Daily Archive: January 13, 2010


Egypt: New find shows slaves didn’t build pyramids

by Katarina Kratova CAIRO (AP)—Egypt displayed on Monday newly discovered tombs more than 4,000 years old and said they belonged to people who worked on the Great Pyramids of Giza, putting the discovery forth as more evidence that slaves did not build the ancient monuments. The series of modest nine-foot-deep shafts held a dozen skeletons of pyramid builders, perfectly preserved by dry desert sand along with jars that once contained beer and bread meant for the workers’ afterlife. NEWLY DISCOVERED TOMBS—In this undated photo released by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities Jan. 10, newly-discovered tombs of workers are seen, with the Great Pyramid in background, in Giza, Egypt. The mud-brick tombs were uncovered last week in the backyard of the Giza pyramids, stretching beyond a burial site first discovered in the 1990s and dating to the 4th Dynasty (2575 B.C. to 2467 B.C.), when the great pyramids were built on the fringes of present-day Cairo.


Americans urged to volunteer on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Washington, D.C.—With the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service just days away, the Corporation for National and Community Service is urging Americans to honor Dr. King’s memory and further his legacy by joining in service projects in their communities on the Jan. 18 King holiday. Momentum is building for the annual day of service, with thousands of projects planned across the country. The CNCS is leading the national effort, working in partnership with the King Center, nonprofit and faith-based groups, national service programs, and schools and businesses to encourage Americans to serve on the holiday and throughout the year.


Williams sworn in as Philadelphia’s first Black district attorney

by Larry MillerFor New Pittsburgh Courier PHILADELPHIA (NNPA)—Seth Williams has been sworn in as the city’s new district attorney, taking over the office of Philadelphia’s chief prosecutor from fellow Democrat Lynne Abraham. Williams, 42, is the city’s youngest district attorney ever elected. He is also the first African-American elected to that position in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. SETH WILLIAMS


Activists call on Obama to use ‘bully pulpit’ for Black economic progress

WASHINGTON (NNPA)—As 2009 ended with Black unemployment rates at 15.6 percent—more than twice the rate of a decade ago, a dramatic five points more than a year ago, and twice the White unemployment rate—civil rights leaders are calling on President Obama to pointedly use his “bully pulpit” on behalf of African-Americans. In NNPA interviews, leaders expressed clearly their readiness to take action for economic progress in the trenches. JESSE JACKSON, AL SHARPTON, DOROTHY HEIGHT


Memorial in Massachusetts for Brutus

(NNPA/GIN)—Dennis Brutus, 85, world-renowned political organizer, a former poet-in-residence at Worcester State College and one of Africa’s most celebrated writers, died early Dec. 26 in Cape Town in his sleep. Even in his last days, Brutus was busy in the environmental movement and promoting reparations to Black South Africans from corporations that benefited from apartheid. BEACON OF HOPE— This file photo shows activist Dennis Brutus during a panel discussion about human rights at Worcester State College in Worcester, Mass. Born in Harare in 1924, Brutus moved with his South African parents to Port Elizabeth and graduated from Fort Hare University with a distinction in English and a second major in psychology. Further studies in law were cut short by imprisonment for anti-apartheid activism.


This Week In Black History

Week of Jan. 15-21 January 15 1908—Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Black Greek letter sorority, is founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle of St. Louis, Mo. The sorority gradually branched out to other campuses and became one of the leading organizational vehicles for college-trained Black women to make their mark on American society. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. 1929—Martin Luther King Jr., the man who was to become America’s greatest civil rights hero, was born on this day in 1929. Actually, his original given name was “Michael” but it was later changed to Martin. He first rose to national prominence as the country’s premier civil rights leader when he successfully led the 1955-1956 Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott by Blacks angered by the arrest of Rosa Parks for her refusal to give up her seat on a city bus to a White man.


Guest Editorial…Williams, Sutton: True champions

The recent deaths of former Pennsylvania state Sen. Hardy Williams and businessman and civic leader Percy Sutton will be a great loss for the African-American community and all supporters of equality and justice. Both Williams, 78, and Sutton, 89, were trained as lawyers who used their legal training and skills to advance the empowerment of their people. They were both trailblazers who broke down barriers and opened doors and served as mentors for other African-American politicians and leaders.



Councilman Lavelle’s first vote extremely disappointing

On Jan. 4 Pittsburgh City Council was swore in and the first major order of business was to elect a council president. Councilman Bill Peduto and councilman Ricky Burgess both had four votes. Newly elected councilman Daniel Lavelle failed to vote for either and it is assumed that it was driven to a great degree, in my estimation, by his brain trust. I was informed that he absolutely refused to accept a phone call from councilman Burgess. This proves to me that the newly elected councilman does not care or fails to recognize that Louis Mason was the last Black person to occupy the position of president of Pittsburgh Council.


SCLC tarnishes Dr. King’s legacy

(NNPA)—On Tuesday, the day after the nation officially celebrates the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., suspended Southern Christian Leadership Conference board chair Raleigh Trammell of Dayton, Ohio, and Treasurer Spiver Gordon, a resident of Eutaw, Ala., are scheduled to appear in an Atlanta court to contest their dismissals amid allegations that they directly benefited from a secret $500,000 board account. To the public, SCLC, co-founded by Dr. King, has been on the rise after almost going out of business in 2004. Charles Steele Jr., one of my childhood friends from Tuscaloosa, Ala., brought the organization back from the brink of extinction as president and CEO, raising $8 million during his tenure from 2004 to 2009.


On Harry Reid’s ‘light-skinned’ comment: W.E.B. DuBois was right

(NNPA)—The problem of the 20th century, wrote scholar-activist W.E.B. DuBois in 1903, is the problem of the color line, the relation of the darker to the lighter races in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.” W.E.B. DuBois was right, and he was wrong. Certainly race matters were critically important in the United States and in the world (think decolonialization) in the latter part of the 20th century, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s, D-Nev., foolish comments about President Obama suggest that we are dragging 20th century problems into the 21st century.