Daily Archive: March 16, 2011


‘Disappearing Black Community’

Amidst the storm of controversy surrounding a live broadcast of the Bev Smith Show March 11, featured speaker Min. Louis Farrakhan took the stage with a smile. While Farrakhan and host Bev Smith touched on the outcry from local Jewish community organizations who have labeled Farrakhan as anti-Semitic, they stayed focused on the town hall meeting’s topic “The Disappearing Black Community: Where and How Do We Begin to Rebuild.” BEV SMITH The task given to panelists Farrakhan, Congressman James Clyburn, and Hon. Dorothy Wright Tillman was to develop solutions to elevate African-Americans and rebuild the Black community. While the panelists and host agreed Blacks must support each other, this idea became a reality when both Farrakhan and Clyburn offered to fund the next town hall meeting in order to eliminate commercial interruptions. “Even after the worst days of slavery, we never did to each other what we are doing now. We have indeed made progress, but the progress is in a certain group. It makes no difference that we have a Black president, and he is a great president. Now we’re worse than we ever were,” Farrakhan said. “We have some fault in this matter. I want us to see our fault in this. There is a solution to our problem and there is a way to rebuild our community.”


Iconic Hill barber Hamm mourned

After more than 50 years serving the Hill District, iconic barber and entrepreneur Walter Hamm passed away in his home March 9 at the age of 78. His barbershop on the corner of Centre Avenue and Kirkpatrick Street stands as a testament to his legacy as a community servant always quick to lend a hand, a shave, or a smile. “He was cutting hair on the Hill until the day he died,” said Hamm’s wife Janice Hamm. “He was a person who cared. He’d tell you everything he got came from the Hill.” WALTER HAMM Hamm’s career began in 1956 after his graduation from the Pittsburgh Barber School. Two years later he opened his first barbershop on Wylie Avenue. Throughout his life, Hamm owned a number of other businesses including a lock and key shop and a restaurant, Hamm’s Black Derby. He also wore many different hats as a member of the United States Army, contractor and landlord, owning several apartment buildings and rental properties.


Hill House Kaufmann Center renovation complete

Hill Consensus Group Co-Convener Carl Redwood Jr. said seeing the Hill House Association’s Kaufmann Auditorium restored reflects the revival of the Hill District. “Did you know there are 1,000 people on the waiting list for new housing in the Hill? This is big,” Redwood said. “Generations of people participated in music and art programming here. Now new generations will continue the legacy of this building and the Hill as a cultural center.” VICTOR ROQUE Redwood was among the community partners at a March 15 press conference announcing not only the completion of the building’s $6 million restoration, but also a new partnership between the Hill House and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater that will bring arts performances to the auditorium and the Hill District. The first such performance will be a benefit concert by John Legend March 18.


Community Calendar

Speaker series MARCH 18—The Center for African American Urban Studies and the Economy of Carnegie Mellon University will host their Speaker Series 2010-2011 from 5-6:30…


Mexican magnate widens leads as world’s richest

by Mark Stevenson MEXICO CITY (AP)—Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim widened his lead over other billionaires on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s richest people March 9—the same day his flagship company said he is a victim of monopolistic practices. WORLD’S RICHEST MAN—Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim, left, and British financier Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, right, help Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez at the inauguration of the Soumaya Museum’s new home in Mexico City, March 1. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) Slim’s fortune was estimated to have risen to $74 billion well ahead of Bill Gates’ $56 billion and investor Warren Buffett’s $50 billion. French luxury-goods magnate Bernard Arnault was fourth with $41 billion. Slim gained the most in the past year. His wealth increased $20.5 billion from last year’s estimate of $53.5 billion by Forbes, which attributed the increase to a rise in Mexican stock prices as well as successful mining and real estate projects carried out through his Grupo Carso conglomerate.


This Week in Black History

Week of March 19-25 March 19 1620—The first Black child born in America, William Tucker, was probably born on this date in Jamestown, Va. However, some controversy surrounds the exact date. What we know for sure is that he was the son of two of the first Africans brought to America as indentured servants in August 1619—Anthony (Antonio) and Isabella. We also know he was baptized on Jan. 3, 1624. Further, there is debate as to whether his last name was actually “Tucker.” It seems that many historians simply assumed that the child was given the last name of the man on whose plantation his parents worked. While this would later become the practice on many plantations, there is no documentation that Anthony and Isabella actually gave their son the last name of Tucker. NAT KING COLE


Group: MLK parade bomb suspect was avid neo-Nazi

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP)—When a bomb was found along the route of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Spokane, some law officers suspected a possible white supremacist link. Now, an organization that tracks hate groups says the man charged this week in the failed attack was an avid contributor to a supremacist Internet forum and a reputed member of a neo-Nazi group. The Southern Poverty Law Center said March 10 that Kevin Harpham, 36, made more than 1,000 postings on the Vanguard News Network site, many under a pseudonym.


Young gay prof elected NAACP Worcester chief

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP)—NAACP Worcester has elected an openly gay man as its new president as the group seeks to revive itself following five years of inactivity. Ravi Perry, a political science professor at Clark University, was elected Saturday with a slated of new officers. The 28-year-old says he hopes that as an openly gay man he can help the storied civil rights group address long-ignored gay and lesbian issues in minority communities. RAVI PERRY



Did you HEAR Farrakhan or just listen?

There are those who, for whatever reason, do not recognize Minister Louis Farrakhan as a genuine Black leader, and it’s their right. However, in my personal opinion, Min. Farrakhan more than any other Black man in America personifies Black leadership. Yes, he is my kind of guy. If you are confused with the above headline allow me to clarify it. Example: Our parents overwhelmingly would give us advice about how we should live our lives in a productive manner. Do you remember how we listened but went on and in many instances did what they had forbidden us to do? Yes, we listened, but failed to hear their message.


The new Jim Crow

(NNPA)—“Jarvious Cotton cannot vote. Like his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, he has been denied the right to participate in our electoral democracy… Cotton’s great-great-grandfather could not vote as a slave. His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Ku Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation. His father was barred from voting by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Jarvious Cotton cannot vote because he, like many Black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole.”