Tag: Baton Rouge

Protesters Arrested During Marches for Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge to be Awarded Up to $1,000 in Class-Action Settlement

(photo via NBC News)

via blavity.com

Nearly a year after protesters in Baton Rouge were arrested during marches for 37-year-old resident Alton Sterling – who was killed by police while selling CDs outside of a store – a federal judge approved a class-action settlement Friday, Oct. 27 that awards up to $1,000 to dozens. One of the most high-profile activists to be involved with the settlement was DeRay Mckesson, who was arrested along with 69 others. Besides cash payments, the victims will have their records expunged free of charge, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles gave the final approval regarding the settlement after a hearing with McKesson and other plaintiffs. The 69 plaintiffs will ultimately be rewarded amounts ranging from $500 to $1,000 out of the total value of the settlement estimated at $136,000. “It obviously is a matter that touches on a lot of sensitive issues and had the potential for being very contentious and destructive,” deGravelles said.

Kira Marrero, a 24-year-old plaintiff from New Orleans, was arrested while protesting the police-involved shooting of Sterling. “I’m definitely glad that we’re getting some justice, though at the same time it’s a really painful memory to dig up,” she said. “I’m still pretty heartbroken, I guess, by everything that happened. I think everyone who knew me trusted that I wasn’t out there breaking the law and that clearly something was wrong.”

To read more, go to: Baton Rouge Protesters Will Be Awarded Up To $1,000 In Class-Action Settlement | BLAVITY

H.U.N.T. Movement: The Game, Snoop Dogg Lead March to LAPD Headquarters, Meet with Chief Charlie Beck

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 5.57.24 PM
Peaceful H.U.N.T. Protesters marching on Los Angeles Police Headquarters on 7/8/16 (photo via losangelesconfidential @ Instagram)

Rappers and Los Angeles-area natives the Game and Snoop Dogg led a unification march for men of color Friday morning to the Los Angeles Police Department’s graduation of its newest officers, hours after five Dallas police officers were shot and killed and seven others were wounded during a sniper attack.

About 6:30 a.m., the Game posted on his Instagram account a call for black, Mexican and men of all races to march to the Los Angeles Police Department’s headquarters to “make the Californian government & its law branches aware that from today forward, we will be UNIFIED as minorities & we will no longer allow them to hunt us or be hunted by us!!!”

He said women and children should stay away, “THIS IS OUR MISSION FOR THEM,” he wrote.

The Game, a Compton native whose legal name is Jayceon Terrell Taylor, said in his announcement the march had to be peaceful.

“Do not: bring any weapons or anything illegal. Do not come high or belligerent … We don’t need any HOT HEADS or anyone there for the wrong reasons… We will stand as we are, UNIFIED. I’m calling ALL GANGS, ALL RACES, ALL GROWN MEN affiliated or not & we will stand UNIFIED.”

View this post on Instagram

Operation H.U.N.T Meet NOW at Joe's auto park parking 1221 west 3rd street Los Angeles California 90017 Calling: ALL AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN, MEXICAN AMERICAN MEN & any other RACE of REAL MEN with heart to stand with us today & walk peacefully to the LAPD headquarters. [LEAVE ALL WOMEN & CHILDREN AT HOME… THIS IS OUR MISSION FOR THEM] Do not: bring any weapons or anything illegal. Do not come high or belligerent.. We don't need any HOT HEADS or anyone there for the wrong reasons… We will stand as we are, UNIFIED. I'm calling ALL GANGS, ALL RACES, ALL GROWN MEN affiliated or not & WE WILL STAND UNIFIED tomorrow !!!! Our numbers are all the weapons we need !!! We do not need to be dumb, retarded or uncivilized today… ALL WE NEED IS EACH OTHER… I will not lead any of you into a trap !!!!! Objective: to make the Californian government & it's law branches aware that from today forward, we will be UNIFIED as minorities & we will no longer allow them to hunt us or be hunted by us !!! Let's erase the fear of one another on both sides & start something new here in the city of Los Angeles, a city we all love & share ! There are many things that have to be done to rectify this situation that has plagued us for hundreds of years & UNIFICATION is the 1st step !!! Again, I'm asking for ALL of my AFRICAN AMERICAN, MEXICAN AMERICAN & any other AMERICAN who has the heart to STAND WITH US to meet us at the above address & take the 1st step into altering our future for our children & our FAMILIES….I LOVE EVERY ONE OF YOU & WE OWE IT TO OURSELVES & OUR FAMILIES TO BE MEN & TAKE A STAND MY BROTHERS.. THE TIME IS NOW – The Game 📸 @derekdidit

A post shared by The Game (@losangelesconfidential) on

 

Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, said organizers didn’t know there was an LAPD recruit graduation scheduled for Friday morning. The point of the march was to reintroduce the Police Department to members of the community it serves, he told reporters at the scene.

