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Black Millennial and Gen-Z Voters Chime in On Issues Important to Them Leading Up to the November Midterm Elections

NNPA NEWSWIRE ±— The 2022 midterm elections will definitely cast a major light on the future of this country, and with recent decisions surrounding education, healthcare, voting rights, abortion, student loans, and other issues, every vote will be crucial in determining what that future looks like.
The post Black Millennial and Gen-Z Voters Chime in On Issues Important to Them Leading Up to the November Midterm Elections first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Are candidates truly speaking to the issues that concern to Black Millennials and Gen-Z voters?

By Jeffrey L. Boney, NNPA Newswire Contributor

As we know, elections have consequences.

With that being said, the voice of Black millennial and Gen-Z voters is critical when it comes to impacting the outcome of any election—local, countywide, state, or federal.

The 2022 midterm elections will definitely cast a major light on the future of this country, and with recent decisions surrounding education, healthcare, voting rights, abortion, student loans, and other issues, every vote will be crucial in determining what that future looks like.

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)—a trade association of the more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers from around the United States—recently asked several Black millennial and Gen-Z registered voters whether they planned to vote in the upcoming midterm elections and what their most important issue is going into the election.


Na’Shon (28-year-old, Black male)

Are you a registered voter?

Yes.

Are you currently in school, working, or both?

I am current working, and in school as an HBCU Doctoral student in Public Policy.

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why?

The most important issue that I want elected officials to address in 2022 is crime. The level of crime can be a major influence on how and when people move to our beautiful city to access good southern culture and economic opportunities for the sake of attaining a Good Life.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Absolutely. The late Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson said that “Politics is not perfect but it’s the best available nonviolent means of changing how we live.” I am a firm believer in that ideology. Moreover, it is my civic duty to participate in electing leaders who will impact the way my son and I shall live.


Elizabeth (24-year-old, Black female)

Are you a registered voter?

Yes.

Are you currently in school, working, or both?

Both.

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why?

The Economy. Definitely, the economy. Because we aren’t making smart moves.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Yes, I will. First off, it’s my right so of course I will exercise it. The current leadership for the upper-level government is not who I want in office. I think they have made decisions that have strongly impacted us, and no one seems to care about that. I think elected officials should address what’s happening in their own backyard. If you go against what your constituents want, or you don’t fight for change, then you’re not the right person for the job.


Aaron (32-year-old, Black male)

Are you a registered voter?

Yes.

Are you currently in school, working, or both?

I am an HBCU Graduate student and currently employed.

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why?

Voting Rights; to continue to protect this right all Americans have to ensure our democracy lasts.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Yes, because I know the important connection of voting to everyday life. I’ll be voting to honor my ancestors who endured beatings, jail, and even death, so I may have this right.


Joshua (31-year-old, Black male)

Are you a registered voter?

Yes.

Are you currently in school, working, or both?

Just work!

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why?

The issue that must be addressed for me this midterm is definitely the protection of women’s reproductive health rights. As a proud son, brother, and friend of many strong Black women, the empowerment (not just freedom to do so) for women to make decisions that THEY deem best for THEIR bodies, in order to be the healthiest and best version of themselves, is of utmost importance. Looking at the landscape of society and history, it is (or should be) clear that when protected and empowered, our world is a better place with women contributing at the highest possible level.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Yes, I will be exercising my right to vote simply out of pride, duty, and spite. It’s a right that many people years ago (maybe even now) didn’t want me to have. It moves the needle of progression, and it’s a middle finger to the powers of injustice that be.


Jonita (37-year-old, Black female)

Are you a registered voter?

Yes.

Are you currently in school, working, or both?

I am working.

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why?

Women’s State’s Rights, because it’s my body.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Yes, because my voice matters.


Caleb (21-year-old, Black male)

Are you a registered voter?

Yes, I am a proud registered voter

Are you currently in school, working, or both?

I am in school and working

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why?

I believe that all issues are important, so no issue is truly more important than others. But, I will say that I would love to see is more infrastructure changes and new beautification and developments for younger people. I feel as though throughout my entire childhood things have always looked the same with no major changes, additions, or much at all. Things are changing now, and I would like to continue to see these changes.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

Yes, I will be voting. Because I believe no matter how young someone is, if you are able to vote, and even if you don’t vote, your voice should be heard, and your opinion should matter. Voting gives people the decision to change the world and every vote matters!


Trey (24-year-old, Black male)

Are you a registered voter?

Yes, I am a registered voter.

Are you currently in school, working, or both?

I am currently a undergraduate senior at an HBCU

What is the most important issue that you want elected officials to address in 2022? Why?

There are countless issues that I feel need to be addressed by our elected officials, but most pressing are today’s wages. In today’s economy, I think that now even what we once considered middle class wages are just not enough to live off of in today’s society.

Will you be voting in the upcoming midterm elections in November? Why?

I’ll be voting in the midterm elections, because I think that the longer certain individuals are in office, the greater risk to the lives of everyday people.


