Daily Archive: April 7, 2010


Discovery launch sets record for most women in space

by Marcia Dunn CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP)—Discovery and seven astronauts headed for a rendezvous with the International Space Station after a pre-dawn liftoff Monday on one of the last missions for NASA’s shuttle program. WOMEN ON THE RISE— Three female astronauts of the space shuttle Discovery crew, from left, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, mission specialist Stephanie Wilson and mission specialist Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, leave the Operations and Checkout building on their way to board the shuttle on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., April 5. The launch—the last one scheduled in darkness for NASA’s fading shuttle program—helped set a record for the most women in space at the same time. Three women are aboard Discovery, and another is already at the space station, making for an unprecedented foursome.



Mission specialist Stephanie Wilson

(AP)—Stephanie Wilson is one of only a handful of Black women to fly in space. Wilson, 43, grew up in Pittsfield, Mass., torn between whether to pursue a career in astronomy or engineering. She chose the latter, went to Harvard University and worked on the Titan IV rocket. Following graduate school, she joined Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., in 1992, working on NASA’s Jupiter-exploring Galileo probe. That’s when she met the first Black woman in space, Mae Jemison, who encouraged her in her pursuits.


Fox News, LL Cool J feud over Palin interview

(NNPA)—Fox News and LL Cool J found themselves at odds during the week of March 29 over the cable channel’s use of the New York rapper’s image to promote a new show—one on which he won’t be appearing. LL COOL J The news channel aired an ad promoting Sarah Palin’s new show, “Real American Stories,” featuring an image of LL Cool J. However, he claims he never gave permission for an old interview to be used for the ad, and was never contacted about being on the new show.


This Week in Black History

Week of April 9-15 April 9 1865—Black regiments lead an assault upon and eventually capture a key Southern fort helping bring the Civil War to an end. Nine regiments led by Gen. John Hawkins smashed through Confederate defenses at Forth Blakely, Ala. The 68th Division of USCT (United States Colored Troops) had some of the highest casualties of the Civil War. PAUL ROBESON, JOSEPHINE BAKER


Brooklyn politician takes up cause: Sagging trousers

by Jennifer Peltz NEW YORK (AP)—Saying low-slung trousers give their wearers a bad image, a state lawmaker is making the point with some images of his own. Brooklyn residents awoke April 1 to the sight of two “Stop the Sag” billboards—and more were on the way, organizers said. The signs show two men in jeans low enough to display their underwear. The billboards were bankrolled by state Sen. Eric Adams, who also made an online video to send his message: “You can raise your level of respect if you raise your pants.”



Born, dying, when will we be resurrected?

On Good Friday I attended a service held at the historic St. James AME Church. The pastor is Rev. James Edward Murray Jr. The seven words—born, dying, when will we be resurrected?—is a misnomer, because it’s really seven statements made by the savior as he hung on the cross. All seven guest ministers were excellent in their presentation. The first was delivered by Rev. Helen Burton, pastor, Ebenezer AME Church, Aliquippa, Pa. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”


Tiger Woods and The Masters: The ultimate odd couple

(NNPA)—The Second Coming of Tiger Woods, just four days after Easter, will dominate the airways this weekend. Woods chose the tradition-laden golf course for his return, in part, because it provides him the best buffer to separate himself from fans and journalists who want to know about his extramarital dalliances with the likes of former porn stars and his one-car accident with a tree and fire hydrant last November near his Orlando-area home. The curiosity factor has been heightened by Woods’ carefully-scripted reaction to his very public fall from grace: his refusal to meet with police after the accident, his staged press conference in which he read a statement but declined to take questions and the five-minute “interviews” with two news outlets leading up to the Augusta National. In a poor tactical move, he did not hold a formal news conference until Monday, more than four months after the incident.



If you aren’t a victim, you can still be a witness

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—I was never moved when I saw those old Sally Struthers ads telling me I should support a kid in Africa. First, I was pretty young at the time and second it all seemed so far away. These were kids like me struggling in another country and I just didn’t see much of a connection. Of course, I am a lot older a bit more socially conscious now, and I, like most adults, recognize that you don’t have to suffer the way others do, or even have direct experience with tragedy or trauma to make a difference. That’s why we can all, victims or not, actively participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April.


Health care is a fundamenta right: No repeal and replace

(NNPA)—“Repeal and replace” has become the battle cry of Sarah Palin and the bulk of Republican senators after the passage of comprehensive health care reform. They’re rousing fears, threatening those with health insurance that their costs and taxes will go up. As if everyone would keep their insurance at the same costs if there were no reform. Think again. Health care costs went up 131 percent over the last decade; general inflation was only 28 percent. If they stay on the same trajectory, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, they’ll go up another 166 percent over the next 10 years. As the costs go up, working families lucky enough to have insurance pay higher co-pays and get less coverage.


A time to break silence

(NNPA)—Some will notice that the title of this column comes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” when he challenged the war then being waged in the name of global anti-Communism that conflicted with fighting the evils of racism, militarism and materialism at home. These evils still rage today. Racism still presides over the attitudes and actions of many who shoot unarmed Blacks before bringing them to justice, or spit on Black congressmen, calling them the “N-word.” Militarism is still regarded as the ultimate tool by which we regain our revenge and global standing in Afghanistan, and materialism causes many of us not to care about those less fortunate who are growing by the minute in the wake of an economic disaster.