Listen Live
Praise 104.1
Sybil Wilkes wyntk thumbnail

Source: REACH Media / Reach Media










Sybil Wilkes ‘What You Need To Know:’ Salute! Cpl. Waverly Woodson — Who’s Hiring? — Racist Passenger  was originally published on

1. Salute! Cpl. Waverly Woodson: Black Hero Remembered on D-Day Anniversary

Salute! Cpl. Waverly Woodson: Black Hero Remembered on D-Day Anniversary Source:Getty

What You Need to Know:


D-Day, June 6, 1944,  the invasion of the beaches 79 years ago at Normandy in northern France,  is remembered Tuesday by military tacticians, historians, and veterans alike, as the beginning of the end of World War II. The invasion was carried out by troops from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries against Nazi-occupied France.


The amphibious assault, code-named ‘Operation Overlord,’ brought tens of thousands of soldiers onto the beaches of Normandy, France by the end of that first Tuesday in the month of June, forever known as D-Day. Movies over the generations, from “The Longest Day” to “Saving Private Ryan” gave viewers a sense of that day. But they gave a limited view of White soldiers and heroes from that day. Thousands of Black soldiers were there on D-Day, fighting along the French shores and on land.


The Associated Press reported, “While portrayals of D-Day often depict an all-White host of invaders, in fact, it also included many African Americans. Roughly 2,000 African American troops are believed to have hit the shores of Normandy. “ 


Historians note, “The only African American combat unit that day was the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, whose job was to set up explosive-rigged balloons to deter German planes.”


AP News also told the story of the Black members of the U.S. military, including, “Waverly Woodson Jr., was a corporal and a medic with the 320th battalion, the lone African American combat unit to fight on D-Day. Although Mr. Woodson died in 2005 — he told The Associated Press in 1994 about how his landing craft hit a mine on the way to Omaha Beach.”


“The tide brought us in, and that’s when the 88s hit us,” he said of the German 88mm guns. “They were murder. Of our 26 Navy personnel, there was only one left. They raked the whole top of the ship and killed all the crew. Then they started with the mortar shells.”


Some historians told the story:  “Woodson, wounded in the back and groin while on the landing craft, went on to spend 30 hours on the beach tending to other wounded men before eventually collapsing, according to a letter from then-Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Van Hollen, now a U.S. senator, headed an effort to have Woodson posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on D-Day.” wrote about the man lauded in headlines as the  “Black Medic Saved Hundreds on D-Day. Was He Deprived of the Medal of Honor?


 From all authorities, yes he was. continued, “Woodson managed to set up a medical aid station, and for the next 30 hours occupied himself removing bullets, dispensing blood plasma, cleaning wounds, resetting broken bones, and at one point amputating a foot. He also saved four men from drowning, reportedly pulling them from the waves and administering CPR after their guide rope broke on the way ashore.”


AP noted, ”a lack of documentation — in part because of a 1973 fire that destroyed millions of military personnel files — has stymied the effort,” to award Mr. Woodson posthumously. 


Why You Need to Know:


Maybe it was a fire, maybe it was a racist pall over the military, and this country, that prevented Mr. Woodson from receiving the nation’s highest honor. 


Author Linda Hervieux was cited by AP for her book about the 320th Battalion, “Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day’s Black Heroes, at Home and at War.” Hervieux wrote that the “military resisted efforts to desegregate as it ramped up for War War II. Instead, they kept separate units and separate facilities for Black and White troops. 


History wrote, “Woodson, however, never received the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. military decoration given to those who display extraordinary valor in action. In fact, of the hundreds of Medals of Honor given out during World War II, not a single one went to a Black soldier, even though more than  one million African-Americans served in the conflict.” For many heroes, it’s not about the medals or even a pat on the back. But you deserve so much more. We salute you, Corporal Waverly Woodson, Jr., and your comrades.  You gave so much to this country. 



2. Who’s Hiring? Nearly Half of All Newly Unemployed Workers are Black

Who's Hiring? Nearly Half of All Newly Unemployed Workers are Black Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


Last month, the “What You Need to Know” newsletter covered April’s job report, which touted statistics that the Black unemployment rate hit record lows of 4.7%, the lowest it has ever been. But the May jobs report indicates that half of newly unemployed workers are Black.

Unemployment for Black workers rose 0.9 percentage points to 5.6% in May from 4.7% in April. Among Black men, the rate was 5.6% in May, compared to 4.5% in April. The unemployment rate also ticked higher for Black women, rising to 5.3% in May from April’s rate of 4.4%.

Black unemployment has fallen nearly 12 percentage points since its pandemic peak — 16.1% — in April 2020. According to labor economist Michelle Holder, an associate professor at John Jay College of the City University of New York, the expansion of the warehouse and transportation sector is a big driver. “Of the 3 million more jobs that the U.S. economy has now than it did in February 2020, a third of those jobs are in the transportation and warehousing industry,” Holder said. “That industry has the best representation in terms of Black male workers.”

