by Brett Zonker WASHINGTON (AP)—On the 48th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech, a towering memorial will honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a man of peace among the many monuments to wars and presidents in the nation’s capital. The road to this weekend’s dedication, however, has run through hurdles of all kinds—not unlike the long struggle over King’s legacy itself. Since King’s death, there have been financial worries at the King Center in Atlanta, and legal fights over the use of his image and words and over control of the civil rights organization he co-founded. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. MEMORIAL (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Many people wanted to help shape King’s bricks-and-mortar legacy as well, the first memorial for a Black leader on the National Mall. There were skirmishes over who would sculpt King’s likeness, where the granite would come from and who would profit from the mammoth $120 million fundraising effort as the family demanded a licensing fee to support its Atlanta priorities.
Daily Archive: August 26, 2011
At the first of seven public hearings hosted by the Pittsburgh Public School District, parents and community members were given the opportunity to express concerns over the district’s recently announced realignment plan. Under the new plan, the district would close seven schools including Oliver and Langley High Schools. If approved the plan would see the closure of Fort Pitt PreK-5, Murray K-8, Northview PreK-8, Schaeffer K-8, and Stevens K-8, in addition to Oliver and Langley. The earliest the board would vote on the proposal is Nov. 22. ERICA GRINAGE (Photo by J.L. Martello) “I understand the district is having financial problems, but closing (Oliver) and sending these kids to a school where they have no rapport with the teachers isn’t a good solution,” said DeShauna Ponton, a concerned parent. “The faculty and the administrators are doing a fantastic job of turning the image of the school around. The kids respect them for that. But closing Oliver and sending these kids to other schools is going to undo all that hard work.”
It is rare to find a person who dedicates themselves to their community and the people within it; that one person who devotes their time, body, spirit and at times even their home, for others. Being a community heroine is sometimes a thankless job, but the leaders and residents of Homewood, expressed their gratitude to their community heroine, Arie Lee Kyser, or Mama Kyser as she is known to many, at the third annual Mama Kyser Day celebration Aug. 14. RECOGNITION—Arie Lee Kyser holds her proclamation from the Office of Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, which was given in recognition of her dedicated service to the community. (Photo by J.L. Martello) During the day of appreciation, Kyser, 81, received a proclamation from Allegheny County; recognition at her church, Nazarene Baptist Church in Homewood; and a gathering was held in her honor at her Hamilton Avenue home. “It was very nice (to be recognized), but I don’t do things for honor. I don’t think I’ve done that much,” Kyser said. “I just think that people are supposed to do these things.”
by Ben NuckolsAssociated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP)—Some were locals who’ve watched for years as the memorial to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took shape on the National Mall. Some were tourists who happened to be in Washington the day it opened. All felt honored to be a part of history as they gazed at a towering granite sculpture of the civil rights leader. WATCHING HISTORY—People visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, on Monday, Aug. 22. The memorial will be officially dedicated on Sunday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The beautiful Wyndham Grand Hotel was the venue for this year’s Josh Gibson Foundation, 2011 Gibson Awards (Government, Civil Service, Business, Sports, Community and Education) presented by PNC Bank and the Josh Gibson Foundation. On Aug. 13 more than 500 guests celebrated community leaders and the centennial birthday of Negro League player Josh Gibson. Former Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris and his wife, Dana, were the honorary co-chairs. Select guests enjoyed the VIP reception and relished in taking pictures with Franco Harris, special guest baseball hall of famer Reggie Jackson and members of the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates All Star Line-Up. Dave Cash, Al Oliver and Manny Sanguillen signed autographs and showed off their World Series rings. MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYERS—Al Oliver, Reggie Jackson and Manny Sanguillen. (Photos by Debbie Norrell) At the sound of the chimes guests made their way past the numerous silent auction items into the ballroom for a delightful dinner. Each received a unique favor, a replica baseball bat commemorating the Centennial Gala and “remembering the history” of the Negro Leagues.
(NNPA)—In the hoopla surrounding Sunday’s dedication of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. statue on the National Mall in Washington, Harry E. Johnson Sr., the visionary and fundraising engine behind the project, will finally get his due. Placing Dr. King on the Mall was a project of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, but it was Johnson, a Houston attorney and former president of the fraternity, who made it all happen, raising more than $100 million.In the excitement of placing a statue of the first African-American on the Mall, there are three stories that readers should be aware of, though few journalists, if any, will cover.
(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—Last week the media’s collective tongue could not stop wagging about statements made by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., during the “Jobs Initiative” tour run by the Congressional Black Caucus. Waters who has always been one of the most quotable and colorful members of Congress responded to the frustration of unemployed African-Americans in Detroit by essentially saying two things: First, that they were just as mad at Obama as everyone else because they didn’t know what his overall game plan was, and Two: That they would go at the president harder if only their Obama love struck constituents would give them the freedom to do so. Both of these statements are problematic for several reasons, but the more jarring omission in news coverage deals with what Waters said about the Tea Party movement and the glaring incompetence it demonstrates on the part of the Congressional Black Caucus through the years.
Dear Editor: In your recent article, “The disappearing Black middle class” (July 27-Aug. 2 edition), I concur with most of what Jesse Washington reported. I would like to point out that it’s President Obama’s failure to address the broken student loan system that most hurts the Black “middle class.” Many African-American college graduates could be considered “middle class” if they weren’t saddled with student loan bills twice that of their White counterparts. In plain numbers, most college grads have between $25,000-$40,000 of loan debts. African-Americans easily bear double that amount of debt upon graduation from college as they entered school with little or no financial support or savings to help defray the cost to do so.
(NNPA)—“Fake the funk and your nose will grow.”. Those words by American poet George Clinton weren’t exactly correct. We have been faking the funk but our noses aren’t growing. However, our noses are certainly “wide open”. Collectively, we have had this big love affair with our current President. Why all this love? It is simply because we have proclaimed him Black. Yes, Black like us but the fact is he is not Black like us—far from it. His father was a Black Kenyan, who he hardly knew. His mother was absolutely White and for the most part she raised him along with her Indonesian husband in Indonesia. After that he was given to his White grandparents. These were his formative years and there was no Blackness in any of the aura.
COL Jazz, the next generation of jazz greats to come out of Pittsburgh, took the Kaufmann Center stage as part of the Hurricane Lounge series, collaboration between the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and the Hill House’s recently renovated Elsie H. Hillman Kaufmann Center. The initiative, which was held the second Sunday of each month throughout the summer, featured established and up-and-coming jazz artists performing in a café-like setting to a live audience. THE COL JAZZ BAND (Photo by J.L. Martello) “Continuing in the Hill District’s rich history of Jazz, it’s exciting to have these afternoons where we bring young musicians to the Kaufmann Center,” said Jennifer Sciullo, audience development director at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater. The members of COL Jazz were excited to continue the legacy of Jazz in the historic Hill District.