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Vice President Kamala Harris tests positive for COVID-19

Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the White House announced, underscoring the persistence of the highly contagious virus even as the United States eases restrictions in a bid to return to pre-pandemic normalcy.

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Ishmael Reed among Anisfield-Wolf Award winners

Author, playwright and longtime champion of multiculturalism Ishmael Reed is receiving a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to literature.

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Pope Francis calls for Easter truce in Ukraine

Pope Francis opened Holy Week on Sunday with a call for an Easter truce in Ukraine to make room for a negotiated peace, highlighting the need for leaders to “make some sacrifices for the good of the people.”

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Will Smith gets 10-year ban over Oscar slap

The motion picture academy has banned Will Smith from attending the Oscars or any other academy event for 10 years following his slap of Chris Rock at the Academy Awards.

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National Urban League finds State of Black America is grim

ATLANTA The National Urban League released its annual report on the State of Black America on Tuesday, and its findings are grim. This year’s Equality Index shows Black people still get only 73.9 percent of the American pie white people enjoy.

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Incoming U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson celebrated at White House ceremony

“In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.” With those words, incoming Justice Ketanji Brown Jack- son acknowledged both the struggles and progress of Black Americans in her lifetime.

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Pressure grows for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving Jan. 6 insurrection probe

Suspicions are growing that the lone Black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court used his

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Collins 1st GOP senator to support Judge Jackson for U.S. Supreme Court

Republican Sen. Susan Collins announced Wednesday that she would vote to seat Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on the U.S. Supreme Court, delivering President Joe Biden a bipartisan vote for his first high court nominee.

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Singer Traci Braxton of ‘Braxton Family Values’ dies at 50

Singer Traci Braxton, who was featured with her family in the reality television series “Braxton Family Values,” died at age 50 on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

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Obama, Emhoff test positive for COVID-19

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced Tuesday.

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Bill to allow marijuana resentencing killed by GOP lawmakers

A Republican-led panel of House of Delegates members on Monday blocked a bill that would have allowed people incarcerated or on probation for marijuana-related crimes to ask a court for a modified sentence.

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Youngkin rolls back diversity, inclusion efforts in education, calling them ‘divisive concepts’

Gov. Glenn A. Youngkin’s administration has rescinded a series of policies, memos and other resources related to diversity, equity and inclusion that it characterized as “discriminatory and divisive concepts” in the state’s public education system.

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Black female WWII unit to be recognized with Congressional Gold Medal

The only all-female, Black unit to serve in Europe during World War II will be honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.

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Dr. Paul Farmer, global humanitarian leader, dies at 62

Dr. Paul Farmer, a U.S. physician, humanitarian and author renowned for providing health care to millions of impoverished people worldwide and who co-founded the global nonprofit Partners in Health, died Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. He was 62.

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Askia Muhammad, dean of The Final Call editorial staff, dies at 76

Askia Muhammad, a renowned journalist, photographer, poet and columnist who served as an editor of The Final Call, died Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 76.

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Tear-gassed protesters reach settlement with Richmond Police

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by demonstrators who were tear-gassed by Richmond Police during a social justice protest in June 2020 following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police.

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White House responds to HBCU bomb threats; Black leaders decry ‘domestic terrorism’

Black leaders are calling the recent series of bomb threats against several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) campuses “terrorism.” There have been threats to more than a dozen HBCUs so far this month, many of which occurred only in the past two days. The matter is so alarming that civil rights lawyer and attorney for the family of Ahmaud Arbery, Lee Merritt, who also is a graduate of Morehouse College, said that he believes the Biden administration should form a task force to get to the bottom of the threats and identify the source of the ongoing threats. As the news of the HBCU bomb threats over the past two days was making headlines, in the White House brief- ing on Tuesday, Feb. 1, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reporters, “We take these threats incredibly seriously. Our Homeland Security adviser is in close touch with law enforcement authorities at a federal and local level, and we are assessing what we think the origin, the reasoning, the motivation behind it is.” The Biden administration affirmed its continued support for HBCUs in this moment that is being characterized by leaders as domestic terrorism. “We are absolutely behind these HBCUs. We want to make it very clear that we take these threats seriously and we deeply value their contributions. But it’s important for law enforcement authorities and others to make an assessment before we make any determinations about next steps,” said the presidential spokesperson. On the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, the Congressional Black Caucus plans to engage with the Department of Justice on actions to be taken to address the threat of danger against HBCUs. Meanwhile, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, To- bacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are investigating the matter. “ATF is aware of bomb threats received by some Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We take all potential threats seriously and we regularly work with our law enforcement partners to determine the threat credibility,” ATF said in a statement. “This is a fluid situation with ongoing investigations, and we can’t comment on the specifics at this time.” White House Press Secretary Psaki said, “I would not call it irony, but I would say that it is scary. It is horrifying. It is terrible that these students, these faculty, these institutions are feeling under threat.” She added, “We don’t know more details at this point in time, and I don’t want to get ahead of law enforcement authorities ... but certainly, given the history you referenced, you know, this is something we’re very mindful of, and that is why we’re so focused on providing regular updates and seeing what our law enforcement team assesses.”

