Category Archives: BLACK Events

Hospital Granted Dad’s Request: No Black Nurses, Lawsuit Says

An African-American nurse is suing a Michigan hospital after she says staff there agreed to a swastika-tattooed father’s request that no black nurses care for his new baby.

Tonya Battle, 49, sued the board of hospital managers of Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Mich., and Mary Osika, a nurse manager, on discrimination grounds after Battle said she was reassigned to accommodate the father’s request.

“I didn’t even know how to react,” Battle told the Detroit Free Press, which first reported the story.

Battle is a neonatal intensive care nurse who has worked at the 443-bed public teaching hospital for nearly 25 years. She said she was caring for infants as usual on Oct. 31, 2012 when the infant’s father asked to speak to her supervisor, according to a complaint filed in the Genessee County circuit court.

The father told the charge nurse “he did not want any African Americans taking care of his baby,” the complaint said. While making that statement, he pulled up his sleeve and showed a tattoo “believed to be a swastika of some kind.”

Instead of denying the request, the complaint said, the charge nurse called Osika, who advised her to reassign the baby to another nurse.

“Plaintiff was reassigned on or about Oct. 31, 2012 because she is African-American,” the complaint said. “Plaintiff was shocked, offended and in disbelief that she was so egregiously discriminated against based on her race and re-assigned.”

The next day, the complaint alleged, Osika told staff members the request would be honored. When Battle returned to work on Nov. 2, 2012, the hospital posted a notice on an assignment clipboard that read: “No African-0American nurse to take care of baby.”

No black nurses were assigned to care for the baby for the following month, despite notice from hospital lawyers that the notice should be removed and that the father’s request would not continue to be granted, the complaint alleged.

Hospital officials, however, said that while the father’s request was “initially evaluated,” he was then told it could not be granted.

In a statement posted online, Melany Gavulic, president and chief executive of Hurley Medical Center said the man’s swastika tattoo created “anger and outrage in our staff.”

“This resulted in concern by supervisors for the safety of the staff,” she wrote.

Battle filed discrimination charges on Dec. 11, 2012, with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Battle’s lawsuit seeks punitive damages. Neither Battle nor her lawyer could immediately be reached by NBC News.


Credit to:  JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer, NBC News

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Posted by on March 1, 2013 in BLACK Events


President Obama Officially Begins 2nd Term


Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama officially begins his second term today, a day ahead of his public swearing in and all the pomp and ceremony of a U.S. presidential inauguration.

Because the Constitution calls for the president to be sworn in on January 20, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be sworn in for their second terms in relatively quiet ceremonies before they take their public oaths in front of the Capitol on Monday and before an audience spread down the National Mall.

Obama’s Monday address will lay out the values and vision for his second term and acknowledge the division in Washington but won’t address policy, a source with knowledge of the speech told CNN on the condition of anonymity. He’ll lay out policy in his February 12 State of the Union address, the source said.

The nation’s first African-American president also will become only the 17th U.S. leader to deliver a second inaugural address before joining the traditional parade up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.  For his second inauguration, less than half of the estimated 1.8 million onlookers who crammed the Mall in 2009 are expected — organizers expect 800,000 people to attend Monday’s public ceremony.

The smaller crowd this time around reflects the reality of second-term presidencies, when the novelty and expectations of a new leader have been replaced with the familiarity and experiences of the first four years.

Inauguration activities kicked off on Saturday with President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden leading volunteers across the country in National Day of Service Activities.

The Obamas joined in a project at Burrville Elementary School in Washington, aiding volunteers who were staining a bookcase. Cameras at the school caught the president and first lady staining a bookcase.  The president told volunteers that his family would do volunteer projects on holidays, “So I was taught from a young age.” Volunteering “is really what America is all about,” he said.

The Bidens helped to put together care packages for service members deployed overseas at the National Guard Armory in Washington. Biden’s office said volunteers at the armory would produce 100,000 packages.

“We still have 68,000 troops in harm’s way in some of the most godforsaken territory in the world,” Biden said, adding that the military members can find comfort “knowing that we back home just remember, we know what’s going on.”

Chelsea Clinton, honorary chairwoman of the Day of Service, said at a kickoff event on Mall that Saturday was the 19th anniversary of her father former President Bill Clinton signing the bill that designated a National Day of Service to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the federal holiday honoring the late civil rights leader.

