NO SURPRISE, BLACK WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS TAKEN THE LEAD

You can see the strength and resolve, as well as the beauty, in those historical portraits of Ida B. Wells, the journalist, activist and researcher whose work in the late 19th and early 20th century shed a light on the horror of lynching and so much else. Her actions, undeterred by racism and threats of violence, continued, even when support from those who should have been on her side disappeared. In that, she is connected to African-American women, who have turned to other black women, and ultimately, themselves for guidance and assistance they could depend on.

Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, and What’s Next?

CHARLOTTE. NC — On Tuesday, former Trump lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges in federal court in New York, including campaign finance violations for payoffs to influence the 2016 election on behalf of a candidate – not identified, though widely assumed to be Donald Trump. Meanwhile, in a Virginia courtroom, Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight of 18 counts: five counts of filing false tax returns, one count of not filing a report on a foreign bank account and two bank fraud counts.

Omarosa vs. Trump: Reality-Show Drama Meets Politics

CHARLOTTE, NC — In a move that seems like a plot twist in a reality show, Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former and fired top aide to Donald Trump is not going quietly. She has a new book, “Unhinged,” which asserts that the president is unfit. And she has tapes. The president has gone on the attack, with tweets and insults. And now there is a lawsuit over a non-disclosure agreement she signed when she worked for the campaign.

Women Score Big in Key Primaries

In the United States, an African-American woman has never been elected governor. That may happen in 2018 if Stacey Abrams is elected in Georgia. Though she has a tough road, she passed the first hurdle Tuesday night when she was overwhelmingly chosen to be the Democrats’ nominee. In many states, in races for state and federal offices, women are stepping up. What are their chances in November? It’s unclear for now – but you can’t win if you’re not playing, and this election season, women are definitely in it.

Opinion: After Billy Graham, the Deluge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s difficult to ever imagine another faith leader being dubbed “America’s Pastor.” That’s because of the person Billy Graham was and the current political, social and cultural divisions in our country. And there is also the question of whether pluralistic America wants, needs or should have a pastor — now, then or ever.

Graham was never the universally revered and uncontroversial figure that many of those who now praise him remember. But in reviewing the legacy of a man who lived through much of a century that defined American change and who died at the age of 99 on Wednesday in his home in the North Carolina mountains, it is important to give him his singular, flawed due.

Court panel says N.C. voting maps use unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. What’s next?

CHARLOTTE, NC — North Carolina lawmakers are redrawing the state’s Congressional district maps, after judges called the old ones unconstitutional.

They have two weeks to get it done.

A panel of Federal Judges ruled Republicans’ created an unfair advantage when they used race and other partisan factors to create the current maps.

Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis stopped by Rising to offer some perspective.

How Trump became ‘the white affirmative action president’

(CNN) When the Trump administration recently signaled that it was going to crack down on affirmative action, some critics responded with an odd request: Why not start with the man sitting in the Oval Office? President Donald Trump embodies the worst stereotypes conservatives have invoked to describe affirmative action beneficiaries, according to several commentators, political scientists and diversity experts. They say he’s entitled, unqualified and held to lower standards because of racial grievances. They call Trump the nation’s first affirmative action president.

Opinion: Will African-American Female Leadership Move Into the Spotlight in 2018?

It’s kind of a pattern. In tangled tales of the intersection of racism and sexism, women of color are depended upon for the hard work but pushed aside for recognition.

2018 Politics Preview and Predictions

CHARLOTTE, NC — Will 2018 beat 2017 when it comes to political surprises? WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis takes a look at what’s in store in Charlotte and beyond.

Opinion: Will Tax Bill Open Church Doors Wider Still for Politics?

A place of worship has never been completely clear of politics in America. But that physical and spiritual space for contemplation and reflection may grow smaller still, and moments without intrusion from the bitterness and division in the world could grow shorter.

Tucked into the House version of the tax plan that Republicans dearly crave as “a win” is a provision that would remove a check on places of worship — churches, synagogues and mosques — and some nonprofits. The in-danger Johnson Amendment of 1954, one with more intent than teeth, supposedly prohibits pastors and other faith leaders from endorsing or opposing political candidates from their perches of religious authority or risk losing their tax-exempt status.