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FEBRUARY 8 - FEBRUARY 14, 2013
VOLUME 21 NO. 6
PRESORTED STANDARD MAIL
JUDGE, JURY – EXECUTIONER President Obama arrived via Marine One helicopter at a landing zone at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Wednesday.
COMPILED FROM WIRE AND STAFF REPORTS
Civil and human rights advocates Tuesday denounced a leaked Obama administration “white paper” that sets out the legal justification for killing U.S. citizens suspected of being members of al-Qaida. The 16-page Justice Department document became public late Monday after it was leaked to NBC News. It asserts that the government has the constitutional power to kill a U.S. citizen who is believed to be a leader of alQaida or an “associated force” and is in another country “actively engaged in planning operations to kill Americans.”
JONATHAN ERNST/ BLOOMBERG VIA ABACA PRESS/MCT
Trial date: June 10 Killer back in court on Trayvon’s birthday COMPILED FROM WIRE AND STAFF REPORTS
An Obama administration document justifies killing Americans at the whim of the president in the name of national security. There’s been no response from Black leaders or Black civil rights organizations thus far. Three conditions The unclassified and undated memo says that three conditions must be met to kill an American citizen without arrest or trial, as follows: “An informed, high-level official of the U.S. government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States; (2) capture is infeasible, and the
United States continues to monitor whether capture becomes feasible, and (3) the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles,” the memo says.
Hard questions Separately, eight Democratic and three Republican senators sent a letter Monday to President Obama asking that he
give Congress “any and all legal opinions that lay out the executive branch’s official understanding of the president’s authority to deliberately kill Americans.” “Every American has the right to know when their government believes that it is allowed to kill them,” Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, said. “The Justice Department memo that was made public...touches on a number of important issues, but it leaves many of the most important questions about the President’s lethal authorities unanswered. “Questions like ‘how much evidence does the President need to deSee OBAMA, Page A2
THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT / ROSA PARKS
‘Mother of the movement’ recognized with Forever stamp
SANFORD – A judge has denied George Zimmerman’s request to delay his trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The trial remains set for June 10. Circuit Judge Debra Nelson issued her ruling during an often heated one-hour hearing Tuesday – the day Martin would have celebrated his 18th birthday Tuesday. Zimmerman is the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder for shooting Martin, who was unarmed, after calling police and describing him as suspicious. Zimmerman says he fired in self-defense after the teen attacked him.
Difficult dates Tuesday was the first of two difficult dates for the teenager’s parents in February. The second comes Feb. 26, the one-year anniversary of Martin’s fatal encounter with – Zimmerman, which sparked outcry across the globe. “For his family, it’s tough when it comes to his birthday and how to deal with it,” said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the teen’s family. “As well as coming up in a couple of weeks … the anniversary of the tragedy.” For Martin’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, Crump said, the timing is a jarring reminder of
CASSANDRA SPRATLING/DETROIT FREE PRESS/MCT
Sisters Carolyn Green, left, and Loretta White, attended the unveiling of a “Forever” postage stamp that honors their cousin Rosa Parks at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Mich. on Monday.
See TRIAL, Page A2
Racial gaps remain in cancer rates BY MONTE MORIN LOS ANGELES TIMES (MCT)
Cancer death rates among African-American men declined faster than those of White men in the last decade, even though overall survival rates for Black men and women remained the lowest of all racial groups for most types of cancer, according to a recent report. In a study published Tuesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, researchers found that while the racial gap was closing
for lung and smoking-related cancers, as well as prostate cancer, the disparity between Black and White patients was widening for colorectal cancer and breast cancer.
can males declined faster among Blacks than among Whites (by 2.4 percent per year for Blacks vs. 1.7 percent for Whites), the authors wrote. For women, the difference was much less pronounced: a 1.5 percent decline for Black women and ‘Equitable access’ “To the extent to which these 1.4 percent for White women. disparities reflect unequal access to healthcare versus other fac- Fewer Black smokers tors remains an active area of reLung cancer mortality remains search,” wrote lead author Carol higher for Blacks than for Whites. DeSantis, an epidemiologist with However, authors wrote that if the the American Cancer Society. current trends continue, racial dif“Overall, progress in reduc- ferences could be eliminated for ing cancer death rates has been lung cancer in 40 to 50 years. made, although more can and “Smoking prevalence deshould be done to accelerate this creased more rapidly in Africanprogress through ensuring equi- Americans aged 25 years to 34 table access to cancer prevention, years compared with Whites,” the early detection, and state-of-the- authors wrote. “African-American art treatments.” adolescents also initiate smoking From 2000 to 2009, the can- at a much lower rate than their cer death rate among all Ameri- White counterparts.”
Overall, cancer death rates remain 33 percent higher among African-American men than White men. The cancer death rate among African-American women is 16 percent higher than among White women, despite a 6 percent lower cancer incidence rate. For all cancers combined, the highest death rates among Black men were found in Mississippi, Arkansas and Iowa. Among Black women, the highest death rates were reported in Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians is a bimonthly medical journal featuring articles that are reviewed by other health care professionals. It is published for the American Cancer Society. The journal covers all aspects of research on cancer, including diagnosis, therapy, and prevention.
SNAPSHOTS FLORIDA | A3
‘Florida Families First’ budget draws mixed reviews
METRO | B1
ZORA! Sustaining a culture of color FINEST | B5
COMMENTARY: CHARLES W. CHERRY II: RANDOM THOUGHTS OF A FREE BLACK MIND | A4 COMMENTARY: DR. E. FAYE WILLIAMS: WHITES WANT IMMIGRANTS WHO WILL EASILY ASSIMILATE | A4
FEBRUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 14, 2013
Black America’s silence and drone politics Editor’s note: This commentary was originally written in October 2012, before the 2012 presidential election. It would be hard to miss the recent media coverage of the ethical and legal problems posed by the Obama administration’s drone warfare program. With a couple of widely circulated academic studies and a CNN security report, the issue of drones has finally seeped into mainstream consciousness. Yet many people in this country seem to be unphased by the havoc wreaked by these death machines. More telling is how many on the so-called left go out of their way to either ignore the ethical questions and human casualties of drones, or to cravenly defend their indefensible use by the U.S. government.
Two studies Two of the more damning critiques of the U.S. drone program come from the joint study by the Stanford Law School International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic
DR. JEMIMA PIERRE BLACK AGENDA REPORT
and New York University Law School’s Global Justice Clinic, and from Columbia University Law School’s Center for Civilians in Conflict. The Stanford/NYU report, “Living Under Drones,” is based on field research in Pakistan, including more than 130 interviews with survivors of drone attacks or family members who were victims of attacks. The report demonstrates how only two percent of attacks reach their intended targets, resulting in massive civilian casualties. But it also focused on the psychological repercussion, including anxiety and depression, suffered by Pakistanis who have to live under the constant buzz of drones hovering overhead 24 hours a day, not knowing when – or who – they will kill. The Columbia University Study, “The Civilian Impact of Drone Strikes:
Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions,” challenged the government’s assumption that drones are “a panacea for counterterrorism efforts.” It pointed to the Obama administration’s unprecedented secrecy around drone attacks, but also how, for the U.S. public, drones have become an acceptable part of contemporary warfare. The authors of the Columbia study also argued that one of the reasons for the lack of a public outcry over the use of drones is because media coverage of such attacks are sanitized: there are no pictures of the victim killed, no photos of the villages destroyed, and no images of damage done to local environments. All we see are images of drones. Add that to the lack of U.S. citizen and military casualties, we get a response that combines indifference with consent to the government’s atrocious actions abroad.
‘Morally repugnant’ responses But in an election year, and in the face of mounting criticism of Obama’s deployment of drones, the
TRIAL from A1 their loss. “(Tracy Martin) tries to keep his composure and tries to have faith in the system, but it’s very difficult for them to not become... overcome with emotion,” Crump said. “(Trayvon’s birthday is) supposed to be a day of celebration, but for them it’s not a day of celebration.”
Remembrances set Instead, the family has announced a series of events through the foundation they formed in their son’s name. The day’s events began in front of the Seminole County Courthouse with family members and supporters sing-
POOL PHOTO/JOE BURBANK/ORLANDO SENTINEL
George Zimmerman, right, arrived with his lead counsel, Mark O’Mara, for a hearing in Seminole circuit court in Sanford on Tuesday. ing “Happy Birthday” to Martin. On Saturday, the foundation will host a “Day of Remembrance Peace Walk” in Miami. The following evening, the foundation will hold its first annual remembrance dinner at the DoubleTree Miami Airport Hotel’s convention center.
OBAMA from A1 cide that a particular American is part of a terrorist group?’, ‘does the President have to provide individual Americans with the opportunity to surrender?’ and ‘can the President order intelligence agencies or the military to kill an American who is inside the United States?’ need to be asked and answered in a way that is consistent with American laws and American values.”
Never made public The Obama administration has refused for years to make public the legal opinion on which it has based its use of unmanned drones to target American citizens it accuses of being affiliated with al-Qaida, most notably Anwar al-Awlaki, considered to be the spiritual leader of al-Qaida’s Yemen affiliate. Al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico and educated in the U.S. He was a senior al Qaeda recruiter and propagandist who was killed by a U.S. drone on September 30, 2011, according to American authorities. At least three Americans have been among those killed by drones, all in Yemen. Two were killed in the same September 2011 strike: al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, an Islamist writer who grew up in New York City and whose family now lives in North Carolina. Al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, who was born in Colorado, was killed in a separate drone strike two weeks later.
Memo is authentic The White House on Tuesday defended the practice of targeted killing, for which White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan is a key overseer, as “le-
Various requests At the start of the hearing, defense attorney Mark O’Mara acknowledged the teen’s birthday by stating that “no matter what, a tragedy occurred.” Then, O’Mara asked the judge to grant the defense access to purchase records from a 7-Eleven where
The Obama administration is reportedly setting up drone bases in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as part of a new campaign to attack al-Qaida associates in Yemen and Somalia.
