Tag: Italy

Documentary “The Duce’s Boxer” Details How Leone Jacovacci, an African Italian Boxer, Humiliated Mussolini

1928 European Middleweight Champion Leone Jacovacci (photo via eurweb.com)

article via eurweb.com

A documentary about Leone Jacovacci, a black Italian boxer who discredited 20th century Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s racist ideology by winning a European boxing title is making waves in Italy and abroad, reports Variety. “The Duce’s Boxer” tells the story of Jacovacci, an African Italian born in the Congo who won the 1928 European middleweight title by beating Mario Bosisio, a white Italian boxer supported by the country’s Fascist leaders, in front of 40,000 fans in Rome’s National Stadium.

Mussolini, outraged, then ordered Jacovacci and his achievement erased from Italy’s history books. But 89 years later, Jacovacci’s story has been resurrected. “The Duce’s Boxer” premieres today (March 21) in 25 Italian cities to mark the U.N. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Based on the book “Black Roman” by Italian sociologist Mauro Valeri, a former head of the country’s National Xenophobia Observatory, “The Duce’s Boxer” is directed by first-timer Tony Saccucci. Saccucci used archive footage from Italian state film entity Istituto Luce and photos provided by Jacovacci’s family, according to Variety.

Saccucci found that footage of the title match had been tampered with by Fascist censors. Jacovacci’s story is reminiscent of American track-and-field athlete Jesse Owens’ feat when he won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, debunking Hitler’s creed of Aryan supremacy.

To read more, go to: New Documentary Details How a Black Italian Boxer Humiliated Mussolini | EURweb

Gymnast Gabby Douglas Wins 2nd Straight Competition on Road Back to Olympics

Gabby Douglas (photo via usatoday.com)
Gabby Douglas (photo via usatoday.com)

article by Rachel Axon via usatoday.com

On a day when Gabby Douglas continued to make progress toward a return to the Olympics, two young American gymnasts put in a strong showing as they start a path to trying to make the U.S. team.

Douglas won the all-around Saturday at the City of Jesolo Trophy competition in Jesolo, Italy — her second international win this month, while Ragan Smith and Laurie Hernandez finished second and third, respectively.

Meanwhile, Aly Raisman, another Fierce Fiver trying to make a second Games, struggled to a sixth-place finish.

The Americans took six of the top seven spots in the event, with Douglas scoring 59.650, Smith scoring 59.050 and Hernandez 58.550.

Douglas, the reigning Olympic all-around gold medalist, earned the first win of her comeback earlier this month at the American Cup.

Aside from Douglas and Raisman, the U.S. team for the competition included gymnasts who will be trying for their first Olympic team this year.  Smith and Hernandez are both 15 years old. Hernandez finished first and Smith third as juniors at the U.S. championships in August.

Simone Biles, the three-time defending world and U.S. all-around champion, did not compete in Italy and is expected to start her competition season at the Pacific Rim Championships next month.

To read more, go to: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2016/03/19/gymnastics-gabby-douglas-rio/82015112/

At 22, Jalaal Hayes Becomes Delaware State University’s Youngest Doctoral Graduate

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Dr. Jalaal Hayes (center) made DSU history by becoming the youngest-ever doctoral graduate at age 22. Dr. Hayes of Philadelphia was conferred a Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry during the Dec. 20 Commencement. Standing with Dr. Hayes are his advisor Dr. Andrew Goudy, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Cherese Winstead, chair of the DSU Department of Chemistry. (photo via desu.edu)

Delaware State University made history during its Dec. 20 Commencement Ceremony when it conferred a Ph.D. degree to its youngest-ever doctoral candidate.

Dr. Jalaal A. Hayes, a 22-year-old resident of Philadelphia, Pa., proudly received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Applied Chemistry. In June 2015 he successfully defended his dissertation, entitled “Thermodynami and Kinetic Studies of Alkali Metal Doped-Lithium Amide-Magnesium Hydride Hydrogen Storage System.”

Dr. Hayes graduated from high school seven years ago in 2008 at the age of 15. He then earned bachelor’s degrees in History and General Science, graduating cum laude at age 18 in 2011 (within three years) at his parents’ undergraduate alma mater, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

While completing his doctorate at DSU, he lectured in Tuscany, Italy and Easton, Massachusetts as a Carl Storm Fellow while authoring several peer-reviewed journal articles and served on a team that obtained a United States patent for hydrogen research.

