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Volume 27 Number 10

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January 2014

Overview of Mandela and South Africa's Anti-Apartheid Movement...4 Fayola Men: What Mandela Means to Me...9 Role of Politicians in Montbello Foreclosures...10 The MLK African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions...12 A Word From Local Leaders on the Life of Mandela...18 MLK Events: Who, What, Where, When and Why...20 Remembering Robert “Treebob� Williams...22


COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS

Exploring issues of CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY

Presented by:

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

A Community Conversation with Author Douglas A. Blackmon Thursday, January 30, 2014, 7:00 PM Auraria Campus Tivoli Student Union, Turnhalle Denver, CO Join Facing History and Ourselves for an evening with Douglas Blackmon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Slavery by Another Name. In 30 years as a journalist, Blackmon has written extensively about the American quandary of race, exploring such issues as the integration of schools in his childhood Mississippi Delta farm town, lost episodes of the Civil Rights movement, and, how contemporary society should grapple with a troubled past. Seating is limited and RSVP is required. Please visit facinghistory.org/denverevents or call (303)316-4848 x221. As a part of Facing History’s national series of Community Conversations, this event is free and open to the public.

This event is presented in partnership with: Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, Black Student Services – University of Colorado Denver, City Year Denver, Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, Denver Foundation, Denver Urban Spectrum, Denver Woman’s Press Club, History Club – Metropolitan State University of Denver, Second Tuesday Race Forum


MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR Volume 27 Number 10

January 2014

PUBLISHER Rosalind J. Harris

GENERAL MANAGER Lawrence A. James MANAGING EDITOR Angelia D. McGowan

CONTRIBUTING COPY EDITOR Tanya Ishikawa COLUMNISTS Earl Ofari Hutchinson

FILM and BOOK CRITIC Kam Williams

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS James Ainsworth Adam Dempsey Angelle Fouther Chris Meehan Sid Wilson Theo E. J. Wilson ART DIRECTOR Bee Harris

PRODUCTION AND OFFICE ASSISTANT Cecile Perrin CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Lens of Ansar Sweetz Photography

ADVERTISING SALES CONSULTANT Robin James DISTRIBUTION Glen Barnes Lawrence A. James Ed Lynch

The Denver Urban Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to spreading the news about people of color. Contents of the Denver Urban Spectrum are copyright 2014 by Bizzy Bee Enterprise. No portion may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The Denver Urban Spectrum circulates 25,000 copies throughout Colorado. The Denver Urban Spectrum welcomes all letters, but reserves the right to edit for space, libelous material, grammar, and length. All letters must include name, address, and phone number. We will withhold author’s name on request. Unsolicited articles are accepted without guarantee of publication or payment. Write to the Denver Urban Spectrum at P.O. Box 31001, Aurora, CO 80041. For advertising, subscriptions, or other information, call 303-292-6446 or fax 303-292-6543 or visit the Web site at www.denverurbanspectrum.com.

Happy New Year

I, like so many others from across the globe, have visited South Africa. What most captured my attention during my 2006 trip were the photos of Nelson Ralihlahla Mandela that graced the living rooms of almost every home that I visited. And I visited a few as I chose to forego the hotels and instead stay with a range of families from different socio-economic levels to get an idea of the everyday life of South Africans. While sitting in homes – studios, apartments and an upper middle class home — in Alexandra, Soweto, Johannesburg and Durban, I couldn’t help but remember my childhood in the United States. The face of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. resided in the same location and on my grandmother’s church hand fans. You may not have known them personally, but you knew somehow they must be family. This first issue of the year pays tribute to Mandela, who died on Dec. 5, 2013 and to King, who we celebrate this month. You’ll find a historical overview by James Ainsworth’s as he connects the dots between the symbolic leaders. Among the tributes, Wellington Webb (Mayor of Denver 1991-2003) and participants of his 2002 trade mission to Southern Africa reflect on Mandela’s legacy. Students from Sims Fayola International Academy address Mandela’s impact on their future. Though gains have been made because of their sacrifices, this issue also features an op-ed called “Losing the Dream,” by Theo Wilson on the foreclosure crisis in Montbello. Chris Meehan reminds us of a Denver tradition rooted in the MLK Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions. Adam Dempsey pays tribute to DUS friend, Robert “Treebob” Williams. As we kick off 2014, we hope this issue will inspire you to understand that with every step you take, you are also leaving a legacy.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Reader Responds to “Oprah Plays the Race Card” Letter

event provided a telling revelation of how fast the post-election climate soured according to Robert Draper’s book “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives.” In 2005 then – RNC chair Ken Mehlman, speaking to the NAACP, admitted that during the civil rights movement “some Republicans (were) trying to benefit politically from racial polarization,” and apologized. But if William Faulkner were alive today, he could tell Mehlman that, sadly, in this regard, the past isn’t dead. It isn’t even the past. (This paragraph appeared in the March 19, 2012 edition of The Nation). When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the historic “I Have A Dream” speech on August 28, 1963 he expressed the firm hope that “my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” It was a goal that people of good will of all races and religions seemed to agree on. And it is quite apparent that tangible progress was made over the ensuing 20 years. Unfortunately, the march toward an integrated society would prove to be a somewhat short-lived phenomenon. With an African American in the White House, the fueling of racist opinions and sentiments is good politics for right wing Republican candidates. Tricia, with these right wing pundits and ideal logs, their agenda will always be driven by skin color not by the content of character or performance. One would conclude this country/world has moved on concerning race, you may remember South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson shouted

Editor: In an article by Will Smith called “The Race Card, White Backlash, and Why Reverse Racism is an Oxymoronic Irony” he states: “Those who speak of the ‘race card’ are those who feel ‘that they have lost their privilege.’ They are being exposed for being who they are and they don’t like what they see, and they would rather be damned than to have people of color, who in the past have worshipped them as gods and goddesses (sarcasm noted) refuse to continue to make blood sacrifices for their benefit. They fear they will lose the economic, political, and social resources they have set up for themselves, as well as the reality that they will have to actually share these resources with non-white, people of color. In short, they feel oppressed. “When whites voice their belief, they get applauded. When blacks voice their opinions, they’re playing the race card.” When Tricia (Erickson) cites Oprah Winfrey (DUS December 2013) saying “There’s a level of disrespect for the office occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he is African American. There’s no question about that. And it’s the kind of thing no one ever says, but everyone is thinking.” Tricia (Erickson), Oprah’s comments are point on; “we will quit telling the truth, when the Republican/Fox supporters quit telling lies.” Sen. Mitch McConnell said, “The single most important thing” for Republicans to achieve in the next congress was ensuring President Obama was a one-term president. This

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Angelia D. McGowan Managing Editor

“You lie!” to Donald Trump for saying that president Obama is not an American. Newt Gingrich, for instance, calls President Obama America’s “food stamp president” and promises to “talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps. On October, 24, 2013, Jason Easley reported a heroic President Obama Responds to Rep. Pete Sessions’ Ugly Insult with dignity and grace. It is unimaginable that a white president — Democratic or Republican — would ever have to deal with members of congress insulting them in such a disgraceful face to face way. Rep. Sessions disrespected the president of the United States. He disrespected the presidency, and he disrespected Barack Obama as a human being. Those are a few examples Winfrey speaks of or has about concerns regarding race issue and the president. You speak of President Obama’s performance; his leadership brought this country out of recession. If you recall the economy looked pretty miserable when he took office in 2009. After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, President Obama signed the Affordable Health Care Act in 2010; passed the stimulus; signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression; Passed Wall Street Reform; ended the War in Iraq: ordered all U.S. military forces out of the country, last troops left on December 18, 2011; began draw down of War in Afghanistan, helped South Sudan Declare Independence; Continued on page 33


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Reflections on the Indelible Life of Nelson Mandela

bn April 4, 1968, the world came

By James Ainsworth

to a standstill, as the hopes and aspira-

tions of people of African descent – in the United States and around the

world – suffered a traumatic body blow with the assassination of Dr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. After the .30-06 caliber shot rang out from a rifle and Dr. King lay in a growing pool of blood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, a 26-year-old journalist snapped a photograph of the scene, with Dr. King’s colleagues pointing in the direction from where the shot came. The image, hastily developed at a local Memphis darkroom, was eventually acquired by Time-Life and became one of the most recognizable and iconic photographs of the 20th Century. Few people know that the young photographer – the only journalist at the scene – was the late Joseph Louw, a black South African who was traveling with Dr. King and producing a documentary on his civil rights work. While it may seem unusual to some that a black South African journalist would find himself in the heart of a critical event in African-American history, Louw’s presence is actually a reflection of an abiding intimacy between the South African struggle against apartheid and the American civil rights movement. Despite the cruel and desperate isolation of African, mixed-race and Indian people by the apartheid government, there have been common influences, communication and enduring bonds that have influenced both causes. These ties go back to 1920, when co-founder of the African National Congress (ANC) Sol Plaatje traveled to the United States and met with W.E.B. DuBois, founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). During the apartheid era, thousands of South African exiles like Louw studied and earned degrees at American colleges and universities, joining exiled musicians like Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim and Miriam Makeba, who achieved international acclaim in the United States. On December 5, 2013, the world

rize its transformation symbolically in the Father of the Nation, a black man who spent 27 years in prison and then forgave his white captors. Although Mandela would assume the helm of the transition to a new state, the forces that led to his release from prison and the fracturing of apartheid’s political power were far more complex than the ideals of nonviolence and peaceful reconciliation that are typically ascribed to him.

lost a great light, as Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – the world’s most famous political prisoner and respected elder statesman – passed away at the age of 95. With a memorial service attended by heads of state – including U.S. President Barack Obama – and countless news reports, documentaries, online tributes, immense activity in social media and the blogosphere and the release of a feature film, the mourning of Nelson Mandela’s death was like no other in modern history. In Johannesburg, it seemed that the heavens were crying, pouring endless rivers of rain, with reams of thunder and lightning punctuating the pain of South Africa’s mass emotions at the great loss. The rain rolled right over the memorial service itself at FNB Stadium in Soweto, and President Obama’s eloquent speech; but rain is also a sign of prosperity and wellbeing in Africa, and crowds of ordinary South Africans came to celebrate in the deluge and feel the full spiritual impact of their history, with the whole world watching. On the streets of Soweto, in front of Mandela’s old home on Vilakazi Street, they had been singing and dancing in the rain for days. Their beloved “Madiba” – the Xhosa clan name by which Nelson Mandela is affectionately known in South Africa – left this world with an unfathomable outpouring of love and grace. Much like Dr. King, Mandela became a charismatic leader and a personification of his nation’s human rights struggle, and the power of his personality somewhat overshadowed the complexity of the very movement he came to represent. Given South Africa’s unusual history and its insularity, it becomes tempting to summa-

The Congressional Alliance and the Limits of Nonviolent Civil Disobedience

Both the American civil rights movement, as well as Mandela and leaders of the South African struggle against apartheid, drew inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi’s effective use of civil disobedience in India’s independence movement and Gandhi’s philosophy of Satyagraha – the moral power of the “insistence on truth” or the “force of truth” – to overcome political injustice. In South Africa, civil disobedience tactics led to the Defiance Campaign of 1952, where 10,000 people of all racial groups – African, Indian, mixed-race and whites – protested the new apartheid laws and more than 8,500 were arrested, including Mandela. While the Defiance Campaign changed little with respect to the government’s discriminatory laws, the campaign solidified heightened opposition to apartheid and increased multiracial cooperation among the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Indian Congress (SAIC), the Colored People’s Congress (CPC) and other activist organizations. Later, the Congress Alliance would merge into one organization under the banner of the ANC.

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While South Africa’s ruling National Party dug in its heels and continued to enact discriminatory legislation, the Congress Alliance began its next round of civil disobedience in the form of strikes, boycotts and protests that culminated in the Treason Trial of 1956, with Mandela and 156 co-defendants – once again, men and women of all racial and ethnic groups – being charged with high treason. Mandela and his co-accused were all acquitted on March 29, 1961, a year after the anti-apartheid movement reached a turning point with the new pass law protests – organized by Robert Sobukwe and the more militant Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) – that led to the infamous Sharpeville Massacre. On March 21, 1960, when between 5,000 and 7,000 protestors came to the Sharpeville police station to hand in their passbooks, police indiscriminately opened fire and killed 69 and injured 180 demonstrators, including many women and children. The despised passbooks were a highly emotional issue, as they were required to be carried by any black person outside of their segregated township residences. Ironically, the contrast of the nonviolent actions of the Congress Alliance protests throughout the 50s may have led to the acquittal of Treason Trial defendants; however, by that time, Mandela, the lead defendant and president of the ANC Youth League, had already begun forming the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe – “The Spear of the Nation” – to begin a new phase of targeted armed resistance to government repression. In the wake of Sharpeville, both the PAC and the ANC were banned in 1960 and were labeled terrorist organizations by the South African and U.S. governments; in 1959, facing a banning order, Oliver Tambo, deputy president of the ANC and Mandela’s partner in the formation of South Africa’s first black law firm, went into exile in London, to build the ANC’s international anti-apartheid movement.

The Rivonia Trial

After his acquittal at the Treason Trial, Mandela wasted no time in organizing the new strategy of the ANC’s struggle. Between 1961 and Continued on page 6


Elder Law 101

What is elder law? Elder law is a

By Ayo Labode, Esq.

broad area of law that focuses on the needs of clients as they age. Elder law attorneys have specialized knowledge in topics such as Medicaid planning, wills, powers of attorney, late-in-life issues, veteran’s benefits, old-age pension, conservatorships and guardianships. Just like the needs of a teenager are very different from a middle-age parent, our legal needs change as we age. Why does elder law matter? It is no surprise that we are aging and as a group we are living longer. In Colorado our population is becoming increasingly older. In 2010 there were 540,000 Coloradans over the age of 65. That is a 30 percent increase from 2000. In just 16 years 1,350,000 Coloradans will be over the age of 65. Our state is one of the fastest aging states in the country. The life expectancy for African Americans is increasing as well. For African American men who live to the age of 65, their live expectancy is 80 years. For African American women their life expectancy is 83. Many of us will age without significant complications and will live independently until we die. However, some of us will need help. It is estimated that more than 77,000 people in our state are living with Alzheimer’s disease, an irreversible brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. By 2025, more than 110,000 Coloradoans and their families will be living with Alzheimer’s. Chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, mental illness, multiple sclerosis and just simple aging are conditions that not only affect the individual; they affect families, friends, colleagues and care providers. We should be aware that African Americans experience higher rates of arthritis, diabetes and hypertension. The presence of a chronic disease increase the likelihood that we will need assistance with what is known as ‘activities of daily living’ such as managing finances, maintaining our homes, eating, and transportation as we age. Let’s face it, we are all aging and it is a good thing. More children have relationships with their great grandparents. We have the time to pursue dreams and hobbies that was not available to previous generations. Amazing leaders like Nelson Mandela live deep into their old age and we have the opportunity to appreciate their accomplishments.

The same advances in medical technology that have helped us live longer have also increased the complexity of aging and requires us to take greater responsibility to make sure we have legal documents in place that will help us age successfully. At a minimum, every adult over the age of 18 should have a will, power of attorney, medical durable power of attorney and a living will. In upcoming articles we will explore why each legal document is essential to have as we age; the difference between Medicaid and Medicare; identifying and avoiding financial exploitation; nursing home and assisted-living issues and similar topics. Like everything in life, knowl-

edge is power. I am looking forward to exploring this topic with you. Editor’s Note: This is the first article of a column by elder law attorney, Ayo Labode, Esq., that will appear in the Denver Urban Spectrum six times a year. The goal of this column is to provide readers with an understanding of the issues faced with aging. This article will not give legal advice, but will provide practical information for consumers. This column will be in a question and answer format, and readers are invited to submit questions and comments. If you have a question or for more information, email info@labodelaw.com, call 720-295-9509 or visit www.labodelaw.com.

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Farewell Madiba

Continued from page 4 1963, Mandela became known as the revolutionary “Black Pimpernel,” for evading authorities and going underground to foment continued resistance. Mandela even slipped out of the country and traveled throughout Africa – as far away as Libya and Morocco – to seek military aid, finance and training for Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). But once he returned to South Africa, he and his MK comrades were arrested on July 11, 1963 at Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, a suburb of Johannesburg. Of the 13 people who were arrested, eight – including Mandela, as “Defendant Number 1” – would stand trial for conspiracy and subversion in what would become known as the “Rivonia Trial.” It was during this trial that Mandela gave his famous speech from the docket, challenging the apartheid government’s legitimacy and moral authority to question his patriotism and charge him with sedition. While the Rivonia Trial and Mandela’s subsequent life sentence eventually made him the world’s most famous political prisoner, it is less well known that – in typical Congress Alliance multiracial fashion – seven other Rivonia Trial defendants were given life imprisonment sentences along with him, including five Africans (Walter Sisulu, Andrew Mlageni, Raymond Mhlaba, Govan Mbeki and Elias Motsoaledi) one Indian Muslim (Ahmed Kathrada) and one white Jew (Dennis Goldberg.) Beyond the Rivonia Trial defendants, Robben Island continually filled with new political prisoners from more militant organizations like the Azanian People’s Organization AZAPO) the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the PAC; the apartheid government so feared Robert Sobukwe that they built a separate housing unit to completely isolate him from all contact with other Robben Island prisoners. As the ANC became the most wellknown anti-apartheid organization internationally, its singular promotion of Mandela as the face of the movement tended to eclipse the contributions of other leaders like Robert Sobukwe and awareness of other dimensions of the struggle. A similar trend happened in the AfricanAmerican civil rights movement, with many people assuming that all nonviolent resistance was led by Dr. King and his Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), while most of the lunch counter desegregation actions and the Freedom Rides were organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) through leaders like James Lawson of

the townships increasingly ungovernable. The impatience, fire and angst of Soweto youth ignited the final, most bloody and polarized phase of the anti-apartheid struggle that would not stop until the South African government unbanned the ANC and other liberation movements and released Mandela from prison on February 11, 1990.

the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), who trained 60s youth activists like James Bevel, Diane Nash, Bernard Lafayette, Marion Barry and John Lewis. With time, apartheid resistance assumed new forms and police suppression became increasingly fierce, brutal and violent; quite often activists who were not imprisoned (or lucky

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like

slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.

Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” – Nelson Mandela

Throughout the 80s the apartheid government doubled-down on its repression and state-of-emergency tactics, while it became increasingly isolated internationally as a pariah state. With Cold-War era support from U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the South Africa government had free reign in its repression – including banning activists through house arrest, detention without trial, torture and murder of prisoners in detention and kidnapping protest leaders – while also waging war against socialist governments in bordering states of Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and covert hostilities against Zimbabwe. The National Party’s grip on power was unbending, propped-up by the high price of gold within an international finance system that maintained strong government revenues and one of the world’s highest standards of living for South Africa’s wealthy white minority. But behind the scenes, some business and political leaders recognized the situation as being untenable, and gradually initiated negotiations with ANC leaders in exile and with Nelson Mandela while he was still in prison. To his courage and credit, Mandela refused to renounce armed struggle in return for being released from prison; yet once he was freed, Mandela worked tirelessly to bring peace and reconciliation to South Africa. In the end, international events, the forces of economic globalization and worldwide resistance to apartheid would gradually break huge cracks in the armor of the South African government. In Angola, the South African military suffered a humiliating defeat at the battle of Cuito Cuanavale in 1988 (in addition to other defeats in Angola in 1975 and 1976) which marked a turning point of hope for South Africa’s black population – and

enough to escape) disappeared and were tortured and killed, like the PEBCO 3 or the Craddock 4. But even as Mandela, Sobukwe and their comrades were captive on Robben Island, a loose alliance of trade unions, black “Civic” township governments, white anti-draft and antiapartheid organizations and student groups gradually began to build broad coalitions to put economic and political pressure on the National Party government from within the country. In addition to growing public protests, strikes and boycotts, the ANC, PAC and AZAPO all organized their own underground military organizations, with arms being secretly funneled into the country from exiles and clandestine allies in surrounding states. South Africa was becoming an increasingly tense and violent powder keg, ready to be set off.

The 1976 Soweto Uprising, Internal Activism and Global Dimensions of Resistance

On June 16, 1976, a group of more than 10,000 Soweto school children planned a peaceful protest at Orlando Stadium against the government’s new policy of providing education in Afrikaans, the language of white Afrikaners, as opposed to English that had been the standard based on the British education system. The protest, organized by Soweto Student Representative’s Council and the Black Consciousness Movement was intended to be peaceful, but police blocked off the students’ initial route and the gathering quickly erupted into chaos. After the police opened fire students armed only with rocks, at least 176 were killed, although it is said that as many as 700 youth may have died. With a full 16 years since the Sharpeville Massacre, the Soweto Uprising once again focused an international spotlight on apartheid repression, while galvanizing youth throughout South Africa and making

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disillusionment among white South Africans and a strengthening of their own domestic anti-war movement. Cuba’s interventions marked the first time an outside military force came to Africa to assist in Africa’s liberation, with Castro’s soldiers defeating the “White Giants” – Southern African military and paramilitary forces, armed and trained by the United States. Relentless work by international anti-apartheid activists to pass economic sanctions (particularly in the United States, where the Congress overrode a presidential veto by Ronald Reagan in 1986) as well as protests leading to the withdrawal of Citibank and its loans to the South African government, creating panic in financial markets, a dramatic drop in the South African rand/U.S. dollar exchange rate and capital flight. The Congressional Black Caucus and the African American community were the spearhead of these protests, and deserve great credit for marshalling the moral ideals of the majority of Americans to steer the U.S. government toward passage of economic sanctions through Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act. While South Africa’s police and security forces intensified their violent repression in the mid to late 80s, the National Party government seemed to be lashing out, like a frightened, wounded animal, cornered on all sides. Despite the government’s actions, in many ways large numbers of the white population had outgrown apartheid’s ideology, as the protest songs of South African popular music held forth a transcendent belief in a better, more hopeful multiracial future. Perhaps it can be said that the victory over apartheid, as well as Nelson Mandela’s release from prison – was truly a global event, and a moral victory of the goodwill of ordinary citizens and activists. As we celebrate the memory of both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, let us remember that these great souls were figureheads of their movements, but no one leader acts alone. Both Dr. King and Nelson Mandela were at the vortex of the forces and wide-ranging actions of many groups and individuals. The life of Nelson Mandela, the death of apartheid and the peaceful transition toward South Africa’s new, multiracial democracy are a testament to what the world can accomplish when people of goodwill work together to end oppression.  Editor’s note: James Ainsworth is a freelance journalist and writer in Denver, and he can be reached through his web site at www.islandofspicemedia.com or on his blog, at www.aneyeonafrica.blogspot.com.


Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

A Community Conversation with Author Douglas Blackmon

Join Facing History and

Ourselves for an evening with Douglas Blackmon, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.” This groundbreaking work delivers a searing examination of the enslavement of AfricanAmericans that persisted deep into the 20th century. Sponsored by Allstate Foundation, A Community Conversation with Author Douglas A. Blackmon is Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Auraria Campus Tivoli Student Union, Turnhalle in Denver. In 30 years as a journalist, Blackmon has written extensively about the American quandary of race, exploring such issues as the integration of schools in his childhood Mississippi Delta farm town, lost episodes of the Civil Rights movement, and, how contemporary society should grapple with a troubled past. Facing History and Ourselves engages students in an examination of

racism, prejudice, and antiSemitism to create a more humane and informed citizenry. Students tackle essential questions of identity and choice, justice and healing, and memory and legacy. Douglas A. Blackmon is chair and host of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center Forum—a weekly public affairs television program broadcast on nearly100 public television stations around the U.S., and a contributor to The Washington Post. Previously, Blackmmon was the longtime Atlanta bureau and Senior National Correspondent at The Wall Street Journal. He wrote about or directed coverage for the Journal of major events such the rise of the tea party movement, multiple presidential campaigns, many natural disasters, most notably Hurricane Katrina and the failed federal response after that disaster. The Journal’s ground breaking coverage of Katrina was awarded a special National Headliner Award in 2006.

Blackmon’s book, a searing examination of how the enslavement of AfricanAmericans persisted deep into the 20th century, was a New York Times bestseller and won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. The documentary film based on Slavery by Another Name, and co-executive produced by Blackmon, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, and when broadcast nationally on PBS in 2012 was seen by five million viewers. It has been repeatedly re-broadcast in January and February 2013. Rcently, in a special event hosted at the Supreme Court by Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced that Slavery by Another Name and three other films related to the quest for racial equality in America will be distributed this year to hundreds of libraries across the United States. Over the span of 30 years as an active journalist, Blackmon has written

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extensively about the American quandary of race—exploring the integration of schools during his childhood in a Mississippi Delta farm town, lost episodes of the Civil Rights movement, and, repeatedly, the dilemma of how a contemporary society should grapple with a troubled past. Many of his stories in The Wall Street Journal explored the interplay of wealth, corporate conduct, the American judicial system, and racial segregation. He is currently working on a book and film examining the desegregation and resegregation of public schools in his home state of Mississippi, and exploring new research on false convictions and other failures in the current U.S. judicial system.  Editor’s note: To register or for more information, email Katie Terrazas Hoover at katie_terrazas_hoover@facing.org or call 303-316-4848. For more information about the book of Douglas Blackmon visit: www.slaverybyanothername.com; the film, www.pbs.org/tpt/slavery-by-anothername; and for educational materials visit: www.pbs.org/tpt/slavery-by-anothername/classrooms/history/


Madiba... By Lucifury

His Day Is Done ...By Dr. Maya Angelou

Once in a cycle of stars The Gods will possess a man like an Avatar Divine marionette for freedom.

I saw a war machine tremble at his voice When his vocal chords clapped together You could hear his ancestors applauding.

“Amandla!” they yelled, And the Heavens cried “Freedom.” Sometimes, a man’s footsteps will make thunder back down His smile crackles lightning in the corners of his eyes.

His day is done. Is done. The news came on the wings of a wind reluctant to carry its burden. Nelson Mandela’s day is done. The news, expected and still unwelcome reached us in the United States and suddenly our world became somber. Our skies were leadened. His day is done.

Even here in America we felt the coorefreshing breeze of freedom.

When Nelson Mandela took the seat of Presidency in his country where formerly he was not even allowed to vote we were enlarged by tears of pride as we saw Nelson Mandela’s former prison guardsinvited courteously by him to watch from the front rows his inauguration.

We see you, South African people standing speechless at the slamming of We saw him accept Madiba, will the mountains ever seem as tall that final door the world’s award in Norway Next to the tower of souls you liberated? through which no traveler returns. with the grace and gratitude Wrap the oppressor’s train tracks around the moon Our spirits reach out to you Bantu, Zulu, Xhosa, Boer. of the Solon in Ancient Roman Courts And make a swing the children ride to tickle the stars. We think of you and your son of Africa, and the confidence of African Chiefs your father your One More Wonder of the World. from ancient royal stools. Let the rain bathe the diamond mines in beauty We send our souls to you as you reflect upon No sun outlasts its sunset. Until the minors know their fallen comrades are watching. your David armed with a mere Gut will rise again and bring the dawn. When the lion roars like the crowds, stone facing down Yes, Mandela’s day is done, Yet we, his The sound ignites unjust laws, the mighty Goliath, man of strength Gideon, inheritors will open the gates wider for Sending them back to the Hades that scribed them. emerging triumphant. reconciliation and we will respond generously to the cries of Blacks and Whites, Although born into the brutal 27 years in the inferno can either melt a man Asian, Hispanics, the poor who live embrace of Apartheid Or forge him into a sword. piteously on the floor of our planet. scarred by the savage atmosphere of racism, You are Excalibur dipped in Uhuru. He has offered us understanding. unjustly imprisoned They bounded your arms, "When you leave your job... in the bloody maws of South African Dungeons. We will not withhold forgiveness even from So you made the sanctions choke them into submission don't leave your money behind!" who do not ask. Would the man survive? Could the man survive? those His answer strengthened men and women And when your prison door flung open, Myra Nelson Donovan, CLU,Day ChFC, CFP Mandela’s is Done. around the world. Our ribs filed with Angels! In the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas Financial Adviser The stadiums shook at the blinking of your eyes. on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, We confess it in tearful voices yet we Crown Madiba, for the world must see in Chicago’s Loop, in New Orleans Mardi Gras, lift our Creek own toDrive say thank 3200 Cherry South,you. #700 A man wear Saturn’s rings like a halo. in New York City’s Times Square. Thank you, Our Gideon. Thank you, Our David. Denver, CO 80209 Our great courageous man we will Nelson Mandela, you’ve been called home 303-871-7249 - www.myradonovan.com not forget you. We watched as the hope of Africa sprang But does Heaven have room for your wingspan? through the prison’s doors. I will know one day. His stupendous heart intact, We will not dishonor you. You teach me in the clouds above Mount Mafadi. "Call Today for a FREE his gargantuan willhale and hearty. We will remember and be But while I am down here, I fight back these Consultation!" He had not been crippled by brutes. glad that you tears Thanking God for the freedom in Nor was his passion for the lived among us every breath you took. rights of human beings diminished by twenty-seven That you taught us and years of imprison- that you loved us ment. All!

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8


killed when this word was created. We have to stop using the word and educate people about why the word is hurtful and demeaning. Nelson Mandela at first did not understand what was going on in his country, but he realized it soon and instead of just going with it, he stood up for what was right and just. His protests and voice came with a risk – he could have been killed. If he could stand up in those times, then anyone now should be able to stand-up for their freedoms. Everyone has the same rights to believe, think, and say what they want to. Just because we are young does not mean we don’t have those rights. The one thing I can change to better our future is to teach young males and females that they should not be afraid to stand up for what they believe in. Nelson Mandela has inspired me to stand-up for what I believe in, even though I am young. He has inspired me to think about the future and how to change it, but I have realized that it will take time and lots of people with strong beliefs to change the world.

Mandela’s Legacy Three Youth Reflect on

Sims Fayola International Academy joined the world in honoring the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, who died on Dec. 5, 2013, by holding an essay contest for its 9th grade students. The question: “What does he mean to me and my future?” The mission of Sims Fayola International Academy-Denver is to graduate globally competent, collegeready males who possess the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind necessary to succeed and contribute in the 21st-century global environment. In addition to printing the essays below, the Denver Urban Spectrum presented gift baskets to all three essay winners.

First Place

Adam Duncan Nelson Mandela means the world to me and my future. He means the world to me because he voluntarily spent 27 years in prison; he also went over his sentence and refused to be released until they changed the law (Civil Rights Movement). This is significant to my life now because it encourages me to stand up for what I believe in. Also it makes me appreciate life and my education even more, knowing that kids my age were murdered for trying to get the same education and were treated the same. This is significant to my future because its inspiration for me to be a police officer that helps the community. Its inspiration because Nelson Mandela knew what was going on in his community and he knew there can a better way. So when I’m a police

officer and things are going wrong in my community, I’m going to stand up for what’s right just like Nelson Mandela did. All these reasons are why Nelson Mandela means the world to me. It feels good to wake up every morning, go to school, drink out of any fountain, and eat at any restaurant that I want. None of this would be possible if it was not four out Nation Leaders.

Third Place

Alejandro Rojas What Nelson Mandela meant to me and my future is that life is worth fighting for even if it means you have

Second Place

Cris Delatorre I have learned a lot about Nelson Mandela and what he believed in. He inspired lots of people, and he also inspired me in a way I did not know that he could. He has inspired me to think about the future and what I can do to change it in a positive way. He has also inspired me to think about how I can get people to change the future in a positive way, too. He has also inspired me to stand up for what I believe in. When I think about the past I also think about the future; the past is the past and we can’t change it. However, we have to move one and change our future. There are many ways to change the future. One way is by fighting for what you believe in. One of the biggest things that our society has to change is the way that so many people my age use the word “nigga.” A lot of people don’t understand the meaning of the word; that the word is used in a hateful manner. African American males and females were being punished, raped, sold and Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

9

to live through difficult times or fight for your rights. For example many young kids and teenagers are fighting for a chance at having an education in developing countries. Nelson Mandela was a world-wide inspiration. He inspired many people in South Africa to fight for their rights. Nelson Mandela has affected me because he has now shown me what it takes to get what you want; his fight for what he believed in is an example of hard work. Nelson Mandela has affected my future by helping me notice that what I do now will affect my future. For example, the more I mess up now the worse my life will be when I grow up. If I don’t fight for my right to a good education I will struggle to get in college and later on in life. As a Hispanic teen I have been told that many people don’t want me to achieve. This gives me that extra push to prove people wrong. Nelson Mandela’s goal was to rid his country of anti-apartheid revolutionary.  Editor’s note: Enrollment at Sims-Fayola International Academy is underway for grades six through 12 for the 2014 school year. For more information, call 303-3754911 or visit www.simsfayola.org.


