Newswire: Smokey Robinson testifies before Congress

Legendary singer fighting to increase copyright protection

By Frederick H. Lowe, NorthStarNews
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Smokey Robinson testifies before Congress.
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – William “Smokey” Robinson recently testified before Congress about giving musicians greater copyright protection amid a love fest for him.
Women embraced and kissed Robinson, who is now 78. Men stood in line to enthusiastically shake his hand and hug him. Even Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called Robinson a “legend.”
Through it all Robinson, leader of the Miracles and writer of many iconic hits, including “I Second That Emotion,” “Tears Of A Clown,” and “My Girl,” which led Nobel Peace Prize winner Bob Dylan to call him America’s greatest poet, captured the room with his bright smile and the joyful memories his songs evoked. C-SPAN broadcast the hearing.
Robinson testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the support of the Music Modernization Act that would reform the way songwriters and musicians are compensated. The Act, which has unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives, would extend copyright protection to songs recorded before 1972.
“My message is simple. Musicians who recorded before February 15, 1972, deserve to be compensated the same way as those who recorded after that date,” Robinson told Judiciary Committee members.
Most of Robinson’s hit records were recorded before 1972, and although the songs are sometimes streamed 50,000 times a day, the Miracles don’t receive any compensation.
Artists now earn more from on-demand services like Spotify and Apple Music than selling CDs. Streaming services have supplanted the way people hear and buy music.
Joining Robinson in speaking before the committee were other R&B headliners, including Dionne Warwick, Mary Wilson of the Supremes and Darlene Love, who sang both background and lead.

Newswire : Is the NFL’s new National Anthem policy legal?

Civil Rights Activists, NFL Players react to new policy

By Lauren Victoria Burke (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

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Civil rights activist Tamika Mallory speaking at demonstration against new NFL national anthem policy
Protesters held a rally in front of the National Football League’s New York City headquarters on May 25 after the league announced new rules that punish players who don’t stand for the national anthem.
Tamika Mallory said that the NFL owners were acting as a “proxy for a fascist president” and that the new policy was an attempt to “resurrect slavery in the 21st century” and punish Black players. The kneeling protests started when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began sitting during the anthem and then kneeling as a protest against police brutality.
“ What is being said is that the n–gas don’t have basic rights,” Mallory said. “And I want to say today that Ida B. Wells, Dr. Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey, the four little girls in Birmingham are turning over in their graves right now about the disrespect, the disgrace, that is happening in this country.”
Mallory continued: “If we, as Black people, lay down and allow this system to continue to oppress us, we are the ones to be held responsible.”
Civil rights activist and author of “The Revolt of the Black Athlete” Harry Edwards told USA TODAY that the NFL’s new national anthem policy was “the dumbest move possible.” “They put the protest movement on blast,” Edwards said. “They just created a bigger stage than ever.”
In a recent commentary for Vox.com, Harvard Law School labor professor Benjamin wrote: “This new league policy is meant to enforce a particular vision of patriotism, one that involves compliance rather than freedom of expression.”
Sachs wrote that the new anthem policy was illegal—for a host of reasons.“The clearest illegality derives from the fact that the league adopted its new policy without bargaining with the players union,” Sachs wrote. “When employees, including football players, are represented by a union, the employer—including a football league—can’t change the terms of employment without discussing the change with the union. Doing so is a flagrant violation of the employer’s duty to bargain in good faith.”
ESPN.com reported that President Donald Trump supported the NFL’s policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem or remain in the locker room, during an interview with Fox News. “I think that’s good,” Trump said. “I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms, but still I think it’s good. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”
Many players have already indicated that they are not happy with the new rule.
In a statement released on Twitter, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins wrote: “While I disagree with this decision, I will not let it silence me or stop me from fighting. The national conversation around race in America that NFL players forced over the past 2 years will persist as we continue to use our voices, our time and our money to create a more fair and just criminal justice system, end police brutality and foster better educational and economic opportunities for communities of color and those struggling in this country.”
In an interview with ESPN, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin called the president “an idiot…plain and simple.”
“I respect the man because he’s a human being, first and foremost. But he’s just being more divisive, which is not surprising. It is what it is,” Baldwin said. “For him to say that anyone who doesn’t follow his viewpoints or his constituents’ viewpoints should be kicked out of the country, it’s not very empathetic, it’s not very American-like, actually to me. It’s not very patriotic. It’s not what this country was founded upon.”
Baldwin continued: “It’s kind of ironic to me that the president of the United States is contradicting what our country is really built on.”
In his Vox.com commentary about the NFL’s new national anthem policy, Sachs wrote that now that the owners have made it a workplace rule to stand during the anthem or stay in the locker room, any player who takes the field and takes a knee is protesting an employer rule. That protest, Sachs said, “is unquestionably protected by federal labor law.”
The NFL pre-season begins in August.

