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Winter 2010–11


Making of the King Holiday


The members of the New Jersey Education Association are proud to honor Dr. King’s life and legacy by working to provide every child with a great public school education. Barbara Keshishian, President Wendell Steinhauer, Vice President Marie Blistan, Secretary-Treasurer Vincent Giordano, Executive Director Richard Gray, Assistant Executive Director/ Research Director

NoW IS The TIMe to make an adequate income a reality for all God’s Children. Now is the time for City Hall to take a position for that which is just and honest. -Martin Luther King Jr., 1968

Mass Meeting for Living Wages Thursday, January 13th, 6:30 PM Convent Avenue Baptist Church, 420 W. 145th St (@ Convent Avenue) 1, A, C, B, D, to 145th St.

In 1968 Dr. King gave his life supporting a living wage for Sanitation Workers in Memphis, TN

This MLK Day Join the Fight for Fair Wages in NYC!

Living Wage NYC Our City. Our Lives. Our Future.

W i n t e r 2 0 1 0 –2 0 1 1

CONTENTS ANNUAL MLK ISSUE MAKING OF THE KING HOLIDAY On the Cover The 22”x30” collage by Fredi Shaw is composed in its entirety of newspaper articles about the Civil Rights Movement. Mrs.Shaw was born and raised in West Monroe, Louisiana. She grew up in a large family, and over time she realized at a young age the hatred and discrimination that existed in her hometown. She met, fell in love with and married Alexander Shaw, an attorney, who hailed from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When they met, he was in Louisiana working for the government on a civil rights case. They shared a similar passion for the freedom and tolerance of all human beings and quickly married and moved to New York City, where they lived happily for many years. Ms. Shaw was fully blind in one eye, and had only tunnel vision in the other when she created The M.L. King collage and therefore was unable to ever see the entire piece when she was working on it. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this extraordinary artwork please contact Daniel Wesson at NYWESSON@MAC.COM. Half of all proceeds will go to The King Center, in Atlanta, GA.

36 Sections Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

&also inside Guest Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 11 My View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Making Bold Moves. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Ask Dr. Palmer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 The Fitness Dr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Spirit & Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Gospel Train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 The Way Ahead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 The Last Word. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Features Newark Business Administrator installed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Struggle for Economic Justice . . . . . . . . . . 17 125th Street Shines Bright . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Nu Beta Omega Psi Phi Honors . . . . . . . . . 22 NY/NJ Minority Suppliers Gala. . . . . . . . . . 26 United Missionary Baptist Association. . . . 28 Empire Missionary Baptist Convention. . . . 30 King and the Fight for Workers Rights . . . . 33 Hal Jackson celebrates 96th Birthday . . . . 34 Black College Report Card. . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Schomburg Center’s 85th Anniversary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Michelle Obama brings Let’s Move to NY/NJ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Fast Food & the Lean Teen . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Audelco Awards. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Gloria Gaynor helps Haiti Survive . . . . . . . 56 WBGO Champions of Jazz . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Gloria Buck:No Better Citizen. . . . . . . . . . . 62 NUL Equal Opportunity Day . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

How would you improve Newark schools? Kids have good ideas. Now it’s your turn. New resources for Newark’s public schools give us a chance to do things differently and better. It all starts by telling us what you think needs to change. Please go to or text PEN to 56333 and take a stand for our kids. Our schools. Our children. Our future.

Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


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Keynote Speaker: Keynote Speaker: Keynote Speaker: ynote Speaker: Keynote Speaker: Keynote Speaker: Reverend Dr. Frank E. Ray, Sr., Pastor Reverend Dr. Frank E. Ray, Sr.,Sr., Pastor Reverend Dr. Frank E. Ray, Sr., Pastor verend Dr. Frank E. Ray, Sr., Pastor Reverend Dr. Frank E. Ray, Sr., Pastor Reverend Dr. Frank E. Ray, Pastor New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Keynote Speaker: New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Salem Missionary Baptist Church w SalemMemphis, Missionary Baptist Church Tennessee New Salem Missionary Baptist Church New Salem Missionary Baptist Church

Reverend Dr. Frank E. Ray, Sr., Pastor Memphis, Tennessee Memphis, Tennessee mphis, Tennessee Memphis, Tennessee Memphis, Tennessee

New Salem Missionary Baptist Church For further information and registration contact Reverend Evans Spagner, GBCNJ State Director of Christian Education, Memphis, Tennessee 908-656-2325 or via email For further information and registration contact

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For further information and registration contact Reverend Evans Spagner, GBCNJ State Director of Christian Education, 908-656-2325 or via email

Roll Call for PC_Oct_10.qxd:Roll Call for PC Document.qxd 10/14/10 8:02 PM Page 1






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 rollcall@thepositivecommunitycom


Abyssinian B.C., Harlem, NY

Friendship Baptist Church, Harlem, NY

New Zion B.C., Elizabeth, NJ

Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Pastor

Rev. James A. Kilgore, Pastor

Rev. Kevin James White, Pastor

Businesses & Organizations

Archdiocese of New York

General Baptist Convention, NJ

Newark Dist. of AME Church, Newark, NJ

Brother Tyrone Davis, Office of Black Ministry

Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell, President

Howard Grant, Presiding Elder

125th St. BID

Berean B. C., Brooklyn, NY

Grace B. C., Mt. Vernon, NY

Paradise B. C., Newark, NJ

African American Heritage Parade

Rev. Arlee Griffin Jr., Pastor

Rev. Dr. Franklyn W. Richardson, Pastor

Rev. Jethro James, Pastor

African American Muslims for Interfaith Relationships (AAMIR)

Bethany B.C., Brooklyn, NY

Greater Allen Cathedral, Queens, NY

Paterson’s Pastor’s Workshop, Paterson, NJ

Rev. Dr. David Hampton, Pastor

Revs. Floyd and Elaine Flake, Co-Pastors

Rev. Dr. James Kuykendall, President

Bethany B.C., Newark, NJ.

Greater New Hope Missionary B.C., NYC

Shiloh B.C., Plainfield, NJ

American Heart Association, Northern, NJ

Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, Pastor

Rev. Joan J. Brightharp, Pastor

Rev. Dr. Gerald Lamont Thomas, Pastor

Birdel’s Tapes & Audio, Brooklyn

Beulah B.C., Newark, NJ

Greater Zion Hill B.C., Harlem, NY

St Luke B. C., Paterson, NJ

Carver Federal Savings Bank

Rev. Gerald L. Dickson, Pastor

Rev. Dr. Frank J. Blackshear, Pastor

Rev. Kenneth D.R. Clayton, Pastor

City National Bank

Black Ministers Council of NJ

Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI)

St. Albans, NY COGIC

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 Childs Memorial COGIC, Harlem, NY Bishop Norman N. Quick, Pastor Christian Love B.C., Irvington, NJ Rev. Ron Christian, Pastor Community B.C., Englewood, NJ Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor, Pastor Community Church of God, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Dr. Shirley B. Cathie., Pastor Emeritus Concord B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson, Pastor Empire Missionary B.C. Convention NY Rev. Washington Lundy, President Fellowship Missionary B, C., Newark, NJ Rev. E.T. Byrd, Pastor First B.C. of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset NJ Rev. Dr. DeForest (Buster) Soaries, Pastor First Baptist B.C. of Teaneck, NJ

Lucille McEwen, President & CEO Manhattan District AME Churches, NY Rev. Harold Rutherford, Presiding Elder Masjid Imam Ali K. Muslim, Newark, NJ Imam Akbar Muhammad Metropolitan B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, Pastor Evening Star B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Washington Lundy, Pastor Mother A.M.E. Zion Church, Harlem Rev. Dr. Gregory Robeson Smith, Pastor Mt. Neboh Baptist Church, Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie Green Jr., Pastor Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Harlem, NY Rev. Charles A. Curtis, Pastor Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Peekskill, NY Rev. Adolphus Lacey, Pastor Mt. Pisgah B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie Ray Youngblood, Pastor

St. James AME Church, Newark, NJ Rev. William L. Watley, Pastor

Rev. James E. Booker Jr., Pastor

Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Inner City Broadcasting Medgar Evers College NAACP New Jersey* NAACP, NY State Conference*

St. Matthew AME Church, Orange, NJ

New Brunswick Theological Seminary

Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, Pastor

New Jersey Performing Arts Center

St. Paul Community B. C., Brooklyn, NY

New York Theological Seminary

Rev. David K. Brawley, Pastor

New York Urban League

The Cathedral Int’l., Perth Amboy, NJ

Newark School of Theology

Bishop Donald Hilliard, Pastor

Razac Products Co., Newark, NJ

The New Hope B. C., Newark, NJ

Schomburg Center

Rev. Joe Carter, Senior Pastor

The Bozeman Law Firm

Thessalonia Worship Center, Bronx, NY

The College of New Rochelle

Rev. Dr. Shellie Sampson, Pastor

The United Way of Essex and West Hudson

United Black Clergy of Westchester, Inc.

