Skip to content

July 2020 Noire News

In the July 2020 edition of Noire News I discuss the UNICEF lead exposure report, the LAPD’s expansion of the CSP, mental health support for police officers, and how distractions are undermining the Black Lives Matter Movement.


YouTube Video

Podcast Episode

Show Notes


Earl Cameron

August 8, 1917 – July 3, 2020

Earl Cameron was born in Bermuda and served in the British Merchant Navy before immigrating to the United Kingdom in 1939. He made his stage debut two years later and spent the rest of the 1940s appearing in theatre productions until his 1951 film debut in Pool of London. The role was significant because Cameron appeared as a lead which was rare for Black actors and actresses in British cinema. He continued to appear in films and later television and continued working until his 90s. Earl Cameron died peacefully in his sleep from pneumonia at the age of 102.

Naya Rivera

January 12, 1987 – July 8, 2020

Naya Rivera was born in Santa Clarita, California and made her first on-screen appearance at the age of four followed by guest appearances on various sitcoms. She is most well-known for appearing on the musical comedy series Glee as Santana Lopez. On July 8th, Rivera rented a boat while accompanied by her four-year-old son who was later found asleep on the boat while it drifted on Lake Piru. The two had gone swimming and it seems that Rivera was able to get her son back onto the boat but was unable to get herself back onto the boat and was not wearing a life vest. Authorities and Rivera’s family spent several days searching the area and her body was found a few days later. Rivera was 33 and her death was ruled an accidental drowning.

Zindzi Mandela

December 23, 1960 – July 13, 2020

Zindziswa Mandela was born in the Soweto township of Johannesburg, South Africa the daughter of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Despite the international fame of her parents, Mandela carved out her own path as an activist. She eventually became an ambassador to Denmark, was designated to become South Africa’s head of mission in Monrovia, Liberia, and called for land reform in South Africa. Mandela’s cause of death was not released but she is survived by her husband and four children.

Galyn Görg

July 15, 1964 – July 14, 2020

Galyn Görg was an actress and dancer who appeared in over 50 television shows and movies. Some of her most notable roles include the villain of Robocop 2, a boxer who beats up Will in an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Twin Peaks, and Star Trek. Görg died one day before her 56th birthday from cancer with which she was recently diagnosed and was found to have spread throughout her body.

Rev. C.T. Vivian

July 30, 1924 – July 17, 2020

Cordy Tindell Vivian was born in Boonville, Missouri and grew up in Macomb, Illinois where he attended college. Following graduation, Vivian moved to Peoria for work and became involved with local civil rights demonstrations during the 1940s. His activism led him to various civil rights hot spots in the Southeast where he helped to develop campaign strategies aimed at dismantling segregation. Vivian was a leader of the Freedom Riders, worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and joined the push for voting rights in Selma. Rev. C.T. Vivian died from natural causes at the age of 95.

John Lewis

February 21, 1940 – July 17, 2020

John Robert Lewis was born near Troy, Alabama and moved to Nashville to attend college at the American Baptist Theological Seminary. Lewis intended to become a preacher but given the time and location would find himself instead swept up with social activism. Viewing the established Black leadership as too staid and conservative, Lewis became an early member of the newly created Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and later Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). He would most notably go on to participate in the Freedom Rides and the Bloody Sunday Selma to Montgomery march. In later years Lewis returned to Atlanta and entered politics becoming a representative for Atlanta’s 5th Congressional District. Lewis died at the age of 80 from pancreatic cancer.

Charles Evers

September 11, 1922 – July 22, 2020

Charles Ever was born in Decatur, Mississippi and served in two wars as a member of the U.S. Army before graduating from Alcorn A&M. He moved to Philadelphia, Mississippi a year later, and eventually became a disc jockey at WHOC-AM. Yet within five years, Evers had to relocate to Chicago to escape threats that arose from him encouraging Black members of his audience to vote.

Evers had supplemented his legal income in Mississippi with running numbers, selling liquor, and helping White men to procure Black prostitutes and continued his life of vice in Chicago. But he was motivated to turn his life around and became involved with the civil rights movement following the murder of his younger brother, Medgar Evers. Charles Evers returned to Mississippi and worked on voter registration and racial equality initiatives during the 1960s. He would go on to serve four terms as the Democratic mayor of Fayette before becoming an Independent and later a Republican. Charles Evers died at the age of 97 from natural causes.

