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On Tuesday a group of family members, activists and clergy stood outside Inglewood City Hall to draw attention to an officer-involved shooting that so far has not been explained.  On Feb. 21, 2016, Kisha Michael and her boyfriend Marquintan Sandlin were shot to death by Inglewood police around 3 a.m., in a car on Manchester Blvd. and Inglewood Ave.  


Two investigations are currently being conducted.  According to sources, 20 shots were fired and police say the couple was initially believed to be unconscious. When police approached, they saw a gun on Michael’s lap.  She was sitting in the passenger’s seat.  An “exchange” occurred between the officers, Michael and Sandlin, but it is unclear what happened.  Five officers were involved.  It is not known whether Michael or Sandlin threatened the officers. 


The group had planned to address the shooting at Tuesday’s council meeting, but it was cancelled due to President’s Day.  Since the shooting one year ago, several residents have inquired about the case during council meetings. 


In a statement on Tuesday, Mayor James Butts said:


“There are currently two parallel investigations into the Inglewood Police Department officer-involved-shootings of one-year ago today that killed Kisha Michael, 31, and Marquintan Sandlin, 32.  One is a confidential internal investigation conducted by the Inglewood Police Department and a second is by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.  The Inglewood Police Department's investigation and process should be concluded within 30 days.  Any personnel action taken as a result of an internal investigation would be a personnel record, which by California law AB 301 must remain held confidential by the City.”


Butts added that he has “confidence in the Chief of Police to take whatever actions are warranted by the department's investigation in accordance with due process. I continue to send my prayers and heartfelt condolences to the family members of Ms. Michael and Mr. Sandlin.” 


Butts was at an off-site meeting at the time.  However, Kema Decatur, deputy to the city manager, said she would forward a letter to the mayor which called for a status report and firing of the officers, among other demands.  


Priest Francisco Garcia of Holy Faith Episcopal Church in Inglewood told Decatur, “They really just need closure. They need healing and they need justice, and they need answers.”



By Angel Johnson, Contributing Writer


Gwen Ifill was a decorated African American journalist. Her influence paved the way for other African Americans to work in the field. She was the host of “Washington Week” for almost 20 years and the co-host of “PBS Newshour.”  In 2009 she released her first book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. In the last years of her life she battled with cancer and died in Nov. 2016. But her legacy continues.


As an up and coming journalist in the late 1970’s she faced a lot of racism and sexism. It was rare for an African American woman to be in this field.


Kevin Merida, a journalist for ESPN and longtime friend of Ifill, said he met her while she was in college. He told USA Today he was impressed that she was able to keep a level head throughout her career. She was also able to adapt with ease. It didn’t matter if she was doing print journalism for a Boston paper or co-hosting” PBS Newshour.”


Ifill inspired women like Candice Smith, a reporter for ABC. Smith is one of the only African American reporters who followed Trump for most his presidential race. Smith compares Ifill to Mae Jemison, the first woman to go to space. In high school, Ifill was the reporter people talked about, Smith said.


Ifill also inspired Sonya Ross, the race and ethnicity editor at the Associated Press. Ross said she felt confident as a House Reporter because she’d seen Ifill do it in the past.


The Associated Press Club honored Ifill with the Fourth Estate Award in Oct. 2015 for upholding the values of journalism.


Merida said Ifill did her job well and her passing left many people looking up to her.



New Inglewood, New You

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Daylight Savings Time comes early this year, on March 12. Before we know it, Earth Day will be here.  Flowers will be in full bloom again, and some of us will be happily working in our gardens. We’ll lose an hour, but we will gain that forward momentum, which is vital to moving ahead in life.


When I think of the spring, I think of Inglewood and the forward momentum the city is continuing to enjoy.  It’s amazing to think how far the city has come in so short a period of time.


As you get ready for spring—in whatever way you do that—consider giving a little extra time and attention to your surroundings.  Inglewood is alive with so much change and newness that you can’t help  but be inspired.  The change in our outer world reflects how we feel inside about ourselves and others.  And of course, that works both ways.


When you do your spring cleaning, painting or whatever else you do to spruce up your home, keep in mind that thousands of people will soon be coming to Inglewood.  You want your home or apartment to looks its best.  The same thing applies to our schools and parks.  