YEMEN SOMALIA Indian Ocean
Martin shopped the night of the shooting. The state did not object, and the judge granted the motion. O’Mara also wanted Zimmerman’s trial delayed. O’Mara had argued in a lengthy motion that there’s much work left to be done, and many depositions to conduct. Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda countered that O’Mara doesn’t deserve any more time. “It’s February and the trial’s set for June,” he said, adding that some delays that have happened so far have been the defense’s fault. The judge noted that both parties had earlier estimated they would be ready by June. O’Mara’s issues, Nelson said, don’t appear to be “insurmountable.” The parties then moved
Reported locations of drone bases
White liberal left and other party loyalists have been forced to respond. Their responses, though, are often more morally repugnant than any racist rambling by Tea Party members. In a series of conversations in liberal venues there has been a consistent set of responses to some of the even more tepid critiques of drone warfare. Some of the more common are (1) Obama has to win so that Mitt Romney doesn’t get to control drone warfare; (2) the data showing civilian casualties are sketchy; (3) targeted assassinations are not new to U.S. foreign policy; (4) Romney would do the same or worse; (5) at least we’re saving U.S. lives by not having “boots on the ground,” or (6) leftist radicals need to stop whining and vote for the lesser of two evils. One liberal even went so far as to brazenly argue. “It’s not obvious that drone strikes are indefensible and, even if they are morally wrong, they shouldn’t determine your vote alone.” So now it’s the Democratic Party base defending drone bombing of “suspects” – and innocents – without the courtesy of proof or trial. By comparison, the Bush administration’s “shock and awe” and torture policies were a walk in the park on a lovely spring day.
About drones • First used as spy planes in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, drones are used now for attacks, as well as surveillance • More than 2,000 militants and civilians have been killed by drones since 2001
• Deadly attacks are known to have been carried out in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen • Range in size from the tiny, such as the hand-launched Raven, to large, longrange planes, such as the Global Hawk
RQ-11B Raven Primary function Low-altitude reconnaissance/ surveillance Wingspan 4.5 ft. (1.4 m) Range 5-7.5 mi. (8-12 km) Altitude 100-500 ft. (30.5-152 m)
Handlaunched RQ-11B Raven
MQ-1B Predator Primary function Armed reconnaissance/ surveillance Wingspan 55 ft. (16.8 m) Range 770 mi. (1,239 km) Ceiling Up to 25,000 ft. (7,620 m) Carries Hellfire missiles
© 2011 MCT Source: Washington Post, U.S. Defense Department, Los Angeles Times Graphic: Pat Carr
gal … ethical and … wise.” The issue is certain to arise during Brennan’s confirmation hearing to be CIA director set for Thursday – after the Florida Courier’s Wednesday night press time. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chairs the Senate Intel-
RQ-4B Global Hawk Primary function Long range reconnaissance/ surveillance Wingspan 130.9 ft. (39.9 m) Range 10,000 mi. (16,093 km) Ceiling 60,000 ft. (18,288 m)
RQ-4B Global Hawk
ligence Committee that will consider Brennan’s nomination, acknowledged that the panel had received the white paper as a “confidential document” in June. But spokesman Jay Carney rejected anew calls by lawmakers and others for the administra-
Silence from Blacks But at least the White liberals are having a discussion. Aside from a few notable exceptions, it’s been all crickets in the U.S. Black community when it comes to talking about Obama’s criminal actions in office. And for some Black preachers, gay marriage is obviously more of an abomination than endless war and wanton murder. Others in the Black community have even participated in the morbid celebrations over the killing of Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi – killings that occurred without so much as evidence of guilt or even the pretense of due process. Barack Obama is leading a multi-country gangsterstyle drone war that kills people whose identities aren’t known, and that has left more than 3,000 dead, including 176 children. Some of the victims have been U.S. citizens. His administration’s actions are immoral, indefensible, and cruel. They are also shortsighted. And they are done in our names, and our children’s names. As Obama has spearheaded this dangerous new world of drones, we have to believe that this new war will come with the inevitable blowback. CNN reports that more than 70 countries now own some type of drone. And even on to other pieces of evidence O’Mara argues he needs. The attorneys argued about data downloaded from Martin’s phone. Nelson told the state to provide a full chain of custody report for the phone, indicating which tests were conducted where.
‘Witness 8’ O’Mara also asked the judge to order the state to provide further information on the social media accounts of Witness 8, who is expected to be one of the state’s most important witnesses because she says she heard the first words of the confrontation between Martin and Zimmerman. The judge ruled that the defense could get the social media information through a “mini” deposition, before the witness is
tion to release a secret 2010 Justice Department legal opinion on which the leaked Justice Department white paper was based.
No authority Civil and human rights experts said the paper jumbles international and U.S. law. They also rejected the administration’s assertion that the president’s sweeping authority to kill Americans abroad is beyond court review as well as what they called an exaggerated rewrite of the legal definition of imminent threat. “The government just gets to make decisions in secret,” said Andrea Prasow, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch.
Started under Bush Targeted killing, which began under former President George W. Bush, officially remains a classified CIA program. To date, it is known to involve only missile strikes by unmanned aircraft in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen against what U.S. officials say are leaders of al-Qaida and “associated groups” plotting imminent attacks on U.S. targets. An estimated 3,500 people have been killed in the strikes, the vast majority in Pakistan’s tribal area bordering Afghanistan, a region largely outside government control where al-Qaida and others allied with it have found sanctuary among Pakistani and Afghan insurgents. The Obama administration says the attacks have decimated the ranks of the terrorist network responsible for the 9/11 attacks, but human rights groups and residents say a large number of civilians have died.
Lenient rules? The white paper spells out rules under which such attacks can be ordered that appear to be much less stringent than what administration officials have said. It says, for example, that the
though only the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Israel have used weaponized drones against adversaries, it’s only a matter of time before we see their proliferation – and we can bet that they will be turned on us domestically.
Time to speak up It remains to be seen how many will stand by silently and allow this slide down the steep slope of moral depravity. For Black folk to remain silent – or even ambivalent – in the face of such overwhelming death, despair, and destruction done on our behalf by our Black president is, at best, indefensible. At worse, we’re just as criminally responsible as that drone pilot in Nevada who presses the red button on his joystick, extinguishing human life as though he were playing a video game. No man, no political party, and no amount of racial allegiance should demand of us that we give up our humanity in the name of murder. It’s time we raise our voices against drone killings.
Dr. Jemima Pierre is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Contact her at BAR1804@gmail. com. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response. formally deposed.
Questioning Crump The defense also wanted to depose Crump. However, Crump’s attorney, Bruce Blackwell, countered that the deposition was improper – Crump, Blackwell said, is not a witness in the case. Crump filed a 15-page affidavit, explaining how he found Witness 8 and the circumstances of his interview with the girl. Blackwell argued that should be enough. The defense argued that Crump has relevant information on other topics, and asked to depose him. The judge delayed that deposition, which had been set for Tuesday.
Rene Stutzman and Jeff Weiner Orlando Sentinel / (MCT) contributed to this report.
United States isn’t required “to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.” It also says the United States has the right under international law to act under the suspicion that an attack might take place. “It must be right that states are able to act in self-defense in circumstances where there is evidence of further imminent attacks by terrorist groups even if there is no specific evidence of where such an attack will take place or of the precise nature of the attack,” it says. “Delaying action … would create an unacceptably high risk that the action would fail and that American casualties would result.” White House spokesman Carney defended the paper’s definition of ‘imminent threat,’ saying, “What you have in general with al-Qaida senior leadership is a continuing process of plotting against the United States and American citizens. I think that’s fairly irrefutable.”
No judicial review The white paper also asserted that judges cannot review or block targeted killing orders because that “would require the court to supervise inherently predictive judgments by the president and his national security advisers as to when and how to use force against a member of an enemy force against which Congress has authorized the use of force.” “This idea that the government can rewrite legal terms is one that we’ve seen before,” said Prasow of Human Rights Watch, citing the Bush administration legal opinion that redefined torture, allowing the CIA to use interrogation methods such as waterboarding that most experts regard as torture.
Jonathan S. Landay of McClatchy Newspapers (MCT) contributed to this report.
FEBRUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 14, 2013
JOE BURBANK/ORLANDO SENTINEL/MCT
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is joined by Orange County schools superintendent Barbara Jenkins, right, and Ocoee Middle School teachers and administrators for the announcement of the governor’s proposal to raise teacher pay statewide in the upcoming state budget, during a news conference at the school in Ocoee, Florida, on Jan. 23.
‘Florida Families First’ budget draws mixed reactions Some aren’t pleased with lack of funding for early childhood learning programs
Johns’ students and families.”
BY MARGIE MENZEL THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
TALLAHASSEE – Governor Rick Scott’s “Florida Families First” budget recommendations are drawing a mixed reaction from children’s advocates – high praise from some, but frustration from others. Educators were happy with Scott for recommending a $1.2 billion increase in spending for K-12 public schools and $2,500, across-the-board raises for teachers. “We are very supportive and appreciative of the tangible commitment that Governor Scott is proposing for our schools which will benefit both students and teachers,” said St. Johns County schools Superintendent Joseph Joyner, in a statement released Friday by the governor’s office. “With his continued commitment to improving education in Florida, we can only expect to see even better things to come for St.
Scott also recommended $1.5 million for prevention services to keep youths out of the juvenile justice system, plus $145,360 for juvenile health and mental health, including psychiatric consultation and contract clinical specialists. “Keeping kids from entering the system in the first place – and once there from moving deeper into it – is a message this budget sends loud and clear,” said Stacy Gromatski, president and CEO of the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, in a statement released last week. Scott also seeks to beef up health and human-service programs that count children among their clients. For example, he proposed $1.5 million for Kristi House, a Miami program that serves sex-trafficking victims.
Health insurance woes But backers of early childhood education and an expansion of Medicaid were disappointed. The governor’s proposed budget does not include a Medicaid expansion that was includ-
Fewer inmates re-offending after release Rehabilitation initiative credited with reduction of prison admissions BY MARGIE MENZEL THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
TALLAHASSEE – Fewer Florida prison inmates are re-offending after their release, Corrections Secretary Mike Crews said Monday. The percentage of inmates who commit another crime within three years of release has dropped from 33 percent for those freed as of 2003 to 27.6 percent for those freed as of 2008. The drop in re-offenders contributed to a reduction in the total number of inmates admitted, which decreased from 41,054 in fiscal year 2007-08 to 32,279 for fiscal year 2011-12. Crews said DOC had put new emphasis on correcting some of the conditions that land an overwhelming number of inmates behind bars to begin with – a lack of education, vocational training, mental health and/or substance abuse treatment.
The drop in re-offenders contributed to a reduction in the total number of inmates admitted, which decreased from 41,054 in fiscal year 2007-08 to 32,279 for fiscal year 2011-12.
‘Significant cultural change’ By taking on the conditions that lead released felons to commit crimes again, the agency is helping keep Florida safe, Crews said. “If you live in Florida when these inmates are released, they’re standing in the grocery store line next to you,” Crews said. “Eighty-seven percent of our current inmate population right now will be released, and they’re going to be released back into our communities.” Crews acknowledged that the Transition from Prison to Community Initiative, with its increased
ed in the federal Affordable Care Act, with Scott saying he had not made a decision about the issue. Karen Woodall, a lobbyist on children’s health issues, said expanding Medicaid would help provide economic security to families, an issue she called the most important for children. “The governor’s budget is called ‘Florida Families First,’ “ she said. “But when given the opportunity to extend health insurance to more than a million Floridians – including tens of thousands of working parents – he has chosen not to bring billions of dollars set aside by the federal government for Florida to provide health care – and also, by the way, bringing that money into Florida’s economy.”
