Newswire: February 20, National Day of Solidarity with Bessemer, Alabama warehouse workers

Amazon Bessemer warehouse

Between Feb 8, and March 29, approximately 6,000 Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama will begin voting by mail on whether to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale Department Store Workers Union (RWDSU).
The Southern Workers Assembly has issued a call for a National Day of Solidarity with Alabama Amazon Workers on Saturday, February 20. Actions are being planned across the South and the U.S. on that day at Amazon facilities (warehouses, distribution centers, Whole Foods, etc.). There is a demonstration planned at the Whole Foods Store at 1450 Taylor Road, near Eastchase Shopping Center in Montgomery, Alabama, at Noon on Saturday February 20th.
The harsh working conditions at Amazon warehouses, along with Amazon’s refusal to adopt measures that protect workers from COVID 19, have pushed Amazon and Whole Foods workers every- where to step up organizing and fighting back.
These predominantly Black workers who have in recent months formed the BAmazon Workers Union (www.bamazonunion.org), are on the cusp of launching a history-changing workers organization against one of the biggest and most powerful transnational corporations in the world, and its super rich union busting owner, Jeff Bezos.
In addition, these workers are standing up to the racist, anti-union laws that suppress labor across the South. Bessemer is a majority Black city in the Birmingham metro area.
Many of the workers at Bessemer warehouse are Black and the city has a history of labor union support dating back to the 1930’s when the CIO was organizing coal miners and steel workers in and around Birmingham.
Solidarity from every corner of the labor and progressive movements is needed now to show the workers in Bessemer that they are not alone, that all eyes are on the historic struggle that they are leading. This is especially needed as Amazon ramps up their union-busting tactics.
“The union struggle in Bessemer is not only about worker rights, wages and working conditions but also about civil rights, human rights and dignity for Black workers and all workers for large multi-national companies that are trying to dominate and control the lives of people,” said Mike Foster, union organizer.
The Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy (SOS) is supporting and co-sponsoring Saturday’s solidarity protest at Whole Foods in Montgomery and encourages its members to attend.

Newswire: Mississippi Congressman, Black lawmakers, NAACP file suit in response to Trump’s coup attempt

