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Zabbia qualifies for re-election PONCHATOULA Mayor Robert F. “Bob”Zabbia has announced his re-election bid for a third term. In his eight years as Mayor, Zabbia has found his experience to be challenging, yet rewarding, and he looks forward to the progressive years ahead with as much energy as he had in 2004. During his first two terms in office, the Mayor has maintained fund balances and received clean, unqualified annual audits. In February, the City of Ponchatoula will be totally debt free of bond and other major governmental obligations. Zabbia’s 39 years as a municipal consultant has added volumes of knowledge to City Hall and, since taking office in 2004, has resulted in more than $4.1 million in grant funding for the City. He has secured over $2.38 million in infrastructure improvements (sewer, water and drainage) including a new water well and a future water tower. The City has already applied for an additional $3.673 million in grant “Please see ZABBIA, PG 8.

Start year with wardrobe resolutions ; BY

JANUARY 2012

NUMBER 420

La. man led national MLK memorial project ; BY

CANDACE J. SEMIEN

JOZEF SYNDICATE reporter

FROM WHAT STARTED AS A SIMPLE “YOUknow-we-should” conversation between three friends nearly 15 years ago has morphed into a 30-foot tall memorial on the National Mall for Dr. Martin Luther King that stands as the only memorial for a Black American. “We call it a king among presidents,” said Adrian Wallace of Lake Charles. The former chemist and Hallmark store owner was part of the national project team to bring the national memorial into existence. As general president for the national Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. , Wallace spent four years working on the memorial. Only months before he became president, Congress had approved the building of a King monument of the National Mall. He knew then that his agenda for the Alphas had changed. Wallace travelled between Louisiana and Washington frequently to establish a foundation, build the project team, select a site, and begin the goal of raising $120 million for the King memorial. Wallace is currently project director for SEED, an entrepreneurial enterprise center with the Mayor’s office in Lake Charles. He was recently honored by The Network Coalition in New Orleans for his work with the monument and his development leadership in the state.

The National Martin Luther King Memorial on the National Mall in Washington DC along with Adrian Wallace who was instrumental in raising the first $15 million for the project.

The Jozef Syndicate talked with him about his memorial experience. Aside from establishing a project team and securing the design, what was your role and the role of the national office? We had the stewardship of the project. During my tenure we set up

Honoring King with service

a separate 501c3 to receive money: Washington DC National Monument Foundation to maintain the fiscal responsibility. We also engaged the King family in process. Alpha Phi Alpha continued to be the lead on this project to the end. We reached across the aisle “Please see Wallace, PG 8.

INSIDE

RACHEL SMITH

Occupy BR is not exclusive, page 2

JOZEF SYNDICATE reporter

WITH EACH NEW YEAR, RESOLUTIONS OFTEN are the first topic of discussion, but these habitually grandiose and difficult promises are usually quickly abandoned half-way through February. A key to keeping resolutions may be found in establishing ones that are functional and instantly rewarding. Embracing new personal and wardrobe hygiene may seem like unlikely areas to find a great resolution, but they could make a big impact in the overall health and organization of individuals and their families. To know if its time for a wardrobe resolution, ask yourself how long has it been since you’ve replaced or deepcleansed your stockings, scarfs, brushes,

A team of volunteers add fresh coat of paint to Glen Oaks Park Elementary School, Jan. 16, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. Their service day was organized by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in Baton Rouge. -Photo by L. JACKSON

“Please see WARDROBE, PG 6.

‘Bank On’ program combats dependance on predatory lendors ; BY

DRUM STAFF

WITH THE HELP OF THE LOCAL FINANCIAL leaders and community activists, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Melvin “Kip”Holden unveiled Bank On Baaton Rouge, a new program designed to help East Baton Rouge residents open bank accounts and leave predatory lenders.

“It can be expensive to be poor, especially if you don’t have a bank or credit union account and have to rely on alternative services such as checkcashing services, payday loan outlets and pawnshops for your basic financial needs,” he said. “Bank on Baton Rouge will offer a low cost bank and credit union accounts to these unbanked individuals, and allow

Community Scenes, page 7

DJ Ya Boy Earl in business, page 9 DRUMROLL, page 10

them to start saving their money instead of using it to pay expensive check cashing fees and to take out high interest payday loans,” Holden said. Research indicates that over a lifetime, the average American unbanked worker spends more than $40,000 just to cash checks. A 2009 study by the Federal

Resolve to stay connected, page 12

WINNER OF THE 1987 PULITZER PRIZE AND TONY AWARD FOR BEST PLAY

“Please see BANK, PG 14

FENCES runs three days, page 15


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January 2012

NATIONAL Dr. Mae Jemison to lead humans outside solar system THE ASTRONUAT WHO BECAME THE first Black woman in space in 1992 has been chosen to skipper the '100 Year Starship' project. Dr. Mae Jemison, 55, will lead the project to explore what it would take for a multigenerational mission beyond the solar system. Jemison played a key role in setting up the 100 Year Starship

symposium organized last year by NASA and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Florida. That led to a $500,000 award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to study what is neded for longterm projects such as interstellar space missions. Jemison’s group, the

Houston-based Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, now has to take on the challenge of building a programme that can last 100 years which hopefully will result in a starship. The foundation has teamed with Icarus Interstellar and the Foundation for Enterprise Development.

Its director Adam Crowl said: ‘Project Icarus will be producing designs and doing basic research with the common goal of building the technical foundation required for eventual successful interstellar flight.

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DR. DONALD ALCENDOR, AN ALUMN of Southern University and assistant professor at Meharry Medical College in Tennessee, will bes the keynote speaker for national Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at Southern. Alcendor is a leading researcher of AIDS health disparities, bacterial vaginosis, and biological, behavioral and community HIV. He will speak Feb. 7, 10am, in the SmithBrown Memorial Student Union.

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(NNPA)—TWO BLACK FRATERnities—Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi—have come together to forge 1911 United, a super PAC with the goal of raising more than $1 million to help President Barack Obama get reelected. Taking its name from the fact that both fraternities were founded a century ago, the PAC will focus most of its resources on the campaign in Colorado, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, according to a recent news story on Politico.com. President Obama needs bolstering, said Sinclair Skinner, the committee’s treasurer. “And we want to use all the means possible to support him, including a super PAC. Black political participation is still evolving, and what we hope to do is get as many voters active in the process as early as possible,” he said. Essential to this initiative, Skinner related, is to “organize and deploy”Black voters, especially first-time voters. Obviously, social networking and phone banking will be key targets given the habits of young

potential Black voters. “We’re really going to focus on working with people directly,” said Skinner, a mechanical engineer. This presidential election will be the first time super PACs or independent expenditureonly committees will go into effect. They came into existence through a Supreme Court decision in 2010 that ruled in favor of Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission and SpeechNow.org vs. the Federal Election Commission. Super PACs can spend unlimited sums of money supporting or opposing political candidates as long as they are not involved in the campaigns. To date, huge sums of money from super PACs have been earmarked to promote and attack GOP candidates, including those run by former members of Obama’s staff. 1911 United will certainly assist Obama’s bid for office, and it joins with Priorities USA Action, run by two of Obama’s former White House aides, one of the largest of those backing the president. It was reported that nearly all of its funds, more than $300,000, have been used to attack Mitt Romney.

