Autumn 2011 · Volume 2 Issue 1
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.‖ -Proverbs 29:18
the Bronzevillian A Note from the Director
elcome to the second issue of the Bronzevillian. The newsletter, named in honor of the historic community in which Judson L. Jeffries, Ph.D. the AAAS Community Extension Center is located, not only highlights the activities and events that take place at the CEC, but covers some of the most interesting and timely local and national news items of the day. August 1, 2011 marked my fifth-year anniversary as professor of African American and African Studies and director of the CEC at The Ohio State University. It is hard to believe that five years have gone by so fast. Fortunately, with the help of the CEC‘s advisory board, which is comprised of some of the more influential people in the city of Columbus, much has been accomplished over that short period. The CEC is where people come to learn, be enlightened, fellowship with others, and acquire skills that will last them a lifetime. We are proud of the fact that no other organization in the city of Columbus offers the range of programming that occurs at the CEC. The CEC‘s offerings play an important role in the lives of both the OSU community as well as those who live in the surrounding areas.
A newsletter from the Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center
Fifth Annual Black Veterans Day Salute Honors World War II Veterans
―The Black Veterans Day Salute is the best thing to happen to me in my adult life other than retiring from the Marine Corps with a pension.‖ -Jimmie Lee Cunningham Marine Corps 1944-1972 Jimmie Lee Cunningham, 84, holds a picture of himself as a young Marine. Cunningham retired from the Marine Corps in 1972, after 28 years of service. He attained the rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant.
By: Sarah Twitty n November 13, 2010, more than 100 people attended the fifth annual Black Veterans Day Salute at The Ohio State University‘s AAAS Community Extension Center. ―Beginning in 2006, this event has honored African American servicemen and women whose contributions and sacrifices have enabled Americans to enjoy the rights, freedoms, and securities that are so often taken for granted,‖ said Dr. Judson L. Jeffries, profes-
Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center 905 Mount Vernon Avenue Columbus, Ohio 43203-1413
sor of African American and African Studies and director of the CEC. In 2009, the CEC honored African American women in the military, Korean War veterans in 2008, Vietnam War veterans in 2007, and the Tuskegee Airmen in 2006. The 2010 Black Veterans Day Salute featured a rousing keynote address by Dr. Robert L. Jefferson, Jr., associate professor of history and director of African American Studies at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Jefferson stressed the importance Story Continued on Page 6-7
Phone: (614) 292-3922 Fax: (614) 292-3892 http://aaascec.osu.edu firstname.lastname@example.org
2 the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
12Core Programs 6of the CEC T he Ohio State University‘s AAAS Community Extension Center is the outreach component of the Department of African American and African Studies. The CEC is one of the few off-campus facilities of its kind in the nation. Originally housed at two different locations on Ohio Avenue, the CEC moved to its current location in 1985. The CEC plays an integral role in enhancing the life chances of those who live in and around the Mount Vernon Avenue Area. Toward that end, the CEC offers an array of programs at no or nominal cost to the public. Programs include, but are not limited to, the following: conferences, symposia, computer classes, credit and non-credit courses, summer programs, lecture series, and film series. People from all walks of life have participated in these programs. Based on evaluations of our programs and personal testimonies, the CEC is having an impact on residents living in and around the Mount Vernon Avenue area. Below is a list of the CEC‘s 12 Core Programs.
1 Black Veterans Day Salute
During the salute, Black men and women from Ohio who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces are publicly recognized. Since the salute‘s inception in 2006, the CEC has honored the Tuskegee Airmen (2006), Vietnam War veterans (2007), Korean War veterans (2008), African-American servicewomen (2009), and World War II veterans (2010). Gulf War Era veterans will be honored this year.
2 Ray Miller Institute for Change & Leadership
This 10-week long leadership course trains young Black professionals from the Columbus community in various areas of leadership. The Institute was founded in 2006 by State Senator and Minority Whip Ray Miller. Miller has built a reputation as a strong advocate for those who have historically not had access to power. Admission to the Institute is highly competitive. The Institute is offered during OSU‘s autumn and spring quarters with the support of OSU‘s Office of Continuing Education. Participants who complete the course receive three CEU credits.
Math and Science Program
The Math and Science Program was established in partnership with the OSU Medical Center in 2003. The Math and Science Program exposes students in grades 4 through 12 to the wonders of math and science using hands-on activities. The purpose of the program is three-fold: 1) To increase competency in math and science among students of color; 2) To expose students of color to math and science related careers; and 3) To encourage students of color to major in math or science. The program meets on the fourth Monday of each month from October to May.
7 Summer Residential Program
The Summer Residential Program (SRP) was established in 1999 and is designed to provide students with both an appreciation for and an understanding of African-American and African culture and history. The SRP also helps students strengthen their computer literacy skills. Past themes include: ―All Eyez On Me: Deconstructing Images of African-American Women in Hip Hop‖ (2011), ―letz b down: Social Justice Advocacy for Blacks During the American Revolutionary War Era‖ (2010), ―The Low Country: Black Culture, Literacy and History in Charleston, South Carolina‖ (2009), and ―Hip Hop Literacies‖ (2008). The program is held every June and is for rising 11th and 12th graders. Students live on OSU‘s campus.
8 African Affairs Symposium
This one-day symposium brings members of the African American and African communities together to discuss issues of particular interest to Africa. The inaugural symposium in 2007 examined the life of South African civil rights activist Steve Biko. ―Africa in the Age of Globalization‖ was the theme of the 2008 symposium. The 2009 symposium examined the life of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, West Africa. In 2010, the focus was on Pan-Africanism and the Diaspora.
9 Summer Enrichment Program
This week-long, non-residential day program is designed to help rising 9th and 10th graders improve their reading and writing skills. The program, which was founded in 2009, is hosted annually in June and accepts approximately 15 students.
10 History of Black Columbus Conference
The purpose of this one-day conference is to bring the community together to celebrate the rich history of African Americans in 3 Senior Citizens Movie Matinee Columbus and to increase awareness of the significant contriThe movie matinee is a chance for senior citizens to watch a butions African Americans have made in all areas of city life. film that otherwise might be cost prohibitive in an accommo- This annual conference is held in the spring. dating environment. A discussion, usually led by an OSU professor or administrator, is held at the end of the film. 11 Black History Month Forum The forum is in its third year and is focused on celebrating 4 Computer Literacy Program African descended peoples from all over the world. This year, During OSU‘s autumn, winter, spring and summer quarters, documentaries about the following four influential Black historithe CEC offers free and reduced-cost computer technology cal figures were shown: Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Paul Robeson, courses. The program is geared toward seniors but open to John Dube, and Nat Turner. everyone. Courses include the following: Senior Computer Orientation, Internet, Email, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and 12 Enemies of the State Publisher. The annual event features activists from America‘s most notorious radical organizations, people who pressured America to 5 Lecture Series live up to its highest ideals. This year, two members of the Quarterly presentations given by OSU faculty, students and/ Black Panther Party will share their stories. or community members about topics pertinent to the Black community.
About Bronzeville During the 1930s, African-American leaders in Columbus named the predominately African-American neighborhood between the boundaries of Woodland Avenue (East), Cleveland Avenue (West), Broad Street (South) and the railroad tracks (North) ―Bronzeville.‖ The population was approximately 70,000 residents. In 1936, the same African-American leaders elected a mayor of Bronzeville and created an eight member Cabinet to address social, political and economic issues in the neighborhood. Now, as a result of the establishment of several Neighborhood Civic Associations such as the Woodland Civic Association (East) and the Discovery District (West), Bronzeville was reduced to its current boundaries: Taylor Avenue (East), Jefferson Avenue (West), Broad Street (South), and I-670 (North). The Bronzevillian is inspired by this rich history.
CEC Advisory Board Paul Cook Wanda Dillard Francisca Figueroa-Jackson Mark S. Froehlich Samuel Gresham, Jr. Ray Miller, Former State Senator Lupenga Mphande, Ph.D. William E. Nelson, Jr., Ph.D. *Ike Newsum, Ph.D. and Chair Rick Pfeiffer, City Attorney Thomas Simpson, Ph.D. Reita Smith Charleta Tavares, State Senator Nana Watson CEC Director *Judson L. Jeffries, Ph.D. CEC Staff Sarah Twitty Senior Program Coordinator & Fiscal Officer Carla Wilks Senior Outreach Program Coordinator Kamara Jones Designer of the Bronzevillian
Address Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center 905 Mount Vernon Avenue Columbus, Ohio 43203-1413 *Ex officio members.
Senior Movie Matinee: The Grace Card Relationships can sour in an instant, and take a lifetime to unravel. Luckily, we have the opportunity to rebuild those relationships by extending and receiving God‘s grace. That‘s exactly what the main character George Wright (Louis Gossett Jr.) and others in The Grace Card learn how to do. 1 to 3PM Free. Open to adults 55 and older. Refreshments will be served. To RSVP, contact Sarah Twitty, senior program coordinator & fiscal officer, by email at email@example.com.
Enemies of the State: Black Panther Party The Black Panther Party (BPP) was a revolutionary African-American political organization founded in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California. Originally, the BPP‘s purpose was to protect AfricanAmericans from police brutality. Eventually, however, the organization developed a newspaper and a vast array of social programs. Come listen to two BPP members share their experiences. 6 to 8PM. Free. Open to the public. Refreshments will be served. To RSVP, contact Sarah Twitty, senior program coordinator & fiscal officer, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tailgate: OSU Vs. Illinois football game. To RSVP, contact Sarah Twitty, senior program coordinator & fiscal officer, by email at email@example.com for ticket information.
Lecture Series: Former civil rights activist Rita L. Bender will discuss the role women activists played during the Civil Rights Movement. Bender participated in Freedom Summer, a voter registration drive organized throughout Mississippi by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and other civil rights organizations in 1964. At the time, she was married to civil rights activist Mickey Schwerner, one of three Congress of Racial Equality field workers who was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. Bender received her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law in 1968. She is currently practicing law in the federal and state courts in the state of Washington. 6 to 7PM. Free. Open to the public. Refreshments will be served. To RSVP, contact Sarah Twitty, senior program coordinator & fiscal officer, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
African Affairs Symposium: The one-day symposium brings members of the AfricanAmerican and African communities together to discuss issues of particular interest to Africa. This year‘s theme is to be announced. 1 to 6PM. Free. Open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Black Veterans Day Salute: The sixth annual Black Veterans Day Salute will honor AfricanAmerican men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Gulf War Era. Do you know a veteran who should be honored? If so, please call the CEC at (614) 2923922 or download the nomination form at http://aaascec.osu.edu. 11:30AM to 1:30PM. Free. Open to the public. Lunch will be served.
EVERYFebruary Black History Month Forum: Every Tuesday in February (7, 14, 21, 28) this forum will celebrate African descended peoples from all over the world. Visit http://aaascec.osu.edu for more information. 6 to 7PM. Free. Open to the public.
