Posts tagged with "African American"

Challenger: The Final Flight

By Cassandra Yany

On Wednesday, Netflix released “Challenger: The Final Flight,” a four-episode docuseries about the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

The doc was directed by Daniel Junge and Steven Leckart, and executive produced by JJ Abrams and Glenn Zipper. It provides a complete look at the events leading up to the takeoff and includes interviews with family members of the seven astronauts who died in the explosion.

According to CNN, the series uses archival footage and home videos, along with interviews from officials and crew members to shed light on the poor decision-making and systemic failures that led up to the disaster, as well as the aftermath that followed.

Challenger took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral on January 28, 1986. Just 73 seconds after it launched, the shuttle began breaking apart, due to malfunctioning O-rings in the rocket boosters, which hardened as the temperature decreased. NASA had reportedly known about this damaged hardware for months prior, according to Vanity Fair.

The purpose of mission STS-51-L was to deploy a satellite to study the approaching Halley’s Comet, but it had been delayed multiple times because of technical difficulties.

The crew was one of NASA’s most diverse to date, as reported by the New York Post. One of the astronauts was a teacher, so school children across the country watched in class as the shuttle went down, engulfed by a huge, ominous cloud of smoke. The explosion devastated the nation, especially all of the young children who had watched it live.

Nearly thirty-five years later, we remember the passengers who lost their lives on that dreadful day:

Christa McAuliffe

Christa McAuliffe was a teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire who learned of the Teacher in Space Project— NASA’s plan to fly an educator into space. NASA had hoped that this would help increase public interest in the space shuttle program. 

Along with 11,000 others, McAuliffe applied in 1984 to be the first teacher to communicate with students from space. She was chosen as one of two finalists from New Hampshire, then was selected to be part of the STS-51-L crew by a Review Panel in Washington, D.C.

McAuliffe took a year off from teaching to train for the space shuttle mission. While in orbit, she was planning to conduct experiments in chromatography, hydroponics, magnetism and Newton’s laws. She also would have taught two 15-minute classes— one providing a tour of the spacecraft, the other about the benefits of space travel— which would have been broadcasted to students on closed-circuit TV. 

The nationwide excitement of having McAuliffe in space was a significant reason why the explosion had such a lasting impact on the country, and was especially upsetting for young students who watched the takeoff or extensive coverage in class. 

Gregory Jarvis

Gregory Jarvis was an engineer for Hughes Aircraft who served as Payload Specialist 2 on Challenger. In 1984, he was one of two employees from the company that were selected for the Space Shuttle program. 

Jarvis was originally supposed to make his shuttle flight in April 1985, but was rescheduled to early January 1986, then rescheduled again, landing him a spot on the STS-51-L crew. From space, he planned to conduct experiments on the effects of weightlessness on fluids. 

Dick Scobee

Dick Scobee earned his pilot wings in 1966 and served as a combat aviator in the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

After the war, Scobee graduated from the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School and became an Air Force test pilot. He was the commander on Challenger and died a lieutenant colonel.

Judith Resnik

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Judith Resnik worked as a design engineer in missile and radar projects at RCA (Radio Corporation of America). There, she performed circuit design for the missile and surface radar division. She later developed electronics and software for NASA’s sounding rocket and telemetry systems programs. 

Resnik qualified as a professional aircraft pilot in 1977 and was recruited into the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1978. She was one of six women selected for the program out of 8,000 applicants. At NASA, and piloted the Northrop T-38 Talon, trained intensely, conducted research, and developed different systems and software. 

Resnik served as a mission specialist on the maiden voyage of Discovery in 1984 for her first space flight from August to September. During this flight, she operated a shuttle’s robotic arm (which she created), and deployed and conducted experiments on a solar array wing to determine if there was a way to generate additional electric power during missions. She was the second American woman in space and the first Jewish woman in space. 

Resnik was a mission specialist on Challenger. After the explosion, further examination of the cockpit shows that her Personal Egress Air Pack was activated, indicating that she may have been alive after the cockpit separated from the vehicle to activate it. Her body was the first to be recovered from the crash by Navy divers. 

Ellison Onizuka

Ellison Onizuka served as a flight test engineer and test pilot for the U.S. Air Force in the early 1970s. After attending the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School from 1974 to 1975, he became a squadron flight test engineer there and worked as a manager for engineering support in the training resources division. 

In 1978, Onizuka was selected for the astronaut program and later worked in the experimentation team, orbiter test team, and launch support screw for the STS-1 and STS-2. At NASA he also worked on the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory test and revision software team. 

Onizzuka’s first space mission was one year before the Challenger explosion, on the mission STS-51-C on the shuttle Discovery. This was the first space shuttle mission for the Department of Defense, and he became the first Asian American to reach space. 

