Daily Archive: April 11, 2012


Mich. teacher: I was fired over Trayvon fundraiser

DETROIT (AP)—A Michigan teacher says she was fired for encouraging her students to organize a fundraiser for the family of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Brooke Harris said Tuesday she’s confused by her dismissal last month from Pontiac Academy for Excellence Middle School.



‘Stand your ground’ is not the problem

Whatever happened to common sense laws? It appears now far too many laws are more political than common sense. The Stand Your Ground law is an example of this. It’s the Right Wing vs. the Left Wing. I remember a few years back reading about a man who was sent to prison when two men forced their way into his home thinking a woman they were with after a party nearby went into his house. When they broke in he shot them both. Instead of this being a simple self defense case he went to jail. It shouldn’t matter if they had weapons or not, no one should have the right to break into your home. Just because a person doesn’t have a weapon doesn’t mean that they can’t beat the hell out of you or even kill you. But this man went to prison and is probably still there now.


Baseball strikes out with Curt Flood and Marvin Miller

(NNPA)—It’s April and the 2012 baseball season has begun. Time to remember something disconnected from batting averages and a pitcher’s ERA: the continuous failure—actually refusal—of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize the contributions of the late St. Louis Cardinals outfielder, Curt Flood and the retired Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Player Association, Marvin Miller. This refusal has taken the explicit form of rejecting their nominations to the Hall of Fame itself.


Suicide as a political act

(NNPA)—Dimitris Christoulas was a retired pharmacist whose neighbors said he had enormous dignity. At 77 years old, he looked forward to a life. He had saved during his 35-year career and did not expect government to be involved in his pension. But the austerity budget that Greece has imposed on its citizens reduced Christoulas’ pension. So he killed himself after writing in a suicide note that he would rather have “a decent end” than forage thorough garbage to find enough “rubbage to feed myself.” Neighbors say he wanted to send a political message. They say the law-abiding man was a committed leftist who was so meticulous that he paid his condo fees ahead before taking his life.


Romney should face questions on his faith

A voter questioned Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his Mormon faith during a town hall style meeting in Wisconsin last Monday. The questioner asked Romney whether he agreed with a passage from the Book of Mormon that describes a cursing on people with a “skin of Blackness.” Romney’s staff took away the microphone before the man could read the passage.



‘What’s Going On?’ Changes at New York Fashion Week

NEW YORK CITY—Throughout Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week here in February, one question more than any other was on the minds and lips of long-time attendees: “What’s going on?” Gone was the festive atmosphere, a hallmark of the nation’s biggest celebration of fashion. Inside the fashion week tents at Manhattan’s storied Lincoln Center, the crowds were thinner and the usual buzz little more than a low murmur. After­parties and freebies, once plentiful and flowing, were fewer and farther between. There were more holes than usual in the show schedule, and at numerous shows there were an alarming number of empty seats. RIBBON CUTTING—New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz of the 2012 Super Bowl championship team joins model Kate Upton (third from right) and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week representatives in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick off show. The eight-day event was like a leathery old latex balloon pricked by a pin and left to slowly, anemically deflate.


Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in downtown Pittsburgh; CJ’s in the Strip District; The Red Onion and Tim’s Bar, both in the Hill District; The Shadow Lounge and Tana’s Ethiopian Cuisine in East Liberty; and House of Manna’s 3rd Annual Prayer for Peace March in Homewood. Professionals at the August Wilson Center for the Urban League Young Professionals’ anniversary celebration.


Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 12 Strength in the Struggle The August Wilson Center for African American Culture presents the “Strength in the Struggle: Civil Rights” Exhibition at 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. This is a presentation in collaboration with The African American Museum in Philadelphia and the In Sisterhood: The Women’s Movement in Pittsburgh oral history project, and features text, photography, memorabilia and film. The exhibit will run through June 30. For more information, visit http://www.augustwilsoncenter.org.


Alvin Boutte: An unsung business hero

(NNPA)—Many African-Americans don’t even know a single Black entrepreneur. Most American Blacks are unaware of the roles or accomplishments of Black entrepreneurs. So, the passing of one of the country’s most influential contemporary Black businessman should be duly noted. Earlier this month, Alvin Boutte Sr. died in his home in Hazel Crest, Ill., outside Chicago. He was 82. Boutte fits the mold of a successful Black entrepreneur. He was born in Lake Charles, La., and earned a degree in pharmacy from New Orleans’ historically-Black Xavier University. When he later moved to Chicago, the pharmacy profession gave him a foothold in the city’s business community. Boutte started owning and operating his own drugstore, which later grew into a chain of stores.