History of Black Columbus Conference: The purpose of this one-day conference is to bring the community together to celebrate the rich history of African Americans in Columbus and to increase awareness of the significant contributions African Americans have made in all areas of city life. This year‘s theme is to be announced. 9AM to 3:30PM. Free. Open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Monday - Friday
Summer Enrichment Program: The oneweek program is for rising 9th and 10th graders. The theme for the 2012 Summer Enrichment Program is ―Following the Freedom Trail: African Americans in Family and Community.‖ Students will learn about the underground railroad as well as travel to historical sites of interest.
Monday - Friday
Summer Residential Program: This twoweek program is for rising 11th and 12th graders. The purpose of the program is to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary for success in high school, college, and beyond. The residential aspect of the program allows students to experience life on a college campus. Theme to be announced.
Senate Bill 5 Smackdown By Mike Jones When I was asked to write an article about Senate Bill 5 (SB5), I thought it important to discuss the importance of defeating SB5 this November, and the role that African-American voters should play toward that end. If SB5 passes, I can think of no group that will be more adversely impacted than African Americans. Nearly one out of five (20 percent) public workers in Ohio is African-American. Specifically, public sector jobs represent the number one and number two employers of AfricanAmerican men and women, respectively. Therefore, I implore African-Americans to express their displeasure with the Republican Party by flooding the polls this November. Recent developments, such as the Republican Party‘s willingness to compromise on SB5, suggest that the party now realizes that SB5 is in danger of being repealed. Voters in Wisconsin have made their voices heard as they have successfully recalled several Republican state senators, gaining two Democrats in the process. Equally important, Wisconsin voters successfully beat back Republican efforts to recall several Democrat state senators. But, it‘s not over! In November, Wisconsin voters will resume gathering signatures, this time to recall Gov. Scott Walker. Wisconsin law states that an elected official cannot be recalled until they have served at least one year in office. Walker‘s first year as governor ends in November. Ohio‘s constitution has no such provision; however, it does allow for rolling back legislation by referendum. Using Ohio‘s referendum process, We Are Ohio organizers, after acquiring more than one million signatures, have successfully placed the repeal of SB5, now known as Issue 2, on this November‘s ballot. A ―NO‖ vote on Issue 2 will repeal the anti-worker SB5 law enacted by the Ohio legislature and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich. One advantage for Ohio voters is, that for Issue 2, a ―NO‖ vote actually means ‖NO,‖ in spite of efforts to split SB5 into three issues and make ―NO‖ mean ―YES‖ and ―YES‖ mean ―NO.‖ Still, one should not expect SB5 supporters, Building a Better Ohio, to take this lying down. In a recent Columbus Dispatch article, it was reported that Building a Better Ohio plans to raise $20 million dollars with the expressed purpose of thwarting the repeal efforts of organized labor. The labor-backed We Are Ohio, by contrast, will be lucky if it meets its goal of $12 million. Historically, research on American elections – be they federal, state or local – has shown that the campaign that raises the most money wins more often than not. Therefore, it is important that We Are Ohio and its supporters compensate for the lack of a war chest with a vigilant and massive get out the vote campaign. Building a Better Ohio will likely run erroneous ads that misrepresent SB5 claiming such things as the repeal of SB5 will result in public employees incurring 15 percent of the cost of their healthcare Story Continued on Page 18
4 the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011 ―
Summer Enrichment Program
Ima es of ou
Black Representations in the Media By: Tamara Butler Relatives and friends wiped away tears as they watched the images and listened to the words of Michelle Flint. A small framed young woman, Flint has aspirations of becoming a music producer, a fact noted by the oversized headphones she frequently wears wrapped around her neck. The once soft-spoken rising sophomore, who often blended into the background, commanded respect in the video recorded reading of her poem entitled, ―My Identity.‖ ―I‘m not who you want me to be/I‘m who God wants you to see,‖ Flint read on video. Following the viewing, Flint‘s family revealed that she rarely spoke of how people questioned her ―Blackness‖ and her identity as a Filipina, White and Black female growing up in Columbus. Flint‘s story is one of many explored in this year‘s Summer Enrichment Program, entitled ―Images of You: Black Representations in the Media.‖ On Friday, June 17, family, friends and community members gathered at the AAAS Community Extension Center for the closing ceremony for this year‘s program. From Monday, June 13 to Friday, June 17, fourteen rising high school freshmen and sophomores from several of Columbus‘ city and suburban schools made connections between theory, art, and visual media to understand how the media portray African Americans. Dr. Tanisha Jackson, an instructor in the Department of African American and African Studies, facilitated classroom discussions, group activities, and an extensive writing process, where students engaged in college level coursework. Daily discussions were centered around the pop culture media, such as blogs and web postings, as well as the writings of critical and visual culture theorists such as Henry Giroux and Colin Lankshear. Each activity moved students one step closer to a deeper understanding of counter-narratives, or stories that address and reject stereotypes about a specific group of people. According to BreAnna Johnson, the program was a ―good experience and a great environment [where] I learned something I didn‘t know.‖ ―I learned about Sara Bartman [also known as the Hottentot Venus] and that people didn‘t get to know her. They automatically judged her on her appearance and decided to capture her and take her away to Britain,‖ Johnson, a rising sophomore, recounted. Additionally, students created videos that rejected negative, stereotypical images of Black women and men. Students critically viewed and analyzed images in hip-hop/rap music videos as well as images featured in magazines such as Time, The New Yorker, VIBE, and Essence. Robert and Brenna Cosby, parents of BreAnna Johnson, said ―we think the program is wonderful.‖ ―The benefit of the program is that it continues what we as parents have already introduced in our household,‖ the Cosbys said. ―It is hard for the parents to convey some of this information about African Americans in music and advertisements, but this program helped enforce some of the things we‘ve taught.‖ Story Continued on Page 5
Students venture into the Columbus Museum of Art to explore the artwork of local African-American artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. Robinson’s artwork is featured in an exhibit titled, “Street Talk and Spiritual Matters.”
―The [Summer Enrichment Program] is a...great environment that provided me with the opportunity to learn something that I didn‘t know. [For example,] I learned about Sara Bartman, also known as the Hottentot Venus. I learned that people didn‘t get to know her. They automatically judged her on her appearance.‖ -BreAnna Johnson, Camper
the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
Black Star · Autumn 2010
Story Continued on Page 5 Spoken word artist Keith ―Speak‖ Williams conducted a workshop on the history and influence of Hip Hop. As a spoken word/hip hop artist, the presentation would not be complete without a performance. Speak dazzled the students with a freestyle to Lil‘ Wayne‘s hit single ―6 foot, 7 foot,‖ being sure to mention that particular beat is actually the artistic looping of Harry Belafonte‘s ―Banana Boat‖, that topped Billboard charts in 1956. The program also included a visit to the Columbus Museum of Art, where students explored the colorful artistic creations of local African-American artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. Using the computer program Windows Movie Maker, students engaged in movie production, as they spent numerous hours video-recording, converting, and editing in order to produce their own 3-minute films. Through poetry and prose, blended with music and video, students ―countered‖ stereotypes about Black women such as ‗all Black women are video vixens‘ and stereotypes about men such as ‗Black males should only be athletes.‘ Several videos featured personal reflections, powerful discussions of how negative images in the media have impacted their lives as young Black men and women. One of the most powerful videos was a counter-narrative created by a student whose brother was a gang member and subsequently killed by a rival gang. In the video, she faults the media for glamorizing gangs, thus making gangs appealing to young Black inner-city males. This may explain why in some families there is a history of gang membership that stretches across generations. Some videos resembled Public Service Announcements or commercials calling the Black community to action. For example, one student, Iman Jackson, created a video about Black fatherhood, highlighting the importance of Black fathers in the lives of young men and women. Another student, Ramona Magotsi, focused on Black intelligence and the need for more leaders. According to Magotsi, ―all we need is motivation, assistance, and revolutionary examples in order to broaden the intelligence we harbor deep within us.‖ This year‘s fourteen scholars and their productions proved that a little motivation, theory, and artistic freedom can also ―broaden the intelligence we‖— regardless of age — ―harbor deep within us.‖
Left: Students work on a ―Body Mapping‖ activity that involved identifying stereotypes associated with the Black body. Each student wrote a stereotype on a post-it note and attached it to the Black silhouette on the poster. Right: (Top) From left to right, students Michelle Flint, Caitlin Thomas, Romona Magotsi, Danielle Jones, and Raivona Martin design a piece of artwork inspired by local African-American artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson at the Columbus Museum of Art. (Bottom) Kaissa Henriquez takes a moment to pose for the camera while using the computer program Windows Movie Maker to create a counter-narrative about the importance of being a leader who is willing to stand apart from the crowd.
