Daily Archive: November 12, 2009

Opinion

Better off than a year ago?

(NNPA)—President Ronald Reagan had his flaws, but he certainly could turn a phrase. In the 1980 presidential campaign he asked a question that has resonated in campaigns ever since. “Are you better off than you were four years ago,” the former California governor asked in his race against Democratic President Jimmy Carter. The people answered with a resounding “no” and Ronald Reagan was elected.

Opinion

Help for small businesses

Earlier this year, major corporations like General Motors, Bank of America and Citigroup received federal dollars—taxpayer money—to keep their operations afloat. Despite public outcries of corporate excess and financial mismanagement leading the entities to the mess they were in, the government followed through with these bailouts because it was the right thing to do for the nation’s economy. In the midst of all this, we’ve heard very little about small businesses, which are the backbone of the American economy. This recession has affected them, too. And it’s time we turn our attention in their direction.

Opinion

The economic crisis elections

(NNPA)—There. I made up a title for the fact that the recent November elections were essentially about the socioeconomic status of voters as the primary factor in their decisions. We know already that in bi-year and mid-term elections after a major presidential election, the winner’s party most often loses seats. So why the excitement? The news value was that the major media tried and tried to nationalize the election by making it a referendum on the performance of President Barack Obama’s nine months in office. He had won both New Jersey and Virginia handily in 2008 and campaigned there for Democratic candidates in 2009.

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Opinion

A new morning of race in America

On the issue of race in America there is something in the air. Shakespeare’s melancholy Dane might say it is the “scent of morning;” our president would call it a “teaching moment.” A lawsuit filed in the district court of East St. Louis alleges that Mayor Alvin Parks and City Manager Robert Becks refused to hire Ronald Grimming, a former top commander of the Illinois State Police and former director of the Florida Highway Patrol as the city’s police chief because he is White. Plaintiffs Wyatt Frazer and Della Murphy, former members of the Police, Fire and Civil Service board, allege that shortly after Parks was elected he let his bias be known, rejecting their recommendation of Grimming because in his words, “the city was not ready to hire a White police chief.” At Parks’ recommendation, the city later hired Michael Braxton, a Black candidate with considerably less experience. Braxton resigned earlier this year following allegations that he has mishandled murder cases and engaged in race-based hiring practices.

Opinion

‘Change,’ a year later

(NNPA)—What a difference a year makes. This time last year, I was sitting around my living room with a bunch of 30-something Black professionals eating Buffalo wings and checking off red and blue states. Honestly, we were all a little shell-shocked. Some of us had campaigned all over the country for Obama. Others had just sat and watched in awe as history unfolded. At 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the West Coast was called and Barack Obama was named the victor. We ran out of the house, celebrating with our neighbors. We all poured onto the street as cars stopped and honked their horns. Some folks jumped on the hood of their cars. Washington, D.C. partied in several locations until the wee hours of the morning. Each one of us held both a collective promise and individual expectation of what this presidency would mean for us.

Entertainment

Motown comes to Pittsburgh…sort of

Several of Pittsburgh’s Black singers and musicians were on hand, channeling their favorite Motown performers to pay tribute to Motown Records’ 50th anniversary. Held at the August Wilson Center, the event showcased some of the Steel City’s best talent of all ages performing songs by such Motown greats as Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Marvelettes and The Temptations. MOTOWN SONGS—From left: J’Aira Pryor, Gabriel Gray and Sylvia Ellard sing Motown songs.

Entertainment

Out & About at CJ’s celebrating Esther Bush’s birthday

This week I visited Questions Nite Club in the Strip District, The Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum in Homewood, CJ’s in the Strip District, The Black Beauty Lounge in the Hill District and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Downtown Pittsburgh. My first stop was Questions Nite Club in the Strip District where Melvina Bradford held her own happy hour for friends and family. Everyone came out to party and get their drink on with Melvina as she partied and danced the night away. Birthday girl Esther Bush and family having a great time at CJ’s in the Strip District.

Entertainment

Cover To Cover…The Mocha Manual…

Your husband lives with his uncle. It’s an interesting relationship. His uncle tells him what to do and where to go. Your husband is obviously a grown man, but he must get permission from his uncle to go almost anywhere and do practically everything. This uncle says “Jump” and your man says “How high?” And the most interesting thing is, they both think it’s all good.

Entertainment

Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 12 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.

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Entertainment

Ask Gwendolyn…I made a mistake. I gave up my dream!

Dear Gwendolyn: I am 26 years old and I have a problem. When I graduated from college, I had applied and got accepted to law school. During that summer I was told by my girlfriend she was pregnant. Listening to my grandmother I married her. Immediately after the marriage she started to show no interest in me. It was devastating. Instead of going to law school I took a job to support my family as a baby was on the way. The baby (a boy) was born at the beginning of her sixth month of pregnancy. He was premature—nine pounds. When I come home from work, there is no food cooked, the apartment unclean, and a crowd of at least 10 to 12 people sitting around. Gwendolyn, I have high goals and she has none. She wants a divorce. What should I do?—Andrew