Baltimore Native Provides Electronic Warfare Dominance For U.S. Navy

— Petty Officer 3rd Class Dearis Douglas, a native of Baltimore, joined the Navy for the opportunity to make his family proud and make a better life for himself.

Now, one year after joining the Navy, Douglas serves with the “Cougars” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, working with the Navy’s premier electronic attack aircraft at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.

“I like the command triad here,” said Douglas. “Our commanding officer and all of our chain of command are veryapproachable and personable.”

Douglas, a 2003 graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, is a yeoman with Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, a high-tech electronic attack squadron capable of altering the outcome of any engagement with the EA-18G “Growler.”

“I’m responsible for legal matters, awards, travel and evaluations,” said Douglas, who credits his success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Baltimore.

“My family taught me that hard work is continuous and never ends,” said Douglas. “I was able to earn two awards using those principle.”

Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139’s primary mission is to conduct airborne electronic warfare while embarked with a carrier air wing. They deploy with aircraft carriers to project electronic attack dominance anywhere in the world at any time. This includes suppression of enemy radar systems, sensor jamming and electronic protection.

The EA-18G “Growler” is the most advanced airborne electronic attack (AEA) platform in production today, according to Navy officials. The Navy invests in advanced “Growler” capabilities to ensure it continues to protect all strike aircraft during high-threat missions for decades to come.

“Being a part of the Growler mission is knowing I’m part of something bigger than myself,” said Douglas.

Serving in the Navy means Douglas is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Douglas is most proud of earning the title of blue jacket of the quarter for carrier strike group 11.

“I just jumped in and seized opportunities,” said Douglas. “I was thrown into being an assistant command fitness leader, and I volunteered for as much as I could.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Douglas and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving means stepping out of my comfort zone,” said Douglas. “Doing something others, are afraid to do.”

President Trump Proudly Presents His Policies on Criminal Justice Reform

When President Trump delivered the keynote address on criminal justice at Benedict College last week in South Carolina, he did an excellent presentation to the audience at that Historically Black College and University (HBCU). President Trump displayed a substantive and compassionate style of leadership that contracted a common misconception about his leadership style.

An extraordinary amount of energy goes towards painting a picture of President Trump as a leader under siege, willing to speak only to steadfast supporters. In reality, Donald Trump has always been able to go before any audience to deliver his message— and unlike some career politicians, his message is always the same no matter where he speaks.

As President, that message naturally begins with his record of policy successes and promises kept. It’s a record he’s justifiably proud of, and that pride is evident whether he’s before a packed stadium of supporters or at a historically black college for a forum that also featured six of his would-be Democrat opponents.

When it comes to criminal justice reform, President Trump’s record is misunderstood as often as his style of public interaction. That’s why when the President delivered remarks detailing “The Conservative Case for Criminal Justice Reform” at Benedict College, he profiled the landmark FIRST STEP Act.

The foremost purpose of the criminal justice system is to protect citizens by punishing and rehabilitating criminals.

To that end, the federal government significantly enhanced criminal penalties throughout the 1980s and 1990s, increasing the length of minimum sentences for a variety of crimes and making the conditions of confinement harsher.

Some aspects of that “get tough” strategy were effective, and crime rates began to plummet from the all-time highs reached in the early 1990s because the worst offenders were receiving prison sentences rather than slaps on the wrist. But some lawmakers took the strategy too far. It culminated in the 1994 omnibus crime bill— written by Joe Biden— that, among other things, created federal “three strikes” laws and restricted prisoners’ ability to get an education behind bars. A growing number of non-violent felons began to see longer sentences, too, especially for drug-related crimes. Even after being released, former inmates found it extraordinarily difficult to get jobs afterwards.

Worst of all, the burden of these policies fell disproportionately on the black community, with a huge percentage of young black men becoming tied up in the criminal justice system.

President Trump determined that these inequities should be corrected without sacrificing the progress we’ve made in combating violent crime. He was right, and he naturally wants all Americans to know it.

Last December, the President signed the FIRST STEP Act, which addressed many of the most glaring issues that made criminal justice unfair for African Americans. The law makes it easier for inmates to earn early-release credits for good behavior, for instance, giving prisoners, especially low-level drug offenders, greater opportunities to rebuild their lives as productive members of society.

