Democrats pursue Stacey Abrams as top Senate recruit

Stacey Abrams

Democrats haven’t won a Senate race in Georgia since 2000, but if Stacey Abrams’ popularity put the race on the battleground map, it would have a major impact on the battle for control of the Senate next year. | Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

2020 elections

National Democrats hope Abrams will ride momentum from her losing 2018 campaign to the Senate in 2020, but she may be eyeing a rematch for governor in 2022.

Democrats are doing a full-court press to draft Stacey Abrams into Georgia’s 2020 Senate race, a move that would put in play a state that hasn’t gone blue in two decades and could reshape the party’s path to retaking the Senate majority.

The problem is that Abrams still has hopes of becoming governor — it’s where she could have the most direct impact on issues like voting rights — and isn’t sold on the Senate. But the pressure on her to run in 2020, capitalizing on her rise to national prominence last year and her continued popularity in Georgia despite losing the 2018 governor’s race, is only growing.

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Abrams is giving serious consideration to a Senate run, and she met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) in recent weeks. As she deliberates, Abrams also sat down with three of the most prominent African-Americans in the Democratic Party: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who has been close with Abrams since they overlapped in law school, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). Lewis said that he wasn’t urging Abrams to choose a path forward, but that he’d be a “strong supporter” of whatever she does next. Abrams has also been keeping supporters fired up with a statewide tour billed as an opportunity to thank her backers in 2018.

State Rep. Al Williams, a close ally of Abrams’, said Abrams is getting the “hard sell” from national and local Democrats who want her to run in 2020, but that she hasn’t indicated to him whether she’s leaning towards or against a run.

“The Democratic Party certainly needs candidates like Stacey Abrams, so there will be a lot of push for her to run,” Williams said.

The biggest thing in the way of that push is Abrams’ ambition to be Georgia’s governor. “She’s the obvious frontrunner for the race. But I still think she wants to be the governor and she always has, and that’s going to weigh on her,” said Jason Carter, Democrats’ 2014 gubernatorial nominee and the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.

That’s why some Democrats believe Abrams is unlikely to challenge Georgia Sen. David Perdue, the freshman senator and former businessman, though they say the pull from the national party to build on her momentum from 2018 could change that.

“I think it is highly unlikely she runs for Senate, but there is no one more persuasive than Chuck Schumer,” said a Georgia Democrat familiar with Abrams’ thinking.

Democrats haven’t won a Senate race in Georgia since 2000, but if Abrams’ popularity put the race on the battleground map, it would have a major impact on the battle for control of the Senate next year. Democrats need to win at least three seats to take control of the chamber, including states that President Donald Trump carried in 2016. Their path relies on candidates like Abrams who have forged unique appeal in red states.

Indeed, in a recent survey from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, 52 percent of registered voters said they have favorable views of Abrams, compared to 40 percent who view her unfavorably. Only former GOP Gov. Nathan Deal scored higher favorability numbers. Perdue was viewed favorably by 45 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 31 percent.

“There’s no disputing that Stacey is incredibly charismatic, personable and an incredibly effective communicator. There’s no hiding that,” said John Watson, the state GOP chairman. “But what belies that are some really bad positions.”

Watson and other Republicans said Abrams’ positions on health care, immigration and gun control measures, which they attacked relentlessly during the gubernatorial race, would be similar wedge issues if she runs again. Republicans also argue Abrams would face very different circumstances in a Senate run, where federal and national issues would loom larger than local concerns discussed during the gubernatorial campaign.

Perdue would also present a more formidable opponent than Kemp, who had lower name recognition and won his nomination months after Abrams, after fighting through a tough GOP primary runoff. Perdue, a strong ally of President Trump, remains popular across the Republican Party and is unlikely to face a primary challenge.

“She was, for Democrats across the country, their dream candidate,” said Jeremy Brand, a political strategist for Kemp. “They invested tens of millions of dollars, she put in a lot of work on mobilization and she lost.”

Abrams has made clear publicly that she plans to run for office again, though which office remains the question. Some Democrats view her lingering desire to be the state’s top executive as the biggest hurdle to a Senate candidacy. Carter said Abrams would likely clear out the Democratic field should she choose to run against Perdue.

If she doesn’t run, Democrats could face a potentially crowded field, with a handful of other candidates weighing a run, including Jon Ossoff, who lost a nationally watched special House election in 2017; the Rev. Raphael Warnock; and state Rep. Scott Holcomb. Teresa Tomlinson, the former mayor of Columbus, has been most aggressively laying the groundwork for a campaign. Tomlinson was in Washington this week to speak with representatives of EMILY’s List and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, though neither organization is actively recruiting her to run at this stage.

Tomlinson, in an interview, declined to say definitively whether or not she would run if Abrams does. She said she thought she would be a formidable opponent against Perdue, but she also heaped praise on Abrams, calling her the “standard-bearer” for the party.

“Stacey helped make this a two-party state. Should Stacey decide to run she’ll be a fabulous candidate,” Tomlinson said. “Should I decide to run, I think one thing that will demonstrate is Georgia has a very deep, broad bench.”