Benjamin Mkapa

November 12, 1938 – July 24, 2020

Benjamin William Mkapa was born in Ndanda, Tanzania and received an English degree in Uganda before pursuing graduate studies in international affairs at Columbia University in New York. He returned home to Tanzania where he worked for a newspaper before becoming President Julius Nyerere’s press secretary. Mkapa held several high ranking cabinet posts before serving two terms as president from 1995 to 2005. His administration is credited with converting Tanzania from socialism to a free-market economy. Benjamin Mkapa died at the age of 81 from a heart attack while he was hospitalized for malaria.

Balla Sidibé

1942 – July 29, 2020

Balla Sidibé chose to make music over a career with the local police force and assembled a house band for the Baobab Club in Dakar. Consisting of local musicians, the group would come to be known as Orchestra Baobab. The band would spend the 1970s developing a style of dance music that incorporated various other styles of music. The group toured West Africa and also appeared on local television amassing a huge catalog of music before disbanding in the 1980s. Sidibé who was a singer and timpani drummer in the group passed away in his sleep at the age of 78 following a brief illness.

Malik B.

November 14, 1972 – July 29, 2020

Malik Abdul Basit was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and later met Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter in high school. The trio formed Square Roots while in college which eventually became The Roots. Malik B. rapped with Black Thought on all of The Roots’ albums until leaving the group around 2000 due to a possible lack of interest in touring and drug use. He would make guest appearances on later Roots albums in addition to releasing two solo albums. Malik B. died at the age of 47 but his cause of death was not disclosed.

Herman Cain

December 13, 1945 – July 30, 2020

Herman Cain was born in Memphis, Tennessee but his family moved to Atlanta’s west side in the area now known as The Bluff before settling in Collier Heights. Cain went on to major in mathematics at Morehouse before pursuing a Master of Science in Computer Science at Purdue University. He began his career as a ballistics analyst for the U.S. Navy before moving on to various positions in the food and beverage industry.

Cain’s food and beverage career culminated with him serving as CEO of the National Restaurant Association following a brief stint as deputy chairman and chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha Branch. In the mid-1990s, Cain entered national politics as a Republican and ran in the 2000 and 2012 presidential race. Though he would not personally win any elections, Cain was involved with the campaigns of various Republican candidates. In 2006, Cain was successfully treated for stage IV colon cancer which had spread to his liver. Herman Cain died from complications of COVID-19 at the age of 74 after being hospitalized for a month.


UNICEF Lead Exposure Report

A recently released UNICEF report estimates that one-third of the world’s children, an estimated 800 million, have blood lead levels at or above the amount at which action should be taken. It’s been established for at least several decades that exposure to lead, a neurotoxin, can have a catastrophic impact on a child’s brain. Lead poisoning in children under the age of five can cause developmental issues resulting in long-term impairments and/or disabilities.

Within America, lead paint has been regarded as a major culprit with controversies surrounding lazy public health information dissemination and abatement strategies. In 2014, lead exposure was again making headlines when it was revealed that Flint, Michigan’s water supply was contaminated as a result of sourcing water from the Flint River which had been used for waste disposal. Two years later Newark, New Jersey began making headlines for water contaminated by lead.

The report was published shortly after a $12 million judgment in compensation was awarded to residents of Owino Uhuru, Kenya who had been sickened by a battery smelting plant which exposed them to lead. The civil suit was led by Phyllis Omido, an environmental activist who filed the suit against the Kenyan government and the owners of the plant. Omido briefly worked at the plant until her son was found to have lead in his blood and she noticed that she and other residents were also ill. Further government testing revealed that many of the village’s residents had also been exposed to lead poisoning.

While the UNICEF report cited South Asia as being the most hard-hit region, this is a problem across the world. Many countries and local governments have guidelines in place regarding lead exposure but regulation and enforcement are often lax. The continued problem of lead contamination and exposure should be especially troubling as lead can be safely recycled and remediated.

It would seem that carelessness and a focus on short-term economics has contributed to most recent instances of lead contamination and large-scale exposure. The solution should be a change in perspective with greater emphasis on recycling and remediating lead-based on established safety guidelines rather than sacrificing the health and development of children and adults in pursuit of cost-cutting measures or to make a quick buck.

