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GARY CRUSADER 2-18-2017.qxpky.qxp_Sheriff 9/8/07 2007 2/16/17 2:01 AM Page 1

Entrepreneur squeezes out success with juice bar


Awards shows are unlikely to give Black artists props any time soon Blacks Must Control Their Own Community

(See pages 6)

(See pages 7)


To To The The Unconquerable Unconquerable Host Host of of Africans Africans Who Who Are Are Laying Laying Their Their Sacrifices Sacrifices Upon Upon The The Editorial Editorial Altar Altar For For Their Their Race Race




25 Cents and worth more

Senate passes bill to bail out Gary schools Bill moves on to the Indiana House for final approval By David Denson The Indiana State Senate on Wednesday, February 16 unanimously approved legislation aimed at helping the Gary Community School Corporation climb out of its financial hole. Senate Bill 567, sponsored by Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley and Sen. Eddie Melton, cleared the Senate 490. The decision is the first big achievement for Melton, a political rookie who was elected to fill the shoes of former State Senator Earline Rogers in 2016. A Roosevelt graduate, Melton has been a big supporter of Gary schools in recent years. The legislation gives financial control of the Gary Community School Corporation to a state controlled Fiscal Management Board for a five-year period. A state appointed emergency manager would take over managing the school sys-

tem’s finances and their decisions will be approved by the Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB). The measure also calls for the appointment of a chief financial officer to assist with the duties of the emergency manager. Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, the Gary School Board, along with the state superintendent of public instruction will each select a representative to serve on the board in an advisory capacity. If the corporation successfully meet certain goals, the DUAB would have the authority to provide grants to the corporation, forgive outstanding state loans, and provide zero interest loans. The legislation seeks to address problems the financially troubled school system has faced for years. The corporation has been plagued with many problems. Student enrollment is way down at 6,480, while revenue from property taxes continue to decline. There are also state mandated property

Eddie Melton

Missing teenage girl in Gary found safe By Desmond Alicea After an intense search and hours of uncertainty, Chastinea Reeves was found safe and unharmed on Feb. 15. Police reported that she was found at 2027 Maine St. in Gary, IN. During a press conference on Tuesday at the Gary Police Department, Public Information Officer Dawn Westerfield, stated, “We will not be releasing much information at this point, just that she has been recovered, the Amber Alert will be canceled and the investigation is still ongoing.” After Chastinea’s mother was found dead in her home in the 4400 block of West 23rd Place in Gary on Monday, the successful search to find Chastinea capped a dramatic effort to locate the 15-year-old amidst heavy speculation and rumors. Westerfield did not comment on a possible connection of this case to the death of the 34-year-old woman. The deceased woman’s home is not far from the location where Reeves was recovered on Tuesday. On Feb. 13, police officials sent out an Amber Alert seeking the public’s help in finding the teenager. Started in 1996, the Amber Alert System

Christinea Reeves

was developed as a response to assist families in locating runaway or missing children. It was originally named as a backronym— meaning America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response. Later, it was named after Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, TX. Throughout the years, the Amber Alert System has helped many, and its methods have expanded with the technological advances of today. Now, the average person will have a text message sent to their phone when an Amber Alert is released. Prior to that, some people may remember billboards flashing the pictures and names of missing children or a message airing over the radio. When a child goes missing, federal law requires for the child’s name to be entered into the National Crime Information Center according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. A report from the FBI states that in 2016, 465,676 children were reported missing. A recent bulletin on the website shows that 463 Indiana children have been reported missing in 2016 and 2017. Personal safety has always been a concern for the citizens in Gary. Residents are advised to be cautious of their surroundings.

tax caps and a change in the school funding formula. Commenting on the declining enrollment Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt said, “As the test scores drop, that equals declining enrollment, which also equals economic decline because no one wants to attend an F school.” State projections indicate that the corporation will be in the red for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. The year following the implementation of the tax cap the school corporation took a drastic hit to its annual budget. Last year the state appointed financial consultant Jack Martin warned that the school corporation’s deficit was between $35 to $40 million, but state estimates put the total debt at $90 million. However, recent state estimates indicate the debt may reach $101 million by July of this year. (Continued on page 3)