LOSING THE DREAM Montbello Burns as Officials Stand By Op-ed by Theo E. J. Wilson

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oreclosure: It’s what’s for dinner. Unless you live in Montbello, then you’re on the menu. A whopping 56 percent of the homes there have been foreclosed on in the last 10 years, as opposed to 13 percent for the rest of Denver, according to Denvergov.org. Yeah, it’s that bad! What’s worse are those elected officials who allow this to happen; officials whom, when given the choice to be public servants or careerists, have chosen the latter. Warning: Exposed here is a dangerous trend of double-dealing and political back-scratching in this city. It’s about to bring heavy losses to the average voter if politics and business continue to mingle like this. Scary to think that 25.4 percent of Denver’s homeless were newly homeless in 2013, according to the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative. Keep in mind that it has been a crime to be homeless in Denver since 2012. Both Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver City Councilman (District 8) Albus Brooks sponsored legislation banning the homeless from “camping” in public. This move was conveniently timed to strike at the Occupy Movement’s momentum. Occupy’s gripe was that regular folks can’t get ahead. There are almost no pensions and retirements left. The only way to collect substantial wealth is through the value of homes, nowadays. That wealth is being robbed. So, let’s put a human face on the foreclosure problem. Meet Montbello homeowner, Linda Donna. She grew up believing that doing all the ‘right stuff’ would make

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

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her successful. You know, to put God first, work hard, save money and you too can have the American dream; property ownership and its implied financial freedom. She got pretty darn close to that dream, too. During her 34 years at Denver Water, she was able to buy several properties from her income; the first was in Montbello in 1979. After she bought her second house, she sub-leased the older one to a family who needed a home and to build their credit. She continued this process until she owned the debt on four homes, but was fired from Denver Water for having “too ethnic of a voice,” allegedly. Donna took them to court and fought to keep the position that she created after more than three decades of service. Her efforts were unsuccessful. Then, the rough seas began. How would you like to find out you’re in foreclosure because Bank of America put your money in the wrong account and have paperwork to prove they misallocated funds for more than two years – then tried to take the houses. With no family here in Denver, her back was against the wall. Donna had to liquidate her 401K and savings to fight this case. What she found was that even when you can get a lawyer, the law firms can swindle you with outlandishly high attorney fees. Donna started a company called PaperWORKS 4 Seniors, LLC which she runs to help older homeowners cut through the fine print. The Denver Post ran a story about homeowners paying too much on August 18, 2013. In that article, they revealed that many homeowners were getting charged for nonexistent foreclosure cases. So, what if Donna didn’t have the assets? Where do they go once they lose? Who is the representative in charge of Montbello? Well, it turns out State Rep. Angela Williams is over District 7, the Montbello/Green Valley Ranch neighborhoods. She got herself into some hot water for killing House Bill 131249 (the Colorado Mortgage Accountably and Housing Stabilization act) after publically supporting it. This measure could have armed homeowners against this kind of corruption. Community activists were outraged, including Darren O’Connor, a member of Occupy


Denver and Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition. He tried everything within his constitutional rights to hold Williams accountable for disarming her voters against the banks. She avoided all attempts to meet publically, privately and debate the issue. O’Connor pressed on tenaciously. He was a pit bull; one that Williams tried leashing with a temporary and unlawful restraining order. Magistrate Catherine Cary sided with O’Connor’s constitutional right to protest and free speech. Cary picked Williams’ faulty restraining order apart, charge by charge. She ruled that as a public official, Williams is subject to public scrutiny and any attempt to silence dissent will not be tolerated in a court of law. O’Connor won the case. I felt sad for Williams as she left the court room. Someone convinced her she was powerful enough to not answer to the people. Her public embarrassment likely resulted from whoever advised her to restrain dissent. This advisor, however powerful, is not her friend. Strangely enough and shortly after she killed HB 13-1249, Williams received an award from the Independent Bankers of Colorado. Don’t let the name fool you, these guys have assets into the billions. Many are listed by the Federal Reserve to have interests connected to the major banks; including mortgage holdings, some in Montbello. One can only wonder if there is an association with Pat Hamill of Oakwood Homes, the top real estate holder in Green Valley/Montbello. Oakwood has the most to gain by redeveloping that prime, near-airport land. It seems someone is using our public officials as patsies, fall guys if you will. Their signature on legislation is quite valuable if you want to make home snatching legal. Following the money revealed that all of Denver is in a downward spiral. A report published by KDVR-Fox 31 in October 2013 stated that Denver was one of the least affordable of the top 25 metro areas in America. In fact, Interest.com gave Denver a “D+” for the required income-to-expense ratio to live here. A “D” means that the average family can only afford the average house when reduced to 80 percent of its original cost. This wasn’t the case just a year ago. Since Hancock has been mayor, the living here has gotten worse for homeowners, according to the team at KDVR. The average interest is rising by 16 percent while income is rising only three percent. We are behind the curve. Annual income in Denver averages $61,453, yet the price of the average home is $286,500. So what’s to stop Denver from

becoming even less affordable than it is now? Currently, nothing. The trend is just the opposite. Montbello’s crisis could soon spread to the rest of Denver, starting with the Five Points area if developers have their way. On December 7, 2013 at The Points Housing Summit and Community Resource Fair held at Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, Five Points Business District Executive Director Tracy Winchester revealed there are development interests looking to build at least 30,000 new housing units in the Five Points area. Are families who historically own property there complicit in this? What of the senior centers? What of the Platte Valley projects? Once prices rise, citizens fall. With all these Black people being affected in these areas, where is the Denver branch of the National Urban League on this issue? Who dropped the ball? If their main platform is jobs and housing equality, the foreclosure crisis should have sprang them into action like never before. Black folks are estimated to have lost $400 billion of asset wealth in this crisis. That’s catastrophic, especially in Denver, because if homelessness is illegal, but people are losing their homes, there’s only one place to go. According a governor’s office report on the Colorado Prison Utilization Study published at Colorado.gov in June 20, 2013, prison populations in Colorado are expected to increase in the coming years. This comes after a recent tapering off of the inmate population. What is scary is the fact that they never said how they knew there’d be more prisoners in the coming years, only mentioning a recent uptick in the last three months. Sadly, the news came as a relief to those Colorado communities relying on prisons for their economy! That’s right; we have communities that need crime to survive. Empty beds mean empty wallets to many Coloradans. Then it all started to make sense. Follow the money here: Colorado has incentivized prisons, and they need to fill the beds. It is illegal to be homeless in Denver. The homeless are being corralled into tighter spaces and drug use is on the rise among the chronically homeless, so they’re using, getting busted and sentenced. More than 25.4 percent of Denver’s homeless are newly homeless due to foreclosure, and if they cannot live with family they are on the streets, where it’s illegal to “urban camp.” It’s a funnel, and Brown and Black people are filling it. So where are our Black officials on this? So far, they’ve been silent and complicit with the money interests of their donors, primarily developers and banks. They say one thing

to the people, but do another with their signatures. Dear Michael Hancock: You are the mayor of a city where soon no one who voted for you will be able to afford to live. Property values are rising faster than our income, and the people are falling behind. Developers are racing, bidding and building more expensive and opulent properties all over this great city at a pace that makes one wonder; what is the endgame here? To turn Denver into a playground for the elite while the common man sits on the sidelines? The homeless are slowly erased; meanwhile there aren’t enough rich folks to occupy the new properties. Notice, almost nothing in this city is older than 75 years. Unlike New York, St. Louis or New Orleans, Denver likes to develop over its history and you have to wonder if Five Points is next. This is within your power to change. This trend will turn Denver into a “Dubai on the Platte.” A magnificent façade of wealth and prosperity with not enough rich people to keep it afloat, and then…the crash; the reckoning. And why? Because politicians allowed banks, developers and corporations to use them as human shields. They call the shots in the end – not you. They use your name, your face, your race, your legacy, reputation,

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

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your lives, and your handwriting to make legal a doomed monopoly game. But it was our vote that got you in this office, not the power elite. Oh, that’s right. Money is speech in this country, and us po’ folks can’t seem to grab your ear. You’d probably say this picture is not so “black-and-white.” But a foreclosure notice is very black-and-white. A restraining order is black-and-white. Frostbite is black-and-white. Jail time is black-and-white. Why should you live in shades of grey when we can’t? This city ain’t big enough to hurt people and get away with it. Your family, friends and associates are falling behind. What happens to the Black churches and business when their main patrons are pushed out? Who will speak for us when the churches, schools, and businesses are gone? Elected officials: Beware of those nice folks in your cabinets talking sweet about the future of Denver. There are more important things than that nice pension if you get re-elected. If you side with the money, don’t come knockin’ on Shorter, New Hope, and Now Faith’s doors looking for votes. Why should they elect people who forget about preserving our proud history? Smiling in our face and locking folks up isn’t cool. We see you, and so does the law. Either reverse the trend, or sit out next election. 


Soon the clomping of thousands

of hooves will echo across the buildings of downtown Denver as a parade of livestock courses through the streets, just as they’ve done for more than 100 hundred years. Well before the 50 story buildings like the Wells Fargo “cash register” tower were ever a part of the skyline. This is the sound of the National Western Stock Show, celebrating its 108th year in Denver this month. The stock show celebrates all that is cowboy, rancher and western from the days of the cattle drive to the modern rodeo today. But much of that history has been lost to the wind and washed over with the new from old buildings to the heritage behind the modern-day cowboy and rancher. One of the most important parts of that lost heritage is that cowboys aren’t just white – despite what some old western TV shows may have you believe. Around the stock show’s 100th anniversary, promoter Lu Vason launched the MLK Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions as part of the stock show. “It started off about eight years ago as part a Western National effort to bring in more culture into the complex,”

MLK Rodeo, Championing the African American Cowboy in Denver for the World Chris Meehan

Mikala Neely

explains Maurice “Moe Betta” Wade, a cowboy who will compete at the MLK Rodeo in the tiedown calf roping event. Both the MLK rodeo and the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza are part of that effort to show that more than just the John Waynes built the west. “Because a lot of the general public has no idea that there’s such a thing as a Black cowboy,” says Lu Vason in a previous interview. Vason created both the Bill Pickett

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Invitational and MLK rodeos. “The MLK or Mexican rodeo, those are basically geared toward those cowboys so they can get the recognition that’s long been overdue, because when you look at rodeo, you don’t see Native Americans, Mexican Americans or African Americans competing,” Wade contends, noting that the majority of rodeo competitors are of European decent. “But in the cattle drives of old, one in three cowboys were of another ethnicity.” Today, partly because of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo and the MLK Rodeo that’s starting to change. With legends like Fred Whitfield and Charlie Sampson more African Americans are competing. Whitfield won the Bill Pickett rodeo before going pro with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association – and winning it eight times, explains Wade. “I’d venture to guess we’ve got 200 or 300 African American cowboys that are on the professional rodeo circuit,” he says. “We’re gaining more reputation with people and being acknowledged more,” Vason says. “The MLK is a separate rodeo. We did that with the purpose of joining the MLK with the National Western Stock Show – one of the largest in the country. That has allowed us to expand the knowledge to not just the African American but to the general market.” “I think it’s great for the African Americans for an event to showcase them,” says Mikala Neely, a barrel racer who’s in her first year with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, who has previously won her event in the Bill Pickett Rodeo. She’ll compete in the barrel racing at the MLK Rodeo this month. “It’s great to see the talent. There are not that many African Americans that participate in the rodeo,” she says. At 22

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

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she’s been going to the MLK Rodeo for years. Her parents were also rodeo competitors. “My parents did the team rope and my dad was a calf roper. And my mom ran barrels,” Neely explains. While part of her becoming a professional rodeo competitor was her heritage, another part of it was coming to events like the MLK Rodeo, she says. The MLK Rodeo is a one-day event that celebrates Martin Luther King’s birthday (this year on Jan. 20) while showing the world and the African American community that people of all walks of life were – and still are – an integral part of the cowboy community. It falls in the middle of the National Western Stock Show, which runs from Jan. 11 to Jan. 26 this year. The MLK rodeo consists of five of the most popular events, including bull doggin’, the event created by the legendary Bill Pickett wherein a cowboy jumps from his galloping horse to a running steer and wrestles it to the ground with sheer grit and determination. The other events include bull ridin’, bare back ridin’ and tie-down ropin’ for the cowboys. For the cowgirls there’s ladies steer undecoratin’ and ladies barrel racin’ and for the little cow folk, the MLK Rodeo has mutton bustin’ where children under 50 pounds ride sheep much like older cowboys ride bulls. Wade has his favorites. “The tiedown calf roping, that’s my big event and of course I’m going to be favored in that.” In that event the cowboy lassos a running calf while riding his horse, then dismounts the horse and ties three of the calf’s legs before letting it go. But he enjoys all the events. “The most exciting events I find is when the ladies compete in the women’s steer undecoratin’ which is similar to the steer wrestling and the barrel racing,” he says. In the undecoratin,’ two riders work together, the contender and the hazer, to keep a steer on course. The contender must reach down from her mount to remove a ribbon from the running steer. But, Wade says, “The most popular even is the mutton busters where you get the young kids competing and involved in the competition.” The MLK Rodeo continues to attract more people every year. “I’m not sure of what the numbers were, but I think we were pretty close to 4,500 fans last year,” Wade says. “We expect to hopefully pack the arena with 8,000. But we can get at least 6,000 in that complex this year.”  Editor’s note: For tickets or more information on the MLK Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions, call 303373-1246.


Jack And Jill Denver Chapter Celebrated Its 30th Annual Beautillion With A

“Brotherhood Of Beaus”

On December 22, 2013, the doors

closed behind over 800 guests at the Downtown Sheraton’s Plaza Ballroom for the 30th Annual Jack and Jill Beautillion. These guests, dressed in their finest formal wear, entered a winter wonderland punctuated by multicolored dancing lights. Besides the 29 “Beaus,” clad in top hat and tails, and their Escorts in white ball gowns, the audience included families, teachers, school representatives, corporate and community sponsors, and dignitaries. It also included many of the hundreds of former Beaus and Escorts that exist as a result of the 30year history of the event. Moses Brewer, who recently retired as Miller Coors’ Community Relations Director, was spotlighted as an “Honorary Beau” for his years of service in support of the community and the Beautillion. Inside Miss Lilly’s Salon Representatives of the Denver next to Armadillo at Chapter each usedMississippi the word “village” & Chambers Rd when referring to the gathering, highTues & Wedsthat & Sat lighting the system of support has 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. been cultivated for the youth who will soon be transitioning to college and Kids $5 Adults adult life. “Do $10 not forget your village,” stated Thurs Beautillion & Fri 9 a.m. toCo-chair 7 p.m. Angelle Fouther, addressing the honorees. “We look forward to the ways you will strengthen its future generations.” Fades, Razor Lines, Eye Brows, Afro Emcees Dr. Ryan Ross, Dean of Cuts, Mohawks, S Curls, Shaves, Student Retention at Community Various Designs, Box Tops College of Denver (and 1997 Beau); and co-emcee Kyle Speller, Announcer Call for appointment: 720-297-8561

Fresh Fades By Tee

Beau Justin Howard and Mom Vanessa Howard during Beau and Mother dance

Beaus and Escorts enter the ballroom

Photos by James Rowe

Beaus in Medley - Men in Black segment Beaus and Beau Alums join together in huddle

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Call for appointment: 720-297-8561 Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

13

and Team Chaplain for the Denver Nuggets helped to create an air of both levity and honor for the gentlemen as the presented the Beaus in alternating fashion. Amidst laughter from the audience, the two hosts sauntered onto the stage while the theme music from “Shaft” played, they dusted off each other’s shoulders, and offered each other a “bro” hug before commencing with the program. Each sprinkled in words of encouragement and advice for the high school seniors. Denver Chapter President Robin Lawson announced the inaugural awarding of College Expense Awards on behalf of Jack and Jill. Nathaniel Bradley III, Dawit Gebresallassie, Sequoyah Copeland, Justin Howard, Andrew Tillman, and Antonio Hill, Jr. were the recipients, of the awards which ranged from $500 to $1,000. Former Beau, Javon Brame (2005), who serves as Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs at Community College of Aurora, announced that he is adding an additional $500 of his own dollars to the amount awarded top winner –Nathaniel Bradley III. “I invite other Alums to help make this a yearly tradition,” Brame stated. Before gathering with former Beaus in a heart-warming circle on the dance floor, 2013 honorees offered several dances including a high-energy performance to a medley of songs from the 1980s through the present, a ballroom dance with Escorts, and a dance with their mothers.  Editor’s note: For more information about Beautillion or Jack and Jill of America Denver Chapter visit http://www.jack-andjill-denver.org.


1920s - 1930s

1925: Attends primary school near Qunu, Eastern Cape (receives the name ‘Nelson’ from a teacher). 1934: Undergoes initiation; Attends Clarkebury Boarding Institute in Engcobo. 1937: Attends Healdtown, the Wesleyan College at Fort Beaufort. 1939: Enrolls at the University College of Fort Hare in Alice.

Nelson Mandela:

DECADE BY DECADE

This timeline is based on information provided primarily by the Nelson Mandela Foundation of important events in the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela born on July 19, 1918 at Mvezo in the Transkei.

2000s

1940s

1940: Expelled (from Fort Hare). 1941: Escapes an arranged marriage; becomes a mine night watchman; Starts articles at the law firm Witkin, Sidelsky & Eidelman. 1942: Completes BA through the University of South Africa (UNISA); Begins to attend African National Congress (ANC) meetings informally. 1943: Graduates with BA from Fort Hare; Enrolls for an LLB at Wits University. 1944: Co-founds the ANC Youth League (ANCYL); marries Evelyn Ntoko Mase – they have four children: Thembekile (1945); Makaziwe (1947 – who dies after nine months); Makgatho (1950); Makaziwe (1954). 1948: Elected national secretary of the ANCYL.

1950s

1951: Elected president of the ANCYL. 1952: Defiance Campaign begins; Arrested and charged for violating the Suppression of Communism Act; Elected Transvaal ANC President; Convicted with J.S Moroka, Walter Sisulu and 17 others under the Suppression of Communism Act; Sentenced to nine months imprisonment with hard labor, suspended for two years; Elected first of ANC deputy presidents; Opens South Africa’s first black law firm with Oliver Tambo. 1953: Devises the M-Plan for the ANC’s future underground operations. 1955: Watches as the Congress of the People at Kliptown launches the Freedom Charter. 1956: Arrested and joins 155 others on trial for treason. All are acquitted by 29 March 1961. 1958: Divorces Evelyn Mase; Marries Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela – they have two daughters: Zenani (1959) and Zindzi (1960).

1960s

1960: March 21 - Sharpeville Massacre; March 30 - A State of Emergency imposed and he is among thousands detained; April 8 - The ANC is banned. 1961: Goes underground; Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) is formed. 1962: January 11 - Leaves the country for military training and to garner support for the ANC.

bear witness to, record and in some cases grant amnesty to the perpetrators of crimes relating to human rights violations, as well as reparation and rehabilitation. 1996: Divorces Winnie Mandela. 1998: July 18 - Marries Graça Machel on his 80th birthday. 1999: Steps down after one term as president, establishes the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

July 23: Returns to South Africa; August 5: Arrested near Howick in KwaZulu-Natal; November 7 - Sentenced to five years in prison for incitement and leaving the country without a passport. 1963: May 27 - Sent to Robben Island; June 12 - Returned to Pretoria Local Prison, October 9; Appears in court for the first time in what becomes known as the Rivonia Trial with Walter Sisulu, Denis Goldberg, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Lionel ‘Rusty’ Bernstein, Raymond Mhlaba, James Kantor, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni; December 3, Pleads not guilty to sabotage in Rivonia Trial. 1964: June 11 - All except Rusty Bernstein and James Kantor are convicted and sentenced (June 12) to life; June 13, Arrives on Robben Island. 1969: July 13 - Thembekile is killed in a car accident.

