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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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Trayvon Martin’s Death Takes Toll on Family

Written by George E. Curry on 26 March 2012.

Sybrina Fulton knows what she will be doing tomorrow. It is the same thing she did yesterday. And the same thing she will do today. “I cry every day,” she said Sunday on TV One’s Washington Watch with Roland Martin. “I just don’t understand. My son’s gone and this guy has never been arrested.” Her son, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year old high school junior with no record of trouble, was killed in Sanford, Fla. on Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain.



Zimmerman was questioned by police and released after authorities took his word that he was  acting in self-defense, a version of events contradicted by witnesses and calls to 911.

 

Martin, an honor student who lived in Miami with his parents, was visiting in the gated community of Twin Lakes in Sanford, 20 miles northeast of Orlando, with his father when the incident took place. He had gone to a nearby 7-Eleven store to pick up a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea during halftime of a televised NBA game.

Walking back, he was spotted by Zimmerman, who was driving a SUV. Zimmerman, a wannabe cop, dialed 911 to report seeing a “very suspicious” Black male in the neighborhood.

Under pressure, Sanford police released 911 tapes that clearly show that Zimmerman disobeyed police instructions that he avoid making contact with Martin.

Zimmerman told the 911 dispatcher, “This guy looks like he is up to no good. He is on drugs or something.” He also claimed Martin had his hand in his waistband and was looking at homes as he walked.

“These —holes. They always get away,” Zimmerman told the dispatcher. When the 911 dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he were following Martin, he replied yes.

“OK, we don’t need you to do that,” the dispatcher told Zimmerman. Not only did he disobey, Zimmerman got out of this SUV, confronted Martin, and fired the deadly bullet into his chest.

Benjamin Crump, the family’s lawyer, also appeared on Roland Martin’s show with the parents.

“He [Zimmerman] gets out of that car with a 9 millimeter gun, weighing 200 pounds and confronts this kid, weighing soaking wet 140-150 pounds, who has only a bag of Skittles. George Zimmerman has a red sweat shirt and jeans on. We believe Trayvon Martin went to his grave not knowing who was this strange White man confronting him.”

Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has defended his department’s decision not to charge Zimmerman.

“We are taking a beating over this,” he said. “This is all very unsettling. I’m sure if George Zimmerman had the opportunity to relive Sunday, Feb. 26, he’d probably do things differently. I’m sure Trayvon would, too.”

Several witnesses have disputed the idea that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense.

“I heard someone crying – not boo-hoo crying, but scared or terrified or hurt maybe,” Mary Cutcher told the Miami Herald. “To me, it was a child.”  She explained, “This was not self-defense. We heard no fighting, no wrestling, no punching. We heard a boy crying. As soon as the shot went off, it stopped, which tells me it was the child crying. If it had been Zimmerman crying, it wouldn’t have stopped. If you’re hurting, you’re hurting.”

Sanford, Fla. has a checkered race relations record.

In 2005, two parking lot security guards, one the son of a Sanford police officer, fatally shot a Black teenager, Travares McGill, in the back. They, too, claimed self-defense and had their case dismissed in court.

Last year, Police Chief Brian Tooley was forced from office after the son of a lieutenant was caught on camera beating a defenseless homeless Black man. The department refused to prosecute the officer, Justin Collison, until after the footage was posted on YouTube.

Tracy Martin told Roland Martin that his son saved his life in 2004.

“At the time, he was 9 years old,” the father recounted. “We had just came from the Little League football park. We fell asleep while the stove was on. A grease fire started. I went into the kitchen to try to put the grease fire out. The grease splattered all over my leg. My body went into shock and by me and him being in the house, I started calling out his name.

“He finally woke up and, at 9 years old, he pulled me from out of the kitchen, where the kitchen cabinets were on fire. He pulled me out of the kitchen onto the balcony. He actually went back into the house and got the cell phone and called 911.”

An emotional Tracy Martin said, “He was my hero – he was actually my best friend. He saved my life. And for me not to be there to be able to save his life is very upsetting.”

 

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is editorial director of Heart & Soul magazine. He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge. •

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