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Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Joins Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker in White House Race

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Former Governor Patrick’s late entry onto the presidential stage means that for the first time in history, three African Americans are running for President from one of the two major political parties. They are Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and now Patrick. The late arrivals have reignited a debate about “electability” and who can actually win in 2020. Biden’s poll numbers falling in Iowa started the debate.

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Former Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts (Photo: Scott LaPierre [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)] / Wikimedia Commons)

By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor

As doubts grow about the candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden, other candidates have entered the race for the White House in 2020. In a surprise announcement on November 14, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, 63, tossed his hat in the ring. Only days before, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he would also join the crowded field of Democrats competing to take on President Donald Trump.

Former Governor Patrick’s late entry onto the presidential stage means that for the first time in history, three African Americans are running for President from one of the two major political parties. They are Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and now Patrick. The late arrivals have reignited a debate about “electability” and who can actually win in 2020. Biden’s poll numbers falling in Iowa started the debate.

The diversity of the field and Patrick’s late run only 80 days before the Iowa Caucuses have many insiders on team blue worried that a protracted primary fight may hurt the party’s chances of beating Trump. Concerns from Wall Street and the “one percent” about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “wealth tax” ideas have many Democrats who are more corporation friendly, such as Patrick, re-thinking their chances to compete. Billionaire Bloomberg joined billionaire Tom Steyer, who literally bought his way onto the debate stage, are trying to ignite interest with the moderate wing of the Democratic Party.

To add to the challenge, white candidates in the field must build the diverse Obama coalition of voters and ensure excitement in the most reliable sectors of the Democratic base while minority candidates must thread the needle of attracting white support. The share of white voters supporting the Democratic Party decreases two or three percent each year.

“We have women in this race, we have an openly gay person in this race, we have (a) biracial person in this race, African-Americans in this race,” Patrick said on November 15 to the Associated Press. “It is an incredible moment in American history that our field is so diverse and that voters have such qualified folks to choose from.”

It remains to be seen whether Patrick can quality for the debate stage next month. It also remains to be seen as to whether he can raise the millions needed to mount a serious effort for the White House. But with the current field in flux because of Biden’s faltering in the polls, Deval Patrick may have a chance compete in a crowded field.

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on twitter at @LVBurke

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Bob Marley, One Love Film: A Cinematic Triumph Transforming Lives and Communities Across Jamaica and Beyond

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The oldest son of the reggae legend provided a thoughtful reflection on the emotional and psychological impact of the threats and challenges his father faced. He highlighted the challenge of balancing honesty and entertainment in depicting the life of a cultural icon, shedding light on the reflective character portrayed in the film.
The post Bob Marley, One Love Film: A Cinematic Triumph Transforming Lives and Communities Across Jamaica and Beyond first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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

In an exclusive interview with the Black Press of America’s Let It Be Known morning show, Ziggy Marley, the son of reggae legend Bob Marley, opened up about the profound impact of the hit new movie “Bob Marley, One Love.” Beyond its role as a cinematic journey into the iconic musician’s life, the film has emerged as a catalyst for transformative change, touching the lives of individuals and communities in Jamaica and extending its positive influence beyond geographical boundaries.

The 30-minute discussion delved into the meticulous process of selecting collaborators for the movie, with Ziggy Marley emphasizing the importance of humility and a community-focused approach. The quest for authenticity in portraying Bob Marley’s life meant assembling a team that “respected the culture, ensuring a collective effort devoid of individual egos,” Marley asserted.

The oldest son of the reggae legend provided a thoughtful reflection on the emotional and psychological impact of the threats and challenges his father faced. He highlighted the challenge of balancing honesty and entertainment in depicting the life of a cultural icon, shedding light on the reflective character portrayed in the film.

Marley also discussed the movie’s impact on Jamaica, including its commercial success, job opportunities, and charitable contributions to the communities where it was filmed. He shared insights into the timing and inspiration for the film, underscoring the spiritual lineage of Bob Marley’s music and its relevance in promoting unity and love in today’s world.

Expanding on the positive outcomes of the film, Marley provided detailed accounts of the tangible benefits reaped by local communities. The studio behind the film spearheaded the construction of a new outdoor pavilion at a school aimed at providing a conducive learning environment for children during hot summers, which stood out as a significant accomplishment.

Moreover, the film’s production team played a pivotal role in fostering economic growth, generating employment opportunities, and catalyzing the opening of shops and stores within the community. Ziggy expressed his joy at witnessing the positive transformation, noting that the film brought economic prosperity and a tangible sense of peace to the once tumultuous community.

