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Battle for Black Voter Turnout Heats Up as the Trump Train Picks Up Steam By Hamil R. Harris

Feb. 27, 2024



( - The Donald Trump political train is picking up steam since it ran through South Carolina and defeated Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley by a 20 percent margin.

But Democratic lawmakers and Civil Rights groups are mobilizing to slow Trump down before his rematch with President Biden on November 5th.

Trump received 60 percent or 451,905 votes cast Feb 24th to defeat Haley to pick 47 delegates. But Haley, who lost big in a state she won twice for governor, is refusing to get out of the race even though she only won 40 percent or 298, 674 votes to pick up 3 delegates to the Republican Convention in Milwaukee in July.

While Trump needs half of 2,430 delegates to win the nomination the map is looking bleak for Haley and anyone else as Trump’s operatives are picking up endorsements to make Trump appear unstoppable by the November 5 Presidential Election.

Even though the Presidential primary season will last for nearly six months, more than 70 percent of all delegates will be doled out by the end of March and voters in 15 states will go to the polls March 5 which is called Super Tuesday. On Super Tuesday voters will go to the polls in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Vermont. Virginia is expected to hold its presidential primary on March 5, and Iowa's Democratic mail-in caucus will also conclude Super Tuesday.

On the eve of the South Carolina primary Trump spoke at the Black Conservative Federation Gala in Columbia, S.C., where he said that Blacks would support him because they see how he has been treated by the justice system.

 "I got indicted a second time and a third time and a fourth time, and a lot of people said that that's why the Black people like me because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against,” Trump told the audience at the Gala.

While Trump was reportedly applauded during his speech, Cedric Richmond, a co-chair of President Biden's reelection campaign, said in a statement that Trump’s comments are, “Just plain racist…. He thinks Black voters are so uninformed that we won't see through his shameless pandering," Richmond said.

The Democratic National Committee also said in a statement that Trump is "showing Black voters exactly what he thinks of them - and his ideas to win them over are as corny and racist as he is."

The Rev. Al Sharpton, during a news conference on Feb 24th, said "if any Black Republicans had any dignity, they would denounce this characterization of Black folk by Donald Trump…It goes past politics, “Sharpton said. “The nerve to act like we relate to mugshots -- we all know 'em mug shots because the criminal justice system, in many cases, wasn't fair to us.”

Going forward, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation has partnered with the National Action Network, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, and more than 20 other partners to unveil the Power of the Ballot: We Won't Be Erased,” national campaign. Melanie Campbell, President & CEO of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, a non-partisan organization, said, “The 2024 Presidential Election will determine what kind of nation our children will inherit and if we will have the ability to leverage the power of the Black vote to win our fight for voting rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, workers rights, affirmative action, teach Black history, protect public education and the environment, build Black businesses and more!”

Campbell added, “While we are a nonpartisan group, our primary focus is to own the ballot because our Democracy is at stake and the issues that Black voters are concerned about where they are,” Cambell said. “What do you want to do with your vote in terms of the President, Congress, the State legislature?”

Says Clayola Brown, National president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, “We have lost voting rights, reproductive rights, affirmative action and that is all based on who sits on the court,”Campbell said.

Clayola Brown, National President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, stated, “This election is critical for the labor and civil rights movements and this pivotal phase of our collective campaign aims to send a message that Black voters are engaged and to highlight the collective POWER we have when Black voices speak at the ballot box.”

Biden White House Produces List of Accomplishments for Black America by Hazel Trice Edney

Feb. 20, 2024



( - Circumventing criticism from pundits who say Democrats, including the Biden Administration, have done little to advance the Black community, the White House had released a special report unveiling a list of “Equity and Opportunity” successes advanced for Black Americans and communities across the country.

