By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia
After 11 years, multiple surgeries and a myriad of personal drama, Tiger Woods won his fifth Masters Championship and his 15th career major on a sun-soaked Sunday at Augusta National. It was the first time Woods had won at Augusta after he was trailing after 54 holes. The victory also came following years of doubting whether he would ever be able to play at a high level. “It’s overwhelming because of what has transpired,” Woods told reporters after he shot a -2 under 72 for -13 under overall to seal the victory. “It’s unreal for me to be experiencing this. I’m kind of at a loss for words really,” he said. The victory, one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, had social media abuzz. “The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) congratulates and salutes Tiger Woods as he wins the Masters Golf Tournament for the fifth time,” NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., tweeted. Chavis also noted the tough road Woods had to take to re-emerge as Golf’s biggest star. “Resilience is in our DNA,” Chavis said, referring to African American and other minorities and certainly acknowledging the challenges overcome by Woods. Golden State Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry called Woods’ victory, “the greatest comeback story in sports. “Congrats Tiger Woods, let me hold one of those 5 jackets one time,” Curry wrote on Twitter. Tennis great Serena Williams said the win moved her to tears. “I’m literally in tears watching Tiger Woods. This is greatness like no other,” Williams Tweeted. “Knowing all you have been through physically to come back and do what you just did today? Wow. Congrats a million times. I am so inspired. Than you buddy,” Williams said. Former President Barack Obama also offered his congratulations via Twitter. “Tiger! To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination,” Obama said. Fellow golfers like Phil Mickleson, Luke Donaldson, Gary Player and Bubba Watson also tweeted out their respects and congratulations to the 43-year-old Woods. And, the “Golden Bear,” Jack Nicklaus also expressed his appreciation and awe of Woods. “A big ‘well done’ from me to Tiger Woods,” wrote Nicklaus, whose all-time record of 18 Major Championships is certainly within the reach of Woods, who now has 15. “I am so happy for him and for the game of golf,” Nicklaus wrote on Twitter. “This is just fantastic.”
Last Friday night, over 250 people attended the Greene County Children’s Policy Council annual ‘Civil Rights Movement Trailblazers’ program, which honored six Greene County people who participated in the county’s civil rights struggle. Each year the students in the Greene County after school tutorial and mentoring programs research and interview individuals in the Black Belt that played a role in the Civil Rights Movement. Friday’s program was the culmination of the student’s efforts during the 2018-2019 school term.
Seven persons, two still living and five posthumously, were honored at the program. These persons were: Lue Birtha Crawford, Elberta Outland Miles, Lillie Mae Webb, Annie Brown, Rosmond and Maggie Kimbrough and Booker T. Cooke Jr. Students from the program introduced each person and what they had done in the Civil Rights Movement based on research and interviews with the person and family members.
Judge Lillie Osborne said, “Ordinary people did extraordinary things during the Civil Rights Movement. Not everyone was a leader, some just marched, others cooked meals and cakes for the marchers, some help find places for people to stay after they were evicted or dismissed by their white employers, others helped in many different ways, as they could, which made it a movement.”
Mrs. Lue Birtha Crawford of the Knoxville community in north Greene County, now in her eighties, spoke about her efforts to register people to vote in the 1960’s and 1970’s and get them to the polls. “I would talk to people about voting and candidates. For some people, I had to go back more than once. I had to backtrack on some people, visiting them several times to get them to vote.
“I went to some places where people were partying and playing cards and dominoes and I had to stop them to get them to go to vote. Some people went and did the right thing and voted just to get rid of me but we were successful.”
Mrs. Elberta Outland Miles, at 93, from the Tishabee community attended the program but asked her son, Henry Miles to speak for her. Miles said his mother as a teacher was always promoting the value and power of education in helping people move forward to reach and realize goals of the movement.
Mrs. Lillie Mae Webb, was honored posthumously by some of her 16 surviving children, who are part of the Webb Family Singers. They indicated that their mother helped the movement by participating and singing at mass meetings. Members of the family sang a song in tribute to their mother and the program.
