General News (81)

The Department of Education (DOEannounced Monday (May 20) that it will expand the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, which allows people experiencing financial hardship and incarceration in certain states to receive need-based Pell Grants for college-level courses.

While the government bans incarcerated people from receiving federal financial assistance, the Second Chance Pell Experiment, which the DOE launched in 2015, allows people detained in the 26 participating states to apply for Pell grants, which are financial awards for undergraduate students experiencing financial hardship. They are funded by the government and generally do not have to be repaid.

According to the DOE, there are currently 64 schools and 26 states taking part in the Second Chance Pell Experiment. Vera Institute of Justice writes in an emailed statement about the expansion that the wider scope of the program will allow “new cohorts of colleges and universities to participate and more students to enroll in postsecondary programming while in prison.” Nick Turner, president and director of Vera Institute, said in the statement, “The U.S. Department of Education’s decision to expand Second Chance Pell is an important validation of the power of postsecondary education to disrupt mass incarceration.” Turner added, “[The experiment] has proven that when barriers to postsecondary education in prison fall, enrollment rates rise, which produces better outcomes for all.”

As Colorlines previously reported, Pell Grants for incarcerated people would, “ultimately benefit students, workers, employers and states.” The Vera Institute points out that “the success of Second Chance Pell and a body of research evidence shows postsecondary education in prison reduces recidivism rates and prison expenditures while increasing public safety and economic opportunity for people after they return to the community.”

Turner says this expansion is the next step, but there is still a fight ahead. “It’s our hope that Congress will show the same commitment to expanding access to postsecondary education in prison by taking the critical step of repealing the federal ban on Pell grants for people in prison outright,” he said. “Access to postsecondary education in prison has a verified track record of creating safer communities, cutting costs and increasing economic opportunity for people and their families post-release.”



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Harriet Tubman $20 Bill Delayed

Since April 2016, the United States Department of the Treasury has said that freedom fighter and abolitionist Harriet Tubman would replace former president Andrew Grant on the front of the $20 bill, as Colorlines previously reported. But yesterday (May 22), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed that the redesign will not happen while President Donald Trump is in office.

In a C-Span video of Mnuchin testifying on the international financial system before the House Committee on Financial Services, Representative Ayanna Pressely (D-Mass.) explained the efforts of grassroots organizations to update the country’s currency so it reflects the nation’s diverse population and pioneers. Pressley noted that when former Secretary Jacob Lew announced in 2016 that Tubman would be the face of the new bill, he also confirmed that final design concepts would be unveiled in 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Clearly frustrated by the lack of updates on the project, Pressley asked Mnuchin, “Do you believe that representation matters in American politics and imagery? Do you believe that people, other than White men, have greatly contributed to this country and its history?”

Though Mnuchin said he agreed that others have made contributions to this country, he also said, “The $20 bill will now not come out until 2028. The $10 bill and the $50 bill will come out with new features beforehand,” adding that the redesign will be made by a different secretary altogether. “I have not made a decision to execute on a redesign.”



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Last-Known Slave Ship Discovered

Nearly 160 years after the Clotilda brought the last kidnapped Africans to the shores of the United States, researchers have located the ship’s remains.



In the years since the Clotilda arrived on Alabama’s shores in 1860, with 109 stolen West Africans below deck, researchers have long believed the ship was the last one of its kind to make the voyage. But where was it? Yesterday (May 22), the Smithsonian Magazinereported that the ship has been located along the Mobile River, near Twelvemile Island.

The search for the ship started in 2017, following talks between the descendants of Africatown’s founders and Smithsonian curator and National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Slave Wrecks Project (SWP) co-director Paul Gardullo. Founded in 1860 during Jim Crow and Reconstruction, Africatown was built by a group of West Africans who were brought illegally to Mobile via the Clotilda; the import of people for the purpose of enslavement was outlawed in 1807.

Rumors that the ship was still in Alabama ramped up in 2018, when a reporter with Alabama’s Advance Local thought he’d found the remains; but that wreck was deemed too large. The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC), National Geographic Society and SWP conducted a week-long survey to determine the Clotilda’s whereabouts with little luck. That same year, Gardullo jumped in to include members from Africatown in the process.

