Press Release Fun: The Eric Carle Museum Presents the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards

I can’t help it, folks. This is just too cool not to post.

Media Contact: Sandy Soderberg, Marketing Manager
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book
Celebrates 50 Years of the Coretta Scott King Awards with Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards
Amherst, MA (September 13, 2018)–An exhibition depicting African American life, history, and culture by some of the most notable picture-book artists in the field is coming to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Featuring more than 30 illustrators, Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards opens October 21, 2018 and remains on view through January 27, 2019. The touring exhibition helps kick off a national celebration of the Coretta Scott King Awards in 2019, celebrating 50 years as a champion of books about the African American experience. The awards commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honor his wife, Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace.

The Illustrator Award, which is given each year by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the American Library Association (ALA), is one of the most prestigious citations in children’s literature. It recognizes outstanding African American artists of children’s books who demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.

Our Voice is the largest and most comprehensive presentation of Coretta Scott King illustrator winners and honorees ever assembled since the award was established in 1974. The exhibition, organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) in Abilene, Texas, presents art from 100 of the 108 winning books. Honoring the struggles and triumphs of African Americans, the exhibition features historic events and figures including Josephine Baker, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman. The art is as varied as the stories themselves, including collage, oils, watercolors, photography, quilts, and ceramics.

Artist George Ford, the first award recipient, said it was “totally unexpected” when he won for his painted acrylic illustrations in Ray Charles (1973). “Although the award was a recognition of artistic excellence, I was most proud of the fact that it was a reward specifically intended as a source of inspiration and encouragement to African American children.”

The scale and variety of artwork is remarkable. One of Faith Ringgold‘s vibrant painted quilts from Tar Beach, winner of the 1992 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, is on view. Tar Beach, Ringgold’s first children’s book, was also awarded a Caldecott Honor Medal. Baba Wagué Diakité illustrated his 1998 Coretta Scott King Honor book, The Hunterman and the Crocodile, on ceramic tiles painted with West African motifs. In his four winning books, artist Floyd Cooper used a technique he calls “oil erasure,” in which he paints oil on illustration board and then erases the paint to make his pictures. A beautiful example is on view from Cooper’s 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award-winning book, The Blacker the Berry: Poems.

Javaka Steptoe won the 2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Steptoe used bits of New York City–discarded wood he found in the dumpsters of Brooklyn brownstones and on the streets of Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side–to create his richly textured assemblages. “For me,” says Steptoe, “‘collage is a means of survival. It is how Black folks survived four hundred years of oppression, taking the scraps of life and transforming them into art forms. I want my audience, no matter what their background, to be able to enter into my world and make connections with comparable experiences in their own lives.” One of the few photographs in the exhibition is a black-and-white portrait by South African photographer Peter Magubane from his book Black Child. Winner of 1983 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, Black Child was banned in the artist’s home country by the Apartheid government. Magubane recalls, “I wanted the world to see what is going on in South Africa. The only way to show the world was through pictures.”

Several artists are multiple-time winners and have numerous artworks on view. Illustrator and author Jerry Pinkney, winner of ten Coretta Scott King awards, has a pencil drawing from his 1981 Honor book Count Your Fingers African Style and a watercolor from his recent 2017 Honor citation for In Plain Sight. “I am a storyteller at heart,” says Pinkney. “Each project begins with the question, ‘is this story worth telling? Is it surprising and challenging?’ My intent and hope is to lead the viewer into a world that only exists because of that picture. Many of these speak to my culture, while other works are based on my experience of being Black in America.”

Ashley Bryan, the recipient of nine Coretta Scott King awards, is represented by, among others, a cut paper collage from Beautiful Blackbird (2003) and a tempera painting from Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life (2016). At 95 years old, Bryan is renowned for his extraordinary range and depth as an artist, writer, storyteller, and scholar. He received the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Bryan Collier, another nine-time winner, won the 2001 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for Uptown, his first authored book and one that took him seven years to get published. Collier is also represented by an enormous collage from his 2011 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award book Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave.

Kadir Nelson, a seven-time Coretta Scott King recipient, painted powerful imagery for We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, his 2009 Coretta Scott King honor book about the unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and meager wages to play ball. Also on display are oil paintings from Nelson’s other historical picture books including Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (2007 Honor), I Have a Dream: Martin Luther King Jr. (2013 Honor) and Nelson Mandela (2014 Honor).

“The Coretta Scott King Book Awards has enlarged the prominence of children’s literature about the Black experience and heightened the work of our winning African American authors and illustrators,” says Dr. Claudette S. McLinn, Chair, Coretta King Book Awards Committee, 2017-2019. “On behalf of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the American Library Association’s Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT), it is with great pleasure to partner with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in presenting this extraordinary exhibition, Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards.”

Additional features in the exhibition are iPads where guests can listen to audio clips of many artists speaking about their work. “We are pleased to highlight these award-winning illustrations and the books that feature them,” says chief curator Ellen Keiter. “Hearing the artists’ voices adds another layer of interest in the exhibition. Guests not only see the richly narrative art, they can hear the stories behind it too.” Also in the gallery, visitors can enjoy custom-designed reading nooks that provide comfortable spaces to peruse the over 100 books represented in the exhibition. In hopes that visitors will leave inspired to think more about the exhibition and its themes, small cards with quotations by Coretta Scott King will be free for guests to take home.

Illustrators participating in this exhibition include:
Benny Andrews, Colin Bootman, Ashley Bryan, R. Gregory Christie, Bryan Collier, Floyd Cooper, Pat Cummings, Nancy Devard, Baba Diakité, Leo & Diane Dillon, Shane Evans, Tom Feelings, George Ford, Jan Spivey Gilchrist,  Ekua Holmes, Gordon C. James, E. B. Lewis, Peter Magubane , Christopher Myers, Kadir Nelson, Brian Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney, James Ransome, Synthia St. James, Joe Sam, Charles R. Smith, Daniel Minter, Frank Morrison, Sean Qualls, Faith Ringgold, Christian Robinson, Reynolds Ruffins, Javaka Steptoe, John Steptoe, Michele Wood, and Kathleen Atkins Wilson.

Members Opening Reception
Saturday, October 20, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
5:00 pm Reception
6:15 pm Voices: Ekua Holmes and Gordon C. James in conversation with Jerry Pinkney

Gallery Talk with Ekua Holmes, Gordon C. James, and Jerry Pinkney
Sunday, October 21, 1:00 pm
Book signing to follow program. Can’t make it to the event? You may reserve signed books online or contact The Carle Bookshop at

The Carle’s Annual Educators’ Night with Bryan Collier (2 PDPs)
Tuesday, November 13, 3:30 – 7:00 pm
Free. Reservations are required and begin September 25.