1970s

News about Nelson Mandela is quiet during this decade, but events relevant to the anti-apartheid movement continued to make history. 1976: June 16 - Student uprising in Soweto to protest mandatory instruction in Afrikaans, the language of the white rulers. Hector Pieterson,13, was the first student to be killed. Official death toll is reported from 23 up to 700. 1977: Winnie is banished to Brandfort, a remote township. Her daughter Zinzi goes with her; South African anti-apartheid activist Steven Biko dies in police custody. 1978: South African Prime Minister B.J. Vorster resigns; P.W. Botha, who held various political appointments in the National Party, takes over as prime minister.

1980s

1982: March 31 - Mandela, Sisulu, Raymond Mhlaba and Andrew Mlangeni and later Ahmed Kathrada are sent to Pollsmoor Prison. 1985: February 10 - Rejects, through his daughter, Zindzi, South African President P.W. Botha’s offer to release him if he renounces violence; December 7 - Moved to Victor Verster Prison in Paarl where he was held for 14 months in a cottage.

1990s

1990: February 2 - ANC is unbanned; February 11 - Released; March 2 - Elected ANC Deputy President. 1993: December 10 - Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with FW de Klerk. 1994: April 27 - Votes for the first time in his life; May 9 - Elected by parliament as first president of a democratic South Africa; May 10 Inaugurated as president of the Republic of South Africa; December 14 - Launches his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. 1995: Establishes the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund; Encourages black South Africans to get behind the previously hated national rugby team, the Springboks, as South Africa hosted the 1995: Rugby World Cup. After the Springboks won an epic final over New Zealand, Mandela presented the trophy to captain Francois Pienaar, an Afrikaner, wearing a Springbok shirt with Pienaar’s own number 6 on the back. 1995: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is based on the final clause of the Interim Constitution of 1993 and passed in Parliament as the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, No 34 of 1995. The mandate of the commission was to

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

14

2003: Establishes the Mandela Rhodes Foundation. 2004: June 1 - Announces that he will be stepping down from public life. 2005: January 6 - Announces that his eldest son Makgatho had died of AIDS. 2007: April 13 - Attends the installation of his grandson Mandla as chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council. 2008: July 18 - Turns 90 years old, asks future generations to continue the fight for social justice. 2009: Votes for the fourth time in his life; Attends the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma on May 9 and witnesses Zuma’s first State of the Nation address.

2010s

2010: Is formally presented with the FIFA World Cup trophy before it embarks on a tour of South Africa; June 17 - Attends the funeral of his great-granddaughter Zenani, who was killed in a car accident on June 11; July 11 - Makes a surprise appearance at the Final of the FIFA World -Cup in Soweto; July 18 - Celebrates his 92nd birthday at home in Johannesburg with family and friends; October 12 His second book “Conversations with Myself” is published; November 18 Meets the South African and American football teams that played in the Mandela Challenge match. 2011: May 16 - Votes in the local government elections; June 21 - Is visited at home by American First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters Sasha and Malia; June 27 - Launches his book “Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations”; July 18 - Celebrates his 93rd birthday with his family in Qunu; October 21 - Is officially counted in South Africa’s Census 2011. 2012: July 18 - Celebrates his 94th birthday with his family in Qunu. 2013: July 18 - Spends his 95th birthday in hospital; December 5 -Dies; December 10 - Memorial service at FNB Stadium full of tens of thousands of people including world leaders; December 11-13 - Lies in state at Union Buildings in Pretoria; December 15 Buried in a state funeral at his boyhood home village of Qunu.


Trumpet Awards Foundation Announces the 22nd Annual Trumpet Awards

A SEASON OF ENTERTAINMENT

President of Columbia Tristar Pictures; The Honorable Kamala Harris – Attorney General of California; Deryl & Cheryl McKissack – President and CEO McKissack & McKissack; Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. – Professor, Harvard Law School; Steve Pemberton – Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer of Walgreens; Alfre Woodard – Actress; Bronner Brothers / Bronner Brothers Hair Products – Entrepreneurs; Williams Sisters – Entrepreneurs; and Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff – Award Winning Producers/Songwriters. The Trumpet Awards was conceived, founded, and nurtured by Xernona Clayton, who has built the Awards and Awards Foundation into a prestigious testimonial around the world. “We have come so far since we started this project in 1993 and I am extremely obliged to those individuals who saw the vision and who have worked with us for nearly 20 years. We have now joined the global community and are most jubilant to bring this event to the world and to celebrate the achievements of those who had an impact on our society,” says Clayton. The 2014 Footprints of Civil Rights honorees include Bishop John Hurst Adams, The Honorable Roy Barnes, Dr. John Carlos, Dr. Tommie Smith, The Honorable Perry Gladstone Christie (Prime Minister of the Bahamas) , Dr. Norman C. Frances, Harry E. Johnson, Sr., Representative Calvin Smyre, Thomas N. Todd and Rev. Jasper W. Williams, Jr. The roll of honorees is growing every year with the addition of other footprints into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. “We will continue to build upon this commemorative memorial to the civil rights struggle that depicts the tireless efforts and passionate concern of these determined individuals,” said Clayton.  Editor’s note: For more information, call 404-878-6738 or visit http://trumpetfoundation.org/

ILLUSTRATION BY KYLE MALONE

The Trumpet Awards Foundation presents the 22nd annual Trumpet Awards, a milestone feat that pays tribute to a group of history-making honorees who are slated to receive the 2014 esteemed Trumpet Award. The honorees join a list of some of the most celebrated personalities in this nation and abroad. The 22nd annual Trumpet Awards black-tie ceremony will be hosted by Melissa De Sousa, known for her performances in The Best Man, The Best Man Holiday, and The Ron Clark Story; and Laz Alonso, known for his starring performances in Fast and the Furious, Jump the Broom, and is soon to be seen in a lead role in Sony Screen Gems’ Battle of the Year. The Trumpet Awards show will be held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta on Saturday, Jan. 25, with the Red Carpet at 2 p.m. and the Awards Show taping at 4 p.m. The weekend of events and activities, held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta, begin on Thursday, Jan. 23 with the Prayer Breakfast, scheduled for 8:30 a.m.; High Tea with High Heels, scheduled at 12:30 p.m. and the Race Relations Symposium scheduled at 6 p.m. An induction of 10 new footprints will be placed into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. This induction ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, National Park Service, located at 450 Auburn Avenue (Atlanta, GA). The program preceding the induction ceremony will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The Annual Trumpet Awards was created to celebrate and honor African American achievers and those who support the African American experience. The Awards honor accomplishments in diverse fields including law, medicine, business, politics, the Arts, civil rights, sports, entrepreneurship, entertainment and other careers. Following is a partial list of the 2014 Trumpet Awards honorees: DeVon Franklin – Senior Vice

SPARK

Front Row: (LtoR), Rev. Nathaniel Bronner, Jr. (Trumpet Award Honoree); Avarita L. Hanson; (High Heels Honoree, Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism), Bishop William Sheals (Spiritual Enlightenment Honoree); Xernona Clayton (Founder, Chairperson, President and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and Creator and Executive Producer of the Trumpet Awards); Kysha Cameron (High Heels Honoree, Ryan Cameron Foundation), Sheila Tenney (High Heels Honoree, Atlanta Metropolitan State College); Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. (Treasurer, Trumpet Awards Foundation). Back Row: Dr. John Carlos (Walk of Fame Honoree, Olympian, Educator and Activist); Dr. Tommy Smith, (Walk of Fame Honoree, Olympian, Educator and Activist); Rev. Frank Brown, President Concerned Black Clergy (Spiritual Enlightenment Honoree); Rev James Bronner (Trumpet Award Honoree); Rev. C. Elijah Bronner (Trumpet Award Honoree).

black odyssey By Marcus Gardley

JAN 17 – FEB 16 Space Theatre Sponsored by: Producing Partners:

Classic Greek characters and themes meet modern African-American culture in this twist on Homer’s The Odyssey. Centered on a black soldier returning home from a harrowing tour in Afghanistan, this compelling new play fuses modern history, humor, and song with ancient myth.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

15


HOPE Students Prepare for College and Beyond

President Obama Sends Powerful Message on Draconian Drug Sentencing

M

By Heather O’Mara

aking the transition from high school to college or to the workforce is an important milestone for young adults. However, it can be a difficult period to navigate. For that reason, HOPE Online Learning Academy CoOp puts a strong focus on college- and career-readiness to ensure that students’ successes in the classroom continue post-graduation. In part with its efforts to help students develop Individual Career Academic Plans (ICAP) from 6th grade onward, HOPE provides activities throughout the year to help students from middle to high school make crucial connections and plan for life after graduation. “Opening the world of post-secondary planning for HOPE students has been monumental,” said HOPE school counselor Kristie Richardson. “Our students are eager to go to col-

Do you need help paying for

child care? CCAP Can Help 720.944.KIDS (5437) DenverCCAP.org The Denver Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps eligible families that are working, going to school or looking for a job afford child care. CCAP provides financial assistance for children up to age 13 and special needs youth up to age 19.

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

President

Director Joe Rice

lege; however they have been discouraged by the process.” Richardson helped coordinate HOPE’s annual college fair, which took place on December 12 at the Tivoli Student Union on Auraria Campus in Denver. Two hundred and fifty high school students from 11 of HOPE’s 40+ Learning Centers participated in the event. Representatives from nine local two- and four-year schools – including University of Colorado Denver, Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver and more – were available to provide information and answer questions. Students received a tour of the downtown campus and heard from a panel of school representatives who shared advice on college and career choices. The event allowed students to “experience the culture of college life first-hand, make connections through networking, discover that other classmates have the same questions and fears and, ultimately, leave confident to approach graduation with a firm post-secondary plan in motion,” Richardson said. Meanwhile, an ambitious group of HOPE juniors and seniors recently attended the Colorado Space Roundup, an event organized by the Colorado Space Business Roundtable and the Colorado Space Coalition, which was held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on December 4. Students met and interacted with aerospace professionals and industry leaders to learn more about careers in the field. Lockheed Martin’s business development manager was one of the many professionals who spoke with the students and offered helpful career advice to those interested in working for an aerospace organization. “Study what you enjoy,” he said. “There are so many job possibilities at Lockheed Martin. Nobody has the ‘perfect degree’ to work here.“ Recognizing that students’ exposure to college and career paths can never start too early, HOPE also

Bryn and Dajiel, 8th graders at Cherry Creek Online

actively seeks out opportunities for middle school students to help them get a head start on the planning process. In November, 8th graders from 15 Learning Centers attended the Douglas County School District’s 2013 Career Connect 8th Grade Expo in Castle Rock. The event, which drew in more than 5,200 attendees, gave HOPE students the opportunity to meet with business and higher education representatives and learn more about their career paths of interest. Bryn, a student at HOPE’s Cherry Creek Online, said she was most intent on learning about jobs in veterinary science, but planned on exploring a variety of career paths at the event. “I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian since I was about 7 years old,” she said. “I’m excited to talk to people about what I need to do to achieve my goals and have the opportunity to see if there are any other careers I’m interested in.” Dajiel, also an 8th grader at Cherry Creek Online, said she didn’t have a specific career in mind, and looked forward to finding potential occupations that would allow her to work with people and be more social. Affirming the importance of college and career preparation events, she said, “It’s helpful because I can explore what I want to do for a career and get more information on how to achieve that through school.”  Editor’s note: For more information on HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op, call Heather O’Mara, founder and CEO of HOPE Online Learning Academy Co-Op, at 720-402-3000 or email info@HOPEonline.org.

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

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Obama sent the strongest message on the insane waste of the nation’s draconian sentencing laws when he granted clemency to 8 mostly low level drug offenders. Obama’s clemencies for their drug crimes follow hard on the heels of Attorney General Eric Holder’s virtual demand that U.S. Attorneys rethink how and who they prosecute for drug crimes. That followed even closer on the heels of Congress’s passage of the Fair Sentencing Act. Before that the Supreme Court issued a ruling that modified the draconian sentence for a convicted cocaine peddler. Their actions wiped out much of the horrid disparity in the blatantly racially tinged sentences slapped on crack cocaine users. The drug sentencing disparities certainly have become a national embarrassment. But they are still on the books. The U.S. Sentencing Commission and Congress now should go much further and put an end to the embarrassment by totally scrapping all sentencing disparities. They have wreaked dire havoc in mostly poor black communities, as well as cast an ugly glare on the failed and flawed war on drugs. Countless studies have shown that blacks make up the overwhelming majority of those sentenced in federal court for crack cocaine use and sale. Contrary to popular myth and drug warrior propaganda, more than half of crack users are white, and presumably a good portion of them are crack dealers as well. But it’s the heart wrenching tales of the legions of poor young men and women that have received sentences totaling decades behind bars for the possession or sale of a pittance of cocaine or marijuana. In many cases, they are young mothers and fathers who out of poverty and desperation resorted to the use and sale of drugs. What has ignited even more outrage is that often their sentences have stood in stark contrast to the sentences of murderers, rapists and bank


robbers who in many cases have walked out of prison years before the petty drug offenders. The sentences given to the 8 men and women Obama granted clemency too was a horrific example of that. Their minimum sentence was 15 years. Some were serving life sentences. The end result of the bloated, grotesque drug war is that the U.S. with five percent of the planetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population has nearly 25 percent of its inmates. The myths about who uses drugs, their danger, and the injustice in sentencing have been amply exposed in surveys such as one conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the drug habits of Americans. It found that whites are much more likely to use drugs than blacks. Other studies have found roughly equal rates of drug usage by blacks and whites. But what made the survey more eye-catching is that it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t solely measure generic drug use, but singled out the use of cocaine and street drugs. The findings flew in the face of the conventional drug war wisdom that blacks use and deal street drugs while whites use trendy, recreational designer drugs, and that these presumably include powder cocaine. That again calls into question the gaping disparity in drug sentencing between whites and blacks. In the past federal prosecutors and lawmakers justified the disparity with the retort that crack cocaine is dangerous and threatening, and leads to waves of gang shoot-outs, turf battles, and thousands of terrorized residents in poor black communities. In some instances, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true, and police and prosecutors are right to hit back hard at the violence. However, the majority of those who deal and use crack cocaine arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t violence prone gang members, but poor, and increasingly female, young blacks. They clearly need help, not jailing. The drug warriors have and will continue to resist any effort to scrap the blatant and deliberate racial disparity in drug sentencing laws. In an odd way, they have to take their hard stand. The public scapegoating of blacks for Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drug problem during the past two decades has been relentless. A frank admission that the laws are biased and unfair, and have not done much to combat the drug plague, would be an admission of fail-

ure. It could ignite a real soul searching over whether all the billions of dollars that have been squandered in the failed and flawed drug war â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the lives ruined by it, and the families torn apart by the rigid and unequal enforcement of the laws â&#x20AC;&#x201C; has really accomplished anything. This might call into question why people use and abuse drugs in the first place â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and if it is really the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business to turn the legal screws on some drug users while turning a blind eye to others? Obama should be applauded for taking the long overdue and much clamored for big step toward restoring

sanity to the drug sentencing laws. Now Congress should do what Obama has called for and once and for all end the insanity in the drug sentencing laws. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a matter of simple justice.  Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s note: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent MSNBC contributor. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KTYM 1460 AM Radio Los Angeles and KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; www.denverurbanspectrum.com â&#x20AC;&#x201C; January 2014

17

Lost Your Joy?

Find it again at the

United Church of Montbello! Come as you are and get connected to your best self through great fellowship and the love of Jesus Christ! Sunday Worship: 8:00am (Traditional) and 10:30am (Gospel) 4VOEBZ4DIPPMBNr8FEOFTEBZ#JCMF4UVEZQN

Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther, Jr., Pastor 4879 Crown Blvd., Denver, CO 80239 303-373-0070 http://ucm.ctsmemberconnect.net


The name “Mandela” inspires a

world of emotions. Capturing them all in one word is a challenge; one that the Denver Urban Spectrum presented local leaders who participated in the Denver Trade & Partnerships Mission to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 2002. Led by Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb, this trade mission helped to establish business, education, health and city government partnerships between Denver and the SADC. Below are responses from some of the participants.

