Here’s a look at African-American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
Reginald Hicks Jr., former football coach and hall monitor at Ft. Zumwalt West High School, has been sentenced to five year’s probation for the rape of a 16-year-old student last year. This follows Hicks’ recent admission to nine counts of statutory sodomy and two counts of statutory rape during his tenure. He is reportedly no longer employed by the school district and can be sentenced to seven years in prison if he violates terms of probation under the plea bargain. He will also have a felony conviction and will be required to register as a sex offender.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater have recently announced the launch of the 2011 REYATAZ “Fight HIV Your Way” contest. The contest aims to help raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and for the first time will include dance to celebrate the stories of individuals battling HIV/AIDS. Now through Feb. 28, 2011, those affected by the disease are encouraged to submit an essay and photo to www.fightHIVyourway.com. Bristol-Myers Squibb will announce the ten winners in July, and their entries will become the framework for a new dance by the Ailey company, choreographed by Artistic Director Designate Robert Battle. The work will have its world premiere during Ailey’s New York City Center season in December 2011 and be performed across the country as part of a 2012 national tour.
Alexander Wilson, 59, has been charged with the murder of his 85-year-old mother, which occurred last Tuesday in Sumter. According to reports, the victim was beaten repeatedly with a baseball bat, and left to die in her two-story home. During the assault, a neighbor recalls Wilson’s brother running from the house screaming in horror. She called 911 in response to the incessant cries. Jimbo Harrelson, owner of Sumter Laundry & Cleaners, called the incident heartbreaking. “She was as fine a person as you would ever meet,” he told reporters. “She was kind-hearted, even-tempered and a hard worker.” Deputies say the incident was not the first time they have answered calls at the Wilson address in the past regarding domestic situations. Wilson, who has a lengthy criminal record dating to 1976 involving drugs, burglaries and other charges, is scheduled to appear in court next week.