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Tulsa Juneteenth Event Features Native Carmen Fields Her Love Of Journalism Began At The Oklahoma Eagle

OKLAHOMA EAGLE — OKPOP, a project of the Oklahoma Historical Society, is planning a special event to mark Juneteenth on Monday, June 17, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Rudisill Regional Library, located at 1520 N. Hartford Ave. in Tulsa. The event will include an interview with award-winning journalist Carmen Fields by former Senator Judy Eason McIntyre, followed by a question-and-answer portion with the audience.

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By Eagle Newswire

OKPOP, a project of the Oklahoma Historical Society, is planning a special event to mark Juneteenth on Monday, June 17, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Rudisill Regional Library, located at 1520 N. Hartford Ave. in Tulsa.

The event will include an interview with award-winning journalist Carmen Fields by former Senator Judy Eason McIntyre, followed by a question-and-answer portion with the audience.

The program will focus on Fields’s experience growing up in segregated Tulsa and her prominent journalism career, including the PBS documentary she wrote and produced, “Goin’ Back to T-Town,” about race relations in the city.

“What an honor to be a part of recognizing the rich heritage of North Tulsa, and to share some of my varied professional experiences! This community has helped launch me, my brother and so many others. It will be a joy to be back home,” stated Fields.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted to support the Shirley Ballard Nero Endowment Fund.

Fields, who resides in Massachusetts, is an alumna of Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington High School and earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in journalism from Lincoln University. She went on to receive a Master of Science (MS) in broadcast journalism from at Boston University and received the Nieman Fellowship for Journalists from Harvard University, the only American broadcaster of the 25 American and foreign fellows.

Fields’ interest in journalism was sparked by English teacher Juanita Lewis Hopkins, who submitted her stories to The Oklahoma Eagle.  Later, columnist Jeanne O. Goodwin, known professionally as “Ann Brown” invited Fields to be a guest columnist before she began her journalism studies at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.

She was part of the Boston Globe team that won a Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for coverage of Boston’s school desegregation efforts. Fields has been nominated for six regional Emmy awards and has won two. Additionally, she received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Salem State University in Massachusetts.

She is currently both producer and host of a monthly public affairs program on Boston’s Channel 7 called “Higher Ground” in addition to running her own media and public relations consulting firm. Fields is the daughter of famous big band leader Ernie Fields, Sr. and Bernice (Copeland) Fields, who was a Tulsa elementary school teacher, and the sister of musician Ernie Fields, Jr.

Juneteenth is the Texas and Oklahoma regional celebration of the emancipation from slavery following the US Civil War. US General Gordon Granger proclaimed the end of slavery in Texas at Galveston on June 19, 1865. This news and celebration spread to Indian Territory slaves that summer.

For more information about the Oklahoma HOKPOP, please visit www.okhistory.org.

The Shirley Ballard Nero Endowment provides funds to conduct research, programming, exhibitions and events related to the historic All-Black towns of Oklahoma. You can donate to this fund at the Oklahoma History Center or by contacting Angela Spindle at 405-522-0317 or aspindle@okhistory.org.

This article originally appeared in the Oklahoma Eagle

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Black History

Women’s Suffrage Forged by Founding Sisters: Happy Birthday to Ida B.

CHARLESTON CHRONICLE — So proclaimed Ida B. Wells-Barnett, who fearlessly shined a light with words on the abominable dark days after slavery and into the 20th century. Journalist, publisher, author, activist, and suffragist leader, Ida B.’s spirit soars. July 16 marks the 157th anniversary of her birth. Blood, sweat, and ink sealed her legacy and the future of a nation still struggling to be whole.

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Gwen McKinney (Courtesy Photo)

By Gwen McKinney

“The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.”

So proclaimed Ida B. Wells-Barnett, who fearlessly shined a light with words on the abominable dark days after slavery and into the 20th century.

