Sen. Kamala Harris Pays Homage to Shirley Chisholm
"Like Shirley, I believe that to restore confidence and trust in our institutions and leaders, we need to speak truth," Harris said of Chisholm.
Kamala Harris' announcement on "Good Morning America" on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a stark reminder of what happened 47 years ago this week in a race for the presidency.
Harris is standing on the shoulders of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run for president, and 10 other Black women.
Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.), said of her Democratic ticket in 1972: "I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud."
"I am not the candidate of the women's movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I'm equally proud of that. I am not the candidate or any political bosses or fat cats or special interests. . . . I am the candidate of the people of America."
Harris' campaign spokesperson, Kirsten Allen, told the Guardian they purposely chose to honor Chisholm's legacy.
"Shirley Chisholm's activism, advocacy and willingness to persistently remind the nation of the work to be done on behalf of it's people is an enduring legacy that lives on in the Senator and to honor that legacy in her own campaign for President was a no-brainer," she said.
She also chose to honor her with the campaigns color scheme of red and yellow:
Interesting Tidbit: Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman ever to run for president, launched her campaign 47 years ago. #KamalaHarris chose yellow and red for her campaign logo in a nod to Chisholm's bid for president with its red and yellow campaign buttons. pic.twitter.com/gf53gIl7DE
— Trevor Joseph Newton (@TrevJoseph) January 21, 2019
And similar typography... pic.twitter.com/ij3uz44Xrb
— Center for American Politics and Design (@politicsndesign) January 21, 2019
In a tweet, the Black White House correspondent, Yamiche Alcindor, often a target of Trump's, also weighed in:
Senator Kamala Harris' campaign will certainly be about a bunch of issues. But her announcing her candidacy on MLK Day and then having a press conference at Howard University illustrates her putting race and her blackness at the center of her bid. That's an interesting choice.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) January 21, 2019
Chisholm was also known for her quote, "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."
And in the era of #MeToo, where Harris spoke in support of Christine Blasey Ford and accused then Judge Brett Kavanaugh of having a crystal clear memory when it was convenient for him, and where she promises to give a voice to the voiceless in her campaign, it seems as though she's giving a nod to making room for herself at the table.
"Like Shirley, I believe that to restore confidence and trust in our institutions and leaders, we need to speak truth," Harris wrote of Chisholm in a February 2018 essay in Essence.
"We need to acknowledge that racism is real in this country. Anti-Semitism is real in this country. Sexism, sexual assault, and workplace harassment are real in this country. We need to speak the truth that America was founded by immigrants, and we should not be vilifying people who come here in search of greater opportunity for themselves and their children." .
Both Harris and Chisholm are daughters of immigrants.
Chisholm was elected to the New York State Assembly, becoming only the second African American woman elected to the state legislature. She was also the first Black woman elected to Congress.
"That I am a national figure because I was the first person in 192 years to be at once a congressman, Black and a woman proves, I think, that our society is not yet either just or free," she
would later state.
In 2016, Harris became the second Black woman and first south Asian woman elected to the Senate.
Harris, who unveiled a campaign slogan "Kamala Harris For The People," is setting up campaign headquarters in Baltimore, with another office in Oakland.
"I've always loved basketball because it's about building a team that's equal to more than the sum of its parts," Obama tweeted.
It is well-known that former President Barack Obama is a basketball aficionado. From filling out his NCAA bracket to leading pick-up games at the White House, basketball has always been a part of the 44th president's life.
While some people coach high school when they retire, Obama is thinking global. On Saturday, the NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the launch of the Basketball Africa League (BAL), a joint effort of the NBA and International Basketball Federation (FIBA). Who is the go-to player for this project? None other than Obama.
He tweeted on Saturday about BAL:
I've always loved basketball because it's about building a team that's equal to more than the sum of its parts. Glad to see this expansion into Africa because for a rising continent, this can be about a lot more than what happens on the court. https://t.co/lghcLaUN9a
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 16, 2019
Obama will have a role with the league, but the extent of his involvement has yet to be announced.
BAL, the NBA's first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America, will be built on the foundation of current club competitions FIBA is organizing in Africa. The inaugural season will begin in 2020, and will feature squads from Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.
