Daily Archive: September 28, 2011



Police crackdown angers some Homewood coaches

Over the past few years, at least two shootings have occurred during youth football games at the Willie Stargell Field in Homewood. The most recent, in August 2010, saw three people shot on the overpass of the Martin Luther King Jr. Busway as people left the field following the game. Despite the crowd of people present during the shooting, to date, no one has been charged with the crime. PITTSBURGH POLICE CHIEF NATE HARPER (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart) In an effort to improve safety at youth football games throughout the region, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police have begun attending these games to ensure coaches are in compliance with rules set in place in response to last year’s shooting. However, members of the Homewood community erupted with outrage following a compliance check at Stargell field Sept. 17 where they felt their neighborhood was unfairly targeted by the police.



Police accountability bill may come to a vote soon

After several public hearings, revisions and objections, a package of bills first put forth by City Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess calling for greater police oversight and accountability may be on the agenda for the next standing committee meeting Oct. 5. Burgess said multiple meetings have been held to allow for maximum input from various stakeholders, and to reach a consensus. “I feel very confident that by Wednesday (Sept. 28), we’ll have something all of us support, which can then be submitted and approved,” he said. “I’m pleased that we’ve had this process with everyone working together because the best way to improve public safety is for the community to have confidence in the police.” REV. RICKY BURGESS Should everything go as Burgess hopes, his legislation would be placed on the council agenda for a vote Oct. 11. More than a year after he first submitted his package to council following the arrest of Jordan Miles by three officers in Homewood.


Perry: Failing schools should be shut down

In an effort to address achievement disparities among African-American students, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture recently hosted the Educational Town Hall Panel Discussion, bringing in guest speaker Steve Perry, founder of Capital Preparator Magnet School and a CNN education contributor. In an interview with the New Pittsburgh Courier, Perry previewed his appearance at the AWC with a sweeping indictment of education reform efforts in public schools. STEVE PERRY (Photo by J.L. Martello) “Education reform is a lie. It never happens,” Perry said. “You need to continue to shut schools down; shut failing schools down. I am against failing schools. I am in favor of public schools existing. I run a public school.” Perry was one of three panelists at the AWC event sponsored by Sigma Pi Phi, Rho Boule and EQT Sept. 24. Joining him were Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lane, Urban League President and CEO Esther Bush and Dean Larry Davis from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, who served as the event’s facilitator.


Courier Legacy Award shines spotlight on activist in shadows

After more than a half century serving in the law field, Eric Springer is being recognized for his work fighting the civil rights battle from behind the scenes. This year as part of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 50 Men of Excellence, Springer is being honored with the 2011 Legacy Award. “Eric has been a pioneer. He has excelled in the practice of health law for many years,” said Wendell Freeland, a 2010 Legacy honoree. “Over the years he has been a leader in the civil rights community in Pittsburgh, though not known for being a guy on the ground. He deserves to be a person of importance. He deserves to be a legacy honoree of the Courier.” CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS—Eric Springer with wife, Cecile, at an event for the New Pittsburgh Courier. After working with Thurgood Marshall to prepare litigation related to the Brown vs. Board of Education victory, Springer moved to Pittsburgh in 1956. Following his move, Springer occupied a variety of positions, including serving as a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, director of compliance for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and establishing one of the first healthcare law firms in the country.


Unique fitness business comes to region

Smiles encompassed faces and laughter filled the room during the grand opening celebration of the Fullbody Fitness Club in Brentwood. “This is a lot more fun than a gym. It’s new, exciting and for what it offers it’s not that expensive,” described Debra Smith, one of the many happy members. Considered an experience, owner Darieth Chisolm points out that her new venture is not a gym. She describes her fitness club as a unique variety of alternative fitness methods geared to challenge and awaken both the body and the spirit. “It is a new and unique way for fitness lovers to work out,” she said. SO INVIGORATING—The owner of Fullbody Fitness Club, Darieth Chisolm receives Aerial Yoga instruction from guru Maddy Landi. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)


