2020: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
39th anniversary of the New Cross Fire, in London, England which claimed the lives of 14 young Black people attending a 16th birthday party. No one has ever been charged in connection with their deaths.
Dave performed Black at the BRIT Awards 2020 and the racists came for him, proving the point that Dave was espousing so eloquently – BRITAIN IS RACIST.
UK – Len Woodley, QC, one of a generation of ground-breaking Black lawyers appointed as Queens Counsel (elite lawyers known for their advocacy and intellect) took his seat with the ancestors. His former chambers (place of work) said: “Len’s genius was to be radical without being showy. he appeared in trials with a political or civil liberties element, including the Brixton [Uprising] trials and the Mangrove Nine trial. He was instructed in the Scarman inquiry (into the 1981 Brixton [uprising]), chaired the Laudat inquiry into mental health, and sat on the Royal Commission on long term care for the elderly. He was also a member of the Bar of Trinidad and Tobago. Len was very much aware of others’ struggles. In 1988, he invited Nelson Mandela, who was then serving a life sentence, to be an honorary door tenant of Chambers, as a mark of solidarity with the South African freedom struggle. He endowed the Leonard Woodley Scholarship at the Inner Temple, to be given to black or Asian pupils with a view to promoting greater diversity at the Bar. He was also a patron of the children’s rights charity, Plan International UK. As a Recorder sitting in the Crown Court, Len was always loathe to send anyone to prison, and would always opt for a non custodial option if he possibly could – so much so that he eventually upset the Establishment so much that he was written to by the Lord Chancellor’s department and reminded of his public duty, and asked if he really wanted to do this job. Needless to say, Len ignored what he interpreted as a veiled threat and carried on showing compassion whenever he sat.”
This day saw the death of Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, USA.
Los Angeles, California, USA – A public memorial service for the basketball star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, at the Staples Center, where Bryant played for the bulk of his career. They died in a helicopter crash. Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times
Caracas, Venezuela – Milagros Vásquez, seated, was turned away by five hospitals as she went into labor. Venezuela’s public health system has been shattered by a broken economy, with maternity wards the most damaged. Meridith Kohut for The New York Times
The United Kingdom officially left the European Union and entered into ‘The Transition Period’, which ends on 31 December 2020.
The first 2 confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus were diagnosed in the UK.
Laisamis, Kenya – Kenya battled its worst desert locust outbreak in 70 years, threatening the food security of millions. Khadija Farah for The New York Times
The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) sacked former football player and radio commentator Craig Ramage after the former Derby County midfielder made racist on-air comments on Sunday 13 February. .Speaking on BBC Radio Derby Sportscene after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with relegation-threatened Huddersfield, Ramage said he thought the Rams’ “young black lads” needed “pulling down a peg or two”.Derby left-back Max Lowe slammed the comments on social media as “racial ignorance, stereotyping and intolerance”, while the club also condemned the shocking remarks.
Moussa Marega walked off the pitch as racist football fans pelted him with abuse in the match between Vitoria Guimaraes and FC Porto.
UK – Tory Adviser Andrew Sabisky was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had expressed the white supremacist view that Black people were more likely to have lower IQs than whites.
Georgia, USA – Ahmaud Arbery is murdered while out jogging by a white father and son who stalked and then shot him. Three men have been charged in connection with his murder.
USA – Katherine Johnson, one of the three women whose careers and talents were highlighted in the hit movie, Hidden Figures, joins the ancestors.
The Word Health Organisation (WHO) announces that the Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 is now a pandemic.
Kentucky, USA – Plainclothes police, executing a search warrant for Breonna’s ex-boyfriend who did not live at the address, forced their way into the apartment where Breonna Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shortly after midnight. Mr Walker fired a shot from his licensed gun, Mr Walker’s bullet struck Officer Mattingly in the leg. The three officers returned fire, discharging 32 rounds, according to a ballistics report from the FBI.Ms Taylor was shot amid the commotion and died.
São Paulo, Brazil – Residents of the Copan building gathered at their windows to protest the pandemic response of President Jair Bolsonaro, who called the coronavirus a “fantasy” that was being blown out of proportion by political rivals and the press to weaken his government. Victor Moriyama for The New York Times
Prime Minister Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson announces that the UK will go into ‘lockdown’ for three weeks
France – COVID-19 claimed the life of Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango whose 1972 hit Soul Makossa brought some seasoning to the charts of Western nations.
Japan – The Olympic Games, held every four years, is postponed for a year due to COVID-19.
London, England – On this day we lost one half of a duo who sang an anthem for many Black people – Bob Andy of the duo, Bob and Marcia. “When you’re young, gifted and black, your soul’s intact”, they sang on their 1970’s hit, Young, Gifted and Black.
