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2009 News and Events

December 27, 2009

In Harlem, Reflections on the Life of Percy Sutton

He was hailed as Harlem’s king or its chairman, the eloquent author of some of its prouder moments, the dapper mentor to its sons and daughters. As news of Percy E. Sutton’s death spread on Sunday, the sadness spanned generations and city blocks, from Mr. Sutton’s home on 135th Street to the doorstep of the Apollo, that cultural heart of Harlem that Mr. Sutton jolted to life.

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December 10, 2009

Full text of Obama's Nobel Peace Prize speech

OSLO, Norway - Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Distinguished Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world...

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December 9, 2009

Accreditation Reaffirmed for Fisk University, Three Other HBCUs

Four historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), including financially troubled Fisk University, had their accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) reaffirmed for another 10 years Tuesday.

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December 9, 2009

Southern Univ. Dismisses Award-Winning Coach

BATON ROUGE, La. - Pete Richardson, the football coach at Southern University for 17 years, was fired Monday along with most of his staff.

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December 8, 2009

U.S. Will Settle Indian Lawsuit for $3.4 Billion

WASHINGTON — The federal government announced on Tuesday that it intends to pay $3.4 billion to settle claims that it has mismanaged the revenue in American Indian trust funds, potentially ending one of the largest and most complicated class-action lawsuits ever brought against the United States.

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December 7, 2009

Alcorn President to Resign to Take Michigan Post

JACKSON, Miss. - Alcorn State University President Dr. George E. Ross is leaving the Mississippi campus early next year to take the helm at Central Michigan University. 

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December 4, 2009

Slim win for mayor shows battered black electorate

ATLANTA (AP) - When the final votes are counted, it's likely the black political machine that integrated Atlanta's City Hall - and kept it that way for four decades - will have pulled through one more time to deliver a fifth consecutive black mayor.

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December 3, 2009

Surgeon general calls for more minorities in medicine

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin said Thursday that the nation must reverse the downward trend of minorities attending medical, dental and nursing schools.

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November 30, 2009

Stop in the Name of Love & Legality - Fataphobia @ HBCU

I am a plump African American professor at the oldest HBCU in the country and a national expert on media weight discrimination and people of color in the professoriate...

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November 30, 2009

In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap

Johnny R. Williams, 30, would appear to be an unlikely person to have to fret about the impact of race on his job search, with companies like JPMorgan Chase and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago on his résumé.

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November 24, 2009

Google documents Iraqi museum treasures

BAGHDAD — Google is documenting Iraq's national museum and will post photographs of its ancient treasures on the Internet early next year, Google chief Eric Schmidt announced Tuesday.

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November 18, 2009

Mississippi Plan to Consolidate Black Colleges Facing Opposition

In something of a surprise, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour unveiled his budget recommendations that include merging its three historically Black universities.

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November 18, 2009

Indiana Professors Propose African Boarding School

INDIANAPOLIS — Some Indiana University professors have proposed a novel way to give struggling inner-city students a fresh start: send them to boarding school in Africa.

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November 17, 2009

Analysis: Obama's China trip shows power shifting

BEIJING (AP) - President Barack Obama's first visit to China underscored a shifting balance of power: two giants moving closer to being equals.

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November 17, 2009

Obama's Half Brother Makes a Name for Himself in China

On the streets of Guangzhou and nearby Shenzhen, Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo is turning heads. Since holding a press conference for his semiautobiographical Nairobi to Shenzhen: A Novel of Love in the East on Nov. 4, Ndesandjo, a half brother of U.S. President Barack Obama...

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November 13, 2009

The Unfinished Business of HBCUs

Public historically Black colleges and universities have served the under-represented well in the years since Adams v. Richardson, but states can no longer continue to underfund HBCUs if these schools are to become "comparable and competitive" with traditionally White institutions, a panel of former and current HBCU leaders concluded Thursday at a conference at Morgan State University.

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November 3, 2009

HBO filmmakers get inside Obama campaign

Rice was inspired by Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention in 2004 and wanted to do a film about him as an up-and-coming political leader.

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October 30, 2009

Bernice King elected SCLC president

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference on Friday named Bernice King, the daughter of SCLC co-founder Martin Luther King Jr., as its next president.

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October 28, 2009

Mayor Deprives Rival of Black Clergy’s Support

A few weeks ago, the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, the influential pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, came to a difficult decision, one he had wrestled with all summer.

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October 19, 2009

Pardon for black boxer jailed for interracial dating waits on Obama

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The White House refused to indicate Monday whether President Obama will issue a posthumous pardon for Jack Johnson, the African-American boxing champion convicted in 1913 for dating a white woman.

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October 15, 2009

ASU builds debt, but some believe results are worth it

Alabama State University has about $172 million in debt -- enough that it is spending $11.5 million annually just to service it. It has the highest debt-per-student ratio in the state. And some students and administrators think that's a good thing.