University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ

Rev. Dr. Franklyn W. Richardson, Pastor


Walker Memorial B.C. Bronx, NY


Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush Sr., Pastor World Gospel Music Assoc., Newark, NJ Dr. Albert Lewis, Founder

Rev, Conrad B. Tillard, Pastor

Antioch Baptist Church., Brooklyn, NY

New Jerusalem B.C., Queens, NY

Essex County College, NJ

Mildred Crump, Newark City Council St. John AME Church, Harlem, NY

Nazarene Congregational Church Brooklyn, NY

Rev. Marilyn Monroe Harris, Pastor First Bethel Baptist Church, Newark, NJ

Rev. Ben Monroe

American Diabetes Association

Rev. Robert M. Waterman, Pastor


Rev. Dr. Calvin Rice, Pastor

H. Grady James III, Pastor

“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

ANEvENiNg EvENiNg fillED fillED WiTH WiTH JAzz, JAzz, r&B, AN r&B, DANCE, DANCE,spoKEN spoKENWorD WorDAND ANDMorE! MorE!

“Hope and and A “Hope A Future” Future” a Benefit Concert for Haiti a Benefit Concert for Haiti

At Harlem’s World Famous Apollo Theater At Harlem’s World Famous Apollo Theater Wed|January 12, 2011|8:00pm doors|January open @ 7pm | 253 West 125th|8:00pm Street, NY Wed 12, 2011 doors @ 7pm | 253 Radio West 125th Street, NY Liz Black Hosted byopen WLIB/WBLS Personality with special performances by Disco icon gloria gaynor Hosted by WLIB/WBLS Radio Personality Liz Black and ronald K. Brown’s Evidence Dance Company with special performances by Disco icon gloria gaynor

featuring the

and ronald K. Brown’s Evidence Dance Company Friends of Haiti:

DJ Hard Hittin’ Harry and The Earthman Experience | featuring the Friends of Haiti: Barbara King | MECCA | Curtis Haywood | C3YC | Boots DJ Hard Hittin’ Harry and The Earthman Experience | | Thurston Daniel | Yaz Band | Wisdom | Wanda Nash Barbara King | MECCA | Curtis Haywood | C3YC | Boots

come inspired, leave an inspiration

proceeds will go to the C2C-Haiti restoration come inspired, leave an inspiration and Transformation project in petit-goâve proceeds will go to the C2C-Haiti restoration and Transformation project in petit-goâve

| Thurston Daniel | Yaz Band | Wisdom | Wanda Nash for Tickets: TickeT MasTer: - 800.745.3000 | apollo TheaTer: - 212.531.5305

for Tickets:

sponsors: sponsors:

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Produced by Psalmist Productions Inc. Designed by Joëlle Graphics

Produced by Psalmist Productions Inc. Designed by Joëlle Graphics


By Rev. Dr. Robert Waterman, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY. He is also president of the A.A.C.E.O., African American Clergy and Elected Officials Organization of Brooklyn.

Monument or Movement?


s we come to the celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Holiday, I raise the question, has his life’s work become a monument or is it still a movement? Was it accurate to take a man’s legacy and put it into a monument that no longer has purpose? A clear definition of a movement will help us see where we went wrong, as there are many varying definitions. Sociologists are debating which historical events qualify as social movements, while political scientists are reading their own stacks of books on political movements. Then you have the liberation theology movement, described as a Christian movement in political theology, which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions. When we think about the legacy of Dr. King, we think about a movement is a combination of social, political and Christian movements all tied into one. Now that there is a holiday in honor of Dr. King,, is the Civil Rights Movement over? Are we now merely celebrating the legacy of Dr. King as a Monument? Have we gotten all that was promised to us as people of color? Have we arrived at the point where there is nothing else to fight for in this world? The legacy from Dr. King is the great part he played in the Civil Rights Movement that created change in a nation. This movement that pushed racism into a dark hole. It was a movement that helped destroy a separate but equal system in our schools, changed the color of our nation and upheld the notion that all men are created equal under the heavens and on earth. Have social issues become merely a holiday? What happens to the movement when these issues have been reversed? Schools are not equal. There is still a two-school

system—one for whites and another for people of color. It seems the only way to get a high-quality education in the urban communities would be for our schools to close or become charter schools. Is the fair wage act no longer in effect? Is predatory lending over? Do all people make a good living wage? Do we feel there is nothing else to fight for on our jobs, in our communities, in our families? So we now celebrate the monument of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. It is just another day for many. It no longer has any impact on the nation, It has become just a testimonial. No more bus fights, just a monument. No more sanitation fights, just a monument. No more equal rights fight, just a monument. No more women’s rights fights, just a monument. No more voting rights fights, just a monument. No More Fights…Just A Monument! If a movement is ongoing, why are we watching this holiday like a monument? Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Day is not a once and done sort of event. This holiday is not a wellattended press conference, a big release party for a new product, or even a good turnout for a volunteer event, which does not even qualify as a movement. These may be well positioned to launch a new movement; however, the momentum must be continued. This holiday is not fully controlled by anyone. A group action goes from one generation to another. At its heart, a movement is a group of people simultaneously acting in a similar fashion. People are passionate, excited about the idea and the action, and so they actively pass it throughout their place of worship, families and communities, People gather in movements to make a positive change in our world. Is this holiday a movement or a monument?.

So we now celebrate the monument of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. It is just another day for many. It no longer has any impact on the nation, It has become just a testimonial. NA

The Positive Community Winter 2010–11 Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community 9







Rev. William D. Watley Jr., Ph.D. is pastor of St. James A.M.E. Church, Newark, NJ. He a Martin Luther King Scholar. His most notable work: Roots of Resistance: The Nonviolent Ethic of Martin Luther King Jr.

He is Still Ahead of Us hen the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot down in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968 he was not at the zenith of his career, he was at its nadir. He was not at the high tide of his popularity and credibility; he was at the low water mark. He was not at the height, but at the depth. When he died in Memphis there were those who questioned whether or not he had enough influence with black people to lead a nonviolent march. Earlier in that week when he tried to lead a nonviolent march on behalf of striking garbage men, violence broke out. Consequently, there were those who felt he was in Memphis partly because his stature as a leader was under attack. During his latter years, a younger generation of more militant activists emerged who related more with the “by any means necessary” approach of the fiery Malcolm X, than the longsuffering love of which Dr. King was the chief proponent. When compared to Malcolm X, Dr. King seemed rather dull, passé and behind the times. There was also dissonance between King and many in his generation. A number of black people felt that King was deserting the Civil Rights movement when he began talking about the Vietnam War. At the time of his death many of those in the mainline white community who had supported King no longer walked with him. He began to lose their support when he left the South and moved to Chicago to address the housing discrimination and economic injustices in the North. King had also become persona non grata at the White House. His stand on the Vietnam War and his involvement with economic justice issues had bankrupted whatever political capital and influence he had, and caused the infamous head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover to label him as “the most dangerous man in America,” which justified the escalation of Hoover’s efforts to smear and discredit Dr. King. When Dr. King was killed, he was looked upon as a leader who was past his prime, whose influence was waning because his message and leadership were out of


sync with and even behind the times. However, I submit that even though Dr. King died during a difficult season in his life and career, he was ahead of his time. He was under such attack not because he was behind the times, but ahead of his time. I would further submit that in 2011, he is still ahead of us and if he were alive today, he would be under fire as much as he was while he lived. On the matter of war, Dr. King was ahead of us. In 1967, he said we were on the wrong side of a world revolution. When we look at how the rest of the world looks at us, and the hostility of so many of our former allies toward us, when we look at the Americans who shed their blood on foreign soil, and think about what he said while he lived, he is still ahead of us. In 1967, Dr. King said that we needed a revolution of values. When we think about how unfulfilling, empty, combustible and violent our lives are even with our consumerism and gross national product, and we reflect on what Dr. King said while he lived, he was ahead of us. When he died he was planning a Poor People’s March to demonstrate the plight of the poor across and beyond the historic racial and ethnic lines. When we look at the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots today, when we consider that homelessness in America is still an interracial and now intergenerational demon, and when we think about what Dr. King said and fought for while he lived, he was ahead of us. When we think about the tenacity of Dr. King, how he held on to hope and his vision of the beloved community, he was not behind us; he was ahead of us. When we think about how visionless so many of us are; when we think about how limited our horizons are, and how fearful we are inclined to be, my premise is very clear. Dr. King, even in his low moments was such an instrument of God that God allowed him to see glory when others saw despair, and the Promised Land, when others saw only the wilderness. I submit to you that Dr. King was not behind us; rather, he is still ahead of us..

