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A bill pushed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that would prohibit public schools and private businesses from making white people feel “discomfort” when they teach students or train employees about discrimination in the nation’s past received its first approval. It takes aim at critical race theory though it doesn't mention it explicitly. Florida's Senate Education Committee approved the bill on party lines Tuesday, with Republicans in favor and Democrats against. Democrats argued the bill isn’t needed. DeSantis called critical race theory “crap" last month and said he would seek legislation that would let parents sue schools and employees sue employers if they were subject to its teachings.

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz has disbanded an alumni advisory committee that was created after a 2020 investigation found evidence of racial bias against Black players in his program and bullying behavior by some of his assistants. The Gazette reports that Ferentz’ decision to end the committee came shortly after its leader, former offensive lineman David Porter, suggested it was time for Iowa to part ways with Ferentz. But Ferentz said he had decided to overhaul the committee last fall before Porter made his comment to other committee members in a text message.

Thousands of miles away from the Tigray war a lawsuit between trustees and clergy over the language of services is tearing apart an Ethiopian church in Ohio. The ethnic tensions in the church reflect how the war in Ethiopia has fueled divides across the more than 3 million members of the Ethiopian diaspora. The situation is splintering families, friends and communities. The war has already killed an estimated tens of thousands of people. And Tigrayans are now starving under a government blockade.

A substitute teacher in Florida has resigned after students said she yelled a racial slur in the classroom. Pinellas County school officials say the 59-year-old white woman continued using the slur after going to the principal’s office Wednesday at Lealman Innovation Academy. Principal Connisheia Garcia is Black, as are about 75% of the school’s students. District spokeswoman Isabel Mascareñas says the principal reported the substitute teacher and she was put on a do-not-use list. She says the human resources department was setting up a review when the teacher resigned.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter is pushing for federal voting rights legislation and has slammed “false narratives under the banner of critical race theory.” Rev. Bernice King said Monday that there is a urgent need for voting legislation, and that it is crucial to the world that the U.S. stands as a democratic nation. Her remarks came ahead of a scheduled visit Tuesday to Georgia by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to talk about voting rights. King spoke at an event at The King Center in Atlanta to announce eight days of programming for the upcoming holiday in honor of her father.

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The three white men sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery will soon face standing trial a second time. Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, were sentenced Friday by a Georgia Superior Court judge. While that concludes the state's murder case in the 25-year-old Black man's slaying, they still face trial on federal hate crimes. Department of Justice prosecutors have charged them with violating Arbery's civil rights when they chased the running Black man in pickup trucks in February 2020, a pursuit that ended with Travis McMichael blasting Arbery with a shotgun. The federal case will feature evidence that Arbery's killers were motivated by racism that didn't come out in the state trial. 

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Sidney Poitier, who played roles of such dignity and intelligence that he transformed how Black people were portrayed on screen, becoming along the way the first Black actor to win an Oscar for best lead performance and the first to be a top box-office draw, has died. He was 94. Few movie stars had such an influence both on and off the screen. Before Poitier, the son of Bahaman tomato farmers, no Black actor had a sustained career as a lead performer or could get a film produced based on his own star power. Before Poitier, few Black actors were permitted a break from the stereotypes of bug-eyed servants and grinning entertainers.

  • Updated

Sidney Poitier, who played roles of such dignity and intelligence that he transformed how Black people were portrayed on screen, becoming along the way the first Black actor to win an Oscar for best lead performance and the first to be a top box-office draw, has died. He was 94. Few movie stars had such an influence both on and off the screen. Before Poitier, the son of Bahaman tomato farmers, no Black actor had a sustained career as a lead performer or could get a film produced based on his own star power.

New data from the music industry confirms what a lot of people long suspected — 2021 was a very good year for Morgan Wallen, Adele and vinyl. MRC Data’s year-end report, presented in collaboration with Billboard, shows that Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” ended 2021 as both the top country album of the year and the most popular album across all genres, with 3.2 million equivalent album units earned during the year. That’s despite Wallen being rebuked by the music industry after a video showed him blurting out a racial slur. Adele’s “30” recorded the highest album sales debut in four years.

A rabbi who was badly wounded in a deadly antisemitic attack at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Southern California has been sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for running a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme. Yisroel Goldstein was sentenced Tuesday in San Diego. Prosecutors say that in a years-long scam, he collected $6.2 million in fake donations to the synagogue and affiliates, returned most of it while providing phony tax receipts, and kept some $620,000 for himself. Goldstein lost his right index finger in the 2019 attack on the synagogue that killed a congregant and wounded two others. John Earnest, a 22-year-old white supremacist, was sentenced last week to life in federal prison.