Letitia James is sworn into office as the first African American and first woman to serve as New York State Attorney General. The New York Amsterdam News publishes it 100th “Trump Must Go!” editorial. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam grants clemency to Cyntoia Brown, 30, who is serving a life sentence for murder; she says she was a victim of sex trafficking. Brown is released in August but will remain on supervised parole for 10 years. The Democrats take control of the House of Representatives while the Republicans increase their control of the U.S. Senate. Black 27-year-old Jameek Lowery dies 48 hours after he walks into a police headquarters in Paterson, N.J. sweating, foaming at the mouth asking officers for water. The incident is caught on video and posted to social media. Police say Lowery died from spinal meningitis, however, his family believes the death is suspicious. Pres. Donald Trump makes the case for his proposed border wall in a primetime televised address to the nation. Black, Long Island high school teacher Andrea Bryan files a lawsuit against the Commack School District after she says she’s endured racial discrimination and harassment. The federal government shutdown which began on Dec. 22, 2019 ends totaling 35 days; it impacted more than 800,000 government workers. The shutdown was caused by the U.S. Congress and Pres. Donald Trump not agreeing on an appropriations bill to fund the operations of the federal government for the 2019 fiscal year, or a temporary continuing resolution that would extend the deadline for passing a bill. It is the longest U.S. government shutdown in history. Multiracial Stage and screen actor Carol Channing passes away at age 97. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announces her candidacy for U.S. president. Renewed interest in the R. Kelly sexual abuse case occurs after cable network channel Lifetime airs the six-part documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” The series included detailed accounts from Kelly’s alleged victims and their families. Protest are held outside of Sony Headquarters in New York demanding that RCA Records drop Kelly. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute rescinds activist and author Angela Davis’s Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award, saying she “does not meet all of the criteria.” Critics say the decision was made because of Davis’s vocal support for Palestinian rights and the movement to boycott Israel. Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julían Castro announces his candidacy for U.S. president. Dominique Sharpton Bright, the daughter of Rev. Al Sharpton, welcomes her first child, Marcus Al Sharpton-Bright, with husband Dr. Marcus Bright. Hampton University and Columbia University’s women’s basketball team play each other in matchup in the city. Hampton lost 88-63. Police in Portland, OR kill 36-year-old, Black Andre Gladen who was schizophrenic and legally blind. His family believes police used excessive force. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg announces his candidacy for U.S. president. The Congressional Black Caucus kicks off the new year with 55 members, the most it’s ever had. Shock erupts in Brooklyn when allegations surface that the son of Bishop Ben Gibson of Progressive Baptist Church of Brownsville, Matthew Gibson, sexually abused his own 14-year-old daughter. Attorney General James wins in a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to demand a question about citizenship information on the 2020 Census. 7 Grains Health Food in Harlem celebrates over 40 years in business. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated on what would have been the civil rights leader’s 90th birthday. Amsterdam News editor Nayaba Arinde is honored by the Plainfield Area Club of Frontiers International Inc.’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day program in New Jersey. Former Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke is sentenced to 81 months in prison for fatally shooting Laquan McDonald in 2014. A terrorist attack by the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab in Nairobi, Kenya at DusitD2 Hotel and the Commission on Revenue Allocation leaves more than 20 people dead. Political consultant Roger Stone is charged with seven counts in the 2017–2019 Special Counsel’s investigation, including obstruction of justice and witness tampering. City officials announced they will pay $3 million to the family of Kalief Browder, a Black man who remained in jail at Rikers Island for three years unable to make bail. Two years after his release, when he was found not guilty, he committed suicide. Black actor and singer Jussie Smollett, best known for his role on the primetime drama “Empire,” claims to be the victim of a racially charged and homophobic attack in Chicago. Grammy Award-winning R&B singer James Ingram dies at age 66. The U.S. Postal Service unveils its 42nd stamp in the Black Heritage series honoring famed tap dancer and actor Gregory Hines. Former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes dies at age 83. As a polar vortex moves through the city dipping temperatures well below freezing, thousands of NYCHA residents are without heat. Flights are halted into New York’s LaGuardia Airport due to shortages of air traffic control staff, as a result of the ongoing government shutdown. Hip hop activist Nehanda Abiodun dies at age 68. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., in partnership with its Educational Advancement Foundation, announces the establishment of the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund, which is created to bolster the financial stability of Black colleges. Former DC37 leader Stanley Hill dies at age 82.


Black History Month begins with the theme “Black Migrations” focusing on “the movement of African Americans to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities.” New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker announces his candidacy for U.S. president. The Taliban kills at least 47 people in attacks while Afghan–Taliban peace talks are taking place in Moscow. Hundreds of inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn are literally left in the cold when a technical malfunction causes electricity, heat and hot water to be shut off. The Department of Justice investigates. Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari won his reelection bid in Nigeria. A report released to the public by an independent panel of former prosecutors reveals that the way NYPD officers are disciplined needs improvement. Civil rights leaders call for the resignation of white, Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam after photos of what appears to be him in blackface in his college yearbook surface. He denies it is him in the photo. At the same time, two women accuse Virginia’s Black Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

