Tag: Kentucky

Alice Allison Dunnigan, 1st Black Woman Journalist to Cover the White House, to be Honored with Statue in D.C.

White House correspondent Alice Allison Dunnigan (photo via Wikipedia)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to the Associated Press, Alice Allison Dunnigan, the first African-American woman journalist credentialed to cover the White House, will be honored with a life-sized statue to be erected next month in Washington D.C.

Dunnigan, a Kentucky native who died in 1983, was the first Black female journalist to cover a presidential campaign — President Harry Truman’s whistle-stop campaign tour in 1948. She subsequently received credentials to cover the White House.

As head of the Associated Negro Press’ Washington bureau for 14 years, Dunnigan supplied stories to 112 African-American newspapers across the nation. She was also the first Black woman to obtain press credentials to cover the U.S. Congress, the State Department, and the Supreme Court.

“Throughout Dunnigan’s career, she battled the rampant racism and sexism that dominated the mostly white and male professions of journalism and politics. She once famously stated, ‘Race and sex were twin strikes against me. I’m not sure which was the hardest to break down,’” the Newseum, the non-profit news museum in the nation’s capital that will be displaying the sculpture, said in a statement.

The bronze sculpture, created by fellow Kentuckian Amanda Matthews, will be displayed at the Newseum from Sept. 21 until Dec. 16, before moving to Dunnigan’s hometown of Russellville, KY.

It will be installed on the grounds of the West Kentucky African American Heritage Center as part of a park dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement, the Newseum said.

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. Muhammad Ali, 74, Boxing Legend, Self-Determination Icon and Greatest Of All Time

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

article by Robert Lipsyte via nytimes.com

Muhammad Ali, the three-time world heavyweight boxing champion who helped define his turbulent times as the most charismatic and controversial sports figure of the 20th century, died on Friday. He was 74.

His death was confirmed by Bob Gunnell, a family spokesman.

Ali was the most thrilling if not the best heavyweight ever, carrying into the ring a physically lyrical, unorthodox boxing style that fused speed, agility and power more seamlessly than that of any fighter before him.

But he was more than the sum of his athletic gifts. An agile mind, a buoyant personality, a brash self-confidence and an evolving set of personal convictions fostered a magnetism that the ring alone could not contain.

Ali was as polarizing a superstar as the sports world has ever produced — both admired and vilified in the 1960s and ’70s for his religious, political and social stances. His refusal to be drafted during the Vietnam War, his rejection of racial integration at the height of the civil rights movement, his conversion from Christianity to Islam and the changing of his “slave” name, Cassius Clay, to one bestowed by the Nation of Islam, were perceived as serious threats by the conservative establishment and noble acts of defiance by the liberal opposition.

Loved or hated, he remained for 50 years one of the most recognizable people on the planet.

In later life Ali became something of a secular saint, a legend in soft focus. He was respected for having sacrificed more than three years of his boxing prime and untold millions of dollars for his antiwar principles after being banished from the ring; he was extolled for his un-self-conscious gallantry in the face of incurable illness, and he was beloved for his accommodating sweetness in public.

In 1996, he was trembling and nearly mute as he lit the Olympic caldron in Atlanta.

That passive image was far removed from the exuberant, talkative, vainglorious 22-year-old who bounded out of Louisville, Ky., and onto the world stage in 1964 with an upset victory over Sonny Liston to become the world champion. The press called him the Louisville Lip. He called himself the Greatest.

Ali also proved to be a shape-shifter — a public figure who kept reinventing his persona.

As a bubbly teenage gold medalist at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, he parroted America’s Cold War line, lecturing a Soviet reporter about the superiority of the United States. But he became a critic of his country and a government target in 1966 with his declaration “I ain’t got nothing against them Vietcong.”

“He lived a lot of lives for a lot of people,” said the comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory. “He was able to tell white folks for us to go to hell.”

If there was a supertitle to Ali’s operatic life, it was this: “I don’t have to be who you want me to be; I’m free to be who I want.” He made that statement the morning after he won his first heavyweight title. It informed every aspect of his life, including the way he boxed.

The traditionalist fight crowd was appalled by his style; he kept his hands too low, the critics said, and instead of allowing punches to “slip” past his head by bobbing and weaving, he leaned back from them.

Eventually his approach prevailed. Over 21 years, he won 56 fights and lost five. His Ali Shuffle may have been pure showboating, but the “rope-a-dope” — in which he rested on the ring’s ropes and let an opponent punch himself out — was the stratagem that won the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman in 1974, the fight in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in which he regained his title.