It also provides the job-training and skills-building they need to succeed when they get out, reducing the likelihood that they’ll return to a life of crime.

In addition, the reforms also included new, fairer sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine possession, bringing the penalties in line with those for powder cocaine. Significantly, this change was applied retroactively, benefiting thousands of unfairly-sentenced prisoners.

President Trump takes great pride in those accomplishments, which explains why he agreed to participate in a forum that any conventional politician would have avoided. With no real competition for the Republican nomination in 2020, the President could have stayed on the sidelines and allowed the Democrat candidates to attack each other. Instead, he chose to present the conservative perspective on criminal justice reform to an audience that would otherwise hear only liberal viewpoints, even though his participation was characteristically met with unjustified attacks by his would-be challengers.

The FIRST STEP Act upholds one end of the criminal justice bargain to the black community: 90 percent of the prisoners who have been released thus far thanks to the new law are African Americans.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has been upholding the other end of that bargain by empowering law enforcement to more effectively combat violent crime, which also disproportionately affects the black community. The rate of both violent crime and property crime in the United States has fallen dramatically under this President.

President Trump looks forward to building on these successes. He has outlined a plan to help provide non-violent offenders with “second chance hiring” by reducing restrictions on federal hiring and incentivizing companies to hire employees with criminal backgrounds.

That’s the message that he took to Benedict College and to Black America. The Democrats went to that same forum with future proposals and plans, while President Trump went with “promises kept” in the form of concrete results improving the lives of all Americans and their families and communities, and in particular for African Americans and their families and communities.

To the inevitable dismay of the Democrat candidates who spoke on the same topic after him, this President has a record that he’ll gladly defend anywhere, any time, and in front of any audience.

Katrina Pierson is a senior adviser for Donald J. Trump for President Inc.

DR. Lakeesha Walrond Inaugurated As The First Female & First Black Female In 119-Year History Of The New York Theological Seminary (NYTS)

On Saturday, October 26th, the Trustees of the New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) hosted the inauguration of Reverend Dr. LaKeesha Walrond at Riverside Church in New York. Among those in attendance were New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, Rev. Al Sharpton (NAN), Senator Benjamin, Hazel Dukes (NAACP), and other dignitaries, who joined the Trustees for this historical moment to inaugurate Dr. Walrond as the first female and first African-American female President in the Seminary’s 119-year history.

The three-day inauguration festivities were held from Thursday, October 24th until Saturday, October 26th, and kicked off Thursday with the George W. Webber lecture series featuring Dr. Alice W. Hunt, Executive Director of the American Academy of Religion. On Friday, attendees were invited to an evening of networking and fellowship at “NYTS Meets First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC),” hosted by FCBC.

As the 12th President, Dr. Walrond brings to the institution more than two decades of ministry and faith leadership. She intends to promote Seminary growth through fresh and creative initiatives and expanding the curriculum of urban ministry. Dr. Walrond, served as the Executive Pastor and Chief of Staff of First Corinthian Baptist Church, home to one of the largest urban ministries in New York City for the past 13 years.

Since its inception nearly 120 years ago, NYTS has remained a distinguished and progressive leader in the field. The institution is renowned for its forward-thinking initiatives, from preparing men and women for leadership roles in faith-based ministries across the country to helping incarcerated men achieve higher education degrees in Professional Studies. NYTS has transformed the lives of over 400 graduates to date, with a dozen men graduating from Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York this past June. Under Dr. Walrond’s leadership, NYTS will continue to push for diverse and groundbreaking programs that reflect the institution’s mission while maintaining its historic denominational and cultural traditions.

“Being entrusted to continue the legacy of NYTS is truly a humbling experience and as the first female president and the first African-American female president, it’s not lost upon me that this moment in history must be fueled by a collective purpose within the faith community,” said Rev. Dr. Lakeesha Walrond. “I am elated to lead the seminary into a new innovative era that will reflect the mission of the institution and continue to raise the bar for generations to come. This Inauguration is more than just a celebration. It’s about empowering the entire institution – students, faculty, staff, and board members. As we move forward together collectively, the success of NYTS will be triumphant.”