About 50 men joined the march to LAPD headquarters.

“The mission is to reintroduce our community to the LAPD… just to get some understanding and dialogue,” he said. “We’re the ones they’re going to be dealing with, we’re the ones that are going to be pulled over. … We’re here on peace.”

The group began planning the march before dawn, the Game said. Organizers spoke with marchers about their unifying, peaceful message so it couldn’t be misconstrued by police, and conversely, so they would listen when law enforcement responded.

“We don’t have to fear each other today,” he said.

The march came amid a growing discussion about law enforcement’s relationship with minorities and was preceded by three days of bloodshed.
Continue reading “H.U.N.T. Movement: The Game, Snoop Dogg Lead March to LAPD Headquarters, Meet with Chief Charlie Beck”

It’s Something: U.S. Department of Justice Launches Investigation into Alton Sterling Shooting

Police shooting victim Alton Sterling (photo via nydailynews.com)
Police shooting victim Alton Sterling (photo via nydailynews.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

By now, most have heard about the latest in the incredibly disturbing string of homicides of black citizens at the hands of local police.  Alton Sterling was shot and killed after two police officers approached him on Tuesday evening for selling CDs near a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

According to CNN, the state’s governor, John Bel Edwards, announced that the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division will investigate the shooting.  Edwards added that the Middle District of Louisiana’s U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI will also assist in the investigation.

Officers say they arrived at the scene when an anonymous 911 caller reported a man threatening him with a gun. A struggle ensued between Sterling and the two officers. Sterling was pinned down, then shot multiple times in the head and chest, eventually succumbing to his injuries.

The encounter was caught on camera and went viral yesterday evening, sparking protests and national media attention.  After observing video of the encounter, Edwards said he had “very serious concerns.”

“The video is disturbing to say the least,” he added.

Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden said he is also committed to working with federal investigators.

At a morning press conference, Sterling’s family tearfully condemned the actions of the BRPD officers involved in the shooting, asking for justice while visually broken and dismayed.

You can find more information on this story here.

Obama Unveils High-Speed Internet Help for Low-Income Homes

(Photo via computerweekly.com)
(Photo via computerweekly.com)

Calling the Internet a 21st century necessity, President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled a program to bring faster Internet connections to more low-income households, particularly to help students living in public and assisted housing stay ahead in school.

Under ConnectHome, the public, private and nonprofit sectors have pledged to work together to provide high-speed connections and digital devices to more families at lower cost.

More than 90 percent of households headed by a college graduate have Internet access, Obama said. But fewer than half of low-income households have similar access.  In this day and age, Obama said the “digital divide” puts these individuals at a disadvantage by limiting their educational and economic opportunities because the Internet is increasingly needed to find a job, finish homework or keep in touch with family and friends.

“In this digital age, when you can apply for a job, take a course, pay your bills … with a tap of your phone, the Internet is not a luxury. It’s a necessity,” Obama said in Durant, Oklahoma, on the first day of a two-day visit to the state.  “You cannot connect with today’s economy without having access to the Internet,” he said.

Continue reading “Obama Unveils High-Speed Internet Help for Low-Income Homes”

R.I.P. Soul Singer and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge made “When a Man Loves a Woman” a timeless hit. (Photo Credit: James J. Kriegsmann)

His death was confirmed by Artists International Management, which represented him. Mr. Sledge had liver cancer, for which he underwent surgery in 2014, Mark Lyman, his agent and manager, said.  Mr. Sledge, sometimes called the King of Slow Soul, was a sentimental crooner and one of the South’s first soul stars, having risen to fame from jobs picking cotton and working as a hospital orderly while performing at clubs and colleges on the weekends.“I was singing every style of music: the Beatles, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Motown, Sam Cooke, the Platters,” he once said. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was his first recording for Atlantic Records, after a patient at the hospital introduced him to the record producer Quin Ivy. It reached No. 1 on the pop charts in 1966 and sold more than a million copies, becoming the label’s first gold record. (The Recording Industry Association of America began certifying records as gold in 1958.) Raw and lovelorn, the song was a response to a woman who had left him for another man, Mr. Sledge said. He called its composition a “miracle.”