About The Coretta Scott King Book Awards:
In 2019, in collaboration with the American Library Association, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee will mark 50 years of celebrating artists and authors whose works exemplify the qualities put forth by Coretta Scott King. As one of the brightest acknowledgements of American children’s literature, the awards are dedicated to recognizing books that detail the African American experience and display courage and determination to continue the work for peace and understanding between all people. The Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards were established in 1974 to shine a spotlight specifically on artists and picture books.

The Awards are given in author and illustrator categories; honor recipients may also be named. The John Steptoe Award for New Talent is occasionally given for young authors or illustrators who demonstrate outstanding promise at the beginning of their careers. The Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is presented in even years to an African American author, illustrator, or author/illustrator for a body of their published books for children and/or young adults, and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution. In odd years, the award is presented to a practitioner for substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award-winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs.

About the Museum:
The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. A leading advocate in its field, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture-book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.

Eric Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 43,000-square foot facility has served more than 750,000 visitors, including 50,000 schoolchildren.

The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master’s degree programs in children’s literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call (413) 559-6300 or visit the Museum’s website at

IMAGES ARE AVAILABLE FOR REPRODUCTION. For additional press information and/or images, please contact Sandy Soderberg, Marketing Manager (413) 559-6315/

George Ford, Illustration for Ray Charles by Sharon Bell Mathis (Lee & Low Books). Courtesy of NCCIL. © 1973 George Ford.

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The black community’s 9/11 and Pearl Harbor

… ; and 1,400 more black Americans were murdered in 2010 … journey has not been easy, black Americans are not victims. We … Crow south, I know racism. I have experienced it … being developed by black Americans. Though fighting the institutional racism of the … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

African American Day Parade 2018: Start time, route, street closures

The 2018 African American Day Parade is set to march through Harlem on Sunday.

Now in its 49th year, the African American Day Parade keeps up its long-standing tradition of celebrating African American culture and pride. The annual parade is held every third Sunday in September and is recognized as the most celebrated African American parade in the country.

According to the African American Day Parade organization, more than 900,000 attendees will be at the parade to celebrate and honor a wide variety of community and political leaders, organizations, fraternities, sororities, marching bands and dance teams. There are more than 200 participating organizations in the parade.

The theme for this year’s African American Day Parade is “Culture is Key” and it will celebrate and honor both individuals and organizations that have made important contributions to African American culture in the arts, fashion, media, sports, technology and more. According to the African American Day Parade organization, the parade aims to “highlight those that have shown positivity through their platform and have contributed to the success of the community.”

The grand marshals for the 2018 African-American Day Parade are Arthur Mitchell, founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem,  Spectrum News NY1 anchor Cheryl Willis, Radio 103.9 host Tom Joyner, WBLS and WLIB news director Ann Tripp and legendary hip-hop star Doug E. Fresh.

If you’re going to the parade or will be in the area, here’s what you need to know about the 2018 African American Day Parade including the start time, route and street closures in the area. 

African American Day Parade marching in Harlem

When is the African American Day Parade?

The African-American Day parade kicks off Sunday, September 16 at 1 p.m. and will run until 6 p.m.

2018 African American Day Parade Route

According to the parade organizers, the parade will cover 25 blocks on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. The parade will start at 111th Street and head uptown on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard to 136th Street. 

African American Day Parade in Harlem

African American Day Parade street closures

According to the New York City Department of Transportation, the following streets will be closed on Sunday, September 16 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST in Ha for the 49th annual African American Day Parade. 

111th Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard
112th Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard
113th Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard 
St. Nicholas Avenue between 113th Street and 116th Street

Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard between 110th Street and 136th Street

Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard between 136th Street and 141st Street
135th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard
136th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard
137th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard

Miscellaneous street closures
126th Street between Malcolm X Boulevard and Frederick Douglas Boulevard
Frederick Douglas Boulevard between 127th Street and 128th Street (Eastside)
Malcolm X Boulevard between 132nd Street and 133rd Street (Westside)
Malcolm X Boulevard between 136th Street and 140th Street

African American Day Parade 2018 MTA info: Getting to the parade

The best way to get to the parade is by public transportation. The parade route is between 111th and 136th streets so getting to the parade is easy.

A, B, C, D trains to 125th Street then walk over to Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. 

The 2 and 3 trains will bring you right to the parade route and make stops at 110th, 116th, 125th and 135th streets. 

For bus route change and additional subway changes, visit for more information. 

A Tale of Two African American Senators

For the first time in American history, there will be two African-Americans in the U.S. Senate.

William “Mo” Cowan, a Democrat, from Massachusetts, will join Senator Tim Scott, a Republican, from South Carolina. These two men, who ascend to the U.S. Senate from similar childhood struggles, now have sharply different political viewpoints.

Mo Cowan and Tim Scott credit their success to their mothers and mentors. Tim Scott was failing high school before he met White conservative entrepreneur John Moniz, who ran the local Chick-Fil-A restaurant. Although others attempted to guide the troubled Scott, it was Moniz who is credited with turning Scott’s life around.

William “Mo” Cowan, 43, and Tim Scott, 46, both have deep Southern roots. Senator Scott was born in Charleston, South Carolina. His parents divorced when Scott was seven years old. Scott and his brother were raised by mother, Francis Scott, who worked 16 hour days as a nurse’s aide, sustaining her family on welfare benefits.

William Cowan was born in Yadkinville, North Carolina, a segregated farming town of less than 3,000 residents. Cowan’s parents, a machinist and seamstress, raised their three children in this community of tobacco farms and Klan rallies. With the death of his father, the 16 year old Cowan, and his two sisters, were left in the care of their mother and extended family.     
After high school, both men remained in the South for college.

Mo Cowan graduated from Duke University, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Tim Scott graduated from Charleston Southern University, affiliated with the Baptist Church. After college, Cowan set out for Boston, graduating from Northeastern University Law School. Tim Scott stayed in Charleston.

Personable and hard-working, Tim Scott and Mo Cowan became respected leaders. Cowan, in Boston, became a partner in the law firm of Mintz Levin. He sought out Deval Patrick, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for Civil Rights under President Bill Clinton. Patrick would become Cowan’s mentor and friend.

Tim Scott developed a real estate business and became a partner in Pathway Real Estate Group in Charleston. He won early admiration from the GOP by working for local Republican campaigns. Scott first sought elected office in 1995 winning a position on the Charleston County Council, as a Republican.

During Scott’s tenure on the County Council, the local NAACP brought suit under the Voting Rights Act alleging discriminatory districting prevented Blacks from being elected to the Council. However, given Scott’s presence, the suit was rejected, to the frustration of many African-Americans in Charleston. After 13 years on the County Council, Scott was elected to the state House.

However, it was Scott’s 2010 upset in his campaign for U.S. Representative that led to national exposure. Tim Scott defeated Paul Thurmond, son of the late Senator Strom Thurmond, a renowned segregationist.  Representative Scott became the first Black Republican to enter Congress from the Deep South since Reconstruction. All other Blacks in Congress, from the South, are Democrats.