Onizuka was a mission specialist aboard Challenger. Similar to Resnik, it is speculated that he could have been alive when the cockpit separated from the vehicle because his Personal Egress Air Pack was also activated. When he died, he held the position of lieutenant colonel, but was later promoted to the rank of colonel. 

Ronald McNair

Ronald McNair received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 and became nationally recognized for his work in laser physics. After graduation, he worked as a staff physicist at the Hugh Research Lab in Malibu, CA. 

McNair was one of the ten thousand applicants to be selected in 1978 for the NASA astronaut program. He became the second African American astronaut in 1984 when he flew as a mission specialist for STS-41-B on Challenger from Feb. 3-11. 

McNair later served as a mission specialist for STS-51-L. During this flight, he had planned to record the saxophone solo for a song he had worked on with composer Jean-Michel Jarre for his upcoming album Rendez-Vous. This would have been the first original piece of music to be recorded in space. 

McNair was also supposed to participate in Jarre’s Rendez-Vous Houston concert through a live feed from Challenger. To honor McNair, Jarre dedicated the last song on the album to him and subtitled it “Ron’s Piece.”

Michael J. Smith

Michael J. Smith served in the Vietnam War, then attended U.S. naval Test Pilot School. After graduation, he was assigned to the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, where he worked on the A-6E TRAM and Cruise missile guidance systems. In 1976, later returned to NTPS for 18 months as an instructor. 

Smith was selected for the astronaut program in May 1980, in which he served as a commander in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, the Deputy Chief of Aircraft Operations, the Technical Assistant to the Director, and the Flights Operations Directorate. 

Smith was the pilot for Challenger, and was set to pilot another mission the following fall. His voice was the last heard on the flight deck tape recorder with his final words being “Uh oh.”

All seven passengers were awarded with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2004.

Walking illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Limited Edition Walking Tours

In honor of the upcoming Mandela Day (July 18th), Walks has secured exclusive access to the Drakenstein Prison for a limited edition virtual tour, apart of their popular Spotlight Series, and it’s led by someone who was personally connected to Nelson Mandela and fought for his release, Moira Edmunds. 

Another special edition tour will be led by long-time street art guide, Ruddy Harootian, taking guests who tune in through NYC, featuring BLM / Black Trans Lives Matter artwork, black and latino artists and recognizable graffiti artists names as well. 

Walks is using their platform to be an educational tool, and celebrate the important influence black and marginalized individuals have on our society. I wanted to put these tours on your radar to see if they’re a fit for an upcoming story or you’re interested in pursuing. 

The first online Street Art Tour in NYC starts virtually this Saturday and the Nelson Mandela tour will kick off July 25th (due to some timing and a cold front recently; although in South Africa they tend to celebrate him month-long). More details on each tour are compiled below. 

The Black Lives Matter movement’s efforts to honor black voices is reverberating across the globe, and Walks is proud to utilize its virtual tours platform, Tours from Home, to contribute to the conversation. These tours are an educational outlet for impassioned supporters around the world, celebrating the important influence black and marginalized individuals have on our society. 

LIMITED EDITION TOURS 

Nelson Mandela: From Prison to President live from Drakenstein Prison in Cape Town, South Africa

Surrounding Mandela Day this July, join Nelson Mandela: From Prison to President Live from Drakenstein Prison in Cape Town, South Africa starts Saturday, July 25th, Sunday, August 2nd and Sunday, August 9th at 11 am ET / 8 am PT:  You will “walk” with individuals who were both in close proximity and served as Mandela’s allies. Your guides will include Manfred Jacobs, a warden at Victor Verster prison, where Mandela spent the last 14 months of his 27-year-long incarceration and Moira Edmunds, who fought tirelessly for Mandela’s release, and is involved with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. 

Each year on July 18th, the international community recognizes, commemorates, and celebrates the life of Nelson Mandela, affectionately known as Madiba. He forged the course of black Africans, leading by extreme example. Within the country of South Africa the entirety of July is dedicated to his life and his actions to end apartheid. In 2020, we celebrate 30 years since Nelson Mandela’s freedom and we invite you to join in the celebration.

Street Art from New York City: The Power of Urban Graffiti 

Features predominantly African American and Latino artists starts this Saturday, July 18th, Saturday, July 25th and August 1st at 5 pm ET / 2 pm PT, lead by incredible storyteller Ruddy Harootian: July 18th: This entire tour will focus on the Black Lives Matter/Black Trans Lives Matter related works that have recently appeared on the outside of FIT. Artists include: Miyah Bri, Lisette Nerveli, Sarah Haskell, Mia Rivera, Grace Springer, and more. 

July 25th: Artists featured live will feature well-known artists Tristan Eaton and D*Face (Dean Stockton). Some photography and focused on BLM will include Raddington Falls, Fumero, Irena Kenny, Konstance Patton, and more. 