“This was a search not only for a ship. This was a search to find our history and this was a search for identity and this was a search for justice,” Gardullo told the Smithsonian. “This is a way of restoring truth to a story that is too often papered over. Africatown is a community that is economically blighted and there are reasons for that. Justice can involve recognition. Justice can involve things like hard, truthful talk about repair and reconciliation.”

And the timing couldn’t be better. This past February 2019, more than 200 descendants of Africatown’s founders gathered in Alabama for the first time, National Geographic reported. Last year, Zora Neale Hurston posthumously published “Barracoon: The Story of the Last ‘Black Cargo’,” which tells the story of Cudjo Lewis, one of the enslaved people on that final voyage.

The Clotilda was authenticated by a group of researchers, led by the AHC and the maritime archeology group SEARCH Inc., which specializes in diving for historic shipwrecks.

For residents of the small Mobile community, this is great news. “So many people along the way didn’t think that happened because we didn’t have proof. By this ship being found we have the proof that we need to say this is the ship that they were on and their spirits are in this ship,” Lorna Gail Woods, the descendant of an Africatown founder told Smithsonian Magazine. “No matter what you take away from us now, this is proof for the people who lived and died and didn’t know it would ever be found.”



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The Pentagon has agreed to a request from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to build temporary tent housing for up to 7,500 adult migrants, The Washington Post reports. Children are not currently expected to be housed in the spaces.

According to The Post, Major Chris Miller, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, released a statement late Wednesday (May 22) explaining that the migrants will be “processed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).” Miller also emphasized that “military personnel will not operate the [temporary] facilities and will only erect the tents,” he said. “Operating the facilities remains the responsibility of DHS.”

Pentagon officials plan to build the tents along the “Tucson and Yuma sectors in Arizona and near the Tornillo, Donna, Laredo and Del Rio ports of entry in Texas,” according to The Post. The scope and cost of the project will reportedly be determined in the next couple of weeks, along with a timeline for completion. 

The request for temporary housing is linked to an increase in the number of migrants apprehended by agents at the southern border. The Post reports:

The flow of migrants over the southwestern border with Mexico has been spiking, straining an already stretched system for processing and housing those who are apprehended. The influx has led to what officials are describing as an emergency due to the overwhelming number of people in custody.

CBP reports that it detained 109,144 migrants in April 2019 alone. That is the largest number of people to attempt to cross the southern border in a single month since 2007.



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On Wednesday (May 22), the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) introduced a new rule that would weaken protections for transgender people at homeless shelters. The new rule allows federally funded shelters to deny transgender people entry on the basis of religious beliefs. It would also force trans women to share bathrooms and sleeping quarters with cisgender men.

The rule is the latest move by President Donald Trump’s administration to eliminate Obama-era transgender protections, including a 2016 regulation titled “Equal Access in Accordance With an Individual’s Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs.” Last year, in a slew of anti-trans policies, Trump signed a memorandum that banned transgender people from serving in the United States military. He also signed a “religious liberty” executive order that advocates say opens the door for more trans discrimination. In October, The New York Times reported the Department of Health and Human Services’ intention to change the legal definition of gender in a way that would write transgender peolpe out of existence in the eyes of the law.  

In the summary of the latest policy proposal, HUD officials wrote:

The proposed rule permits shelter providers to consider a range of factors in making such determinations, including privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs, any relevant considerations under civil rights and nondiscrimination authorities, the individual’s sex as reflected in official government documents, as well as the gender which a person identifies with. 

On Tuesday (May 21), while testifying before the House Committee on Financial ServicesHUD Secretary Ben Carson told the committee that his agency had no plans to change the HUD Equal Access Rule. “The rules from 2012 and 2016 adequately provide for fairness for all communities,” Carson said. “They’ve not been removed. We have not changed any of the rules.”

Per The Washington Post, the HUD website has removed links to resources that inform emergency shelters how to best serve transgender people and follow agency regulations. The agency has also upended policy proposals that require federally funded shelters to post notices that provide information on LGBTQ+ rights and protections. 

