Learning Lessons of Good Trouble
On Friday, we lost 2 civil rights icons. The first was C.T. Vivian, an instrumental figure to MLK within the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Jumpstarting his activism as early as the 1940s, he was active in sit-in protests and the Freedom Rides. Years later, the US Department of Education would launch Upward Bound based on a college-prep program Vivian created for students who were kicked out of school for protesting racism.
The other giant was John Lewis, the long-time congressman representing ATL. Lewis was also an active protestor in the sit-ins and Freedom Rides, and spoke at the March on Washington at just 23 years old. Having popularized the term "good trouble," he is perhaps most well known for his role in leading the Selma march that sparked the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The loss of these two figures who shaped the country as we know it today should be making us all reflect on how we each plan to make our own mark in our community’s fight for justice.
Consider this Your Warning
If you’ve been receiving the extra $600 weekly from the federal government as unemployment, be warned that this week is really the last week to receive that benefit, despite the official date communicated being July 31. The reason for the discrepancy is due to that fact that the payment is only available for weeks that either end on Saturday or Sunday...or something like that. No, it doesn’t make sense to us either.
Are We All Moving to NC Now?
Asheville gets it. We hope. The North Carolina town’s city council unanimously approved reparations for its Black residents in the form of financial investment in the community. Some of those investments would address criminal justice reform, health disparities, education, and “generational wealth to boost economic mobility.”
No Money, Mo’ Problems
It feels like we were just rejoicing over some surprisingly liberal opinions released by the SCOTUS, but they quickly put us back in our place. Florida voters restored voting rights to felons (except those convicted of rape or murder) in 2018. Shortly after, Governor Ron DeSantis aimed to shut down the victory by passing a bill that required felons to pay all legal debts beforehand. After ping ponging for a bit in the lower courts, the Supreme Court sided with the GOP, effectively barring any felons from voting if they were unable (a.k.a. too poor) to pay their debts.
Hide Ya Kids...
Trump is so tired of the CDC contradicting his “make-believe pandemic” theory, that he’s required all hospitals to send their information directly to his administration and not the nation’s top public health agency. The move is raising plenty of questions around transparency as the POTUS has repeatedly downplayed and politicized the virus. Donnie has also blocked the head of the CDC from speaking to Congress about reopening schools as he and his team push for getting back to life as usual in spite of the virus surging in several states across the nation.
...And Hide Ya Protestors
People are getting scooped up in Portland by masked, unidentified federal agents. The culprit behind the masked bandits is none other than Donald Trump, who is eager to reestablish order in a city where the George Floyd protests have failed to die off. The gag is, no one asked for his help. In fact, Oregon’s Attorney General is suing because the detainment of the protestors is said to violate their First, Fourth & Fifth Amendment rights. If you happen to live in Portland & are still actively protesting, please please be keep your head on a swivel.
Congress, What’s Good?
Senate Republicans are expected to release their plans for a new Coronavirus bill this week. In summary, it focuses heavily on reopening schools, liability protection for businesses, and increased funding for testing. At the moment, there is no more money for state and local governments. Nancy Pelosi has already made it clear that the $1.3T proposed in this bill is simply not enough.
Oh yeah, and Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, wants to include $350M in the next bill to help Black Americans with health care, child care, a housing down payment program and more.
Topics coming up for Congress this week:
The federal government’s outdated IT systems
Racial health disparities impacting seniors of color in the wake of COVID-19
Kanye West dropped out and then re-entered the presidential race last week. He is now on the ballot in Oklahoma, but missed the ballot deadline for at least 6 other states. Btw, he held a campaign event in South Carolina yesterday and claimed Harriet Tubman only sent slaves to work for other white people. Seriously, where are the people who really care about him?
Trump’s niece released a book of family secrets with hopes of getting more people to see that her uncle ain’t the one.
Election experts are becoming increasingly concerned about mail-in voter disenfranchisement this November. Judging by the primaries, they anticipate mishandling by states who don’t know how to handle an influx of mail-in ballots.
After securing a W in a Texas primary runoff last week, Candace Valenzuela may be the first Afro-Latina to be elected to Congress.
Around the Diaspora
Sudan lifts its death penalty and flogging laws aimed at homosexuality.
If you’ve been excited about Barbados’ “Welcome Stamp” program that allows you to work remotely from there for a year, here’s a few more details.
Mr. Eazi raised $20M to establish a music industry ecosystem in Africa.
COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing in Kenya.
Getting to the Money
Google is offering 100K scholarships for their online certificates in data analytics, project management, and user experience design. If you complete one of these programs and apply to a related role at Google, they will consider it the equivalent of a four-year degree.
iFundWomen is partnering with Visa to give 10 Black female entrepreneurs $10K and 1 year of business coaching. The deadline to apply is July 31.
Something Special Studios wants to give Black creatives $3K grants to further their endeavors. The deadline to apply is July 31.
Black Business Highlight: Break out those colored pencils and get your creative juices flowing with a coloring book from Entrepreneurs Color Too. Their book offerings range from HBCUs, to the Black women in business, to ‘80s fashion. You can also self publish your own coloring book with them.
Culture that Pops
Yandy Smith, Tamika Mallory, Trae tha Truth and more were arrested for protesting outside of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s home for his lack of response on Breonna Taylor’s murder.
You remember the short film “Hair Love,” right?? Well, it’ll soon be an animated series on HBO Max, titled “Young Love.”
Magic Johnson is partnering with Grambling University to improve the campus’ dining options.
Ava DuVernay has a new unscripted series about race, gender, religion and economics on the way.