By Barrington M. Salmon

Congressman Benny Thompson


(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Former President Donald Trump escaped conviction by the US Senate for inciting an insurrection that came close to toppling the government. But the fallout continues.
On Feb. 16, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson and the NAACP filed a lawsuit naming Trump and Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, alleging that they violated an 1871 law by conspiring to incite the violent Jan. 6 insurrection that resulted in the deaths of seven people. The purpose of the coup attempt was to thwart certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
“January 6th was one of the most shameful days in our country’s history, and it was instigated by the president himself. His gleeful support of violent White supremacists led to a breach of the Capitol that put my life, and that of my colleagues, in grave danger,” Thompson said in a statement. “It is by the slimmest of luck that the outcome was not deadlier. While the majority of Republicans in the Senate abdicated their responsibility to hold the President accountable, we must hold him accountable for the insurrection that he so blatantly planned.”
The lawsuit details Trump’s pronouncements and assertions before, during, and after the November election that the vote would be stolen. Such provocative rhetoric – though untrue, animated his base – a mélange of white domestic terror groups and other far-right supporters. He told them to come to the District of Columbia on Jan. 6 to stop Congressional lawmakers from certifying the election. And after a rally on the Ellipse, Trump encouraged the mob to march to the Capital and “stop the steal.”
According to the plaintiffs, the insurrection was a coordinated, months-long attempt to destroy democracy, to block the results of a fair and democratic election, and to disenfranchise millions of ballots that were legally cast by African-American voters.
The lawsuit claims that Trump and Giuliani, worked with right-wing groups like the Proud Boys the Oath Keepers and other far-right domestic terror groups to incite the riot in an attempt to prohibit lawmakers in Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election win. The plaintiffs say their actions violated the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, a Reconstruction-era law that protects against violent conspiracies meant to stop Congress from carrying out its Constitutional duties. The law was passed as a counter to widespread Klan intimidation of and violence against Southern members of Congress during and after Reconstruction.
According to House managers, for as long as six hours, rioters battled police. They breached security and overran the building from several entrances, searched for lawmakers, ransacked and desecrated offices, urinated and defecated in and around the building fought with an undermanned police presence using baseball bats, flagpoles, fire extinguishers police shields, metal bars and other objects. More than 140 DC and Capitol Police officers sustained an assortment of injuries and two others committed suicide after the incident. Capital Police leadership is said to have ignored warnings from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the House and Senate might be overrun by pro-Trump supporters.
The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. by the NAACP and civil rights law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll on behalf of Congressman Thompson. Other members of Congress, including Representatives Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), have indicated that they intend to join the litigation as plaintiffs shortly.
The NAACP is representing Thompson, officials said because “the events on January 6th were just one more attempt by Donald Trump and his allies to make sure that African-American voters were disenfranchised – this time, by trying to stop members of Congress from doing their job and certifying the election results.”
“Donald Trump needs to be held accountable for deliberately inciting and colluding with white supremacists to stage a coup, in his continuing efforts to disenfranchise African-American voters,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the National Association of Colored People. “The insurrection was the culmination of a carefully orchestrated, months-long plan to destroy democracy, to block the results of a fair and democratic election, and to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of African-American voters who cast valid ballots.”
“Since our founding, the NAACP has gone to the courthouse to put an end to actions that discriminate against African- American voters,” Johnson added. “We are now bringing this case to continue our work to protect our democracy and make sure nothing like what happened on January 6th ever happens again,”
The Senate voted 57-43 to acquit Trump, who was facing his second impeachment in a little more than a year. Only seven Republicans joined the Democratic majority to vote Trump guilty. It is theorized that Republicans fear the wrath of Trump, his base and the 74 million people who voted for him. The plaintiffs case appears to be strengthened by comments made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately after Trump’s acquittal over the weekend.
“There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it,” McConnell said at the time. “… January 6th was a disgrace. American citizens attacked their own government. They use terrorism to try to stop a specific piece of domestic business they did not like. Fellow Americans beat and bloodied our own police. They stormed the center floor. They tried to hunt down the Speaker of the House. They built a gallows and chatted about murdering the vice president. They did this because they’d been fed wild, falsehoods by the most powerful man on earth because he was angry. He lost an election. Former President Trump’s actions preceded the riot … (and represent) a disgraceful dereliction of duty.”
McConnell said whatever Trump claims he thought might happen a day, whatever right reaction he’s says he meant to produce by that afternoon we know he was watching the same live television as the rest of us: “A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name, these criminals who are carrying his banners, hanging his flags and screaming their loyalty to him. It was obvious that only President Trump could end this. He was the only one who could.”
“Former aides publicly begged him to do so. Loyal allies frantically called the administration. The president did not act swiftly. He did not do his job. He didn’t take steps so federal law could be faithfully executed and order restored. No, instead, according to public reports, he watched television happily as the chaos unfolded. He kept pressing his scheme to overturn the election.”
McConnell voted to acquit Trump, saying he believed the Senate did not have the authority to weigh in because Trump is now a private citizen. Yet while Trump was still in office, McConnell is the one who declined to bring the Senate back after the House voted one article of impeachment for inciting a riot. McConnell did however, denounce Trump’s actions and behavior, saying the ex-president could still face civil or criminal lawsuits.
“We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one,” McConnell said. Thompson concurs, saying the events of Jan. 6 were instigated by Trump and “put my life, and that of my colleagues, in grave danger.”
Thompson said in his statement: “While the majority of Republicans in the Senate abdicated their responsibility to hold the president accountable, we must hold him accountable for the insurrection that he so blatantly planned. Failure to do so will only invite this type of authoritarianism for the anti-democratic forces on the far right that are so intent on destroying our country.”
 

