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Here’s What You Need To Know On Monday, May 30th, 2023





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Rapper, Actor Remy Ma, born Reminisce Smith

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Actor Ralph Carter

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Vaudevillian Actor Stepin Fetchit, born Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry, in 1902




Sybil Wilkes ‘What You Need To Know’ Roadblock to Progress — Therapy’s Vital Role — Texas Signs CROWN Act  was originally published on

1. Alabama Senator Stands as Roadblock to Progress

Alabama Senator Stands as Roadblock to Progress Source:Getty

What You Need to Know:


President Biden’s historic nomination of Air Force General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., as the next Chairman of the nation’s Joint Chief of Staff, is being held up by Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville (R). This one senator is using a procedural tactic to stall not only the historic appointment of General Brown but also hundreds of military appointments and promotions for officers of one-star ranking and above. 


The actions of the first-term senator and former college football coach are a protest against Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s announcement that the military will pay for the travel expenses of service members and dependents seeking reproductive healthcare. Tuberville has promised to hold up the Defense Department nominations until Secretary Austin “rescinds or suspends the new policies.” Seventeen percent of the military is female. Until Secretary Austin’s policy supporting service members and families who will have to travel out of state, 40 percent have severely limited or no access to abortion care because of their residency in restricted states. 


CNN reports the new policies are not solely focused on abortions, but “largely focus on providing support for service members who have to travel out of state for care…and other non-covered reproductive health care like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (UI).


Why You Need to Know:


General Brown’s appointment is historic as this will be the first time in this country that the two highest positions in the military will be held by Black men, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and General Charles Brown as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  


Minority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has stated he does not agree with Tuberville’s move to stall all the military promotions, including that of General Brown. At least 100 to 200 Generals are awaiting confirmation before they can begin training for their next positions. This protracted delay also affects the families who are affected by the delay. This is the time to check if your U.S. Senator is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and share your views, perhaps playing offense against the Tuberville game plan to control women’s lives as many states have already done. But this is not a game. 



2. Texas AG Has Another Thing in Common With Donald Trump

Texas AG Has Another Thing in Common With Donald Trump Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


The stage is set for what is described as an ongoing “contentious showdown” in Texas, following Saturday’s impeachment of state Attorney General Ken Paxton. The state’s top legal officer was temporarily removed from office over the weekend following an overwhelming vote on over twenty charges ranging from bribery to corruption. After four hours of presentation of charges and debate, a bipartisan coalition of the Texas state House voted 121 to 23, in favor of the  Republican’s impeachment.


The 20 Articles of Impeachment included multiple acts of misconduct, bribery, abuse of office, and obstruction of justice, triggered by Paxton’s request to the state legislature to pay out a $3.3 million “Whistle Blower” lawsuit settlement. According to investigators, the investigation, led by Paxton’s fellow Republicans, detailed a history of years of misconduct.


The Associated Press reported, “Paxton has been under FBI investigation for years over accusations that he used his office to help a donor and was separately indicted on securities fraud charges in 2015, though he has yet to stand trial. His party had long taken a muted stance on the allegations, but that changed this week as 60 of the House’s 85 Republicans, including Speaker Dade Phelan, voted to impeach.”


The Fort Worth Star-Telegram pointed out,  “At the heart of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s recent troubles is that he used his office to help a political donor — Austin real estate investor Nate Paul — in exchange for allegedly helping the attorney general remodel his home and giving Paxton’s mistress a job in his company. Nate Paul has denied that his hiring of the woman was a favor to Paxton.


 The Daily Beast detailed, “Paxton reportedly acknowledged the affair with the woman, who worked as an aide to a Texas state senator, to his staff in 2018 and said he had ended it.


Resignations of seven senior members of Paxton’s staff followed, accusing their boss of accepting bribes and abusing his office. Others were fired. Four of his former employees filed suit, arguing that Paxton and his agency improperly retaliated against them. A $3.3 million settlement was reached earlier this year.”


The Texas Tribune detailed Paxton’s history, with little to no questions from fellow Republicans regarding his actions: “Paxton had faced few political consequences for years for his many public scandals. Allegations against him included taking bribes from a real estate investor, trying to protect that same investor from legal action, abusing the powers of the office, and firing staff members who reported his misconduct.


But after Paxton’s office asked lawmakers to use taxpayer dollars to pay a $3.3 million settlement to the whistleblowing staffers, the scandals proved too much for the Donald Trump-backed attorney general to shake off.”


Why You Need to Know:


The 60-year-old Paxton is automatically suspended from office, pending a state Senate trial. Although former President Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz extended their support of Paxton, one of the leaders in the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, the final say will be had by the state Senate. That body also includes his wife of over 35 years, State Senator Angela Paxton. 


