The Alabama Civil Rights Museum Movement of Greene County presented a program honoring Black History on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the Eutaw Activity Center. The theme of the meeting was “Voting because a Voteless People is a Hopeless People” and most of the speakers highlighted these thoughts in their comments. Circuit Judge John England of Tuscaloosa was the keynote speaker. Earlier in his legal career he served as County Attorney for Greene County. He also was one of the first Black City Council members in Tuscaloosa and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama. Judge England spoke to some legal cases he was involved in relating to Greene County, after Black voters attained political control, which showed the continuing struggle for voting rights since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. “I have learned a lot of Black History working with Greene County over the years,” said England. He cited his legal defense of Spiver W. Gordon and Frederick Douglass Daniels in the 1985 absentee balloting cases. He was also involved with the defense of Albert Turner, Evelyn Turner and Spencer Hogue in a similar absentee ballot case in Perry County, which was initiated by Jeff Sessions, when he was U. S. Attorney in Mobile. The Greene County absentee ballot case led to a case against the government for striking all Black members from the jury. England also reviewed cases involving blocking Richard Osborne from serving as Greene County District Judge because of a juvenile conviction for stealing a $50 hub-cap. Osborne was eventually seated after a case against Ralph Banks II who was awarded the seat because he came in second, which England challenged in court and had overturned. England reviewed his work in a case, which allowed the local legislative delegation to name the Greene County Racing Commission rather than the Governor. This happened after the 1986 elections after which Blacks were elected to the state legislative seats representing Greene County. England reviewed these cases and others to show that Black history must include a continuing vigilance for efforts to disenfranchise and dilute the votes of Black people, especially in places like Greene County and the Alabama Black Belt where Black people have used the ballot to win political power. “There is a continuing effort to limit the power of Black voters in Alabama through voter ID laws, changing polling places, purging voter rolls and other strategies which we must be aware of and challenge,” said England. He concluded by saying, “No matter how hard and high the odds are stacked against you – you can still succeed and win if you have faith in God and each other that truth and justice will prevail. AS the song says – We have come too far to turn back now!” As part of the program, the Nathifa African Dance Company of Birmingham gave a thrilling performance of drumming and African dance. The Greene County Community Choir sang and participated by offering Gospel musical selections. They also sang, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, the African-American national anthem together with the audience. Local candidates in the upcoming March 3 primary election were introduced and allowed to make short remarks.
Portraits of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama will go on display at the Art Institute of Chicago as the first stop in a five-city tour beginning in the summer of 2021. Chicago is where the Obamas began their historical ascension to the White House. The paintings, on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, are Kehinde Wiley’s painting of President Obama and Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama. The former First Lady, a Chicago native who grew up on the city’s South Side, visited the museum with her family. The Art Institute also was the site of the couple’s first date. Wiley and Sherald are the first African American artists commissioned by the National Gallery to create official portraits of a President and a First Lady. Wiley placed President Obama in a chair against a backdrop of flowers, including chrysanthemums, Chicago’s official flower. Sherald painted the First Lady against a light-blue ground, gazing directly at the viewer. After the Art Institute, the portraits will travel to The Brooklyn Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Sports fans in the United States and around the world – plus people who are not necessarily sports-oriented – are mourning the sudden death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant at the age of 41. Two years removed from retirement after 20 years in the NBA, the five-time NBA champion and Los Angeles Lakers superstar was settling into retirement and immersing himself in sports, entertainment, his family and business ventures when he was killed in a helicopter crash, Sunday, Jan. 26, near Calabasas, Calif. The crash also killed eight other passengers, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, a budding basketball phenom. IN addition to millions of adoring fans, he leaves to mourn him Vanessa Laine Bryant, his wife of 19 years, and three other daughters: Natalia Bryant, 17, Bianka Bryant, 3, and Capri Bryant, 7 months. The group was on their way to Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where Bryant was to coach a game in which Gianna was to play. Federal investigators are trying to determine what specifically caused the crash which occurred in dense fog. Bryant’s death has triggered an outpouring of grief, shock and disbelief among devastated players, fans, celebrities and just those who equated his name with excellence. A common theme offered by tributes is that he had transcended basketball and had become larger than sports. “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act,” tweeted President Barack Obama. “To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.” President Trump deflected from his tweeting on impeachment to call the reports on the basketball star “terrible news”. He later released a tweet that critics observed was strikingly