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December 28, 2013 - December 28, 2013, www.afro.com

Volume 122 No. 22

The Afro-American A1 $1.00

JANUARY 4, 2014 - JANUARY 10, 2014

Unemployment Benefits Ended Dec. 28 for Thousands of Marylanders Congress did not renew the extended unemployment benefits created to buffer the impact of the Great Recession.

By Blair Adams AFRO Staff Writer

For more than 25,000 Maryland residents, this holiday season was filled with the uncertainty of what’s to come after their extended Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits ended. They are – Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake among more than a million Americans who lost “Unfortunately when their federal unemployment extended unemployment benefits Dec. 28 because insurance expires, many Baltimore job seekers will fall further behind in their recovery from the nation’s economic downturn,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. Emergency unemployment Former Oriole benefits pick up where state Center Fielder unemployment funds stop.

“Unfortunately when extended unemployment insurance expires, many Baltimore job seekers will fall further behind in their recovery from the nation’s economic downturn.”

INSIDE B5

Paul Blair, dead at 69

B3

100 Best Films of 2013 INSERTS • Walmart

Listen to “First Edition”

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Join Host Sean Yoes Sunday @ 8 p.m. on 88.9 WEAA FM, the Voice of the Community.

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Continued on A3

Missing for 63 Years

Baltimore Born Black Korean War POW Buried in L.A.

Remains of Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Gantt taken to burial site By Zachary Lester and Avis Thomas-Lester AFRO Staff Writers For 60 years, Clara Gantt hoped that her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph E. Gantt, might be alive, despite the fact Clara Gantt and family friend that military officials Trena Thompson at funeral. had notified her in 1951 that he was missing and presumed dead. Gantt, who was born and raised in Baltimore, was working as a medic with the U.S. Army’s Battery C, 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division when he was taken prisoner on Dec. 1, 1950 during the historic bloody Battle of Kunu-ri, Korea. Clara Gantt, now 94, who was married to her husband for only two years when he became a prisoner of war, was notified in 1953 that he had died of pneumonia in a POW camp on March 27, 1951. But his body was not returned to her. “She was living in military housing in Fort Lewis, Wash., when she got a telegram telling her he was dead,” said Sharon Barnes, the Gantts’ niece. “She was told that she had to move out of base housing. She moved to Los Angeles and she’s been waiting for him ever since.” Clara Gantt’s waiting ended Dec. 21 when her husband’s

Clara Gantt leaves the funeral service. Courtesy photos

remains were returned to the United States. She was reunited with him in an emotional ceremony at Los Angeles International Airport, where she wept over his flag-draped casket. His remains had been found by a Korean citizen earlier this year and after extensive DNA testing in Honolulu, they were identified by authorities. Gantt was buried before hundreds of loved ones and military officials with full honors Dec. 28 in Inglewood, Calif., where Continued on A5

Fire Rips Through Northwood-Appold United Methodist Church By Alexis Taylor AFRO Staff Writer

Members of the Northeast Baltimore community were awakened by the sound of sirens in the early morning hours of Dec. 27 as the Baltimore City Fire Department responded to a four-alarm blaze on the corner of Loch Raven Boulevard and Cold Spring Lane. Emergency crews confronted flames pouring out of the Northwood-Appold United Methodist Church, where Dr. Cecil Conteen Gray is pastor.  “At 3:22 a.m. we received a private alarm fire signal from the address. Units went to the scene to investigate and discovered that there was an active fire inside the building so they immediately called for a full first alarm,” Baltimore City Fire Department spokesman Ian Brennan said Dec. 27. “The fire spread rapidly through the building and it quickly went from a second to a third alarm and eventually became a fouralarm fire. It wasn’t brought under control until about five minutes after 11 a.m.” Brennan said that more than 100 firefighters were needed to knock down the fire, an effort which lasted well through a shift change at 7 a.m. “Once they noticed the roof and the steeple were fully involved they pulled members of the fire department out,” Brennan told the AFRO, adding that no firefighters or civilians were hurt in the incident. Fire crews were able to contain the flames but the blaze caused significant damage to the church itself, located in the 4400 block of Loch Raven Blvd.,

Reliability and Safety Among Bus Concerns for City Youth By Amirah Al Idrus Capital News Service

Students at Wide Angle Youth Media, which runs after-school programs, could have chosen any issue as the subject of their project a couple of years back. But the teenagers decided they wanted to spend the year working on a media campaign to improve school attendance by improving bus service. The bus figures large in the lives of Baltimore youth. It’s how they get to school. It’s how they travel to see each other. It’s how they get to movie theaters, the mall and after-school jobs.

“Without the bus, you don’t have a ride and you get stuck,” said Dominic Solomon, 15, a tenth-grader who takes two buses to school. Baltimore’s school system spends about $5.7 million on bus passes for high school students each year. These passes, called S-Passes, are only valid on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. But the students at Wide Angle, a nonprofit organization that teaches media education in after-school programs, believe the bus pass system, meant to make it easier for students to get to school, actually makes it harder to get there when Continued on A5

Fire crews rushed to the scene of the fire that engulfed the Northwood-Appold United Methodist Church, a staple in the community for decades.

Photo by Alexis Taylor

along with the church offices and supplemental classrooms also inside the building Baltimore police were on hand, along with federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to begin an official investigation, as the blaze occurred within a building used for religious purposes. On Dec. 30, fire crews could still be seen investigating the damage along Continued on A3

It Is Not too Late to Get ‘Obamacare’

There was a great deal of attention paid to getting people enrolled into insurance plans offered by the Maryland Health Connection by the Dec. 27 deadline for Jan. 1 coverage. Enrollment by this date ensured coverage on the very first day that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect. But the opportunity to get insurance coverage is not over. Persons can still get coverage by signing up during the open enrollment period which is from now until March 31. So the important next phase is educating those who have not signed up for coverage that they can in fact

Copyright © 2014 by the Afro-American Company

still sign up. Their coverage will then begin as early as 30 days after enrollment. Those who did enroll in coverage that began on Jan. 1, must submit their first payment directly to their insurance carrier, and the carrier must receive the payment, no later than Jan. 15. Consumers should receive a communication from their insurance carrier within one to two weeks after enrollment, and should follow the instructions for paying their first invoice. Insurance carriers encourage electronic payments when possible. Continued on A3


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The Afro-American, January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014

NATION & WORLD Eyeglasses Saved Seattle Teen’s Life in Drive-By Shooting

A 16-year-old Seattle girl escaped serious injury when her eyeglasses deflected a bullet that struck her in the face during a

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Baltimore Office • Corporate Headquarters 2519 N. Charles Street Baltimore, Maryland 21218-4602 410-554-8200 • Fax: 1-877-570-9297 www.afro.com Founded by John Henry Murphy Sr., August 13, 1892 Washington Publisher Emerita - Frances L. Murphy II Chairman of the Board/Publisher - John J. Oliver, Jr. Executive Assistant - Takiea Hinton - 410-554-8222 Receptionist - Wanda Pearson - 410-554-8200 Director of Advertising Lenora Howze - 410-554-8271 - lhowze@afro.com Baltimore Advertising Manager Robert Blount - 410-554-8246 - rblount@afro.com Director of Finance - Jack Leister - 410-554-8242 Archivist - Ja-Zette Marshburn - 410-554-8265 Director, Community & Public Relations Diane W. Hocker - 410-554-8243 Editorial Executive Editor - Avis Thomas-Lester Editor - Dorothy Boulware News Editor - Gregory Dale Production Department - 410-554-8288 Global Markets Director - Benjamin M. Phillips IV - 410-554-8220 - bphillips@afro.com Baltimore Circulation/Distribution Manager Sammy Graham - 410-554-8266

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drive-by shooting. Alonza Bryant was asleep on her living room sofa on Dec. 21 when several bullets flew through the window and walls of her home at 54th Avenue South Alonza Bryant and South Roxbury Street in Seattle, where she lives with her mother. “I fell asleep with my glasses on,” Bryant told Seattle NBC affiliate KING-TV. “If I didn’t have my glasses on, I wouldn’t be here.” According to Seattle police, several people were inside the home at around 9:40 p.m. that night when an unknown group of individuals drove by the house in a dark sedan and began shooting. Bryant said she woke up to the sound of a “big bang,” and was struck in the face with one of the bullets. She was wounded and her glasses broke. Officials said the stray bullet hit the bridge of her glasses. Amazingly, Bryant suffered only minor injuries. Bryant’s mother told police that she thinks the shooters were looking for someone who either used to visit or live there. “We have to move. We have to find a place to stay tonight because we’re not staying here,” Lavette Bryant said.

Georgette Phillips to Head Lehigh University College of Business and Economics

Georgette Chapman Phillips, a well-respected name in the business education community and vice dean of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has been chosen to lead Lehigh University’s College of Business and Economics. Phillips was selected as Georgette Chapman dean from among a group of top-notch international scholars and educators at a critical time in the college’s history, officials at the Bethlehem, Pa. university said. “She is a renowned scholar and an experienced academic leader who brings significant international and corporate experience,” Lehigh President Alice P. Gast said in a statement. “This is a pivotal time for the college, and I am excited that she will bring her talents to Lehigh.” Phillips assumes her position on July 1 and will lead 1,813 students and 79 full-time faculty members in the college’s undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs. Provost Patrick V. Farrell said he was pleased with Phillips’ willingness to work with the college’s faculty to raise the profile of the school in the competitive global business education arena. “What resonates most about Georgette is her interest in working with talented business faculty. She is passionate about business education and research within a global context, and she has a strong interest in working collaboratively with her peers to build an exemplary business program here at Lehigh,” he said in a statement. Phillips, the daughter of Donald Chapman and Delores Thompson, both Morgan University graduates, will join Lehigh after a 21year career at the University

“Thurgood Marshall” presents

MDLC!

