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Black News Channel Network Launch Fulfills Lifelong Dream of JC Watts

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The Tallahassee, Florida-based BNC counts as the brainchild of J.C. Watts, Jr., who is described by Tommy Ross, the network’s director of communications, as “a father, husband, grandfather, business owner, entrepreneur, author, elected official at the state and federal level, a pastor, and a rancher who grew up in a small town in Oklahoma.”

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The historic launch of the BNC will fulfill the business dream and vision of a nationally known entrepreneur and former Oklahoma Representative to the United States Congress, J.C. Watts, Jr.

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

Washington, DC — On February 10, 2020, the Black News Channel (BNC) will become the nation’s only 24-hour news and information television network focused primarily on African Americans. The historic launch of the BNC will fulfill the business dream and vision of J.C. Watts, Jr., a nationally known entrepreneur and former U.S. Congressman, Representing Oklahoma’s Fourth District.

Programming will include special news features on topics that most affect the quality of life of communities of color – like Sickle Cell Disease and hypertension – that generally aren’t given much attention to by other news outlets. The BNC has also established a news-content alliance with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), representing the Black Press of America, via 225 African American-owned newspapers and digital companies throughout the United States.

The Tallahassee, Florida-based BNC counts as the brainchild of J.C. Watts, Jr., who is described by Tommy Ross, the network’s director of communications, as “a father, husband, grandfather, business owner, entrepreneur, author, elected official at the state and federal level, a pastor, and a rancher who grew up in a small town in Oklahoma.”

In reality, Watts appears as much more, and those who know him, understand that he’s a Republican conservative whose accomplishments crosses party lines. Watts is also a former All-Star quarterback who played college football in Oklahoma and pro ball in Canada.

His congressional accomplishments and living legacy are noteworthy, including:

  • Helped Black farmers get some justice on a discrimination suit against the United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Helped push through legislation for the African American Museum of History and Culture.
  • Sponsored HBCU summits to establish relationships and better understanding between students and Republican policymakers.
  • Sponsored anti-poverty legislation (community renewal/new markets tax credits).
  • Led Congress in highlighting minority health care disparities.
  • Led on the Republican side against sentencing disparities between crack/powder cocaine.
  • Led in getting funding to fight malaria in West Africa.
  • Sponsored Africa growth and opportunity legislation.

“We’ve done a lot as African Americans,” Watts stated before referencing a recent statue unveiling that took place in Richmond, Virginia, earlier this month. “Rumors of War,” a statue by artist Kehinde Wiley, was unveiled on December 10 during a ceremony at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The figure depicts an African American man dressed in contemporary clothing riding a horse, echoing the equestrian sculptures of Confederate soldiers.

“Rumors of War” was reportedly Wiley’s response to the Confederate monuments that pepper the U.S. and the South in particular. The new memorial arrived amid an ongoing debate across the country about what do with Confederate imagery. “This was history,” Watts said of the statue. “Because, if we talk about the slave owner, how can we ignore the slave? African Americans contributed mightily to the United States, and you don’t see enough statues of African Americans.”

“Think about what Rosa Parks contributed, Harriet Tubman’s sacrifice, Martin Luther King’s sacrifice, and Frederick Douglass. Their contribution was to raise the conscious level of America to say that you know, we are all human and, and all created by the same God,” Watts emphasized.

He said the BNC would highlight the contributions of African Americans. And, to successfully accomplish that mission, Watts said it was essential to partner with NNPA.

“NNPA already has people in the trenches that report on African American life, whether it’s Chicago, Atlanta, Birmingham, Detroit or Oklahoma City, they report on African American life every day,” Watts stated. “I don’t know if I can put into words how important that partnership will be, and that’s just in terms of content. When I was in politics, we used a strategy where you’ve got people knocking on doors and leaving literature, and that’s your ground game,” Watts continued.

“But you also need an air attack to augment that ground game, so with NNPA being on the ground and giving us information and data, and us being able to launch an air attack, it’s critical,” he stated.

Watts believes that a significant component of the BNC is providing knowledge to a community that’s starved for information.

“Our viewers will be able to find out more about Sickle Cell and Black men and Black women’s health,” Watts stated. “They will also be reminded that Black history isn’t just about Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, which was extremely important, but it isn’t the only part of our history. We are going to take a deeper dive and have a deeper relationship with our community.”

Watts’s background as a Republican and a conservative has often been a topic of both his supporters and detractors. However, Watts refuses to allow stereotypes and presumptions to define him.

“Conservative means many things to different people. To me, it means living the way my grandmama taught me,” Watts stated. “She taught me to treat people the way that I want to be treated. In a Black home, you rarely saw people leaving their lights on at night because grandmama taught that it was a waste of electricity. If the lights were on, you knew that something pretty serious was happening.”

