Notes on the News: Ethiopian Singer Jailed
In Ethiopia, Jailed Singer Is a Political Symbol
In what is being called a nationally galvanizing incident, Ethiopia's reggae star Tewodros Kassahun is being held on prison on charges of striking a homeless boy with his BMW before fleeing the scene. Fans of Kassahun are skeptical due to the fact that he wasn't charged until April, although the boy was apparently killed in 2006. Many believe that he is being framed due to the perceived anti-government message in much of his music.
Tennessee Defies Cliches on Race and Politics
Tennessee has proven itself to be a state that defies the stereotypes of racial politics. Though its voting body is comprised of a majority of black voters, Tennessee's 9th Congressional district -- where Dr. King was assassinated by a white man -- voted against African American candidate Nikki Tinker in favor of her white opponent, Stephen Cohen. "Whites have voted for blacks and blacks have voted for whites in this state, but never like this before."
SF African American Population Shrinking
Researchers are noticing a rapid shrinking of San Francisco's African-American population, where black people are disappearing faster than in any other sizable U.S. city. Research shows that this is happening because of growing lack of good schools, affordable housing, jobs, and black culture. Over half the black population has left between 1970 and 2005. Most blame the Redevelopment Agency.
Religious Freedom Won't Be Sacrificed
The Santeria priest Jesus Suarez was in the process of slitting a goats throat last June when police stormed in and arrested him and the 20 other followers of the Afro-Cuban religion. Suarez, along with the great Santeria defender Ernesto Pichardo -- who co-founded the first incorporated Santeria church in the U.S. -- are fighting for their right to religious freedom.
South L.A. Boxing Gym is Back in Fighting Shape
The South Los Angeles gym where legendary heavyweight champions such as Henry Tillman and Lamon Brewster once trained is back on the rise. Locals find it to be a haven from gang violence as well as the perfect place to channel any anger or frustration they might have.
'Black Moses' Led Pop to New Ground
Musician, composer, and producer Isaac Hayes was found dead on his treadmill at his home just outside of Memphis, Tenn. His wife Adjowa said her husband "had not been in the best of health recently." No autopsy is planned. Hayes was 65.
Comic From TV and Film is Dead at 50
Stand-up comic and film and TV star Bernie Mac passed away on Saturday in Chicago, where he lived. The 50-year-old comedian died from complications from pneumonia.
In the End, a Safe Rout for U.S. Men
Though for the first few minutes it was a close game, the U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team quickly pulled ahead of their Chinese opponents, finishing with a 101-70 victory. With President Bush in the stands, and over a billion people watching, it was easily the most anticipated and most watched basketball game in decades.
Swimmer Hopes Historic Win Will Change Sport
Swimmer Cullen Jones swam with Michael Phelps and others to a historic victory and new world record in the 400-meter freestyle relay on Sunday in Beijing. He is the third African American swimmer to win an Olympic medal, and only the second to take the gold. Jones hopes that this will herald a new era for a sport which historically lacks diversity.
2:35 PM ET | 08-11-2008 | permalink