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THE DRUM


January 2012

OPINION THE DRUM BECAUSE COMMUNITY NEWS MATTERS

ISSN 1937-2019 Published monthly in Baton Rouge EDDIE PONDS, Publisher CARRIE PONDS, Assistant Publisher CORA LESTER, Managing Editor YUSEF DAVIS, Jr. Photographer REVOLUTIONARY RASCAL, Cartoonist Contributing Writers ZENOBIA REED TAQUEE GUNDAR CAMERON JAMES EMMANUEL LEE EDDIE PONDS CANDACE J. SEMIEN KAMEKOTHOMAS CRYSTAL JENKINS ARTHUR VERRETT JR. TENISE BROWN RACHEL SMITH MADA MCDONNELL News deadline: 20th of each month The opinions found in the Opinions section reflect the ideas of the writer and are not endorsed by the editors or publishers of THE DRUM. Submissions to THE DRUM may be edited for space and clarity and are published at the discretion of the editorial staff. Phone: (225) 927-3717 Email: news@thedrumnewspaper.info www.twitter.com/thedrumnews Facebook: TheDrumNews Member of New American Media, Louisiana Black Publishers Association, National Newspaper Publishers Association, The Jozef Syndicate, and the Louisiana Press Association The Drum Newspaper is distributed, in part, to locations in Baton Rouge through Runner’s Courier Services. © 2011 Ponds Enterprises LLC

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Occupy Baton Rouge movement is not exclusive ; BY RACHEL SMITH Jozef Syndicate Reporter

FIFTEEN OCCUPY BATON Rouge participants gathered in front of the State Capitol, Jan. 6, for their biweekly General Assembly. The small, passionate group discussed their future plans, involvement in community events, and logistics like a well-oiled machine. For weeks now, the group has been meeting right below the entrance stairs of the State Capitol building, in the midst of the target of their resistance, both locally and nationally. This particular Occupy Movement, as defined on their website, is a leaderless, nonviolent, resistance movement. Dissatisfaction with the wealthy being bailed out and the lower

LETTER TO EDITOR: End New Orleans violence THE QUESTION ON MOST PEOPLE’S mind in the City of New Orleans is what to do to stop the young men from killing each other. It is a question that has resonated inside the Black community especially. Over the years, there have been numerous suggestions made as possible solutions to a problem that has continued to worsen since the 1970s. The cause of the proliferation of violence in the inner cities has many elements that have generated much debate. Unfortunately, the solution has evated the social engineers who are more than a little responsible for its creation. All one has to do is look at the end of corporal punishment in the public schools. This was the start of the breakdown in the discipline that has to exist for a controlled teaching and learning environment. It didn’t take long for that lack of discipline to manifest itself outside of

THE DRUM

the schools. It would appear to some observers that parents with legitimate concerns about how their children were being discipline in school also decided that no one other than them should have that authority. It was no longer acceptble for a neighbor, or in some instances, a relative, to speak to a child about inappropriate behavior. The fear of lawsuits, criminal charges and potential violence by the parents changed how a village once raised children in this city and country. Parents can no longer discipline their own children for fear that the child may call the police who will call Social Services. The genie is out of the bottle. The pendulum has swung too far in the wrong direction for too long to return to the good old days. “Please see VIOLENCE, PG 5.

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and middle class “bearing the brunt”of a failing economy are also part of the group’s operative definition. G o a l s of Occupy Movements have been notoriously broad and vague but this group outlines their 15 points of unity on the website, clearly explaining their purposes and goals. A large part of their effort is also being put into rallying more support from the community and groups they have not reached out to yet. Bryan Perkins, a veteran participant Occupy Baton Rouge said, “As a matter of fact, one strong initiative we’re planning on

pursuing in the coming year is an outreach campaign directed at college students and churches in the area. Currently, we have plenty of LSU students that have been involved in Occupy Baton Rouge to date, but we are really lacking in Southern (University) students.” On this particular night they discussed participating in the NAACP’s annual Martin Luther King ceremony and march. General Assemblies are an open forum for participant’s to share their opinions, make group decisions, and collaborate to come up with ideas that will only materialized through their teamwork. Ideas about tee shirts, banners and positioning were flying back and forth, when another frequent activist in the movement, Nathan, said “I

think we should include a quote or saying from Martin Luther King to show people that we’re a part of (the march), so they see that we care about it and we’re not just opportunistic.” This mirrors the strong sense of dedication to the people, instantly recognizable among members of the movement. Occupy movements are not exclusive operations and often encourage one another to visit and join forces to reach their similar goals. For Occupy Baton Rouge, 2012 will hold greater visibility, increased participation and unity among other movements. Rachel Smith is a reporter for The Jozef Syndicate. Her writing covers fashion, politics, and trends. Her writing can be found at www.jozerfsyndicate. wordpres.com

‘Red Tails’ shoots down stereotypes ; BY MARC MORIAL President, National Urban

“WE HOPE WHAT YOUNGSTERS GET out of the story is that under some dire circumstances we prevailed. We performed successfully and we opened doors that they don’t have to fight to.” Col. Charles McGee, “Red Tails”technical consultant and surviving member of the Tuskegee Airmen. I attended the New York premiere of a new George Lucas film about the heroic exploits of the all-black fighter pilot squadron that helped America defeat the Nazi’s in World War

II. I am not in the business of promoting new movies. But, there are several reasons that compel me to highlight the release of “Red Tails,” the story of the pioneering Tuskegee Airmen. First, the movie has a virtually all-Black cast with Black male heroes – a rare depiction by Hollywood. Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, and NE-YO all play key roles. Lucas has said that the Black theme and Black cast

were major reasons Hollywood repeatedly declined to back the film. He struggled 23 years to get major studio financing. “I showed it to all of them,” he said, “and they said no, we don’t know how to market a movie like this.” He wound up pouring $58 million of his own money into the project. The second reason I am excited about this film is that recent comments by political candidates denigrating the Black community and reviving outdated stereotypes, make it more important than ever to spotlight the historic contribu“Please see TAILS, PG 12.

Save the Baton Rouge Center for World Affairs I HAVE BEEN A SUPPORTER FOR MANY YEARS OF THE Baton Rouge Center for World Affairs. This is a wonderful program provided for residents and for the community. I am very concerned about the funding cuts being considered and the program possibly not existing anymore. The director and staff have done wonderful and outstanding jobs in providing a wealth of information to this city for many years and offer a lot of valuable insights centered around the international relations. The Parade of International countries that is a yearly event is very impressive. To see all of the countries represented right here in Baton Rouge is a sight to see. I only hope that the Metro Council will work out this matter and resolve it to continue the

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funding. In being advised that the funding may go to another Baton Rouge program, I have to ask could it possible to keep the Baton Rouge Center for World Affairs and plan to provide funding for the Louisiana Leadership Institute as well? The Baton Rouge Center for World Affairs offers so many positive incentives and opportunities for so many in this community. Please consider keeping BRCWA in the Baton Rouge community. It is a much needed and welldeserved program that reaches and touches the lives of many in our community.

@elimin8prejudice @greenpolitichub @AAHistExaminer @patrickghoward @redlevelevents1 @westonbroome @sandyneely @Urbanhangover @HBCU @smallbusinessed @i4fashion

MADA MCDONALD Baton Rouge

Village Help Sometimes, it takes a village to get us where we need to be. If you have a need for donated items or services, let us help you. This is a free service to readers who need non-monetary help from within the “village”. To get help, call The Drum at (225) 927-3717 or send an email to news@thedrumnewspaper.info.


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THE DRUM

January 2012

Alpha brothers of Dr. King, LSU students, others pay homage Jan. 16 ; BY

RACHEL SMITH

JOZEF SYNDICATE reporter

THE BROTHERS OF A LPHA PHI A LPHA Fraternity, Inc. Beta Sigma chapter led a march and candlelit vigil through the campus of Southern University in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Monday, Jan. 16. Approximately 60 Southern and LSU students, children, and adults of various ethnicities gathered on the lawn of Mayberry Dining Hall to take part of the remembrance of the historical leader. As the first candle was lit, attendees began to assist one another in lighting candles to begin the march. Despite strong winds, all candles amongst the participants were lit and one single

man started singing the theme song of the Civil Rights Movement, “We Shall Overcome”. The crowd continued the hymn as they marched through the campus and ended up in front the Southern’s Student Union. It was here that Alpha Phi Alpha member, Tyrell Fairley recited a poem honoring Dr. King, who became a member of the fraternity while attending Boston University. When the brothers gathered in a circle to cite their Alpha pledge, the crowd, even children, looked on in quiet reverence. The vigil ended with a prayer for the “eternal continuance of Dr. King’s dream.” Photos by RACHEL SMITH


January 2012

Plans to change food desert underway

PUBLIC VOICES

Is the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday still relevant? Every January on the third Monday, America gives homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr for his leadership in fighting for equality and civil rights. Photographer Yusef Davis asked Baton Rouge residents if the holiday was still relevant.

