Monday, June 17, 2019

Portland appoints city’s first African American fire chief

Portland has appointed the city’s first African American fire chief.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Thursday that Sara Boone was announced as the new head of the Portland Fire & Rescue department Thursday.

Boone became the city’s first African American woman firefighter in 1995 before rising through the ranks to division chief leading medical services and training.

Boone says in a statement that her “mission has always been caring for the city where I was raised.”

Portland Fire Bureau Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty — who in January became Portland’s first female African American city councilor — made the announcement.

Hardesty says Boone impressed an interview panel with “her commitment to community, her technical knowledge, her passion for the fire service and her leadership style.”


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy Father's Day, Black Fathers Matter

Some would like you to believe that black fathers who take care of their kids in every way are an anomaly, that's complete bull****! To be honest black fathers who take care of their kids are the NORM!

Too many use the barometer of whether or not the father lives with the child to determine whether or not a man is a good father. While living with your children may be preferable to some, it's just as important that a father has a continued presence in their children's lives. Fathers teach their sons how to be men and their daughters what a good man looks like, and no one can replace that role.



Saturday, June 15, 2019

House Judiciary Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Legislation to Study Slavery Reparations

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties has issued a press release about a hearing it will hold a hearing on H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act which was sponsored by Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.

Read that release below:

June 19th: House Judiciary Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on H.R. 40, Legislation to Study Slavery Reparations

Washington, D.C. – On June 19th at 10:00 a.m., the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties will hold a hearing on H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. The purpose of the hearing is to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, its continuing impact on the community and the path to restorative justice.   

Witnesses:       Ta-Nehisi Coates, Distinguished Writer in Residence, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University
Danny Glover, Actor and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. Decade for People of African Descent
Katrina Browne, Documentarian: Traces of the Trade
Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, Episcopal Bishop of Maryland
Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Economist and Political Commentator
Professor Eric J. Miller, Loyola Marymount University
Republican witnesses to be announced      

Date:               June 19, 2019

Time:               10:00 a.m.

Location:         2141 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington D.C.

Livestream:     The hearing will stream live here

Background: H.R. 40, the “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act,” would create a commission to study the history of slavery in the United States and in the American colonies from 1619 to 1865; the role of the federal and state governments in supporting slavery; federal and state laws that discriminated against the descendants of African slaves; other forms of discrimination against the descendants of African slaves; and the lingering effects of slavery on African Americans.  The commission would also make recommendations as to appropriate ways to educate the American public about its fin
116th Congress

22 Democratic presidential candidates attending Jim Clyburn's World Famous Fish Fry

It’s time again for the event columnist Roger Simon described as “one of those all-too-rare, feel-good evenings in politics,” and this year it’s bigger than ever. “Jim Clyburn’s World Famous Fish Fry” will be held on Friday, June 21st during the 2019 South Carolina Democratic Weekend in Columbia, S.C., and it will be a “can’t miss” stop for any candidate seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Twenty-two Democrats running for president in 2020 will attend House Majority Whip James Clyburn’s (D-S.C.) fish fry in South Carolina next Friday as they jockey for support in the early primary state.

The event is likely to be the largest gathering of the 2020 candidates so far this election cycle, as nearly the entire primary field will attend. The fish fry, founded 30 years ago, has steadily grown into a campaign staple every four years and comes shortly before the first primary debates later this month.

“Each candidate will be given a generous moment to address the audience. The candidates are then encouraged to enjoy the fried fish, join in the electric slide and take selfies with the attendees,” a press release for the event said.

The only major contender of the 24-candidate field to not have confirmed their attendance is Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

Jim Clyburn began the fish fry nearly three decades ago as a thank you to his campaign workers and for folks who couldn’t afford to attend the South Carolina State Democratic Party dinner. This free event is known for tons of fried fish, the Electric Slide, and old-fashioned politicking.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Street outside NASA's DC office renamed for 'Hidden Figures'

Visitors to NASA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. will forevermore be reminded of the African-American women who were essential to the success of early spaceflight.

On Aug. 23, 2018, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Ed Markey, John Thune, and Bill Nelson introduced a bipartisan bill to designate the street in front of NASA Headquarters as Hidden Figures Way. On Wednesday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was joined by Sen. Cruz, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, and author Margot Lee Shetterly to make that designation official.

The renaming honors Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, who were featured in Shetterly’s book – and the subsequent movie – Hidden Figures, as well as all women who honorably serve their country, advancing equality, and contributing to the United States space program.

“I just want to say these were the three hidden figures in a very prominent book that became a magnificent movie that started a movement that brought all of us here today,” Bridenstine said. “Here we are, 50 years after the landing of the Apollo 11 Moon lander, celebrating those figures who were, at the time, not celebrated.”

Members of the Johnson, Jackson and Vaughan families, as well as Christine Darden, a mathematician who worked alongside these esteemed women at NASA, were surrounded by a large crowd gathered at the corner of 3rd and E Street SW to share in the momentous event.

“A street sign is a piece of metal, that’s under the wind, sun, rain, snow. But a street sign’s a lot more than that,” Cruz said. “Because for years, and then decades, and then centuries, when little girls and little boys come to see NASA, they’re going to look up and see that sign, and they’re going to say ‘Hidden Figures? What’s that? What does that mean?’ And that, in turn, is going to prompt a story – a story about the unlimited human potential of all of us.”

Mendelson, who introduced the renaming bill for the city council in September 2018, also noted the integral role NASA’s human computers of the Apollo era played in developing America’s space program, and the important lessons we take from history, particularly lessons on race in this country.

“It’s not just a story of individuals but it’s also a story of, and acknowledges, the racism in this country and how we still struggle to deal with that and to overcome it,” he said.

The story that sparked the movement Bridenstine spoke of was shared with the world by an author who has her own close ties to NASA. Shetterly’s father, whose birthday also was Wednesday, spent his entire career at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, as an atmospheric research scientist.

“Naming this street Hidden Figures Way serves to remind us, and everyone who comes here, of the standard that was set by these women, with their commitment to science and their embodiment of the values of equality, justice and humanity,” Shetterly said. “But, let it also remind us of the Hidden Figures way, which is to open our eyes to contribution of the people around us so that their names, too, are the ones that we remember at the end of the story.”