Greene County Schools establish tutorial partnership with Stillman College

From the Office of School Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones


Greene County Schools and Stillman College have established a partnership with the goal of supporting students during this unprecedented time. The system’s academic program has been virtual since the opening of the 2020-2021 school year.
Greene County School System has solicited the assistance of Stillman College to assist in filing the gap that has occurred with our students during the COVID 19 pandemic. The tutoring program focuses on those students in grades 4-12 needing assistance in successfully navigating online learning as well as assisting students who need more practice in all core subjects.
The Peer Tutors are members of the special Harte Honors College, the scholarship program at Stillman, who major in Education, Journalism, History, or Psychology and are selected by each Academic Dean. The Peer Tutors are assigned to students at a ratio of one tutor per five students for elementary students (Grades 4 & 5) and one tutor per three students for middle school and high school students (Grades 6-12). Ratios are subject to change and depend upon the number of students in Greene County Schools who take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
Currently there are 35 students from Robert Brown Middle School and 25 students from Greene County High engaged in the Stillman Tutorial Program.
To ensure the success of this endeavor, Stillman has also provided a Program Administrator selected from the college faculty who will appropriately assign peer tutors to students receiving the tutorial services. The Program Administrator will review the daily and weekly progress reports on the program outcomes for each elementary, middle, and high school student enrolled in the program.
In addition to providing tutoring services to students in grades 4-12, Stillman College and the Stillman Foundation also provide a weekly update on the academic status and improvements on each student participating in the program as well as recommendations and suggestions for specific course work assignments.
The program is virtual and is in session Monday – Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. For More Information regarding the Greene County Schools/Stillman College Tutoring Program, contact Dr. Charla Jordan-Riley, at 205-346-9540 or cjordan@greene.k12.al.us.

Newswire: Biden’s new message to Africa clears way for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to head World Trade Organization

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Feb. 8, 2021 (GIN) – At a virtual meeting this past weekend with members of the African Union Summit 2021, President Joe Biden shared his vision for more trade and investment opportunities while advancing peace and security.
 “The United States stands ready now to be your partner in solidarity, support and mutual respect,” Biden said in a video address, his first speech to an international forum as U.S. president.
 He described a future “committed to investing in our democratic institutions and promoting the human rights of all people, women and girls, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and people of every ethnic background, religion and heritage.”
 The message was warmly welcomed by Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat. The African Union looks forward to “resetting the strategic AU-USA partnership,” he said.
 Biden’s tone was a major departure from that of the previous administration, which framed its Africa policy within the context of U.S. competition with China or as a theater for fighting violent extremism.
 On his first day in office, Biden repealed the Trump administration’s ban on travelers from Muslim-majority and African countries, including Libya, Somalia, Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania.
 “Just the very fact that Biden did it [addressed the African Union] changes the tone immeasurably from the previous administration,” said Michael Shurkin, a senior political scientist focusing on Africa at the RAND Corporation told the Voice of America.
 “By focusing on Africa for Africa’s sake, Africans for Africans’ sake, that’s actually a far more effective way to compete with the Chinese,” he added
 In January 2018, President Donald Trump was criticized for allegedly using a derogatory term in describing African nations.
 Last week, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. He expressed his grave concern about the humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region and urged immediate, full, and unhindered humanitarian access to prevent further loss of life.
 The State Department is also reportedly considering action against President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, a staunch U.S. military ally who recently won his sixth term through a bloody election.
 In other news, the Biden administration has ended the deadlock over the next head of the World Trade Organization by expressing its “strong support” for Nigeria’s ex-finance minister.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was frontrunner for the role until the Trump administration last October said it wanted South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.  Ms Yoo has now withdrawn her candidacy. If confirmed, Dr Okonjo-Iweala would be the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO. 
 

Newswire: African American Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman performs at Inauguration and Superbowl

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Amanda Gorman was born in Los Angeles and studied sociology at Harvard University.
In 2017, the now 22-year-old became the first national youth poet laureate.
On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Gorman, an African American, was the youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration. Gorman performed alongside Lady Gaga, who sang the national anthem, and Jennifer Lopez.
The young poet delivered “The Hill We Climb,” which included lines about the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, / Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. / And this effort very nearly succeeded. / But while democracy can be periodically delayed, / It can never be permanently defeated,” Gorman has written.
It is not the first time Gorman will have a national stage. In 2017, she read at the inauguration of the 22nd U.S. poet laureate, Tracy K Smith. She has also performed for Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Gorman read a poem at last Sunday’s Superbowl which was the first time a poem had been performed at the football classic.
Reportedly, Dr. Jill Biden selected Gorman to perform during President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration.
“I wasn’t trying to write something in which those events were painted as an irregularity or different from an America that I know,” Gorman told the Los Angeles Times.
“America is messy. It is still in its early development of all that we can become. And I have to recognize that in the poem. I cannot ignore that or erase it. And so, I crafted an inaugural poem that recognizes these scars and these wounds. Hopefully, it will move us toward healing them.”

