Transformative 5G Technology Arrives

The next wave of technological evolution has arrived in the form of 5G, a new generation of mobile networks where at least four major telephone carriers in America – AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint – have put forth plans to introduce this year.

Reportedly, AT&T has even started trials with 5G mobile hotspots in 12 cities.

“The first generation was all about being able to just talk on the phone where ever you were,” said Candice Brackeen, the co-founder and executive director of Hillman Accelerator, which supports women and minority led tech companies in Cincinnati to provide them with access to education, seed funding, mentorship, and networks.

“And then we had 2G that allowed us to use a little bit of text messaging. Then, 3G was faster, we had the smartphone and suddenly everybody had it in their hand,” Brackeen said.

“Then, we had 4G and now, the fifth generation is super-fast and responding in real time and we now have the ability to have devices speaking to each other,” she said.

The technological advances are transformative and can significantly change what it means to be connected, Brackeen said.

She noted that it can transform communities and also reshape the digital economy.

Experts said when compared to 4G, 5G means far faster downloads, significantly reduced response times, and a massive impact on how everyone lives, works, and plays.

“So, the internet is now going to work the way we all want it to work in a mobile version,” Brackeen said.

“That’s kind of where we’re going. The ability for your car to really understand what’s happening as we all aspire to have self-driving cars … those cars now will be able to interact with those around them and make real decisions,” she said.

The importance of providing African Americans and others with information on 5G was underscored in June when Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes hosted a news forum without any grant or funding.

Rolark Barnes said the said she held the forum because “this issue is important” and residents across the city, especially in the predominately African American communities that lie east of the Anacostia River, needed the information.

The early reviews for 5G include CNET’s description:

“On its surface, 5G is about astounding speeds and almost zero latency – the lag time between when your phone pings the network and when it responds. But on a global scale, it represents political dominance and economic might.”

Earlier this year, Samsung’s first 5G smartphone in the U.S. became available exclusively on Verizon for a limited time.

According to a news release, Verizon revealed the names of 20 cities that join Chicago and Minneapolis where customers will get access to its 5G Ultra-Wideband network this year, with more to come throughout 2019.

Those cities, which include Washington, D.C.; Charlotte; Boston; Atlanta; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Indianapolis; Kansas City; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis; Phoenix; Providence, Rhode Island; San Diego; and Salt Lake City; are the world’s first to get Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband mobility service.

The bottom line is that everyone should be excited about 5G, Brackeen said.

“I’ve got children. And for me, when the internet is slow, sometimes I don’t have happy children in the house when the internet is slow – we’re not learning, homework doesn’t get done,” Brackeen said.

“So we can all be excited about reliability. And I know that I just upgraded my house within the last 60 days to 5G. And, you know, the video games work faster. My streaming services work faster. And I’m not having any downtime,” Brackeen said.

“I can work from home versus working from my office where there is fiber. And so the reliability is what I think is what we should all be excited about. I think that’s what we should be most excited about is the reliability,” she said.

To celebrate the transformative new technology, officials have launched “Faces of 5G” with the hopes of educating the public on the innovations already taken place today and the possibilities of tomorrow.

Click here to meet the Faces of 5G and to learn more.

NNPA Publishers Honor Marjorie Parham, A Living Legend Of The Black Press

— The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) honored Majorie B. Parham with the organization’s Legacy Award during its annual convention in Cincinnati on Friday, June 29.

The NNPA is a trade association that represents African American-owned newspapers and media companies in the United States.

Parham, who turned 101 in February, spent more than three decades as publisher of the Cincinnati Herald, which was established in 1955 and counts as the longest running African American newspaper in the city.

“She was a real radical,” said Dorothy Leavell, the publisher of the Chicago and Gary Crusader newspapers. “Marjorie Parham was something else and she was straight forward with her words and you didn’t have to guess what she meant … she made it very clear. She is a wonderful human being and she was a great asset to the Black Press of America,” Leavell said.