“When he signed the bill, he reminded us of what Dr. King called life’s most persistent and urgent question: What are you doing for others?” she said. “And in my family, the only wrong answer to that question is ‘nothing.’ “

Later Saturday, singer Katy Perry headlined a concert for children of service men and women and Washington schoolchildren that was hosted by the first lady and Mrs. Biden. Singer Usher and the cast of the TV show “Glee” were among others who performed.

The Saturday event was to recognize the sacrifices and “level of maturity that is required from military kids,” the first lady said.

 “It means always thinking about things that are so much bigger than yourself. It means growing up just a little faster and working just a little harder than other kids,” she said. “And it means doing the greatest thing you can ever do with your life at such a young age, and that is to serve our country.”

Today, the vice president will take his official oath shortly after 8 a.m. at the Naval Observatory, his official residence, and the president will take his at the White House shortly before noon

Obama and Biden will travel to Arlington National Cemetery after Biden’s swearing-in for a traditional wreath-laying ceremony.

In the evening, the Obamas will watch Latino acts at “In Performance at the Kennedy Center,” which is followed by the Let Freedom Ring concert. The Red, White and Blue Inaugural Ball and Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball are also scheduled in the capital.

The president will speak to donors at a Candlelight Celebration and the National Building Museum on Sunday night.

Monday’s events will be a bit down-sized from Obama’s first inauguration. After events in front of the Capitol, the Obamas and Bidens will lead the traditional parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, there are only two presidential balls this year, down from the 10 staged in 2009.

While the anticipated crowd for Monday’s events is expected to be about half of those who gathered four years ago, the temperature will be a bit higher than in 2009 when the high hovered around the freezing mark. While the early morning temperature will be in the 20s, the forecast calls for a high temperature in the upper 30s or low 40s. Still, organizers cautioned attendees to bundle up because of prolonged exposure to the cold as they watch the events and make their way to and from them.

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Obama Buys Books To Promote Independent Shops

President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, left, and Malia, center, goes shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — President Barack Obama made a quick trip to a Virginia bookstore for some Christmas shopping.

The president took his daughters, Sasha and Malia, to One More Page Books in Arlington, Va., on Saturday afternoon.

The White House says Obama was promoting an effort called “small business Saturday” to encourage shoppers to patronize mom-and-pop businesses after Thanksgiving.

At the store, Obama held up his BlackBerry, apparently looking up a book title as he spoke with shop owner Eileen McGervey. He said “preparation” was the key to his shopping.

Obama brushed off a reporter’s question about the looming “fiscal cliff,” saying “we’re doing Christmas shopping.”

The White House says Obama bought 15 children’s books that will be given as Christmas gifts to family members.

Credit to: Associated Press

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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in BLACK Events, Politics


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ElBaradei Warns Of Turmoil Unless Morsi Rescinds Decree As Opposition Tries To Unite

By Associated Press, Nov 25, 2012

CAIRO — Prominent Egyptian democracy advocate Mohammed ElBaradei warned Saturday of increasing turmoil that could potentially lead to the military stepping in unless the Islamist president rescinds his new, near absolute powers, as the country’s long fragmented opposition sought to unite and rally new protests.

Egypt’s liberal and secular forces — long divided, weakened and uncertain amid the rise of Islamist parties to power — are seeking to rally themselves in response to the decrees issued this week by President Mohammed Morsi. The president granted himself sweeping powers to “protect the revolution” and made himself immune to judicial oversight.

The judiciary, which was the main target of Morsi’s edicts, pushed back Saturday. The country’s highest body of judges, the Supreme Judical Council, called his decrees an “unprecedented assault.” Courts in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria announced a work suspension until the decrees are lifted.

Outside the high court building in Cairo, several hundred demonstrators rallied against Morsi, chanting, “Leave! Leave!” echoing the slogan used against former leader Hosni Mubarak in last year’s uprising that ousted him. Police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of young men who were shooting flares outside the court.

The edicts issued Wednesday have galvanized anger brewing against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he hails, ever since he took office in June as Egypt’s first freely elected president. Critics accuse the Brotherhood — which has dominated elections the past year — and other Islamists of monopolizing power and doing little to bring real reform or address Egypt’s mounting economic and security woes.

