WHAT: Macy’s is holding a National Holiday Hiring event on Thursday, October 22, to fill seasonal positions at stores, call centers and distribution and fulfillment centers, including more than 700 holiday opportunities in Maryland. A variety of opportunities are available with competitive pay, access to flexible scheduling, bilingual work environment, merchandise discount and the opportunity to earn additional bonuses.

New this year to provide a safe and convenient hiring experience, Macy’s will conduct all interviews for in-store opportunities by phone. The quick and convenient process allows seasonal candidates tointerview from wherever. To support Macy’s convenient shopping experience, stores will also offer a new, versatile role focused on picking and packing contact-free curbside pickup and same-day delivery orders.

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 22 (local time)

HOW: Prior to the national hiring event, candidates are encouraged to submit applications online to receive a response via email. Candidates can apply online 24/7 nationwide. Open positions and additional information are available at

MORE: Macy’s strives to be an employer of choice in every location it does business. Some highlights of Macy’s seasonal hiring program include:

Applicants often receive an offer the same day they apply.

Macy’s migrated approximately 1,000 seasonal positions from 2019 to permanent positions.

Approximately one third of Macy’s store leadership colleagues started their careers at Macy’s during the holiday season.

The average length of service among Macy’s, Inc. professional and hourly colleagues is 10 years and 7 years, respectively.

Macy’s is strongest when it represents the many communities it serves. Macy’s is committed to providing a safe and inclusive workplace by embedding diversity and inclusion into how colleagues think, act and operate. More information about Macy’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives is available at

The health and safety of Macy’s colleagues and customers is always our top priority. Macy’s has implemented enhanced safety and wellness procedures to help alleviate any potential health concerns, following the Centers for Disease Control’s recommended protocol. This includes enhanced cleaning of heavily touched surfaces such as equipment, countertops, break rooms, restrooms, vertical transportation, entrances and colleague work areas. Additionally, Macy’s provides colleagues with face masks to help prevent the spread of the COVID19 virus and conducts daily wellness checks which include asking a series of recommended questions and temperature checks to support a safe working environment. Macy’s encourages colleagues to continue to follow the CDC recommended everyday measures and will remain vigilant and partner with local and state officials.

CONTACT: Jacqueline King, Macy’s Media Relations –

Maryland Department of Health announces new community-based partnership to enhance statewide vaccination efforts

Baltimore— The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced the Maryland Partnership for Prevention (MPP) as its community partner in an enhanced statewide initiative to promote and facilitate childhood and flu vaccination activities throughout the fall. The effort will also support COVID-19 vaccination activity, in preparation for when a vaccine becomes available. “It has never been more important to take care of our health and our families by protecting ourselves against preventable disease,” said MDH Secretary Robert R. Neall. “We’re committed to investing in the outreach and logistics necessary to help ensure more Marylanders get vaccinated safely, swiftly and effectively.”

The $1.5 million project is a unique coordinated statewide effort to support all local health departments and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) with technology, staffing and logistical support through PrepMod, a new online resource that will be used to schedule clinics; track equipment needs; and report vaccination activity.

The effort also includes communications, outreach and vaccination clinics in areas showing the most significant vaccination rate declines, made possible through a Pfizer Foundation grant, announced in July.

MPP is the adult immunization coalition for Maryland and is the parent organization of the Maryland Childhood Immunization Partnership (MCIP) and regional immunization coalitions across the state. MDH has previously partnered with MPP to assist with school-based flu and back-to-school immunization clinics. MPP has also worked with a number of local health departments in years past.

Marylanders can visit, a free and secure online portal where users can access official copies of their vaccination records and those of their family members. To schedule an appointment your local health department’s vaccination clinic, Marylanders can also visit:

Prospering during the pandemic but is Zoom here to stay?

Remember when Bill Gates started Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg opened Facebook?

While it’s widely known that Microsoft and Facebook started respectively in the 1980s and 2000s, not a lot of signifi- cance was given to the start of these now multi-billion-dollar companies. It appears Zoom will follow in their footsteps.

The nine-year-old virtual platform became popular when the coronavirus pandemic began as the platform for not only the home for business meetings but social and religious gatherings, education, and events like weddings and funerals.

MSN reported that Zoom has a market cap of $129 billion and is now worth more than IBM and twice as valuable as VMware. In 2019, CEO Eric Yuan had a net worth of about $3 billion. Today, Forbes places Yuan’s “San Francisco, Cleveland, the United Kingdom. We’ve had visitors from everywhere,” one member said.

