Sunday, December 09, 2018

Olivia Hooker first African American woman to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard laid to rest

The first African-American woman to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard and one of the last survivors of a race riot in Oklahoma has been laid to rest with military honors.

A funeral was held Wednesday in White Plains, New York, for Olivia Hooker. She was 103 years old when she died on Nov. 21.

The Coast Guard says Hooker enlisted in the Coast Guard Women's Reserve in 1945 and rose to the rank of yeoman second class before her discharge in 1946.

Hooker also survived one of the worst race riots in U.S. history. She was 6 years old in 1921 when the late-spring riot destroyed much of a Tulsa neighborhood that had been known as "Black Wall Street."

Hooker was a psychologist and a professor of psychology at Fordham University, where she retired at age 87 in 2002.


Saturday, December 08, 2018

100-year-old Tuskegee Airman, Wilfred Defour found dead in Harlem home

Wilfred DeFour, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen — an all-black squadron of World War II pilots that inspired African-Americans across the country — died in his Harlem home Saturday. He was 100.

DeFour was an aircraft technician for the famed squad, which got its name from the group’s training facility in Tuskegee, Ala.

During World War II, the pilots ran missions over North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. DeFour painted the tails of the aircraft from which the squadron drew its “Red Tails” nickname.

Just last month, DeFour was honored as a post office on Macombs Place in Harlem was renamed the Tuskegee Airmen Post Office Building.

DeFour worked as a postal employee for more than 30 years after his military service.

"We didn't know we were making history at the time,” DeFour, said during the renaming ceremony. “We were just doing our job."

Counting all pilots and support staff — from the mechanics to the cooks — roughly 20,000 men were part of what is considered the “Tuskegee experience.”

As of 2015, some 600 were still alive, according to the Tuskegee Airmen National History Museum in Detroit.


Thursday, December 06, 2018

Black Panther, Blackkklansman, and If Beale Street Could Talk nominated for Golden Globe best picture award

By George L. Cook II AfricanAmericanReports.Com

Nominations for the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards were announced on Thursday morning show live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Three films with black directors and predominantly black cast were nominated in the Golden Globes Best Picture-Drama category. Those three films are Black Panther (directed by Ryan Coogler) , Blackkklansman (directed by Spike Lee), and If Beale Street Could Talk (directed by Barry Jenkins).

Blackkklansman received three other nominations. The film was also nominated for best director (Spike Lee) best actor (John David Washington) and best-supporting actor (Adam Driver).

If Beale Street Could Talk also had Regina King nominated in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture and Barry Jenkins for Best Screenplay-Motion Picture (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)

Marvel's Black Panther was nominated in the Best Original Score category (Ludwig Goransson), Best Original Song-Motion Picture for the Kendrick Lamar and SZA song "All the Stars."

Although Green Book was not directed by a black director its worth noting that Mahershala Ali was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting in Any Movie.

Cummings: Kemp should testify about voter suppression allegation

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who's expected to become the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he wants Georgia Gov.-elect Brian Kemp (R) to testify before Congress about allegations that he suppressed minority voters during his tenure as Georgia's secretary of state.

“I want to be able to bring people in, like the new governor-to-be of Georgia, to explain ... why is it fair for wanting to be secretary of state and be running [for governor],” Cummings told HuffPost in an article published Monday.

A news report a few months before Election Day found that a disproportionate number of the state's thousands of stalled voter applications were from black residents.

Cummings told HuffPost that he hopes to address the issue of voter suppression when Democrats are the majority in the 116th Congress.

“One of the things about my committee, you know, it’s called Oversight and Government Reform," he told HuffPost. “Oversight, you know, you gotta research and find out what the hell is going on and then, if it is appropriate, to do those things to reform the system.”

Cummings said he also wants to call on election officials from Kansas and North Carolina accused of suppressing Latino and African-American votes.


Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Frank Scott Jr: First African American elected mayor of Little Rock Arkansas

Frank Scott Jr. has been elected mayor of Little Rock.

Scott is the first African-American elected mayor by popular vote in the city's history. Little Rock has had two black mayors, but they were city directors chosen for the job by fellow board members.

He defeated Baker Kurrus in the nonpartisan runoff election Tuesday after the two received most votes of the five candidates in the general election Nov. 6.

Kurrus conceded to Scott about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday after early voting and absentee ballot numbers showed Scott had a sizable lead.

Scott succeeds Mayor Mark Stodola, who announced this year that he would not seek re-election after 12 years in office because of a family medical issue.

With all precincts reporting, unofficial results were:

Scott: 22,622 - 58 percent

Kurrus: 16,282 - 42 percent

Scott, a 35-year-old Little Rock native, is a banker and associate pastor. He was a deputy police director and director of intergovernmental affairs under former governor Mike Beebe. He has also served on the state highway commission and the board of directors for the Little Rock Port Authority and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Arkansas. Scott is graduate of the University of Arkansas. He holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.