USA – Legendary singer, song-writer and musician Bill Withers left us to join the ancestors.
New York City in New York State was particularly badly hit during as the COVID-19 virus swept through the USA, with people of African origin among the historically discriminated against groups suffering the highest death rates.
Manager Alisha Narvaez, 36, and resident funeral director Nicole Warring, 33, of International Funeral & Cremation Services funeral home in Harlem carry a deceased person into the basement area, where bodies are stored and prepared for funeral services, during the coronavirus outbreak, in Manhattan, New York City, April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Brooklyn, N.Y., USA – Precious Anderson, a Covid-19 patient, was shown her newborn baby for the first time with the help of Dr. Erroll Byer Jr. and a live video feed at the Brooklyn Hospital Center. Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
Queens, N.Y., USA – Coffins before being collected at a funeral home. As the virus ravaged New York, overflowing hospitals and backed-up cemeteries left funeral homes stretched to capacity. Stephen Speranza for The New York Times
Brooklyn, N.Y., USA – Bodies were stacked in a refrigerated trailer at the Brooklyn Hospital Center. More than 20,000 New Yorkers died in the spring surge of coronavirus infections. Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
By a month later, with the UK still in lockdown, there were many agitating for the lockdown to be lifted
London, England – Mercury Award nominee and British musician Ty transitioned to the ancestors after contracting COVID-19.
USA – Two days later, the world said goodbye to singer and musician Little Richard as he took his seat with the ancestors
USA – Just a day later, singer Betty Wright joined the ancestors.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA – George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin and it was all filmed in one of the most harrowing videos that you will ever have the misfortune to see, if you decide to watch it.
Here is George with his daughter, who would later tell the attendees at his funeral, “My Daddy changed the world”.
Minneapolis, USA – A woman at a protest against the killing of George Floyd, whose death in police custody led to demonstrations in more than 150 American cities.Patience Zalanga. “This woman, she really broke my heart. It really reflects this deep pain that the city has felt over the past years. George Floyd wasn’t the only high-profile killing. This moment felt like a culmination of all those moments of injustice that have happened in Minneapolis and Minnesota.” — Patience Zalanga
Minneapolis, USA – A protester carries an American flag upside down next to a burning building in Minneapolis. Protesters started rallying across the United States after the death of George Floyd. Anger poured through communities as video of George’s last moments began circulating. George was pleading for help as he was pinned down by police, saying he couldn’t breathe. The demonstrations were largely peaceful, but some cities saw instances of violence, with protesters clashing with police and stores being burned. Julio Cortez/AP
Protesters react as they set fire to the entrance of a police station as demonstrations continue in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Amid the protests that broke out across the USA and then globally in the light of George’s callous murder, CNN’s Omar Jiminez was arrested in Minneapolis, USA by the police for no other reason than being born Black. he could not have been more polite and non-confrontational than he was. Omar was in company with 4 white colleagues and after some discussion, no doubt about how it looked bad that they were only arresting the Black man, the police later arrested the 4 white colleagues as an afterthought.
San Jose, California, USA – A protester took a knee in front of a line of police officers during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd. Dai Sugano/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News, via Getty Images
James Scurlock, aged 22, who had attended a protest over the death of George Floyd in Omaha, Nebraska, USA was shot dead by white Bar owner, Jake Gardner. This extract is from The Washington Post:
September 16, 2020 at 11:14 a.m. GMT+1
After he fatally shot James Scurlock, a 22-year-old Black protester, outside his Omaha bar in May, Jake Gardner told police it was self-defense. A county attorney agreed and decided not to prosecute Gardner, 38, who is White.
But on Tuesday, a Douglas County grand jury came to the opposite conclusion, indicting Gardner on four felonies, including manslaughter, for the fatal shooting on May 30.
In a news conference Tuesday, Frederick D. Franklin, a federal attorney with the U.S. attorney’s office in Omaha who acted as special prosecutor, said while investigators interviewed 60 witnesses, Gardner’s own words, through text and Facebook messages, ended up as the probable cause for the indictment.
“I can tell you that there is evidence that undermines” Gardner’s claims of self-defense, said Franklin, without getting into specifics. “And that evidence comes primarily from Jake Gardner himself.”
News of the indictment 109 days after Scurlock’s death left the family feeling “conflicted” James Scurlock II, the victim’s father, said on Tuesday.
“It was their brother, his son, that lost his life,” Nebraska state Sen. Justin Wayne (D), the family’s attorney, told reporters. “While this family is thankful, this family is also still frustrated that it took this process to occur. If we didn’t call for a grand jury, this case is over.”
If he is convicted, Gardner could face up to 95 years in prison. In addition to manslaughter, he faces counts of attempted first-degree assault, making terroristic threats and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. A request for comment to Gardner’s attorney was not immediately returned early Wednesday.
