Barack Obama’s Name to Replace Jefferson Davis’ on Mississippi Elementary School

Former President Barack Obama speaks in New York on Sept. 20. (Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

by Dan Corey via nbcnews.com

A public elementary school in Mississippi named after the president of the Confederacy will be renamed to honor the first black president of the United States.

Davis Magnet International Baccalaureate Elementary in Jackson, which is named for Jefferson Davis, will be renamed Barack Obama Magnet International Baccalaureate Elementary beginning next school year, the school’s PTA president, Janelle Jefferson, said at a Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night. The prospect of changing the name of what Jefferson called the best elementary school in Mississippi was raised by a student, she told NBC News. “They know who [Davis] was and what he stood for,” she said. “This has a great impact on them, because [Obama] is who they chose out of anybody else they could. This is the person that the whole school supported. He was their Number One choice.”

The PTA asked the Davis Magnet community to submit suggestions for the new name, Jefferson said. Parents, students and school staff were given two weeks to submit recommendations, and they voted using paper ballots on Oct. 5. Students from every class researched and gave presentations about their candidates at an assembly before the vote, Jefferson said. The decision to name the school after Obama was made on Oct. 6. School buildings must be named “for persons of good character and prominence who have made outstanding contributions to the school system,” according to the school board’s facility-naming policy. “A facility named to honor a person shall not be renamed except for compelling reasons.”

“Every generation has a right to choose how it represents itself,” Jake McGraw, public policy coordinator the University of Mississippi’s William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, told NBC News. “Having a school where there was input from parents, teachers and students — along with the school board — it seems like a model for how these decisions should be approached across the country.” About 98 percent of current Davis students are black, Jefferson said. The students chose Obama because they were alive during his administration and felt that he shared their principles, Jefferson said. McGraw said: “It shows that we don’t need to shy away from exploring these controversial topics. It’s important not just in the symbolism of an elementary school, but here we’re having a real genuine examination of our history in an elementary school — within the broader school system in Jackson — which is exactly where it needs to happen.”

To read more, go to: Obama’s Name to Replace Jefferson Davis’ on Mississippi School – NBC News

GirlTrek Mobilizing #FanniesArmy to Walk Across Major Cities on Oct. 6 to Honor Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Civil Rights activist and grass roots hero Fannie Lou Hamer would have turned 100 years old this October 6.  GirlTrek, the largest national public health nonprofit and movement for Black women and girls, is celebrating her legacy by hosting 100 national walks.

Known for her courage on the frontlines of the American Civil Rights Movement, Hamer stunned the world with her electrifying account of brutal attacks and local terror in the Jim Crow South. She stood strong, demanding the attention of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson by leading an unparalleled grassroots campaign and political party in Mississippi that delivered over 60,000 votes. Fannie Lou Hamer is responsible for helping secure the 1965 Voting Rights Act and changing the tide of justice.

The scale of her impact is made greater by her life story. Fannie Lou Hamer worked as a sharecropper from age 6. As a young woman, in an extralegal, violent act, she was given a forced hysterectomy. Unbroken, she adopted children. At 44 years old, Fannie Lou Hamer joined the American Civil Rights Movement. From church basements to the White House, Hamer was celebrated for her ability to inspire everyday people to action.

“In the iconic words of Fannie Lou Hamer, we’re ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired.’ She died too soon putting her body on the line for our freedom and we want to celebrate her life in a big way. In her honor, we are going to raise an army of sisters, #FanniesArmy, who will lead 100 walks across America at sunset on October 6th,” said GirlTrek cofounder T. Morgan Dixon.

To participate in #FanniesArmy, walk for 100 minutes at sunset on October 6th wherever you are with family and friends. To be counted, register your walk at https://rebrand.ly/fanniesarmy. The first 100 leaders to sign up will receive special edition #FanniesArmy T-shirts.

“While the country reels from conflict in Charlottesville, this is an opportunity to herald the legacy of an American hero who brought us together,” Dixon said. “Fannie Lou Hamer died too early at 59, her body riddled with heart disease and cancer. I’m reminded of the words of R. Boylorn, [Hamer] ‘never saw death coming because she was too busy taking care of others.’ She worked tirelessly in field offices and late hours registering people to vote. When pain rendered her homebound, she taught Freedom Riders the ways of resistance in her night gown from her front porch.”

Dixon and GirlTrek’s cofounder Vanessa Garrison, national staff and board of directors will travel to Hamer’s memorial statue in her hometown in Ruleville, Mississippi to walk with local trekkers on the centennial celebration of her birth.
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Civil Rights Icon Fannie Lou Hamer Biopic to be Scripted by “Remember The Titans” Writer Gregory Allen Howard

Fannie Lou Hamer (photo via powerpacplus.org)

by Mike Fleming Jr. via deadline.com

Remember the Titans scribe Gregory Allen Howard has teamed with Chris Columbus1492 production company to tell the story of Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper with a sixth-grade education who became an important voting-rights advocate and founded the first integrated political party in the South in mid-’60s Mississippi.

Hamer grew up in a family of 20 kids and picked cotton for most of her life. After going to a doctor to have a tumor removed, she discovered she was given a hysterectomy at age 47 by a white doctor, without her consent, because of a movement by the state to sterilize women to reduce the number of poor blacks in Mississippi.

Hamer became a Civil Rights activist, surviving assassination attempts

Gregory Allen Howard (photo via deadline.com)

and a near-fatal beating to get her moment at the Democratic National Convention, where she challenged President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968 with her legendary, “Is This America?” speech.

While LBJ hastily called a ruse press conference in the hope of diverting attention away from her speech, Hamer’s powerful words were widely broadcast and reverberated around the world. Howard, who studied Hamer’s accomplishments as a college student, has long been obsessed with bringing her story to the screen. Hamer died in 1977.

