Distribution of bingo funds for April totals $504,171.31

On Friday,  May 13, 2022, Greene County Sheriff Department issued a listing of the bingo distributions for April, totaling $504,171.31 from four of the five licensed bingo gaming facilities.  The April  distribution reported by the sheriff includes $24,000 from Greenetrack, Inc. and $51,000 from the Sheriff’s Supplemental Fund distributed to Greene County Commission.
The bingo facilities regularly distributing through the sheriff include Frontier, River’s Edge, Palace and Bama Bingo.  The recipients of the April distributions from bingo gaming include Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, and Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
Sub charities include Children’s Policy Council, Guadalupan Multicultural Services, Greene County Golf Course, Housing Authority of Greene County (Branch Heights), Department of Human Resources, the Greene County Library, Eutaw Housing Authority, Historical Society, REACH, Inc., Headstart  Community Service and This Belong To US.   Bama Bingo gave a total of $114,995.03 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $48,070; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500, and the Greene County Health System,  $12,500. Sub Charities, each received $1,026.89, including REACH.  Community Service received $466.77 and This Belong to Us received $93.35.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $114,995.03 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $48,070; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board  of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each, received $1,026.89, including the Historical Society and REACH.  Community Service received $466.77and This Belong to Us received $93.35.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of  $118,248 to the following:  Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $48,070; City of Eutaw, $12,543; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee  each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each, $1,027, including the Historical Society and REACH.  Community Service received $467 and This Belong to Us received $92.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $155.933.25 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $65,182.92; City of Eutaw, $12,543; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $5,254.50; Greene County Board of Education, $14,238 and the Greene County Health System, $16,950; Sub Charities received $1,392.46, including the Historical Society and REACH $1,392.46. Community Service received $632.94 and This Belong to Us received $126.59.
In the Sheriff’s April distribution report, supplemental funds, totaling $62,181.20, were provided by the four licensed facilities.  Bama Bingo contributed $14,274.79; Frontier contributed $14,274.79; River’s Edge contributed $14,274.79 and Palace contributed $19,356.62 as sheriff’s supplemental funds.

Newswire : President Biden to Buffalo and America: ‘White Supremacy will not have the last word’

 
 President Biden and First Lady lay flowers at memorial to the shooting victims in Buffalo, NY
 