Winter 2010–11 The Positive Community



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


Celebrating the Prince of Love He accomplished his God-given assignment… where do we go from here?

r. Martin Luther King Jr. died April 4, 1968. His birthday is Jan. 15. His kingly stance on many issues of his day was commendable then and even more impressive now simply because he was so ahead of his time. The economic and social disparities that plagued certain segments of his beloved community are yet prevalent today. Wars and rumors of wars still manifest a collective fear amongst those who really understand that war is hell. If Audie Murphy, the World War II veteran who became a Hollywood heartthrob, were alive today he surely would attest to the futility of an undeclared war. If Ira Hayes, the Native American whose hands are extended in that awesome Iwo Jima statue, were alive he might urge the arm-chair generals to cease and desist from some of the senseless killings. Hayes died an alcoholic and an embittered unappreciated American. All the African American men who fought in segregated armed forces—fighting for freedom on foreign



The Positive Community Winter 2010–11

shores, only to be denied such freedoms at home—those men would likely say that if a soldier can’t come back home as a full-fledged American with equal rights, what point does war serve? Yes, we will celebrate the Prince of Love, as he was affectionately called by the late, great, songbird Nina Simone. But I look back and wonder about the price he paid versus what I see today among a number of people of color who aren’t willing to at least roll up their collective sleeves to address the ills of this nation. The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright touched a nerve in the hearts of mainstream America and was vilified because he clearly loves his country but was brave enough to take this same nation to task...just like Dr. King. Perhaps Wright’s verbiage offended some, but the content was spot on. King came to this planet and finished what God had assigned for him to do. There are no gaps in his participatory protests concerning the inequities that existed then and certainly exist now. A black president was not the be-all and end-all some thought that President Obama might be. Shame on us all for being so naïve! The ascension of one black man to the highest office in the land does not excuse, diminish or erase the hardships of the millions of other black men in America. His election was just another rung up the ladder for parity in a country that appears to hate its black citizenry and magnify and stereotype every problem or transgression while simultaneously emulating and eventually hijacking all that is good that comes from that same tribe. Go figure. Dr. King would not concern himself with low-hanging pants. I think he’d be more concerned about idle minds, mindless antics and apathetic responses, especially from those who have benefited the most from the struggles of the past. It is time to invest our gains from years past and see a viable, lasting return on our future. Dr. King, we still love you and always will. I trust that if you are observing us from the portals of heaven, we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land as well, one day.

Celebrate Diversity The Ebony Hillbillies


“The premiere black string band in AMERICA.” –Tony Thomas, Black Banjo Association As one of the last black string bands in the U.S., and the only one currently based in NYC, the Hillbillies keep an important legacy alive with a rootsy, homegrown style that was a key element in the genesis of American music. Thursday, February 24, 7 p.m.

$25 Members, $30 nonmembers, $10 Children 12 and under

Fourth Annual African American Film Festival Antwone Fisher (2002)

Denzel Washington, Derek Luke, Denzel Washington (Director) | Rated: PG-13 | Saturday, February 19, 7 p.m.

Ghost (1990)

Whoopi Goldberg. Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Jerry Zucker (Director) | Rated: PG-13 | Saturday, February 26, 7 p.m.

Gallery Tour

A closer look at a featured artwork on view: Po’ch Ladies, 1941, by William Edmondson (1874–1951). An informal 20-minute gallery talk led by a member of MAM’s African American Cultural Committee. Friday, February 4, 2 p.m. FREE

MSU/MAM Art Talks: Shirin Neshat

Shirin Neshat is an Iranian visual artist who lives in New York and is one of the best-known Persian artists within the Western artistic world, known primarily for her work in film, video, and photography. She addresses the social, political, and psychological dimensions of women’s experience in contemporary Islamic societies. Thursday, February 17, 7 p.m.

$10 Members, $15 nonmembers, FREE for MSU staff and students

3 South Mountain Ave., Montclair, NJ 07042 973-746-5555 |

Advance tickets are available at the Museum Store or by calling 973-259-5137

Julien X. Neals Installed as Newark Business Administrator

L-R: Atty. Neals’ sister, Felice Neals; Betty Neals; Judge Felix Neals; Julien K. Neals; Lauren Jones-Neals; and Business Administrator Neals.


ulien X. Neals, Esq., took his oath of office as the City of Newark’s Business Administrator, the highest ranking non-elected official in the city’s administration, in a Municipal Council Chamber ceremony. “Judge Neals has excelled in service to our city. He is a steady hand in these difficult times, a rock for our city, and a workhorse who makes way for the future,” said Mayor Cory A. Booker. “In these challenging times, I am so honored to put forth the great Julien Neals as our next Business Administrator. In the days, months, and years to come, he will lead the city. No appointment makes me prouder than the one we make today.  I am confident that his demonstrated administrative leadership capabilities will successfully lend themselves to the City’s efforts to ensure that we achieve fiscal solvency during one of the worst economic crises in our City’s modern history,” Mayor Cory A. Booker said. Since February 2008, Julien Neals has served as the City of Newark’s top lawyer. In his role as Corporation Counsel, Neals managed a department of 75 employees; 45 of whom are full-time attorneys, who practice law in diverse lines of business such as: Contracts & Legislation, Labor, Civil Litigation, Real Estate, Tax Appeals &


The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

Tax Abatements, Workers’ Compensation and Municipal Prosecution. “It’s an honor that the Mayor and Council have decided to give me this chance to serve and lead the City through these turbulent times. The City deserves all that we have to offer, to see that it not only survives, but shines, at this trying time,” said Neals. His mother, Betty H. Neals, a Newark native and poet who worked as a teacher for 37 years in East Orange public schools, served as mistress of ceremonies and his father, retired New York State Supervising Administrative Law Judge Felix R. Neals, delivered remarks. Neals’ son, Julien K. Neals, a St. Phillip’s Academy sixth-grader, read the Pledge of Allegiance. “Perhaps this is the meaning of Julien’s fifth-grade essay on wanting to become a lawyer and wanting to make a significant contribution to the lives of others,” said Betty Neals, reflecting on the day’s ceremony. “It felt great to do the pledge,” said young Julien. “I love and appreciate my dad, and I’m proud of him.” City Clerk Robert P. Marasco introduced State Administrative Office of the Courts Director Glenn Continued on next page


Continued from previous page Grant who read the oath, while Neals’ wife, Lauren Jones-Neals, held the Bible. Representing the Newark Municipal Council was Council Member-at-Large Carlos M. Gonzalez. Municipal Court Chief Judge Richard E.A. Nunes was also in attendance with several other Newark Municipal Court judges. “Judge Neals was an excellent Chief Judge at the Newark Municipal Court and I am sure that he will be an excellent Business Administrator for the City of Newark. He is a good person of the highest moral fiber whose intelligence and work ethic rivals no one,” said Judge Nunes. Prior to joining the Booker Administration, Business Administrator Neals began his legal career as a law clerk in the Hudson County Superior Court.  He eventually became a partner with the Secaucus-based law firm of Chasan Leyner & Lamparello, PC.  While there, he defended municipal governments in Hudson, Bergen, and Passaic Counties in the areas of civil rights, employment discrimination and disciplinary cases before state and federal courts, as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He also handled cases involving copyright and trademark issues. Neals is a trustee of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Volunteer Lawyers for Justice. A former trustee of the Hudson County Bar Association, he has also served

From left: Business Administrator Neals’s wife, Lauren Jones-Neals; their son, St. Phillip’s Academy sixth-grader Julien K. Neals, Business Administrator Neals, State Administrative Office of the Courts Director Glenn Director. Looking on at right is Mayor Cory A. Booker

on the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s Committee on Character and Fitness, the Supreme Court Model Civil Jury Charge Committee, the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Executive Committee on Labor and Employment Law and as a member of the District VI Ethics Committee. He has also conducted anti-sexual harassment training for municipalities and written scholarly articles on the law for publication. Neals received his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Morehouse College and his Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law. —TPC Staff

INSPIRES We’re committed to helping the community and everyone who lives here achieve more than ever. That’s why we salute the legacy of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. PNC celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the MLK Holiday.

