Saturday, June 17, 2017

Jury in Cosby Mistrial Was "Hopelessly Deadlocked"

Source: CBS News

'Wheel Of Fortune' Backdrop For 'Southern Charm Week' Appears To Feature Slaves

By David Moye

A “Wheel Of Fortune” backdrop for Vanna White and Pat Sajak promoting “Southern Charm Week” has some people calling out the letters WTF.

The game-show icons promoted the week by standing in front of a picture of an antebellum mansion. If you look closely at the screenshot, below, you can see what appear to be two African American woman slaves in the background.

The game show’s “Southern Charm Week” episodes first aired in March, according to the New York Daily News. It was when the episodes were rerun this week that heads started spinning. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Huffington Post

Friday, June 16, 2017

President Trump's Weekly Address

Assembly Member and DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake: H.U.D. Appointment is 'Irresponsible'

Bronx, NY - After President Trump named Lynne Patton to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (H.U.D.) Region II, Assembly Member and DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake released the following statement.
“I am deeply concerned by the appointment of Lynne Patton who seemingly has absolutely zero qualifications to lead Housing & Urban Development's Region II office.  As the head of  H.U.D. Region II, Patton would oversee all of the H.U.D. programs in New York and New Jersey, directly impacting NYCHA residents, families on Section-8 and all federal housing programs for our area. This is further proof that President Trump is not really concerned about the consequences of his actions on urban, low-income and communities of color, rather his primary motivation is empowering the top one percent and those in his circle.
The recklessness of this appointment cannot be understated as every year H.U.D. distributes billions of dollars to affordable housing complexes throughout the country, including of course New York City. This investment is critical for working families, many of whom rely on government supported affordable housing to keep a roof over their head. For H.U.D. to be effective, it needs experienced, diligent, passionate public servants to head its regional offices and Lynne Patton is not that person.
Lynne Patton's only qualifications seem to be planning tournaments at President Trump’s golf courses, helping run the Eric Trump Foundation, which is currently under investigation by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and to have possibly lied about receiving a Juror's Doctorate from Quinnipiac University School of Law in Connecticut. Lynne Patton has zero experience in housing or government and is incredibly unqualified for her newly appointed position.
As the Assembly Member with the second highest concentration of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents, I am keenly aware of the impact that  H.U.D. funding has on the lives of Bronxites and New Yorkers. Housing is the number one issue that constituents come to my office with every day, and, we need strong partners in the federal government if we are going to properly serve them. Lynne Patton lacks the experience and the expertise to be that partner. The White House should be helping people keep a roof over their head rather than hire people who put party tents over the heads of people who don't need the help in the first place.
Source: The Office of Assemblyman Michael Blake

Officer Who Shot Philando Castile Acquitted of Manslaughter Charges

A jury has acquitted a Minnesota police officer in the shooting death of a black man outside St. Paul last year, putting to end a tragic saga that began with a routine traffic stop.

St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez was charged in the July 2016 shooting of school cafeteria worker Philando Castile, igniting protests and a call to action by civil rights activists nationwide against the deadly use of force by police.

After five days and more than 25 hours of deliberation, a jury decided that the state did not meet its burden for a conviction.

Yanez could have faced up to 10 years under Minnesota law if convicted. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

NYPD Commissioner: 'We're Making Progress in Police-Community Relations, But We Still Have a Long Way to Go'

Candidness and Compassion Displayed By New York's
Top Cop at Harlem Community Council Meeting

By Gary Glennell Toms 

On June 15, New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill appeared at the 32nd Precinct Community Council meeting in Harlem and addressed issues presented by civic groups, community activists and residents. 

The commissioner was warmly welcomed by those in attendance, as were 32nd Precinct Deputy Inspector Michael Baker and other NYPD officials that were on hand, and residents took the opportunity to convey their appreciation for his service to the city and department.

"It is an honor to have you here, sir. We thank you for all that you're doing to deal with crime and improve the relationship between police and the community, said one resident. 

