First Blacks in the Americas

‘First Blacks in the Americas’: New Educational Website Touches on Untold History of Dominican Republic’s Earliest Black Africans

Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church


The Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church in San Francisco, California, uses jazz musician John Coltrane’s music and philosophy as sources for religious discovery.

Radio Ministry Hosted by Pastor Wanika K. Stephens

In the midst of the week and the thick of the work day tune in for musical upliftment and renewal with the healing sound of St. John Will I Am Coltrane. Be inspired by interviews and commentaries and enlightened with Coltrane quotes and occasional interviews from the Coltrane archives.

Every Tuesday from 12-4pm PST on 89.5FM KPOO or Available World Wide via the TuneIn Website and App or via

“Some of the best radio on the airwaves”  San Francisco Magazine

Jesus Was a Refugee

Pope Francis: ‘Jesus Was A Refugee’

Jun 23, 2014  Yasmine Hafiz    Associate Editor, Huffington Post Religion

Pope Francis made a poignant appeal on behalf of the world’s refugees during his Wednesday general audience, reminding all listening that Jesus, too, encountered times of hardship and danger.

“We believe that Jesus was a refugee, had to flee to save his life, with Saint Joseph and Mary, had to leave for Egypt,” Pope Francis said, according to Zenit. “He was a refugee. Let us pray to Our Lady who knows the pain of refugees.”

The pope made his petition to the Church, which he defined as “all of us,” not limited to “priests, bishops, or the Vatican,” reported Asia News.  Read more here.



In 1935, Benjamin Thornton created a device that could be attached to a telephone and could be set to record a voice message from a caller. By utilizing a clock attachment, the machine could also forward the messages as well as keep track of the time they were made.

 African-American fashion designer Ann Lowe designed the wedding dress of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the bride of future President John F. Kennedy.


Charlie Sifford won the Long Beach Open in 1957, becoming the 1st black to win a major professional golf tournament.

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1874:Entertainer Bert Williams was born. He was the 1st black to take a lead role on a Broadway stage, and helped break down racial barriers. He died of pneumonia, aged 47.

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1911:Baseball legend Buck O’Neil was born. He was the 1st African American coach in MLB. He passed away in 2006, aged 95.

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1915:Mabel Fairbanks was born. She was a skater, coach & the 1st African American inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame. She passed in 2001, aged 85.

During the 1930s, painter Charles Alston founded the 306 group, which convened in his studio space and provided support and apprenticeship for African-American artists, including Langston Hughes; sculptor Augusta Savage; and mixed-media visionary Romare Bearden.

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Female science fiction author Octavia Butler was dyslexic. Despite her disorder, she went on to win Hugo and Nebula awards for her writing, as well as a “genius” grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

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Politician, educator and Brooklyn native Shirley Chisholm survived three assassination attempts during her campaign for the 1972 Democratic nomination to the U.S. presidency.

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 Barack Obama has won two Grammy Awards. He was first honored in 2005 for the audio version of his memoir, Dreams from My Father (best spoken word album), and received his second Grammy (in the same category) in 2007 for his political work, The Audacity of Hope.

Avoid Tax Scams

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7 Simple Rules to Avoid Tax Scams in 2017

Don’t get conned out of your hard-earned money. These seven rules can help you quickly identify tax scammers.

Tax season is right around the corner, and unfortunately, that means that scammers might be after your hard-earned money. Tax scams come in many forms, but two of the biggest problems expected in 2017 are phone scams and phishing scams (you can read more about how they work here), with thieves either attempting to steal your money, personal information, or both. Fortunately, these types of scams are avoidable if you know these simple rules regarding what the IRS will or will not do.

1. The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment.

4. The IRS will never require you to use a specific method of payment, or ask for a credit/debit card number over the phone.

Read the entire article here.

Powerful Essays From Progressive People Of Faith

13 Powerful Essays From Progressive People Of Faith In 2016

Carol Kuruvilla   Associate Religion Editor, Huffington Post

CHIP SOMODEVILLA VIA GETTY IMAGES: About 60 demonstrators gather outside the White House to protest the anti-Muslim policy proposals of President-elect Donald Trump and to stand ‘with Muslims against Islamophobia and racism’ December 21, 2016 in Washington, DC. Organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, protesters heard messages of tolerance and interfaith solidarity from ministers, rabbis and imams.

It’s been a tough year for America’s progressive faith community.

The religious left in this country is a racially and theologically diverse contingent of people who see social justice and progressive social values as an important part of their faith practice. The movement traces its legacy back to the Civil Rights Era and to the development of liberation theology ― the idea that people of faith must always stand up for the poor, oppressed, and marginalized of society.

Read more here.

3 Changes to Medicare in 2017

3 Changes to Medicare in 2017

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Premiums and deductibles are heading higher in 2017. Here are the details you need to know.

Medicare provides healthcare coverage to tens of millions of Americans, making it one of the country’s most important social programs. With each passing year, the government makes a few tweaks to the way the program operates, making it critical for current and future recipients alike to keep up with what’s new.Here’s a look at three key changes happening to Medicare in 2017.Here’s a table that helps to summarize some of the changes:
File Individual Tax Return File Joint Tax Return File Married & Separate Tax Return Monthly Cost (2016) Monthly Cost (2017)
$85,000 or less $170,000 or less $85,000 or less $121.80 $134.00
above $85,000 up to $107,000 above $170,000 up to $214,000 Not applicable $170.50 $187.50
above $107,000 up to $160,000 above $214,000 up to $320,000 Not applicable $243.60 $267.90
above $160,000 up to $214,000 above $320,000 up to $428,000 above $85,000 and up to $129,000 $316.70 $348.30
above $214,000 above $428,000 above $129,000 $389.80 $428.60


Read the entire article here.

Diet Sodas Make You Eat More

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A New Study Suggests Diet Sodas Make You Eat More

By Alex Goldman

Sexuality Education from the UCC

Sex Education – What Works?

Different methods of teaching sex-ed can stir up debate, but research shows many kinds of programsare working. Even more important than what’s taught in schools, however, is what parents say to their kids.

Sexuality Education from the UCC

“To offer sexuality education in a congregation is to acknowledge that human sexuality is simply too important too beautiful and too potentially dangerous to be ignored in a religious community.” – Rev. Lena Breen, Mt. Vernon, WA

We live in a culture that is deeply conflicted about sexuality.

Our religious heritage compels and guides us in creating a safe environment where people can come to understand and respond to the challenges facing them as sexual beings. As faith communities, we promote justice for all people and we affirm the dignity of every individual, the importance of personal responsibility, and the essential interdependence of all peoples.

6booksowl.jpgThe United Church of Christ holds that sexuality is a God-given gift, and offers the following resources:

  • Our Whole Lives/Sexuality and Our Faith: Our Whole Lives is a series of sexuality education curricula for six age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, young adult, and adult. The program and its religious companion books, Sexuality and Our Faith, provide an opportunity for children, youth, and adults to learn about sexuality in the affirming and supportive setting of our faith communities. Learn more.
  • Created In God’s Image: a ten-week program for adults that focuses on integrating sexuality into the ministry and mission of the church. Learn More.
  • Affirming Persons, Saving Lives: the comprehensive HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention education curriculum published by the United Church of Christ. Learn more.