Not to be confused with the late Elija Cummings, United States House of Representative for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District and civil rights advocate, Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights icon John Lewis recently announced that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Lewis, 79, has served in Congress since 1986, representing Georgia’ 5th Congressional District. Celebrated for his fight for civil rights, Lewis is also recognized for joining forces and marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1965 to lead a voting rights march out of Selma, Alabama.
Lewis doesn’t plan on giving up now. Realizing he will have to miss work and maybe even a few important key votes, he knows he is in the fight of his life with hopes of getting back to the front of the battle lines soon.
A New Chief In Charge
Less than two weeks into the new year and after the insurrection chaos on Capitol Hill, the US Capitol Police has appointed a new chief. Yogananda Pittman was appointed the acting police chief after former Chief Steven Sund resigned after criticism and calls for his resignation due to the many failures and ill planning and handling of security against the pro-Trump rioters that invaded the US Capitol. Pittman will be the first woman and first Black person to head the Capitol Police. Previously, she served as an assistant chief.
2021 History Makers
by LaNell Taylor
We’re just seven days into the new year and although political chaos has turned deadly (US Capital takeover), the COVID virus is still running rampant throughout most of the world, history makers are already taking their place in the record books.
Right here in Bexar County, TX, San Antonio’s very own Kathryn Brown was sworn in at midnight on Jan. 1 taking on her role as Bexar County Constable, Precinct 4. She is the first-ever Black woman to serve in the county. Brown defeated her Republican opponent Larry Ricketts. Brown is a 19-year veteran of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, a mother of two, and a cancer survivor.
Tia McWilliams made history as the first African American woman sheriff of Taliaferro County in rural Georgia. McWilliams is also a mother of two and has been with the sheriff’s office for over 19 years. She was elected in November 2020 and will replace retired Sheriff Marc Richards.
On Tuesday, January 5th Reverend Raphael Warnock won the runoff and was elected Georgia’s first black senator. When he is sworn in later this month, he’ll be the 11th Black person to serve in the US Senate, but the first Black Democrat to represent a southern state in the Senate. (Other non southern states Black Democrat Senators were Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, Carol Mosely Braun, Roland Burris, and William “Mo” Cowan). Warnock beat the GOP incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Warnock is a native of Georgia, graduate of Morehouse College, the 11th of 12 children, the first in his family to graduate college, and he’s the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached.
These groundbreaking success stories are just the beginning of many great moments to come. After a tumultuous year of uncertainty, grief, and some feelings of hopelessness, for at least a brief period we can be assured that more opportunities and doors will continue to open for Blacks to become the firsts but definitely not the last.
TV One Broadcasting Historic Event
TV One to Broadcast Ceremonial Swearing-In of New Congressional Black Caucus Members with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to Make Remarks on January 3, 2021 at 4 P.M. ET/3C
Kenny Lattimore, John Legend, and Kierra Sheard-Kelly to Perform
TV One announces a partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) to broadcast the Ceremonial Swearing-In of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) of the 117th United States Congress on Sunday, January 3, 2021 at 4 P.M. ET/3C.
The historic broadcast, presented by FedEx, will feature remarks from the CBC and Congressional leaders including Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD), Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA), Rep. James Clyburn (SC), Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH)and Rep. Karen Bass (CA).President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will also be in attendance to speak before new and returning CBC members who will take their ceremonial oath.
“We are proud to partner with TV One to broadcast this historic event, marking the 50th anniversary of the Congressional Black Caucus” said CBCF President and CEO, Tonya Veasey. “TV One has been a long-standing partner of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and we celebrate their contribution to help us bring this event to households nationwide during these unprecedented times.”
Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter John Legend, Kenny Lattimore, and Kierra Sheard-Kelly will perform at the ceremony.
“TV One is both proud and excited to serve as the broadcast television partner of the Ceremonial Swearing-In of the Congressional Black Caucus of the 117th United States Congress,” remarked Michelle Rice, President of TV One and CLEO TV. “We thank the CBC for its 50 years of service and advocacy in Congress on behalf of our nation’s Black citizens and salute the new and returning CBC members for their commitment to serve.”
For fifty years, the CBC has remained the voice for African Americans in Congress. Over that same period, the CBC has increasingly become a dominant force focused on social, political and economic issues impacting the global Black community. The swearing-in of congressional members is a long-standing tradition that celebrates and signifies the start of a new Congress.
For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hashtag #CBC50SwearingIn.