Newswire: ABC/Disney cancels Roseanne Barr’s TV show after her racist comments about Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett

from reports in Huffington Post


ABC has canceled “Roseanne” following her racist tweet on Tuesday.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC, said in a statement. “We have decided to cancel her show.” Dungey is a the first Black President for Entertainment at ABC and was instrumental in the revival of Barr’s sitcom.
On Tuesday morning, the actress and creator of “Roseanne” ― the show recently rebooted on ABC and already wading into racist waters ― attacked former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett via Twitter.
“Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” Barr tweeted, referring to Jarrett, who is black and was born in Iran to American parents.
Comedian and writer Wanda Sykes, who is African-American quit her job as a consulting producer on the show “Roseanne” after star Roseanne Barr went on a racist Twitter rant on Tuesday morning and then apologized.
Former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett called actress Roseanne Barr’s racist comments about her a “teaching moment” during MSNBC’s “Everyday Racism in America” town hall on Tuesday.
At the event, hosted by Joy Reid and Chris Hayes, Jarrett addressed the post. “First of all, I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers coming to their defense,” she said,
Hours after a backlash against Barr’s comment began, ABC President Channing Dungey called Barr’s tweet “repugnant” and announced that the network was canceling the hit revival of her sitcom. Jarrett said that Bob Iger, the CEO of ABC’s parent corporation, the Walt Disney Co., reached out to let her know about the cancellation of “Roseanne.”
“He wanted me to know before he made it public that he was canceling the show,” Jarrett said.
Barr’s co-stars and collaborators publicly denounced her tweet, and talent agency ICM Partners dropped her as a client, a spokesman for the company confirmed for HuffPost on Tuesday.
“We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,” ICM Partners wrote in a note to employees. “What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency. Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.”
Jarrett also referred to President Donald Trump during the town hall, saying, “Tone does start at the top.”
“We like to look up to our president and feel as though he reflects the values of our country, but I also think every individual citizen has a responsibility to,” she said during the MSNBC event. “And it’s up to all of us to push back.”
In another series of tweets that morning, Barr also attacked liberal billionaire George Soros and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton. (Soros was 14 years old in 1945 ― younger than Anne Frank ― and was never a Nazi collaborator).

Alabama Youth Forestry Camp recruiting participants for June 11-15, 2018 program at Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center in Epes

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The Alabama Forestry Youth Camp is a five-day experience for high school students interested in conservation and natural resources. It is designed to teach basic forestry concepts through classroom instruction and outdoor activities.
The 2018 camp will be held the week of June 11-15, 2018 at the Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center, near Epes, Alabama. The program is open to any student, boy or girl, who is at least 15 years old and has completed 9th grade but not yet finished 12th grade.

Students attending will participate in classes covering tree identification, forest management, forest products, wildlife, water quality, urban forestry and forestry history. Many classes will be held outdoors unless weather conditions interfere. Proper outdoor attire is required including good closed toe shoes.
Students will be taught by a staff of professionals in the natural resource fields, who are employed both in the public and private sector. They are provided release time from their jobs to be camp instructors. Students will be housed in dormitories with adult supervision, and adult teaching staff will be available to the campers for study and supervised recreational activities.
The camp will be held at the Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center, near Epes in Sumter County. Students must be able to handle their own transportation to and from the camp. Directions to the camp and other detailed information will be provided to campers who complete an application form and are accepted or the camp.
Camp Director Justin Jacobs said, “I attended this camp about ten years ago when I was a high school student. It raised my interest in forestry and wildlife. I attended Alabama A & M majoring in forestry. Now I am back as the Federation’s Forestry Specialist working with forestry landowners and running this camp to interest young people in this critical field.”
The camp is co-sponsored with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives by Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension, Alabama A & M University Center for Excellence, Auburn University School of Forestry, Alabama Forestry Commission, U. S. Forestry Service and other partners.
The only cost for the camp is a $30.00 application fee. The camp sponsors cover all other costs for instruction, field trips, meals, snacks, lodging and recreation.
Students who are interested should immediately contact the Federation at www.federation.coop where there is an application form on line. Applications are also available from Justin Jacobs, Camp Director at jjacobs55@hotmail.com, 205/652-9676 (office) or 256/777-4356 (cell).