Mrs. Annie Brown of the Union-Mantua community was honored by some of her 14 children attending the program. Commissioner Lester Brown spoke for the family saying they appreciated the Children’s Policy Council for recognizing their mother. Brown spoke to his mother’s courage and efforts to integrate the schools in Greene County.
Mr. Rosmond and Mrs. Maggie Kimbrough of the Forkland community were honored for their work in the community during the movement. Carolyn Kimbrough Branch, speaking for the community said, “My mother insisted that we go to every mass meeting during the Movement. My family helped to find places to stay for people who were evicted from plantations for registering and voting in the 1960’s.
Mr. Booker T. Cooke Jr. was honored for his work in organizing precinct efforts in political campaigns to turn-out the vote, proposal writing for projects like the Greene County Water Authority and new Courthouse and for his service as Chief of Staff for the Greene County Commission from the 1970’s to the 1990’s.
At the end of the program, a delicious dinner was served for all in attendance.
By: Herbert G. McCann and Sara Burnett, Associated Press
Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago
CHICAGO — Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot defeated a longtime political insider Tuesday to become Chicago's next mayor, the first black woman and openly gay person to lead the nation's third-largest city.
Lightfoot, who had never been elected to public office, easily defeated Toni Preckwinkle, who served in the City Council for 19 years before becoming Cook County Board president. Preckwinkle also is chairwoman of the county Democratic Party.
Lightfoot promised to rid City Hall of corruption and help low-income and working-class people she said had been “left behind and ignored” by Chicago’s political ruling class. It was a message that resonated with voters weary of political scandal and insider deals, and who said the city’s leaders for too long have invested in downtown at the expense of neighborhoods.
Chicago will become the largest U.S. city to have a black woman serve as mayor when Lightfoot is sworn in May 20. She will join seven other black women currently serving as mayors in major U.S. cities, including Atlanta and New Orleans and will be the second woman to lead Chicago.
Lightfoot, 56, and her wife have one daughter.
The Eutaw Area Chamber of Commerce presented awards at its annual membership meeting and Sue Vance Memorial Dinner on Thursday, March 21, 2019, held at the LAW Center. Among the award recipients were: (L to R) Rev. Christopher Spencer, Pastor of St. Matthew Watson Baptist Church for Religion, Mayor Raymond Steele of Eutaw for Government, Dr. Marcia Pugh, CEO of Greene County Health System for Health Care, Dr. Carol and John Zippert, Co-Publishers of the Greene County Democrat for Communications, Beverly Gordon, Chamber President, Dan Williams, WestRock Paper Co. for Business, Nancy Cole for Education, District Judge Lillie Jones Osborne for Community Service, Delphine McKenzie for the Sue Vance Service Award. Not shown Luther ‘Nat’ Winn, Greenetrack for the Leadership Award. Before a delicious dinner of Italian food specialties, the group heard an inspirational address by Attorney John Stamps III of the Black Belt Law Center in Bessemer, Alabama, who also co-sponsored the event.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today denounced the latest effort by the Administration to dismantle federal health reforms.
In a filing with a federal appeals court on Monday, the Trump Justice Department said it agreed with the ruling of a federal judge in Texas that the 2010 health care reform law is unconstitutional, continuing a years-long assault on the law and supporting a path forward that would potentially cause millions of Americans to lose the insurance coverage that they rely on. At issue is a lawsuit filed by 20 state attorneys general, including Alabama, challenging the constitutionality of the law. Until this week, the Administration had refused to defend portions of the health law, but the Justice Department’s new position goes further by supporting a complete invalidation of the law without any practical alternative to replace it.
“If the courts dismantle this law, Alabama is one of the states with the most to lose,” said Senator Jones, who has been a vocal advocate to maintain protections in the federal health law. “It’s already a challenge for many Alabamians to access the health care they need, particularly in our rural communities. Instead of making that even more difficult, we need to be focusing on making some much-needed improvements to our current system, like lowering the cost of prescription drugs, combating the opioid epidemic, increasing access to rural health care and finally expanding Medicaid in the state of Alabama. The Administration is playing politics with health care and we have to stand up to protect folks from losing their coverage and the vital protections that the federal health law guarantees.”
