Daily Archive: August 20, 2010

Metro

AWC told Not enough community outreach’ at town hall meeting

At the first town hall meeting at the August Wilson Center for African-American Culture, visitors and staff seemed to want the same thing. The public asked President Andre Kimo Stone Guess how he was getting the community involved in the center and Guess expressed a desire to get more involvement from the community. “We’re going to go into the community. I’m going to learn about the community,” Guess said. “I hope this is the first step to that. We need to take this setting into the community.” PANEL HOSTS—Andre Kimo Stone Guess, right, and Aaron Walton answer questions from the audience. In the past months since its opening, the center has been struggling with how to balance a welcoming open-door atmosphere while still remaining financially viable. Both the public and Guess, along with Aaron Walton, chairperson of the board of directors, agreed the solution would be give and take. The center should offer more engaging activities and in return, the public would visit and serve as the center’s ambassadors to other residents in the city.

Metro

Community responds to loss of ‘Black Horizons’

After more than 40 years of programming, a legacy will come to an end Nov. 1, when WQED Multimedia replaces its African-American focused program, “Black Horizons” with a new show, during its new scheduled lineup, called “Horizons.” The new program will feature issues pertaining to the different ethnic populations living in the region. “Black Horizons” has been a major entity in the Black community. It is the country’s longest running program for and about the African-American community. It was another side to the many negative images of Blacks that are portrayed night after night on the news reports. While the station may see it as an expansion to their programming, others see it as a loss of an entity that played a major role. “Black Horizons” did not just play a major role, it was a piece of history.

Metro

Smith selected for Nat’l Civil Rights Museum

He stood before the bulldozers that erased the lower Hill District with Byrd Brown and Jimmy Joe Robinson, saying, “no further.” He led the marches and protest that culminated in more than 1,500 Blacks gaining union jobs they had been denied for decades. And along the way he met and befriended people of all political stripes, from Yasser Arafat and Jimmy Carter to Dick Thornburgh and George H.W. Bush. And always his challenge was the same—help me help my people. NATE SMITH Though Nate Smith’s contributions to labor rights for African-Americans are well known in Pittsburgh, national awareness of his work has not been as broad. That is about to change.

National

Philadelphia Housing Authority director facing foreclosure proceedings

by Maryclaire Dale PHILADELPHIA (AP)—A bank has foreclosed on a $615,000 condominium owned by the head of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, who earned $350,000 last year leading the nation’s fourth-largest public-housing agency. Carl R. Greene, PHA’s executive director, bought the three-bedroom, 2,100-square-foot condo in the upscale Naval Square development in 2007. He put down $215,000 in cash and took out a $400,000 mortgage, city records show. LOCKED IN DISPUTE WITH WELLS FARGO—In this Feb. 29, 2008 photo, Philadelphia Housing Authority Director Carl Greene poses in front of a housing development in Philadelphia. Greene, 53, stopped making payments on or around April 1, and three months later owed more than $7,500 in missed payments and late fees, according to the bank’s July 27 lawsuit.

National

National Bar Association to create gulf oil disaster attorney database

New Orleans, LA.—The National Bar Association (NBA) announced Aug. 10 it is creating a database of attorneys and law firms that have the knowledge and expertise to assist residents in New Orleans and the Gulf region who decide to pursue legal recourse to resolve their Gulf Oil Disaster issues. INITIATIVE ANNOUNCED—From Left: Mavis Thompson, NBA president; Anita Hill, professor of Social Policy, Law & Women’s Studies at Brandeis University; and Robert J. Carr, NBA executive director at their 85th annual conference held in New Orleans last week. The organization made the announcement in conjunction with its 85th annual conference which began Aug. 9 in the crescent city. “Health, environmental, employment and other issues may haunt the residents of New Orleans and the Gulf region for decades due to the Gulf Oil Disaster,” said Mavis Thompson, president of the National Bar Association.

Opinion

Aug. 28: March for jobs and justice where ever you are

(NNPA)—We have to thank Rev. Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders for turning our attention to the atrocity planned by Glenn Beck, conservative Fox TV talk show host, to have a rally on the Lincoln monument on the anniversary of the March on Washington. Rather than “restoring honor” as they say, this march, heavily supported by the National Rifle Association is a perversion of the progressive spirit of the original nonviolent march, which held out the hope of racial reconciliation and that America would finally cash a check of justice that would allow all of us to invest in the great project of democracy.

Opinion

Tolerance and the Ground Zero mosque

I am fascinated that the same people who have been able to find a constitutional right to government control of education, health care, and the energy industry are unable to divine from that same document any rational basis for the government to prevent a mosque from being built on Ground Zero. Of course, the issue is not whether the American Society for Muslim Advancement has a constitutional right to build a 13-story, mosque, and community center within 600 feet of Ground Zero. There are a number of things citizens have a right to do—things that the constitutional protection of speech protects—that people of good conscience choose not to do and that others might view as offensive or insulting.

Opinion

The New York mosque controversy

(NNPA)—I watched with outrage as a debate over the placement of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York took place. The proposed mosque had been suggested as a symbol of tolerance in a society that is becoming less tolerant. The response, particularly led by right-wing Republicans, was outrageous in the extreme. The gist of the opposition’s position was that it would somehow be insulting to have a mosque near Ground Zero since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were conducted by Muslims. One group of opponents calls itself “Stop Islamization of America!,” a ridiculous name that plays to the fears and insecurities of many, but especially plays to racial and religious intolerance.

Entertainment

Smooth Jazz Fridays brings a touch of class

Shawn Hopson, Charles Carter and Warren Wilson formed the group called Club Duo to bring the community together with a sophisticated and classy event called Smooth Jazz Fridays. This event is held each first Friday of the month at the Holiday Inn in Oakland. Line dancing, a deejay and a live band make up the itinerary for this event. The live bands range from jazz to hip-hop and R&B music. Fifteen years ago Shawn Hopson and his partners decided to do a First Friday’s event at the Braddock Hills Holiday Inn. In the beginning it was a deejay and a jazz band. The deejay played on one floor while the jazz band was on another floor. It was a nice flow because it gave people options to hear jazz, hip-hop or R&B. SERENADING THE LADIES—R&B/soul singer Danny Boy, formerly of Death Row Records, performs at Smooth Jazz Fridays.

Entertainment

Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited the William Pitt Student Union in Oakland, the Bynum Theater in Downtown Pittsburgh, Holiday Inn in Oakland, Schenley Park in Oakland and the Montage in Wilkinsburg, Pa. My first stop was at the William Pitt Student Union where the Darkins Group held their annual Pittsburgh Music and Entertainment Conference with music execs giving aspiring artists tips on how to be successful in the music industry. Actress LisaRaye, singer Newland and Mr. Ross were panelists for this event. Intrinsiq from Washington, D.C., performed live on stage at the 7th Annual Black Family Reunion at Schenley Park.