Daily Archive: June 3, 2011


Kassi afterschool program works to produce leaders

Several studies have identified that the time after school is when teenagers are most likely to get involved in negative activity, but the Kassi Leadership Academy in the Hill District is using that time to turn young Blacks into leaders, thus preventing juvenile delinquency. Kassi is a free afterschool program based out of the Hill House Association for middle and high school students to broaden their scope of possibilities for the future and to develop them into young leaders for their homes, schools and communities. WORD UP—Students and staff of the Kassi Leadership Academy in the Hill District stand together after the Words of Steel Freestyle Movement on May 27 at the Kaufmann Center, where students of the program performed. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “Three to 6 p.m. is the time when youths under 18 are most likely to get in trouble,” said Tamica Mickle, director of Kassi. “We provide a safe place for them to come (during those critical times).” She continued to say that Kassi is a voluntary program and she knows children at that age have other options, but by coming to the program, kids are choosing to not get in trouble and to be productive.



Pittsburgh Promise reaches most vulnerable

Saleem Ghubril has heard the whispers. At functions with African-American leaders, they will tell him what they are hearing, “the promise is only for middle-class White kids from the suburbs,” or “it’s not reaching the poor Black students who could really benefit.” Not so, he says. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there,” he said. “We have 2,500 kids who’ve qualified for the Promise and more than 1,000 are African-American.” Ghubril, the Promise’s executive director, said not only is the program reaching the Pittsburgh school district’s most at-risk students, but more are qualifying every year even though the academic requirement to get in has been raised in each of the program’s three years.


Ward part of a string of ‘Dancing’ athletes

by Sandy CohenAP Entertainment Writer LOS ANGELES (AP)—It’s become a proud athletic tradition: Winning “Dancing With the Stars.” When Hines Ward took home the mirrorball trophy on the hit show May 24, he joined its winningest group of alumni: Athletes. Professional athletes have taken the “Dancing” title six times in the past 12 seasons. Since the show premiered stateside in 2005, three Olympians, two football stars and one race-car driver have been named “Dancing” champs. POSTING ANOTHER 10—Hines Ward and his partner Kym Johnson compete during the celebrity dance competition “Dancing with the Stars,” in Los Angeles on May 16. (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Taylor)


Pastor looks ahead after settling sex lawsuits

by Errin HainesAssociated Press Writer LITHONIA, Ga. (AP)—Bishop Eddie Long was focused on a message of moving forward on the first Sunday since he resolved the lawsuits brought against him by four former members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. At his 8 a.m. service, several hundred congregants clapped and cheered as Long appeared. Long did not address the allegations or the settlement, which was reached Friday. BISHOP EDDIE LONG



Identity theft: A good name is more desirable than riches

The scripture says that a good name is more desirable than riches (Proverbs 22:1). Apparently the “Forget the dog, beware of owner” sign, the surveillance cameras and the various alarm systems we purchased for our most prized possessions has forced thieves in a new direction. The fastest growing crime in America is Identity Theft. Many criminals has discovered that it’s less risky and in many cases more profitable to steal your personal information than it is to commit strong-arm robbery, burglary, or hijack you for your car. Capital One is not the only character wondering, “What’s in your wallet”? As we continue to move closer and closer to a cash-less society–opting for credit cards and debit cards instead, protecting yourself from being a victim of identity theft should be a top priority.


Jazz poet, author Gil Scott-Heron dead at 62

by V. MohammedFor New Pittsburgh Courier (NNPA)—Pioneering poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron died May 27 at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City. He was 62. Scott-Heron became ill after returning from a European trip, but the exact cause of his death was not released. Scott-Heron was best known for collaborating with pianist and flutist Brian Jackson during the early 1970s and his melodiously voiced performance readings in the late 1970s and early 1980s. FILE—Gil Scott-Heron, who helped lay the groundwork for rap by fusing minimalistic percussion, political expression and spoken-word poetry died May, 27, at age 62. (AP Photo, 1984 File)


Blacks and AIDS: 30 years later

(NNPA)—Sunday will mark the 30th anniversary of the first public identification of AIDS. On June 5, 1981, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report disclosed that five previously healthy gay men in Los Angeles were diagnosed with an infectious disease normally associated with a deteriorated immune system. Writing about the initial discovery, last week in the Washington Post, Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at the National Institutes of Health, recalled: “One month later, the MMWR wrote about 26 cases in previously healthy gay men from Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, who had developed PCP [pneumocystis carinii pneumonia] as well as an unusual form of cancer called Kaposi’s sarcoma.


Keep emergency rooms open

Over the last several years, we have listened to politicians from both sides of the aisle debate a variety of healthcare issues: what are the best ways to lower costs, how will we pay for it, should insurance be mandatory, etc. And though President Obama managed to do what others tried and failed—pass comprehensive healthcare reform—it seems that this will always be a hot political and social issue. Lost in these often heated discussions, however, is the fact that emergency rooms nationwide are disappearing. A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that, on average, about 89 ERs close each year in non-rural areas. The ERs aren’t closing because there isn’t a need; it’s just the opposite: from 1990 to 2009, emergency room visits increased by 35-percent while 27 percent of them closed.


Prophetic genius of Gil Scott Heron

(NNPA)—Gil Scott Heron (1949-2011) was more than a legendary entertainer. He was a social and political visionary that helped to inspire generations of young gifted and talent poets, spoken word artists, rappers, and a global cadre of musical and cultural satirists that have contributed to the irreversible, progressive transformations of the mindsets of hundreds of millions of young people from Harlem, New York to Soweto, South Africa; and from the Delta in Mississippi and the bayous of Louisiana to Trench Town in Jamaica to the barrios of Brazil and deep into the crucible neighborhoods of the South Bronx and South Central LA as well as throughout what is culturally referred today as the “Dirty South.”


America, Inc.

by Akwasi Evans (NNPA)—Europeans conquered America in the 18th Century and the English led the way. The colonists then established their “Article of Confederation,” which, among other things, prohibited slaves within the territory. They later improved that form of government when they created the U.S. constitution, which established a central government and allowed human slavery. Over time the sins of slavery led the nation into a Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves led to a change in the Constitution. In June of 1866, both houses passed the 14th Amendment allegedly abolishing human slavery and indenturing the rest of the nation to servitude to big business.