As you can tell, this cross-sector of Black millennial and Gen-Z voters are engaged and wanting to bring about change and have their voices heard. It is imperative that each political party, elected official, and grassroots civics group, take the voice and vote of these young, Black voters seriously and do everything to get them to the polls this November.

Jeffrey L. Boney is a political analyst and frequent contributor for the NNPA Newswire and BlackPressUSA.com, and the associate editor for the Forward Times newspaper in Houston. Jeffrey is an award-winning journalist, author, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, and business development strategist. Follow Jeffrey on Twitter and Instagram @realtalkjunkies and http://www.jeffreylboney.com.

The post Black Millennial and Gen-Z Voters Chime in On Issues Important to Them Leading Up to the November Midterm Elections first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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FILM: Top 10 Must-See Black documentaries

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Below you will find a list of documentaries, based on the roots of African American culture, compiled by Word in Black partner, The Houston Defender. From “I Am Not Your Negro” to “High on the Hog,” each film offers up the origin stories of our most important activists, artists, athletes and traditions.
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By The Houston Defender | Word in Black

The AFRO’s October Special Edition is all about the roots of our culture, our family lineage and the return to old ways and traditions. Below you will find a list of documentaries, based on the roots of African American culture, compiled by our Word in Black partner, The Houston Defender. From I Am Not Your Negro to High on the Hog, each film offers up the origin stories of our most important activists, artists, athletes and traditions.

#10: Attica (2021) 

In September 1971, Attica Prison became the location of one of the largest prison riots in US history, taking place just weeks after revolutionary activist George Jackson was murdered by prison guards at Rikers Island, an act that initiated the birth of Black August and the prison reform movement. The constant abject cruelty and inhumane treatment doled out to the incarcerated (who were overwhelmingly Black and Latinx) by Attica guards (all White) created the context. The riot itself, and its aftermath, are something all human beings should be required to reckon with.

#9: Quincy (2018) 

If you’re Black, it literally doesn’t matter when you were born, what generation you’re a part of, or where you’re from. You’ve been impacted by the genius of Quincy Jones. We’ve all been influenced by the genius of Quincy Jones. The music he made, the albums he produced, the artists he developed, the movies he scored, and about a gazillion other things Jones did, means, as I’ve already said, if you’re Black, Quincy has had a hand in your life. Don’t believe me. What Black person do you know who isn’t a Michael Jackson fan, who hasn’t seen The Wiz, or who doesn’t have a family member who worships jazz music? Quincy Jones had his hand in all that and so much more. Directed by one of his daughters, actress Rashida Jones, this doc is most definitely a must see.

#8: Four Little Girls (1997) 

On Sept. 15, 1963, just 18 short days after the much-celebrated March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed by four members of a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated racist group. Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, four African American girls between the ages of 11 and 14 who had been attending the church’s Sunday school, were killed in the blast, an act of White domestic terrorism that served as a horrific and sober reminder that Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not enough to end the hold the myth of White supremacy had on so many. Director Spike Lee tells this powerfully compelling and important story as only he can.

#7: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke (2019) 

For generations that came after the Baby Boomers, it’s hard for us to fully fathom how big a star Sam Cooke was. Think of the biggest singer of any generation. That was Sam Cooke in his heyday. And not only was he hyper-talented, but not only did he call some of the biggest names in Black history his personal friends (Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X just to name a few), Cooke was a man of the people. And he was heavily invested in the Civil Rights Movement and an advocate for Black self-determination and Black ownership. Cooke even pulled a “Prince” long before Prince—gaining ownership of his own music, something that was as rare then as it is today. This documentary chronicles Cooke’s life, rise to fame, and eventual end, though his influence never died.

#6: Thunder Soul (2010) 

Here’s a hometown entry. Thunder Soul spotlights the extraordinary alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band which the iconic Conrad Johnson led. These alums return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the 92-year-old ‘Prof’, their beloved band leader who transformed the schools struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s. This one will have you out of your seat and dancing in the streets. Check it out.

#5: Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (2021)  

In this documentary, criminal defense/civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson “draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America.” It’s that simple, and yet that complex. And it goes without saying; it’s a must see.

#4: Jeen-Yuhs (2022) 

No matter where you score on the Love Ye / Hate Ye scale, this 2022 documentary about his rise to superstardom is beyond compelling. I mean, who thinks to chronicle their every move from the moment they start pursuing their dream until they either give up on it or see it to fruition and beyond? Who does that? No one but this negro Kanye. He may be the only human being with an ego big enough to conceive of such a project. And believe me, the scope and scale of this documentary match that galaxy-sized self-obsession brahman has that make him both insanely talented and just plain insane at the same time.

#3: I Am Not Your Negro (2016) 

This documentary by Raoul Peck, director of Exterminate All the Brutes (2021) which made the first list of must-see documentaries, introduced the brilliance and unabashed Black of James Baldwin to a whole new generation. Described as a work that imagines the completion of Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House (about Baldwin’s personal reflections on and recollections of three of his personal friends who were killed during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), I Am Not Your Negro is about so much more.

