Daily Archive: October 14, 2011


Teenie Harris exhibit, gala

A new exhibit celebrating the work of Pittsburgh Courier photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris is scheduled for a gala opening this month at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland. Among those attending the Friday, Oct. 28 opening for “Teenie Harris, Photographer,” will be actor Bill Nunn, whose father and grandfather, both editors for the Courier, worked with Harris in his heyday. Nunn will serve as the event’s master of ceremonies. TEENIE HARRIS “Harris was an icon someone who captured so much truth, beauty and history through his camera lens,” said Nunn. “I am delighted to be a part of this celebration of his work and legacy.” Joining Nunn for the evening’s festivities will be Johnson Publishing Company Chair Linda Johnson Rice, who is also serving as national chair for the event.


Just Harvest calls for full government harvest

The theme of last week’s Just Harvest annual fundraiser was “Overcoming Hunger: A Renewed Commitment.” That theme was underscored with Sunday’s introduction of Lilly, a hungry Muppet; hunger has moved from Main Street to Sesame Street. Just Harvest is a local nonprofit that seeks to promote economic justice and end hunger. OVERCOMING HUNGER—From left: Just Harvest Board President Sister Barbra Finch, Tony Hall, Joyce Rothermel and Tara Marks, Just Harvest co-director. (Photo by J.L. Martello) At least two to three nights a month, 50 million Americans go to bed hungry. Many of these are the working poor or the elderly. In some families, adults go without in order to feed their children. “Nobody should ever go to bed hungry in our country,” said former U.S. Rep. Tony P. Hall during his keynote remarks at Just Harvest’s annual fundraiser dinner at the Omni William Penn Hotel.


Newspaper of excellence Courier wins 6 awards

The New Pittsburgh Courier, America’s Best Weekly, has won four first place and two second place awards in the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation’s 2011 Newspaper of the Year Competition for the Non-Daily under 7,000-circulation division. The Courier received first place in the General and Departmental News Coverage, Editorial/Opinion Page Excellence, Diversity and Special Edition categories and second place in the Advertising Excellence and Newswriting Excellence categories. “The awards are a definite testament to the high standards of the New Pittsburgh Courier and the purposeful dedication the staff has to creating a quality product,” said Editor and Publisher of the New Pittsburgh Courier Rod Doss.


Black slave descendants fight to stay in Cherokee tribe

by Justin Juozapavicius TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP)—Charlene White didn’t learn the whole story about her grandfather’s secret number until she was 12. Prior to that time, she knew only that he had scrawled the mysterious digits—3489—on a crumpled piece of paper and hidden it in a drawer FIGHTING TO BE EMBRACED—Rena Logan, a member of a Cherokee Freedmen family, shows her identification card as a member of the Cherokee tribe at her home in Muskogee, Okla., Oct. 6. (AP Photo/Dave Crenshaw) The number was assigned to him as a boy to indicate that members of his family had once been slaves to the Cherokee Nation. It seemed to be a piece of personal history best left in the past. “I feel like he felt it was shameful being known as a slave, especially a slave of the Indians,” White said. “It was an embarrassment.”


Teacher salaries across districts suburbs vs. city

(This is part three of a four-part series comparing the Pittsburgh Public School District with other school districts in Allegheny County.) The average salary for a teacher in Allegheny County is $56,000. While this can range anywhere from $35,000 to $90,000, based on career length and degree attainment, teachers in the Pittsburgh Public School District start at a lower base salary then those in surrounding districts like Mt. Lebanon, where the lowest paid teacher makes $44,000 with two years of experience. When looking at the difference between urban districts like the PPS and suburban districts or between districts with high-poverty rates and low-poverty rates, several factors can account for differences in achievement. Among them are teachers.


Derrick Bell, 1st tenured Black professor at Harvard Law dies

by Jim Fitzgerald NEW YORK (AP)—Derrick Bell, a civil rights scholar and writer who was the first tenured Black professor at Harvard Law School, has died. He was 80. Bell, a native of Pittsburgh’s Hill District, died Oct. 5 of carcinoid cancer at a Manhattan hospital, his wife, Janet Dewart Bell, said Oct 7. He’d been diagnosed with the disease a decade ago, she said, but was still teaching at New York University Law School as recently as last week. CIVIL RIGHTS SCHOLAR—Professor Derrick Bell testifies in Ward Churchill’s civil suit against the University of Colorado at the City and County Building in Denver, Colo., in this March 13, 2009 photo. (AP Photo/Mark Leffingwell, File) The dean at NYU, Richard Revesz, said, “For more than 20 years, the law school community has been profoundly shaped by Derrick’s unwavering passion for civil rights and community justice, and his leadership as a scholar, teacher, and activist.”



Civil rights warrior Fred Shuttlesworth wasn’t afraid of death

(NNPA)—Fred Shuttlesworth, who recently died in his native Alabama at the age of 89, has been widely acknowledged as the Civil Rights Movement’s most courageous warrior. He was so hell-bent on shattering the walls of segregation in Birmingham and throughout the South that he wanted to die for the freedom of African-Americans. That exceptional insight into the man who led the campaign to desegregate Birmingham long before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. arrived on the scene was chronicled by Joe Davidson, his former son-in-law, in an article published in the September 1998 edition of Emerge magazine and reprinted in a book I edited, The Best of Emerge Magazine.



What’s a TRUE Independent to do?

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—Last week the White House announced the new unemployment numbers and they weren’t good. While over 103K new jobs were added to the economy the unemployment rate stayed steady at 9.1 percent. How exactly does that happen? The reason is because to truly improve the economy it requires a commitment on the part of one party, Republican or Democrat to a set of policies without deviation. It requires steadfast implementation of one economic philosophy and the courage to stick with it even if it is not immediately successful. The problem right now, for any voter out there that is looking at the presidential race is that there may not be any real options for improving the economy.


Black inferiority is killing us

by Andre Kimo Stone Guess “…All Art is propaganda and ever must be, despite the wailing of the purists…I do not care a damn for any art that is not used for propaganda. But I do care when propaganda is confined to one side while the other is stripped and silent.” These are the words of William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Dubois from his 1926 article in the NAACP’s publication, The Crisis. I was reminded of these words recently in a discussion I was having with Tom Burrell, author of the book Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority. It’s a must read, by the way. Dubois was astute enough to understand that all expressions of art serve a messaging purpose, particularly in regard to the people that the art emanates from or is about. In the above statement he was decrying the unbalanced and often negative view of the American Negro through art. In 1926 the blame could be clearly centered and concentrated upon Caucasians. However, in 2011 Black folks need to look no further than the nearest mirror for the culprit.