Parham was unable to attend the ceremony but was represented by the husband of her granddaughter Rhonda Spillers, and Parham was feted with proclamations and commendations from Ohio State Sen. Cecil Thomas, State Reps. Sedrick Denson and Catherine Ingram; Cincinnati City Councilman Wendell Young; and Hamilton County Commissioner Stephanie Dumas.

Former Ohio State Sen. Eric Kearney served as master of ceremonies and co-chair of the convention.

Kearney’s wife, Cincinnati Herald Publisher Jan Michele Lemon Kearney, served as the host for the annual convention which this year celebrates 192 years of the Black Press of America.

The convention’s partner and sponsors included Macy’s; AARP; Procter & Gamble; Ford; General Motors; Chevrolet; RAI American Services Company; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; American Petroleum Institute (API); Volkswagen; MillerCoors; Fifth Third Bank; Ascension; AmeriHealth Carita; Wells Fargo; and Pfizer Rare Disease.

Born in 1918 in Clement County, Ohio, Parham graduated from Batavia High School and attended Wilberforce University, a Historically Black College, according to her bio.

Later, she took classes at the University of Cincinnati before working as a clerk for the U.S. Veterans Administration.

In 1954, Parham married Gerald Porter and one year later he founded the Cincinnati Herald.

Within six years, Parham would retire from the Veterans Administration and take over as publisher of the Dayton Tribune, which her son ran until he was drafted in the military, her bio said.

In 1963, Parham also became publisher of the Cincinnati Herald, where she became a legend and often noted for her work at the newspaper and in the community through her involvement in numerous civic organizations.

In 1982, Parham became the second African American to serve as a trustee for the University of Cincinnati, and she also chaired the board of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio.

Active in the Urban League, the American Red Cross and various scouting groups, Parham also was known for her work as a member of NNPA where she served on the organization’s board as treasurer.

“I know [NNPA leadership] will continue their high standards of excellence,” Denson said.

Chicago Defender Newspaper Moves To Digital Only With Its July 11 Edition

After 114 years of using ink on paper to deliver news that informs, educates and empowers the African American community throughout the Windy City, Real Times Media, parent company of the Chicago Defender, has announced that the Chicago Defender will move to a digital-only format with its July 11 edition. The final printed edition will be delivered Wednesday, July 10.

“This is not a sad day, it’s an exciting time,” said Hiram E. Jackson, chief executive officer, Real Times Media. “We have several hundred thousand people reading on our website and we have more than 200,000 Facebook followers, so when you compare that to printing 20,000 newspapers once a week, there’s no comparison,” Jackson said.

“At the end of the day, it’s about impact and influence. Influencing the community; influencing the politicians and the business people — and you can’t do that with less than 20,000 readers a week and now we’ll publish every day. When you take a city like Chicago where black people are everywhere, with the printed version we couldn’t reach everyone,” said Jackson.

The iconic Chicago Defender, which the legendary Langston Hughes once penned articles for, has always been respected as one of the most important newspapers in the history of the Black Press.

Founded in 1905 by Robert S. Abbott, The Chicago Defender fiercely covered and railed against Jim Crow laws; openly championed the Great Migration; tackled segregation head-on; and loyally kept its readers abreast during the Civil Rights era.

The Defender is a member of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the trade association that represents the Black Press of America – African American-owned newspapers and media companies throughout the U.S.

Keeping with tradition of the 192-year old Black Press of America whose first newspaper, “Freedom’s Journal,” published its first issue in 1827, most members of the Black Press still publish print products. However, nearly all are delivering content on both digital and print platforms.

“It is simply time for the Chicago Defender to break away from the printed page and put more focus on bringing our readers daily content from the African American perspective and increasing the impact of our community voice,” Jackson said.

The company remains committed to being an iconic news organization, but must double-down in the areas where we are seeing growth, Jackson said.

“Ceasing print operations allows us to do that,” he said.

Although the Chicago Defender will no longer print a weekly edition, the brand will continue to highlight pivotal moments via special print editions to create more capacity to actively engage with the community.

