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2016; year of the African American Woman

by Timothy Moore/UIN As Serena edges closer to being named the greatest female athlete ever, it is clear that there are a larger than normal number of African American women doing some exceptional things in 2016. I will get to the others, but Serena is deserving of all the accolades that are finally coming her way. She has won more major tennis championships than most countries. Think about that for a minute. She was born with gifts but she maximized that with years and years of hard work.  A testimony to her popularity is her 6 million twitter followers. I am sure many men tune in into her matches just to watch her sculptured physique chase down tennis balls (smile). Although she may be the greatest tennis player, she is not invincible. She lost the in the first round at the Rio Olympics this year. Serena lost, but many African American women won big time at the Olympics. They made a major contributions to the medal count for the United States. What was impressive is the fact that they won Gold Medals in areas that were once thought to be outside the realm of high performance of African Americans. The events included Fencing, Swimming, and the Shot Put. They have changed the face of gymnastics with Simone building on what Gabby did four years ago. Their supreme grace and beauty is undeniable. My favorite of course, were the ladies of Track and Field. From the powerful young lady with the gentle voice who won the Shot Put, to the captivating Hurdlers and Sprinters. They are collegiate and well spoken,... read more

Set-top-box issue, so you won’t be the last to know

Tom Wheeler, Chairman/FCC There’s never been a better time to watch television in America. We have more options than ever, and, with so much competition for eyeballs, studios and artists keep raising the bar for quality content. But when it comes to the set-top-box that delivers our pay-TV subscriptions, we have essentially no options, creating headaches and costing us serious money in rental fees. That makes no sense, which is why I’m sharing a proposal with my fellow commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission to change the system. Ninety-nine percent of pay-TV subscribers currently lease set-top boxes from their cable, satellite or telecommunications provider, paying an average of $231 a year for the privilege, according to a recent analysis. The collective tab is $20 billion annually in rental fees. In a recent study, 84% of consumers felt their cable bill was too high. What they may not realize is that every bill includes an add-on fee for their set-top boxes. We keep paying these charges even after the cost of the box has been recovered because we have no meaningful alternative. Pay-TV providers will be required to provide apps — free of charge — that consumers can download to the device of their choosing. Earlier this year, the FCC launched a process to unlock the set-top-box marketplace. We were motivated by the desire to give consumers relief, but we were also mandated to take action by Congress and the law, which says that consumers should be able to choose their preferred device to access pay-TV programming. Over the past seven months, the Commission conducted an open proceeding where we... read more

Jack Daniels Whiskey empire build on knowledge from slaves

By CLAY RISENJUNE 25, 2016   LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Every year, about 275,000 people tour the Jack Daniel’s distillery here, and as they stroll through its brick buildings nestled in a tree-shaded hollow, they hear a story like this: Sometime in the 1850s, when Daniel was a boy, he went to work for a preacher, grocer and distiller named Dan Call. The preacher was a busy man, and when he saw promise in young Jack, he taught him how to run his whiskey still — and the rest is history. This year is the 150th anniversary of Jack Daniel’s, and the distillery, home to one of the world’s best-selling whiskeys, is using the occasion to tell a different, more complicated tale. Daniel, the company now says, didn’t learn distilling from Dan Call, but from a man named Nearis Green — one of Call’s slaves. This version of the story was never a secret, but it is one that the distillery has only recently begun to embrace, tentatively, in some of its tours, and in a social media and marketing campaign this summer. “It’s taken something like the anniversary for us to start to talk about ourselves,” said Nelson Eddy, Jack Daniel’s in-house historian. Frontier history is a gauzy and unreliable pursuit, and Nearis Green’s story — built on oral history and the thinnest of archival trails — may never be definitively proved. Still, the decision to tell it resonates far beyond this small city. For years, the prevailing history of American whiskey has been framed as a lily-white affair, centered on German and Scots-Irish settlers who distilled their surplus... read more
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