A splendid opportunity to support Maryland Disability Law Center

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njoy a mesmerizing performance by University of Baltimore Distinguished Professor Lenneal Henderson as Justice Thurgood Marshall. Professor Henderson’s highly acclaimed portrayal of the civil rights giant is not to be missed. To further highlight the life of Justice Marshall, University of Maryland School of Law Professor Larry Gibson will discuss and sign his book, Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice.

Thursday • January 23, 2014 • 6:30-9pm WRIGHT THEATER University of Baltimore Student Center, Baltimore, MD

Purchase tickets at www.mdlclaw.org Special discount for employees of Maryland Legal Services Corp. grantees & law students.

Saul E. Kerpelman & Associates

of Pennsylvania, where she has also served as the vice dean of the Wharton Undergraduate Division, a professor of real estate and legal studies at Wharton, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a professor of Africana Studies in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences, according to her biography. An accomplished administrator, Phillips’ leadership at Wharton was marked by innovation, officials said. Highlights included increasing the number of female and minority students at Wharton to historic levels, expanding international learning programs, creating new summer research programs both domestically and abroad, and creating a academic concentration in social impact and responsibility. Phillips is also an internationally recognized, awardwinning scholar whose instruction and research focused on the intersection of law, economics and public policy as it relates to the man-made environment. The long-time educator said the Lehigh business school is “poised for distinction” and she is “thrilled and honored” to be chosen to lead it in that direction. “There’s a strong business foundation at Lehigh on which to build,” she said. “And the College of Business and Economics is in a great position to be a national leader and advocate of important undergraduate and graduate programs emphasizing such timely areas as globalization, entrepreneurship and technology.” Phillips said she was particularly drawn by Lehigh’s world class faculty, highly-ranked programs and a high level of crossfunctionality that allows faculty and students to break through disciplinary barriers. “Add the dedicated and skillful staff to this mix,” she said, “and it was clear that Lehigh presented an exceptional opportunity that I could not pass up. I look forward to working with the college’s faculty, staff, students and alumni along with my university colleagues in building the next stage of the College of Business and Economics.” In addition to her duties as dean, Phillips will be a professor in the college’s department of finance.

26-Yr.-Old California Woman Makes Craigslist Offer to Rent Foster Family for Holidays

A 26-year-old college student who claims to have been abandoned most of her life turned to Craigslist to “rent a mom and dad” for the holiday season. Jackie Turner, a junior at William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif., told CBS News that she was neglected, abused and nearly starved throughout her childhood. She never met her mother and has been on her own for years, but decided that it was time to share the holidays with someone other than herself. “I am looking to rent a mom and dad who can give me attention and make me feel like the light of their life just for a couple of days because I really need it,” Turner wrote in her Craigslist ad. The straight-A college student said this time of year is difficult for her, and she was tired of hurting. “This time of year is hard,” she said. “Everyone is talking about their cousins, their families, all the things that make up Christmas.” As an incentive, Turner offered $8 per hour for the potential buyer. A number of people have responded to Turner’s ad and were willing to open their home to her. Turner said she was born to a teen mother who couldn’t raise her, and remembered being beaten and locked in closets as a child while being passed around from home to home growing up. She told CBS News that people with a similar background reached out to her, many of whom empathized with her difficult upbringing. After hearing several stories similar to her own, as well as receiving responses to the ad offering a home for the holidays, Turner hosted an event at her college to match up the two groups. The family of one of Turner’s classmates opened their doors and hearts to her, allowing Turner to spend the holidays surrounded by love.


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The Afro-American, December 28, 2013 - December 28, 2013

January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014, The Afro-American

Homelessness Increases in U.S. By Freddie Allen NNPA Washington Correspondent WASHINGTON–The downturn in the economy and a lack of local resources have forced more Americans to live under bridges, in their cars and on the couches of other family members, according to a recent report on hunger and homelessness. The 25-city survey, conducted by the United States Conference of Mayors, found that more than 20 percent of homeless people that needed help over the past year didn’t get it and 71 percent of the survey cities reported that their emergency shelters, stretched to capacity, had to turn homeless families with children away. The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a nonpartisan group that represents 1,398 cities with populations of 30,000 or more. According to a 2012 report by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, Black families depended on homeless shelters at a rate that was seven times higher than White families. A majority of the cities surveyed reported that unemployment, rising housing costs, and substance abuse contributed to higher homelessness rates. Although Blacks often abuse illegal drugs at similar rates as Whites, Blacks suffer discrimination in housing and hiring that often affects how and where they live. The Labor Department reported that the jobless rate for Blacks (12.5 percent) was more than twice as high as the rate for Whites (6.2 percent) in November. Homeless adults often presented with one or more of the following characteristics: 30 percent of homeless adults were severely mentally ill, 19 percent had jobs, 17 percent were physically disabled and 16 percent were victims of domestic violence. Thirteen percent of homeless adults were veterans and three percent were HIV-positive. The survey cities also reported that unemployment was the greatest contributor to the rise in hunger,

followed by low wages and poverty. Increased food insecurity has strained local resources beyond capacity. “Across the survey cities, emergency food assistance requests increased by an average of 7 percent,” stated the report. Eighty-three percent of the survey cities said that more families requested emergency food assistance in 2012 than 2011. More than 25 percent of Black households don’t have enough to eat. Ten percent of White families live with food insecurity issues. Even though the survey cities spent $324 million and dispersed more than half a billion pounds of food, two-thirds of the cities reported turning people

“A majority of the cities surveyed reported that unemployment, rising housing costs, and substance abuse contributed to higher homelessness rates.” away, because they couldn’t keep up with the growing demand. More than 70 percent of the survey cities said that they expect the hunger problem to get worse next year because of limited resources. “The problem is more expensive than the solutions,” said Laura Zeilinger, deputy director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. When Washington lawmakers left town for Christmas break, they left more than a million people who depend on unemployment benefits in the lurch. The deal left unemployment benefits on the cutting room floor, which means that a few days after Christmas more than a million people will lose their unemployment benefits, pushing some into poverty. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a public policy

group focused on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderateincome families and individuals, roughly 1.3 million people currently receiving unemployment insurance will be cut off shortly after the Christmas holiday. In six months, almost 2 million people will lose their unemployment benefits. SNAP cuts proposed in Congress will also have a negative effect on the nation’s poorest families. GOP lawmakers passed legislation in the House of Representatives that will slash the food stamp program by roughly $40 billion over the next 10 years. If passed by both the Senate and signed by the president about three million poor families would lose their benefits every year. For mayors accustomed to doing more with less over recent years, cuts to the food stamp program will deal a heavy blow to families and communities struggling with poverty. “Cuts in SNAP benefits being considered by Congress and the inability of food assistance programs to meet the increased demands that would result was identified by most cities as the biggest challenge they would face in addressing hunger in the coming year,” said Helene Schneider, mayor of Santa Barbara, Calif., and chair of the United States Conference of Mayors Hunger and Homelessness Task Force. The survey cities reported that mainstream assisted housing programs, higher wages and better housing options would help to lessen the burden of homelessness on families and individuals. “The hunger and homeless issue continues to be with us,” said Tom Cochran, chief executive officer and executive director of the United States Conference of Mayors. “We have been in this fight for three decades and we will continue. The mindset of Washington does not understand what is happening in our neighborhoods and cities large and small across America.”

Fire

Continued from A1 with Baltimore Gas and Electric emergency response crews. According to officials, police and ATF agents will continue their investigation

Photos by Alexis Taylor

The steeple from Northwood-Appold UMC rests in the yard of the burned out building on the corner of Loch Raven Boulevard and Cold Spring Lane.

Dec. 30, fire crews assess the damage done to the property, and continue their investigation looking for a cause.

over the next few days to determine whether an act of arson was behind the fire. “It was surreal,” said Stephanie Hayes, of the sight she arrived to just before 6 a.m. on Dec. 27. “I just couldn’t believe that I saw fire coming out and this was my church.” Hayes, a long-time trustee of the church, described the fire as “heartbreaking” because “all you could do was just stand there, look, and realize there’s nothing you can do.” More than 100 community and congregation members packed inside the Education Center located directly across from the Northwood-Appold United Methodist Church Sunday, vowing to rebuild the edifice. “It was a spirit of love and unity,” Hayes told the AFRO, of the service she said

brought back old faces and a host of guests wanting to show support. “We will rebuild,” she said. “Definitely.”

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Benefits Continued from A1

In Maryland, the state allows individuals who are unemployed to receive benefits for 26 weeks. Thereafter, the federal government kicks in and provides those who were unable to find employment additional weeks of jobless benefits. Money is paid on a weekly basis—with the highest payout in Maryland being $380 per week. Ashley, 25, of West Baltimore—who declined to disclose her full name—was on unemployment for two years from 2010 through 2012. She told the AFRO she tried to find employment, but had no luck for the first year while unemployed. “I wouldn’t have been able to do anything,” she told the AFRO. “What are people going to do? It was difficult for me to pay my bills without getting that money.” She said once her unemployment benefits stopped, she was forced to leave her cozy two-bedroom apartment to move in with her family. “I had to hurry up and find a job—just anywhere—because I needed the money,” she said. The mayor said she hopes Congress will pass a retroactive extension of benefits when the lawmakers reconvene in January. The EUC—established in 2008—is 100 percent funded by the federal government to those who have exhausted their state unemployment benefits. According to Rawlings-Blake, there are 5,000 people in Baltimore City and 25,000 residents who will be affected by not receiving their checks. In an effort to help the unemployed, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development will continue to assist job seekers to develop occupational skills, as well as to prepare for and connect to job opportunities. More than 20,000 unemployed and underemployed residents are served annually, where they access a variety of workforce development services that improve their skills and help them find jobs that lead to sustainable careers. “It is important that residents use the Career Center Network services to improve their employability skills and best position themselves for sustainable careers,” she said.