No matter what happens with the special session to be called by Texas Governor Abbott (R), or the ensuing Senate hearing and vote, Ken Paxton faces yet another investigation by the Department of Justice in a separate trial. 



3. Therapy’s Vital Role in the Black Community

Therapy’s Vital Role in the Black Community Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


African Americans and multiracial people experience unique mental health needs. From vicarious stress caused by racial trauma to increased burnout from caring for family members because of cultural expectancy, therapists and other mental health providers should be aware of these distinct needs. Below, we learn more about the types of therapy that many Black people benefit from, as well as the barriers preventing them from getting it.


Common Types of Therapy African Americans Need


Whether they actively seek therapy or not, there are many types that African American patients may benefit from depending on their mental health needs. These therapy modalities have consistently underserved the Black population, but that does not mean that their mental health problems cannot be addressed by effective therapy techniques such as those listed below.


Psychotherapy is often referred to as “talk therapy” and is the most common. Many Blacks benefit from talking out their emotions, daily struggles, and negative behaviors with a therapist through weekly or other regularly scheduled therapy sessions that typically last around an hour. Sessions with the right therapist can help address symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, mood disorders, insomnia, and more. Choosing the right type of therapy is also important, as there are several forms and each has various benefits. (READ MORE)



4. Texas Governor Combs Thru, Signs CROWN ACT

Texas Governor Combs Thru, Signs CROWN ACT Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


The state of Texas has joined twenty other states with the recent approval of the CROWN Act. With the signature of Governor Greg Abbott, the CROWN Act, introduced by Democratic State Representative Rhetta Bowers, ensures protection for Texans who wear their hair in natural styles such as braids, locs, twists, or knots. The new law bans schools and employers from discriminating against race-based hairstyles. 


The CROWN in the Texas CROWN Act is an acronym – Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair – and was finally passed by the Texas House, 143-5, and the Texas Senate, 29-1. It was introduced in January 2020, when a Texas high school suspended a  student due to the length of his locs. De’Andre Arnold was then told if he didn’t cut his hair, he would not be allowed to attend his prom or march at graduation.


Adjoa B. Asamoah co-founded a coalition that champions the CROWN Act. She told Texas Senate committee members she conceptualized the law in 2018 to tackle this type of discrimination. 


“Preserving and protecting people’s civil, human, and individual rights requires a thoughtful and intentional and collective approach,” Asamoah testified. “It impacts the upward mobility of individuals and families, and it has been the reason far too many children have missed school or had negative educational experiences.”


Why You Need to Know:


As positive and progressive as this new law appears to be in a conservative state like Texas, the Houston Chronicle, with its reporting, reminds us where we live:


“Texas will become the biggest state to bar colleges and universities from using diversity, equity, and, inclusion programs to hire more diverse faculty and staff, fulfilling a priority item Governor Greg Abbott turned a spotlight on this year.


After weeks of negotiations between House and Senate leaders, lawmakers voted on a deal that now goes to Abbott for his final approval, despite vehement opposition from civil rights groups including the NAACP.”



5. Discover the Secret Behind Making Your Home an Investment

Discover the Secret Behind Making Your Home an Investment Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


Homeownership is a solid path toward building wealth. Over the past decade, the median-priced home in the U.S. gained $190,000 in value, making the typical homeowner 40 times wealthier than if they had remained a renter.

Low-income homeowners built $98,900 in wealth while middle-income and upper-income homeowners accumulated $122,100 and $150,800 in wealth, respectively.

Where did low-income earners gain the most wealth through homeownership?
All of the top 10 areas with the largest wealth gains for low-income owners – surpassing $290,000 – were in California.

In the areas with the highest homeownership rates for low-income households, wealth gains were $140,000 on average.

Homeownership and wealth building by race
While Black homeowners experienced the smallest wealth gains among any other racial or ethnic group, they accumulated more than $115,000 in wealth in the past decade.

Black households in Bellingham, Washington; Ocala, Florida; Palm Bay, Florida; Modesto, California; Greeley, Colorado; and Charleston, South Carolina, were among the areas where more than 60% of Black households own their home. Owners in these areas were able to accumulate more than $125,000 in wealth in the past decade.

Asian homeowners accumulated the most wealth gains in the past decade, followed by Hispanic Americans. While Asian households own more expensive homes than any other group, Hispanic homeowners saw faster appreciation than white homeowners.

Homeownership rates among income groups
Among the 200 largest metro areas across the country, 38% had a homeownership rate for low-income households higher than 50%.

The homeownership rate for low-income households varied from 27% to 73%, while the homeownership rate for middle-income households ranged from 47% to 86%.

The top three areas with the highest homeownership rates for middle-income households were Barnstable Town (86%), Ogden, Utah (85%), and Port St. Lucie, Florida (83%).



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