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  • Juneteenth

    Juneteenth-Ralph Ellison

    Yes, the Ralph Ellison has a novel on freedom, published posthumously in 1999. A fascinating tale of the attempted assassination of Senator Bliss Sunraider who passes for white and reeks havoc on the Black constituents who reared him as a young man. On his death bed, he calls for the man who loved him most, his adopted father and biological uncle the Rev. AZ Hickman, an old Black preacher. Hidden within the story line is the celebration that freedom comes only when Whites recognize that their freedom is tied to the freedom of Blacks. Wonderfully written as only Ellison can. BuytheBook.

    Read more »
  • A New White House Report Highlights the Need for a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill

     

    This week, the White House released a new report showing the critical need for Congressional passage of a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill. This comprehensive report highlights how the thriving business of agriculture is a cornerstone of America’s economy, creating jobs and boosting opportunity.

    Agricultural production and its related sectors contributed $743 billion to U.S. GDP in 2011, accounting for nearly 5 percent of economic output. Today about one out of every 12 jobs in the United States are connected in some way to agriculture.

    Meanwhile, driven by the productivity of our farmers and ranchers, agricultural exports reached their highest mark ever in 2013 at more than $140 billion. Due in part to trade promotion programs in the Farm Bill, the five-year period from 2009-2013 is the strongest in history for agricultural exports. Compared to the previous five-year period, the U.S. is exporting an average of four million tons more bulk commodities each year. These exports alone support more than a million jobs.

    A new Farm Bill would give producers the tools they need to continue fueling agriculture to new heights, while promoting quality U.S. products abroad. Ultimately, as shown in this week’s report, those efforts have a positive impact across our entire economy.

    At the same time, the White House report notes continuing economic challenges in rural areas that would be addressed, in part, by investments in the new Farm Bill.  Eighty-five percent of persistent poverty counties in America—counties where poverty has been high for decades—are in rural areas. And between 2010 and 2012, rural America actually lost population.

    A new Farm Bill would provide needed investment in rural infrastructure that would create jobs and boost quality of life in rural America.  It would invest in the growing biobased economy that holds a promising future for our small towns – both through the creation of clean, renewable energy and the manufacture of advanced biobased products. It would strengthen conservation activities on America’s farms and ranches that expand opportunity for outdoor recreation and help to boost income in rural communities. All of these activities would help to revitalize rural areas.

    And a new Farm Bill would provide critical nutrition assistance for American families who are working hard but struggling to make ends meet.

    For more than two years, the Obama Administration has advocated for passage of a comprehensive, multiyear Food, Farm and Jobs Bill.  This week’s report is just another reminder: Americans can’t be left without a Farm Bill any longer. The stakes for our national economy, our agricultural production, and our rural communities are simply too high for inaction – and Congress should finish its work on the Farm Bill without delay.

     

    Read more »
  • Protein Gene May be Cause of Heart Disease in African Americans

    According to health blog, New Scientist, Black Americans are twice as likely to develop heart disease as White Americans, and a gene may be the cause, a new study has found.

    The study found that fragments circulating in the blood, known as platelets, can form blood clots, a classic element of heart disease and heart attack, more easily in African Americans.

    “Unexpectedly, we found that platelets from black donors clotted faster and to a greater extent in response to the naturally occurring clotting agent, thrombin,” says Paul Bray  of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who led the work. “This provides a new understanding of the effects of race on heart disease and other blood-clot related illnesses.”

    For the study, blood samples were taken from 70 black and 84 white volunteers. It was found that the gene that produces a particular type of protein, which activates clotting, is four times more active in blacks than in whites.

    Black people are very poorly represented in most clinical studies on heart disease,” he says. “Our findings suggest doctors cannot therefore assume that heart disease treatment studies on whites will hold true for everyone.”

    An important implication, says Bray, is that we need to develop a wider array of treatments to make sure that there are drugs that work for everyone.

    Read more »
  • Voting Rights Champion to Lead DOJ Division

    Former NAACP Legal Defense Fund attorney Debo Adegbile has been tapped by the Obama Administration to serve as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights of the US Department of Justice.