The NBA shared a video of Obama speaking to African basketball players about the importance of sports, then hitting a long-range 3-pointer.
"I hope you know through sport that if you put in effort you will be rewarded, I hope you learn through sport what it means to play as a team and that even if you are the best player your job is not just to show off but your job is to make your teammates better," Obama says.
For years, the NBA has fostered a program, with the assistance of FIBA in Africa, called Basketball Without Borders. This program grows the game by promoting and identifying young talent from all areas.
"The Basketball Africa League is an important next step in our continued development of the game of basketball in Africa," said Commissioner Silver, in a statement. "Combined with our other programs on the continent, we are committed to using basketball as an economic engine to create new opportunities in sports, media and technology across Africa."
"Lynching is a dark, despicable part of our nation's history and I'm hopeful this measure will swiftly pass the House," Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted.
It's 2019 and lynching still hasn't been properly outlawed. A bill, introduced by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.), was cleared on Thursday in the Senate to make lynching a federal crime. The measure will now go to the House. Harris, Booker and Scott are the only Black members of the Senate.
Harris tweeted on Thursday:
BREAKING: Our anti-lynching bill, which would make lynching a federal crime, just unanimously passed the Senate. Lynching is a dark, despicable part of our nation's history and I'm hopeful this measure will swiftly pass the House.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 14, 2019
It's outrageous that lynching still isn't considered a federal crime. Congress tried and failed near 200 times between 1882 to 1986. About to ask the Senate to unanimously pass our anti-lynching bill. Let's right this wrong.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 14, 2019
Congress has tried more than 200 times to pass an anti-lynching law, but has failed. The Senate passed a resolution in 2005, apologizing to lynching victims.
The bipartisan bill acknowledges the harms of lynching, which is a form of domestic terrorism, and the federal government's failure to stop it.
It defines the crime as "the willful act of murder by a collection of people assembled with the intention of committing an act of violence upon any person."
In December, the Senate also passed the bill. But it was days before the 115th Congress went out of business, and the measure never reached the House floor.
"It's not the first time we've come down to this body to try to right the wrongs of history," Booker said on the Senate floor.
"For too long we have failed, failed to ensure justice for the victims of history and failed to make clear in the United States of America, in this great country, lynching is and always has been not only a federal crime but a moral failure."
According to the NAACP, "From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States."
"Of the total, 3,446 of the victims were Black, accounting for approximately 72.7 percent; and 1,297 were white, which is 27.3 percent."
"These numbers seem large, but it is known that not all of the lynchings were ever recorded," the organization stated.
"I am the descendant of African slaves. I am the descendant of Indigenous people. I am the descendant of Spanish colonizers," explained Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in an MSNBC interview.
Conversations around race and ethnicity have been prominent in the media because of the onslaught of diverse newly elected public officials. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is one of them. In an interview on MSNBC, she addressed her heritage with respect to her race.
Family and friends said the apology was insulting, and that Timothy Caughman's death was their "life sentence."
James Jackson, 30, a white supremacist, killed Timothy Caughman, 66, a Black man with a sword. Jackson was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
His apology: "I just wanted to apologize to everyone who has been negatively affected by this horrible and unnecessary tragedy. If I could do it all over again, this never would have happened."
Caughman's friends dismissed the apology, as fake.
Black students are more likely to borrow, less able to make progress on paying down their loans, and almost half defaulted on their school loans. Many do not graduate. Now 34 seniors can.
Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va., decided to clear the debt of 34 Howard students.
95 percent of Howard students are on financial aid. About 4,000 church members fasted and prayed for 30 days, saving money to donate to something charitable.
They donated $100,000 to 34 students.
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Disability rights advocates urged Major League Baseball to rename the roster designation for players recovering from injury.
Major League Baseball is renaming its league-wide medical database from the commonly known "Disabled List" to the "Injured List".
"The principal concern is that using the term 'Disabled' for players who are injured supports the misconception that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in sports," explained Jeff Pfeifer, Major League Baseball's Senior Director of League Economics and Operations, informing the league's teams in a December memo that was obtained by ESPN.