Earlier this month, Abrams set a deadline for the end of March to decide on a Senate run — she’ll return to Washington the following week to receive an award from EMILY’s List, which was a major backer of her race in 2018 and likely would be again in 2020. Abrams said in a local radio interview that she was weighing whether she was the right person to run, and whether she had the capacity to win and do the job well. At her thank-you rally Monday, she implored her supporters to stay motivated.

“We have proven that Georgia is not about to be a battleground state. We are at war right now,” Abrams said. “It’s time for folks to show up and fight with us.”

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Provoked By Trump, The Religious Left Is Finding Its Voice

Dozens of clergy members, immigration activists and others participate in a protest against the imprisonment and potential deportation of an immigration activist. Religious liberals are becoming increasingly outspoken in their opposition to many Trump Administration policies. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Dozens of clergy members, immigration activists and others participate in a protest against the imprisonment and potential deportation of an immigration activist. Religious liberals are becoming increasingly outspoken in their opposition to many Trump Administration policies.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Religious conservatives have rarely faced much competition in the political realm from faith-based groups on the left.

The provocations of Donald Trump may finally be changing that.

Nearly 40 years after some prominent evangelical Christians organized a Moral Majority movement to promote a conservative political agenda, a comparable effort by liberal religious leaders is coalescing in support of immigrant rights, universal health care, LGBTQ rights, and racial justice.

“We believe that faith has a critical role to play in shaping public policies and influencing decision makers,” says the Rev. Jennifer Butler, an ordained Presbyterian minister and founder of the group Faith in Public Life. “Our moral values speak to the kinds of just laws that we ought to have.”

Her group, part of what could be considered a religious left, claims to have mobilized nearly 50,000 local clergy and faith leaders, with on-the-ground operations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio. Butler herself founded the organization in 2005, with a precedent in mind: It was religious leaders who drove the abolitionist movement in the nineteenth century and the civil rights movement in the twentieth century.

“I think religion helps people understand who they should be,” Butler says.

Assault on faith

Comparisons to the origins of religious right are inevitable. The Rev. Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority movement in 1979 to oppose abortion and gay rights and promote private Christian schools, largely in the South, during a time of cultural change.

“What motivated the religious right to begin organizing was a feeling of loss,” says Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “They felt the deepest values from their religion were being taken away from them.”

Religious voters on the left now see a comparable assault on principles they hold dear and are finding a new determination to defend the values of their faith, as they understand them.

“To me, Jesus talked about reaching out to the poor, reaching out to the marginalized, reaching out to the oppressed,” says Tara Agnew Harris, 41, who worships at Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.

“Sometimes I feel that traditional Christian beliefs have been hijacked,” she says. “I think many people in the United States, when they hear about ‘Christian beliefs,’ they think it has something to do with a certain fundamentalist mindset.”

Harris in recent months has been exploring “immigrant injustice” issues and traveled with other Faith in Public Life activists to the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, G.A., where undocumented immigrants were being held. She says her newfound interest in activism comes from her understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

“The way that I personally interpret my Christian faith and my own Christian walk,” she says, “is that it’s an active challenge. [It’s about] how I can make a difference in the lives of others.”

Butler’s Faith in Public Life movement in recent months has organized a series of rallies to protest the Trump Administration’s detention of migrant families and the president’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, moves that Butler sees as conflicting with Biblical teachings.

“There are over a hundred verses of scripture that say we are to welcome immigrants and welcome strangers,” Butler says. “[Faith in Public Life] is driven by our moral values and not by politics.”

Overshadowed on the campaign trail

The religious left, having been largely eclipsed in recent years, has a ways to go before it can match the clout of the religious right. Butler’s group and those allied with it have primarily kept their focus on protest rallies and social media campaigns. Conservative religious groups, with forty years of organizing experience, conduct sophisticated campaigns in support of those candidates whose views align with their own.

In his book The Four Faces of the Republican Party, Henry Olsen says conservative evangelical Christian voters demonstrate “unusual strength” in Republican presidential contests, especially in caucus states. While the Moral Majority organization was disbanded in 1989, the religious right is still active through such groups as the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which prepares voter guides spelling out candidate positions on such issues as abortion and gay marriage.

“We distribute those voter guides, door-to-door,” says Virginia Galloway, a regional director, based in Atlanta. “We distribute them through the mail. We go to rallies and hand them out, and then people take them home and share them with their friends.”

The Faith and Freedom Coalition now has an army of trained volunteers at its disposal and access to sophisticated technology.

“When I started,” Galloway says, “we had a clipboard and a piece of paper with names of voters on it. Now we have an app on our phone. It will even give us directions to the next house.”

While many black churches have mounted voter registration drives in recent years to help get out the vote for Democratic candidates, the left does not yet have a level of organization matching that of religious conservatives.

“The religious right has been talked about a great deal over the years,” says Alan Cooperman, director of religion research at the Pew Research Center. “We found when we tested this back in 2010 that a substantial number of Americans said they have heard of the religious right. A majority of Americans said they had not heard of the religious left.”

A major disadvantage for any faith-based movement on the left is that it draws on a smaller base. Surveys show that liberals are less religious than conservatives by such measures as belief in God, church attendance, or the importance of faith in their lives. Fewer than a third of liberals say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in organized religion. Nearly half of liberals under 30 have no religious affiliation.