Scurlock’s death came five days after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis sparked nationwide protests, including a tense Omaha demonstration that eventually led to nearly 100 arrests on the night Scurlock was shot.
That weekend, Gardner had written on Facebook that he planned “to pull military-style firewatch” at his bar, the Hive, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
Surveillance footage released later by Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine showed Scurlock and his friends exchanged words with Gardner, a former Marine, after someone in the crowd had pushed his 69-year-old father. At one point of the argument, Scurlock and his friend, Tucker Randall, moved closer to Gardner. Close to 10 p.m., the bar owner backed up and lifted his T-shirt to reveal a gun in his waistband, saying, “Keep the f— away from me,” according to cellphone footage.
Then, after a woman had tussled Gardner to the ground, he fired what Kleine described as two “warning shots” that sent both the female protester and Randall running. Seconds later, Scurlock jumped on Gardner, placing him in what the bar owner later described to police as a chokehold. With Scurlock on his back, Gardner then fired over his shoulder and killed the 22-year-old.
Kleine announced in June he would not bring charges against Gardner, determining the bar owner had acted in self-defense in a “senseless, but justified” fashion. But the veteran prosecutor relented two days later amid escalating protests, calling for a grand jury to review the case.
On Tuesday, Franklin said the evidence presented to the grand jury showed them “Jake Gardner was threatening the use of deadly force in the absence of being threatened with a concomitant deadly force by James Scurlock or anyone who was associated with him.”
The grand jury decided against charging the case as a hate crime, despite accusations from relatives and former customers of racism, according to the World-Herald. Gardner denied those claims to the newspaper. Witnesses told The Post that racist language fueled the conflict before Scurlock was shot.
“Being a racist is not against the law,” the special prosecutor said on Tuesday.
Wayne argued that Scurlock’s family “shouldn’t have had to go through this route with having a second or third set of eyes indict this person.”
Motorists are ordered to the ground by police during a protest against police brutality and the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. John Minchillo/AP
Protesters against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s brutal murder block a highway in St. Paul, Minnesota, while rallying over the death of George Floyd. Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Riot police rush demonstrators against the death of George Floyd and police brutality/murders in Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, USA People were peacefully protesting near the White House when police started to shoot rubber bullets, tear gas and flash bangs into the crowd. Police were clearing the block to allow President Donald Trump to walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op. Ken Cedeno/Reuters
President Donald Trump holds a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church during his photo op.Part of the church was set on fire during protests the night before. Patrick Semansky/AP
Protesters on horseback rally in downtown Houston, Texas, USA. Houston is the city that George Floyd called home. Adrees Latif/Reuters
George Floyd’s casket is brought into a church ahead of his memorial service in Raeford, North Carolina, USA. Ed Clemente/Pool/AFP/Getty Images
Mourners arrive for Floyd’s public viewing in Raeford.Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images
Minneapolis, Minnesota , USA – Protesters gathered near the site where George Floyd was arrested. More than a week after his death, demonstrators marched in cities including New York, Nashville, Seattle and Santa Monica, Calif. Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times
Brazil – This is 5 year old Miguel Otavio Santana da Silva, the only child of Mirtes Renata Souza, the housekeeper of Sari Gaspar Corte Real. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, schools were closed and Corte Real insisted that Mirtes continue to work during the pandemic so she brought Miguel with her to Cortes Real’s luxury 5 floor condominium apartment.
While Corte Real was having her nails done, she instructed Mirtes to take her dog for a walk. Distressed that his mother was leaving, Miguel followed his mother out of the apartment, took the lift to the ninth floor and fell to his death. Miguel was supposed to be under Corte Real’s care and supervision but she was too busy having her nails done and had no time for the child.
Los Angeles, California, USA – A moment of silence in front of the Hall of Justice. It was announced that Derek Chauvin, the officer who had pinned George Floyd to the ground, would face a charge of second-degree murder. Bryan Denton for The New York Times
New York City, New York State, USA – Protesters marched in Manhattan as anger spread across the country over the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times
New York, NY, USA – For days on end, thousands of demonstrators took to the city’s streets to denounce racial injustice and police brutality. Simbarashe Cha for The New York Times
Ballerinas Kennedy George, 14, and Ava Holloway, 14, pose in front of a monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered its removal amid widespread civil unrest following the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Richmond, Virginia, USA on June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Julia Rendleman
This satellite photo shows the new Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, DC, USA. The words “Black Lives Matter” were painted on two blocks of 16th Street. The painters were contracted by Mayor Muriel Bowser. Maxar Technologies/Reuters
South Royalton, Vermont, USA – A mother sheltered from the rain with her children as supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement gathered on the village green. The protests reached every corner of America. Hilary Swift for The New York Times
Washington D.C., USA – Demonstrators during a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, on a day when half a million people turned out to protest systemic racism in nearly 550 places across the United States. Michael A. McCoy for The New York Times
London, UK – Actor John Boyega (Star Wars; Small Axe – Red, White & Blue; Attack The Block) addressed a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Hyde Park.