    President Barack Obama nominate Adegbile, senior counsel for the US Senate Judiciary Committee, to take over as head of the  Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

    Debo Adegbile

    Debo Adegbile

    He is best known as the attorney who argued on behalf of preserving the Voting Rights Act before the US Supreme Court. Adegbile defended it twice successfully when it was challenged in 2006 and again this past February before Chief John Roberts; court removed key provisions of the landmark civil rights bill.

    Adegbile also represented Hurricane Katrina evacuees in a federal voting rights lawsuit shortly after the storm.

    Read more »
  • Violent Crimes Decrease in Baton Rouge

    Murder and violent crimes declined sharply in Baton Rouge in the first half of 2013 compared to 2012. Police department statistics also show a decline in property crimes also.

    The Advocate reported that the stats showed an overall decrease of more than 13 percent in crime during the first half of 2013 compared with first half of 2012. Murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and assaults- are down nearly 25 percent while property crimes- theft; burglary, auto theft and arson are down by nearly 11 percent.

    Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. said the Baton Rouge Area Violent Elimination Project and police street operations aimed at curbing violent crimes are factors in reducing crime numbers in Baton Rouge.

    Read more »
  • A New White House Report Highlights the Need for a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill

    This week, the White House released a new report showing the critical need for Congressional passage of a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill. This comprehensive report highlights how the thriving business of agriculture is a cornerstone of America’s economy, creating jobs and boosting opportunity.

     

    Agricultural production and its related sectors contributed $743 billion to U.S. GDP in 2011, accounting for nearly 5 percent of economic output. Today about one out of every 12 jobs in the United States are connected in some way to agriculture.

     

    Meanwhile, driven by the productivity of our farmers and ranchers, agricultural exports reached their highest mark ever in 2013 at more than $140 billion. Due in part to trade promotion programs in the Farm Bill, the five-year period from 2009-2013 is the strongest in history for agricultural exports. Compared to the previous five-year period, the U.S. is exporting an average of four million tons more bulk commodities each year. These exports alone support more than a million jobs.

     

    A new Farm Bill would give producers the tools they need to continue fueling agriculture to new heights, while promoting quality U.S. products abroad. Ultimately, as shown in this week’s report, those efforts have a positive impact across our entire economy.

     

    At the same time, the White House report notes continuing economic challenges in rural areas that would be addressed, in part, by investments in the new Farm Bill.  Eighty-five percent of persistent poverty counties in America—counties where poverty has been high for decades—are in rural areas. And between 2010 and 2012, rural America actually lost population.

     

    A new Farm Bill would provide needed investment in rural infrastructure that would create jobs and boost quality of life in rural America.  It would invest in the growing biobased economy that holds a promising future for our small towns – both through the creation of clean, renewable energy and the manufacture of advanced biobased products. It would strengthen conservation activities on America’s farms and ranches that expand opportunity for outdoor recreation and help to boost income in rural communities. All of these activities would help to revitalize rural areas.

     

    And a new Farm Bill would provide critical nutrition assistance for American families who are working hard but struggling to make ends meet.

     

    For more than two years, the Obama Administration has advocated for passage of a comprehensive, multiyear Food, Farm and Jobs Bill.  This week’s report is just another reminder: Americans can’t be left without a Farm Bill any longer. The stakes for our national economy, our agricultural production, and our rural communities are simply too high for inaction – and Congress should finish its work on the Farm Bill without delay.

     

    Read more »
  • Village of Tangipahoa Volunteers Completes Landscaping Project

    The Village of Tangipahoa received a new face lift just in time for the holiday season.

    Tangipahoa resident Randy Nelson wanted to make a different in the town. He and Terry Martin trimmed trees along Hwy 51 to provide  a better view, he said.

    “The ball begins to roll when other volunteers join in to help make a difference in the town,” said Nelson. “We’re very thankful to our loyal businesses who donated the necessary material for the completion of the landscaping project.”

    The bricks were donated by Kentwood Brick, Kentwood, Leroy Garrett and Perino’s Garden Center, New Orleans, donated the mums. Hedge bushes, flower bushes were donated by Brumfield’s Nursery of Folsom, and Kentwood Hardware donated paint to brighten up the tables throughout the park.

