2011: The year that was, as covered by the Amsterdam News

Compiled Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2012, 2:07 p.m.
2011: The year that was, as covered by the Amsterdam News


  • Author, educator and scholar Dr. Manning Marable dies at 60. His death come days before the release of his controversial book "Malcolm X: A Life Reinvented."
  • The December 12th Movement holds a protest at the United Nations against the United States' involvement in Libya. Singer Phoebe Snow dies at age 60.
  • The Rev. Al Sharpton hosts the 20th Annual National Action Network National Convention; President Obama speaks at the gala.
  • The University of Connecticut defeats Butler University in the NCAA basketball tournament.
  • A report released by the NAACP shows that 2.3 million inmates in the prison system are people of color; they advocate for inmates to be moved into treatment programs instead of prison.
  • President Obama announces he will run for re-election in the 2012 presidential race.
  • After over three months on the job, the mayoral-appointed Schools Chancellor Black steps down.
  • Deputy Mayor for Education Dennis Walcott steps in and takes her place. Walcott is considered favorable because of his past work as an educator and previous service as president of the New York Urban League.
  • An Air France Airbus collides with a Comair Bombardier at JFK Airport. There were no injuries. Two of the five men who were wrongfully imprisoned in the Central Park Jogger case, Raymond Santana and Khary Wise, demand compensation from the city.
  • Tornadoes bring havoc across the southern United States, killing nearly 300 people.
  • Shockwaves are felt across the tri-state area when 25-year-old LaShonda Armstong drives herself and her four children into the Hudson River after an incident with her boyfriend. Of the children, ages 10, 5, 2 and 11 months, only the eldest survives.
  • Outrage is felt across the city when a 7-year-old special education student is handcuffed in Queens. Police report that the first-grader had a pair of scissors in his hand and was cuffed for his own safety and that of other students.
  • President Obama releases his long-form birth certificate in response to media coverage that questions his U.S. citizenship.
  • The U.S Court of Appeals declares that the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jama is unconstitutional.
  • The world watches as Prince William marries Catherine Middleton in London; an estimated 2 billion people watch the royal wedding.


  • President Obama announ-ces that Osama bin Laden, the founder of Al-Qaeda responsible for the 9/11 attacks, has been killed by an American military operation in Pakistan.
  • The president comes to the city to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Ground Zero.
  • The UFT and NAACP file a lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court to stop the Department of Education from closing 22 schools.
  • The president of the International Monetary Fund and French presidential candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn is charged with raping a New York City hotel maid.
  • Black businessman Herman Cain announces he will seek the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential election. A lawsuit is filed by Alvin Sykes to reopen the case of the assassination of Malcolm X.
  • The suit stems from a new book that names another suspect responsible for his death.
  • A $50 million lawsuit is also filed by Linward X Cathcart, a former minister with the Nation of Islam, against the estate of Dr. Manning Marable over information in his book.
  • After 25 years on the air, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" broadcasts its final episode. Winfrey launches her cable channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
  • A tornado in Joplin, Mo., kills over 160 people and injures 1,150. Poet, singer and writer Gil Scott-Heron dies at 62. The NAACP sues charter school Harlem Success Academy over its students being educated in a co-located school.
  • The civil rights organization accuses that the charter school is operating under better conditions in the same buildings as lower-graded district schools.
  • A community center in Queens is opened in the name of NYPD shooting victim Sean Bell.
  • After 73 years in operation, all-male Rice High School closes in Harlem, holding its final graduation; school officials cite that a lack of money keeps the school from staying open.
  • Actress Clarice Taylor, known for her role as Cliff Huxtable's mother on "The Cosby Show," dies at 93.