Black Lives Matter

a photo of Kent Police Chief Nick Shearer at "The Rock."
SARAH TAYLOR / WKSU

Kent State plans to install security cameras and additional lighting at "The Rock" this week to try to prevent future attempts to paint racist messages on it.

University President Todd Diacon joined members of Black United Students and Alphi Phi Alpha fraternity at a march for unity Monday, which started at the student center, stopped at the university police department, and ended at "The Rock."

Diacon, who was a history professor, says he’s committed to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and Black students on the Kent campus.

The Rock at Kent State University
@maybekeiana / TWITTER

Hundreds of people protested at Kent State University Thursday over repeated incidents of racist graffiti on campus. At issue is The Rock, a large boulder that has frequently been painted with messages from student groups for almost 50 years. But over the past two weeks, it has repeatedly been painted with racist messaging.

photo of student athletes
TWITTER

College athletes at Kent State are joining those in the professional ranks promoting social justice. The University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has adopted a slogan for this year: “Together We Change.”

Committee President Nasha Manitkul-Davis is a KSU gymnast who is of Black, white and Asian ancestry. Over the weekend, she painted the slogan on the landmark Rock at the front of Kent’s campus.

Taking the stage at a rally Friday commemorating the 1963 March on Washington, Columbus congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) emphasized the need for police accountability legislation.

Author David Giffels spent a year traveling around Ohio with the idea that by getting a better understanding of Ohio, he might get a better understanding of the nation as a whole this election year. The people he encountered in his journeys and what he learned from them are in his new book, "Barnstorming Ohio: To Understand America." Giffels said he wrapped up his research just as the coronavirus pandemic shut down the state and the country. 

The New York Times Best Sellers list has been full of anti-racism and social justice books this summer, and the Cuyahoga County Public Library is seeing increased demand for these titles, too.

White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo is the most popular, according to Hallie Rich, the library’s communications director.

Updated 10:10 a.m., June 23, 2020

With her children behind her, Danielle Humphries stood in her front yard weeping and yelling "Thank you!" to marchers passing by chanting “Black Lives Matter” across the street from Claggett Middle School in Medina.

“It’s hard to explain the feeling. I got chills,” Humphries said.

photo of Danielle Sydnor
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Juneteenth celebrations continued over the weekend as marchers took to the streets in Cleveland -- both to mark the end of slavery in America and to look for ways to address the challenges facing people of color.

Cleveland NAACP President Danielle Sydnor helped organize the march on Saturday through the Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood. At the end of the march, neighborhood vendors had set up booths alongside tables with information on how to register to vote.

Awareness Grows for Juneteenth

Jun 19, 2020
Black Lives Matter rally
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Juneteenth is the day commemorating the end of slavery for African Americans in the U.S.

The commemoration was born after the end of the Civil War in Texas on June 19th, 1865 when the U.S. Army arrived and let people know that emancipation passed and that African Americans were no longer enslaved.

Liz Smith-Pryor specializes in African American history at Kent State University. She says the death of George Floyd and others at the hands of police has helped bring greater attention to the day.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

The weeks since the killing of George Floyd have been a cauldron of outrage, frustration and, at times, violence. But on Friday, Juneteenth brought another emotion to this simmering mixture: the joy of celebration.

photo of Coronavirus blood vial
SHUTTERSTOCK

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, June 15:

photo of Hrishue Mahalaha
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Indian-Americans in Cleveland rallied Sunday in support of Black Lives Matter.

Starting at the Indian Cultural Gardens, the group marched, discussed, and took a knee for 8:46 in honor of George Floyd, the Minnesota man killed May 25 by a Minneapolis police officer.  

photo of police in gear
JOSH TROCHE

Reports from around the country show journalists arrested and some seriously injured by police during the recent protests over the death of George Floyd. So far, that’s not the case in Akron.

A photo of hands on jail bars.
SPAXIAX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, December 11:

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

The generation of African-Americans who lived under Jim Crow is dying off, but the impact of segregation lives on according to sociologist Ruth Thompson-Miller. 

She teaches at the University of Dayton and spoke this week at Kent State University.

Her work focuses on what she calls segregation stress syndrome, a collective legacy of living in a two-tiered society.

Ruth Thompson-Miller began her research career collecting the stories of elderly black Americans who grew up in the Jim Crow era of segregation.

JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Monday, the Akron Urban League is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day by honoring long-time community activist Ronald Fowler, pastor laureate of the Arlington Church of God.

Fowler will receive the Urban League’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement award for his spiritual guidance and personal mentorship over the past five decades.

I talked with Akron Urban League president and CEO Sadie Winlock about her views of today’s civil rights movement, and asked Rev. Fowler to reflect on his accomplishments in Akron.

photo of Hudson police dashcam footage
CITY OF HUDSON

The Ohio National Lawyers Guild and the Cleveland branch of Black Lives Matter are calling for a thorough investigation into the shooting death of an Emirati man by a Hudson police officer.

According to Hudson Police, Officer Ryan Doran shot and killed Saif Nasser Mubarak Alameri when he fled to the woods following a car crash Sunday on the Ohio Turnpike.

Alameri was studying law at Case Western Reserve University. Officials have not said whether he was armed.  

Trump endorsement protesters
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

About 80 people gathered in front of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association this evening to protest the union’s endorsement of Donald Trump for president.  

Pastor Andries Coetzee
Westminster Presbyterian Church

Wayne Country Fair officials say they will not restrict a vendor from selling Confederate flags at this year’s fair which begins Saturday. Local religious leaders and the Wooster/Orville NAACP have asked that flag not be sold because it is offensive to many people.

Andries Coetzee is pastor at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wooster. He opposes Confederate flag sales and says it should be banned from the event like other items deemed dangerous or extremely offensive. But he stresses that the groups opposed to the sale are not planning to disrupt the fair.

photo of Perk Plaza protest
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Police expected a massive turn out for a Black Lives Matter protest over the weekend in Cleveland. But as WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports, the number of participants -- and their reasons for being there -- were often completely different.

At its peak, about 100 people were on Perk Plaza on Saturday, testifying about the impact on their lives of everything from police patrols to Arab shopkeepers.