Protesters in Bristol, England, throw a statue of Edward Colston into the River Avon during a Black Lives Matter protest. The Museums of Bristol website describes Colston as a “revered philanthropist/reviled slave trader” from the 17th century. Giulia Spadafora/NurPhoto/Getty Images
White supremacists began to take extreme measures in their anger towards the Black Lives Matter protestors. In particular, they saw white people who joined the protests as ‘race traitors’. In this picture, a man exits a vehicle with a gun as Dan Gregory is tended to by medics after being shot in the arm by a driver, who tried to drive through a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Seattle, Washington, USA on June 7, 2020. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA – A visitor sat among the flowers, tributes and protest signs adorning a memorial at the intersection where George Floyd was fatally pinned with an officer’s knee on his neck. Joshua Rashaad McFadden for The New York Times
New York City, New York State – New York City painted a Black Lives Matter mural on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower. The city’s announcement of the painting provoked an inflammatory response from President Trump. Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times
A woman cries as the horse-drawn carriage carrying the casket containing the body of George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis police custody has sparked nationwide protests against racial inequality, passes by in Pearland, Texas, USA on June 9, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
George Floyd is laid to rest at Houston Memorial Gardens, Texas, USA.
Locals pay their respects as the funeral cortege passes, Houston, Texas, USA. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
A horse-drawn carriage carries Floyd’s casket to Houston Memorial Gardens. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
The Rev. Al Sharpton delivers a eulogy on Tuesday. “Your family’s going to miss you, George, but your nation is going to always remember your name,” Sharpton said. “Because your neck was one that represented all of us.”David J. Phillip/Pool/AFP/Getty Images
Atlanta, USA – Rayshard Brooks is shot dead by Atlanta police. Sparking and reinvigorating protests against police brutality.
Patrick Hutchinson carries an injured white supremacist to safety and then handed him over to police during a Black Lives Matter protest in London. The man was allegedly attacked amid violent clashes. Hutchinson said he helped the racist because he didn’t want the main reason for the protests to be lost in one moment of violence. Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Demonstrators set fire to a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta. Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by police near the restaurant’s drive-thru on June 12. Brooks was shot after police moved to handcuff him for suspected driving under the influence, according to videos from the scene. The videos show that Brooks took an officer’s Taser during the attempted arrest and then fired the Taser at the officers as he ran away. One officer then fatally shot Brooks three times with his service weapon, authorities said. Brooks was shot twice in the back, according to a release by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office. The police officer who killed Brooks, Garrett Rolfe, was fired and charged with murder. Rolfe’s attorneys say he was legally justified and acting in self-defense. Atlanta’s police chief resigned. Ben Hendren/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Atlanta, Georgia, USA – Officers were confronted by protesters after the killing of Rayshard Brooks, which left many once again incensed by the death of another Black man at the hands of the police. Joshua Rashaad McFadden for The New York Times
UK – In March 2020 when the government announced that the country was going into lockdown and people began rushing the supermarket and buying toilet paper and food in excess, Manchester United footballer and England international Marcus Rashford began thinking about the children who would lived in poor households and would no longer get the one meal that they would be guaranteed to get each day, their school dinner.
He partnered with FareShare, the poverty and food waste charity and subsequently helped to raise more than £20 million to keep school meals going throughout lockdown (first in greater Manchester, then nationwide) for children most at risk of going hungry without access to this vital lifeline. The scheme reached more than three million kids, though the approaching summer break presented a looming crisis. The government said it would stop providing meals during the holidays.
So Marcus wrote an open letter to the government:
To all MPs in parliament,
On a week that would have opened Euro 2020, I wanted to reflect back to 27 May 2016, when I stood in the middle of the Stadium of Light in Sunderland having just broken the record for the youngest player to score in his first senior international match. I watched the crowds waving their flags and fist-pumping the Three Lions on their shirts and I was overwhelmed with pride not only for myself but for all of those who had helped me reach this moment and achieve my dream of playing for the England national team.
Understand: without the kindness and generosity of the community I had around me, there wouldn’t be the Marcus Rashford you see today: a 22-year old black man lucky enough to make a career playing a game I love.
My story to get here is all-too-familiar for families in England: my mum worked full-time, earning minimum wage to make sure we always had a good evening meal on the table. But it was not enough. The system was not built for families like mine to succeed, regardless of how hard my mum worked.
