Daily Archive: November 19, 2009


Brazil college backs down on mini-dress expulsion

by Tales Azzoni SAO PAULO (AP)—Brazil’s case of the pink mini-dress that went viral on the Internet has left many scratching their heads: How could it be that an outfit, no matter how short, would cause such an uproar in a tropical nation where skimpy clothing and tiny bikinis barely raise an eyebrow? REINSTATED—Student Geisy Arruda poses at her home Nov. 7 in Sao Paulo wearing the same dress that she was expelled for wearing on campus at Bandeirante University in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. The answer, a Bandeirante University official said, is not in the pink dress, but in how Geisy Arruda, a 20-year-old tourism student, chose to wear it. In expelling her from the university—where she has since been reinstated—officials said she paraded provocatively and raised the dress. “There are hundreds of girls wearing miniskirts on this campus every day, and nothing has ever happened,” Vice Dean Ellis Brown said at a news conference. “The size of the dress was never discussed—her behavior was.”


Cleveland’s handling of missing people challenged

by A. Welsh-Huggins CLEVELAND (AP)—The discovery of 11 victims of an alleged serial killer, most of them poor, drug-addicted Black women, has prompted calls for Cleveland police to respond faster and devote more resources to missing-persons cases. Police, however, say they already have a comprehensive system for finding the lost and can’t be held accountable for people they don’t know are missing. Confounding the current tragedy, only three of the victims had been reported missing. OVERCOME WITH GRIEF —Inez Fortson is helped from funeral of her daughter, Telacia, at Grace Missionary Baptist Church in Cleveland Nov. 12. Telacia Fortson, 31, was one of 11 women whose remains were discovered in the home of Anthony Sowell. The case has raised anew the issues of how and how fast police should react when adults are reported missing—especially departments stretched thin by slashed budgets and stymied by the likelihood that many people go missing voluntarily and have not met foul play.


D.C. sniper’s ex-wife, children cope with execution

by Nafeesa Syeed WASHINGTON (AP)—One of the D.C. sniper’s ex-wives said Nov. 12 that she has fully healed from the abusive marriage she endured with him, and is helping her children cope with knowing their dad won’t be a part of their lives. MILDRED MUHAMMAD Mildred Muhammad, 49, told The Associated Press in a phone interview that she and her three children watched news coverage of John Muhammad’s execution in silence at their Maryland home. When his death was announced, the children—John, 19, Salena, 17, and Taalibah, 16—went into different rooms and cried.


Black lawmakers under ethics spotlight

by Zenitha PrinceFor New Pittsburgh Courier WASHINGTON (NNPA)—All seven of the full-scale ethics investigations currently under way in the U.S. House of Representatives are focused on African-American lawmakers, and it would be eight if the committee conducting the investigations hadn’t deferred to the Justice Department’s investigation involving Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. The disparity is beginning to raise some eyebrows.


Jefferson gets 13 years

WASHINGTON (NNPA)—Former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, the first African-American elected to Congress from Louisiana since Reconstruction, was sentenced Nov. 13 to 13 years in prison on charges of corruption. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria, Va. handed down a sentence that was a little more than what the defense had hoped for and significantly less than the prosecution requested. According to The Associated Press, Ellis said that he took the past service of Jefferson, a Democrat, into account when deciding his sentence but said that, “public corruption must be dealt with severely.” SENTENCED — Former Democratic Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson, left, with his wife, Andrea Jefferson, leave the U.S. District Court after being sentencing to 13 years in prison for bribery, in Alexandria, Va., Nov. 13.


This Week in Black History

November 19-25 November 19 1985—Stepin Fetchit, the first major Black movie star, dies of pneumonia in Woodlawn Hills, Calif., at the age of 83. Fetchit (real name Lincoln Penny) was harshly criticized by most major Black organizations because he made his money playing a lazy, shiftless, easily frightened Black character during the 1940s and 1950s. However, the role, which appealed to many Whites and some Blacks, made him a millionaire. GARRETT T. MORGAN, WALTER PAYTON, and JOSEPH CINQUE


Speak Out…What will you be giving thanks for this Thanksgiving?

Most of us will celebrate Thanksgiving Day with family and friends. So other than the food, we asked Pittsburghers what they will give thanks for this year. Here’s what you said. “I will be giving thanks that my family is healthy and able to get around. I’m also thankful to see another year, that I am graduating from high school and on my way to college.”Amanda LawsonStudentPenn Hills AMANDA LAWSON, KERWIN CUPID, MAT MATHIS



Self-esteem, major solution to problems

I was a participant in a workshop and I asked for a definition of self-esteem and being rich. Every person attempted to define rich as materialism, owning houses, land and other things. Not one person saw richness as family, friends and health. Only a few were able to define self-esteem. One described it as self-pride, another understanding who you are and one even said it is knowing your self-worth and never allowing anyone to define who you are or what potential you possess.



‘Black Dynamite’ detonates my ego

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—Several weeks ago a group of friends and I drove two hours just to see a movie. We joined a surprisingly multi-cultural crowd to see the premiere of the movie “Black Dynamite” a hilarious spoof of blaxploitation films of the 1970s. I will admit upfront that I’m no expert on the blaxploitation film era. Outside of reading Martha Southgate’s “Third Girl from the Left” and seeing Mario Van Peeble’s “Badass,” I can’t give you an intimate break-down of the social, sexual and political implications of the films at the time. I’ve never even gotten through all of the original “Shaft,” I thought it was boring. Despite this lack of in-depth knowledge I actually just enjoyed a Black movie, something that I think the large Black community forgets how to do every once in awhile.


Targeting Black lawmakers

(NNPA)—Although a House of Representatives ethics committee is known to be looking into the activities of at least 19 members of Congress, the only full-scale investigations under way are against seven Black lawmakers. African-Americans make up 15 percent of Congress but 100 percent of those subjected to a full-scale investigation, raising questions about a double-standard.