Watts continued: “The bottom line about being a conservative is that you treat people with respect, and you don’t believe in wasting things. That’s important. And, another primary place that I get my conservative values is the Bible. I was thought that I shouldn’t just be concerned about Oklahoma University, my alma mater, but I should also be concerned about Morehouse. That’s why I sponsored anti-poverty legislation because sometimes you have to put extra resources into different communities to give them the infrastructure to attract industry and jobs.”

“My biblical principles drove me much more than the Republican party. Look, the National Football League recognized that having successful teams in every market would benefit everyone, and that’s why the team with the worst record gets the top pick in the draft. They know that if the Cincinnati Bengals perform better, everybody wins because you would have more advertising and a better television contract for everyone. So, I feel the same way about underserved communities. If we can help them to be stronger and create more opportunities within those communities, then that’s good for all communities.”

Conservative values also sparked Watts’s desire for criminal justice reform, he stated.

“When I talk about conservative principles, you know you don’t waste money,” Watts stated. “So, why should we spend $28,000 a year to incarcerate someone for a low-level, nonviolent drug offense?

“You can spend significantly less on community service. And, when you look at the facts, the sentencing disparities were big. People on Wall Street were using powder cocaine just like people on Main Street, or people in poor communities, but the sentencing disparities were off the charts. I voted my conscience when on this when I was in Congress,” Watts stated.

With the launch of the BNC just only weeks away, Watts hopes that viewers will get a similar feeling to what he experienced after recently taking his daughter to dinner to celebrate her birthday.

“My daughter recommended the restaurant, I’d never been there before,” Watts stated, “After dinner, she asked me what did I think of the restaurant? I said, ‘I’d come back to tomorrow. And I think that’s our mission with the BNC, not just to grab the imagination and the attention of the nation, but especially our demographic and to have them come back. I think it’ll be a mission accomplished.”

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr, a progressive Democrat and President and CEO of the NNPA without any reservations asserted, “The launch of the Black News Channel (BNC) is very timely at the beginning of 2020. This is good news for all in Black America. The BNC transcends the current partisan divide in the United States. The interests of African Americans, as well as all other people of color and all of humanity who cry out for freedom, justice and equality will be more effectively addressed as direct result of the daily 24/7 diverse and news-packed broadcasts of BNC in the U.S. and throughout the world.”

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PRESS ROOM: Revolutionizing Economic Equality: Our Money United to Launch the Black Wall Street Spending Ticker, Transforming Consumer Spending and Corporate Accountability

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Our Money United is a pledged-based grassroots campaign led by Friends of the Movement and the nation’s top civil and civic rights organizations to educate consumers on the power of their spending, giving, and investing. The campaign will highlight and reward Corporations that have become friends of the movement and measure their progress on eliminating barriers to economic inclusion. Visit www.ourmoneyunited.com for more information about Our Money United.
The post PRESS ROOM: Revolutionizing Economic Equality: Our Money United to Launch the Black Wall Street Spending Ticker, Transforming Consumer Spending and Corporate Accountability first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Our Money United Will Unveil Revolutionary Technology to Reshape Consumer Spending and Foster Economic Equality

Atlanta, GA — On Tuesday, March 12, 2024, Our Money United will unveil the Black Wall Street Spending Ticker, a pioneering technology driving a consumer spending transformation with corporate accountability. The highly anticipated reveal of the Conscious Spending Platform is led by Friends of the Movement (FotM) Global, the Atlanta Black Chambers Foundation, the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Original Black Wall Street (Greenwood-Tulsa Chamber), in collaboration with civil rights and social justice organizations nationwide. The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (RICE), the largest Black incubator in the nation, will house the Black Wall Street Ticker. Pioneering as the pilot launch city, Atlanta is a conscious city and supporter of FotM.

The Black Wall Street Spending Ticker is the first of the various conscious tickers representing ethnic groups visually showcasing the collective spending influence of conscious spending groups, casting a vigilant eye on global citizens while holding corporations accountable. Similar to the Nasdaq, The Black Wall Street Ticker, signifies a new era of transparency and responsibility, visually encapsulating the collective impact of consumers in the marketplace. The Black Wall Street Spending Ticker will meticulously monitor spending within the Black community and its allies, rewarding those actively contributing to closing the wealth gap.

“As we unveil the Black Wall Street Spending Ticker, we’re not just tracking dollars, we’re tracking the heartbeat of economic justice,” says Dr. Charles Champ Walker, Chief Economic Empowerment Officer of FotM Global. “This transformative initiative signals a shift where every conscious purchase becomes a vote for a more equitable and prosperous future. Together, through the power of our wallets, we are rewriting the narrative of economic empowerment and leaving an indelible mark on the path toward true equality.”