As a family, we relied on breakfast clubs, free school meals, and the kind actions of neighbours and coaches. Food banks and soup kitchens were not alien to us; I recall very clearly our visits to Northern Moor to collect our Christmas dinners every year. It’s only now that I really understand the enormous sacrifice my mum made in sending me away to live in digs aged 11, a decision no mother would ever make lightly.
You can read the full letter here: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jun/15/protect-the-vulnerable-marcus-rashfords-emotional-letter-to-mps
Within a day of Marcus’s letter going viral, the government announced a U-turn and agreed to keeping free school meals going throughout the summer.
Tomika Miller weeps over her husband, Rayshard Brooks, at his public viewing in Atlanta. Brooks was fatally shot by an Atlanta police officer after an attempted arrest on June 12. The shooting, amid nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality, led to the resignation of Atlanta’s police chief and criminal charges against the officer who killed him. Curtis Compton/Pool/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP
Bristol, England – A hospital worker known only as K-Dogg was targeted in a racist attack and was left with multiple injuries and in need of plastic surgery to his face and leg. The 21-year-old, who has not been named, was driven at, knocked down and rammed into a wall near Southmead Hospital as he left work. He suffered broken bones in his legs and severe facial injuries, including a broken cheek bone. “I have six months of recovery ahead of me, minimum. I have a broken leg, nose and cheekbone, will need plastic surgery to my face and leg and am walking on crutches. K-Dogg was left scarred for life.
“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else, I want people to be aware.”This has affected me proper – mentally as well as physically. I don’t feel safe to walk outside and I can’t play football, record my music, go to the gym or even sleep – I have to try to sleep sitting up.
“The incident is being treated as a racially-aggravated attack due to the racist language used by the occupants of the car,” said a police spokesperson.
A couple draws guns on people who were protesting against St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. The demonstration came after Krewson, on a Facebook live video, read the names and addresses of people calling for police reform, according to CNN affiliate KMOV. The man and woman with the guns were identified as Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who live on the private street the protesters were walking on. In October, the McCloskeys were indicted on weapons and tampering with evidence charges. They pleaded not guilty. Lawrence Bryant/Reuters
Summer Taylor was a Black Lives Matter protestor in Seattle, Washington. Summer was protesting with friends when Dawit Kelete drove around barricades and used an off-ramp to drive onto southbound Interstate 5, killing one demonstrator, Summer Taylor, and critically injuring another, Diaz Love. Dawit has since entered a plea of not guilty, saying that it was an accident.
Artists and volunteers gathered on a basketball court in a historically Black neighborhood of Annapolis, Maryland, to paint a 7,000-square-foot mural of Breonna Taylor over the Fourth of July weekend. The project was led by Annapolis-based Future History Now, a nonprofit art collective that creates murals with youth facing adversity in underserved communities. Taylor’s death became another flashpoint in national demonstrations over police brutality. She was killed in March by police officers executing a no-knock warrant in Louisville, Kentucky. Julio Cortez/AP
USA – US Representative John Lewis, revered in the USA as a civil rights legend and longtime congressman, died at the age of 80 from Pancreatic Cancer.
In the USA and in Europe, individuals who oppose the wearing of masks in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19 begin to take prominence in media coverage and to march against both ‘lockdown’ and the wearing of masks.
USA – The white fragility backlash against the Black Lives Matter slogan continues.
Grime artist Wiley voices his views on Jews and on Israel. Within days, he is thrown off all social media, permanently.
Alabama, USA – The casket of US Representative John Lewis is pulled over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The bridge is where Lewis and others were beaten while marching for voting rights in 1965. John Bazemore/AP
Selma, Alabama, USA – A horse-drawn carriage carried the body of Representative John Lewis across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where, in 1965, Mr. Lewis was beaten while marching with voting rights activists.Timothy Ivy for The New York Times
A woman pauses by the casket of US Rep. John Lewis at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. Lewis also became the first Black lawmaker to lie in state at the US Capitol rotunda. Brynn Anderson/AP
Federal law enforcement officers fire tear gas and other munitions to disperse protesters during a demonstration against police violence and racial inequality in Portland, Oregon, USA on July 30, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs
Red paint was thrown onto both of the north side statues of Washington, the first president of the U.S., who owned enslaved people. It is unclear when the paint was thrown, or if the NYPD had arrested anyone for it, but by Monday morning, the Washington Square Park’s landmark had been powerwashed. The red paint splattered onto Washington is among the targeted graffiti against slave owners in American history around the country amid nationwide protests against racist police violence.
Members of the Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets kneel during the National Anthem before the start of an NBA game in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The NBA restarted its season with the words “Black Lives Matter” prominently displayed on its court. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the league played the rest of its season at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Ashley Landis/Pool/AP
UK – The BBC uses the word “Nigger” in a broadcast on 29 July , defends it after complaints to OFCOM (the regulatory body for television broadcasts in the UK).