The Legacy of Mandela in One

Word

Freedom

Rosalind “Bee” Harris, Publisher Denver Urban Spectrum

Grace

-Sculptor Ed Dwight

Joel Boyd, Senior Business Development Manager, REMAX World Headquarters, LLC

Herman Malone, Owner RMES Communications

MANDELA REFUSES FREEDOM UNTIL ALL ARE FREE By Wellington E. Webb

Rocky Mountain News, Sunday, April 7, 1985

(This column ran when Webb served as executive director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies)

As we march and protest the dehumanizing political system of South Africa called apartheid, we must not forget the inspiration and leadership provided by Nelson Mandela – one who has sacrificed entire life fighting the system of apartheid, a system of total disenfranchisement. Black South Africans deprived of citizenship, land ownership, organizing rights, equal access to housing, schooling, medical ca job opportunities. Blacks must pay for education that is free to white South Africans; only 3 percent of bla begin elementary school complete high school. Blacks can enter white areas in the country only with prope identification; an average of 250,000 blacks are arrested annually for pass violations. In a country where blacks make up more than three quarters of the population, they are allocated only 13 the land. That 13 percent lies in the remote reservations (bantustans) where the whites still control the police, enterprises and most sources of public funds. More than 3 million blacks have been forced to resettle in th since the hateful policy was instituted more than 30 years ago; thousands of families have been uprooted as th touts the new “homelands” with sham ceremonies of independence. One of the most effective and articulate protesters, Nelson Mandela is beloved not only in South Africa bu world for his opposition to the policy of apartheid. Nelson Mandela, a freedom fighter who has spent the past 22 years in prison should, not be forgotten. His messag dom and peace for all South Africans. At the age of 25, he founded the Youth League of the African National Cong Nationalist Party came to power four years later with its policy of apartheid, the African National Congress respond strikes and other forms of civil disobedience. In 1952, the ANC initiated the defiance campaign, and targeted six ap civil disobedience action. That campaign was highly effective, and mobilized the people to take political action aga ment. The government responded by banning Mandela; although he could not participate in public functions, he k lawyer representing many of his fellow black victims of oppression. In 1956, not long after Mandela and 3,000 oth in support of the Freedom Charter stating that South Africa belonged to all who lived in it, Mandela was arrested high treason for his participation in the defiance campaign. After a four-year trial, in which he was the defendant the defense counsel, he was acquitted on all counts. In August 1962, Mandela was sentenced to a five-year prison term; two years later he was sentenced to lif ment for his participation in a national strike and acts against the South African government. Now, at the age of 66, he remains a hero to those South Africans who believe that all South African people s equally in their country‘s wealth, and should have equal rights regardless of ancestry. There is not much difference between South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha, or Bull Connors of the civi movement of the ‘60s or Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany. The issue is still the same, depriving a race of peop freedom because their skin color happens to be black. In the case of South Africa, the irony is the majorit lation is black. On Jan. 31 of this year, Nelson Mandela rejected release from prison where he has been held in a c Dr. Faye Rison, since 1964. Even after 22 years in prison, Mandela has not lost his compassion for his people’s freeRetired Nurse and dom. Mandela, in a letter, stated, “Let the prime minister show that he is different. Let him guaran College Professor tee free political activity so that the people may decide who will govern them,” Mandela said. “Let him say that he will dismantle apartheid.“ With that, Nelson Mandela elected to stay in prison. That is commitment, and I, as one American, salute his commitment, honor his dedication and solicit support of all Americans to continue his struggle until apartheid is dismantled forever. Allegra “Happy” Haynes, Director of

Awakening

“Neatest Man I've ever met.”

History

Dignity

Civic and Community Engagement at CRL Associates

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

18


Humility

Peggy Wortham, Retired, Mayor’s Office Webb Administration

Profound

Gin Butler, Forest City Enterprise Ambassador

Nelson Mandela and Me By Wilma J. Webb

When I reflect on Nelson Mandela, the imprisoned political prisoner who sacrificed the prime par t of his life for the cause of freedom to Black South Africans, I think back on the struggle to end apar theid in South Africa. I think back on the struggle to free Mandela, who was willing to die to free South Africa. I think back on so many people across the world, including the people of my own home in Denver, Colorado, USA, saying that apar theid was as wrong and evil as slavery. I remember that day in 1992 when Nelson Mandela was freed from prison; it was the same day that I was reintroducing my bill to lawfully disinvest stocks of American companies who were doing millions of dollars of business in apar theid South Africa. Black elected officials and people of good will across America were pushing for sanctions against South Africa and disinvestment of U.S. stocks of companies doing business in South Africa. There were protests all over America, including Colorado, where I spoke and par ticipated, in an effor t to educate the public about apar theid, this atrocious crime against humanity. Just as the Mar tin Luther King, Jr. Holiday was finally won to celebrate his life and work, which really represented the hundreds of millions of African Americans who were the descendants of African American slaves, victims of racism, bigotry, hatred, and discrimination, apar theid was finally abolished and Madiba was freed. When I think of Mandela’s not selling out on any of his principles regarding justice, brotherhood, freedom, and righteousness while being imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island, d his which mirrored those same evils as those we endured in America, how could we not join this struggle? are I am proud of the fact that many of us in America acted to show that we cared about freedom for the people of South Africa. We demonstrated. I are and joined in the demonstrations. We spoke out against the atrocities of apar theid. We fought for sanctions to be imposed on the formerly existing acks who er pass government of South Africa. We did what we could do to show worldwide opposition to apar theid. One of the highlights of my life was to meet President Nelson Mandela, along with my husband, Mayor Wellington Webb, at the United States 3 percent of State Dinner held by President Bill Clinton on October 4, 1994, in President Mandela’s honor. We were seated with Sheila Sissulu, who , most private would soon be appointed by President Mandela as South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States. he bantustans he government Nelson Mandela, as of December 5, 2013, now belongs to eternity where such great world leaders as Washington, Lincoln, Gandhi, and King abide. He belonged to the world – to us – for 95 years. We are the better because of his life. We owe him a debt of ut throughout the responsibility for a future which continues to represent the principles for which he lived and for which he was willing to die. ge is simple: freeWho was Nelson Mandela? Agapean; supra-servant; humble; strong; dignified; persuasive; courageous; brilliant; stubborn; determined; gress. When the dedicated to purpose; humorous; royal; kind; loving; romantic; fatherly; athletic; patient; humanitarian; distinct; leader; exemplary; ded with boycotts, admired; respected; beloved, and … partheid laws for

ainst the governkept busy as a hers had gathered and accused of t, the witness and

With high respect, honor, and admiration,

Wilma J. Webb Colorado State Representative, 1980-1993 First Lady of Denver, 1991-2003

fe imprison-

Barbara Batey, Ph.D. Education Consultant

should share

il rights ple their ty popu-

cell

n-

Indomitable

Martelle Chapital-Smith

Legend

Dennis R. Chrisbaum, Director, International Trade Finance, Office of International Trade, U.S. Small Business Administration

Resolute

Liberator

Samuel Batey, Ph.D., Education Consultant

Perseverance

Jerry A. Boyd, Broker/Owner, Metro Brokers, Metroplex Realtors, Inc.

Remarkable

Veronica “Lynn” Boyd, Retired, Metro Brokers, Metroplex Realtors, Inc.

In 2002, under the leadership of Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, I had the once-in-alifetime opportunity to organize and manage a delegation of more than 60 business and community leaders to South Africa. In preparation for the trade mission, Mayor Webb gave me a copy of Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom.” The book and Mandela’s presence were the driving force for a successful trade mission. In addition to laying the groundwork for future economic development opportunities, the delegation donated a year’s supply of milk to expecting mothers at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, helping to prevent the transmission of the HIV/AIDS virus from mother to child during breast feeding. Our visit to Robben Island, both an uncomfortable and inspirational place to visit, was the highlight of the trip and helped me to understand Mandela’s incredible vision for a modern South Africa. The foresight of Mayor Webb and First Lady Wilma Webb to engage Denver in the success of a post-apartheid South Africa was nothing less than extraordinary. Now, with the passing and homecoming of Mandela, I look back on the trade mission as an achievement ahead of its time. I wasn’t 30 years old when we embarked on this mission. I am forever grateful for the opportunity. Rest in peace Mandiba. Joel Boyd, former Mayor’s Assistant on Africa Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and

International Trade

“Freedom”

Denver Urban Spectrum publisher, Rosalind “Bee” Harris at the cell of Nelson Mandela at Robben Island in 2002.

Splendid

LeRoy O. Smith, Africa Bis et al, Business Owner

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

19

Photo by Dr. Faye Rison


DOCUMENTARY RECOUNTS 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF DENVER CIVIC CONSULTING VISIT OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

Relive the excitement, controversy, insights and reflection on the 50th Anniversary of the only official civic consulting Denver visit by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remembered in the encore television documentary, When a King Came to Town, 7 p.m., Sunday, January 19 on Channel 6, Rocky Mountain PBS. This visit was four months following the historic March on Washington featuring his celebrated “I Have a Dream” address, which also held its 50th Anniversary remembrance of that event last August. “We first touched upon the story with a mention in our double EMMY nominated feature documentary, “Spirit at the Mountaintop,” said producer Adam Dempsey. “Viewers responding to that story, a survey history of African American’s in Denver, kept expressing their curiosity of why Dr. King visited Littleton as well. Our subsequent research led to this sequel, When a King Came to Town. An outreach project of the Denver Human Relations Commission, Dr. King’s consulting contract had been challenged by the Denver city auditor but was held legal by the city attorney. His three-day itinerary included a consultation with then-Denver Mayor Tom Currigan, addressing civic and business leaders, speaking to the community at-large and making a side trip to Littleton, the only Denver suburban community ever visited by the renowned civil rights leader. “What makes this a unique and important story is although African Americans were also involved, this civic consulting visit was driven by Denver’s Anglo residents and is one of only a few produced stories of this type involving Dr. King,” producer Dempsey added. “The story also touches other visits here by Dr. King, including his controversial press conference on the Vietnam War.” When a King Came to Town shares insights from Attorney Dick Young, former leader of the Denver Human Relations Commission and Dr. Ellie Greenberg, leader of the Littleton group, with perspective by Dr. Vincent Harding founder of the Veterans of Hope Project with retired Denver Post journalist Fred Brown setting the city scene at the time of the visit. Dr. Harding also reveals Dr. King’s little-known plan to connect with America’s Hispanic community and includes scenes with activist Rudolfo “Corky” Gonzales. When a King Came to Town is produced by Habari Media Arts, a projects unit of One Accord Media Arts based in Denver, Colorado. The production was made possible through the principal support of US Bank, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Comcast, and Falkner USA with the additional support of CH2M-Hill, and Jefferson-Pilot Communications.

2014 MLK CELEBRATION EVENTS

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Colorado Holiday Celebration “Remember! Celebrate! Act! - A Day On Not A Day Off” Theme: “Renewed Dedication To Humanity” (All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.)

Monday, January 13

Event: Press Conference/Launching of Torch and MLK Colorado Time: 11 a.m. Place: The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library 2400 Welton St. in Denver POC: Vern L. Howard 720-971-1329, or Terry Nelson 720.865.2404 Event: Aurora’s Mayor Steve Hogan – Proclamation Time: 7:30 p.m. Place: Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E. Alameda Ave. POC: Barbara Shannon Banister 303-739-7580

Tuesday, January 14

Event: 26th Annual MLK, Jr. 2014 Humanitarian Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards & Colorado Symphony Orchestra King Celebration Concert Time: 6 to 9 p.m. Place: Boettcher Concert Hall Denver Performing Arts Complex 14th and Curtis Streets POC: Vern L. Howard 720-971-1329, Terry Nelson 720-865-2404

Friday, January 17

Event: The 23rd annual MLK Peace Awards & Breakfast Time: 8 a.m. Place: Tivoli Turn Hall Auraria Campus Guest Speaker: TBD POC: Alton Clark 303-556-3947clarka@mscd.edu Cost: $7 for students, $14 for adults

Event: Aurora Community of Faith breakfast – Time: 8 a.m. Place: Aurora Municipal Center, City Café 15151 E. Alameda pkwy. Speaker: Dr. James Peters POC: Barbara Shannon Banister 303-739-7580 Tickets $15, RSVP to 303-739-7580

Event: Aurora Community of Faith Breakfast Time: 9 a.m. Place: City Café, 2nd 15151 E. Alameda Pkwy, Keynote Speaker: Dr. James Peters, colleague of Dr. King Tickets $15, RSVP POC: Barbara Shannon Banister 303-739-7580 & T.A. Mayes 720-329-4553

Providing Minimally Invasive Treatments for Gynecological Conditions

Event: 29th Annual MLK Social Responsibility Awards Luncheon Time: 11:45 a.m. Place: Marriott City Center Downtown Denver Costs: Individual seating $75.00 POC: Stephen Straight 720- 323-3333 or 980-468-1488 Guest: Dr. Derek Barber King, Sr., (nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Dr. Dr. Dana Dana Roper Roper treats treats all all gynecological gynecological conditions conditions including including uterine uterine fibroids, fibroids, which affect affect three three out out of of four four women. women. Most Most women women are are unaware unaware they they have have which uterine uterine fibroids, fibroids, which which can can be be discovered discovered during during a pelvic pelvic exam. exam. Schedule Schedule an an appointment minimally appointment with with Dr. Dr. Roper Roper to to learn learn about about m inimally invasive invasive techniques techniques that that are are available available to to treat treat uterine uterine fibroids fibroids and and other other gynecological gynecological conditions. conditions. Dana R Roper, oper,, MD, oper MD, FACOG FACOG FA 11960 960 Ogden Ogden Street, Street, Suite Suite 230 230 Den ver er,, CO CO 80218-3671 80218-3671 Denver, Phone: 30 3-318-3540 303-318-3540 w ww.exempladoctors.org www.exempladoctors.org

Specializing in:

Hours: Monda y - Friday, Friday, Monday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p .m. p.m.

• Family Family Planning/Pregnancy Planning/Pregnancy Infertility & Infertility

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Saturday, January 18

• Minimally Minimally IInvasive nvasive Gynecological Surgery Surgery Gynecological

Event: MLK Marshall Training for Marade Time: 10 a.m. Place: Denver Waste Water Building 2000 West 3rd Ave., Denver, CO (1st floor) POC: Silke Hansen 303-308-1969 (Lunch will be served)

• Obstetrical Obstetrical Care Care in in Uncomplicated Pregnancies Pregnancies Uncomplicated • High High Risk Risk Pregnancies Pregnancies • Post-Menopausal Post-Menopausal Issues Issues

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

20


Provide your baby with the best possible start in life!

Event: MLK, Jr. Holiday Commission Scholarship Program and Dinner Time: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Place: MLK, Jr. Library, Community Room, 9898 E. Colfax Avenue POC: Vern L. Howard 720-971-1329, Terry Nelson 720-865-2404 By invitation only

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Be healthy before, during and after pregnancy: s Reduce stress s Connect to a support system s Get prenatal and medical check-ups s Eat a healthy diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, and maintain a healthy weight s Take a multi-vitamin with folic acid (a B vitamin) every day

Sunday, January, 19

Event: Highlands Ranch, Community 2014 Unity Walk and Reception Time: 2 p.m. Place: Fox Creek Elementary School, 6585 Collegiate Dr., Highlands Ranch, CO POC: Tani Hansen 303-387-0556

WHAT CAN HEALTHY START DO? s

s

Share more information and support on topics related to a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby Connect you to community resources (medical and dental care, counseling services, housing, food and clothing)

Are you pregnant or parenting a child under two? Contact Healthy Start for details about this free program!

Event: 29h Annual Ecumenical Service Time: 6 p.m. Place: TBD POC: Dr. Sandra Moore-Mann 303-961-7687

(303) 360-6276 x2200 or healthystart@mcpn.org

Monday, January 20

Save!

Event: 15th Annual Dr. MLK, Jr. Breakfast Celebration Time: 9 to 11 a.m. Breakfast Place: Arapahoe Community College (In main Dining Hall) 5900 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, CO 80120 POC: Jamie Crisp 303-797-5881 Cost: $15 for Adults, $5 for children 12 and under

On “Soul Food” Meat Bundles for the Holidays!

Event: 29th Annual MLK Marade Time: Gather at 9 a.m. program starts at 9:30 a.m. Place: The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream Monument, Denver City Park, concluding at Civic Center “Get to Cleanin’, Remembering Memphis” (Day of Service Community Project) Volunteers needed to remove litter from the Marade route and surrounding neighborhoods immediately following the Marade Time: 1 p.m. POC: Shyretta Hudnall 720-317-3802, Jacqui Shumway 303-744-7676, Silke Hansen 303-308-1969 or Vern L. Howard 720-971-1329 drmlkingjrchc@aol.com & vernlh@comcast.net

Chitterlings, Hams, Pork Chops, Chicken, Beef!

We welcome Credit Cards, Food Stamps, & Check Cashing

Western Union

ATM Cash Machine Money Orders for 69 Cents

OPEN EVERYDAY 8 AM TO 8 PM

3340 Downing St. Denver, CO - 303-294-0319

A Locally Owned Affiliated Food Store (#1661) - We Buy Together To Sell For Less!

Again this year old cellular phones, non- perishable food and children books will be collected. The phones will be refurbished and donated to battered woman shelters. The food will be donated to local food banks.

