by Phillip Johnson Over 30 years ago, I joined the fraternity of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. Their motto “First of All, Servants of All, We shall Transcend All,” spoke to their being the first Black fraternity and their lofty vision for brotherhood. They touted iconoclastic members, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke and Ambassador Andrew Young, all from the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. They engaged in the community with programs like “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People,” and they have changed the trajectory of the lives of thousands of young men in the process.
Daily Archive: June 8, 2010
I was introduced to the Muhammad Study Group and the result was that I started to frequent Mosque #22 located in Wilkinsburg. There was a brother there who questioned me in a friendly manner in one of my early visits, by asking did I belong to the Nation and I responded what nation? We both smiled and he then stated, “I’ve noticed you and you appear to be totally at ease, and I understand you are a practicing Christian.” My response was, “I feel totally at home, because the teachings of the most Hon. Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan are not foreign to me, because throughout my life there were Christian ministers, who delivered almost identical messages of positiveness.”
(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—Last week Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama resigned for failing to keep key campaign promises after only being in office for nine months. About 90 percent of the American public have no idea who Hatoyama is, or that his Democratic Party won control of Japanese politics after one party rule for decades or that Japan is our most important strategic partner in Asia. However, we should all care, especially President Barack Obama, who could learn a thing or two from the former prime minister on how to keep your job in a rough political environment.
(NNPA)—Despite widespread global condemnation of Israel’s decision to attack a flotilla of boats carrying unarmed civilians attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, U.S. officials have refused to publicly criticize Israel and the American media has reported the conflict through what one media monitoring group called “Israel’s Eyes.” For years, Palestinians have been unable to get their side fairly reported in the U.S. media and the latest international incident is yet another example.
(NNPA)—Music has been an important piece of my life. As a political activist I have used music to motivate myself and inspire others. I have seen the power of the lyrics move people to great heights. Melodies backed by instruments have been a source of continuous encouragement and a vehicle which crystallizes ideas. Apart from humming to myself to a favorite tune or tapping on desk to a wonderful melody, music has also given me food for thought. This is why I join people all over the country in celebration of June as African American Music Appreciation Month a.k.a. Black Music Month.
If the Obama White House believes the controversy surrounding the administration’s engagement with Congressman Joe Sestak, D-Pa., will “go gently into that goodnight,” they are sorely mistaken. The more we Americans learn of the affair, the more questions we have. In February of this year, cable talk-show host Larry Kane asked Sestak if the Obama administration had offered him a job if he would abandon his primary campaign against Sen. Arlen Specter. The story had apparently been floating around the Washington press corps for many months, yet no one had bothered to ask Sestak if it were true. Sestak responded, “Yes.” Kane followed up by asking if the job was “big.” To this question, Sestak also responded, “Yes.”
(NNPA)—“I am, therefore, asking the Congress to enact legislation giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public—hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments. This seems to me to be an elementary right.” President John F. Kennedy, June 11, 1963 On Memorial Day the nation paused to remember the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers who fought and died in wars so that all of us could live free. One of the saddest ironies of American history is the fact that in spite of slavery and racism, African-Americans have given the last full measure of their devotion in every armed conflict since the Revolutionary War. That extraordinary patriotism, coupled with the civil rights leadership of Dr. King and others, was a major force in the movement to abolish legalized segregation culminating in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since its passage, hardly anyone, much less a candidate for the United States Senate, has questioned the legal and moral soundness of that law, until now.
(NNPA)—When Artur Davis, savvy member of the Congressional Black Caucus, filed to run for governor of the state of Alabama it provoked one of the biggest head-scratching discussions among Blacks in Washington, D.C. Was he smoking something they mused, was it a case of unmitigated arrogance for which politicians are too well known, or was it just a case of taking the new ideology of post-racialism for a ride in one of the toughest arenas in the country?
The former Temptations front man Ali-Ollie Woodson has died following a battle with leukemia. The singer, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, passed away in California May 30, according to Motown Alumni Association President Billy Wilson. He was 58. Born Ollie Cregget in Detroit, Woodson began his career as a member of Bill Pinkney’s Original Drifters in the early 1970s, but he rose to fame as a member of the Motown quintet in the 1980s, joining the group as a replacement for Dennis Edwards after he was fired in 1984. ALI-OLLIE WOODSON—At 58, Woodson had previously contributed in the single “Treat Her Like a Lady” and went on tour with Aretha Franklin. He co-wrote, co-produced and sang lead vocals for the hit single “Treat Her Like a Lady” but left the band in 1986. However, Woodson returned in 1988 for an eight-year tenure before quitting again after the release of the group’s 1995 album “For Lovers Only.” He reunited with the band in 2002 for a Japanese tour, stepping in for Barrington ‘Bo’ Henderson after he was forced to skip the trek due to visa problems.
Marvin Isley, the youngest of the Isley Brothers died Monday June 7 in Chicago at the age of 56. The cause of death has not yet been announced, though Isley suffered from diabetes severe enough to have caused him to leave the group in 1997. Later, his condition led to the amputation of both legs. MARVIN ISLEY He will be remembered for the resilience and power of his bass work, which, for one thing, formed a crucial hook in the undulating ’70s hit “Fight The Power.” The bassist also played on the smash “Who’s That Lady?,” as well as on prominent songs like “For The Love Of You” and “Harvest For The World.”