Daily Archive: December 21, 2011


Robert Champion: Drum major for change

(NNPA)—Most parents of college students look forward to December, when their students come home for the holidays. Some are so excited to see their offspring home that they actually come to their colleges to pick them up. Others prepare special treats and goodies as an antidote to the oft complained about cafeteria food. Robert and Pam Champion won’t have that opportunity. Their son, Robert, died on Nov. 19. His death has been ruled a homicide and he is allegedly the victim of hazing. Florida A&M University, one of our nation’s most respected HBCUs, is in the headlines now, not because of its excellent academic programs, but because its celebrated marching band has apparently had a culture of hazing.


New generation of Black women political leaders emerging

(NNPA)—“Fearlessness is what it takes for a woman to run for elective office, especially a Black woman.” Dayo Olopade, journalist, writing in The Root Only 30 African-American women have served in the United States Congress since Shirley Chisholm became the first in 1969. Today, of the 100 largest cities in America, only one has an African-American woman mayor. But the impact that African-American women have had as political leaders has far exceeded their numbers. In addition to New York Congresswoman Chisholm, our nation has been greatly improved by the service of women like Representative Barbara Jordan of Texas, Senator Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois, and Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio. Today, a new generation of Black women leaders is picking up the gauntlet and making their voices heard. Let me introduce you to just three of them.


Guest editorial…Bigots feel free to slam Muslims

Muslims may be the only group in America that folks—even those running for political office—feel comfortable openly discriminating against. That’s not to say there are no slurs against Blacks, Latinos, gays and others who are not straight, White, male, Christians. They are uttered from sea to shining sea all the time, but at least the bigots who are saying such things do so in cloistered venues. When it comes to discrimination against Muslims, too many Americans feel it’s fair game because of the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.


Torry and Co. brings laughs, music to AWC

Married life, children, lactose intolerance, sports and politics made for funny fodder at the Joe Torry Comedy Show at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture last week. “Now I know why my daddy drank and my momma read the Bible. I’m married with three kids,” said Torry who was dressed in black jeans, black jacket and matching cap. “Kids mess up your time with your wife because they are the worst roommates and they hear everything.” JOE TORRY The audience really got their laugh on as they related to many of Torry’s topics. “They should have the Crips, Bloods and the KKK get on the plane and fight the war in Iraq. We’ve got proven killers in jail so why are we paying for them to eat? We should put them on a plane and let them fight the war.” Torry said.


Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited the Black Beauty Lounge in the Hill District, Ace and Deuces Lounges in the Hill District, Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District, CJ’s in the Strip District, Ava Lounge in East Liberty, Ficklin’s Bar in the Hill District, The Compass Club in the Hill District and the Galaxy Lounge and Entertainment Center in Homewood. Big D and the crew from Cleveland at the Galaxy Lounge and Entertainment Center in Homewood.


Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 22 Affrilachia The August Wilson Center for African American Culture presents the “Common Ground: Affrilachia Where I’m From!” exhibition at 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. This exhibition features 50 works of art from western Pennsylvania artist who are emerging or established. This is a collaboration between the Center and the Affrilachian Art Project, and will run through March 17, 2012. For more information, call 412-258-2700 or visit http://www.AugustWilsonCenter.org.


Group offers classic events

A strong believer that business and politics go hand in hand, 58 year old Ralph P. Watson is committed to forming strategic alliances that cultivate business and political relationships geared toward enhancing the socio-economic development of small businesses in the region. A recent Holiday Networking Mixer sponsored by his organization, Classic Events, demonstrated that commitment. “This is exciting,” said Watson looking around the room observing the interaction between exhibitors and attendees. “This is exactly what I am trying to accomplish, to build relationships and provide exposure.” A SIGN OF APPRECIATION—Ralph P. Watson (R) celebrates the business and civic contribution of State Farm Insurance agency owner Grace Robinson. Assisting in the presentation is attorney Turahn L. Jenkins and Ed Gainey of the Mayor’s Office. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels) An audience of more than 200 people perused the mix of vendors that were on hand in the former sanctuary of the Union Project. Vender types included food, clothing, accessories, wedding and event planners, photography, travel agents, insurance agents, social media, business development agencies, educational and youth programs and a hair designer. People were also distributing information on upcoming events.


Consumer Christmas wish: a fully Functioning CFPB

(NNPA)—Despite the U.S. Senate’s recent failure to confirm Richard Cordray as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, some lawmakers are vowing to press on. In fact, some are wondering why confirming a director should be so contentious for an agency whose sole mission is to pro­tect Amer­ican consumers. This past July, the agency opened shop and began prioritizing efforts. Already, important partnerships have emerged in protections for military personnel and their families as well as older Americans. On the heels of resolving more than 70 percent of several thousand credit card complaints brought directly to the new agency’s attention, complaints are now being gathered on mortgage issues—including servicing, denials for modifications and foreclosures.


Church Circuit

Networking JAN. 9—Pittsburgh Professional Women will host a Clever Connections Networking Dinner from 6-8 p.m. at BRAVO!, 4976 McKnight Rd., Pittsburgh. The cost is $30…


Soiled Savior

What goes around comes around. All spiritual debts must be paid in full. Karma not punishment or retribution but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts. If you do dirt you may have to eat dirt or least take a hot soapy shower somewhere along the way. On or around Jan. 1, the short lived tenure of Michael Haywood the first African-American football coach “hired” at the University of Pittsburgh came to a screeching halt after barely more than a fortnight.