―The benefit of the [Summer Enrichment Program] is that it continues what we as parents have already introduced in our household. It is hard for the parents to convey some of this information about African Americans in music and advertisements, but this program helped enforce some of the things we‘ve taught.‖ -Robert and Breanna Crosby, Parents of BreAnna Johnson
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World War II Veterans Share Stories of Homesickness, Fear, and Racism Story Continued from Page 1 of learning about the various disability services available to African-American servicemen and women. He argued that World War II (WWII) represented a watershed moment in disability services for African-American GIs returning home from the war. Jefferson used the example of Vasco Hale, a black soldier who was wounded while serving in the Army during WWII, to explore the lives of African-American GIs who struggled to re-enter American society. As a major figure in the Blinded Veterans Association and the Hartford Connecticut NAACP after the war, ―Hale was one of the few African-American blinded bilateral amputees to rise to a leadership position in both the Disability Movement and the Civil Rights Movement,‖ Jefferson said. Jefferson‘s presentation kicked off a stupendous day that was followed by a panel of veterans from the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps whose rich stories fascinated all in attendance and generated a wonderful and robust discussion with audience members. Following the 30-minute question and answer session, the formal presentation of certificates commenced. All WWII veterans, including those in the audience, were so honored with all of the pomp and circumstance deserving of a WWII veteran. ―This event was especially uplifting to black veterans as many of them had never received the appropriate recognition for their contributions to this country,‖ said Tuskegee Airmen James A. Johnson who served in the U. S. Army and Air Force (1945-1966). ―It made me feel wonderful,‖ he added. ―We have to help ourselves, we have to recognize our value and the contributions of our people to this country.‖ As several honorees began to share their stories, there was a wide range of emotions—from missing loved ones, to the trauma of D-day, the fear of being killed, to the sting of racism and Jim Crow. Private Lawrence Branham who served in the U.S. Army (1943-1949), stated that African Americans were treated as second class citizens during WWII. He said black soldiers were called everything but their name. Branham noted that there were two mess halls — one for whites and one for blacks. He recalled a time when his troop went to England to join forces with British paratroopers. ―We ate with white troops, which did not feel right,‖ Branham said. ―After the meal, all of us (the black troops) became sick with diarrhea and could not perform our jobs. The warrant officer went to the commissary to inquire about the food, since all the food came from the commissary. He was told that the black troops were given tainted pork chops.‖ ―German POWs were treated better than black soldiers,‖ said Technical Officer Second Class Harold Johnson. Johnson served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1946. ―At a naval base in Florida, blacks could not go into the canteen and buy candy, they had to ask German POWs to purchase items for them,‖ Johnson
reported. ―Germans were well aware of the propaganda against blacks in the US, some of them even thought blacks had tails,‖ he said. Johnson continued, ―Treating POWs better than us was one of the most demoralizing occurrences of military life. If I was going to be treated like a second-class citizen, then first-class responsibilities, like serving in the armed forces and paying the full amount of taxes, should not have been required of me — I should have paid less taxes.‖ Colonel John B. L. Payne, U. S. Army (1942-1978), said the military was a good experience, it was not without its challenges. ―We had no problem in England until the American whites arrived,‖ Payne said. ―We danced and had fun in England, but when the American whites came that all changed-they spread propaganda and discouraged contact with us. When the war was over, we could not board a ship that had white soldiers on it. We had to wait until there were enough blacks to fill up another ship before we could move out.‖ Another honoree, Private First Class Herman Copeland, U. S. Army (19421945), said he felt like an unknown soldier because of discriminatory practices against him. Copeland, an enlisted man, went into the military as a Private, was promoted to a Tech 5, and requested a transfer to another unit for advancement, which unfortunately resulted in a demotion back to Private. Moreover, he was not given an opportunity for advancement. ―I was placed in a trucking company, which is the most dangerous job in the military, because supplies are the enemies‘ target,‖ Copeland said. ―Truck drivers drove night and day to deliver supplies (food, fuel, and ammunition) to the front lines of the battle,‖ said Staff Sergeant John B. Williams. Williams served in the U.S. Army as a Buffalo Soldier (1943-1945) and helped build the Pontoon Bridge over the Rhine River (Rhine Durkheim, Germany) to allow heavy equipment and supplies to enter Germany. Williams said the rapid delivery of supplies was named the Red Ball Express, for which blacks are not given enough credit. According to the National World War II Museum, the Red Ball Express was created on August 25, 1944, in Normandy, France to transport much-needed fuel and supplies to the advancing Allied armies. Thousands of truck drivers – 75 percent of them were African Americans – hauled cargo through France almost non-stop from August to November of 1944. For Copeland, discrimination did not end after being discharged from the service. When he returned to the U.S., he was unable to find employment or affordable housing. Although he helped build the Alaskan Highway and was experienced in operating large equipment, he said blacks were not allowed to join unions. Prior to Copeland‘s enlistment in the military, the building of highways and bridges, funded by the federal government, was done by chain gangs. ―By the time I returned to civilian life, chain gangs had been eliminated and the industry unionized, which resulted in lower paying jobs for blacks,‖ Copeland commented.
Mark Your Calendar to Attend the
The Sixth Annual Black Veterans Day Salute Will Be Held At
Sixth Annual Black Veterans Day Salute Honoring African-American Men and Women Who Served in the United States Armed Forces During the Gulf War Era Saturday, November 12, 2011 11:30AM - 1:30PM
The Ohio State University Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center 905 Mount Vernon Avenue Columbus, Ohio 43203-1413
the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
Despite being mistreated, the veterans remain proud of their service. For some, it was a good experience. Ironically, Boatsmen Mate Second Class Richard Watson, 93, the oldest member of the panel, who served in the U.S. Navy (1944-1945), said he did not encounter any overt acts of racism. ―I didn‘t have any problems in the military,‖ Watson said. ―I was on an integrated ship – it was rumored that this was an experiment. Blacks, as well as whites, served as supervisors on this ship. I learned that people are people and that we can work together.‖ For many of these servicemen, the military was the best option for black males at the time because there were no jobs. Military life held the promise of three meals a day, perhaps some money to send home, and benefits. Several of the honorees were able to take advantage of the education benefits under the GI bill and to buy homes under the FHA loan. ―The Black Veterans Day Salute is the best thing to happen to me in my adult life other than retiring from the Marine Corps with a pension,‖ said Master Gunnery Sergeant Jimmie Lee Cunningham (1944-1972). Veterans honored at the event were given certificates of appreciation from the CEC. The Mayor‘s Office and the General Assembly of the State of Ohio sent certificates of appreciation as well. Each year nominations are solicited by the staff at the Community Extension Center nominating African-American servicemen and women they believe deserve to be honored at the Black Veterans Day Salute. Judythe Dodson, activities coordinator for Corban Commons Senior Housing, nominated two veterans who were honored. Unfortunately, they were unable to attend, but Dodson personally delivered their awards. Their response was one of gratitude that someone would remember and recognize their service to this country. ―They, Sergeant First Class Sherad Brown (U.S. Air Force) and Stan Dixon (U.S. Marines), were surprised that someone would thank them in such a wonderful way,‖ Dodson said. Dr. Dorothy Mitchell, a community member and instructor at the Life Leadership Bible College, said that she has attended the event for the past three years. ―Each year there has been a different focus, however, no matter what the focus, all veterans were honored and given tribute,‖ she said. ―It has been my observation that the veterans who were on the program were extremely grateful for the opportunity to share their experiences in the military— no matter which branch they represented.‖ ―For veterans, this program has offered them a venue to express their feelings as well as their experiences,‖ she continued. ―I observed that the telling of their experiences was cathartic for the brave men and women who served our country. The Veterans Day Salute has been informative and has raised my awareness of the bravery and sacrifice of African Americans who served in the military.‖ Mitchell concluded by saying that, ―the Veterans Day Salute is an event that no one should miss. I am impressed that the Community Extension Center takes the time and effort to locate the different veterans with their diverse experiences. Thank you to the staff at the Community Extension Center.‖ Special Note If there is an African-American veteran who you believe deserves to be honored at the sixth annual Black Veterans Day Salute, please submit his or her name, branch, rank, and years of service to Sarah Twitty, senior program coordinator and fiscal officer, by phone at (614) 292-3922 or by mail. To submit his or her name by mail download the nomination form at http://aaascec.osu.edu and send it to the CEC by Friday, October 14, 2011.
Top: Evans Roberts, 85, was honored at the salute. Roberts served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, from 1944-1946, and the Korean War, from 1950 to 1951. Roberts attained the rank of Mess Sergeant. Middle Left: James A. Johnson, 83, was honored at the salute. Johnson was drafted into the Army in 1945 and then joined the Air Force in 1947. He retired from the Air Force in 1966 after 21 years of military service. He attained the rank of Technical Sergeant. Middle Right: Richard Watson, 93, was honored at the Black Veterans Day Salute. Watson served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-1945. He attained the rank of Boatsmen Mate Second Class. He was the oldest veteran honored at the salute. Bottom: Black Veterans Day Salute panelists pose for a photo. (Back Row) John B. Williams (U.S. Army, Buffalo Soldier), 88, Evans Roberts (U.S. Marine Corps), 85, Lawrence McGill (U.S. Navy), 91, Lawrence D. Branham (U.S. Army), 88. (Front Row) Richard Watson (U.S. Navy), 93, James B.L. Payne (U.S. Army), 89, Herman Copeland (U.S. Army), 88, and Jimmie C. Cunningham (U.S. Marine Corps), 84.
8 the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
Holding on to Somewhere: A Book Review By: Judson L. Jeffries, Ph.D. his book unfolds like a Quentin Tarantino movie, with subplot after subplot – jumping from one scene to the next – not confined to the chronological parameters that is the hallmark of most books. Throughout this roller coaster ride of peaks and valleys and twists and turns, the author manages to transition from one frame to the next with the effortless flair of a veteran writer. Yet, this is the author‘s first book. The work consists of eighteen chapters; its main characters are Kimmy from Columbus, Ohio and Gbenga from Nigeria, whom Kimmy meets in her senior year of college. At first glance Holding on to Somewhere is a story about a battered wife who eventually drums up the courage to leave her husband after years of abuse, but the book is more than that. It‘s about a little girl who yearns to be loved by her biological parents, who is adopted by a white couple, who longs to fit in while in high school, and who seeks out her grandparents where she finds the love that she so desperately wished for poured from her biological parents, but for a variety of reasons never materialized. This is also a story of a young woman who in spite of such obstacles matriculated at The Ohio State University as a member of the track team. This is also a story of a young
woman who early on understood the importance of Black ownership and opened up a successful Jamaican restaurant on High Street at a time when many young women are preoccupied with deciding what sorority to pledge. Right when the restaurant is on the precipice of acclaim, Kimmy gives it up. Not because of financial considerations, but for personal reasons – to be with her man and move to Africa. Unfortunately, her choice to do so would come with a steep price. To a small degree Kim‘s story resembles that of Kemba Smith‘s. Smith was the young African-American, Hampton University coed who in the early to mid 1990s fell in with the wrong crowd and found herself in an abusive relationship with her drug running boyfriend. So too did Kimmy, except that her boyfriend would later become her husband with whom she would have two sons. Oh, neither man was in college. While Kimmy was running a successful eatery, her husband, the peripatetic Gbenga, was determined to climb the ranks of the underworld. It would not be long before Gbenga would appear on the DEA‘s radar, putting both Kimmy‘s business and life in peril. Both Kemba and Kimmy would find themselves imprisoned as a result of choices they made. Kemba landed in jail, literally for six and a half years, while Kimmy lived in a prison of a different kind—the kind in which many battered women live – where the woman lives in a constant state of terror, where no matter what she does there is no pleasing her man, where the Story Continued on Page 15
Senior Citizens Enjoy Matinee Series More Than 300 Seniors Came to See the Films By: Judson L. Jeffries, Ph.D. ow in its second year, the AAAS Community Extension Center‘s six-part series attracted more than 300 senior citizens this year including some from Isabelle Ridgeway, St. Clair Senior Citizen Center and other retirement facilities throughout the city. The purpose of the matinee is to provide seniors with an exclusive and quiet environment where they can enjoy a movie without the interruptions that younger audiences so often bring to the theater. Also, for those seniors who live on a fixed income, going to the movies can be often cost prohibitive. At some theaters even the cost of a matinee is sometimes $6.00 or more. Last year the Senior Movie Matinee series was launched at the beginning of summer with the last movie being shown in mid September. Due to high demand, however, a decision was made to start
the Senior Movie Matinee in the spring. After one particular movie, attendees were asked how often they would like the CEC to offer movies. The overwhelming majority of those in attendance clamored for more frequent movie showings, but not too frequent. After some discussion it was decided that the Senior Movie Matinee would run from April to September. Unlike a traditional movie theater, the movie is free of charge as are the snacks that are traditionally sold at local movie theaters. Also, unlike the typical movie theater, there are no crowds, untidy restrooms or other inconveniences. After each film, a discussion is led by an OSU professor, staff member or administrator. Seniors are often asked to offer their thoughts about the movie and from there a lively discussion often ensues. Some Seniors may offer different interpretations while others may ask the discussion leader for clarification on
some aspect of the movie. The movies shown during the 2010-2011 year were Unstoppable, Glory Road, Valkyrie, The Great Debaters, Seven Pounds, and The Grace Card. With the exception of the last two movies all were based on true stories. The second year of the Senior Citizen Matinee got underway with Unstoppable, a true story, starring Oscar-winner Denzel Washington, about a runaway train carrying toxic chemicals. An engineer and his conductor chase down the train in a separate locomotive as they need to bring it under control before it collides with something and causes a toxic spill that will decimate an entire Pennsylvania town. Following Unstoppable was an even more exciting film. Forty five years ago Coach Don Haskins, now deceased, started five African-American basStory Continued on Page 9
the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
Having Fun in the Sun at Maryland Swimming Pool Columbus residents pose for a picture at Maryland swimming pool. After being closed for nearly two years, the Maryland swimming pool, reopened on July 11, 2011 to the delight of scores of kids.