See Black History Month Pull Out Section Inside

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Phase One of Gary/Chicago Airport Master Plan Update Explored By Michelle Bass On February 13 over 80 Gary residents and stakeholders met to listen and discuss future plans for the Gary/Chicago International Airport’s Master Plan Update. The Plan consists of four phases, Monday’s meeting covered phase one. The Master Plan is a document that forecasts the potential growth and improvement needs of the airport during a typical 20-year span. The planning team developed the Master Plan a year ago after hosting a business expo with over 70 local companies pitching their services. Jim Wilson of Jacobson & Daniel and his team were selected. Wilson says there is no science in projecting the outcome or the success of the project. “We don’t have crystal balls. We can’t guarantee there will be a certain amount of activity here 5, 10, even 6 months from now” he said, explaining the realities of forecasting. According to forecasters 100,000

passengers are needed to expand an airport layout plan. “We plan for everything we do, if you don’t have a plan, you fail,” stated Stephen Mays, the Gary/Chicago Airport’s Board Chairman. He added that a Master Plan without clear projects identified, cannot receive federal funding. “We want to be the region’s premier midsized public airport, providing world class service to the aviation community,” Dan Vicari, Executive Director of the airport explained to an eager audience. He further clarified that planners want this endeavor to be a significant asset to the city of Gary, and to the region, driving economic growth and job security. Since the runway expansion of 2015, Gary/Chicago Airport has been able to increase its acceptance of larger, heavier aircraft flying to GUESTS LISTEN TO presentations by the Gary Airport Authority on the Master Plan. The upfarther destinations. This has also aldate meeting was held at the Gary/Chicago Airport. (Photo by Ted Brown) lowed for an 18% operational increase for the airport. Last year the and landings. Chicago to request a project manag- ject will begin construction someAlong with Gary, Jet Center has er to facilitate the process of desig- time this year. This expansion will airport boasted 25,000 in operations–this would include take offs broken ground on a fixed based, ing a center. Once a project manag- help users who fly internationally state of the art facility. FBOs (Fixed er was selected from CBP, planners every week avoid the extra cost of Base Operators) like B. Coleman were able to obtain airport engi- flying to another domicile for clearAviation have entered into an agree- neering staff and local Gary talent. ance, such as Midway airport, prior ment to expand their facilities over “We have been given a green light to to flying to Gary. When attendees questioned the emergency in hopes that we can ac- the next several years. This would submit 100% design and specs to $20 additional an airport the yield them for final approval” Vicari said, possibility of using the airport to partcelerate, coordinate and focus local, investments. in million referring to CBP. ner with the deportation of illegals, state and federal efforts and resources AirGary/Chicago the year, Last The plan has to be approved by Airport officials extended an invitawhere they will have the greatest benand Customs the approached port the Customs and Border Protection tion to attend the next phase where efit,” Holcomb said. in office (CBP) Protection Border Office to move forward. The prothe topic would be explored further. The West Calumet Complex was built on top of the Anaconda White Lead Company, south of a former USS Lead industrial site and next to a In Recognition of DuPont site. The companies smelted Black History Month or processed lead for decades. In July, families received letters telling them to relocate because of elevated levels of lead found in the soil. They were warned not to let children play in the dirt and were told to wash their toys. In December, the EPA said it discovered elevated levels of lead in some of the drinking water. According to EPA records, one of the yards showed lead levels 227 times above the lead limit and 135 times above the arsenic limit. The community has written letters to former Gov. Mike Pence and current Gov. Eric Holcomb in an effort to get a disaster declaration. Those efforts proved successful with HolMIKE BROWN comb’s Thursday announcement that he would sign an executive order. LAKE COUNTY CLERK The order calls for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to create a web page to provide updates on local, state and federal progress at the site. The Environmental Protection Agency began cleaning up lead-contaminated soil in the Calumet neighborhood last fall. During several pilot studies, EPA Honoring & celebrating the achievements and sacrifices found elevated lead levels in some residents’ drinking water and indoor of black men, women and children throughout history. lead and arsenic levels that exceed outdoor levels.

Holcomb declares emergency disaster for East Chicago Gov. Eric Holcomb will sign an executive order declaring a disaster emergency for the East Chicago Superfund Site, he said during a news conference Thursday, February 9. The move came days after the Indiana House passed a bill that would direct state agencies to work closely with their federal counterparts to address the needs and concerns of residents living in the lead contaminated West Calumet Housing Complex and other areas in East Chicago. More than 1,000 residents in the Lake County community were left in a state of uncertainty after being informed in July that their homes were to be destroyed because of lead conta-

Gov. Eric Holcomb mination. Holcomb’s executive order is a 30day disaster declaration that’s focused on helping relocate nearly 100 East Chicago residents who remain at the affected housing complex. “After months of local and state action to meet the safety, health and housing needs of these East Chicago residents, I’m declaring this disaster 2


Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

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Gary officials aim to preserve city’s history Partners with Indiana Housing and Community Redevelopment Authority The Gary Redevelopment Commission this summer will host free tours of historic structures in downtown. Some structures slated for the tour are currently being utilized while others have been left abandoned. Through the tours, one will be embraced in Gary’s story, learn the importance of historic

preservation and help to reimage Gary’s brand as a vibrant, walkable environment. The Redevelopment Commission is partnering with the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) to preserve a number of Gary historic sites. IHCDA has pledged $7,500 in grant funding toward the success of the project, but the Redevelopment Commission must raise $7,500 in funding through part-

nerships and donations to receive the match dollars from IHCDA. Every dollar will be matched by IHCDA once the goal is met. The support of the public is encouraged in order to meet this goal. To that end, a crowdfunding campaign for the Historic Preservation project is currently in effect. A tax-deductible donation may be

made via vegary, Contributions will be used for new vertical street banners along Broadway, securing the City Methodist Church and the abandoned Post Office and other every day costs. The funding campaign will run from Wednesday, Febru-

ary 15 through Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Please visit, or Facebook or Instagram. Donors are asked, “Please Donate today!” For more information contact the Gary Redevelopment Commission at (219) 881-1531 or via email at (Sam or Alex).

Report says unemployment down among Blacks By Freddie Allen (Managing Editor, NNPA Newswire) The Black unemployment rate continued to improve falling from 7.8 percent in December to 7.7 percent in January, according to the latest jobs report from the Labor Department. The labor force participation rate for Blacks, which is the share of workers who are employed or looking for jobs, increased from 61.8 percent in December to 62.4 percent in January. The employment-population ratio (EPOP), the share of people who hold jobs compared to the total population, edged up from 57 percent in December to 57.5 percent last month. Compared to December, more Blacks entered the job market and found work in January. The economy added 227,000 jobs in January. Retail trade, construction, and financial activities saw the greatest gains in jobs, the report said. Even though much of the data was collected before President Donald Trump took office, Trump Administration officials were quick to take credit for the solid jobs report. “That the Trump administration has only been in office since January 20th did not stop Press Secretary Sean Spicer from telling reporters [at a recent press briefing] that the report ‘reflects the consumer confidence that the Trump presidency has inspired’,” CBS News reported. Spicer added: “While the president’s definitely pleased that the job growth has far surpassed expectations and that the labor force participation is rising, he also recognizes that there’s a lot

more work to be done.” President Trump credited the increase in jobs to “a great spirit for the country right now,” according to CBS News. Economist Kate Bahn of the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, said that the most recent jobs report was, “the final release of data that reflects how the labor market fared under President Barack Obama, with 227,000 jobs added—near the average for the past two years.” Bahn continued: “The labor market has had 76 months of consistent job growth under Obama administration policies that expanded labor market opportunities to more people. The world will be watching closely in the coming months to see how the labor market responds to the drastic new policies under President Donald Trump.” Bahn called the recent executive order that banned travel from seven majority-Muslim countries “dramatic and ill-conceived.” A three judge federal court upheld the temporary stay ruling that, “a Seattle federal judge’s earlier restraining order on the new policy should remain in effect while the judge further examines its legality,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “An adequate supply of workers at all skill levels—through immigration—is crucial to long-term economic growth, particularly as nativeborn Baby Boomers leave the workforce in ever-increasing numbers,” said Bahn in the statement.

FORMER SHERIFF ROY DOMINGUEZ smiles with his family after he was sworn in by Judge Marissa McDermott (third from left) as the new Probate Commissioner at the Lake Circuit. Dominguez (third from right) states that he is honored to serve the citizens of Lake County and looks forward to being a member of McDermott’s administration.

Senate passes bill to bail . . . (Continued from page 1) Many believe the increase of charter schools has damaged student enrollment of Gary’s public school system. Currently, Gary rates second in the state with the number of charter schools in the city. Melton has legislation pending that would cut down the number of charter schools in the city. Kenely, who met last year with

Mayor Freeman-Wilson, former State Senator Earline Rogers and Melton to begin talking about crafting a plan to bailout the Gary School Corporation, said some progress has been made but they have a long way to go. The legislation advances to the House of Representatives where Rep. Tim Brown is the sponsor and Rep. Charlie Brown and Rep. Vernon Smith are co-sponsors. Blacks Must control their own coMMunity



