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February 2013


The Fighting 369th “They Gave ’em Hell” The Apollo Theater Past and Present

The Journey North with Isabel Wilkerson

Black History is American History During Black History Month students throughout the country will learn about the achievements of African Americans throughout American History. But let’s never forget that Black History is American History. African Americans have played a critical role in weaving this rich tapestry we call America. Let’s reflect on the contributions of African Americans in building this nation not just in February, but throughout the year.

New Jersey Education Association… working for great public schools for every child.

“We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.” Kofi Annan

Barbara Keshishian, President Wendell Steinhauer, Vice President Marie Blistan, Secretary-Treasurer Vince Giordano, Executive Director Richard Gray, Assistant Executive Director/Research Director

Celebrate Black History 1863 Emancipation proclamation • 1963 march on Washington

A Union of Professionals

The United Federation of Teachers celebrates the historic contributions made by the African-American community in the fight for civil rights. Michael Mulgrew, President

Februar y 2013

CONTENTS SECTIONS MONEY ............................................15 EDUCATION......................................24 CULTURE..........................................35 HEALTH............................................50



&also inside

Go Green . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Guest Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Hakeem Jeffries: Moving forward . . . . . . 21

The Way Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Unsung Figures in Black History . . . . . . . 24

My View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Etiquette Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Gospel Train. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 On Call. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Fitness Doctor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 The Last Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Aaron Davis Hall Gets Million Dollar Makeover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Harlem’s Apollo: Past and Present . . . . . 35 The Great Migration: The Warmth of Other Suns . . . . . . . . . . . 46

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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

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

Mt. Neboh Baptist Church, Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie Green Jr., Pastor

Union Baptist Temple,, Bridgeton, NJ Rev. Albert L. Morgan, Pastor

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

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

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

Walker Memorial B.C. Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush Sr., Pastor

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

Mount Olive Baptist Church, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Gregory J. Jackson, Pastor

White Rock B.C, Edison, NJ Jason D. Greer, 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 Calvary Baptist Church, Garfield, NJ Rev. Calvin McKinney, Pastor Canaan B. C. of Christ, Harlem, NY Rev. Thomas D. Johnson, Pastor

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

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 Hope Baptist Church, Metuchen, NJ Rev. Dr. Ronald L. Owens, Pastor New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Dr. Frances Mannin-Fontaine, Pastor New Life Cathedral, Mt. Holly, NJ Rev. Eric Wallace, Pastor New Zion B.C., Elizabeth, NJ Rev. Kevin James White, Pastor Paradise B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Jethro James, Pastor

Canaan B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Dr. Gadson L. Graham

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

Cathedral International., Perth Amboy, NJ Bishop Donald Hilliard, Pastor

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

Childs Memorial COGIC, Harlem, NY Bishop Norman N. Quick, Pastor

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

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

Christian Cultural Center, Brooklyn, NY Rev. A.R. Barnard, Pastor

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

Christian Love B.C., Irvington, NJ Rev. Ron Christian, Pastor

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

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

It Is Well Living Ministries, Clark, NJ Rev. Kahlil Carmichael, Pastor Jesus Christ Family Church, Brooklyn, NY Rev. Jason Sumner, Senior Pastor Mariners’ Temple B.C., New York, NY Rev. Dr. Henrietta Carter Messiah Baptist Church, East Orange, NJ Rev. Dana Owens, Pastor

Ebenezer B.C., Englewood, NJ Rev. Jovan Troy Davis, M.Div.

Metropolitan B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, Pastor

Emmanuel Baptist Church, Brooklyn NY Rev. Anthony Trufant, 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. Tisha M. Jermin

Ruth Fellowship Ministries, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Tracy Brown, Pastor Shiloh B.C., Plainfield, NJ Rev. Dr. Gerald Lamont Thomas, Pastor

St. Luke Baptist Church of Harlem, New York, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie McCann, Pastor St Luke B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Kenneth D.R. Clayton, 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. Dr. Lanel D. Guyton, 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

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 African American Heritage Parade American Diabetes Association American Heart Association, Northern, NJ Brown Executive Realty LLC, Morristown, NJ City National Bank Essex County College, NJ Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Medgar Evers College Mildred Crump, Newark City Council NAACP New Jersey* NAACP, NY State Conference* New Brunswick Theological Seminary New Jersey Performing Arts Center New York Theological Seminary New York Urban League Newark School of Theology Razac Products Co., Newark, NJ Schomburg Center The College of New Rochelle United Way of Essex and West Hudson WBGO-88.3FM West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. 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

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 partners—that have said “yes” The Positive Community Plan. But changing our name hasn’tto changed all the Community’s Great Countdown to Freedom, a cultural reasons New Jersey families choose us. You still get the same doctors, initiative. the literacy same access to specialists, the same large network of hospitals. As America the observance of the 150th Changing our name marks to UnitedHealthcare Community Plan says anniversary, the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation you’re part of a bigger community, over 3.3 million members strong, Proclamation, The Positive Community has embarked upon all across the country. So, New Jersey families can be confident a journey, a quest to discover the real meaning of freethey’ll receive the same great care.

dom. Our hope is to inspire the dawn of a new age of progress and wisdom among our readers! We will pursue Welcome to the through Community. Call 1-866-322-1194 (TTY: 711) this course a search for knowledge, an increased for understanding information aboutofUnitedHealthcare Community Plan. the value of literacy, education and culture in community life (see MLK/Winter Issue 2012, 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 causes 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!

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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, is and the the firstchurch, AfricanorAmerican attorney genpsychiatrist Dr. Smiley Blanton. the Holder academy eral of the United States one of the most experienced between theology andand other government lawyers ever named today to bring together spirituality and Columbia University disciplines of learning. To do to so the position.Blanton-Peale continues psychotherapy in programs that provide for psychological, emotional and effectively, the Seminary has spiritual health. Among educational offers are a full residential often developed partnerships Robert L. Carter (Columbia Law School 1941), after its 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. Supreme Court. Seminary has been working with 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

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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!!

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Dr. Wilhelmina Perry is a retired social worker and social work educator. She is now the convener for LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent. The organization is composed of clergy, divinity students, lay leaders and members of many congregations who have come together to advocate and educate regarding the rights of LGBT people in our community.

The Black Community and Gay Rights

Are we evolving?

ime and time again, I have heard the statement from parents, “Oh, I accept my gay son, but the Bible says that he is going to hell.” Words hurt, and they can become the foundation for a lifetime of fear, pain and depression for those on the receiving end. I frequently ask myself if changes will come for so many of us who live closeted and afraid to be who we really are. Are there small changes taking place although the accusations of abomination and sinner continue to be heard from some black churches? Are we any better off now than ten years ago? Studies from the Pew Research Center (2011, 2012) and the Gallup Poll (2012) indicate changes in values and attitudes are, in fact, taking place. According to the most recent Pew report, society in general—including blacks—is moving toward more acceptance of marriage equality as evidenced by feedback from recent voters and by surveying their stated attitudes regarding homosexuality. Black respondents (49 percent) say that homosexuality should be accepted by society (Pew Research Center, May 2011). People responding to a Gallup Poll indicated that they are more supportive of inheritance rights, employee benefits and adoption rights for gays and lesbians now than they were in May 2009 when Gallup last surveyed the topics (USA Today/Gallup Poll, November 26-


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February 2013

29, 2012). At the same time that attitudinal changes are occurring in adults, they are also changing in young people. Youth of all races are more rejecting of churches’ institutional life because they reject the churches’ positions on social issues, abortion and gay rights (David Kinnaman in You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving the Church, 2011.) Accompanying these changes are the results from another recent study that indicates that black LGBT youth are more open and free in expressing their sexual orientation. Another extensive survey of over 120,000 U.S. adults showed that 4.6 percent black adults indicated that they were lesbian, gay or bisexual. This figure is higher than that for whites and Hispanics. The studies cited above cannot be said to be dismissive of the black point of view (as we often say), because they specifically include respondents who identify as black. The question is: Are these insignificant changes or do they indicate a systematic evolution of attitudes in our community? Does this mean that blacks will go into the voting booth and vote for marriage equality, but remain reluctant to take public and/or private positions that remove the stigma of sin from our sexual orientation? We may not be seeing a major shift in attitudes and behavior, especially one that is immediate, but it would appear that the marginalization of same gender loving people is changing. In an article by Lenox Magee (Huffington Post, 6/5/12), he suggests that homophobia and homo-tolerance have always existed in black churches. “It is this tension between political progressivism and social conservatism (that has) existed for decades.” As many of us continue to work towards greater change and acceptance, time will tell if we are being successful. Maybe, someday, we will be able to look forward to a community in which lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people can move from the status of “don’t ask, don’t ‘tell” to living with greater opportunities for acceptance in their houses of worship and their community?


Coincidences or God’s Hand? ast month, January 2013, the first black President of the United States was inaugurated for his second term, exactly 150 Januaries after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. This first black President’s second inaugural speech and related activities occurred on same day that the United States officially commemorated the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. Speaking of Dr. King, 2013 is exactly 50 years after the 1963 March on Washington, where Rev. King concluded his “Bad Check” speech by revealing his dream of a future America in which his children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Obama is young enough to be Dr. King’s child. Additionally, 2013 is the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity’s founding and of the independence of Kenya, the homeland of the father of the first black U.S. President. Back in 2009, the year that President Obama started his first term, this first black U.S. President gave the keynote address at the convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which was celebrating the 100th anniversary of its 1909 founding. Are these all coincidences? I’m not so convinced. As mystical as it sounds, I suspect that God’s hand is in these unlikely juxtapositions, to remind those who are paying attention that His hand moves toward justice. Jesus said, “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” (Matthew 23:16, New American Standard Bible) To my ears, some of President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address spoke toward implementing God’s will. For example, commitments to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are likely to help the needy. Christ said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40, New International Version) But also to my ears, the President’s implied support of gay marriage within his speech contradicts God’s command. Biblical Law states, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22, NASB) The President is not God. As Christians, we should support Obama when he is right and correct him when


he is wrong, using God’s value system as the standard. Our primary loyalty is to God, and we should evaluate all political and ideological thrusts, to the best of our ability, from God’s perspective as it is expressed in the Bible. Conversely, we should strive to avoid being primarily ideological or political, and try to avoid picking and choosing among God’s commands based on whether those commands agree or disagree with our ideology or politics. Both conservative and liberal politicians make this mistake, which, effectively, is idolatry. Orienting one’s entire thinking toward an ideology is like serving a deity. The 10 Commandments state, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3, NASB) Would prioritizing God’s stated will ahead of “common sense” moral values separate Christians from the American masses and major television news commentators? Doggone real. Apostle Peter wrote, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (2nd Peter 2:9, NIV) And being so different can have consequences. Jesus preached, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12, NASB) So be it. God’s road is specific and unpopular. Christ advised, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”(Matthew 7:13-14, NASB) So during these next four years and beyond, we, as individual Christians and as the overall Body of Christ, should strive to stick to God’s road. Through votes, letters, and speaking out, we should support politicians’ actions that conform to God’s will and oppose politicians’ actions that conflict with God’s will. We’ll likely have to do some of both with each individual politician, including President Obama. Nevertheless, Obama’s simply being President today evidences progress over historical oppression in America. It’s bigger than one man. February 2013 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.


It’s Black History Month . . . Again! ell, whaddaya know? It’s Black History Month yet again. Then again, in my neck of the woods, it always is . . . I think you get it and getting it seems to have many components. I get it that the socalled subculture had to have a month set aside so some of the great contributions spawned by these creative geniuses could be cited and highlighted. I get it that February—the official observance of Black History Month—happens to be the shortest month in the year. Go figure. I get it that we as African Americans need to do more regarding the announcements and pronouncements of the road traveled and conquered by the known and unknown countless black folks who were simply taking care of business. I get it that many such contributions and/or enacted legislation are boldly being revisited by those who don’t seem to like black folks, just because we‘re, well, shall we say . . . black! I get it that a number of youngsters coming behind yours truly haven’t a clue about the price paid for both their freedom and the privileges they constantly take for granted. It’s a pity. I’m vexed, yet I get it, that President Obama has been subjected to vicious attacks that no other president serving this Republic has had to endure. Sadly, even by many who bear a physical resemblance to him. I mean, it hasn’t exactly been like a day at the beach for this Commander-in-Chief. Did we not have poverty in the country before President Obama took office? If so, then why is he catching whatchamacallit for supposedly ignoring the plight of the poor? I’m just sayin’. It’s also a poor thing we do by not recognizing to a greater degree the unsung blacks who get up every day and go to work every day to take care of their families. That—I don’t get! “The Huxtables” were wonderful, but what about the “schmoe” who brown bags it and trots off to work in a non-descript job, while sometimes splitting verbs along the way, yet is as honest as the day is long? And, is a loving parent (mother or father) with solid values and impeccable integrity. Why do we not get him/her a reality show in place of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo or other reality shows of that ilk? Huh? What’s up with that?


