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Pittsburgh Courier


Vol. 109 No. 11

Two Sections

Published Weekly

MARCH 14-20, 2018

Young, Black and Powerful



Courier to showcase Pittsburgh’s ‘Fab40’ people under 40 by Rob Taylor Jr. Courier Staff Writer

THE FUTURE—From left: Aerion Abney, Wilkinsburg Mayor Marita Garrett, 35th District Rep. Austin Davis, and Summer Lee.

New wave of African Americans are taking Pittsburgh area’s political scene by storm by Atiya Irvin-Mitchell For New Pittsburgh Courier

Two years ago in Stockton, California, as the rest of the country was lamenting—or in some cases, celebrating—the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. Presidency, Michael Tubbs, at the youthful age of 26, was becoming the city’s first Black mayor.

Tubbs, who also became the city’s youngest mayor in history, was able to defeat an incumbent to claim victory that night in November 2016. Some called it an upset— but as time went on it became clear it was more like a sign; a new wave of political


leadership by young, impressive, intelligent African Americans was on the horizon. The Pittsburgh area is a prime example where local government is becoming younger and increasingly diverse. Look no further than recent-

ly-elected Pennsylvania state Representative Austin Davis. When Davis was in high school, his extra-curricular activities included student council, the school newspaper and volunteering for local political campaigns. Despite what his degree in political science suggests, becoming a politician SEE POLITICS A7

Seriously, the wait has been too long. With all the new faces emerging in the Pittsburgh area of all demographics lately, there are a host of African Americans who are making their presence known. They’re in politics, the business world, the nonprofit sector… They’re familiar names, they’re unfamiliar names… But one thing they all have in common is that they are difference-makers. The New Pittsburgh Courier’s Fab40 2018 will honor 40 local individuals under the age of 40 who are contributing to this community in a positive manner. They’re on the move, on the rise, and poised to take over. “Events and recognition ceremonies like Fab40 change the narrative for people of color,” said 2016 Fab40 honoree Teresa Renee Hunt. “It empowers the next generation, and encourages the recipients to continue executing with passion and excellence. In a society where police brutality is prevalent, our young men and women are being SEE FAB40 A9

NSBE convention coming to Pittsburgh, March 21-25 by Rob Taylor Jr. and J.L. Martello Courier Staff Writers

Talk about strength in numbers. Upwards of 15,000 Black engineers will descend upon Downtown Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the 44th convention of the National Society of Black Engineers, March 21-25. “It’s great to be back in Pittsburgh,” proclaimed Dr. Karl Reid, executive director of NSBE, at a press conference with Visit Pittsburgh, March 8. “We have never been in a city more than we’ve been in Pitts-

burgh, and it’s shaping up to be one of the largest conventions we’ve had in our history.” Dr. Reid told reporters that in 2012, the last year NSBE came to Pittsburgh, they had secured 11 hotels and nearly 40,000 square feet of career fair floor space. “So far this year,” he said, “it’s been 26 hotels and over 60,000 square feet.” Dr. Reid said that as of two weeks ago, 11,800 people have registered for the convention, “which is a record number for us,” with time still left for last-minute registrations.

Dr. Reid touted Pittsburgh as a place that wants to have a diverse group of professionals. He said that many NSBE members “ultimately go to work for PPG, Alcoa, FedEx services, etc. These companies recognize that companies and diversity are strategically linked.” He said Visit Pittsburgh SEE NSBE A5


Maya Angelou’s family in Pittsburgh for ‘Caged Bird Sings’ premiere by Genea L. Webb For New Pittsburgh Courier

Even though she passed away in 2014, author and poet Maya Angelou still has things to say and people to impact. The simple fact is this: people still want to hear her. That was the mindset of the audience who went to see the premiere of the stage production of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” March 10, at New Hazlett Theater. The production, presented by Prime Stage Theatre, is based on the book by Angelou and adapted for the stage by Myra Platt and Malika Oyetimein. The show is directed by Monteze Freeland and will run at New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square, through March 18. Among those watching the March 10 premiere were some of Angelou’s family members—Elliott Jones, her grandson, and Caylin Johnson, her great-granddaughter. “What she taught me for my life is that you have to have courage,” Jones told the ELLIOTT JONES and CAYLIN JOHNSON, grandson and great-granddaughter of the late Maya Angelou, New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive attended the premiere of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” at New Hazlett Theater, March 10. (Photo interview. “If you want something bad by Gail Manker)

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Louis ‘Hop’ Kendrick says

enough you have to really want it, and then you have to be ready to receive it because it’s going to come. She spurned me to action; more walk, less talk and I take that with me every day.” Jones serves as the Director of Community Engagement of his grandmother’s foundation. He administers the annual Annie Willie Scholarship Fund, which is awarded to students with disabilities who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Annie Willie Scholarship is currently the primary function of the Maya Angelou Foundation. “My great-grandmother died when I was 16 years old and the majority of the time I spent with her was at Thanksgiving, Fourth of July or Easter,” Johnson recalled. “She used to come to my dance recitals and come to my school and read, so we did get to spend some quality time together. She taught me how to make her homemade ice tea and I cherish those moments. I miss her a lot. “One day she decided to surprise me at SEE ANGELOU A5

Media never focuses on the ‘No’—always those who overdose Forum B6

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