Pictures of smiling teens who will never grow older—Shavaughn Kierra White, 18 when killed in 2009, Jayla Shanee Brown 19 when killed in 2007—they were just two of the faces on posters stretching the block-long lobby of the City County Building. Even as passersby saw the displays and read the adoring biographies, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers of young Black men and women lost to gun violence, told their stories to Pittsburgh City Council. This day, April 26, they would be more than statistics. This was a Day of Remembrance. BE AT PEACE—Following a full day of hearings on gun violence before city council, the Day of Remembrance ends with the release of doves from the steps of the City County Building. (Photo by J.L. Martello) Reverend Maxine Blackwell Walker made sure council members would remember her son Sherwood, dead almost two years to the day. “He left behind a little girl, two brothers. He was going to propose to his girl on Mothers Day. Instead, I spent it at his wake,” she told them.
Daily Archive: May 4, 2011
More than 30 years after the last grocer closed in the Hill District, residents and community leaders celebrated the groundbreaking for a new SHOP ‘n SAVE, creating 85 construction and 100 retail jobs, and saving hundreds of residents from having to leave their community for basic needs. But there is more, said Hill House Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Jules Matthews. DIG IN—Representatives from the Hill House Economic Development Corp.; funders; city, county and state government; and operator Jeff Ross break ground for the Hill District SHOP ‘n SAVE scheduled to open in November. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “To date our (Minority Business Enterprise) participation is over 80 percent,” she said during a press event at the Hill House Kaufmann Auditorium. “And we estimate that construction will include 5,000 hours of resident Sect. 3 employment.” Matthews was joined by development and funding partners, local and state government officials, owner/operator Jeff Ross and Hill residents eager to celebrate the long-awaited opening.
The month of April brought many marches, rallies and summits within the Black community, and a national gun convention that was highly protested within the community. But while we ask those who are committing the shootings and killings to stop, we need to also ask how are these individuals, especially the young Black men, are getting these weapons that are causing mass destruction within our communities? Some say it is other people purchasing the guns for these individuals, some say it is exchanging them for drugs and some say it is stealing them from other people. No matter which way, it is far too easy for them to get them. We as a community need to take a stand and refuse to let this continue to happen. If you know Man-Man from up the street is known for his illegal activities and is someone that supplies illegal things, then you need to do your part and report him. If you are someone buying a gun for someone, especially the young women buying it for their boyfriends, then you need to realize that you are just as guilty as the person pulling the trigger.
Though scheduling conflicts with protests aimed at the National Rifle Association’s convention forced the cancellation of planned summit events, the National Council for Urban Peace and Justice rallied at Freedom Corner in Pittsburgh’s Hill District calling for an urban agenda to address problems in the Black community. Joined by a small but determined group of supporters that included Black Empowerment Project Director Tim Stevens and Hill Consensus Group Co-convener Carl Redwood Jr., NCUPJ President Khalid Raheem said political leaders need to join the fight. URBAN AGENDA—National Council for Urban Peace and Justice President Khalid Raheem calls for an Urban Marshall Plan to address violence, unemployment and inequality in the Black community. “Our focus is on violence in the Black community, but with disproportionately large numbers of African-American males represented in the criminal justice system, high unemployment and high dropout rates, we need a comprehensive urban agenda,” he said. “We need to pressure local, regional and federal government officials to address the issues of drugs, violence and mass incarceration.”
Human Rights dinner MAY 5—The Pittsburgh NAACP will host the 57th Annual Human Rights Dinner at 6 p.m. at the Omni William Penn Hotel, 530 William Penn Place, Downtown. The theme will be “Transforming Education in Pursuit of a Stronger America” and Dr. John Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, will be the keynote speaker. There will also be a presentation of the Student Scholarship Award. For more information, call 412-471-1024.
Week of May 7-13 May 7 1800—On this date the founder of the settlement which would grow to become the city of Chicago, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, sold his property and left the settlement. The Haitian-born frontier trader and businessman had a history of building significant wealth, losing it and building it again. He would die 18 years later in St. Charles, Mo. JEAN BAPTISTE POINTE DUSABLE
by Corey Williams DETROIT (AP)—Grammy-nominated artist Kid Rock told nearly 10,000 people at the Detroit NAACP branch’s annual fundraising dinner that his use of the Confederate flag during on-stage performances has nothing to do with how he feels about Blacks. GREAT EXPECTATIONS—Kid Rock, center, holds the Great Expectations Award trophy while posing for photos with, from left, Robert Ritchie Jr.; Shaun Robinson, host of Access Hollywood; NAACP Detroit Chapter President Wendell Anthony; and Donnell White, Interim executive director of the Detroit branch of the NAACP, during the organization’s annual fundraising dinner in Detroit, May 1. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) “I love America. I love Detroit, and I love Black people,” the musician said Sunday night during the annual Fight for Freedom Fund dinner at Cobo Center. Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, used the event to diffuse criticism aimed at the Detroit NAACP branch which honored him with its Great Expectations Award.
I started in politics in 1949 and the only elections I was not active in were the two years I was in the army (1952-1954). I believed at the outset of my political career that politics was the fastest way for Black people to achieve equality. The White democratic committeeman in the 9th district of the 3rd ward where I lived was considered the best vote getter in Allegheny County. Several of us, who were Black Republicans adopted a Black Democrat and ran his campaign for the position and eventually got him elected, thereby making it possible since Blacks were the overwhelming majority to take political control of the ward.The main reason I am telling this historic event is because I was involved, not seeking a job for myself or any member of my family, nor was I seeking any kind of reward, but solely to advance the cause of Black people. In this May 17 election nothing has changed, however, there are those Blacks who have 501c3s; need a job or just want the cash; or who would sell Black folks out and continue to perpetuate political slavery.
(NNPA)—Now that the economy in the United States continues to improve each month, there is an open question that remains concerning the economic empowerment status of Black Americans in 2011. But there is a prior question that will have both short term and long range implications for the economic future of Black Americans. Unless we do more now to acquire the best education possible for our children, there will not be a significant economic recovery in the African-American community. We have to be more aware and active to demand nothing less than the best for our children. There are just too many African-American young people who are attending some of the least performing schools across America. Another school year is about to end and the national report card is not good.
(NNPA)—I am glad that President Barack Obama has a sense of humor about the birthers. I don’t, and I am disgusted that Donald Trump, lacking in both sense and scruples, was able to push the president to releasing his “long form” birth certificate. Now that the birth certificate has been released, perhaps, we can get back to some of the business of government, except for the fact that those who want to embrace their racism and believe that President Obama was not born here, did not star at Harvard (despite his position on the competitive Law Review), and did not “deserve” his election (which did not depend on hanging chads”), will continue to promulgate their nonsense.