Stories from the early Greene County Movement, Part II

Mary Dean Williams-Mack – Class of 1965


As a senior at Carver High School in 1965, Mary Dean Williams was looking forward to graduation, but the chances of marching across that state seemed very slim.  The local Civil Rights Movement had gained momentum.  

Mrs. Williams-Mack recounted the following: “Life as we knew it was quickly changing and you could feel it in the air. Yet reality hovered over us like a dark cloud. We were marching through the streets of Eutaw for freedom, but we would not march across our high school stage in our caps and gowns to receive our diplomas.”
During the Greene County student movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Eutaw. He visited with the students at First Baptist church and assured them he would give them a graduation ceremony they would never forget. And he did. On May 30, 1965, the Carver High seniors traveled to Selma for their graduation exercises held at Brown Chapel AME Church. Dr. King delivered the commencement address and presented each senior with his/her diploma. A reception followed at the Elks Club across from the Selma jail.

Jacqueline Allen – Class of 1965

Ms. Allen was a senior at Carver High School in 1965. From her account: “Students from Eutaw and surrounding schools came together to participate in demonstrations in what became the Civil Rights Movement in Greene County. We shocked the conscience of the people of Eutaw as we pushed to abolish segregation here at home. We were a part of a movement and we only wanted to have an opportunity for a better life.” As a senior, Mrs. Allen was also looking forward to graduation as one of the class salutatorians. She shared the following: “ …I was one who greatly anticipated giving my speech at the graduation ceremony. But no one anticipated what happened here. My dream of giving my graduation speech and participating in all the other events that normally take place prior to graduation came to a standstill.”

Louvella Murray – Class of 1965


In her reflections of that early Movement period, Ms. Murray states that she can so vividly recall how life was for them and events of the protest. 

“ I can close my eyes and see us in Eutaw not able to sit in the Dairy Queen; sitting in the balcony of the movies, not allowed to sit in the main section; and I can see the unthinkable cruelty directed at us united in the struggle for freedom.” She recounts how her mother, Rosie Bee Edwards hummed spirituals as she prepared sandwiches and meals for the marchers.
Many of the movement organizers stayed at her mother’s house in the projects, and when the manager found out that they were staying and working out of their house, her family had to move. Ms. Murray sadly stated that her mother was never recognized for accommodating the Civil Rights workers; her name does not appear on the plaque in from of First Baptist Church.
Additional stories of youth in the local Civil Rights Movement will continue next week.