If the law is struck down, more than 166,000 Alabamians could lose their health insurance. More than 942,000 Alabamians who have a pre-existing condition could be denied coverage or charged more for health care, which represents one-third of people under the age of 65 in Alabama. Insurers could reinstate annual and lifetime limits on coverage, and women could again be charged more than men for the same care. Young adults would no longer be able to stay on their parents’ health care plans until the age of 26, which would cause the approximately 35,000 young adults in Alabama who gained coverage under this provision to lose their health insurance.
Earlier this year, Senator Jones introduced legislation to incentivize Alabama to expand Medicaid by offering states the same deal from the federal government to expand Medicaid that was originally offered in 2010. He also recently re-introduced a bill that would quantify the impact of Medicaid expansion for the states that expanded and those that did not. Medicaid expansion was a key provision of the 2010 health reform law and is vital in the effort to sustain rural hospitals. Since 2011, thirteen hospitals have closed in Alabama, seven of which were in rural areas.
In a three day celebration that included a Grand Ball on Friday, March 8, Community Impact Day, Saturday, March 9 and A Sisterhood Luncheon, Sunday, March 10 at Embassy Suits in Tuscaloosa, the Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority observed its 40th chapter anniversary. The chapter, organized in 1978 currently has an active membership of 32. Isaac N. Atkins serves as chapter president. Nancy Cole served as 40th Anniversary Committee chairperson. Photo above shows the majority of participants at the Sisterhood Luncheon on Sunday, with chapter members and guests. The Greene County DST Chapter sponsored a Community Impact Day, as part of its 40th year celebration, for local residents in appreciation of the support the chapter receives for its projects and programs. Impact Day, held at the Eutaw Activity Center, included service booths, games, food and fellowship. The Sisterhood Luncheon gave tribute to charter members of the chapter and the former chapter presidents. — Photo by Cythina Crawford
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left the NBA in 1989 at age 42, no NBA player had ever scored more points, blocked more shots, won more Most Valuable Player Awards, played in more All-Star Games or logged more seasons. NBA.com reported that Jabbar’s list of personal and team accomplishments is perhaps the most awesome in league history: Rookie of the Year, member of six NBA championship teams, six-time NBA MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP, 19-time All-Star, two-time scoring champion, and a member of the NBA 35th and 50th Anniversary All-Time Teams. He also owned eight playoff records and seven All-Star records. No player achieved as much individual and team success as did Abdul-Jabbar. On Saturday, March 2, Jabbar auctioned off his championship rings, MVP and All-Star trophies and other rare items to benefit Jabbar’s Skyhook Foundation, whose mission per Jabbar, is to “give kids a shot that can’t be blocked.” “We do this by sending children from economically challenged schools to five days in the Angeles National Forest to experience the wonders of nature and learn the basics about science, technology and engineering, Jabbar told NNPA Newswire in an exclusive interview. He said the children participate in an “immersive hands-on experience that takes kids out of school for five days and four nights.” They go from auditory learning to utilizing all of their senses in the great outdoors. “Our hope is not just to get them out of the city to commune with the outdoors, but to stimulate an interest in the sciences that might lead them to fulfilling careers,” Jabbar said. He said he decided to sell the items because his foundation has struggled for a number of years and can use the funds. “I need to keep it working and I have these wonderful mementos of my career and they take up space, need to be insured and you have to take care of them,” Jabbar said. “I’d rather use these to make sure the foundation gets the funding,” he said. At auction, Jabbar’s 1971-72 NBA MVP Trophy sold for more than $76,000 while his 1987 NBA Championship went fetched more than $260,000. When final accounting is performed, the auction should easily net more than $1 million for the foundation. The funds will keep the foundation afloat, allowing underprivileged children a chance at an education in the STEM field. “So many young people think they have to be extremely talented like a LeBron James, Stevie Wonder, or Beyoncé. They don’t have realistic ideas on what their potential is and giving them this opportunity is showing them where the best jobs will be in the 21st century,” Jabbar said. “It gives them a leg up and hopefully [helps them] make connections,” he said. Foundation officials have discovered recent research that shows that 97 percent of girls and 92 percent of boys give up on science because of peer pressure and what’s hot in popular culture, Jabbar said. His mission is the change that. “When it comes to choosing between storing a championship ring or providing kids with an opportunity to change their lives, the choice is pretty simple – sell it. Besides I was there, I lived it,” Jabbar said. “Instead of gazing at the sparkle of jewels or gold plating and celebrating something I did a long time ago, I’d rather look into the delighted face of a child. Everybody has an ego and I’m no different,” he said, laughing. “But, I can’t take this stuff with me so it’s better that I share it in a way that enables me to do something really neat and the benefits I think far outweigh anything else.”
