In 2014 Afternoons with Amos put many of our newsmaker stories and interviews here on line at PraiseIndy.Com for you to listen to and read, if you missed the original broadcast. What follows are the TEN Stories and Interviews that PraiseIndy.Com users clicked on the most during 2014.
LAWRENCE NORTH GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM EXPERIENCES RACIST BEHAVIOR IN SOUTHERN INDIANA – CLICK HERE FOR STORY The Number ONE story was posted on March 5th about an incident at the girls’ basketball semi-state game between Lawrence North and Bedford/North Lawrence High Schools, in the Bedford school’s gym located south of Bloomington in Lawrence County. At the game insensitivity, racism and bigotry reared its ugly head because when the Lawrence North fans and team arrived at Bedford/North Lawrence’s gym they were greeted by some Bedford students dressed in gorilla suits. During the game, the Lawrence North team and fans were subjected to racial slurs and taunts from the Bedford North Lawrence fans. Lawrence North officials asked the school to deal with the problem, but they didn’t. Eventually complaints were filed with the ISHAA by both the school and the Lawrence Township district.
GOD CALLS GOSPEL & RADIO LEGEND AL “THE BISHOP” HOBBS HOME – JULY 16TH STORY JULY 31ST STORY AUGUST 1ST STORY AUG 30TH STORY In the Number TWO spot was the Passing and Celebration of the Life Well Lived by Al “The Bishop” Hobbs. Stories posted on July 16th and 31st and August 1st and 30th. A major force in American gospel music as a writer, performer, producer and leader of the Gospel Announcers Guild at the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Hobbs died July 31st at the age of 70. Indiana Black Expo honored Hobbs with at their Corporate Luncheon weeks before his death. The day after his Transition, in a special Afternoons with Amos August 1st, key figures in the Indianapolis Gospel Community including Tyscot Records President Dr. Leonard Scott, Bishop Tom Benjamin and Rev. Jeffrey Johnson, along with Rep. Andre Carson, longtime Black Expo VP Marsha Bennett and national gospel greats Dr. Bobby Jones joined Amos and current and former AM1310 The Light Gospel Personalities to talk about the life and career of Al Hobbs and his impact as the long time leader of WTLC Radio and his impact on Indianapolis and the world of Gospel Music. Unfortunately, the story didn’t end with Al Hobbs’ homegoing on August 16th, as tragedy struck the Hobbs family August 28th when his son, Alex C. Hobbs, a US Army officer, died in a tragic accident in Virginia.
IPS ANGERS, ROILS COMMUNITY WITH DECISION TO TRANSFER HUNDREDS OF SHORTRIDGE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS – CLICK FOR NOV 12TH STORY CLICK FOR NOV 19TH STORY At Number THREE a story that generated lots of emotion and anger among individuals residing in the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) District and former alumni of historic Shortridge High School. Stories posted on November 12th and 19th told of IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee endorsing a plan that would move the Law and Public Policy magnet program from Shortridge over to Tech High School. A move involving 700 students. Replacing them on the Shortridge campus would be some 200 students attending an International Baccalaureate program at Gambold School on the Westside. A firestorm of criticism erupted, especially over charges that the moves were being made to satisfy a small group of white parents living in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood. In a jammed packed board meeting where scores spoke, including Shortridge and Gambold students, a bitterly divided IPS Board voted 4-3 to approve the controversial move. A move that removed much of the positive feelings many in the IPS community had about new Supt. Ferebee.
FUROR OVER FOX 59 NEWS STORY ABOUT RACISM AND UNFAIR TREATMENT OF BLACKS BY BROAD RIPPLE NIGHTSPOTS – CLICK JULY 22ND STORY CLICK JULY 24TH STORY At Number FOUR were stories posted July 22nd and 24th that began with a Fox 59 News story. The story by Anchor Nichole Pence about alleged misbehavior at Broad Ripple nightclubs touched a raw nerve among many in the African-American community. The story exposed serious fault lines and feelings of racism, discrimination, and unfair treatment. The controversy also exposed the decades long feeling of many that Blacks aren’t wanted as patrons of Broad Ripple’s overabundance of nightclubs. To make matters worse, the TV report quoted the City’s head of Homeland Security saying that “racy images” are sending the wrong message about Broad Ripple inflamed many in the Black community. Their anger erupted on social media and led Afternoons with Amos to examine the story by talking to one of the nightclub owners and promoters cited by the city. In response, IMPD Chief Rick Hite appeared on the program to downplay the statements by the City’s Homeland Security chief about Broad Ripple.