Dennis Bell, the founder and CEO of Byblos noted that, “even after the pandemic, Zoom will be a part of everyone’s daily life. It’s a convenient way to reach out to people, especially those who are far from you.”

“Regardless of the time zone differences, you can easily communicate effectively. It provides a lot of opportunities to interact virtually with your team. Zoom can also record videos that allow you to store and have access to it whenever needed. It is also a convenient way to replay a part of your meetings for recording purposes. Zoom was here even before the pandemic, and it is likely here to stay and be a part of the business and people’s lives,” Bell said.

Erik Rivera, the CEO of the online telehealth platform, ThriveTalk says he currently attends as many as 20 Zoom meetings per week. Rivera said the video chat platform is facilitating his business. “As we have moved our operations model entirely online, moving forward, I can only predict that this number will stay high,” Rivera said. Mark Hayes, the head of marketing atvalue at approximately $20 billion.

In its most recent earnings report, the company said revenue over the last quarter increased a whopping 355 percent from a year earlier, as many companies struggle to stay afloat with the deadly pandemic still raging. And, if there were any doubt that Zoom is here to stay, business owners and many users in and around Baltimore say they are committed for the long haul.

Alcoholics Anonymous leaders in the city say they’ve taken measures to ensure the security of their zoom meetings because they believe they’ll be using the platform for some time.

The group hosts 800 meetings each week, and many say Zoom has opened Baltimore’s gatherings to a much larger audience. the advice and tutoring company, Kintell, said he’s also attending countless Zoom meetings and believes they’re here to stay. “At this point, it went from a novelty to standard procedure,” Hayes declared. “In my view, the coronavirus taught the world that a lot of roles could be carried out remotely, for better or for worse.”

There are skeptics, however. Although Martin Seeley called Zoom the best alternative to roundtable meetings during COVID-19 and has helped companies adjust to the new normal of communications, he doesn’t believe it’ll remain popular.

“After the pandemic, it will have a great decline in sales because people still prefer traditional face-to-face meetings instead of virtual meetings,” said Seeley, the CEO of MattressNextDay.

“It just happens that companies needed alternative ways to conduct business meetings, and they have discovered Zoom as the best tool for virtual communication.”

David Walter, a local electrician, agreed. “While I do see Zoom as a major part of business and life in the short-term, I don’t see that as lasting,” Walter opined. “It will still be popular because I think a lot of folks didn’t understand all of the benefits, but hopefully, as this virus continues to fade, and if we get an effective vaccine, I think you’ll see somewhat of a return to in-person meetings.”

Republican connected tech firm targeted black voters on facebook for ‘deterrence’

A database built by Cambridge Analytica, the Republican-aligned firm that shut down over allegations of improper use of Facebook data, targeted Black voters for “Deterrence” in profiles prepared for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign according to reporting by Great Britain’s Channel 4 News. It had already been known that Black voters were focused on disenfranchisement by the Trump campaign and Russian interference. But the new report outlined that 3.5 million Black Americans were profiled specifically in a new digital form of social media-driven voter suppression for ‘deterrence’ by the Trump campaign. What this also reveals is that in 2016 Facebook allowed this to take place. In 2016 many Black voters said that they wanted to stay home on Election Day.

“The ‘Deterrence’ project can be revealed after Channel 4 News obtained the database used by Trump’s digital campaign team— credited with helping deliver his shock victory to become president four years ago. Vast in scale, it contains details on almost 200 million Americans, among more than 5,000 files, which together amass almost five‐ terabytes of data— making it one of the biggest leaks in history. It reveals not only the huge amounts of data held on every individual voter, but how that data was used and manipulated by models and algorithms,” the new investigative report from Channel4 revealed.

Over 3.5 million Black Americans were marked for ‘deterrence.’The digital arm of Trump’s 2016 digital team, called ‘Project Alamo’ included a team from the now defunct British company Cambridge Analytica. Two senior directors of the former Cambridge Analytica team are now working on the Trump 2020 campaign for The White House.

Voter suppression has become mainstream policy for the Republican Party in America. Efforts to suppress the vote became mainstream after the election of the first Black President of the United States, Barack Obama, in 2008.

