Daily Archive: June 24, 2011

Metro

Black males come together for youth

The Community Empowerment Association’s Black Male Day of Solidarity brought together a cadre of African-American men from all corners of the community. Some were staples of CEA events and other were newcomers, looking for a way to give back. ROBERT HILL “It is time to reclaim our historical Black manhood and move collectively to confront the ills that plague our families and communities,” said Rashad Byrdsong, president and CEO of CEA. “The time is now for all Black men to embrace the ‘Brother to Brother movement’ to form a united front, to become change agents and to begin building a collective voice and in unity develop an agenda for investing in Black men and boys. We know the problems; we have the solutions. It is up to us.” The fifth annual event on June 18 was themed around “Moving Towards an Urban Agenda—Investing in Black Men and Boys.” The day began with workshops and roundtable discussions and concluded with a classic car and motorcycle show and basketball tournament.

Metro

X-offenders fight barriers to employment

Last year Gov. Ed Rendell’s office received nearly 600 clemency requests. Of those requests, the pardon board reviewed half and of those 358 requests reviewed, nearly 140 people received public hearings. Ultimately, in the year 2010, 119 pardons were recommended. However, under the new administration, the pardon board will only hold three public hearings per year and at these hearings only 33 individuals will have the chance to plead their case before the pardon board. Regardless of the number of request for clemency, this means less than 100 people will have the chance to receive a pardon each year. X-OFFENDERS—From left: Dean Williams and Wayne Jacobs take participants through the process of applying for a pardon. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “We’re going to continue to do what we do and hopefully at some point we’ll do some organizing around it. There needs to be some direct action on the pardon board to go back to the old system,” said Wayne Jacobs, co-founder and executive director of X-offenders for Community Empowerment in Philadelphia. “This process, when the prior administration was in office, we had eight public hearings a year. Now that this administration is in we have four a year and only 33 will be heard (at each hearing).”

Metro

Ending War on Drugs, unemployment

Ending the “War on Drugs” and unemployment are the keys to stopping the violence in Black communities throughout the country, speakers said at the “Reducing Youth Violence; Models for Success” symposium. Psychiatrists, social workers, artists, ex-gang members, physicians and researchers from across the country brought their expertise to the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild recently to share their experiences about what works in the struggle to reduce youth violence. BILL STRICKLAND It is fitting they came to Manchester, said Manchester Bidwell Corp. CEO Bill Strickland in his welcoming remarks, because in his experience the center itself is one of the things that works.

Metro

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 She stopped by the New Pittsburgh Courier to explain her efforts June 17, along with former Pittsburgh School Board Member Randall Taylor amid a whirlwind of press appearances organized by publisher Luther Sewell.

National

Trauma, PTSD rates especially high for Black vets

by Dwight Ott (NNPA)—The flashbacks to Vietnam for Lorenzo “Jamaica” Banks were coming fast. They were mixing with the horrors of the reality of being back home. So Banks decided to do something about it. MCKEESPORT VETERANS PARADE 2007 (Courier Photo/J.L. Martello) He stepped off the Ben Franklin Bridge. His near death turned into a resurrection. He ended up getting physical treatment in a nice warm hospital bed along with mental health treatment.

National

Guilty verdict for Oakland Post Editor Bailey’s killers

by Chanelle Bell For nearly four years the world has restlessly waited for justice to be served for the killing of outspoken Oakland Post Editor Chauncey W. Bailey, a tireless advocate for the Black community. On June 9, just 2 months shy of four years after Bailey was mercilessly gunned down as he pled for his life, in downtown Oakland, Aug. 2, 2007, while walking to work to meet with Oakland Post Publisher Paul Cobb, who was also walking to work from the opposite direction to meet with him, the jury released their verdict. Chauncey W. Bailey Yusuf Bey IV, the leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, Antoine Mackey, a follower and driver of the car used by the shooter, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder with a mistrial on the third murder charge.

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Opinion

HistoryMakers are still making history

(NNPA)—When I was a student at Druid High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala. during the early 1960s, I always looked forward to Career Day. Our principal, Mr. MacDonald Hughes, had high hopes for students in my all-Black high school and he made sure we had high expectations of ourselves. It was a simple concept: Former students who had made a name for themselves were invited back to their alma mater on Career Day to show students that people from their school and neighborhoods had attained success despite having grown up in America’s version of apartheid. The point was that if these former Druid Dragons could make it, so could the students who followed in their footsteps.

Opinion

The Republican debate

The recent Republican debate, billed as venue for would-be contenders to establish themselves in a crowded field as they kick off the 2012 Presidential race, was nothing more than an Obama bashing contest. One would think the presidential wannabes would have preferred to have spent their time presenting their plans for lowering the nation’s high unemployment rates or proposing ways to fix our failing education system. It seems, as least in these early days of the race, putting forth solutions is not the goal. Discrediting the president is. Some of the comments made at the debate were so personal and inflammatory that you had to wonder if the Republican candidates have a personal issue with the president. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wasted no time and almost immediately attacked President Obama, saying that America needs a “new president to end the Obama Depression.” And Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum accused the president of “shackling the economy.”

Opinion

Kids today, texting talking and footing the bill

Show of hands. How many of you are parents of a teenager? Then you realize that kids today have never lived in a world without the Internet or cell phones and have a myriad of media choices. So I’m sure it isn’t news that our younguns’ (teens 13-17) are burning up the phone lines with texting. (Figure of speech since Smartphones don’t use old school phone lines.) I work for Nielsen, but even I was stunned when one of our latest studies revealed just how much texting was going on. In the first quarter of 2011, teens sent an average of 3,364 mobile texts per month! I compared my 14-year-old son’s phone bill against this number and was astonished to learn that he actually sends more than that each month. That’s a lot of talking! But texting isn’t actually talking now is it? Case in point: consider this typical titillating conversation we have daily when I call to check in on him after school:

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Opinion

The man in the mirror

The church used to be the mirror that society looked into to see its reflection. But, now the church has become the reflection that mirrors society. Unfortunately, the church seems to have lost its way and can no longer be counted on to provide light in a dark world. Last month, embattled preacher Eddie Long made an out of court settlement of the sexual charges made against him by 4 teenage parishioners. The settlement is reported to have been for $15 million (to be split between the four accusers). The accusers were: Anthony Flagg, Maurice Robinson, Jamal Parris and Spencer LeGrande.