12 The Positive Community

February 2013

If Alex Haley’s Roots debuted on the small screen today during Black History Month, I daresay it might not be the blockbuster it was back in the day. The drama depicted was simply not the type of drama that seems to amuse and interest nowadays. While people had disagreements and opposing opinions in Roots, they generally banded together to reach a common goal and improve their lives, or at least make them more tolerable. We don’t seem to see that often enough today. But maybe seeing the original use of the n-word might have an impact? But we keep pressing on, counting our blessings and victories along the way. Things that were deemed unattractive on our person—full lips, full-figured buttocks and sun-kissed skin are now in vogue, as are animated worship of our God and singing from the depths of our souls like no one else can. Most importantly, we continue to hold on to an unshakeable faith, because people, we don’t know what’s coming down the pike! So while I complain and moan and cheer about a month designed to focus on the marvelous deeds of both my ancestors and contemporaries, let me just say this: We as blacks in America have carved out a magnificent niche for ourselves. Shalom!

Macy’s Celebrates


HISTORY MONTH MACY’S, THE GORDON PARKS FOUNDATION AND AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL CELEBRATE THE 1OOTH BIRTHDAY OF AMERICAN ICON, GORDON PARKS. Hired in 1948 by LIFE magazine as their first African-American staff photographer, Gordon Parks was a modern day Renaissance man who also found success as a film director, author and composer. Join us at select Macy’s locations as we pay tribute to Gordon Parks with exciting and inspiring events that showcase his influence in photography, film and literature. Plus, visit from February 1st to February 28th to enter for a chance to win a trip for (2) to the American Black Film Festival in Miami courtesy of American Airlines and a $1OOO Macy’s Gift Card.* The Gordon Parks Foundation permanently preserves the work of Gordon Parks, makes it available to the public and supports artistic and educational activities. The Foundation is a division of the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation. For more information visit Diversity. It’s not what you think. At Macy’s, it’s part of everything we do. Shown left: Kirk Buddy, Macy’s Advertising Photo of Gordon Parks courtesy of Adger Cowens

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*No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the contiguous United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, 18 years and older. Void in Alaska, Hawaii and where prohibited by law. Employees of Macy’s, American Airlines and their immediate family members are not eligible. Sweepstakes runs 2/1/13-2/28/13. For complete official rules, visit Sponsor: Macy’s Corporate Services, Inc.

ESSENCE MAGAZINE (Feb. 2013) - Single



E -No The Environmental Magazine Cost Noand Cost Low and Cost Low Ways Costto Ways SavetoMoney Save Money and Energy and Energy


Dear EarthTalk: heard that the Arctic summer is at itstake hereI is no excuse here is not no excuse to do your not part. tosea doice Ityour doesn’t part. It doesn’t a greattake deala of great timedeal or money of timetoorpitch money in and to pitch helpin and help lowest level since we began recording it. What are the implicakeep our planet keep our beautiful planet and beautiful more importantly, and more importantly, functional for functional ourselves for and ourselves the generations and the generations to come. to come. tions of all this melting? — Jo Shoemaker, Bowie, MD


Check out these Checkeasy out no these costeasy or low no cost cost or tipslow to cost maketips your to make life and your thelife entire andworld the entire a greener worldplace. a greener place.

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They anticipate been a scorcher all around—July was 2012 the world reachedNO a new the Arctic could be ice-free in theLOW hottest month record, with COST NOthat COST COST LOW on COST low: The National Snow and the summer for a day or more by the two-thirds of the U.S. in drought, • Install showerheads low-flow and showerheads sink aerators and to sink reduce aerators to reduce • Turn off everything • Turn off not everything in use: lights, in use: computers, lights, TVs, etc.computers, etc. • Install low-flow Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reportednot TVs, end of the decade. wildfires running rampant and half hot water water use. • Check furnace • Check or air conditioners furnace or air(AC) conditioners filters monthly, (AC) filters and clean monthly, and clean that the extent of sea ice across the The implications of such melting the counties in the country desig• Seal andwindows weatherstrip and doors windows to keep and doors heat orto keep heat or or replace as needed. or replace Dirty as filters needed. block Dirty airfilters flow through block airyour flow through your• Seal and weatherstrip Arctic was at its lowest since satellite are potentially immense. For startnated as federal disaster areas—only conditioning escaping.from escaping. heating and cooling heating systems, and cooling increasing systems, yourincreasing energy billyour andenergy bill and air conditioningairfrom record-keeping began in 1979. On ers, wildlife like polar bears, seals A watermakes the connection between car• A water tank•insulation tank wrapinsulation costs about wrap$20 costs andabout helps$20 holdand the helps hold the shortening theshortening equipment’s thelife. equipment’s life. that date the sea ice reached its sumand walruses depend on sea ice for bon pollution and the greenhouse heat inside. Add heat pre-cut inside. pipe Addinsulation pre-cut pipe to exposed insulation pipes to exposed going pipes going • During hot months, • Duringkeep hot window months,coverings keep window closed coverings on the south, closed on the south, mer minimum, million their survival; their habitat litereffect all the intoisyour waterinto heater—it your water is cheap heater—it andmore easy is cheap toapparent. install. and easy If you’re to install. If you’re east, and 1.32 westeast, windows. and west Insquare winter, windows. let the In winter, sun in. let the sun in. miles, half of fireplace what•the average size allyheat being pulled from under Environmentalists argue that starting with anstarting uninsulated with an tank, uninsulated the energy tank, savings the energy should savings paywe should pay • Glass Glass doors fireplace help stop doors heatof help fromstop being lostfrom up the being chimlostout up the chimsummer ney. ice Close was between 1979 andwhendampers Polar to thefor thealready have for the improvements improvements in just a few months. inthe just atechnology few months. and the the ney. fireplace Close dampers the fireplace notthem. in use. when not inbears use. were added 2000, and almost 20 percent Endangered Species List in legal to achieve rapid • Use mastic (a • Use gooey mastic substance (atools gooey applied substance with a applied paintbrush) withgreennot a paintbrush) duct not duct • Activate “sleep” • Activate features “sleep” onlower computers features and onfederal computers office equipment and office equipment than thethat previous record minimum foroff this very in what “Full useas the attic, tape to sealenalltape exposed tohouse seal ductwork allpollution exposed jointsductwork in reductions areas joints such as in areas the attic, such power down thatwhen power notdown in use. when Turn notoffin2008 equipment use. Turn during equipment long reason during long orcrawlspace, basement. orofbasement. Insulate to improve yourtoheating improve your heating periods ofsquare non-use. periods of non-use. of 1.61 million miles set on vironmentalists herald ascrawlspace, a great vicof allInsulate theducts Clean Airducts Act’s successsystem’s efficiency system’s and your own comfort. and your own comfort. • When cooking, • When keepadded cooking, the lidsthat, on keep pots. theBetter lidstory onyet, pots. useBetter a microwave yet, use a microwave Sept. 18, 2007. NSIDC in that the federal government fulefficiency pollution-reduction programs is Storm windows •of Storm can reduce windows heat can loss reduce by to 25–50 heat loss percent by 25–50 during percent the during the oven instead.warm oven instead. despite especially conditions in officially recognized the• existence our best route quick reductions winter. Plastic winter. sheeting Plastic installed sheeting on the installed inside also on the helps. inside also helps. • Dress appropriately • Dress for appropriately the weather, for and the set weather, your thermostat and set your to thermostat to 2007 being much more favorable for global warming and would therefore in greenhouse gas emissions,” says • Look the •ENERGY Look for STAR the ENERGY label, found STAR onlabel, morescience found than 40 on more different than 40 different the than lowest this possible the lowest comfortable possible setting. comfortable Onbe winter setting. nights, put winter an nights,decisive put an for sea ice loss year, the thinable toOntake more action Shaye Wolf, climate director products such products as TVs, furnaces, such as TVs, cell phones, furnaces, refrigerators, cell phones, air refrigerators, air extra blanket on extra the blanket bed and on turn the down bed and your turn thermostat down your more. thermostat more. ning of sea ice due to climate change to rein in carbon pollution—of at the Center for Biological Diverconditioners and conditioners more. and more. • In summer, use • In fans summer, whenever use fans possible whenever instead possible of AC. instead of AC. has made the ice more vulnerable to course, that part of the dream has sity’s Climate Law Institute. “The • Take five-minute • Take showers five-minute instead showers of baths. instead Do only of baths. full loads Do only full loads breakup and melting. yet to be realized. Obama administration, however, has Incandescent light Incandescent bulbs are light outdated; bulbs 95 arepercent outdated; of the 95 percent energy of the energy when using thewhen clothes using washer the clothes or dishwasher. washer or dishwasher. Meanwhile, researchers with the Perhaps even more alarming is been too slow and timid in using this used goes the to bulb, heating adding theunwanted bulb, adding heatunwanted to your home heat to your home • Switch to cold • Switch water intotop coldloading water energy-inefficient in top loading energy-inefficient washing washingused goes to heating European Space Agency’s Cryothe fact that melting seainforice and bedrock law used to cut pollution.” the summer.inReplace the summer. your five Replace most your five lightmost bulbs used withlight ENERGY bulbs with ENERGY machines to save machines energytoand save up energy to $63and a year—detergents up to $63 a year—detergents forSat-2 probe reported in August that accelerating Arctic warming spur STAR “The meltdown STAR compact fluorescent compact bulbs fluorescent topolar save $60 bulbs each to save year$60 inshows energy each year in energy mulated for cold mulated water get for cold clothes water justget asclothes clean. just as clean. beyond•Lower the loss of•Lower sea-ice the changes inset the we’re teetering on the brink These light costs. bulbs These uselight two-thirds bulbs use lesstwo-thirds energy and less lastenergy upof to and 10 last up to 10 the temperature theonextent, temperature your water heater. on your Itwater should heater. be It should at jet stream be setcosts. at that thickness and volume of the iceaheld hasunder increase the frequency of no weather climate-change catastrophe,” adds on indoor times longer. Use times dimmers, longer. Use timers, dimmers, and motion timers, detectors and motion on indoor detectors “warm,” so that “warm,” a thermometer so that thermometer running held under water reads running nowater reads also been declining significantly fast- extremes like droughts,and floods, Wolf. “Arctic ice plays a STAR criti-ENERGY STAR outdoorheat lighting. and outdoor Consider lighting. safer,Consider moresea efficient safer, more ENERGY efficient more than 130more degrees. than 130 degrees. er than•expected. They found just and cold intorchiere the role intorchieres, regulating the lampstorchiere rather cal than lamps halogen rather than halogen which torchieres, can planet’s cause which can cause Only heat or •cool Onlythe heat rooms or cool you the need—close rooms waves youvents need—close and doors vents ofspells and doors of mid1,679 cubic miles this past summer latitude regions of the Northern climate. can’t wait any longer to fires. Halogen fires. bulbs Halogen are expensive bulbsWe are to use. expensive to use. unused rooms. unused rooms. as compared to 3,118 cubic miles in Hemisphere. The fact that 2012 has cut carbon pollution.”

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of Community Community NA Positive June 2009 The June 2009 The PositiveNA E - The Environmental Magazine ( Send questions to: Subscribe: Free Trial Issue:


The Positive Community February 2013

Money B u s i n e s s , M o n e y & wo r k

Business to Business Community Development Photos: Maurice McCoy

L–R: VP Willie Blaylock and President Preston D. Pinkett III of City National Bank (CNB) with brothers Jalil and Darron Dowdy of Razac Products Co.

