Tag: San Jose

Science Fiction Author N.K. Jemisin Makes History at the Hugo Awards with 3rd win in a row for Best Novel

N.K. Jemisin set a record winning a third Hugo in a row for best novel. (N.K. Jemisin)

by Michael Schaub via latimes.com

The winners of the Hugo Awards, considered some of the most prestigious science fiction and fantasy literary prizes, were announced on Sunday, with science fiction author N.K. Jemisin making history as the first writer ever to win the best novel award three years in a row.

Jemisin won the prize for “The Stone Sky,” the third book in her “Broken Earth” trilogy. The previous two books in the series, “The Fifth Season” and “The Obelisk Gate,” both won the best novel award as well.

During her acceptance speech at the World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, CA, Jemisin said, “I get a lot of questions about where the themes of the Broken Earth trilogy come from. I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m drawing on the human history of structural oppression, as well as my feelings about this moment in American history.”

But she also sounded a note of optimism.

“I want you to remember that 2018 is also a good year. This is a year in which records have been set,” Jemisin said. “A year in which even the most privilege-blindered of us has been forced to acknowledge that the world is broken and needs fixing — and that’s a good thing! Acknowledging the problem is the first step toward fixing it. I look to science fiction and fantasy as the aspirational drive of the Zeitgeist: We creators are the engineers of possibility. And as this genre finally, however grudgingly, acknowledges that the dreams of the marginalized matter and that all of us have a future, so will go the world.”

Jemisin’s fans took to Twitter to celebrate her historic hat trick. Among them was her cousin, the television host and comedian W. Kamau Bell, who noted that Jemisin’s books have yet to be adapted into film:

Television producer Shonda Rhimes responded to Bell with a link to a year-old Deadline story about “The Fifth Season” being adapted into a TNT television program, and Jemisin replied.

Nnedi Okorafor took home a non-Hugo award for best young adult book for her novel “Akata Warrior.”

A full list of this year’s winners is available at the Hugo Awards website.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/books/la-et-jc-nk-jemisin-hugo-awards-20180821-story.html

CA Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris Overwhelmingly Wins State Democratic Party Endorsement for U.S. Senate Campaign

Kamala Harris (photo via latimes.com)
California Attorney General and U.S. Senate hopeful Kamala Harris (photo via latimes.com)

article by Phil Willon via latimes.com

Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris won the coveted California Democratic Party endorsement for U.S. Senate on Saturday, solidifying her status as the front-runner and delivering a setback to her top rival, Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

Harris captured 78.1% of the votes to earn the state Democrats’ official seal of approval. It’s a prize that provides her with a clear edge in the June 7 primary and, most likely, financial support from the party.

The endorsement came after the two Democratic Senate candidates, running to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, made their final pitches to local activists and other elected officials.

Harris asked Democrats to help her deliver a “more perfect union” and Sanchez asked them to trust her experience and record over other candidates’ “talk.”

But Harris prevailed in a landslide. Of the 2,139 ballots cast, 19.3% were for Sanchez and 2.6% voted for no endorsement at all.   Their back-to-back speeches, the warm-up acts before Vice President Joe Biden took the stage, capped a furious two days of campaigning by both women.

Sanchez spoke of her hardscrabble upbringing, cleaning homes to help one of her brothers pay for college, and how her Mexican immigrant parents’ hard work and perseverance allowed them to achieve the American dream. The congresswoman emphasized her record and experience in Washington and received the warmest response when extolling her votes against the Iraq war, the bank bailout and the Patriot Act.

“While other candidates talk about boldly changing in Washington, I’ve done it for 20 years,” Sanchez said, taking a subtle dig at Harris. “Experience matters, and I will hit the ground running in the Senate.”

Harris walked onto the stage to rousing applause and described the life-shaping experience of growing up in the Bay Area as the daughter of two civil rights activists. Harris’ speech hewed to the high ideals of the Democratic Party and the “poison” politics consuming the Republican presidential race. She vowed to protect and restore the fundamental rights of all Americans.

“For far too many, liberty and justice for all is a promise we have failed to keep,” Harris said.

Winning the party endorsement required at least 60% of the votes from credentialed party delegates or their proxies, a mark that historically has been difficult to reach because delegates also have the option of checking a box for “no endorsement.”
Continue reading “CA Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris Overwhelmingly Wins State Democratic Party Endorsement for U.S. Senate Campaign”

Black Lawyers to Challenge Police Brutality in 25 Cities

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – In an effort to combat police brutality in the Black community, the National Bar Association (NBA) recently announced plans to file open records requests in 25 cities to study allegations of police misconduct.

BlackLawyerPamela
National Bar Association President Pamela J. Meanes

Pamela Meanes, president of the Black lawyers and judges group, said the NBA had already been making plans for a nationwide campaign to fight police brutality when Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a White police officer following a controversial midday confrontation in a Ferguson, Mo.

Meanes called police brutality the new civil rights issue of this era, an issue that disproportionately impacts the Black community.

“If we don’t see this issue and if we don’t at the National Bar Association do the legal things that are necessary to bring this issue to the forefront, then we are not carrying out our mission, which is to protect the civil and political entities of all,” said Meanes.

The NBA, which describes itself as “the nation’s oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges,” selected the 25 cities based on their African-American populations and reported incidents of police brutality.

