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February 2020 Noire News

Summary

In the February 2020 edition of Noire News I’ll be discussing feature stories about the stigma of mental illness, the injustice system, Guyana’s emergence as a player in the oil industry, the larger issues surrounding Snoop Dogg v. Gayle King, attacks on civilians in Cameroon and Nigeria. I’ll also touch on notable deaths across the diaspora and will close out with some good news and some programs you or someone you know might be interested in participating.

Media

YouTube Video

Podcast Episode

Show Notes

News Stories

Lark Voorhies and the Stigma of Mental Illness

Lark Voorhies, best known for playing the role of Lisa Turtle on the sitcom Saved By the Bell, recently appeared on an episode of The Dr. Oz Show. Voorhies shared that she felt hurt and left out by not being included in the planned reboot of the series. During the sitcom’s original run, Lisa was the only Black character on the show so her exclusion is particularly noticeable.

Several years ago she gave a few interviews where her appearance and demeanor seemed a bit off which led to speculation that she had mental health issues. Her mother later confirmed that the rumors were true but either misdiagnosed or misspoke when she described the illness as bipolar disorder. During the interview with Dr. Oz, Voorhies publicly shared her struggle with mental illness. She also clarified her diagnosis as schizoaffective disorder which presents with aspects of both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Voorhies believes that her exclusion from the upcoming reboot and past cast reunions may be a result of discomfort or unwillingness to work with her due to her illness. She didn’t bash the show creators or members of the cast which she still refers to as “family”.

Granted they appeared on this show while they were teens and to some degree grew up together but it was work so they aren’t “family.” Cast members have commented in the past that the current Lark Voorhies isn’t the same as the person they previously worked with. While insensitive it is a fair comment as people who grow up together sometimes grow apart and move on with their lives.

Yet, it still feels wrong. It would be one thing if the showrunners reached out and she declined to participate or made unreasonable demands. But to not reach out at all seems meanspirited and an example of the stigma that still surrounds mental health. Especially because it’s unlikely that she is a danger to others and seems to be making a true effort to manage her mental health.

I know it might seem dismissive to recommend she try to move past this but that’s all you can do. We all face trials and tribulations in life and unfortunately, everyone doesn’t make an effort to be understanding or considerate. I sincerely hope that Lark Voorhies continues to see improvement in her mental health and that bigger and better opportunities present themselves.

On a more general note, I’m not for using hardships from people’s lives for entertainment. But, I’m glad that with more people openly sharing their struggles with mental health it’s becoming a less taboo topic. Hopefully, in time, more fact-based information about mental health will become general knowledge and remove the stigmas that surround illnesses that are illnesses like any other.

Guyana Hopes to Strike It Rich With Oil

Guyana’s offshore oilfields are believed to contain more than eight billion barrels making it one of the world’s largest reserves. The estimated life of its oil production is estimated to produce $168 billion of revenue. On February 20th, the country shipped its first barrels of oil to Barbados where it will be sold on the market. With an additional four shipments slated for this year, Guyana should earn $300 million in oil sales.

Five years ago, large deposits of oil and gas were found near Guyana’s coast which led to a 2016 deal with Exxon. This was seen as a boon for the South American English-speaking country. But a report released by Global Witness called the deal biased to the benefit of Exxon. It explained that while governments usually negotiate for 65% to 85% of oil revenues, Guyana’s government agreed to a deal of 52%.

There was no evidence or suspicion of corruption in the deal. But Global Witness pointed out a potential conflict of interest in the relationship between Raphael Trotman and Nigel Hughes, members of the Alliance for Change political party. Trotman serves as Natural Resources Minister while Hughes is a former Exxon attorney.

Exxon responded to the allegations with an explanation that their seemingly higher than average revenue share took into account the risk of exploring Guyana’s deepwater areas. They pointed out that comparisons between Guyana’s immature infrastructure and mature countries that receive higher percentages were inequitable.

Given that my family is from Guyana, I sincerely hope the oil deal benefits the country and enables it to modernize and improve its infrastructure and economy. I do have some concerns about how fairly and effectively oil revenues will be distributed. But I don’t want to be overly pessimistic and think it’s too early to make any judgments. This is an economic story that I plan to keep an eye on. I’m also curious to see what if any impact the upcoming elections will have on oil production.

The Injustice System

Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, over the past month, there have been various news reports from around the country providing examples of the unfairness of law enforcement and the justice system with regards to Black people.