Pres. Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un meet for the second time in Vietnam. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren announces her candidacy for U.S. president. The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13 to 3 in Super Bowl LIII. Singer Gladys Knight and rapper Big Boy face backlash after agreeing to perform during the game’s halftime show over the NFL’s alleged blacklisting of Colin Kaepernick. New Jersey lawmakers pass a bill raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. U.S. Amy Klobuchar announces her candidacy for U.S. president. Black soap opera actor Kristoff St. John, best known for his role as Neil Winters on “The Young and the Restless,” dies at age 52. Mexican drug boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is found guilty in federal court in New York on drug trafficking charges. Family members and activists commemorate 20 years since the 1999 police shooting death of Amadou Diallo. Pres. Trump delivers his second State of the Union Address. Female Democratic members of Congress and their guests wore white to bring attention to women’s issues during the speech. The Democratic Response was given by 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams. Hall of Fame outfielder and the first Black manager in Major League Baseball dies at age 83. Luxury brand Gucci receives backlash when it advertises a black turtleneck sweater, which included a partial balaclava with red lips, which many Twitter users criticized as resembling blackface. Black celebrities boycott the brand. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity inducts Minister Louis Farrakhan into its organization. President Trump declares a national emergency to free up funds for his proposed border wall. At the Grammy Awards, big winners included Childish Gambino who wins four awards including Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “This is America.” Motown’s 60th anniversary was celebrated at the event and a tribute was given to the late Aretha Franklin. Regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in New York and New Jersey, Lynn Patton, begins her month-long stay in various NYCHA apartments to better understand issues plaguing public housing in the city. Rev. Jesse Jackson hosts his 22nd Annual Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project Economic Summit in the city. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner is released from prison after serving an 18-month sentence on charges of transferring obscene material to a minor. He is sent to a halfway house upon his release. White supremacist James Jackson is sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 2017 murder of Black, 66-year-old Timothy Caughman. James traveled from Baltimore to New York to kill a Black person. He killed Caughman with a sword. Amazon announces it will pull out of the agreement to construct a new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. Chicago police discover evidence indicating that actor and singer Jussie Smollett paid two brothers, Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, $3,500 to stage a bias attack against him in January. He is charged by a grand jury with a class 4 felony for filing a false police report. Colin Kaepernick and the NFL reach a financial settlement in Kaepernick’s collusion complaint against football’s owners to keep him off the field. The NAACP celebrates 110 years since its founding in New York City. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders announces his candidacy for president. Seventeen candidates run for City Public Advocate in a special election after Letitia James becomes State Attorney General. Black City Council Member Jumaane Williams wins the seat. The NYC Commission on Human Rights releases new legal enforcement defining discrimination on the basis of natural hair and hairstyles that disproportionately impact Black people. Sen. Kamala Harris declares her candidacy for U.S. president. Rev. Al Sharpton meets with her in Harlem. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Illinois charges singer R. Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse over the abuse of four women, three of whom were minors, between 1998 and 2010. Kelly pleads not guilty and is released on $1 million bond. At the 91st Academy Awards winners include “Green Book” a film about the Southern tour of Black classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley. Mahershala Ali takes home the Best Supporting Actor awards for his work on “Green Book” and Regina King wins Best Supporting Actress for her work in “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Filmmaker Spike Lee earns his first Oscar for the Best Adapted Screenplay category for “BlacKkKlansman” and Ruth Carter wins the Oscar for Best Costume Design for her work in “Black Panther.”


The Sacramento County District Attorney’s office in California announces that there will be no charges filed against the police officers Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet for the 2018 fatal shooting of Black, 26-year-old Stephen Clark. The officer shot Clark in the backyard of his grandmother’s home while he had a phone in his hand. The documentary “Leaving Neverland” is broadcast on HBO focusing on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege they were sexually abused as children by singer Michael Jackson. In his first television interview since being charged with sexual assault of young women, singer R. Kelly sits down for a televised interview with TV journalist Gayle King. The interview goes viral as Kelly aggressively denies any wrongdoing. Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 bound for Nairobi, crashes shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa killing all 157 people on board. A Penns Grove, N.J. middle school science teacher is suspended over allegations that he called Black students at the school the n-word. Tuskegee University inaugurates its first female president, Dr. Lily D. McNair. Pres. Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen tells Congress that Trump had advanced knowledge of leaked Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential campaign. Harlem restaurateur Melba Wilson is elected president of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. After spending one month living in NYCHA housing, HUD regional director Lynne Patton calls public housing conditions a “national emergency” “humanitarian crisis” and advocates for the federal government to step in. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Yvette Clarke reintroduce legislation to commission a statue honoring late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. A mass shooting kills 51 people and injures 50 others during terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Australia-born Brenton Harrison Tarrant is named the suspect. Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke announces his candidacy for the 2020 U.S. presidential election. NYCHA tenants and activists are angered over Pres. Trump’s lack of funding for public housing in his 2020 budget. The first phase of lead service replacement program breaks ground in Newark, N.J. Seven teens from the Tri-State area are among 100 teens from across the nation who attend the 12th annual Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE magazine at Walt Disney World. A cyclone in Mozambique kills 1,073 people and causes mass flooding in southern Africa. The retrial begins for Black, 22-year-old Chanel Lewis, who is accused of killing white, 30-year-old Karina Vetrano in Howard Beach, Queens in 2016. His first trial ended in a hung jury. Students at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx lock staff out of the school to protest racism on campus. Education advocates want answers after attempts by the city to diversify the New York’s specialized high schools fail as only 500 Black and Latino students out of nearly over 4,700 are accepted. Fifty people are accused of bribery and fraud to secure admission to elite colleges in a major scandal including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. Immigrant activist Patricia Okoumou is sentenced to probation and community service for climbing the Statue of Liberty in protest over the Trump administration’s immigration policies in 2018. Nearly 400,000 people march in central London in protest against Brexit. A summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Pres. Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign is published by the U.S. Attorney General William Barr. The summary concludes there was no collusion with Russia but does not exonerate Trump for obstruction of justice. Marisa Powell sues Verizon claiming that she was stalked and harassed by a white co-worker in July 2015 who put a noose over her desk in Morristown, N.J. Famed New York radio personality Bob Slade dies at age 70; he is best known as co-host of the radio show “Open Line” on 107.5 FM WBLS. Chicago’s First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats office reaches a deal with Jussie Smollett’s defense team in which prosecutors drop the charges on Smollett; charges by the actor and singer by the FBI are also dropped. Brooklyn City Council Member Robert Cornegy is named the World’s Tallest Politician by Guinness World Records. Civil rights activist, trailblazing newspaper founder and publisher of the Carolina Peacemaker Dr. John Marshall Kilimanjaro Sr. dies at age 89. Former New York Knick and broadcaster Cal Ramsey dies at age 81. The United Negro College Fund holds its 75th anniversary celebration in the city. The organization raises $500,000 at the event. Newark’s first Black mayor Kenneth Gibson dies at age 86. The 50th NAACP Image Awards are presented in Los Angeles. Rapper Nipsey Hussle is fatally shot outside his store “Marathon Clothing” in South Los Angeles at age 33.


