WIN-TV kicked off its Black History Month series on Feb. 5 as Washington Informer (WI) Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes shared the top headlines before speaking with some of the District’s leading voices in business, education, health and entertainment.

Each week, Rolark Barnes showcases the newest edition of The Washington Informer, pointing out news and features which she thinks will be of great interest to the newspaper’s diverse readers.

In honor of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red For Women” celebration, Rolark Barnes adorned herself in fire-engine red.

Following the weekly headline news video segment from WI Contributing Writer Curtis Knowles, Rolark Barnes engaged the first guest, Delegate Nick Charles (D-District 25), in an informative conversation about Prince George’s vaccine rollout plans. They would later be joined by WI Staff Writer William Ford who covers the Prince George’s County beat for the newspaper.

They also discussed a potential schedule for a return to in-person learning.

“I know schools are opening around other jurisdictions or they’re planning to,” he said. “But right now after speaking with the superintendent and after speaking with folks from the Maryland Department of Health, it’s just not safe yet. We want to make sure that the children are safe before we open the doors to the schools,. “I’m in agreement with holding off right now until we figure out the best plan of action so we can keep the children, the teachers and all the staff of the schools safe.”

Additional guests included Malandela Zulu and Zsudayka Nzinga Terrell – two D.C. art educators – who discussed their roles as part of the recent D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities exhibit which continues to showcase selected artwork from 21 D.C.-area teachers. The themes of their works include: isolation, mental health, social unrest and the COVID-19 health pandemic.

As the program concluded, Rolark Barnes spoke with Diana Veiga, civil engagement coordinator for D.C. Public Libraries and local author Camille Acker, who have joined forces to present a new program featuring authors and literature themed around Washington, D.C. culture. This year’s focus: the Black family representation, identity and diversity.

“It is my first book,” Acker said. “I was in my grad school program in creative writing and I hadn’t written about D.C. But I realized how important and vital the stories were that I had [heard growing up] in the District and just the experience of being in D.C. that I wanted to put on a page. And I wanted to write stories that were about Black girls, Black women and about the Black female experience.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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