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JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014
VOLUME 22 NO. 3
DON’T IGNORE US
Cigarette companies advertised in Blackowned media for decades, but a federal lawsuit settlement doesn’t require them to run anti-smoking ads in Blackowned media outlets.
Black newspaper owners make moves in Tallahassee and D.C. to get their fair share of an estimated $30 million in federal anti-tobacco ads and millions in state advertising, just as Gov. Rick Scott pushes to increase Visit Florida’s tourist ad budget to $100 million next year.
COMPILED FROM WIRE AND STAFF REPORTS
In Washington, D.C, the U.S. Justice Department and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund were scheduled to finalize an agreement with the four major tobacco companies on Wednesday that requires them to spend more than $30 million advertising with the three major television networks and run fullpage ads in 35 White and Hispanic newspapers, as well as purchasing space on their respective websites. However,
COURTESY OF FLICKR.COM
Haiti recovers slowly
not a single ad was required to be placed in a Black print or broadcast media company. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott announced last week that Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation will receive $100 million in funding in the 2014-15 state budget. In both cases, Black newspaper owners stepped in with hard questions asked of a federal judge, tobacco companies, the Justice Department, and Black politicians, and Florida’s governor, respectively.
Hearing rescheduled The 24-page proposed consent agreement, reached January 10, was scheduled to go before U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday for final approval. The proceeding has been rescheduled for Jan. 22. “We are shocked and deeply disappointed that the Justice Department, the Tobacco-Free Action Fund and the tobacco industry would all See ADS, Page A2
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: JANUARY 15, 1929 – APRIL 4, 1968
Happy birthday, Dr. King!
Reconstruction lags four years after quake BY JACQUELINE CHARLES THE MIAMI HERALD / MCT
CANAAN, Haiti – The sunbaked cinderblocks in Claude Saint-Elys’ dirt yard are an eroding reminder of the dream: a two-bedroom house with enough room for him, his wife and five surviving children. “We have rocks, and blocks. That’s it,” Saint-Elys, who lost his 5-year-old son in the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, said about building his dream home on this barren hillside north of Haiti’s capital. Across the way, down a dirt road, truck driver Mackenson Chery is building his dream brick by brick. Chery’s spacious home is partly walled-in with newly cemented blocks and covered with shining zinc sheeting.
Construction boom Canaan has become a squatters’ paradise of mushrooming construction of makeshift shacks and concrete homes, with quake victims, land speculators and
OLIVIER DOULIERY/ABACA PRESS/MCT
Visitors took pictures during the 2011 dedication ceremony at the Martin Luther King Memorial, in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall. MLK birthday observances are underway around the world this week.
See HAITI, Page A2
SNAPSHOTS NATION | A3
Study shows half of Black men arrested by age 23
FLORIDA | A6
Judge denies effort to revoke Alexander’s bond ENTERTAINMENT | B5
‘12 Years a Slave’ earns Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama
FAMU taps Cornell VP as first woman president BY MARGIE MENZEL THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees named Dr. Elmira Mangum as the university’s 11th president on Jan. 9. She will be the first woman to serve as permanent president since FAMU was founded in 1887. Currently the vice president for budget and planning at Cornell University, Mangum will also be the first FAMU president in 60 years who didn’t graduate from the university. She said her to-do list is “to strengthen the academic programs that we have, strengthen our faculty and provide the services that our students need to fulfill the promise that we made to them when they entered.”
Dr. Elmira Mangum The trustees voted 10-2 to accept the search committee’s recommendation of Mangum, but only after a public hearing that showed widespread support for keeping
Interim President Dr. Larry Robin- solving financial irregularities and son on a permanent basis. instituting a campus-wide antihazing initiative. Last month, the Tough times regional accrediting body lifted FAMU has not had a full-time FAMU’s probation – a critical depresident since Dr. James Am- cision because otherwise, the unimons resigned in the summer of versity wouldn’t have been able to 2012, following the hazing-relat- accept federal financial aid. And ed death of ‘Marching 100’ drum the Marching 100 returned from major Robert Champion after the suspension in August with a new Florida Classic football game in director, new roster and a new set of rules. November 2011. As a result of Champion’s death and a series of questionable au- Asked not to apply dits, the Southern Association of Many of the trustees praised Colleges and Schools placed FA- Mangum’s qualifications. Some MU on probation in December also took time to rebut the charge 2012. that they had acted improperly by Robinson, who had been proasking Robinson in 2012 not to apvost under Ammons, was tapped ply for the permanent post. as interim president in July 2012. “It was my understanding – and During his 18 months in that role, See MANGUM, Page A2 Robinson led the university in re-
COMMENTARY: LUCIUS GANTT: EVEN CONVICTS CAN BE GREAT LIKE MLK | A2 COMMENTARY: DR. WILMER J. LEON: YOU HAVE THE WATCHES; THEY HAVE THE TIME | A5
JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014
Even convicts can be great like MLK The barbecue smoke permeated the Black community air on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthdate in this year. Some people golfed. Some were boating. Many people participated in symbolic marches where they locked arms on one side with closet Klansmen and on the other side with neo-Nazis and walked a couple of blocks singing, “We Shall Overcome.’’ Poems were recited, speeches were read, and sermons were preached on MLK Day, but very few people expressed a desire to do what Martin Luther King did: stand up, speak out and fight for equal rights and justice.
A convict Dr. King was indeed a great man. You can read the other columnists and news writers to read the same things they write year after year.
Lucius Gantt THE GANTT REPORT
In addition to being a good guy, Martin Luther King, Jr. was also a convict! Dr. King was arrested multiple times during his battles for civil rights. Some of his most memorable letters and remarks were made in the Birmingham jail and perhaps some other correctional facilities. This column was written to tell people currently housed in a prison inside of a prison that you too could aspire to be a great person like Martin Luther King, Jr.
I’m no lawyer The Gantt Report is the selfproclaimed No. 1 column in the
“Big House.” I say that because I don’t know any other writer that gets as much correspondence from people behind bars. Brothers and sisters, I want you to know I love you and I’m with you. But I can’t get you out of jail. I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a bail bondsman and I’m not an escape artist that can break you out like Tom Cruise does in “Mission Impossible” movies! What I can do is prove that you can improve your life and your community once you are released from jail. Don’t worry about being a “felon” or a convict. Not only was Dr. King a wonderful man that was periodically jailed; all of my heroes were convicts, so to speak. Jesus Christ was in jail, Moses was incarcerated, Sampson, Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, Andrew Young, John Lewis, Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Rosa Parks,
Angela Davis, Fannie Lou Hammer, Cynthia McKinney, Stokely Carmichael, Patrice Lumumba, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, Steve Biko and I could go on and on! The point I’m making is that it is never too late to change your life and your community. If you’re incarcerated, no you can’t barbecue or go skiing or sailing. But you can make a decision to be like Martin Luther King, Jr.
Make better choices You can get out of jail and begin to make better choices and better decisions. We all can keep love in our hearts and fire in our bellies. Martin Luther King Jr. is dead. God has called him home to “The Land of Plenty.” But you’re still here. You can still make a difference in your family and in your
HAITI from A1 ordinary Haitians seeking opportunities. Now, as Haiti marked the fourth anniversary Sunday of the tragedy that left more than 300,000 dead and 1.5 million homeless, this haphazardly built community, born out of the disaster, is in the midst of a rebirth. And many are concerned that rebirth is more a throwback to the country’s history of disorderly construction instead of the planned, quake-resistant communities that were envisioned. “There is a huge construction dynamic happening there,” said Odnell David, Haitian government housing division director. “We can’t keep it like this, otherwise it will become a massive slum.” While Canaan has almost all of the amenities of a city – churches, schools, football fields, mom-and-pop shops in a commercial district – it is anything but wellplanned. “When I see Canaan, I see the exact replica of Cite Soleil (a slum in the Portau-Prince area) – a politics of neglect, a large growing cancer,” said Leslie Voltaire, an urban planner who worked on housing issues shortly after the quake. “It’s the image of the reconstruction, but by the people and without any resources.” And that is a disaster waiting to happen in a country where poor construction and urban planning led to the earthquake’s death toll
PATRICK FARRELL/MIAMI HERALD/MCT
A boy learns Creole in Evens Chery’s class at the Institute Mixte Christal in Canaan, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 9, 2014. and the collapse of almost 200,000 buildings, say experts.
Title scams Canaan has become symbolic of the failings of Haiti’s post-quake response. It was under U.S. pressure to find land for housing that the former government of President René Préval declared the large tract of land for public use, triggering an illegal occupation by Haitians seeking the promised land. But instead of free government housing, they found speculators selling them plots without titles. Four years later, government officials are still haggling with some of the country’s most economi-
ADS from A1 agree to sign off an advertising plan that totally disrespects the Black community,” said Cloves C. Campbell, Jr., chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of nearly 200 Black newspapers. “The industry’s past efforts to target African-American consumers have been thoroughly documented. It is sad that an industry that sought to exploit our community with a product that is harmful to our health now seeks to further devalue African-Americans by ignoring the Black media when it is being forced to atone what a federal judge determined was a deliberate effort to deceive the American public.” Peter S. Hamm, director of communications for the Tobacco-Free Kids Action, said Monday that the media outlets were selected by Judge Kessler and disclosed in an order issued Aug. 17, 2006. Hamm said he did not know how she determined what media outlets would be utilized to carry the newspaper ads and television commercials. A telephone call Monday requesting comment from the Justice Department was not returned.
Meeting in Tally Last week, Florida Courier Publisher Charles W. Cherry II traveled to Tallahassee for a meeting with Black state legislators to urge them to pass legislation requiring that millions of dollars of state advertising, marketing, and outreach money be spent with qualified, experienced advertising
cally powerful families to gain title to the land while Haitians continue to stake their claims, marking their parcels with barbwire fencing, wooden frames and unfinished foundations. Gradually, they have transformed the community’s 2,792 acres from a sea of temporary blue tents to permanent housing.