similar to President Obama’s: “Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life. He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating,” Trump tweeted. “Melania and I send our warmest condolences to Vanessa and the wonderful Bryant family. May God be with you all!” Many struggled to find deeper meaning in the sudden death of a person so beloved who had become a symbol of excellence. “I didn’t know him well. I only met him a couple of times,” said former Vice President Biden on the presidential campaign trail in Iowa as reported by the Washington Examiner. “It makes you realize that you gotta make every day count, every single solid day, every single day count.” Jalen Rose, a former college and professional basketball player and sports analyst with ESPN described his friend, Bryant, in terms beyond basketball. “He is remembered for his dedication to his craft, educated, speaker of multiple languages, father, husband, disciplined hardworking, always gracious and respectful,” he said in a tribute. “He was always the hardest working guy in the room, smartest guy in the room … he was Industry tastemaker, gave so much to humanity and is gone too soon.” Kobe Bryant was born in Philadelphia, the only boy and youngest of three children of former NBA player Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant. He was first drafted by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996 straight out of Lower Merion High School. Through hard work and extraordinary dedication to the game, he was seen as a transcendent player, unquestionably one among the best to ever play the game of basketball. But his success impacted beyond the game. In post-game retirement, he inspired hundreds of thousands of young people to aim high, push past their limits, whether it was on a court, a football pitch or in the creative arts. Kobe, who won five NBA titles and who was an 18-time All-Star, won an Oscar for Best Animated Short in 2019 for the film “Dear Basketball.” The six-minute film is based on a poem Bryant wrote in 2015 announcing his retirement from the NBA. Bryant wrote and narrated the short, in which he shares his love of the sport for basketball. Bryant considered himself to be a storyteller and had been moving into the film and entertainment industry since his retirement from basketball in 2016. He wrote, produced and presented a series for ESPN called Detail, in which he explained the intricacies of athletes in their respective sports. His multimedia company, Granity Studios, produced the ESPN+ series Detail and the podcast “The Punies.” In addition, he helped create four sports fantasy children’s books. According to media reports, the second volume of The Wizenard Series: Season 1, is set to hit bookstores on March 31. Still it was basketball for which he will always be world renown. Sports lawyer and businessman Michael Huyghue said an icon of the industry has been lost. “What he stood for is an early example of an athlete transcending his sport,” said Huyghue, author, sports agent and president of Michael Huyghue and Associates, LLC. “His work in the community, building a brand, his eclectic nature and speaking several languages are a part of his legacy. “He was a very rare breed. He set the bar at a place where a lot of athletes could aspire to.” Sports Journalist Elton Hayes, Jr. said what sticks out to him is his involvement with children and young people. “I have been watching all these years. He’s a global icon,” said Hayes, who writes for CNHI News in State College, Pennsylvania. “What sticks out after retirement is the role he played with kids. He showed us his paternal side and the passion he had for women’s basketball. The WNBA is the sister organization to the NBA but there are discrepancies in salary and viewership. He was an active participant and took several women under his wing. I would consider him an ambassador for Women’s basketball…I think a part of his legacy is the impact on a generation of aspiring athletes. With his Mamba Foundation, we will continue to see his legacy grow and will continue to see the impact.” For the past two years, Bryant had focused on coaching Gianna’s AAU team. “Coaching youth sports is so important to take very seriously because you’re helping the emotional [development] of young kids,” he said in a recent interview. “So it’s understanding not to be overcritical and understanding that [there] are going to be mistakes.” And in an interview with People magazine, published online two days before his death, Bryant said he launched Granity Studios “as a way of teaching valuable life lessons to the next generation, with whatever they hope to do. The goal is to encourage children to develop their own inner magic and believe they can achieve the impossible and do so in a fun way.” Bryant added, “Storytelling has always been an interest of mine, so the transition was an exciting one. I’m being challenged in a completely new way and have really loved the opportunity to exercise my creative muscles.” Nearly everyone killed in the crash shared a love for basketball, reported the Los Angeles Times. They were Bryant and Gianna,”a budding basketball player who was ready to follow in her father’s footsteps; baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their basketball-playing daughter Alyssa; mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester; Mamba Academy basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan,” the Times reported. The 41-year-old Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. The NBA named him Finals MVP twice and League MVP in 2009. He was an 18-time NBA All-Star. Bryant was the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points. He retired in 2016. Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, 37, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. Bryant lived in Orange County, California, outside of Los Angeles. Born in 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kobe Bryant spent his early years in Italy where his father Joseph Washington “Jelly Bean” Bryant played basketball for seven years.