No early-learning funds And while Scott garnered kudos from educators for boosting funds for K-12, colleges and universities, there were no new dollars in the governor’s spending plan for early learning, despite a waiting list of 68,000 children for school-readiness programs statewide. “Nothing I saw in the budget message tells me that early learn-
emphasis on rehabilitation, “is a significant cultural change” for DOC. “Historically in our agency, it has been about locking them up, turning them out and hoping for the best when they get out,” Crews said. “I think we’ve all seen that just does not work when you look at the exploding rates that we saw for a number of years.” The move comes as an increasing number of interest groups – particularly in the business community – are arguing that Florida spends too much money on criminal justice, at the expense of other things business wants like improved education.
Millions in savings A one percent reduction in recidivism equates to a savings of nearly $19 million over five years, according to DOC data. And according to Gov. Rick Scott, taxpayers have realized a savings of $44 million by reducing the recidivism rate. “We’re reinvesting a portion of that savings by providing hardworking corrections employees bonuses for their service in making our communities safer,” Scott said in a statement. Scott also has recommended lawmakers earmark $5.4 million to open the Gadsden Re-Entry Center at the Florida Public Safety Institute. Crews credited the reentry program, which already has four locations statewide, with helping inmates prepare for release and transition to successfully to work and family life.
ing is anywhere close to the priority it needs to be,” said David Lawrence, co-founder and president of the Children’s Movement of Florida. “One example only: How can we stay at $2,386 per pre-kindergarten student, and yet pay at least $51,000 to incarcerate a juvenile?” Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich, known for her children’s advocacy while in the Legislature, said education is a continuum, starting with child care, and that early learning was key to future success. “We could have been the [school readiness] model for the nation, and instead we don’t meet the quality national standards,” said Rich. “You can’t have high quality when you fund it at $2,386 and the national average is $4,100. And we still don’t have even a goal of degreed teachers, of people who actually have the background and education to teach 4-year-olds.” The state Office of Early Learning has been through some turmoil in the last year, and Rep. Erik Fresen, chairman of the House subcommittee on education appropriations, is working on a bill to address governance and fund-
ing formula issues. “It (Scott’s budget proposal) is level funding,” said Shan Goff, the new director of the Office of Early Learning, “and we are looking for ways we can maximize our services to families and children, given our current appropriations.”
Serious questions Roy Miller, president of the Children’s Campaign, said that as an independent advocacy organization, he’s “always wary and generally skeptical of quotes from provider organizations in support of their overseers’ budgets.” Miller said his group will independently evaluate the budget. “Our initial reaction, though, is that it is not need driven,” he said, “and we are circumspect about the catch phrase, ‘Florida Families First,’ when we immediately see reductions in juvenile justice and children and families. How many children is it serving? How large are the caseloads? How many families are going without mental health, alcohol and drug treatment? How many families are on a waiting list for child care and before- and after-school programs?”
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, former President Bill Clinton and attorney Willie Gary (right ) pose for a photo at the Rainbow/ PUSH Wall Street Economic Summit luncheon.
Florida-based attorney, philanthropist honored at Rainbow/PUSH economic summit SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
Willie E. Gary recently was honored during the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 16th Annual Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Economic Summit – “Access to Capital” luncheon. The event was held at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City and aimed to enhance financial literacy among minorities and encourage corporate America to hire, promote and retain minority workers. Dr. Julianne Malveaux presented Gary with the Trailblazer Award and applauded Gary for his accomplishments as a trial attorney and his commitment to youth, education and community service. Former President Bill
Clinton was the keynote speaker and Grammy Award-winning artists Mary Mary performed. The luncheon attracted over 300 business leaders, elected officials and clergy who share in Jackson’s vision and the beliefs of the Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Economic Summit.
Challenge by Gary During his remarks, Gary challenged audience members to remember the obligation to help those that are less fortunate. “It is imperative that as leaders in our communities, we reach back and help those that need a little motivation,” commented Gary. “It is also up to us to provide employment opportunities
for young boys and girls as they graduate high school and college. None of us made it to where we are today on our own. It was because we stood on the shoulders of others that we are where we are today and we don’t have the right to not help one another.’’ Gary is well-known for his philanthropic endeavors. In 1994, he and his wife, Dr. Gloria Gary, founded the Gary Foundation, which provides college scholarships to atrisk students who wish to attend college. The Garys have donated millions of dollars to help historically Black colleges and universities, (HBCUs) including $10 million to their alma mater, Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C.
FEBRUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 14, 2013
Budget cuts will slow economy There is lots of buzz about our nation’s “economic recovery” in these first weeks of 2013. The stock market has been rising, some would say even soaring. We postponed the fiscal cliff crisis, albeit only for a few weeks – March is the new deadline. The tone and tenor of debt ceiling conversations has shifted slightly, though this will not be an issue easily negotiated. President Obama says that raising the debt ceiling to pay old bills is the right thing to do; Republicans in the House showed no reluctance in authorizing spending for two wars and other matters. Now they don’t want to pay for it. For the first time since 2009 our economy shrunk in the last quarter of 2012, largely because of cuts in defense spending (that were not balanced by increased spending in other areas), a sluggish world economy that could not absorb US exports. Also, in-
Even with the fourth-quarter shrinkage, growth in 2012 was DR. higher than growth in 2011, suggesting that we are on the right JULIANNE path to economic recovery. MALVEAUX Just a minute, though. If the TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM economy contracts because of a cut in defense spending, what ventory grew slowly, suggesting will happen when federal spendthat some retailers are pessimis- ing is cut by 7 to 10 percent, eitic about the level of spending ther through automatic cuts or this year. budget cutting negotiations. Some economists suggest that this drag is a one-time thing Less disposable income since part of the drag has ocThere are other factors of concurred because of factory and recern as we look ahead. Everytail store shutdowns due to Hurone will get a 2 percent pay cut ricane Sandy. because the Social Security tax has returned to prior levels after Recession likely we have experienced cuts for two Additionally, they say that the years. A family earning $50,000 a economy should adjust to de- year has $1000 less to spend, and fense spending cuts rather quick- it has already shown up in payly. And they cite strong consum- checks for those who are paid bier spending and business invest- weekly. ment in the fourth quarter as Less disposable income means positives. less consumer spending, means
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: RICHARD THE GOP
Christopher Weyant, The Hill
Random thoughts of a free Black mind, v. 168 No longer the “salt of the earth”: In an October 2011 column subtitled “The winds of war?”, I wrote about the Obama administration’s use of drones for targeted assassinations: And where is Black individual or organizational “leadership” on this? Nothing from the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, the National Action Network, or faith-based organizations. Black America used to be the moral “salt of the earth,” the litmus test of America’s claim to be free, just, and democratic. Our ancestors shed blood, fought in the courts and in the streets, and willingly gave their lives to fight for racial equality in America. EVERYBODY – White women, unions, gays, the disabled, and America itself – benefited from the lessons learned from Black America’s 400-year struggle against slavery and legalized, government-sponsored racial discrimination. Matthew 5:13 (NIV) says, “But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Are we so mesmerized by a Black face in the White House that we’ve lost our historical, hard-won moral “saltiness?” If so, what good are we? Last week, the Obama administration signed an agreement with an African country called Niger to establish a drone
quick takes from #2: straight, no chaser
Charles W. Cherry II, Esq. PUBLISHER
base there. Get a map of Africa (and stay with me). See how close Niger is to Nigeria, Mali, Benin, Ghana, and Burkina Faso? There are pockets of Black Americans in all of those countries – establishing libraries and schools, building hospitals and orphanages, spreading the Christian Gospel, digging clean wells and treating easily curable diseases. “Are you an Islamic terrorist?” is typically not a question they ask of the people they are helping. So church folks, understand this. Bro. Prez’s foreign policy DOES impact you. If you help the wrong person while you are on your African mission, you can be legally targeted for assassination and immediately “absent from the body and present with the Lord” at the whim of your beloved president. Anybody got a problem with that other than me? And still not a peep from Black ‘leadership’...
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the possibility of economic slowdown since consumer spending drives more than two-thirds of the economy. Another factor in the possibility of economic slowdown is the troubled employment situation. Though unemployment rates are lower than they were two years ago, an overall unemployment rate of more than 7 percent is unacceptable That means that the AfricanAmerican unemployment rate is likely to remain between 13 and 14 percent, officially, and more than 25 percent unofficially.
Employed people needed Congress has not enacted the American Jobs Act, which President Obama introduced in 2011, because they say it costs too much. This is a case of being penny wise and pound-foolish. Employed people pay taxes. Employed people contribute to their communities. Gainfully employed people avoid the social pathologies that come with unemployment. Albert Camus once said, “Without work all life
is rotten.” Studies show that unemployed people experience a loss of selfesteem, societal alienation, and depression, among other things. A jobs creation program would be good both for morale and the economy. The budget cuts Congress insists on may well push our economy back into recession. On the other hand, increased spending on job programs will mean increased consumer spending and therefore economic recovery. The choice is between recession and economic growth. Those who claim to have the best interests of our nation at heart seem not to support a path that will lead us to economic growth. That’s a sorry commentary on the leadership of the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.
Julianne Malveaux is a D.C.based economist and author. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
Whites want immigrants who will easily assimilate Focusing on news reports during the last 10 years, one could assume that the U.S. had an emerging immigration problem of “Hispanic Hoards” inundating the southern border. An “honest” assessment of the ‘immigration problem’ shows it as a longstanding problem entwined in issues of racism and xenophobia. Reconciliation of these problems involves squarely facing them and moving to overcome these festering sores. In 1911, The Dillingham Commission, convened by the government to study immigration policies, issued a report that, arguably, has colored the complexion of immigration policy to date. In 1917, Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917 (Asiatic Barred Zone Act) that prohibited specific ‘undesirables’ from entering the country. These so-called undesirables included, but were not limited to alcoholics, anarchists, homosexuals, criminals, epileptics, idiots, insane persons, feebleminded persons, persons mentally or physically defective, polygamists, professional beggars and “illiterate” immigrants over the age of sixteen. Adding to a prior ban on Chinese, a section of the law prohibited
have chosen to weave their lives into the fabric of the U.S.. While states and local municipalities work with extreme enthusiasm to resolve their “Hispanic Problem,” it seems that no one is willing to examine our immigration policy related to other nationalities. We’ve forgotten to include our northern border in the process of immigration reform. While we embrace the immigrant who possesses the H-1B visa, we must also welcome the taxpaying farm laborer who makes his/her living with the sweat of his/her brow. The fact that millions of people, worldwide, remain as attracted to the hope of life in the U.S., as is a moth to a flame, is testament to our national greatness and our potential for an even brighter future. We must not allow irrational fear or hatred to impede our quest to that brighter future for anyone — especially not we African-Americans.