Chanel Lewis is found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder, one count of first-degree murder, and one count of sexual abuse in the 2016 murder of Karina Vetrano. Politicians and supporters of Lewis say the DNA evidence used in the case to point him to the murder was compromised. He is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Lori Elaine Lightfoot is elected as the first female Black mayor of Chicago. Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network kicks off its 28th annual national convention at the Sheraton New York Times Square. Dr. Gloria Irene Williams Norman Clark, the wife of famed New Jersey educator Joe Clark, passes away at age 75. Westfield High School Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson after he donated bone marrow in New Jersey at age 44. Three historically Black churches are burned in less than two weeks in Louisiana. New Jersey U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker introduces a bill to study reparations. Former New York State Comptroller H. Carl McCall announces his retirement as chairman of the board of trustees for the State University of New York. Educator and activist Stan Kinard passes away. Malakai Hart, a student at the private Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx, files a racial discrimination lawsuit against the school when another student blatantly used the ‘n’ word. Faculty fail to take any action and the students stage a sit-in at the school. A major fire engulfs Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, resulting in the roof and main spire collapsing. A public memorial is held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was murdered in March. Eric Ronald Holder is arrested and charged with Hussle’s murder. The full 448-page Muller Report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States Presidential Election is released in redacted form. Talk show and gossip maven Wendy Williams files for divorce from her husband of over 20 years, Kevin Hunter. In a major comeback, pro golfer Tiger Woods wins his fifth Masters title. Black NYPD detectives, Jon McCollum and Roland Stephens, who are now retired, and Theodore Coleman, who is now deceased, win a $700,000 racial discrimination lawsuit against the NYPD after being passed over for promotions given to their white coworkers. Black Columbia University student Alexander McNab alleges racial profiling by campus security at Baruch College when he is handcuffed and accused of not being a student at the Ivy League school. His arrest is caught on cellphone video that goes viral. Celebrating 100 years since his 2019 graduation, Rutgers University dedicates a plaza in honor of Paul Robeson. The dedication is part of year-long celebration for Robeson at Rutgers. The northeast corner of 123rd Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue in Harlem is named after acting and civil rights couple Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. Filmmaker John Singleton, best known for his 1991 film “Boyz n the Hood,” dies of a stroke at 51. Areas of Williamsburg and Borough Park in Brooklyn with a high concentration of Orthodox Jews, are impacted with high cases of measles due to a lack of immunization. Mayor Bill de Blasio declares a public health emergency. Former Vice President and U.S. Sen. Joe Biden announces his run for the 2020 presidential election. The Legal Aid Society sends a letter to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, stating that the NYPD’s collection of DNA evidence from city citizens is racially bias and a violation of civil rights. Biracial 19-year-old Kaliegh Garris of Connecticut wins Miss Teen USA 2019. She is one of the five Black women who win five major pageants. Students at Howard University protest rising gentrification in the neighborhood where the historically Black university is located in Washington, D.C.


Black North Carolina native Cheslie Kryst is crowned Miss USA 2019. Social media giant Facebook purges Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan from all of its platforms, including Instagram. NYCHA announces they plan to close or consolidate more than a dozen of its senior centers across the city. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announces her resignation from office amid state and federal investigations into whether she used bulk sales of her self-published children’s book to disguise kickbacks. A fire at the Frederick E. Samuel Apartments public housing development in Harlem kills four children and two adults. Longtime Queens District Attorney Richard Brown dies at age 86. Black golfer Tiger Woods receives the Medal Of Freedom from Pres. Trump at the White House. A rule is proposed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that would allow only families in which every member is a citizen or legal resident to qualify for subsidized housing. Congressional members from New York say the rule will have a detrimental impact on public housing in the city. A school shooting occurs at the STEM School Highlands Ranch in Douglas County, Colorado, leaving one dead and seven injured. Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is released from a halfway house after serving an 18-month prison sentence. He is required to register as a sex offender due to pleading guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor. Protesters block the FDR drive in Manhattan at the start of the departmental trial for NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who killed Eric Garner in 2014. Mayor Bill de Blasio announces his candidacy for U.S. president. Abortion is outlawed in the state of Alabama, except for cases where a woman’s life is threatened, or a lethal fetal anomaly is present. Civil rights activist Unita Blackwell dies at age 86. Farah Louis is elected to the City Council representing Brooklyn’s 45th District. The seat was vacated by Jumaane Williams after his election as Public Advocate. Lindy hop dancer Norma Miller, known as the Queen of Swing, dies at age 99. Black billionaire Robert F. Smith announces he will pay off the school debts of the 2019 graduating class at the historically Black, all-male Morehouse College during his commencement speech. Singer Melvin Edmonds, the brother of Babyface Edmonds and founding member of the R&B group After 7, dies at age 65. Rev. Dr. LaKeesha Walrond of Harlem’s First Corinthian Baptist Church becomes the first Black woman appointed president of the New York Theological Seminary. Over the Memorial Day weekend, six people are shot in two separate incidents over the span of just a few hours, leaving one man dead in Brooklyn. The New York Foundling, one of the city’s oldest and largest social service providers, celebrates its 150th anniversary. The streaming television miniseries “When They See Us” based on the case of the Exonerated Five airs on Netflix. The miniseries is created, co-written, and directed by Ava DuVernay. The Alvin Ailey School celebrates its 50th anniversary. New Jersey native Lonnie Bunch III is named the first African American to serve as head of the Smithsonian Institute. AmNews health columnist Dr. Gerald Deas receives an honorary Doctor of Science from SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey charges Newark police officer Jovanny Crespo with manslaughter for the fatal shooting death of 46-year-old Gregory Griffin during a traffic stop in January. Twelve people are killed, including the perpetrator, and six are injured in a shooting at a municipal center in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


