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AUGUST 16 - AUGUST 22, 2013

VOLUME 21 NO. 33


Florida’s Republican legislators stand with Gov. Rick Scott and refuse to revisit Florida’s ‘shoot-first’ laws.



In April 2012, the ‘Dream Defenders’ – a Florida-based network of students and youth – blocked the entrance to the Sanford Police Department to protest the department’s handling of the Trayvon Martin homicide investigation.

Gearing up for N.C. voting battle

TALLAHASSEE – Lawmakers won’t be back at the Capitol for a session until March after all. Republicans have returned enough “no” votes in a poll of legislators to quash the idea of a special session to address the state’s self-defense laws. That poll was triggered late Monday, after 33 Democratic lawmakers formally requested that the Department of State find out whether enough lawmakers supported calling a special session. Supporters needed a three-fifths majority of the Legislature, or 96 votes, to force a special session opposed by Gov. Rick Scott

and Republican legislative leaders. By Wednesday evening, they had just 37 votes, and opponents had 83 – a majority of the Legislature and more than enough to prevent a session. Only one Democrat, Rep. Mike Clelland of Lake Mary, had voted against the session. The defeat of the special session to address the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law was expected. Changing that law is one of the main demands of the Dream Defenders, a group of protesters whose around-the-clock sit-in at the Capitol stretched to a 30th day as of the Florida Courier’s press time on Wednesday night, with no apparent end in sight.

Dems began effort The Florida Secretary of State’s office began polling members of the Legislature to find out if there was enough support to hold a special session. Vastly outnumbered Democrats had a week to convince enough Republicans lawmakers to support the special session. House Minority Leader Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, announced late Monday that Democrats had gathered the 32 written requests necessary to trigger a poll of lawmakers. “I commend those members who have joined me in my request for a special session,” Thurston said in See DREAM, Page A2


To the penitentiary

92-year-old leads the way BY ANNE BLYTHE THE NEWS & OBSERVER (RALEIGH, N.C.) (MCT)

DURHAM, N.C. – Rosanell Johnson Eaton, a 92-year-old Franklin County resident, listened with rapt attention Tuesday as lawyers and the head of the state NAACP outlined their legal challenge of the sweeping revisions to North Carolina’s voting procedures. The day before, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory had signed the GOP-designed revisions into law, and the stroke of his pen set off a flourish of lawsuits. The new law requires voters to show government-issued ID cards, shortens early voting by a week, ends same-day registration and increases the number of poll observers who can challenge a voter’s eligibility. The law also ends straight-ticket voting and eliminates preregistration initiatives for high school students. Blacks are 23 percent of registered voters in North Carolina, but made up 29 percent of early voters in 2012, 30 percent of those who cast out-of-precinct ballots, 34 percent of the 318,000 registered voters without state-issued ID and 41 percent of those who used same-day registration.

YouTube defense McCrory said Monday in a YouTube statement that the new law would safeguard the election process. “Protecting the integrity of every vote cast is among the most important duties I have as governor,” he said. “It’s why I


Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his wife, Sandi, pled guilty to various federal criminal charges and were sentenced in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Jesse, Jr. got 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release; Sandi got a year in prison followed by a year of supervised release.

See BATTLE, Page A2

Bondi dodges scandal that brought Carroll down COMPILED FROM STAFF REPORTS

Five months have passed since Florida last had a lieutenant governor, but Gov. Rick Scott appears to be in no hurry to change the situation. Carroll resigned March 12 amid revelations that a company she co-owned, 3N & JC Corporation, had provided consulting services for Allied Veterans of the World, a group that provided charity to military veterans. According to authorities, Allied Veterans donated just two percent of its $300 million in proceeds. For now, if Scott were unable to fulfill his duties for some reason, Attorney General Pam Bondi would take over as gov-


titled to “testimonial immunity” because she is now the state’s attorney general. Sanford-area Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. – who was the original judge on the George Zimmerman murder case – agreed. On Wednesday, he No questions for Bondi ruled that Bondi does not have Bondi was subpoenaed in to answer defense attorneys’ conjunction with court docu- questions under oath. ments alleging that she was briefed on Allied Veterans’ Scott uncertain business model for its gaming During a visit to West Palm centers, and accepted a hand- Beach on Monday, Scott was delivered contribution for asked about the lack of a sec$25,000 intended to be a do- ond-in-line and running mate. nation for her 2010 campaign Scott signaled that he hasn’t – before she became attorney even decided what he wants in general. a No. 2. Bondi argued in a response See BONDI, Page A2 to the subpoena that she is enand money laundering laws by operating Internet cafes that prosecutors say served as storefront gambling parlors. Carroll has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing.

Pam Bondi

Jennifer Carroll

ernor. Ironically, Bondi has her own connection to the Allied Veterans criminal case being heard in Seminole County. The case now involves more than 50 criminal defendants – including a Jacksonville attorney and a former president of the Fraternal Order of Police –accused of violating the state’s gambling, racketeering


FBI hair-sample analysis proven to be invalid


Eulogy for Chip ‘Happy’ Cherry’ BOOKS | B3

Professor defends affirmative action in new book


Meet Giselle




AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 22, 2013

‘Dream Defenders’ or ‘Dream Pretenders’? The student-organized group that is opposing Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is picking up a tremendous amount of support. However, it is not the rock startype of support depicted by the imperialist press. By now, we all know singers, preachers and rappers have visited Florida’s Capitol to speak to student members of the “Dream Defenders” that have been “sitting in” Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office for more than three solid weeks. The students are still there, but the singers, preachers and rappers are gone!

What’s the plan? The students occupying the governor’s office seem a lot like the people who occupied Wall Street. Both groups were well intentioned. Both groups were determined, caring and dedicated. However, neither group had a workable plan, a viable strategy, necessary resources, or a clearly attainable goal. If a blanket repeal of the Stand Your Ground law by a Republican-controlled legislature is the


ultimate goal, it will never happen! The best the students can hope for is a Stand Your Ground “dog and pony show!” That’s when governmental experts and political lobbyists call committee meetings to discuss an issue that has already been decided and determined. Local activists and the former community freedom-fighting members of such groups as the Malcolm X Liberation Front and the Black Federation Alliance support the student activists at the Capitol. They are very proud that this group of young people stepped up and did something. So in that regard, The Gantt Report would like to help.

Where’s the bill?

The Florida Legislature must vote on any change in Florida law. Students need to have a

bill drawn up that will address their concerns whether it is repeal, change or something else in between. The students must have sponsors in both the Florida House and the Florida Senate and Scott must sign the student’s proposed bill into law. It is not enough to have a good cause, a right issue, or a just piece of legislation to accomplish a goal of changing any law. You must prevail! If the Florida Legislative Black Caucus can’t get their own priorities passed, it is reasonable to believe a group of students will have trouble getting desired legislation passed in the Florida Legislature.

Been done before I was a lobbyist when State Representatives Tony Hill and Kendrick Meek sat in Gov. Jeb Bush’s office years ago. I was even alive when Black college students across the nation sat in at lunch counters. Well, some students that sat in at lunch counters were beaten, jailed, or both before lunch counters were desegregated. Bush told

law enforcers in graphic language to throw Hill and Meeks out of his office. The Gantt Report wants the students to have a successful protest. There is no shame in reorganizing and regrouping to name goals that can be accomplished, such as setting up groups to protect young people that have to travel at night, or raising money to defeat legislators that refuse to change unjust laws. Sit-ins will not accomplish these stated goals. Sitting in may just cause violence if students are forcibly removed from the Capitol and jailed. Believe me. One day they will have to leave, voluntarily or by force.

Symbolism doesn’t work We are proud of the student Dream Defenders for taking direct action when other young people merely sought to make Facebook posts. But success is always the best revenge! Symbolism is sensational and generates press and puppets that want media attention, but it doesn’t work.


Remember when the people in Mississippi and other Southern states started the plans to march on Washington in the late ‘60s and then the preachers and the politicians “took over” the march? That is when Martin Luther King, Jr. made his “I Have A Dream” speech. If you want to accomplish something in the Florida Legislature, assemble some of the state’s most experienced lobbyists and political activists and come up with a viable political strategy. If you don’t figure out something that will work, history will look at you not as “Dream Defenders,” but as “Dream Pretenders!”

Excerpts from Gantt columns are now posted every week on The Gantt Report’s Facebook page; become a fan. Buy Gantt’s latest book, “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing” on and from bookstores everywhere. Contact Lucius at “Like” The Gantt Report page on Facebook. Click on this story at to write your own response.

signed these common-sense commonplace protections into law.” Eaton, who has lived within seven miles of her birthplace her entire life, was one of the first Blacks registered to vote in the 1940s in Franklin County, N.C. To be eligible to cast a ballot, she had to recite the U.S. Constitution preamble to three county registrars as part of a required literacy test.

podium at Tuesday’s news conference. With the same fiery oratory he used during the weekly “Moral Monday” demonstrations this summer, Barber described the governor’s decision to sign the law as “a vulgar misuse of power.” “This bill is not about Voter ID,” Barber said. “Our complaint and lawsuit will show how this bill revisits the tactics of Jim Crow in the 21st century. These tactics have a disproportionate and discriminatory impact on African-Americans and other minorities. It is about race, an outright attempt to manipulate elections by suppressing voting.”

Lead plaintiff

Racial intent

from A1

Now she’s preparing for another voting test as a lead plaintiff in one of the legal challenges of the new elections law. A proponent of early voting who has spent years helping others get to the polls, Eaton claims that provisions of the new law are too restrictive and will hinder her ability to vote. She has a North Carolina driver’s license, but she fears that the name on it may not match the name on her certified birth certificate. That’s because she was born at home and a midwife inaccurately wrote her name on her birth certificate, she said. In the lawsuit filed in federal court Monday, she contended the new law will force her to “incur substantial time and expense” to correct her identification documents. “What this is doing is setting back the country,” Eaton said. “I don’t think people should be doing things like that.”

Opposition responds As the plaintiffs in the lawsuits filed in federal and state court explained their challenges of the new elections law, advocates of IDs and other revisions worked to bolster their cases. J. Christian Adams, a former U.S. Justice Department lawyer, issued a statement Tuesday that was critical of the NAACP and ACLU, organizations behind two of the lawsuits. “Groups like the NAACP and ACLU have consistently opposed every election integrity measure,

DREAM from A1 a statement issued by his office. “While the House speaker has indicated that the Legislature may hold a hearing later this year on certain policies, including Stand Your Ground, I strongly believe that a special session is the best way to justly address the concerns of our constituents.” Legislators were sent a poll from the state agency that they would have until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 19, to sign and return. The proposal is an effort to circumvent the opposition to a special session by Scott and Republican legislative leaders. The process, allowed in state statutes, had never been used before to call a special session.