    Tangipahoa Mayor Brenda Nevels and staff said they are elated with the great job the volunteers did to beautify the town and make a difference.

    The volunteers also inspired the community to come together and get involved in preparing for the Christmas holidays by donating Christmas lights and flags to assist in the downtown decoration.

    This year’s Christmas Theme is “Christmas in the Village” and  the annual Christmas parade will be December 14, at noon.     For information, call the Dorothy Lewis at the City Hall, (985) 229-8300 M-F 3pm-5pm.

     

     

     

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  • Foundation Launches Black Cancer Research Group

    The Philadelphia Prostate Cancer Foundation is striving to raise $400,000 to launch the first African American prostate cancer research group. PCF officials say this is the first effort of its kind in the country.

    “This is one of the most important projects that I have ever worked on because of the chance there is to make a difference,” said Rebecca Boudwin, executive director of the PPCF.

    Boudwin noted that one out of two African-American men would be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

    If the foundation is successful in meeting its goal of raising $400,000 by the end of the year the organization would be eligible for larger government grants by entities such as the National Institutes of Health.

    Last year, PCCF launched an African-American committee, which is led by Congressman Chaka Fattah. Various athletes, physicians business and community leaders are members of the community.

    Dr. Curtiland Deville, committee member and a radiation oncologist at University of Pennsylvania said there are a number of factors that need to be studied to determine why African American men have higher incidents of prostate cancer than white men.

    “What’s more compelling is Black men are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer, than white men are,” said Deville.

    “The bottom line is we don’t know what those reasons are. Are there socioeconomic issues with healthcare access – issues with bias or institutional racism? Or are there underlying environmental factors – diet and lifestyle and underlying biologic issues? I think all of those are factors that need to be studied and investigated and we need funding to be able to do that,”

    Deville said this is an opportunity the community to become involved in supporting a unique research effort.

    “Even if you give a small amount, here’s your opportunity to buy into [finding] the reason why Black men are more affected by prostate cancer,” he stated.

    The foundation would use the funds to hire a director for the research program and build the research group. The goal is to launch the research group by June 1, 2014.

     

    Read more »
  • Tis the Season for Smart Shopping

     

    I’ve spent the last three years of this column sharing with you important facts about African-Americans’ consumer power.  And, I know those of us who are certified black-belts in the time-honored martial art of shopping, are fired up for the Black Friday super sales with our artillery of cash and/or credit cards in hand.  But first, let’s breathe deeply and think about this, especially in light of recent allegations of retail establishments questioning purchases made by Blacks, which have brought the very essence of our purchasing power under assault.  Now, more than ever, it’s important for us to understand what it means to be a Conscious Consumer – particularly during the busiest shopping season of the year.

    These are a few important questions you should ask yourself before making any consumer decision:

    1) Did I find this service or product in my neighborhood?
    2) Does this company, network or business hire people who look like me?
    3) Do I see positive images of myself reflected in the content this company or program promotes?
    4) Does this company have a history of supporting causes that better my community?
    5) Am I still willing to spend my limited time or hard earned dollars with this company if the answer to any of the above questions is no?

    With that in mind, Nielsen’s Holiday Spending Forecast expects this shopping season to be financially stronger than last year, with dollar sales up about two percent.  Even though an increase in sales is predicted, 68 percent of shoppers who responded to the survey still feel as though they’re in a recession.  Twenty percent of U.S. consumers say they have no cash to spare.  Forty-eight percent report living comfortably or spending freely.  Fifty-two percent of consumers are only buying on the basics.

     

    Thirty percent of us across all income ranges say we’ll spend between $250 – $500 on gifts this year.  Twenty percent of consumers estimate they will spend between $500 – $1,000, with just six percent predicting that they’ll drop more than $1,000.  How, where and on what are we expected to spend our money?  Dollar stores are expected to enjoy a banner season, with 12 percent of consumers in households earning $50,000 or less, reporting plans to shop in these channels, versus four percent of consumers in households earning $100,000 and up.  Twenty percent of those consumers in the $100,000+ category say they will be shopping more online, compared to 15 percent of consumers in households earning less than $50,000.

