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Sam P.K. Collins

Stories by Sam P.K.

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Rock Creek Social Club Celebrates Six Years

On the sixth anniversary of the Rock Creek Social Club's introduction to the world, its founding members would like to remind folks that they're not a group of promoters.

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Young Women Criticize EMOC Initiative at Town Hall

During the second of three town halls hosted by the D.C. chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, more than 20 black and Latino women discussed D.C. Public Schools' Empowering Males of Color (EMOC) initiative, which many have criticized for ignoring the plight of black and brown schoolgirls.

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Local Healer Fights to Clear Name

Faces Criminal Case for Racially Charged Incident

For more than 40 years, Winston "Kokayi" Patterson has helped an untold number of Washingtonians through substance abuse and mental health treatment and natural healing. However, much of that has had to be put on hold after an altercation near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Northwest.

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Beyond the DNC: Philly's Black People Speak

There was a conspicuous divide between DNC attendees ripping and running throughout downtown Philadelphia and the natives who experience the hardships of daily life in the city.

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Writing Contest Kicks Off Its Fifth Cycle

For the fifth consecutive year, the U.S. Library of Congress, in conjunction with a bevy of public and school libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region, is hosting "A Book that Shaped Me," a summer essay-writing contest that allows rising fifth- and sixth-graders to reflect on books that made an impact on their lives.

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Students Embark on Annual Civil Rights Tour

Nearly two dozen local African-American and Jewish students recently embarked on a 25-day civil rights journey through New York, New Jersey and much of the American South.

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Community Marks Kwame Ture's 75th Birthday

On what would’ve been his 75th birthday, a cadre of former colleagues and mentees gathered at Sankofa Video Books & Cafe on Georgia Avenue in northwest D.C. to remember Kwame Ture and ensure that today’s grass-roots activists keep his memory alive in the ongoing fight for African liberation.

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Panel Discusses Implications of Menthol Ban

Since Chicago became the first U.S. city to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including those containing menthol, The Chicago Defender and other minority-owned media outlets in that region have railed against these laws, saying they heavily discriminate against Black people.

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Bobby Jones Receives NNPA Lifetime Achievement Award

The National Newspaper Publishers Association honored Grammy-winning gospel singer Bobby Jones with its Lifetime Achievement Award during its annual convention in Houston.

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D.C.'s Independent Voters Left Out Once Again

Months of campaigning, canvassing and debating in D.C. ended last week with the Democratic closed primary, and in the largely blue city, the winners will most likely breeze through November's general election — meaning nearly one-fifth of unaffiliated D.C. voters are left out of the electoral process. It's a reality that doesn't sit well with a growing number in the constituency.

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Batchelor Eyes State Board of Education Seat

As Markus Batchelor gears up to challenge Tierra Jolly for the Ward 8 representative seat on the D.C. State Board of Education, he reflects heavily on the experiences, elders and community programs that have enriched his short but fruitful life, pledging to do his part in creating a similar environment for thousands of youth if elected in November.

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Ward 8 Council Candidates Engage Youth

Several Voice Concerns Over Incumbent's Early Exit

Not even the cries of teenagers and young adults eager to have their questions addressed could compel Ward 8 D.C. Council member LaRuby May to stay through an entire public campaign event.

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Thousands 'Tap the Future' During Business Competition

Later this year, a world-renowned beer company will award hundreds of thousands of dollars to a team of entrepreneurs.

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'Power of One' Connects Millennials to the Community

With gentrification and urban renewal near completion, the preservation of the District's authentic flavor depends heavily on the unification of native Washingtonians and Black transients, two groups that seldom occupy the same spaces, in part because of geographic and socioeconomic barriers that create a "Tale of Two Cities."

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Unanswered Questions Linger in Alonzo Smith Case

Life has gone on for Marbury Plaza residents since Alonzo Smith's death. Somewhat unaffected, many have chosen to move rather than challenge the status quo.

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Conference Brings 'Truth2Power' for Black Women

Over two days, a bevy of Black women engaged in healing activities, created bonds and learned about self-care during the inaugural Truth2Power Women's Conference.