Far right: CNB VP Marketing Talia Young joins the tour


ity National Bank President Preston Pinkett, III and his team of bankers visited the corporate offices of Razac Products Company. The meeting included a tour of the factory and discussion of potential expansion of the Newarkbased hair care and beauty products manufacturer. The city’s largest African American owned manufacturer, Razac produces, sells and ships its products worldwide from their factory in Newark. A family-owned business and renowned industry leader, the company was founded by William J. Dowdy in 1981. Today, the firm is run by the second generation, siblings

Darren, Devvan and Jalil Dowdy. City National Bank started in 1971 when a group of African American community leaders recognized a tremendous economic void in Newark, the largest urban center in New Jersey. They believed Newark needed a financial institution that would be sensitive to the financial needs of minority residents whose access to credit and banking services was historically limited. Charles L. Whigham, a prominent local businessman, spearheaded a grassroots effort to raise capital. Walking door-to-door, the founders met with church groups, individuals and various organizations to sell stock in the bank. In less than two

years, $1.2 million was raised when nearly 1,800 shareholders purchased 60,000 shares. In 1973, City National Bank of New Jersey was established as a full-service commercial bank. In the following decades, City National Bank's mission grew, expanding beyond the Newark roots to include the Paterson, NJ; Harlem and Brooklyn communities. Even as the bank continued to meet growth objectives, City National Bank maintained a steadfast commitment to better serve the needs of families, non-profit organizations, faith-based institutions, and businesses within the various service communities. This year the bank celebrates its 40th anniversary. –AAC February 2013 The Positive Community


Black Churchmen of Newark Celebrate King

L-R: Bishop Jethro James, Dr. Youngblood, Bishop Stacy MQueen and Bishop Rudy V. Carlton


L–R: Essex County Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, Bishop James, Dr. Youngblood and New Jersey State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa

L-R: Father Phillip Waters, St Mary’s R.C. Church, Newark; Bishop Charles Mitchell, True Vine BC, Asbury Park, NJ; Dr. Kim Yancey James, Paradise BC, Newark; Bishop James; Dr. Youngblood; Orlando Vic, Greater Providence BC, Newark; Pastor Carter and Min. Todd Warren


he church community advocacy organization, Committee of Black Churchmen of Newark and North Jersey honored the King Holiday with a special service at St. James AME Church in Newark. In recent years, the group has taken on initiatives with a focus on reducing crime and violence while increasing efforts to recruit minorities for employment with the New Jersey State Police. Under the leadership of Bishop Jethro James, the Committee of Black Churchman has answered the call to service by engaging in meaningful dialogue between the community and local and state law enforcement. Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood of Mt. Pisgah BC, Brooklyn delivered the keynote address. Attorney General Jeffery Chiesa made brief remarks following his acceptance of an award from the organization.


The Positive Community February 2013


E.E. Cruz welcomes the participation participation of minority-owned, minority-owned, woman-owned, economically E.E.E.E. Cruz welcomes woman-owned, economically Cruz welcomesthe the participation of of minority-owned, woman-owned, economically disadvantaged, and local (M/W/D/LBE) businesses on all of its projects. E.E. Cruz also recruits disadvantaged, local (M/W/D/LBE)businesses businesses on E.E. Cruz alsoalso recruits disadvantaged, andand local (M/W/D/LBE) onall allofofitsitsprojects. projects. E.E. Cruz recruits female, local and minority union workers. female, local minority unionworkers. workers. female, local andand minority union Current Project Opportunities:

Current Project Opportunities: Current Project Opportunities: 

2nd Avenue Subway 2B

 2nd Avenue Subway 2B 2nd Avenue Subway 2B

 

Masonry Services Current Opportunities in: Trucking Disposal Current &Opportunities in:

 Columbia University  Columbia University  Columbia University  Bronx-Whitestone Bridge  Bronx-Whitestone Bridge  Bronx-Whitestone Bridge  Bronx River Parkway  Bronx River Parkway  Bronx River Parkway  7th & 8th Avenue Emergency Vent Plant  7th & 8th Avenue Emergency Vent Plant  7th Avenue Vent Plant For&all8th projects, weEmergency are looking for highly qualified M/W/D/LBE union workers and M/W/D/LBE For all projects, we are looking for highly qualified M/W/D/LBE union workers and M/W/D/LBE subcontractors and vendors certified for heavy civil construction. subcontractors for heavy civilM/W/D/LBE construction.union workers and M/W/D/LBE For all projects, weand arevendors lookingcertified for highly qualified  Plumbing Subcontractor  Pipe Supply subcontractors vendors certified for heavy civil  Plumbingand Subcontractor  construction. Pipe Supply  Rebar Installation  Instrumentation Services  Rebar Installation  Instrumentation Services  Plumbing Subcontractor Pipe Supply  Rebar Supply  Pavement Marking  Rebar Supply  Pavement Marking  Rebar Installation Instrumentation  Landscaping Services  Electrical ServicesServices  Landscaping Services  Electrical Services  Rebar Supply Pavement Marking & Demolition Services  Painting & Lead Abatement Services  Asbestos Abatement  Painting & Lead Abatement Services  Asbestos Abatement & Demolition Services  Landscaping Electrical Services  Fence andServices Shed Installation & Rental  Excavation  Fence and Shed Installation & Rental  Excavation  Scheduling Services  Furnish andAbatement Install Misc Metals  Painting & Lead Abatement Services Asbestos Demolition Services  Scheduling Services  Furnish and Install Misc & Metals  Asphalt  Concrete Placement  Fence and Paving Shed Installation & Rental Excavation  Asphalt Paving  Concrete Placement  CleaningServices Services  Carpentry Services  Scheduling Furnish and Install Misc Metals  Cleaning Services  Carpentry Services  Furnish and Install Curb and Sidewalk Sub  Fabrication of Misc Metals  Asphalt Paving Concrete Placement  Furnish and Install Curb and Sidewalk Sub  Fabrication of Misc Metals  TV Sewer Services  Fabricate and supply doors  TV Sewer Services  Fabricate supply doors  Cleaning Services Carpentryand Services  Masonry Services  Spray Cement/Plaster Sub  Masonry Cement/Plaster Sub  Furnish and Services Install Curb and Sidewalk Sub  Spray Fabrication of Misc Metals  Trucking & Disposal  Engineering Design Services  Sewer Trucking & Disposal  Engineering Design Services  TV Services Fabricate and supply doors

Major Gerald Lewis, Jr. of NJ State Police in charge of Community Affairs addresses audience at Committee of Black Churchmen, MLK event at St. James AME in Newark

 

Spray Cement/Plaster Sub Engineering Design Services

If you are an M/W/D/LBE union worker or you are a federal, state, or city certified If you are an M/W/D/LBE union worker or you are a federal, state, or city certified

M/W/D/LBE company involved in heavy civil construction work, please contact us at (212) Current Opportunities in: M/W/D/LBE company involved in heavy civil construction work, please contact us at (212) 431-3993 or 431-3993 or

If you are an M/W/D/LBE union worker or you are a federal, state, or city certified M/W/D/LBE company involved in heavy civil construction work, please contact us at (212) 431-3993 or


$ 250 Up to

February 15 & 16

8AM - 8PM


Essex County Residents can anonymously turn in up to 3 guns, NO questions asked!

per wea

At these 6 Safe Church Locations in these 5 Cities: • Union Baptist Church, 12-14 Midland Avenue — Montclair • St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 15-21 Sanford Street — East Orange • The Church of Epiphany, 105 Main Street — Orange • Christian Love Baptist Church, 830 Lyons Avenue — Irvington • Calvary Gospel Church, 17 Lyons Avenue — Newark • Paradise Baptist Church, 348-352 15th Avenue — Newark Sponsored by the NJ Office of the Attorney General, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, East Orange, Irvington, Montclair, Newark & Orange PDs

For more information visit or call 609.984.5828 February 2013 The Positive Community


CMIT Solutions of Northern Union County BE WARY OF SCAMMERS POSING AS TECH SUPPORT Phishing attacks aren’t just limited to fraudulent emails. We’ve recently heard reports of scammers calling people on the phone, claiming to be from Microsoft (or some other well-known company), and telling potential victims that their computer contains a virus. If the victim takes the bait, he or she is directed to a fraudulent website and told to enter a code. With that, the scammer gains total control over the victim’s computer. In addition to deleting files or installing malicious software, the scammer can read the victim’s personal files or configure the computer to store and distribute stolen software, adult material, or illegal content. In many cases, the scammer will attempt to coerce payment from the victim to remove the non-existent virus or even to merely relinquish control of the machine. If you unwittingly become a victim of this scam, contact law enforcement. To protect yourself from falling victim, do not cooperate with people calling you out of the blue claiming to be from tech support, especially if you don’t have a contract with a tech support or managed service provider. If you do have such a contract, verify the identity of the caller, the name of the company, and their phone number. Legitimate support personnel (like a trusty CMIT technician) should be happy to provide such information. CMIT Solutions has the answers to all your technology questions, from Windows tips and tricks to malware protection to cloud computing.

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.

Cecil Cates • 973.325.3663 55 Union Avenue Suite 114 • Summit, NJ 07901 18

The Positive Community February 2013

Hudson Etienne Sr, EA, ATP, ATA CEO and Chief Strategist – TAX DRx

Tax Tips for 2012 The REMEDY for your TAXING CONCERNS 1. Hire a licensed or registered tax pro The IRS is continuing its efforts to regulate tax preparers. The process began with the registration of return preparers and the issuance of a personal Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN, to each. The IRS is ramping up its effort to hold tax preparers accountable and weed out unscrupulous tax pros, with proposals to fingerprint preparers and, in 2013, require them to pass competency exams. If you hire a tax pro, ask about his or her IRS registration status, along with your usual inquiries to verify the preparer's ability to meet your tax needs. Better yet, hire an Enrolled Agent (EA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Tax Attorney if your case is a bit more complex or if you want to establish a relationship with a tax advisor for continuous advice throughout the year.

2. Take a Tax Deduction for your Hurricane Losses Hurricane Sandy Victims may take the un-reimbursed loss on their 2012 tax return. Filing for this claim could give you a refund to help pay expenses resulting from the disaster. 3. Capitalize on Educational Credits For taxpayers who are attending college or with children in college, The Educational Opportunity Credit can add up to $2,500/child to your refund and up to $2,000 for graduate studies. 4. Take an Exemption for people you are caring for For taxpayers who are caring for aging parents, your college-age child or others, know the requirements that will give you a dependency exemption. Don’t let poor planning or paying for the

(877) 908-1040 wrong expenses cost you a tax-cutting dependency exemption (focus on costs for living expenses). 5. Note health care info on W-2 When you get your 2012 W-2, you might notice some new information on the form. Box 12 is where employers will report the cost of your workplace's group health insurance coverage. This amount is both the amount the business pays as well as the premiums paid via payroll deductions by the workers. Don't freak out. The amount, which will be designated by the code DD, is not taxable income. It's informational only, designed to help Uncle Sam confirm taxpayers have coverage. Under the health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, the data will help to enforce the eventual individual coverage as well as the so-called Cadillac tax on more

expensive workplace insurance plans. However, if you don't see anything in Box 12, don't freak out about that either. The IRS ruled that reporting 2012 health care data is being phased in. 6. Give Gifts Giving to charity can help reduce an annual tax bill, but if you have a large estate, gifts also are important estate tax tools. Thanks to the resurrection of the estate tax in 2011, the unified gift tax also returned. This means you can give away $5 million during your lifetime without having to pay the 35 percent gift tax. There's also an annual amount to note in giving away your estate's assets while you're still around to get thanks. In 2012, you can give up to $13,000 each to as many individuals as you wish without any tax costs to you or your gift recipients.

