Daily Archive: January 4, 2012


2011 Top 10 local stories

The top news stories of 2011 were not just stories, but most came in a series of stories. The many issues affecting the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the many walks and vigils to stop the street violence, the demand for police accountability after the Jordan Miles incident, and the status of the Hill District grocery store and YMCA. The single stories were: UYA closes, Hill House CEO steps down, new one selected, Target opens store in East Liberty, Courier 100 year celebration gala. FIRST BABY OF 2012—New parents Akaisha Yancy, mother, and Maron Brown, father, admire their new baby, Akier Yancy-Brown, who was the first Pittsburgh baby born of the new year at 12:18 a.m. at Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC. Yancy and Brown are both students at Slippery Rock University. (Photo by J.L. Martello) Courier celebrates 100 years—While numerous newspapers and magazines have gone under throughout history, the Pittsburgh Courier continues to march on. The third oldest African-American newspaper in the United States recently celebrated 100 years of existence—a centennial highlighting the years of producing thought-provoking and entertaining stories for the city of Pittsburgh and beyond.


2011 community losses

Pittsburgh’s Black Community saw the passing of a number of its icons in 2011, among them political titan Dock Fielder, and activists El Gray and Nate Smith. Nate Smith, who passed away March 31, was known internationally for his tremendous contributions to Black labor movement in Pittsburgh and nationwide. His greatest accomplishment was Operation Dig, which served as the construction trades’ training and employment vehicle for the Pittsburgh Plan to integrate trade unions. His marches and protests paved a way for thousands of Blacks to gain union employment. NATE SMITH



58 of 73 homicides Black lives, 2011 had lowest number of deaths in four years

For several months now, the New Pittsburgh Courier has been issuing challenges to the community for an end to the senseless violence of shootings and killings, well the message may have been heard. With only 71 homicides for the year, 2011 seems to have been the least deadly year out of the past four years. 2008 had 120 homicides, 102 of them Black people; 2009 had 87 homicides with 62 of them being Black; and 2010 had 100 homicides, with 77 of them being Black.


Distinguished publisher Sam Logan dies at 78

Last week, the African-American media community lost one of its own. After a half-century in the newspaper business, newspaper icon and longtime Michigan Chronicle publisher Sam Logan, 78, died Dec. 28. “The passing of Sam Logan is a grievous loss to the Michigan Chronicle, the Real Times family and the city of Detroit. Sam was a towering figure of journalistic influence that had a positive, if not controversial effect on the political, business and social scene in Detroit,” said Rod Doss, editor and publisher of the New Pittsburgh Courier. “He was a man respected by his peers for his five decades-long years of service and business acumen at the Michigan Chronicle. His passing leaves a void not easily filled. He will be greatly missed.” SAM LOGAN


Founder marks ­Kwanzaa’s 45 years

Every year like clockwork you count on articles to surface debating the relative significance of the Kwanzaa. Some decry it as a made-up holiday that seeks to displace Christmas while others focus on the credibility of its founder instead of the virtues of the observance. Despite the controversy, Kwanzaa thrives in more progressive pockets of the Black community, mainly on the east and west coasts, reports of the holiday’s demise are greatly exaggerated. DR. MAULANA KARENGA, Founder of the Kwanzaa Pittsburgh has an ardent community-base for Kwanzaa and it was out in full force during the final week of the year. Celebrations were held throughout the city in Homewood, East Liberty and Downtown at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Perhaps the most vibrant observance of all took place in the Hill District Thursday evening when the Kente Arts Alliance, Ujamaa Collective and the Hill House Association hosted a day-long Kwanzaa event of educational Afrocentric activities in the Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium on Centre Avenue.


Community Calendar

First Fridays JAN. 6—Champion Enterprises will host The New First Fridays from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at the Club Health and Fitness Center, One Racquet Lane,…


Obama readying for re-election bid after vacation

by Julie Pace HONOLULU (AP)—President Barack Obama will waste little time getting back in front of voters following a 10-day Hawaiian vacation spent largely out of the spotlight. Air Force One landed just before daybreak in Washington on Tuesday morning after an overnight flight from the island of Oahu. The president is returning from vacation the same day Republican presidential candidates square off in the Iowa caucuses, the first nominating contest of the 2012 campaign. BACK TO WORK—President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave before departing from Honolulu, Jan. 2. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) Obama plans to make his presence in the campaign known quickly. The president will host a live web chat with supporters in Iowa on Tuesday night as the caucuses are unfolding. The following day, Obama will travel to Cleveland for an event focused on the economy.


Aretha Franklin engaged

NEW YORK (AP)—Aretha Franklin is engaged to longtime friend William “Willie” Wilkerson. The Grammy-winning singer told The Associated Press in a statement Monday, that she…


This Week In Black History

Week of January 7-13 January 7 From 4th Century AD—Ethiopian Christmas—known as Ganna—is celebrated on Jan. 7. Ethiopian Christianity was much closer to the Christian Coptic Church of Egypt and as a result never incorporated many of the dictates of the early Roman Catholic Church. Thus, a plausible argument can be made that Ethiopian Christianity is more pure (or less corrupted) than that which emerged from the early Christian Church in Europe. Regardless, the best scientific speculation is that Jesus was born neither on December 25th nor January 7th. The most probable month of his birth is April.


Race is still an issue in America

(NNPA)—“The NAACP’s allegations are totally unfounded and reckless. We have never tolerated, and will never tolerate, discrimination in any way, shape or form in any of our business practices, products or services”—Wells Fargo Spokeswoman 2009 Back in 2009 the NAACP filed a class action suit to stop lenders from engaging in “systematic, institutionalized racism in making home mortgage loans.” The NAACP suit specifically named: Ameriquest, Wells Fargo, Fremont Investment, Option One Mortgage (H&R Block), WMC Mortgage, Countrywide, Long Beach Mortgage, CitiGroup, BNC Mortgage, Accredited Home Lenders, Encore Credit (Bear Stearns), First Franklin, HSBC, and Washington Mutual as modern practitioners of discrimination.