WASHINGTON — The Justice Department plans to open a wide-ranging civil rights investigation into the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department following the shooting last month of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday night.
The person said the investigation could be announced as early as Thursday afternoon. Missouri officials were notified Wednesday of the probe. Continue reading
Misty Copeland is only the second African-American woman ever to reach the level of soloist at American Ballet Theatre. Now the author of a new memoir, “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina,” she shares the story of her improbable rise from poverty to the spotlight, as well as her desire to open the artform to more dancers from all economic backgrounds and races. Continue reading
While mourners lay Michael Brown to rest, the meaning and impact of the death of the unarmed African-American teenager continues to provoke discourse around the nation. For insight on the debate over criminal justice and race, Gwen Ifill talks to Rev. Starsky Wilson of St. John’s United Church of Christ, Fredrick Harris of Columbia University and Tracie Keesee of the Center for Policing Equity. Continue reading
The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is more than two-thirds African-American. But only three of its 53 police officers are black. Jeffrey Brown talks to Tracie Keesee of the UCLA Center for Policing Equity and Malik Aziz of the National Black Police Association to explore why so many communities across the nation face similar racial imbalances, and what can be done to fix it. Continue reading
In "Many Rivers to Cross," Henry Louis Gates Jr. recounts 500 years of African-American history in a six-part series for PBS. Gwen Ifill sits down with Gates, a Harvard University professor, to discuss the journey of black Americans who created hope and persistence in the face of brutal discrimination. Continue reading
Newark Mayor Cory Booker will be New Jersey’s first African-American senator, having been elected to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the late Frank Lautenberg. Gwen Ifill talks to Booker about his win, his legislative priorities and how he plans to pursue "uncommon coalitions for uncommon results" with his fellow lawmakers. Continue reading
In Oakland, Calif., some programs are working to better help African-American boys graduate from high school and improve their social and academic outcomes. Special correspondent Joshua Johnson of KQED reports on the push to change the way these students think about school by offering them more support. Continue reading
Paul Solman reports on one African-American family’s year-long mission to shop only at black-owned businesses. Part of his Making Sen$e of financial news series, Solman speaks with the family about their “Empowerment Experiment,” and looks at some of the challenges African American entrepreneurs face. Continue reading
In Minnesota, St. Paul’s Penumbra Theatre Company is putting on a production of “I Wish You Love,” on the life and times of Nat King Cole. Twin Cities Public Television takes a look behind the scenes of the production and the company’s history of fighting marginalization and producing productions to raise social consciousness. Continue reading
Nikki Giovanni is the author of several books of poetry, including most recently, “Bicycles: Love Poems.” She is a professor at Virginia Tech, where she teaches writing and literature. “The 100 Best African American Poems” was edited by Giovanni and published in November.