“Yeah, it is an important celebration of a historical figure. Changed the way the south was formed. I don’t know much about it though.” Jonette Easton, 31

EASTON

Theo Holt, 30 Teacher HOLT

“Of course we should celebrate it. Many people made sacrifices during the Civil Rights Movement. The holiday doesn’t stand for just what Dr. King stood for, but what all people should strive for which is equality for all God’s children.”

MCKANSTRY

“of course it is! We need to have an understanding of where we come from because we need to know about the past changes to get to the future changes. All races and ethnicities should celebrate Dr. King’s birthday, because a nation that was once segregated is now united.” Gobolahan Oyekenu, 28 Credit Union Teller

OYEKENU

“Yes, is relevant because he made a great movement toward equality of races. Back then a lot of people wouldn’t defend themselves especially African Americans.” Jayla Thomas, 16 Student THOMAS

“It’s a reminder that a generation who has no opinion has no voice and therefore ses no change.” Dominique Washington, 26 Youth pastor

; Photos BY YUSEF DAVIS THE DRUM Photographer

Surveys needed by Feb. 14 ; BY JASMINE

HASTINGS

JOZEF SYNDICATE reporter

SCOTLANDVILLE—Residents in North Baton Rouge have until February 14 to tell organizers with the Food Access Team of Together Baton Rouge that they need and will support a fresh food grocer in an area known as a food desert for decades. Last month, the organization revealed plans to bring a “high-quality”grocery store or farmers market to the area and asked residents to complete surveys. Because the response has been slow, the deadline for returning surveys is now Feb. 14, said Broderick Bagert, lead Together Baton Rouge organizer. The organization looked to Nielsen Company research to understand the Scotlandville market. The company reported that the 2011 demand for food and beverage stores in north Baton Rouge is more than $20.9 million dollars, while the supply was only $7.6 million. “This leaves a leakage of 13.3 million

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dollars which has an investor interested,” said Cage. The investor, identified as connected with Associated Groceries, is interested in property adjacent to the Palisades apartments on Scenic Highway, near Southern University. Although the property has legal issues, redevelopment authorities said they can be resolved and two to three acres can be carved from the 10-acre track for a grocery store. “(The grocery) will be brand new, serve this neighborhood, and it will be in accessible to the people,” said Together Baton Rouge leader Margret Reed. “The progress we have made in less than three months is very encouraging. We are not there yet, I don’t want to be too optimistic but we are very, very close,” said Together Baton Rouge leader Edgar Cage. But, Bagert, said this is nowhere near being a done deal. “Although the land looks like it has potential, the community is merely organizing for this. No one is saying ‘we want to put a grocery store in Scotlandville,’ it’s the community saying ‘this is what we “Please see FOOD, PG 11.

VIOLENCE cont. from page 3

“Yes. Dr. King was an important person in our history. He was the face of the civil rights movement and was very influential.”

Ivory McKanstry, 33 Principal

THE DRUM

WASHINGTON

The real question is what can be done to reverse a trend that has existed ffor more than 30 years. Granted, there are no simple answers. The focus has been on improving the public school systems in the inner cities around the country. The real focus should be on teaching

parents how to teach their children: home training. It is the lost of the simple things that has fueled the breakdown of the social fabric in the country—especially in the Black community. We may not be able to do anything about the lack of jobs in our cities or the economy. But, we can teach our

children the importance of respect for other people, their property, and themselves. It took time for man to evolve sociologically. Perhaps a step back in time is in order.

C. DAVIS PRUITT Hammond


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THE DRUM

January 2012

WARDROBE cont. from page 1 and other intimates. How long have you been using the same razor or rag to wash your face after a shave? Have you tried new products to better clean linen or children’s clothes and shoes? Are you still cramming clothes in drawers and closets hoping to someday fit them? Addressing these questions can improve your personal environment, create a solid foundation for other personal improvements, and help you commit to at least one resolution. Here are some tips:

of Medicine. Germs can linger in washers and therefore a cost-effective and simple resolution is to allow clothes to dry in the sun more often. “The ultraviolet radiation kills germs.”Tierno said. “It is just as effective as bleach.” RESOLUTION TIP ONE: When washing children’s or babies’ clothes, use detergents made specifically for children’s clothes and allow clothes to dry in the sun when time and weather permits.

FOR CHILDREN Adopt alternate ways of washing your children’s clothes and you could improve their well-being and possibly reduce risk of sickness and exposure to germs. Bacteria from the skin can be found on clothing and towels, and “children’s clothes, especially their undergarments, tend to carry a lot more things,” said Philip Tierno, professor of microbiology and pathology at the New York University School

FOR WOMEN Cleanliness of clothes, stockings, undergarments, and intimates in particular, can improve health, personal appearance, and odor. Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus, are frequently found on clothes that come into direct contact with our skin. Drawers full of stale stockings could be a breeding ground for germs, dead skin, and dirt. Disposing torn stockings and hand washing newer ones

twice a month can ensure freshness and quality. Brassieres are a woman’s most basic and fundamental garment and is often the most overlooked and neglected. Sweat, dirt, perfume, and lotion can build up inside bras, and if they are not washed often enough, this buildup can linger on skin and cause irritation. RESOLUTION TIP TWO: Wash bras by hand or on a gentle cycle in the washer about twice a month, and keep at least four well-fitting bras in your rotation to improve hygiene and posture. FOR MEN Dingy undershirts and faded boxers are not stylish ways for to start off 2012. Cologne, apparel, and especially shoes are normally the main focus points of the wardrobe, however equal attention should be given to cleaning and organizing what is underneath. Discarding undergarments with holes, stains, or are threadbare due to multiple

washes and replace them immediately to enhance the wardrobe—and your swag. Next, enlisting a few simple habits in skincare will also enhance health and appearance. For example, changing the way you wash your face can prevent skin irritation and bumps. Spa professionals at The Medical Spa of Baton Rouge said, “Do not use the same towel to wash your body and wash or wipe your face clean because it can spread bacteria. RESOLUTION TIP THREE: Purge drawers of old, dirty, worn-out underwear. Take care not to spread bacteria from your body to your face, especially when you shave. FOR PRE-TEENS AND TEENS Piles of clothing scattered around the floor is a typical scene in a teenager’s room, and although this may not change overnight, there are few steps that can offset the hurricane look. Stackable plastic bins can create more space without the

cost of more furniture, and enable you to see what you’ve placed in each drawer making selection quick and easy. Placing knits, sweaters, and hoodies in drawers instead of taking up hanging space in the closet helps both with organization and maintaining the shape of these items. Separate clothes from shoes. Kicking off your shoes and leaving them mixed up with that day’s outfit can cause stains as well as invite bacteria, insects, and allergines to linger on some your favorite clothes. RESOLUTION TIP FOUR: Be mindful of where you place things to avoid unnecessary dirt and, in turn, excessive washing to preserve the quality of clothes. Build a system that is easy and allows you to grab what you need in a hurry, but also keeps your clothes off the floor, giving you more space in your personal space!