Obamacare Continued from A1

Failure to make timely payments could result in cancelled coverage. Persons can directly enroll into a Qualified Health Plan by going to the website at marylandhealthconnection. gov. For consumers who want assistance understanding the advanced premium tax credits, the cost sharing reductions or the Qualified Health Plans themselves, they can work with a certified navigator. These are persons who received state approved training, passed a certification exam and passed a state and a federal criminal background clearance. Navigators travel to local communities throughout Maryland with laptops in hand and directly enroll consumers into Medicaid or insurance plans. “Certainly persons who do not have a computer should meet with a navigator who will help them enroll, but also persons who are computer literate may need to work with a navigator to help them understand the subsidies that are available and to explain the health plans,” said Priscilla Chatman, certified navigator and president of Chatman, LLC a partner with Healthcare Access Maryland, Center Region Connecter Entity. For information on where navigators are stationed follow the AFRO on Facebook where Chatman, LLC’s enrollment sites will be listed daily. There is no deadline for applying for Medicaid, the government health insurance plan for the low income. Under the new extended Medicaid only a person’s income is considered, assets and categories no longer apply. Previously an applicant for Medicaid had to fit into specific categories, such as being a parent raising minor children. Now a single man or woman can receive Medicaid if his or her income is below $15,000. Contact Chatman, LLC at chatmanp@verizon.net

Affordable Healthcare Enrollment In Maryland log onto MarylandHealthCareConnection.gov. Navigators are available at the Consumer Support Center 1-855-642-8572, with services for the deaf or hard of hearing at 1-855-642-8573.


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The Afro-American, January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014

HEALTH

UMD Study Challenges Stereotypes of Minority Students’ Abilities By Zenitha Prince AFRO Senior Correspondent Accepted beliefs about the educational capabilities of minority students were challenged in a new study conducted by the College of Education at the University of Maryland in College Park. The study was led by Natasha Cabrera, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the university, and looked at the advantages minority children possess rather than areas where they fall short. The plethora of research on the development and well-being of minority children, “while rigorous and insightful, has often been deficit-oriented,

emphasizing the negative effects of inadequate economic and social resources and an elevated rate of behavior problems, decreased social competence, and lower rates of school success among these children,” the study’s authors wrote. The negative focus “has had the unintended consequence of eclipsing the strengths

or assets that minority families possess to raise healthy children.”

According to the study, minority children possess advantages in three areas of development:

canstockphoto.com

social competence, language, and ethnic identity, which may stem from three aspects of their upbringing—a sense of orientation and obligation, discipline, and cultural socialization. For example, nonWhite, low-income children are more versed than their peers in selfregulation— the ability to manage behavior, emotions, and attention—an ability which greatly impacts social skills and academic success. Demonstrating how stereotypes can paint an incomplete or faulty picture,

the authors said that past research has claimed that lowincome African-American children experience problems in language expression. In fact, they said, those children command oral narrative skills which may help them read, produce narratives of higher quality and possess greater narrative comprehension than their White peers. Cabrera said she hopes the report would inspire research that paints a more complete picture of the educational prospects of minority children and lead to targeted programs and interventions. The study, “Positive Development of Minority Children,” appears in Social Policy Report, a publication of the Society for Research in Child Development.

Study: Black Women Must Work Harder than Whites to Lose Weight By Zenitha Prince AFRO Senior Correspondent African Americans are at

a disadvantage in many areas along the socioeconomic spectrum, and according to a new study, weight loss is

among them. Black women need to work harder to lose weight compared to their White counterparts, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said in a study published this month in the International Journal of Obesity. To attain a level of weight loss comparable to their Caucasian peers, African-American women

need to eat fewer calories and exercise more, the study concluded. The discrepancy in the responses of Caucasian and African-American women to the same behavioral interventions of calorie restriction or increased physical activity has been suggested in several studies over the years, said James P. DeLany, the study’s lead

investigator and an associate professor with the School of Medicine’s Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. “At first, it was thought that perhaps the AfricanAmerican women didn’t adhere as closely to their calorie prescriptions or that the interventions were not culturally sensitive,” he said in a statement. “But even in research projects that were designed to address those possibilities, the difference in weight loss remained.” DeLany and his team tested the hypothesis that metabolic factors were contributing to the disparity by examining body weight changes, energy expenditure, physical activity and energy intake among 39 severely obese African-American and 66 Caucasian women who were participating in a sixmonth weight loss program of calorie restriction and increased physical activity. Physical activity levels were measured using multisensor activity monitors. Despite starting at comparable body mass

index measures and adhering as closely to the calorie restriction and activity prescriptions, Black women lost about seven fewer pounds than the White women, the tests revealed. One possible reason was that the African-American women had lower resting metabolic rates and expended less energy daily than the other group, the study found. That finding could change the recommendations made during weight loss interventions. “We prescribe how many calories are allowed and how much activity is needed during weight loss interventions based on the premise that people of the same weight have similar metabolic rates,” DeLany explained. “But to account for their lower metabolic rate, African-American women must further reduce the number of calories they eat or use up more of them with exercise in order to lose the same number of pounds in the same time span as a Caucasian woman of the same weight.”


December January 28, 4, 2013 2014 - December - January 28, 10, 2013, 2014, The TheAfro-American Afro-American

A3 A5

Black Korean War POW Continued from A1

Clara Gantt had moved to live with her brother after her husband’s death. Clara Gantt said seeing her husband laid to rest gave her the closure she had longed for for more than six decades. “I was always hoping and praying that he would come home. As long as he was missing, I still held out hope that he might be alive,” she told the AFRO in an interview from her home in Los Angeles. “I had asked God to let me live until they had found him, until he was able to come home. My prayers were answered.” Clara Gantt said she was told some time ago that her husband and members of his unit were threatened by encroaching enemy soldiers in the wee hours of Nov. 29, 1950. According to historical accounts, Chinese military officials pledged to disrupt a plan by Gen. Douglas McArthur, who commanded forces in Korea, to drive the Chinese out of the country by the holidays. Chinese forces responded to the “Home by the Holidays” initiative by attacking American forces near the China/Korea border. Hundreds of American soldiers were killed. Several were taken prisoner. Black U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) was awarded for valor for saving several men in his unit during the battle. Clara Gantt never heard from her husband again.

world outside of the world George Gantt and Louella Parker Gantt had set up for him and brothers Philip and Gilbert in Baltimore. “He had a heart for service,” Clara Gantt said. Gantt had been 22 when they had met on a train in Texas in 1946. She was 28. The ninth child and one of only four girls in a group of 18 siblings, Clara Gantt had been heading to Los Angeles from her home in Jones Creek, Texas, south of Houston. He was heading to Fort Huachuca, Ariz. He was handsome and gregarious and they talked easily. “I knew he was the one I would marry,” she said. He, too, was smitten. He kept in touch and proposed in short order, though she made him wait for two years before she said yes. “I wanted to get to know him and for him

An Eager Volunteer Like many other young Black men of his day, Gantt believed—despite the injustices often visited on African Americans—that it was his responsibility to help his country rid The Rev. Lamont Leonard the world of tyranny. He was only 18 when he eulogized Gantt as a hero enlisted. The year was 1942 and the United States was at war in the Pacific and in Europe. In the national media, the NAACP and others were pressuring the United States government to accept Black men into combat. In Alabama, Blacks were being trained as pilots, bombardiers, engineers and support personnel on the campus of the Tuskegee Institute. The pilots and others 30 years later would come to be known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Funeral service was Gantt’s first assignment, filled to capacity after basic training, was in the Phillipines, where he worked as a field medic. He had been excited about the to know me,” Clara Gantt said. “And I wanted opportunity to earn a good living and see the to make sure he wasn’t somebody else’s

City Youth Continued from A1

buses run late or skip stops. Arianna Clatterbuck, a 17-year-old student in this year’s Attendance and Design Team program at Wide Angle, has only a 10- to 15-minute commute to school. But her wait at the bus stop can be much longer. “Either (the bus) doesn’t come, or it’s late,” she said. If it is late, she’ll wait, but other students, she said, give up. Unreliable buses aren’t the only concern. Elijah Austin, 17, has been struck by other passengers twice on MTA buses. “People are very violent on buses,” the 12th-grader said. “Some random guy just hit me and got off the bus. I’m just glad he didn’t take my things.” Solomon thinks drivers tend not to see thefts or fights that occur onboard and would like to see more security on buses. Other students say buses pass them by at bus stops, even if the bus has plenty of space. They figure it’s because they’re kids. “Bus drivers have a lot of prejudice towards students,” said Hassan Abu-Hakim, 14. “If you go to a certain school, which has a certain reputation, the drivers prejudge the kids and are mean and hateful towards you.” According to the Maryland State Department of Education, the state satisfactory level of school attendance is 94 percent. The high school attendance rate for Baltimore City in 2012 was 81 percent. The next

lowest attendance, reported by Prince George’s County, was a full 10 percentage points higher, at 91 percent. “More than 86 percent of Baltimore City Public Schools students who need public transportation to get to school have the transportation they need,” said Dr. Beshon Smith, from the Attendance and Truancy Office at the Baltimore City Public Schools, citing an “extensive study” done through a staff member at the MTA. But the study also found that some routes don’t have enough buses, and commutes that involve more than one bus can go awry if one of the buses is late, Smith said. “Most of the time, the buses come on time,” Solomon, the student, said. “But if it doesn’t… kids will get mad and they just go back home.” Two years ago, the Wide Angle students created a campaign to encourage students to use the Rate Your Ride service run by the MTA in an effort to improve service. Rate Your Ride allows riders to give real-time feedback directly to the MTA. According to the Rate Your Ride website, the data collected is analyzed -- but only quarterly. Michael Walk, MTA director of service development, said he was impressed with the Wide Angle Design Team’s work. He had hoped just to get “some sort of free promotion” when he began working with the students.