©2010 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC


Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community



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ng Wages

The , 6:30 PMStruggle for Economic Justice Faith Leaders: “It’s a Moral Issue!”

Church, ith joblessness, poverty hunger growing, faith t Avenue) and leaders from throughout


New York City will come together for a special pre-Martin Luther King Day Living Wage Mass Meeting on porting Thursday, January 13, 2011, 6:30 pm at Convent Avenue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN 420 W. 145th Street, in Harlem. This interfaith gathering, a revival of Dr. King’s struggle for economic justice, is being sponsored by the Faith Caucus of Living Wage NYC - a coalition of community, faith and labor leaders committed to improving the lives of low-wage New Yorkers. They are calling on the City Council to pass a new law, The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, which would create living wage jobs paying a minimum of $10 an hour for work in city-subsidized economic development projects. Host of the Mass Meeting for Living Wages, Rev. Jesse Williams of the Convent Ave. Baptist Church says, “As clergy, we believe the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act is part of the moral mandate of Dr. King, who died while fighting for a living wage in Memphis. As Dr. King said, ‘Now is the time to make an adequate in-

Wages in NYC!

By Michael Yellin

come a reality for all God’s Children. Now is the time for City Hall to take a position for that which is just and honest,‘ we say, ‘Now is the time for the New York City Council to pass the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act.’” The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act is a bill supported by a majority of City Council members. It would establish a living wage standard for jobs created through economic development subsidies. The bill ensures that local communities and neighborhoods get a better deal whenever public money is given to developers. The Faith Caucus is calling on the New York City Council to hold a hearing on this moral legislation. “If the city continues to allow poverty-wage jobs that prevent hard working people from being selfsufficient, providing for their families, and caring for their children, too many New Yorkers inside and outside of our congregations will suffer,” says Rev. Michael Walrond, senior pastor of the First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem. Pastor Walrond will be joining many other faith leaders at the January 13 revival to affirm humanity and assault poverty. “Morally, no one benefits from

the unjust and unfair growth of the working poor. This legislation will help build a more fair and just New York for all New Yorkers.” Over the past several months, the Faith Caucus of the Living Wage NYC coalition has been organizing congregations for the passage of the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act. This interfaith coalition of pastors, imams, and rabbis represents many thousands of members of the faith community. They have engaged their congregations in City Council districts in every borough. Their parishioners have signed palm cards in support of this moral piece of legislation. Thousands of cards were collected, and on November 17, nearly 100 clergy and over 200 community members prayed and marched in a silent witness to the City Council meeting to deliver them. Prior to that, during the weekend of October 8-10, scores of faith leaders preached on faith, economic justice, and living wages in congregations around the city. All of these efforts are working toward the passage of the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act. For more information on Living Wage NYC, please visit:

Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community



William S. Parrish, Jr. is President & CEO of Noble Strategy, LLC

Harlem Business Alliance 30 years of Legacy Building everal years ago I wrote a column in a regional publication detailing the value in associations, and my recent attendance at the Harlem Business Alliance 30th Annual Awards Celebration brought to life each concept in that article. The piece explored how entrepreneurs benefit from membership and active participation in business organizations, chambers of commerce and industry associations and how the associations grow as well. Issues of working on community efforts, discussing relevant issues and supporting the growth of other local businesses, combined with the opportunity to network and develop new business make association activism a powerful strategy in achieving growth and definitely a bold move. Active participation requires that you bring an offering to give others in order for you to truly benefit. You could easily exist on the one way track of participation by attending events and sitting in on classes, but your greatest benefit occurs when you use what you have to benefit others. As we actively participate in local organizations and community alliances, we can and should, contribute to leaving a legacy. For many business owners a tremendous opportunity exists to utilize business resources, whether they are money, promotions, influence or labor to affect positive change for those coming behind you. Perhaps it can be considered a new twist on philanthropy, since you are in position to use a cause, local alliance or chamber of commerce to amplify your efforts to build those around you. The Harlem Business Alliance excels at this. They use collective efforts, strength and resources to create a stage for business owners to be successful. For over 30 years this organization has been a resource and because of the efforts of those that were interested in legacy building, we benefit today. At their annual awards celebration in December, I was presented with the 2010 Harlem Business Alliance Business Person of the Year Award. I would like to think I earned the



The Positive Community Winter 2010–11

award for efforts in building businesses and the ability to be a resource to others, but I know the recognition was made possible by those who came long before me. I also believe the award was not merely about what I have done, but what we all must continue to do for the future. Efforts of the HBA Board of Directors, as well as their chairman, Walter Edwards and Executive Director Regina Smith, have been lasting, contributing to the powerful voice they are today in the community. So I ask, and hopefully spur you to action with the following questions. Are you a member of a strong chamber or business alliance? Could you benefit from the vast resources of those working to make you successful? Have you taken advantage of the services your local alliance offers? Have you offered your services to your local alliance? At the HBA Awards, with a platform to amplify my concerns and efforts, I did not miss the opportunity to inform our international construction partners to take the opportunity to show their commitment and interest in Harlem. It was my pleasure and obligation to introduce them to the Alliance, but also to encourage them to invest in the Alliance and the community, as partners. My brand of legacy building has been offered as another example of what we all need to do. Please join me in celebrating the honorees: Paul T. Williams Jr., executive director, DASNY; Jonelle Procope, president and CEO, Apollo Theater; Aziz G. Adetimirin, publisher of the Network Journal; Melba Wilson, proprietor, Melba’s Catering and Melba’s 125; Elsie McCabe Thompson, president, Museum of African Art, and Hon. Congressman Charles B. Rangel for his Special Recognition Award for service. Each one of these dynamic individuals is practicing their very own brand of legacy building by increasing the bottom line for others and I am most thankful to have been in their presence. Our collective efforts will preserve the future, as long as we continue to “Make Bold Moves!”

125th Street Shines Bright with Holiday Lights


like Con Edison, Columbia University, TD Bank, Apple Bank, Cogswell Realty , the Riverside Park Fund, New York City Housing Authority and the Harlem Children’s Zone, this year the lights are shining bright. At the appointed hour Marcus Samuelsson, the celebrity chef who recently opened the Red Rooser Restaurant on Lenox Avenue close to 125th Street, flicked the switch and the lights came on first in fromt of the ACP Office Building and continuing one by one east and west and the oohs and ahhs from the revelers filled the air. Oh what a night! —JNW

L–R: Maxine Griffith, Columbia University; Barbara Askins; Regina Smith, Harlem Business Alliance and Vincent Morgan, Chairman of 125th St. BID.

Christmas carolers join in the celebration Photos: Hubert Williams

he neon lights may be bright on Broadway, but Harlemites are just as proud of the holiday lights that glitter along 125th Street. From East to West, river to river, a canopy of brilliant lights bring the holiday spirit to that world-famous street and welcomes shoppers and tourists, thanks to the hard work of the 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID) and the generosity of community businesses and non-profits. It was one of the coldest nights of the year, with a raw wind blowing but that didn’t stop the celebration as the revelers waited for the big moment when the switch would be flicked, and the lights would come on. Starting with a Christmas tree lighting and caroling at the West Harlem Piers on the Hudson River, where hot apple cider and cookies donated by Fairway Market warmed up the crowd, the celebration moved on to the plaza outside Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building. Hot chocolate from Starbucks and mini-cupcakes from Tonnie’s Minis warmed the hands and tummies of the those assembled and entertainment by Impact Repertory and other local groups warmed their hearts. According to Barbara Askins, BID president and CEO, there were no holiday lights in 2009 because of lack of funds. But thanks to contributors

L–R: Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson flipped the light switch, and hosted a reception following the event at his restaurant, the all-new Red Rooster.

Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


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COGIC Convocation Moves to St. Louis Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr., presiding bishop (3rd left) receives plaque and portrait from City of St. Louis official Michael McMillan (far right)


he 103rd Holy Convocation for the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) was held November 8-16, 2010 at the America’s Center convention complex located in the heart of downtown St. Louis. This marks the first time in the 102 years of its existence that the convocation has not been held in Memphis, Tennessee where the denomination is headquartered. Over 50,000 COGIC members converged on the city for the seven-day period of spiritual rejuvenation to pray, fellowship, minister and reflect on the previous year in order to prepare for the future. It was the largest African American assembly ever to be hosted in St. Louis The move to St. Louis was determined to make attendance at the convocation more cost-efficient for the members by providing less expensive hotel prices, additional safety due to the close proximity of hotels to each other and the main convention area and flexibility for those who travel nationwide to the event each year. On average, the Church Of God In Christ’s convocation

generates over $35 million during its seven-day event, which is a considerable boost to any local economy. “It is with the sincerest regret that we are forced to leave our founding city,” said Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. at the time of the annoucement of the move. “We care deeply for Memphis and our history there. However, this move is all about our members, whom we love and have to provide the best possible spiritual experience for even during very tough economic times.  Hopefully this change will give them financial relief and a great new experience in the city of St. Louis,” said Blake. In addition to the warm welcome COGIC members received while in St. Louis, through a partnership between the city and many restaurants and retailers, a special Spirit of St. Louis Hospitality Discount Card was created. The initiative provided meaningful discounts to COGIC members as they explored the best variety of culinary and shopping experiences in St. Louis. —TPC Staff

Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


Nu Beta Beta Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Annual Founders’ Day/Achievement Week Celebration


he men of the Omega Psi Phi Nu Beta Beta Chapter, along with family and friends, recently gathered for the fraternity’s Founders’ Day and Achievement Week celebration. It is a time when the Ques, as they are known to many, recognize community service, high school scholarship, their own hard work and new leadership. This year’s honorees included Linda Dunham, Citizen of the Year; Augustus Jenkins, Omega Man of the Year and students Matthew Beavers, Maya Bailey and Malcolm Carter. Dunham (who owns seven McDonald’s restaurants in New Jersey and New York with her husband, Lee), is the first female owner-operator to serve as board chair for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. She also serves


The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

By Michael Goins

Augustus Jenkins for Omega Man of the Year with Linda Dunham, Citizen of the Year Photo: Robin Robison Dilliard

as vice chair of Ronald McDonald House Charity of the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state area. She is a relentless fighter for underprivileged children, who are facing life threatening medical problems. Her view of life and of McDonald’s is much broader than just serving food. Dunham has a keen awareness of giving back to her community and has supported literacy, afterschool, cultural and artistic programs. She has served on numerous local and national boards with a focus on supporting the well-being of children. Augustus “Gus” Jenkins, a resident of Englewood, was recognized as this year’s Omega Man of the Year. Jenkins is distinguished as a Life Member of the fraternity and a licensed funeral director in New York and New Jersey. He has served the community in a series of firsts: founding president of the Black Tennis and Sports Foundation; he was instrumental in restarting the Bergen County Chapter of the NAACP and was a one of the founding members of a flight education program for young African Americans in Bergen County. Jenkins has served on the Boy Scout Council of Northern New Jersey and the Harlem YMCA, and currently serves as president of the board of trustees for St. Marks United Methodist Church. Matthew Beavers is in his third year of a four year scholarship. He is attending Five Towns College, majoring in Music and Audio Engineering. Maya Bailey is a June 2010 graduate of Teaneck High School, attending Clark Atlanta University, majoring in Psychology. Malcolm Carter graduated from St. Joseph Regional High School in June of 2010 and is now majoring in Marketing at Howard University. The chapter recently elected Wayne Hamer of Englewood as its president. He succeeds the Hon. James Young of Teaneck. The remaining members of the incoming leadership team are Jeffrey Cherry and Ronald LaMotte of Englewood and Laurence Bonnemere and Carter Adkins of Teaneck. The Nu Beta Beta Chapter and Omegas around the world are preparing for a Centennial celebration. The fraternity was founded on November 17, 1911 at Howard University in Washington, DC. Nu Beta Beta Chapter received its charter on August 8, 1982.

PNC/Sharing Network

Photos: Vincent Bryant

L–R: Joseph S. Roth, president/CEO of NJ Sharing Network; Elisse E. Glennon, executive director NJ Sharing Network Foundation; Michael Gilfillan, co-owner NJ Devils; Theresa DeLeon SVP, PNC Bank and her husband, J.D. DeLeon, trustee NJ Sharing Network and transplant recipient.

L–R: Theresa DeLeon, Michael Gilfillan, and The Positive Community’s Jean Nash Wells


n December 2, 2010, the New Jersey Devils partnered with the New Jersey Sharing Network to raise awareness for organ donation. The Devils donated $10.00 to the Sharing Network for each ticket purchased for that evening’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. PNC Bank, another partner of the Devils, participated that night by hosting board members and major donors in their suite at the Prudential Center. While promoting organ donation overall, the Sharing Network is especially looking to raise awareness in the African American community. The Positive Community came out to support the event and showcase these three organizations working together for a good cause.

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Angela Ridenour, The Positive Community with former NY Giant Everson Walls. Walls donated a kidney to a former Giant team mate.

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Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


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The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

Spirit of Giving at City National Bank

CNB's officers and staff assemble to launch their first "Spirit of Giving" initiative with Foster and Adoptive Family Services.


ity National Bank partnered with Foster and Adoptive Family Services to help children, 9 out of 10 of whom have been removed from their homes with virtually nothing and will be without their families or any loved ones

during the holiday season. CNB staff members were asked to donate a book bag filled with necessities, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and soap, as well as school supplies (pencils, pens and notebooks), journals, new age-appropriate books

and make-up for teen girls. As a result, CNB staffers donated over 100 backpacks for children from nine months to 15 years-old. Despite the dismal economic climate, the spirit of giving was alive and thriving at City National Bank.

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Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council L–R: Stephen Jackson, RDZ Media; Deborah Wiggins, University of Medicine & Dentistry NJ; Rondu Vincent, Pfizer; Ryan Ramnarayan, president of Council-certified Deluxe Delivery

L–R: Daniel Sung Park, Eclaro Intl., chair MBEIC; Lynda Ireland, president & CEO, The Council; Joy Crichlow, Con Edison, and Hilton O. Smith, senior vice president, Turner Construction, chairman of The Council

Honors Top Corporations and Minority Businesses


he New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council's 2010 Partnership Awards Gala honored top minority entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies for their successes in creating outstanding business collaborations in November at the New York Marriott Marquis. “Although we are now living in a challenging economic period, there are opportunities for small business to excel and grow—as witnessed by our minority business winners,” said Lynda Ireland, president and CEO, The Council. “We would like to congratulate all our corporate members. Even

in this difficult economy, they understand the bottom line value and quality of utilizing minority businesses.” IBM Corporation won the “National Corporation of the Year Award.” New York Life Insurance received the “Regional Corporation of the Year Award.” Interpublic Group earned the “Chairman’s Award.” Joy Crichlow, director of the supplier diversity program at Con Edison of New York and chairman emeritus of The Council, received the “Advocate of the Year Award.” The “Supplier of the Year Awards” for minority-owned businesses were: RDZ Media Group, Park Avenue Building & Roofing

by Fern Gilespie

Supplies and York Telecom. “Con Edison’s commitment to the development of supplier diversity helps to ensure minority businesses maximum opportunities to participate in its competitive procurement,” said Crichlow. “We believe that creating beneficial relationships with today’s vendors create employment for future generations.” The evening was hosted by B. Smith and featured Hilton O. Smith, senior vice president, Turner Construction/Council chairman. Gold sponsors were Bank of New York Mellon, Con Edison of New York, PepsiCo and Prudential.

Photos: Tyrone Rasheed

R­–L: Multitalented restauranteur, lifestyle expert, designer and author B. Smith with her husband, producer Dan Gasby

L–R: Joy Crichlow, Con Edison; Eliseo Rojas, Interpublic Group; Annette Ficucello, New York Life Insurance; Michael Robinson, IBM Corporation (Standing) Lance Lavergne, New York Life Insurance; G. Kelly Watts, IBM Corporation


The Positive Community Winter 2010-11


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Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


UMBA Installation Service

By Rev. Patricia A. Morris

L-R: Rev. Lee Arrington, Paradise Baptist Church, NYC; Rev. Anthony Lowe, pastor Mt. Carmel, Bronx, NY; Rev. Dr. Carl L Washington, pastor, New Mt. Zion, Harlem; Rev. Karl A. Delk, pastor, Greater Rugged Cross, Brooklyn; Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor Abyssinian, Harlem; Rev. Ronald Grant, pastor Shiloh, Hudson, NY; Rev. Larry William Camp, pastor Bethlehem, Brooklyn, NY


nited Missionary Baptist Association (UMBA) held its installation of officers on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at Paradise Baptist Church in New York City. Rev. Lee A. Arrington was the host pastor. Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem served as worship leader. Rev. Ronald Grant, vice-president at large of the Empire Missionary Baptist Convention preached and Rev. Nelson C. Dukes, former moderator UMBA, pastor of Fountain Spring Baptist Church, Bronx, NY presided at the over the installation. Following his installation, Moderator Arrington

explained that he will continue with the organization’s general theme, “Mission Minded, On The Move With God,” by continuing/expanding the summer food distribution, Thanksgiving/Christmas turkey distributions and toys for the children of incarcerated parents. Since the debt is retired (see The Positive Community, Sept 2010 issue, Page 18), the moderator has shared that Education and Evangelism are his new priority initiatives. The United Missionary Baptist Association represents 142 churches and their congregations in Manhattan Bronx and lower Westchester. —JNW Photos: Bruce Moore

Rev. Dr. Shellie Sampson, pastor Thessilonia, B.C., Bronx Rev. Nelson Dukes (far left) presides over the installation


The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

Rev. Reginald Williams, pastor, Charity Baptist Church of Christ, Bronx NY Rev. Ronald Grant, VP at large, Empire Missionary Baptist State Convention of NY Inc.