In his opening statement, O'Neill noted that crime levels had dropped in the city and attributed the decrease to the reestablishment of community policing. "I believe a big reason for the decrease is because we're placing a lot more focus on community policing. If we want to control crime in the city, we have to interact with communities and they have to interact with us," he stated. 

The commissioner, who has served in the position for nearly nine months, was extremely direct in addressing the long-standing issues between police officers and communities of color. Without mentioning any specific incident, he pointed out how the record number of protests that occurred in 2014 dramatically impacted and marred the relationship between the NYPD and residents from various communities. "That was an extremely difficult year for the NYPD and the city, and much of what happened was self-inflicted," said O'Neill. "Things are moving in the right direction now. We're definitely making progress in police-community relations, but we still have a long way to go." 

Commissioner O'Neill answered all questions with extreme candidness and a sense of compassion, including the following that were posed by From The G-Man.   

What measures have been implemented by the NYPD to address possible white supremacist infiltration so that the reputations of many exceptionally good officers are upheld?
What would you say to those in the Black community who strongly believe there's a correlation between possible white supremacist infiltration of police departments, which was cited in a 2006 Department of Justice report, and the increasing number of controversial and/or suspicious shootings of unarmed Black men and women?

In response to the first question, Commissioner O'Neill stated that all NYPD candidates undergo an extreme vetting process before being hired and that every effort is made to look into all aspects of a candidate's background, including possible involvement with white supremacist or other subversive groups. "Those types of people will not be part of the New York City Police Department," said O'Neill. 

The commissioner answered the second question by simply stating he didn't see any correlation between the 2006 Department of Justice report and the increasing number of controversial and/or suspicious shootings of unarmed Black men and women. 

At the close of the meeting, Commissioner O'Neill stated that all issues presented would be addressed as quickly as possible. He also stressed that the police department and community must work together in order to establish effective communication and quell the tension. "We have to work together. That's the only way we'll solve these issues," he said.

Commissioner O'Neill signs an NYPD get-well card for Police Officer Dalsh Veve,
who is in critical condition after being dragged by a stolen car in Brooklyn.
(Click on the photo to increase its size.)
On June 16, From The G-Man contacted Detective Wilson Colon at the Office of the Police Commissioner Liasion Unit. We extended an open invitation for the commissioner to appear on "The G-Man Interviews" for a broader discussion on the state of policing in New York City and what can be done to improve relations between police and communities of color.

Regrettably, former commissioners Bratton and Kelly declined past invitations. Nonetheless, FTG won't give up in its effort to initiate a dialogue with the highest ranking NYPD official on these extremely important issues. The social and political climate in which we live demands that we do so.

Council meeting photo credit: Abena Smith, President, 32nd Precinct Community Council

Mariska Hargitay Testifies on Combating Sexual Assault

Click on the image to increase its size.

Law and Order actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay is among the witnesses testifying at a Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence roundtable on Capitol Hill on the impact of the Justice Department’s Sexual Assault Kit initiative.

Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN

Race in America: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu


Following a decision to remove Confederate monuments in his city, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) talked about the state of race in America and responded to questions from the audience.

Click here for video

Source: C-SPAN 

Civil Rights Groups Sue Chicago To Ensure Police Reform

Source: Roland Martin

'Flashback Friday': The Killing of Police Officer Edward Bryne (1988)

Source: newsarcheology

Trailblazers in Black History: Mary Church Terrell


Jury Deadlocked in Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Trial

Source: ABC News

Chelsea Manning Says She Didn't Think Her Leaks Would Threaten National Security

Source: ABC News

Trump Confirms FBI Probe, Blames ‘Witch Hunt’ on ‘Man Who Told Me To Fire’ Comey

President Donald Trump appeared to confirm in a tweet on Friday that he is under investigation for firing former FBI Director James Comey and blamed what he called a "Witch Hunt" on "the man who told me to fire" Comey — a possible reference to the deputy attorney general.

"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," Trump tweeted. NBC News has reported that federal investigators are examining whether the president attempted to obstruct justice.