NBPD Accused of Targeting Black and Latino Neighborhoods to Reach Ticket Quotas

An investigative report by NBC New York’s I-Team alleges that officers in New Jersey’s North Brunswick Police Department targeted Black and Hispanic neighborhoods to reach ticket quotas. This was much the case with New York City’s unconstitutional “Stop and Frisk ” program. But these things happen when departments are more focused on putting up numbers rather than preventing and investigating crimes. We’ll continue to see instances of this occurring until the day the justice system is truly overhauled and these practices of institutional racism are eliminated.

Arkansas School Resource Officer Placed on Leave for Student Chokehold

An argument between two high school students should have ended with one or both of them being taken to the principal’s or guidance counselor’s office. Instead, the altercation resulted in school resource officer Jake Perry being placed on leave after using a chokehold on ninth-grade student Dekyrion Ellis. A Facebook video showed the officer wrapping his arms around the boy’s body and neck from behind and lifting him off the ground multiple times.

Judge Temporarily Reassigned to Administrative Duties After Racist Tirade

In Pennsylvania, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Mark Tranquilli has been temporarily placed on leave following complaints that were filed. On January 24, after a jury acquitted an accused drug dealer, the judge questioned the jury and called the defense and assistant district attorneys into his chambers.

During the meeting, Tranquilli allegedly referred to a Black female juror who wore a headwrap as “Aunt Jemima” and was angry about her being selected for the jury. He ranted that the juror’s “baby daddy” probably sold heroin and thus she was biased towards drug dealers either causing or contributing to the not guilty verdict. Following the exchange, both attorneys filed complaints with the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania (JCBP). An online petition has been created to have Tranquilli disbarred and removed as a judge.

Snoop Dogg v. Gayle King and a Conversation That Needs to Be Had

In an interview with Lisa Leslie, Gayle King asked the WNBA legend about her friendship with Kobe Bryant and the impact, if any, 2003 rape allegations would have on his legacy. When a clip from this moment in the interview was released, many people went to social media to express their disapproval. Snoop Dogg in particular, went on a rant against King in which he called her derogatory names and issued a warning which seemed to be a threat.

During his rant, Snoop accused King of coming after her own while ignoring similar accusations against White men. He made comparisons between the treatment of deceased accused Black men such as Michael Jackson and Kobe Bryant versus the treatment of accused living White men such as Harvey Weinstein. In the midst of this, he called for the release of Bill Cosby who has been accused and convicted of sexual assault.

Some of the backlash that King had been receiving dissipated as people began to rally behind her. Snoop came under fire by some for taking things too far by threatening King. He would later apologize to King for the harshness of his message. And King apologized for the clip which she said was shown out of context which distorted the tone of the topic and overall interview.

The death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the other people on the helicopter is an unfortunate tragedy. In speaking about his legacy, much of the focus will be on his basketball career, work ethic, philanthropic efforts, and family. But, it is a fact that he was accused of rape, an undisclosed settlement was reached, and the case did not go to trial as the accuser was not willing to testify. It’s also worth noting that while Bryant stated his belief that the encounter was consensual he also acknowledged that he did not explicitly ask for consent and that his accuser viewed the encounter as nonconsensual.

We sometimes idealize people when they pass away and shy away from discussing controversial moments from their lives or their shortcomings as a courtesy. I don’t agree with that practice and believe it’s better to maintain a historically accurate legacy of people. This should include both the good and bad points as long as they are true. I don’t think it was wrong to ask the question about the potential impact of rape allegations on Kobe Bryant’s legacy. Also, the question Gayle asked about the accusations was, “Is it even a fair question to talk about it, considering he’s no longer with us and that it was resolved or is it really part of his history?”

With the ability to build and broadcast to large audiences on social media people need to be responsible for the messages they put out there. You should take a moment to calm down and think before rushing to social media to vent your emotions while upset. Self-control is a skill that should be well developed by the time you reach young adulthood let alone as a 48-year-old man. It’s cool that Snoop was man enough to apologize but as a man, meaning an adult male, he shouldn’t have uttered and certainly not released those words on social media.

To be clear, Gayle King is admittedly of two minds when it comes to discussing allegations against powerful men with whom she has a professional or personal relationship. She believes that due process should be allowed to play out rather than immediate public conviction. In discussing her relationship with and accusations against Charlie Rose she explained that while she believes the accusers, she doesn’t believe in abandoning friends as everyone should be allowed to redeem themselves. During an interview with Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer, she asked questions about the multiple accusations against Weinstein.

