Mrs. Mary Lewis Mack Walton

Mrs. Mary L. Walton

Mrs. Mary L. Walton

Mrs. Mary Lewis Mack Walton of 1100 Logan Store Road, Smithville, Georgia died Sunday, October 2, 2016 at her residence.

The funeral service will be held Friday, October 7, 2016 at 11:00 a. m. in the sanctuary of the Lebanon Baptist Church, 403 Bottsford Road, Plains, Georgia.  The burial will follow at the St. Paul Church Cemetery in Smithville, Georgia.

On February 25, 1930, the world was blessed with the birth of a loving and caring soul. Born in Sumter County, Georgia, Mother Mary Lewis Mack Walton was born to the late Mr. Lewis Mack and the late Mrs. Mamie James Mack.

She was educated in the public school system of Sumter County where she was a graduate of Staley High School in Americus, Georgia.

Mother Walton accepted Christ as her personal Savior early in life. She willingly served the Lord at the Breathe of Life Worship Center. Always willing to serve, she was a Certified Missionary and Church Mother.

An excellent cook, she found great joy in feeding others. When not attending church or feeding others, she enjoyed traveling.

She was joined in holy matrimony to Mr. Love Walton, Sr. He, along with her parents, her son, Mr. Love Walton, Jr.; her siblings, Mrs. Frankie Sheffield, Mrs. Annie Rose May, Mr. Fletcher Mack, Sr., Mr. Albert Mack, Sr., and Mr. Mack Arthur Mack, Sr., each precede her in death.

On Sunday, October 2, 2016, our loving and caring mother and grandmother went home to be with the Lord. She leaves a legacy of love to be forever cherished by her loving and devoted children, Mrs. Mary Banks and her husband, Minister Howard Banks of   Smithville, Georgia, Mrs. Anola Walton Hall of Albany, Georgia, Mrs. Alice Johnson of Smithville, Georgia, Mr. Willie H. Walton of Greenwood, South Carolina, Mrs. Emma J. Fish and her husband, Mr. John Fish and Mr. Lee Marvin Walton and his wife, Mrs. Shirley Walton all Americus, Georgia, and Mrs. Elaine Monts and her husband, Mr. John Keith Monts of Smithville, Georgia; a host of loving grandchildren and great grandchildren; three sisters-in-law, Mrs. Buford     Walton, Mrs. Ozzie Walton, and Mrs. Annie Mae Mack all of Americus, Georgia; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many sorrowing friends, to include, Mr. Darius Brown and Mrs. Leisha     Reynolds both of Smithville, Georgia.

Deacon James Holley, Jr.



Deacon James Henry Holley, Jr. of 452 Bone Road, Americus, Georgia died Friday, September 23, 2016 at his residence.

The funeral service, with Masonic Rites, will be held Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 3:00 p. m. at the Holley Residence, 452 Bone Road, Americus, Georgia.  The burial will follow at the Perry Grove Church Cemetery in Leslie, Georgia.

Deacon James Henry Holley, Jr. was born July 28, 1946 in Sumter County, Georgia. He was born to the late Mr. James H. Holley, Sr. and the late Mrs. Elizabeth Holley.

He was educated in the public schools of Sumter County.   He accepted Christ as his Savior and worshipped at the Corinth Holy Bible Church. He was ordained as a Deacon and served for over ten years.

“Preacher,” as he was affectionately called, was a member of Saint John Lodge #17 Prince Hall F&AM. He was a Lifetime Member and Gold Card Recipient, having earned the Prince Hall F&AM 25 Year Pin and 35 Year Pin.

A professional truck driver, over the years he had been employed by Reed Construction Company, Solid Wood Company, Joe Underwood Trucking Company, Benny White Trucking Company, and J. T. Knight & Son Trucking Company. Additionally he was a self-employed driver for Family Prayer Trucking.

Aside from his love for his family, he enjoyed gardening, fishing, and riding his motorcycle. He also had a great love for the game of baseball.

On Friday, September 23, 2016, our beloved husband, father, and grandfather went home to be with the Lord. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by his grandchildren, Mikal and   Myriah.

Cherishing his life, he leaves his loving and devoted wife, Mrs. Odessa Worth Holley of Americus, Georgia; his loving and caring children, Mr. Dale (Rose) Holley, Mr. James Henry Holley, IV, Mr. Michael Holley, Sr., and Ms. Alberta Johnson all of Americus, Georgia; his beloved grandchildren, Michael, Jr., Mykala, Markel, Markylan, Azaria, and Jashon; his loving sister, Mrs. Mary (Calvin) Burner of Americus, Georgia; his beloved brother, Mr. Robert (Elaine) Holley of Americus, Georgia; his mother-in-law, Mrs. Oris Mae Worth of Desoto, Georgia; his brothers/sisters-in-law, Mrs. Betty Zanders and Mr. James Douglas Worth both of Desoto, Georgia, Mr. Silas (Gwendolyn) Worth and Mr. Otha Lee (Lavern) Worth both of Rochester, New York; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many sorrowing friends to include, Ms. Anita Leary of Buena Vista, Georgia, Ms. Anita Lamar of Lee County, Georgia, Pastor Sheila Williams of Richland, Georgia, Ms. Trona Gosha, Mr. Lee Gosha, and Ms. Debra Horn all of Americus, Georgia.

Mr. Johnny Frank Cottle

Mr. Johnny Frank Cottle

Mr. Johnny Frank Cottle

United States Army Veteran, Mr. Johnny Frank Cottle of 104 Payton Circle, Americus, Georgia died Thursday, September 22, 2016 at the Magnolia Manor Nursing Home in Americus, Georgia.

The funeral service will be held Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 1:00 p. m. in the sanctuary of the Saint John A. M. E. Church in Plains, Georgia.  The burial will follow at the Lebanon Church Cemetery in Plains, Georgia.

Brother Johnny (John) Frank Cottle, transitioned into eternal rest, while a patient at Magnolia Manor Nursing facility on Thursday, September 22, 2016. He was surrounded with much love by his loving family when he retired to his heavenly home. John has made it home and states:

I, Johnny (John) Frank Cottle, born on December 2, 1941 in Plains, GA was one of God’s blessings to Lula Crecie Angry Britt and Bennie Frank Cottle. In addition to parenting by my parents, I was gifted to have been raised by my grandparents, Cleveland and Eliza Angry, whom I affectionately called Poppa and Eliza whom you all called “Duck.” In my village I enjoyed the love of my aunts and uncles who instilled so many great things in me that books could never have taught me. As my Aunts (Agnes “Meat” Hollis and Velma “Tutter” Raven) traveled from school on Fridays they’d often cleaned me up from head to toe and straightened my hair as well.

As a responsible, independent, God fearing young man, I was blessed with two daughters, Natasha Dorice Harris and Jarvene Cottle, to share my legacy with and to travel this journey. I inspired them to be upstanding strong women of God. I gave my God-given best!

I was educated in the Sumter County public school system. After graduation from high school, I joined the United States Army. My military journey afforded me the opportunity to serve my country at Fort Knox, KY, Fort Gordon, GA and the Federal Republic of Germany as a Combat Engineer. While serving our great country, I received many awards, certificates and was honorably discharged in January, 1967. Subsequently, my journey led me to Florida, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA and later my daughter, Natasha and I moved back home to Georgia. It was in California where I would plant my roots. I became a bus driver and drove city and charter buses for more than 40 years. On this journey, I traveled to many, many places seeing things I never dreamed as a young man in Georgia; met lifelong friends; and visited breathtaking sites.

I confessed Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was a young man. I was blessed to have a personal relationship with Jesus that affirmed my faith, helped me face and embrace the challenges of life, and offered compassion and love to many whom I encountered on my journey through this earthly land.

Yes, my journey was one of amazement and sometimes defeat; but God always had a lesson for me and carried me through, making me a better “ME”.   I kept my eyes on the one who has all power, knows all, sees all and the one who called me Son and I called him Father. It broke my heart to see my daughter Natasha, endure a terminal illness and fight to stay on this earth to care for me. But as a good soldier, I encouraged her to take her rest and I promised her that I would be just fine because God was holding me in his bosom. After Natasha went to her heavenly home, I began to care for myself with the aid and support of many of you. I continued to march on because Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” My assignment is complete and my Father has said “Well Done”.

Now my daughter (Natasha Dorice Harris), parents (Lula Crecie Britt and Bennie Frank Cottle), grandparents (Cleveland and Eliza Angry), siblings (Ida Mae Davis, Annie Ruth Hawkins, Joe Roy Britt, Jr) and cousin Johnny Angry (reared as brothers); aunts (Agnes Hollis and Blance Miller), uncles ( Leroy, William and Joseph C. Angry) all await my arrival to that prepared place. I thank you all for accompanying me on this journey and for all of the help that you imparted upon a father, a son, a grandson, a nephew, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, and a friend – Johnny Frank Cottle.

In the arms of Jesus, I await your arrival and I leave you to tell my life story: My daughter, Jarvene Cottle, sister, Commie R. Wright, Plains, Ga., brother, Lawrence (Irene) Britt, Americus, GA; aunt, Mrs. Velma (Elder Johnnie) Raven; nieces: Cassandra Davis, Ida Davis, Alisa (Vincent) Ducks, Makeiba (Chase) Allen, Joveida (Obinna) Namakwa, Tawana Shai (Derrrick) Turnipseed and   Jevonda (Michael) Robinson; nephews: Earlton Keith (Bernadette) Davis, Frank Jerome (Rita) Davis, Broderick (Natavia) Hawkins, Lewis (LaKeshia) Hawkins and Shanmus (Jennifer) Britt.

Others whom he loved so dearly and who so graciously cared for him: Diandra Hollis, Andersonville, GA; Helen Wilkins, Americus, GA; LTC (Ret.) Blake (Deborah) Hollis & Family,   Ellenwood, GA; Mrs. Gwendolyn Angry, Birmingham, AL; Ms. Jacqueline Slappey, Plains, GA; Mr. Mike Pope, Mr. Henry Pope and Ms. Catherine Tyson, all of Plains, GA; devoted friends: Deborah Britt, California, Anthony Jones and Corri Fowler both of Chicago, Illinois, Alonza Ballenger, Los Angeles, CA and friends also survive, to include the staff of Drs. McAfee, Faulkner, and Floyd, Magnolia Manor Hospice.

Ms. Elizabeth Mitchell

Ms. Elizabeth Mitchell

Ms. Elizabeth Mitchell

Ms. Elizabeth Mitchell of 304 Pecan Road, Cobb, Georgia died Monday, September 19, 2016 at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, Georgia.

The funeral service will be held Friday, September 23, 2016 at 11:00 a. m. in the sanctuary of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Cobb, Georgia.  The burial will follow in the churchyard cemetery.

The family may be contacted at The Mitchell Residence, 936 North Jackson Street, Americus, Georgia.

On July 22, 1945, a kind and loving spirit was welcomed to this world. Ms. Elizabeth Mitchell was born to the late Mr. Emanuel Mitchell and the late Ms. Doshie Spencer.

Born in Sumter County, Georgia, she received her early educational training from the public school system. She later completed Certified Nursing Assistant Training at the Hollywood Hills Nursing Home.

Early in her life she accepted Christ and united with the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Cobb, Georgia. A dedicated member of the church, she served as a member of the choir and also was a member of the Program Committee.

Never a stranger to hard work, she was employed for over 40 years as a CNA. This was an example that she demonstrated as she took care of her children and grandchildren. She possessed a great love for cooking and flowers. A lover of people and a willingness to help all, never stopped her from “fussing.” Even when she realized no one paid her any attention when she fussed.