Voter suppression efforts that disproportionately target Black voters include requiring certain IDs at the polls, shutting down polling locations in predominantly Black areas and polling hours that make it difficult for working class Americans to participate.

Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 2.8 million votes. In certain states, such as Wisconsin, the margin was thin. Hillary Clinton won the most votes but lost the Electoral College and Trump won four years in the White House.

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at and on twitter at @LVBurke

Morgan State University designated as new historic site

Baltimore— The American Physical Society (APS) has designated Morgan State University and the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota as Historic Sites. Each site will receive a plaque acknowledging its exemplary contributions to physics.

“As an institution rooted in the marvels of discovery and enlightenment, Morgan State University has long served as a haven for the nation’s Black scientific community—as well as a top producer of African-American graduates with degrees in STEM,” said David K.Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “We are truly honored to be designated an Historic Site by the American Physical Society. This notable distinction not only acknowledges Morgan’s early contributions to modern physics, but also our unrelenting commitment as an R2 classified doctoral research institution to cultivating tomorrow’s STEM leaders.”

The APS citation reads: “On April 28, 1977, Morgan State University became the birthplace of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). Its founders sought to promote the professional well being of African American physicists within society at large and within the international scientific community. They have successfully mentored young Black students to increase their representation in physics and technology. Their persistent professional devotion to inclusion has produced the largest national organization that actively supports African American physicists.”

In 2016, the National Trust for Historic Preservation today named Morgan State University a National Treasure, the only such honor for a college or university campus in the United States.

The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Staying Positive on The Eastern Shore

Wake up. Brush your teeth. Get ready for school. Check your emails. Fill out a health survey. Get your temperature checked before walking onto campus. For many students across the country, this is the new norm.

Ask Jeremy Korie, 25, a senior at The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). He will tell you this is his everyday routine while trying to graduate during the global pandemic. Korie is a Computer Engineering major who has been infatuated with computers and technology his whole life. From taking them apart to putting them together, Korie says he can do it all.

For Korie and possibly many others in a technology focused major, COVID-19 has reassured him that he has chosen the right path. He wants to work in a computer-based field after graduation, so seeing the world depend solely on technology to survive everyday life gives him a glimpse at what the foreseeable future may look like.

“COVID basically showed that technology is needed for almost anything. Without it, there would be no Zoom calls. There would be no remote classes,” Korie said.

Even though Korie is convinced he made the right choice for his major, he said it is hard to stay motivated sometimes. Like many students, he feels isolated because he cannot have roommates on campus. The learning is quite different. He said a few of his professors are nervous due to fears of teaching face-to-face.

“You grow up your whole life doing all your work in school, in-person, and out of nowhere, it’s like you’re forced to do everything remotely. It’s not the same,” Korie said. He added, “In my case, it’s harder to focus. It’s too much stuff going on to remember each time for multiple classes, and then you’re not really learning stuff directly.”

According to the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research, which surveyed more than 40,000 college students at 118 U.S. institutions and nearly 10 thousand faculty members, 70 percent of students preferred mostly or complete face-to-face instruction environments, while 73 percent of professors preferred face-to-face classes.

Korie, is still in search of his new norm, but is determined to get the job done. What works for him is going to the gym and listening to his favorite music when not studying for classes. Despite the circumstances, Korie said he has come too far to let anything stop him now. That extra dedication and effort is even noticed by his friends on campus.

“I’ve seen him take summer classes and work hard every break to pay off classes to graduate. He made it this far and nothing is in his way from getting his degree,” said 23-year-old Criminal Justice Major Shaquille Smith.

This experience has impacted Korie so much, he feels like he could give a lecture helping other students who might have questions about how to stay motivated when faced with adversity. If he could drive home one point though, that point would be simple: keep up with what is going on with COVID-19 while also staying focused on the task at hand.

STAR celebrates 30 years of addressing health disparities in Baltimore

Sisters Together And Reaching, Inc. (STAR), a faith-based, nonprofit community organization that provides spiritual support, direct services, and prevention education to HIV/AIDS infected, and affected African-American women and men, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. And many who have worked with the organization like Randi Woods, say the celebration wouldn’t be possible without STAR’s founder, the Rev. Debra Hickman.

Rev. Debra Hickman, founder and CEO of STAR

Aisha Butler/Jazzy Studios

Rev. Debra Hickman, founder and CEO of STAR

“She has employed 300 people over 30 years, and she’s created space for nurses, doctors, and public health students to gain real life experience,” said Woods, a registered nurse who serves as the nonprofit’s senior director of community care coordination. Woods added that Hickman, affectionately known as “Rev. Debbie,” has formed relationships within the community and large health systems.