By: John Zippert, Co-Publisher Despite stormy weather, thousands attended the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, this past weekend in Selma, Alabama. Part a commemoration of the 54th anniversary of the March 7, 1965 “Bloody Sunday March for Voting Rights”; part a celebration of civil and voting progress in our nation; and part a recommitment to social change activism to correct voter suppression and bring more equity and dignity to the struggle for human rights in America. The Jubilee was a combination of more than 40 events including workshops, a parade, a golf tournament; a unity breakfast, several award presentations, the “Foot Soldiers breakfast”, a beauty pageant, a mock trial, the “Freedom Flame dinner”, and the March re-enactment on Sunday afternoon. Former Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders said at the opening Mass Meeting, at Tabernacle Baptist Church, on Thursday night, “the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee is the largest civil rights gathering in the nation, dedicated to furthering voting rights and human rights for people in our country and around the world.” Sanders recalled that over 80,000 people attended the 50th anniversary celebration on Saturday in 2015, when President Obama attended and 110,000 people came to march that Sunday. Attorney Faya Rose Toure (Sanders) who coordinates the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, said, “ We want to celebrate the courage of the people in the 1960’s who led the voting rights movement from Selma, but we must also recognize the current day’s rampant voter suppression in this country and the fact that Selma is the ninth poorest city in America with a high rate of crime and homicides.”
Faya Rose also pointed out that 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the enslavement of African people in north America, with the importation of twenty Black workers to the British colony at Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. There was an event where 400 people lay down on the Edmund Pettus Bridge for 400 seconds to commemorate this anniversary. The lay-in was delayed by bad weather and a tornado warning but did take place before the larger crowd of thousands re-enacted the 1965 Bloody Sunday Voting Rights March. “We were beaten on the bridge in 1965 but we are lying down in 2019 and rising up to end voter suppression and lifting our voices and votes to change oppressive conditions for all people,” said Faya Rose Toure.
A highlight of the Jubilee was Sunday morning’s Unity Breakfast held at Wallace Community College in Selma. More than a thousand people attended to witness Hillary Clinton receive the International Unity Award, as well as to meet and listen to several Presidential candidates including Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown. The breakfast also heard greetings from civil rights leaders like Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. William Barber, Charles Steele and other local leaders like newly elected State Senator Malika Sanders Fortier and Congresswomen Terri Sewell.
In presenting the International Unity Award to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Hank Sanders said, “Secretary Clinton was elected President in 2016, but the election was stolen from her by the FBI reporting on her emails, the Russians hacking into the Democratic Party and sending false messages on social media. She deserves this award for standing up for women’s rights and human rights across the globe.”
Faya Rose Toure inducted Hillary Clinton into the Women’s Hall of Fame at the National Voting Rights Museum.
In her remarks, in accepting the awards, Clinton said, “ I am honored and humbled to receive these awards for my work for women, voting and human rights. But we have urgent unfinished work to protect fundamental rights, freedom of the press, and ending voter suppression. There is a crisis in this country and it is up to us to address it.”
“We must show up and vote every time in every election. We must di this step by step, year by year, door by door, to reclaim our democracy,” said Clinton.
In his remarks, Rev. Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition said, “ I must express my thanks to Faya Rose and Hank Sanders for keeping this Bridge Crossing Jubilee going year after year and to the people of Selma, the birthplace of modern democracy in America. Since the 2018 elections, we have 55 Black Congress-people, 38 Latino and Latinas, 20 Asian Americans and over 100 women. All of these people, and many more state and local public officials, owe their positions to the voting rights struggle in Selma in 1965. But Selma is still suffering with a 40% poverty rate. We need to push the government for a ’rural reconstruction plan and project in Selma and surrounding counties of the Alabama Black Belt’, just like we rebuild Europe with the Marshall Plan after World War II,” said Rev. Jackson.