To read full article, go to:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/04/sports/muhammad-ali-dies.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=image&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

10-Year-Old Olivia Allen Holds “I Can Be” Conference to Teach Young Girls to Be More Confident

(Photo courtesy ANITRA ALLEN)

Olivia Allen, 10, has already taken her first steps to becoming a philanthropist.  Allen, who lives in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted a free conference for her peers on August 22 titled, “I Can Be: Girls Confidence Conference.”

“It’s important to give back,” Allen told The Huffington Post. “There are a lot of people in our community and if I help someone, they’ll help someone else… and it will be a cycle.”

About 50 girls ages 8 to 12, and their parents, attended the conference as Allen led her peers in a morning filled with workshops that touched on the physical, social and psychological challenges young girls face, mainly by tackling wavering self-esteem.

Allen said, this conference was necessary because she noticed a decline in morale among young girls in her community.

“I realize some girls’ confidence goes down when they start puberty,” Allen said, admitting that she even noticed a difference in her own at times. Because of this, she said, she wanted to do something to uplift others. 

(photo courtesy ANITRA ALLEN)

Allen spent this summer planning the conference mainly on her own and had financial assistance from her mother, Anitra Allen. She contacted speakers to help lead three separate workshops that focused on envisioning success, turning a passion into a business and personal health care.

The conference also featured two keynote speakers (Barbara Sexton Smith and Ashley D. Miller) who addressed confidence and pursuing your dreams. Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville, opened the conference and commended Allen for her work in the community.

According to her mom, Allen has always had a caring spirit. She said, her daughter once told her after seeing a panhandler one day after school, “Mommy, every time I see a homeless person, I just want to raise money to buy them a house.” She suggested her daughter do something more feasible to help out her community and Allen took her advice, she said, by holding a toy drive in March where she collected more than 100 toys for Kosair Charities. One month following the toy drive, Allen organized a food drive where she fed underprivileged children in her community. 

The confidence conference was Allen’s most recent community outreach event, but she told HuffPost it wouldn’t be her last. She plans on continuing her work in the community and holding another conference for girls soon, she said. 

“The importance of having a conference like this is to show girls what they can be,” her mom told HuffPost. “I never want to tell her she can’t do anything.” 

Allen attributes much of her confidence to both her parents and her spiritual upbringing. Her career aspirations currently include everything from becoming a fashion designer, mathematician, news anchor, actress, singer and more.

“It was important to me because it was important to her,” her mom said. “Confidence is one of those things that can dictate what you decide to do and that will influence who you think you are.”

article by Taryn Finley via huffingtonpost.com

University President Raymond Burse Takes Pay Cut to Help Minimum Wage Employees

Dr. Raymond Burse
(Image: KYSU.edu)

Raymond Burse is the epitome of a boss who has his employees best interest at heart.

As the interim president at Kentucky State University, Burse has agreed to give up more than $90,000 of his salary to help increase the pay of minimum wage workers at the university.

“My whole thing is I don’t need to work,” Burse tells Lexington Herald-Leader. “This is not a hobby, but in terms of the people who do the hard work and heavy lifting, they are at the lower pay scale.”

Burse’s annual salary had been set at $349,869, but after inquiring about the number of employees who earn below minimum wage salaries and discussing it with the KSU Board of Regents, he decided to decrease his pay to help increase the pay of other university workers. Burse’s new annual salary is now set at $259,745.

“This is not a publicity stunt,” he tells the newspaper. “You don’t give up $90,000 for publicity. I did this for the people. This is something I’ve been thinking about from the very beginning.”

Burse served as KSU’s president from 1982 to 1989, and later became an executive at General Electric Co. for 17 years. He replaces Mary Evans Sias, who served as university president for 10 years.

Burse is expected to hold the position for only 12 months until a replacement is found, but the rise in pay for employees is expected to remain in place even after his departure.

article by Courtney Connley via blackenterprise.com

Simmons College of Kentucky Wins Accreditation, Becomes only Second HBCU in State

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(From left to right) Simmons College Board Chair Rev. F. Bruce Williams, Rep. John Yarmuth, President Kevin Cosby and Senator Rand Paul. Photo by George Williams

LOUISVILLE – Simmons College has become accredited as the first private Historically Black College and University in Kentucky and is only the second HBCU in the state, along with Kentucky State University, a public institution.

“Simply put, accreditation is value,” explained President Kevin Cosby. “It is proof that Simmons has met national standards necessary to produce graduates who are prepared to enter into selected professions.” He explained, “The accreditation of Simmons College of Kentucky will have a ripple effect throughout west Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky and is the most monumental achievement, by African Americans, to take place in the state in the last 100 years.”

