BLACK HISTORY: Sarah Bailey Center in GA Named for Leader Who Organized Black Girl Scout Troops in 1940s

Educator and Missionary Sarah Bailey (photo via blackamericaweb.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Sarah Randolph Bailey, born 1885 in to freed slaves, was a longtime educator and missionary who saw the value in troubled young girls and volunteered her time to provide guidance.

After earning her teaching degree and working at a rehabilitation and detention center for girls in Macon, Georgia, Bailey had the vision to organize young women for the Young Women’s Christian Association’s (YWCA) Girl Reserves group.

In 1935, Bailey gathered informal groups of Black girls and started giving them the opportunity to learn life skills and lessons, much like their white counterparts in the Girl Scouts. After organizing some 15 Girl Reserve troops in Georgia, Girl Scouts, U.S.A. took notice and invited Bailey to organize the first Black Girl Scouts troop in Macon. (The Girl Scouts started integrating troops in 1913 and the first African-American troop formed in 1917.) Bailey’s group was formally introduced as official Scouts in 1948.

“I shall be rewarded on Earth according to the way I’ve lived. To me, a healthy body, sound mind, and equal opportunities mean more than wealth; and happiness and success are the products of our gifts to the world and of our fairness and sincerity to ourselves and others.” — Sarah Randolph Bailey

Bailey was also named the chairwoman for the Macon Girl Scout’s Central Committee and earned the “Thanks” badge, the Scouts’ highest honor given to an adult. In 1961, a permanent campsite was named in her honor. She also worked as a district and council leader before passing in 1972. In 1994, The Macon Girl Scouts Center was renamed the Sarah Bailey Service Center. She was also the subject of a dedicated exhibit at Macon’s Tubman Museum in 2014.

A video about Bailey’s life and service to helping shape and empower young women can be seen here.

Original source: Little Known Black History Fact: Sarah Bailey | Black America Web

PBS to Air Documentary on Iconic Civil Rights Leader John Lewis this February

john-lewis

Congressman John Lewis (photo via eurweb.com)

article by Ny Magee via eurweb.com

Georgia congressman John Lewis is finally getting what many believe to be the TV treatment he deserves. The civil rights icon is the focus of a forthcoming new documentary set to air on PBS.

Get In The Way: The Journey of John Lewis” aims to tell the story of the civil rights pioneer, who led a 26-hour sit-in for gun control, marched with Dr. King, challenged political houses and continues to fight for human rights, per Jetmag.com.

According to the film’s website, it offers a “highly personalized narrative of an epic chapter in U.S. history.”  The biographical documentary will air on PBS as part of the network’s Black History Month programming.

“He is the moving, roaring protector of the rights afforded to every person in this nation. Get in the Way arrives at the perfect time,” actress and activist Alfre Woodard is quoted as saying in the documentary highlights.

“Get In The Way” airs on Feb. 10.

To read full article, go to: http://www.eurweb.com/2017/01/john-lewis-pbs-air-documentary-iconic-civil-rights-leader/#

High School Soccer Player Reuben Nsemoh Awakes From Severe Coma Speaking Fluent Spanish

georgia-teen-coma-spanish

Teen Reuben Nsemoh (CREDIT: Fox News)

article by  via vibe.com

Reuben Nsemoh was unable to speak Spanish until he woke up from his coma.  Nsemoh, who attends Brookwood High School in Georgia and has 3.6 GPA, is the goalkeeper for his soccer team. During a game last month, the 16-year-old athlete was kicked in the head by a player when diving for the ball, which resulted in a coma for three weeks.

The teen jock, who was never able to speak Spanish before the accident, gives credit to his friends who always spoke the language around him. “My friends would always talk to me in Spanish and would teach me,” he said.

Nsemoh said he hopes to return to soccer as soon as he is fully recovered. His coach refuses to put him back on the field unless he wears a helmet. Recovering at home he expressed how hard life is for him since the accident. “Sometimes I feel like I’m not here, but I am,” Nsemoh told WSB Radio.

The incident has been extremely hard on Nsemoh’s family as well, due to an extensive medical bill of $200,000. Hopefully, their GoFundMe will aid in some of the medical costs.

Housing Authority CEO Zsa Zsa Heard Hires Four Georgia Teens On the Spot When They Ask for Jobs to Avoid Gangs

CREDIT: Zsa Zsa Heard/ Facebook

article by Shenequa Golding via vibe.com

Four Georgia teens are receiving a virtual standing ovation from the Internet after Zsa Zsa Heard praised their tenacity on Facebook. The LaGrange Housing Authority CEO uploaded a photo of the young men after they walked into her office and asked for a job to avoid gangs.

Heard spoke with Fox 32 and recounted the entire story. After they walked into her office asking for a job Heard asked why they wanted to work for her. “We do not want to be in a gang!” they said. She then inquired if they had been approached by a gang and the teens replied with a resounding yes.

Determined not to allow these young men to fall peril to gang life, Heard hired them on the spot. Since Wednesday (July 27) the young men have been keeping busy by passing out mail, working in the community garden and helping out in the kitchen.

Source: Four Georgia Teens Ask For A Job To Avoid Gangs And Get Hired Immediately

Dr. Robert J. Jones Hired as New Chancellor for University of Illinois’ Flagship Campus

University at Albany Chancellor Dr. Robert Jones (photo via www.albany.edu)

University of Illinois Chancellor Dr. Robert Jones (photo via http://www.albany.edu)

article by David Mercer via abcnews.go.com

The University of Illinois has hired a top administrator from a State University of New York campus who has a background in agricultural research to be the new chancellor at the Urbana-Champaign campus.