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UNCOVERING BLACK HISTORY The current celebration of Black History Month is the first one that occurs during the new Trump administration and these are certainly challenging times. For instance, in an attempt to acknowledge Black History Month, which Trump called African American History Month, WEB Dubois’ name, was misspelled on the Trump literature: it was spelled Debois. Imagine, W.E.B. Dubois was one of the most prominent luminaries in Black history. Also, in an address to the public, Trump referred to Frederick Douglass as though he was still alive. In a related move, Vice President Pence, in honoring Black History Month, cited a white man, former president Abraham Lincoln, because he freed the slaves. This sad state of affairs highlights how deep the current administration is mired in white supremacy and ignorance of the Black condition. It is apparent that little, if anything, is really known about the magnificent achievements that can be attributed to Black people, and part of this can be chalked up to a “whitening” of history. Recently, it was reported that some whites were angry because the great general Hannibal was depicted as Black. We know now that he was Black. Moreover, if a closer reading of the Bible through the lens of logic were to take place, it would become apparent that many of the people in the Bible were Black. Basically, it is important that all of us, and especially our youth, understand that Black history did NOT START WITH SLAVERY! Unfortunately, when young people discuss Black History they relate to slavery and the struggles against it. If we look at Egyptian hieroglyphics we will note that the early Egyptians were Black. Of course, traditional scholarship eschews this notion, but closer scrutiny reveals the whitewashing of history. Actually, if we want to understand the triumphs of Black history, we have but to look at the achievements of Black people today. Black people are high achievers in every area of endeavor, though there is a tendency to highlight sports and entertainment. The truth, however, goes far deeper than this. In spite of the fact that Blacks have been severely oppressed as a result of slavery, Jim Crow, and the “new” Jim Crow, a number of Black people have made fantastic contributions to society. A case in point can be seen in the movie Hidden Figures. How many people actually knew that African American women played such an important role in the space program? The main reason for the revelation of this story was due to the fact that an African American female scholar wrote a book about it. Hidden Figures is just the tip of the iceberg! This situation is instructive, in that we cannot wait for others to tell our stories. If our youth are to understand the shoulders upon which they stand, their self-esteem, and hence, achievement levels would be greatly enhanced. We must also understand that enemies of the community have a vested interest in keeping the truth hidden, because lack of historical accuracy keeps people in the dark. This darkness can translate into “ignorance” among, not only Black people, but among all people. This is why Donald Trump and his minions believe that Blacks had nothing to lose if they voted for him. There is a legend attributed to an unknown ancestor that goes like this: “What became of the Black People of Sumer?” the traveler asked the old man, “for ancient records show that the people of Sumer were Black. What happened to them?” “Ah,” the old man sighed. “They lost their history, so they died.” -A Sumer Legend This is a truism; if we do not unearth our own history and build on it, people will continue to devalue Black lives and the power elite will continue to use this lack of knowledge against the people. There are a lot of Black scholars who have written books that would help give people a more balanced view of Black history. One of these, and a good place to start, is The Destruction of Black Civilization by the late great Chancellor Williams. Knowledge is power, and educating ourselves beyond the stunted version of Black history that is being spoon fed our people will help move us forward toward true liberation! A luta continua. 4


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Gary parks are a good start Dear Editor: The decision by some city officials to consider reducing the number of parks under the city’s control is a great idea. It is one that should have been considered and implemented long ago. Taking as many as 20 parks offline should not be a problem simply because the population of Gary has dropped so much over the years. It makes good sense for so many reasons not to have as many parks as when the city population was near a half-million. The beauty of the idea to get rid of some parks is city officials are involving residents. Every city council district has a representative group assessing which parks in their districts should close. There probably will be a lot of people who initially don’t think any parks in their district should be shut down. The reality though is unless your district has experienced no population loss in the last 20 years, you should be willing to give up a park or two or a few. Practically speaking, it seems if the city has fewer parks to maintain - painting the equipment, making sure it is in proper working order, and keep-

ing a mowing schedule; will mean much more time available to devote to remaining parks. I see the city is not going to fence off the parks on the “hit list,” but turn many of them into nature centers. That too is a great thing because I am willing to bet that very, very few of our schoolaged children have had much exposure to natural habitats, and all that comes with them right in their own backyard. The park reduction idea is one I believe can be extended to other areas of the city. I know that for a couple of years work has been ongoing to rid Gary of as many abandoned buildings as possible. That has set the stage for a lot of potential large scale development. So is it time to look at whether there are too many streets in Gary. Do we really need streets that go on for several blocks and have only one building on them? Maybe, those can be converted to wetlands or some other low maintenance sites. The overall point from what I can tell is Gary is no longer the city so many of us grew up in. The plants and the rest of the tax base has pretty much disappeared. It is a hard reality to face, but we have to do it. The time has come to say goodbye to so many of those things we have clung to, maybe unnecessarily. Mabel Blessing

Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

What a difference a chief makes Dear Editor: It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that all of the news com(Continued on page 7)

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start putting distance between them and the White House. It won’t be long after that congressional hearings will be held to look into the accusations. Right now it don’t look good for Team Trump and it will get worse. For those betting that he won’t make it through his term in office, looks like they may be right because it seems like impeachment is lurking in Trump’s future.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following column is a gossip column. We ask that items contained herein be judged by individuals that read it as such and not as documented facts gathered by the news-gathering personnel of this publication. NOT READY TO TAKE OFF Officials of the Gary/Chicago International Airport held a workshop earlier this week to discuss the facility’s master plan. Members of the community attended the event and heard several consultants talk


