Monthly Archive: May 2012

Opinion

The changing face of America

(NNPA)—“This is an important tipping point…a transformation from a mostly White baby boomer culture to the more globalized multi-ethnic country that we are becoming.”—William Frey, senior demographer, the Brookings Institution We’ve been hearing about it for years, and now the time has come. Last week the Census Bureau announced that for the first time, the birth rate of people of color exceeded that of Whites: 50.4 percent to 49.5 percent. America is still a majority White country, with Whites comprising 63.4 percent of the total population. But, the Census Bureau report covering the 12-month period that ended last July reveals that at a time when the White birth rate is declining, there are now 114 million minorities in the United States, or 36.6 percent of the population.

Opinion

Republicans and the race card

(NNPA)—I would like you to do me a favor. We all know Republicans. In fact, you may be a Republican. So, here is my request. The next time you have a discussion with a Republican friend of yours—or if you are a Republican—ask them a question for me: Why do the Republicans keep falling back on the race card in challenging President Obama? Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that the president should not be criticized. In fact, I regularly criticize his policies in my commentaries. No, I am talking about something very different. I am asking, why do Republican-aligned groups regularly play with the race card. Or, when they don’t play the race card, why are they all too often silent when it gets played?

Opinion

Marion Barry: Prophet or racist?

(NNPA)—It seems that people championing causes important to Black communities are diminishing in number. Now that African-Americans have access to the “mainstream,” it’s now less popular to determine and define issues in racial themes and objectives. Case in point, D.C. Councilman Marion Barry is embroiled in controversy, this time for remarks criticizing local hospitals for hiring Filipino nurses instead of local residents. At a Council budget hearing, Barry told officials of the University of the District of Columbia they should hire more D.C. residents as teachers and nurses, “It’s so bad that if you go to the hospital now, you find a number of immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines,” Barry said.

Opinion

Guest editorial…Romney in Philly for image makeover

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney brought his campaign to a charter school in West Philadelphia May 24. Many may wonder why Romney took his campaign to an overwhelmingly African-American charter school in a city which is an overwhelmingly Democratic stronghold. After all, he knows he has little to no chance of attracting many African-American voters to his campaign. An Associated Press-GFK poll this month found that 90 percent of Blacks would vote for President Obama in November and just 5 percent would support Romney, the Republican presumptive nominee.

Entertainment

Murphy, Davis selected PSO Fellows

Cellist J. Ryan Murphy has always been fascinated by classical orchestral music. At an early age he knew he wanted to become a musician in an orchestra but he wasn’t sure how to go about it. “I knew as a senior in high school that I liked orchestral classical music. I grew up in Saint Louis and both of my parents are musicians so I grew up around classical music,” explained Murphy, 30, who currently resides in Carrick. NEW FELLOW—Ryan Murphy, front right, with other Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra members was named one of only two Black Fellows. Enter the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Training Program for African-American Musicians. Started in the 2007-2008 season, the pre-professional program was jointly created by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the National Repertory Orchestra to help prepare a young African-American musician for a career in a professional orchestra.

Entertainment

Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited the Red Onion in the Hill District, Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District, CJ’s in the Strip District, Ava Lounge in East Liberty and Kelly’s Bar in East Liberty. My first stop was at Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District, where Joe Manganiello of HBO’s “True Blood” came to Savoy for “Celebrity Fridays.” He had a meet and greet with his fans from all over the city. Birthday celebrations were in full effect at the Red Onion in the Hill District.

Entertainment

Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 31 Jazz Jam CJ’s Restaurant & Lounge presents “The Roger Humphries & RH Factor Jazz Jam Session” at 8 p.m. at 2901-2911 Penn Ave., Strip District. There will be live jazz and fun every Thursday night. Must be 30 years or older and there is a dress code that will be enforced. No tennis shoes, sweats, or athletic gear. For more information, call 412-642-2377.

Business

Refuses to be front firm

by Chinta Strausberg (NNPA) CHICAGO—In business since 2003, Harold J. Davis Jr., president of Amer-I-Can Enterprises II, had a $12 million contract with Aramark Correctional Services, Inc. and he is still fighting to get his money after charging the owner tried to make him into a front company. Aramark is one of the nation’s largest food service providers for jails and prisons. HAROLD J. DAVIS JR. Davis recently appeared before the WE CAN, INC. Committee, chaired by Florence Cox, seeking help in getting justice. Cox saidFront companies rob legitimate business owners of access and growth.” The committee includes some of Chicago’s most successful Black businessmen and women who are fighting to gain equal access to contractual dollars.

Business

An inside look at the ‘fronting game’

There is much corruption when it comes to procurement. Probably the industry with the most corruption is construction. Keep in mind that corruption is the first cousin of discrimination, which is why the establishment cringes at the thought of Black strangers coming into their territory. They want to keep the graft private. I learned much about this corruption when I was in Indianapolis. One day one of my members invited me to attend “Bid Night”. Bid Night would occur two to three times a year. It was sponsored by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and held at a downtown hotel in Indianapolis. Every major highway contractor would attend. Basically, it was a party held on the eve of bid openings. My friend was a known contractor and always attended. I went undercover, as I would have never been formally invited to this good ol’ boy event. He would introduce me as his new vice president.

Business

Business Calendar

Make It Happen! JUNE 2—The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence of the University of Pittsburgh will host the 2012 Make It Happen! Urban Entrepreneur Conference from 12- 5 p.m. at the Hillman Auditorium at the Kaufmann Center, 1835 Centre Ave., Hill District. The keynote speaker will be Josh Linker, CEO of Detroit Venture Partners. For more information, call 412-648-1544.