Dr. Walrond earned her Ph.D. in Special Education and Literacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a Master of School Administration with a focus in Educational Leadership and a Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus in Learning Disabilities from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her commitment to ministry and education led her back to school post-doctorate to earn a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary here in New York City. She received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Former Rep. John Conyers Dies At 90

— Former Rep. John Conyers, a longtime Michigan Democrat who represented parts of Detroit for more than 50 years before his resignation in 2017, died Sunday at age 90, his son, John Conyers III, told CNN.

A founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Conyers was known as pushing a series of liberal causes, especially from his perch on the Judiciary Committee. He at one time served as chairman of the panel.

Conyers was born in Detroit in 1929 and entered Congress in 1965 where he championed the Civil Rights Movement and pushed liberal legislation throughout his tenure.

Conyers’ longevity in Congress was punctuated by a contentious resignation in 2017 amid allegations of sexual harassment.

The Michigan Democrat faced an investigation by the House Ethics Committee into multiple allegations that he had sexually harassed women who worked with him when he told a Detroit area radio show that he’d step down from his seat in Congress.

“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” he told the Mildred Gaddis’ radio show at the time. “This too shall pass.” Conyers repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

In 1983, Conyers introduced the original bill to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday and in 1994 worked on the Violence against Women Act. He became the first African American to serve as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee in 2007.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who now represents Conyers’ district, tweeted Sunday that he “never once wavered in fighting for jobs, justice and peace.”

“We always knew where he stood on issues of equality and civil rights in the fight for the people,” she said. “Thank you Congressman Conyers for fighting for us for over 50 years.”

This story has been updated.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Comcast Increases Internet Speeds For Most Customers From Maine To Virginia

— Comcast is increasing download speeds for some of its most popular Xfinity Internet packages for residential customers in the Northeast Division, which includes 14 northeastern states from Maine through Virginia and the District of Columbia. Download speeds for the Northeast

Division’s most popular speed tiers— including Performance, Performance Pro and Blast!— have increased by as much as 60-plus percent, helping to power the rapidly-growing number of connected devices in consumers’ homes. The speed boosts include:

•Extreme tier download speeds increasing 50 percent from 400 Mbps to 600 Mbps

•Blast tier download speeds increasing 20 percent from 250 Mbps to 300 Mbps

•Performance Pro tier download speeds increasing more than 30 percent from 150 Mbps to 200 Mbps

•Performance tier download speeds increasing more than 60 percent from 60 Mbps to 100 Mbps

•Performance Starter tier download speeds increasing more than 60 percent from 15 Mbps to 25 Mbps

About 85 percent of Internet customers in the Northeast Division subscribe to one of these tiers and will have their download speeds upgraded, whether they purchase Xfinity Internet on a stand-alone basis or as part of a package.

Last year, Comcast boosted download speeds for Blast!, Performance Pro, Performance and Performance Starter customers, and today’s speed increases are just the latest in a series of moves by Comcast to support growing consumer demand for super-fast, high-capacity

Internet connections that can handle not only the explosion of connected devices that are powering the smart home, but also offer a single platform to manage and protect them.

“Modern homes require fast Internet, wall-to-wall Wi-Fi, and a way to manage the connectivity needs of the entire household,” said Kevin Casey, President of Comcast’s Northeast Division. “Faster speeds, combined with Xfinity xFi’s advanced Wi-Fi coverage and controls, give our Internet customers an unmatched experience along with the tools to manage an expanding number of connected devices, apps and constantly-evolving technologies.”

Xfinity xFi is Comcast’s differentiated Internet experience, giving customers more speed, the best in-home Wi-Fi coverage, and easy-to-use controls over their home Wi-Fi networks. With xFi, customers also can manage their children’s screen time and pause Internet access, as well as protect all their IoT and home automation devices from unwelcome security threats. XFi customers receive powerful all-in-one modems and Wi-Fi routers, that, when combined with xFi pods, can extend Wi-Fi coverage to hard-to-reach rooms of virtually any home. Additionally, xFi customers receive complimentary access to the nation’s largest network of Wi-Fi hotspots and five lines of Xfinity Mobile service to extend their Internet experience outside of the home.