Helping themselves Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said there has been progress over the past four years, not just from the more than 90 percent drop in people living in camps, but from the feelings of despair that have turned into hope. “We have a country that’s
agencies that specialize in servicing African-American media outlets and consumers. He gave a partial list of statefunded advertising listed in the 2012-13 state budget: • $75.7 million for advertising by the Department of Citrus; • $63.5 million for Visit Florida, including $500,000 to contract with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Inc. “to promote Florida tourism by residents of the state;” • $34.8 million for advertising and promotion and $2.7 million for ad agency fees for the Florida Lottery; • $19.5 million for agricultural products marketing; • $8.4 million for the Florida Agriculture Promotion Campaign; • $500,000 to promote civil legal assistance; • $250,000 for alligator marketing & education; • $100,000 for outreach for pregnant women. “This list is not complete or exhaustive, and was intended to be a sample of the millions of dollars in advertising and marketing Florida budgets and spends every year,” he added. “Blacks are 16.6 percent of Florida’s population. Virtually no state advertising dollars go to Blackowned media, which focuses like a laser on Black Floridians. It’s as if we are all invisible,” Cherry argued. “Meanwhile, the Florida Lottery has carved out millions just for Hispanic-owned ad agencies and media. The Florida Lottery’s ‘mainstream’ ad agency, St. Johns and Partners, will only spend $6,000 this year with our company, the largest Black-owned media outlet in Florida. Don’t Black folks buy lottery tickets?”
starting to believe that we can get back on our feet,” he said. Still, Lamothe acknowledges that getting people displaced by the disaster into permanent shelter hasn’t been easy.
Accepting ‘humiliation’ Like most in Canaan, Dieusel Guerrier arrived in the weeks after the quake. At the time, there were only a few tents, he said. “Before our arrival, no one saw the value of this land,” he said. “But we accepted the humiliation to come live out here with the mosquitoes and flies to show this is a place where
Shirt and tie Still, he carries himself with a measure of pride, dressing with a tie and shirt every morning to teach second graders Creole Grammar at the nearby school. “You can’t let people know how you’re living. But this housing situation is my biggest problem,” he said. “I don’t sleep at night. All I do is think.” Like many, Chery says he’s not waiting on the government to seal his fate – “you can’t,” he said. “I don’t live for the government; you have to do it for yourself,” Chery said. “You can’t put it in your head that they are going to do something for you.” For now, the government only has $6 million, which includes USAID’s contribution, to put toward what
Used Black media
According to Cherry, there should be specific budget requests for African-American outreach, promotions, advertising, or marketing for every appropriation that is submitted. “Such outreach, promotions, advertising, or marketing efforts would be published or aired in print or electronic media whose circulation, viewership, or listeners has been audited at least twice in the five previous years and whose content specifically targets Florida’s African-American communities. That’s the best way that taxpayer money is spent efficiently and effectively in legitimate Black-owned media outlets,” Cherry told the Florida Legislative Black Caucus (FLBC).
Regarding the federal antismoking lawsuit, it is ironic that the tobacco industry is bypassing Black media while complying with a federal order to disclose its deception, when in the past it used the Black media to target African-American consumers. “The tobacco industry has gone to great lengths to target the African-American community over the past 30 years,” the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids stated. “Through market research and aggressive advertising, the industry has successfully penetrated this population. The industry’s ‘investment’ in the African-American community has had a destructive impact: African-Americans suffer the greatest burden of tobacco-related mortality of any ethnic or racial group in the United States.” The tobacco industry was among the first to make inroads into the Black community by contributing to Black causes and developing close personal relationships with Black leaders. Both Jim Winston, executive director of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, and Campbell of the NNPA said they plan to contact the Justice Department and ask it to direct tobacco companies to include Blackowned print and broadcast media in their public education buys. If that fails, Campbell said, NNPA will take stronger action. He said, “If our newspapers aren’t good enough to advertise in, their products – including the non-tobacco ones – aren’t good enough for us to consume.”
Less than a week after Cherry’s appearance, FLBC Chairman Alan Williams cancelled a previously scheduled meeting with Scott, citing the governor’s refusal to ensure “proportional representation of state spending on economic development investments, including adverAlan tising programs,” Williams as one of the reasons meeting with him would be “fruitless.” “Today, as we recognize the anniversary of the birth of The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are particularly mindful that the dreams of Floridians remains unfulfilled. Therefore, we take this occasion to respectfully remind you that there are significant needs facing Floridians that demand attention and action,” Williams wrote.
Buy Gantt’s latest book, “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing” on Amazon.com and from bookstores everywhere. Contact Lucius at www.allworldconsultants.net. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
humans can live.” While Guerrier is defiant in his position that he won’t be evicted, others live in constant fear they could be. School teacher Evens Chery, 27, said he only recently had the courage to put up wooden frames on the small plot he settled on four years ago after the quake destroyed his Petionville childhood home, and killed his father. He’s on his 14th tent, an oversize, weather-beaten canvas he shared with his family until his wife, three months ago, left with his two young sons, saying she couldn’t live in a tent anymore. “I don’t invite friends over because for me, this is a deplorable way to live,” he said.
neighborhood. Everybody in America that doesn’t have any money is a convict. You are trapped in a capitalist economic system, and you can only get out if you get paid! God bless the history and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and God bless our family, friends and neighbors that are behind bars because of false accusations and wrongful convictions. To the bad guys in jail: When you get out of the slammer, be good!
NNPA Editor-In-Chief George E. Curry contributed to this report.
David, the housing director, hopes will be a pilot program offering water, sanitation, roads and lessons on how to properly build. But perhaps the biggest challenge will be gaining the trust of a population that until now has been fending for itself with no basic services from the government.
Poor sanitation “There is no water, there is no electricity” Jean-Luckner Dupervil, a resident and co-head of the local community in Canaan 2. “When people have needs, they either do it in a bucket and later bury it, or go into the bushes.” David acknowledged that turning the area into an organized space won’t be easy, beginning with figuring our who lives there and how many. He was surprised to learn that an aid group was building homes in the community without permission. “It’s complicated, but not impossible,” he said. “The population is moving faster than the state but everything requires reflection.” Development experts and urban planners say that Canaan is the logical continuation of Haiti’s overpopulated capital. “The time is now to do something before it becomes completely uncontrollable,” said Sandrine Capelle-Manuel, program coordinator in Haiti for UN Habitat, which is advising the government on the issue. “There is a possibility to make that a real city and not a Cite Soleil in five years.”
MANGUM from A1 I think the board took into consideration – that the speed at which it appointed him that day was in no small part due to the understanding that he would not be a permanent candidate for the position,” Trustee Rufus Montgomery said. “And so I think that has been left out of the conversation here today.” Mangum, 60, has been at her post at Cornell since 2010. She was senior associate provost at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and vice provost at the University of Buffalo. She was a member of the inaugural class of the Millennium Leadership Institute and attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education Management Development Program and Cornell’s Administrative Management Institute. A North Carolina native, Mangum graduated magna cum laude as a geography major from North Carolina Central University. She earned her Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy from the University at Buffalo and graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with two master’s degrees, one in public policy and public administration and another in urban and regional planning. She is a life member of the National Council of Negro Women and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Mangum’s salary and start date are still under negotiation.
JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014
Study shows half of Black men arrested by age 23 About 40 percent of White males have been jailed by that age BY ZENITHA PRINCE TRICE EDNEY NEWS SERVICE
Nearly half of all AfricanAmerican males are arrested by age 23, outpacing their White counterparts, according to a new study published Jan. 6 in the journal Crime & Delinquency. Robert Brame, the study’s lead author and a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina, said the racial differences are the most striking aspect of the study. Compared to the 49 percent of the Black male population arrested at least once for a non-traffic offense by age 23, approximately 40 percent of White males are arrested by that age. The disturbing findings present weighty implications for the Black community as arrests can severely impact an individual’s ability to find employment, pursue education and participate in their communities, researchers said.
1997 to 2008 data “Many males – especially Black males – are navigating the transition from youth to adulthood with the baggage and difficulties from contact with the criminal justice system,” Brame said in a statement. “Criminal records that show up in searches can impede employment, reduce access to housing, thwart admission to and financing for higher education and affect civic and volunteer activities such as voting or adoption. They also can damage personal and family relationships.” The study, which re-
Young offenders, escorted by a supervisor, walk to a classroom building at the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Center in Joliet, Ill. searchers said represents the first set of contemporary findings on the risk of arrest across race and gender, analyzed national survey data from 1997 to 2008 of teenagers and young adults ages 18 to 23, and their arrest histories. Excluding arrests for minor traffic violations, the study considered a range of offenses including truancy and underage drinking to more serious and violent offenses.
Increases with age Among the study’s key findings was that, by age 18,
almost one-third of Black males, 26 percent of Hispanic males and 22 percent of White males have been arrested. Some states consider adolescents as young as age 16 and 17 to be adults in the eyes of the law. As the ages increase, so do the rates of arrest: by age 23, 49 percent of Black males, 44 percent of Hispanic males and 38 percent of White males have been detained by law enforcement, the study found. Among females, the prevalence of arrests also increased as they aged, but the variations based on
race were slight – arrests of White females actually slightly outpace their minority counterparts. At age 18, arrest rates were 12 percent for White females and 11.8 percent and 11.9 percent for Hispanic and Black females, respectively. By age 23, arrest rates were 20 percent for White females and 18 percent and 16 percent for Hispanic and Black females, respectively.
More research needed The study builds on a
previous effort by the team, which includes Ray Paternoster at the University of Maryland, Michael Turner at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Shawn Bushway at the University at Alban. The earlier study was released in January 2012 in the journal Pediatrics and was the first that examined arrest prevalence since the 1960s; researchers found that one in three persons are arrested by age 23. Brame said additional research needs to focus on developing an understanding of the economic, social
and law enforcement factors that can influence arrests and what role gender and race play. “As a society, we often worry a great deal about the effects of children watching television, eating junk food, playing sports and having access to good schools,” he said. “Experiencing formal contact with the criminal justice system could also have powerful effects on behavior and impose substantial constraints on opportunities for America’s youth.”
MLK twerk party canceled over disturbing flyer FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
A “Freedom 2 Twerk Martin Luther King Day Party in Michigan has been cancelled. The party in Flint for teens was scheduled at The Social Network Banquet and Event Center, but a flyer showing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s face pasted onto a body of a man wearing a gold chain and making a “westside” sign with one hand has prompted the venue owner to cancel the event. Vic McEwen said he had no idea the party would be advertised using a manipulated photo of the iconic civil rights leader. When McEwen saw the flyer, he promptly cancelled the event. The flyer has created some outrage online and even King’s daughter, Dr. Bernice King, told an Atlanta television station the image was “appalling.’’ McEwen, who also owns a barbershop in Flint, stressed that his business has no affiliation with the organization MidMichigan Teen Parties, which he said rented the hall for the event. “We have reprimanded this organization as much as we can,” said McEwen, who said he was very disturbed to see King’s image manipulated.