Newswire: Stacey Abrams, Black Lives Matter are nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Stacey Abrams


Both Stacey Abrams and the Black Lives Matter movement have been nominated to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
The nominations represent an opportunity for either Abrams or Black Lives matter to win over even more support around the globe should they win. The Nobel Prizes have been given out since 1901 and were started by Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. Prizes are given out for distinguished work in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature.
There have been many controversies around the Peace Prize and a win by Abrams or the Black Lives Matter would likely extend the line of controversies. Past winners have included Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964), Nelson Mandela (1993), President Barack Obama (2009), Kofi Annan (2001) and Jimmy Carter (2002).
“Stacey Abrams political activist, voter registration & voting rights advocate has set a national standard for democracy. Her political activism has resulted in a nomination for a Nobel Prize. She deserves it & would become an even bigger voting rights, VR & democracy champion,” wrote the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. on twitter.
The news of the Abrams nomination arrived on the same day that Georgia Republicans launched a “Stop Stacey” group. The group was created to support current Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in his expected re-match against Democrat Stacey Abrams. The race will be in 2022.
The defeat of former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler to Rev. Raphael Warnock demonstrated the strength of the Black vote in Georgia. even before Abrams announced whether she’ll run again, a sign of deep concern among Republicans about the threat she poses next year to the first-term governor.
Abrams’ efforts were so noticeable and the turnaround from red to blue in Georgia so pronounced that Donald Trump brought her up during his effort to flip the election results in 2020 his favor in Georgia.
The recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in October

Newswire :“The Black Church v. The Proud Boys.”DC pastors say racist vandalism to their churches is part of a deeper problem

By Hamil Harris
Rev. Ianther Mills puts up new sign in front of
Asbury United Methodist Church after an initial sign was destroyed.
This second sign was also destroyed. (PHOTO: Hamil Harris/Trice Edney News Wire)

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – The pastors of two Washington DC churches who had their “Black Lives Matter” signs destroyed by right wing groups; including the Trump-supporting Proud Boys, said healing racist attitudes among White believers is harder to fix than replacing signs.
In December Black Lives Matter signs were destroyed in front of the Asbury United Methodist, the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church and two other churches.
The race tainted violence was sparked by supporters of former President Trump and Right
Wing groups that included the Proud Boys. It revealed a much deeper racial divide among people of faith.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Rev. William Lamar, pastor of the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church and Rev. Ianther Mills, pastor of Asbury United Methodist, talked about their plight during journalist Richard Prince’s monthly Journal-isms Roundtable entitled, “The Black Church vs. the Proud Boys.”
“American Christianity is the carrier of white supremacy,” said Rev. William Lamar, whose congregation on January 4th joined the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in filing a lawsuit in the D.C. Superior Court. The suit seeks to hold the Proud Boys, its leadership and certain of its members accountable for the vandalism.
“White supremacists like the Proud Boys, would rather see the country burn than to see it united together under justice and freedom for all,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in a statement.
“Our lawsuit aims to hold those who engage in such action accountable. We are proud to represent Metropolitan A.M.E. which has a long history of standing against bigotry and hate and whose courage and determination to fight back is a beacon of hope for the community.”
Rev. Mills said the incident has opened a discussion within her church regarding the state of race relations in their church. “We are being more than proactive. “I have really been inspired by the bishops and particularly the Southern Bishops.”
African Americans are only six percent of the demographics of the United Methodist Church in the United States,” Mills said. “But With the death of George Floyd the church really stepped up to do more than the usual do a study, have a task force or something like that.”
Mills added, “Everyone has been challenged and confronted whether you are a liberal or a conservative or a moderate in the United Methodist Church…The churches have been challenged to take more proactive steps in terms of fighting racism, at my annual conference pastors have been challenged to preach or teach about racism monthly and the people have been asked to confront their own biases.”
Susan Corke, Intelligence Project director for the 50-year-old Southern Poverty Law Center, also on the conference, said, “Hate groups became more difficult to track amid COVID.” She said they have also migrated to online networks.
“America needs to find humility and honesty right now. We need to build a better democracy,” said Susan Corke, who started her new job with the SPLC just a few days before the insurrection at the U. S. Capitol.
“What I am saying to white evangelicals is that I am clear that your God is not my God and I am clear that you have no advancement or my flourishing,” Lamar said. “I have an investment in your advancement, but I’m not going asleep with you in the room.”
Lamar said that historically, “The church baptized and gave theological language to White supremacy…What happened with the proud boys is as made in America as a Buick or a Chevrolet. It is the distinct way of viewing African-Americans as disposable and subhuman.”
Lamar said that on January 6, an older White woman was pushed by a man with her MAGA regalia to the steps of his church. “She told his Chief of Security we are here because we hate niggers.”
Lamar explained, “They dress it up with words like liberty, justice, and freedom. It doesn’t mean that…This is a purgatory language, ‘liberty, justice, freedom’, but it doesn’t mean that.”
During the 2020 Presidential election, Lamar said Black church leaders played a significant role in terms of voter turnout across the country and particularly in Georgia and South Carolina.
“There is not one or two persons speaking for the Black church, and to me, that is a healthy thing,” Lamar said. “It is more diffuse there are more people on the front line organizing, and today African-American church leaders are in constant contact.”
About 70 journalists from newspapers, television outlets, and veteran journalists took part in the roundtable. Many wanted to know about the church leaders’ plans going forward.
“I want you to help us (get rid) of the notion that there is no coordination among the Black churches,” Lamar said. “There is not one queen of the Black church; there is not one king. There [is] much leverage and much coordination.”
Among the comments, one came from educator, economist and columnist Dr. Julianne Malveaux who said the rift between the White and Black pastors is nothing néw, “It ain’t nothing but the Letter from the Birmingham Jail.
White Evangelicals are next of kin to the devil.”
Retired USA Today editor Bobbi Bowman suggested that people read Dr. King’s Letter from Birmingham that dealt with racial attitudes among white religious leaders.
 

