Daily Archive: August 17, 2011


Comcast connects digital divide… To provide computers, Internet to low-income students

Comcast, one of the country’s largest communication services companies, is building a bridge across the digital divide in Pittsburgh and across the country. And for poor families, the bridge will be nearly toll-free. Comcast Executive Vice President Steve Cohen announced the implementation of Internet Essentials during an Aug. 16 press conference at the Urban League of Pittsburgh. BROADBAND BUDDIES—Pittsburgh Urban League President and CEO Esther Bush, left, and Pittsburgh Superintendent of Schools Linda Lane celebrate with Comcast Executive Vice President Steve Cohen as he rolls out Internet Essentials for low-income students. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “The UN has called access to the Internet a Civil Rights issue, and I think they’re right,” he said. “The Internet can be a great equalizer and a life-changing technology, but ironically, it hasn’t because low-income families are not participating. We think of this as economic development and education reform because, in our position, it’s the easiest thing that can be done. If we can move the needle on the digital divide, maybe we can set an example, and we’ll have done something worthwhile.”


Pittsburgh hosts Muslim conference

by Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy This summer the Ahmadi Muslim youth of America came together in the spirit of brotherhood to celebrate their faith and identity. The theme of this year’s event was “Building America’s Leading Muslim Youth Organization.” “We discussed how Muslims can show the true teachings of Islam to the American public, which is to always maintain peace,” said Usama Awan, 19, who as a participant has been coming to this event for most of his life. TOGETHERNESS—African-American-Muslim participants at the Annual Ahmadiyya Muslim Camp at Cheswick Sports Arena. The theme was “Muslims 4 Peace.” (Photo by Erin Perry) More than 1,000 men gathered for the 33rd annual national Ijtema at the Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena in Cheswick, Pa. The purpose of the gathering was to not only build strength in the American-Muslim future, but also encourage current youth that their identity as an American-Muslim is to promote awareness and be proud of their religion and citizenship.


Final phase of Allequippa Terrace to Oak Hill completed

Four years ago, the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, developer Beacon Corcoran Jennison, and community residents were embroiled in a property battle with the University of Pittsburgh that threatened to derail the continued development of the former Allequippa Terrace projects into the mixed-used community of Oak Hill. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl orchestrated a settlement that, on Aug. 9 brought those former antagonists together for a ribbon cutting for the first 86 housing units, the $37-million second Wadsworth Phase of Oak Hill. FRESH START—Oak Hill Tennant Council President Eloise McDonald, center, is joined by developers, and state and local officials at the ribbon cutting for the newest section of Oak Hill. (Photo by J.L. Martello) When she was fighting to get the second phase started, there was a time when Tenant Council President Eloise McDonald thought the development might not continue. “I never thought I’d see it,” said McDonald. “But I’m glad I did. It’s much better than Allequippa Terrace.”


Pittsburgh a Hypertension Hot Spot

Pittsburgh is known as the Most Livable City, but what many do not know; it is also considered a top Hot Spot. Not for vacation destinations, but for hypertension. A recent analysis conducted by Sperling’s BestPlaces, an independent research firm, in partnership with Takeda Pharmaceuticals North American Inc., found Pittsburgh to have the sixth highest rate of hypertension and hypertension risk factors in the country for Hypertension Hot Spots. BLOOD PRESSURE TESTING Hypertension, or high blood pressure as it is commonly known, is a condition of elevated blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps out blood. It is the second leading preventing risk factor for death in the United States and like many other diseases, hits African-Americans the hardest. It is also considered a silent killer, because it virtually has no exact symptoms. If untreated it can lead to serious problems, such as heart or kidney disease, stroke, congestive heart failure or even death.


Community Calendar

Community appreciation AUG. 20 —Addison Behavioral Center Inc. will host its Community Appreciation Day from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at 905 West St., 4th floor, Wilkinsburg. There will be raffles, food and guests are asked to bring a bag of gently used clothing. For more information, call 412-731-2353 or visit http://www.abcpgh.org.



This Week In Black History

For the Week of August 20-26 August 20 1619—This is the most probable date that Black History in America begins. Approximately 20 Africans (the records of the day referred to them as “20 and odd Negras”) arrived in Jamestown, Va., aboard a Dutch ship. It appears the Africans were sold as indentured servants who could work and earn their freedom. Little is known about the group except that the Dutch had stolen them from a Spanish slave ship which was probably headed for the Caribbean or South America. Few names survive. But one of the men was called Anthony (or Antonio) and one of the women was called Isabella. The available records indicate the ship arrived in Jamestown in the latter part of August. Other records and some speculation have led most historians to believe the actual arrival date was Aug. 20, 1619—the beginning of Black history in America. NAT TURNER


UK violence raises questions about American unrest

by Jesse Washington (AP)—A Black man killed by police. Mobs of looters. Cities charred and shaken. The riots in London mirror some of the worst uprisings in modern U.S. history. And there are more parallels: Stubborn poverty and high unemployment, services slashed due to recessionary budget cuts, a breakdown of social values, social media that bring people together for good or bad at the speed of the Internet. And finally, there are a handful of actual attacks, isolated and hard to explain, by bands of youths in U.S. cities. LONDON RIOTS—Looters break into an electrical store during the second night of civil disturbances in central Birmingham, England, Aug. 9.(AP Photo/Tim Hales) As Americans look across the Atlantic, a natural question arises: Could the flames and violence that erupted in Britain scar this country, too?


Guest Editorial: President Obama not above criticism

With the exception of African-Americans, support of President Obama has steadily declined among most voters since his election in 2008. Most polls show that the president still enjoys strong and steady support among African-American voters whose unwavering approval is way above other voting groups. The strong support of the president among African-Americans is a mix of racial pride at seeing the nation’s first African-American president and a willingness to be patient and fair to a president who inherited two wars and a recession. There is also the belief among many supporters that Obama is genuinely trying to do the right thing but has been thwarted in his attempts by hostile political forces.


If he will not fight, then we had better

(NNPA)—The fight over the increase in the debt ceiling should have taught us a few lessons. These include that there is a wing of the Republican Party—the Tea Party faction—that is quite prepared to fly their planes into the towers of government in order to make their point. They have no interest in compromise and are doing all that they can to defend the wealthy elite that dominates this country, despite their rhetoric about looking out for the common person.


State of Black American housing

(NNPA)—The National Association of Real Estate Brokers just made an important game-changing announcement at its recent national convention in New Orleans. NAREB announced a historic engagement with Wall Street investors to launch an $800 million Homeowner’s Assurance Program to address the devastating effects of the housing mortgage crisis for Black America and other minority families and communities across the United States. The state of Black American housing is in crisis more disproportionately than any other group in America. Combined with the unemployment crisis that has also increased the ranks of abject poverty in the African-American community, the housing crisis makes it paramount that national organizations like NAREB step up to the plate with solutions to the economic challenges facing Black Americans.