1/4/2018: Black Male Voters; Art Attack; Kerry Speckman

Jan 4, 2018

Local attorney Obi Umunna and WJCT contributor and board member Charles Griggs joined host Melissa Ross on Thursday.
Credit Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect we spoke with local attorney Obi Umunna and WJCT contributor and board member Charles Griggs about how to empower young black voters (01:13).

Our premiere edition of Art Attack featured Lee Hamby from the 5 and Dime Theatre, Arts and Culture Developer Shawana Brooks from the Jacksonville Public Library, arts advocate Diane Brunet Garcia and Keith Marks, who hosts the WJCT music program Avant Radio (31:39).  

Kerry Speckman told us about some of the events coming up this weekend and later in January (46:00).


Black Male Voters

President Trump on Wednesday disbanded his voter fraud commission.

Critics say the commission was founded to gin up concern about widely debunked claims of voter fraud. Opponents of the commission say it was a backdoor way to try to suppress the vote, particularly among communities of color.

As that commission disbands, there’s still some discussion going on about the recent Senate race in Alabama that saw Democrat Doug Jones upset Republican Roy Moore. Jones was put over the top, in part, due to extremely high turnout among the state’s African-American voters.

Here in Florida, and in Duval County, black voters will be a key factor going into this fall’s midterm elections in a number of races. Umanna and Griggs said they are working in particular to get more young black male voters to get involved in the process.     

Art Attack

Our panel discussed the revelation this week that the head of the New York City Ballet Peter Martins resigned after being accused of sexual misconduct and verbal and physical abuse over several years.

They also discussed Jacksonville’s vibrant arts community and how it needs to find more ways to work together to spread the word of its many works.      

Kerry Speckman

Kerry told us about Friday’s big Mayor’s Bills Bustin’ Bash at Everbank Field ahead of the Jaguars playoff game Sunday against Buffalo. It’s free but fans are being asked to register in advance.  Jackson Browne will be performing Sunday at the Florida Theatre.On January 11  Mama Blue will be performing at Crispy’s Springfield Galley ahead of heading to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge. On January 13 the Main Public Library will celebrate the 260th birthday of Alexander Hamilton and the Broadway musical. The event will include  Hamilton trivia and a costume and look alike contest.      

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.