She did not single out Kobe Bryant nor did she condemn him or otherwise attempt to tarnish his legacy. Instead, she broached a topic and asked questions about allegations against him just as she’d done with the very White male celebrities that Snoop mentioned. Basically, Gayle King did her job as a journalist.

Black men indeed receive unfair treatment by the justice system. But there’s a tendency to just focus on the plight of Black men. This neglects the experiences of Black women and children, thereby not providing an accurate accounting of the injustices faced by Black people as a whole. Black men have been unfairly portrayed as being prone to criminal behavior which has led to unfair prosecution. This also applies to Black women and children. Also, often Black people are not given the same level of protection by the justice system when they are victims.

A conversation needs to be had about the erroneous idea that the solution to the unfair treatment of Black men by the justice system is not prosecuting Black men who are accused of a crime. The proper solution should be to fairly prosecute and sentence ANYONE convicted of a crime.

There is also a tendency to condemn Black women who speak out against accused and/or convicted Black men, whether as victims or commentators, as traitors to the Black community. This is a concept grounded in sexism, misogynoir to be precise. It’s an attempt to continue the historical silencing of Black women, preventing us from speaking out against crimes committed against us.

Quite often, when crimes are committed against a Black woman, they feel they can’t get help from the justice system. But if misogynists within the community had their way, they also wouldn’t be able to seek help or support from the Black community if the perpetrator is a Black man. People within the community who commit crimes against others within the community are traitors. You defend victims of crimes, not the people who perpetrate them.

As a child when being disciplined by my mother, she would always explain that correcting me when I did wrong was an act of love. It might seem like when people allow you to do as you please that they’re your friends or care about you. But the people who truly care for you, want the best for you and want you to be your best self. So they’ll try to correct you when you do wrong or are going down the wrong path.

Snoop’s childish rant included an inexplicable call to free Bill Cosby. This is a man who until a few years ago would visit media outlets and use various stereotypes to draw a clear line between himself and large swaths of the Black community. Many of the individuals who now rush to Cosby’s defense were the very types of people he castigated before his public persona was revealed to be a lie. Following Snoop’s comments, a representative for Cosby posted thanks and support for Snoop on social media. This mutual support shouldn’t come as a surprise as both parties have shown themselves to be of one mind when it comes to misogynistic views towards women.

Snoop’s comments and others like him indicate that they’re not interested in equal justice. What they want is for Black men to be able to equally avail themselves of the male privilege enjoyed by White men which allows them to commit crimes and escape without punishment. There is no grand conspiracy against these powerful and wealthy celebrities. Just surprise that their power and wealth no longer guarantee their ability to get away with crimes.

The Me Too Movement and reactions to these accused predators have shown the depths of misogyny and misogynoir within the community. But there’s hope as more people question long-held assumptions. Hopefully, with more mature conversations, we’ll see even more progress and the eradication of these harmful beliefs.

Civilian Attacks in Cameroon and Nigeria

On February 14th, fighting between separatists and the Cameroon military led to the deaths of at least 22 civilians, among which were 13-15 children (the exact count varies) and a pregnant woman. The conflict took place in Ngarbuh village in the country’s Northwest English-speaking region.

No group has claimed responsibility for the incident but the government has admitted that a fuel tank explosion caused a fire that destroyed a home and killed five people. The United Nations and Human Rights Watch have blamed both sides for contributing to the deaths that have occurred during the years-long conflict.

According to The New York Times, villagers saw men dressed in military uniforms attack the village. The government released a statement that admitted eight members of the military carried out a raid in the area but explained that the target was separatists.

The conflict began in 2016 with protests against the dominance of French and French-speaking officials. A year later separatists armed themselves and demanded the creation of a separate English-speaking state. Both sides have accused each other of carrying out attacks that have killed civilians.

Two days later on February 16th, several vehicles were stopped at a checkpoint in the village of Auno, which is located in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State. The village had a 4PM curfew and the travelers who arrived after that time were not allowed to enter. They parked their cars with plans to sleep or relax until the next day. Although the area was supposedly patrolled by soldiers, late in the night armed men stormed the checkpoint and began shooting. The assault continued for over four hours and resulted in the deaths of at least 30 people. Fires were set which incinerated vehicles and the remains of many victims which will make it difficult to identify some of the bodies.

According to CNN, it’s unclear who ordered the blockade and the governor of the state lamented that soldiers are in the habit of closing the village gates and abandoning their posts at 5PM. There has been anger throughout the country as it is believed that the victims were left out in the open in a known conflict zone with little to no protection. Neither Boko Haram or any other extremist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

But, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s President blamed the group for the attack due to its history of terrorist activities in the area. Amnesty International Nigeria has stated that since the attack the Nigerian military has set fire to and forcibly removed civilians in the area, possibly committing war crimes, in an attempt to flush out Boko Haram. The government denied the accusations and stated that Amnesty’s account of events is inaccurate due to its lack of knowledge and understanding of the military’s counter-terrorism efforts.

