Newswire: Black News Channel (BNC) TV launches in America

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent

NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. (pictured at right), Former Republican U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts, chairman of BNC (left) and Jacksonville Jaguars owner, Shad Khan, who is a primary investor in the new network (center).

In a joint teleconference broadcast live from the Four Season’s Hotel in New York’s Financial District, the Black News Channel (BNC) and the National Newspaper Publishers Association announced the official launch date and time for the nation’s first 24-hour, 7-days a week all-news TV channel that will focus on African American news.
The new channel promises to inform, educate, and empower nearly 50 million African Americans now living in the United States.
The potential for the network appears almost limitless.
BNC will immediately have the potential to reach 33 million households daily in all the major media markets across the nation.
Combined with the millions of readers who consume information from NNPA’s Black-owned newspapers and media companies each week, the BNC could quickly become the top destination for all who want to consume African American news on TV and on mobile devices.
BNC, which officially launches at 6 a.m. on Friday, November 15, 2019 has agreements with Charter Communications, Comcast and DISH TV. The network already has commitments for carriage in major African American hubs like Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington, DC, Baltimore and Los Angeles.
Tallahassee, Florida, houses BNC’s headquarters, and the network will have news bureaus around the country, including Washington, D.C. and New York City.
Former Republican U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts is chairman of BNC, which is backed financially by business mogul and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan.
“This platform will create a venue for the African American community to have a dialogue to talk about news, education and cultural things,” stated Watts, who added that the network has been in the planning stage for many years.
“I had an afro when I started this,” Watts referenced.
“It’s especially important to have the Black Press of America join us in this venture. I bet most people don’t realize that there are 223 African American-owned newspapers in the NNPA, and that’s content for us,” Watts stated.
“We suffered a big blow with the loss of Ebony and Jet, publications I grew up reading. But I still read the Black Press in Oklahoma City, growing up.”
NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., who participated in the teleconference, said the NNPA’s partnership with the BNC is a profound win-win for Black America.
“This year marks the 192nd year of the Black Press of America. Black Americans striving for excellence in all fields of endeavor give life to our culture that attracts and impacts all people. We set trends for ourselves and others,” Chavis stated.
“We’re not a cursed people, and we are a blessed people. We continue to strive for excellence, and to have Shad Khan announced as a primary investor for the launch and sustainable development of the BNC is of major significance,” Chavis noted.
Kahn told NNPA Newswire that the decision to back BNC was easy once he looked at the mission and the business model.
“I am a big believer in the fact that we have a number of communities, obviously especially the African American community, who are underserved,” stated Kahn, a magnate in the auto equipment industry.
In addition to the Jaguars, he owns the Fulham Football Club of the English Football League, All Elite Wrestling, and the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.
“I hope that as time goes on, this becomes a bridge to connect all the cultures, including obviously south Asian. But I do believe there is an undeniable calling for everything the Black News Channel will deliver to African American television audiences, who have historically been underserved in an era where networks have otherwise successfully targeted news to specific demographic groups and interests. My decision to invest is an easy one because we get to answer that calling,” Kahn explained.
Both Watts and Kahn promised that BNC will give a voice to the varied experiences of African Americans and will not just tell a segment of the story but will tell the entire story.
“We will inform, educate, inspire, and empower the African American community,” Watts added.
BNC will have three primary anchor teams who will host the network’s evening newscast, morning newscast, and mid-day D.C. Today Live broadcast. In addition to primary anchor teams, BNC also will have high-profile expert contributors who will add commentary and information to each newscast.
The network will work with historically Black colleges and universities to ensure that all African Americans have a voice.
A BNC correspondent will examine life on the HBCU campuses and explain why the experiences students have at these institutions of learning are so meaningful in the cultural development of many students’ lives. The weekly one-hour program will focus on what is happening at HBCUs that is good, positive, and uplifting.
Additionally, one of the many topics will include Sickle Cell Diseases, the blood disorder that disproportionately affects African Americans.
Veteran TV anchor Kelly Wright, who will host a 6 p.m. show on BNC, said his inaugural program would include a segment on the NNPA’s missing black girls national series.
That series spotlights the more than 424,000 African American women and girls who have gone missing in the United States over the past half-decade.
“We’re not looking to be Republican or Democrat. There will be current affairs, but we are culturally specific to the African American community. MSNBC, Fox News, CNN may have African American faces on their news shows, but they are not necessarily covering the community from a cultural perspective,” Watts stated. “We’re not looking to be left or right. We will be authentic and true to enriched and diverse African American experience.”

Newswire: Civil Rights activist and ‘Me Too’ founder’ Tarana Burke to receive Harvard Kennedy School’s Gleitsman Award

Tarana Burke

Cambridge, MA: Tarana Burke, civil rights activist and founder of the global ‘me too.’ movement for survivors of sexual assault, has been chosen as this year’s recipient of Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership Gleitsman Award. The annual award honors Burke for her leadership of the global fight for survivor justice and her decades-long campaign to heal individuals and communities affected by sexual violence.