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Sa-Roc Receives a Hometown Hero's Welcome

Earlier this month, conscious hip-hop artist and native Washingtonian Sa-Roc the MC performed in a packed Liv Nightclub in Northwest. More than 24 hours before gracing the stage however, a small audience that included fans, family members, and friends got to know the lyricist more intimately.

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A Moment with Nana Malaya Rucker

Since the age of 16, Nana Mayala Rucker has brought African-centered folklore to life through spoken word and dance.

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Trayon White Reemerges as Grass-Roots Candidate

Chapter two of what has become a modern-day David vs. Goliath story popped off last month when Trayon White, millennial community figure and protégé of the late, great Marion S. Barry, threw his hat into the ring for the Ward 8 council race.

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Big Chair Chess Club Hosts Day of Fun

Last weekend, chess connoisseurs of various ages gathered in D.C. for an afternoon that included chess matches, trash talking and exchanges about strategy.

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The DeceptiComics Take D.C. By Storm

Like their counterparts in the music industry, many black comedians, including Dick Gregory and Dave Chappelle more recently, have used their platform to weigh in on the social and political issues of their time in a manner that kept audiences laughing and thinking simultaneously.

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D.C. Black History Month Celebration Kicks Off

Ninety years after journalist and historian Carter G. Woodson created what's now known as Black History Month, the yearning to celebrate a storied past and secure a prosperous future looms larger than ever among people of African descent living in Western society.

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NNPA Foundation Launches New STEM Program

Members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association recently announced the launch of a program that aims to boost interest in STEM among African-American youth through events, enrichment activities and connections with industry pioneers.

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#OurLivesMatter: One Year Later

If there's any doubt that D.C. youth want to quell violence in their community and boost civic engagement among their peers, young people at a recreation center are slowly but surely laying those concerns to rest, all the while sharpening their leadership skills.

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Frances Cress Welsing Remembered as Scholar Who Loved Black People

In the years leading up to her death, scholar-warrior Frances Cress Welsing, with the help of friends and colleagues, fought tooth and nail against the very forces she described in her 1991 book, "The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors." That battle, however, would prove to be futile.

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Nomad Yard Collectiv 'Pops Up' on 14th Street

When the soon-to-be shuttered Eatonville reopens as Mulebone in mid-February, visitors can look forward to an experience that breaks the monotony of the 14th Street corridor in Northwest, courtesy of locally renowned vintage boutique Nomad Yard Collectiv.

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Kwanzaa: A Week of Unity and Reflection

As 2015 comes to a close, black people across the diaspora gather in their homes and communities to reaffirm their commitment to Nguzo Saba, better known as the "Seven Principles of Kwanzaa."

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Wilson High School Reels from Gun Incident

More than a week after security personnel retrieved a gun and knife during separate incidents at Woodrow Wilson High School in northwest D.C., questions remain about how such oversights could have happened on a campus known more for its scholastic and athletic achievements than instances of violence.

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Black Residents Boycott, Support Local Businesses

People of African descent across the U.S. refused to participate in mass consumerism during the Thanksgiving weekend, choosing instead to spend Black Friday with family and on the front lines of protests against major corporations they say fuel a system bent on ending black lives.

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'African Unification' Hosts Finance Workshop

Even with the political and social gains made in recent decades, many black families across the country remain mired in debt and generational poverty. Experts and common folk alike agree that a substantial change in the status quo will require a shift in the way African-Americans collectively think about money. Dozens of men and women recently took that step during a two-day personal finance workshop at Francis Gregory Library in Southeast.

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Hundreds Commit to African Unity at Convention

After the events of this past weekend, a future in which descendants of enslaved Africans can join their brothers and sisters across the Atlantic Ocean in developing the Motherland seems more like a reality than a pipe dream.

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D.C. Youth Connect With Young Ethiopians

In the centuries after the end of Maafa — the worldwide separation of African people via the Transatlantic Slave Trade — people of African descent have struggled to foster a collective consciousness under a global system that favors everything European.

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Tony Lewis Jr.'s Message Gives Students Hope

More than 200 students, professors and D.C. residents filed into UDC's Theater of the Arts for the two-hour event that included a question-and-answer segment and cupcake social.