High School students sought to join state advisory council THE LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE Youth Advisory Council is now accepting applications for membership from high school students who have an interest in representing the voices of other young people around the state. The Youth Council is a yearly-appointed body composed entirely of students that addresses issues affecting the youth of Louisiana. Members of the council are selected from a wide pool of applicants from around the state

who display a strong interest in civic involvement. Two student members are selected from each of the congressional districts and seven additional youth members are appointed to represent a school-sponsored or community service club or organization which has a civic mission. Members must be between the age of 14 and 19 and enrolled in a public or private high school, a home school, or participating in a GED skills program during the 2012-

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to young people, including education, community service, employment, strategies to increase youth participation in government, safe environments for youth, substance abuse, underage drinking, and youth health and physical fitness, as well as other issues.

LSU’s MLK BHM Commemorative Celebration MLK & BHM Commemorative Celebration Wednesday, January 25, 2012 6 pm – 7:30 pm Manship Theatre – Downtown Baton Rouge Featuring Nikki Giovanni

MLK Performing Arts Night Thursday, January 26, 2012 6 pm – 7:30 pm Cotillion Ballroom – LSU Student Union

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2013 school year. The deadline for applications is March 15. Applicants may apply online at http://civiced.louisiana.gov or complete the PDF application and mail to the address listed on the application. The Council will begin its work in June at the State Capitol. They will study and address issues of importance

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Diverse Dialogues Wednesday, February 1, 2012 6 pm – 7 pm Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion Baton Rouge Community College

Blacks in Academia Lecture Series Wednesday, February 1, 2012 Wednesday, February 8, 2012 Noon—1:00 pm French House, Honors College

Sankofa Poetry Night Thursday, February 9, 2012 6:00pm LSU Student Union Magnolia Room

Blacks in Academia Lecture Series Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:00 pm—1:00 pm French House, Honors College

For more, visit www.lsu.edu

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January 2012

THE DRUM

Community Scenes Serving during MLK Holiday Citizens young and old celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King by attending community events in Hammond, planting flowers to beautify lawns, and cleaning vacant lots in Baton Rouge.

Celebrating Kwanzaa

ONE THE FOURTH DAY OF KWANZAA, KNOWN as ujamaa, more than 300 people gathered at the Southern University Cotillion Ballroom to celebrate community economics and Black culture. During the lighting of the Mishumaa Saba (above), students from the Islamic School reflected on the seven principles of Kwanza: umojoa/unity; kujichagalia/selfdetermination; ujima/collective work and responsibility; ujamaa/ cooperative economics; nia/purpose; kuumba/creativity; and imani/faith. The night’s keynote speaker, Wade Nobles, Ph.D., (at right) gave insight on building the economic base of the community and share historical facts about Black American and African history. Nobles is the founder and executive director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Family, Life and Culture. The Dec. 28 event was hosted by the Africentric Focus Study Group/ Maat, a nonprofit organization committed to continuing efforts that promote the upliftment of the community. Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration of family, community, and culture. Photos by ALANA MURRAY

Practicing for Mardi Gras

Sixty members of the Greater Baton Rouge Drum Corps and Dancettes, ranging from the ages 6 - 31, practiced beats, steps, and moves at the instruction of director Tairone Joseph and dance captain Taikeria Joseph. The core and dancers rehearsed two hours for a Feb. 11 Mardi Gras parade performance in Shreveport. They have performed in parades throughout the state. “Photos by YUSEF DAVIS

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THE DRUM

January 2012

FEATURES Barron seasoning brings jazz to retirement

Photo by CANDACE J. SEMIEN

; BY CAMERON JAMES Jozef Syndicate reporter

AL BARRON,57, HAS HAD A PASSION FOR COOKING AS FAR BACK as can remember. “My dad taught me how to barbeque and my mom was the youngest of 15. Eventhough there were only four people in our household she always cooked like there were a lot more,” said Barron. Barron believes that food one thing that brings people together whether it be good for good times or bad times. “Food is a big thing for people whether you're at tailgate or at a funeral people, will always gather over a meal,” said Barron. With such a passion for cooking that was fueled at young age and cataloge of family recipes Barron's talent with food did not go unnoticed. “People were always telling me how good my dishes and sauces were and that one day I should go into business,” he said. After placing third in a local barbeque contest, Barron decided he was going to distribute his barbeque sauce, but due to the high cost to distribute and short shelf life he decided to go another route. “We realized it would be too expensive to create Big Al's Barbeque Sauce, so instead, we created and began distributing Big Al's Jazz It Up Seasoning,” said Barron.

It’s a seasoning that can be added to any dish to give it just a little more flavor and a little more spice— without the sodium. “It’s a versatile seasoning.” said Barron, “You really can put it on anything from tacos to jello.” As for the low sodium, Barron said ,“We had been seeing on the news how harmful too much sodium can be so wanted to our part to help our customers maintain a healthy life style.” Since retiring from Southern University’s Center for Career Services where he was direct, Barron has created new products for company. Now, he spends his workday marketing Big Als Jazz It Up, hosting demonstrations at grocery stores, and meeting with retaurant owners about his products. He may be the spokesperson for the company, but it is a family business, where his son Al II, daughter Ashley, and wife of 28 years Belinda are partners in the company, helping with accounting and social media marketing on facebook and twitter. Granddaughter Khloe, 9 months, is the newest partner. “I believe cooking is love and love is cooking. And I love that my family and I can share our passion with so many people.” According to Barron there are new possibilities for Big Al’s Jazz It Up Seasoning in 2012. “We are working on getting the Jazz it Up Seasoning in more stores and are planning to release

seafood boils, that won't require the water to be changed as much, which is a tedious task when boiling seafood,” he said. The seafood boils will are expected be in stores later this year. Big Al's Jazz it Up can be purchased on line at www.bigalsjazzitup.com, at all Hi Neighbor grocery stores in Baton Rouge and Ralph's Market on Jones Creek Road.

ZABBIA cont. from page 1 funds which includes a major sewer treatment facility upgrade. In addition to infrastructure, Zabbia has procured over $680,000 for sidewalk improvements and handicapped accessible ramping, the most expansive ones being those that run south of Pine Street/Hwy. 22 from Ford Street to Berryland

Shopping Center by the cemetery. The Mayor continues to work with Parish Government to improve city streets. Soon to be under construction is a joint Parish and City funded street project amounting to over $500,000. He recently negotiated a new Walmart to locate on Hwy. 51., bringing in 250 new jobs for residents

and increases in sales and ad valorem tax collections. Zabbia has also attracted other new commerce to the City and worked to retain and expand existing businesses. He began his administration by declaring war on litter. After obtaining $550,000 in grant funding to upgrade the City’s maintenance equipment.

Zabbia led the parish by instituting a communitywide recycling program and made it available to even citizens outside of the city limits. Not only has the effort had a positive effect on the quality of life in the Ponchatoula environment, but Mayor Zabbia’s progressive idea has now spread to the rest of the parish. City beautification

efforts have resulted in new street signs at every intersection, corner signs downtown, welcome signs at city entrances, and downtown landscaping and flowerbeds. He recently worked with District Council to create John Pines Park. Zabbia has guided the City through the recovery of two major storms, Katrina and Gustav.

Through his and his staff’s efforts, the city was able to rebuild and restore services to the residents while being reimbursed $1.275 million from FEMA. Zabbia initiated the upgrade of the Community Center as well as the Collinswood Museum.


