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AUGUST 24 - AUGUST 30, 2012
VOLUME 20 NO. 34
WHERE WILL ISAAC GO? Twenty years after Hurricane Andrew wrecked South Florida, a new hurricane may threaten the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Keep up with Isaac’s progress at www. flcourier.com. COMPILED FROM WIRE AND STAFF REPORTS
Tropical Storm Isaac emerged in the Atlantic on Tuesday afternoon, and it’s one Florida needs to keep an eye on. By Saturday, the system is projected to aim into the Caribbean, strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane and threaten Hispanio-
la and Cuba. From there, it is expected to turn north, possibly toward the Gulf of Mexico, Florida or the Bahamas. If it were to approach Florida, much of the state could start feeling its fringes as early as Sunday. As of the Florida Courier’s press time Wednesday night, a strong CARL SEIBERT/SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL (KRT) area of high pressure was guid- Hurricane Andrew destroyed pleasure boats docked at Dinner Key Marina in Miami-Dade County See ISAAC, Page A2
in August 1992.
THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY / CAMPAIGN 2012
So, who pays the dinner bill?
POOL PHOTO/PETE MAROVICH/BLOOMBERG VIA ABACA PRESS/MCT
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had dinner with three winners of the “Dinner with Barack and Michelle” fundraising contest in Washington, D.C. on Monday. Michelle Obama campaigned in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday.
SNAPSHOTS FLORIDA | A3
Governor responds to complaints about FCAT
State, activists fight over details FROM THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA NATION | A6
Blacks on team trying to unseat Obama FINEST | B5
Early voting dates uncertain
Chavis Carter’s death ruled suicide
The battle over the state’s controversial elections law reignited Monday –four days after a threejudge federal panel rejected a move to reduce the number of days of early voting in five counties. Two state lawmakers joined a group of elected officials and
civic leaders who unsuccessfully sought a meeting with Gov. Rick Scott to get him to roll back the blocked provision in the other 62 counties. Meanwhile, the elections supervisor of one of the five counties where the measure was barred by the federal court said state officials pushed local governments to try again to get a similar change approved.
roe – have to get any changes in voting procedures approved by the U.S. Department of Justice or a three-judge panel. The other 62 counties don’t face the same “preclearance” hurdle, though they still have to comply with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act meant to secure everyone’s right to cast ballots.
proved a measure in 2011 that would reduce the number of early voting days from 12 to eight while allowing – but not requiring – supervisors to make up for the difference by extending the voting hours on those days. At the center of the battle is the intersection of that law with Statewide impact? Florida’s obligations under the Critics of the early-voting federal Voting Rights Act. Be- change say the federal court rulcause of a history of racial and ing proves the law should be void language discrimination, the across the state. “It’s slightly axiReduced by politicians five counties – Collier, Hardee, See VOTING, Page A2 The Florida Legislature ap- Hendry, Hillsborough and Mon-
COMMENTARY: CHARLES W. CHERRY II: RANDOM THOUGHTS OF A FREE BLACK MIND | A4 COMMENTARY: GEORGE CURRY: ROMNEY’S BUDGET CUTS DEEPER THAN RYAN’S | A5
AUGUST 24 - AUGUST 30, 2012
Hurricane Andrew, 20 years later Before I made my decision to relocate to Miami, I asked a very important question: “Are you expecting a hurricane this year?” I was informed that instead of hurricanes, there were hurricane parties. So since it had been decades since a hurricane had hit, I thought Miami was a great place for my children to grow up. Then, it was fun in the sun. When we got hurricane warnings, we stocked up on emergency supplies, which we kept throughout each hurricane season. And we went merrily on our way. That was B.A. – “Before Andrew.” On Aug. 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew turned our South Florida paradise into a battle-torn war zone. Three days before I was to celebrate “the big 5-0,” Andrew tore through Kendall like a freight train. My youngest daughter and her two little ones spent five hours with me in my upstairs walk-in closet – a horrible experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The funniest part of this experience was when my 6-year old grandson proclaimed with his arms flailing, “Mommy, Nana, don’t worry. We have prepared for Andrew!” My daughter and I broke down in laughter. He was partly right. We had shopped for water, canned goods, batteries, snacks, gas and cash – the usual for hurricane preparedness.
Watching TV Here we were sitting on the edge of my bed in the master bedroom at 4 a.m., watching WFOR-
BARBARA HOWARD GUEST COLUMNIST
TV Channel 4 Meteorologist Bryan Norcross describe this vicious, tree-bending storm as 150-plus miles per hour winds whistled through the sliding glass doors to the upstairs patio, forcing the gold metal vertical blinds to playing an eerie tune. As we laughed at my grandson’s innocence, the entire area lost power. Dropped into total darkness, we found our way into the closet. The tension was palpable. Never had I experienced so much fear. The clothes hung on the east wall seem to shake as Andrew’s winds and rain beat down on the outside concrete walls of the townhouse. My 3-year old granddaughter was oblivious to the danger as she played with hundred of pennies in a large glass bottle with only the light from a lantern.
Nothing familiar Five hours later, we emerged to what looked like a scene from “The Twilight Zone” – huge trees uprooted, fences, utility poles and traffic lights strewn on the sidewalks and in the streets. Nothing looked familiar in our gated complex as neighbors walked around in a daze, not caring about the slow drizzle as we checked to see if everyone was all right.
Florida not getting delegates back Florida is still going to see its delegation to the Republican National Convention – held next week in Tampa – cut in half for breaking party rules on when the state could hold its presidential primary. But all of the would-be delegates will be allowed on the convention floor, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told the Tampa Bay Times’ political blog The Buzz. The other half of what would have been the Florida delegation will instead be designated as “honored guests,” Priebus said. The state will also lose 160 guest passes. “They received 90 percent of every penalty available to us,” Priebus said. –News Service of Florida
But nothing would prepare me for the trip further south – houses destroyed, cars damaged, streets littered with debris. It looked as if bombs had been dropped on neighborhoods previously lined with beautiful palm trees. I cried as I drove through Coconut Grove, where a boat had been thrown from the marina across the parking lot to the other side of Bayshore Drive, and where the trees that had formed a canopy across Main Highway were ripped away; you could see the sky for the first time in more than 40 years. My family was blessed. We had a blackout for only four days. Hundreds suffered up to four months or more. Friends stood in food and supply lines because the stores were closed. Others were in gas lines because most gas stations were shut down. We had to drive more than 40 miles north to get gas, and more than 20 miles for groceries. People guarded their houses with guns and scribbled on the walls that were left standing: “Looters will be shot.”
We’re prepared Andrew prepared us for any future hurricane. When Katrina hit, it dumped more water than Andrew and the levies broke, adding murderous flooding to the Gulf Coast. Thankfully Katrina missed us here in South Florida. Hurricane Andrew brought new building codes, new traffic patterns, new demographics and a new look. Happily there were very few deaths, even though it
ISAAC from A1 ing Isaac west. That area is expected to weaken by Saturday and allow the system to turn northwest or north, senior hurricane specialist Jack Beven said. The timing of that turn will determine whether Florida faces a threat – and what part of the state is most at risk. Beven noted that the five-day forecast track error is about 255 miles. Of some consolation to the state: If Isaac plows over Cuba as forecast, it likely would be weakened by the interaction with land. Further, the overall forecast already has been reduced – the system previously had been forecast to reach Category 2 sta-
Recordbreaker when it hit, but only $18 billion in adjusted dollars
Ten costliest U.S. hurricanes
Based on damage figures that have been adjusted for inflation and current levels of building Rank/date (hurricane category)
Landfall state – storm name
Top wind speed in mph (kph)
Adjusted damage, in billions
Sept. 18,1926 (4)
Florida – Unnamed
Sept. 08,1900 (4)
Texas – Unnamed
Aug. 29, 2005 (3)
Louisiana – Katrina
Aug. 17,1915 (4)
Texas – Unnamed
Aug. 24,1992 (5)
Florida – Andrew
Oct. 19,1944 (3)
Florida – Unnamed
Sept. 21,1938 (3)
New York – Unnamed
Sept. 10,1960 (4)
Florida – Donna
Sept. 16,1928 (4)
Florida – Unnamed
Aug. 17,1969 (5)
Source: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Roger Pielke Jr., University of Colorado Graphic: The Philadelphia Inquirer
looked like Afghanistan in south Miami-Dade. We thought we would never get back to normal. But the cavalry finally arrived. The military and National Guard gave us a sense of security and hope. Now 20 years later, Hurricane Andrew is nothing but a vague memory.
tus – because of its struggle against dry air, Beven said.
The Gulf, then Tampa? According to Jeff Masters, chief meteorologist of Weather Underground, some models aim Isaac into the Gulf of Mexico and curve it back toward Florida next week. Under that scenario, the storm could end up being a threat to Tampa during the Republican National Convention, Aug. 2730, he said. Florida officials said the state is as ready as it can be. “I am confident in our preparation, and the decision process in place to ensure the safety of both our residents and visitors during the convention,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. With thousands of dele-
“There are a lot of people interested in the potential overlap of the two events there so we have to make sure we are coordinating properly with the (RNC’s) Committee on Arrangements,” Koon said.
“The (Republican National Convention), I will tell you, is a complicating factor,” Koon said in an interview with the News Service Wednesday. “As far a hurricane goes, we will be preparing much like we normally do in these situations.” The state had already planned to elevate its emergency response level on Sunday in anticipation of the convention. That may now happen sooner.