NEW YORK — The U.S. Postal Service celebrated the life and legacy of award winning entertainer Gregory Hines when it inducted him as the 42nd honoree in the Black Heritage Stamp series during a first-day-of-issue ceremony held recently on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
“Gregory Hines was an extraordinary artist in every sense of the word,” said Acting Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale, who dedicated the stamp. “This Forever stamp pays tribute to his life and career as an actor, singer, and most importantly, as a performer whose unique style of tap dancing injected new artistry and excitement into a traditional American form.”
Joining Barksdale to unveil the stamp were Maurice Hines, actor, dancer, choreographer and Hines’ brother; Daria Hines, actress, costume designer and Hines’ daughter; Savion Glover, actor, dancer and choreographer; Tony Waag, artistic director, American Tap Dance Foundation; Chloe and Maud Arnold, dancers and co-founders of the DC Tap Festival; and Jason Samuels Smith, award-winning jazz tap dancer and humanitarian.
The stamp art features a photograph of Hines taken by Jack Mitchell in 1988, showing a smiling Hines on one knee in a red blazer and gray pants, with one foot raised to show the taps on the bottom of his shoe. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.
News of the stamp is being shared using the hashtags #GregoryHinesForever and #BlackHeritageStamps.
SELMA, AL – “The Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast is power-packed this year. In fact, it is more power-packed than any breakfast we have ever had,” said former Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders. The Breakfast is this Sunday, March 3rd, at 7:30 a.m. on the campus of Wallace Community College Selma.
Dr. James Mitchell, President of Wallace Community College Selma, said: “It is great for this college to host the Annual Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast on our campus. It is great for the students, faculty, community, and all those connected with the college to see and hear from national and world-recognized leaders up close. This is always a powerful event, and this year promises to be even more powerful.”
“The world-renowned Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President in 2016 and who received three million more popular votes than her opponent, is being honored. She is known all over the world for her work as U.S. Secretary of State and her advancement of women’s rights. She will be inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame at the National Voting Rights Museum and will receive the International Unity Award at the King Unity Breakfast,” said Sanders.
At this same breakfast, we will have U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who was Secretary Clinton’s chief competitor for the Democratic nomination in 2016 and is running again for President in 2020. We will also have three other 2020 presidential candidates speaking at the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast: U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio; former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro; and U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.
“Other speakers will include Martin Luther King, III; Reverend Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; Dr. Charles Steele, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); and Barbara Arnwine, President of the Transformative Justice Coalition. There will also be powerful singing performances by the original SNCC Freedom Singers and mutli-award winner and gospel legend Dottie Peoples,” said Sanders.
The 2019 Bridge Crossing Jubilee begins this Thursday, February 28th, at 7:00 p.m. with an Old Fashion Mass Meeting with Reverend Jamal Bryant, of Atlanta and formerly of Baltimore, at Tabernacle Baptist Church. There are 40-50 events during the Jubilee, most of which are free to the public, from Thursday, February 28th, through Sunday, March 3rd.
Friday includes many workshops, including an all day Education Summit starting at 8:00 AM at the Hank Sanders Technology Building at Wallace Community College; the 5:00 p.m. Mock Trial at the Dallas County Courthouse; children and youth activities; the annual A Public Conversation with Mark Thompson, host of Make It Plain on SiriusXM Channel 127 and MSNBC Contributor, and others; and other events. MSNBC will be in Selma from Friday through Sunday providing coverage.
Saturday morning are two work sessions at Wallace Community College Selma to kick off a national nonpartisan voting initiative, Lift Our Vote 2020. National Bridge Crossing Jubilee Coordinator Faya Toure said: “The Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday afternoon in downtown Selma with diverse musical performances, arts, food and so much more.
Saturday also includes the Hip Hop Youth Summit, the annual parade and more. The Annual Freedom Flame Awards Gala, which is filled with nationally and internationally renowned honorees, on Saturday at 7:00 p.m., culminates a day overflowing with events that include something for all, no matter your age, race, gender,