“Tarana’s work is visceral and fearless. In bringing attention to systemic failings and individual acts of courage and organizational support, Tarana has created a groundbreaking campaign that’s shaped our media and policy worlds in a truly profound way,” said Amb. Wendy R. Sherman, professor of the practice of public leadership and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. “She reminds us that there is indeed a lot of work to be done in our own communities, including Harvard. But with ‘me too.’ she has fundamentally changed the conversation at institutions and in households around the world.”

The Gleitsman Award and $125,000 prize are given annually by the Center for Public Leadership to an individual or team whose leadership in social action has improved the quality of life in the United States and across the globe. Previous Gleitsman recipients include Malala Yousafzai, U.S. Representative John Lewis, Nelson Mandela, and Gloria Steinem.

The award will be presented to Burke at a public event at Harvard Kennedy School on Friday, December 6. In addition to the public award ceremony, Boston community organizations and Harvard students and faculty will come together for a day of resource-sharing.

“Accepting the 2019 Gleitsman Citizen Activist Award fills me with so much gratitude and humility,” said Burke. “It is an absolute honor to be in the company of such monumental changemakers who would be doing the work of justice, regardless of recognition and acclaim. I speak for all sexual assault survivor leaders when I say that we share that same fire. I dedicate this award to them, and I thank those who nominated and selected me for this esteemed recognition.”

A three-time survivor of sexual assault, Burke spent her teenage years committed to raising awareness and support for young Black women and other women of color from low-wealth communities who survived sexual assault. She launched ‘me too.’ in 2006, more than 10 years before the movement had its catalytic moment in 2017. Building on her early activism work with girls in Alabama and her organization Just Be, ‘me too.’ has amassed a community of advocates at the forefront of creating solutions to interrupt sexual violence. At the cornerstone of the movement’s empowerment-through-empathy approach is a steadfast commitment to putting survivors at the front of its healing and advocacy work.

Formerly the senior director of Girls for Gender Equity, Burke continues to travel internationally, linking people and communities with organizing resources and research that will shape the next phase of ‘me too.’

Burke was awarded TIME’s Person of the Year in 2017 and in 2018 delivered her TED Talk “Me Too is a Movement, Not a Moment.” Burke contributes regularly to national media on current events and her memoir is scheduled for release in summer 2020.

Newswire: Forth Worth, TX police officer charged with murder in shooting Atatiana Jefferson in her home

By BlackmansStreetToday

Atatiana Jefferson

Aaron Dean, a Fort Worth, Texas, police officer who shot to death a Black woman during what was supposed to be a wellness check, has resigned from the police department.

Interim Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus named Dean and announced his resignation this morning during a Monday morning news conference. Later in the day, Dean was arrested and charged with murder in the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson .

Dean shot to death Atatiana Jefferson, 28, on Saturday by firing a gun through the bedroom window of her mother’s home. Jefferson died at the scene. Kraus said he intended to fire Dean, but he submitted his resignation. Dean faces criminal charges as well as possible civil rights violations and “no longer has the protections of state civil service law,” Kraus said.

The department had placed Dean on administrative leave following the shooting. Dean had been a member of the Fort Worth police department since April 2018.

Dean never identified himself as a police officer and he never knocked on Jefferson’s door to learn if she was okay, Kraus said.

Jefferson was playing video games with her nephew when the deadly shooting occurred. A neighbor called the police to make a wellness check because the front door was open.
Lee Merritt, the attorney for the Jefferson family, said the door was left open to cool down the house.

Jefferson graduated from Xavier University in New Orleans, with a BS degree in biology and was planning to apply for medical school.

Newswire: Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Africa’s youngest leader – Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethopia

Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali

Oct. 14, 2019 (GIN) – “Love is greater than modern weapons like tanks and missiles… Love can win hearts, and we have seen a great deal of it today here in Asmara.”

Not many political leaders would admit to a vision of love over war and that may be why Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, was the clear favorite for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

At 43, Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali highly impressed the Norwegian Nobel Committee not only for his eloquence but for his accomplishments as the fourth prime minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia since his election in April 2018.

He sparked an historic rapproachement with neighboring Eritrea, restoring ties that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war. His comment, shown above, was followed by a long embrace between the two national leaders that was seen by millions. He also helped mediate a dispute between Kenya and Somalia and was helped bring together the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan for talks.

Domestically, the prime minister introduced a series of sweeping political and economic adjustments, including granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinuing media censorship and dismissing several high-profile figures suspected to be guilty of corruption.