But the students did much more. They designed posters to be placed in every middle and high school and in bus shelters, said Becky Slogeris, the Design Team instructor. They made infographics showing the most rated routes, rider satisfaction and the percentage of the time that buses are late. They also produced a video commercial to encourage fellow students to rate their ride. “I never expected infographics, a TV commercial, a student newsletter, all the things they

salute. In attendance was Lt. Col. Solomon Jamerson of Sacramento, Calif., who served with Gantt in Korea, Clara Gantt said. “General Douglas MacArthur said, ‘I’ll have you home by Christmas,’” Jamerson said, quoting the military leader’s words in 1950, according to KTLA TV news in Los Angeles. “And this Christmas, [Gantt] returned home.” A hand painted sign celebrated Gantt husband.” They got married at the chapel at Fort Lewis, Wash., the post where he was stationed, on June 15, 1948. He struck a dashing pose in his crisp uniform. She wore a blue suit. They honeymooned in Alaska, then set up house on the military post. Before he shipped out in 1950, Gantt told his bride that if anything happened to him, he wanted her to remarry. She pledged to stay faithful to him forever, no matter what. “I told him I would always stay his wife,” Clara Gantt said. A Patriot Is Celebrated According to military officials, Gantt was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for his heroism on the day he was captured. He has also been awarded the Purple Heart, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, the United Nations Service Medal, the Republic of Korea War Service Medal and a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, among other honors. “SFC Gant was a true patriot, and answered the call of his nation not once, but twice, and made the ultimate sacrifice,” Bob Kurkjian, executive director of the USO Greater Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Sentinel. The organization’s Families of the Fallen Committee works with families of killed or missing soldiers. There are still almost 8,000 Americans who fought in Korea whose whereabouts are unknown, officials said. At his funeral, Gantt was eulogized as a hero by the Rev. Lamont Leonard, pastor of The Dwelling Place Foursquare Church in Inglewood in Los Angeles, where Clara Gantt is a longtime member. A U.S. Army honor guard escorted his remains to Inglewood Park Cemetery for burial. There was a 21-gun helped craft,” Walk said. “They’ve been a very good partner with us. And I’d like to see more, obviously.” Students at the Baltimore Urban Debate League also believe buses are important. The Debate League, founded to involve more city schools in debate competitions, started the A-GAME, or Attendance and Grades Amplify My Excellence, program to bring the youth perspective to a project focused on improving school attendance. In the 2012-2013

A Widow Still Weeps Clara Gantt, who worked for 50 years with disabled children and adults, told the mourners Dec. 28 that she is still grieving. All these years later, two framed photographs of her husband still smile down from her bedroom wall. “They were still in the honeymoon phase when he went missing,” Sharon Barnes said. “Theirs was still a young, fresh love.” Regrettably, they never had children, Clara Gantt said. An attempt had ended in an ectopic pregnancy and a second chance had never come. Instead, she became a favorite aunt for dozens of nieces and nephews and their children. Fifteen years ago, Clara Gantt joined the community of families of military men and women who are missing in action. She attends meetings regularly in Washington, D.C. and has found a second family among some of the other relatives of MIA/POWs. They urge legislators to fund programs to find the missing and prisoners. They share stories. They grieve for each other’s loss. She was notified in October at one such meeting in the District of Columbia that her husband’s remains had been found. Also in attendance at the was the son of a military pilot who went MIA after his aircraft was shot down in Korea in 1951. “His wife died before she got closure,” Clara Gantt said. “At least, I got closure.” Donations to help with funeral expenses may be sent to Clara Grant at: Mrs. Clara Gantt C/O The USO Greater L.A. 203 World Way, #200 Los Angeles, CA 90045 A scholarship fund had been set up in Gantt’s name. Donations may be made to: The Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Gantt Scholarship Fund C/O The Dwelling Place Church 3130 W. 111th Pl. Inglewood, CA 90303

academic year, 33 students from 11 schools participated as A-GAME ambassadors. In addition to acting as role models and mentors for their peers and encouraging them to attend school regularly, A-GAME ambassadors also planned quarterly trainings at their schools to help their peers overcome the barriers to attendance. One of the issues the students cited: transportation. Solomon, a former A-GAME ambassador, said that conflicts on the bus are common.

“The altercations that go on, on the bus… make you feel unsafe,” he said. “Sometimes, there are students before or after school who want to fight when they get on the bus. They feel like it’s a show.” Both Debate League and Wide Angle students have served on the MTA’s Youth Advisory Council, but Slogeris is unsure if the council still meets. Lyle Kendrick and Justine McDaniel contributed to this story.


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The Afro-American, January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014

COMMUNITY CONNECTION Balto. Soldier Completes Basic Training

VonHendricks Completes Basic Training Army Pvt. Malik A. VonHendricks has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises. VonHendricks is the son of Princess Logan and James Johnson Jr., both of Baltimore. He is a 2013 graduate of National Academy Foundation, Baltimore.

Greg Minah Exhibits at Top of the World

Described as “a dance between artist and canvas,” Greg Minah’s painting process is a collaborative performance between his creative force as an artist and the natural forces

acting on his material. His technique is achieved by pouring thinned acrylic paint onto the canvas before tilting, turning and spinning the stretcher to orchestrate the performance of the medium.  Minah’s most recent works are on display, Jan. 8 to March 2, at Top of the World Observation Level. Guests have an opportunity to visit the exhibition for free and meet the artist on 5:30 to 7 p.m., Jan. 10. Top of the World is located on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center at 401 E. Pratt Street. For more information on Top of the World Observation Level, call 410-837-VIEW or visit www.viewbaltimore.org.

In addition to shelf-space from Dimensions In Music the vocal, songwriting and dance winners will receive the “ULMII” Award and a list of other prizes that include “free PR strategy and consult” from Freelance Associates (www. FreelanceAssociatesInc.com); “free entertainment business consult” from entertainment mogul Paul Gardner, II (www. TheGardnerLawGroup.com); “free music track, studio time and promotions” from five-time ULMII winner and Virgin Island producer Marvin Davis aka V.I.P. (www.DustDemAFF. com); “free vocal coaching” from professional singer and artist manager Nadiyah Kareem (Superstar Enter.); “free make-up/ skin care consult” from skin care specialist Jeneanne Collins (Rebellious Beauty); “free photo session” from commercial photographer Ty Moore (www.IAmSharpEye.com), and “free photo shoot and management consult from tour manager (Temptations, Pieces of a Dream) and photographer Gar Roberts (www.Garman.zenfolio.com). On Saturday, April 19, 2014 the ULMII national talent competition will showcase the performances of 10 acts from across the country. A panel of industry executives will judge and choose the winners. Judges includes Paul Gardner II (The Gardner Law Group), Nadiyah Kareem (Superstar Enter), and artist manager Burt Wheeler (B. Wheeler Enter.) To pre-register for the seminar panel or to inquire about being one of the 10 performances log onto the event’s website www.UpliftingMinds2.com.

Dimensions In Music sponsors Baltimore ‘Uplifting Minds II’ Entertainment Conference

Larry Jeter, the owner of Dimensions In Music - a record store located on Park Avenue in downtown Baltimore - has agreed to provide product shelf space to the vocal, songwriting and dance winners of the 2014 Baltimore “Uplifting Minds II” (ULMII) national talent competition. The competition is part of a free one-day entertainment conference that will be held April 19 in Security Square Mall. The competition follows an entertainment business seminar panel and will be hosted by radio personality/comedian/actress Doresa Harvey (Heaven 600). Jeter, who studied music at the Peabody Conservatory, started Dimension In Music in 1992. The record store shelves are full of everything from underground to mainstream music Hip-Hop, Jazz, Classical to spoken word. He also is the proud owner of a collection of over 100,000 vinyl 45s and LPs in R&B, Reggae, Rock and Doo-Wop genres.

one

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12/26/13 11:08 AM


January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014, The Afro-American