Senator Doug Jones introduces legislation to help Alabama residents

Senator Doug Jones and Congresswoman
Terri Sewell

Senator Doug Jones has been a U. S. Senator, representing Alabama since his victory in the December 2017 Special Election. He has been working to introduce legislation, some with bi-partisan Republican sponsors to improve the life of Alabama residents.
Senator Jones sends press releases each time he introduces and passes legislation to benefit the lives of ordinary people in Alabama and across the nation. Some of his recent press releases on legislation are described below.
Jones will have to run for re-election for a full six-year term in November 2020. He is expected to have strong Republican opposition. He will be running on his record of positive and progressive legislation enacted by the Senate and Congress during his time in Washington D. C.
Senators Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced that their bipartisan Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act   was signed into law by the President on January 8, 2019. Their legislation requires the review, declassification, and release of government records related to unsolved criminal civil rights cases. Senators Jones and Cruz have led a months-long bipartisan effort to provide public access to unsolved civil rights crime documents through their legislation. Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) led the companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 
 “This moment has been years in the making. I want to thank my colleagues Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Bobby Rush for their strong partnership throughout this effort, which started with a group of talented high school students who encountered a problem and wanted to find a solution.I am excited that their classroom idea and the solution we worked on together has now been signed into law by the President of the United States.
I also appreciate the comments the President made in his signing statement in support of our legislation and his encouragement that Congress appropriate funds for its implementation. This law sends a powerful message to those impacted by these horrific crimes and to young folks in this country who want to make a difference. I know how deeply painful these Civil Rights-era crimes remain for communities so by shedding light on these investigations I hope we can provide an opportunity for healing and closure,” said Senator Jones.
U.S. Senators Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on January 15, 2019 re-introduced their Automotive Jobs Act legislation, which would delay President Trump’s proposed 25-percent tariff on imported cars, trucks, and auto parts. In May 2018, the President directed the U.S. Commerce Department to initiate a Section 232 investigation to determine whether imported automobiles, trucks, and parts are a threat to U.S. national security and to subsequently levy tariffs. The Commerce Department is expected to finish its investigation and make its recommendation to the President in February. The Jones-Alexander legislation would require the International Trade Commission (ITC) to conduct a comprehensive study of the well-being, health, and vitality of the United States automotive industry before tariffs could be applied.
 “Automobile tariffs are nothing but new taxes on American consumers and only serve to threaten an industry that is vital to Alabama’s economy and supports 57,000 good jobs,” said Senator Jones, who heard concerns from representatives of all four Alabama automakers during a roundtable discussion in Mobile this fall.
“As the son of a steelworker, I know well that there is a need to address the bad actors like China who’ve taken advantage of us on trade and I share the President’s goal of reviving our domestic manufacturing industry. However, that should be done in a way that doesn’t hurt other major job-creating industries and increase costs for American consumers. By having a deeper look at the state of the auto industry, an ITC study would shed light on the impacts that tariffs would have and would make it undeniably clear to the President that this industry is not a national security threat.”
 U.S. Senator Doug Jones on January 25, 2019 introduced legislation that would require federal workers who were impacted by the shutdown to receive their full back-pay plus any interest accrued. Last week, Congress passed the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019, which would require that all impacted federal employees receive compensation for wages lost during the government shutdown. While this is an important step, the shutdown has forced many federal workers to incur additional costs associated with loans, late bill payments, and the other effects of missing paychecks. 
  “If the federal government can charge you interest for being late on your taxes, then it should be paying interest on late paychecks,” said Senator Doug Jones, who has also requested his paycheck be withheld until federal workers receive their back pay. “The more than 5,500 federal workers in Alabama didn’t ask for a shutdown and shouldn’t be punished for it. It’s only fair that the government pays them back with interest for putting them out of work indefinitely or forcing them to work without pay.”

Greene County Commission handled routine business at February meeting

At its regular monthly meeting on Monday, February 11, 2019, the Greene County Commission handled regular and routine business in under an hour. All Commissioners were present and there was little discussion or disagreement.
Paula Byrd presented the financial report showing that the County had $6.4 million in county banks and additional funds in a sinking fund for bond payments in the Bank of New York. She reported that most agency spending was in line with the budgets and since this is the fourth month of the 2018-19 fiscal year, which began October 1, 2018, that most agencies had spend about a third of their budgets. She presented several budget amendments to cover special cases like additional expenses for the November election.
The Commission approved a resolution supporting an increase in the state’s gasoline taxes, under review by the Alabama State Legislature, which would generate a significant increase in support and funding for county road improvement. The state gas tax has not been increased in 27 years since 1992 when it was set at 18 cents a gallon. An increase in this tax, based on fuel and road usage, would provide more funding for road improvement statewide.
The Commission approved the following items on their agenda:

• Approved the schedule of fees for securing alcohol licenses in the county. The amount of the fees is unchanged from last year.• Approved the Ad Valorem Tax Assessment for 2019, which is a routine matter that must be approved annually in the February meeting.
• Approved replacement of a $6,000 gas pump at the County Jail for use by the Sheriff’s Department. It was agreed that these funds would come out of the bingo funds since the Sheriff’s departmental budget for repairs to the jail was already committed and the pump while located at the jail is not part of the jail operations.
• Approved a contract with Terracon for maintenance and engineering services at the County Landfill.
• Approved a request from the County Engineer to employ 4 to 6 temporary workers for the Highway Department, which are included in their budget.
• Approved travel requests for staff and Commissioners to attend training related to their job performance.
The Commission also made several appointments to county boards. Darrow Jones was reappointed to the District 5 position on the Greene County Industrial Development Authority. Commissioner Cockrell requested tabling of the District 3 position.
Mary Snoddy was appointed to the District 1 position and James Williams to the District 5 position on the PARA Board.
Jimmy Hardy was selected for the District 3 position and Carolyn Branch for the District 4 position on the Greene County Housing Authority.
For the Greene County Library Board, Dan Edgar was selected for the District 2 position and Alicia Daniels Jordan for the District 5 position.
The Commission held an Executive Session to discuss legal matters and returned stating that no decisions had been reached that required action in the public meeting.

