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APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014

VOLUME 22 NO. 15

COMPENSATION FOR THEIR LOSS? The King family’s latest spat puts their modest finances in the spotlight, revealing that Dexter’s the one reaping the highest financial benefits.

The King children – Dexter, Bernice, Martin III, and Yolanda – attended a musical tribute to Coretta Scott King at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in 2006. Yolanda King died in 2007.


nances of the three surviv- ter King was paid by the ing King children and the Atlanta nonprofit through institutions they control. at least 2012, with his salary and benefits averaging a little more than $175,000 Tax records a year. He stepped down as reviewed president and CEO in 2010 Much of that informabut remained as chairman. tion is shielded from public He has drawn more than view. But federal tax records $400,000 in severance pay show that Dexter King has since then. derived by far the greatest The Atlanta Journalincome from the nonprofit Constitution examined IRS side of their collective enForm 990s provided by the terprise, the Martin Luther King Center covering the King Jr. Center for Nonvioyears 1996 to 2012. They lent Social Change. Although he has lived in show that Dexter King, who

ATLANTA – Fifty years after the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize, his sons, Martin Luther King III and Dexter Scott King, say they urgently need to sell the Nobel medal to raise money to perpetuate his legacy. The proposed sale, which has landed the brothers in a court battle against their sister, Bernice King, has – not for the first time – put the focus squarely on the fi- California since 2000, Dex-


Senators target youth unemployment

See FAMILY, Page A2


‘Don’t take us for granted’

Bill gives tax credits for apprenticeships BY JAMES ROSEN MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU / MCT

WASHINGTON – The only two African-American senators, a Democrat and a Republican, reached across the partisan divide Wednesday to introduce legislation targeting the high unemployment rate among nonWhite youth. Sens. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, and Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, unveiled a bill that would give businesses tax credits for hiring apprentices registered with the U.S. Labor Department or with a state government agency. “One of the beauties of this legislation is it provides us an opportunity to find common ground,” Scott told reporters. “I don’t think either one of us have had to compromise in order to find this common ground.”

Modeled after S.C. Scott and Booker, who both joined the Senate last year, said their measure is modeled after Apprenticeship Carolina. Started by former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and expanded under current Gov. Nikki Haley, the program has helped to create 9,365 apprenticeships since its creation in 2007. Manufacturing and other firms in the state work with community colleges to train apprentices in robotics, information technology and a range of other skills. The senators said their bill would help create 400,000 apprenticeships


Bishop Victor T. Curry of Miami-Dade hosted a discussion with leading gubernatorial candidates during the convention and warned them to actively campaign for Black voters during the 2014 election cycle. Candidates addressed health care, education, ‘Stand Your Ground,’ and more before one of Florida’s largest organizations of pastors and clergy.

See YOUTH, Page A2

LBJ Presidential Library hosts Civil Rights Summit AUSTIN, TEXAS – The LBJ Presidential Library hosted a Civil Rights Summit Tuesday through Friday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. President Lyndon Baines Johnson drove passage of the legislation and signed it into law. The Summit was both a look back at the civil rights movement of the 1960s and a look forward at the civil rights issues still facing America and the world. President Obama was joined by three former presidents who also delivered remarks at the Civil Rights Summit. Jimmy Carter spoke on Tuesday, Bill Clinton on Wednesday, and George W. Bush was scheduled to speak today “Fifty years ago, President


Johnson’s vision for a more just and honorable America contributed to the passing of the Civil Rights Act, the most transformational civil rights legislation since Reconstruction and a crucial step in the realization of America’s promise,” said Mark K. Updegrove, director of the LBJ Presidential Library. “But his vision went far beyond ending racial discrimination. He believed that education, economic opportunity, health care, clean air and water, and access to the arts and humanities, among other things, were inherent civil rights for all Americans – and it’s reflected in his legislative legacy.” The Civil Rights Summit is this year’s cornerstone event of a


Health groups trying to stamp out e-cigarette bill


Black jobless rate climbs to 12.4 percent


In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson met with Black newspaper owners, all members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. multi-year anniversary celebration of President Johnson’s legislative legacy. Throughout the course of the next several years, the LBJ Presidential Library, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The

University of Texas at Austin, and the LBJ Foundation will partner to commemorate the anniversaries of seminal laws signed by President Johnson that continue to resonate today.

WORLD | B2, B3

Journalist reports on refugees’ journey to safety




APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014

I’d trade my timid Black president for a fearless White guy Editor’s note: Father Michael Pfleger is a Catholic priest who is a longtime community activist in Chicago. I woke up this morning asking God if I could make a trade. Similar to the NBA, when you have one player on the team who isn’t performing at the level you’d hoped, you try to get someone else who fits the criteria necessary to help the team find victory.  In this case, we are playing for Team Black America. Of course I know that America is not the kind of country that would elect someone like Father Michael Pfleger as its president.


who are trying to please everyone else. So, here are a few reasons that I’d gladly trade our first Black president for the White guy who will never be president of anything: • He isn’t afraid to challenge the establishment. Most people who are outside of the establishment spend their lives trying to Angry Black man find a way in. You do something Father Pfleger is the kind of noteworthy and you’re suddenpastor that becomes the night- ly rubbing elbows with the rich, mare of anyone who chooses to powerful and famous.   The comlive his/her life cloaked in the fort of the establishment can, uncomfort of hypocrisy.   He says fortunately make you weak and what he means and does what he docile, to the point that you are says, and seems to have very little afraid to say or do nearly anyfear as he does it.  In fact, I would thing because you are worried dare say that Father Pfleger might about losing money, offending be well-defined the wrong person or losing some to be an angry prominent position that you’ve obtained.   Black man. The Black community’s incesBut when I consider Father sant need for financial security Pfleger’s track and White American validation record of fight- serve as key factors which undering tirelessly for mine our ability to fight for racial those who need justice. When you are owned and it, I can’t help controlled by something, it’s difFather but notice that ficult to challenge the thing that Michael my faith in his controls you.  Pfleger Obama lives and breathes commitment to our communi- America’s capitalist military maty far exceeds that which I have chine, which means that the in the political messiah that most powerful man in the world we’ve placed in the White House.   may not be powerful at all. FaWhen I hold onto any hope for ther Pfleger doesn’t seem to have true change as it pertains to the that problem, for he’s gone headBlack community, I realize that to-head with his own superiors this change will come from em- within the Catholic Church and powered community activists shown a willingness to give up like Pfleger instead of politicians his place in the establishment in

YOUTH from A1

nationwide, filling a share of the 4 million jobs they said are vacant because employers can’t find workers with skills to fill them.

Higher jobless rate Scott, the only Black Republican in Congress, and Booker said 16 percent of young people are unemployed, with the jobless rate still higher among non-White youth. The overall unemployment rate has fallen to 6.7 percent from its Great Recession peak of 10 percent in October 2009. Booker, a former mayor of Newark, N.J., said the

FAMILY from A1

held a variety of titles, was the only member of the family to get paid, in some form, every year. His total compensation since 1996, including perks and benefits, totaled about $3 million. Bernice King has never been paid by the Auburn Avenue nonprofit, although she took over from Dexter King as president and CEO in 2012. She has said she makes an adequate living on the speaking circuit. King III has sporadically received income from the center. His total compensation since 1996 has been slightly more than $382,000, the records show.

No comment Repeated calls and emails seeking comment from the brothers went unanswered. Bernice King declined to comment because she is fighting her brothers in court over the proposed sale of the Nobel and a Bible that belonged to their father. The other side of the siblings’ financial lives is King Inc. – or the King Estate. It is a private, for-profit corporation, run by Dexter King and King III and charged with protecting and marketing their father’s image. The three siblings are its sole shareholders.

United States is expected by 2020 to face a shortage of 3 million workers with associate degrees and 5 million with technical certificates. “So this is actually a crisis that we have so many growing needs and not the workers to fill them,” he said.

Common internationally Booker said half of all young German workers are apprentices compared with only 350,000 in the United States. “This is a very specific strategy that’s really being exploited by our competitor nations from Canada to the United Kingdom to Germany,” Booker said. “This is going to be the wave of the future in terms

None of the three is paid as an officer of the estate, according to records of a previous court case. It’s not known whether they get regular shareholder distributions. It’s also unclear how much each personally received from the $32 million sale of their father’s personal papers to the city of Atlanta in 2006. Dexter King, however, received a commission of more than 30 percent for brokering the deal, according to court testimony in 2009 by a lawyer representing Bernice King and King III.

In the dark Seemingly, the corporation’s workings are mysterious even to Bernice King and King III, its chairman. In 2008 they sued Dexter King, the corporation’s president, over access to its financial records, arguing that he was intentionally hiding the books. That case was settled in 2009 when a special custodian was installed to monitor the estate’s finances. But five years later, as the fight escalated over the Bible and Nobel, Bernice King and her attorneys strongly implied that she still knows very little about the business of King Inc.

Property records reviewed In 2007 – a year after the estate sold the King papers – Dexter King purchased a 6,800-square-foot Malibu mansion on a 1.23-acre lot

Sen. Cory Booker

order to do what is right. When I think about the words “What would Jesus do?” I think about Father Pfleger. Jesus could have been the most powerful megapastor in the world, but when given the chance to trade in his integrity, he kicked over tables instead. • He’s willing to fight and even die for what he believes in. Barack Obama has an interesting way of fighting.  He seems to believe that you can fight for a just cause and remain concerned about self-preservation, all at the same time.  The man who has pardoned fewer citizens than former president Bush (the overwhelming majority of whom are White) seemed more concerned about being re-elected and retiring at Martha’s Vineyard with his Harvard classmates than he does about getting his hands dirty and doing the hard work that needs to be done. It is also true that when fighting for a cause you believe in, you must be fully prepared to go down bloody and burning.   Father Pfleger has put his life on the line standing up to local gang members and is even working to convert them.  He spends time in the worst parts of one of the most violent cities in America even though he doesn’t have to.  Although President Obama has the term “community organizer” in his background, many of my friends from Chicago don’t remember him organizing much of anything. • He doesn’t seem to care how many friends he loses. Father Pfleger doesn’t appear to worry about losing friends, his reputation, his job or anything else when he goes to war.  He seems to realize that if you want someone to respect you, you must be fully

Sen. Tim Scott

of getting more people into those middle-skilled and even high-skilled jobs that pay a significant amount of money because the demand is actually there.” Their bill, called the Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs Act, would give companies a tax credit of $1,500 for hiring an apprentice under the age of 25 and a credit of $1,000 for employing one 25 or old-

for $4.16 million, according to Los Angeles County tax records. According to the Fulton County Board of Assessors, each of the Kings owns a home in Atlanta. Those dwellings are not extravagantly priced or in expensive neighborhoods. King III’s home is valued at $263,200; Bernice King’s home at $146,000; and Dexter King’s downtown condominium at $101,500, according to tax records.

