Daily Archive: November 4, 2011


Teenie Harris exhibit acclaimed

When Lionel Harris walked into the Scaife Galleries at the Carnegie Museum of Art to see it filled with nearly a thousand of his late father’s photographs, it took everything he had not to burst into tears. Even then, he choked up describing how proud his father, Charles “Teenie” Harris, would have been and how grateful he is to see it. He recalled how his father had begun working with Fine Arts Curator Louise “Lulu” Lippincott back in 1997 on a small show of 26 images he still possessed. NATIONAL ATTENTION—Johnson Publishing executives Desiree Rogers and Chair Linda Johnson Rice, who serves as national chair for the “Teenie Harris Photographer: An American Story” exhibit, pose at the gallery entrance during the gala opening Oct. 28. “I have to thank the museum for this amazing exhibit,” he said. “Lulu doesn’t even know how important this was to dad. But I was here with him, and he said, ‘This is where my pictures belong.’ It’s sad he didn’t get to see this, but I am so grateful to the museum because now others can.”


CEA’s action plan to stop violence

The conference “Mitigating the Impact of Social and Psychological Trauma to the Social Fabric of the African American Community,” held Oct. 26-27, used a public health perspective to study the rampant violence of the African-American community. This framework was used throughout the conference to develop an action plan to carry on the work done by the scholars, community activists and spiritual leaders who participated. “This is the first conference that I know of that was convened by a grassroots community based organization,” said Community Empowerment Association Founder T. Rashad Byrdsong. “We took the science of public health because we think this is the only science that allows us to frame violence as a disease. We’re the first organization that’s really beginning to tackle this issue.” WORKING TOGETHER—Ramon Rustin, former Warden of Allegheny County Jail with T. Rashad Byrdsong. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart) At the conclusion of the conference, Byrdsong said the work done over the last two days should be used to shape public service organizations and social program institutions that claim to serve the Black community. He also said future research should be done by those in the Black community in order to influence how the government uses tax-payer dollars to improve the African-American community.



Achievement gap key to ‘State of Black Pgh’

This year the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s 2011 State of Black Pittsburgh Town Hall Meeting addressed the issue of racial disparities in education, a problem that many have labeled the civil rights struggle of our time. Throughout her speech on Oct. 29, Urban League President and CEO Esther Bush illustrated the statistics behind the racial achievement gap, but also how her organization has tackled the problem over the past year. ESTHER BUSH “We’ve all heard the appalling numbers. For example, African-American and Hispanic students trailed their White peers by an average of more than 20 test score points on the National Assessment of Education Progress math and reading assessments at fourth and eight grades,” Bush said. “That’s according to analyses by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2009 and 2011, which concluded that the gap equates to a difference of about two grade levels. That’s right. Two entire grade levels.”


Anchors Away

On Oct. 20, at the Churchill Valley Country Club, Addison Behavioral Care presented the Anchors Away Gala, 2011. The evening event brought dozens together to break bread and highlight the work of local news anchors that diligently provide Pittsburgh with information about our communities, never revealing the tremendous work that goes on behind the scenes. On this night, ABC highlighted the work of several quiet soldiers that provide support to those with multiple barriers to success. The evening began with a welcome reception and a delightful dinner served by the Churchill Valley Country Club staff. Chris Moore, from WQED, PCNC and KDKA radio, was a warm and comical host. AND THE AWARD GOES TO—Mike Clark, Kelly Frey and Jonas Cheney. (Photo by Debbie Norrell)


West Penn ER to reopen in January

While training Certified Nursing Assistant students at the West Penn Allegheny Health System’s nursing school, Edith Ridley-Smith, R.N, urged her graduates to apply to West Penn Hospital because she knew something few did—the Emergency Room, closed more than a year ago, would reopen in January. “It’s great to see. The East End will again have that option for treatment,” she said. “I retired from there before coming back to teach this program. So there will be more nursing and care jobs too.”


25-point reading gap between White and Black fourth- and eighth-graders

by Kimberly Hefling WASHINGTON (AP)—New test scores show the nation’s fourth- and eighth-graders are doing the best ever in math, but schools still have a long way to go to get everyone on grade level. In reading, eighth-graders showed some progress. Just a little more than one-third of the students were proficient or higher in reading. In math, 40 percent of the fourth-graders and 35 percent of the eighth-graders had reached that level. MATH INITIATIVE—Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, and Meg Whitman, right, help third grade student Damauni Houston, 8, with the use of the MIND Research Institute’s ST Math visual math software at the 99th St. Elementary campus Sept. 14. The Whitman-Harsh Family Foundation announced an investment of half-million dollars for the expansion of the Los Angeles Math Initiative to 10 Los Angeles Unified School District schools. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) The results Tuesday from the National Assessment of Educational Progress are a stark reminder of just how far the nation’s school kids are from achieving the No Child Left Behind law’s goal that every child in America be proficient in math and reading by 2014.


Supporting Cain, GOP base evokes Thomas hearings

by Shannon McCaffrey ATLANTA (AP)—Conservatives rallied around Herman Cain as he battles sexual harassment allegations, likening the attacks on the Republican presidential contender to what they describe as the “high-tech lynching” of another prominent Black Republican: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. UNDER FIRE—Herman Cain wipes his forehead before answering questions at the National Press Club in Washington, Oct., 31. Denying he sexually harassed anyone, Cain said he was falsely accused in the 1990s while he was head of the National Restaurant Association, and he branded revelation of the allegations a “witch hunt.” (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) The forceful early reaction to the Cain firestorm—fueled by racially charged rhetoric—suggests the Georgia businessman’s attempt to cast himself as a victim of the media and liberals is, so far, paying dividends among his conservative Republican base, who will hold considerable sway in selecting the party’s nominee. But the accusations against Cain, an untested newcomer on the political scene, may give more moderate GOP voters pause and could cause would-be donors to shy away even as Cain works to capitalize on his rising poll numbers.


Pat Buchanan: An unrepentant racist

(NNPA)—Pat Buchanan’s latest book, “Suicide of a Superpower,” is a continuation his long-running racist, sexist, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic rants that should have disqualified him long ago from masquerading as a respectable paid political pundit on MSNBC. ColorOfChange.org, a group dedicated to Black political and social change, is circulating a petition asking MSNBC to immediately fire Buchanan. In a memo to its members, dated Oct. 31, it said: “If Buchanan didn’t have a powerful media platform, he’d be just another person with outdated, extremist ideas. But it’s irresponsible and dangerous for MSNBC to promote his hateful views to an audience of millions.”



Fox gives America a televised horror story

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—Starting with Bill Clinton passing his sweeping telecommunications act in 1996 the world of media and entertainment in America has pretty much gone to hell. I’m not talking about quality, who knows if the summer blockbusters in 1998 were any better than the summer blockbusters of 2011, however the depth, range and variety of access that most Americans can get in regards to television and radio has been limited. One company can now own the largest newspaper in a city, a television station and a radio station. Daytime TV hosts gush over films and actors that are controlled by the same parent company. In most cases states are controlled by a monopoly of one or two cable companies forcing people into having horrible service (since analog television is almost non-existent) or paying huge fees for satellite television. It’s this last scenario that might be the straw that breaks the media consumer’s back.