A flyer promoting a teen MLK party in Flint, Mich., has sparked outrage.
Local NAACP responds McEwen said there is a clause in his contract saying all promotional materials bearing his business’s name have to get his approval. Since this material wasn’t submitted for approval, he was able to cancel the event. “For what Dr. King and some of our fallen giants have done not just for Black America but for our country as a whole ... it’s very sad,” McEwen said. Added Frances Gilcreast, president of the NAACP Flint branch, “Some people don’t get it. If they can ever tie baggy pants and gold chains to Dr. Martin Luther King, they don’t know the history of this man and how important he was.” Gilcreast said the flyer is in no way a representation of Flint, which has a rich history of celebrating King and civil rights leaders. “We’ve got way too many events planned to celebrate his birthday that are educational and impactful and relevant today,” she added.
Former Congressman’s aide wins GOP primary
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David Jolly secured the GOP nomination Tuesday to succeed longtime Pinellas County Congressman C.W. Bill Young, setting up what is likely to be a brutal contest against former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink in the Congressional District 13 special election. Jolly, a lobbyist and former aide to Young, received nearly 45 percent of the vote in a three-way primary against state Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, and Mark Bircher, a Navy veteran and commercial airline pilot. Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry congratulated Jolly in a statement Tuesday evening. “Jolly is a strong candidate, who will carry on the legacy of Bill Young by David fighting every day for the Jolly citizens of Pinellas County. “While Alex Sink owns a record of failure as CFO and supports the failed policies of the Obama Administra-
tion, including Obamacare, David Jolly will fight for small businesses and the middle class while bringing common sense to Washington.” The race to replace Young, who died in October, is among the most-watched in the nation. Republicans still hold a slight registration edge over Democrats, but independents make up nearly a quarter of the voters in the Pinellas County district. “This is a district that Republicans have held for decades and they will undoubtedly go to the mat to keep it,” Alixandria Lapp, executive director of the Democrats’ House Majority PAC, said in a statement. “The choice for voters in Pinellas County couldn’t be more clear: Alex Sink, a business leader and common sense problem solver, and David Jolly, a Washington, D.C., lobbyist who worked as a shill for the highest-bidding special interest.” The special general election is March 11. Sink did not face a Democratic primary opponent.
Scary sambo sports writers I want to thank all of the fans, followers, supporters and readers of The Gantt Report but I want you to know that I didn’t start my media career as an editorial columnist. I began my career long, long ago in the Production Department at WSB-TV, a prominent Atlanta television station. After college at Georgia State and grad school at The Washington Journalism Center my world-class media career began as a sports writer for The Associated Press in New York City. There I was the first Black sports writer to cover all major sports on the national and international level.
Lucius Gantt THE GANTT REPORT
My stories on major league baseball, pro basketball, tennis, boxing and other sports appeared in newspapers from Los Angeles to Miami, from Maine to mainland China. I said all of that to say this, many of today’s AfricanAmerican sports writers make me sick! To me, most are not “Black,” they are merely White sports casters dipped in chocolate!
JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014
If you know the history of Black sports media you would know that back in the day White media organizations would have little or nothing to say that was positive about Blacks in sports.
Love what they love, hate what they hate To get positive stories about Joe Louis, Satchel Paige, Jesse Owens, Althea Gibson, Charlie Sifford and other Blacks in sports we would have to get it from Black radio or Black newspapers and magazines like The Atlanta World, The Pittsburg Courier, The Chicago Defender or Marcus Garvey’s Black World magazine. And the same is true today! White sports editors and sports directors don’t hire Black people that love Black athletes and love Black people they hire sports writ-
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: REPUBLICAN PLAN FOR THE POOR
PAT BALEY, SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
The Internet is a plantation with ‘Big Media’ masters “Network neutrality” on the Internet is the idea that anyone can access it, with any device, to view or contribute any content. According to the federal court of appeals in D.C., network neutrality on the Internet is now over. From this point on, the court has ruled, Internet providers can levy extra tolls upon, slow down or simply ban any content or any users they choose, for any reason whatsoever. Internet companies can now tell you which hardware and software devices, what kinds of computers, phones, programs and applications you may or may not use, and from which locations. The Internet is now a plantation, with Comcast, AT&T and Verizon its masters, and the rest of us serfs or worse.
BRUCE A. DIXON BLACK AGENDA REPORT
the public's right to communicate with itself, that they protect the free and open Internet upon which we all depend. You won't hear Al Sharpton, your other civil rights dinosaurs or the NAACP talk about this because they depend on telecom money. Obama must instruct the FCC to reclassify broadband Internet as a telecommunications service, so that it comes under existing laws that preserve a measure of Internet neutrality and freedom, and prevent Verizon, AT&T and Comcast from treating the Internet like their company town or plantation. For more information, visit freepress.net and let the White House and FCC know that the Internet cannot be a plantation.
campaign saying he would take a back seat to nobody in fighting for network neutrality. The White House has occasionally, though increasingly feebly renewed that pledge. But Obama's first Federal Communications Commission chief was the man who wrote the 1990s laws that privatized the Internet backbone, giving it to telecom companies for pennies on the dollar. This is an emergency. It's time for everyone with a computer, everyone with a cell phone, everyone who uses discount phone cards, Click on this story at those who place calls over An emergency the Internet, to demand www.flcourier.com to write President Obama did that this Congress protect your own response.
Opinions expressed on this editorial page are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of the newspaper or the publisher.
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ers and broadcasters that love what they love and hate what they hate. Michael Vick, according to the White sports press, is the most hated athlete in the world. He is not hated because he went to jail for dog fighting. He is hated because he is Black. The people that hate Vick don’t hate White dog fighters who dominate the sport, created the sport and participate the most in the cruel sport. They just hate Vick. So, what do the scary Sambo sportswriters do? They hate Vick too. You know who I’m talking about but for the sake of this column let’s call the Blacks on ESPN, TNT, CBS Sports, FOX Sports, NBC Sports, Sports South, the Sunshine Network and other sports networks Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima. Tom and Jemima will tell you Blacks are not good
quarterbacks because they can run well and white QBs can throw well. Well, last time I checked no matter what happens in the playoffs a Black QB that can run will be in the Super Bowl whether its Russell Wilson, Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick. Maybe Vick would have been there if Tom and Jemima had not fallen in love with Philly’s Nick Folds, I’m sorry, Nick Foles. Instead of talking about how good FSU’s Jameis Winston was last season, Tom and Jemima wouldn’t celebrate the Heisman winner. They praise losing QBs like Johnny Football. All we want our news and sportswriters to do is tell the truth. When athletes, like Vick, do bad, say it. When they atone for bad deeds, rehabilitate themselves and become good citizens say that too. When you hear bad things
about Venus and Serena, bad things about Floyd Mayweather, bad things about Barry Bonds, bad things about Tiger Woods, bad things about Usain Bolt and other Black sports figures don’t blame it on the alcohol, blame it on the Black Sambo sports people! Don’t be timid if you want to be a sports journalist. In the Biblical book of Mathew, Chapter 28, and I’m paraphrasing now, Jesus said, “Fear not. Don’t be afraid.” So don’t be a sports punk or a scary Sambo sports writer and always tell the truth about Black athletes good or bad!
Buy Gantt's book "Beast Too: Dead Man Writing" online or at any major book store. Conact Lucius at www.allworldconsultants.net. Write your own response at www.flcourier.com.
The simple truth is Despite generalized protest to the contrary, there are many who would argue that one is rarely exposed to accidental circumstance – accidents just don’t happen! In the contemporary lexicon of numerous professions, the term “accidental” has been replaced with the term “negligent.” The obvious difference between the two terms relates to the fact that, in one situation, control of circumstance has been relinquished to Fate and, in the other it is acknowledged that a measured evaluation of a situation would’ve allowed a reasonable prediction of its outcome. The term negligent supports the belief that, with studied anticipation and appropriate avoidance, negative outcomes can be prevented.
Connected to past practices Although I’m unwilling to accept the absolute correctness of either of these positions, in matters of public policy, I hold little belief in the occurrence of accidents. Moreover, I believe that most of the circumstances that impact society – both positive and negative – are connected to past and current practices in such a way as to make them easily predictable. For us to digest the media misinformation and ascribe blame or cause as directed by the media or those who influence it is the height of civic negligence. Although I take a great deal of personal pride as one
Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. TRICE EDNEY WIRE
whose judgment is rooted in objectivity, I’m not totally innocent of making subjective decisions. In all of my decision-making processes, I do make a heartfelt attempt to weigh all of the information available and reach good, old-fashioned, commonsense conclusions. While the US creates an environment where one family (the Waltons of WalMart) holds wealth in an amount that equals the total wealth of the 125 MILLION poorest Americans, where billion-dollar corporations receive Federal subsidies or tax exemptions that allow them to pay little, if any, taxes, and where millionaire Congressmen protect the greater interests of the wealthy, we’re told that unemployed Americans need to receive a boost in their self-esteem with a cut to their long-term unemployment benefits. This is the logic of some in the face of three applicants for every available job.
There is a connection The same folks who sling that self-esteem lie are working at light speed trying to convince us that a law that extends the protection and emotional security of guaranteed health care to most
Americans is LESS preferable than a health care system in which most regulations, costs and distributions are controlled by insurance companies. They would have us believe that our fellow Americans with “pre-existing conditions” aren’t worthy of the protections health insurance provides. They’d also have us believe that an Emergency Room for Primary Care system that burdens all citizens with having to subsidize healthcare with tax revenues is preferable to the self-reliance of an Affordable Care Act. While the wealthy and their legislative allies collaborate and conspire to defund or divert tax revenues away from public education, they simultaneously try to convince us that privatizing the system will make things better. Instead of strengthening K-12 public education to realize more balanced outcomes with private schools, they wish to close “nonperforming schools.” But where, pray tell, will they put the students of those closed schools? The SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE seems to be the obvious answer. Most of us are aware of these problems. The simple truth is that too many of us do not acknowledge the connection between them.
Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. is Chair of the National Congress of Black Women. www.nationalcongressbw.org. Write your own response at www.flcourier.com.