INDY STAR CARTOON ON IMMIGRATION FUELS ANGER OVER RACISM, INAPPROPRIATENESS – CLICK HERE FOR STORY President Barack Obama decision to finally take action on immigration reform created the Number FIVE most clicked Afternoons with Amos story Posted November 22nd. A story that involved a cartoon. On November 21st, Indianapolis Star editorial cartoonist Gary Varvel, who vehemently disagreed with President Obama’s immigration decision, published an editorial cartoon of a white American family sitting down to Thanksgiving Dinner. Shown coming through the window are three darker skinned persons, a man, woman and child, with Hispanic features. The man had a cap and a dark, bushy mustache. The cartoon was posted on the Star’s website and immediately touched off an internet firestorm. After a day of intense controversy, Indianapolis Star Vice-President/Editor Jeff Taylor ordered Varvel’s cartoon taken off the website and expressed apologies for what happened. However, the cartoonist himself never commented or issued a statement nor apologized for the negative images shown in the cartoon.
CIRCLE CITY CLASSIC POSTS RECORD LOW ATTENDANCE – CLICK TO READ STORY This October 6th posted story is Number SIX; the community’s angry reaction to the 31st Circle City Classic, especially news that the game between Central State and Kentucky State Universities produced the LOWEST attendance in the event’s thirty-one years. Game officials reported attendance at the Classic was 15,328; though Indiana Black Expo issued a statement saying that 26,480 tickets had been “distributed”. A number that itself was low. Attendance for the once popular Circle City Classic Parade was also down. Listeners flooded Afternoons with Amos with criticism of where the Classic had failed in exciting potential attendees and offering suggestions and constructive criticism. Though several blamed the leadership of Classic and Indiana Black Expo which has been directly supervising the event the past few years.
CHARLOTTE LUCAS, OF LUCAS OIL, CAUGHT RANTING ABOUT “MINORITIES” – CLICK HERE FOR STORY A Facebook post became the Number SEVEN most clicked Afternoons with Amos story, posted on October 3rd. Seems Charlotte Lucas, wife of the owner of Lucas Oil Company which holds naming rights to Lucas Oil Stadium, posted on Facebook a rant complaining about “minorities”. Fresh from the controversy over alleged racially insensitive remarks by LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the Facebook posts were picked up and reported by WRTV/Channel 6 Reporter Rafael Sanchez. His story unleashed social media outrage that Afternoons with Amos covered on the program. The outraged caused Forrest Lucas, Charlotte’s husband, to apologize for his wife’s remarks in a statement and full page ads in the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Recorder and Indianapolis Business Journal.
PARK TUDOR SCHOOL BLACK HISTORY MONTH LUNCH MESS – CLICK HERE FOR FEB 27 STORY CLICK HERE FOR FEB 28 STORY The Number EIGHT most clicked Afternoons with Amos story was posted February 27th & 28th and dealt with a controversy at one of Indianapolis’ most prestigious private schools – Park Tudor. Seems the northside school decided to create a “Black History Month Lunch” on their school’s lunchtime cafeteria menu. The so-called lunch consisted of Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy. When word got out about the “lunch” the racial insensitivity it evoked created an on line backlash. A Park Tudor spokeswoman told Afternoons with Amos that the lunch was a “misguided attempt” at celebrating Black History Month. Eventually, Park Tudor Schools’ Director of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. John Daves came on air to explain what happened and why.
CARMEL, HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN OTHER SUBURB SCHOOLS PUNISH BLACK STUDENTS AT HIGHER RATES – CLICK HERE FOR STORY An Afternoons with Amos story about disproportionate discipline of Black students in public schools was the Number NINE in terms of popularity on PraiseIndy.Com in 2014. The story, Posted March 28th, reported on statistics released by the US Justice and Education Departments where every American public schools was asked to document their suspensions and expulsions by race and ethnicity. The data showed that school districts in the Indianapolis suburbs punished students are far higher disproportionate rates than the Indianapolis Public Schools or even township districts and charters. Carmel and Hamilton Southeastern school districts were among the biggest offenders. The story, which was ignored by the city’s mainstream media, helped fuel a serious interest and concern in the African-American community. And resulted in the issue of disproportionate discipline being including in the Mayor’s Your Life Matters ® Task Force Report in November 2014.
SUPPORTERS OF TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE HAVE THEIR SAY – CLICK HERE FOR STORY At Number TEN was an Afternoon with Amos program posted on January 9th featuring supporters of Indiana’s proposed Constitutional Amendment on Marriage. The Marriage Amendment was supposed to be the BIG Indiana issue of 2014. As the Legislature was considering an amendment to codify into the state Constitution that marriage was only to be between one man and one woman. Supporters of the measure appeared on Afternoons with Amos with their side. Though the legislature approved an amended Amendment and passed it, a US Supreme Court decision in June negated the proposed Amendment, as same sex marriage is now legal in Indiana.