Black Women are IT
Read this week’s Bite in _ minutes and tell a Black woman or two why you appreciate her on this International Women’s Day.
The Skinny on COVID
The latest in numbers: 29M total cases & 525K deaths (+411K & +12K from last week)
Texas and Mississippi have decided to allow businesses to open at full capacity and rescind their mask mandates. We’re praying for the sensible people in those states. SMH.
Been tuned out from COVID for a while, but still wanna know the risk level in your county? See your area’s status using this tool.
Stupid people sleep with stupid people and (sadly) raise stupid kids. That was our exact thought after watching this video of adults encouraging children to burn masks at Idaho’s state capitol. Sorry to those kids. Honestly.
Evanston, IL Comes Through
The city will be the first to provide reparations to its Black residents. Taking the money from a 3% tax on recreational marijuana sales, Evanston plans to give $10M over the next 10 years with some people being eligible for direct payments of up to $25K. These payments will be earmarked specifically for housing. Today, Black residents make up 16% of the city’s population and make less than half than their white neighbors.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
As more and more Republican legislators at the state level work to restrict voting access after the 2020 election, Biden tells them to take all that noise somewhere else with a new executive order.
Speaking of voting rights, our Black woman VP commemorated Bloody Sunday (the day the 1965 march in Selma occurred) by celebrating the spirit of John Lewis and by calling for the fight for equal voting access to continue in his honor.
Some immigration detention centers will soon be turned into processing centers to allow asylum seekers who appear at the border to go through health screenings and background checks in 72 hours before being released ahead of scheduled court appearances. Any families that arrive together will be processed together.
Congress, What’s Good?
The Senate passed Biden’s $1.9T stimulus bill over the weekend, giving way to stimulus checks (hopefully coming before the end of this month), an extension of federal unemployment benefits to August, and $350B in aid to state and local governments. This bill is not the same as the one the House passed (it included the minimum wage increase), so they are expected to pass the Senate’s legislation by Tuesday. Oh, and one other thing, if your salary is anything between $80K and $100K, you’ll no longer be receiving a stimulus check. Thank conservative Democrat Senators for that.
Also, here are the 8 Democratic Senators who sided with Republicans to vote against the $15 minimum wage increase. They cited a need to protect struggling businesses from the increased cost. You can guess what they all look like and (if you believe Twitter), what their net worths are.
This week, Congress will direct its attention to:
Protecting the right to organize
The nomination of a Black woman, Shalanda D. Young, to be Deputy Director of the Office of Management & Budget
Ensuring the safety of children online as their internet use has increased during Corona
Criminal Justice Round Up
About that George Floyd Policing Act that the House passed...it included $750M to help the police investigate themselves. This columnist doesn’t think this bill would have saved George’s life even if it had been passed while he was alive.
Idaho’s governor signed a law that would compensate those who were wrongfully convicted of a crime. The retroactive yearly compensation would range from $25K to $75K, depending on whether the person was on parole, in prison, or on death row. Not all of Idaho is stupid, we guess.
We can’t make this up: After a 10-year pause on executions, South Carolina state senators approved a bill that would allow a firing squad and the electric chair again as options for carrying out the death penalty. The bill is expected to pass in the state’s House soon and to be signed by the governor.
3 Black men were exonerated and released after serving 24 years in a New York prison. A judge recently determined that prosecutors withheld evidence of their innocence.
Around the Diaspora
Rwanda leads the world with the number of women in parliament. 61% of the country’s legislature are (Black) women.
The pandemic has worsened gender inequality in Zimbabwe. Women & girls continue to be most at risk for violence and most likely to be unpaid laborers. The Zimbabwe Spotlight Initiative hopes to change that by 2030.
Will Barbados give vaccines to visitors who pull up without having gotten the shot in their own countries? The proposal worries some Bajans.
Nourishing Africa, in partnership with Mastercard, aims to train 2K young agripreneurs and provide grants to 125 small to medium-sized businesses to withstand the shocks of major events like COVID-19.
Getting to the Money
Morehouse College wants to help Black men finish school. Starting in the fall, the school will reduce tuition for an online program if students have already completed some of their college credits.
Second Chance Studios, a nonprofit digital media studio that trains and employs the formerly incarcerated, is looking for a Program & Development Lead. Guess who leads this company? Yep, a Black woman.
This Black woman wants to help high school seniors and their parents prepare for—and thrive in—college with an online program called Advising on Purpose.
Eyllek Skin Care is a Dallas, TX-based brand that is all things nourishing and gentle. Give their products a try if you are in the marked for advanced natural skincare products. The brand was founded by a Black woman.
Culture that Pops
Nasa named its Perseverance rover landing site on Mars after the iconic Octavia Butler, a pioneering sci-fi writer.
The verdict from former Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs’ universal basic income experiment is in. Providing residents with $500 monthly to spend however they like can dramatically improve their quality of life.
This Grammy-nominated Mississippi Bluesman and owner of the longest-operating juke joint is working hard to keep his unique blues tradition around even after he’s gone.
Jay-Z sold his majority stake in Tidal to Square and joined their board. The other artists who own a stake in the streaming service will, as a collective, still be the 2nd largest shareholder in the company. The move was made in an effort to change the music business. Will it work?