Hidden Figure Dorothy Vaughan didn’t hide from principle

Even before she became known to many through the newly released movie Hidden Figures, the few who knew Dorothy Vaughan well could attest to this: Principle was everything. As the first African-American female supervisor at NASA, the first to master NASA computer program FORTRAN and train an integrated class of engineers to use it, and one of the first black women to work at NASA as a mathematician, her principles…

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Revisiting the past reveals gentrified history of Va

Even as the gentrification of downtown Newport News reveals itself, the gentrification of the St. Paul’s quadrant of Norfolk has begun. As the comprehensive plans to create a wider range of retail, more public “tot lots” and community squares come to fruition, many are weary; promises of diversity in the past have gone by the wayside. Though the plan for the St. Paul’s quadrant does not do much to squelch…

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The Million Man March still relevant 20 years later

For veteran and educator Darnell Wiggins, his attendance at the first Million Man March was magical. “It was amazing to see so many people come together for one cause,” he remembered. “The atmosphere was positive, and it really spoke to the potential we had for growth.” Twenty years later, on October 16, The Million Man March, sponsored by the Nation of Islam, will converge upon the capitol once more, refocused…

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Peace Walk calls on all to take a stand against violence

This Friday, Aug.14, the seven cities of Hampton Roads have the chance to stand unified against violence. The 2015 “Stop the Violence” Peace Walk kicks off at 6 p.m. at Splash Park in Portsmouth in effort to unify the region against police brutality, as well as community violence. Coordinators Lakeesha Atkinson, who also began the non-profit community outreach organization Believe, Pray, Overcome, Monica Atkins and Rick Hoggard, reignited the march…

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Veteran officer talks improving police and community relations

Veteran law enforcement officer Robert Reynolds uses the same logic for baking muffins with his son as he does for bridging the gap between cops and the communities they serve: follow the recipe.  Step 1: Use home grown ingredients Like any good recipe, bonds between police and the public, begin with the right ingredients. “I think it starts at home,” said Reynolds of both law enforcement and the general public,…

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Increased images of police brutality give birth to social media activists

Had Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. lived during this era, “By any means necessary” and “I have a dream” would have circulated in Facebook memes and trending Twitter hashtags. Though the civil rights of yesteryear is not exactly the same in 2015, recent years have shown a surge in visible misconduct by law enforcement that crosses racial lines. As more and more images of police brutality flood cyber airwaves,…

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LGBT Community remains closeted in church

Recent years have seen a turn of the tide for acceptance of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. For Keontae Davis, 21, the road traveled of a gay black male hasn’t been the strife engulfed war zone it is sometimes made out to be. “I haven’t had no problems with people,” said the Old Dominion University pre-med student. “Most people knew I was gay. They just were waiting for…

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Made for More dispels myths about young black males

Made for More from Kamilah Brown on Vimeo. The Myth The February 2012 death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford Fl. wasn’t the first incident of its kind, nor the first time a shooter would be exonerated for shooting an unarmed black male. But it set of a media hailstorm of coverage, gave birth to the hashtag #blacklivesmatter and the Million Hoodies movement, and illuminated a trend that seemed to grow…

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Dr. Phil Hines: Shattering the myths of aging

Documentary from Kamilah Brown on Vimeo. On a typical day, Dr. Phillip Hines might do a bit of dining with friends, attend a weekly study of Greek, translating biblical texts, then round off the day with a cooking lesson back at home. None of this sounds strange to the average person Until they hear that the retired English professor is just five months into his 90th year. On Aging Old?…

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Silencing the whisper of Alzheimer’s Disease

Silencing the whisper of Alzheimer’s from Kamilah Brown on Vimeo. A field of colorful wildflowers greeted patrons of this Saturday’s A Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Port Warwick. Each color represented someone in the fight for Alzheimer’s research: orange for supporters, yellow for caretakers, purple for those who lost the fight, and blue for victims of the disease. A Walk to End Alzheimer is the American Alzheimer’s Association’s signature annual…

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Making Strides in Breast Cancer Walk raises awareness with fun

Making Strides Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness from Kamilah Brown on Vimeo. Saturday’s Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News began with hope. Walkers dressed in pink, from hats to tutus, and even doggy wear at the awareness event which featured a live DJ, useful information free food, face-painting for children and much needed support and relaxation for survivors of breast cancer. Breast cancer…

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Second St. Festival awakens spirit of historic Jackson Ward

Second Street Festival in Richmond from Kamilah Brown on Vimeo. Saturday, that rich history of Jackson Ward came alive once more, as it does annually, at the Second Street festival in Richmond, Va. For a split second when you step onto the street, affectionately called “Deuces,” in historic Jackson Ward, you can see the 1930s night street filled with Friday night fervor; women, clad in heel and skirts, men wearing…

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Polyamorous pair advocate marriage equality for all

Polyamory: Marriage equality for all from Kamilah Brown on Vimeo. Poised at an information table, amidst the rainbowed imagery, animated attendees and sunlit greenery at Virginia Pride organization’s 2014 Pridefest on Richmond’s Brown’s Island, are Jackrabbit and Gretchen Burgess. The couple has come in celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender awareness, ironically, not because they are gay. Rather, the Burgess’ are a polyamorous couple, avid advocators of marriage equality…

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