Not rich The sale of their father’s papers, coupled with revenue that comes into the estate through licensing and royalties, gives the perception that the siblings are flush with cash. But are they? “At the end of the day, (the brothers’ insistence on selling the Nobel and Bible) has to be about money,” said the Rev. Timothy McDonald III, senior pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta. “The question is: What types of jobs do the brothers have?” said McDonald, who has tried to play mediator in the sibling’s recent conflict. “Where do they work? What has been their main source of income? “Dexter’s income is solely the King legacy, either through the King Center or through the estate. Martin has tried to do things. He’s had foundations and other nonprofits, so he has not solely depended on the King legacy. The driving force behind all of this

willing to accept that this person may not like you when the fight is over (in a football game, you can’t politely ask the other team’s permission to score points). It sometimes appears that President Obama works harder to build consensus and maintain relationships than he does to fight for his most loyal constituents.   This is hardly the disposition necessary for a man to achieve the level of change that Obama promised during his campaign. • White people might actually listen to him. Racism is interesting.  A Black man can be talented and intelligent (as Obama is himself ) and have all the qualifications in the world, but people don’t respond to him in the same way they would if he were White.  Even Father Pfleger might admit that people would not consider him to be as much of a hero if he were a Black man doing the same thing.  In fact, another Chicago pastor, Jeremiah Wright, has been equally assertive in his willingness to do unpopular things to help an oppressed people who are deeply in need of meaningful leadership. So maybe a White president who cares about Black causes would be more empowered to act than a Black man who has to treat his Blackness as a liability.  For millions of White Americans, Obama was elected in spite of being Black, rather than because of it. • He wouldn’t be so self-conscious about race. In his quest to make conservatives comfortable, Obama hasn’t brought forth any assertive policies, executive orders or bold “bully pulpit” announcements that directly impacts the Black community. The courage with which the Obama

er. The new program’s $450 million annual price tag would be offset by reducing federal printing costs by a similar amount. Booker said he accepted Scott’s condition that their initiative could not increase overall federal spending. Government publications for seniors, Medicare recipients and communities with limited Internet access would be exempt from mandated printing reductions under the legislation.

New tactics Scott, a former state legislator and Charleston County, S.C., commissioner, introduced two anti-poverty bills in January. One measure would consolidate dozens of federal job training programs, is Dexter, and he’s driving Martin.”

Financial problems? In a February pretrial hearing, William Hill, who represents the King Estate, implied that it is in financial straits. He pleaded with Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney to force Bernice King to immediately turn over the peace prize and Bible so they could be sold quickly. Bernice King did relinquish the items under court order; they are under the control of the court until the lawsuit goes to trial this fall. “These opportunities (to sell) are fleeting. ... My client tells you that to be able to move on this opportunity is important to the continued existence of King Inc.,” Hill said. “And you know that (King Inc.) is aggressive in protecting Dr. King’s legacy, and that entails hiring lawyers, hiring law firms, filing lawsuits and, you know, your honor, lawyers charge too much money – all the time.” In a later interview, Hill drew a distinction between the estate’s financial position and that of Dexter King and King III. “We weren’t talking about the brothers,” Hill said. “We were talking about the estate.” Asked directly whether the brothers were broke, Hill said, “I won’t go through any details other than what we talked about in court.”

White House has stood up for the gay community, women’s rights groups and Latinos has yet to be matched for African-Americans, who have been far more loyal than any of those groups. Even the two Supreme Court picks the president had in his possession went to a Latino woman and a White woman from Harvard with a racially exclusive hiring record. Dorothy Height, before she died, told President Obama that it is sad that after existing for two centuries, the Supreme Court has yet to have an African-American woman. At the same time, they’ve had dozens of Harvard graduates like Obama. There appears to be an odd self-consciousness that Obama has when it comes to avoiding the crime of being considered to be “too Black.”  A White guy would not have to tiptoe around the issue of race because he would never be accused of being too Black.  That makes Father Pfleger the perfect double agent. Barack Obama can, as Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett said, have “genuine love” for the Black community all he wants. But if he doesn’t do anything to prove it, then his words don’t mean a thing.  Promises that are not precursors to action are effectively bold-faced lies. Most of us know what we should do and what we’d like to do, but few of us have the courage to actually do it.  That’s what makes Father Michael Pfleger so special.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor of finance at Syracuse University. Read his  columns and weblog at Click on this story at to write your own response.

while the second would divert some public education funds to provide more school choices for disabled and special needs children. In an impassioned Senate floor speech Jan. 15, Scott challenged conservatives and liberals alike to use new tactics to help poor Americans as he described his own rise from modest beginnings. Scott and Booker said they’ve been brainstorming on bipartisan bills since participating in a Black History Month panel the South Carolinian hosted at the Library of Congress in February. Five of the seven African-Americans who’ve served in the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction shared their personal journeys at the event.

Both running

Modest lifestyle

you would resent someone looking over your shoulder and telling you that you couldn’t.” Author John Blake, who chronicled the lives of several heirs of prominent civil rights figures in his book, “Children of the Movement,” said the Kings are not unlike their contemporaries who have worked to recoup earnings they believe were stolen from their parents.

Throughout his career, Martin Luther King Jr. lived frugally, careful not to give the impression that he was profiting from the civil rights movement, said King scholar Clayborne Carson. He depended mostly on royalties from his books and recordings of his speeches to feed his family. When King was awarded the Nobel Prize, he kept the 23-carat gold medal but donated the $54,123 prize money – roughly $410,000 today – to the movement. “He could well have been a wealthy man, but he wasn’t,” said Carson, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. The history professor estimates that at the time of King’s 1968 death, he was worth between “$50,000 and $60,000 – and most of that was probably in his home.” But Carson said King’s children should not be expected to conform to his model.

‘Their inheritance’ “They are living in a different time, and they are not faced with the same challenges that he faced in terms of trying to maintain a certain image in respect to a movement,” he said. “That is their inheritance. If you inherited a house from your father, and you wanted to sell it and move somewhere,

Haley appointed Scott to replace Sen. Jim DeMint when he left in January 2013 to become head of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington. Scott is running in the November election to serve the remainder of DeMint’s term, through 2016. Booker won a special election in October 2013 to follow Sen. Jeffrey Chiesa, a former New Jersey attorney general who’d been named to the seat four months earlier by Gov. Chris Christie after the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Lautenberg’s term would have ended in January. Booker is seeking election in November to a full six-year term of his own.

‘Gave so much’ “Their father was a victim of racial hatred, and they see themselves as victims who deserve economic compensation for their loss,” said Blake, a former AJC reporter, who now covers race relations for CNN. com. “A lot of these children felt their parents gave so much and received so little in return. There are no retirement plans for civil rights activists. A lot of these families weren’t left with much.” On the other hand, he said, “critics will say you can’t treat Dr. King like an American treasure that belongs to everyone, then also treat him like Google stock that belongs to the family. I don’t think the King children navigate that tension well.”

Staff writers Shelia M. Poole and J. Scott Trubey contributed to this report.

APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014



Health groups trying to stamp out e-cigarette bill Measure stops minors from buying them but also restricts sales of tobaccorelated products BY JIM TURNER NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

TALLAHASSEE – Health groups and local governments say decades of work to keep tobacco products out of the hands of kids could be overturned through a House measure billed as prohibiting the sale of trendy electronic cigarettes to minors. The American Lung Association of Florida, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, local officials and Students Working Against Tobacco have found themselves fighting the measure (HB 169) that would prevent youths under 18 from buying electronic cigarettes. That is because the proposal also would ban local efforts to restrict the sales of cigarettes and other tobacco-related products. “The bill is another attempt by big tobacco to weaken protections that we all seek to keep electronic devices out of the hands of our children,” Brenda Olsen, chief operating officer of the American Lung Association in Florida, said during a news conference Monday on the steps of the Old Capitol.

No state rules However, one of the bill’s sponsors said the opposition is “unwarranted,” as language is planned to clarify that the legislation would only preclude local governments from making new rules about the sale of


A young man exhales e-cigarette vapor at The Vape Bar in San Jose, Calif., on Oct. 18, 2013. Florida currently doesn’t have rules on electronic cigarettes, the nicotine-delivery tubes that heat an often-flavored nicotine solution into a water vapor, which users draw in before exhaling as if smoking a cigarette. The use is called vaping. tobacco products. The bill has completed the committee process. Earlier this week, the measure had yet to be scheduled for a House floor appearance. The state currently doesn’t have rules on electronic cigarettes, the nicotine-delivery tubes that heat an often-flavored nicotine solution into a water vapor, which users draw in before exhaling as if smoking a cigarette. The use is called vaping. The ire of the health groups is an amendment that Rep. Frank Artiles, RMiami, added to the bill during its final committee stop on March 27, preempting municipal and county ordinances on the sale of tobacco products

and electronic cigarettes.

Clarifying amendment Many of those local laws require tobacco products to be placed behind the counter, forcing customers to ask for specific items before making purchases. Rep. Ronald “Doc” Renuart, a Ponte Vedra Beach Republican who co-sponsored the bill, said Monday the amendment was intended to only ban new local rules on the sales of tobacco and electronic cigarettes, and that Artiles is working on another amendment to “clarify” that the changes don’t impact existing local regulations. “It is my understanding that any rules that are

in place are going to stay in place,” Renuart said. “It will be just on making new restrictions; like if a municipality were to say they’re not going to allow any tobacco to be mixed with flavors. It becomes real confusing for retailers.” Artiles said during the March 27 committee meeting that the bill seeks uniformity in the regulation of sales. Among the backers of the bill is the Florida Retail Federation. “We can’t have 415 cities and 67 counties doing different ordinances,’’ Artiles said. Local governments don’t want any state rules that keep them from enacting local restrictions.