· Reopening of Maryland Pool Key Step Toward Preserving Bronzeville
On Mount Vernon Autumn 2010
By: Dana Moessner and Judson L. Jeffries, Ph.D. fter being closed for nearly two years, the Maryland Pool, located on Atcheson in Saunders Park (formerly known as Maryland Park), reopened on July 11, 2011 to the delight of scores of kids who were in search of temporary relief from the summer‘s sweltering temperatures. On July 14, 2011 representatives from the Bronzeville Neighborhood Association, the Neighborhood House, the Nation of Islam, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, the AFL-CIO, and the Mount Vernon District Improvement Association held a news conference to officially mark the pool‘s reopening as neighbors and passersby looked on. Media personnel from television channels 4 and 10 showed up. Although no one from Channel 6 attended the news conference, it was announced on their nightly news telecast. The atmosphere was jubilant with kids and youth jumping around and plunging into the water and off the diving boards. As an added bonus, members of the Bronzeville Neighborhood Association grilled 300 hotdogs and handed out chips and drinks. Some thought the event so special that a few people pulled out video cameras to capture the moment for posterity. One passerby hollered out, ―I thought they were going to close this thing down for sure.‖ It was rumored over the past year that city officials might close the Maryland Pool permanently; they claimed it was too costly to maintain. In 2009 Mayor Michael B. Coleman announced that the city suffered financial stress and therefore needed to cut back certain city services, one of which included closing many of the city‘s swimming pools and recreation centers. Had the pool been permanently shut down, city officials would have taken from the Bronzeville neighborhood not only an important piece of history, but erased its crown jewel. The discussion around reopening the pool gained traction in the fall of 2010 during the Bronzeville Community Tour. In October 2010, the AAAS Community Extension Center in collaboration with the Bronzeville Neighborhood Association conducted a tour of the Bronzeville neighborhood. Two buses filled with 40 participants toured the neighborhood and identified the Maryland Pool as one of the structures that needed to be preserved by the city. Written responses from many of the riders indicated that the Maryland Pool ―needed to be reopened so that young people would have a place to swim during the summer.‖ A report was compiled and then taken to the City Council in the Fall of 2010 by Bronzeville Neighborhood Association President Willis Brown and Near Eastside Commissioner Dana Moessner. Story Continued on Page 14
A Story Continued from Page 8 ketball players for a school then known as Texas Western University. The teams‘ mettle would be tested as it encountered mobs of angry fans in nearly every arena they played. The players came from all walks of life. A heartwarming piece of Americana and one that has not been given the attention it deserves, Glory Road is a story of perseverance and triumph. In the end, Haskins, who years later was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame, and his team used the criticism and hostility rained on them as motivation to win the 1966 NCAA championship, whipping the Kentucky Wildcats and their bigoted coach Adolph Rupp, another Hall of Famer, in the process, becoming the first national championship winning team to start five Black players. Heart-pounding, Valkyrie, the third film will have you on the edge of your seat. As the tide turned in Nazi Germany in favor of The Allies during World War II, a group of senior German officers and politicians plotted to overthrow the Nazi regime before the nation is crushed in inevitable defeat. To this end, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, an Army officer played by Tom Cruise who gives a stunning performance, is recruited to mastermind a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and save Germany from destruction. The fourth film, The Great Debaters, is about a small debate team from a small historically Black College in Texas that goes on to experience a level of success that no one expected. Coached by Professor Melvin Tolson, played by Denzel Washington, the team consists of two young men and a young lady. Award-winning actor Forrest Whitaker compliments Washington well, as he plays the father of young James Farmer, Jr., a member of the team who later would become one of the founders of the Congress of Racial Equality. While movie goers undoubtedly pay much of their attention to the debate team, Washington and Whitaker‘s performances deserve special mention as the two actors play men, Black men, with strong and uncompromising values and character, a rare occurrence in the typical Hollywood movie. In the end, members of the debate team encountered more trials and tribulations than most people experience in a lifetime. The fifth film, Seven Pounds, features a supposed IRS agent played by acclaimed actor Will Smith. The IRS agent embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by trying to make amends for a horrible mistake that cost several people their lives. Starring Oscar Winning actor Lou Gossett, Grace Card, the final movie of the 20102011 academic year, sends a clear message: everything can change in an instant and take a lifetime to unravel. Every day we have the opportunity to rebuild relationships be extending and receiving Gods‘ grace. Offer the Grace Card, and never underestimate the power of God‘s love. If you have questions or suggestions about next year‘s schedule of films, please contact Sarah Twitty, senior program coordinator and fiscal officer, by phone at (614) 2923922 or email at email@example.com. For more information about each film, go to www.imdb.com.
10 the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
James Madison The Last Surviving Bronzeville Cabinet Member ―When I was a cabinet member, Bronzeville was moving and shaking.‖ -James Madison, Former Bronzeville Leader By: Willis Brown n April 1, 2011 at 3:30AM, I along with three others stuffed our knapsacks, video equipment and other belongings into the trunk of the car and embarked on a much anticipated 400 mile road trip to a sleepy town along Maryland‘s eastern shore where Mr. James Madison, the last remaining Bronzeville Cabinet member, has lived for the past six years. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Madison was born on December 10, 1911. As a youth he attended Champion Middle School as well as the storied East High School. Almost 100 years old, Mr. Madison has lived an eventful and full life. From East High School he matriculated to The Ohio State University. After graduating from OSU in 1934, Mr. Madison took a supervisory position with the Department of Recreation, a position he held from 1935-1940. In 1940, he served as resident manager of Poindexter Village, purportedly the first Public Housing Complex in the U.S. The trip to Maryland had been planned several months in advance; it was originally scheduled for mid January, but due to circumstances beyond our control the trip had to be postponed on at least two different occasions. This jaunt would be the second one in sixteen months. However, this trip was very different from the first. For starters, this one involved two sorely needed additions — a videographer and an academic. What‘s more, the weather was more cooperative this time around than it was New Year‘s Eve 2009 when just days earlier, the East Coast had been hit with a moderately heavy snowfall, making driving conditions less than ideal. The roads were especially adventurous along the mountainous terrain of West Virginia and Maryland. With the exception of a light drizzle the weather held up beautifully this time. The trip‘s first few hours were occupied with talk of Mr. Madison, Bronzeville‘s rightful place in history, and the importance of documenting Black life in Columbus. Three hours into the ride, things had quieted down considerably as one of the occupants lay comatose in the van‘s back row; another seemed to be in the twilight, while a third kept going in and out depending on the speed at which the van was
travelling. We made two quick stops along the way. Before anyone realized it, we had crossed the Maryland state line. Thanks to one of the newest members of the team, a six hour and forty six minute drive (according to MapQuest) was done in six hours and five minutes. Former Bronzeville cabinet member James Madison reads Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable. Mr. Madison is the last surviving Bronzeville cabinet member. W h e t h e r MapQuest overdown in them and positioned themselves as if they estimated the trip‘s travel time or our quick arrival were viewing a talk show. And there they sat for was the result of our seemingly skilled driver is more than an hour. The next day we requested a unclear. Once there, breakfast was the first order secluded area in which to conduct the interview. of business. We spotted several eateries, but set- To our delight we were given an office. Comically, tled on Denny‘s. within minutes we spotted two residents trying to The excitement of seeing Mr. Madison domi- peer through the curtain covered windows of the nated the discussion. After breakfast we hurried office door. Before our visit, Mr. Madison had unover to the nursing home where Mr. Madison has doubtedly lived there in relative obscurity, but now been residing for several years. Based on the he was well known, the Big Man on Campus. reception we received from the front desk, other When we were taken to the third floor to see Mr. staff members, and residents, it was clear that not Madison, he was as delighted to see us as we only was Mr. Madison expecting us, but others were him. We immediately noticed that Mr. Madiwere as well. Rumor had it that a film crew from son was slower than he was in 2009. He now Ohio was coming to interview Mr. Madison for a moves about with a walker rather than the cane he movie. Apparently, our first visit [back in Decem- used during our first visit. His memory is also not ber 2009] turned Mr. Madison into a celebrity. as sharp. At times he needs prompting about a Perhaps the most memorable moment came particular person, place or thing, but once he gets when we were interviewing Mr. Madison within the going he is a treasure trove of information. Howcozy confines of the nursing home‘s library. The ever, he looks exceptionally good for his age, scene was picturesque. At a mahogany table sat more like seventy nine rather than ninety nine. Mr. Madison and behind him were (what seemed During our two day visit a range of issues were liked endless) shelves of books, some of which discussed, from Mr. Madison‘s days as a member are considered classics such as War and Peace of the Bronzeville cabinet to the election of an and Moby Dick. Others were contemporary works African American president and the progress or by such authors as Stephen Ambrose, Tom lack thereof at OSU where race is concerned. Clancy and J.K. Rawlings. Madison recalled his days as a student at OSU Twenty minutes into the visit we noticed that vividly. Mr. Madison said, ―there was only a handseveral residents had brought over chairs, plopped Story Continued on Page 14
the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