Perhaps for that reason, the political agenda of the Faith in Public Life organization and other groups on the religious left at first glance doesn’t seem all that different from that of groups on the secular left, such as MoveOn.Org.

In contrast, the religious right has a more unique identity, with an evangelical Christian agenda that secular conservatives don’t necessarily share.

“The secular right may agree on some issues,” says Henry Olsen, “but they are primarily motivated by a concern about what they would argue is the growing power of government. They are more interested in preserving the Constitution than the Bible.”

Bridge builders

There are nevertheless some factors that may favor the religious liberals, in Butler’s view. The religious left has, for example, a greater interfaith emphasis, incorporating progressive Catholics, mainline Protestants, and some Evangelicals, as well as non-Christian traditions.

“We’re working with Muslims and Jews and Sikhs and every sort of faith group,” Butler says. “We all have the same core values in mind, which is that everybody is created in the image of God, and we need to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.”

At a time when the United States is increasingly diverse, such a multi-faith approach makes sense.

Religious liberals also bring at least one value that the secular left, in Butler’s view, may lack: a commitment to bridge-building.

“A lot of folks on the secular left are a bit reticent to form common cause with people who see things differently on an issue,” says Butler. “When it comes to reproductive rights and health, for example, we’ve been able to form alliances between people who are pro-life and pro-choice, because all of us agree there’s common ground in wanting to reduce the number of abortions in the country.”

With many Democrats worried that identity-based politics might fragment their base, a movement committed to forming alliances across identities should be well-received.

Moral passion

Activists on the left should welcome the emergence of a religious core in their ranks because when political activity is morally inspired, it becomes more passionate — as conservatives already understand. Liberals are famous for being cerebral. A religious left may bring more energy to the progressive movement.

Democrats got a jolt of that passion at their last national convention with an appearance by the Rev. William Barber, an African-American preacher from North Carolina who started the “Moral Monday” movement in that state.

“Jesus, a brown-skinned Palestinian Jew, called us to preach good news to the poor, the broken, the bruised, and all those who are made to feel unaccepted!” Barber thundered, bringing the delegates to their feet.

Describing himself as “an evangelical Biblicist,” Barber said the nation is need of “moral defibrillators” to work on its weak heart.

“We must shock this nation with the power of love. We must shock this nation with power of mercy. We must shock this nation and fight for justice for all!” Barber said, in the most rousing speech of the convention.

Barber has since launched a new Poor Peoples’ Campaign and is now a key partner in Butler’s Faith in Public Life coalition. The two often show up at rallies and demonstrations together, walking arm in arm, both wearing their clerical collars.

Why are people not getting vaccinated?

GIVE A SHOT—In this file photo, a sign telling customers that they can get a flu shot in a Walgreen store is seen in Indianapolis. (Darron Cummings/AP)

Vaccines for diseases that used to sicken and even kill millions of people throughout the world—like measles, polio, whooping cough and more—have been available for decades. Thanks to robust vaccination programs in the United States, the spread of many of these diseases had stopped. However, in recent years, outbreaks (three or more linked cases) of some of these diseases have caused concern.

Researchers have linked fewer people getting vaccinations to an increase in preventable diseases. Take measles, for instance—measles is a disease that spreads easily and quickly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the continuous transmission of measles was eliminated in the United States by 2000. But, in recent years, many measles outbreaks have been reported. The CDC reports that the majority of people who have gotten measles in recent years were not vaccinated.

Richard K. Zimmerman, MD, MPH

When large numbers of people are vaccinated, diseases have a much harder time moving from person to person. If a person does get a disease but is in contact with people who have been vaccinated, the disease will not spread quickly to other people. This protection is called “community” or “herd” immunity. But when larger numbers of people are not getting vaccinated, herd immunity breaks down and people are no longer protected when diseases arise.

Also, according to Richard K. Zimmerman, MD, MPH, professor of family medicine, and associate professor of behavioral and community health sciences, University of Pittsburgh, flu vaccine rates dropped 40 percent last year, and 79,000 people in the United States died from the flu (the typical number is 23,000). So, why are people not getting vaccinated and breaking down the protection of herd immunity?

Many researchers have found that vaccination myths are one of the reasons people are not getting immunized against preventable diseases. One of the most common vaccination myths is that vaccines can cause illnesses or diseases.

“About one in five people will get a sore arm at the injection site, but people can’t get an illness from an inactivated vaccine,” said Dr. Zimmerman. “Almost all vaccines are inactivated [meaning, they are made with dead viruses, bacteria or toxins]. People say they get the flu after getting a flu shot, but they more likely caught an illness from someone else in the waiting room.”

In recent years, one of the biggest myths about childhood vaccines was that they can cause autism in children. Researchers have studied whether vaccines cause autism. Despite how common that myth is, no research study has found a link between vaccinations and a likelihood of developing autism.