The Injustice System

The LAPD and CSP

Police departments around the country have been called upon reform how police officers patrol and interact with communities, especially Black communities. In 2011, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) implemented the Community Safety Partnership (CSP), a program aimed at reducing crime while also repairing relationships with communities. In response to calls for reformation, the LA City Council cut $150 million from the LAPD’s budget and later announced plans to expand CSP.

CSP was developed by Connie Rice with funding from Steve Ballmer, owner of the LA Clippers. Emada and Phil Tingirides, a married couple consisting of a community relations sergeant and division captain provided some inspiration by bringing police officers into local schools. Officers are asked to commit at least five years to the program to allow time for the building of relationships and consistency. The program’s participants primarily consist of Black and Hispanic officers who are often policing neighborhoods similar to the ones in which they grew up and with people who look like them.

The long-term goal is to use CSP to move away from a police culture built on arrests and crime stats to instead focus on providing greater support for and collaborating with residents. In its nine years of existence, the program has shown some promise through its reduction of violent crime. So far the program only operates in nine neighborhoods with 100 out of the department’s 10,000 officers. With the expansion, CSP will have a bureau within the LAPD and add its 10th neighborhood within the next year. CSP has traditionally been funded by private donation and while it doesn’t have its own budget as yet, it’s been suggested that funds be taken from elsewhere in the LAPD.

The Death of Dion Boyd and Mental Health Support for Police Officers

Chicago Deputy Police Chief of Criminal Networks Dion Boyd was found dead from a gunshot wound to the chest at the Homan Square facility in what has been ruled a suicide. Boyd, a 30-year veteran of the department had been promoted to the position less than two weeks ago. His death marks the second Chicago Police Department’s suicide for 2020. But this trend points to a larger issue that while suicide rates are higher in Chicago, nationwide police officers are more likely to commit suicide than to be killed in the line of duty.

In discussing police reform, it’s important to address what needs to be done so that officers can better serve the communities they police. But it’s also important to discuss how police departments and local governments can better serve police officers by providing them with the training and support they need to cope with the stressors of their jobs. Being a police officer can be a very stressful job as depending on your department, you might not be coming into contact with the finest people society has to offer. And office politics which exists in most workplaces can be another area of stress.

As part of police reform more studies need to be undertaken to better understand the makings of a good police officer. To readily identify individuals who are just looking for an outlet for aggression and violence. And to separate the two so good officers can be encouraged and supported as they deal with the hardships of their jobs. And potentially bad officers can be shown the door before they have a chance to get into any nonsense. Mental health is only just beginning to be publicly discussed so there remains a lot of work to be done around identifying an individual who needs help and figuring out how to encourage people to seek help.

Infiltrators and Distractions Are Undermining the Black Lives Matter Movement

The George Floyd protests which went national and international in June have continued to some degree in July though the tone and media attention has somewhat shifted. As new cases of COVID-19 continued to rise across America, there was less coverage of protests. Demonstrations in Portland, Oregon did garner some attention as a result of federal agents being deployed to the city and a White protestor being naked for no reason. Peaceful protests took place in Richmond, Virginia for 24 days before turning into riots. The local police chief categorized the riots as having been instigated by members of White supremacist groups intending to negatively impact the reputation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Black Lives Matter has stuck to being non-violent and its participants generally don’t open carry firearms. Yet, some supporters of continued White supremacy feign ignorance of issues and cling to nonsense like Black Lives Matter is racist and obtusely pushing for an “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter” movement.

I support the Black Lives Matter movement and in looking at some of the commentaries that surround it I’m reminded of the Black Panther Party (BPP). The BPP wasn’t a perfect organization but it also wasn’t the bloodthirsty violent organization that some tried to make it out to be. It was also infiltrated by individuals with self-serving interests who committed acts of violence and instigated conflicts to undermine the organization’s social justice initiatives. I hope that with the ready availability of cameras and social media a more accurate account of Black Lives Matters events and protestors will remain to tell the story of what took place instead of racist people and organizations tellings its history.


