All Articles Tagged "News"

Mother Graduates In Son’s Place After He’s Killed In A Car Crash

May 22nd, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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mom graduates in her son's place feat

Aaron Dunigan was the star quarterback, Thornton Fractional North High School’s prom king and expected to enroll in Southern Illinois University in the fall.

But all of those plans were derailed when Dunigan was killed in a car crash on the night of his senior prom, days before the 18-year-old’s high school graduation.

Dunigan and his friend Mike Crowter were getting a ride from another teen, who was under the influence of marijuana, on the night of the incident. The teen crossed a median and crashed into another car, killing 56-year-old Juan Rivera, a Metra employee, who was on his way to work.

Mike Crowter survived the crash but with injuries. He graduated in a wheelchair.

To honor her son, his mother, Katherine Jackson, donned Aaron’s cap and gown and walked across the stage in her son’s place.

Jackson told NBC 5, “[My son] knows his mom walked the stage. I’m going to be his legs and he’s going to be my wings and we’re going to go up there and get our diploma.”

The teen driver has been charged with DUI causing death and reckless homicide with a motor vehicle.

Jackson found the act of attending her son’s graduation and interacting with his classmates to be therapeutic in dealing with the loss of her son.

“My son has left a piece of him inside of all of them and every time I hug one of them, I get a little piece of my baby back.”

Betty Soskin, The Nation’s Oldest Park Ranger Works To Inspire Young Girls Of Color

May 21st, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

Betty Reid Soskin is something like the national treasures she shares with the people who visit the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California.

The 93-year-old, is believed to be the nation’s oldest park ranger according to the U.S. Department of the Interior. She has been working as such since 2003. Soskin, the great-granddaughter of a slave, recently sat down with a Today Show reporter to talk about how she sees her job as advocacy for young Black girls.

“I still love this uniform. Partly because there’s a silent message to every little girl of color that I pass on the street or in an elevator or on an escalator…that there’s a career choice she may have never thought of.”

Soskin helped develop the plans for the national park where she works, which opened in 2001 to honor the working women of World War II. She leads a tour called “Untold Stories and Lost Conversations” telling the stories of political activists and African-American women in the workforce.

“I’m not sure I even wanted to be [a park ranger]. This is the turn that my life took. Since I’m working from memory, my work tends to be ‘in the moment and depends upon my ability to respond to questions out of a well that seems bottomless at times.”

That well is full of experience. Long before Soskin became a park ranger at the age of 85, she was a file clerk in 1942 for a segregated union auxiliary. Afterward, she moved, with her husband to an all White neighborhood in California where the couple received death threats for building a home there.

Today, Soskin, who comes from a long line of women who live past one hundred years old, works five days a weeks and has no plans of slowing down.

She said, “And as long as that’s true, and as long as I’m developing new questions, then I’m going to go on living it.”

You can watch her full interview with the Today Show in the video below

Clark Atlanta University Student Goes Missing On Her Way To Graduation

May 21st, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Clark Atlanta University Student Goes Missing On Her Way To Graduation

Source: WSBTV

Graduation is usually a time of pride and celebration; but for the family of Alexis Jones-Rhodes, it’s a time of confusion and fear.

According to, the family of Jones-Rhodes says she went missing on Monday and is now making a public plea for her return. Jones-Rhodes was set to graduate on Monday from Clark Atlanta University, but they haven’t heard from her since.

Her mother, Nicole Johnson told the media, “I have no idea where my daughter is.”

She also took the time to make a plea to her daughter, “It’s taken a lot just to stand up here, so I just want to say AJ please, please, please come home.”

Jones-Rhodes was last seen when she left her family’s home on Monday morning, wearing her cap and gown. She was supposed to be heading to her graduation.

Her family knew something was wrong when she never walked across the stage. Later, they learned she never checked in.

A university representative told the Atlanta ABC affiliate that Jones-Rhodes’ name was not on the official commencement list and they have no record of her paying fees for a cap and gown.

