Capitol Police Heroes Crystal Griner and David Bailey Saved the Day, Preventing Congressional Massacre

Officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner (photos via facebook.com)

via thegrio.com

Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey are the heroes who kept the shooting on Wednesday from being the “massacre” Congress members say it could have been. Both of the officers are on Rep. Steve Scalise’s security detail and put their lives on the line to respond when shots rang out at a congressional baseball practice.

Scalise was standing near second base and was shot by James Hodgkinson before both Griner and Bailey rushed into action, taking down the shooter despite both being injured. Both have since been taken to the hospital and are recovering from their injuries.

“Had they not been there, it would have been a massacre,” Senator Rand Paul said to MSNBC. Majority Leader Eric Cantor praised both agents, who had served on his protection detail before. “[Griner’s] an incredibly able and professional individual who always takes her job and responsibility seriously,” Cantor told The Daily Beast. “It is not surprising to hear of her heroism and bravery during this horrible attack.”

“The bravery David showed reflects the kind of commitment he, Crystal, and the team demonstrated each and every day,” Cantor continued. “Incidents like the attack today are never something many of us even imagine happening. David is a trained professional who was and remains ready to act whatever the threat. Wishing him a full recovery.”

After being shot, Griner and her wife, Tiffany, were given a bouquet of white flowers by President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, as she recovered in the hospital. Both agents’ injuries have been described as non-life-threatening.

To read more, go to: Capitol police heroes saved the day, preventing congressional massacre | theGrio

R.I.P. William T. Coleman Jr., 96, Who Broke Racial Barriers in Supreme Court and White House Cabinet

William T. Coleman Jr., then the secretary of transportation, testified in 1976 before a Senate subcommittee. (Credit: Harvey Georges/Associated Press)

article by  via nytimes.com

William T. Coleman Jr., who championed the cause of civil rights in milestone cases before the Supreme Court and who rose above racial barriers himself as an influential lawyer and as a cabinet secretary, died Friday at his home in Alexandria, Va. He was 96.

His death was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers, where Mr. Coleman was a senior partner in its Washington office. He lived at a care facility with his wife of more than 70 years, Lovida Coleman. A lifelong Republican, Mr. Coleman was as comfortable in the boardrooms of powerful corporations — PepsiCo, IBM, Chase Manhattan Bank — as he was in the halls of government.

He was the second African-American to serve in a White House cabinet, heading the Department of Transportation. Mr. Coleman found success on the heels of a brilliant academic career, but he did so in the face of bigotry — what he called “the more subtle brand of Yankee racism” — from which his middle-class upbringing in Philadelphia did not shield him. In one episode, his high school disbanded its all-white swimming team rather than let him join it.

Those experiences would inform his efforts in three major civil rights cases before the United States Supreme Court. In one, Mr. Coleman, recruited by Thurgood Marshall, was an author of the legal briefs that successfully pressed the court to outlaw segregation in public schools in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Ten years later, he argued a case that led to a Supreme Court decision establishing the constitutionality of racially mixed sexual relations and cohabitation. (McLaughlin v. Florida, in which the Supreme Court overturned a Florida law that prohibited an interracial couple from living together under the state’s anti-miscegenation statutes.) And in 1982, he argued that segregated private schools should be barred from receiving federal tax exemptions. The court agreed.

Mr. Coleman was appointed transportation secretary by President Gerald R. Ford in March 1975, a little more than six months after Ford, who had been vice president, succeeded President Richard M. Nixon after Nixon’s resignation in the Watergate affair. Mr. Coleman, a corporate lawyer with expertise in transportation issues, was on the Pan Am board of directors at the time.

To read full article, go to: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/31/us/politics/william-coleman-jr-dies.html?_r=0

The Obamas Return From Cuba in Time to Celebrate Easter Sunday in Historic Virginia Church

ALEXANDRIA, VA — President Obama and his family are celebrating Easter Sunday morning at Alfred Street Baptist Church in Old Town Alexandria, according to TIME magazine and other media reports.  It’s the second year in a row the first family has worshiped at the church on Easter Sunday.

Source: Obamas Celebrate Easter Sunday in Old Town Alexandria…

Virginia Church Awards $2.1 Million Worth of Scholarships to HBCU Bound Students

article by Victor Ochieng via financialjuneteenth.com

T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, hosted thousands of students on Saturday, February 20, 2016, where students were awarded scholarships to the tune of $2.1 million, the biggest ever by Alfred Street Baptist Church. The scholarships are channeled to the students through Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The beneficiaries of the event, 14th Annual HBCU College Festival, are high school students joining college.

