100 years in the making

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I can’t remember a time when “The Courier” was not in my life. That’s what we called it back in the day and quiet as it’s kept we still call it “The Courier.”

DebbieNorrellBox

People all over the world know about the historic Pittsburgh Courier, now known as the New Pittsburgh Courier. On Feb. 19, right in the midst of Black History Month, the Courier will celebrate 100 years. On this night of celebration I have the distinct honor of greeting you on the red carpet at Stage AE on the North Shore.

Here are the details; the VIP portion of the party begins at 6 p.m. with passed hors d’oeuvres and plenty of mingling. At 7 p.m. the party continues with a tour of food stations with chef carved roasted New York Strip, five cheese Macaroni, green beans, mushroom and pepper salad, roasted vegetable salad, Jamaican Jerk wings, Caribbean Succotash and more.

The centerpiece of the evening will be Solar Rec­ords’ own Carrie Lucas. Remember the 1977 disco smash “I Gotta Keep Dancin’?” It was her first chart record and biggest hit. Later she recorded “Dance With You” and over the years registered four U.S. Top 200 album entries. Lucas began her career as a backup singer with the Whispers. She also wrote songs recorded by R&B acts the Whispers, the Soul Train Gang and South Shore Commission before joining the Soul Train label. On Feb. 19 Lucas will be performing with Shalamar’s band from Memphis.

The emcee for the evening will be Sheila Banks, Emmy Award-winning writer/pro­ducer and former host and producer for WETA in D.C. Banks was an original co-host with Donnie Simpson on BET’s “Video Soul” and then went on to host “This Week in Black Entertainment” for six seasons. Banks also co-anchored the news on WNAC-TV in Boston and WTVI-TV in St. Louis.

This will be a wonderful evening complete with an awards ceremony. The attire is Black tie optional, let’s just say over the top dressy, and be fabulous. I’m torn between the black velvet backless gown I found for $5 and an ensemble that has been 100 years in the making, Decisions, decisions, the easiest decision for you should be being there. I would love to see all the people whoever appeared on the Lifestyles page, whoever sold the Courier, whoever worked at the Courier, who has ever read the Courier. There wouldn’t be room to hold everyone. I just want everyone there to celebrate the paper that was the country’s most widely circulated Black newspaper. The Courier set the tone on major issues impacting the African-American community.

Come out and honor the paper that has honored you, featured your stories and your issues. How many Black newspapers can say they have been around for 100 years? How many Black busi­nesses can say they have been around for 100 years? My point exactly, you have to be there, don’t just let someone bring you the tee shirt, live it, experience it, be there. I’ll meet you on the red carpet. For reservations, contact Save The Date Creative Services LLC at savethedate_pgh@yahoo.com or call 412-781-3486. Tickets for the dinner, awards ceremony, concert and dessert reception are $150. Tickets for awards ceremony, concert and dessert reception, $75.

(E-mail the columnist at deb­bienorrell@aol.com.)

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