Page 1

New York Theological Seminary presents 3 - Day Conference


Wednesday - Friday June 27-29, 2012

25th AnniversAry Women’s ConferenCe neW york theologiCAl seminAry’s “111 Years of Walking in Gender Justice” WednesdAy - fridAy, June 27-29, 2012 WednesdAy, June 27th 2012; 6:00 - 9:00 pm Women on the front line AWArds Ceremony And dinner Honoring 25 Women in Leadership, and Former Directors of the Resource Center for Women of Faith

keynote speAker: rev. CArolyn mAull mCkinstry Author of “While the World Watched”

The only written account of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church


thursdAy, June 28th 2012; 8:30 Am - 4:00 pm

ConferenCe fees $200 All Inclusive (Awards Dinner, 2 Luncheons, 2 days of Forums) $75 All Inclusive (Youth; 10-18 years old) $75 Awards Dinner (only) Wednesday, June 27, 2012 $25 Awards Dinner (only) (Youth; 10-18 years old) $35 Luncheon (only) Thursday, June 28, 2012

Women And Community leAders on the front line forums *** $35 Luncheon (only) Friday, June 29, 2012 rev. vernon m. dougherty Anti-violenCe AWArds lunCheon 12:30 - 2:00 pm All events will be held at: Honoring Rev. Carolyn Maull McKinstry


fridAy, June 29th 2012; 8:30 Am - 4:00 pm youth on the front line forums *** dr. muriel petioni And evAngelist mAry idA vAndross living Beyond losses AWArds lunCheon 12:30 - 2:00 pm Honoring Lynne Holden, MD, Barbara Evans, D.Min. Carl Woolfolk, Adriane Hill

The Interchurch Center 475 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10115

for AdditionAl informAtion, or, to register: visit or ContACt: dr. CynthiA diAz 212-870-1212/ NYTS | (T) 212-870-1212 | (F) 212-8701236 |

Five Facilities_PosComm 5/24/12 10:03 AM Page 1


The new 390,000 sq. ft. Fiterman Hall at Borough of Manhattan Community College replaces the one lost on 9/11, with new classrooms, instructional and computer labs, an art gallery and café.



Bronx Community College’s, 98,000 sq. ft. North Instructional Building and Library, provides classrooms, a library, a café, a two-story commons, study rooms and lounges.


CUNY Law School moves to 2 Court Square, an environmentally green building in Long Island City with 260,000 sq. ft. of classrooms, library, law clinic, moot court, an auditorium and offices.

ESIGNED TO INSPIRE INQUIRY AND INNOVATION, five new, state-of-the-art education hubs — part of The City University of New York’s capital program to upgrade and build facilities to meet record

enrollments and 21st-century needs — open their doors this fall. CUNY’s construction program is a job-creating economic engine for New York, responsible for nearly 20 percent of all construction in New York City. — Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor


The New Community College at CUNY, an exciting new college opens in the center of midtown Manhattan at 50 West 40th Street, overlooking Bryant Park. The first entering class will be 300 students.


Lehman College’s 69,000 sq. ft. New Science Facility, Phase I, showcases its strength in plant science teaching and research with high-tech sustainable laboratories, science learning centers and offices.

Visit for more info.



MONEY ............................................14 EDUCATION......................................38 CULTURE..........................................55 HEALTH............................................87


Gospel Comes to Brooklyn . . . . . . . . . 20

&also inside

Hooray for the Graduates! 40 . . . . . . . . .

Guest Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Central Harlem Vicariate Revival . . . . . 55

My View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy. . . . . . . 58

Gospel Train. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Spirit and Image. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Fitness Doctor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 The Way Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 The Last Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 Cover Photo:

Denise Rodgers Guides UMDNJ . . . . . 38 Countdown to Freedom: Black Wall Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Rutgers’ Eric LeGrand Honored. . . . . . 66 Men of International Christian Brotherhood . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Black Music Month: Opera . . . . . . . . . 72 Isabel Wilkerson Writes OUR History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Free Things to Do This Summer . . . . . 80 Going Home Green. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

B:8.25 in T:8 in S:7 in



AG 6/11/12 Job No:

CMAS-A4 One of America’s biggest challenges today is closing the gap between the financial protection people need for their families and the protection they currently have.

Job Nam AA Close Insuranc

Pub: Positi

It’s a challenge that especially hits home in the

Issue Date: Prod: bleed

African American community. Our recent study,

Live: 7 x 9.

The African American Financial Experience, indicated

Trim: 8 x 1

that while 3 in 4 feel strongly about maintaining a

Bleed: 8.25

standard of living for their family if they die or become

________ ACC

disabled, less than half have a detailed plan for life

________ WR

insurance. And some have no plan at all.

________ DES

________ CRE

At Prudential, we’re helping close the insurance gap by

________ TRA

giving people the tools, knowledge, and solutions they

________ ART

need—whether it’s online or with the help of a financial

________ PRO

professional. So together, we can move America toward

________ SPE

a more secure future.

Prepared by

Prudential Adv

213 Washingt

To learn more, download our African American Financial Experience study at

Newark NJ,

(973) 802-73

Fax (973) 367

B:10.75 in

S:9.5 in


T:10.5 in

© 2012. Prudential, the Prudential logo, the Rock symbol and Bring Your Challenges are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities. Life insurance issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ, and its affiliates.

Believe that you can be happy, healthy and in control of your life.

AARP and you, continuing the journey. Nurturing the mind, body and soul is the greatest way to achieve the best life for our families. That’s why we proudly support the members and activities of churches and other religious institutions throughout the nation. We share your passion for strengthening both family and community and help celebrate their blessings by living a balanced life. We look forward to continuing to help every generation live life to the fullest. To discover all of the community efforts we support, visit







he clergy organizations, churches, community businesses and institutions listed below have committed to the purchase of at least 50 magazines per month at $1.00 each (one-third of the cover price) or support this publication through the purchase of advertising. Find out more by calling 973-233-9200 or email

Abyssinian B.C., Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Pastor

First AME Zion Church, Brooklyn, NY Dr. Darran H. Mitchell, Pastor

Abundant Life Fellowship COGIC, Newark, NJ Supt. Edward Bohannon, Jr, Pastor

First B.C. of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset NJ Rev. Dr. DeForest (Buster) Soaries, Pastor

Antioch Baptist Church., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Robert M. Waterman, Pastor Archdiocese of New York Brother Tyrone Davis, Office of Black Ministry Berean B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Arlee Griffin Jr., Pastor Bethany B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. David Hampton, Pastor Bethany B.C., Newark, NJ. Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, Pastor Beulah Bible Cathedral Church, Newark, NJ Gerald Lydell Dickson, Senior Pastor Black Ministers Council of NJ Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, Exec. Director

First Baptist B.C. of Teaneck, NJ Rev. Marilyn Monroe Harris, Pastor First Bethel Baptist Church, Newark, NJ H. Grady James III, Pastor First Park Baptist Church, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Rufus McClendon, Jr., Pastor Friendship Baptist Church, Harlem, NY Rev. James A. Kilgore, Pastor General Baptist Convention, NJ Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell, President Grace B. C., Mt. Vernon, NY Rev. Dr. Franklyn W. Richardson, Pastor Greater Abyssinian BC, Newark, NJ Rev. Allen Potts, Senior Pastor

Calvary Baptist Church, Garfield, NJ Rev. Calvin McKinney, Pastor

Greater Faith Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA Rev. Larry L. Marcus

Canaan B. C. of Christ, Harlem, NY Rev. Thomas D. Johnson, Pastor

Greater Friendship Baptist Church, Newark, NJ Rev. John Teabout, Pastor

Canaan B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Dr. Gadson L. Graham Cathedral International., Perth Amboy, NJ Bishop Donald Hilliard, Pastor Childs Memorial COGIC, Harlem, NY Bishop Norman N. Quick, Pastor Christian Cultural Center, Brooklyn, NY Rev. A.R. Barnard, Pastor Christian Love B.C., Irvington, NJ Rev. Ron Christian, Pastor Community B.C., Englewood, NJ Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor, Pastor Community Church of God, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Dr. Shirley B. Cathie., Pastor Emeritus Concord B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson, Pastor Convent Avenue Baptist Church, New York, NY Rev. Dr. Jesse T. Willams, Pastor

Mount Olive Baptist Church, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Gregory J. Jackson, Pastor Mount Zion B.C., S. Hackensack, NJ Rev. Dr. Robert L. Curry, Pastor Mt. Olivet B.C, Newark, NJ Rev. André W. Milteer, Pastor Mt. Zion AME Church, Trenton, NJ Rev. J. Stanley Justice, Pastor New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, NJ New Hope Baptist Church, Metuchen, NJ Rev. Dr. Donald L. Owens, Pastor

Walker Memorial B.C. Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush Sr., Pastor White Rock B.C, Edison, NJ Jason D. Greer, Pastor World Gospel Music Assoc., Newark, NJ Dr. Albert Lewis, Founder Zion Hill B.C, Newark, NJ Rev. Douglass L. Williams, III, Pastor

Businesses & Organizations 125th St. BID

New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Dr. Frances Mannin-Fontaine, Pastor

African American Heritage Parade

New Life Cathedral, Mt. Holly, NJ Rev. Eric Wallace, Pastor

American Heart Association, Northern, NJ

New Zion B.C., Elizabeth, NJ Rev. Kevin James White, Pastor

City National Bank

Paradise B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Jethro James, Pastor

American Diabetes Association

Essex County College, NJ Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce

Ruth Fellowship Ministries, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Tracy Brown, Pastor

Inner City Broadcasting

Greater New Hope Missionary B.C., NYC Rev. Joan J. Brightharp, Pastor

Shiloh B.C., Plainfield, NJ Rev. Dr. Gerald Lamont Thomas, Pastor

Mildred Crump, Newark City Council

Greater Zion Hill B.C., Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Frank J. Blackshear, Pastor

St. Anthony Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Duane E. Cooper

NAACP, NY State Conference*

Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) Drek E. Broomes, President & CEO

St. John Baptist Church Camden, NJ Rev. Dr. Silas M. Townsend, Pastor

It Is Well Living Ministries, Clark, NJ Rev. Kahlil Carmichael, Pastor

St. Luke Baptist Church of Harlem, New York, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie McCann, Pastor

Newark School of Theology

St Luke B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Kenneth D.R. Clayton, Pastor

Schomburg Center

Jesus Christ Family Church, Brooklyn, NY Rev. Jason Sumner, Senior Pastor Messiah Baptist Church, East Orange, NJ Rev. Dana Owens, Pastor Metropolitan B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, Pastor Mother A.M.E. Zion Church, Harlem Rev. Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith, Pastor

Empire Missionary B.C., Convention NY Rev. Dr. Ronald Grant, President

Mt. Calvary United Methodist Church, Harlem, NY Rev. Ebenezer Aduku Mt. Neboh Baptist Church, Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie Green Jr., Pastor

Evening Star B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Washington Lundy, Pastor

Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Peekskill, NY Rev. Adolphus Lacey, Pastor

Fellowship Missionary B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Kippie C. Brown, Pastor

Mt. Pisgah B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, Pastor

St. Albans, NY COGIC Rev. Ben Monroe St. James AME Church, Newark, NJ Rev. Ronald L. Slaughter, Pastor St. Matthew AME Church, Orange, NJ Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, Pastor St. Paul Community B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. David K. Brawley, Pastor The New Hope B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Joe Carter, Senior Pastor Thessalonia Worship Center, Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. Shellie Sampson, Pastor Union Baptist Temple,, Bridgeton, NJ Rev. Albert L. Morgan, Pastor

Medgar Evers College NAACP New Jersey* New Jersey Performing Arts Center New York Theological Seminary New York Urban League Razac Products Co., Newark, NJ The College of New Rochelle The United Way of Essex and West Hudson WBGO-88.3FM WKMB-1070AM


“The Positive Community magazine does outstanding work in promoting the good works of the Black Church. All churches and businesses should subscribe to and advertise in The Positive Community. Please support this magazine, the only one that features good news about the black community.”—Rev. Buster Soaries, General Baptist Revival, May 20, 2010

The Third Quarterly Session of the United Missionary Baptist Association (UMBA) will convene on

July 24th thru 27th, 2012 Rev. Lee A. Arrington Moderator Rev. Dr. Carl L. Washington, Jr. 1st Vice Rev. Moderator Lee A. Arrington Moderator

Rev. Dr. Anthony Lowe 2nd ViceRev. Moderator Dr. Carl L. Washington, Jr. 1st Vice Moderator

Rev. Shepherd Lee Rev.Secretary Dr. Anthony Lowe Recording nd 2 Vice Moderator

Rev. Dr.Rev. Calvin Kenrick Shepherd Lee AssistantRecording Recording Secretary Secretary Rev.ADr. Calvin Sr. Kenrick Rev. Keith Bolden, Assistant Recording Secretary Financial Secretary Keith A Bolden, Sr. Rev. Dr.Rev. Jesse Williams Financial Secretary Assistant Financial Secretary Rev. Dr. Jesse Williams

Rev. Patricia A. Financial Morris Secretary Assistant Corresponding Secretary

General Theme: "United, Mission Minded and On The Move With God" St. Matthew 25: 31-46

Walker Memorial Baptist Church 120 East 169th Street Bronx, New York, 10452

Third Quarterly Sub-Theme: “From The Perspective Of His Death”

Rev. Patricia A. Morris

Secretary Rev. Dr.Corresponding Sean P. Gardner, Sr. Treasurer

Rev. Dr. Sean P. Gardner, Sr. Treasurer

Rev. Wayne A. Williams AssistantRev. Treasurer Wayne A. Williams Assistant Treasurer

Rev. Willie L. Hairston Chief ofRev. StaffWillie L. Hairston Chief of Staff

Rev. Dr. Renee F. Gardner Dr. Renee F. Gardner ProgramRev. Chair Program Chair

Host Pastor Rev. Joe Bush

Moderator Rev. Lee A. Arrington

The Rev. Dr. Carl L. Washington, Jr., Ist Vice Moderator The Reverend Dr. Anthony Lowe, 2nd Vice Moderator For further information and full session schedule please visit our website UMBA HEADQUARTERS: Paradise Baptist Church 23 Fort Washington Avenue New York, New York 10032 Office (212) 781-3311 Fax (212) 787-7125

UMBA HEADQUARTERS: Paradise Baptist Church 23 Fort Washington Avenue New York, New York 10032 Office (212) 781-3311 Fax (212) 787-7125 se Baptist Church 23 Fort Washington Avenue New York, New York 10032 Office (212) 781-3311 Fax (212) 787-7125


DeForest B. Soaries, Jr. is Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset and author of dfree: Breaking Free from Financial Slavery. (Zondervan)

Breaking Free from Financial Slavery n my book I describe an experience that I had when taught a course on race relations at a community college. All of my African American students believed that the United States government had a special program that helped Asian immigrants start their own businesses by providing them start-up capital. How else, my students thought, could so many Asian immigrants enter the country, speak very little, if any, English and become the owners of strategically located business in predominantly black neighborhoods? It had to be the government that was making this happen they thought. This theory provoked me to invite a young Asian businessman who had done that very thing—bought a business on a prime corner in a black neighborhood—to be a guest speaker in my class. What my students heard from this businessman shocked them. This young man had come from his country to America with 13 dollars in his pocket. He lived in an apartment with some relatives who had already moved here. He slept on the floor. He worked in their business and spent very little money. He owned two shirts, one pair of black pants, one pair of shoes, underwear and a few other accessory items. After saving most of his income he joined a group of a dozen people who had also emigrated from his country and who met monthly for something they called a ki. This was a kind of investment group that would put a certain amount of money in a pot once a month and each month one person would take all of the money. The next month person number two would take the money. And so on. This would happen for the number of months that equaled the number of people in the group. And then they would start a new group. This young man wanted to buy a business that required 30,000 dollars in cash. So he joined a group of 15 people who put in 2,000 dollars every month. He could afford that because despite his low salary, he saved almost everything he earned. And when his turn came, he took his 30,000 dollars and bought his business. My students wanted to know how he could trust this system to work. Suppose someone did not show up the


next month they asked. There were no contracts, no paperwork, no credit checks, no government oversight. It was an honor system and this, he said, was a part of his culture. This type of strategic, cultural infrastructure for economic survival and racial uplift resembles a perspective African Americans possessed during the days of segregation. Unfortunately, the further we get from the Jim Crow era the further we also seem to be getting from our resolve to develop our financial capacity. Of course, we are still denied access to so many of the benefits of this prosperous society. But those denials do not prevent us from doing some of the basic deeds that are prerequisites for economic success. I wonder sometime if we have not actually given up. I have launched a challenge to African Americans to pay off one billion dollars of consumer debt. Without debt we not only rid ourselves of the stress that accompanies bills and bill collectors, but we also make our money available for saving, investing and donating to worthy causes. I want to make it more popular to have money than it is to be broke. And I would love to see a few of us organize into groups to help each other get ahead like that young Asian businessman and his friends. If enough of us begin to behave this way perhaps we will have a culture change that makes this kind of behavior normal among African Americans.

June 2012 The Positive Community


Our Community Partners, Our Friends Welcome to the Community. sincere “thanks” to the following businesses, Our poster, The Great Countdown to Freedom (see in-


® corporations AmeriChoice of New Jersey,and Inc. institutions—community is now UnitedHealthcare have said “yes” The Positive Communitypartners—that Plan. But changing our name hasn’tto changed all the Community’s Countdown tostill Freedom, a cultural reasons New JerseyGreat families choose us. You get the same doctors, literacy initiative. the same access to specialists, the same large network of hospitals. As America the observance ofPlan the says 150th Changing our name approaches to UnitedHealthcare Community anniversary, the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation you’re part of a bigger community, over 3.3 million members strong, Proclamation on January 1, 2013, The Positive Community all across the country. So, New Jersey families can be confident is embarking upon a journey, a quest to discover the real they’ll receive the same great care.

meaning of freedom. Our hope is to inspire the dawn of a new age of progress and wisdom among our readers! Welcome to the Community. Call 1-866-322-1194 (TTY: 711) We will pursue this course through a search for knowlfor edge, information about UnitedHealthcare an increased understandingCommunity of the valuePlan. of literacy, education and culture in community life. (see MLK/Winter Issue, pg.11).

side back cover) contains a Cultural Narrative that tells our story, the genesis of the African American people in this land. We will accomplish much in advancing the cause of literacy, education and freedom if families, Sunday school programs, civic organizations and community institutions that touch the lives of young people would post and hold discussions on this story that tells us where we came from and who we are now as a people. Ideally, as a rite of passage, every child should have the ability to read, comprehend and speak the Cultural Narrative by the age of 15. Within this narrative—our American story—are the seeds of a positive community-building ideal: self-acceptance, self-reliance and self-respect!

We “Weknow knowour ourcommunity. community. We ”” Welive livehere. here. is now

lthcare Community Plan

Dr Philip Bonaparte, Chief Medical Officer, Horizon NJ Health Dr Philip Bonaparte, Chief Medical Officer, Horizon NJ Health

d 8.5x11V1.indd 1

Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement

5/2/11 2:55 PM

Financial Education Seminars he need to make a difference, not only in my life, but in the lives of others. I am involved in health issues facing

feel thethe need to make a difference, notcommunity. only in myI life, but in the lives I am involved health issues facing inantly African-American and Latino understand what it’s of likeothers. to come from humbleinbackgrounds. ● Bank On edominantly the African-American andIt! Latino community. I understand what it’s like to come from humble backgrounds. n Blue Cross Blue Shield lives in New Jersey and we believe in access to quality healthcare for every resident. ●breathing Money Matters orizon Cross asBlue Shield air.” lives in New Jersey and we believe in access to quality healthcare for every resident.’s asBlue important’s as important as breathing air.”

● To Your Credit Horizon NJ Health can help you and your family, too. ● Recovery Horizon NJ Health can helpor you your family, too. If you are uninsured,Financial enroll in our NJ FamilyCare NJand FamilyCare ADVANTAGE plans.

