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Juneteenth is in the Federal Building

The Skinny on COVID

The latest in numbers: 34M total cases & 601K deaths (+78K & +1K from last week)

The headlines:

  • Did you all notice we reached the 600K mark in COVID deaths? While it may seem like the pandemic is over, people are still dying and the racial disparities persist.

  • The same mRNA technology used in COVID vaccines could be used to treat cancer.

  • Fans from abroad were already banned, but now Japanese fans of the Tokyo Olympics will also be unable to watch the games in person. The socially-distant festivities will begin on July 23.

Juneteenth is in the (Federal) Building

It was the bill signing seen around the world: Juneteenth is now a federally-recognized holiday. Like most culturally relevant topics for our community, there’s a lot of debate on the bill:

We asked a few of the above questions ourselves, but regardless of the talk about how we move forward from here, it was a beautiful thing to see Black joy on everyone’s faces this weekend. That’s something outsiders can neither give nor take from us.

Keeping Up with Biden & Harris

The Biden administration is making gender confirmation surgery available to veterans.

The POTUS is set to meet with the President of Afghanistan to discuss continued support in the midst of the withdrawing American troops from the country.

Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week and both leaders agreed to be civil and to focus on the issues they could agree on.

Congress, What’s Good?

Yeah the Senate unanimously passed the Juneteenth legislation, but we know y’all didn’t think they’d gotten their act together. While they can celebrate their recent efforts to make Juneteenth a holiday, Republicans are still unwilling to add more charges to the list of crimes that police can be charged with (nevermind the fact that they’re never actually convicted of anything). Also, they are STILL unflinching on passing the For the People and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement acts.

Oh yeah, we’re no closer to a deal on infrastructure either.

Republican-in-hiding Joe Manchin did appear to throw a bone to his Democratic colleagues after providing a list of provisions that would allow him to support the For The People Act. Senator Raphael Warnock & Stacey Abrams both appear to support his requested changes, so maybe, just maybe an amended bill can pass without any Republican support. The Senate will vote on a motion to proceed with the bill tomorrow.

On the committee schedule this week:

Social Justice Round Up

Georgia still doing what Georgia does. They recently announced the purge of another 100K voters from their registration files. They claim that they are removing voters who are “ineligible,” but Black voters are disproportionately affected by this each and every time. If you are a Georgia voter or know some, be sure to (tell them to) check to see if their names are on the list of removed voters here.

Remember when all those music companies (labels, streaming services, etc.) put out statements in solidarity with BLM last year? The Black Music Action Collective conducted a study on their progress since then. Check out how some of the top players in the music game showed up.

A judge in Los Angeles says a law that voters approved to spend at least 10% of its general fund on social services like jail diversion programs is unconstitutional simply because of how it was passed (i.e. voters approved the measure). Gee. It’s almost as if they don’t want us to reform the criminal justice system.

The SCOTUS denied a drug offender’s request for resentencing under the First Step Act because the act was written specifically for those who were unfairly punished by mandatory minimums and not by judges who’d imposed harsh sentences themselves. Congress can work to pass another bill to include everyone punished by harsh sentences—regardless of the origin—but will they?

Around the Diaspora

What do you know about Madureira, the hub of Black culture in Brazil? Not much? Same here, sadly. Here’s a bit of information about the buzzing neighborhood that’s 70% Afro-Brazilian.

Barbados and Trinidad are on track to reopen on June 30 and around mid-July respectively. Jamaica, on the other hand, is saying “Not so fast.”

After an especially tough year, Ethiopians head to the polls to vote for regional representatives.

Getting to the Money

Sometimes our resumes need a little bit of refreshing and it’s helpful to have an outside eye take a look at it. If you think your resume might fall in this category, consider reaching out to Black woman-owned The Resume Agency to show your CV some love.

Procter & Gamble is looking for a Brand Director for their Multicultural Haircare Brands.

Buying Black

Where does Black creativity end? It doesn’t. Paper Row Cards is a company that makes unique greeting cards, stationery, and artwork featuring melanated paper cut outs. They also accept customized orders. We all have that loved one who still treasures receiving greeting cards for special occasions or just because. Consider a company that’s for us, by us the next time you’re tempted to hit up Hallmark.

Culture that Pops

Black Girl Magic left its mark on the track yesterday after 21 year-old Sha’Carri Richardson qualified for the US Olympics Track & Field team for the first time. Watch her confidently secure her Olympic spot here.

WWII vet Ozzie Fletcher received his Purple Heart 77 years after being overlooked for the honor due to being Black. Congrats to Mr. Fletcher, who is now 99-years old!

Soon, it’s about to be a whole lot more Blackness on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Nipsey Hussle, Tracee Ellis Ross, George Clinton and Regina King are among the Black folks who are part of the 2022 class.


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