Newly elected UMBA officers are: Reverend Lee A. Arrington Reverend Dr. Carl L. Washington, Jr. Reverend Anthony Lowe Reverend Jimmie Howell Reverend Calvin Kendricks Reverend Patricia A. Morris Reverend Keith A. Bolden, Sr. Reverend Dr. Jesse T. Williams Reverend Dr. Sean P. Gardner, Sr. Reverend Wayne Williams

Moderator 1st Vice-Moderator 2nd Vice-Moderator Recording Secretary Assistant Recording Secretary Corresponding Secretary Financial Secretary Assistant Financial Secretary Treasurer Assistant Treasurer

Rev. Patricia Morris, Ms. Sarah Morrison and the UMBA Ministers’ Wives & Widows Auxiliary

CJCDC Corporate Recognition Breakfast


ith the theme, “Rebuilding Communities one Family at a Time,” The Central Jersey Community Development Corporation held its annual Corporate Recognition Breakfast honoring leaders in business, religion and community life. The event which was held at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ raises funds to support the initiatives of CJCDC. Headed by Rev. Deforest “Buster” Soaries, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, CJCDC was recently featured in the nationally televised program on CNN, Black in America 3: Almighty Debt.

L-R: Rev. DeForest B. Soaries, CEO, Central Jersey Community Development Corporation; Bishop George C. Searight, senior pastor, Abundant Life Family Worship Center, Chris Kjeldsen Community Service Award Recipient; Sharon Tucker Brown, former COO, Central Jersey Community Development Corporation, Legacy Leadership Award Recipient; Yves M. Mombeleur, vice-president/program manager, Chase REO Community Revitalization Program, Corporate Partner Award Recipient; Allan R. Papp, president, Papp Iron Works, Inc., Chris Kjeldsen Community Service Award Recipient; Peter Fiorentino, owner, AAMCO of New Brunswick, NJ, Corporate Partner Award Recipient

Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


Empire Missionary Baptists Meet Mayor of Niagra Falls, Hon. Paul Dyster, welcomes visitors L–R: Christopher Lundy with his mother, Dorothy, and father Rev. Washington L. Lundy EMBC president

First Lady Dorothy Lundy sings “I Won’t Complain” before the president’s4-5x4-5:AGSC address PositiveCommunity 4/29/09 10:22 AM Page 1

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elebrating the Past and Building for the Future” was theme of the 115th Annual Session of the Empire Missionary Baptist State Convention of New York. The organization under the leadership of president Rev. Dr. Washington L. Lundy. Hundreds of the State’s Baptist clergy leadership—from Long Island to Buffalo—converged on the scenic city of Niagara Falls, New York. The week-long conference focused on fellowship, service, and discussions on issues of the contemporary church, our community and our times. The Empire State Convention represents over 900 Baptist churches throughout NYS. Rev. Lundy is the senior pastor of Evening Star Baptist Church in Brooklyn and vice president of Northeast Region of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Photos: Vincent Bryant

NJ Clergy Group Blesses Future Headquarters Site


ith plans underway to build a convention headquarters, the General Baptist Convention of NJ (GBCNJ) will purchase a parcel of land in the state capital, Trenton. Following the installation service of the state’s officers led by GBCNJ President Guy Campbell, members toured the site and prayed, giving thanks for God’s grace and mercy and asking for His guidance and blessing upon their new endeavor.

Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not A Day Off


n January 17, 2011, millions of Americans will celebrate the life, accomplishments and memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the national holiday. This year, make it the first year of celebrating “a day on” rather than a day off by volunteering in your local community. There are organizations with opportunities throughout the NY/NJ area and there is literally something for everybody from playing bingo with senior citizens to painting murals for children. There are parades for those who wish to get out and get moving on the holiday, and art exhibitions and films for those who prefer to be still. Below is a sampling of some of the events that will be taking place in the New York and New Jersey area. Get involved, get out and do something. Do it for yourself; do it for others; do it in memory of Dr. King.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 9 Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Roosevelt, L.I. NY 4:00 PM • Free Contact: Livingston Chrichlow Phone: 516-352-6074 Email: Annual event of the Metropolitan New York Chapter of the African American Lutheran Association. Preacher, Rev. Romeo Dabee, Pastor, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, New Hyde Park, NY. Theme: Yes We Can. Soloist Ms. Laurie Williamson-Holliday of Atlanta, GA. Presentation of James Heyligher Scholarship Assistance Awards for persons studying towards church vocations. THURSDAY, JANUARY 13 NJPAC, Newark, NJ 1-888-GO-NJPAC, at the Box Office: Reception at 5:30 PM honors Ronald B. Christian and Aimee Cox, for advancing King’s principles of service and equality. Shirley Caesar Concert: 7:00 PM $16 children (under 14); $16 to $38 adults. Reception, including refreshments and buffet: $32. SATURDAY, JANUARY 15 Annual Martin Luther King Parade Fifth Avenue (61st – 86th Sts.) 1:00 PM • Free Contact: NYC & Company Phone: (212) 397-8222 Website: The parade is a chance for people of all colors and creeds to join together in celebration of Martin Luther King's life and to remember his message for change through non-violence. Each year the famous words that he spoke during the address are remembered by thousands as they march.

FRIDAY JANUARY 14 —MONDAY, JANUARY 17 BAMcafé 25th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Picture the Dream 718.636.4100 Website: In collaboration with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), BAM presents a community art exhibition featuring collages by Brooklyn New York Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents 13 and under. MONDAY, JANUARY 17 BAM Howard Gilman Opera House 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 10:00 AM BAM, Borough President Marty Markowitz, and Medgar Evers College present New York City’s largest public celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote speaker is Walter Mosley, novelist and social commentator. Musical performances by the Persuasions and The Reverend Timothy Wright Memorial Choir of the Grace Tabernacle Christian Center C.O.G.I.C. Screening: 1 PM Free! First come, first seated. One ticket per person. Following the event in the Opera House, Neshoba: The Price of Freedom, award-winning documentary about a Mississippi town still divided about the meaning of justice, 40 years after the murders of three civil rights workers. Newark Museum 49 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 973-596-6550 Capture Dr. King's dream of the beloved community through art. Enjoy hands-on workshops for families, film screenings and performances. PERFORMANCES: 1, 2:30 & 4 pm   The Right to Dream—presented by Living Voices, Inc.—the story of a young persona's coming of age in Mississippi during the 1950s and 1960s.

FILM SCREENINGS: 1, 2, 3, 4 pm   Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech, given from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 1963. TOURS: 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 & 3:30 pm   Narratives of African-American Art--Joshua Johnson and William Edmondson, Alison Saar and Romare Bearden and more. Jersey Cares Contact person: Stephanie Asymkos Phone: 973- 424-1091 Website: http://jerseycares.​org Strengthen community and bridge social barriers. Participate in projects throughout the state including one large (500 volunteer slots) at Dr. Michael Conti Public School, P.S. 5 in Jersey City. Volunteers can participate in various projects including: • Painting Murals (murals sketched in advance) • Assembling First Night Kits • Conducting Creative Writing Workshops • Creating "I Have a Dream" Mobiles and Peace • Bingo Cards • Building Seats for Social Justice using picnic tables and benches • Serving Hot Meals • Spending Time w/Seniors • Sorting Donations This list represents a sampling of projects throughout the state. All projects will not occur at all sites. Go to the website to register! Peter Jay Sharp Theatre Artists Celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Free! First come, first seated. One ticket per person. 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 6:30 PM Each year the Jewish Community Center (JCC) presents the powerful work of artists whose vision coincides with King's voice for justice, peace and civil rights.