Oppositon groups have called for new nationwide rallies Tuesday — and the Muslim Brotherhood has called for rallies supporting Morsi the same day, setting the stage for new violence.

Morsi supporters counter that the edicts were necessary to prevent the courts, which already dissolved the elected lower house of parliament, from further holding up moves to stability by disbanding the assembly writing the new constitution, as judges were considering doing. Like parliament was, the assembly is dominated by Islamists. Morsi accuses Mubarak loyalists in the judiciary of seeking to thwart the revolution’s goals and barred the judiciary from disbanding the constitutional assembly or parliament’s upper house.

In an interview with a handful of journalists, including The Associated Press, Nobel Peace laureate ElBaradei raised alarm over the impact of Morsi’s rulings, saying he had become “a new pharaoh.”

“There is a good deal of anger, chaos, confusion. Violence is spreading to many places and state authority is starting to erode slowly,” he said. “We hope that we can manage to do a smooth transition without plunging the country into a cycle of violence. But I don’t see this happening without Mr. Morsi rescinding all of this.”

Speaking of Egypt’s powerful military, ElBaradei said, “I am sure they are as worried as everyone else. You cannot exclude that the army will intervene to restore law and order” if the situation gets out of hand.

But anti-Morsi factions are chronically divided, with revolutionary youth activists, new liberal political parties that have struggled to build a public base and figures from the Mubarak era, all of whom distrust each other. The judiciary is also an uncomfortable cause for some to back, since it includes many Mubarak appointees who even Morsi opponents criticize as too tied to the old regime.

Opponents say the edicts gave Morsi near dictatorial powers, neutering the judiciary when he already holds both executive and legislative powers. One of his most controversial edicts gave him the right to take any steps to stop “threats to the revolution,” vague wording that activists say harkens back to Mubarak-era emergency laws.

 Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in nationwide protests on Friday, sparking clashes between anti-and pro-Morsi crowds in several cities that left more than 200 people wounded.

On Saturday, new clashed broke out in the southern city of Assiut. Morsi opponents and members of the Muslim Brotherhood swung sticks and threw stones at each other outside the offices of the Brotherhood’s political party, leaving at least seven injured.

ElBaradei and a six other prominent liberal leaders have announced the formation of a National Salvation Front aimed at rallying all non-Islamist groups together to force Morsi to rescind his edicts.

The National Salvation Front leadership includes several who ran against Morsi in this year’s presidential race — Hamdeen Sabahi, who finished a close third, former foreign minister Amr Moussa and moderate Islamist Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh. ElBaradei says the group is also pushing for the creation of a new constitutional assembly and a unity government.

ElBaradei said it would be a long process to persuade Morsi that he “cannot get away with murder.”

“There is no middle ground, no dialogue before he rescinds this declaration. There is no room for dialogue until then.”

The grouping seems to represent a newly assertive political foray by ElBaradei, the former chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency. ElBaradei returned to Egypt in the year before Mubarak’s fall, speaking out against his rule, and was influential with many of the youth groups that launched the anti-Mubarak revolution.

But since Mubarak’s fall, he has been criticized by some as too Westernized, elite and Hamlet-ish, reluctant to fully assert himself as an opposition leader.

The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice political party, once headed by Morsi, said Saturday in a statement that the president’s decision protects the revolution against former regime figures who have tried to erode elected institutions and were threatening to dissolve the constitutional assembly.

The Brotherhood warned in another statement that there were forces trying to overthrow the elected president in order to return to power. It said Morsi has a mandate to lead, having defeated one of Mubarak’s former prime ministers this summer in a closely contested election.

Morsi’s edicts also removed Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, the prosecutor general first appointed by Mubarak, who many Egyptians accused of not prosecuting former regime figures strongly enough.

Speaking to a gathering of judges cheering support for him at the high court building in Cairo, Mahmoud warned of a “vicious campaign” against state institutions. He also said judicial authorities are looking into the legality of the decision to remove him — setting up a Catch-22 of legitimacy, since under Morsi’s decree, the courts cannot overturn any of his decisions.

“I thank you for your support of judicial independence,” he told the judges.

“Morsi will have to reverse his decision to avoid the anger of the people,” said Ahmed Badrawy, a labor ministry employee protesting at the courthouse. “We do not want to have an Iranian system here,” he added, referring to fears that hardcore Islamists may try to turn Egypt into a theocracy.

