Daily Archive: June 10, 2011



Minority agencies closings cause concerns

The web page for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs still lists all its initiatives, and still pictures of Executive Director Sonya Toler. But like many things on the Internet, it isn’t real. The office and Toler are both gone. She has returned to journalism, and the commission—along with those on Asian Affairs, Hispanic Affairs and Women and Girls—has been consolidated into the Office of Public Liaison. SONYA TOLER The liaison office is headed by Gov. Tom Corbett’s Deputy Chief of Staff Luke Bernstein, former staffer for both U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and an advisor to the U.S. Treasury Department under President George W. Bush. Bernstein could not be reached for comment, but Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said the consolidation was one of many administration-wide cost cutting and streamlining measures implemented to address a $4.2 billion budget deficit.


Business leader Adams dies, 86

Pittsburgh will soon say goodbye to one of its most prominent figures and advocates for Black business. At a time when Black business was understated and to some unthinkable, John H. Adams was determined to show that there was a place for it. On June 5, Adams, 86, died of a massive brain hemorrhage after being ill for a long period of time. JOHN H. ADAMS “We were life long friends. I never met a man who never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He was always positive,” said Louis “Hop” Kendrick. “He had been sick so long and was always close to death, but he always recovered. Not this time. He loved his family, his children, his community and his people. He was just one of those guys. He will sadly be missed and will not be duplicated in the near future.”


Urban League wages war for jobs Creating employment new phase

Since releasing their annual State of Black America report, the National Urban League has launched an all out “War on Unemployment.” Their most recent monthly report for May puts the national unemployment rate at 9.1 percent and African-American unemployment at 16.2 percent. “As an ongoing effort to address the rising rate of unemployment in urban communities, the National Urban League has declared a ‘War on Unemployment.’ In addition to developing the Jobs Rebuild America Plan, we are supporting the Urban Jobs Act of 2011,” said President and CEO Marc Morial. “The Urban Jobs Act will create the Urban Jobs Program and provide desperately needed resources for the National Urban League to offer educational programs, employment and job readiness activities, and support services, in order to reduce the disproportionate incarceration of minority youth and to prepare eligible young adults for entry into the world of work.” ESTHER BUSH


‘Cosby Show’ grandmom, actress Clarice Taylor dies

(NNPA)—Clarice Taylor, the actress memorably known as Anna Huxtable on the “The Cosby Show,” died of heart failure on May 30, in Englewood, N.J. She was 93. The actress’s representative confirmed her death to PEOPLE magazine, and said she was surrounded by family at the time of her passing. CLARICE TAYLOR WITH EARLE HYMAN Born Sept. 20, 1917 in Buckingham County, Va., Taylor’s family later relocated to Harlem, where she skipped school to take trips to the Apollo Theater, according to the Associated Press. After being fascinated by comedian Moms Mabley, her interest in acting was born. She began her career in Harlem’s American Negro Theatre in the 1960s and was one of the first members of the revered Black theatrical company, the Negro Ensemble. Prior to the establishment of the organization, there were practically no outlets for Black theatrical actors in the United States.


100 women in white celebration

It was a beautiful site to see more than 100 women dressed in white, celebrating other women and their dedication and service, May 15. In an afternoon service, the women of Homewood AMEZ Church honored Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Locally, the Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta has three mentoring programs that serve young women from the elementary through high school ages. Visions, Delta Gems and Delta Academy provide exposure to the arts, social and cultural events, health and fitness activities, and educational experiences in science and math. PRAISE DANCING—Mt. Ararat Baptist Church Dance Ministry. The Links Inc. was also honored for their outstanding programming, which includes National Trends and Service, Services to Youth International Trends and Services, and Health and Human Service. The Links have attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and who have made a difference in their communities and the world. Yours truly was also honored for consistent service to the community.


New migration needed for African-Americans

(NNPA)—When two million Blacks moved from the rigidly-segregated South to the North, West and Midwest from 1910 to 1930, it was called the Great Migration. When another five million African-Americans fled the South between 1940 and 1970, many seeking good jobs and a better life in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit, it was called the Second Great Migration. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk thinks it is now time for a Third Great Migration, this one to far-flung cities around the world. He advanced that argument in his office, which is directly across the street from the Old Executive Office Building. “Whether you’re Black, White, Brown or whatever, the No. 1 concern of American families is: ‘Where am I going to find a job? More importantly, where is this kid that I just spent x amount of money getting out of college going to find a job?’”


Trump, Palin similarities

The political sideshows known as Donald Trump and Sarah Palin recently met in one of the busiest spots on the planet—New York’s Time Square—for a little conversation and pizza. No one is really sure what the two discussed…perhaps they marveled at all they have in common. On the surface, the two couldn’t seem more different. Trump is a business mogul, known for his real estate prowess.


Threat to Blacks in the public sector

by Lee Saunders (NNPA)—Radical conservative politicians want to slash city, county and state jobs—and undercut the economic security of African-American families, says this union official. When I was growing up in Cleveland, some of the most respected people in my neighborhood were the folks who worked for the city, county or state. My father was a city bus driver who took great pride in getting people safely to and from their jobs every day. My mother was a community college teacher who loved preparing her students for success. It turns out that my family was far from unique: 21 percent of all Black workers are public employees, making the public sector the largest employer of Black workers, according to a recent University of California, Berkeley study. The wages that African-Americans earn in the public sector are higher than those we earn in other industries. Furthermore, there is less wage inequality between African-American workers and non Black workers in the public sector than in other industries.



It’s about time

I have worked around three Republican presidents (Reagan, Bush, and Bush) and I can tell you for certain that one sure-fire way of learning a president’s priorities, is by who he agrees to spend time with (as in meetings). A president’s time is scheduled to the nth degree. So, if the president is meeting frequently with the oil industry, it’s a safe bet that he will be pursuing legislation that will impact that industry. So, with that as my premise, I think one could safely conclude that Obama sees little value in the Black community!


Jazz advocates formed

A group of jazz fans, performers, educators and scholars has formed an organization to advocate for a continued significant presence for jazz on public radio in Pittsburgh. The 22-member organization, known as Jazz Lives in Pittsburgh, is chaired by Evan Pattak, veteran Pittsburgh writer and communications consultant who served as publicist for the now-ended Jazz at Gullifty’s series. He said the proposed sale of the license of WDUQ to Essential Public Media, a transaction scheduled to close in June, was the impetus for the group’s formation.