Continued on page 64


The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

By LILLIAN ROBERTS Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO

Dr. Martin Luther King

Photo: Richard L. Copley

and the Fight for Workers’ Rights


ver forty years ago, on April 3, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech—the last he would give before being gunned down by an assassin the very next day. King’s speech was a declaration of solidarity with sanitation workers who were on strike because they were being denied the right to join a labor union, the union I come out of – the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. You’ve probably seen the photos of their determined, dignified faces as they carried signs that read "I Am A Man." After being mistreated, underpaid and overworked, they had walked off the job 51 days earlier because their employer refused to agree to their demands for higher wages, time-and-ahalf for overtime, safety measures and the recognition of their union - AFSCME Local 1733. Those demands were just part of a bigger battle – the battle for dignity and respect. Today, the moving eloquence of Dr. King's “Mountaintop” speech is well-documented and often recalled, yet few know that it reflected the bond between the struggle for civil rights and social and economic justice and the partnership—between the civil rights movement and labor movement.

In April of 1968, I and hundreds of my fellow District Council 37 activists were preparing to go to Memphis, Tennessee for a march that had been rescheduled so Dr. King and other civil rights leaders could join us in a show of solidarity. Sadly, events transformed that march into a memorial in honor of the slain leader and for me and many of the DC 37 members who took part, it was one of the most moving experiences of our lives. At a tragically high cost, the Memphis Sanitation workers won their strike. Today, as the head of District Council 37, the largest public employee union in New York City, I can testify to the fact that over forty years after Dr. King’s death, our struggle for social and economic justice continues. Now, not only are we fighting to protect public employees’ wages and benefits won after decades of struggle, we are fighting a rightwing media that smears public employees, their unions and the Civil Service System that creates the level playing field most of us know doesn’t exist in the private sector. But, we have never shied away from a fight. That is why I recently told a reporter from The New York Times how outraged I was that the City’s Department of Finance planned to lay off low-wage employees, Continued on page 50 Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


Happy Birthday Hal!

By Adrian A. Council sR.

Hal Jackson, The Oldest Active On-Air Radio Personality Turns 96! Honorable David N. Dinkins

Soul singer Gerald Austin Photos: Wali Amin Muhammad & Ken Harris

L–R: Debi, Hal (seated) and Clay Berry, the Hal Jackson WBLS Sunday Classics team and Mrs. Clay (Jacquie) Berry.


reetings poured in from around the nation and around the world in celebration of radio legend Hal Jackson’s 96th birthday. From the top names in show business and entertainment to the man on the street in Harlem or Queens—everybody loves Hal Jackson! A pioneer in broadcasting—radio air personality, advertising sales, promotions and business—Hal Jackson has and continues to have a positive impact on the lives of many. For 27 years, Hal Jackson’s Sunday Classics, a weekly music show(3pm-7pm) hosted by Mr. Jackson, his wife “Debi B” and veteran radio man Clay Berry, remains one of the most listened to radio shows in the New York/New Jersey market. The radio station is owned by the Inner City Broadcasting Corp., which also owns gospel music station 1190AM WLIB. Hal, along with his partner and friend, former attorney for Malcolm X and Manhattan Borough President, the late Percy E. Sutton, founded the company. WBLS and WLIB were acquired in 1972. In a career that spans 71 years, Hal Jackson has been friends or worked with the giants in American popular culture: Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Sammy Davis Jr., Billy Eckstine, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy and Miles Davis to name only a few. In 1939


The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

L-R: Charles Warfield, president/COO Inner City Broadcasting Co.; Executive VP Lois Wright, ICBC Corporate Counsel; Tony Gray, consultant

he interviewed Mary McLeod Bethune, educator and founder of the National Council of Negro Women. In 1940 one of his regular guests was Dr. Charles Drew, an African American physician who discovered blood plasma that saved the lives of thousands of military men fighting in WWII. Hal was friends with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In fact, Dr. King’s last interview was on Hal Jackson’s show on WLIB. The next day Dr. King traveled to Memphis to join the striking sanitation workers. Days later on the night that Dr. King was assassinated, Hal recalls that he was hosting a concert and dance at Weequahic High School in Newark. After the news broke about King’s death, Hal was credited with restoring calm and order and organizing a peaceful exit from the venue. That night, on his way back to Harlem, he thought of the idea of an MLK holiday. He immediately went on the air and started collecting signatures. And as they say, the rest is history! Hal Jackson has contributed unselfishly to countless causes and initiatives for community uplift over the years. 40 years ago he founded Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens International, a pageant created to promote confidence and self esteem among black teenage women. It can truly be said that we are all made better because of the life and legacy of this great and good man. Hal Jackson is an American patriot and a national treasure.

L–R: Lu Willard, Hal and his daughter Jewel Jackson McCabe

L–R: Singer Melba Moore, Ted Mills (Blue Magic) Debi Jackson and songstress Me’lissa Morgan

New York State Senator Larry Seabrook, unidentified, Fred Lewis and Vaughn Harper

Deon Livingston, VP/GM WBLS & WLIB, Keisha Sutton James, VP, ICBC

Producer/director Voza Rivers, chairman Harlem Arts Alliance; Janie Washington, Pierre M. Sutton, chairman, ICBC

WBLS afternoon personality Jeff Foxx and Adrian Council

WE’RE BACK! Carolina Flower Shop, a landmark in the Harlem community since 1939 has returned in a big way!

Flower Shop Too

"Transforms Floral Design Into A Symphony of Personal Harmony"

Philip Young

Photo: Bill Moore

Carolina Flower Shop Too (1952 7th Avenue between 117th & 118th Street) is celebrating 81 years in the community in our new location in the Village of Harlem. • Telephone: 212-662-0641 Store Hours – Monday –Saturday 8am to 8pm and Sunday 8am-3pm

Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


Making of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday BY GLENDA CODOGAN

t was just four days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that Congressman John Conyers Jr. of Michigan first introduced the bill calling for the creation of a federal holiday in honor of Dr. King on his birthday, January 15. Sadly, in the segregated climate of 1968 America, Conyers’ was a voice crying in the wilderness and the bill languished in Congress for eight years. But with determined effort, Conyers and Rep. Shirley Chisholm of New York resubmitted the King Holiday bill each subsequent legislative session until it first came to a vote in Congress in 1979. It was buoyed by President Jimmy Carter who publically vowed his support for the legislation. However, much to the disheartenment of its supporters, the bill fell five votes short of the number needed for passage. Two of the main arguments put forward by opponents were that a paid holiday for federal employees would be too expensive and that a holiday to honor a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding traditions. The struggle continued and the movement gained traction when Stevie Wonder became one of its chief proponents. In 1980, he wrote and released the song, “Happy Birthday,” which was subsequently adapted as the rallying cry of the movement. It took 15 years, six million signatures, nationwide public marches and an infinite amount of private prayers before the bill was finally signed by President Ronald Reagan on November 2, 1983. According to the congressional records, the bill passed the Congress 338 to 90. However, in its final version, the law declared the third Monday in January as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The holiday went into effect



The Positive Community Winter 2010–11

on January 20, 1986 and by 1989 it was being celebrated by 44 states. Despite the bitter debates in which discrediting remarks were made about Dr. King, the victory was a major achievement for America as a whole and the Civil Rights Movement Stevie Wonder in particular. In his closing remarks after the vote, Speaker Tip O’Neill said: “Martin Luther King changed America—all of America. He changed it not by a force of arms but by moral force. He asked us to become the country that we always claimed to be—a country of equal justice, of equal opportunity, a country where all men— are created equal.”

Despite the bitter debates in which discrediting remarks were made about Dr. King, the victory was a major achievement for America as a whole and the Civil Rights Movement in particular.