He gave many Ethiopians a better life and brighter future, remarked the Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Berit Reiss-Andersen. His efforts at peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea inspired hopes of regional security and stability, remarked U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and his leadership “set a wonderful example for others in and beyond Africa looking to overcome resistance from the past and put people first”.

Praise has poured in from all corners of the continent. African Union chief Moussa Faki described Abiy’s award as a source of “great pride” – “a collective win for Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia … a prosperous nation for all”.

“It is not only great news for the Ethiopian prime minister,” said Sophie Moekoena, news editor of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, “but also for the continent. When I heard who were the contenders for this prize (including Donald Trump), I knew that this one was going to Africa.”

Nobel Committee Chair Reiss-Andersen acknowledged that “no doubt” this year’s prize would be seen by some as “being awarded too early” but stressed the commission’s belief that it was “now” that Abiy’s efforts deserved recognition and needed encouragement.

Still, Abiy’s work was “far from done”, said an Amnesty International spokesperson, and cautioned that still-present tensions within Ethiopia, a mosaic of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups, “threaten instability and further human rights abuses”.

Indeed, Abiy’s attempts to introduce reforms have been accompanied by a surge in violence – often along ethnic lines amid long-simmering tensions – that has partly been blamed for the displacement of an estimated three million people. The prime minister, himself, has already survived an apparent assassination attempt.

Abiy will receive the award in December in Oslo.

Greene County Grand Jury indicts 24, returns 49 true bills

Grand Jury of Greene County went  into session on September 30, 2019 and ended the session on October 1, 2019.  The Grand Jury considered various criminal charges against various defendants and returned 49 true bills some of which were multiple count, indictments, resulting in 30 felonies and 14 misdemeanors.
There were 49 cases continued, all but three being drugs cases continued because there were no Certificates of Analysis from the department of  Forensic Sciences. There were 7 no bills returned.

  • Kendrick Tyrell Chavers was indicted on Sexual Abuse II; Count II: Sodomy 2nd Degree and Count III: Enticing Child for Immoral Purposes.
     * Jeremy Obrian Hutton was indicted for Receiving Stolen Property 3rd Degree.
  • Quin’darious Keshawn Jackson was indicted for Robbery I, Count II: Criminal Mischief 3rd Degree and Count III: Assault II.
  • Terry Lee Moore was indicted for Receiving Stolen Property I, Count II: Bringing Stolen Property Into State and Count III: Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance, and Count IV: Unlawful Possession of Marijuana II.
  • Nikita Raynard Riles was indicted on Theft of Property I.
  • Richard Winn was incited for Discharging Firearm into Occupied Vehicle and Count II: Reckless endangerment. 
  • Antonio Belton was indicted on Rape I.
    JaJuan Fluker was indicted on Discharging Firearm into Occupied Vehicle and Count II: Reckless Endangerment. 
    Prentiss Fountain was indicted for Discharging  Firearm into Unoccupied Dwelling and Count II: Reckless Endangerment. 
    Larry Lee Hall was indicted on Domestic Violence III and Count II: Unlawful Imprisonment.
    Alfred Johnson was indicted on Receiving Stolen Property II.
    Franshay Keon Stewart was indicted on Possession of Marijuana I.
    Dekenta Thompson was indicted on Certain Person Forbidden to Possesses Pistol and Count II: Carrying a Concealed Weapon.
    Champion Bruce Tucker was indicted on Burglary III and Count II: Criminal Mischief III.
    Tavares Donte Folks was indicted for Possession of Marijuana II.
    Lydell Bailey was indicted for Possession of Marijuana I.
    Dwayne Watkins was indicted for Possession of Marijuana I.
    Aaron Micheal George was indicted for Trafficking in Cannabis.
    Darius Jerel Cobble was indicted for Trafficking in Cannabis.
    Jonathan Henry Harris was indicted for Trafficking in Cannabis. 
    Terrell Dewayne Davis was indicted for Possession of Marijuana I.
    Mark Dewayne Jones was indicted for Domestic Violence II.
    Cornelius Thomas was indicted  for Forgery 3rd Degree.
    Dekenta Thompson was indicted for Certain Person Forbidden to Possess Firearm, Count II: Discharging Firearm into Occupied Building and Count III: Criminal Mischief II; Count IV: Reckless Endangerment.  
    The Grand Jury also made the following recommendations: Repair the light in the holding cell in the Greene County Jail and there need to be two nurses needs on duty at the Greene County Jail.
    The Grand Jury noted that Pursuant to Alabama Code 14-6-42, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office has provided the Grand Jury with documentation verifying that a Prisoner Feeding Fund has been set up and is being maintained for the purpose of feeding the prisoners in the custody of the Greene County Sheriff Department.

