05-22-2018  12:33 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

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 seeks answers after Oregon student injured on trip

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The family of an Oregon college student is searching for answers after the 22-year-old was found injured and unconscious near railroad tracks in Truckee, California.The Reno Gazette-Journal reports Aaron Salazar remains in the critical care unit at a hospital in Reno,...

Oregon mom raises awareness after baby dies from meningitis

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Summer Poff knew something was wrong with her 7-month-old son, Blaize, early in the morning on May 11.He was fussy, feverish and wouldn't go to sleep. The Salem mom tried to soothe her baby and gave him Tylenol, but at 3 a.m, she knew she needed to take him to the...

Facelift of Seattle's Space Needle nears completion

SEATTLE (AP) — Tourism is booming in Seattle. Just take a look at the Space Needle.The family-owned landmark is set to unveil the biggest renovation in its 56-year history next month, a 0 million investment in a single year of construction that transformed the structure's top viewing...

Lawsuit seeks to change how Army Corps regulates shorelines

SEATTLE (AP) — Three conservation groups are suing the Army Corps of Engineers over how it regulates seawalls, bulkheads or other barriers built along shorelines across Puget Sound.Sound Action, Friends of The San Juans and the Washington Environmental Council want the Corps to better...

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

Man charged with shooting at black teen waives hearing

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A white suburban Detroit homeowner accused of shooting at a black teenager who came to his door to ask for directions will stand trial.Jeffrey Zeigler was bound over Tuesday to circuit court after waiving his preliminary examination on assault with intent to...

GLAAD study finds LGBTQ representation in film fell in 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Despite high-profile Oscar wins for art house films like "Call Me By Your Name" and "A Fantastic Women," LGBTQ representation in films from the seven biggest Hollywood studios fell significantly in 2017 according to a study released Tuesday by the advocacy organization...

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...

ENTERTAINMENT

Soccer star Brandi Chastain or Gary Busey? Fans pan plaque

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media is finding little to like about the likeness on a plaque honoring retired soccer champion Brandi Chastain.The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in San Francisco unveiled the plaque on Monday night. Chastain said, "It's not the most flattering. But it's nice."On...

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — Singer R. Kelly sexually abused a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment, and infected her with herpes, the woman said in a lawsuit filed in New York.Faith Rodgers said in the suit filed Monday that she met Kelly about a year ago after a concert in San...

A farewell to the road for Paul Simon

NEW YORK (AP) — Farewell tours don't always mean farewell, but are a ripe time for appreciation and appraisal. Paul Simon's concerts and a new biography offer the opportunity for both.Simon's "Homeward Bound" tour began last week in Vancouver and takes him across North America, to Europe and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Soccer star Brandi Chastain or Gary Busey? Fans pan plaque

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media is finding little to like about the likeness on a plaque honoring retired...

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — Singer R. Kelly sexually abused a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment,...

APNewsbreak: Pentagon adopts new cellphone restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of debate, the Defense Department approved Monday new restrictions for the...

Brazil leader won't seek re-election

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's President Michel Temer is ending speculation that he might seek re-election...

Rights group: Rohingya insurgents massacred Myanmar Hindus

BANGKOK (AP) — Amnesty International said Wednesday that Myanmar's army was not the only group that has...

Romania court acquits Senate speaker of lying under oath

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court has acquitted the Senate speaker of making false statements...

For almost eight years, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus existed in the shadow of the first black president. They praised President Barack Obama's achievements while at the same time pushing him to do more for their constituents who overwhelmingly supported his history-making campaign and administration. But with Obama set to leave the White House on Jan. 20, black lawmakers in the House and Senate are recalculating and reassessing their place in Washington. And realizing they're regaining the limelight as the most visible and powerful African-American politicians in the nation's capital.
JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — For almost eight years, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus existed in the shadow of the first black president. They praised President Barack Obama's achievements while at the same time pushing him to do more for their constituents who overwhelmingly supported his history-making campaign and administration.

But with Obama set to leave the White House on Jan. 20, black lawmakers in the House and Senate are recalculating and reassessing their place in Washington. And realizing they're regaining the limelight as the most visible and powerful African-American politicians in the nation's capital.

President-elect Donald Trump will face a larger and more aggressive caucus, which will advocate for positions with "a bit more force," said Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., a longtime member. "Without President Obama being in office, there will be more forceful articulation vis a vis administration policy."

To the outgoing caucus chairman, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., "The consequences are too enormous for us to be indecisive."

There are more black lawmakers in Congress than ever: 49 African-American men and women were sworn in Tuesday, including Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., just the second black female senator.

Also serving on Capitol Hill are the first Indian-American senator, 38 Hispanic lawmakers, including Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, the first Latina senator, and 15 Asian-Americans.

The caucus never had a perfect relationship with Obama, and several powerful members initially backed Hillary Clinton during Obama's first run for president in 2008.

Black lawmakers did help turn out the largest number of African-American voters in modern history for Obama's two presidential campaigns; African-Americans voted at a higher rate than non-Hispanic whites in 2012, 66.2 percent versus 64.1 percent.

But those lawmakers felt disappointed when Obama did not focus as much as they would have liked on issues their minority constituents valued: criminal justice and policing, minority representation on the Supreme Court and other high offices, bringing jobs and industry to rural and inner city areas.

"We didn't make President Obama step to us all the time. We have to make leaders do their work, they're not going to do it because they are essentially well intentioned. They have to be pushed," said Julianne Malveaux, economist and author of "Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy."

Caucus members said they walked a delicate line, wanting to get behind the first black president but also promoting their own priorities, which didn't always seem to be on White House's front burner.

"There are times in which you'd like to go further than where the administration appears to be going, but at the same time you also want to appear and be as supportive as you can possibly be," Davis said.

Republicans now control Congress and the White House, and black lawmakers, most of whom are Democrats, are left to figure out how to oppose and work with the new administration and the majority party on Capitol Hill.

"We find ourselves facing a very difficult political and legislative environment unlike any we have ever seen before," said Butterfield, as the caucus met at the Warner Theatre for a ceremonial swearing-in event this past Tuesday.

Obama's departure will refocus attention on the caucus, said Fredrick Harris, a Columbia University political science professor and director of its Center on African-American Politics and Society.

With Trump as president, "The CBC will be even more vocal than they were during the Obama era when their voices were muted by the Obama White House and their surrogates who pushed back on criticism that the president was not paying enough attention to racial issues," Harris said.

Todd Shaw, a political science professor at the University of South Carolina, thinks Obama may leave the caucus in a better position that it was before he became president. Many people thought Obama's election heralded an end to racial politics and the need for groups such as the caucus, Shaw said.

"In some ways, there may be recognition now, even after Obama, that we are not saved," Shaw said.

___

Jesse J. Holland covers race and ethnicity for The Associated Press. Contact him at jholland@ap.org, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jessejholland or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jessejholland.

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