Even though Nate Smith is in critical condition, a film on his accomplishments were shown at Imani Christian Academy. He is currently in a hospice. Tim Stevens summed it up by noting that he wouldn’t be where he is without people like Smith. NATE SMITH “As we speak, he is in hospice care and apparently not doing well, but maybe he’ll fool us. He has before,” he said. “But remember, when he did what he did, Nate wasn’t the head of anything. He wasn’t educated, but he moved this city and this country. He is you. And you are Nate Smith.” Many of Smith’s contemporaries are gone, and he himself is in very poor health, but thanks to film maker Erica Peiffer, long-time promoter Ed Meeks, and some remaining lights from the Civil Rights movement like Alma Speed Fox, his contributions to labor rights for African-Americans in Pittsburgh and across the country live on.
Daily Archive: March 30, 2011
Stanley Paul Drummond was an East Liberty cornerstone, a man of honor and a workaholic. Even though he did many things, he was most noted for the corner market he had on Shetland Street in East Liberty. Drummond passed Wednesday, March 23, at home with his family by his side, at the age of 75. He was diagnosed with Amyloidosis, which is a very rare disease. There have been only two hundred cases in the world. It is a protein metabolic disorder caused by a disordered immune cell. It is the same disease the late Mayor Richard Caliguri died from and there is no cure. STANLEY PAUL DRUMMOND He was the grandfather of All Pro Bowl NFL football player Eddie Drummond and a host of grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. He was born March 27, 1935 in Pittsburgh to the late Mose and Bernice Drummond. Eddie Drummond put his grandfather on a pedestal and considered him to be the chief of the family. All of the men in the family went to Stanley Drummond for advice because a lot of them did not have father figures around.
More than 15 years after being sentenced to 24-1/2 years in prison, receiving one of the toughest sentences for a first time non-violent offender, Kemba Smith, now Kemba Smith Pradia, is still telling her story so others can learn from the mistakes she made. A LESSON LEARNED—Kemba Smith Pradia recounts her journey of falling in with the wrong people, getting a lengthy sentence and overcoming it all at a lecture held at Carlow University March 22 for their Women’s History Month celebration. (Photo by J.L. Martello) As a part of their Women’s History Month celebration, Carlow University’s Black Student Union, the Office of Diversity Initiatives and the Women’s Studies Program, collaborated to hold a lecture on March 22 featuring Smith and her journey through getting mixed up with the wrong crowd, being in an abusive relationship and struggling to break free, facing a harsh sentence, getting her freedom back and overcoming it all. “It’s important to love yourself, have high self-esteem, understand your limits and standards and never lower your standards,” Smith said is the advice she now gives to young women. “I hope by telling my story people learn from it.”
Centennial celebration MARCH 30—Wilkinsburg School District will host their Centennial Celebration of Wilkinsburg Jr./Sr. High School at 6:30 p.m. at the High School Auditorium, 718 Wallace Ave., Wilkinsburg. Community members and Wilkinsburg alumni will be treated to an evening of festivities, special guest speakers, alumni reflections, a slide show presentation and live music. For more information, call Lindsey Neyland at 412-871-2125. Open house MARCH 31—The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School will host an Open House from 6-8 p.m. at 327 N. Negley Ave., East Liberty. The open house is for families interested in attending the K through 5th grade school and will include a school tour, information, snacks, surprises and more. For more information, call 412-361-1008 ext. 131.
Week of April 2 to April 8April 21855—John Mercer Langston becomes the first African-American elected to public office when he wins the position of clerk of Brownhelm Township in Ohio. Though not well known today, Langston was one of the foremost Black leaders of the 1800s. With the aid of his two brothers, he organized anti-slavery societies throughout Ohio. The Oberlin College graduate also became a lawyer and statesman for Black rights. After the Civil War, he organized the law department at Howard University in Washington, D.C. The town of Langston, Okla., is named in his honor. He died in 1897. JOHN MERCER LANGSTON
by Hope YenAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP)—According to data released March 24, African-Americans in search of wider spaces increasingly left big cities such as Detroit, Chicago and New York for the suburbs, typically in the South. Both Michigan and Illinois had their first declines in the Black population since statehood as many of their residents opted for warmer climates in the suburbs of places such as Atlanta, Dallas and Houston. Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the last decade, exceeding estimates in most states as they crossed a new census milestone: 50 million, or 1 in 6 Americans. NO EASY ANSWERS— Detroit Mayor Dave Bing answers questions from reporters during a news conference about the census count March 22, in Detroit. Hammered by the auto industry’s slump, Detroit saw its population plummet 25 percent over the past decade. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Clarence Tabb Jr.)
Friday I was a guest at Imani School where the excellent documentary of Nate Smith’s life was shown. The documentary included those who sat at the table with Nate and also those of us unnamed who filled the streets. At the conclusion my concern was whether the youth and adults understand that the birth of the Pittsburgh Plan proved to be a stopgap not a permanent solution.
(NNPA)—During her research for the Children’s Defense Fund’s recent report “Held Captive”: Child Poverty in America, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Cass visited the Mississippi Delta, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban Long Island, New York to profile three different kinds of child poverty. Her trip to Quitman County, Mississippi covered sadly familiar ground: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited the Black sharecropping community in Marks, the seat of Quitman County, in the summer of 1966 to preach at the funeral of a friend, and Marks was later chosen as the starting point of the mule train that left Mississippi for Washington, D.C., during the Poor People’s Campaign.
(NNPA)—Census data on city populations made headlines this week. Washington, D.C., can apparently only barely be described as “chocolate city” since the African-American population is only a scant majority in the city. According to the Washington Post, even the block on which former mayor Marion Barry cut his teeth, married wife Effie, and ran for mayor in 1976 is now whiter than it has ever been with a Norman Rockwell type White family (two kids, intact family, dog) live in Councilman Barry’s old house. Those of us who live in and love D.C. are amazed, amused, and sometimes apoplectic about the changes. A gay bar where the barbershop used to be? A neighborhood restaurant where the waitress seats Whites before African-Americans? Ch-ch-ch-ch changes, goes the song. And so it goes.
by Shannon Williams Are you familiar with the children’s character who always says “it’s not easy being green”? Well, I’m sure President Barack Obama has the same sentiment: it’s not easy being president. As with many people, our esteemed head of state is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Many right-wing Republicans have criticized the president for moving too slowly regarding the crisis in Libya. They wanted Obama to emerge with his chest poked out and guns blazing. Republicans were ready for war, or at minimal, some concrete actions concerning Libya. Previously, the president was giving very safe statements regarding the conflict.