#BlackLivesMatter

The African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region, Inc., (AACCCR) is proud to present, for the third year in a row, The African American History Month Celebration at the Palace Theatre on Friday, February 24th at 7:00pm.

The annual celebration features the best and brightest talent in the region. This year’s theme is “Where Do We Go From Here?” focusing on participating in grass roots activism for social change. Bervin Harris, co-founder and CEO of the Renaissance Youth Group, will be the keynote speaker.

To give us a preview, we welcome Angela O’Neal – Executive Director of the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region and Holly Brown – Executive Director of the Palace Theatre. 

In a collection of essays entitled We Gon' Be Alright, acclaimed writer/journalist Jeff Chang (Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, Who We Be) takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country.

Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, passionately personal writing, and distinguished cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism.

Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. He argues that resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and cultural equity.

Courtesy Occupy Albany

The Occupy Movement began five years ago as "Occupy Wall Street," when activists flooded a park in New York City with demands for economic equality. The movement takes credit for introducing income inequality into the broader political discourse, for inspiring the fight for a $15 minimum wage and even the Democratic presidential campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The local anti-establishment crusade against the power of elites — the so-called 1 percent — was known as Occupy Albany.

 

We watched a Black Lives Matter march pass in front of our house recently. It reminded me of something that happened in 1972, when NBC aired a documentary called “Pensions: The Broken Promise.” It described many instances in which loopholes in pension plans left people without the pensions they thought they had. The narrator called the “situation” “deplorable.” The documentary won many awards and played a part in developing public support for pension legislation which now goes under the acronym ERISA.

Black Lives Matter activists in New York are protesting the arrest of an anti-violence advocate who was taken into custody while videotaping police frisking a handcuffed motorist.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

A national debate about the relationship between police and citizens has been raging in recent days. Now, an event featuring Albany police advising young people about interactions with the cops has gotten mixed response on social media. 

(March 2016) Amherst, Ma. Chief of Police Scott Livingstone joins activists for a photo beneath the " Black Lives Matter" banner that hangs over South Pleasant St.
WAMC

Authorities are still learning about the shootings in Dallas that killed five police officers and wounded several more. That violence follows two civilian deaths at the hands of police this week that galvanized protestors.

Two of the three University at Albany students charged with falsely reporting a racially-motivated attack on a CDTA bus in January were back in court Friday morning.

David Traynham, pastor of New Horizons Christian Church, at the lecturn, praising changes the city police department has made since Dontay Ivy died.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Local African American clergy, the NAACP, and some Albany city officials celebrated what they call an improving relationship with the police today on the steps of Albany City Hall. But  all was not harmonious.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Brendan Cox speak with reporters at City Hall, June 2, 2016.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The United States Department of Justice will be keeping an eye on the Albany Police Department.  Albany’s force is being held up as a positive example.

Alexis Briggs, Asha Burwell and Ariel Agudio look on as attorney Attorney Frederick Brewington speaks to reporters.
twitter/davelucas

Three former University at Albany students accused of lying about a racially-charged brawl on a CDTA bus were back on court on Wednesday.

NY AG Eric Schneiderman meets the press in Albany during the New York State Court of Appeals Law Day.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave Attorney General Eric Schneiderman the green light to investigate whenever police in any New York community kill unarmed suspects. Now, Cuomo has empowered Schneiderman to look into a police shooting that the Rensselaer County D.A. probed and dismissed.

college students accused
Albany County D.A.'s Office

Three UAlbany women involved in a CDTA bus attack in January were arraigned this morning in Albany Police Court.

A co-founder of the Black Lives Matter network visited with students in Saratoga Springs Saturday. Alicia Garza was the keynote speaker for the NY6 Spectrum Conference at Skidmore College.

Photo: (l-r) Asha Burwell, Ariel Agudio, Alexis Briggs
twitter, facebook

It was a case that jumpstarted campus activism and conversations about race. But there was one problem: authorities say it wasn’t true. Now, three University at Albany students who claimed to be victims of a racial attack on a CDTA bus in January will be charged Monday with assault after authorities determined they attacked another passenger. 

The defendants.
twitter/BLMUpstateNY

Three 20-year-old black female college students who claimed a group of white men and women harassed them with racial slurs aboard a city bus are being charged with assault.

Amani Olugbala  is a Black Lives Matter organizer who came to Albany from Brooklyn 10 years ago.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

President Barack Obama will pay a historic visit to Cuba in the coming weeks, becoming the first president to set foot on the island in nearly seven decades. Twenty residents of New York's Capital Region recently returned from a trip to the island nation.

At the Martin Luther King Memorial in Albany: Congressman Paul Tonko, Mayor Kathy Sheehan and County Executive Dan McCoy. (January 2014)
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Observed nationwide since 1976,  Black History Month is an annual observance across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  It descended from “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of  historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.

The defendants.
twitter/BLMUpstateNY

Last weekend's alleged racial incident involving University at Albany students aboard a CDTA bus remains a mystery after videos have been scrutinized.

  In 2006, Tavis Smiley teamed up with other leaders in the Black community to create a national plan of action to address the ten most crucial issues facing African Americans. 

The Covenant with Black America, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller, ran the gamut from health care to criminal justice, affordable housing to education, voting rights to racial divides. But a decade later, Black men still fall to police bullets and brutality, Black women still die from preventable diseases, Black children still struggle to get a high quality education, the digital divide and environmental inequality still persist, and American cities from Ferguson to Baltimore burn with frustration. In short, the last decade has seen the evaporation of Black wealth, with Black fellow citizens having lost ground in nearly every leading economic category.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Several events that will shape the future of New York's Capital City took place in various locations across Albany Monday night.

Response to the allegations came swiftly.
WAMC Composite Photo by Dave Lucas

University at Albany students are rallying tonight following an alleged assault of three black female students on a CDTA bus over the weekend.

Angelica Clarke says BLM Upstate NY is holding a "What's Next" public town hall February 1st 6pm at at Punta Cana, 92 Second Avenue, Albany.
BLMUpstateNY/facebook

Calling on all people to join together to fight racism in upstate New York, the Black Lives Matter movement has arrived Albany. "Change" has come to the Capital.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Albany taxpayers will be responsible to pay off a newly settled lawsuit involving a city policeman.

Minnesota prosecutors have charged four men in connection with last week's shooting that injured five people at a protest over the killing of a black man by Minneapolis police.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said during a news conference that the accused shooter, Allen Lawrence Scarsella, 23, was charged with five counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of second-degree riot.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

After meeting with Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Dontay Ivy’s family is dissatisfied with her initial response to their list of demands.

Update at 10:40: p.m. ET: Protesters React To Video Release of Shooting

Update at 8:40 p.m. ET

Three people are in police custody after five people were injured last night as gunmen opened fire near the site of a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis.

Early Tuesday afternoon, police arrested one man, saying in a press release: "A 23 year old white male was taken into custody in the City of Bloomington in relation to this case. His name will be released upon charging. The search for additional suspects continues."

commons.wikimedia.org

New York's highest court has blocked an effort to unseal the testimony that a grand jury heard before declining to indict a police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

Activists gather in City Hall to deliver a list of demands.
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Family members of the Albany man who died after being tased by police earlier this year joined with community activists at city hall today, delivering a list of demands to the mayor’s office.

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