Declared victory House Speaker Will Weatherford, who has directed a subcommittee to hold a hearing on the law this fall, said Monday that he hoped both sides would accept the results.


Rosanell Eaton, lead plaintiff in a North Carolina voting rights lawsuit, speaks during a press conference held in Durham, N.C. on Tuesday as the Rev. William Barber, head of the North Carolina NAACP (back left), listens. and have even opposed any compromises,” said Adams, who was hired during the Bush administration but resigned in 2010 after accusing the Obama administration of having a racial agenda. “They have had long-standing problems even finding plaintiffs who are unable to obtain the free voter identification. This lawsuit is about the politics of the 2014 election, not civil rights. They are trying to mobilize their political base by dishonestly scaring Americans into thinking these new laws to “Once this poll concludes, the question of a special session will be final,” Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, said in an email. “I trust our protesters will accept the results and return the Capitol back to normal business. It’s time.” Weatherford tweeted what amounted to a declaration of victory Wednesday afternoon and implicitly called for the protesters to leave. “FL supports self defense laws,” he wrote. “We’re spending way too much on protest security.” The answer from the demonstrators Wednesday was the same as it has been before: They don’t plan to go anywhere. Dream Defender Steven Pargett said they have no intention of leaving after the rejection of a special session on one aspect of what they call Trayvon’s Law. The protesters’ proposed legislation also seeks to end zero-tolerance school discipline policies and supports initiatives meant to combat racial profiling. “We’re not leaving on account of the poll,” Pargett said. “What’s interesting is now we can see the elected officials are on the record because of the poll.”

fight voter fraud will impact lawabiding Americans.”

No evidence of fraud Others have accused the Republicans who pushed for the changes as the fear mongers. They argued the bill had more to do with limiting votes cast than protecting a process that has yielded little documented evidence of voter fraud. The Rev. William Barber II, head of the state NAACP, looked into the bank of TV cameras trained on the

The group began its demonstration in Scott’s office after George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. While Zimmerman’s defense team did not use the “Stand Your Ground” law, which grants legal immunity to people who use deadly force if they reasonably believe their lives are in danger, Martin’s death drew nationwide attention to the policy. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement estimated that overtime for Capitol police has reached $149,998.30 since July 15, the day before the protests began. FDLE said 40 protesters were on hand Tuesday night, but at least 10 claimed to be demonstrating against climate change.

Four hours of noise Intentionally or not, state officials were scheduled to put one more barrier in the way of the protests Wednesday night, planning a required check of the Capitol’s fire-alarm system from 8 p.m. to midnight. “This testing will include the constant ringing of a loud, high pitch fire alarm throughout mul-

The attorneys contended on Tuesday that “race was a motivating factor” in enacting the laws. They argued that legislators adopted the revisions “with knowledge and intent that such actions would affect African-American voters disproportionately.” Carolyn Q. Coleman, a Guilford County commissioner who served as a special assistant to former Gov. Jim Hunt, said she was distressed by part of McCrory’s YouTube statement in which he said: “Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID, and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote.” “If he doesn’t see the difference in these, then North Carolina is really in trouble,” Coleman said.

Multiple lawsuits A separate lawsuit brought by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and the ACLU on behalf of the League of Women Voters, Common Cause and the A. Philip Randolph Institute also alleges that the elimination of same-day registration, the cuts to early voting and the ban on out-of-precinct provisional ballots violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Acts and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because of their disparate racial impact. The Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in state court, contending that setting new voter qualifications ran counter to provisions in the North Carolina Constitution.

tiple floors of the Florida Capitol Building,” said a flyer being used by the Department of Management Services to warn protesters about the fire alarm. Meanwhile, civil rights activist Julian Bond, who has served as chairman of the NAACP and president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, was set to become the latest nationally known supporter to visit the protesters with a visit Thursday. Prior celebrity supporters have included rapper Talib Kweli, activist Jesse Jackson and singer, actor and civil-rights icon Harry Belafonte.

GOP resistance Most Republicans have resisted changing the law. While Weatherford announced a hearing on the self-defense law, House Criminal Justice Subcommittee Chairman Matt Gaetz, RFort Walton Beach, has vowed not to change “one damn comma.” Meanwhile, in a sign of the resistance to changing the law in Florida, three Republicans signed on to a letter slamming U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.,

BONDI from A1 “We’re still working on the criteria and I’m working with Adam Hollingsworth, my chief of staff, on that,” Scott said, according to the politics blog of The Palm Beach Post. “My biggest focus every day is to keep jobs going.” Scott said in early July that he had tapped Hollingsworth to prepare for a search, but there have been few if any public statements since then about the vacancy. Democrats have hammered Scott for failing to appoint a lieutenant governor in the months after Carroll’s resignation, most recently slamming the administration after a public records request on the search in June turned up nothing.

No time frame But the Florida Constitution and state law do not appear to provide any deadline for Scott’s decision. The Constitution simply says that “[t] here shall be a lieutenant governor,” then says the governor will decide the lieutenant governor’s role. State law only says that “the Governor shall appoint a successor” when the office opens up. The position has no real responsibilities beyond whatever work the governor asks the lieutenant governor to do, something that has led critics to argue that the office should be eliminated.

Brandon Larrabee of the News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

for asking corporate sponsors of a conservative organization whether they support the law. Some liberals blame the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, for the spread of “Stand Your Ground” laws across the nation. “The contents of your letter are eerily similar to the questions asked by the Internal Revenue Service of other citizen groups the IRS deemed as politically conservative,” the letter says. “Questions such as the individual donors, purposes of organizational events and contents of meetings are clearly a violation of the First and Tenth Amendments and the general jurisdiction of a federal office holder.” The letter was signed by state Rep. John Wood, R-Winter Haven, and Sens. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, and Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland. In all, ALEC said, “nearly 300 state legislators” from across the country signed the letter.

Brandon Larrabee and Jim Turner of the News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 22, 2013



Guests narrowly escape sinking Disney-area resort No one injured when large sinkhole opens in Lake County BY ARELIS R. HERNANDEZ ORLANDO SENTINEL/MCT

First came the cracking sounds. Then windows started blowing out. And before they knew it, guests felt the ground beneath their Lake County resort near Disney World sink into the ground. Guests had only 10 to 15 minutes to escape the collapsing buildings at the Summer Bay Resort on U.S. Highway 192 in the Four Corners area, located about 7 miles east of Walt Disney World resort, where a large sinkhole — about 60 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep — opened in the earth late Sunday, Aug. 11. No one was injured but about three-dozen resort goers left behind car keys, medication and other personal belongings inside their luxury condominiums after the crumbling edifices were evacuated. “My heart sunk. I was sick to my stomach,” said resort president Paul Caldwell after getting a call about 10:30 p.m. from his staff that the 15-year-old buildings full of guests were sinking into the ground. “No doubt there would’ve been injuries if they hadn’t gotten the building evacuated,” he said during a live news conference.


People take pictures Monday after a sinkhole swallowed two building at Summer Bay Resort in Orlando, Florida late Sunday night.

Left everything He said after the windows began to shatter, a guest ran into the street to flag down resort personnel. Firefighters arriving on scene immediately went door-to-door of building 104, a three-story building of garden-style apartments, to help guests escape from the splintering and cracked building frame. The building was sheared nearly in half. About 20 individuals — men, women and children — left behind everything they brought to their vacation rental. The American Red Cross is on scene to assist the displaced guests. The affected building connects by breezeway to a center building that houses an elevator shaft, said Lake County fire chief Tony Cuellar. He said minutes after firefighters escorted the guest out through that center building, it buckled into the shifting ground.

Guests had only 10 to 15 minutes to escape the collapsing buildings at the Summer Bay Resort on U.S. Highway 192 in the Four Corners area, located about 7 miles east of Walt Disney World resort, where a large sinkhole- about 60 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep- opened in the earth late Sunday.

What caused it An adjacent building was also evacuated and 16 people had to leave, Cuellar said. “It could’ve taken a lot longer but we acted immediately,” he said.

All guests had been accounted for and no one was injured. Caldwell said they were relocated to other buildings on the property. “There’s no other units affected except for a loss of power along

east side of property,” he said. Firefighters were awaiting engineers to assess the damage the gaping hole caused. The cavities form as soft limestone below Florida’s surface dissolves and collapses with acidic rainwater that filters through the soil. Construction, groundwater pumping and drought followed by heavy rain can accelerate the erosion process. The water dissolves limestone, causing sands to migrate through and form a hole on the surface— like the neck of an hourglass. Sinkholes cost Florida residents millions in structural damage and insurance each year.

Frequent in Tampa Bay Experts in Lake County recently told the Orlando Sentinel the region could expect more collapsing earth as companies that repair sinkholes are seeing an increase in complaints. Geologists say sinkholes have always been a part of life below the crust in the Sunshine State but it’s debatable whether they are increasing. Sinkholes are notoriously fre-

quent in the Tampa Bay area, where one man suffered a dramatic end. In March, a 50-foot-deep sinkhole swallowed 37-year-old Jeffrey Bush while he was sleeping inside his home. The home was condemned and Bush was declared dead. Officials investigated a possible sinkhole at a Winter Park home in June after the homeowner’s pool cracked and shifted in the ground. The hole — 40 to 50 feet wide and 30 to 40 feet deep — stabilized and was just feet from Lake Killarney. That hole is only 1 1/2 miles from the infamous 1981 Winter Park sinkhole that swallowed a car dealership and home in its 320-foot-wide and 90-foot-deep opening. Three years ago, sinkholes collapsed lanes of U.S. Highway 27 in east Polk County. And several years before that, a sinkhole that opened up on Scott Lake swallowed enough water to make the shoreline recede dramatically in a Lakeland-area exclusive neighborhood.

Feds put money into studying Florida sinkholes NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will funnel nearly $1.1 million to an assessment of Florida’s vulnerability to sinkholes, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. The request for the project stemmed from last year’s Tropical Storm Debby, which brought heavy rain to the state and led to the formation of sinkholes. The assessment will start in Hamilton, Columbia and Suwannee counties in north Florida. Later, a model will produce a statewide map showing sinkhole vulnerability, a DEP news release said. Bill would move up legislative sessions With bills starting to be filed for Florida’s 2014 legislative session, Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, has revived a proposal to open some legislative sesSen. Arthenia sions in January instead of the usual March. Flores Joyner last week filed SB 72, which would lead to earlier session starts in even-numbered years, beginning in 2016. A similar measure died during this spring’s legislative session after passing one Senate committee. Also among the bills filed last week was a proposal (SCR 68) by Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The proposal has come up repeatedly through the years but has not passed.