Over the next several weeks, customers who lease a gateway will automatically receive the new speeds. Other customers who purchased their own modems should check online to see if they need a new device that is capable of handling these faster speeds.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, Key Figure In Trump Investigations, Dies At 68

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Rep. Elijah Cummings

— Rep. Elijah Cummings, a longtime Maryland Democrat and key figure leading investigations into President Donald Trump, has died at age 68, his office announced early Thursday morning.

He died of “complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” his office said in a statement.

The congressman, who had represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District since 1996, served as the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, one of the panels involved in the impeachment inquiry of Trump.

He oversaw a range of investigations into the Trump administration, from issues relating to the impeachment inquiry to the treatment of migrants at the southern border to the use of personal email for official use by White House officials to how a citizenship question was considered for the US census.

And it was his committee that grilled Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in a blockbuster hearing this past February.

It was not immediately clear who will succeed Cummings as chairman of the Oversight Committee or how his passing will affect the swirling impeachment investigation into Trump.

Cummings had been in failing health in recent weeks. He had been in and out of the hospital, missing votes and business in his committee. He was spotted several times with a breathing tube in his nose connected to oxygen while sitting on the House floor. When speaking to reporters, he would have to wait for 15 to 20 seconds or so to catch his breath before speaking. He would drive around on a motorized wheelchair through the Capitol and then walk in using a walker.

Although he was chairman of the Oversight Committee, he had not been in command of the investigations on his panel. His staff did a lion’s share of the work and his staff has been helping lead the charge in the impeachment inquiry.

Prominent Trump critic

As he has led the investigative efforts, Cummings also clashed publicly with the President. Over the summer, Trump tweeted disparaging remarks toward Cummings and his Maryland district, which includes much of Baltimore, calling the majority black district a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

Responding to some of the President’s tweets — in which Trump suggested the congressman needed to spend more time fixing his district — Cummings said on Twitter: “Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”

Despite that high-profile feud, Trump and Cummings did not always disagree. More than two years prior, Cummings emerged from a White House meeting with Trump and told reporters that the two men had found common ground on their shared interest in lowering drug prices.

At the time, Cummings also said he urged the President to rethink his language on African American communities after Trump repeatedly painted a grim picture of inner-city life on the campaign trail.

“I want you to realize that all African American communities are not places of depression and where people are being harmed,” Cummings told reporters, recalling his conversation with Trump. “When we hear those words about carnage and we are living in depressed situations, I told him it was very hurtful.”

In another high-profile moment earlier this year, Cummings stood up for Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, one of the President’s closest allies and staunchest defenders in Congress, in the face of accusations of racism. The chairman referred to Meadows as one of his “best friends.” When Meadows learned of Cummings’ passing Thursday, he said he was “truly heartbroken.”

“I have no other words to express the loss,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash.

Leading African American voice on Capitol Hill

Cummings, who grew up during the Civil Rights Movement, had become a leading voice among African American lawmakers on Capitol Hill at the time of his passing, and his death triggered an outpouring of grief from his colleagues.

“He spoke truth to power, defended the disenfranchised and represented West Baltimore with strength and dignity,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, House Democratic caucus chairman and a fellow member of the Congressional Black Caucus, tweeted Thursday morning. “Congress has lost a Champion. Heaven has gained an Angel of Justice. May he forever #RestInPower.”

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler called Cummings a “giant of public service,” and Sen. Ben Cardin said his fellow Marylander “guaranteed a voice to so many who would otherwise not have one.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day” that Cummings was “a mentor and someone who in every situation would do the right thing, would put his community and the cause above everything else. Including himself.”

The Florida Democrat said watching Cummings continue with his duties despite his health struggles was inspirational.

“We’ll walk in his shadow, in his shoes that will never be filled,” she said.

Veteran of Civil Rights Movement

Earlier this year, Cummings discussed how, even at a young age, he faced racial violence in trying to integrate parts of his neighborhood.

“We were trying to integrate an Olympic-size pool near my house, and we had been constrained to a wading pool in the black community,” Cummings told ABC’s “This Week” in July. “As we tried to march to that pool over six days, I was beaten, all kinds of rocks and bottles thrown at me.”

Cummings said Trump’s racist remarks against four minority members of Congress echoed the same insults he heard as a 12-year-old boy in 1962, which he said were “very painful.”

“The interesting thing is that I heard the same chants. ‘Go home. You don’t belong here,’ ” he told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “And they called us the N-word over and over again.”