“Over the past three years, President Biden and Vice President Harris have leveraged the full force of the Federal Government to advance racial justice and equity and ensure the promise of America for all communities, including Black Americans, across the country,” states the report released this month. “With the support of these efforts, Black Americans are starting new businesses, creating jobs, buying homes, and taking advantage of increased education opportunities at historic rates—contributing to a 60% increase in wealth compared to before the pandemic. And this boom in wealth creation following the pandemic is helping to drive a historically equitable economic recovery.”

The report continues, “From promoting entrepreneurship to increasing access to homeownership and delivering the lowest Black unemployment rate, from proving it’s possible to reduce child poverty to historic lows to expanding access to quality affordable healthcare, from advancing voting rights and police accountability to ensuring equal access to a high-quality education with historic funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), President Biden and Vice President Harris are committed to investing in the future of Black communities.”

More than 90 percent of Black voters casted ballots for Biden in the last presidential election. But, according to Politico, a recent poll focusing on Black voters says, “President Joe Biden is facing strong headwinds among his most loyal base of support: Black Americans.”

Politico reports, in the GenForward survey released in December, “nearly 1 in 5 Black Americans, 17 percent, said they would vote for former President Donald Trump. And 20 percent of Black respondents said they would vote for ‘someone else’ other than Biden or Trump.”

The July 2023 article continues, “According to the survey, about three-quarters of Black respondents said they would vote if the presidential election were held today, a figure that trails the number of white voters who said they would vote today by 10 points.

“The GenForward survey is housed at the University of Chicago and was conducted with 3,448 eligible voters, including large oversamples with voters of color, from Nov. 8-30 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey — which was conducted over the internet with a mix of respondents who were randomly selected to join a panel and those who opted-in to participate in the survey — has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points.”

Among the factors in the election may be the independent candidacy of former Harvard Professor Dr. Cornell West. West has strongly criticized Biden for 1990s votes that he says amounts to “crime against humanity.”

In an exclusive interview with the New York Post, Biden said, “Well, I think you’ll think Joe Biden contributed to a crime against humanity when he became the architect of the mass incarceration regime in the 1990s.” The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that Biden sponsored as a senator in 1994 authorized the hiring of 100,000 new police officers and allocated $9.7 billion for prisons,” the Post reported.

West described the prisons as barbaric, which he said in the New York Post article, “has something to do with that crime bill that he put forward.”

West, now a professor at Union Theological Seminary, who teaches in prisons said, “Black folks are low priority” to Biden and added that “the president was much better at window dressing — ‘black faces in high places’ — than substantive change.”

But substantive change is what the White House release appears to stress as it lists a string of accomplishments affecting Black communities under the Biden administration. Among the list are the following verbatim descriptions:

  • Powered a historic economic recovery that created 2.6 million jobs for Black workers—and achieved both the lowest Black unemployment rate on record and the lowest gap between Black and White unemployment on record.
  • Helped Black working families build wealth. Black wealth is up by 60% relative to pre-pandemic—the largest increase on record.
  • Cut in half the number of Black children living in poverty in 2021 through ARP’s Child Tax Credit expansion. This expansion provided breathing room to the families of over 9 million Black children.
  • Began reversing decades of infrastructure disinvestment, including with $4 billion to reconnect communities that were previously cut off from economic opportunities by building needed transportation infrastructure in underserved communities, including Black communities.
  • Connected an estimated 5.5 million Black households to affordable high-speed internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program, closing the digital divide for millions of Black families.
  • Achieved the fastest creation rate of Black-owned businesses in more than 30 years—and more than doubled the share of Black business owners from 2019 to 2022.
  • Improved the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flagship loan guarantee programs to expand the availability of capital to underserved communities. Since 2020, the number and dollar value of SBA-backed loans to Black-owned businesses have more than doubled.
  • Launched a whole-of-government effort to expand access to federal contracts for small businesses, awarding a record $69.9 billion to small, disadvantaged businesses in 2022.
  • Supported small and disadvantaged businesses through CHIPS Act funding by requiring funding applicants to develop a workforce plan to create equitable pathways for economically disadvantaged individuals in their region, as well as a plan to support procurement from small, minority-owned, veteran-owned, and women-owned businesses.
  • Set up the first-ever national infrastructure to stop evictions, scaling up the ARP-funded Emergency Rental Assistance program in over 400 communities across the country, helping 8 million renters and their families stay in their homes. Over 40% of all renters helped are Black—and this support prevented millions of evictions, with the largest effects seen in majority-Black neighborhoods.
  • Championed the largest increase to Pell Grants in the last decade—a combined increase of $900 to the maximum award over the past two years, affecting the over 60% of Black undergraduates who rely on Pell grants.
  • Delivered a historic investment of over $7 billion to support HBCUs.
  • Through ARP, secured $130 billion—the largest investment in public education in history—to help students get back to school, recover academically in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and address student mental health.
  • Secured a 30% increase in childcare assistance funding last year. Black families comprise 38% of families benefiting from federal childcare assistance. Additionally, the President secured an additional $1 billion for Head Start, a program where more than 28% of children and pregnant women who benefit identify as Black.