In Boston, Mo Cowan joined the administration of now Governor Deval Patrick, who is only the second elected African-American Governor. By 2011, Mo Cowan was Patrick’s Chief of Staff. Cowan, known as a mentor to young Black lawyers, played a pivotal role in the Governor’s administration as well as a bridge to the Black community of Boston. He was sworn into the Senate by Associate Justice Elena Kagen. Senator Cowan has never held elected office.

Twist of fate. The U.S. Constitution gives a Governor power to fill vacant Congressional seats. Governor Patrick chose Mo Cowan for the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry, now Secretary of State. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley selected Representative Tim Scott to replace Senator Jim DeMint, a Republican, who left the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation, a conservative “think tank.”

Tim Scott, endorsed by the Tea Party, is a conservative who rejected membership in the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). He was praised by DeMint as a fiscal and social conservative. DeMint said: “I can walk away from the Senate knowing that someone is in this seat that is better than I am that will carry the voice of opportunity conservatism to the whole country in a way that I couldn’t do.”

There have been six previous African-Americans in the Senate. Only Blanche Bruce (1875-1881), Edward Brooke (1967-1979), and Carol Moseley Braun (1993-1999) served full terms. As interim Senator, Cowan has five months in Congress. He is not seeking election to a full term. However, Scott is running for a full term in 2014.

Senator Scott said, “My campaign was never about race.”

However, in 1870, when Hiram Revels, a Republican, from Mississippi, became the first African-American in the U.S. Senate, he began a political legacy. Now, Senator Scott and Senator Cowan are a part of that evolving legacy.   

There would be 13 Black senators if African-Americans representation was proportional to their percentage of the total U.S. population.


Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, an Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at John Jay College in New York City, is author of “Race, Law, and American Society: 1607 to Present,” and a journalist covering the U.S. Supreme Court. @GBrowneMarshall

Black Women Democrats Urge Party to Rethink Future


WASHINGTON (AP) — Insurgent Democratic women running for Congress are pushing the party to rethink its approach to politics if they retake control of Capitol Hill in the fall.

At the annual meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus Friday, Black women candidates who prevailed in primaries over established incumbents said it’s time for a conversation about how the party is structured. They expressed frustration that the party is tilted against rising politicians — especially those of color — and argued that if Democrats flip the House in November, it would be the result of organization and turnout among Black voters, particularly women.

In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo, Ayanna Pressley speaks at a Massachusetts Democratic Party unity event in Boston. At right is Jay Gonzalez, winner of the Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial primary. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)

If that happens, the candidates said, gratitude won’t be enough. They want a seat at the leadership table and a role in re-examining how the party works.

“It is not enough to just talk about a blue wave and Democrats being in the majority,” said Ayanna Pressley, the Boston city councilwoman now poised to become Massachusetts’ first Black congresswoman. “What matters is who are those Democrats? We have to have a conversation about the guts and the soul of this party.”

Pressley won her primary last month by 18 points after challenging a 10-term incumbent initially endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus. Without a Republican challenger in the general election, she appears to have a clear path to Congress. Her comments foreshadow the challenges that lie ahead if Democrats regain control of the House in November. The party will have to reconcile the anti-establishment energy of a diverse set of freshmen with a leadership structure dominated by lawmakers who are mostly White and have held office for decades.

Connecticut House Democratic nominee Jahana Hayes also challenged a state political veteran to win her shot at becoming the state’s first Black congresswoman. The former National Teacher of the Year told the CBC audience that she lacked support during her primary.

“Everyone said, ‘You don’t have the network, no one knows you.’ I had never run for political office, I had no money,” Hayes said. “I’m doing this for the people who don’t have a voice.”

Since her recent win with 62 percent of the vote, Hayes said, “it’s popular to support me now.”

After Black women “showed up and showed out” this primary season, they are taking their rightful place, said Rep. Terri Sewell, who in 2010 was elected Alabama’s first Black congresswoman. The Selma Democrat was instrumental in Sen. Doug Jones’ special election last winter, when he became the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate in 25 years.

“We’ve been the backbone of the Democratic Party for a long time and we’re finally getting our due,” said Sewell. “There were a whole bunch of people he doesn’t even know that did a whole bunch of work to help him get there.”

Those people were the Black women who often work with little or no financial support for infrastructure, she said.

“We need to activate the people on the ground who have been doing this work for free,” Sewell said. “They need resources. It’s not just about a seat at the table.”

LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, agreed, noting that grassroots groups like hers have long filled the gap when the official party apparatus was absent.

“It’s our table,” said Brown, who galvanized Black women to support Jones. “We have to have some really deep conversations about how the landscape has changed.”

That also includes addressing priorities within the party, Pressley said.

“I reject the notion that this is about working class White folk and everyone else!” Pressley told the cheering crowd. “I reject the notion that we’re going to have an actual debate about if we are the party of jobs and the economy, or of criminal justice reform. I’m not choosing.”

Some CBC meeting attendees noted the party has made efforts this cycle. This summer, the Democratic National Committee launched an initiative aimed at Black women. After voting overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016, many Black women said they felt ignored or taken for granted by the party. Instead of being looked to as saviors, Black women are calling for roles as decision and agenda makers.

This week’s gathering of Black lawmakers also spotlighted Black women’s political influence and impact. Much of the CBC agenda was focused squarely on Black women and their issues, with Black women as panelists, honorees and framers of much of the discussion.

“They’re not leading this nation in health care or pay, but when it comes to the democracy of this nation, Black women are leading the way, and we need to be talking about those issues and more,” said New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who along with California Sen. Kamala Harris — the Senate’s only Black woman — served as the convention’s honorary co-chair.

New York Congresswoman Yvette Clark, echoed his sentiments Thursday evening at an awards event honoring CBC women.

“The sisters on the Hill are definitely running things,” said Clark, one of 21 women in the caucus.

“When I think about the blue wave hitting and seeing Congresswoman Maxine Waters bring down the gavel, as chair of financial services, I get excited,” said Clark, currently the ranking Democrat on the committee. “When I think about Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson bringing down that gavel, as chair of the committee on science and technology, I get excited.”

Waikinya Clanton, the DNC’s African-American Outreach Chair, encouraged the pressure to change the party dynamic toward Black women candidates and voters.

“We need you all’s support, whether that comes in the form of criticism or whatever,” said Clanton. “One of the reasons I came to the party was because that was valid. I believed that I could only make the change that I needed by being there. All these people who haven’t for a long time felt like this was their party, feel like this is their party now because I’m there and I’m doing the work every single day.