Citizen Oversight of the Police in Columbus Why It Is Needed and the Best Model to Adopt By: Samuel Walker, Ph.D. anywhere in the U.S. The two weak boards in New officers with performance problems and then take orty-three years ago the Kerner Commission York City and Philadelphia had recently been abol- the necessary steps to correct their performance. blasted the failure of American police depart- ished. Then, very quietly, citizen oversight revived, Third, departments must develop open, accessible, ments to respond to citizen complaints. Across the beginning with the Kansas City Office of Citizen and ―customer friendly‖ citizen complaint procecountry, departments either did not have a comComplaints in 1969. Today, some form of oversight dures. plaint process at all, or their internal affairs units exists in almost every big city. To be sure, many Consent decrees also include the appointment of failed to investigate complaints thoroughly and are weak and others have not been effective. But an independent monitor to ensure that the departfairly. Civil rights leaders denounced police comsome have proven to be effective, and we should ment implements the reforms. The reports of the plaint procedures as ―cover ups‖ and ―white learn from them. independent monitors in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, washes.‖ Other investigations, probing deeply into A second important new development is the Washington, DC and other cities found that the particular departments, confirmed this indictment. federal ―pattern or practice‖ lawsuits against police police departments were substantially Today, decades after the riots of the 1960s and departments. Section 14141 of the 1994 Violent ―transformed‖ for the better and were now capable the 1968 Kerner Commission report, many people Crime Control Act authorizes the U.S. Attorney of holding their officers accountable. legitimately wonder if anything has really changed. General to sue law enforcement agencies for the The successful implementation of the federal The headlines are dominated by reports of outra- purpose of effecting organizational change. Presi- consent decrees in these cities is a major achievegeous police conduct, from the 1991 Rodney King dent Bill Clinton‘s administration successfully sued ment. It is not the end of the story, however. The beating by Los Angethe police departunanswered question les police officers to ments in Pittsburgh, is whether the reforms ―The headlines are dominated the cold blooded Cincinnati, Los An―Today, some form of oversight will survive over the by reports of outrageous police geles and other citmurder of citizens by long term. Or will they exists in almost every big city. the New Orleans ies. Successful Secsimply fade away conduct, from the 1991 Rodney To be sure, many are weak and police during the tion 14141 cases once the consent King beating by Los Angeles others have not been effective. decree is lifted? The 2005 Katrina flood result in consent police officers to the cold disaster. Each week decrees ordering history of the police is But some have proven to be blooded murder of citizens by seems to bring news reforms designed to effective, and we should learn filled with stories the New Orleans police during change police orstories of serious about important from them.‖ police misconduct. ganizations. This is a changes that soon the 2005 Katrina flood disaster.‖ Many people might very different stratwithered away. In the –Samuel Walker, Ph.D. ask whether all the egy than prosecuting mid-1970s New York –Samuel Walker, Ph.D. protests, demands, individual officers for City Police CommisProfessor Emeritus Professor Emeritus and lawsuits over the their misdeed. Think sioner Patrick V. Murlast forty years have of it this way: instead phy developed an accomplished anything to improve policing. In fact, of ―rotten apples‖ the law targets ―rotten barrels.‖ innovative anti-corruption program. In the 1980s, they have, and we should not let the headlines Police experts now argue that it does little good to however, the New York police were hit by another distort our perception of important signs of pro- remove a bad officer if the organization (the corruption and use of force scandal. An investigagress. Quietly and often with little publicity, police ―barrel‖) continues to fail to recruit, train, supervise, tion found that Murphy‘s anti-corruption system internal affairs units have improved, and almost and hold its officers accountable. was no longer working. every big city now has some form of external citiThe consent decrees negotiated by the Justice How do we ensure that accountability reforms zen oversight of the police. This is not to say that Department require three main reforms. First, endure? The answer is to create effective citizen things are perfect. Far from it. But the progress we police departments must develop state of the art oversight. To understand how that works, we have made provides a roadmap for what we should use of force policies, which limit the circumstances should take a close look at the Los Angeles Sherdo to establish meaningful accountability for the where an officer can use either deadly force or iff‘s Department over the last twenty years. police. physical force. Second, departments are required In 1991, Rodney King was beaten by Los AngeCitizen oversight of the police is an urgent and to institute an early intervention system (EIS). An les Police Department officers, creating a national necessary part of accountable and professional EIS is a computerized data base of officer perform- scandal, and leading to a major riot in the city in policing. When the Kerner Commission issued its ance (e.g. citizen complaints, uses of force, disci- 1992. Across town, however, the King incident 1968 report, there were no citizen oversight boards plinary actions) that allows supervisors to identify provoked some very positive actions regarding the Story Continued on Page 13
12 the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
The Death of Osama bin Laden Implications for al Qaeda, U.S. Relations with Pakistan
On Mount Vernon · Autumn 2010
―Bin Laden‘s symbolic power stemmed not only from his involvement in the 9/11 attacks but also from the aura of invincibility that seemed to surround him as he eluded American forces for nearly a decade. ― – Jeffrey W. Lewis, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer By: Jeffrey W. Lewis, Ph.D. arly on the morning of May 2, 2011, a US Navy Special Forces team killed Osama bin Laden during a raid on his compound in the city of Abottabad, Pakistan. Bin Laden‘s death will undoubtedly have a powerful effect on the global terrorist movement for which he has served as symbolic leader since 2001. The fact that he had been hiding in the heart of Pakistan, rather than in the loosely governed tribal regions along Pakistan‘s border with Afghanistan, will undoubtedly have a negative effect on the relationship between the Pakistani and American governments as both attempt to deal with terrorism. The raid therefore touches on two important and interrelated questions that will be of importance for American security for the foreseeable future. While certainly the most recognized terrorist figure in the world, since the 9/11 attacks bin Laden served more as an inspirational leader than an operational leader for a loose coalition of groups, cliques, and individuals around the world that we collectively refer to as the al Qaeda movement. Given the nature of bin Laden‘s leadership, his death had little immediate operational impact on this movement and attacks, particularly those using suicide bombers, continued. The weekend after bin Laden‘s death, there were several suicide attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan and the following week a brutal pair of blasts in Pakistan killed eighty people. The blasts were claimed by a Taliban faction affiliated with the al Qaeda movement whose leaders declared that the bombings were revenge for bin Laden‘s death. The use of suicide attackers in revenge operations suggests very strongly that in the short term bin Laden‘s death put enormous pressure on the movement‘s remaining leaders to do something. In the past several years the movement has experienced many significant reversals which have eliminated nearly all social support for it in the Islamic world. Given these declining fortunes, the remaining leaders of the movement could not afford to let bin Laden‘s death go by unchallenged.
For more than a month, however, the move- Bin Laden‘s symbolic power stemmed not only ment‘s leaders remained out of the spotlight, un- from his involvement in the 9/11 attacks but also doubtedly fearful that information obtained from from the aura of invincibility that seemed to surbin Laden‘s computer files would put them at round him as he eluded American forces for greater risk from authorities. More than a month nearly a decade. With this aura shattered the al later al Qaeda had not named a formal successor Qaeda name will be diminished. Compounding to bin Laden. Five weeks after bin Laden‘s death this situation are the political developments in the his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, finally released a Middle East in early 2011, particularly the toppling video eulogizing bin Laden and vowing another of Hosni Mubarak‘s government in Egypt by catastrophic attack against the United States, but peaceful protestors. This event challenged the many questioned the ability of the movement to validity of the al Qaeda alternative, for Ayman almake good on such a promise. Therefore, over Zawahiri, who has recently succeeded bin Laden the short term bin Laden‘s death focused a move- as leader of the al Qaeda movement, justified the ment that had become marginal but raised ques- group‘s violence by claiming that dictators like tions regarding the ability of even a re-focused al Mubarak could only be toppled through force. Qaeda to carry out high-profile operations. Over With a diminished reputation and non-violent the long term, bin Laden‘s death may well deprive alternatives competing for their prospective marthe movement of legitimacy and coherence, par- ket among disaffected Muslims, it appears that ticularly if it proves unable to match Zawahiri‘s whatever short-term boost the al Qaeda movewords with deeds. ment receives from the death of bin Laden, its The way in which bin Laden was killed – by a long-term prospects are less promising. team of highly skilled people – is particularly sig- Since its formation as an independent state in nificant. Throughout the 1947, Pakistan‘s relation1990s bin Laden selfship with neighboring India ―It is quite likely that consciously built up an imhas been one of rivalry [bin Laden] had assistance age of himself and his punctuated by hostility. movement as morally supe- from individuals from within Paki- The need to deal with a rior Davids battling the techfoe that is superior in size, stan‘s army and nological Goliath that was resources, and manpower intelligence services, but this the United States. Suicide has led the armed serdoes not necessarily imply bombers were essential for vices of Pakistan to seek a that his presence was this story, as they were supforce equalizer, which for posed to embody the movemany years took the form sanctioned at high levels in ment‘s reliance on people of supporting and sponsorthe government.‖ and faith over machines. ing numerous radical Had bin Laden been killed groups throughout south–Jeffrey W. Lewis, Ph.D. by a drone strike the event west Asia, including the Senior Lecturer would have played perfectly Taliban. Pakistan‘s alliinto the story he had been ance with the United constructing. Instead what mattered in the raid States after the 9/11 attacks was supposed to that killed bin Laden was the training and quality end this relationship, but it is clear that in recent of the people, supplemented – but not replaced – years the army and intelligence services of Pakiby technology. The fact that the United States stan have continued to support a number of miliwas willing to risk lives to apprehend bin Laden tant groups, including factions of the resurgent and the fact that the number of unintended casu- Taliban. Bin Laden‘s presence in Pakistan thereStory Continued on Page 13 alties was kept to a minimum mattered as well.
the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
Story Continued From Page 12 fore suggested that Pakistan‘s support for terrorist groups is so extensive that there is little to no possibility of an ongoing relationship between the two governments. We should, however, be cautious about reading too much into bin Laden‘s ability to remain at large in Pakistan. It is quite likely that he had assistance from individuals from within Pakistan‘s army and intelligence services, but this does not necessarily imply that his presence was sanctioned at high levels in the government. What we refer to as the Taliban today is actually a very diverse spectrum of groups whose motivations and loyalties vary significantly. Certainly militant groups, including remnants of the original Taliban, receive support from Pakistan. At the same time there are groups, such as the so-called ―Pakistani
Taliban,‖ that are openly hostile to Pakistan. The Pakistani army has lost more than 3,000 soldiers combating these groups in the tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan. More shockingly, these groups were responsible for at least 239 suicide attacks in Pakistan as of December 31, 2010 killing 3,759 people and injuring nearly 10,000. The Army and Government of Pakistan therefore understand the threat posed by the groups that support al Qaeda‘s agenda. Nevertheless the threat posed by the al Qaeda movement has not yet compelled the leaders of Pakistan to abandon their support for all militant groups, which they still see as being useful in their struggle against India. The United States, Pakistan‘s ally in the struggle against al Qaeda, does perceive the movement as a first order threat. Furthermore, the United States has been
steadily improving its relationship with India over the past two decades. The United States and Pakistan therefore disagree on how to prioritize the threat posed by terrorist groups and fundamentally disagree on the role of India in the region. The problem highlighted by bin Laden‘s death is therefore one of allies with vastly differing priorities and agendas, and the open question is whether or not these agendas can be made to work together in a meaningful alliance. Jeffrey W. Lewis is a senior lecturer in the Department of International Affairs at The Ohio State University. In May, he gave a lecture at the AAAS Community Extension Center titled, “The Death of Osama bin Laden: It’s Implications for al Qaeda and America’s Relationship with Pakistan.” This article is based on that lecture.