Newswire: Biden, Harris have experiences needed to heal country’s wounds, Bishop Barber says in inaugural prayer service 

By NNPA Press Room

Rev. William Barber


Both the new president and vice president have the personal experiences with the breaches in America that will help them heal the country’s wounds, Bishop William J. Barber II said in the sermon he delivered as part of the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service.
“The breach is when we say ‘one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all’ with our lips while we see the rich and the poor living in two very different Americas.
And every now and then, a nation needs breach repairers to take us forward,” Bishop Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, said during the recorded sermon.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris invited Bishop Barber, president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and minister of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina, to deliver the homily during the interfaith service hosted by the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
President Biden knew the breach of economic struggle in his childhood and the breach of a broken heart, while Vice President Harris has known the political and social breach of racism, which tried to place a breach between her intelligence and the school she could attend, Bishop Barber said.
Bishop Barber, who also is a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, noted prophet Isaiah’s conviction that “We don’t have to put up with things as they are. We can contradict the breach with every prayer, every policy, every sermon from every pulpit, and every call to the people.”
“No, America has never yet been all that she has hoped to be. But right here, right now, a Third Reconstruction is possible if we choose,” he said.
The Poor People’s Campaign is a movement of people who also know the nation’s breaches with state activists and leaders who organize around an agenda that includes a living wage, health care for all, union rights, paid sick leave, housing and just COVID relief.
When then-candidate Joe Biden joined the Moral Monday Mass Assembly on the voting power of poor and low-income people in September front of over 1 million viewers, he vowed that, “ending poverty will not just be an aspiration, it will be a theory of change — to build a new economy that includes everyone, where we reward hard work, we care for the most vulnerable among us, we release the potential of all our children, and protect the planet.”
In December, more than 30 leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign, including poor and low-income people, economists, public health officials, clergy, organizational partners representing millions across the country, met online with members of the Biden-Harris domestic policy team.
The Poor People’s Campaign also released 14 policy priorities for the first 50 to 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration, including the establishment of a permanent president council to advocate for its agenda.
In his sermon, Bishop Barber said the nation cannot accept that 140 million Americans were poor or low-income even before the pandemic. “We must address the five interconnecting injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, war economy, and the false distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism,” he said.
“These are breaches that must be addressed, and, according to the text, repairing the breaches will bring revival,” Bishop Barber said. “If we the people, with God’s help, repair the breach, revival and renewal will come. Weeping and mourning may endure in this night of our discontent, but joy will come in the morning.”