Trump may have been referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote a highly critical memo about Comey. In separate closed-door meetings with the House and the Senate, Rosenstein said his memo was "not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination."

The Justice Department declined to comment on Friday. 

Click here for the full article.

Megyn Kelly Exposed by Alex Jones in Leaked Audio Recordings

By Tom Sykes

Alex Jones, the conspiracy-theorizing host of the Infowars website whose controversial interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly is set to air Sunday night, has fallen back to the argument of every disgruntled interviewee: “They took me out of context.”

Except in this case, Jones may cause serious trouble for Kelly, who he apparently took the precaution of covertly taping in pre-interview calls and, he claims, the interview itself, which he is now publicizing on Infowars and his YouTube channel. And in those clandestine clips, the former Fox News host appears to promise to go easy on him in the interview.

In one 30-minute video Jones published that included extensive audio of a pre-interview call with Kelly, the new NBC hire appeared to promise the interview would be a softball personality piece.

“My goal is for your listeners and the left—you know, who will be watching some on NBC—to say, ‘Wow, that’s really interesting,” the voice that appears to be Kelly says. “It’s not going to be some gotcha hit piece, I promise you that.”

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Daily Beast 

Tamron Hall, you're sorely missed!  "G-Man" 

SPLC, Bogalusa City Court Reach Partial Settlement in Debtors’ Prison Case

Louisiana’s Bogalusa City Court has agreed to issue $50 refunds to settle part of a federal lawsuit that describes how the court and a city judge operated a modern-day debtors’ prison by illegally jailing indigent people too poor to pay fines and court costs, the Southern Poverty Law Center announced today.

The court will issue a refund to people who, within the last two years, paid a $50 “extension fee” to receive more time to pay fines and court costs. The refund will be given to anyone who paid the fee on or after June 21, 2015, and completes a claim form by the city’s deadline. It’s estimated that 100 people could be eligible.

The SPLC filed the lawsuit in June 2016.

“We’re pleased the Bogalusa City Court will return money to people entangled in this harmful practice,” said Sam Brooke, SPLC deputy legal director. “Nobody should be jailed or threatened with jail if they are too poor to pay a fine. This agreement is an important step forward, but a small step. The rest of our case will go forward because we believe serious unconstitutional practices are likely to continue in the court.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) 

Cuomo Affirms New York's Commitment to Protecting Immigrants' Rights

Today, the New York Daily News published an op-ed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo affirming New York's record of protecting immigrants' rights, as part of the annual "Daily News/CUNY Citizenship NOW!” program, which offers thousands of immigrants in New York City free immigration advice. 

The op-ed can be viewed online here. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

SUNY Student Assembly Leaders to Travel to Washington, D.C.