Nelson, Scott, Graham at League of Cities conference U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Gov. Rick Scott and Bob Graham, who served as both senator and governor, were scheduled to speak Friday during the opening day of the Florida League of Cities annual conference at the World Center Marriott in Orlando. Nelson was on the agenda to speak at 10:15 a.m., with Scott addressing the general session at 1 p.m. Graham was scheduled to lead a panel discussion titled, “Polling: What You Always Wanted to Know About Your Citizens,” later in the day. The conference is scheduled through Sunday.

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Oyster fishermen are shown in Apalachicola Bay in Apalachicola in June 2010 fighting for their livelihood after the BP oil spill that began in April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico.

Apalachicola oyster industry declared a disaster NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

On the eve of a U.S. Senate field hearing about a lack of freshwater in the Apalachicola River Basin, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Monday announced that it would issue a fishery disaster declaration for Florida’s oyster harvesting area in the Gulf of Mexico. The disaster resulted from drought conditions in Apalachicola Bay and elsewhere in the Florida Panhandle during the 2012-2013 winter fishing season. “We understand the economic significance this historic oyster fishery has for fishermen and related

businesses in the panhandle of Florida,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, whose agency oversees NOAA, said in a statement. “Because the drought caused such a decline in oyster landings and a rather significant drop in revenue, the fishery qualified as a resource disaster under the nation’s fishing law.”

Help on the way By declaring a fishery disaster, the commerce secretary can make it possible for Congress to provide economic assistance to fishing businesses and communities, including oyster fishermen, affected by the disaster. NOAA could then work with Congress and the state to develop a spending plan and distribute the funds to help coastal communities and the fishing industry. In the last year, the Florida west coast oyster fishery has seen a 44 percent reduction in revenues, which according to NOAA is unusual for the fishery and not part of a cyclical downturn.



AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 22, 2013

Generations suffering due to dropping of the baton Research shows that this generation of young people, no matter of their race, are likely to do less well than their parents did. Shackled by a trillion dollars worth of student loans and a flat labor market, the New York-based Demos organization says the student loan burden prevents young people from buying homes and amassing wealth. While there are some racial gaps, many young people enter the labor market already behind the space their parents occupied.


heard in Black leadership. Those who are seasoned offer their history of activism as proof that they should lead. They forge the student nonviolent coordinating committee (SNCC) who didn’t ask their elders for permission. They pushed elders to move to a Moving forward more active position and when elAs I spend time with young ders would not meet them, they people, especially young Africanpushed themselves. There was no Americans, I understand their shame in their game. frustration. They want to know what the civil rights generation has done to pass the baton of ac- “We want freedom” Whether militant or moderate, tivism and improvement to them. They want to know how they they embraced parts of the Black should move forward. While they Panther Party political program, are wiling to participate in march- which begins with these words, es and civic action, they want to “We want freedom, we want the know what’s next. And they want power to determine our destiny.” to know why their voices are not Too many of us, African-Ameri-

cans, young people, progressives, do not determine our destiny now. We flow with the wind. Too many have dropped the baton, but continue to act as if they are clasping it. Too many mouth their interest in young leaders, but fail to bring them to the table. Too many who are 40 and 50 describe themselves as young, but if you tell the truth and shame the devil, these folks are solidly middle aged. So where are their protégées, those who will take, not snatch, the torch from them. As I move around the country to speak, organize, motivate, I am stunned by events that focus on youth, but have only a few (and often none) young people present. Imagine if young people had the opportunity to have meaningful exchanges with their elders. Too often young people are segregated into a “youth” program when interaction with adults would be both motivating and stimulating to them. If we kick young people to the curb, we drop the baton that was handed to us. We baby boomers have a



Random thoughts of a free Black mind, v. 182 Back to school. Yee-HAH! Hope your summer went well. Ours did; lots of travel for the kids. (I’ll write about it in a future story.) I’m happy school is starting again, but we’ll see how long it will take my kids’ mushy brains to get back into academic shape… Looking backward – I know some of y’all will call me a hater. But am I the only one who is tired of looking back to the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”? Am I alone in thinking that the upcoming marches and rallies in D.C. are a distraction – another chance for Bro. Prez to give an innocuous, risk-free speech to show he’s down with the people? The civil rights folks are calling this a “continuation” of the 1963 march, not a “commemoration.” Is the fact that Black people are still marching for “jobs and freedom” 50 years after we started marching for “jobs and freedom” supposed to make me feel better? Missed opportunity – Within 48 hours of George Zimmerman’s acquittal, the

quick takes from #2: straight, no chaser

Charles W. Cherry II, Esq. PUBLISHER

NAACP, during its Orlando convention, asked for (and got) a million signatures requesting a federal civil rights investigation in Trayvon’s killing. Why didn’t the NAACP have enough faith to pack up and leave Florida while asking for online donations to eliminate any losses that such an action would cause the organization, instead of asking just for signatures? The convention was business as usual, only 20 miles away from where Trayvon was killed and Zimmerman was acquitted. No impact…

Contact me at; holler at me at ccherry2; follow me on Twitter @ccherry2.

Opinions expressed on this editorial page are those of the writers, and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of the newspaper or the publisher.

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responsibility to both Generation X and Generation Y. We have shirked that responsibility.

Replicate yourself I do not know how to describe Rev. Cecelia Bryant. I could call her mentor, role model, or friend. Or I could say that she is a great inspiration and, in a simple sentence, she has encapsulated the work that we must all to do move our community forward. You have to replicate yourself seven times, she said, and you have to ask those you replicated to replicate themselves seven times. In other words there has to be an embrace, and a responsibility to embrace the next generation not only politically but also personally. Who are the people who will come behind you? Who will incorporate your work into their own? Who will understand that you put your hand on them because somebody put their hand on you, and who will feel obligated to put their hand on others?

Ball dropped The Civil Rights Generation made massive progress, but in many ways they dropped the ball. While they made it clear that there was work to be done, too many of them did not choose those who would do it. Too much energy and focus has been placed on one or two people, and we need cohorts of the next generation to work together. The Baby Boom Generation (mine) has dropped the ball as well. We have been beneficiaries of the Civil Rights Generation, but we have not passed our largess or our lessons on. The Rev. Willie Barrow says that we are not as much divided as disconnected. When the baton has been dropped, what can we expect but a generational disconnection?

Julianne Malveaux is a D.C.based economist and author. Click on this story at to write your own response.

Diseased oranges not at top of list of concerns Because of my dedication to health and wellness, I’m not surprised when information related to those subjects is referred to me. Recently, my attention was directed to Florida’s orange crop suffering a fungal plague that renders oranges unfit for consumption. There’s been an unsuccessful search to find a remedy for this infestation and no natural remedy is expected! The alternative to combat this infestation is a GMO orange! If you aren’t familiar with this term, it refers to Genetically Modified Organisms. Proponents of this process speak to its commercial benefits, but those of us concerned about the potential for the long-term negative impact of genetically altered foods challenge the efficacy of its use. Genetic manipulation of food is not unusual. Plant and animal food sources have been the target of DNA restructuring. Long-term effects still loom large, and should be an issue of extreme concern for all. Occasionally, I’m asked about the involvement of African-Americans in issues related to the genetic modification of foods and other environmental concerns. There’s a wide impression that we have little interest in these issues, but this isn’t true.

Socio-economic disparities The average person of color is so engaged in dayto-day survival that we don’t have the luxury of selecting one issue around which to

hoods where industrial pol-

Dr. E. lution is suspected of causFaye ing the greatest health risks. Williams, Toxic living Esq. TRICE EDNEY WIRE

mobilize or act. I would caution anyone about making assumptions regarding our lack of interest. More than most people, we recognize the socio-economic disparities of our existence. Many of us may not be able to articulate the issues to the satisfaction of the more affluent, but most people affected by environmental racism have a practical understanding of it. Most can speak to the practical relationship between environmental degradation and low-income/minority communities.

Environmental factors According to, the self-described largest not-for-profit for young people and social change, those below and other environmental factors hold true for people of color: • People living within 2 miles of hazardous waste facilities are by majority people of color. • Racial disparities exist in 9 of 10 EPA regions. • Laws and land-use controls haven’t been adequately applied in order to reduce health risks for those living in or near toxic “hot spots”. • African-Americans are 79 percent more likely than Whites to live in neighbor-

Poor children of color are more likely to attend schools filled with asbestos, live in homes with peeling lead paint, play in parks contaminated, and are nearly 9 times more likely than economically advantaged children to be exposed to lead levels so high as to cause severe learning disabilities and neurological disorders. It is challenging to generate true concern for many of the issues presented to me, like Florida’s diseased orange trees, and hard-pressed to place “Saving the Wolves, Whales or whatever species” in higher priority than protecting voting rights and basic human rights for people of color. I simply cannot place fracking above the interests of people struggling to educate their children. I can intellectually identify with many of the issues presented, but like others in my community, I’m overwhelmed with numerous survival issues affecting us daily. As worthy as are concerns about GMOs and Florida’s orange trees, I would be hard pressed to mobilize the focused attention of those most affected until we can address their immediate and critical survival needs.

Dr. E. Faye Williams is National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women. Click on this story at to write your own response.

We’re making history – again Remember the March on Washington? August 28, 1963. Tens of thousands of activists on the National Mall. A preacher’s son from Atlanta talking about his dream for the country. We don’t need a history lesson. Even if we weren’t at the March itself - even for those like me, who were not yet born - Dr. King’s words are etched into our minds as deeply as they are inscribed in stone at the base of his memorial. The preacher’s son has taken his rightful place in the pantheon of national heroes. We don’t need to watch a rerun of that fateful day. We need a sequel. On Saturday, Aug. 24, the NAACP is co-hosting a sequel to the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice: the 2013 March on Washington. The march begins at 8 a.m. at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Join us.

Work just beginning If this year has shown us anything, it’s that the work of the 1963 march is not yet finished. Texas and South Carolina are sprinting for-


ward with voter ID after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. AfricanAmerican unemployment has flat lined. Our children are gunned down each and every day in senseless acts of violence. Trayvon Martin lies in the ground after one such senseless act. At the same time, our culture of civic engagement is experiencing a renaissance. In the past month, hundreds of cities held vigils and rallies to protest the Zimmerman verdict. The nation is having a serious conversation about racial profiling for the first time since 9/11. In North Carolina, Moral Mondays has grown larger with each passing week. We have the numbers, and we have the capacity for motivation. The question is whether we will allow ourselves to be motivated.

So join us - NAACP, National Action Network, Realizing the Dream and others - on the National Mall on August 24th. If you live within two hours of Washington, DC, hop in a car or on a bus - or even better, organize a bus. If you live farther away, you are still encouraged to come and be a part of history. The 2013 March on Washington will be a people’s movement. It will not be fueled by cash - it will only be energized by your decision to participate. We need you there to help us gain a critical mass of voices, and prove once again that organized people can beat organized money any time. On this fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington, we should celebrate our history, but it’s more important that we never stop making history. Meet us at the Lincoln Memorial. Join us on August 24th.