Citizen Oversight of the Police Why It‘s Needed and the Best Model to Adopt Story Continued from Page 11 Los Angeles Sheriff‘s Department. Los Angeles County officials worried that a similar incident could happen with the sheriff‘s department, and so the County Board of Supervisors created the Kolts Commission to examine the LASD, identify problems that existed, and make recommendations for change. The 360-page Kolts Report did find a number of problems related to officer involved shootings, use of physical force, ―problem officers,‖ training, and other issues. Most important, it recommended creating a permanent citizen oversight process to ―audit and monitor the LASD.‖ The Kolts Report led to the creation of the Special Counsel to the LASD in 1993. The Special Counsel marked the birth of the ―auditor model‖ of citizen oversight. (San Jose, California created a similar auditor agency the same year.) Directed by Merrick Bobb, the Special Counsel consists of a team of experts, working under contract with the Board of Supervisors, with full authority to audit any aspect of LASD operations. The Special Counsel continues today, and has issued twenty-nine, semi-annual public reports. These reports represent an important new form of transparency, informing the public about issues within the department. The Special Counsel has addressed a wide range of critical issues in the LASD. A number of its recommendations have been adopted and have significantly reduced misconduct and resulted in more professional policing. Some of the more notable success stories include the following.
The Special Counsel found that the
LASD‘s canine unit did not follow recognized ―best practices.‖ The unit had a ―find and bite‖ rather than a ―find and bark‖ policy. After the department implemented the Special Counsel‘s recommendations, the number of people bitten by LASD canines declined by an astonishing 90 percent !
The Special Counsel‘s monitoring and reporting on lawsuits against the LASD brought a public spotlight on the issue and has helped reduce both the number of suits and the amount of money paid in damages, which reflect fewer cases of serious uses of force by sheriff‘s deputies.
The Special Counsel examined the troubled Century Station, located in a high crime area of the city, which had a high number of officer-involved shootings. The heart of the problem was a set of bad management practices that added up to poor supervision of officers on the street. When these problems were corrected, the number of shootings declined significantly.
In short, the work of the Special Counsel has led to some tangible reforms and improvements in the operations of the LASD, with the result that the people served by the agency receive better, fairer and more equal police services. The accomplishments of the Special Counsel illustrate why many experts regard the auditor model of citizen oversight superior to the traditional civilian review board. Review boards investigate
individual complaints. This approach focuses on the symptoms and ignores the causes of police misconduct. The auditor model focuses on the causes, which are usually management failures (the ―rotten barrel‖), to put in place good policies and procedures to govern officer conduct. The Special Counsel also fostered a culture of openness and accountability within the LASD. As a result, Sheriff Lee Baca in 2001 established the Office of Independent Review (OIR) as an additional internal accountability office. The work of the OIR has supplemented the Special Counsel‘s efforts, doubling the public accountability and openness in the LASD. Other jurisdictions have also created auditor models of oversight. They include the Seattle Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), the Denver Independent Police Monitor, and the Portland (Oregon) Independent Police Auditor. In conclusion, when we look back to 1968 we see that police misconduct has a long and tragic history in this country. It is also clear that we have made some significant progress in addressing the problem. The current issue is how to make sure that reforms endure and become a permanent part of policing. The evidence indicates that effective citizen oversight is essential, and that the auditor model is the best form of oversight. Samuel Walker is a professor emeritus in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. In March, Dr. Walker gave a lecture at the AAAS Community Extension Center titled, “Citizen Oversight of the Police: Why It’s Needed, and the Best Model to Adopt.” This article is based on that lecture.
14 the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
James Madison The Last Surviving Bronzeville Cabinet Member
On Mount Vernon · Autumn 2010
―I was proud to be a part of the Bronzeville Cabinet.‖ - James Madison, Former Bronzeville Leader Story Continued From page 10 ful of Black students and we were not allowed to live on campus. Since I was raised in Columbus, Ohio it wasn‘t so much a problem for me, but for students who came from out-of-state finding housing in the community could be quite a task.‖ Madison also noted that there were no Black professors at OSU at the time. When asked what it meant to him that one of his interviewers was a professor at his alma mater, he smiled broadly and replied, ―Amazing, that is really amazing.‖ Madison was no less flabbergasted when the conversation turned to Barack Obama. ―I never thought I would live to see the election of a Black president.‖ In December, Mr. Madison will turn 100 years old
and while he has lost a step he apparently is still a voracious reader. Black history is his favorite subject as is evident by the photo therein. About Bronzeville Mr. Madison says that when he was a cabinet member Bronzeville was ―moving and shaking.‖ ―The Bronzeville cabinet was comprised of seven members, including me,‖ said Mr. Madison. ―They were Dr. Henry W. Dryer, president, Anna Allen, Dept. of Public Welfare, Pompey Davis, Dept. of Finance, E.L. Nixs, Dept. of Public Relations, Charles W. Warfield, Dept. of Legal Affairs, George Mays, Dept. of Better Business Relations and of course me as chair of the Dept. of Recreation. Rev. N.L. Scarborough was Bronzeville‘s mayor. With the help of Mr. Lazarus we got a lot done in that
area.‖ ―I was proud to be a part of it,‖ Mr. Madison continued. As our time with Mr. Madison was coming to an end, the idea of leaving was much tougher than any of us had anticipated. Although this visit marked the second such visit for two of us, this time was different. Mr. Madison appeared to get emotional when asked certain questions, thus prompting an emotional response from us. As we collected our belongings we promised Mr. Madison that we would return to celebrate his 100th birthday, thereby lessening the impact that our departure may have had. Before leaving though we promised to return for his 100th birthday giving both him and us something to look forward to in the coming months.
Reopening of Maryland Pool Key Step Toward Preserving Bronzeville Story Continued From Page 9 The Maryland Park was created in 1921. The pool was built eight years later in 1929. According to the City Clerk Annual Report, it was the first public pool in Columbus built specifically for African Americans or Negroes as they were called then. Currently, the Columbus Recreation Department operates seven pools: 1) the Maryland 2) the Sunshine; 3) the Lincoln; 4) the Windsor 5) the MarionFranklin 6) the Blackburn and 7) its first indoor pool, the Columbus Swim Center, most of which were built in the early to mid 1960s. The outdoor pools are in operation from the first Saturday after public schools end in June until Labor Day. The Columbus Swim Center is in operation yeararound. The Maryland Swimming Pool is historic in a lot of ways. It served as the site for the Miss Bronzeville Beauty contest starting in the 1930s through the 1950s. Some of the most beautiful women in the city of Columbus participated in this much anticipated event. The Miss Bronzeville Beauty Contest was a big hit with both residents and local businesses as many of them sponsored contestants of their own. James Madison, now 99 years old, was an original member of the Bronzeville Mayor‘s Cabinet. Madison‘s duties included overseeing recreation under Mayor Reverend Scarborough, Bronzeville‘s first mayor. In a recent conversation with Madison
about the Maryland Pool he quipped that ―the Maryland Swimming Pool was built first to keep the Negroes in that pool so they would not go anywhere else.‖ In addition to being the site for the Miss Bronzeville Beauty Contest for twenty years, swimming classes were offered there as well. Even the Junior Olympics swim meet took place at the Maryland pool. The Maryland Pool continued to be a summer time destination of youth and provide relief from the hot and muggy summers until it closed in 2009. In April 2011, the Bronzeville Neighborhood Association along with others revisited the issue of reopening the Maryland pool. It was determined that the issue should be brought before the city council. The following month Willis Brown addressed the city council and in doing so made an impassioned plea regarding the importance of reopening this historic swimming pool. His presentation was well received. On Monday, June 20, 2011 the Columbus City Council announced that monies would be provided for the reopening of the Maryland pool. The agenda read: "To authorize and direct the transfer of $120,133.00 within the Cultural Services Fund, to transfer and appropriate $120,133.00 from the Cultural Services Fund to the Recreation and Parks Operating Fund for the operation of Glenwood and Maryland pools for the 2011 summer season, and to declare an emergency.‖
Hundreds of people visited the Maryland Pool during the first few days that it reopened. When Dr. Barbara R. Nicholson, retired Executive Director of the King Arts Complex and current chairperson for the Council of Elders was asked to comment on the reopening of the Maryland Pool she stated, ―it is a necessary and good thing . . . the reopening of the pool offers children a positive way to spend the summer. We, as older people, have an obligation to provide youth with opportunities that enrich their lives.‖ Community activist Ann B. Walker commented, ―I remember when that pool was built. The city should feel ashamed that it was forced to reopen the pool. It‘s important that our children have as much access to recreational facilities as children in more affluent areas. We should not be dependent on fire hydrants that are primarily used by children in economically deprived areas to cool down.‖ John B. Williams, longtime writer for Columbus‘s newspapers and one of the last remaining members of the Buffalo Soldiers says, ―It has always been a great asset to the neighborhood. It allows people to come together as a family and enjoy themselves.‖ The reopening of the Maryland pool is an important step toward reclaiming and preserving the history of this once illustrious neighborhood – that it also offers a place where families, children and others can come together for a day of fun and recreation is all the better.
the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
CEC Pays Tribute to Professor Marable
Margaret Belcher, still fighting the good fight
r. Manning Marable was a world-renowned professor of public affairs, history, and African American Studies at Columbia University. While at Columbia, Marable founded the Institute for Research in African-American Studies and the Center for Contemporary Black History. He was the author of 25 books, more than 100 journal articles, and Dr. Manning Marable, 1950-2011 many essays. He was also very active in progressive political causes. Marable was born in Dayton, Ohio on May 13, 1950. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Earlham College and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. Marable taught at The Ohio State University from 1987-1989 where he was the chair of the Department of Black Studies. On Thursday, April 14, 2011, the AAAS Community Extension Center paid tribute to Marable during a 90-minute program. During the program, Dr. Judson L. Jeffries gave opening remarks, Elder Baba Tony West led a drum call, Olumola Akinwummi of Tawi Family Village poured libation, and Jeffries led a discussion of Marable's last book Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. Dr. Ike Newsom, chair of the Department of African American and African Studies at OSU, gave closing remarks, and Elder Baba West concluded the evening by leading a unity circle.
