W E E K E N D E R
L.A. Watts Times Vol. XXX, No. 1207
SEE PAG ES
Thursday, November 25, 2010
8 - 9 FOR FEATURE STORY
RIES ~ Lucky! Your natural ability to shine is magnified this week. You’ll be garnering positive attention on a project you recently completed. Bask in the glow of public admiration! AURUS ~ A celebration is in store and you are the guest of honor! You’ve achieved something wonderful and you need to take some time to enjoy it. Let yourself enjoy the applause then move onward and upward. EMINI ~ Let someone else make a few decisions this week. Take a backseat and enjoy the respite from doing all the driving. You’ll enjoy the ride more this week if you just admire the view as it goes by. ANCER ~ Sometimes you imagine that everyone needs to hear your sensible opinions on all matters of significance. And other weeks you know that you are wise and generous enough to listen to others as they share their good ideas. This week is a week for listening. You’ll learn much. EO ~ Anybody may occasionally have a week when their energy feels low. Your natural good health will see you through a possible down time if you just go with the flow and let yourself relax. Rest if you have the chance and you’ll feel like your wonderful self in no time flat! IRGO ~ You are the center of attention this week and while you’ll be very busy you’ll love every moment. Enjoy your time in the spotlight! You may want to indulge yourself with some emotional theatrics this week. Add up the costs and benefits before
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Thursday, November 25, 2010
Inside this Edition
NOV. 25-DEC. 1 acting out. If you can afford it go for it! If not count to ten and smile, smile smile! IBRA ~ Stay flexible this week especially where a partner is concerned. While they may be moody there’s no need for you to join them in their attitude unless you really, really want to! Stay positive and go with the good vibrations that surround you. CORPIO ~ Ding-dong! Destiny is at the door. Let it in and enjoy the change of pace. You’ll be happy to make a few adjustments for this most welcome guest. Follow through on instincts and hunches! AGITTARIUS ~ Stay on course with your current decisions and dreams. You may doubt your progress this week but you really are moving toward a better tomorrow with your determined attitude. APRICORN ~ You feel great! Your shining spirit attracts many seekers this week so let your best wisest self answer questions that are put to you by those who want advice. You’ll smooth over a sticky situation at work with ease. QUARIUS ~ Busy week. You’ll want to get up with the birdies and you may, even want to whistle a happy little tune. You’ll be very much in demand for your expertise and positive attitude. Way to go! ISCES ~ Happiness arrives and sits on your shoulder like a bright butterfly this week. A relationship can make significant progress if you stay open to love. Keep your evening free for romance in a social setting.
L.A. Watts Times WEEKENDER Published Weekly – Updates 3800 S. Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90008 Administration – Sales – Graphics – Editorial 323.299.3800 - office 323.291.6804 - fax Beverly Cook – Publisher, Managing Editor 1976 – 1993 Charles Cook – Publisher, 1976 – 1998 Melanie Polk – Publisher 1998 – 2010
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WWW.LAWATTSTIMES.COM Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. ..........Executive Publisher & Executive Editor Brenda Marsh Mitchell ................................Executive Vice President Tracy Mitchell........................................................................Controller Brandon I. Brooks ............................................Co – Managing Editor Yussuf J. Simmonds..........................................Co – Managing Editor Samuel Richard..........................................................Associate Editor Willa Robinson..................................................Director of Advertising Benjamin Samuels ..............................................Production Designer Chris Martin ........................................................Production Designer EMAIL: email@example.com Circulation ................................................................................50,000 The opinions expressed by contributing writers are not necessarily those of the L.A. Watts Times. The L.A. Watts Times is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, CDs or tapes.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Mayor Tabor and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorors Celebrate Library Day Also in attendance was Inglewood City Mayor Daniel K. Tabor, member of Kappa Alpha Psi. Tabor was in full support of the service project and appreciated the time the Sorors provided to the city. Theta Mu Omega ended the day by presenting a donation of craft supplies to the librarian to maintain in the library for their youngest to enjoy. Theta Mu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. was chartered in Inglewood in 1966.
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(Inglewood, CA) — Theta Mu Omega continued its annual tradition of hosting “Library Day” at the Inglewood Library on Saturday Nov. 20, 2010. Sorors prepared craft tables for attendees to make all kinds of handmade art. With the support and donations from Reading is Fundamental (RIF), Sorors provided the library goers with free books to take home. The books provided were for tots to preteens. Snacks were also provided by the chapter.