 
By Hazel Trice Edney
 
 
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – As President Joe Biden stood amidst the heartbroken in Buffalo, N.Y. calling White supremacy a “poison” in the U.S., historians and scholars of America’s racism not only agreed with him, but outlined specifically how America must change. 
“The FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Justice Department have all confirmed that the primary domestic terrorism threat comes from racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists who advocate for the superiority of the white race,” writes the Southern Poverty Law Center, a foremost authority on hate in America, in response to the killing of 10 predominately Black shoppers by a White 18-year-old in Buffalo Saturday.
The President, accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden, flew into New York Tuesday operating in the roll of comforters-in-chief. According to an account from the White House, “the President and First Lady met with family members of the victims, law enforcement and first responders, and local leaders at a community center to offer their condolences and comfort to those affected by this tragedy.”
He declared in a speech: “What happened here is simple and straightforward: Terrorism. Terrorism. Domestic terrorism…Violence inflicted in the service of hate and the vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group.”
The killer, Payton Gendron, went into the TOPS grocery store where predominately Black family members did their regular shopping on a daily basis. On Saturday, people were preparing for Sunday dinners, birthday parties or just stopping by the store for snacks and supplies. Gendron shot people in the parking lot on the way in and then proceeded to fire the gun inside, killing more people with a rifle speckled with writing, including racial slurs. 
Before he was arrested, he had killed 10 people and injured three others. According to widespread reports, a manager had asked Gendron to leave the store the day before the killings as he loitered inside. He was also investigated by state police less than a year ago after authorities at his high school reported that he made threatening remarks concerning a murder/suicide. He was then examined by a mental hospital but was not charged.
On Tuesday, Biden called on the community to support the victims and survivors and to take action to prevent future tragedies. Namely, he called on Americans to reject the racist white “replacement theory” believed to have inspired the gunman behind the tragic Buffalo shooting and other shootings. 
According to a statement by the SPLC, “the attack in Buffalo is the direct result of white nationalist propaganda, specifically the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, being promoted and now mainstreamed by major public figures. This false notion — that white people are being systematically replaced by Black people, immigrants and Jews — has deep historical roots but has gained traction in recent years. And with that traction has come violence, both physical and political.”
The SPLC statement continues, “In recent years we have seen multiple white gunmen commit horrific acts of violence against people of color, Jews, Muslims and immigrants, justified on the premise of the false conspiracy narrative. This time it took an 18-year-old extremist driving over 200 miles to murder 10 innocent people and injure three others – the vast majority who were Black – to bring this lie and its deadly consequences to the national forefront.”
Biden’s appeal for Americans to take stands against White supremacy and to speak up against the wrong of racism, is not enough, he said. 
The SPLC agrees. The organization made several recommendations to end the repeated terrorist attacks:
•”It is especially important that politicians, civic leaders and law enforcement officials repudiate dangerous and false conspiracy theories like the ‘great replacement’ theory, which has now moved from far-right extremist spaces into the political mainstream. Despite its clearly violent implications, far too many politicians and pundits now repeat the myth regularly.”
•”Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, should provide more resources for programs and processes for early intervention. Programs in these areas should focus on extended support for victims, survivors and targeted communities more broadly, as the trauma resulting from racially motivated violence often reverberates widely.”
•”Congress should immediately enact the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (S.964/H.R. 350) to establish offices within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI to monitor, investigate and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism — and require regular reports from these offices.”
•”Tech companies must create — and enforce — terms of service and policies to ensure that social media platforms, payment service providers and other internet-based services do not provide forums where hateful activities and extremism can grow and lead to domestic terrorism. Social media platforms and online payment service providers must act to disrupt the funding of hate online to prevent their services from helping to incubate and bankroll terrorists and extremism,” The SPLC recommended.
Meanwhile, in Buffalo, Biden read off the names of each of the dead, giving brief descriptions of their errands that day or something about their lives:  As a nation, I say to the families: We remember them. We’ve been reading about them.  We visited the memorial where…the show of the love for them.:
•“Celestine Chaney, 65 years old.  Brain cancer survivor.  Churchgoer.  Bingo player.  Went to buy strawberries to make her favorite shortcake.  A loving mother and a grandmother.”
•“Roberta Drury, 32.  Beloved daughter and sister.  Moved back home to help take care of her brother after his bone marrow transplant.  She went to buy groceries for dinner.  The center of attention who made everyone in the room laugh and smile when she walked in.”
•Andre Mackneil, 53.  Worked at a restaurant.  Went to buy his three-year-old son a birthday cake.  His son [celebrating] a birthday, asking, “Where is Daddy?”• Katherine Massey, 72.  A writer and an advocate who dressed up in costumes at schools and cut the grass in the parkand helping local elections.  The glue of the family and the community.
•Margus Morrison, 52.  School bus aide. Went to buy snacks for weekly movie night with the family.  Survived by his wife and three children and his stepdaughter. The center of their world.
•Heyward Patterson, 67.  Father.  Church deacon.  Fed the homeless at the soup kitchen.  Gave rides to the grocery store to neighbors who needed help.  Putting food in the trunk of others when he took his final breath.
•Aaron Salter, 55.  Retired Buffalo police officer for three decades.  Three decades.  Loved electric cars.  A hero who gave his life to save others on a Saturday afternoon.  And had that man not been wearing that vest that he purchased – bulletproof vest – a lot of lives would have been saved.  A beloved father and husband.
•Geraldine Talley, 62.  Expert [baker]. And known for her warm, gentle personality.  A friend to everybody.  Devoted mother and grandmother.
•Ruth Whitfield, 88.  Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother who sang in the church choir.  A caretaker of her husband, bringing him clean clothes, cutting his hair, holding his hand every day she visited him in the nursing home.  Heart as big as her head.
•Pearl Young, 77.  A mother, grandmother, missionary of God.  Public school teacher who also ran a local food pantry.  Loved singing, dancing, and her family.
Biden continued, “And all three are injured: Zaire Goodman, 20.  Shot in the neck but fighting through it.  Jennifer Warrington, 50.  Christopher Braden, 55.  Both treated with injuries, on a long road to recovery.” 
The President concluded, “Jill and I bring you this message from deep in our nation’s soul: In America, evil will not win — I promise you.  Hate will not prevail.  And white supremacy will not have the last word.”
 