The doors opened at 10 a.m., although students and their family members started showing up as early as 7 a.m. A big number of those who graced the event came from Washington D.C., while others came from as far as Alabama, New York, Illinois, Florida, among several other places.

A lot of things went down at the festival, with $41,000 given in waiver for applications and up to 1,000 students getting admitted to different colleges on-site. More than 160 students received scholarships based on merit.

The scholarships saw some students get full rides to different HBCUs. This is just one of the ways through which Alfred Street Baptist Church employs to positively impact the lives of young people, and it’s such a timely event as it comes during the Black History Month.

“Black youth are often stereotyped as uneducated, with no ambition or drive, but events like these dispute the perpetual stereotype of black youth time and time again, as nearly 5,000 youth registered online to attend our college festival,” said Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, pastor of the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church. “Many black youth and their families woke up this past Saturday morning dreaming of a college education and wondering how it would be possible. By noon, of that day, many saw the dreams come to fruition and had answers. God is good and He showed up, and showed out on Saturday.”

The event registered the largest turnout in its history, bringing together more than 3,000 students and members of their family as well as 320 volunteers.

To read more, go to: http://financialjuneteenth.com/virginia-church-awards-2-1-million-worth-scholarships-hbcu-bound-students/

 

Baptist Church in Virginia Pledges $1M to Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Alfred Street Baptist Church members

Alfred Street Pastor Howard-John Wesley with James McNeil, Board of Trustees, Chair and Pat Johnson, Deacon Chair

Alexandria, VA — In the final days of 2015, Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC), one of the nation’s oldest historically African American churches located in Alexandria, Virginia, announced that it is pledging to donate $1 million to the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

As such, the $1 million donation to the museum is the largest from a faith-based organization to date, thus allowing the church to be designated as a founding donor of the museum.

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2016 on the National Mall in Washington, DC adjacent to the Washington Monument, the museum will be a place where visitors can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to the lives of the American people, and how it helped shape this nation.

Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, the esteemed pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church said:

“We are very proud and honored to make this contribution to a museum that promises to contribute immensely to the knowledge base of African American history and culture.

This historic attraction will be an astounding and visionary force in our communities and lives for decades to come. More importantly, we as a church, understand the importance of learning about the accomplishments of African American people. Therefore, we realize that if we don’t tell and preserve our own history, our children will never know their real value.”

Accepting the donation on behalf of the Smithsonian’s NMAAHC was Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the museum, who said, “We are honored to have the support of Alfred Street Baptist Church, an institution that has generously served its community for more than 200 years and whose support will help ensure that the museum fulfills its mission to tell the American story through an African American lens.”

James McNeil, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Alfred Street Baptist Church, continued:

“We are pleased to be the first faith-based organization to contribute $1 million to this magnificent cultural development. I challenge others in the faith-based community to follow suit to ensure that the history of African Americans will be celebrated and shared with everyone regardless of their background. The story of our country’s greatness cannot be told without sharing how we live and work together to help America thrive.”

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Colonel John McKee, Unsung Hero of Fatherless Boys in Need Of Scholarships, Finally Gets Tombstone

Col. John McKee’s vision of his legacy, meticulously recorded in his will, was breathtaking:

A garrisonlike naval academy would grace the bank of the Delaware River in Bristol. A bronze replica of the colonel on horseback would survey the boys who traversed the integrated campus. Embossed on their brass buttons would be the name of McKee, said to be the richest African American at his death in 1902.

History did not quite unfold according to McKee’s plan.

Today, McKee remains an obscure giant of Philadelphia history, a businessman whose achievements in life have been at least matched by his contribution in death.

He is responsible for considerably more than 1,000 scholarships given to fatherless boys during the last 57 years, according to the administrator of a trust he endowed. In the last 10 years alone, the McKee Scholarships have funded almost $4 million for the postsecondary education of 239 young men.

And yet for 89 years, he lay in an unmarked grave; not the brick-and-marble family vault he ordered in his will, not even in his original plot.

McKee wrote his will almost two years before his death, drafting exactly how he wanted to be remembered. But even with a fortune estimated at $2 million, in death he quickly lost control of events.

Born in Alexandria, Va., McKee made his way at 21 to Philadelphia in the early 1840s.

He initially found work in a livery stable and then a restaurant at Eighth and Market Streets owned by James Prosser, a well-known African American caterer. McKee married Prosser’s daughter Emeline, and ran the restaurant until 1866, before he started buying property throughout Philadelphia.

At his death, his holdings were an empire: more than 300 rental houses in the city, as well as his own house at 1030 Lombard St., an estate in Bristol Township, Bucks County, and several hundred thousand acres throughout West Virginia, Georgia, and Kentucky. Continue reading