Scott remains quiet on $63 million unemployment website debacle On October 15, 2013, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity rolled out a new unemployment website called “CONNECT” and it has been a disaster. Initially, the managers tried to tell the public that it was working okay with a few glitches, but eventually the truth came out as thousands complained about the system. Stories started coming into the lawmakers’ offices about one failure after another. “People can’t get their benefits. They get kicked off the system. The website freezes. The phone-in help lines are so overloaded that people can’t even get through. Please try your call again later instructed an automated voice when I called at different time,” said Scott Maxwell, Orlando Sentinel writer. This was in late October 2013, and it is now January 2014, and many of the problems still exist. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson has stepped up to call for an investigation, but our governor has remained silent. Scott is not the only legislator that has not exposed the problem, but state legislators are acting indifferent to this mess. Maybe because it is the holiday, and everyone in Tallahassee is on vacation and not much work gets done during the holiday.
ROGER CALDWELL GUEST COLUMNIST
Maybe it’s because in November 2013, Monica Russell, a DEO spokeswoman repeated that the system has not been down, but in reality it was not working. Maybe it’s because our governor is not reading the paper, and no one on his staff has told him there is a problem.
Too many tech problems
project site. None of these changes worked and Deloitte is now getting fined $15,000 a day and on December 20, 2013, the state withheld a $3 million payment for 53 technical issues. Deloitte has agreed to bring additional programmers to Florida to address technical issues and is working on a plan to solve all remaining problems. As Deloitte attempts to fix the problems, the DEO has spent $1.1 million in overtime. DEO has also had to hire 250 extra adjudicators and 80 call center agents, which will cost $164,700, a week. Governor Scott can remain silent and act like this is not his responsibility, but the buck stops at the top. Scott can run and hide, but the reporters will continue to dig for answers. The Florida taxpayer’s taxes built this website and we have a right to know when there is a problem with our money. The taxpayers funded the system, and Governor Scott needs to be transparent and explain how the problem is being solved, and when folks who have not got their checks, will get their money.
But there are thousands of Floridians who are owed checks and they have not received their money. These problems come as no surprise to the DEO, because the state department tried to fire Deloitte Consulting LLP last year. The executive steering committee knew that Deloitte was not doing the job, but they thought the old system was getting ready to collapse. Instead of firing the company they implemented a corrective action plan, where Deloitte agreed to pay financial restitution and abide by the contractual performance conditions. Deloitte changed their projWrite your own response ect management team and added additional staff to the at www.flcourier.com.
JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014
You have the watches; they have the time Time in jail and time in the jihad mean nothing to us…Your watch’s battery will run down, and its hands will stop. But our time in the struggle will never end. We will win.” Mujahid Rahman Afghan fighter - Newsweek 2011 According to the BBC News and other sources, the US installed and backed government in Iraq has lost control of the city of Fallujah to fighters aligned with al-Qaeda affiliated militants. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Residents and officials said U.S. weapons were pillaged from armories after fighters took control of Fallujah and skirmished with Iraqi government troops on the road to Baghdad.” After eight years of war, the lives of more than 4,000 American troops and approximately 134,000 Iraqi civilians; and close to $2 trillion in directly associated costs, armed rebels are regaining control of a major Iraqi city and using U.S. weapons to do it. Prominent Republicans are blaming the Obama administrations withdrawal from Iraq for these recent developments. Some have called it “predictable” Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have jointly stated that these events are, “…as tragic as they were predictable.” They went on to accuse the Obama administration of misleading the American people into believing that Iraqi government officials wanted US forces out of their
DR. WILMER J. LEON III TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
country. “The administration’s narrative that Iraq’s political leadership objected to U.S. forces remaining in Iraq after 2011 is patently false.”
Operation Iraqi Freedom McCain and Graham are correct, these events are, “…as tragic as they were predictable.” The problem with their assessment is that their “predictions” come ten years, thousands of lives, and trillions of dollars too late. President Obama merely extracted U.S. forces from the fool’s errand called “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” There was never a belief by any objective analyst that the U.S. could “win” a war in Iraq. History is replete with examples of the difference in mindset between those who invade to steal resources and those who are willing to die to repel it. As was stated in Afghanistan applies to Iraq as well, “Americans have the watches; we have the time.” McCain and Gram are correct, the American people were misled by a narrative on the issue of Iraq but not by the Obama administration. They were misled by former President Bush, VP Cheney, Pow-
George E. Curry NNPA COLUMNIST
won. The richest nation on Earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it.”
Did poverty win? Providing a throwaway line that conservatives still use today, the former actor said: “In 1964 the famous War on Poverty was declared and a funny thing happened…I guess you could say, poverty won the war.” Liberals were also misleading, saying instead of having a War on Poverty, it was more like a skirmish on poverty. The truth lies somewhere between those polar opposites.
ell, Rice, Rumsfeld and a number of other officials in the Bush 41’ administration. Lest we forget the Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon led by Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith from September 2002 to June 2003? On March 19, 2003, U.S. forces began military operations in Iraq. President Bush stated: “The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.” According to Representative Henry Waxman’s (D-CA) report Iraq on the Record, Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, and Rumsfeld made 237 specific misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq in 125 public appearances. These appearances consisted of “…40 speeches, 26 press conferences and briefings, 53 interviews, 4 written statements, and 2 congressional testimonies.”
Lie after lie after lie According to the report, the statements began at least a year before the commencement of hostilities in Iraq, when Vice President Cheney stated on March 17, 2002: “We know they have biological and chemical weapons.” Bush and his cronies lied about Iraq's nuclear capabilities, chemical and biological weapons, the relationship between Iraq and Al-Qaeda, and Iraq as an urgent threat. They also lied about the possibility of a
Since we began collecting such statistics, the lowest U.S. poverty rate was 11.1 percent in 1973. It rose to 15.2 percent in 1983 before falling back to 11.3 percent. In 2012, 13 million people lived below half of the poverty line, most of them children. According to scholars at Columbia University, when recalculated to include expenses not counted in official statistics, the poverty rate fell from more than 25 percent in 1967 to about 16 percent today. Over that period, the child poverty rate declined form 30 percent to less than 20 percent and the elderly poverty rate decline dramatically, from 45 percent to 15 percent. “The truth is that the nation’s investment in the War on Poverty has yielded huge and lasting gains,” Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik wrote. “LBJ’s program was not just a plan for fi-
Republicans’ war on the impoverished I have written about the huge opportunity Black dissatisfaction with Obama presents to the Republican Party. It’s time to speak directly to Black Republicans and GOP congressional leadership about dissatisfaction with the loyal opposition. Last week marked the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” legislation that Johnson outlined during his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964. This was Johnson’s response to the poverty rate at the time hovering around 20 percent. Talk of poverty normally conjures up images of Black faces, but the reality is that in raw numbers, there are more Whites in poverty than Blacks. But, as a percentage of the population, the poverty rate of Blacks exceeds that of Whites. The War on Poverty was a logical program if you believed in big government. Also, to my conservative Republican friends (Black and White), please understand the historic context behind the Black community’s seemingly embrace of big government. While many conservatives were aggressively embracing Jim Crow, segregation, and racial discrimination, our only ally was the federal government. Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965
RAYNARD JACKSON NNPA COLUMNIST
are but three examples. So, it’s not so much that Blacks are in love with big government, but without big government, Blacks would still be in slavery, have separate but unequal schools, would not be able to vote, or be able to eat in the restaurants of our choosing. Those are undeniable facts. Yet, last week, I saw and heard many Black Republicans on TV, radio, and in newspapers criticizing Johnson’s War on Poverty. I saw Republican congressional leaders giving major policy speeches at conservative White think tanks; but they never appeared before Black organizations. Even when it comes to optics, Republicans tend to be tone deaf.
Stand for something So, to my Black Republican friends and congressional leaders, always remember that it is easy to be against something. But what are you for? Blacks are thirsting for answers to the problems facing them. As a graduate of Oral Roberts University, I am reminded of what Oral would always tell us, “Go into everyman’s world and meet them at the point of
their need.” If you truly believe the Republican message can really turn around the lives of those that have been hurt by liberalism and big government, when will you take your solutions to the marketplace of ideas in those communities? Just think back to your elementary school days when the teacher asked a question and you knew the answer. You threw your hand up in the air and could not wait for the teacher to call on you. Well, Jeremiah had a similar experience in the Bible in Jeremiah 20:9, “… But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” Blacks’ disenchantment with the Democrats and Obama is the match that should ignite a fire within the Republican Party in regards to the Black vote. But there won’t be a spark among those ranks until Republicans present a genuine program for Black America, not an endless list of what they are against.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. Write your own response at www.flcourier.com.
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: JERSEY SHOCKER
The war on poverty – and MLK We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty at roughly the same time we’re observing the 85th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That’s fitting because despite the concentrated effort to neuter King by overemphasizing his 1964 “I Have a Dream Speech,” his last days on earth were spent trying to uplift garbage workers in Memphis, Tenn. and planning a Poor Peoples Campaign that would culminate in a march to the nation’s capital. Unlike today, when our politicians seek to get elected and reelected by groveling and catering to the middle class, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty in his Jan. 8, 1964 State of the Union message. “This administration here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America,” he said. “We shall not rest until that war is
DAVID FITZSIMMONS, THE ARIZONA STAR
"mushroom cloud," Iraq’s attempt to acquire uranium, and the relationship between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. McCain and Graham went on to say, “Thousands of brave Americans who fought, shed their blood, and lost their friends to bring peace to Fallujah and Iraq are now left to wonder whether these sacrifices were in vain…” Again, they are correct but the confusion of our brave warriors is not due to President Obama’s withdrawing them from the conflict and removing them from harms way. The repercussions from the failures in Iraq are manifesting themselves in Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and other parts of the world. Contrary to partisan foolishness and hype being touted by the
likes of McCain and Graham, it’s not due to an early withdrawal by President Obama. It’s due to the short-sighted perspective and arrogance of an overextended failing hegemon that never really understood its enemy to begin with. “Time in jail and time in the jihad mean nothing to us… Your watch’s battery will run down, and its hands will stop. But our time in the struggle will never end. We will win.” America has the watches but the “enemy” has the time.
Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the Sirius/XM Satellite radio channel 110 call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon.” Write your own response at www.flcourier.com.
nancial handouts. It also encompassed a broad approach encompassing ‘better schools, and better health, and better homes, and better training, and better job opportunities,’ as he put it in his address on Jan. 8, 1964. LBJ’s campaign brought us Head Start (in 1965) as well as Medicare and Medicaid. He understood that political and social empowerment were indispensable factors in economic betterment, so he pushed for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” Still, many expected the poverty rate to be lower than it is today.
est year available) and 2012. There is also the issue of shrinking jobs that pay decent wages, especially those at the low end of the pay scale. “Poverty in America is high compared to other wealthy nations largely because our safety net does less to lift people out of poverty than those of other Western nations,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted. The War on Poverty is far from over. Although slow to join the battle, President Obama is now fully engaged, underscoring our country’s economic inequality. The numbers don’t lie This is no time for the president According to the Center for or Congress to surrender. Budget and Policy Priorities, between 1964 and 2012, the share George E. Curry, former edof national income going to the itor-in-chief of Emerge magatop 1 percent of U.S. households nearly doubled, from 11 percent zine, is editor-in-chief of the to 22 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, National Newspaper Publishers the share of national income go- Association News Service. Write ing to the poorest fifth of house- your own response at www.flholds fell between 1979 (the earli- courier.com.
End of marijuana prohibition not the end of war on drugs "Ask yourself, what would it look like if policymakers wanted to end the prohibition of marijuana, but not necessarily the war on drugs…” The forty years of socalled “war on drugs” has been the rhetorical excuse for a nationwide policy of punitive overpolicing in black and brown communities. Although black and white rates of drug use have been virtually identical, law enforcement strategies focused police resources almost exclusively upon communities of color. Prosecutors and judges did their bit as well, charging and convicting whites significantly less often, and to less severe sentences than Blacks.
What would it look like? The forty years war on drugs has been the front door of what can only be described as the prison state, in which African Americans are 13% of the population but more than 40% of the prisoners, and the chief interactions of government with young black males is policing, the courts and imprisonment. Given all that, the beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition, first in Colorado and soon to be followed by other states ought to be great good news. But not necessarily. Ask yourself, what would it look like if policymakers wanted to end the prohibition of marijuana, but not necessarily the war on
BRUCE A. DIXON BLACK AGENDA REPORT
drugs? What if they desired to lock down the potential economic opportunities opened up by legalizing weed to themselves and their class, to a handful of their wealthy and well-connected friends and campaign contributors? What if they wanted to make the legal marijuana market safe for predatory agribusiness, which would like to claim lucrative patents on all the genetic varieties of marijuana which can be legally grown, as they already try to do with other crops? "The end of marijuana prohibition is not designed to create jobs in our communities, nor is it intended to shrink the prison state..."
You paid how much? If they wanted to do those things, the system in place in Colorado today would be a good start. In Denver today, low income property owners can't just plant pot in the back yard or on the roof in hopes of making one mortgage payment a year out of twelve, it doesn't work that way. Ordinary households are limited to 3 plants per adult, and for reference only the female plants are good for smoking, and prohibited from selling the weed or
the seed. To participate in the marijuana economy as anything but a consumer requires background checks, hefty license fees, a minimum of hundreds of thousands to invest, and the right connections. All this currently drives the price of legal weed in Colorado to over $600 per ounce, including a 25% state tax, roughly double the reported street price of illegal weed. So to enable the state to collect that tax money, and the bankers, growers and investors to collect their profits from marijuana taxed by the state and regulated in the corporate interest, cops and judges and jailers in near future, in Colorado and in your state as well, figure to be just as busy as they always have been the last forty years, doing pretty much what they've always done... conducting a war on illegal drugs, chiefly in the poorer and Blacker sections of town, with predictable results. The end of marijuana prohibition is not designed to create jobs in our communities, nor is it intended to shrink the prison state. Our ruling class simply does not allow economic growth that they can't monopolize, and the modern prison state has never been about protecting the public from drugs or crime.
Bruce A. Dixon is the managing editor at Black Agenda Report and the cochair of the Georgia Green Party.
JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014
Judge denies effort to revoke Alexander’s bond Duval County Circuit Judge James Daniel denied a motion last week by State Attorney Angela Corey’s office to revoke bond or tighten restrictions on Marissa Alexander, a woman Daniel initially sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a gun in a 2010 dispute with her husband. Assistant State Attorney Rich Mantei argued that Alexander had violated the terms of her bond, which permit her to
Attorney puts $1.8 mill into marijuana drive NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
Orlando attorney John Morgan is going all-in as he tries to get a measure on the November ballot to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. Morgan, through The Morgan Firm PA, contributed $913,407 in December to the group leading the drive, People United for Medical Marijuana. John Morgan’s firm Morgan also loaned $909,957 to the effort, according to newly filed campaign finance reports.
The prosecutors’ motion argued that “[t]he counselor from whom (Alexander) sought her ‘permission’ is not a lawyer, not an attorney, and most importantly, not a circuit judge … Defendant’s seeking approval only from her civilian monitor evinces a deliberate attempt to prevent her actions from being discovered by others.”
leave home only for court appearances, medical emergencies and to satisfy any requirements of her pretrial services programs. Alexander had Marissa gone shopping Alexander and ran errands with permission from a counselor at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
In all, People United for Medical Marijuana raised $1,137,286 during December, bringing its overall total to more than $2.4 million. Those totals don’t include the loans from Morgan. During 2013, Morgan made about $2.8 million in contributions and loans to the marijuana-legalization effort, records show.
Feb. 1 deadline Supporters of the proposed constitutional am-endment are trying to meet a Feb. 1 deadline for submitting 683,149 valid petition signatures to the state to get on the ballot. As of Monday morning, the state Division of Elections website indicated 377,244 valid signatures had been submitted. That number has quickly grown, but the Morgan-led People United for Medical Marijuana also still needs to win approval of the proposed ballot wording from the Florida Supreme Court. Attorney General Pam Bondi and Republican legislative leaders have objected to the wording, saying it does not fully disclose the effects of the proposed amendment.
‘Mistakes happen’ The Florida Times-Union re-
ported that Daniel was displeased with the sheriff’s employee, but allowed Alexander to remain free, saying, “This was not a willful violation. It was a mistake, and mistakes happen.” Last year the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that Daniel had erred in his instructions to the jury that Alexander had to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that she feared an aggravated assault at the hands of her husband, Rico Gray.
Sheldon and Thurston struggle to raise for races Democratic attorney-general candidates George Sheldon and Perry Thurston combined to raise less than $19,000 in December for their campaign accounts, while Republican incumbent
Election dates set for Orange County House seat Voters in western Orange County may have to wait until after the halfway point of the 2014 legislative session to select a replacement for former Florida Rep. Steve Precourt. Gov. Rick Scott announced last week that a primary election, if needed for the House District 44 seat, would be held March 11, a week after the 60-day session begins. That would put the special general election on April 8. If no primary is needed, the
Pam Bondi continued to widen her huge financial lead, newly filed reports show. Sheldon, a former Department of Children and Families secspecial election would be held on March 11. Former Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, who had already opened a campaign account to run for Precourt's seat this fall, has announced he would run in a special election. Two Democrats have filed to run in November for the seat, Shaun Raja of Orlando and Lee Douglas of Winter Garden. Raja had raised $1,500 as of Dec. 31. Douglas, who Precourt defeated by nearly 20 percentage points in 2010, has loaned his own campaign $850. Candidates must qualify between 8 a.m. Jan. 28 and noon, Jan. 29. Precourt, an Orlando Republican who was in his final House term, submitted his res-
The jury convicted her of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which carries a mandatory sentence of 20 years under Florida’s 10-20-Life law. Her new trial is scheduled for March 31. The case has drawn widespread attention and has helped spur lawmakers to consider a proposal that would grant immunity to Floridians who show guns or fire warning shots in self-defense. retary, collected $6,525 during the month, bringing his total to $58,332. Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat who is the House minority leader, raised $12,315, giving him a total of $33,815. Bondi, meanwhile, raised $116,105 during December and had a total of $642,556. Two Bondi-aligned political committees also have combined to raise a total of about $1.2 million. Candidates and committees were required to file updated finance reports with the state by a Friday deadline. ignation on Jan. 9, two days after being offered the position of executive director of the OrlandoOrange County Expressway Authority.