By: Judson L. Jeffries, Ph.D. rs. Margaret Belcher, 87, has lived in Columbus for nearly sixty years. Like many African Americans of her era, Mrs. Belcher fled the south and came north in search of a better life. Happy to escape the vitriolic environs of her youth, Mrs. Belcher found, that while life in Columbus was appreciably better, it was no crystal stair. Still, Mrs. Belcher and her husband were able to eke out a living, purchase a house and raise a family. A registered nurse, Mrs. Belcher worked in the healthcare industry while her husband spent many years as an employee of the Defense Supply Center. Like many African Americans, Mrs. Belcher aspired to, one day, own her own business. From 1952 through the 1960s, Mrs. Belcher scrapped, scuffled and pinched every penny with the intention of becoming an entrepreneur. Finally, in 1970 Mrs. Belcher‘s dream came true. That year she opened the Kiddies Castle daycare center. Given her love for children, a daycare facility seemed to be an obvious choice. For twenty years, Kiddies Castle daycare was a thriving and popular daycare facility. Residents came to rely heavily on the daycare center as it provided a safe and loving environment that was conducive to learning. By the mid 1990s, Kiddies Castle daycare was, for all intents and purposes, put out of business – not because of competition from other daycare centers or a waning clientele, but because, according to Mrs. Belcher, her business had been ruined by city employees who had orders to work on an adjacent property. In an interview with the writer, Mrs. Belcher says, ―The city ruined my daycare business by flooding my property with their heavy trucks and other equipment.‖ Succinctly put, Mrs. Belcher claims that the damage done to her property resulted in severe water accumulation and flooding of her grounds, which caused ―one problem after another.‖ When asked if she requested that the city rectify the problem Mrs. Belcher responded, ―I have been after them for fifteen years and they have just ignored me . . . Story Continued to Page 19
Holding on to Somewhere: A Book Review Story Continued from Page 8 most innocuous remark could elicit a slap across the face. Everything she does is in accordance with her man. She lives every moment consciously trying to avoid any word, movement, look or gesture that might set him off. In spite of the continued abuse the woman remains, partly because the man promises that he‘ll never strike her again, that he‘ll do better. The violence, however, persists. In Kimmy‘s case things got so bad that her oldest son, a boy of no more than ten, tries to poison his father by pouring rat poison and Drano into a glass of juice. Both Kemba and Kimmy loved their men and vice versa, at least that is what their men would have them believe. Indeed, the lovemaking described by Kimmy would suggest just that. Those particular passages conjure up scenes from the
1994 movie Jason’s Lyric. The prose is vivid, sensual and striking. Yet, despite these moments of ecstasy, Kimmy‘s life is one of an inmate. No, for Kimmy, there were no bars, no cellmates or jump suits, but she was imprisoned, nonetheless. After years of reliving this hellish nightmare many women lose themselves. Not Kimmy though. She wants something better for herself and her two sons. After much prayer, providence intervenes. She is presented with a gift. Her mind starts to race. She devises an ingenious plan that if executed properly will allow her to escape undetected with her boys in tow. However, she can share the details with no one, not even her closest friends. Sleight of hand is important and misdirection is paramount if she is to pull this off. There‘s a problem though. Kimmy does not
have access to her passport. Gbenga keeps the family‘s passports under lock and key for obvious reasons. The next two days are tense. She lives in a country that does not allow the mother to travel freely with her children without the father‘s knowledge. The slightest slip-up could jeopardize not only her freedom, but her life. Every moment counts. She is a nervous wreck, heart pounding, eyes darting and jumpy (yet composed to the outside world) as she navigates the American Embassy, the first and perhaps most important step of the plan. If she is unsuccessful there, the plan has no chance. Like Donald Woods, the South African journalist and author of Biko, who with his family secretly fled South Africa during the height of Apartheid, no one must know of her plans. On the day of her planned escape the unthinkable happens...
16 the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011 Summer Residential Program
All E ez On
On Mount Vernon · Autumn 2010
Deconstructing the Images of African American Women in Hip Hop ―The strengths of the program are that you get the college experience and the opportunity to see what it‘s like to live with people you don‘t know.‖
Kalia Bond-Henriquez Camper
―Also, it‘s great that this program educates us on the images of Black women; we don‘t address the issues of Black women being misrepresented enough.‖
By: Tanisha Jackson, Ph.D. s a Visual Culture scholar, I am particularly interested in how race, ethnicity and gender are represented in media because I believe that these images are pedagogical tools that help us understand how we see others and ourselves. It was fitting then that when I was selected as the instructor of the AAAS Community Extension Center‘s Summer Residential Program (SRP), I introduced a curriculum that focused on the representation of Black women in Hip Hop culture. This year‘s theme, ―All Eyez On Me: Deconstructing the Images of African American Women in Hip Hop,‖ marked the 12th year of the SRP. Its main objective was to conduct a theoretical and participatory enrichment program on the images of Black women in hip hop videos and to develop a new set of narratives that provides fresh discourse on how people can actually use media to explore race and gender representation. Rising senior Kalia Bond-Henriquez, 17, stated, ―The strengths of the program are that you get the college experience and the opportunity to see what it‘s like to live with people you don‘t know.‖ Also, Bond-Henriquez continued, ―It‘s great that this program educates us on the images of Black women; we don‘t address the issues of Black women being misrepresented enough.‖ Early on, I asked each student to list his or her all time favorite music videos. We compiled a list and voted on the top 5 hip-hop and R&B videos that made the list. This proved informative as it helped build community and showed students commonality and differences in the types of music that appeals to them. From there, students viewed the top five videos in class and were asked to make observations about the representation of Black women in those videos. Another activity that heightened students‘ awareness about the images of Black women in Hip Hop culture is something I call ―body mapping.‖ I asked students to think specifically about the stereotypes that are often ascribed to Black women. Students wrote these stereotypes and labels on sticky notes and afterwards were provided with two life size posters that had the black silhouette of a female body. Students then placed negative stereotypes of Black women on one designated map and placed positive stereotypes of Black women on the other.
What was most evident is that participants of the program knew far more negative stereotypes about Black women in the media than positive ones. Said, TauVaughn Toney, 17, ―I thought it was interesting that we picked out more negative stereotypes than positive ones.‖ Something that also stood out to students was the ambiguous notion of labels like ―The Strong Black Woman‖ and ―The Assertive Black Woman.‖ Initially, some students had a hard time identifying whether or not these were solely positive or negative markers of Black women, but soon agreed that they served both purposes. By engaging in this activity, I wanted students to be aware of the issue of misrepresentation of race and gender that is often the case with historically disfranchised groups. These activities, along with historical references to early African-American entertainers such as Josephine Baker and Sarah Baartman (also known as the the Hottentot Venus), informed students of the socio-politics that are often associated with the black body. (Baartman was a South African Khoisan woman who was displayed as a living attraction in an English and French museum from 1811-1815 because of her larger buttocks and overdeveloped genitalia.) What was most beneficial to both the students and me was the immense amount of reading, writing and researching that occurred in and outside the classroom. While engaging in discourse about Black women in Hip Hop and analyzing music videos, each student investigated a particular stereotype or theme of Black women found in visual culture. They were asked to collect moving images (from You Tube) and still images from the Internet and magazines that exhibited their particular theme. From there, students wrote counternarratives that addressed issues or concerns they had with a particular visual representation of Black women. At the end of the program I asked the parents of the students, ―What are your overall thoughts about the program and curriculum?‖ ―I think the program is very good for developing students into young men and women…It gives them a chance to use their perspective about how they think the world is and how it needs to be changed,‖ stated, Inez Toney. Furthermore Mrs. Toney stated, ―The curriculum was great! It kept them busy and engaged them in thought patterns Story Continued on Page 17
the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
Left: This is a ―body map‖ filled with negative stereotypes often ascribed to Black women in the media. Students came up with these labels during a ―body mapping‖ exercise. Right: Students collectively list their favorite music genres and videos.
Story Continued from Page 17 beyond just the normal thing of just watching a video and receiving it as it was; students were asked to challenge what the music videos show and to put their perspective to it.‖ Asking students to develop a perspective on the images of African-American women in Hip Hop and R&B videos was a major objective in the curriculum and they were encouraged to express their perspectives creatively by making counternarrative movies. According to theorists Michael Peters and Colin Lankshear, counter-narratives are "little stories"-the little stories of those individuals and groups whose knowledge and histories have been marginalized, excluded, subjugated or forgotten in the telling of official narratives. Guest lecturer and lyricist Speak Williams informed students that Hip Hop and Rap are quintessential examples of counter-narratives. Williams posits, ―From its origin, Hip Hop has always been a voice of both marginalized individuals and collectives. That‘s the essence of true Hip Hop‖ He further argues, ―Now, from a mainstream purpose it has moved from this origin because its been commercialized...but as an art form Hip Hop always has the potential to serve marginalized people and that‘s what it should be used for.‖ Based on this view of Hip Hop and exercising one‘s voice, students were introduced to the computer software, Movie Maker, in which they combined the images they collected with a video recording of themselves reading their written counter-narratives. These images and spoken-
word performances, along with music from the Internet, gave students the space to create counter-narrative movies that addressed specific representations of Black women. Participant Ciana Barclay, 17, describes having a ―great‖ experience. ―I‘ve never used Movie Maker before. Since attending camp, I‘ve actually applied for a scholarship for my acting classes and I am required to make a movie. Now I can use the skills I‘ve learned in the SRP program and go after this scholarship!‖ As an educator I was pleased to hear that the information and skills that the students acquired in the SRP program are utilized in other areas; these are transferable skills that they can build upon. Barclay created a counter-narrative that specifically addressed the representation of black motherhood in the media and she personalized her movie by integrating photos of her mother and other students with their mothers in the Movie Maker program. These photos served as positive examples of black motherhood. Moreover, her endeavor is a great example of how students collaborated with each other and built community while simultaneously creating their own counternarratives. I asked Barclay, ―How has your perspective about Black women in the media changed after participating in SRP?‖ She believes that, ―It‘s changed a lot because before, I used to just watch videos and now when I watch videos with friends, I tell them about Sarah Baartman the ―Hottentot Venus‖ and explain to them that we [Black women] shouldn‘t be represented in explicit sexual ways…Even the way I dress has changed. I‘m a little more conservative.‖
TauVaughn Toney took a different approach to the images of Black women in music videos by addressing the issue of misogyny. In his counternarrative, Toney, personified the word by making it a woman and telling the story of how she was created because of the experiences of exploitation and abuse that she and other women are subjugated to. He starts the video by breaking down the syllables of the word so that it sounds like Ms. Ognee. But as the video progresses, it is clear that Toney is talking about misogyny and ends with burying the word in a graveyard. I asked Toney, ―How did you come up with such a powerful concept?‖ ―I got the inspiration for my counter-narrative after many classroom discussions about how we can change the views and ideas that are presented in Hip Hop‘s portrayal of Black women.‖ Toney also describes how his project ―deals with both men and women, how misogyny effects men and women‘s thinking and views towards women in Hip Hop.‖ Toney‘s work as well as the work of the other participants in the program touches on a significant point when it comes to looking at any sort of representation of women in the media. That is, that it is not just a woman‘s issue, but rather the misrepresentation and underrepresentation of any group of people affects us all collectively. It influences our relationships with others and shapes our communities. It is my hope that the students in the SRP program will continue to investigate images and the narratives associated with them. This I believe will move them toward the kind of critical and analytical direction that is necessary for college success.
