Black Fatalities in Iraq
The percentage of Black fatalities in the Iraq war currently surpasses that of two of the nation’s bloodiest wars. In the Korean war, 3,075 of the dead, or 8.4 percent, were Black, while in the Vietnam conflict, 7,241 of the dead, or 12.4 percent, were Black, according to the U.S. Army Center of Military History. From the onset of the Iraq war on March 19, 2003, through February 26 of this year, 79 Black soldiers have died in Iraq, or 14.3 percent of the 549 combat deaths in this period. Hispanic soldiers accounted for 11.3 percent of the U.S. military dead during this time, according to the Department of Defense. In the early weeks of the war, Blacks died at an even higher rate. A report by the University of Maryland’s Center for Research on Military Organization found that one-fifth of those who died between March 20, 2003, and April 10, 2003, were Black.
Carver Acquires Independence Federal Savings Bank
Carver Bancorp, the holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank, will acquire Washington, D.C.’s Independence Federal Savings Bank in a $32.6 million transaction. Independence stockholders will receive $21 in cash for each share of common stock. With assets of $750 million, the combined company will be the country’s largest Black-operated community bank. The organization will be headquartered in Harlem and continue to trade on the American Stock Exchange. Carver head Deborah Wright will be president and CEO of the combined financial institution, which will have six branches in New York City and five in the greater Washington, D.C., area.
Rare Link to Slave Trade Found
Historian Rachel Malcolm-Woods found a 19th century cemetery with grave markers that have African symbols etched on their surfaces, a rare link to the nation’s slave-trading past. Malcolm-Woods says the inscriptions, or ideograms, are from the West African Igbo culture and could be the only known examples in the United States. Some of the graves may hold the remains of Africans brought to America for slavery. Malcolm-Woods, a doctoral student in history and art history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is studying the site within the George Washington National Forest outside of Lexington with a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The Igbo, who have their own language and believe in ancestor worship, are most common in Nigeria. Malcolm-Woods found 13 headstones and 20 burial impressions. Some stones are stored at a U.S. Forest Service office.
Grants Up to $30,000 for Eligible First-Time Home Buyers at NHS of Jamaica
Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica will administer a Purchase Assistance Program for low-income residents in Queens with a $450,000 award from the New York State Housing Trust Fund. The funds will be leveraged with $2,599,996 of private funds through the New York Mortgage Coalition and $35,000 from the NHS Homeownership CASH Loan Program. Additional grants will be made available through the First Home Clubs. Residents who are in the First Home Club can also take advantage of the matching funds savings plan, where participating banks will match every $1 saved by the resident with $3, up to $5,000 over a 10-month period. The $5,000, along with the participant’s savings, will then be used to help underwrite the purchase price of a first home. NHSJ will implement the Purchase Assistance Program through a lottery process.