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Blue_Tires

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Hometown: VA
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Current location: VA
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Number of posts: 40,160

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Journal Archives

Russian news report: Putin approved Ukraine invasion before Kiev government collapsed

BERLIN — A Russian newspaper claims to have an official government strategy document outlining the invasion of Ukraine that was prepared weeks before the Ukrainian government collapsed last year.

The editor of Novaya Gazeta, Dmitri Muratov, reported the document during an interview with Echo of Moscow, a radio station. In the interview, which was reported by news outlets Saturday, he did not reveal how the newspaper came into possession of the document in the media unfriendly Russian world, but said he had confidence it was authentic.

Novaya Gazeta is considered a rarity in Russia these days, an independent investigative newspaper that’s known to anger the Kremlin on a regular basis. The editor said the paper’s plan is to publish the full details of the strategy document next week.

Muratov said the document characterized then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych as “a person without morals and willpower whose downfall must be expected at any moment.” Yanukovych fled Ukraine for Russia on Feb. 22, 2014.

Muratov said the Russian document appears to have been drafted between Feb. 4 and Feb. 15 last year. He said the overall strategy included plans on how to break Ukraine into automonmous sectors, immediately attaching now war-torn southeastern Ukraine to Moscow’s tax union, with a longer term plan for annexation.

The plan suggested “the main thrust should be Crimea and the Kharkhiv region, with the aim of initiating the annexation of the eastern regions.”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/02/21/257386/russian-news-report-ukraine-invasion.html#storylink=cpy

D.C., where blacks are no longer a majority, has a new African American affairs director

The District’s predominantly African American leaders have long taken pains to address the concerns of underrepresented minority groups in city hall, including Latino, Asian and gay residents.

Now another group of residents feeling increasingly marginalized in the District will have a voice in the office of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser: African Americans.

As of Wednesday, a full-time employee will advocate for black residents in the city of Marion Barry, Duke Ellington and Charles Drew — a “Chocolate City” where blacks made up 70 percent of the population a generation ago but now no longer represent a majority.


In the opening week of Black History Month, Bowser (D) named Rahman Branch, a former high school principal, as the city’s first director of African American affairs during an event at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Congress Heights — a neighborhood east of the Anacostia River whose population is more than 90 percent black.

It was the latest sign of the evolution of the District, where racial disparities have grown as a redevelopment boom in some parts of the city has eluded its least-fortunate corners, and where a new urgency has emerged among some city leaders to make sure the black community — still the city’s political bedrock — is not left behind.


“We see income gaps growing, we’re not satisfied with how fast we’re closing educational gaps, and we know that we have to invest in good jobs and affordable housing,” said Bowser, the latest in a line of black mayors stretching to 1967.

Branch’s appointment reflects not only the anxieties of the city’s black population — which at 49.5 percent retains a racial plurality but not a majority, according to census demographic data — but also the complicated politics of governing the District in recent years.

While politicians cheer every ribbon cut and every crane erected, many longtime residents view them as harbingers of displacement. And while tens of thousands of new residents have streamed into the city in recent years, it’s the longtime residents — most of whom are black — who are more likely to vote.
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“There’s a need for this kind of office because the growth of D.C. and the expansion of D.C. and making sure every resident of D.C. plays a part in that is really what the community has requested,” said Branch, who was principal of Ballou High School in Southeast Washington for six years until departing in the summer.

His appointment comes more than three years after the D.C. Council established an unpaid Commission on African-American Affairs to “assist the Mayor in planning policies beneficial to African American communities with low economic, education, or health indicators.”

Black D.C. Council members, including Barry, said at the time that the city needed to pay more attention to the disparities between African Americans and other groups of city residents — disparities that have been heightened by a three-decade exodus of black middle-class families to surrounding jurisdictions. In 1980, 70.3 percent of D.C. residents were black.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-where-blacks-are-no-longer-a-majority-has-a-new-african-american-affairs-director/2015/02/04/e8bd65a0-ac8e-11e4-ad71-7b9eba0f87d6_story.html

USNA Hosts First African American Marines

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The Midshipmen Black Studies Group hosted members of the first African American Marine Corps recruits, also known as the Montford Point Marines, at the United States Naval Academy, Feb. 19.