Greene County DST holds 9th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness event

The Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. held its 9th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, Saturday, October 5, 2019 in Eutaw. The event began with a continental breakfast held at the fellowship hall of Second Baptist Church in Eutaw. Dr. Marcia Pugh, CEO of the Greene County Health System, delivered inspiring remarks on the impact of the disease cancer as one of the greatest killers. She cautioned that education and early detection are most significant in combating the disease. The sorority members and community guests proceeded in an awareness march from the church to the Thomas E. Gilmore Square in the center of town. Prayers were lifted and balloons were released in honor of all affected by cancer. The event was a project of the Physical and Mental Health Committee of the Greene County Chapter, where Johnni Strode-Morning serves as Committee Chairperson, Miriam Leftwich as Committee Co-Chair and Isaac Atkins as Chapter President.

Eutaw City Council approves Job Fair for Love’s Truck Stop at Carver Center, Oct. 16, 17 and 18

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, the Eutaw City Council approved a ‘Job Fair’ for Love’s Truck Stop to be held at the Community Center, in the old Carver High School, on October 16,17, and 18.
Love’s is planning to open its Truck Stop and Travel Center on Thursday, October 24, 2019, at the Interstate 40 exit on Highway 20/59. Mayor Steele said the company is still looking for employees for the restaurant and tire shop. The facility will include three eating places: Hardees, Chester’s Chicken and Godfather’s Pizza.
Love’s plans to operate 24/7 and needs 60 to 70 full and part time workers to operate. Representatives of Love’s will be present next week to receive resumes and hold interviews with people needing a job.
The Eutaw City Council approved a proclamation honoring Head Start Awareness Month and the local program sponsor Community Service Programs of West Alabama.
The Council tabled a number of issues and placed them on the agenda for its October 15 Work Session. These items included: pay adjustments for city employees, a promissory note with the Greene County IDA for funds loaned for several projects, and a budget for the coming fiscal year. Councilman Joe Lee Powell said the City Council Finance Committee would meet after the Working Session on October 15 to discuss these issues.

The Council also postponed action on demolishing a dilapidated house at 116 Park Street until City Attorney Zane Willingham can do more research on this matter. The Council also postponed action on a DOT Rebuild Alabama Act grant to refurbish West End Avenue until the Mayor provides an estimate of engineering costs for the project.
The grant does not require any matching funds from the City but does require the City to provide for the cost of engineering plans and specifications.
The Council asked the City Attorney to develop an advertisement for bids, to be placed in both newspapers, for repairing the streets in King Village, for approval at the next meeting.
Councilman Bennie Abrams announced that the Greene County Fire Association would hold its annual awards banquet on Friday, October 11 at 7:00 PM at the Carver Community Center gymnasium. Tickets are still available for this event.
In the public comments section of the meeting, Darlene Robinson reported that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that the Deep South Community Cancer Network, in conjunction with UAB Medical School was working at the grassroots level to help people to get testing and screening for early detection of all types of cancers.

Crowd gathers to watch GCH homecoming parade

September 30- October 4 was a week long celebration of homecoming activities for the Greene County School System from coronation, to wear you favorite team shirt, breast cancer awareness pink, mix match clothing, dance contest and an array of beautifully decorated floats, cheerleaders and marching band. Shown Above GCH Tiger’s preparing to pounce on the Hale County High School Wildcats.

Newswire : African languages among the top ten spoken in U.S. homes

Map of Africa

Oct. 7, 2019 (GIN) – If you think you’re hearing more Swahili, Yoruba, Amharic or Twi coming from your neighbor’s home, you’re right!

Newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau finds African languages are among the top ten fastest growing languages spoken at home in the U.S.

The Census list features three groups of African languages: Swahili and other Central/Eastern/Southern African languages; Yoruba, Twi, Igbo, and other Western African languages; and Amharic/Somali.

Although African immigrants make up a small share of the nation’s immigrant population, their overall numbers have doubled every decade since 1970, according to the Pew Research Center.

Africans now make up 39% of the total foreign-born black population, up from 24% in 2000.

Despite President Trump’s unkind comments about African countries, African migrants continue to seek refuge in the U.S. In June 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials recorded an unprecedented rise in African migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, arriving at a rate of 30 to 40 people a day. A majority of these asylum seekers are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola.

This is not a trend that is expected to change drastically anytime soon.

North America is a top destination for the continent’s mushrooming under-30 population, particularly those between the ages of 18 and 25 who want to leave. This desire to migrate is highest in West and Central Africa.

Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Senegal and Kenya are among the principal countries of origin for sub-Saharan African migrants to Europe and the United States, which explains why Swahili, Yoruba and Igbo are leading the African cohort on the Census Bureau’s list of fastest-growing languages.

Swahili is the major African language spoken in the U.S. And for the first time, the country will, in the upcoming 2020 census, print guides in three additional African languages—Igbo, Yoruba, and Twi. The previous census in 2010 had guides printed in five African languages all of which were from East and South Africa.