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Jesse Williams’ Acceptance Speech and Lena Baker

jesse-williams-BET-awards-2016-billboard-1548Last night, I caught some of the BET Awards on television.  I don’t care much for commercial television.  During commercials, I tend to walk away from the television, get distracted and do not return to watching the program.  Survivor is the only program that I set time aside to watch when it airs. It’s not on television year round so I’m not tied down to the television for an hour or two every week.

When I turn on the television, it’s mostly to news channels or I channel surf for movies.  Last night, I had a phone call and decided to turn on the television and channel surf when I discovered that the BET Awards were on.

The other week as I channel surfed, I came upon a movie titled Hope & Redemption: The Lena Baker Story.  It’s strange now that I think about it because that night, the same friend called me who called last night.  Maybe he should call me more often in the evenings.

By now, you might be asking what the Lena Baker story has to do with the BET Awards?   BET awarded Jesse Williams the 2016 Humanitarian Award.  His acceptance speech spoke volumes. Read the rest of this entry

Missouri City Elects Its First Black Woman Mayor – Cops and Civil Servants Resigned Without Notice

ParmaParma, Missouri is a small town located in Southeast Missouri. The 2010 census reports that it had a population of 713 people in 283 households. The racial makeup was 67.46 White, 29.45% Black, and 2.81% Latino.

Parma’s mayor, Randall Ramsey, had served for 37 years.   This year, he was defeated by Tyus Byrd, a Republican. Byrd was sworn into office on April 14th. Last year, residents were concerned with increases to their water and electric bills. Then Mayor Ramsey said he had an open office, but residents said that their voices went unheard by city officials. Ramsey encouraged residents to attend city council meetings, but one said that when she went, it was cancelled. Ramsey stated it was because there weren’t enough board members available to attend.

Five of the city’s six cops quit after Byrd was elected. Two were Tyrus Byrd, Parma's new mayorfull-time and three were part-time officers. Outgoing Mayor Randall Ramsey told the media that the cops gave no notice and were joined by the city attorney, clerk and water treatment supervisor. They all cited “safety concerns” in their letters of resignation. The letters of resignation have not been released to the new mayor and there are reports that they cannot be found and that the computers were cleared.

Residents who were interviewed say they are not concerned about their safety, and they are relieved about the situation because Parma doesn’t have many problems in town. Read the rest of this entry

Changes To The Illinois Constitution On The Ballot

voteYesterday, I received a pamphlet in the mail from the Illinois Secretary of State. It is addressed to “Residential Customer” and titled, “Proposed Amendments and Addition to The Illinois Constitution.” Of course, it captured my attention.

The introduction says,

“At the General Election to be held on the 4th of November, 2014, you will be called upon to adopt or reject the following proposed amendments to the Illinois Constitution. As required by law, I provide you with the following information.”

Wow!  To be fully informed, I read the 6 pages.

There is one proposed Amendment, and an addition to Article III which is titled, “Suffrage and Elections. Read the rest of this entry

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