The power of the vote in Greene County What do we do with Black History

Mrs. Edna Chambers was the first Black Woman elected to the Greene County Commission

Mrs. Lula Cook was the first Black Woman
appointed and elected to the office of Tax Collector
NDPA Political Planning Session
L to R: Rev. Peter Kirskey, School Board Member, Rev. William M. Branch Probate Judge candidate, Malcom Branch, Judge Branch’s son, Greene County Commissioner Franchie Burton, Dr. John Cashin, NDPA President, Rev. Thomas Gilmore, Sheriff Candidate, County Commissioner Levi Morrow, Sr., and County Commissioner Harry Means. The group shown here is meeting in a planning session for the special election for Greene County in 1968. (The Afro-American Newspaper in Baltimore MD.)
Greene County Elected Officials L to R: front row Vassie Knott, Levi Morrow; back row-Robert Hines, Harry Means, Franchie Burton and William Branch. ( James Posey is not in the picture.)

It’s that time of year when we go all out to publicly acknowledge who are are, from whence we’ve come and what we have accomplished as Black people. It is also at this time that we profoundly exclaim that truly learning and spreading our history and living ought to be done at least every month of the year, not just in February.
Stories we don’t share with our children today will be lost. Our role is to share our stories, teach their significance and assist the children with the application to their lives.
Since chattel slavery was abolished, except through imprisonment, the vote of Black folk has been the power to our voice. Black folk fought for the vote, we fought to use it, and we continue to fight to keep it and make it permanent.
During Reconstruction in this country, the power of our vote produced Black state and national political leaders. Scholars have identified more than 1,500 African American officeholders who served during the Reconstruction Era (1865–1877). From 1868 to 1878 more than 100 African Americans served in the Alabama Legislature.
Beginning in 1966, Greene County Alabama raised its voice and elected the first Black person to the Greene County Board of Education, Rev. Peter J. Kirksey; and the first Black person to the Greene County Democratic Executive Committee, Rev. W.D. Lewis.
From then on, With 80% of the population, Black folk in Greene County focused on organizing and registering people to vote.
With the assistance of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student National Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and amidst physical brutality and displacements from local white officials and citizenry, the raised voices of Blacks in Greene County in 1969, under the National Democratic Party of Alabama (NDPA), elected the first Black County Commissioners: Rev. Vassie Knott, Mr. Harry Means, Mr. Franchie Burton, and Mr. Levi Morrow, Sr. That same year, Mr. James Posey and Mr. Robert Hines were elected to the Greene County Board of Education.
The vote continued to power our voices in Greene County and in 1970, Rev. William M. Branch was elected the first Black Probate Judge in Greene County and in the nation. Rev. Thomas Gilmore was elected the first Black Sheriff; Mrs. Wadine Williams was elected the first Black Circuit Clerk. Robert Cook was elected the first Black Tax Collector. Rev. Harold Abner Milton was elected first Black Coroner in Greene County. Deacon John Head and Mr. Earsrie Chambers were elected to the Greene County Board of Education and Dr. Robert Brown was appointed the first Black Superintendent of Greene County Schools.
In 1978, Rev. John Kennard was elected the first Black Tax Assessor in Greene County.
Ms. Amanda Burton was appointed the first Black Woman on the Greene County Commission, to complete the term of her husband, Franchie Burton, when he passed. Mrs. Edna Chambers was the first Black Woman elected to the Greene County Commission. Mrs. Lula Cook was the first Black Woman appointed to the office of Tax Collector, when her husband, Robert Cook, passed. She was subsequently elected to that office.

COVID-19

As of February 2, 2021 at 10:00 AM
(according to Alabama Political Reporter)
Alabama had 462,938 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(13,852) more than last week with 7,894 deaths (722 more than last week)
Greene County had 810 confirmed cases, (24 more cases than last week),
with 27 deaths
Sumter Co. had 937 cases with 28 deaths
Hale Co. had 1,971 cases with 55 deaths