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‘Tidal wave of voter suppression’ washes over states, lawyer says | NBC News

“They can do it electronically, they can do it digitally and in ways we never thought about when I was coming along,” said Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. law will make elections fairer In Texas, officials in mostly white Waller County, citing cost concerns, announced that they would not make an early voting site available on the campus of a historically black university. Then the state passed a law effectively requiring other communities to take similar action. A Tennessee law threatens third-party groups that register citizens to vote with criminal penalties if they make mistakes on forms or the forms arrive […]

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There Have Been 10 Black Senators Since Emancipation | The New York Times

Elected 150 years ago, Hiram Revels was the first. A few days ago, 300 people gathered in the Old State Capitol in Jackson, Miss., to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the election of Hiram Revels as the nation’s first African-American member of Congress. As nearly everyone knows, in the nation’s more than two centuries of existence Barack Obama is our only black president. Less familiar is the fact that of the nearly 2,000 men and women who have served in the Senate only 10 have been black. Of these, Revels and Blanche K. Bruce were elected from Mississippi during Reconstruction. […]

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Henry Louis Gates Jr. on what really happened at Obama’s ‘beer summit.’ | The New York Times Magazine

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is one of a handful of academics who have crossed over into something approaching true celebrity. Which is apparently what happens when you’ve written and edited dozens of books of popular history; had a guiding hand in 18 major documentaries on black history, the most recent of which was “Who Killed Malcom X?”; and spent six seasons uncovering the genealogical mysteries of famous people as host of PBS’s “Finding Your Roots.” Gates’s desire to reach beyond the ivory tower — in addition to writing landmark works of literary criticism like “The Signifying Monkey,” he’s the director […]

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Trump allies are handing out cash to black voters | Politico

Organizers have begun holding events in black communities where they lavish praise on the president while handing out thousands of dollars in giveaways. Allies of Donald Trump have begun holding events in black communities where organizers lavish praise on the president as they hand out tens of thousands of dollars to lucky attendees. The first giveaway took place last month in Cleveland, where recipients whose winning tickets were drawn from a bin landed cash gifts in increments of several hundred dollars, stuffed into envelopes. A second giveaway scheduled for this month in Virginia has been postponed, and more are said […]

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Cory Booker Drops Out of 2020 Presidential Race | The New York Times

The New Jersey senator, who built his campaign around a message of unity, was unable to catch on with substantial numbers of voters and ended his quest before voting began. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey dropped out of the Democratic presidential race on Monday, ending a nearly yearlong quest built around a message of peace and unity that failed to resonate with voters eager for a more aggressive posture against President Trump. The departure of Mr. Booker from the crowded Democratic field, heralded at the outset as the most diverse in history, leaves just one African-American candidate, Deval Patrick, […]

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Mike Espy Would Be Mississippi’s First Black Senator in 139 Years, But Governor Bryant Says It’d Begin ‘1000 Years of Darkness’ | Deep South Voice

Phil Bryant, Mississippi’s outgoing Republican governor, is warning that the election of Democrat Mike Espy, an African American who served as the US Secretary of Agriculture under President Clinton, would kick off a millennium of “darkness.” Espy is challenging US Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican that Bryant appointed to fill a vacancy in the nation’s upper chamber of Congress in 2018. “I intend to work for @cindyhydesmith as if the fate of America depended on her single election,” Bryant wrote on January 2. “If Mike Espy and the liberal Democrats gain the Senate we will take that first step into […]

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MUHAMMAD: Mayor Hatcher Stood First and Stood Tall | The Washington Informer

Gary, Indiana, Mayor Richard Hatcher joined his ancestors on Dec. 13, after a long and distinguished career in public service. He also made a sacrifice and did this reporter a big, big favor some 40 years ago. Both he and Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes were elected on Nov. 7, 1967. They were the first Black mayors of major towns with populations above 100,000. Gary is just a little town by comparison to big old Cleveland, but the celebrations in both places were sincere and earned. Mr. Hatcher, though, was hands down the most progressive Black mayor (for 20 years), and […]

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Richard Hatcher, one of the nation’s first black mayors of a major city, dies at 86 | The Washington Post

Richard Hatcher, who became one of the first African American mayors of a large U.S. city when he was elected mayor of Gary, Ind., in 1967, died Dec. 13 at a Chicago hospital. He was 86. His death was announced by his daughter, state Rep. Ragen Hatcher, a Gary Democrat. The cause was not immediately known. Mr. Hatcher had to overcome opposition from the local Democratic machine to become mayor of what was then Indiana’s second-largest city in a surprise victory in 1967. He went on to serve five terms. He became the political face of Gary and a national […]

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‘Stop This Illegal Purge’: Outrage as Georgia GOP Removes More Than 300,000 Voters From Rolls | Common Dreams

Warning of 2020 impact, one critic said Georgia could remain a red state solely “due to the GOP purposefully denying people the right to vote.” A federal judge Monday night allowed Georgia to move ahead with a purge of over 300,000 voters deemed “inactive” by Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, sparking outrage from rights advocates who accused the GOP of an illegal voter suppression effort ahead of the 2020 elections. “Georgians should not lose their right to vote simply because they have not expressed that right in recent elections, and Georgia’s practice of removing voters who have declined to […]

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‘Every Racist I Know Voted for Donald Trump’ | The Atlantic

Daryl Davis believes the method he used to persuade many klansmen to defect from the hate group can help America to bridge its political divides. As a hobby, the black musician Daryl Davis persuades members of the Ku Klux Klan to defect from the organization. Over the years, he has spoken with hundreds of white supremacists. And due to his work, a couple dozen people have left the organization, including at least two prominent figures in senior leadership positions. Two years ago, after listening to his life story on Love+Radio, the peerless character-driven interview podcast, I wrote about his belief […]

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