Newswire : America watching as top three Virginia officials are embroiled in controversy

Page from Gov. Northam’s medical school yearbook

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Richmond Free Press
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – In the suddenly topsy-turvy world of Virginia politics, one fact is certain: Ralph S. Northam is still Virginia’s governor. He also has no immediate plans to resign, despite the uproar and the torrent of calls for him to quit the office some believe he is no longer fit to hold.
The sudden reversal of fortune began when Big League Politics, a conservative, Republican-leaning news and opinion blog, posted a 35-year-old yearbook photo that appears under the governor’s name showing two people, one in blackface and the other in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood.
The blog indicated that it was tipped off to the forgotten photo published in the 1984 edition of the Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook by a former classmate upset with Gov. Northam’s stance on abortion.
Struck by an avalanche of criticism, the governor initially issued an apology on Friday, Feb. 1.
“I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now. This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment,” he stated.
He pledged to do everything he could to restore the public’s trust in him.
But at a Saturday, Feb. 2, news conference, Gov. Northam recanted the apology.
Instead, the 59-year-old genial pediatric neurosurgeon with a reedy voice urged people to trust his word that he was not one of the two people in the photo, a position that began gaining support this week as published reports began surfacing in which former classmates agreed that other students were in the photo.
Gov. Northam, who also was criticized for dressing up as a plantation owner at Halloween, said at the news conference that he had never seen the photo because he finished medical school and started a residency program with the Army Medical Corps in San Antonio, Texas, and did not purchase a copy.
The governor also said that while he blackened his cheeks with shoe polish later that year in dressing up like his favorite entertainer, Michael Jackson, to compete in and win a dance contest in San Antonio, he said he was certain the yearbook photo was not his and that he was not one of the two people pictured.
As the governor fought to clear his name, he gained unexpected relief from the controversy when Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax and Attorney General Mark R. Herring both came under their own clouds.
Late Sunday, Feb. 3, Lt. Gov. Fairfax, 39, suddenly became embroiled in an equally explosive controversy regarding a sexual encounter at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston with Dr. Vanessa Tyson, now a California university professor. Dr. Tyson now publicly claims Lt. Gov. Fairfax, forced her to perform oral sex after they went to his hotel room.
Fairfax, a single Columbia University law student at the time, was working on a political campaign.
By Tuesday, the lieutenant governor had displaced Gov. Northam in the headlines as he sought to defend himself. Lt. Gov. Fairfax insisted the encounter with Dr. Tyson was consensual after Big League Politics also spread the information based on an email the blog said was provided by a Richmond friend of Dr. Tyson, Adria Scharf, executive director of the Richmond Peace Education Center and wife of Dr. Thad Williamson, a University of Richmond professor who has been a top adviser to a potential gubernatorial rival of Lt. Gov. Fairfax, Mayor Levar M. Stoney. A second woman, Meredith Watson, has since accused Fairfax of sexual assault, intensifying the controversy surrounding him.
Then on Wednesday, Attorney General Herring, 57, who had urged the governor to resign in favor of Lt. Gov. Fairfax, issued an unexpected admission about his own blackface episode.
Herring said in 1980 when he was a 19-year-old college student, he and friends “dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup” and went to a party portraying “rappers they listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow.”
Herring, who immediately resigned as co-chair of the Democratic Attorney Generals Association, called his actions a product of “our ignorance and glib attitudes” and a lack of “appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others.”
He said in the years since, the memory has caused him “deep regret and shame,” though he added that the past conduct “is in no way reflective of the man I have become in the nearly 40 years since.”
The upheaval has come amid a fast-moving General Assembly session when Gov. Northam is a key player in shaping legislation and Lt. Gov. Fairfax presides over the state Senate.
Amid the new revelations, Gov. Northam was bolstered by Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox’s public statement Monday that the yearbook photo could not be considered an impeachable offense and the fact that the governor’s aides and members of his cabinet have stuck with him rather than resigning. He is soldiering on.
On Tuesday, Feb. 5, for example, Gov. Northam quietly signed legislation providing a $750 million package of incentives for Amazon, which plans to open part of its East Coast headquarters in Northern Virginia.
For those who denounced the governor in the wake of the photo — particularly a wide swatch of elected Democrats near and far — it was simpler when they could take an unforgiving stance solely involving Gov. Northam.
Take the 21-member Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, which has urged the governor to resign and end the turmoil.
“We amplify our call for the governor to resign,” the Caucus stated Saturday after listening to Gov. Northam’s press conference. “He has irrevocably lost the faith and trust of the people. Changing his story now casts further doubt on his ability to gain that trust.”
But the Caucus is among many looking for a fallback position with the new revelations involving the two other top Democratic leaders, notably Lt. Gov. Fairfax, who is first in line to succeed to the office if Gov. Northam resigns.
The Caucus, led by Henrico Delegate Lamont Bagby, did not comment Wednesday on how their members will deal with a governor they have labeled a pariah, but whom they might have to work with. Most of the Richmond legislative delegation also didn’t comment. The only response has come from Delegate Betsy B. Carr, D-69th, who responded on her plan of action with Gov. Northam remaining in office: “As I have always done, I will support and advocate for legislation that helps my constituents and the Commonwealth. I work each and every day to improve the lives of Virginians, and I will continue to do that.”