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Thoughts of Millennials Who Didn't Attend 'Justice or Else'

Those who stayed home did so out of disdain for the NOI's views on women and homosexuality, and skepticism about the event's effectiveness.

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Reducing Child Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa

Child mortality rates throughout the Motherland have plummeted since the turn of the century, falling below the 6 million mark for the first time since the World Health Organization started collecting data, a new report shows.

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Black Activists Aren't Ready to Forgive

In the days after white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine black congregants during a Bible study at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Americans of various racial and socioeconomic backgrounds across the country have joined together to sing hymns and light candles as speakers call for prayer and forgiveness of aggressors. As noble as that philosophy might be, an often ignored but growing number of African Americans aren't buying into it.

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Hip-Hop and Theater Converge for Festival

This week, hundreds of aficionados of various ages in the District celebrated the culture and pondered its future during the Hip-Hop Theater Festival, an annual showcase of theater, dance and music.

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Candlelight Vigil Honors the Charleston Nine

Two days after the shooting at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, hundreds stood with candles in hand vigil at the African American Civil War Memorial in Northwest as they honored the lives of the group now known as the "Charleston Nine."

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Teacher Continues Fight for Music Education

When Keith Killgo first walked through the doors of Anacostia Senior High School nine years ago, he knew he had much work ahead of him.

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Baltimoreans Create Movement Built to Last

In the days after civil unrest in Baltimore overtook the news coverage on the mysterious death of Freddie Gray, Baltimoreans redoubled their effort to show what Charm City is really about.

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Dick Gregory Wows Audience at D.C. Fundraiser

Dick Gregory, one of black America's seasoned funny men, didn't mince words during a recent gathering at a local hair salon, lambasting the mainstream media and blacks who unwittingly believe everything newscasters tell them.

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Building Development Industry Titans Honored

Hundreds of entrepreneurs and real estate developers celebrated the achievements of their colleagues during an annual awards ceremony in a premier hotel located in the heart of a thriving D.C. neighborhood.

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Online Directory Highlights Black-Owned Businesses

For entrepreneur Vernon Davis, exposing D.C. metropolitan area consumers to the bevy of black-owned businesses in the region and beyond has become a revolutionary act.

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Comcast Employees Lead School Cleanup

Hundreds of employees of a major broadcasting and cable company gave a local school a makeover during an event that attracted an intergenerational group of D.C. residents.

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Community Discusses Strategies for Education of Black Boys

If young men of color are to successfully navigate a school system not designed for them, it will take the consistent and concerted efforts of family and community members, members of a panel concluded during a recent forum at a local center.

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Jamaican Shapes Meaning of Reggae Revival

Dutty Bookman has stood on the front lines of the Reggae Revival, what some consider the largest contemporary arts driven social movement in Jamaica. Since the turn of the decade, the author and activist has ruminated, openly and in solitude about the era, providing some insight into how some Jamaican youth have found true knowledge of self through music and other forms of artistic expression.

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Black Women Unite at Local Conference

Hundreds of activists, business owners, artists, and educators from around the D.C. metropolitan area and across the United States closed Women's History Month at an event during which they immersed themselves in African-centered studies, culture, food and dance as part of an effort to raise awareness around issues affecting women of the Diaspora.

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Informer Staff Lead Conversation on Future of Black Press

Black Press Week ended on a reflective and optimistic note for the dozens of newspaper publishers, community members, journalists and photographers who gathered in the historic gymnasium of the Thurgood Marshall Center in Northwest on Friday.

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'Whites Only' Unearths Hard Truths about Race

Throughout the month of March, Kymone Freeman has performed "Whites Only" for audiences at local Bus Boys & Poets restaurants with the hopes of bringing the play to the Mosaic Theater Company of DC in Northeast later this year.

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All-Black Fashion Show Breaks the Mold

A recent fashion show that featured black models, designers, and musical talent also allowed a trio of local businesses to collaborate and present forms of art, music, fashion that's endemic to D.C.'s flourishing millennial artist population.

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