Whack is The Associated Press’ national writer on race and ethnicity. Follow her on Twitter at

NYFW May Have ‘Stopped Calling 911 on the Culture’

By: Chante Russel, Managing Editor

As a firm believer in political fashion statements, I couldn’t wait to see what this year’s New York Fashion Week had in store for this volatile political and cultural era. Fortunately, fashion’s ability to make a statement was not lost on this year’s NYFW. From the “STOP CALLING 911 ON THE CULTURE” t-shirt Pyer Moss premiered on the runway, to the’ “TELL YOUR SENATOR NO ON KAVANAUGH” t-shirt Jeremy Scott wore to his presentation, we’ve certainly seen fashion with a message this year.

Just as politics have been a NYFW topic of conversation, so have nods to the culture. Discussions of the Black community’s contribution to fashion have been ever-present over the past few years, which makes sense because, after all, “Black people created style.” The result of such conversations, though, has been unprecedented visibility for the Black community in fashion. While there is still much work to do, this year’s NYFW is proof that the fashion community is aware of the Black community’s influence.

Kerby Jean-Raymond’s “American, Also: Lesson 2,” collection for Pyer Moss was reminiscent of a stroll through a Black art museum, complete with garments depicting Black faces worn on Black bodies and pieces reading “FUBU.” This collection, which included the “STOP CALLING 911 ON THE CULTURE” t-shirt, was presented Sept. 8.

21-year-old model, Indira Scott, has grabbed the attention of critics, designers and hair stylists with her long box braids. The hairstyle has been solidified as the model’s signature this week and landed her shows such as Matthew Adams Dolan, Dion Lee, Prabal Gurung, and Ralph Lauren.

Hip-hop culture specifically has seen some appreciation at this year’s NYFW as rapper, Offset, got a chance to make his runway debut for Jeremy Scott. Like her husband, Cardi B also had a notable week. She received a lipstick in her name from Tom Ford Beauty’s “Boys and Girls” collection, despite a physical altercation with Nicki Minaj taking place at a Fashion Week event.

Rihanna also had a big week as Savage x Fenty made its Fashion Week debut on Sept. 12. The pieces presented in the show were also made immediately available for purchase following the show.

There’s also been no shortage of Black representation on the ever-coveted September issue covers of magazines. Lupita Nyong’o covered Porter, Zendaya covered Marie Claire, Tracee Ellis Ross covered Elle Canada, Slick Woods covered Elle U.K., Adowah Aboah and Naomi Campbell covered Love, and Tiffany Haddish covered Glamour.

However, what really resonated with fan’s was Beyoncè’s Vogue cover. This was her second time gracing the cover of Vogue’s September issue, but unlike the first cover this one included a rare and intimate cover story.

Also notable is Marco Marco’s show which exclusively included transgender models.

With each collection, show or piece a company uses to take a stand or celebrate Black culture, they acknowledge that minorities, specifically Black people, have a well deserved place within the fashion industry.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Her dense breast tissue hid cancer for years. Now she’s warning others

In 2014, Michelle Di Tomaso was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. It came as a shock to her because she had undergone four clear mammograms.

She was devastated to learn that the tumour in her left breast had been growing for two to three years.

She believes she might have caught it earlier if she knew one thing: she has dense breasts.

But Di Tomaso didn’t discover that until after undergoing an ultrasound and a biopsy.

“It was a camouflage effect, and they missed it. I said, ‘They missed it for three f–king years?’ And [the medical oncologist]’s like, ‘It happens,'” Di Tomaso recalled to White Coat, Black Art’s Dr. Brian Goldman.

Following the discovery, she underwent rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, a double mastectomy and a raft of complications.

Dense breast tissue can obscure cancer in a mammogram image. (Submitted by Dense Breasts Canada)

Breast density has been known in the medical community for decades, but it’s still a relatively unknown issue to family doctors and patients, in part because physicians aren’t instructed to tell their patients about it.

While fatty tissue appears as dark grey in a mammogram, dense tissue shows up as mostly white — just like cancers.

In 2016, Di Tomaso co-founded Dense Breasts Canada, a non-profit group which raises awareness about breast density and lobbies to make it easier for patients to find out if they have dense breasts.

“I want a woman to be told her breast density when she has a mammogram … If that woman has dense breasts, I want her to have an ultrasound,” she said.

Nearly half of U.S. women have dense breast tissue

Despite the name, dense breasts don’t feel any different to the touch. Only a mammogram can identify whether someone’s breast tissue is denser than average.

Over 40 per cent of women, aged 40 to 74, have some degree of dense breast tissue, according to a 2014 U.S. study.

It’s like somebody having high blood pressure and not telling them. No family doctor would do that.– Dr. Paula Gordon

Dr. Paula Gordon, Dense Breasts Canada’s medical adviser, says she often sees women with dense breasts who have had their cancer missed by a mammogram.

“This is where the anger comes from,” she said. “They were never told they had dense tissue, and so they didn’t realize there was this huge difference in the sensitivity of mammography depending on how dense the breast tissue is.”

Gordon, who is the medical director of the Sadie Diamond Breast Program at B.C. Women’s Hospital, added that cancer is “four to six times more common” in women with the highest breast tissue density, but researchers don’t know why.

In 1986, the BC Cancer Agency became the first provincial agency to do screening mammograms. From the very beginning, radiologists were asked to indicate on each mammogram if the woman had dense breasts and so they did.

Cinda Lambert on discovering that her dense breasts made cancer detection difficult on mammograms 1:35

But there wasn’t a directive to tell patients.

“It’s like somebody having high blood pressure and not telling them. No family doctor would do that,” Gordon said.

“When I raised it at a committee and said, ‘Why aren’t we telling them?’ they said, ‘We don’t want to make women anxious.'”

I will take that little bit of anxiety to find out it’s OK, than not knowing and then being told I have cancer.– Michelle Di Tomaso

Di Tomaso was “very insulted” when she first heard that reasoning. 

“I will take that little bit of anxiety to find out it’s OK, than not knowing and then being told I have cancer — just because you guys don’t want to tell us. Because of ‘anxiety.'”

Gordon wants women to start going for mammograms closer to the age of 40, which she calls “the ideal age to start screening.”

That way women can find out sooner whether they have dense breasts. If they do, they can be screened with an alternative method, such as an ultrasound or MRI to check for potential cancers.

Currently, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care recommends women have a mammogram every two years starting at age 50.

Updating guidelines for patients

Quebec is the only province that requires a woman’s breast density information be given to her family doctor.

In other provinces, doctors might be given the info from a mammogram report, but they aren’t required to inform patients.

Dr. Paula Gordon, left, shows Cinda Lambert her mammogram and ultrasound results. (Brian Goldman/CBC)

In New Brunswick, where an election campaign is currently underway, both Liberal and Progressive Conservative leaders pledged to ensure women are notified of their breast density.

