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A1 www.afro.comFebruary 4, 2012 - February 4, 2012, The Afro-American $1.00 Volume 120 No. 26 Tuskegee Airmen Opinion FEBRUARY 4, 2012 - FEBRUARY 10, 2012 A5 Thurgood Marshall’s Battle A7 Against Tuskegee HBCU ‘Equality’ Lawsuit By Alexis Taylor AFRO Staff Writer Dr. Samuel Myers said it “hurt his heart” as he listened to testimony at the ongoing HBCU Equality trial, Jan. 31. The president emeritus of Bowie State College, one of Maryland’s four HBCUs, said he’s spent his life working in higher education. “And I’ve seen the disparities that exist between funding for Blacks in higher education and those generally,” he Frederick Douglass HS Alumni Association B1 Black Notables, Former HBCU Presidents and Students Pack Courtroom Raymond Pierce, dean, North Carolina Central State Law School and who also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education during the Clinton Administration. Pierce was angered by the visible absence of anyone from the Obama Administration. “It is a shame that the Office for Civil Rights has had no presence in this trial,” Pierce said. “I find it very troubling.” The absence, he said, raised serious questions about the Obama Administration’s commitment to civil rights and educational equality. Myers was incensed that anyone could say HBCUs need to become more competitive with other schools. “I know each institution needs to and wants to survive in its own right, but this inequitable funding hurts the entire nation. When you have a high unemployment rate among young Black males, education is needed to get them into the workforce,” he Continued on A4 Free Dental Care at Howard University College of Dentistry Photo by Amy Billingsley Group of Morgan supporters surrounding former Morgan president, Dr. Earl Richardson. said. “And I know that the courts have long since ruled that the disparity be eliminated.” He had no problem declaring, “But it still exists.” Which is most likely the reason he was joined in the Garmatz Courtroom by other former educators and administrators including Dr. Andrew Billingsley, former president of Morgan State University; Dr. Arthur Thomas, former president Central State University; Dr. Wilma J. Roscoe, retired vice president of National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher • Character Education Education (NAFEO) and INSERT Listen to “First Edition” Your History • Your Community • Your News Join Host Sean Yoes  Sunday @ 8 p.m. on 88.9 WEAA FM, the Voice of the Community. Join the AFRO on Twitter and Facebook Neglecting your teeth can kill you. Unfortunately, such was the story of Diamonte Driver, a 12-year-old Prince George’s County boy who died in 2007 after an infection from an abscessed tooth spread to his brain. Because Driver’s mother didn’t have dental insurance or Medicaid coverage, she couldn’t afford the simple tooth extraction that could have saved his life. The students at Howard University College of Dentistry understand that many Washington-area residents are facing a similar financial strain. Continued on A4 PR Professional Named ‘Drum Major for Justice’ By Shernay Williams Special to the AFRO As a young journalist, Gwen McKinney was inspired by social justice. For four years, she reported for the Philadelphia Tribune, the city’s Black newspaper. Later, she moved to Washington D.C. and became a Capitol Hill correspondent. “There is no such thing as objective journalism,” McKinney said in a phone interview with the AFRO. “So much of what I did as a reporter, especially in the Black Press, was advocacy journalism …my point of view was always on the side of people fighting for justice.” Now the founder of McKinney and Associates, which she dubs a “public relations firm with a conscience,” McKinney is being honored for her 22 years of service. She has been declared a “Drum Major for Justice.” It’s an award presented by West Chester University’s Frederick Douglass Society to “So much of what I did as a reporter, especially in the Black Press was advocacy journalism …my point of view was always on the side of people fighting for justice.” — Gwen McKinney alumni who have dedicated their work to equality and social change. The Pennsylvania school honored McKinney during an awards ceremony on Jan. 26. “I am humbled because anytime anyone’s name is connected with two of America’s most heroic sons—Dr. Martin Luther King and Frederick Douglass—it is humbling,” she said. “I particularly felt humbled because these two men embody everything I believe in.” For a public relations strategist used to standing in the background as she pushes her clients to the forefront, McKinney says the honor is unparalleled. “A recognition [like this] challenges you to live up to all that and try to do better and work harder to really speak to the legacy in which the award was made,” she said. As the head of her D.C. based PR firm --the first Black, woman-owned firm in the nation’s capital devoted to social justice advocacy -- McKinney is an advisor to civil rights champions. She’s represented South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, while promoting such issues as health equity, adult literacy, voting rights, and Courtesy Photo criminal justice reform. “All of my clients I’m proud of because I pick clients like they pick me,” McKinney said. “Usually they embody the work and causes I believe in and support.” Her advice to emerging media professionals: “Always be relevant to the times and to the things you believe in. That is what has helped me stay afloat and continue to thrive for 22 years.” Music Community Shocked at Death of Soul Train Creator AFRO Staff Don Cornelius, music industry icon and creator of the seminal TV show “Soul Train,” is dead, the victim of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police and the Los Angeles coroner’s office. Chris No, a police spokesman, told reporters that police received a call from someone in Cornelius’ Sherman Oaks home shortly before 4 a.m., reporting that shots had been fired. When officers arrived, Continued on A3 Copyright © 2012 by the Afro-American Company

Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper, February 4, 2012

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