Daily Archive: April 27, 2011


March 4 Peace in Homewood

The crowd was awash with black, white, yellow—and those were just the umbrellas that echoed the diversity of the 200 or so residents who braved rain and chill air to join in the Second Annual Prayer 4 Peace Rally and March through Homewood on Good Friday. The diversity was further reinforced by the participation of speakers like Rakeem Muhammad, who joined several Christian ministers in addressing the crowd assembled in front of Westinghouse High School for the Good Friday rally and march. I don’t care what religion you are or what color you are, what creed or what background you’re from. We are here because we owe these kids something—peace,” he said. “Drugs, guns, violence. It has to stop.” I AM BECAUSE WE ARE—Residents march up Hermitage Street in Homewood on Good Friday as part of the House of Manna’s Second Annual Prayer 4 Peace Rally. (Photo by J.L. Martello)


Racist letter addressed to W. Allegheny students

“Maybe if you niggers wernt (sic) in this school, west a (sic) might actually be a perfect school. So do us a favor and get the f… out you motherf… niggers!” That is just part of a letter eight African-American students found on their seats—personally addressed—when they arrived for their first-period classes at West Allegheny High School in Imperial, April 15. “It was a total surprise to me. I wasn’t so much scared as shocked,” said sophomore Lewis Walls. “I never expected anything like this to happen.”


Mann Florida YMCA bound

After eight years of merging, expanding and opening new YMCAs and breaking ground on the long awaited Thelma Lovette YMCA on Centre Avenue in the Hill District, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh Eric Mann announced last week that he has accepted the position of CEO of a Y in Jacksonville, Fla., and will be leaving his current position on June 30. Mann stated that his leaving Pittsburgh is a family motivated decision. He and his wife are from the South and they are moving to be closer to their family, however, even though Mann is leaving, he said, “I’ve become a ‘burgher’ and I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Pittsburgh. It’s a great community and we’ve made some lifelong friends.” He continued that the timing was just right for the move. ERIC MANN


Community Calendar

Go Red APRIL 27—The American Heart Association and UPMC will host the “Go Red For Women Make It Your Mission Rally” from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Market Square, Downtown. The rally is designed to heighten awareness of heart disease, educate and inform women that with lifestyle modifications, heart disease can be prevented. There will be free health screenings, nutrition and exercise stations and more. For more information, call Karen Colbert at 412-702-1125 or visit http://www.heart.org.


Obama launches Black outreach program in communities nationwide

(NNPA)—The Obama administration will reach out to African-Americans in coming months in a campaign to tell Blacks about what Obama is doing for them. A week after announcing his 2012 campaign, Obama sent Black senior White House advisors into African-American communities across the U.S. to share stories about how the administration is working to enhance their quality of life. TAKING A BREAK—President Barack Obama walks from the White House in Washington, D.C., April 23, to his limo, for an afternoon of golf at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


This Week In Black History

Week of April 30-May 6 April 30 711 AD—Tarik the Moor invades Spain with force of 7,000 troops, routs the Visigoths and establishes Moor domination of Spain. While there remains some dispute over Tarik’s race, the weight of the evidence is strong that he was a Black man. He was described in accounts of the time as having “brown skin and wooly hair.” His full name was Tarik al Gibral. The famed Rock of Gibraltar is named in his honor. SHAKA



2011 version of Charlie McCarthy

To those of you who may not recall Charlie McCarthy, allow me to explain. It was the most famous dummy in the world, the ventriloquist was Edgar Bergen, and they performed before presidents and kings and queens throughout Europe. It goes without saying the ventriloquist was a White man and that is a factor in this column. I have had dozens of conversations with Black businesspeople, and they have repeatedly complained about the unbelievable and insensitive attitude displayed by Blacks who occupy positions generally in charge of diversity. The meetings with these colored persons are overwhelmingly nonproductive and if you close your eyes you would think you were talking to a Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen. A White man with no sense of understanding or concern is the ventriloquist.


Support and respect Black mothers

(NNPA)—As “Mothers’ Day” 2011 approaches, it is not only fitting, but also quite necessary to acknowledge, salute, encourage support and demand respect for all Black mothers across the world. African mothers gave birth to human civilizations. Black mothers are the original mothers. Today, the population in Africa has grown to more than one billion people and in the African Diaspora throughout the world, there is nearly another billion people of African descent. Black mothers in America and throughout the African world should be acknowledged with gratitude and should be resolutely saluted for their contributions to the advancement of humanity. African-American mothers in the United States, as well as all African mothers in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Canada, and across Africa, continue to live up to the historical legacy and contemporary title as the “greatest mothers” in the world.


Women in prison—what about the children?

(NNPA)—There are more than 200,000 women who are currently incarcerated, 115,000 in federal or state prisons and 99,000 in local jails. Nearly one million women are on probation—representing 26 percent of those on probation and 98,000 are on parole. Women’s incarceration has grown by more than 800 percent in the last three decades, while men’s incarceration has not grown as rapidly. African-American women’s incarceration has grown more quickly than the incarceration of other women, at 838 percent. Why do women collide with the criminal justice system? Twenty-eight percent are there because of drug-related offenses, often associative offenses (they were in the car with the drugs, but they weren’t theirs); an equal number are in jail for property crimes—stealing, shoplifting, kiting checks, all crimes that are crimes of poverty. If these women were rehabilitated and given good jobs instead of incarcerated, we might save both money and lives.


Trump’s made-for-TV candidacy should be cancelled

by Jonathan Hicks Donald Trump, the business tycoon who is hysterically fixated on delegitimizing the presidency of Barack Obama, was asked in a recent interview to explain the high support that African-Americans lavish on Obama and to account for his own diminishing level of support among Black voters. “I have a great relationship with the Blacks,” the artificial presidential candidate proudly said. “I’ve always had a great relationship with the Blacks.” Trump’s grating response was immediately defended by his fellow right-wing political colleagues, who said that there is nothing objectionable to the divisive businessman’s description of his relationship with “the Blacks.” But for most African-Americans, hearing this wealthy businessman discuss “the Blacks” unleashes a torrent of uncomfortable reactions, including a sense that Trump is describing his encounters with some distant, exotic tribal group. Let’s just leave it at this: If no one else does, African-Americans certainly understand the unspoken code here and what it really says about the millionaire mogul’s relationship with a group of Americans.