The guests shared their personal stories of their integration into the Marine Corps, as well as their time serving in World War II, with midshipmen, faculty and staff.

"We didn't know what to expect, we didn't really know what we would become or how hard the Marine Corps was," said Franklin Beaird, a Montford Point Marine. "We learned, at least, you'd become a man of steel. You began to understand that if there was any obstacle, if you can't go through it, you're going to make sure that you're going to go over it."

On June 25, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, which barred government agencies and federal contractors from refusing employment in industries engaged in defense production on the basis of race, creed, color, and/or national origin. Thus, the order required the armed services, including the Marine Corps, to recruit and enlist African Americans.

In 1942, Roosevelt established presidential directive #8802, giving African Americans an opportunity to be recruited into the United States Marine Corps (USMC), the last of the U.S. military services to be racially integrated.

African American Marines were segregated, attending basic training at Montford Point, North Carolina. Approximately 2,000 African American Marines received basic training at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949. These men were drafted into military service to fight in World War II.

Exactly a year later, the first African American men volunteered to begin boot camp at the segregated Camp Montford Point in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Twelve hundred men began their new journey that day while knowing their nation was at war.

"Life in my hometown was pretty difficult," said Lee Douglas Jr., a Montford Point Marine. "You couldn't do, couldn't go and couldn't belong to many things. I thank God that I volunteered to join the USMC and I served my country, and I made it back alive."

Between 1942 and 1949, Camp Montford Point trained more than 20,000 black recruits.

"We all came together as a group, we were all drafted and didn't think of the future." said William Foreman, Montford Point Marine. "We knew there was a war, you see. We all stood tall and lived in the now. We didn't think that we would be making history. The times and the war; it changed us, and the USMC is an outstanding part of us."

Midshipmen reflected on what the Montford Point Marines meant for not only African Americans, but all minorities.

"I think they have paved the way for diversity in general," said Midshipman 1st Class Shakir Robinson, "Whether it's race, gender or religious background, diversity is what makes America strong. To have these Marines come to the Academy to share their experiences really affects us all. One of the best things about celebrating Black History Month, along with all of the multicultural celebrations, is we all get to celebrate our individual differences, as one unit."

In July of 1948, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981 negating segregation. In September of 1949, Camp Montford Point was deactivated to allow black recruits to receive basic training at Parris Island and Camp Pendleton.

In 2012, the Marine Corps honored more than 400 Montford Point Marines with the Congressional Gold Medal for their sacrifices for their nation.

For more news from U.S. Naval Academy, visit www.navy.mil/local/usna/.
http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=85689

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Forum Investigates The State of the African-­American Male

Last Wednesday, Howard University hosted the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
with the mission to address the “Gordian Knot” of issues in the Black community. The state of
the African-­American male.

The town hall style forum was organized into panels that addressed the most significant
issues facing the contemporary African-­American male including education, the criminal justice system and financial responsibility.

The event was organized by HUSA, the Howard chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity,
Incorporated, the HU Ronald W. Walters Leadership, Public Policy center and other
congressional black associates.

The panel was moderated by the former representative of Florida’s 17 W. Walters visiting fellow, Kendrick Meek.

A crowd of roughly one hundred, mostly in suits and ties, attended the event in the
School of Business’ second floor auditorium. Many were small business owners and business
students eager to listen to the array of distinguished congressmen, politicians and black church leaders.

In the education panel, a major topic of conversation was focused on deconstructing the
stipulation that black males are significantly underrepresented in higher education compared to their female counterparts or other races.

Ivory Toldson, Ph.D., currently serves as the Deputy Director of the White House
Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and is a former Associate Professor at Howard.

Toldson headed the discussion with a reevaluation of male-­to-­female ratios for black
students in college.

Toldson explained that because many black men take online college courses and attend
community college instead of traditional four­-year institutions, where statistics are mainly
sampled from, they are often left unaccounted for.

“The ratio for black females to black males on college campuses is actually 1.54 to 1,”
Toldson said. His answer was in response to ratios thought to be as high as 20:1.

He also debunked the popular belief that more black men are in jail than college. “Black
males are definitely represented in higher education,” he added.

In the second panel, Congressmen Danny Davis (D­Ill.), Emanuel Cleaver, II (D­Mo.)
and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D­DC), went on to discuss the incarceration of

black males in America. Davis shared that sustainable reform of the criminal justice system is absolutely necessary in order for it to be built on “basic fairness.”