Aug 1st: Artists featured live will be infamous Shepard Fairey, Beau Stanton, and B.D. White. Artists featured via photography and focused on BLM include Shaina Eve Cintron, Calicho Arevalo, Lady Jday and more.

Key Features of Walks’ Tours From Home: 

  • Open Q&A time at the end of each tour
  • Guides are screen sharing, using visual aids for their presentations, and on some tours, taking guests on live walks around important attractions
  • Focus on storytelling and little-known facts 
  • Each virtual tour costs between $10 and $15, and all guests receive a $25 travel voucher for a future live Walks tour (valid for two years), enable guests to explore in person when travel resumes 
  • When guests love their guide, digitally provide tips directly on the platform

“The pandemic presented an opportunity to bring our tours into your home, and even go outside our typical offerings to highlight amazing storytellers and touch on provocative subjects. The BLM movement is a poignant time to elevate stories of inspiring activists and revolutionaries such as Nelson Mandela, and modern-day thought leaders and artists like those featured in our street art tour around Manhattan,” said Stephen Oddo, CEO of Walks.  

Walks offers over 150 unique tours and cultural experiences in 15 iconic cities across Europe and the United States. From its head offices in Dublin, Ireland and Austin, Texas, USA, Walks operates some of the most exclusive tours around the globe, partnering with prestigious attractions to offer special access to the world’s leading landmarks, museums and galleries. A complete end-to-end tour operator, Walks curates unique experiences for small groups, while delivering hands-on customer support. Walks is proud to operate a portfolio of websites including takewalks.com and walksofitaly.com.

Follow Walks: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Sing Illustration by Mina Tocalini

Virtual Music Festival

Cincinnati Music Festival presented by P&G (CMF) won’t skip a beat in 2020. Through a marathon of new and previous music content, consumer engagement opportunities and digital presence, CMF is creating the #FEELSLIKECMF Virtual Weekend Experience, July 23-25. The innovative free event, to be available on cincymusicfestival.com, will focus on celebration, community and local impact and is also supported by AARP.   

“Music provides hope, comfort and determination during uncertain times,” said Joe Santangelo, producer of CMF. “Leading up to and during #FEELSLIKECMF Weekend, we will strategically work to uplift our neighbors, support local black artists and musicians and drive commerce to local Black owned businesses and restaurants. This event promises to grow awareness of regional organizations that support the African American community, and share the positivity and history of our Cincinnati Music Festival presented by P&G.” #FEELSLIKECMF.

Schedule of Events

THURSDAY, JULY 23  

Triiibe recorded live at Corporate  

Aprina Johnson recorded live at Black Coffee 

 DJ Vader recorded live at Revel DJ Ellery    

Special appearance: The State of Black Culture featuring Rev. Al Sharpton from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

FRIDAY, JULY 24 

Lauren Eylise recorded live at Paul Brown Stadium 

Kathy Wade & Joe Santangelo 

DJ Baby Rome recorded live at Paul Brown Stadium 

Regina Belle   

Special attraction: Cincinnati Music Festival Outdoor Art Museum at Washington Park    

SATURDAY, JULY 25

DJ DNICE LIVE from Club Quarantine Additional weekend entertainment will include shout-outs from The O’Jays’ Eddie Levert, Biz Markie and more. 

The Cincinnati Music festival presented by P&G returns to Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium, July 22-24, 2021. The lineup features multi-talented singer-songwriter Janet Jackson and will also include an expanded and exciting Thursday lineup at the Andrew J. Brady ICON Music Center at The Banks. Tickets are on sale at CincyMusicFestival.com

Cincinnati Music Festival: Largest Tourism Weekend of the Year in Cincinnati A recent study conducted by the UC Economics Center and commissioned by the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau shows the Cincinnati Music Festival presented by P&G provides a $107.5 million economic impact to the region, making it the largest annual driver of tourism in the tristate. 

Cincinnati Music Festival began in 1962 and is one of the largest music festivals in the United States attracting over 90,000+ people from around the country with its roster of leading R&B, jazz, soul and hip-hop artists creating an economic impact of $107 million for Cincinnati. CMF is held at Paul Brown Stadium in partnership with the Cincinnati Bengals. Procter & Gamble is the presenting sponsor for the Cincinnati Music Festival. 

Follow Cincinnati Music Festival: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, GirlTrek

GirlTrek Finale

More than 100,000 Black women and allies have participated in GirlTrek’s #BlackHistoryBootCamp, a 21-day walking challenge that celebrates a different Black woman of historic significance each day and the podcast has been downloaded nearly 225,000 times. The finale is June 30th.

