Monthly Archive: July 2010

National

Sherrods tell Black Press where America must go from here

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – Former Department of Agriculture Rural Development Director Shirley Sherrod of South West Georgia, still reeling from the blow of an assault on her job, character and civil rights record last week, told the Black Press of America that she hopes the travesty of justice that happened to her will now help America move forward with racial healing. RELAXING AT HOME–The Rev. Charles and Shirley Sherrod relaxed in their South West Georgia home on July 25 after coming through yet another racial storm. She was still considering the offer of another job from U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. PHOTO: Francine D. Caldwell/NNPA

Metro

PIRC joins fight to reduce gang violence

On July 13 more than 50 members of Pittsburgh’s most violent gangs were given the word they knew was coming—the shooting must stop. It was the first “call-in” for the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime—and according to organizers, it was a big step for the city, its citizens and potentially for gang members seeking a way out. Program architect David Kennedy called it “electrifying.” UNBEARABLE LOSS—Betty Cooper, right, mother of shooting victim Shawn Houser, is consoled by his cousin, Bernessa Davis, left, and Adrienne Young of Tree of Hope. “It was really good. The guys could see a very visible new partnership between law enforcement, the community and service pro­viders all saying ‘we care about you,’” he said. “The biggest thing is that the call-in happened at all, that the city got to this point.” But that initial elation was nearly shattered just days later by a rash of shootings, and subsequent criticism of the program. PIRC partners say the criticism is unjustified because the killings and shootings were not “group-related.”

Metro

Harry Rideout served in three major wars

Before Harry Rideout, former field supervisor for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, was keeping order in the schools, he was fighting for freedom and protecting his country in the military during a time when most Blacks could not even go to the same establishments as their White counterparts. For more than 20 years he served in the military, fighting in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. LEGACY—Veteran Harry Rideout shares his photos and memorabilia of his time in the military and his service in three wars. Rideout, 83, was born in the Charleroi area of Pittsburgh and grew up in Beltzhoover. He volunteered with the army at the age of 17, was sworn in at 18 and was one of five brothers who also served in the military. “I enjoyed my time in the service. During my time in the wars, I was never really worried about anything,“ Rideout said. Although there was a lot of discrimination and unfair treatment of Blacks, Rideout said he enjoyed what he was doing. “There were many disparities of Blacks. We (were not liked) but we were always the first on the front line,” he said.

Metro

Board delays school closing vote

On July 20, citizens of the East End community gathered to voice their concern over proposed changes for several schools in their region. Though the group of past and present school administrators, parents and neighbors differed on why they opposed the plan or what they would rather see accomplished, they called for a postponement of the school board vote scheduled for the following night. NAACP REP— Marilyn Barnett, Ed.D., NAACP education chair, hosted a press conference regarding the East End schools. “In that the proposed realignment of Pittsburgh Public Schools for the East End of Pittsburgh was only released on June 25, and the possible impact on the students affected could be significant and long lasting, B-PEP requests that the final decision on this plan be delayed,” said Black Political Empowerment Project Chairman Tim Stevens in a letter to the superintendent. “Because of the importance of this decision, there should be at least one community meeting, if not more, held in the East End where the superintendent and his staff present the proposed plan, along with its justification and the potential impact on the student, parents and the community.”

National

Project 50 rescues Skid Row’s most vulnerable souls

by Christina HoagAssociated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP)—After living two decades on the streets of Skid Row, Sheila Nichols was dying. Her body had withered to 61 pounds, ravaged by a heavy-duty crack cocaine addiction, hepatitis, HIV, and late-stage syphilis, when late one night a stranger offered her a sandwich and, just maybe, survival. AT DEATH’S DOOR—Sheila Nichols, 55, has her temperature checked by a nurse at a clinic in Los Angeles, July 19. After two decades living on the streets of Skid Row, Nichols was dying.

National

Ex-chief didn’t know mayor wanted his resignation

DETROIT (AP)—Warren Evans had an idea that his boss—Detroit Mayor Dave Bing—may not have been comfortable with him as police chief and that likely led to the decision to ask for his resignation from the job he held for just over a year. Evans told Detroit’s Fox affiliate, WJBK-TV, July 23 that he didn’t seek an explanation when told by Deputy Mayor Saul Green of the forced resignation. STEPS?DOWN —Warren Evans speaks at a news conference announcing his appointment as Detroit’s new police chief as Mayor Dave Bing looks on, July 9, 2009.

Opinion

Abyssinian Development Corp., creating community change

WASHINGTON (NNPA)—In recent years, Harlem has been undergoing a dramatic transformation—one that’s often been called a second Harlem Renaissance. While the first Harlem Renaissance was a major cultural shift, this renaissance has been driven by an economic transformation as developers’ new willingness to invest in Harlem is bringing changes to the community. New retail and office spaces, including former President Bill Clinton’s offices, have opened in the area. New residents have also started moving to the neighborhood as new condominiums have been built and rundown brownstones have been renovated and brought back to life.

Metro

Day of Peace first step for North Side group

On July 17 more than 300 North Side residents came out to West Park with their friends and family for the Workforce Development Global Alliance’s Day of Peace. This was only the first step to the North Side Family Connections Project set to begin in the fall. DAY?OF?PEACE ORGANIZERS—From left: Neicy Dennis, Paul Scott and Nancy Lee Cochran. “Our goal is to create a better neighborhood by building family connections as well as economic opportunity through peace,” said Niecy Dennis, president and founder of WDGA. “We want youth to find and take the path from peace to education to jobs to the prosperity that completes the circle and reinforces peace.” The day was complete with a march, concert and vigil designed to avert violence and promote peace which is part of WDGA’s 2Steps2Work program. The organization uses professional development and job placement as a way to decrease violence in the North Side.

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Opinion

Constructive criticism outweighs negativity

If we as a people are going to correct the multitude of problems that affect our communities then there are some very pertinent questions that that must be dealt with. Questions such as: What have I done? What do I intend to do? If I become involved will it result in my job being put on the line? Do I truly have a commitment to improving the well-being of the Black communities? Are you one of those people who suffer from the mindset that “it’s too late.” “It’s always been this way.” “What difference does it make?” “It will never change.”