Daily Archive: December 23, 2009


South Africa ex-health boss dies; touted garlic for HIV

by Celean Jacobson JOHANNESBURG (AP)—South Africa’s former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who gained notoriety for her dogged promotion of lemons, garlic and olive oil to treat AIDS, has died. She was 69. The ruling African National Congress said Tshabalala-Msimang died in a Johannesburg hospital Dec. 16 from complications related to a 2007 liver transplant. TSHABALALA-MSIMANG Tshabalala-Msimang’s disastrous HIV policies during her nine years in office made her the most unpopular government minister in post-apartheid South Africa. She was ridiculed locally and internationally and nicknamed “Dr. Beetroot”—another one of her suggested AIDS remedies—and “Dr. Garlic.”


Free after 35 years: DNA clears Florida inmate

by Mitch Stacy BARTOW, Fla. (AP)—For years, James Bain insisted he was home watching TV with his twin sister when a 9-year-old boy was kidnapped and raped. The victim had picked him out of a lineup, and his repeated pleas for DNA testing were rejected until the Innocence Project of Florida got involved in his case earlier this year. FREE MAN—A well-wisher reaches to shake the hand of James Bain, center, during a news conference outside the Polk County Courthouse in Bartow, Fla. On Dec. 17, he was finally set free. He made his first-ever cell phone call, to tell his elderly mother he was out of prison after 35 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.


First lady donates to Toys for Tots

by Darlene Superville QUANTICO, Va. (AP)—Delivering a red Christmas sack bulging with toys, first lady Michelle Obama appealed Dec. 16 for donations for older children for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s annual Toys for Tots program for needy children. SPECIAL DELIVERY—First lady Michelle Obama delivers Christmas toys from White House staff to the Toys for Tots Stafford County Distribution Center in Stafford, Va. Mrs. Obama visited a Toys for Tots warehouse near Marine Corps Base Quantico to deliver a portion of the more than 500 toys collected during a White House drive. She helped sort a pile of toys for girls, and appealed for gifts for 11- to 14-year-olds after longtime volunteer and base public affairs officer Wilma Vaughn told her about the shortage of toys for bigger kids.


This Week In Black History

Week of Dec. 25-31, 2009 December 25 1760—The first poem written by a Black person and published in America was published on Christmas day 1760. It was written by Jupiter Hammon—a slave in Long Island, N.Y., who was allowed to attend school. The poem was entitled “An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ with Penitential Cries.” JUPITER HAMMON Hammon also wrote a poem to Phyllis Wheatley—another early and great African-American poet. Hammon is thought to have lived until he was 95 (1711-1806?). He was devoutly religious.


Four million Black children need afterschool programs

Washington, D.C.—Despite an increase in the number of children attending afterschool programs over the last five years, today more than a quarter of the nation’s schoolchildren are on their own in the afternoons, and the parents of 18 million children say they would enroll their kids in afterschool programs if programs were available. While African-American children are more likely than others to be in afterschool programs, millions are unsupervised each afternoon and the unmet need is tremendous. Those are among the findings from a survey of nearly 30,000 households across the United States conducted for the Afterschool Alliance and sponsored by the JCPenney Afterschool Fund.


Speak Out: What can be done to improve the state of Black men in Pittsburgh?

“Corporations and institutions need to stop the prejudice and see Black people for who they are and not their skin color. I think that will give Black males an opportunity to make it, as long as they stop killing off each other and committing genocide.” The Urban League of Pittsburgh recently issued a gloomy report on the state of Black men in Pittsburgh, so we asked what you felt could be done to improve conditions. Here’s what you said: Mark Hoy, Christopher Wood and Marsha Robinson


Why is everyone teeing off on Tiger?

The Tiger Woods’ women count is up to 20. That’s the number of women who haven’t gone to bed with the world’s busiest golfer. Until now, I have managed to stay away from this subject. But in many ways, the reaction to Tiger’s fall from grace says more about us as a society than Woods’ personal problems. First, Tiger Woods should be viewed for what he is—a great athlete. And the unending skank-of-the day disclosures cannot alter that reality. In fact, the Associated Press just crowned him Athlete of the Decade.


Where do we go from here?

(Editor’s Note: Upon the 25th year of Rev. Jesse Jackson’s first run for president, we asked him to write his thoughts on the state of Black America at this point in history.) (NNPA)—It’s been big month. A jobs summit, the beginning of another escalation in Afghanistan a Nobel Peace Prize speech in Oslo, a climate change conference in Copenhagen, a possible end game for the Senate on health care, and a jobs summit and what I hope will be the start of an effective national jobs program that puts America back to work. December 10 also marked Human Rights Day, the 61st anniversary of the day the post-WWII world adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is an appropriate day to consider “where we go from here.”



Saying goodbye to the ‘Lost Decade’

We’re at the end of a really strange 10-year period in both American and African-American history. I am generally hesitant to give a whole decade a nickname but in the wake of the last 10 years I’d have to refer to the early 2000’s as the “Lost Decade.” On just about every measurable level Americans are worse off today than they were 10 years ago, and as I ran through the last decade the lowlights definitely outweighed and seemed to be outlasting the highlights. When you really think about it, you’ll be happy to see the first decade of the new millennium fade into history. I’ve compiled some of my basic thoughts of the key events of the last year, and all in all it was a pretty sad series of events.



Obama seeks advice on creation of jobs

Across this nation the unemployment situation is at an critical all time high and unless it is addressed and corrected it will accelerate the demise of our families, community and will send more Blacks, particularly men to penal institutions. It is commendable that President Barack Obama has the driving concern, commitment and integrity to asked proven community organizations for help. A local organization, Your Sister’s Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public, charitable nonprofit organization has been invited by the White House to host a local community forum to provide Obama with some crucial answers to the massive unemployment. In a meeting the question was asked how will the local organization respond to this overwhelming problem?