A7

OPINION

Sustaining Economic Recovery in 2014

Of all the issues confronting President Obama, the Congress and the American People in 2014, rebuilding our economy continues to be our number one priority. Despite recent economic progress, far too many Americans remain out of work. Of all the requests that I receive, foremost among them is this. “Mr. Cummings, I need to feed Elijah Cummings my family. Can you help me find a job?” In the Congress, our top New Year’s Resolution should be to work together more effectively to give my job-hunting constituents - and the American people as a whole - the response that they deserve to this heart-felt plea. Fortunately, the nation’s economy is continuing its steady - if painfully slow - recovery from the Bush-era recession. In our home State of Maryland, U.S. Department of Labor estimates indicate that we gained 8,900 jobs in November; and this expansion in job growth improved our local unemployment rate from 6.7 to 6.4 percent. However, I must acknowledge that the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives did little to encourage more expansive job growth in 2013. In fact, if anything, recent congressional policy has been a drag on our economy. The “sequester’ budget cuts were especially painful for Maryland, where we have a significant number of federal employees and government contractors. Then, this economic injury was further aggravated by the Republicans’ 16-day government shutdown, a self-imposed disaster that cost the national economy $24 billion. Fortunately, the O’Malley-Brown Administration and our General Assembly responded effectively to mitigate the injury to our most vulnerable neighbors. Maryland allocated $100 million to protect essential programs like Head Start, senior citizen services, job training and substance abuse treatment. These Maryland leaders deserve our commendation. Now, the Congress must step up to the plate and do what is required to transform our slow economic growth into a real take-off. In December, the Congress took what I hope will be the first step toward fulfilling that congressional responsibility. We reached a bipartisan compromise on the federal budget that will prevent another government shutdown for nearly two more years and ease the harshest effects of automatic budget

cuts known as the sequester. It is important to consider how this essential compromise was achieved. It involved some significant and, I believe, unnecessary pain for many as well as some relief to the country as a whole. Republicans went into these talks insisting on cuts to initiatives upon which millions of American families and seniors depend. We Democrats prevailed, however, and the bipartisan agreement did not cut Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid benefits by even one cent. Republicans insisted on continuing all of the jobkilling sequester budget cuts that have been harming our economic recovery. Once again, however, Democratic persistence resulted in an agreement that replaces almost two-thirds of the sequester’s damaging cuts to critical domestic priorities like education, medical research and law enforcement next year. Republicans, once again, wanted to balance the budget on the backs of civil servants. However, the final compromise scaled back the proposed GOP cuts to federal employees’ compensation and exempted current federal employees from those reductions. That is some of the good news. However, although we Democrats fought to extend federal unemployment insurance (thereby preventing an immediate cutoff of compensation on Dec. 28 for 1.3 million Americans, including more than 20,000 veterans, and the parents of as many as 2 million children), the Republicans would not agree. Although the December, 2013, compromise was essential to continued growth in our economy, addressing the needs of America’s unemployed workers should be our first priority when the Congress returns to Washington in 2014. Unemployment insurance provides a lifeline to Americans who have worked hard, played by the rules and lost their jobs through no fault of their own. It allows these neighbors to feed their families and put a roof over their heads as they try to get back on their feet with a new job. Here are the key facts the Congress must address as we

Selfishness Over Sacrifice

“I assumed that with knowledge, sacrifice would automatically follow. In my youth and idealism I did not realize that selfishness is even more natural than sacrifice.”  W.E.B. DuBois spoke those words when he reflected on the failure of his vaunted “Talented Tenth” concept.  He was, as many of us are today, very idealistic about what Black people James Clingman would do collectively and for one another.  He envisioned our talents would be leveraged and shared in such a way that a broader base of our people would be advantaged.  DuBois, as he admitted some 45 years after he introduced it, decried the Talented Tenth, those “exceptional” men to whom he referred that would lift up the other 90 percent of our people. Obviously, that did not happen, and a case could be made today that it’s still not happening.  Was DuBois just an optimistic, naïve, idealistic Black man who had confidence in his people?   Did he live in anger and regret for 45 years before he finally admitted his doctrine was flawed?  It makes me wonder what things would be like today if those exceptional few had followed through with their challenge from DuBois. As he lamented though, those men saw their accomplishments as an end for their own success rather than a means by which others could be successful as well. What is the application of that lesson for us today?

SPEAK OUT!

I think of a statement I made at a speech several years ago: “If each of us does a little, all of us can have a lot.” I was speaking about an initiative I started after visiting Piney Woods School in Mississippi in 2004, coincidentally, two weeks after Oprah visited the school, which is located near her hometown.  After learning the history of the school, I felt compelled to do a national fundraiser.  I wrote a column about it and asked readers and everyone else I could contact to send a minimum of $5 directly to the school in an effort to raise $1 million.  Confident that at least 200,000 people would read my column and respond, I figured we would raise that $1 million in no time, the same way $750,000 was raised in 1954 for Piney Woods by a White man named Ralph Edwards, host of the TV show, “This is Your Life.”  After interviewing the school’s founder, Lawrence Jones, relative of Radio One’s Cathy Hughes, Edwards asked his viewers to send $1 to the school.  I figured, 50 years later, with all the technology and communications we have at our disposal, we should be just as successful. The goal was never reached, but we did raise a few thousand dollars, far below the million I sought.  Highly disappointed, I continued my attempt to appeal to Black people to take care of our own entities and causes.  The Piney Woods effort morphed into what I called The Blackonomics Million Dollar Club (BMDC).  You can watch a short video about the BMDC on my website, Blackonomics.com.  Through the BMDC we selected a recipient each month and asked members to send $5 or more directly to that school, museum, defense fund, or whatever organization we chose that month.   My goal for membership in the BMDC was 200,000 people; there was no fee for joining and no administrative

take action on unemployment insurance in 2014. First, congressional action is a moral imperative. Even with over three years of private-sector job growth, our economy still has 1.3 million fewer jobs now when compared with the beginning of the “great recession.” Unless the Congress takes prompt action, nearly 5 million Americans will lose their unemployment insurance in 2014 as their state benefits run out. Second, and equally important, preserving and extending this essential safety net is critical to growing our economy. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found that unemployment benefits are one of the most effective fiscal policies to increase economic growth and employment. According to Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, every $1 spent on unemployment insurance grows the economy by $1.52. In sharp contrast, however, any continued failure to extend these essential benefits could cost the economy 310,000 jobs. The challenge to the Congress is clear. We must abandon policies that are slowing our economic recovery and put our nation back to work. Congressman Elijah Cummings represents Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.

fees were charged. It was a totally free, minimum-effort way to help ourselves.  It reached a high of 1,000 members, some of whom never kept their commitment to send their $5 each month. Despite the usual questions, “What’s he getting out of it?” and “How will the organization spend the money?” I continued to pursue the ideal of moving a million dollars into a Black organization with the touch of a computer key.  Unlike DuBois, it took me only 10 years to come to some of the same conclusions he drew about us as it pertains to collective responsibility and collective economics. I remember the recent report of the elderly school bus monitor who was mocked and insulted by some of the students riding the bus.  In a matter of days, it hit YouTube, and folks started sending her money—unsolicited!   They sent her more than $600,000. That’s a far-reaching example but there are many other efforts initiated by other groups that result in millions in a matter of days.  Why can’t we do that?  Why don’t we do that?  Gabriella Calhoun, the young sister who was beaten by police officers in Bloomington, Ill., , has been trying to raise $5,000 to pay for her defense against ridiculous charges for several months now; we have only contributed a little more than $1,200. (Read about “Justice for Gabby” on gofundme.com).  This should have been exceeded in a few hours, folks.  C’mon, make a donation. Let’s start to exercise more sacrifice over selfishness, and help one another more.  Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his Web site, blackonomics.com.

Send letters to The Afro-American 2519 N. Charles St. • Baltimore, MD 21218 or fax to 1-877-570-9297 or e-mail to editor@afro.com

SPEAK OUT!


A8

The Afro-American, January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014

TECHNOLOGY

Shift to Digital Phones Could Hurt Communities of Color By Stephon Johnson Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News If information is the new currency, communities of color could go broke. A new report by the Greenlining Institute, titled “DISCONNECTED: What the Phone System’s Digital Transition Will Mean for Consumers,” alleges that the immediate shift to digital phone networks could leave certain communities without basic standards like affordable services and access to 911 for emergencies. The Greenlining Institute is a Berkeley, Calif.-based research and advocacy nonprofit with a focus on racial justice. According to the report’s findings, because major telephone providers plan to upgrade the technology they use in their telephone networks, including switching to all-digital networks, the FCC needs to enforce basic standards during the transition to make sure phone service is available and affordable. “People in rural areas could lose service, and low-income consumers might not be able to get basic phone service they can afford,” reads the report. But many major carriers argue that the Federal Communications Commission should reduce its ability to enforce the basic standards that the Greenlining Institute’s study advocates. They advocate the elimination of FCC and

state oversight of all-digital networks based on the argument that they should be treated as information services and not telecommunications services. The report points out that all of these findings combined would affect all telephone users but would hurt low-income consumers and communities of color the most because those groups are less likely to have home Internet service and spend more time on their phones. This week, the FCC planned on looking at these issues during a meeting, when the Technology Transitions Policy Task Force will present a status update. “While analog televisions and digital televisions use different technologies, they are both televisions,” stated the

report’s conclusion. “While gas and electric cars use different technologies, they are both cars. A call made on an analog telephone network and a call made on a digital telephone network may use different technologies, but both calls are telephone calls.” The report called upon policymakers, industry and other stakeholders to design an analog-to-digital telephone transition that “protects, enhances and improves the universally available phone service that we have today.” Paul Goodman, legal counsel for the Greenlining Institute and co-author of the report, said that all phones share the same purpose, no matter how they are being used. “A century ago, America realized that telephone service isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity, and built a careful system of consumer safeguards into our phone network,” said Goodman in a statement. “All of those safeguards could be at risk if the FCC fails to recognize that, for consumers, a phone call is a phone call, regardless of what technology carries the signal from point A to point B. “FCC Chair Tom Wheeler seemed to acknowledge this recently when he said that ‘technology doesn’t change the basic relationship between networks and those that use them,’ and now that understanding must be backed up with action,” concluded Goodman.

INTERNATIONAL

Jamaicans Among Top 10 Nationals Deported in 2013 CMC – The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said Jamaicans were among the top 10 groups of nationals deported in 2013.