Greater Harlem Chamber of Commmerce

If youToare enroll incall our1-877-7NJ-HEALTH NJ FamilyCare or NJ FamilyCare ADVANTAGE plans. (1-877-765-4325) seeuninsured, if you’re eligible,

For moreToinformation sign-up a seminar*, callfor 1-877-7NJ-HEALTH (1-877-765-4325) see if you’reoreligible, contact the branch nearest you! City National Bank • New Jersey Branches Southside Branch Linda Campbell-Aaron Branch Manager 1080 Bergen Street Newark, NJ 07112 973-923-2005

Main Office Tasha Lohman Branch Manager 900 Broad Street Newark, NJ 07102 973-624-0865 x637

Springfield Avenue Branch Vanessa Almeida Branch Manager 241 Springfield Avenue Newark, NJ 07103 973-624-4545

Paterson Branch DeMetha Hukins Branch Manager 125 Broadway Paterson, NJ 07505 973-279-8700

Horizon Horizon NJ Health NJ Health

City National Bank • New York Branches

ield of New Jersey is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® Registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®’ and SM Registered and service marks of Roosevelt Branch New YorkJersey. Branch Harlem Branch eld of New Jersey. © 2011 Horizon Blue Cross BlueEast Shield of New Three Penn Plaza East, Newark, New Jersey 07105. s Blue Shield ofSabrina New Jersey of the Castillo Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® Registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®’ and SM Registered and service marks of Carey Davis Francisco Briceis an independent licensee Blue Shield ofBranch New Jersey. © 2011 Horizon Blue CrossBranch Blue Shield of New Jersey. Three Penn Branch Plaza East, Newark, New Jersey 07105. Manager Manager Manager 302 Nassau Road 2815 Atlantic Avenue 382 W. 125th Street Roosevelt, NY 11575 Brooklyn, NY 11207 New York, NY 10027 516-623-7444 718-647-5300 212-865-4763

General Baptist Convention of New Jersey, Inc.

we put your health first

*Seminars based on FDIC Money Smart Program


The Positive Community June 2012

FDIC insured

lumbia ry month quiz






Queens College

Zora Neale Hurston (Barnard College 1928, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Student 1934–35) combined literature with anthropology, employing indigenous dialects to tell the stories of people in her native rural Florida and in the Caribbean. One of the most widely read authors of the Harlem Renaissance, she is best known for her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Carl Van Vechten/Van Vechten Trust

M. Moran Weston II (Columbia College 1930; Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1940, 1969). The longtime rector of one of Harlem’s most prominent churches, Weston co-founded Carver Federal Savings Bank—the largest independent financial institution in the United States owned by African Americans. Weston was also the University’s first African American trustee. Columbia University Archives The Blanton-Peale Institute is a multifaith, non-sectarian educational and service Attorney General Eric Holder (Columbia organization that was founded in 1937 by NYTS has long been challenging College 1973, Columbia Law School 1976) worked for the the internationally famous pastor and author, the historic divides in NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund the summer the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale (of Marble theological education between after theory he graduated from law school. A former University Collegiate Church), and the eminent and practice, between trustee, Holder is the first African American attorney genpsychiatrist Dr. Smiley Blanton. the academy and the church, or eral of the United States one of the most experienced between theology andand other government lawyers ever named to the position. Blanton-Peale continues today to bring together spirituality and Columbia University disciplines of learning. To do so psychotherapy in programs that provide for psychological, emotional and effectively, the Seminary has spiritual health. Among its educational offers are a full residential often developed partnerships Robert L. Carter (Columbia Law School 1941), after serving training program that leads to licensure in psychotherapy or marriage with various other institutions in the U.S. Armyofduring World War II, became chief strateand family counseling, as well as a pastoral studies program. education or with organizations gist and lead counsel on the landmark Brown v. Board of committed to practical training Lonliness ~ Depression ~ Spiri...providing and learning. Education case. He succeeded Thurgood Marshall as general Individual counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Psychotherapy Educational Fund tual ~ Unhappines ~ Psychoanalysis in 1956, arguing For the past three decades, the and winning 21 of 22 cases before the Crisis ~ Training ~CommunicaDustin Ross/Columbia Couple and Family Counseling U.S. working Supremewith Court. Seminary has been University Parenting/Divorce Counselingtion ~ Therapy ~ Training Blanton-Peale Institute in Group Therapy partnership provide(Columbia resources College 1983) Lonliness ~ Depression ~ SpiriPresident BaracktoObama Psychiatric Evaluation to students, partner churches, was inaugurated as the nation’s first African American tual ~ Unhappines ~ Medication Management and others in the wider religious president on Jan. 20, 2009. A gifted orator and writer, community. Options include both Assessment and Referral Crisis ~ Training ~Communicahe organized his campaign with unparalleled grass roots degree and nondegree offerings. Trauma Therapy tion ~ Therapy ~ Training Lonlisupport and brought out record numbers of voters to the ...Our multidisciplinary team polls across the country. nessincludes ~ Depression ~ Spiritual ~ Eileen Barroso/Columbia Psychiatrists University As one observer has put it, with Unhappines ~ Psychoanalysis these efforts NYTS is actively Crisis ~ Training ~Communicaseeking “to redefine theological Social Workers education as we know it.” Pastoral Counselors tion ~ Therapy ~ Training LonliMONDAY - THURSDAY andof Family To learn more about thisMarriage key part our Therapists ness ~ Depression Spiritual ~ 8:00 AM - ~ 9:00 PM

New York Theological Seminary and

Blanton-Peale Institute and Counseling Center

nyts partner programs


In 1947, Marie Maynard Daly (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1947) became the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. Best known for research geared toward practical applications for health and nutrition, she investigated the effects of cholesterol, sugars and other nutrients on the heart. Daly also taught biochemistry at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.

et’s mobilize and leverage our own creative talents, gifts expertise and resources to the mutual benefit of all. We invite forward thinking and community-minded businesses, corporations and institutions to join us as community partners—stakeholders— in this venture. Save the children, save the people, save the country! Celebrate heritage, community pride and dignity! Celebrate literacy, education and culture! Together, let us begin—right now—to prepare ourselves for the next 150 years of freedom—the dawn of a new age…because a positive community is everybody’s business…it really pays to care!!

local and national history, visit 3 West 29th Street New York, NY 10001 (212) 725-7850

Unhappines ~ FRIDAY Crisis ~ Training 8:00 AM ~Communica- 8:00 PM tion ~ Therapy ~ Training LonliSATURDAY ness ~ Depression Spiritual ~ 9:00 AM -~12 PM Unhappines ~ MOST MAJOR Crisis ~ Training INSURANCE~CommunicaACCEPTED

NYTS| 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 500 | New York, NY| 10115| (T) 212.870.1211| (F) 212.870.1236| E-mail:|

Our Community Partners, Our Friends

June 2012 The Positive Community



Rev. Nance is pastor of The Church by the Side of the Road in Passaic, NJ. She is also a radio talk show host and documentary filmmaker.


Celebrating Years of Service


une is designated Black Music Month. Of course, the musical contributions of this hugely talented tribe should warrant recognition throughout the year. For instance, there’s a young woman from the city of Paterson, who has been engaged in her ministry, for it is a ministry of sorts, for more than 15 years and has plucked many gifted youngsters right from this socalled asphalt jungle, who go on and do great things musically. Her name is Rahsona Elder, (remember that name) and I liken her to a pied piper teaching the youth in the urban center of Paterson to let their grasp be greater than their reach. “Muki,” as she is affectionately called, was a teenage mother, who with the help of her mother, Lynda Smith, rose to great heights, graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University, wrote grants and got money, thank you very much, contracted with the Paterson Board of Education, and has demonstrated what one can do when one is determined to do, if you know what I mean. She was permitted to run dramatic workshops

Top row: Delano Wilson, Tammy Brown, Imani Clark, Najeea James and Jahmar Hill Bottom row: Rahsona Elder, Jamie Hughes Noel Johnson and Fallon King


The Positive Community June 2012

throughout the Paterson district giving a number of youngsters the ability to discover their acting chops, so to speak, and learn, as the Bible says, that there is a more excellent way. For a number of years, she and her staff at the Inner Faith Performing Arts Center have taken neophytes and molded them, shaped them, then sent them out to perform in various competitions where they placed high on the list, or used such vehicles as stepping stones to seek out other venues where they can hone their craft. One such person is Noel Cheri Johnson. Johnson sat under the tutelage of Elder and is a 2012 graduate of William Paterson University. She recently appeared in the university’s production of The Vagina Monologues and is currently filming the movie, Blue Dogz. Johnson is also assistant director of Elder’s upcoming production titled, Sunday Lady, a saga of three childhood friends who weave in and out of different stages of their faith walk, including love and life itself. Elder is currently in the process of negotiating with the administration at Fairleigh Dickinson University to showcase this ensemble production and then...take it on the road. This is Muki’s first full-fledged production. It kicks off this month at the Passaic County Community College and a consistent buzz already has begun to surface about it. One performer in the play, Jahmar Hill, is another local youngster who joined hands with Elder and has gone on to become a second round contestant for the popular reality show, The X Factor. Elder indicated that for the fall 2012–2013 year, she wants to add another component to her company and she’ll call it, “A Center for Children and Families Department Therapeutic Arts Program.” It will be designed for at-risk children who struggle with behavioral and mental health challenges. Some of the healing tools will be art and music, including drama groups and any other resource that will help these kids get on or back on track. Elder’s program model is, “All God’s children are stars.” Enough said.





Thursday, July 5, 2012 11a.m.

Rain date: Friday, July 6 - 11a.m.

Essex County Riverfront Park

Corner of Brill St & Raymond Blvd in the East Ward.

For more information, please call the Press Information Office:


A fun-filled celebration to launch a summer of exciting activities and cultural events for everyone! FEATURING: Giveaways Snacks Entertainment And much more!

Money Business, Money & work

Homeownership Maintaining Your Home – Loan Modifications By Rev. Charles Butler


t is extremely important to pay your mortgage on time and to have several months in reserve in case of an emergency. But what happens if you should fall behind on your mortgage payment? Do not wait for your lender to contact you, contact them immediately. Most lenders will not start the foreclosure process until you are at least three months late and even then, you will have approximately nine months before the foreclosure process is completed. I am currently assisting a family experiencing financial hardship due to loss of income. Unfortunately, they are delinquent with their mortgage payments, but they have been very proactive in the situation. Their lender has been contacted and a loan modification requested. The required documents have been forwarded to them and we are waiting for their determination. Once the lender has analyzed the documents they will determine what workout solutions, if any, will best meet their needs and conform to their investor guidelines.


The Positive Community June 2012

During this period, I advised the homeowners to revise their budget in order to identify and eliminate all wasteful spending. Our credit counseling helped them develop a strategy to pay down their credit debt. In order to be approved for a loan modification, these homeowners must show they can sustain the new mortgage payments. So far it has been a struggle, but at least they have not fallen any further behind. Remember, there is no quick fix when dealing with possible foreclosure. Be careful in dealing with organizations that promise to secure a loan modification for you, but demand an upfront fee. Most times these organizations take your money but fail to deliver on the modification and the money that could have been used for a mortgage payment ends up in the coffers of unscrupulous predators. For information on attending a homeownership workshop or questions related to the foreclosure prevention, contact Rev. Charles Butler at (917) 645-9835 or email at

Promotional Alliance of Harlem (PAH) Business and Community Organizations Unite to Promote Harlem

L–R: Walter Edwards – Chair, Harlem Business Alliance; Blondel Pinnock, Chair, 125th Street BID; Beatrice Sibblies, Harlem Park to Park; George Faison, Faison Firehouse Theater


hree of Harlem’s top business and community organizations--125th Street Business Improvement District, Harlem Business Alliance and Harlem Park to Park along with the Aloft Harlem Hotel have formed the Promotional Alliance of Harlem (PAH). The name speaks for itself in that the organization’s goal is to promote Harlem’s growing array of nightlife, shopping, dining, cultural destinations and neighborhood events in an effort to increase commercial activity. PAH is unique in that membership is not fee-based, but its reach is wide. Together, the founding organizations represent over 1,000 businesses in key growth industries such as restaurants, retail/fashion, health/ wellness, arts and tourism. “Each founding member organization services a unique target group and geographic area in Harlem,” explained Barbara Askins, president of 125th Street BID. “Through cross promotions, this team effort will allow us the opportunity to showcase the fascinating mix of commercial, retail, entertainment and cultural highlights that Harlem has to offer.” Daniel Fevre, general manager of Aloft Harlem Hotel has a similar view. “This will allow us to more

L–R: Daniel Fevre, Aloft Harlem; Nikoa Evans-Hendricks, Harlem Park to Park; Barbara Askins, 125th Street Business Improvement District; Regina Smith, Harlem Business Alliance

effectively promote the Harlem Village as a must-see destination. We hope that other hotels will take notice of the efforts and potential in the Harlem market and develop hotels in the area.” The Harlem Business Alliance continuously seeks opportunities to drive traffic and increase spending at local retail establishments, restaurants and cultural institutions. According to Executive Director Regina Smith, “PAH is the perfect vehicle” to help accomplish their goals. Nikoa Evans-Hendricks, executive director of Harlem Park to Park, says that in creating a new paradigm for marketing Harlem, "Growth and development are great, but sustainability is key. To sustain economic development and commerce, particularly in this new age, both progressive and traditional thinking and planning are needed.” It is the goal of each founding member that through their efforts and those of other partners who come aboard, the Promotional Alliance of Harlem will be the engine that drives the Village Harlem into the future as one of the most desirable areas in New York for businesses, consumers and residents. —JNW June 2012 The Positive Community


With you when you need room to grow Home Lending Options Your home. It’s a labor of love from the moment you start saving for the down payment. Whether you’re buying or improving your home, Wells Fargo provides tools and support to help you achieve your homeownership goals. Our Learning and Planning Center, a one-stop online resource, helps you through the homebuying process and provides options for financing repairs and home improvements. Plus, our highly trained home mortgage consultants are here to assist you. Call 1-877-937-9357, click or stop by to talk with a Wells Fargo banker today.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. © 2012 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801 (721940_05313)

Wells Fargo — a trustworthy partner in the American dream of home ownership For every one of us, a home is much more than four walls and a roof. A nurturing, supportive environment exists within those walls where we eat, sleep, learn, develop our habits and personalities and form and maintain relationships with family and neighbors. Without a safe, stable home to call their own, too many American families suffer from the negative consequences of the housing and mortgage crisis. That’s why Wells Fargo, an equal housing lender, is committed to preserving home ownership and working collaboratively to improve the housing market by actively supporting sustainable home ownership with tools, education and responsible business practices. Fewer than 2% of the loans on owner-occupied properties in its mortgage servicing portfolio have resulted in foreclosure, and between January 2009 and April 2012, Wells Fargo has helped nearly 6 million customers secure new low-rate loans for home purchases or to refinance existing mortgages. The nation’s #1 mortgage lender and servicer, in 2010, Wells Fargo was also the #1 mortgage lender to African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans, lower income consumers and in lower income neighborhoods; and as of March 31, 2012 the company had 749,806 active trial or completed mortgage modifications in place. Of those, 84% were done through the company’s own programs and the remaining through the federal government’s Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP). As part of Wells Fargo’s commitment to helping people stay in their homes, the company has held and participated in more than 670 Home Preservation Workshops around the country which provide one-on-one consultations with

bi-lingual mortgage representatives for customers facing financial hardship and experiencing problems paying their mortgage. Last year two Home Preservation Workshops were held in New Jersey and one in Philadelphia for people in the New Jersey area, and another one will be held in Newark this summer. More than .5 million people have been invited to these events since January 2009, and through December 2011 Wells Fargo has refinanced loans for more than 3.3 million borrowers, including 314,000 with loanto-value ratios greater than 80% through HAMP. During that same time period, Wells Fargo forgave $4.1 billion in mortgage principal and made available an additional $800 million in forgiven principal that borrowers can earn by keeping up their payments over the next three years, and deferred $2.1 billion of principal through loan modifications for investor owned and Wells Fargoowned loans that the company services. By listening to customers, government agencies and community leaders, Wells Fargo has generated a track record that sets it apart and demonstrates and reinforces its long standing commitment to being a trustworthy partner in the American dream of homeownership.

Stop by your local Wells Fargo branch and speak with a banker today about your mortgage options and the other great products and services available to help you succeed financially.

© 2012 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC.ECG-721694












You’ve Earned A Say By Bishop Eric D. Garnes Tabernacle of Praise


very day we’re presented with opportunities to speak up on behalf of ourselves and others – opportunities to lend a helping hand. God calls Christians to be our brothers and sisters’ keepers, to love our neighbors as ourselves. Compassion for our fellow man should compel everyone to do the same, regardless of religious beliefs or cultural traditions. In these tough economic times, we’ve all known people suffering through job loss, foreclosure, increased debt, lost health insurance, and any number of painful circumstances. But simply thinking, ‘What a sad situation,’ won’t make it better. We must speak up and take action to cause change in people’s lives. Now more than ever, we need our government and elected leaders to work for us and include our voices when they make decisions that affect us and our communities. Just recently, AARP started a conversation with the rest of the nation about the future of Medicare and Social Security called ‘You’ve Earned a Say.’ It’s a chance for anyone concerned about their future to tell politicians in Washington what they


The Positive Community June 2012

think should happen to make these programs stronger.

of-mind of Social Security and Medicare, too, as they grow older.

As lawmakers discuss cutting back and even dismantling these programs to reduce the nation’s debt, they seem more concerned about talking to each other, not about listening to the rest of us.

So speak up, not just with words but with deeds. We demonstrate our faith by our good works, and actively participating in our country’s decision-making process stands among our good works.

I think we can all agree that a real conversation about Social Security and Medicare is long overdue, and everyone deserves to be part of this national conversation. Everyone.

Let’s raise our collective voices, as working Americans and as current and future retirees. Let’s tell lawmakers how we feel about these benefits. We’ve spent a lifetime paying into these programs, and we are counting them in our retirement years.

As a pastor in this community for the last sixteen years, I know firsthand just how vital seniors are to our families, to Tabernacle of Praise and to the greater well being of our community. We love them dearly and we’re going to speak up on their behalf. Most seniors are old enough to collect Social Security. For many, it’s the only income they’ve got. Millions are also old enough to receive Medicare. They need that critical medical coverage. But protecting these benefits isn’t just about the elderly. In the sanctuary and out and about, I see parents with their children, and grandparents raising their grandkids. They deserve the protection and peace-

A lifetime of hard work has earned us the right to have a say about our future and the future of our families. So look for ‘You’ve Earned a Say’ events happening in our state. Go. Express yourself. If you can’t go to an event, go to the website,, or pick up the phone, 1-888-OURAARP. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working or retired. What matters is what you have to say about the future of retirement security. We have the right to speak out. And as our brothers and sisters keepers, we have an obligation to speak out.

Panasonic’s Kid Witness News Theodore Johnson, Ph.D., VP Human Resources NJIT; J. Barry Washington, CEO Custom Digital Network; Tanya Mitchell, CFO Newark Alliance and guest. L-R: Terri Seeney, manager, Corporate Outreach Programs, Panasonic NA; MY 9’s Brenda Blackmon and Penny Joseph, PNA's Director of Corporate Outreach Programs

Panasonic North America CEO Joseph M. Taylor talks with Newark Municipal Council President Donald M. Payne Jr.

Newark High School Jazz Band


eveloped and funded by Panasonic, KWN (Kid Witness News) is a unique, hands-on video education program created to encourage students to develop valuable cognitive, communication and organizational skills through the use of video. Panasonic provides each participating school with a complete digital video studio -- including a Panasonic professional HD camcorder -- and suggested curriculum. Under teacher supervision, the students create, produce, direct and edit video shorts on a wide range of current events and issues relevant to today’s youth for submission in the yearly competition. Val Verde High School’s student team winners for the second straight year traveled to PNA headquarters

from Perris, CA recently to participate in the KWN New Vision Awards ceremony along with fellow finalists Maui High School (Kahului, HI), Vista Academy High School (Denver, CO) and Vista Academy of Visual & Performing Arts (Vista, CA). Each of the schools received a New Vision Award for their creative videos on environmental issues, including topics of recycling, toxic landfills, beach cleaning and the importance of ecosystems. For the second straight year, My 9 News Anchor Brenda Blackmon has generously volunteered her time as the emcee of the 22nd Annual KWN New Vision Awards. Brenda has also served on the KWN panel of judges in previous years and is a long time supporter of the program. June 2012 The Positive Community


Gospel Comes to Brooklyn’s Brand New Barclays Center

Hezekiah Walker and his Love Fellowship Choir


f you were to check the online calendar for the opening season of the brand new entertainment venue in Brooklyn, Barclays Center, you would find a line-up of sporting events including—basketball (Nets) and hockey (NY Islanders) and a host of concerts featuring the biggest names in popular music from Jay-z to Barbara Striesand, Justin Bieber and Andrea Bocelli. And there’s Gospel! According to Chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, Bruce Ratner, the intention is to “make Barclays Center the home of gospel in New York.” They’re off to a good start! Here’s the line-up so far: On Sunday, October 14, Barclays Center will host four of the most successful performers in gospel music history, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin and Israel Houghton for “The King’s Men” tour. Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound™ Gospel Celebration moves into the Barclays on Sunday, November 4. 2012. This event gives choirs from across the country a chance to rejoice in song and praise; sing in front of gospel greats and fans; and compete for a chance to win up to $50,000 in cash and prizes. 2012 Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound™ will be hosted by GRAMMY awardwinning artists Donald Lawrence and Yolanda Adams. Erica Campbell of Mary Mary, Fred Hammond, Hezekiah Walker and CeCe Winans will serve as resident judges for this year’s competition and also perform. GRAMMY award-winning gospel great and Brooklynite Hezekiah Walker and his Love Fellowship Choir will perform in his “A Night of Hope” concert on Monday, December 10. Walker announced the event at a press conference at the House of the Lord Church. The Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry and Bruce Ratner, the majority owner and developer of Barclays Center and the chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, also spoke at the press conference. “I grew up in Fort Greene and it was always a


The Positive Community June 2012

Rev. Herbert Daughtry (standing) and L-R (seated): Bruce Ratner, Rev. Al Sharpton and Hezekiah Walker

dream of mine for a major venue in Brooklyn to become the home for gospel music -- now it’s a reality,” said Hezekiah Walker. “Thanks to Bruce Ratner, Barclays Center will be the place where the top gospel artists come to perform. I can’t wait to perform there myself.” Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network and MSNBC-TV host who grew up in Brooklyn, noted that Brooklyn has always been a gospel global headquarters. “I preached at programs featuring gospel greats like Mahalia Jackson and Rev. James Cleveland,” he recalled. “It is appropriate and significant that Barclays Center will continue to heighten that tradition.” “For 40 years, our church, which is just a few blocks from Barclays Center, has prayed and worked for meaningful change to come to this community,” said Rev. Herbert Daughtry, pastor of The House of the Lord Church and founder of the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance. “We are delighted to witness the fulfillment of our prayers as Barclays Center brings tremendous benefits and opportunities to our communities through economic development, neighborhood revitalization and world-class sports and entertainment. We are thrilled that Barclays Center, located in the Borough of Churches, will be New York’s official Home of Gospel Music.” —JNW

MAKES ITS MARK ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

We’re committed to helping the community and everyone who lives here achieve more than ever. That’s why we salute The Positive Community for its continuous and energetic support of the business arena.