Shipwreck Museum in Cape Verde
recalls Portugal’s past in the slave trade

Shipwreck Museum exhibit

May 16, 2022 (GIN) – The Republic of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) is an archipelago island nation to the west of Senegal and Mauritania, consisting of 10 volcanic islands that lie between 320 and 460 nautical miles west of Cap-Vert, the westernmost point of continental Africa.
The official language is Portuguese, the language of instruction and government and in newspapers, TV and radio, but the recognized national language is Cape Verdean Creole, spoken by the vast majority of the population.
A sizeable Cape Verdean diaspora community exists across the world, especially in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and in Portugal, considerably outnumbering the inhabitants on the islands.
New finds from archaeologists have brought to light fresh evidence of Cape Verde’s role in the transatlantic slave trade.
Charles Akibode, director of Cape Verde’s Institute of Cultural Heritage claims nations often sent pirates to do their dirty work.
The Portuguese colonization of the Cape Verde (Cabo Verde) began in 1462. Initially envisaged as a base to give mariners direct access to West African trade, the Central Atlantic islands soon became a major hub of the Atlantic slave trade.
Enslaved Africans were used on the sugar plantations of the islands and sold on to ships sailing to the Americas. The islands gained independence from Portugal in 1975.
As Cape Verde was much further from Portugal than the other Atlantic colonies (about two weeks sailing), the islands attracted fewer European settlers, especially women. As a consequence, Europeans and Africans intermarried on the islands, creating an Afro-Portuguese culture with a strong African religious and artistic influence.
The Museu dos Náufragos (Shipwreck Museum), on the island of Boa Vista in Cape Verde, has reopened two years after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here, history is told from the period of the discoveries, slavery, isolation, survival, drought and Creole culture. The Museum is the result of the work of two decades by Maurizio Rossi, an Italian archaeologist.
“This is a three-story museum that starts in the darkest part of history,” Rossi said. “Hundreds of objects are exhibited here such as finds from the wreck of historical ships off Boa Vista, pieces from the period of the pirate attacks to the island or from the sending of enslaved Africans to the Americas and, also, from the Cape Verdean art, and its evolution during the encounters of cultures.”
Through the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century, a law enacted by the Portuguese government in 1899 allowed authorities to force any kind of work, no matter how low the wage or undesirable the situation, upon any unemployed male. This enabled the government to maintain the work force on the cocoa plantations during another grave famine in 1902 to 1903.
In the 1950s, protest was mounting throughout Portuguese Africa. A group of Cape Verdeans and people from the mainland colony of Guinea-Bissau, led by Amilcar Cabral, joined forces to organize the Partido Africano de Independencia de Guine e Cabo Verde (PAIGC).
Those who resisted politically were subject to the terrors of the Portuguese secret police, and sometimes imprisoned in the concentration camp at Tarrafal, on Sao Tiago. Built in 1936, it operated until 1956. It reopened in 1962, under the name of ‘Chão Bom Labour Camp’, with the purpose of incarcerating anti-colonial activists from Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde.
On April 25, 1974, the government in Portugal was overthrown. The new Portuguese government was prepared to destroy their old colonies, but reconsidered, believing that they could still control the colonies with puppet governments. The Cape Verdeans resisted, supporting the PAIGC, and general strikes were called. The government surrendered when all services and production stopped.
Independence Day was established on July 5, 1975 and is celebrated by Cape Verdeans throughout the world.  Many music lovers now know Cape Verde for the stunning work of singer Cesaria Evora.

Newswire : The Food and Drug Administration is taking aim at menthol cigarettes

African american man smoking cigarette outdoors. Pensive person thinking

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from BlackMansStreet.Today


(TriceEdneyWire.com) – The Food and Drug Administration want to snuff out menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars which are popular with Blacks, but they have a strong supporter in Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network.

