September – New York Amsterdam News

The remnants of torrential rain from Hurricane Ida hit the New York metro area, causing mass flooding. The storm causes the National Weather Service to send its first ever urgent flood to the city. Floods cause the metro system to shut down. A total of 18 people are killed across the city, including several people living in basement apartments that were flooded. The storm is causing $ 50 million in damage to New York. A state of emergency has been declared in New York City, and officials are announcing new guidelines for future storms. A 9-year-old boy was killed and 11 other people were injured in a fire in an apartment building in Ozone Park, Queens. A Texas law banning most abortions in the state comes into force. The law prohibits abortions when a heartbeat can be detected in a fetus, usually around six weeks and before most women know they are pregnant. Gregg Leakes, the husband of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes, dies after battling cancer at age 66. The school year begins for the city’s 1.1 million elementary school students for personal learning. COVID-19 measures include health and temperature screenings, universal mask, social distancing, improved cleaning, the availability of more personal protective equipment (PPEs), ongoing monitoring and diagnostic tests, as well as new closure and quarantine policies. The West Indian American Day parade is being held largely in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Officials in Syracuse, NY unveil a plan to build the Harriet Tubman Memorial Freedom Bridge. Comedian and actor Anthony “AJ” Johnson dies at age 55. Three Denver police officers and two paramedics are charged with manslaughter and other charges in connection with the death of Elijah McClain in 2019, a 23-year-old black man who was put in a strangled and injected with a powerful sedative that killed him. Harlem Assemblywoman Inez Dickens tests positive for COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated. Inspiration4, launched by SpaceX, will be the first all-civilian spaceflight, with a crew of four people on a three-day orbit around Earth. Celebrities and fans celebrate 25 years since the murder of rapper Tupac Shakur in 1996. The murder remains unsolved. Actor Michael K. Williams, best known for his role in the TV drama series “The Wire”, is found dead in his Brooklyn apartment. Officials confirm Williams died of an accidental overdose. A 24-year-old man is found dead in his cell on Rikers Island. The man’s death is the ninth in jail as lawyers and elected officials express their outrage over the conditions and continue their call to close the facility. Former Harlem State Senator Brain Benjamin has been sworn in as New York’s lieutenant governor. America commemorates 20 years since the 9/11 attacks. President Joe Biden announces a new federal vaccine mandate that requires all employers with more than 100 workers to be vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. The MTV Video Music Awards are being held in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. Lil Nas X wins the award for video of the year for her song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” As COVID-19 vaccine mandates begin to take hold, requests for religious exemptions are growing. Pregnant, 31-year-old Shanice Young is fatally shot by her ex-boyfriend, 40-year-old Justin Soriano, in Harlem after her baby shows.

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Governor Kathy Hochul signs the “Less is More” law, which eliminates New York’s practice of imprisoning people for violations of technical probation. Actor, filmmaker and playwright Melvin Van Peebles, known as the “Godfather of Black cinema” dies at the age of 89.

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The African American Day Parade is being held for the second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The disappearance and death of white 22-year-old Gabby Petito from Long Island is receiving hours of national news coverage and attention. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. At the 74th Tony Awards, Audra McDonald and Leslie Odom Jr. as hosts. Winners include Adrienne Warren, who won Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Musical for her role as Tina Turner in the musical “Tina” and David Alan Grier in the Best Performance category of a featured actress in a play for her role in “A Soldier’s” Play ”as Sergeant Vernon C. Waters. New Federal Theater founder Woodie King Jr. and theater press agent Irene Gandy has been honored with the Excellence in Theater Awards. The former political prisoner of war and the youngest and last MOVE 9 member to be released, Charles “Chucky” Sims-Africa, dies at the age of 61. Officials unveil a statue in Newark City Hall in honor of former Mayor Kenneth A. Gibson , the city’s first black mayor. A judge in the state of New York is lifting a temporary restraint that allows the city to require all elementary school teachers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The body of Jelani Day, a 25-year-old black graduate student from Illinois State University who had been missing since Aug. 25, has been found in the Illinois River. Police say his cause of death is unknown, but Days’ family wants the case investigated further. Singer Kelly Price has been reported missing by her family after being discharged from hospital due to COVID-19. Price’s lawyer later clarified that she was recovering in an undisclosed location. A federal jury finds R&B singer R. Kelly guilty on nine counts, including extortion, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery and sex trafficking. He is set to stand trial in May 2022 and faces another lawsuit on charges of child pornography in August 2022.

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The Metropolitan Opera opens after being shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic with Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” It is the first opera by a black composer in the Met’s nearly 140-year history. “Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for terrorism charges. Jazz organist Dr. Lonnie Smith dies at age 79. Reps. Jim Cooper and Terri Sewell, US Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus President Joyce Beatty are enacting legislation to establish Rosa Parks Day as a federal holiday. Sidra Bell becomes the first black female choreographer commissioned by The New York City Ballet.

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