Daily Archive: May 6, 2011


Gun violence destroying Black community

Gun violence is a major issue in the Black community. Each day for youths has increasingly become a matter of life or death. Recently several community and national organizations have come together to petition stronger gun legislation to curb the amount of illegal guns making their way onto the streets and in the hands of young Black males. NRA WE WANT TO TALK—Following a march from Freedom Corner, Rev. Glenn Grayson leads members of PIIN; B-PEP; NCJW; Falk Foundation and the National Council for Urban Peace & Justice in calling for the NRA to support stricter gun purchasing and stolen gun reporting laws. (Photo by J.L. Martello) While many are working for the solution, one cannot get to the solution without visiting the root of the problem. How are these guns getting into the wrong hands? Most of the violent crimes committed are done so with an illegal firearm, which is a gun that is not legally owned by the person using it. “What’s most devastating is, whether involved in the street life or an innocent bystander trying to find peace among this chaos, numbers of young lives are being snuffed out before they’ve even had a chance to live,” Commander Cheryl Doubt of the City of Pittsburgh Narcotics and Vice Unit said.



City to lose $3M in block grant funds

When President Barack Obama released his 2011 budget proposal in February, it included a 7.5 percent cut to Community Development Block Grants. Though many Pittsburgh government officials worried how the loss of CDBG funds would impact the city, White House representatives said this cut was far less than the 70 percent cut Republicans desired. Then, on April 8, in an effort to stave off government shut down, Obama compromised on a 16.2 percent cut more than doubling what he originally proposed. This compromise was part of $38 billion in total cuts to federal spending. “As part of the deal to prevent a government shutdown last Friday (April 8), the administration and congress agreed to cut the Community Development Block Grant formula program by 16.2 percent. This means that CDBG formula funding will decrease from $3.99 billion in FY 2010 to $3.343 billion in FY 2011, a $647 million cut,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the United States Conference of Mayors in an announcement on April 12. “On top of this, all domestic discretionary programs will have an additional 0.2 percent cut.”


Obama mocks Trump’s presidential ambitions

by Bradley Klapper WASHINGTON (AP)—President Barack Obama exacted his revenge Saturday after weeks of attacks from his would-be Republican challenger Donald Trump, joking that the billionaire businessman could bring change to the White House, transforming it from a stately mansion into a tacky casino with a whirlpool in the garden. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA With Trump in attendance, Obama used the White House Correspondents’ Association annual dinner to mock the reality TV star’s presidential ambitions. The president said Trump has shown the acumen of a future president, from firing Gary Busey on a recent episode of “Celebrity Apprentice” to focusing so much time on conspiracy theories about Obama’s birthplace.


Deadly tornado rips my Alabama hometown

(NNPA)—I was leaving a members-only meeting at From the Heart Church Ministries in Suitland, Md., last Wednesday night when I noticed that my mother, Mrs. Martha Brownlee, had called me from Augusta, Ga., while my cell phone was turned off. When I returned her call en route home, she asked had I heard from Mary Linebarger, my first-cousin who lives in Tuscaloosa, Ala. I casually replied that I had spoken to Mary and her husband, Ronnie, a few weeks ago and Mama interrupted, “You haven’t heard, have you?” I replied, “Heard what, Mama?” She hastily said, “A tornado has hit Tuscaloosa and a lot of people are dead. George, our city is gone.”


Donald gets trumped

After weeks of allegations, led by Donald Trump, that he was not born in the U.S. and, as a result, not legally able to serve in the nation’s highest office, President Obama released his long-form birth certificate to the public. According to the official document, the President was born in the U.S., Hawaii to be exact, and not in Kenya or Indonesia, as his critics would have you believe. Fringe groups have been alleging that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. since he announced his run for the presidency three years ago. At the time, he submitted an official record of birth, a document most states give to anyone seeking a copy of their birth certificate, as proof of his citizenship. But, the birthers—those who maintain Obama was not born in the U.S.—didn’t accept that document; they wanted to see his original birth certificate.



Sorry about the birth certificate, I’ve been hunting Osama bin Laden

President Barack Obama has one amazing and incredibly infuriating trait for every political analyst following him and everyone who ever voted for him and everyone who’s ever worked against him. Incredible timing. Obama gets beat up over and over again in the press, from Republicans and their minions in the public and somehow some way just when it looks like he’s never going to recover he gives a speech, makes a deal or pulls off a stunt that puts everyone back on heels collectively asking “How long has he been planning that?” With his announcement last Sunday that U.S. special operations forces had hunted down and killed Osama bin Laden Obama proved once again that he is the master of the last minute political save.


Marriage is so 20th century

I know I’m a lucky girl because I love my job (not everyone does you know). It gives me the privilege of keeping my finger on the pulse of consumer trends and purchasing behavior as my company, The Nielsen Company, measures what you watch and what you buy globally. I then have the pleasure of sharing that information with you, because I so believe that knowledge is power. Recently, Nielsen released a comprehensive report, The New Digital American Family, which highlights that the new family unit is more ethnically diverse than at any point in history. And, while I will certainly be sharing with you all of the eye-opening findings of the study in future columns, today I am focused on the one finding that sent a chill down my spine: “marriage is on the wane.”


Lauryn Hill…The Evolution of an American Soul Singer

ATLANTA, Ga.—Lauryn Hill is one of today’s great soul singers. That’s a point that’s clearly evident when listening to her recorded renditions. Live, in-concert? Now, that’s another story. During her recent Atlanta show at the Center Stage Theater, she provided her fans with a lengthy 90-minute performance—displaying her distinctive style and stage persona—a sexy blend of African and Reggae roots, mixed with a tad of ‘80s grunge and straight-up hip-hop, add a pinch of cool jazz, ala Nina Simone and let’s call it neosoul. Better yet, call it Laurynsoul. LAURYN HILL


‘The Obamas: The Untold Story’

There are days, you wish you’d listened closer. Your grandfather told you many things about his grandfather: how he survived, how he lived, how he relaxed. You wish you had paid attention to what was said, but you were just a kid. Now, you wish you could tell those tales to your own children. You’re not that interested in your pedigree, but you like knowing where you came from. In the new book “The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family” by Peter Firstbrook, you’ll learn about the first family behind the First Family.


Hill House brings doo-wop to Kaufmann Center

The Hill House Kaufmann Center presents a one-night performance by Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town, an a cappella group led by the famed soul vocalist on May 6. This is the first event produced in a new partnership between the Hill House Association and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater to provide high-quality and affordable arts programming for the newly restored Kaufmann Center in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. JERRY LAWSON