January 2012

THE DRUM

FEATURES

9

Ya Boy Earl offers more for music business ; BY CAMERON JAMES Jozef Syndicate reporter

EVERYDAY FROM 6PM TO MIDNIGHT EARL Easton, known through the airwaves as DJ Ya Boy Earl can be heard on Baton Rouge’s urban radio station Max 94.1FM, mixing the most popular hip hop and hosting the market’s No. 2 radio show. But success hasn’t come easy to the 28-year-old Shreveport native. For many college students, the last semester before graduation is the happiest and easiest times of their college career, but for Easton that is when things became the hardest. Touting a 3.9 grade point average, in his last semester, Earl, who was called to serve the National Guard in Iraq. “I had to drop all my classes and prepare to go and serve my country,”

he said; but he was soon honorably discharged for medical reasons. As a veteran, he returned to Southern University ready to complete requirements to earn his batchelors degree in arts. The honors, graphic design student was told he did not have financial aid. After hearing that news many students who depend solely on financial aid would have been discouraged and even given up on their education, but, not Easton. “I was so far away from home...The only person I had to depend on was myself. Since, I couldn’t get financial aid I had to pay out of pocket.” Easton marketed his graphic design skills to help him earn income but it wasn’t enough to cover all the expenses that come with being a full time college student.

“I couldn’t get an apartment because as free lance graphic designer I had no proof of income. So he lived in a hotel in Baton Rouge. “I had to pay almost $200 a week and sometimes I did not have it. So I would just have to sit in my room all day because if I left the hotel would turn my key card off,” he said. Even with set backs, he was still determined to continue his dream of being on radio which he started his freshman year at KNMJ 99.7FM in Shreveport. “I would take a bus to Shreveport on thursdays and would be the night host for a station and be back in Baton Rouge by Saturday night,” said Easton. He also worked at WTQT 94.9L-FM in Baton Rouge, but was still earning very little money. “After just being a voice on radio (as an intern), I knew that actually dejaying would be the next step and another way to earn money,” said Easton. Once he won more than $2,000 at a casino, Easton decided to make an investment in himself and in his career by purchasing dejay equipment with his winnings. Then, his hussle began. He wore any of his three professional hats to earn income. From radio host to dejay Easton said he realized that catering to the music industry was more lucrative than trying to be a part of it. He doned his business hat and decided to put all of his talents together and open a music store, Earl’s Music and More, located at 7873 Greenwell Springs Road.

“A lot of people thought I was crazy because music stores around the country are closing down,” said Easton. He said his vision and ideas for expanding provides a different experience to it's customers than other music store. “At my store we don't have national artists,” he said. “Baton Rouge has such a unique local music scene so at Earl's Music and More, you will find independent artists who really need help getting their music out.” True to his radio name, Easton is “ya boy,” when it comes to providing exposure to untaped artists, encouraging school pride on air, motivating students during visits, or helping a client find the perfect sound or imagery to launch their product or business. After facing many set backs DJ Ya Boy Earl said he is still grateful for them all, because without them, he would not have developed in a media personality with the No.2 urban radio show during 6pm-10pm. “There were some rough times in my life and I had noone to depend on during them, (but) it’s nice to know now that I am in a position where I know that I can be someone who others can depend on,” he said. As an dejay and business owner, Easton's popularity is on the rise and shows no signs of slowing down. He said this year he is focusing on helping independent artists get their music to fans. He also plans to open a teen center in Baton Rouge, as well as continue hosting an annual celebrity basketball game in the fall.


10

THE DRUM

January 2012

DRUMROLL

To be included in the DRUMROLL section, submit your accomplishment and photo to thedrumnewspaper@gmail.com. Make sure your full name and details of your accomplishment are provided along with a contact phone number. Photos should be sent as .jpeg or .tiff 300dpi files.

Cadets meet General Powell

DIXON SENATOR SHARON WESTON BROOME has been elected Speaker Pro Temp for a second term by fellow senators. Sen. Broome, who was the first woman elected Speaker Pro Tempore during her service in the Louisiana House of Representatives, is the second woman to serve as Louisiana Senate President Pro Tempore. She is described as a wise, knowledgeable leader who does the right thing for the right reasons by Senators Yvonne Dorsey (D-Baton Rouge) and Gerald Long (R-Winnfield) who nominated Broome for the leadership post.

MARSHALL

MILLER

enrollment from 1,617 to 3,060 students over a four year period. She also secured $3 million in private donations, grants, and contracts for the college.

ADELL BROWN JR.,PH.D., vice chancellor for finance and administration, Southern University Ag Center, has been named executive vice chancellor and vice chancellor for research at the Center. He replaces Kirkland E. Mellad, Ph.D., who retired after three decades at the university.

REP. PATRICIA SMITH, D-Baton Rouge, has been elected to her second term as chairman of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. Also elected were: REP. HERBERT DIXON, D-Alexandria, vice chairman; REP. KATRINA JACKSON, D-Monroe, first vice chairwoman; SEN. J.P. MORRELL, D-New Orleans, Senate whip; REP. BARBARA NORTON, D-Shreveport, secretary; REP. LEDRICKA THIERRY, D-Opelousas, treasurer; REP. JARED BROSSETT, D-New Orleans, parliamentarian; REP. PATRICK WILLIAMS, D-Shreveport, chaplain; and REP. ROY BURRELL, D-Shreveport, sergeant at arms. Their term ends in 2016.

DR. RENITA WOODS MARSHALL, associate professor of animal science at Southern University Ag Center, has been selected to serve on the editorial board for the American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Science. She will serve as contributing editor and collect research, review and edit research articles.

Former Arizona Cardinals defensive back AENEAS WILLIAMS has been named among 17 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Williams was drafted by the Cardinals out of Southern University in 1991. He played his final four seasons with the St. Louis Rames and retired in 2004.

ANDREA LEWIS MILLER, PH.D., has been named chancellor of the Baton Rouge Community College by the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Board of Supervisors. Since 2006, Miller served as chancellor of Sowela Technical Community College in Lake Charles. She has more than 20 years experience in higher education. She led the increase of Sowela’s

Share your news with area organizations, schools and groups. Join the Community Readers Program.

CALL 225-927-3717

Glen Oaks High School students were excited to meet Ret. Army Gen. Colin Powell (pictured, center, with cadets) recently at a business seminar. The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets met the former U.S. secretary of state during the “Get Motivated”Business Seminar held at the Baton Rouge River Center.

Pinkie Gordon Lane poetry contest opens JOHN B. CADE LIBRARY ANNOUNCES the second Pinkie Gordon Lane Poetry Contest open to all ninth - 12th grade students, and Southern University students. Each entrant may submit no more than three poems of no more than 35 lines for each poem. The poems can be on any subject matter and in any format, provided the content is not vulgar or offensive, does not contain profanity, and is the original, individual work of the entrant. Poems can be submitted

via email to pinkieglane@cox. net or online at www.lib.subr. edu. Poems may also be mailed. Deadline for submission is Friday, Feb. 3. The competition is named in honor of the late Pinkie Gordon Lane who served as the chair of the English Department at Southern University from 1974 until her retirement in 1986. Lane was the first Black woman to receive a Ph.D. from LSU and was Poet Laureate of Louisiana from 1989-1993.


Community continues meeting on 40ft debris

January 2012

THE DRUM

11

Small business workshop series begins LOUISIANA SMALL BUSINESS Development Center will host a “Starting and Financing a Small Business”workshop 10am, January 26, Louisiana Technology Park, 7117 Florida Blvd. Organizers said this free workshop is “highly recommended for all individuals interested in determining the feasibility of their business idea, planning to start or have recently started

a small business, seeking a small business loan, or wanting to learn more about business planning. Topics of discussion will include writing a business plan, sources of funds for start-up and expansion, small business resources, and required licenses.” The Center will also host a Small Business Kickoff workshop, January 28, at 8am in the SU Global Conference Center, College of Business,

T.T Allain. Workshop experts will discuss government procurement opportunities, effective use of social media, business planning and incentives, securing business loans, credit and lending, insurance and bonding, adding value for clients, preventing fraud, and establish internal controls. To register, call (225) 922-0998 or visit www.lsbdc. org.

have access to vehicles who can’t get to (the nearest) Piggly Wiggly on a regular basis,” Cage said. According to the USDA, there are seven census tracks around Scotlandville identified as food deserts, a term used to describe a community’s lack of access to a major grocer or supermarket within walking distance. North Baton Rouge also has other options for fresh foods, said Marcelle Boudreaux, project director, EBR Redevelopment Authority. RDA has developed an innovative van or bus system that, once funded, will stop at scheduled times with vegetables and fruits from local farms. Boudreaux

said RDA is looking for resources and up to $500,000 to fund the unit, which will be operated by BREADA and circulate throughout areas in north Baton Rouge. “We are very interested in providing fresh healthy options to the community, improve the access, and show that the demand is here because it’s so difficult sometimes to get the grocer to commit because it is a large investment,” said Darlene Rowland, BREADA director of development. Food access is one of five major issues that Together Baton Rouge, a grassroots, faith based group, has organized to improve.