Another measure

Florida Association of Counties President Bryan Desloge, a Leon County commissioner, said during the news conference that the state government is overstepping “home rule” on the sale of tobacco and electronic cigarette products. “There is a role for the Legislature, but in this case we feel pretty strongly that we’re the people that are at the soccer games, we’re the people at the Publix, we’re the people at the churches and synagogues, and we’re the people that are most responsive to the needs of the community,” Desloge said. Olsen said the tobacco industry is using the Legislature to subvert local rules as it “has its strength

here at the state house. It doesn’t have its strength at the local communities.” Olsen said the groups are more supportive of a measure (SB 224) by Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, RFort Myers, that received unanimous support March 18 from the Senate. Benacquisto’s measure includes electronic cigarettes with the prohibition on sales of cigarette and tobacco sales to minors. It doesn’t include the language to preempt local tobacco laws. Renuart said no discussions have occurred on which version would move forward to restrict the sale and possession of electronic cigarettes to minors.

Black lawmakers balk at FAMUFSU engineering program proposal sity system and leaders of both schools.


The Florida Legislative Black Caucus is balking at a Senate proposal to set aside $13 million for an on-campus engineering school at Florida State University. The proposal, which emerged last week, could lead to a split of a joint engineering program operated by FSU and historically Black Florida A&M University. In a letter to Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, the Black caucus opposed the budget Rep. Alan proposal, which it said was Williams put together without input from the public, the univer-

FAMU to host camps for aspiring engineers, architects and artists

Florida’s future is only as bright as theirs. With an education, Florida students can reach for the stars. It’s why we’ve contributed more than $26 billion to education over the past 26 years. That’s more than a billion dollars to education every year. We don’t just believe in the future of our state. We’re investing in it. Visit to learn more about our commitment to education.

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This summer, Florida A&M University (FAMU) will train the next generation of researchers, engineers, architects and visual artists. Students from around the nation are being invited to participate in an array of summer programs designed to stimulate young minds and give them a glimpse into the FAMU experience. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC) will be sponsoring the School of the Environment Summer Camp June 9 - 27. The three-week day camp will be held on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to eighth through 11th grades. Applications are due April 18. To apply, visit

‘Alarming’ proposal “Proposing such an abrupt change without any discussion is alarming and not in the best interest of the citizens of our state,’’ said the letter, signed by Rep. Alan Williams, a Tallahassee Democrat who is the caucus chairman. Sen. John Thrasher, a St. Augustine Republican who is pushing for the money, said during a floor debate last week that he hopes the proposal will strengthen FAMU’s engineering program. “If I thought for one second that this was not going to enhance the Florida A&M University engineering school, I wouldn’t do it,” said Thrasher, a prominent FSU graduate who is rumored to be a candidate for the school’s vacant presidency. and select the School of the Environment Summer Camp option under the “Education/Outreach” tab.

Engineers program Students ages 12 to 16, who aspire to venture into the field of engineering, are encouraged to apply for the Aspiring Engineers Inspiring to Make A Difference (AEIMD) Summer Program. The program is a weeklong summer camp that will introduce teens to fields related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and will promote the recruitment of minorities into STEM majors upon entering college. The camp is June 9-13 and will meet from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Registration for the program is available until June 9.

Architecture camp FAMU’s School of Architecture will offer a series of weeklong day camps June 9-July 24 for students interested in architecture design and technology. The workshops will be held Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will introduce a

new topic weekly. Topics of discussion range from computer modeling, robotics, 3D printing and furniture design. The camp will introduce middle to high school students ages 12 to 18 to architecture, construction and robotics. Interested students may sign up for one week or multiple weeks.

Theater camp Boys and girls ages 7 to 16 with a passion for the arts are encouraged to register for the Irene C. Edmonds Youth Theatre Camp scheduled June 9 July 12. The five-week theater summer camp has a nearly 20-year history and exposes youth to theater, music and dance through daily classes, workshops and cultural excursions designed to help them explore and enhance their intellectual and creative talents. Registration information for the summer camps and a comprehensive list of all of the programs hosted at FAMU during summer 2014 are available online under the “Summer Programs” tab at: http://www.



APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014

Voter suppression continues I love voting. Every time I go into the booth, I see little girl me, pigtails and all, plaid skirt, white blouse and green sweater, part of my Catholic school uniform. Most of my family was Democrats, though my grandmother voted Republican a time or two because “Lincoln freed the slaves.” In 1960 I had the privilege of pulling the lever to elect John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the candidate the nuns at Immaculate Conception Elementary School rhapsodized over. On the way back from the polls, my mom told me Negroes (as we were called then) didn’t always get to vote, and she shared facts about grandfather clauses and poll taxes. I’ll never forget that moment, which may have sown the seeds of my activism. Indeed, when I went to school the next day, and the nun asked if everyone’s parent had voted, I


took the opportunity to share that Negroes did not always get to vote. I was sent home with a note at the end of the day, and got an admonition from my mom about keeping my big mouth shut. I guess I didn’t learn my lesson!

Obstacles in the way I guess everyone doesn’t like voting as much as I do. Only a quarter of those eligible to vote in the District of Columbia did so. Some blamed the earliness of the primary (only Illinois had an earlier date, on March 26 and some states have primary elections as

late as September); others spoke of the inclement weather the weekend before the election as affecting voter turnout. But when I am reminded Fannie Lou Hamer was almost beat to death because she registered voters, and Medgar Evers was killed because he worked to secure voting rights for Black people I am infuriated by those who take a pass on voting. How does a little snow on Sunday keep you from going to the polls on Tuesday? The fact is that too many African-Americans play into enemy hands whenever they fail to vote. Now the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under law (www… has produced a “Map of Shame” that highlights more than a dozen states that engage in voter suppression, either by requiring picture ID, consolidating polling places so that people have



Random thoughts of a free Black mind, v. 208 Forty-plus years of “The Gantt Report” – You don’t miss the water until the well runs dry. My good friend Lucius’s flamethrowing commentaries have been mental and psychological ‘water’ to many of us for a long time (forgive the mixed fire/water metaphor). He’s a living, breathing inside history of Black-owned media, Black politics, and civil rights in Florida. Being Black, male, outspoken, “unbought and unbossed” in America is a fullcontact sport not for the faint of heart. If Bro. Gantt has provided you with knowledge, motivation, or entertainment (especially when he writes about the female “cat” and the male “snake”), let him know. If you are on Facebook, search for The Gantt Report and give him some uplift. You can also email him via his website,… ‘Hooked-America’s Heroin Epidemic’ – That’s the title of an NBC News series that makes it sound as if heroin got here last week. The series started with info about how the drug has taken over Vermont (with, incidentally, a 1.1 percent Black population). White suburban kids are now raging addicts, because heroin is cheaper than prescription drugs. Do you think the local community reaction is “stand your ground,” “10-20-life” or “three strikes”



laws that kill or incarcerate Black youth who use drugs, sell drugs, or commit crimes while under the influence of drugs? Hell naw. Suburban moms are not calling the cops. They are calling their legislators and their doctors. They’re sending their kids to rehab and breaking the law to get their hands on naloxone, a drug that can reverse heroin overdoses. They are forming foundations and pressure groups to fight for more rehab facilities and more funding. In Vermont, drug abuse is a health care issue. In Florida, it’s a criminal justice issue. Is the difference due to a “White skin privilege” issue, or is it just me?

Contact me at; holler at me at ccherry2 and ‘like’ the Florida Courier and Daytona Times pages. Follow me (@ ccherry2) on Twitter. Click on this story at to write your own response.

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to travel further to vote, or passed other restrictions on voting. Unsurprisingly, most of these states are in the South. North Carolina is so bad that Rev, William Barber, head of the state NAACP, has been leading hundreds outside the state capitol weekly for “Moral Mondays” design to draw attention to the immorality of voter suppression.

Votes for sale In a recent decision, the Supreme Court has now made it easier to purchase votes on First Amendment grounds, with the amount that the wealthy can give increasing exponentially. In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the court ruled that the limit on contributions is unconstitutional. Mr. McCutcheon is not shy about explaining why he wants to spend more money. He wants to ensure that the law embraces conservative principles. It is interesting that the McCutcheon decision comes in time to influ-

ence this election cycle. With this decision, the Supreme Court has made it easier to purchase an election. With limits on PAC money lifted, the court has created a wellfunded monster. There is more than one way to suppress the vote, and this court is determined to silence citizens any way they can. They have nullified parts of the Voting Rights Act. They’ve made it possible to pour money into campaigns. In many ways they have attempted to shut people up, or at least skew the playing field in favor of the wealthy. Rev. Jesse Jackson says that the hands that picked peaches can also pick Presidents. We can’t pick anything if we don’t get to the polls. Voter suppression and wellfunded opponents are obstacles to voting. Still, we impose some of the obstacles on ourselves.

Julianne Malveaux is an author and economist based in Washington, DC. Write your own response at www.flcourier. com.

A sister is in charge! I know we are a few days beyond Women’s History Month, but Black women didn’t get all the recognition due us during the various celebrations, so I decided to begin celebrating Black women’s history every day! We really don’t have to look hard around us to find that Black women have always been doing important things. As Dr. Dorothy I. Height often said, “We Black women don’t always get to do what we want to do, but we always do what we have to do.” I can just imagine all that a sister had to do to get to be the first woman and the first African-American to be named a Commander of the United States Army of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. She received that honor in 2012. Think about all the things she had to do in a “man’s world” to achieve the rank of Major General. Again, she proved her leadership abilities when she was the only woman to serve as the 51st Quartermaster General of the United States Army and Commandant of the United States Army Quartermaster School at Ft. Lee, Virginia. She has continued to be on an upward spiral since that time.


stories, as I have, about how difficult it is being a woman in any military career field without being assaulted, denigrated and passed over for important jobs. As head of a women’s organization, I frequently get calls from women who are still having a tough time while in the military and an even tougher time gaining benefits others take for granted once they are out of the military. Right in the middle of the most recent tragedy at Ft. Hood, Major General Gwen Bingham was formally named Commander of the United States Army TankAutomotive and Armaments Command (TACOM). Again, she is the first woman to hold such a position and the first African-American to do so. President Barack Obama had sent her nomination for promotion to Major General to Congress on March 20, 2013 and it was approved. I don’t know the details of what she will be doing as Commander of TACOM, but I understand it’s a big job because TACOM develWomen in ops and designs military vethe military hicles and weapons systems I am sure you’ve read the for our armed forces.