BRANDON LARRABEE/NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
from A1 omatic that if you discriminate in five counties that there’s discrimination in the other 62,” said Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa. Joyner, who has filed a legal challenge to the Department of State’s order to the other 62 counties to go ahead with the law, was among a half-dozen leaders who tried to meet with Scott on Monday to discuss the ruling. They were turned away, though the governor’s legislative affairs director, Jon Costello, said Scott’s office would try to arrange a meeting before the November general elections.
Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho, who was also in the group looking to meet with Scott, said the extra early voting days were needed to avoid particularly long lines on Election Day. “The issue is that the state is playing dangerous games with Florida’s electoral infrastructure,” Sancho said. “We do not have a number of precincts necessary to accommodate all the voters on Election Day.” Joyner and Dale Landry, a vice president of the State Conference of NAACP Branches, suggested more legal challenges could be on the way to try to get the early voting change blocked in the other counties.
Possible compromise? Shortly before the group tried to meet with Scott, Secretary of State Ken Detzner held a conference call with elections officials from the five counties, following up on a similar call Friday. A spokesman for Detzner said he was simply trying to lay out the options for the counties in the wake of the ruling. The judges seemed to leave some room for a compromise, saying that they might be able to preclear going from 96 hours of voting spread over 14 days to 96 hours spread over eight days, assuming 12 hours was offered each day. The spokesman, Chris Cate, said the meetings were necessary because the state was technically filing for preclearance on behalf
Barbara Howard is a South Florida public relations, media and governmental consultant, political talk show host and freelance journalist. Contact her at bhoward11@bellsouth. net. Click on this story at www. flcourier.com to write your own response.
gates and media scheduled to begin arriving in a matter of days, Bryan Koon, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said preparations that began months ago continue, but final decisions are still days away.
State Sen. Arthenia Joyner, State Rep. Alan Williams, the Rev. William Foust of SCLC/Florida, and Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor tried to meet with Gov. Rick Scott about the state’s early voting laws. Scott refused to see them.
© 2011 MCT
of the five counties. “Our recommendation is for them to use as many hours as their county needs,” Cate said. But Harry Sawyer, supervisor of elections in Monroe County, bristled at that description. “They in no way left us with any other thought in our mind that there was any other choice but theirs,” he said. Sawyer said the other four supervisors appear likely to go along with the state’s decision to try to get the eight-day, 12-hour solution precleared – but he won’t, saying he believes “it’s the days that count, and not the hours.”
Sawyer threatened? On Tuesday, Scott issued a statement that some read as a
Convention goers will be treated like any other visitors. That means they may be required to move depending on the path of the storm. “There are many parts of Tampa Bay area that are in evacuation zones because of the low lying nature of the terrain there,” Koon said.
Ken Kaye of the Sun Sentinel (MCT) contributed to this report.
veiled threat to Sawyer, the Republican supervisor in Monroe. “There is an easy and clear path for the five supervisors of elections to comply with their legal duties under both state and federal law,” Scott said in the statement. “I applaud the four supervisors who have unequivocally stated that they will adopt an early voting plan that allows 96 hours of early voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ... Moving forward, I will continue to take all necessary and appropriate action to ensure that the laws are faithfully executed, that supervisors are fulfilling their duties, and that the voters of this state have free and fair elections.” That was interpreted by some as a threat to remove Sawyer if he doesn’t go along with the state’s plan to try to get preclearance for the changes. Democrats, who have largely opposed a reduction in early voting days as an attempt to discourage Black voters from turning out, slammed the statement.
‘Florida, Inc.’ “I strongly urge the governor to clarify or retract any remarks that would suggest he would remove the supervisor, who is set to soon retire, for simply carrying out his constitutional duties and responsibilities to voters,” said outgoing House Minority Leader Ron Saunders, D-Key West, who represents Monroe. Joyner said Scott “should be ashamed of himself” for issuing the statement. “Republican Governor Rick Scott’s actions and implied threat to remove the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections – who he considers an obstacle to his voter suppression goals – are a slap in the face to all people who believe in free and fair elections,” Joyner said. “And he continues to govern as if the state is his very own Florida Inc., and he’s the CEO.”
AUGUST 24 - AUGUST 30, 2012
Gov. Scott: No more teaching to the test BY DAVID ROYSE THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
TALLAHASSEE – As students return to school in many parts of the state this week, some will no doubt already be thinking about tests. Florida’s Republican leaders also have long thought about tests, and their role in education, but there are signs that Gov. Rick Scott may be thinking at least a little differently about the future role of exams in student learning. Scott had hinted earlier this summer that he had at least heard the complaints of parents, teachers and an increasing number of school boards that have fumed about the FCAT, the standardized test that they complained had become too much the focus of Florida’s schools.
New ad deals with testing But it was a quick hint with no follow-up and it wasn’t clear where standardized testing really played into the governor’s thinking about education overall. Now, however, Scott is in a new ad, in which he makes it clear that he agrees, at least in part, that high stakes testing as it has been used for 15 years in Florida, may have been overly emphasized. “I’ve learned a lot as governor - you can study all the numbers you want, but listening to parents and teachers is still the best education,” Scott says in the ad. “I’ve listened to the frus-
trations parents and teachers have with the FCAT,” Scott says. “Next year we begin improving our testing system. No more teaching to the test.”
FCAT already was on the way out While that sounds like a bold change for a governor in a Republican Party that championed the FCAT at its outset and defended it for more than a decade, it actually comes behind a change that’s already started. The students that will take the dreaded FCAT this year will be among the last – it’s on the way out already, replaced by a new set of tests that measure more narrowly what students have learned in specific courses. Critics say it’s easy for Scott to criticize something that’s already going away, and take credit for helping end the unpopular exam. It actually was phased out by legislation that passed in 2010 before Scott was governor and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist. FCAT critics say that’s what Scott is doing – getting on board with bashing the problems with the test now that it’s on its way out, and now that he’s starting to think about re-election in two years. “This video is a campaign ad designed to calm folks down about testing and a PR move to improve Scott’s image,” said Mark Pudlow, a spokesman for the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teacher union, and a longtime critic of the FCAT. “And I think it’s designed to tamp down any chance
that testing becomes an issue in legislative races.”
Complaints now more intense Even fellow Republicans acknowledge that Scott may be a bit late to the idea, but some say that’s OK. Sen. Nancy Detert, the Republican who sponsored the bill phasing out the FCAT for a new “end-ofcourse” exam, said even if the idea has already left the station, it’s better for Scott to board late than not at all, because he can help sell the new testing scheme. “We’re happy to have him on the train,” said Detert, of Venice. “He’s done an excellent job of listening and not just hearing what he wants to hear, he’s heard the complaints about FCAT,” Detert said. “And I think now everybody is on the same train.” Those complaints have gotten more intense lately. The state’s school boards this year passed a resolution completely panning high stakes testing generally and calling for the state to move away from it.
Moving toward ‘Common Core’ Under the 2010 law, Florida is moving to end of course exams intended to measure whether students have mastered the material from specific courses, rather than broader skill sets like reading and writing. Understanding of algebra, geometry and biology are already tested this way, and are based on mastering of a certain set of ideas that all students should be expected to learn.
JOE BURBANK/ORLANDO SENTINEL/MCT
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush listens to kindergartner Ja’Nae Thompson as she whispers in his ear during a visit to Tangelo Park Elementary School in Orlando on Oct. 7. 2010. The FCAT, which began in Florida in 1998, was a central element of a move to better measure the successes and failures of schools pushed hard by then-Gov. Jeb Bush. The move comes as part of a broader shift to teaching a “Common Core,” a set of national standards to be phased in over the next three years that is aimed at helping boost the nation’s performance in areas in which the United States has fallen behind other countries. It’s intended to be more rigorous – that is, the courses are going to get tougher - and kids around the country will be expected to essentially learn the same things. Detert and others say the difference between the old testing and the new testing isn’t really that profound, that at the bottom line the goal is the same: to make sure children are learning the things our society thinks they need to learn.
Pushed hard by former governor The FCAT, which be-
gan in Florida in 1998, was a central element of a move to better measure the successes and failures of schools pushed hard by then-Gov. Jeb Bush. The test has high stakes for students because it is necessary to graduate or move on, though there are multiple opportunities to re-take it. It’s also been a key part of measuring schools. Democrats have complained about the role of the FCAT in the education system nearly since it started. Several said it was too integral to the measurement of students’ abilities, and that it fostered teaching to the test, something a number of teachers have told lawmakers over the years. Republicans, led by Bush, generally responded that teaching to the test wasn’t necessarily bad if it got students to learn the
material. The state’s former education commissioner, Scott appointee Gerard Robinson, recently urged Florida’s school boards not to adopt a resolution critical of the FCAT. The Florida School Boards Association did so anyway, adopting a document broadly slamming the FCAT and high stakes, standardized testing in general, as over-emphasized. Such testing, “when used alone, is an inadequate and often unreliable measure of both student learning and educator effectiveness,” the resolution said. The association called on Scott and the Legislature to eliminate the use of standardized tests as the “primary basis for evaluating teacher, administrator, school and district performance.”