Legendary Queen of Creole Cuisine, Leah Chase, dies at age 96. Beauty company Sephora closes all of its U.S. stores for one day for racial sensitivity training for its staff. The closure stems from an April incident where R&B singer SZA accused the store of racial profiling. The African Union suspends Sudan’s membership “with immediate effect” after the Khartoum massacre. Central Park 5 prosecutor Linda Fairstein resigns from various non-profit board roles, and both the Board of Trustees of Vassar College and her book publisher drop her after the premier of “When They See Us” on Netflix about the Exonerated 5. Fairstein writes an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal claiming the men are not “totally innocent.” Forbes magazine names Jay-Z the first hip hop billionaire. The Board of Trustees at Bloomfield College in New Jersey selects Dr. Marcheta P. Evans as the school’s next president. She is the first woman and African American to lead the college. A series of shootings at the start of the summer prompts activist to call for a cease-fire during Gun Violence Awareness Month. The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is held in France and is won by the United States. Fans come together in Brooklyn for the official street naming ceremony of Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace Way at St. James Place and Fulton Street. Former President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama produce an exclusive podcast for Spotify. The U.S. sends an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East as tensions build with Iran. West Point Cadet Christopher Morgan, 22, of West Orange, N.J. is killed in a vehicle crash that injured 21 others at the military academy. A helicopter makes a crash landing onto the roof a 54-story skyscraper in midtown Manhattan killing pilot Tim McCormack. In the saga to close Rikers Island, community members and elected officials give their input on creating smaller jails throughout the city at a public hearing. The Apollo Theater marks its 85th anniversary with its Annual Spring Gala raising over $2 million for the theater. Black elementary school teacher Tammy Jordan sues her school system in Mount Laurel, N.J. over racial abuse allegations. New York State opens its first proton therapy center in East Harlem. The New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly pass a historic set of rent reforms strengthening rent laws and tenant protections. Reforms include abolishing vacancy decontrol and vacancy bonus, the limiting of rent increases to three percent for major capital improvements and preventing landlords from raising rents when leases are renewed. At the 2019 Tony Awards, Black Broadway veteran André De Shields is awarded his first Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his role at Hermes in “Hadestown.” Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. faces charges of misdemeanor forcible touching and sexual abuse after allegedly groping a woman at a bar in Times Square. The Plain View Project, a database that chronicles police use of social media, reveals questionable social media post of thousands of police officers across the nation resulting in many being terminated by their departments. The popularity of the miniseries “When They See Us” prompts viewers to call for the reopening of the case history of prosecutors Linda Fairstein and Elizabeth Lederer. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance declines to reopen their cases. Lawmakers hold the first congressional hearing in more than a decade on reparations for African slavery. Witnesses at the House Judiciary subcommittee included actor and activist Danny Glover, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. The world marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day commemorating the day when Allied forces invaded northern France by means of beach landings in Normandy during World War II in 1944. George Gresham is re-elected to another three-year term as president of 1199SEIU. Former New York State Chief Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg announces his candidacy for Manhattan District Attorney challenging incumbent District Attorney Cy Vance. State lawmakers vote to eliminate criminal penalties for public possession and use of marijuana. Former chief counsel to the Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Alphonso David, is appointed as the first African American to serve as president of the Human Rights Commission. Voters in New York head to the poles for the primary elections. Notable winners include Farah Louis who wins the City Council seat vacated by Jumaane Williams who was elected Public Advocate. Eric Logan, 54, is fatally gunned down by police in South Bend, Ind. He is shot twice in the torso by Sgt. Ryan O’Neill who claims Logan was brandishing a knife and ignored orders to put it down. Eighteen new signs are placed in New Brunswick, N.J. bearing the name “Paul Robeson Blvd.” replacing what used to be Commercial Avenue. White supremacist James Alex Fields Jr., who plowed his car into counter demonstrators opposing a white nationalist rally in Virginia in 2015, is sentenced to life in prison for killing Heather Heyer during the attack. Millions gather in the city for the annual Gay Pride Parade. The event marks 50 years since the Stonewall uprising of 1969 and New York is host city for WorldPride.