John Zippert running for State Democratic Executive Committee District 72

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John Zippert is running for the State Democratic Executive Committee in District 72, which includes parts of Greene, Hale and Perry Counties. He will be on the ballot in the Democratic Primary on June 5, 2018
Zippert is currently the Co-Publisher and Editor of the Greene County Democrat weekly newspaper based in Eutaw, Alabama. He has worked in management and training capacities with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund based at the organization’s Rural Training and Research Center in Epes, Alabama, for the past 50 years and is semi-retired from the Federation.
Zippert serves on the Greene County Health Systems Board of Directors and the Greene County Industrial Development Authority Board.
He is a founding member of the Alabama New South Coalition and serves as its current State President. He serves on the boards of several state and national organizations including the Alabama Council on Human Relations, Rural Coalition, Rural Development Leadership Network and others.
‘I am running for the State Democratic Executive Committee because I want to help reform and revitalize the Democratic Party in Alabama. I want to build on the momentum we gained in electing Doug Jones to the United States Senate in the Special Election last December,” said Zippert.

He continued, “The Democratic Party in Alabama must be part of a fifty state strategy to elect progressive candidates committed to assisting poor and working people make changes that increase fairness, justice and inclusion of all people and share the prosperity of this economy more equitably with everyone.”
Zippert is married to Carol Prejean Zippert, Co-Publisher of the Democrat and Greene County School Board member. They have three children and eleven grandchildren.

Newswre: Obamas sign picture deal with Netflix

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Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama

Northstar News Today Views:

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have signed a multi-year, multi-million agreement to produce films and a series with Netflix, the world’s leading internet-service company.
The Obamas will produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features for the couple’s newly established Higher Ground Productions, Netflix said in a news release.
“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life and to help share their experiences with a wider audience,” said President Obama.
Michelle Obama said, “Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others.”
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said the company is happy the Obamas have chosen to make Netflix home for their storytelling abilities. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Netflix has 125 million members in 190 countries.

SOS calls on State of Alabama to remove memorial to Dr. J. Marion Sims on Capitol grounds

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Jon Broadway addresses SOS press conference calling for removal of statue

Montgomery, AL – SOS, the Save Our Selves Movement for Justice and Democracy, is asking the State of Alabama to remove the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims from the Capitol grounds.  SOS is also asking that the charges be dropped against Jon Broadway, who has been charged with Criminal Tampering in Montgomery County.