     

    The 10 hottest holiday items for 2013 are as follows:

    1. Gift cards
    2. Tech products
    3. Toys
    4. Food
    5. Apparel
    6. Video games
    7. Cookware
    8. Sporting goods
    9. Jewelry
    10.  Alcoholic beverages.

    Nielsen has traditionally been on point with holiday spending projections, successfully predicting five out of five category trends last year.  The information is gathered from consumer surveys of more than 22,000 households of all demographic groups across the country and an analysis of 92 product categories with over $99 billion in sales.  Lots of us enjoy making putting smiles on faces with a little “holiday cheer,” so beer, liquor and wine sales are expected to contribute between $60 million and $70 to the bottom line this season.  Snacks and candy are expected to bring in $199 million and $95 million in sales, respectively.  Sales of holiday treats like cheese, jams and jellies are also expected to jump.  We love our canine-American and feline-American family members; so, pet care is expected to grow by 5.3% and pet food 1.4%.

     

    Now that we’ve talked about this year’s holiday shopping trends, are you among the 22 percent of U.S. consumers who have already begun holiday shopping? Or, do you find yourself among the 60 percent who love the adrenalin rush of crowds and last minute deals – or, just master procrastinators?

     

    African-Americans are frequent shoppers, savvy digital users, high volume owners of smartphones and users of social media and voracious consumers of media – in other words, powerful consumers.  We cannot expect different results if our consumption patterns and habits don’t change.  It’s just that simple; no matter what time of year it is.

     

    So, happy holiday shopping, but remember, the final decision to be a Conscious Consumer is yours to make.   As always, I encourage you to choose wisely.  And, don’t forget to chat with us on Twitter or Facebook so we can keep the conversation going.

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  • The Network Coalition celebrates 20 years in N.O.

    A twenty year old think tank of Louisiana and Mississippi Black elected officials that works to improve public policy outcomes, recently saluted the leadership of Southern University chancellor James Llorens, Legislative Black Caucus chair State Representative Katrina Jackson, Acadian Companies executives Ray Bias and Terry Landry Jr., and former New Orleans city councilman Oliver Thomas.

    Known as The Network Coalition, the group gathers annually during the Southern University versus Jackson State football weekend and again in New Orleans during the Bayou Classic.

    This year, The Network celebrated supporters and leaders who helped start the coalition, including community leader Eva Shanklin, corporate supporter William “Bill” Oliver, the Network chairman Joe Fuller, members of the Louisiana Municipal Association Black Caucus (represented by current president the Rev. Glenn Green), CAWAN Resource Group, and members of the Black Caucus Police Jury Association of Louisiana (represented by the current president Maggie Daniel).

    More than two hundred guests celebrate the growth of the Network and the work of policy leaders throughout the state of Louisiana.

    The event is organized annually by VCI International Inc president Allen Semien Sr.

    Read more »

  • The Soles of My Shoes

    Danielle Martin – The Soles of My Shoes

    Danielle Alysse Martin is an entrepreneur and musician serving as the founder and owner of Press Play Theatre, a Christian-based performing arts company, creator of Pressed Down Apparel, a Christian T-shirt company and the manager, as well as a member, of Israel Martin and God’s Ultimate Praise.  The Soles of My Shoes is the entrepreneur’s first literary work. The collection of inspirational poems is divided into four sections: Learning To Walk, Running For My Life, If The Shoe Fits, and Struttin’ My Stuff. The Soles of My Shoes was written by Martin to inspire women from all “walks” of life. Martin said passion for women and the desire to assist them in their walk with Christ led her to found the company and blog, Pretty Girls Praise. The Soles of My Shoes can be purchased at thesolesofmyshoes.com and during the month of October half of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.

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  • The Positive Diva Speaks

    HIV! The Positive Diva Speaks!

