(Second in a series on drug and alcohol addiction.) Life for the addict is a life that goes from euphoria to a life of loss, pain and shame. “It is not that you use, but what causes you to use. We all use because of something. Picking up the drug is just the end result,” says Ramona Davis, a teacher/counselor with the Pennsylvania Organization for Women in Early Recovery (POWER), a drug and alcohol treatment organization. DRUG PARAPHERNALIA —Here are some of the leftovers in a vacant house used by drug addicts. Upbeat, her demeanor takes on a tinge of sorrow as she continues, “It is sad to say some have to die in order for others to live. But every time someone dies because of the disease of addiction, there is someone who looks for a way out.”
Daily Archive: October 15, 2010
This fall, in an effort to increase the number of minority males who succeed in college, California University of Pennsylvania has created a mentoring program for students attending their school. The goal of Cal U Men United is to “provide a campus community that will support the growth, development and achievement of young men of color as they strive to become men of character prepared to take an active role in the global community,” said President Angelo Armenti Jr. CAL U MEN UNITED—California University of Pennsylvania President Angelo Armenti Jr., center, greets Ron Wiley, 18, a sports management major, left, and LaMont Coleman, associate dean of student affairs, at the recent Cal U Men United dinner. Though the program, launched on Sept. 13 is aimed at minority groups as a whole, this year it will benefit 30 freshmen and sophomore students with Black males making up a large portion of the total.
The African American Heritage Day Parade was held Oct. 2 so we asked Pittsburghers what they felt about it. Here’s what you said. “It’s important for us as African-Americans to be represented in a positive light.”Serene SmithOffice workerOakland SERENE SMITH, MELISSA TAYLOR, ANNIE WILLIAMS-CARTER
Once again historically Black post-secondary institutions find themselves the target of an unwarranted and deceitful attack. This rhetoric marginalizes and mischaracterizes the vital role these public and private schools play to spur the growth and development of individual Black students, their communities and the nation at large. A Wall Street Journal editorial written by Jason L. Riley states that historically Black institutions are failing so miserably, they should either be reconstituted as community colleges, taken over by for-profit colleges or shuttered. Worse, WSJ argues President Obama should withhold the $850 million investment, pledged over 10 years, to help fund the unique mission of 105 Historically Black Universities and Colleges.
While listening to music on my I-phone, I began to contemplate the upcoming mid-term elections. The rock band, The Who sang: “I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution/Take a bow for the new revolution/Smile and grin at the change all around me/Pick up my guitar and play/Just like yesterday/And I’ll get on my knees and pray/We don’t get fooled again.” It struck me that the words could be an anthem for a new political generation. Of course, they might also be a prescient warning for voters casting ballots on November second.
(NNPA)—In a 1990 article written for Crisis, the official publication of the NAACP, I offered the following suggestions on how to be a positive Black person in a society that too often rewards those who are negative. They, with a few small changes, are as follows: 1. Do reject the prevailing myth that we are a weak group of problem-burdened people who basically have nothing to offer the world. If that were so, then we wouldn’t still be around. No people who have survived the physical and psychological oppression we have, have been confronted with in this country can possibly be weak. Instead of holding conferences and meetings, which too often provide opportunities for weeping, wailing, moaning, groaning, and telling individual can-you-top-this horror stories, we should get together to document and analyze our strengths and to develop ways to build on them.
Even if you’ve never encountered the criminal justice system, you’re probably familiar with the phrase “You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” What you may not know is that, in many states, defendants are being charged for that court-appointed attorney. This increasing trend is leading many poor defendants to waive their legal right to representation and, instead, represent themselves. A report released by the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice found that 13 of the 15 states with the largest prison populations charged some sort of fee to defendants in need of a lawyer.
Ira M. Watkins aka Ira Soul says music has been in his blood as long as he can remember and that’s why he takes his music very serious. “His (grandfather) music has been in my blood since I was around 7 years of age. Back in the day when Watkins’ grandfather was in the army, he played a lot of instruments such as the trumpet, saxophone, drums and trombone. The main reason he played those instruments was to teach kids how they can be something and achieve in life. His grandfather was influenced by great jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Count Bassie. IRA SOUL
Where is your favorite place to play? Maybe you have a playhouse out in the back yard, or a secret spot where adults are not so welcome. Perhaps there’s a basketball court or set of swings that you’d visit every day if you could. Or maybe you like your room best or a certain spot on the sofa. No matter where it is, nobody better mess with your spot. In the new book “Trouble in Troublesome Creek” by Nancy Kelly Allen, illustrated by K. Michael Crawford, somebody was killing fish in the Gang’s best summertime play spot, and James and his friends needed to make it stop.
(NNPA)—Dear Gwendolyn: Two weeks ago, in full view of everyone in the restaurant, I gave a man, who said he was in need, a five dollar bill. Then, across from me at the next table a girl smiled at me and sent me a note with the number 50 on it without any explanation. When I motioned for her to come to my table, she said the number 50 stood for $50 which she was requesting and then she would go out with me. I told her I was not interested and told her to go back to her table. She refused to go and stated that the $50 would include everything and anything I wanted to do.