Instead of offering Constitutional amendments or challenging the citizenship protections of the 14th Amendment, Congress should endorse a sane policy that will open a pathway to citizenship for those who
Dr. E. Faye Williams is chair of the National Congress of Black Women, www.nationalcongressbw.org. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response.
Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. TRICE EDNEY WIRE
immigration from an “Asiatic Barred Zone.”
Limiting immigrants In 1921, attempting to limit southern and eastern Europeans, Congress enacted the Emergency Immigration Act, pegging the number of immigrants permitted from each country at 3 percent of the number of people from that country who had lived in the U.S. in 1910. The Immigration Act of 1924 made American policy more restrictive by setting the national quotas at 2 percent of the number of people from each country living in the U.S. in 1890. As echoed in contemporary rhetoric, many White Americans possessed a pathological fear of being overrun by races/nationalities considered inferior.
Dr. King was more than ‘I Have A Dream’ If one checks out all the platitudes made by many people over the age of 60 during annual King Day celebrations, one would be led to believe that all or at least a huge majority of them were actively involved in the campaign led by Dr. King against White supremacy\ racism. That is not so, wrote Dr. King in his conveniently ignored 1967 book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos and Community? Wrote Dr. King; “In assessing the results of the Negro Revolution so far, it can be concluded that Negroes have established a foot hold….The hard truth is that neither Negro nor white has yet done enough to expect the dawn of a new day. While much has been done, it has been accomplished by too few and on a scale too limited for the breadth of the goal….The brunt of the Negro’s past battles was borne by a very small striking force. Though millions of Negroes were ardent and passionate supporters, only a modest number were actively engaged and these were relatively too few for a broad war against racism, poverty and discrimination. Negroes fought and won, but our engagements were skirmishes not climatic bat-
their children could get an education?
A. Peter Bailey TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
tles. No great victories are won in a war for the transformation of a whole people without total participation. Less than this will not create a new society; it will only evoke more sophisticated token amelioration….”
Shameless ingratitude As for those Black folks who today like to brag about how they have achieved success mainly because the society has changed and because they are willing, to work hard, Dr. King asks a couple of very pertinent questions in his book. “...How many Negroes who have achieved educational and economic security have forgotten that they are what they are because of the support of faceless, unlettered and unheralded Negroes who did ordinary jobs in an extraordinary way? How many successful Negroes have forgotten that uneducated and povertystricken mothers and fathers often worked until their eyebrows were scorched and their hand bruised so that
Historical injustice For any middle-class Negro to forget the masses is an act not only of neglect but of shameless ingratitude…. It is time for the Negro middle class to rise up from its stool of indifference, to retreat from its flight into unreality and to bring its full resources- - its heart, its mind and its check book—to the aid of the less fortunate brother…. The salvation of the Negro middle class is ultimately dependent upon the salvation of the Negro masses.” These are two examples of very perceptive and powerful commentary and observations made by Dr. King in his book. They clearly demonstrate that he was much more than the Martin Luther “I Have a Dream” King, Jr, people have reduced him to in an annual birthday celebrations. In doing so they have done Dr. King a major historical injustice.
Peter Bailey, a former associate editor of Ebony, is currently editor of Vital Issues: The Journal of African American Speeches. Click on this story at www. flcourier.com to write your own response.
FEBRUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 14, 2013
Drug, violence businesses are doing great “That’s what the world is today.” So says the Motown hit, which was sung by Edwin Star and later by the Temptations. The description still applies today but for different reasons. This confusion or chaos is coming at us like a freight train. Let’s examine some of the reasons. The violence in our cities is at an all time high. The city of Chicago leads the way in this show of hatred and lack of value for human life. Funny, you cannot buy a gun in the Chicago city limits but they are everywhere. As many so-called or self-appointed Black leaders scream about this madness they seem to miss or ignore the big reason. It is really very simple. The amount of violence or murder of our youth comes from drugs wars or turf wars both perpetrated by street gangs. The existence of street gangs and all the ills that go with it is directly correlated with the amount of corruption within the law enforcement agencies. They could lock up the leadership of these gangs and dealers within a month. Drugs and violence is a business to some and right now business is great! Our “leaders” also cry for more entitlements, aka welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc. That is not
Question of justice One reason our political bodies are so sharply divided is this question of justice. Some Americans seem to believe that we have done enough to achieve justice. Others understand that the struggle for justice and equality is a continuing American project that requires patience and perseverance. There are some disturbing trends. A decade ago there were 40 million uninsured people. Today the number is closer to 50
Back to greatness Small business is the best creator of jobs, which brings paychecks to households and motivates accountability and inspires ambition and dreams. Our families are busted up – where’s daddy? Baby mamas are expected to cover all the bases. The Black segment of our population needs new, young and progressive leaders who are totally dedicated to returning us back to greatness. What we have now was explained over 100 years ago: “There is another class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make
This monster is getting bigger and bigger as we unravel what is in this massive bill. The IRS has just admitted that the cheapest family plan will cost a family of five (husband, wife and three children) at least $20,000 per year. Didn’t we think this would decrease the cost of healthcare? Small businesses will be forced to suppress their jobs. If your payroll exceeds 50 people then the business owner will be forced to pay significantly more per employee. Thus, most small businesses will suppress their workforce limiting the job potential in a local community. Worst of all, the employer will be taxed extra for hiring low-income personnel (for some stupid reason). Therefore, those living
Racial, ethnic justice Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
million. There is greater income inequality and more poverty. Average Americans have lost trillions of dollars in family wealth — largely the result of unregulated real estate markets. We have not yet regulated exotic Wall Street investments like derivatives. Our incarceration rate continues to grow; we imprison more people than any other developed nation in the world, per capita, while drugs are more plentiful and lower-priced than they were a decade ago. Fewer boys are finishing college and the rate at which we produce engineers is dropping. We rank lower in health outcomes than much poorer nations. These trends must be addressed and reversed if we are to continue to prosper and lead the world.
We seem fatigued with questions of racial and ethnic justice. Affirmative action is under attack, again. Racial profiling, abuse of prosecutorial discretion, excessive use of police force, runaway juries, disparate sentencing and selective prosecution are generally accepted as normal, not exceptional. While we celebrate the promise of the Lilly Ledbetter Act, too much race discrimination lurks in our workplaces. Instead of looking at our immigrant population as a strength to be cultivated, we ignore, or pander to them. Our civil rights apparatus is fraying. There is a trend away from joining and supporting organizations — churches, unions and civil rights organizations.
Organizations needed Rugged individualism is no substitute for institutional voices for justice and equality. Noah built an ark to withstand the flood. Those who could swim
Obama neglects own backyard Just imagine someone in your family traveling halfway across the country to help a family they don’t know nor have any connection to; while at the same time his own family is in crisis. Just imagine how you would feel if your family barely had food to eat, but yet your father goes across town and gives some of your food to a family that he doesn’t even know. I am sure in both cases the family would feel betrayed and a bit confused; and outsiders would surely think the father has lost his mind. Is it a noble gesture to try to help your fellow man? Of course it is. But, while it might be tragic for another family to be suffering, a father’s first obligation is to his own family, then his own community, and then the world. President Obama, in many ways, serves as our nation’s symbolic “father.” I found the anemic response by this White House and this president to the senseless death of Hadiya Pendleton very tragic. Pendleton was a 15 yearold honors student who was shot and killed last Tuesday in Chicago. She had recently performed at President Obama’s Jan. 21 inauguration with her high school’s band and drill team. She was shot in the back at a neighborhood park. She had just finished taking her exams at King College Prep. The girls were standing under a canopy to hide themselves from the rain. Pendleton was hit in the
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: GUNS IN PERSPECTIVE
a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy HARRY C. and partly because it pays. ALFORD Some of these people do not NNPA COLUMNIST want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want what we need. The aforemen- to lose their jobs.” That is how tioned things poison the soul, kill Booker T. Washington explained ambition and destroy the Black our situation. family unit. What we need are jobs and there is only one way to Newest job killer get jobs – create them through It is all about jobs! One of the entrepreneurship. newest job killers is Obamacare.
‘America stands at a crossroads’ America stands at a crossroads. We can take the high road toward equal access to high-quality public education, reaffirm our commitment to democratically elected public officials, end the failed war on drugs, recommit to the right of workers to bargain for better conditions, lower our dreadful rate of hyper-incarceration and implement the Affordable Care Act, or we can travel in the opposite direction and move the nation away from equal opportunity and justice.
RAYNARD JACKSON NNPA COLUMNIST
back; a male victim, 16, is in serious condition. The park is about a mile from Obama’s Chicago home.
Response creepy The president and first lady’s thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hadiya Pendleton. “All of our thoughts and prayers are with her family.’’ When Obama was asked about Pendleton’s murder, he went into this bizarre rant about, “well, the problem is that a huge proportion of those guns come in from outside Chicago… creating a bunch of pockets of gun laws without a unified, integrated system of background checks makes it harder for a single community to protect itself from gun violence.” His response was very creepy, as though he was just a robot, with no connection with his own humanity. Now juxtapose that with his response to the shootings in Newtown, Conn. He shed tears for those kids and takes a trip there, but for Pendleton and others who have been killed this year—just a few terse words. This year alone, Chicago has had more than 42 murders and 506 last year. Remember, many of these
murders occurred within blocks of Obama’s Chicago home, surrounded by a full complement of Secret Service agents. He is driven through these neighborhoods with his military-style entourage, but somehow never finds the time to stop by and talk with some of the families of those who have been murdered, many under the age of 10 years old. All lives are precious, but I am having a hard time watching my president fly to Newtown, which is about s 844 miles east of Chicago; but, he can’t walk a couple blocks from his house in Chicago. I won’t apologize for thinking that maybe it has something to do with the zip code of the two cities or the polar opposite economic levels between the two cities. You always try to give a sitting president the benefit of the doubt, but in Obama’s case, I doubt if there is any benefit.