With this transition, the publication will retain its existing editorial and management staff and continue to offer its signature events: Men of Excellence, Women of Excellence, and activities surrounding the Bud Billiken Parade, Jackson said.

Bolstering the Defender’s digital transition, Real Times Media has robust plans to continue digitization and licensing of the Chicago Defender archives via strategic partnerships that will generate significant revenue for the brand through 2029.

Jackson said the Defender also will be able to cover more national stories and, if the beloved Cubs win a world series, “We can cover it that night,” he said.

“There is so much opportunity for the Chicago Defender to grow nationally and become a premier player in the African American media space,” Jackson said.

“However, we must continue to courageously evolve our focus to reflect the habits of our readers and our audience and stay focused on those vehicles that genuinely serve our client base. If we do not evolve dramatically, we will be left behind without a clear path for continued success,” he said.

What’s Open And What’s Closed On The Fourth Of July

— So it’s the Fourth of July but, we still have things to do, errands to run, and so on. And if everything is closed, where does that leave us?

We’re here to answer the most important Fourth of July questions: What’s open, and what’s closed?


Stores and restaurant chains are likely to be open on July 4, but it’s always good to call ahead

  • Target — Open regular hours
  • Walmart — Open regular hours
  • Kroger– Open regular hours
  • Trader Joe’s — All stores will be closing at 5, so don’t procrastinate
  • Movie theaters — We can’t think of a better way to ring in America’s birthday
  • Liquor stores — So, this depends. If you live in a state where liquor stores are government-owned, they might be closed (like in North Carolina). In other states, it might vary by owner, so maybe call ahead.
  • Zoos — So you might not think of the zoo as a holiday destination, but they do tend to be open.


Anything government-owned, like the post office, DMV, public libraries, etc, is most likely going to be closed.

Your bank is probably closed, but if you need cash the ATM is always an option.

Your favorite local spot — Varies by location! Call ahead! In general, local restaurants will probably be closed, but some morning-only spots (things like your favorite bagel or doughnut spot) might still be open during the day.

Museums — OK, some might be open, but some aren’t. It’s a real 50-50. If you’re dedicated, call ahead. If not, it’s safest to assume no.

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

Public Reminded About Natural Gas And Electric Safety During National Safety Month

June is National Safety Month, the perfect time to remind customers about the importance of natural gas and electric safety. While BGE’s top priority is always the safety of its employees and customers, it’s important that customers understand their role in energy safety as well.

Natural gas is colorless, tasteless, and odorless in its natural state. An additive, known as mercaptan, is added to natural gas to give it a rotten egg odor and make it easier to detect. If you smell gas, inside or outside, leave the area immediately and call BGE at 1-877-778-7798 or 1-800-685-0123. BGE answers emergency gas service calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. BGE also reminds customers there is no charge to investigate or repair a reported gas leak involving BGE equipment.

If BGE identifies a leak on customer-owned equipment (e.g., internal piping and gas-fed appliances located after the gas meter), BGE may need to interrupt gas service to make the area safe. The customer would be required to hire a licensed plumber to make repairs to their gas equipment in order for gas service to be restored.

For electric safety, BGE reminds customers who see downed electrical wires to stay away, warn others, and call BGE immediately at 1-877-778-2222 or

1-800-685-0123. Always assume overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Never touch any wires and always stay at least 10 feet away from overhead wires when engaging in activities nearby.

Customers should also be aware that if an overhead wire falls across a vehicle being driven, all persons should stay inside the vehicle and the vehicle should be driven away from the downed wire.

If the engine stalls, do not leave the vehicle. Call 911 immediately and warn others to stay away from the vehicle and the wire.

Customers and contractors should always survey the area before starting any remodeling or home improvement work. Before digging for any project, call Miss Utility at 811 at least two full business days in advance of work to arrange for any utility lines to be marked. BGE reminds customers to check for the presence of overhead wires and to avoid touching anything that may be in contact with a wire (e.g., tree limbs or other debris), keep ladders and other tools at least 10 feet away from power lines, and keep electric tools and appliances away from wet surfaces (e.g., pools and patios).