Newswire : African leaders put rich nations on notice that days of cheap resources are ending

President of Ghana

Feb. 11, 2019 (GIN) – African leaders had a new message for foreign companies seeking the diamonds, gold, rubies and emeralds so plentiful in desperate dirt-poor countries and so pricey when polished and sold in New York, Paris and Switzerland.
 
We’re no longer a cheap date.
 
That message – in so many words – was heard again and again at this year’s posh African Mining Indaba – a glittering conference in Cape Town, South Africa, that unites investors, mining companies, governments and stakeholders from around the world with the single goal of advancing mining on the African continent.
 
To be honest, not every African leader was threatening to pull “unusual tax incentives” from contracts with western companies. But at least one president drew a line in the sand, declaring it was simply unjust that Africa, rich in minerals sought after by the world, should remain inhabited by the poorest people in the world.
 
Mining deals must be more beneficial for Africa, declared Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, as he pressed governments to end fiscal incentives traditionally used to attract investments in countries rich in resources but considered high risk.
 
“We want you here for the long-term,” he continued, addressing the mining executives from wealthy countries. “Respect the land that provides the riches and be part of the transformation.  It’s time to make Africa prosperous and allow her people to attain a dignified standard of living.”
 
“We should not have to give unusual tax and royalties incentives. And mining companies should not expect to make extraordinary profits on our continent.”

Over the past decade, a number of African governments have reviewed mining contracts, seeking to increase their share of mining profits.
 
Last year, the Democratic Republic of Congo – the world’s biggest producer of cobalt – rewrote its mining code, ignoring the objections of miners. It cancelled existing stability clauses in contracts and raised royalty rates across the board.
 
Neighboring Tanzania, once one of Africa’s best bets for international investors, also cracked down,  hitting gold miner Acacia with a $190 billion tax bill.
 
The company has disputed the claim and its parent company Barrick Gold Corp is in talks with the government.
 
But other African nations, including Angola and Ethiopia, are still seeking to use tax breaks to entice investment to their nascent mining sectors.
 
Resource nationalism was high on the agenda at the just ended 25th African Mining Indaba.
 
Long a major gold producer, Ghana is now seeking to develop its iron ore and bauxite deposits.
 
“Africa has made the world rich with our minerals, our gemstones adorn crowns and homes around the world, it is time to make Africa prosperous, and enable her people to attain a dignified standard of living. Join us in this exciting project for sustainable economic growth,” President Akufo-Addo said. w/pix of Ghana Pres. Akufo-Addo leaving for Indaba
 

Newswire : Waters and Cleaver express concerns about nomination of David Malpass to lead World Bank