 Xavier Becerra, Health and Human Services Secretary, said the proposed rule changed would prevent children from smoking and help adult smokers quit. 

Menthol is a flavor additive with minty aroma and taste that reduces the irritation and harshness of smoking. Advertising for menthol cigarettes are heavily marketed to African Americans, such as Kool and Newport.

My mother smoked Kools, as she called them, until she died of cancer. 

Tobacco use is leading cause of death among Blacks because it leads to heart disease, cancer and stroke. 

The New York Times reported that Sharpton wrote to Susan Rice, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, that banning menthol cigarettes will encourage Blacks to smoke unregulated herbal menthol varieties that promote criminal activity. 

Sharpton acknowledges that R.J. Reynolds, which changed its name to RAI Service Company, has supported his organization for two decades.

“This is an overdue step towards ending decades of racialized tobacco industry predation on African American! Each year 45,000 African American lose their lives to tobacco-inducted disease’s due in large part to menthol tobacco products,” said Carol McGruder of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council. 

The organization will host its third annual National Menthol Conference on September 28 to 30 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington D.C.

If the proposed rule is finalized and implemented, it would address manufacturers., distributors, wholesalers, importers, and retailers who, who manufacture and distribute the products in the U.S.

Newswire : Dr. Lisa Cook confirmed as first Black woman on Federal Reserve Board

Dr. Lisa Cook

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Michigan State University Economics Professor Lisa Cook is the latest Biden-Harris administration nominee to break the glass ceiling, this time on the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.
Cook, well-known for her work on racial and gender equality, won Senate confirmation as the first Black woman to serve on the Fed Board in the agency’s 109-year history.
The history-making moment required a tie-breaking vote in the Senate from Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to hold her position.
Each of the Senate’s 50 GOP members voted against Cook, while all 50 Democrats and Harris cast ballots in favor of the nomination.
“The Fed Board needs governors who understand how the economy works for Americans across race, gender, and class. Dr. Cook’s deep expertise makes her exceptionally qualified to serve,” Michele Holder, president of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, wrote in a statement.
An adviser on the Biden-Harris and Obama-Biden transition teams, Cook will help set fiscal policy on the Fed Board.
“I was proud to cast my vote for Dr. Cook,” Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock stated.
“Her decades of experience as an economist and her Georgian sense of fairness will help promote balance and innovation to strengthen our economy,” Warnock concluded.

Newswire : Sierra Leone police arrest teacher activists over demands for living wages

Teacher in Sierra Leone

May 2, 2022 (GIN) – Schoolteachers in Sierra Leone say they’ve had enough after the arrest this week of Mohamed Salieu Khan, interim chair of the Teachers Solidarity Movement. He was grabbed by police outside the popular AYV TV station after speaking about the dismal plight of schoolteachers and their unequal conditions of service.
Two other TSM leaders were subsequently arrested despite President Bio’s claim to have expunged a law that hinders free speech.
Members of the Teachers Solidarity Movement in Bo, southern Sierra Leone, said they were seeking “living wages”, harmonization of salaries in the civil/public service, and improved employment conditions for all public sector workers in Sierra Leone. 
In an open letter dated April 21, the teachers group cited “the perennial hardship that political leaders from the Sierra Leone People’s Party and the All Peoples Congress, the country’s two major political groups, have inflicted on Sierra Leonean teachers.”
For sixty years since Independence, teachers were treated recklessly and left to starve with impunity, the group stated in their letter.
“Don’t we deserve a better living like the lawyers we taught, the doctors we prepared, the bankers we raised, the engineers we schooled, the police and the Army we instructed and the very politicians we inspired?” they asked rhetorically. “Enough is enough”!
Teachers were destitute, they said, lacking transport, medical, rent or leave benefits, and the Education Minister had failed to relay this fact to the President.
They called on President Bio, the Teaching Service Commission and the international community, including the European Union representative, the Department for International Development (DFID), the US Embassy and the British High Commission to come to their aid.
National Security Coordinator, Abdulai Caulker, called their press release “unfortunate.”
The arrests were swiftly condemned by TV station AYV, which responded: “Mr Khan was a guest on the program and was arrested just outside AYV’s premises soon after he left the show…  AYV would like to remind the Sierra Leone Police that our work is protected by statutes including the most supreme law – the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.”
The Sierra Leone Bar Association also took a stand, condemning the police for arresting the schoolteachers for speaking out against the poor working conditions of teachers in Sierra Leone. 

