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Driving While Black goes High Tech

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The phrase “Driving While Black” has been used in both the public and private discourse relating to the Racial Profiling of Black motorists.The term rose to prominence in public discourse during the 1990s, in the wake of the War on Drugs, when it was brought to public knowledge that police stations across the country were intentionally targeting racial minorities to curb the trafficking and sale of drugs in the United States.For example, New Jersey released state documents in 2000 which showed police training memos instructing officers to make racial judgments in order to identify “Occupant Identifiers for a possible Drug Courier” on the highway.

The phrase was further magnified after the ruling of Whren v. United States (1996), when the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled that police officers may stop any motor vehicle operator if any traffic violation has been observed.The case has been criticized by scholars for allowing too much subjectivity on the part of police officers to use racial bias as a justification for the stop.

Subsequent media coverage of the phrase “Driving While Black” since the 1990s has been expansive and more common.The phrase is often used in anecdotal accounts of racial profiling of motor vehicle operators as well as statistical and legal analyses of racial profiling, a notable example being the case of Tolan v. Cotton.

In 2014 Portland lawyers Melvin Oden-Orr and Marianne Hyland created an app named “Driving While Black” in which users can record police and alert people when they are stopped by police on the road. It also supplies users with information on how to handle a traffic stop, including their legal rights and “best practices” for “how to be safe.”The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a similar app called “Mobile Justice” in which users can record and upload videos to the ACLU office.

The phrase DWB was amplified in the scope of American public discourse through social media mediums in which African Americans can record police encounters and disseminate it to a large audience.’Driving While Black’ was invoked in the media following the recent deaths of Sandra Bland (d. 2015) and Philando Castile (d. 2016), both of whom were African Americans who were pulled over by police while driving.


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First-ever Black Woman to Visit International Space Station

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Nationwide — Jeanette Epps, a NASA astronaut, will soon make history as the first-ever Black woman to fly to the International Space Station on a mission into orbit. It will also be her first space flight in her career.

Epps, who is from Syracuse, New York, earned a bachelor’s degree in Physics in 1992 from LeMoyne College. She then attended the University of Maryland, College Park where she received a Masters in 1994 and a Doctorate in 2000 for Aerospace Engineering.

She was also a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow while pursuing her doctorate degree, where she authored several journals and conference articles on her research.

After finishing her graduate school, she worked as a technical specialist in Ford’s Scientific Research Laboratory for 2 years, co-authoring several patents. She then served as a technical intelligence officer in the CIA for 7 years. In 2009, she was one of the nine selected people to become a NASA astronaut.

Moreover, she would have made history earlier in 2018 as the first Black woman to live on the ISS, but was later reassigned for undisclosed reasons.

Now, Epps has been assigned to NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission, the first operational crewed flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station. She will be joining NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada for a six-month expedition which is set to launch in 2021.

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“REEL” Representation

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This Remix on an Old-School Toy Provides “Reel” Representation For Black Children

Nationwide — What do you get when you remix the old-school View-Master with affirming content and Black representation for children? The answer is BlackBabyBooks.com’s new Reel Representation Viewer.

lackBabyBooks.com makes it easier to discover and purchase children’s books with Black characters, but its founder, Veronica N. Chapman, believes they can offer even more. Research shows that when Black children see themselves represented positively in their media, it fortifies their self-esteem and helps protect them from the impact of racism. That’s why Ms. Chapman is launching a product that provides reel representation, pairing a love for the nostalgic View-Master with the empowering art of Black illustrators.

An entrepreneur and children’s book author, Ms. Chapman employs her talents to uplift Black children. “For years,” she says, “I have been developing products and writing to empower and inspire Black children. Thousands of children have benefited from my endeavors by reading my books, purchasing my products, and using services I designed specifically for them. As a result, Black children have learned to love themselves exactly as they are. They have started businesses, been inspired to challenge themselves, and their self-esteem has increased. Our Reel Representation Viewer is a continuation of my commitment to our children so they can stand tall in the face of any efforts to devalue them, and resist any messages that may make them question their brilliance and promise.”

The Kickstarter Campaign to take pre-orders for the Reel Representation RetroViewer is now live. Back the campaign and show reel love to the children in your life by purchasing a Reel Representation Viewer at ReelRepresentation.com

Follow the brand on Instagram @blackbabybooks

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Entrepreneur Launches New App to Empower Foodies to Support Black-Owned Eateries

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Nationwide — Finding and supporting the best black eateries is now a lot easier thanks to entrepreneur Braxston Richmond’s launch of the new app, Black Foodie Finder.

Touted as the ‘Best Urban Foodie App’, Black Foodie Finder is an app database of Black-owned restaurants, food trucks, and other eateries all across the United States. The app features a list of Black-owned restaurants from over 6,000 locations that offer everything from soul food and barbecue to cultural cuisine, vegan dishes, and more.

Black Foodie Finder is a versatile and easy to use app that allows users to search for restaurants by state. This app also allows users to shop black-owned food products, find chef catering services, and hand-picked events centered/and or supported by the black community. Users can also find and add favorite recipes with images and instructions.

But it’s not just about making it easier for foodies to find black-owned restaurants. Black Foodie Finder gives restaurant owners an extra platform to showcase their business and connect with a wider demographic.

The Black Foodie Finder App is available for free download in the App Store and Google Play. For further information, visit BlackFoodieFounder.com. Follow them on Instagram at @BlackFoodieFinder.

For press inquiries, contact info@blackfoodiefinder.com

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