Daily Archive: September 22, 2010


Alcohol and drug addiction a major community concern

(This is the first in a series of articles addressing drug and alcohol addiction.) Throughout the month of September, the United States will celebrate the 21st year of National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, focusing on “spreading the word that addiction is a medical illness, treatment is effective, and recovery is possible.” A BLUNT—A young male lights the end of a blunt to burn off extra paper on the end so he doesn’t have to inhale it. The New Pittsburgh Courier will tell the stories that plague the African-American community through the survivors of alcoholism and drug addiction…diseases that are destroying the strong sense of pride instilled within the Black culture. We will tell the story of those who have struggled as an alcoholic or addict…with the hope that by bringing this problem to the forefront of our societal ills, we will make an effort to reach out to a community that is in desperate need of historical solidarity.


Lawsuit claims Bishop Long coerced males into sex

by Errin Haines ATLANTA (AP)–Two men have filed a lawsuit accusing Bishop Eddie Long of exploiting his role as pastor of an Atlanta-area megachurch to coerce them into sexual relationships when they were young members of his congregation. In this Jan. 18 2007 file photo, Bishop Eddie Long, of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, in Lithonia, Ga., gestures during an interview in Lithonia. Lawyers for the men, now 20 and 21, say they filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in DeKalb County Court. The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they were victims of sexual impropriety. Craig Gillen, Long’s attorney, said Tuesday the pastor “categorically denies the allegations.”


Suits ’n Streets blend at male forum

At the all-male forum sponsored by the African American Leadership Association and Minority Networking Exchange Sept. 18, the gentlemen represented a collage of Black culture in Pittsburgh. The event “Streets ’n Suits; Moving Pass Perceptions!” brought together men from corporate environments and those working in the streets of the community. NETWORKING MASTER—Vernard Alexander introduces himself at the meeting before leading a workshop. “What we wanted to do was have an open dialogue between the men to let them be expressive on the table about any issues that were on their mind,” said Vernard Alexander, founder and CEO of MNE. “There are a group of men in the city who are concerned with the totality of all the issues going on in the neighborhood and these people don’t necessarily look the same. They are from different walks of life.”


Newspaper’s revelation rocks famed photographer’s family

by Adrian Sainz MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)— Civil Rights Movement veterans are struggling to explain the motives of a revered photographer recently unmasked as an FBI informant who spied on Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others even as he captured their most intimate moments. His children don’t believe it’s true. VOW TO CLEAR FATHER’S NAME—Andrew Withers, from left, Frances Williams and Rosalind Withers-Guzman, all children of photographer Ernest Withers, react to a story about their father being an FBI informant during the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tenn., Sept. 16. This was to have been the season to honor the late Ernest C. Withers for his historic work, with his photos displayed at a museum bearing his name. All that has been overshadowed by The Commercial Appeal newspaper revealing he was an informant who regularly tipped authorities about civil rights leaders, many of whom trusted him so completely that he was allowed to sit in on their most sensitive meetings.


Henson: Hollywood needs more minorities

NEW YORK (AP)—Taraji P. Henson agrees that minorities were not represented enough at the Emmys—and there are too few working in Hollywood. Henson says “there were several times when I didn’t even want to watch the Emmys because I mean, who am I looking at?” LEADING LADY—Actress Taraji P. Henson poses for a photograph on the red carpet for the screening of “Peep World” during the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 15. Henson made the comments when asked on her thoughts about fellow actress Regina King’s Sept. 3 blog post for the Huffington Post.


Speak Out: What is your reaction to Oprah announcing her final season?

Oprah Winfrey has become an American icon. She’s the richest and most popular African-American in the world. So we asked Pittsburghers their reaction to her announcement that this would be her last season. Here’s what you said: “She has helped a lot of people over the years; women have become strong, families have healed, and people live by and respect what she says. I’d rather see another show like Maury or Jerry gone. ‘Mama O’ needs to stay on the air.”Kimberly MelvinWilkinsburgDrug and alcohol counselor


Metro Beat.

Man sentenced to two life terms for killings AP—A Pittsburgh man has received consecutive life prison sentences for the murders of two sisters during a home invasion last year, while their three children cowered in fear upstairs. A SWAT team, state police helicopter and police dogs were used to apprehend 29-year-old Mario Parker more than two weeks after the shootings on May 1, 2009.


Community Calendar

Kick off event SEPT. 23—The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council will host its Strengthening Pittsburgh Arts Free Kick Off Event from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Father Ryan Arts Center, 420 Chartiers Ave., Mc­Kees Rocks. There will be a full day of workshop and tips on surviving tough economic times. There will also be an opportunity to apply for the financial leadership clinic or the Peer 360 Assessments. Registration is requested. For more information, call Pam Quatchak at 412-391-2060.


Nigeria’s leader declares election bid on Facebook

by Bashir Adigun ABUJA, Nigeria (AP)—President Goodluck Jon­athan announced Sept. 15 on Facebook that he will run in the oil-rich nation’s January election, ending months of speculation over his plans after he assumed power following the death of Nigeria’s elected leader. ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY—In this May 31 file photo, Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan waves as he arrives for a dinner at the Prefecture in Nice, southern France, during the 25th Africa-France Summit. Jonathan’s announcement, as well as a campaign rally last Wednesday by former military dictator Ibrahim Babangida, signaled the start of campaigning ahead of the Jan. 22 presidential election in Africa’s most populous nation.


Obama: Black lawmakers must rally voters back home

by Mark Smith WASHINGTON (AP)—President Barack Obama implored Black voters on Saturday to rekindle the passion they felt for his groundbreaking campaign and turn out in force this fall to repel Republicans who are ready to “turn back the clock.” In a fiery speech to the Congressional Black Caucus, Obama warned that Republicans hoping to seize control of Congress want “to do what’s right politically, instead of what’s right—period.” ARRIVING AT DINNER—President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc.’s Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner at the Washington Convention Center, Sept. 18. “I need everybody here to go back to your neighborhoods, to go back to your workplaces, to go to the churches, and go to the barbershops and go to the beauty shops. And tell them we’ve got more work to do,” Obama said to cheers from a black-tie audience at the Washington Convention Center. “Tell them we can’t wait to organize. Tell them that the time for action is now.”