If you are a homeowner and plan to stay here, any type of investment you make to your dwelling will pay off in some way.  Property values continue to rise rapidly, so your home’s value can only go up even higher when you make improvements.


You can start with your lawn. Even before the drought, Inglewood was known to have some of the prettiest, best manicured lawns around.  That can only improve now that we have got some much-needed rain.  


When you, your home and everything around you looks good, you naturally feel good, and this feeling carries over to how you relate to others. 


We don’t tend to notice dirty walls and other defects around the house until we get new lighting.   Then everything shows up. Every time a new building goes up or a street is improved, a glorious spotlight shines on the city, reminding us of the work that still needs to be done.   


Does your home match the vision of the new Inglewood?  If not, see what changes you can make so your home can reflect the pride that you feel in our city.


Spring is coming in Inglewood in more ways than one.


By Veronica Mackey


The Rams, Kings, Dodgers, Clippers, Lakers, Galaxy, and now the Chargers, are all sports teams in the Los Angeles area. Having two pro football teams to play in Inglewood can certainly be beneficial for the economy, and the $2.6 billion stadium currently being built is just the first advancement. 


New jobs and revenue from the stadium will generate additional income and boost premium brand identity for the Rams and Chargers.  Just living in a higher media market will afford the teams higher visibility, which can affect Inglewood residents and businesses in a positive way.


Inglewood Today sat down with Alan Whitman, a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley, to discuss the impact of having 2 NFL teams in 1 city. 


IT: What is your general assessment of having 2 NFL teams play in Inglewood?


AW:  It’s wonderful for the city, with jobs and exposure. The greatest impact is exposure, and that’s hard to put dollars and cents around.  But the City’s repeated use of newspapers [to publicize the benefits of development] creates an awareness that it has not experienced before.   This awareness also makes business owners reexamine themselves and what they bring to the table.  


The dollar-and-cent benefit is that when people come to the stadium, they will stop and eat and stay overnight in hotels.  Businesses will grow and expand, they will hire people.  The City will enjoy additional tax revenues.  There is an actual dollar-and-cents benefit.  


When the Chargers were in San Diego, they generated over $120 million a year in benefits, which encompasses salaries.  The media will come and they’re going to spend money.  For want of a better term, it becomes a real “game changer.”  


IT:  Entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities that haven’t existed.  For instance, opening up sports merchandising stores…


AW:  Yes, some will look for things that weren’t there in the past and it will open up opportunities for small businesses.  But then, a lot of the big chains will go in, so you need to know what you’re doing.  You need the independent advice of a CPA. People need to tread carefully.  I always say check with advisors and attorneys, and make sure you have an understanding.


IT:  What did Inglewood do right?


AW: You can kinda equate Inglewood to a business.  There are companies out there on the cutting edge and they reinvent themselves.  Companies that reinvent themselves to accommodate changes tend to be successful over time.  


Eastman Kodak never reinvented themselves. They didn’t go digital.  Polaroid never did it either.  With the City of Inglewood, in the 30s and 40s, people went to the (Hollywood) racetrack.  Horse racing hasn’t retained that level of popularity.  But now Inglewood is coming back.   It is again becoming a major sports destination.


IT: Some renters are worried they won’t be able to afford Inglewood because rates are rising. 


AW:  Initially, I wouldn’t get overly concerned.  Rental property values will appreciate and that takes time.  The issue will be when leases come up for renewal.  If property values escalate too quickly, the people may choose not to rent again.  


History of the Black Man B.C. – Part 2

Thursday, February 23, 2017

By Veronica Mackey


The Age of Ramses marked the beginning of the Nineteenth Dynasty (1320-1200 B.C.). King Ramses II (1279-1212 B.C.) is believed to be the Pharaoh of Egypt in the biblical Exodus story. A formidable military man, Ramses II fought against the Hittites to regain portions of Eastern Africa and Western Asia.  


He is credited with building some of the most notable temples in Egyptian history and considered a model of what a king should be. The reign of Ramside kings continued into the 20th Dynasty (1200-1085 B.C.) until internal fighting and a series of weak kings brought down the reign of Egyptian imperial power.