“Black people make up about 14 percent of this country’s population, yet 51 percent of
people in the criminal justice system are black,” Davis said. “There must be system reform to
educate African­American males on how it works. Whatever has been historical doesn’t have to
continue to be.”

Congressman Cleaver, a former pastor, emphasized the importance of not losing hope in
light of the intrinsically flawed system today. “Hopelessness is fatal,” Cleaver said. “Black men don’t give up.”

In the financial panel, former Fannie Mae chairman, Franklin Raines, and host of PBS
financial talk show, “Moneywise,” Kelvin Boston, discussed the importance of responsible
financial planning to become successful in America. Boston briefly touched on the unequal loss of wealth between whites and blacks during the 2008 recession, and current high unemployment rates among blacks. Raines advised Howard students to start saving early; if $500 can be put away every month for 40 years, the savings would be over 1 million dollars for retirement.

“Even saving for 30 years, you would still have over $750,000,” Raines said.

http://www.thehilltoponline.com/archives/3966

FBI Monitored and Critiqued African-American Authors for Decades

Newly declassified documents from the FBI reveal how the US federal agency under J Edgar Hoover monitored the activities of dozens of prominent African American writers for decades, devoting thousands of pages to detailing their activities and critiquing their work.

Academic William Maxwell first stumbled upon the extent of the surveillance when he submitted a freedom of information request for the FBI file of Claude McKay. The Jamaican-born writer was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance, author of the sonnet If We Must Die, supposedly recited by Winston Churchill, and Maxwell was preparing an edition of his complete poems. When the file came through from the FBI, it stretched to 193 pages and, said Maxwell, revealed “that the bureau had closely read and aggressively chased McKay” – describing him as a “notorious negro revolutionary” – “all across the Atlantic world, and into Moscow”.

Maxwell, associate professor of English and African American studies at Washington University in St Louis, decided to investigate further, knowing that other scholars had already found files on well-known black writers such as Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. He made 106 freedom of information requests about what he describes as “noteworthy Afro-modernists” to the FBI; 51 of those writers had files, ranging from three to 1,884 pages each.

“I suspected there would be more than a few,” said Maxwell. “I knew Hoover was especially impressed and worried by the busy crossroads of black protest, leftwing politics, and literary potential. But I was surprised to learn that the FBI had read, monitored, and ‘filed’ nearly half of the nationally prominent African American authors working from 1919 (Hoover’s first year at the Bureau, and the first year of the Harlem Renaissance) to 1972 (the year of Hoover’s death and the peak of the nationalist Black Arts movement). In this, I realised, the FBI had outdone most every other major institution of US literary study, only fitfully concerned with black writing.”

Maxwell’s book about his discovery, FB Eyes: How J Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature, is out on 18 February from Princeton University Press. It argues that the FBI’s attention was fuelled by Hoover’s “personal fascination with black culture”, that “the FBI is perhaps the most dedicated and influential forgotten critic of African American literature”, and that “African American literature is characterised by a deep awareness of FBI ghostreading”.

http://www.alternet.org/books/fbi-monitored-and-critiqued-african-american-authors-decades
http://digital.wustl.edu/fbeyes/

Jurors becoming more skeptical of judicial system

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Some say it’s the Ferguson effect on the justice system. Prosecuting attorneys are running into more and more potential jurors expressing skepticism over the justice system.

“People who come to jury duty are more skeptical than they used to be,” said St. Louis Circuit Attorney Chief Trial Assistant Beth Orwick.

If the skepticism means a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial, the juror will be dismissed. Orwick says trials have been delayed while the effort to seat a fair and impartial jury continued.

“What we need are people to come to jury duty,” said Orwick. “The system only works when citizens become part of the process.”

“What happens is you get people who automatically refuse to believe police officer testimony,” said St. Louis criminal defense attorney Joel Schwartz said.

Schwartz says many of the skeptical jurors dismissed are African-American, making it more difficult for an African-American client to be judged by a jury of his or her peers.

