Week of October 29-November 5October 29 1929—The Stock Market collapses ushering in the Great Depression bringing about Black unemployment rates ranging from 25 to 40 percent. The effects of the Great Depression would last until the start of World War II which created massive war industry jobs and a second mass migration of Blacks from the South to the industrial North. 1994—Famed dancer Pearl Primus dies. She blended African and Caribbean dance and music with Black American traditions of Blues, Jazz and the jitterbug to form a new vibrant dance form. She formed a dance troupe and she personally appeared in such early Broadway hits as “Showboat” and “Emperor Jones.” Primus was known for her amazingly high leaps. In 1991, the first President Bush awarded her the National Medal of Arts. PEARL PRIMUS
Monthly Archive: October 2011
by Chris LevisterFor New Pittsburgh Courier (NNPA)—When Ray Leeds saw a crowd gathering in front of the California Museum of Photography, in Riverside’s downtown pedestrian mall last week, the photography buff and out-of work union pipefitter left nothing to chance. “I grabbed my camera and just started taking pictures. It was surreal. Out of nowhere they just started singing and pitching tents,” he said. “It was engrossing. You couldn’t just stand there and snap pictures.” TENT VILLAGE—An Occupy Pittsburgh camper from Italy who wouldn’t give her name, right, works on a sign outside her tent on Mellon Green, Oct. 18, in downtown Pittsburgh. Some 60 campers now inhabit the tent village. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Herman Cain’s quote was, “If you are unemployed and not rich it is no one’s fault but yours.” All of my life I have heard White and Black people make almost the identical statement, but the meaning is the same. Allow me to put his statement in several categories. There have always been a substantial number of rich people who truly believe that those who were underachievers that it was their fault.
President Obama, taking a much different approach to African unrest than his predecessors, recently sent a small team of armed forces into central Africa to aide in the fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army, a militant group that has been waging war against the official Ugandan government and local residents for over 20 years. U.S. troops were also dispatched to South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the LRA is believed to have set up camps.
(NNPA)—“Any time you throw your weight behind a political party…and that party can’t keep promises that it made…and you’re dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify with that political party, you’re not only a chump but a traitor to your race.”—Malcolm X, 1964 So what do you think Malcolm X would say to radio host Tom Joyner’s “plea to the Blackman” blog statement: “Let’s not deal with the facts right now…let’s just deal with our Blackness and pride – and loyalty. We have a chance to re-elect the first African-American president, and that’s what we ought to be doing…because he’s a Black man.”
The Occupy Wall Street movement is a reflection of the growing economic frustration of many Americans and their anger toward the political and financial elite of this country. Protests have spread to dozens of other cities across the country including Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston since protesters in New York camped out in that city’s financial district four weeks ago, rallying against Wall Street companies and denouncing what demonstrators see as corporate greed.
Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan does not add up to be a good deal for most Americans. The businessman and Republican presidential nominee’s signature tax proposal is a regressive plan that would unfairly hurt low-income and middle class Americans by requiring them to pay more in taxes while giving a big tax break to the rich. Cain has risen in the polls based on his folksy and brash style, his business experience, being a nonpolitician and his bold 9-9-9 tax plan. The plan calls for a flat 9 percent personal income tax and corporate tax, plus a new national sales tax of 9 percent.
Iconic comedian Sinbad has a soft spot in his heart for Pittsburgh. He and fellow funnyman the late Phil Hartman filmed one of Sinbad’s first—and arguably funniest movies—”Houseguest” in 1995 in various parts of the Golden Triangle including Sewickley and Homewood. “We did some of ‘Houseguest’ in the hood and other parts which are not in the hood at all,” explained the 55-year-old married father. “I would walk around on my day off with my earrings in and people would just stare at me. One woman walked by like I was going to take her dog. The dog was cool. He looked at me like ‘what’s up?’” SINBAD (Photo by J.L. Martello) “Houseguest” centered around Kevin Franklin, the con man who was in trouble with the mob over an unpaid debt. As a result he takes refuge in an upscale Pennsylvania suburb posing as Dr. Derek Bond, the childhood friend of Gary Young, an uptight workaholic who is out of touch with his own family.
Jonathan Lee Iverson didn’t know he was blazing a trail when he took the fascinating job as the ringmaster of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus 13 years ago. “With me as ringmaster you get to see barriers broken down and doors open and that is an amazing feat in itself,” explained Iverson who hails from New York. “Now the circus truly looks like the greatest show on Earth. It looks like what America looks like.” JONATHAN LEE IVERSON In the role of ringmaster, Iverson is responsible for telling the story of the circus to the audience members. He also gets the chance to showcase his own unique talent in the show. “The ringmaster is a host authority figure with a vibrant presence. There’s something about him that resonates with the audience and he helps tell the story of the wonderment that is happening on stage. He is essentially a glorified fan,The circus is the longest running hit show in the world.” Iverson said.
This week I visited Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District, Ace and Deuces Lounge in the Hill District, CJ’s in the Strip District, Shadow Lounge and Ava Lounge in East Liberty and Tim’s Bar in the Hill District. My first stop was at the Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District where they held Savoy Jazz Monday’s featuring jazz vocalist Etta Cox and the RH Factor Band. Birthday man Elmer McClung, Tene Croom and the crew celebrating his birthday in grand style at CJ’s in the Strip District.