AUGUST 24 - AUGUST 30, 2012
Random thoughts of a free Black mind, v. 150
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: PAUL RYAN
Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant
It’s race, Stupid It was the 1992 Bill Clinton-George H.W. Bush presidential campaign that introduced the memorable political slogan: “It’s the economy, Stupid.” That slogan was a way of explaining why Bush was in danger of losing his job. During the 2012 campaign between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a clarifying explanation as to why the president is in danger of losing his job is similar: “It’s race, Stupid.” Of course, one would never know this if dependent upon commentators on radio and television and op-ed columnists with major newspapers and magazines.
A. Peter Bailey TRICEEDNEYWIRE.COM
nents, I don’t recall a single attacker insisting that the president must be defeated for re-election so “we can get our country back.” That has been the mantra only about President Barack Obama. Rep. Ryan and those who share his sentiment believe the following: That the United States must be rescued and that President Obama - with his Muslim father from Kenya, African-American wife, AsianAmerican sister and othObama’s re-election er Kenyan blood relatives - is an outsider who can’t threatened possibly be as American as They go on and on about they are. everything that threatens President Obama’s re-elecPresident’s policies tion prospects except the fact that many, if not most, successful They insist this is so deWhites in this country, especially White males, have spite the fact that the preshad more than enough of ident’s policies helped seeing a Black man in the save thousands of jobs in the automobile industry, White House. For example, hosts of have maintained the Bush public affairs programs on tax cuts focusing on helptelevision and radio and ing those who have monnewspaper and magazine ey get more money, have columnists have analyzed provided health care supand discussed the speech port for working class and made by Rep. Paul Ryan af- middle income mostly ter he was chosen as Rom- White families that are one ney’s running mate with- catastrophic illness away out once dealing with the from financial disaster, most revealing statement have provided a stimulus package which gave monhe made. After citing several ac- ey even to the congressiotions that must be taken by nal districts of hypocritical those who detest Obama anti-stimulus politicians being in the White House, such as Rep. Ryan, and Ryan noted that if those have created an economthings were done “We will ic climate in which corpoget our country back on rations have made recordsetting profits. Nov. 6.” His policies also resulted In all the vitriolic, partisan attacks made on pres- in the killing of U.S. public idents Clinton and George enemy number one, OsaW. Bush by their oppo- ma bin Laden, have near-
ly crippled al-Qaeda with constant drone attacks that also killed dozens of non-combatants, have continued the neo-cons’ war of choice in Afghanistan and have significantly expanded economic sanctions against Iran, among other things. Most notably, President Obama has determinedly avoided any kind of gesture or policy that could honestly be described as reaching out to AfricanAmericans. And he has kept his cool, even when Glenn Beck mocked his daughter and when personally insulted by code names such as Food Stamp President to avoid being labeled an angry Black male.
No need for rescue Though one may oppose these policies or regard them as insufficient for what is needed, they don’t remotely reflect a person from whom the country must be rescued. So what is left but the conclusion that for Rep. Ryan and his cohorts, a Black man in the White House, any Black man, including brothers from another mother such as Herman Cain, Rep. Alan West of Florida, Rep. Tom Scott of South Carolina, Artur Davis and others of that ilk, is unbearable, a severe shock to the White psyche. In other words, “It’s race, Stupid.”
Peter Bailey, a former associate editor of Ebony, is currently editor of Vital Issues: The Journal of African American Speeches. Click on this story at www.flcourier. com to write your own response.
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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Men and abortion – People like Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin are stupid and inconsistent. Akin also said he believed that a woman who was ‘legitimately’ raped couldn’t get pregnant. INSANELY wrong. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a light-skin'ded, highyaller, redboned, or pecan-tanned person in ‘Black’ America... Abortion should be safe and available. With proper sex education (including teaching the advantages of abstinence) AND the ready availability of contraceptives, abortion is becoming increasingly more rare – which is as it should be. I’ve sat with women who’ve made that traumatic “have it or not have it” decision. I’ve witnessed three of my own kids born – including one who was stillborn and never drew breath. I understand what having an abortion means. But until either divine intervention or scientific advances allow me to get pregnant and give birth after nine months, I have no right to ‘force’ a grown-ass woman to give birth, even if that child is undoubtedly mine. If human and constitutional rights mean anything, the pregnant woman herself must be the final determinant as to whether a child is born – age, marital sta-
quick takes from #2: straight, no chaser
Charles W. Cherry II, Esq. PUBLISHER
tus, rape, or the woman’s own health notwithstanding. Yes, we men can argue, fuss, cuss, beg, and cry to convince a woman to have it – or not to have it. And we can walk away if they don’t do our bidding. But ultimately it’s HER decision and hers alone – and regardless of what she decides, it’s something we’ll all have to live with. With regard to abortion rights, men shouldn’t even be allowed to submit legislation or vote on measures that constrict a woman’s right to control her own reproductive capability. We men should all sit down, shut up, and let women make the laws –until God or science steps in to get us pregnant.
Contact me at email@example.com; holler at me at www.facebook.com/ ccherry2; follow me on Twitter @ccherry2.
Are the companies you support ‘in the Black’? Editor’s note: BET Networks recently partnered with several of the country’s largest African-American media outlets to form a media and marketing consortium aimed at encouraging advertisers and marketers to invest more resources in the Black consumer marketplace. The campaign, of which the National Newspaper Publishers Association is a part of, is called #InTheBlack. Last month, we partnered with some of the country’s leading African-American media outlets to launch the #INTHEBLACK campaign. We wanted to speak with one loud collective voice to educate advertisers and consumers about the power of the African-American consumer and the unique ability the African-American media has in reaching this base directly. Through our market and audience research we know African-Americans represent over 42 million strong mega-consumers and brand influencers with a buying power of nearly one
engage the media buying community.
Debra Lee GUEST COLUMNIST
trillion dollars annually. Is there enough investment in the strong Black audience from advertisers and key stakeholders?
Just the beginning This has been a conversation happening in the industry for a long time. At our upfront presentation this year, we tackled the issue head-on, but realized we needed to do more. We knew we needed to bring together the media entities that are closest to our audience and come up with a unified strategy to address this problem. I couldn’t be more proud of all my peers who have joined this effort. However, this is just the beginning of an effort with a very long tail. As a next step, we will educate and
Buying strength I grew up reading Jet and Ebony and am so proud to be able to see my daughter, Ava, flip through those same magazines today. It is important that we preserve our historically Black media publications and demand sufficient investments from advertisers as they are the pulse of what is relevant and topical in the AfricanAmerican community. As we continue down this road to truly vocalize the depth of African-American spending power, you can visit our website areyoutintheblack.org to keep track of our progress and find out how you can help make sure all our voices are heard.
Debra Lee is chairman and CEO of BET Networks. Click on this column at www.flcourier. com to write a response.
Doesn’t truth matter anymore? I was listening to Chuck Todd of MSNBC as he interviewed Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad regarding the drought conditions in his state and how they would impact Iowa farmers. Without prompting and surprisingly to me and, I suspect, other viewers, the conversation leapfrogged to a totally unrelated matter – the Romney team’s accusation that President Barack Obama had arbitrarily taken away the work requirement from the “Welfare to Work” law. Without regard to common television etiquette, Governor Branstad talked over his host, Chuck Todd, as though he did not even hear the corrections that Mr. Todd attempted to insert in the discussion. Without any acknowledgment of the misinformation he was spewing, Governor Branstad seemed determined to get his talking points out— true or false. If he were the only person doing that, I don’t suppose it would matter so much, but just before that interview I had heard Congressman Paul Ryan use the same talking point, and before that I had seen the Romney attack ad doing the same thing – using information to make a point that has been debunked by reliable sources over and over again. I asked myself, “Doesn’t truth matter anymore?”
Public being misinformed Shelton Gragg and Stefan Petrucha authored a book called, “What the____Is Wrong with the Right?’’ and
Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. TRICE EDNEY WIRE
I have been asking myself that a lot lately. Almost any day, we can see someone on the right disrespecting the Office of the President, hurling coded insults about everybody who is not white, male, wealthy and on the far right on every issue. In other words, as far as the right is concerned, there is something wrong with African-Americans, women, Progressives, seniors, Democrats (all of which I am), Latinos, LGBT persons, poor people, working people, labor unionists – well you get the idea. Not so long ago, the right said President Barack Obama was too cool! Suddenly, Ryan and Romney decided the President is a “hateful, angry Black man!” They need to get real! They’re working from a script that is designed to drag the President down. They’ve had a measure of success when you see a group of unknown Black preachers standing at a microphone talking about blocking the President’s re-election or when a few Blacks seeking attention ask, “What has the President done for Black people?” Black women are not pleased at hearing the “angry” label applied. We like it even less when it’s used to denigrate us. We sure don’t like it when Ryan, Romney and right-wing types use it on our President. God knows
we have much about which to be angry – lynchings, castrations, forced family separations, miseducation of our children, thefts of our property under the cover of law, no payment and/or underpayment for services rendered, shooting our sons and brothers down in the streets of cities across America, and the list goes on.
Right to be angry Sure, we get angry, because we have done far more to make our communities better than the right has ever helped us to do. The Ryan-Romney team stands ready to take back from us hard fought gains we have earned. They don’t mind using lies and laws to limit our voting rights. They threaten our health by threatening to end Medicare and to take away affordable health care. They try to impose their will on what women do with our bodies and frighten immigrant children who were brought here as babies. Ryan and Romney want to force the most draconian, extreme budget upon us and, then, make us believe they are on our side. Truth just doesn’t matter to this crowd. Please! Give me a break! Do they think we are stupid, crazy or what?