(l to r) Alma Davis, president; Mayor Tabor; Natalie Nagthall, president-elect
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instructor and for all others it’s an amazing 8-1 ratio. All of the children are served three meals each and bilingual education is also offered.
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When the state of California budget was at an impasse, its crippling effect not only impacted government-run businesses, but also state-funded nonprofits such as the Page Learning Academy Inc. Page Learning Academy Inc., which operates three child-care centers in Los Angeles and Inglewood received good news when it reopened its doors on Oct. 25, and has again began providing child care for infants and toddlers through age 4, from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. “It is a welcome relief for those parents who are going to school, looking for work or continuing work. I am thrilled to be back doing what I love and making sure children in our community have affordable child care,” said Page Learning Academy owner Creise Page. There are centers located at 216 W. Vernon Ave. and 4724 S. Wilton Place in Los Angeles. Another one is at 726 Centinela Ave. in Inglewood. Page Learning Academy began operation in 1983. Among the attractions for the centers is the low ratio of children and infants per credentialed teacher. For the infants its three children per
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Thursday, November 25, 2010
THANKSGIVING FEAST (LIFE CHOIR) — H.B. Barnum & LIFE Choir’s Annual Thanksgiving Day Community Feast, in conjunction with Dr. Mable John and Joy Community Outreach, will host the Thanksgiving Day Feast Celebration on Nov. 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Hollywood Recreation Center, 1122 N. Cole Ave., Hollywood. Attendees can bring a friend, or tell anyone who won’t have their families with them on Thanksgiving, to come and eat. Children, homeless, young and old, rich and poor — all are welcome. Information: www.lifechoir.com, (323) 469-3207.
EARTHQUAKE SYMPOSIUM (ADAM FRIEDMAN ASSOCIATES) — An earthquake symposium designed to address seismic risk in Los Angeles and possible solutions to mitigate damage to life and property will be held at the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, on Dec. 1. Hosted by Los Angeles Times writer Ron Lin, the symposium will bring together experts from academia, and the private and public sectors to assess the vulnerability of L.A. and major U.S. cities to a major earthquake. The event is expected to draw an audience of more than 200 and will be streamed live online. Experts will explore recent seismic events, risk management, and practical solutions that mitigate earthquake damage to human life and property. The symposium will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. More details and registration: www.eqsymposium.com.
LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS (MOTHERS IN ACTION) — Mothers in Action is seeking donations and volunteers for its Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 25, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Ward Villa Senior Complex, 1177 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles. Volunteers would help serve food, as well as clean up. They would also aid in preparing the dining room and delivering meals to the sick and shut in. Also, donations can be sent to: Mothers In Action, 3800 S. Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles 90008. More information: (323) 299-3800, firstname.lastname@example.org.
11-28-10 HOLLYWOOD CHRISTMAS PARADE (STEVE MOYER PR) — The 2010 Hollywood Christmas Parade, benefiting the Marine Toys for Tots, will take place Nov. 28, 6 p.m. The grand marshal will be Larry King, host of “Larry King Live.” Parade
12-03-10 CALI CHRISTMAS — The Power 106 Cali Christmas — featuring artists such as Pitbull, Chris Brown and The New Boyz, just to name a few — will take place Dec. 3, 7:15 p.m., at the Gibson Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. More information: www.power106. com. 12-04-10 LUNCHEON — The 31st Annual Kick-Off Luncheon will take place Dec. 4 at the LAX Marriott, 5855 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles. The aim of the event is to raise funds for Ruth Moore’s 45th Annual Christmas Party, which will be put on by F. Ruth Moore V.S.O. Inc. The party will be for at-risk youth. Tickets for the luncheon cost $60 per person and $600 per table. Checks can be made out to F. Ruth Moore V.S.O. Inc., P.O. Box 1380, Los Angeles, CA 90001. More information: www.frmvso.org.
happening these months
taking place at the country club. The matches will be a fan-friendly, close up showcase of American tennis, spanning three generations. The event will also feature celebrity umpires and live giveaways. Pro Am spots cost $3,500 and include a VIP box for the exhibition matches plus a table at the evening dinner/auction/party for participants and their five guests. Grand Slam tables are available at $2,000 and include six box seats to the exhibition and a table for six at the evening party. Exhibition matches will begin at 3 p.m., but ticket holders are also invited to come early and see the Pro Am action, which begins at 10 a.m. Courtside tickets are available now and are priced at $100. For ticket sales, go to www.ticketalternative.com, and to secure a Pro Am spot contact Stuart Duguid at email@example.com or (202) 721-9571.
