As members of a live audience and listeners around the nation settled in for the Bev Smith Show Town Hall Meeting, titled “The Disappearing Black Community and How We Get It Back,” they were in for somewhat of a surprise. What they learned from the panel of national figures is that the Black community has never existed. BEV SMITH speaks to live audience. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart) “Contrary to what people think, we do not have a Black community. What we have are Black neighborhoods. Black folk in America have not prospered because we don’t have communities,” said Claud Anderson, president, Powernomics Corp. of America. “We fail to play as a team. You’ll never find a Black town because we’re too busy trying to integrate.” The panel made up of civil rights activists and scholars at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture Nov. 12 gave directives for how African-Americans should go about forming Black communities. They stressed the importance of investing in Black-owned businesses and several demonized integration as a system used to rape African-Americans of their culture.
Daily Archive: November 17, 2010
NAACP President M. Gayle Moss has been elected to her fourth term as president of the Pittsburgh Unit of the NAACP. At the biennial elections on Nov. 9, Moss reportedly won by an overwhelming majority, according to a press release by the NAACP. M. GAYLE MOSS “Special thanks to all the NAACP supporters who came out to vote in this NAACP election on (Nov. 9). I invite each and every one of our members to join the executive officers and executive committee to work together to make a difference in our community. There is much work to do, so we need everyone,” Moss said. “More specifically we need to join forces to help eradicate human injustices in the workplace and in the community in areas of employment, housing, and prison reform; violence in our neighborhoods; and shortcomings of the school systems that do not accept education as a civil right that fully prepares all children equally, regardless of color, for the job of the future.”
Less than a week after the Pittsburgh Public School District Board of Education received community input on the ongoing superintendent search, they have already interviewed a candidate. Claims are circulating that PPS Deputy Superintendent Linda Lane, Ed.D. was interviewed Nov. 15 and could be appointed to the position, forgoing a national search process. CHOOSING OUR SUPERINTENDENT— From left: Thomas Payzant, Sala Udin, board chair, A+ Schools; Mike Casserly, Tim Stevens and Esther Bush, president and CEO, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart) “I’m not too much opposed to (appointing Lane), I’m opposed to the process. We’ve had two meetings unannounced to the public. I’m just outraged that there’s no respect for the public. This is the kind of game playing that happens when there’s a hidden agenda,” said Mark Brentley, District 8 school board representative. “We have never handed a position off. We have always conducted searches. They’re basically saying you have to stay on the plan that Mark Roosevelt presented which in my opinion is poor if you’re African-American.”
Over the weekend, a series of shootings in several different parts of Allegheny County have pushed this year’s homicide count past last year’s total. At the current count of 89, over last year’s count of 87, there is still time for the count to soar even higher with one and a half months left until the new year. TAKE ACTION—Rev. Glenn Grayson inspires the crowd to move forward. (Photo by Gail Manker) In a city commonly known for its disjointed activism efforts, law enforcement, government officials and community leaders came together on Nov. 13 to address the city’s Black-on-Black violence epidemic. The emergency town hall meeting hosted by the Community Empowerment Association in collaboration with the Peace Alliance Network drew approximately 200 people to Schenley High School.
Looking out at the worn headstones in the military section of Allegheny Cemetery, Vietnam era vet Mike Flournoy shook his head. “To think, 150 years ago, these men were buried in a totally integrated cemetery, yet just 40 years ago we had problems with Blacks being buried in ‘White’ cemeteries,” he said. “What happened to change that? That’s something I think sociologists might want to look at.” NEVER FORGET—Vietnam Vets from left: Olson Pollard, Sager McDill and Mike Flournoy prepare to lay a wreath honoring the US Colored Troops buried at Allegheny Cemetery on the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. (Photo by J. L. Martello) Flournoy and fellow Black Vietnam era vets Sager McDill and Olson Pollard laid a wreath at the Allegheny Cemetery’s Veterans Memorial in a ceremony commemorating the service and sacrifice of United States Colored Troops during the Civil War, which began 150 years ago. “This is really great,” said Pollard. “It’s beyond the call of duty for everyone to honor our troops of the past. And I am honored to have participated.”
Light-up night NOV. 19—PPG Place will host the Pittsburgh Light-Up Night Celebration from 5-9 p.m. at PPG Place Plaza, 4 PPG Place, Downtown. There will be a holiday show, performances and the lighting of the Christmas tree. There will also be festivities on Nov. 20. For more information, call 412-434-1928.
For the week of Nov. 19-25 November 19 1985—Stepin Fetchit, the first major Black movie star, dies of pneumonia in Woodlawn Hills, Calif. at the age of 83. Fetchit (real name Lincoln Perry) was harshly criticized by most major Black organizations because he made his money playing a lazy, shiftless, easily frightened Black character during the 1940s and 1950s. However, the role, which appealed to many Whites and some Blacks, made him a millionaire. STEPIN FETCHIT, GARRETT T. MORGAN, WALTER PAYTON
by Denise LavoieAP Legal Affairs Writer BOSTON (AP)—Marie Evans recalled she was 9-years-old when she first started getting free cigarettes in the Boston housing project where she lived. At first, she traded them for candy, but she said she started smoking them herself at age 13. Four decades later, Evans died of lung cancer. MARIE EVANS Age 10
by Michael HillAssociated Press Writer (AP)—Is President Barack Obama willing to risk Slurpee brainfreeze as he grapples with political gridlock? A strange but real possibility. The president’s campaign-trail attack on Republicans as Slurpee-sipping do-nothings boomeranged on him the day after the GOP won the House majority in last week’s midterm elections. He was asked if he would have likely House Speaker John Boehner over for the slushy 7-11 staple, and the White House meeting next week with Congressional leaders was jokingly dubbed the “Slurpee Summit.” ICONIC DRINK—This Nov. 10 photo shows Slurpees at a 7-11 in Concord, N.H. No word yet on whether the nation’s most powerful elected officials will actually be sipping Goji Berry Cherry Slurpees when discussing tax cuts on Nov. 18. (AP Photo/Larry Crow)
I met Shirley Muhammad a few years ago at several meetings that were focusing on solutions to problems that threaten the existence of Black families and communities. Over those years she convinced me to become an active board member of Your Sisters Project, Inc. It was the first program that I joined in a number of years, because I don’t have the time.