President Obama surprised many Americans this month as the first sitting
President to announce his support of same-sex marriage. While Obama's
staunchest critics believe he has risked alienating many of his
African-American supporters, his supporters reject this notion.
The co-founder of one of America's largest Black-owned banks, Alvin
Boutte Sr., has died. He was 82. Boutte was one of the country's most
influential Black businessmen. The bank he helped launch, Independence Bank, at one point had total assets of $145.7 mil.
Dr. Manning Marable, who died shortly before his biography “Malcolm X: A
Life of Reinvention” (Viking) was released last April, was awarded the
Pulitzer Prize in History on Monday. The book, which has been the source of much controversy, was moved from the biography category by the Pulitzer board.
Gil Noble, the longtime host of WABC-TV's groundbreaking public affairs
program "Like It Is," on which he interviewed such notables as Nelson
Mandela, Muhammad Ali and Jesse Jackson, died Thursday at age 80.
African-Americans once were clustered so heavily in urban areas that the
terms “Black” and “inner city” came to be used almost synonymously.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census results, that time is history.
Since becoming the first African-American to graduate from the Coast
Guard Academy in 1966, Merle Smith has seen more diversity among the
corps of cadets. But he says the academy still has work to do to better
reflect the face of America.
Last December during a massive “Stand for Freedom” rally in Manhattan,
John A. Payton, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational
Fund, told a throng of marchers that “These are dangerous times we’re
living in, but we’ve won in the past and we will win in the future.
It’s getting harder and harder to register our votes and these efforts
disproportionally affect people of color.” That passionate voice for justice was stilled last Thursday when Payton, 65, died in Baltimore.
The Washington Post is reporting that Donald M. Payne, the first Black congressman from New Jersey, has died. He was 77. A congressional delegate of the United Nations, Payne was a longtime advocate for Africa and one of the first public officials to denounce the mass killings in the Darfur region of Sudan.
A year ago, Clive Davis' glittery pre-Grammy showcase was winding down
after a number of electric performances when the grandest name of all,
Whitney Houston, walked on stage to close the evening with what promised
to be a show-stopping tribute to her famous cousin, Dionne Warwick.