©2012 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC. ACHIEVEMENT is a registered mark of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.


Quality • Commitment • Reliability Our 30 years of experience in construction management and transportation, combined with our problem-solving skills, integrity, and commitment to be the best, means we strive to build greatness in every project we do.

• Transportation • Hazardous & Non-Hazardous Waste Removal • Safety Protection • Rough Carpentry • Construction Management • New Construction & Renovations • Contactor Training programs 105 Lock Street • Suite 405 • Newark, NJ 07103 • teL: 973.242.7100 • Fax: 973.242.1612 www.MZM cc . coM

June 2012 The Positive Community



The Positive Community June 2012

Financial Education Seminars ● Bank On It! ● Money Matters ● To Your Credit ● Financial Recovery For more information or sign-up for a seminar*, contact the branch nearest you! City National Bank • New Jersey Branches Southside Branch Linda Campbell-Aaron Branch Manager 1080 Bergen Street Newark, NJ 07112 973-923-2005

Main Office Tasha Lohman Branch Manager 900 Broad Street Newark, NJ 07102 973-624-0865 x637

Paterson Branch DeMetha Hukins Branch Manager 125 Broadway Paterson, NJ 07505 973-279-8700

Springfield Avenue Branch Vanessa Almeida Branch Manager 241 Springfield Avenue Newark, NJ 07103 973-624-4545

City National Bank • New York Branches Harlem Branch Sabrina Brice Branch Manager 382 W. 125th Street New York, NY 10027 212-865-4763

East New York Branch Francisco Castillo Branch Manager 2815 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11207 718-647-5300

*Seminars based on FDIC Money Smart Program

Roosevelt Branch Carey Davis Branch Manager 302 Nassau Road Roosevelt, NY 11575 516-623-7444

FDIC insured

On the Right Side of the Fight BY GLENDA CADOGAN


reston D. Pinkett III has dedicated his life to making a difference in the lives of people with low and moderate incomes. As President/CEO of City National Bank of New Jersey, he gets to fulfill this in ways that not only support, but empower every customer of the bank, which itself has a history of serving the underserved. Pinkett is only the third president in the history of the Newark-based bank, which started 39 years ago with a mission to provide the highest quality financial services, build economic strength and improve the quality of life within the neighboring communities. “Helping people is what I care about,” said Pinkett. “Throughout my career I’ve dealt with underserved markets and provided innovative solutions aimed at making a difference to this population segment. Even in the volunteer work I’ve done, my goals were to be a positive influence in a world where positive influences are needed.” And indeed, Pinkett has been making a positive impact at City National since taking over the reins from Louis Prezeau, who retired after leading the institution for 22 years. In his efforts to date, Pinkett has made great strides by interestingly juxtaposing a fire and ice approach; you can call it “The Pinkett Plan.” He has brought a new kind of cool to the bank, but at the same time he has made the brand warmer, friendlier and more customer-focused. The “cool” came in with the introduction of Kasasa, the brand name for a suite of consumer products that allow customers to receive rewards for activity on their checking accounts. “We believe that Kasasa is a cool way to move our customers into the next wave of banking,” Pinkett explained.

Photo by ©DwightCarter.Com

“Throughout my career I’ve dealt with underserved markets and provided innovative solutions aimed at making a difference to this population segment. Even in the volunteer work I’ve done, my goals were to be a positive influence in a world where positive influences are needed.” Continued on next page

June 2012 The Positive Community



In his “warm” efforts Pinkett spearheaded the rebranding of the bank with changes from the logo to the website. “Ultimately our aim is to be the kind of community banking institution that can deliver what is needed in the communities we serve,” he said. “To do so, we wanted to freshen up the image of the bank to show people that our success is connected to the success of our community. Moreover, we wanted our logo and new colors to establish that we are a friendly place to do business.” According to Pinkett, the old logo was designed to show strength and served that purpose well. “But now, in addition to strength, we need to show our customers that we are friendly and approachable. We have done so with warmer colors and a logo that establishes a holistic and comprehensive approach to community banking.” Having received the baton of leadership during one of the worst economic recessions in modern history, the first reaction from Pinkett’s team was to hunker down and reduce expenses. “But my approach was ‘let’s turn that around and spend, but do so wisely. Let’s spend on things that matter so that we build the bank in ways that are critical to our consumer base.’ In so doing, we have instituted new consumer products, taken a new process in managing our commercial portfolio and increased outreach to other markets looking for ways to expand.” The positive outcomes of Pinkett’s leadership can be seen in the bank’s financials as verified in its newly published 2011 annual report, which shows assets totaling $358,442,000; $208,715,000 in loans, $299,271,000 in deposits and $ 19,771,000 of shareholder equity. Lending his voice of authority to current banking trends in the face of a global recession, Pinkett says that in his opinion, we have been through the worst of the crisis. “I think we are on our way to recovery. Those banking institutions that have come through on the other side are much stronger. Banking as we know it will start to look more like what it used to be.” However, he believes that smaller institutions like community banks are seeing much more of a challenge. “As far as community banks are concerned, there will be winners and losers. We are hoping that our business model here at City National is one that will allow us to be in the winners’ column as we continue to provide services to people who are not the


The Positive Community June 2012

The positive outcomes of Pinkett’s leadership can be seen in the bank’s financials as verified in its newly published 2011 annual report, which shows assets totaling $358,442,000; $208,715,000 in loans, $299,271,000 in deposits and $ 19,771,000 of shareholder equity. preferred customers for most institutions.” With its assets close to $400 million, City National is the seventh largest African-American owned and operated commercial bank in the United States. Its seven branches in New Jersey and New York continue to play a pivotal role in strengthening urban communities. “Every day, no matter how tired or frustrating it has been, when I walk out those doors I feel as though I have fought the good fight and I’m doing the work that is needed in the community,” Pinkett declared. “I may not always win; I may not succeed at every effort, but I have been and always will be on the right side of the fight.”

B:8.25 in T:8 in S:7 in

B:10.75 in

S:9.5 in

T:10.5 in

BUILDING STRONGER COMMUNITIES. THAT’S A CHALLENGE WE CAN MEET. Prudential has long supported building stronger communities; that’s one of the most important challenges we face. Our company and our employees are committed to strengthening the places where we live and work. From our headquarters city of Newark, New Jersey, to communities in need across the country and around the world.

1 JR


Job No:


Job Nam

We support better housing, better schools, and a better environment for business growth. That commitment takes diverse forms: from thousands of employee volunteer hours to help America’s cities, to our $1 million donation to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, to the $1.4 billion we’ve invested over 36 years to promote education, economic development, civic improvements and the arts.


Moreover, our investments in Black-owned businesses such as Carver Bancorp, one of the largest community banks, have driven numerous entrepreneurial initiatives across America.


As a company that has helped families and organizations tackle their toughest financial challenges for 137 years, we see the opportunity to create healthy, sustainable communities. To make a difference in the lives of our neighbors everywhere.



7 x 9.5 Trim:

8 x 10. Bleed:

8.25 x





______ DESIGN









Prepare Prudent 213 Wa St Newa (973) 8 Fax (97

■ DO■N © 2012 Prudential Financial, Inc., Newark, NJ, USA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 0226348-00001-00

Convent Avenue B.C. Spring Revival Photos: Wali Amin Muhammad


he pews at Convent Avenue Baptist Church were filled to overflow during the Harlem church’s Spring Revival 2012, May 14, 15 and 16. The theme “From Spiritual Infancy to Spiritual Maturity” awakened the churchgoers to the realities of a life of dedicated service to God and to mankind. The guest preacher was Rev. Dr. Robert C. Scott, senior pastor of Central Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO. Rev. Dr. Jesse T. Williams Jr. is the senior pastor of Convent Avenue B.C.

Rev. Scott greets churchgoers.

L-R: Rev. Jesse T. Williams Jr., his son, Jesse T. Williams III, Rev. Robert C. Scott and Rev. James Logan, executive minister, Convent Avenue B.C.

INDIGO KITCHEN / montclair Serving New Jersey’s best barbecue and modern soul. Visit our upscale yet comfortable dining room in Montclair NJ.

615 bloomfield avenue, montclair, nj, 07042, 973-707-2950


The Positive Community June 2012

Photos: Timothy Glen Photographers

L-R: UWEWH Board Chair Robyn Pitts, Drs. Scott and William Digiacomo of Vailsburg Medical Associates, l Health Miracle Maker honoree and Keith Green, UWEWH executive director


Hannah Marcus and Carol Jenkins of the Read-Up Book Club, which was honored as the Education Miracle Maker

n May 3, United Way of Essex and West Hudson celebrated its 14th annual Night of Miracles Gala at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, NJ. This annual event supports United Way and its vital programs in the areas of Education, Income and Health. This year’s event was Chaired by Robyn M. Pitts and supported by a group of volunteers – the Women In Support of United Way – who worked tirelessly to ensure the guests and honorees enjoyed a spectacular evening. The night would not have been a success without the generous support of many of United Way’s corporate partners and so we owe them a great deal of gratitude. For more information about the Night of Miracles, please visit

No more digging, chewing, hyperness or boredom at home alone...

Who Cares About Us

“A Spoiled Dog’s Home Away From Home”

• Cage Free Boarding Available • Hip-Hip-Hurray! 3 Walks a Day! • Doggie Pick Up & Drop Off Service • Valet/Curbside Service • Baths & Full Grooming  Dogs socialize & play all day while given lots of love, hugs & kisses, as they listen to music, or lounge around and nap on a bunk bed, sofa or a cushy window seat, as they watch our virtual fish tank and favorite pet shows on flat screen tv’s  Free bath with a full week of Daycare or Boarding  We offer a variety of traditional dog foods & (per customers request) cooked foods prepared fresh daily  Unique gifts and items available for purchase

175 Bridge Plaza North Fort Lee, NJ 07024 201-944-DOGG (3644) 30

The Positive Community June 2012


n May 20, 2012, Who Cares About Us held their first annual health and wellness conference expo at the Robert Treat Hotel. The beautiful, spring day brought out community activists, supporters, entrepreneurs, under-served, single-parented families and concerned citizens to broaden their horizons on ways to improve their overall health and wellness. Pictured are L-R: Hanifah Shakir; Petra Mangum, HIV activist and speaker, and Madinah James, event organizer.




4:56 PM


SISTERS moving. changing. growing.



at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, NYC C








Join us for 2 full days of Shopping, Vendors, Panels, Sponsor Panels, Cooking Pavilion, Children’s Pavilion, Exhibitors, R&B Concert, Gospel Explosion, Celebrity Appearance, Fashion Show, Worship Service, and so much more!!!

You don’t want to miss this year’s expo!!! For


re i


ma t i o

n visit us at www.cir

is s f o e cl


o rs.c


Clement A. Price, Ph.D. of Rutgers-Newark welcomes Harlem Book Fair (HBF) Photo: Kingdom

L–R: Dr. Clement Price and Imiri Baraka at the tribute to Baraka at the HBF


The Positive Community June 2012












Strengthening Families and Communities By Dionne Polite Associate State Director for Multicultural Outreach AARP New York


ARP is working with the faith community to provide resources for stronger communities and helping people celebrate their blessings by living a balanced life. With issues like caregiving, grandparents raising grandchildren, retirement security, and healthy living at the forefront of what we are facing in African American, Black and Caribbean communities, it’s important we have the knowledge and tools to live our best lives at any age. As I am out in the community I find that people often don't know all of what AARP is doing in our communities right here in New York. Let’s take a closer look at how AARP is helping people 50+ and their families. First, AARP is your advocate in Albany. For many years, we have been pushing for legislation, policies and funding to support and empower grandparents who are raising grandchildren and other relative caregivers. We have been successful in helping to alleviate hunger in our communities by getting the outdated name “Food Stamps” changed to Supplemental Nutri-

tional Assistance Program (SNAP). We also helped to eliminate the finger imaging requirement the SNAP application process and get increased funding in the state budget for nutritional outreach and education. We are also working to make our communities more livable, helping to bring down the cost of electricity rates, and strengthening the financial security and health of our communities. Equally as important as our advocacy work are our community service and education efforts. Did you know that AARP offers free tax preparation through the AARP Foundation Tax Aide program or defensive driving courses that allows you to save money on your car insurance? Or did you know that we offer financial education workshops and seminars on how to keep your brain sharp as you age? We held Faith and Finance workshops in churches throughout the city, and we recently hosted a health conference with 100 Black Men focusing on health disparities. We also offer discounts on fun and cultural events. For the past year

we have offered our members discounts to select performances of the famed Vy Higginsen production Mama, I Want to Sing!, and now we are offering discounts for Sing Harlem Sing!, Higginsen's newest musical. As an added bonus, AARP members get to meet and greet the cast of the shows after the performance. We also offer discounts to Broadway shows, museums, and much more. If you are a New York Mets fan, you are in luck because AARP members can get discounted tickets to select Mets games this summer. We give all of our members so much because we want every one of them to have the faith to be healthy, happy and in control of their life. Let’s work to strengthen our families and our communities together. For more information on our advocacy, programs and events, visit us on the web at org/ny and find us on Facebook at To find out more about how AARP is working with churches, please e-mail me at June 2012 The Positive Community




Salutes Positive Community for Its Commitment to the Betterment of Northern Manhattan and the Bronx

NEW Democratic Primary Date—Tuesday, June 26th 2012 NEW 13th Congressional District

Experience, Results, and Proven Leadership PAID FOR BY RANGEL FOR CONGRESS

Black and Latino interfaith clergy leaders in Washington Heights

Interfaith Clergy Leaders in Full Support of Rangel

Photos: Wali Amin Muhammad


ongressman Charles B. Rangel, dean of the New York State Congressional delegation, is out on the campaign trail as he makes his bid for an unprecedented 22nd term as U.S. Representative for the 13th Congressional District. Recently, The Coalition of Interfaith Leaders, a concerned group of faith-based leaders, hosted a clergy breakfast. The event, in Washington Heights, was attended by Cong. Rangel and NYS Assemblyman Guillermo Linares to bring attention to the need to build meaningful alliances for progress. Houses of worship stand as the foundation for building strong families, strong communities and most of all a strong nation!

L–R: Rev. Domingo Vazquez, Rev. Lee Arrington, Cong. Rangel and Rev. Reginald Williams

Cong. Rangel and Assemblyman Linares (to Rangel's left) address the press June 2012 The Positive Community


Photo: Wali Amin Muhammad

CACCI Kicks Off Caribbean-American Heritage Month

Roy Hastick Sr. (seated), founder and CEO, CACCI; Cong. Yvette Clark (standing center); Borough President Marty Markowitz (at the podium)


eaders from the CaribbeanAmerican community gathered recently on the steps of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall with Borough President Marty Markowitz to kick off Caribbean-American Heritage Month. Throughout the month of June celebrations will take place all over Brooklyn. Among the activities planned by the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce (CACCI) are a church service at the Freedom Hall Church of God at noon on Sunday, June 10; the Official Caribbean American Heritage Month All Day Celebration on Thursday, June 21 beginning at 11:00 a.m. at Brooklyn Borough Hall, and CACCI's 27th Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Reception and Gala on Sunday, June 24 from 4:00 pm at Tropical Paradise Ballroom. For more information call CACCI at 718-834-4544.


The Positive Community June 2012

EE Cruz/Nicholson and Columbia University MWLBE Contractor and Workforce Goals

Center. The project includes the top-down construction of approximately 240,000 sq ft of below grade building space and foundations requiring slurry wall cut-off and load bearing walls, large diameter caissons, and mass E.E. Cruz & Company, Inc. is a heavy civil excavation. Recently, CNJV was awarded construction company founded in 1984 and has Phase II which involves another 200,000 sq ft grown steadily from a small road and utility of diaphragm wall. contractor into a major infrastructure construction company with experience in transportation, CNJV, Columbia, LL, and MC are committed to the goals of achieving an overall workforce bridge, waste water, deep foundations and participation of 40% for minority, women and geotechnical projects. In addition, E.E. Cruz local workers, and 35% participation for Minoriregularly completes projects with Minorityty-owned, Women-owned, and Local Business owned, Women-owned, and Local Business Enterprises. CNJV is eager to do business Enterprise and Workforce participation goals and is dedicated to providing equal opportunity with qualified construction firms who are Minority and Women owned enterprises certified in to contractors and workers. NY City or NY State, or who are Business In 2010, Columbia University, Lend Lease (LL), enterprises that maintain a primary business and the McKissack Group (MC) selected a joint address or have significant administrative venture of E.E. Cruz and Nicholson Construcbusiness presence in these zip codes: 10025tion (CNJV) for a $118 million contract to per10035, 10037, 10039, 10040, 10451, 10454, form foundation and slurry wall work for the first 10455, and 10474. major contract for Columbia’s Manhattanville CNJV’s work at Columbia Manhattanville is just development. CNJV’s work is located at the future location of the Jerome L. Green Science a small part of Columbia University’s larger

development plan to develop the 17-acre site, which will house 6.8 million square feet of space for teaching, research, underground parking, and support services. The project will not only create opportunities for local contractors and workers, but will also sustain Upper Manhattan as a center for education, knowledge and creativity. In addition to its work at Columbia, E.E. Cruz is working on several other projects in NY with MWL or DBE participation goals, including the 2nd Ave Subway 96th St Station, the Queens Approach to the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, and a bridge at Crane Road over the Bronx River Parkway. E.E. Cruz was also recently named as the low bidder for 7th & 8th Avenue Emergency Vent Plant and the Station Finishes for the 2nd Ave Subway 96th St Station, both of which offer opportunities for DMWBEs. If you are a company that is certified as a DBE, a NYS or NYC certified MWBE, or an LBE for our Columbia Manhattanville Development project please send your company information to us at

June 2012 The Positive Community


Dr. Denise V. Rodgers: A Steady Hand During Uncertain Times BY GLENDA CADOGAN

It is not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, that leads the flock to fly and follow —- Chinese Proverb s the New Jersey government pursues an aggressive overhaul of higher education, there have been numerous cries about what it means for the future of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). In an interview with The Positive Community, Interim President Dr. Denise V. Rodgers silenced those cries by outlining the details of the new proposed structure. At the same time, she gave the assurance that UMDNJ remains positioned as a statewide institute of strength that is equipped, able and eager to serve the people of New Jersey. According to Dr. Rodgers, as part of the state’s restructuring plan, the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine—considered by many to be the jewel in the UMDNJ crown—and its School of Public Health will become part of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. In addition, Rutgers University based in Camden will become part of Rowan University which will be starting



The Positive Community June 2012

a new medical school. The proposal initially sent shock waves throughout the community—concerned that they might be losing the facility that is a flagship institution in the Garden State. “The transfer of two of our units to Rutgers does not in any way leave the rest of the university irrevocably weakened or unable to achieve excellence and continue doing the outstanding work we have been doing over the years,” explained Dr. Rodgers. “Though under this proposal we would have lost the Robert Wood Johnson School, I submit that the New Jersey Medical School is as strong an institution and has an outstanding caliber of faculty and students. There are enormous concerns that a larger portion of UMDNJ is being transferred away because of a misunderstanding about what is being proposed. So it’s important to also stress that there have been no discussions about closing University Hospital, which will remain as the principal teaching hospital for all the Newark-based schools. In fact, this transfer period gives us an opportunity to step back and develop a new strategic plan and direction while maintaining our commitment to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. So in fact, there is absolutely no reason why the remaining components of UMDNJ cannot embark on a journey to outstanding,” she says. Dr. Rodgers, who is the UMDNJ executive vice president for Academic and Clinical Affairs, was named and installed as interim president on January 1st of this year. During the appointment process, Dr. Rodgers stressed to the Board of Trustees that she was taking on the position with the mindset of being a leader for the University. “I was clear that I am not going to behave as if I was a place holder until a permanent president was named,” she explained. “And I very much have a vision for the University and where it needs to go.” In that vision, Dr. Rodgers says that UMDNJ will continue to put out some of the best and brightest health professionals and provide service of excellence to the community. With 15,000 employees and 6,000 students, UMDNJ is the only Health Sciences University in the state and the largest of its kind in the nation. Rodgers’ leadership

Dr. Rodgers stressed to the Board of Trustees that she was taking on the position with the mindset of being a leader for the University.


comes at a pivotal time in the history of the university and its eight schools: New Jersey Dental School, New Jersey Medical School, School of Nursing, School of Public Health, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, School of Osteopathic Medicine and School of Health Related Professionals. In 1997, Dr. Rodgers, a lifelong medical professional, was a professor and vice chair at the University of California, San Francisco Department of Family and Community Medicine and director of the San Francisco General Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program when she was recruited to join the Robert Wood Johnson School. She was named Senior Assistant Dean for Community Health and in that role, which she held for eight years, she worked on developing community health initiatives aimed at improving access to care and the overall health of underserved populations. Her efforts led to partnerships that helped in reducing lead poisoning, supporting better nutrition and promoting exercise. “One of the real strengths we have as New Jersey’s only Health Sciences University is an ability to engage in interprofessional collaborations both in our educational endeavors and our research and clinical care,” Rodgers pointed out. “There are ways in which doctors, nurses, dentists, physical therapists, physicians’ assistants and psych rehab people can work together as a highly functioning team in order to provide high quality care to patients. We can be leaders in teaching students how to do that. But we can also be leaders in actually delivering care in that way,” she added. But according to Dr. Rodgers, she is also interested in “going back to her roots” and looking at how UMDNJ can partner even more closely with the community. “I am confident that there are other ways in which we can partner over time with community organizations, city government and the business community to facilitate better health outcomes and improve the overall health status of the people in the communities in which we exist,” she said. Dr. Rodgers’ roots have grown out of the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx where she completed her residency Program in Social Medicine. It was there that she embraced a passion for working with urban, underserved populations. Since then she has devoted her career to effectively address health disparities among minority and underserved populations and communities “I think this is what I have spent most of my career doing,” she said. “I like the idea of taking care of patients

Dr. Rodgers with Kevin Barry, MD, Chairperson, Board of Trustees, UMDNJ

in the context of their family and community. I don’t believe that we walk through life as individuals who are unaffected by the others with whom we live and share our lives.” It is this mindset that acts as a guiding principle for Rodgers as she shepherds the flock at UMDNJ. “As I think about the University and what guides my decision making, it is always first and foremost having patients in mind. We do the very best job we can in educating the myriad health professionals who come through the university. The aim is that they in turn will do the very best they can in taking care of their patients. Even with the research we do at the University, the goal is the same: to alleviate human suffering, prevent and treat illnesses.” In his introduction letter announcing Dr. Rodgers’ appointment as interim president, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Kevin M. Barry wrote: “We are fortunate to have such a distinguished leader in academic medicine and community health care leading UMDNJ at this critical time in our history. The trustees are confident that she will serve the university with distinction to enhance the core missions of this academic health center and statewide asset.” Clearly with this kind of confidence in her leadership, it will not be the unfounded cries of closures, but the flight that comes from having a capable and compassionate leader like Dr. Rodgers that will enable the UMDNJ flock to ascend on its journey to outstanding and fulfill its mission to teach, discover, heal and care.