Improving Health Outcomes for Black Families and Communities
To improve health outcomes for the Black community, the Biden-Harris Administration has:

  • Increased Black enrollment in health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act by 49%—or by around 400,000—from 2020 to 2022, helping more Black families gain health insurance than ever before.
  • Through IRA, locked in lower monthly premiums for health insurance, capped the cost of insulin at $35 per covered insulin product for Medicare beneficiaries, and helped further close the gap in access to medication by improving prescription drug coverage and lowering drug costs in Medicare. 
  • Through ARP, expanded postpartum coverage from 60 days to 12 months in 43 states and Washington, D.C., covering 700,000 more women in the year after childbirth. Medicaid covers approximately 65% of births for Black mothers, and this investment is a critical step to address maternal health disparities.
  • Financed projects that will replace hundreds of thousands of lead pipes, helping protect against lead poisoning that disproportionately affects Black communities.
  • Provided 264 grants with $1 billion in Bipartisan Safer Communities Act funds to more than 40 states to increase the supply of school-based mental health professionals in communities with high rates of poverty.
  • Signed two Executive Orders directing the Federal Government to advance an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda that matches the scale of the challenges we face as a country and the opportunities we have to build a more perfect union.
  • Nominated the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court and more Black women to federal circuit courts than every President combined.
  • Countered hateful attempts to rewrite history including: the signing of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act; establishing Juneteenth as a national holiday; and designating the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument in Mississippi and Illinois. The Department of the Interior has invested more than $295 million in infrastructure funding and historic preservation grants to protect and restore places significant to Black history.
  • Created the Justice40 Initiative, which is delivering 40% of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments in clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other programs to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution as part of the most ambitious climate, conservation, and environmental justice agenda in history.
  • Repeatedly and forcefully called on Congress to pass essential legislation, including the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, including calling for an exception to the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.
  • Increased funding for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, which has more than doubled the number of voting rights enforcement attorneys. The Justice Department also created the Election Threats Task Force to assess allegations and reports of threats against election workers and investigate and prosecute these matters where appropriate.
  • Signed into law the bipartisan Electoral Reform Count Act, which establishes clear guidelines for our system of certifying and counting electoral votes for President and Vice President, to preserve the will of the people and to protect against the type of attempts to overturn our elections that led to the January 6 insurrection.
  • Launched the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention and taken more executive action on gun violence than any President in history, including investments in violence reduction strategies that address the root causes of gun violence and address emerging threats like ghost guns. In 2022, the Administration’s investments in evidence-based, lifesaving programs combined with aggressive action to stop the flow of illegal guns and hold shooters accountable yielded a 12.4% reduction in homicides across the United States.
  • Signed into the law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun violence reduction legislation enacted in nearly 30 years, including investments in violence reduction strategies and historic policy changes to enhance background checks for individuals under age 21, narrow the dating partner loophole in the gun background check system, and provide law enforcement with tools to crack down on gun trafficking.
  • Secured the first-ever dedicated federal funding stream for community violence intervention programs, which have been shown to reduce violence by as much as 60%. These programs are effective because they leverage trusted messengers who work directly with individuals most likely to commit gun violence, intervene in conflicts, and connect people to social, health and wellness, and economic services to reduce the likelihood of violence as an answer to conflict.
  • Signed a historic Executive Order to put federal policing on the path to becoming the gold standard of effectiveness and accountability by requiring federal law enforcement agencies to ban chokeholds; restrict no-knock warrants; mandate the use of body-worn cameras; implement stronger use-of-force policies; provide de-escalation training; submit use-of-force data; submit officer misconduct records into a new national accountability database; and restrict the sale or transfer of military equipment to local law enforcement agencies, among other things. 
  • Taken steps to right the wrongs stemming from our Nation’s failed approach to marijuana by directing the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice to expeditiously review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law and in October 2022 issued categorical pardons of prior federal and D.C. offenses of simple possession of marijuana and in December 2023 pardoned additional offenses of simple possession and use of marijuana under federal and D.C. law. While white, Black, and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionately higher rates.
  • Announced over 100 concrete policy actions as part of a White House evidence-informed, multi-year Alternatives, Rehabilitation, and Reentry Strategic Plan to safely reduce unnecessary criminal justice system interactions so police officers can focus on fighting crime; supporting rehabilitation during incarceration; and facilitating successful reentry.

