Newswire : After stunning Soccer World Cup victory migrants also rejoice

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Mbappe – son of African immigrants played on French team

July 16, 2018 (GIN) – There’s a festive spirit in France following its second World Cup final in 20 years. For the decisive game, fans had been glued to their sets, including at a Salvation Army shelter where several dozen migrants had watched the match.

“You can dream in France,” Youssef, a 25 year old from Darfur, Sudan, told the France24 news agency. “If you’re the best, you can be on the team. That’s not true everywhere.” He was referring to the 17 players on the French team who are sons of immigrants. “(Kylian) Mbappé’s dad is from Cameroon and his mother is Algerian.”

In the second half after Paul Pogba (parents from Guinea) and Mbappé score in quick succession, the room goes wild – up and dancing, hugging, turning over their seats.

A group of women on one side of the room start up a chant of, “Thank you, Pogba! Thank you, Mbappé!”

“We are all refugees from somewhere,” reflects Habib from Afghanistan, “but we live here. We’re for the place where we live.”

Close links between French and African soccer go back some 80 years. Senegalese Raoul Diagne played in the 1938 World Cup and later became a deputy in the French assembly, as well as the first coach of independent Senegal.

Just Fontaine, whose tally of 13 goals in the 1958 finals remains a World Cup record, came from Morocco and Zinedine Zidane, arguably the greatest French soccer player, was born in Marseille to Algerian parents.

He was the hero of France’s World Cup-winning team 20 years ago whose success was hailed as a powerful and inspiring rejection of racism in French society.

Peniel Joseph, founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the University of Texas in Austin, said the French 4 to 2 win over Croatia was “a victory for Africa and immigrants everywhere.”

Khaled Beydoun, author of the book “American Islamophobia,” took a less forgiving view, however, in an open letter to France on Twitter.

“Dear France,” he began. “Congratulations on winning the World Cup. 80% of your team is African (so) cut out the racism and xenophobia. 50% of your team is Muslim (so) cut out the Islamophobia. Africans and Muslims delivered you a second World Cup. Now deliver them justice.”

“You can’t celebrate and cheer immigrants and minorities on the football field and vilify them everywhere else off of it,” he added.

Annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival, time for reunions, good food and music

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Lemon Harper of Sumter County shows off his dance routine at Annual Festival.  and John Kennedy Byrd prepares his famous Barbecue ribs at annual festival

Where else can you smile and sway to ole timey blues, enjoy the delicacies of right-off-the grill barbecue and polish sausages, feast on freshly cooked country dinners with assorted pies and cakes and then top it all off with hand churned homemade ice cream.
All this and more is happening at the annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival on Saturday, August 25 and Sunday August 26 on the Old Courthouse Square in Eutaw, AL.
The festival features down home blues music, old timey gospel, traditional foods, handmade crafts. Saturday’s events are scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with Ole Timey Blues and dancing featuring musicians Clarence Davis, The Liberators, Jock Webb, Davey Williams, Russell Gulley, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, and others.
The handmade crafts available at the festival are traditional quilts and other needle works; baskets from white oak, pine needles and corn shucks. The assortments of down-home foods include soul food dinners, barbecue, fried fish, chicken and skins, homemade ice cream, cakes and pies; snow cones, Italian ice, and more.
Ole Timey Gospel is reserved for Sunday’s festival beginning at 2:00 p.m. and featuring the
The Echo Juniors, The Melody Kings, The Mississippi Traveling Stars, The Golden Gates, New Generation Men of Promise, Greene County Mass Choir, Glory Gospel Group, Angels of Faith, The American Gospel Singers and many others.