President Donald Trump hawk Ivanka Trump’s clothesline during a press interview, clearly they don’t know what the hell they’re doing. However, it appears that Trump’s relations with Russia will be what puts the nail in the coffin of the Trump presidency. As more and more information surfaces about Trump’s dealings with Russia, the Republican led Congress is going to

THE NEW NEGROES AT 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE NW Since Trump became president we haven’t seen any of the Black leadership hanging out at the White House giving him advice. Matter of fact, other then his meetings with Martin Luther King, III, Steve Harvey, Kanye West and Jim Brown, don’t seem to be that many prominent Black folks that want to be seen in

Martin Luther King, III

Kanye West

the company of the president. Hell, even Jesse and Al are giving him the Peter treatment although they have known Trump for years. They are now acting like they don’t know him. But not to worry, Omarosa and Ben Carson ain’t the only Negroes that Trump knows. At the beginning of the month during a meeting where Trump was high-

lighting Black History month, he also invited and showcased the Black Cabinet of House Negroes. Although none of them were good enough to make it to first string (a real cabinet position), they won’t be able to keep him in the loop on issues of the ghetto. Come to think about it that’s what Jesse and Al did for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

RDA Issues RFP for Convention Center Feasibility Study Gary/Chicago Airport about the next phase of the airport’s development. While the meeting’s purpose was informational, it appeared that a number of those attending the event were more interested in learning about plans airport officials have for increasing local participation in the development of the airport. Their complaint is that since development began there have not been significant job opportunities for local citizens. This is not the first time there were complaints regarding this issue. They cropped up several years ago and included protests. Despite the disgruntlement of some citizens pertaining to this issue, word is that FreemanWilson’s administration has been meeting with a couple of community groups. Don’t know how much progress is being made during those meetings or when the issue will be resolved. Then again, it may never be resolved cause some folks ain’t never satisfied. -NoseyCOUNTING DOWN THE DAYS

The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (NWIRDA) is seeking sealed proposals from qualified consulting firms to prepare a Market Validation and Financial Feasibility Study regarding the establishment of a convention center in Northwestern Indiana as more fully described and defined in the proposal packet, as prepared by the NWIRDA. All proposals must meet NWIRDA’s specifications as further described in the proposal packet. The proposal form packet, including specifications, may be downloaded at It is also available between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., local time, at the following location: NWIRDA, 9800 Connecticut Drive, Crown Point, IN 46307, Ph (219) 644-3500, Email:, Attn: Sherri Ziller, Chief Operating Officer. The proposal packet may also be requested by email. Your request should include the company name, address, phone/fax numbers, email address, and the individual’s name to respond to. Information regarding the competitive proposal can be found at www.- Firms will be provided a copy of the competitive proposal packet in electronic format. The proposer will be responsible for the printing of all docu-

ments. Proposals shall be submitted in a sealed opaque envelope clearly marked “Convention Center Market Validation and Financial Feasibility Study,” which shall be contained within an outer shipping envelope and received at: NWIRD, 9800 Connecticut Drive, Crown Point, IN 46307, Attn: Sherri Ziller, Chief Operating Officer.

Proposals will be received not later than 2:30 p.m., local time, Friday, March 3, 2017. The proposal opening is not open to the public. Proposals received after the above stated time and date will be returned to the sender unopened. NWIRDA reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and/or waive minor discrepancies, omissions, variances or irregularities in any proposal, provided it is in the

NWIRDA’s best interest to do so. No proposal can be withdrawn for a period of ninety (90) days after the proposals are opened. NWIRDA reserves the right to enter into negotiations with the most responsive and responsible proposer without conducting interviews with any proper if, in its sole opinion, the best possible proposal has been received and interviews would not be productive.

Since becoming the “leader of the free world,” lots of folks been watching and waiting to see when Donald Trump is going to mess up so badly that he’s impeached. In the days since taking office the Trump administration has proved that they ain’t ready for primetime player and are in way over their heads. Whether it’s griping about the crowd estimates at the inaugural ceremony, travel bands, trying to pick fights with the court system or trying to