But no matter the circumstances, her parents just want to know she’s ok.

“I’m hoping that if someone knows where she is, that they make her aware her parents just want to see her home safely,” her mother said.

Friends and family have been posting fliers with her picture on it around campus.

Sadly, this is not the first time the family has had reason to be concerned about Jones-Rhodes’ safety. Years ago, WSBTV was speaking with Jones-Rhodes and her mother after someone robbed her at gunpoint while she walked on campus.

Her mother, who remembers the experience well, once again urged her daughter to come home.

“If it’s in her power, Alexis if you can do it, just please come home.”

DeKalb County police are investigating her disappearance.

Family members say Alexis, who is 5 feet 5 inches tall and 127 pounds, was last seen driving a black Hyundai Sonata with Georgia tag BPC 6177.

Anyone in contact with Alexis or the vehicle is asked to notify special victims detectives at 770-724-7710 or 911.

Swift Punishment: Georgia Administrator Fired After Racist Comments During Graduation

May 14th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Georgia Administrator Fired After Racist Comments

Source: 11 Alive News

I can’t be the only person who cannot stop thinking about that Georgia administrator who showed her true colors at a high school graduation last weekend. Nancy Gordeuk, principal and founder of TNT Academy, and her calling out of “all the Black people,” with that deep southern accent, is tragically hilarious.

Gordeuk gained national attention and even issued an apology–or blamed the devil– for her racially-charged words. But it wasn’t enough.

According to Atlanta, Georgia’s NBC affiliate, 11 Alive News,  Gordeuk has been fired.

Dr. Heidi Anderson, the chair of the board of directors at TNT Academy, wrote a letter to the Gwinnett County chapter of the NAACP saying that the board voted to dismiss Gordeuk.

In light of recent events, the board of directors of TNT Academy has moved to dismiss Nancy Gordeuk as principal. During the coming transition, we will continue to prioritize support for our most recent graduates. Moreover, we will continue our commitment to providing students with the best educational classes, transcription services, and academic credit recovery possible.

The Georgia NAACP President Francys Johnson sent an e-mail to 11 Alive News, supporting the board in their decision.

“Beyond the inappropriate remarks, the former principal attempted to legitimize the bizarre episode by claiming ‘the devil made her do it.” This is not just about Mrs. Gordeuk’s comments. The NAACP would defend Mrs. Gordeuk’s right as a private citizen to free speech. However, those entrusted with responsibility for our children must set a high standard marked by civility. That is obviously a test the former principal failed.”

Thankfully, this punishment came down quick, before Gordeuk was able to interact with another group of students.

The Stone Mountain Graduation Shows That We Are Not Post-Racial

May 11th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

It is not easy being a Black person in contemporary America. Heck, why even kid ourselves. It has never been easy being a Black person during any time in American history.

Yet, the current narrative in society tells us that we are post-racial. Not only have Black folks integrated into all facets of life and culture, but America has done the brave thing by electing a bi-racial president – twice.

However, these symbols of our alleged progress have always been a misnomer. For one, there have always been Black folks doing things in society besides being slaves. In fact, as early as 1600, there were a lot of Black folks, or half-Black folks, in both the North and South, who worked, went to school, owned businesses, and in some instances, voted and had plantations of their own. However, even with all of these freedoms and privileges similar in kind to their White counterparts, Blacks who were not slaves, and often born free, were still regarded politically, socially and culturally as inferior beings.

As Henry Louis Gates once lectured in this essay entitled, “Free Blacks Lived In the North, Right?” for The Root

Laws, especially in the Upper South, reflected whites’ suspicion (very often hatred) of free blacks, and there were repeated attempts to deport them, to register them, to jail the indolent and tax and extort the wage-earner, to disenfranchise the free black caste altogether from voting or testifying in court against whites. To leave little doubt, as Berlin quotes the saying at the time, that “even the lowest whites [could] threaten free Negroes … with ‘a good nigger beating.'”