Orwick believes recent skepticism from potential jurors stretches beyond racial lines. She hopes St. Louis residents called for jury duty will take the call seriously. She says if people are not willing to participate in the process, the process will come to a halt.

http://fox2now.com/2015/02/09/jurors-becoming-more-skeptical-of-judicial-system/

First African American astronaut candidate refocused passion for legendary career

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An African American man is being honored Wednesday for his accomplishments.

Ed Dwight Jr., was the first African American astronaut candidate.

Dwight never made the trip to space due to extreme discrimination from other astronauts and decided to resign in 1966.

Dwight then refocused his attention. Bob Kendrick, director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, stopped by the FOX 4 morning show to talk about how he was connected to Dwight.

Watch the video above to find out what Dwight decided to do after never receiving the opportunity to go to space.

http://fox4kc.com/2015/02/18/first-african-american-astronaut-candidate-refocused-passion-for-legendary-career/

Morehouse College Glee Club Is In Concert Here March 7

The Chattanooga Chapter of the Morehouse College Alumni Association will host the internationally famous Morehouse College Glee Club live in concert in Chattanooga on March 7. The performance will be held at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 5 p.m.

Morehouse College, an all-male, historically African American liberal arts institution, was founded in 1867, two years after the Civil War ended, in Augusta, Ga. The school’s primary purpose was to prepare black men for ministry and teaching. Today, Morehouse College, now located in Atlanta, enjoys an international reputation for producing leaders who have influenced national and world history, said officials.


The Morehouse College Glee Club was founded in 1911, and has performed at events such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral, President Jimmy Carter's inauguration, Super Bowl XXVIII, and the 1996 Summer Olympics and has toured in Africa, Russia, Poland and the Caribbean. This Glee Club performance renews an annual tradition of bringing a musical performance to the city of Chattanooga.

The Chattanooga Chapter of the Morehouse College Alumni Association is committed to supporting the mission of Morehouse College which is to educate young men and prepare them for leadership in all walks of life. Proceeds from this event will go to supporting young men from the Chattanooga area who are attending Morehouse. Tickets are available from Morehouse alumni and on Eventbrite.com.

http://www.chattanoogan.com/2015/2/23/294676/Morehouse-College-Glee-Club-Is-In.aspx

Black History Month: Central Park Displaced African-American Settlement

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The conventional wisdom was that when the land was set aside for Central Park in 1853, only a few squatters and hobos lived there.

“That’s a myth that grew up over time,” Sara Cedar Miller, the official photographer and historian for the Central Park Conservancy, told WCBS 880’s Jane Tillman Irving.


One large settlement was the African-American community of Seneca Village, which fronted on the present Central Park West, roughly from 81st to 89th streets.

It was “a stable, long-standing community of African-American property owners,” Miller said. “That makes it so unique and so important to New York City’s history.”

In 1853, New York state authorized the use of eminent domain — the taking over of private land for public use — and Seneca Village disappeared.

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/02/23/black-history-month-central-park-displaced-african-american-settlement/

Remembering the First Pair of African-American Sisters to Take Tennis by Storm

As Serena and Venus Williams play out the end of their careers, debates have risen about their place in tennis and American history.

Some call Serena Williams the greatest female tennis player of all time. Journalist Ian Crouch recently wrote a story for the New Yorker proclaiming Serena as America's greatest athlete. Few dispute that the sisters are one of the most dynamic sibling duos in sports history.

Yet perhaps even fewer know that the Williams sisters weren't the first African-American siblings to take tennis by storm.

That distinction belongs to Margaret and Matilda Roumania Peters, sisters from Washington D.C. who wowed crowds with their spectacular doubles play in the 1930s, '40s and '50s.

Nicknamed "Pete" and "Re-Pete," respectively, the Peters sisters played in the American Tennis Association, a league formed to give African-Americans a chance to play competitive tennis at a national level.

Established in 1916 and still alive today, the ATA is the oldest black sports organization in the U.S. Similar to the Negro Leagues in baseball, the ATA offered top black tennis players—who were denied access to all-white professional leagues—a stage to showcase their talents.

The ATA sponsored tournaments throughout the country. Although top players didn't make a living from these tournaments, they were indeed stars. The Peters sisters were often asked to pose for publicity shots and sign autographs. Crowds of blacks and whites traveled to watch them play.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2353528-remembering-the-first-pair-of-african-american-sisters-to-take-tennis-by-storm
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