The timing of the film’s release became a focal point of discussion, with Ziggy highlighting that it wasn’t a premeditated decision but a response to the present moment. Despite difficulties like strikes that caused delays, Ziggy emphasized the family’s trust in the universe’s timing as they explored the idea of making a movie about Bob Marley.

In essence, “Bob Marley, One Love” transcends its cinematic role, becoming a symbol of positive change and community development and a testament to the enduring legacy of Bob Marley, resonating far beyond the realms of the silver screen.

The post Bob Marley, One Love Film: A Cinematic Triumph Transforming Lives and Communities Across Jamaica and Beyond first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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OP-ED: An Agenda for Black America 2024

NNPA NEWSWIRE — An effective strategy to overcome poverty in Black America is to increase homeownership and prevent racial hypersegregation. President Biden has pursued some regulatory actions to address housing discrimination, but improving access to homeownership will require greater efforts to reduce inflation so Black Americans can save and get out from under the burden of high interest rates.
The post OP-ED: An Agenda for Black America 2024 first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By: Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.

President Joe Biden will make his State of the Union address on March 7. As a veteran civil rights leader committed to improving public safety and unlocking economic prosperity in our communities, there are a few policies I hope the president will address.

There also is one I hope he will leave — permanently — on the cutting room floor.

That policy is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed prohibition on the sale of menthol cigarettes. Local law enforcement would oversee executing this ban and because Black Americans who smoke are more likely to choose menthol cigarettes, the Biden administration’s proposed rule will result in more, potentially violent encounters between cops and people of color.

In other words: the FDA’s proposal runs directly counter to President Biden’s attempts to address crime and reform law enforcement practices to better protect Black Americans and other communities of color. Crime is rising especially in many urban centers. The proposed FDA rule change will lead to underground and illicit transactions that will only contribute to more crime and more negative interactions between law enforcement and communities of color.

We cannot leave our communities unprotected. At the same time, I recognize that Black and Brown individuals account for 68.7% of the people in prison and 44% of the people killed by police in the United States. To reduce these numbers, we need to change the culture and premise of policing.

It is estimated that, in several cities, less than 5% of an officer’s time is spent fighting violent crime. Police are still expected to respond to 911 calls, even if these calls have nothing to do with a crime. That requirement is part of the problem. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, people with mental illness are more than 10 times as likely to experience the use of force in interactions with law enforcement than those without mental illnesses. Calling 911 when a person is having a manic episode should not be a matter of life and death, but, too often, it is.

Instead of issuing regulations that will require law enforcement to tackle yet another public health matter, President Biden should make it clear how he intends to help communities take the burden for nonviolent public safety matters off law enforcement’s shoulders. Enhancing funding for substance abuse, mental health, and housing counselors, for example, will keep more people out of jail and prevent police violence.

To further improve outcomes for people of color, President Biden should issue a bold plan to increase Black homeownership. Last year, the National Association of Realtors reported that while 72.7% of white Americans own their own homes, only 44% of Black Americans do. Black homeownership has only increased 0.4% in the past decade.

An effective strategy to overcome poverty in Black America is to increase homeownership and prevent racial hypersegregation. President Biden has pursued some regulatory actions to address housing discrimination, but improving access to homeownership will require greater efforts to reduce inflation so Black Americans can save and get out from under the burden of high interest rates.

Finally, President Biden should continue to request additional federal funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The gap in funding between predominantly white institutions and HBCUs is not the result of smaller endowments. It is the result of systemic underfunding by state lawmakers. According to an Inside Higher Ed report, the country’s historically Black land-grant universities have been underfunded by their states by a total of $13 billion. HBCUs are a springboard toward success. They constitute only 3% of four-year U.S. colleges, but their graduates account for 80% of all Black judges, 50% of Black lawyers, and 50% of Black doctors.

National polls indicate African Americans do not want their votes to be taken for granted in 2024.  President Biden now has a strategic opportunity to engender trust, promote more inclusive public policies, and commit to helping our communities improve the quality of life.

The post OP-ED: An Agenda for Black America 2024 first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Black Owned AND Black Focused

“In the Black Network,” a streaming platform showcasing Black culture, launched by former Fox Soul General Manager James …
The post Black Owned AND Black Focused first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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“In the Black Network,” a streaming platform showcasing Black culture, launched by former Fox Soul General Manager James …

The post Black Owned AND Black Focused first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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