If You’re Ready to Buy a Home, We are ready to Help. The State of New York Mortgage Agency offers: up to $15,000.00 Down Payment Assistance


for Housing

February 2013 The Positive Community


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Photo: Wali Amin Muhammad

Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project


he 16th Annual Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project Economic Summit was held Wednesday, January 30 through Friday, February 1, 2013 at the The Roosevelt Hotel in New York, NY. The theme was “Wall Street to Main Street: Economic Parity—The Struggle Continues...” The Wall Street Project challenges corporate America to end the multi-billion-dollar trade deficit with minority vendors and consumers and works to ensure equal opportunity for diverse employees, entrepreneurs, and consumers. Highlights of the three-day conference were the Access to Capital Luncheon, Labor Breakfast, Career Symposium, Ministers Luncheon, Youth Summit and the WSP Small Business Institute. During the 16th Annual Gala Fundraiser Reception in the Grand Ballroom of the Roosevelt Hotel, Rev. Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Dionne Warwick and others paid tribute to Motown Founder Berry Gordy. Photo: Margot Jordan

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L–R; Health First VP George Hulse, Atty. Willie Gary and Deon Levingston, WBLS general manager

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Sisters Tina (right) and Erika of the gospel duo Mary Mary with former President Bill Clinton and Rev. Jesse Jackson

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: Moving Forward “ ... as long as we stay together as long as we pray together …”

L–R: Hakim Jeffries and Karim Camara

Photos: Armando Tavarez

Alise Renaud singing God Bless America


Manifest Emanuel BC

ore than one thousand well-wishers celebrated the installation of Hakeem Jeffries as the Representative to Congress from the Brooklyn/Queens 8th Congressional District at a ceremony at Pratt Institute’s Memorial Hall Auditorium on January 27, 2013. Rep. Jeffries won election to the seat vacated by Rep. Edolphus (Ed) Towns, who had been the district’s representative for 28 years until his retirement prior to the November 2012 election. Assemblyman Karim Camara, chairman of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus, served as emcee for the evening. Along with hundreds of neighborhood residents, dozens of elected officials including Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke and numerous city and state representatives, judges from the civil and state courts, district leaders and former Rep. Towns were on hand for the celebration. The program included a moving rendition of “God Bless America” sung by Alisa Renaud and a powerful performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” By Kelcey Phillips. The all-male choral group MANIFEST, from Emmanuel Baptist Church, opened the program. Members of the Brown Memorial Baptist Church choir also

vided musical selections. Their senior pastor, Rev. Clinton M. Miller, delivered the benediction. A highlight of the event was a short film featuring interviews with community leaders including Rep. Jeffries' pastor, Rev. Lawrence Aker, III of Cornerstone Baptist Church, Council Member Al Vann, and Anita Garcia, a Coney Island resident and former principal of P.S. 329 Surfside. The film, which focuses on Jeffries’ journey to congress, was produced by his close friend and district resident, filmmaker Wilkie Cornelius In his remarks, Rep. Jeffries told the audience: We’re going to give you the government that you deserve. A government that provides for the poor, works for working families, makes sense for the middle class, stands up for senior citizens, innovates in the inner city, looks out for the left-behind, and promotes prosperity for the greatest number of Americans possible. That's my charge. That's my goal. That’s my mission. We’re not going backwards, we’re going to keep moving forward and as long as we stay together, as long as we pray together, as long as we continue to work day and night together, our community will be a better place for everybody. February 2013 The Positive Community


A Day On For King Commemoration Metropolitan B.C. holds Job Fair

Reverend Dr. David Jefferson, senior pastor, Metropolitan BC


etropolitan Baptist Church in Newark commemorated the King Holiday with a worship service and job fair. Hundreds waited patiently on lines to submit employment applications and talk with representatives from a host of interested firms. The church sanctuary remained at near standing room capacity for much of the day. Many watched with pride and cheered watching President Obama’s Inauguration to a historic second term in office, via giant overhead video screens. MBC, Economic Development Committee member, Jacqueline Barnes and Norma Gonzalez, City of Newark, Newark Works.

L–R: MBC Trustees Dallas Gordon and Elton Hill

Photos: Wali Amin Muhammad

Community Partners TD Bank


The Positive Community February 2013

Come to the of it



Celebrate Valentine’s Day!

one center street , newark , nj

Krush Groove (1985)

Anthony Hamilton

Film/Discussion with

Chrisette Michele

Fri, Mar 1 at 7:00


Thu, Feb 14 at 8:00


The Ultimate String Performance Fri, Feb 22 at 8:00

Sweet Honey In The Rock

Remembering Miriam Mikeba, Odetta and Abbey Lincoln Sat, Mar 2 at 8:00

Celtic Woman As seen on PBS!

Thu, Mar 14 at 8:00

Nelson George

A revealing look at the mid-1980’s mass emergence of hip hop culture with a young Blair Underwood and performances by Sheila E., Run-D.M.C., Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow, New Edition, Beastie Boys, and more. Special guest panelists: Bill Adler (American music journalist and hip hop critic) and Bill Stephney (producer, Public Enemy).

Cesar Millan: The Dog Whisperer A fun evening to “rehabilitate dogs and train humans”

Sun, Mar 10 at 7:00

El Gran Combo with special guest Tony Vega and His Orchestra

Only New Jersey Appearance! Sat, Mar 16 at 8:00

Mike Tyson

The Undisputed Truth Directed by Spike Lee Tue, Mar 19 at 8:00

Take 6 and Hezekiah Walker Jazz Meets Gospel

Presented at NJPAC in association with Jazz Roots.

Fri, Mar 29 at 8:00

For tickets and full 2013 spring schedule visit or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC

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Education T eac h i n g , L ea r n i n g , M a k i n g a D iffe r e n ce

By R.L. Witter

Unsung Heroes of Black History T

here is more to Black History Month than Frederic Douglass, Harriet Tubman and MLK. Read about some of the lesser known figures in black history and discover more with some research of your own. Henry “Box” Brown In 1856, Henry Brown mailed himself from Richmond, VA to freedom in Philadelphia, PA. He built a box three feet long by two feet eight inches deep and packed a jug of water, a few biscuits, and a pry-bar to open the box from the inside. He had his friend, James A. Smith, another slave, address the box to the home of an abolitionist, William H. Johnson, on Philadelphia's Arch Street. To lessen the hardship of being locked in the box in a fetal position, Brown marked the outside of the box “Handle with Care” and “This Side Up” so that he would travel with his head up.


The Positive Community February 2013

The postal service did not follow his instructions to keep the box right side up and after traveling upside down for 25 hours, Brown arrived at Johnson's home. Johnson took the box to the office of the Anti-Slavery Society. After members of the society pried the top of the box open, Brown jumped up and said, “How do you do, gentlemen!” In 1859, William Peel Jones used Henry “Box” Brown as a model in planning his escape from slavery in a box aboard a steamship from Baltimore, MD to Philadelphia, PA. Jones had a special reason to attempt his escape. His white master had confided that he was liquidating his assets and

Henry “Box” Brown

intended to sell Jones and other slaves as soon as possible. Like Henry Brown, Jones acquired a box for his escape. However, he picked a box that was too small for him, even in a fetal position and was forced to keep his legs folded in a painful position throughout his voyage. In addition to the leg cramps and bruises from the cramped space, he was agonizingly cold. When the boat reached Philadelphia, Jones was rescued by the same friends who had mailed him and traveled by land to be in Philadelphia when the box arrived. His pain and his friend’s teamwork paid off when they opened the box and Jones was alive and free.


Maggie Walker

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler The first African American woman to receive a medical degree in the U.S., Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, was born in 1831 and raised by an aunt who provided care for ill neighbors. Watching and assisting her aunt may have influenced her choice to go into the medical profession, since there was very little medical care for poor black people at the time. Crumpler worked as a nurse in Charlestown, MA until heavy demands for medical care of Civil War veterans led a new generation of women — including Crumpler — to pursue medical degrees. Crumpler earned her degree in 1864 from New England Female Medical College. “It was a significant achievement at the time because she was in the first generation of women of color to break into medical school, fight racism and sexism,” said Manon Parry, curator at the National Library of Medicine's History of Medicine Division. “It was a common theme that minority females went into the profession to provide medical care for underserved communities.” After the war, Crumpler moved to

James Armistead

Richmond, VA, where her main focus was on the health needs of freed slaves. In her work with other black doctors, she tended to large groups of the poor and destitute that would have had little access to medical care and a new path was forged for healthcare in underserved communities. Her experience led her to publish her now-renowned Book of Medical Discourses In Two Parts, one of the first known medical writings by an African American and an early guidebook on public health. Maggie Walker The daughter of former slaves, Maggie Walker was born in 1867 and raised in poverty, supported by wages from taking in laundry. A gifted student, Walker finished high school at 16 and began teaching, only to work for the St. Luke organization, which later promoted her to executive secretary. While with St. Luke, she helped establish a newspaper, a printing press, an insurance company and a college education fund. At the same time, she saw that few if any black people knew much about finance and investing, and none of them could get

loans from white-owned banks. She convinced those who would listen to her to bring together about $9,400 and in 1903, opened the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, the first woman of any race to preside over a savings institution. “We need a savings bank,” she said, “chartered, offered and run by the men and women of this order. Let us have a bank that will take nickels and turn them into dollars.” Walker championed the cause of self-sufficient economic empowerment for African Americans. She joined the popular call of black leaders for entrepreneurship as a path to true social freedom. Bank customers deposited a nickel a week into their accounts, and the assets continued to multiply. By 1913, the bank had collected $300,000 in assets; by 1920 it had helped to purchase 600 homes. When the Great Depression struck in 1929, St. Luke Savings had enough in holdings to absorb all the other local black-owned banks and become Consolidated Bank and Trust, holding assets of $400,000. The bank is still headquartered in Richmond today. Continued on next page February 2013 The Positive Community



Continued from previous page

“As her friends abandoned their seats, Colvin remained, even when the bus driver yelled at her. When the city police met the bus a few stops later and demanded that she move, Colvin remained, repeating, ‘You’re violating

my civil rights.’

James Armistead Born around 1748 in New Kent, VA, James Armistead was given permission by his master to join the revolutionary cause. Blacks —both free and enslaved— were used by the British and Americans to gain intelligence against each other. Armistead was a double-agent. He joined the army in 1781 under the Marquis de Lafayette, commander of the French allied forces. Armistead entered the camp of the traitor Benedict Arnold camp posing as an escaped slave and served as an orderly and guide. He gathered intelligence and sent it back to Lafayette. Later, he returned north with Arnold and was able to learn further details of British operations without being detected. The British also used him as a spy, so he was able to feed them inaccurate data and travel freely between both sides. Using the intricate details Armistead provided about the British naval fleet moving troops to Yorktown, VA, Lafayette and George Washington concentrated American and French forces to form a blockade, crippling the British military and resulting in their surrender on October 19, 1781. It is widely believed that Armistead’s information turned the tide and without it the war could not have been won. Despite his service to his country, Armistead had to petition the Virginia legislature for manumission —freedom from his master. Lafay-


The Positive Community February 2013

Claudette Colvin

ette wrote a recommendation for him and his freedom was granted in 1787. Armistead adopted Lafayette’s surname in gratitude and lived as a free man and farmer in Virginia until his death in 1830. Claudette Colvin Before Rosa Parks, there was 15-year-old Claudette Colvin, a smart and fearless Montgomery, AL student interested in politics and civil rights. In March of 1955, Colvin and her friends boarded a bus and sat behind the first five rows, the section reserved for “Whites Only.” As more passengers boarded, the driver demanded that she and her friends relinquish their seats to accommodate white passengers, which was, in fact, illegal. As her friends abandoned their seats, Colvin remained, even when the bus driver yelled at her. When the city police met the bus a few stops later and demanded that she move, Colvin remained, repeating, “You’re violating my civil rights.” She was physically dragged from the bus and arrested. Beaten, handcuffed, called racial slurs and charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and violating the city’s segregation law, she was jailed with adults. She was found guilty of all charges by a hostile judge and civil rights leaders questioned if she was the right person to lead a monumental charge against segregation. She was

recruited by the leader of the local NAACP’s youth group, Rosa Parks, who later refused to give up her seat and set in motion the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Months later, Rev. Martin Luther King was arrested and tried for his participation in the boycott, charged with organizing an illegal bus boycott. King was found guilty, fined and sentenced to one year of prison labor. Attorney Fred Gray took the city to trial in federal court in a lawsuit intended to eliminate segregation in the city bus system. Claudette Colvin was a plaintiff and the most powerful witness. The threejudge panel ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, laying the ground for the end of segregation in Montgomery. Colvin, who lives in New York City, told the Montgomery Advertiser that she would not have changed her decision to remain seated. “I feel very, very proud of what I did. I do feel like what I did was a spark and it caught on. I'm not disappointed,” Colvin said. “Let the people know Rosa Parks was the right person for the boycott. But also let them know that the attorneys took four other women to the Supreme Court to challenge the law that led to the end of segregation.” For more examples of African American ingenuity, bravery and dedication in American History, visit

A columbia black history month quiz

Did You Know... Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Lucy Diggs Slowe (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1915), one of the original founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, was also a professional tennis player and first African American woman to win a major sports title. She became a vocal advocate for women’s rights and academic opportunities.

While attending law school, Paul Robeson (Columbia Law School 1923) was already winning acclaim as a singer and stage actor in New York. A two-time All-American football star as a Rutgers undergraduate, Robeson went on to become a beloved concert singer and movie star, whose controversial political beliefs led to the blacklisting that helped end his remarkable career.