Event: 29th Annual “Dinner for Those Who Hunger” Time: 3 to 6 p.m. Place: Volunteers of America, Sunset Park, 1865 Larimer, Denver, CO POC: Jim White, Volunteers of America 303- 297-0408 cell 720-299-0222 Event: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Day of Service Start Planning Your Project Today! Visit www.MLKday.org “EVERYBODY can be great, because EVERYBODY can serve”, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” POC: Toya Nelson PH: 303-866-2524, toya.nelson@state.co.us Mark Skinner, Senior Program Officer PH: 303-866-2565, mark.skinner@state.co.us

Event: Painting The Seed Growing the Seed Time: 2 to 4:30 p.m. Place: Evie Dennis Campus Building 1 West Commons POC: Syliva Bookhardt Sylvia_Bookhardt@dpsk12.org 303. 229.1997 or Ani Reddy Reddy@dpsk12.org 970-310-4526 Event: MLK Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions Time: 6 p.m. Place: National Western Stock Show Coliseum 4655 Humboldt St. Denver 80216 POC: Lu Vason 303-373-1246 or Vern L. Howard 720-971-1329

Tuesday, January 21

Event: Honoring our Community Leader Tuskegee Airmen Col John Mosley Time: 12 p.m. Place: Metro State University of Denver Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

21


At the summit of Vail Pass two buses stop in

Robert “Treebob” Williams

received tutoring in English and math from Bob through the years. He and his wife opened their home many summers for non-resident students a rest area on a chilly, but sunny Presidents Day working internships in Denver. A renowned event weekend Friday morning. Nearing 60 people stagplanner, okay, party planner, Bob Williams was the ger and stretch going out into the air still in a center of leading scholarship fundraising events for sleepy stupor from an early morning departure his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, being a lifelong from Denver. A voice commands them to “move member. His legendary smoked turkey and salmon September 16, 1945 – December 12, 2013 together, so we can get this done and get back on is a delight at the annual Alpha White Linen event the road.” Click, click, snap, snap and the pictures each August. are taken. “Treebob was a master at smoking (food) and Such has been the routine for the last 25 years for you could smell that aroma everywhere, so you this group from across the country attending the knew it was good,” says Alpha fraternity brother annual Ski Bonanza organized by Robert Anderson Sam Peguese. “And after the event, the fight was Williams of the Denver Hampton University Alumni on for the flavorful turkey bones for soup,” he Association. Now, after raising more than $200,000 added. With his three backyard smokers, he’d also for scholarships that have benefitted 175 students, smoke turkeys and salmon for many friends for the founder of the event, Robert Anderson “Treebob” Thanksgiving Williams received his final lift ticket to a heavenly ski Bob supported numerous community causes trail on December 12 while playing golf in Florida, just and events, usually by purchasing tickets, tables a few days following a golf outing he’d organized for and direct contributions as he did with his early 60 people, while also in the midst of signups for the support of then statehouse candidate now Rep. 2014 ski trip. Jovan Melton, representing Aurora. Unselfishly, A native of Brooklyn, New York, like many other he’d share the tickets and tables with others, often Coloradoans, Bob with wife Constance transplantnot going himself. ed themselves to Denver in from Niagara Falls, “Bob talked a good game and loved playing New York. golf, but kept his scorecard close to the vest,” says Atlanta resident Deborah Strane reflected, “The fellow golfer Leon Gibson. “Although he kept his first time I met him, it was like someone you’ve card, he’d add it up and verbally tell you what he known all along and he knew how to have fun. He shot. Just taking it with a grain of salt. He wasn’t gave the ski trip a feel of a family reunion, facilitatcheating, just trying to keep up,” Gibson added ing introductions, new friendships and bonds. He with a chuckle. had a sixth sense for putting together non-judgTreebob’s legacy continues through his wife mental, down to earth people and didn’t care what Constance, son Robert Jr. and daughter Chawnte you did, nor your status back home, just how well Williams Howard, her husband Enrico and their chilyou mixed with the group. And when the trip was dren Micha and Joshua, along with a host of other over and you were leaving, you knew you were family and a literal legion of friends across America. coming back the next year.” In every community reside those who make a differWith his wife Constance, Williams early mornence, and others who can match or exceed them but ing power walks around Aurora’s Utah Park are very reserved about it. Bob Williams was one of became the stuff of neighborhood legend. One them. The community of real good fun now needs a morning a Parkside resident stood on the sidewalk new chair of the board, with big shoes to fill as Bob indicating she had to see who comprised this Williams has left the building. group. “I could hear them before I could see them Annually, the Epsilon Nu Omega Chapter of and they sounded like they were having such a Alpha Phi Alpha Sorority selects the unique group good time,” she stated. No question, they were another Treebob-led crew. On their 2012 Ski of 12 men for their M.O.D.E.L. (Men of Distinction, Excellence and Leadership) Service Awards Bonanza trip, Bob and a few skiers encountered U.S. Vice President Joe Biden near Aspen and of and recognized them in a calendar. The 2014 month of June M.O.D.E.L. man is Robert A. course Bob invited the VP to the ski trip, took a picture and posted it on his Facebook page with Williams. pride. True story. Yep, a perfect fit. No question. “Bob is good at keeping secrets, his, no one else’s,” long time friend and historic re-enactor - Adam Dempsey Steve Shepard laughingly states. “His favorite companion was Facebook so anything you told him Editor’s note: Denver Urban Spectrum publisher, Rosalind “Bee” Harris was a participant in the African might end up there,” he continued with a hearty chuckle. His service to the community wasn’t limited to the legendary ski trip. School students at Phillips American Leadership Institute Class of 1992 along with Robert “Treebob” Williams. She dedicates this issue to his memory. She is pictured below with “Treebob” at the recent Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving reception. and Crawford Elementary along with Hallet Academy in Denver and Aurora Public Schools

A Community Sequoia

Reception at Bogey’s. Epworth Foundation’s Annual “Daddy Bruce” Randolph Feed a Family Thanksgiving Program Events Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

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Dr. Major William Tappan

March 18, 1924 - November 13, 2013

Dr. Major William Tappan was born in Chester, Pennsylvania on March 18, 1924 and raised by his parents in Roselle, NJ. After graduating high school, he earned a bachelor’s degree (1945) and Ph.D. (1948) from Howard University in Washington, DC. During the Korean Conflict, he served his country as a dentist for the United States Army. In 1953 he returned to Roselle and opened and operated his own practice until 1964. After successfully operating his practice Dr. Tappan completed a one-year dental residency with the New Jersey State Department of Health as part of his graduate education at Columbia University where he earned a master’s degree in public health. In 1967 Dr. Tappan accepted a position in Denver, CO as the Director of Dental Services for Denver General Hospital, known today as Denver Health. As director, he became an advocate for the use of sealants in pediatric dentistry and began applying them in the 1970s. He also worked as a dental consultant for Region 8 of Job Corp. During his 30year tenure, he received many awards for his selfless dedication in the management of seven city wide dental clinics. Some of the awards received are the Myron Allukian Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Achievements in Community Dental Programs by the American Association for Community Dental Programs and the Dr. Bernard F. Gipson Sr. Health Leadership Award from the Center for African American Health. Dr. Tappan assured that good dental care was a part of the Salud Family Health Centers in Colorado, in addition to serving on their board. He was vice president of the National Network for Oral Health Access for 14 years and a leading advocate for the inclusion of dental healthcare in community health centers. He was very well known and respected in the dental public health community of Colorado. After he retired from Denver Health in his 70s he wanted to continue to serve the community. He opened another dental practice called Dental Access Center to continue serving the under privileged people of Denver. Dr. Tappan had many passions outside of dentistry. He was most passionate about gardening. One of his last projects was the Oasis Project whose focus was bringing farm produce to food deserts. He was also a talented artist and enjoyed carving gourds and painting. Dr. Major Tappan is survived by his wife of 23 years, Maria Tappan, and many step-children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and stepgreat grandchildren.

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Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

23


Reflections on

South Africa

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By Sid Wilson

(This article was originally published in the June 2001 issue of the Denver Urban Spectrum following a trip by a delegation of business owners who traveled to South Africa earlier that year. It has been edited for space.)

How could it be that at last, I was

descending the stairs of a gigantic 747/400 jetliner onto the tarmac of Johannesburg International Airport. With 16 other colleagues, businessmen and women brought together by Civil Technology, Inc.’s business manager Carl Bourgeois, the Denver Trade and Investment Mission (DENTIM) arrived in South Africa in February for eight days of meetings designed to initiate business and personal relationships for promoting commerce with our South African friends and business counterparts. Guided by that African spirit, I stepped off the plane, wrestling with disorientation due to the lack of humidity and sweltering heat. I was greeted with the words “Welcome home, my brother.” It was all I could do not to kiss the ground. In the terminal, Jimmy Ntintili, African owner of “Face to Face Tours,” greeted our delegation and supervised the loading of our luggage onto the motor coach that was to take us to our hotel in Sandton, a new, affluent suburb of Johannesburg. The five-star Sandton Sun Intercontinental hotel was fabulous. A convention center and a world-class shopping mall with exotic boutiques, restaurants, and a business center made it an all-inclusive facility. The service was excellent, staffed primarily by people of color. After a brief rest, we again boarded the motor coach and headed for our welcome reception at the home of legendary jazz trumpeter, Hugh Masekela. Arriving in the rain to a traditional African welcome of a song and dance performed by local area

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

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residents again sent me into emotional overload. Among the guests were Charlene Hunter-Gault, of American National Public Radio fame, and her husband Ron, who have a permanent residence in South African. Opportunities for me to network with Africans from their tourism industry were abundant. I was grateful to be participating in the potential development of tour products with my African counterparts that would serve to re-unify Africans of the Diaspora through creative innovation of travel packages designed especially for the Rocky Mountain regions’ African-American market.

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pirits were high on the way back to the hotel despite the rain, the squeaking brakes of our motor coach, and the inoperable windshield wipers. Ntintili, our African guide provided us with laughter and information about the history of the region and its people. On Monday, those of us who had made contacts during the previous evening’s reception conducted followup meetings with our contacts. I spent my time with Ntintili because of the many similarities between Face to Face Tours and my tour guide company, A Private Guide. Several other DENTIM delegates joined Ntintili in his fine Volkswagen van to tour the historic township of Soweto. We visited the market place; an orphanage; the only block to house two Nobel Peace Prize winners –


Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu; the home turned museum that was once shared by Nelson and Winnie Mandela; and a youth cultural facility. We lunched at Wandies, the most famous shebeen (a residential dwelling turned into a bar, restaurant, or nightclub) in Soweto. On Monday evening, our delegation attended a reception hosted by Peter Vundla, chairman of the African Merchants Bank, where DENTIM key players, Gin Butler, Deputy Director of Colorado Office of International Trade; Happy Haynes, Denver City Council member; and Carl Bourgeois, business manager of Civil Technology, explained the purpose of the mission, thanked our hosts, and introduced the remaining DENTIM delegates. The visit on Tuesday morning to Pretoria provided some contrasts to the urban experience in Johannesburg; which is a large bustling city of several million people a mile above sea level that serves as the banking and industrial heart of the nation of South Africa. Pretoria is strikingly beautiful, not as hectic, and is the administrative capital of the nation. Here, our delegation visited South Africa’s Reserve Bank where reserve bank officials gave us an overview of the South African economy.

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e visited the American Embassy, a stand-alone fortress on a hill in the upscale neighborhood of Pretoria that contains the embassies of many nations, most of which are housed in attractive unimposing large Victorian structures. Due to aggressive contract security personnel, we were discouraged from taking pictures of our embassy. Inside, embassy staff members briefed us on economic, political, and security matters. Embassy staff advised us to exercise a high degree of caution in our travels, especially in “Joburg” because of the high level of poverty and drug-induced crime. Those of us who know life in the big cities felt the dangers were no more or no less than those in comparably sized cities in our own country. Picture taking opportunities at the Union Buildings, the seat of the government’s administrative activities in South Africa, were special because the beautiful gardens provided a panoramic view of Pretoria’s spectacular world-class skyline. With the foothills in the background many of the delegation commented on the similarities to our views in Colorado. Re-boarding our motor coach, we drove through Pretoria as we headed to the first-class highway that would take us to lunch. Arriving at the Caroza Rose Farm, about 15 miles outside of Johannesburg, and home to our hosts Mr. and Mrs.

Peter Davidson, was a treat. Our luncheon was held under a beautifully decorated tent with gorgeous white tablecloth settings and rose displays. After lunch, the delegation retreated to one of the farm’s meeting rooms where we watched a Power Point presentation of the plans for Masekela’s cultural and heritage center. Afterward, we toured the Caroza Rose Farm – seven acres of large green houses that contain varieties of roses that are sold around the world.

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n Wednesday, I met an old friend, Buzz Cooper, who I last saw almost 15 years ago in Los Angeles. Buzz, a musician “back in the day,” now lives in Sandtown, South Africa, as an ex-patriot. He owns a manufacturing plant that produces hair curling irons and the electric ovens used to heat the curling irons. After touring Buzz’s facility, we understood the scope and issues facing his business. Previous funds obtained through international development funding organizations earmarked for Buzz’s factory apparently didn’t filter down in their entirety to the designated recipients. As a result, workers had to continue manufacturing the products by hand, which created quantity and quality control problems. In addition, securing the plant from theft was a serious issue. Just days before our visit, thieves made off with specialized tool-and-die machinery, and Buzz had to lay off most of his staff until replacement equipment could be purchased. While the thieves can’t use the tools, selling them would mean more food for their families. I don’t know how things will work out for my old buddy, but visiting him gave me another view of the everyday life of a person I could easily identify with. That night, we were guest at the palatial estate of the gracious Felicia Mabuza Suttle, the African TV talk show host, often referred to as the Oprah Winfrey of South Africa. Later we went to the fabulous Gold Reef City Casino for a theater performance of the musical production African Footprints, which, hopefully, would travel to the States. A late night private dinner reception with live music was held for us in the casino’s five-star restaurant, Back of the Moon. Hugh Masekela joined us and accompanied the band on trumpet and piano as we danced and dined the evening away. On our last day in Johannesburg, I met with Logan Govender of Consolidated Travel based in Durban, in the offices of Ebony Consultants, Inc. Here, with ECI’s Sonny Tarr and Penrose Nconco, we obtained the information and requirements for developing tour products that would fulfill A

Private Guide’s long-held desire to provide socially responsible tours designed to re-unite Africans of the Diaspora with Africans on the continent. It is abundantly evident to me that African Americans collectively are neither different, nor incompatible with continental Africans. We differ only in location. Incredibly beautiful does not begin to describe Cape Town. Vibrant, clean, and exotic, graced by mountains and two oceans – the South Atlantic and the Indian. In stark contrast, I discovered during a subsequent tour of the area while “window shopping” for investment property, this feeling does not apply to the bleak windswept plains just a few miles to the east of the city where the squalor of the million-plus African inhabitants living in the townships provide a lasting indictment to apartheid’s legacy. At the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we were met by Sam Montsi, chairman of the board; Professor Thomas, local economy expert; and Peter Golding, property expert for Pam Golding Properties, a large international realtor of upscale properties. They presented an overview of the local economy, and they set the stage for an afternoon session where local business people provided us with additional networking opportunities. Our morning itinerary included a visit to the American Consulate office. Our briefing with Larry Farris, Counselor on Commercial Affairs, who is originally from Pueblo, Colorado, and with Mary Leonard, our consulate’s Political and Economics Office, was casual and informative. Briefings complete, we ate lunch at a new mall that would raise the envy of the affluent shoppers at our own Park Meadows and Cherry Creek malls. Afterward, we finished our afternoon round of meetings with local African entrepreneurs at the Cape Chamber. Our final reception was held at the lovely home of Sam Montsi and his wife, where we again engaged in networking amid the ambiance of lush mountain greenery that enclosed our host’s property.

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ater, several delegation members visited a local nightclub, “Marco’s Place,” where African food, music, and dance provided a perfect end to an exhilarating day. With our mission winding down, and no official business to conduct, most of our delegation toured Cape Towns’ fine wine country on Saturday morning. Delegation representative and financial consultant Darrell Barnes received an invitation to an

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

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awards presentation, where he met and dined with Nelson Mandela. For me, one of the most magical moments of our trip happened when Dr. Wil Miles, Happy Haynes, and I visited Camps Bay Beach, just over the mountain from our hotel. While sitting at our pavement table along Victoria Boulevard adjacent to the magnificent beach, we saw a Black man in a Denver Bronco football jersey heading our way with a woman. A few seconds later, who should appear but Terrell Davis, on holiday and just “chillin” in Cape Town with his mother and business manager, the guy in the Bronco shirt! We Denverites created quite a scene as we laughed and joked, took pictures, and remarked on what a crazy world we live in.

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n Sunday, we were scheduled to leave Cape Town for home. Some of the group opted to do a motor coach tour of area highlights, including an African game preserve and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for more than 20 years. Others shopped for African jewelry. Back from his memorable meeting with Nelson Mandela, Darrell and I explored the real estate market with Peter Golding and then go sightseeing – looking for investment properties. On the flight back to the States, I reflected on how this journey fulfilled a sacred task and was a sincere emotional response induced by the spirit of Africa’s call to return home. It is unreasonable to expect all of us to heed the voice of the African spirit, but for those who feel it, A Private Guide, Inc. was prepared to develop innovative and social responsible tour products to merge the psychic needs of the Afro-centric traveler with the vitality of the re-emerging South African nation. What else can a brother do? Editor’s note: Special thanks to Carl Bourgeois, Happy Haynes, Gin Butler, Joel Boyd, Leroy Smith, Dan Muse, and the pioneering, efforts of Mayor Wellington Webb for leading the way.


Movie Reviews By Kam Williams Excellent@@@@@. Very Good@@@@.. Good@@@@@@... Fair@@@@@@@.. Poor@@@@@@@.

