Compton, Calif. has elected Aja Brown as its newest mayor. The 31-year-old urban planner beat former mayor Omar Bradley in a runoff mayoral election. She’s the youngest mayor in Compton’s history and is determined to make progress in the city.
“I believe the people of Compton are ready for change,” she said after being elected in June. “They’ve spoken. Their voice has clearly been heard that they don’t want to go backward. They want to go forward.”
The University of Southern California alum is not taking her new position lightly. Her top priorities include reducing crime, balancing the budget and improving Compton’s image. In a recent interview she addressed her priorities as follows:
“I think the City of Compton has suffered for quite some time from the lack of innovative policies, really collaborative efforts with the federal, state and regional elected officials and government agencies. Compton has been on an island fiscally so I look forward to really collaborating in order to move our visions forward: to go back to basics, to implement strategic plans, capital improvements plans that really lay out the infrastructure improvements in our community. My heart is really in building coalitions. The city of Compton has over 200 churches, 100 non-profits, small business communities and really large corporations and so we have an opportunity to really bridge the gap between those sectors and be able to provide a higher level of service to our residents.”
Betty Shabazz, Dorothy Height, Shirley Chisholm, and Marian Anderson
Group portrait of five women on bowling team, including Louise Fulton seated in center wearing shirt embroidered “Ray’s Dairy Bar, 2537 Wylie Ave. Pgh, Fulton,” and standing from left: Lola Montgomery Wilkens, Sara E. Broadie, Myra Davis, and Louise Graham, posed in Meadow Lanes bowling alley. 2006 Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
“On Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama (seated center) signed a bill effectively awarding the four young victims of the tragic 1963 Birmingham church bombing with the Congressional Gold Medal.
With Alabama representatives Terri Sewell, a Democrat, and Spencer Bachus, a Republican, leading the effort, the House swung in favor last month to posthumously award the deceased, which was a major step in properly upholding the legacy of the bombing victims. “
"As she settles in as the first African American woman to become a Baltimore Fire Department battalion chief, Charline B. Stokes can look back over a bumpy road.
She has gone from high school dropout and teenage mother to inexperienced, female driver among tough guy first responders. But she has risen steadily in the fire department, from paramedic to lieutenant to captain.
Even a ruptured appendix last month left Stokes undaunted. And on May 8, she was promoted to be the first African American female battalion chief in the 154-year history of the Baltimore City Fire Department.”
Even before you notice the smooth, powerful swing that has helped propel her to the brink of stardom at only 17, you see something else that defines Ginger Howard and her precocious golf game…the smile. It lights up her face, as she talks about her life and dreams.
Ginger has become a member of the LPGA at the right age of 17, the youngest ever. There’s a good chance you haven’t heard much if anything about Howard yet, but all that could change very soon. If things go they way they’ve been heading, we may soon become well-acquainted with the million-dollar smile and formidable style that has been lighting up the ranks.
And the story could ultimately entwine a Williams Sisters tennis twist, because waiting in the wings is 16-year-old sister Robbi, a prodigy in her own right.
Ginger follows other notable black golfers such as, tennis great Althea Gibson was the first black female to play on tour. Gibson broke through in 1963 and played in 171 tournaments until 1971. From 1967-80, Renee Powell also held an LPGA Tour card. More recently, LaRee Pearl Sugg played full-time in 1995, ’96, 2000 and ’01. Also, Andia Winslow missed the cut in her one event in 2006. (NFL Hall of Famer, Kellen Winslow, Sr., is her uncle.)
I get a feeling we will be seeing and hearing a lot from these talented sisters. Go girls!
Didn’t we tell you Black girls do everything?
Ida B. Wells, born a slave in 1862, lived a remarkable life until her death on March 25, 1931, fighting for equal rights for African-Americans and women.
Six months after her birth, the Emancipation Proclamation freed the nation’s slaves. Life in Mississippi was challenging because of ongoing racially discriminatory practices, but Wells’ family was one that stressed education. It was such a high priority, that when her parents and a sibling died from yellow fever, she was able to convince a school administrator that she was 18 and qualified to teach. The bold move enabled Wells to care for her remaining siblings.
Her activism began when she was forced off of a train traveling from Memphis to Nashville after refusing to move to a Blacks-only car. Wells, who had purchased a first-class ticket, sued the railroad. She won a $500 settlement but the state’s Supreme Court later overturned the decision. Outraged, she began writing about politics and southern racial discrimination, while continuing to teach, and ultimately became a journalist and newspaper publisher. Issues she tackled included the state of segregated public schools, lynching, employment discrimination and other inequities. Her work put her in danger, however, it lead her to move to New York City, where she continued her activism.
Wells founded the National Association of Colored Women in 1896, was a founding member of the NAACP, ran for a seat in the Illinois state senate and worked with the National Equal Rights League.
She died of kidney disease in 1931, in Chicago.”
*Folks who have Googled something today may have noticed the drawing of an African woman in the place of its usual logo.
It’s Miriam Makeba, the late singer and civil rights campaigner, honored in a special doodle on what would have been her 81st birthday.
Makeba, who was born in Johannesburg in 1932, worked with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Nina Simone, Harry Belafonte and Paul Simon in a musical career that spanned decades. She is considered to be the first singer to popularize African music internationally, initially performing jazz before moving into a style that is commonly known by the catch-all title “world music.”
The politics of Makeba’s music led to her exile from South Africa in 1959 shortly after she appeared in an anti-apartheid documentary that made her an international star. She was denied access to her homeland for 31 years, only returning in 1990 at the insistence of future president Nelson Mandela who had only recently been released from prison. During her exile she became a prominent critic of South Africa, even testifying against apartheid before the United Nations, which led to her becoming an honorary citizen of 10 countries.
Makeba died in Italy in 2008 during a performance for the author, journalist and anti-mafia campaigner Roberto Saviano.