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Oprah speaks out on the impact on African American community

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New Zealand’s Ardern, other top officials taking 20 percent pay cut

New Zealand’s top officials are taking a 20 percent pay cut for six months in acknowledgment of the community’s sacrifices in dealing with the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says it applies to government ministers, chief executives of government organizations, and also that opposition leader Simon Bridges had volunteered to join them.

She said it wouldn’t apply to any front-line staff like doctors or nurses.

Ardern’s salary of $286,000 is a comparatively high amount for a country with only 5 million people.

Man freed from jail over COVID-19 fears killed man next day, police say

A Florida man released from jail based on fears that coronavirus could spread in corrections facilities is accussed of killing someone the next day,  authorities said Tuesday.

Edward Williams, 26, of Tampa, Florida, was arrested Monday and is facing charges of murder, gun possession, violently resisting an officer,and drug possession, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa said.

Williams was freed six days after a March 13 arrest on drug charges and is suspected in a March 20 shooting that left a man dead, sheriff’s officials said. He’s now behind bars with no bond.

Read the full story here.

Trump’s name will appear on coronavirus relief checks

President Donald Trump’s name will appear on paper coronavirus relief checks mailed to Americans as part of a massive $2 trillion package passed by Congress last month.

A U.S. Treasury Department official confirmed Tuesday that the checks will have “President Donald J. Trump” printed on the front, but it will not be a signature.

The Washington Post, which first reported the story, said the process of adding Trump’s name to the checks could slow their delivery by a few days.

The Treasury Department official disputed that and said there would not be any delays. The majority of coronavirus relief payments, which includes direct cash payments of up to $1,200 for individuals, are expected to go out by direct deposit, but some people will get paper checks.

Read the full story here.

Thousands of MLB players, families to participate in coronavirus study

Major League Baseball confirmed Tuesday that 27 teams will participate in a study looking for COVID-19 antibodies among club employees and their relatives.

The Athletic first reported that 10,000 volunteers will participate in the study, which will be conducted with the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, Stanford University and the University of Southern California.

The study will aim to measure the prevalence of COVID-19 among people across the United States by testing for a blood protein that the body creates in response to the infection, the Athletic reported.

The Athletic, citing Stanford researcher Jay Bhattacharya, reported that players, families, team staff, concessionaires, ushers and other part-time employees of all ages, backgrounds and genders will participate.

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Black Americans credited with major contributions to blues, jazz

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June is African American Music Appreciation Month. Created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, this month celebrates the African-American musical influences that make up an essential part of our nation’s culture. Black Americans are credited with major contributions to the creation of blues, jazz, hip hop, rap, sacred music, rock ’n’ roll, and more.

The W. W. Law Collection features a variety of materials and resources related to African-American music, from audio recordings of well-known local, national and international artists, including Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, the King Cole Trio, and Odetta, to books about musicians and music styles, as well as sheet music and songbooks.

To explore more of what this treasured collection has to offer, visit savannahga.gov/wwlaw.

Unplugged: Savannah Jazz Festival hits the right notes in difficult year

Related: Savannah Jazz Festival returns to live performances with Circle of Friends fundraiser

City of Savannah Municipal Archives, Archives@savannahga.gov, Discover the Archives: savannahga.gov/MunicipalArchives.

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Ironton woman proud of personal African American, political collections | News

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IRONTON — Though Dawnita Redd lives by herself, she is never truly alone; she has a lifetime of collected African American and political souvenirs to keep her company.

At 69 years old, Redd is retired and living in rural Ironton, having previously spent several years serving as a social worker at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. She spent her early years in Huntington, where her father became the first Black police officer to retire from the Huntington Police Department.

In her little single-story home, Redd maintains a massive collection of various items, which she has been building up ever since she was a child. These collections are all unique, but share similar themes.

One such collection is Redd’s massive room full of Barbie dolls. Still preserved in their boxes, each wall of the room is stacked with dolls, their collective height reaching near the ceiling. The vast majority of these dolls are African American or dark-skinned, and they vary widely in age; some are as old as the first line of Barbie dolls ever produced, while others were recently made. One particular doll had even come all the way from Africa.