A Memorial

Daniel arap Moi

September 2, 1924 – February 4, 2020

Daniel arap Moi, Kenya’s longest-serving president died earlier this month at the age of 95. Early in his career, Moi worked as a teacher and later became Minister of Home Affairs after the country achieved independence from Great Britain. He was selected to be Jomo Kenyatta’s Vice President in 1967 and succeeded him as the nation’s second president following the death of Kenyatta in 1978. Moi would go on to rule Kenya for the next 24 years during which his administration would be accused of corruption and brutality.

Paula Kelly

October 21, 1942 – February 08, 2020

Paula Kelly was born in Jacksonville, Florida and moved with her family to Harlem when she was a baby. Kelly began her career in entertainment as a dancer and successfully transitioned from Broadway musicals to movies and television. After appearing in multiple science fiction thrillers and dramas in the 1970s she would receive two Emmy nominations in the 1980s. The first in 1984 for playing the part of a public defender in the first season of Night Court. And the second in 1989 for her role in The Women of Brewster Place where she portrayed one of the first Black lesbians to appear on television. Paula Kelly passed away at the age of 77 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Esther Scott

April 25, 1957 – February 14, 2020

Esther Scott was born in Queens, New York and appeared in approximately 73 roles in movies and television over her decades-long career. While she usually played smaller roles in films some were quite memorable. She played a holy-roller grandma who was fully prepared to shank Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) in Boyz in the Hood. And also portrayed a committed chaperone who attempted to protect her young charge from the advances of the much older James “Thunder” Early in Dreamgirls. Scott was found unconscious in her Santa Monica home after suffering a heart attack and passed away a few days later.

Nikita Pearl Waligwa

2004 – February 15, 2020

In the 2016 Disney film Queen of Katwe, Nikita Pearl Walinga played the part of Gloria, a younger friend of the movie’s main character. One of several local Ugandan children cast to appear in the film, Waligwa had no prior acting experience but played a key role. Waligwa was diagnosed with a brain tumor the same year that the film was released. She traveled to India with her family for treatment and seemed to recover. Unfortunately, the tumor later returned and ended her life at the very young age of 15.

Ja’net Dubois

August 5, 1945 – February 17, 2020

Ja’net DuBois best known for playing Willona Woods on Good Times has passed away. Born in Brooklyn, New York her acting resume included television, film, and theater roles in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, A Raisin in the Sun, and two Emmy wins for her voice work on The PJs. In addition to acting, DuBois was also a singer and songwriter who contributed her talents to The Jeffersons classic theme song which she sang and co-wrote.

B. Smith

August 24, 1949 – February 22, 2020

During the first act of B. Smith’s life, she made her mark as a model in the 1970s becoming the first Black woman to appear on the cover of Mademoiselle. Passionate about cooking and other aspects of home economics since her youth, Smith eventually shifted focus to building a personal lifestyle brand. She would go on to open three restaurants, publish several cookbooks, and host a nationally syndicated television show for almost a decade. Unfortunately, in 2013, Smith was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, the disease that would ultimately claim her life. B. Smith dedicated the precious time that she had left to raising awareness of Alzheimer’s in the Black community and shared her story in her last book, Before I Forget.

Katherine G. Johnson

Aug. 26, 1918 – February 23, 2020

A pioneer in the space race, Katherine Johnson used her genius as a mathematician to help successfully launch an American into space. Johnson was hired at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and later worked at NASA as a “human computer”. Using complex math and data analysis, Johnson calculated the orbital flight path and trajectory of the Freedom 7 mission. Given the racism and discrimination of the time, Johnson’s achievements were especially incredible. Despite being overlooked for decades, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 and a film about her experience at NASA was released in 2016. Katherine Johnson passed away at the age of 101.

