Daily Archive: April 6, 2011

Metro

Nate Smith’s last march Labor activist passes at 82

He stood before the bulldozers that erased the lower Hill District with Byrd Brown and Jimmy Joe Robinson, saying, “no further.” He led the marches and protest that culminated in more than 1,500 Blacks gaining union jobs they had been denied for decades. And along the way he met and befriended people of all political stripes, from Yasser Arafat and Jimmy Carter to Dick Thornburgh and George H.W. Bush. And always his challenge was the same—help me help my people. CIVIL RIGHTS WARRIOR—Nate Smith, flanked by Rev. Jimmy Joe Robinson, left, and Byrd Brown prepares to march Downtown from Freedom Corner to demand equal employment rights. “When he did what he did, Nate wasn’t the head of anything. He wasn’t educated, but he moved the city and the country,” said Black Political Empowerment Project founder Tim Stevens. Smith died March 31 at Cedars Community Hospice in Monroeville following a long bout with dementia. He was 82.

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Metro

17 of 20 homicides Black lives…We need to take back our streets

While this time last year the number of homicides was higher, with 21, the breakdown is far more devastating this year. Last year, 14 of the total number of homicides were Black and 11 were Black men; this year, 17 were Black and 14 were Black men. Enough has to be enough, we are moving in the wrong direction. April 4 was the 43rd anniversary of the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What would he say to how things are today? What happened to carrying on his fight? Instead of fighting against racism and for equality, we, especially our young men and women, are fighting against our own people and our mentalities. Most of the shootings are by us. And now the shooting are no longer occurring at night when most people aren’t on the streets; they are happening during the day when our young children are coming home from school or in many cases on their way to school.

Metro

2011 Fab 40

With shootings occurring almost daily and most of the names listed on the homicide count falling under the age of 40, many people have the misconception that Pittsburgh’s African-American youth and young adults are doing nothing. Well they’re wrong and the New Pittsburgh Courier will continue to prove it at their annual Fab 40 reception, which will take place April 29 at the U.S. Steel Tower’s Upper Lobby, Downtown. The reception honors some of Pittsburgh’s most elite African-American men and women 40 years old and younger, who are doing amazing things to build their communities, while tearing down the misconceptions. REV. MARK TOOKES “It (receiving the honor) was very special to me. For the Courier to take the time to look at me that way and to recognize me for the work I’m doing within the church and the community, especially when there are others in Pittsburgh who are doing great things,” said Rev. Mark Tookes, executive pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in the Hill District and one of last year’s honorees. “It is encouraging to individuals under 40 who are doing positive things.”

Metro

Community Calendar

Support group APRIL 6—The Cancer Caring Center will host an African-American Women’s Breast Cancer Network Group from 6-7 p.m. at the East Liberty Carnegie Library, 130 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty. This is a support group for African-American women breast cancer patients and will be led by Yvonne Durham, a local advocate and survivor. For more information, call 412-622-1212 or visit ­www.cancercaring.org.

National

Blacks seek new clout in once-White suburbs

by Nope Yen WASHINGTON (AP)—With more Blacks moving from city to suburb, the National Urban League says it is worried states may improperly seek to stem the political clout of African-Americans as they spread into historically White districts. TROUBLED BY CENSUS—Urban League CEO Marc Morial speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File) The leader of the 101-year-old organization also says he is troubled by complaints from big-city mayors, such as those in New York and Detroit, who contend large pockets of their residents were missed in the 2010 census. Blacks historically have been more likely to be missed in the decennial count and preliminary numbers for 2010 suggest that could have happened again. “We have to give consideration as to whether there is an undercount,” Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, told The Associated Press.

National

This Week In Black History

Week of April 9-15 April 9 1865—Black regiments lead assault upon and eventually capture a key Southern fort helping bring the Civil War to an end. The nine regiments led by General John Hawkins smashed through Confederate defenses at Forth Blakely, Ala. The 68th Division of USCT (United States Colored Troops) had some of the highest casualties of the Civil War. PAUL ROBESON, MARIAN ANDERSON and RICHARD ALLEN 1898—Paul Bustill Robeson is born in Princeton, N.J. Robeson would go on to become the greatest combination of entertainer and social activist in American history. He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rutgers University, while simultaneously being one of the school’s greatest football stars. After graduation he turned to entertainment—acting and singing on stage and in early movies.

National

Obama re-election launches with e-mail, website

by Liz SidotiAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP)— President Barack Obama formally launched his re-election campaign Monday, urging grass-roots supporters central to his first White House run to mobilize again to protect the change he’s brought over the past two years. The official start of his second White House bid, in the midst of three wars, a budget fight with Congress, and sluggish economic recovery, comes 20 months before the November 2012 election. LAUNCHES RE-ELECTION BID—President Barack Obama smiles during an event to promote clean energy vehicles, April 1, at a UPS facility in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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Opinion

Rare and unusual speeches at Talk’s convention

On April 1, Talk Magazine held their annual political convention. I have been in attendance at 98 percent of the conventions, but this was the liveliest. State Sen. Jay Costa was the opening speaker and he addressed the potential negative effects of the federal and state budget cuts, and not only would it have a devastating effect on multiple programs but would constitute the laying off of a tremendous number of bread winners. The second speaker was the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County chairman of the Democratic Party who also serves as president of Allegheny County Council, a man who wears many hats, Attorney Jim Burn.

Opinion

Celebrating and protecting health reform for children

(NNPA)—A year ago President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Affordable Care Act”), guaranteeing access to health coverage for 32 million uninsured people in America, including 95 percent of all children. Racial minorities are disproportionately uninsured today and the Affordable Care Act will have a particularly positive impact in communities of color if allowed to go forward. The first pieces of the Affordable Care Act to take effect have brought critical relief to millions of children and young adults. As implementation of the law proceeds insurers can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, impose annual or lifetime caps on coverage, or revoke coverage when someone gets sick. Insurers must cover preventive services for children without co-payments or cost sharing.

Opinion

Unemployment down, Black unemployment up

(NNPA)—More than 200,000 jobs were created last month, 216,000 to be exact. Coming after the February lift of more than 200,000 jobs, there are those who are saying that economic recovery is around the corner. I don’t know what corner they are standing on, but the African-American corner took a hit in March, and the Black unemployment rate rose from 15.3 to 15.5 percent. No other racial/ethnic group saw unemployment rates rise. Some will say the slight increase is statistically insignificant. Try telling that to the African-Americans who don’t have jobs, or to those who are not in the labor force. Indeed, while the number of Whites who had dropped out of the labor force went down, the number of African-Americans out of the labor force went up.