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West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American

The Target parking lot of the Buzz Westfall Shopping Center was filled with dozens and dozens of police vehicles and the area of West Florissant from Jennings to Ferguson was blocked off. Helicopters and tanks –as well as vehicles from a host of area departments – descended on West Florissant as looting and vandalism…

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Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

By Peter Grear

Our campaign has sought to educate our communities to the point that they would organize and mobilize for a massive voter turnout for the November General Election and beyond. 

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Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Study author Susan R. Fisk

“On the surface, risky situations may not appear to be particularly disadvantageous to women, but these findings suggest otherwise,” 

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Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

By Peter Grear

To properly understand where we are today, we must look to history, to Black Slavery.  Slavery has existed since the time of ancient civilizations and in its inception was based upon conquerors enslaving the conquered without regards to race.  

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Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Charlotte, NC (BlackPR.com)

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business executive, was installed as the 2014-2018 International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA)

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Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

New York (BlackPR.com)

New York (BlackPR.com) -- Nielsen today announced that Andrew McCaskill has joined Nielsen as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Laura Nelson.

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Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

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Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

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These Roots Run Deep: Reunion Links Black Families to White S.C. Church

Written by Herbert White, The Charlotte Post on 12 August 2011.

(NNPA) - Josiah and Matilda Currence would be proud of their family in 2011 America.Born slaves in the early 19th century, the South Carolina couple’s descendants recently gathered at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Clover, S.C., for the Armstrong-Currence reunion.  The high point of the reunion was the unveiling of a plaque acknowledging their forebears’ connection to the historically white church.
Bethel-Presbyterian-Clover-S.C.-Armstrong-Currence-reunion

 


“It’s incredible that we’re going to come here and remember Josiah,” said Dee Walker of Charlotte, great-great-great granddaughter of Josiah (1811-1877) and Matilda.  “I guess the most he hoped for his kids was that they would be great blacksmiths or masons or they would be great farmers.  Now we have medical doctors, engineers.  My daughter’s an architect.  People from all walks of life.”

They’ll remember Josiah, his wife Matilda and generations that followed at Bethel Presbyterian, founded in 1764 by Scotch-Irish settlers.  The current structure near Lake Wylie was dedicated in 1873 and slaves were members, although they worshipped in the segregated balcony.  Avril Price, a white descendant of S.C. slave owner William Currence, is also a reunion guest.  Walker said the two families are interested in confirming whether there is a genetic relationship between clans.

“This is by all means a historical occasion,” said Cary Grant, Bethel Presbyterian’s historian. “You’ve got descendants of the slaves coming back, and these slaves were members of the church.”

The Armstrong clan descended from Abner and Mary Armstrong, who had three children marry into the Currence family after emancipation.  Several of their children are buried in Green Pond Church Cemetery, the first cemetery for Blacks in Clover.

Bethel Presbyterian admitted slaves as members when many southern white congregations prohibited it.  The church’s membership rolls, which date back to 1817, recorded births and inductions of slaves by their first names.  After emancipation at the end of the Civil War, the remaining Black members were recorded by first and last name.

The congregation was “very progressive,” Grant said.  “I would say having them as members, I think that’s remarkable.  I can’t speak for any other churches, but during that time I would say that would be a rare occasion.”

Josiah and Matilda, who was born in 1812, were Bethel Presbyterian members in 1866.  Josiah remained a member until his death, but it’s unknown whether any Blacks were buried at the church cemetery.  A survey of the site was inconclusive, but Grant said there is some evidence of unmarked graves adjacent to the church, which would likely be of Black members.

“Probably, just on sheer guessing, if there are graves there, they’d be slave,” he said.  “The only bad thing is we’re not going to know who.  There’s not a record and there’s no marker, so unfortunately, if we do find them, we’re not going to know who the graves belong to.”

The Armstrong-Currence reunion, which dates to the 1950s, is expected to be larger this year because of the historic significance of Bethel.  Walker, one of the reunion organizers, anticipates at least 200 relatives making the event, primarily from the Carolinas.

“They’re coming from coast to coast,” she said.  “They’ve all said this is a calling.  People who’ve never been to Clover period …are calling in.  We’re saying 200, but we’re telling our caterer to prepare for 250 people because a lot of locals will come.”

As more African American families trace their roots, the Armstrong-Currence clan is a step ahead through painstaking research of records and interviews.  What they’ve discovered will become a permanent part of Clover’s history, too.

“We’re very proud of that,” Walker said.  “The fact that we can go back so far is very moving. When I send out information asking everyone to come, I tell them to bring their camera and their handkerchief. …That is a lot to be proud of.”

Said Grant: “It’s a great story.  It’s a heart-warming story.  It’s very touching.”

Ray Armstrong (from left), Marjorie Currence Smith, Dee Walker, Zeb Armstrong and Alex Walker at the commemorative marker at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Clover, S.C. Their forebears, slaves Josiah and Matilda Walker, were members at the predominantly white church when membership was customarily denied to Blacks. PHOTO/DANIEL COSTON


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