 

Newswire: Former Black Panther Sundiata Acoli wins parole appeal after nearly 50 years in prison

Sundiata Acoli

By Anoa Changa, NewsOne

After nearly 50 years in prison, Sundiata Acoli is finally going home to spend his remaining days with his daughter and loved ones. The New Jersey Supreme Court released its decision Tuesday morning granting Acoli’s bid for freedom.  
Setting aside any political concerns underlying Acoli’s case, the state Supreme Court determined the parole board’s continued denial was “not supported by substantial evidence in the record or by a reasonable weighing of the relevant factors in N.J.A.C. 10A:71-3.11(b) that govern parole.” 
“Even under the most deferential standard of review, the Board has failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that there is a substantial likelihood that, if released on parole, Acoli will commit a crime,” read the decision. “Acoli must be released because the statutory standards for granting parole have been met, without regard to extraneous factors like sympathy or passion or public opinion.”  
Advocates were pleased with court’s decision.
“We applaud the New Jersey Supreme Court in granting Mr. Acoli’s freedom and correcting the parole board’s improper application of the law by denying his petition for release after serving more than 49 years in prison,” said Soffiyah Elijah, Civil Rights attorney and one of the primary advocates for Acoli. “It’s time now for Mr. Acoli to live the rest of his life in the loving care of his family and community,” Elijah added.  
The preponderance of the evidence standard burden on the state is relatively low compared to the reasonable doubt standard present in criminal proceedings. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued a statement expressing his disappointment and choosing to lionize law enforcement as “heroes” without any acknowledgment of why the parole board made its determination. The New Jersey State Police similarly expressed disappointment in a Facebook post.
But as the state Supreme Court noted personal feelings and opinions have no bearing on the determination of whether Acoli was eligible for parole based on his conviction arising out of the 1973 killing of Trooper Werner Foerster. According to the court’s majority, the applicable law is clear in the proper outcome. 
As NewsOne reported in January, Acoli’s release was backed by several groups, including Black law enforcement organizations.
“Holistic review of the parole hearing transcript from the full June 2016 hearing suggests the Parole Board does not fear Mr. Acoli has a substantial likelihood of future criminal activity,” explained the Black law enforcement groups in a brief supporting Acoli’s appeal. “Rather, the questioning by Parole Board members reveals a deep-seated discomfort with Mr. Acoli’s political affiliations and beliefs, anger and frustration at his unwillingness to accede to the facts of the crime as found by the jury which he has always maintained he does not remember, and concern that he has not been sufficiently punished even after all these years. Dissatisfaction with an old man’s contrition and memory does not equate to credible evidence of a substantial likelihood that he will commit a crime if released.”
His case also put a spotlight on the issues involved with those aging while incarcerated and the punitive approach of some state parole boards. Estimates suggest that continued incarceration of older individuals costs twice as much as a younger person, given the additional health needs with age.  
Lumumba Bandele, a coordinator with the Bring Sundiata Acoli Home Alliance and organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, challenged the arbitrary withholding of parole. 
“What we found nationally is there is a huge problem around parole, and people utilizing parole as a punitive measure,” Bandele said.  
It’s hard to believe the nature of the underlying charge and the politics surrounding his arrest and conviction had nothing to do with the continued incarceration. But as the state supreme court noted, it’s of no consequence to the statutory factors laid out for establishing whether Acoli was eligible for release. 
As news of Acoli’s pending release spread, the Release Aging People in Prison Campaign held a justice day action in Albany, New York. One speaker said that “revenge and perpetual punishment does not equal justice.” 
The group advocates for parole justice as a part of elder justice. A 2015 report by the Center for Justice at Columbia University argued that reducing elder incarceration is a part of comprehensive public safety strategies. The movement to release aging people has been widespread with recognition of how the application of state laws effectively converted some sentences to de-facto life sentences.  
While Acoli won his appeal, he still has yet to be released into the care of his daughter and loved ones. His family is one of many waiting for the return of their loved ones.
“There are, unfortunately, dozens of other incarcerated movement elders who are in similar positions, almost all of them are battling health issues and not just health issues, but life-threatening health issues,” Bandele previously explained.