On Monday, September 19, 2016, her earthly journey came to an end while she was a patient at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, Georgia. Along with her parents, she is preceded in death by a son, Mr. William Coffield; a brother, Mr. Leonard C. Spencer, Sr., and dear friend, Mrs. Ossie Smith.
Her life will forever be remembered by her loving and devoted children, Ms. Miranda (Charlie) Mitchell and Mrs. Earlene (Donnie) Mitchell Williams both of Americus, Georgia, Ms. Mary (Melvin) Mitchell of Cobb, Georgia, Mr. Michael Coffield of Hollywood, Florida, Mr. Mark Daniels, Jr. and Mr. Logan Tookes, Jr. both of Americus, Georgia; her stepmother, Mrs. Annie Clara Mitchell of Cobb, Georgia; her beloved grandchildren, Ms. Jameika Mitchell, Ms. Shanika Mitchell, Ms. Laporsha Tukes, Ms. Loquasha Daniels, Ms. Keandria Daniels, Mr. Bonny Merritt, Jr., Ms. Tierra Daniels, and Ms. Chy’darea Graham; her great grandchildren, Ken’nyiran Tookes, De’merriah Carter, Cha’sten Daniels, Caleb Daniels, Dalton Monts, Amiyah Frederick, Isaiah Frederick, and Adaela Hicks; her loving sisters, Ms. Beaulah Barner, Mrs. Dorothy (Walter) Bridges, and Ms. Sally White all of Americus, Georgia, and Mrs. Patricia (Phillip) Burrells of South Miami, Florida; her beloved brothers, Mr. Henry Spencer of Americus, Georgia, Mr. Daryl (Yumall) Clark of Miami, Florida, Mr. Tony Clark of Cobb, Georgia, and Mr. Victor (Barbara) Clark of Virginia; an aunt, Mrs. Emma Jones of Leslie, Georgia; a host of nieces and nephews, cousins, other relatives and many sorrowing friends, to include Mrs. Sydney Ruff of Cordele, Georgia, Ms. Charlene Merritt of Americus, Georgia, and Deacon Eddie Brooks of Cobb, Georgia.

Mr. Jimmie Benefield II

Mr. Jimmie Benefield

Mr. Jimmie Benefield

Funeral services for Mr. Jimmie Benefield of Smithville, Georgia will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 2:00 P.M. at the Jerusalem Baptist Church on Rhodes Street in Smithville, Georgia with Rev. Toney Smith officiating. Burial will follow at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

Mr. Jimmie Benefield II was born on December 24, 1945 in Perry, Georgia to the late Jimmie Lee Benefield and the late Magnolia Taylor. At an early age he joined the Mt Pleasant Baptist Church. He was united in holy matrimony to Mrs. Laura Benefield who preceded him in death. Jimmie departed this life on September 18, 2016 at the Magnolia Manor Nursing Home in Americus, Georgia.

He leaves to cherish his memories, one son, Jimmie Benefield, III of Moultrie, Georgia; two daughters: Pamela Barge of Moultrie, Georgia and Amanda Benefield of Macon, Georgia; four sisters: Cora Benefield and Willa Collie both of Port St. Lucie, Florida, Ossie Lockett and Mary Henderson (Charles) all of Smithville, Georgia; four brothers: Lewis Benefield, Bobby Taylor, Tommy Taylor all of Smithville, Georgia and Jerome Taylor of Americus, Georgia; a longtime companion, Minnie Austin of Ellaville, Georgia; a host of nieces & nephews including: Kwanis Garner (Julius) Katrina Benefield, Wanda Ingram, Shontae Ingram, Erica Morris, Jason Lockett, Courtney Lockett, Justin Burton and Anthony Collie; several devoted friends: Jimmy Smith, Freddie Smith, Carl Waters and Arthur Melton

Mr. Albert Prince

Mr. Albert Prince

Mr. Albert Prince

Funeral services for Mr. Albert Prince, Jr. will be held on Friday, September 23, 2016 at 11:00 in the Chapel of West’s Mortuary in Americus, Georgia with Rev. Mireo Harris officiating. Burial will follow at the Eastview Cemetery.

Mr. Albert Prince, Jr. was the oldest of sixteen children born to the late Mr. Albert Prince, Sr. and Mrs. Eula Mae Sampson Prince, who survives on May 8, 1938 in Americus Sumter County, Georgia. He moved away from home at an early age seeking work and came to reside in Belle Glade, Florida the remainder of his life. He worked several different jobs before landing his position at Okeelanta Sugar Mill Corporation as a truck driver. He worked with them for over 30 years, retiring in 2001. He enjoyed hanging out with his friends, watching Joel Osteen Ministry, and old Western movies. He is preceded in death by two brothers: Master Ronnie Prince and Willie Lee Prince.Albert departed his life on September 18, 2016 at GRU Hospital in Augusta, GA with his family by his bedside.

In addition to his mother, Ms. Eula Mae Prince, he leaves to cherish his memories one daughter: Ms. Latalia Demisha Prince (Brian) of Barnwell, South Carolina; one stepson: Marcus Garrett of West Palm Beach, FL; six brothers: Mr. Johnnie Lee (Susie) Prince, Belle Glade, FL, Mr. Oscar Lee Prince, Mr. Sampson Prince, Mr. David (Mary Emma) Prince, Mr. Ernest (Barbara) Prince, Mr. James Prince all of Americus, GA; seven sisters: Mrs. Betty Sue (Anno, Sr.) Harris, Mrs. Retha (John) Dowdell, Mrs. DeLois (Rev. Karl) Wilson, Mrs. Dorothy Jean Queenie, Mrs. Barbara Ann (John Arthur) Boone all of Americus, GA, Mrs. Anna (Rev. Marcelious) Willis, Leslie, GA and Mrs. Mattie Mae Edge, Albany, GA; two granddaughters: Mrs.Da’Koyoia Demisha (Marcus) Billie of Stockbridge, GA and N’Yannia Yanexi Prince of Barnwell, South Carolina; two great grandchildren: Jaylen Desean and Elijah Anthony of Stockbridge, GA; one aunt: Ms. Ola Bell Harris, Americus, GA; one uncle: Mr. Ellis Prince, Miami, FL; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends also survive.

Mr. Torryce Dice

Mr. Torryce Dice

Mr. Torryce Dice


Funeral services for Mr. Torryce Dice of Forest Park, Georgia, formerly of Americus, Georgia will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. at the Perry Grove Baptist Church in Leslie, Georgia. Burial will follow at the Eastview Cemetery. Torryce died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, September 14, 2016.

During the early morning hours of September 14, 2016, the stairway to Heaven opened up for one of Gods most faithful servants, Mr. Torryce Dice who was born in Sumter (Americus, Georgia) on October 23, 1967 to the Parentage of the late Mr.Willie Lee Dice and the late Mrs. Mattie B. Reese Dice. He received his education in the Americus System. He was employed at Country Club for nine years, Glover Warehouse for fifteen year, and CTI for a short period of time. Later he moved to Atlanta, GA to live with his sister Melinda Johnson and her family. Torryce died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, September 14, 2016. He was preceded in death by four brothers: Willie Dice, Jr., Bobby Dice, Robert Dice and Fredrick Dice.

He leaves to cherish his memories: one brother Edward Dice of Americus, GA; three Sisters: Ms. Deborah Dice and friend, Mr. Charles Gordon of Americus, GA, Ms. Imogene Dice and friend Mr. Patrick Bolden, and Mrs. Melinda (Charlies) Johnson, all of Forest, Park; two God children: Natalia Walters, and Zion Walters all of McDonough, Georgia; two aunts: Mrs. Bobbie Players of Miami, Florida and Bertha Dice of Americus, GA; one uncle, John L. Dice of Miami Florida; three nieces: Ms. Yasima Gordon of Americus, Georgia, Ms. Niesha Johnson, and Ms. Valerie Dice, both of Atlanta, Georgia; five nephews: Mr. Corey Johnson, Mr. Nicholas Johnson and Mr. Tavaris Dice all of Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Mario Dice and. Edward Dice Jr. both of Americus, Georgia and a host of great niece, and nephews, cousin, his Special Caregivers other relatives and friend also survive.





Mrs. Kathy Hunt Reynolds was born in Sumter County, Georgia on April 21,. 1967 to the parentage of the late Mr. David Hunt and Mrs. Mary Searcy Hunt, who survives. She received her education in the public schools of Sumter County. She loved going to church, singing in the choir and fishing. She enjoyed serving the Lord and fellowshipping with friends and family. In her younger years, she enjoyed girl scouts and giving back to the community. She is preceded in death by a son, Kenson Hunt.

In addition to her mother, she leaves to cherish her memories, her husband, Mr. Marcus Reynolds, Americus, GA; a daughter, Ms. Shatara Hunt, Cleveland, TN; a brother, Mr. Antrell (Stephanie) Hunt, Newport News, VA; her grandchildren, Katelynn Hunt, London Jones, Payton Hunt, Jarmoari Brown, Kenson Baker, Braydon Hunt and Zipporch Lewis; her father & mother-in-law, Mr. Phillip & Mrs. Mamie Reynolds; her brothers-in-law, Mr. David (Patricia) Reynolds, Mr. Phillip (Dontrell) Reynolds, Jr.; a sister-in-law, Ms. Teresa Reynolds; two aunts, Ms. Christine Gardner and Ms. Martha Caldwell; an uncle, Mr. Anthony Searcy; and a host of nieces, including, Ms. Jessica Reynolds, nephews, cousins, including, Mrs. Yolanda Sanford, Ms. Natasha Searcy and Mr. James Searcy other relatives and friends, including, Ms. Denise Williams also survive.





Mrs. Mary Cliatt Grimes was born in Preston, Webster County, Georgia on September 1, 1943 to the parentage of the late Mr. James Cliatt and the late Mrs. Delila Jones Cliatt. She graduated from Sumter County High School, Americus, Georgia in 1961. She moved to Philadelphia, PA later that year, there she met and later married the late Mr. Walter Grimes and to their union, two children were born. Mr. Grimes passed away in 1985. At an early age, she joined the Evans Chapel C.M.E. Church under the leadership of the late Rev. Jessie Averett, Sr. She was a member of the Board of Ushers’. Mrs. Grimes was employed for many years in the medical profession, she retired from the Women Medical College in 1994.

She leaves to cherish her memories, a daughter, Ms. Renee Grimes, Philadelphia, PA; a son, Mr. Kelvin (Connie) Grimes, Altus, OK; a grandson, Mr. Kelvin Grimes, Jr., Oklahoma City, OK; a sister, Ms. Pearlie Kinnebrew, Americus, GA; one brother, Mr. Larry Cliatt, I, Americus, GA; one aunt, Mrs. T’Lila (Andrew) Pless, Americus, GA; two great-grand children, nine nieces, five nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.




Willie Lee Mahone was born in Americus, Georgia on November 8, 1938. He was the third of six children born to the late Burden Mahone and Lula Bell Walker Mahone.

A 1953 graduate of Staley High School in Americus, Mr. Mahone enlisted in the U.S Navy at Newport, Rhode Island in September, 1960. As an enlistee, he chose a career as a Boiler Feedwater and Treatment Specialist, a coveted position specializing in boiler water technology for water quality and sanitation treatment testing. In addition he qualified as a boiler technician in engineering steam plant maintenance at the Naval Destroyer School in Norfolk, Virginia. During a naval career that spanned over 20 years, Mr. Mahone was deployed and traveled to the far corners of the world. That experience would later lead to his continued love of sea and water adventures, as an avid boater and fisherman. During his naval career, Willie received numerous citations and medals for outstanding valor and service, including two Bronze Stars, two Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and a Vietnam Campaign Medal. His final duty assignment and major command center, was in Portsmouth, Rhode Island at the Navy’s Inactive Ship Maintenance Factory.

Upon his retirement from the Navy in 1980, Mr. Mahone began a career in civil service as a water quality training specialist at the Naval Operations Base in Norfolk, Virginia. In that position he was regarded as an expert evaluator for the Navy’s facility support, relative to shipboard water and quality sanitation assurance. He worked in this profession until his retirement in 2005.

