Track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson tests positive for cannabis use following her 100m final at the U.S. Trials, invalidating her win and making her ineligible to compete in the 100m at the 2020 Olympics. Clinton Hill Plaza in Brooklyn is renamed after late educator and advocate Jitu K. Weusi. Jovenel Moïse, the president of Haiti, is assassinated at his residence. A group of 28 foreign mercenaries are alleged to be responsible for the killing. Haiti’s First Lady, Martine Moïse, is also shot multiple times in the attack. Claude Joseph is named interim prime minister.
Eric Adams is officially declared the winner of the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City. The highly contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus begins spreading widely. The spread of the variant delays plans for full reopenings and other recovery efforts. The CDC reverses its mask mandate in parts of the country after seeing high COVID-19 infection rates. The number of deaths from COVID-19 surpasses 4 million globally. Violence is on the rise in New York City and nationally. During the Fourth of July weekend, there were about 233 people killed and 618 shooting victims injured in over 500 shootings across the nation. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state leaders declare gun violence a public health emergency in New York State. Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones refuses a position at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and accepts a tenured position at Howard University as the inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Journalism. Walter E. Hussman, which UNC’s journalism school is named after, raised concerns about the school hiring Hannah-Jones to serve as head of the school leading to Hannah-Jones’ decision. Zaila Avant-garde, 14, of Harvey, La. becomes the first African American to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The word that wins Avant-garde the competition is “murraya.” Blue Origin, founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, successfully conducts its first human test flight, with a reusable New Shepard rocket delivering four crew members into space. The U.S. Postal Service unveils its new Forever Stamp honoring the African American originated art form of tap dance. West 132nd Street between Frederick Douglass and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevards is co-named in honor of civic leader Evelyn Thomas. Rapper, DJ and producer Biz Markie (Marcel Theo Hall) dies at age 57 from a stroke.
NYCHA launches the Team for Enhanced Management Planning and Outreach program dedicated to outreach, inspection, and remediation in NYCHA apartments where there is known or presumed lead-based paint. Ahead of the upcoming school year, the CDC releases new mask guidelines for schools that allow vaccinated students to opt out of wearing masks. Masks are still required for students who aren’t vaccinated. The New York State Supreme Court hears arguments for why Mayor Bill de Blasio and other top city officials should be made to testify in the judicial inquiry into Eric Garner’s police killing. Mayor Bill de Blasio announces that all city health workers are required to get vaccinated or must get a weekly COVID test. Civil rights activist and Harlem native Bob Moses dies at age 86. The 2020 Summer Olympics are held in Tokyo, Japan. The games had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the games, athletes, officials, the press, and other staff are required to practice social distancing, hygiene, the wearing of face masks and capacity limits for spectators. Despite safety efforts, there are over 785 COVID-19 cases at the games. America takes home the most medals at 113, including 39 gold medals. Black Olympians Simon Biles (gymnastics) and Naomi Osaka (tennis) cite issues with mental health during the games. The International Swimming Federation bans the use of Soul Caps used by Black swimmers with natural hair. The ban is viewed as racist and discriminatory.