A Star is Born

It’s possible that after the bitter campaign for House Speaker ended on January 7th, Americans – especially Black Americans – felt a strong sense of déjà vu.
New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries provided a masterclass on leadership and served up a clear reminder of what an up-and-coming senator from Illinois named Barack Obama once did during a divided America.
“Progress asserted itself tonight, manifested in [Hakeem] Jeffries, even amidst a hostile takeover of the House by neo–fascists,” Jason Randolph of Vote.org commented.
Randolph said Jeffries delivered “what’s likely the best political speech not given by Obama in generations.”
On July 27, 2004, during the Democratic National Convention in Boston, a 42-year-old Barack Obama, who a few months earlier won a Senate primary in Illinois, spoke eloquently and inspiringly about the divide facing America.
“Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of ‘anything goes,’” Obama asserted.
“Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America; there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”
Nineteen years later, in 2023 where many say politics are as divisive and dangerous as ever, Jeffries, 52, channeled Obama by providing a masterclass on leadership.
He called for “maturity over Mar-a-Lago,” a direct shot at new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s praise of Trump.
Throughout Jeffries’ speech, Trump supporting Republicans jeered while Democrats rose to applaud the Brooklyn born congressman.
Jeffries smoothly went through the alphabet to capture all the ails America, and what’s needed to repair the divided nation.
“House Democrats will always put American values over autocracy, benevolence over bigotry, the Constitution over the cult, democracy over demagogues,” Jeffries asserted.
“Freedom over fascism, governing over gaslighting, hopefulness over hatred quality of life issues over Q’Anon, reason over racism, substance over slander, triumph over tyranny, understanding over ugliness, and voting rights over voter suppression.”
Earlier, the Republican Party did, in fact, select a speaker, albeit grudgingly; however, given the 15 rounds it took for McCarthy to secure the necessary votes, it’s possible that his tenure as speaker won’t last.
Whether or not McCarthy remains speaker, his ascension to the top post in the chamber is unlikely to be remembered as the 118th Congress’ defining moment.
McCarthy, despite multiple defeats before winning the speakership race and his previous condemnation of former President Trump’s role in the 2021 insurrection, still praised Trump.
The person elected to lead Congress and look out for America’s best interests praised an alleged would-be over thrower of the U.S. government just two years and one day after the Trump-inspired insurrection in which several lives were lost.
Although a congressional committee recommended criminal charges and numerous members of Trump’s inner circle testified to the committee about the former president’s guilt.
McCarthy, upon being presented with the speaker’s gavel, remarked, “I do want to especially thank President Trump.”
“Do not doubt, in my opinion; in fact, no one should doubt his influence. He was with me from the beginning. So, thank you, President Trump.
However, two years earlier, McCarthy held that “the President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
McCarthy’s moments aside, many people who watched the inauguration of the 118th Congress said that Jeffries, the first African American to lead a major political party in Congress, demonstrated true leadership.
“McCarthy’s speech should have contained some of the words Jeffries spoke,” Dean Obeidallah, a lawyer and host of a self-titled SiriusXM show, opined.
“[McCarthy] should have made it clear he denounces autocracy, fascism and the grave threats facing our democracy by Trump and the MAGA wing of the Republican Party,” Obeidallah insisted.
The radio host wasn’t alone.
“Rep. Hakeem Jeffries speaks truth to power,” declared attorney Ben Crump.
“Politicians must remember that they represent U.S. All of us. Let’s encourage our lawmakers to work together and pass policy that helps all American people and that preserves our democratic form of government,” Crump said.
“This is what leadership looks like, sounds like and does,” podcaster Chris Hahn tweeted.
Strategist Steve Schmidt added, “The early morning hours of January 7 marked the rise of a new American leader: Hakeem Jeffries. The thunderclap was the magnificence of his voice rising in defense of the American creed and his taking his place in a long line of liberty’s defenders.”
Actor Rob Reiner simplified the outpouring of accolades resulting from Jeffries’ speech.
“A star is born,” Reiner declared.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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