The Alabama Civil Rights Museum Movement celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the occasion of what would have been his 91st. birthday. The Civil Rights Museum sponsored three programs to honor Dr. King. On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the actual day of his birthday a program to honor and involve young people was held at New Peace Baptist Church. On Monday, January 20, 2020, the 34th anniversary of the National Holiday in honor of Dr. King’s Birthday a Unity Breakfast was held at the Eutaw Activity Center, attended by 200 people. Rev. Carlos Thornton, Pastor of the Mt. Pilgrim Primitive Baptist Church in Tishabee, Alabama was the keynote speaker. A smaller number participated in the march from the Eutaw Activity Center to the William M. Branch County Courthouse. At the Courthouse a program to honor ‘Godly Women of West Alabama’ was held. Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton of the 5th District of the CME Churches of Alabama was the speaker. The Museum honored a group of men and women for their service. The ceremony in the Greene County Courthouse was particularly poignant as it was held in the courtroom, one of the only county courtrooms in America, where a picture of Dr. King hangs above the judge’s seat. Greene County was the first county in the South and the nation to elect all Black officials after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that Dr. King worked diligently to pass.
What was once a diverse group of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the president became less so Monday when U.S. Senator Cory Booker suspended his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, citing difficulty raising enough money. “It’s with a full heart that I share this news — I’ve made the decision to suspend my campaign for president,” Booker wrote supporters in an email. “It was a difficult decision to make, but I got in this race to win, and I’ve always said I wouldn’t continue if there was no longer a path to victory.” “Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win — money we don’t have, and money that is harder to raise because I won’t be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington. So, I’ve chosen to suspend my campaign now, take care of my wonderful staff, and give you time to consider the other strong choices in the field.” The 59-year-old Booker has represented New Jersey in the U.S. Senate since 2013. His departure follows those of U.S. Senator of Kamala Harris of California and Julian Castro, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary under President Obama. Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick remains the only African American candidate in the 12-candidate field, and Andrew Yang is the only Asian. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is a native of Leloaloa, American Samoa.
The annual Kwanzaa cultural celebrations in Greene County were held at each of the local schools as well as in a public event for the community. The week before the December holiday season, students at Eutaw Primary, Robert Brown Middle and Greene County High were engaged in the annual Kwanzaa Cultural presentations co-sponsored by the Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Harambe Community Youth Organization. The community Kwanzaa was held Monday, December 30, 2019 at the Eutaw Activity Center. Although many of the young students were not familiar with the concept, history and principals of Kwanzaa, they were eager to participate, even learning some of the Swahili terms and names used in the presentation. Kwanzaa is a harvest celebration honoring the culture and heritage of African Americans, which brings the community together to lift the blessings of the ending year and to pledge and dedicate themselves toward working together to build a better community for everyone. The community Kwanzaa participants included members from the sponsoring organizations, students from the local schools and the 2020 Debutant Class. Mrs. Isaac Atkins, President of the Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. brought greetings and also introduced chapter members present. The community Kwanzaa celebration was honored with musical selections provided by the Greene County Community Choir. Rev. Joe N. Webb led the devotions and blessing of the Harvest Feast. The community shared the Talking Stick for expressions of the Kwanzaa Principles. The dishes for the feast were provided by the community attendees. The seven day Kwanzaa observance begins December 26 through January 1. Kwanzaa was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga at the time of the Watts Riots in California in the 1960’s. Dr. Karenga was seeking a positive approach for rebuilding communities and celebrating African American history and culture. He took the name for the holiday from the Swahili word Kwanzaa meaning first fruits of the harvest. The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa also lift the values to strive for in our lives and communities: Umoja – Unity; Kujichagulia – Self Determination; Ujima – Collective Work and Responsibility; Ujamaa – Cooperatives; Nia – Purpose; Kuumba – Creativity; and Imani – Faith.