He completed a 2008 summer research internship at Howard University/NASA undergraduate Research Center before being enrolled in DSU’s graduate program in Applied Chemistry, where he worked with his advisor Dr. Andrew Goudy, professor of chemistry, in the Center for Hydrogen Storage Research.

While at DSU, he tutored students and was a member of the National Chemistry Honor Society, Gamma Sigma Epsilon, and served as the chapters’ parliamentarian.

His parents are librarians who model academic achievement; his mother is the recent School Librarian of the Year in Philadelphia and serves as a high school librarian, and his father serves as the Interim Dean of Library Services at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Maryland.

Dr. Hayes recently reflected on his unique educational accomplishments when he met the Rev. Bernice King (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King’s youngest daughter) at Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia. She asked him about his achievement and opportunities to which he shared with her, “my family and community set high expectations for me and I simply strived to meet those expectations; for I strive to model “to whom much is given, much is expected.”

article via desu.edu

Sjohnna McCray Wins the 2015 Walt Whitman Award from Academy of American Poets

Sjohnna McCray (Photo: savannahstate.edu)
Sjohnna McCray (Photo: savannahstate.edu)

Sjohnna McCray, an adjunct instructor in the department of English at Savannah State University in Georgia, has been selected to receive the 2015 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. The award, established in 1975, honors a poet of “exceptional promise” who has not yet published a book of poetry.

As the winner of the Walt Whitman Award, McCray will have his collection of poems entitled Rapture published by Graywolf Press in 2016. He will also receive an all-expenses-paid six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy.

McCray is a native of Cincinnati and is a graduate of Ohio University. He earned a master’s degree at Teachers College of Columbia University and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Virginia.

article via jbhe.com

EU presses Malta to Accept African Migrants at Sea

Migrants freshly arrived in at Delimara, Malta, 4 August
More than 100 migrants arrived in Malta on a dinghy on Sunday

The European Commission has urged Malta to allow 102 African migrants rescued from the sea by a tanker to enter its territory.  It said the EU state had a humanitarian duty to take in the migrants, who were rescued off the coast of Libya.

Among those rescued are an injured woman, four pregnant women and a five-month-old baby.  The Italian navy had asked the ship to take the migrants to Libya, the nearest land, but it disregarded the request.  The tiny island state receives thousands of illegal migrants heading to Europe each year.

Hours before the latest incident, 111 mainly African migrants arrived in a rubber dinghy at Delimara, on the south-east coast.  In the latest incident, the European Commission said that since the ship was now closest to Malta, the island must allow the migrants to disembark as soon as possible.

Any dispute over which country should legally take them should be resolved later, it argued. The immediate concern was to save lives.  The master of the tanker M/V Salamis is credited with saving the migrants’ lives but the Maltese authorities are refusing to let the ship dock.

Malta says the migrants are in no danger or distress though the ship’s master has issued an urgent medical request saying one injured woman needs to be taken immediately to hospital.

The Maltese government said a patrolling Italian navy ship had ordered the Salamis to take the migrants to the nearest available port, in this case in Libya.

“The government told the ship’s captain that since he had ignored the instructions given him [by the Italian navy], he had been forbidden to enter Maltese waters,” a statement said on Monday.  On Sunday the Italian navy rescued a group of at least 90 migrants trying to reach Europe from North Africa by boat, and brought them to the island of Lampedusa.  Last month, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy that the burden of immigration to the EU should not fall on its smallest member.

While Malta would do its compassionate duty, he added, it would not leave its doors open wide and “welcome boats from Libya and elsewhere as if nothing happened”.  “Call us harsh, call us heartless, but we are not pushovers,” the Maltese prime minister said.

article via bbc.co.uk

Italy Rescues Sixty-Nine African Migrants

ROME, (UPI) — Some 69 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa aboard a dinghy were rescued Friday in the Sicilian Channel, the Italian coast guard said.  The migrants, reported to be in good health, were taken to the island of Lampedusa, reported Italy’s ANSA news agency.  Recent good weather has spurred a rise in Africans crossing the Mediterranean for opportunities in Europe.  Fifteen minors who had earlier reached Italy have been transferred from the migrant reception center on Lampedusa to youth homes around Agrigento.

article via upi.com