Good News

  • Over the past few years, Serena Williams has been building an impressive investment portfolio that primarily consists of companies founded by women and people of color. Williams recently announced that she is a strategic adviser (and likely an investor) in The Mom Project. Based in Chicago, the startup aims to help its 200,000 working moms connect with companies that are open to hiring women in need of career and parenthood balance.
  • The Charles family in North Carolina are owners of the Kiplin Automotive car dealership. Six months ago one of their children found a homeless man sleeping in an unlocked car on the lot. The man had fallen on hard times and had nowhere else to go so the family has allowed him to continue sleeping at the dealership. Having previously experienced homelessness themselves, the couple wanted to do more. They now offer people who are experiencing homelessness use of unused space at the lot as a safe place to sleep. They have since launched a non-profit and GoFundMe page to raise funds which they will use to help provide financial assistance and resources to those who are in need.
  • The Harlem-based Black-owned realty brokerage firm Stafford Realty Group has launched RealBlackAgents.com. The new website which is managed by one of Stafford’s agents hopes to help buyers and sellers navigate the real estate market. The firm believes that through its partnership with Black agents across the country, clients will be able to obtain a relevant perspective on local neighborhoods, fair treatment from lenders, and fair prices when selling properties.
  • An American Institute of Physics Task Force has called for the creation of a $50 million fund aimed at increasing the number of Black students pursuing degrees in the field of physics. At present Black students account for about 4% of those who obtain undergraduate degrees in physics. With growth in the industry offering many career opportunities, the task force would like to see the number of Black graduates grow to 500 by 2030. The goal is to increase the likelihood that Black students aren’t left behind as tech continues to change career options. As the panel mobilizes to raise awareness (and hopefully funds) it recommends that half of the monies raised go directly to students while the remaining amount goes to supporting relevant departments at HBCUs.

Spread The Word

  • This summer Jacqueline Glass-Campbell, CEO of At the Well Conferences, Inc. (ATW) will host two Ivy League enrichment programs at Princeton University. Taking place over two weeks in July, the At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy program will invite high school sophomores and juniors to experience life on-campus. Attendees will attend classes and workshops focused on critical thinking, writing college essays, and corporate leadership. A weekend summer intensive will also be offered for eighth and ninth grade girls. The application deadline for both programs is March 31, 2020.
  • Former engineer and current writer, educator, and comic book publisher Naseed Gifted has launched a crowdfunding campaign to aid the creation of his graphic novel P.B.Soldier: The Awakening. The planned release is not just a regular comic book but a creative way to get young people interested in S.T.E.M. If the campaign reaches its $10,000 goal the money will go towards production, distribution, and marketing of the 170-page novel. Money raised in the range of $10-15,000 will be donated to the Malcolm X Shabazz High School – Gerald Lawson Video Game & APP Development Academy which Gifted teaches in Newark, NJ. Beyond $15,000 excess funds will be used to provide schools in Newark with S.T.E.M. classroom kits.
  • I love positive stories from anywhere in the Black diaspora but especially when they come out of places such as Chicago, Detroit, etc. that seem to mostly receive negative coverage in the media. I was happy to read about Jennyfer Crawford’s upcoming All Things Detroit business showcase which will take place on April 5th. Crawford is the owner of a Detroit-based branding firm that helps small businesses with marketing. All Things Detroit started with a handful of vendors as a small event aimed at promoting local businesses but has since grown to 200 vendors and multiple events per year. Tickets start at $5 and more info can be found on the All Things Detroit website.

Bibliography

News Stories

Lark Voorhies

  1. Dunmore, Royce. 2020. “Lark Voorhies’ Exclusion From ‘Saved By The Bell’ Reboot Brings Attention To Black Mental Health Stigmas.” NewsOne. NewsOne. February 20, 2020. https://newsone.com/3903044/lark-voorhies-saved-by-the-bell-reboot-black-mental-health-stigmas/.
  2. Reese, Alexis. 2020. “Lark Voorhies on Her Mental Health Concerns and Why She Won’t Return To ‘Saved By The Bell’ Reboot.” BET.com. February 19, 2020. https://www.bet.com/celebrities/news/2020/02/19/lark-voorhies-on-her-mental-health-concerns-and-why-she-wont-ret.html.
  3. Uwumarogie, Victoria. 2020. “Lark Voorhies On Hearing Voices In Her Head And How Mental Illness Caused Her To Be Snubbed By Former Saved By The Bell Castmates.” MadameNoire. BossipMadameNoire, LLC. February 19, 2020. https://madamenoire.com/1133585/lark-voorhies-mental-health/.

Guyana Oil

  1. Weissenstein, Michael. 2020. “Watchdog Group Says Guyana Lost Billions in Exxon Oil Deal.” AP NEWS. Associated Press. February 3, 2020. https://apnews.com/9e1dd752edb53c7fb50360e8bf6bd291.
  2. Wilkinson, Bert. 2020. “Guyana Celebrates 1st Oil Shipment after Major Discovery.” AP NEWS. Associated Press. February 20, 2020. https://apnews.com/ba1fd77a72d50241c39bdb73ea3c51ef.