“The Black Belt Folk Roots Festival is home coming time in the region. Many families, class reunions and social clubs plan their annual activities to coincide with the festival’s schedule,” stated Dr. Carol P. Zippert, festival coordinator. “The festival brings together musicians, craftspersons, storytellers, food specialists, community workers – all who are considered bearers of the traditions and folkways of the West Alabama region,” she explained. “This is a festival where people truly celebrate themselves – their joys and struggles and especially ‘How we made it over,’” Zippert states.
According to Dr. Zippert, the two day festival is open to the public free of charge. The hours are Saturday, August 25, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday August 26, 2:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m.
The Black Belt Folk Roots Festival is supported in part by the Black Belt Community Foundation, Alabama Power Foundation, Alabama Department of Tourism and other local contributors.
The festival is produced by the Society of Folk Arts & Culture.
There is no admission fee for the Festival events.
For more information contact Carol P. Zippert at 205-372-0525;
Email: carolxzippert@aol.com

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.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

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Shown Wilson Morgan DHR Director, Jacqueline Woods, Service /APS Supervisor, Latonya Wooley - Foster Care Worker,Beverly Vester ,Q.A. Coordinator, Kimberly Tyree - CA/N Investigator surround  Judge Judy Spree.

Monday, April 2, 2018 Greene County Probate Judge; Judy Spree, issued this proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. “Whereas,  National Child Abuse will be recognized throughout the United States, as well as in the commonwealth of Alabama during the month of April; and Whereas, Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect, and to promote the social and emotional well being of children and families; and Whereas,  preventing child abuse and neglect is a community problem that depends on involvement among people throughout the community and Whereas, child abuse is considered to be one of our nation’s most serious health problems with scientific studies documenting the link  between the abuse and neglect of children and a wide range of  medical emotional psychological and behavioral disorder; and Whereas, effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnership among agencies, schools, religious organization, law enforcement and the business community and Whereas, during the month of April and throughout the year our  communities are encourage to share child abuse and neglect prevention awareness  strategies and activities promote prevention across the county.
Therefore I, Honorable Judge Judy Spree, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Probate Judge of Greene County,  hereby proclaim the month of April in the year of 2018 to be Child  Abuse Prevention  Month in Greene County and urge all residents to engage in making a difference in the lives of children in Greene County by promoting safety and awareness to prevent abuse from happening.

One dead, four injured at Sin City Deciples bikers social event in Eutaw

 

 

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Mandel Pearson

In a press conference held Monday, January 16, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation agent Jason Ward confirmed that one person is dead and four others were injured in a shooting early Sunday morning at the Eutaw National Guard Armory. The armory was being rented out for a social event by the Sin City Deciples Motorcycle Club and Greene County Deputy LaJeffery Carpenter. The Sin City Deciples have bases in Birmingham and Anniston.
The ABI said the shooting took place just before 1:30 Sunday morning at the National Guard Armory. Investigators recovered about 100 shell casings in the parking lot of the armory where the Sin City Deciples MC sponsored an event Saturday night. Other motorcycle clubs present at the social included the Show Stoppers MC which has a base in Birmingham.
The person killed in the shooting has been identified as 36-year-old Mandel Pearson of Anniston, AL.
According to Eutaw Police Chief Derick Coleman an argument started inside the building before those involved moved outside. That’s when the shootings happened. The victims were first brought to Greene County Hospital emergency room and stabilized. Two of the victims were then airlifted by helicopter to UAB with life-threatening injuries, and two others were transported by ambulance to DCH with non-life threatening injuries.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says among the injured was an off duty Greene County Deputy, LaJeffery Carpenter, who suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Members of the Showstoppers Motor Club were also present at the social event at the armory.