Blacks Must control their own coMMunity



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Entrepreneur squeezes out success with juice bar By Crystal Lynn Parallel to the history of African Americans in this country, it is by no surprise that the success of a minority business can have more challenges than their white business counterparts. The access to certain resources, the restrictions and roadblocks faced, or the lack of valuable generational knowledge lost over time, the list of reasons can go on and on. But at some point, the focus cannot be on what has happened but what could happen and what we want to happen. As Gary’s very own Michael Jackson sang, “starting with the man in the mirror,” it starts with us wanting to change our ways: the way we do business, the way we support local small minority businesses and the standards we set and expect. So how do we change our mentality? What is the blueprint for a successful minority business? Where do we start? An exuberating energy comes from Vibrations, a juice bar and health shop on Lake Street in the Miller section of Gary. From the ambience, to the sound of the owner’s laugh, the great chemistry and zeal is the type of business concept you want to duplicate. The owner of Vibrations, Rebecca Raspberry, is the beacon of success that all local minority businesses should model. The idea of the juice bar was not something she came up with one day, but a lifestyle she grew up learning and adapting. Her father, Marque Raspberry, owned the first health store in Hyde Park, “House of Gandhi,” from 1971-1984 and was well beyond his years with his business concept. Today the health craze has shifted the way consumers buy. Fortunately, it is not only a current popular demand but a message for something deeper—- how to change the climate of a community. House of Gandhi was not the first successful business her father owned. Previously owning liquor and grocery stores, he became conscious of the power his business brought to his community in Hyde Park. The principles and knowledge passed on to Raspberry are the same values she has passed on to her sons, “You need to be that much better” and not “make excuses.” Raspberry experienced both ends of the business spectrum. Leaving corporate America after 14 years, she was what is now called a triple threat: an African American, woman, over 40 sitting in a room with majority white men. When asked how she approached the issues she faced in corporate America and then as a minority business owner she replied the challenges were “not a struggle, but an exercise.” Vibrations just celebrated its One Year Anniversary in December 2016, and continues to thrive. How do aspiring business owners 6

adopt the mindset of Raspberry? By paying attention to what has contributed to her success. When asked what’s the most important aspect, Raspberry gives all credit to her customers. With a very open approach to management, Raspberry has carefully observed the vibes and feedback of the people who’ve supported her throughout the year. Secondly, it has been her product selection which is again based on what her customers demand. Originally the direction of Vibrations was to be a juice bar while expanding on (Continued on page 11)


REBECCA RASPBERRY, owner of Vibrations, sitting beside a picture of her father’s store House of Gandhi. Raspberry represents a second generation business owner.

Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

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Awards shows are unlikely to give Black artists props any time soon CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION By Vernon A. Williams There is no denying that Adele is one of the most amazing singers on the planet. But an album as monumental as Beyonce’s “Lemonade” doesn’t come along that often. So it came as no surprise that Album of the Year winner Adele expressed her love and compassion for the loser, as Beyonce mouthed “I love you” and cried. Adele opined that Beyonce should have won because such an honor for “Lemonade” would have recognized not just her music, but the vital cultural role Beyonce played in 2016; she acknowledged Beyonce as a megastar whose work spoke to the travails of her race and gender. “I felt like it was her time to win,” declared Adele. But at the end of the day, the British songstress took home the hardware for best album, best record and best song - leaving the Beehive buzzing from coast to coast. With two megastars like Beyonce and

Adele, it’s a judgment call - sort of like whether to call a foul or charge in basketball. And the call is unreviewable. The lament of fans of a more colorful musical genre is that if it can happen to Beyonce in all her regal mein, the rest of the Black artists don’t stand much of a chance. Especially females. Let’s take a Black History Month look at how the Grammys have treated African Americans nominated for the top honor of the evening: Only 10 African Americans have ever won the Grammy for Best Album. Ten. With all of the great music produced by Black America, just 10. Stevie Wonder won Album of the Year three times (1974, 1975 and 1977). The legendary Michael Jackson won Best Album only once, in 1984 for “Thriller.” Lionel Ritchie won Best Album in 1985 for “All Night Long.” Icon Quincy Jones won Best Album in 1991 for “Back on the Block.” The next year, Natalie Cole won for “Unforgettable.” In 1994, the incomparable Whitney Houston won for her “Bodyguard” album. Lauryn Hill was only the third Black woman to ever win Album of

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (Continued from page 4) ing out of the Gary Fire Department was about bickering and feuds between the chief and the rank-and-file. That goes back several years. It was very difficult for someone with no history with the department to step in and command the respect of the men and women who comprise GFD. Now, however, all that discontent is a very, very distant memory. The fire department is making huge strides. Not only are there plans to upgrade the fleet of engines, and get new breathing apparatus for all of the firefighters, it’s likely there will be a new fire station sometime next year. All of those things make for a better work environment. Not only that, but with newer fire engines, residents can pretty much be assured, firefighters can get to them. There should be minimal, if any, equipment breakdowns. The department will replace five of its oldest trucks, one of which is at least 26 years old, with brand new ones, thanks to the Gary Common Council. The council approved the multi-million dollar deal for the engines. That will give the department a total of eight relatively new engines to battle fires. Right now, the department has

to solicit bids for the engine, so it is not certain when the new trucks will arrive. The chief estimated all five will be rolling on Gary streets by the end of 2017. Department officials believe that next year there will be a brand new fire station built on Pennsylvania St. This is another really smart move because it will move firefighters into a real station and out of the multipurpose center on West 41st. Avenue. On top of that, there are likely to be about 20 more firefighters soon. I hear the hiring process has already started. I haven’t heard anyone talking about it yet, but these new engines will be a huge plus to everyone in the city who owns property. That’s because when a city has new equipment and the right number of firefighters, the insurance rates go down. It is pretty standard that new trucks and more firefighters always lower rates. I guess that is what we would call a win-win. Slowly, but surely, at least in my opinion, Gary is making a number of strides to bring the city back. In this economy it is really tough to make huge impacts in a short period. But, like the commercial says, slow and steady wins the race. Bobby Slaughter