Trans people already face disproportionately high rates of homelessness. According to the National Center for Transgender Equalityone in five transgender people have experienced homelessness. Black and Native American trans people have reported the worst outcomes in discrimination in employment, police and street violence, healthcare access and homelessness. Trans youth of color, especially Black youth, experience disproportionately higher rates of homelessness. In a 2014 survey, providers for youth with no homes reported that Black LGBTQ+ youth made up 31 percent of the youth they serve, despite comprising just 14 percent of the general population for their age group. 

In the last year, 70 percent of transgender people ​​​​​​who attempted to enter a homeless shelter were removed or physically or sexually assaulted because of their gender identity, the National Center for Transgender Equality told The Post.

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On the 65th anniversary of the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility senior fellow Roseann Liu breaks down why it’s imperative to call out racism when advocating for fair school funding.


Sixty-five years ago, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of EducationThe National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, representing plaintiffs, argued that segregated schools violated the equal protection of the law guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the U.S.Constitution. The justices agreed. The unanimous 9-0 decision declared that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” and ordered school districts to desegregate. Civil rights activists celebrated this decision.

But for many students today, Brown represents the unfulfilled promise of equal educational opportunities.

Although school integration reached its peak in the 1970s, it began to decline in the early-1990s, when districts were released from court oversight. Today, school segregation levels have returned to those of the 1960s.

But desegregation was never the end goal. Robert L. Carter, a leading NAACP attorney on the case, wrote in Derrick Bell’s “Shades of Brown: New Perspectives on School Desegregation”: “the fundamental vice was not legally enforced racial segregation itself; this was a mere by-product, a symptom of the greater and more pernicious disease—White supremacy.”

Civil rights lawyers continue to advance racial equality in education, but now through other means: school funding. While few school segregation lawsuits exist today, school finance cases have been filed in 46 out of 50 states since 1973, with active lawsuits in 14 states.

Instead of claiming that “separate is inherently unequal,” school funding lawyers are now fighting for “separate but truly equal.”

Despite the fact that current school funding schemes overwhelmingly disadvantage students of color, plaintiff lawyers do not often argue that school funding discriminates based on race; even rarer are decisions that rule in favor of plaintiffs based on this argument.

Claims of racial discrimination in school funding are conspicuously absent from lawsuits.

This can be traced back to plaintiff lawyers shifting their strategy in the late-1980s, moving away from the claim that school funding is inequitably distributed based on equal protection clauses, to the claim that state funding is inadequate to provide students with a basic education guaranteed to them by state constitutions. That is, instead of re-slicing the pie, “inadequacy” claims seek to growthe pie.

When I interviewed lawyers about this change in strategy, they cited their concern that a racial discrimination claim would be seen as divisive. In contrast, inadequacy claims could bring together poor White districts and poor districts of color in the fight for more state money. These optics were thought to improve their chances of winning.

The move was largely successful. Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, when equity claims were made based on equal protection clauses, plaintiffs lost 66 percent of these cases. Since 1989, when lawyers shifted to inadequacy claims, effectively sidestepping claims of racial discrimination, plaintiffs won almost 60 percent of these cases.

These outcomes are no doubt a victory to students of color. And yet the legal strategies that led to these wins are out of step with growing evidence about racial bias in school funding that has been spotlighted recently. Nationally, non-White school districts receive $23 billion less than White school districts. In Pennsylvania, the least-White school districts get about $2,000 less per student than the state’s fair funding formula says it should have, while the most-White districts get around $2,000 more per pupil than determined by the formula.

By passing on race claims, lawyers also pass up the opportunity to build effective legal arguments about racially unjust school funding schemes. And since legal strategies set precedents for future cases, forgoing race claims not only effects the immediate suit, it also limits strategies for generations to follow.

Civil rights lawyers have the difficult task of crafting viable legal claims that will prevail in court. While avoiding the “third rail” of a race claim may improve chances of winning the case at hand, this comes at the cost of building the knowledge and legal strategies to successfully argue that school funding is racially biased.

School funding lawsuits represent a new terrain on which battles to achieve racial equality in education are fought. As this generation’s lawyers carry the torch, let them be inspired by the boldness of their predecessors, and be willing to call out the institutional racism that exists in education today.

Roseann Liu is visiting assistant professor in the Department of Educational Studies and senior fellow at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility at Swarthmore College. She is writing a book on race and school funding in the United States.