Therefore, this idea that we are past the point of race and racism being an issue all because Black people are freer to participate in American society, ignores the micro-aggression that many of us free Black men and women have dealt with and continue to deal with every single day of our lives.

Microaggression, like the kind that follows us around in stores, just because we are Black. Microaggression, like the kind that calls the police on us and reports us as suspicious, simply for being a Black face in predominantly White spaces. Microaggression, like the kind that accepts our resumes and lets us apply for jobs with our Euro-centric names, but won’t hire us when they discover that we are Black in person. Microaggression, like the kind that assigns rarity and uniqueness to us, just because we are Black and can speak, read and write the Queen’s tongue in full, complete sentences. Microaggression, like the kind that assumes cultural norms, speech and values created outside of the Euro-centric dominated culture, particularly the kind created by Black people, are automatically wrong or abnormal. Microaggression, like the kind that assumes you are a service, domestic or retail worker because you are Black and happen to be shopping in an upscale retail or grocery store. Microaggression, like the kind that doesn’t want you in their films and television shows, even when the film and television shows are about ethnic people and assumes that Black people can’t be representational of all people, just as our White counterparts often are. Microaggression, like the kind that will elect a Black man president, but refuse to respect his authority and never fully consider him an American citizen, just because he is Black – or even half-Black.

That’s right. Just like our ancestors born free, free Black folks of today are still catching heck. And while we have moved past the point where we are regarded openly as N-words and are made to sit in the back of the bus, that does not mean that in certain hearts and minds, ignorant people have stopped looking at Rosa Parks as nothing more than an uppity troublemaking lazy ni**er.

Moreover, nothing illustrates how truly unfree we are in this alleged post-racial America more than what happened to the graduating students, and their families, at TNT Academy in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

According to WSBTV Channel 2, Nancy Gordeuk, principal and founder of the private, nontraditional learning center, decided that it was a good idea to make racial remarks during the school’s graduation ceremony. A 30-second video of the more shocking part of the incident has been making the rounds on various social media websites, which you can watch here. However, as WSBTV reports on the back story, Gordeuk made the racial comments after she had accidentally closed the ceremony before the class valedictorian, a White guy, could give his speech. Apparently she forgot to include him in the program.

The mistake was hers. But instead of taking the blame for the ensuing confusion, as the news station reports, Gordeuk started blaming the Black people in the mixed race audience for “being rude” and then went on to single out a Black audience member who was taking pictures of the ceremony, calling him a “goober” and a “coward.”

Understandably, many in attendance, including some of the graduating seniors, began to walk out. Some who walked out were White people. But apparently it was the Black people not knowing their rightful place in the White man’s world that upset Gordeuk the most. She then remarked, “Look who’s leaving, all the black people…”

Two reporters from Channel 2 decided to track down Gordeuk in her home to see if she was the least bit remorseful for her microaggression. However, you can’t shame the shameless and as she nonchalantly told the reporters about why she made the remarks, “Who I saw leaving were black people, so that’s where the statement came from, ‘look who’s leaving, all the black people.'”

No wonder heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for African Americans in this country. And no wonder homicide of one other is the sixth leading cause of death for African Americans in this country. Look at the crap we have to put up with. Look at the crap we have to put up with while still having to remain calm and dignified so that we do not end up burning this country down to ashes.  As more and more research has surfaced, microaggression often results in us silently killing ourselves, as well as misplacing aggression onto each other, instead of giving the much-needed ass kicking to those who are truly deserving of our aggression. And Lord knows that Gordeuk lady really needs a big, stiff Black foot right up the behind…

The funny part here is that Gordeuk, as well as many of her ilk, probably thinks herself a good decent White woman. She probably goes around town, telling everyone how she sees no color and regularly pats herself on the back because she let a few of us lowly Black folks attend her exclusive, nontraditional school. In the minds of folks like Gordeuk, being post-racial means being able to be in the same room with us without trying to find ways to kill or enslave us.

