Tag: Arizona

Federal Judge Strikes Down Arizona Law Banning Ethnic Studies as Unconstitutional

(LA Johnson/npr.org)

by Julie Depenbrock via npr.org

An Arizona law banning ethnic studies violated students’ constitutional rights, a federal judge said Tuesday. His ruling made clear that the state showed discriminatory intent when it essentially shut down a Mexican-American studies program at Tucson Unified School District. “Both enactment and enforcement were motivated by racial animus,” federal Judge A. Wallace Tashima said in the ruling.

With this news, a portion of the law, prohibiting classes designed for students of certain ethnic groups, has been struck down, but the federal judge has yet to issue a final judgment and redress for the violation.Despite this decade-long debate in Arizona, ethnic studies programs have grown in popularity throughout the country.

To read more, go to: Federal Judge Finds Racism Behind Arizona Law Banning Ethnic Studies : NPR Ed : NPR

ESPN To Air Muhammad Ali Funeral Live Tomorrow at 2PM EST

Muhammad Ali (photo via express.co.uk)
Muhammad Ali (photo via express.co.uk)

article by Patrick Hipes via deadline.com

ESPN will provide live coverage of Muhammad Ali’s memorial service Friday in his hometown of Louisville, KY. As a result, the network is shifting its coverage of the opening match of the European soccer championships between host France and Romania to ESPN2. Coverage for both events begin at 2 PM ET.

Ali died Friday in Arizona after suffering for years with Parkinson’s disease. The three-time heavyweight champ and worldwide sports icon was 74.

Former President Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal and Bryant Gumbel are among those scheduled to give eulogies at the service, to be held as the 22,000-seat KFC Yum! Center. That comes after a funeral procession travels along Muhammad Ali Boulevard and past his boyhood home on its way to Cave Hill Cemetery. The pallbearers include Will Smith, who played the champ in 2001’s Ali.

To read more, go to:  http://deadline.com/2016/06/muhammad-ali-funeral-tv-coverage-espn-1201769223/

R.I.P. Legendary Harlem Globetrotter and Basketball Hall of Famer Meadowlark Lemon

The 1976-77 National Unit Harlem Globetrotters team. Kneeling, from left: Nate Branch, Curly Neal, Meadowlark Lemon and Jackie Jackson. Standing, from left: Dallas Thornton, Edmond Lawrence, Robert Paige, Twiggy Sanders and Jerry Venable. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The 1976-77 National Unit Harlem Globetrotters team. Kneeling, from left: Nate Branch, Curly Neal, Meadowlark Lemon and Jackie Jackson. Standing, from left: Dallas Thornton, Edmond Lawrence, Robert Paige, Twiggy Sanders and Jerry Venable. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Meadowlark Lemon, whose halfcourt hook shots, no-look behind-the-back passes and vivid clowning were marquee features of the feel-good traveling basketball show known as the Harlem Globetrotters for nearly a quarter-century, died on Sunday in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 83.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Cynthia Lemon, who did not specify the cause.

A gifted athlete with an entertainer’s hunger for the spotlight, Lemon, who dreamed of playing for the Globetrotters as a boy in North Carolina, joined the team in 1954, not long after leaving the Army. Within a few years, he had assumed the central role of showman, taking over from the Trotters’ long-reigning clown prince Reece Tatum, whom everyone called Goose.

Tatum, who had left the team around the time Lemon joined it, was a superb ballplayer whose on-court gags — or reams, as the players called them — had established the team’s reputation for laugh-inducing wizardry at a championship level.

This was a time when the Trotters were known for more than their comedy routines and basketball legerdemain; they were also recognized as a formidable competitive team. Their victory over the Minneapolis Lakers in 1948 was instrumental in integrating the National Basketball Association, and a decade later their owner, Abe Saperstein, signed a 7-footer out of the University of Kansas to a one-year contract before he was eligible for the N.B.A.: Wilt Chamberlain.

Meadowlark Lemon showed off his large hands on arrival in London, where the Globetrotters performed at the Empire Pool in Wembley for a week in 1959. (Associated Press)
Meadowlark Lemon showed off his large hands on arrival in London, where the Globetrotters performed at the Empire Pool in Wembley for a week in 1959. (Associated Press)

By then, Lemon, who was 6 feet 3 inches tall and slender, was the team’s leading light, such a star that he played center while Chamberlain played guard.

Lemon was a slick ballhandler and a virtuoso passer, and he specialized in the long-distance hook, a trick shot he made with remarkable regularity. But it was his charisma and comic bravado that made him perhaps the most famous Globetrotter. For 22 years, until he left the team in 1978, Lemon was the Trotters’ ringmaster, directing their basketball circus from the pivot. He imitated Tatum’s reams, including spying on the opposition’s huddle, and added his own.

He threatened referees or fans with a bucket that like as not was filled with confetti instead of water. He dribbled above his head and walked with exaggerated steps. He mimicked a hitter in the batter’s box and, with teammates, pantomimed a baseball game. And both to torment the opposing team — as time went on, it was often a hired squad of foils — and to amuse the appreciative spectators, he smiled and laughed and teased and chattered; like Tatum, he talked most of the time he was on the court.

