HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3RD, 2023
Sybil’s Birthday Shoutouts
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Happy Founder’s Day to Bethune-Cookman University!
Happy Anniversary President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama!
Happy Birthday to:
Los Angeles Mayor, Former U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass
Civil Rights Leader, TV, Radio Host Rev. Alfred Charles Sharpton
Singer, Songwriter India.Arie
MLB Hall-of-Famer Dave Winfield
Actress Tessa Thompson
Rapper A$AP Rocky, born Rakim Athelaston Nakache Mayers
Singer Chubby Checker, born Ernest Evans
TOP 5 NEWS STORIES
Tuesday, October 3,2023
1. Historic U.S. Senate NominationSource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his choice to fill the seat of the late Senator Dianne Feinstein. The Democratic governor nominated Laphonza Butler, President of EMILY’S List. EMILY’S List is described as the nation’s largest resource dedicated to electing Democratic pro-choice women to office. Butler held a number of history-making positions, USAToday noted. This included “the consolidation of the membership of a local SEIU to turn it into the largest union in California and the largest union of home health workers,” serving as an adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign and her role as the first woman of color to lead EMILY’S List .
The Mississippi-born, Jackson State University graduate will be the third Black woman to ever serve in the U.S. Senate and the first openly LGBTQ person to represent California in the Senate.
Butler accepted the nomination in a statement released Monday:
“I am honored to accept Gov. Newsom’s nomination to be a U.S. Senator for a state I have long called home,” Butler said in the statement, adding that she is “humbled by the Governor’s trust.”
“For women and girls, for workers and unions, for struggling parents waiting for our leaders to bring opportunity back to their homes, for all of California, I’m ready to serve.”
Several high-profile Democratic candidates launched campaigns earlier this year to succeed Feinstein, who announced in February that she would not run for reelection. They include a trio of House Democrats: Reps. Adam Schiff, a former House Intelligence chairman who is backed by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Katie Porter, a former deputy chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; and Barbara Lee, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and a member of House Democratic leadership.
Newsom previously pledged to appoint a Black woman to Feinstein’s seat should the senator resign before her term’s end. Many encouraged Newsom to appoint Lee, a longtime representative from Oakland and the only Black woman running for the seat, including the Congressional Black Caucus, which sent a letter to Newsom asking him to choose Lee just hours before his announcement.
But the governor said last month that he would not appoint any of the candidates currently seeking the office, though Newsom’s office said Monday that there were no conditions placed on Butler and that any decision to run for a full term would be her own.
With homes in California and Maryland, Laphonza Butler currently resides in Maryland with her partner and their daughter. She is expected to re-register in California before being sworn in by President of the Senate, Vice President Kamala Harris.
Why You Need to Know:
Senator Dianne Feinstein died Thursday night in her Washington, DC home. The trailblazing politician was 90 years old. Feinstein was the longest-serving woman in the Senate, first elected in 1992. Her front-page career began in 1978 with the tragic murders of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Board of Supervisors member Harvey Milk. Feinstein’s election as Mayor of San Francisco put her career on a trajectory for higher offices, but it was, as she described, “watching the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee ‘grilling‘ Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas nomination hearing,” that was the impetus for her 1992 run for the U.S. Senate.
2. In this photo illustration, the Sallie Mae (SLM) logo is…Source:Getty
WRITTEN AND CONTRIBUTED BY KHAMERON RILEY
What You Need to Know:
Student loan payments are back in motion after a “pandemic-pause,” stirring concerns, particularly among Black borrowers who are disproportionately affected by the student debt crisis.
Despite ongoing advocacy, the Biden administration is reactivating all student loan accounts, affecting over 28 million borrowers, the majority of whom are Black women.
President Biden, who pledged relief during his 2020 campaign, introduced an “on-ramp” repayment plan allowing borrowers to skip monthly payments for a year with reduced consequences. However, interest continues to accrue, potentially affecting credit scores.
Student loans have long been a financial burden for Black Americans. Even before the pandemic, they hindered home ownership, with nearly half of borrowers in 2019 delaying investments in homes due to educational debt.