This club, based in Avondale, AL, was founded in 2002 and members wear red and black with a jester logo.
Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele stated that it is always sad to lose a life by violence. “The city sends its condolences to the family of the man killed and lifts prayers for all the those injured,” he said. Mayor Steele also remarked that there has never been such an unfortunate incident as this at the armory facility.
“ I plead with young people in particular to put down your weapons. Deal with your disagreements in non-violent ways. Try to resolve your differences without weapons.,” Steele said.
According to Wikipedia, Sin City Deciples is a “one-percenter” outlaw motorcycle club that started in Gary, Indiana in 1966. Sin City prides itself on being open to all men, regardless of race or color. But most importantly is known for its historical roots as a club that was founded by and started as an African American Club, but allowed membership of all races of men that meet its strict guidelines to join…thus for breaking the mold of the historical 1% outlaw tradition of racism.
Outlaw bikers refer to their organizations as “one-percenter” motorcycle clubs (MC) rather than gangs. The term “one-percenter” originated from a statement made by the American Motorcycle Association in response to a motorcycle rally held in 1947 in Hollister, California, that turned violent. The American Motorcycle Association stated: “99% of the motorcycling public are law-abiding; there are 1% who are not.” Outlaw (or one percenter) can mean merely that the club is not chartered under the auspices of the American Motorcyclist Association, implying a radical rejection of authority.
The clubs are also known for serving a large number of charity organizations.
A high percentage of military veterans have joined the club, as well as doctors, lawyers, and other corporate Americans. As with any 1% outlaw club there is much secrecy surrounding members, and its requirements to join. However it has been noted that the brotherhood of the Sin City Deciples is one of the tightest knit outlaw motorcycle clubs in existence, making Sin City have a great deal of mystic around its exact numbers and requirements
Members are required to ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles and pride themselves on the tight knit brotherhood and unity they have developed over years, and decades of riding with each other from state to state. With charters that span from coast to coast, and active charters in almost every state in the United States and in Europe, they are one of the oldest and largest outlaw clubs in existence. Exact membership is unknown, however it has been rumored that they have thousands of active members.

 

Solidarity meeting held to support electronic bingo in Greene County

Nat WinnGreenetrack CEO Luther “Nat” Winn addresses Solidarity meeting

 

On Tuesday, November 21, the Black-Belt Solidarity Committee held a meeting at the Eutaw National Guard Armory in support of Greene County Constitutional Amendment 743 authorizing electronic bingo in Greene County. The Solidarity Meeting Committee consisting of Val Goodson, Beverly Gordon and Patricia Edmonds sponsored the meeting.
Two hundred supporters of bingo attended and heard statements from community political and organizational leaders in support of electronic bingo and its benefits to the community.
The meeting was held in response to a recent lawsuit filed by Alabama Attorney General Mike Marshall to stop bingo in five counties around the state including Greene, Lowndes, Macon, Morgan and Houston where bingo has been authorized by voter support of Constitutional amendments.

Sheriff Joe Benison spoke and said he enjoys serving the people of Greene County with his staff of 34 employees and encouraged unity in the face of the attack on bingo by the Attorney General.
Hodges Smith speaking on behalf of the Greene County Volunteer Fire Associations said, “ Before bingo, we had to raise money for fire trucks and other equipment selling hot dogs and hamburgers. It was very difficult and we could not get all of the up to date equipment we needed. We do not want to be pushed backwards into the dark ages again. We need to stand together for bingo.”
Johnny Isaac, Chair of the E-911 Board also spoke in favor of bingo and the need for unity in view of the attack on Amendment 743.
John Zippert, Chair of the Greene County Health Systems Board of Directors said, “We received a distribution of $39,375, for the month of October, from four of the five bingo establishment this week which helped the hospital to meet payroll and expenses to continue to provide health services in Greene County to people who do not have any insurance.”
Mayor Raymond Steele spoke of the benefits of gaming to the City of Eutaw and other municipalities in the county that receive bingo funds. County Commissioner Allen Turner reported that the County Commission used bingo funds to match Federal funds for road and bridge repairs, which stretched the funds and made them to further to help the people of Greene County.
Luther ‘Nat’ Winn, CEO of Greenetrack said he was pleased to see people standing together to protect what we have. “I hope this sends a message to AG Marshall not to come to disrupt the jobs and economic progress we have made through electronic bingo.” Winn continued, “ I want you to know that we are not going to close our operations this time. If the state comes, I for one am going to stand in the doorway of Greenetrack and stop the State of Alabama from disrupting a gaming industry that employs hundreds and supports the county agencies and schools of Greene County. This is a part of our voting rights and civil rights and we are not giving up without a fight.”
Commissioner Marcus Campbell of Sumter County and Probate Judge Crawford of Hale County also spoke in support of unity to keep Greene County bingo working because it provides employment and other benefits to residents of their adjoining counties.
The Solidarity meeting was adjourned and a monthly Greene County Fire Association meeting went forward.