June 2012 The Positive Community




Drew University

for the

L–R: Kirk Johnson and Gaius Charles both received Masters of Divinity (MDIV). Kirk Johnson, from Hackensack, NJ will begin doctoral studies in Medical Humanities at Drew. Gaius Charles, who hails from Teaneck, NJ, will continue his preaching ministry and pursuing acting.


he Theological School of Drew University celebrated the graduation of 135 students on the campus at the college in Madision, NJ on May 12, 2012. Students received the following degrees PhD, Doctor of Ministry (DMIN), Master of Divinity (MDIV), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Sacred Theology (STM), Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) and Master of Theological Studies (MTS).

L–R: LaMont Johnson and Cynthia Kelly received doctorates in Ministry (DMin). Dr. Johnson currently pastors a church in North Carolina. Dr. Kelly, who is from North Carolina, will continue her social justice ministry.

Ronda Littleton-Johnson, (MDiv) from New York City is already preaching and teaching ministry at St. James AME Church in Newark, and will continue there.


College of New Rochelle

Grads for the

President Judith Huntington, Wynton Marsalis, and Michael N. Ambler, Esq.


ore than 1,000 baccalaureate and master’s degrees were awarded at The College of New Rochelle's 105th Commencement on May 19, 2012, at Radio City Music Hall. Carla Harris, managing director, Emerging Manager Platform, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, gave the commencement address.


The Positive Community June 2012

The college also conferred honorary degrees on Harris; Wynton Marsalis, internationally acclaimed Jazz musician and Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of The Holy See to the United Nations. Besides being a banking executive, Carla Harris is also a noted singer. She sang at the commencement accompanied by Wynton Marsalis.

Carla Harris and Wynton Marsalis

SuMMer courSe offering aT neW york Theological SeMinary

The eleanor Moody-Shepherd reSource cenTer for WoMen of faiTh celebrates its 25th Anniversary with the Prophetic Voice of

rev. dr. reniTa WeeMS

“The Intersection of Womanist Hermeneutics and Prophetic Preaching� Monday, July 16th - Friday, July 27th, 2012; 6:00 - 9:00 PM Available for 3 Course Credits and Continuing Education

Rev. Dr. Renita Weems is a biblical scholar, an academic administrator, a writer, a blogger, an ordained minister, and a public intellectual whose scholarly insights into modern faith, biblical texts, and the role of spirituality in everyday lives make her a much sought after writer and speaker. For additional information, or to register for this course, please contact the registrar, Lydia Bumgardner at 212-870-1233 or e-mail nyTS | 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 500, New York, NY 10115 | (T) 212-870-1211 | (F) 212-870-1236 |

Visit Our New Improved Interactive Website: THE POSITIVE

View The Entire Contents of The Positive Community Online

Plus… Photos Video Music Events Calendar Prizes special online only content

Visit Frequently…there’s always something new Check us out on Facebook Join the fastest growing online community


The Positive Community June 2012

Dr. Roland V. Anglin Director of Cornwall Center At Rutgers-Newark


r. Roland V. Anglin has been appointed director of SPAA’s Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies. Anglin comes to the Cornwall Center from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers-New Brunswick, where he was Faculty Fellow since 2000. For seven years he served as the executive director of Bloustein’s Initiative for Regional and Community Transformation. Anglin is nationally renowned for his research in the area of economic and community development in and for marginalized communities. Anglin began his academic career at Rutgers University in New Brunswick in the late 1980s. His initial research examined issues related to economic development and growth management. During this time, he published some of the seminal work on citizen attitudes toward sprawl development. After a nine-year stint at the Ford Foundation, where he ultimately served as deputy director for community and resource development, Anglin returned to academia to pursue an active research agenda and manage a number of initiatives for philanthropy, state governments and national community development organizations. He has managed two research evaluations for the state of New Jersey, both linked to the role of crime prevention and youth development as a precursor to economic development. Anglin’s many publications include three books, Promoting Sustainable Local and Community Economic Development (CRC Press); Katrina's Imprint: Race and Vulnerability in America (with colleagues) (Rutgers University Press), and Resilience and Opportunity: Lessons from the U.S. Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita (with colleagues) (Brookings Institution Press). His current research focuses on the changing dynamics of current local and community development practice. Anglin has served on the board of directors of many national and local organizations including the Association for Public Policy and Management; WBGO, a Newark-based jazz radio station and the Hyacinth Aids Foundation. A resident of Plainfield, New Jersey, Anglin received his bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College, his master’s degree from Northwestern University, and his doctoral degree from the University of Chicago.

NYSCAS New York School of Career and Applied Studies

a division of TOURO


Get on the Road to a Bright Future! ASSOCIATE’S AND BACHELOR’S DEGREES • BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION with concentrations in: Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Management, Information Systems, Office Technology • HUMAN SERVICES • BIOLOGY • PSYCHOLOGY • EDUCATION • SOCIAL SCIENCES • PARALEGAL STUDIES • LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES • DIGITAL MULTIMEDIA DESIGN • and more CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS • DMX—Digital Media Arts | 212.463.0400 x5588 • Desktop and Web Publishing | 718.336.6471 x30119 for a full list of certificate programs go to

Other Professional Opportunities • Pre-Law • Pre-Medical • Pre-Dental Touro College is an equal opportunity institution

MANHATTAN: 212.463.0400 x5500 BROOKLYN: 718.265.6534 x1003 Bensonhurst, Brighton Beach, Flatbush, Kings Highway, Starrett City, Sunset Park QUEENS: 718.353.6400 x107 Flushing 718.520.5107 x102 Forest Hills

Nationally Known Educator Speaks at E3


L–R: Dr. Therman Evans, chairman of E-3 board of directors; Dr. Howard Fuller, keynote speaker and founder of Black Alliance for Educational Options; Peter Denton, E-3 founder and Alfred Bundy

Photos: Kingdom

r. Howard Fuller, named among Forbes’ 7 Most Powerful Educators in 2011, came to Newark speak at the E3 Leadership Reception and at Fathers Now about the importance of educational options. Dr. Fuller, a proponent of school choice, is Distinguished Professor of Education and Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University in Milwaukee. E3 (Excellent Education for Everyone) is in favor of alternative schools and supports the Opportunity Scholarship Act (OSA) legislation currently under consideration by the NJ Assembly, which would enable primary and secondary students in chronically-failing schools in seven New Jersey districts-Newark, Orange, Passaic, Asbury Park, Lakewood, Elizabeth and Camden– access to scholarships to attend eligible, participating, alternative schools of their choice.

Diane Johnson, HUD regional director

Jerome Young, E3 Staff with NJ State Senator and E3 Board Member Tom Byrne

L–R: Calvin West, former Newark Mayor Shape James, Antoine Wheeler, Attorney and Law Professor Shavar Jeffries, A. Zachary Ymaba, former president of Essex County College.


The Positive Community June 2012

L–R: Christie Davis Jackson, E3 President and Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, former Newark councilwoman

L–R: Kevin Jenkins, E3 vice president and Alfred Bundy, E-3 consultant

Our children are this country’s greatest resource. Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation. – John F. Kennedy

NJEA believes that a strong investment in our public schools is an investment in our country’s future prosperity. Our children deserve the resources and support they need to be successful in school and in life. EVERY child, regardless of income, background, or ZIP code, deserves a great public school. NJEA will continue to lead this fight but we cannot do it alone. All citizens of this state must take a stand for ALL children. Our future depends on it.

tion Association… New Jersey Educa every child. public schools for working for great President Barbara Keshishian, r, Vice President aue inh Ste ll nde We ary-Treasurer Marie Blistan, Secret ive Director cut Exe no, rda Gio Vince Research Director Executive Director/ nt ista Ass y, Gra d Richar

Camille M. Parker to Attend Rutgers


amille M. Parker graduates from Bergen County Academies (BCA), Hackensack, NJ, on June 24,2012. Camille, who attended the Academy for Medical Science Technology at BCA, serves her community as a member of the Teaneck Youth Advisory Board and as a Certified EMT on the Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps. As part of the Senior Experience at Bergen Academies, Camille interned every week in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Hackensack University Medical Center. Camille is an active youth member of the Convent Ave Baptist Church, in Harlem, NY where the senior pastor is the Rev. Dr. Jesse T. Williams, Jr. BCA boasts a 100 percent graduation rate, and 100 percent of its graduates go on to pursue postsecondary education. Most recently, Newsweek magazine recognized the Academies as one of the nation’s best public high schools, scoring it 23rd out of 500 schools listed. Camille is the daughter of Raymond and Eunice Parker and will attend Rutgers University in the fall of 2012. With God’s help, Camille aspires to become a primary care pediatrician.


Nyack College Grads for the

12MAR Positive Community 4-5x4-5_Nyack 3/27/12 11:32 AM Page 1


of Divinity • Master of Arts

• Master

of Professional Studies Programs

• Certificate

Accepting Applications for the Fall!

Call 866-42-NYACK or visit our website at!


tacie Hooper graduated from Nyack College’s Alliance Theological Seminary with a masters in Diviinity (MDiv) on May 5, 2012. The graduation ceremony was held at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. A New Yorker, Stacie says that her ultimate goal professionally and ministerially is, “to open a Christian private practice providing therapeutic services and to establish a global women's organization based on healing, deliverance, warfare, and intimacy with Christ.”


The Positive Community June 2012

Nyack, NY New York, NY

Moderator Richard Roper

Newark Leadership Roundtable Series Presents:

Exploring Higer Education for the 21st Century Streaming live on the web

EDUCATION ROUNDTABLE Saturday, June 23rd • 9am-1pm

“... an holistic dynamic approach to our quest for the real components of a quality education—an educational ideal” “What must we do in our homes, schools and our churches to prepare our children for college, vocation and careers?” Positive Community Editorial February 2011


General Baptist Convention of New Jersey, Inc.

Go to www.thepositivecommunity/ to register for broadband webcast

Fathers for Our Children

Dr. Karen YoungThomas MPTCS CEO

Michelle Y. Lee, Wells Fargo

Adrian A. Council

Byron Pitts


ontinuing its commitment to spotlight men who serve as role models to Newark youth, the Marion P. Thomas Charter School (MPTCS) recently honored publisher, Adrian A. Council, Sr. at their “Fathers for our Children” 9th Annual Awards Ceremony and Scholarship Fundraiser. Thomas O. Johnson The program took place at the Newark Museum on May 23rd. It was a wonderful evening featuring inspiring performances and presentations from MPTCS students ranging from kindergarten to 8th grade, in honor of the esteemed honorees. Other honorees included, Byron Pitts of CBS News’ 60 Minutes; Rahfeal Gordon of RahGor Motivations and Tom O. Johnson of Porzio, Bromberg & Newton PC. Congressman Donald Payne was honored posthumously for his many accomplishments as a public servant and world leader. Michelle Y. Lee, lead region president, Northeast Community Banking, Wells Fargo is Marion P. Thomas Charter School Foundation president; Dr. Karen Young-Thomas is CEO.


The Positive Community June 2012

Rahfeal Gordon

2nd Grade Student Safiy Watlington introduces Byron Pitts

Photos: Vincent Bryant and Kent Henderson

William “Bill” Payne L–R: Vice Principal Carl Bampoe, Principal Remi Dabney, student presenters and honorees and (Far Right) Middle School Principal John Gamble

Newark Municipal Councilmember Mildred Crump; Deborah Smith, Wells Fargo Foundation; Marjorie Perry, CEO MZM Construction and Jahlil Dowdy, Razac Products Co. staff members

Front (Black lace top) L-R: Dr. Karen Young-Thomas and Isaiah Arrington, 8th grade MPTCS student award winner with City National Bank staff members

L-R: Dr. Gardere, Jonica Prince, student presenter and honoree Mr. Council

L–R: Lea, Adrian Jr. and Stephen Council

L–R: Dr. Jeffrey Gardere, host, with songstress Yvette Glover

L–R: Cablevision’s Don Viapree, Corby Ellis-Mare, City National Bank and Michelle Y. Lee

June 2012 The Positive Community


Countdown to Freedom

The Collapse of Black Wall Street

By R.L. Witter

hilosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” With the present political and racial climate, we thought we would take an opportunity to look back upon one of the most heinous and bloody incidents in American History and race relations that remains unknown to too many Americans. This incident illustrates how incredibly precarious life was for black Americans and how the prosperity of African Americans and the perception of disrespect could take things from bad to unimaginable in record time. The summer of 1921 began with an incident known as “The Tulsa Race Riot” in Tulsa, OK. While lynchings and unrest had previously taken place in the South, no other incident has ever had such an impact on an American community. Seemingly aware of how egregious and polarizing the incident was, the events of the riot were omitted from local and state history. Rarely was it discussed in classrooms, history books or even in private among friends and family members. Finally, a 1996 report commissioned by the Oklahoma State Legislation shed light on the initial incident and the rioting that followed and it officially became part of historical record. On May 30, 1921 something occurred in an elevator involving a black male shoe shiner and a white female elevator operator. What exactly transpired is unknown —there were whispers about an interracial relationship—but the most common explanation was that Dick Rowland tripped as he got onto the elevator and grabbed onto the arm of Sarah Paige in an effort to steady himself. A clerk on the first floor of the building claimed to have heard Paige scream and apparently saw Rowland exit the building. The clerk notified the police and after speaking with Paige they determined that what happened between the two teenagers was something less than an assault. The authorities conducted a rather low-key investigation during which Paige informed the police that she would not press charges. The following morning, Rowland was spotted in the Greenwood section of town, detained and taken to the city jail.



The Positive Community June 2012

Greenwood, the traditionally black district of Tulsa, had a prosperous commercial district known as “the Negro Wall Street” (now commonly referred to as “the Black Wall Street”). Blackowned businesses and services included several groceries, two independent newspapers, two movie theaters, nightclubs, and numerous churches. Because of residential segregation, most classes lived together in Greenwood and in the surrounding areas of northeastern Oklahoma. African Americans also enjoyed relative prosperity and participated in the oil boom. J. B. Stradford was known as the wealthiest entrepreneur in Greenwood. The son of a runaway slave, Stradford a lawyer, was a graduate of Oberlin College in Missouri and the Indianapolis School of Law; he came to Tulsa in 1899. In 1910, he built the luxurious 65-room Stradford Hotel. The hotel and other properties he held were valued at over $200,000 ($2.3 million dollars today). Also a philanthropist, Stradford established the first library for blacks in the state and was among the leaders who urged E.W. Woods to move to Tulsa and become principal of Booker T. Washington High School built in 1913. In his memoirs left to his family, Stradford explained that a headline in the Tulsa Tribune that alleged the rape of a white woman in an elevator by a black man “aroused the wrath of the Ku Klux Klan, who said they would mob Dick Rowland that night.” He said a group of armed black men traveled to the courthouse in case the sheriff needed help in protecting Rowland. Stradford stayed behind in case they were arrested and needed a lawyer. “They found at least five thousand whites demanding the sheriff to turn over the boy,” Stradford wrote. After a group of white men attempted to disarm a black man, a shot was fired and the largest episode of violence since the Civil War took place. Before all was said and done, more than 6,000 black residents were rounded up and detained; Greenwood was burned to the ground and10,000 Greenwood residents were left homeless. There were reports of air raids that dropped fire bombs onto homes in the black neighborhood and showered it with bullets. Thirty-five city blocks composed of 1,256 residences


In the midst of 15,000 to 20,000 blood-maddened rioters, all the colored section appeared to be on fire and desultory firing kept on between both sides, while the guard marched through the crowded streets. Trucks loaded with scared and partially clothed Negro men and women were parading the streets under heavily armed guards. In all my experience, I have never witnessed such scenes that prevailed in this city when I arrived at the height of the rioting—25,000 whites, armed to the teeth were raiding the city in utter and ruthless defiance of every concept of law and righteousness. Motorcars bristling with guns swept through your city, their occupants firing at will.

were destroyed by fire and more than 800 people were treated for injuries at local hospitals. The Oklahoma National Guard arrived eleven hours after the violence began; one published account said they prepared and ate breakfast before setting about the task of saving lives and restoring order. By then, the Tulsa police, the local guard, and the vigilantes had become indistinguishable. According to one white eyewitness, “It was sheer cruelty coming out” as unarmed black prisoners were mercilessly shot. It was reported that the Tulsa guard unit came upon a building with a group of black people barricaded inside, surrounded by a white mob. The guard unit joined the mob and killed and captured the defending blacks, rather than disperse the mob and offer safety and assistance. By then, most black residents had fled or were being held against their will—supposedly for their own protection— in concentration camps. A state study of the Greenwood Massacre done in the year 2000 noted, “The guards had now joined in the assault on black Tulsa.” National Guard Adjutant General Charles F. Barrett reported whites loading dead bodies of blacks and removing them from the area. The general noted:

Months later, according to The Chicago Defender, retired Tulsa policeman Van B. Hurley declared in a sworn affidavit that several prominent city officials carefully planned the attack on the segregated district using airplanes to drop nitroglycerin on the buildings, setting them afire. After the riot, the State Troopers were praised for being impartial in quelling the situation. It was opined that had they arrived sooner, many lives and much property could have been saved. Conversely, the actions of the Tulsa Police Department and the Tulsa branch of the National Guard were condemned by many as destructive and counterproductive. A grand jury indicted J.B. Stradford and several other black men for inciting a riot. After being released from a concentration camp under the guardianship of a white friend, Stradford was told that he and other black “troublemakers” would be lynched. He jumped bail and escaped to his brother’s home in Kansas, where he was rescued by his son, Chicago attorney, C. Francis Stradford, whom he joined in Chicago. While the Stradford family became prominent citizens in Chicago, they were never able to reclaim their Tulsa property and Stradford died a fugitive in 1935, having never returned to Tulsa. More than 70 years later, members of the Stratford family gathered in Tulsa in 1995 where Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating offered a posthumous pardon to J.B. Stradford and formally apologized to the family and Tulsa’s black community for the incident. In his remarks, the governor said “the great tragedy, the hatred” had removed the talents of Stradford and his descendants from Oklahoma. Visit for more information and historical photos. June 2012 The Positive Community


THE THE CENTER CENTERAND ANDLIBRARY LIBRARYFOR FOR CENTER AND LIBRARY FOR THE & JUSTICE JANUARY 14, 2012 THE BIBLE BIBLE &SOCIAL SOCIAL JUSTICE BIBLE & SOCIAL JUSTICE JANUARY 14, 2012 JANUARY 14, 2012 SEMINAR SEMINAR ON ON THE BIBLE AND POLITICS SEMINAR ONTHE THEBIBLE BIBLEAND ANDPOLITICS POLITICS SEPTEMBER 29, 2012 SEPTEMBER SEPTEMBER29, 29,2012 2012 From 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM From 9:30 AM PM From 9:30 AM– –3:30 3:30 PM Stony Point Conference Center Stony Point Conference Center Stony Point Conference Center 17 Cricketown Road 17 Cricketown Road 17 Cricketown Road Stony Stony Point, Point, NY NY 10980 10980


Speakers: Speakers: Dr. Dr. Norman Norman K. K. Gottwald Speakers: Dr. Norman K.Gottwald Gottwald Dr. Obery Hendricks Dr. Obery Hendricks

Dr. Obery Hendricks



Telephone 845-786-5674 Telephone 845-786-5674

For information and reservations contact For information and reservations contact Paula Sandusky at information and reservations contact Paula For Sandusky at Paula Sandusky at

Telephone 845-786-5674 Co-sponsor Co-sponsor THE THE NEWARK NEWARK SCHOOL SCHOOL OF OF THEOLOGY THEOLOGY Telephone 973-297-0505 Telephone 973-297-0505 Co-sponsor THE NEWARK SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY Telephone 973-297-0505

Challenging Challenging Seminary Seminary Level Level Classes Classes ~~ Outstanding Outstanding Faculty Faculty ~~ Small Small Classes Classes ~~ Affordable Affordable Tuition ~ Payment Plan Available ~ Convenient Location Near NJPAC ~~ Free Tuition ~ Payment Plan Available ~ Convenient Location Near NJPACClasses Free Parking Parking Challenging Seminary Level Classes ~ Outstanding Faculty ~ Small ~ Affordable Ask Ask about about College College Credit Credit

Tuition ~ Payment Plan Available ~ Convenient Location Near NJPAC ~ Free Parking Ask about College Credit

Marion P. Thomas Charter School is the only charter school in the city of Newark to offer parents of four-year-olds the opportunity to enroll their children in a quality preschool program, free of charge—in a safe, stimulating, fun environment that prepares beginning students to succeed in school, from the first day of kindergarten and beyond. Children must be four years-old by Oct. 1, 2012 to participate . Please inform your friends and family regarding this great opportunity.