Journalist, publisher, author, activist, and suffragist leader, Ida B.’s spirit soars. July 16 marks the 157th anniversary of her birth. Blood, sweat, and ink sealed her legacy and the future of a nation still struggling to be whole.

Ida B. revered the Black press as an organizing tool. Though her newspaper The Memphis Free Speech was destroyed by racist mobs, she was never silenced. During her life, she would publish three newspapers and authored “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases” and “The Red Record,” investigative reports that remain definitive sources on racist violence more than 100 years later.

Small in stature but huge in courage, Wells, an emancipated slave, joined a cadre of Black contemporaries – scholars, activists, and thought leaders – who pledged to change the trajectory of bondage and demand that Black women have a voice.

They defy the clichés and caricatures planted in popular culture with their searing voices. Their cadence would not be paraphrased or translated into the often quoted “Ain’t I A Woman” reprise. But forever burdened by their womanhood and Blackness, their path – then and now – is littered with obstacles.

Educator and writer Mary Church Terrell observed, “Nobody wants to know a colored woman’s opinion about her own status [or] that of her group. When she dares express it, no matter how mild or tactful…, it is called ‘propaganda,’ or is labeled ‘controversial.’”

Poet, teacher, and Baltimore abolitionist Frances Ellen Harper was among the suffragists who pleaded the case for linked fate unity. “We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity,” she said. “Society cannot trample on the weakest and feeblest of its members without receiving the curse in its own soul.”

These Founding Sisters forged civil rights organizations with Black men, sororities, and service clubs with their women peers, and joined “woke” White women against lynching and disenfranchisement and for education and economic development.

It was Ida B. and a coterie of Black women publishers, writers, and teachers of the era who led the movement for universal suffrage even when Black women were shunned and excluded.

Nonetheless, women’s suffrage, deeply rooted in abolitionism, is depicted in a single dimension as the jumpstart for the white feminist/voting rights movement.

Regarded as social reformers, White suffragist – many of them supporters of abolition – confronted a fork in the road, conflicted between the “Negro question” and universal suffrage.

With passage of the 15th Amendment in 1870 granting Black men voting rights, universal suffrage would be sacrificed on the altar of patriarchy and white supremacy. Defended or oversimplified, the words of Susan B. Anthony, crowned the mother of women’s suffrage, illustrate the entrenched stranglehold of whiteness.

Though she counted abolitionist Frederick Douglas as an admired cohort, Anthony’s contradictions can only be measured today in the context of racism and exclusion.

“I would sooner cut off this right arm of mine before I would ever work for or demand the ballot for the black man and not the woman,” she said. One might conclude that she was seduced by the divide-and-conquer tactics of the male proponents of the 15th Amendment. But Anthony’s view was widely embraced by the White women’s suffrage movement.

Her friend and suffrage leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton, arguing against the 15th Amendment, protested: “It’s better to be the slave of an educated white man than of a degraded black one.”

One year away from the centennial of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, how much ground have we gained as women and a nation? How much of the conversation about gender equality denies the overlapping impact of white nationalism, patriarchy, and privilege? Where and when do the voices of Black and Brown women enter?

But first and foremost, when do Black women get the recognition that they have earned in their unbroken march to freedom?

Our compass should be guided by that path forged by Ida B. Wells and other courageous Black women whose intersectional quest to make America stand upright changed the world.

This opening salvo embraces Suffrage. Race. Power. Spurred by my collaboration with a small collective of women that is Black-led, cross-generational, and supported by “woke” White women, we’ve named ourselves “Founding Sisters.” This space will offer regular installments that honor our Founding Sisters of the last centuries and spotlight the unfinished business of Suffrage. Race. Power.

To kick it off: Happy birthday Ida B.!

Gwen McKinney is President and Founder of McKinney & Associates Public Relations, for which she is responsible for translating the vision of “public relations with a conscience” into a sustained, bold and tested suite of communications services and activities. She is also the founder and lead collaborator for Suffrage.Race.Power.