Revolutionary Black women such as Stagecoach Mary, Rosetta Tharpe, Mamie Till-Mobley, Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Ida B. Wells and Ella Baker have been among those featured by GirlTrek cofounders T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison who co-lead the #BlackHistoryBootCamp discussions. Thousands listen in live and walk in solidarity as the two not only honor these little-known champions of Black culture and womanhood with rich and lively conversation, but share reading resources, speeches and a specially-curated playlist of songs dedicated to each hero highlighted.

“For three weeks straight, you have studied Black women, walked in their footsteps, and danced in the daily celebration of their lives –all of this– in the midst of a world that says you don’t matter,” Dixon said.

The accompanying #BlackHistoryBootCamp podcast has been downloaded nearly 220,000 times across Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Buzzsprout platforms. The most listened to episode features Audre Lorde, a beloved inspiration to GirlTrek’s very mission to inspire Black women to lead healthier, happier lives through radical self-care that starts with daily walking.  

The #BlackHistoryBootCamp has been covered by outlets such as  NPR, Essence, and Parade.

Listen to the 21st and final #BlackHistoryBootCamp call on Tuesday, June 30th at noon EST. The call-in info is 1 (646) 876-9923, code: 734464325.

With nearly 800,000 members and counting, GirlTrek as profiled on CNN, is the largest health movement and nonprofit for Black women and girls in the country. GirlTrek encourages Black women to use radical self-care and walking as the first practical step to leading healthier, more fulfilled lives. GirlTrek is on a mission to inspire one million Black women to walk in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives by the end of 2020 and it all starts with taking the pledge at GirlTrek.org.

Follow GirlTrek: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Amazon Under Fire

By Eamonn Burke

The online shopping megacorp Amazon is under heavy criticism following an insensitive stunt on Juneteenth, the day that slaves in Texas were informed of their freedom.

Rather than honor this day with a paid day off, Amazon offered chicken and waffles to their employees in a Chicago warehouse yesterday. The senseless gesture was accompanied by a statement:

“We stand in solidarity honoring the black community by supporting local black businesses. We are happy to share an authentic meal crafted by Chicago’s Chicken + Waffles.”

The warehouse employees, a largely African American demographic, condemned the “celebration” as racist, and felt that it reinforced the very message that Amazon was seemingly denouncing. A spokesperson for Amazon claims that the intention was to support a local black-owned business.

“So much for supporting your Black/African American employees. Where’s the Solidarity in that?” said an employee. “We demand a paid holiday, not some damn chicken.”

This is part of a continuing criticism of Amazon for poorly treating warehouse workers and subduing their attempts to unionize. These motives were revealed in a shocking video intended for Whole Foods managers that leaked. In addition, a November petition that demanded better working conditions was signed by over 600 employees. The complaints constricted breaks, lack of transport assistance, and high risk of injury.

Minority Report

A comprehensive report of the continuation and influx of unjustified treatment towards minorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

February 23: 25-year-old Georgia resident Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot while running unarmed. No arrests were made immediately, but Gregory and Travis McMichael, who claim to have been making a citizen’s arrest, have since been apprehended more than 2 months after the shooting and charged with murder and aggravated assault. The murder and its delayed action have sparked nationwide protests and calls for justice. The lawyer, hired by Ahmaud’s family, was also hired by another African American victim – Breonna Taylor.

March 13Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her Louisville home after police entered the house on a search warrant. Taylor and her boyfriend believed they were burglars and began firing at the police. The shootout left 26-year-old Taylor dead and her boyfriend, 27, arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder of a police officer. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend Walker had a criminal record, but Walker had a firearm license.

March 23: A newly released video shows a 68-year-old black Missouri woman by the name of Marvia Gray and her son Derek being forcefully arrested on the floor of a department store on March 23rd. The two were accused falsely of trying to steal a television and were injured when thrown on the floor by police, according to Gray. They were however, arrested for assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.

April 18Steven Taylor, 33, was shot to death by police in a California Walmart while attempting to steal from the store and threatening violent acts with a baseball bat. Taylor was fatally shot, however, after becoming a non-threat, it prompted the family to call for charges against the officers. Taylor was also allegedly in a mental health crisis and has a history of disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Taylor leaves behind three children and three siblings.

April 24: Austin Police murdered 42-year old Michael Ramos after a nearby 911 call about a possible drug deal. The police shot Ramos when he was out of his car, with his hands above his head. When Ramos re-entered his vehicle and began driving away, he was shot again and soon after, died. A later investigation found no sign of a firearm in the car.

April 28: A shootout with police in Florida killed 26-year-old Jonas Joseph after his car was pulled over. Joseph began firing at police, who returned fire and killed the young man.

