ReShonda Tate, Managing Editor
This 1867 illustration from Harper’s Weekly shows African-American men voting in a state election in the South during Reconstruction. Although Black men were allowed to vote after the Civil War, voting rights for African Americans were continually eroded until the 1960s.

The Jellybean jar is back

I remember my grandfather telling me stories of how he would try to vote in rural Arkansas back in the 1940s, and there was “always some shenanigans going on.” From being asked, “How many yellow jelly beans are in this jar?” to, “What does line 17 of the Constitution say?”, my grandfather would lament how even if they got the answer right, the white poll worker would say it was wrong. Anything to keep them from voting.

More than 80 years later, there’s still some shenanigans going on. All across America, some folks (Republicans)….are still trying to make it hard for Black people to vote in America. And Texas is leading the pack. State officials here looked at how Black folks showed up and showed out in the 2020 election and said ‘Ah, nah, we can’t have that! Bring out the jellybean jar!.’

 Of course, the jelly bean jar isn’t literal anymore. Now, it’s evolved into more sophisticated ploys. Voters of mail in ballots are being rejected (read our story on Jim Crow 2.0 on Page 3)… stricter voter ID laws are being implemented to combat allegations of widespread voter fraud, even though those claims have been debunked in court….even outreach efforts like Souls to the Polls is being hit. This battle is real, y’all. And voters, particularly voters of color MUST stay vigilant. They’re counting on us to give up and not show up at the polls. Let’s show them we won’t be stopped – no matter how many boulders they throw in our path.  

The fight against COVID

I am tired of COVID. Tired of masks. Tired of germs. Tired of having our lives disrupted. Just tired of COVID. Omicron cases are going down, but health experts think it’s simply because the variant is running out of people to infect. (I think I know like three people who escaped getting COVID). However, we CANNOT let down our guards, because we’ve already seen Omicron’s cousin, Delta. It’s not written that Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu, and any other COVID cousin isn’t waiting around the corner. Yes, health officials are saying it could become like the common cold, so we need to be able to return to normal. It’s gonna be a lonnnnnnnggggg time before I feel normal again. I can’t even imagine being in a confined space with 3,000 other people. But I’m all for living life. I just know it’s imperative that no matter how tired we get of COVID, COVID isn’t tired of us. So stay vigilant people.

Cardi’s big case

If your mouth writing a check your behind can’t cash was a person…it would be popular internet vlogger and YouTuber Tasha K. I know, you don’t really pay attention to celebrity gossip. (You don’t have to, that’s what you have me for)…but this case where rapper Cardi B recently won a libel suit against Tasha K is fascinating.

In a legal battle spanning across nearly three years, a jury recently found K, whose real name is Latasha Kebe, liable for “defamation, two other forms of wrongdoing, invasion of privacy through portrayal in a false light, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” And they ordered Tasha to pay the rapper $1.25 million in damages.

Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almánzar, sued Kebe in 2019 over dozens of videos that contained shocking claims about the rapper. I won’t get into them here (check out all the scandalous details on our website). But in this age of social media and shock TV trying to get views, this sends a resounding message that you simply cannot trash someone’s name trying to boost your views. I hope young folks are watching.

 Before I go….

My heart is hurting for my friend, Regina King on the loss of her only son, Ian, to suicide. Keep her in your prayers and talk to the young people in your lives, especially our young Black men because depression is real. And in our community we don’t always give Black men safe spaces to just BE. It’s high time we change that. #RestInPowerIan

ON THE WEB

  • Prairie View A&M University’s band is featured in a new CW show, “March.”
  • Check out our DN+ channels featuring stories for Black women, Community Central and Under 40.
  • In sports, Terrance Harris talks with TSU Athletic Director, Kevin Granger on how he’s staying ahead of COVID.