Very few times do we hear of a successful woman being used as a role model to inspire others, especially not in the military – another bastion of male dominance. That is a position that society seems almost always to have reserved for men, but Major General Bingham has just broken that barrier! I have the feeling she will break many more. I am sure every young woman is smiling with this news that tells them, “Even in the military, women are opening doors that were never before open to women.” I can imagine women in the military are applauding the fact that another glass ceiling has been cracked! This sister hails from Troy, Alabama, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama where she was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps as a distinguished military graduate of Army ROTC. In addition to other degrees, she holds a Master of Science in national security strategy and resources from the National Defense University.

Dr. E. Faye Williams is National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. Write your own response at

Mortgage complaints grow In mid-March, the monitor for the National Mortgage Settlement announced that participating banks had completed terms of the agreement affecting 49 states. Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo collectively provided more than $20 billion in borrower relief to more than 600,000 troubled homeowners. Of this money, at least $10 billion was used to reduce principal owed on homes with market values lower than their mortgages and others that were either delinquent or at-risk of default. Another $3 billion benefited borrowers who were able to refinance their homes at lower interest rates than their original mortgages. The remaining $7 billion assisted a variety of programs from service members who were forced to sell their homes at a loss, to antiblight efforts, short sales and transitional assistance. Despite these positive steps, the housing crisis is still not over for far too many households. New data released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reveals that mortgages remain the number one complaint category for the second consecutive year. In 2013, mortgage complaints filed with CFPB grew to 60,000, up from 19,250 complaints the previous year.


Cordray said, “At a market level, complaints give us insight into what is happening to consumers across the country, right now. They are also our compass and make a difference by informing our work and helping us identify and prioritize problems for potential supervisory, enforcement and regulatory action.” When CFPB analyzed consumers’ mortgage concerns, loan modification, collections and foreclosures accounted for nearly 60 percent of those received. Other mortgage complaints included loan servicing, payments, escrow accounts, mortgage brokers and origination. The irony of the continuing mortgage saga is that the national settlement called for new servicing standards that would correct the kinds of conduct that harmed consumers in recent years. The settlement also included explicit servicing requirements to remedy key problem areas: Providing a single point of contact for borrows to call when seeking information about their loans and adequate staff to handle calls; Requiring servicers to evalComplaints give uate all available option to insight homeowners before beginCFPB Director Richard ning foreclosures; Stopping

past consumer abuses such as lost paperwork and improper documentation; servicers were to end the practice of robo-signing foreclosures and instead ensure a full review prior to those filings; and Restricting banks from foreclosing while the homeowner is being considered for loan modifications that would make mortgage payments more affordable. However while CFPB can tally its complaints, the anguish that homeowners continue to suffer cannot be calculated. The American dream of homeownership became a nightmare during the housing crisis and continues to be so for large numbers of homeowners. It is also relevant to note that for many troubled borrowers, the decision to purchase a home remains the single largest investment of their lifetimes. CFPB’s complaints highlight a harsh reality of our country’s economy. Its findings can and should serve as a bellwether for continued policy reforms that address yet unmet needs. No community – especially those that were financially preyed upon – should be left out of the nation’s recovery.

Charlene Crowell is a communications manager with the Center for Responsible Lending. Write your own response at

APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014


40 years of the Gantt Report Editor’s note: The Gantt Report has been published and enjoyed faithfully by the readers of the Florida Courier for eight years. The publisher, staff and readers wish Lucius all the best, however we hope this is not the end!



and more difficult for me to write.

Words and ideas hated


Americans merely because I tried to inform my people about issues that other journalists were afraid to talk about or write about. The mis-education of people of African descent makes it easy for others to divide us, to trick us, to fool us and to make Black people hate their brothers and sisters and to hate themselves! Many of us would rather believe in Satan than to believe in each other, support Lucifer than to support each other and to lock arms and hold hands with the devilish beast than to hold hands with their family members, friends and neighbors! I began to think my time as a regular opinion writer is at the end of the road when people didn’t just disagree with me, some people despised me. I expected my exploiters to feel that way, I suspected my oppressors felt that way and I knew my journalistic competitors often wished that I was off the media map. However, when I began to be Jeopardized career, life hated by African-American youth Ultimately, I risked my life, I I realized someone else needed to jeopardized my career and I faced write the influential and encourhatred from enemies of African- aging words that appear more It has been a good ride, but I’m feeling I’m at the end of The Gantt Report road. I’ve been writing editorial columns for more than 40 years. I began in the late ’60s when I wrote for “The Signal” at Georgia State University in Atlanta. During those 40 years, every year I would get two or three contacts from racists, supremacists, klansmen, skinheads and other such types that would threaten my life or my family’s lives because I expressed an opinion that they didn’t agree with. But they couldn’t scare me or stop me from writing! Also, during those 40 years, I never got paid one dime for writing columns that I know were being read. Many people would buy newspapers and visit websites just to read The Gantt Report. But I never sought payment and the publishers that wouldn’t or couldn’t pay me continued to this day to get The Gantt Report if they or their readers wanted it.

When you write about Black historical facts and college educated Black people say, “I don’t care about Black history. All I care about is what happens in my lifetime,” you can imagine how it made me feel. I felt when you hate my writing you are hating all of the great Black writers of the past. Why? Because nothing written by Lucius Gantt is new. My columns and my words were words of Frederick Douglass, words of Denmark Vesey, words of Harriett Tubman, words of Adam Clayton Powell, words of Martin Luther King Jr., words of Huey Newton, words of Kwame Nkruma, words of Steve Biko, words of Patrice Lumumba, words of Amilcar Cabral, words of Jomo Kenyatta, words of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, words of Fannie Lou Hammer, words of Marcus Garvey, words of Malcolm X and the words of many other Black heroes and freedom fighters! I’ve tried to quit in the past but Black media pioneers like Charles Cherry, Ike Williams, Garth Reeves, Levi Henry and others pretty much begged me to continue. Nowadays, almost every publisher feels a need to “edit” The Gantt Report’s unique editorial style so it can read like white folk’s opinion columns and I think that is ridiculous! If Black editors and


I have a few protégées that can publishers want Blacks that write like whites, they should just go carry the media cross like Andrea ahead and hire the kinds of col- Giggetts and there are other seumnists they admire. nior writers that can write if given the chance like Jim Haskins or Thank you to James Scruggs. Brothers and sisters, I’m tired. the supporters Contact your local paper or InSo, I want to thank the readers, the friends and the supporters of ternet site if you agree or disagree The Gantt Report for this is the with my decision. And, keep in end of the column as you know it. mind Black people in America I will continue to write because and in the world will always need God gave me the gift and I have to a Black voice to plead the Black cause. use it. Thank you again for your love I want to write a screenplay or and support! perhaps more books. I will even write an opinion Contact Lucius at www.allcolumn when the media and the people feel they want to read my Write your perspective on current or histori- own response at www.flcourier. cal events. com.

Declaring class war on ‘the least of these’ The Bible’s injunction that we shall be judged by how we have treated the “least of these” (Mathew 25:40) appears in different forms in virtually every religion or faith. And surely the measure of a country is how it treats the most vulnerable of its people – children in the dawn of life, the poor in the valley of life, the ailing in the shadows of life, the elderly in the dusk of life. This week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Republican budget proposal put together by Rep. Paul Ryan, chair of the Budget Committee and Mitt Romney’s running mate. The vast majority of Republicans are lined up to vote for it, with possible exceptions for a handful that think it does not cut enough. It is a breathtakingly mean and callous proposal. The Republican budget would cut taxes on the wealthy, giving millionaires, the


Citizen for Tax Justice estimates, a tax break of $200,000 per year. Ryan only tells us what tax rates he would lower, noted the loopholes he would close to make his proposal revenue neutral. But CTJ shows that even if he closed every loophole claimed by the wealthy, it wouldn’t make up for the revenue lost by lowering their top rate). The Ryan plan would extend also tax breaks for multinationals, moving to make the entire world a tax haven. He would raise spending on the military by about $500 billion over the levels now projected over the next decade. Republicans are pledged to bal-

ance the budget in 10 years.

An unbalanced means

To achieve this, the Republican budget would turn Medicare into a voucher program (but only for those 55 and younger). It would repeal the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). It would gut Medicaid, turning it into a block grant for states and cutting it by more than ¼ by 2024. The result, as estimated by the authoritative Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, would be to deprive 40 million low and moderate income Americans of health care insurance. The Republican budget also devastates domestic programs and investments, cutting them by one-third of their inflation adjusted levels over the decade, ending at an inconceivable one-half Class warfare It is hard to see this as anythe levels of the Reagan years as a percentage of the economy. In- thing other than a declaration of

The Republicans are wrong again about the Affordable Care Act As President Obama takes his victory lap for enrolling 7.1 million Americans with the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans are demoralized and angry. With the horrendous roll out, and the initial problems with the operating systems with the computer networks, the Republicans had written off the system as a complete failure. They expected the citizens to believe their fabricated tall tales, even though there were millions of Americans who needed health insurance. The Republicans spent all their time trying to repeal a federal law, that was found constitutional by the Supreme Court, and would benefit and transform the health care system in the country. By allowing young people to sign up on their parents’ health insurance, there were millions of young folks who would have insurance while they were in college and others with a part-time job. With this new law the insurance companies would be forced to give Americans with preexisting conditions a policy, and not refuse them coverage.