Ben Jealous is president/ CEO of the NAACP. Click on this story at to write your own response.

AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 22, 2013



Eulogy for Chip ‘Happy’ Cherry Publisher’s note: Thanks to all the friends and family members who sent me good wishes on my Aug. 6 birthday last week. It’s been a bittersweet rememberance since 2003. For the rest of my life, for all my remaining birthdays, I’ll always think about witnessing by far the worst event of my life to date – the stillbirth of my daughter the day before my birthday in 2003. I was the only person to speak at her memorial service on Aug. 8, 2003. She was buried with a compact disc (CD) of pictures of her immediate family: mother Lisa, older sister Chayla, and me. Her young brother, Charles W. Cherry III, was born less than a year after her death. Here’s what I said at her memorial service 10 years ago.

On children And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.” And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable. Chip Happy Cherry. My brothers and sisters, I am here to tell you that S-H-I-T, shit, happens. We all know that sometimes in life, things happen. You usually drive the speed limit and, on a day you are late for an important appointment, you get a traffic ticket for speeding. You leave town for a few days, forget to turn your automatic sprinkler system on, and your grass dies. Things happen. But when your child dies in its mother’s womb, without warning, that’s shit. And brothers and sisters, shit does happen. Let’s address an initial issue. I know some of you are saying, “What were they thinking when they named that child?” Well, we nicknamed her ‘Chip’ because we originally thought she would be a ‘chip’ off the male Cherry block; her two-year old sister Chayla originally nicknamed her ‘Chester’ then because Lisa just knew we would have a boy. When the sonograms clearly showed she was female, we kept the nickname ‘Chip’, and Chayla renamed her ‘Happy’. In the African tradition, we were going to name her after she was born, but we never got the chance. And so, Chip Happy Cherry.

A normal day Sunday, August 3, 2003 began as the usual Sunday in the Cherry household. Chayla was at her grandmother’s; Lisa got ready to go to 11 a.m. church service, and I was in my usual horizontal pew at Bedside Baptist. When she and Chayla returned from church, we all took naps, watched TV, and did the usual things folks do on a lazy South Florida summer Sunday. It wasn’t until Lisa and Chayla were ready to go to bed that Lisa noticed that Chip’s activity had slowed down; she originally thought Chip was sleeping. But we couldn’t rouse Chip with the usual pregnancy tricks; Lisa drinking sweetened grape juice; Chayla shining the flashlight on Lisa’s stomach. I got my brother’s old stethoscope; I could only hear Lisa’s heartbeat. We immediately sped to Plantation General Hospital. There, a nurse attached a fetal monitor to Lisa and searched for Chip’s heartbeat. Nothing. An ultrasound technician silently examined Lisa’s belly. No movement. Soon, a doctor called and told Lisa, “the baby died.” Lisa’s immediate reaction was shock, disbelief and denial. She told me that during the exam, she was trying to will Chip to live. She kept silently telling the baby, “Kick. Kick. Just one kick.” But no kick was to come.

A blur The next 24 hours are a hazy blur of feelings, emotions and sensations. A small picture of a single drop of water on a dead leaf was posted on the door to alert hospital personnel that a stillbirth was going to occur. The documents and releases to be signed; the grief information; nurses quietly going in and out of the delivery room; the quiet of our delivery room contrasted with the screaming of women in full delivery; the meow-like cries of newborn children being wisked from the surgical suite down the hall; the mournful stares from hospital personnel who knew what was going to happen to us. At some point I felt an intense, almost irresistible urge to run. Not like Forrest Gump,

quick takes from #2: straight, no chaser

Charles W. Cherry II, Esq. PUBLISHER

who at least ran from point A to point B; I wanted to run anywhere, with no direction in mind, as fast as I could, as hard as I could, completely out of control to the point of sheer exhaustion, just to drive this new reality out of my mind. Chip is dead. Chip is dead. I left the hospital to change clothes, eat, and check on Chayla. When I left the hospital, I briefly entertained thoughts of never going back. But the thought of leaving Lisa to bear this burden alone stiffened my backbone. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity teaches us that the anticipation of a negative event adds needless stress or can even be worse than the event itself. As a solder in the middle of the chaos of battle can only rely on his training, I relied on my fraternity pledge period training from almost 30 years ago. Don’t anticipate events. Wait patiently, then participate in them. “Out of the night that covers me, black as a pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul.” “When you’re up against a trouble, meet it squarely face to face. Lift your chin, set your shoulders, plant your feet and take a brace. When it’s vain to try and dodge it, do the best that you can do. Running from it will not save you. See it through.” You’ve got to go through that door.

including us, the nurses and health care workers, our friends and relatives, and everyone now assembled here for this service. I thanked Him for bringing us to this moment, which was preordained from the foundation of the earth. We formally returned Chip to Him, praising Him as we did Kept talking As Lisa and I waited for labor to begin, so. Thus had our healing begun. we talked about everything. How slowly the time seemed to go; whether to get an autop- A small baby sy; what to tell Chayla. Lisa would occasionChip was relatively small; three pounds, ally cry as this new reality constantly intrud- three ounces. As a result, Lisa was able to ed on us. Her mother, Mamie Gooden-Lee, go home later in the same day Chip was deand her aunt, Sulie Spencer, were constant livered. On the way home, Lisa told Chayla, comforts throughout this ordeal and any- through tears, that Chip had died, that her time they get together, under any circum- sister would not be coming home. Chayla, stances you are still going to laugh. who also cried, said she understood, and On Tuesday at about midnight, the deliv- cried with both of us briefly. Less than a ery process began in earnest. Lisa’s cousin minute later, she was playing her music box, Jennifer took still photos and I shot video at and asking to read a book. Lisa’s request. I conveniently located myChayla has been a tremendous comfort to self behind her left shoulder, which again all of us, because she is proof that life goes allowed me to hide behind the camera and on. We have retreated to the routine things not face this new reality head-on. of life with a two-year old to get our balAs the attending nurse, Lisa Kolodin, ance back. I never knew how much I actupulled Chip from Lisa’s body, I forced my- ally liked SpongeBob SquarePants, Elmo, self to look; there was no sound in the room, Barney, Aladdin, and even the Teletubbies and once again time seemed to move ex- until this week. traordinarily slowly. The nurse held Chip up Making funeral arrangements for your so that I could get a clear picture. Then she child on your birthday is not my idea of a placed Chip on the warming table. good time. I would much rather have been Chip was perfectly formed, with fully ar- at Guy Wheeler’s crib shaking my booty to ticulated fingers and toes, long arms and “Let Me Clear My Throat" or 50 Cent’s “In legs, big eyes, long, skinny feet and a head Da Club”, but it wasn’t to be. full of straight, jet-black hair. It was like Thank God for Richard Kurtz of Roy Mizell looking in the mirror; the same reaction I and Kurtz Funeral Home here in Fort Lauhad almost three years earlier when Chayla derdale, who has been a friend of our famwas born. ily for almost 40 years, and who continues to It was clear to even my non-medical eyes be a true blessing to this entire community. that Chip’s appearance was consistent with We will never forget him and his staff, and that of someone who had died as a conse- other death care workers who are people, quence of asphyxiation. As she was deliv- too, and who are profoundly affected by the ered, she was enveloped in the umbilical hard, but necessary work that they do. cord. It was also clear that she could have survived a premature birth if we had any Community support warning that she was in distress. Since Tuesday, literally hundreds of peoI gently cleaned her off with warm water. Nurse Lisa then put Chip in a swaddling ple have contacted us through e-mails, blanket, put an infant’s cap on her, and gave phone calls, and personal visits. Most have shared tears; some have just listened; some her to Lisa. Then a woman said, “Speak to us of Joy have avoided the subject entirely; some admitted they did not know what to say, and and Sorrow.” said nothing other than ‘I hurt with you.’ And he answered: Some have tried to make sense out of this by Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your defending God. We’ve heard every scripture and some laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your verses of the Holy Koran from our Mustears. lim friends. Folks have said, you are both And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your young (which is not true; there’s snow on this mountaintop, but hopefully still some being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very fire in the valley, if you know what I mean) and you can have more; it’s not like she was cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spir- older; you really didn’t know her, so it’s not it, the very wood that was hollowed with as bad; better to lose her now than later; it’s God’s will; He is too wise to make a mistake; knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your He wanted you to have a son, not another heart and you shall find it is only that which daughter. We know that all these reactions are has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your made in love and sincerity, and we always heart, and you shall see that in truth you are say “thanks for thinking of us in this time of weeping for that which has been your de- grief.” And Lisa is right, it’s not fair. But Lisa, my light. Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sor- brothers and my sisters, shit happens. I don’t know if this was God’s perfect or row,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the permissive will, or for what reason this hapgreater.” pened, and I don’t believe I will ever know. But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits All I do know, my brothers and sisters, is alone with you at your board, remember that there is a random element of life that can knock you down, and sometimes kill that the other is asleep upon your bed. Verily you are suspended like scales be- you, whether you are commoner or king, Black, White, Brown, Red, or Yellow, heatween your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at stand- then or religious fanatic, teetotaler or crackhead, welfare mother or corporate CEO. still and balanced. The commonality of life on earth is not just birth and death. The fundamental comEtched in my memory Lisa, after looking at Chip for what seemed monality is that shit like this happens, and to be forever, finally began to cry. Then she shit like this may happen to anybody at anybegan to apologize to Chip through her time. For no rhyme or reason, shit happens. Not tears, a scene that is indelibly etched in my memory. Of course, no apology was, or is, because you are good or evil; shit just happens. Not because you are smart or dumb; necessary. She handed Chip to me, and I began to shit just happens. And unfortunately, this talk to God. I thanked God for giving Chip particular shit just happened to us. to us; I asked our ancestors to escort her as she returned to God’s presence, and to heal Outpouring of love all the broken hearts her death had caused, As I go to my seat, I ask you, Lisa, to look

In 2003, life went on. Lisa and threeyearold Chayla went on a cruise soon after Chip's death.

around you. In the coming days, let’s think and talk about the great outpouring of love and the disproportionate impact that Chip’s life and death has had on so many people, including perfect strangers and hardened professionals, including your personal physician, who have made this painful journey with us. Lisa, look at your wedding ring. Remember the African adinkra symbol means life, health, joy, and prosperity. It should be a constant reminder to you that life will go on, and that no weapon formed against you shall prosper. The symbol on my ring reminds me that I fear no one but God. And I tell you that my love for you and my respect for your capabilities knows no limit. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that “the measure of a man (and I know women are included) is not where she stands in times of comfort or convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” Though you have been broken in grief throughout this process, and as I have seen you attempt to wrap your mind around this tragedy that is too profound for even me to completely experience with you, you have not dissolved into bitterness, unbelief or irrationality. All of the love and the outpouring of grief has been primarily a result of the impact that you have had on the life of every person who has contacted us, prayed for us, sympathized with us, or who just sent good vibes toward us from wherever they were. Let that be a source of strength for you personally in the days to come. I swear by almighty God that I will do everything in my humble power to make this burden easier for you to bear. I love you. “We would ask now of Death.” And he said: You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life? The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light. If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour. Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king? Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling? For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance. My brothers and sisters, as we leave here, let us seek ‘the heart of life’ in our activities and in each other so that the shit that happens will never steal our joy. God bless you, and thank you for coming. Poetry readings are from ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran (originally pub. 1923; Knopf Publishers). Excerpts are also used from poems entitled ‘See It Through’ by Edgar A. Guest, and ‘Invictus’ by Ernest Hensley.