  • In Uganda, Betty Nagadya, a health team volunteer, has partnered with health organizations and SafeBoda, a ride-hailing app to deliver health supplies to homes and local health centers. Uganda is under lockdown due to COVID-19 which has caused disruptions to supply chains and limited availability for supplies. The innovative partnership enables individuals to order free government-provided condoms as well as other items and to have them delivered free of charge during the pandemic.
  • Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade have joined forces to create the Social Change Fund. The fund will provide social justice organizations with grants to aid their work in advancing racial equality and opportunity.
  • New Orleans Pelicans Jrue Holiday and his wife Lauren have decided to use his game checks for the remaining season to create a social justice fund. Estimated at approximately $5.3 million the funds will be used to support non-profits, Black-owned businesses, and programs in New Orleans, Louisiana; Los Angeles and Compton, California; and Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Saleemah McNeil, a psychotherapist and founder of Oshun Family Center has raised over $81,000 to provide free therapy for Black residents of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. Therapy is offered as a 60-minute 8-session series aimed at helping clients cope with trauma caused by dealing with racism and health disparities.
  • Serena Willaims has announced that she will be donating all net proceeds from her UNSTOPPABLE jewelry collection to the Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund which provides support for Black small-business owners.
  • In Chicago, a group of teens is turning a former liquor store into a pop-up food market on the city’s West Side. The Austin neighborhood has 12 liquor stores within a half-mile radius but only two markets that sell fresh food. Stores in the area were looted during the George Floyd protests which forced some to temporarily close. The kids were allowed to transform one of the looted stores and several pro athletes helped to raise funds for the renovation.
  • The NAACP has signed a multi-year partnership agreement with CBS Television Studios to create both scripted and unscripted projects. This is the latest in a string of media conglomerates partnering with individuals and organizations in attempts to diversify their programming.
  • Michael B. Jordan and Color of Change, a racial justice organization, have partnered to create the #ChangeHollywood initiative. The program is intended to make Hollywood and the projects it releases more diverse both in front and behind the camera. #ChangeHollywood aims to set forth solutions that produce measurable results with a focus on “producing authentic Black stories, investing in Black talent and Black communities.”
  • Robert F. Smith has been on a philanthropic roll for the past year with no signs of letting up. In July, he announced the launch of yet another initiative, this time aimed at reducing deaths from prostate cancer among Black men. Partnering with The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), Smith will provide research support to develop an in-expensive test that will use genetics to detect prostate cancer risks.



  1. Haring, Bruce. 2020. “Earl Cameron Dies: Black Pioneer In British Film And TV Was 102.” Deadline. Penske Business Media, LLC. July 6, 2020.
  2. Rosen, Christopher. 2020. “Glee Star Naya Rivera Is Dead at 33.” Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. July 13, 2020.
  3. “Nelson Mandela’s Daughter Zindzi Dies at 59.” 2020. BBC News. BBC. July 13, 2020.
  4. Yasharoff, Hannah. 2020. “’Robocop 2,’ ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Actress Galyn Görg Dies of Cancer at 55.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network. July 17, 2020.
  5. Dwyer, Colin. 2020. “C.T. Vivian, Civil Rights Leader And Champion Of Nonviolent Action, Dies At 95.” NPR. NPR. July 17, 2020.
  6. Barrett, Laurence I. 2020. “John Lewis, Front-Line Civil Rights Leader and Eminence of Capitol Hill, Dies at 80.” The Washington Post. WP Company. July 18, 2020.
  7. Salter, Sid. 2020. “A Genuine Political Change Agent, Activist Charles Evers Was a Walking Contradiction.” Clarion Ledger. USA Today Network. July 29, 2020.
  8. “Benjamin Mkapa, Two-Term President of Tanzania, Dies at 81.” 2020. The Washington Post. WP Company. July 24, 2020.
  9. “Tanzania’s Mkapa Suffered from Malaria, Not Virus, Says Family.” 2020. Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network. July 26, 2020.
  10. Monroe, Jazz. 2020. “Balla Sidibé, Orchestra Baobab Singer, Dead at 78.” Pitchfork. Condé Nast. July 30, 2020.
  11. Mamo, Heran. 2020. “Malik B., Founding Member of The Roots, Dies at 47.” Billboard. July 30, 2020.
  12. “Herman Cain.” 2020. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. July 30, 2020.
  13. Press, Associated. 2020. “Former Presidential Candidate Herman Cain Dies of COVID-19.” Time. TIME USA, LLC. July 30, 2020.