Cummings was born and raised in Baltimore — the city that is home to his district. The son of former sharecroppers, Cummings was born in 1951 and graduated from Baltimore City College High School in 1969.

He practiced law and served for 14 years in the Maryland House of Delegates, where, according to his congressional website, he became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem.

In 1996, he was first elected to the US Congress. Cummings was reelected last year in the 7th Congressional District with 76% of the vote.

This story has been updated with additional developments Thursday.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

How To Watch The Democratic Debate Tonight

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See the debate stage built from the ground up!

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Democratic Debate

How to watch the Democratic debate tonight

Originally Published: 15 OCT 19 06:10 ET

Updated: 15 OCT 19 13:33 ET

By Kate Sullivan, CNN

    (CNN) — The stakes are high for candidates participating in Tuesday’s CNN/New York Times Democratic debate, as the presidential hopefuls look to remain competitive in the crowded primary field.

Former Vice President Joe Biden will stand center stage, flanked by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on his right and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on his left. It will be businessman Tom Steyer’s first presidential debate, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii will return to the stage after failing to qualify for the September debate.

What time is the debate?

The debate will air live at 8 p.m. ET from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, a northeast suburb of the state capital, Columbus. The debate will end at 11 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the debate?

It will air exclusively on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español, and will stream on’s homepage and’s homepage. The debate will also stream live on the following Facebook Pages: CNN, CNN International, CNN Politics, CNN Replay, AC360 and Erin Burnett OutFront.

In addition, the debate will be available across mobile devices via CNN’s and New York Times’ apps for iOS and Android, via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV, SiriusXM Channels 116, 454 and 795, the Westwood One Radio Network and National Public Radio. You can also ask Amazon’s Alexa to play the debate, and the voice-controlled assistant will play the audio of the debate.

Who is moderating?

CNN anchors Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper and New York Times national editor Marc Lacey will serve as the debate moderators.

Who is participating?

Twelve Democratic presidential hopefuls will appear onstage:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
  • Sen. Kamala Harris of California
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  • Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
  • Businessman Tom Steyer
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
  • Businessman Andrew Yang

To receive an invitation to this debate, candidates needed to attain at least 2% in four separate Democratic National Committee-approved polls and receive contributions from at least 130,000 unique donors, including at least 400 donors from 20 different states.

™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Fannie Lou Hamer Died Of Untreated Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the proliferation of pink ribbons is about to start. Predatory capitalists will make breast cancer their cause, producing pink t-shirts, pocketbooks, everything. It’s a mixed blessing, this awareness, because too many will make this both a marketing and a profit-making opportunity, while others will wonder how they can use their health insurance to afford a mammogram. Health equity is a major issue, and there is a gap in health care and health access. It is especially sharp when we address the issue of breast cancer.

While black women get breast cancer at a lower rate than white women, we are 42 percent more likely to die from it. And young black women, those under 35, are twice as likely as white women to get breast cancer, and three times as likely to die from it. Black women are also three times as likely as white women to get triple-negative breast cancer, an especially aggressive form of breast cancer.

I am privileged to know Ricki Fairley, a triple-negative breast cancer survivor, and marketing maven who now holds a leadership role at the nation’s oldest and largest black women’s breast cancer network group. Sister’s Network, describes itself as a “survivorship organization” that provides support for black women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Ricki only recently joined the organization as its Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and National Programs, and she is on a mission to raise awareness about breast cancer in the African American community. Propelled by her own survivorship story, but also by the many women she has provided support for, she is passionate about the reasons that African American women must be informed and engaged around breast cancer issues.

Civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer, died of untreated breast cancer. She was just 59 when she made her transition, and one can only speculate about why this fearless leader had an untreated disease. Her untreated breast cancer was not the first collision she experienced with our racist health care system.

At 44, she had surgery to remove a tumor, and the hospital also gave her a hysterectomy without her consent. Sterilizations without consent happened to lots of black women in southern states. It eroded the trust that many black women had in our health care system. Had Fannie Lou Hamer noticed a lump would she be inclined to return to the health care system that had already oppressed her? Probably not.