STAR counts as a community faith- based nonprofit that Hickman founded in 1991 to serve the Greater Baltimore HIV/AIDS community.

Since its inception, STAR has been a premiere advocate addressing health disparities among African American men, women, and their families living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases in Baltimore City.

Located in the heart of Charm City, STAR has been a service provider of comprehensive care coordination and support services to thousands of individuals and families – creating healthy generational behaviors withstanding time.

Woods noted that STAR services include, but aren’t limited to, preventative testing, health promotion prevention education, patient advocacy, and comprehensive, holistic care management.

“Through time, STAR has developed multiple collaborative partnerships with traditional and non-traditional partners to continue working effectively with high-risk communities addressing traditional and non-traditional aspects of living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases,” Woods stated. “Along with our partners, our future legacy of community engagement, prevention education, and community impact will serve as a pillar for every person serviced through our programs.”

Born and raised in Baltimore, Hickman’s parents migrated from the South searching for work and more opportunities for their children.

As the oldest of two children, Hickman learned early how to handle business affairs as her parents had limited education.

“When Rev. Debbie started STAR, she was working a full-time job and was leading a very small team of women volunteers from churches around the city,” Woods said. “Since that time, she has remained committed to advocating for justice in healthcare for the men and women of Baltimore City.”

Hickman has served on the Mayors HIV Commission and is a two-time appointee by the White House Secretary of Health to serve on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Heath Resources Service Administration Advisory Council (CHAC).

She also has worked as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 1999, Hickman was selected to be among the first 40 CDC Leadership Scholars. Under the leadership of former Mayor Martin O’Malley and past City Council President Sheila Dixon, Hickman was appointed to serve as a Commissioner for the Baltimore City HIV Commission and recently appointed by the White House Secretary of Health and Human Service Office to the Centers for Disease Control/Health Resource Services Administration Advisory Board.

“Rev. Hickman’s favorite scripture is Psalm 34, and she attempts to carry this scripture out through a life that truly blesses the Lord by following his commands and sharing His love wherever she goes,” Woods said. “Rev. Hickman is known as a visionary and her motto is, ‘Be Forward Focused and Not Past Possessed.’”

To learn more about STAR, visit

Ravens Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews becoming potent duo

Two years ago, the Baltimore Ravens decided it was time to re-energize their offense. The team traded back into the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and selected Lamar Jackson, one of the most electrifying prospects at that time. The Ravens added tight end Mark Andrews in the third round of that same draft.

The two showed flashes as rookies, but last season was truly a breakout year for them. Jackson led the league with 36 passing touchdowns and was named NFL MVP. Andrews was on the receiving end of 10 of Jackson’s passing touchdowns, solidifying himself as one of the most dangerous tight ends in the league.

The Jackson-to-Andrews connection hooked up two times for touchdowns in the season opener, but failed to get into the end zone in the next two games against the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. They got back on track on Sunday, October 4, 2020 in the Ravens’ 31-17 win over the Washington Football Team when Jackson found Andrews for two touchdowns.

“It felt wonderful. Our chemistry, really, never left. It was just a hiccup in the [Kansas City] game, I guess. We’re good— it was great to have the chemistry going today,” Jackson said after the game.

“It’s great. Any time you can find the end zone, and you can throw a couple touchdowns, it feels great,” Andrews added.

The chemistry and trust that a quarterback has in their tight ends is crucial for an offense like the Ravens that relies on throwing the ball between the hashes. So far this season, Andrews has 12 receptions for 166 yards and four touchdowns.

Andrews has become an ultra-reliable option for Jackson because the two work at it all the time. “We’re working hard in practice, and we’re just hitting our stride. We’re just going to keep on getting better. When you have a guy like [No.] 8 [Lamar Jackson], it’s just fun to go around and fly around and play games. It was a good win,” Andrews said.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has a front row seat to observe the work that Andrews and Jackson do every day. He can’t put an exact finger on what makes it work so well. All he knows is that it’s productive.