UNICEF Lead Exposure Report

  1. Adebayo, Bukola. 2020. “Residents of a Kenyan Village Awarded $12 Million in a Lawsuit over Lead Poisoning.” CNN. Cable News Network. July 17, 2020.
  2. Denchak, Melissa. 2020. “Flint Water Crisis: Everything You Need to Know.” NRDC. Natural Resources Defense Council. May 1, 2020.
  3. “Newark Drinking Water Crisis.” 2020. NRDC. Natural Resources Defense Council. April 28, 2020.
  4. “Revealed: A Third of World’s Children Poisoned by Lead, UNICEF Analysis Finds | | UN News.” 2020. United Nations. United Nations. July 30, 2020.

The Injustice System

The LAPD and CSP
  1. Adams, Biba. 2020. “LA Mayor Announces ‘Big Step Forward’ with New LAPD Community Bureau.” TheGrio. TheGrio. July 28, 2020.
  2. Chang, Cindy. 2020. “LAPD Expands Community Policing Program, Appoints Black Female Deputy Chief.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. July 28, 2020.
The Death of Dion Boyd and Mental Health Support for Police Officers
  1. Board, CST Editorial. 2020. “’There Is No Shame in Reaching out for Help’.” Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group. July 29, 2020.
  2. Board, The Editorial. 2020. “Editorial: Another Suicide at CPD and Pleas from a Police Wife: We Can Do Better.” Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. July 30, 2020.
  3. Hayes, Christal. 2018. “’Silence Can Be Deadly’: 46 Officers Were Fatally Shot Last Year. More than Triple That – 140 – Committed Suicide.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network. April 12, 2018.
  4. Le Mignot, Suzanne. 2020. “Suicide Of Chicago Police Deputy Chief Dion Boyd Highlights Greater Crisis Among Officers.” CBS Chicago. CBS Chicago. July 29, 2020.
  5. Struett, David. 2020. “Death of CPD Deputy Chief in Homan Square Facility Ruled a Suicide: Autopsy.” Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group. July 29, 2020.
Infiltrators and Distractions Are Undermining the Black Lives Matter Movement
  1. Allen, Matthew. 2020. “Portland NAACP President: Portland Protests Are Now ‘White Spectacle’.” TheGrio. July 25, 2020.
  2. Guerilus, Stephanie. 2020. “Richmond Riots Instigated by White Supremacists Posing as Black Lives Matter Activists.” TheGrio. July 28, 2020.
  3. Thornton, Cedric ‘BIG CED’. 2020. “Richmond Police Chief Says White Supremacists Infiltrated Black Lives Matters Protests, Started Riots.” Black Enterprise. July 29, 2020.


  1. “Ride-Hailing App Delivers Contraceptives to Users’ Doorsteps.” 2020. United Nations Population Fund. July 17, 2020.
  2. Helin, Kurt. 2020. “Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade Launch Fund for Social Justice.” NBC Sports. July 22, 2020.
  3. Lopez, Andrew. 2020. “Jrue, Lauren Holiday Using Pelicans Guard’s Game Checks to Launch Social Justice Fund.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. July 15, 2020.
  4. Brzyski, Laura. 2020. “This Philly Therapist Has Raised More Than $81K to Provide Free Therapy to the Black Community.” Philadelphia Magazine. Metro Corp. June 23, 2020.
  5. Givens, Dana. 2020. “Serena Williams Donates Proceeds From Jewelry Brand For COVID Relief.” Black Enterprise. July 17, 2020.
  6. Sabino, Pascal. 2020. “Austin Teens Are Turning A Liquor Store Into A Pop-Up Food Market.” Block Club Chicago. July 10, 2020.
  7. Sanders, Brandee. 2020. “NAACP Inks Multi-Year Deal With CBS Television Studios.” NewsOne. July 20, 2020.
  8. “Michael B. Jordan and Racial Justice Organization Color of Change Partner to #ChangeHollywood.” 2020. Good Black News. July 26, 2020.
  9. “Billionaire Robert F. Smith Partners with Prostate Cancer Foundation to Address Racial Disparities and Reduce Deaths from Disease.” 2020. Good Black News. July 27, 2020.

Shop on Amazon

More Content

Disclosure: Noire Histoir is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the website to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Noire Histoir will receive commissions for purchases made via any Amazon Affiliate links above.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.