FOOD cont. from page 5 ; BY

CAMERON JAMES

JOZEF SYNDICATE reporter COUNCILWOMAN RONNIE EDWARDS held the third in a series of meetings with a newly formed committee that consist of state agencies and citizens that live in the area plagued by the J.B. James Construction site are still working together try and reach compromise with J.B. James construction . “Having committees like this one provides a closeness among citizens and helps ensures mistakes that have made in the past will not be repeated,” said Councilwoman Edwards At this meeting which along with the citizens in attendance representatives from The Department of Public Health, Department of Public Works, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality,a legal representative for J.B. James Construction For this meeting each agency was supposed to conduct some sort of test and bring back their findings. The department of public health was supposed to test the fruit at the fruit stand and bring and let the committee know if the construction site had any effect on it. DPW was asked to bring information about how the site has affected the flow of traffic on airline. DEQ was also asked to provide information about

the air quality in the area. All of the agenices were unable to bring the information needed for this meeting and requested more time be given to them and another meeting be scheduled. Even though information needed to help the citizens and J.B. James reach a compromise was not provided the legal representative for J.B. James told committee a voice mail will be set for anyone to call and leave their complaints, but until then citizens with complaints can call them personally at 225-938-4120 “We are attending these committee meetings because we want the citizens and J.B. James Construction to reach a compromise so that other companies may want to have a location in this area are not discouraged from doing so”said Courtney Duvall, representative, Greenwell Springs Economic Development District. Edwards said the agencies will bring their required research to this meeting and committee is close to reaching a compromise. “I am confident that will be able to reach a compromise between J.B. James and the citizens that live in the area once receive the complete documentation needed from the agencies at the next meeting”said Edwards.

want.’”Bagert said. Now the broader community needs to respond by completing a food access survey, organizers told more than 75 residents who met at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church,last month. This was the first public food access committee meeting. The next meeting will be Feb.9 at 6:30 at the church. Surveys were distributed for residents to share with neighbors and complete. Organizers said the results will be given to RDA, elected officials, and investors with Associated Groceries to show community need and support for the possible store. Copies are available at area churches, the Scotlandville Branch Library, or by emailing contact@togetherbr.org. Responses are needed by Feb. 14. “What we are trying to do is give the people of Scotlandville access to quality, fresh fruits and vegetables at a reasonable price…considering the transit situation in Baton Rouge there are a lot of people who don’t

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12

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January 2012

TAILS cont. from page 3

Resolve to stay connected with family, friends By State Point ROUND-THE-CLOCK DESPITE access to text messaging, email and social networking sites, meaningful connections sometimes seem harder to come by than ever these days. While it is easy to let all your friends and family know about your new promotion or engagement with a status update online, don’t forget the importance of personal correspondence in today’s digital age. This year, resolve to connect better with your close friends and family. Here are some tips to help you keep in touch: Start the year off right by wishing your loved ones health and happiness with New Year cards. Consider personalizing the cards with photos of you and your family. Make appointments for important phone calls that are easy to put off. If you have an actual appointment, you can’t and won’t forget to give Mom and Dad a call. Better yet, make it a standing weekly ritual you will all look forward to each week. Want to tell a friend what’s new? Send a note on personalized stationery. You will really brighten the day of your recipient with a card sent

in the mail, said Mariam Naficy, CEO of Minted.com, an online stationery store. Throw a party. Nothing beats good old fashioned face-toface communication. So gather all your loved ones together for a party at your house. There will be time enough to make meaningful conversation, and complete your duties as host. For the really important milestones like birth announcements and engagements, you’ll want to let your friends hear about it directly from you. Sites like www.minted.com have the tools you’ll need to personalize your announcements. Life is short. So whether you want to create or improve your connections with family and friends, there is no better time than the present to get started.

tions and public service of Black Americans. In just the last few weeks, two presidential candidates, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, have perpetuated false and destructive racial stereotypes in desperate attempts to score political points. In a discussion of social assistance programs, Santorum said he doesn’t want to “make Black people’s lives better by giving them someone else’s money.” Santorum’s appalling comment implied that people of color are a drain on resources mainly provided by whites, even though about 70 percent of food stamp recipients are white. Santorum’s statement was followed a few days later by a comment from Newt Gingrich that “African Americans should demand pay checks not food stamps.” Gingrich has called Barack Obama “The best food stamp president in American history.” We are outraged by the comments of both candidates and denounced them in separate statements. The fact is,

social safety net programs serve families in dire circumstances from all walks of life. Many of those who now find themselves in need, whatever their ethnic background, are the very people who have paid into these programs and made sacrifices to support their families and our nation throughout their working lives. Which brings me back to the Tuskegee Airmen. In the 1940s, before our armed forces were integrated, the Tuskegee Airmen became the first black aviators in the United States military. They were trained at Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University in Alabama. Despite discrimination, during World War II, these brilliant airmen fought fascism abroad and returned to fight racism back home. Lucas teamed with black co-executive producer, Charles Floyd Johnson, and black director, Anthony Hemingway to create a film they all hope will inspire a new generation of African American youth. The message of the movie…the lesson of

the Tuskegee Airmen is clear: We have the power to overcome any barrier to serve our nation and achieve our dreams. One movie won’t solve the problem, but we think it’s an important step in the right direction. Marc Morial, former Mayor of New Orleans, is president of the National Urban League.

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January 2012

BANK cont. from page 1 Deposit Insurance Corporation found that more than onefourth of all U.S. households relied on alternative financial services to manage their money. Of these 30 million households, about 9 million were “unbanked,” meaning that they did not have a checking or a savings account. Another 21 million are considered “underbanked”because they may have had a checking or savings account but still used the costly alternative financial services. Demographically, the study showed that unbanked and underbanked households tend to be younger, belong to certain

ethnic and racial groups, have lower incomes and less education than the general population. In Baton Rouge, the percentage of unbanked households was estimated at 12.1 percent. 17.9 percent of U.S. households, or about 21 million households, were underbanked, compared to 25.2 percent in Baton Rouge Nationally, 54% of Black households and 43% of Hispanic households were unbanked or underbanked, compared to only 18% of White households. The program will make it easier for the unbanked and

institutions include Baton Rouge City Parish Employees’ Federal Credit Union, Liberty Bank, Baton Rouge Telco Federal Credit Union, Neighbors Federal Credit Union, Pelican State Credit Union, Campus Federal Credit Union, Regions Bank, Capitol One Bank, Southern Teachers & Parents Credit Union, Dow Louisiana Federal Credit Union, State Bank & Trust Company, E Federal Credit Union, and Teche Federal Bank. For more information, call 211 or go to http://www. bankonbatonrouge.com/