To the contrary, what will ultimately make our society post-racial, is when White people, in particular, can no longer think, behave or make statements like the ones Gordeuk made without impunity. What will ultimately showcase our post-racialness is when White people in particular begin to treat everyone, regardless of skin color, gender and sexual orientation, with the respect and dignity that is entitled to us all – not just as American citizens, but as human beings.

But that will never happen because America has no intention of being post-racial. If it did, the entire empire, which was built and continues to operate off of the oppression of Black bodies, would collapse. As such, Gordeuk will likely make some tired, half-ass apology, she will get to keep her position, everyone will move on, and Black folks will continue suffering under the weight of microaggression.

Look At God: Adopted Woman Discovers Coworker Is Her Birth Mother

April 20th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Adopted Woman Discovers Coworker Is Her Birth Mother

Source: WKBN

I have no idea what it’s like to be adopted, but I always imagined that adopted children and even some adults spend quite a bit of time looking into the faces of complete strangers, wondering if they’re their long lost parents. Your father could be someone you pass on the street everyday. Your mother could be the woman who works in your building.

Though the notion of such a thing seems highly unlikely, that’s exactly what happened to La-Sonya Mitchell-Clark, 38, of Youngstown, Ohio.

Mitchell-Clark told WKBN, an Ohio CBS affiliate, from the day she learned she was adopted, she wanted to find her biological mother.

That dream became a reality last month when the Ohio Department of Health released birth records for people born between January 1964 and September 1996. Mitchell-Clark’s record included the name of her birth mother, Francine Simmons.

Mitchell-Clark looked the woman up on Facebook and discovered that she worked at Infocision in Boardman, Ohio, the same company and inside the same building where Mitchell-Clark is currently employed.

That’s when Mitchell-Clark realized that she knew of a Francine at her job. The woman worked in another department, at the front desk.

Mitchell-Clark reached out to a few of her other friends on social media for help. Then the next day, she got a phone call from her birth mother.

“She called me and I said, ‘Is this Ms. Francine? She said yes. I said, ‘I think I’m your daughter.'”

The two women burst into tears.

Francine Simmons said that she’s still in shock. Like Mitchell-Clark, she too has wanted to reconnect but didn’t know how to go about it.

She explained, “I got pregnant when I was 14. I had her when I was 15. I was put in a home, a girl’s home. Had her. Got to hold her. Didn’t get to name her, but I named her myself in my heart all these years.”

When she found her mother, Mitchell-Clark also found three other sisters, one who works at Infocision with her mother and newfound sister.

Kamala Cummings, the sister, said through tears, “I feel a sense of relief for my mother.”

Her other sister, Maisaha Cummings said, “It’s just amazing that all this time we’re thinking about her and trying to find her and she was trying to find us too.”

Not only do the mother and daughter pair work in the same office, they live six minutes away from one another.

Mitchell-Clark says her adoptive parents have always been supportive of her searching for her birth mother. She said that they’re going to be a part of the new relationship with Simmons.

Simmons agrees, “Now, we’ve got a bigger extended family where we can just be together.”

You can watch the two women discuss their reunion in the video below.

Mother Meets 49-Year-Old Daughter For The First Time After Being Told She Died At Birth

April 13th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Mother Meets 49-Year-Old Daughter For The First Time

Source: FOX 2

This story could very well be turned into a Saturday afternoon Lifetime movie. But sometimes life, as they say, is stranger than fiction. The lives of two women in Olivette, Missouri, were forever changed forty-nine years ago when Zella Jackson Price, now 76, was told her daughter died hours after birth.

But last week both Price and her daughter Melanie Diane Gilmore were reunited in person for the first time at Price’s home.

Forty-nine years ago, when Gilmore was born at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, Price was told that her daughter died. But not only was Gilmore alive, she was adopted by another family.

Price, who is a well known gospel singer, said that while she has been hurt by the years of separation she is thankful for a second chance.

“God has given me everything the devil has taken from me. I’m getting it back. I’m getting my baby back.”