Dr. E. Faye Williams is National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. 202/6786788. www.nationalcongressbw.org and Board Chair of the Black Leadership Forum. Click on this story at www.flcourier. com to write your own response.
AUGUST 24 - AUGUST 30, 2012
Romney budget cuts ‘substantially’ deeper than Ryan’s
VISUAL VIEWPOINT: AUGUSTA NATIONAL
Poor, elderly affected
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been carefully trying to put some distance between him and running mate Paul Ryan’s radical budget proposal but he has a major problem – his plan would make even deeper cuts than the Ryan plan. A careful analysis of Romney’s plan by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) observed: “Governor Mitt Romney’s proposals to cap total federal spending, boost defense spending, cut taxes, and balance the budget would require extraordinarily large cuts in other programs, both entitlements and discretionary programs. “For the most part, Governor Romney has not outlined cuts in specific programs. But if policymakers exempted Social Security from the cuts, as Romney has suggested, and cut Medicare, Medicaid, and all other entitlement and discretionary programs by the same percentage – to meet Romney’s spending cap, defense spending target, and balanced budget requirement – then nondefense programs other than Social Security would have to be cut 29 percent in 2016 and 59 percent in 2022.” That would shred the social net that Romney claims to support.
George E. Curry NNPA COLUMNIST
be substantially deeper than those required under the austere House-passed budget plan authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Over the 2014-2022 period, Romney would require cuts in programs other than Social Security and defense of $7 trillion to $10 trillion, compared with a little over $5 trillion under the Ryan budget,” the analysis pointed out. As I wrote in this space last week, another Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report stated, “Combined, the Bush and Ryan tax cuts would provide an annual windfall of nearly $400,000 apiece, on average, to people with incomes over $1 million. By combining large budget cuts (and tax increases) that disproportionately harm lower-income Americans with big tax cuts that disproportionately help those at the top of the income scale, the Ryan budget would significantly worsen inequality and increase poverty and hardship (and reduce opportunity as well, through deep cuts in programs such as Pell Grants to help low-income students afford Program cuts college).” And Romney’s budget “Governor Romney’s cuts would proposal is worse than that.
A May 21 updated analysis by CBPP revealed, “The cuts that would be required under the Romney budget proposals in programs such as veterans’ disability compensation, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for poor elderly and disabled individuals, SNAP (formerly food stamps), and child nutrition programs would move millions of households below the poverty line or drive them deeper into poverty. “The cuts in Medicare and Medicaid would make health insurance unaffordable (or unavailable) to tens of millions of people. The cuts in non-defense discretionary programs – a spending category that covers a wide variety of public services such as elementary and secondary education, law enforcement, veterans’ health care, environmental protection, and biomedical research – would come on top of the deep cuts in this part of the budget that are already in law due to the discretionary funding caps established in last year’s Budget Control Act (BCA).” During the campaign, Romney has listed four key proposals that would affect federal spending, taxes and the deficit: reduce federal spending to 20 percent of GDP by the end of first term and cap it at that level; increase “core defense spending” – roughly 93 percent of defense spending – at
Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
4 percent of GDP; extend the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts and other tax cuts set to expire; reduce income tax rates by another 20 percent, making the top tax rate 28 percent; eliminate the estate tax; reduce the corporate income tax and balance the budget.
cut by an average of 40 percent in 2016 and 57 percent in 2022, just to limit federal spending to 20 percent of GDP,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities stated. “If the budget also had to be balanced, all government programs other than defense, Social Security, and Medicare would have to be nearly eliminated: six Cuts in Medicare out of every seven dollars going “Although Governor Romney for them would disappear.” has not proposed specific MediAnd you thought the Ryan budcare policies, it would be virtual- get plan was bad. ly impossible to achieve his budgetary objectives while sparing George E. Curry, former edMedicare from substantial cuts. If itor-in-chief of Emerge magaMedicare as well as Social Secu- zine, is editor-in-chief of the rity were protected, all other pro- National Newspaper Publishgrams – including Medicaid, vet- ers Association News Service. erans’ benefits, education, envi- Click on this story at www.flronmental protection, transpor- courier.com to write your own tation, and SSI – would have to be response.
$11 million FDIC settlement to benefit 60,000 college students As millions of college students return to campus, a recent settlement by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) may become a financial blessing to students and their parents. An estimated 60,000 students are expected to share $11 million in restitution from two financial firms – Higher One Holdings, Inc. and Bancorp Bank. According to FDIC, beginning in July 2008, the firms charged multiple nonsufficient fund (NSF) fees from a single merchant transaction. By allowing student accounts to remain overdrawn for long periods of time, the firms were able to collect more NSF fees while also charging more fees for subsequent deposits to student accounts. Most importantly, these practices exposed an often hidden role that financial institutions have on college campuses. As student monies were eaten up by these fees, the remaining available funds diminished the availability of monies intended for tu-
Charlene Crowell NNPA FINANCIAL WRITER
ition and other student expenses.
Unfair, deceptive acts FDIC held that Bancorp Bank, based in Wilmington, Del. was responsible to ensure that Higher One operated the OneAccount program in compliance with all applicable laws. Unfair or deceptive acts or practices are violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act. According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), Higher One has card agreements with 520 campuses that enroll 4.3 million students. Commenting on the settlement announcement, Rich Williams, higher education advocate for U.S. PIRG said, “We commend the FDIC for holding
Higher One accountable. Student aid should not be a piggy bank for banks to dip into especially when their practices are unfair or deceptive.” In May, U.S. PIRG released “The Campus Debit Card Trap,’’ a report that found banks and financial firms now control or influence federal financial aid disbursement to more than 9 million students by linking checking accounts and prepaid debit cards to student IDs and providing financial aid disbursement services.
Significant fees charged According to the report, students can pay significant fees that are charged against their student aid, including per-swipe fees of 50 cents, inactivity fees of $10 or more after six months and overdraft fees of up to $38. Financial institutions use aggressive marketing to maximize these fees, the report found. The FDIC settlement will also require the two firms to pay a
Mapping the war on the right to vote Our nation’s democracy is in a crisis. We are facing the biggest challenge to our nation since its inception. No, there is not an armed rebellion going on, but, oh, is there a war—a silent, insidious, invidious, nefarious, absolutely downright ugly war. And the war is on the right to vote for American citizens. – Barbara Arnwine, July 2012 At the Children’s Defense Fund’s recent national conference Barbara Arnwine, the executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and a leader of Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, issued an urgent call to action. Right now assaults on voting rights across the country in advance of the 2012 elections are keeping her very busy. Arwine said 25 million Americans who had voted in 2008 did not vote in the 2010 midterm elections, and when new state legislators came into power after those elections, their first priority was figuring out how to keep those 25 million people from returning to the polls. Legislators in 35 states quickly drafted bills making it harder for people to vote: “everything from photo ID laws, to laws restricting early voting, to laws making it harder for third party registration groups to register people to vote, to laws making it harder for people to vote on Sundays because in many states that’s when Latinos and African Americans voted the heaviest, to laws restricting student voting.”
Marian Wright Edelman NNPA COLUMNIST
that we will never forget the legacy of Cesar Chavez; that we never will negate the legacy of Mr. Korematsu; that we never can sit back and let rights be stolen.” But as Frederick Douglass taught us, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
Know your role
Arnwine and her colleagues are doing their part by suing states whose proposed laws violate the Voting Rights Act. But Arnwine stressed that every person can do something to fight in this war on the right to vote, and we each need to decide now how we will execute our roles. Begin by using traditional networks and social networks to make sure every single person you know is a “V.I.P.”: they have verified their voter registration status; they have the right identification for their state; and they know their precinct. Arnwine summed up this way: “There is a role for everybody. Don’t forget. If you forget everything that I said today, if you remember nothing, just remember this one thing: that we can only win this fight if you fight.” We cannot stand by and let the right to vote be taken away again on our watch. Remembering giants Every one of us must decide what we can Arnwine said the lawmakers behind do in the fight to protect voting rights tothese bills were counting on the targeted day. There’s no time to waste. voters not noticing what was happening Marian Wright Edelman is president until it was too late. But, she said, “They forgot that we stand on the shoulders of gi- and founder of the Children’s Defense ants who we will never let down. We get up Fund (www.childrensdefense.org). Click in the morning and we say that we cannot on this story at www.flcourier.com to negate the legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer; write your own response.
combined $282,000 in civil penalties. In addition, should Higher One fail to fully repay the $11 million in restitution, Bancorp Bank will be financially responsible for restitution payment. Higher One expects to pay credits on current and charged-off accounts. Closed accounts are expected to be paid by check. Additionally, the settlement orders multiple changes to practices by the two financial firms. Higher One has agreed to: not charge NSF fees to accounts that have been in a continuous negative balance for more than 60 days; not charge more than three NSF fees on any single day to a single account; not charge more than one NSF fee with respect to a single automated clearing house transaction that is returned unpaid within any 21-day period; refrain from misleading or deceptive representations or omissions in its marketing materials and/or disclosures; and institute a sound compliance management system.