Raynard Jackson is president and CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his website, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response
Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons
in poverty wanting to lift themselves up will be denied by this law alone. They make the “hole” we are in bigger and more difficult to get out. They get away with it because we are too trusting and depend on people to lead us who have not committed to really leading us and setting us free and away from their influence. They control us. I finish with one more quote: “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his
‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.” Carter G. Woodson
died outside the ark. Those who could not swim survived inside the ark. Good swimmers can’t swim 40 days and 40 nights. We need strong institutional bulwarks to protect us from exclusion and prejudice. Perhaps the most disturbing trend is away from the universal franchise. The right to vote secures every other right. We are encountering stiff head winds that threaten to undermine democracy itself. Despite Citizens United, money is not speech. Our elections should not be bought and sold like vacation homes and yachts. Latter day, politically driven obstacles — voter suppression — is un-American. There is no political goal that justifies dishonest schemes to disenfranchise American citizens. America is not a race, or a religion, color or language. America is built on a set of noble but fragile premises: All men are created equal; one person, one vote; majority rule. It is these principles that make the American experiment work — undoing them could unravel the fabric of the nation.
Mr. Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: halford@nationalbcc. org. Click on this story at www. flcourier.com to write your own response
Yet, I remain optimistic. Our union has been in the process of perfecting itself throughout its entire existence. America has been a laboratory experiment in justice and equality. The enslaved never adjusted to being considered less than human. Women never adjusted to second-class citizenship. Workers refused to acquiesce to exploitation. Seniors refused to accept the indignity of poverty after a life of industry. Young people refused to be seen and not heard. That is the genius of the American experiment — we become a better, stronger nation when we insist that the nation live with its conscience.
Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is president and chief operating officer of the Chicago-based Rainbow/ PUSH Coalition. This article — the fourth of a 20-part series — is written in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. For more information, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org. Click on this story at www.flcourier.com to write your own response
Black leaders announce recommendations “In unity there is strength” - Aesop’s Fable During the first week of President Obama’s second term, I joined a coalition of civil rights leaders in Washington, D.C. to call for immediate action on the urban jobs crisis and a host of other issues adversely affecting communities of color. Standing with National Action Network President Rev. Al Sharpton; NAACP President Ben Jealous; National Coalition on Black Civic Participation President Melanie Campbell and others, we called for swift action on a number of recommendations geared to leveling the playing field and giving a hand up to the thousands of urban Americans who are being left behind by the nation’s economic recovery. While each of us in the meeting has made our individual voices heard, we believe our unity gives us greater strength. This was our second meeting. When we gathered in Washington a little over a month ago, we urged our nation’s leaders to commit to economic and educational parity as well as voting rights protections, and criminal justice reforms to strengthen America and improve the lives of the millions of working and middle class citizens we see and serve
MARC H. MORIAL TRICE EDNEY WIRE
Finally, we call for reforms of the nation’s dysfunctional and discriminatory criminal justice system. As Ben Jealous noted, “Study after study has shown that students of color face harsher punishments in school than their White peers, AfricanAmerican students are arrested far more often than their White classmates, and African-American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison.
We support the President’s recently announced push for a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and his call for universal background checks. In addition, we recommend a stronger focus on violence prevention, including invest- Obama urged ments in programs that One in 13 African-Amercreate safe spaces for kids after school and improved icans of voting age is dismental health services and enfranchised because of a prior criminal conviction. treatment. That’s a staggering statistic Voter suppression that reveals the desperate need for reform.” exists We urge the president to We also call for citizens to mobilize around the up- address the urban jobs cricoming Feb. 27 Supreme sis in his upcoming State Court case challenging the of the Union address and constitutionality of Sec- we call on the leaders in tion 5 of the Voting Rights Washington to make ecoAct, which requires states nomic and educational and counties with a histo- parity a top priority this ry of discriminatory voting year. practices to undergo Justice Department review of Marc H. Morial, forany change to their voting mer mayor of New Orrules. This is especially impor- leans, is president and tant in light of the unprec- CEO of the National Uredented voter suppression ban League. Click on this campaign leading up to story at www.flcourier. the 2012 presidential elec- com to write your own response tion.
FEBRUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 14, 2013
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February 8 - February 14, 2013
Keith Sweat releases book this month See page B5
SHARING BLACK LIFE, STATEWIDE
Toni Braxton stars in Lifetime movie See page B5
SUN COAST / TAMPA BAY www.flcourier.com
Sustaining a culture of color
PENNY DICKERSON/SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
Master Artist Charles Bibbs is renowned for his ability to bring the nuance of African-American culture to life through his visual artistry. The California resident’s work, like the one above, was showcased at the festival.
Annual multi-day festival celebrates life of folklorist Zora Neale Hurston with plenty of art, crafts, history BY PENNY DICKERSON SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
he town of Eatonville celebrated the 24th annual ZORA! Festival with the theme: Zora’s Eatonville: Culture as Conservator of Community’s Heritage. The multi-day Zora Neale Hurston namesake event kicked off on Jan. 26 with its traditional pageantry and robust arts and cultural contributions from the African Diaspora to Florida. A global perspective of the Humanities gave the 2013 occasion a unique educational approach with invited guests from Moscow, Russia and a rare view of Native American life through the lens of awardwinning documentary producer Anne Makepeace. The event ended on Feb. 3 with a practical approach to preventive disease for African-Americans by Celebrity Chef Marvin Woods. The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community (P.E.C.) has presented the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities since 1990. Broadly known by the exclamatory epithet – ZORA!, this year’s festival marks the conclusion of a two-year celebration of Historic Eatonville’s 125th anniversary as the nation’s oldest incorporated African-American municipality.
PENNY DICKERSON/SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER VICTOR K. WATKINS/SPECIAL TO THE FLORIDA COURIER
Patrons attending the outdoor festival in Eatonville respond to the appeal for support for the event.
A distinctive voice in 20th-century literature, Hurston is best known for the 1937 iconic novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God.’’ The anthropologist, folklorist, and essayist emerged as a creative force during the Harlem Renaissance and advanced to literary stature as an intellectual who was imbued with a unique ability of vividly portray southern life. Historically deemed nomadic and restless with an exuberant personality and penchant for wearing hats, Hurston was born Jan. 7, 1891 and died Jan. 28, 1960. The festival in her adopted hometown of Eatonville is held each January in her posthumous memory through visual arts, oral history, traditional crafts, film, and, above all – literature.
shoulders and pillboxes touting plumes and netted veils convened at the downtown Orlando Crown Plaza for HATitude! An intimate affair of brunch and haute couture, the tradition is known as the festival’s hottest ticket in town and allows women ages 21 to 54 an opportunity to be “the stars” for an advance price of $50 and $55 at the door. Rhythmic to attitude, HATitude is celebratory of Hurston’s colorful existence and Renaissance penchant for wearing hats. Marjorie Phillips chose a standard black felt hat that was complementary to her petite frame and didn’t make as much noise as the more contemporary and flamboyant chapeaus at her table. “I am not really a hat lover at all, “said Phillips. “I’ve heard so many great things about the brunch, but the most important thing I was told was you can’t get in without wearing a hat. For a few hours, I can learn to love a hat.”
HATitude a festival tradition
Art in Eatonville
Arts and literature
Women wearing brims as wide as their
Master Artist Charles Bibbs is re-
nowned for his innate ability to bring the nuance of African-American culture to life through his visual artistry. The southern California native currently resides in Riverside and began his career as a street artist who worked in as a supervisor for Boeing aircraft. “I left aviation and became a full-time artist in 1993,” offered Bibbs. “AfricanAmerican people created a market for African-American art and I was in the right place at the right time.” Bibbs cannot boast any formal training, but has a degree in business with a minor in Art. From California streets to Eatonville’s Kennedy Boulevard, the spectacled genius joined colleagues on fine arts lane where he welcomed a continual host of fans and emerging artists eager to meet the man who masters both his people and color. “I’m a mixed media artist, mainly acrylic and ink,” explained Bibbs. “I’m a believer that you paint by what you know and what you experience and that’s what I’ve done over the years and I’ve been
Celebrity Chef Marvin Woods gives a demonstration that promotes healthy eating. successful at it…the important thing that I preach is that we need to breed collectors. And they need a starting point. They need to be able to buy a poster and a print and as they move on, they will be able to understand what they are buying through education.” According to Bibbs, art is based upon affordability and he belongs to a community of artists who seek to merge the efforts of a mainstream and elite audience to advance the art form and opportunities for all. When asked the advice he would give potential artists, Bibbs imparts, “Approach it like a business and not something so special you can’t part with.”
From tofu to turkey Everybody screamed for the fresh churned, homemade ice cream and additional sugary delights during the popular “Outdoor Festival of the Arts.” Amidst children performing on the steps of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, See ZORA!, Page B2
CALENDAR & OBITS
Jacksonville: The comedy show, “A Holy Ghost Party” makes its way to Jacksonville’s Times Union Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 9 for a 6 p.m. show.
Jazz and Blues artist Kenny G. will be at the Hollywood Hard Rock Live March 3 for a 7 p.m. show.
Reggae musician and singer Lutan Fyah will be at Revolution Live, Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 23 for an 8 p.m. show.
Ybor City: Forty contestants will compete for the Top Flan in Tampa Bay at Flan Fest on Feb. 23 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The fest is held in conjunction with Fiesta Day, Ybor City’s official day of celebration of its ethnic heritage and culture. Entertainment, vendors, children’s activities and flan tastings will be at this free event. More information: 813-241-2442.
“Freestyle Fridays” at the Fossil Park & Willis S. Johns Center, 6635 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. First visit free; $6 each following visit. More information: 727-8937756.
Orlando: Bel Biv Devoe, Dru Hill, El Debarge and various other artists will be at Funk Fest 2013 at Tinker Field on April 6 beginning at 5 p.m. Concerts also are scheduled in Jacksonville and Tampa. Complete lineup: http://funkfestconcerts.com.
Tampa: The American Brain Tumor Association will host its inaugural Breakthrough for Brain Tumors Tampa 5K Run & Walk on Feb. 9 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. More information or registration: www.breakthroughforbraintumors.