A recent survey found that half of borrowers, including many Black individuals, reported not earning enough to afford their student loan payments. At that time, only 22 percent had a repayment plan.
In response, some borrowers have initiated a “student debt strike,” refusing to make payments to protest against the system.
The Biden administration has taken steps to alleviate the burden, including forgiving $117 billion in student loans for over 3.4 million borrowers, primarily related to the borrower defense program. However, a broader plan to forgive at least $10,000 for all 45 million borrowers was struck down by the Supreme Court in June.
Despite these challenges, the administration introduced the Saving on Valuable Education (SAVE) plan, which raises income exemptions, potentially allowing many borrowers to have zero monthly payments.
As payments restart, there remains uncertainty about how it will impact Black borrowers, many of whom may not benefit due to income fluctuations during the pandemic.
Why You Need to Know:
I’m disappointed there was bitterness surrounding student debt among those who have paid theirs off and those who haven’t. But here we are. Those of us who still have debt out there, be responsible, scale back your spending, and make those payments on time!
3. Allergy Meds Could Affect Your DrivingSource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
If you can literally write your name in pollen on the windshield of your car, you know it’s allergy season again. Should you get behind the wheel after taking antihistamines?
When your body comes into contact with whatever triggers your allergy—pollen, ragweed, pet dander, or dust mites, for example—it produces chemicals called histamines. Histamines cause the tissue in your nose to swell (making it feel stuffy), your nose and eyes to run, and your eyes to itch. Some people develop itchy skin rashes known as hives. (READ MORE)
4. Indianapolis Officers Indicted For Shooting Innocent Black Man In His Grandmother’s DrivewaySource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
An Indianapolis, Indiana grand jury indicted Officers Carl Chandler and Alexander Gregory for the December 31, 2022 shooting of Anthony Maclin. The officers face charges for two counts of aggravated battery, battery with a deadly weapon, battery resulting in serious bodily injury, criminal recklessness, and battery resulting in moderate bodily injury. The officers fired at least 30 shots, hitting Maclin three times and leaving him hospitalized for 17 days for six surgeries.
At the time of the shooting, the 24-year-old Black man was asleep in his car with a gun next to him in the driver’s seat. He was parked in his grandmother’s driveway. Maclin’s grandmother called 911 around 4 a.m., saying a black car was in her driveway, but she didn’t want to go and see who was inside.
Body camera video shows the officers arrived and waited around three minutes before knocking on the passenger side window. The officers acknowledged Maclin’s gun, yelled “Hands up! …Police!” over each other, claimed Maclin reached for the passenger seat, then started shooting less than five seconds later. The shooting lasted approximately seven seconds. Maclin’s grandmother can then be heard in the background, shouting, “That’s my grandson!”
After Maclin is handcuffed, he says “You gotta get me up…you gotta help me,” then explains he didn’t call his grandmother because he didn’t want to wake her up while officers provided aid.
Maclin was never arrested.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department claims “none of the cameras provided a clear view of the position of the gun after the man woke up and moved his arm.”
Maclin’s attorneys said that he never reached for his gun, and he’s also licensed to carry. “Anthony’s only ‘offense’ was being a young Black man in a high crime neighborhood,” said Attorney Stephen Wagner.
Attorneys for the officers said they were disappointed in the prosecutor’s decision because their clients acted per their training.
Earlier this year, Maclin’s attorneys sent a tort claim notice, meaning they’re considering a lawsuit. In February, Maclin said he still had bullets inside of him that caused pain, especially one in his ribcage.
5. Maximize Your Tax Deductions with Charitable DonationsSource:Getty
WRITTEN AND CONTRIBUTED BY CATRINA M. CRAFT, CPA
What You Need to Know:
As the year comes to a close, many taxpayers are looking for ways to give back and optimize their tax deductions. Did you know that if you make a single charitable contribution of $250 or more, you must obtain a written acknowledgment from the organization?
What must the acknowledgment include?
Confirmation of the amount of cash or property you donated.