This article originally appeared in the Charleston Chronicle

The Charleston Chronicle

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Best Detailed Walkaround 2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport

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Best Detailed Walkaround 2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport
1.6L Turbo GDI 4 Cylinder Engine
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7 Speed Dual-Clutch (more…)

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COMMENTARY: Media Responsibility and Accountability in the Era of #MeToo

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “The statistics confirm that sexual harassment is alive and well across all industries and women of color working low-wage jobs are facing the brunt of this abuse,” Emily Martin, the vice president of Education & Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center, said in response to those statistics.

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Recently, the recurring challenge for journalists has been demonstrating fairness and objectivity in the wake of the #MeToo movement, founded by Tarana Burke in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence.
Recently, the recurring challenge for journalists has been demonstrating fairness and objectivity in the wake of the #MeToo movement, founded by Tarana Burke in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

In a world with an ultra-competitive, 24-hour news cycle, journalists are often urged by their editors and publishers to be first with the story.

Unfortunately, in doing so, some have traded accuracy for sensationalism.

Being first to break a story might provide accolades and even financial rewards, but whether printed, published online, or broadcast, a journalist’s words can have serious repercussions for both the accuser and the accused.

A 2018 Pew Research survey found that about two-thirds of American adults (68 percent) say they at least occasionally get news on social media. About the same percentage share the news and information that they find on social channels.

While Pew notes that many of these consumers are skeptical about the information they see there, noting that a majority (57%) say they find information on social media to be inaccurate, the pervasiveness of social channels makes it more imperative than ever for the press to present facts and stray from innuendo.

In some cases, mainstream media has failed to adequately report or focus on stories that would benefit the public.

For example, FBI statistics indicate that more than 424,000 girls have gone missing since the beginning of 2018, yet many say the media hasn’t done enough to shine a light on the crisis, which includes a large number of African Americans.

News reporting is a key witness in the court of public opinion

Take for example the case of  Emmett Till, the black teen lynched and killed by white men after he was falsely accused of whistling at a white woman in Mississippi in 1955.

Author Michael Oby noted that the Black Press shed light on Emmett Till’s brutal murder and continued to press the case for decades afterwards. Though Emmett’s killers never spent a day in prison, in the APMreports series, “In the Dark: Acquitting Emmett Till’s killers,” Peter Vesco notes, “Pictues of Till’s battered, unrecognizable face were printed in JET magazine and publications across the country. News of his hideous lynching led to outrage around the world.”

Oby said news coverage by the Black Press proved to be crucial in the mobilization of African Americans at that time because it ignited the civil rights movement of the mid-1950s.

In a 2007 interview with historian Timothy Tyson, Carolyn Bryant, wife of Roy Bryant, one of the two men who faced trial for the killing, and Emmett’s false accuser, admitted that she lied, and in 2018 federal prosecutors reopened the case.

Today, it may be difficult for some to maintain high journalistic standards, especially since so many ‘citizen reporters’ are using cell phones and other handheld devices to chronicle criminal activity and expose wrongdoing that would have otherwise never been seen – or believed.

Diamond Reynolds filmed the police shooting of her fiancée, Philando Castile, who was pulled over by an officer because his car’s break light wasn’t working.

While the officer claimed he feared for his life because Castile was reaching for a gun, Reynold’s video showed that Castile informed the officer that he had a firearm and was licensed to carry it. It also showed that he never reached for it.

In July 2014, video captured by a citizen reporter shows police questioning Eric Garner of Staten Island, New York, after he allegedly sold loose cigarettes. Officer Daniel Pantaleo then used a chokehold on Garner, who heard repeatedly telling police “I can’t  breathe!”

Garner later died.

During that same year, cellphone video captured the tragic moment when 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police, just seconds after exiting their patrol car, while he was playing in a park in Cleveland with a toy gun.

A police dispatcher had alerted Timothy Loehmann, the officer that fatally shot the boy, that Tamir had a fake gun when she sent authorities to the scene, but Loehman still got out of his car and shot the young boy to death.