    Despite the conversation that HIV/AIDS is a silent killer, I beg to differ. The voice of fear screams loudly, the spread of stigma and ignorance is deafening, the loss of love ones from the virus is real, the grief is our living with the shame and blame is disheartening! How can anyone see the effects of the HIV/AIDS virus in our community pretend that to recognize its impact? Recently, I spoke to a group and said that each one should look in the mirror and see the face of HIV. There is no certain look. It definitely looks like me! I did not have to audition for the virus. It cared not about my race, gender, gender preference, social position, education, or religion. I never went to a physician to get a prescription for HIV. It can happen to anyone. A marriage license, wedding ring, and a mortgage does not protect you from getting infected with HIV.

    As an professional woman, minister, daughter, mother, sister, grandmother, and friend, I must lend my voice to raise awareness to save lives. I must be the face of truth, the good, bad, and ugly regarding HIV. It does not matter how you become infected! The results are the same, stigma, shame, blame, and discrimination become a part of everyday life. You are judged, called bad names, and often told that no one should love you. You are invited to fewer events, receive fewer calls, and sometimes no visits from family or friends. We are social animals and need to be hugged, kissed, laughed with, held, and cried with. We need to be encouraged and supported.

     

    I am more than just a woman living with HIV/AIDS. I am the voice of the silent, the face of those ashamed to disclose, the strength of those afraid, I am wind under the ones that need help to rise. I am an advocate and servant!

    Thank you reading my commentary, get tested,get test results, protect yourself and those you love, get involved, help make a difference!

    Dr. Joyce Turner Keller,

    “The Positive Diva”

    Read more »
  • The Gospel According to Cane- Courttia Newland

    Black British author Courttia Newland brings a gripping story of an abducted child who returns home as a young adult full of anger, grief, and love. Set in contemporary London, the novel tells the desperate story of Beverley whose son was kidnapped from a locked, parked car while dad bought dinner. After 20 years of trying to piece her life back together, her son, Malakay, reappears as a temporary stalker opening the mail slot of her front door at night and calling her name. Fascinating story of redemption. BuytheBook.

    Online: www.courttianewland.com

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  • Southern Seniors Plan to End Football Season as Champions

    Southern University  football seniors, will leave SU with a winning season
 

Senior night for the Southern University football team was truly a milestone.

    The Southern University Jaguars demolished the Clark Atlanta Panthers 53-0 Saturday, November 16 at home in A.W. Mumford stadium.

    The game marked the last time the football seniors will play in A.W. Mumford stadium, and after shutting out Clark Atlanta, it is safe to say the seniors are leaving with a bang.

    “This was a great game all around for all of the players.” said senior, quarterback Dray Joseph. “All the seniors were able to go out on senior night with a victory.” continued Joseph.

    The shutout was not the only highlight of the game, senior; quarterback Dray Joseph became Southern’s all-time leader for career passing yards. Early in the first half, Joseph completed to receiver Lee Doss for a 6-yard gain, totaling Joseph’s passing yards to 8,194 yards, advancing pass former Southern quarterback Bryant Lee.

    “I’m really good friends with Bryant, I talk to him almost every day”, said Joseph. “He knew I was going to break his record tonight, he actually told me he knew I was going to break it before I came to Southern.”

    Joseph may have set a new record, but it was the Jaguars rushing game that sparked the attention. The Jaguars finished with the 318 rushing yards, the most since 2009 when they racked up 349 yards against Central State.

    “We were always capable to run the ball” said freshmen, running back Lenard Tillery. “A lot of people have asked me why we do not run the ball, it’s not that we can’t, it’s the point we might get stuck in tight situations and we must let our quarterback and wide receivers handle it.”

    From the struggling seasons to the coaching staff changes, the seniors certainly endured their growing pains at Southern. But after clinching the Western Divisional Championship for the Southwestern Atlantic Conference, the products from the 2009 football team can say they will leave Southern with a winning record.

    Before heading to Houston, Texas in December for the Southwestern Atlantic Conference Championship, the Jags will prepare for their battle on the bayou, as they take on longtime rival Grambling State University for the Bayou Classic. 
 
“Being able to play in the Mercedes Benz Superdome is going to be amazing” said Tillery, excited for his first Bayou Classic. “My family and I have gone every year; it’s a great game and a great tradition.”

