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West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

West Florissant, Mo. Explodes in Protest of Police Shooting, More Than 30 Arrests

Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American

The Target parking lot of the Buzz Westfall Shopping Center was filled with dozens and dozens of police vehicles and the area of West Florissant from Jennings to Ferguson was blocked off. Helicopters and tanks –as well as vehicles from a host of area departments – descended on West Florissant as looting and vandalism…

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Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

Suppress Voting, Impeach Obama and Close HBCUs

By Peter Grear

Our campaign has sought to educate our communities to the point that they would organize and mobilize for a massive voter turnout for the November General Election and beyond. 

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Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Risky Situations Increase Women’s Anxiety, Hurt Their Performance Compared to Men

Study author Susan R. Fisk

“On the surface, risky situations may not appear to be particularly disadvantageous to women, but these findings suggest otherwise,” 

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Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

Voter Suppression: An Existential Threat to Democracy

By Peter Grear

To properly understand where we are today, we must look to history, to Black Slavery.  Slavery has existed since the time of ancient civilizations and in its inception was based upon conquerors enslaving the conquered without regards to race.  

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Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson Installed as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

Charlotte, NC (BlackPR.com)

Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a business executive, was installed as the 2014-2018 International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA)

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Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

Nielsen Expands Communications Leadership Team with Key Media Relations Hire

New York (BlackPR.com)

New York (BlackPR.com) -- Nielsen today announced that Andrew McCaskill has joined Nielsen as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. He will report to Chief Communications Officer Laura Nelson.

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Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Voter Suppression: It’s Mobilization Time

Written by Peter Grear

With this article we will start detailing the ingredients of a revisable action plan that needs comments and revisions as we move toward the Tuesday, November 4, 2014 General Election.  

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Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Voter Suppression: NC Black Republican Advisory Board

Written by Peter Grear

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched theNorth Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) 

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Awards African-American Style

Written by Gary L. Flowers on 14 February 2009.

Gary L. FlowersThe Golden Globes, Grammys, Screen Actors’ Guild, and the Academy Awards, signal a shift between the winter and spring seasons. Yet, in terms of skin complexion, for the most part, the color of nominees and audiences at the largest awards shows is White. Last week, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) celebrated its Centennial year and its 40th Image Awards Program, begun in 1969. What a show! The “Who’s Who” of Black entertainment gathered in sunny (well, not-so-sunny) California to recognize individuals who project positive images for Black people in the entertainment industry. In total, awards were given in 53 categories within the field of motion picture, television, music, and literature. I mused: How did the Image Awards arise? My intellectual curiosity and emotions routed me to research.


Prior to 1969, the Academy Awards, American Music Awards, and the Emmy’s never had more than 5 percent of the nominees being a person of color. Equally insulting was the low percentage, if at all, of behind-scenes-positions in the entire entertainment industry. In fact, the NAACP’s monitoring of Black representation in Hollywood dates back to 1915 when Dr. W.E.B. Dubois’ protested against the ragingly racist movie, “Birth of a Nation”, by G.W. Griffith.
The film was set during the Reconstruction Era following the American Civil War and depicted African-Americans as politically corrupt and beastly savages who, if left free of control by the Ku Klux Klan, would create a “mongrel” race by raping White women. In 1916, the movie was shamefully shown in the White House by then President Woodrow Wilson.

The NAACP immediately challenged the images of Black portrayed by Hollywood directors. After the movie “Birth of a Nation” was born a renewed resistance to racist writers in the movie and television industry.

In 1969, Black awards shows were established with the NAACP’s Image Awards. Since then, The Friends of the Black Oscars Foundation Tree of Life Awards (1980), The Turner Broadcasting Trumpet Awards (1993), The Black Leadership Forum Lamplighter Awards (1994), The BET Music Awards (2000), and The BET Honors (2008) have grown in stature as opportunities for Black talent to gain hard-earned, but generally-overlooked recognition.

The Tree of Life Awards were founded by leading African-Americans in Hollywood (Albert Nellum, Maya Angelou, Sidney Poitier, Debbie Allen, and others) to bestow awards to African Americans left out by the Academy Awards. The Lamplighter Awards were established to recognize individuals and institutions whose policies—public or private—positively impact Black people.

The Trumpet Awards were launched to herald the accomplishments of Black Americans who have succeeded against immense odds. The BET Music Awards buoyed Black recording artists to the radiance of recognition. Most recently, the BET Honors have for the past two years honored African- Americans in the areas of business, social justice, philanthropy and entertainment.

In recent years, the dearth of darkness in the ivory tower of Hollywood has persisted with some (but not much) progress in pigmentation of movie personnel. In fact, NAACP and Rainbow PUSH Coalition called for pickets of the Academy Awards to demonstrate the absence of African- Americans in Hollywood.
As Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. often says—and I agree—“there is no talent gap in America between Black and White, only an opportunity gap.” In many respects, African-American individuals and institutions are often forced to create their own opportunity in an unjust and imperfect world.

So be it. Just as Black History Month was established by Dr. Carter G. Woodson as “Negro History Week” in 1926 due to the omission of Black history in “American History”, Black awards shows have helped to fill the void of equal opportunity in the American society.

Yet, in the absence of “main stream” recognition, the Black institutions that have established ethnically diverse awards shows should be rewarded for providing awareness to all people of talent who would otherwise remain behind the curtain of creativity. Such institutions have moved the United States of America closer to a more perfect union.

Gary L. Flowers is executive director and CEO of the Black Leadership Forum

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