An album of the same name was released that year, and three more studio albums for Atlantic followed in the 1960s: “Warm and Tender Soul,” “The Percy Sledge Way” and “Take Time to Know Her.”

While Mr. Sledge never again reached the heights of his first hit, “When a Man Loves a Woman” had many lives: as an early highlight of the Muscle Shoals, Ala., music scene; as a movie soundtrack staple in the 1980s, heard in “The Big Chill” and “Platoon”; and in a 1991 cover version by Michael Bolton, which also topped the Billboard chart and earned Mr. Bolton a Grammy.

Although the song, which ranks 53rd on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest of all time, is credited to two of Mr. Sledge’s early bandmates, the bassist Calvin Lewis and the organist Andrew Wright, who assisted with the arrangement, Mr. Sledge said of the melody, “I hummed it all my life, even when I was picking and chopping cotton in the fields.”

Continue reading “R.I.P. Soul Singer and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Percy Sledge”

Louisiana Native Winifred Pristell Becomes Weightlifting Champion as Senior Citizen

grandma2

At 68, Winifred Pristell, grandmother of two and great-grandmother of 3, is a testament to living healthy at any age. Winifred is currently a World Association of Benchers and Dead Lifers (WABDL) champion.  In fact, Winifred currently holds the World, National and State records for single lift bench press for her age group and weight class.

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and athletic in her youth, Pristell’s lifestyle eventually slowed down. Before she knew it, she was obese. But with the encouragement of her daughter, she became re-interested in fitness at 48.

But Winifred did not become serious about weight lifting as a competitive sport until she was 60, after meeting her mentor, Jim Schall, a former coach and teacher, who himself has held dead lift records for his age and weight class for over 10 years. With his help, Winifred won her first competition, becoming state champion at the 10th Annual Alki Beach Bench Press and Deadlifting Championship. One month later, she broke the world record for her age and weight category.

Surprisingly, Winifred has arthritis in the soles of her feet, her back and legs, and before she made that drastic change to her current lifestyle, she was barely mobile. She advises any senior in a walker or a wheelchair that with the “proper exercise, nutrition and fitness regimen, anyone can get up out of that wheelchair or throw away that walker. If you want to accomplish that, you can!” She adds: “Find something that you love and keep on doing it, be consistent and never give up. I’m never going to stop!”

Her motto: “Look at me! I did it, and so can you!”  Winifred’s formula for staying fit is exercising on a regular basis and eating healthy – no junk food! In fact, in her spare time, Winifred loves to cook, and only eats out when coerced by family and friends.  When asked why she loves weightlifting so much, the triple-crown title holder just smiles and says, “I don’t like dead weight. If it’s dead weight, then get it off me.”

article via blackdoctor.org

Lynn Whitfield To Be Honored w/ Pan African Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award

The Pan African Film Festival will honor award-winning actress Lynn Whitfield with its highest honor, a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in television and film. The award will be presented at the annual Night of Tribute, which will be part of the pre-show festivities for the awards ceremony of the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA). The event will be held on Friday, February 8, 2013 in Hollywood, California. The Night of Tribute honors world-renowned actors, filmmakers, community leaders and fine artists for their contributions on stage, television, film, the arts and the community.

With more than 30 years in the entertainment industry, Whitfield vaulted to international fame in the HBO biopic, “The Josephine Baker Story,” portraying the legendary international icon. Her performance – after all, who can forget the Banana Dance — nabbed her a Golden Globe nomination and an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Special or Miniseries,” giving Whitfield “the greatest sense of accomplishment and realization of my vision,” she says.

Continue reading “Lynn Whitfield To Be Honored w/ Pan African Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award”

Eighteen-Year-Old African American Earns Degree in Physics at Southern University

PoliteStewart03In December 2012, Polite Stewart Jr. earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While a very small percentage of bachelor’s degree awards in physics go to African Americans, Stewart’s achievement is all the more remarkable given that he is only 18 years old.

Stewart got offers from colleges and universities across the country but decided to attend college near his home, about 10 miles from the Southern University campus. When he was high school age, Stewart took college-level classes at Southern University’s Timbuktu Academy. He had been home schooled.

During college he conducted summer research at North Carolina State University. He plans to start graduate school in the fall and pursue a career in biological and physics engineering.

article via jbhe.com