Daily Archive: May 5, 2010


Courier pioneer passes…Cunningham led fight for women, civil rights

From the 1940s through 1962, Evelyn Cunningham led the crusade for civil rights and women’s rights as a writer and editor for the Pittsburgh Courier, the largest Black newspaper in the country at the time. After leaving the paper in 1962 she continued her fight to open closed doors for women and Blacks to the point of being one of the most respected and feared women in the country. EVELYN CUNNINGHAM Cunningham died April 28 of natural causes at the Jewish Home and Hospital in Manhattan, said her niece, Gigi Freeman. She was 94. She traveled the world while covering many stories and opening doors for women. She was a founder of The 100 Black Women.


Billboards used to solve murders…Dixon spearheads campaign to heal families

Almost two years after her son Antwann was shot and killed in Homewood at the age of 21, Sheryl Jackson still finds it hard to talk about his death. And what continues to add to the pain of her loss is that her son’s killer has not been arrested. Jackson did not say much, but said because the pain of her loss it is still great, “I do not like to talk about it. It still depresses me.” ENOUGH IS ENOUGH—Sheryl Jackson, mother of Antwann Jackson, holds her son’s 2-year-old daughter, Maia Jackson, in front of his billboard. The sign states a reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual who murdered her son. Like Jackson, there are many out there with the same story. The loss of a loved one with no closure or justice because the killer is still out there. And many times, some in the community know who it is, but do not say anything. Out of approximately 42 homicides in the city of Pittsburgh for 2009, Police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said 15 of those homicides are still unsolved and all of them are Black males. And this year there are 17 homicides in the city—seven of those are unsolved and six of those are Black men.



15 of 26 homicides Black lives…Only one Black homicide in April

So far this year, April has had the lowest number of homicides and even more, the lowest number of Black homicides. This month, there was only one Black murder. Although the numbers were low, the senseless factor remains. Many of the homicides were due to disputes that got out of hand and took a wrong turn. Whatever happened to stepping back and taking a deep breath during an argument? When did it get to the point of picking up a gun, a knife or even a bat? Although there was only one Black homicide, even one is one too many. We, as a community, have to unite and continue the efforts, so that one can be turned into none.


HerStory shows diversity at highest level

April 29 saw the completion of the city of Pittsburgh’s month-long series on diversity and inclusion. As part of the DiverseCity 365 initiative, women in leadership positions around the city led the HerStory Discussion at the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, giving others insight into how they had shattered the glass ceiling. LUKE RAVENSTAHL DiverseCity 365 began in October 2007 as a means of increasing diversity and inclusion throughout the city. The Department of Personnel & Civil Service Commission created a taskforce to develop strategies toward this goal and establish monitoring programs.


Chamber candidate forum addresses business concerns

With most of the gubernatorial candidates having participated in multiple public forums prior to the African American Chamber of Commerce event April 29, there was little chance anyone would hear something new. But independent candidate Robert Mansfield, an African-American U.S. Army veteran from Phila­delphia, took that little chance and ran with it as far as he could, which led to a few raised eyebrows from those previously unexposed to Libertarian viewpoints. AIRING DIFFERENCES—State gubernatorial candidates prepare to make opening statements during the candidates’ forum at the Rivers Club. From left: Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, independent candidate Robert Mansfield, state Auditor General Jack Wagner, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and state Attorney General Tom Corbett. “The old way is over. We need a ‘new normal,’” he said. “We need less regulation and less tax. We should phase out business taxes by 2016.”


Nonprofits call for timely budget

When Marilyn Hall first started losing her sight to Retinitis Pigmentosa, she could cope. She was in her own home and had children to help. Now, however, her children are grown, she is divorced and living in an apartment, and her disease has progressed to the point where she cannot read her mail, pay bills or do laundry without help. DO THE RIGHT THING—Urban League of Pittsburgh President and CEO Esther Bush asks legislators not to cut human service funding to nonprofits when the need for services is increasing. Thanks to Catholic Charities’ Neighborhood Based Services program, she gets that help. But she may not for much longer. Mid-year state budget cuts have already forced service reductions and if the next budget is not delivered on time or reduces allocations to nonprofits further, Hall could be dropped from the program entirely.


Community Calendar

Seniors celebration MAY 5—Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato will host a Senior Celebration in the Park from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the South Park Fairgrounds, South Park. This celebration is part of Older Americans Month. The theme is “Live Strong! Live Long!” There will be free screenings, live entertainment, giveaways and more. Registration is requested. For more information, call 412-350-3428.


Metro Beat

Issuing a challenge On May 1. Pennsylvania State Rep. Jake Wheatley Jr. challenged his opponents, former City Councilwoman Tonya Payne and school board member Mark Brentley Sr., to participate in several public debates. “The time has come for the voters of the 19th Legislative District to hear directly from the candidates for the Democratic nomination for their state representative in a series of debates throughout our community,” said Wheatley in a press release. The challenge was to hold the public debates now through May 18, the day of election primaries at various locations within the 19th Legislative District they are running for. As of this time, neither challenger has responded to Wheatley’s request.


British wonder twins set new math milestone, youngest Brits to advance to high school

(NNPA)—Paula and Peter Imafidon have broken existing records and are setting new records as they wait to hear about their high school placement. While that is something children around the world are doing, what makes it special for the Imafidon siblings is that they are only 9 years old. The twins have attracted attention for being the youngest to pass the A/AS-level math papers at age seven. Then a year later, they became the youngest to pass the University of Cambridge’s Advanced Mathematics paper, according to the TimesOnline report. PAULA AND PETER IMAFIDON


Alphas boycott Arizona; move annual confab to Vegas

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the oldest integrated and historically Black Greek-lettered organization in the world, has announced that it’s moving its 104th Anniversary Convention from Phoenix, Ariz. “Late Thursday, April 29, our national board of directors voted unanimously to rescind the location of Phoenix, Ariz., as our meeting location of the 104th Anniversary/90th General Convention in July, and to denounce the egregious immigration act signed recently by the governor of Arizona,” said Herman “Skip” Mason Jr., the fraternity’s national general president. SKIP MASON