Congressman Cleaver and Congresswoman Waters

WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Congressman Emanuel Cle Cleaver and er (D-MO), Chair of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy, issued the following statements on the nomination of David Malpass, Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, to serve as President of the World Bank.
“It’s difficult to believe that any serious effort to find a qualified candidate with a compelling vision for the mission of the World Bank and a belief in the legitimacy of international development finance would lead to the nomination of Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass,” said Chairwoman Waters.
“His agenda for international development policy seems to begin with a reliance on unfettered private capital flows and end with a diminished role for the public sector, as the engines of global growth. He is an anti-internationalist, anti-worker market fundamentalist who understands neither the markets nor the importance of an effective public sector in helping reign in market excesses, promoting stability, and ensuring that the benefits of growth are broadly shared in society.
Moreover, if the World Bank’s board of directors ultimately votes to confirm Mr. Malpass, the Bank’s climate finance agenda, which is an increasingly essential element of global economic cooperation, will also be under threat. If the Trump Administration is allowed to embed its ideological bias into the world’s most important multilateral development institution, the institutional framework for the post-World War II global economic order will be imperiled.”
“The nomination of David Malpass as the next World Bank President should have every American deeply concerned,” said Chairman Cleaver. “His strong criticism of global organizations and disdain for multilateral institutions are antithetical to the mission of the organization of which he has been asked to lead. For nearly eighty years the World Bank—guided by American leadership—has led a development of the global economy unmatched in human history. The Bank has played a pivotal role in the reduction of global poverty, protection of workers, and fight to close the enormous income inequality gap. If Mr. Malpass cannot commit to advancing this agenda and supporting the core mission of the World Bank, then the board should reject his nomination.”
The House Financial Services Committee is responsible for conducting oversight of U.S. participation in the multilateral development banks, including the World Bank.
Financial Services Committee Democrats have consistently pushed for strong leadership at the World Bank and insisted on more transparency and disclosure of information. As a result, Committee Democrats have continuously played an active role in helping to shape the development policies that have helped make the World Bank the preeminent development institution that it has become.
In previous Congresses, Committee Members conditioned U.S. support for the Bank on the creation of the Inspection Panel — an independent accountability mechanism that could investigate allegations by citizens of the Bank’s failure to follow its own policies and procedures.
The Committee has also worked in a bipartisan manner to successfully push for debt relief for impoverished countries.

Newswire: America watching as top three Virginia officials are embroiled in controversy