Gilmore traveled from Oregon with her own daughter and son to St. Louis where she met her mother and brother, Harvey for the first time.

Gilmore, who lost her hearing at 3-years-old due to a childhood illness, said that she’s been looking forward to the reunion for a long time.

“I am just so happy…very excited.”

Gilmore was not able to meet her biological father because he passed away a few years ago. While the two were happy for the reunion, they plan to launch an investigation to discover what happened at the hospital half a century ago.

The meeting came about when Gilmore’s children searched for their grandmother on the internet. Eventually, they found Zella and a DNA test proved that she is Melanie’s mother. 

You can watch the mother and daughter meet for the first time in the video below.

Look At Gawd: Single Mom Wins $188M From Powerball Lottery

February 13th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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One of the three Powerball lottery winners has already decided what she’s going to do with at least part of the $188 million she won earlier this week.

“First I’m going to pay my tithes because I wouldn’t have none of it if it wasn’t for God,” Marie Holmes told WECT 6.

The news of Holmes’ win is certainly an inspiring one, as the 26-year-old single mother of four children, one of which has cerebral palsy, revealed that she previously worked at McDonalds and Walmart, but had to quit in order to care for her children.

“I was currently looking for employment, and then God brought this along. I’m grateful. I’m grateful.”

While she admits that the reality of her win hasn’t fully set in, she’s ready to embrace her new life.

“I’m ready for it. I’m ready to embrace the change. I’m very grateful for what’s about to happen for my family,” Holmes told WSOC TV.

In addition to cutting her church a hefty check, Holmes’ plans for the money includes putting money aside for her children’s college tuition and buying a house.

“I’m thankful that I can bless my kids with something that I didn’t have,” she expressed. “I’m going to set up accounts for my kids and when I figure out where we’re going to live, I’m going to buy a house for me and my kids and then I’m going to make sure my family is good.”

What makes Holmes’ story so heartwarming is knowing how much she has struggled up to this point.

“I have four kids, one boy and three girls. I’ve been struggling since I had them, but I wouldn’t trade nothing because they’re a blessing. I’m just thankful that I can actually do it for them without anybody’s help, without anybody telling me that they did this or that. I don’t have to worry about the word ‘struggle’ anymore and neither do they.”

The entire jackpot was for $564.1 million. The other two winning tickets were sold in Texas and Puerto Rico.

Target Practice: Outrageous Police Behavior Unearthed After Eric Garner

January 22nd, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Killing unarmed men, using photos of black suspects for target practice, the new focus on police brutality is revealing a lot of skeletons in these officer’s closets.

Kenya Moore Says She’s A Size Four, Not A Six (And That’s the Worst Rumor About Her)

May 23rd, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Kenya Moore Says She's A Size Four

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Breaking news everyone, Kenya is a size four, not a size six. And yes, that’s the only rumor she’s willing to address.

Yesterday, the folks at Rumorfix caught up to Kenya and asked her if she needed any rumors fixed and all Keny had to say was:

“That I wear size six and I actually wear a four…that’s the worst thing that you can possibly say about me.”

But we know the RHOA villain was just covering for the news we really want her to spill. When Rumorfix tried to get to the real nitty gritty, saying, “Now we asked fans to come up with questions for you. And one of the questions is ‘will you ever smooth things over with Porsha Williams,'” Kenya clammed up quick:

“I’m not going to answer that question.”

We guess Kenya wasn’t ready to spill any tea, but she may have tipped a little accidentally, which is why now we want to know is: was Kenya passed up for a spot on “Dancing With the Stars”?

When Rumorfix asked Kenya if it was great to see NeNe on DTWS, Kenya said she wouldn’t know because she hadn’t seen her. When Rumorfix asked if she’d like to be on it, Kenya quipped “I’m a great dancer, I would love to be on that show.” and then turned away from the camera for a few salty beats.

Kenya has been shading NeNe’s fading acting career as of late, but did Kenya also try to take NeNe’s place and get rejected? Check the video and let us know what you think.