BGE employees and contractors regularly work on or around roads and highways. These work zones can be extremely dangerous if motorists are inattentive or do not practice safe driving procedures. For the safety of the public, BGE employees and contractors, please respect coned-off areas. In addition:

  • •Watch for signage, barriers, and vehicle lights
  • •Stay alert and minimize distractions
  • •Obey posted speed limits
  • •If a flagger is present, obey their
  • directions
  • •Pay attention to posted signs
  • •Do not tailgate.

The most common work zone accident is rear-end crashes. Be patient and remain calm in and around work zones. As a reminder, Maryland’s “Move Over” law now applies to utility vehicles as well as law enforcement.

As part of BGE’s safety commitment, the company has a public safety advertising campaign to educate those who work around overhead and underground power lines, hosts numerous safety education events, and provides information to customers and contractors each year in bill inserts and informational mailings.

For more safety information, visit Customers with any questions may contact BGE’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-685-0123.

Fashion Icon and Artist Gloria Vanderbilt Passes Monday at 95

CNN Video


Originally Published: 17 JUN 19 10:19 ET

Updated: 17 JUN 19 10:49 ET

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN

    (CNN) — Gloria Vanderbilt died Monday morning, according to her son, CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The fashion designer and socialite was 95.

Vanderbilt died at home with friends and family at her side.

“Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms,” Cooper said in a statement. “She was a painter, a writer and designer but also a remarkable mother, wife, and friend.

“She was 95 years old, but ask anyone close to her, and they’d tell you: She was the youngest person they knew — the coolest and most modern.”

Born in New York in 1924, Vanderbilt grew up in France. Her father, Reginald Vanderbilt, the heir to a railroad fortune, died when she was a baby.

Young Gloria was the focus of media attention at an early age, the subject of an intense custody battle between her mother and her father’s enormously wealthy sister, Gertrude. The latter prevailed in court proceedings.

“As a teenager she tried to avoid the spotlight, but reporters and cameramen followed her everywhere,” Cooper said. “She was determined to make something of her life, determined to make a name for herself, and find the love she so desperately needed.”

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

Climb Aboard The Summer Movie Express And Enjoy $1 Movies At Regal Theatres

Regal’s Summer Movie Express is back in theatres featuring $1 movies all summer long. This kid-friendly festival is the perfect way to beat the heat this summer at over 340 theatres nationwide. Regal will offer two movies on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m., with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Will Rogers Institute, which promotes and funds medical research of cardiopulmonary diseases and purchases neonatal ventilator equipment for medical facilities across the country.

“Summer Movie Express is one of the hottest annual deals Regal offers to its moviegoers. We invite people of all ages to join us for three months of fun and entertainment as we feature family-friendly blockbusters,” said Ken Thewes, Regal’s Chief Marketing Officer. “This summer program is the perfect way for families to spend quality time together while enjoying a big screen experience.”

Since 1991, Regal has hosted special summertime entertainment for families to enjoy and to foster a love of movies in each generation. This year’s Summer Movie Express program takes place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at participating theatres featuring a fantastic lineup of ‘G’ and ‘PG’ movies including, but not limited to:

Paddington 2 (PG); How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PG); Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (PG); Smallfoot (PG); Despicable Me 3 (PG); The Secret Life of Pets (PG); The Lego Movie (PG); The Grinch (PG); The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (PG); and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (PG).

For local start dates. a list of participating theatres; and a complete list of movies, visit:

Monument Quilt To Blanket National Mall

— For the first time ever, The Monument Quilt, a public art project made by and for survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence, will be on national display as it blankets the National Mall in Washington, D.C. from May 31-June 2, 2019.