The Injustice System

NBPD Accused of Targeting to Reach Ticket Quotas
  1. Linly, Zack. 2020. “In True ‘Stop and Frisk’ Fashion, New Jersey Police Admit to Targeting Minority Neighborhoods in What They Call ‘Hunting at the Border’.” The Root. The Root. February 16, 2020. https://www.theroot.com/in-true-stop-and-frisk-fashion-new-jersey-police-admit-1841729823.
  2. Shen-Berro, Julian. 2020. “N.J. Police Targeted Black and Latino Neighborhoods to Fulfill Ticket Quotas, Officers Say.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group. February 14, 2020. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/n-j-police-targeted-black-latino-neighborhoods-fulfill-ticket-quotas-n1137191.
  3. Wallace, Sarah. 2020. “NJ Police Targeted Black and Latino Neighborhoods to Fulfill Ticket Quotas, Cops Say.” NBC New York. NBCUniversal Inc. February 13, 2020. https://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/nj-police-targeted-black-and-latino-neighborhoods-to-fulfill-ticket-quotas-cops-say/2289221/.
Arkansas School Resource Officer Placed on Leave
  1. Kesslen, Ben. 2020. “Police Officer in Arkansas Placed on Leave after Putting Student in Chokehold.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group. February 11, 2020. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/police-officer-arkansas-placed-leave-after-putting-student-chokehold-n1134596.
  2. Onley, Dawn. 2020. “Arkansas Police Officer Placed on Leave for Putting High School Student in Chokehold.” TheGrio. TheGrio. February 12, 2020. https://thegrio.com/2020/02/12/arkansas-police-officer-placed-on-leave-for-putting-high-school-student-in-chokehold/.
  3. Associated Press. 2020. “Arkansas SRO Placed on Leave After Putting Student in Chokehold.” Time. TIME USA, LLC. February 10, 2020. https://time.com/5781791/arkansas-sro-student-chokehold/.
Judge Temporarily Reassigned
  1. Carrega, Christina. “Judge Reassigned for Allegedly Calling Black Woman Juror ‘Aunt Jemima’.” ABC News. ABC News Network, February 7, 2020. https://abcnews.go.com/US/judge-reassigned-allegedly-calling-black-woman-juror-aunt/story?id=68824246.
  2. Li, David K. “Judge Who Allegedly Called a Juror ‘Aunt Jemima’ off the Bench in Pennsylvania.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, February 8, 2020. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/judge-who-allegedly-called-juror-aunt-jemima-bench-pennsylvania-n1132581.
  3. Meara, Paul. “A Judge Was Temporarily Removed From The Bench After Allegedly Calling A Black Juror ‘Aunt Jemima’.” BET.com, February 7, 2020. https://www.bet.com/news/national/2020/02/07/a-judge-was-temporarily-removed-from-the-bench-after-allegedly-c.html.

Snoop Dogg v. Gayle King

  1. Draper, Kevin. “Kobe Bryant and the Sexual Assault Case That Was Dropped but Not Forgotten.” The New York Times. The New York Times, January 28, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/27/sports/basketball/kobe-bryant-rape-case.html.
  2. Dunmore, Royce. “In Defense Of Gayle King: Debunking 3 Ridiculous Arguments.” NewsOne. NewsOne, February 11, 2020. https://newsone.com/3902048/in-defense-of-gayle-king-debunking-3-ridiculous-arguments/.
  3. Dunmore, Royce. “’Free Bill Cosby’: Snoop Dogg Capes For Black Men While Slamming Oprah and Gayle King.” NewsOne. NewsOne, February 9, 2020. https://newsone.com/3901694/bill-cosby-snoop-dogg-capes-black-men-oprah-and-gayle-king/.
  4. Salo, Jackie. “WNBA Legend Lisa Leslie Says Kobe Bryant’s Legacy ‘Not Complicated’ by Rape Allegations.” New York Post. New York Post, February 6, 2020. https://nypost.com/2020/02/05/wnba-legend-lisa-leslie-says-kobe-bryants-legacy-not-complicated-by-rape-allegations/.
  5. Schaffstall, Katherine. “Gayle King Explains Why She’s Still Friends With Charlie Rose.” The Hollywood Reporter, November 1, 2018. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/gayle-king-still-friends-charlie-rose-talks-metoo-redemption-1157065.
  6. Telusma, Blue. “Ta-Nehisi Coates Addresses Men ‘Too Weak’ to Disagree with Gayle King Respectfully, #IStandWithGayle Trends.” TheGrio. TheGrio, February 11, 2020. https://thegrio.com/2020/02/10/ta-nehisi-coates-addresses-men-too-weak-to-disagree-with-gayle-king-respectfully-istandwithgayle-trends/.
  7. Telusma, Blue. “Charles Barkley Says Kobe Bryant’s NBA Career and Rape Case Are Both Part of Legacy.” TheGrio. TheGrio, February 17, 2020. https://thegrio.com/2020/02/14/charles-barkley-says-kobe-bryants-nba-career-and-rape-case-are-both-part-of-legacy/.