Similarly, Bancorp Bank is now required to: correct all violations; significantly increase its management of third-party risk; increase board oversight of all compliance matters; and improve its compliance management system. Today, a series of recent enforcement actions in financial services are giving hope to consumers: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent $140 million action against Capital One, the Department of Justice’s $175 million action against Wells Fargo and the newest FDIC $11 million settlement signal that regulators are heeding the concerns of consumers.
Charlene Crowell is a communications manager with the Center for Responsible Lending. Click on this story at www. flcourier.com to write your own response.
Blackonomics: Just who are ‘We the People’? Lincoln’s words, included in the Gettysburg Address, “…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” take on an esoteric meaning as we look at today’s political situation. A brief look at politics will show anyone with an ounce of sense that “we the people” have not, do not, and will not run the U.S. government. The silly name-calling among politicians, the bought-and-paid-for members of Congress, the lack of progress on anything related to our economy, the absolute lack of concern for the poor, the elderly and veterans, the kowtowing to Wall Street puppet masters, and the total aloofness of those whom “we the people” sent to Washington are blatant examples of how screwed up our political system has become. Just who was Lincoln referring to when he spoke his famous line about “the people”? One thing we know for sure is that he was not talking about Black folks, and I would venture to guess he was not talking about poor White folks either.
Black Folks ‘the people’? And that whole thing about the government being of, for, and by “the people” is in no way applicable to us, which leads to the logical conclusion that “we the people” must mean those who have the most money. So where does that put Black people when it comes to the current economic state of this country and its future? What does it say about our political clout? Do “we, the Black people” and “we, the poor people” have a dog in the hunt as regards economic security, political influence, and/or power? We will see no relief prior to the election because the two parties are squab-
JAMES CLINGMAN NNPA COLUMNIST
bling and posturing for votes and dollars right now. There will be no solution to unemployment, the housing market, tight lending policies, Medicare, the national debt and deficit, and all the other fiscal ailments that have beset us, simply because the folks we sent to Congress are more interested in keeping their jobs and all the accoutrements thereof.
No longer needed I don’t claim to know much, but one thing I am certain of is that politicians, no matter what stripe, are not going to do anything about the conditions we, the Black people, face. I believe it was Marcus Garvey who said, “All the shoes have been shined and all the cotton has been picked.” He went on to suggest that Black people were no longer needed by white folks, therefore, if we did not change our ways when it came to business development we would indeed become obsolete. So I ask again: Just who are “we the people”? Another thing I know for sure is that, it sure ain’t us.
James E. Clingman is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati’s African American Studies Department. Click on this story at www. flcourier.com to write your own response.
august 24 – AUGUST 30, 2012
Blacks on team strategizing to beat Obama ‘Diverse group’ has been meeting for months, Romney campaign advisor says TRICE EDNEY NEWS WIRE
As the GOP prepares to meet in Tampa next week, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been meeting with a team of politically diverse Black advisors as part of his growing campaign strategy against President Barack Obama, confirms a campaign spokesperson. “There is a Black coalitions group that meets regularly with the Romney campaign,” says Tara Wall, senior communications and coalitions advisor for the Romney campaign. “This is not new. This is something that’s been going on for several months.” Speaking guardedly about the advisors during an interview with the Trice Edney News Wire, Wall declined to give names of any Democrats who might be involved. “They are not just Republicans. They’re a diverse group,” she said. She did mention the Rev. Jeff Brown as being someone to whom Romney listens. Brown is the African-American co-founder of the Boston Ten Points Coalition, who spoke highly of Romney during his appearance at the NAACP Convention in July. Brown said he was not endorsing Romney per se, but told the media how Romney had worked “in a bi-partisan fashion with inner-city Black clergy” when he was governor of Massachusetts.
‘A seat at the table’ Wall said of Romney, “He has worked in a bipartisan fashion; he had to have Democrats to help him pass legislation in Massachusetts. He’s not immune to that … At the end of the day, if he does become president, he does want to become president and will become president for all Americans and we have to have a seat at the table. Black America wants to have a seat at the table.” President Obama, who won nearly 98 percent of the Black vote during his historic campaign in 2008, has come under significant criticism by Blacks who are dissatisfied with the steadily high jobless rate in the Black community. Despite the disparate economic impact on African-Americans, Obama is still expected to win heavy support among Black voters, though grassroots organizers are complaining about a lack of motivation.
ROBERT COHEN/ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH/MCT
Republican commentator Tara Wall, right, is shown during a July 2007 forum on the Black vote at the National Urban League convention in St. Louis, Mo. Making a point on the left is the Rev. Al Sharpton. Wall is senior communications and coalitions advisor for the Romney campaign. For example, Baltimore Pastor Jamal-Harrison Bryant held what he called a “Code Red” conference, sponsored by his “Empowerment Movement” last week in an attempt to get African-American church leaders oriented to get out the vote.
Seeking defecting Dems Wall, a former CNN contributor and deputy editorial page editor for the conservative Washington Times, indicated that Romney will attempt to take advantage of every slip in support for Obama. “Obviously a majority of Black Americans are going to once again vote for President Obama,” Wall said. “But he doesn’t enjoy the large margins that he once enjoyed. I’ve seen polling numbers where those margins have been reduced to 85 and 90 percent among Black Americans. That alone is significant enough to put Mitt Romney in the win column.” Wall says she has heard some Blacks who voted for Obama in 2008 saying they will not do so again. However, she stressed that Black support for Romney does not have to mean defecting Black Democrats. She acknowledged
that some Black Republicans also voted for Obama the last time. Among Obama’s Black Republican supporters in 2008 was former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has not yet endorsed anyone in the current campaign. “I think we also want to get out our base of Black Republicans and conservatives and moderates and some folks who voted for President Obama the last time that we want to make sure they check the box for Gov. Romney this time,” Wall said.
‘Diversity of viewpoints’ She said in order to achieve that, Republican Party leaders must recognize and embrace the diversity even among Black Republicans. “Republicans can’t be monolithic when it comes to Black Americans; not even Black Republicans. We are not monolithic-thinking and Black Republicans are not monolithic- thinking. Within Black conservatism there is diversity. There is diversity of viewpoints – moderate, liberal, conservative Black Republicans,” Wall said. “And I think anybody, whether it’s the [Republican] Party, Democrats or
THE JONESBORO SUN/NNPA
Death of man wearing handcuffs ruled suicide FROM WIRE REPORTS
JONESBORO, Ark. – A medical examiner has ruled that Chavis Carter, the 21-year-old man who sustained a gunshot wound to the head while handcuffed in the back of a police car, died from suicide. According to a report by Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Stephen A. Erickson of the Arkansas State Crime Lab, the bullet that killed Carter entered his skull near his right temple, four inches from the top of his head. “At the time of discharge, the muzzle of the gun was placed against the right temporal scalp,” wrote Erickson.
Not fazed by boos Wall says that Romney attempted to show his desire to dialog with Blacks when he accepted the invitation to speak before the NAACP. “He said he would be back to the NAACP if they would have him. So, he is very open to that. He has made that known and will make no bones about it,” Wall said. Despite Romney’s outreach to the NAACP, saying he desires to “represent all Americans”, the audience of civil rights leaders booed him heavily when he
Four-star general faces demotion over excessive spending
Theresa Carter, mother of Chavis Carter, is interviewed by a news station following the candlelight vigil held in her son’s honor on Aug. 6 at the First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ark.
Mom, others outraged about Arkansas case
the President, runs a risk [when] painting a broad brush. You can’t cast everyone in one category.” One example of a conservative Black Democrat is former Congressman Artur Davis, a former Obama supporter-turned Republican, who will be speaking at the Republican Convention in Tampa Aug. 27-30. Davis’ recent party switch comes as no surprise to political observers, particularly since he was the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus who voted against the President’s Affordable Care Act.
He added, “The manner of death is based on both autopsy findings and the investigative conclusions of the Jonesboro Police Department.” Last week, Jonesboro police released video of a police officer approximately the same size as Carter reenacting what Chavis may have hap- Carter pened the back of the police car on the night of July 28, when Carter and two other men were pulled over in a traffic stop. Police searched Carter twice but have said they did not find a gun.
Mom: Carter was never suicidal Theresa Carter, his mother, doesn’t believe police claims
that her son shot himself to death with his hands cuffed behind his back in a police cruiser. She is hurting and wants to know what happened in the last moments of life. A growing number of people also want the truth and others believe the young Black man was killed by police. The suicide story, they say, is ludicrous. “I’m just heartbroken. I just want to know what really happened. … My child was never suicidal. He would never kill himself. My son was full of joy, full of life, full of ambition,” Mrs. Carter somberly yet emphatically told The Final Call in an exclusive interview. Mrs. Carter said her son’s father and two brothers are also having difficulty coping. “A day don’t go by I don’t cry. I’m just trying to be strong and hold up. I just want justice served,” she added. The case has led to a number of protests. More were scheduled this week.
The Associated Press, The Final Call along with the NNPA News Service were used in compiling this report.