In its largest display, this event is the culmination of five years of local, national and international organizing to have survivors and supporters create more than 3,000 quilt squares each 4’ by 4.’ Spanning 2,000 feet or four football fields, the Monument Quilt will spell out “NOT ALONE” and “NO ESTAS SOLX,” Spanish for “not alone.” More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the historic event, on the Mall between 10th and 15th Streets, the only time the Monument Quilt, organized by FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, will be displayed in its entirety.

There has never been a monument dedicated to survivors of sexual and domestic violence this large and with this many participants.

“Survivors need to see public support in order to counter the public shame, blame, and violence they face when they come forward with abuse,” said Lorena Kourousias, FORCE. “The Monument Quilt creates a meaningful opportunity for our culture to honor those whose traumas are the threads of our nation’s fabric, and whose stories deserve to be heard.”

The three-day event is open to the public and will feature art-making, performances, speakers, workshops and a public healing space. On Saturday, June 1, FORCE is partnering with Collective Action for Safer Spaces for a half-day survivor-led policy convening, with Marissa Alexander as the keynote speaker. The Monument Quilt display is bringing a space dedicated to survivors’ healing, along with their personal stories, to the national stage during this particularly pivotal time in U.S. history.

“The Quilt will occupy this national site to demand that our country face the realities and complexities of sexual violence and finally demonstrate real support to victim/survivors,” said one of the organizers Kalima Young. “Every attendee and every person affected by sexual and intimate partner violence will finally hear the message: You are not alone. We believe you. You did not deserve it.”

`The Monument Quilt honors and centers the stories too often left out of public conversations of sexual assault and domestic violence, including those of black women who are criminalized for self defense and Native survivors whose search for justice is entwined with tribal sovereignty. Dedicated to all survivors, and those who did not survive, pieces of the Quilt memorialize transgender and non-binary people whose lives were taken by violence. Other pieces share stories from immigrant, LGBTQ, and male survivors of abuse and sexual violence.

“I am part of a men’s survivor support group and we made a quilt square together. You don’t often hear a lot about us, but men can also be victims and survivors. I came together with other male survivors from intimate female offenders in true brotherhood, healthy masculinity and love to express our journeys while creating a quilt square,” said Norwood Johnson, who is one of the organizers of The Monument Quilt.

Since the project began in 2013, individuals, collectives and groups around the country have contributed their personal pieces to the project. Each of the 3,000 quilts is a handmade work of art. The Quilt’s growing collection of stories has been displayed 49 times in 33 cities across the U.S. and in Mexico.

A three-day display of The Monument Quilt will bring survivors’ stories and demands to the national stage to be heard and honored.

A three-day display of The Monument Quilt will bring survivors’ stories and demands to the national stage to be heard and honored.

FORCE created a digital library cataloguing each square by number, which will be accessible at, so people can track their artwork.

After the exhibition on the Mall, individual squares of the Monument Quilt will be distributed to libraries, school, cultural institutions and anti-violence organizations to be housed in permanent collections and displays, as a living archive of the project.

The Monument Quilt is the project of non-profit organization FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, a national art and activist collective based in Baltimore. With a network of hundreds of dedicated volunteers from around the country and a small core staff collective, FORCE creates large scale public art actions to change the conversation around sexual and intimate partner violence in this country to a more difficult and honest one, demanding we all consider what it would take to create a world without rape.

Learn more at and

‘The Greatest Mother’s Day Gift I Could Have Ever Received’

This is Part 1 of a Two-Part Series on the making of a Surprise 50-year reunion between Arthur Shepard and his daughter Brenda Sawyer. The father and daughter found one another through and Facebook. Part 2 of the series will conclude next week with the result of the Surprise Reunion, which is taking place on the evening of Friday, May 10, 2019.

A daily prayer was always on the lips of Arthur Shepard. “I prayed that before I close my eyes for the last time, I would find my daughter,” recalled the 66-year-old. Just over 700 miles down the road in Warner Robins, Georgia, a school teacher by the name of Brenda Sawyer was also praying to one day find a close relative. “I prayed that before I took my last breath, I would find my father,” said the 49-year-old.

