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Cyril Josh Barker

Stories by Cyril Josh

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Parents of dead Georgia teen continue fight

Kendrick Johnson was found dead inside of a gym mat at Lowndes County High School In January

Black fraternity chapter suspended amid discrimination allegations

Black fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi is at the center of a controversy over alleged discrimination of a gay student

Use of stun guns, pepper spray in Texas schools gone wild

Several civil rights groups in Texas are urging the state to end the use of tasers and pepper spray in schools

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More filming coming to Harlem

more film and television projects are using Harlem as a backdrop

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Rosa Parks anniversary celebrated

Sunday, Dec. 1 marked the 58th anniversary of the day Rosa Parks took the bold move of not giving up her seat to a white person on a segregated public bus in Montgomery, Ala. The moment launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott and was a landmark in the Civil Rights Movement, and in commemoration of the 58th anniversary, tributes to the civil rights icon overflowed across the country.

Did the boycott have an effect as shoppers spent less on Black Friday?

Numbers released on Black Friday spending indicate that sales were at their lowest since 2009. The results beg the question of whether Black consumers withholding their dollars put a dent in the pockets of major retailers. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that purchases at stores and websites fell 2.9 percent to $57.4 billion during the four days, beginning with the Nov. 28 Thanksgiving holiday. More than 141 million unique shoppers have already shopped or will have shopped by the end of the big Thanksgiving weekend, up from 139 million over the same timeframe last year.

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Taking care of business: Jennefer Witter

Jennefer Witter is taking care of business. Serving as CEO and founder of the Boreland Group, a public relations firm, she was recently named one of the nation’s “10 Most Successful Black CEOs and Entrepreneurs” by Madame Noire magazine. At Ketchum, an award-winning global communications firm, where she served as vice president, she launched a subpractice that generated $1 million in revenue in its first year. She has represented numerous businesses throughout her career, from Silicon Valley startups to Fortune 500 companies, including IBM and FedEx.

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De Blasio appoints William Bratton as Police Comissioner

In one of his most important appointments, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio selected Bill Bratton to serve as NYPD Comissioner

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Marissa Alexander released on bond, still faces trial

Floridian mother Marissa Alexander is free on bail in stand your ground trial

"Stepping Into the Future” film to highlight teachings of Bob Avakian

A celebration and screening of the new documentary film “Stepping Into the Future”

Queens man rows 5,000 miles to raise awareness for HIV testing

Victor Mooney brings awareness to HIV testing

Past NYC coalition for public education meeting held before de Blasio takes office

Dec. 5 marks the final meeting of the Coalition for Public Education (CPE) under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration

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Imani's creations to host special anniversary expo

Imani’s Creations is hosting a special anniversary event

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Shop on Small Business Saturday

While Black Friday is sure to bring tons of shoppers, small businesses are looking to cash in on Saturday

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125th Street lights up

Harlem’s 125th Street is all aglow thanks to the 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID)

Marissa Alexander offers conditions for release

The Black Floridian woman who was facing 20 years in prison for shooting warning shots at her abusive ex-husband is reportedly offering conditions to a judge if she is released

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Organizing for change

Leah James is well on her way to becoming one of the next city leaders

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Black organizations protesting Black Friday

Some groups are asking Black shoppers to hold their dollars this Black Friday

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2013 in Hip Hop

Music executive Wise McGriff breaks down 2013's hits and misses in hip hop.

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City Council holds hearing on ‘shop-and-frisk’

The City Council’s Committee on Civil Rights and the Committee on Oversight and Investigations held an oversight hearing on the recent allegations of racial profiling at Macy’s and Barneys.

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Transition Tent giving New Yorkers voice in mayoral changeover

thousands of New Yorkers are making their way to SoHo to the “Transition Tent” to participate in an opportunity to talk about the issues that matter most following the election of the new mayor, Bill de Blasio

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Greg X: Saving our youth from drugs

Based in South Jamaica, Queens, Greg, 50, is founder of the Brotherhood Foundation and works with the King of Kings Foundation.

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Domestic abuse charges land Zimmerman new charges

Reports indicate that Zimmerman was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated assault after pointing a gun at his pregnant girlfriend, putting two lives in danger.

Obamacare forces HBCU to drop student health insurance

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is being blamed for one historically Black college having to cut out its health care plan for its students.

Fundraiser for New Heights Academy Brings Out Big Names

On Tuesday, DJ Kid Capri and R&B/soul singer Leela James were in attendance at “Limitless: Honoring Our Scholars’ Promise,” a fundraiser event that provides resources for student support, school programming and scholarships.

Queens Community House Celebrating Thanksgiving

The Queens Community House (QHC) is hosting a community Thanksgiving gathering on Sunday, Nov. 24 from 3-6 p.m. at 108-25 62nd Drive in Forest Hills. QHC is a private, nonsectarian, nonprofit agency that has served the residents of Queens for almost 40 years.