U.S. Army Four-Star Gen. William E. “Kip” Ward, the first leader of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), is facing the prospects of demotion following a lengthy investigation of allegations of excessive spending and other financial improprieties, including inappropriate travel expenses, according to the Associated Press Gen. William and CNN. Defense Secre- E. Ward tary Leon Panetta received findings from the Defense Department’s inspector general this week and is expected to rule soon on Ward, a Morgan State University graduate and one of only five AfricanAmericans in history to reach the rank of a four star general, among the Army’s highest ranks, CNN said. The action comes 15 months after he retired following a 40-year career that began when he graduated from Morgan with a bachelor’s degree and was capped by a three and a halfyear tour as the first leader of AFRICOM, a military unit created in 2007 to monitor threats to U.S. national security in Africa. The inspector general’s report is said to detail a history of overspending by Ward that includes what the network characterized as government funds misuse,
said he would “eliminate expensive non-essential programs like Obamacare.” Apparently unfazed by the boos, Wall said, “There are going to be areas of disagreement. You’re not going to agree a hundred percent. But I think that the point is he’s also not going to pander and change his message because it’s a different audience.” Wall expressed hope that the “business acumen” of Romney will appeal to African-Americans amidst racially disparate economic struggles. Romney is a multi-millionaire, mainly from his own businesses. “I think they know that Gov. Romney brings some economic change and opportunity with his message,” she said. “At this point where it comes to economics and jobs and small business I think there are a lot of folks who believe this is an imperative and are willing to listen to Gov. Romney as to what the he brings to the table to help close the gap economically between Black and White…Romney – he has a strong record, he has business acumen. I think those are the principles that should apply to help bring this country back on track.” “extravagant and unacceptable” expense charges and inappropriate use of military staff.
Lavish lifestyle According to the Associated Press, the investigation of Ward covered 17 months and examined what the wire service said was hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on “lavish hotels, travel and other items.” The Huffington Post said Ward’s spending covered hundreds of thousands of dollars applied to travel on government airplanes for unauthorized people, including family members, and for travel and hotel accommodations incidental to his role as leader of the Army command on the vast continent. Panetta could reduce Ward to a two-star general, an action that could trim $1 million from the flag-rank officer’s pension. Since a lavish retirement ceremony for him in April 2011, Ward has been serving as a special assistant to the vice chief of the Army, a position often used as a holding area for flag-rank officers who are being promoted or demoted. Ward’s awards and badges include: the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Legion of Merit (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (with six Oak Leaf Clusters), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Master Parachutist Badge.
HEALTH FOOD || HEALTH TRAVEL | |MONEY SCIENCE | BOOKS | MOVIES | TV | AUTOS LIFE | FAITH | EVENTS | CLASSIFIEDS | ENTERTAINMENT | SPORTS | FOOD August 24 - August 30, 2012
Forever R&B concert features Shirley Murdock See page B2
SHARING BLACK LIFE, STATEWIDE
Recipes for a better picnic See page B4
SOUTH FLORIDA / TREASURE COAST AREA www.flcourier.com
HBCU FOOTBALL PREVIEW
FLORIDA COURIER FILES
The Wildcats face Prairie View A&M in last yearâ€™s MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Orlando. B-CU trounced the Texas team 63-14.
Wildcats have high expectations for 2012 B-CU begins season on Sept. 2 against Alabama State in MEAC/SWAC Challenge BY ANDREAS BUTLER FLORIDA COURIER
Bethune-Cookman University has returned to relevance on the gridiron. The Wildcats were HBCU national champs, MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) champs, made the playoffs in 2010, and had another good campaign in 2011. Expectations are once again high as BCU looks to regain the MEAC title and take a shot at a national title. Here is a look at the 2012 Wildcats. 2011: 8-3 overall, 6-2 in MEAC, second place Head Coach: Brian Jenkins, third season, 18-5 overall, 13-3 in MEAC. Gone: DL Ryan Davis (65 total tackles, 21.5 TFL, 12 sacks); LB Ryan Lewis (41 total tackles, three interceptions); LB Reggie
Sandilands (58 total tackles, 11 TFL, two sacks, one interception); safety Jean Fanor (74 total tackles, three interceptions), WR Maurice Francois (29 receptions, 530 yards, one TD); QB Jamar Robinson (607 passing yards, five TDs, five rushing TDs); RB Johnathan MoCOURTESY OF B-CU ment (207 rushing yards, four Shown above are members of the 2012 Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats at Larry Kelly TDs); DB Daniel Rhodes (22 toField in Daytona Beach. tal tackles, two interceptions); DL Jameil Farrington (28 total tackles, two sacks); OL Nathaniel Curry; OL Corey Mason. coaches and some new players, pointment to us. To win eight or Q&A: Coach Back: QB Jackie Wilson (920 10 games is nice, but we want passing yards, five TDs, 423 Brian Jenkins everything is the same. a title. That is what we strive for. rushing yards, five TDs); RB Q: What has to happen for you Isidore Jackson (866 rushing Q: What will people see out of to be successful this year and yards, seven TDs, 171 receivQ: On your schedule, there are this team? have your type of season? ing yards, one TD); RB Rodney a lot of road games with some Scott (563 rushing yards, one A: You will see a group of guys tough opponents like South TD); RB Anthony Jordan (249 A: We have to stay in the mowho will go out and compete rushing yards, nine TDs); WR Carolina State and Miami. ment. We have to focus on the Eddie Poole (41 receiving, 421 each and every day. We will moment and live in the moment. yards, four TDs); OL Terrance work hard. We are trying to We canâ€™t look ahead. We must A: Every game is a tough game Hackney; TE Patrick Murphy perfect the fundamentals of the take it one game at a time. and we are looking forward (130 receiving yards, one TD); game at each phase. OL Marquell Rozier; OL Alex to tackling the schedule once Q: Is winning the national title Monroe; DL Harold Love III (37 it starts. Also, we have some Q: This is your third year. What your goal? total tackles, six TFL, 1.5 sacks); See B-CU, Page B2
is different about this season?
A: Other than having some new
ABBREVIATIONS KEY QB: quarterback RB: running back FB: fullback WR: wide receiver A-Back: Combination of running back and slot receiver in an option offense. B-Back: More of a fullback and running back type in the option offense. DL: defensive lineman OL: offensive lineman LB: linebacker DB: defensive back S: safety K: kicker P: punter Rush: to rush or run with the ball Pass: to pass or throw the ball TDs: touchdowns Rec: receptions or catches TFL: tackles for loss
Edward Waters Tigers ready to roar Jacksonville team starts football season on Aug. 25 against Point University BY ANDREAS BUTLER FLORIDA COURIER
The Edward Waters College Tigers are excited about the upcoming football season. The Tigers compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as an independent. Last season, they made vast strides of improvement on the field and looks to do more in 2012. Here is a look at the 2012 Edward Waters Tigers. 2011: 5-5 overall Head Coach: Brad Bernard, second season, 5-5 overall. Gone: Wide receiver Samuel Charles, ABack Antonio Bellamy, defensive end Randy Wilson and offensive lineman Willie Hubbard.
A: Hell yes. Anything else will be unacceptable or a disap-
Back: Quarterback Brandon Turman (953 pass yards, 12 TDs; 740 rushing yards, four TDs); B-Back Phillip Teamer (780 rush yards, two TDs); safety Tony Goodman (66 total tackles, four interceptions, 391 return yards); defensive back/linebacker Kamron Mitchell (59 total tackles, one interception); A-Back Anthony Wallace (115 reception yards, one TD; linebacker Bernard Dawson (56 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, DL Richard Copeland (43 total tackles, two sacks); Brad LB Jufferson Joseph (43 total Bernard tackles); OL Nathaniel Branford; OL Chris Hawkins; and OL Christopher Pettaway. New: WR Jamiel McCloud (Bethune-Cookman transfer); A-Back Ray Dukes; WR Keith Patrick; DL Robert Huggins; OL Marcus Taylor; DB Derek Owens (transfer from Georgia); DB Demarko Huntley (transfer from Shorter University). Base Offense: Multiple Base Defense: Multiple Strengths: Depth and experience in secondary and at linebacker Weaknesses: Inexperience and youth. Honors: DB Tony Goodman was named to the NAIA Preseason All-American first team. See EWC, Page B2
tough teams in our conference and our conference is up for grabs.
Q&A: Coach BRAD Bernard Q: What can we expect to see with this team on the field? A: You can expect a group of guys to come out and compete. Ninety percent of our kids are not on scholarship. They are excited about the opportunity to play and they will give it all they have. Q: How is the mood on campus surrounding the team and this season? A: We have a lot of buzz both on campus and in the Jacksonville community. We have been practicing hard and we have had a lot of people watching us practice. Our administration is doing some good things. They have us back on campus practicing. We have a wonderful academic coach in Nathaniel Glover. He is a sharp individual.
AUGUST 24 - AUGUST 30, 2012
FLORIDA COMMUNITY CALENDAR
A Forever R&B concert is scheduled at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables on Sept. 22. Shirley Murdock, who in the late 1980s peaked on the R&B top 10 with the hit “As We Lay,’’ will be one of the performers.
St. Petersburg: A community vigil and march will be held as the Republican National Convention kicksoff Aug. 26 at 5 p.m. Faith leaders from the Tampa Bay area will convene a gathering of concerned citizens from the “99 percent to voice hope that the 99 percent’’ will be heard during the RNC. Site: 719 Arlington Ave. N. More information: www.fcan.org.
New Edition, KEM and Tye Tribbett will be among the performers at the 2012 Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion Aug. 30- Sept. 2 at the Gaylord Resort in Orlando.