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Metropolitan Musical Bureau/ Columbia University Archives

Charles Henry Alston (Columbia College 1929, Teachers College 1931) was the first African American to teach at the Museum of Modern Art. Alston also supervised the New Deal’s WPA murals created at Harlem Hospital in the first major federal government commissions awarded to African American artists.

Ben Johnson (Columbia College 1933–38) was once known as the “world’s fastest human.” After he shattered a number of world records in the 1930s—and upset world champions Ralph Metcalfe and Jesse Owens—newspapers dubbed Johnson the “Columbia Comet.”

Columbia University Archives

Queens College

Columbia University Athletics

Kenneth B. Clark (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1940, Law School 1970) and Mamie Phipps Clark (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1943) conducted pioneering research that challenged the notion of differences in the mental abilities of black and white children, playing an important role in desegregation.

The work of Charles R. Drew (College of Physicians and Surgeons 1940) in the field of blood transfusions led to his development of the world’s first blood bank. He also improved techniques for blood storage and challenged the scientific fallacy of racial segregation in blood donation.

Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

In addition to being the first African American woman to serve as a federal judge, Constance Baker Motley (Columbia Law School 1946, 2003) also had a major impact on ending racial discrimination. As the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s associate counsel, she helped draft briefs for the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. From Timothy Greenfield-Sanders October 1961 to the end of 1964, Motley won 9 of the 10 civil rights cases she argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, including James Meredith’s successful suit to attend the University of Mississippi. Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (Teachers College 1951) was the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Chisholm earned acclaim as a tireless advocate for the interests of African Americans, women and the urban poor, and as a champion of greater educational opportunity for all.

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.

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

Norma Sklarek (School of Architecture 1950), in 1954, became the first African American woman licensed to practice architecture in New York City, and in 1966, became the first woman elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Twenty years later, in 1985, she became the first African American women to form her own architectural firm—Siegel, Sklarek, Diamond—at the American Institute of Architects time the largest woman-owned architectural firm. Attorney General Eric Holder (Columbia College 1973, Columbia Law School 1976) worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund the summer after he graduated from law school. A former University trustee, Holder is the first African American attorney general of the United States and one of the most experienced government lawyers ever named to the position.

Dustin Ross/Columbia University

Columbia University

Robert L. Carter (Columbia Law School 1941), after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, became chief strategist and lead counsel on the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. He succeeded Thurgood Marshall as general counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in 1956, arguing and winning 21 of 22 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Barack Obama (Columbia College 1983) was inaugurated as the nation’s first African American president on Jan. 20, 2009. A gifted orator and writer, he organized his campaign with unparalleled grass roots support and brought out record numbers of voters to the polls across the country. Eileen Barroso/Columbia University

To learn more about this key part of our local and national history, visit Rutgers University, Special Collections and University Archives

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3/6/12 4:36 PM

Photo: Hubert Williams

City College of New York President Lisa S. Coico accepts $1 million check from Councilmember Robert Jackson (center) to fund renovations for Aaron Davis Hall. Looking on are (L–R:) Anthony Achille, CCNY director of government and community affairs; Gregory Shanck, managing director, Aaron Davis Hall; Karen Witherspoon, CCNY vice president, government and community affairs, and Johanna Garcia, chief of staff to Councilmember Jackson.

Aaron Davis Hall to Get $1 Million Makeover Councilman Robert Jackson Comes to the Rescue


or thirty years world renowned scholars, artistic giants and academic geniuses have blessed the stages of The City College of New York’s Aaron Davis Hall. At the center of the cultural hub of Upper Manhattan and Harlem, Aaron Davis Hall is a first-class performing and visual arts complex where public performances and exhibitions by City College students, faculty and staff are presented; but various community


The Positive Community February 2013

and nationally based organizations find it a most attractive and convenient venue in which to put on events of all kinds. Among the notables from many diverse fields who have graced its stages are Maya Angelou, Tito Puente, Nancy Wilson, Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Baryshnikov to name a few. Located at Convent Avenue and

135th Street on the campus of City College, with its stunning architecture, two theaters and one studio, Aaron Davis Hall is the only cultural facility of its kind between Lincoln Center and uptown Manhattan and is used by groups such as Carnegie Hall, Dance Theater of Harlem, Ballet Hispanico, Harlem School of the Arts and many, many more. The hall, however, is showing some wear and tear. The equipment is obsolete and the infrastructure needs a makeover. Thanks to New York City Councilman Robert Jackson, it will soon be getting much–needed renovation. On January 14, 2013, Councilman Jackson presented a check for $1 million to CCNY President Lisa. S. Coico, so that the Aaron Davis Hall can continue on as a premiere center for the arts. –JNW

AA Pride 13_PosComm 2/7/13 11:28 AM Page 1

Pride of New York

Shirley Chisholm Brooklyn College Former Congresswoman and Candidate for Democratic Presidential Nomination In Memoriam Helen Marshall Queens College Queens Borough President, Former New York City Council Member and New York State Assembly Member

Bert Mitchell Baruch College Founder, Chairman & CEO Mitchell & Titus LLP

Ayodele Oti Macaulay Honors College at City College of New York Truman Scholar 2011

Colin Powell City College of New York Former U.S. Secretary of State Former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff

The City University of New York Celebrates Black History Month.


Walter Mosley City College of New York Award-Winning Author Founder, City College Publishing Certificate Program

Iyanla Vanzant Medgar Evers College CUNY Law School Best-selling Author, Inspirational Speaker

Robert T. Johnson City College of New York District Attorney, Bronx County; Former Acting Justice of New York State Supreme Court

Lowell Hawthorne Bronx Community College President and CEO Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill

Philip Berry Borough of Manhattan Community College Queens College Vice Chairperson, CUNY Board of Trustees President, Philip Berry Associates LLC.

Ruby Dee Hunter College Award-Winning Stage, Film Actress and Screenwriter

Funlayo Easter Wood Bronx Community College CUNY B.A., City College of New York M.A. Fulbright-Hays Scholar 2011, Harvard University


“History is a people’s memory, and without memory man is demoted to the lower animals”—Malcolm X fter enlisting in the US Army in 1953, Private Nathaniel James was first assigned to the Great Registration Unit. It was the duty of this unit to pick up the bodies on the battlefield and ship them back home. Now retired and decorated with two-stars, former Major General Nathaniel James of the New York State National Guard has become a keeper of history. As the president of the 369th Historical Society, he guards the history of this infantry regiment with a fierce reverence. Indeed, the history of the men who earned the name “The Harlem Hellfighters” is well worth preserving. Authorized in 1913 and organized on June 29, 1916 in New York City, the 369th Infantry was the first African American regiment to serve in the Armed Forces during World War I. After enduring humiliating insults and other acts of barefaced racism during their training on home ground, the men of the 369th were assigned to fight with the allied French Army for the duration of the war. Armed with a fierce determination, the men were undeterred by efforts to break their spirits. Though the Military Code of Conduct as it now exists was not in existence during their day, there is little doubt that the men, by their actions, adhered to the letter of Article VI which states: “I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.” One of the first units in the United States Armed Forces to have black officers in addition to its all-black enlisted corps, the 369th compiled an astounding war


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February 2013

record. They fought for 191 days in battle and never lost a foot of ground or had a man taken prisoner. In recapping their story, Arthur W. Little, a battalion commander, wrote in the regimental history From Harlem to the Rhine, “Only once Maj. Gen. did it fail to take its objective Nathaniel James and that was due largely to bungling by French artillery support.” For their gallantry in battle, the French government awarded the regiment with the Croix de Guerre— the highest Medal of Honor, and called them “The Harlem Hellfighters.” In 1919 the 369th Armory was built, standing majestically at the convergence of 5th Avenue and 142nd Street in Harlem. That first building, called the Drill Shed, is a monumental testament to the strong will of the 369th Infantry. Every doorknob in the building is inscribed with TOP IMAGE: Soldiers of the 369th (15th N.Y.) who won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action, 1919. Left to right. Front row: Pvt. Ed Williams, Herbert Taylor, Pvt. Leon Fraitor, Pvt. Ralph Hawkins. Back Row: Sgt. H. D. Prinas, Sgt. Dan Strorms, Pvt. Joe Williams, Pvt. Alfred Hanley, and Cpl. T. W. Taylor

OURSTORY the emblem of the 369th; its crest is etched into the wall of the lobby of the Administration Building built in 1932. It houses 55,000 artifacts that tell the story of the Hellfighters. This is the history that General James hopes to preserve. However, his efforts are under threat of being thwarted when renovation of the building gets underway later this year. The Historical Society has been asked to move during the rebuilding, but there is no guarantee of a return. General James fears that the Society will lose its home and by extension the memorabilia it houses. So with the same intensity with which he protected his troops during his active duty, General James is nesting every shred of the Unit’s history. “Who is better to keep your family history, you or your neighbor?” he asked. “So that’s what I am doing,” he added after a dramatic pause. “I am keeping the history of the 369th for the African American community. And there is no way I am going to lose all that we collected over so many years.” As the only two-star African American General in New York State, General James has lived this history of what it took to be a black officer in the US Military. With recollection as fresh as if it had taken place yesterday, the General related one of the many stories in which race trumped rank as he tried to lead his men. “I remember one day I was in command of a contingent leaving New York to visit some of my other men in Wisconsin,” he began. “We were travelling by plane from Westchester Airport and once there we heard the announcement:

France’s highest military honor, the Croix de Guerre

Soldiers from the 369th were honored throughout France for their heroism

‘General James your plane is ready.’ So I instructed my men to board, and consistent with Army protocol, I, as the General, was the last to get on the plane. I gave the pilot the go ahead and he turned to me and said, ‘Sorry but we have to wait on General James.’ Blinded by my race he never looked at the two stars on my uniform,” he said with a note of sadness in his voice. He may be retired from active duty, but with the same fighting spirit that has been the hallmark of the 369th for almost 100 years, General James is determined to win this war to save the Historical Society. The battle plan has not yet been completed, but there is no doubt that it will be executed with military precision. However, in this preservation war, the troops that General James is hoping to marshal are the community in Harlem — people who are profoundly proud of the history of the 369th. With the passion with which the community has embraced the men who put their little enclave on the map, anyone impeding the preservation of that history may be well advised to heed the sober warning contained in Proverbs 22:28: “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” And so it is! February 2013 The Positive Community


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The Positive Community February 2013

Culture M U S I C ,




Apollo Past and Present By Ron Scott

Photos: The Apollo Foundation

he world famous Apollo Theater is more than just a concert hall—it is an extraordinary part of American culture, a colorful patch of an artistic quilt of black history sewn in Harlem with threads of pride and determination that continue to inspire performers around the world. From the horrific segregated days of the early 1930s and through the rebellious 1960s, the Apollo Theater was the main stop for black performers on the “Chitlin’ Circuit.” The coined phrase during segregation represented a string of performance venues where blacks performed in the eastern and southern United States. Some of these noted concert halls included Atlanta’s Royal Peacock;


Washington, DC’s recently reopened Howard Theatre; Chicago’s Regal Theatre; Baltimore’s Royal Theatre and Detroit’s Fox Theatre. Although these halls were significant stops, none could compare to the Apollo Theater. It became the place where everybody wanted to perform (Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan had already won Amateur Night) and the audience became known for its rambunctious vocal acceptance or disapproval of performers daring to make an impression on the sacred stage. After all, this was Harlem—the Big Apple, Baby! Its reputation as the worldwide epicenter of black culture had already been established with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. Originally a dancehall and then a “whites only” burlesque theater, the building at 253 W. 125th Street fell into disrepair in the late 1920s. Frank Schiffman and Leo Brecher reopened the Apollo in 1934 as “a colored review” entitled “Jazz a la Carte.” It featured movie star Ralph Cooper as host, Benny Carter and his orchestra, and “16 Gorgeous Hot Steppers.” The Apollo, looking to cast a wide net for all audience seekers, presented five shows daily starting at 10am. There were acrobats, comedians, dancers, vocalists, the main act and the accompanying big band. It opened with a newsreel or short film warming the audience up before the host would take the stage asking, “Are you ready for Showtime at the Apollo?” Admission to a show was 15 cents in the morning and 50 cents on weekend nights. Performers were paid $75 for 31 shows a week; and those beautiful dancing chorus girls were paid $16 weekly, with part of their pay used to purchase shoes and costumes. The famous theater became the entertainment Mecca for a host of performers including the Teddy Hale Band, Mamie Smith, Ethel Waters, Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Webb, February 2013 The Positive Community