    The 40th annual Bayou Classic weekend will kick off Friday. That night, the Southern University Human Jukebox will battle against the Grambling State marching Tigers at the battle of the bands following the Greek show at 6 p.m. at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. 
The game will have kick off at 1:30 pm, Saturday, November 30 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Door will open at noon.

    Read more »
  • What is Man

    What is Man-Lenard Tillery

    Lenard Tillery is an author and songwriter currently residing in Baton Rouge with wife of 20 years, Lisa and their six children. What is Man is the New Orleans native’s second literary work that explains while living mankind can possess the supernatural in the natural world and have the ability for the Spirit of God to dwell in an earthen vessel. Tillery explains to readers when God removes the life within the human spirit at His appointed time, the human body will experience a physical death and return to the dust from where it came. Then, each person’s living soul will spend eternity in its final destination based upon the everyday choices and activities. Tillery’s What is Man provides the resources that will help readers define and discover the purpose, functions and components of their human spirit, living soul, and body. BuytheBook.
    Online: www.lenardtillery.com

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  • Understanding Your Calling

    Understanding Your Calling-Ginger London

    Baton Rouge minister Ginger London’s study manual, Understanding Your Calling, teaches Christians how to easily discern and understand the call of God on their lives through discovering, developing and delivering their greatest potential in ministry service. London shares with readers how to break through the self-imposed barriers that keeps them either running from the call or stuck at a certain point. They will learn how to increase their God confidence, set goals to fulfill their calling and how to reach the masses with their message. BuytheBook.

    Online: www.gingerlondon.com

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  • The Nehemiah Blueprint

    The Nehemiah Blueprint- Jon Bennett

    According to Baker, LA., author Jon Bennett, his first book, The Nehemiah Blueprint, was written out of a sincere concern for the betterment of urban communities. The book is based on the passionate, Biblical account of Nehemiah who received a vision from God to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. In The Nehemiah Blueprint, Bennett presents principles gleaned from as a “blueprint” for beginning to confront some of societal issues and rebuilding communities.

    Online: www.uplandavenueproductions.com

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  • Misconceptions

    Misconceptions-C.Hayes

    Cosha Hayes makes the attempt to be a modern day Terry McMillan in her debut noel “Misconceptions”. While is it misses the mark as a modern version of Waiting to Exhale. It hits dead on a cautionary tale for a young female audience. Misconceptions chronicles the life of Gaby a young Baton Rouge native who falls for handsome young man named Tre. As the book chronicles Gabby’s transition from “ a teenager who was going no where fast” to a young woman who believes she has found the love of her life, she but soon realizes she is an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. Hayes does a great job setting the scene for the and bringing the old saying to life everything that glitters isnt gold. Its Hayes simple and fast paced writing style that make this book a perfect read for a young woman who is approaching a storm in life , but at the same would make a “grown” woman who has already been through one may want to leave this tale of self discovery on the shelf.

     

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  • WXOK Celebrates 60th Anniversary

    WXOK has served South Louisiana’s Black community since February 3, 1953, with R&B, Blues and Gospel until 2000 when it went fully Gospel changing its name to WXOK Heaven. THis year the station celebrates their 60th anniversary, Monday, October 21, 6 p.m. at the Bell of Baton Rouge, with help of host Dudley DeBossier Law Firm.

    The celebration brings Va Shawn Mitchell, Earnest Pugh, Paul Porter, Wess Morgan, Anthony Brown &  Group Therapy, Jonathan Nelson, Lexi  and Tasha Cobbs.

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  • ,

    Street renaming immortalizes Shiloh’s Rev. Charles Smith

     

    The four-block stretch of America Street from South 10th Street to Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive officially was renamed the Charles T. Smith Boulevard. The street was renamed in honor of the community leader and minister who had been praised for fighting for equality and fairness for those less fortunate prior to his death last year. His widow Eula Smith was joined by 200 people  for the sign unveiling, July 6, in front of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, 185 Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive, the church that he had led for 50 years.

     

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  • Johnson becomes First Black Female Chief Justice

    JUDGE BERNETTE JOHNSON was sworn in  as the first Black chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, less than four months after a dispute over whether she was entitled to the position. Johnson took her official oath of office as Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court Feb. 2.