On Good Friday, April 19, 2019, the prayers of both Shepard and Sawyer were answered after the father and daughter connected as a result of Ancestry and the online social media networking service Facebook. Shepard recalled the message he received from Sawyer that day on Facebook.

“I was at a friend’s house when I received the message from her on Good Friday. She wanted to know if I knew the name of a women that lived in Washington, D.C. At first, I thought someone was playing with me. And then, I just fell apart because I knew this was my daughter.”

The name of the woman Sawyer had given, was that of her biological mother. Sawyer was able to contact Shepard using Facebook after a persistent, decades-long journey.

“She was looking for Tony, which is my nickname,” said Shepard. “All of these years, she was looking for the wrong person, and so was I. But neither one of us gave up.”

Sawyer utilized Ancestry to contact family members of Shepard, which eventually led to her correspondence with him on Facebook. The two then utilized AncestryDNA to confirm they were father and daughter.

The Ancestry brand family encompasses Ancestry, AncestryDNA, AncestryProGenealogists, and more. Sophisticated engineering and technology harnesses family history and consumer genomics, combining billions of rich historical records, millions of family trees, and samples from over 10 million people in the AncestryDNA database to provide people with deeply meaningful insights about who they are and where they come from.

“We took the DNA testing, and everything matched,” said Shepard. “We have been talking and sending pictures back and forth ever since. It’s like I am watching her grow up all over again. The last time I laid eyes on her, she was two days old. We will see each other again when she comes to Baltimore in May.”

Little did Shepard know at Baltimore Times press time that the visit would be coming much sooner than he expected. With the help of Shepards’ children and other relatives, Sawyer is coming to Maryland on Friday, May 10, 2019 for a surprise visit.

“I can’t wait to see him,” said Sawyer. “It’s going to be a family reunion. After contacting him on Facebook, everything catapulted into now. I will turn 50 this year, and this has been one of the most amazing things I have ever felt.”

According to Sawyer who was raised by her grandparents, the first clue she received as to who her father was, came from a relative.

“My relative told me his name was Tony,” she recalled. “I named my son who is now 20 after him. I knew Tony could be many things, so I named my son after what I thought my father’s name was – Anthony.”

She added, “I kept that name Tony with me all my life. Sweet 16, then 18, and 25, and now I am almost 50. My fiancé gave me AncestryDNA for Christmas. Through the test, I was able to connect with family members, and eventually my father. Some say it was AncestryDNA, and others will credit it to Facebook, but I know it was God. This is the greatest’s Mother’s Day gift I could have ever received.”

Sawyer said her son, who is a sophomore at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, plans to travel to Maryland with her to meet his grandfather for the first time.

“All of my siblings and other relatives have reached out to me,” said Sawyer. “They have really poured out. We talk on the phone for hours. They are so loving to me.”

One of those siblings is Toni Saunders.

“When my father told us about the call that he received from his daughter, my initial thought was ‘What in the tarnation is going on?’”, said Saunders with a laugh. “As he went further into how she found him, I said ‘Look at God.’”

She added, “As we approach this Mother’s Day weekend, let us not forget that, yes we are uplifting the mothers who birthed, cared for and nurtured us…but within this miraculous story we are celebrating those who don’t give up.”

Coming in next week’s edition: The Reunion. Also be sure to log-in to to see video and photos captured from the long-awaited reunion of the father and daughter.

Census 2020 Kick Off News Conference


Census Day 2019 Press Briefing, 4/1/19

— The Census Bureau is tasked with confronting major tech challenges in the final year before the 2020 population count.

At a Census Day event hosted by the National Press Club in Washington on Monday, April 1, officials said they’re looking to scale systems to make sure they can handle the massive influx of data that comes with counting more than 300 million people.

Officials said they’re using the best of what’s available to successfully perform the count and technology has a vital role in the process.

To view the entire Census Day press conference, click here.