The discussion there has been spearheaded by breast cancer survivor Kathy Kaufield, who has been promoting breast density awareness with her #TellMe social media campaign.

In Prince Edward Island, Health PEI is planning to look at how and when patients are given breast density information as part of an upcoming review of their breast cancer screening program.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., more than 30 states require doctors to tell women their breast density.

‘I just want women to know’

Di Tomaso is encouraged by these small signs of change in Canada.

To her, it may begin with a simple line of text on a mammogram report, but it can make the difference between life or death.

“I just want women to know. I just didn’t want it to happen to anybody else,” she said.

Written by Jonathan Ore. Produced by Jeff Goodes.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Five killed in California shooting

A Kern County sheriff's deputy stands near an area where a shooting victim lies, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in Bakersfield, Calif. A gunman killed five people, including his wife, before turning the gun on himself, authorities said. (Felix Adamo/The Bakersfield Californian via AP)

A Kern County sheriff’s deputy stands near an area where a shooting victim lies, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in Bakersfield, Calif. A gunman killed five people, including his wife, before turning the gun on himself, authorities said. (Felix Adamo/The Bakersfield Californian via AP)

EDITORS NOTE CONTENTS – This photo from video from a deputy’s body camera, provided by the Kern County, Calif., Sheriff’s Office, shows officers and others treating Javier Casarez, 54, moments after he fatally shot himself, during a confrontation in Bakersfield, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood Thursday identified Cazarez as the gunman who fatally shot his ex-wife and a man at a trucking company before chasing after another man, killing him, and then driving to a home where he shot dead a father and daughter in a nearly 40-minute rampage Wednesday. (Kern County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

This photo from video from a deputy’s body camera, provided by the Kern County, Calif., Sheriff’s Office, shows a standoff between officers and Javier Casarez, 54, moments before he fatally shot himself during a confrontation in Bakersfield, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood Thursday identified Cazarez as the gunman who fatally shot his ex-wife and a man at a trucking company before chasing after another man, killing him, and then driving to a home where he shot dead a father and daughter in a nearly 40-minute rampage Wednesday. (Kern County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Domestic violence motive investigated in California rampage


Associated Press

Friday, September 14

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Detectives on Friday were investigating a possible domestic violence motive after a gunman shot and killed his ex-wife and four others before killing himself during a nearly 40-minute rampage in Southern California, authorities said.

Javier Casarez fatally shot himself as a deputy closed in on him after the killings in Bakersfield, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said Thursday.

Casarez, 54, shot his ex-wife and a man at a trucking company before chasing after another man, killing him, and then driving to a home where he shot dead a father and daughter on Wednesday.

Court records show a divorce between Casarez and Petra Maribel Bolanos de Casarez was finalized earlier this year.

In his petition for divorce filed in December, Cesarez accused Bolanos of cheating and asked the judge for his wife’s text messages to specific phone numbers. The judge denied the request.

Bolanos recently filed for a change involving child support and custody over the couple’s two teenage children, and the pair had a hearing set for Oct. 11, court records show.

Youngblood said it appears that Casarez targeted every victim, starting with a worker at T&T Trucking, and that domestic violence appears to have played a large part.

“It appears to be there’s more than just husband and wife having a fight because other people were targeted,” he said. “There’s a reason for that and we need to find that reason.”

Investigators are looking into whether Casarez’s ex-wife may have had relationships with Contreras or Valadez, the sheriff said.

Casarez likely took his ex-wife to the trucking company against her will and then fatally shot 50-year-old Manuel Contreras with a .50-caliber handgun, authorities said. He shot his ex-wife and then turned the gun on a second man, 50-year-old Antonio Valadez, the sheriff’s department said.

Casarez fired at Valadez as he ran away, but then tracked him down in his car and killed him, the sheriff said.

Casarez then drove to the house of 57-year-old Eliseo Garcia Cazares, who Youngblood identified as a friend. Casarez fatally shot Garcia and his daughter, 31-year-old Laura Garcia.

“She may have tried to intervene to keep the suspect from approaching her father, and he shot and killed both of them,” Youngblood said.

After the shooting at the Garcia home, Casarez carjacked a woman driving with her child. The woman and child escaped, and Casarez drove to a highway where a sheriff’s deputy saw him, Youngblood said.

As the deputy closed in, yelling at Casarez to drop his gun, Casarez fatally shot himself in the stomach, according to graphic body camera footage released by police on Facebook.

The video shows deputies and paramedics working to save Casarez. Deputies look over Casarez’s gun and talk about how he would have had to reload it during the rampage.

David Bunting, who said he’s a friend of Eliseo Garcia Cazares and lives two doors down from him, said he has no idea why his neighbor would have been targeted.

He said Garcia was a self-employed truck driver who always was with his grandkids when not working, often driving them around on his golf cart.

“He’s a really nice guy. I can’t say enough good things about him,” Bunting said. “It’s kind of a shock because of the kind of a person he was.”

He said his daughter Laura was a mother of four and that most of the Garcias’ large family was home at the time of the shooting. He said they’re devastated and in shock.

He said Eliseo Garcia Cazares and his wife had four grown children, including a daughter who was killed in a car accident a few years ago.

T&T Trucking, where the initial shooting happened, said in a statement that the company “is in a state of mourning.”

“We are greatly saddened and offer our heartfelt condolence and prayers to those who lost a loved one.”

About 30 witnesses were being interviewed by deputies, Youngblood said.

He said Casarez was a legal permanent resident of the U.S. The 50-caliber gun used in the shootings was legally purchased in 2004, Youngblood said. Casarez had been arrested for vehicle theft in the 1980s, but he did not have a history of violent crime, the sheriff said.

Youngblood called the shootings devastating, especially for Laura Garcia’s children, who may have witnessed their mother’s death.

“These young children, when they see this, that’s something that will stay with them the rest of their lives,” he said. “But officers … they’re also not immune to those emotions. Those cases stay with them their entire career, so this has a far-reaching impact on a lot of people in our community and in our department.”

Associated Press writer Christopher Weber contributed to this report.

Opinion: Democrats’ Strategy Undermines Effect of Revelation Against Kavanaugh

By Michael Graham

The sudden release of a “mysterious letter” allegedly accusing Judge Brett Kavanagh of sexual misconduct as a teenager appears to be a last-ditch effort by Democrats to derail his confirmation to the Supreme Court. And the behavior of anti-Kavanaugh senators during his confirmation only adds to the view that this latest charge is more about theater than substance.

On Thursday, nearly a week after the Senate Judiciary Committee’s televised hearings on Kavanaugh’s confirmation — and two months after she received it — ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California announced that she had turned over a letter to the FBI for investigation.

“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Feinstein said in a statement. “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”

For its part, the FBI has declined to open any investigation into the allegations and is merely placing it in Kavanaugh’s background file “per the standard process,” an FBI representative said. They may not have had any choice. According to CNN, sources who’ve seen the letter say all the names in it were redacted by Feinstein.

