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Christianna Silva

Editor's note: NPR will be continuing this conversation about Being Black in America online and on air.

When Imani Brown, a 38-year-old from San Francisco, hit the streets to protest the recent police violence against Black Americans, she felt inspired and energized. Her parents fought for racial justice before her, so her participation felt like a part of her inheritance.

Humans have never been particularly good at eradicating entire viruses, and COVID-19 might not be any different.

After Mississippi lawmakers voted in June to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state's flag, they asked people to send in designs for a new flag — and received nearly 3,000 submissions.

Multiple wildfires are spreading across California, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes in the midst of a global pandemic.

As of Sunday morning, there are 15 separate fires raging throughout the state, according to Cal Fire. The state's three largest fires have already burned through more than 50,000 acres of land.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture announced Friday that it trapped its first Asian giant hornet on July 14, a step forward in the race to remove the invasive species before it damages North American bee populations beyond repair.

"This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work," Sven Spichiger, the managing entomologist for WSDA, said in a press release. "But it also means we have work to do."

Rep. Raúl Grijalva tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, becoming at least the 12th member of Congress to contract the virus.

For the fifth consecutive day, there were more than 1,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the United States and infections haven't shown signs of significantly slowing, according to the COVID Tracking Project. More than 145,000 people in the country have died from the virus and more than 4,000,000 people have been infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Larry Hogan defeated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma five years ago, a fight that he says has colored many of his decisions as the Republican governor of Maryland, from criticizing President Trump to navigating the coronavirus pandemic.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, along with more than 150 prominent journalists, authors and writers, published a letter in Harper's Magazine on Tuesday, decrying what it called the "intolerant climate that has set in on all sides" of debate. The letter set off a heated controversy over free speech, privilege and the role of social media in public discourse.

Pirette McKamey is fighting for anti-racist education.

Over her more than 30 years as an educator, the principal at Mission High School in San Francisco spent a decade leading an anti-racism committee.

Updated at 9:26 p.m. ET on Monday

More than two months after Spc. Vanessa Guillen was last seen at Fort Hood in Texas, Army investigators identified her remains, her family's lawyer Natalie Khawam told NPR on Sunday.

"On July 3rd, the Army called me to confirm that the bones, hair and other remains found belong to Vanessa Guillen," Khawam said in an email. "We are at a loss for words. This should never have happened. Our country has lost a beautiful young soldier because the system is broken."

Nearly 130,000 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus and more than 2,800,000 people have been infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Long before the coronavirus pandemic, tabletop board games were having something of a renaissance, with popular games like The Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride becoming mainstream additions to family game nights.

Julian Bass loves Spider-Man, a trait you can easily glean by scrolling through the videos he posts to his TikTok and Twitter accounts.

"I just think Spider-Man is so fun. It's so inspiring to me," Bass told NPR's Weekend Edition. "Everything, every little aspect that you could possibly think of about Spider-Man is something that I'm aware of, that I know of."

June 2020 was a pride month that looked different from past years, and not just because people were socially distancing and wearing masks: Demonstrations for LGBTQ equality overlapped with protests against violence and systemic racism against Black people.

At the intersection of these two fights for equality are Black transgender people.

Imara Jones, an independent journalist and founder of TransLash media, told NPR's All Things Considered, that this moment has been "a crucible."

Hasan Minhaj tackles police brutality, the student debt crisis, U.S. elections, the demise of local journalism and so much more on the sixth season of his show, Patriot Act, on Netflix.

Lin-Manuel Miranda says he sees talk of radical change reflected not only in today's social and political moment but also in his musical Hamilton, which is based off of a political moment that took place 244 years ago.

"If there's any thesis about [Hamilton] it's everything that's past is present," Miranda tells NPR's Weekend Edition. "The contradictions that were present in the founding — the moment that those words 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' were written and the ways in which we fall short of that — are still present."

Updated at 8:43 p.m. ET Sunday

Lawmakers in Mississippi voted to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag on Sunday, clearing the way for Republican Gov. Tate Reeves to sign the measure into law.

The state House and Senate both approved legislation to remove the 126-year-old current flag and to form a commission to redesign it.

The state of Georgia is juggling three crises: a rising number of COVID-19 cases, problems with voting access as the general election approaches, and the killings of two Black men,

Former NASCAR driver Bill Lester, one of only seven Black drivers to race in NASCAR's top-tier cup series, wanted the Confederate flag gone when he raced more than a decade ago, but the time wasn't right, he says.

"There was no way that I could affect change during the time that I was racing," Lester says. "This is a different day."

Mark Shaver hadn't seen his 96-year-old mother, Betty, in months when he hit a breaking point and decided he had to see her.

Shaver lived in South Carolina and Betty was in a nursing home in Morgantown, W.Va., when COVID-19 outbreaks began sweeping across the nation. By early March, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice requested that nursing homes in the state restrict visitors, blocking any real chance Shaver would have to see his mom in person.

The family of the late American rock legend Tom Petty has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Trump campaign after it blasted the song "I Won't Back Down" at the president's rally in Tulsa, Okla.

In a statement posted to Petty's Twitter account on Saturday, the family said the use of the song was "in no way authorized."

The National Institutes of Health has halted its study of hydroxychloroquine, a drug President Donald Trump has promoted as a possible treatment for COVID-19 and once claimed to be taking himself.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the agency said that although it did not appear hydroxychloroquine caused harm to patients in the study, it was also "very unlikely to be beneficial."

Six campaign staffers working on the advance team for President Trump's rally in Tulsa, Okla., have tested positive for COVID-19, the campaign said Saturday. Trump is still attending the rally.

On Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard held up an image of Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe kicking Rayshard Brooks while he lay on the ground after the officer fatally shot him.

Growing up, Skip Auld says he didn't know much about the man his great-grandfather was named after. It wasn't a part of family lore, he says, and he always went by his nickname, Skip.

At birth, Skip Auld was named Hampton — for his great-grandfather, whose namesake was Wade Hampton III, a Confederate general and slave owner.

He was the fourth Hampton Auld in his family.

On Sunday, up to 1,000 South Florida service members, first responders and family members who came to Homestead-Miami Speedway are becoming the first fans to watch a NASCAR race from the stands since March.

The crowd at the rain-delayed Dixie Vodka 400 gathered after weeks of races without any spectators beyond essential staff, a guideline NASCAR followed in mid-May in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The police killings of George Floyd, Eric Garner and other black men and women began with allegations of a minor offense, such as passing a counterfeit $20 bill or selling individual, untaxed cigarettes.

As protests against police violence continue throughout the country, Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate are working on sweeping new federal legislation to combat police misconduct.

The bill, called the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, includes an array of measures intended to increase police accountability, data collection and training. Co-sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., the bill would ban the use of chokeholds, "no knock" warrants and religious and racial profiling.

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