SUNY Student Assembly leaders will be making a joint advocacy trip to Washington D.C. alongside the California State Student Association (CSAA), the University of California Student Association (UCSA), and the CUNY University Student Senate (CUNYUSS). Collectively, these leaders will represent nearly 2 million students from New York and California.
President Marc Cohen, of the SUNY Student Assembly states, "I feel incredibly privileged to be a part of this unique collaboration on behalf of nearly 2 million students. I look forward to advancing a meaningful and progressive dialogue not only with my passionate counterparts from New York and California, but with members of our government who understand the necessity of proper investment in higher education. There is too much at stake in every area of higher education not to engage in a national dialogue.”
“Support for a safe, affordable, and accessible higher education is a national issue, which is why student leaders like us—representing the largest public higher education systems in the U.S.— are banding together to advocate not only for our nearly two million students, but also for the millions of college students across the country who are faced with challenges in achieving their dream of obtaining a college degree. Public higher education is a benefit not only for students and graduates, but for the success of our entire country, and needs to be placed above partisan politics.”  said Maggie White, of the California State Student Association.
"As a student leader from the largest public research university system in the world, I am proud to join fellow student advocates in this unprecedented collaboration between the UC, CSU, SUNY, and CUNY systems. A public higher education is an investment in both individuals and society, because a college degree increases someone’s social mobility and allows them to help society prosper. Genuine investment in higher education is critical for our institutions to continue serving as engines for economic growth and innovation for California, New York, and the rest of the nation. UCSA is eager to collaborate with our sister organizations in sharing the college student narrative. Our nation's policymakers must join us in ensuring that our higher education institutions remain affordable, accessible, and high quality for all.”said President Ralph Washington Jr., of the University of California Student Association.
"College accessibility will prove to be the social/political issue of our generation. As a proud student of the City University of New York (CUNY), which is the largest urban institution of higher learning in the United States, we are compelled to ensure that future generations have access to an affordable quality education. Regardless of a person's race, gender, disability, nationality or socioeconomic status, affordable quality higher education has to be available to all in the public because it helps build a healthy and stable foundation for families to live a prosperous life. We are putting America first when access to public higher education is on the top of our agenda. The CUNY University Student Senate is excited to partner with our colleagues in student government in higher education systems across the country and we are committed to expanding this coalition to make sure every person in the country can earn a college degree,” said Chika Onyejiukwa, CUNY Trustee and University Student Senate Chairperson.
The student leaders are planning on meeting with high profile members of the legislature to discuss initiatives regarding college affordability, campus safety, and sustainability.
Source: SUNY SA

De Blasio Wants Control of Subway System If Cuomo Can’t Fix Its Problems


Mayor Bill de Blasio said that if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority doesn’t fix the problems plaguing New York City’s subway system, he’d prefer that the city take over responsibility of it—and called on both the MTA and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to present a plan to the city to address the “mounting” delays, disruptions and public complaints.

Delays and breakdowns in the massive transit system have swelled to the point of crisis in recent months, with both the mayor and the governor blaming long and systemic disinvestment—though the rival Democrats have both demanded the other cough up more funds for new cars and repairs. The mayor rode the uptown C train from Penn Station to the American Museum of Natural History yesterday, according to the New York Timesnoting that his last subway ride was on April 19. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: (via The Empire Report)

Lawmakers Leave Capitol with No Deals on Major Issues


ALBANY — There are chairs in the lobby outside the state Senate chamber that can swallow you, and sitting pensively in one of them on Thursday afternoon was Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell.

“I think of my job these weeks as directing the flow,” the Democrat from Morningside Heights explained. “I wait for the dam to break, then steer water. That dam is mayoral control.”

He and everyone else will spend the weekend waiting.

Lawmakers left the Capitol late Thursday without deals on reauthorizing mayoral control of New York City schools, lifting the cap on the number of charter schools, renewing sales tax needed by suburban and upstate counties, increasing oversight of economic development after a bid-rigging scandal or increasing the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Politico (via The Empire Report)

British Police Detain Man at London's Palace of Westminster

Source: euronews (in English)

Suspect Identified After Chinese Kindergarten Blast

Source: euronews (in English)

Pence Hires Own Lawyer Amid Russia Probe

Source: euronews (in English)

US Student Otto Warmbier Returned from North Korea Has Severe Brain Injury

Source: euronews (in English)

Trump to Reverse Thaw in Relations with Cuba

Source: euronews (in English)

Greece Set for Latest Bailout, Amid Debt Relief Pressure

Source: euronews (in English)

Car Bomb, Gunfire and Hostage-Taking Rock Mogadishu Restaurant

Source: euronews (in English)

Londoners Help Survivors of Tower Block Blaze Tragedy

Source: euronews (in English)

2017 Congressional Baseball Game

Click on the image to increase its size.

C-SPAN presented live coverage from the annual congressional baseball game between Republicans and Democrats. The game took place at Nationals Park one day after Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and three others were shot at a practice session for the game in Alexandria, Virginia. President Trump did not attend the game, but he did deliver a video message prior to the game. 

The national anthem was sung by the Congressional Chorus, and the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by U.S. Capitol Police Officer David Bailey, who was injured in the previous day’s shooting. He was handed the ball by Joe Torre, and his catcher was Roberto Clemente. 