Tampa: On Aug. 29, the Florida Chapter of Black Women for Obama will host a town hall meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. at Mt. Zion AME Church, 5920 Robert Tolle Drive, Riverview Florida (Southeast Tampa Bay). The meeting will be broadcast live via Internet and radio. More information: www. blackwomenforobama.org. Jacksonville: Nephew Tommy of the “Steve Harvey Morning Show’’ and Friends will be live at the Florida Theatre Jacksonville Sept. 14 for a 7:30 p.m. show. Orlando: Comedian Sinbad will be at the Hard Rock Live Orlando Oct. 12 for an 8 p.m. show. Jacksonville: The Back to Love tour featuring Anthony Hamilton and Estelle stops at the Times Union Center Performing Arts Moran Theater on Sept. 9 for a 7:30 p.m. show. Orlando: The Summertime Labor Day kickoff featuring Ca$h Out /Infamus New Money will be at Firestone Live Orlando, Aug. 29 for a 10 p.m. show. Jacksonville: A new art
exhibition “The Roaring 20’s Transportation Beaches Style,” a series of paintings based on the Jacksonville Beaches area, and “Nehemiah - Leader and Servant” will be on display through Aug. 30 at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 101 W. First St. More information: 356-2992. Tampa: Girl Scouts of West Central Florida is seeking troop leaders, both men and women over age 18, to volunteer as positive adult role models for girls to build courage, confidence and
character. Training provided. More information: Kristie Wiley: 813-262-1765, firstname.lastname@example.org or www. gswcf.org/volunteer. Ocoee: The City of Ocoee’s Human Relations Diversity Board will host its third annual Fiesta de Colores in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Bill Breeze Park, 125 North Lakeshore Drive, offering Latin cuisine, salsa dancing, vendors, games, bounce house, face painting and door prizes. A vendor
application is available at www.ocoee.org. Deadline is Sept. 5. More information: 407-905-3100. Jacksonville: Comedian and actor Kevin Hart will be at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts Oct. 12 for a 7 p.m. show. Tampa: CredAbility will be hosting a homebuyer’s workshop Aug. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 5421 Beaumont Center Blvd, Suite 600. Workshops are open to the public. Topics include closing on a home loan,
qualifying for a mortgage loan and free financial counseling. More information and reservations: 800-2512227. Jacksonville: The Jacksonville Tattoo Convention featuring live tattooing by some of the nation’s top artists as well as contests, seminars, giveaways and more will be held Sept. 14 -15 at the Wyndham Riverwalk Hotel Convention Center. Price: $15 day pass- $35 weekend pass, tickets may be purchased at the door.
B-CU from A1
FLORIDA COURIER FILES
The Edward Waters Tigers are shown in a game against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats.
EWC from A1 Offense: The Tigers use multiple sets, but you will mainly see either a triple option or spread option attack. Everything starts with Turman behind center. Teamer is also productive in the backfield and look for Dukes and Wallace to contribute out of the A-Back position. Turman has a few returning receivers, but one of his best targets could be transfers McCloud and Patrick. Hawkins and Pettaway will anchor the line, which will battle to control the line of scrimmage. Defense: EWC mainly used the 3-4 defense last season and will likely do it again this year. The secondary is once again good led by Goodman. They also have Mitchell and Hutchings back. The linebacker corps is also experienced and should be strong with Joseph, Bernard Dawson and Arthur Smith back. Copeland is the anchor upfront and coaches are high on Huggins. Special teams: Good-
Q&A: Coach BRAD Bernard Q: What’s different about heading into your second season with the program? A: We are here to develop a program. These new kids are also our first recruiting class. The team also has knowledge of the coaching staff and know what our expectations are. Q: What’s the difference between the NAIA level and NCAA Division I Football Championship Series (FCS), which you previously coached? A: When I was an assistant at Bethune-Cookman, a MEAC and FCS school in the NCAA, I was there during a good stretch from 99-05. We didn’t lose many games. At the NCAA Division I level, schools get 85 scholarships. While here at Edward Waters we are eligible for 24 scholarships but we got 18. Here, kids are mostly playing for the love of the game. They may be smaller and not as fast. Also, here you depend more upon the relationships with the players and coaches. At the NAIA level, we give kids a different opportunity. We also get a lot of kids who return home for various reasons rather because their mom got sick or they had a child. There are also some different requirements of eligibility between the NAIA and NCAA.
man is the return specialist and big playmaker. The team will look for him to be a game changer. Wal-
lace also will return kickoffs. Jerry Martin returns to do the kicking and Kamron Mitchell punts.
Key games Aug 25 vs. Point University (home opener); Sept. 8 at Morehouse. Sept. 29 at Valdosta State; Oct. 13 vs. Webber International (Homecoming, Webber is ranked No. 25 in preseason polls and is an inner-state foe); Oct. 20 at Savannah State University (SSU is a MEAC school and FCS opponent); Oct. 27 at Charleston Southern; Nov. 3 vs. Ava Maria (home game against second year in state program). Outlook: The Tigers improved from 2-8 to 5-5 last season. They haven’t had a winning season since 2004. Achieving that will be tough this year with a tough schedule of NAIA, Division II and Division I (FCS) opponents. Nonetheless, spirits are high and the coaching staff likes the talent, work ethic and camaraderie. If they get confident and pull off some early wins, this could be the year. Note: All EWC home games are played at Earl S. Kitchings Stadium at William M. Raines High School in Jacksonville.
LB Jarkevis Fields (76 total tackles, one sack, one interception); safety D.J. Howard (45 total tackles, three interceptions, one TD; kicker Sven Hurd (seven of 13 field goals, 42 yards long). New: Quarterback Quentin Williams (red shirted in 2011); safety Nick Addison (red-shirted in 2011); ATH Broderick Waters (transfer from Louisiana Tech); wide receiver Akeem Dunham (transfer from Vanderbilt). Base offense: Multiple Base defense: Multiple Strengths: Secondary, experienced at skilled positions on offense, depth. Weaknesses: Kicking game. MEAC prediction: Third by coaches and sports writers in the pre-season poll. All MEAC preseason: First team – RB Isidore Jackson, OL Terrance Hackney, LB Jarkevis Fields, DB D.J. Howard. Second team – WR Eddie Poole, OL Marquell Rozier and DL Harold Love III. All-American preseason: OL Terrance Hackney. Offense: B-CU has been mainly a spread option team. Everything starts with the offensive line, which is anchored by Hackney. Rozier and Monroe have played well in recent years while Jacob Palmer will replace Curry at Center. Wilson is the quarterback and David Blackwell has moved to wide receiver. The running back corps is loaded with Jackson, Scott, Jordan, Andronicus Lovette, Angelo Cabrera and David Allen. The Wildcats have Poole as the go-to receiver. K.J. Stroud and Pat Harris have experience. Coaches are looking for Jhomo Gordon and Tyree Green to step up. B-CU will look for balance with the right combination of passing and running. Defense: The secondary is solid with Howard at safety and returning corners Dion Hanks and Tim Burke. Addison is high-
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. Orlando: Tyga will be in concert at the University of Central Florida Arena on Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. Miami: Tickets are on sale for a show featuring Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez at the American Airlines Arena on Aug. 31 for an 8 p.m. show. ly touted at safety too. The defensive line features Love, Tevin Toney and Anthony Woodard, who replaces Ryan Davis. Fields is a tackling machine at middle linebacker while Tavarus Dantzler and Al-Ghafar Lane replace Lewis and Sandilands on the outside. The Wildcats must be stingy and create turnovers like in recent years to be successful. Special teams: Kicker Sven Hurd has a strong leg but has been inconsistent. He has to become that dependable leg to take B-CU over the top. Kory Kowalski (36.7 yards per punt in 2011) must also improve punting. The Wildcats need some big returns from the speedy Cabrera and Preston Cleckly.
Key games Sept. 2. Vs. Alabama State in MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Wildcats open season in national spotlight). Sept. 8 at South Carolina State (Wildcats face one of MEAC’s best). Sept. 15 at Miami (Wildcats face FBS program whom they hung with last season). Sept. 22 vs. Tennessee State in Hall of Fame game (Wildcats face HBCU from Ohio Valley conference). Oct. 6 vs. North Carolina A&T (Homecoming/ Wildcats look for revenge against team who beat them last season). Oct. 13 vs. Norfolk State (Wildcats host defending MEAC champion). Nov. 17 vs. Florida A&M in Florida Classic (rivals battle in Black college football’s biggest game, which could decide MEAC crown and playoff spot). Outlook: Once again BCU is loaded with talent and expectations are high. They return a lot but lost some defensive stars. The schedule may be the toughest ever. Nonetheless, the Wildcats will compete for a MEAC crown and playoff spot. If youngsters catch on and they fill some big shoes on the defensive side, this could be a spectacular season.
AUGUST 24 - AUGUST 30, 2012
august 24 – AUGUST 30, 2012
Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken Legs Wine matches: with a spicy glaze, FishEye Shiraz. For a mildly spiced glaze, FishEye Riesling. Makes 4 servings 1/2 cup white wine 1/2 cup honey 1 tablespoon light soy sauce 2 to 3 teaspoons dry mustard powder, to taste 1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha or other hot chili sauce, to taste 8 to 12 chicken drumsticks Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper Whisk wine, honey, soy sauce, dry mustard and sriracha in a small saucepan until smooth. Heat, stirring, over medium low heat until simmering. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Cool. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed sheet pan with foil. Arrange chicken on the pan and sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper. Brush chicken legs with half the honey mixture. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn chicken legs over and brush other side with remaining honey mixture and drippings on the pan. Bake 25 minutes more, brushing one more time with pan drippings, until the chicken is well browned. Cool. Wrap in foil or place in a plastic container and refrigerate until ready to go. Serve with finger wipes for sticky fingers.
