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195 Years of the Black Press: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association of the 230-plus Black-owned newspapers and media companies that comprise the Black Press of America, is poised to observe the 195th anniversary of the birth of Freedom’s Journal and the Black Press.
The post 195 Years of the Black Press: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Part 1 in a series.

As America grapples with its age-old racism problem, mass shootings, unprecedented political dysfunction, police brutality, misinformation, and the ongoing attacks on voting and other fundamental rights, continue to dominate news headlines.

However, the Black Press has remained the trusted voice for news in the African American community — and beyond.

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association of the 230-plus Black-owned newspapers and media companies that comprise the Black Press of America, is poised to observe the 195th anniversary of the birth of Freedom’s Journal and the Black Press.

An informative and entertaining convention kicks off at the Hilton Riverside Hotel on June 22 in New Orleans with the theme, “195 Years of the Black Press: Amplifying our Voices for Freedom, Justice, Equality, and Equity.”

NNPA Newswire has embarked on a four-part series featuring some of its most dedicated consumers ahead of the convention.

Readers and consumers will share why the Black Press remains vital after 195 years during the series.

They will also offer perspectives on what they’d like to see from the Black Press as we advance and what they appreciate most about the Black Press.

In the series finale, they will explain what distinguishes the Black Press from mainstream media.

Many of the millions of subscribers to NNPA member newspapers, websites, and social media channels, have extolled the importance of the Black Press.

“For a people whose vast numbers could not read in 1827, words on paper were manna from heaven,” stated David Youngblood, who regularly opens up YouTube and Facebook to watch the NNPA’s daily morning show, “Let It Be Known.”

“The Black Press provided that sustenance. That ‘news’ passed from print to mouth to ear across the country. The Black Press did and still does connect us. The Black Press has continually kept us informed,” Youngblood asserted.

He’s not alone.

“In the words of a great man, ‘The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and make the guilty innocent,’” Jacoby Jelks, an artist previously featured in the Black Press, stated.

“With such great power, it’s imperative that the Black community control the narrative of what and how we would like to be perceived by other races and ethnicities and not allow our stories to be cemented by those who may not have shared in the Black American experience.”

Jelks continued:

“History has proven that it could be detrimental and dangerous. The significance of the Black Press of America is that it provides us the opportunity for our voices to be heard in a world that is mainly controlled by mainstream media.”

Michelle Madison, who also counts among the loyal viewers of “Let It Be Known,” called the Black Press crucial to the survival of African Americans.

“Not only is it needed to counteract a mirage of negative stereotypes, but it serves as a vehicle to help Black businesses thrive,” Madison wrote in an email.

“Unfortunately, the Black community is often subjected to one-sided opinions and news from white and other counterparts. As a result, there is a void in newsworthy issues that the Black Press can only address,” she wrote.

Joni King offered that she sees the Black Press thriving and growing even after 195 years.

“I appreciate the dedication that has contributed and imperative to the success of the Black Press,” King stated.

“The Black Press is admirable through hard work and dedication that guarantees the continued success, and, to me, that distinguishes the Black Press from mainstream media.”

At a time when the Black voice was suppressed and silenced, having news stories and features that represented African Americans not only provided a sense of community, but hope, insisted Ashley M. King.

“African Americans were now in a position of ownership. Able to own and control the media’s narrative and use their voice to speak against injustices,” King said.

“African Americans could utilize their gifts and talents beyond the cotton field to voice their struggle.”

Chenadra Washington, the principal at Washington International LLC, called the observance of the Black Press’ 195th anniversary “huge.”

“For me, it’s not only the fact that Black Press America was founded during slavery, but also the fact that it is still standing today,” Washington remarked.

“That’s pure resiliency. As a recently transitioned entrepreneur, I often think about the courage of my ancestors and the sheer determination to build. Knowing that this was founded in 1827 and still serving and bringing value today makes me beam with pride and helps me stay the course.”

The NNPA’s convention and the celebration of the 195th anniversary of the Black Press is open to the public. For great hotel rates and tickets to some of the signature events at the convention, visit https://www.nnpa-events.com/

The post 195 Years of the Black Press: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Brittney Griner Sentenced to More than 9 years in Russian Prison

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision. “We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

WNBA Superstar Brittney Griner has been sentenced to more than 9 years in a Russian prison following her conviction on drug charges.

Her lawyers called the verdict a disappointment and vowed to appeal.

The lawyers of WNBA star Brittney Griner, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, said in a written statement following the verdict announcement that the court ignored all the evidence they presented and that they will appeal the decision.

“We are very disappointed by the verdict. As legal professionals, we believe that the court should be fair to everyone regardless of nationality,” Attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

“The court completely ignored all the evidence of the defense, and most importantly, the guilty plea. This contradicts the existing legal practice.

“Taking into account the amount of the substance (not to mention the defects of the expertise) and the plea, the verdict is absolutely unreasonable. We will certainly file an appeal,” they added.

Russian officials contended that Griner committed the crime on purpose. They also levied a fine totaling about $16,400 American dollars on the basketball star.

Authorities arrested Griner on Feb. 17 at an airport in Moscow after finding less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.

She has been detained since then.

Recently, American officials revealed that the Biden-Harris administration had offered notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for the release of Griner and Paul Whelan.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” President Biden said.

“It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

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Report: Human Rights Violations in Prisons Throughout Southern United States Cause Disparate and Lasting Harm in Black Communities  

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

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NNPA Newswire

NEW YORK – The Southern Prisons Coalition, a group of civil and human rights organizations, submitted a new report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on the devastating consequences of incarceration on Black people throughout the southern United States.