Jimmie Lunceford, Alberta Hunter, the Five Blind Boys, the Ink Spots, Redd Foxx, Honi Coles, Bill Bailey, Cholly Atkins, the Step Brothers, Symphony Sid, Jocko Henderson, James P. Johnson, Paul Robeson, and Canada Lee. They were followed by Prince, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Sly & the Family Stone, Luther Vandross, Arthur Prysock, and later by white artists including Rod Stewart, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Justin Bieber. Although the Apollo’s audience has become more diverse over the last seven decades with people from around the world (France, Japan, Europe, Australia) visiting on a regular basis, its musical tradition has remained intact. “We are always looking for programs that will appeal to everyone, the Harlem community, the greater New York City community and tourists. In an effort to meet these goals we program for Harlem first,” stated Mikki Shepard, the Apollo’s executive producer. “We have a new artistic vision with music at the core, developing new and cutting edge works for new and established artists.” In keeping with its rich musical legacy, for Black History Month the Apollo Theater will transform into “Apollo Club Harlem,” showcasing a night club reminiscontinued on next page

Louis Armstrong

Aretha Franklin

Michael Jackson

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February 2013

APOLLO continued from previous page

cent of the noted Harlem clubs of the 1930s and 40s. This new production on February 18, 22, and 23 is a fastpaced 90-minute revue hosted, directed, and choreographed by multi-talented Maurice Hines. It will feature Grammy-winner Dee Dee Bridgewater, jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, street dancer Storyboard P, tap dancer Dormeshia and a supporting cast of dancers and musicians. “I am thrilled about this show. I made a promise to only return to the Apollo for a show I respected, knew about, and a show that tributes people that I respected and worked with,” explained Hines, the legendary tap dancer. “This show celebrates greats like Duke Ellington and Count Basie, who I worked with during Harlem’s glory days. This is a dream come true.” Audience members in the orchestra level of the theater will experience a club style setting with tables, complete with drink service, dancing and interaction with the performers. “I don’t know where I could work at a place that I love so much,” stated Billy Mitchell, tour director and in-house historian of the Apollo Theater Foundation. “This place means the world to me. The Apollo gave me a roof over my head and food in the refrigerator.” Mitchell is one of the longest tenured employees at the theater having held positions as stagehand, gift shop manager and Amateur Night producer. He coordinated the Apollo’s first Caribbean Music Award Show and produced many of the theater’s children performances. Of all the stars at the Apollo, James Brown influenced him the most. “He influenced me to get my education,” Mitchell explained. “He told me to dream big and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, that’s why they make erasers.” As the crown-jewel of theater in Harlem with a reputation that spans the globe, the Apollo remains a creative catalyst that continues to build on its foundation. The signature Amateur Night, now in its 79th year, was America’s original talent show long before television’s Ed Sullivan Show or American Idol. The not-for-profit theater offers an exciting array of presentations such as the US premiere of the global HipHop dance theater festival, Breakin Convention: NYC, and the Tongues of Fire Choir, presented as part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited, a six-month citywide retrospective that honors and explores the legacy of artist, poet, and educator Sekou Sundiata. The presentation Ask Your Mama brings together a unique configuration of performers such as international opera star, Jessye Norman, The Roots, and jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon. According to Mikki Shepard, “A good programmer wants people to walk away feeling good and also walk away with a history experience learning something in the process. People like to come to the Apollo because it’s the real deal.”

February 2013 The Positive Community



Doris Young Boyer is a motivational speaker, seminar leader and co-author of Mastering the Art of Success with Les Brown, Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield. She is founder and director of A Sense of Grace School of Etiquette, Confidence and Success.

Etiquette is More than the Correct Fork imply put, etiquette is a system for living with others and an aid to living in community. A system of tools, skills and standards, etiquette helps us navigate through business, personal and social situations with confidence, thus leading to success. When some people hear the term etiquette, they think of dining and party manners. Others think of it as putting on airs or getting on a “high horse.” While etiquette training advocates the high road, it does not mean that one should behave in a haughty or condescending manner. In fact, it is just the opposite. The foundation for etiquette is courtesy and kindness. Etiquette is for every day, from the gum wrapper you put in the trash, to the door you hold for the person behind you, to the way you speak to your children or your employees. The topic is broad and practical—how one treats others and the skills we use on a regular basis. Etiquette knowledge covers home training; relationships; leadership; problem solving; communication; business protocols; image; having a global viewpoint; having a commitment to civility; valuing others; resolving conflict; wisdom; confidence; poise; polish; social savvy; interviewing for a job; generating revenue; being part of a team, a respectful workplace, a positive and civil community; customer service; freedom; productivity; gracious living and yes, party manners and dining. Etiquette is a non-negotiable life skill and the ticket to all you desire to accomplish. I refer to etiquette knowledge as an insurance policy that helps us avoid unintentional and preventable mistakes. This body of knowledge helps you know what may work before a situation arises and gives you a feeling of confidence and power. Napoleon Hill, noted author of titles such as The Law of Success and Think and Grow Rich, said that “Power is organized and intelligently directed knowledge.” I call the confidence that results from knowing how to navigate business and social situations with a variety of skills, EtiquettePower (EQP). EtiquettePower creates an inner knowing that leaves you free to concentrate on whatever is taking place at the moment rather than just yourself.


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When some people hear the term etiquette, they think of dining and party manners. Others think of it as putting on airs or getting on a “high horse.” One of my readers asked if this isn’t just common sense. In my book, Mastering the Art of Success, I explain that “. . . common sense can be cultural, geographical or situational.” As the world becomes more global, etiquette and business protocol will become more universal, intentional, strategic and common. What do you think? In this column, as space permits, we will address topics and questions that you have. Send your thoughts and questions to My EQP™ tip for this month: “Align your actions with your goals.”

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February 2013 The Positive Community



Lovetta “Lovey” Goodman’s Transformation In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. —1 John 4:9-11 Grace & Peace! n the spirit of this month’s focus on the myth of Cupid’s connection to match making, I felt the need to remind us that there is no greater love than that of Jesus and God our Father and there is a requirement that he has given to us, which is to love one another. And it’s not just for family or the people you know, it’s especially for those we don’t know and specifically to the ones we wish we never knew (our enemies). His word tells us in John 13:35 that it’s our ID badge as a Christian and by this all people will know that we are His disciples. This new artist not only represents the Kingdom by her works, but her name says it all. Lovetta Goodman or “Lovey” as friends and family call her, is ready to spread the love of God in song for the world to hear. Now, I say new artist just in case you haven’t heard of her, although she has had a 25-year singing career.Those who don’t remember her name, remember the voice of “that girl from Bibleway”—Greater Bibleway Temple of Brooklyn, NY that is! Apostle Huie L. Rogers is the pastor. Some may remember her voice from her recording as the lead singer with the Bronx Mass Choir. With choir decorum as one of her specialties she has taught and sung with Long Island University—Brooklyn Campus’ choir New Millennium Voices. It was her work with that group that garnered her\Best Alto Soloist title in the 2001 Collegiate Choir Competition, sponsored by the National Black Music Caucus. I had the pleasure of being a member of the “Voices” and witness her ministry as I sang background for her on a 17 city tour in Italy. Goodman has also ministered with and for other gospel greats like Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Tramaine Hawkins, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Reverend Timothy Wright and Reverend Daryl Coley to name a few. In addition, Lovey and her family group,


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Family & Friends In Praise, were featured on A James Hall Christmas CD. The secular world got a taste of her when she had the opportunity to perform with the world renowned group Earth, Wind and Fire. She is known throughout for her incredible range— highest soprano to the lowest tenor and even bass on a good day. Her training is what I call Moss-Clark training, meaning the way Mattie Moss-Clark was in her living room at the piano teaching her girls. Well Momma Goodman did the same thing with her piano and her children. But Lovey took it a step further and learned opera and some jazz, too. So singing Ave` Maria and doing some scatting is not a problem for this voice. But what’s incredible about Lovey’s bravura range is that she is most comfortable just standing singing flat-footed with everything within her. The power that comes from her voice coupled with the anointing, displays the conviction in every song she sings. Fortunately her heart has always remained true to her roots and now it’s her time to be dedicated to her own project. Lovetta recalls, “I know what His word says and this is definitely a faith move, but God has given me people to make sure this assignment is a go.” One of those persons is her producer Robert Stephens. No question that God has assigned them to work together for this project especially after the death of her brother Julius Goodman to whom she credits much of her discipline. “There was a time I felt like I didn’t want to sing again,” she explained. It was a series of losses of close friends and family back to back that caused her to realize that the gift that kept making room for her was the same gift that helped her get through the times she had to minister during each of their funerals. She recalls one day after extensive prayer. “I said to myself, you’ll always be Julius’ sister, you’ll always be that girl from Family & Friends and LIU, but now it’s your time. It’s my transformation!” Knowing her purpose, trusting God while building the Kingdom in song, Lovetta Goodman is working to make this calling live and the date is set and you can witness this event at the live recording an videotaping at 7:30pm in the Kumble Theater at LIU in Brooklyn, on March 1, 2013. Hope to see you there!

Photo: Sharon Bennett

L–R: Gospel Recording Artist JJ Hairston, radio personality Liz Black and State Senator Kevin Parker

“A Shared Dream” Tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


ver the past nine years, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Gospel Concert at Brooklyn College has grown into the 2nd largest event in the City celebrating the life and legacy of the slain Civil Rights leader. A free community concert billed as “A Shared Dream” is a collaborative effort among State Senator Kevin Parker, A Shared Dream Foundation and New Hope

Christian Fellowship Church. This year approximately 1,500 attendees packed the Walt Whitman Auditorium to hear the headlining Gospel Recording Artist JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise. Liz Black, WBLS/WLIB radio personality and host of “Sunday Praise” was this year’s host who successfully engaged the audience in the larger message of the evening. The concert featured local acts including:

Ifetayo Youth Ensemble, Cinncere, Lezlie Harrison, Purelements and the Bridge Street AWME Church who brought the crowd to its feet with their rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The evening closed with a one hour performance showcasing the incomparable vocal talent of JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise who sang global hits like “Lord You Are Mighty” and “Awesome God.”

February 2013 The Positive Community


Pastor’s Anniversary New Zion B.C. Honors Rev. Kevin J. White


he fifth pastoral anniversary celebration banquet for Rev. Kevin J. White of New Zion Baptist Church, Elizabeth, NJ was held at the Pines Manor in Edison on November 16, 2012. One hundred and fifty members and friends were in attendance along with Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage, Rev. John Teabout, Jr. of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Association, Inc., and other surrounding area ministers. Rev. Dr. Timothy West of Westphalia United Methodist Church, Upper Marlboro, MD served as master of ceremonies and Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor of Community Baptist Church, Englewood, NJ was the guest preacher for the evening. Members of the first family in attendance were daughter, Deborah, son, David and First Lady Charisse. Daughter Ketra, who attends Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC, could not be present.

Rev. Dr. Timothy West

Rev. Kevin J. White

Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor

Chris Bollwage

Rev. John Teabout, Jr.

First Family: Deborah, First Lady Charisse and David

Rev. Milton and First Lady Gloria Byrd


The Positive Community February 2013

Visit Our New Improved Interactive Website: THE POSITIVE

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THEPOSITIVECOMMUNITY.COM! February 2013 The Positive Community


You are invited to join

The Grand Jubilee Committee of New Jersey &

Shiloh Baptist Church for a joint concert featuring:

Cheyney University Concert Choir &

Lincoln University Concert Choir

Sunday, March 10, 2013 • 9:00am Shiloh Baptist Church 515-521 West Fourth Street Plainfield, NJ 07060

Rev. Gerald Lamont Thomas, Ph.D., Pastor Rev. Sheila L. Thorpe, Assistant Pastor Wendell C. Woods, Minister of Music

Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the

Emancipation Proclamation We’ve Come this Far by Faith


t B. Soaries

can benefit from the recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation

New Jersey Education Association s we commemorate the150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, let us vow

“Every wise woman builds her house….” Proverbs 14:1(A)

March 23-24, 2013

Saturday, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. • Sunday Worship: 9 a.m. Conference Keynote and Sunday Worship Speaker:

Ordained minister, emmy nominated executive producer and television personality, judge, author, entrepreneur



Continental Breakfast and Registration Opening/Praise and Worship

Conference Fee


“Does Denomination Really Matter in the Kingdom of God?”

9:30 - 10:20 AM

Session #1

“Live The Word”

10:30 - 11:20 AM

Session #2

“Unspeakable Joy”

11:30 - 12:20 PM

Session #3

12:30 - 1:45 PM 1:45 PM

Keynote Speaker/ Lunch Closing

$10 pp

Includes Continental Breakfast and Lunch!