    No stars

REEL ACTION

nity, empathy and steely resolve needed to portray the picture’s complex title character convincingly. Still, since Mandela spends the bulk of the movie behind bars, much of the action revolves around his wife Winnie’s (Naomie Harris) efforts to raise their children while serving as a leader of the movement in her husband’s absence. Sadly, the decadeslong separation eventually took a toll on their marriage, between the denial

Mandela

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 

Idris Is Impressive in Inspirational Adaptation of Revered Icon’s Autobiography

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elson “Mandiba” Mandela (Idris Elba) secretly started writing his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” while still serving what he had every reason to believe might very well be a life sentence on Robben Island. The lawyer-turned-spokesman for the outlawed African National Congress had been convicted of treason for trying to dismantle South Africa’s racist regime. But he was indeed freed following 27 years in prison of imprisonment when the bloody civil war was on the brink of bringing an end to Apartheid. At that point, Mandela assured the apprehensive white minority that despite the fact that, “Fear has made you an unjust and brutal people, when we come to power, there will be no revenge.” Soon thereafter, he was democratically elected the nation’s first black president, assuming the reigns of power in 1994. And that transition to majority rule did prove to be smooth, with the help of pardons for crimes against humanity being granted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to guilty parties from both sides of the conflict. Directed by Justin Chadwick, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is an epic biopic chronicling the rise, incarceration and ultimate redemption of the revered political icon. Versatile British actor Idris Elba exhibits the requisite combination of outrage, dig-

of conjugal visits and Winnie’s resorting to ruthless methods to silence suspected snitches. This film easily eclipses a biopic covering the same subject-matter called Winnie Mandela. Released just a couple of months ago, that relativelypathetic disappointment co-starring Terence Howard and Jennifer Hudson as Nelson and Winnie, respectively, was marred by the protagonists’ atrocious accents as well as by a godawful script. By contrast, this inspirational adaptation of Mandiba’s autobiography more than does justice to the legacy of the triumphant freedom fighter who made so many selfless sacrifices on behalf of his people.

Rated: PG-13 for sexuality, intense violence, disturbing images and brief profanity In English, Afrikaans and Xhosa with subtitles Running Time: 146 minutes Distributor: The Weinstein Company To see a trailer for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyoXeVcan4 A Madea Christmas 

Tyler Perry’s Back in Drag for Adaptation of HolidayThemed Play

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abel “Madea” Simmons is the moralizing, motor-mouthed senior citizen created and first introduced on stage by the incomparable Tyler Perry. The compulsive granny is a self-righteous vigilante who can’t help but

A Madea Christmas

intervene on the spot whenever she sees an innocent victim being bullied by a sadistic villain. At the point of departure in A Madea Christmas, the eighth screen adventure in the popular film series, we find her working as Mrs. Santa Claus in a downtown Atlanta department store. The seasonal job affords the politically-incorrect impersonator an opportunity to shock kids and their ears-covering parents with a profusion of her trademark off-color asides and English-mangling malapropisms. Soon after she’s unceremoniously relieved of her duties, Madea decides to drive with her niece, Eileen (Anna Maria Horsford), to tiny Bucktussle, Alabama to spend the holidays with the latter’s daughter, Lacey (Tika Sumpter), the local schoolmarm. What neither of them knows is that Lacey recently eloped with a likable local yokel, but failed to inform her mom about the marriage because Conner (Eric Lively) is white. She fears her mother might object to the interracial liaison. Complicating matters further is the fact that coming along for the ride is Oliver (JR Lemon), Lacey’s ex-boyfriend who’d like to rekindle a little romance. Meanwhile, Oliver has told his parents, Buddy (Larry the Cable Guy) and Kim (Kathy Najimy) about the nuptials, and they are arriving soon from Louisiana, so something’s gotta give. But rather than come clean, Lacey enlists her new in-laws’ help in hiding the truth. Unfolding in accordance with the age-old “One Big Lie” TV sitcom formula, A Madea Christmas is a pleasant, if predictable, modern parable peppered with plenty of humorous asides. Tika Sumpter and Eric Lively manage to generate just enough chemistry to be convincing as shy newlyweds. But the production is at its best when Madea and equally-outrageous Buddy are trading barbs toe-to-toe. For instance, when he tries to tell “the one about the two rabbis and the black dude,” he’s cut off by Madea asking if he’s heard “the one about the stray bullet that kills the redneck for telling the story about the two rabbis and the black dude.” Sassy sister squares-off against

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

26

backwoods hillbilly for lots of harmless laughs!

Rated: PG-13 for profanity, crude humor and sexual references Running Time: 105 minutes Distributor: Lionsgate Films To see a trailer for A Madea Christmas, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SLe_EIpeWI Black Nativity

Black Nativity 

Jennifer Hudson Steals Show in Screen Adaptation of Langston Hughes Musical

N

aima (Jennifer Hudson) is a single-mom struggling to pay the rent on the apartment she shares with son Langston (Jacob Latimore), 15, who’s the same age she was when she had him. Back then, she was as headstrong as he is now, which explains why she ran away from a good home in Harlem to raise him alone in Baltimore. Today, upon receiving an eviction notice, cash-strapped Naima reluctantly sends the rebellious adolescent in need of a father figure to New York to live with her parents, Aretha (Angela Bassett) and Reverend Cornell Cobbs (Forest Whitaker), prominent members of the black community. But Langston lands in trouble even before they have a chance to pick him up at the bus station, so they end-up having to bail him out of jail. Is it too late for anyone to make a difference in the rebellious juvenile delinquent’s life? Can the Cobbs mend the fractured relationship with their long-estranged daughter? Will Langston belatedly bond with the absentee father he’s never known? These are the pivotal questions raised in Black Nativity, a modern morality play based on the Langston Hughes musical of the same name. Adapted and directed by Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou), the film features an engaging soundtrack sprinkled with evocative onscreen performances by cast members including Mary J. Blige, Nas and Tyrese, though all pale in comparison to those by Jennifer Hudson. Fair warning to theatergoers ordinarily operating on CPT. Don’t take


the risk of arriving too late to catch the incomparable diva’s unforgettable opener, “Test of Faith,” a showstopper every bit as memorable as her heartfelt rendition of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” as Effie in Dreamgirls. A timeless parable as memorable for its uplifting spirituals as for its moving message about the importance of faith and family.

Rated: PG for menacing, mature themes and mild epithets Running Time: 93 minutes Distributor: Fox Searchlight To see a trailer for Black Nativity, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfhu1JnE

The Hunger Games

Te Hunger Games: Catching Fire 

Sequel Finds Katniss Forced to Compete in Another Death Match

D

espite only being introduced in 2008, The Hunger Games trilogy has so captured the collective imagination of kids the world over that it has already eclipsed Harry Potter as the best-selling children’s book series of all time. Suzanne Collins’ post-apocalyptic adventure is set in Panem, a disturbing dystopia marked by the brutal subjugation of the overwhelminglypoor majority by the very powerful, privileged few. In the first installment, heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) grudgingly participated in a winnertake-all death match against other teens, each representing his or her home district. Known as the Hunger Games, the annual competition is staged as entertainment ostensibly designed to distract the masses from their pitiful plight. Wise beyond her years, underdog Katniss emerged triumphant at the end of the first episode by virtue of a combination of craftiness, compassion and her skills as an archer. However, she did break a cardinal rule by sparing the life of her co-winner, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), her friend and male counterpart from District 12. At the second installment’s point of departure, we find the pair embarking on a government-sponsored victory tour around the country. However, when their speeches stir up revolu-

REEL ACTION

tionary fervor in the crowds, a vindictive President Snow (Donald Sutherland) breaks a promise by drafting them to take part in the Quarter Quell, a tournament of champions comprised entirely of former Hunger Games winners. So, it’s not long before they’re back in training for another free-for-all, this time engaging elite opponents blessed with gifts ranging from fang-like teeth to uncanny intuition to chameleon-like camouflage to the ability to harness electricity. Each of the entrants, known as tributes, is introduced by Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), the festivities’ unctuous master of ceremonies. Once the pomp and circumstance of the decadent opening ritual are out of the way, the relatively-gruesome main event begins. Allegiances are forged, and bargains are made, followed by literal and figurative backstabbing in a desperate contest which ultimately mandates a cruel betrayal of any loyalties. For all its frenetic action, this uneventful installment nevertheless suffers slightly from a classic case of inbetweenie-itis, since it basically serves as a bridge to the trilogy’s exciting conclusion. A water-treading sequel that achieves its goal of satiating the fans’ bloodlust while whetting their appetite for the franchise’s grand finale.

greener pastures, between having to care for his terminally-ill, widowed father (Bingo O’Malley) and a kid brother (Casey Affleck) suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Military veteran Rodney, Jr. hasn’t been able to make the adjustment back to civilian life following several tours of duty over in Iraq. In fact, he hasn’t been the same since their mother died. Because of a burgeoning gambling debt, Rodney has agreed to participate in fixed street fights being staged by the bookie (Willem Dafoe) he owes a lot of money. Trouble is he becomes so blinded with rage after being punched, that he can’t be relied upon to throw a contest as promised. Russell is so desperate to save his troubled sibling that he’s even willing to pay off Rodney’s I.O.U. in increments on his modest salary. But even that plan goes up in smoke the day Russell is arrested for manslaughter after driving under the influence. By the time he’s paroled, Rodney’s disappeared, and is rumored to have been abducted out of state by a ruthless gang of drug dealers led by a sadistic Ramapo Indian (Woody Harrelson) with a short fuse. The local police chief (Forest Whitaker) is sympathetic, but has no jurisdiction in

Jersey, which leaves Russell no choice but to take the law into his own hands with the help of hard-nosed Uncle Red (Sam Shepard). Written and directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart), Out of the Furnace is a gritty revenge thriller unfolding against the telling backdrop of a decaying American landscape. Thus, almost overshadowing the desperate search at the center of the story is the sobering specter of an aging national infrastructure irreversibly past its prime. While the gratuitous violence goes over the top occasionally, the film nevertheless remains highly recommended, at least for folks with a cast iron stomach. For, the veteran cast of this character-driven splatterfest proves to be as adept at delivering dialogue as dispensing street justice. A gruesome showdown between warring clans reminiscent of an oldfashioned, backwoods feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys. Rated: R for profanity, drug use and graphic violence Running Time: 116 minutes Distributor: Relativity Media To see a trailer for Out of the Furnace, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhsGY8jZnR4

Rated: PG-13 for profanity, intense violence, frightening images, mature themes and a suggestive situation Running Time: 146 minutes Distributor: Lionsgate Films To see a trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNDBJtGw 3Pc Or: http://www.thehungergamesexplorer.com/ us/epk/catching-fire/videos/catching-firefinal-trailer

ENTER FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN AN ADMIT-TWO PASS TO THE SPECIAL ADVANCE SCREENING OF

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Out of the Furnace

Example Text: URBAN SPECTRUM 80021 Entry Deadline: SUNDAY, JANUARY 12 RIDE ALONG has been rated PG-13 (some material may be inappropriate for children under 13) for sequences of violence, sexual content and brief strong language. There is no charge to text 43KIX. Message and data rates from your wireless carrier may apply. Check your plan. Late and/or duplicate entries will not be considered. Limit one entry per cell phone. Winners will be drawn at random and notified via text message with screening details by Monday, 1/13 at 5:00 PM. Each mobile pass admits 2. The screening will be held on Tuesday, 1/14 at 7:00PM at a local theater. Sponsors and their dependents are not eligible to receive a prize. Supplies are limited. Passes received through this promotion do not guarantee a seat at the theater. Seating is on a first-come, firstserved basis, except for members of the reviewing press. Theater is overbooked to ensure a full house. No admittance once screening has begun. All federal, state and local regulations apply. A recipient of prizes assumes any and all risks related to use of prize, and accepts any restrictions required by prize provider. Universal Pictures, Allied-THA, 43KIX, Urban Spectrum and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with use of prizes. Prizes cannot be exchanged, transferred or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part. Not responsible if, for any reason, winner is unable to use his/her prize in whole or in part. Not responsible for lost, delayed or misdirected entries. All federal, state and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Void where prohibited by law. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. NO PHONE CALLS!

Out of the Furnace 

Ex-Con Searches for Missing Sibling in Gruesome Revenge Thriller

R

ussell Baze’s (Christian Bale) is stuck in a dead-end job at a rural Pennsylvania steel mill rumored to be closing soon. He’s not in a position to abandon the Rust Belt in search of

IN THEATERS JANUARY 17 www.ridealong.com

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

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URBAN SPECTRUM WED: 01/01/14 BLACK & WHITE


The Nest Matters Turns One-Year Old

By Cassandra Johnson, Sena Harjo, and Dorothy Shapland

January kicks off the New Year

and marks the first birthday of The

Nest Matters. The Nest Matters was

birthed by a group of Early Childhood

Leaders dedicated to sharing the latest

research in Early Childhood

Education and Child Development

with [caregivers, parents, grandpar-

ents, family & friends] that care, educate and serve children of color. In

honor of our first birthday we want your first steps for enrolling your

child into a school to be successful. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1 Enroll into a “Right Fit” school Colorado is a School Choice for Kids state, which means Colorado kids can “open enroll” into hundreds of public schools. In the past, children were either placed in their neighborhood school or bused to another school in another neighborhood. Parents who wanted options had to fight to place their child in a school of their choice. Now parents have the choice. Parents with multiple children can place their children at different schools if they want each to have the perfect fit school. In Denver, the School Choice offices can help you select a school and complete application paperwork. The first round of applications is now being accepted and the deadline is January 31, 2014. Let the School Choice officers help you determine the best placement for your students!

Step 2 Enroll into a “Right Fit” financial assistance program Childcare Assistance - Have little ones and want to enroll your baby into a quality-rated child care program, but overwhelmed by the monthly expense? Colorado Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP) offers financial assistance for low-income families for child care services. Perhaps you have a toddler and need a quality-rated early childhood preschool program. Preschool programs typically run only 2.5 hours each day, which are not realistic times for working families. If you have preschoolers, CCAP can help pay the before and after care expense. Contact your local Department of Human Services to see if your family qualifies. Tuition assistance - If you live in the city of Denver and have a preschooler that has one more year before he or she is eligible to enter kindergarten contact the Denver Preschool Program for tuition assistance. This program provides Denver families (regardless of income) with preschoolers that are kindergarten bound tuition credits to a quality preschool program of their choice. They also help families find quality rated preschool programs in their area. Scholarships - Scholarships for kindergarteners? Yes, there are scholarships for kids starting kindergarten. ACE Scholarships provides scholarships for low-income students as early as kindergarten through 12th grade. Families should have the right to select the “right” choice school for their child regardless of their income level. ACE Scholarships offers a list of tuition based schools to help families find the right fit school along with scholarships to assist with tuition costs. The application is time sensitive so contact ACE Scholarships today to find out when their application process opens and if you quality.

cessful in school. As caregivers it’s our duty to foster their learning experiences to help them develop those skills in order to understand how the world works, manage emotions, and believe in themselves. There are four key areas children need to develop to become eager learners: Language and Literacy Skills - Start early with building a child’s language and literacy skills. Talking, reading aloud, and singing all help children understand the use of language and stimulate their ability to communicate. Introducing books as early as infancy help create a love for books and reading and also provides the foundation for developing literacy skills.

Thinking Skills - Children naturally react to the world around them and their brains develop more and more complex ways of figuring things out. They quickly learn cause and effect, when I drop my spoon it hits the ground. Allowing your child to learn about how things work and talking with your child about what he is doing requires them to think and process information. You can create teachable moments every day. For example when you take the spoon that hit the floor and place it in the dishwater show your child how it sinks. Now

your child is learning about objects that float and sink and the difference between liquids and solids. Self-Control - Our article last January shared the developmental stage of a child’s brain under the age of four years and why they lack self-control. Babies naturally act on emotions without the ability to manage their feelings. Teach acceptable behaviors and help your child learn to soothe himself. The calmer a child feels the more in control he will be. Some kids require physical contact such as hugging or rocking, while others prefer to be put down for a minute. The best way to help a child stay calm is by staying calm yourself. Steer away from always telling a child what he can’t do, instead be sure to tell and show him what he can and is allowed to do. For example if he’s not allowed to throw balls in the house try wadding up some old newspaper into balls and giving him an empty wastebasket to throw them into. This will help channel his energy in an acceptable way without taking away from his interest. Self-Confidence - The key to a child achieving success in school is self-confidence. When children believe in themselves they are more eager to take on new challenges. Children need a strong sense of security to develop self-confidence which is crucial for getting along with others, learning to share, and making friends. Ways to help in this area include establishing routines which will allow a child to feel safe and in control because they know what is going to happen next. Being in a school setting requires following many routines. Children need to do things over and over before they succeed, so make time for plenty of practice. 

