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Politics

2021 History Makers

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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.   

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Education

Where Will You Be For History?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021 marks the day for the 59th Inaugural Ceremony. This historical event has been witnessed by Americans for over 200 years. The moment marks the transition of power for the President and Vice President of the United States. From the first Inauguration of George Washington, in New York City, in 1789, to the present, the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies, the Swearing-In Ceremonies represent both national renewal and continuity of leadership. Several Inaugurations have held great importance and significance including the swearing in of Barack Hussein Obama II, the 44th President of the United States, but what makes this year’s inauguration so remarkable? Well, as we reflect on the current time we are in; a divided nation where hate is at the forefront of the actions of many American citizens, COVID has devastated the population, historic election voting percentages have reigned, the inaugural events are closed to the public, and where gender and race have for far too long been the basis as to why some have been denied opportunities to fulfill “positions of power,” this milestone marks another step towards us becoming “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.” Kamala Harris already made history when she was elected as the first Black and South Asian woman elected Vice President, however January 20, 2021 her role will be official and she will officially be Madame Vice President.

The ceremony traditionally begins with a procession to the capitol beginning about 11:00 ET. Harris will be sworn in first by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and Latina Justice appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. (She was nominated by President Barack Obama.). Joe Biden will be sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts followed by remarks from both.

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Politics

A New Chief In Charge

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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.

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Entertainment

TV One Broadcasting Historic Event

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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.

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