May 6: 21-year-old Sean Reed was killed by police following a vehicle pursuit on the evening of May 6, 2020. The police pursued Reed after being seen driving erratically on the highway. The pursuit terminated, but when Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Chris Bailey spotted the car parked, he approached. Reed tried to flee, but the confrontation left the young man dead. A crowd of protestors at the scene demanded the reasoning for the officer’s use of force.

May 9: 48-year-old Adrian Medearis was killed after being pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Houston. The officer conducted a sobriety test, and attempted to arrest Medearis, a well-known local Gospel singer and choir director, but he resisted arrest and was fatally shot  in the ensuing altercation. His family and community are demanding the release of the video.

May 18: A Sarasota police officer was filmed using excessive force and kneeling on Patrick Carroll’s neck during an arrest. The video was put on social media and the officer in question has been put on administrative leave weeks after the event.

May 25: A woman named Amy Cooper called the cops on Christian Cooper, a Harvard alumnus and former Marvel Comics editor. The 57-year-old man was bird watching in Central Park when she approached him without her dog on the leash. After he asked her to put the dog on a leash, she called the police and claimed to be threatened. The altercation went viral after Christian Cooper posted a video of the event on social media, recording the woman aggressively restraining her dog and her saying, “I’m going to tell them [the police] there’s an African American man threatening my life.” Amy Cooper has since publicly apologized. But, Cooper has faced repercussions beyond negative comments on Twitter. She has been fired from her job at Franklin Templeton Investments, where she was vice president, and her dog has been rescued by a pet shelter.

Also on Monday May 25th, a Minneapolis man named George Floyd was murdered by police after an officer knelt on his neck despite his cries for help. Floyd was taken to a hospital where he died, and four officers were fired soon after the incident. A police statement says that Floyd was being investigated for a “forgery in progress” and resisted arrest. But, surveillance video of the arrest shows Floyd complying with the officers. On May 29th, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with murder and manslaughter, four days after George Floyd’s death. On June 3rd, the other three officers involved in George Floyd’s murder, J.A. Keung, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, were arrested and charged with Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Murder and Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Manslaughter. Floyd’s murder sparked protests around the country with citizens looting and setting fire to buildings. The protestors have been met with tear gas and rubber bullets from police officers.

Allison Christensen, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery

May 28: At a protest in Minneapolis, 43-year-old Calvin L. Horton Jr. was fatally shot and a suspect is in custody.

A Mississippi cop is on leave after a video is released of him choking a young suspect.

May 29: CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested while reporting on the protest in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, another CNN reporter, Josh Campbell, says he was treated very differently by police and allowed to stay and report. Jimenez is black and Latino whereas Campbell is white. All three CNN workers were released from custody an hour later.

21-year-old Javar Harrell was not protesting but was fatally shot near protests in Detroit. It is unclear if his death is tied to protests.

May 30: The “Rally To End Modern Day Lynching” took place in Harlem in honor of George Floyd. The rally emphasizes that participants should still practice social distancing and wear a mask. Also on May 30th, participants will honor Floyd at the site of Eric Garner‘s murder in 2014. These New York protests became progressively more violent into the evening. Governor Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency and curfew for Atlanta in preparation for planned protests on May 31st. After four days of protests, Governor Newsom declares a state of emergency in Los Angeles. The courthouse and city hall were set on fire in Nashville.

A 21-year old unnamed man was fatally shot at a protest in Detroit.

In Dallas, a machete-yielding storeowner confronted protesters and was then violently beaten by the crowd; the man is now in stable condition.

Chris Beaty, 38, was killed from multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene in Indianapolis.

May 31: After setting fires and looting in Santa Monica, the city declared a curfew. Curfews have since been set all around the country.

Italia Kelly, 22, and another victim were fatally shot while leaving a protest in Davenport, Iowa.

In Victorville, CA, Malcolm Harsch, 38, was found hanging from a tree and authorities are investigating the event as a potential homicide. Harsch’s family says they are very skeptical of his death being by suicide.

June 1: In Minneapolis, a group of men attacked Iyanna Dior, a black transgender woman; Dior is okay and in stable condition now.

53-year-old David McAtee was shot as national Guard troops and Louisville police broke up a protest; some footage shows McAtee shooting at police but it is unclear who fired their guns first because the officers involved did not activate their body cameras. The Louisville Metro Police Chief, Steve Conrad, was immediately fired because of the officers’ unactivated cameras.

16-year-old Jahmel Leach was tased in the face by NYPD and could be permanently disfigured from the attack. It is unclear why the police officers used force to arrest Leach.

June 2: Six Atlanta police officers have been fired and arrested for using excessive force towards Messiah Young and Taniyah Pilgrim, two young black people leaving the protests.

77-year-old David Dorn, a retired St. Louis police captain, was fatally shot by looters of a pawnshop after responding to an alarm.

June 4: At 3:45pm, NAACP holds a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honor of George Floyd live on their Twitter.