FREE Full-day Preschool Program for Newark Residents

Safe and Nurturing Environment

Experienced & Talented Teachers

Interactive Activities involving Literacy, Math, Science, Computers and more

Breakfast & Lunch served

New, spacious outdoor play area

To apply log onto, download the application and return to our school. 370 S. 7th St. Newark, NJ 07103 Contact: Ms. Pierson 973-621-0060


The Positive Community June 2012

Join &


Journeys Unlimited

on this once in a lifetime trip

• Accra National Museum and DuBois Centre Memorial • Kwnasi National Cultural Center • Prempeh II Museum • Cape Coast Heritage Sights • Ehnina Castle • And much more



Countdown to Freedom Past, Present, November 9—19, 2012

and Future

Included: • Roundtrip Airfare from New York Area Gateway • Transfers • 4 Star Hotels • Breakfast and Dinner Daily • All Sightseeing and Entrance Fees • Hotel Taxes and Surcharges • Deluxe Motor Coach • Professional Guide

For More Information: Call 1-800-486-8359 or 212-564-8787 $3,998 Per Person, Or visit Double Occupancy, Email: +$2OO Departure Tax (Subject to Change)

Culture L i f e , M u s i c , A r t & L i t e r at u r e

Spiritual Renewal Annual Revival of the Catholic Vicariate of Central Harlem


ive by the Spirit; Walk by the Spirit” was the theme of this year’s 3-day Annual Revival of the Catholic Vicariate of Central Harlem. The revival was held at the oldest of the five churches of the Central Harlem Vicariate, St. Joseph of the Holy Family on W. 12th Street and Morningside Avenue. The others are St. Charles Borromeo, St. Aloysius, St. Mark the Evangelist, All Saints and Chapel of the Resurrection. The Vicariate also includes: 3 elementary schools, a community center (Kennedy Center) a religious community of black nuns (Franciscan Handmaids of Mary) and a number of community-based programs. The guest preacher/revivalist was Rev. Msgr. Paul Jervis, pastor of St. Martin de Porres Church in Brooklyn. The revival is a special time for the Catholic community in Harlem to come together, along with their brothers and sisters from other churches throughout the city (Catholic and non-Catholic), to pray, sing, dance and give honor and glory to God as they revive their spirits in preparation for the celebration of the glorious Feast of Easter!

Tiffani Blake, a member of the Vicariate Liturgical Dance Group

Monsignor Paul Jervis, revivalist

Religious Sisters ministering in the Harlem Community.

Priests of the Harlem Vicariate: (L-R) Fr. Gregory Chisholm, Fr. Ransford Clarke, Fr. Thomas Mestriparamil, Fr. David Nolan (Pastor of St. Joseph's), and Msgr. Paul Jervis, guest revivalist June 2012 The Positive Community


The Legacy (Project) of John P. Kee BY PATRICIA BALDWIN

Grace & Peace, nd the winner of the 2012 James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Stellar Award is the man born “outside of the county line” of Durham, NC—Pastor John P. Kee…and rightfully so! He has a legacy like no one else and God’s not through with him yet! It’s June, Black Music Month and Father’s Day — what a great time to honor Pastor Kee for all he has done and continues to do! How did he become a legend you ask? Like most of the greats, he started out in the church as a young child. The 15th of 16 children, he took up music at 8-years old when a piano was purchased for some of his older siblings. He began by mimicking and was playing piano and writing his own music by the age of nine. At 13 he was attending the North Carolina School of The Arts and was widely recognized as musically gifted. He began working with noted jazz and R&B artists across the nation and then secured a position as musical director with the Miss Black Teenage Pageant while still in his early teens. Despite his talent and the opportunities made available to him, the young man with musical gifts opted for the street life. From his late teens to his early twenties he was off the straight and narrow, living a life of fast money and corruption. But the Christian foundation instilled in him as a young child was still there and it supported him when the streets claimed the life of a close friend. Kee decided to trust God and surrender to Christ. He combined his faith, his musical gift and his street smarts and started the New Life Community Choir and his own street ministry, a decision that Kee has never regretted. John P. Kee went on to be crowned the “Prince of Gospel” (it’s fitting since the P. stands for Prince, right?), and from there he’s earned his title with unbelievable accolades and awards including 27 GMWA Excellence Awards, 21 Stellar Awards, 1 Soul Train Award, 2 Billboard Music Awards, 9 Waljo Awards, 7 Grammy nominations, a Trailblazer Award from former President Bill Clinton, and he was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2005 —Amen on that! Did I mention that Kee is a loving husband, a father



The Positive Community June 2012

John P. Kee

of nine and a pastor? He says that he received a calling from God to be a preacher during a trip to Michigan with his choir, and he has answered that call for 17 years at the New Life Community Fellowship Center, where he doesn’t mind using his testimony to win souls for Christ. His real passion is for clear, genuine, and aggressive street ministry. His heart’s desire is to show the love and power of the Lord to the world, specifically to inner city communities. “There are so many people bruised,” he says, “that our churches should be running over with the lost and forgotten! There is so much hurting and suffering in the world that the only way not to be overwhelmed by it is to know that you are doing something about it.” After three decades in the music business and 25 albums, the solo album that’s in stores now is called, The Legacy Project. This offering includes a few featured legends of the past and the present and those in the making, like Joe Ligon of The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Harvey Watkins, Jr. of the Canton Spirituals, and fellow contemporaries Fred Hammond, Anthony Hamilton, and Doug Williams (of The Williams Brothers). Kee also covers two of his previous choir favorites "I'm Waiting" and the "He'll Welcome Me Medley," which features New Life alumnus Lowell Pye. A father in the home, a father of the community, a father in the music ministry—Pastor Kee, you are a wonderful asset to the Kingdom. Remember we are Kingdom Builders- what’s on your foundation?

Scenes from The Prudential Center, Newark A. Curtis Farrow, Gospelfest producer

Photos: Don Sherrill and Kingdom

Donnie McClurkin

Shirley Caesar

Cissy Houston

Steve Harvey

Fred Hammond

L–R: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Gospelfest host Brendon Blackmon of MY9 News and Pastor Joe Carter of The New Hope Baptist Church, Newark

Photos: Kingdom

Ron Bailey, McDonalds owner/ operater and wife Jonnie

L–R: Rev. Gary Kirkwood, WKMB Radio; Dr. Albert Lewis, Gospel impresario and Melissa Prayer, WKMB

Gospel duo Mary Mary

June 2012 The Positive Community


Love is Enough for Joy Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy Helps Young People Develop a Sense of Dignity, Identity and Pride By Glenda Cadogan


t school she was every bit an American black youth who fully enjoyed the New York City experience. But at home in Jamaica, Queens, her life was very much Caribbean—minus the sun, sea and sand. These two realities informed not just who she is as a woman, but also as a community leader. Self identified as AmericanCaribbean-African, Kwayera Archer-Cunningham is the founding president of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, Inc., an arts and cultural organization dedicated to supporting the creative, educational and vocational development of youth and families of African descent. And with the strong influences from both sides of the Atlantic, Sister Kwayera — as she is affectionately called by her students — has made good use of her dual realities by taking her organization to national and international acclaim. “I was born in Brooklyn but my parents were from Jamaica and so I grew up in Jamaica, Queens and Jamaica, West Indies,” she explained. “I am blessed in that I had the best of both worlds. As a youth I really enjoyed living the urban city life. But then I also got to go to the country and appreciate aspects of community, family, culture and nature in another way. It was the best thing ever.” According to Sister Kwayera, her family ate, spoke and lived as though in the Caribbean. But her mother was also totally immersed in the social aspect of American life and frequently hosted charitable events for various causes. “I think this also helped shape my life in a real way,” she reflected.


The Positive Community June 2012

By the age of two, Sister Kwayera was put on destiny’s path when her mother enrolled her in formal modern dance classes. At 13, she entered Performing Arts School, made famous in both the movie and television show Fame, as a dance major and was on her way to becoming a professional dancer. Her dance with destiny continued when she became a member of the Jubilation Dance Company and began touring the world. But there were other influences from her home and community life that played a part in shaping Sister Kwayera and ultimately, Ifetayo. The most impactful came from her maternal grandmother, Ethel “Attie” Sweeney, who came to the United States in the late 50s with a meager $40 in her pocket and dreams as large as Lady Liberty. She was a seamstress by trade, but also cleaned toilets and floors to make a living, and scrimped and saved enough to eventually bring her entire family to America. “Grandmother Attie has been an unwavering influence in my life,” she said. “By the time I was 10, my grandmother had seven multi-residence buildings in Brooklyn that she rented and managed by herself. I saw her plaster walls and strip floors and she never complained. And in all things she put God first. She was spiritual to the point of frustration for me as a 10-year-old. But as I grew older I learned to appreciate her spirituality because it instilled a value system in me that is based on integrity, devotion and accountably to a Higher Power.”


Photos by Joan Marcus.

It is this value system Sister Kwayera now gets to share with the young people who pass through the doors of Ifetayo, the institution she founded for the purpose of investing in young people by providing programs in cultural awareness, performing and visual arts, academic instruction, health and wellness and professional skills development. “In the late 80s I decided to take three months off from touring to live and study in Kenya, East Africa,” she recalled. “But my stay there turned into one year living and studying among the Maasai people. I was very disturbed by the fact that the people whose homeland it was owned nothing that could spur economic stability or development. I decided that when I got back to America, I was either going into politics or starting an organization.” Wanting to remain true to her essence as an artist she did the latter and called it “Ifetayo,” which is a West African Yoruba word meaning “Love Is Enough for Joy.” “At the time when I looked at our community, what I saw lacking was love of self,” she continued. “I wanted a name that whenever people said it, they were affirming that the more they loved themselves, the more joy they would have in their lives.” The organization started in 1989 with 10 students in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. “I offered these students free dance classes and a hot meal for 10 weeks,” says Sister Kwayera. “By the end of that session I had 150 students and Ifetayo became known as a place of family where children were trained creatively and at the same time learned to develop community, ethnic and cultural pride.” Today Ifetayo services more than 2,000 students and their parents. In its Rites of Passage program, which has grown to about 200 children, every child 8-years and older is encouraged to have an individual development account where they save for college. In turn Ifetayo matches every dollar they save, two to one or four-one. “In our African Heritage Cultural Program we teach Caribbean, American and African history aimed at helping young people develop a sense of dignity, identity and pride,” she explained. “To us it is important that young people have the factual history about the accomplishments of their ancestors.” Ifetayo’s seven major programs include a youth ensemble that uses the arts to affect social justice change and a free African dance class for adults. Among the Maasai people there is a saying that “children are the bright moon,” meaning that they bring light into the home. In Central Brooklyn, the “bright moons” of Ifetayo are illuminating every sector of their communities. And with Sister Kwayera’s vision of setting up satellite sites in six different countries over the next 10 years, these “bright moons” will soon light up the world making love enough for joy!



GROupS (15+): 877-536-3437

June 2012 The Positive Community


A joyous musical celebration of African-American women from Bessie Smith to Mary J. Blige

“Sweet & Sassy!” -NY Times

WINNER 2011 Midtown International Theatre Festival

“A Winner!” -NY Beacon

Join us for our Thursday Post Show Talk Backs featuring surprise celebrity guests. More info at St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 W 46th St Thur 7 pm, Sat 1:30 & 4:30 pm, Sun 4:30 pm 212.239.6200 Special rates for groups call 212.977.5925


The Positive Community June 2012

Thessalonia Worship Center Celebrates 30th Pastoral Anniversary


o all of our partners in the vineyard, warriors in prayer, supporters of this faith journey and friends above task and titles: You and your intersecting presence have had a profound impact upon our lives here at the Thessalonia Church... We have, in fact, encountered dimensions of the world we could not have possibly anticipated thirty years ago. Our very being has been transformed, strengthened and challenged on

many levels. Our local, state, national and international involvements have shaped our perceptions and deepened our inner motivations and the scope of ministerial vision Thirty years of becoming is only possible through the intercession of the Lordship of Christ and the partnership of you, the believing servants of God. You took ownership and participated in the ever unfolding vision. Because of your shared life, the landscape has radically changed. —JNW

Rev. Dr. Shellie Sampson Jr. and First Lady Deloranzo Sampson Photos: Christella Watts

June 2012 The Positive Community


Ordination of Dr. Michael A. Baston


L–R: Bishop Sloan and Bishop Joe Williams

L–R: Prophetess Tasha S. Baston, Bishop T. McMillan, Bishop M. Baston Photos: Kingdom

he Episcopal Ordination of Dr. Michael A. Baston as Bishop and Presiding Prelate of Called to the Nations Covenant Churches International, Inc., and sacred service of consecration of Elder Tasha S. Baston as Prophetess was held on Saturday, May 5th, 2012 at the St. Luke Cathedral, 133-21 232nd St., Laurelton, NY. Called to the Nations Covenant Churches International, Inc. (CNCCI) is a non-denominational kingdomfocused community, which includes churches, pastors, and ministries in covenant for the purposes of empowering pastors, leaders and ministries of influence of spiritual authority who will effectively impact their congregations, communities, regions, and world for the Kingdom of God. Apostle John H. Boyd, Sr., senior pastor of the New Greater Bethel Ministries, Queens Village, NY, was the Chief Consecrator and Bishop Melvin L. Artis, senior pastor of the Greater Universal Highway Deliverance Church, St. Albans, NY, Bishop Richard D. Moore, senior pastor of the Holy United Cathedral, Jamaica, NY, and Bishop Le’Roy C. E. Newman, senior pastor of The Friendly Church of the Apostolic church, Jamaica, NY were the Co-Consecrators.

Bishop Michael A. Baston being vested by Bishop T. McMillan

The Three Sitting Bishops, L–R: Bishop M. Artis, Apostle J. H. Boyd, Sr. and Bishop L. C. Newman

Bishop Richard D. Moore L–R: Bishop Michael A. Baston with Apostle J. H. Boyd, Sr.


The Positive Community June 2012

The McKinneys Celebrate 40th Pastoral Anniversary at Calvary

L–R: Rev. Dr. Calvin McKinney and First Lady Brandalyn Photos: Darryl Hall


alvary Baptist Church of North Jersey at Garfield paid tribute to Rev. Calvin and First Lady Brendalyn McKinney on their 40th Pastoral Anniversary. A young and energetic native of Passaic, NJ, Rev. McKinney, accepted the call to serve as the 10th pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church of North Jersey at Garfield in 1972. At 40 years, his tenure is the longest in the church’s history. In the years since assuming the leadership of Calvary, Pastor McKinney continues to work diligently and faithfully to lead the membership in becoming a viable Christian witness, or as he would put it, “the light of the world and the salt of the earth.” This has been done through the reorganization of all auxiliaries and boards of Calvary into a six-fold ministry. In order to mature to such a level, Christian Education was and still is paramount in the life of Calvary. Under Pastor McKinney’s preaching, teaching and guidance, the people of Calvary have become a people who have been “Taught and Grown,” obligated to “Teach and Grow” others according to the word of God, the Holy Bible. On Sunday, March 19, 2006 the congregation left their old home, originally purchased for $3,500 and moved into their beautiful new $10 million state-ofthe-art edifice.

L-R: Rev. Dr. Kenneth D.R. Clayton, First Lady Dorothy Campbell and Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell

On the occasion of the 40th Pastoral Anniversary banquet celebration, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes II of Friendship West Baptist Church, Dallas TX was the guest preacher. At the celebratory services, Rev. Kenneth D. R. Clayton of the St. Luke Baptist Church of Paterson, NJ was the guest celebrant at the 7:30 a.m. hour and the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of Rainbow Push Coalition, Chicago, IL at the 10:45 a.m. worship experience. —JNW

L–R: Rev. Jeffrey Bryant, Rev. Shawn Wallace, Rev. Patrick Young FRONT L-R: Deaconess Pheobia Coleman, Sis. Nellie Suggs and Sis. Lillian Bullock BACK L-R: Deacon Rudolph Coleman and Deacon Ron Suggs.

Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor

Rev. McKinney escorts his daughter, Linda

L–R: Rev. Gadson Graham with Rev. Theresa Nance

Rev. Vernon Walton

Mrs. Brandalyn McKinney escorted by her sons Calvin and Terrence June 2012 The Positive Community



Flo Wiley is a disciple at Memorial Baptist Church, Harlem, NY.

JAZZ BY THE RIVERSIDE PRESENTS JAZZ & GOSPEL Friday, June 15, 8pm & 9:30pm The Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue, 10 Tower; Rev. Dr. Stephen Phelps, interim minister This monthly jazz series produced by singer Clarissa Sinceno presents a Father’s Day celebration of men with jazz and gospel in a sacred place featuring vocalists Lee Olive Tucker (pictured), Lady Leah, and Ms. Charlotte Eley, backed by the Roger Anderson Quartet. Their theme is “Harlem Divas and Homemade Cakes Jazz-liciously Good for Dads.” Tickets are $15 Advance, $20 at the Door.

