Monthly Archive: March 2012


Rev. Barr steps down Rev. Edmonds moves up

Reverend Jason A. Barr II resigned as senior pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in the Hill District March 26 at a church meeting, because of poor health. He is being replaced by Brian James Edmonds. He hasn’t been able to preach for nearly 16 months. REV. DR. JASON BARR When Pastor Barr came to Pittsburgh to become the Senior Pastor, he was 33 years old. He had with him his new wife, Kim of two years and the couple had no children. The congregation had about 400-450 members, was rooted in years of tradition, held only one 11 a.m. service, and was not leaving an economic nor socially empowering imprint on the community.


Johnson brings diversity to region

In continuing with their mission to embrace inclusion and insure the region’s growth by attracting, retaining and elevating a diverse pool of talent, Vibrant Pittsburgh will partner with founder and former chairman of Black Entertainment Television’s Robert L. Johnson’s new initiative,, a website that is focused on creating opportunities for qualified minority candidates and businesses. ROBERT L. JOHNSON (Photo by Melissa Golden) OppsPlace, which was launched in February and is ran by The RLJ Companies, in collaboration with Symplicity Corporation, is an innovative platform that connects the country’s top minority professionals and small businesses with fortune 500 companies that are committed to diversity and inclusion.


Mothers, daughters tackle HIV/AIDS

A group of Pittsburgh’s most prominent and prestigious African-American women spent their Saturday discussing what some would call an awkward topic—HIV/AIDS. To make it even more “awkward,” their mothers, daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters joined the women, to talk about topics like sex and intimate partner violence. KEZIA ELLISON “A lot of what goes on in our thought process affects our physical body. In the U.S. there’s a stigma; we don’t talk about it. Unfortunately the numbers are going up,” said Nekesha Oliphant, M.D., family medicine and psychiatry, UPMC. “The newest infection rate is African-American women. There’s self esteem issues; there’s a denial.”


Community Calendar

Phenomenal Woman Celebration MARCH 29—The August Wilson Center for African American Culture will host the Phenomenal Women Celebration of Women’s History Month from 6-9:30 p.m. at 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. There will be musical and dance performances by various groups, poetry, art exhibitions and more. There will also be a Chronicles of Youth Showcase and Stages of Womanhood Open Mic. Performers are encouraged to sign-up in advance. For more information, email


ACH Clear Pathways earns United Way designation

The question of how to meet the needs of youth in our neighborhoods has always been a large one. This is especially true as relates to that special time after school before parents get home from work. In the case of single moms, it seems to be an ongoing juggling act and logistical nightmare around identifying a safe place for children at the close of the school day. LOVE FOREVER—Tyian Battle looking at a poster of her late son.


Africans in Israel join forces

by Diaa Hadid DIMONA, Israel (AP)—For years, Israel’s array of African communities had little interaction, divided by religious, linguistic and cultural differences. That is changing. They are facing a common situation in Israel—relegated to bottom rungs, partly because of discrimination over their skin color. That has brought some members of a wide range of communities together, including Jewish Ethiopians, nomadic Muslim Arabs and migrants from Eritrea and Sudan. COMING TOGETHER—In this photo taken March 6, from right to left, Sheik Ayed al-Abed, Mohammed al-Masri and Khazrail Ben-Yehuda talk in a meeting room in the southern Israeli city of Dimona. (AP Photo/Diaa Hadid) “What is said against me is said against my brother,” said Sheik Ayed al-Abed, referring to the derogatory names that he and other members of a newly formed advocacy group have been called.


This Week In Black History

Week of March 28-April 3 March 28 1900—The British demand the Ashanti Golden Stool. Ironically, the Ashanti had been one of the tribes which had actually benefited from slavery by capturing and selling their fellow Africans. But when the slave trade ended, the British turned on the Ashanti in a bid to colonize the Gold Coast (now Ghana). QUEEN YAA ASANTEWA In an apparent attempt to demoralize and humiliate the Ashanti, the British demanded that they turnover one of their greatest symbols—the Golden Stool. The demand led to war. The Ashanti were led by Queen Yaa Asantewa. Her fighters kept the British at bay for several months. But with superior fire power, the British eventually prevailed.


Hate radio: Let’s take them down

(NNPA)—The recent case of Rush Limbaugh’s rant against the Georgetown University Law student Sandra Fluke once again highlights the national problem we have with ‘hate radio.’ In the name of free speech, demagogues such as Limbaugh are allowed to run free and say virtually whatever they wish to say irrespective of who they hurt, what mis-information they spread, or the potential consequences of their remarks.


What happened to audacity?

(NNPA)—Forty years ago this month, 10,000 African-Americans thronged to Gary, Ind. for the first National Black Political Convention. They gathered to develop a Black agenda, and to influence 1972 presidential politics. One of the things on the agenda was the development of an independent Black political party and to explore the notion of independent Black politics. To commemorate this anniversary, Dr. Ron Daniels convened a group of people on Capitol Hill to see the movie, “Nation Time,” and to listen to a group of people, some of whom had been at Gary, talk about what Gary means today.