June 5: All 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department’s emergency response team resigned in protest for police brutality – particularly seen in a video of Buffalo police pushing an unarmed man.

Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigns from the company’s board and urges the company to replace his spot with a black candidate.

In a YouTube video, Robert L. Johnson, the first black American billionaire and co-founder of BET, talks to The Breakfast Club about racism and reparations.

20-year-old Dounya Zayer was violently shoved by a police officer at a protest in Brooklyn, NY. 

June 6: Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand pledge $100 million donation over the next 10 years to organizations promoting social justice and racial equality.

A video shows protestors creating a human shield to protect NYPD officers fro rioters throwing objects at the policemen. 

June 7: Virginia governor plans to remove Robert E. Lee statue later this week.

CEO of CrossFit Greg Glassman’s insensitive tweet about George Floyd has caused Glassman to face serious backlash. Partners of CrossFit, like Reebok or Rogue Fitness, and athletes, including Brooke Wells and Richard Froning, released statements that they will cut ties with CrossFit.

BLM protestors in Bristol pull down statue of Edward Colton, a slave trader who transported nearly 100,000 slaves in the 17th century. 

Harry H. Rogers drove into a group of protestors near Richmond, Virginia. Rogers identifies as the leader of the Ku Klux Klan and prosecutors are investigating the assault as a potential hate crime.

June 8: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces police reform legislation called The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 which would ban chokeholds, establish a national database to track police misconduct, and more.

Minneapolis City Council announce plans to defund the Minneapolis police department.

GoFundMe suspends Candace Owens’ account saying that Owens, “spread hate, discrimination, intolerance and falsehoods against the black community.”

June 9: Greg Glassman, the CEO and founder of CrossFit, retires after his inappropriate tweet about George Floyd’s murder.

New York Police Chief Mike O’Meara shames the press for vilifying police officers in a video here.

June 10: In Palmdale, CA, 24-year-old black man named Robert Fuller,  was found hanging from a tree in what was originally described as an apparent suicide. Citizens are demanding that Fuller’s death is investigated as a homicide.

June 11:  After Trump’s comments about Seattle protestors being “domestic terrorists” and that law enforcement must “dominate the streets” to “take back Seattle,” Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan clarifies that the protestors are not threatening and that the president’s claims are unconstitutional.

June 12: Atlanta police fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, 27, at a Wendy’s drive-thru. Brooks’ murder caused Atlanta police chief Erika Shields to resign.

June 13: Patrick Hutchinson, a black personal trainer from London, rescued ‘far-right’ protester who was badly beaten during protest clashes in London.

A young, black FedEx driver named Brandon Brackins turned to social media to tell his followers how he was called racial slurs while working. 

June 16: A story resurfaces from 2006 when black, Buffalo, NY cop Cariol Horne was fired for stopping her white colleague from choking a handcuffed suspect.

Philadelphia court supervisor Michael Henkel is fired after video shows him tearing down BLM signs.

June 17: Quaker Oats plans to retire their Aunt Jemima branding and logo after acknowledging the racial stereotyping.

June 18: A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy fatally shot 18-year-old Andres Guardado.

June 20: Rioters storm the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma during President Trump’s rally. 

June 21: A NYPD officer is on unpaid suspension after a chokehold incident in Queens.

June 22: Department of Justice is investigating a noose found in Bubba Wallace‘s NASCAR garage. Wallace is the only black driver in NASCAR’s top circuit. On June 23, the FBI determines that Wallace was not the target of a hate crime.

August 23: Jacob Blake is shot by Kenosha police officers after breaking up a nearby fight that two other women were having. Blake was unarmed and shot seven times in the back. He is currently hospitalized for his injuries.

 

 

Looking for ways to help? Here are some places to donate to:

George Floyd Memorial Fund

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Louisville Community Bail Fund

National Bail Out

Transgender Law Center In Memory of Tony McDade

Brooklyn Community Bail Fund

Dream Defenders

North Star Health Collective

The Louisville Community Bail Fund

The Freedom Fund

Northwest Community Bail Fund


Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine, BLM, black lives matter, protests, marches, change

Los Angeles Protests

By Emmet McGeown

Los Angeles residents continue their demand for racial equality

Breonna Taylor, a Louisville EMT, would have turned 27 years old on June 5th. Instead, on March 13th, Ms. Taylor was shot 8 times while asleep after police officers entered her home without knocking. The young woman was not forgotten at Friday evening’s LA protest. The administrators of the march passionately expressed how this case of police brutality is emblematic of the chronic racial inequality which has defined the US criminal justice system since the nation’s conception.

