Bayard Rustin, a civil rights leader who was gay and a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was posthumously pardoned by California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently. The governor also announced what may be the nation’s first process for forgiving those convicted under outdated laws punishing homosexual activity. Newsom pardoned Rustin for his arrest in 1953 when he was found having sex with two men in a parked car in Pasadena, where he was appearing as part of a lecture tour on anti-colonial struggles in West Africa. Rustin served 50 days in Los Angeles County jail and had to register as a sex offender before returning to his home state of New York. He died in 1987. Newsom was asked by the LGBTQ community to pardon Rustin.—TheGrio.com
Rapper and Hip Hop impresario Jay-Z said recently he, his wife, mega-star singer Beyonce, and eight-year-old daughter Blue Ivy, were not protesting when they remained seated for the National Anthem, sung by Demi Lovato, before the kick-off of Super Bowl 54. Jay-Z said they remained seated because the two of them were in “artist mode” and focused on Lovato’s performance. The rapper addressed the controversy at Columbia University recently when he was asked by a professor if what they did conveyed a signal. “It actually wasn’t. Sorry,” said Jay-Z, adding: “I’m really just looking at the show. The mics start. Was it too low to start?” The rapper is the new head of entertainment for the NFL. His Roc Nation partnered with the league and Pepi Cola to bring the Super Bowl performances.
Dozens of foster care children have been abandoned in Maryland hospitals by caseworkers. Foster children who are not sick or injured have been essentially living in hospitals after the caseworkers dropped them off for treatment but never came back. Angered that state officials in Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration aren’t doing enough to end the practice, state lawmakers are now considering legislation limiting nonmedical hospital stays for children in foster care. “We are destroying these kids,” Delegate Kirill Reznik, a Montgomery County Democrat who is drafting the bill, told The Sun. Foster children are often taken to these hospitals after acting out or in crisis. But once a doctor determines the child is not a danger and not in need of further psychiatric care, he or she is supposed to be released from care. —TheGrio.com