Civilian Attacks

Cameroon
  1. Ajumane, Francis, Bukola Adebayo, and Susana Capelouto. “14 Children among Dozens Killed in Cameroon Attack, UN Says.” CNN. Cable News Network, February 17, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/17/africa/cameroon-village-attack-intl/index.html.
  2. “Cameroon: UN Officials Raise Alarm over Escalating Violence, Call for Civilian Protection | UN News.” United Nations, February 21, 2020. https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/02/1057881.
  3. Press, The Associated. “Latest Cameroon Fighting Kills at Least 22, Including Kids.” The New York Times, February 17, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/02/17/world/africa/ap-af-cameroon-violence.html.
Nigeria
  1. Adebayo, Bukola. “Caught between Roadblocks, They Were Sitting Ducks for Boko Haram Massacre.” CNN. Cable News Network, February 15, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/15/africa/nigeria-boko-haram-fire-auno-intl/index.html.
  2. Kola, Olarewaju. “Suspected Boko Haram Attack Kills 30 in Nigeria: Locals.” Anadolu Agency, February 10, 2020. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/suspected-boko-haram-attack-kills-30-in-nigeria-locals/1729737.
  3. “New Amnesty International Investigation Exposes the Nigerian Military Committing Likely War Crimes When It Destroyed and Displaced Several Villages in Borno State.” Amnesty International, February 15, 2020. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/02/nigeria-military-razes-villages-as-boko-haram-attacks-escalate/.

A Memorial

Daniel arap Moi

  1. Micheni, Kagweni, and Stephanie Busari. 2020. “Daniel Arap Moi’s Complicated and Often Brutal Legacy.” CNN. Cable News Network. February 11, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/11/world/africa/daniel-arap-moi-legacy-intl/index.html.
  2. Neuman, Scott, and Eyder Peralta. 2020. “Daniel Arap Moi, Kenya’s Longtime Strongman, Dies At 95.” NPR. February 4, 2020. https://www.npr.org/2020/02/04/802520542/daniel-arap-moi-kenyas-longtime-strongman-dies-at-95.

Paula Kelly

  1. Seelye, Katharine Q. 2020. “Paula Kelly, Who Danced From Stage Onto the Screen, Dies at 77.” The New York Times. The New York Times. February 12, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/12/theater/paula-kelly-dead.html.
  2. “Paula Kelly, Emmy-Nominated Actress, Dancer and Singer, Dies at 77.” 2020. Los Angeles Times. February 12, 2020. https://www.latimes.com/obituaries/story/2020-02-12/paula-kelly-night-court-sweet-charity-dead.

Esther Scott

  1. Scott, Sydney. 2020. “’Boyz N The Hood’ Actress Esther Scott Dead At 66.” Essence. February 19, 2020. https://www.essence.com/celebrity/boyz-n-the-hood-actress-esther-scott-dead-at-66/.
  2. Stidhum, Tonja Renee. 2020. “Boyz N the Hood, 90210 Actress Esther Scott Dead at 66 After Suffering Heart Attack.” The Grapevine. The Root. February 19, 2020. https://thegrapevine.theroot.com/boyz-n-the-hood-90210-actress-esther-scott-dead-at-66-1841785147.

Nikita Pearl Waligwa

  1. Muhumuza, Rodney. 2020. “Ugandan Student Nikita Pearl Waligwa Dies at 15.” Time. TIME USA, LLC. February 17, 2020. https://time.com/5785249/uganda-chess-nikita-pearl-waligwa-dead/.
  2. Vera, Amir. 2020. “Disney Actress Nikita Pearl Waligwa, Who Appeared in ‘Queen of Katwe,’ Dead at 15.” CNN. Cable News Network. February 17, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/16/africa/nikita-pearl-waligwa-queen-of-katwe-obit/index.html.