The atmosphere of the march was boisterous. The Five Stairsteps’ “O-o-h Child” played at the event and defined the hope for a better future omnipresent with lines like, “things are gonna get easier… things are gonna get brighter.”  Protestors fed off each others’ energies with chants of “No Justice, No Peace,” “Whose streets? Our streets,” mixed with an eclectic concoction of cheers. Indeed, the emphatic beeps of car horns, the banging of pots and pans from apartments above the street, and a sea of signs created a powerful spirit that, in the moment, felt indomitable.

One of the most inspiring aspects of the protest was the mélange of ethnicities in attendance. The multicolored faces of the crowds formed a microcosm of America – a new America. This diverse movement circled downtown Los Angeles, walking past boarded-up businesses that still bore the scars of previous nights. Much to the credit of the protest’s organizers, they were determined to reject the vandalism that had wounded the essence of the movement’s message earlier in the week. They wished to emulate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s tactics of non-violence, aspiring to make progress in King’s fight that must still advocated for.

At several points throughout the protest attendees were asked to take a knee. The profound purpose of this act was revealed at the conclusion of the event. “It’s uncomfortable isn’t it?” asked one protest organizer stuttering on her own passion, “Well imagine what it felt like for George Floyd for 8 minutes and 46 seconds!” Her vehemence echoed throughout the crowd as applause ruptured the silence of intent listening.

As the California sun dipped below the horizon, thousands ascended upon City Hall where a vanguard of LAPD lined the entrance. The protestors were nourished by a plethora of free snacks provided by supportive local vendors. The march culminated with a moving tribute to Ms. Taylor on the steps of City Hall. Here, the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to yet another martyr of the African American community in what appears to be an endless struggle for equality. Stories like Breonna Taylor’s tell a hauntingly familiar tale of racism in our country, and these injustices haven’t ceased during quarantine. The 360 Magazine “Minority Report” details all of the acts of racial inequality during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crowd was rife with enthusiasm for change but there was also a portentous understanding that this is not the last march for justice. However, the prevailing attitude was one of passion in hope that, despite the brutality of US history, America has finally reached a social crescendo free of the injustice that has characterized the country’s nascence.

So, what does all this mean? Well, the protestors and organizers were eager to proclaim a sizeable achievement they have garnered thanks to this movement. One of which is LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s revision of the proposed city budget. In this revision, $150 million from the LAPD will be diverted towards healthcare, jobs, and education opportunities in communities of color. It is unclear whether stripping funds from the police will make the streets safer for people of color, yet protestors saw this as a victory for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The push to reduce police power will undoubtedly clash with President Trump’s call for “law and order.” Trump’s adoption of the infamous Nixonian verbiage and allusions to “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” has inflamed tensions in Los Angeles. In general, the president’s responses to BLM movements have done little to soothe California’s most populous city. A city, that only 28 years ago, was the epicenter of mayhem after a jury acquitted four police officers of using excessive force against black LA resident Rodney King. Thus, almost 30 years after the Rodney King riots and 50 years after the civil rights movement, one is still left wondering: do Americans trust law enforcement?

360 Magazine

W.E.B Du Bois Book

W.E.B. Du Bois spent many decades fighting to ensure that African Americans could claim their place as full citizens and thereby fulfill the deeply compromised ideals of American democracy. Yet he died in Africa, having apparently given up on the United States.

In this tour-de-force, Elvira Basevich examines this paradox by tracing the development of his life and thought and the relevance of his legacy to our troubled age. She adroitly analyzes the main concepts that inform Du Bois’ critique of American democracy, such as the color line and double consciousness, before examining how these concepts might inform our understanding of contemporary struggles, from Black Lives Matter to the campaign for reparations for slavery. She stresses the continuity in Du Bois’ thought, from his early writings to his later embrace of self-segregation and Pan-Africanism, while not shying away from assessing the challenging implications of his later work.

This wonderful book vindicates the power of Du Bois’ thought to help transform a stubbornly unjust world. It is essential reading for racial justice activists as well as students of African American philosophy and political thought.

The Author:

Elvira Basevich is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Reviews:

“Unique among books on Du Bois, Basevich originally and persuasively presents a liberal ideal of civic enfranchisement as the heart of Du Bois’ thought.”

Chike Jeffers, Dalhousie University

“A valuable and compelling addition to the literature on Du Bois. Both a useful introduction to those unfamiliar with his thought and an innovative interpretation that will hold the interest of experts, Basevich has achieved a remarkable feat—and produced an apt tribute to her subject.”

I’ll Benjamin McKean, Ohio State University

360 Magazine

No Trust In Trump

Americans are getting information about the coronavirus pandemic from political leaders and medical professionals, but confidence in those sources varies widely. A recent national survey conducted on behalf of the Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences finds that Americans are more likely to trust information that comes from medical professionals than politicians, with President Trump seen as least trustworthy regarding the information he provides. This and other findings from the survey suggest that Americans are putting their faith in medical expertise when it comes to getting critical information on how to best protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19. There are, however, substantial differences in who and what they trust based on a person’s politics and race.