Ava DuVernay’s recent documentary, “When They See Us,” has brought attention to the “Central Park Five,” a group of young men who spent eight years in prison after being falsely accused of raping a woman in New York’s Central Park in 1989.

Much has been made about Donald Trump’s position on that case, including when he took out full-page ads in several New York newspapers calling for the death penalty after the incident.

But very little attention was given to the failure of the press to accurately report that story. Instead, the media sensationalized. For his part, Trump continues to refuse to acknowledge that he was mistaken and apologize to the young men who were ultimately exonerated.

When asked by a reporter in mid-June whether he would apologize, Trump replied, “Why do you bring that question up now? It’s an interesting time to bring it up.  You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt. If you look at Linda Fairstein and you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city should have never settled that case, so we’ll leave it at that.”

Recently, the recurring challenge for journalists has been demonstrating fairness and objectivity in the wake of the #MeToo movement, founded by Tarana Burke in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence.

Because there are often no other fact witnesses to the allegations levelled by accusers or corroborators that support the denials made by the accused, #MeToo’s gray areas have proven to be the places where the media fails to adequately practice journalistic standards or exercise caution. Many accusations associated with #MeToo have been substantiated. However, others were proven false.

It Matters if You’re Black or White

The National Organization of Women – or NOW – noted that, for African American women, sexual assault and violence are “incredibly pervasive issues that routinely go unreported and under-addressed.”

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that, between 2012 and 2016, black women filed sexual harassment charges at nearly three times the rate of white and non-Hispanic women.

Data shows this is true regardless of the type of industry.

“Black people in the United States have never been given a presumption of innocence in the criminal justice system. Their entire relationship to justice is not a standard of ‘not guilty’ but one of ‘not guilty, yet,’” said Innocence Project Senior Staff Attorney Karen Thompson, who released a report earlier this year that revealed that more than 220 black men have been exonerated by DNA while on death row after they were falsely convicted of various serious crimes.

“The statistics confirm that sexual harassment is alive and well across all industries and women of color working low-wage jobs are facing the brunt of this abuse,” Emily Martin, the vice president of Education & Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center, said in response to those statistics.

Sexual assaults and harassments are serious charges and false accusations can be devastating and career-ending, especially when amplified by news reports.

For example, in 2018, multi-talented actor, singer and songwriter Jamie Foxx was accused of assaulting a woman after she allegedly refused to perform a sex act.

The woman reported the 2002 incident to Las Vegas police and the media seized upon it, threatening Foxx’s career.

Foxx’s attorney said his client didn’t even know the woman, but reporters still swarmed to get her story.

“Jamie emphatically denies that this incident ever occurred,” Allison Hart, Foxx’s attorney said in a statement.

“The first time [Foxx] became aware of this woman’s absurd claims about an incident that supposedly occurred 16 years ago was when [celebrity website] TMZ contacted his representatives about this story,” Hart said.

Eventually, Foxx was cleared of any wrongdoing, but little was written about his innocence.

Even in instances where the truth is not immediately evident – a he said/she said scenario – like that faced by entertainment mogul Russell Simmons, the press has an obligation to objectively present the facts when reporting the story.

Simmons, who maintains that he’s never been violent with a woman or forced any to have sex, said aspects of the #MeToo movement will help ensure that his own daughters will have a better future.

“I see no benefit in getting in the mud with my accusers or the media,” Simmons said. “I’m certain that my truth will come out sooner or later.”

To accuse someone who was doing the kind of work Simmons was doing – “using his money and fame to raise more [money] to help those who needed it, you have to wonder why?” said Barbara Mealer, author of the novels “The Jillian Factor” and “Abilene: No Place to Hide.”

“The media must ask these questions before running with a one-sided story: Did he reject them? Were they just trying to get even with him for some slight? Were they just jumping on the bandwagon so they could get notoriety?” Mealer said.