The Trotters played in mammoth arenas and on dirt courts in African villages. They played in Rome before the pope; they played in Moscow during the Cold War before the Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev. In the United States, they played in small towns and big cities, in Madison Square Garden, in high school gyms, in cleared-out auditoriums — even on the floor of a drained swimming pool. They performed their most entertaining ballhandling tricks, accompanied by their signature tune, “Sweet Georgia Brown,” on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

Through it all, Lemon became “an American institution like the Washington Monument or the Statue of Liberty” whose “uniform will one day hang in the Smithsonian right next to Lindbergh’s airplane,” as the Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray once described him.

Significantly, Lemon’s time with the Globetrotters paralleled the rise of the N.B.A. When he joined the team, the Globetrotters were still better known than the Knicks and the Boston Celtics and played for bigger crowds than they did. When he left, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were about to enter the N.B.A. and propel it to worldwide popularity. In between, the league became thoroughly accommodating to black players, competing with the Globetrotters for their services and eventually usurping the Trotters as the most viable employer of top black basketball talent.

Continue reading “R.I.P. Legendary Harlem Globetrotter and Basketball Hall of Famer Meadowlark Lemon”

Arizona Mom Shanesha Taylor Regains Custody of Her Children

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Shanesha Taylor, the Phoenix mother who left her two young children alone in her car when she attended a job interview in Scottsdale, was granted custody of her children following a hearing Thursday morning in a Maricopa County courtroom.  “We had an excellent hearing,” said Benjamin Taylor, Shanesha Taylor’s attorney. “The judge will return the children to Ms. Taylor.”

Child Protective Services asked Judge Bradley Astrowski that the hearing be closed to the public because juveniles were involved.  Taylor said Astrowski’s ruling was an enormous relief.

“I finally breathed,” Taylor said after the 20-minute hearing. “I don’t think I breathed for three days before that.”

Taylor was barred from seeing her children after her her March 20 arrest in Scottsdale and was later granted supervised contact with her children.

Benjamin Taylor said the chances improved for Shanesha Taylor to regain custody of her children after the criminal case was resolved.  “She’s been doing everything right,” Benjamin Taylor said. “She’s been doing everything the judge told her to do and she’s a veteran of the United States Air Force.”

Prosecutors last month agreed to dismiss the abuse charges against Taylor if she successfully completes a diversion program.

“I think my progress led to me getting them back,” Taylor said.

Taylor said she was allowed to pick up her children Thursday, and that she planned on seeing them as soon as possible.  “I’m sure there will be ice cream involved,” Taylor said.

Police say Taylor, 35, left her children in her Dodge Durango for 45 minutes while in a Farmers Insurance office in Scottsdale. Taylor told police she was jobless, without child care that day and had occasionally been homeless.

Taylor said she is still looking for a job and hopes to work in the service industry. “I like working with people and helping them get what they need,” Taylor said.

Taylor was released from jail March 31 on $9,000 bond. Her children were examined at a hospital the day of her arrest and released as uninjured. They were later placed with family, and under the supervision of the Division of Child and Family Services.

article by Andrew Romanov via azcentral.com

UPDATE: Charges Dropped Against Shanesha Taylor, Mom Who Left Kids In Car During Job Interview

Shanesha Taylor freed

We’re happy to report that charges against Shanesha Taylor, the mother who left her children in the car during a job interview, have been dropped.

The gripping mugshot featuring Taylor and her tear-stained face spread quickly and garnered worldwide support for her case. According to the Maricopa County Attorney, a judge ruled that Taylor will have the charges dismissed if she completes a diversion program.

Taylor was arrested back in March after police say she left two children in her Dodge Durango for 45 minutes while she was in a Farmers Insurance office in Scottsdale. Taylor told authorities that she was unemployed, didn’t have child care and had been occasionally homeless.

This morning, after the deal was reached, Taylor attended a settlement conference this morning, where she told reporters:

“This is a beautiful resolution to a very long, very hard journey.”

The program will require Taylor to complete parenting and substance abuse classes and establish education and child care trusts for her three children. Each education trust must have $10,000 in it.

If you’re wondering where that money will come from, you may remember that fundraisers were set up on Taylor’s behalf to help with legal fees and other expenses. The effort raised $144,775 from over four thousand donors.

In reference to the resolution, Bill Montgomery, the county attorney, said: “Where we can focus on an opportunity for rehabilitation without having to use punitive consequences we’re always willing to take a look at that. And our resolution today shouldn’t be taken as a policy shift, this is just how we were able to resolve this one particular case.”

They also took into account the fact that Taylor was searching for employment and had no other criminal history.

Continue reading “UPDATE: Charges Dropped Against Shanesha Taylor, Mom Who Left Kids In Car During Job Interview”

More Than $100,000 Raised for Shanesha Taylor, Homeless Mom Accused of Leaving Kids in Car During Job Interview

shanesha taylorMore than $100,000 has been pledged to help Shanesha Taylor, 35, a single mother from Arizona who was arrested last month after allegedly leaving her 2-year-old and 6-month-old sons alone in a hot car while she went on a job interview because she was unable to find a babysitter.