Contact me at; holler at me at ccherry2; follow me on Twitter @ccherry2. Click on this story at www.flcourier. com to write your own response.

TOj A6


AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 22, 2013

Hair-sample analysis proven to be invalid More than 2,000 convictions to be reviewed by FBI, Justice Department BY FREDERICK H. LOWE TRICE EDNEY NEWS WIRE

The U.S. Justice Department and the FBI will review more than 2,000 criminal convictions in which the FBI used microscopic hairsample analysis that has now been proven to be scientifically invalid. In come cases, hair-sample analysis led to convictions of innocent individuals. The Justice Department and the FBI launched a review after three Black men – Donald Gates, Kirk Odom, and Santae Tribble – all of Washington, D.C., had been convicted of violent crimes and were sentenced to long prison terms based on hair samples found at the individual crime scenes. Gates, Odom and Tribble, were later exonerated by DNA evidence, which has replaced hair-sample evidence, said Paul Cates, a spokesperson for the Innocence Project, which is based in New York.

‘Highly unreliable’ Before DNA testing was used in criminal trials, prosecutors throughout the country routinely relied on microscopic-hair comparison analysis, often provided by the FBI, to link a criminal defendant to a crime. The practice was deemed “highly unreliable” in a 2009 National Academy of Science report on forensic science, titled, “Strengthening Forensic Science in the


An FBI agent testified that Santae Tribble’s hair fibers were found at the scene of a murder, but DNA excluded the hair as Tribble’s. DNA also revealed that one of the hairs used to convict Tribble belonged to a dog.

Donald Gates

not have come from anyone else. The government is now acknowledging that this was wrong and that the science does not support such conclusions.” The Innocence Project uses scientific DNA evidence to overturn wrongful convictions.

Kirk Odom

United States: A Path Forward,” the Innocence Project said in a statement. “It is possible to conduct hair microscopy and find similarities among various samples,” said Peter Neufeld, co-director of the Innocence Project. “But it appears that in many cases the FBI was overstating the significance of these similarities, often leaving juries with a false impression that the hair recovered from the crime scene must have come from the defendant and could

Blacks most exonerated Since 2000, 311 individuals, including 193 AfricanAmericans, 94 Caucasians, 22 Latinos and two AsianAmericans, have had their convictions overturned by DNA evidence, according to Innocence Project Fact Sheet. The Innocence Project already has identified that 72 of the first 310 wrongful convictions overturned by DNA evidence involved faulty hair evidence. The Innocence Project

announced in July the historic agreement to review the cases that were processed by the FBI between 1985 and 2000. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and pro bono lawyers also are participating in the case reviews. The cases involve an undisclosed number of FBI agents who testified that hair samples found at the crime scenes pointed to one individual, excluding all others.

State, federal cases An FBI agent testified that Santae Tribble’s hair fibers were found at the murder scene, but DNA evidence excluded the hair fibers as Tribble’s. DNA also found that one of the hair fibers used to convict Tribble was a dog’s hair. The Innocence Project, NACDL, and pro bono part-

ners worked for more than a year with the FBI and the Justice Department in determining the scope and protocols and implementation of the review that will cover the more than 2,000 cases during the specifiedtime period plus any number of unknown cases processed in preceding years. The review will focus on cases in state and federal courts. “Over the course of 25 years, the FBI conducted a two-week training course that reached several hundred state and local hair examiners throughout the country and that incorporated some of the scientifically flawed language that the FBI’s examiners had used in lab reports and trial testimony. As a result, it is likely that audits similar to the FBI’s will be necessary in most states,” the Innocence Project said. The Department of Justice has agreed not to raise procedural objections such as statute of limitations. The government also agrees to notify directly the defendants and their lawyers where an error is identified and to offer free DNA testing in the cases where an error was identified in the analysis or testimony.

The convictions The cases that made the law-enforcement community realize the shortcomings of microscopic hair testimony involve Tribble, Gates and Odom. Tribble served 23 years in prison for the 1978 robbery and murder of a John McCormick, based on 13 hairs found in a stocking mask worn by the gunman. Police recovered the mask at the crime scene. In 2012,

Tribble’s lawyers had DNA tests performed on the hairs and none of them matched Tribble. The FBI also mistakenly called a dog hair a human hair. Gates was convicted of the 1981 rape and murder of Catherine Schilling, a 21-year old Georgetown University student. A judge sentenced Gates to 20 years to life in prison. In 2009, a DNA test of the hair samples found at the crime scene eliminated Gates as the rapist and murderer. In 2010, Gates was issued a certificate of innocence. Odom was sentenced to prison for 22 years and had to register as a sex offender for the 1981 rape of a White woman on Capitol Hill. An FBI special agent testified that a hair sample found at the scene matched Odom’s. His family testified that Odom was at home at the time of the rape because his sister had returned that day from the hospital with her new baby. A jury took only a couple of hours to convict him. A DNA test on the hair excluded Odom as the rapist. The hair was linked to a convicted sex offender. “This review is an example of our judicial system at its best – prosecutors and defense lawyers working together to see that justice is done,” said David Koropp, a partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, one of the pro bono partners involved in the review. “Determining whether erroneous forensic evidence may have been used in criminal cases is vital to maintaining the integrity of our criminal justice system.”

This story is special to the Trice Edney News Wire from The North Star News.


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August 16 - August 22, 2013

The scoop on ice cream See page B4


Will ‘The Butler’ become a classic? See page B5


How Blacks, Hispanics continue to view JFK






President Kennedy is shown with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights leaders in 1963.

Minority communities treasure image of Kennedy despite complex relationship


DALLAS — Deeply divided by culture and language, Blacks and Hispanics in the early 1960s often were at odds in their struggle for civil rights. But both groups found common ground when it came to the person they believed might offer them a national voice in their fight for equality: President John F. Kennedy. The nation’s 35th president held an esteemed place in their hearts — and living rooms — right alongside Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez and even Jesus Christ. More than anything, Kennedy offered hope. So when an assassin’s bullet silenced that voice in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, many Blacks and Latinos thought it had shattered their dreams, too. “Back in the day, in households in Alabama where I’m from, his portrait was on the wall along with King and Jesus Christ,” said Dale Long, who works for the city of Dallas. Long was 11 when Kennedy was killed. He was a member of the Birmingham, Ala., church where a bomb killed four little girls during Sunday school only two months earlier. “After watching the March on Washington in August, the church bombing in September and then his assassination in November,” Long said, “I thought Black people were doomed.”

Political quandary While the entire country grieved, Hispanics lost a man they saw as a friend, said Ignacio Garcia, author of “Viva Kennedy: Mexican Americans in Search of Camelot’’ and a Latino-history professor at Brigham Young University. “Kennedy was from an ethnic group, so he understood the politics of relationships,” Garcia said. “It translated well with Mexican-Americans, and they felt they had a relationship with him. They liked him. “The martyrdom solidified all those images.” While Kennedy is still held in

“I think President Kennedy did what we hope with President Obama and other presidents,. That he would … enact policies and leadership that would affirm the rights and the needs of AfricanAmericans and poor people.” Rev. L. Charles Stovall, Pastor of Light of Love CoPenant Community Church in Dallas.

high regard by many in the Black community today, some say he could have pushed harder in the civil rights struggle, Several civil rights experts say Kennedy, a Democrat, faced a political quandary. Intellectually, he opposed segregation. At the same time, the issue represented political quicksand.

Historic phone call During the 1960 presidential election, many prominent Blacks — the ones who could vote — were Republicans. Moreover, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who garnered nearly 40 percent of the Black vote in 1956, had helped his party’s cause by ordering federal intervention in the desegregation of Little Rock, Ark., schools. But, in one of the tightest elections ever, a simple phone call may have won Kennedy the presidency and the gratitude of Blacks across the country. Leading up to the election, King was arrested in Georgia during a sit-in. While other protesters were quickly released, King was held on a minor traffic charge and sentenced to hard labor. Many of his supporters feared for his safety, and they reached out to Kennedy and his Republican opponent, Richard Nixon. Nixon made some nebulous behind-the-scenes calls, and Robert Kennedy, JFK’s brother, called the judge in the case. It was JFK, though, who personally reached out to King’s family, including making a brief phone call to his wife, Coretta. King’s father, who had backed Nixon, publicly came out in support of Kennedy. King was released and Kennedy, with widespread Black support, narrowly edged Nixon in the election. “It was a very historical thing for these calls to come to Mrs. King,” said the Rev. Peter Johnson, a Dallas civil rights leader who once marched with King. “The Black media spread the word about the phone call. It was very important.”

Connection with Catholicism Many factors, experts say, might explain Kennedy’s popularity with Hispanics. Three that especially seemed to resonate: He was Catholic, he served in World War II — as did up to 500,000 Hispanics — and he was married to a glamorous woman who spoke Spanish. But mostly, they say, Hispanic politicians saw Kennedy as someone their people would rally around, someone who was somewhat sympathetic to their cause. Garcia said community leaders such as civil rights advocate Hector Garcia of Corpus Christi worked with the Kennedy campaign to visit barrios in the Southwest, especially South Texas. There they would spread the word about how Mexican-Americans’ voices would be heard by a charismatic politician. “This generation had a connection with Catholicism,” said Marc Rodriguez, director of the Civil Rights Heritage Center at Indiana University South Bend. “I’m sure that some of their efforts were effective because they went through churches, and priests were hammering away at the pulpit saying voting for Kennedy was helping a Catholic take office in the White House.” It also didn’t hurt that the future first lady recorded a Spanish ad in 1960 reminding His-


The Rev. Peter Johnson is a civil rights leader in Dallas. He holds a photo of president John F. Kennedy that was a gift from a close friend. panics to vote and ending with Mexican-Americans’ own campaign cry, “Que viva Kennedy!” “I really wanted him to be president,” said Angel Zavala, 91, who lives in Taylor, north of Austin. “I liked his wife and I liked him because he was a war veteran and so am I.” Zavala volunteered with the 1960 campaign. He organized veterans and helped Hispanics pay poll taxes, which ended in Texas in 1964, and gave voters rides to the polls. Kennedy sent him a signed thank-you note and an invitation to an inaugural ball. Zavala was unable to attend, but the invitation is still framed in his living room, he said.