One high-profile individual who requested anonymity for this article, told NNPA Newswire that, “There’s a case pending against me, which my lawyers said will probably be dismissed shortly and the court has indicated it will be.”

“I’m lucky, right? But, why do I have to spend $600,000 or whatever the number is, to defend myself against a woman who said I did something not her 31 years ago and I don’t ever remember meeting her and she couldn’t produce one friend who she ever told she knew me or one photo or one thing to prove that she ever met me,” the individual said.

The media has been guilty of exacerbating claims, including those of Jackie Coakley, who provided an unsubstantiated story to Rolling Stone magazine that formed the basis of 2015’s “A Rape on Campus,” saying that she had been gang-raped by fraternity members at the University of Virginia.

The story went viral, making headlines in newspapers and television news broadcasts throughout the country, until it was discovered that Coakley made up the story. Even using fake text messages to support her false claims.

Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely failed to verify Coakley’s story and the magazine ultimately settled the lawsuits with the fraternity and its members.

In 2013, blogger Susan Shannon accused Col. David “Wil” Riggins of sexually assaulting her in 1986 while they were both cadets at West Point. The allegations caused Riggins to lose a promotion to general, leading him to retire. A jury heard both sides and sided with Riggins, awarding him $8.4 million in damages.

A July 2019 Forbes Magazine article referenced an earlier story in The New Yorker. Jane Mayer’s piece is highly critical of the frenzy that led to the forced resignation of Al Franken from the Senate.

“Mayer described Franken’s fall as ‘stunningly swift’—so swift that it left far too little time to sort the facts,” Forbes reported.

“Every accuser should be heard, but their rights should be no more substantial than the accused, a fact that separates the United States from every other country,” New York-based marketing strategist Tracey Campbell said. “The press must be above that and must recognize that the burden of proof can’t be found in one corner or the other, even when a reporter is convinced the accuser is telling the truth,” Campbell said.

“Believe women,” a slogan that gained popularity during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, refers to the need to accept women’s allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault at face value. Don’t assume women as a gender are especially deceptive or vindictive and recognize that false allegations are less common than real ones, says Elle Magazine’s Sadie Doyle.

The professional press has an obligation to do as much as possible to “get it right,” present a fair and balanced summary of the facts to its readers and resist the urge to encourage a presumption of guilt.

Stacy M. Brown

A Little About Me: I'm the co-author of Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway and her son, Stevie Wonder (Simon & Schuster) and Michael Jackson: The Man Behind The Mask, An Insider's Account of the King of Pop (Select Books Publishing, Inc.)

My work can often be found in the Washington Informer, Baltimore Times, Philadelphia Tribune, Pocono Record, the New York Post, and Black Press USA.
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2020 Hyundai Palisade AWD On The Road

Hyundai introduced the 2020 Palisade to invited journalists in Asheville, NC. 07.17.2019. We had the opportunity to drive on-road and off-road the front-wheel-drive version and AWD version.

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2020 Hyundai Palisade AWD On The Road with Paola and Roosevelt.

Hyundai introduced the 2020 Palisade to invited journalists in Asheville, NC. 07.17.2019. We had the opportunity to drive on-road and off-road the front-wheel-drive version and AWD version.
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2020 Hyundai Palisade AWD Off-Road

Hyundai introduced the 2020 Palisade to invited journalists in Asheville, NC. 07.17.2019. We had the opportunity to drive on-road and off-road the front-wheel-drive version and AWD version.

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2020 Hyundai Palisade AWD Off-Road with Alan and Roosevelt.

Hyundai introduced the 2020 Palisade to invited journalists in Asheville, NC. 07.17.2019. We had the opportunity to drive on-road and off-road the front-wheel-drive version and AWD version.
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2020 Hyundai Palisade Presentation Q & A

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John Simmons and Lori fielded questions from invited guests.

Hyundai introduced the 2020 Palisade to invited journalists in Asheville, NC. (more…)

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