New Jersey’s minimum wage increase goes into effect by13 percent to $10 an hour as part of the state’s five-year phase for a $15 hourly minimum wage. Tennis great Venus Williams was defeated at Wimbledon by 15-year-old Cori Gauff. Harlem resident Alelia Murphy celebrates her 114th birthday making her the oldest living person in the United States. While on tour, legendary singer Stevie Wonder announces to fans he’s receiving a kidney transplant. Black newspaper the Chicago Defender announces its ceasing its print edition and going completely digital. Billionaire financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking and additionally charged by the Southern District of New York with sex trafficking and with conspiracy to traffic minors in Florida and New York. A month later he is found dead in his jail cell. The medical examiner rules the death a suicide, however, Epstein’s lawyers dispute the ruling. The NAACP hosts its 110th National Convention in Detroit. U.S. diplomat Patrick Gaspard receives the organization’s Spingarn Medal. A report reveals that the city failed to do repairs and move kids out of NYCHA apartments that tested positive for lead. Multiracial Disney star Cameron Boyce dies from complications of epilepsy at the age of 20. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer approves the bill to designate a portion of a highway in Detroit as the “Aretha L. Franklin Memorial Highway” after the legendary singer, who died in 2018. Gov. Cuomo signs an equal pay law for men and women eliminating a “loophole” allowing gender discrimination in pay for the same jobs. U.S. Attorney General William Barr decides not to federally charge the officers involved in the 2014 police shooting of unarmed Eric Garner. Filmmaker Spike Lee celebrates the 30th anniversary of his 1989 film “Do The Right Thing” with a block party in Brooklyn where the movie was shot. Hurricane Barry strikes the Gulf Coast, killing one and causing over $500 million in damage. Former Queens Borough Pres. Melinda Katz is elected Queens District Attorney in a special election after the death of Richard Brown. Officials declare Katz the winner after a recount in a close race between her a public defender Tiffany Cabán. Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas pleads guilty to stealing campaign funds and is removed from office by the city council. Rapper A$AP Rocky is arrested and found guilty of assault in Sweden during an altercation with two men. He receives a suspended prison sentence and must pay $1,300 in damages. Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, former head of the Sinaloa Cartel, is sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years. ICE officials announce deportation raids in at least nine cities across the country including New York City. Local 32BJ union president and labor activist Héctor Figueroa dies at age 57 from a heart attack. Kyle Brag is elected to be the new president of the union. A massive power outage on the Upper West Side causes 72,000 ConEd customers to lose electricity for five hours. A judge rules that 19-year-old Bronx high school student Abel Cedeno is guilty of manslaughter charges after fatally stabbing Matthew McCree and injuring another student, Ariane Laboy, in 2017. Cedeno says he was the victim of bullying. New York raises its statewide smoking age to 21. Congress votes to condemn Pres. Donald Trump’s use of social media to spread racist messages after he goes on a tirade on Twitter about four female Congresswomen of color in the U.S. House. Later at a rally when he mentions Minnesota’s Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar––who was born in Somalia––attendees chant, “Send her back!” and Trump does little to calm the crowd down. City officials declare a heat emergency when the heat index reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit for several days. Three students from the University of Mississippi, members of Kappa Alpha fraternity, post a photo on Instagram taken at the Emmett Till Memorial that is widely seen as racist; they are not charged with a hate crime. Four people, including the shooter, are killed and twelve others injured in a mass shooting in Gilroy, California. Former longtime Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau dies at age 99. Two students at Morehouse College take to social media alleging that they were sexually harassed and assaulted by the college’s interim director of housing and residential education and dean, DeMarcus K. Crews. Several Police officers in Philadelphia and St. Louis are fired from their departments because of racist social media posts found by the nonprofit Plain View Project. The AmNews hosts a community discussion at its offices with Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Pres. Trump launches a feud with the Rev. Al Sharpton on Twitter. Gunfire erupts at the end of the Annual Old Timers Event in Brownsville, Brooklyn leaving one person dead and 10 others wounded. Gov. Cuomo signs a marijuana decriminalization bill into law, reducing the penalty for unlawful possession of marijuana to a violation punishable by a fine. He also creates a process for some people with marijuana-related convictions to expunge their records. Singer R. Kelly is arrested on 18 federal counts including child pornography, kidnapping and forced labor. Black-owned clothing store Moshood celebrates its 25th anniversary with a fashion show at Brooklyn’s Restoration Plaza. The 45th Annual Harlem Week celebration takes place.


Alphonso David begins his new position as the first African American president of the Human Rights Campaign; he previously served as counsel to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. During his departmental hearing, NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who killed Eric Garner with a fatal chokehold in 2014, is fired from the force by Commissioner James O’Neill after a judge recommends his termination. Another officer on the scene, Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, gets to keep her job but loses 20 vacation days. Garner’s family wants a statewide ban of chokeholds by police.

Professor emeritus and past chairman of the Department of Education at Baruch College, Dr. Donald H. Smith, dies at age 87. A mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas leaves 22 people dead and 24 others injured. Ten people, including the perpetrator, are killed and 27 others injured in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. Famed Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison dies at age 88 in the Bronx from complications of pneumonia. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam commutes Cyntoia Brown’s original sentence to 15 years and releases her. Brown, a sex abuse victim, was serving time for killing a man when she was 16 who paid her to have sex with her; she feared for her life during the encounter. An investigation by Gothamist and WNYC finds that there are significant levels of lead contamination from deteriorating paint inside four city elementary schools. Hampton 2019 Commission hosts a three-day event bringing thousands to Virginia to commemorate 400 years since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the United States in 1619. The NAACP commemorates the occasion with a journey with several members from Virginia to Ghana. The largest U.S. immigration raids in a decade result in 680 arrests in Mississippi.

Violence erupts in the city leaving five people dead in a 24-hour period in Brooklyn and Queens. The New York Lawyers for Public Interest filed a lawsuit against the NYPD for access to footage of the fatal shooting of Susan Muller, who called the police after her home was being robbed. Officers fired at her 50 seconds after entering the home. Harlem Restaurant Week kicks off with 35 eateries participating. Mogul Jay-Z is criticized after his company, Roc Nation, goes into a joint entertainment venture with the NFL. Critics say the partnership counters the movement to get former NFL player Colin Kaepernick back on the field. In East Rochester, N.Y. white 59-year-old Glen Nicodemus sprays a 14-year-old boy with a hose outside of his home and proclaims that he is a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Police say he sprayed the water because he thought the teen, along with several other children, were allegedly harassing his mother. The MTV Video Music Awards take place in Newark, N.J. Protesters demonstrate outside of the event to make those attending the event aware of the city’s water crisis. Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Lynn Patton tours public housing facilities. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announces she’s dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary. The first recorded death due to vaping is announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, amid concern over a mystery lung disease in the United States, linked to the use of e-cigarettes. Queens City Council member Donovan Richards sponsors a bill requiring NYPD officers to collect data on the race of people they pull over during traffic stops. The Trump administration issues new rules that reject applicants for temporary or permanent visas for failing to meet income standards or for receiving public assistance such as welfare, food stamps, public housing or Medicaid. Mathematician Katherine Johnson, best known being a “hidden figure” as an orbital mechanics for NASA, turns 101. Seven people are killed, and 21 others wounded in a shooting in West Texas, between the cities of Midland and Odessa. The suspect is shot and killed by police outside a movie theater in Odessa.


