Black caucus gives Clyburn nod in Dem race
The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus said Monday that Rep. James Clyburn, the highest ranking African American in the House Democratic leadership, should be the vanquished party’s second in command in the next Congress.
“Jim has spent a lifetime working to bridge what divides us,” Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., wrote in a letter urging the Democratic Caucus to vote for the South Carolina Democrat. “In the 112th Congress, we will need Jim’s dedication to thwart Republican efforts to repeal all of the progress we have made.”
Lee’s letter comes after Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland released the names of 30 rank-and-file Democrats who endorsed him for the same post. Hoyer’s letter, authored by Rep. Linda Sanchez of California, praised him as a listener with the ability to stand up to Republicans.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she would seek the top Democratic job of minority leader, which set up a race between Clyburn, currently the No. 3 as Democratic Whip, and Hoyer, the No. 2 as House Majority leader. Whatever the outcome of that race, House Democrats could see the same leadership roster that was ousted from power in last week’s midterm elections.
Not all members of the CBC were falling in line behind Clyburn. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., released a statement on the Hoyer-Clyburn race endorsing neither one.
Textbook rentals no cure for rising college costs
Textbook rental programs at many of the nation’s colleges aren’t yet the solution to save students from the high costs of their books.
Bookstores are limited by the number of titles available to rent and publishers who commonly put out frequent new editions. And there are professors who believe their right to choose course materials is essential to academic freedom.
The National Association of College Stores says about half the nation's major colleges and university bookstores offered textbook rentals this fall, a dramatic increase from last year’s 300 stores. They’re hoping to cut the $600-$900 students spend buying books each year.
But while students can rent books for as much as half the price of new ones, there are complaints that even rental prices are too high.
1st black woman elected to US House seat in Ala.
Democrat Terri Sewell has become the first black woman to be elected to the U.S. House from Alabama.
Sewell won the 7th District seat last week, defeating Republican businessman Don Chamberlain. Early, unofficial returns showed her pulling about three-fourths of the vote.
Sewell, who is from Selma and practices law in Birmingham, won easily in the heavily black and Democratic district, which stretches from downtown Birmingham into west and southwest Alabama. She said the district needs better jobs and health care.
She fills the seat left vacant by U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, who lost a bid to become Alabama’s first black governor.
Sewell was a friend of first lady Michelle Obama at Princeton University and knew President Obama at Harvard Law School.
Justice sought for 1923 Mo. lynching victim
Columbia community leaders are working to correct the record in the 1923 lynching of a black University of Missouri janitor accused of raping a white professor’s daughter.
James T. Scott was charged with the crime eight days after the 14-year-old girl was assaulted. He insisted he was mistakenly identified.
But before he could face a trial, a mob of 500 men stormed the Boone County jail, took Scott out and hanged him near the campus. Thousands watched.
Scott’s death certificate has a handwritten note listing “committed rape” as a secondary cause of death. A local documentary filmmaker has petitioned state recordkeepers to strike that note.
And Second Baptist Church leaders are raising money to add a headstone to Scott’s small grave marker in Columbia Cemetery. The church held a fundraiser Sunday night.
Accused Somali pirates headed to US trial
Five Somali men accused of launching an armed attack on a Navy ship in the seas off Africa go to trial in Virginia this week in what legal scholars say is the first piracy trial in modern history in a U.S. courtroom.
Armed with assault rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, the defendants are accused of firing at the USS Nicholas, believing the Navy frigate was a merchant ship.
When the Nicholas returned fire, the men fled in their skiff from the battle-tested, 453-foot ship before they were captured.
U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis will preside over jury selection in Norfolk, home to the world’s largest naval base and homeport to the Nicholas. Piracy carries a mandatory life term.
UA dedicates tower, plaza to 1st black students
The University of Alabama has dedicated a clock tower and plaza in honor of the three black students who helped desegregate the campus a half-century ago.
In a ceremony last week, the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower was named in honor of the first black student to be accepted and enrolled at the university, in 1956. And the Malone-Hood Plaza was named in honor of James Hood and the late Vivian Malone Jones, who enrolled in 1963 despite then-Gov. George Wallace’s “stand in the schoolhouse door.”
The clock tower and plaza are outside the renovated Foster Auditorium where Wallace made his futile stand.
Foster, Hood and family members were on hand along with Malone's daughter, son and other relatives, including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who is married to Malone’s sister.Associated Press