PLANT CITY, Florida (AP)—Winning millions of dollars in the Florida lottery should have been the best thing that ever happened to Abraham Shakespeare. But with his newfound wealth in 2006—$17 million in a lump sum payment—came a string of hangers-on who constantly hit him up for money. Nine months ago, he vanished. IDENTIFIED— This undated file photo provided by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office shows Abraham Shakespeare, 43, a truck driver’s assistant who won the lottery and lived with his mother. He was reported missing Nov. 9, 2009.
Daily Archive: February 3, 2010
by Jessica Williams-Gibson INDIANAPOLIS—On the upcoming 2010 Census, when choosing race Blacks will be able to identify themselves as Black, African-American…or Negro. Conservative commentator Glenn Beck states “African-American is a bogus, PC, made-up term. I mean, that’s not a race. Your ancestry is from Africa and now you live in America. Ok, so you were brought over—either your family was brought over through the slave trade or you were born here and your family emigrated here or whatever but that is not a race.”
The Week of Feb. 5-11 February 5 THADDEUS STEVENS 1866—Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, one of the great White heroes of Black history, offers his famous amendment to the Freedman’s Bureau bill to use land confiscated from former slave owners as well as some public lands to guarantee each adult former slave “40 acres and a mule.” However, even after the Civil War there was enough anti-Black and pro-South sentiment in Congress to defeat the measure 126 to 37. If the Stevens measure had passed, it may have changed the entire course of Black history in America for the former slaves would have had a solid economic foundation upon which to build their new lives and the poverty that plagued African-Americans for the next 100 years could have been prevented.
In his first State of the Union address, it was encouraging to hear President Barack Obama say that jobs will be his administration’s top priority this year. “Jobs must be our number one focus in 2010,” said the president in a passionate and detailed speech to Congress. Jobs and the economy clearly dominated the address, as it should.
I am not good at saying I told you so, however, there were numbers of people both Black and White, who said, “Dr. King’s dream came true, a Black man is the president of America and that is the death of racism.” A great number of people knew better but they wanted to lull Black folks to sleep. 1 said then in this very same column that racism is alive and well, so be on guard.
(NNPA)—The news media is fascinated with anniversaries, especially those ending in round numbers. Therefore, it came as no surprise that the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins was celebrated this week. On Feb. 1, 1960, four students from North Carolina A&T University—Ezell A. Blair Jr., David L. Richmond, Joseph A. McNeil and Franklin E. McCain—initiated a successful effort to desegregate the lunch counter at the downtown Woolworth’s store.
(NNPA)—President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address is a testimony to the power of we. We, who dared to dream breaking the centuries-old color barrier at the White House was possible; we, who continue to fight for expanding voting rights; we, who battle tirelessly every election to maximize voter participation and minimize voter intimidation. His first State of the Union address is a paean to those who have joined together throughout history to change our country for the better.
(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—It is rare to come across a story so heinous, disturbing and utterly baffling that you bypass your usual emotional reactions. You skip through shock and anger and go straight towards disgust as you go line by line through a story you wish you had never seen. The last time I felt that way was in 2007 when Megan Williams was raped and tortured by six hillbillies in a trailer in West Virginia. But now, unfortunately I have that sickening feeling of disgust again. The story of Anferney Fontenet, who brutally raped a woman in broad daylight in Toledo last week, has reminded me of just how sick some people in this nation can be.
The current economic crisis has prompted legislators on both sides of the political aisle to consider ways to support the nation’s middle class through the financial downturn. But who is thinking about the nation’s poor? Heralded by a Republican controlled Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act moved millions of people off welfare rolls and into jobs. Unfortunately, most of these jobs were low-skilled positions that paid less than sustainable wages. The bill did provide for job training, child care and transportation needs but the allowances under the now state-run programs didn’t take into account the true needs of those who may have spent years on welfare, were under-educated and lacked viable job skills.
The NAACP is a civil rights organization. It always has been and always will be the nation’s oldest and boldest fighter for freedom and justice the “American way,” or so they say. How many of us really believe and understand that education is a civil right? How many of us know that a quality education is not something that is allotted to a select few, but is the right of all students? We all know that we live in a society that has come too far from Little Rock, Brown vs. the Board of Education, segregated schools, busing and all the other horror stories we were involved in while simply seeking a quality education to be turned back now. We didn’t demand to be treated differently from anyone else. We just wanted to be treated equal and be afforded the same educational opportunities as everyone else. However, in 2010, we find that we are, once again, faced with a crisis in our schools. Our educational system is flawed when it comes to fair treatment for our children.