Taylor was charged with two counts of child abuse. She has pleaded not guilty and was released on bail posted by a stranger, her lawyer told TODAY.com Wednesday. Her two boys are now in state care.  Her tearful mug shot has brought attention to issues facing the nation’s poor and unemployed, especially single mothers.

Amanda Bishop, a New Jersey woman who does not know Taylor, felt compelled to help. She launched an online fundraising campaign in support of Taylor, with pledges now totaling more than $106,000.  “There are some of us that feel that Shanesha was in an unfortunate situation that sadly an economy like ours is putting many single mothers in a position to make terrible mistakes like this,” the fundraising site says.

Bishop, 24, told MSNBC’s Tamron Hall that she launched the fundraising campaign after viewing Taylor’s Facebook page and finding nothing but posts and pictures featuring Taylor’s kids. “That convinced me she wasn’t a bad mom, she just made a terrible mistake,” Bishop said.  

Though there has been some criticism of the effort, Bishop said that it’s easy for people who have never struggled to judge Taylor harshly. Bishop said she herself was raised by a struggling mother.  “Nobody’s saying she’s right for her choice,” Bishop said. “It’s just a matter of what is more wrong here: The fact that she did this or the fact that there are so many people out there put in a position to make this decision or to make risks like this?”

Others agreed, including single mothers who left comments on the fundraising site saying they understood Taylor’s dilemma.

“I understand the struggle, I’ve been there before too. It’s VERY HARD being a single parent and having NO ONE to turn to for support,” wrote Dawn F. Edwards, who donated $25.

“Dear Shanesha, please accept this donation as a sign that you are not alone in this fight,” wrote Lauren Dunne, who donated $5. “Unfortunately, you had no options at this moment in your life… you are indeed a good mother that was only fighting for a better future for your children.” Continue reading “More Than $100,000 Raised for Shanesha Taylor, Homeless Mom Accused of Leaving Kids in Car During Job Interview”

ASU Expels Fraternity Over MLK Day ‘Black’ Party

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(Photo posted on Twitter)

It’s officially over for Arizona State University and Tau Kappa Epsilon.  The university formally cut all ties with the frat days after it hosted an MLK Day party that played up on racial stereotypes and sparked outrage among civil rights leaders, the Arizona Republic reports.

ASU released a statement on Thursday night saying that the frat has been notified that its recognition as a chapter at the school has been permanently revoked, according to the site. This means that the 65-year-old chapter will no longer be affiliated with the university, will no longer be listed on the university website and cannot recruit members or hold meetings on university property, the Republic notes.  According to the newspaper, officials from the university are still examining the situation and deliberating how to handle the individual cases of student discipline.

Over the long holiday weekend, members of the organization thought that it would be fun to put on an MLK Day party, where the theme was to “dress black.” Photos from the event made their way onto various social media, showing attendees dressed in basketball jerseys, throwing up gang signs and holding “watermelon” cups.

12-year-old Chef Haile Thomas “Living her Dream” Helping Kids Eat Healthy

Haile Thomas, 12, cooks on TODAY with Al Roker.

Most kids can’t even spell “quinoa,” let alone cook it; but most kids aren’t 12-year-old Haile Thomas. The Tucson, Ariz., native blew TODAY away Tuesday morning with her absolutely delicious black bean and corn quinoa salad with garlic shrimp and avocado, a dish she recently cooked up for first lady Michelle Obama as part of the first Kids’ State Dinner.

“That was very exciting to have the first lady enjoy my food!” she told Al.  As a tween, Haile’s credentials are more impressive than most 30-year-olds, and she’s hobnobbed with the likes of Tom Colicchio, Alice Waters and even Bill Clinton. Cooking since the age of five by helping her mother in the kitchen, Haile’s interest was piqued by watching food documentaries.

Continue reading “12-year-old Chef Haile Thomas “Living her Dream” Helping Kids Eat Healthy”

University of Arizona Introduces First Ever Hip-Hop Minor

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The University of Arizona has announced that it has created a “Hip-Hop Concentration” minor under the Africana Studies department, the first of its kind for any institution, according to the school’s website.

The course’s objectives are to “provide students with a solid introduction and broad understanding of the origins and developing of the forms of expression that make up hip-hop culture throughout the world: hip-hop dance, rap music, graffiti/tagging, fashion, business, and film.

Continue reading “University of Arizona Introduces First Ever Hip-Hop Minor”

Investigation Finds No Evidence AG Eric Holder Knew Of “Fast and Furious” Gun-Running Sting

 

Attorney General Eric Holder

A long-awaited report on the U.S. government’s controversial gun-trafficking operation known as “Fast and Furious” released Wednesday found no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder knew of the botched effort to trace the flow of guns to Mexico’s drug cartels prior to its public unraveling in January 2011.  The report by the Justice Department’sInspector General Michael Horowitz said there is “no evidence that … Holder was informed about Operation Fast and Furious, or learned about the tactics employed by ATF in the investigation” before Congress began pressing him for information about it in early 2011. Continue reading “Investigation Finds No Evidence AG Eric Holder Knew Of “Fast and Furious” Gun-Running Sting”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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