Lawrence Hamm, others host Juneteenth march for reparations in NJ

On Monday, June 19, the People’s Organization for Progress (POP) will hold a march and rally in Newark, New Jersey, to call on the state’s lawmakers to pass bills and begin the process of reparations for descendants of slavery.

The event will host representatives from POP, the New Jersey Institute For Social Justice, elected officials, and community members. This annual march and rally’s primary goal is to secure reparations for African Americans who are descendants of formerly enslaved people.

“The demonstration is being held to once again demand reparations for African Americans for the centuries of enslavement of our ancestors, nearly a century of apartheid Jim Crow segregation, and institutionalized racism, inequality, oppression, and exploitation that continues to this day,” Lawrence Hamm, POP chair stated.  

Hamm said the current goal is to pass bills S386 and A938 in the New Jersey legislature, both of which would establish a “New Jersey Reparations Task Force” to examine the role of slavery in the state and its ancillary effects on current education, labor, and housing systems.

While lawmakers and activists have argued reparation bills for consideration throughout history, recently, New York and California have established coalitions to address the residual effects of slavery, according to an article for the Associated Press

New York still awaits the signature of Gov. Kathy Hochul, who can sign the bill into law and fully establish the task force. In California, economists have estimated that over $500 billion is owed to slavery descendants, but they did not specify amounts due to individuals or a timeline of said payments.

Hamm said that whether reparations be lump-sum payments, annuities, or the provision of economic resources, reparations will likely take many different forms for African Americans. He also mentioned legal precedent for reparations citing the payments towards Native Americans for colonialism and genocide as well as the payments for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Hamm says the march and rally will commemorate Juneteenth, which was federally recognized in 2021 but was first celebrated 158 years ago, in 1865. He encouraged New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to sign the two bills into action, and he hopes Congress can pass HR 40 and S40, which would mandate that lawmakers examine the lingering effects of slavery on the federal level.

“We urge the New Jersey legislature to follow the example of the New York legislature which passed a reparations bill last week. We demand the New Jersey legislature pass the reparations bill and that Gov. Murphy sign it into law,” Hamm said. 

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* This article was originally published here

Chef Marcus Samuelsson And Jay Norris Launch Initiative To Foster Minority-Owned Businesses

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Amidst the sobering statistic that merely 3% of businesses from Harlem to Hawaii are owned by African Americans, a renowned celebrity Harlem chef, Marcus Samuelsson. Samuelsson is stepping up to support an initiative aimed at transforming the trajectory of minority-owned retailers and restaurateurs. This groundbreaking effort seeks to redefine the landscape of lease agreements, providing…

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* This article was originally published here

United Order of Tents receives historic funding after facing destruction

In recognition of Juneteenth, the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF) announced 3.8 million in funds would be granted this year among 40 different African American U.S. sites. The AACHAF is the largest fund dedicated to supporting and preserving historic sites in the U.S. that represent African American history such as locations like homes, museums, centers, schools, and more.

One of the sites to receive funding was the United Order of Tents Eastern District No. 3, the oldest Black women’s fraternal organization in the U.S. The funds will be used to preserve their historic headquarters at the mansion home located at 87 MacDonough Street in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood. 

The AACHAF is the largest U.S. fund dedicated to preserving African American historical sites. It is a program within the National Trust For Historic Preservation, first created in 2017. 

In a press release, they announced the other new elements of the grants include a focus on conserving Black modernist sites designed by Black architects and further preserving HBCUs. 

The funding for the United Order comes after there was widespread news coverage earlier at the end of last year about the leaders’ ongoing fight to preserve their location at the Bed Stuy mansion as it was reportedly facing various financial hurdles and disrepair of the property.

Action fund awards range from $50,000 to $150,000 per site. However, it is unknown how much funding the organization received and how far it will be able to go toward preserving the site.

The United Order of Tents were founded by two formerly enslaved Black women, Annetta Minkins Lane of Norfolk, Virginia and Harriet R. Taylor, of Hampton, Virginia. According to the website, the group was founded in 1847. Other reports date the official incorporation of the organization to have come later in 1867.