A disparity exists in vaccination rates among different racial, ethnic and age groups. Dr. Zimmerman points out that children overall have higher vaccination rates than adults. The CDC reports that White adults have higher vaccination rates than African American, Latinx and Asian adults. Barriers to vaccination include not having appropriate health insurance coverage and a lack of knowledge about which vaccinations to get at what age. [See elsewhere on the page for links to vaccination schedules by age group.]

Part of Dr. Zimmerman’s research involves how to get more people vaccinated. Along with recommendations for health care providers, Dr. Zimmerman cited three different factors in helping people get vaccinated—habit, attitude and social influence. People tend to get vaccinated more when they develop a habit of doing so. If people have the attitude that vaccines help them and everyone stay healthy, they are more likely to get vaccinated. Finally, when people encounter the social influence of someone like a health care provider who encourages vaccines, people are more likely to get vaccinated. Dr. Zimmerman also notes that incentives—like insurance companies offering credits or lowered copays—help people get vaccinated.

Even if people think they are safe from preventable diseases, Dr. Zimmerman recommends that they think about getting vaccinated to help keep their loved ones safe. A health care provider can help people know what vaccinations they need and when to get them.

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For more information about vaccines, their safety and why getting them is important, Dr. Zimmerman recommends the following websites:

1. CDC—cdc.gov/vaccines/index.html

2. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center—chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center

3. immunize.org

4. pkids.org

To view the CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule for children, go to https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf.

For teens, go to https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/preteen-teen.html.

For adults, go to https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/adult.html.

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18th Annual African American Cultural Celebration

18th Annual African American Cultural Celebration

18th Annual African American Cultural Celebration

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Join the statewide kickoff to Black History Month at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. Named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society since 2015, the 18th annual African American Cultural Celebration will feature more than 75 musicians, storytellers, dancers, chefs, historians, playwrights, authors, artists, reenactors, and more.

Black History Month 2019 celebrations planned throughout Miami-Dade

MIAMI –  The Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board (BAAB), along with various community based organizations, have scheduled a number of events that pay homage to the African American diaspora, as well as this year’s national theme established by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH):  “Black Migrations,” which focuses on the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently new social realities.    

Following is a list of events and activities throughout the county commemorating Black History Month. Events with an asterisk (*) are sponsored or co-sponsored by the Black Affairs Advisory Board’s Heritage Planning Committee. For a detailed calendar of events, visit www.miamidade.gov/advocacy/black-affairs-home.asp

For more information on the month’s events, please contact Black Affairs Advisory Board Director Retha Boone-Fyeat 305-375-4606.

Calendar of Events

*Friday, February 1, 2019

Black History Month Kickoff-Presented by the Miami-Dade County Black Affairs Advisory Board

11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Featuring entertainment, unveiling of “Vessels 2019: Women of Substance” and “Triumphant Spirits

2019: African American Men” exhibit-curated by MUCE; Kinad African American Museum exhibit, and

excerpts from the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service’ entertainment & “Soul

Food Truck” invasion.

Stephen P. Clark Government Center, 111 NW 1st Street, Miami, Florida  33128

Details: 305-375-4606 or www.miamidade.gov/baab

 

Friday, February 1, 2019

“Season 5 Lyric Live All Stars”

Black History Month Kickoff Weekend with Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson

Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater

819 NW 2nd Ave, Miami Florida 33136

Reception: 6 p.m. and Show 8 p.m. – Tickets at www.lyriclive.eventbrite.com

 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Black Cultural Expo

Black History Month Kickoff Weekend with Miami-Dade Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson

Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater, 819 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33136 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Expo of Black Cultural Institutions of South Florida with Kids Zone and Vendors; 5 p.m.

Double Feature Film Screening on the BAHLT Plaza (5 p.m. The Wiz; 8 p.m. Black Panther)

Free Community Event

 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Super Bowl LIII Watch Party 4 p.m. – Midnight

Black History Month Kickoff Weekend with Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson

Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater, 819 NW 2nd Avenue Miami, Florida 33136

Large screen viewing on the BAHLT Plaza, featuring a cigar bar, pool tables, and table games.

Free Community Event

 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Second Annual Egbe Festival

 “A Celebration of African Culture and Heritage” – 12 noon-12 a.m.

Historic Virginia Key Beach Park – Details:  www.egbefestival.com

 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

South Florida People of Color presents “Soul Food” a Gospel Service & Southern Brunch 10:30 a.m.

Miami Shores Community Church, 9823 NE 4th Avenue, Miami Shores, Florida  33138

Ticketed event:  www.bhm2019series.eventbrite.com – www.southfloridapoc.org 

 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Black History Month Heritage & Neighborhood Tour

Presented by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s- Multicultural Tourism & Development

Registration/information:  pam@gmcvb.com

 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Macy’s Aventura Store Black History Month Celebration

Discussion & Performances 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

19535 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura, Florida – Details: 305-682-3312

 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Perez Art Museum Annual Reception & Fundraiser – 7 p.m.

PAMM Fund for African American effort to promote membership funding to continue the acquisition of artworks by African American artists and related programming.

1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida  33132

Ticketed event: *Prices vary – Details: 305-375-1707 www.pamm.org  

 

*Sunday, February 10, 2019

“Seventh Annual South Dade Gospelfest”- 5 p.m.