No positive recognition Instead of the Republicans acknowledging that there were certain components of the law beneficial to all Americans, their position was to scrap and repeal the entire law. Their position never made any sense, because it was better to improve a tangible law, than have nothing to work with. As the Republicans continued to


berate and try to destroy the ACA, millions of Americans begin to sign up, and register for the programs. In states where the governors tried to curtail and limit access to insurance policies, there were still hundreds of thousands of residents who still signed up for the ACA on the federal marketplace. Even when governors promoted negative talking points about Obamacare, the residents still signed up. Most pundits and probably many in the president’s administration did not expect the ACA to hit its targeted projection of 7 million by the closing sign up date. At the end of February there were only 4.2 million citizens enrolled in the ACA. By March the 27th there were 6 million signed up and the last day was the 31st. Through sheer resolve, and special blessings, the president was able to enroll 7.1 million to make the ACA a success.

Eat your heart out The president surprised everyone and now the Republicans will have to eat distasteful crow, or humble pie. The Republicans are speechless and whatever they say will sound dumb and stupid. This will be very difficult for the Republicans to swallow, and Obama is ecstatic. The first statement we

fant nutrition, food subsidy, Head Start, investment in schools, Pell Grants for college, public housing, Meals on Wheels and home heating assistance for seniors or the confined all would suffer deep cuts. The poorest children will suffer the worst cuts. The Republican budget also savages investments vital to our future – not just education, but research and development, renewable energy and modern infrastructure. House Republicans will vote for this budget while refusing even to allow a vote to extend unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed who have lost their job through no fault of their own. They also refuse to allow a vote on raising the minimum wage.

can expect from the Republicans is that the numbers are wrong, and they cannot trust the president’s calculations. The next excuse they can use is that 20% of the residents’ signing up has not paid their monthly premiums; therefore they are not official members of the ACA. The Republicans will spend weeks finding all the reasons Obama is wrong, instead of saying congratulations and great job. As the Republicans struggle with being wrong again, it is time for Democrats to cash in on the success of the ACA. The Democrats must embrace the credibility and transformational vision of the president. The ACA is just the beginning of fixing a broken healthcare system, which is too expensive, dysfunctional, and does not work in the best interest of its customers. In the wealthiest country on the planet, every citizen should have access to the best health care system in the world. If other countries can give their citizens free healthcare, there is no reason the United States cannot figure out how to care for all the people in the country. It makes no sense for the two parties to sit around and sabotage each other, instead of working together to improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans.

Roger Caldwell is the CEO and owner of On Point Media Group. Write your own response at

class warfare. Republicans declare the country is broke, against all evidence to the contrary. But they still want to cut taxes for the rich and corporations, and hike spending on the military. So they lay waste to support for working and poor people. Ryan argues that cutting programs for the poor will set them free, removing a “hammock” and forcing them to stand on their own feet. That might be worth debating if jobs were plentiful, schools received equal support, housing was affordable and jobs paid a living wage. But none of these things are true. In today’s conditions, with mass unemployment, savagely unequal schools, homeless families and poverty wage jobs, Ryan’s words simply ring false. But we can decide we aren’t going to stand by and allow the wealthy to protect their privilege, and the poor to pay the price. It’s time to revive a citizen’s movement to engage people and get them out to vote.

Reclaiming, restoring, and reviving our music Anytime someone says something against individuals who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender, that person is immediately labeled as being homophobic. Whether it’s a comment about the person or their lifestyle, that individual is made a villain and forced to recant their statement. It’s one thing to make a general comment whether in agreement or disagreement about LBGT’s, it’s something totally different to utter hate speech. As there is sensitivity within the LGBT community, the same holds true within the Jewish community. If someone insinuates something negative against Jews, there is an immediate outcry. The person and/or organization that dared to issue such callous speech is labelled as being anti-Semitic. In the end, an apology is made and repercussions are issued. Journeying to the ‘N’ word being used in professional football, the National Football League has weighed in on its use within the confines of the game and has concluded that sanctions will imposed on players and teams for using such language. This issue has been talked about extensively on sports shows. Even civil rights organizations have deliberated on this matter.

Exploited, devalued, marginalized With all of that said, I want to raise an issue that doesn’t get addressed enough. The issue of name-calling, disrespect, and an all-out slap in the face with lyrics in too many songs being played on radio stations throughout the U.S. Any song and artist that calls a woman out of her name and suggests sexual innuendo needs to be banned from not only the radio but from stores. Going a step further - music videos that show such uncalled for sexuality is both tasteless and unimaginative. The reason why I say this is because women were never meant to be exploited, devalued and marginalized. My question is where are the women


groups (not just African-Americans) to raise their voice against such travesty? Where are the brothers who are willing to take a stand and call a wrong a wrong? I’m well aware that addressing certain issues within the entertainment industry may be off limits, but I’m concerned, if we don’t do anything, we will suffer at the hands of companies that continue to push filth and garbage into our communities. Think about this. Are the same entertainment executives pushing deprecating music and offensive videos out to the public that destroys their race, nationality, and community? I doubt that very much. It’s time for a boycott.

Hit where it hurts African-Americans are quick to boycott businesses that use the ‘N’ word, now it’s time to boycott record labels, artists, and radio stations that play music that dehumanizes our women and causes our brothers to lower their creative standards. This call to action will prepare this generation and the next generation to reclaim, restore, and revive the respect of our sisters. Along with that, our brothers won’t be used as puppets for someone else’s financial gain. We have come too far to allow anyone and/or anything to bring us down as a people (individually and collectively).

Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, activist, published author, life coach, and a committed advocate for change. Contact him at drgrey@ or on Twitter @ drsinclairgrey. Write your own response at



APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014

Black jobless rate climbs to 12.4 percent Number down to 12.1 for AfricanAmerican men; up 11 for women BY FREDERICK H. LOWE TRICE EDNEY NEWS WIRE

The nation’s nonfarm businesses hired 192,000 workers in March, but the overall seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for African-Americans rose to 12.4 percent compared to 12 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported last week. The jobless rate for Black men 20 years old and up was 12.1 percent in March compared to 12.9 percent in February. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Black women 20 years old and older, however, rose to 11.0 percent in March compared to 9.9 percent in February, BLS reported. Although the jobless rate for Black men dropped in February, the unemployment rate for AfricanAmericans exceeds all the other major worker groups except teen-agers 16 to 19 years old, which was 18.3 percent in March the same as February.

5.3 for Whites The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for White men 20 years old and older was 5.3 percent in March compared to 5.5 percent in February. The jobless rate for White women was 5.3 percent in March, up from 5.1 percent in February. The unemployment rate for Hispanics continues to


Army Sgt. Maj. Chris Fletcher, left, talks with instructor Duane Norell during a resume writing course, part of the South Carolina National Guard employment services division. Fletcher will enter the civilian job market later this year. With the military downsizing after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many soldiers, airmen and Marines will have to enter the civilian job market for the first time. decline, according to BLS. The unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in March compared to 8.1 percent in February. The Asian unemployment rate, which was not seasonally, was 5.4 percent in March compared to 6.0 percent in February. The Bureau of Labor Statistics did not provide an explanation as to why the

jobless rate increased for Blacks overall, but Dr. Heidi Shierholz, a labor force participation economist for the Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington, D.C., gave an explanation. “The increase was entirely among women. But this is one of those cases where I wouldn’t make

much of it, because there is so much month-to-month volatility. I don’t think the labor market for Black workers is deteriorating right now, but it is getting better very, very slowly,” Shierholz said.

698,000 discouraged workers The number of unem-

ployed persons was unchanged at 10.5 million and the unemployment rate remained at 6.7 percent. The number of longterm unemployed or those out work 27 weeks or more was 3.7 million and there were 698,000 discouraged workers in March, which was slightly down from a year ago. The Bureau of Labor Sta-

tistics reported that construction, food services and drinking places, health care, mining, logging, professional business services, architectural and engineering services added jobs.

This story is special to the Trice Edney News Wire from

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Going wild over blueberries See page B6

APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014


Pioneer journalist Chuck Stone dies at 89 See page B4






Army’s new ban on dreads, braids and cornrows called racially biased



ataye “Yah-Tay” Keaton of Jacksonville, a natural hair advocate and military veteran, has taken to social media to express her outrage over the U.S. Army’s new regulations on hairstyles, which have been called “racially biased’’ against Black female soldiers. Earlier this week, more than 13,000 soldiers and others had signed a White House petition calling for President Obama to order the Army to reconsider the new grooming regulations. A March 31 article in the Army Times announced that Army Regulation 670-1 does not allow twists or multiple braids that are bigger than a quarter of an inch in diameter. The regulation also bans dreadlocks of any style, and cornrows must be uniform and no bigger than a quarter of an inch. In the article, Army spokesman Paul Prince said twists and dreadlocks have been prohibited since 2005, but the regulation at the time did not clearly define the specific hairstyles. The Army defined “twists” as two distinct strands of hair twisted around one another to create a rope-like appearance.

‘Let down’ by Army Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs of the Georgia National Guard, who wears twists, started the White House petition. “I’ve been in the military six years. I’ve had my hair natural four years, and it’s never been out of regulation. It’s never interfered with my head gear,” she told the Army Times.

Jacobs added, “We feel let down. I think, at the end of the day, a lot of people don’t understand the complexities of natural hair. A lot of people, instead of educating themselves, they think dreadlocks and they think Bob Marley, or they see women with really big Afros and they think that’s the only thing we can do with our hair.” Jacobs called Sgt. Jasmine twists the go-to Jacobs style for Black female soldiers because it “makes it easy to take care of in the field.’’ “Most Black women, their hair doesn’t grow straight down, it grows out,” she remarked. “I’m disappointed to see the Army, rather than inform themselves on how Black people wear their hair, they’ve white-washed it all.”

