Monthly Archive: August 2009



This in not a time for silence

(NNPA)—During the fierce battle with the Amalekites, when Moses raised his hands the Israelites won, but when he tired and dropped them, his enemies won. So Moses’ brother Aaron and Hur, a friend, stood with Moses and kept his hands raised until their side had the victory. In this fierce battle over health care, African-American religious leaders must not only pray but also get in the battle and support their brother President Barack Obama so he will not become overwhelmed by his enemies and lose this battle and the war. This battle is about health care reform, but the war is much greater. As Rush Limbaugh and the political right have made clear, the war is the defeat of the Obama presidency and the destruction of all avenues of help and prosperity for the poor and middle-class Americans.



Town halls on race

What would a town hall on race look like? I do not mean the aesthetics—the color of the carpet or where panelists would sit, but the guts of it—the substance. I am pondering the question because I was recently asked to help organize and participate in a series of such discussions across the country and for the life of me I can’t understand what the purpose would be. I am not one who believes Americans do not talk about race or that we are cowards when it comes to the issue. Indeed, Americans chatter about race all the time. After football, analyzing the issue of race seems to be our national pastime. I suppose it’s to be expected as the issue of race and racial equality is woven into the fabric of our country. But we have a very particular and stubborn framework within which we discuss the issue—race equals virtue.



Don’t allow health care scare to co-opt national health care

If the public debate around health care was not so tremendously absurd it would be laughable. True there are many questions that one can rationally ask about national health care. The key word here is rationally. Yet, what we have witnessed in America is anything but rational. It is staged, played, acted and has detracted from the real issues of a national health care program for all Americans. Let me take you back for a moment.



President Obama’s war of choice

Speaking recently at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Conference, President Barack Obama reportedly said in regard to the war in Afghanistan: “…. This is not a war of choice, this is a war of necessity.” Wrong! It was a war of choice when former President George Bush launched it in 2001; it remains a war of choice for President Obama. There is absolutely no justification for having thousands of American soldiers and thousands of Afghans killed and maimed just to wreak vengeance on the Taliban for 9/11. One would think the U.S. military or somebody could develop some means of confronting the Taliban and Al Qaeda without having to slaughter others in the process.


DVD review…‘Notorious’ surprisingly good

Being a movie buff in general and a Black movie buff in particular, as well as a lover of Black history, when I saw the “Notorious” DVD, I was curious but somewhat reluctant to get it because I’ve tired of all the gangsta movies. But I gave in. After watching several other movies, I finally decided to pop it in after it had been sitting around for a few days. I was very pleasantly surprised. First of all anything with Angela Bassett can’t be all bad. She played his mother. Not an extensive role, but enough to get my attention. THE KING—Notorious B.I.G., played by Jamal Woolard, is seated in his royal chair as Puff Daddy, played by Derek Luke looks on.


Coroner rules Jackson’s death homicide

LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Los Angeles County coroner has ruled Michael Jackson’s death a homicide and a combination of drugs was the cause, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press, a finding that makes it more likely criminal charges will be filed against the doctor who was with the pop star when he died. Forensic tests found the powerful anesthetic propofol acted together with at least two sedatives to cause Jackson’s death June 25 in his rented Los Angeles mansion, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings have not been publicly released. MICHAEL JACKSON


Cover To Cover…‘Lift Every Voice’

“I’m telling my dad!” Four simple words that put fear into schoolyard bullies, teasing siblings and everybody within earshot of your wail. Together, they made a declarative statement that conjured up a tall, imposing figure with booming voice and a long shadow—someone mighty who wouldn’t allow anybody to mess with you. “I’m telling dad!” Words that might have, in truth, been about as effective as a wet spaghetti, but which made you feel stronger just saying them. And how did your pop do it? Read “Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of The Civil Rights Movement” by Patricia Sullivan and you’ll see that, all your life, dad had help watching your back.


Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 27 Jazz jam CJ’s Restaurant & Lounge presents “The Roger Humphries & RH Factor Jazz Jam Session” at 8 p.m. at 2901-2911 Penn Ave., Strip District. There will be live jazz and fun every Thursday night. Must be 30-years or older and there is a dress code that will be enforced. No tennis shoes, sweats or athletic gear. For more information, call 412-642-2377.

Out & About

Out & About

This week I visited the Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, CJ’s in the Strip District and Ace and Deuces Lounge in the Hill District. My first stop was at CJ’s in the Strip District where DJ Nick Nice was on the 1’s and 2’s giving playing all the hits for everyone. Former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Logan was in the building along with everyone from the steel city. Big ups to Karen for giving everyone a classy place to party every week.


JT’s ribs finger lickin’ good

Surrounded by a mix of restaurants, some falling by the wayside while others are holding their own, JT’s Rib Shack seems to be flourishing. On a recent Wednesday evening, customers of all kinds flocked to the 11814 Frankstown Rd. establishment taking out wings, ribs, seafood, side orders and desserts. “We’re just blessed,” said James R. Taylor Jr., waving to a Penn Hills police officer complimenting him “on another great meal.” Celebrating their first year anniversary, Taylor says that it’s because of God and his staff that he is surviving when longtime restaurants like King’s are closing their doors. Pointing to the vacant building where the family eatery served the community for more than 23 years, Taylor says he is cognizant of the perils of the industry. “The three previous businesses operating at this location didn’t last a year. That means we have to be on top of our game.” GOOD TO THE BONE—The husband and wife team of Vicky and James Taylor prepare a takeout order of ribs at JT’s Rib Shack.