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October 12, 2009

Lowery celebrates a star-studded 88th birthday

Before a hushed crowd, Tony-award winning choreographer Savion Glover tapped in the darkness. As the curtain rose, the dancer’s musical accompaniment began playing John Coltrane’s, “Giant Steps.” A perfect tribute to the man of the hour, the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.

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October 10, 2009

Navy honors civil rights martyr Medgar Evers

JACKSON, Miss. — The widow of slain civil-rights pioneer Medgar Evers fought tears Friday as Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, announced he's naming a new Navy supply ship for Evers' late husband.

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October 9, 2009

Gasps as Obama awarded Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO – The announcement drew gasps of surprise and cries of too much, too soon. Yet President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday because the judges found his promise of disarmament and diplomacy too good to ignore.

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October 8, 2009

Room for Debate: One Family's Roots, a Nation's History

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Annette Gordon-Reed and others discuss what Michelle Obama's family tree says about America.

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October 8, 2009

In First Lady's Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery

A newly discovered story fleshes out Michelle Obama's family tree and substantiates longstanding rumors about a white ancestor.

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October 6, 2009

The tangled web black hair weaves

The Black College Football Hall of Fame is headed to Atlanta.Former Grambling University and NFL quarterbacks James ‘Shack’ Harris and Doug Williams will announce the establishment of the Black College Hall of Fame Friday at a press conference in Atlanta.

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October 6, 2009

Black College Football HOF headed to Atlanta

The Black College Football Hall of Fame is headed to Atlanta.Former Grambling University and NFL quarterbacks James ‘Shack’ Harris and Doug Williams will announce the establishment of the Black College Hall of Fame Friday at a press conference in Atlanta.

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September 29, 2009

King siblings hold shareholder's meeting -- first in five years

The three surviving children of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. met today under court order, holding their first shareholders meeting since 2004.

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September 4, 2009

Why Gen-Y Johnny Can't Read Nonverbal Cues

In September 2008, when Nielsen Mobile announced that teenagers with cellphones each sent and received, on average, 1,742 text messages a month, the number sounded high, but just a few months later Nielsen raised the tally to 2,272.

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September 2, 2009

Editorial: Reviving Civil Rights

Restoring the nation's commitment to fairness in voting, employment, housing and other areas is one of the new administration's most important challenges.

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August 28, 2009

After Bias Ruling, Firefighter Applicants Look Back

Among those in New York who took exams that a judge found discriminatory, some common themes emerge.

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August 27, 2009

Tresses of Choice

Nine black women discuss their hairstyles and the attitudes surrounding their hair.

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August 25, 2009

MLK memorial tied up in red tape

Forty-six years after Martin Luther King Jr. led the historic March on Washington that culminated with his “I Have A Dream” speech, plans to erect a monument to the slain civil rights leader and Atlanta icon near the National Mall remain a dream unrealized.

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August 21, 2009

No papers -- and little hope of advancement

People in their late teens or early 20s are seeking help establishing their identities from a nonprofit law firm. Without documents, they cannot open a bank account, obtain a job or enroll in college.

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August 21, 2009

Public housing projects may get markers

In the beginning, public housing in Montgomery had a positive image. It's an image some locals are working to restore. Donald Jenkins, along with local author and historian Richard Bailey, want to remind people of the prominent Montgomerians some public housing neighborhoods were named for.

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August 21, 2009

Preserving voting rights trail focus of meeting

About 40 people gathered in the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church sanctuary Thursday evening to discuss preserving the landscape along the historic voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery.

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August 21, 2009

Historian: State has made gains in race relations

Alabama has experienced positive political changes since Reconstruction, but race continues to be an overriding issue in many parts of the state, especially the Black Belt region, historian Samuel Webb said Thursday.

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August 17, 2009

Amiri Baraka: Perspectives on Music and Race

Amiri Baraka is the author of the insightful and comprehensive book, Blues People. It is a book that has opened many minds and readers to the African American Diaspora along with the history and roots of African American music.

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July 30, 2009

Preservation Battle Continues

Much has happened in the wake of the Press’ story about the potential destruction of Booker T. Washington’s historic summer home in Fort Salonga.

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July 30, 2009

Court issues decision on Judge Wiggins

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Court of the Judiciary, which convenes only to hear complaints filed against judges, has handed down it's decision in the case of Hale County Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins.

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July 28, 2009

City Room: New York Librarian Chosen as U.S. Archivist

WASHINGTON — President Obama will nominate David S. Ferriero, the director of research libraries at the New York Public Library, to become the United States archivist Tuesday, according to a White House spokesman.

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July 27, 2009

The Moral of the Story: Should Henry Louis Gates Sip or Sue?

In the right circumstances, filing suit can be a way to pursue social justice, and that makes it thoroughly ethical.

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July 27, 2009

ASU Names New Permanent President

WSFA 12 News has confirmed that the Alabama State University Board of Trustees have named Dr. William H. Harris the permanent President of Alabama State University.

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July 26, 2009

Magazine Preview: The Ultimate Obama Insider

Valerie Jarrett is one of the president's most influential advisers. So what does she do, exactly?