 Gov. Northam’s medical school yearbook


Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Richmond Free Press

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – In the suddenly topsy-turvy world of Virginia politics, one fact is certain: Ralph S. Northam is still Virginia’s governor. He also has no immediate plans to resign, despite the uproar and the torrent of calls for him to quit the office some believe he is no longer fit to hold.
The sudden reversal of fortune began when Big League Politics, a conservative, Republican-leaning news and opinion blog, posted a 35-year-old yearbook photo that appears under the governor’s name showing two people, one in blackface and the other in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood.
The blog indicated that it was tipped off to the forgotten photo published in the 1984 edition of the Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook by a former classmate upset with Gov. Northam’s stance on abortion.
Struck by an avalanche of criticism, the governor initially issued an apology on Friday, Feb. 1.
“I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now. This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine and in public service. But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes Virginians’ faith in that commitment,” he stated.
He pledged to do everything he could to restore the public’s trust in him.
But at a Saturday, Feb. 2, news conference, Gov. Northam recanted the apology.
Instead, the 59-year-old genial pediatric neurosurgeon with a reedy voice urged people to trust his word that he was not one of the two people in the photo, a position that began gaining support this week as published reports began surfacing in which former classmates agreed that other students were in the photo.
Gov. Northam, who also was criticized for dressing up as a plantation owner at Halloween, said at the news conference that he had never seen the photo because he finished medical school and started a residency program with the Army Medical Corps in San Antonio, Texas, and did not purchase a copy.
The governor also said that while he blackened his cheeks with shoe polish later that year in dressing up like his favorite entertainer, Michael Jackson, to compete in and win a dance contest in San Antonio, he said he was certain the yearbook photo was not his and that he was not one of the two people pictured.
As the governor fought to clear his name, he gained unexpected relief from the controversy when Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax and Attorney General Mark R. Herring both came under their own clouds.
Late Sunday, Feb. 3, Lt. Gov. Fairfax, 39, suddenly became embroiled in an equally explosive controversy regarding a sexual encounter at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston with Dr. Vanessa Tyson, now a California university professor. Dr. Tyson now publicly claims Lt. Gov. Fairfax, forced her to perform oral sex after they went to his hotel room.
Fairfax, a single Columbia University law student at the time, was working on a political campaign.
By Tuesday, the lieutenant governor had displaced Gov. Northam in the headlines as he sought to defend himself. Lt. Gov. Fairfax insisted the encounter with Dr. Tyson was consensual after Big League Politics also spread the information based on an email the blog said was provided by a Richmond friend of Dr. Tyson, Adria Scharf, executive director of the Richmond Peace Education Center and wife of Dr. Thad Williamson, a University of Richmond professor who has been a top adviser to a potential gubernatorial rival of Lt. Gov. Fairfax, Mayor Levar M. Stoney. A second woman, Meredith Watson, has since accused Fairfax of sexual assault, intensifying the controversy surrounding him.
Then on Wednesday, Attorney General Herring, 57, who had urged the governor to resign in favor of Lt. Gov. Fairfax, issued an unexpected admission about his own blackface episode.
Herring said in 1980 when he was a 19-year-old college student, he and friends “dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup” and went to a party portraying “rappers they listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow.”
Herring, who immediately resigned as co-chair of the Democratic Attorney Generals Association, called his actions a product of “our ignorance and glib attitudes” and a lack of “appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others.”
He said in the years since, the memory has caused him “deep regret and shame,” though he added that the past conduct “is in no way reflective of the man I have become in the nearly 40 years since.”
The upheaval has come amid a fast-moving General Assembly session when Gov. Northam is a key player in shaping legislation and Lt. Gov. Fairfax presides over the state Senate.
Amid the new revelations, Gov. Northam was bolstered by Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox’s public statement Monday that the yearbook photo could not be considered an impeachable offense and the fact that the governor’s aides and members of his cabinet have stuck with him rather than resigning. He is soldiering on.
On Tuesday, Feb. 5, for example, Gov. Northam quietly signed legislation providing a $750 million package of incentives for Amazon, which plans to open part of its East Coast headquarters in Northern Virginia.
For those who denounced the governor in the wake of the photo — particularly a wide swatch of elected Democrats near and far — it was simpler when they could take an unforgiving stance solely involving Gov. Northam.
Take the 21-member Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, which has urged the governor to resign and end the turmoil.
“We amplify our call for the governor to resign,” the Caucus stated Saturday after listening to Gov. Northam’s press conference. “He has irrevocably lost the faith and trust of the people. Changing his story now casts further doubt on his ability to gain that trust.”
But the Caucus is among many looking for a fallback position with the new revelations involving the two other top Democratic leaders, notably Lt. Gov. Fairfax, who is first in line to succeed to the office if Gov. Northam resigns.
The Caucus, led by Henrico Delegate Lamont Bagby, did not comment Wednesday on how their members will deal with a governor they have labeled a pariah, but whom they might have to work with. Most of the Richmond legislative delegation also didn’t comment. The only response has come from Delegate Betsy B. Carr, D-69th, who responded on her plan of action with Gov. Northam remaining in office: “As I have always done, I will support and advocate for legislation that helps my constituents and the Commonwealth. I work each and every day to improve the lives of Virginians, and I will continue to do that.”

Newswire: Alabama NAACP and ACLU push City of Hoover for more information on the shooting of E. J. Bradford in the Galleria Mall

E. J. Bradford

An Alabama police officer who shot and killed a man misidentified as a shooting suspect in a Hoover mall last year will not be criminally charged. 

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Tuesday released a 24-page report concluding the investigation of the Thanksgiving night Riverchase Galleria shooting in which a Hoover police officer fatally shot Emantic "E.J." Bradford Jr.

Marshall's report finds that the unnamed officer "reasonably" exercised his official duties in a five-second encounter in which he shot and killed Bradford when responding to gunfire at about 9:51 p.m. on Nov. 22. 

Two officers responded to an initial shooting that injured 18-year-old Brian Wilson and a 12-year-old bystander. The attorney general's report concludes the first officer fired his gun four times. Three bullets struck Bradford in the neck and lower back. The remaining bullet, "or at least a large fragment" of it, hit a pillar near Bradford. Investigators say the fourth bullet did not strike the 12-year-old.