St. Petersburg: Youths ages 7 to 11 can enjoy a night of football, kickball, pingpong, foosball, video games and dance parties in an atmosphere that encourages character building and achievement, honesty, discipline teamwork, responsibility and respect during
St. Petersburg: First Fridays are held in downtown St. Petersburg at 250 Central Ave. between Second and Third Avenues from 5:30 p.m.10:30 p.m. More information: 727-393-3597.
tival’s theme, innovative artists represented projects created to give voice to the role of communities in the preservation of heritage. Houston activist and artist Rick Lowe, founder of Project Row Houses joined Hank Willis Thomas for an opening reception and gallery talk on the cutting edge transmedia art project titled Question Bridge: Black Males. The brainchild of innovators Thomas and Chris Johnson, the two collaborated with Bayete Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair to document provocative dialogue that stemmed from a five-channel video installation representing more than 150 Black men in 12 U.S. cities. Considered more of a “megalogue,” the stream-of -consciousness inquiries run the gamut of family, love, sexuality, community, education, and the most prevalent dilemma for today’s black men: violence. A predominantly female audience attended an evening community engagement and panel discussion on Feb. 1 in the Eatonville Library following a walk-through tour in the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts on Kennedy Boulevard. “The project is not just about Black males, it’s about people and how people react when put in a group, and how they react within that group,” explained Thomas. Featured males posed questions like the poignant, “What is common to us as Black males?” A male responds: “Our commonality is in our history. Our beauty is who we are as Black people.” That respondent then poses his own question and the cyclic inquiry continues. Captured responses ranged from the candid, “What’s so cool about selling crack?” to an incarcerated Black male in the San Diego prison being asked,
from B1 street peddlers pushed red wagons filled with candy apples down Kennedy Boulevard while vendors prodded visitors into rows of white tents. For a fixed or bargained price, attendees could purchase everything from pure African shea butter to T-shirts from President Barack Obama’s inauguration. In the biggest tent, adjacent to preferred soul food and fried fish that has watered festival palettes for years, Celebrity Chef Marvin Woods led a one-man campaign to help African-Americans prevent the prevalent diseases that affect our race: diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. Behind a colorful set of fresh fruit, exotic spices and natural grain ingredients, Woods simultaneously lectured and demonstrated a healthy recipe using either tofu or turkey for chili. “I’m giving you a recipe that is easy and nutritious,” said Woods. “African-Americans are used to smoked meats that are not really naturally smoked, but rather injected with smoke flavors. That’s sodium and creates a high salt intake and leads to diseases that can shorten lives.” Woods suggested smoked paprika for a spice and the grains Quinoa and Farro as white rice alternatives. Upon sampling the final product, many guests were shocked at their affinity to adapt to the recipe. “I eat any and everything, but I do it in moderation,” explained Woods. “People need to learn the concept of eat more weigh less: 64 ounces of water, five meals a day, and some form of exercise.”
Bridging the Black male gap Consistent with the fes-
Former Illinois Congresswoman Cardiss Collins dies at age 81
FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR
Orlando: Churches and schools will participate in the Seventh Annual Washington Shores 5K Walk & Health Fair March 9 from 8 a.m. to noon at Hankins Park, 1340 Lake Park Court. The public can register as either an individual or create a walk team. Trophies and prizes will be given to the teams having the most participants. Register online at www. orchd.com under the events section.
FEBRUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 14, 2013
Won U.S. House seat in 1970
R&B singer John Legend will be at Hard Rock Live, Hollywood April 10 for an 8 p.m. show.
Tampa: Songstress Alicia Keys brings her World On
CHICAGO – Cardiss Collins, the first African-American woman to represent Illinois in Congress, died of complications from pneumonia at a Virginia hospital, a family friend announced Tuesday. Mel Blackwell said Collins died Sunday evening at a hospital in Alexandria, Va., after suffering a stroke and spending time in a nursing home. “She was a groundbreaking congresswoman,” Blackwell said. Collins originally was Cardiss elected to fill the seat left Collins vacant when her husband, Congressman George W. Collins, who represented what was then the 7th District, was killed in a 1972 airplane crash. In 1994, the last year she ran for office, she was re-elected with 79 percent of the vote.
Fire tour to Florida with performances at the Tampa Bay Times Forum March 24 and Miami’s American Airlines Arena March 23. Cocoa: Celebrate Mardi Gras in Cocoa Village. The event will be held Feb. 9 from 5 p.m. – midnight, 100 Harrison St., to include food, the Central Florida News 13 Mardi Gras Parade of Floats at 9 p.m. and live entertainment by the Soul Rebels Brass Band. More information: 321-639-3500. Tampa: The City of Tampa’s Black History Celebration will take place Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. at the Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin St. The free event will feature the City of Tampa Gospel Choir. More information: 813274-7032 or frank.crum@ tampagov.net. “Are you ready for freedom?” A continued “Talk Back” session was held Saturday afternoon during “Family Day.”
Sustaining ZORA! “We need a little bit of money from a whole lot of people,” pleaded N.Y. Nathiri, director of Multidisciplinary Programs and Chair of the ZORA! Festival National Planners. The committee dedicated a full page in the festival guide outlining their appeal to “those who value ZORA! Festival. The following is explicitly outlined as follows: “For the first since the P.E.C. began competing for tourist development tax grant dollars (2002), ZORA! Festival 2013 was not recommended for funding. However, on October 16 (2012), in a firstever, one-time exception, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, in a 6-1 vote, allocated the $150.000, $1-for-$1 cash match grant to P.E.C. as long as our organization was able to meet certain stipulations…one of those stipulations was to make a report on April 2013 which addresses how well our organization has been able to expand its funding base; and to demonstrate a “broad public endorsement” of ZORA! Festival by documenting the individual financial investments we receive during “the festival cycle,” i.e. November 1, 2012 - April 30, 2013.” Their first effort to address the aforementioned was to charge admission. Attendees ages 17 and younger were admitted free. Those older were asked to give a cash donation. The future of ZORA! Festival and Hurston’s cultural legacy rests in the contributions left in envelopes provided by the community. Next year the festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary.
According to Chicago Democratic Rep. Danny Davis, who succeeded Collins, during her more than 24 years in Congress, Collins led efforts to curtail credit fraud against women, advocated gender equity in college sports and worked to reform federal child care facilities . She chaired the Government Activities and Transportation Sub-Committee. Born Cardiss Hortense Robertson in St. Louis, Mo., on Sept. 24, 1931, her family moved to Detroit. She attended Northwestern University and was a secretary, accountant and auditor for the Illinois Department of Revenue before she entered politics. In 1958 she married George Washington Collins and campaigned with him in his races for alderman and Democratic Party ward committeeman. They had one son, Kevin. In 1970, George Collins won a special election to fill a U.S. House seat made vacant by the death of Rep. Daniel J. Ronan.
Reluctant politician Shortly after winning a second term in Congress, George Collins was killed in a
plane crash near Chicago’s Midway Airport. Cardiss Collins later said she never gave politics a thought for herself and after her husband died was in too much of a daze to think seriously about running, even when people started proposing her candidacy. She later overcame her reluctance to represent the largely Black district on Chicago’s West Side. Although eager to continue the work begun by her husband in Congress, Collins admittedly had much to learn about her new job. Her lack of political experience, highlighted by entering office midterm, led to unfamiliarity with congressional procedures.
No ‘flame thrower’ Initially, Collins was not a presence in Congress, relying in her early years on her colleagues to learn the rules of the body. However, after several years she overcame her reserved personality. “She was a quick study and became a forceful member of Congress,” Davis said, adding that issues affecting inner cities and women were a key focus of her energy. “She was not a flame thrower, but when she spoke, she spoke with knowledge and authority,” Davis said. “She left a mark. The mark was the raising of urban issues in a significant way.” Collins became the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1979, and at one time expressed the growing disillusionment of Black members of Congress, saying they will “no longer wait for political power to be shared with us; we will take it.” She voiced disapproval of President Jimmy Carter’s civil rights record and criticized the president for not working hard enough to get congressional support to pass legislation making the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., a federal holiday. The holiday was created during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. “A pioneer of her time, she was an effective policymaker and representative, where she set the benchmark for many members of Congress to emulate,” said Chicago Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush. In addition to Kevin Collins, she is survived by granddaughter Candice Collins.
Strom Thurmond’s mixedrace daughter dies at 87 BY MEG KINNARD ASSOCIATED PRESS
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the mixed-race daughter of one-time segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond who kept her parentage secret for more than 70 years, has died. She was 87. Vann Dozier of Leevy’s Funeral Home in Columbia said Washington-Williams died Sunday. A cause of death was not given. Washington-Williams was the daughter of Thurmond and his family’s Black maid. The identity of her famous father was ruEssie Mae Washington- mored for decades in political circles and the Black Williams community. She later said she kept his secret because, “He trusted me, and I respected him.’’
‘Completely free’ at age 100 Not until after Thurmond’s death in 2003 at age 100 did Washington-Williams come forward and say her father was the White man who ran for president on a segregationist platform and served in the U.S. Senate for more than 47 years. “I am Essie Mae Washington-Williams, and at last I am completely free,’’ Washington-Williams said at a news conference revealing her secret. She was born in 1925 after Thurmond, then 22, had an affair with a 16-year-old Black maid who worked in his family’s Edgefield, S.C., home. She spent years as a schoolteacher in Los Angeles, keeping in touch with her famous father. While Thurmond never publicly acknowledged his daughter, his family acknowledged her claim after she came forward. She later said Thurmond’s widow, Nancy, was “a very wonderful person,’’ and called Strom Thurmond Jr. “very caring, and interested in what’s going on with me.’’
Met father in her teen years Paul Thurmond, a South Carolina state senator and son of Strom Thurmond, said in an email to The Associated Press, “I was sorry to hear of the passing of Ms. Washington-Williams. She was kind and gracious and I have the greatest respect for her, her life and her legacy.’’ Washington-Williams was raised by Mary and John Washington in Coatesville, Pa. When she was 13, Mary Washington’s sister, Carrie Butler, told Essie Mae that she was her mother. Washington-Williams met Thurmond for the first time a few years later in a law office in Thurmond’s hometown of Edgefield. “He never called my mother by her
name. He didn’t verbally acknowledge that I was his child,’’ Washington-Williams wrote in her autobiography, “Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond.’’ “He didn’t ask when I was leaving and didn’t invite me to come back. It was like an audience with an important man, a job interview, but not a reunion with a father,’’ she said in the book released January 2005.
Paid for college It was the first of many visits between Washington-Williams and her father. He supported her, paying for her to attend then-South Carolina State College at the same time Thurmond was governor. He also helped her later after she was widowed in the 1960s. “It’s not that Strom Thurmond ever swore me to secrecy. He never swore me to anything,’’ she wrote. “He trusted me, and I respected him, and we loved each other in our deeply repressed ways, and that was our social contract.’’ Washington-Williams watched from afar as Thurmond ran for president as a segregationist for the Dixiecrat Party in 1948, saying “all the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the army cannot force the Negro race into our theaters, our swimming pools, our schools, our churches, our homes.’’ Washington-Williams recalled once asking her father about race.