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JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014
FAMU grads release ‘Black Coffee’ movie See page B5
SHARING BLACK LIFE, STATEWIDE
SOUTH FLORIDA / TREASURE COAST AREA www.flcourier.com
A big win for ’12 Years A Slave’ See page B5
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ ”
‘I Have A Dream’
Here is the entire text of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech delivered on Aug. 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification” – one day right there in Alabama, little Black boys and Black girls will be able to join hands with little White boys and White girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together." This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we America’s will be able to work together, to promissory note pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand In a sense, we've come to our up for freedom together, knowing nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our reNATIONAL ARCHIVES/MCT that we will be free one day. And this will be the day – this public wrote the magnificent Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his famous speak during the Civil Rights March on Washingwill be the day when all of God's words of the Constitution and the ton, Aug. 28, 1963. children will be able to sing with Declaration of Independence, new meaning: they were signing a promissory My country 'tis of thee, sweet note to which every American It would be fatal for the nation many of our White brothers, as great trials and tribulations. land of liberty, of thee I sing. was to fall heir. This note was evidenced by their presence here Some of you have come fresh to overlook the urgency of the a promise that all men, – yes, Land where my fathers died, today, have come to realize that moment. This sweltering sumfrom narrow jail cells. And some Black men as well as White men land of the Pilgrim's pride, mer of the Negro's legitimate dis- their destiny is tied up with our of you have come from areas – would be guaranteed the "unFrom every mountainside, let destiny. And they have come to content will not pass until there where your quest for freedom alienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty is an invigorating autumn of free- realize that their freedom is inex- left you battered by the storms of freedom ring! and the pursuit of Happiness." And if America is to be a great tricably bound to our freedom. dom and equality. persecution and staggered by the It is obvious today that Amerination, this must become true. We cannot walk alone. And Nineteen sixty-three is not an winds of police brutality. ca has defaulted on this promisAnd so let freedom ring from as we walk, we must make the end, but a beginning. And those You have been the veterans of sory note, insofar as her citizens the prodigious hilltops of New who hope that the Negro needed pledge that we shall always creative suffering. Continue to of color are concerned. Instead to blow off steam and will now be march ahead. We cannot turn work with the faith that unearned Hampshire. Let freedom ring of honoring this sacred obligacontent will have a rude awaken- back. suffering is redemptive. Go back from the mighty mountains of tion, America has given the NeNew York. Let freedom ring from There are those who are asking if the nation returns to busito Mississippi, go back to Alagro people a bad check – a check ness as usual. And there will be ing the devotees of civil rights, bama, go back to South Carolina, the heightening Alleghenies of which has come back marked Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring "When will you be satisfied?" neither rest nor tranquility in go back to Georgia, go back to "insufficient funds." We can never be satisfied as America until the Negro is grantfrom the snow-capped Rockies of Louisiana, go back to the slums But we refuse to believe that long as the Negro is the victim of and ghettos of our northern cities Colorado. Let freedom ring from ed his citizenship rights. The the bank of justice is bankrupt. whirlwinds of revolt will continue the unspeakable horrors of po– knowing that somehow this sit- the curvaceous slopes of CaliWe refuse to believe that there lice brutality. We can never be to shake the foundations of our fornia. uation can and will be changed. are insufficient funds in the great nation until the bright day of jus- satisfied as long as our bodies, But not only that – Let freeLet us not wallow in the valley vaults of opportunity of this naheavy with the fatigue of travel, tice emerges. of despair, I say to you today, my dom ring from Stone Mountain tion. And so, we've come to cash cannot gain lodging in the motels friends. of Georgia. Let freedom ring from this check, a check that will give of the highways and the hotels of No bitterness Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. And so even though we face us upon demand the riches of the cities. We cannot be satisfied Let freedom ring from every hill the difficulties of today and toBut there is something that freedom and the security of jusas long as the Negro's basic moand molehill of Mississippi. From morrow, I still have a dream. It I must say to my people, who tice. bility is from a smaller ghetto to a is a dream deeply rooted in the every mountainside, let freedom stand on the warm threshold larger one. ring. American dream. which leads into the palace of We can never be satisfied as Now is the time And when this happens, when I have a dream that one day justice. In the process of gaining long as our children are stripped this nation will rise up and live we allow freedom to ring, when We have also come to this hal- our rightful place, we must not of their self-hood and robbed out the true meaning of its creed: we let it ring from every village lowed spot to remind America of be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let of their dignity by a sign stating: and every hamlet, from every "We hold these truths to be selfthe fierce urgency of ‘Now.’ This us not seek to satisfy our thirst evident, that all men are created state and every city, we will be is no time to engage in the luxury for freedom by drinking from the "For Whites Only." We cannot equal." able to speed up that day when of cooling off or to take the trancup of bitterness and hatred. We be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and I have a dream that one day on all of God's children, Black men quilizing drug of gradualism. must forever conduct our struga Negro in New York believes he the red hills of Georgia, the sons Now is the time to make real and White men, Jews and Gengle on the high plane of dignity has nothing for which to vote. of former slaves and the sons of the promises of democracy. Now and discipline. We must not altiles, Protestants and Catholics, No, no, we are not satisfied, and former slave owners will be able is the time to rise from the dark will be able to join hands and low our creative protest to dewe will not be satisfied until to sit down together at the table and desolate valley of segregagenerate into physical violence. sing in the words of the old Negro of brotherhood. tion to the sunlit path of racial Again and again, we must rise to "justice rolls down like waters, spiritual: and righteousness like a mighty I have a dream that one day justice. Now is the time to lift our the majestic heights of meeting Free at last! Free at last! Thank stream." even the state of Mississippi, a nation from the quicksands of physical force with soul force. God Almighty, we are free at last! racial injustice to the solid rock state sweltering with the heat The marvelous new militancy Go back Source: http://www.ameriof brotherhood. Now is the time of injustice, sweltering with the which has engulfed the Negro to make justice a reality for all of community must not lead us to I am not unmindful that some heat of oppression, will be trans- canrhetoric.com/speeches/ a distrust of all White people, for of you have come here out of God's children. mlkihaveadream.htm formed into an oasis of freedom
WILLIAM J. SCOTT JR/KRT
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Other notables in the photo include Sen. William Proxmire (directly below MLK on steps); Bayard Rustin, with glasses, to the right of King; in crowd in right half of image, Sammy Davis Jr., Whitney Young, and Mahalia Jackson.
OLIVIER DOULIERY/ABACA PRESS/MCT
Civil rights leader Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stands with his family on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in Washington, D.C.
OLIVIER DOULIERY/ABACA PRESS/MCT
People listen to speakers during the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 24, 2013.
JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014
A Life Remembered Celebrating the legacy of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr.
By Stacey Hollenbeck McClatchy-Tribune
he Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his mark on history during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Motivated by his faith, King fought against the oppression of his fellow African-Americans by protesting segregation. His efforts to combat the injustices were met with hostility and hatred, and eventually led to his early death. But King’s drive to achieve harmony among the races led to the desegregation of the country and set America on the path toward racial equality.
Coretta Scott King, pictured here in 2003.
History of the day In 1986, nearly 18 years after his assassination, Americans celebrated the first Martin Luther King Day, a holiday established to pay homage to the preacher and inspirational leader. By this time, 17 states already had established holidays to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Coretta Scott King, his widow, worked hard to make the national holiday a reality. In 2003, the theme of Martin Luther King Day became, “Remember! Celebrate! Act! A day on, not a day off.” Although some professionals and students see the third Monday in January as a day off from work or school, others see it as an opportunity to volunteer their time. By working to improve their communities and help those in need, these Americans are acting on behalf of King’s generous spirit.
Through his eloquent speeches, sermons and writings, Martin Luther King Jr. inspired a nation. Here are a few of his most memorable and moving quotations:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963 “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” — King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Aug. 28, 1963 “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” — King’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Dec. 10, 1964 “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.” — King’s “I’ve Been to The Mountaintop” speech, April 3, 1968
Remember! Celebrate! Act! To truly celebrate Martin Luther King Day and honor its “Day of Service” theme, Americans can work to improve the lives of those in need or help out in their communities. Here are some ways to celebrate the day through community service: • Bring meals to homebound neighbors • Shovel elderly neighbors’ walkways • Serve meals at a homeless shelter To find a specific volunteer opportunity near you, go to www.mlkday.gov and click “Search for MLK Day Project.”
HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT DR. KING? How well do you know Martin Luther King Jr.? Test your knowledge about the civil rights leader whose legacy is celebrated every year. 1. How many children did King have? A. 1 B. 3 C. 4 D. 5 TONY SPINA/DETROIT FREE PRESS
2. How old was King when he was assassinated? A. 35 B. 39 C. 42 D. 50 3. King gave his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech Aug. 28, 1963, in front of what landmark in Washington, D.C.? A. The Washington Monument B. The White House C. The Jefferson Memorial D. The Lincoln Memorial
On June 23, 1963, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. led more than 125,000 people on the “Walk to Freedom” down Woodward Avenue in Detroit. 4. King was named president of what influential civil rights group in 1957? A. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee B. Southern Christian Leadership Conference C. Congress of Racial Equality D. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
5. Which president signed the bill establishing the third Monday of every January as the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday? A. Ronald Reagan B. Lyndon B. Johnson C. John F. Kennedy D. George H.W. Bush Answers: 1-C; 2-B; 3-D; 4-B; 5-A.
Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the audience at the official ceremony of the MLK memorial at the the National Mall in Washington in October 2011.
BOOKS ABOUT THE CIVIL RIGHTS ICON Below are some resources for kids and teens who want to learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. Good reads for kids • “A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by David A. Adler and illustrated by Robert Casilla (Holiday House, $6.95) • “Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr.” by Jean Marzollo (Scholastic Paperbacks, $5.99) • “My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” by Christine King Farris (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, $17.95)
“My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
• “Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Doreen Rappaport (Jump At The Sun, $6.99)
Good reads for teens • “The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and edited by Clayborne Carson (Grand Central Publishing, $15.95) • “A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and edited by Peter Holloran and Clayborne Carson (Grand Central Publishing, $20) • “A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” edited by Clayborne Carson and Kris Shepard (Grand Central Publishing, $14.95)
Illustration by EARL F. LAM/McClatchy Newspapers SOURCES: The King Center; documents from the King Research and Education Institute at Stanford University; www.mlkday.gov.
Martin Luther King Jr. devoted his life and career to protesting injustice. The following timeline identifies the times and places in King’s short life where he significantly influenced the civil rights movement and the future of America. • Jan. 15, 1929: Martin Luther King Jr. was born to the Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther King Sr. in Atlanta, Ga. • 1947: King became licensed to preach. • June 18, 1953: King married Coretta Scott in Marion, Ala. Coretta Scott King continued her husband’s legacy as a civil rights activist until her death on Jan. 30, 2006. • June 5, 1955: King received a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Boston University. • Feb. 21, 1956: King and other demonstrators were arrested for participating in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In December of that same year, the federal government ordered Montgomery buses to integrate. • Feb. 18, 1957: Martin Luther King Jr. appeared on the cover of Time magazine. • February 1959: King and his wife spent a month in India studying Mahatma Gandhi’s technique of nonviolence. King was an avid fan of nonviolence, a strategy where demonstrators, instead of using violence, protest peacefully. • Oct. 19, 1960: King was arrested for trespassing while taking part in a sit-in demonstration at a lunch counter in Atlanta, Ga. Sit-ins were nonviolent anti-segregation protests where Black demonstrators refused to leave restaurants and public places that were designated as White-only. • Dec. 16, 1961: While protesting segregation in Albany, Ga., King was arrested. • July 27, 1962: King was again arrested in Albany, Ga., after taking part in a prayer vigil. He was charged with failure to obey a police officer, obstructing the sidewalk and disorderly conduct. • April 16, 1963: After being arrested in Birmingham, Ala., for participating in a sit-in, King wrote “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” The letter is now one of King’s most famous statements about injustice. • Aug. 28, 1963: King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech in front of the thousands who gathered for The March on Washington. Afterward, he and other Civil Rights leaders met with President John F. Kennedy in the White House. • Dec. 10, 1964: King received the Nobel Peace Prize. • Aug. 5, 1966: King was stoned in Chicago as he led a march through crowds of angry Whites. • April 4, 1968: King was shot while on the balcony of his second-floor motel room in Memphis, Tenn. He later died from a gunshot wound to the neck. A day earlier, King gave his final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top.” • March 9, 1969: James Earl Ray plead guilty to killing King and was sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. • Jan. 20, 1986: The first national King holiday was observed.
JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014
Saturday, January 25 – Sunday, February 2, 2014
Celebrating Our Milestone:
25 Years of ZORA! Festivals
“"The Silver Anniversary"” Photo courtesy Ted Hollins. All Rights reserved.
Festival Highlights “An Evening with Zora” Friday, January 31, 8:00 PM (Admission:$20)
HATitude Brunch & Party
Featuring: Lynn Whitfield and Avery Brooks Artistic Director: Elizabeth Van Dyke
Saturday, February 1, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Auditorium, UCF Rosen College for Hospitality Management 9907 Universal Boulevard, Orlando
(Admission varies by age)
Location: Sheraton – Orlando North, 600 N. Lake Destiny Rd., Maitland
ZORA! Festival Gala “The Silver Anniversary Celebration”
“ ‘Round ‘Bout Midnight” Series
Saturday, February 1, 8:00 PM Black Tie or "African Elegance" (Admission: $125 per person) Corporate tables available
11:30 PM – 1:00 AM (Admission)
Location: Sheraton – Orlando North, 600 N. Lake Destiny Rd., Maitland
■ Spoken Word Special Guest: Sonia Sanchez Wednesday, January 29 ($15) Location: Enzian 1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland
■ Stand-Up Comedy – Thursday, January 30 ($20) Headliner: Chaunte Wayans
Location: Enzian, 1300 South Orlando Avenue, Maitland
■ Jazz – Friday, January 31 ($15)
Location: Jazz Tastings, 164 Lake Avenue, Maitland
Photo courtesy Ted Hollins. All Rights reserved.
Blu Bailey - Poet/ Creative Event Coordinator Hosted by: Jason Alexander
Outdoor Festival of the Arts in Eatonville Friday, January 31 – Sunday, February 2 (General Admission: $10 per adults)
Saturday, 12 Noon Words and Voices
Special Guest: Edwidge Danticat Photo courtesy Phil Bray. All Rights reserved.
Center Stage Headliner: Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly
(Limited Reserved Seating: $25 Advanced Purchase Required)
MAZE Featuring Frankie Beverly Primary Sponsors:
Sunday, 3:00 PM
Center Stage Headliner - See Website for Updates
(Limited Reserved Seating: $20 Advanced Purchase Required)
Community Partners All Sponsors are as of December 2013
For more information, please call 407-647-3307 or visit our website at www.zorafestival.org
ZORA! Festival 2014 is a presentation of the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.)
JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014
A LONG AND DIFFICULT PATH TO FREEDOM BY JEAN NASH JOHNSON The Dallas Morning News
Martin Luther King Jr.: The name is universal, etched into the American psyche. Ask any schoolchild and he probably can recite Dr. King’s many civil rights accomplishments. But long before there was a March on Washington, a Memphis sanitation workers’ strike, bus boycotts, sitins, freedom rides and an MLK holiday, champions not often found in U.S. history textbooks were making their own marks for freedom. Dating back to the preRevolutionary War period, slavery, abolition and the Jim Crow-era of segregation, other less-known Americans fought the good fight. Here is a celebration of centuries of unsung heroes who paved the way for the modern civil rights movement.
Pre-1700s • When Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón moved from Spain to settle in what is now Jamestown, Va., he brought Africans with him. He founded a colony that thrived until the mid-1520s, when he died and was replaced by a more repressive leader. Africans fought the new regime, and many fled and established their own colony in Virginia.
The 1700s • Crispus Attucks, a runaway slave, is believed to be the first American to die in the Revolutionary War. On March 5, 1770, Attucks was at the head of a crowd of rowdy Bostonians taunting British soldiers. He was believed to have provoked the attack by striking one of the soldiers. The soldiers shot Attucks and 10 other Americans, killing or fatally wounding five of them. • In 1730, 96 slaves aboard the ship Little George gained control of the vessel from the crew. Some White crew members were thrown overboard, and others were sequestered. The Africans successfully navigated the ship back to Africa, where they escaped to freedom. • Elizabeth Freeman (left), also known as Mumbet, was born about 1742 and worked for Col. John Ashley, one of Massachusetts’ wealthiest merchants. Her face was badly scarred when she took a blow from a hot kitchen shovel intended for her sister. Freeman later fled the Ashley house, vowing never to return. Col. Ashley attempted to recover her legally, but Freeman sought help from attorney Theodore Sedgwick, insisting that she could argue for her freedom. The law said that all were born free and equal, and she said she was certainly included. Sedgwick took the case and won. The jury even awarded Freeman damages. Her case set the precedent in Massachusetts that the Bill of Rights in fact abolished slavery.
The 1800s • Black nationalist Henry Highland Garnet was one of the more militant anti-slavery leaders in the early 19th century. Along with Frederick Douglass, he was a major player in the abolitionist movement. He argued in 1864 at the National Convention of Colored Citizens in Syracuse, N.Y., that Black people should be equal to Whites and live separately. He had said this to one resistance group: “Brethren arise, arise. Strike for your lives and liberties. Now is the day and the hour: Let every slave throughout the land do this, and the days of slavery are numbered.” • On July 2, 1839, the most famous slaveship rebellion took place aboard the Spanish vessel La Amistad. While the ship was transporting captured Africans along the Cuban coast, the slaves, led by Joseph Cinque, tried unsuccessfully to redirect the ship to Africa. The USS Washington captured the ship, and the slaves were taken to New London, Conn. The mutiny case went before the U.S. Supreme Court, where Cinque and his fellow Africans were represented by former President John Quincy Adams and won the right to return to Africa. • In the mid-1800s, Harriet Tubman was one of the formidable conductors of the Underground Railroad, the system that helped slaves, mostly in the South, escape to freedom. Tubman was the most famous, but other Blacks and Whites played pivotal roles in the system’s success. Levi Coffin, a Quaker, helped nearly 2,000 runaway slaves, and Washington, D.C., cab operator Leonard Grimes used his cab not only to taxi wealthy Whites, but also to carry slaves to freedom. Tubman was never captured, but Grimes was apprehended on one of his trips to Virginia and spent two years in prison in Richmond. Coffin and other Whites who risked their lives were rarely arrested. • Abraham Lincoln called author Harriet Beecher
People throughout history helped pave the way for King and civil rights Stowe the little woman who started the Civil War. With the publication of her “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in 1852, she denounced slavery with her sympathetic portrayal of the slave Uncle Tom. Her characterization of Tom as a human being set off a new attitude among Northerners toward slaves. The book became a play, which toured the North. • John Brown (below) is one of the most widely known White abolitionists. He believed he was sent by God to abolish slavery. With funding from New England anti-slavery organizations, he and his followers raided several of Virginia’s established plantations. In 1859, with fewer than 50 men, he raided an arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va., to get ammunition to level an attack on Virginia slave owners. He was captured by Robert E. Lee and hanged after a trial, where he was convicted of “treason, conspiracy and advising slaves and others to rebel and murder in the first degree.” Brown was urged by his lawyer to plead insanity, but he refused. Of the five Blacks who also were caught, two were killed fighting U.S. troops, two were hanged, and one escaped. • In 1800, Denmark Vesey was allowed to buy his freedom for the $600 he won in a Charleston, S.C., street lottery. The West-Indian-born Vesey was familiar with the Haitian slave revolt of the 1790s and became dissatisfied with his second-class citizenship. He also was aware that others with no freedom were worse off. In 1822, a frustrated Vesey planned an uprising of city and plantation Blacks. The plan was recorded as the most extensive slave revolt in U.S. history, calling for the radicals to seize guardhouses and arsenals, take arms, kill all Whites, burn and destroy Charleston and subsequently free the slaves. Though it is a disputed figure, it was believed that 6,000 to 9,000 Blacks were involved. A Black house servant warned White authorities of the insurrection plan, and because of the massive military preparations to counterattack, Vesey’s plan remained stalled for two months. During that period, 130 Blacks were arrested, and in the trials that followed, 67 were convicted of an attempted insurrection. Vesey was among about 35 of that number hanged. Four White men also were sent to prison for encouraging the plot. • Many students of Black history are familiar with the great abolitionist Sojourner Truth, a popular speaker in the 1840s during the revival movement in the Northeast. Her folk manner and wry humor were disarming to many anti-abolitionists. What is probably not as well-known is Sojourner Truth’s active role in equal rights for women. In the 1850s, she was one of the first Black women to participate in the women’s rights movement. During one speech on women’s rights, a man questioned her gender and she bared her breast at great embarrassment to him. • Pennsylvania abolitionist and physician Martin Delaney (left) was one of the few educated Blacks of his time, and he used his intellect to launch a militant opposition to slavery. In the 1840s he started a weekly newspaper, the Mystery, which printed grievances of American Blacks and also championed women’s rights. The newspaper had an outstanding reputation, and its stories often were reprinted in the mainstream White press. In the late 1840s, Delaney worked with abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass in Rochester, N.Y., where they published another weekly, the North Star. Delaney also was one of the first Blacks to be admitted to Harvard Medical School. He later helped recruit troops for the renowned Civil War 54th Massachusetts Volunteers, which he served as a surgeon. In February 1865, the doctor was made a major, the first Black man to receive a regular Army commission.
