Daily Archive: October 15, 2009


America finally discovers Christopher Columbus

(NNPA)—After institutionalizing the lie that in 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered what we now call America, some educators are finally beginning to tell students the truth: it was impossible for Columbus to discover a place where people were already living. The first time I heard that myth debunked was in 1966. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee leader then known as Stokely Carmichael said in a speech that not only should Columbus not be credited with discovering America, but he was actually lost when he landed in this hemisphere.


NFL’s Rooney rule could be good for business

(NNPA)—With overall unemployment now at 9.8 percent and the African-American unemployment rate tipping the scales at a whopping 15.4 percent, it would be a tempting but fatal mistake for corporate America to take its eye off the ball when it comes to increasing diversity within its leadership ranks. In fact, I suggest that business take a lesson from the way the NFL has used the “Rooney Rule” in recent years to improve its historically abysmal record of hiring African-American head coaches.



Black Barbie strikes back

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—Last week Mattel, makers of the Barbie line of dolls announced their newest addition to the pantheon of girls toys “S.I.S”! The acronym stands for “So In Style” which characterizes this new line of dolls that are targeted at African-American girls and their moms who are desperate to buy a Barbie doll but don’t want to get all wrapped up in the racial and social implications of re-enforcing European standards of beauty. Either that or they’re just desperate to keep up with the Joneses. While this new line is a step in the right direction, those hoping that these dolls are finally going to solve the age old debate about Black beauty images and give our girls a self esteem boost are delusional.


Nobel Prize for Obama deserved? Yes

(NNPA)—When the world woke up on Friday Oct. 10 it was surprised that Barack Obama had won the Nobel Prize. But surprise should not have been a cause for derision. Instead, it should have been a cause for national pride, but right away, many in the media raised questions about whether it was deserved since he had been in office so few months that he had accomplished nothing and Republicans like Michael Steele dismissed it “meaningless.”


Blacks and mental health

Too often, those who suffer with mental illness suffer in silence. Close family members may know the full extent of the affected person’s condition but co-workers and friends rarely do. The individual who has been diagnosed would much rather bear the weight of their illness alone that risk being ostracized for something that is out of their control. What about those who are mentally ill and not even aware that they are? In the African-American community, there are far too many such individuals. And it’s time for that to change.


Afro-Latino heritage must be highlighted

(NNPA)—This month is Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration to recognize the lives and contributions of people from Latin America and Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries in the U.S. This is an important month but how it is celebrated in the US leaves many African-Americans not fully understanding the important stake we have in this month. That is because so often celebrations of this month very rarely highlight the important, vibrant Afro-Latino population living and working in every Latin American country. Every country — Yes, even Mexico and Argentina.


Tina Fabrique Dazzles in ‘Ella’

On its opening night at the O’Reilly Theater, “Ella” received not one, but two standing ovations. It could have received three. That’s how memorable and entertaining the show is. From the stage presence of Tina Fabrique, who stars as Ella Fitzgerald, to the synchronicity of the jazz band that backs her up, to the whimsical, luminous set that makes you feel part of the world Ella made with her voice, the show is a hit. From the opening tune, Fabrique wrapped the audience around her little finger with her second-to-none vocals and ability to capture all the gestures, body movement, and the unique voice that made Fitzgerald internationally adored. Whether you closed your eyes or kept them open, you’d pinch yourself in wonderment about whether it was Fabrique on that stage, or “the First Lady of Song,” herself. TINA FABRIQUE AS ELLA FITZGERALD


Out & About with Yolanda Adams and Fred Wesley

This week was all about causes and being proud of your BLACK heritage. I visited Downtown Pittsburgh to check out the Annual African American Heritage parade, which honored the late legendary activist Harvey Adams Jr. A number of organizations and youth marched from the Mellon Arena to the new August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Downtown Pittsburgh. It was great to see everyone come out to see our cultural history. Members of the JB’s at Navarro that featured legend Fred Wesley.