Mr. Mahone leaves to cherish his memory, a son, William Reginald Mahone of Norfolk, Virginia, a grandson, Zebulon Hawkins of Norfolk, Virginia, two devoted and loving sisters, Eutha D. Jackson of Americus, Georgia, and Dorothy Hawkins (Johnny) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. One brother, Sammy Mahone (Alexis) of Atlanta, Georgia, and several nieces and nephews, including Kamasi Asim Mahone of Atlanta, Georgia, Maia Aisha Mahone of Atlanta, Georgia, Belinda Mahone of Windsor Connecticut, Patricia Chappell-West of Germantown, Maryland, Schenaviar Chappell-Blake of Tucson, Arizona, Crystal Peoples of Largo, Florida, Abdur-Rashid Faheem of Queens, N.Y., Natalie Jackson of Americus, Georgia, Ronald Jackson of Atlanta, Georgia, Michael Jackson of Tuskegee, Alabama, Deborah Jackson of St. Petersburg, Florida, Queen Jackson of Largo, Florida, Tammie Mahone of Marlin, Texas, Michael A. Hawkins of Atlanta, Georgia, Reginald A. Hawkins, Christopher A. Hawkins and Crystal Y. Hawkins of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Manuel L. Brown, Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia, Robert Brown of Stone Mountain, Georgia, Debbie Elaine Brown of Atlanta, Georgia, Anita Lynn Brown of Union City, Georgia, and a host of great nieces, nephews, colleagues and friends.

Deacon Robert Lee Boone, Sr.



Deacon Robert Lee Boone was born in Sumter County, Georgia on November 3, 1953 to the parentage of the late Mr. Arthur Boone and the late Mrs. Annie Mae Reynolds Boone. He received his education in the public schools of Sumter County. He joined the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Dr. H. C. Wilson, and served on the Deacons and Ushers Board until his health failed. He was employed at Middle Flint Health Care and Behavior, Sumter County School System (bus monitor) and Barlow Billiard. He met and later married Mrs. Barbara Jean Iverson Boone and to their union, they were blessed with four children.

He is preceded in death by, Lee Oner Boone, Rosie Boone Pevy, Willie Raymond Boone, Oscar Lawson, J. C. Lawson, Henry Lee Boone and Ms. Eunice Boone Alford. God called Deacon Robert Lee Boone, Sr., home on Tuesday, September 20, 2016.

He leaves to cherish his memories, his wife, Mrs. Barbara Iverson Boone, Americus, GA; two sons, Mr. Robert Lee (Kristie) Boone, Jr., Arkansas, Mr. Travis O’Neal (Lakesha) Boone, Americus, GA; two daughters, Ms. Kimberly Boone Johnson and fiancé, Courtney Davis and Ms. Alyssa Larkins and friend, Tommy Blakely; two brothers, Mr. Arthur Lee (Alice) Boone, Mr. Willie (Brenda) Boone and Mr. Charlie (Angeline) Boone all of Americus, GA; two sisters, Mrs. Mary (Charlie) Seay and Ms. Gladys Monts of Americus, GA; his uncles, Mr. Phillip (Mamie) Reynolds and Mr. Benny (Mattie) Reynolds of Americus, GA; his in-laws, Rev. Jerry (Evelyn) Iverson, Mr. Robert (Brenda) Iverson, Jr., Rev. Willie Frank (Denise) Iverson, Mrs. Linda (Jimmy) Colson, Mrs. Mary (Douglas) Campbell, Ms. Catherine (Christopher Lewis) Johnson and Ms. Afegalai Boone; nine grandchildren, Tiandria Boone, Kenterrious Boone, Kentavious Johnson, Shamyriah Thompson, Queen Johnson, John Boone, Jessilyn Boone, Khloe Boone and Taliah Blakely; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.




Mr. Willie James Bowens was born in Sumter County, Georgia on December 26, 1948, to the parentage of the late Deacon Carl Walton and the late Mrs. Agnes Bowens Walton. He received his education in the public schools of Sumter County. At an early age, he joined the Antioch Baptist Church, Plains, Georgia. He was employed by Reeves Construction Company for many years and was a bus driver for the Sumter County Schools until his health failed. “Will” and “Wilp”, as he was affectionately called by family and friends, loved nature. He enjoyed building bird houses and such, including a big barn house on the Bowens’ estate. Will was very crafty and had many talents. He enjoyed music and playing the guitar. He is preceded in death by a brother, Mr. Henry Lee Wright and a sister, Ms. Annie Ruth Bowens.

Mr. Willie James Bowens leaves to cherish his memories-five children: Mr. Henry (Diane) Woods, Ms. Aretha Woods and friend, Mr. Fred Thomas, Mr. Jeffery Bowens, Ms. Angela Bowens and a step-son, Mr. Lawrence Moore, all of Americus, GA; four sisters: Mrs. Virginia (Pastor Willie) King, Evangelist Juliette Edmonds, all of Perry, GA, Mrs. Judith (Elder Henry) Wilkerson, Warner Robins, GA and a devoted sister and caregiver, Mrs. Ida (John Billy) Monts, Americus, GA; his fiancé, Ms. Elnora Moore, Americus, GA; nine grandchildren: Briana Woods, Santwan Woods, Donta Woods, Zykeria Woods, Shadeirdre Woods, Tatrevus Woods, Adina Woods, Timia Swanson and Traniya Woods; one great grandson, Zatreyvion Woods; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends also survive.





Mrs. Jeanette Ingram Griffin was one of 10 children born to the late Ernest Black Sr. and the late Doris Ingram Black on January 1, 1944 in Ellaville, GA. She was educated in the public schools of the city of Americus, GA. In 1957 she became the wife of the love of her life, Thomas Griffin, Sr. She was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses on April 3, 1965. She loved going preaching from door to door and talking to people about the Bible wherever she met them. She served Jehovah faithfully. Her work history was operating a Child Daycare in her home, a work that she truly loved.

She is preceded in death by a sister: Helen Black Marshall, two brothers: Danny Allen and Jessie Drains; two grandchildren: Joshua and Tasha Griffin.

She is survived by her husband of 58 years Thomas Griffin, Sr.; three sisters: Christine Callaway-Americus, GA; Ruby Lee Parks- Buffalo NY, Willie Mae (Ernest) Seay- Americus, GA; three brothers: Ernest Black, Jr., Eddie Black both of Americus, GA, and Henry Drains-Rochester, NY. Five children: Thomas (Christine) Griffin, Jr., Renay (Tony) Dinkins, Emma (Willie) Williams, James (Tracy) Griffin, Anthony (Janet) Griffin. Fourteen devoted grandchildren: Thomas Griffin III, Gene (Sonia) Serrano, Tannesha Griffin, Yolunda (Jermaine) Fluellen, Tiffany Dinkins, Kirby Griffin, Willie Williams II, Iman Williams, Shekiera Battle, Anthony Battle, Maurice & Sharice Griffin, Shemine (Tremaine) Hawkins, Alexis “Diamond” Griffin. Ten great grandchildren: Emontavious Reddick, Deonna Griffin, Khloe Fluellen, Jaden, Khalyia and Trynate’ Battle, Tre’Aunna and Rome Worth, Genyria Serrano, Joslyn Streeter; one uncle, Charlie (Bell) Ingram and a host of nieces, nephews cousins, other relatives and many, many friends associated with her by faith in Jehovah.




Mr. Kevin Eugene Tyson was born in Sumter County, Georgia on November 20, 1960 to the parentage of the late Mr. James Tyson and the late Mrs. Catherine Smith Tyson. He received his education in the public schools of Sumter County. At an early age, he joined the Shipp Chapel Baptist Church. Kevin was employed by Wal-Mart for sixteen years. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Mr. James Tyson, Jr.

He leaves to cherish his memories, two devoted sisters, Mrs. Bobbie (Roosevelt) Mitchell and Mrs. Betty (Jimmy) Cross all of Americus, GA; a sister-in-law, Ms. Pauline Tyson, Americus, GA; his nieces, Mrs. Pamela (Cornelius) Oliver, Ms. Stephanie Tyson of Americus, GA, Ms. Casoundra Cross and Ms. Lashonda Cross both of Austell, GA; his nephews, Mr. Mario (Tiffany) Mitchell, Mr. Corey Cross, Mr. Chris Tyson, Mr. Deon Tyson all of Americus, GA, Mr. Steve (Breanna) Tyson, Columbus, GA and Mr. James Lee (Shay) Tyson, III, South Carolina; two aunts, Ms. Annie Ruth Davis, Americus, GA and Ms. Katherine Tyson, Plains, GA; and a host of great nieces & nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.

Experts say don’t hold your breath for bigger raise or bonus in 2017

(Photo: Monkey Business/Fotolia)

(Photo: Monkey Business/Fotolia)

According to the human resources consulting firm Aon Hewitt’s annual U.S. salary increase survey, despite the fact that the economy is getting stronger, you shouldn’t expect much increase in your salary or much of a bonus next year.

The survey of 1,074 U.S. companies shows that the percentage of payroll budgets going to “variable pay” will be at 12.8%, meaning the percentage companies are willing to spend on bonuses will be flat from last year, with the projected increases for wages also holding steady at just 3%. All this despite a stronger job market and economy that would usually suggest companies would want to shell out more for their payroll in order to compete to keep their employees.

“It’s a little counterintuitive, given the strengthening economy and job creation numbers,” said Ken Abosch of the findings. Abosch, who heads the firm’s broad-based compensation practice for North America, went on to say, “It’s indicative of the pressure organizations are under to keep the lid on fixed costs.”

While the projected 3% raises are slightly higher than 2016’s actual raise rate of 2.8%, Abosch said that it was unlikely companies would actually hit the number, as they “haven’t hit that number in five tries.”

Abosch added that not everyone in the workforce is even eligible for raises, noting that “virtually all” white-collar professionals are but that non-union hourly workers are only eligible at a rate of about 14%.

“It creates haves and have-nots,” he said on Monday.

Christians, Muslims unite on economic venture in Atlanta


Rev. Timothy McDonald (second from left) and Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad (second from right) prepare for ribbon cutting at Blue Seas Express & Catering in Atlanta, a joint economic partnership between Muslims and Christians.

ATLANTA—The Atlanta Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and 10,000 Fearless Men and Women Headquarters of the South established a combined economic development venture in Atlanta called Blue Seas Express & Catering.  The casual environment, “soul-fully healthy” Southern cuisine served at the eatery is quickly becoming a local favorite.

This new eatery hosted its grand opening on Aug. 4 by way of a coalition of organizations and supporters led by Student Southern Region Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad of the Nation of Islam and interim National Director of the 10,000 Fearless Movement  and Reverend Timothy McDonald of First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta.

When you walk in the restaurant, all guests are extended a “Welcome to Blue Seas!” greeting, bound to put a smile on any face. The menu is complete with classics such as mouth-watering Southern fried chicken, fried fish, grilled Salmon, navy bean soup, Philly Fish Subs and  the Supreme Bean Pie. One of the crowd favorites is quickly becoming the One Dollar ($1) Steam Table, that includes steamed vegetables, mac-n-cheese and your choice of meat.

This venture ties right into one of the initiatives that followed Justice Or Else, the 20th Anniversary gathering of the Million Man March held last year which was “Buy Black”. The command was to boycott Christmas, support our own businesses and develop businesses by pooling resources.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said at the March, “Our unity is more powerful than a nuclear bomb.” Many returned home after the gathering in Washington, D.C. in 2015 with the zeal to support their own, meaning Black Businesses. The key to the success in the Black community is economic withdrawal, taking our dollars for example, and putting them in Black-owned banks. After the March the 10,000 Fearless Men & Women of the South formed as an extension of the Atlanta L.O.C., with the mission to “Make our Community a Safe and Decent Place to Live,” an instruction given by Minister Farrakhan. In order to bring that into reality, we would have to find ways to create jobs, programs and patrol our own community to bring love and unity deeper into the Black community.

The Final Call Newspaper recently reported “Black buying power continues to increase. It is currently $1 trillion but is forecast to increase up to $1.3 trillion by 2017.” Minister Farrakhan has been urging the Black community to pool our resources as he was taught by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Minister Farrakhan stated, “We really need to sit down together as brothers and sisters and plan an effective economic strategy to pull our people up out of this poverty and want that is rooted in ignorance.”

This economic strategy will come from the leaders in the community. We have to stop begging people to do for us what we can do for our self.