Several hundred protesters remained in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Saturday, where a number of tents have been erected in a sit-in following nearly a week of clashes with riot police.


Brian Rohan contributed to this report from Cairo.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Credit to: The Washington Post – license-5af454d8-36c3-11e2-92f0-496af208bf23

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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in BLACK Events


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Civil Rights Leader Lawrence Guyot Dies At 73

FILE – Lawrence Guyot, a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee member in Mississippi during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s recalls his work in Hattiesburg and the women who assisted in the struggles, in this Oct. 22, 2010 file photo taken in Hattiesburg, Miss.His daughter Julie Guyot-Diangone said late Saturday Nov. 24, 2012 he died late Thursday or early Friday outside Washington, D.C. at the age of 73. Guyot, a civil rights leader who survived jailhouse beatings in the Deep South in the 1960s and went on to encourage generations to get involved in various causes, had a history of heart problems and suffered from diabetes. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


Published November 25, 2012 / Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawrence Guyot, a civil rights leader who survived jailhouse beatings in the Deep South in the 1960s and went on to encourage generations to get involved, has died. He was 73.

Guyot had a history of heart problems and suffered from diabetes, and died at home in Mount Rainier, Md., his daughter Julie Guyot-Diangone said late Saturday. She said he died sometime Thursday night; other media reported he passed away Friday.

A Mississippi native, Guyot (pronounced GHEE-ott) worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and served as director of the 1964 Freedom Summer Project, which brought thousands of young people to the state to register blacks to vote despite a history of violence and intimidation by authorities. He also chaired the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which sought to have blacks included among the state’s delegates to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. The bid was rejected, but another civil rights activist, Fannie Lou Hamer, addressed the convention during a nationally televised appearance.

Guyot was severely beaten several times, including at the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary known as Parchman Farm. He continued to speak on voting rights until his death, including encouraging people to cast ballots for President Barack Obama.

“He was a civil rights field worker right up to the end,” Guyot-Diangone said.

Guyot participated in the 40th anniversary of the Freedom Summer Project to make sure a new generation could learn about the civil rights movement.

“There is nothing like having risked your life with people over something immensely important to you,” he told The Clarion-Ledger in 2004. “As Churchill said, there’s nothing more exhilarating than to have been shot at — and missed.”

His daughter said she recently saw him on a bus encouraging people to register to vote and asking about their political views. She said he was an early backer of gay marriage, noting that when he married a white woman, interracial marriage was illegal in some states. He met his wife Monica while they both worked for racial equality.

“He followed justice,” his daughter said. “He followed what was consistent with his values, not what was fashionable. He just pushed people along with him.”

Susan Glisson, executive director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, called Guyot “a towering figure, a real warrior for freedom and justice.”

“He loved to mentor young people. That’s how I met him,” she said.

When she attended Ole Miss, students reached out to civil rights activists and Guyot responded.

“He was very opinionated,” she said. “But always — he always backed up his opinions with detailed facts. He always pushed you to think more deeply and to be more strategic. It could be long days of debate about the way forward. But once the path was set, there was nobody more committed to the path.”

Glisson said Guyot’s efforts helped lay the groundwork for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“Mississippi has more black elected officials than any other state in the country, and that’s a direct tribute to his work,” she said.

Guyot was born in Pass Christian, Miss., on July 17, 1939. He became active in civil rights while attending Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and graduated in 1963. Guyot received a law degree in 1971 from Rutgers University, and then moved to Washington, where he worked to elect fellow Mississippian and civil rights activist Marion Barry as mayor in 1978.

“When he came to Washington, he continued his revolutionary zeal,” Barry told The Washington Post on Friday. “He was always busy working for the people.”

Guyot worked for the District of Columbia government in various capacities and as a neighborhood advisory commissioner.

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton told The Post in 2007 that she first met Guyot within days of his beating at a jail in Winona, Miss. “Because of Larry Guyot, I understood what it meant to live with terror and to walk straight into it,” she told the newspaper. On Friday, she called Guyot “an unsung hero” of the civil rights movement.

“Very few Mississippians were willing to risk their lives at that time,” she said. “But Guyot did.”