Co-sponsored by Miami-Dade Commissioners Dennis Moss (District 9) & Daniella Levine (District 8) in conjunction with the Black Affairs Advisory Board & the South Dade Gospelfest Committee

South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center,

10950 SW 211th Street,

Cutler Bay, Florida  33189

Ticketed Event: 786-573-5300

 

*Thursday February 14, 2019

Valentine’s Pop-Up Shop” #Black Love”

Featuring, Valentine themed gifts, Silent Auction and Pop Up Photo Booth – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Stephen P. Clark Government Center Lobby, 111 NW 1st Street, Miami, Florida  33128 – 305-375-4606

 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Urban Tour Host’s “Little Haiti Tour & Lunch 11 a.m. -2 p.m.

$49.00 per person – Reservations (minimum of 10) – David Brown: 305-416-6868

 

*February 17, 2019

Sacred Ground:  Lincoln Memorial Cemetery Remembered & Exhibit

Presented by the Black Affairs Advisory Board in conjunction with the Coral Gables Museum

1 p.m. – RSVP required

285 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134 – Details: 305-375-4606

 

*Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Black Affairs Advisory Board’s Annual Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Career Fair

In conjunction with Miami Dade College’s School of Justice, Public Safety & Law Studies

10 a.m. -1 p.m.

Miami-Dade College, North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Avenue, Room 3249, Miami, Florida 33167

Details: 305-375-4606 elugomar@mdc.edu  – www.miamidade.gov/advocacy/baab

 

Friday, February 22, 2019

“Black Migration” Luncheon

Miami International Airport – 12 noon – Concourse D Auditorium – 4th Floor- Details: 305-876-7907

 

*Saturday, February 23, 2019

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jordan’s Annual “Black Heritage Festival 2019” 12 Noon – 4 p.m.

Co-hosted by City of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert (featuring African Fashions, dancers, food trucks, entertainment and vendors)

Carol City Park, 3201 NW 185th Street, Miami Gardens, Florida  33056 –

Details: 305-474-3011

 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Afri-Fest!  A Celebration of the African Diaspora”- Presented by the Nigerian American Foundation

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall Social and Economic Center, 5120 NW 24th Ave, Miami, Florida  33136

Details:  www.nigerianamericanfoundation.com

 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Commissioner Jean Monestime’s Black History Month Observance & Senior’s Recognition

12 noon – 2 p.m. – Details: 305-694-2779

 

*Thursday, February 28, 2019

Black History Month Closeout Celebration 11 a.m.-4 p.m.– Featuring Food Trucks & Entertainment

Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW 1st Street, Miami, 305-375-4606

TOURS, EXHIBITS & SPECIAL COMMUNITY EVENTS

 

February 1-28, 2019

Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum “Red Letter Exhibit” (Open Tuesday-Saturday-10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

480 NW 11th Street, Miami, Florida  33136 – 305- 329-2513 www.historicalblackprecinct.org    

 

February 1-28, 2019

Virginia Key Beach Park Trust Black History Tours – Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.

Explore the cultural impact that people of color had on Miami’s early 20th Century history. Check out the first colored beach in Miami Dade County and how it became the paradise it is today.

For more information or to schedule a FREE tour call 305-960-4600 or email CWeyman@miamigov.com

305-960-4600 www.VirginiaKeyBeachPark.net

 

February 1-28, 2018

CHAT Miami Tours

Miami Black Heritage Tour and Tasting – $69.00 per person

Monday and Friday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Month of February) Stephanie Jones 786-507-8500

 

February 1-28, 2018

The City of North Miami presents a tribute to Black History”

Various events honoring Black History Month – Contact: 305-895-9840

Details:  www.NorthMiamiFl.gov/celebrate  

 

February 5-9, 2019

‘Black Tech Week” – (Various Locations throughout Miami)

Details:  www.bit.lly/blacktechweek2019  Contact: events@codefevermiami.com

 

Saturday, February 9-10, 2019

Annual Trayvon Martin Peace Walk & Gala

March @Carol City Park, 3201 NW 185th Street, Miami Gardens

Dinner @ Double Tree Hotel Miami, 711 NW 72nd Avenue, Miami

Details: 786-504-4235 info@trayvonmartinfoundation.org  www.trayvonmartinfoundation.org

 

February 7-24, 2019

The M Ensemble Company’s “Meet Me At The Oak” Theatrical production

Sandrell Rivers Theater @Audrey M. Edmonson Transit Village

6103 NW 7th Avenue, Miami, Florida – Group rates available

Details:  786- 320-5043 or 305-200-5043

 

February 8-23, 2019

Black Professionals Network Black History Month Events

Various venues & times – Details: www.mybpnetwork.org 

 

February 10-16, 2019

Florida Memorial University’s Homecoming & Black History Month Observance

Various events presented by South Florida’s only HBCU (Historically Black College/University)

15800 Northwest 42nd Avenue, Miami Gardens, Florida  33054 – Details: www.fmuniv.edu   

 

February 14-17, 2019

Performances featuring the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts’ Black History Month Programming (Ticketed events) 

Box Office 305-949-6722 Toll-Free: 877-949-6722 www.arshtcenter.org

 

Thursday, February 21-thru Sun. February 25, 2019

22nd Annual Melton Mustafa Jazz Festival

Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater, 819 NW 2nd Avenue

Details: 786-897-8854 www.meltonmustafajazzfestival.com

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Many pregnant women don’t think cannabis is harmful, UBC study finds

A new report by researchers at the University of British Columbia has found that up to one-third of pregnant women believe it is safe to ingest cannabis during pregnancy.