#2: The Last Dance (2020) 

You don’t have to be a basketball fan to get caught up in the chronicling of the last run at an NBA championship by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls who had been told before the season began that the team would be broken up. The doc not only takes you on that 1996 Bulls’ championship ride, but it also digs deep into the past of players, coaches, and family members, spotlighting triumphs and tragedies that are part of the human story, not just the story of professional athletes.

#1: High on the Hog 

How African American Cuisine Transformed America (2021)

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for anything that celebrates our history, especially those things that connect us to our African roots and our Pan-African family. This documentary does all that and more. Because the main character is food. Our food. The stuff we grew up on. The meals many of us are eating right now, and never stopped eating since our youth. This beautifully filmed, beautifully narrated piece of art is full of both the familiar and the foreign; or rather, things we’ve come to believe are foreign to us, but are really part of our story and our heritage. And the okra on top? High on the Hog has a powerful H-Town connection. A few, in fact.

This list of documentaries based on the roots of African American culture was compiled by Word In Black.

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

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Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades

NNPA NEWSWIRE — According to internal VA data obtained by the Washington Post, Black applicants seeking disability benefits were denied 30 percent of the time from 2002 to 2020. White applicants were denied 24 percent of the time.
The post Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Black Information Network | Atlanta Daily World

A new lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) alleges that the U.S. government discriminated against Black veterans for decades.

On Monday (November 28), the suit was filed by Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic (VLSC) on behalf of Vietnam War veteran Conley Monk Jr, whose applications for education, housing, and disability benefits have been denied since he returned home from the war, per The Hill.

According to the suit, discrimination by the VA has left Black veterans without benefits more frequently than their white counterparts.

Yale’s VLSC said the lawsuit could “provide a legal pathway for Black veterans to seek reparations from the VA.”

“This lawsuit seeks to hold the VA accountable for years of discriminatory conduct,” Adam Henderson, a law student working with the VLSC on the case, said in a statement, per the Hill.

“VA leaders knew, or should have known, that they were administering benefits in a discriminatory manner, yet they failed to address this unlawful bias,” Henderson added. “Mr. Monk — and thousands of Black veterans like him — deserve redress for the harms caused by these negligently administered programs.”

According to internal VA data obtained by the Washington Post, Black applicants seeking disability benefits were denied 30 percent of the time from 2002 to 2020. White applicants were denied 24 percent of the time.

VA press secretary Terrence Hayes said the agency is working to combat “institutional racism.”

“Throughout history, there have been unacceptable disparities in both VA benefits decisions and military discharge status due to racism, which have wrongly left Black veterans without access to VA care and benefits,” Hayes said. “We are actively working to right these wrongs.”

The post U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans For Decades: Lawsuit appeared first on Atlanta Daily World.

The post Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Through colorful pictures with vibrant imagery, young readers will easily get drawn into the exciting adventures of Bennett Mayco Wilson’s fictional yet exciting world and learn valuable childhood lessons together, when Bennet gets a basketball as a present from his father on his fourth birthday.
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‘A Basketball Hero is Born’ is a part of The Hero Book Series by Jerald LeVon Hoover, which aims to inspire youth to make a positive change in their communities and the world in general

Widely celebrated African American author, Jerald LeVon Hoover, is once again inspiring young people to make a positive change in their communities with the launch of a new children’s book. Titled A Basketball Hero is Born, the new children’s reading book contains colorful pictures that warm the heart and keep young readers glued to its pages.

The plot follows the exciting adventures of Bennett Mayco Wilson who gets a basketball as a present from his father on his fourth birthday. Affectionately naming the new basketball “Lucky,” the story unfolds as young Bennett tries to take his new best friend everywhere, including the dinner table, to school, and to bed when it is time for sleep.

Jerald L. Hoover

Jerald L. Hoover

Through colorful pictures with vibrant imagery, young readers will easily get drawn into Bennett’s fictional yet exciting world and learn valuable childhood lessons together. Currently available for purchase on Amazon, A Basketball Hero is Born is a part of The Hero Book Series by Jerald LeVon Hoover, which emphasizes instilling a love of sports and friendship in young readers.

About The Author

Jerald L. Hoover is a multi-talented individual with countless accomplishments in the creative, literary, and entertainment worlds. After winning an award for “The Best New Male Writer of the Year” for his fictional novel, My Friend, My Hero Jerald went on to be listed from 1994 – 1996 as a best-selling author among young Black writers in various African American publications. In 1995, he was awarded the Writers Corp Award by then-President Bill Clinton. In 1998, Jerald was inducted into the Mount Vernon Boy’s and Girl’s Club Hall of Fame. Since then, Jerald has won several other awards and is also an in-demand motivational speaker who overcame a childhood speech impediment.

The post BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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