In recent months, his daughter said he was concerned about what he said were Republican efforts to limit access to the polls. As his health was failing, he voted early because he wanted to make sure his vote was counted, he told the AFRO newspaper.

Funeral services are pending.


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President Obama Makes History Again!

Viva Obama!

President Obama has made history again, this time he is the first president to get re-elected during a tough economic time with a high rate of unemployment. Some political experts felt like the state of the economy alone made him an easily beatable candidate. The Republican Party found out that he was not as easy to beat as they thought. At 11:18 on November 6th, 2012, Barack H. Obama was officially declared the winner of the presidential election. The people of the United States granted this historically significant president a second term in the White House. People waited with bated breath for almost two hours to hear the president deliver what would be the final acceptance speech of his political career. The beleaguered president took the stage with his family and one could almost see the relief they had for the end of a hard fought campaign. The votes had long since been counted and the winner declared but President Obama, like the rest of us waited patiently for Mitt Romney to finally give his concession speech. The tradition is that the loser calls the winner to congratulate him first, after which he gives his speech where he will concede the election to the winner, then the winner makes an acceptance speech. Every news organization sat on the edge of their seats as the Romney campaign was “still analyzing the numbers” even though expert analysis had already declared that he lost the election. After what seemed like many hours, but in actuality was just one hour, Mitt Romney delivered his concession speech just after midnight.

We always pay a lot of attention to the top of the ticket, but there were also some other democratic victories and important referendums that night. Victories in the Senate allow the Democrats to retain control of the governing body, while Republicans retain control of the house. Dozens of state-wide ballot questions were posed to voters, and the result of the votes cast can have a resounding effect, even across state lines. Maine and Maryland have added themselves to the list of states that now allow same sex marriage. The struggle for the LBGTQ community to achieve marriage equality has made several more strides toward success. And in an unprecedented move, Colorado and Washington state voters have passed referendums legalizing marijuana for recreational use. The drug is still banned under federal law however. In Massachusetts, voters approved a law to allow marijuana for medicinal purposes, adding itself to the list of 17 other states that allow the use of medicinal marijuana.

After the euphoria of the re-election wears off, there is a lot of work to do. Before he is even sworn in to office for his second term, Obama has to deal with the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, which Republicans want to extend for the wealthiest Americans and Obama wants these tax cuts to only remain for those making less than $250,000 a year. Right after he does that, he has to meet with Congress about increasing the debt ceiling once more, something that proved perilous when he tried to confront it in 2011.

In his acceptance speech, Obama vowed that in his second term, he would continue to listen to people who do not always agree with him and to work together with Republicans and Democrats alike for the good of this nation. He said that he is “more determined and more inspired than ever” about the work that needs to get done for the country.

Written By: Kika Ramsay

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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in BLACK Events, BLACK History, Businesses, Professionals, & Organizations, Culture, Education, Politics


Hurricane Sandy – “Frankenstorm”

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Hurricane Sandy came roaring onto the east coast on Monday October 29th. The damage and flooding left in its wake are devastating to the eastern seaboard. Some of the country’s biggest and busiest cities have been shut down, millions were left without power and states are left reeling trying to deal with the aftermath. Dealing with a crisis this big has to involve every level of government, starting locally, all the way up to the federal government.

Before bringing her chaos to the shores of eastern United States however, Sandy caused the death and devastation in the Caribbean. The Cuban government said Sandy killed 11 people when it arrived on their shores the Thursday before it hit the U.S. The storm took dozens of lives in Haiti, a country that seems to deal with one natural disaster after another. Four other people were killed in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

The hurricane has disrupted the power and transportation of millions of people. Much of Atlantic City and the state of New Jersey along with New York City seemed to suffer the worst of the damage here in the United States. There are other crises that bloomed as a result of the storm. A gas shortage has developed, leaving many waiting on long gas lines, sometimes directed by the National Guard to keep the peace. A gigantic cleanup effort is underway, as the subways were shut down indefinitely. A huge fire destroyed 80 to 100 houses in a flooded beachfront neighborhood in Queens on Tuesday.

The damages from Hurricane Sandy have been estimated by the economists at Moody’s Analytics to be close to $50 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in United States history. At least 182 people have been confirmed killed in total across the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, and the Bahamas, as a result of the storm. The long term impact has yet to be seen.


Written by: Kika Ramsay

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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in BLACK Events