Powering the Black Wall Street Ticker is the Voter Wallet, a tool that empowers consumers to align spending with their values and exercise their economic voting power. The Voter Wallet connects consumers with a network of aligned conscious groups and merchants reporting aggregate spending data to the ticker. Seamlessly integrating spending, giving, and investments within each group, the Voter Wallet provides a real-time window into the tangible impact of contributions within one’s community. The Voter Wallet will support Black and ally businesses while helping to close the wealth gap.

The unveiling of the first Black Wall Street Ticker will be on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at 11:30 a.m. at the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship (RICE). RICE is located in the heart of the Atlanta University Center at 504 Fair St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313. For more information on Friends of the Movement, Our Money United, the Black Wall Street Spending Ticker, or the Voter Wallet, visit http://www.ourmoneyunited.com or contact press@ourmoneyunited.com. Ready to become a Friend of the Movement? Visit www.FotMGlobal.com to take the pledge.

About Our Money United

Our Money United is a pledged-based grassroots campaign led by Friends of the Movement and the nation’s top civil and civic rights organizations to educate consumers on the power of their spending, giving, and investing. The campaign will highlight and reward Corporations that have become friends of the movement and measure their progress on eliminating barriers to economic inclusion. Visit http://www.ourmoneyunited.com for more information about Our Money United.

About Friends of the Movement (FotM) Global

Friends of the Movement Global (FotM), is a conscious spending platform where conscious spending converges with cutting-edge technology to usher in a social and economic change like never before. In an era where every dollar wields the potential to shape our collective future, FotM is at the forefront of revolutionizing how we spend, give, and invest. FotM’s mission is to empower individuals and groups to make a lasting impact by voting with their wallets at the cash register and endorsing policymakers aligned with their values through donation votes. FotM proudly introduces the World’s first Conscious Spending Platform – the Voter Wallet, a groundbreaking concept that sets us apart as pioneers in the field. FotM believes money should be a force for good, not just a transaction.

Step into a new era of conscious spending, where every purchase or donation becomes a potent instrument for positive transformation. FotM lives by the principle that what gets measured gets done. Tracking spending and giving, FotM will display it on the Black Wall Street Spending Tickers throughout the country fostering accountability for ourselves and corporations alike. FotM helps turn financial choices into a brighter future. Together, we redefine the possibilities of conscious consumerism, one transaction at a time. Visit http://www.fotmglobal.com for more information about Friends of the Movement Global.

The post PRESS ROOM: Revolutionizing Economic Equality: Our Money United to Launch the Black Wall Street Spending Ticker, Transforming Consumer Spending and Corporate Accountability first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Federal Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for White Man Who Fatally Shot 10 Black People in Buffalo Grocery Store

Gendron is already serving a life sentence without parole after pleading guilty to New York state murder charges in November 2022.
The post Federal Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for White Man Who Fatally Shot 10 Black People in Buffalo Grocery Store first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown

NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Federal prosecutors announced on Friday, Jan. 12, their intention to pursue the death penalty for Payton Gendron, a 20-year-old white man responsible for a racist rampage that claimed the lives of 10 Black shoppers at a Buffalo grocery store in May 2022. Prosecutors revealed the decision in a court filing before a scheduled status conference hearing at the Robert H. Jackson Federal Courthouse in Buffalo.

Gendron is already serving a life sentence without parole after pleading guilty to New York state murder charges in November 2022. Defense attorneys have expressed Gendron’s willingness to plead guilty to federal hate crimes and weapons violations if prosecutors choose not to pursue the death penalty.

“Today’s decision by the Department of Justice provides a pathway to both relief and a measure of closure for the victims and their families,” said civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump. “They have been pleading for full justice for nearly two years, and today they are one step closer. We thank the DOJ for its diligence and for fighting for those whose lives were so tragically affected by this atrocity. We ask that you continue to keep the victims, their families, and the entire Buffalo community in your prayers as they continue to grieve and pursue full justice for those who were stolen from them.”

The announcement follows a nearly 20-month Justice Department case review, marking the first time Attorney General Merrick Garland has authorized a new capital prosecution. President Joe Biden, who campaigned against the death penalty, faced criticism from civil rights groups, arguing that the death penalty historically and disproportionately affects racial minorities and the poor. Garland issued a moratorium on federal executions in 2021, which remains in place but does not prevent prosecutors from seeking a death sentence.

In 2023, emotions ran high at a sentencing hearing as the sister of one of the victims confronted Gendron. Chaos erupted when an enraged man charged at the defendant, leading to authorities rushing Gendron out of the courtroom. After returning, Judge Susan Egan acknowledged the pain experienced by the victims’ families but emphasized the need for appropriate conduct.