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This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Sung Yeon Choimorrow—executive director of National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum—says AAPI women need to step into their power.


Being an Asian woman in America is complex. There are stereotypes we face by dint of being Asian: myths perpetuated about being subservient, obedient and model minorities. There are the notions others inflict on us from their own lens: nativism in the phrase “go back to China” (even when we’re American, even when our families have been in the United States for generations, even when we’re not Chinese) and sexualization by men who hit on us because they have “an Asian fetish.”

There are the typical biases, and then there are the surprising ones: as an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) woman, much of the racism and microaggression I experience actually arises in response to moments when I exercise my voice and take up space.

Well-meaning and “open-minded” White people will say things like “you’re so articulate!” or “it’s so refreshing to see an AAPI woman who speaks her mind!” without realizing that they are reinforcing the very stereotypes they think they are bucking. These are the “compliments” I receive as an AAPI woman—backhanded compliments that serve more as insults. Added to this mix are the battles we face just as women, creating a double-bind for those of us with hyphenated identities.

This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, it’s time for some truths about the AAPI community and about AAPI women. We are actually overwhelmingly progressive, and a key part of the women of color voting bloc. AAPI women have been at the forefront of the resistance to the Trump administration, and continue to challenge the status quo. Women still make less than men, still don’t have mandatory paid parental leave and still live in a culture that normalizes sexual harassment and rape. We fight alongside other women on these policy fronts every day, while also countering issues specific to AAPIwomen—like fighting U.S. militarism and anti-immigrant policies that have led to so many of the most damaging sexualized and exoticized stereotypes about us.

At National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), where I serve as executive director, we live by two mottos. The first is “not your model minority” and the second is “be seen, be heard, be fierce.” These mottos instantly resonate with many of the AAPIwomen I encounter because we all experience a double invisibility in America. As women, we fight to be seen as equal to men in the workplace, with regard to our own bodily autonomy and in policy spheres. As AAPI women, we fight to be seen as powerful individuals who are in no way meek, submissive or fetishized.

AAPI women experience these biases and stereotypes about our culture, our heritage, the national origin of our families and our gender, at an intersection. Perhaps the best encapsulation of what we face came the other day, as I was boarding a flight. Looking at my name on the boarding pass, a gate agent laughed and said, “I’m not even going to try and pronounce that!”

I pronounced my name for her and made her say it three times until she finally got it right. I’m sure she expected that I, an Asian-American woman, would keep my head down and let the joke pass, maybe even politely laugh along. But I wasn’t going to let this stereotypical expectation of me—and the refusal to even attempt to pronounce my name—slip by without a fight.

As the incredible actress Uzo Aduba’s mother once explained to her, if White people can learn to pronounce Dostoyevsky, they can learn to pronounce Uzoamaka. This story is yet another reminder of who people think is worth extra effort, and who is not. Who is visible, and visibly powerful, and who is not. AAPI women like me are stepping up to take back this power and stand in the spotlight. We are worth the extra effort.

It takes courage and resilience to fight invisibility despite living at the intersection of so many biases. But here’s a truth about the AAPIcommunity: our voices are loud and our fierceness transcends stereotypes. We’re here to take up space—our collective fight depends on it.

Sung Yeon Choimorrow is the executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls in the United States. Follow her on Twitter @schoimorrow.



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GLAAD’s newest diversity report shows a drop for LGBTQ+ characters of color and improvement with regard to trans characters.


GLAAD’s newest diversity report shows that Hollywood still has a long way to go when it comes to representation for LGBTQ+ people of color.

“The racial diversity of LGBTQ characters saw a drop this year, with 42 percent of LGBTQ characters being people of color, compared to 57 percent in 2017,” says the 2019 GLAAD Studio Responsibility Index(SRI), released on Thursday (May 23). “There were no transgender or nonbinary characters counted in mainstream releases [in 2017].”

The annual index tracks the diversity, quality and quantity of LGBTQ+ characters in films released by seven major studios; for 2018, the organization researched films from 20th Century FoxLionsgateParamount PicturesSony Pictures EntertainmentUniversal PicturesThe Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros.