Vernon A. Williams the Year in 1999. She was the last African American female to also win Best R&B Song the same year for Doo Wop. Outkast walked away with Best Album honors at the 2004 Grammy Awards, and Ray Charles won posthumously the following year. Who was the last Black recording artist to win Best Album of the Year? Herbie Hancock, for “River: The Joni Letters.” So, since the start of the Grammys in 1959 almost 60 years ago, only 10 Black artists’ work has been deemed worthy of selection as Album of the Year. No need to throw a ‘pity party’ for Beyonce. She has won 22 Grammy Awards over her incredible career. But there is just something to be said when even the Black best isn’t

Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

worthy of top accolades. While Beyonce is young and may get a fourth nomination for Best Album before her career is over, there will be no second chance to recognize “Lemonade” for what it is - a contemporary masterpiece that presents a forceful statement of the times. Award shows are subjective. Whites make the choices and more often than not, choose the music they like most. That’s not likely to change soon, if ever. Just look at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the list of unbelievably talented African American recording artists snubbed over the years. The list of R & B artists ignored for the honor include the Impressions,

the Spinners, Sade, New Edition, Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, Patti LaBelle, Mariah Carey, the Commodores, Teddy Pendergrass, Barry White, the Manhattans, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston. Why would anyone Black be interested in touring the Hall of Fame, other than to remind themselves that even in the world of entertainment – which folks have forever insisted is less prejudiced than the real world, racism, bigotry, and discrimination reign. An even better option than boycotting the Hall is recognizing how important it is to honor ourselves without waiting for the validation of white America. That’s exactly why it is not even worth responding to people who ask why there should be a Miss Black America Pageant. Or Black Entertainment Television? Or Black Girls Rock? Or NAACP Image Awards? Or Soul Train Music Awards? Simple. If we don’t love ourselves, nobody will. CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of differencemakers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to:



GARY CRUSADER 2-18-2017.qxpky.qxp_Sheriff 9/8/07 2007 2/16/17 2:02 AM Page 8

Embassies of Christ kicks off first session of True Love Waits Embassies of Christ Kingdom Ministries (EOC) begins their three-week series of lectures on abstinence in February. After the sessions are complete, there is a

play called “True Love Waits.” The lectures are designed to help teenagers understand how important it is to remain sexually pure until marriage.

JOY OLIVER TALKS to teens about relationship goals.

Church Calendar Taste of Soul Food at First Baptist Church

The play will be held in EOC’s sanctuary Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. and Feb 25 at 5 p.m. Admission is free and people of all ages are invited. During the lectures teens can ask questions about relationships and sex without being judged. The play which follows the three week lecture series, was written by Joy Oliver, the

THE YOUTH MINISTER for Embassies of Christ Kingdom Ministries, Joy Oliver, passes out pens to have the students write down relationship goals during a lecture on abstinence. stated Oliver. could happen if certain choices are EOC’s youth minister. Joy holds nothing back when made. Oliver has been helping the youth I want people to understand I since she was 18 years old. She has talking to the teens, because there been writing plays for True Love are a lot of parents who don’t dis- wrote this play for all ages, everyone Waits for five years. Oliver stresses cuss these topics with their chil- will learn something from watching,” said Oliver. The audience gets that to get teens to open up, you dren. The play is centered on a young bigger every year, and the play gets must be open with them. “When we become adults, we girl who is in a relationship and better. “I love the city of Gary, I believe tend to forget how it was being a how she has to deal with a lot of teen. I’m very transparent, I don’t twists and turns. The play is used as there is so much potential here. If mind sharing my mistakes. Once I a follow up from the lectures. “In- we give them the knowledge they start opening up, the teens start to stead of them going through it need, they will be the ones who ask questions and open up as well,” themselves, they see a visual of what will cause change.”