At the grand opening ceremony Rev. McDonald said, “The Atlanta L.O.C., we never stopped meeting after 10.10.15. We are a model and we want to share what we are doing with the world. We left our egos at the door. Muslims and Christians, we are one people and there is one God.” He added: “We are in one of the most violent areas in the country, Student Minister Sharrieff and I have come together in spite of the opposition but when God gives you a task you cannot listen to the opposition. We have to build up this community economically and feed our people. We have God on our side, and Allah is nowhere through with what he has planned for us.”

Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad and Rev. McDonald are making history and they plan to help every city around the country duplicate the same strategy.

One of the guests that joined and ate at the grand opening was Faye Coffield, county commissioner of Dekalb County.   “That was some of the best fish I have ever tasted and vegetables were beyond belief, it was all good and I will definitely be back,” said the commissioner. This was the sentiment of all of the customers that came in that day and the restaurant has been very busy since then.

The grand opening ceremony was attended by many community leaders such as Bishop Greg Fann, Rev. Gerard Durley, Pastor Derrick Rice, Rev. Albert Love, LaMarcus Cook, Betty Maddox, Tammy Parrish, Student Minister Darryl Muhammad, Student Minister Tremon Muhammad, Student Minister Shaun Muhammad, Bro.Terry Muhammad, Student Minister Arzo Muhammad, Bro. Student Captain Craig Muhammad, Bro. Christopher Muhammad and Bro. Khallid Muhammad.

Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad stated, “We thank Allah for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s divine instructions and commands. We look forward to working together with our Christian family, so we can show the entire world that we can work together and make progress.”

For more information, visit Blue Seas Express & Catering at 890 Joseph E. Boone Blvd Atlanta,

Solange’s new album ‘A Seat At The Table’ is food for the black soul

Photo: Columbia Records)

Photo: Columbia Records)

Black folks are constantly searching for liberation, whether at a party or a quiet sanctuary to unwind after an exhausting week of code-switching and news of another deadly hashtag.

Solange Knowles has just provided both.

With the release of her much-anticipated album A Seat At The Table, the 30-year-old R&B singer invites black folks to an exclusive sonic affair. Set to R&B-meets-pop soundtrack, this 21-track opus – eight of which are poignant interludes that help pace the narrative of the LP – is a safe space that allows us to let our hair down, explore our identity, clap back at incessant hair touchers, take aim at cultural appropriators and jam out however we want. We can cry and step away from the American horror story that is watching black bodies litter the streets at the hands of police brutality and systemic racism… because of this album.

Through her own journey to self-empowerment, the Texas-born, New Orleans-based singer creates room for us to rest, to reclaim our (black) power, and also gives us access to more than our sorrows. She has purposefully, or maybe unknowingly, dropped one of the most important albums of the year (for us).

With the help of breathtakingly artful packaging – a digital book filled with poems, lyrics and photography by Carlota Guerrero, including 86 limited-edition hard copies – the impressive follow-up to 2012’s True EP and 2013’s Saint Heron compilation album examines how black folks feel, a simple thing the world at large often ignores. This “confessional autobiography” and pilgrimage to self-empowerment delves into the emotional impact of the black experience, spanning from anger and confusion to joy. A host of musical titans and quiet wonders join Solo for the audio social, including Raphael Saadiq, Questlove, Tweet, Sampha, Andre 3000, Lil Wayne, Kelela, Master P and her mother, Tina Lawson. Tucked away in every nook of glittering production and melodious lyric are tinctures that help us deal with “the ways of the world” and salves for the deep, open wounds carved by past and present black pain in this country.

It’s the snippets found between songs where Solo emphasizes her messages of healing, especially (and most popularly) Mama Tina’s minute-long take on pro-blackness for “Interlude: Tina Taught Me.” “Because you celebrate black culture does not mean that you don’t like white culture or that you’re putting it down,” she explains. “It’s just taking pride in it.”

This isn’t the first time an artist has provided a timely musical backdrop for our current racial climate in recent years. Blood Orange’s Freetown Sound and ScHoolboyQ’s Blank Face both contribute to the larger discussion of race and culture. But unlike those offerings, the nuances of the black woman’s experience resonates masterfully. On “Don’t Touch My Hair,” she analyzes the invasion of black women’s biological symbol of pride, resistance and celebration, then offers “Interlude: Dad Was Mad” with Matthew Knowles and the subsequent Weezy-assisted “Mad” as a clear-headed explanation for our anger. “You got the right to be mad,” Solange sings.

Solange’s longtime display of activism has bloomed over time, from her natural, fluffy ‘fro to her Twitter rant rightfully aimed at New York Times’ Jon Caramanica to her most recent essay on her racist encounter at a Kraftwerk concert. However, the singer partly credits her newfound self-awareness to relocating to the Crescent City three years ago. “A huge part of me moving to Louisiana was to really have a moment of self-reflection and self-discovery,” she says in an interview with writer Judnikki Maynard and her mother Tina. “I’m a strong believer that in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you came from.”

No matter our black roots, A Seat At The Table brings us together as a whole to feast on a buffet of validation, reminders of our resilience and enough synth-driven funk (“Junie”) for us to dance away our suffering. It’s our soulfood. I’m talking collard greens, yams, macaroni and cheese and our grandmother’s honey baked ham. It’s permission to be us unapologetically, which isn’t just important – it’s imperative for our sanity. It’s exactly that place of self-care stated so plainly on the shimmeringly bass-heavy “Borderline.”

Our rightful place may never be acknowledged by the world at large, and Solange may not have the answers as she openly muses on “Where Do We Go.” But the beautifully crafted 52 minutes of protective space makes living while black a hell of a lot easier.

Can Diddy spark other black celebrities to donate to HBCUs?

sean-diddy-combs-360x240As October rolls around, we are nearing a very popular time in the African-American community — homecoming season. From Howard to FAMU to Spelman and Morehouse, it’s consistently been known as one of the most epic experiences for HBCU students, alum and visitors. But what happens during these weekend celebrations isn’t always the case for the remainder of the school year.

For nearly 200 hundred years, HBCUs have been a mainstay in the African-American community, providing educational opportunities when blacks were banned from attending predominately white institutions (PWIs).

But attending homecoming festivities every year without providing any financial contributions to one’s alma mater is the equivalent to buying a plant and refusing to water it. There’s a lot piling on top, but one can’t ignore some of the failing infrastructures of HBCUs — evidenced by several closures over the years — and if we don’t soon do something about it, we could eventually see them collapse.

It’s why Sean “Diddy” Combs’ recent $1 million donation to Howard University was so important. To be more specific, the donation was designed to specifically reach “anybody that can’t pay off his or her financial aid.” That’s a really popular move.

When someone of that celebratory status makes this kind of statement, it reminds us that we can make a difference within our own communities by retaining our own wealth. But we need more celebrities to step up to the challenge. Or equally as important — anybody who’s been a fan of, borrowed from or finds themselves immersed in black culture.

Despite many challenges, enrollment continues to increase at many HBCUs. HBCU Digest reports an enrollment increase in as many as 9 HBCUs, including South Carolina State University, where enrollment is up by 40 percent and Harris Stowe State University, which just welcomed its largest freshman class in school history.

Whether you or your kids decide to attend an HBCU or not, they’re the solution to many of the challenges our communities are facing. Education is a major pillar towards economic wealth and restoration in African-American communities. Attend an HBCU, graduate, get hired by those within your community, donate, start businesses in our communities, rebuild our local school systems that are often underfunded and neglected. Eventually, we will develop a system of restoration. And although I’m aware this has been done before with Black Wall Street, nearly 100 years later, we must rebuild.

Cheyney University in Pennslyvania is the oldest HBCU, dating back to 1837. It’s birthed such notable alumni as Robert Bogle, President/CEO of The Philadelphia Tribune, the oldest black newspaper in circulation today. There’s also Oprah Winfrey, a graduate of Tennessee State University; Toni Morrison, a Howard University alumna; DJ Envy, a graduate of Hampton University; and the late Bill Nunn, Morehouse class of ’76. The list of notable alumni goes on, but unfortunately, not the funding.

A Forbes article reports the top 10 HBCU endowments range from $38 million to $586 million, while the top 10 PWI endowments range from $6 billion to $32 billion. A $1 million donation by Diddy is a significant chunk of one of the top 10 HBCU endowments. And while enrollment is up significantly at many schools, without the proper funding and support in a time where budget cuts are higher than ever, we must make sure we take care of our own.

To be clear, it’s possible to both protest and make progress at the same time. It’s also possible to not be tied to any specific HBCU because of attendance,but rather out of obligation to your community. African-Americans are one of the few cultures who have historically, over the past few centuries, had very little direct ties to their ancestry. And although classrooms have intentionally wiped our history from textbooks, ignoring how slavers forcefully brought the majority of our people over unwillingly, there’s still so much to be done. The same call to action we’ve seen with the increase of investment into our black banks must also be contributed to our HBCUs.

It may be some time before we can compete with Dr. Dre’s $50 million donation, but if Diddy is any example of the progress we can make, anything’s possible. Imagine a world where financially contributing to our culture was just as cool as it is to profit from it.

Jay Z, Beyonce, Kanye, Kim, black athletes, actors and entrepreneurs… where ya’ll at?

Birth Of A Nation: Jewish Racism And Cinematic Bigotry

Amidst the growing racial unrest in a contentious political season—including race revolts by NFL stars, vicious antiimmigrant and Islamaphobic rhetoric and violence, and increasing White militancy— the mission of the original Birth of a Nation film seems to have been fully realized.

Amidst the growing racial unrest in a contentious political season—including race revolts by NFL stars, vicious antiimmigrant and Islamaphobic rhetoric and violence, and increasing White militancy— the mission of the original Birth of a Nation film seems to have been fully realized.

The new movie “The Birth of a Nation” is generating immense controversy, but is that firestorm also a deliberate diversion from the ugly history surrounding the 1915 motion picture of the same name?

In a vivid big-screen extravaganza, writer and director Nate Parker recounts the 1831 Virginia revolt led by the great Black freedom-fighter Nat Turner.

In so doing, Parker boldly snatched the iconic title from the 1915 silent film, a film that did more for White Supremacy than any other single cinematic force in America.

Amidst the growing racial unrest in a contentious political season—including race revolts by NFL stars, vicious anti-immigrant and Islamaphobic rhetoric and violence, and increasing White militancy—the mission of the original Birth of a Nation film seems to have been fully realized.

Around 1915, immigrants from Europe were flooding into an America still smarting from civil war and emancipation. The terrorist Ku Klux Klan of the 1860s and 1870s had done its job in forcing Blacks back onto the cotton plantations as sharecroppers; thus, when Reconstruction ended, the Ku Kluxers retired as heroes and were effortlessly absorbed into the American mainstream.

But forty years later, Blacks had had enough of the lynching and violence in force to keep them in their prescribed place at the bottom of White society and were becoming more vocal and militant in demanding their human rights. Whites were not going to tolerate this and so the KKK was re-formed in response. And the driving force behind the reconstituted Ku Klux Klan was the 1915 release of D.W. Griffith’s silent movie epic, The Birth of a Nation.

The movie adaptation of the Rev. Thomas Dixon’s book “The Clansman” was America’s first movie blockbuster, and it effectively presented the Klan’s racial philosophy as righteous, inspirational, and as American as apple pie. The Rev. Dixon’s book is filled with hateful passages like this gem:

“For a thick-lipped, flat-nosed, spindle-shanked Negro, exuding his nauseous animal odor, to shout in derision over the hearths and homes of white men and women is an atrocity too monstrous for belief. …We sink to his level if you walk as his equal in physical contact with him. His race is not an infant; it is a degenerate.”

Using revolutionary techniques in cinematography, the film captivated the White American imagination and transformed the Klan’s trail of hate crimes into a heroic heritage, all sold—in one viewing—to a massive international audience. As a silent movie it was far-reaching in its effect: Its hateful imagery reached immigrants of all languages and cultures and gave them their clearest orientation to America’s racial reality.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s 1991 publication Ku Klux Klan: A History of Racism and Violence accurately describes the significance of The Birth of a Nation:

“So powerful was the impact of the movie in 1915 that it is often credited with setting the stage for the Klan revival that same year. In fact, the man who actually created the 20th century Klan … used the publicity surrounding it to win recruits to his organization. … Birth of a Nation is so blatantly racist that it is rarely shown in public theaters today. … The racial hatred exhibited in the movie, once acceptable, is now abhorrent to all but the Klan and the most extreme bigots.”