The game’s attendance was 24,959, the largest in the history of the game. The Democrats won by a score of 11-2 and gave the trophy to the Republican team to be placed in Representative Scalise’s office. 

Video coverage was arranged by the MLB Network, and radio commentary was courtesy Federal News Radio. 

Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN

Vice President Pence Delivers Remarks on Prosperity and Security in Central America

Veep Meet and Greet: Moise, Ortiz, Morales and Hernandez

The Vice President today met with President Jovenel Moise of Haiti in Miami, Florida. On behalf of President Trump, the Vice President congratulated President Moise for his election earlier this year, and recognized Haiti for filling key government leadership positions. The two leaders stressed the importance of pursuing an economic reform agenda to attract investment and generate growth. The Vice President and President Moise reiterated their common commitment to building on strong bilateral ties, and working together to pursue issues of mutual interest.

The Vice President also met with the Vice President of El Salvador, Oscar Ortiz, at the inaugural Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America in Miami, Florida. On behalf of President Trump, the Vice President recognized El Salvador for taking strong steps to reduce crime and violence, and offered the continued partnership of the United States in this effort. The two leaders highlighted opportunities to expand security cooperation, discussed strategies for improving the business climate through economic reform and regional cooperation, and shared their views on the current political crisis in Venezuela. The Vice President, together with Vice President Ortiz, reiterated a shared commitment to maintaining strong bilateral ties, and to continuing the mutual effort to improve security and prosperity.

Vice President met with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales in Miami, Florida at the inaugural Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America. On behalf of President Trump, the Vice President recognized Guatemala for its strong commitment to the Alliance for Prosperity, and steadfast support in the fight against illegal drug trafficking. The Vice President emphasized the importance of redoubling the fight against corruption and impunity, including support for the Attorney General and UN Commission Against Impunity and Corruption, and acknowledged President Morales' personal dedication to this cause. The leaders discussed the on-going crisis in Venezuela, and expressed their concern for the Venezuelan people who suffer most. The Vice President, together with President Morales, reiterated a shared commitment to building the already strong bilateral relationship, and advancing shared goals of advancing security and prosperity.

Finally, Vice President Pencre also met with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez at the inaugural Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America in Miami, FL. On behalf of President Trump, the Vice President commended President Hernandez for his leadership in addressing security and governance challenges, and offered the strong partnership of the United States to maintain this commitment. While acknowledging that much remains to be done, the Vice President recognized Honduras for its progress in combating corruption and enhancing border security. The leaders discussed opportunities for economic and business development, as well as strategies for enhancing competitiveness. They also shared concerns regarding the on-going crisis in Venezuela, and expressed particular concern for the Venezuelan people who suffer most. The Vice President and President Hernandez together reiterated their shared commitment to strengthening the bilateral relationship and advancing mutual interests. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Vice President 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cuomo to Nominate Justice Feinman as Associate Judge on NYS Court of Appeals

Governor Andrew Cuomo will nominate Justice Paul G. Feinman to serve as an Associate Judge on the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. Justice Feinman is currently an Associate Justice on the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court and has served as a judge in New York for more than 20 years.

"Justice Feinman will be an exceptional addition to New York’s highest court," Governor Cuomo said. "He is a talented jurist who has dedicated his career to public service and standing up for a fairer and more just New York. While we continue to mourn the untimely passing of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Justice Feinman will help ensure that the Court of Appeals upholds the highest principles of law and fairness that embody the very best of New York."

"It is a tremendous honor to be nominated to the Court of Appeals," Justice Paul G. Feinman said. "I thank Governor Cuomo for this opportunity to serve on the Court of Appeals and, if confirmed, look forward to working with my distinguished colleagues on the Court to continue to serve New York."

Justice Feinman has been nominated to fill the vacancy created earlier this year by the tragic death of the Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam. He is the eighth person that Governor Cuomo has nominated to serve on the New York State Court of Appeals. The Governor previously appointed Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Associate Judges, Jenny Rivera, Abdus-Salaam, Leslie Stein, Eugene Fahey, Michael Garcia, and Rowan D. Wilson to the Court.