In announcing the yearend removal numbers on Dec. 26, ICE officials said the top 10 groups deported hailed from Latin American and the Caribbean.

ICE reported that 1,119 Jamaicans were deported in the 2013 fiscal year, while 2,462 nationals from the Dominican Republic were also deported.

Those numbers are vastly smaller, however than the number of Mexicans deported. ICE officials said Mexico continues to be the leading

1,500; Colombia 1,429; and Nicaragua 1,383. ICE said 98 percent of the agency’s total removals were convicted criminals, recent

country of origin for those who are removed from the United States, followed by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The figures for Mexico show 241,493 deportees; Guatemala 47,769; Honduras 37,049; El Salvador 21,602; Ecuador 1,616; Brazil

border crossers, illegal reentrants or those previously removed in line with the agency’s enforcement priorities. Ice officials said the figures highlight the agency’s ongoing commitment to primary immigration

enforcement missions: the apprehension of criminal aliens and other immigration violators in the interior of the United States; and the detention and removal of individuals apprehended by ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, ICE said. ICE’s acting director, John Sandweg, said the 2013 numbers make clear that “We are enforcing our nation’s laws in a smart and effective way, meeting our enforcement priorities by focusing on convicted criminals while also continuing to secure our nation’s borders in partnership with CBP.”

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January 4, 2014 -January 10, 2014, The Afro-American

It happens every year and each time it just gets bigger and bigger. That’s the Holiday Celebration and Toy Drive hosted jointly by Paul Gardner Corporate and Entertainment Group and Special Delivery, Dec. 19, at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore. The admission price, as always, was the donation of a new toy or item of clothing for

Complimentary cuisine was provided by Class Act Catering. The event was powered by The Flywire and The Finn Group. Music came by the skillful hands of DeeJays Lady Mysterious, P Drama, Gemini, Heat, 5Starr, InFame, WildChild DNA, Supa, Big L and Emcee BZ #TheVoiceoftheCity.

children up to 18 years old. Proceeds increased the benevolence of the Carpenter House, AFRO Charities, Kinder Care and Select Baltimore Area Shelters.

B1

Laway Banks and Tyeisha Downer

Linda Felder Marilyn and Nick Mosby

Pat Roselle, Steve and Carolyn Wainwright Kimberly McLean, Dr. Elaine Simon and Francine Simon

Tamara Harvey, Michael Davenport and Trenita Purdie Marcine Britton, Zoe Britton, Jim Britton, president, Class Act Catering and Jasmin Britton Mark Hunter, Monique Jones and State Del. Nathaniel Oaks

DJ Lady Mysterious

Brothers, Lawrence III and Marshall Bell

Michelle Cunningham, Marc Clark, Paul Gardner, Jaleea Perryman, Tommy Phillips and Terri Barksdale

Dr. Elaine Simon, Wayne Frazier and Sandra Tillman

Cheryl Ladota, Nann Bunner and Michele Josey

Sapphire Hardy, Nikia Bennett and Kristen Emerson

Lena Redmon, Darnell Carter and Sharon Bunch Marcy Clump, Flywire, and Wanda Watts Wise Guys Motor Cycle Club-Tomi, Glam, Mahogany, Jazzy, Speakeasy, Spice and Diesel

Kimberly Smith and Naasira Muhammad

Keion Carpenter, Lt. Col. Melvin Russell, LaRian Finney and Matt Stevens

Catonya Lester and “G Money,” Doug E. Fresh Entertainment

AFRO Mrs. Santa Diane Hocker, Travis Winkey and Marsha Reeves-Jews

Toni, Shawon Reed, Donovan Brooks, Terri Barksdale, Cory Banks and Catonya Lester Photos by Anderson Ward

The toys piled up at the drive for residents of Christopher’s Place, held Dec. 19 at Phaze 10 in Baltimore. No one wanted children to wake up on Christmas morning without gifts. Christopher’s Place is an intensive residential program that provides transitional housing, employment training and sobriety support to formerly homeless men who are putting their lives back on track. Photos by Bill Tabron

Gem Wilson, Nathaniel Glogan and Anthony L. Jones Featured artists, Marcus Honson on keyboard, Jason Jones on drums and Antoine Chooky Caldwell on bass

DJ Reggie and Phaze 10 restaurateurs Tony Randall and John Carter

Calvin A. Jones and his daughters Karen and Tonya

Event coordinator Ashley Hines and Phaze 10 restaurateur Tony Randall

Nate Tyler, Michael Wilson and Sterling Scribner

Julie Shiver


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The Afro-American, January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014

Santa braved single digit temperatures to fill early morning air of the Charles Street corridor with a hearty round of “Ho ho hos.” Elves were on the inside preparing themselves to receive goodies and gifts to go under the AFRO Christmas tree. Mrs. Santa was coordinating the arrival Rev. Jerome Stephens of the entire Christmas team while former Sen. Larry Young began his 6 a.m. show on WOLB 1010 AM radio with a prayer and a welcome to all his listeners. This was the setting at AFRO headquarters, 2519 N. Charles St., Dec. 13 when Baltimore partners dropped by, and not empty handed, to make sure all Mrs. Santa’s children would have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. “It’s never too early and it’s never too cold to help families give their children a good holiday,” Mrs. Santa, Diane Hocker, said. “This is absolutely the best time of the year.” Clarence Massey, Santa himself, had to be encouraged to come out of the cold. And the people must have agreed because they kept coming even after Sen. Young’s program ended at 10 a.m.

Members of the Pi Omega Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity donated bicycles to Diane Hocker, the AFRO’s Mrs. Santa

Sheila Scott, George Collins, Lenora Howze, Terrance Dickson, owner of Terra Cafe; Kenny Abrams, Casey Jenkins, owner of Darker Than Blue restaurant and Mrs. Santa

George Arnold

Longtime supporter of the Larry Young Show, Sarah Parker

Ms. Maybelle, well known comedian

Janice West

Lady B and Leon Bailey

Marilyn Mosby

Mrs. Santa’s elves, Sheila, Mia and Brenda

State Sen. Brian Frosh on air with Sen. Young Chief Marshall T. Goodwin, Baltimore City Public Schools

AFRO publisher Jake Oliver

Antonio Hayes, Diane Hocker and Quinton Lathan Coach Butch McAdams, cohost on Larry Young Morning Show

Terrance Dickson, Terra Cafe owner

John Berkley

A. Dwight Pettit, Sen. Young and State’s Attorney Greg Bernstein

Photos by Anderson Ward


January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014, The Afro-American

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ARTS & CULTURE

Please Have A Seat...‘Beyonce Think Pieces’ This Is Grown Woman Music By A.J. Williams Special to the NNPA from The Michigan Chronicle The world, just like myself was taken into a music and PR frenzy when Beyoncé’ dropped her new album last week without any prior publicity or notification and sold over 800,000 digital only copies worldwide on iTunes. Thereby, breaking the industry mode of normal promotional tours and making PR executives nervous that this is becoming a normal trend. There is much that can be said about the method behind the madness, but the body of work that she produced is what has captured me the most. I’ve been a Beyoncé fan since Destiny’s Child and fell crazy in love, (pun intended) when she began to grace the stage as a solo entertainer. However, through the years, as I grew into being a “grown” woman, I lost my connection with Bey and began to connect back to artists like Jill Scott and Mary J.  Not because I am getting away from the more Pop/R&B, but because I could not connect to Beyoncé; her music did not heal, inspire or relate, and with the release of “I AM… Sasha Fierce” I was officially off the Beyoncé fan wagon. Now enters… “Beyoncé” her self-titled fifth album where Bey finally addresses all the critics and naysayers, including myself and connects to the raw, seductive, personal side of being a woman and a woman in love. With joy I purchased the album and felt that Bey had arrived to where I was currently in my life… being a “Grown Woman.” But, all the hype and praise have not been positive and I know that you can’t please

everyone. However the oversaturated reviews of “Beyoncé Think Pieces” are nauseating to me. First she is not revealing enough… now it’s too much. One particular blog brought me to even write this piece.  A blog on the Huffington Post, where the author states: “My God, it’s as if she turned back the clock 50 years in one moment.” This statement was in reference to the track titled ‘Drunk In Love’ where Beyoncé and Jay-Z say: “I been drinking… I get so filthy…Eat the cake Anna Mae…” Now, I can understand that a typical reference to Ike Turner is not normally viewed in a good light; however, as a friend of mine said, “It’s just music people” and if  you listen to the whole track it’s a moving, Beyonce seductive use of word play. However, to credit Bey with setting the women’s movement back 50 years is a bit much. If anything she waited until the perfect timing of being married, to decide to show how a woman drunk in love should be with her man…open, raw, raunchy and real. I feel this so much that I think I will include a copy of this album in every bridal shower gift I give in the future. The embrace of sexuality and freedom that is expressed on her track “Flawless” shows that not only are women equal and girl power reigns supreme, but we are sexually, loving beings. This album is not just a love letter to Jay-Z, but embodies a love letter that all ‘grown’ women should embrace and implement as actions in their lives. From all the grown women of the world… well done, Beyoncé, well done.