School system and Children’s Policy Council hold Tie Tying Ceremony for 9th Grade Academy

The Greene County School System held its second annual Tie Tying Ceremony for the students entering the 9th Grade Academy. This event commenced last year with the formation of the Academy to high light the students’ Rites of Passage from Middle School to High School. The Academy is designed to give special attention to students as they transition and prepare for college and career. The designated attire of navy blue jackets, white shirts and ties identifies the 9th grade students as they pursue their academic mission. The ceremony was co-sponsored by the Greene County Children’s Policy Council, where District Judge Lillie Jones Osborne is President. The CPC also donated the ties for the students. School officials and community leaders volunteered to teach and assist the students in the tie tying process.

“#DayWithoutAWoman”: for domestic and low-wage workers, the stakes are higher than ever

By: Ai-Jen Poo, Glamour Magazine

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On March 8 women from every part of the country and the economy will rise together to participate in #DayWithoutAWoman, also known as the Women’s Strike. A follow-up to the historic Women’s March on January 21, #DayWithoutAWoman will fall on International Women’s Day, which honors the social, political, and economic contributions of women globally.

I sometimes ask domestic workers to imagine what would happen if every nanny, house cleaner, and home care worker in the country decided to go on strike for one day. I ask them to reflect on all the children, seniors, and families who would be touched, and then to think about how those families’ workplaces would be affected—the business people, lawyers, and doctors, all the people who couldn’t work because no one was there to support their needs. The response to this question is often quiet concern for the people they work for, followed by animated banter as they imagine chaos in all the households trying to manage without them. Though society doesn’t value care and cleaning in the home as “real” work, the workers themselves know that their daily work is important, even fundamental.
Until now, I haven’t posed the question of “a day without domestic workers” in preparation for an actual strike. I’ve asked because it’s rare that we as women, particularly women whose wages are never quite enough to pay the bills, ever think about our collective power in the economy, much less what we could achieve if we directed that power collectively. But in this new political era, it’s time that women do more than simply recognize our power—we must organize it.
On March 8 women from every part of the country and the economy will rise together to participate in #DayWithoutAWoman, also known as the Women’s Strike. A follow-up to the historic Women’s March on January 21, #DayWithoutAWoman will fall on International Women’s Day, which honors the social, political, and economic contributions of women globally. Originally named International Working Women’s Day back in 1909, March 8 highlights how women’s work—paid and unpaid—drives the economy worldwide. There is a long, yet little-known, history of global women’s activism on this day. For example, on March 8, 1975, the Icelandic women’s strike set the stage for the election of the first woman president in the world, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir.
At its heart, a strike is an action that workers take to disrupt “business as usual.” Strikes both shine a light on injustice and demonstrate—to the strikers and to everyone else—the collective power to change the status quo. If ever there were a time for women to throw a wrench in things, it’s now. We are nearly half of the entire workforce. And we still provide more than 70 percent of the unpaid family care in the United States. We are also a majority of the consumer base (over 70 percent) in this country. It’s our work and our dollars that create wealth for the winners in this economy—from Uber to Walmart.
As much as some of us may like our jobs, we still face pay inequity, lack of respect, discrimination, and harassment, and lack of access to opportunity for advancement and security. At a time when we should be making progress at light speed on all of these issues, we face powerful opposition, from the government to society at large.
For women in low-wage jobs like domestic work, the stakes are higher than ever. Women make up two-thirds of the nearly 20 million workers in low-wage jobs—defined as jobs that typically pay $10.10 per hour or less, according to a report from the National Women’s Law Center. Women of color are disproportionately concentrated in low-wage jobs; nearly half of all women in the low-wage workforce are women of color. Home care jobs, for example, are the fastest growing occupation in the economy today, and are overwhelmingly dominated by women, disproportionately women of color and immigrants. Their median annual income? $13,000 per year.
It’s time for #DayWithoutAWoman. Women from all walks of life will be participating—and there are many ways to participate. Organizers are calling on us to choose among three options: Don’t work, don’t buy things, and wear red. Domestic workers will be participating by wearing red to work. As is the case with many low-wage workers who lack job security, most domestic workers cannot afford to take a day off, or they could risk losing their jobs if they do.
Those who can take the day off will join restaurant workers, retail workers, and others for the Women Workers Rising solidarity rally at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. They will call for fairness in our economy, beginning with the most vulnerable (and increasingly targeted) among us, including poor women, transgender women, women with disabilities, and Black, Muslim and immigrant women. They will be joined by women in more than 40 countries worldwide.
Each one of these actions helps tell the story of the unrealized power we as women hold to shape our our society. When we don’t work, our absence has a ripple effect, because our work is critical to every sector of the economy and should never be taken for granted. When we don’t shop, businesses suffer. Let Wednesday be the day that we find each other (look for the red!) and commit to acting in solidarity. We can leverage our untapped power to take back our democracy and make our economy work for women—and our loved ones—once and for all.
Ai-jen Poo is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and codirector of the Caring Across Generations campaign.