‘He gave us hope’ Kennedy’s election meant hope for Blacks that civil rights laws would become a major theme of his presidency. “I think President Kennedy did what we hope with President Obama and other presidents,” said the Rev. L. Charles Stovall, pastor of Light of Love Covenant Community Church in Dallas. “That he would … enact policies and leadership that would affirm the rights and the needs of African-Americans and poor people.

“He had the kind of presence and the kind of spirit that he wouldn’t simply affirm the status quo.” Albert Valtierra, who was in high school at the time of JFK’s assassination, said Kennedy represented a promise that things would be better. “We looked up to him a lot,” said Valtierra, now president of the Dallas Mexican American Historical League. “My mother had his picture right next to the Virgen de Guadalupe. “I didn’t know it at the time, but he gave us hope.”

Pushed for patience The optimism that ushered Kennedy into office began to dwindle as the realities of politics set in. He frequently talked about the need for equality in America, and he had friendly conversations with minority leaders. And while he was uneasy about the March on Washington in August 1963, the event that catapulted King into the national spotlight, he made it a point to invite the civil rights leader back to the White House afterward. But by then, the 1964 elections were on the horizon and Kennedy knew the obstacles he faced. “In that last year of his pres-

idency, a lot of the Southern whites were turning against Kennedy because of civil rights,” said Dr. David M. Barrett, a political science professor at Villanova University. “He didn’t want to lose Texas. He wanted to win Florida. He wanted to win part of the South at least. “He tried to do two things at once that were mutually incompatible, which was push civil rights and still hold on to the votes of Southern whites.” Barrett said polls at the time showed a “plurality of Whites” believed Kennedy was moving too fast on the issue of Black equality. Many black leaders thought just the opposite. “Like most White men, John Kennedy thought we should go slow and not push and be patient,” said Johnson, the 68-yearold Dallas civil rights veteran. “There was a generation of kids like me who were in college, especially in the South, who said we aren’t going to go slow.” The subsequent lack of appointments for Hispanic politicians left a bad taste in the younger generation of Latinos. That frustration was a springboard for civil rights in the South in the mid-’60s and the Chicano movement years later across the Southwest.



AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 22, 2013


Hundreds attend star-studded book festival at Fort Lauderdale library BY KOREN McKENZIE FLORIDA COURIER

The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLC) hosted its second bi-annual South Florida Book Festival on July 26 and 27. The AARLC’s two-day festival kicked off with an “Evening with the Stars” giving attendees the opportunity to meet with featured authors in a social setting with live jazz, wine and hors d’oeuvres – compliments of Whole Foods. The turnout for the event was more than three times the turnout of the first festival in 2011, says Elaina Norlin, Regional Library Manager. Some of the turnout, says Norlin, can be attributed

to partnering with South Florida’s Black Professionals Network. The event also had the star power and dynamic energy of national best-selling African-American authors. The goal of the festival, says Norlin, was to expose people to a variety of literary genres, including urban fiction, Christian fiction, mystery and subgenres like “street lit” and “Women Writers of Haitian Descent.” Several attendees said they were inspired to explore other genres after being exposed to several authors at the event.

Star power New York Times bestselling urban fiction authors Mary “Honey B” Morrison and Wahida


John Legend will be at the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackson Gleason Theater in Miami Beach on Nov. 3. He’s scheduled at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Nov. 4. Tamar Braxton is on the same bill.

BERES HAMMOND The legendary reggae singer will be at Jannus Life in St. Petersburg on Aug. 30 in Clearwater on Nov. 4.

National best-selling Christian fiction authors S. James Guitard, ReShon-

da Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray were also featured at the festival. The theme of the authors’ panel discussion was “Scandalous,” an indepth look at the heroes and heroines of contemporary African-American fiction. Other featured authors from a variety of genres included Angela Henry, Maria Ketsia Theodore-Pahrel, Mahalia Solages, Joanne Hyppolite, A.K. Tosu, Suzette Farquharson-Morgan, and Ancel Pratt III. The AARLC, established in 2002, is a research library and cultural center that is only the third of its kind in the United States. The 60,000 square foot facility contains one of the nation’s largest collection of African-American books and artifacts. A 300-seat auditorium provides a setting for lectures, and attendees can explore the more than 85,000 books, documents, artifacts and related materials that focus on the experience of people of African descent.

Jacksonville: Soulbird presents a SongVersation with India.Arie on Oct. 17 at the Florida Theatre.

Bruce Bruce, DeRay Davis and Hannibal Buress on Aug. 16 at The Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.

Tampa: Delatorro McNeal, CEO of Platinum Performance Global, is bringing business experts to the Mainsail Hotel and Conference Center Sept. 5-7 for Full Throttle Experience 2013, a business and leadership conference. More information:

St. Petersburg: Youths ages 7 to 11 can enjoy a night of football, kickball, ping-pong, foosball, video games and dance parties during “Freestyle Fridays” at the Fossil Park and Willis S. Johns Center, 6635 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. First visit free; $6 each following visit. More information: 727-893-7756.

From left to right are ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Mahalia Solages, Mary B. Morrison, S. James Guitard, Victoria Christopher Murray, Wahida Clark, Ancel Pratt III, Angela Harry and A.K. Tosu. Clark, captivated the audience with their extraordinary journeys. Mary Morrison shared her story of going from a self-published author to the box office. After 18 years of working for the federal government, Morrison left her near six-figure secure job with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in June 2000 to self-publish her first novel “Soulmates Dissipate.” It quickly became an Essence national

bestseller. Since that time, Morrison has published 18 novels, including her newest release “I’d Rather Be With You.” “Soulmates Dissipate” is being developed for feature film this year. Wahida Clark inspired the audience with tales of her life in prison for 9 ½ years to becoming a New York Times, USA Today and Essence best-selling author. She is the first street lit author to pen a series. Clark decided to start writing fiction while incarcerated at


ers with KEM and Nephew Tommy are coming to the University of South Florida Sun Dome on Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. Daytona Beach: Jimmie Walker will be Bonkerz Comedy Club Aug. 16 and 17. Michael Winslow is scheduled there Sept. 6 and 7.

Tampa: A teen summit, “United and Moving Forward,’’ is scheduled Aug. 17 from 1 to 5 at Beulah Baptist Institutional Church, 1006 W. Church St. It will be moderated by Rod Carter, morning anchor for WFLA, Channel 8. Jacksonville: Operation Save Our Sons’ national organizational meeting is Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3738 Winton Drive. More information: 904-5956105. Tampa: The Isley Broth-

St. Petersburg: Tickets are on sale for a concert at the Mahaffey Theater with Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. The show has been changed to Sunday, Sept. 27. Daytona Beach: A Southern Soul Blues Concert featuring Mel Waiters, Sir Charles Jones and Bigg Robb is scheduled Oct. 5 at the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center.

a women’s federal camp in Lexington, KY. She was released from prison into a halfway house in 2007. Clark is now the vice president of a non-profit organization called the Prodigal Sons and Daughters Redirection Service, which is a re-entry program for convicts and ex-cons.

Other authors

Tampa: Bruno Mars’ Moonshine Jungle world tour makes a stop at the Tampa Bay Times forum on Aug. 28. St. Petersburg: Shut Up and Laugh presented by WiLD 94.1 will feature comedians

St. Petersburg: First Fridays are held in downtown St. Petersburg at 250 Central Ave. between Second and Third Avenues from 5:30 p.m.10:30 p.m. More information: 727-393-3597.




Actual heartbeats from the children Chisomo saved in Malawi created this portrait of him. Help frontline health workers like Chisomo bring hope to millions of children at



AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 22, 2013

Harvard professor probes racially charged issue in new book BY DR. GLENN C. ALTSCHULER SPECIAL TO THE COURIER

Randall Kennedy attended St. Albans School for Boys, Princeton University and Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He is a professor at Harvard Law School. And he has been inducted into the AmeriRandall can AcadKennedy emy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, two of the most prestigious honorific academic organizations in the United States. Affirmative action, he acknowledges, played a role in his admittance to every

one of these “selective, expensive, and powerful institutions.”

Defending the practice Kennedy does not believe that his status as a beneficiary of affirmative action obliges him to defend the practice. He does so, he tells us, because affirmative action is a policy that “partially redresses the debilitating legacy of past wrongs” that will not be resolved “without interventions that go beyond prospective prohibitions on intentional racial mistreatment.” To the author of “Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word’’ and “The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency,’’ Kennedy has a welldeserved reputation for

REVIEW “For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and the Law.’’ By Randall Kennedy. Pantheon Books. 304 pp. $25.95 addressing difficult and divisive racial issues with clarity, candor and courage.



Leaves a stigma

under a race-blind system.

In “For Discrimination,’’ he provides a remarkably astute and tough-minded analysis of the costs and benefits of affirmative action, the constitutional arguments for and against it, and the pros and cons “of a merely procedural color blindness.” His book should be required reading for anyone interested in genuine equal opportunity in the United States. Kennedy gives critics of affirmative action their due. “Diversity,” he admits, is not all that strong a justification for the policy. It is an amorphous concept and it is hard to know how, when, and even whether “learning through diversity” actually occurs in school or at work. Kennedy also believes that affirmative action leaves a stigma on its beneficiaries by inviting “a depreciation of their credentials.” And he cites a study by Professor Richard Sander that many affirmative action applicants to law school struggle academically, fail to pass the bar or perform poorly as attorneys, leaving the profession with fewer Black lawyers than it would have had

Best remedy Kennedy’s responses to these critics are nothing if not provocative. Sander might be right, he suggests, if the goal is to create as many Blacks as possible eligible to practice law. But, in a variant of W.E.B. Dubois’ 100-year-old “talented tenth argument,” he claims that a cadre of Black attorneys trained at top-tier schools might be “more valuable to the black community” than a larger number from lowertier schools. More importantly, Kennedy makes a compelling case that, despite the skepticism and hostility accorded it by the Supreme Court, the strongest argument for affirmative action is that it’s the best available remedy for the “cruel, debilitating, racially motivated wrongs, imposed on racial minorities, particularly blacks, over a long period.”

Reality is messy Justice, he writes, “demands such an effort,” even if it “rewards” some people who were not “direct victims of massive social wrongs” and provides

more assistance to the “most privileged of racial minorities” than to those most injured by discrimination. Reality is messy, Kennedy reminds us, and all public policies are imperfect. The overwhelming majority of Blacks, moreover, “have lost out in terms of inherited financial wealth, access to education and human capital.” Taking note of a “regrettable tendency” throughout American history to underestimate the power of racism and bring to a premature end interventions to combat it, Kennedy concludes with plea that “anxiety about an endpoint,” which now motivates several sitting justices, not be allowed to burden affirmative action for as “long as it is needed” to accomplish its laudable ends.