According to scholar John C. Inscoe, Dixon stated openly that his purpose was “to create a feeling of abhorrence in white people, especially white women, against colored men” and that he hoped the film would accomplish his plan “to have all Negroes removed from the United States.”

The Jewish Role in Birth of a Nation

Most Black Americans would be shocked to learn that it was Jewish investors who financed the production of what the SPLC argues was the most racist movie ever made—a movie that glorifies anti-Black violence and deifies the Ku Klux Klan. The Jewish businessmen, nearly all of whom were mercantile Jews in Boston, could not have been deceived by the movie’s noted director D.W. Griffith, because they invested when the working title was The Clansman.

One writer said that the film’s effect was “to arouse in the audience a strong sense of the evil possibilities of the Negro” and that “Mr. Dixon had identified the Negro with cruelty, superstition, insolence and lust.” A Boston judge called the film “three miles of filth,” having no other purpose but to stir up the people of the North so that “they would consent to allowing the Southern programme of disfranchisement, segregation and lynching of the Negro.” Jews were undeterred.

According to Jewish film historian Neal Gabler, the Jewish investors “seemed less concerned about being tainted by the movies than they were about making a profit.”

The Jewish press was of like mind. The American Jewish World dismissed criticism of the film, calling it “a compliment to the black man of today.” The Pittsburgh Jewish Criterion extolled the “great” film in its October 1, 1915, edition. And why wouldn’t they? Like so many notable Southerners, Thomas Dixon was a violently anti-Black racist and an effusively admiring Judeophile. He considered the Jews “the greatest race of people God has ever created.” No parallel existed for the film and the publicity that attended it— until Adolf Hitler’s propaganda ministry began in Nazi Germany a generation later.

Jewish promoters greatly enhanced The Birth of a Nation’s distribution worldwide, and the greatest of the Hollywood movie studios, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), was started by the famous Jewish mogul Louis B. Mayer with the profits he earned from distributing the film on the East Coast.

President Wilson famously called the movie, “History written in lightning.”

The state with the most lynchings was Georgia. The movie opened in Atlanta on December 6, 1915, to rave reviews and general excitement. And most of that excitement was had by the owners of the Atlanta Theater, two Jews—Marcus Klaw and Abraham L. Erlanger—who held a virtual monopoly of theaters in the South. Incredibly, the opening of the movie took place just four months after the Georgia lynching of Jewish businessman Leo Frank, the only Jew ever lynched in America. They made a record $27,000 on the Atlanta showing of The Birth of a Nation ($650,000 today), the most ever in any Southern theater. It is they— Klaw and Erlanger—who staged the hate extravaganza requiring a crew of fifty men, including a full symphony orchestra. Thus 80,000 Georgians saw the most effective Ku Klux Klan recruitment film because Jewish businessmen made it possible.

The Jewish theater owners brought the movie back the next year, and at the opening 1,000 Klan admirers had to be turned away. They even cut the admission price in half so that local Atlanta school children could attend. And though Klaw and Erlanger were based in New York, prominent Jews in Atlanta assisted in the success of the engagement. The Jewish managing editor of the Atlanta Constitution, Jacob Gortatowsky, ran many stories trumpeting the film’s arrival, including a giant 2-page spread with a montage of all the glowing reviews by other newspapers.

Accompanying this collection of White newspaper movie reviews were large advertisements by Atlanta’s major Jewish retailers, such as Rich’s, Regenstein’s, and Myers & Miller stores, all displayed prominently next to a story about the local KKK meeting—on the Constitution’s society page. Rothschild’s shoes and L.C. Adler’s ties were advertised right below an article titled “Birth of a Nation Thrills Tremendous Atlanta Audience.” The Atlanta Journal advertised the film on the same page that it announced the 18 newly elected officers of the Jewish Progressive Club. Atlanta’s top pharmacy chain, the Jewish-owned Jacobs Drugstore, advertised that it would be selling Thomas Dixon’s novel The Clansman.

All of this is unsurprising, given the fact that thousands of Jewish soldiers fought for slaveholders in the American Civil War, and a Jewish owner of a 140-slave plantation—Louisiana’s Judah P. Benjamin—was not only the secretary of state for the Confederacy but also the financier of the original Ku Klux Klan.

No force in history had a greater effect in glorifying the Ku Klux Klan and imprinting on the world’s mind the negative image of the Black man than Griffith’s Jewish-backed KKK propaganda film. However, the new movie with the same name certainly intends to reverse the effect of the Jews’ 1915 “contribution” to American race relations.

In 2016, are those working so hard to undermine the revolutionary message of The Birth of a Nation, the very same people who in 1915 made the Black man the scorn of the world?

The Trouble with Tylenol and Pregnancy

25velasquez-master768If you’re a pregnant woman and have a backache or headache, or a fever, your options for over-the-ounter treatment basically boil down to one medication: the pain reliever acetaminophen, better known as Tylenol. Doctors advise against using nonsteroidal antiinflammatories, like ibuprofen and aspirin, during late pregnancy because they can compromise fetal circulation and have other adverse consequences.

But evidence has accumulated that, when taken during pregnancy, acetaminophen may increase the risk that children will develop asthma or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The elevated risk in most studies is small, and whether the drug itself is really to blame is debatable. But considering that more than 65 percent of pregnant
women in the United States use acetaminophen at some point during their pregnancy, the number of children with problems stemming from it could be substantial.

The odd thing about acetaminophen is that even after decades of widespread use, no one knows precisely how it blunts pain. But it has earned a reputation for strange side effects. Experiments indicate that it impedes people’s ability to empathize. It may undercut the brain’s ability to detect errors. When taken after a vaccine, it may suppress the immune system. Why might the drug affect both asthma and A.D.H.D. rates? Scientists have variously speculated that it could tweak the immune system during pregnancy, or disrupt hormones, or change growth factors in the developing brain. In short, no one knows.

The prevalence of asthma doubled between 1980 and 2000. At the same time, worries over Reye’s syndrome, a rare complication in children who take aspirin, led to a rise in the popularity of acetaminophen. On the basis of this circumstantial — and rather weak — evidence, 16 years ago, scientists at King’s College London proposed a link between rising acetaminophen use and the socalled asthma epidemic. Their reasoning was that acetaminophen depleted the body’s native antioxidant, called glutathione, spurring inflammation of the lungs.

Numerous studies followed showing an association with asthma, but they often relied on mothers’ potentially unreliable memories of what they took, or simply compared one group — mothers of asthmatic children, say — to a control group, a suboptimal study design.

Recently, however, much stronger studies showing a link have emerged. A study of Norwegian women and children published this year in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that prenatal acetaminophen use increased 7-year-olds’ risk of asthma by 13 percent.

Then, in August, a JAMA Pediatrics study on a British cohort noted that a mother’s use of the pain reliever in mid-pregnancy increased 7-year-olds’ risk of hyperactivity by 31 percent.

Of course, some familial trait may push people to reach for acetaminophen, and this quality, as opposed to the drug itself, may explain the increased risks. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. A mother’s use after she gave birth wasn’t associated with more problems in the British and Norwegian studies. Nor was a father’s.

Still, the authors are the first to note that perhaps they missed something. They don’t always know how much of the drug women take, or why they’re taking it. And there are reasons to think that the infections whose symptoms women might be treating with the pain reliever could themselves increase the risk of asthma and developmental problems. And yet these and some previous studies controlled for infections, and the association remained.

Not all of the research has confirmed the relationship. But at this point, the number of strong studies that do find a link are hard to overlook, and are unnerving.

Moreover, there’s evidence that the drug interacts more strongly with certain genotypes. Some of us carry gene variants that naturally alter the activity of the antioxidant glutathione, reducing its ability to detoxify. A 2010 study by Columbia University scientists found that, at age 5, the children with this variant, whose mothers had taken acetaminophen while pregnant, had double the risk of wheezing compared with children without the gene.

Five signs the black man you love is struggling with depression

(Photo: Fotolia)

(Photo: Fotolia)

At least seven percent of black men will experience severe depression during their lifetime, and their death rates by suicide are twice as high as those of black women, notes therapist Dr. Terrie M. Williams, author of “Black Pain: It Only Looks Like We’re Not Hurting.”

Williams, who is a friend of mine, also points out that black men abuse alcohol more than white men, white women and black women and are likely to adopt a “who cares” mentality to “guard against the disappointment of dashed hopes and lack of chances of being someone in a culture that at every turn says the color of your skin means you’re inferior, not worthy, or just nothing.”

Kid Cudi inspires hashtag for black men to talk about mental health

She adds, “It’s all about surviving, and trying to thrive, in a nation where biased views of black men stubbornly hang on decades after segregation and where statistics show a yawning gap between the lives of white men and black men.”

I often look back and try desperately to latch on to the minuscule, yet sometimes obvious, signs that someone is going through depression. Depression doesn’t recognize one gender over the other, but as men we tend to experience certain aspects of life that allow depression to crop up in our lives in very specific ways. Though each case is unique to the individual, there remain several factors that can be honed in on when attempting to recognize depression in the men in your life.

Here are the top five indicators that the black man you love may be suffering.

Fatigue and decreased activity

For people that have never experienced it firsthand, it is hard to truly grasp the exhaustive nature of depression. For many, their energy level decreases to the point that simple tasks seem utterly impossible. You know the notion that being depressed means lying in bed all day unable to get up? For some, that is an unfortunate reality, because they simply have no energy to do much else. It’s been commonly said that depression feels like a dark, wet blanket on the shoulders of those afflicted. This analogy is closer to reality than many people realize.

Loss of interest in activities

For many, the sheer exhaustion as mentioned above is enough to stunt any desire to pursue normal day-to-day activities, but there is also the added aspect of the loss of interest in things that typically would provide pleasure. Maybe it’s the weekly pickup basketball game or a favorite gaming activity. Many times, men are unable to bring themselves to continue doing even the simple pleasures of life.

Negative outlook on life

We all experience negative thoughts from time to time, but in the throes of depression, those thoughts are oftentimes amplified and can seem to permeate almost every aspect of life. Once these thought begin to creep into the mind of a depressive, it becomes a rollercoaster of emotions that can be hard to control. If you begin to notice this type of behavior, it can be depression rearing its ugly head.

Suicidal ideations

Suicide is what can only be described as the furthest extent of depression. Everyone who is depressed certainly does not consider suicide, but there are many that begin considering self harm and suicide as viable options while at the lowest points of their depressive episode. If a man in your life is comfortable enough with you to admit that he is having these thoughts, take them seriously and take action. (Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255)

Alcohol and drug abuse

Alcohol and drugs are often abused by individuals experiencing depression as a means of coping with their mental situation. Unfortunately, many men choose these methods over therapeutic or psychiatric solutions, because they think they can fix the problem themselves before asking for help. Unfortunately, depending on drugs or alcohol to feel better is only a quick fix, and it can create a vicious cycle of codependency on substances that cause much harm.

From what I have experienced since I was diagnosed four years ago, depression does not equate to a life that is a failure. Depression is a medical condition that – properly treated – can allow for full and prosperous lives. Those who suffer from depression are often unable to see the extent of their own circumstance. That’s why it is so important for family members and friends to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression. Once they do, a helping hand can be put forth. And that simple act could save the life of the man you love.

If you are in need of additional information or you may know someone that is in crisis, please visit the National Alliance On Mental Illness for resources and information that may help you (

Self-Regulation Helps Obese, Overweight Patients Shed Pounds

large-1464361501-837-woman-becomes-obese-after-fecal-transplant-from-overweight-donorOverweight and obese individuals lost more weight using an acceptance-based behavioral treatment compared with standard weight loss methods alone, according to a second substudy of The Mind Your Health trial.