Lee Olive Tucker

THE FIRST LADY: A DIFFERENT KIND OF GOSPEL PLAY Saturday, June 16, 3pm & 7:30pm Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts Brooklyn NY (near Junior’s) Written and directed by AUDELCO award winner Lawrence Floyd, this is a new gospel play with music that is set in “On Solid Rock,” a small storefront church in a small town. The play tells a story of infidelity, secrets, revelations and healing as the members, new and old, strive to adapt to a changing world and hold on to their church in the face of adversity and scandal. The play features (pictured) Taimak (Leroy Green from the cult classic, The Last Dragon) and Three Mo’ Tenors star, Ken Alston Jr. Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Johnson, Sr., senior pastor of Canaan Baptist Church of Christ has already bought a block of tickets to support Canaan talent in the play including marketing director TJ Johnson and


The Positive Community June 2012

Leroy Green plays the role of Taimak in Lawrence Floyd’s The First Lady.

actor Neil Dawson. The show is also playing in Garner NC on Sat June 23 and in Washington, D.C. on June 30. Tickets at $35 General Admission, $27.50 for Groups and Students with ID. For info and reservations call (917) 535 1112 or (718) 488 1624 and

A RESURRECTED BROTHERHOOD OF FAITH® Saturday, June 23, 6:00pm Memorial Baptist Church, 141 Bishop Preston R. Washington Sr. Place (W. 115 St.), NYC, Rev. Dr. Renee Washington Gardner, senior pastor Co-Written with Elijah Dessisso, and also directed by Flo Wiley, this one-act play features fourteen men of the Bible talking about life as Steadfast Men of Faith (1 Corinthians 15:28), the MBC Men’s theme for 2012. The cast includes Memorial disciples: Rev. David Brown; Rev. Thomas Goforth, M.D.; Reverend B. Dundee Holt; Minister Joseph Brown; Ministers-in-Training Jeffrey Smith and Brandon Washington, Deacons James Ford, Eddie Parker Jr. and Gregory Smith; Walking Deacons Robert Newland and Vincent Shelton; and Brothers Anthony Franklin, Tony Rodriguez and Kerry Smith. Doors open at 5pm. For information and reservations: (212) 663-8830, Tickets are $10. If you are interested in having your arts activities mentioned in this column, or if you would like to know how to start an arts ministry at your church, please contact me at

GDH_positivecom_2012a_Layout 1 6/13/12 11:28 AM Page 1


Tribute to

Hal Jackson

Debi B & Hal with Stevie Wonder

Michael Jackson with Hal

Etta James with Hal

John Legend with Hal

“A Great Day

in Harlem”

Sunday, July 29th • 11 AM until 9 PM at U.S. Grant National Memorial Park • W. 122 nd St. & Riverside Drive

Debi B “Mrs. Hal Jackson” • A Salute to Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens • Past participants included:

Featuring: A Special Tribute to

Alicia Keys • Jada Pinkett-Smith • Alyson Williams • Vanessa Williams, etc. • Recognizing On-Air Radio Personalities mentored by Hal including: Clay Berry • Imhotep Gary Byrd • Vaughn Harper • Ken “Spider” Webb • Bob Slade • Vy Higgensen • Felix Hernandez • Pat Prescott • Bobby Jay, etc. • With a Special

“Concert Under the Stars”Featuring:

R&B • Jazz • Classics • Gospel •Blues, etc • Musical salutes to Hal Jackson

Brought to you by:

For info. on Partnering or Co-sponsoring this event or other HARLEM WEEK events call Mr. Causey. Toll free number 1-877-427-5364 Great Exhibitors & Vendors All Day Long • For Vendor Info please call RJ at (212) 862 - 8477 or e-mail

Inspirational Eric LeGrand Honored at East Orange General Hospital Gala L–R: Ball of the Oranges honoree Eric LeGrand pictured, from left, with East Orange General Hospital President and CEO Kevin Slavin, Eric’s mother Karen LeGrand, hospital Trustee Board Chairman Leonard Murray II and hospital Foundation Board Chairman Todd Brower, Esq.


ore than 300 people paid tribute to Rutgers University student athlete Eric LeGrand at East Orange General Hospital’s annual Ball of the Oranges gala. Hosted by East Orange General’s Foundation, the black-tie fund raising event was held at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange. A standout defensive player for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team, Eric’s life changed instantaneously on October 16, 2010 when he fell motionless on the field after tackling an opposing player. Originally paralyzed from the neck down, his lengthy rehabilitation at nearby Kessler Institute and ongoing recovery have captured admiration and respect from all corners of the world. Sports Illustrated readers voted Eric’s inspirational journey the most memorable story of 2011. “Eric LeGrand represents the best that this state has to offer and it was fitting to have him be a part of our celebration,” said East Orange General President and CEO Kevin Slavin. “His selfless attitude, smile, and ongoing recovery from his injury have inspired millions to believe that anything is possible when we never lose faith and the will to achieve.” A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the Eric LeGrand Believe Fund for the purpose of assisting Eric and his family during his continued recovery, proceeds from the evening will also provide funding for vital patient services at the hospital, including behavioral health programs. Past Ball of the Oranges honorees have included recording artist Dionne Warwick, N.Y. Giant’s Super Bowl hero David Tyree, State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Olympic track champion Joetta Clark Diggs. One the evening’s highlights came via a videotaped message from former Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano, now head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Schiano praised LeGrand’s courage and determination, while applauding East Orange General’s physicians and nurses for their noble mission of care excellence and compassion.


The Positive Community June 2012

Morgan Patrick and Stephen Council Wed


organ Patrick of Burlington, NJ, the daughter of Lucrecia Patrick and Todd Flowers and Stephen Gladstone Council of Plainfield, NJ, the son of Adrian and Lynda Council were joined in holy matrimony on April 22. Minister Diane Rasbury of the Community Church of God, Plainfield, NJ officiated. College sweethearts, the two met as freshmen at Stony Brook University where both were Division-1 scholar-athletes—women’s basketball and football. In their senior year, each were elected by their fellow athletes to lead as captain of their respective teams before graduating together in 2009. After seven years together they call Ewing, New Jersey their home. Stephen is a personal banker at JP Morgan Chase. Morgan is a researcher at the Public Health Management Corporation in Philadelphia.

always exciting.



38 years of defining the independent film experience



June 20, 7 pm — Newark Museum

July 11, 7 pm — Newark Museum

Next Wave Nigeria

African-American History Remembered

Fold, Crumple, Crush: The Art of El Anatsui Speakers: Susan Vogel & Christa Clarke Hosts: Gloria H. Buck & Mary Sue Price

The Contradictions of Fair Hope Speaker: S. Epatha Merkerson Hosts: Wilma J. Grey & Bobby Shepard

July 18, 7 pm — Newark Museum

Reception & Exhibition Tour Following the screening, join us for a reception and exhibition viewing of Expanding Africa at the Newark Museum: New Visions, New Galleries. RSVP to 973.596.6550 or

June 27, 7 pm — Newark Museum 20th Anniversary


Speaker: Warrington Hudlin Hosts: Richard Wesley, Gloria H. Buck & Lisa Payne

Education For All

The First Grader Speaker: Richard Harding Hosts: Dr. Clement A. Price & Tynesha A. McHarris

YOuth CINEMA Monday, July 9, 10:30 am — The Newark Public Library Wednesday, July 11, 1 pm — Newark Museum • Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears • A Story, A Story • Who’s in Rabbit’s House? Monday, July 16, 10:30 am — The Newark Public Library Wednesday, July 18, 1 pm — Newark Museum

July 25, 7 pm — New Jersey Institute of Technology A Sister, A Brother Behind the Camera

CAUTION! Heartache Ahead Speaker: Dornycya Suggs

Minds of Men Speaker: Dr. Usman Sharif Hosts: Dr. Theodore Johnson & LeRoy Henderson

• Lemonade for Sale • Tar Beach • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

pAuL ROBESON AWARDS August 1, 7 pm — CityPlex 12 Newark 4:30 pm Reception & Award Ceremony at the Newark Museum RSVP to 973.596.6550 or LONG DOCUMENTARY


• Winner The Contradictions of Fair Hope • Honorable Mention All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert

• Winner The Destiny of Lesser Animals • Honorable Mention Probable Cause


• Winner 1st & 4EVER • Honorable Mention Missing Host: Richard Wesley

(Mondays & Wednesdays) Monday, July 23, 10:30 am — The Newark Public Library Wednesday, July 25, 1 pm — Newark Museum • Shrinking Violet • Three Cheers for Catherine the Great! • Giraffes Can’t Dance • Amazing Grace Monday, July 30, 10:30 am — The Newark Public Library Wednesday, August 1, 1 pm — Newark Museum & CityPlex 12 • Cinderella Wednesday, August 8, 1 pm — Newark Museum • Duck for President • Galimoto • The Honest-to-Goodness Truth Wednesday, August 15, 1 pm — Newark Museum • Einstein: Light to the Power of 2

SCREENINg LOCAtIONS AND gROup RESERvAtIONS Newark Museum — 973.596.6550 New Jersey Institute of technology — 973.596.3000 the Newark public Library — 973.733.7797 Cityplex 12 Newark — 973.642.5555 The Newark Black Film Festival is made possible by


• Winner The Tombs • Honorable Mention Keeper of the Flame EXPERIMENTAL

• Winner DAR HE: The Lynching of Emmett Till

On-site Museum parking available.

Photo: LaVelle Finerson

By Keith L. Forest

Making Christ-Likeness the Standard for Manhood Men of the International Christian Brotherhood Crossover to Christ-centered lives L–R: Micha Field Rocky Walker & Rodney Patterson.

ICB Grand Chapter Director Minister Onorio Chaparro

Photos: Brian Francis


n Saturday, June 2, The International Christian Brotherhood held its 2012 Crossover. Over 172 men made a public commitment to continue to uphold Christ-Likeness as their standard for manhood. The festive dedication ceremony took place at Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, NY. Family and friends packed the sanctuary. Wives and mothers gave moving testimonies thanking the fraternal organization for the change and improvement in their loved ones’ lives. “I thank ICB for all that it is doing,” said Sharon Webb, wife of third year member Gregory Webb. “My husband is a great role model for our family. He brings strength and is not a quitter.” Founded by Pastor A.R. Bernard, International Christian Brotherhood is dedicated to strengthening, partnering and establishing men’s ministries around the world. Under the leadership of Minister Onorio Chaparro, director of the New York Grand Chapter, ICB seeks to train men in Christ-likeness as the standard of manhood. "We believe that Jesus Christ is the source of our life and the true example of what it means to be a man of integrity.” The organization takes on this mandate through a challenging three-year manhood training curriculum based and rooted in biblical principles. As part of the ICB pledge process men ranging in


The Positive Community June 2012

L–R Top: Youth Pastor Jamaal Bernard, New ICB member Terrance Singletary, ICB Member Kajuan Hall, L–R Bottom: Rita Bernard (Jamaal’s Wife) and their children

age from 21 to 70 are taken on a three year spiritual journey. After their first year, pledges are presented with a fraternal pin. The pin is the first level of membership and acknowledges a brother being part of a strong weekly fellowship of committed men; participation in weekly studies rooted in biblical principles; submission to a strong band of support through prayer cords; embracing ICB’s fraternal oath and entering a new level of life in Christ. Second and third year brothers continue matriculating in small group settings, bi-weekly leadership meetings and participating in various volunteer efforts within their communities. "Our goal is to provide opportunities for the men to serve the community through outreach initiatives in the marketplace,” said Patrick Myers, ICB Community Service Liaison. “This gives them a chance to present Christ in Culture.” After successful completion, second year brothers are presented with a blazer symbolizing a coat of arms. The third year brothers qualify for an ICB fraternal ring recognizing the completion of the paradigm which symbolizes the unbroken circle of eternity and dedication to a lifestyle of upward accountability, transparency and a commitment to mentoring other men. The International Christian Brotherhood motto is “We train men.”

newark museum presents:

jazz in the garden

06.2808.02.2012 from


Thursdays, 12:15 – 1:45 pm Rain or shine

Photo: Eric Barbara

2012 Summer Concert Series

06.28 07.05 07.12 07.19 07.26 08.02 For performers’ biographical information, visit

Official Airline

Jeremy Pelt – trumpeter Akua Dixon – cellist Steven Kroon – percussionist

always exciting.

Gregory Generet – vocalist David Gibson* – The DG Organ 4tet Rhoda Scott – organist

*Sponsored by William Paterson University, Summer Jazz Program web

49 washington street, newark, new jersey 973.596.6550 711



On-site parking available

Media Sponsors Save Big! Visit

Positive Community

Co-hosted by the Newark Museum Business & Community Council


Congregants Celebrate Rev. Reginald T. Jackson


t. Matthew A.M.E. congregation members, family and friends gathered on April 22, 2012 to celebrate the birthday of pastor and leader, Rev. Reginald T. Jackson. A musical tribute lead by Grammy Award-winning gospel producer Rev. Milton Biggham of Mt. Vernon B.C. in Newark was highlight of the evening. Rev. Jackson has pastored St. Mathew, A.M.E. in Orange NJ since 1981. He also serves as the executive director of the Black Ministers’ Council of New Jersey (BMC), which represents more than 600 African American churches in the state. His leadership of BCA in the fight against racial profiling and reform of the New Jersey State Police resulted in the passing of legislation making racial profiling a crime in New Jersey. —JNW Photos: Darryl Hall

L–R: Rev. Jackson with Rev. J. Stanley Justice

L–R: First Lady Christy Davis-Jackson and Rev. Reginald T. Jackson

L–R: Rev. Hughes, Rev. Tamoya Buckley and Rev. Vanessa Perry

Rev. Leonard Santucci

Minister Donald Malloy

L–R: Hon. Wayne Smith, mayor of Irvington, NJ and guest.

Rev. Milton Biggham


Mt. Vernon B.C. Choir, Voices on the Mount

The Positive Community June 2012


The Last Frontier for African Americans The Number of Blacks on the Operatic Stage Grows After A Long History By g.r. mattox

. . . What should be the requisites for writing good Negro opera—or a good opera about Negroes—which is an altogether different affair? Both must be a musical recounting of a good story of Negro life dominated by Negro thought. If the operatic technique is sound, no matter what the musical idiom, the result can be a good opera about Negroes. A good Negro opera, however must be not only good opera but must be written in an authentic Negro musical language and sung and acted in a characteristic Negro style. —Porgy and Bess—A Folk Opera? By Hall Johnson


hen it comes to classical music, although there are several examples of composers, entrepreneurs and performers, the number of blacks is comparatively small. Smaller still are the numbers of black people in opera. Long considered an art form of the elite, wealthy and European, it’s been difficult for blacks to break into this genre. Nevertheless, there are those who have made a significant contribution to the art form, and in these modern times the number is growing Opera Pioneers Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George, the son of a former slave and a French plantation owner, was one of the earliest musicians of the classical genre. He made his fame and fortune in the 16th century at the court of Louis XV as an accomplished violinist who composed symphonies, operas and chamber music and conducted the works of contemporaries Haydn and Mozart.


The Positive Community June 2012

Studying under Queen Victoria’s Chapel Royal organist, former slave Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield was considered the bestknown black classical concert artist of her time. Dubbed “the Black Swan” by her fans, her three-octave vocal range dazzled the Queen in a command performance in 1854. The first American music label to be owned and implemented by black Americans was named “Black Swan Records” in her honor. Blacks in America first made their debut in the world of opera staging and production in 1873, when barber William T. Benjamin organized the Colored American Opera, the first opera company in the nation’s capital. In its inaugural year, the company produced The Doctor of Alcantara, by the German-born composer Julius Eichbert, raising $75,000 toward the building of St Augustine Roman Catholic Church and School. Around 1888 the manager of the famous Italian soprano Adelina Patti heard Sisseretta Jones Sisseretta Jones sing and recommended that she tour the West Indies with the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Jones made successful tours of the Caribbean in 1888 and 1892. That same year Jones, who by that time was known as “The Black Patti,” performed at the White House for President Benjamin Harrison and eventually sang before the next four U.S. Presidents and the British royal family. Inroads by blacks into the world of classical music and opera were hampered by segregation. Boulogne, known as the “black Mozart,” was refused the opportunity to head the Paris Opera

BLACKMUSICMONTH because performers refused to take orders from a mulatto. The first black to work at the Metropolitan Opera, renowned vocal coach Sylvia Olden Lee, described how her mother was offered a chance to sing there in 1912, if she would just “forget about being colored.” Soprano Caterina Jarboro lost the title role in Aida in the 1930s and Paul Robeson did not get the opportunity to appear in the operatic version of Emperor Jones for similar reasons. A Slow Evolution Blessed with a breathtaking contralto voice, Marian Anderson spent most of her career performing with famous orchestras throughout America and Europe, only to be refused permission to sing at Constitution Hall by The Daughters of the American Revolution. However, with the aid of President and Mrs. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson declined most operatic roles because she had no training in acting. Her only operatic stage performance was that of Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschrera at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955 and was the first time a black person sang at the Met. Anderson’s nephew, James Anderson DePriest, is among the few African American conductors on the classical concert stage and was the first African American to conduct an entire program series with the National Symphony of Washington. Currently principal conductor at New York’s Juilliard School, he received the National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush in 2005. Soon after the Met hired Marian Anderson, baritone Robert McFerrin debuted in the role of Amonasro in Aida. The ranks of black opera singers began to grow, and many are familiar with individuals like Mattiwilda Dobbs, who debuted at Italy’s premier opera, La Scala, in 1953, Leontyne Price, William Warfield, Shirley Verrett, Simon Estes, Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman. Modern times A significant breakthrough in the world of opera came when Scott Joplin’s ragtime opera, Treemonisha, came to Broadway. Originally completed in 1910, it was not performed in its entirety until 1972. Because of those who broke ground, African Americans today have come far in the world of opera, making their mark in that genre by performing in various high-profile venues and even starting opera companies of their own. The first such example is the National Negro Opera Company, which was organized under the direction of Mary Cardwell Dawson in Pittsburgh, PA in 1941. Recent companies include Opera Ebony,

Noah Stewart

which was founded in 1973, Opera Noire of New York, and the Los Angeles-based Opera Noir. Earlier this year Harlem native, Noah Stewart became the first black singer to have a #1 album on the classical charts in the United Kingdom. The self-titled work, Noah, which will be released in the US on July 3, gave him the chance to put his mark on a wide range of music, giving some breathtaking renditions of operatic pieces, American spirituals and Top 40 hits. The 33-year old tenor is already a veteran of the operatic stage, appearing in productions including Puccini’s LaBoheme, Il Tabarro’ and Tosca, John Adams’ A Flowering Tree, and Strauss’ Salome. “Part of the reason I chose the discipline is because growing up, everyone wanted to be a pop singer or a Broadway singer and I thought that was so much safer than opera. Also, I didn’t see a tremendous amount of people of color in classical music and opera and I thought I’d try to make a contribution,” he said in a recent NPR interview. “We leaned toward European music in the beginning, but now people are beginKevin ning to write more, integrating some musiMaynor cal styles, including jazz, into the operatic style,” said Gwen Moten, who heads Theater World Music Company. The former head of Cultural Affairs for the city of Newark, Moten’s distinguished performing and vocal training career spans from Broadway performer to college instructor, concert artist to choral trainer, and she says there is more to blacks being a part of the opera world than singing on stage. “We all can’t be on the stage and in the limelight,” she said. “We need to be a part of every aspect of the total production, from composers to producers to stage hands, and be a part of those organizations that make decisions.” The newest chapter of opera is right in our own area. Trilogy, An Opera Company was launched in Newark in 2006, performing full operatic productions dramatizing the lives of Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. “We focus on the works of black composers and subject matter related to it, and that’s it. There are so many wonderful black composers that are not heard,” said Founder and Artistic Director Kevin Maynor. “It made us rather unique.” A well-known singer with a marvelous, deep bass voice, Mayor is known around the world. He says Trilogy is forging ahead in its current season with operas illustrating the lives of poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Haitian dictator François “Papa Doc” Duvalier and Paul Robeson. Trazana Beverley will direct and Julius Williams conduct the Paul Lawrence Dunbar offering; Papa Doc will be written by playwright Richard Wesley with music composed by Dorothy Rudd Moore. T.J. Anderson is writing the music and one of the first African American women to direct Off-Broadway, Shauneille Perry, will direct the first opera on the life of Paul Robeson for the opera company. Its debut is scheduled for next summer. The company is just putting the finishing touches on its own orchestra, with the working name “Taoc Archeste,” which it will debut this season. “We’re really excited about this season, because this season is what we’re all about,” said Maynor. “The subject matter is dead center inside the black experience, we are using a host of wonderful writers, directors and composers and we are doing new works. It’s a great undertaking, but we’re up to the challenge.” June 2012 The Positive Community


By R. L. Witter

The Warmth of Other Suns Isabel Wilkerson Chronicles African-American Migration


sabel Wilkerson spent 15 years working on her historical account, The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (Random House, 2010), and interviewed more than 1,200 people. Eventually, she intertwined a general history of the migration with the personal stories of three people: Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper’s wife from Mississippi; George Swanson Starling, a farm worker from Florida; and Joseph Pershing Foster, a doctor from Louisiana. Gladney went to Chicago in the 1930s, Starling to New York City in the 1940s and Foster drove from Louisiana to Los Angeles in the 1950s. Wilkerson took her book’s title from a poem by Richard Wright, who was himself an African-American migrant from Mississippi to Chicago in the 1920s: . . . I was taking a part of the South To transplant in alien soil . . . Respond to the warmth of other suns And, perhaps, to bloom. “What I wanted to do was tell the comprehensive story of what it was like to be living in the South at the time that this migration began, which would give us an indication of why they might have left,” Wilkerson told PBS’ Jeffrey Brown. “There are six million different reasons why they left… I wanted to have people picture themselves in it —picture themselves in those circum-


The Positive Community June 2012

stances and to try to think, ‘What might I have done?’” Wilkerson set out to answer that question herself by attempting to drive non-stop from Louisiana to California as Dr. Foster, one of the subjects of the book, had done during his migration in the days of flagrant segregation. “I actually rented a Buick, as he had, and drove from Louisiana to California,” she reflected. “And I could only make it to Yuma, Arizona, before having to stop. I wanted to feel what happens to the body, what happens to the fingers that have been gripping the wheel for so long, your eyes getting so heavy that they begin to ache...” The Warmth of Other Suns has won several awards and honors, including the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the 2011 Hillman Book Prize, the 2011 Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, the 2011 Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize, the Independent Literary Award for Nonfiction, the Horace Mann Bond Book Award from Harvard University, the NAACP Image Award for best literary debut and was shortlisted for the 2011 Pen-Galbraith Literary Award for Nonfiction and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Most recently, the Rutgers Living History Society presented Wilkerson with its Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award. “I raced against the clock to gather the experiences of people who were part of the Great Migration… Continued on next page


Continued from previous page before it was too late. This award is validation for the 15 years it took to complete… and I am honored to have been chosen as winner of an award that bears the name of one of our country's great historians” she said. Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting. Wilkerson also won the George Polk Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and she was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. She has taught at Princeton University and Emory University. She is currently a professor of journalism and director of narrative nonfiction at Boston University. During the Great Migration, her parents journeyed from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington, D.C., where she was born and raised. In receiving the Ambrose Award, Wilkerson joins historians Michael and Elizabeth Norman, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay, documentarian Ken Burns, journalist Rick Atkinson, the late journalist Studs Terkel, film maker Steven Spielberg, and broadcaster Tom Brokaw. The Warmth of Other Sons is highly recommended reading as part of our “Countdown to Freedom,” the examination of the 150 years following the Emancipation Proclamation.