“Of the 45 characters counted, 26 were White (58 percent), 10 were Black/African American (22 percent), six were Asian/Pacific Islander (13 percent) and three were Latinx (7 percent).”

While the 15 percent drop in LGBTQ+ characters of color is alarming, the report did find that LGBTQ+ representation increased 5 percent overall from the year before, and for the first time since GLAADstarted mapping these trends in 2013, an equal number of films featured gay and lesbian characters.

Other findings in the report show that if Hollywood wants to keep the LGBTQ+ community interested, “the studios must create stories that are reflective of the world LGBTQ people and our friends and family know and make those films accessible in wide release.” From the report:

GLAAD and The Harris Poll’s Accelerating Acceptance report shows that 20 percent of Americans aged 18 to 34 and 12 percent aged 35-51 identify as LGBTQ. Twelve percent of Americans 18-34 identify as transgender or gender nonconforming. A majority of these demographics would also call themselves allies—63 percent of Americans 18-34 and 53 percent of Americans 35-51.

Of the 110 films GLAAD counted from the major studios in 2018, 20 (18.2 percent) contained characters identified as LGBTQ.

There were zero transgender-inclusive films from the major studios in 2018, a finding consistent with the previous year.

Read the full report here.



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Furman University to Honor First Black Student

The school voted unanimously to erect a statue in honor of Joseph Vaughn and review its mission and vision with an eye toward inclusivity.


The board of trustees for Furman University, in Greenville, South Carolina, unanimously approved recommendations made by the board’s Special Committee on Slavery and Justice to create “a statue and day of celebration to honor the late Joseph Vaughn, the university’s first African-American student,” the university said in a statement released Wednesday (May 22).

The statue of Vaughn, who enrolled at Furman in 1965, will live in a prominent place on campus and the university is working to create an annual Joseph Vaughn commemorative day and celebration. The first Black women to enroll, Lillian Brock-Flemming and Sarah Reese, will also be celebrated on campus.

The board also approved the renaming of the school’s lakeside housing area to the Clark Murphy Housing Complex, “in honor of Clark Murphy, an African-American who worked for decades as a groundskeeper at the Greenville Woman’s College, which later merged with Furman University.”

Additionally, the university pledged to review the institution’s mission, values, vision and motto with an eye toward more inclusive updates and to add plaques and markers around the campus that acknowledge the full scope of its history and the people who shaped it. The work is part of Furman’s push to examine its ties to slavery and the legacy left in its wake.

“The trustees are pleased to approve the recommendations made by the Special Committee on Slavery and Justice, which will guide Furman in fully acknowledging and sharing its history to foster a more inclusive future,” said Alec Taylor, chair of the board.



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Hernández v. Mesa asks if the border officer who killed Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca violated his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.


Shani Saxon  MAY 28, 2019 5:39PM EDT

Supreme Court. White building with multiple white pillars and multiple steps. Guards stand on stairs.

SCOTUS will decide if the family of a teen migrant can to sue the border officer who killed him. 
Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images


The United States Supreme Court will soon decide if the family of a Mexican teen migrant who was shot and killed by a border agent will be allowed to sue for damages, CBS News reports. 

The main question the plaintiffs hope will be answered in Hernández v. Mesa is if the shooting death of the teen is considered a “violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures,” according to CBS. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is meant to protect against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. The Court will also examine the case to determine if his Fifth Amendment rights were violated, which says that no one should be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

CBS reports that Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca was 15 years old when he stood on the Mexico side of the border between El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juarez back in 2010. Agent Jesus Mesa was across from Hernández on the U.S. side when he shot and killed the boy. The agent said people were throwing rocks at him when he fired his gun, shooting Hernández twice. The boy died immediately, according to El Paso Times.

The Supreme Court previously heard arguments in this case in 2017, according to CBS. However, the case was returned to lower courts for more hearings.

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Here’s the good news: Enrollment at Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) has never been higher, with the trend showing no signs of slowing anytime soon.

Now, here’s the, um, not so good news, at least for traditionalists: As that spike in students bolsters the bottom lines for schools which may not have been on the firmest of financial footings, it has also been threatening to change the typical racial makeup of HBCU students.

“In many cases, African-American students have ceased being a majority at HBCUs,” according to a new report from Diverse Issues in Higher Education published last week. “At some, they are a small minority among a White majority.”