“P.O.P” - The Power of Praise “With A Glad Heart” “Is It All About Venus?” “Yo’ Mamma’s Crazy” “The Value of NO” “Why Yo’ Mamma’s Crazy”

Shiloh Baptist Church • 515-521 West 4th Street • Plainfield, NJ 07060 Rev. Gerald Lamont Thomas, Ph.D., Pastor Rev. Sheila L. Thorpe, Assistant Pastor/Minister of Christian Education • 908.754-3353, x108 TO REGISTER OR FOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION:

Isabel Wilkerson: The Warmth of Other Suns BY GLENDA CADOGAN

ecades after a doctor in search of freedom journeyed all alone from his home in Louisiana to California—Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, attempted to replicate his efforts. She rented a Buick like the one he had driven and set out with an aim of following the path of Robert Joseph Pershing Foster as closely as possible. She was accompanied by her parents, who, like Dr. Foster numbered among the six million people who were part of what is known as the Great Migration. However, Wilkerson insisted that they could not help her with the driving. “Dr. Foster had no one to help him on his journey, so I wanted no one to help me,” Wilkerson explained. “He could not stop anywhere along the route so I planned on doing likewise.” But deep into the night, after hours of driving, they had come to a desolate mountain region. Under darkened skies Wilkerson tried desperately to stay awake as she navigated the treacherous hairpin curves. Her parents finally “put their foot down” insisting that she either stop to rest or drop them off. Wilkerson reluctantly gave in and the travelling party checked into a hotel. But having to do so gave her an even greater appreciation for Dr. Foster’s solo voyage. He did not have the luxury of pulling over. It was 1953 and there were no motels or hotels that welcomed an African American.


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February 2013

Wilkerson’s excursion was one of the numerous adventures she embarked upon in her 15-year quest to write the now bestselling book, The Warmth Of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. The book takes an intricate look at the geographic routes that were commonly used by African Americans who left the southern states in what is described as “one of the largest internal migrations in U.S. history.” “People fleeing the caste system in the south followed three migration streams,” Wilkerson explained. “From Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia they travelled to Washington D.C, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. In the middle stream they left from Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas and journeyed to Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and the entire Midwest. And from Louisiana and Texas they made their new homes in California and the entire West Coast.” In writing about the creative process of the book Wilkerson stated: “I wanted readers to imagine themselves in a hot, open field facing endless rows of cotton needing to be picked, having to bear the arcane laws of an arbitrary caste system and having to labor over the decision of their lives—whether to stay or whether to go.” The book has exceeded even the author’s expectations and in 2010 was named to more than 30 Best of the

PROFILE Year lists, including: The New York Times’ 10 Best Books of the Year; Amazon’s 5 Best Books of the Year and Best of the Year lists in The New Yorker and The Washington Post among others. In The Warmth of Other Suns, Wilkerson uses three protagonists to tell the story of the millions who left the south and headed to the North, Midwest and West from 1915 to the 1970s. With clear, riveting prose she writes about Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a free-spirited sharecropper’s wife who left Mississippi after a family member was nearly beaten to death over the disappearance of a white man’s turkeys; George Swanson Starling, a working class Floridian who fled to save his life; and Dr. Foster, the ambitious surgeon who journeyed to California. To Wilkerson, this migration was not just a move to another place. “It was a defection,” she said, adding, “It was a leap of faith into the unknown. This was a declaration of independence by people who had been held down for much of our country’s history. No other group of Americans has had to act as an immigrant to be recognized as a citizen.” She continued, “So, it is with a deep sense of gratitude that I tell their stories. Like many other African Americans who now live in the North, Midwest and West, I would not have existed if my parents did not undertake that journey. According to Wilkerson, for the better part of the 15 years she worked without having a title for the book. “Periodically, I would say today is the day I am going to work on the title,” she recalled. “I examined passages from the Bible and patriotic anthems in a constant search.” But much like other great works of literature, the name of the book was preordained and inspiration had not yet had its intercourse with divine order. So patience became her virtue. The spark was ignited one day as she read the footnotes to Richard Wright’s autobiography and discovered the passage: “I was leaving the south to fling myself into the unknown…I was taking a part of the South to transplant in alien soil, to see if it could grow differently, if it could drink of new and cool rains, bend in strange winds, respond to the warmth of other suns and, perhaps to bloom.” “I felt such a deep connection to these words,” Wilkerson said. “They seem to me to be a poetic, powerful rendering of what millions of people must have felt. And though I was unclear at the time of what aspect of this I was going to use, I knew that I had found my title.” As part of the process, Wilkerson conducted 1,200 interviews, visited churches, senior centers and quilt clubs. She went to cookouts, union meetings and on bus

outings discovering delicacies like hogshead cheese and oxtails, foods that were unfamiliar to her. Her efforts were rewarded. She connected with people at such a soul level that their stories resonate into the hearts of readers and draw them into the experience. In the book, Wilkerson has gone to great lengths to use inspirational quotes and Bible passages that specifically relate to the spiritual nature of the journey from bondage to freedom. “These people carried their Bibles with them and each had a special passage that inspired them,” she pointed out. As a professed “child of the migration,” Wilkerson, too, adopted this practice and chose as her inspiration, a passage from Jeremiah 8:7: “Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration.” She explained, “To me this spoke to how no matter where a people who are held down happen to be, there is a time and moment for them to make their move.” With Wilkerson’s rendering of the Great Migration in The Warmth of Other Suns, the once greatest untold of story of the 20th Century has been told. Bathed in cool rains and fueled by the warmth of other suns it blooms.

February 2013 The Positive Community



& Rev. Dr. Kim Yancy James

Executive Minister Paradise Baptist Church, Newark, NJ Founder, Women of Divine Destiny

On a once in a lifetime trip to


Celebrating our Heritage Reclaiming Our Destiny


November 11—19, 2013

$4,398 Per Person, Double Occupancy $650 Per Person, Single Supplement (subject to availability)

Journeys Unlimited

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

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U.S. Postage Stamps Honor African American History

Save The Date! 150th Anniversary Of The Emancipation Proclamation!

Black Tie

Gala/Concert Friday March 22, 2013 7:00 pm

General Assembly Hall


eginning in 1940 with a ten-cent stamp honoring Booker T. Washington, the United States Post Office began issuing stamps to commemorate the contributions of African Americans. 109 stamps have been issued so far. Two other stamps included African Americans as part of a mixed scene –the 15-cent "International Year of the Child" issued in 1979 and the 22-cent "Help End Hunger" stamp issued in 1985 The centennial anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation was captured in a 5¢ stamp in August, 1963. The 150th anniversary stamp is one of two Black Heritage forever stamps issued so far in 2013—the other is Rosa Parks in honor of her 100th birthday. For additional interesting information about black Americans and the postage stamp, postal workers and letter writing during the Great Migration visit the National Postal Museum online at www.postalmuseum. or in person at The National Postal Museum located in the old Post Office building next to Union Station in Washington, D.C.


The United Nations Headquarters Limited free seating for the Public First come First served basis Event Will Benefit The Proposed UN Slavery Memorial Follow the website for information on ticket availability!!

February 2013 The Positive Community




P r e V e n t i o n , t r e at M e n t & c U r e

Chief Medical Officer, Horizon NJ Health/Officer of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Vice President of Clinical Affairs

Be Prepared Question: During Hurricane Sandy this past fall, we lost power for more than a week and lost food that went bad as a result. We also had to deal with fallen trees, utility poles and damage to buildings. I can’t say we really thought the destruction of the storm was going to be so extensive. And then we had a snowstorm right after the hurricane! It was really a bad experience for everyone in my family and neighborhood. What can my family and I do to prepare, in the short term, for this winter, and, in the longer term, for more severe weather such as hurricanes? Answer: First of all, I’m glad you survived the fall storms fairly intact, and I hope your recovery has been going smoothly. This is a great topic to cover in light of the weather that recently struck our area. I wanted to take the opportunity to encourage you and everyone you know to take some precautions to make sure you are prepared for any weatherrelated difficulties that may arise. inter is not over, so it is very important to be proactive in dealing with extreme coldweather conditions. It’s not too late to prepare your home and car for winter emergencies—there is plenty of winter weather ahead—and by observing safety precautions during times of extremely cold weather, you can reduce the risk of weather-related health problems. It is also very important to have a disaster and medical preparedness plan. This is especially important for the elderly, children and those with chronic conditions that have to be managed, such as diabetes (sugar), hypertension (high blood pressure) and asthma. After any emergency, it can be quite difficult to care for those


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loved ones who have a chronic disease. That is why it’s so important to be prepared and have a plan. Above all, make sure that you sit down with all of your family members and coordinate the action plan. Make sure everyone is aware of how much medication they have and how the dosing regimen can continue in an emergency. Make a list all medications; include medical information, allergies and conditions, including why the person is taking the medicine. If you save the information to a computer, make a paper copy in case the electricity is out or a laptop is not working. Store the information in a waterproof container where family members can access the information. Also, make sure you have a first aid kit available for emergencies . Prepare Your Home For Winter Make sure your home and car are prepared for winter. Listen to weather forecasts on TV and radio. Check your emergency supplies whenever a period of extreme cold is predicted. If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected each year. Also, install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. Test them monthly and replace batteries twice a year. Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze. Weatherproof your home by adding weather-stripping, insulation, insulated doors and storm windows, or thermal-pane windows. Bring pets indoors or provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and dry; make sure that they have access to unfrozen water. Be prepared in case cellular phone

and internet service is gone due to a loss of power. In fact, sometimes lowtechnology solutions work better than high-tech. Plug a corded phone into a land line jack when power is out. You might be able to make and receive phone calls because the electrical system that runs to telephone lines is different from the electric company’s power system. Check for community centers, churches, schools and other places you can go to charge electronics, get warm drinks, and possibly even take a shower. Prepare Your Car for Winter You can avoid many dangerous winter travel problems by planning ahead. Have maintenance service on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends. During winter, keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. In addition . . . • Have the radiator system serviced, or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester. Add antifreeze, as needed. • Replace windshield wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture. • Replace any worn tires, and check the air pressure in the tires. For more information, visit: Also, information can be found on FEMA’s emergency preparedness website:

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Contracted, independent licensed agent authorized to sell products within the UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Solutions portfolio. UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Advantage plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company and its affiliated companies, a Coordinated Care plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the state Medicaid program. This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. For more information call 1-855-518-4413, TTY: 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, 7 days a week. The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information contact the plan. Limitations, copayments and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium and/or co-payments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year. Co-pays may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details. Y0066_120912_161958_FINAL_ CMS Accepted_020AB


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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

Matters of the Heart ebruary is healthy heart month and I pray that you are diligently monitoring all things concerning your heart! As our church family looks to start a forty-day fast during the Lenten season, we are seeking greater spiritual power and a closer relationship with the Father through the Son. Fasting does for the spirit what aerobic exercise does for the heart. Both disciplines build endurance but obviously one builds the spirit while the other improves our physical well-being. There are many parallels between physical exercises and spiritual exercises. One is the parallel between the spiritual discipline of fasting and the physical discipline of aerobic training. Both disciplines are often left off of the weekly to do list. And unfortunately, both fasting and aerobic exercise are often done incorrectly and for the wrong reasons. Many people practice the spiritual discipline of fasting erroneously. This scared discipline is being used as a means to lose weight or enhance a person’s physical well-being. I understand the health of our community is in such dire condition that it needs to get healthy by any means necessary. But not at the risk of watering down a powerful tool used for spiritual discipline and connection to God! As it often is in the spiritual, so it is in the natural. We often utilize aerobic exercise (running, fast walking, biking, etc.) and cardiovascular endurance training to shed some unwanted pounds and/or lose weight by trying to burn unwanted calories. But that should not be the focus. Our focus, purpose, and reason for aerobic exercise should simply be to strengthen our hearts. When we strengthen our hearts through aerobic exercise we can utilize this spiritual discipline to reverse the effects of obesity related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and hypertension, or as a preventative tool for living well. I am pleased to be a part of a great resource from the American Heart Association to help our community fight hypertension and heart disease! Heart360° is an online tool that helps you track and manage your heart health and provides helpful advice and information.