Few people have actually seen the letter and reporting on the details is sketchy at best. Even Sen. Chuck Schumer has not seen the contents of the letter, according to his staff. The Guardian claims to have a source who was “briefed on the contents of the letter” who says it describes an incident that occurred when Kavanaugh and the accuser were 17 years old and at a party. “Kavanaugh and a male friend had locked her in her room against her will, making her feel threatened, but she was able to get them out of the room,” the Guardian reports.

Sources close to Kavanaugh say the judge was “completely blindsided” by the allegations. A spokesman for Georgetown Preparatory School in Maryland, the private school Kavanaugh attended, said the school has “no knowledge regarding any accusation.”

Kavanaugh supporters note that Feinstein, who has had the letter since July, could have asked the judge about the allegations during private meetings or discussed it with fellow members of her committee behind closed doors. She declined to do either one. This has sparked speculation that she didn’t find the allegations in the letter serious enough to pursue.

It also appears that Feinstein only released it under pressure from fellow Democrats desperate to block a nomination that appears to be on track for confirmation before the Supreme Court reconvenes in October. Senate Republicans have announced that the Judiciary Committee will vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation — almost certain to be a party-line 11-10 vote for confirmation — September 20.

“There’s no plan to change the committee’s consideration of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination,” a representative for Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley said. Committee member Sen. John Cornyn of Texas was even more dismissive:

“Let me get this straight: this is statement about secret letter regarding a secret matter and an unidentified person. Right?” the senator tweeted. “I will add: the FBI already performed and has reported on a background investigation on the nominee and this has been made available to all senators on the Judiciary Committee.”

In fact, Kavanaugh has gone through multiple background checks for various government jobs — including working in the White House — since 1993. Due to the contentious politics of his appointment to the D.C. Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush, he went through the committee hearing process twice. These allegations, or anything similar, never surfaced.

If the goal of committee Democrats pressuring Feinstein to reveal the existence of this letter was, as White House representative Kerri Kupec says, an “11th-hour attempt to delay his confirmation,” the behavior of their own members may have undermined the effort. High-profile theatrics by senators (and likely 2020 presidential candidates) Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California who suggested scandals that failed to appear have been criticized by court-watchers, including some of their fellow Democrats.

Tennessee Democrat and Senate candidate Phil Bredesen said Wednesday he’s “embarrassed by the circus” the hearings became. Indiana Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly called the behavior of Kavanaugh’s critics “shameful.”

Schumer, on the other hand, was pleased with the Judiciary Committee’s performance, saying afterward, “It was a good week.”

American moderates may not agree. In the wake of Booker’s widely mocked “I am Spartacus” moment, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine became the target of what her office describes as an “extortion” campaign — a crowd-funding effort raising more than $1 million Democrats are threatening to spend against her in 2020 if she votes for Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

And Thursday, the same day the “mysterious letter” story was being revealed, Collins’ office received “a 3-foot-long cardboard cutout of male genitalia, accompanied by a profanity,” according to the Washington Post.

Unless the allegations in the letter are both explosive and corroborated, it’s unlikely that, in the environment of partisan chaos Kavanaugh’s opponents have created, this story will stop his eventual confirmation.


Michael Graham is political editor of NH Journal. He is also a CBS News contributor. You can reach him at He wrote this for


By Robert C. Koehler

There’s almost no such thing as voter fraud, even though the Trump administration — and Republicans in general — affect to be so afraid of it they’ve had to develop a system guaranteed to purge voters from the rolls in enormous numbers.

They’re keeping America safe!

From nothing.

This, you might say, is the elephant in the room, politely unacknowledged even when the Republican system, very much embraced by the Trump administration, is critically analyzed. It’s called the Interstate Crosscheck System, developed by Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state and Republican candidate for governor, and its flaws are unavoidably — indeed, grotesquely — obvious.

But before that matters, I think it’s crucial to establish the fact that voter fraud — bad citizens, or worse yet, illegals, voting twice, indeed, driving from one state to another (Georgia to Illinois, say) in order to do their part to swing a national election — is itself a complete fraud. However, trumpeting the fear of such non-existent behavior is absolutely brilliant.

It’s the current manifestation of minority vote suppression. It’s the new racism.

All this is made clear in investigative journalist Greg Palast’s irreverent new documentary, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, which takes on Crosscheck and present-day vote suppression, no holds barred, linking modern racism with the old-fashioned kind. In the process, the film lets us know the real value of the right to vote, from the point of view of those who had to fight and die to attain it.

Here, for instance, is author Linda Blackmon Lowery describing her experience on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965 — Bloody Sunday: “When we got to the top of the bridge, then you could really see what was on the other side. And there were white people sitting on their cars with their Confederate flags and their banners. ‘Die nigger.’ ‘Go home, coon.’”

Suddenly she heard a popping noise, as teargas canisters went off all around her. “You couldn’t breathe, you couldn’t see. I ran into this big old thing of teargas. (A police officer) was running behind me with a billy club. (She makes a hand gesture describing being clubbed from behind.) When I woke up they had me on a stretcher, putting me in the back of a hearse. I just jumped up and before anybody could catch me I was heading across that bridge.”

A short while later, the film shows a protester holding a sign: “My vote has been paid for in blood.”

And this begins to create the context for discussing Crosscheck, part of today’s oh so politically correct racist gaming of democracy, which is — let’s be frank — an incredible inconvenience to people in power. It was then and it still is now. What’s a rich, powerful white person supposed to do?

Crosscheck is part of the answer. Kobach’s system is simplicity itself. In order to protect America from the horror of millions of people voting twice (risking prison time for committing this federal offense), Crosscheck collects the names on the voting rolls of all participating states, which at this point is 27, mostly under Republican legislative control, and conducts a computer search for matches, or quasi-matches. Those matches — all the Fred Jacksons, all the Jose Garcias, etc., etc. — become potential double voters. Note: The matching names are first and last only, with middle initials ignored. Allegedly, Crosscheck also compares birth dates, though such data is often missing from voter rosters.

A list of the matches are sent to the participating secretaries of state and state election boards, which can then purge their rolls of these folks. According to Palast, these states have so far removed 1,067,046 voters, not counting Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s recent “purge-frenzy,” removing 591,000 voters’ names in the current election cycle.

Here’s the thing. Most of the matched names belong to people of color. “Jackson, Rodriguez, Garcia, Lee, Kim — these are primarily minority names,” Palast explained. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this system is unbelievably racially biased.”

In the documentary, Palast points out that 90 percent of Washingtons, for instance, are black. In some states, “20 percent of minority voters … are on the Crosscheck list.”

