Monthly Archive: September 2010


How churches address violence…Answer Chief Harper’s challenge

In a recent New Pittsburgh Courier article, Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper challenged Pittsburgh’s religious leaders to address violence in the Black community. He said the density of African-American churches in neighborhoods troubled by crime and violence should serve as a catalyst in deterring these problems. EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH—With “a church on every corner,” Chief Nate Harper challenged religious leaders to address the ongoing violence. (Photo by J.L. Martello.) In an effort to get a response from a variety of religious denominations, the Courier contacted approximately 15 religious institutions. It was difficult to get representatives from every denomination because Allegheny Alliance, Covenant Church of Pittsburgh, Pentecostal Temple COGIC, Macedonia Baptist Church, Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Bishop Donald Clay of Petra International Ministries did not respond to several requests for comment. Those who did respond said their churches and religious organizations were engaged in preemptive measures geared toward youths in order to stem the tide of Black-on-Black crime.



Police, county jail, Shuman Center partners with anti-violence group

In what Director Tim Stevens called a “groundbreaking” agreement, the Black Political Empowerment Project and its Coalition Against Violence have announced partnerships to combat neighborhood violence with the Pittsburgh police, the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center and the Allegheny County Jail. CHIEF NATE HARPER “The work to significantly decrease the violence in our communities must be an ongoing, consistent, coordinated and multi-front collaborative,” said Stevens. “Today we have some concrete commitments from these key community stakeholders, aimed at impacting the violence that continues to pervade our communities.”


Teen shot after home invasion

Just hours after a press announcement on his department’s participation in a new anti-violence efforts Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper found himself announcing that two of his officers were involved in the fatal shooting of a North­view Heights teen. “Anytime a life is taken, it’s a tragedy,” he said. “It’s a shame the actor didn’t drop his weapon.” JEROME WILLIAMS According to police, Jerome Williams, 15, was one of three young gunmen involved in a home invasion in the 700 block of Mt. Pleasant Road, Sept. 27. He died following a shootout with officers a few blocks away after the homeowner called 911 around 2:45 p.m. and said there were three armed men in her house.


Black music legend Dick Griffey dies

(Los Angeles, Calif.)—Venerated music industry titan Dick Griffey died Sept. 24, in Los Angeles from complications of quadruple bypass surgery. Griffey founded SOLAR Records in the late 1970s and went on to become one of the preeminent Black music pioneers of the 20th century, breaking records and recording artists that ushered in the era of contemporary crossover Black music. A music mogul before the term entered popular culture, Griffey’s talent for picking hit songs and superstars defined the music business for more than two decades. Griffey spent the last 10 years of his life in West Africa involved in commodities and international trade. ENTERTAINMENT ICON—SOLAR Records founder Dick Griffey was one of the most successful independent Black recording moguls of the post-Motown era.


Obama: Democratic voter apathy ‘inexcusable’

by Ben FellerAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP)—Admonishing his own party, President Barack Obama says it would be “inexcusable” and “irresponsible” for unenthusiastic Democratic voters to sit out the mid­term elections, warning that the consequences could be a squandered agenda for years. “People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up,” Obama told Rolling Stone in an interview to be published Friday. The president told Demo­crats that making change happen is hard and “if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.” SMALL BUSINESS ACT—President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sept. 27, before signing the Small Business Jobs Act. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


CCAC offers free job placement help

In a recent survey this summer conducted by the Blackstone Group, 18 percent of African-Americans in Pittsburgh indicated they were unemployed. This number more than doubles the national average of 8 percent. DRESS FOR SUCCESS—One of the many tutorials in the site’s video library shows users how to dress for an interview. The Job Placement Assistance Program launched this fall by Community College of Allegheny County aims to reverse these numbers. The free program available to all residents of southwestern Pennsylvania offers not only a job search engine, but also a number of services to make a person’s job search more successful.


Community Calendar

Heroes breakfast SEPT. 30—The American Red Cross will host the Second Annual Heroes Breakfast from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Rivers Club, One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant St., Downtown. The breakfast is to celebrate the humble, everyday community heroes who have had an impact on their local communities. Tickets are $50. For more information, call 412-263-3129 or visit


Language still bitter issue in South Africa schools

by Donna BrysonAssociated Press Writer JOHANNESBURG (AP)—A 16-year-old who believes she was kicked out of class for speaking her first language at school has prompted government investigations, and the case is demonstrating how volatile the issue of language in education remains in South Africa. School officials insist a disciplinary problem and not racism sparked the case, but it’s now making headlines a generation after hundreds here were killed when students revolted over being forced to learn in Afrikaans, the language of their White oppressors under apartheid. VOLATILE SITUATION—This photo taken Sept. 22, shows 16-year-old twin sisters Luthando and Lusanda Nxasana in their Johannesburg home after a day at school. (AP Photo/Tawnada Mudimu)


This Week in Black History

Week of October 1-7October 1 1841—Fannie M. Richards is born. She became one of the nation’s early civil rights advocates as well as a prominent educator. 1868—John Mercer Langston (1829-1897) organized the nation’s first Black law school at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Largely forgotten today, Langston was a major Black political figure during his day. He was one of the nation’s first African-American lawyers and was a major influence on Black education throughout the country. The town of Langston, Okla., is named in his honor. JOHN MERCER LANGSTON, JOHNNY COCHRAN, CHARLES EVERS