The organization existed as one of the various secret societies created by freed Black people during enslavement for the purpose of fighting for liberation and providing support to other Blacks. Some of their early work included caring for the elderly, burying the dead, and helping enslaved Black people obtain freedom. 

As it was illegal for groups of Black people to congregate in New York State, they would have to function in secrecy and hold meetings in tents, which is where their name is derived from.

Chapters existed across the North and the South in states like Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York with its height reaching 50,000 during the 20th century. Their work included providing food, shelter, and nursing for members of the community. 

Today, the group has a continued emphasis on social issues, community service and Christian values and is looking to become a non-profit. 

“Our mission is to care for the sick, comfort those in distress, bury the dead, provide a home for the aged and infirmed women and the orphans of deceased women of all races and nationalities. In addition, uplift fallen or less fortunate women and [uphold] women to the highest standards of Christian living and to strive to achieve for women high standards within our nation. To work with and encourage young girls to achieve their maximum potential in society,” a statement from the website reads. 

The group is currently looking for support in adding membership. According to a New York Times piece in December, membership had increased from only eight women to up to 24 recently, with “tents as young as 25.” The website lists an application that one can fill out.

The site at MacDonough Street was first built in 1863 and became the headquarters of the organization in 1945. The mansion, also referred to as their Meeting House, is where they would historically hold meetings and discussions on issues and ways to further their activist work, in addition to using it “to perform their ceremonies and rituals that signified their sisterhood.” They still use the site today, however only at “certain times of the year” as a result of its current physical state. 

The post United Order of Tents receives historic funding after facing destruction appeared first on New York Amsterdam News.

* This article was originally published here

NYC Takes Bold Step To Enhance Safety For Older Adults Embedded In Police Precincts

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NYC Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Department for the Aging (NYC Aging) Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. This includes the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell today marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by announcing that an older adult liaison has been designated to every police precinct from Harlem to Hollis, as…

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* This article was originally published here

Adopt an adult cat for only $5 all summer long at the ACC

Adopt an adult cat for only $5 all summer long at the ACC

Cat lovers might have felt left out by the recent news that the Animal Care Centers of New York (ACC) was offering up dog adoptions for only five buckaroos last month. Now the non-profit, which works to help save and rescue pets throughout the city, is giving feline fans the same opportunity. 

RECOMMENDED: The best spots for pet and dog adoption in NYC 

During the ACC‘s special adoption campaign, wannabe pet parents (or cat-loving folks who simply want to add to their furry brood) will have adoption fees discounted to $5 for all adult cats (aged 6 years and older). And don’t worry: dog lovers can benefit, too, with the campaign extended to include large dogs weighing 40 pounds or more. (Note: the $5 fee does not include a spay/neuter deposit or NYC dog licensing fee.)

As of press time, sweeties like 6-year-old Lilac, 7-year-old Luna Mar and the already iconic 8-year-old Grumpy (seriously, look at that face in the ACC’s Instagram post below) were all currently available for adoption. 

The summertime is a critical season for cat adoption, as it overlaps with the so-called annual “Kitten Season,” the period between May and November when un-spayed female cats birth the most kittens. (Sadly, cats and kittens are the most at-risk populations in an animal shelter.)

And the overcrowding of animal shelters has become not only a local issue here in New York but across the entire country. “The nation is facing a crisis in animal sheltering and our New York City shelters are overflowing with animals in need of homes,” the ACC posted in an Instagram video on June 13, saying that the center has had to resort to placing pop-up crates throughout the facility to accommodate the overflow of pets, but space is running out. “The current situation is untenable,” one team member stated. 

The Animal Care Centers of New York isn’t the only organization working to help animal homelessness and boost adoption rates this summer. The Best Friends Animal Society also recently announced that it will be offering free cat adoptions all June. So, if there was ever a moment you were thinking of adding a furry friend to your New York family, the time is now!

* This article was originally published here

Hey Harlem, The Hudson River Park Trust Just Reopened The Chelsea Waterside Park

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The Hudson River Park Trust announced today the reopening of Hudson River Park’s newly renovated Chelsea Waterside Park section just 40 minutes from Harlem. The extensive overhaul of the space reimagines this heavily used section of the Park through the thoughtful addition of new features and plants. The park area now includes a new public…

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* This article was originally published here