Community Calendar

Fashion Week SEPT. 28—Miyoshi Anderson will host the 2011 Pittsburgh Fashion Week. The week will highlight what makes this a region of style as well as steel. Fashion designers and retailers, industry insiders and more will converge in the city to enjoy an array of fashion related events. The week will run through Oct. 2. For more information, call Anderson at 412-918-6742. Fall reception SEPT. 30—The Center for African American Urban Studies and the Economy of Carnegie Mellon University will host its Fall Reception at 4:30-6 p.m. at the Schatz Dining Room, 5000 Forbes Ave., Oakland. The reception will feature President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame. He will discuss Rwanda’s strategy for growth in the global economy, followed by a question/answer session. Reservations are required. For more information, visit govrel@andrew.cmu.edu. Car Cruise SEPT. 30—Citiparks will host its Fall Car Cruise at 5 p.m. at Brookline Park, 1400 block of Brookline Boulevard, Brookline. This is an evening of social interaction, fun and more. There will also be prizes. For more information, call 412-571-3222. Parade OCT. 1—The African-American Heritage Parade Association will host the 2011 African-American Heritage Day Parade at 11 a.m. at Centre Avenue, Hill District. The parade will go from Centre Avenue to Sixth Avenue to Liberty Avenue. There will be activities for children, performances, vendors and free admission to the August Wilson Center. The parade will be held rain or shine. For more information, call 412-392-0322. Pink Ribbon OCT. 1—The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh will host its 12th Annual Pink Ribbon Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Westin Hotel, 1000 Penn Ave., Downtown. There will be education for women on specific health and wellness issues, an honoring of cancer survivors and a fashion show featuring models that are Cancer survivors. Tickets are $30. For more information, call 412-255-1261 or visit http://www.ywcapgh.org. Domestic Violence OCT. 4—The Social Service Department of Western Pennsylvania Hospital will host a Domestic Violence Conference at 6 p.m. at West Penn Hospital, 4800 Friendship Ave., Bloomfield. The conference will feature an original play performed by the St. James AME Drama Ministry entitled “At The Round Table: Lifting the Veil of Secrecy on Domestic Violence.” The play is about a character that has a dream of working for the Pittsburgh Courier and gets inspiration from one of her heroes who worked for the Courier. Dr. Edna McKenzie that inspires the character to leave her abusers. For more information, call 412-330-4863. Educational seminar OCT. 4—Family Hospice and Palliative Care will host an Educational Seminar from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at St. Stephan Parish, 5115 2nd Ave., Hazelwood. The topic will be “Ask the Experts: Advance Directives and Hospice Care.” Andrew Sykes, Amy Van Dykes, Susan Hunt and Eric Horwith will provide useful information and answer questions. Reservations are required; the event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Jackie Rivett at 412-421-9210 or visit http://www.familyhospice.com.


Baca is Peru’s first Black minister

by Frank Bajak SAN LUIS DE CANETE, Peru (AP)—Elementary school students serenade Susana Baca in this former sugar cane-milling town where both she and Peru’s slave trade are rooted. One girl recites a paean to Baca, and five other children tap a complex rhythm on boxes known as cajones, a legacy of Africans brought in chains to harvest sugar cane in this fertile river valley. The library of the humble school is being dedicated to the 67-year-old diva, herself living proof of Afro-Peruvians’ enduring struggle. BAREFOOT DIVA—In this photo taken Sept. 11, Peru’s Culture Minister and singer Susana Baca dances barefoot during a benefit concert in Lima, Peru. The gracious, elegant Baca is not just Peru’s best-known musician but also the Andean country’s first Black Cabinet minister. She accepted the offer to join President Ollanta Humala’s government in July, and says she’s determined to end the discrimination that has long made second-class citizens not just of Blacks but also of Peru’s indigenous.



This Week In Black History

Week of Oct. 1-7 October 1 1841—Fannie M. Richards is born. She becomes one of the nation’s early civil rights advocates as well as a prominent educator. JOHN MERCER LANGSTON 1868—John Mercer Langston (1829-1897) organizes the nation’s first Black law school at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Largely forgotten today, Langston was a major Black political figure during his day. He was one of the nation’s first African-American lawyers, elected political officials and he influenced Black education throughout the country. The town of Langston, Okla., is named in his honor.


Are schools preparing Black boys…for prison?

by Starla Muhammad For New Pittsburgh Courier (NNPA)—A Chicago mother recently filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Board of Education alleging a Chicago Public School security guard handcuffed her young son while he was a student at George Washington Carver Primary School on the city’s far south side. In the lawsuit, filed Aug. 29, LaShanda Smith says the guard handcuffed her son March 17, 2010 which resulted in “sustained injuries of a permanent, personal and pecuniary nature.”


Denzel, Ron Howard launch Boys & Girls Club’s PSA

by Jonathan Landrum Jr.Associated Press Writer ATLANTA (AP)—Denzel Washington still applies the same principles in his acting career that he learned when he was a third grader in the Boys & Girls Club of America. Now, the Oscar-winning actor along with director Ron Howard want to show how the club has impacted his life along with 20 other celebrities and entertainers, who were once members of the club. PART OF THE SOLUTION—Actor Denzel Washington talks about a public service advertising (PSA) campaign for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Sept. 21, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)