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Janet Jackon doc, despite criticism, a hit for Lifetime

Janet Jackson’s four-part documentary on Lifetime was the network’s most-watched non-fiction show since “Surviving R. Kelly” three years ago, and viewership is continuing to grow.

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Pharrell Williams calls for economic equity during MLK event

Singer and music producer Pharrell Williams is challenging corporate America to “do more” by supporting entrepreneurs of color and adopting economic equity measures.

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’Who We Are’ offers a searing view of racism in U.S.

“If you’ve ever owned a slave, please raise your hand,” Jeffery Robinson asks a live audience at the beginning of “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America,” a searing documentary based on a lecture he has spent a decade perfecting.

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Civil rights lawyer, legal scholar and professor Lani Guinier dies at 71

Lani Guinier, a civil rights lawyer and legal scholar whose nomination by President Bill Clinton to head the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division was pulled after conservatives criticized her views on correcting racial discrimination, has died. She was 71.

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Democratic AGs continue fight seeking recognition of ERA

Three Democratic attorneys general on Monday sought to persuade a federal appeals court to revive a lawsuit to force the federal government to recognize Virginia’s 2020 vote to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and add it to the Constitution.

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Wanda Young, member of Motown’s The Marvelettes, dies at 78

Wanda Young, a member of Motown’s chart-topping The Marvelettes, died Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, in suburban De- troit. She was 78.

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Herring sues Town of Windsor, alleging discriminatory policing

The police department in Windsor, a small southeastern Virginia town located in Isle of Wight County, has operated in a way that led to discrimination against African-Americans and violated their constitutional rights, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring alleged in a lawsuit filed last week.

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bell hooks, writer and groundbreaking feminist thinker, dies at 69

NEW YORK bell hooks, the ground- breaking author, educator and activist whose explorations of how race, gender, economics and politics intertwined helped shape academic and popular debates over the past 40 years, died Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021.

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Fire destroys former governor’s home

A Wednesday fire destroyed the Northern Virginia home of former Virginia Gov. and U.S. Sen. Chuck Robb and his wife, Lynda, who is the daughter of former President Lyndon B. Johnson.

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Youngkin inaugural plans include pricey dinner, music acts

Incoming Gov. Glenn A. Youngkin is planning a celebratory inaugural weekend that will include a mix of high-dollar ticketed events and other functions open to the public, according to a program that also touts an appearance by an unspecified Grammy-winning musical artist.

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Recount results in GOP control of House of Delegates

A three-judge panel overseeing a recount in a close House of Delegates race upheld the Republican candidate’s victory last Friday, a decision that also reaffirms the GOP’s takeover of the chamber and completes the party’s sweep of last month’s elections.

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Charlottesville’s Lee statue to be melted down for new art

The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that drew violent protests to Charlottesville will be melted down and turned into a new piece of public art by an African-American heritage center.

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Grand jury clears officer who shot and killed Pharrell Williams’ cousin

A special grand jury found that a Virginia Beach police officer was justified in fatally shooting a man armed with a gun during a chaotic night of violence on the city’s oceanfront this spring, authorities said late last month.

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French honor for Josephine Baker stirs conflict over racism

On the surface, it’s a powerful message against racism: A Black woman will, for the first time, join other luminaries interred in France’s Pantheon. But by choosing a U.S.-born figure/entertainer Josephine Baker—critics say France is continuing a long tradition of decrying racism abroad while obscuring it at home.

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Fashion designer Virgil Abloh dies of cancer at 41

Virgil Abloh, a leading designer whose groundbreaking fusions of streetwear and high couture made him one of the most celebrated tastemakers in fashion and beyond, has died of cancer. He was 41.