Whether the charity provided you with goods or services in exchange for your gift, including a description and estimated value.
If you only received an intangible religious benefit from the donation, it must be stated.
But what about smaller gifts throughout the year? If you make multiple smaller gifts to the same charity, you only need an acknowledgment if any single gift is $250 or more.
Determining the value of your donations can be challenging. Remember, the fair market value is not what you originally paid for an item, but what it is worth now.
Resources like The Salvation Army and Goodwill provide donation value guides to help with this.
If your non-cash charitable contribution is over $5,000, then you need to obtain a qualified appraisal of the item or group of items and attach it to your tax return.
Don’t overlook the “group of similar items” rule. Even if each item is under $5,000 individually, if they are part of a group, the appraisal requirement can still be triggered.
Take advantage of tax deductions and make your charitable donations count this year.
6. Foods to Avoid When You’re DetoxingSource:Getty
Detoxification, or detox for short, is a popular wellness practice aimed at cleansing the body of harmful toxins and impurities. While there are various approaches to detox, including juice cleanses and fasting, one common aspect remains crucial: the foods you consume. To achieve the best results during a detox, it’s essential to know which foods to avoid.
Every so often, our bodies need a break from the stress caused by eating the wrong foods. For the detoxification process to work properly, give your organs a vacation from what you normally eat. Cut the bad foods and beverages and add wholesome, clean foods to cleanse the body and nurture the detox process. Your mind will feel clearer and you’ll feel lighter and full of energy.
Here are the foods and other items you should avoid when detoxing.
Learn more at BlkandFit.com. (READ MORE)
7. Little Known Black History Fact: Oregon’s Racist PastSource:Getty
The Pacific Northwest is often seen as a region where racial tolerance might be expected and that opportunities for all Americans might be available. However, Black residents of the “Beaver State” say Oregon is hiding a racist past and that examples of said racism exists even today.
In 1859, Oregon became a state and issued a statewide law that no Black person, not even a mixed person, could live there. It was the only free state in the Union that had such a law forbidding Blacks from living there. Naturally, this law was defied and an example of this occurred in the progressive and eco-friendly city of Portland.
Black businessmen W.D. Allen and George Moore opened the Golden West Hotel in 1906, and it became the center of Black prominence and movement in the state. The hotel was successful, but buckled under the weight of The Great Depression and shuttered its doors in 1931. It has since been reopened as a historic reminder of Portland’s rich Black past.
Also telling was that the Ku Klux Klan opened a chapter in the state in 1921, and the state law barring Blacks was still in effect. The law was removed from the books in 1926 but the roots of racism ran far too deeply.
The late U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield was a college student in the state’s capital city of Salem, which had a Whites-only policy in its hotels. Hatfield drove famous vocalists Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson to Portland to rest overnight as Salem wouldn’t have them.
Current residents say that Oregon’s racism persists today although it’s a lot more covert. Some say that housing discrimination, a dearth of Black people being hired for work, and racial profiling are hallmarks of the actions those residents have endured over the years. There are even records of Black Oregon homeowners being forced from their homes and not given new opportunities to own again.
A 2015 documentary, “Lift Ev’ry Voice,” focuses heavily on Portland’s Black history and some of the barriers faced by those within the community.
8. Meet Howard Grad Julian Thedford, Part of the Next Generation of FilmmakersSource:Getty
Meet Julian Thedford, a 2022 Howard University graduate who is a part of the next generation of filmmakers.
He was recently named one of the HBCU filmmakers of the year by the National Black Movie Association as his debut project “When I Wake” premiered at Amazon Studios last summer and has gone on to receive eight festival selections. Thedford also launched his own production company earlier this year called Lucid Village Productions.
A Chicago native, Thedford’s work is committed to uplifting the voices and experiences of his community.
Thedford has been interested in filmmaking since he was very young and recalls his first experience on a set when he was in eighth grade. He was invited by a filmmaker to visit the behind-the-scenes of a show and remembers the experience as “just the most amazing thing” he’d ever seen.” (READ MORE)