Newswire: Black women in the South have been bracing for Roe’s fall for decades

Abortion protest march in Atlanta

By Char Adams and Bracey Harris, NBCBLK

Tight restrictions on abortion have already placed the procedure out of reach for many Black women in America — obstacles that will grow even more daunting if the landmark Roe v. Wade is overturned. 
Across the Black Belt — the Southern states where the echoes of slavery reverberate in legislation that perpetuates political and social inequities — women have long confronted overwhelming costs and logistical obstacles in seeking reproductive health care.
Earlier this week a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion signaled the end of abortion rights nationally, which would leave an already marginalized group, who seek abortion care at a higher rate, with less access to family planning services, resulting in poor health, education and economic outcomes, according to researchers, experts in family planning and advocates for reproductive justice.
“Women are going to die,” said Dalton Johnson, who owns an abortion clinic in Huntsville, Alabama. “It might not be as many as it was in the ’70s because we have medication abortions. There are groups that are going to have access to those — whether legally or illegally. But everybody’s not going to be able to do that and women are going to die.”
If Roe falls, many women in the South will turn to a network of grassroots organizations and advocacy groups led by Black women that has emerged out of necessity to fill gaps in health care coverage and the social safety net. These groups have already been helping women who struggle to compile the cash — and coordinate the time away from work, child care and transportation — that are necessary to get the procedure.
Laurie Bertram Roberts, the executive director of the Yellowhammer Fund, an Alabama-based nonprofit that offers funding and support for women who have abortions, recalls a woman who received financial aid after having to choose between paying her electric bill and paying for her abortion.
“One time, it was bailing somebody out of jail to get their abortion,” she said. Roberts and other reproductive rights advocates and leaders of small abortion funds across the South said that while they’re not ready for the challenge of Roe being overturned, they are as prepared as they can be.
“We’ve been planning for this possibility for several years,” Roberts said. “This isn’t a new threat, but it’s a larger threat. So many states could lose abortion access at once. Like 2,300 to 3,000 people get abortions at the clinic in Jackson, Mississippi, a year. How do you reroute 3,000 people out of state?”
Nearly two dozen states are likely to ban or severely restrict abortion access if Roe is overturned, and 13 have “trigger laws” to ban abortion immediately, according to an NBC News analysis of data from the Center for Reproductive Rights, which support abortion access. Advocates, organizers and experts all agree that Black women in the South will bear the brunt of these restrictions. 
Black people make up about 38 percent of Mississippi’s population, according to recent Census data, but they accounted for 74 percent of abortions in the state in 2019, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. Alabama’s figures are similar, with Black people accounting for about 27 percent of the state’s population but 62 percent of abortions. 
Johnson pointed out that low-income patients and people of color already have to navigate a health care system that can be inattentive and discriminatory. But people with work obligations, financial struggles and lack of transportation also simply have a more difficult time getting to abortion providers in other states. This, organizers said, means they would be even less likely to get an abortion if Roe is overturned — worsening a cycle that perpetuates poverty for Black people. 
Research shows that unintended pregnancies hold people back from completing their education and getting and keeping jobs and can lead to poor health and economic outcomes for their children. People denied abortions are more likely to live in poverty, with economic instability and poor physical health. “It’s people who have been pushed to the margins,” said Monica Simpson, the executive director of SisterSong, a Georgia-based reproductive justice organization that serves people of color. “It’s those living in states where access has been completely obliterated, they’re going to be impacted most — that’s people of color, low-income folks, queer, trans and gender-nonconforming folks.”
Black organizers have argued that Roe has always been “insufficient” for Black people who lack resources. So, they have resolved that the work after Roe will look a lot like the work they’ve been doing to fight for reproductive justice for decades — but intensified. 