In honor of Black History Month the Miriam Missionary Ministry presents highlights from the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Saturday, February 18, from 10:00 a.m. - Noon at the First Baptist Church, 626 W. 21st Ave., Gary, IN. The theme of the program is “The Role of Education in the History of African Americans” and the supporting scripture is Habakkuk 1:2-5. On the following Saturday, February 25, at 10:00 a.m., the guest speaker will be the Rev. Lawrence Robertson, Senior Pastor and historian, Christ Baptist Church, Gary. There will be a “Taste of Soul Food” event after the service. Guests are asked to dress in Afrocentric attire. For more information contact Pastor Timothy F. Brown at 219883-3216. Hot meals served every Saturday The Trinity United Church of Christ - Gary Chakula Soup Kitchen, which serves hot meals, good clothes, and genuine love to the community each Saturday from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. recently distributed gloves and winter wear to over twenty (20) families through its Somebody’s Closet Clothing Ministry. TUCC-Gary shares GOOD NEWS throughout the community and is described as a culturally conscious Christ-Centered church committed to the community. According to the ministry TUCC-Gary is also unashamedly Black and unapologetically Christian. 8


Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

GARY CRUSADER 2-18-2017.qxpky.qxp_Sheriff 9/8/07 2007 2/16/17 2:02 AM Page 9








CAUSE NO: 45C01-1609-MI-00287



This cause is before the Court on the Petition for Name Change filed by the Petitioner, ANGELES M. ESTRADA CHAVEZ being changed to ANGELES M. ACEVEDO.

The Court sets this matter for hearing on the 16th day of MARCH, 2017. Petitioner is further ordered to provide proof of publication at the time of hearing.

ALL OF WHICH IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED this 14th day of SEPTEMBER, 2016. Lake Circuit Court



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Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

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Blacks Must control their own coMMunity



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Entrepreneur squeezes out . . . (Continued from page 6) the health store, but the initial demand for healthy groceries has not been as strong. Instead of pushing products that she personally enjoys, she increased the products that bring the highest profits. Vibrations still carries several health items outside of the juice bar and smoothies including teas, organic snacks, and even local honey. Lastly Raspberry feels the success of her business is because of her flexibility. Rasp-



Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

berry is great about giving suggestions and making creations on the spot. Having sinus issues? She has a natural cure. Needing energy before a workout? She has the perfect health mix. Raspberry has done well to continue the legacy of her father as well as demonstrating the passion businesses should have—living by the motto of Gandhi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

GARY CRUSADER 2-18-2017.qxpky.qxp_Sheriff 9/8/07 2007 2/16/17 2:02 AM Page 12

6th Bill Johnson Black Film Festival held this weekend The Glen Theatre, located at 20 West Ridge Road, and owned and operated by the African American Achievers Youth Corps, Inc., will host its 6th Annual Black Film Festival on Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18. The film festival will be hosted by Gary native and Hollywood actor, William L. Johnson. Johnson is a graduate of Emerson School of Visual and Performing Arts. He has played major roles in numerous featured films and movie shorts. Film producers and or actors will answer questions following the movies each night. Among the film producers, directors and actors scheduled to attend this year’s event are Charles Greer IV, a child actor, who is known for “Dreams My Master” (2016), “School of Rock” (2016) and “Legendary Dudas” (2016); Ganeesh Genus, a student film producer who produced the short film, “Good Morning”; Candice Vernon, a writer, director and film producer of the film, “Make America Great?” which will be shown; Saquan Jones, author of the novel, “The Weights of the World” and director of movies, “Founders Keeper,” “10 Minutes” and his feature movie, “Love Isn’t Enough,” will be shown; and DeKeldric, a young film producers who wrote and produced “Split Decision.” The Gary Branch of the NAACP, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity – AKK Chapter, AKA Sorority – Gamma Psi Omega Chapter, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, New Hope M.B. Church, Froebel Alumni Park Committee, and the African American Achievers will host Friday night with an Opening Night Reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. The feature movie will be Love Isn’t Enough. Also, shown will be several movie shorts including, Make American Great, Rise Up, Same Fruit – Different Tree, The Conscience, Split Deci-


William L. Johnson sion, Showtime, Gila Monster, and Some Torches Don’t Burn. Tickets are $20 and can be secured via members of the NAACP or by calling 9495565 or at Beautiful Things in the Village Shopping Mall in Gary. The cost at the door is $25. Brothers’ Keeper, New Hope M.B. Church, Triumph the Church and the Kingdom of God in Christ, Feed My Sheep Resource Center, Inc., First AME Missionary Society, and the Clark Road Foundation will join the Achievers in hosting Saturday night. The feature movie will be Stripes. Also, showing will be several movie shorts including, The Letter Carrier, Behind Closed Doors, Love, Dreams My Master, The Storyteller, and Woman Scorned. Tickets for Saturday are $15; the admission at the door is $20. Tickets may be secured from any of the sponsors. Tickets for both nights may be secured at Beautiful Things in the Village Shopping Mall in Gary. Combo tickets for both nights are $30. For additional information, contact Rep. Vernon G. Smith, Achievers Board Chairman, at 887-2046.


Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

Gary Crusader 2-18-2017  
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