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One of the Last Survivors of Infamous Oklahoma Riots, Dr. Olivia Hooker, Dies at Age 103

She was one of the last survivors and few first-hand witnesses of the Tulsa Race Massacre that led to the destruction of Black Wall Street.

Screenshot from Twitter

Dr. Olivia Hooker, one of the last survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots, passed away on Nov. 21 at age 103.


Dr. Hooker, an accomplished professor and psychologist, was also the first Black woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard in 1945.

She was a mere 6-years-old when one of the worst race riots in U.S. history broke out and demolished much of a Tulsa neighborhood known as "Black Wall Street." She hid under a table as torch-carrying white terrorists destroyed her family's home. She shared that experience with NPR radio earlier this year.

Dr. Hooker recalled hearing the mob use an ax to destroy her sister's piano. For a child, she said, "It was horrifying trying to keep quiet."

"The most shocking was seeing people you'd never done anything to irritate would just, took it upon themselves to destroy your property because they didn't want you to have those things," said Hooker detailing the horrific experience explicitly.

That moment in her life seemed to fuel her path to greatness. Her family left the town and during World War II, she became the first African-American woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard as a member of the Semper Paratus program, or SPAR, where she prepared discharges for guardsmen returning from the war and rejoining civilian life.

Admiral Karl Schulz of US Coast Guard honored Dr. Hooker for her service in a heartfelt tweet:

"She was a national treasure, she was a very special lady," Coast Guard spokesman Barry Lane said.

She went on to earn a master's degree from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Rochester, and later worked as a professor Fordham University in New York.

Dr. Hooker served as a member of the Tulsa Race Riot Commission, now called the Tulsa Race Massacre Commission, which has sought reparations for those impacted by the violence and their survivors.

The Conversation (1)
27 Nov, 2018

"The most shocking was seeing people you'd never done anything to irritate would just, took it upon themselves to destroy your property because they didn't want you to have those things," ... Hitler utilized this train of social thinking against Jews; hence the Holocaust.Publish

Paula Dance is North Carolina's First Black Female Sheriff

Even with this win, North Carolina's law enforcement agencies are still predominantly white and male.

Paula Dance has become the first Black female sheriff in North Carolina's history.

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Louisiana Secretary of State Candidate Could Make History for Black Women

Collins-Greenup would be the first Black woman elected to statewide office in Louisiana.

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Running a grassroots campaign with little help from the Democratic Party, Gwen Collins-Greenup could make history as the first Black woman to be elected to statewide office in Louisiana. She would become Louisiana's first female Secretary of State since 1932, and the second ever in the state's history.

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Statue of Shirley Chisholm is 'Long Overdue,' Says NYC's First Lady

The first Black Congresswoman in the U.S. to be honored in her hometown of Brooklyn. And Viola Davis is set to play Chisholm in an upcoming biopic.

Late politician Shirley Chisholm, a trailblazer who worked to improve the lives of others, became the first Black woman elected to Congress in 1968. Fifty years after she made history, New York City announced it would honor Chisholm with a statue in her hometown.

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Ayanna Pressley Tweets Epic Photo of New Congresswomen

Pressley gives a shoutout to fellow Democrats who are making history in Congress.

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Ayanna Pressley, the first Black woman to be elected to Congress in Massachusetts' history, posted a photo on Twitter on Thursday night that's since gotten more than 27,000 likes.

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Viral Video of 'Grey's Anatomy' Star Shows How White Women Can Be Allies for Women of Color​

Shonda Rhimes shared a video where Ellen Pompeo demands diversity during an interview.

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Shonda Rhimes, creator, head writer and executive producer of "Grey's Anatomy," shared a video of the star of her show, Ellen Pompeo, talking about how white people need to be advocates for diversity. It's gone viral with more than 2 million views.

"As Caucasian people, it's our job, it's our task, it's our responsibility to make sure we speak up in every single room we walk into. It's our job because we created the problem," Pompeo says in the video, during a photo shoot for Porter magazine.

Pompeo called out the lack of diversity in the magazine crew, and in Hollywood, without mincing words.

"This day has been incredible, and there's a ton of women in the room," she said. "But, I don't see enough color. And I didn't see enough color when I walked in the room today."

Actress Gabrielle Union is seen in the video giving a look of approval.

DiversityInc COO Carolynn Johnson said that both white women and women of color have a responsibility to each other to say there needs to be equality across the board.

"We need diversity of all walks represented," said Johnson, who in October launched DiversityInc's annual Women of Color and Their Allies event.

She said that people of color have a responsibility to talk about what's wrong and how it can be improved.

"We need to communicate," she said.

And for allies, "their responsibility is to recognize where there is no diversity and be bold enough to say something about it."

Johnson offered the example of Christopher J. Nassetta, CEO of Hilton (No. 10 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list). She said he was in one of his executive board meetings and looked around and said there wasn't enough women in this room.

So he did something about it.

"He was present enough in the moment to look around and see what was missing … not what he was comfortable with," Johnson said.

For white women who choose to be allies, "It's also your responsibility to know these stories and share them," she said.

Allies should also ask questions like: Why aren't there people of color on the set, as interviewers and production staff, scholarship recipients or in executive boardrooms?

Allies should hold decision makers accountable for age, class, ethnicity, ability, and gender diversity. And Johnson said, allies need to be helpful in the solution piece.

"We have countless examples of people who are doing this work … who are present in their everyday interactions," Johnson said.