Natural pride Keaton, who served in the Navy from 1994 to 2001, told the Florida Courier on Wednesday that she went natural in 1999. “I stand, we stand and many in the natural hair community stand together with Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs and all the natural hair troops who serve in the military. This is not a matter of personal style, a trend, nor individualism, but of personal pride in our hair (being chemically free), our health (living holistically), our heritage and proudly serving our country,” remarked Keaton, who is now an entrepreneur and life coach. “As an organizer of a natural hair support group (Real Rootz


Yataye “Yah-Tay’’ Keaton was in the Navy from 1994 to 2001. The Jacksonville resident who grew up in St. Petersburg went natural in 1999 while in the military. An entrepreneur and life coach, Keaton also is the author of “Pathways to Vibrant Health & Well-Being.’’ Naturals), we developed this platform to provide a positive support system that informs, educates and empowers naturals to wear their natural hair with dignity, pride and self-realization, thus owning and expressing their natural beauty freely.’’ She adds, “Through tireless efforts, I’ve used social media (@TalkWithYahTay) to bring awareness and build momentum that may help overturn this discriminatory ruling.’’

‘Issue’ for White males Keaton explains on her blog ( that she faced obstacles while going natural in the military. “I transitioned while I was in the military, so my hairstyles had to be within regulations and I also had to wear my cover which was part of my military uniform… So, you know what that meant, I couldn’t do too much with my hair because it could possibly be seen as faddish according to military standards,” she noted.

“Unfortunately, this always seemed to be the case because many of my superiors were Caucasian males who really didn’t understand our hair less know what was fashionable with Black hair. Therefore, if my hair didn’t look ‘normal’ to them, then there would be an issue.’’

dreadlocks, which are defined as “any matted or locked coils or ropes of hair.” These new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent. This policy needs to be reviewed prior to publishing to allow for neat and maintained natural hairstyles.’’

‘Racially biased’ changes

Mohawks, piercings banned

The White House petition states that more than 30 percent of females serving in the military are of a race other than White and as of 2011, 36 percent of females in the U.S. stated that they are natural, or refrain from chemically processing their hair. “Females with natural hair take strides to style their natural hair in a professional manner when necessary; however, changes to AR 670-1 offer little to no options for females with natural hair,” the petition adds. “In the proposed changes, unauthorized hairstyles include twists, both flat twists as well as two strand twists; as well as

On the Army’s website, Sgt. Maj. Raymond F. Chandler III stated, “The Army is a profession, and one of the ways our leaders and the American public measure our professionalism is by our appearance.’’ The Army’s regulations also ban several male hairstyles, including Mohawks and long sideburns. Body piercings were banned with an exception made for earrings. Also banned was the use of wireless earpieces outside a vehicle and tattoos visible below the elbow or knee or above the neckline. Current soldiers would be permitted to keep any tattoos not deemed racist, sexist or extremist.

Twists are not authorized

Bulk of hair exceeds more than 2 inches from scalp

Hair not properly secured

“Most Black women, their hair doesn’t grow straight down, it grows out. I’m disappointed to see the Army, rather than inform themselves on how Black people wear their hair, they’ve white-washed it all.” Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs Georgia National Guard



APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014



A Muslim woman, Alima Ambayakwe, brushes off the affection of a self-styled anti-balaka general, Maurice Konomo, in the city of Yaloke on March 10. Konomo said he found the 20-year-old woman sad and alone under a mango tree along the road and pledged to hand her over to peacekeepers.

Harrowing journey to safety Journalist reports on following convoy of Muslim refugees fleeing sectarian violence in Central African Republic BY ALEXANDRA ZAVIS LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT


Aicha Oumar and her daughter Badawiya, 8, wait for a convoy of trucks to begin its second day of travel as they and other Muslims riding in the convoy try to escape the violence of vengeful “anti-balaka” militias that have been targeting and killing Muslims in recent months on March 8 in Bouar. Entire towns across the country that once held Muslim populations are devoid of them now.

A convoy loaded with hundreds of Muslims attempting to flee the country under armed escort makes its way toward the border with Cameroon on March 8.

ANGUI, Central African Republic — Aicha Oumar could hear the mob howl as it closed in. Along with more than 100 other refugees, she was huddled in the stifling heat of a container truck, part of a convoy snaking its way through the capital on the first leg of a 400-mile ride to safety. When it ground to a halt at a security checkpoint, an angry crowd was waiting. “It’s them. It’s the Muslims,” voices screamed. “We’re going to cut them up.” A young man in a baggy T-shirt appeared at the door to the corrugated container. In his hand, he held a grenade. Oumar gathered her daughters, 8-yearold Badawiya and 21-month-old Mariam, in her arms and prayed. Until last year, more than 100,000 Muslims lived in Bangui, the decaying capital of one of Africa’s most neglected countries. Fewer than 1,000 are thought to remain. Outside Bangui, entire towns have been emptied of Muslims, who once accounted for 15 percent of the population and, for generations, intermingled with their Christian and animist neighbors. On both sides of the conflict, homes have been torched. People have been dismembered. Some have been tied together and pushed from bridges or burned in their homes.. Oumar’s family had been on the move since early February, when their heavily Muslim area of Bangui came under attack. Hearing the gunfire, they ran to the Central Mosque, where hundreds had sought shelter. As they fled, anti-Muslim fighters looted and burned their house. “It’s as if nothing ever existed,” said Oumar, a widow with hollow eyes and a bony frame. “I was born here; I grew up here,” she said. “But because we are Muslim, they want us to go.”

Everyone suffered The Central African Republic plunged into anarchy a year ago. An alliance of rebel groups, made up mostly of Muslims from the northeast and neighboring Chad and Sudan, accused the government of reneging on a power-sharing agreement. Although it had no clear political agenda, the heavily armed alliance, known as the Seleka, seized control. For months, its fighters terrorized citizens. While everyone suffered, Christians and animists felt most threatened. They began to fight back through neighborhood militias called “anti-balaka,” or “anti-machete,” forces, which had been formed earlier to fight common bandits. Worried about the chaos along their borders, the leaders of neighboring African countries pressured Seleka leader Michel Djotodia, the government’s interim president, to step down in January. Troops sent by former colonial power France and the African Union began disarming his followers, and Muslim civilians believed to have supported the Seleka became targets for revenge.

Severed limbs A widely shared video here shows members of a mob setting fire to a Muslim, then hacking off the man’s limbs and biting into the flesh. Hoping for seats on any evacuation flight, Oumar, along with her daughters, father and brother, made their way in February from the mosque to a makeshift refugee camp on the military side of Bangui’s airport, where thousands were crammed into a hangar among rusting planes and helicopters. Living there with hostile neighbors just outside the gates was like being in prison, Oumar said. “If you go into the neighborhood, they will kill you.” The family decided to take its chances by road. They would go by taxi to a transit


APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014



A population uprooted The escalation in violence in the Central African Republic has displaced more than 700,000 people since Dec. 1, 2013, when largely Christian militias avenging atrocities by Muslim-led rebels launched a major assault on the capital, Bangui.



Refugees since Dec. 1



100 km 100 miles

South Sudan

Central African Republic GarouaBoulai

A total of 625,000 people are internally displaced, 200,000 of those in Bangui

Bouar Bossemptele Area of intense violence


Bangui Libenge



Democratic Republic of Congo


Republic of Congo Refugees since Dec. 1 Cameroon Chad DR of Congo Rep. of Congo Source: UNCS, SIGCAF, UNHCR

Overall total* 150,077 90,052 64,388 15,086

*Numbers do not include new arrivals Graphic: Lorena Iniguez Elebee, Los Angeles Times

depot, where they would board trucks to take them hundreds of miles west to Cameroon. The day before they left the airport, though, they saw how dangerous that could be. Five Muslim businessmen arrived to catch a flight to Chad. But the plane was overbooked, and only two were allowed to board. Their family members pleaded with the other three to stay at the airport. The men insisted they had a safe escort home. Not far from the gates, attackers armed with knives and stones caught up with them. Two of the men died on the spot. The third ran. Red Cross workers retrieved his body a few miles away. Both hands and a foot were missing.

Cost of freedom As Oumar’s family left the airport early the next morning, peacekeepers warned them it still wasn’t safe. Oumar wanted to turn back. Her brother insisted they go ahead; the camp was emptying fast. They found a taxi willing to take them, but quickly ran into another problem. Truck drivers were charging passengers about $20 each for the trip, far more than the family of five could afford. After some negotiating, Oumar’s brother found one willing to take them for half price. The family climbed in. Oumar’s frail 68-year-old father was hoisted aboard for the trip to the country of his birth. He hadn’t been back in more than half a century. Groaning with loads of timber and passengers, the nearly 50 trucks in the convoy set off for the Cameroon border town of Garoua-Boulai, escorted by a contingent of peacekeepers from Burundi and followed by two Los Angeles Times journalists in a rented SUV. The winding route is the landlocked nation’s economic lifeline. Peacekeepers have spent weeks dismantling roadblocks and seizing weapons from armed groups that prey on passing vehicles, extorting bribes and hunting for Muslims. But when the troops move on, the roadblocks go back up.

Hasty collection As the tropical sun rose, so did the suffocating temperatures inside containers jammed with refugees and their bundles of clothing, rolled-up mattresses and cooking pots. Christians lined the route, pointing and jeering. “We see you,” they taunted. “We’re going to get you.” Previous convoys had suffered gun and grenade attacks; at least one passenger was lynched after he fell from a truck. They were less than an hour into the journey when they pulled up to the checkpoint on the north side of Bangui. Angry youths surged forward. They scaled the trucks, demanded money from the drivers and threatened to blow up everyone inside. “If there are Muslims in the vehicles we are going to decapitate them,” yelled a man in a black T-shirt with a heavy gold cross around his neck. At least one man in a Central African uniform tried to help, yanking people off the trucks and screaming at them to let the convoy through. But peacekeepers apparently didn’t see that some young men heading for the backs of the trucks had concealed grenades and metal rods. One headed for Oumar’s truck. Inside, passengers took up a hasty collection. When the man appeared, they pushed a stack of crumpled bank notes at him. He took the money and hopped down.

