Daily Archive: October 5, 2012


Pittsburgh history showcased at national conference

Last week the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History convened in Pittsburgh for their 97th annual convention. While the national conference, which was last hosted in Pittsburgh in 2004, drew notable historians from across the country, it also shed light on the depth of African-American history within the city of three rivers. KEYNOTER–Sonya Sanchez, professor at Temple University and the poet laureate of Philadelphia, was one of the convention’s keynoters. (Courier Photos/J.L. Martello) “Pittsburgh has been very important for this association especially in the rebuilding of this organization. It’s a very big and growing conference and a lot of that has to do with when we came here in 2004,” said Daryl Scott, ASALH vice president for programs. “There’s a relationship between Pittsburgh and Black history in general that people here really need to be proud of.”


‘Idol’ divas Carey, Minaj take their feud public

by Frazier Moore NEW YORK (AP) — Is this “Idol” threat an idle threat? Mariah Carey told Barbara Walters her fellow “American Idol” judge Nicki Minaj threatened to shoot her, Walters reported on ABC’s “The View” Thursday morning. NEW IDOL JUDGE–American singer Mariah Carey performs during a concert in Monaco. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File) Consulting her notes, Walters recounted a phone conversation with Carey just before the ABC talk show went on the air, with new details of Tuesday’s blowup between Carey and Minaj that was partly captured on video made public on the TMZ website.


Fashion Watch

One of these days these crazy trends are going to end. If I see one more young man with sagging pants I’m going to scream. Today I saw a woman with sagging pants she was pretending to be a dude but I was not convinced. It’s not cute, never has been cute and never will be cute. Find a new style one where your pants fit. Supposedly this whole sagging thing started in the prison system because prisoners could not have belts because they may hang themselves.


Debate offered no answers for the casual voter

I found last night’s presidential debate between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney dull and boring. But just as disappointing was the supposed analysis by the various pundits last night. From Fox to MSNBC to CNN, the analysts talked about body language, facial expressions, speech patterns and style, none of which will help Main Street voters make an informed decision on Nov. 6. Conventional wisdom says that the debates are really for the casual voter. These outside-the-Beltway voters are supposed to be the people who are going to make up their minds based on what they see and hear during the televised contests.


Creator, actors of ‘Won’t Back Down’ discuss controversial movie

by Tene’ Croom Two mothers, one played by Viola Davis, who is also a teacher, and the other portrayed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, are extremely upset about the lack of attention to their crumbling inner city school. They don’t just complain about it. These mothers work to change things and refuse to back down when up against as the publicity for the movie, “Won’t Back Down,” puts it “entrenched bureaucracy.” VIOLA DAVIS, MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL (Photo by Kerry Hayes) The drama, filmed in Pittsburgh, has a dynamic cast. Award winning British actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste is in the role of the head of the Board of Education in the film.


Churches using ‘souls to polls’ to rally vote

by Curt Anderson MIAMI (AP)—It’s not just the collection plate that’s getting passed around this fall at hundreds of mainly African-American and Latino churches in presidential battleground states and across the nation. Exhorting congregations to register to vote, church leaders are distributing registration cards in the middle of services, and many are pledging caravans of “souls to the polls” to deliver the vote. STEPPED-UP EFFORT—Rev. Richard Dunn, left, and his son, Rev. Richard Dunn III, are seen in Miami, Tuesday, Oct. 2, as they discuss their plans to motivate church members to vote in the upcoming elections. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter) The stepped-up effort in many states is a response by activists worried that new election rules, from tougher photo identification requirements to fewer days of early voting, are unfairly targeting minority voters—specifically, African-Americans who tend to vote heavily for Democrats. Some leaders compare their registration and get-out-the-vote efforts to the racial struggle that led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act.


8-time felon seeks state House seat in Michigan

DETROIT (AP)—An eight-time felon convicted of writing bad checks and credit card fraud between 1998 and 2004 who said he’s made “many poor decisions” is running for a state House seat in the November election. Brian Banks, a Detroit Democrat running in Michigan’s 1st House District, insists that he has turned his life around, the Detroit Free Press reported. The 35-year-old said he’s graduated from college, received a master’s degree and a law degree, and is working on a PhD. BRIAN BANKS “Yes, I’ve made many poor decisions, and yes, I have a record, but that’s exactly what it is, my past,” Banks said. “I would ask them to look at what I’ve accomplished professionally and academically, since my poor decisions.”


DiCaprio, Maguire, others urge voter ­expression

by Sandy Cohen LOS ANGELES (AP)—Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire lead a cast of stars in a new public service announcement urging young voters to use social media to express the issues most important to them in the upcoming election. Zac Efron, Selena Gomez, Ellen DeGeneres, Jonah Hill and Joseph Gordon Levitt also appear in the Vote 4 Stuff video unveiled Monday, joining other stars in a call to voters to post tweets, photos and short videos about concerns they feel deserve presidential attention. NEW CAMPAIGN—In this Dec. 22, 2009, photo, actors Tobey Maguire, left, and Leonardo DiCaprio watch an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)


Thousands attend NYC poverty concert

NEW YORK (AP)—K’naan kicked off a free concert in Central Park on Saturday evening that also included performances by Black Keys and John Legend to call attention to poverty worldwide. Dubbed the Global Citizen Festival, the concert lineup featured Neil Young, Band of Horses and Foo Fighters as well. Video of the event was streamed worldwide as about 60,000 music fans poured into the park. The concert included a surprise appearance from Legend, who played “Imagine” at a piano on the Great Lawn stage, a short walk from where the song’s author, John Lennon, once lived.



Pittsburgh Blacks most docile in America?

I have challenged the above statement all of my life, but recently I have begun to believe that we are an unusual people in the city of Pittsburgh. There seems to be a number of reasons, explanations or excuses why. John Craig Hammond, an assistant at Penn State, a scholar of slavery and African-American History, stated the current generations were not forged by the Civil Rights Movement as their parents were, and we lack the growth of a sizeable affluent Black population.