Daily Archive: April 20, 2011

Metro

Alumni rally to ‘Save Westinghouse’

To date there are 229 boys and 231 girls enrolled for the Fall 2011 school year at Westinghouse High School, where the students will be split into two single-gender academies. However, although the school’s transformation was voted on and approved last year, there are still many concerned citizens working to put a stop to the district’s plans. On April 16, the Westinghouse Alumni Association held the Save Westinghouse rally and cabaret at the Homewood Coliseum. Approximately 1400 people attended to raise money for this year’s graduating class and to raise awareness about the changes that could affect next year. BULLDOGS FOR LIFE—From left: Lawanda Long, Richard Lipscomb, Michelle Baldridge, Reggie Bridges, Rhonda Sears and Dorien Russell are members of the Westinghouse Alumni Association. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “The purpose of the event was to get some awareness for the East End Plan and the upcoming merger between Westinghouse and Peabody. We’re basically trying to save our school. When we heard many students were having trouble paying to go to their proms we decided to combine the rally with a cabaret to raise money,” said WAA President Reggie Bridges. “We don’t necessarily disagree with the single gender issue, but we disagree with the process. We know there’s some redeeming value in putting kids in single gender (schools). We wanted to bring the community together to rally around it and to talk about our legacy. We’re trying to do all these things to introduce to the kids the rich history of Westinghouse.”

Metro

Urban League calls for jobs, jobs, jobs

Last month, a report by the National Urban League found the unemployment rate in the African-American community had risen to 15.5 percent. This number nearly doubles the nation’s overall unemployment rate of 8.8 percent. In their 2011 State of Black America report, the Urban League identified unemployment as the most important issue facing the Black community. Their report outlines 12 concrete methods for reducing the unemployment rate. MARC MORIAL “They’re not difficult to implement, but there must be the will and the commitment to accomplish them. By doing nothing, we guarantee that the recovery will not produce enough jobs to hire everyone who wants to work,” said Urban League President Marc Morial. “Furthermore, many of the initiatives will pay for themselves by allowing citizens to become taxpayers and to create jobs in expanding businesses.”

Metro

URA maintains Larimer development funding

With a new master vision plan, and a coalition of stakeholders working on cooperative renewal, development plans for Larimer are looking up. At least they were until Urban Redevelopment Authority Housing Director Tom Cummings told city council April 6 the authority had revised a funding request that meant Larimer would not be receiving more than $272,000 in state development funding. Initially the URA had submitted six applications to the sate Department of Community and Economic Development for $3.4 million in funds. However, two of those projects—in Larimer and Uptown–were dropped and two others replaced them.

Metro

Community Calendar

Boat cruise APRIL 23—Royal Tribe Music will host a Boat Cruise for Teens from 4-6 p.m. on the Explorer Ship, behind the Carnegie Science Center, 1 Allegheny Ave., North Shore. This is part of a new initiative, Stand Up Now Youth Alliance Initiative for Dignity & Respect, which is a community mobilization consisting of youth, families, mentors, organizations and businesses focused on achieving social justice for at-risk, disadvantaged youths. Reservations are required. For more information, call 412-567-3094 or email royaltribe412@gmail.com.

National

This Week In Black History

Week of April 23-29April 231856—One of the greatest inventors in American history, Granville T. Woods, is born in Columbus, Ohio. During his life he received 65 patents for electrical, mechanical and communications devices. Among his inventions was an advanced telephone transmitter. The transmitter was so advanced that the Alexander Graham Bell Company purchased the rights to it from Woods, both because it was superior to what Bell had invented and for fear that Woods might become a major rival to the Bell Company. At his height, the Cincinnati, Ohio Catholic Tribune (Jan. 14, 1886) wrote of Woods: “…the greatest colored inventor in the history of the race and equal, if not superior, to any inventor in the country…” GRANVILLE T. WOODS

National

D.C. mayor, councilmembers arrested

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NNPA)–In an act of civil disobedience, Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent C. Gray, and six members of the District’s City Council were arrested April 11 by the U.S. Capitol Police for protesting the highly publicized congressional budget deal. According to District officials, this budget violated the rights of the city’s residents to autonomy and self-determination. Mayor Gray and the City Councilmembers were arrested for blocking Constitution Avenue, a major thoroughfare near the U.S. Senate office buildings. Throughout the ordeal, Gray encouraged all residents of the District of Columbia to stand up and take actions aimed at bringing about the end of this long-standing injustice against the District. He urged District residents to educate friends, family members and neighbors on the issues facing the nation’s Capital. BLOCKING TRAFFIC—Shown here blocking Constitution Avenue prior to their arrest are Council Chairman Kwame Brown, Councilmember Michael Brown, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Councilmember Tommy Wells and Councilmember Yvette Alexander. (NNPA Photo/Lateef Mangum)

hopkendrickbox

Opinion

Absence of strong positive Black men

The majority of us clearly understand that a mother’s love has truly been a stabilizer and the driving factor in many solid successful families. All of us can identify with a situation where a mother’s love was the absolute saving grace in a family, and maybe in our own home. The love of mothers was proven conclusively during slavery, throughout the years of racism when we were treated as second class citizens, the depression period, unemployment and underemployment. Mothers, grandmas, aunties etc., enacted the multiple roles of breadwinner, laundress, cook, seamstress, educator, disciplinarian, physiologist, and yes they are real wonder women.

Opinion

‘Dr. David French: pioneering physician’

“This was a man who lived a life of urgency, but never an urgency in the service of self, but rather in the service of the society, of mankind, of others.” So said Howard French at a memorial service for his father, Dr. David French who passed away March 31 at age 86. I was blessed to have him, his wife Carolyn, and their children as friends over many decades. As one of the founders of the Medical Committee for Human Rights, Dr. David French helped organize fellow medical professionals during the Civil Rights Movement to provide first aid to marchers and protesters. His civil rights work was a turning point in a lifetime of pioneering professional work, from becoming one of the first Black board-certified surgeons in America to establishing innovative community health clinics in the United States and Africa.

Opinion

Letter To The Editor…Open letter to the Pittsburgh African-American Community

Dear Editor: “None is so blind as those who will not see.” As I and the leadership of the African-American Workers Union read the editorial, “A Champion is Dead, Who will Take His Place?” we pondered how and if we should respond to such a query. The bothersome question in our minds was; if we respond how we could get our point across without being accused of tooting our own horn or some other negative depiction . We resolved that our mission as a “Union” was too important to the lives we strive to uplift to leave the issue un-responded to. First, we consider Mr. Nate Smith a great man who’s courage and dedication to others is beyond question. The foundation he, “Swamp Man” Williams, Ms. Alma Fox, Attorney Byrd Brown and others laid regarding the racism in the Pittsburgh construction industry was the fertile soil upon which our union’s Construction Division was built. We learned many things from their experience, as we learned from the Civil Rights movement and other champions of history. One of the most important lessons we learned was the precept that, as a people, you cannot expect other people to do for you what you refuse to do for yourself.