The randomized study found a 36% clinically significant improvement in weight loss with behavioral interventions through promotion of self-regulating eating and activity skills, reported Evan M. Forman, PhD, of Drexel University in Philadelphia, and colleagues, inObesity.

Forman told MedPage Today that his group “had conducted several previous trials of acceptance-based weight loss treatment (ABT) that were encouraging.” They hypothesized that patients who learned the skills to self-regulate for “biological predispositions (e.g., a drive to consume high-calorie food) and the pervasive cues (e.g., the presence of food, television, cravings, anxiety, boredom),” would be the key to significant, sustained weight loss.

The 1-year trial enrolled 190 overweight and obese individuals (body mass index 27-50 kg/m2) and randomized them into a standard behavioral treatment (n=90) or acceptance-based treatment (n=100). The participants were involved in 25 small group teaching sessions throughout the course of the trial. Weigh-ins occurred at all group sessions, including baseline, 6-months, and conclusion.

While all participants were taught certain behavioral teaching interventions such as calorie counting, diet and exercise recommendations, the acceptance-based treatment group received supplementary training. They were educated on a combination of behavioral intervention skills, gathered from the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Relapse Prevention for Substance Abuse.

The study arm participants chose self-appointed goals, such as being an active grandparent or leading a healthier life. In addition, they were taught skills, which included “ability to tolerate uncomfortable internal states (e.g., urges, cravings, and negative emotions) and a reduction of pleasure (e.g., choosing to exercise instead of watch TV), behavioral commitment to clearly defined values (which is posited to increase motivation to persist in difficult weight control behaviors), and metacognitive awareness of decision-making process.”

By the end of the trial, the acceptance-based treatment group lost a greater percentage of weight after 1 year versus the standard care group (13.3% versus 9.8% P=0005).

The acceptance-based treatment group was also more likely to reach and maintain their goal of 10% weight loss throughout the length of the trial (64% versus 48.9%, P=0.04). The standard treatment group plateaued with less weight loss, and began to regain weight around week 35 of the trial, the authors reported.

“Very few treatments have been shown to be more effective than the current gold standard, which is behavioral weight loss treatment,” Forman told MedPage Today. “The fact that participants who received the acceptance-based treatment lost so much more weight than those assigned to behavioral weight loss treatment was very surprising to me.”

Factors the acceptance-based treatment group learned in training that may have indirectly aided in weight loss were “psychological acceptance of food-related urges and cravings and autonomous motivation,” the authors noted.

The trial also tested for moderating effects, including depression, susceptibility to food stimulation, and disinhibited eating. None of these variables resulted in a confounding effect. No adverse outcomes were reported during the study.

Study limitations included that fact that most of the participants came into the trial highly motivated, which may lessen how generalizable the results are. Future studies should examine the efficacy and success behind acceptance-behavior treatment, allowing for greater insight on the individual variables of motivation, the authors noted.
In an accompanying commentary, Thomas A. Wadden, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Robert I. Berkowitz, MD, of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, wrote “the weight loss for ABT is among the largest ever reported in the behavioral treatment literature, in the absence of using an aggressive diet or weight loss medication.”

Wadden and Berkowitz noted that the “elements of acceptance and commitment therapy” of the acceptance-based treatment added to the literature in a way no previous studies have done, resulting in greater initial weight loss. By focusing on the more valuable, long-term goals, over the immediate quantitate pound goal, long-term maintenance of a healthy lifestyle is more achievable, they stated.

“These findings are a boon to clinicians, dietitians, and psychologists as they add a new dimension to behavioral therapy that can potentially help improve long-term outcomes for people with obesity,” commented Steven Heymsfield, MD, spokesperson for The Obesity Society, said in a press release. “This study is one of the first of its kind, and offers promise of a new tool to add to the toolbox of treatments for overweight and obesity.”
The Mind Your Health project was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases .

Forman and one co-author disclosed relevant relationships with New Harbinger and Oxford University Press. One co-author disclosed relevant relationships with RDC Health Outcome Solutions.

EpiPen cost increases far exceed overall medical inflation

epipenpriceincreaseTotal Medicare part D spending on EpiPen auto-injectors rose from $7.0 million in 2007 to $87.9 million in 2014 – an increase of 1,151%, according to an analysis released Sept. 20 by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The number of EpiPen users also increased over that time, however, bringing with it a commensurate 159% rise in the number of prescriptions. Those two trends took the average cost of a single EpiPen prescription from $71 in 2007 to $344 in 2014, the Kaiser analysis showed.

That increase in cost per prescription did not fail to at least double overall medical care price inflation for each year from 2008 to 2014. In 2008, when the two trends were closest together, the EpiPen cost per prescription rose 7.4% from the year before, compared with 3.7% for overall medical spending. In 2014, Medicare part D’s cost for an EpiPen prescription rose 34% from the year before, which was 14 times higher than the 2.4% increase in total medical spending, Kaiser noted.

The analysis was based on a 5% sample of Medicare prescription drug event claims and included beneficiaries who had a least 1 month of part D coverage and one EpiPen prescription during the year. Estimates are not adjusted for inflation and do not include any possible manufacturer discounts, Kaiser said.

How High Blood Pressure May Hurt Children’s Brains


An increasing number of children have high blood pressure. Credit Bsip/UIG, via Getty Images

Increasing numbers of children have high blood pressure, largely as a consequence of their obesity. A growing body of evidence suggests that high blood pressure may impair children’s cognitive skills, reducing their ability to remember, pay attention and organize facts.

In the most comprehensive study to date, published on Thursday in The Journal of Pediatrics, 75 children ages 10 to 18 with untreated high blood pressure performed worse on several tests of cognitive function, compared with 75 peers who had normal blood pressure.

The differences were subtle, and the new research does not prove that high blood pressure diminishes cognitive skills in children. Still, the findings set off alarm bells among some experts.

“This study really shows there are some differences,” said Dr. David B. Kershaw, the director of pediatric nephrology at C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, who was not involved with the research. “This was not just random chance.”

Dr. Marc B. Lande, a professor of pediatric nephrology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and his colleagues had children tested at four sites in three states, matching those with and without high blood pressure by age, maternal education, race, obesity levels and other factors.

The researchers excluded children with learning disabilities and sleep problems, which can affect cognitive skills. Children with elevated blood pressure performed worse than their peers on tests of memory, processing speed and verbal skills, the researchers found. But all the scores were still in the normal range.

Because of increased obesity, elevated blood pressure, also called hypertension, is no longer rare in children, though it is underdiagnosed. In a recent survey, about 3.5 percent of 14,187 children ages 3 to 18 had hypertension.

“Most people don’t understand that cardiovascular risk factors — in this case, hypertension — can affect thinking and memory, and certainly they don’t think there could be an effect in childhood,” said Dr. Kristine Yaffe, a professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco, who has researched the effects of cardiovascular risk factors on cognition.

Dr. Lande and his colleagues noted that children with high blood pressure tended to have other risk factors that might negatively affect cognition, including insulin resistance and obstructive sleep apnea.

Children who had a formal diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea were excluded from the new study, but some adolescents with poor sleep participated. Dr. Lande said the study found “that the presence of hypertension made the effect of poor sleep on cognition even worse.”

Lower scores on cognitive tests do not necessarily indicate that a child is struggling in everyday life, experts cautioned.

“Yes, there are certain differences, but what they mean in terms of life functioning isn’t clear,” said Dr. Julie R. Ingelfinger, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a senior consultant in nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

But, she added, “We know from other studies that problems with memory, attention and cognitive function have a lot to do with how well you do in your job and at school.”

Children may be uniquely susceptible to cognitive deficits, Dr. Kershaw said. “One of my concerns is, if you have high blood pressure and you’re 10 to 18 years old, it may impact your cognitive function more than if you’re 40 or 50,” he said.

The areas of the brain that control executive function mature until a person’s early 20s. So the idea is that perhaps hypertension could hinder that function, Dr. Kershaw said.

Observational studies have shown that having high blood pressure in one’s early 40s to 60s increases the risk of cognitive decline later in life. Clinical trials have not shown, however, that controlling high blood pressure with drugs or lifestyle changes can prevent cognitive problems.

More research is needed to decipher whether treating children who have high blood pressure with dietary changes, exercise or medication could improve their cognitive ability. The work is already underway: The 75 children with hypertension in the latest study are being treated and followed for a year. The last child will finish the study early next year, Dr. Lande said.

“Then we’ll be able to know if subtle neurocognitive differences between hypertensive kids and the controls go away with treatment or not,” he said.

Dr. Ingelfinger applauded the “carefully done” research, but said she was more interested in seeing the follow-up research. “The most important thing is, if blood pressure is controlled, do these cognitive changes go away?”

Can We Rebuild Black Wall Street?

tulsa_race_riot_caro_original_28006Montoya Smith, host of the Atlanta talk show, “Mental Dialogue,” asked, “Can we rebuild ‘Black Wall Street?’”

“No, really,” he added, recognizing the depth of his question and assuring folks he was not kidding or just being rhetorical.

So, what was Black Wall Street? Most of what I have learned about it was obtained from a book by John Sibley Butler titled, “Entrepreneurship and Self-Help Among Black Americans, A Reconsideration of Race and Economics,” which
contains an exhaustive section on Tulsa, Oklahoma’s history and a detailed account of what took place in its Greenwood District. Some of the information below comes from Dr. Butler’s book. I also learned from face to face conversations with six of the survivors of the Tulsa Riot.

Black Wall Street was burned to the ground in 1921 by a White mob. The Greenwood District, located in the northern
section of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was once called “Negro Wall Street,” and “Little Africa.” It was home to hundreds of Black owned businesses and sat on valuable land desired by White oil speculators, who even tried to buy parcels of that land from Blacks for ten cents on the dollar immediately following the Tulsa riot. Fortunately and wisely, Blacks refused to sell.

Despite hundreds of Black lives lost in the riot and all of Greenwood’s businesses destroyed, the story of that economic enclave during the ensuing seventeen years was one of triumph over tragedy. By 1923, as a result of Blacks pooling their money to capitalize new enterprises, the Black business district was even larger than before, and Greenwood was completely restored by Black people by 1938. Ultimately, urban renewal and integration, which allowed Blacks to shop at non-Black stores, led to the demise of “Black Wall Street.”

To Amos Wilson’s point, Greenwood was a pyramid built by Blacks in the early 1900’s. Instead of looking back and merely reveling in the successes of Mound Bayou, Mississippi, and other enclaves that came before them, Black people in Greenwood built upon those legacies. Thus, my answer to the question posed by Montoya Smith, (Can we rebuild Black Wall Street?) was and is an emphatic and unequivocal, “Yes!”

My answer to that question is based on the fact that we have done it before under far worse circumstances than we are under today. But as I listened to the other guest on Montoya’s show, Mr. Jay West, entrepreneur and president of the Lithonia Small Business and Merchants Association located on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, I became even more convinced.

Immediately impressed by Mr. West and the work his group is doing in a city that is approximately 85 percent Black, I sought him out to learn more. Jay West understands and promotes local business support. “I do 95 percent of my shopping right here in Lithonia,” West said, “because I know that one dollar spent here has the multiplier effect of three dollars, as our businesses support one another.”

West is absolutely correct, and association will benefit collectively and individually from circulating their dollars. They will grow their businesses and create more jobs. This nascent organization can be the model from which new Black Wall Streets can be built across this nation. It is on track to encourage more entrepreneurship and demonstrate the power of a cohesive, mutually supportive, self-directed, and economically empowered network of conscious business owners and consumers who are committed to growth and sustainability.

True partnerships between educated consumers and business professionals in Black economic enclaves comprise the basis for real power in the marketplace, i.e. collective purchasing programs and affinity groups, revolving loan funds, business equity funds, and financial leverage to stimulate future growth. Lithonia is in that space right now, and there is plenty of room for more cities and segments within those cities to do the same.

To draw the discussion closer to home in Atlanta: “Can Sweet Auburn be sweet again?”

John Wesley Dobbs called Auburn Avenue the “richest Negro street in the world.” Suffering its own riot in 1906 that left 25 Black men dead, the Sweet Auburn neighborhood can also be restored, and with leaders like Jay West and others in Atlanta, I am confident that we will build more pyramids in the Black community.