The report did not single out schools in particular that apparently fell under that category, but a closer look at recent statistics showed an increasing number of white people have been enrolling as undergraduates at HBCUs over the years.

“Additionally,” the report said, “graduate, professional and online programs at HBCUs tend to draw non-Black students at higher rates.”

The percentage of white students at HBCUs stood at 17 percent, according to a report last year from Pew Research Center. That figure was up from 13 percent in 1980. Data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics confirm the steady rise in white students enrolling in HBCUs from 1976 through 2004. That could be the reason, at least in part, why HBCUs saw record growth in 2017.

However, coinciding with that rise in white students at HBCUs was the “lower shares of blacks attending these institutions,” according to Pew:

“As desegregation, rising incomes and increased access to financial aid resulted in more college options for blacks, the share of blacks attending HBCUs began to shrink,” Pew found. “By fall 1980, 17% of black students enrolled in degree-granting institutions were enrolled at an HBCU. By 2000, that share had declined to 13%, and it stood at 9% in 2015.”

For those aforementioned traditionalists, the surge of white student enrollment can be seen as a gift as well as a curse, metaphorically speaking. Adding more students, either white or of any ethnic background, is important to fend of an apparent existential crisis for many HBCUs that has forced some to shut down and others to ponder a new way forward, according to a professor at The King’s College in New York City.

“The reality is that if HBCUs — with the exception of maybe the top five or six — do not diversify, they’re all going to die,” Anthony Bradley, who has written about HBCUs, told Time in 2014. “While they may continue in their mission in respect to providing opportunities to African-Americans on paper, in reality they’re simply going to have to become more like any university in the country.”



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Eid-al-Adha, also known as the “Festival of Sacrifice”, is a two-day Islamic holiday celebrated around the world. Beginning Monday and ending Tuesday, Muslims traditionally give praise for when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, as a sign of his faith.

During the festival, Muslims gather in their best garb to eat traditional food, exchange gifts and pray. Check out some of the beautiful images from Eid-al-Adha across the globe.







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African-American leaders sent condolences to the family of Sen. John McCain, who leaves a mixed legacy with the Black community.

McCain succumbed on Saturday to his battle against brain cancer. The lawmaker and Vietnam War hero, who ran twice for U.S. president, died at his home in Arizona at age 81.

“Today we not only lost a war hero and savvy politician but a man that always put true American values before himself. He was often open to dialogue and conversation about some of this country’s most controversial issues, and he will forever be remembered for his fighting spirit,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said. “We send our condolences to the McCain family and the constituents he proudly served in Arizona for 33 years.”

President Barack Obama, who ran for president in 2008 against McCain, tweeted this message:

The Congressional Black Caucus had this to say:

Many recalled that McCain defended Obama on the campaign trail in 2008, when he shut down a birther who raised doubts about Obama’s birthplace and religion. He’ll be remembered as one of the few Republicans who openly criticized President Donald Trump for calling Haiti and African nations “shithole countries.” Democrats also cheered the dramatic moment on the Senate floor in 2017 when McCain, while battling cancer, gave the thumbs-down on the GOP vote to permanently repeal Obamacare.

There was another side to McCain that brings balance to his legacy. McCain was indifferent to his Black constituents in Arizona, according to Politico.

McCain “has pretty well zero relationship with the African-American community that I know of,” Oscar Tillman, the former Arizona NAACP head, told Politico in 2008. “I don’t recall him ever attending any function with the NAACP. Each year we send them an invitation [to an annual banquet], and each year they say no.”

The senator was also a staunch opponent of the national Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Even after President Ronald Reagan finally decided to approve the bill for MLK Day, McCain voted against it.

He later regretted his opposition to celebrating the civil rights leaders, and he apologized for his support in 2000 for keeping the Confederate flag flying atop the South Carolina statehouse.



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Yesterday, the French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, went viral after banning Serena Williams‘ catsuit from the French Open. Everyone has been blasting the 60-year-old and now Nike has responded.

Nike responded on Twitter with a photo of Serena with text that read, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers. #justdoit” See below:

Giudicelli said in an interview with Tennis Magazine’s 500th edition, “I believe we have sometimes gone too far. Serena’s outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place.”