The lawyers group will file open records requests in Birmingham, Ala.; Little Rock, Ark.; Phoenix; Los Angeles; San Jose, Calif., Washington, D.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Miami; Atlanta; Chicago; Louisville, Ky.; Baltimore, Md.; Detroit; Mich.; Kansas City, Mo.; St. Louis, Mo.; Charlotte, N.C.; Las Vegas, Nev.; New York City; Cleveland, Ohio; Memphis, Tenn., Philadelphia; Dallas; Houston; San Antonio, Texas, and Milwaukee, Wis.

In a press release about the open records requests, the group said it will not only seek information about “the number of individuals who have been killed, racially profiled, wrongfully arrested and/or injured while pursued or in police custody, but also comprehensive data from crime scenes, including “video and photographic evidence related to any alleged and/or proven misconduct by current or former employees,” as well as background information on officers involved in the incidents.

Not only will the NBA present their findings to the public, but the group also plans to compile its research and forward the data over to the attorney general’s office.

Meanes said the group’s ultimate goal is to have a conversation with Attorney General Eric Holder and to ask, and in some cases, demand he seize police departments or take over or run concurrent investigations.

Meanes said federal law prohibits the Justice Department from going into a police department unless a pattern or history of abuse has been identified.

“The problem is that the information needed for that action is not readily available in a comprehensive way on a consistent basis with the goal of eradicating that abuse,” said Meanes, adding that the open records request is the best way to get that information.

Meanes said that the NBA was concerned that the trust had already brrn broken between the police force and the residents of Ferguson and that the rebellion and the protests would continue.

“We don’t think St. Louis County should investigate this. We don’t think the prosecutor should investigate this. There should be an independent third-party investigating this and that is the federal government,” said Meanes.

Phillip Agnew, executive director of the Dream Defenders, a civil rights group established by young people of color in the aftermath of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager in Sanford, Fla., said law enforcement officials taunted, antagonized and disrespected peaceful protesters who took to the streets of Ferguson and at times incited the violence they attempted to stamp out in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown.

“An occupying force came into the community, they killed someone from the community, and instead of being transparent and doing everything they could do to make sure the community felt whole again, they brought in more police to suppress folks who were exercising their constitutional rights,” said Agnew.“If your protocol results in greater violence, greater anger, and greater disenchantment of the people, you have to chart a different course.”

On the heels of the NBA announcement, Attorney General Holder launched two initiatives designed to calm anxiety and frustration expressed by Ferguson’s Black residents towards the local police department over allegations of misconduct, harassment and discrimination.

The Justice Department also introduced a “Collaborative Reform Initiative” to tackle similar concerns with the St. Louis County Police Department and to improve the relationship between police officers and the communities they serve.

Continue reading “Black Lawyers to Challenge Police Brutality in 25 Cities”

San Jose State College Expels Three Students Who Racially Harassed Black Freshman

San Jose State UniversitySAN JOSE — San Jose State has expelled three of the students charged with the racially-tinged bullying of a freshman and extended one other student’s suspension, requiring him to go to counseling and to remain on probation for the rest of his college career if he returns to school.

All four had been suspended pending final disciplinary action for allegedly subjecting then-17-year-old Donald Williams Jr. to repeated abuse, including wrestling him to the ground and fastening a bike lock around his neck, calling him racially derogatory names, locking him in his room and displaying a Confederate flag.

The university’s move comes after news surfaced in November that the freshman reported being tormented relentlessly for weeks. The revelation sparked community outrage, an internal investigation, an apology from the college president, criminal charges and the creation of a task force. All four suspects have pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor battery and hate crime charges.

African-American leaders were pleased to learn Friday that the university had taken stern disciplinary action. The expelled students are banned for life from enrolling in any California State University college, according to university documents and sources familiar with the investigation.

“It’s a no-brainer,” said LaDoris Cordell, a retired judge and city police watchdog who chaired the task force. “They have no business being enrolled at SJSU.”

Continue reading “San Jose State College Expels Three Students Who Racially Harassed Black Freshman”

Black Students Shine At Greene Scholar Programs Science Fair In California

scientists

The Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program dedicates its focus on preparing and challenging students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, also know as the STEM fields. Now in its 12th year, the Greene Scholar Programs (GSP) Science Fair, held this past weekend in San Jose, Calif., has been one of the most-dynamic events focusing on the excellence of African-American students in the Bay Area.

The San Jose Mercury News reported on the event, and spoke with several of the young participants, ranging from grades from third to 12th. One sixth-grader’s science presentation was rather impressive given his young age, and the 11-year-old raised a fine question with his experiment regarding the Tesla Motors electric car.  “As a car guy, I wondered if this small change would alter the aerodynamics of the car,” said Ayinde Olukotun, who attends Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto.

Olukotun’s experiment studied the effect of the electric car manufacturers’ decision to raise the body of the Model S version of the vehicle after some reported battery fires. Olukotun compared the energy efficiency of model cars of different shapes and sizes, although he notes Tesla did the right thing in addressing the issue while possibly raising another. He says he “might e-mail” Tesla concerning his finds.

Program Director Gloria Whitaker-Daniels, who began at Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program as a parent volunteer in 2001, has been heading the GSP for the last five years. With the South Bay area’s lower number of African-American residents, Ms. Whitaker-Daniels boasts that 100 percent of its students enter college and that 90 percent of them graduate.

More than 40 percent of GSP participants major in STEM fields, which reportedly is five times the national average for Black students.  Learn more about the excellent work of the Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program here.

article by D.L. Chandler via newsone.com