Blvd., Los Angeles. General admission is $25 and $20 for students and seniors. Group rates are available (minimum 12 or more people). Group ticket purchases, general information: Aminah, (213) 929-1304. More information on the play: www.facebook.com/pages/Meetin-inthe-Ladies-Room/136349463084005.
12-24-10 CELEBRATION — The 51st annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration will be held Dec. 24, 3 to 6 p.m., at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. The event will feature 23
12-09-10 COMEDY (PLANETPIX MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT GROUP) — A comedy tour, titled “FUNATIPhoto byEd Krieger CAL: Taking Comedy to the Extreme,” will come to Los ers Sing ilee Albert McNeil Jub Angeles Dec. 9 at The dance and Comedy Store (at 8433 W. Sunset Blvd.). music groups, including the Pacifico Dance The aim of the tour is to unify all Americans. Co., Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers and “FUNATICAL” features an Indian Jewish Women’s Chorale. Admission is free, but peocomedian, a black Muslim convert, an Arab ple must have a wristband to get in. Jewish performer, a half Iranian/half black Wristbands will be passed out the day of the performer, Hindu comedians and more. event, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Free parking “FUNATICAL” will also take place at will be available in the Music Center’s garage. Beyond the Stars Palace theater in Glendale More information: (213) 972-3099, (at 417 1/2 N. Brand Blvd.) on Dec. 10, and www.HolidayCelebration.org. the Los Angeles Theatre Center (at 514 S. Spring St.) on Dec. 11. The tour’s motto is ONGOING “We Come in Peace.” More information: www.funaticalcomedy.com, www.planetpix“GREAT EXPECTATIONS” (ANW) — A productions.com/blog/?p=57. Noise Within (ANW), the classical repertory theater company, offers a choice for family holiday entertainment with Charles Dickens’ 12-10-10 “Great Expectations.” The production, which is the West Coast premiere of a stage adaptaPLAY (ALLISON QUEEN) — “Meetin’ In tion by Neil Bartlett, plays through Dec. 19. the Ladies Room,” a new play by D’Shaun Special rates for groups (10 or more) and Booker, will run at Stage 52 from Dec. 10 to school groups are available. “Great 19. The play is about five black women who unexpectedly take a journey to self-discovery. Expectations” is the story of Pip, orphaned as an infant and thrust into a childhood of cruel The path leads them to face their pains, dispoverty, who clings to the hope of a brighter appointments, fears, weaklife. On a rain-swept winter’s eve, great tidings arrive: An anonymous benefactor has anointed Pip heir to a tremendous fortune, setting into motion a life’s journey ripe with wonder, heartbreak and finally triumph. A Noise Within is at 234 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale. To purchase tickets or for a full season brochure, call (818) 240-0910, ext.1, visit www.ANoiseWithin.org.
TENNIS TOURNAMENT (LAGARDÈRE UNLIMITED) — Several talents in U.S. tennis are teaming up to bring a charity tennis event to the Manhattan Country Club in Manhattan Beach on Dec. 5: the Inaugural Charity Challenge. The format Photo by Steve Lomas will consist of a Pro Am, three Massey exhibition matches and an (l to r) Kyle Massey and Christopher evening party that includes roving reporters will be the Massey brothers, surprise musical guests and an aucKyle (“Dancing With The Stars”) and tion — all held at the Club. The Christopher (“Zoey 101”). Celebrities will Boys and Girls Clubs of America include Vivica A. Fox, Holly Robinson Peete and the UNC Lineberger and many others. More information: Comprehensive Cancer Center www.thehollywoodchristmasparade.com. will benefit from the event. The Pro Am event will see amateur COMEDY SHOW — The Knock Out participants test their skills against Parkinson’s Comedy Show will take place some of the greatest names in Nov. 28, 8:30 to 11 p.m., at The Comedy past, present and future tennis. Store, 8433 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. Other players already confirmed Maryum “May May” Ali, daughter of include former world No. 1 and Cast of “Meetin’ in the La Muhammad Ali, will host the stand-up come- three-time grand slam winner dies Room” dy show. The event will help fund research Lindsay Davenport and former nesses and hidden for Parkinson’s disease. Information: (310) world No. 1 and two-time U.S. Open champisecrets — ultimately liberating their souls 348-8441. Tickets: http://teamparkinson.kinon Tracy Austin, as well as African-American and restoring their faith in themselves and tera.org/knockoutpd10. tennis player Sloane Stephens and Denis God. Stage 52 is at 5299 W. Washington Kudla. There will also be exhibition matches
The deadline for receipt of calendar listings is Friday, noon, at least two weeks prior to activity. Fax to: (323) 299-3896, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: L.A. Watts Times, 3800 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90008. All calendar items are received from various senders and are subject to being edited.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
