Across Black America
Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest Region has launched the West Coast Federal Green Challenge. The campaign kicked off during Earth Week and celebrates the commitment of 34 federal agencies, representing more than 150,000 federal employees doing their part to reduce their environmental impact. Under this new initiative, federal government facilities pledge to reduce their carbon emissions by 5 percent or more per year in at least two of six areas: waste, water, energy, transportation, electronics, and purchasing. “As the nation’s largest purchaser of goods and services, spending $425 billion a year, the federal government should leverage its collective purchasing power to protect human health and the environment,” said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator of EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Federal agencies have responded enthusiastically to our call to reduce environmental footprints.”
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall was in an intensive care unit Saturday after being stabbed in the abdomen with a knife by his wife. Michi Nogami-Marshall told a Broward County sheriff who arrested her early Saturday morning that she acted in self-defense, according to the arrest report. She was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and domestic violence because it was determined that she was not in imminent danger. Jay Glazer, a reporter with FOXSports, said Marshall initially told police he was hit with a vase, but a hospital doctor later diagnosed the player as having been stabbed. ESPN reported that Marshall has undergone stomach surgery and is expected to recover in two to three weeks.
Bernice A. King recently worked to continue her parent’s legacy of nonviolence as she and more than 600 students celebrated the success of the Be A King 100 Days of Nonviolence program at the Coretta Scott King: Young Women’s Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA). This program enlisted CSKYWLA’s middle and high school students to proactively address issues and concerns in their community through nonviolent means. King initiated this program in order to connect the next generation with her father’s legacy of nonviolence (Kingian Nonviolence). King stated, “Recent incidents around the world, from Arizona to Egypt are an indication of the significant need for peace and justice to prevail by nonviolent means. I am proud that my little CSKYWLA sisters accepted my challenge to begin to combat violent acts such as bullying, fighting and negative attitudes by committing to use their minds and tongues in a manner that is positive and uplifting.
Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has been selected as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) this year, becoming the youngest player in league history to win the award, an inside source told The Associated Press. The news leaked Monday night, on condition of anonymity, because a formal announcement hadn’t yet been made. Rose was presented with the award before game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. “If I get it? It’ll be nice, unbelievable, a goal that in the beginning in the year I said I wanted to achieve,” Rose said recently when asked what the award would mean to him. “It would be huge, not only for me, but for the city.”
Michigan State Police are defending their use of a high-tech device that connects to almost any personal cell phone and in minutes downloads its entire contents, including call logs, texts, photos and web history. State police say the device, called the Cellebrite UFED, is an effective tool in fighting crime, but the Michigan branch of the ACLU disagrees, fearing that cops are abusing the device—even using it on routine arrests and traffic stops. “We believe that [the police] are using new devices that allow them to extract information from cell phones without a warrant, and using them during routine traffic stops,” said Kary Moss, executive director of the Michigan (ACLU). Michigan State Police spokesman Tiffany Brown told FoxNews.com Thursday that the devices are only used to gather evidence for serious cases such as crimes against children and that it has never been the department’s policy to use the device during routine traffic stops.
Multiple African American construction firms filed a lawsuit against Laborers International Union Local #872 in early April for racial discrimination, breach of contract, and fraudulent and misleading business practices. The lawsuit alleges that for the past five years, Local #872 has targeted African American owned construction firms to add to its member roster for political and economic reasons. The complaint alleges that on multiple occasions, Local #872 has published defamatory and/or misleading statements regarding the African American small business contractors who are plaintiffs in this action. More specifically, the complaint alleges that Tommy White, the business manager and secretary of local #872, is largely responsible for the extreme financial hardship suffered by the plaintiffs herein.
Olympic gold medalist track star Carl Lewis, who had announced his intention to run for the state’s 8th Senate seat as a Democrat, has been barred from a potential bid for the Senate seat by Republican Secretary of State Kim Gaudagno, after she determined Lewis failed to meet residency requirements. “As of the four-year constitutional cut-off, (Lewis) did not yet own his home in New Jersey, did not otherwise live in New Jersey, did not file his taxes in New Jersey, was not registered to vote in New Jersey and did not have his business in New Jersey,” said Guadagno. Her decision reverses the ruling of an administrative law judge who had recommended Lewis be permitted to remain on the ballot. Democrats are expected to appeal.