The herders Outside Bangui, crowded market streets and baying crowds gave way to forest and grassland. The trucks picked up speed, hurtling past clusters of mud-brick homes, many of them charred and roofless. Groups of men wearing mismatched civilian and military clothing, many with old rifles or machetes slung over their shoulders, studied the vehicles rolling by. The region traditionally has been mixed. Largely Christian and animist farming villages are interspersed with towns where

© 2014 MCT

Muslims made up much of the merchant class. Herders, also predominantly Muslim, move their cattle through the area. There is long-standing tension between them and their Christian neighbors: Poor farmers resent the comparative wealth of Muslim traders and say the cattle trample their crops; herders accuse the farmers of stealing cows. Nearly halfway into the journey, the convoy pulled in to Bossemptele. Scores of Muslims who had been sheltering at the town’s Roman Catholic church rushed the vehicles. Many were members of the Peul ethnic group, nomadic Muslim herders, and too old, weak or disabled to fight their way onto previous convoys. This time, however, a priest in black robes was there to help. A group of “anti-balaka” fighters stood nearby, their necks and wrists draped in amulets that they believe make them invincible. They accused the fleeing Muslims of siding with the Seleka. “They must go back to Chad, to Sudan,” said a barrel-chested fighter named Singoub Zaiko. “Because as long as they are here, there will be problems.” With their new passengers on board, the drivers picked up speed again. Trucks broke down and were left to catch up. Others got separated from the main convoy. The forest thickened, and villages became sparse. On the road, nearly everyone carried a weapon — even children. Dusk was gathering when a group of village boys armed with bows and arrows — some no older than 9 — flagged down several vehicles that had fallen behind. The road ahead wasn’t safe, they warned. Nearby, a heavy-set militia leader sat under a tree, sipping coffee from a plastic mug. His men, and at least one woman, readied their guns and ammunition for an attack that night on Muslim herders. They promised that the trucks would be safe in the village. Passengers peering out doors and over the sides of trucks weren’t sure. And as darkness set in, they began to realize how alone they were. As they agonized over what to do, two beams of light appeared on the horizon. A truckload of Burundian peacekeepers that stayed behind with two broken-down vehicles had caught up with them. The trucks fell in behind the peacekeepers.

The central mosque of Bangui once held about 2,000 internally displaced people but now the number has dwindled as Muslims seek to leave the area where they have been persecuted in recent months by “anti-balaka” militias.

Another trip Eleven hours out of Bangui, they halted for the night at a former military college in the remote city of Bouar, now a base for peacekeepers. Exhausted families climbed down from the trucks and spread straw mats in a field for the night. Flickering campfires cast an eerie glow on their faces as they prepared meals. Oumar and her family had no food. They said their prayers and lay down for the night. Oumar wasn’t planning to sleep, though. “I’m still in Central Africa,” she said. “I won’t feel at ease until we get out of here.” Shortly before 7 a.m., peacekeepers told refugees to get back on the trucks, and they set off on the last leg of the trip. Around noon, the convoy rolled across the border, delivering hundreds of refugees to a country that already has received tens of thousands. New arrivals would be sheltered in mosques and churches, even a stadium. Aid workers are racing to put up shelters health stations, latrines and other facilities. Some refugees have been taken in by local families; others sleep in the open. The Burundian convoy commander stood at the frontier until the last truck disappeared into Cameroon. Then he turned his attention to a line of trucks loaded with aid and other cargo, waiting to make the trip back to Bangui, where more refugees were waiting.

Times staff writer Alexandra Zavis and photojournalist Rick Loomis spent two weeks in the Central African Republic reporting on the sectarian violence there. They followed a convoy of Muslim refugees on a harrowing 400-mile journey to safety in Cameroon. This is the first of several reports on what they witnessed. See additional photos at

Awa Abdoulaye prays during the afternoon prayer at the Central Mosque in Bangui on March 6, where she has been living in the open dirt courtyard since her home got attacked by “anti-balaka” militia members.

Weapons of war in Bangui, Central African Republic, that have been used by both sides in the violence are both more modern and conventional like AK-47’s and hand grenades but also less conventional items like bows and arrows, swords and knives. Pictured are old shotguns and rifles, some with hand manufactured parts.



FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR Fort Lauderdale: The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship’s South Florida Outreach Division will host its first Advice Straight Up: Expert Entrepreneur Speaker Series on April 15 at the Urban League of Broward County. It will be from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and includes networking and a buffet breakfast. More information, visit or call 954-228-3082. West Palm Beach: The Kinfolks Soul Food Festival will be in West Palm Beach on May 23 and Lauderhill on May 24. Performers will include Bootsy Collins, Cameo, Morris Day & the Time, Confunkshun and Lakeside. More information: www. Miami Gardens: The Haitian Compas Festival is May 17 featuring Taboo Combo, Carimi, T-Vic & Harmonik and others. The 3:30 p.m. show will be at Sun Life Stadium. Sunrise: Tickets are on sale for Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, which takes place May 23 and May 24 at the BB&T Center. Miami: An Old School Throw Back Hip-Hop event is May 17 at the

APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014


James L. Knight Center featuring Slick Rick and Rob Base. The show starts at 7 p.m. Naples: The national NAACP Leadership 500 Summit will convene at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel May 22-25. Details: Tampa: The Ivory Club of Tampa will host its 10th annual “Evening in Africa” charity event on April 12 at the Holiday Inn Tampa, 700 N. Westshore Blvd. The speaker is Marcia Wiss, an expert in international business. Information: www. Orlando: The Bethune-Cookman University Concert Chorale will lead all three traditional worship services at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road, Orlando) on Sunday, April 27. More information: 407-876-4991 ext. 302 or visit   Apopka: Spann Development, Inc. will host “The Money Masters” financial seminar on May 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 8053 Gilliam Road. It will include Dr. Dennis Kimbro, Richmond McCoy, and Lynn Richardson. Register at


Florida A&M University Board of Trustees member Torey Alston will keynote the Orange and Green Scholarship Gala of the Sarasota-Manatee Chapter of the FAMU National Alumni Association on April 26 at 6 p.m. It will be at the Palm Aire Country Club, 5601 Country Club Way, Sarasota. More information: 941-704-6746 or visit

Tampa: A Mothers Day Gospel Celebration is scheduled at 7 p.m. on May 10 at the Straz Center in Tampa. Artists will include Tamela Mann, Deitrick Haddon and Deleon.



Deniece Williams, Monica, Jagged Edge and Rico Love are scheduled May 11 for a Mother’s Day Experience at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables.

The singer-songwriter and record producer is scheduled to perform at the Tom Joyner Family Reunion, which will be held Aug. 28-Sept. 1 in Orlando.

Pioneer Black journalist Chuck Stone dies at 89 BY ANDREA WEIGL NEWS & OBSERVER/MCT

Charles Sumner “Chuck” Stone Jr., a pioneering Black journalist and an influential journalism professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), died April 6 at 89. Stone was remembered by his colleagues as a gifted teacher who shared insights with students based on his extensive career as a journalist, government official and civil rights activist. During his 14-year career at UNC, Stone became known around campus for his stylish attire, his morning commute on a bicycle and his popular class on censorship that he called “dirty books and dirty pictures,” one that always had a waiting list. “There was just one Chuck Stone. There’s no doubt about that,” said Richard Cole, a former dean of the UNC journalism school who hired Stone. “In the classroom, he was inspiring. He brought students a side of culture that they didn’t know about.” Stone was born July 21, 1924 in St. Louis and raised in Hartford, Conn. During World War II, he trained as a navigator at the segregated U.S. Air Corps flight school in Tuskegee, Ala. Stone later graduated from Wesleyan University in 1948 and earned a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1951.

‘A great diplomat’ Stone worked as a reporter and editor at sever-

Chuck Stone al influential Black newspapers at the height of the civil rights era, including The New York Age and The Chicago Defender. From 1960-63, Stone was editor and White House correspondent for The Washington Afro-American. During that period, he met Philip Meyer, now an emeritus professor at UNC but then a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for Knight Ridder newspapers. Meyer recalled that the he and Stone met when they both moved into a northwest Washington, D.C., neighborhood as part of efforts to integrate it. Three decades later, Meyer would recruit Stone to Chapel Hill to teach journalism. On Sunday, Meyer recalled his friend’s sense of humor, intellect and his ability to diffuse tension situations. “He was very smart. He could take a long-range view of events,” Meyer said. “He was a great diplomat.” Stone’s skill for diplomacy helped him as a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. In 1972, Stone was hired as the pa-

per’s first Black columnist and reported extensively about police brutality and the criminal justice system. During this time, more than 75 criminal suspects asked Stone to escort them into police custody to avoid becoming victims of police brutality. In 1981, Stone was asked to help negotiate a deal between law enforcement officials and a half dozen prisoners who had taken 38 inmates and employees hostage at a Pennsylvania state prison. Four years later, Stone began teaching journalism at the University of Delaware and then went to UNC in 1991, where he taught for 14 years. UNC journalism professor Jan Yopp recalled Stone from their years working together directing the Rainbow Institute, which brought together a multicultural group of rising high school seniors to campus for three weeks each summer to learn about journalism. “The program fit Chuck’s passion and commitment to collect in one place young people of varying ethnicities, backgrounds and life experiences,” Yopp wrote in an email. “In the program and in his teaching and advising, he led by example and accepted and welcomed all who walked through his office or classroom door — students, faculty, staff, prospective students, anyone.”

First NABJ president Based on his journalism and teaching career, Stone received six honorary doctorate degrees and nu-

Zeituni Onyango, Obama’s aunt, dead at 61 ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mentioned in Obama book

President Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango, who was denied asylum in the United States but stayed illegally for years, died Tuesday at age 61. Onyango, whose immigration status was reported by The Associated Press days before Obama’s election in 2008, had been treated in recent months for cancer and respiratory problems, Cleveland attorney Margaret Wong said. She died in a Boston rehabilitation center, said Wong, who represented her in her immigration case. A half-sister of Obama’s late father, she moved from Kenya to the U.S. in 2000 and was denied asylum by an immigration judge in 2004. She remained in the country illegally, living in Zeituni Boston public housing. Onyango She finally was granted asylum in 2010 by a judge who said she could be in danger if she returned to Kenya because of her relationship with Obama.

