Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
The San Francisco NAACP annual gala, honored the legacy of the 1961 Freedom Riders, Danny Glover, and the Tuskegee Airmen. Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover received the philanthropist/activist award and from the Tuskegee Airmen Inc., William “Bill” Campbell was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. When receiving his award, Glover gave homage to his personal heritage, recognizing his parents Jimmy and Carrie Glover who were life-long members of the NAACP. Giving his observations of recent movements, Glover said the Occupy Wall Street Movement is a “genuine” revolutionary movement by the people. Civil rights activist and political leader Leslie B. McLemore was the keynote speaker for the event, which was held last week.
Alveda King, full-time director of African American outreach for Priests for Life, said the Occupy Wall Street movement must embrace prayer and disavow violence if it hopes to emulate the 20th-century Civil Rights Movement. “The whole Civil Rights Movement was founded in prayer, in crying out to God in peace,” King said. “This movement is not peaceful,” she said of Occupy Wall Street. Alveda, the niece of Rev. Dr. Martin King Jr., was discussing comments made by Rev. Jesse Jackson last week in Atlanta, comparing the two movements and insisting that Martin Luther King would have supported Occupy Wall Street. “Rev. Jackson knows this is not the model my uncle upheld, or that my father, Rev. A.D. King, upheld,” she said. “The people who came out are hurting, they need answers. They need help, not to be incited to violence. They need a leader who is going to lead them peacefully.” Calling him “a civil wrong leader on this point,” King said, “Rev. Jackson needs to revisit his 20th-century history.”
Pre-sale weekend tickets for the 2012 Essence Music Festival went on sale this week and discounts are being offered through Ticket Master. This past year, “the ultimate destination for entertainment, empowerment and culture” celebrated its 17th anniversary over the Fourth of July weekend in New Orleans with more than 422,000 attendees. What began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine has now grown into one of the country’s most anticipated events for fans of R&B, Pop and Neo-Soul. The Essence Music Festival is the nation’s largest annual gathering of African American music and culture. With some of the biggest names in entertainment and the nation’s most influential speakers, artists, authors and leaders, the event features an array of performers each year, including Mary J. Blige, Chaka Kahn, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, New Edition, Kanye West, Gladys Knight, Prince, and many more. Information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the Essence Music Festival can be found at http://www.essencemusicfestival.com