Holder noted that Black women, in particular, have struggled to recover jobs lost during the pandemic. “The industries in which we are concentrated, which includes public-sector work, leisure and hospitality, and it particularly includes education and social services, those sectors really took much longer to recover,” she said.

Economists agree that the long-term data will trend unemployment back down to pre-pandemic levels. But the month-to-month volatility provides key evidence of how racially marginalized groups are affected during troubling economic times.

Why You Need to Know:

Having “a job” is not the same as having a “good paying job,” but both are better than having “no job at all.” Yes, the Amazons, and the UPS’s of the world are always hiring, but we all know those positions are not ones on which we can make a living off. Black people can economically prosper when we focus on creating more education opportunities that reverse the byproducts of systemic racism.



3. Are Pap Smears a Thing of the Past?

Are Pap Smears a Thing of the Past? Source:Getty

What You Need to Know:


Cervical cancer used to be one of the top causes of cancer for women in this country. But over the past decade, rates have declined. This has led the American Cancer Society to update its guidelines about when women should begin screening.


The new guidelines recommend against continued use of the Pap test, suggesting instead that women age 25 to 65 have HPV testing every five years, and advise against screening altogether for women younger than 21.


This revision, however, doesn’t take into account Black women, who die from cervical cancer at more than two times the rate of White women. Nor does it address the consequences of delays in screening; Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer than any other racial group.


The ACS charged forward with these new recommendations despite the fact that we know the HPV test alone is less effective than co-testing with the Pap test.


Results from the largest cervical cancer screening study ever, released in July, found co-testing with the Pap test and HPV test identified more than 94 percent of cervical cancer cases and nearly 100 percent of pre-cancer cases in women who would be diagnosed within the next 12 months.


The revised guidelines also have been questioned by many gynecologists and organizations such as the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.




4. Racist Passenger Gets Called Out During a Flight



What You Need to Know:


Content creator Taila Rouse posted videos on her TikTok page (links below) detailing an incident with a racist passenger during a four-hour Delta Airlines flight from Puerto Rico to Atlanta. 


“You know what I wasn’t going to say anything… but I decided I want you to feel as uncomfortable as I do, and I want you to know that I saw your text messages and I think you’re disgusting,” Taila is heard saying to the unidentified male passenger. He apologizes and Taila responds, “You don’t have to be sorry to me, you’re sorry because I saw it.”


According to the series of videos, the unidentified passenger sent text messages to members of his travel party, detailing his disgust for having to be “next to a huge Black woman.” Taila also shared a video of the man texting on his phone before zooming in on the contents of the messages.


“At first, I had no intention of speaking up, but as I observed them engaging in numerous instances of racism and homophobia…I became increasingly uneasy…I wanted him to know that his actions were shameful and that whether he wanted to acknowledge it or not, he was seated next to a human being,” said Taila.


Taila also confirmed that she was one of the persons that the man was referring to, and showed another video where he sat with his back to her during the remainder of the flight.


‘He wouldn’t even think in my direction when the plane landed,’ said Taila.


Why You Need to Know:


Kudos to Taila Rouse for peacefully speaking the truth while striking fear in the heart of hatred. Calling out racists may be a tough decision for one to make because of all the anger, frustration, and rage their actions may cause, but it’s a necessary task to stop this nonsense on all levels. Take a breath, collect your words, and be tactful. That’ll scare them even more! I’m all for this. CALL ‘EM OUT EVERY TIME!



5. Plan For Your Future: 3 Things to Consider Before Retiring Early

Plan For Your Future: 3 Things to Consider Before Retiring Early Source:Getty



What You Need to Know:


Long retirement isn’t all hobbies and travel and family time. Retirement can have some unexpected drawbacks, too. Here are three downsides you may not have considered and how you can prepare for them.

1. Have a clear idea of how much you’ll need to save for retirement and try to set aside at least that much during your working years. Make regular monthly contributions if you’re able to do so.

When you get to retirement, have a safe withdrawal strategy in place to ensure you don’t drain your savings too quickly. The 4% rule says you can withdraw 4% of your savings in your first year of retirement. Then, you increase this amount slightly each year to counter inflation. It’s supposed to make your retirement savings last 30 years, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

2. It’s easy to get caught up on the negative aspects of our jobs, but they often provide a lot of benefits, such as salary and insurance.

Many jobs also provide the opportunity to get out of the house and socialize. You can find opportunities to socialize on your own, but some people find this easier to do when they have a job.

3. Most retirement accounts charge you penalties if you tap your retirement savings under 59½ without a qualifying reason. You’ll need a strategy to avoid this.

You can withdraw any Roth contributions you have tax- and penalty-free at any age. Or you could save some money in a taxable brokerage account to use until you’re old enough to access your retirement savings.

Keep in mind that you can’t apply for Social Security until you’re at least 62, and you can’t apply for Medicare until 65. So you’ll need to be able to cover all your retirement expenses until then.