June 2012 The Positive Community


Bronx Week Expands to

10 Days


orough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation and the Bronx Tourism Council kicked off Bronx Week on May 10, 2012. Now a 10-day event, celebrations and community events continued through May 20 when actor/model Tyson Beckford, Hip Hop mogul Fat Joe, cinematographer Sol Negrin and jazz pianist and composer Valerie Capers---all hailing from the Bronx---were inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame. Later in the day, the annual Parade, Food & Art Festival and Concert on Mosholu Parkway attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from throughout the area. Other events, included a week-long film festival, the borough’s first solar energy conference, the usual Centenarian Celebration, Bronx Bankers Breakfast, Urban Farms Trolley, Senior Day and the Bronx Ball.

L–R: Rapper Fat Joe with Ruben Diaz

L–R: Actor Tyson Beckford with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

NYC Coumcilman Larry Seabrook (left), NYS Sen Ruben Diaz Sr. (right) and constituent

L–R: Rangel with NYC Councilmember Inez Dickens Photos: Seitu Oronde


The Positive Community June 2012






E! M




David Alan



premiere destination for the Man of Distinction.

Fine Men’s Suits

Sweaters Shirts Ties Cufflinks Custom Tailoring Wardrobe and Image Consulting Women’s Suits and Shirts available

B. Oyama 23127th 7thAve. Ave.@@ 136th St. 2330 137th Street NYC, NY 10030 212-234.5128


Us M n A c


AM the

“A big hit! An indispensAble ticket!” — The New York Times | 877-250-2929 RICHARD RODGERS THEATRE, 226 West 46th Street • June 2012 The Positive Community

Photo by Michael J. Lutch




Omega Psi Phi Worships Together

Golden Krust at Terrace Ballroom Photo: Wali Amin Muhammad Photo: Kingdom

L–R: Adrian Council, Candice Richards, NSH Interim Director Leon Denmark, Star Ledger Marketing Director and board chair at NSH Bob Provost and Mrs. Provost

Leaders of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, inc-Epsilon Chapter, recently worshipped at First Corinthian BC in Harlem



olden Krust Caribbean Bakeries marketing and public relations manager, Candice Richards recently visited Newark Symphony Hall’s Terrace Ballroom to check-out Soul Line Dance and Game Night.


APR. 8 MAY •• JUNE July 1310 APR. 8 ••13 MAY•13 13Aug JUNE 10 Friday, Friday, 5:00 5:00 pm pm –– 12:00 12:00 am am Terrace Ballroom JAN. 14 •• FEB. 11 •• M Terrace Ballroom JAN. 14 FEB. 11 M Scrumptious Dinners Available by Eclectic Catering • Music by DJ Joe Smith

Scrumptious Scrumptious Dinners Dinners Available Available All All Evening Evening Line Dance Lessons with Kenny J: 5:00 Line Dance Lessons with Kenny J: 5:00 -- 7:00 7:00 pm pm

EVENING: $ 5.00 Ladies Gentlemen Admission Before ($10 Ladies and andADMISSION Gentlemen Free FreeALL Admission Before 7pm 7pm ($10 After After 7pm) 7pm) Raffl e Prizes ● $5 Wine ● $5 Beer ● $3 Drink Specials Raffle Prizes ● $5 Wine ● $5 Beer ● $3 Drink Specials

Tickets can be purchased at the Newark Symphony Hall Box Office located at 1030 Broad St. Newark, NJ Tickets can be purchased at the Newark Symphony Hall Box Office located at 1030 Broad St. Newark, NJ For information call: (973) 643-8014 or For information call: (973) 643-8014 or


The Positive Community June 2012

CMIT Solutions Make Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts


e received a great deal of positive feedback regarding the “Keyboard Shortcuts” QuickTip we’ve sent out recently. However, did you know that you aren’t limited to just the shortcuts that come pre-configured in Windows? Read on and learn how to create your own custom keyboard shortcuts for any program you choose!

In this example, we’ll create a key combination for iTunes. Right-click on the iTunes program icon to reveal the context menu:

Select “Properties” (NOT “Create shortcut”) and you’ll see a box that looks like this: Click on the text box to the right of “Shortcut key:” and press the key combination you wish to assign to iTunes. In this instance, we’ve chosen “Shift + Alt + I.” If you wish, you can use the dropdown menu next to “Run:” to tell Windows to run the program in a Normal window, Maximized, or Minimized. Click “OK” and test your new keyboard shortcut.

Got Computer Questions?

Next time you want to open iTunes, all you have to do is press “Shift + Alt + I.”

CMIT Solutions has the answers to all your technology questions, from Windows tips and tricks to malware protection to cloud computing.

Cecil Cates 973.325.3663

Contact us for a free, no-obligation technology assessment, and you’ll understand why CMIT Solutions is the trusted technology advisor for 1000s of small businesses across the nation.

CMIT Solutions of Northern Union County 55 Union Avenue Suite 114 Summit, NJ 07901

June 2012 The Positive Community


New York Free Summer Events Brooklyn Museum, New York The Brooklyn Museum is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. Its world-renowned permanent collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures. 1st Saturday of the month 5 to 11pm

The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York With a long tradition of presenting programs that address prevalent issues in contemporary art by artists of African descent. The Museum's Education and Public Programs department offers a range of programs that engage artists, writers, scholars and critics. Every Sunday noon to 6pm

Carnegie Hall, New York For more than 35 years, Carnegie Hall has partnered with local organizations to bring classical, jazz, and world music performances to neighborhoods in all five boroughs of New York City. Neighborhood Concert Series, Concerts in all five boroughs through June 2012 and September 2012

Wave Hill, New York A spectacular 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades in the Bronx, Wave Hill's vibrant landscape is one of the most beautiful spots in New York City. Every Tuesday and Saturday morning 9 am to noon

Children's Museum of Manhattan New York CMOM inspires children and families to learn about themselves and our culturally diverse world through a unique environment of interactive exhibitions and programs. 1st Friday of the month 5 to 8pm Lincoln Center, New York Performances feature national and international touring artists as well as local artists from around the New York metropolitan area. Every Thursday night 8:30 to 9:30pm Queens Museum of Art, New York Artistic and educational programs and exhibitions that directly relate to contemporary urban life while maintaining the highest standards of professional, intellectual, and ethical responsibility. Friday nights 7/6/2012 to 8/31/2012 6:30 to 10pm

New York Botanical Garden On Wednesdays and Saturday mornings you can gain access to the 250-acres of the New York Botanical Garden for free. This summer, the Garden is recreating some of Monet's most famous paintings. All-day Wednesday; 10 am - 11 am Saturdays Washington Square Music Festival Need a mid-week break during the dead-heat of summer? Head over to Washington Square Park on Tuesdays for free tunes. The music varies, but will play most closely to the park's roots: jazz, easy listening. Tuesdays in July 8 pm

New York Botanical Gardens

The Museum of Modern Art, New York Dedicated to the conversation between the past and the present, the established and the experimental, their mission is helping you understand and enjoy the art of our time. Every Friday night 4 to 8pm


The Positive Community June 2012

New Jersey Free Summer Events trees and have a picnic in the picnic area The Newark Black Film Festival (NBFF) newarkblackfilmfestival Adult screenings begin Wednesday, June 20, with a six-week run ending on August 1 (No screening July 4th). Youth Cinema takes place Mondays at the Newark Public Library starting July 9, and Wednesdays at the Newark Museum starting July 11. The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens Mountainside park, Upper Montclair, NJ Hilly terrain and wondrous homes are the setting for this beautiful park. See over 4,000 varieties of Irises. Because of its stunning visual and historical appeal, the "Iris Gardens" has been designated a National Historic Site. The best time to view most in bloom is late May into June. Fort Hancock Historic District, Sandy Hook NJ The Sandy Hook Lighthouse was constructed in 1764 to control shipwrecks off the coast of Sandy Hook. It is still in use today, and is the nation's oldest lighthouse. The Park is open daily, sunrise to sunset and is free, but if you drive, you must pay the Sandy Hook beach parking fees. David C. Shaw Arboretum, Freehold NJ Open daily, from 8 am to dusk. See many cultivars of plants and

Sandy Hook Lighthouse

Princeton Art Museum, Princeton University One of the nation's leading art museums, with collections ranging from ancient to contemporary, concentrating geographically on the Mediterranean regions, Western Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1-5pm. Palisades Interstate Park, Alpine, NJ Designated a National Historic Landmark, this park features more than 30 miles of hiking trails with great views of the Palisades, the Hudson River, and the New York skyline along the way, a scenic riverside drive, riverfront picnic areas, historic sites, and more. Fort Lee Historic Park and Visitor Center Hudson Terrace Fort Lee, New Jersey 201 461-1776 The Visitor Center is at the heart of the Historic Park, providing information on the role of Fort Lee in the American Revolution. Two floors of displays present the story of how General Washington was forced to evacuate the area in November of 1776 and lead his famous “Retreat to Victory” across New Jersey at the end of 1776. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm. Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ The historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal (CRRNJ sits prominently at the north end of the park. Liberty Walk links the picnic area, Interpretive Center and the CRRNJ Terminal while presenting visitors with a sweeping view of the Hudson River, and the western portion is dominated by the state-of-the-art Liberty Science Center. It’s also the only location in New Jersey with Ferry service to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Daily 6am-10pm. Branch Brook Park, Newark, NJ Visit historic sites such as the Prudential Lions, the Octagon Shelter and the park's unique bridges. Bike, walk or jog on miles of pathways. Skate at the roller rink, or play baseball, bocce, tennis or softball on new and improved fields and courts. Enjoy concerts, movies or dancing under the stars. Daily, dawn-10pm.

June 2012 The Positive Community


F R it i t e F R it i t e F it Rite Fit R


Serving the metro area for F A S H I O more thanthe 80the years. SSeerving rving metro area for metro area for CLO THI NG FO R W OM EN

more than 80 years. CLO THIyears. NG FO R more than 80

GOSPEL TOP TEN R. Kelly- Share My Love John Legend- Tonight Anthony Hamilton- Pray For Me Kem- You're On My Mind Usher- Climax Jill Scott- So Blessed Estelle- Thank You Mary J. Blige- Mr. Wrong Beyoncé- Love On Top Tank- Next Breath 82

The Positive Community June 2012

• Coats • Suits • Dresses • Sportswear • Accessories Hats• •Dresses Shoes ••Sportswear Lingerie • Coats • • Suits • Bridal • Mother ofSuits the•Bride Sizes •• Coats • ••Dresses Accessories Hats Lingerie • Coats •••Suits •Shoes Dresses •6-56 Sportswear • All• Major Credit Cards Accepted Bridal • Mother of the Bride • Sizes 6-56 • Accessories Hats • Shoes • Lingerie • Instant FinanCredit cing • • All Major Cards Accepted •• Sportswear • Safe, Secure,FiFree Adjacent to the Store • Bridal of the Bride • Sizes 6-56 Instant n•anMother cParking ing • Accessories


Serving the metro area for more than 80 years.

Secure, Free Parking Adjacent to the Store •• Safe, All Major Credit Cards Accepted F•A L L Shoes S P •ELingerie CIAL • Hats Instant• Fi nancing F A L L S P E C IadA L• Sportswear • CoatsOff • Suits •this Dresses 15% with • Safe, Secure, Free Parking Adjacent to the Store Expires 11/30/07 15% Off with this ad • Accessories • Hats • • Bridal Expires • Sizes 6-56 Shoes • Lingerie 11/30/07

Bridal of the Bride • Sizes 465• Av FSpringfield AL• LMother Se.P EC IA L 6-56 AveCards . •465 Bride Newark, NJof the •Mother AllSpringfield Major Credit Accepted with this ad 97Newark, 3.623.52NJ 56 g 9•73Instant .623.52Fi 5Expires 6nancin11/30/07 • All Major ww•w.Safe, fitriSecure, tefashiFree ons.Parking com Adjacent to the Store wCredit ww.fitCards ritefaAccepted

15% Off

465 Springfield Ave. • Instant Newark, F A Financing L NJ L SPECIAL 973.623.5256

15% Off

• Safe, Secure, Free Parkingwith this ad Adjacent to theExpires Store 11/30/07

465 Springfield Ave. Newark, NJ 973.623.5256

Discount Tickets available at

PC_12.indd 1

June 22 - Dollar Night June 27 - Kids Go FREE July 2 - Cheap, Cheap Night June 29 & July 6 - Midnight Madness July 8 - Patron Appreciation Day




Circus MAXIMUS Live Shark Encounter Big Cat Show Racing Pigs Master Hypnotist Steve Bayner Festival of Magic Educational Petting Zoo Fabulous Fireworks on July 3 & 4 *FREE With Admission Concerts




SpEcial pRicing:






ViSiT for More great Bargains!

paRKing: Mon., Tues. & Wed. - FREE Thurs. - Sun. & Jul 4 - $4

through June 21

Opening night - $1

(201) 503-8083

5/22/12 3:17:13 PM

GET YOUR COPY or send a gift to a friend...

SAFE, SECURE, AFFORDABLE! The State of New York Mortgage Agency offers: • 30 & 40 year fixed mortgages • down payment assistance • no points




July/August Harlem Summer Issue

To Advertise Call: 973-233-9200 or Email: for rates & deadlines


veco www.thepositi 8 Vol. 9, No.

May 2009


Mentoring ine Medicin e Installs id rs ve Ri Minister New Senior Good News from Haiti


issues for $20.00

Heritage Parade

Upcoming Special Issue!



Davis ins, Sampson t, George Jenk Rameck Hun (L–R) Drs.

A family publication you’ll be proud to have in your about the progress and development of the contemporary church community, plus entertainment, health, education, reviews, business, and much much more...delivered monthly. Join the Roll Call to progress. For bulk delivery to your church or organization. Call 973-233-9200 Send check or money order to: The Positive Community, 133 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042 Subscribe online at


The Positive Community June 2012

A Magnificent Tribute to Andy McCloud …By Cicely Tyson School Jazz Band

By Risasi Dais


ndy McCloud was a marvelous musician. A bassist, he loved jazz and made playing it his life’s work. Born in Newark, New Jersey and raised in nearby East Orange, McCloud was a star defensive end on his high school football team and though he studied English Literature in college, upon graduation he actively pursued a career as a full time jazz musician. He went on to play with many of the great jazz musicians including Lee Morgan, Sonny Fortune, Mary Lou Williams, McCoy Tyner and Dizzy Gillespie and played frequently with Amiri Baraka’s musical group Blu-Ark. He received a Grammy Award for his work with the first Elvin Jones jazz machine. Andy traveled with Broadway shows, “Black and Blue” and “Dinah.” He later worked with tap dance wiz Savion Glover and his tap ensemble, which included amazing tap dancers Maurice Chestnut and Marshall Davis. Andy McCloud was a great influence in the development of many young musicians in his home town through his work as an Artist-In-Residence from 1995 to 2009 in two arts-themed schools in East Orange: Washington Academy of Music and Cicely Tyson School of the Performing Arts. McCloud died on May 24, 2010 at 61 years of age. So it was only appropriate that the first youth jazz concert at the beautiful Cicely Tyson Performing & Fine Arts School (CTS) was dedicated to Andy McCloud. The CTSA Jazz Band played “Take the A Train” by Billy


The Positive Community June 2012

Strayhorn, “Blue Bossa” by Kenny Dorham, “Blue Monk” by Thelonious Monk and “Sugar” by Stanley Turrentine. What was very special about this particular concert is that three great jazz musicians who are presently Artistsin-Residence at CTS also performed-- pianist Steve Colson, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer T.S. Monk. Finally, the CTS Jazz Band engaged in a performance with the trio of jazz masters playing “Impressions” by John Coltrane and “Blues for Bighead” by Andy McCloud. That number also featured the tap dance artistry of Maurice Chestnut and his two surprise tap dancers, Savion Glover and Marshall Davis. Each of them was mentored and influenced by McCloud. Accompanied by the CTS Jazz Band and the three jazz masters, the dynamic dancers gave a dazzling performance thrilling the filled to capacity audience. With drummer Kason Mclain and T.S. Monk (Thelonious Monk’s son) seated next to one another, the master took his student to school in a complex, thunderous and truly mesmerizing display of masterful drumming. However, Mclain is a great showman with lots of swagger, which he displayed in his sizzling performance, holding his own as the two battled it out in drum beats. The Cicely Tyson Jazz Band plays wonderful jazz music. Mentored by Colson, Workman and Monk, it is only a matter of time before many of the students explode and blow-up the jazz world. They are indeed the future of a glorious jazz society.

Health P r e v e n t i o n , T r e at m e n t & C u r e

Did you know?

By André L. Churchwell, MD and Thomas M. File, Jr., MD,

Too Many African American Adults are Unprotected from a Serious Infection


ou may not know it, but if you are an adult with a chronic health condition like heart disease, diabetes, or asthma, or you are 65 or older, you are at increased risk for a serious infection called pneumococcal disease. Vaccination can help prevent pneumococcal disease, but many African American adults have not been vaccinated. What is it?

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by common bacteria that can strike quickly and lead to death within just a few days. It kills thousands of U.S. adults each year. Even when the infection is not deadly, treatment can require hospitalization. Some patients need weeks or months before they can return to work or participate in other daily activities. Why are African Americans at risk?

Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but African American adults are more at risk than others. African American adults face a triple threat from pneumococcal disease:

• They are more likely to have one of the medical conditions that

can make pneumococcal disease particularly dangerous like heart disease, diabetes, asthma, HIV/AIDS, or sickle cell disease. • Life-threatening forms of the infection happen more often in African Americans. • They are less likely to have been vaccinated. Only about four in ten African Americans age 65 or older and less than two in ten younger adults with chronic conditions have been vaccinated against

mococcal disease. We urge adults to ask their healthcare provider about vaccination at their next visit. Who should get vaccinated?

You should ask your doctor or pharmacist about pneumococcal vaccination if you are: age 65 or older or age 19-64 with any of the following: asthma, diabetes; heart, liver, lung or kidney disease; immune problems, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, damaged/absent spleen, sickle cell disease, alcoholism, cochlear implants or cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Also, any adult who smokes or lives in a long-term care facility needs to be vaccinated. Here are the five reasons from NFID for why these adults should get vaccinated:

• Vaccination is the best and safest way to protect against pneumococcal disease.

• If you’re a healthy adult age 65 or older, it’s a simple step that can help you stay healthy.

• If you have a chronic illness such as asthma, diabetes, or

heart disease, vaccination can help protect you from serious complications of infection. • Even if vaccination does not stop you from getting the infection, it can reduce the severity, helping to keep you out of the hospital. • Medicare covers the cost of vaccination and most private insurers will pay for those at-risk. For more information visit: Dr. Churchwell is member of the Association of Black Cardiologists. Dr. File is president-elect of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases June 2012 The Positive Community



Kahlil Carmichael is the Pastor and Founder of It Is Well Living Church located in Monroe, NJ. He is the CEO of the Fitness Doctor Inc., a Fitness Rehabilitation and Wellness Consultation company. To contact Kahlil to become spiritually and physically fit visit or call 732-921-3746

Look at Dad! Dads, I want to encourage you to continue (and some of you to start) sowing good seeds into the lives of your children. Not by what you say, but what you do. Ephesians 6:4 states, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and the admonition of the Lord.” The only way to live out this scripture is by way of example— our children are watching everything that we do! Trust me when I tell you, EVERYTHING. Here are some ways in which we dads can set an example of good fitness and health habits for our children and families: Take your children to the gym or local YMCA. Many workout facilities offer childcare, which lets you get your workout in and gets your children into the habit of going to the gym.

• Allow grocery shopping to become a fun family outne day I was sitting in my family room listening to three of my little ones talking about life and all the things that matter to a seven, a six, and a three-year old! My son Zion and his brother Zachary where playing some type of handheld video game while my daughter Zoe (in between scolding her brothers) accessorized her latest doll. As I listened and thanked God for the blessing of being a father, I was tickled to hear each child begin to imitate me. The children were not mocking me, but instinctively repeating phrases and carrying on in a way that was all too familiar. I became really amused (and proud) when I heard my daughter ask her mother, “Mommy, are we going to the gym tonight?” When their mom answered, “yes,” all three exclaimed, “Yeah!” I am not always on target when it comes to raising my children, but I am thankful for God's grace! When I witness my children bringing forth fruit sown by me—a father submitted to God and committed to exercise and living well—I am grateful.



The Positive Community June 2012

ing! Make sure the children see your enthusiasm when walking through the fruit and vegetable aisles. • Take your children to the local track! Create fun games such as "The Olympian" which could be just another name for tag. My favorite is "catch dad for a dollar"! My kids go crazy over that one. • Instruct and teach your children different exercises! My three-year old son can do almost twenty correct pushups! He is a hit at my seminars! • Finally, tell your children you expect them to always live healthy because God gave us this body which is our temple! Speak into their lives, dads! No matter how much society tries to limit our voices, the voice of a good father is necessary and powerful! Happy Fathers Day! You are a great dad! Disclaimer: The information contained in this column is of a general nature. You should consult your physician or health care professional before beginning any exercise program or changing your dietary regimen.

New York has a great new team.

Health Plus and Amerigroup have become one health plan. All of our members still have the same great products — they’re not changing. But now they’re backed by a team that has more doctors, more hospitals and more choices than ever. HealthPlus Amerigroup: we’re even better together. HealthPlus Amerigroup is an HMO with a Medicare contract. Managed Long-Term Care


Y0005_12 HP Print File & Use 03/26/2012

Questions? Visit

It’s Our Mission. Quality Health Coverage

L–R: Nadine Brechner, CEO Trinitas Foundation, Gary Horan, CEO of Trinitas Medical Center and Honoree Terence L Byrd, president Healthfirst, NJ

Trinitas Hospital Honors Champions of Care


Fidelis Care can be a blessing.