    She was sworn-in by her daughter, Rachael D. Johnson, in a brief ceremony, surrounded by her immediate family members, and the legal community. In 1994, Johnson was elected to serve on the Louisiana Supreme Court and was re-elected, without opposition, in 2000 and 2010.

    She represents the Seventh Supreme Court District, which encompasses Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. Her judicial career began in 1984 when she was elected to the Civil District Court of New Orleans, where she was the first female to hold that offi ce. She was re-elected without opposition, in 1990 and was elected Chief Judge by her colleagues in 1994.

    A public ceremony will take place on Thursday, February 28, at noon on the steps of the Louisiana Supreme Court, 400 Royal Street.

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  • Odums Extends Contract with Southern until 2017

    Southern University and head football coach Dawson Odums have agreed to a multi-year contract extension that will keep the 2013 SWAC Coach of the Year in Baton Rouge through 2017 the school announced today.

    Terms of the extension included a three-year extension in addition to the one-year remaining on his contract, at a base salary of $175,000.

    Athletics Director Dr. William Broussard is expected to present the contract for final approval at the SU Board of Supervisors meeting in early January 2014.

    “I’m pleased to extend this offer to Coach Odums as a commitment to continued student-athlete success at Southern,” said Broussard. “We look forward to continuing to win and win the right way with him at the helm of the program.”

    The announcement of Odums’ contract extension comes a day after the one-year anniversary of his introductory press conference naming him head coach in late December 2013.

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  • ,

    Jesse Owens’ 1936 Olympic Gold Medal Sells in Online Auction

    ONE OF THREE OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALS won by  Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Games has sold for a record $1.4 million in an nline auction. The medal was sold by

    the estate of Robinson’s late widow, Elaine Plaines-Robinson. Owens won gold in the 100- and 200-meters, 400 relay and long jump at the games attended by Adolph

    Hitler,The whereabouts of the other three originals is unknown, but Owens was issued a replacement set that is part of an exhibit at Ohio State, his alma mater.

    A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the medal will be donated to the  Jesse Owens Foundation.

     

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  • ,

    Consumers Access Preventative Services Under GOP

    LOUISIANA REPUBLICANS LIKE JOHN  Fleming and David Vitter are  sticking with their plan to repeal  the Affordable Care Act and take away health care benefits under

    the law, including a provision that 932,000 Louisianians with private health insurance have used to get preventive care services with no out-of-pocket cost. “Fleming,

    Vitter and Louisiana’s Republicans in Congress continue to stand in the way of im- proving health care for Louisiana families,” said Louisiana Demo- cratic Party executive

    director Stephen Handwerk. “The GOP’s plan is simple: repeal the Affordable Care Act, take away benefi ts that lower costs for Louisianians and return to a

    completely broken system. Under the Affordable Care Act, nearly one million Louisianians have received preventive care with no co-pay. That’s progress, and it’s

    why Democrats are committed to improving the Affordable Care Act and making it work. Republicans’ only plan is to make the system worse.” Approximately 105 million

    Americans–71 million with private insurance and 34 million on Medicare — have received at least one free preventive health care service, like a flu shot or cancer

    screening, because of the Affordable Care Act. For more on how the Afford- able Care Act is already improv- ing health care for Louisianians,

    visit:  http://louisianademocrats. org/2013/08/30/aca-in-la/

     

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  • SU Law Grads Become Area’s fi rst Black US Assistant Attorneys

    TWO MONROE ATTORNEYS HAVE MADE HISTORY as the first Black attorneys from Monroe to be named assistant attorneys for the United States Department of Justice Western District.

    Brandon Brown and Courtney Joiner graduated from Ouachita High Schools in 1999. Joiner attended the University of Louisiana in Monroe and Brown attended Louisiana Tech.

    They met up again at Southern University Law Center, studied together, and shared their dreams of rising in the legal profession. They graduated in 2007. B r o w n became an assisant prosecutor for the 4th District attorney’s office in Monroe, while Joiner was an attorney at Sidney Austin Law Firm in Chicago and Hammonds and Sills Law Firm in Monroe.

