Monthly Archive: October 2011



A good laugh

Sometimes you need a good laugh, especially after you hear about people lost in a corn maze. I didn’t know what a corn maze was until this family got lost in one recently with their 3-week-old baby. Who does that? Why do people take their babies out so soon after birth these days? Back to the corn maze, luckily these people had their cell phone with them and they called for help. Come to find out they were only 25 feet from the end of the maze and the people running the maze came to their rescue.


Duffers Awards Dinner

The Pittsburgh Duffers is one of the oldest African-American based golf clubs in the United States. The organization with beginnings that date back to 1946, celebrated and awarded its members and founders on Oct.15, at the Courtside Room at Club 4 Life in Monroeville. WINNERS OF THE DUFFERS CUP—Rock Robinson, Tom Boyd, Purdie McGrath and Dave Powell. (Photos by Debbie Norrell) The members of the Pittsburgh Duffers were eager to talk about their love of the game. The Duffers play somewhere different every Sunday in a 150 mile radius of the city. Bill Herring says his favorite course is Mystic Rock (Nemacolin), but Purdie McGrath leans towards Madison on Route 70. They shared that the golf clubs are always changing and it’s not unusual to purchase a new driver each year. Gerald Fox, one of the founders of the Pittsburgh Duffers, says back in the day they used to meet at the Flamingo Hotel. Fox had fond memories of their early beginnings.



Youth violence challenge taken on by AIDS group

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American men ages 18-24. Death as a result of HIV/AIDS is ranked sixth on the list. On the second day of the “Reclaiming our Youth Through Community Connections IV: Focus on Boys and Young Men Symposium” on Oct. 19, Educating Teens about HIV/AIDS Inc., brought together stakeholders from separate sectors of the community in hopes of changing these statistics. Together, with members of the public and a group of young men representing the very population they were trying to help, they discussed their roles in improving the quality of life for young Black men. ORGANIZERS—Kezia Ellison and mother Albertha Graham-Ellison brought together community leaders from across the city and beyond. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “The symposium really is to highlight the issues facing young men in our community and to come up with an action plan for Black young men, especially those who are underserved,” said Kezia Ellison, founder and president, ETAH. “We have a variety of people of influence; we tried to invite a number of people who have the power to implement these things.”


Reid cautions students against college

As the former director of NEED, one would think Herman Reid would make the perfect spokesperson for college recruiting. However, considering today’s economic climate and statistics showing unprecedented numbers of unemployed college graduates, Reid is asking students to think long and hard before enrolling in a four-year college. NEED—Herman Reid leads a session on the role of parents and schools. (Photo by J.L. Martello) At the “Reclaiming our Youth Through Community Connections IV: Focus on Boys and Young Men Symposium” Oct. 19, Reid served as the keynote speaker. In his address, titled “From Dialogue to Action-Developing Solutions for our Boys & Young Men,” he focused on the importance of education for Black youth, but also highlighted other forms of educational attainment outside of college. “If you look at the data, only about 28 percent of the African-American males who enter college are college ready,” Reid said. “I really support college, if you know the career you’re going into and that a job is going to be there.”


West Penn graduates nursing assistants

Two months ago, Manchester resident Brigette Carter was looking for a nursing assistant training program after being laid off from the nursing home where she’d been working as an aid when she ran into an old schoolmate, April Vaughn. “April told me about this Certified Nursing Assistant program at West Penn Allegheny School of Nursing that she was going to. I was under 21 and unemployed,” she said. “Now I have my certificate.” FIRST CLASS—Surrounding their instructor Edith Ridley-Smith, the first graduates of the WPAHS School of Nursing’s Certified Nursing Assistant program display their certificates. From left: Nashay Matthews, April Vaughn, Clarice Burse and Brigette Carter. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart) She also has a second interview scheduled this week at Allegheny General Hospital, and another interview scheduled the same day with Heartland Health Services in Oakland. “It is a really fantastic program, and I’m so glad I qualified,” said Carter. “I have a big heart for helping people.”


Eric Springer is 2011 Legacy Honoree

The New Pittsburgh Courier is pleased to recognize and introduce the 2011 50 Men of Excellence, nominated by our readership. Together, they represent the power brokers, philanthropists, and activists of the city of Pittsburgh. They are corporate executives, educators and civil servants, but a common thread of drive and devotion runs through each of them. These men reflect the strong moral character possessed by African-American men across the country. Their triumphs in their personal and professional lives serve as unending ammunition for those wishing to dispel the negative stereotypes of African-American men seen on television and heard on the radio. ERIC SPRINGER



Bush to serve as mistress of ceremonies

Serving as mistress of ceremonies for this year’s 50 Men of Excellence awards reception will be Esther Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. Under her leadership the Pittsburgh Branch has become one of the most accomplished affiliates in the country. Throughout her more than 30 years of service with the Urban League Bush has mirrored this year’s list of men by blazing trails of her own. She was the first female to serve in each of her last four leadership positions with the organization. ESTHER BUSH



On Oct. 14, The University of Pittsburgh and its African American Alumni Council unveiled at the university’s Hillman Library a new interactive display of the…


Community Calendar

Boxing Class OCT. 26—Citiparks of the City of Pittsburgh will host a Pittsburgh Boxing Class from 6-8 p.m. at the Brookline Recreation Center, Brookline Blvd., Brookline. Participants will learn the art of self-defense with a master boxing coach. The class is for ages 8-36. For more information, call 412-571-3222.


For Obama, a campaign money swing with star power

by Jim KuhnhennAssociated Press Writer LOS ANGELES (AP)—Some glitz, some glamor and plenty of campaign cash. President Barack Obama is hitting a reliable fundraising trail in California, tapping star donors and trading quips with Jay Leno in what is for him a well-worn path. The president taped an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Tuesday, his second as sitting president and fourth appearance overall. Monday evening he joined actor Will Smith and basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson at a dinner at the home of producer James Lassiter. Then he mingled with Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas over canapés at the movie star couple’s home just a few blocks away. OUT AND ABOUT—President Barack Obama stops for a snack at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles, Oct. 24. Obama, who was joined by Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., is on a three-day trip to the West Coast. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)