Bank On Baton Rouge program’s requirements for banks and credit unions to participate is to forgive most past financial mistakes such as bounced checks. underbanked to open free or lowcost bank accounts, thus avoiding check-cashing fees and other alternative financial services. One of the Bank On Baton Rouge program’s requirements for banks and credit unions to participate is to forgive most past financial mistakes—such as bounced checks—and open accounts for people who otherwise might typically be blocked from doing so. Applicants for the Bank On

Baton Rouge program will be required to present two forms of identification with their current address on it, including one with a photograph. Some financial institutions will accept alternative forms of identification, so check with your Bank On Baton Rouge partner before visiting it to open an account. There are also some restrictions on who will qualify for the program. Participating financial

WALLACE cont. from page 1 –politically, ethnically, and socially. I had to be sure the infrastructure was in place to take the project to funders. We engaged Dr. Ed Jackson in working through project. Bob Parson was very helpful. We called on Harvey Gant from North Carolina to form joint task force. We had to carefully put into place the foundation and project team to handle operation. The Foundation took on the project and management. We populated board with corporate people like Marriott and members of Alpha Phi Alpha. John Carter appointed as project manager specific start and finite period. I was able to form the board and raising the first $15 million. We could not go to the public until we had demonstrated that, as an organization, we had put up money. We were all volunteers. Huey Perkins, from Southern University in Baton Rouge, was also involved. What were some of the challenges? Memorials aren’t built very often on National Mall and we had to work with the Parks Commissioner. We were offered a number of sites but turned them down. One site they offered would have located Dr. King near the WWII memorial. With due diligence, we found that the WWII memorial would overshadow the King site if built there. We also knew we did not want the memorial of a man of peace in the middle of memorials designed for war. We faced some consternation for those decisions. We were persistent and insistent to pursue the current site. This took 15 months. We faced consternation among various segments. We were even told it wouldn’t be built…And it’s been accomplished. Who came up with the concept of the “Stone of Hope” which is the massive granite that King emerges from and the “Mountain of Despair” which is behind King at the monument site? When we saw the entire presentation, everyone was very, very impressed. Everybody thought this was a powerful concept. I knew we wanted a certain amount of elegance and simplicity and that is what the

office? The Alphas name will always be attached to this and rightfully so…The national office is now working on a book of its history.

Arlanda Williams, president, National Organization of Black County Officials, presents Adrian Wallace with a distinguished service award for his work on the National MLK Memorial from The Network Coalition, Nov. 21 in New Orleans. monument has. We were very adamant that Dr. King needed a type of memorial that would give justice to not just him but to the MAN Movement and Message. It is the only memorial for and about and African American. This site is looking at Thomas Jefferson. We thought Dr. King should be in the middle of presidents. Very little negative news coverage came out about this project and issues with funding, the King family, or any other riffs. How was this project so meticulously thought out and well executed? Divine providence said this was going to happen. It was time…I had several tag lines for the project, but we said many times that “failure was not an option”. We worked closely with that in mind. The artist and sculptor of the monument was Master Lei Yixin. How diverse was the architectural team, designers, and experts? Did Blacks have a role at that level or were they limited to the imaginative, planning process? I remember being on the CBS Show and Bryant Gumbel asked about designer not being Black and we told him about the design entries we’d received from more than 40 countries. It told him, “In keeping with the King’s philosophy that we are all one people, the competition was color blind.” If you look at the various teams connected to the project, you will see everybody had a role to play. What significance should people realize about the placement and size of the King monument in Washington DC?

fight for freedom? Have we come full circle? With the memorial, no our work is not done. If we are not vigilant, it is so easy to lose the gains we’ve received. We must be vigilant, and we must stand —as solidly as Dr. King is standing in the memorial—for what is right.

Are we “done “now? Done with civil rights, done with immortalizing Kings legacy, done with the We purposely chose the word memorial instead of monument because we wanted to this be expressive. We wanted it to be an experience. A memorial is something you experience… We knew how tall the statue of Dr. King would be but we didn’t say. The tallest monuments were 19 feet tall. Lincoln is 19feet. We built Dr. King 30 feet tall! He is the tallest. This project was funded by everyday people. How did that go? This was funded by the American people and corporations—even kids. Its very much a public. Congress was prohibit from making any significant contributions. Tommy Hilfiger was one of the very first supporters who got on board very early. Many people, including other Greek organizations, made significant contributions to this. We held dream dinners around the country to raise money. Once we showed we were fiscally sound, we started to see some companies and celebrities endorse the project. What did this experience teach you about people, politics, and racism of today? There were detractors who didn’t want it to be built. Had I settled for something less than what we come up with, we would have only seen a King statute in a garden . We believed that Dr. King and all that he meant in country and the world deserved more. The message is about the universality of brotherhood. Everybody deserves to have the same opportunity, and we can achieve anything. After such a substantial accomplishment, what’s next for the national

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January 2012

THE DRUM

Community leaders, organizers urge Walgreens agreement LOUISIANA COMMUNITY LEADERS, HEALTH CARE professionals, and people of faith from urban neighborhoods and inner-cities in Louisiana joined others from across the country today, urging Express Scripts to get back to the negotiating table with Walgreens and allow the nation’s largest pharmacy chain to return to its’ network. As of January 1, Express Scripts stopped provding in-network coverage for prescriptions filled at Walgreens and Duane Reade pharmacies. The local leaders and groups join more than 130 others that urged Express Scripts to come to an agreement before December 31, 2011, in order to avoid patient disruption. Now that Express Scripts allowed its contract with Walgreens to expire, more than 80

new leaders and groups from across the country have joined the effort, urging the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) to resume negotiations and come to an agreement. “We strongly urge Express Scripts to put the people of our communities at the forefront of this issue because prolonging the loss of network access to the critical pharmacy services Walgreens provides will be devastating to our communities,” said Harry Alford, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. “Walgreens has been committed to serving urban neighborhoods since its founding 110 years ago and continues to serve communities throughout the United States where quality health care services

Parish’s child welfare office open to serve parents, students ; BY

ANASTASIA L. SEMIEN

Special to THE DRUM

PARENTS WHO HAVE A CHILD IN THE EAST Baton Rouge Parish School System should undoubtedly get to know this group of people. The Office of Child Welfare and Attendance serves as an advocate for students and works with parents, students, schools and community agencies to help with an array of issues that ensure the success of students in the parish. CWA assists with many issues such as attendance, truancy, address verification and registration. Working with the Truancy Assessment and Service Center, Juvenile Services, and the District Attorney’s office, CWA is the link between the schools, families, and community agencies. A supervisor is assigned to each school. They play an important role in the school system because they are usually the “go to”people should a situation arise that the school is unable to handle. Many parents are introduced to CWA when their child has an expulsion hearing that comes before one of the hearing officers or they appeal a suspension, but this office handles much more than that. On any given day, countless situations pass through this office, many of which they must exercise sound judgment to resolve or refer to other offices. Aleshia Taylor, CWA director, said that the job is “eclectic.” “It takes a variety of styles,

EBRPSS Office of Child Welfare and Attendance 2875 Michelli Drive Hours: 8am- 4pm. Days: Monday - Friday Phone: (225) 226-3463. personalities and ideas to meet the needs of the variety of styles, personalities, ideas and individual, family issues that we each encounter.”She said that this is the type of job where the supervisors are compelled to employ many different kinds of techniques to handle the diverse situations that they face. “Though each of us may agree that our role is to assist in helping the child succeed, our methods and approaches may vary completely,” Taylor said. Truancy is a major concern in the EBRPSS. Although the attendance rate was around 95 percent as of late 2011, there are still those students and parents who do not take school attendance seriously. CWA also helps enforce the Louisiana Compulsory School Attendance Law. These supervisors make sure that schools and students follow the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook as well. As their name implies, their main focus is to remove any obstacle preventing regular school and attendance or that hinder EBRPSS students’ well-being. Their office is located at 2875 Michelli Drive and open Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 4:00PM. The phone number is (225) 226-3463.