The poll interviewed 1003 American adults nationwide on landlines and cell phones from May 20 through May 25, 2020. Medical professionals top the list of those Americans say they trust most for information about the coronavirus. Fifty-eight percent say they have a “great deal” of trust in doctors and scientists, while government-run websites are trusted by around a third of all Americans (36%). However, once political leaders become the source of information, Americans are more likely to distrust than trust what they see, hear, or read. Around a quarter (27%) have a great deal of trust in statewide elected officials, including their governor, and barely a fifth (22%) fully believe what their president tells them. In fact, the president is the only source who a majority (55%) of Americans distrust rather than trust.

“These findings point to the immense level of distrust Americans have in the ability of elected officials to communicate critical information needed to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and the obvious lack of meaningful leadership at the federal level,” said Bojana Beric-Stojsic, director of MPH program and an Associate Professor of Public Health, FDU School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “What is most surprising and very distressing is that only 58 percent of Americans have a great deal of trust in doctors and scientists in the midst of a health crisis.”

Americans do give doctors and scientists much higher marks than the president when it comes to evaluating the reasons for evolving and sometimes conflicting information. Almost eight-in-ten believe that doctors and scientists change their recommendations on how to prevent and treat the coronavirus based on newly discovered scientific evidence (77%) rather than bowing to political pressure (23%). The opposite is true when it comes to the president, as more than half (53%) say his recommendations often change for political reasons rather than newly emerging scientific evidence (47%).

There is, however, a significant partisan divide on these issues. Although clear majorities of both Democrats and Republicans say that changing recommendations from doctors and scientists are due to newly discovered scientific evidence, President Trump’s evolving statements are understood very differently. Eighty-four percent of Republicans believe science dictates the president’s statements, while virtually the same percentage of Democrats (86%) believe political pressures explain changes in President Trump’s public statements about how to prevent and treat COVID-19. A huge gap between Democrats and Republicans also characterizes perceptions of the overall trustworthiness of the president (3% versus 47%), with a smaller but still significant difference separating Democrats from Republicans on their willingness to extend a “great deal” of trust to statewide elected officials like the governor (36% versus 20%).

“It’s notable that not even among his own partisans and those who approve of the job he’s done in managing this crisis does the President get a majority to say the information he provides about the coronavirus can be trusted a great deal,” said Krista Jenkins, director of the FDU Poll and professor of government and politics.

There are also significant racial disparities in assessing Trump’s performance and trustworthiness. More black Americans (83%) disapprove of the President’s management of the pandemic compared to 43 percent of white and 62 percent of Hispanic respondents; and 70 percent of blacks have absolutely no trust that the President provides accurate information about the coronavirus, compared to 37 percent of whites and 44 percent of Hispanics. More black Americans (79%) also believe Trump changes his recommendations about the coronavirus due to political pressure compared to 47 percent of whites and 60 percent of Hispanics.

Rev. Barber Letter to Nation

Social justice leader Rev. Barber delivers letter to nation, holds news conference Sunday amidst police killing and protests Social justice leader Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II will deliver a letter to the nation in the midst of a police killing and protests on Pentecost Sunday morning.

The delivery of the letter will be live-streamed across the nation after Rev. Barber was asked by many to share a moral perspective on this moment.

It was less than a week ago that a video was released showing an African American man, George Floyd, drawing his last breaths as a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck.

“The lethal violence of racist officers is only one manifestation of the systemic racism that is choking the life out of American democracy,” Barber said. “This moment demands that all who care about the American experiment in democracy listen closely and deeply to the uprising that is itself a collective gasp for life.”

A remote and in-person news conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Eastern on Sunday from Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where Rev. Barber is the pastor. Reporters can cover the news conference at the church at 2110 N. William St. in Goldsboro. They also can ask questions by registering here.

After you register, you will receive a confirmation and email with information about joining the webinar. Rev. Barber is president of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. “As a pastor, I turn to Scripture in times of crisis, and I have prayed with the prophet Isaiah that God would open my ears to offer a word that might sustain those who are distressed,” Barber said. “I have prayed with Jeremiah that we will not try to heal the wound of the people lightly and that we will not fail to recognize how the wounds of poverty demand social surgery and a strong antibiotic of truth to cleanse a septic democracy.

In the church we are preparing for the season of Pentecost, when we recall how God’s spirit allowed people from various backgrounds to each hear the truth in their own tongue. I pray this letter might be likewise received.”

The Poor People’s Campaign:

A National Call for Moral Revival, is building a generationally transformative digital gathering called the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington on June 20, 2020. At that assembly, we will demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism by implementing our Moral Agenda.