the police stop Perry described really have occured? Well, yes. Could the missing persons story be true? I didn't think so because I live in South Florida and I'd never heard of these cases.

A quick Google search proved me wrong. It seems Perry is drawing attention to the missing persons cases of the two men who lived in Naples. Perry asked, "What's Going on in Florida?"


With the controversy surrounding the Trayvon Martin incident dominating mainstream media and comparisons of his fatal shooting to other civil rights cases, it's easy to see how Florida is earning a horrible reputation when it comes to black and Latin males. Tyler Perry's celebrity status, will generate more media coverage of these two missing persons cases. The question remains... What's going on in Florida?
Related Links:


Calkins says he 'didn't do anything wrong'

The Laurie Roth Show: Missing Men - Felipe Santos - Terrance Williams

Mitt Romney Doesn't Care About Poor People

The “Mitt Romney Is Not Concerned About the Very Poor” video has gone viral. It is reminiscent of the Kanye West inspired video mash-up — “George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People” by the Legendary KO.  



Surely someone is creating a remix spotlighting Mitt Romney. He has provided enough material to make a very informative and thought-provoking video. Remember his very cavalier $10,000 bet with Rick Perry during the December Republican debate; his statement that he likes being able to fire people; describing the more than $370,000 in income he earned for speeches as not that much money; characterizing people as envious if they questioned the economic disparity in the U.S.; and the fact that his 2010 income tax returns indicate he pays less than 15% in taxes while sheltering millions in offshore accounts

You already know the title of the new video mash-up — “Mitt Romney Doesn’t Care About Poor People.” Just make sure the video accurately reflects the demographics of the very poor in the United States. 



The Curious Case of Troy Davis: Too Much Doubt [VIDEO by Jasiri X]

Troy davis too much doubt On August 19, 1989, off-duty cop Mark MacPhail was shot and killed in Savannah, GA. Troy Davis was arrested and sentenced to  death. There was no physical evidence linking him to MacPhail’s murder. There were nine witnesses who said that Davis was the killer. Seven of those nine witnesses have recanted their testimony citing coercion by law enforcement. One of the two remaining witnesses is the original prime suspect.

Based on these facts, one has to wonder why the State of Georgia insists on executing Troy Davis on September 21, 2011. There is just too much doubt in the case of Troy Davis.

Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions asking that Troy Davis not be executed. Several former government officials and celebrities have also asked that Troy Davis not be executed. However, Michael MacPhail’s mother is looking forward to the execution of Troy Davis. She thinks it will bring her some peace. My heart goes out to her. I know the pain she feels. I know the feeling of having a child’s life taken in such a violent manner.

The truth, however, is that there is too much doubt that Troy Davis murdered Mark MacPhail. Family and friends want someone to pay for Mark’s murder. If Troy Davis is executed, their desire will still not have been honestly satisfied.   

The execution of Troy Davis would be a terrible miscarriage of justice. Here are three steps you can take to help him before the Georgia Parole Board meets on September 19. 2011:

1. Send a message of support to Troy as he fights for justice on what may be the final days of his life:

2. Sign the name wall, if you haven't already. And if you have, send it to your friends and family. Each name means a more united front for justice:

3. Make sure everyone knows about this injustice. Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter (using the hashtag #TooMuchDoubt) so that Troy Davis's story can be heard. We still have a chance to save his life, but only if people are willing to speak out against injustice.


Free Audio Download

Tallevast, FL: Environmental Racism, Corporate Greed and Waiting for People to Die [VIDEO]

This is another instance of environmental injustice in the United States. I know all of the residents in the video. They deserve better treatment than that shown to them thus far. Where is the outrage and support from environmental and civl rights organizations? It seems as if the powers to be are waiting for the residents to die so the problem will go away. I think not.

Carolyn House Stewart Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Carolyn_house_stewart ST. LOUIS, MO — Carolyn House Stewart of Tampa, Florida was sworn in as the 28th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority during the Sorority's weeklong convention that was held in St. Louis. In ascending to the international presidency, she becomes the first lawyer to head the organization. She also makes history as the first president to serve a full term in the Sorority's second century.

As international president Mrs. Stewart will serve a four-year term from 2010-2014. She will guide policy, develop programs and set the leadership tone for Alpha Kappa Alpha, which was founded in 1908 at Howard University and is the largest and oldest organization of primarily African-American college-educated women in the world. Today, it boasts a diverse membership of 260,000 college-educated members in 975 chapters in the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, Germany, Korea, Japan and on the continent of Africa.

Attorney Stewart's ascension to Alpha Kappa Alpha's chief leadership position caps a 38-year record of commitment and service to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority that began when she was initiated at the University of South Florida. On the national arena, she also served as Chairman of the Sorority's Program Committee, International Secretary and First Vice President.

Mrs. Stewart, who has enjoyed a 32-year career as an attorney, is a shareholder in the law firm of Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen, one of Florida's oldest law firms. She received her juris doctor degree from the University of South Carolina Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida.

Under her administration, Alpha Kappa Alpha will launch a comprehensive program that will continue the Sorority's 102-year legacy of "providing service to all mankind."

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is the oldest and first Greek-letter organization founded by Black women and one of the world's leading service organizations. The Sorority's mission to "serve all mankind," is achieved through a comprehensive array of programs and advocacy initiatives. Its membership includes Dr. Mae C. Jemison, Alicia Keys, Eleanor Roosevelt, the late Coretta Scott King, the late Rosa Parks a host of political leaders and other luminaries.

For more information, log on to

Get Counted! Mail in Your Census Form!


Census information affects the numbers of seats your state occupies in the U.S. House of Representatives. And people from many walks of life use census data to advocate for causes, rescue disaster victims, prevent diseases, research markets, locate pools of skilled workers and more.

When you do the math, it's easy to see what an accurate count of residents can do for your community. Better infrastructure. More services. A brighter tomorrow for everyone. In fact, the information the census collects helps to determine how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding each year is spent on infrastructure and services like:

  • Hospitals
  • Job training centers
  • Schools
  • Senior centers
  • Bridges, tunnels and other-public works projects
  • Emergency services

Participation isn't just important—it's mandatory.