“I’ll tell you what, I wish I could honestly give you some kind of a scientific answer but it really is more art than science,” Harbaugh said. “I think, sometimes, it’s the throws. Sometimes, it’s the catch. Sometimes, it’s the coverage. Sometimes, it’s just the wind. Sometimes, it’s whatever, and that’s just the way football goes. No two games are ever the same, so you really can’t evaluate them in the same place. Those two guys have a great connection. I did call him Mark Jackson, coming off [the field] after the one touchdown.”

The Ravens hope to keep riding the Jackson to Andrews connection as they march through the season. Right now, the Ravens (3-1) sit behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) in the AFC North standings. Andrews has never scored a receiving touchdown against the Steelers. Baltimore would like to see that happen when the Ravens host the Steelers later this month.

Rambling Rose : Forum Caterers Celebrates 41 Years This Week

Hello everyone, How are you? I see some of you are tip-toeing out a little more into the public bars and clubs, the places where I feel are my second homes, but if I were you, I wouldn’t be so hasty about doing that. I am just saying, I truly believe it is just not safe yet. Any closed-in building that you have to remove your mask to eat and drink and you can sit or stand at a social distance, you will not see me or my “Boo-Boo.” No honey not yet! It is just not enough to jeopardize my health or life. Those of you who are dipping your toes into the hot water by hanging out at in the nightclubs, please be careful, there is no vaccine for this COVID yet. Stay healthy. Just my opinion!!

I want to say “Congratulations” to the Haysbert family for running a successful business for 41 years. They are the owners of the Forum Caterers located 4210 Primrose Avenue. Forty-one years ago it was the brainchild of three remarkable Black entrepreneurs; B. Tyrous “Terry” Addison who most believed was born to be an entrepreneur. Business was always his first love. In 1983, he joined Raymond Haysbert Sr., who at the time was president of Parks Sausage Company and radio station owner Dorothy Brunson to buy The Forum Caterers Inc. in Northwest Baltimore. He sold his interest in 1990. Dorothy E. Brunson was the first African American woman to own a radio station in Baltimore, Maryland and one of the first in the nation. She started out working as an executive with Inner City Broadcasting Corporation between 1973 and 1979. She owned radio station WEBB 1360 AM in Baltimore, Maryland purchased from entertainer James Brown in 1979. She later purchased radio stations in Atlanta and Wilmington, North Carolina. She joined Haysbert Sr. and “Terry” Addison in the purchase of the Forum Caterers. Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., the leader of this trio was a prominent African- American business executive and civil rights leader during the second half of the 20th century in Baltimore, Maryland. Haysbert joined Baltimore-based Parks Sausage Company in 1952, becoming CEO as it grew into one of the largest Black-owned U.S. businesses. Also in that year he was recruited by Henry G. Parks Jr., founder of the sausage company there bearing his name, to serve as accountant and office manager, later promoted to general manager, then executive vice president, before being named president and CEO of Parks Sausage Company. In September 1979 Haysbert brought the Forum Caterers while still being involved with his buddy, Henry Parks at Parks Sausage Company.

Before the passing of Raymond V. Haysbert in 2010 the business was passed on to his three children; sons, Brian and Reginald and daughter Nikita Haysbert who has continue the legacy of their father being a full service on and off premise catering company that has served many happy customers throughout the Baltimore/Washington area.

Ladies and gentlemen I can this with personal experience, because they served my organization Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund, Inc. Black & Gold Ball for over 20 years and my guests loved every moment. Thanks my friends and congratulations guys, you are the best of the best!

I spoke to my buddy, Peggy Raley, vice preident and artistic director of True Blue Jazz, Inc. She told me that they are forging ahead this year because everyone needs the healing power of music— yes Lord! I agree! They will have virtual festivals and live venues in downtown Rehoboth Beach. She said they will still have a handful of COVID- compliant venues in downtown Rehoboth during their festival dates, October 15-18, 2020.

There will be 15 shows in four venues. Also this year they are offering two nights of great streaming live jazz featuring regional, national and international artists that be can be enjoyed from anywhere in the world, absolutely free. She understands that even though their businesses down at the beach would love to see visitors, many people just don’t want to leave home yet and that’s why they are streaming. The Boardwalk Plaza is hosting a watch party on both nights so that folks who do come to town can watch the live-stream on big screens. For more information, call 302-448-1766 or go to Tell her Rambling Rose told you.

Well, my dear friends, enjoy, be safe, stay healthy, wear your mask and remember if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.

