05-22-2018  5:07 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

3 killed in Vancouver vehicle crash identified

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County Medical's Examiner's Office has identified three men killed in a vehicle crash in Vancouver.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 24-year-old Tabo Naveta, 27-year-old Akiki Kintin and 27-year-old Kenson Cheipot, all from Vancouver, died from injuries...

Springfield settles lawsuit with fired dispatcher for K

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The city of Springfield has agreed to pay ,000 to settle a 2014 lawsuit by a dispatcher who said she was wrongly fired after accusing officers of inappropriate conduct.The Register-Guard reported Sunday that a joint statement from the city and the former dispatcher,...

3 killed in Vancouver vehicle crash identified

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The Clark County Medical's Examiner's Office has identified three men killed in a vehicle crash in Vancouver.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports 24-year-old Tabo Naveta, 27-year-old Akiki Kintin and 27-year-old Kenson Cheipot, all from Vancouver, died from injuries...

Seattle, family reach M settlement for deadly crash

SEATTLE (AP) — The family of a couple killed in 2013 by a drunk driver has settled with the city of Seattle for million.KOMO-TV reported Monday that the family of Dennis and Judy Schulte settled with the city last month.Prosecutors say Mark Mullan was drunk when his pickup hit the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Black man ordered to pay [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 for racist campus graffiti

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former Eastern Michigan University student who admitted to painting racist graffiti on campus has been ordered to pay more than [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 in restitution.The Ann Arbor News reports 29-year-old Eddie Curlin learned his punishment Monday after earlier pleading guilty to...

China sentences Tibetan activist to 5 years for separatism

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese judge sentenced a Tibetan shopkeeper to five years in prison on Tuesday for inciting separatism, based on his comments in a New York Times documentary in which the man talked about the erosion of his culture and language in the tightly secured region.Tashi Wangchuk's...

Voters choose nominees in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Texas

ATLANTA (AP) — Four states will cast ballots Tuesday as the 2018 midterm elections take shape. Voters in Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky hold primaries, while Texans settle several primary runoffs after their first round of voting in March. Some noteworthy story lines:IN THIS #METOO MIDTERM,...

ENTERTAINMENT

Sony buys most of EMI Music, to spend B on image sensors

TOKYO (AP) — Electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. said Tuesday it plans to spend [scripts/homepage/home.php].3 billion acquiring an additional 60 percent stake in EMI Music Publishing, home to the Motown catalog and contemporary artists like Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams.Sony already owns...

At Cannes, a #MeToo upheaval up and down the Croisette

CANNES, France (AP) — Fifty years after filmmakers shut down the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Cote d'Azur extravaganza was again shook by upheaval.From the start to the finish, the 71st Cannes was dominated by protest and petition for gender equality, culminating in the...

Despite Spotify change, R. Kelly's streams still intact

NEW YORK (AP) — Streaming numbers for R. Kelly have remained intact a week after Spotify announced it had removed the R&B singer's music from its playlists, citing its new policy on hate content and hateful conduct.Spotify made the bold declaration on May 10, but R. Kelly's streaming...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

All tied up: LeBron's 44 helps Cavs even series with Celtics

CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James knows the path to the NBA Finals better than anyone in today's game.And...

Experts disclose new details about 300-year-old shipwreck

BOSTON (AP) — A Spanish galleon laden with gold that sank to the bottom of the Caribbean off the coast of...

Palestinians ask ICC for 'immediate' probe against Israel

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Calling it a "historic step" toward justice, the Palestinian foreign minister...

Economists see potential nightmare in new Italian government

MILAN (AP) — The prospect of a populist government in Italy, the eurozone's third-largest economy, has...

The Latest: Explosion kills 16 in Afghan city of Kandahar

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):4 p.m.An Afghan...

Syrian army, police celebrate recapturing all of Damascus

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces raised their flag over the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus on...

Ben Chavis
Ben Chavis

More than any other first lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama continues to stand above those who would attempt to distort her leadership.

First Lady Obama’s recent commencement address at the Tuskegee University in Alabama exemplified her courage to speak truth to the world without fear of repercussions. Michelle Obama’s resilient optimism is refreshing as well as sobering.

I am certain the class of 2015 at Tuskegee will always remember the strong and poignant words of wisdom that they were given during their graduation ceremonies. But we all can learn from her timely remarks. We live today in an increased atmosphere of racial polarization in America since the election and re-election of President Barack Obama. We, therefore, should welcome public utterances that transcend the prevalent negativity surrounding any attempt to address the question of race in the United States.

Michele Obama is perfectly qualified and strategically positioned to use her leadership in a constructive manner to advance the interests of Black America and all those who struggle and cry out for freedom, justice and equality. As a talented Harvard Law School graduate, devoted mother, and loyal spouse to the president, the first lady has risen to become one of the most admired persons in the world.

The first lady eloquently stated, “But here’s the thing – our history provides us with a better story, a better blueprint for how we can win. It teaches us that when we pull ourselves out of those lowest emotional depths, and we channel our frustrations into studying and organizing and banding together – then we can build ourselves and our communities up. We can take on those deep-rooted problems, and together – together – we can overcome anything that stands in our way.” In other words, we should strive to avoid complacency and the cynicism of hopelessness. 

The history and the centuries-old legacy of African people in America and throughout the world proves our ability to overcome the hardships of oppression and injustice. It was also good to hear Michelle Obama call for Black American unity and “banding together.”

Our families and communities across the nation are certainly in critical need of greater unity and collective resolve to stand up together to provide leadership and direction in particular for our youth and young emerging leaders. We cannot afford to permit the evolution of an ahistorical generation of young people who have not been given the truth of our history nor given the encouragement that they need to excel and make their mark on history today. 

Over the next weeks we will witness numerous graduation ceremonies in particular at other Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The good news is that thousands of Black American college graduates from HBCUs and from other institutions of higher learning will be pushing forward to demand greater access to wealth-building careers with the intent on giving more back to the communities from which they have emerged.

Like the first lady, I am optimistic about the future to the extent to which we continue to stand up to injustice while at the same time pressing forth to economically empower our families and communities. Education and empowerment are both goals that must be attained and each generation has to rise to the occasion with persistence and focus. T

here will be setbacks and sometimes disappointments in everyone’s life. Yet, the enduring lesson from Michelle Obama’s magnificent address was that when those life challenges happen, do not let your problems or critics define who you are. We have to have faith in our own capacity to rebound and to stand for truth even when it might not be the popular or politically expedient.

We are a resilient people. We resist oppression. We are against inequality and injustice. We stand for liberation and freedom for ourselves and for all people. The more we stand together, the more we make progress.

We are grateful that in our lifetime we are privilege to witness how the first lady epitomizes what it means to be a freedom fighter with courage and grace, but most of all, with a glowing resilience that motivates and inspires others to excel.

 

Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is the President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association: dr.bchavis@nnpa.orghttp://drbenjaminfchavisjr.wix.com/drbfc

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