Ja’net Dubois

  1. “Ja’Net DuBois, ‘Good Times’ Actress Who Co-Wrote ‘Jeffersons’ Theme, Dies.” 2020. The Washington Post. WP Company. February 19, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/janet-dubois-good-times-actress-who-co-wrote-jeffersons-theme-dies/2020/02/19/feab5e90-5345-11ea-b119-4faabac6674f_story.html.
  2. Real, Evan. 2020. “Ja’net DuBois, ‘Good Times’ Star, Dies at 74 (Report).” The Hollywood Reporter. February 18, 2020. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/janet-dubois-dead-good-times-star-dies-at-74-report-1279855.

B. Smith

  1. Haring, Bruce. 2020. “B. Smith Dies: TV Host, Entrepreneur, Model, Restaurateur, Author And Lifestyle Guru Was 70.” Deadline. February 23, 2020. https://deadline.com/2020/02/b-smith-dies-tv-host-model-entrepreneur-obituary-1202866384/.
  2. Langer, Emily. 2020. “B. Smith, Model Turned Restaurateur and Lifestyle Maven, Dies at 70.” The Washington Post. WP Company. February 23, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/b-smith-model-turned-restaurateur-and-lifestyle-maven-dies-at-70/2020/02/23/568c2066-5654-11ea-9000-f3cffee23036_story.html.

Katherine G. Johnson

  1. Danielle, Britni. 2020. “Katherine G. Johnson, the Groundbreaking NASA Mathematician Featured in Hidden Figures, Has Died at 101.” The Root. February 25, 2020. https://www.theroot.com/katherine-g-johnson-the-groundbreaking-nasa-mathemati-1841886481.
  2. Shetterly, Margot Lee. 2020. “Katherine Johnson Biography.” Edited by Sarah Loff. NASA. February 24, 2020. https://www.nasa.gov/content/katherine-johnson-biography.

Good News

  1. Marcus, Daniel. 2020. “Serena Williams Joins Forces With The Mom Project To Help Mothers Access Better Career Opportunities.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine. February 17, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielmarcus/2020/02/17/serena-williams-joins-forces-with-the-mom-project-to-help-mothers-access-better-career-opportunities/#49fdaec8ffb5.
  2. Sanders, Brandee. 2020. “Serena Williams Teams Up With The Mom Project To Connect Mothers To Career Opportunities.” NewsOne. February 23, 2020. https://newsone.com/3903380/serena-williams-the-mom-project/.
  3. Boudin, Michelle. 2020. “Family of ‘Angels’ Opens Car Dealership to the Homeless at Night: ‘The Reaction Has Been Nuts’.” PEOPLE.com. February 11, 2020. https://people.com/human-interest/family-of-angels-opens-car-dealership-to-homeless-at-night/.
  4. “North Carolina Family Uses Car Dealership As Safe Space For The Homeless.” 2020. NewsOne. NewsOne. February 23, 2020. https://newsone.com/3903413/north-carolina-kiplin-automotive-space-for-homeless/.
  5. “Web Site Launched to Connect Potential Homeowners With Black Realtors.” 2020. BlackNews.com. February 19, 2020. https://www.blacknews.com/news/web-site-connects-homeowners-with-black-realtors/.
  6. Jurado, Joe. 2020. “Task Force of Physicists to Raise $50 Million to Encourage More Black Students.” The Root. February 22, 2020. https://www.theroot.com/task-force-of-physicists-to-raise-50-million-to-encour-1841841046.
  7. Robinson-Jacobs, Karen. 2020. “Physicists Propose $50M to Support African American Students.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group. February 21, 2020. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/physicists-spend-50m-support-african-american-students-n1135146.

Spread The Word

  1. “Seeking Black Teen Girls to Participate in Leadership Academy at Princeton University.” 2020. BlackNews.com. February 21, 2020. https://www.blacknews.com/news/seeking-black-teen-girls-leadership-academy-princeton-university/.
  2. Gifted Writer, Naseed. 2020. “Bringing S.T.E.M. to Marginalized Students of Color One Comic Book at a Time.” Newswire. February 20, 2020. https://www.newswire.com/news/bringing-s-t-e-m-to-marginalized-students-of-color-one-comic-book-at-a-21100057.
  3. “Meet the Entrepreneur Who Is Helping Detroit’s Black-Owned Businesses to Survive and Thrive.” 2020. BlackNews.com. February 20, 2020. https://www.blacknews.com/news/jennyfer-crawford-entrepreneur-helping-detroit-black-owned-businesses-survive-thrive/.

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