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Enter your health information in an easy to use tool on the Heart360° website and your records will be safely and securely stored in a Microsoft Health Vault. Research has shown that when people take responsibility for their health and are engaged within the process of improving their health, they succeed more often. Heart360° is not designed to replace your healthcare provider, but to help you engage and work with the provider in a greater capacity. I will be available, along with Margaret Cammarieri, regional vice president, Health Equity/Multicultural Initiatives at the American Heart Association, to come out to your church or organization and help your congregation sign up, participate and train volunteer mentors to keep your community healthy. Reach out to me at or Margaret at Let’s make 2013 the year we participate in our healing, conquer hypertension and strengthen our heart! Enter your health information in an easy to use tool on the Heart360° website— for New Jersey and for New York, and your records will be safely and securely stored in a Microsoft Health Vault.

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.

Hope for Children Harvest of Hope Family Services Finds Caring Families


ince 1996, Somerset County-based Harvest of Hope Family Services Network, Inc., has recruited and trained 435 families to become licensed foster families. During the month of December, Harvest of Hope accomplished a significant milestone with the placement of their 1,000th child into those homes; 250 foster children were adopted by Harvest of Hope resource families providing a permanent solution for their need of a loving family. On Sunday, January 27, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG) gave a special recognition during its 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services to the board and staff of Harvest of Hope as a part of its month long celebration of the lifelong work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Annie E. Casey Foundation reported in 2011 that there are 7,018 children in the New Jersey foster care system and close to 800 children are awaiting adoption. In addition, it has been widely reported that a substantial percentage of youth who are not adopted prior to aging out of foster care become a part of the homeless population. Across the nation, 20,000 youth ‘age out’ of foster care without stable and lasting families.

Every child has a future that’s partly defined by the past. Healthfirst honors the legacy of African-Americans whose strength and sacrifice have made it possible for anyone to be a doctor, a scientist or President. For a quality health plan, contact Healthfirst at 1.855.552.4365 TTY 1.888.542.3821 or visit


February 2013 The Positive Community


MLK Program at Clara Maass Sheila Y. Oliver Keynoter

President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver

L–R: Clara Maass Brotherhood Winners: L–R: Angela Jones, Mary Ellen Clyne, president/CEO of Clara Maass Medical Center, Erithea Stone.


r. Martin Luther King Jr. was a transformative figure who challenges us to make the world a better place”, was the message Sheila Y. Oliver, speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, brought to Clara Maass Medical Center (CMMC). The keynote speaker for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Brotherhood Awards on January 23, Oliver was born at CMMC when it was known as Lutheran Memorial Hospital. During the program, two CMMC employees --Angela Jones of Environmental Services and Erithea Stone of Dining Services, were presented with the Brotherhood Award by Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., Clara Maass president and chief executive officer. “He continues to influence people and societies throughout the world,” Oliver said of Dr. King. “It is our duty to be responsible citizens and conscientious stewards of freedom and democracy.” Oliver told the audience of more than 100 people – including CMMC employees and administrators, and local politicians about her trip to Washington D.C. to attend President Obama’s inauguration and her visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial while she was there. “He chal-


The Positive Community February 2013

Barry Carter, columnist at The Star-Ledger

lenges each one of us to do the smallest, most insignificant thing we can do to make the world better.” Star-Ledger columnist Barry Carter also spoke, recounting the story he wrote about the 89-year-old man who simply cleaned his street every day of the week to make his community a better place. Dr. John V. Kelly, president of the CMMC medical staff, noted the accomplishments of both Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. “Love will drive out hate. It’s what we do at the hospital,” he told the audience, which included State Sen. Ronald Rice, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, Belleville Deputy Mayor Vincent Cozzarelli and Susie Yanez, who represented state Sen. Teresa Ruiz. Visitors were also treated to songs by the CMMC choir. Clara Maass Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility located in Belleville, NJ has won numerous awards and accolades, among them recognition as the second best in New Jersey for hospital safety by Consumer Reports and top in the state for the treatment of Congestive Heart Failure and Heart Attacks by the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services. —JNW

SistaFriendz Stellar Women of Gospel Women Behind the Scenes in Gospel Honored Photos: Margot Jordan

L–R: Demetrus Stewart, consultant to PureSprings Gospel; Melanie Pratt, radio personality & founder and CEO,; Dianna Hobbs, president and CEO of EEW Magazine; Treiva Williams, CEO, Right Hand Elite, Inc. & executive administrator, A Song for Mary Mary, Inc.; Catherine Brewton, BMI VP of Writer/Publisher Relations; Jojo Pada, founder and president, IGNITION PR (In front)

Honoree Erma Franklin accepts her award from SisterFriendz Founder and CEO Toya Beasley.


t takes more than soul-stirring songs from today’s leading artists to carry the music and message of the Gospel to the masses, so a new Stellar Awards weekend event is casting a long overdue light on exceptional women who are unsung heroes in the Gospel Music industry. On Saturday, January 19, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., SistaFriendz held its 1st Annual SistaFriendz Stellar Women of Gospel Awards at the legendary Gaylord Springs Clubhouse and Pavilion in Nashville, Tennessee. Hosted by Toya Beasley, media personality and CEO of SistaFriendz, this unique event celebrates the contributions of female professionals who work "behind-the-scenes" for the benefit of gospel music artists and the industry as a whole. “While Gospel artists enjoy incredible exposure and success, there is a side of the music industry that fans rarely see— the many people in executive, decision-making and critical support roles who help make it all possible,” explains Ms. Beasley. “The inaugural SistaFriendz Stellar Women of Gospel honorees are: Catherine Brewton, BMI VP of Writer/Publisher Relations; Dianna Hobbs, president and CEO of EEW Magazine; Jojo Pada, founder and president, IGNITION PR; Melanie Pratt, radio personality & founder and CEO,; Demetrus Stewart, consultant to PureSprings.

February 2013 The Positive Community


“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.

East Orange General Hospital Honors Chamber of Commerce


hey say that the holidays are a time when we go out of our way to do “a little bit extra for someone else.” That spirit of giving was celebrated many times over recently as East Orange General Hospital recognized the East Orange Chamber of Commerce (EOCC) for its ongoing tradition of donating holiday toys to children in the hospital’s outpatient behavioral health program. At the Chamber’s annual holiday party, held in the hospital’s East Pavilion, Chamber members joined hospital staff in celebrating the season and recognizing those in need, especially the children who participate in the hospital’s CAPS (Children and Adolescents Psychiatric Program) initiative. As they have for years, Chamber members collected and donated toys and gifts for the children, some of whom may not have received any holiday gift. “We are a proud community partner that continues to provide quality health care for all the patients we serve in this region, but we are not able to do so without strong leadership and partners such as the East Orange Chamber of Commerce,” said President and CEO Kevin Slavin.

L-R: Amir Hashemi, president, EO Chamber of Commerce (EOCC); Goldie T. Burbage, vice president EOCC; Trina Parks, vice president, Behavioral Health-East Orange General Hospital and Ryan Fields, manager, Behavioral Health

“From courtesies like allowing us to leave wellness and preventive health literature in your establishments, to serving on our Board of Trustees, including us in your events and programs, and providing the CAPS children with gifts, as you are doing tonight, we truly appreciate all you do to support East Orange General Hospital,” Slavin added. Chamber President Amir Hashemi responded with thanks on behalf of over 70 East Orange area business and professional organizations. “The East Orange Chamber of Commerce and the East Orange business community are privileged to have the CAPS program in our back yard to address this issue and to provide a healthy community for all of us,” he concluded.

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February 2013 The Positive Community


To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation The Positive Community & The Grand Jubilee Committee present ...

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The Little Chapel with a Big Heart 60

The Positive Community February 2013

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.

UMBA Quarterly Session Photo: Wali Amin Muhammad

On hand was community partner St. Luke’s Roosevelt Continuum Health Partners and their team of health professionals.


nited Missionary Baptist Association’s First Quarterly Session was held at Macedonia Baptist Church in Harlem. Former moderator, Rev. Dr. Isaac B. Graham was the host pastor. Rev. Dr. Lee A. Arrington was the moderator. The theme of the fourday event, which attracts hundreds of churchgoers from throughout the region, was “Exploration.”

The topics explored by Dean Sampson included “Developing A Sense of Justice: Biblical Justice in Christian Relationships & Outreach” and “The Mutual Obligation of Edifying and Elevating the Other/ Establishing a Healing, Therapeutic Environment.” The focus scriptures: Romans 14:19, 15:103; Malachi 4:2; Zephaniah 3:18-20 and Isaiah 59:14-21.

February 2013 The Positive Community




Vol. 13, No. 2


Publisher Adrian A. Council, Sr.

’ve made it my mission this year to remind people that there is more to Black History month than Malcolm, Martin, Frederick and Harriet. I’ve always found it curious and a bit sad that despite the myriad contributions African Americans and people of African descent have made to American history and culture, somehow, it is always reduced to four or five people, the Underground Railroad and the Civil Rights movement. It seems everyone knows about the aforementioned historical figures and maybe a handful more. Are we all familiar with George Washington Carver, Sojourner Truth and W.E.B. DuBois? Check! Anyone else? Anyone? Yeah, well . . . In a recent conversation with a Caucasian acquaintance, I was spellbound by the ease with which he rattled off four and five generations of relatives on either side of his family tree. He prattled on about his greatuncle having fallen from a tree and broken an arm and how his greatgrandfather had poison ivy and between his blotchy skin and inability to stand still ruined a family picture. He told me of family Bibles with names back to the 1600s and handwritten letters dating back to the same time. Funny, my family doesn’t have any of those. It made me realize that perhaps the reason our shared history as a people is so protracted is because many of us—myself included—don’t have a great grasp on our own family history. Sadly, most African Americans can trace back only a few generations to the 1850s. Prior to that, slave records are sketchy at best and many offer no information beyond “slave girl, nine years-old.” Based upon that, how am I to divine from what tribe and country my ancestors hailed? And when a slave was sold from the Brooks family in Virginia to the Jones family in Maryland, the next census had no way to connect the dots that these two


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.

62 The Positive Community

The Last Word

February 2013

slaves were in fact, the same person. With the stroke of a pen and the exchange of money, a branch on a family tree was severed. In my effort to expand my knowledge of Black History, I took to the internet to see what I could find. Within a few hours I had uncovered information that would help me piece together some of my own personal history. A page from the manifest of the Cherokee, a Caribbean Steam Ship Co. ship offering service from Santo Domingo and West Indies to New York, heralded the arrival of my maternal grandfather’s brother from Jamaica. His wife was from Honduras. An entry from the 1910 Census showed my maternal grandmother’s mother as a black woman from Maryland. The 1920 Census seemed to have the correct information, she was actually Irish. The story goes that the census-taker assumed my greatgrandfather was married to a black woman because he was black. Were it not for that 1920 record showing her to be from Ireland via Ellis Island and the year of her arrival, I might not have ever found the page from the manifest of the R.M.S. Lucania that told me my great-grandmother arrived with two pieces of luggage. A bit more research revealed that my paternal grandfather grew up in a house next door to where one of my maternal first cousins now lives. It also divulged that upon emigrating from Jamaica, our family name was misspelled and thus sprouted a new branch for me to explore and new relatives to meet. So this month, while I salute Malcolm, Martin, Frederick and Harriet, I celebrate William, Audley, Lee, Mary, Hazel, Minnie, Alice and the other ancestors who made my American story possible. While I may not have known them, I now know them. My family’s black history is ongoing both forward and backward; to learn about yours, visit

The Positive Community’s

Great Countdown to Freedom

The Grand Jubilee Year of Emancipation—2013


n January 1, 2013, America observed 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 extraordinary history of trial, tribulation and triumph that 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! 2013—the Grand Jubilee Year of the Emancipation Proclamation! Author: Adrian A. Council, Sr. Editor: Jean Nash Wells

Community Partner:

Graphic Design: Penguin Graphics & Martin Maishman Published by: The Positive Community Corporation

To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation The Positive Community & The Grand Jubilee Committee present ...

An instAnt clAssic!

This beautiful 12-month calendar is filled with captivating images of African-American spirituality and culture

We’ve Come This Far By Faith

2013 COMMEMORATIVE CALENDAR Order your copy today!


Place you bulk orders NOW. Credit Cards accepted: Call 973-233-9200 Send Check or Money order to

Grand Jubilee Calendar c/o The Positive Community 133 Glenridge Avenue Montclair, NJ 07042

Allow 2 weeks for delivery


$19.99! including postage & handling

February 2013  
February 2013  

The Positive Community is the only faith-based lifestyle magazine targeted to the African American market in the New York /New Jersey area....