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For the last six years, vaccine scientist Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett has been working on the best and safest immune response for coronaviruses as part of a pandemic demonstration project at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Corbett’s work was based on the “what if” scenario of a real outbreak. Then, in late 2019, the “if” happened.

Corbett’s work was foundational to the development of one of two vaccines now approved for emergency use in the United States for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 illness.

Corbett explained her work and the science behind the first vaccines available in the United States last month during a national NAACP call with other public health experts and policymakers. The conversation was moderated by journalist and veteran White House correspondent April Ryan, who is newly affiliated with TheGrio.TV. The call was part of this year’s UNMASKED: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall series of discussions focused on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting African Americans. …

by Deborah D. Douglas

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Many Americans are reeling from the Capitol siege by homegrown terrorists in defiance of hard-won voting rights for African Americans. At the same time, the upcoming annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration begs one to wonder: Whose country is this anyway?

The U.S. stock market’s delayed embrace of the federal holiday celebrating the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one way to link King’s economic agenda to the capitol of capital. …

by Sherri Williams

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A mob of Trump supporters invaded the United States Capitol building on Jan. 6.

Moments after President Trump spoke at the “Save America” rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, and repeated lies about his legitimate presidential loss, he encouraged his supporters, including white supremacists, to walk to the nearby U.S. Capitol and put pressure on Republican lawmakers as they confirmed the 2020 presidential election results.

Trump’s supporters broke doors, shattered and crawled through windows, and invaded legislative offices. One even climbed over and dangled from the Senate balcony like a villain in a James Bond film. Others stormed into congressional chambers. Lawmakers dropped to the floor in fear. The session stopped. …

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is considered the formative figure in the modern fight for civil rights, and his legacy looms large in the work of all those who follow him in his cause.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s History

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Dr. King was born in Atlanta, Ga., in 1929. During his time in Atlanta, King graduated at the top of his class from Morehouse College and moved on to Boston University where he earned his Ph.D. in systematic theology. In June 1953, King married Coretta Scott, and in 1954, followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a pastor for the Drexel Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL. Dr. King went on to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott, founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and became one of the national leaders of the growing civil rights movement. Read more.

Dr. King and the NAACP:

On December 1, 1955, barely a year after King’s arrival to Montgomery, AL, the secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP refused to move from her seat in the front of the bus. Rosa Parks was arrested and sent to jail, but her act of defiance inspired the burgeoning civil rights movement in Montgomery. The Montgomery Improvement Association was formed with the NAACP Executive Committee and officers of the Montgomery NAACP, which had at that point been banned in the state. The Association led a boycott of the bus system, and King, already a member of the NAACP’s executive committee, was chosen as its leader. …

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W.E.B. Du Bois created The Crisis magazine as “a record of the darker races” with the first issue released in November 1910.

Go to this link and check out the latest issue of The Crisis which includes:

— A profile of vice president-elect Kamala Harris

— A story on Grief and African Americans

— Five Black women photographers capture the next generation of social justice activists

— President Barack Obama answers our questions about the current state of affairs

— Ambassador Andrew Young remembers his colleagues Rev. Joseph Lowery, Rev. C.T. Vivian and Rep. Joseph Lowery

Read it online now.

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By SONYA ROSS

WASHINGTON _ Once upon a time, in an America that now seems so long ago, Toni Morrison mused about just how much Blackness America could tolerate in its presidents.

Then-President Bill Clinton, Morrison posited, carried a figurative Blackness about him that got him dogged and persecuted in a way that Black men, especially, know all too well. “… White skin notwithstanding, this is our first Black President. Blacker than any actual Black person who could ever be elected in our children’s lifetime,” Morrison wrote.

Of course, that was in the year of our Lord 1998 B.B. — before Barack. A decade later, when Barack Obama actually became the first Black president, bringing America’s first Black first lady Michelle Obama with him, the pressure was even higher for both of them to keep their Blackness in check. “Post-racial” was the order of the day. So even though Obama indulged his Blackness in myriad ways — singing a little soulful Al Green here and there, popping in on Omega Psi Phi’s centennial convention, singing Amazing Grace from the pulpit of Mother Emanuel AME Church [in Charleston, S.C.] at the funeral for its church’s murdered pastor — he also worked hard not to be a racial line-stepper, down to the details of his personal life. Burned so severely during his first campaign by controversy over the fiery sermons of his pastor back in Chicago, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama never did choose a church home in D.C. …

“Black people did not vote to save American democracy. They voted to save their lives and the lives of their children.”

– Junebug Jabbo Jones, Nov. 4, 2020

The Black community voted in record numbers in the 2020 presidential election. It can be reasonably argued that their votes made the critical difference in the battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Many of the votes in the Black community came from today’s activists who became involved because of the murders of Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and . . . . . …

By Maria Morales

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Black Greek letter organizations

While the country is divided among red, blue and purple, those won’t be the only colors voters will see when they go to the polls on Nov. 3. Voters can also expect to see the black and gold, pink and green, blue and white, gold and purple, blue and yellow, red and white, and brown and yellow colors of the Black Greek-letter fraternities and sororities also known as “the Divine Nine.”

With a combined total of 2.5 million members in the U.S. …

by Dr. Amos C. Brown and Dr. Gina Stewart

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 2)

These words have been expressed from pulpits across this nation for decades. The Bible verse underlines the notion that beyond the plight and obstacles of the moment, we can desire and pursue the very best for a person or community. The church has traditionally been considered the nucleus and the place where these sentiments could be found in abundance. The Black church for many within our community has always symbolized more than just a house of worship. …

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Jennifer Pinckney is just beginning to grieve.

It’s been five years since white supremacist, Dylann Roof brutally murdered nine Black people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on the evening of June 17, 2015, during Bible study. Pinckney’s husband, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor, and a South Carolina State senator were one of the nine killed.

The coronavirus shelter-in-place order has given Pinckney time to think and reflect.

“Everything just kind of hit me,” says Pinckney, a librarian at a middle school in Columbia, S.C. “It just had time to all catch-up.”

Pinckney remembers how the day started off so ordinary, just “a regular day” — until it wasn’t. …

The Crisis Magazine

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