Redd has no particular favorite of these collections, though she does cherish some in particular. One doll she pointed out had a black dress with white polka-dots, which she said reminded her of her mother. Another was a trio of black Barbies in military dress uniforms, including the Navy, Air Force and Army.

“I love showing those ones to people,” said Redd. “I feel like they can relate to them, especially if they’ve served our country in the Army.”

Redd first began the collection back when she was a child, when she would often see Barbie dolls in the windows of stores in Huntington. Though she desperately wanted a doll, her family couldn’t afford one at the time. A close friend ended up giving her her first as a gift.

Another one of Redd’s collections is a homemade trio of political pin-sheets, primarily based around former President Barack Obama’s political career. Numbering at over a hundred and organized by age and event, the pins are sectioned off onto sheets of colored cloth; a red sheet, a white sheet and a blue sheet. The combined patriotic display was so large that it couldn’t entirely fit side-by-side on Redd’s living room floor.

Not wishing for her work to simply remain in her home, Redd hopes to soon have the combined pin display donated to the Obama Presidential Center Museum.

“By this point, if you lay ’em all out, you’ve got his complete story,” Redd said.

Redd has held a particular interest in politics for some time. She has a collection of signed autographs from every currently living U.S. president and vice president, save President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Alongside them, she has made efforts to get in contact with Michael Jordan and Oprah Winfrey, wishing to get their autographs as well.

Contained in a handful of plastic totes was a collection of stamps, primarily around African American icons. The highlight of this collection was a large, circular display, painted dark blue and rimmed with wood. It was framed, and rested on a backdrop of grey fabric.

Its golden plaque read “Black American Heritage Story Plate.” It contained 16 rare stamps upon it, including images of figures such as Carter G. Woodson, Martin Luther King Jr, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and more. Redd said she found the rare display during a trip to Chesapeake, Ohio.

The ultimate inspiration that’s kept Redd collecting well into her old age is her own self-interest.

“This has all been for me, but I do joke that I should’ve been collecting money the whole time,” said Redd. “I hate to say it, but I just don’t know what I’m gonna do with it all before long.”

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Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant dies

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Jim “Mudcat” Grant smiles in the dressing room after the Cleveland hurler pitched a two-hit shutout against the Kansas City Athletics, May 15, 1963. The Indians gave Mudcat a one-run lead in the first inning and made it stand up, defeating Kansas City, 1-0. (AP Photo/Julian C. Wilson)

CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Cleveland Indians organization is mourning the loss of former pitcher Jim “Mudcat” Grant.

According to the team, Grant passed away at 85. Officials say he died peacefully Friday night in Los Angeles.

The Indians released the following statement regarding his passing:

“The Cleveland Indians family is deeply saddened by the loss of Jim “Mudcat” Grant, a true fan favorite on both the playing field and in the broadcast booth. A native of Lacoochee, FL, he joined the Indians organization at the age of 18 in 1954, made his Major League debut in 1958, and left a legacy as large as his personality. To this day, Mudcat was a cherished member of the Indians Alumni Ambassador Program. We send our condolences to the entire Grant family , as well as to his many teammates and other organizations impacted by his 60-plus years in our game.”

Bob DiBiasio, Indians SVP/Public Affairs.

Grant had at 14-year MLB career and pitched for seven different clubs.

He played seven seasons with the Tribe and compiled a record of 67-63 from 1958-1964. He also earned American League All-Star honors in 1963.

Minnesota Twins great Mudcat Grant acknowledges the crowd after then teammate Tony Oliva presented him with a replacement ring from the 1965 American League Championship team prior to the Twins baseball game against the Cleveland Indians Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in Minneapolis. Mudcat lost his original ring many years ago. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Grant finished his Major League career 145-119 with a  3.63 ERA (2242.0 IP, 985 ER) in 571 outings (293 starts). 

In 1965 He became the first African-American pitcher to win 20 games and to win a World Series game. He played for the Minnesota Twins at that time.

He also authored a book titled “The Black Aces” which payed tribute to the 15 Black pitchers who were 20-game winners in MLB.

Following his playing days, he served as an activist and advocate for African American participation in baseball. Grant also called Indians games on FOX 8 (WJW-TV) with Harry Jones and served as a member of the team’s community relations department.

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