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Egypt unveils renovated ‘Avenue of the Sphinxes’ in Luxor

Egyptian authorities unveiled Nov. 25 a renovated ancient promenade in the city of Luxor dating back 3,000 years, the latest government project undertaken to highlight the country’s archaeological treasures.

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Former U.S. Rep. Carrie Meek of Florida being remembered

Former Congresswoman Carrie Meek, who died Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, is being remembered as a trailblazer, a descendant of a slave who became one of the first Black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction.

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Trailblazing golfer Lee Elder, the first Black to play in the Masters Tournament, dies at 87

Golfer Lee Elder played through the scourge of racism. He broke down enormous barriers. He carved a path for Tiger Woods and others to follow.

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Jason Mott, Tiya Miles win National Book Awards

Jason Mott’s “Hell of a Book,” a surreal meta-narrative about an author’s promotional tour and his haunted past and present, has won the National Book Award for fiction—a plot twist Mr. Mott did not imagine for himself.

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Refunds, rate reduction expected for Dominion customers

Virginia regulators have approved a settlement that will bring to a close a review of the rates of the state’s largest electric utility and result in modest refunds and a rate reduction for Dominion Energy Virginia customers.

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‘They tried to ban one. We’re coming back with a hundred’

Hundreds of pastors both rallied and prayed last week outside the trial of three white men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. They gathered in response to a defense lawyer’s bid to keep Black ministers out of the courtroom.

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Two men exonerated in assassination of Malcolm X after more than 50 years

More than half a century after the assassination of Malcolm X, two of his convicted killers were exonerated last week after decades of doubt about who was responsible for the civil rights icon’s death.

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Petersburg police lieutenant indicted for assaulting unarmed man

A grand jury in Petersburg has indicted a police officer on charges that he misused a Taser on an unarmed man.

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Rev. William Sterling Cary, first Black president of National Council of Churches, dies at 94

The Rev. William Sterling Cary, a pioneering minister and civil rights activist who was the first Black person in prominent church leadership roles including president of the National Council of Churches, has died, according to family members. He was 94.

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Virginia Supreme Court picks 2 special experts for redistricting

The Supreme Court of Virginia has selected two outside experts from a pool of nominees put forward by lawmakers to help it complete its task of drawing new legislative districts to conform with the 2020 Census.

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Fields loses appeal in murder conviction from Charlottesville rally

The Ohio man sent to prison for driving his car into a crowd of counterprotesters during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in August 2017 has lost his bid to appeal his conviction, the Court of Appeals of Virginia ruled Tuesday.

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Rhiannon Giddens, Taj Mahal and others join ‘Event for the Environment

Fiddler Rhiannon Giddens, a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, bluesman Taj Mahal and more than 200 musical artists will perform next month as part of an online fundraiser for the environment that will be shown on YouTube.

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’A mass loss of control’: Answers sought in deadly Houston concert

When rapper Travis Scott’s sold-out concert in Houston became a deadly scene of panic and danger in the surging crowd, Edgar Acosta began worrying about his son, who wasn’t answering his phone.

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Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin talks transition with Northam; releases tax info

Republican Gov.-elect Glenn A. Youngkin met with outgoing Democratic Gov. Ralph S. Northam last week for a lunch with their wives at the Executive Mansion in Capitol Square, with both pledging a smooth transition of power.

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Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Tina Turner among inductees into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Jay-Z has added another title to a résumé that includes rapper, songwriter, Grammy winner, billionaire business mogul and global icon — Hall of Famer.

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Neo-Nazis sentenced for planning attack at Richmond rally

Two neo-Nazi group members were sentenced on Oct. 28 to nine years in prison each in a case that highlighted a broader federal crackdown on far-right extremists.

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State historic markers honor Black church, civil rights leader

When Rev. Charles Henry Johnson moved in 1890 from Richmond to Bristol, which served as a railroad town, he became the minister of a little wooden church started by 39 freed slaves. A few pastors had come through Lee Street Baptist Church, which was organized 25 years earlier in 1865, but Rev. Johnson stuck, according to a Dec. 17, 2017, article in the Bristol Herald Courier.

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David Lee gives behind the scenes look at brother Spike in new book

When David Lee was growing up in Brooklyn, his older brother would drag him out of the house whenever he got the urge to make a film.

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