Monthly Archive: December 2009

National

Percy Sutton, Harlem political pioneer, dead at 89

by Cristian SalazarAssociated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP)—Percy Sutton, the pioneering civil rights attorney who represented Malcolm X before launching successful careers as a political power broker and media mogul, has died. He was 89. Marissa Shorenstein, a spokeswoman for Gov. David Paterson, confirmed that Sutton died Saturday. She did not know the cause. TITAN OF BUSINESS AND POLITICS—Percy Sutton, who rescued the Apollo Theater in New York City from extinction eight years ago, poses under the marquee in this July 1991 file photo.

National

Obama says ‘systemic failure’ resulted in Christmas Day plot

HONOLULU (AP)— President Barack Obama said that “a systemic failure” allowed the attempted Christmas Day attack on a Detroit-bound flight from Amsterdam. He called it “totally unacceptable.” The president said he wants preliminary results by Thursday from two investigations he has ordered to examine the many lapses that occurred. It will take weeks for a more comprehensive investigation into what allowed a 23-year-old Nigerian carrying explosives onto the flight despite the fact the suspect had possible ties to al-Qaida, Obama said. PRESIDENT OBAMA

National

Woman held in Hawaii for threatening to ‘blow away’ Michelle Obama

by Mark NiesseAssociated Press Writer HONOLULU (AP)—A woman accused of telling the Secret Service she would “blow away” Michelle Obama was in federal custody Dec. 22 as the Obama family planned to travel to Hawaii. Kristy Lee Roshia, 35, was charged with threatening a family member of the president and assaulting a federal agent after being arrested Dec. 19 less than two miles from the Kailua home where the Obama family planned to stay during a holiday visit. CHARGED—This photo provided by the U.S. Secret Service shows Kristy Lee Roshia. Authorities say Roshia, accused of threatening to kill first lady Michelle Obama, is in federal custody in Honolulu.

National

Centenarian who inspired Obama remembered

by Dionne WalkerAssociated Press Writer ATLANTA (AP)—Ann Nixon Cooper was remembered as a charismatic woman who, after toiling through the civil rights era, lived to see herself hailed in an election night speech by the nation’s first Black president. Some 550 people attended the funeral in Atlanta for Cooper, who died Dec. 21 at age 107. Cooper, a dentist’s wife who raised four children, first grabbed the nation’s attention last fall when Barack Obama singled her out as a point of inspiration for his historic presidential campaign. She had cast an early ballot for him just two weeks earlier. ANN NIXON COOPER

National

This Week in Black History

Week of January 1-7, 2010 January 1 1804—Jean Jacques Dessalines proclaims the independence of Haiti from France. The island nation, after the United States, became the second independent republic in the Western Hemisphere. The chief slogan of his independence speech was “live free or die.” The Haitian war of independence had actually begun in August of 1791. The leader and greatest hero of that war was a former slave who worked as a carriage driver—Toussaint L’Ouverture. As a general, L’Ouverture was comparable to, and in some respects superior to, America’s George Washington and France’s Napoleon Bonaparte. However, under the ruse of discussing peace, L’Ouverture was tricked into traveling to France where he died in prison in April of 1803. The Haitians nevertheless prevailed over the French under the leadership of Dessalines and he was able to declare independence on this day in 1804. Jean Jacques Dessalines and George Washington Carver

Opinion

Editorial…GOP’s nasty attacks sinking ever lower

As the health care reform bill inched closer to passage in the U.S. Senate a last week, several Republicans started to behave like petulant children. Rhetoric has been heated and nasty—on both sides to be fair—for the last several months, but reached a new low as the bill cleared two procedural hurdles along party lines Dec. 22. Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said America should pray that a senator misses the late night vote on the health care bill.

Opinion

Sutton embodied all we stood for

(NNPA)—I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the 1960s, and on the gritty streets of Brooklyn, N.Y., my life truly began to take course even though I had not even reached my 13th birthday. As a young preacher in the Church of God and Christ, I was blessed to cross paths with an individual who would undeniably help shape my life’s mission. First introduced by Bishop Washington (who ordained me a minister at the age of 10), I was lucky to receive the guidance and tutelage of a man who went on to blaze a trail for an entire group of people. When I was youth director of N.Y.’s Operation Breadbasket a few years later, he literally became a mentor and guardian. This fierce leader paid for me to go to the national Black political convention in Indiana in 1972 when I could not afford to do so, and continued to support me both spiritually and physically throughout the roller coaster ride of my civil rights career. He was a dear friend, adviser, role model and sheer visionary for all Black folks. He was Percy Sutton, one of the last greats.

georgecurrybox

Opinion

The politics of health care reform

Although House and Senate versions of the health care reform bill are weaker than they should be, the legislation making its way to President Barack Obama’s desk is far better than merely maintaining the status quo. Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean, a physician, said it would be better to do nothing than to enact the Senate version of health care reform. Howard Dean is wrong. It is a gross overstatement to assert that our current system comes close to matching anything being proposed by Democrats and opposed by every Republican senator.

Opinion

One terrible decade

(NNPA)—The first decade of the 21st century (2000-2009) was not a subtle period. It will probably be reported in future history as being a very challenging, morally challenging, moment for America. I have come up with my top 10 events of the last decade. Number One: 9/11/2001 Not since Pearl Harbor has America been more shocked and surprised. It showed us that we must always be vigilant and conscious of exactly who our enemies are. I was on Capitol Hill when it went down and witnessing the smoke bellowing from the Pentagon; tanks going across the Key Bridge; traffic at a complete standstill; cell phones cut off; etc. This was, without doubt, the worst day of my life.

hopkendrickbox

Opinion

Imani Christian Academy is gift of spiritual and academic values

This week’s column will not focus on the historical fact that Imani Christian Academy was born in the home of Bishop Donald O. Clay in 1993, with three dedicated teachers and 30 students. It also will not focus on the fact that on Jan. 6, 2010, Imani will open in a newly renovated school that occupies five- and-a-half acres. It will not focus on the fact that the staff has grown from three to 37.