‘Every dollar counts so much’ 

For two weeks in April, the New Orleans Abortion Fund, which primarily assists patients in Southern states, had to inform callers and clinics that it was out of money for the month.
Although the fund is back up and running, A.J. Haynes, the board chair, expressed concerns last month that the nonprofit would be unable to raise enough money to help every caller in need. 
Many of the callers the fund supports live in states where the choice to have an abortion is more fatiguing than workable. Mississippi and Louisiana have the nation’s highest poverty rates, and residents make deep sacrifices to scrape up enough for their appointments. 
In 2021, most of the nonprofit’s callers were Black. More than half asking for help already had at least one child and received health insurance through Medicaid. Under the Hyde Amendment, people on Medicaid cannot access federal funding for abortion care.  
“Every dollar counts so much here,” Haynes said. “Every dollar is gas in someone’s tank. Every dollar is literal food in someone’s mouth.”
Across the Deep South, access to abortion care is already buckling, said Johnson, the Alabama clinic owner. The fallout from a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy has spilled over into surrounding states as clinics like Johnson’s serve an influx of new patients. Women in Mississippi, where the only abortion clinic in the state provides treatment up to 16 weeks of pregnancy, might travel hundreds of miles to the Alabama Women’s Center if they need a procedure further into their second trimester.
In 2020, abortion funds gave more than $10 million to support more than 400,000 people, according to the National Network of Abortion Funds, which includes Yellowhammer along with some 88 funds across the country — a majority of them in the South — and three international funds. 
But the locally run funds — many launched by Black organizers — can face an uphill battle in securing resources, even as donations flood Planned Parenthood and other national groups. 
“They will have to raise more money,” said Marcela Howell, president and CEO of the National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda. “This will intensify their work. They will need more money to actually achieve what they’re trying to do. They’ll have to build their existing systems up to higher levels.” 
For more information and to donate, contact: YellowhammerFund.org or call 205/582-4950.

Newswire: Karine Jean-Pierre selected as first Black woman White House Press Secretary

Karine Jean-Pierre

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent



Karine Jean-Pierre, whose long career in Democratic communications led her to the podium last year as the second Black woman to hold a White House daily briefing, will regularly host those news conferences.
On Thursday, May 5, President Joe Biden announced that he has selected the Martinique native as his next White House press secretary.
“Karine not only brings the experience, talent, and integrity needed for this difficult job, but she will continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people,” Biden said in a statement.
He added that outgoing press secretary Jen Psaki set the standard for returning decency, respect, and decorum to the White House Briefing Room.
Meanwhile, the historic nature of the appointment wasn’t lost on the President and others. “Karine is a lifelong public servant and fierce LGBTQ advocate,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute.
When Jean-Pierre steps to the podium on May 13, she’ll become the first Black woman and first openly gay person to hold that job.
“We are proud to have advocated for her historic nomination. As White House press secretary, she will not only be able to use her podium to represent the Biden administration but also the LGBTQ community during a time of unprecedented anti-LGBTQ hate and attacks,” Parker stated.
“As the first out LGBTQ person and the first Black person to hold this office, her appointment will inspire countless young people looking for hope and motivation during a dark chapter in our nation’s history,” Parker continued.
“Shattering this lavender ceiling is a testament to Karine’s grit, power, and commitment to our country’s potential. We are confident she will continue to be a strong ally and partner as she works in the highest office of the land.”
Psaki described Jean-Pierre as passionate. “She is smart, and she has a moral core that makes her not just a great colleague but an amazing mom and human. Plus, she has a great sense of humor,” Psaki tweeted.
National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. said Jean-Pierre’s selection demonstrates that the Biden-Harris administration has held up its promise of a diverse staff.
“The NNPA, representing the Black Press of America, resolutely congratulates Karine Jean-Pierre, elevated as senior assistant to the President and White House press secretary,” Chavis stated.
“This is another historic step forward by the Biden-Harris administration in fulfilling their promise of equity and equality in the White House.”
In a 2021 appearance on The Chavis Chronicles, the Dr. Chavis-hosted PBS-TV show, Jean-Pierre said representation matters. “We’ve seen that from the first day of this administration, the President signed an executive order to deal with racial inequity and making sure that we saw diversity and inclusion across the board in the federal government,” Jean-Pierre said during her appearance on the show with Dr. Chavis.