Fannie Lou Hamer was poor and vocally black in the South. Serena Williams is wealthy, black and an international superstar. Despite her privilege, Williams also experienced the differential way the health care system treats black women. Serena might have died giving birth to her daughter, Alexandra. Because Williams was gracious enough to share her story, we are reminded that black women are all too often ignored or dismissed by health care providers.

Racial bias in the medical field is not only real, but also life threatening. Reference Fannie Lou Hamer. Ask Serena Williams. Consider the thousands of black women that are being sidelined by a health care system that does not hear our voices.

What must we do to ensure that black women don’t carry the heavy burden of health disparities? We must be mindful and aware of the risks of breast cancer. We must talk about breast care with our sisters and our young ‘uns. We must engage in a policy conversation about the ways health insurance can support our breast health. Too often, health insurance covers some, but not all, of the cost of screening. We must engage our civic organizations in breast health education.

We must remember Fannie Lou Hamer, who said she was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” That means as tired as we are of being tired, we must also be committed to taking care of ourselves. Too many studies say that black women ignore self-care for the care of others.

Fannie Lou Hamer was a leader and an icon. She was also a black woman who gave voice to her tiredness and the way it impacted her. In saying that she was “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” she challenged us all to be less sick, less tired and more self-aware. If we celebrate her, we must hear her.

The health care system is biased against black women, and we must take our health care in our own hands. Neither sick, nor tired, just empowered and in October— Breast Cancer Awareness Month— be supportive of organizations like the Sister’s Network, an organization that provides opportunities and services for the black women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. We must do this in the name of Fannie Lou Hamer.

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist. Her latest project MALVEAUX! On UDCTV is available on For booking, wholesale inquiries or for more info visit:

International Opera Star Jessye Norman Died Monday At The Age Of 74, According To Her Agent.


Jessye Norman Passes September 30th, Aged 74

Jessye Norman, international opera star, dead at 74

Originally Published: 30 SEP 19 21:10 ET

Updated: 01 OCT 19 10:39 ET

By Amir Vera and Pierre Meilhan, CNN

    (CNN) — International opera star Jessye Norman died Monday at the age of 74, according to her agent.

The New York Metropolitan Opera described Norman as “one of the great sopranos of the past half-century.”

“Norman sang more than 80 performances with the company, dazzling audiences with her beautiful tone, extraordinary power, and musical sensitivity,” the Met said in a statement.

Norman won four Grammy awards and a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 2006.

“Jessye Norman was one of the greatest artists to ever sing on our stage,” said Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb. “Her legacy shall forever live on.”

A rich legacy

Norman was born on September 15, 1945, in Augusta, Georgia, according to the nonprofit research and education institution History Makers.

The Met, which extended condolences to Norman’s family and friends, said she “will perhaps be best remembered for her glorious, definitive portrayal of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos,” an opera she performed in 1993, according to History Makers.

In a 2014 video, Norman said she was 17 years old when she received a full-tuition scholarship to Howard University, where she graduated in 1967.

Norman then attended the University of Michigan on a teacher fellowship, graduating in 1968, History Makers says.

In 2002, Norman founded the Jessye Norman School of the Arts. The school’s website says it’s an “after-school program designed to develop and nurture the artistic and creative talents of students.”

Norman said in the 2014 video that because of her full-ride to Howard and fellowship in Michigan, she understood what it meant to receive assistance, especially in the arts.

“I have had financial assistance throughout that period of my preparation for this profession, and so I understand the necessity of being of assistance and, when it is possible, to be of financial assistance,” she said.

The Jessye Norman School for the Arts said in a statement its faculty, staff and students “are tremendously saddened” by their founder’s death.

“As an opera superstar, she commanded the world’s stages, but here in Augusta, she quietly used the arts to make a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of children each year. The world knew her voice and our school knew her kindness and generous heart. She challenged all of us to live up to our full potential and to represent something larger than ourselves. She will be greatly missed,” the statement read.

Musicians, celebrities react to Norman’s death

Norman had a huge influence on many musicians and had many fans internationally, many of whom shared their condolences on social media.

Actress and singer Audra McDonald tweeted Norman was “otherworldly.”

Singer and composer Rufus Wainwright tweeted “the world has lost one of the greatest voices that we have ever had and heard. She poured herself out for us.”

Pianist and composer Jason Moran thanked Norman on Twitter for her voice.

