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James Wright

Stories by James

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Schmoke Set to Lead U. Of Baltimore

Kurt Schmoke, the former mayor of Baltimore who served as dean of the Howard University School of Law from 2003-2012, will become the next president of the University of Baltimore.

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AIDS Institute Leader Condemns Sterling's Rants

Disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling publicly stumbled when he attacked NBA Fall of Famer and entrepreneur Ervin "Magic" Johnson and other people living with HIV/AIDS, during a May 12 interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

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Conyers Fails to Qualify for Ballot

U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), the senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the second longest-serving member of the U.S. Congress, failed to gather enough signatures to get on the Aug. 5 ballot for re-election.

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Civil Rights Groups Oppose Boggs for Judgeship

Two civil rights organizations have made it clear that the nomination of Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs, as the next U.S. District Judge of the Northern District of Atlanta, must be rejected.

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D.C. Political Roundup: Bonds Unhappy with Party Switching

D.C. Council member Anita Bonds (D-At Large), who serves as the chairman of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, isn’t happy with Democrats leaving the party to become independents to run for political office.

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D.C. Leads in Early Childhood Education Programs

A newly-released national report reveals that when it comes to state-funded early childhood programs, the District is second to none, and Mayor Vincent C. Gray couldn’t be happier.

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Pot Enforcement Policy for District Explained

The office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, recently explained its policy on enforcement regarding the decriminalization of marijuana.

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Washington Redskins Pick Eight in NFL Draft

In a draft where the Washington Redskins quietly acquired eight new players, Michael Sam of the St. Louis Rams will probably go down as being the first openly gay player in the National Football League (NFL).

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Peebles to Build Hotel at 5th and I Streets

R. Donahue “Don” Peebles, a multi-millionaire developer of luxury hotels, high residential and commercial projects in Miami Beach, Florida, Las Vegas, New York City and Philadelphia, who got his first deal in the District, has been selected by The Walker Group to redevelop a property at 5th and Eye streets in Northwest into an upscale hotel and residences.

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Sharpton Hails Parsons as Clippers Interim Head

The Rev. Al Sharpton, president and CEO of the New York-based National Action Network has given a thumbs-up on the selection of noted business leader Richard “Dick” Parsons as interim president of the Los Angeles Clippers.

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NAACP Praises Pennsylvania Governor’s Decision

Jotaka Eaddy, director of the NAACP Voting Rights Initiative, is elated over a recent court decision that prevents an appeal of Pennsylvania’s strict voter identification law.

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Norton Backs Bill to Name D.C.'s Union Station for Truman

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) is supporting legislation by Missouri Sens. Claire McCaskill (D) and Roy Blunt (R) to rename D.C.'s Union Station after President Truman.

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CBC Excoriates 'Despicable' Abduction of Nigerian Schoolgirls

The Congressional Black Caucus lent its voice to the growing global outrage about the abduction of hundreds of girls and young women in Nigeria.

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Cory Booker to Speak, Receive Honor at Joint Center Gala

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker will deliver the keynote address and receive a top award at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' annual dinner on June 25 at the Marriott Marquis in Northwest.

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Obama Administration's Climate Change Report Championed by NAACP

The NAACP threw its support behind a climate assessment report released by the Obama administration, echoing the report's assertion that climate change has played a significant role in increasingly extreme weather patterns.

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ACLU Backs Obama on 'Inhumane' Lockett Execution

The American Civil Liberties Union backed President Obama's stance on the botched execution of a black death row inmate in Oklahoma late last month.

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Marion Barry Lambastes Planned HBO Biopic

D.C. Council member Marion Barry loudly voiced his displeasure about a possible HBO project chronicling his life.

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Norton Pushes for Redskins Name Change Amid Sterling Flap

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton praised NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's lifetime ban of a team owner for making racist comments while urging his NFL counterpart Roger Goodell to take appropriate action in pushing for the Washington Redskins to change its name.

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Tech Exec Faye Fields to Helm Girls Scouts' D.C. Chapter

Faye Fields, founder and CEO of a prominent tech firm, is the new president of the board of directors of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital, the organization recently announced.

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D.C. Political Roundup: Gray, GOP Differ on Council At-Large Seats

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D), in an unprecedented move, has expressed concerns about a law in the District's Home Rule Charter that sets aside two at-large seats on the D.C. Council for non-Democrats.

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CBC Chair Fudge Commends Hagel Response in Military Hair Dispute

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, praised Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Tuesday for addressing an Army grooming regulation deemed insensitive to the natural hairstyles worn by black females.

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Sharpton Praises Companies for Severing Ties with Donald Sterling

The Rev. Al Sharpton praised State Farm and CarMax on Monday for cutting ties with the Los Angeles Clippers after owner Donald Sterling was reportedly recorded making racist remarks.

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Gray Signs Legislation to Start Development of Skyland Town Center

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray officially signed legislation Monday to push forward with the development of the Skyland Town Center, authorizing a $40 million Tax Increment Financing subsidy to get the long-awaited project underway.

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Holder, Justice Dept. to Collect Police Data to Combat Racial Bias

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Justice Department will begin collecting data about police stops, searches and arrests in an attempt to negate racial bias in the criminal justice system.

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McAuliffe Lauded for Expanding Voting Rights for Convicted Felons

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's recent push to remove all drug charges from the state's list of felony offenses classified as violent has received the praise of a civil rights think tank.

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Chicago High School to be Named after Obama

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, announced Thursday that a high school in the city will be named after the president.