    Brandon Brown

    Brandon Brown

    As U.S. assistant attorney, Brown will prosecute immigration cases and white- collar, economic, and cyber crimes.  Joiner prosecutes civil litigation, employment law and workers compensation defense.

     

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  • Group Brings Leadership Policy Summit

    HAMMOND— More than 50 Black elected officials, community and civic leaders, church leaders, and aspiring political candidates gathered in Hammond, Saturday, Nov. 9, for the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy Leadership and Policy Summit.

    The event was co-sponsored by the Northshore Black Elected Officials Coalition and Associates. The leaders sat through presentations and workshops focused on voting rights, climate justice, and racial equity.  They were also updated participants on current legislative issues impacting Louisiana, the Gulf Coast and the US South.

    “Gulf Coast communities exist at the intersection of historic disparity, institutionalized injustice and impending opportunities for community change. How communities of color in the Gulf Coast are impacted and, whether they are equipped to withstand these changes depends on the civic engagement of its residents and the successful strategy of its justice leaders,” said NBEOCA president Thomas Smith Jr.

    The training offered tools, data and information on best practices to promote political engagement and civil rights as well as strengthen the civic engagement networks in Louisiana’s Black communities. Participants engaged in conversations and workshops to help build a justice-based analysis around key community issues. Presenters included: Trupania Bonner, director of the Black Men and Boys Initiative; Jacques Mona, political analyst; Jordan Diamond and Teresa Chan of the Environmental Law Institute; Colette Pichon Battle, executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy; Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus chairwoman State Rep. Katrina Jackson; and Dr. Charles Steele, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

    “This event was intended to connect local leadership to crucial information on issues that impact communities of Color in rural and sub-urban Louisiana,” said Battle. “Too often our communities must face real issues without the tools to solve problems or participate in political processes. This was our part in finding a solution.

    The Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy is a regional public interest law firm and justice center committed to advancing structural shifts toward equity in law, society and community.

    To strengthen the resilience of Louisiana’s communities of color,

    The summit served leaders of the Florida Parishes: St. Tammany, Washington, Tangipahoa, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Livingston, St. Helena parishes.  

    Cut line – Northshore Black elective officials and community leaders gather in Hammond to attend the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy Leadership and Policy Summit. For left Tangipahoa Parish School Board member Eric Dangerfield, Pat Morris president of The Greater Tangipahoa Parish NAACP and Thomas J. Smith Jr. president of the Northsore Black Elected Officials Coalition and Associates.

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  • Affordable Care Tips for Louisiana Residents

    The Affordable Care Act was enacted with the goal of increasing the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government.

    The Affordable Care Act is made up of two separate pieces of legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act and the Education Reconciliation act, that together expand Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income Americans and will improve Medicaid the Children’s Health insurance program (CHIP).

    Its goal is to make health care access more available to those who aren’t on Medicaid and do not have jobs that provide health benefits.

    The millions of Americans who fall into this category are encouraged to visit healthcare.gov. The Web site also includes information on preventive care and how to compare the quality of care patients receive at local facilities, and apply for government assistance but its most notable feature is the marketplace.

    Through healthcare.gov’s market place patrons can compare private health insurance plans, side by side. Plans offered in the Healthcare Marketplace will offer the same set of essential health benefits; which are minimum requirements for all plans in the Marketplace.Plans applied for by December 15, coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2014.  Open enrollment for 2014 health insurance closes March 30th

    These essential health benefits include at least the following items and services: ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital), prescription drugs, pediatric services, new born care.

    Here are the facts about ACA:

    • If you own a company you apply for packages for your staff

    • You can apply online or by phone

    • You can apply alone or along with members of your household

    •If you apply online you must have an email address

    • The Baton Rouge Primary Care Collaborative, Inc., 2013 Central Rd, has ACA-certified application counselors who can help with the process.

    The Affordable Health Care Act will provide Americans with better health security by, expanding coverage, holding insurance companies accountable, lower healthcare cost, guarantee more choice and enhance quality for all Americans.

     

     

    ONLINE:HealthCare.gov

    PHONE: 800-318-2596

     

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