NFL Turns to Africa to Build a Market Beyond the U. S.

Feb. 12, 2024

Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah

(GIN/ - By the time you read this, the Super Bowl will be over and done. As will the Africa Cup of Nations 2023. What you may not have heard is how the league swapped the greenery of American football fields for an Accra marketplace in a mission to grow its brand and engage new fans across the continent.

In the 15-second teaser seen over the weekend, the NFL spotlights growing global initiatives in a Super Bowl commercial. Three of the league’s top stars are seen in downtown Accra, scampering through Ghana’s Makola Market, passing street vendors, flipping and leaping, before doing the Azonto dance.

In the ad campaign, titled “Born to Play,” Giants running back Saquon Barkley, Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson and Saints defensive end Cam Jordan are centerpieces in the spot.

The NFL has been growing its presence in Africa, starting in Ghana, with the Cleveland Browns’ Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. A linebacker, his use of Ghanaian and other African cultures in his pre-game wardrobe makes his fashion sense stand out - not often seen in American pro sports.

In the league today, there are currently over 125 players of African descent (born in Africa or children born to African immigrants), per the NFL.

Last year, the National Football League's "NFL Africa" program expanded to Kenya as the League continues to invest in growing the game at all levels across the continent.

The Indianapolis Colts currently have six Africans on their 53-man roster: defensive tackle Adetomiwa Adebawore, tight end Mo Alie-Cox, linebacker Segun Olubi and defensive ends Samson Ebukam (Nigerian), Dayo fOdeyingbo and Kwity Paye (Liberian). Defensive tackle McTelvin Agim, who is of Nigerian descent, is on their practice squad.

That's the most of any team in the league, creating an environment where players are able to share different experiences that many of their other teammates can't relate to.

While the players enjoy their shared experience, there is also a sense of pride that comes with representing Africa.

"You're definitely an ambassador in everything you do," Olubi said. "I'm an ambassador with my last name. Everybody knows where my last name comes from. My first name, my family, got to make them proud and make the people around them proud."

In January 2024, the League announced its International Player Pathway (IPP) program Class of 2024, which features 11 athletes from around the world.

Osi Umenyiora, who spent part of his youth living in both London and his native Nigeria, played 12 seasons in the NFL, winning two Super Bowls with the New York Giants. After retiring, Umenyiora began working for the league, eventually rising to lead the NFL Africa initiative, where he foresaw a lot of potential on the continent.