The power of the priesthood rose as Egyptian kings became more enthralled with world affairs than their commitments to the Almighty. Egyptian priests held positions of tremendous power.  They were the first men of learning—scribes, historians, scientists, architects, physicians, artists, mathematicians, astrologers, and chemists.  Temples represented schools as well as places of worship.  It was widely known among Europeans that Ethiopia was the world’s center of learning.  An Ethiopian education was viewed with pride.


When Europeans conquered African kingdoms, they took with them the art, science and other achievements.  They took full credit for Egyptian “civilization,” although many of the advancements were in place hundreds of years before their arrival.  The Thebans, for example, were considered the oldest men on earth, and credited with establishing philosophy and astrology.  


White historian Samuel Baker often wrote of swamplands, rotting vegetation, deadly insects and “strange people,” and used this perception to justify his belief that Africans were innately inferior.  The accounts of African history by white historians are refuted by the Bible, and by noted historians like Pliny and Herodotus (known as the “Father of History”).


The Egyptian Myth


In ancient times, conquest and superiority were determined by political and military rule—not race. Asians who took over portions of Egypt did not consider themselves superior to blacks because of skin color. Racism, as we know it today, according to Chancellor, was “practically non-existent.”  But it wouldn’t be long before skin color would take precedence over everything.


Whites and Asians living in Africa began to label themselves and their territory as something  other than African. Some 1,500 years before the Middle Kingdom (2133 B.C.), Afro-Asians far outnumbered Asians.  Unmixed Asians were called Asians and Africans were called Africans, but Afro-Asians were called the “New Breed.”  Being rejected by White Asians, they called themselves “Egyptians.”


According to Williams, “with each mass invasion by whites, the physical characteristics of Egyptian people changed more and more. They became more Caucasoid.”  The word “Egyptian” originally referred to blacks, but was changed to refer strictly to Afro-Asians. Racist historians have presented Egypt as an area separate from the rest of the continent.  Noted scholar Dr. Jeremiah Wright said “Racism seeks to take Egypt out of Africa and put it in a nebulous Middle East.”


“One of the great tragedies has been that, in the last 400 years, Europeans and White Americans have created the whole ideology of white supremacy and they have, in the process, taken the images—sacred  images as well as secular images—that are victorious and positive, and made those images white...By the same token, they have re-cast black into a negative image,” said Prof. Cain Felder, author of Troubling Biblical Waters. 


The racial lineage of Jesus is often debated among religious scholars. The bronze feet and wooly hair referred to in the Bible is used as evidence by some black clergy that Jesus was black.”It’s more likely that Jesus was a man of color,” said Rev. Cecil Murray, Chair of Christian Ethics at the University of Southern California.  According to Murray, God chose Egypt as the place for Jesus to flee because his skin color would be less noticeable there among his own people.


Setting aside the Bible debate and looking to geography, Jesus lived close enough to Africa to suggest that he was—if not black—definitely a man of color.  The white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed images seen in the movies could not have been accurate considering his place of habitation.  He was born a Jew in Bethlehem, just a stone’s throw away from Africa in an area known as Palestine.  The area includes Jordan, Israel, Egypt and the Holy City of Jerusalem.


“Palestine is exactly where it’s always been,” says Prof. Felder.  “If you sent one person from Jerusalem to Berlin, another from Jerusalem to Britain, and another from Jerusalem to Africa, the person walking to Africa would get there many, many days ahead of the others.”


Return to Greatness


We came from greatness, and to greatness we can return, but only if we have the vision to make it happen. The African Diaspora has endured more pain, rejection and setbacks than any other people on earth. We have proven our strength to survive and thrive under the most inhumane conditions.


But we need not be mere survivors. While it is important to know that we are a strong people, we need to also know that we are champions.  Getting a positive revelation of ourselves begins not with our history in this country, but with our history on earth. We were much more than slaves in the Western world. We were kings and queens, inventors of science, art, language and mathematics.  


Black history must be both a reminder of where we came from and where we can return to by discovering the truth of our heritage.  Learning to believe in ourselves again, no matter how far we have fallen, is the key that can shape the future of our lives.


Note: This article, originally published in 2003 in Family Health Guide, has been edited.


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