The 2010 L.A. Auto Show opened with record debuts The energized Los Angeles Auto Show opened last Thursday, Nov. 19, and will continue to run until Nov. 28 with a record 50 vehicle debuts, with more than 20 world and 30 North American first looks. This year’s show features more elaborate and interactive exhibits and more manufacturers, making it one of the most dynamic L.A. Auto Shows in history. One million people are expected to attend this year. More than 900 vehicles will be featured. After a dismal period of sales slumps and dealership closings, things have begun to take an upturn for 2010, with the three top U.S. automakers all showing profits this year. It’s only fitting that the L.A. Auto Show, based in the heart of one o f t h e w o r l d ’s largest automobile consumer markets, would be the site for the comeback site for the return of two auto companies and a record number of debuts. Among the world debuts are
three premieres from Nissan including the completely redesigned Quest minivan. Land Rover will unveil its all-new, fivedoor Range Rover Evoque, and SAAB will showcase its first crossover, the 9-4X. Convertibles are always a favorite in Los Angeles and two popular drop-tops making world debuts include the new Chevrolet Camaro Convertible and the redesigned Volkswagen Eos. Several topselling vehicles have received all new designs for 2011 including the Ford Explorer crossover, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Hyundai Elantra sedan. Returning to the United States after a 27-year hiatus, Italian automaker Fiat, now partnered with Chrysler, will feature its new compact vehicle, the Fiat 500-Cinquecento
This year, Ford and Land Rover will offer daily test drives and an offroad course where people can try the rugged SUV. On the weekends, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Toyota will let drivers test several new models. Electric Cars have been a popular Auto Show feature over recent years, this year they have moved from concept to mass production reality. Los Angeles is expected to be one of the biggest markets for electric cars, as well as one of the first cities to sell the mass production models. Electric cars like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, which are set to appear in showrooms later this year, are anticipated to be popular attractions at the show. Toyota’s RAV4 EV will also make its debut and highlight its use of battery technology developed with Tesla (it is scheduled to hit the market in 2012). Other electric vehicles at the show include luxury sports cars such as the Fisker Karma, and economy sedans like the debut vehicle from Coda Automotive. Other green vehicles will include hybrid, alternative and other electronic models such as the Audi A3 TDI, BMW’s ActiveHybrid 7, the MercedesBenz B-Series F-Cell, the MINI E, the Volvo C30 Electric and VW’s Golf TDI. Last year, Nissan and Infinity were notably absent from the show, citing the cost and slow sales. This year they’re back with Nissan debuting a redesigned Quest minivan, the Murano Cross Cabriolet crossover convertible concept, and a sedan concept called the Ellure. More than 15 concept cars will also have their have debuts. Family fun and entertainment will
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Cadillac concept be available at the Nissan Quest Kids’Fun Zone, open both weekends including the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The play area features video games, toy car rides and a variety of other games, crafts and activities free to show attendees. The L.A. Auto Show has dedicated the entire Kentia Hall to the automotive aftermarket and specialty vehicle industries, featuring a wide array of products including limited production cars, customized exotics and the latest in mobile electronics and accessories. Attendees this year will benefit from more test drive opportunities than ever before. Every day of the show, Ford and Land Rover will be offering unique test drives, including a rugged Land
Rover off-road course and Ford's outdoor urban expo featuring cars and trucks. On Fridays through Sundays, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Toyota will let drivers get behind the wheel to test out a variety of its latest models. The L.A. Auto Show is open to the public Nov. 26-28. Hours are: Friday, Nov. 26: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $2-off discount coupons, valid from Friday, Nov. 19 through Thanksgiving Day, can be found at laautoshow.com. Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. For general information, visit laautoshow.com.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Black farmers finally get Senate action SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE AFRO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS The Senate cleared a $1.15 billion appropriations measure recently to settle a decades-old discrimination suit by Black farmers, paving the way for one of the largest civil rights settlements in history, if the bill clears the House.