So, as the Washington Post reported a year ago, the Crosscheck method is so utterly slipshod that way-y-y-y over 99 percent of the name matches the system reports to participating states “were unlikely to have anything to do with even attempted voter fraud.” But because of Crosscheck, a huge number of voters, mostly men and women of color, who tend to vote Democratic, will either be denied their right to vote or forced to vote provisionally, which usually means they won’t have their vote counted.

I repeat: There is virtually no such thing as voter fraud — certainly nothing at a level that could actually impact an election. As the Brennan Center for Justice pointed out last year, in its report “The Truth About Voter Fraud”: It is more likely that an American “will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

But keeping Americans of color — those who have truly paid with their blood for the right to vote — away from the polls by the millions, does indeed impact our elections. Look at who got “elected” president!

Palast, hardly content simply to expose this outrage in book and film, has teamed with Jesse Jackson and the two, with the pro bono help of the New York law firm Mirer, Mazzocchi and Julien, have filed suit, under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, with every Crosscheck state to get the names — the million-plus names — of registered voters purged from the rolls. The public, after all, has a right to hold the state accountable for the games it plays.

Robert Koehler, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor.

As Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolina/Tidewater coast, the Better Business Bureau is already receiving reports from consumers about high prices for necessary emergency items.

The attorneys general for three coastal states — North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia — have initiated their state price-gouging laws, which automatically go into effect during a declared state of emergency in order to prevent businesses from over-charging customers who are preparing to weather a storm or stocking up their vehicles to evacuate.

BBB warns businesses not to give in to the temptation to raise prices during a storm, both because it may be illegal to do so and because it erodes marketplace trust. Consumers will remember which businesses took advantage of them during a storm.


Opinion: Women Won’t Vote for Only Democratic Women Candidates

By Karin Lips

A blue wave of Democratic women is coming in November, poised to win every office from city dog catcher to U.S. senator and lead the resistance to President Donald J. Trump. That’s what many headlines would have us believe.

If the dream scenario plays out for Democrats, history would mark January 21, 2017, as the day this particular blue wave began forming as thousands of women attended the Women’s March in Washington and cities across the country.

What began as a group of women upset at some of then-candidate Trump’s comments related to women quickly morphed into a partisan progressive political effort. The Women’s March consisted mostly of disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters.

A SurveyMonkey national poll conducted after the Women’s March found that a large majority of marchers voted for Clinton — 79 percent said they voted for Clinton, 8 percent said they voted for Green Party nominee Jill Stein and 5 percent said they didn’t vote. At most, then, less than 10 percent voted for Trump. The Women’s March transformed into an organization, channeling energy into the Power to the Polls national voter registration campaign effort to elect progressive candidates in 2018.

While the Women’s March and Power to the Polls program has focused on promoting liberal and progressive women, we shouldn’t forget the Republican women this fall. A look at the number of women running for office from both parties shows that women increasingly entering politics crosses partisan lines.

Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics data show that more Democratic women than Republican women are running in the offices they measure — U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor, lieutenant governor, other statewide elective executives, state legislature, state senate and state house.

But women across the board — both Democratic and Republican — are setting records. Some 476 women filed to run for the House, smashing the previous record of 298 set in 2012, and 234 won their primary, again beating the record of 167 set in 2016. Democrats alone broke the record of women who filed to run, but together Democrats and Republicans increased the number of women who filed by 178. More women filed this election to run for Senate, governor and lieutenant governor than ever before.

Women are running across the political spectrum — from advocates of socialism to advocates of free-market policies. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District as a self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist. Representative Kristi Noem is running to become South Dakota’s first female governor, touting her conservative leadership.

Women are motivated for a variety of reasons to run. Making sure women have equal opportunity to run and compete on the issues is what matters.

All women should celebrate this November that gender isn’t the main motivation behind how the youngest generation of women votes. During the last presidential election, there seemed to be a disconnect between Hillary Clinton’s version of feminism and women’s empowerment and what the youngest women voters wanted. Clinton’s version said women should vote for her because she was the first woman running as a major party candidate for president, regardless of her policies. This message was front and center — she even wore a suffragette white pantsuit for her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.

But the enthusiasm just wasn’t there among the youngest women voters. CNN found in Democratic primaries across 27 states that Clinton won 61 percent to 37 percent among women overall, but Bernie Sanders bested Clinton by an average of 37 percentage points among women ages 18 to 29.

This is consistent with a Refinery29 and CBS News poll of women ages 18 to 35 that found women of all ages and politics said health care was the top issue and ranked gender of a candidate as a low priority for winning their vote. What is most important according to this poll is the candidate shares their culture and values.

As we recognize the victorious women candidates this November, it would be a shame if we lost sight of the success of women overall. Women, like men voters, are focused on issues, and not simply gender or one party. That’s something to honor.


Karin Lips is president of Network of Enlightened Women. She wrote this for

Opinion: Women Are Leading the Wave

By Juanita Tolliver

Who runs the world?

Come on, we all know that answer, especially in this midterm cycle.

Women are leading from the front this election cycle and pulling the rest of politics with them. And that’s not just women candidates, but also women voters.

The midterms will see women candidates riding the wave into office in November, and there are plenty of historic firsts and achievements to be made.

Firsts like Rashida Tlaib, a congressional candidate in Michigan’s 13th District and potentially the first Muslim woman in Congress. Like Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia, congressional candidates from Texas and potentially the first Latina congresswomen to represent the Lone Star State. Like Paulette Jordan, Idaho’s Democratic nominee for governor and the first Native American woman ever nominated for governor. And, of course, Georgia’s Stacey Abrams, potentially the first African-American woman governor in America, and Debra Haaland, a congressional candidate in New Mexico’s 1st District and potentially the first Native American woman in Congress.

This cycle alone, there are 18 women running for governor, 24 female Senate candidates, and 243 women running in House races, which is historic in and of itself. And who’s going to carry them across the finish line and into office?

Women voters.

According to a recent CBS News poll, 46 percent of women voters are likely to support a Democratic candidate versus 34 percent who would support a Republican candidate, and among women independent voters, 38 percent are more likely to support Democratic candidates compared to 32 percent who are more likely to vote for Republicans. This same poll shows that 40 percent of white women plan to vote Republican, down from the 53 percent of white women who supported Donald Trump and congressional Republicans in 2016.

In addition to the polling, women are leading the charge at home in their communities. They’re spearheading get-out-the vote efforts with local resistance groups. They’re powering the campaigns of women candidates as campaign managers and volunteers. And they’re fighting to get results in November.

This puts women candidates, particularly Democratic women candidates, at a massive advantage as we head into the home-stretch of the midterms, and it allows for new types of candidates to emerge — activist candidates, human candidates, tough candidates.

Candidates like Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who are challenging the old guard, which largely comprises older white men — and making space for themselves as activist candidates. These women are pushing the party beyond its comfort zone and offering diverse approaches and solutions along the way.

