Two African-American brothers, who’d never run for office before, ousting a veteran incumbent mayor and councilwoman? Many said it was impossible. But thankfully for the Walker brothers, many more believed. And last month, Donald Walker and his younger brother Dwan—by 10 minutes, were sworn in as councilman and mayor of Aliquippa. DYNAMIC DUO—New Aliquippa Councilman Donald Walker, left, and Mayor Dwan Walker pose together after being sworn in Jan. 3 as the first twins to win office in the same election. “And our friend Mark Delon won, too,” said Donald Walker. “No one had ever swept the incumbents in Aliquippa before. In fact, the Democratic Party chairman said he wouldn’t support us because ‘nobody beats the machine.’ I guess he’s supposed to be our friend now.”
Daily Archive: February 8, 2012
Over the course of his term, President Barack Obama has received criticism from national Black leaders like Cornel West and Tavis Smiley for his lack of a policy targeting the African-American community. But despite what national media pundits might have the public believe, Obama’s approval rating was approximately 92 percent among African-American voters in late December. BIGGEST FAN—East Hills resident Kimberly Robinson came out to support President Obama. (Photo by J.L. Martello) “I think Barack Obama is our best choice as president and I think he needs to be reelected so that he can continue doing the work he began when he first went into office,” said Lucille Prater-Holliday, Homewood neighborhood team leader for the Obama campaign. “I’m out here everyday and we knock on doors and we make phone calls, and he has a lot of African-American support out here. They respect him and hold him in the highest regard.”
The month of January ended with six homicides, which is one less than this time last year, which proved to be the least deadly year of the past four years. While there is hope that the homicides and shooting will decrease, the one constant theme is that none of these homicides and shootings have to occur at all. These are young lives that are being lost and for what …nothing. Shateecha Roach, a teacher out trying to enjoy herself and ring in the new year, was killed at a club when someone, or some ones, decided to resort to pulling out a gun instead of just walking away during a fight. Daniel Peek, a young man enjoying his time with his family lost his life when someone recklessly shot through the door of his apartment. And Quinn White, a father with reportedly no criminal record, lost his life when someone shot him while walking home and talking on the phone.
In 2011, a number of community organizations hosted meetings, conferences and workshops dedicated to improving conditions in the Black community and addressing issues such as Black-on-Black violence, education and various social inequities. One such event was Community Empowerment Association’s October conference “Mitigating the Impact of Social & Psychological Trauma to the Social Fabric of the African American Community.” WALK THE WALK—Beyond CEA’s meetings, conferences and workshops focused on community activism, the organization also runs several youth programs. But what happens at the end of these conferences, after the closing remarks and next steps? The New Pittsburgh Courier talked with CEA Founder T. Rashad Byrdsong to discover what progress the organization has made since the conference to positively impact the Black community and address the problems presented.
by Stacey A. Anderson WASHINGTON (AP)—Author and activist Maya Angelou hopes for a time when Black History Month will no longer be needed to explain the contributions of African-Americans. “We want to reach a time when there won’t be Black History Month, when Black history will be so integrated into American history that we study it along with every other history,” she said in an interview from her home in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Feb. 1. “That’s the hope, and we have to continue to work until that is true, until that becomes a fact.” AUTHOR AND ACTIVIST—Maya Angelou speaks after receiving the Literary Arts Award during the BET Honors at the Warner Theatre in Washington on Jan. 14. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) In the meantime, she said, she will continue to put the history out there.
Pittsburgh National College Fair FEB. 8—The National Association for College Admission Counseling will host its Pittsburgh National College Fair from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown. Representatives from more than 300 colleges and universities will be on hand to meet with students and parents about academics, student life, athletics, scholarships, financial aid and more. There will also be a session from 6-9 p.m. and on Feb. 9 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Registration is requested. For more information, call 703-299-6856, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.nacacnet.org.
The Week of Feb. 11-17 February 11 1644—Eleven Blacks confront the ruling Council of New Netherlands (later New York) with a petition demanding their freedom. This was probably the first legal protest action by Blacks in American history. The petition is granted and the Blacks are freed because they had worked off the terms of their indentured servant contracts which were usually for seven years. But these Blacks had worked for up to 18 years. Shortly after this victory, however, no more Blacks were allowed such contracts but were instead treated as slaves for life. NELSON MANDELA
by Julie Pace WASHINGTON (AP)—Blending politics and religion, President Barack Obama said his Christian faith is a driving force behind his economic policies, from Wall Street reform to his calls for the wealthy to pay higher taxes. SPEAKING ABOUT FAITH—President Barack Obama acknowledges applause, by first lady Michelle Obama, and others, after speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Feb. 2. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Obama’s remarks Feb. 2 at the National Prayer Breakfast were his most explicit account of how his personal religious beliefs factor into his decision-making on the nation’s pressing problems. The comments came amid election-year criticism from Catholic groups and some Republicans that the president is waging a war on religion following his decision to require church-affiliated institutions to cover free birth control for employees.
(NNPA)—Have you gone to see Red Tails yet? When the biopic about the heroic Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots opened, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs set the tone for African-Americans by tweeting: “It’s important that we all go support Red Tails the movie and go see it this weekend!!!” The movie Red Tails has become a Black cause célèbre. The most expensive film ever made with a predominately African-American cast has renewed debates about whether “Black films” can succeed at movie box offices. Blacks’ esteem and posture in the marketplace seems at stake based on “Red Tails’” financial successes, or lack thereof.
(NNPA)—I am grateful and appreciative of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the man who claimed Negro History Week, which later changed to Black History Month. From a week to a month, but we need to rock the year, every year, because there are so many opportunities to celebrate Black History. The organization that Dr. Woodson founded, the Association for the Study of African American Life and Heritage organizes a theme each year, and this year the theme is women.