Healthfirst Celebrates Opening of New Washington Heights Office

Healthfirst held a ceremony celebrating the grand opening of its Washington Heights community office on Wednesday. A special ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in front of the office at 1467 St. Nicholas Ave. between West 183rd and 184th streets.

Black organizations calling for "Black-Out" on Black Friday

Several Black organizations, including the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, the United Negro Improvement Association and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, are calling for Blacks not to spend money on Black Friday.

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Parents clash with school administrators over Common Core

When the words “Common Core” come up in a conversation with parents in New York, they oftentimes answer back with a negative response.

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City Council holds hearing on 'shop-and-frisk'

The City Council's Committee on Civil Rights and Committee on Oversight and Investigation held a hearing Wednesday at City Hall to address racial profiling at high-end retailers.

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Make way for Ladyy Cee

A rising star in the R&B world, Ladyy Cee is looking to make her mark on the music scene

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NYPD promotes firs Black deputy chief Kim Royster

History was made in the NYPD as Kim Royster was promoted to deputy chief, making her the third African-American woman to achieve the rank

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Stop-and-frisk more court action ahead

As the city moves forward with its fight against the ruling that would put the breaks on the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk practice, the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association (PBA) pledges to move forward with a lawsuit to throw out the ruling as the city changes mayors.

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Donnell Nichols: Dedicating life to emergency services

Donnell Nichols has been in the spotlight for leading the search for Avonte Oquendo, the 14-year-old autistic boy who has been missing for weeks.

Freedom on the horizon for Marissa Alexander

All eyes are back on Florida as the case of Marissa Alexander gets underway.

Deltas in Staten Island host affordable care act forum

The Staten Island Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, in association with the CSI Liberty Partnerships Program, is hosting “How the Affordable Care Act Impacts You and Your Community” on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island, CUNY, 2800 Victory Blvd., Building

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Search continues for Avonte Oquendo

The search now in its seventh week, the family of 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo is clinging to hope that the autistic teen will be found. Oquendo ran out of his school in Long Island City, Queens, on Oct. 4.

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Bipolar man missing in Jersey

Police in New Jersey are looking for Jamel Robinson, a United States Navy veteran with a bipolar condition who was discharged.

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Educators stress the crucial years of early childhood learning

Black children are not getting the preparation they need to excel in school during the early years of their development

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Election changes direction of city

New York City’s political landscape saw one of its largest makeovers in over 20 years

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NAACP announces opposition to Proposition 6

The New York State Conference of the NAACP is warning against a proposed move to raise the mandatory age for judges

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Tamika Mallory: The beauty of activism

Tamika Mallory’s name is synonymous with the Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network (NAN). Working for the national civil rights organization for 14 years and serving as its executive director for the last four, she recently stepped down to pursue her own goals and aspirations.

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Unanswered questions in death of Black Ga. teen Kendrick Johnson

The case involving the death of Black 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson in south Georgia is gaining national attention due to the family’s claims that the student-athlete was murdered. However, authorities have closed the case.

Gala to benefit Sylvia & Herbert Woods Endowment Scholarship Fund

The Sylvia & Herbert Woods Scholarship Fund marked its 12th anniversary by awarding eight college-bound students with scholarships at its annual gala on Oct. 5. The event is also recognized Dress for Success Worldwide CEO Joi Gordon and Melba Wilson, owner of Melba’s Restaurant.


The Bedford Central Community Development Corporation is hosting its eighth annual Home Buyer Seminar Series. The course is designed for first-time and experienced home buyers.

Supreme court justice Sonya Sotomayor to speak at City College

Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic to serve on the United States Supreme Court, will participate in a conversation about her memoir, “My Beloved World,” on Monday, Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m. in the Great Hall at Shepard Hall, on the City College of New York campus. The event is part of the Samuel Rudin Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture series.

Black college fair held in Harlem

Last weekend, Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem held its annual college fair. The church’s African-American Experience Forum hosted.

M.S. 113 Ronald Edmonds learning center fights charter colocation

On Thursday, Oct. 24, there will be a public meeting at M.S. 113 Ronald Edmonds Learning Center (300 Adelphi St., Brooklyn), as they discuss the colocation of the center with New Public Charter Elementary Compass Charter School, as proposed by the Department of Education.

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Columbia expansion throughout Harlem update

As Columbia University continues its 20-year development and building of its Manhattanville campus in West Harlem, the Ivy League school recently released a publication updating the community on progress, along with its benefits and services

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NYPD search for Avonte Oquendo taken over by volunteers

Nearly three weeks have passed since the disappearance of autistic 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo, and the search for the missing teen has not let up, even as the NYPD lightens up on its efforts.