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2021 Year-in-Review

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Without fear or favor, African-American News&Issues has not backed down from bringing you thought-provoking commentary and in-your-face breakdowns on national and local news. Here are some of the biggest headlines for 2021, and for complete coverage on any of these topics, visit AframNews.com.

Troy Finner sworn in

 On April 5, Troy Finner was sworn in as the new Cief of the Houston Police Department. Finner, who was born in Houston’s Fifth Ward and grew up in Hiram Clarke, has been with HPD for more than three decades, working his way through the ranks from patrol officer.

Astroworld Festival tragedy:

On November 5, a fatal crowd crush occurred during the first night of the 2021 Astroworld Festival, a music event founded by Missouri City rapper Travis Scott that was held at NRG Park. Ten people all under the age of 30 died.  The youngest victim was only 9 years old. Twenty-five people were hospitalized, and more than 300 people were treated for injuries at the festival’s field hospital.

 Insurrection:

On January 6, the nation was left with mouths agape as “Make America Great Again” MAGA and GOP supporters stormed the U. S. Capitol, scaling the walls, breaking into official government offices, destroying property, fighting with police officers – even resulting in some deaths – all while “protesting” the win of Joe Biden over former President Donald Trump. The infamous “insurrectionist” attack will forever be stamped in history.

Inauguration:

On January 20, President Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, and Kamala Harris, making history, was sworn in as Vice President.  Harris is the first woman, and the first woman of color – being of Black and South Asian descent – to hold the office.

Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history recites “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration ceremony of President Joe Biden.

Derek Chauvin / Murder of George Floyd Trial:

Former police officer Derek Chauvin is found guilty of the murder of former Jack Yates High Scholl alum George Floyd by kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.

 Bill Cosby released from prison:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overruled Bill Cosby’s assault conviction on June 30, 2021 after a previous prosecutor failed to convict him, leaving him open to give self-incriminating statements.

R. Kelly found guilty


After more than 25 years of accusations and a federal court trial in New York that lasted seven weeks, R&B singer R. Kelly has been found guilty of charges including sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, racketeering and sex trafficking involving five victims. Kelly faces a possible sentence of 10 years to life in prison. He is expected to be sentenced in May 2022.

Juneteenth:

On June 15, The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act was signed into law, making Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Simone Biles:

World renowned gymnast Simone Biles withdraws from 2021 Tokyo Olympics for mental health puts the challenges athletes face under the spotlight changing the world of athletics forever.

Murder of Ahmad Arbery Trial:

 Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and William Bryan were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ahmad Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man shot to death while jogging in a neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia.

Kyle Rittenhouse Trial:

Then 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shot two BLM protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020. Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges during trial in November 2021.

Zaila Avant Garde wins Scripps National Spelling Bee

On June 9, Zaila Avant Garde became the first Black American contestant to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the institution’s almost 100 year history.

Naomi Osaka

Global tennis champion Naomi Osaka stood for her mental health and shocked the world after resigning from multiple championships to care for herself. Along with Biles, Osaka is a figurehead in a movement against the intense public scrutiny of athletes.

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