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July 23, 2009

Obama Wades Into a Volatile Racial Issue

President Obama said that police had "acted stupidly in arresting" Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard professor.

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July 22, 2009

Police Drop Charges Against Black Scholar

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Authorities agreed to drop a disorderly-conduct charge against renowned Harvard University African-American studies scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., who had been arrested at his own home last week after police answered a call about a suspected break-in there.

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July 20, 2009

In Purchase of School, Hopes of Saving a Neglected Monument

It has been more than a half-century since Sumner Elementary School, now an abandoned shell of a building, had a brief and ignoble moment in the spotlight for what it would not do: allow a black father from the surrounding neighborhood, Oliver L. Brown, to enroll his daughter Linda in the third grade.

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July 17, 2009

One Prom, Indivisible

Less is more, as the saying goes, and nowhere is this truer than in “Prom Night in Mississippi” (Monday 9-10:30 p.m. ET on HBO). When the documentary begins, actor Morgan Freeman is driving through his hometown of Charleston, Miss., population 2,100.

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July 15, 2009

Day care center to sue swim club over civil rights

A Pennsylvania day care center is pursuing a federal civil rights lawsuit against a swim club that canceled the center's membership, the day care director and attorney told CNN's "American Morning" on Wednesday.

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July 15, 2009

Civil Rights museum set to pay off loan for King Papers

The Atlanta City Council finance committee voted 4-0 Tuesday to use city of Atlanta bonds to repay the $32 million loan to buy a collection of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s papers for the proposed Center for Civil and Human Rights.

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July 14, 2009

Video Clip: Be A Voice Not An Echo

Cornel West, Ph. D. gave an amazing commencement address to this year’s Spelman College graduating class. Among many enlightening things, Cornel advised the graduating students keep an attachment to what created them.

Click here to view the video...

July 13, 2009

Job Losses Show Wider Racial Gap in New York

Economists said they were uncertain why the racial difference was so much starker in New York City.

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July 13, 2009

Stanley Fish: Because of Race: Ricci v. DeStefano

Ricci v. DeStefano shows that the search for a position that avoids race-consciousness will never succeed.

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July 13, 2009

Obama picks Morehouse School of Medicine grad as surgeon general

Washington — As with any 8 a.m. class, it wasn’t easy getting students to the community and family health class at Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine. But Regina Benjamin, the bright-eyed girl from Mobile, Ala., was always on time, enthusiastic and quick to participate, recalled her teacher.

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July 13, 2009

Obama chooses Alabama doctor as next surgeon general

Benjamin, 52, was nominated by President Barack Obama on Monday to be U.S. surgeon general, pledging to take her fight from a rural, impoverished outpost to the top tier of American medicine so that "no one falls through the cracks."

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July 08, 2009

Interracial Roommates Can Reduce Prejudice

Several recent studies have found that having a roommate of a different race can reduce prejudice, but such relationships are more stressful.

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July 07, 2009

Slave memorial sought at Jefferson County park

Historians have estimated that as many as 600 slaves lived near the ironworks between 1858 and 1865. A recent excavation uncovered their living quarters, though not much is known about their lives.

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June 30, 2009

Local archivist named in book of rights leaders

Montgomery's Gwen Patton has been a civil rights activist most of her life and still gets a kick out of honors that she insists she's never sought.

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June 29, 2009

White Fire Fighters Win Supreme Court Appeal

The Supreme Court ruling in favor of white New Haven firefighters who said they were victims of reverse discrimination will probably leave employers confused, civil rights advocates and labor attorneys say.

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June 28, 2009

Exhibit features African-American artifacts

The story of countless im­migrants who streamed into the United States by way of Ellis Island is a familiar one. But the story of a large seg­ment of this nation has gone unreported, said broad­caster and author Tavis Smiley...

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June 11, 2009

Hobson City Begins 2-Day Forum

Archivist Frazine Taylor addresses the Alabama Historical Commission’s Black Historical Council during a forum entitled, “Celebrating and Preserving the Legacy of Historic Hobson City.” Article from the Anniston Star.

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June 9, 2009

SCLC, former officers wrangle over leadership in Florida

Former officers of the Florida state chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference are refusing to step aside after national leaders in Atlanta dissolved their chapter.

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March 26, 2009

Association for the Study of African American Life and History Mourns the Passing of Dr. John Hope Franklin

John Hope Franklin, the scholar who was a pioneer in the field of African American history and dominated it for nearly six decades, has died at the age of 94.

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January 13, 2009

Online access to MLK papers starts today

Scholars and casual researchers can get their hands on important civil rights history —- virtually, at least —- for the first time today as a major portion of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s papers go public.

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January 08, 2009

Requiem for Katrina

During a brief period of four years, two events took place that could define how world history will view America during the early part of the 21st century. The first was 9/11 and the other, Hurricane Katrina...

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January 05, 2009

Sermons on Obama to go into archive

Years from now, historians researching the presidency of Barack Obama will be able to see and hear how his Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration played in pulpits across the nation.

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