Daily Archive: June 22, 2011


Zappala urged to press charges

Kim Keenan, general counsel for the National NAACP, joined Pittsburgh NAACP President M. Gayle Moss and State Conference NAACP President Jerry Mondesire to put Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala in a slightly larger spotlight with regard to his pending decision whether or not to charge the three officers involved in the Jordan Miles case. Joined by Greater Pittsburgh Urban League President and CEO Esther Bush; Black Political Empowerment Project Chair Tim Stevens; Alliance for Police Accountability Brandi Fisher; Rev. Dr. David Thornton, Pastor, Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church; and NAACP Pittsburgh Vice Presidents Connie Parker and Marcella Lee; the state, national and local representatives again called on Zappala to bring charges against officers Richard Ewing, Michael Saldutte, and David Sisak. WE’RE WATCHING—That’s the message National NAACP General Counsel Kim Keenan, center, sent District Attorney Stephan Zappala during a June 21 meeting about the Jordan Miles case. Also attending were NAACP State Conference President Jerry Mondesire, left, Pittsburgh Branch President M. Gayle Moss, right, and Black Political Empowerment Project Chair Tim Stevens, far right. (Photo by J.L. Martello)


Newest endangered species: Black men

When the production staff of the Bev Smith Show chose the topic for the third part of their series of town hall meetings on “The Disappearing Black Community,” they didn’t know how relevant the topic would be to current events. At the third installment, held at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture on June 17, a panel of national and local experts, analysts and activists, were tasked with exploring the theme “The Endangered Black Male.” Among them was Pittsburgh resident Jordan Miles, whose violent experience with three police officers has shed light on the conditions facing African-American males living on the right and wrong sides of the law. BEV SMITH


Rev. Mann elevated to Bishop

With 45 years in the ministry and 40 years since becoming the founder and senior pastor of his church, Pentecostal Temple COGIC, Rev. Loran E. Mann has now been elevated to bishop of the state of Vermont for the Church of God in Christ religious denomination. “I’m humbled and blessed to have been chosen. In ordinary terms it’s not something one merits,” said Rev. Mann. “I consider it God’s hand. I’ve had Episcopal aspirations but it was not something I had sought.” REV. LORAN MANN


Epperson dies at 76

On June 20, David Epperson, the former dean emeritus and professor emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, passed away due to apparent cardiac arrest. He was 76. Throughout his life, Epperson was an active philanthropist, serving as the chairman on the board of directors for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, the YMCA and NEED. He also served on the board of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture and as the vice chairman of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. DAVID EPPERSON


Voucher advocate makes case ahead of state vote

Perhaps as soon as this week the legislature in Harrisburg could vote on legislation that would allow poor children in chronically failing schools to go to another school, including private, charter or religious schools via a voucher program, and Dawn Chavous wants to make sure poor Black families know about it. Chavous, chair of the Students First Political Action Committee, is a Philadelphia mother who says poor children shouldn’t be forced to get a sub-standard education just because of where they live. DAWN CHAVOUS


Community Calendar

Public Discussion JUNE 22—The Allegheny County Department of Human Services and Juvenile Justice will host a Public Discussion at 5 p.m. at DHS building, Liberty Conference Room Lower Level, One Smithfield St., Downtown. The discussion is to hear recommendations from County residents about how to coordinate services for children and youth in Allegheny County. Attendees will be able to speak directly with Director Mark Cherna, Juvenile Probation staff and administrators. For more information, call Elizabeth Rekowski at 412-350-5482 or email Elizabeth.Rekowski@AlleghenyCounty.us.


This Week In Black History

Week of June 25-July 1June 25 1773—Massachusetts slaves petition for their freedom. As a result of the petition, a bill ending slavery in the state was actually drawn up and passed by the legislature. But the governor refused to sign it and there were not enough votes to override his veto. 1941—President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Executive Order #8802 banning racial discrimination in the nation’s war industries on the eve of America’s involvement in World War II. The order came as a result of pressure from Black labor leader A. Phillip Randolph who had threatened a massive “March on Washington” to protest discrimination by the military and the military industry. A. PHILLIP RANDOLPH



(NNPA)—Why did Norman Redlich, Clara Luper, and Paul E. Sullivan act as if the words of the Declaration of Independence about “self-evident truths” and “inalienable rights” were not just rhetoric but had an actual meaning for American society? Why didn’t they leave well enough alone? Because they knew “well enough” wasn’t good enough. LEGENDARY ACTIVIST—In this Aug. 9, 1983 photo, Oklahoma Civil Rights Leader Clara Luper poses with one of the many photographs from her scrap books at a North East Oklahoma city Community center in Oklahoma City, Okla. (AP Photo/File)


Calif. campaign ad denounced as most sexist/ racist ever

(NNPA)—A Congressional race in California is ground zero for one of the most controversial political ads in recent years after a conservative group made a video mocking an anti-gang initiative of the Democratic candidate. A program backed by Rep. Janice Hahn paid reformed gang-members to help work to stop the violence that plagues her Los Angeles district. Turn Right USA made light of that initiative in its ad, which showed an exotic dancer resembling Hahn dancing around a pole and two Black men waving guns in the air and chanting expletives, demanding money from her so they “can shoot up the streets.” JANICE HAHN



Our fathers

June 19 was recognized as Father’s Day, and originally I had expected to write a column about my father who died in the year of 1953, almost 60 years ago. However I thought about how many have also lost theirs and they also worshiped their fathers. A strong loving, caring, compassionate responsible family man is truly a blessing. As a youth growing up I was fortunate to have known a large number of such fathers. I remember a father who would walk from Terrace Village to Mt. Lebanon and back for his second job and saved the carfare so he could put it in a jar. This was a common story because a vast number of fathers in that period of time understood responsibility and lived it to its fullest. There were some families that had no fathers and a number of fathers fulfilled the role of neighborhood fathers.