Gendron, who had targeted a specific predominantly Black Buffalo zip code, admitted to the racially charged massacre. He said he regretted his actions, attributing them to online hate and the belief in the “replacement theory.” Gendron was sentenced to life in prison by Judge Egan, who condemned his ideologies as “ignorant, hateful, and evil.”

 

The post Federal Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for White Man Who Fatally Shot 10 Black People in Buffalo Grocery Store first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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The Unchecked Path: Trump’s Victory in Iowa Sparks Concerns Over Accountability

Just one day before his second sexual assault civil trial was to begin, Trump cruised to a landslide victory in the Iowa caucuses, solidifying his front-runner status for the Republican presidential nomination.
The post The Unchecked Path: Trump’s Victory in Iowa Sparks Concerns Over Accountability first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown

NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

@StacyBrownMedia

A good parent usually chastises and punishes their child when they’ve egregiously misbehaved. Jaywalkers get tickets, and murderers have received the death penalty. Generally, no one goes unpunished for breaking the law. Not in the United States. Not unless you are of a particular social and financial status, and the crime, for the most part, isn’t much more than white collar.

But that’s not the case with Donald J. Trump. Undoubtedly, Trump is the kid who has never been chastised or punished. And, as a grown-up, and certainly since his false election claim in 2020 and his egging on a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, the twice-impeached and four-times indicted former president hasn’t seen a scintilla of punishment. One could argue that America, or his parents, have rewarded his unprecedented bad behavior.

Just one day before his second sexual assault civil trial was to begin, Trump cruised to a landslide victory in the Iowa caucuses, solidifying his front-runner status for the Republican presidential nomination. As several outlets reported, losing one-term presidents rarely mount subsequent successful primary campaigns, much less pull off landslides that demonstrate utter dominance of their party.

Trump transformed the GOP in 2016. By claiming 50% of the vote in the biggest win in caucus history, putting him on course for his third consecutive nomination, Trump showed that the current GOP is now entirely his party.

President Joe Biden beat Trump in the 2020 general election, 81 million popular votes to 75 million. And while both numbers were stunning, Trump’s was more telling, as it demonstrated that 75 million could vote for a man who single-handedly destroyed American Democracy, who championed white supremacy, caged babies, mocked the disabled, and called cowards American troops whom the enemy captured. Not all Trump followers are racist, but there’s no doubt that you must be a racist to be a Trump follower.

Biden’s victory over Trump came in part because his slogan, his message, “saving the soul of America,” resonated. It was the first time since President Obama’s “Yes We Can” that Dems had a message folks could understand and get behind. Mainly a message that the ultimate swing voters, African Americans, could embrace. During the current campaign, when Biden says there’s a need to “save Democracy,” the message falls flat particularly to African Americans who have come to a reckoning that Democracy today, like the Confederacy of decades ago, doesn’t work for Black people.

So, what are they saving? A system that fosters outright racism from politicians, the emphatic truth that Black Lives really don’t matter, and more than 75 million, including a few who were born Black (Ben Carson, Clarence Thomas, Candace Owens, Jason Whitlock, etc.) show the worst of African Americans with their allegiance to slavery and their slave master Trump.

It indeed says a whole lot that Trump is the clear front-runner to return to office, where he promises that “on day one,” he’ll be a dictator. He’ll have people – read Black people — shot by police on the spot if they are deemed to have participated in shoplifting or any minor crime. Trump will get rid of the Affordable Care Act, which provides otherwise uninsured Black and poor people with life-saving healthcare coverage. He’ll release the seditious, murderous January 6 inmates whom he calls hostages.

Having already banned just about any book with a Black author or one that reveals true American history, Trump will ensure that publishing houses that produce such work will be shut down. That could also mean the Black Press of America, founded in New York 197 years ago before slavery ended in America.

Trump once proudly proclaimed that he could shoot someone on New York’s Fifth Avenue and get away with it. He also exclaimed on national television that he and other celebrities are allowed to grab a woman, any woman, by their private parts without permission, and it’s okay. Subsequently, a jury found him civilly responsible for sexual assault, and he currently has 91 felony charges pending against him.

And with a favorable U.S. Supreme Court and three of the justices he put there, Trump is on his way to proving the accuracy of his declarations of committing crimes and getting away with them. America has been good lately about canceling sexual predators, even those who were only accused of sexual assault. America has been good of late with jailing some of the January 6 perpetrators. A judge ordered Trump to pay $5 million after being found guilty of sexual assault, another judge is on the verge of ordering Trump to pay more than $250 million for massive business fraud, and evidence recently emerged that Trump probably sold U.S. secrets to foreign entities while in office. Yet, he swept to victory in Iowa and may easily defeat Biden in November. To Trump, there’s no better parent, none more lenient, than America.

The post The Unchecked Path: Trump’s Victory in Iowa Sparks Concerns Over Accountability first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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