The oppressive seeds of the Colin Kaepernick backlash

Boxer Jack Johnson was relentlessly reprimanded for his arrogance and opulent lifestyle. But what was the criticism really about? Václav Soukup/flickr

Boxer Jack Johnson was relentlessly reprimanded for his arrogance and opulent lifestyle. But what was the criticism really about? Václav Soukup/flickr

Ever since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he’s been in the media spotlight. Before every game, the TV cameras fixate on him as he kneels in protest. And with each passing week, more and more players around the league have joined him in an act of solidarity.

In addition to troves of internet trolls and media commentators, the fierce opposition has included a handful of NFL owners and a California police union that threatened to stop working at the home games. Even Donald Trump said his bit, suggesting that Kaepernick leave the country.

Some might think that Kaepernick’s words and actions, together with the subsequent backlash, represent a watershed moment. They don’t. Spanning back to America’s founding, there’s an entire history of blacks stepping outside of the social order – or protesting it – only to be told they can’t.

As a psychiatrist, I’ve long been interested in how racial identity affects mental health, and the chronic stress that racial minorities experience when they’re exposed to racist messages, particularly in the media. In the controversy swirling around Kaepernick, I see racially encoded messages about power, place and punishment of black people. Obviously, there’s a difference between antebellum lynching and social media outrage. But though the overt responses may have changed, the underlying hatred, disgust and impulses to punish prominent, “poorly behaved” black figures still remains.

Taming the black male?
During Reconstruction, blacks who stepped outside the social order risked their lives.

To enforce the racial hierarchy and police the boundaries of what blacks could say and do, whites often resorted to lynching. Although no one is exactly sure, it’s estimated that over 3,400 blacks were lynched or publicly murdered from 1882 to 1968. One of most famous examples was Emmett Till, who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for allegedly flirting with a white woman.

Economist Dwight Murphey has written that lynching was different from other forms of violence. Unlike, say, a domestic dispute or an act of revenge, it functioned to maintain the social order. It was, Murphey wrote, “motivated by a desire to vindicate the moral sense of community, and has as its target a specific person or persons.” In other words, it was used to enforce a racial hierarchy, foster a sense of community among whites, and ensure that black men knew their place.

Although the methods of lynching varied, it was common practice for white mobs, seeking to reaffirm the racial order, to hang or castrate the victim. (A number of psychoanalytic theories have sought to account for the phenomenon of castrations, but many scholars agree that castration served as the ultimate act of “taming” the black male, assuaging the fears and anxieties about uncontrolled black masculinity.)

As the number of lynchings decreased in the early 20th century, the mechanisms of enforcing the boundaries of black identity were reshaped. White majorities enforced social and civic confinement for most of the African-American community through redlining, voting restrictions and Jim Crow laws.

Jack Johnson put in his place
For the few black athletes who had become famous by the early 20th century, the boundaries of acceptable black behavior continued to be publicly policed through racist media portrayals, searing criticism and public outrage.

Boxer Jack Johnson, after defeating Tommy Burns in 1908 to become the first black heavyweight champion, was publicly shamed. One boxing magazine called him “the vilest, most despicable creature that lives.”

With his dominant beatings of his white opponents, brash personality and lavish lifestyle, Johnson was one of the first black celebrity athletes to defy the social mandate that a black man must be subject to the white man’s power. He was also often seen in public with white women, which was an appalling display for the time. After his defeat of Jim Jeffries (nicknamed the “Great White Hope”) in 1910, race riots broke out across the country. Some white men even committed suicide, resulting in the film of the fight being banned in many cities and states.

Johnson was eventually sentenced to one year in jail under the Mann Act, which had made it illegal to transport a woman “for the purposes of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose.” In truth, he had saved a young girl from a life of prostitution. Using trumped up charges, police had leveraged the woman into testifying against Johnson, and an an all-white jury convicted him on basis of train tickets he bought for her.

But in truth, this case was about punishing Johnson for disobeying the racial order inside and outside the boxing ring; even the Justice Department lawyers decried his relationship with a white woman.

After Johnson skipped bail and fled the country, civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois prophetically wrote:

“Why then this thrill of national disgust? Because Johnson is black. Of course, some pretend to object to Mr. Johnson’s character. But we have yet to hear, in the case of white America, that marital troubles have disqualified prizefighters or ball players or even statesmen. It comes down, then, after all to this unforgivable blackness.”

The Los Angeles Times essentially demonstrated Du Bois’ point when it wrote to the black community, following Johnson’s win over Jeffries, “Remember you have done nothing at all… Your place in the world is just what it was.”

Throughout the 20th century, the media continued to relegate black athletes to a place of inferiority. Examples include sportscaster Brent Musburger calling the 1968 Olympic protesters Tommie Smith and John Carlos “a pair of dark skinned storm troopers” and Time magazine featuring a cover that darkened O.J. Simpson’s face to make him appear more menacing during his murder trial. Then there were the countless media portrayals of Muhammad Ali as unpatriotic for refusing to be drafted.

Michael Jordan, submissive superstar
On the opposite pole are the black athletes who are widely embraced by the American public and media. Not surprisingly, they are deemed “acceptable” because they are docile and uncontroversial (at least, off the court or field).

Perhaps the best illustration of this phenomenon is Michael Jordan, the NBA star who is arguably responsible for the basketball league’s global popularity. He’s the perfectly packaged ambassador for the sport.

The media portrayed him as apolitical, tame and well-mannered – an acceptable black athlete who was “black but not really black.” Image-conscious corporate advisers had effectively divorced him from inner city, hip-hop culture, placing him opposite from other more “street” players like Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson, who was once described as the “living embodiment of hip hop in a basketball uniform,” a player who “refused to bend over backwards to accommodate the tastes of the mainstream.”

In 2011, long after Jordan’s playing career ended, a Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research study that measured appeal, public likability and awareness found that his personality attributes were off the charts: 93 percent of those surveyed said they liked him.

Yes, Jordan’s otherworldly talent explained a huge portion of his popularity. But it was arguably also due to his ability to be uncontroversial and seemingly disconnected from his race.

In 1990, when asked why he wouldn’t endorse Harvey Gantt, a black Democratic candidate for Senate in North Carolina, Jordan simply said, “Republicans buy shoes, too.” (In 2001, the Washington Post describedGantt’s opponent, Jesse Helms, as “the last prominent unabashed white racist politician in this country.”) When given the opportunity to use his power and influence, he reduced himself to a shoe salesman.

Prior to his murder trial, O.J. Simpson was another superstar that exhibited appropriate, acceptable forms of black behavior. He was lauded as “the first [black athlete] to demonstrate that white folks would buy stuff based on a black endorsement,” while the CEO of Hertz rent-a-car, which featured Simpson in a famous TV ad, said he thought of the star running back as “colorless.”

Then there was Tiger Woods, who, before his marital infidelities, was worshiped as “The Chosen One” in Sports Illustrated and “A Universal Child” due to his multiracial identity.

Like Jordan, they had stuck to the same script: be humble, grateful and – most importantly – nonthreatening to the racial order.

Where are we today?
Just months before the Kaepernick saga started to unfold, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton found himself, like Kaepernick, weathering criticism for not behaving appropriately. First he was celebrating too much in the end zone. Then, after he lost the Super Bowl,he didn’t act like a good enough sport.

Critics of black athletes often claim they have “character” concerns – that they’re bothered by arrogance or poor sportsmanship. But I wonder if the same social and psychological processes that fueled the phenomenon of lynching are the undercurrent of so much public disgust with Newton and Kaepernick.

As Newton told the Charolotte Observer earlier this year, “I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.”

It’s almost like there’s a reflexive visceral reaction toward successful black males who step outside their socially prescribed boundaries. There is evidence that supports the pervasiveness of racial attitudes in the American psyche. In the 1990s researchers at Washington University and Harvard College developed a test to measure implicit, or unconscious, bias for a number of characteristics, including race. When a large nationally representative sample of people took the test for racial bias, investigators found the majority of people had preference for whites over minorities.

Today no one can lynch a professional athlete, so the pressure to conform must be exerted more subtly. In this way, old expressions of racism are simply being recrafted and reshaped in modern, more socially acceptable forms.

Obama welcomes relatives of 1936 African-American Olympians

The families of 1936 Summer Olympians, foreground, including the family of four-time Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens, are recognized as they sit in the audience in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, during a ceremony where President Barack Obama honored the 2016 United States Summer Olympic and Paralympic Teams. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The families of 1936 Summer Olympians, foreground, including the family of four-time Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens, are recognized as they sit in the audience in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, during a ceremony where President Barack Obama honored the 2016 United States Summer Olympic and Paralympic Teams. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Relatives of Jesse Owens and America’s 17 other black athletes from the 1936 Olympics were welcomed to the White House on Thursday by President Barack Obama for the acknowledgement they didn’t receive along with their white counterparts 80 years ago.

Along with the relatives of the 1936 African-American Olympians, gloved-fist protesters Tommie Smith and John Carlos and members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams met the president and first lady Michelle Obama. Obama congratulated the Rio athletes, thanked Smith and Carlos for waking up Americans in 1968 and praised 1936 Olympians who made a statement in front of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.

After running down a list of accomplishments of U.S. athletes in Rio, Obama singled out some people who “paved the way” for the current diverse Olympic team, including Owens, Smith and Carlos.

Owens winning four gold medals and being snubbed by Hitler is a piece of American history, but Obama made sure to note that the accomplishments at the 1936 Berlin Olympics weren’t just about him.

“It was other African-American athletes in the middle of Nazi Germany under the gaze of Adolf Hitler than put a lie to notions of racial superiority — whooped ’em and taught them a thing or two about democracy and taught them a thing or two about the American character,” Obama said. “We’re honored to have many of their families here today.”

Eighteen family members were in attendance, representing nine 1936 Olympians. Owens, Ralph Metcalfe, Jack Wilson, John Brooks, Tidye Pickett, Louise Stokes, James LuValle, Fritz Pollard Jr., John Woodruff, Mack Robinson, Dave Albritton, Archie Williams, Cornelius Johnson, James Clark, Howell King, Art Oliver, Willis Johnson and John Terry combined for 14 of America’s 56 medals in Berlin.

Sprinter Allyson Felix, who won gold in Rio in the 400 and 1,600-meter relays and silver in the 400 and has nine Olympic medals, said afterward she was glad to meet some of the relatives of 1936 Olympians and hear their stories.

“It’s been just so moving, so inspiring,” Felix said. “We’re just honored to be able to share this moment with them.”

They also shared it with Smith and Carlos, who made their own American history 48 years ago when they raised their gloved fists on the medals stand at the Mexico City Olympics after the 200 in what they called “a human rights salute.”

“We’re proud of them,” Obama said. “Their powerful silent protest in the 1968 Games was controversial, but it woke folks up and created greater opportunity for those that followed.”

United States Olympic CEO Scott Blackmun said Wednesday night that the historic White House visits were meant in part to “pay tribute to all the progress that has come since.” That progress was on full display as part of the president’s remarks.

Obama pointed out that the diversity of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team was part of what made it successful. He singled out swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky and others, but the first four medalists he mentioned were gymnast Simone Biles, shot putter Michelle Carter, swimmer Simone Manuel and boxer Claressa Shields, all of whom are black.

He also recognized Ibtihaj Muhammad, the fencer who became the first U.S. female athlete to compete in the Olympics in a hijab.

“Imagine what it means for a young girl or a young boy who sees somebody who looks like them doing something and being the best at what they do,” Obama said. “There’s no kid in American who can’t look at our Olympic team and see themselves somewhere.”

Owens said in interviews over the years that in 1936 President Franklin Roosevelt never sent him any words of congratulations or an invitation to the White House.

Marlene Owens Rankin and Beverly Owens Prather represented their father Thursday. Granddaughter Marlene Dortch said Tuesday night that her family members and others going to the White House to see Obama would have made her grandfather “so happy.”

Obama was happy that the final U.S. Olympic team he’ll host at the White House not only dominated the medal count but did so with so many different kinds of athletes.