The 10 Best, No, the 100 Best Films of 2013

Kam’s Annual Assessment of the Cream of the Cinematic Crop By Kam Williams

While 2013 may be remembered for blackthemed films like 42, The Butler, Fruitvale Station and early Oscar favorite 12 Years a Slave, there were plenty of other excellent offerings released over the course of the year. The summer season alone featured a trio of outstanding horror flicks in The Conjuring, You’re Next and The Purge. And fright fans were even treated to a fascinating documentary deconstructing the making of Night of the Living Dead entitled Birth of the Living Dead. The profusion of cinematic treats once again made it impossible to limit my favorites to just the 10 best. So, as per usual, this critic’s annual list features 100 entries in order to honor as many deserving films as possible. 10 Best Big Budget Films The Butler Prisoners 42 You’re Next Gravity The Purge 12 Years a Slave This Is the End Inside Llewyn Davis American Hustle Big Budgets Honorable Mention The Heat The Best Man Holiday Philomena Gangster Squad Black Nativity Fast & Furious 6 Jack the Giant Slayer August: Osage County Rush The Great Gatsby Olympus Has Fallen Bullet to the Head Saving Mr. Banks Dead Man Down The Conjuring

10 Best Foreign Films The Hunt (Denmark) Hannah Arendt (Germany) Paradise: Love (Kenya) Kon-Tiki (Norway) Aliyah (Israel) 2+2 (Argentina) The Price of Sex (Bulgaria) S#x Acts (Israel) A Hijacking (Denmark) The Broken Circle Breakdown (Germany) Foreign Films Honorable Mention Three Worlds (France) Sweet Dreams (Rwanda) Hava Nagila (Israel) Paradise: Faith (Austria) The Grandmaster (China) The Iran Job (Iran) Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey (Nepal) War Witch (Congo) Paradise: Hope (Austria) Rising from Ashes (Rwanda) The Act of Killing (Indonesia) Reality (Italy) The Pirogue (Senegal) Garifuna in Peril (Honduras) Israel: A Home Movie (Israel) 10 Best Independent Films Fruitvale Station The Kings of Summer Nebraska Mud Drinking Buddies Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom The Sapphires I Used to Be Darker The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete Enough Said

Independent Films Honorable Mention In a World… Short Term 12 All Is Lost Go for Sisters Touchy Feely Shadow Dancer Lucky Bastard Big Words King’s Faith Four A Teacher The Happy Sad Mother of George I’m in Love with a Church Girl Finding Happiness

10 Best Documentaries 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Stories We Tell Dear Mr. Watterson Best Kept Secret A Place at the Table Muscle Shoals Unmade in China 20 Feet from Stardom Schooled: The Price of College Sports 9. Evocateur: The Morton Downey, Jr. Movie 10.Linsanity

Documentaries Honorable Mention 11.The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia 12.When Comedy Went to School 13.Venus & Serena 14. Liv & Ingmar 15.Call Me Kuchu 16.No Place on Earth 17.Red Obsession 18.Cutie & the Boxer 19.Inequality for All 20.Spark: A Burning Man Story 21.Bidder 70 22.Men at Lunch 23.Aroused 24.When I Walk 25.Herman’s House


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The Afro-American, January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014

“Give freely to the world these gifts of love and compassion. Do not concern yourself with how much you receive in return, just know in your heart it will be returned.” Steve Maraboli During this season of giving Living for the Weekend

acknowledges several organizations that presented their Christmas parties as a season of giving for the children. While most organizations charge an admission fee to attend their Christmas parties, many just wanted toys to give away. Zach McDaniels and the Murphy Law Offices

hosted Philantropix to benefit Ronald McDonald House. Del. Adrienne Jones’ annual toy drive and reception was catered by Colin’s Restaurant and Grill donated food and toys to shelters in the Randallstown community. The Paul Gardner and friends’ toy drive was held at the Reginald Lewis Museum.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (DMd.) toy and book drive was held at the Reginald Lewis Museum, too, and was catered by Jimmy Britton’s Class Act. The Fantastic Four collected toys for the community at their Christmas party at the Bleu Room. “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Kahlil Gibran These organizations transformed the spirit of Christmas parties through their philanthropic endeavors while partying with a purpose they helped make Christmas merry for the children in the community. “This is how we do it. It’s Friday night, and I feel all right, the party is here on the West side.” Montel Jordan The Gents on the Move did it again at their Christmas Party at the AKA’s Ivy Center on a snowy evening. DJ Sugar Chris was amazed on how old school folks can party. Whatever jam he played, we took the floor. He tweeted “this 40-and-over crowd is jamming” doing the latest line dances, hand and swing. The secret DJ Sugar Chris didn’t know is that 90 percent of the people dance weekly at Libby’s Tequila Sunset on Pennsylvania Avenue, one of

the few places left where we can continue “twisting the night away.” Gents on the Move members AJ Miles, Jerry, Winkler and Scotty didn’t give away ordinary door prizes. One of the items was a toaster oven won by me. So if you open a gift from me thank the Gents on the Move. “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” Zig Ziglar The Montague family won the Ashley Furniture Store’s $10,000 shopping spree, 15 Ravens’ tickets and was guests of honor at Ashley’s tailgate party prior to the New England game. The Montagues beat out 189 families in the contest to show the best house outfitted with Raven paraphernalia. “At 50 years: here’s a time when you have to separate yourself from what other people expect of you, and do what you love.” Jim Carrey The invitation arrived in a white gift box with a jeweled fringed, ruby mesh bag inside protecting the magnetic keepsake invitation nestled snugly beneath the silk lining. The “pomp and circumstances” surrounding the invitation’s delivery created an air of expectancy for Renaee Johnson’s 50th birthday party at the

Clarence Du Burns Arena. The temperature dropped below freezing outside, but inside, orange and ivory floral arrangements, white leather seating arrangements, glass tables, crystal accent pieces and candles casting a soft warm glow transformed the arena into a South Beach hotspot. Guests danced and dined on shrimp and grits, sweet potato shots, hummus, assorted sandwiches and premium drinks and cocktail specials. The photographer captured the guests entering the beautiful arena. “The best birthdays of all are those that haven’t arrived yet.” Robert Orben Friends, past and present, elected officials and family joined former Mayor Sheila Dixon at the fashionable Oxygen Lounge in the Inner Harbor to celebrate her 60th birthday. Guests enjoyed cocktails, food and plenty of dancing as Sheila led the line dances. “I got the hook up holla if you hear me…” Master P Don’t frustrate yourself trying to figure out the newest gadgets and sound systems Santa brought you for Christmas. Contact Zane & Associates at 443-963-ZANE or zaneassociates@gmail. com. Ask me how I know. “Softly, I will leave you, softly for my heart would break if you should wake and see me go. So I leave you softly, long before you miss me. Long before your arms can beg me stay for one more hour or one more day.” Giorgio Calabrese Condolences to June Dennis on the death of her husband Jack Dennis; Wendy Savoy on the deaths of her brother Vernon Savoy Jr. and her father Vernon Savoy Sr.; Terry and Carla Sharp on the death of his dad Charles Sharp; and to the family of Money Johnson, may you find solace during your period of grief. “One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.” John Burroughs 2013 was a year of expectations and anticipation, some joyfully awaited and others unwanted but expected. We witnessed the birth of a prince and the death of a king --Madiba. We saw tragedy in places we never expected and our trust questioned in leaders we love and respect. We rejoiced in the accomplishments of friends and family and cried at the death of loved ones. We mourned the deaths of spiritual leaders Rev. Carter and Monsignor Miller and exult in Pope Francis showing us faith, hope and charity. “Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.” Michael Josephson In 2014 may you find the peace that eluded you, the love you long for and may God grant you the happiness you deserve. Happy New Year Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch


January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014, The Afro-American

B5

SPORTS

Paul Blair, Oriole Center Fielder, Dies at 69

Paul Blair By AFRO Staff When Paul Blair caught the ball that won the World Series for the Baltimore Orioles in 1966, he finally reached a level of acclaim that had previously escaped him, according to AFRO sports pages. Finally. The Oct. 22, 1966 story described his existence on the team, prior to that date, as one in the shadows and on the back bench. But not on this date. With that one act of supreme glovemanship, he became the center of the celebration, with all eyes on him. An elegant and efficient outfielder who played for four world championship teams and coached at Coppin State University after his playing days ended, Blair died Dec. 26 in

Baltimore. He was 69. He apparently collapsed during a charity bowling event in Baltimore. He had played a round of golf earlier in the day, according to news reports. His wife said he survived a heart attack in 2009, but the cause of death was immediately announced. Best known for his speed and grace at center field, Blair was also credited for his ability to anticipate where the ball would be hit and get there in time to snag an out. His best weapon, however, was his superior throwing arm, which placed him squarely on top of the league’s putout kings several times. He won  eight Gold Glove awards during a playing career  that began in 1965 and ended in 1982.  His 17-year career included stints with the AFRO File Photo Baltimore Orioles  and the Oriole Paul Blair delighted students at Mt. Royal Elementary Summer School, Aug. 16, New York Yankees.  He played 1966, as they peppered him with questions. for both teams during their championship years . He also after learning of Blair’s death. played for the  Cincinnati Reds. His major league career began “It is with great sadness that we learned of Paul Blair’s with the New York Mets. passing...,” he wrote. “Paul was a key member of many of Born Paul L.D. Blair in Cushing, Okla.,  he was  the Orioles’ most memorable and successful teams, as his Baltimore’s starting centerfielder from 1965 to 1976, a contributions at the plate and his Gold Glove defense in center championship era for the Orioles. He was the reserve outfielder field helped the club to two World Series and four [American for the Yankees in 1977 and 1978, a championship period for League] pennants. After his on-field career, Paul made the New York team. the Baltimore area his home and stayed involved with the The late legendary O’s manager Earl Weaver once said of organization through his appearances in the community and at him, “If the ball’s in the park, my guy will be waiting for it the ballpark. On behalf of the Orioles I extend my condolences when it comes down,” according to MLB.com. to his wife, Gloria, and his family.” Orioles managing partner Peter Angelos issued a statement