“I applaud the Senate for passing the Claims Settlement Act of 2010, which will at long last provide funding for the agreements reached in the Pigford II lawsuit, brought by African American farmers, and the Cobell lawsuit, brought by Native Americans over the management of Indian trust accounts and resources,” Obama said. The nation’s Black farmers were awarded the money as part of a larger $4.6 billion settlement awarded to them and Native American farmers. The action stems from the settlement of Pigford v. Glickman, a class-action lawsuit named after Timothy Pigford, a Black farmer from North Carolina. Pigford’s suit claimed that Black farmers received
little or no U.S. Department of Agriculture support in the form of loans and grants compared to their White counterparts. The case, which began in 1997, saw a settlement reached in 1999 that stated qualified farmers could receive $50,000 to settle claims of racial bias. However, many farmers missed the filing deadline to receive payment. A settlement reached last February allowed those farmers to resume pursuit of their claims. “The passage of this bill is long overdue,” said John Boyd, head of the National Black Farmers Association, in a statement. “Black farmers have already died at the plow waiting for justice,” Boyd told the Richmond TimesDispatch. “I hope the ones who are living will see justice. The amount of money will not put farmers back into business.” The appropriations bill was stalled in the Senate for months while Democrats and Republicans fought over how to pay for the settlement. The stalemate was broken during the first week of the lame duck session of the 111th Congress when Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, dropped an objection to the package, after Senate leaders agreed not to finance it through additional deficit spending. The matter now goes to the
John Boyd, head of the National Black Farmers Association, in front of the U.S. Capitol, earlier this year. Supporting the Black farmers bill were CBC Members Barbara Lee, left, and Shelia Jackson Lee, right. House where even more recalcitrance is expected from lawmakers who contend that the settlement adds to what they consider excessive spending at a time of federal budget deficits. According to the USA Today, the settlement will be paid for from a surplus in nutrition programs for women and children and by extending customs user fees. President Barack Obama praised
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the Senate for ending that chamber’s refusal to clear the settlement. In a statement, he expressed hope that the House would follow in the Senate’s footsteps and pass the bill as well. “I applaud the Senate for passing the Claims Settlement Act of 2010, which will at long last provide funding for the agreements reached in the Pigford II lawsuit, brought by African American farmers, and the Cobell lawsuit, brought by Native
Americans over the management of Indian trust accounts and resources,” Obama said. “I urge the House to move forward with this legislation as they did earlier this year, and I look forward to signing it into law,” he continued. The legislation also included an extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and settlements for Native American water rights.
Auto industry success a hard sell for White House BY JIM KUHNHENN ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON (AP) — The auto industry is providing President Barack Obama a good news story — automakers are making money, plants are hiring and the taxpayers’ stake in General Motors is dwin-
dling. Things are looking up for the president in assembly line country — just not the voting. Obama, fresh from claiming vindication after last week’s GM public stock offering, is joining Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday at a Chrysler auto plant in Kokomo, Ind. This See AUTO INDUSTRY, page 15
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010 7:00 p.m. FREE PARKING
LADWP John Ferraro Building 111 North Hope Street Los Angeles, CA 90012
To Register and Learn More: www.LAPowerPlan.org As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, service and activities. To ensure availability, such requests should be made 72 hours in advance by calling (213) 367-1361, TDD: 1 (800) 432-7397.
AP Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais
In this July 30, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama opens the door of the new Chevy Volt during his tour of the General Motors Auto Plant in Hamtramck, Mich.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Maya Angelou, John Lewis named as Medal of Freedom Recipients SPECIAL TO THE NNPA FROM THE AFRO-AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS
AP Photo by Charles Dharapak
In this April 18, 2008 file photo, author Maya Angelou is seen at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama named Angelou a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Writer Maya Angelou and civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, D-GA, were among 15 announced recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. It singles out those who have made contributions to the security or national interests of the U.S., to world peace or other significant endeavors. “These outstanding honorees come from a broad range of backgrounds and they’ve excelled in a broad range of fields, but all of them have lived extraordinary lives that have inspired us, enriched our culture, and made our country and our world a better place,” President Barack Obama said in a statement announcing the recipients. “I look forward to awarding them this honor.” The award ceremony will take place at the White House in early 2011. Maya Angelou, a world-renowned poet, author, educator, and civil rights activist is currently the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. This is the third presidential award she’s received, fol-
lowing the Presidential Medal for the Arts in 2000 and the Lincoln Medal in 2008. Lewis, a longtime congressman, was a seminal figure during the Civil Rights Movement. While chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he helped organize the first lunch-counter sit-in in 1959, and was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington in 1963. In 1965, he led the Selma-to-Montgomery march on what came to be known as “Bloody Sunday,” drawing a violent, turbulent Alabama police response that prompted the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Also honored was basketball legend Bill Russell. One of the most successful performers in professional sports, Russell led his Boston Celtic teams to 11 NBA championships in 13 years while also winning five most valuable player awards. He was the first African-American to become a coach of a major sports team at the professional level in the United States. Among the other honorees were President George H.W. Bush, billionaire Warren Buffett, civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez and president emeritus of the AFL-CIO, John J. Sweeney.