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Obama, Sharpton Denounce Racist Comments by Clippers Owner

The backlash against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for purportedly making racist comments about blacks has intensified, with President Obama and several civil rights dignitaries weighing in on the growing scandal.

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NAACP Outraged over Georgia's New Gun Law

The interim president of the NAACP on Friday excoriated Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's decision to sign a bill that allows gun owners to carry weapons into churches, bars, schools and some state government buildings, calling the move unwise and unsafe.

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Nevada Rep. Horsford Blasts Bundy's Racist Comments

Rep. Steven Horsford, the first African-American to represent Nevada in the U.S. Congress, criticized comments of controversial rancher Cliven Bundy, who is in a dispute with federal officials over privately-owned lands being subject to government jurisdiction.

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D.C. Political Roundup: Ward 4 Politicos Eye Possible Council Vacancy

Mere moments after D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) received word that she’d won the Democratic nomination for District mayor on April 1, political activists and observers in her ward started to speculate as to who would occupy her council seat.

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NAACP Leaders Blast Supreme Court's Affirmative Action Ruling

Leaders of the NAACP lambasted Tuesday the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Michigan's ban on affirmative action in college admissions, calling the ruling detrimental to the building of a diverse society.

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Majett Appointed Acting Administrative Chief in P.G. County

Nicholas Majett, who recently left his job as the director of D.C.'s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, has been appointed as acting chief administrative officer in Prince George's County.

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Norton to Defend D.C.'s Decriminalization of Pot

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said she will defend the city's right to implement a law allowing the decriminalization of marijuana — a battle she didn't foresee but is ready to fight on behalf of "disproportionately" arrested black men.

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Obamas Worship at D.C.'s 19th Street Baptist Church for Easter

President Obama and his family attended Easter services on Sunday at the 19th Street Baptist Church in Northwest, where Obama once attended before he was inaugurated in 2009.

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Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, 76, Remembered in Death as True Fighter

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer who spent 19 years in prison for a wrongful murder conviction, died Sunday in Toronto from complications of prostate cancer. He was 76.

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Ron Busby Approves of Pick to Head Federal Minority Business Agency

Ron Busby, the president of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., backed on Friday Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker's selection of Alejandra Castillo as the new national director of the Minority Business Development Agency.

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NUL President Morial Joins Gun-Control Advocacy Group

National Urban League President Marc Morial has joined a new gun-control advocacy organization that aims to galvanize Americans to end gun violence.

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D.C. Council Sues Mayor Gray over Budget Autonomy

The District of Columbia Council — spearheaded by Chairman Phil Mendelson — took the unprecedented step Thursday of taking Mayor Vincent Gray and his administration to court over the lack of interest in enforcing the city's budget autonomy law.

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D.C. Political Roundup: Alexander Bid Generates Talk in Ward 7

The possibility that D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) will run for one of the two council at-large seats in the Nov. 4 general election has elicited strong reactions from Ward 7 leaders.

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D.C. Mayor Gray Questions Law for At-Large Council Seats

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray expressed his concerns Wednesday about a law in the city's home rule charter that sets aside two at-large seats on the D.C. Council for non-Democrats.

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DC Vote's Perry Rails Against City Officials' Budget Autonomy Actions

Kimberly Perry, the executive director of DC Vote, expressed her displeasure Friday with top city officials for trying to undermine budget autonomy in the District.

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Dick Gregory Preaches Black Unity at Prayer Breakfast in D.C.

Famed comedian and social activist Dick Gregory spoke at the Emancipation Day Prayer Breakfast in D.C. on Wednesday, leaving attendees rolling on the floor with his witty comments on the condition of African-Americans in D.C. and the rest of the nation.

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Michael Eric Dyson, D.C. Council Push for Statehood at Emancipation Day Brunch

Renowned author and academic Michael Eric Dyson told an audience Sunday at the Emancipation Day Brunch in D.C. that the day that slaves were freed in the District should not be forgotten, nor should the city's ongoing battle for statehood.

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Bowser Tenuously Embraced by TENAC

D.C.'s Democratic mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser now has the backing of the city's largest tenant association, but it wants her to focus on the housing concerns of low and middle-income residents.


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Cory Booker, Tim Scott Team for Bipartisan Bill to Aid Job Creation

Cory Booker and Tim Scott, the Senate's lone African-Americans, recently introduced a bill that would provide a tax credit for employers to help increase the number of registered apprenticeships.

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McDuffie, Cheh Introduce Pay Equity Bill

D.C. Council members Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) and Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) recently introduced a bill to increase pay equity and transparency by prohibiting retaliation against employees for discussing their wages and eliminating non-disclosure agreements, or "pay secrecy" policies.

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Norton Praises Senators for Pro-District Bills

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton commended Democratic Sens. Mark Begich and Thomas Carper on Thursday for introducing two bills that will strengthen the District's quest for self-government.

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Yvette Alexander Mulls Run for At-Large Council Seat

D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) set off a political firestorm earlier this week when she tweeted to a fellow council member that she might run for an at-large seat on the council in the Nov. 4 general election.

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CBC Women Push to End Military Regulations on Black Hairstyles

The female members of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote a strongly worded letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, railing against "offensive and biased" regulations that would discipline black women in the military for wearing differing, cultural hairstyles.

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Hank Aaron: Obama's Foes Act Like KKK


Hank Aaron, who celebrated the 40th anniversary of his breaking Babe Ruth's career home run record on Tuesday, delved into politics when he said that Republicans who oppose the Affordable Care Act are acting like the Ku Klux Klan.