The 1900s • There’s no disputing Booker T. Washington’s place in Black history. But his behind-the-scenes operating style is not as commonly known. For instance, on Oct. 16, 1901, President Teddy Roosevelt broke with segregationists and invited the Black leader to dine at the White House. This infuriated Southern Whites but created pride in the Black community, in spite of opposition among some Black
Americans to Washington’s moderate style. Washington did not favor public political resistance by Blacks, but he constantly defended Black social and political rights. He secretly helped finance efforts to end discrimination on Pullman railroad cars, and he contributed money to lawyers who fought to overturn Texas and Alabama laws that excluded Blacks from participating in juries. • Trade unionist and civil rights leader Asa Philip Randolph was a strategic champion of fair labor practices for Blacks. In the early 1910s, he and activist Chandler Owen organized an employment agency for Black workers. In 1917, the two started The Messenger, a magazine that called for more positions in the war industry and the armed forces for Blacks. Randolph also established the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and began organizing Black workers groups. (Half the affiliates of the American Federation of Labor barred Blacks.) When Randolph warned President Franklin D. Roosevelt that he would lead thousands in a protest march on Washington, the president issued an executive order June 25, 1941, that barred discrimination in defense industries and federal bureaus and created the Fair Employment Practices Committee. After World War II, Randolph established the League for Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation, which resulted in an executive order by President Harry S. Truman banning segregation in the armed forces. The seed planted in 1941 led Randolph to help lead the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28, 1963. • Social activist and writer Mary Church Terrell (right) was co-founder and first president of the National Association of Colored Women, founded in 1896. Terrell was an advocate for women’s suffrage and Blacks’ rights. As a member of the integrated National American Woman Suffrage Association, she particularly fought for the concerns of Black women. She was named to the District of Columbia Board of Education in 1895, the first Black woman to hold such a position. At the suggestion of W.E.B. Du Bois, she was made a charter member of the NAACP. In her final act as activist, Terrell led a successful three-year fight to end segregation in public eating places and hotels in Washington, D.C., in 1953. • Newspaper editor and activist Charlotta Spears Bass argued so boldly for civil rights that many believed she was ahead of her time. Her influential words and style were later used in the early days of the 1950s-’60s civil rights movement. When she became editor in 1912 of the California Eagle, the oldest Black West Coast paper in the country, the paper directed its focus to political and social issues important to its constituency. The paper often wrote about unfair treatment of Blacks in education, employment and politics. In doing so, Bass had to face down a strong Ku Klux Klan presence in California in the ’40s and ’50s. She later went into politics, and in 1952 she became the first Black woman to run for vice president, campaigning for the Progressive Party. • In the 1940s, actor/athlete Paul Robeson epitomized the use of celebrity influence against racism. The Rutgers graduate was best known for his dynamic theater portrayals in Eugene O’Neill’s “The Emperor Jones” and “All God’s Chillun Got Wings,” and Shakespeare’s “Othello.” He stirred his greatest controversy in the late ’40s when he publicly denounced U.S. policy against the Soviet Union, proclaiming that Blacks would not fight against a government that was free of racism and prejudice. He was Blackballed from acting and targeted by the U.S. government. He was not granted a passport. He also was stripped of his honors as an athlete. His name was removed from the list of All-Americans for the years he played for Rutgers, and he was refused membership in the College Football Hall of Fame. Robeson never relented and insisted that he had the right to free speech against racism in America. • It was the vision and influence of Ella Baker, executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, that led to the creation of the pivotal Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Baker organized the group in 1960, insisting that students needed a voice and organization of their own. In a ’60s climate of rising Black anger, the committee criticized the conference and other groups such as the Congress of Racial Equality for their lack of immediate leadership in Black communities, and it later spun off, offering a more direct small-group approach to community involvement. The group elected Stokely Carmichael as its leader in 1966. He coined the phrase “Black power” and led the group away from its original commitment to integration and toward the goal of separate community building.
JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014
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Abby B. is a South Florida resident, professional fashion model, and aspiring actress. She has been cast in a supporting role in several episodes of USA Network’s “Burn Notice.” She has been in commercials and has appeared in Nikki Minaj’s “Beez in the Trap” video. She also was the featured lead “girl’’ in a DJ Khalad video featuring T.I., Lil Wayne, and Future. Photo credit: www. mikemontoya.com / info@1stmillionmgt. com.
Lloyd Dickenson of Miami was born in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The 26-yearold enjoys acting, singing, playing pool, and weight training. This aspiring actor has appeared in several commercials and two independent films “A Mistaken Look’’ and “Baghdad.’’ When he’s not modeling and pursuing his next acting job, he loves having a good time with friends. Photo courtesy of 1st Million Management LLC / firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOLDEN GLOBE: BEST DRAMA
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE FOR BLACK STUDENTS. NO EXCUSES. The classic guide from Florida Courier publisher, lawyer and broadcaster CHARLES W. CHERRY II PRAISE FOR ‘EXCELLENCE WITHOUT EXCUSE’: “This guide for African-American college-bound students is packed with practical and insightful information for achieving academic success...The primary focus here is to equip students with the savvy and networking skills to maneuver themselves through the academic maze of higher education.” – Book review, School Library Journal • How low expectations of Black students’ achievements can get them higher grades; • Want a great grade? Prepare to cheat! • How Black students can program their minds for success; • Setting goals – When to tell everybody, and when to keep your mouth shut; • Black English, and why Black students must be ‘bilingual.’ …AND MUCH MORE!
www.excellencewithoutexcuse.com Download immediately as an eBook or a pdf Order softcover online, from Amazon, or your local bookstore ISBN#978-1-56385-500-9 Published by International Scholastic Press, LLC Contact Charles at email@example.com
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Director Steve McQueen, center, and the cast of “12 Years a Slave” are shown backstage at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards show on Jan. 12. The cast is shown after their movie won Best Motion Picture Drama at the awards ceremony in California. The film was nominated for seven awards. The movie’s stars, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o, were nominated for their performances but didn’t win.
FAMU grads release romantic comedy ‘Black Coffee’ LOS ANGELES – Tri Destined Studios, a company comprised of several Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumni, debuted its romantic comedy, “Black Coffee,” in a limited theatrical release this week. AMC Theatres offered exclusive showings of the film in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and Washington, D.C. FAMU alumni involved in the project include N.D. Brown (producer), Veronica Nichols (consulting producer), Gregory Anderson (executive consultant) and Shoneji Loraine (actress). “My business partners and I built our foundation for success at FAMU,” Anderson said. “FAMU gave us the fortitude to handle the roller coaster that is Hollywood, while providing us with the entrepreneurial spirit that can’t be found in a text book, and the moral fiber to do our business with integrity.” Along with Tri Destined, the film is presented by RLJ Entertainment, One Village Entertainment and 1555 Filmworks.
Popular cast Directed by Mark Harris, “Black Coffee” stars Darrin Dewitt Henson (“Stomp The Yard,’’ “ Soul Food’’), Christian Keyes (BET’s “Let’s Stay Together,’’ “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail’’), Lamman Rucker (“Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married’’), Gabrielle Dennis (“Bring it On,’’ “The Game’’) and
“Black Coffee’ producer N.D. Brown and actress Shoneji Loraine are Florida A&M graduates. Erica Hubbard (“Lincoln Heights,’’ BET’s “Let’s Stay Together’). “Black Coffee” is a story about Robert (Henson), who picked the wrong time to meet his soul mate. After being fired from his own father’s company, he feels like his luck has run out – until Morgan (Dennis) enters into his life. Just as things start to heat up between them, trouble brews as Morgan’s ex-husband (Rucker) vows to get her back and Robert’s ex-girlfriend (Hubbard) returns with an agenda of her own. With the help of his hilarious cousin (Keyes), Robert’s about to find out how much good can come out of a bad situation. Tri Destined recently wrapped two additional films: “The Man in 3B,” based on the novel by New York Times best-selling author Carl Weber, and the romantic comedy, “Four Seasons.” Studio executives include Trey Haley, along with FAMU graduates Brown, Nichols and Anderson.
EVENTS Central Florida Rosen Center of Hospitality Management on Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. The performance is part of the 2014 Zora! Festival. More information: www.zorafestival.org. Naples: Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, former president of Delta
JANUARY 17 – JANUARY 23, 2014 Sigma Theta Sorority and the new president of Alabama State University, will be the keynote speaker on Feb. 23 at a Founders Day Celebration hosted by the sorority’s Collier County Alumnae Chapter. The 2 p.m. event will be held at the Naples Hilton
Hotel, 5111 Tamiami Trail N. More information and tickets: Collierdst@gmail.com or call 239-601-2525. Boca Raton: “A Song for Coretta,’’ a tribute to Coretta Scott King featuring awardwinning actress Lela Elam-
Carbonell, takes place Jan. 18-19 at The Willow Theatre at Sugar Sand Park. More information: www. http://www. willowtheatre.org. Tampa: A book release and signing celebration with Douglas Eze, president
and CEO of Largo Financial Services, is scheduled on Jan. 23 at Jackson’s Bistro, 601 S. Harbour Island Blvd. Eze will discuss his new book “Creating Generational Wealth.’’ The event is free but requires an RSVP. More information: www.cgwtamparelease.
HILL HARPER Actor and author Hill Harper will give a free lecture at the University of South Florida in Tampa on Jan. 22. Topic: How to Manifest Your Dreams. More information: http:// uls.usf.edu.
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FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR
Orlando: The 23rd Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast is at 7:45 a.m. on Jan. 20. Sponsored by the YMCA of Central Florida and the Southwest Orlando Jaycees, it will be held at First Baptist Church of OrlandoFaith Hall, 3000 S. John Young Parkway. More information and more on MLK events: www.cityoforlando.net.
Tampa: Dr. Calvin O. Butts III of New York will be the speaker at the 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Breakfast on Jan. 20 hosted by the Tampa Organization of Black Affairs. The breakfast, which begins at 6:30 a.m., will be held at the Hilton Hotel Downtown Tampa, 211 N. Tampa St. More information: www.toba. org.
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Green Cove Springs: The Martin Luther King Day in Clay Diversity Breakfast to benefit the Miller Street Neighborhood Renewal programs benefiting the underprivileged is at 9 a.m. Jan. 20 at the Clay County Council on Aging, 602 Walnut St., Green Cove Springs. $15. 904-284-8504 or coaclay.org. Tampa: The 14th Annual Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival takes place Jan. 16-25. A free concert with the Ohio Players is Jan. 18. Pieces of a Dream and Nick Colionne will perform Jan. 19 during another free show. More information: www. tampablackheritage.org. Jacksonville: The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade starts at 10 a.m. Jan. 20 at Water Street, past The Jacksonville Landing and ends at Metropolitan Park with a concert, tributes and Battle of the Bands. 904- 807-8358 or mlkfdnorg.com. Ponte Vedra Beach: Blues musician Keb’ Mo’ is scheduled at 8 p.m. on Jan. 29 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. Orlando: Rapper Nipsey Hussle has an 8 p.m. show scheduled Feb. 3 at Firestone Live. Daytona Beach: Wayne Brady takes the stage at the Peabody Auditorium on Feb. 19 for a 7:30 p.m. show. Tampa: Charlie Wilson is scheduled Feb. 21 at the University of Sun Dome and the James L. Knight Center on Feb. 22 in Miami. Miami Gardens: The ninth annual Jazz in the Gardens is March 15-16. More information and lineup of artists: www.jazzinthegardens.com. Orlando: Actors Lynn Whitfield and Avery Brooks will give dramatic readings during an event titled “An Evening with Zora” At the University of
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