The press conference was held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 on the grounds of the Alabama Capitol. SOS is a grassroots movement of more than 40 Alabama statewide organizations working for social change and to promote justice and democracy in the state.
Standing on the grounds of the Alabama Capitol, state Senator Hank Sanders said: “The reason this memorial must be removed is because Dr. J. Marion Sims operated on a number of enslaved Black women without their consent and without anesthesia of any sort.
“Dr. Sims lived in Montgomery before moving to New York City.  Between 1845 and 1849, Sims performed numerous operations on multiple Black women in Montgomery, all without anesthesia or consent and sometimes with other doctors looking on.  Some of these women endured torturous surgeries repeated times. Alabama cannot have a statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims, a man who committed repeated atrocities against Black women in Alabama, on public grounds.”
Johnny Ford said: “Dr. Sims is widely known as the father of gynecology because, in large part, of these horrible medical experiments he conducted on enslaved Black women in Alabama.  Like the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments on Black men that took place in Alabama in the 20th Century, these atrocious actions that took place in Alabama in the 19th Century against Black women should, at the very least, result in an apology and the removal of this statue.  Memorials to Dr. Sims have been removed in New York and other states once Sims’ atrocities were brought to public and officials’ attentions. That has sadly not been the case in Alabama. This must change.”
Attorney Faya Rose Toure said: “The charges against Jon Broadway must be dismissed because he has done nothing wrong. In fact, he has done something right by calling attention to the memorial of a man who openly abused and tortured enslaved Black women.  From the facts I know, Mr. Broadway simply helped perform a skit about Dr. Sims’ actions and a little ketchup may have gotten on the statue during a performance given to draw attention to the torture and abuse that powerless Black women suffered at the hands of Sims.”
Ketchup was used in the skit on Confederate Memorial Day to symbolize the bloodshed that Dr. Sims caused to Black women. A small amount of ketchup was smeared on the pedestal of the statue as part of the protest.
Attorney Toure said, “It was also terrible that Mr. Jon Broadway was forced to leave jail in his underwear.  They took the clothes off his back because enforcement claimed they needed his clothes for evidence. Some observers pointed out that there were traces of ketchup on his clothes, which prompted the arresting officers to retain his clothes. The police did not offer any replacement clothing when they released Broadway.  All of this is connected to the recently passed state law to protect Confederate memorials.”
Law Professor Emerita Martha Morgan said: “This happened the same day that other people were hanging wreaths on the Capitol grounds for Confederate Memorial Day, and none of those people were arrested for Criminal Tampering or for anything else.  Yet the actions of a man who was trying to present a full picture behind the history of another monument were seen as tampering, and Mr. Broadway was arrested based on the content of his message.  This press conference today is the initial step in a series of efforts to bring peace and justice to this spot where this memorial now sits and to provide the full picture of the history of these memorials and monuments.”

Greene County DST Chapter awards $3,000 in scholarships

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Shown L to R: Shaleah McCain, Hale County High School; Jamia Jackson, Greene County High School; Tony White, Jr., Greene County High School; Eldria Jones, Green County High School and Alexis Jordon, Greene County High School. Not shown: MaKayle Lewis, Greensboro High School.

The Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. held a reception recently honoring the six students awarded $500 scholarships upon their enrollment in postsecondary schools. The scholarship recipients from the sorority’s service are: Shaleah McCain, Hale County High School; Jamia Jackson, Tony White, Jr., Eldria Jones, and Alexis Jordan, all of Greene County High School. Not pictured is Makayla Lewis, of Greensboro High School. The reception, held Monday, May 14, 2018, included Mediation by Jacqueline Allen; Greetings by Chapter President Andrea Perry; Words of Encouragement by Evelyn James. The scholarship recipients and their parents enjoyed refreshments and fellowship with sorority chapter members present.

Newswire : “Black Panther” Chadwick Boseman salutes grads at Howard University

By Lauren Poteat (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

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 “Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman delivered the commencement address during Howard University’s 150th Commencement Ceremony in Washington, D.C. (Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA)

After celebrating the success of back-to-back, global box office hits, Marvel’s “Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman, returned to his alma mater, Howard University, to deliver the school’s 2018 commencement convocation address.

In March, Marvel’s “Black Panther” became the highest-grossing superhero movie of all-time in the United States (not adjusted for inflation), when it surpassed the $623 million mark set by “The Avengers” in 2012, according to Variety.com. Then, Boseman reprised his “Black Panther” role for “Avengers: Infinity War,” which is currently the fifth highest grossing movie of all-time. Boseman also starred as Jackie Robinson in the film “42”.