The 52nd Annual West Indian American Day Parade takes place in Brooklyn. After state lawmakers ban religious exemptions as a reason for not getting children vaccinated, some 26,000 children across the state are not able to attend the first day of school. A new state law expunging low-level marijuana offenses from criminal records goes into effect. The expunging of the offenses impacts over 900,000 New Yorkers. Actor-comedian Kevin Hart suffers major back injuries after his car goes off a California highway and rolls down an embankment. A whistleblower complains that during a July phone call, Pres. Donald Trump promised Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelensky $250 million if he would reopen an investigation into Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden. The White House denies doing anything wrong. After three deaths, the CDC recommends against the use of e-cigarettes. E-cigarette company JUUL Labs implements a series of new measures to combat the issue of youth access, appeal and use of vapor products. Pres. Donald Trump calls off planned peace talks with the Taliban at Camp David after they claim responsibility for bombings in Kabul which killed a U.S. soldier. The City Planning Commission moves forward with plans to close Rikers Island and replace it with smaller jails across the city. Abel Cedeno, the Bronx man who fatally stabbed his 15-year-old classmate Matthew McCree and injured a 16-year-old student Ariane Laboy inside a classroom at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in 2017 over bullying allegations, is sentenced to 14 years in prison. The nation commemorates 18 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Hurricane Dorian hits the Bahamas with 185 mph winds leaving widespread devastation and over 70 people dead. The storm causes a total of $7 billion in damage on the island leaving 70,000 people homeless and 13,000 homes destroyed. In turn, evacuees from the island and other Caribbean nations come to the United States amid immigration controversies in the Trump administration. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez officially endorses Bernie Sanders for president at a rally held in Long Island City, Queens. An international strike and protest led by young people and adults is held three days before the latest U.N. Climate Summit. In New York, thousands of students attend a large local demonstration. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority chapters host fundraising events around the world for its HBCU campaign raising $1 million in 24 hours for Black colleges. 32BJ SEIU Senior Political Director Candis Tolliver is named president of the union after the death of former Pres. Héctor Figueroa. Black sports talk radio host Tony Paige retires from WFAN after almost 25 years at the station. The 50th African American Day Parade takes place in Harlem. Nearly 50,000 union members of the United Automobile Workers go on strike against General Motors. Pres. Trump approves deployment of several hundred troops and military equipment to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates following an attack on Saudi oil refineries. Civil rights activist, Juanita Abernathy, the wife of Ralph Abernathy, dies at age 87. The MTA issues a $51.5 billion proposal to improve the public transit system, the largest in the agency’s history. NYCHA residents storm the public housing agency’s management offices to demand overdue repairs to apartments. U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announces the start of a formal impeachment inquiry against Pres. Donald Trump. The Jersey City Free Public Library’s main branch is renamed after its first African American director, Priscilla Gardner. Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, testifies before Congress about the lack of accountability by the justice system five years after her son was killed by police. State Sen. Brian Benjamin and Assemblyman Walter Mosley introduce the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold bill, which would make chokeholds by police officers illegal and punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Mayor Bill de Blasio announces he’s dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. presidency. Black scientist Mary Ego Edozien dies at age 78. After living in New York for over 50 years, civil rights legend Claudette Colvin announces she’s moving back to her hometown in Alabama. Jazz pianist and composer Harold Mabern Jr. dies at age 83. The Harlem School of the Arts breaks ground on a $9.5 million renovation project. The renovations include a public space for the community. The corner of Grand Avenue and Lafayette Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn is named after late jazz legend Randy Weston. Black opera singer Jessye Norman dies at age 74.