“The phrases she sang charged the air. With deep appreciation,” Moran tweeted.

Musician Questlove said on Instagram: “God Rest Your Soul Queen Jessye. #JessyeNorman.”

The Canadian Opera Company also tweeted that Norman’s death was “a great loss for the world of opera.”

“Thank you for sharing your incredible gift with all of us, Ms. Norman,” the company tweeted.

™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Remembering Pioneering Actress Diahann Carroll

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Remembering Diahann Carroll

Diahann Carroll, pioneering star of ‘Julia’ and ‘Dynasty,’ dead at 84

Originally Published: 04 OCT 19 13:08 ET

Updated: 04 OCT 19 15:12 ET

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

    (CNN) — Diahann Carroll, who pioneered television with her starring role in the 1968 series “Julia,” died Friday, her daughter Suzanne Kay confirmed to CNN.

Carroll was 84.

She died early Friday, following a battle with breast cancer, according to her publicist Jeffery Lane.

Known as much for her talent as she was her beauty and elegance, Carroll was beloved for her work in “Julia,” as well as her subsequent performance as the wealthy and cultured Dominique Deveraux in the 1980s ABC primetime soap opera “Dynasty.”

She became the first African-American woman to star in a network sitcom not revolving around a stereotypical character when “Julia” premiered on NBC in 1968.

Her role as widowed nurse Julia Baker, who was raising a charming young son, also broke ground for its portrayal of a black woman as something other than a domestic worker.

But while some called “Julia” groundbreaking for its non-stereotypical premise, others criticized the show for what they saw as a simplified depiction of the black experience in America in the late ’60s.

In 1998, Carroll told the Television Academy Foundation she was reluctant to do the series.

“I really didn’t believe that this was a show that was going to work,” she said of “Julia.” “I thought it was something that was going to relieve someone’s conscience for a very short period of time and I really thought ‘Let them go elsewhere.'”

The series earned her an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe award.

Carroll already had an established career by that point.

Born Carol Diann Johnson in New York City, she attended the New York High School of Music and Art on a scholarship.

At the age of 16, she adopted the name Diahann Carroll and won an audition for the Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts television show.

The opportunity led to radio performances, modeling work and singing in nightclubs.

Carroll made her Broadway debut in 1954 in the musical “The House of Flowers,” which also starred Pearl Bailey and Juanita Hall. She appeared in her first film, the now classic “Carmen Jones,” starring Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge, that same year.

Carroll performed in Las Vegas and released several albums early on, including “Diahann Carroll Sings Harold Arlen” (1957), “Diahann Carroll and Andre Previn “(1960) and “The Fabulous Diahann Carroll (1962).”

It was on Broadway, however, where Carroll hit her stride.

She became the first African-American woman to win a Tony for best actress when she snagged the coveted award for her portrayal as Barbara Woodruff in the 1962 musical “No Strings.”

She went on to receive an Oscar nomination for the 1974 movie “Claudine,” in which she starred opposite James Earl Jones.

Carroll once again changed the television landscape in the 1980s when she became the first major African-American character on a primetime soap in “Dynasty.”

Her character, the previously referenced Dominique Deveraux (which she also played on the spinoff “The Colbys”), served as an antagonist to Alexis Carrington, played by Joan Collins.

In an interview her first day on the set in 1984, Carroll said she wanted to be “the first black b***h on television.”

“I’ve never played a role quite this unlikeable,” she said. “And I like that. I like that very much because I think very often, particularly minorities, it’s almost required of them that they are nice people.”

Carroll’s personal life was no less glamorous.

She was married four times: to record producer Monte Kay from 1956 to 1963 during which time they had a daughter, Suzanne; briefly to Las Vegas boutique owner Fred Glusman in 1973; to Jet magazine managing editor Robert DeLeon from 1975 until his death two years later in a car crash; and to singer Vic Damone from 1987 to 1996.

In the 1990s, Carroll won a new legion of fans playing Whitney Gilbert’s mother, Marion, on “A Different World” and the new millennium found Carroll appearing on multiple TV shows, including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Diary of a Single Mom.”

Her last credited role was as Miss Edna in the 2016 film “The Masked Saint.”

Carroll is survived by her daughter and her grandchildren, August and Sydney

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