Dr. Glenn C. Altschuler is the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. He wrote this review for the Florida Courier.

Former child protective investigator releases book about state’s child welfare system BLACKNEWS.COM

Kevin L. Ramos chronicles the life of rookie child protective investigator (CPI) Jeremiah Abundo and his experiences working in Miami Dade in the new book, “The Department.’’ Through his experiences as a CPI, he tries to maintain a semblance of balance between his demanding job and his personal life. The book also centers on 15-year old Quintavia “Queen” Collins a brilliant, young junior attending Miami Northwestern Senior High School. When these two dynamic people meet, they will never be the same. “The Department’’ addresses a number of issues surrounding this agency from race relations to unfair work Kevin L. conditions. “I wrote this book because the pub- Ramos lic needs to know how we truly function or – a system internally,” Ramos stated. “Changing this damaged system will take the effort of our entire state. “If you are wondering how Florida’s DCF has garnered such a poor public opinion, you have to look no further then how DCF treats its very employees.”

Decade of experience For more than a decade, Kevin L. Ramos worked for the Florida’s Department of Children and Families as a CPI and a child protective investigator supervisor. He graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Communications and interned at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Mo. Ramos explains that since May, there have been six children that have died in Florida; each child had prior involvement with DCF. The author says the book will give readers a better understanding on how it feels to be a child welfare professional. “In the past, most child welfare stories have portrayed state social workers as callous, uncaring individuals; this book casts these workers in a different light” he added. For more information about “The Department,’’ visit or call 786-436-0620.


Martin Luther King III reads the children’s book about life with his famous father, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to his five-year-old daughter Yolanda at his Atlanta home on Aug. 1. The book is titled “My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”


ATLANTA — There have been numerous books written about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Some have detailed his work as one of the world’s best-known civil rights leaders. Others have examined his writings, philosophy and sermons. But one of his sons wants people to know another side of him — dad. Martin Luther King III has written a children’s book, “My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” about his life growing up the son of a famous leader, who while on the go a lot, managed to still be Daddy to his four children, Yolanda, Bernice, Dexter and Martin. King, 55, decided to write a children’s book about his father, “because that’s where it all starts,” he said during a recent interview at the Atlanta home he shares with his wife, Arndrea, and daughter, Yolanda. “Our most precious resource, in my personal view, is our children. So if you can impact the children to understand that nonviolence can be a way of life, then you can set a tone for generations yet unborn.”

Dedicated to daughter The book is “just a small step” in reaching youths. “Children learn about Martin Luther King Jr. as a civil rights leader, maybe as a pastor and, certainly, being a father is mentioned.

But my siblings and I uniquely have the experience of him being our dad.” Although the book was written awhile ago, it’s being released just in time for the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, during which his namesake delivered the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. The book is dedicated to his 5-yearold daughter, Yolanda. She is named after his older sister, who died in 2007. She is the same age as her father was when the March on Washington was held. Yolanda and her father will read the book on Aug. 25 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial / National Mall. King, a civil and human rights activist, is one of the organizers of the March on Washington anniversary events later this month.

Early media attention King, who was called “Marty” to distinguish him from his father, said there were several incidents that caused him to realize that he lived in a nontraditional home. One clue was the media attention given to him and his older sister when they and the children of the Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy were among the first Black children to integrate the Spring Street School. He has vivid memories of flashbulbs going off and television cameras everywhere. His dad would also welcome visitors to the King home that included

reporters, other civil rights leaders and activists such as now-Rep. John Lewis, Stokely Carmichael and Julian Bond and entertainers like Harry Belafonte Jr., “who was in and out of our home quite often.”

More books possible The book contains several stories about growing up a King such as his sister, Yolanda, begging to go to Funtown, a local amusement park, and being told that Blacks were not allowed on the roller coaster and other rides. The elder King even mentions Funtown in his “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” King said his daughter, though she never met her famous grandfather, whom she calls “Papa King,” is excited about the book, which is illustrated by A.G. Ford. “Papa King taught us that we should help each other,” she said. And that “skin color does not matter.” King said he may write more children’s books. And certainly one on his own life and work. He said he and his wife may also collaborate on projects down the road, perhaps involving parenting and children. Children, he said, face unlimited possibilities “where they can fulfill their own dreams,” he said. “Dad was not just a dreamer, as some would attempt to relegate him to, but he was a doer. He showed us that we can achieve our dreams if we focus and work unrelentingly on them.”

Abused as a child, Tampa author tells how he turned life around in new book Donald L. Dowridge Jr. began life with the cards stacked against him but eventually figured out how to turn his failures into successes. The successful businessman shares what he’s learned in this new book released by Dog Ear Publishing. The power of positive thinking can get someone moving in the right direction. That’s the basic premise of this new book that offers 11 Steps to Success, to guiding people who want to be winners. As a graduate of the School of Hard Knocks, Donald L. Dowridge Jr. knows firsthand the lows of life. He was incarcerated at age 13 and became hooked on drugs and alcohol, which led

to several dangerous detours. “By trying my best to cheat, I found myself traveling at the speed of light to nowhere,” he writes. After hitting rock bottom, he made a decision with God’s help that would change his life.

11 steps to excellence In “The Power of Being a W-IN-N-E-R,” Dowridge describes how he went from deciding to be the best person he could be “to achieving actual success through hard work and Christian faith.’’ He details his “Eleven Steps of Excellence:” Faith, Motivation, Self-Esteem, SelfBelief, Education, Endurance,

Initiative, Networking, Openminded, Optimistic and Goal. Each step plays a role in determining future success. Dowridge has lived these steps. He makes no secret of the fact that he knows a lot about “endurance,” having been abused sexually, mentally, physically and verbally when young. Born in Baltimore, Md., Dowridge said he survived “five violent foster homes until at age 12 he was transported to the South Bronx, where he endured six more abusive years with his biological father and stepmother.’’ A move to Tampa in 1974 changed his life. Although he

quit Hillsborough Senior High School, he would eventually get a high school diploma by attending night school. Furthering opportunities included serving in the U.S. Army and later being employed by the U.S. Postal Service. He started his own company, DLD Enterprises, a consulting firm that offers training, coaching, organizational development and youth mentoring. Dowridge also has co-hosted a gospel-based cable TV show, has hosted numerous radio shows and has written volumes of poetry and motivational stories for newsmagazines. For more information, visit

Donald Dowridge Jr.

TOj B4



AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 22, 2013

Facts, tips and trivia about the tasty treat By Becky Sher McClatchy-Tribune

1. How much ice cream do Americans eat each year? The U.S. ice cream industry generates about $10 billion in sales each year. About 1.53 billion gallons of ice cream and frozen desserts were produced in the United States in 2011 — that’s more than 20 quarts per person!

2. Does ice cream get any official recognition? It sure does — in 1984, President Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and encouraged Americans to celebrate with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” More specifically, the third Sunday of July is National Ice Cream Day. 3. What are Americans’ favorite ice cream flavors? According to a 2012 International Ice Cream Association company survey, vanilla is the most popular flavor for ice cream. Rounding out the top five are chocolate, cookies ’n cream, strawberry and chocolate chip mint. 4. What’s the difference between ice cream, custard, sherbet and all the other things in the ice cream aisle? Frozen desserts fall into many different categories: n Ice cream: A mixture of dairy ingredients, sweetening and flavoring elements, such as fruits, nuts or chocolate. Federal law requires ice cream to contain at least 10 percent milk fat, and it must weigh at least 41/4 pounds per gallon. n Frozen custard or French ice cream: Must contain at least 10 percent milk fat and at least 1.4 percent egg yolk solids. n Sherbet: Milk fat is between 1 percent and 2 percent, with slightly more sweetener than ice cream. Must weigh at least 6 pounds per gallon. n Gelato: Contains sweetener, milk, cream, egg yolks and flavoring, and is served in a semi-frozen state. n Sorbet and water ice: Contains no dairy. n Quiescently frozen confection: A frozen novelty on a stick. n Frozen yogurt: Dairy ingredients such as milk and nonfat milk have been cultured. n Novelties: Separately packaged single servings of a frozen dessert, with or without dairy ingredients. 5.

So what does “light” ice cream really mean? The FDA regulates the labeling of food products, including ice cream, so that consumers know what they’re getting. Here’s a guide to the labeling lingo: n Ice cream: Contains at least 10 percent milk fat. n “Reduced fat” ice cream: Contains at least 25 percent less total fat than the original product (either an average of leading brands, or the company’s own brand). n “Light” ice cream: Contains at least 50 percent less total fat or 33 percent fewer calories than the original product. n “Lowfat” ice cream: Contains a maximum of 3 grams of total fat per serving (1/2 cup). n “Nonfat” ice cream: Contains less than 0.5 grams of total fat per serving.

6. What’s the best way to keep ice cream fresh? Follow these tips. In the grocery store: n Make ice cream the last thing you pick up before you check out. n Be sure the ice cream isn’t soft when you remove it from the supermarket’s freezer — it should be thoroughly frozen and hard to the touch. n If you’re buying ice cream from an open-top freezer case, always choose iems stored below the freezer line. n Keep ice cream products together in a separate part of your grocery cart, or put them on top of other groceries. n Ask the person packing your groceries to include a freezer bag or extra brown paper bag for insulation. n Don’t stop anywhere on your way home.

At home: n Never allow ice cream to repeatedly soften and refreeze. This can form clumps. n Set your freezer between -5 and 0 degrees. Ice cream should be served between 6 and 10 degrees. n Don’t store ice cream in the freezer door. n Be sure to replace the ice cream’s lid tightly before you return it to the freezer. n Don’t store ice cream near uncovered food — nearby odors may affect its flavor.