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Step 3 Enroll a “Right Fit” eager learner Children are born with a passion to learn and everyday experiences play a huge role in an ability to develop the different skills they’ll need to be suc-

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

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Colon Hydrotherapy Great Way To Start The New Year

C

By Nanana Evelyn Gordon

olon hydrotherapy, also known as colonic irrigation and high enema, is probably one of the most misunderstood natural or wholistic healing modalities. It is a procedure, which when properly applied, can make a major positive difference in almost everyone’s health status. Although volumes can be written to explain this extremely beneficial process, I will limit my comments to defining what it is, some details about the actual procedure and comments on the benefits. Colon hydrotherapy is an ancient technique for assisting the body to release accumulated solid, liquid and cellular waste. The earliest records of this process being used were found in the history of Kemetic (Egyptian) people who noted its benefit in treating a multitude of ailments. Their use of colonic therapy was central to their premise that disease begins in the colon (large intestine). In our modern culture we are exposed to toxins constantly via impurities in food, air, water and chemical substances. These toxins can accumulate in the body and be found in fatty tissue, joints, arteries, muscles, liver, gall bladder, lungs, kidneys, skin, etc. Although the kidneys, skin, liver and lungs perform an eliminative function and aid in riding the body of toxins, the colon (large intestine) has the potential and ability to eliminate large amounts of toxins quickly and easily. Hence, the flushing or cleansing of the large intestinal tract supports good health maintenance and aids in reducing disease processes. The colon or large intestine is the last five to six feet of intestinal tract

and ends with the rectum and anus. The actual procedure is done by gently infusing, warm, and filtered water into the colon via a sterile, lubricated speculum that has been inserted in the rectum. The procedure will last approximately 45 minutes and does not create discomfort or pain. Preparation for the procedure might include following a specific diet and or taking certain herbs proceeding the session. The intent of the procedure is not to encourage “bowel movement” but rather to efficiently and quickly remove toxins before they feed back into the body via healthy tissue and the blood supply system attached to the colon. The return of toxins into the body is what is known in the wholistic arena as “autointoxication.” Toxins create a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms and can become the foundation for disease. There are numerous benefits of colon hydrotherapy. Here are a few: •Increased muscle tone and peristaltic activity of the colon •Aids in hydrating the body •Increased energy level •Increased blood flow and circulation •Decreased tension and irritability •Reduced gas and bloating •Reduced sinus and/or lung congestion •Aid in restoring bowel muscle tone Colon hydrotherapy is not a “one shot” miracle cure for any ailment. It is most effective when used in conjunction with proper diet, exercise, specific herbs and other wholistic therapies such as acupuncture. Also, it may be necessary to have several sessions particularly in cases of long term or severe constipation.  Editor’s note: Nanana Gordon is a Certified Nutritionist, Certified Colon Hydro therapist and Certified Iridologist. She has been practicing in the wholistic field for 20 years, 17 of which have been in her own business. For more information, call 303863-9670, email healingexperience@source-healing.com, or visit www.source-healing.com.

“You Are My Starship” “Saturday Night Special” “Romantic Journey” “This Is Your Life” Taylor Made Presents, A Funk Above the Rest, and Executive Concerts presents...

NORMAN CONNORS

January 17, 2014

VIP Tickets - $40, Gen Admission - $25 Doors open at 6:30 Show at 9

Old School Dance Party with DJ Al Your Pal - 11:30 to 1

For tickets: www.kzkoradio.com or 888-806-7377 Ext. 1

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

29


COMMUNITY NOTES

Denver Preschool Program Preschool Showcase January 11

Young To Conduct Performances In Denver

Learn. Achieve. Graduate. Rocky Mountain PBS characters Clifford, Curious George and Buddy the Dinosaur will be on hand to meet and take pictures with children during the Denver Preschool Program’s Preschool Showcase.

It’s not too soon to be thinking about preschool for next year. Denver families can find out about tuition support and choose from more than 250 licensed preschools across the Denver-metro area in one place at the annual Preschool Showcase sponsored by Denver Preschool Program (DPP). The event, which is free, runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan.11 at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel on the 16th Street Mall, 1550 Court Place. Families will receive discounted parking in the Sheraton. Free light refreshments, family-friendly activities and entertainment will also be offered. Since the 2009-2010 school year, annual evaluations of DPP graduates have revealed that the vast majority – 90 percent – are leaving preschool ready for kindergarten academically, socially and emotionally. Nearly 70 percent of Denver’s 4-year-olds are enrolled in DPP. For more information, e-mail ellen@dpp.org, call 303-595-4DPP (4377) or visit dpp.org/showcase.

Ethnic College Counseling Center Announce Tour Dates

A Free Online Public K-12 School Proven to Help Students Succeed

The Ethnic College Counseling Center announced the dates for its 17th bi-annual tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Beginning March 27, students will tour 13 HBCUs in Tennessee, Alabama and Florida, returning to Denver on April 6. This educational and informative tour also provides an opportunity for students to visit and study local AfricanAmerican history in the cities visited. The cost of the tour includes roundtrip airfare from Denver, hotel accommodations, luxury bus transportation between schools, 2-3 meals per day and all entrance fees to museums and sightseeing tours (except Disney World and Universal Studios). For more information, call Pensal J. McCray, the Ethnic College Counseling Center, at 303-751-9731.

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

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Joseph Young is increasingly regarded as one of America’s rising young conductors. His recent engagements include the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Symphony, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Delaware Symphony Orchestra and Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música. In 2013, Joseph was a Semi-finalist in the Gustav Mahler International Conducting Competition (Bamberg, Germany). Recently concluding his tenure as Resident Conductor of The Phoenix Symphony, Joseph dedicated his energy and passion to audiences of all ages. Joseph maintained a leading role in the development of the Family and Education Series and conducted regularly on the orchestra’s classics and pop concert series. Young will be conducting at the following events: Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 14; John, Paul, George & Ringo on Jan. 24, Paramount Theatre; and Dianne Reeves on Jan. 25, Boettcher Concert Hall For more information, visit http://www.josephfyoung.com/

Whittier ECE-8 Hosts Community Open House

Whittier ECE-8 School, located at 25th and Downing St. in Denver, invite families and community members to their Community Open House on Thursday, Jan. 16, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Visitors will have a chance to tour the school, see examples of classroom work, talk with classroom teachers and meet Whittier parents. Whittier ECE-8 is proud to be in its 3rd straight year as a “Green/Meets Expectations” school within the DPS School Performance Framework. Whittier is especially excited to highlight its middle school (6th-8th grade) which is ranked as one of the top middle schools in all of DPS for its exceptional academics. The evening will begin in the Whittier auditorium at the East end of the school. For more information or to schedule a personal school tour, contact Karen at 303-986-5929 or ptawhittier@gmail.com.


HATS OFF TO

The 2013 Harambee honorees pictured are left to right Cleareatha Harris (Salute to Black Women Award), Gerie Grimes (Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Legacy Award) President Elizabeth Lee, Tiara Wilson (Dr. Dorothy I. Height Youth Leadership Award), and Jaida Rollins (Dr. Dorothy I. Height Youth Leadership Award).

NCNW Denver Section Recognize 2013 Harambee Honorees

The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) Denver Section presented the 22nd Annual Founder’s Day Harambee Brunch last month. This annual event recognizes the achievements of women of color and youth who exemplify the legacy set forth by the organization founded by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune in 1935. The Honorable Elbra Wedgeworth was the keynote speaker who currently serves as the Chief Government and Community Relations Officer for Denver Health, Colorado’s primary health services institution. Proceeds from the annual Harambee Brunch provide funding for the Denver Section to continue its mission to lead, develop, and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities.

Paige Signs Letter of Intent

Rangeview High School senior guard, Jeremiah Paige, signed his national letter of intent to play basketball at Colorado State University. He was recognized with at a ceremony in Rangeview’s Media Center. Paige is one of Colorado’s highestrated prospects in the Class of 2014. Last year he averaged nearly 20 points per game as well as 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.1 steals. He participated in the Show all-star game featuring Colorado’s top 20 players. Jeremiah’s grandfather Larry Paige, and great uncle, Floyd Kerr both are CSU basketball alumni.

Mayor Hancock Appoints Ashley R. Kilroy as Executive Director of Marijuana Policy in Denver

Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced the appointment of Ashley R. Kilroy as Executive Director of Marijuana Policy for the City and County of Denver. In this position, Kilroy will recommend, administer and implement medical and retail marijuana policies for Denver. She will oversee and coordinate all marijuana-related activities of various city agencies, employees, boards and commissions. Kilroy is currently serving as interim Manager of Safety. She will assume the full-time position of Executive Director of Marijuana Policy on Jan. 1 when Deputy Chief of Staff Stephanie O’Malley becomes Executive Director of the Department of Safety. Kilroy’s professional background includes work as an attorney, mediator and investigator. She has extensive experience as a public servant, including serving as Deputy Manager of the Department of Safety, Senior City Attorney for the City and County of Denver, Deputy General Counsel for Denver Public Schools, and as an Assistant County Attorney for Washington County. Kilroy is a licensed attorney in the State of Colorado and received a J.D. with Honors from Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Stephanie Y. O’Malley Appointed Executive Director of the Department of Safety

Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced the appointment of Deputy Chief of Staff Stephanie Y. O’Malley as Executive Director of the Department of Safety (formerly Manager of Safety) for the City and County of Denver, effective Jan. 1. The Executive Director of Safety provides civilian oversight of the Police, Fire and Sheriff’s departments.

As Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Hancock, O’Malley engaged in a host of matters of public concern on his behalf, including direct engagement with Denver’s Police, Fire, and Sheriff’s departments, as well as with the Office of the Independent Monitor; collective bargaining; M/WBE considerations; arts and culture; homelessness; business operations; and community engagement. Interim Safety Manager Ashley Kilroy will continue to serve in this capacity until Jan. 1. At that time, Kilroy will return to her previous position as Deputy Director of the Department of Safety. A Denver native, O’Malley grew up in the City Park West neighborhood. She graduated with honors from Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She is a licensed attorney in the State of Colorado and received her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. From 2007-2011, O’Malley served as Denver’s first elected Denver County Clerk and Recorder. As an appointee of former Mayor John Hickenlooper, O’Malley was Director of the Department of Excise and Licenses from 2003-2007.

Two Coloradoans Honored By President Obama as Outstanding Teachers

President Obama named 102 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This year’s awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The educators will receive their awards at a Washington, DC, event in the coming year. Recognized from Colorado were Elizabeth Grabois, Denver (Science) and Joan Standefer, Boulder (Math). The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also are invited to Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration. Nominations for the 2014 PAEMST are open through April 1, 2014. For more information about PAEMST, please visit www.paemst.org.

Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

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Urban League President Landri Taylor Resigns

NEWSVIEWS

After restoring the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver’s foot print back to relevancy over the past five years, Landri Taylor, President of the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver (ULMD), tendered his resignation effective January 10, 2014. Taylor leaves the ULMD in a much better place today than when he arrived on May 1, 2009. “I’m proud to have played a role in restoring the presence of one of Denver’s historic civil rights organizations. I thank the board and members for supporting my service these past 5 years.” ULMD board chair Wayne Vaden thanked Taylor and said “Landri’s professional and personal contribution is directly responsible for bringing relevance back to the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver. The board thanks him and his family for making the ULMD what it is today.” Taylor, who was recently elected to the DPS Board of Education, plans to return to the private sector. About The Urban League The Urban League of Metropolitan Denver was established in 1946 and since that time has worked tirelessly to create a level playing field for African

Americans and others of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds who reside in the greater Denver metropolitan area. Its continuing mission is to assist those in need with securing a first class education, achieving economic opportunity, and obtaining equal respect of civil rights by providing exceptional programs and services in a highly diversified city. The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy. Today, there are more than 100 local affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.

New Innovation Lab Offers Business & Career Training in NE Park Hill

Designed to support economic advancement of the residents of Northeast Park Hill, the Innovation

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First base, second base, third base or has it hit a home run? If you’re nearing home plate – congratulations! If not, BAT PR would like to meet you where you are and help you hit a home run. BAT PR & Associates is a marketing and public relations firm focusing on start-up, new and existing businesses with special attention to nonprofit organizations. Need help growing your business, presenting your service, or promoting your event?

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Lab will offer individual and smallgroup career training and small business development services in the new Nancy P. Anschutz Center at 33re Avenue and Holly Street, home to the Boys & Girls Club. Open to the community as of November, the Innovation Lab offers an array of career and business support services via one-on-one sessions, self-guided skill modules, and group workshops. The Innovation Lab is equipped with 14 laptops and meeting space. In addition to class offerings, the Innovation Lab is a space for community members to utilize as needed – for brainstorming sessions, individual study or meetings. Programs at the Innovation Lab will focus on four aspects of career and business training: •Career Planning – résumé and cover letter writing, job searching, interview preparation •Entrepreneurial Counseling – starting a business, writing a business plan, marketing support •Financial Literacy – money management, budgeting, understanding credit, saving plans, financial products and services •Technology Training – computer navigation skills, internet and email, online research and •Microsoft Office programs The Innovation Lab was developed in partnership with the Holly Area Redevelopment Project (HARP), a coalition of community representatives tasked with finding the best use of the Holly Square space to serve families in Northeast Park Hill. By offering business and career training services to all the diverse members of the Northeast Park Hill community, the Innovation Lab strives to help families and individuals advance their economic success, thereby contributing to the health and vibrancy of the neighborhood. The Innovation Lab is operated by

•Company Branding •Graphic Design •Writing Support •Advertising and Media Buys •Email Marketing •Social Media Management •Video Production •Web Site Development •Event Planning •Specialized Services: •Catering •Photography •Printing •Flyer Distribution •Security •Transportation •Entertainment Booking

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Let BAT PR hit a home run for you! Denver Urban Spectrum — www.denverurbanspectrum.com – January 2014

32

Mi Casa Resource Center, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping hardworking Denver families achieve their economic goals through career training, business development services, afterschool youth programs and supportive services. For more information on the Innovation Lab, call 303-388-8213. The Innovation Lab is located at 3399 Holly St., Suite 134.

Essence Magazine Announces 2014 Summer Internship Program

Essence Communications Inc. hosts summer interns through the Time Inc. Summer Internship Program. The program is a 9-week paid learning experience where students will receive onthe-job training that will enhance their education and prepare them for a future career in the media industry. Applicants must have an interest in media and issues related to AfricanAmerican women to intern at ESSENCE magazine. They are looking for students who are diligent, selfmotivated and extremely detail-oriented to take on various opportunities throughout departments in both the Publishing and Editorial divisions. Interns will receive a bi-weekly stipend, will be assigned to one department but will be exposed to other areas of the company, and are expected to find their own housing. It is suggested that they contact their school’s career center for information on temporary housing in the New York City area. They can contact New York City area colleges and universities to ask about renting a dormitory room for the summer. The deadline to apply is January 31, and only one application per person will be considered. For more details and/or to apply for the Essence Summer Internship, visit: www.findinternships.com/2013/10/essence -communications-internship.html


Letters,

Ted Moore Denver

Snow Buddy Program Needs More Buddies For Seniors

Editor: I am writing you today to tell you about the Snow Buddy Program in the Denver Metro area and our need for more volunteers. The Snow Buddy Program serves limited-income seniors who are 60 or over. The program shovels sidewalks and walkways after two or more inches of snow for seniors who are unable to do so for themselves and cannot afford to hire snow removal companies. The mission of this program is to keep seniors safe and prevent falls during the icy winter months. Additionally, the program helps seniors avoid the costly city fines that accrue because of their inability to shovel the sidewalks. This service is offered to seniors free of cost. Last year, we served 76 seniors in five counties with this program. The Snow Buddy Program goes beyond shoveling. Our volunteers often visit with the seniors to make sure they are doing well. Most of the seniors on our program live alone and some feel isolated because they are not able to get out of the house often; having interactions with their “snow buddies” can really brighten their days. Volunteers also report any concerns back to Volunteers of America, which can offer other services, like the Safety

of Seniors Handyman Program and Meals on Wheels. The Snow Buddy Program, put simply, is helping seniors remain living independently in their homes longer by preventing dangerous falls during the winter and providing supportive services. The Snow Buddy Program relies on volunteers in order to help the seniors in the community; without volunteers, the program would not exist. There are many seniors who need assistance shoveling this winter. So, the Snow Buddy Program is looking for volunteers in the following areas: Montbello, Park Hill, Five Points, Southwest Denver (80219 zip code – Westwood neighborhood in particular), Littleton (around Santa Fe), South Commerce City, and Federal Heights. Volunteering can be done individually or as a family. If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Snow Buddy Program at 720-264-3379 or snowbuddies@voacolorado.org or visit our website at www.voacolorado.org/. You will be matched with a senior who needs help and lives within two miles of your home for the remainder of the winter season.

Amelia Sidinger Program Coordinator Snow Buddy Program Volunteers of America

2013 2 013

Continued from page 3 eliminated Osama bin laden and other Taliban leadership. He turned around the U.S. auto industry; eliminated catch-22 in pay equality laws; expanded stem cell research; expanded health coverage for children; created recovery.gov, a Website run by independent board of inspectors general looking for fraud and abuse in stimulus spending. These are a few accomplishments President Obama after five years without help from the Republican Party. Today or the past year (2013) the economy has created 2,309,000 jobs. We are moving in the right direction; the housing market in on an upturn and unemployment is moving downward. In his weekly address on November 23, 2013, President Obama says our economy is moving in the right direction. We have cut our deficits by more than half, businesses have created millions of new jobs, and we have taken significant steps to reverse our addiction to foreign oil and fix our broken health care system. You consider president Obama’s performance “abysmal,” your analogy reminds me of the man who had questions regarding the person’s gender that donated him a heart. The rightwing pundit and Republicans

would rather see the country fail than the president save it from destruction. Call it “race card” if you desire, it’s a fact; between 1877 and the mid-1960s Jim Crow (apartheid) was the name of the racial caste system practice in this country. Prior to 1960 most African Americans could not vote and had virtually no access to higher education. Although the civil rights and voting rights acts (1964 and 1965, respectively) addressed the legal issues, and legislation like the Community Reinvestment Act opened banking to red-lined areas, programs to eliminate disparities have proved to not be adequate. Every Caucasian benefits from this – even people who arrived to the United States yesterday. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were relegated to the status of second class citizens. Between 1960 and 2009, we elected our first African America president. Oprah did not choose or play the “black race card.” Like Oprah, the president and yourself, you are descendants from Africa (Adam/Eve).

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