The BBC defended the use of a racial slur in a news report, but accepted it caused offence. The N-word was used in full in a report about a racially-aggravated attack in Bristol, broadcast by Points West and the BBC News Channel last week. The BBC said it wanted to report the word allegedly used in the attack, and this decision was supported by the family of the victim.It prompted 384 complaints to Ofcom and there have been calls for an apology. The BBC said the number of complaints made directly to the corporation was not yet available, but it would be later in the week when its fortnightly complaints report was published. The report, which aired on Wednesday 29 July, described an attack on a 21-year-old NHS worker and musician known as K or K-Dogg.
The aftermath of a deadly explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Beirut had already been hard hit by COVID-19 and suffered a further tragic loss of life. Two explosions, one very powerful, killed over 190 people and injured more than 6,000. No one had taken action to secure 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a hangar in the city’s port.
UK – BBC 1Xtra DJ Sideman quit the station over the use of the word “Nigger” in a BBC News report. Sideman, real name David Whitely, said in a statement the “action and the defence of the action feels like a slap in the face of our community”. In a video on Instagram, “I can’t look the other way”, Sideman said: “I’ve thought long and hard about what I’m about to say and what it means. And on this occasion I just don’t think that I can look the other way. I understand it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, that there will need to be a lot of learning and tearing down of certain building blocks of our society that took a long time to build up. So I’m OK with process. I’m OK with waiting, within reason, for certain things to change. But the BBC sanctioning the N-word being said on national television by a white person is something I can’t rock with. I just don’t feel comfortable being aligned with the organisation.”
Sideman said he was quitting his show with immediate effect.
In a tweet, BBC Radio London presenter Eddie Nestor described Sideman as a “king”, adding that he was writing a letter to publicly send to his BBC bosses on the issue.
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, before the British Grand Prix in Northampton, England, on August 9. Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
UK – The white supremacists were upset once again when Argos decided to feature Black people in their summer advert, threatened by the fact that a couple of companies decided to feature beautiful Black folk after literally decades of lily white advertising:
Khadjou Sambe, 25, Senegal’s first female professional surfer, surfs during a training session off the coast of Ngor, Dakar, Senegal, August 18, 2020. “When I am in the water I feel something extraordinary, something special in my heart,” said Sambe. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Wisconsin, USA – Jacob Blake, 29, was shot in the back by a white police officer on 23 August after walking away from three officers who were trying to arrest him. The officer who shot him, Rusten Sheskey, fired after Jacob opened his car’s driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle, where his children were seated in the rear. The shooting was captured on video and posted online, sparking several nights of protests and unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a city of about 100,000 between Milwaukee and Chicago.
People gather on the National Mall in Washington D.C., USA to demand social and political change. The event was held on the 57th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images
USA – Out of the blue and without warning, we lost Chadwick Boseman as he left to join the ancestors. It is a testament to the loyal and good people that he surrounded himself with that not one of them leaked to TMZ and the like or the press or social media, that Chadwick had been diagnosed with Colon Cancer in 2016. The first we all knew of it was when his death was reported by the media on this date.
Chadwick was an actor who gained worldwide stardom for his role as T’Challa in Marvel’s Black Panther, released in February 2018.
Below, Chadwick talks about two young boys with terminal Cancer who are eagerly anticipating the release of Black Panther, all the while knowing that he himself was fighting his own private battle. None of his cast mates knew either, which makes the footage all the more poignant. The news of his transition to the ancestors was as much of a shock to them as it was to everyone else.
Tennis player, Naomi Osaka wears a mask honouring Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police who burst into her flat and shot her while she was in bed on March 13, 2020, to the US Open…
…Elijah McClain who died in police custody on 30 August, 2019…
…Ahmaud Arbery who was stalked and murder ed by a white father and son on February 23, 2020, while out jogging….
UK – Former Britain’s Got Talent winners, Diversity, performed an original dance routine on the everlasting ITV show and dared to say the words, BLACK LIVES MATTER:
As white fragility coursed through their narrowed arteries, white supremacists took to Twitter to express their disgust and furiously press the thumbs-down button on YouTube in their tens of thousands.
24,000 complaints were made to OFCOM regarding Diversity’s performance, who did not upheld the complaints.
…Trayvon Martin who was murdered by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012…
…George Floyd who was murdered by Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020…
…Philando Castile who was shot to death by police during a traffic stop on July 6, 2016…
…Tamir Rice who was 12 when he was shot and killed by police on November 22, 2014…
New York, USA – Tennis star Naomi Osaka wears a face mask with Tamir Rice’s name before winning the US Open final on September 12. Naomi a wore a different name for each of her seven matches. Tamir, a 12-year-old boy, was killed by police gunfire in Cleveland, USA while he was holding a toy replica pistol in 2014.Al Bello/Getty Images
Kingston, Jamaica – COVID-19 claims the life of Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals. Toots and the Maytals were responsible for massive hits like Monkey Man, 54-46 Was my Number, Pressure Drop and Louie Louie.