are scarce. The fact is actually 63 percent of all Americans, 75 percent of African Americans, and 78 percent of Latinos are living within 3 miles of a Walgreens store.” In a letter to Express Scripts, the group outlined the benefits provided by Walgreens that are no longer available with full network coverage to Express Scripts members as of January 1. “In many of our neighborhoods, Walgreens serves as a stabilizing influence and has helped draw other businesses into our communities. Walgreens is a valued community partner,” the letter states. “Walgreens is focused on high-quality affordable and accessible traditional pharmacy services, as well as immunization services, and

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in some locations ... professional walkin health care centers are located in Walgreens pharmacy stores.” Signees on the letter included: State Representative Herbert Dixon Alexandria; State Senator Yvonne Dorsey -Baton Rouge; State Representative Regina Barrow-Baton Rouge; Donald Robinson, Urban League of New Orleans; Pastor Moses S. Gordon III, The First American Baptist Church 6th District-New Orleans; Pastor Tommie L. Triplett Jr., United Fellowship Full Gospel Baptist Church-Marrero; Ronald Darby, Vermillion Parish Police Juror; Barbara J. O’Bear-Mayor Pro-Tempre and Vice President of the LA Municipal Black Caucus (White Castle).

Wilson’s work, ‘FENCES’, reborn in three-night performance AUGUST WILSON’S 1987 PULITZER Prize play, FENCES comes to Baton Rouge’s Indepencence Park Theatre, Feb. 10-12. A production of New Venture Theatre, this sensational drama brings Troy Maxson, a former star of the Negro baseball leagues who now works as a garbage man in 1957 Pittsburgh. Excluded as a Black man from the major leagues during his prime, Troy’s bitterness takes its toll on his relationships with his wife and his son, who now wants his own chance to play ball. As he faces off against the racial barrier at work and his own

disappointments, Troy also grapples with his son, Cory, over the teenager’s hope for a football scholarship and with his wife, Rose, who confronts Troy over a child he has fathered with another woman. Visit call Independence Park Theatre at 225216-0660, or visit newventuretheatre.com The cast includes George Meyer as Toy; Denisa S. Joshua as Rose; Cliford Johnson as Cory; Byron Wade as Bono; Erron R. Johnson as Gabriel; Michael Boyd as Lyons; Kenadi Conrad as Raynell.

NO More Lines!

Pre-K Applications

for East Baton Rouge Parish School System’s 2012-2013 School Year

Just Got Easier! FOLLOW THESE EASY STEPS: •

JANUARY 21: Attend the Preschool Palooza at Cortana Mall and pick up application packet OR pick one up at your school of preference OR obtain one at www.ebrschools.org

JANUARY 23-27: Pre-K Roundup Application Period -- Visit your school of preference during school hours only to return the completed forms and show proofs of identification and residence

FEBRUARY 13-17: Receive acceptance and non-acceptance notifications in the mail (instructions will be included)

FEBRUARY 20 and Ongoing: Participate, if needed, in a second registration period for vacancies at schools where spaces are available

For more information, visit www.ebrschools.org or call (225) 355-6197


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THE DRUM

January 2012

Hammond celebrates past, present, future dreams

; BY

EDDIE PONDS

THE DRUM Publisher

HAMMOND—A LARGE CROWD gathered at the Martin Luther King Inspiration Park to celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Attorney Kevin C. Hill, Assistant State Attorney General, was the keynote speaker. He reminded the audience of the turbulent times of 1960, where Southern states had violent Jim Crow laws for African Americans to attend Black schools, drink from water fountains, and use bathrooms marked “Black Only.” Hill mentioned several high profile Supreme cases. The 1965 Voting Right Act, a land mark decision by the U.S. Supreme that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for wide spread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United State. And the 1968 voting Right Act, commonly known as the Fair Housing Act and Brown v. Board of Education, a land mark decision by the United States Supreme Court that segregated educational facilities were unconstitutional. Women are at the bottom of equal pay, he said. They are over look for raises and promotions. These are thing Dr. King march and preach about. District 4 councilman Lemar Marshall expressed his appreciation to voters of district 4 for voter for him in the last election. He said, “I am proud to represent district 4 because during the last election citizens in district 4 proved that in Hammond a person who can articulate a clear vision to improve the quality of life in Hammond can be elected to the city council from one of the most influential districts in Hammond. As Dr. King would say, based on their vision and the content of their character and not thee color of their skin.” “In 2012, I want all of us who care about our great city to do two things: Do More, Expect Better. You can do more by: * Becoming more involved in your community * Standing up with your neighbors against those things that are wrong in your community * Setting new standard of excellence in your community. We all can do

STATEPOINT CROSSWORD: Winter Fun ACROSS 1. Found on a necklace 6. Cul de ___ 9. Loads 13. Furry coats 14. Make a mistake 15. *Snow impression 16. Nets basketball coach 17. Major record label 18. Bogart’s “Key _____” 19. *Dripped shape 21. *Like cleanest snow? 23. Sigma ___ Epsilon 24. Never wave the white one? 25. Bayerische Motoren Werke 28. Somebody ____ 30. *It means more winter? 35. Paper unit 37. One of many on a list 39. Pro teams do this all the time 40. Therefore 41. *”The Bear Who _____ Through Christmas” 43. Algonquian people 44. Sour in taste 46. Dunking treat 47. Retained 48. Often done for ransom 50. “Eternal life”character 52. “___ & the Family Stone” 53. It’s projected in frames 55. Long time 57. *Popular sculpture 61. Result of audience demand 64. Hades river with magic water 65. Cause annoyance in or disturb 67. Native of American Great Plains 69. Worry 70. Female reproductive cell, pl. 71. Ruhr’s industrial center 72. Between stop and roll 73. Type of sweet potato 74. Used in fermenting DOWN 1. Accounting degree 2. ____ Strauss 3. Actor recently kicked off airplane

more, when we do more we should expect better he said. You can expect by: * Expecting safer neighborhoods * Expect all ordinances that are designed to maintain neighborhood integrity to be effectively enforced in all of Hammond * Expect the door of access that are often time hidden or closed to you, now to be open because how you feel and what you think should matter all the time and not just during the election season. * You should expect more by demanding more.

4. Used for landing 5. Psychologist’s domain 6. Withered 7. Part of a circle 8. Front _____ in swimming 9. Annoying biter 10. Mike Myers animated character 11. What panhandler does 12. Vegas bandit 15. Ablaze 20. Jaunty rhythms 22. Possesses 24. F in FBI 25. *No school 26. Sarkozy’s thank you 27. Engaged, as in war 29. Unaccompanied 31. St. Louis monument 32. Challenges 33. Nancy _____ of “Entertainment Tonight” 34. Like untended garden

36. Between dawn and noon 38. Welcoming sign 42. _____ of appreciation 45. Male mixologists 49. Princess tester? 51. *It features six on six 54. Diplomat on a mission 56. It can be loud or white 57. *Pulled ride 58. Not far 59. Von Bismarck or Hahn, e.g. 60. Wallop 61. Ophthamologist’s check-up, e.g. 62. Civil Rights icon 63. Female sheep, pl. 66. Actress Longoria 68. The little one “stopped to tie his shoe” (c)StatepointCrossword Sponsored by Volunteer Match

WINNER OF THE 1987 PULITZER PRIZE AND TONY AWARD FOR BEST PLAY

3 PERFORMANCES ONLY! FEBRUARY 10 - 12, 2012 FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT 7:30PM AND SUNDAY AT 2:00PM DIRECTED BY GREG WILLIAMS, JR. TICKETS $20 BOX OFFICE: 225-216-0660

PERFORMANCES HELD AT INDEPENDENCE PARK THEATRE 7800 INDEPENDENCE BLVD


The Drum January 2012