Daily Archive: September 1, 2010



This Week in Black History

For the Week of September 2-8 September 2 1766—Post-Colonial era Black leader James Forten is born on this day in 1766. Little known today but during that period he was one of the most prominent Black men in America. Born free in Philadelphia, Pa., he became a fierce anti-slavery activist, an inventor and successful businessman. In fact, the sail-making company he found made him one of the wealthiest Black men in the nation. Forten and AME Church founder Richard Allen organized the First Convention of Color in 1817. He went back and forth on the issue of “re-Africanization” which called for the return of Blacks to Africa. He financially supported Paul Cuffee’s venture in the West African nation of Sierra Leone but he later turned against the American Colonization Society and its efforts to return free American Blacks to the West African nation of Liberia.


Chasing Glenn Beck

(NNPA)—I never thought it would have gone this low so fast. On the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech the major civil rights groups or should we now say “human rights” groups coalescing together not to celebrate the anniversary but to protest a White cable television icon’s celebration of the event. Something is very strange about this. It is like there is no agenda any longer for our human rights groups from an African-American perspective. They are now fighting for immigrants, gays and lesbians and ex-offenders regardless of their color. Direct action for African-Americans is fading fast and that is not a good thing.



From 1882 to 2010, the same message: Not enough evidence

If you have been a reader of my column, you may remember I wrote that there would be no prosecution of the three Pittsburgh police officers involved in the Jordan Miles incident. How did I arrive at that conclusion? There was a time in my life when I was a law enforcement officer in the Allegheny County District Attorney?s office and an investigator in the Pittsburgh O.M.I department (investigating complaints against police). Some of you may recollect when there was so much enthusiasm about the federal government becoming involved that I made the statement: Be very careful because the higher you go in the law enforcement field, the Whiter it becomes.


The 1963 march on Washington got off to rocky start

(NNPA)—The dueling events on the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom have ended, but astoundingly little is known about the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that at several times threatened to derail the march where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Fortunately, a new book, “Nobody Turn Me Around: A People’s History of the 1963 March on Washington” by Charles Euchner (Beacon Press) fills in some of the blanks. Although other books have chronicled the March on Washington, none provide the rich details contained in Euchner’s compelling book.



Glenn Beck’s Washington rally: Much ado about nonsense

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—Last year I wrote a piece entitled “Glenn Beck is my kind of revolutionary” which received a lot of attention precisely because I argued against conventional wisdom at the time and took a few well organized shots at Beck at the same time. A year ago, when Glenn Beck was ascending to his television peak, the liberal left was borderline apoplectic about his rise to power. His ranting Howard-Beale-like behavior on television, the way he seemed to connect with an audience of like-minded men and women, his ability to get people in a presidential administration fired with nothing more than a few episodes, many in the punditry were convinced that an unstoppable monster was being created. I disagreed. I thought then that Glenn Beck was a joke and a coward, an example of the weak-willed nature of a spoiled and petulant strain of the Baby Boomer generation that has always been desperate to prove their virility. After Beck’s rally to “Restore Honor” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial last week, not only was my initial opinion validated, we have seen just how limited the reach of men like Glenn Beck really are.


Former WAMO deejay J-Kruz leaves for Dallas

John Koutsakis, also known as J-Kruz, was the voice of Pittsburgh urban radio at WAMO 106.7FM for several years. After the station was sold Kruz applied to Clear Channel, Radio One and anything he could find. He was sending his resume once and sometimes twice a week to different radio stations across the country and landed a job in Dallas at 97.9 The Beat as a full-time on-air radio personality. He will be starting later this month. J-KRUZ He is excited about the new opportunity ahead of him. It will be pretty similar to what he was doing here in Pittsburgh at WAMO.


Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum in Homewood, Melange Bristo Bar and Lounge in Downtown Pittsburgh, Robert Williams Park in the Hill District, Ava Lounge in East Liberty and Tim’s Bar in the Hill District. My first stop was at Ava Lounge in East Liberty where DJ Vex was on the 1s and 2s doing his thing. Ava is the place to be on a Friday night, so come check it out. Hill District residents getting their party on at the Terrace Village Hill District reunion at the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum.


Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 2 Jazz jam CJ’s Restaurant & Lounge presents “The Roger Humphries & RH Factor Jazz Jam Session” at 8 p.m. at 2901-2911 Penn Ave., Strip District. There will be live jazz and fun every Thursday night. Must be 30 years or older and there is a dress code that will be enforced. No tennis shoes, sweats, or athletic gear. For more information, call 412-642-2377.


Baldwin returns home as partner in Fox Rothschild

Fox Rothschild LLP has added Pittsburgh native James A. Baldwin as a partner in its Downtown Pittsburgh office. On the heels of a seven percent gross revenue increase and 15 percent net profit growth the past year, Fox Rothschild LLP recruited Baldwin, a merger and acquisition lawyer, to its Pittsburgh office as a partner. He joins a firm long renowned in western Pennsylvania for its representation of corporate clients. JAMES A. BALDWIN Among Baldwin’s clients has been an energy company in executing an acquisition strategy; private equity and venture capital funds including small business investment companies; and fund sponsors in purchases of a modular building manufacturer and the electronics division of a publicly traded company. He also has represented clients in Europe, Africa and Asia in cross-border investments, acquisitions and privatizations.


The dash of life

Reverend Al Sharpton recently gave a conference keynote speech in which he told the story of a man who visited the grave of a friend and commented about the dates on the tombstone. “We are not responsible for when and where we were born, or even who our parents are. We don’t know when or how we will die. However, we are responsible for the dash of life in between,” preached Reverend Sharpton. He went on to talk about discovering one’s purpose in life and having a plan to fulfill that purpose. It was a powerful and compelling speech, delivered with the skill and showmanship that Rev. Sharpton possesses. Most of the audience left the room with a smile on their face and proceeded to the next workshop. The dash of life was stuck in my mind.