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia
Zozibini Tunzi said she grew up in a world where a woman who looks like her, was never considered beautiful. On Sunday, December 8, the South Africa beauty queen was crowned Miss Universe. “I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered beautiful,” Tunzi stated. “I think it is time that that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine,” she added. The 26-year-old from Tsolo, South Africa, speaks English and Isixhosa. Tunzi’s official biography notes that she’s a passionate activist and engaged in the fight against gender-based violence. Tunzi has devoted her social media campaign to changing the narrative around gender stereotypes, and she said she’s a proud advocate for natural beauty. Tunzi also works to encourage women to “love themselves the way they are,” she stated. “Tonight, a door was opened, and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it,” Tunzi wrote on Twitter after being crowned Miss Universe 2019. “May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams, and may they see their faces reflected in mine. I am Miss Universe 2019,” she stated. Sofia Aragón of Mexico and Madison Anderson of Puerto Rico were the two runners-up in the pageant. With the crowning of Miss Jamaica Toni-Ann Singh as Miss World last week, all five winners of this year’s major pageants are women of color for the first time in the contests’ history. The 23-year-old Singh joins Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, Miss America Nia Franklin, Miss USA Cheslie Kryst and Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris, as The Washington Post noted.
The Eutaw Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 4:40 p.m. in downtown Eutaw. This year’s theme: It’s Christmas, was selected to inspire parade participants to be truly creative in decorating the floats. Former Greene County Probate Judge, Earlean Isaac, served as the 2019 Christmas Parade Chairperson. The Christmas Parade Grand Marshals were Jeff Klug, store manager of LOVE’S Truck Stop, Lovie Burrell Parks of the Greene County Extension Office and the Eutaw Garden Club. Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele is Honorary Grand Marshal. The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony followed the Christmas Parade. With performances by children from Eutaw Primary and the GCHS Choir. Business owners were encouraged to decorate their storefronts for this festive occasion. Approximately 61 participants with floats or decorated vehicles constituted this year’s parade. Local officials, businesses and organizations participating in the parade along with the horse riders closed out the parade. Ms. Beverly Gordon, President of the Eutaw Area Chamber of Commerce, commended Judge Isaac, the Christmas Committee volunteers, and the Eutaw Garden Club for coming together to make this a great success. Toney Nixon and Pastor Joe Webb produced the music. Numerous businesses decorated their store fronts to Let Their Light Shine. Iris Sermon served as coordinator with the parade line up. The Chamber’s office was transformed into Santa’s Workshop by Banks and Company’s Holiday Window Designer, Leigh Davidson. Attorney Joshua Sword served as Santa at Santa’s Workshop. Lovie Parks with the Extension Service donated over 150 gifts to children. The Chamber and the Eutaw Garden Club will host the Christmas Coffee Shop at Ruby’ throughout the month of December on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. from 7:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The Coffee Shop, which opened on December 5th, is sponsored by Greenetrack, Inc. Baseball Country will close out the holiday festivities with Christmas Eve on the Square. Christmas Eve on the Square will take place on December 24 from 9 a.m. until 11.am. On December 23, 2019 Children may sign up and wear their pajamas to hear Santa read Twas the Night Before Christmas located at the Coffee Shop. Milk and cookies for a $1. It will be a fun time for all. For additional information, please contact Phillis Belcher at 205-372-9769. Eutaw Area Chamber of Commerce President Beverly Gordan would like to thank everyone for coming together and making this years annual Christmas parade and tree Lighting ceremony a joyous occasion, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Properous New Year. Former Probate Judge Earlean Isaac would also like to thank the participants for they support.
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Driver License Division on Dec. 7 is adding to its Saturday operations lineup. Beginning this week, the Montgomery, Sheffield, Jacksonville, Tuscaloosa and Dothan locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Saturday. The agency launched the Saturday pilot program in April with its Birmingham, Opelika and Mobile offices; and it expanded Nov. 2 to include its Huntsville office. On Saturdays, walk-in customers are assisted on a first-come, first-served basis for such services as first issuances and renewals of standard driver licenses and non-driver IDs, as well as STAR IDs; knowledge and road skills tests; and out-of-state transfers. For reinstatement, customers may call 334.242.4400 Monday through Friday.