AP Photo by Harry Hamburg
In his March 19, 2009 file photo, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., is seen in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama named Lewis a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
L.A. Watts Times
African Americans share their Thanksgiving experiences, plans BY SAM RICHARD Associate Editor Take a guess at what you might see at Rosalyn Upchurch’s Thanksgiving dinner. Mac ‘n’ cheese and collard greens? For sure. Turkey? That’s a no-brainer. Confetti other goodies that come out of little Christmas “crackers”? Probably didn’t see that coming on Thanksgiving. “Cute little stuff comes out,” says Upchurch, who introduced the idea of having crackers at her family Thanksgiving dinners. “It’s just so much fun. It’s like fireworks without the danger.” That’s just one of her traditions. The 46-year-old African-African said she and her sons usually get together with friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. She loves to be at her Sacramento home by the fireplace, watch movies and play board games. The L.A. Watts Times recently spoke to Upchurch and several other Blacks about how they have and will celebrate one of America’s favorite holidays and what they’re thankful for. From giving thanks to traveling, they’ll be joining millions of other African-Americans in participating in the holiday their way. Time to go down South There’s at least one thing Sian Ukpolo doesn’t like about this year’s Thanksgiving: the $1,000 price tag for two plane tickets to fly to Louisiana. The reason for the price? The State Farm Bayou Classic, where the football teams of Grambling State and Southern universities will battle it out this weekend at the Superdome in New Orleans. The big event helped ticket prices go up, says Ukpolo. But Ukpolo is keeping with tradition: She spends time with her family in the area on Thanksgiving and will once again attend the Bayou Classic and a battle-of-the-bands event. On the actual day of Thanksgiving, there’s no going to football games; it’s
time to eat. And there are certain dishes her family must have. “Being in New Orleans, you have to have gumbo. You cannot have Thanksgiving without gumbo,” says Ukpolo, a native of the Big Easy. Among other things, her family’s gumbo must have shrimp, crab, and andouille sausage — and no other sausage, she insist, if you want the dish to come out tasting good, that is. Another thing: She cannot have Thanksgiving without mirlitons, a green vegetable that resembles a pear. She considers her Thanksgiving celebrations unique. “Most people, once they go away to school and get married and things, they start doing their own Thanksgiving in their house,” she says. “My family has found some kind of way to keep it together.” Her family has kept alive their Thanksgiving traditions for many years, at least since the 30-year-old was born. They often have 20 or 25 people at the home of Ukpolo’s 91-year-old grandmother, where family members spend time together and competitively play the game Taboo. One thing Ukpolo is thankful for is the outcome of her family’s well-being; they were affected by Hurricane Katrina when it hit the Gulf Coast in 2005. Her aunt lost a home. “We’re thankful that we’re still a family unit,” Ukpolo says. “So together we lost no one in the flood. I mean we lost things, but didn’t lose people. So we’re very grateful. “And especially (during) the holidays we get a chance to reflect on those things.” Everyone chips in A lot of people can sit back and watch their mom or aunt cook a Thanksgiving meal, but not Eric Hairston II; all the kinfolk who attend his Thanksgiving make at least one dish, the 23-year-old says. He will once again make ambrosia — a mix of fruit that includes apples, oranges, pecans, sour cream and marshmallows, among other ingredients. Hairston will spend Thanksgiving in Victorville, Calif., at his grandmoth-
Thursday, November 25, 2010
er’s house, which in the past couple of years has had about 15 or 20 people. One success in the family has been fried turkey, and they’ll have it again this year. He says Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday. “It’s just something about Thanksgiving that’s … not re-energizing or renewing or anything, but it’s just very restful,” says the San Fernando Valley resident. There’s just something about sitting down with family members who reminisce about their childhood and comparing them to his current experiences that Hairston really enjoys. Expected this Thanksgiving will likely be some male bonding, Hairston says, as he and his grandfather may watch the TV. Then there will likely be talk about current events, and, of course, joking and family members playfully egging on each other. “It’s always that dynamic going on,” he says. “Always in Motion” Elaine Martin’s