To read more, go to: Civil Rights Icon Fannie Lou Hamer Movie; Gregory Allen Howard script | Deadline

Black Parents Sue Mississippi for ‘Inequitable’ Schools with Help of Southern Poverty Law Center

(photo via naacpms.org)

by thegrio.com

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit in federal court on Tuesday alleging that the poor performance of black students in Mississippi is the direct result of the state’s failure to live up to the terms of readmission to the Union at the end of the Civil War.

As part of the terms of readmission, Mississippi was required to create a “uniform system of free public schools” for all citizens, both black and white, in order to foster an environment of education that was necessary to democracy.“ Today, Mississippi schools are anything but uniform,” said Will Bardwell, a lawyer at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“If you’re a kid in Mississippi, your chances of getting a good education depend largely on whether your school is mostly white or mostly black. That is not a uniform system.”

However, the state constitution changed several times until in 1890 it allowed only for “separate but equal” systems. According to the complaint, the constitution is now an “empty shell of the guarantee that Congress obligated Mississippi to preserve in 1870” and allows the state to severely underfund schools that serve African-American students.

To read more, go to: Black parents sue Mississippi for ‘inequitable’ schools | theGrio

Donors Raise Over $200,000 for Historic Black Church Defaced in Mississippi

Hopewell Baptist Church in Greenville, MS (photo via chnistiantoday.com)

Hopewell Baptist Church in Greenville, MS (photo via chnistiantoday.com)

According to the outlet, no one was harmed in the fire, but the blaze left behind charred pews and inside structure damage.  At a Wednesday news conference, Hopewell’s pastor, Carolyn Hudson, said parishioners were “heartbroken,” but was faithful that “God would allow us to build another sanctuary in that same place.”

Blair Reeves, a New York Native who organized the GoFundMe campaign, told ABC he felt “compelled” to act and was overwhelmed at the response.  “The animus of this election cycle combined with the potent racial history of burning black churches as a political symbol makes this event something we must not ignore,” Reeves wrote in the campaign’s description. “Only two weeks ago, the internet came together to help repair a North Carolina GOP field office that had been burned by thugs. Justice demands we do the same now.”

Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons, said there was no doubt the attack was calculated at Wednesday’s presser.  “We are well familiar that this form of attack on a black church has occurred many, many years ago. It happened in the ’50s, it happened in the ’60s, but we’re in 2016 and [this] should not happen.”

As previously reported, the Greenville Police Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime, while the FBI announced plans to launch a civil rights probe.

To read more, go to: http://blackamericaweb.com/2016/11/05/donors-raise-over-200000-for-historic-black-church-defaced-by-vandals/

Dr. Prudence Carter Appointed Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Berkeley

Dr. Prudence Carter (photo via ed.stanford.edu)

Dr. Prudence Carter (photo via ed.stanford.edu)

Dr. Prudence Carter was named Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, effective June 30, 2016. She currently serves as the Jacks Family Professor of Education at Stanford University. She is also the faculty director of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities and earlier she served as the co-director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity in Policy in Education.

Prior to joining the Stanford faculty in 2007, Professor Carter was an associate professor of sociology at Harvard University and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Carter is the author of two books, Keepin’ It Real: School Success Beyond Black and White (Oxford University Press, 2005) and Stubborn Roots: Race, Culture, and Inequality in U.S. and South African Schools (Oxford University Press, 2012).

A native of Mississippi, Dr. Carter is graduate of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she majored in applied mathematics and economics. She holds two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University.

article via jbhe.com

‘Katrina Girl’ LeShay Brown Reunites with Air Force Veteran Mike Maroney on ‘The Real’

mike maroney & katrina girl

After 10 years of searching for the young girl he rescued during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Master Sergeant Mike Maroney finally reunited with his “Katrina Girl.”

According to People, an emotional reunion took place between Maroney and LeShay Brown during a taping of “The Real” on Tuesday (Sept. 15).  The reunion comes years after a photo of Maroney and Brown hugging captured the heart of the nation. Earlier this month, Maroney revealed that he finally found Brown.

Reminiscing over the embrace, Maroney said that Brown’s hug was a true inspiration.  “If she’s strong enough to handle this, I can handle this,” the 19-year pararescue jumper told “The Real” hosts before he was “re-introduced” to Brown.

“I wish I could explain to you how important your hug was,” Maroney said to a choked up Brown after hugging her again. “Your small gesture helped me through a dark phase. You rescued me more than I rescued you.”

People notes that although times have been hard for the pair since Katrina, “The Real” came through big time with a $10,000 check for each family.  Although she doesn’t remember much from the rescue, Brown spoke to People after seeing Maroney again, saying that what he told her “really means a lot.”

shawntrell brown mike maroney leshay brown

For the Air Force veteran, the reunion was a long time coming as he shared with Brown and her mother Shawntrell that that has “dreamt of this day for a long time” and that “finding you guys, and knowing you’re okay, has been a weight off my back.”

“I’ve rescued a lot of people, but there have also been a lot of people I couldn’t rescue, he mentioned to People regarding his job. “Life sometimes gets dark, knowing there are good people who love life and are happy, the resiliency that she had has been a strength for me.”

Brown and Maroney’s reunion will continue, as their families will see each other again in Brown’s adopted town of Waveland, Mississippi. In addition, the pair plans on keeping in touch with each other as Maroney revealed that he and Brown have already been checking in on each other through texting as well as “talking quite a bit.”

Read/learn MORE at People.

Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2015/09/air-force-veteran-reunites-with-katrina-girl-on-the-real/#ZgTdL8SSw0ObWQ5i.99

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