“We’re living in a polarized country right now, and the one thing that President talked about when he was running, he wanted to make sure that he was the President for all,” Jean-Pierre remarked.

Newswire: UN: nearly 25 million tons of grain are stuck in Ukraine

Ukrainian wheat field

Tristan Bove/Fortune/Reader Supported News

 

Ukraine was one of the world’s largest exporters of grain before the Russian army invaded and halted grain exports, harvesting 11% of the world’s wheat and 17% of its corn. For decades, it’s been referred to as the breadbasket of Europe.
In spite of Russian troops blockading Ukraine’s ports, the country’s harvest has continued, but most crops have been unable to leave Ukraine. Now, millions of tons of grain are sitting idle, and the country’s storage capacity is reaching its limits while the world gets hungrier, according to the UN’s top food agency.
Nearly 25 million tons of grain are currently stuck in Ukraine and unable to leave the country due to obstructed seaports and infrastructural issues, said Josef Schmidhuber, an economist with the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, he warned of an “almost grotesque situation” in Ukraine, in which grain is being harvested according to regular schedules, but cannot be taken out of the country.
“[There are] nearly 25 million tons of grain that could be exported but that cannot leave the country simply because of lack of infrastructure, the blockade of the ports,” Schmidhuber said.
He clarified that the war has so far not had a significant impact on harvests, but it is becoming harder and harder for global markets to access Ukraine’s food commodities. 
Schmidhuber explained that most of Ukraine’s winter crops were planted and harvested in the west of the country, far away from the brunt of the fighting and the war did not impact the recent harvest. He added that around half of the planned summer crops are already in the ground, although it is uncertain how much of it will be reaped.
“A considerable crop could be coming in going forward,” Schmidhuber said, but added that the outlook for grains leaving Ukraine remained uncertain, especially if Black Sea ports remained blocked by Russian forces.
Ukrainian ships have been blocked from leaving Black Sea ports for months, and the director of the UN World Food Program in Germany announced earlier this week that almost 4.5 million tons of grain are currently sitting in containers in Ukrainian ports, unable to leave because of unsafe or occupied sea routes. 
Grain shipments from Ukraine are usually done by sea, according to Schmidhuber, but are now being taken out of the country by rail more and more frequently, something he said can be exceedingly more complicated. Grains leaving Ukraine by train can sometimes need to be unloaded and placed on new carriages due to different railway specifications, such as different widths between rails on a single track.
Ukraine and Russia combined are some of the world’s largest suppliers of key agricultural commodities, including wheat, rapeseed, maize, and sunflower oil, according to the FAO. The disruption of these crucial global supply chains has raised food prices and exacerbated hunger issues in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions. 
There are also some reports that Russian troops have been looting Ukrainian grain storages, according to the FAO.
“There is anecdotal evidence that Russian troops have destroyed storage capacity and are looting storage grain that is available,” Schmidhuber said, adding that there are also signs Russian troops have been stealing farm equipment as well, potentially putting the productivity of future harvests at risk.
“Grain is being stolen by Russia and transported by trucks into Russia,” he said.
The uncertainty about what direction the war will take, Ukraine’s limited storage capacity for grain, and evidence that Russian troops have been stealing and damaging harvests and farming equipment, means that global food prices—especially those for cereals and meats, according to the FAO’s latest monthly food price index—are still highly volatile.
In its latest food price index, released on Friday, the FAO announced that global food prices decreased in April after a huge jump last month, but Schmidhuber stressed that it was only a small decline. 
The UN said in April that 45 million people worldwide suffer from malnourishment, with up to 20 million more at risk of famine because of the war. Highly vulnerable regions of the world where the war is expected to amplify hunger include countries in the Sahel and West Africa, according to the World Bank.