With the long-term goal of eliminating all forms of racial discrimination in the criminal legal system, including the carceral system, the report describes the widespread, disparate harms resulting from the arrests, harsh prison sentences, and incarceration on Black communities.

The report also cites the devastating impacts of solitary confinement, prison labor, the school to prison pipeline, and incarceration of parents on Black families.

On August 8, 2022, the UN will review the United States’ compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination for the first time since 2014.

Among the ongoing stark racial disparities throughout prisons in the southern United States, Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated in state prisons.

In states like Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, where Black communities comprise 38% of the total population, Black individuals account for as much as 67% of the total incarcerated population.

While incarcerated, Black people are more than eight times more likely to be placed in solitary confinement, and they are 10 times more likely to be held there for exceedingly long periods of time.

By submitting the report to the United Nations, the Southern Prisons Coalition hopes to solicit concrete recommendations from the UN Committee as well as commitments from the United States delegation about their plans to address systemic issues in the United States prison system, particularly in the South.

According to the report, several states in the United States have also failed to meet several of the UN’s Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of incarcerated people, including:

  • Work should help to prepare incarcerated people for their release from prison, including life and job skills;
  • Safety measures and labor protections for incarcerated workers should be the same as those that cover workers who are not incarcerated;
  • Incarcerated workers should receive equitable pay, be able to send money home to their families, and have a portion of their wages set aside to be given to them upon release.

“The U.S. has long failed to live up to its international human rights treaty obligations on eliminating racial discrimination, perhaps more so in the area of mass incarceration and prison conditions than in any other context,” said Lisa Borden, Senior Policy Counsel, International Advocacy at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“We hope the Committee will help to shine a light on these very dark truths and prompt the U.S. to take its obligation to make significant improvements more seriously.”

“The abuses of forced labor are inextricably tied to racial discrimination in our nation,” said Jamila Johnson, Deputy Director at the Promise of Justice Initiative.

“In Louisiana, for instance, people are still sent into the fields to labor by hand in dangerously high heat indexes, for little to no compensation, and with brutal enforcement reminiscent of slavery and the era of ‘convict leasing’.”

“This report reveals the suffering of Black people in southern U.S. prisons, whose stories of marginalization and discrimination echo the racial subjugation of slavery and convict leasing during our country’s most shameful past,” said Antonio L. Ingram II, Assistant Counsel at the Legal Defense Fund.

“Despite widespread knowledge of the longstanding racial inequalities in the criminal legal and carceral systems, the United States continues to allow egregious human rights violations to persist for Black incarcerated people in violation of international law. This report serves as a sobering reminder of how far we need to go.”

Read the full report here.

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Celebrate your birthday with 10 free items

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

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By Angelina Liu, Entertainment Editor of The Trendsetter / Texas Metro News

Is your birthday coming up, and you’re not sure how to celebrate? Beat the summer heat by grabbing free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, or a daiquiri at WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe.” Not in the mood for sweets? Head over to Jersey Mike’s or McDonald’s. Check out the rest of these Top 10 places giving out free items on your special day.

1. Chocolate Secrets

At Chocolate Secrets, located at 3926 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas, TX 75219, you can celebrate your birthday by getting one free piece of candy under their candy cases.

2. WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”

Head to WhoDaq Daquiris “The Daiquiri Shoppe”, located at 684 W Pioneer Pkwy Suite 100, Grand Prairie, Texas 75051, to claim a free small personal daiquiri on your birthday. Quench your thirst with signature flavors such as “Strawberry Shortcake” or “Bahama Mama.”

3. Sephora

Sign up for a free, Beauty Insider account and receive your choice of 250 bonus points, Laura Mercier, Amika or Tatcha sets on your birthday. The choice of powders, lipsticks and skincare is bound to make you look fabulous for your special day.

4. Starbucks

Need a quick pick-me-up on your birthday? Starbucks has it covered! Join the Starbucks Rewards Program seven days prior to your birthday and make one purchase. Starbucks will then email you a coupon for a free food or beverage item two days before your birthday. The birthday reward qualifies for anything on the menu, including any size handcrafted drink or food item.

5. Jersey Mike’s

In the mood for a sub? Head over to Jersey Mike’s and receive a free sub and drink. Make sure to sign up for the Jersey Mike’s Subs Email Club prior to your birthday to receive this reward. Nothing tastes quite like melted cheese and meat in between a toasted baguette, along with an icy cold drink.

6. The Cheesecake Factory

Celebrating with friends? Tell your server it’s your birthday and receive a free treat as well as a song. It may be mildly embarrassing, but hey, it’s free!

7. Culver’s

Need something cold and sweet to beat the Texas heat? Head to Culver’s for a free sundae when you sign up for their rewards program. The sweet creaminess will surely not disappoint.

8. IHOP

Want to indulge in a sweet breakfast before birthday festivities? Join the International Bank of Pancakes rewards program to receive a free stack of pancakes on your birthday. Pair your pancakes with a choice of chocolate chips, syrup, fresh fruit or a dollop of whipped cream.

9. McDonald’s

Need a snack before embarking on your next birthday adventure? Download the McDonald’s app and join MyMcDonald’s Rewards to receive free large fries. Mmm, the taste and smell of fresh, perfectly salted french fries.

10. Smoothie King

Want to celebrate your birthday with a healthier option? Enjoy a birthday smoothie at Smoothie King. Download the Smoothie King app to receive this offer.

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