Archive | January, 2015

Marissa Alexander freed!

28 Jan

Marissa Alexander, a Florida woman who says she fired a warning shot at her abusive husband was released from a Jacksonville jail on Tuesday under a plea deal that capped her sentence to the three years she had already served. – See more at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2015/01/marissa-alexander-freed.html

Mandatory Minimums

Would free community college hurt HBCUs?

28 Jan

Black college educators and supporters are sharply split over whether President Obama’s proposal to offer a free two-year community college education to students making progress toward earning an associate or bachelor’s degree would hurt are harm Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). – See more at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2015/01/would-free-community-college-hurt-hbcus.html

Ben Carson speech at Iowa Freedom Summit

25 Jan

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Dr Ben Carson addressed the Iowa Freedom Summit Saturday. He spoke on Obamacare, the right to life, economy, foreign policy and more. What he did best was prove that he has no business running for president let alone being president. Carson spoke in generalities and showed little to no substance. He gave the crowd the usual conservative talking points to get cheap applause and nothing more. In the twenty or so minutes ( Yes, twenty minutes of his nasally voice, my ears are still bleeding) are so that he spoke we learned nothing about how he would actually implement any of his ideas. To be fair he never does say talk on the how to part of things. Watch his entire speech at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2015/01/ben-carson-speech-at-iowa-freedom-summit.html

Forbes top 10 cities for African American Economic Success

22 Jan

Here are the top 10 cities for African American economic success according to Forbes Magazine. One thing that jumps out at you immediately is the majority of the cities are in the southern region of the United States. Cities like Atlanta being #1, and Washington DC being on the top 10 list are no surprise but some of the other cities may actually surprise you. – See more at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2015/01/forbes-top-10-cities-for-african.html

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Was Selma’s best picture nomination a makeup call?

16 Jan

If you have ever watched a basketball game you know there’s something known as a “makeup” call. That’s when the referees make a bad or questionable call on one team and then make it up to that team by making a bad call the other way. No referee will admit this happens, but we all know that it does. I think that’s what happened with Selma getting a besat picture nomination. – See more at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2015/01/was-selmas-best-picture-nomination-make.html

Upcoming BET mini-series: Book of Negroes

12 Jan

Book of Negroes” is BET’s first scripted miniseries, and is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by the cable network, which targets African American viewers. It will air over the course of three consecutive nights in two-hour installments starting Feb. 16. – See more at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2015/01/upcoming-bet-mini-series-book-of-negroes.html

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President Obama proposes making first two years of community college free

9 Jan

Community-CollegesPresident Obama proposes making first two years of community college free – See more at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2015/01/president-obama-proposes-making-first.html

New Congress includes more women, minorities

4 Jan

New Congress includes more women, minorities

The 114th Congress that convenes Tuesday will count more African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and women than ever, although lawmakers remain overwhelmingly white and male – See more at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2015/01/new-congress-includes-more-women.html

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Sheriff to take over probe of police shooting death of Tamir Rice

3 Jan

Sheriff to take over probe of police shooting death of Tamir Rice

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Cleveland has transferred its investigation into the fatal police shooting of a 12-year-old boy to the Cuyahoga County sheriff’s department, city officials said on Friday. – See more at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2015/01/sheriff-to-take-over-probe-of-police.html

It’s time to stop preaching to the choir when it comes to “black on black” crime.

2 Jan

It’s time to stop preaching to the choir when it comes to “black on black” crime.

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My wife I had the privilege to attend a prayer service for black men gunned down by police on Monday Night (12/29/2014). There were many clergy and some elected officials from Roselle, Elizabeth, Hillside, and Plainfield at this service. At that prayer service in Roselle NJ put together by the Rev. David Ford at the St. Matthew Baptist Church, I heard many great speakers discuss issues in the African American community.

Because it was an open and honest dialogue black on black crime was mentioned, and our responsibility to address and deal with it were discussed. Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley gave a great speech about the need for parents to step up instill values in their kids and to value education. Myrtle Counts the head of the Roselle NAACP gave an impassioned speech about that yes black lives matter but that they must also value to us as African Americans. Rev. Ford mentioned not wanting to live in a world without police but wanting to have good and respectful police. I heard councilwoman Tracey Brown of Plainfield lament the fact that she had done over a hundred eulogy in 2014 and most of those were young people.

As I looked around I saw the nodded heads and heard the Amens and shouts of yes. But I also noticed something else as I looked around, as great as the speakers were the message they were delivering didn’t need to be given to the fifty or so people in the church. They were preaching to the choir.

What good is a great and possibly life-saving message if the people that need to hear it don’t hear it?

We as elected officials, clergy, and community leaders need to take the message that yes black lives matter, but they have to matter to us too from the churches and meeting halls to the streets. Delivering that message won’t be easy but nothing worth doing ever is. I don’t pretend to have all the answers on how to do that but if we all work together, I’m sure that many do.

It’s imperative that we get out there and deliver that message. As an elected official, I’m ready to do my part and hope that others will do the same. Our children’s lives depend on it.

George L. Cook III, president Hillside Board of Education. Email georgelcookiii@gmail.com