18 the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
Red Sweater Brigade Celebrates Its 17th Year Painting a More Complete Portrait of the Near East Side ―The RSB is a fine example of how a community...can pull together and impact the lives of young people.‖ –Judson L. Jeffries, Ph.D. By: Judson L. Jeffries, Ph.D. ne day, in the winter of 1993, while walking to church one morning, Rev. Richard Dunbar of Asbury United Methodist Church observed a tattered red sweater lying on the curb in front of the church. He stopped, picked it up and draped it over a stop sign. Over the next several weeks, he noticed that the sweater had traveled along the curb to the rear of the church, where the garbage cans had been assembled. Skid marks were emblazoned across it, suggesting that it had been run over multiple times. One day when exiting the church Rev. Dunbar spotted the wet and ragged sweater and decided to take it home. While washing it he decided that the sweater would serve as the basis for his next sermon. Holding the sparkling red sweater in his hands, the next Sunday, Rev. Dunbar exclaimed ―why wouldn‘t somebody pick up this sweater?‖ He described the red sweater as weather -beaten and ragged. He belted out ―Day after day I could not help but notice how it traveled along the street and into the gutter. My heart was touched and I picked it up. Imagine how it must have felt? It was cold. It was stiff. It was wet and smelled foul.‖ Yet Rev. Dunbar took it home any-
way. He saw that the red sweater could still serve its purpose. It was wool, warm and bright red. Clean it was, but the holes remained. Reverend Dunbar preached that the holes were indicators of a life of trauma; perhaps one of several chapters in the sweater‘s life. The lesson according to Rev. Dunbar was clear: with the proper care the red sweater could be transformed from a tattered article of clothing into something with real potential. The red sweater had seen better days, but its life had not ended. There were more chapters to be written. Those chapters would speak of mercy, hope, value, purpose and victory. Willis Brown remembers sitting in the pew on that wintry Sunday morning in January 1993, as Rev. Dunbar preached that the red sweater symbolized the neighborhood‘s youth, when an idea came to him. ―Like the Red Sweater, society had discarded some of our young people. To some, they were purposeless, hopeless, and wayward. I was moved into action,‖ Brown said. Brown shared his ideas with Reverend Dunbar and from there recruited Ms. Latanya Cunningham (Bronzeville‘s Community Developer), Mr. Roger and Mrs. Marjorie Moessner, their son Dana and many members of Asbury United Methodist Church.
After much discussion, the cohort decided to offer the youth something positive and uplifting. With support (both financial and manpower) from Asbury United Methodist Church, local businesses and private donations, the Red Sweater Brigade (RSB) was formed in April 1994. With litter abatement, beautification projects, recreational activities, job training and education programs, the RSB caters to youth ages eight to 18. ―Whatever needed fixing we had the kids doing,‖ said Rev. Dunbar. Enrollees are paid small stipends that ranged from three to seven dollars (depending on one‘s age) per week for twelve weeks. The program meets every Saturday during the summer with an average attendance of thirty. The RSB is in its 17th year; it continues to involve kids in neighborhood activities and expose them to an array of field trips, both educational and recreational. Some of the field trips that the program has offered over the years include COSI, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Ohio State Fair, the Freedom Center in Cincinnati and King‘s Island. Tay Barrett, one of the original members of the RSB has fond memories of the program. ―I was in middle school when I got involved in the Red Sweater Bri-
gade,‖ said Barrett. ―It came at a very important period in my life. I didn‘t have a father figure, so Mr. Brown was a very positive role model.‖ Barrett added, ―Sometimes we would just shoot ball or hang out at Mr. Brown‘s house. I have three brothers and all of us participated in the program.‖ The RSB is implemented through the Bronzeville Neighborhood Association (BNA); and it continues to thrive despite the absence of major funding. The organization is a fine example of how a community with limited resources can pull together and impact the lives of young people. In a recent interview Rev. Dunbar remembered stressing to his congregation, ―we don‘t need a grant to start this program; all we need is each other.‖ Many of the kids who have participated in this program have made their way in the world. ―One even became a minister,‖ said Rev. Dunbar. Several others enrolled at Columbus State College, Clark Atlanta University, The Ohio State University, and West Virginia State to name a few. The RSB continues to offer Bronzeville‘s youth opportunity, direction and hope; neither the lack of funding nor other resources will ever change that.
Senate Bill 5 Smackdown Story Continued from Page 3 premiums and/or replacing longevity-based pay increases with merit pay. It would also not be surprising to see Building a Better Ohio run racially-tinged commercials portraying AfricanAmerican workers living the ―high life‖ at the public‘s expense. In reality, while three out of four Ohio Association of Public School Employees are either African-American, female or both, many are non-
teachers in schools: bus drivers, cafeteria workers, or custodians. They earn on average $24,000 a year and retire with about $1,100$1,200 a month in a public pension without the benefit of Social Security. Unfortunately, some voters will be influenced by the smear tactics of Building a Better Ohio, not realizing that by supporting SB5 they are not only undermining their future, but their family‘s future as well.
Do not be fooled by Building a Better Ohio‘s antiunion rhetoric and propaganda. Do not be turned off by negative ads and use that as an excuse not to vote! Remember that the right-wing forces that are responsible for Building a Better Ohio are the same forces that not only denigrate Pres. Obama, but African Americans generally. Now, lace-up your jack boots, roll up your sleeves and get ready to Vote ―NO‖ on Issue 2 and repeal SB5!
the Bronzevillian Autumn 2011
Margaret Belcher, Still Fighting the Good Fight Story Continued from Page 15 this is America . . . they should not be allowed to get away with doing this to me.‖ According to Mrs. Belcher, she has contacted numerous city officials, including the current mayor, to no avail. ―My livelihood has been taken away from me and no one is being held responsible . . . I live on my savings which is dwindling fast, I just want restitution.‖ One city official who remembered Mrs. Belcher
said to the author of this article, ―I remember the case involving Mrs. Belcher and the city was found not liable.‖ Today Mrs. Belcher‘s business, located at 1418-20 Moler Rd and closed since 1995, is a shell of its former self. The spacious building is in disrepair and the grounds, sodden by ponds of water of various sizes look more like a marsh. If that is not enough, the backyard is overrun with tall weeds, shrubs, waisthigh grass and other thick and dense-like brush. An
area where children once played is now a haven for rodents, bugs and other critters. Mrs. Belcher needs help. At 87 years of age, she is running out of, both time and options. Mrs. Belcher has been crying out for help since she was in her early seventies. Now, approaching ninety years of age, it does not seem proper that she should have to continue this fight alone. For more information about Mrs. Belcher‘s fight, email Jamia Shepard at Jeg2checkit@gmail.com.
A Tribute to Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr., 1927-2011
Home Going for a “Good and Faithful Servant” By: John B. Williams ven during his last days Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr., remained alert, decisive and strongwilled. During one of Senior Pastor Donald L. Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr. Burden‘s visits with Dr. Hale, Dr. Hale handed him his tithes and offering envelope, then began discussing plans for his funeral. Dr. Hale wanted his funeral held at his home church, the Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church. Burden responded that he did not believe the church was capable of carrying out such plans, to which Dr. Hale replied, ―That is not my problem.‖ With that, Burden had his marching orders. Arrangements were entrusted to Diehl-Whittaker Funeral Services. The day of the service was one of celebration and reflection. Sure there were tears, but this was a time to rejoice – to celebrate the life of a man whose contributions spanned generations and whose lives he touched numbered in the thousands. The service was a reflection of that as it lasted nearly six hours. The OSU
Brass Ensemble opened the ceremony with, ―America the Beautiful.‖ The program was comprised of reflections, tributes, music, and singing, with two minutes allotted to some 40 participants. Burden stated that an exception would be made only if Pres. Barack Obama showed up. Later in the program, Professor Mila CollinsCooper of Baldwin Wallace College stated that, ―Obama should be present because his presidency is founded on the works of Dr. Hale, and others, known and unknown.‖ Special guests included, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, President of Operation PUSH, who spoke of Hale‘s achievements, and declared that, ―Hale‘s memory will far outlive his body. The Kennedys, Malcolm X, Dr. King all died young, but Dr. Hale has lived to be 84 and his memory, like theirs, will live on.‖ Dr. Barry C. Black, Chaplain of the United States Senate extrapolated excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King‘s ―I Have a Dream‖ Speech (at Hale‘s request), that elicited a tremendous response. Grammy winner Elder Wintley Phipps sang, ―It is well with my Soul,‖ which tempted Dr. Charles Booth of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church to violate the 2 minute rule and, ―Take a Text.‖ Dr. Hale is the only layman (non-ordained) person to
speak from his pulpit. Dr. Booth‘s lay message, ―Episodes in Ebony,‖ spoke to Hale‘s spiritual convictions and qualifications for the clergy. Dr. E. Gordon Gee, President of The Ohio State University spoke glowingly of Dr. Hale‘s value to the university and his dedication to education and recruitment of black students and faculty. Because of Dr. Hale‘s efforts OSU graduated more Blacks with master‘s and doctorate degrees than any school in the country. ―Hale Hall, that bears his name, is a small part of Hale‘s recognition on campus; but his imprint is all over the university and beyond,‖ Dr. Gee concluded. A highlight of the ceremony was the showing of a DVD of Dr. Hale‘s induction into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2010. When Dr. Hale received word of this special honor he was worried that his condition would preclude him from standing and delivering his induction speech. Not only was he able to stand, but he delivered a rousing and memorable speech. As great a speaker as Dr. Hale was, he was an even better person. It has been said that ‖it is good to be famous, but it is better to be useful.‖ Dr Frank W. Hale, Jr. personified that old adage.
Imogene Ingram Holland, 1936-2011 Imogene Holland was a woman with a passion for Black people. She was a supporter of the Tom Pope Show and the Charles Traylor Show, both of which were on WVKO AM Radio 1580. She tutored the Youth of her Community. She worked with Jim Clingman, the author of the syndicated weekly newspaper column ―Blackonomics,‖ and she was an avid supporter of the
Harvest Café. She was also a strong supporter and frequent visitor of the AAAS Community Extension Center. Mrs. Holland was born on October 29, 1936 in Columbus, Ohio to the late Laura (McDaniel) and Manuel Ingram. She worked for the State of Ohio for 35 years. Mrs. Holland leaves behind a son, three sisters, a brother and a host of relatives and friends. Her son will carry on her legacy.
Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center 905 Mount Vernon Avenue Columbus, Ohio 43203-1413
Phone: (614) 292-3922 Fax: (614) 292-3892 http://aaascec.osu.edu firstname.lastname@example.org
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Provide culturally-relevant programming for residents of the Mount Vernon area. Equip residents of the Mount Vernon area with the necessary technological skills to be competitive in the 21st century job market. Ease students‘ transition from high school to college by hosting college-preparatory programs. Cultivate in children an appreciation for and competency in the exciting worlds of math and science. Train the next generation of Black professionals to be effective leaders. Celebrate the contributions that African-descended peoples have made to Columbus, the nation, and the world via presentations and documentaries. Honor those who have fought for America‘s most precious freedoms. Funds donated in support of the aforementioned initiatives are greatly appreciated by the CEC. CEC
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