7. What kind of spoon is best for optimum ice cream tasting? John Harrison, official ice cream taster at Dreyer’s, uses a gold spoon. Unlike plastic or wood, it doesn’t have an aftertaste. 8. How is commercial ice cream made? The basic ingredients — dairy ingredients, sweeteners, stabilizers and emulsifiers — are blended in a mixing tank. The mixture then goes into a pasteurizer, where it is heated. Next, the hot mixture is shot through a homogenizer, where more than 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch break down the milk fat into smaller pieces, ensuring a creamy consistency. The mix is then quick-cooled to 40 degrees and frozen. During freezing, rotating blades called “dashers” add air to the ice cream, which produces the consistency we know and love. Finally, flavorings like fruits and nuts are dropped in and the ice cream is packaged and hardened at sub-zero temperatures. 9. How much milk does it take to make a gallon of ice cream? About 12 pounds of milk are used to make a single gallon of ice cream. 10. When was ice cream invented? There is some debate about when ice cream first appeared, but there is evidence that Alexander the Great ate snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar. The Roman Empire’s Nero Claudius Caesar also ate snow flavored with juice and fruit. “Cream ice” appeared in Europe in the 16th century but was mostly reserved for royalty. In 1660, the first publicly available ice cream was served at Café Procope, the first café in Paris. 11. When did ice cream arrive in the United States? The first official mention of ice cream in the United States is in a 1700 letter written by a guest of the Maryland governor. The New York Gazette ran the first advertisement for the frozen treat in May 1777. And records from one New York merchant show that President George Washington spent $200 on ice cream in the summer of 1790. Dolley Madison served a strawberry ice cream dessert at her husband’s second inaugural banquet in 1812. But ice cream didn’t become regularly available to the American public until the 19th century, when technological innovations, such as steam power and mechanical refrigeration, made it more efficient. 12. Why a “sundae”? Ice cream sodas became popular with the rise of soda fountains in the late 1800s. But in response to religious criticism for eating “sinfully” rich ice cream sodas on Sundays, merchants left out the carbonated water and created “Sundays.” Eventually the name was changed to “sundae.” 13. What causes “brain freeze”? When something extremely cold touches the roof of your mouth, nerves can cause the blood vessels in your head to swell. That quick swelling causes the pounding and pain known as “ice cream headache.” Usually “brain freeze” lasts about a minute, and even though it’s painful, it’s not dangerous. To avoid the pain, eat ice cream slowly, or warm it up slightly in the front of your mouth before it hits your palate.

14. How many licks does it take to finish a single-scoop ice cream cone? According to, it takes about 50 licks to finish a single cone. 15. Are there ice cream records? Yes, several ice cream records are listed in “Guinness World Records”: n Most ice cream eaten in 30 seconds with a teaspoon: 13.4 ounces, by American Patrick Bertoletti on “Live with Regis and Kelly” in 2006. n Largest ice-cream scoop pyramid: 3,894 scoops of ice cream, created by Carvel in New York in 2002. n Longest banana split: 4.55 miles, created by the residents of Selinsgrove, Pa., in 1988. The sundae required 24,000 bananas and 24,000 cherries. n Largest milkshake: 6,000 gallons, made in New York in 2000. 16. Who invented ice cream cones? Italian immigrant Italo Marchiony first produced the ice cream cone in New York in the late 1800s and was granted a patent in 1903. But around the same time, the cone made an appearance at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Ernest A. Hamwi was selling crisp, waffle-like pastries called “zalabis” from a stand next to an ice-cream vendor. When the ice-cream seller ran out of bowls, Hamwi rolled one of his waffles into a cone shape and let it cool. 17. How long have Good Humor trucks been around? In 1920, Harry Burt, of Youngstown, Ohio, invented the Good Humor bar. He sent out 12 chauffeur-driven trucks, outfitted with bells. By 1961, Good Humor Corp. owned and operated 200 trucks. 18. Why do I use rock salt when I make ice cream at home? According to www.makeicecream. com, rock salt forces the ice surrounding the can of ice cream mix to melt. The resulting “brine solution” absorbs heat from the mixture of cream and sugar and gradually lowers the temperature until the ice cream begins to freeze. If there were no salt added to the ice, it would melt at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and eventually the ice water and mix would come to an equilibrium at 32 degrees. The ice cream mix, however, does not begin to freeze until its temperature falls below 27 degrees. So to freeze the mix, we need a salt concentration, or a ratio of 5 cups of ice to 1 cup of salt. At this concentration, the brine temperature should remain constant at 8 to 12 degrees. This allows the rapid cooling and freezing that is essential to making creamy ice cream. 19. I want to be a professional ice cream taster. Now what? Taster John Harrison worked at his uncle’s Memphis ice-cream company — his family has been in the dairy and ice cream industry for four generations. But he says a degree in dairy or food science is also a good start. Harrison also avoids spicy foods, such as peppers and garlic, and doesn’t smoke, drink or wear strongly scented products like aftershave. 20. What are the lyrics to the “I scream, you scream” song? “In the land of ice and snow Up among the Eskimo There’s a college known as Oogiewawa. You should hear those college boys Gee, they make an awful noise When they sing their Eskimo tra la la. They’ve got a leader, big cheer leader, oh what a guy! He’s got a frozen face just like an Eskimo Pie. When he says, “Come on, let’s go!” Though it’s forty-five below Listen what those Eskimo all holler: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Visit for more verses.

Sources: “Guinness World Records 2004,”,, International dairy foods association,,,, MCT illustration


AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 22, 2013


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More than 4,000 cruisers joined nationally syndicated radio talk show host Tom Joyner on the 13th annual Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage 2012 aboard Royal Caribbean’s “Navigator of the Seas,” one of the world’s largest cruise ships. The Florida Courier spotlights some of the best-looking people on board. Giselle, a Port-auPrince, Haiti native, was on her seventh Tom Joyner cruise. Andre of Atlanta was on his second Tom Joyner cruise. DELROY COLE / FLORIDA COURIER



‘The Butler,’ which debuts this week, expected to be a classic film

Winfrey says clerk refused to show her $38,000 purse



Several classic novels after adapted for the big screen became classic films – Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” quickly comes to mind along with “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck and “To Kill a Mockingbird” written by Harper Lee to name just a few. “The Butler: A Witness to History” is sure to be added to that list of classic novels. Washington Post national reporter Wil Haygood penned the story about Eugene Allen, a White House butler for 34 years – which gives you more depth about the man you see portrayed in director Lee Daniels “The Butler.” Daniels got the idea for “The Butler” (now officially titled “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”) from Haygood’s 2008 article entitled “A Butler Well Served By This Election.” In the movie Academy Award winning actor Forest Whitaker gives a riveting performance as the butler, whose name is Cecil Gaines. “It’s very important that this unsung man from the back pages of history, from the shadows, who lived at the most powerful address in the world, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and worked 34 years as a butler that his story be told,” Haygood, an associate producer on the film, stresses in an exclusive interview.

LONDON – A $38,000 handbag? For most people, it’s unthinkable. But for the richest sliver of the global population, it’s a realistic option — and buyers aren’t short of choices. In the upscale boutiques of Singapore, New York or Zurich — where Oprah Winfrey claims a salesclerk refused to show her a $38,000 bag — purses priced in the four figures are common. In fact, they’re so common that a higher level of luxury exists to set the super-rich apart from the merely affluent. A budget of about $1,000 to $2,000 will buy one of the cheaper bags by luxe labels such as Prada, Hermes, Fendi, Chanel or Louis Vuitton. But that’s just the starter step. Many labels create the same style of bag in a range of fabrics, from leather to more expensive calfskin, snakeskin and crocodile skin. Adding silver or gold clasps or precious stones can increase the price tag, while limited editions and one-off creations can fetch astronomical sums.

Tumultuous times He deftly points out that “Eugene Allen was in the White House when so many things happened in this country. He heard the echoes or heard the conversations about the murder of Emmett Till, about the murder of Medgar Evers, about the beginning of the student sitEugene in movements in North Allen Carolina, South Carolina. He heard the echoes about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Haygood’s book and the subsequent movie from it are about more than a quiet man who served eight presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan. “His life is a window into history. He came out of the era of segregation and the time of lynchings in this country. The fact that he lived throughout all these momentous changes is very amaz-


Oprah Winfrey, left, and Forest Whitaker star in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” The movie debuts this month. ing to me. I wanted people to know that it’s not only the famous who need their life story told – but it’s the unknown and unsung as well,” Haygood says. Allen had a quiet graciousness about him and believed in giving back to others. It’s not often talked about Haygood says, but he was responsible for something unheard of decades ago – small business owners, who were Black, getting temporary jobs in the White House. “In the early ‘60’s say if the White House was having some event – Mr. Allen would go around Washington to get the best African-American butcher he could find. And he would say ‘Hey look I want to get you a little weekend work in three weekends on a contract basis to come over to the White House and slice some turkey for me.’

Fought discrimination For this unknown man to all of sudden be working at the White House for a weekend to go back and tell his wife ‘Hey honey guess what next week I’m working at the White House for President Eisenhower.’ He also fought against discrimination at the White House – helping fellow Black butlers and other domestic help paid wages lower than their White counterparts get raises, albeit after many years of trying. When asked what was the most surprising thing he learned after he completed the book Haygood replied, “He was part of the vanguard who created the Black middle class. That’s one of the things that Oprah Winfrey said to me is

why she wanted to play his wife in the movie.” Eugene and his wife Helene were married for 65 years. Mrs. Allen could not contain her joy that Haygood was writing a book about her husband and let it be known following his visit to their home one Friday in 2008. Their only child, Charles, dropped by the house that same weekend, on Sunday, and she couldn’t wait to tell him, “Charles I’m so happy. I’m just over the moon happy.” When he asked her why, his mother said, “There’s a writer who came by and he’s going to write the story about my Eugene. Somebody finally after all these years is finally going to pay attention to my husband.”

Bittersweet weekend But this would turn out to be a bittersweet weekend. After Mrs. Allen told her son that she was at peace she went upstairs to bed. Sadly Mrs. Allen would die in her sleep causing her son to say “Mama was waiting on you” when talking about the tragedy to Haygood. She passed away the day before then Senator Barack Obama would be elected the first African American president. Allen died two years after her at the age of 90. Haywood‘s audiobook will be a special treat because Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey will be among those reading their characters. “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” opening Aug. 16, also stars Mariah Carey, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Terrence Howard.

Attended Turner’s wedding The item at the center of the Winfrey dispute was reportedly a Tom Ford Jennifer bag — named for Jennifer Aniston, a fan of the American designer. The version on sale at Zurich’s Trois Pommes was one of the higher-end models, priced at 35,000 Swiss francs ($38,000). Winfrey says she had a racist encounter while shopping in Switzerland and the apologetic national tourist office agrees. The billionaire media mogul told the U.S. program “Entertainment Tonight” that a shop assistant in Zurich refused to show her black handbag because it was “too expensive” for her. Oprah was there to attend the July’s wedding of her longtime friend Tina Turner, who lives in a Swiss chateau along Lake Zurich. Forbes magazine estimates that Winfrey earned $77 million in the year ending in June.

Some pricier purses A $38,000 bag is nothing in some boutiques. Prices for Hermes’ Birkin bag — a square, sturdy tote that has become one of the most-coveted luxury handbags since it was introduced in the 1980s — start at about $10,000, but have gone as high as $200,000, for a red crocodile skin Birkin sold at a 2011 Heritage Auctions. Hermes also produced a platinum version studded with 2,000 diamonds, designed by Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka and valued at almost $2 million. That, however, is not the world’s most expensive handbag. According to Guinness World Records, that honor goes to a heart-shaped gold purse from jewelry house Mouawad covered in 4,500 diamonds and valued at $3.8 million.

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AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 22, 2013


Florida Courier - August 16, 2013  

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