State University of New York at Albany President Robert J. Jones was named chancellor on Tuesday, pending formal approval by the University of Illinois board of trustees on Thursday. He will take over the university’s flagship campus after a period of turmoil that saw the last permanent chancellor resign under pressure and alleged mistreatment of players by a football coach.

Jones took over at Albany-SUNY after a period of turnover and low morale, which faculty leaders there say he handled well.

Jones is the first black chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus and called his new role his “dream job.”

“I have the land-grant mission in my blood. I am a product of it. It is what brought me into higher education, from a sharecropping family in Georgia,” the 65-year-old said in the release.

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen, who came to the university from SUNY and says he knew Jones well, praised his work since taking over at Albany-SUNY in 2013 in developing the campus and linking it to the community around it.

“It comes down to, Robert checks so many of the boxes,” Killeen said in an interview. “His background in academia, in the Big Ten, agronomy. … His leadership building out a research university in Albany.”

Jones, who spent 34 years at the University of Minnesota, will be paid $649,000 a year but with no package of potential bonuses, according to university spokesman Tom Hardy. The last permanent chancellor, Phyllis Wise, was paid $550,000 plus a $100,000 retention bonus that she eventually agreed not to take after her resignation.

Jones will lead a campus with about 46,000 students, 11,400 employees and an annual operating budget of $2 billion. He also will be the vice president of the University of Illinois system, which also includes campuses in Chicago and Springfield and a total of more than 80,000 students.

Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Fort Valley State College, a master’s degree in crop physiology from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in crop physiology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

To read full article, go to: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/chancellor-university-illinois-flagship-campus-40698680

Fred Barley, 19, Bikes 6 Hours to Get to College, Sleeps in Tent Until Helped by Police and Community

Fred Barley (photo via wsbtv.com)

Fred Barley (photo via wsbtv.com)

article by Hope Jensen via wsbtv.com

At just 19 years old, Fred Barley has proven he knows what he wants out of life and he’ll do anything to make it happen.  Officers found the teen sleeping in a tent over the weekend outside Gordon State College in Barnesville, GA. Instead of giving him a ticket for trespassing, the officers listened to his story – and that’s where this amazing story begins.

Barley, a homeless college student, told the officers he had ridden his little brother’s bike six hours from Conyers to Barnesville to register for classes for his second semester of college. He had two duffel bags carrying all he owned and 2 gallons of water as he rode through the heat of a Georgia summer.

Problem is, the Gordon State College campus dorms don’t open until August, so Barley pitched a tent in some bushes on campus and prepared to spend the next few weeks there, with nothing more than a box of cereal to eat.

Barley spent the day job-searching and had just returned to his tent Saturday night when officers responded to a  report of someone sleeping in a tent on campus. They told Barley to come out with his hands up, but the officers quickly realized that something wasn’t right. They sat down with Barley, who told them his story.

The biology major, who dreams of going to medical school one day, told the officers he thought the bushes on campus would be a much safer place for him to sleep than staying in his tent in Conyers. “We can’t allow you to stay here, but I have somewhere you can stay.”

“He was so understanding and he said, ‘I definitely I applaud you for doing this. We can’t allow you to stay here, but I have somewhere you can stay,’” Barley told Channel 2 Action News.

Without a second thought, the officers took him to a local motel and paid for his next two nights.  “The stuff that’s happening with police officers, I am black and he didn’t care what color I was. He just helped me, and that meant a lot,” Barley said.

That could be the end of this story, but it was only just the beginning. Continue reading

U.S Supreme Court Rules Georgia Prosecutors Violated Constitution’s “Equal Protection” Clause by Rejecting Black Jurors in Murder Case

SCOTUS building (photo via wikipedia.com)

SCOTUS building (photo via wikipedia.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a 7-1 decision issued today, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Foster v. Chapman, No. 14-8349, that Butts County, Georgia prosecutors violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution by rejecting two prospective African-American jurors because of their race in the capital murder trial of  Timothy Foster, an African-American man who was convicted of capital murder in 1987 by an all-white jury.

Chief Justice Roberts’ majority opinion, which was joined by five of his colleagues, cited several pieces of evidence from the prosecutors’ files that supported the Court’s conclusion, including the first five names of a “Definite NO” list of six prospective jurors containing the only five African-Americans in the jury pool; multiple documents that identified the African-American prospective jurors by their race; and notes with “N” for “no” appearing next to the names of all the African-American members of the jury pool.

The Court also found that the race-neutral reasons the prosecutors offered for rejecting two of the African-American prospective jurors did not withstand scrutiny because (1) the prosecutors offered shifting rationales at different stages of the proceedings and (2) the reasons offered for excluding the African-American jurors did not result in the prosecutors rejecting white prospective jurors who had the same characteristics that led to the dismissal of the African-American jurors. The Court dismissed one of the prosecutors’ rationales as “[n]onsense.”

“The systematic exclusion of African-Americans from juries, particularly in serious criminal and capital cases, is a problem that we continue to see today,” stated Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  “The Lawyers’ Committee is pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling which affirms the longstanding, fundamental constitutional principle that prospective jurors cannot be rejected because of their race. The evidence in this case was overwhelming that prosecutors were determined to try Mr. Foster, an African-American man, before an all-white jury.  All defendants are entitled to a fair trial and excluding prospective jurors based on their race taints the process because it means that defendants are not tried by a jury inclusive of their peers.”

The Supreme Court’s decision reversed the Georgia Supreme Court and sent the case back to the Georgia Supreme Court for further proceedings consistent with the opinion. Though he did not join in Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion, Judge Alito concurred in the judgment.  Justice Thomas dissented.