Dorothy E. Brunson, founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

Courtesy Photo

Dorothy E. Brunson, founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

B. Tyrous “Terry”Addison, founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

Courtesy Photo

B. Tyrous “Terry”Addison, founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

Courtesy Photo

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., founder of The Forum Caterers Inc.

Reginald Haysbert (Brother of Nikita and Brian Haysbert), Owner of the Forum Caterers located 2421 Primrose Avenue carrying on the family legacy.

Courtesy Photo

Reginald Haysbert (Brother of Nikita and Brian Haysbert), Owner of the Forum Caterers located 2421 Primrose Avenue carrying on the family legacy.

Nikia and Brian Haysberts (brother and sister),  current owners  of the Forum Caterers located 2421 Primrose Avenue carrying on the family legacy.

Courtesy Photo

Nikia and Brian Haysberts (brother and sister), current owners of the Forum Caterers located 2421 Primrose Avenue carrying on the family legacy.

The New Normal: Black Quarterbacks Matter

I am an 86-year-old author and retired educator. This does not necessarily make me an expert on football. However, my grandson, Austin Fendley, a recent graduate from the University of Texas and an avid football fan, knows as much about the subject as many coaches and sports commentators. Also, he and I are “two peas in a pod” about racism. We have watched with interest as more and more Blacks have been named starting quarterbacks on the national football scene. Capitalizing on our strengths, we decided to co-author this article.

Since the earliest days of professional and college football, the number of Black play- ers has increased exponentially. However, the ratio of Black players and Black quarter- backs remains disproportional with 67 percent Black players and 17 percent Black quarterbacks. The Canadian Football League was more open to welcoming Black play- ers than the leagues in America were. As an example, Warren Moon was not selected in America until he had won five Grey Cup championships in Canada. Moon became the first Black Houston Oilers’ quarterback in 1984, and his success shattered the stereotype that Blacks could not succeed as a quarterback. He ushered more successful black quar- terbacks into the National Football League (NFL) in the 1980s. When Moon first be- came the Oilers’ quarterback, I remember hearing people say he was not smart enough to function as an NFL-caliber quarterback. I happily watched him prove them wrong.

The number of Black quarterbacks in the American professional leagues has grown, and Michael Vick was drafted in 2001, as the first Black to be taken with the first over- all pick in the NFL draft.

In 2017, longtime quarterback, Eli Manning, was benched and was replaced with Geno Smith who was Black. Since the inception of the game, two Black quarterbacks and one multiracial led their teams to a Super Bowl victory: Doug Williams in 1988; Russell Wilson in 2014; and Patrick Mahomes in 2020.

America has, in fact, made progress in naming Black quarterbacks on the professional fields. Still, many of them have experienced racial issues. For example, Deshaun Wat- son, the Houston Texans’ quarterback stated that he did not want to be called a dual- threat quarterback because the term is traditionally used to stereotype Black quarterbacks. In 2018, racial remarks were made about him after he made a bad deci- sion during a game. A superintendent of a school district outside Houston remarked, “When you need precision decision making you can’t count on a Black quarterback.” Fortunately, that superintendent came under fire and he later resigned.

After reading a story about Deshaun’s upbringing, we were reminded that he gives credit to his mother who was a single parent of four children and living in the proj- ects. His mother held down a fulltime job and after she got off work, she would spend the next few hours volunteering at a homeless shelter. That made her eligible to be the recipient of a Habitat for Humanity home. In 2011, when Deshaun was in high school, his mother was diagnosed with stage-five tongue cancer forcing him to function as a high school quarterback and as a caretaker raising two of his siblings. Given the history of Deshaun and his mother, and the hardships the family faced, the challenges of being a Black quarterback did not seem to be an insurmountable task.

A proven truism over the last two seasons is that we are clearly in the age of Black quarterbacks. The remarkable advancement of blacks to master the game’s most impor- tant position proves those who thought they lacked the leadership skills and intelli- gence are wrong. Clear evidence with 10 Black quarterbacks starting the first week of the 2020 NFL season reiterates that the new normal— Black Quarterbacks Matter.

For 61 years, Dr. Bertie Simmons, Ed.D., author of Whispers of Hope: The Story of My Life, was a dedicated educator in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). Simmons came out of retirement to serve as principal of Furr High School in 1999. During her more than 17 year tenure, she was instrumental in revitalizing the school and creating transformational opportunities for some of Houston’s most disadvantaged students.