Twitter is obviously outraged by the decision, which is clearly racism and sexism. Click here for the reactions.

Considering the serious backlash, it would be no surprise if the French Open decides to “reverse” their ban. Saying Williams doesn’t have respect for the game is asinine and insulting. Serena Williams is the winner of 23 Major singles titles at the French Open. The reason why the French Open sells tickets is partly because of Serena’s presence. No one has more respect for the game than Serena.

Put some respect on her name, Mr. Giudicelli.



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Pursuing higher learning can cost a lot. Historically Black Colleges and Universities, however, have succeeded at staying below the national average when it comes to tuition.

The typical cost of attending a private university was $34,740 for the 2017-18 academic year, according to College Data. Costs added up to $9,970 for state residents at public colleges and $25,620 for out-of-state residents attending public universities this last year. Spelman College, a private liberal arts university in Atlanta and the most expensive HBCU according to Student Loan Hero, costs $28,181 for both in-state and out-of-state students for the 2017-18 year. Public HBCU Cheney University of Pennsylvania costs $18,386 for out-of-state students.

Public schools have lower costs than private universities, however, out-of-state students will see higher attendance fees than those who are in-state. Still, there are more than 100 HBCUs that are educating students at an affordable fee.


Private and public schools have been able to control costs in the face of a number of odds. For example, HBCUs typically receive smaller endowments than historically white institutions, according to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

The most affordable schools have been ranked by Student Loan Hero. Here are the five most affordable public HBCUs:

1. Elizabeth City State University: Elizabeth City, North Carolina

In-state tuition and fees: $4,986

Out-of-state tuition and fees: $18,130

Total undergraduate enrollment: 1,310

2. Fayetteville State University: Fayetteville, North Carolina

In-state tuition and fees: $5,183

Out-of-state tuition and fees: $16,791

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,393

3. University of the Virgin Islands: Virgin Islands

In-state tuition and fees: $5,235

Out-of-state tuition and fees: $14,496

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,112

4. Harris-Stowe State University: Saint Louis, Missouri

In-state tuition and fees: $5,340

Out-of-state tuition and fees: $9,973

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,442

5. Albany State University: Albany, Georgia

In-state tuition and fees: $5,675

Out-of-state tuition and fees: $16,136

Undergraduate enrollment: 6,262




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Sadaria Davis

On April 25, Sadaria Davis, 15, was last seen leaving her West Garfield Park neighborhood in Chicago. On May 11, Davis’ body was found several blocks away, according to the Chicago Sun Times. She is one of four girls and women who have gone missing in Chicago since mid-March, but she is the only one whose body has been found.

Now, Davis’ family has spoken out for the first time. They held a vigil where her daughter was found and asked the public for help,ABC 7 reported.

“The last time I saw my daughter she was sitting on the foot of my bed talking to me,” her mother, Nicole Sargeant, said. “I cant’ sleep. I can’t eat. Every time I close my eyes, all I see is my baby because I know she didn’t deserve what you did to her.”

Davis’ cousin Luwana Johnson appealed to the public for help.

“Anybody who has any type of information please come forward and share that information,” Johnson said. “We want to put Sadaria to rest. We want to know what happened.”

On social media, there were reports that Davis’ fingers were cut off and some of her organs were removed. However, the Chicago Police Department told NewsOne it “cannot confirm those details and the cause of death is unknown.”

As of Sunday, “the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has still not been able to determine how she died.”


There are fears of a serial kidnapper in this area of Chicago. On March 16, Anna Stanislawczyk, 18, went missing and has not been seen since. On May 25, Shantieya Smith, 26, went missing and has not been seen since. On June 5, 15-year-old Victoria Garrett also vanished.

Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by these tragedies. Anyone with information about Davis’ death has been asked to call Chicago detectives at 312-744-8266.




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African American Female Graduate


In an effort to increase the representation of Black first-generation college students at Spelman College, the institution has teamed up with Ford Motor Company for the creation of a new initiative, the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reported.