Fidelis Care can be an opportunity.

Fidelis Care is faithful.

ealthfirst NJ, a not-for-profit health plan that partners with hospitals throughout New Jersey, received the 2012 Humanitarian Award at the annual Spring Fundraiser of The Trinitas Health Foundation. Diversified Clinical Service (DCS) received the Celebrating Philanthropy award. DCS manages the Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine at Trinitas Reginal Medical Center.“We’re proud of the fact that our Center has exceeded DCS’s benchmarks in healing outcomes, patient satisfaction, outlier management and clinical performance,” said Gary Horan, CEO of Trinitas Medical Center. “Our relationship with Healthfirst NJ has been extremely beneficial for many of our patients,” remarked Horan, adding, “The coverage Healthfirst NJ provides has made a tremendous difference to patients who come to us for both inpatient care and outpatient services.”

CARING FOR YOU IN EVERY WAY Fidelis Care can be the answer. Fidelis Care is The New York State Catholic Health Plan, partnering with more than 49,000 providers to serve members of diverse backgrounds and faiths with the highest levels of dignity and respect.

Quality health coverage. It’s always been our mission. To find out if you are eligible for one of our government-sponsored health insurance programs, call Fidelis Care at:

Trinitas Regional Medical Center Centers of Excellence Behavioral Health • Cancer • Cardiology • Maternal/Child Health Renal • School of Nursing • Senior Services • Sleep Disorders Women’s Services • Wound Healing/Diabetes Management

1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547)

(TTY: 1-800-421-1220)

225 WILLIAMSON ST. • ELIZABETH, NJ 07202 908.994.5000 • WWW.TRINITASRMC.ORG Trinitas Regional Medical Center is a Catholic Teaching Hospital sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth in partnership with Elizabethtown Healthcare Foundation.

H3328 FC 10147 File and Use 10052010


The Positive Community June 2012

Dr. Stefanie Vaimakis MD, FACS, FASMBS

Se Habla Español • Μιλάμε Ελληνικά

Dr. Fred Silvestri

Dr. Duane Fredericks




Take back control of your weight and your life! Start your journey to a healthier you! QUESTIONS?

ATTEND OUR FREE SEMINARS Learn more about the Lap-Band, Realize Band, Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy. Call 201-530-1900 or visit

THURSDAY • JUNE 14 • 7 pM Holy Name Medical Center THURSDAY • JUNE 21 • 7 pM The Rober t Treat Hotel 50 Park Place, Newark


SATURDAY • JUNE 23 • 11 AM Englewood Hospital & Medical Center THURSDAY • JUNE 28 • 7 pM Palisades Medical Center

Seminars are presented by Dr. VaimakiS, Dr. SilVeStri and Dr. FreDerickS


TAkE IT OFF & kEEp IT • Metabolic fitness programs • Psychologist and Nutritionist on-site • Weekly Support Groups open and free • Office hours available on Sundays for Gastric Band adjustments


309 Engle Street, Suite 1, Englewood, NJ (201) 227-9444 222 Cedar Lane, Room 201, Teaneck, NJ (201) 530-1900 6045 Kennedy Boulevard, North Bergen, NJ (201) 453-2784 WE WORK WITH ALL INSURANCE COMPANIES.


L–R: Basimah Sewall-Wright, Nicole Little, Dr. Christine Baker and Kattie Ann Bowen

Soroptimists Honor Women Helping Women

Christine Baker, Ph.D Receives Top Ruby Award


oroptimist International of Suburban Essex, a volunteer organization for business and professional women, presented its Soroptimist Ruby Award for Women Helping Women to Christine Baker, Ph.D, director of the Family Life Education Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC), at an awards dinner on May 16 at their annual Live Your Dream Awards event. The award, which honors the federation’s founder, Ruby Lee Minar, is given to women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their professional and/or volunteer work. Dr. Baker has established an innovative and interactive, bilingual online teen education center about the dangers of interpersonal, partner or dating violence and offers an accompanying support group. The combination of services, including an additional link on the website that offers an opportunity to talk to an expert 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is a groundbreaking effort, the first in New Jersey, to reach teens where they are most likely to search for information. Dr. Baker, a resident of South Orange, is a supervising psychologist at the Metro Regional Diagnostic and Treatment Center (RDTC) at NBIMC. She is a former president of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSACNJ) and has been recognized with the “President’s Honor Roll” award by national APSAC. She currently serves on the Prevention Committee of the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect. According to Dr. Baker: “We decided to address the needs of our middle and high school girls by meeting them where they are, on the internet, through a bilingual website that addresses questions about domestic violence, dating abuse and other areas of concern. Teen girls who witness violence are at risk for victimization now and in the future, even if they think they are not.”


The Positive Community June 2012

Basimah Sewall-Wright, Nicole Little and Kattie Ann Bowen, students at Essex County College, each received the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award.. For more information about Soroptimist International of Suburban Essex, contact Arlene Bell at 908-3036922 or by email at To find out more or to make a donation to Family Life Education Center, call (973) 926-4500.

Foot Pain? Walking Problems?

FOOT CENTER of NEW YORK 55 East 124th St.

(between Madison & Park Aves.)

Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 8 am - 4 pm

Wednesday 8 am - 7:30 pm

Treating Adults & Children Expert staff diagnose and treat foot ailments including: Sports Injuries • Foot Pain • In-toeing • Out-toeing Flat Feet • Ingrown Toenails • Walking Problems Heel Spurs • Bunions • Hammertoes

Full-Service Physical Therapy Center Diabetic Wound Care

55 East 124th St. @ Park Avenue, in Manhattan Call 212-410-8158 for an appointment Most insurances accepted

“We know our community. We live here.” Dr Philip Bonaparte, Chief Medical Officer, Horizon NJ Health “I feel the need to make a difference, not only in my life, but in the lives of others. I am involved in health issues facing predominantly the African-American and Latino community. I understand what it’s like to come from humble backgrounds. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield lives in New Jersey and we believe in access to quality healthcare for every resident. To’s as important as breathing air.”

Horizon NJ Health can help you and your family, too. If you are uninsured, enroll in our NJ FamilyCare or NJ FamilyCare Advantage plans. To see if you’re eligible, call 1-877-4-KIDS-NJ.

Horizon NJ Health Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® Registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®’ and SM Registered and service marks of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. © 2011 Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Three Penn Plaza East, Newark, New Jersey 07105.

A new knee and I’m lifting weights again. Englewood Hospital has received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for dedication to the highest standards in Joint Replacement, excellent outcomes and patient safety. Patients benefit from our pioneering bloodless techniques, with fewer complications, faster recovery and the lowest blood clot rates in the area. Personalized care in the private, beautiful Kaplen Pavilion provides a premier experience for our patients. For more information, call 866-980-EHMC or visit

Patient portrayal.

Going Home Green Cremation—An Economical and Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Burial By Quinita Edmonia Good


e often think about leaving something behind upon our homegoing; gold earrings for Cousin Bessie, an education for the grandchildren and an easier life for our spouses. But how many of us think about our own final arrangements? Do your friends, family and loved ones have an idea of what your final wishes are? Better yet, do you? While traditional earth burials are still most popular, leaving one’s body to science, organ transplantation and the practice of cremation have increased over the years. Minds are being opened to other options, and greater numbers of people are choosing cremation—which is more economical and environmentally friendly than earth burial. According to the web site (LCC), cremation is a process that prepares the human body’s remains for final disposition. “Cremations are almost the same as earth burials,” says Robert F. Gist, general manager of non-profit and non-religious Rosedale Cemetery in Montclair, NJ. Gist says that cremations were few in the United States in years past, but have increased markedly as people here have been educated about the process. However, cremation may still be a difficult process to embrace for some African Americans as more and more of us are obtaining access to our genealogies, which often demand human DNA testing. “Cremation is an irreversible process,” noted LCC on their site. “DNA cannot be recovered from cremated remains.” This can be a deciding factor for some people. Founded in 1840, Rosedale currently covers 92 acres in the towns of Montclair, Orange, and West Orange and offers both indoor and outdoor columbaria (places to store cremated remains). Gist explained that an indoor columbarium has a marble or glass front, while an outdoor one is all granite. Rosedale’s columbaria were first erected in 1952. The cemetery also offers “

ing rooms,” for family and religious community members who may wish to be present at the beginning of the cremation process. Rosedale also offers webcasting to involve friends and family who cannot attend a burial. A family can stream live, delayed and recorded services at Rosedale’s grounds. While researching and planning, always explore the services various cemeteries offer. Check to see if the cemetery you are considering has a website and if costs are listed. Some may have hidden costs, so be prepared to ask questions. Common questions may include how they are funded, is it for- or not-for profit and if the cemetery is sensitive to your religious requirements and traditions. Some cemeteries offer a wealth of information about their grounds, and even tours when requested. For more information about Rosedale Cemetery and Crematory, visit their web site at www.rosedalecemetery. org or call (973) 673-0127. The New Jersey Consumer Affairs and Public Safety (NJCAPS), which is handing their cemetery information over to the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services (NJDHSS), counts 17 crematories listed with the state—two of which are in Essex County. The phone number for NJCAPS’ public information office is (973) 504-6510. To reach NJDHSS’ public information office, call (609) 984-7160. While homegoing can be difficult for a loved one’s survivors, having plans and understanding the wishes of the departed may somewhat ease the grieving process. Knowing your options and expressing your preferences can smooth the process for all involved. Quinita Edmonia Good is a freelance writer and editor in Bloomfield, New Jersey. She can be reached at, or visit her web site at June 2012 The Positive Community


Welcome to Rosedale Rosedale is a non-profit, non-sectarian Cemetery located in Montclair, Orange and West Orange, New Jersey. Burials: We are committed to preserving and enhancing the natural beauty of our grounds. Chapel: Graciously decorated, the Chapel is available for a variety of sacred services presided over by clergy of any faith. Webcasting: At Rosedale you can stream live, delayed, or recorded services from our chapel over the internet.

Crematorium Services: Our modern Crema- Scattering Area: Our hilltop scattering

torium and Columbarium prove Rosedale’s dedication to provide the finest facilities and service for every type of memorialization. Witnessing Room: The room was designed to permit families to privately observe the start of the cremation process. Indoor Columbarium: The Columbarium offers a beautiful, up-lifting setting for the inurnment of cremated remains. Outdoor Columbarium: This beautifully landscaped setting offers an attractive openair alternative to its indoor counterpart.

area is designed exclusively for cremated remains. It creates a comfortable environment to memorialize and remember deceased loved-ones. Urn Garden: Designed and cultivated for cremation burials, it is highlighted by warm sun; sculpted rose bushes and handsome bronzed memorial plaques.

Entrance: 408 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ Mailing Address: P.O. Box 728, Orange, NJ 07051 Phone: (973) 673-0127 Fax: (973) 673-8338 Web:

From Our Hearts to Your Hearts! From Our Hands To Your Hands!

People Helping People . . . Let the Florence E. Browne Funeral Home family care for your family during your difficult season of bereavement. In business since 1912, our full service funeral home is well-known for its compassionate, professional & excellent service. Our staff is always available to assist you through the grieving process.

Florence E. Browne Funeral Home

436 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY 10037


The Little Chapel with a Big Heart 96

The Positive Community June 2012

For many years Florence E. Browne has served many communities locally and abroad. Feel free to visit our Funeral Home located in the Village of Harlem, New York. Our Service Family would be more than happy to sit and answer your questions regarding funeral arrangements, cremations & pre-arrangements. In addition, we provide notary services as well as referrals for anyone desiring professional grief counseling.


Christian Marriage: God Weighs In


une is traditionally marriage month in the Western world, with June brides accorded special significance. According to internet sources, June is named after Juno, the goddess whom ancient Romans believed to be the guardian of marriage. This popular identification of marriage with paganism should alert Christians not to follow the world but to follow Christ regarding marriage and sex. Today’s worldly culture generally condones losing one’s virginity and changing sexual partners numerous times during youth and early adulthood, while “shopping around” before eventually, if ever, committing to marriage. After marrying, the world condones, even encourages divorce without guilt if the marriage becomes particularly difficult. God’s values are different. His Biblically expressed will is that if sexual liaison occurs, marriage should result. “If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price and she shall be his wife.”—Exodus 22:16 (New International Version) Moreover, God’s prohibition of adultery, stated in the 10 Commandments and repeated subsequently, along with His distaste for divorce, stated by the prophet Malachi and others, indicate that marriage should be a lifelong bond of fidelity between a man and a woman. Jesus put it this way, “….I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”—Matthew 5:31-32 (NIV) God even forbids returning to an old flame. His Law states: When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, and she leaves his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD…— Deuteronomy 24:1–4 (New American Standard Bible)

Most folks have violated at least one of these Laws. Paul wrote in Romans 3:23, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Many erred before accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Even after coming to Christ, many Christians remain unaware of these particular Laws. Some Christians think since we are saved by grace we need not bother studying the Law. Many rely on God’s forgiveness and downplay obedience. Yet, Christ himself preached, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” —Matthew 5:17–18 (NASB) Christ says in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” We cannot change history, i.e. what we have already done. But we can do better going forward. Wow! How unhip and uncomfortable all of this sounds! No “fun” before marriage, then sticking with the same aggravating sexual partner for one’s entire life! But let’s examine one of the consequences of hipness. HIV/AIDS is a worldwide epidemic that impacts black people more than any other group. Africa has the greatest incidence of the disease, followed by the Caribbean, with its predominantly black and Latino population, followed by the United States, where the greatest proportions of affected persons are black or Latino. HIV/AIDS is spread mostly through changing sexual partners. Infection through poorly supervised blood transfusions and sharing hypodermic needles play much smaller roles. So if everyone on Earth followed God’s Law regarding sex and marriage, changing of sexual partners would be severely limited and the HIV/AIDS crisis would be drastically reduced or eliminated. God’s Laws are categorical imperatives. Had everyone on earth obeyed God’s Laws regarding sex and marriage, there would be no HIV/AIDS crisis. Moreover, if everyone obeys those Laws from now on, the crisis will fade over time. Let’s obey God and start a revolution that will improve the world’s health. Let that 1,000-mile journey begin with our steps.

June 2012 The Positive Community



Vol. 12, No. 6

Publisher Adrian A. Council, Sr. Editor-in-Chief Jean Nash Wells Associate Editor R. L. Witter Sales Angela Ridenour Adrian Council, Jr. NGS Communications, Inc. Satori MPR Church/Community Affairs Coordinator Faith Jackson Contributing Writers Sonja Gracy Dr. Phillip Bonaparte Linda Armstrong Mwandikaji K. Mwanafunzi g.r. mattox Rosemary Sinclair Patricia Baldwin Rev. Theresa Nance Rev. Reginald T. Jackson Herb Boyd Glenda Cadogan Toni Parker Helene Fox Rev. Dr. Joanne Noel Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood William Parrish Jeanne Parnell Photographers Bob Gore Wali A. Muhammad Seitu Oronde Rev. Dr. William L. Watkins, Jr. Darryl Hall Vincent Bryant Donovan Gopie Linda Pace Hubert Williams Art Direction & Layout Penguin Design Group Martin Maishman The Positive Community Corp. 133 Glenridge Avenue Montclair, NJ 07042 973-233-9200 Fax: 973-233-9201 Email: Website: All contents © 2010 The Positve Community Corporation. All Rights Reserved. This publication, in whole or in part, may not be reproduced, stored in a computerized or other retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means whatsoever without the prior written permission of The Positive Community Corporation. Any opinions expressed herein are solely the opinions of the writer(s) and not necessarily those of The Positive CommunityTM, its management or staff. The Positive CommunityTM reserves the right to retain all materials and does not assume reponsibility for unsolicited materials.


The Positive Community June 2012

The Last Word BY RON SCOTT HAL JACKSON, THE LEGEND al Jackson epitomized the definition of black radio. His perseverance opened doors and made him a role model for generations of radio DJs across the country. Jackson, who passed away on May 23 in New York City, set the bar extremely high; Jackson wasn’t good; he was great. “Hal Jackson helped a lot of industry people like myself,” said Van Jay (WBLS-FM 1978–83). “He wasn’t a selfish person; he shared his knowledge with anyone who came in contact with him. He will be missed.” Like many jazz musicians of his era (Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday and Count Basie), Jackson had to prove himself. Radio was his bandstand and his steps to fame were similar to Ellington’s. Both men were born in the South and eventually moved to Washington, DC. Ellington’s first job was selling peanuts at Washington Senators baseball games in Griffin Stadium; Jackson, 16 years younger, eventually worked at the same stadium clearing trash. Eventually Jackson became the first African American to announce action at a sporting event, calling the plays at the Negro League’s Homestead Grays baseball games. Jackson’s talk show debut on The Bronze Review featured him interviewing Mary McLeod Bethune, President Franklin Roosevelt’s director of Negro affairs on WINX in Washington, DC. Jackson even assembled an all-black basketball team, the Washington Bears, which won the invitational World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1943. When Jackson moved to New York in 1949, his busy schedule included duties at WLIB, WMCA (where he became the first black DJ in 1954 and his assistant was an aspiring actor named Telly Savalas), Birdland and even a children’s show on channel 11 featuring “Uncle


Harold "Hal" Jackson and wife Debi

Hal, The Kiddies’ Pal.” His accomplishments are astounding but he was very humble with his smooth voice and bright smile. When walking away from him you realized a special moment had been experienced. His motto was “It’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice.” When having a conversation with him, it was clear he followed those words to the letter. In 1971, Jackson and Percy Sutton, former Manhattan borough president, co-founded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation (ICBC), which acquired WLIB and became the first AfricanAmerican owned-and-operated station in New York. Jackson hosted his Sunday Morning Classics for over 25 years, then Sunday Classics when the show was shortened. His wife of 23 years, Deborah Bolling, joined him on the show under the name “Debi B.,” along with Clay Berry. Unlike any other radio show, Hal Jackson’s Sunday Classics was a history lesson in music. From Stevie Wonder and The O’Jays to Jackie Wilson and Billie Holiday, listeners heard it all—contemporary and classic. Jackson wanted his listeners to understand the link between the music regardless of genre. His theme song Miles Davis’ “Someday My Prince Will Come” let you know it wasn’t just about R&B but the “Total Black Experience in Sound.” Jackson inspired us all to do better with a smile and thoughtful words. “He was a great friend,” reflected Vaughn Harper, former WBLS DJ. “I miss him already.” His tenacity as a young man broke many barriers and secured his place in black history and culture. He will be remembered as a civil rights activist, radio personality, radio executive/owner and music historian . . . as well as a person who was both important and nice.

The Positive Community’s

Great Countdown to Freedom The Grand Jubilee


n January 1, 2013, America will observe the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation—the sesquicentennial commemoration. From the date January 1, 1863 to the present we, as a group are blessed with an enormous opportunity to measure, assess and define our American journey, our claim on the American Dream.

Below is a cultural narrative—our story—an oral history, a brief presentation of our deep collective experience that dates back

to before this nation’s founding: The Cultural Narrative African Americans are a unique people with a peculiar history in this land. Brought to these shores in chains from Africa as slaves in the early 1600s, our people toiled and suffered as captives in brutal bondage for a quarter of a millennium (250 years). On January 1st 1863, two years into the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, became law, signaling an end to slavery. On that day, the African American community of the United States of America was born. One hundred years later, in August, 1963, at the height of the civil rights movement, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial as he led hundreds of thousands to a “March on Washington” seeking an end to discrimination and Jim Crow segregation in the South. It was a demand for full citizenship rights for the people in what has been called “The Second Emancipation.” Forty years after Martin Luther King’s tragic assassination in 1968, America elected its first black president, Barack Obama (2008). In one hundred years between the first and “second emancipation,” in the midst of bitter persecution, humiliation, lynching and the denial of basic human rights, the resiliency of the African American spirit continued to shine brightly in religion, business, invention, sports and in the creative arts—music, fashion, dance, language, literature and theater. Indeed, original American art forms and a popular culture which has become the envy of the world were founded upon the souls of a forlorn people! And that is our story-the Truth, Beauty and Goodness of a loving and gifted race revealed! An Extraordinary History Ours is an extraodinary history of trial, tribulation and triumph the we must never forget! This is the story that we must tell our children and be ever remembered. We the people, descendants of the Great Emancipation, must tell our story to each other reminding ourselves, over and over again of the great, noble struggle and sacrifices of those who came before us. This is our story, our cultural narrative, our Grand Jubilee and springboard into a great and prosperous future—a vision of hope and progress; health and wholeness; peace and goodwill! January 1, 2013 the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclaimatiom—The Grand Jubilee! To become a Community Partner or Sponsor: Call Today 973-233-9200.

Where summer days last a lifetime. The memories you make at the Jersey shore stay with you far beyond the season’s end. Spending sunny days on our gorgeous beaches, legendary boardwalks and eclectic seaside towns has been an essential part of summertime for generations. You have 130 miles of beautiful beaches to choose from, so plan your vacation today at The time you spend here will stay with you forever.

June 2012 Issue  

June issue, The Positive Community Magazine