From Anacostia to the Marshall Heights neighborhood and beyond, some Washingtonians have to find new ways to stay safe, active and mindful of the deadly virus buckling governments in every corner of the world. It’s no secret African Americans will bear the brunt of the coronavirus illness and lead the death toll despite making up only 14 percent of America’s population. ProPublica, The New York Times and other publications are already documenting the number of people dying from the airborne disease by race and class, and according to preliminary findings, the numbers are not looking good for black people.
“As of Friday morning, African Americans made up almost half of Milwaukee County’s 945 cases and 81% of its 27 deaths in a county whose population is 26% black. Milwaukee is one of the few places in the United States that is tracking the racial breakdown of people who have been infected by the novel coronavirus, offering a glimpse at the disproportionate destruction it is inflicting on black communities nationwide. In Michigan, where the state’s population is 14% black, African Americans made up 35% of cases and 40% of deaths as of Friday morning. Detroit, where a majority of residents are black, hasemergedas a hot spot with a high death toll. As has New Orleans. Louisiana has not published case breakdowns by race, but 40% of the state’s deathshave happenedin Orleans Parish, where the majority of residents are black,” stated the report by Talia Buford who covers disparities in environmental impacts for ProPublica.
Although a handful of states are keeping track of the disease’s impact, according to ProPublica, the CDC is not keeping track of deaths and infections by race. Thankfully, other institutions like hospitals and city health officials are. While many are running to the aid of hospital workers and other essential employees in the thick of this global crisis, it remains to be seen who will help black communities survive COVID-19.
The Laurel Cemetery is a significant burial location for African Americans and yet, it sits unrecognized beneath a strip mall on Belair Road in Northeast Baltimore. Frederick Douglas spoke there during the funeral of a friend, 270 black Civil War soldiers are buried there, and it’s the final resting place for some of the movers and shakers in the African American community who called Baltimore home in the early 19th century. One would never know the sacredness of this cemetery at face value today because it’s easily walked over and used as a short cut to get to and from the strip mall that sits above it.
Thankfully, there’s good news to report on the cemetery that stood the test of time from 1852 – 1957. A symposium to commemorate the historic cemetery will take place on June 15, 2019 at Coppin State University from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM in the Talon Center, located at 2500 W. North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21216. Click HERE for all the details.
My conversation with local Artist and Baltimore native, Terrell Brown, dives into this sad state of affairs of a once prominent resting place for Baltimore’s black elites.
A visiting media scholar from Jagiellonian University in Poland, Dr. Rafal Kus, gave a poignant public lecture for the United Nations Association at the Unitarian Universalist Church in New Hartford on Thursday. Dr. Krus was invited by Utica College’s Communications and Media Department thanks to a grant from the Erasmus Program of the European Union. Dr. Krus specializes in the study of American television media.
The local United Nations chapter—Upper Mohawk Valley Chapter of the United Nations Association—is tied to a global network of UN supporters and educators dedicated to educate, inspire, mobilize and strengthen the U.S. system in order to achieve the goals stated in the UN charter. The talk, which aims to do just that, focused on public broadcasting in the U.S., media and politics, and the impact of media systems in the world.
Part of the goal, according to organizers is to learn how U.S. foreign policy has been shaped by the international media climate and how it relates to the United Nations. There’s currently a bill being considered in Congress that aims to slash funding to the UN And Greg M. Smith who serves as Vice President of the local chapter, UMVUNA, says the cuts are in addition to the UN reducing its own budget by $200 million. “Now the United States is saying an additional $250 million needs to come away. That’s problematic because if we do that then we’re going to lose some of the seats we have within the United Nations. And, without a voice or a presence in committees we don’t have a voice in what happens within the United Nations and very easily the UN could become the League of Nations which we all know didn’t’ do very well to prevent WWII.”