The study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, pored over data from six U.S. studies and found that some women considered cannabis safe because their health-care provider hadn’t communicated to them that it wasn’t.

Lead author Hamideh Bayrampour, assistant professor in the UBC department of family practice, said the study is important for public health officials to understand perceptions of cannabis use, especially since the drug became legal in Canada.

“What we looked at was perception, not actual risk,” Bayrampour said. 

When women were asked about their perception of general harm associated with cannabis use, 70 per cent of both pregnant and non-pregnant cannabis users responded that they perceived slight or no risk of harm.

In one study, when asked if they believed cannabis is harmful to a baby during pregnancy, 30 per cent of pregnant women responded “no.” When women were asked to identify substances most likely to harm the baby during pregnancy, 70 per cent chose alcohol, 16 per cent chose tobacco, while only two per cent chose cannabis.

“One of our review findings revealed that some people don’t consider cannabis to be a drug,” said Bayrampour.

Treat morning sickness

“With this in mind, it’s especially important for health-care providers to ask specific questions about cannabis use during pregnancy and breast feeding to help spark a productive conversation about the potential health impacts.”

The research found pregnant cannabis users were more likely to be under 25, unemployed, single and African American. Anxiety and depression were also associated with cannabis use while pregnant.

“Based on what we found, their motivation for use was … they wanted to treat their morning sickness,” Bayrampour said.

Health Canada requires cannabis companies to have warning labels on all their products. (Canada.ca)

In an effort to get ahead of marijuana legalization in Canada last October, earlier in 2018 the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) warned pregnant and breastfeeding women that legal pot doesn’t mean safe pot.

The society says THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis, crosses the placenta into fetal tissue and can also accumulate in breast milk — whether from vaping, smoking, or eating.

Potential effects, according to the SOGC include:

  • Pre-term labour.
  • Low birth weight.
  • Lower IQ scores.
  • Impulsivity and hyperactivity in childhood.

Aaron Fowler Awarded The 2019 Gwendolyn Knight And Jacob Lawrence Prize By Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) recently announced the selection of mixed-media artist Aaron Fowler as the recipient of the 2019 Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize. Major funding for the prize is provided by the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation. Fowler will receive a $10,000 award to further his artistic practice, and his work will be featured in a solo exhibition in SAM’s Gwendolyn Knight & Jacob Lawrence Gallery in fall 2019. 

Awarded bi-annually since 2009 to an early career Black artist, defined loosely as an artist in the first decade of their career, the Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Prize has become a platform for catapulting artists into the influential vanguard of contemporary artistic practice. Previous recipients of the prize are Titus Kaphar (2009), Theaster Gates (2011), LaToya Ruby Frazier (2013), Brenna Youngblood (2015), and Sondra Perry (2017). 

Based in Harlem, Los Angeles, and St. Louis, Aaron Fowler makes large-scale sculptural assemblages composed of a wide range of found materials. With references to American history, Black culture, and real and imagined narratives, each work is densely layered with meaning and materiality. From ironing boards and car parts to hair weaves and videos, Fowler’s work is imbued with multivalent narratives that compel the viewer to take their time looking. Employing compositional approaches akin to 19th- and 20th-century American and European paintings, Fowler references family, friends, and himself in works that are at once universal and deeply personal. 

Fowler’s fall 2019 solo exhibition at SAM will be curated by Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and SAM’s former Deputy Director for Education and Public Programs/Adjunct Curator in Modern and Contemporary Art.

“I am thrilled to see what Aaron dreams up for his installation at SAM,” says Jackson-Dumont. “Aaron Fowler’s sculptural assemblages are infused with personal meaning while calling attention to a range of complex concerns, issues, and ideas—not the least of which include American history, identity issues, Black experiences, and hip hop. His monumental mixed-media work will consume the galleries, but moreover it will take over viewers’ hearts and minds.” 

Fowler received his MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2014 and his BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy Fine Arts in 2011. He was an artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2014 and was the recipient of the Rema Host Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant in 2015. 