family members are often busy with something: church activities, singing (Martin and her three siblings form the gospel group Martin’s Favor), and more. So it’s not unusual for them to regularly interact throughout the year. Yet, there’s still something special about spending time with them during the holidays for Martin. “Even though you see each other throughout the year … when you spend time (during) the holidays, it’s kind of like a relaxed environment and there’s no other things to focus on,” says the 46-year-old L.A. resident. “You’re just focusing on, you know, catching up and seeing what’s going on and hanging out…” Family members get to really bond and focus on each other. “You’re always in motion when you see each other,” she says, referring to other times of the year. But on Thanksgiving, though, “you just turn the power off for a second.” One family member she’s thankful to see is her brother Eric, who on Dec. 28, 2009, was in a car accident and couldn’t walk for months. Although he still has lingering health problems, he’s doing better and is back at work. She plans to spend the holiday at her place or Eric’s house with the rest
of her siblings and perhaps some friends. “God kept him, and we could have not had him,” Martin says. “And so I’m thankful — very, very, very thankful — for that.” Family: No. 1 For Albert Shumate, celebrating Thanksgiving is about bringing family together. Whenever there’s an occasion to get together, fellowship and share time, energy and love, they do it, he says. Oh, and there’s another reason why he celebrates: “Cause we like food.” If you attended one of Shumate’s regular Thanksgivings, you could have a glass of wine, what he calls the best dressing in town, collard greens, rolls and honey-baked ham. But in the past three years, Shumate, 61, hasn’t had the usual Thanksgivings at his View Park home or another family member’s place close by. In the past, and this time around, he has spent his holiday with other family in San Diego, where his wife’s brother lives. Next year, he says, his family will go back to the “old system” of having Thanksgiving locally. The Thanksgiving gatherings hold a special place in his heart, Shumate says. “I would be lonely without them,” he says. At his gatherings, there is a lot of laughter. “It’s a good time to just come together and laugh and find out what people are doing and how they feel about the president and his situation,” says Shumate. He’s thankful for several things. Number one is family, including his immediate one. “I’m fortunate to have a wife and kids,” he adds. “We have a nice home in View Park and cars and everybody’s stayed out of jail all this time, so what more could you be thankful for?”
SHUMATE FAMILY: (LEFT TO RIGHT) ALBERT, ANTHONY, VALERIE AND JONATHAN
ERIC HAIRSTON ROSALYN UPCHURCH
VICTOR & SIAN UKP
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Union chief â€˜99 percentâ€™ sure NBA lockout looms
Leslie Frazier steps in to take over Vikings
BY BRIAN MAHONEY AP BASKETBALL WRITER
BY JON KRAWCZYNSKI AP SPORTS WRITER EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. â€“ During perhaps the most AP Photo by Jim Mone tumultuous season in franchise history, the Minnesota Vikings In this Aug. 1, 2009, file photo, Minnesota were looking for a steady hand Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and a calming voice to guide attends NFL football training camp in them through the rest of this Mankato, Minn. The Vikings fired Childress on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010, cutting ties with a rocky year. Leslie Frazier fits that head coach who had come under increasing fire from his players â€” and his boss â€” for description perfectly. Vikings owner Zygi Wilf everything from their horrid start to his 1-2 turned to Frazier, the teamâ€™s playoff record and his abrupt decisions. defensive coordinator, to take Frazier will serve as interim head coach for over for the fired Brad the remainder of the season. Childress on Monday, comâ€œLeslie is a tremendous individual pletely unsatisfied after a talent-laden roster was blown out at home by divi- who has a wealth of experience and sion rival Green Bay to fall to 3-7 in a knowledge, and we believe is highly season that began with Super Bowl respected by our players (and) certainly expectations. See VIKIINGS, page 12
AP Photo by Brian Lawdermilk
In this photo taken on Nov. 10, 2010, and provided by USA Swimming, Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones, gives area children a swimming lesson at Centenary College in Shreveport, La., Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones and the USA Swimming Foundation visited Shreveport, La. as part of national water safety campaign â€œMake a Splash with Cullen Jonesâ€? to help develop learn to swim programs in the region.