Immigrant rights advocates hold rally against Jeff Sessions in front of his Birmingham office


On Saturday, January 14, 2016, the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ) supported by other organizations held a rally on the steps of the Vance Federal Building in Birmingham, Alabama to protest Trump’s nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to become the U. S. Attorney General.

200 protestors gathered on the street in front of the building, which houses Jeff Sessions district office. The protestors held signs with quotes from Jeff Sessions showing his bias against immigrants, children were dressed with butterfly wings and a giant puppet of Trump with a red hat with the words “Make America Alabama Again!” on it.

Several speakers, who were hard working immigrants, who had been in Alabama for many years spoke out about Jeff Sessions support for Alabama’s draconian HB56 anti-immigration law. Parts of the law have been challenged and beaten in the courts but the law was the strictest in the nation and forced many undocumented immigrants to flee the state. Speakers addressed their fears that if Sessions is confirmed as U. S. Attorney General that he will support policies that will lead to the deportation of many more immigrants and break up families who have been in this country for many years.

Several of the speakers were young people who were brought to this country as children by their parents and who participated in President Obama’s DACA program which allowed them to go to college and to work without fear of deportation. These young people are often referred to as “dreamers” because they fought so hard for this program to grow up and become educated and productive U. S. citizens.

One young lady on the DACA program said, “ I came to this country at three years old. I have lived in Alabama as long as I can remember. I am a participant in the DACA program. I am going to college here in Birmingham and I am fearful of the future if Jeff Sessions becomes Attorney General. I am an Alabamian and I want to live here and contribute to society and my community here. I am undocumented and fear what President Trump assisted by Attorney General Sessions will do to me to end my dreams.”

Other speakers spoke to Senator Sessions voting record in the U. S. Senate in opposition to voting rights, civil rights, womens rights, labor rights and many basic rights enjoyed by people in this country.

New Phone Listing for the Greene County School System

New Phone Listing for the Greene County School System

The contact numbers for the Greene County Board of Education are:

205-372-4030
205-372-3109
205-372-2101
Greene County High School – 205-372-2052
Robert Brown Middle School 

( Grade 4-6)   Fredrick Square – 205-372-3269
(Grade 7-8)    Barbara Martin – 205-372-9021

Eutaw Primary School – 205-372-1051