Championing his own personal experiences during his time studying at the prestigious, historically Black university, Boseman urged proud degree recipients, to press forward, to hold up their heads and to never fear rejection.
“I can think of no better place to be right now, after the ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers’ campaigns, then to return and participate in these graduation ceremonies with you,” Boseman told the graduates. “It is a great privilege, graduates, to address you on your day, a day that will be one of the most important accomplishments of your life to date.”
Howard University President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick recalled “how Boseman and his classmates advocated and participated in a three-day protest against the university to dismiss an initiative to transition the College of Fine Arts into the Department of Fine Arts. The protest was unsuccessful in stopping the transition,” a press release about the president’s speech said.
With Boseman by his side, Dr. Frederick, “announced a campaign to re-establish the College of Fine Arts and launch an Endowed College of Fine Arts Award,” the press release said.
Dr. Frederick encouraged the graduates to “take risks” and “learn how to be wrong.” “It is the best way to learn and grow,” Dr. Frederick said. “Build a culture of generous listening so that others may be emboldened to take risks, too.”
According to school officials, during the 2018 commencement convocation, Howard University awarded 2,217 degrees, including 343 master’s degrees, and 90 Ph.Ds.
Boseman called Howard University “a magical place” as he recalled the day that he met Muhammad Ali, as he walked across “The Yard.”
“I remember walking across this yard on what seemed to be a random day, my head down, lost in my own world of issues like many of you do, daily. And I raise my head…Muhammad Ali is walking towards me,” Boseman said. “Time seemed to slow down, as his eyes locked on mine. He then raised his fist into a quintessential guard and I was game to play along with him, to act as if I was a worthy opponent. What an honor to be challenged by ‘The Greatest of All-Time.’”
Boseman continued: “I walked away floating like a butterfly. I walked away, at that moment, amused at life, amused that no one would be able to believe that story, but me. That is the magic of this place [Howard University].
“Almost anything can happen here,” Boseman said before giving the crowd the official Howard salute (“H-U! U-Know!”).
Boseman also praised the students for their drive and perseverance in organizing the longest sit-in protest at Howard University’s administration building in the school’s history. Allegations of mismanagement in the school’s financial aid office sparked the protest, which lasted nearly two weeks in April. “Everyday that you fought for, was not for yourself, but for those that come after you,” Boseman said.
Closing out the high-energy ceremony, Boseman offered one last nugget of wisdom, urging graduates to find their purpose. “Purpose is the essential element of you,” Boseman said. “It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill.”
This article was originally published at BlackPressUSA.com.

Rev. Kenneth Glasgow says “God had prepared us for this attack”

Special to the Democrat By: John Zippert,
Co-Publisher

 

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On Friday, May 4, 2017, The Ordinary Peoples Society (TOPS) of Dothan, Alabama held its 17th Annual Founders and Unity Day. The dinner was attended by 200 people who were honoring Rev. Kenneth Glasgow on his 53rd birthday, the TOPS organization for its work with the community and incarcerated people around the country and ‘Moma Tina’, Glasgow’s mother, for her work in sustaining the organization and helping to feed hungry and homeless people in the area.
The dinner came in the shadows of Rev. Glasgow recent arrest and suspicious charge of ‘capital murder’ in the March 26th death of Breunia Jennings. Rev. Glasgow was asked by Jamie Townes, a friend to help him find his car that was taken. Glasgow, Townes and two others went to search for the car. They spotted the car and then the car rammed into them.
Townes jumped out of Glasgow’s car, drew a gun and shot Jennings. When the police came they arrested Townes and Glasgow and released the other two persons. Glasgow, a nationally recognized activitist on prisoner issues was charged with ‘capital murder’ under an Alabama statute which says unless you actively try to prevent a crime you are an accessory and implicit in it.
National and state organizations like the NAACP, Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy, ANSC, ADC and others challenged the suspicious nature of Kenneth Glasgow’s arrest and are working to have the charges dismissed. These groups and others packed the Dothan Courthouse for Glasgow’s preliminary hearing on April 6, 2018.
Circuit Judge Benjamin Lewis sent Glasgow’s case to the Houston County (AL) Grand Jury but also made the unusual decision in a capital case to grant a bail request of $75,000. Glasgow has been out of jail on bail since April 9, 2018.
Friday’s dinner was one of his first opportunities to make a public statement to supporters about his case. “ We expected this kind of attack because of the work we have done on prisoners rights, our fights against police brutality and mass incarceration of Black young people. We have been preparing for this. God has been preparing us for this kind of attack.
“We were ready for this. We were prepared. When we got to jail, we started organizing and had a prayer circle for the DA, the Police Chief and others. WE must get beyond this to fight the real issues.”
There were other speakers at the dinner that supported Glasgow and TOPS including Dorsey Nunn of ‘All Of Us or None, a California group that initiated the ‘Ban the Box’ campaign; Asha Bandele, with a New York City prisoners campaign, State Senator Hank Sanders of Selma, former Mayor Johnny Ford of Tuskegee and others.
Rev. Glasgow said that he needs people to continue to help support the work of TOPS (The Ordinary People’s Society, 403 West Powell Street, Dothan, Alabama 36303; phone 334-671-2882 office and 334-791-2433 cell; West Powell Street. Dothan, AL 36303) and support his Legal Defense Committee by going to this website: www.glasgowdefensecommittee.org.