She called attention to the fact that sometimes leaders don't hear what they need to from the vantage point of the people who need support, but from the vantage point of others in similar positions.

Reader Question: Do you think those who don't have Ellen Pompeo's position in Hollywood would speak up the way she did?

Non-Whites Make Up Half of Post-Millennial Generation: Study

Latinx post-Millennials represent the future of American voters. Democrats need to pay attention for 2020 and beyond.

REUTERS

A new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data finds that the "post-Millennial" generation, which are those born after 1996, "is already the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, as a bare majority of 6-to 21-year-olds (52%) are non-Hispanic whites."

The only population of youth that has grown substantially since the age of the Baby Boomers in 1968 is Latinx. They were born in the U.S. and go to college before entering the workforce.

In the 2018 midterm elections, millions more Latinx voted than in 2014.

According to Pew, "Latinos made up an estimated 11 percent of all voters nationwide on Election Day, nearly matching their share of the U.S. eligible voter population."

Exit polls for the midterms this year said 67% of youth overall voted for a House Democratic candidate and just 32% for a House Republican candidate, according to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

Thirty-eight women of color — Black, Latinx, Native American — won seats of real power—including the youngest Congresswoman, Alexandria Oscario-Cortez, 29, a Latina.

However, Democrats lost Texas and Florida because they didn't pay attention to voter decline among Latinx (36.5 percent) across the country.

Pews' analysis on changing demographics correlates with author Steve Phillips' discussion in "Brown Is the New White," which explains that people of color and white progressive voters are America's new majority.

Democratic candidates of color and women (Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama) have outperformed previous candidates in statewide elections in Florida and Georgia over the last 20 years, Phillips wrote in a recent New York Times column. Abrams garnered more votes than any other Democrat in Georgia's history.

Phillips says Obama's playbook is what wins: mobilization over persuasion, along with inspiring people of all races to vote, and being strong in their positions on racism, Medicaid expansion, criminal justice reform and gun control.

"Yes, the strategy of mobilizing voters of color and progressive whites is limited by the demographic composition of particular states. But what Mr. Obama showed twice is that it works in enough places to win the White House. And that is exactly the next electoral challenge."

Phillips said, "These campaigns laid the groundwork for future Democratic success, because the thousands of volunteers, operatives and new voters will pay dividends for the 2020 Democratic nominee."

Reader Question: Do you think the 2020 candidates will tailor their approach to meet the demands of a diverse generation?

Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole Selected as Board Chair and Seventh President of National Council of Negro Women

"My heart is overflowing with gratitude for this honor to serve as the seventh president of this organization that has been a voice of and for Black women," said Dr. Cole.

The National Council of Negro Women (NCMW) selected Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole as its chair and seventh president during the closing session of their 58th Biennial National Convention in Washington, D.C. Ms. Ingrid Saunders Jones, who served as NCNW's chair for more than six years, will continue to serve the organization as the immediate past chair.

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Michelle Obama Talks 2020 Presidential Election

"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," Obama said, in jest. "I might even tap Sasha!"

We've never had a POTUS and FLOTUS like the Obama's before, and we've never had a Trump before. Two very different presidencies, one wrought with bigotry, racism and rampant white supremacy, and scandal, the other full of hope, unity and service. Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama says we need to pay attention to who is qualified in the next presidential election.

"I implored people to focus and think about what it takes to be commander-in-chief," Obama told Robin Roberts in a "20/20" interview, in reference to women electing a misogynist in 2016 instead of a qualified female candidate.

She expressed the importance of voting, but went beyond that to describe the kind of person qualified to run this country.

"The commander in chief needs to have discipline, and read, and be knowledgeable. You need to know history, you need to be careful with your words," she said.

"I'm going to be looking to see who handles themselves and each other with dignity and respect so that by the time people get to the general (election), people aren't beat up and battered," the former first lady, who said she will not run for president, stressed.

"I think this (Democratic nomination) is open to any and everybody who has the courage to step up and serve."

She even joked that at this point, anyone is qualified to run for president —even her daughter.

"I think, at this point, everybody's qualified and everyone should run," she said on Good Morning America "I might even tap (her younger daughter) Sasha!"

Obama and her husband were about service before, during and after the presidency.

Candidates like Trump, drunk with power, have a past, present, and future that mirror that intoxication.

Coming off midterms there are questions about what to do next — investigations of Trump, what lessons did we learn articles, predictions of the 2020 election, but getting back to what a leader, a public servant of this country is supposed to do — lead by serving its people — is a message that voters can review candidate criteria with.

"It's amazing to me that we still have to tell people about the importance of voting," she said. "People have to be educated, they have to be focused on the issues and they have to go to the polls if they want their politics to reflect their values."

Obama explained, "Where I'm at right now is that we should see anybody who feels the passion to get in this race, we need them in there. Let's see who wants to roll up their sleeves and get in the race. That's what the primary process is for."

In looking at Trump's record, most of his decisions have been made to serve himself. His record of cheating employees out of money, not paying taxes, discriminating against Blacks in terms of who could claim residency in his buildings, misogynistic comments, scandals around payoffs for affairs — none of it shows signs of service.

Obama writes in her new memoir "Becoming" how Trump's division and bigoted messaging tactics to garner a movement to propel his campaign impacted her own family's safety:

"The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks."

In current times, his decisions in the White House usually involve a lot of divisive words to spark attention from white supremacists, "look what I did" moments on twitter for validation, and little about what the country needs, but instead what the country should be afraid of.

And that is not why you get the job in the first place.