Hoover police initially misidentified 21-year-old Bradford as the gunman, but later said he was likely not the shooter. Erron Martez Dequan Brown, 20, was arrested in Atlanta on Nov. 29 and charged with attempted murder in Wilson's shooting.
But investigators said Bradford did have a gun, though he never fired it, according to the report. Marshall's report finds that the officer's mistake in identifying Bradford as the shooter does not mean he acted unreasonably or criminally.
The Alabama NAACP and ACLU say EJ Bradford should still be alive. But he isn't. The Attorney General released a report one week ago, calling his death "justified." However, there is still much that we the public do not know.
The public, and Bradford's family, deserve to know more information about the Hoover Police Department's policies and practices. The ACLU of Alabama and Alabama NAACP have asked the department to release their use-of-force policies, body cam policies, and racial bias training materials.
We've filed three requests and, so far, we have heard no response from the Hoover Police Department. Take action now and tell the Hoover PD to release the documents.Bradford
This information should be public record, and easily accessible to any person upon request. Refusing to disclose these policies deepens distrust of law enforcement, whereas releasing the policies will help demonstrate whether this shooting followed policy and whether the policy was appropriate and fair. The department’s silence is deafening.
In addition to the actions of the Alabama NAACP and ACLU, local community leaders in Hoover and Birmingham have called for a boycott of the Galleria Mall and other merchants in Hoover until the City Police and Administration release the full video tapes of the incident and their full policies. The community is also protesting the Alabama Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute the police that shot E. J. Bradford.

•   America watching as top three Virginia officials are embroiled in controversy

Alabama Hospital Association: Two new studies support Medicaid Expansion

By Amy Yurkanin | ayurkanin@al.com

The Alabama Hospital Association released two reports last week laying out almost $3 billion in financial benefits for expanding Medicaid – a step state leaders have declined to consider since the Affordable Care Act ( also known as Obamacare) passed in 2010.
Leaders of the hospital association held a press conference at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Friday morning to tout the findings. The organization has been one of the strongest supporters of Medicaid expansion in Alabama, claiming the move would benefit hospitals and patients.
David Becker, a professor in the UAB School of Public Health, created similar reports in 2012 and 2016 – when federal funds covered all the costs of expanding Medicaid to low-income adults. The match is down to 93 percent this year and will drop to 90 percent in 2020, where it will remain.
Owen Bailey, CEO of USA Health, said the deal still makes sense for Alabama.
“It’s obvious that by expanding Medicaid, the state would have a huge return on investment,” Bailey said. “For every one dollar the state provides, we will get nine dollars to match it.”
Becker’s study found that implementing Medicaid expansion now would be costlier for the state than it would have been in 2014 because of the loss of federal matching dollars and the increased cost from low-income patients who purchase insurance through the exchange. Bailey said 12 hospitals have closed in Alabama in the last eight years.
“The state did miss out on the deal of the century,” Becker said. “I don’t have a time machine. All we can do is look forward. The case for expansion remains very strong.”
Medicaid expansion is one part of Obamacare, which also created regulations on health insurance and subsidies to purchase private insurance. Alabama is one of 14 states that have not expanded Medicaid. Residents of Utah, Nebraska and Idaho recently voted to expand Medicaid in statewide referenda.
Alabama’s lack of action has kept millions in federal dollars out of the state that could help support rural hospitals that often care for the sick and uninsured, said Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association.
“Hospitals and healthcare are every bit as important for infrastructure as roads are,” Williamson said. “Otherwise they are building roads to communities that are dying because their hospital has closed.”If Alabama expanded Medicaid, the program would grow to cover adults who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, the program only covers caregivers of people on Medicaid who earn less than 20 percent of the poverty level. The change in Alabama would add more than 300,000 people to the Medicaid rolls, according to the study.
That expansion would cost Alabama $227 million in 2020, according to Becker’s calculations. The state would receive nearly $2 billion in funds from the federal government that year.
The other study, by consulting company Manatt, said the state could pay up to $216 million in additional costs and get more than $2 billion from federal sources. The state would save additional money in other areas, including medical care for prisoners, Williamson said.
The Alabama Hospital Association has submitted similar reports in 2012 and 2016. Williams said they are hopeful legislators will give expansion serious consideration this year. He said unsuccessful votes to repeal Obamacare and midterm successes by Democrats running on healthcare show the law has staying power.
“For a lot of people, there was a belief that Obamacare was going to disappear,” Williamson said. “The last election has pretty much taken repeal and replace off the table. The number of states, including some very Republican states have gone to expansion and they are seeing the benefits. Our hope is that the reality that this is going to be here, that it’s not going away, will become clear to Alabama lawmakers.”