Dubbed Ford First Gen, the program is designed to help aspiring college students overcome socio-economic barriers that prevent them from furthering their education, the news outlet writes. Through the initiative, participants will be able to take advantage of services and resources that will ensure their personal, academic, and professional success; including being mentored by students who are in their junior year at Spelman. After going through the program, students will have the opportunity to mentor those who are following in their footsteps. Mentors will be awarded $10,000 towards their tuition.

Under the program, there will be seminars hosted that are related to career development and goal setting, trips that will give participants the opportunity to interact with individuals who are making moves in industries that they aspire to pursue careers in, and students will also be aligned with summer internships to build upon their professional experiences.

Mary Schmidt Campbell, President, Spelman College, is excited about the partnership with Ford Motor Company and believes that the program will be nothing short of impactful. “Ford Motor Company’s partnership with us in the Ford First Gen program brings a comprehensive, innovative and collaborative approach that exemplifies an important part of ‘the Spelman Promise’ – ensuring that every Spelmanite graduates with a competitive edge,” she said in a statement, according to the news outlet. Ford is looking forward to helping students of color overcome barriers to education. “Ford First Gen is a unique approach to helping break down barriers to success that are sometimes faced by first-generation students,” Pamela Alexander, Director of Community Development at Ford Motor Company Fund told Diverse Issues in Higher Education. “We are very excited about the opportunity we have to impact students’ lives through the mentorship, education and cultural experiences that Ford First Gen will offer, and given Spelman’s rich legacy of success, we could not ask for a better partner for this program.”




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Journalism pioneer Alice Allison Dunnigan will be honored posthumously by the Newseum in Washington, D.C. According to the New York Times, the institution plans on installing a statue to honor Dunnigan, who was the first Black woman to receive press credentials to cover the White House.

Dunnigan—a journalist, civil rights activist, and author—took the helm of the Associated Negro Press Washington Bureau 71 years ago. She spent over a decade penning pieces for various publications and many of her pieces were featured in African-American newspapers that were distributed nationally. During WWII Dunnigan served as a typist for the government. She broke many barriers for Black women in journalism, becoming the first African-American woman to not only provide coverage on the White House but the State Department and the Supreme Court as well.

After her days as a journalist, she worked with presidential committees to create programs for youth and people of color. In 1974—nine years before her death—she released an autobiography about her life and experiences as a woman of color in the media industry titled A Black Woman’s Experience: From Schoolhouse to White House. Dunnigan—a National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame inductee—has received 50 awards for her contributions to journalism throughout her career.

The Newseum believes that it’s time for her unsung story to be brought to the forefront. “Alice was such a barrier breaker for women and people of color, we were happy to have the opportunity to embrace her here at the museum,” Carrie Christoffersen, curator and vice president of exhibits at the Newseum, told the news outlet.

The 6-foot bronze statue—which is being created by Lexington, Kentucky-based artist Amanda Matthews—will be on display at the museum from September 21 through December 16 and then it will be moved to the West Kentucky African-American Heritage Center in the town where Dunnigan was born and raised.



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A venture capitalist firm is aiming to level the playing field for Black women when it comes to securing funding for their business ventures. Backstage Capital recently announced that it will invest $36 million in the entrepreneurial endeavors of African American women, Business Insider reported.

The firm unveiled the plan for the fund at the United State of Women 2018 Summit in Los Angeles, the news outlet writes. Through the initiative, Backstage Capital plans to invest in nearly 20 companies over the next three years. Arlan Hamilton, the founder and managing partner of the firm, says that the statistics surrounding Black women securing venture capital are alarming and it needs to be changed. “I think the figures speak for themselves: less than .2% of all early-stage venture funding goes to Black women, while we make up approximately 8% of the U.S. population and are one of the fastest growing entrepreneur segments in the country,” she told Tech Crunch. She also believes that its unfair Black women have had to “accept scraps” when trying to get financial backing for their business endeavors.


According to Business Insider, the first group of entrepreneurs will be awarded this year.

Many Black entrepreneurs are launching initiatives to help their fellow Black business owners thrive. Marceau Michel—creator of Black Founders Matter—is aiming to raise $10 million for visionaries of color in the tech industry. “By raising awareness, using our supporters as walking billboards and reaching our community, I believe we can raise more than enough funds to shake up venture funding as it pertains to people of color and make them pay attention to our resourcefulness and resilience,” said Marceau.



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