Most HBCUs were founded in the post-Civil War era, when Blacks were not allowed to attend college with Whites. Today, many private HBCUs are struggling to remain keep their doors open. Last summer, St. Paul’s College, a private Black institution in Lawrenceville, Va., ceased operating after being in existence since 1888. Its 35 buildings and 183 acres have been put up for public auction.

Continue reading “Simmons College of Kentucky Wins Accreditation, Becomes only Second HBCU in State”

Rwandan Teen Leonard Kwitonda Overcomes Obstacles And Will Graduate With Honors

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Leonard Kwitonda’s life definitely hasn’t been a crystal stair. In 1994, his father was killed in the Rwanda genocide and he was left with just his mother and siblings. At 12-years-old, he traveled with the Rwanda Jr. Basketball Team, but while traveling in California. with the team, his uncle was killed and his family fled to Uganda. He was told to stay in the U.S because of safety issues.

When he was just 15-years-old, not able to speak English, he took a two day ride to Kentucky from California. He’s already lived with two foster families, but that hasn’t deterred him.  Leonard excels not only academically, but is also a star athlete on the basketball team and soccer team. This year, he will graduate with honors.

Leornard says, “I think I’ve come a long way. I don’t like to think of myself as a person who has a lot of issues. There is a lot of people who have more than myself, than I have.”  Jeffersonville Coach Matt Pait says Leonard’s story is inspirational, a teen who has overcome so many obstacles and adversity and is still successful.  Pait says, “He brings a lot of energy, he’s always smiling. Immediately when he’s in the game, it’s constant energy and effort. He’s the kid who gives 100 percent at everything he does.”

Audrey Baines, his current foster mother couldn’t be more proud of Leonard. “Leonard, if you meet him once or you meet him a million times, he’s always going to have a smile on his face, something positive to say. He’s as much a part of Jeff. as anybody who has been here forever and he’s so much a part of my family, I can’t imagine not having him in my life.”

Leonard is planning to go to college and study international business.  To see video of this inspirational teen, click here.

article via clutchmagonline.com

Dying Cancer Patient Gets Married Weeks Before She Is Expected To Die

Evonne Lee LOUISVILLE kentucky

Evonne Lee, a dying cancer patient, got her wish Tuesday when she married her longtime boyfriend at the hospital where she is expected to die, WAVE 3 reports.  Hospital staff at University Hospital in Louisville, Ky., consider Lee an inspiration for the way she is living the final days of her life; doctors have given her weeks to live. Lee and her new husband, Don Tyler, knew they would wed when they first first met some eight years ago. But when Lee was diagnosed with cancer last year, jumping the broom became a priority.

Tyler popped the question on Christmas Day. It was around that time that Lee’s health began to deteriorate. Here is some background on how Evonne has decided to make the best of the time she has left: Continue reading “Dying Cancer Patient Gets Married Weeks Before She Is Expected To Die”

Professor Frank X. Walker Selected as Kentucky’s First Black Poet Laureate

Frank X. Walker, an associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky, has been named as the poet laureate of Kentucky by Steve Beshear, the state’s governor. He is the first African-American poet to hold that position.  Walker also serves as the university’s director of African-American and Africana studies program.He will take the position of poet laureate in a public ceremony that is to take place at the state capitol building in Frankfort.
Walker, who is the author of a number of books, has taught at the University of Kentucky since 2010. Before that, he was a member of the faculty at Northern Kentucky University and at Eastern Kentucky University.  He has become well-known for creating the term “Affrilachia,” which is designed to unify Appalachian and African-American culture and history.

Continue reading “Professor Frank X. Walker Selected as Kentucky’s First Black Poet Laureate”

Whitney Young Documentary On PBS Tells Story Of Unsung Civil Rights Leader

 Whitney Young Documentary

WASHINGTON — Just before the March on Washington in 1963, President John F. Kennedy summoned six top civil rights leaders to the White House to talk about his fears that civil rights legislation he was moving through Congress might be undermined if the march turned violent.

Whitney Young Jr. cut through the president’s uncertainty with three questions: “President Kennedy, which side are you on? Are you on the side of George Wallace of Alabama? Or are you on the side of justice?”  One of those leaders, John Lewis, later a longtime congressman from Georgia, tells the story of Young’s boldness in “The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights,” a documentary airing during Black History Month on the PBS series “Independent Lens” and shown in some community theaters.

Continue reading “Whitney Young Documentary On PBS Tells Story Of Unsung Civil Rights Leader”

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