February African American News, Highlights, and Mentions


Pictured above is Curran J, Owner of Kings Rule Together clothing line. 

  1. Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina Suspends All Classes for the 2016 Spring Semester – The college announced that it would not hold any classes for the spring semester and was cancelling the remainder of the season for the college’s basketball teams for men and women.
  2. Black Owned Business (BOB): In 2011, Curran J launched the “Kings Rule Together” clothing line, encouraging Kings and Queens alike to embrace their inner excellence and prestige. Since its launch, K.R.T. has sold over 1,500 pieces not only in the United States, but throughout the world, reaching Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. K.R.T. has been favored by hipsters and notable celebrities alike, including actor Jaden Smith and 106 & Park host, Terrance J.
  3. Keisha N. Blain emphasized the significance of foregrounding the ideas and activism of black women in order to fully capture the rich and complex history of global Garveyism. “As I explained in my review, black women’s roles are vital to understanding the global contours and enduring legacies of Garveyism. In an effort to encourage scholars and members of the general public to deepen their understanding of the role of women and gender in the history of global Garveyism, I have compiled a list of the most recent works on the subject.” – Keisha Blain
  4. African American Finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Awards: Awards are given out in six categories: autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Five finalists are chosen in each category. The winners will be announced on March 17 at a ceremony at the New School in New York City.  Ta-Nehisi Coates is a finalist in the criticism category for his book “Between the World and Me” (Spiegel & Grau, 2015). Terrance Hayes was nominated in the poetry category for his collection “How to Be Drawn” (Penguin Books, 2015). Professor Hayes joined the English department faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 2013.
  5. Fordham University received a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to fund research on the practice of “child-gifting” in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France. Child gifting refers to the practice of purchasing or kidnapping dark-skinned children in Africa and elsewhere. These children were given to upper-class French women as travel souvenirs and fashion accessories.
  6. University of California Sell Stocks of Three Prison Companies – The University of California has decided to sell $25 million in stock of three private companies that operate prisons.
  7. Mary K. Goodman, a laundry woman in New Haven, Connecticut, died in 1872. She left her life savings of $5,000 to Yale University to support the education of African American divinity students. The gift is believed to the be first donation ever given to Yale by a Black person.  Yale honored Goodman by having her buried in the Yale portion of the Grove Street Cemetery and a scholarship in her name was established at the Divinity School.
  8. Book Recommendation: Florynce “Flo” Kennedy, The Life of A Black Feminist Radical by Sherie M. Randolph.  Excerpt: Kennedy’s relationship to Black Power was not without conflict and debate, and, as Randolph argues, this was nowhere more clear than in debates over abortion. Kennedy challenged the Black Power position that abortion was an assault on black families and instead challenged the movement to see the prevalence of death from illegal abortion in black communities as an attempted genocide of black women.
  9. Book Recommendation: Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos by W. Bradford Wilcox and Nicholas H. Wolfinger.  Wilcox and Wolfinger provide a compelling look at faith and family life among blacks and Latinos. The book offers a wealth of critical insight into the effect of religion on minority relationships, as well as the unique economic and cultural challenges facing African American and Latino families in twenty-first-century America.
  10. Racial Slur Published in the Annual Report of Lawrence University – After the annual report was published, an alumnus of the university noticed that the word “nigger” had been written in chalk on the wall behind the executives. The racial slur is very small in the printed photograph but is clearly noticeable, particularly when the photograph is magnified. The university used computer software to eliminate the slur in an updated version of the annual report. The slur was removed from the wall.
  11. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo – White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. Fine (1997) identifies this insulation when she observes “… how Whiteness accrues privilege and status; gets itself surrounded by protective pillows of resources and/or benefits of the doubt; how Whiteness repels gossip and voyeurism and instead demands dignity”. Whites are rarely without these “protective pillows,” and when they are, it is usually temporary and by choice. This insulated environment of racial privilege
    builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the
    ability to tolerate racial stress.
  12. African American Women and HIV/AIDS by Lisa M. Baugartner – Excerpt:  Since African American women outnumber African American men, women are afraid to discuss condom use because they fear their partner might pursue relationships with women who do not insist on condom use (McNair & Prather, 2004). Scholars discovered that although African American women stated they personally would negotiate condom use, they believed African American women in general did not negotiate condom use because of fear of rejection from their partners (Jackson & Pittiglio, 2012).
  13. Julian Frances Abele, African American Architect – In 1902 Julian Frances Abele was the first African American to graduate from the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. He was hired by the Horace Trumbauer architectural firm and spent his entire career there. He was responsible for the design on the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Widener Memorial Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  14. Bert Williams: The Funniest Man We Never Saw, the Saddest Man We Never Knew -Bert Williams’s techniques of theorizing and distancing himself from the mask he wore and was never allowed to remove onstage did not make the job of ‘‘darky’’ any easier. Irony could only lessen the blow, not evade it. Perhaps the greatest difficulty came from having to stick so closely to the norms of the racist tradition in order to get work, while at the same time projecting a modern black subjectivity which made specific political.


 “Notes for an essay on pop culture influence and inspiration”

Sources:  All information can be linked back to the original source by clicking the links above.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Please explain the image further so that I can fully grasp its message. I see the implied programming and deprogramming implications, but I feel I’m missing more. If you can elaborate please do?

    Sincerely, Tony Muhammad


    1. For what story or link are you referring to?


      1. Not one of the links / stories but the image tagged 2013 above “Notes for an essay on pop culture influence and inspiration’ But moving on…I concluded today after revisiting the image (which I find very intriguing), the image / drawing represents what artistic influences have shaped your personal / cultural thinking as a Black man / human.


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