“This is just the beginning for these players, and we eagerly anticipate sharing their stories and the game of football with the world.”

Since its inception, 37 international players have signed with NFL teams. “Without a shadow of a doubt, that is the home of the most incredible athletes in the world,” Umenyiora said of Africa. 

U.S. Forgives Nearly $137 Billion of Student Loans  - Teachers, Social Workers, Public Servants Among Those to Benefit By Charlene Crowell

February 15, 2014

Black Student Reading Book in Library

( - Teachers, social workers, and other public servants are among those expected to benefit from recent Biden Administration efforts to expand eligibility for federal student loan forgiveness.

Collectively, these borrowers will be relieved of $4.9 billion debt in return for their service to communities that earned them forgiveness under Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Income-Driven Repayment (IDR).

“The Biden-Harris Administration has worked relentlessly to fix our country's broken student loan system and address the needless hurdles and administrative inaccuracies that, in the past, kept borrowers from getting the student debt forgiveness they deserved," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

James Kvaal, U.S. Under Secretary of Education added, “The Biden-Harris Administration is not going to stop until we’ve helped all of those harmed by the broken student loan system.”

Announced by the federal Department of Education  in January, this latest expansion boosts the Biden Administration’ s total student loan forgiveness to $136.6 billion for more than 3.7 million borrowers. Here’s how this unprecedented loan relief was accomplished:

  • $56.7 billion for 793,400 borrowers enrolled in PSLF since October 2021. Prior to the Biden-Harris Administration’s fixes to PSLF, only about 7,000 borrowers had ever received forgiveness;
  • $45.7 billion in IDR relief for 930,500 borrowers;
  • $11.7 billion for almost 513,000 borrowers with a total and permanent disability; and
  • $22.5 billion for more than 1.3 million borrowers who were cheated by their schools, saw their institutions precipitously close, or are covered by related court settlements.

In late 2023, the Federal Reserve determined that although most consumers pay $400 or less in monthly loan payments, 19 percent of borrowers pay far more. As reported by Motley Fool, payments between $500 and $999 are made by 14 percent of borrowers, while payments of $1,000 or more are paid by five percent of borrowers.

“Outstanding student loan debt exceeds outstanding auto loan debt and credit card debt,” recently noted Rohit Chopra, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). “If student loan borrowers are unable to successfully enroll in payment plans or obtain accurate information about their accounts, this can have a domino effect on the rest of their financial lives.”

In December 2023, CFPB issued a new report entitled, Making Ends Meet in 2023. Two findings in this report highlight the heavy and disproportionate financial effects for borrowers of color:

“Consumers who currently have student debt were 10 percentage points more likely to have difficulty paying bills than consumers who had student debt at some point in the last 10 years but no longer do and consumers who have not had student debt for at least 10 years if ever.”

“Nearly 58 percent of Black consumers and 54 percent of Hispanic households could not cover expenses for more than a month in February 2023,” continued the CFPB report, “while this was the case for only 34 percent of non-Hispanic white households and 32 percent of households of another race. These differences among groups were largely unchanged since 2022.”

Secretary Cardona said the Education Department’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan will deliver even greater debt relief and help put more borrowers on a faster track to loan forgiveness. Borrowers who originally took out $12,000 or less for college and are enrolled in the SAVE Plan will see forgiveness after as few as 10 years of payments. Those who are enrolled in SAVE and are eligible for early forgiveness will have their debts automatically cancelled starting next month, months ahead of schedule, with no action needed.

The Department and its partners are reaching out to encourage eligible but unenrolled borrowers to sign up for SAVE. Borrowers can find additional resources at and sign up for the SAVE plan at

Charlene Crowell is a senior fellow with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Editors and Publishers, in an earlier version of the Joe Madison death story, we mistakenly called his wife by the name "Karen" when it should be Sharon. The mistake has been corrected in the current posted version, but in case you have already downloaded it, please change it to Sharon. Thank you. We regret the error.