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Higher Plans

When Charley Pride’s voice first hit the radio waves in the mid-1960s, no one in the listening audience knew he was black. How could they know? There were few country music visuals back in the day — no music videos, no channels dedicated to the genre, no television shows.
Country music wasn’t exactly mainstream then and TV shows based in New York or Los Angeles paid little attention to what was happening in places like Memphis and Nashville — except when Elvis Presley exploded onto the scene and the world was introduced to Tupelo, Mississippi.
However, another meteoric Mississippi phenomenon was about to take shape in the form of an unassuming young man whose first love was baseball, Charley Pride.
As one of 11 children born to poor sharecroppers in Sledge, Mississippi, Pride’s career as a ballplayer took shape in the late 1950s with the Negro American League, minor league and semi-pro ballclubs. He sang and played guitar on the team bus between ballparks. He would join various bands onstage as he and the team roved around the country, but a musical career wasn’t part of his plan — then fate stepped up to bat.
In 1960, Pride moved to Montana to play for the Missoula Timberjacks in the Pioneer League, but ended up working at a smelter operated by the Anaconda Mining Company and playing for its semi-pro baseball team.
He also began making a name for himself as a music performer by singing the national anthem at baseball games and performing at honky-tonks and nightclubs in the Helena, Anaconda and Great Falls areas. A local disc jockey introduced Pride to country singers Red Sovine and Red Foley in 1962. They invited him to join them to perform “Heartaches By The Number” and “Lovesick Blues” during one of their shows. This brief encounter changed everything.
After a disastrous 1963 tryout with the New York Mets in Clearwater, Florida, it became clear that a major league baseball career was not in the cards. Pride returned to Montana via a stop in Tennessee to Cedarwood Publishing, the company that booked Sovine’s shows.
From the bus station in Nashville, Pride walked straight over to the Cedarwood office and by sheer luck met Jack Johnson, who had been actively searching for a promising black country singer.
Johnson made a simply produced recording of Pride performing a couple of songs and then drove him straight back to the bus station with the promise of a management contract.
A black artist in Nashville at the time was a novelty and a tough sell.
In 1965, Pride returned to Nashville and Johnson introduced him to producer Jack Clement. Clement gave Pride several songs to learn and within a week they cut two of them — “The Snakes Crawl At Night” and “Atlantic Coastal Line” during an afternoon studio session with top-notch session players. Even with professionally produced demos, shopping Pride around town was still difficult, until the suits heard him sing. His smooth baritone vocals convinced them to take a chance.
Legendary guitarist Chet Atkins was the first to trust his ears in 1966, and signed Pride to RCA Records. Atkins took Pride under his wing, nurtured his talent and oversaw a shrewd promotional campaign that successfully navigated the racial challenges of mid-1960s America. “Just Between You and Me” caught fire in 1967, breaking into the Top 10 country chart and garnering Pride his first Grammy nomination — and people loved what they were hearing, possibly creating one of the first examples of acceptance.
What happened next is country music history. Pride quickly became the genre’s first African-American superstar. Between 1967 and 1987, he amassed no fewer than 52 Top-10 country hits and went on to sell tens of millions of records worldwide.
In 1971, Pride won two Grammy Awards related to his Gospel album Did You Think to Pray. Later that year, his No. 1 crossover hit “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ ” sold over a million singles and helped him to win the Country Music Association’s “Entertainer of the Year” award and the “Top Male Vocalist” awards of 1971 and 1972. It also brought him a “Best Male Country Vocal Performance” Grammy Award in 1972.
Some of Pride’s unforgettable hits include “All I Have To Offer You Is Me,” “Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone,” “Mississippi Cotton Pickin’ Delta Town,” “Burgers And Fries,” “Roll On Mississippi” and “Mountain Of Love.”
Pride sees all of that success through the eyes of humility and gratitude, crediting all of it to those who guided his path. He’s known his share of hardship and hard work, but he’s not one for seeing life in any kind of a negative light. He takes it all in stride, including his introduction into the Nashville music scene of the 1960s.
“It was going pretty good, but there was some doubtful people,” Pride said. “Once they heard my voice, they said, ‘we don’t care if he’s pink, I like his voice’ — people in Nashville, and actually my fans afterwards said that. I was 18 or 19 years old when I was playing baseball, that’s how I was going to make my mark, so for people to take a chance on me, I’ve been blessed.”
Pride has a special place in his heart for Atkins, mostly because he was a man of his word.
“I was always in awe of him,” he said. “I think he sometimes wondered why he was so big in this business, but when a man sits down and tells you he’s going to get you on RCA and took the demo out to all the big wigs and got me on the label, I know why he was so respected. He’s one of most iconic and finest guitar pickers in the entire world. That’s just the way it was and I was still in awe of him until he passed away.”
Pride didn’t worry about being offended when statements like “he doesn’t sound black” were on a lot of people’s lips at the time.
“I grew up in Mississippi, so I didn’t have much to think about other than the way the culture was at that time,” he said. “I just maneuvered around and was the staunch American I’ve always been and it’s worked out fine.”
Pride broke musical barriers and racial barriers, just doing what he loved to do, sing. Everything else was in the hands of a higher power, as far as he is concerned.
“I didn’t plan it,” Pride said. “Baseball was where I was gonna make it, I’m just glad He blessed me with a voice to be able to be where I am today.”
As a fresh face on the country music scene, Pride received a lot of advice, and he listened to all of it with an open mind and a strong sensibility of which people had his best interests at heart.
“I got a lot from different people,” he said. “There was a guy named Connie B. Gay who was in the business — he knew a lot about country music, and he might of handled some acts, but he walked up to me when I signed with my manager, Jack Johnson, and he said, ‘Charley, there’s gonna be people comin’ up to you and they’re gonna be telling you they can do better than what you got right now, and you’ve got a fat contract signed. Just tell them you don’t know how to write, and you don’t know nothing, so go to him,’ meaning Jack.
“Mostly Jack was the one that guided me,” he added. “We were probably the best one-two artist-manager punch in Nashville during the 11 years we were together.”
Johnson’s advice came in handy when Pride first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry back in the ’60s.
“When I first went on the Grand Ole Opry, it was Jan. 7, 1967,” he said. “Ernest Tubb brought me on, but I didn’t join until 1993. People said, ‘they finally let you in,’ but, no, no, no, I had a standing invitation to be a member from that point on when Ernest brought me on.
“Jack Johnson said, ‘Charley, you can join the Opry, but they got a criteria,’” Pride said. “I didn’t even know what that meant, when I was picking cotton, but you learn as you go. At that time it was a good thing to advertise when you were going out and doing shows to be a Grand Ole Opry member because it was prestige.
“He said, ‘you don’t want to join now, and I’ll tell you why. You have to give up 26 Saturdays to sign with them. That’s half of your year where you get the best money you can get.’ When he explained that to me, I thought, ‘I’m going to listen to that.’
“In 1993, my wife Rozene said, ‘this ain’t no criteria thing, you’re going to join the Grand Ole Opry.’ Boom, that’s when I went.”
His most humbling moment was also a moment in music history — when Pride was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, a secret at the time that everyone was in on but him.
“I was aware that we were moving from the small Hall of Fame to the big one, so Faron Young and I were to go up on stage as part of a program to announce that change. I have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I have three Grammys and now I belong to the Grand Ole Opry, but now the most humbling thing — I got my two grand boys in Nashville and I’m standing backstage with Brenda Lee and Bud Wendell who’s getting ready to talk about Faron Young. He’s telling how Faron is getting ready to go into the Hall of Fame. I have moved some things from the little hall to the big one, and I saw that Brenda had her little piece of paper and Bud has his. I asked where mine was so I wouldn’t forget anything.
“She said all they’re going to ask you is what the difference is between going from the little hall of fame to the big one. I didn’t know too much other than it’s bigger,” he added. “But then she goes out and says, ‘ladies and gentlemen, he was born in Sledge, Mississippi, bought his first guitar from Sears Roebuck’… see I’m getting chill bumps on my arm now when I talk about it. My feet barely moved and I couldn’t talk…
“Then it dawns on me, for a whole month, my wife, my guy that did my bookings, my road manager — all of them knew. ”
Pride’s biggest achievements in life don’t sit on a mantle in his home.
“Just being able to stay myself and not lose everything, or get the big head and think I’m something that I’m not means a lot to me,” he said. “Some people say, ‘Charley, you’re a legend.’ Well, legend to me is when you done did it and gone up there with him, with the Master. Then they say, ‘you’re a living legend,’ well, I don’t mind hearing it then.”