Justice Feinman was elected to the Supreme Court in 2007 and appointed Associate Justice of the Appellate Division by Governor Cuomo in 2012. He previously served as an Acting Supreme Court Justice from 2004 to 2007. Prior to that, he was a Civil Court Judge, first elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2006.

If confirmed, Justice Feinman would be the first openly gay person to serve on the Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Richard C. Failla LGBT Commission, which promotes fair treatment of LGBT issues and LGBT members of the court community. He was the President of the International Association of LGBT Judges between 2008 and 2011, and was President of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York in 2015.

He began his legal career at the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, Criminal Appeals Bureau in 1985. From 1987 to 1989, Justice Feinman was a Senior Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in Manhattan. From 1989 to 1996, he was a Principal Law Clerk to Hon. Angela M. Mazzarelli. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1981 and a J.D. from University of Minnesota Law School in 1985. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Black Man's Severed Head Found in Jackson, Mississippi

This story was initially broadcast on June 12, 2017. 

Source: CBS News

Officials Finally Face Charges For Flint Water Crisis

Nick Lyon, the head of Michigan’s health department, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for his connection to the Flint water crisis, which lead to the deaths of 12 people. Four other officials were also charged for their roles in the water issues.

Click here for video.

Source: The Huffington Post

President Trump Gives Remarks on the Apprenticeship and Workforce of Tomorrow Initiatives

Naomi Klein on How to Resist Trump's Shock Politics

Source: Democracy Now!

Hearing on the Implications of a WannaCry Ransomware Cyberattack

Technology and cybersecurity experts testified at a joint House Science subcommittee hearing on the implications of the WannaCry ransomware cyberattack.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Nancy Pelosi Holds News Conference

Source: PBS NewsHour

Cuomo: Amtrak Should Pay for Mitigation Expenses at Penn Station, Not New Yorkers

Governor Cuomo today released the following statement: 

"Amtrak’s emergency track repairs this summer at Penn Station will cause significant disruption to the commuters from New York and New Jersey.  Amtrak anticipates reduced track usage from July 8th to September 1st.

"New York State has mobilized a multi-pronged strategy to mitigate the inconvenience of these delays.  The State has accelerated construction schedules on bridge and tunnel repairs and all bridge and tunnel lanes will be open by July 8th.  The State has also accelerated the conversion to cashless tolling, which eases congestion.  For example, today the RFK Bridge completed the transition to cashless tolling and saw an acceleration of traffic.

"The State has also expedited the construction of the Farley Building conversion to what will be the new train hall for the Long Island Railroad.  It will be large, beautiful, and comparable to the Grand Central Terminal.

"The MTA and LIRR will also be adding trains, express buses and ferry service.

"Additional police personnel will be deployed on HOV lanes and for traffic regulation.

"The resulting question is – who pays for all of this.

"My answer is clear and simple – Amtrak must pay.  The Long Island Railroad currently pays Amtrak approximately $50 million per year for rent of the tracks at Penn Station.  As the tracks are not available due to Amtrak’s actions, they are liable for the resulting damages.

"I strongly urge the MTA Board to recover these costs from payments to Amtrak.  If the MTA Board insists on continuing payments to Amtrak, I will seek a state law to stop them.

"We do not know at this time what the total cost of mitigation will be, but I believe as a matter of principle, whatever the ultimate cost, it should not be borne by the commuters or taxpayers of the State of New York." 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Saving Our Youth: NY Lawmakers Take Aim At Gang Violence

This segment was originally broadcast on May 8, 2017. 

Source: CBSNewYork

Trailblazers in Black History: Elmer Samuel Imes

Physicist Elmer Samuel Imes was born on October 12, 1883 in Memphis, Tennessee. His father, Benjamin, was a minister and mother, Elizabeth, was a homemaker. Both parents were college educated, with his father having graduated from Oberlin College. His family lived in and he went to school in several towns in Ohio and Alabama before he graduated from the Agricultural and Mechanical High School (Alabama). Imes then went on to attend Fisk University, earning a B.A. in General Science. After Fisk, he taught math and physics at several black colleges before eventually returning to Fisk in 1910 as a graduate student and math instructor. After receiving his M.A. from Fisk in 1915, he was accepted into the University of Michigan Ph.D. program in physics.