“One of the wonderful things we love when we see our Olympians is everybody’s from all kinds of different backgrounds and shapes and sizes,” Obama said. “There’s something special about that.”

An African mother agonizes over the police killing of her son

Alfred Olango

Alfred Olango


‘I Thought A Nice Country Like This Would Protect Us’

EL CAJON, Calif.—The name Alfred Olango has been added to the list of those who were fatally struck down by bullets fired by police officers in questionable circumstances.

And while this victim may have been an African immigrant from the Motherland, the anguished cries of his family members, his sister, his mother, mirror those of their Black brethren suffering for centuries inside of America

Community leaders, activists, and residents, stunned and angered by the Sept. 27 shooting, are again demanding answers and unhappy with the response of authorities.

“My son was a good, loving, young man; only 38 years old. I wanted his future to be longer than that. I wanted him to enjoy his daughter,” lamented his mother Peggy Benge during a press conference two days after his death hosted by the National Action Network.

She is another Black mother thrust into the national movement against police killings of Black and Brown men in the United States.

“I have been seeing all this praying for all the mothers and fathers that have lost their loved ones exactly like mine. I pray that things should be different. … It keeps going,” the mother sobbed.

She wants the El Cajon Police Department to release a full videotape of the incident. So far, police only released a still photo taken from a video, in attempts to litigate the case in the media, charged Dan Gilleon, the family’s attorney.

The FBI, local police and San Diego District Attorney will investigate the shooting, according to Mayor Bill Wells.

“How painful it is to lose the loved one that you have raised through struggling,” Ms. Benge said, often clutching her chest with her right hand.

Yes, we are refugees, but that is no justification for killing my son, she said, addressing media’s emphasis on the family citizenship status.

She also dispelled reports that her son was mentally ill.  He couldn’t handle a friend’s suicide and broke down, she said.

Mr. Olango’s sister said she called 911 three times. She wanted someone to help her brother, help calm him down, not kill him.

It took police 50 minutes to arrive, but just one minute to gun him down, according to family attorneys.

Police said they received calls of a man who was “not acting like himself.” He was walking in traffic, endangering himself and motorists, an El Cajon Police Department press release said.

His hands were in his front pocket, and he ignored their commands to take them out, police said. Police said Mr. Olango swiftly drew something from his pants pocket and went into what appeared to be a shooting stance. Officer Richard Gonsalves shot Mr. Olango five times, but another officer tasered him. Who acted first is still unknown, according to Atty. Gilleon.

Atty. Gilleon argued the police department was supposed to dispatch a Psychiatric Emergency Response Team trained to deal with people with mental illness, but didn’t.  He told Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, that Off. Gonsalves, sued last year and in August for sexual harassment against a fellow officer, is a cowboy who took matters into his own hands and escalated the situation.

It turns out Mr. Olango was holding a vape smoking device.

Ms. Benge has maintained her son had no weapon. She explained her family fled from a war zone for protection.  She didn’t want their children running in fear every night, sleeping in the bush.

Yes, we are refugees, but that is no justification for killing my son, she said, addressing media’s emphasis on the family citizenship status.

She also dispelled reports that her son was mentally ill.  He couldn’t handle a friend’s suicide and broke down, she said.

Mr. Olango’s sister said she called 911 three times. She wanted someone to help her brother, help calm him down, not kill him.

It took police 50 minutes to arrive, but just one minute to gun him down, according to family attorneys.

Police said they received calls of a man who was “not acting like himself.” He was walking in traffic, endangering himself and motorists, an El Cajon Police Department press release said.

His hands were in his front pocket, and he ignored their commands to take them out, police said. Police said Mr. Olango swiftly drew something from his pants pocket and went into what appeared to be a shooting stance. Officer Richard Gonsalves shot Mr. Olango five times, but another officer tasered him. Who acted first is still unknown, according to Atty. Gilleon.

Atty. Gilleon argued the police department was supposed to dispatch a Psychiatric Emergency Response Team trained to deal with people with mental illness, but didn’t.  He told Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now, that Off. Gonsalves, sued last year and in August for sexual harassment against a fellow officer, is a cowboy who took matters into his own hands and escalated the situation.

It turns out Mr. Olango was holding a vape smoking device.

Ms. Benge has maintained her son had no weapon. She explained her family fled from a war zone for protection.  She didn’t want their children running in fear every night, sleeping in the bush.

I’m Not Buying Gov. Nathan Deal’s Takeover Sales Pitch

Rev. Chester A. Ellis is Pastor of the Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church. He is deeply involved in his community, and is certified as a Teacher Support Specialist and Mentor for Student Teachers by the state of Georgia.

Rev. Chester A. Ellis is Pastor of the Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church. He is deeply involved in his community, and is certified as a Teacher Support Specialist and Mentor for Student Teachers by the state of Georgia.

Gov. Nathan Deal is working hard to sell the voters on what he calls an Opportunity School District. But this is an opportunity that Georgia should not take.

The governor recently made a pitch to 29 African-American ministers in the basement of the mansion. No media were present. But I was one of those ministers.

If Amendment 1 was about education and opportunity for our communities and children, we could at least hold a logical discussion about evidence-based solutions. As a retired educator and community activist, it is very clear to me that the governor’s Opportunity School District is not about education or the community. He has no plan or road map to improve schools.

Gov. Deal was looking for our support. He told us, “I need your help.” But we left with more questions than we had answers. It truly is a takeover — the extent of which is unclear to many voters.

There’s really no plan. At best, it was guesswork.

I was disappointed. I thought the governor would be able to lay out his plan in detail. But, what I got from the governor is that he’s making it up as he goes. There’s really no plan. At best, it was guesswork.

Bishop Marvin L. Winans, who has a charter school in Detroit, was the first to speak to us. Brother Winans is a minister and an award-winning gospel singer. He does not live in Georgia. Marvin talked about why he had established his school in Detroit and why he thought it was a good idea that the governor was willing to do something to help failing schools. But we didn’t have a chance to have a dialogue with the bishop, ask questions or shed light on anything here in Georgia for him. He left for a concert, almost as quickly as he appeared!

Afterward, the governor followed with a spiel about why he thought he needed to take over the schools and why the black clergymen needed to be in support of Amendment 1, the Opportunity School District. He then opened the session up for questions.

I asked him, “What is the student-to-teacher ratio per class of all the schools on your list for takeover?” He said he did not have the answer to that question.

My rationale for asking that question was that research tells us the ideal pupil-to-teacher ratio should be 18-to-1, and the further schools and classrooms go past that recommended ratio, the more they are setting students up for failure. Districts need resources to address that problem. The A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000 provided such resources. In fact, this governor has taken more resources from our public schools. Gov. Deal added that he needed to do more research on that issue, so I invited him to do that and gave him some websites he could Google.

I also asked the governor if all of the schools that are having trouble, as defined by him, are predominantly African-American schools. He replied, “not so much,” but that when they looked at schools that were failing, they looked at schools that were in a cluster. And, he also said that the ministers summoned to the meeting were invited more for being in those identified clusters of schools.

One of my colleagues asked the governor for the specifics of his Opportunity School District plan. Gov. Deal replied that he was using different models; two of the models he mentioned were the Louisiana Recovery School District and the Tennessee Achievement School District. Then the question was raised about both of those states having backed away from the models because they failed to accomplish their achievement goals. In fact, indicators prove that New Orleans is worse off now. The governor replied, “We are going to look at what they did wrong, and correct their mistakes so that ours will be right. You know, we have to do something. We are willing to try this; and then if it doesn’t work, we are willing to work on what doesn’t work and straighten it out.” The problem with the governor’s logic is that he is asking the voters to change the state’s constitution. We can’t back up if the voters do that!

The governor says OSD is a “plan in the works.” So I urged him to use Massachusetts as a model rather than the models from Tennessee or Louisiana, which both have failed.

According to a recent article in Education Week, scholars at the Atlanta-based Southern Education Foundation and the Philadelphia-based Research in Action organization found that some states are proposing to mimic “opportunity school district” takeover models despite evidence that prototypes of these models have gone awry. The esteemed Education Weekreports that imitating these models is not an appropriate prescription for providing support for schools that need it.

His Opportunity School District has no facts and no plans to improve schools. This is an opportunity that citizens can’t afford to take.

Massachusetts put its plan in place with on-the-ground, in-the-classroom education practitioners. Legislators met with them and applied the educators’ advice and professional know-how. They set out on a course working together and didn’t change the course until they got the results they were striving for. They now have one of the most celebrated and better school systems in the country. I asked the governor why his planners didn’t look at that type of successful model.

He replied, “It’s because of demographics.” I responded that, clearly, Massachusetts doesn’t look like Georgia, but education isn’t rocket science. … It requires an understanding of what you are working with. I also referenced just one of our state’s many successful public school models: Woodville Tompkins Technical and Career High School in Savannah. I’m a graduate of that school, and I have worked since 2006 with the school and the community. It is an award-winning school in many disciplines.

For the past two years, Woodville Tompkins has had a 100 percent graduation rate. The school has been cited as being one of the top 30 programs worldwide in robotics. There is a way to turn schools around, and it doesn’t require a constitutional amendment. I don’t see the need. It takes a little elbow grease and total involvement from parents, community and legislators to sustain evidence-based solutions and models that already are working.

I don’t buy the governor’s program or plans. He’s selling the public on a quick fix. I think the governor has some friends who think they have carte blanche when it comes to education — that it’s something they can make money off of; it’s about the money, not about the children. The legislation doesn’t even define what a failing school is. The governor has spent little or no time educating the public on the 13 pages that compose all of the little devils in his plan per Senate Bill 133. He is spending lots of time, though, selling his plan.

The governor is a lame duck, yet he’s asking citizens to trust him blindly and give him all the power over their schools, public property, pocketbooks and children by changing the constitution.

I thanked the governor for inviting me, but I told him before I left that there are too many uncertainties and too many unanswered questions to go before my congregation and say we should support this. I’m not comfortable with the governor’s answers or his solutions. His Opportunity School District has no facts and no plans to improve schools. This is an opportunity that citizens can’t afford to take. It is all about the money. It’s just that simple.

A historic endorsement: The Atlantic backs Clinton, scared of Trump

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looks up to audience members as she leaves a campaign event at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nev., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looks up to audience members as she leaves a campaign event at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nev., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The magazine had only endorsed 2 presidential candidates since its inception, Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon B. Johnson

Donald Trump joins a long list of presidential nominees who have failed to impress The Atlantic.

Since its founding in 1857, the policy magazine had only endorsed two candidates for the presidency: Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon B. Johnson. Hillary Clinton became the third candidate on Wednesday when The Atlantic posted its endorsement online.

“Hillary Rodham Clinton has more than earned, through her service to the country as first lady, as a senator from New York, and as secretary of state, the right to be taken seriously as a White House contender,” The Atlantic editors wrote for their November 2016 issue.

After providing a brief history of its past endorsements, The Atlantic shared the same views of the 2016 general electorate.

“We are impressed by many of the qualities of the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, even as we are exasperated by others, but we are mainly concerned with the Republican Party’s nominee, Donald J. Trump,” the magazine wrote.

Throughout this campaign season, Trump has bemoaned his relationship with the media, often accusing news outlets of having a bias, left-leaning point of view. According to Trump, journalists are among the “worst people” in America.

The feeling appears to be mutual.

The Atlantic joins a growing number of publications, including conservative newspapers, that have endorsed Hillary Clinton over her opponent.

The reputed magazine expressed confidence in Clinton, while calling Trump “the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency.”

The Atlantic then listed a litany of defects it sees in Trump, including his “admiration for authoritarian rulers,” and his trafficking of “conspiracy theories and racist invective,” and his “erratic, secretive, and xenophobic” personality, and his objection to “fact-based discourse” and the Constitution, as some of the reasons why Trump is a historically bad candidate.

“If Hillary Clinton were facing Mitt Romney, or John McCain, or George W. Bush, or, for that matter, any of the leading candidates Trump vanquished in the Republican primaries, we would not have contemplated making this endorsement,” The Atlantic wrote.