Tyler Wright, a two-time World Surf League Champion, takes a knee before competing in an event in Tweed Heads South, Australia, on September 13. Matt Dunbar/World Surf League/Getty Images
UK – On Saturday 19 September 2020, a judge on Simon Cowell’s never-ending TV show, Britain’s Got Talent, shattered the world of white supremacists in Britain by wearing a necklace featuring the letters, “BLM”. And this so soon after they had only just mastered the art of standing upright again after Diversity’s performance on the show, a matter of weeks before. 2000 complaints were made to OFCOM, the regulatory body for television broadcasts. Unsurprisingly, OFCOM did not uphold the complaints.
Johnny Nash, born 19 October 1940, transitioned to become an ancestor.
Johnny was born in Houston, Texas, to Eliza (nee Armstrong) and her husband, John Nash, a chauffeur. A sweet-mannered, good-looking and well-behaved child, though a little shy, Johnny went to Jack Yates high school and was brought up on gospel music at the Progressive New Hope Baptist Church in the city, where he soon became renowned for his beautifully smooth voice, which also made an impact at talent shows.
Although he was an American, Nash had spent time living in Jamaica in the mid-60s, and the island’s influence on his music came to the fore.
Johnny Nash began to work with Bob Marley in a musical collaboration that bore fruits in Nash’s 1972 album I Can See Clearly Now, to which Marley contributed Stir it Up, Guava Jelly, Comma Comma and You Poured Sugar on Me, the last of which they jointly wrote. The album, and its title track in particular, established Nash as a household name.
The hashtag ENDSARS began trending on Twitter, demanding the disbandment of the highly-criticised federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars), widely accused of unlawful arrests, torture and murder. Wizkid, Davido and John Boyega also showed their support on Twitter. More and more Nigerians had started using the hashtag following the death of a young man, said to have been caused by officers from the Sars unit. Many people joined in retweeting to show support and some were also using the hashtag to share stories of brutality attributed to the police unit.
Nigeria’s inspector general of police Mohammed Adamu banned the Sars unit from carrying out stop and search duties and setting up roadblocks. He also said members of Sars must always wear uniforms and promised the unit would be investigated. But protesters want the unit disbanded completely.
Dana Clark and her 18-month-old son, Mason, wait in line at City Hall as early voting began in New Orleans, USA. Clark, a teacher, said she donned this protective cover because Mason didn’t have a mask and she didn’t know how many people would be wearing masks in line. Kathleen Flynn/Reuters
Lagos, Nigeria – Obianuju Catherine Udeh, better known as DJ Switch, is a resident of Lagos. As she was peacefully protesting with others at the Lekki toll gate in a Lagos suburb, shots rang out over the crowd. She recalls seeing soldiers followed by policemen arriving and opening fire. As she crouched down to take cover and felt a bullet shell fall next to her, she instinctively pulled out her phone and started livestreaming the unfolding events on Instagram. “At that moment, I believed we would all die,” she says. “I thought, let me put this online, let people see what’s happening, and let them see where we died.”
With a group of protesters, DJ Switch ran from the scene to escape the tear gas fired on the crowd, gathering bullet shells on the way as evidence of what had happened. In the rush to leave the scene, she sustained facial injuries, but says “it’s nothing compared to the people who actually gave their lives for us.” She and fellow protesters found refuge in a nearby hospital and then a church, waiting until dawn broke.
An Amnesty International investigation later confirmed that the Nigerian army and police killed at least 12 peaceful protesters on Oct. 20 at two locations in Lagos. DJ Switch says to her knowledge, up to 15 people were killed at the Lekki shooting alone. (Nigerian authorities have denied that the army shot at protesters). The rights group has also said that at least 56 people died across the country since protests began, with security forces using excessive force in multiple cases in an attempt to control or stop the protests.
USA – It is officially announced that Joe Biden has beaten Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential election and will be inaugurated on 20 January, 2021
A crowd gathers in front of the White House as people celebrate Joe Biden’s election victory. Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images
UK – The government is to spend more than £400m to support poor children and their families in England, following a campaign by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford. A winter grant scheme, to be run by councils, will provide support with food and bills, and a holiday food and activities programme is to be expanded. Rashford said it would improve the lives of almost 1.7 million children. The move represents a climbdown for the government, which had said Universal Credit was the best way to help. From the package of support, a £170m ring-fenced fund will be distributed through councils, with at least 80% earmarked for help with food and bills. This will receive funding from the beginning of December until the end of March. The holiday food and activities programme will be expanded with a £220m investment to cover Easter, summer and Christmas in 2021. On top of that, there will be a £16m cash boost for the nation’s food banks.