Sybil Claire Williams Clarke, the wife of late African American historian John Henrik Clarke, dies at age 97. White former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger is found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting her Black, unarmed neighbor Botham Jean in 2018. Guyger was coming home from work when she went into Botham’s apartment believing it was hers and thinking he was a burglar. A key witness in the case and Botham’s neighbor, Joshua Brown, is later fatally gunned down two days after Guyger’s sentencing. Police claim Brown was involved in a drug deal that turned deadly and three men are arrested for the shooting. A report finds that 1,700 Roman Catholic priests accused of being sex offenders live freely in the United States. The second phase of the New York’s “Raise the Age” law goes into effect removing 17-year-olds who have committed criminal acts from automatically proceeding as adults in the criminal justice system. Federal judge Victor Marrero orders Trump to turn over eight years of tax returns, Myah Autry is caught on cellphone video illegally entering the lion exhibit at the Bronx Zoo and taunting the animal. She is charged with two counts of criminal trespassing. Jazz pianist and composer Larry Willis dies at age 76. Actress and singer Diahann Carroll dies at age 84. Progressive listener-supported New York radio station WBAI is abruptly shut down by its owners, the Pacifica Foundation. The organization claims a lack of funding is to blame for the shutdown, however staffers believe owners are trying to silence the stations views. Staffers file a lawsuit in state court challenging the shutdown before a judge orders Pacifica to return control of the station back to WBAI. Media mogul Oprah Winfrey donates $13 million to Morehouse College, the largest endowment ever at the all-male Black college. Steven Reed is elected the first Black mayor of Montgomery, Ala. The city is best known for its history of segregation and as the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement. Fire Rescue Chief Malcom Moore is promoted to deputy chief of the FDNY making him the first African American deputy chief promoted in the FDNY in 30 years. Former Zimbabwean Pres. Robert Mugabe dies at the age of 95. Reports surface that Igor Fruman of Belarus and Lev Parnas of Ukraine worked with Rudolph Giuliani in trying to convince the Ukrainian government to find dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. 100,000 people in northern Los Angeles County, Ca. are evacuated as the Saddle Ridge Fire rages. Black Fort Worth, Texas resident Atatiana Jefferson is fatally shot by a white police officer through the window of her own home after police are called to the residence for a wellness check. The officer who fired, Aaron Dean, resigns and is later indicted for murder. Four people were killed, and several others are injured during a shooting at an illegal gambling site at Triple A Aces private and social rental space in Brooklyn. Gov. Andrew Cuomo causes controversy when he uses the “n-word” during and on-air radio interview using the word as a reference to another derogatory term about Italians. Black Baltimore Rep. Elijah Cummings dies at age 68; he was chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform. Cummings becomes the first African American lawmaker to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol building. Rev. Dr. Lakeesha Walrond of Harlem’s First Corinthian Baptist Church is inaugurated the first female and first Black female president of the New York Theological Seminary. The City Council approves a plan to close Rikers by 2026 and replace it with four smaller jails located closer to the city’s main courthouses throughout the city. The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act goes into effect giving tenants new protections. The new laws make it harder for landlords to evict tenants and strengthens protections for New Yorkers living in rent regulated apartments. Late Black journalist Gwen Ifill, who died in 2016, is honored with a Forever Stamp by the U.S. Postal Service as part of its Black Heritage series. Residents are angered after white ArtShackBrooklyn owner Dany Rose displays what appears to be hanging Black children in the front windows of her Waverly Avenue home in Brooklyn. Dany Rose later resigns from her position at the art studio. Former NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo sues the city to get his job back after he is fired by the department for the 2014 killing of Eric Garner. Black politicians condemn Pres. Trump’s use of the word “lynching” to describe his impeachment inquiry. New Yorkers head to the polls for early voting for the first time in New York State for the general election. Two 17-year-old boys of Indian descent call two Black girls the n-word and urinate on them during a football game at Lawrence High School in New Jersey. Former Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Detroit dies at age 90. Conyers political career spans over 50 years and he was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Communities across the nation, including in New York City, mobilize for a “Day of Outrage” against police brutality demanding justice for African American men and women who lost their lives at the hands of police. Actor/comedian John Witherspoon dies at 77. Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of FPWA Jennifer Jones Austin is named co-host of public affairs radio program “Open Line” on WBLS replacing longtime co-host Bob Slade who died in March. California Gov. Gavin Newsom declares a state of emergency after 200,000 people evacuate wildfires in Northern California that destroy 79 structures including 31 homes. A viral video shows NYPD officers aggressively trying to control a melee with Black youths in a Brooklyn subway station. A bystander, Black 15-year-old Benjamin Marshall, is brutally attacked by a white police officer. Marshall and his family sues the city for $5 million. The American Dream Meadowlands entertainment complex in East Rutherford, N.J. opens its doors after nearly 10 years since its groundbreaking. The complex includes an amusement park, water park (featuring the world’s largest indoor wave pool), indoor ski slope and shopping mall. The NCAA announces they will allow college athletes to be paid. The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is killed in a U.S. special forces operation. Bronx City Council Member Andy King is suspended for violating the Council’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, Council Rules and the City Charter’s Conflicts of Interest Laws over allegations intimidated and retaliated against staff who came forward with charges. Princeton Theological Seminary’s Board of Trustees in New Jersey announces the implementation of a multi-year action plan to repent for its ties to slavery totaling $27 million. Black students at the school say more should be done. Congress votes 232–196 in favor of formally proceeding with an impeachment inquiry against Pres. Trump.


“Harriet,” a biographical film about slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman, hits theaters to rave reviews with Cynthia Erivo in the title role. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke drops out of the 2020 presidential race. Transcripts are released from the closed-door hearings of the impeachment inquiry against Pres. Trump revealing that witnesses were concerned about a quid pro quo holding up millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine in return for dirt on the Bidens. Former Dekalb County Police officer Robert Olsen is sentenced to 12 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Black U.S. Air Force veteran Anthony Hill in 2015. Hill suffered from mental illness and was naked and unarmed at the time of the shooting. WBAI goes back on the air with local programming after a judge orders the owners, the Pacifica Foundation, to return control of the station back to WBAI. After nearly three years on the job, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill steps down to retire. Dermot F. Shea is announced as his replacement. A group of people carrying a white nationalist flag are caught on security cameras trying to film in front of a new memorial to lynching victim Emmett Till in Mississippi. During the general election, Jumaane Williams wins reelection securing his position as the city’s Public Advocate taking 76 percent of the vote. Farah Louis wins a spot on the City Council representing the 45th District, an office vacated by Williams. Melinda Katz is elected the first woman to be Queens Attorney General after the passing of for D.A. Richard Brown. Local voters approve a ballot measure that would establish ranked-choice voting in primary and special elections for all local offices beginning in 2021. James Johnson is named the first African American to serve as corporation counsel for New York City. The father of Atatiana Jefferson, Marquis A. Jefferson, dies a month after his daughter was killed by a police officer through the window of her home in Fort Worth, Texas. Congress announces its awarded the four African American women known as the “Hidden Figures,” Christine Darden, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan, who worked at NASA during the Space Race, Congressional Gold Medals. Black educator and author Ernest J. Gaines dies at age 86. Beloved Brooklyn great-grandmother Hyacinth Bourn turns 103. Public impeachment hearings against U.S. Pres. Donald Trump begin in the U.S. Congress. After three years of not playing, the NFL sets up a workout for former quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick. He later cancels the workout over concerns of their not being public and scouts from seven NFL teams watch him at a public throwing session at an Atlanta, Ga.-area high school. Black former Gov. of Massachusetts Deval Patrick announces his candidacy for president. Roger Stone is found guilty on all seven felony counts over lying to Congress and witness tampering. Black Olympic track and field athlete Harrison Dillard dies at age 96. Former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg declares his run for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Just days before launching his campaign, Bloomberg makes a public apology at Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center for his support of the NYPD’s racially bias practice of stop-and-frisk. A series of racial incidents at Syracuse University against Black students causes them to demonstrate with sit-ins on campus and demands that administrators take more aggressive actions. Martin Luther King III visits Harlem’s Zoe Ministries, Sylvia’s Restaurant and Harlem Hospital’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pavilion. HBCU marching band the Morgan State University’s Magnificent Marching Machine performs at the 93rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Kyle Williams is indicted for the July shooting at the Old Timers event in Brooklyn that left one person dead and 10 others wounded. His charges include second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault. New Jersey’s Legislative Black Caucus introduces legislation to establish the “New Jersey Reparations Task Force.” HBCU’s Morehouse College, Spelman College and Prairie View A&M University receive a share of a $3 million in grant from the Carnegie, Mellon and Rockefeller Foundations. A. Philip Randolph Campus High School in Harlem hosts a gala for alumni to celebrate the school’s 40th anniversary. Celebrities gather at the Helen Hayes Theater on Broadway for memorial services for the late Diahann Carroll, who died in October. The southeast corner of 135th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard is named in honor of late Black former New York Secretary of State of New York and political leader Basil A. Paterson. Rev. Dr. James Walker Wyns, pastor of Christ United Church, passes away. Several aggressive policing incidents on the subway cause a mass protest at the 125th Street subway station causing the station to shut down. Nearly 60 demonstrators are arrested. A public memorial service is held in New York for the late Toni Morrison, who died in August. The service is held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and attendees include Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Harlem resident and the nation’s oldest person, Alelia Murphy, dies at the age of 114.