Candidates who are showcasing their humanity like Zephyr Teachout, a candidate for New York attorney general whose most recent ad features her receiving an ultrasound and emphasizes that “being a parent and being in power shouldn’t be in conflict for a woman any more than they are for a man.”

Candidates like M.J. Hager and Amy McGrath who take pride in their military service and toughness to act in difficult, dangerous situations and how that has led them to push for change and seek public office in the first place.

These women have thrown the rule book about what women candidates have to be like, look like and sound like out the window — and our political system should get ready for a jolt. Instead of “waiting in line” women, especially women of color, are stepping up, taking the reins, and forcing new debates about the problems facing all Americans.

Big or small, there will be a wave of historic outcomes this election cycle and the energy from voters can’t be ignored. Turnout in primaries has been off the charts (voter participation was up by more than 1 million in Florida’s recent primary compared to the 2014 midterm cycle, for example), Democratic candidates outraised Republicans in contested Senate races and out-raised them by $44 million in 56 House races during second quarter, and 65 Republican-held seats are now rated as competitive.

No matter what, Congress is going to look a lot different come November.


Juanita Tolliver is the campaign director for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. She wrote this for

A Kern County sheriff’s deputy stands near an area where a shooting victim lies, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, in Bakersfield, Calif. A gunman killed five people, including his wife, before turning the gun on himself, authorities said. (Felix Adamo/The Bakersfield Californian via AP)

EDITORS NOTE CONTENTS – This photo from video from a deputy’s body camera, provided by the Kern County, Calif., Sheriff’s Office, shows officers and others treating Javier Casarez, 54, moments after he fatally shot himself, during a confrontation in Bakersfield, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood Thursday identified Cazarez as the gunman who fatally shot his ex-wife and a man at a trucking company before chasing after another man, killing him, and then driving to a home where he shot dead a father and daughter in a nearly 40-minute rampage Wednesday. (Kern County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

This photo from video from a deputy’s body camera, provided by the Kern County, Calif., Sheriff’s Office, shows a standoff between officers and Javier Casarez, 54, moments before he fatally shot himself during a confrontation in Bakersfield, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood Thursday identified Cazarez as the gunman who fatally shot his ex-wife and a man at a trucking company before chasing after another man, killing him, and then driving to a home where he shot dead a father and daughter in a nearly 40-minute rampage Wednesday. (Kern County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

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Trump’s false claims about Puerto Rico are insulting. But they reveal a deeper truth.

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. (Reuters) (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Yarimar Bonilla is the author of “Non-Sovereign Futures: French Caribbean Politics in the Wake of Disenchantment” and a founder of the Puerto Rico Syllabus project. She is professor of anthropology and Caribbean studies and a 2018-19 Carnegie Fellow.

September 14 at 12:52 AM

Puerto Ricans woke up Thursday, a mere week before the anniversary of Hurricane Maria, to a new storm. Once again, President Trump had minimized the tragedy on the island, suggesting on Twitter that the multiple scientific studies regarding the death count in Puerto Rico were really the product of political interests seeking to tarnish his recovery efforts. His tweets were received with shock and horror across both Puerto Rico and the mainland United States, with many asking themselves: What kind of cruelty does it take to portray death and disaster as “fake news?”

Taken at face value, Trump’s claims are absurd. The death toll in Puerto Rico was not due to simple wind and rain, but to infrastructural failures that FEMA has already admitted. Mass casualties are not, as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan claimed in Trump’s defense Thursday, simply a thing that happens — they are the product of structural failure and imperial neglect.

Puerto Ricans died because of a lack of access to health care and medication. They died of sleep apnea, untreated heart and liver disease, and bacterial diseases caught while trying to clear roads or find sources of water. These deaths are tragic precisely because they were preventable. They were not a product of angry storm waters but of a neglectful government that failed to protect and care for its citizens. This is the tragedy, this is the cruelty. Trump simply added another insult.

Yet his insistence on maligning Puerto Rico and its people might have an unintended positive outcome: to cast a spotlight on Puerto Rico’s long-standing problems. Previous administrations have been just as neglectful in their policy toward the island, but they’ve done so in ways that silenced or glossed over Puerto Rico’s relationship to the United States.

Trump, on the other hand, lays it bare.

President Barack Obama visited the island in 2011 and warmed hearts by dancing salsa and eating local delicacies. Many were hopeful that an African American president would take seriously the structural inequalities and politics of exclusion that shape U.S. territorial relations. But when it came time to deal with the island’s debt crisis, he only worsened the disparities. The same president who led bailouts for banks and car companies closed the door on using the Federal Reserve to restructure the debt, as many had recommended. Instead, he passed the buck to Congress, which imposed a fiscal-control board that costs Puerto Ricans over $2 million a month and whose sole focus is on cutting services, pensions and wages, while raising taxes and the cost of living. It was precisely these policies that placed the island on the path of disaster to begin with.

Trump has remarked that Puerto Rico’s power company was already “dead” before the storm. This is false, but it reveals a truth: The power company was undergoing economic restructuring, which had led to disinvestments, layoffs and a lack of inventory — all of which contributed to residents spending nearly a year in the dark. These very same policies are now being extended by the fiscal board following the storm.

Trump might be the only president to overtly assert that Puerto Rican deaths don’t matter, that they don’t need to be counted. But he is certainly not the only politician in Washington who feels that Puerto Rican lives, and those of the other U.S. territories, matter less than those on the mainland. On both sides of the aisle, politicians in Washington have repeatedly voted against granting the island parity when it comes to health care, wages, disability benefits or even veterans’ rights.

Despite this long history of disparity and inequality, it has really only been under the Trump administration that Puerto Rico’s colonial status has made headlines — and even then barely so. Studies have shown that media coverage of Hurricane Maria paled in comparison to that of Harvey, which struck the mainland United States. It was only when Trump picked a fight with the San Juan mayor that attention shifted toward Puerto Rico.

More U.S. citizens died as a result of Hurricane Maria than as a result of either Hurricane Katrina or 9/11. Yet it is only when Trump shows his disdain toward Puerto Rico’s tragedy that the island becomes a part of the national consciousness. Its usual absence is the larger truth that his tweets reveal.

Puerto Rico’s disaster does not begin or end with Trump’s disregard. It is a product of over a century of colonial policy that has led to a distorted economy built for the benefit of the few, corruption that has lined pockets from San Juan to Montana and everywhere in between, and a crisis of migration and displacement that has, in turn, fueled a crisis of imagination.

Trump’s tweets were just another sign of disrespect from the United States for its Caribbean colony. But whether he meant to or not, he still managed to reveal some otherwise hidden truths.

Read more:

President Trump has no idea what’s happening in Puerto Rico

Nature caused Puerto Rico’s latest crisis. But politics are making it worse.

FEMA says most of Puerto Rico has potable water. That can’t be true.