Recipes for a better picnic
GOURMET ON J THE GO
FROM Family Features
ust because you’re going on a picnic, hiking or camping out, doesn’t mean you can’t have great food. These recipes and wine pairings will take your outdoor fare from good to gourmet — and you don’t have to be a chef to make them.
Trailblazer Cookies Wine matches: chilled FishEye Moscato or Sweet Red. Makes about 4 dozen 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened 1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar 3 large eggs, at room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 cup quick cooking (not instant) oatmeal 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon coarse salt 2 cups chocolate chips 2 cups dried fruit (combination of raisins, figs, prunes, dates, cherries, cranberries and/or apricots, snipped into small pieces) 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds Heat oven to 350°F. Spray with nonstick spray or lightly butter two large baking sheets. Beat butter and brown sugar in an electric mixer until light and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Add vanilla. In separate bowl stir flours, oatmeal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until blended. On lowest speed, gradually beat in flour mixture until well blended. Add chocolate chips, dried fruit and almonds and fold into batter with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until blended. Drop batter by heaping tablespoons onto prepared pans, placing cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges of cookies are golden and tops are set, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly on pans before removing.
Chickpea-Pepper Dip Wine matches: FishEye Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. Or FishEye Shiraz or Pinot Noir, both spicy reds. Makes 4 or more servings Dip: 2 cans (15 to 16 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1/2 cup drained jarred Piquillo or other roasted red peppers, patted dry 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 to 3 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika, or to taste 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 garlic clove, chopped 1 teaspoon coarse salt 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil Vegetables: 3 heads California endive or 3 romaine lettuce hearts, stem ends trimmed, leaves separated 1 cup mini peeled carrots 1 cup trimmed celery pieces (1 1/2-inch lengths) 1 cup broccoli or cauliflower florets 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, cut into 1/2inch wedges In food processor, process chickpeas, peppers, lemon juice, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic and salt to rough puree. With motor running, gradually add oil and process until mixture is creamy. Taste and add more lemon juice and salt, if desired. Transfer to shallow plastic container (for easy dipping) and refrigerate until ready to go. Pack raw veggies in sealable plastic bags and refrigerate. Pack veggies with ice packs to keep crisp.
Brown Rice, Apricot and Walnut Salad Wine matches: FishEye Chardonnay or FishEye Pinot Grigio. For red wine drinkers, FishEye Pinot Noir. Makes 4 servings 1 cup raw short grain rice (or substitute 2 1/2 cups cooked short grain brown rice) 1 cup coarsely broken walnuts Dressing: 3 tablespoons mild olive oil or other vegetable oil 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup snipped (1/2-inch pieces) dried apricots 1/2 cup thin diagonally sliced scallions (white and green parts) 1/2 cup finely chopped celery 2 tablespoons finely chopped tender pale green celery leaves Cook rice in 2 3/4 cups boiling salted water until tender, about 45 minutes. Do not stir. Spoon into a strainer and rinse with cool water. Let stand. Heat oven to 350°F. Spread walnuts in a shallow baking pan and bake until toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. In large bowl whisk oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and a grinding of black pepper. Add cooled cooked rice, walnuts, apricots, scallions, celery and celery leaves. Toss with fork until combined. Spoon into a plastic container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Packing Tips Tables at established campgrounds or parks can get pretty grungy. Bring a plastic tablecloth with you and secure it with duct tape so it doesn’t blow away. Or, pack some cloth napkins that can do double duty as placemats wherever you decide to picnic. Just because you’re roughing it, doesn’t mean you can’t add a little panache to your portable feast. For extra impact, serve foods on non-breakable plastic ware in an array of vibrant colors. Packing wine bottles for a picnic or camping trip can be cumbersome. To avoid breakage and lighten your load, opt for a three liter wine box with its own pouring spout. It holds the equi valent of four standard size (750 ml) bottles, making it an environ mentally-friendly wine choice that’s easier to transport and serve by the glass. Learn more at www.fisheyewines.com.
AUGUST 24 - AUGUST 30, 2012
FINEST & ENTERTAINMENT
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A Philadelphia native, Davon Beale started his career as a hairstylist, model and actor at age 20, graduating from the Paul Mitchell School with his cosmetology license. He has been in such productions as “The Hunger Games” and has received his SAG-AFTRA certification. Additionally, he has participated in runway shows, including Charlotte and Charleston Fashion week. His goal is to create a brand for himself that will inspire others to be themselves and ultimately encourage them to inspire someone else. CREDIT: LakeNormonPhoto
Indiana native TikaD, 31, has been in Florida for nine years. She graduated with a criminal justice degree at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. She loves to travel and is very serious about fitness with plans to enter a fitness competition in the near future. Tika says her friends would describe her as a free bird, down to earth, carefree and sweet. CREDIT: TikaD
36 years later, Mayfield’s songs still ‘Sparkle’ BY HOWARD POUSNER ATLANTA JOURNALCONSTITUTION (MCT)
ATLANTA – When she saw the YouTube trailer and heard the music for the remake of “Sparkle,” it put a twinkle in Altheida Mayfield’s eyes. See, she was right there beside her husband, the late, great Curtis Mayfield, when the R&B singer-songwriterproducer was working up the songs for the original “Sparkle,” the 1976 musical drama about a three-sister girl group who become Motown stars. Because of some longterm legal drama with a former estate trustee over her husband’s copyright and publishing rights, Mayfield’s widow isn’t always the first to know when his music is being revived for a new project. But she wasn’t surprised that four of his eight tunes from the original “Sparkle” soundtrack are being resurrected for the remake 36 years later.
Timeless songs “Most of the songs that Curtis did, they’re just timeless,” recalled Altheida, who moved with Curtis and their growing family from Chicago to Atlanta in 1979. “I don’t know where it came from, but he seemed to have a foresight.” If Mayfield indeed could see the future, he would have known that his songs – ranging from socially hopeful hits such as “People Get Ready” and “Keep on Pushin’” to later, grittier compositions such as “Superfly” – would never fall out of vogue. This year in particular is shaping up to be a fine one for a reappreciation of the musician who died here in 1999, a decade after being paralyzed from the neck down when stage lighting toppled on him during a Brooklyn sound check.
More Mayfield projects In addition to “Sparkle,” which opened last week nationwide and stars Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in her final role, a tribute to Mayfield sold out Lincoln Center’s 2,700-seat Av-
“Most of the songs that Curtis did, they’re just timeless. I don’t know where it came from, but he seemed to have a foresight.” Altheida Mayfield Curtis Mayfield’s widow ery Fisher Hall in New York last month. Artists as diverse as Mavis Staples, Sinead O’Connor, the Roots, TV on the Radio and Mayfield’s old band the Impressions delved into his songbook during “Here But I’m Gone: A 70th Birthday Tribute to Curtis Mayfield.” Other projects are bubbling up as well. A proposed “Superfly” Broadway show featuring Mayfield’s music was the subject of a developmental workshop in New York in March, and directorchoreographer Bill T. Jones (“Fela!”) is reportedly preparing for another one soon.
Altheida’s ideas At 67, Altheida, who continues to call Atlanta home, as do most of their six children and 13 grandchildren, has ideas of her own, including a line of red wines (named after Curtis’ songs such as “Gypsy Woman”) she’s planning to launch later this year and a biography that she hopes would be made into a movie. Among the many things she would like the world to know is how Curtis, inspired by a gospel-loving grandmother and an opera-loving mom who struggled to keep her kids fed, made himself into a professional musician in his early teens. Altheida Mayfield recalls her husband as an artist of humility who could turn out polished song lyrics in mere minutes but who had a perfectionist’s streak in terms of how they went down in the studio.
photos by CURTIS COMPTON/ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION/
Curtis Mayfield’s widow Altheida Mayfield flips through old family albums of her late husband in Atlanta o July 12.
Toilet paper song For instance, when the filmmakers behind the original “Sparkle” wanted young star Lonette McKee to sing Mayfield’s songs, he insisted on bringing in Aretha Franklin. “And she laid it out!” his wife recalled. Happy memories play in her mind, such as that day in the mid-1970s when they were hanging around the house all day in Chicago and, around 5:30, he told her he had to get to work. The project was the soundtrack for “Let’s Do It Again,” an Atlanta-set Sidney PoitierBill Cosby film. “He runs in, takes a shower and writes a song out on a piece of toilet paper,” she recounted. “I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ “He said, ‘I gotta get to the studio and put down this song.’ “I was laughing at it, and said, ‘But you wrote it on toilet paper!’ “And he stuck it in his pocket, and out the door he went.” All these years later, Curtis Mayfield’s widow said of what became the movie’s title tune, “I still can’t hear that song and not want to get up and dance.”
Curtis Mayfield’s widow Altheida Mayfield holds her two-months-old granddaughter Taylor Mayfield-Scott in Atlanta on July 12.
AUGUST 24 â€“ AUGUST 30, 2012
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