NEW YORK â€“ NBA playersâ€™ association executive director Billy Hunter said Monday he is â€œ99 percent sureâ€? there will be a lockout next summer. â€œI think itâ€™s highly probable that there will be a lockout and thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m preparing for because I donâ€™t see anything else right now,â€? Hunter said. With negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that expires next summer going nowhere, Hunter said heâ€™s been instructing his players to save their money. There was no breakthrough in the latest meeting with league representatives last week, and the sides hope to meet again next month. But Hunter said the owners arenâ€™t budging on their demands for cuts in salaries, contract lengths and guarantees, annual raises, and the rookie salary scale. â€œWhatâ€™s left?â€? Hunter said in a conference room at the unionâ€™s headquarters after helping distribute turkeys to 2,000 families outside. The sides have been negotiating for more than a year, but Hunter agreed with Commissioner David Stern that thereâ€™s been no progress. And the players are no closer to agreeing to the cuts that the league is seeking. â€œI donâ€™t really see that the argumentâ€™s all that compelling for the changes that they're asking for,â€? Hunter said. The league is calling for a reduction in player salary costs of $700 to $800 million and is seeking a hard salary cap to replace the system which now allows for certain exceptions. The players counter that the current system has worked, pointing to record revenues and ticket sales, and strong TV ratings. They say the total of negotiated salaries has dropped for three straight seasons and forecast a 3 to 5 percent increase in revenues in 2010-11. â€œIt seems like things are doing all right and so our position is that we want to do whatâ€™s best for the game,â€? said Knicks guard Roger Mason Jr., a member of the playersâ€™ executive committee. â€œAny way
AP Photo by Joe Cavaretta
NBA Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter, left. that we can make the game better as players, speaking for a lot of the guys, weâ€™re all for it. But we donâ€™t want to have a deal that's just not fair and thatâ€™s what we think is being presented to us right now.â€? Hunter said the league has given no feedback on the proposal the union submitted in July. He offered no specifics of it, other than to say the players could be open to negotiating their guarantee of 57 percent of the revenues â€” which Stern has said is a central issue in the next CBA. Hunter added that the players believe their proposal resonated with some owners, but blames others â€” he called them a hawkish group â€” for pushing Stern toward a deal Hunter says he wonâ€™t get, one that would guarantee each owner a minimum annual profit of $10 million. And Hunter, who has been mostly silent while Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver revealed items from their wish list last month, decided itâ€™s time to speak out to them. â€œI think the message has to be driven home to I guess that hawkish group of owners that if theyâ€™re inclined, if they want to lock us out â€” because weâ€™re not going to strike â€” if they want to lock us out and they want to pull the roof down on themselves, then hey, have at it,â€? Hunter said. Both Hunter and Stern have said progress must be made by Februaryâ€™s All-Star break to reduce fears of the first work stoppage
since 1998. Hunter isnâ€™t sure itâ€™ll come by then, saying heâ€™s â€œwaiting for some sign, some movement from the owners that they want to reach a reasonable deal. â€œRight now theyâ€™re being unreasonable and I canâ€™t tell you when reasonâ€™s going to set in,â€? he said.
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For Cullen Jones, golden chance to teach swimming BY RACHEL COHEN AP SPORTS WRITER NEW YORK (AP) â€” Cullen Jones was about to race in his biggest meet of the year when he heard that six teenagers had drowned in Shreveport, La. Just over three months later, the Olympic gold medalist went to the city last week to give swim lessons.
â€œIt was so big for me being in Shreveport after something like that had happened,â€? Jones said. This is why he spends months traveling the country even as he trains to get back on that podium at the 2012 Olympics. Jones has visited 12 cities in two years as part of USA Swimmingâ€™s â€œMake a Splashâ€? program to prevent drowning by minor-
ity children. When Jones speaks to a group of kids, he first asks how many like being in the water. Almost all raise their hands. Then he asks how many know how to swim. Only a few hands go down. Finally he asks how many have taken swim lessons. â€œThen literally 80 percent of the hands drop,â€? Jones said. â€œThatâ€™s
the real number of kids who really know how to swim. ... â€œThatâ€™s the most staggering thing that Iâ€™ve really noticed is that from city to city itâ€™s the same thing: Thereâ€™s just so many kids that think they know how to swim but really donâ€™t.â€? Shaken by learning about the high drowning rates among black See CULLEN JONES, page 15
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