Revisiting the start of the Civil Rights Movement in Greene County

Above: First Baptist Church on Greensboro St. Eutaw, where students of the Greene County Movement met and mass meetings were held.
Below: Cemetery and park on Greensboro St. where student
demonstrators met.

Official Markers designating First Baptist Church and Clarence Thomas Cemetery as significant cites of the Greene County Civil Rights Movement.

The Civil Rights Movement in Greene County often brings up names such as Rev. William M. Branch, Rev. Thomas Gilmore, Ed Carter, Peter Kirksey and Florence Kirksey, John Chambers, Rev. W.D. Lewis, Annie Brown, Sarah Duncan, Hurtlean Pippins, Fannie Lou Due and many others who came to play key roles in the local movement, but we tend to forget the youth, our African American youth, who were first to step out of a comfort zone and declare We aint gonna take it no more.
In reviewing the accounts of some of the Greene County youth of the movement, collected earlier by the Democrat, all acclaim that the movement was launched principally by young folk walking out of then Carver High School.
This took place early in 1965, perhaps in January, but certainly before the Jimmie Lee Jackson murder in Marion, AL on February 18, 1965 and before the Selma to Montgomery March which followed. Other SCLC organizers, Albert Turner of Marion, AL and Hosea Williams of Atlanta, made frequent trips to Greene County assisting the demonstrators.
On the night Jimmie Lee Jackson was murdered, Greene County had planned a mass meeting at First Baptist Church, Eutaw, Albert Turner arrived to inform them that Rev. Orange had been arrested and jailed in Marion and a mass meeting was planned in Marian that evening.
The students continued to meet in the cemetery each morning, preparing for the events of the day, which included marches and pickets in Eutaw, bearing signs denouncing all forms of segregation. The students also boycotted the local stores, owned by whites who treated Black folks terribly. Their initial grievances included mistreatment in the stores, and lack of quality books and other school materials. The Black schools had to used the discarded books of the white students.
Students from Eatman Jr. High (Lewiston) and Greene County Training School (Boligee) joined the Carver students each day swelling their numbers and giving strength to their cause. Some parents allowed their children to gather in the cemetery but would not permit them to march, fearful for their safety. Many parents and other adults provided food for the students, since they were not at school for lunch. “After several days of us spending the day at the graveyard, some of the ladies in town realized that we didn’t have food. These ladies started coming out and bringing us bologna sandwiches and peanut butter sandwiches and orange drinks,” Luther Winn, II, stated in his account.
Eventually First Baptist Church allowed the students to gather in their sanctuary and the community to hold mass meetings. Soon afterward, Little Zion Baptist Church (Boligee) and Ebenezer Baptist Church (Forkland) open their doors for mass meeting and organizing efforts of the movement.
Apparently, the schools would continue to open each day, the school buses operated, teachers would arrive, often not entering the school, some students would arrive as well, but the most significant and relevant learning of the time was the commencing and conducting of the Civil Rights Movement by young Black students in Greene County.
Winn also noted in his account of the early movement, that the young folk did not have a leader, so they “…gathered at First Baptist Church one afternoon and elected Thomas Gilmore to be the liaison from the young people and the adult leadership.”
All the student accounts noted that the white community generally did not like the rise of this movement. This was contrary to their order of how Blacks should conduct themselves. The students recounted that as they marched from the cemetery into town, whites lined the streets armed with large sticks, boards, irons, and perhaps guns as well. Later in the movement, there were physical encounters between local whites and Black marchers.
This account will continue next week with more of the students first hand accounts of the Greene County Civil Rights Movement, including the following: William “Nick” Underwood, Jacqueline Allen, Alice E. Smith, Geraldine Chambers Sands, Mary Dean Williams Mack, Mary Julia Winn Farmer Howard, Louvella Murray, Council Morrow and Geraldine Walton Jemison.