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The Afro-American, January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014

TYPESET: Tue Oct 15 19:39:04 EDT 2013

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NAME: ________________________________________________ ADDRESS: _____________________________________________ PHONE NO.:____________________________________________ CLASSIFICATION: ______________________________________ (Room, Apt., House, etc.) INSERTION DATE:_________________

BALTIMORE AFRO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPER Legal Advertising Rates Effective October 1, 2008 PROBATE DIVISION (Estates) 202-332-0080 PROBATE NOTICES a. Order Nisi $ 60 per insertion b. Small Estates (single publication $ 60 per insertion c. Notice to Creditors 1. Domestic $ 60 per insertion 2. Foreign $ 60 per insertion d. Escheated Estates $ 60 per insertion e. Standard Probates

CIVIL NOTICES a. Name Changes 202-879-1133 b. Real Property

$180.00 per 3 weeks $180.00 per 3 weeks $180.00 per 3 weeks $360.00 per 6 weeks $125.00

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FAMILY COURT 202-879-1212 DOMESTIC RELATIONS 202-879-0157 a. Absent Defendant b. Absolute Divorce c. Custody Divorce

$ 150.00 $ 150.00 $150.00

To place your ad, call 1-800-237-6892, ext. 262, Public Notices $50.00 & up depending on size, Baltimore Legal Notices are $24.84 per inch. 1-800 (AFRO) 892 For Proof of Publication, please call 1-800-237-6892, ext. 244

INSIDE SALES ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Entry-Level Advertising Sales Rep needed for the AFRO-American Newspapers, Baltimore, M.D. Position provides: • • • •

Competitive compensation package Salary and commission plan Full benefits after trial period Opportunity for fast track advancement

Candidates should possess: • Good typing/data entry skills

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Excellent customer service skills Previous telephone sales experience Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Please email your resume to: lhowze@afro.com or mail to AFRO-American Newspapers, Diane W. Hocker, Director of Human Resources, 2519 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218

INSIDE SALES ADVERTISING ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Entry-Level Advertising Sales Rep needed for the AFRO-American Newspapers, Baltimore, M.D. Position provides: • • • •

Competitive compensation package Salary and commission plan Full benefits after trial period Opportunity for fast track advancement

Candidates should possess: • Good typing/data entry skills

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Please email your resume to: lhowze@afro.com or mail to AFRO-American Newspapers, Diane W. Hocker, Director of Human Resources, 2519 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218

To advertise in the AFRO Call 410-554-8200

Payment Policy for legal notice advertisements. Effective immediately, The Afro American Newspapers will require prepayment for publication of all legal notices. Payment will be accepted in the form of checks, credit card or money order. Any returned checks will be subject to a $25.00 processing fee and may result in the suspension of any future advertising at our discretion.

REQUEST FOR BIDS: LA - 12/30/13 State of Maryland, Military Department is seeking interested parties to bid on State Property for Sale: Towson Armory, 307 Washington Avenue, Towson, MD 21204. The site area is approximately .6120 acres improved by an estimated 22,442 square foot building.

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January 4, 2014 - January 10, 2014, The Afro-American

B7

Flo Anthony The ‘Deadly Stuff Players’

Taking Stock of the Status Flo Interview with Kam Williams Flo Anthony is a syndicated celebrity radio host, columnist. The first African-American woman to work in the sports, entertainment and the renowned Page Six departments of the New York Post, as well as the first African American to pen a column in the National Examiner, her work currently appears in the New York Daily News, Resident magazine, the New York Amsterdam News and other newspapers. Flo is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of Black Noir magazine, as well as a busy blogger. A graduate of Howard University, Flo resides in the East Harlem section of New York City. Here, she talks about her new novel, “Deadly Stuff Players.”   KW: You are a Renaissance woman who wears a lot of hats: radio host, publisher, editor, gossip columnist, publicist, blogger, talk show guest, syndicated columnist and novelist. How do juggle so many interests? FA: Thanks for the compliment. I keep a very tight daily schedule. I provide live radio feeds to almost 30 stations from 7:35 am until 5 p.m. From 9:30 to noon, I research and write two shows, Gossip On The Go With Flo and Flo Anthony’s Big Apple Buzz for the next day. At 12:10 p.m., I record the shows. Then I start up live again at 2 p.m. In between feeds, I write my other columns and work on other projects. I was on a three-month deadline to write Deadly Stuff Players, so I began work on it at 5 every morning, did my other work between the radio feeds, then resumed work on the novel at 3:30, then worked until around 7 every evening and all day on Saturdays and Sundays.   KW: Which one do you enjoy doing the most? FA: I love it all, but my radio show is my baby. I can say whatever I want and I love interacting with the air personalities. It is not financially as rewarding as it should be, but the creative outlet rewards my soul.   KW: What celebrity was your favorite interview of all time? FA: Michael Jackson, every time I interviewed him throughout the years. The most exciting interview with him was when I took the Inside Edition cameras onto the set of his “They Don’t Care About Us” video. I was very humble about it at the time, but looking back on it, it was a huge deal!   KW: Who did you most like representing as a publicist? FA: Tyra Banks.   KW: What TV show have you had the most fun appearing on as a guest? FA: Geraldo.   KW: What inspired you to write “Deadly Stuff Players,” a sequel to “Keeping Secrets, Telling Lies,” your first novel? FA: I loved the characters Valerie and Rome, and wanted to bring them back. And, I kept coming up with all the other great characters like Vance Dumas, Platinum Pizzazz, Royale Jones and Turquoise Hobson.   KW: The heroine of the book, Valerie, is a gossip columnist. Is the character based on you?   FA: Yes, she is me down to the long blonde hair and love of Christmas. A lot of things that happen to Valerie in the book have actually been my experiences.   KW: Tell me a little about “Deadly Stuff Players.” The cover says “Zane Presents,” which makes me naturally expect a steamy romance novel. Yet, the title suggests that it might be a murder mystery. Which is it?   FA: It is a murder mystery, although it does have a halfdozen love scenes. Zane has her own imprint, Strebor Books.  KW: Tell me a little about the plot in 25 words or less? FA: It revolves around Valerie and Rome, who is an NFL Hall of Famer-turned-private investigator, as they try to solve the murder of drug-addled socialite Andrea Dumas. She is the wife of an African-American dot.com billionaire Victor Dumas and mother of Vance Dumas, a jockey. The story follows Rome and Val around L.A. for five days and all the wild people, murder and mayhem they encounter.   KW: What was the most challenging aspect of writing the novel? FA: Getting it exactly the way Zane wanted it to be.   KW: Who is the right audience for the book? FA: Men and women from 18 to 80.   KW: What message do you think people will take away from it? FA: That good prevails over evil and that life can have a happy ending.   KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would? FA: Can I offer you a million dollar deal? Yes, you can. Thank you very much. [LOL]   KW: [LOL] Would you mind saying something controversial that would get this interview tweeted? FA: I think that both Michael Jackson and Whitney

Houston were murdered. They were both seasoned drug users. They wouldn’t have overdosed. [Laughs again] KW: When was the last time you had a good laugh? FA: Just now when I answered the last two questions. I believe laughter is good for the soul and I laugh all the time.   KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure? FA: Drinking chardonnay. The new one is Flo wine by Marcus Johnson.   KW: What was the last book you read? FA: I read several novels a week, but the last good one was A Family Affair by Roshonda Tate Billingsley. I’ve actually read it over and over. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ ASIN/1451639694/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20   KW: What was the last song you listened to?  FA: “This Christmas” by Chris Brown from the This Christmas soundtrack. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ ASIN/B008RCO5UO/ref=nosim/thslfofire-20   KW: What is your favorite dish to cook? FA: Spaghetti and meat sauce. It’s fast, easy, filling and inexpensive.   KW: What excites you? FA: Shopping for shoes.   KW: What was your best career decision? FA: To move to New York City by myself the Monday after I graduated from college to pursue my dreams.   KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? FA: I don’t mean to sound vain, but a beautiful, seasoned woman.   KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for? FA: A movie deal with Tyler Perry for Deadly Stuff Players.   KW: If you only had 24 hours to live, how would you spend the time?  FA: First, I would go to church and pray. Then, I would have a wonderful dinner and wine with my boyfriend Claude, and call my cousins and friends to say good-bye.   KW: If you were an animal, what animal would you be? FA: A lioness.  

KW: What is your earliest childhood memory? FA: Going to the store for bananas in Mississippi when I was about 2. KW: How did your first big heartbreak impact who you are as a person? FA: It really hit me. I was 19. I lost 30 pounds, weighed only around 90, but I didn’t get over him for a long time.   KW: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose? FA: To fly! That way, I could move around fast!   KW: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?  FA: Most get very little sleep and are early risers.   KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps? FA: Never give up! If you really want to do something, you can do it. Can you imagine that a person like me, born in Mississippi, raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, child of schoolteachers, would one day interview Michael Jackson and be able to call him and La Toya my friends? I could always write from a little kid, so I knew books were in my future.   KW: How do you want to be remembered? FA: As a nice person who gave of herself and was kind.   KW: Did it feel funny being asked these questions, instead of being the one doing the interviewing? FA: No, I love being interviewed.   To order a copy of “Deadly Stuff Players,” visit: http:// www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1593095074/ref=nosim/ thslfofire-20


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The Afro-American, January January 4, 4, 2014 2013 -- January January 10, 10, 2014 2014

AFRO Newspapers Baltimore 01-04-2014  
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