PoliBlerd, last week in the world:
To some, it was more than fitting that the week before Independence Day our country is going through a transition on various levels. Here are some highlights of last week in politics:
Recently, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called to finally take down the Confederate flag as a state symbol as the country reacted to the mass massacre of nine African American’s at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
A long standing fixture in many southern states, that even President Barack Obama called a “reminder of systematic oppression” that, by its mere presence, stirs fear in the hearts of many African American’s in the South and recalls the South’s “imposition of Jim Crow after the Civil War” (and) “the resistance to civil rights.”
Nevertheless, the flag still flew high above the South Carolina state capitol last Saturday morning. That was until activist Bree Newsome decided that it was time for a glorious act of civil disobedience. She with the help of Jason Ian Tyson climbed a flagpole in Columbia, South Carolina and removed the Confederate flag that still flies in front of the capitol building. Both were detained but reports are conflicting as to actual charges being filed after the two activists ignored law enforcement’s requests to stop.
In a press release Newsome wrote:
“We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer. It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”
Detroit is now known as one of the deadliest states when it comes to the number of people killed in pursuits. This determination comes after a driver in Detroit, MI running from police sped into a residential neighborhood and ran over two small children on scooters then careened into three more kids and plowed into a house. The two children on scooters were killed and the others injured, one critically. The driver was arrested.
The deaths bring to at least 50 the number of people killed in Michigan in high-speed police pursuits since January 2013, according to Michigan State Police and numbers compiled by the Detroit Free Press.
Last week Misty Copeland became the first African American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in New York. In addition, Stella Abrera became the company’s first Filipino American principal ballerina and ABT.
A. Angélique Roché is an attorney, educator and communications professional who nerd is strong. Currently she is a small business owner and works for a non-profit focusing on empowerment and social justice in addition to policy and advocacy work. Angelique has previously served as a legislatively aide for the United States Senate and held various positions on local, state and national campaigns including campaign manager for Nina Turner for Ohio Secretary of State, making her the first African-American woman to run a statewide campaign in Ohio.
With a lifelong commitment to the empowerment of women and girls, Roché founded The Washington Middle School for Girls Civic Engagement Program, an externship giving young women from a middle school in Washington, DC the opportunity to engage in hands-on afternoon civics classes at the U.S. Capitol. The externship allows students to learn about the democratic process while interacting with congressional staff and representatives from various administrative agencies. The program is now in its fourth year.
In addition to being a contributor to Black Girl Nerds, she is a freelance writer previously appearing on Blerdology and writing for the advocacy group, MomsRising.Org. Roché is a board member of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, where she also serves on its faculty. She is a member of the board of directors for the EnVest Foundation, which is dedicated to educating and inspiring millennials to support nonprofit organizations and is part of the founders circle for Higher Heights for America.
Why Black Girl Nerds? Check out Angelique’s introductory post to the site, originally post in 2012
Featured image by Quinn McGowan