New York City has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in any city throughout the United States. That’s the indication from the most recent data on maternal mortality released by the office of minority health, which show Black women are nearly eight times more likely to die during pregnancy or right after childbirth than White mothers. In 2008, Black women in New York City experienced 79 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to 10 White maternal deaths per 100,000 live births and a national rate of 13 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, according to the latest data available. The rate of maternal deaths among Black women in New York City has increased annually since 2004, when the city reached a low of 44 Black maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. That’s all according to vital statistics released by the city in January. “If I were mayor, I’d be saying, ‘This is a priority,’” said Maureen P. Corry, executive director of Childbirth Connection, a New York-based agency working to improve maternal health through research, advocacy and policy. “This needs urgent attention. What is happening to women in our city?”
Philadelphia’s Black population is 644,287, according to the latest census, and for the first time it clearly outnumbers all other racial or ethnic groups. This evolution happened even though the number of African Americans in the city, excluding Hispanics, declined by roughly 1,800 over the last decade. Key to the new Black plurality: the continued steep decline in the city’s White population. In 2000, each group accounted for about 42 percent of city residents, but the White share is now 37 percent, after a loss of 82,000 people. Meanwhile, an influx of Hispanics, Asians, and other groups—now 21 percent of the city’s 1.5 million residents–boosted Philadelphia’s total for the first time in 50 years.
Today’s release of a corporate board census by the Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD) reported a surprising decline in the combined number of seats for women and minorities on the boards of the nation’s leading corporations. The largest decline was among Blacks. This year’s report found that in the Fortune 100 between 2004 and 2010, African Americans lost more than 40 board seats while White men increased their presence on corporate boards, adding in excess of 30. Overall, women did not see an appreciable increase in their share of board seats. “It is troubling that groups already severely underrepresented on corporate boards have collectively experienced a decline over the last six years,” Executive Leadership Conference (ELC) president and CEO Arnold W. Donald remarked in his assessment of the available data. “Most business leaders recognize that inclusion and the diversity of thinking that results from it creates real value. Shareholder value for most of the companies listed in the census is being compromised by the lack of board diversity. A decline in any single group of minorities or women is not good, a collective decline is troubling.”
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon are officially parents. Carey delivered twins last week, on the same day as the couple’s three-year wedding anniversary. Carey’s assistant reports that the baby girl, Monroe, was born first, followed by baby boy Moroccan Scott. The couple had long struggled to conceive, and their morale declined even further when Carey suffered a miscarriage last November. After learning of his children’s successful birth, Cannon says the emotion from he and his wife’s past struggles returned momentarily, but were replaced with happiness and excitement about the news. “I definitely cried” he told reporters. “We still cry all the time. It’s an emotional journey.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A man in his early 20s suffered life-threatening wounds to his upper back this morning in a shooting in the Leimert Park, police said.
The shooting in the 3800 block of Third Avenue, near 39th Street, was reported around 12:20 a.m., said Lt. H. Fanfassian, watch commander of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southwest Station.
The victim, who was hospitalized “in extremely serious condition,” did not provide police details of the shooting or a suspect description, Fanfassian said.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Los Angeles County probation officers asked for help today in finding a parolee who threatened to kill school children.
Frank Edward Edmonds, 40, who authorities consider “extremely violent and an imminent public threat,” may be in Compton, South Los Angeles or Inglewood, his last known address.
Two “Saturday Night Live” sets, an Instagram snapshot and 66 projector images later, we now have a better picture of what’s to come on Kanye West’s anticipated new album.
As promised, the rapper — not to be confused with a celebrity — didn’t take part in any of the skits for “SNL’s” season finale/swan song for cast member Bill Hader. But he didn’t need to — over the course of two songs, West still left a lasting impression.
CENTURY CITY, Calif. — Jason Collins, the first active player in a major male team sport to announce he is gay, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and U.S. women’s soccer national team goalkeeper Hope Solo were honored Sunday at the 28th annual Sports Spectacular at the Century Plaza.
Collins, who completed the NBA season with the Washington Wizards, received the Inspirational Athlete of the Year Award, presented to the athlete who has persevered, defied the odds and inspired us all, organizers said.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Authorities today identified a man who was fatally shot by Inglewood police after he allegedly smashed the windows of eight squad cars with a sword in a police station parking lot.
The shooting occurred Saturday night, after the man damaged the vehicles using a sword that was thicker and heavier than a machete, police said. The dead man was identified as Charles Curl, 46, of Los Angeles, coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said.