Daily Archive: September 29, 2010



Slavery, emancipation and slavery again

There was a period of time in which we were the property of another man and in spite of the horrifying and inhumane treatment at the slave master’s hands, there still existed a concern and love for each other. A vast number of slaves refused to allow their yearning to be recognized as human beings taken away from them. Families torn apart by being sold to other slavers could not stifle the Nat Turners, Harriett Tubmans and untold numbers of others. After the signing the Emancipation Proclamation, the physical yokes were removed and we eventually began to shape our own destiny. We elected Black men to the Congress and the Senate, built schools, colleges, churches and even cities. Across the nation the growth of successful Black-owned businesses occurred. There were business corridors throughout the south in particular but also in the northern cities. We became the owners of almost every conceivable business, but as we moved through the civil rights era our spending and shopping habits began to change.


Get on the bus

By now, I hope everyone in the tri-boro area has heard about the upcoming 10-2-10 March in Washington, D.C. The National NAACP is holding one of the most important rallies in decades entitled “One Nation Working Together” and it’s about reordering our nation’s priorities to invest in our most valuable resource—our people. We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to achieve the American Dream—a secure job, a safe home and a quality education. In these times of economic crisis, it’s easy to find a scapegoat for the problems that plague us. One Nation Working Together seeks to transcend our superficial differences and bring us together in a common quest for equal opportunity and justice for all. We urge you to join us and add your voice to the new story One Nation Working Together seeks to create. The NAACP is leading the effort to build a broad coalition that will work to pull America back together, and put America back to work.



The Vatican shows Bishop Eddie Long how it’s done

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—It always fascinates me what stories the mainstream press decides to focus on in a given week. We are a nation at war, there is a huge mid-term election pending, the economy continues to remain in a rut and yet, the biggest story in the news last week was about a nasty preacher and his predilection for young boys. It’s bad enough that this story is more social and sexual voyeurism than anything substantive, but an even more serious story dealing with the Catholic Church, with much larger implications for average Americans, barely cracked the front pages.


The line must be drawn here

(NNPA)—“Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far and no further.” words of Captain Picard in “Star Trek: First Contact.” As the November midterm elections approach I find myself thinking about what is at stake. Any reader of my commentaries knows that I have been quite critical of President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress for their zigzag politics and their failure to pursue a dynamic, pro-working people agenda. I stand by my criticisms.


Some affordable health care benefits effective in September

by Dr. Regina Benjamin We need to change the way we think about health in this country, I want us to move from a system based on disease and illness to one based on wellness and prevention. We need to prevent people from getting sick in the first place, to stop illness and disease before it starts. During my 23 years as a family physician, I saw too many missed opportunities for prevention. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about the Affordable Care Act and some very important new benefits that took effect last week. These measures will make it easier and more affordable for people to practice the preventive care that will help keep them healthy.


Music legend Roy Ayers had Pittsburghers on their feet

by J.L. Martello Legendary jazz/R&B musician Roy Ayers had Pittsburgh on its feet when he performed at Car­negie Music Hall in Oakland, Sept. 17. Other acts were ’70s jazz giant Tom Brown, local comedian Mr. David “FROG” Bey, and the singing group, Artistry. ROY AYERS (Photos by J.L. Martello) As emcee, FROG kept the crowd laughing, cracking jokes as he introduced each act. Opening up the music was a local all-male singing group Artistry, who captivated the crowd with songs from the ’50s through today. Then came legendary jazz trumpeter Tom Brown, who mesmerized the audience with several electrifying sounds from his horn. Carnegie Music Hall was filled with enthusiasm as Roy took the stage.


Actress Holly Gaines glad to be home

Actress, singer, composer Holly Joy Gaines has come back home to Pittsburgh after being away for more than a decade acting, modeling and singing in New York City and Los Angeles. We caught up with her in between gigs. HOLLY JOY GAINES Some might remember Gaines from her days at CAPA or Penn Hills High School. Perhaps you saw her in the “Velveteen Rabbit” when she was in seventh grade. She’s all grown up and very busy. We had an opportunity to pose a dozen questions to Gaines about her life.


Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited the Black Beauty Lounge in the Hill District, The Sheraton Hotel in Station Square, Calvary Baptist Church in the Hill District, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland and the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty. My first stop was the Black Beauty Lounge in the Hill District where the late Glenn Campbell was honored with a birthday celebration in his honor by family and friends. Everyone came out to honor the one and only Glenn Campbell. He is gone but not forgotten. I have to shout out Ronetta and Linda and everyone who came out to celebrate and have a great time. The models held it down at the Outrageous In Red event in Station Square at the Sheraton Hotel.


Diverse workforce is key to region’s success

Retaining a diverse workforce in today’s economy is a concern of corporate leaders in major cities through out the United States. Pittsburgh is no different. Addressing the issue head on, the Western Pennsylvania Diversity Initiative recently hosted a symposium with the above named title. SPREADING THE WORD—Diversity practitioner Tiffany Taylor Smith, M.S. Ed, owner of TRTaylor Consulting Group educates Pittsburghers about diversity in the workforce. In attendance during a presentation conducted by diversity practitioner Tiffany Taylor Smith, M.S. Ed, owner of TRTaylor Consulting Group, more than 50 Bar Association members, educators, health care and corporate officials were on hand aiming to get the tools to help empower workforce diversity within their companies. “My goal today is to discuss the best practices in diversity retention, today’s generation of employees and cultural conversations,” she said.