Onyango was born in Kenya in May 1952 under a mango tree and was delivered by a midwife, Wong said. She raised a family in Kenya and worked in the computer department of Kenya Breweries, she said. “She was an awesome, funny, shrewd, smart lady born at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Wong said. “If she was only born in America or born in more Western open society instead of being bogged down by tribes, lineage and being a woman in Kenya, she could have been anything she wanted to be.” Wong said Onyango had become ill in January and died early Tuesday morning in her sleep. The White House, which had no immediate reaction to Onyango’s death on Tuesday, had said previously that Obama did not intervene in her immigration case. Obama, in his memoir “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” affectionately referred to Onyango as Auntie Zeituni and described meeting her during his 1988 trip to Kenya. She helped care for his half-brothers and sister while living with his father, Barack Obama Sr., in Kenya.

merous honors, including UNC’s Thomas Jefferson Award, the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Free Spirit Award from the Freedom Forum and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. Stone had helped found NABJ in 1975 and served as its first president. Beyond teaching and writing newspaper col-

umns, Stone also wrote a number of books. Those included “Black Political Power in America,” a college textbook in 1968; a novel called “King Strut” in 1970 based on a fictionalized account of the rise and fall of congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., for whom Stone worked as a special assistant; and a children’s book, “Squizzy, The Black Squirrel” in 2003. Stone is survived by his

children, Krishna Stone, Allegra Stone and Charles St. Stone III; grandchild, Parade Stone; and sisters, Madalene Seymour and Irene Gordy. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations can be made to the Chuck Stone Citizen of the World Fund at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication Foundation of North Carolina.

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE FOR BLACK STUDENTS. NO EXCUSES. The classic guide from Florida Courier publisher, lawyer and broadcaster CHARLES W. CHERRY II PRAISE FOR ‘EXCELLENCE WITHOUT EXCUSE’: “This guide for African-American college-bound students is packed with practical and insightful information for achieving academic success...The primary focus here is to equip students with the savvy and networking skills to maneuver themselves through the academic maze of higher education.” – Book review, School Library Journal • How low expectations of Black students’ achievements can get them higher grades; • Want a great grade? Prepare to cheat! • How Black students can program their minds for success; • Setting goals – When to tell everybody, and when to keep your mouth shut; • Black English, and why Black students must be ‘bilingual.’ …AND MUCH MORE! Download immediately as an eBook or a pdf Order softcover online, from Amazon, or your local bookstore ISBN#978-1-56385-500-9 Published by International Scholastic Press, LLC Contact Charles at

Facebook ccherry2 excellencewithoutexcuse

for info on speeches, workshops, seminars, book signings, panel discussions.

Twitter @ccherry2


APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014


Meet some of



submitted for your approval


Think you’re one of Florida’s Finest? E-mail your high-resolution (200 dpi) digital photo in casual wear or bathing suit taken in front of a plain background with few distractions, to news@flcourier. com with a short biography of yourself and your contact information. (No nude/ glamour/ fashion photography, please!) In order to be considered, you must be at least 18 years of age. Acceptance of the photographs submitted is in the sole and absolute discretion of Florida Courier editors. We reserve the right to retain your photograph even if it is not published. If you are selected, you will be contacted by e-mail and further instructions will be given.

Dwayne Joseph is a 5’10’’ model with six years of experience in the industry, modeling for brands such as Fusion, Dan Smith and Alberto Sanchez. He says he is known for being flexible, adaptable, stylish and efficient. Contact him at Daend2007@

Christina Eliane is a Tampa resident who says she is outgoing, fun, and adventurous. The 5’ 10’’ senior participated in collegiate basketball and aspires to compete in the WNBA and become a supermodel.

CREDIT: Seth London


dwayne White House could ban ‘selfies’ with president EURWEB.COM

David “Big Papi’’ Ortiz snaps a “selfie’’ with the president on April 1 during a Red Sox celebration at the White House.

“Selfies” with President Obama may no longer be allowed after baseball star David Ortiz orchestrated one for a Samsung publicity stunt. “Maybe this will be the end of all selfies,” White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer said about the incident Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “(Obama) obviously didn’t know anything about Samsung’s connection to this.” Ortiz, a.k.a. Big Papi of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, took

the shot on April 1 when his team was invited to the White House to be congratulated by the president. It was revealed a day later that the photo, taken with Ortiz’s Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phone, was actually organized by the Korean telecom giant. “Someone who uses the President’s likeness to promote a product… that’s a problem with the White House,” Pfeiffer added Sunday. “We’ve had conversations with Samsung about this and have expressed our concerns.”

Stunt planned Ortiz snapped the seemingly unplanned shot while onstage with Obama, as the Red Sox celebrated their 2013 World Series title. Ortiz tweeted the picture, prompting more than 42,000 retweets, including one by the official Samsung account — to the company’s more than 5.2 million Twitter followers. After the stunt, Samsung revealed it had a marketing deal with Ortiz and admitted that company officials had “worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans.”

$96 million opening for Captain America There is super good news at the box office for superhero sequel “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The film soared in its opening weekend to a recordbreaking  $96.2 million in North America and an early worldwide total of $303.3 million. It debuted last weekend. The $170-million 3-D film, starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, is now in the record books as the top April opening of all time.

Actor Wesley Snipes will be in the “Expendables,’’ which debuts in August.

Snipes gets first role since prison term Wesley Snipes finally got his chance to be in an “Expendables” movie. The actor served three years in prison for tax evasion and this is his first major role since prison. Snipes will be joining the other Black action star Terry Crews for the trilogy of the film series. And according to their posters, they’re geared up for an action-packed ride. The film also stars Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Kelsey Grammer in new roles. The film hits theaters Friday, Aug. 15.

Anthony Mackie is The Falcon in the new movie.

Oxygen unveils ‘Fix My Choir’ reality show BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM

Looks as if we’ll see more religious reality antics coming soon. Former Destiny Child’s member Michelle Williams, “Preachers Of LA” star,  Deitrick Haddon  and  gospel star Tye Tribbett, are set to star in a new reality show for Oxygen entitled, “Fix My Choir.’’ The trio will seek out church, community, and school choirs who are in desperate need of some fine-tuning. Williams shared the good news on social media. “Good Morning!! So umm Deitrick

Michelle Williams, Deitrick Haddon and Tye Tribbett will star in the new reality show. Haddon, Tye Tribbett and myself just did something fun a few minutes!!,” she posted. “We just unveiled a new TV show on the Oxygen Network called “Fix My Choir” that we will start filming soon!! Do you have

a choir that needs to be fixed? Lol!!!” Seems as if Oxygen is targeting a more modern, younger audience, as Rapper T.I. has produced a show slated to release on the network later this year.



APRIL 11 – APRIL 17, 2014




f you love to cook, discover the wild advantage and fill your freezer with Wild Blueberries. Packed with more intense blue­berry flavor and two times the antioxidants of regular blue­berries, Wild Blueberries are wildly different from the cultivated blueberries you find in the fresh produce section. Don’t be fooled by their small size, these berries pack more flavor and antioxidant power into their tiny blue bodies than any other blueberry on this big blue planet. This makes them the blueberry of choice for anyone interested in cooking, baking, making smoothies and more. Here are three delicious recipes from three talented food bloggers with a shared love for tiny, potent Wild Blueberries and a passion for developing innovative, healthy and tasty twists on the classics everyone loves. Our suggestion is to try them all and feed your wild side. For more delicious recipes, visit

GLUTEN-FREE ORANGE PANCAKES WITH WILD BLUEBERRY-ORANGE SAUCE Recipe by Katie Heddleston, Healthy Heddleston, Yield: 12 to 15 thin pancakes, depending on size Wild Blueberry-orange sauce: 1/2 cup frozen Wild Blueberries 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice 1/2 teaspoon orange zest 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (or honey) Orange pancakes 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (or honey) 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup milk 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon orange zest 1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine First make sauce. In small sauce pan, combine all ingredients and place on low heat while pre­ paring pancakes. Stir occasion­ally. Smash Wild Blueberries to desired consistency. To make pancakes, combine all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Then add in wet ingredients. Whisk everything together until well combined; batter will be thin. On griddle or electric skillet preheat to medium heat. Make sure pan is hot before scooping batter. Using 1/4-cup scoop, pour batter (but not whole scoopful into pancake shapes on griddle). Batter is thin so not much is needed for each pancake. Wait until pancake bubbles before flipping. Flip and cook other side. Continue process until all batter is used. Pour sauce over pancakes while warm. Note: Only one orange is needed for fresh juice and zest for both pancakes and sauce.

A HEALTHY CHOICE A growing body of research is establishing Wild Blueberries as a potential ally to protect against cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease – so it’s no surprise that more and more people are picking Wild Blueberries than ever before.

WILD BLUEBERRY, COCONUT AND GINGER SMOOTHIE Recipe by Rachael Hartley, An Avocado A Day, Yield: 1 serving

A TASTY AND EASY OPTION Convenience and freshness are frozen right in. Wild Blueberries are individually quick-frozen within 24 hours of harvest, lock­ing in their intense blueberry flavor, nutrition and antioxidant power. Find them in your grocer’s freezer in convenient re-seal­able bags and make sure you get the wild ones.

1 cup frozen Wild Blueberries 1 cup 2 percent plain yogurt 1/4 cup light coconut milk 2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

WILD BLUEBERRY POLENTA WITH GRILLED ONIONS AND SAUSAGE Recipe by Mireya Merritt, My Healthy Eating Habits, myhealthyeatinghabits. com Yield: 4 servings Onions: 1 1/2 large onions, cut in half and thinly sliced, about 4 cups 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil Polenta: 4 cups water 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup yellow cornmeal 1 3/4 cups frozen Wild Blueberries Sausage:

2 teaspoons olive oil 4 sausages, prepared according to package instructions Saute onions in 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil until lightly caramelized, about 25 minutes. About 15 minutes before onions are ready, heat water in 4-quart saucepan until comes to a boil. Add salt and slowly whisk in cornmeal. Stir frequently until the polenta thickens up and texture is smooth. Care­fully stir in frozen blueberries, trying not to break them. Cook one minute and then turn off the heat, cover the pot and allow polenta to rest 1 to 2 minutes. To serve, place large spoonful of Wild Blueberry polenta on plate, top with grilled onions and then place one sausage, sliced or whole, on top of onions. Serve with sliced oranges or garden salad.

Florida Courier - April 11, 2014  

Florida Courier - Sharing Black Life, Statewide

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