Daily Archive: February 10, 2012


$17M committed to Federal North

A stretch of West North Avenue once noted mostly for winos sleeping in doorways and porno theater patrons will soon be known for several new restaurants and loft apartments with the commitment of $17 million in development scheduled to begin this summer. The “Garden Block Renovation Project” announced at a Jan. 30 press conference, will renovate 10 buildings including the Masonic Hall and Garden Theater, creating new apartment, office retail and dining space as part of the ongoing Federal/North redevelopment project. SOME CHANGES MADE—On both sides of Federal Street along North Avenue, the city is kicking renovation into high gear. Above, Crazy Mocha has already opened. (Photo by J.L. Martello.) Joined by city council members, representatives from the Central Northside Neighborhood Council, Project Developer Wayne Zukin, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said the announcement marked “a great day for the Central North Side and the city.”


Local groups keep Tuskegee Airmen legacy alive

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the first graduating class of African-American military aviators known as the Tuskegee Airmen. While the recent motion picture film, “Red Wings,” has generated much interest in the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, local groups have been telling this story for years. MEMORIAL The Daniel B. Matthew’s Historical Society of Sewickley, has been preserving this precious piece of history by documenting the Pittsburgh area’s contribution to the Tuskegee program. In the early 2000s, DBMHS released the findings of a study regarding the African-American contributions to World War II. The study revealed that many Tuskegee enlistees had come from this region. Western Pennsylvania can boast about having the largest contingent of enlistees of the Tuskegee Airmen project.


Sto-Rox anti-dropout program targets Black girls

In 2005, only seven African-American females graduated from Sto-Rox High School, even though African-Americans make up approximately 40 percent of the student population. To combat this tragedy, Marlene Banks, community and parent liaison for the Sto-Rox School District, launched the Reaching My Potential program to help Black female students at risk of dropping out. DROPOUT PREVENTION—Marlene Banks, center, with two girls from the Reaching My Potential program.


Libby Clark, former Courier reporter and pioneering Black journalist dies

by Betty Pleasant (NNPA)—Whenever pioneering, barrier-breaking newspaper women come to mind, White people recall the almost mythical Nellie Bly, but Black people think of Libby Clark. While Bly was noted for flamboyantly blazing a trail for women in a man’s profession, Clark is noted for having pushed, punched and plowed a path for Black women in a field that wasn’t all that accessible to Black men. LIBBY CLARK Funeral services for Libby Clark, the Grande Dame of the Black press, were held Jan. 30 in the Chapel of Roses at the Simpson Funeral Home in Inglewood. Clark, believed to have been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, died in her sleep on Jan. 23. She was 94 years old.



Wives ­behaving badly

I haven’t weighed in on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” for a while. After watching the most recent episode, part one of their trip to South Africa, I had to break my silence. First of all, I still believe you have to have a living and breathing husband to be a housewife. “I’m just saying.” It seems on RHOA, which should stand for the “Real Hussies of Atlanta,” as long as you can bring the noise you are eligible to be on the show. The latest addition to the show is Marlo Hampton, who has been arrested a whopping seven times between 1999-2003 on various charges. In case you’re curious (don’t lie, you’re totally curious), they are, in order:


Michigan teen carries baggage few students do

by David JesseDetroit Free Press ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP)—When he was just 9, Marcus Buggs became a man. It’s not that he wanted to. He had to. Up until that point, he was living what he says was a typical childhood in Flint. MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICES—Marcus Buggs 18, of Ann Arbor sits in the office of Principal Ben Edmondson, going over his application to Michigan State University on Dec, 6. (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Eric Seals)


Black students: Duke study shows deeper problems

by Matha Waggoner RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)— An unpublished study by Duke University researchers that says Black students are more likely to switch to less difficult majors has upset some students, who say the research is emblematic of more entrenched racial problems. The study, which opponents of affirmative action are using in a case they want the U.S. Supreme Court to consider, concludes Black students match the GPA of Whites over time partially because they switch to majors that require less study time and have less stringent grading standards. Opponents of affirmative action cite the study in a case they want the U.S. Supreme Court to consider.



Any differences with Democrat, Republican, liberals, conservatives?

I am often reminded of the saying “the more things change the more they remain the same.” In the year of 1949—more than 62 years ago—as I was introduced to politics, the Demo­crats constantly sang the praises of the Democratic Party. That they under the leadership of FDR were God sent and they helped Blacks in particular with that wonderful revelation called the Welfare. The Republicans on an ongoing basis referred to the fact that President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which in theory freed the slaves. The Democrats were overwhelmingly referred to as the party of liberals and the Republicans as the conservatives. In the Black communities liberalism was perceived as a party that was concerned about Blacks and conservatives were anti Blacks. I would often ask the question, if all Democrats are liberal and that concerned about Blacks, explain why bigotry and discrimination and even lynching exists mainly in the southern states which are all Democratic-controlled states. There never was a reasonable answer.


Maryland HBCU desegregation trial nearing an end

(NNPA)—After six weeks of testimony, a major trial to determine whether Maryland’s four historically Black colleges and universities have been routinely denied funding and other needed resources that would have made them “comparable and competitive” with White universities in the state is expected to end this week, with a ruling expected by this summer. The overwhelming majority of HBCUs, originally established shortly after the Civil War to prevent African-Americans from attending all-White state universities, are located in the South. The Maryland case (Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education, Inc., v. Maryland Higher Education Commission, et al.) has attracted national attention, in part, because it involves a border state that, like the South, operated a rigidly segregated school system, but unlike the South, has largely escaped intense public scrutiny.


What Barack Obama owes Black women

(REAL TIMES MEDIA)—Mitt Romney is going to face Barack Obama in what will likely be a much closer presidential election than anyone thinks. There’s no more Hope and Change out there, just the long difficult slog through what may turn out to not be a recession but a new level of economic hardship in America. The Republicans and Democrats are steady cherry picking which demographics they will pander to in the fall, Latinos, voters under 30, educated 40-something single White women (the Cougar vote) and of course the rich, the somewhat poor and the evangelicals. Basically every group has been accounted for except for what might be the most important demographic for Barack Obama’s re-election chances: The African-American Woman. The most overlooked and unappreciated segment of our society is poised to play the most important role in the 2012 election, and no one is talking about it.