By Gary A. Johnson – Publisher – Black Men In America.com
As we close out 2022, I thought I would highlight a few events that were notable in the news and of interest to the readers of this website.
Congress Passes Bill Named after Emmett Till
Congress gave final approval Monday to legislation that for the first time would make lynching a federal hate crime in the U.S. The Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act is named for the Black teenager whose brutal killing in Mississippi in 1955. Till’s mother insisted on an open funeral casket to show the world what had been done to her son. That decision became a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights era.
Black People Still Killed at The Hands of Police At A Higher Rate Than Other Groups
According to data collected by the Washington Post, police shot and killed at least 1,055 people nationwide last year, the most since the newspaper began tracking fatal shootings by officers in 2015. That is more than the 1,021 shootings in 2020 and the 999 in 2019.
Black people, who account for 13 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for 27 percent of those fatally shot and killed by police in 2021, according to Mapping Police Violence, a nonprofit group that tracks police shootings. That means Black people are twice as likely to be shot and killed by police as White people.
National Urban League State of Black America Report
While Blacks have made economic and health gains, they’ve slipped farther behind Whites in education, social justice and civic engagement since this index was launched in 2005. A compendium of average outcomes by race in many aspects of life, it shows just how hard it is for people of color to overcome systemic racism, the civil rights organization says.
The index shows not only that median household income for Black people, at $43,862, is 37 percent less than that of White people, at $69,823. Black people also are less likely to benefit from home ownership, the engine of generational wealth in America.
Census data shows Black couples are more than twice as likely as Whites to be denied a mortgage or a home improvement loan, which leads to just 59 percent of the median home equity White households have, and just 13 percent of their wealth.
Byron Allen’s HBCU Go Makes Deal with CBS To Show Football Games
Byron Allen’s free streaming service HBCU Go agreed to a nationwide licensing agreement with CBS stations that will run through the 2022-2023 college football season. Under the distribution pact between the Allen Media Group-owned digital platform, which focuses on coverage of the country’s 207 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, HBCU Go’s sports programming will be carried on CBS owned and operated duopoly stations in these key TV markets: New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, Miami and Pittsburgh. As a result of the deal, HBCU Go will be available in 60% of U.S. television households. HBCU Go is also available through HBCUGO.TV, Roku, Amazon, Fire TV, Apple TV and the HBCU Go App.
Black-Owned Whiskey Brand Uncle Nearest Hits
According to a press release, black-owned whiskey brand Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey announced that its sales exceeded $100 million through October 2022. The brand was founded in 2017 with executive connections to Victoria Eady Butler, the great-great-granddaughter of Nearest Green — the company’s namesake.
The Exit of Harold Bell
Harold Bell, the “Godfather” of sports talk radio in Washington, DC, announced his departure from “Speak The Truth,” (a podcast on our site) to focus full-time on his Muhammad Ali project. For almost two decades, Harold wrote more commentary and was the most read columnist on this website. If you read his work or watched him on social media, you could not help but learn from Mr. Bell. For those of you who never had the opportunity to meet this 4th generation Washingtonian, here are some noteworthy things to know about this legendary broadcaster.
- Was the first African-American sports radio talk show host in Washington, DC.
- Regularly calls out sacred cows who he believes forgot who they are and where they came from. Harold believes that high-profile personalities and people in the public domain should be scrutinized. That is the price they pay fairly or unfairly.
- Will quote his grandmother who used to tell him, “A lie will change a thousand times. The truth will never change.”
- Always told me “Family First” when things got too hectic for me.
- Speaks the truth as he sees it and does not appreciate being blindsided.
- Does not fear threats of lawsuits for what he says or writes because he speaks and writes about the truth and if he does that no one can tarnish his reputation.
- Will tell you that he’s from the streets and in those streets “game recognizes game.” Harold will not allow anyone to misrepresent or disrespect him.
- Over the last 5 decades Harold has developed friends across the political spectrum. He will tell you that his problem is not the White man. His problem is “fake ass Niggers pretending that they are Black.”
Despite almost two decades of friendship, Harold told me that I don’t really know him. I only know what he wants to show me and the public. However, based on my observations over the years, I can say with confidence that Harold Bell is a believer in God and a lover of children. His “Kids In Trouble” foundation, founded by he and his wife Hattie, has been working to help under-served youth in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 5 decades.
“Every White face is not your enemy, and every Black face is not your friend. You can’t soar with eagles if you’re hanging out with chickens.”
Mr. Bell’s departure from “Speak The Truth” is not the end of Harold Bell. You can follow him on his blog and come to your own conclusion about Harold Bell, the man, the myth and the legend. Click here to go there now.