CHARLEY PRIDE

E Center at the Edgewater

Saturday, Jan. 26 (8 p.m.)

See “Showtimes” page 5 for ticket info

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

6th Annual African American Leadership Awards Celebrate Unsung Heroes

The African American Leadership Awards celebration is a unique event that honors those unsung heroes who labor behind the scenes to advance the policies and causes that empower the community. They were created to salute public servants, business leaders, and community leaders for their contributions to the African-American community, either locally, regionally or statewide.

This year’s event is Friday, February 22 from 5:30 p.m. – midnight at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 East Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201.

·      VIP/Afterglow tickets – $100 and include a 5:30 p.m. pre-reception plus afterglow from 9 p.m. to midnight

·      VIP tickets – $75 for preferred seating at the 7 p.m. awards ceremony 

·      General Admission tickets – $45 for the 7 p.m. awards ceremony

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.miblackleader.com

Event emcees are Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley and WXYZ Channel 7 editorial/public affairs director Chuck Stokes. The keynote speaker is Gail Perry-Mason, senior director of Investments at Oppenheimer & Co., Inc.

AALA alumni awardees, elected officials, celebrities, special guests and the selection committee will honor nominees in these unheralded categories:  Annette Rainwater Grassroots Organizer of the year; Political Pioneer, honoring a retiree; BOB Millender Political Strategist of the year, for mentoring candidates and championing causes; Emerging Black Leader, award for a leader or organization under 35; John Conyers Jr. Black Legislator of the year; Labor Leader of the year; Lear Corp Business leader of the year honoring a retiree; Bruce Feaster Staffer of the year, for going beyond the call of duty to serve constituents. 

The awards are produced by veteran political strategist Al Williams, the founder and president of the African American Leadership Institute, who said the genesis of this event was when “Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence discussed pulling together African-American community leaders, business leaders, and African-American elected officials to ensure we are united and working together on issues that affect all of us!”

In line with the theme of honoring those who give of themselves for the greater good, proceeds from the event benefit Best for Vets, a 501c3 non-profit organization that focuses on bettering the lives of U.S military veterans. For more information, visit: www.BestforVets.org.

The event is sponsored by the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, Greektown Casino, and PNC Bank.

For more information on the organization or awards event, contact African American Leadership at (313) 420-9345 or email Leadership@miblackleader.com.

Also On The Michigan Chronicle:

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