USA – Trump protestors staged the Million MAGA (Make America Great Again – Donald Trump’s slogan) March in support of Trump, who claims that the election was rigged and that Joe Biden did not beat him.
A Trump supporter shouts at counter-protestors spraying his saliva, which could well contain the Coronavirus, as he does so.
UK – White supremacists lost their minds as Sainsbury’s released a series of 3 adverts for Christmas, one featuring a Black family:
They came for him….
Spot the difference between the treatment of the two footballers…
USA – Pupils have their first ever day at school in a very different environment from that which was usual.
A black man died after being beaten by supermarket security guards in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre on the eve of Friday’s Black Consciousness Day observations, sparking outrage after videos of the incident circulated on social media. A short clip showed one guard restraining Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas just outside the doors of a Carrefour supermarket while the other hit him with repeated blows to the face.
The men who beat Mr Freitas have been detained and are being investigated for homicide due to the victim’s asphyxiation and his inability to defend himself, said Nadine Anflor, the civil police chief for the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, where Porto Alegre is the capital. One of the men was a temporary military police officer who was off-duty, said Rodrigo Mohr, head of the state’s military police. Black Consciousness Day is observed as a holiday in many parts of Brazil.
People of African descent account form about 57 per cent of Brazil’s population but constitute 74 per cent of victims of lethal violence, according to the Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, a nongovernmental organisation.
The percentage is even higher, 79 per cent, for those killed by police.
People begin taking the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine against COVID-19.
Hamdayet, Sudan – Ethiopian refugees shared a shelter in Sudan. At least 45,000 people have fled war in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray. Aid groups warn that another 100,000 refugees may follow in the next six months if fighting continues.Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
Actor Tommy “Tiny” Lister, best known for playing Deebo in the Friday movie franchise with Ice Cube, loses his life to COVID-19.
Charley Pride, the pioneering country & western singer known for such hits as “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’” and “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” has joined the ancestors aged 86. His death was from complications related to Covid-19, according to his publicist.
Born in Sledge, Mississippi, in 1934, Charley picked cotton, played baseball in the Negro leagues, served in the U.S. Army, and worked in a smelting plant in Montana before moving to Nashville and becoming country music’s first Black superstar in a music industry that historically excluded people of african descent. He scored 52 Top 10 country hits, including 29 Number Ones, and was the first Black performer to appear on the Grand Ole Opry stage since Deford Bailey made his debut in the 1920s. Charley became an Opry member in 1993. In 2000, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
UK – After the identification of what was said to be a new mutant variation of the COVID-19 virus in the UK, flights from the UK were banned by over 40 countries.
In a practice run for Brexit, the 4 nations that collectively voted not to have foreigners in “their country” (by 51.4% to 48.6%), the UK suddenly found that foreigners didn’t want people from the UK in their countries either.
Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Grenada, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey. By the close of the day, flights from the UK were barred by all these destinations.
Back in January there were parties to celebrate the UK’s exit from the European Union, sovereignty and blue passport. By December the blue passports could take them nowhere that they regularly wanted to go.
UK – N Ireland police chief apologises over handling of Black Lives Matter protests
Northern Ireland’s most senior police officer has apologised over the handling of Black Lives Matter protests in Belfast and Derry during the pandemic lockdown earlier this year. The chief constable, Simon Byrne, issued the apology on Tuesday after a report for the police ombudsman in the region found the policing of the rallies in the two cities had been unfair and discriminatory. The ombudsman’s report into the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s operation at the Black Lives Protest in June concluded that confidence among ethnic minority communities in policing had been “severely damaged”. The PSNI issued up to 70 people with £60 fines at the two demonstrations.
Critics have compared the PSNI’s attitude towards the BLM protesters with the alleged inaction of police to deal with a far larger breach of the lockdown rules last summer when thousands of republicans took to the streets of west Belfast to attend the funeral of the leading IRA figure Bobby Storey. Among the mourners at the funeral was the Sinn Féin deputy first minister, Michelle O’Neill. The chief constable recently admitted that the PSNI took no similar action against the large crowds at the Storey funeral over fears it would have provoked widespread public disorder. The PSNI announced last week that its investigation into the numbers gathered at the Storey funeral had been completed and a file sent to the Public Prosecution Service.
Black Lives Matters supporters have pointed out that no fines were handed to loyalists and military veterans attending a mass rally to “Protect our Monuments” also held in June.
Whodini rapper John Fletcher has died at the age of 56.
The musician, who was better known as Ecstasy, performed with New York-based rap trio Whodini from 1982.