Daily Archive: April 13, 2011


Editorial…A champion is dead, who will take his place?

Looking back at the list of leaders of the 1960s and 1970s Civil Rights Movement most had no intention of being a leader. Rosa Parks, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are the two biggest names on that list but the list goes on and on. One such leader emerged in Pittsburgh much the same way. When it was said that Blacks had no union cards to work at the construction sites or handle heavy equipment and implied that they couldn’t handle the work, Nate Smith stepped up and said, “I do, I can and I will.” From that point on Nate took it on himself to get more Blacks into the construction trades, becoming one of the most forceful leaders in Pittsburgh and the country in the labor movement. While the NAACP, SCLC, the Urban League and other groups were fighting segregation at White food counters, on buses, Whites only swimming pools and other public and private establishments, Nate Smith was fighting to get Black people jobs building those restaurants, swimming pools, office building or stadiums.



Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited Mélange Bistro Lounge in Downtown, Heinz Hall in Downtown Pittsburgh, Club Rozay in the Strip District, Kenny’s Place in the Hill District, Eastminister Church in East Liberty, Ace and Deuce’s in the Hill District and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in the Cultural District. My first stop was at Mélange Bistro Lounge in Downtown where 360 Entertainment held a Pre-Hip-Hop Awards event in which artists performed gearing up for the 5th Annual Hip-hop Awards event. More fans came out to the 5th Annual Pittsburgh Hip-hop Awards at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.


Hip-Hop Awards new venue, new vibe

The 5th Annual Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Awards had a new place and a new vibe. This year’s event was held at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture Downtown. Everyone in attendance was supportive of each other and a lot of people had the chance to embrace their culture at the new venue. It was also clear that a new crop of artists were on the scene and it was a breath of fresh air for everyone. Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller and Jasiri X were names that were often called in the past, but they are now considered graduates of the awards because they are national artists. This made room for a number of new artists. DWAYNE MUHAMMADFounder of Hip-Hop Awards (Photos by Ashley G. Woodson) Dwayne Muhammad, CEO and Founder of 360 Ent. and the Pittsburgh Hip-Hop Awards changed the venue from the Hilton Hotel to the AWC.


Arts & Culture Calendar

Friday 15 Group Therapy The Kelly Strayhorn Theater presents “Group Therapy” at 7 p.m. at 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. This is an original work by the Alumni Theater Company; it interprets the growing pains of the average teenager through monologues, dance performances and songs. There will also be a performance on April 16 at 7 p.m. For more information, call 412-363-3000 or visit http://www.kelly-strayhorn.org.


Drivers start to cut back on gas as prices rise

by Chris Kahn NEW YORK (AP)— Soaring gas prices are starting to take a toll on American drivers. Across the country, people are pumping less into the tank, reversing what had been a steady increase in demand for fuel. For five weeks in a row, they have bought less gas than they did a year ago. RAISING PRICE—In this March 31, 2011 photo, an employee at a Sunoco gas station adjusts the prices for gas on a store sign in Batavia, N.Y. With the price of gas above $3.50 a gallon in all but one state, there are signs that Americans are cutting back on driving, reversing a steady increase in demand for fuel as the economy improves. (AP Photo/David Duprey) Drivers bought about 2.4 million fewer gallons for the week of April 1, a 3.6 percent drop from last year, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks the volume of gas sold at 140,000 service stations nationwide. The last time Americans cut back so much was in December, when snowstorms forced people to stay home. Before the decline, demand was increasing for two months. Some analysts had expected the trend to continue because the economic recovery was picking up, adding 216,000 jobs in March.


Nielson Report…Let’s talk about those TV ratings

As much as I try to remind you that The Nielsen Company is a global information and measurement company that measures so many things beyond television (like how you spend your time online and on your mobile devices and what you buy at the grocery store) the fact of the matter is we’re still very much in the business of rating television viewing. So I’m eager to share with you a hot new study on TV viewing.


Economic innovation in underserved communities brings prosperity

(NNPA)—For the 35th consecutive year, the National Urban League has provided the nation an objective and thoughtful assessment of the African-American experience. In 2011, NUL’s annual State of Black America profiled what it means to be a person of color in the throes of the worst recessionary economy since that of the 1930s Great Depression. According to the NUL, the 2011 equality index that compares the experiences of people of color to that of Whites has an approximate 30 percent gap. From 2010 to 2011, the equality index fell from 72.1 to 71.5. “With every downturn in the economy”, observed Marc Morial, NUL president, “urban and minority communities fall further and further behind.”


Business Calendar

Business series APRIL 14—The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will host their Business Program Series at 12:15 at the Downtown & Business branch, 612 Smithfield St., Downtown. The topic is “How to Avoid the ‘Cruelest Trap of All’ After the Tax Relief Act of 2010.” James Lange, CPA /Attorney president of Lange Legal Group LLC., will be the facilitator of the seminar and will discuss the new estate laws and why traditional estate plans should be reviewed to ensure the surviving spouse will have control over expenditure decisions. Attendees will also receive a copy of Lange’s bestselling book. For more information, call 412-281-7141 or e-mail ­business@carnegielibrary.org.


Optimistic start at gate for Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP)—Clint Hurdle smiled and accepted best wishes as if he was a politician. He had a pen in one hand, and waved with the other. It was Opening Day in Pittsburgh, and the Pirates new manager was starting to lay a new foundation with the fan base. With each new autograph he signed, it seemed as if it was another step toward a better relationship between the two parties. The Pirates may have one of the true beauties in baseball—PNC Park—to call home, but it’s long been a struggle to keep fans coming back to the facility. Of course, when you’ve had 18 consecutive losing seasons, it makes things difficult.


Shady Grady’s

There is a lot of pining going on and I do not mean Paul Bunyan and his buddies chopping down 30 foot pine trees. The pining is in regards to the work stoppage now happening in the National Football League. All of the issues between the NFL and its players did not just get off the midnight train from Clarksville, Georgia. This impasse is the direct result of events that have been evolving for over eleven decades. For example this question has been posed often over the years. Did the late NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw sell out the players when he drew up the CBA agreement in 1987? He may not have sold them out but in my opinion he definitely placed them in a very questionable and precarious bargaining position. The salary cap was legislated and enacted during his watch.