Earl Spain, the owner of Harlem’s once popular jazz club St. Nick’s Pub, dies at age 89. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris drops out of the 2020 presidential election. The City of Newark sues New York City for relocating homeless people from the city to Newark and other cities without telling city officials. A study reveals that proposed rules by the Trump administration controlled U.S. Department of Agriculture would force 500,000 households with children to lose SNAP benefit eligibility and 1.1 million would receive a smaller benefit. New Yorkers receiving SNAP could see a 17.2 percent reduction in benefits. Crain’s New York Business published a story accusing Assemblyman Michael Blake of using his per diems and travel vouchers to travel around New York State and the country using taxpayer money. Newark political giant Calvin West dies at age 87; West was Newark’s first African American to win a citywide election. Rev. Dr. James Walker Wyns, pastor of Christ United Church, passes away. Retired NYPD Lt. Edwin Raymond and several other retired Black offices file a lawsuit against the NYPD claiming that former Captain Constantin Tsacha directed them to racially profile Black and Latino citizens between 2011 and 2015. Rapper Juice Wrld dies at age 21 after allegedly taking several unknown pills including Percocet. More than four years after sections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were taken out by the Supreme Court and following four attempts under a House led by Republicans, a bill to reinstate voting protections passes. Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa is crowned Miss Universe and Toni-Ann Singh of Jamaica is crowned Miss World making them the fourth and fifth Black women crowned in major pageants, including Miss USA, Miss America and Miss Teen USA.

Democrats in the U.S. Congress announce formal charges against Pres. Trump, accusing him of abusing power and “obstructing Congress.” Congress approves two articles of impeachment against Trump, making him the third U.S. president to be impeached. Serving a prison sentence for rape, actor/comedian Bill Cosby, loses his bid for an appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. A mass shooting occurs at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, N.J. Six people are killed, including the two assailants, and three are injured. The alleged suspects killed during the attack, David Anderson and Francine Graham, are suspected to have ties to the Black Hebrew Israelites. The city pays $625,000 to Jazmine Headley, a Black woman who had her one-year-old baby snatched out of her hands during an arrest in 2018 at a Human Resource Administration center in Brooklyn. Sixteen-year-old Karol Sanchez is abducted by a group of men while walking with her mother in the Bronx. After an Amber Alert is designated for her return, the teen is found unharmed confessing that the abduction was staged. Representatives from transit rider advocacy groups protest against Gov. Cuomo’s plan to add 500 police to the city’s public transit system. Critics say it will lead to delays and over-policing of Black and Latino citizens. An investigation reveals that there may be two mass grave sites from the 1921 Tulsa race riots. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signs two bills allowing 80,000 convicts out on parole or probation to vote and clearing many of their criminal records of low-level offenses. R. Kelly pleads not guilty to federal charges of bribery related to the 1994 purchase of a fake ID for late singer Aaliyah in order to obtain a marriage license when she was underaged. Queens 14-year-old Amara Wilks receives severe injuries to her legs after running away from Kevin Ramtahal, a man she did not know. Wilks was hit by a car when she ran into oncoming traffic while fleeing the attack. Tessa Majors, a freshman at Barnard College, is stabbed to death in Morningside Park. The alleged suspects involved are minors and officials raise concerns about their treatment by law enforcement. Cynthia Erivo is nominated for a Golden Globe award in the Best Actress category for her role as Harriet Tubman in the film “Harriet.” Popa Wu, a.k.a. Freedum Allah, a long-standing member of The Five Percenters and hip hop figure, dies at age 63. Former Nigerian presidential candidate and human rights activist Omoyele Sowore is set free confirming that he had settled bail terms stemming from an arrest on treason charges. He is rearrested and set free nearly three weeks later. The Franklin Avenue and President Street subway stations in Brooklyn are both renamed to honor Medgar Evers College. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signs a new law making discrimination based on hairstyles associated with race illegal. Immigrant advocates file a federal lawsuit seeking to jointly block three interrelated “Public Charge” rules publicized by Pres. Trump’s administration blocking a family-based immigration system that allows all immigrants to come to America regardless of their financial means. Georgia Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis announces he’s been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.