Name to be added to state statue Thurmond defended his beliefs as part of the “culture and custom of the South,’’ she wrote. “I certainly never did like the idea that he was a segregationist, but there was nothing I could do about it,’’ WashingtonWilliams said in 2003. “That was his life.’’ Thurmond later softened his political stance and renounced racism. But he never publicly acknowledged his oldest daughter or the active role he played in her life. Thurmond and his first wife, Jean, were married in 1947; she died in 1960. They had no children. He had four children with his second wife, the former Nancy Moore, whom he married in 1968. Washington-Williams was left unsettled by her father’s death. At her daughter’s encouragement she decided to make her story public. “In a way, my life began at 78, at least my life as who I really was,’’ WashingtonWilliams wrote. “I may have called it `closure,’ but it was much more like an opening, a very grand opening.’’ A statue of Thurmond on the Statehouse lawn was originally cast saying he had four children. Thurmond’s family agreed to have Washington-Williams’ name added.
FEBRUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 14, 2013
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Madame C.J. Walker, 1867-1919
Mamie Smith, 1883-1946
Bessie Smith was better known, but Mamie got there first. Her hit, “Crazy Blues,” recorded in 1920, was the first blues vocal ever recorded and also the first recording by an African-American woman. Despite that distinction, Smith did not think of herself primarily as a blues singer — she was a vaudevillian who sang many different styles. The Cincinnati-born vocalist spent the ‘20s and ‘30s barnstorming across the United States with her Jazz Hounds, a band that included such luminaries as James “Bubber’’ Miley and Willie “The Lion” Smith.
Matthew Alexander Henson, 1866-1955
A. Philip Randolph, 1889-1979
She was born Sarah Breedlove, daughter of a poor farm couple who died while she was still a little girl. She was married at 14; when her husband died, she supported herself as a washerwoman. In 1905, Walker perfected a formula for straightening the hair of black women; it was the beginning of a cosmetics empire that, by the time of her death would make her a millionaire — one of the first black Americans to achieve that status, if not the first. Walker denied herself no luxury — her mansion at Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y., is said to have been a regal showplace. But the hair-care magnate was also a generous contributor to good causes; she funded scholarships and gave to the indigent and the needy.
On the day in 1887 that he first met Robert Peary, Henson, though only about 21 years old, already had experience as a stevedore, seaman, bellhop and coachman. Peary thought Henson might make a valuable valet on Peary’s attempt to become the first man to reach the North Pole. But Peary soon discovered that Henson’s abilities and experiences made him even more valuable as a colleague. As Peary once put it, “I couldn’t get along without him.” The men mounted seven expeditions to the Arctic, including the last, in 1908 and 1909, when they finally stood together at the top of the world, the first explorers to do so.
His courtly, Sphinx-like demeanor belied the soul of a fighter. Randolph, a leader of the “New Negro” movement of the early 20th century, was tapped by black railroad workers to lead their fledgling union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, in 1925. It would take years for the union to even get the Pullman Co. to recognize them, years more before an agreement was hammered out, but when it was over, Randolph and his union had won workplace concessions once unthinkable for black employees. In later years, Randolph was instrumental in pushing President Franklin Roosevelt to do away with segregation in the defense industry. He was also an organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.
John Russwurm, 1799-1851
Adam Clayton Powell Sr., 1865-1953
Although he was technically born a slave in Jamaica, Russwurm enjoyed many privileges of freedom because his father was a white American bachelor. His father, also named John Russwurm, provided a quality education for his son at Bowdoin College in Maine (he graduated in 1826, the third African-American to graduate from an American college). When the elder Russwurm relocated to Massachusetts, he took the boy with him. In 1827, this child of privilege took up the plight of the American slave. With his partner, Samuel Cornish, he founded Freedom’s Journal, the first black newspaper published in the United States. The paper’s then-controversial credo: Complete freedom and equality for African slaves. As the editors put it in their first editorial, it was time for black people to plead “our own cause.”
He was the grandson of slaves, the father of a flamboyant namesake congressman and a towering figure in his own right. As a boy, Powell, a Virginia native, is said to have learned the alphabet in a day. A year later, he was reading from the Bible. A grandfather nudged Powell toward the ministry and he eventually served as pastor of churches in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The pastorate that made him famous, however, was at Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City. Under Powell’s leadership, Abyssinian practiced a social gospel that did not limit itself to the pulpit and pews; the church operated a facility for the aged, helped feed the poor, and agitated for racial and economic justice. By the mid1930s, Abyssinian claimed 14,000 members, making it the largest Protestant congregation in the United States.
ometimes, history forgets. Sometimes, the big names everyone knows crowd out the smaller ones fewer people recall. Sometimes, when it is time to apportion honor and assign recognition, men and women who ought to be singled out are not. And so, those who inspired the dreams, fanned the flames and stood in the thick of revolutionary change can find themselves left out of the books, short-changed in the reminiscences. In this annual season of black history’s celebration, much will be said, and deservedly so, about giants such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. DuBois. But here, in 10 fields of American endeavor, are 10 other names, lesser-known women and men whose contributions and heroism we should remember, always. — Leonard Pitts Jr., The Miami Herald
P.B.S. Pinchback, 1837-1921
Oscar Micheaux, 1884-1951
Henry Johnson, 1897*-1929
Jack Johnson, 1878-1946
Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback was the free-born son of a white planter and a woman the planter owned and later freed. In 1862, he was assigned the duty of recruiting African-American volunteers for the Union Army forces, but resigned his captain’s commission in protest of the discriminatory treatment of his men. During Reconstruction, he was a leader in the founding of the Louisiana Republican Party and was elected president pro tempore of the state Senate in 1871. Pinchback became lieutenant governor when the incumbent died. Then, the governor was suspended during impeachment proceedings, and Pinchback succeeded him, too, serving as acting governor of Louisiana from December 1872 to January 1873. He was the first African-American governor in history and, until L. Douglas Wilder became chief executive of Virginia in 1989, the only one.
Oscar Micheaux came of age during the days when filmmakers routinely ignored African-Americans or confined them to subservient, demeaning roles. This was, paradoxically, the key to his success. During the ’20s and ’30s, Micheaux wrote, directed and produced about 30 films keyed to black audiences. Micheaux operated on a budget of next to nothing, raising money directly from his audiences. Thus, there was no such thing as “Take two” in a Micheaux movie — not even when an actor blew his lines. Not surprisingly, the movies were usually awful. Also not surprisingly, an audience starving to see itself reflected on screen flocked to his films. Micheaux, a consummate promoter, would travel from town to town, screening his current movie while raising funds for the next.
Early on the morning of May 14, 1918, Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts were standing sentry on a bridge near the Aisne River in France when, without warning, they were attacked by a force of 32 Germans. Cut off from their regimental headquarters and armed only with pistols, knives and a few hand grenades, the two black soldiers somehow stood off the much larger force, pressing the fight even though Johnson was wounded three times and Roberts twice. At one point, the Germans rushed the pair and took Roberts prisoner. By now reduced to using only a bolo knife and the butt of his empty pistol, Johnson nevertheless charged the Germans. He managed to wound as many as 10 of them and to kill at least four more. The startled Germans dropped their prisoner and ran. Johnson and Roberts were both awarded France’s highest military honor, the Croix de Guerre. *Approximate year of birth
Before there was Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis or Jackie Robinson, there was John Arthur Johnson, a boxer who became history’s first black heavyweight champion in 1908 with a victory over Tommy Burns. Johnson spent 15 rounds whipping Burns, carrying on a running dialogue with him as he did so. Finally police stopped the bout. The victory was all the more impressive in light of the fact that Burns’ manager served as referee — a concession Johnson had to make in order to get Burns to agree to the fight. Johnson’s victory polarized the nation — a state of tension made worse by the fact that he was a swaggering, boastful champion given to publicly romancing and marrying white women. Proponents of white supremacy seized upon former champion Jim Jeffries as their “great white hope” for snatching the title back from this unruly black man. But the overweight Jeffries, who returned from retirement for the bout, was no match for Johnson, who toyed with him for 15 rounds before knocking him out.
Photo credits: photos of P.B.S. Pinchback and Adam clayton Powell Sr. courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society; A. Philip randolph courtesy of the national archives; Madame c.J. walker courtesy of the chicago tribune; photo of oscar micheaux coutesy of South dakota state archives; john russwurm courtesy of bowdoin college; jack johnson courtesy of Mike delisa; henry johnson courtesy of the henry johnson memorial; photo of mamie smith courtesy of frank driggs; matthew alexander henson courtesy of the national archives
FEBRUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 14, 2013
PHOTOS BY LIONEL HAHN/ABACA PRESS/MCT
Beyonce and a reunited Destiny’s Child perform during the halftime of Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday.
‘Proud day for African American women’
A choir from Newtown, Conn., joins Jennifer Hudson during pre-game performances before the start of the Super Bowl. Alicia Keys performs the National Anthem before the start of the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Beyonce praises sisters who performed during Super Bowl FROM WIRE REPORTS
Beyonce paid tribute to her fellow performers following her Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday, and the singer hailed the event a “proud day for African American women.” She rocked the stadium with a captivating dance routine and catchy tunes. Destiny’s Child band members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined the singer during a surprise reunion show. In separate performances, singers Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys took the stage earlier in the evening, ultimately drawing praise from Beyonce. “What a proud day for AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN!!!!!” Beyonce wrote in a Tumblr post. “Kelly, Michelle, Alicia, Jhud. You are all beautiful, talented and showed so much class! It was an honour to perform at the Super Bowl with you phenomenal ladies. Love Beyonce.”
Praise from celebs, hubby, first lady The 31-year-old opted to sing live during her energetic performance, flawlessly belting out various hits including “Love on Top” and “Halo.” Rowland and Michelle joined Beyonce for “Bootylicious,” “Independent Woman,” and “Single Ladies.” “Had a great time w/my sisters tonight!! Tried to keep it a surprise!! Love you all...God bless!!” Williams tweeted after the group performance. Fans flocked to social networking site Twitter to applaud Beyonce’s captivating performance and the singer received praise from various high-profile celebrities, including her husband Jay-Z and the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.
TV ratings dip for blackout-plagued CBS game BY SCOTT COLLINS LOS ANGELES TIMES (MCT)
Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII ratings were a little like the San Francisco 49ers’ offense: Still powerful, but not quite at peak form. In a marathon game marred by an unprecedented 34-minute blackout at the Superdome in New Orleans, an average of 108.4 million total viewers tuned in to watch the Baltimore Ravens defeat the 49ers, 34-31, on CBS, according to Nielsen. That was down 3 percent from last year’s Super Bowl telecast, when 111.3 million tuned in. That event remains the No. 1 ratings champion in U.S. history. PAUL MORSE/MCT
The Baltimore Ravens celebrate at the conclusion of a 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Third most-watched game Even so, Sunday’s telecast was
the No. 3 most-watched telecast ever. No. 2 is Super Bowl XLV, with 111 million. San Francisco had been favored to win the game, but Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco set up such a blistering scoring pace in the first half that the game threatened to become a blowout. After play resumed following the blackout early in the third quarter, a 49ers surge fell short and the Ravens held on for the win. Analysts are debating the role the blackout played in TV viewing. Some viewers may have flipped away from CBS for a few minutes during the downtime, which could have lowered the average audience figures. Also, the lengthy delay meant that the game did not end until about 11 p.m. on the East Coast, which may have further depressed viewing.
FEBRUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 14, 2013
FINEST & ENTERTAINMENT
Meet some of
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Entrepreneur and nursing student Erica Jones graduated from Albany State University with a Bachelor of Psychology degree in 2009. At that time, the Atlanta native began her career in modeling and started her business in shoe design (www. styleversusfashion.com). Contact Erica at twitter.com/stylevsfashion. Photo credit: Michelle Masso
Keith Sweat discusses love, relationships in ‘Make it Last Forever’ Singer, songwriter and syndicated radio personality Keith Sweat shares his thoughts and advice on love and relationships in his first book, “Make it Last Forever: The Dos and Don’ts.” Sweat offers advice to anyone seeking suggestions on keeping their relationships fresh and exciting. “I have experienced just about all aspects of relationships,” said the singer. “I have had girlfriends, been married, been divorced, cheated on women, been cheated on by women, been in love when it really wasn’t love and been in love when it was true love.”
Keith Sweat’s first book debuts this month. The book is scheduled to hit the bookshelves on Feb. 12.
Kevin Dorival, 32, known for his dual clothing line, One Woman Army and One Man Army, is also an inspirational speaker, play director, mentor and author of the new book, “The Courage To Believe.” Kevin will be speaking at the Northwest Branch Library in Pompano Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. He can be reached at www.TheCourageToBelieve.com or Facebook.com/TheCourageToBelieve CREDIT: Robertson Sejour/Sejour Glamor Shots
Lifetime Network celebrates Black History Month with three new movies BY GAIL CHOICE NNPA NEWS SERVICE
It’s that time of the year again when African-American heritage is front and center. Lifetime Network will be presenting three world premiere movies featuring some of Hollywood’s top performers. The network kicked it off Feb. 2 with Angela Bassett and Mary J. Blige starring in “Betty & Coretta,” the true life story of two women who forged a life-long friendship following the tragic deaths of their husbands in the battle for civil rights. Bassett stars as Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, played by Malik Yoba and Blige as Dr. Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X, played by Lindsay Owen Pierre. With both of their husbands assassinated, their deaths led to more questions than answers. Faced with a broken and angry America, the two held each other up. Raising children on their own, the two fought to keep the honor and the legacy of their husbands alive.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LIFETIME NETWORK
Above is the cast of “Pastor Brown,” one of Lifetime’s new movies debuting this month. ing his spirit while at the same time making a difference in her life.
single mother who happens to be a gospel singer. Gospel music, and Nina’s special attention to the brokenness of Fisher’s challenges are the keys to reviv-
Rounding out Lifetime’s world premiere movie lineup for Black History Month is “Pastor Brown. Salli Richardson-Whitfield stars as a young woman with a past who returns home to take over as pastor of the family church after her father’s (Keith David) death. She is forced to face her sordid past and mend fences with her son (Michael B. Jordan) and sister (Nicole Ari Parker). It’s a host of saints and sinners when “Pastor Brown” airs on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. Lifetime received 10 NAACP Image Award nominations, more than any other basic cable network, for “Steel Magnolias,” 2012’s No. 1 cable movie telecast among key demographics (excluding miniseries), and “Abducted: The Carlina White Story,” which averaged more than 4 million total viewers.
ketball Wives.” Since filming for Season 4 wrapped, and after her brief marriage to Chad Johnson ended in a domestic incident, Lozada has tried to turn over a new leaf. One fan asked her via Twitter, “Do you have any regrets? If so what?” She immediately admitted, “Throwing a bottle at Kenya [Bell].” It’s not clear whether Bell will be back for Season 5.
This is not the first time that Lozada has said she’s sorry about the incident where she went off about Bell supposedly calling her “loose.” “One of my biggest regrets is the altercation with Kenya, I feel like that whole situation went too far,” Lozado told VH1 back in June. “I could have hurt her or one of my cast mates. You know, you get caught up in the moment. That’s one of the things I regret the most.”
‘Twist of Faith’
Mary Mary is sister duo Tina and Erica Campbell.
Mary Mary not breaking up; just taking a break The Campbell sisters aka Mary Mary are finally clearing the air about their rumored break up. “I will say this, we are not breaking up,” Erica AtkinsCampbell told Essence.com. “But we’re taking a break. I’m going to do some solo music. Tina’s going to vacation and travel the world. We’ve been joined at the hip the last 12 years and I think in order for us both to be our healthiest selves, just as women, in the group, [we will] take some time to think and re-assess. We’ve been going constantly year after year, baby after baby, tour after tour and now season after season on TV.” Their schedules have become so overwhelming and busy that the two can’t seem to find time to work together anymore. Erica also said that during their hiatus, it’s going to serve as time to reconnect with God.
On Saturday, Feb. 9, Toni Braxton stars in “Twist of Faith,” an interfaith love story about a single Christian mother (Braxton) and an Orthodox Jewish widower (David Julian Hirsh), whose mutual passion for music and singing draws them together. Jacob Fisher (Hirsh), a cantor and amateur songwriter living in Brooklyn, N.Y., witnesses the senseless murder of his wife and three children. In a state of shock, he walks out on his life. After wandering aimlessly, he finds himself in smalltown USA, namely Brent, Ala., where he is embraced by Nina (Braxton), a
Evelyn’s biggest regret: Fight with Kenya EURWEB.COM
Evelyn Lozada revealed that her biggest regret was caught on “Bas-
Toni Braxton, center, is a gospel singer in “Twist of Faith.’’
FEBRUARY 8 – FEBRUARY 14, 2013
Fresh takes on
family recipes Family Features
pdating familiar family recipes is a great way to turn them into new family favorites. “Cooking with broth, in place of water, is a quick way to boost flavor in a dish,” said Chef Amanda Freitag, judge on the Food Network series “Chopped.” “When giving recipes a makeover, I like to use College Inn Broths, which are made from premium ingredients like plump chicken, tender beef, and farm-grown vegetables.”
Amanda Freitag’s tips on cooking with broth
• Lighten up mashed potatoes by substituting College Inn® Chicken Broth for milk or cream and butter. • Add flavor to rice and couscous by cooking with broth, instead of water. • Freeze unused broth in an ice cube tray for future use. These recipes were winners in the College Inn Ultimate Recipe Challenge contest, and are sure to be a hit at your family table. For more recipes, visit www.collegeinn. com. College Inn® Broth can be found at all major grocery retail stores.
Cherry Bomb Meatloaf Sliders Submitted by Richard S. Servings: 4 to 6 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 55 minutes Sauce: 1 cup chopped dried cherries 1 cup College Inn® Chicken Broth 4 cloves garlic 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon Del Monte® Tomato Paste 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon hot sauce Salt, to taste Meatloaf: 1 pound lean ground beef 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley 2 tablespoons minced onion 2 tablespoons pickle relish 1 clove garlic, crushed Salt and ground pepper, to taste 1/2 cup College Inn® Beef Broth 1 egg, lightly beaten Spread: 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 4 slices smoked provolone, chopped 2 teaspoons chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 12 Hawaiian or Portuguese sweet dinner rolls, sliced Preheat oven to 350°F. To prepare sauce, combine cherries, chicken broth, garlic, balsamic vinegar and tomato paste in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and pour into food processor; process 2 minutes, drizzling in olive oil and hot sauce until fully emulsified. Season with salt, if desired. Set aside. To prepare meatloaf, break up ground beef into large chunks in medium bowl. Mix in the bread crumbs, parsley, onion, relish and garlic; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Add beef broth and egg, mixing until combined. Place meatloaf mixture diagonally into a 9x13-inch baking pan, making a long log (15 inches long x 2 inches wide). Smooth the top and bake 30 minutes. Brush with 2 tablespoons of sauce to glaze. Bake an additional 15 minutes and remove from oven. Let meatloaf rest 10 minutes before slicing. To prepare spread, combine cream cheese, provolone, chives and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl, stirring to create a thick spread. To serve, cut meatloaf into twelve, 1-inchthick slices. Place each slice onto an open roll and top with 1 teaspoon each sauce and spread.
Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup Submitted by Pamela V. Servings: 4 to 6 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Soup: 4 to 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1 pound) 1/2 cup canola oil, divided 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 2 soft corn tortillas, sliced into 1/4-inch strips 1 small onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 cup lime juice 1/4 teaspoon lime zest 1 quart College Inn® Chicken Broth 1 can (14.5 ounces) Del Monte® Diced Tomatoes, undrained 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese Toppings: Fried tortilla strips 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 2 green onions, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken in 8x8-inch glass baking dish. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Shred cooked chicken meat with 2 forks and set aside. Heat remaining oil in small skillet. Add tortilla strips in 2 batches; fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes each batch. Drain on paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon oil for Step 4. Heat reserved 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 to 60 seconds, stirring constantly. Do not brown garlic. Add chili powder and cumin; stir and cook 15 to 30 seconds. Quickly stir in lime juice, lime zest, broth, tomatoes, and diced chilies. Bring mixture to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer. Add cream cheese. Simmer until cream cheese is melted. Stir in shredded chicken, cook about 5 minutes. Ladle into individual soup bowls, and garnish with tortilla strips, cheddar cheese and green onion.
Savory Honey Mustard Poached Pears and Figs Submitted by Pamela V. Servings: 4 to 6 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes 2 cups College Inn® Chicken Broth 1 cup dry white wine 1 cup water 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 3 tablespoons honey, divided 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 bay leaves 4 pears (firm variety such as Bosc), peeled, halved and cored 6 ounces dried figs, stems removed 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese Trace diameter of large saucepan onto parchment paper. Cut out and set aside. Combine broth, white wine, water, mustard, 2 tablespoons honey, lemon juice and bay leaves in large saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Add pears, core-side-up, and figs; cover with vented parchment paper so pears stay fully submerged. Simmer 20 minutes until pears are fork-tender. Toast hazelnuts in small, non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat, about 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Quickly remove nuts from pan onto a separate plate. To serve, remove pears from poaching liquid and place onto individual salad plates. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon honey and sprinkle with nuts and cheese.