Daily Archive: February 15, 2012

Metro

Black history month kickoff draws diverse crowd

by M. Abdul-QawiyyFor New Pittsburgh Courier “The purpose of Black History month is to remember that Black history is America’s history. It’s a part of the history of this country. It’s everybody’s history,” said Lorraine Cook, a member of the African American Heritage Month Committee. SPECIAL GIFT— Lorraine Cook AAHMC Chair presents the keynote speaker Valerie Lawrence with a portrait of several great black women in history. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

Metro

African American Women for Political Change

The African American Women for Political Change kicked off Black History Month (or in this case, “herstory”) with a bit of perspective on its journey thus far and a charge to continue with strong community and political activism. Sharing their reflections were some of the founding members. FOUNDERS PLUS—Founders plus current officers. Seated, center: visionary founder Cathryn L. Irvis, wife of the late Speaker of the House K. Leroy Irvis. From left: June Pickett Dowdy, Janet Wagner, Irvis, Katie E. Johnson and Albertha Graham. Standing in back: current officers Imogene Hines, Jerry Ann Allen, Joy Maxberry Woodruff and Beverly Walker.

National

This Week in Black History

The Week of February 19-25:February 191919—The “first” Pan African Congress is held bringing together prominent blacks from throughout the world to chart a program for Black unity and betterment. African-American scholar and activist W.E.B. DuBois was the chief organizer. The gathering was held in Paris, France and drew 57 distinguished delegates including 16 from the United States, 14 from Africa and others from the Caribbean, South America and Europe. (The 1919 Congress is considered by many the “first” but another such Congress had been organized in 1900.) W.E.B. DuBois

National

UN says Caribbean crime hurting economies

by Tony Fraser PORT-OF-SPAIN, Tri­ni­dad (AP)—Rising crime across the Caribbean threatens the region’s tourism-based economy and has exposed a weak and ineffective judicial system, according to a sweeping U.N. study released on Wednesday. Every Caribbean nation except Barbados and Suriname reported a spike in homicide rates and gang-related killings over the past 12 years even as violent crime has fallen or stabilized in most other places across the globe, according to the 2012 Caribbean Human Development Report. KAMLA PERSAD The U.N. said it was the largest survey ever to focus on crime in the Caribbean.

Opinion

No attack on Iran

(NNPA)—Iran has been threatened with military assault since it was discovered that the Iranians were engaged in developing nuclear power. The Iranians have asserted that, as signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, their intentions are aimed at the development of nuclear power for peaceful purposes, specifically as a domestic energy source. Israel and the USA, without any actual proof, have suggested the contrary. They argue that the Iranians aim to develop nuclear weapons. The Israelis argue that if the Iranians were to develop nuclear weapons that this would threaten the very existence of Israel. This argument contains a great deal of irony since the only country in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons is Israel, which is neither a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty nor a country that even acknowledges that they possess nuclear weapons.

Opinion

Black women and organizations

(NNPA)—During Black History Month, the focus is often on individuals. The founder of the month (once Negro History Week) was Dr. Carter G. Woodson, and he chose the week that encompassed both the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. When other luminaries are mentioned, they are mostly men, but this year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) has declared that women will anchor the month. It is great to lift up the many Black women luminaries, including Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, Elizabeth Keckley, Cathy Hughes, and so many others.

Opinion

Whitney: Gone, too soon

by Linda Tarrant-Reid (NNPA)—R & B legend Whitney Houston was found dead in her bathroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 11. Houston was scheduled to attend her mentor and music producer Clive Davis’s annual pre-Grammys party that evening at the very same hotel where she was found unconscious in the bathtub in her suite. She was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. by paramedics. A spokes­person from the L.A. Coroner’s Office stated that there was no indication of physical trauma or foul play and unofficial reports indicated the songstress may have accidentally drowned in the tub. The Coroner’s Office has completed an autopsy, but will not release its findings until the toxicology reports are in, which could take four to six weeks.

Opinion

Corbett’s unfair budget proposal

Once again Gov. Tom Corbett is proposing a state budget plan that drastically slashes funding to higher education and programs that aid children, the disabled and elderly. Last year the governor cut state funding to higher education by nearly 20 percent in which colleges responded by raising tuitions and cutting programs. This week Corbett proposed a $27.1 billion budget plan that calls for a 30 percent cut in state aid to Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh and Temple University and a 20 percent cut to the 14 state-owned universities including Cheyney University and West Chester.

Opinion

Obama budget focuses on rebuilding economy

President Barack Obama proposed a budget Monday that shows a sharp contrast with Republicans. The president laid out a plan that calls for higher taxes on the rich and stimulating and rebuilding the economy through increased spending on popular programs like infrastructure and manufacturing. The plan is better than what is being proposed by the Republican presidential candidates who oppose any tax increase on the rich while seeking deeper cuts in spending on crucial social programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.