At Michigan, Imes research and doctoral thesis focused on applying infrared spectroscopy to study the properties of atoms and molecules. This research led to two publications describing how molecules emit infrared light waves in discrete quanta. These findings provided early verification of quantum theory (branch of physics dealing with the nature of sub-atomic particles). Imes earned his Ph.D. in Physics at Michigan in 1918 - becoming the second African-American to earn a Ph.D. in Physics after Edward Bouchet (in 1876 at Yale University). 

Additional information is available here


Dr. Boyce Watkins Responds to Steve Harvey's Joke About Flint Water Crisis

The Dr. Boyce Watkins Channel is an all-black news and commentary channel that features a number of African American thinkers, commentators and speakers. The views of each video are not necessarily representative of those of Dr. Boyce Watkins himself. 

Note: Some segments contain strong language.  

Source: Boyce Watkins

Pulitzer Prize Winner Tracy K. Smith Named New U.S. Poet Laureate

NEW YORK — Tracy K. Smith, the country's new poet laureate, would like to start a conversation.

"A poem asks you to let go many of your assumptions, move away from your own certainties and to listen," says Smith, 45, a Pulitzer Prize winner whose appointment to a one-year term was announced Wednesday by the Library of Congress.

Smith, who succeeds Juan Felipe Herrera, won the Pulitzer in 2012 for her poetry collection "Life on Mars" and was a National Book Award finalist for nonfiction three years later for her memoir "Ordinary Light." She has been praised for her command of language and emotions, for a vision that encompasses everything from space exploration to the death of her father, and her gift for both social commentary and personal reflection. 

Click here for the full article. 

Cosby Jury Says It's Deadlocked in Sexual Assault Case

Four Fired From Arkansas Day Care Center Where Boy Died After Hours in Hot Van

Four employees have been fired after a 5-year-old boy died when he was left in a scorching hot van outside his day care facility in West Memphis, Arkansas, the center's parent company said Wednesday.

Christopher Gardner Jr. was found unresponsive Monday afternoon in the van outside Ascent Children's Health Services of West Memphis, where he had been left for more than eight hours on a near-90-degree day, police said. 

Click here for the full article.

Southern Baptist Convention in Uproar Over Alt-Right

PHOENIX — A national meeting of Southern Baptists will consider condemning the political movement known as the "alt-right" amid an uproar over the denomination's commitment to confronting prejudice.

Leaders of the faith group initially refused to take up a proposal that they repudiate the political group that emerged dramatically during the U.S. presidential election, mixing racism, white nationalism and populism. Barrett Duke, a Southern Baptist leader who led a committee that decided which resolutions should be considered for a vote, said the resolution as originally written contained inflammatory and broad language "potentially implicating" conservatives who do not support the "alt-right" movement.

But the decision caused a backlash online and at the gathering in Phoenix from Southern Baptists and other Christians, especially African-American evangelicals. The denomination has been striving to overcome its founding in the 19th century in defense of slaveholders. Thabiti Anyabwile, a black Southern Baptist pastor, tweeted that "any 'church' that cannot denounce white supremacy without hesitancy and equivocation is a dead, Jesus denying assembly. No 2 ways about it". 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

A Reported Investigation of Trump Would Have Widespread Legal Implications

A report Wednesday that an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election now includes an examination of whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice raises several legal implications.
The Washington Post, citing officials, reported Wednesday night that Robert Mueller, the special counsel now overseeing the investigation is looking at Trump's conduct.

The report states that an investigation into Trump for possible obstruction of justice began just "days" after the president fired FBI director James Comey, on May 9, citing people familiar with the matter. That would mean it began before Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on May 17.