Coretta Scott King— Dr. King’s widow who became the matriarch of the Civil Rights Movement and an arduous supporter of the holiday legislation— had her day and her moment. She rose to the podium after President Reagan had spoken and said: In his Coretta Scott King [Dr. King] own life’s example, he symbolized what was right about America, what was noblest and best, what human beings have pursued since the beginning of history. He loved unconditionally. He was in constant pursuit of truth and when he discovered it, he embraced it … This is not a black holiday; it is a people’s holiday. In spite of Dr. King’s unceasing struggle for equality during his lifetime and the best wishes of supporters of the bill that the holiday is “for all Americans,” it took another 15 years before it lived up to these aspirations when in 2000 Utah became the last state to celebrate the holiday by name and South Carolina became the last to make it a paid holiday for all state employees. As the holiday reaches its milestone 25th Anniversary, some fear that even after the meaningful struggle which made the King Holiday petition the largest in favor of an issue in U.S history, the day is fast becoming just another day off for most Americans. However, Congressman Charlie Rangel—who voted in the favor of the bill—is only cautiously concerned. “It is hard to overcome the commercialization of any important national holiday,” he told The Positive Community. “But it is our job as the living to make sure that the proper respect is given to the holiday. So while the stores are about sales, let’s talk about solutions and Dr. King’s life and legacy. That’s our obligation.” Congressman Rangel, one of the architects of one of the biggest Dr. King Holiday celebrations in Harlem New York, also called on teachers to bring the message into the classroom. “Even though we still have a lot of prejudices to overcome, it seems to me that by having a national holiday on this day, that teachers have the responsibility to talk about Dr. King, his life and what he fought for and what was gained. The day itself means so

little unless people pause and realize just what an important time it is.” The public voices of the black activist movement, however, caution that that even as we celebrate, we must be mindful that it will be sometime before character trumps skin color as the measure of a man. Moreover, they say, that we must be careful not to allow Dr. King’s memory to become static and so he be remembered only as “a dreamer.” Congressman Rangel, in wearing his hat as an elder in the black community, places this burden of responsibility on young people. “Our young people have the opportunity and indeed an obligation to make certain that the dream that Dr. King talked about becomes a reality,” he said. “Indeed we are aware that we are a long, long, long way from making this happen. However, each generation has its own cross to bear. So even though it may not now be marching as did Dr. King and his supporters or legislating like Adam Clayton Powell, in all of us, God has given a little bit of that spirit that we can fight and overcome the injustices that exist in these United States.” This month, as the nation celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Dr. King’s holiday, it is indeed a time for reflection and introspection. It was on August 28, 1963 that Dr. King delivered his celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech at the historic March on Washington. Since that time, the words of his speech have been etched into our consciousness by their constant repetition. However, the holiday and by extension the National Day of Service now associated with it, gives an opportunity to move beyond words and into action. Though living in a segregated America, Dr. King dreamed of equality and justice for all people. In this melting pot that is America, people have come from different lands, speak different languages and practice different religions. However, the commonality is that we all share in this dream. And like Dr. King, it should be the dream of all who celebrate on this day that: …one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together . . . and we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

Winter 2010–11 The Positive Community



Black College Report Card BY JEAN NASH WELLS


n this, the second research effort they have conducted about the “Educational Effectiveness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs),” the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights sought to assess the effects of black students attending HBCUs rather than non-HBCUs. The study found that students attending HBCUs appear to demonstrate increased charitable giving, political participation, religious participation and propensity to major in the physical sciences compared with those who went to traditionally white institutions. Regarding whether or not black students decide to major in the sciences with some discussion of the special role HBCUs might play in this process, the commission noted an initial substantial interest in and favorable feelings toward science among blacks pursing science careers, an effect more positive than that found among white students. The black students failed to manifest such interest later in college and subsequently. To understand this change, the researchers studied the likelihood of students enrolled in four Ivy League institutions majoring in science and, to a lesser extent, of their dropping out of college completely. Commission members were particularly interested in the situation of high-ability minority students. The researchers’ overall finding is that “preadmission variables accounted for a significant fraction of the variance in persistence decisions, while ethnicity did not.” Although black students have a greater initial interest in choosing science majors and careers than whites, and an attraction equal to that of all non-blacks, the heightened appeal of these pursuits is not sustained. While students’ initial interest predicts their persistence in the field of science, the enhanced attraction does not stem the disproportionately large attrition among black students. The analysis indicates that the greater attrition of black majors arises from a very large disadvantage in black stu-


The Positive Community Winter 2010–11

dents’ average developed academic ability compared to whites and Asian Americans. Other findings indicated that Spelman College’s graduation rate of 77 percent exceeds, for example, those of Bates College, Colby College, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Los Angeles, University of Michigan, Claremont College, and Carnegie-Mellon University—all of which are [predominantly] white institutions with greater financial resources. The Morehouse School of Medicine performed better on the U. S. Medical Licensing Examination than all other medical students in the nation despite lower SAT scores on entry. Part of the reason, according to Dr. Sullivan, is recognition that student potential may not have been developed, frequently because of the high schools attended. Approximately nine of the 10 top institutions sending African Americans to graduate education were HBCUs. Commissioner Kirsanow added that the figure varied by academic discipline. Among the STEM disciplines such as biology, 12 of the 15 institutions sending the largest number of African-Americans to graduate school were HBCUs, while in the physical sciences, the comparable figure was 14 or 15 out of 15. Such statistics affirm HBCUs’ quality of education.

Photo: Wali Amin Muhammad

Weequahic & Shabazz HS Unity Dinner

Top Row L-R: Weequahic Head Coach Altarik White, Greg Corker, Weequahic player; Newark School Superintendent Dr Clifford Janey; Shabazz Head Coach Darnell Grant, Tyrone Mans, Weequahic player and Anthony Salters of Mosaic, Inc. Bottom Row L-R: Vane Scott, Shabazz player and Shabazz Principal Thelma Bauknight

High School Football Rivals Break Bread Together


espite their spirited competitiveness on the field, perennial high school football rivals Weequahic High School and Malcolm X Shabazz High School met in the Shabazz cafeteria for a unity dinner on the eve of the much anticipated Thanksgiving Day game. Over 6,000 fans—alumni of the two rival high schools, former players, parents and friends—attended the big game at Weequahic’s Untermann Field. “On a local level, this could be seen as the Red Sox hosting the Yankees on the night before a game,” remarked dinner sponsor Anthony Salters of Mosaic Inc. “This dinner is designed to promote a spirit of sportsmanship and goodwill.” The Weequahic Indians came from behind to defeat the Shabazz Bulldogs, for the second year in a row to win the Thanksgiving Day Soul Bowl trophy. As we all know, however, there’s always next year. Razac Products Company, a Newark based beauty and hair care manufacturer and The Bronze Shields, the Newark Black Police Fraternal Organization were also sponsors.

The NFL Alumni is a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of former players, their families and the communities in which they live.

800-ALUM-NFL (258-6635) 1 Washington Park | 1 Washington Street, 14th Floor Newark, NJ 07102 Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community



he Schomburg Center for Research in he Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Harlem-based comBlack Culture, the Harlem-based community landmark, has collected, premunity has collected, preserved and landmark, provided access to valuable served and provided access to valuable resource materials documenting black life resource materials documenting black life throughout the world and currently offers throughout the world and currently offers myriad programs, including major exhibimyriad programs, including exhibitions, performances, workshops, lectures,major forums and tions, performances, workshops, lectures, forums and more. Celebrating its 85th year, the Schomburg is also a more. Celebrating its 85th year, the Schomburg is also a repository of more than 10 million items related to the repository of more than 10 million items related to the black experience. black experience. “Arturo Schomburg was the architect of this legacy,” “Arturo Schomburg was theDodson architect of this legacy,” said Schomburg chief Howard who will be stepsaid Schomburg chief Howard Dodson who will be stepping down this year after 26 years of service. “His dream ping down this year after 26 years of service. “His dream was to build a special place where the Negro past could wasdug to build a special place where the Negro could be up and studied so that black culture,past informabe dug up and studied so that black culture, information and history could be sustained for generations to tion and history could be sustained for generations to come. It is a place for knowledge-building and a place come. It is a place for knowledge-building and a place for growing knowledge builders.” forThe growing knowledge builders.” Schomburg Center’s enormous collection was The Schomburg Center’s enormous collectiontrove was born in the early 1920s from Arturo Schomburg’s born in the early 1920s from Arturo Schomburg’s trove of 10,000 items housed in a brownstone on Kosciusko of 10,000 items housed a brownstone on Kosciusko Street in Brooklyn. Thatintreasure has grown to 10 milStreet in Brooklyn. That treasure has grown to 10 million articles, 5 million of which Mr. Dodson was instrulion articles, 5 million of which Mr. Dodson was instrumental in acquiring over the 26 years of his tenure, the mentalbeing in acquiring overofthe years of his tenure, the latest, the papers Dr.26 Maya Angelou. latest, being the papers of Dr. Maya Angelou. “Mr. Dodson is the extension of the dream,” com“Mr. Ms. Dodson is the “He extension of the dream,” commented Angelou. is a modern-day visionary mented Ms. Angelou. “He is a modern-day visionary known worldwide for transforming the Schomburg. It is worldwide forfor transforming theresearchers Schomburg. It isa aknown citadel of learning scholars and and acenter citadel of learning for scholars and researchers and of knowledge for students, so that they can learna center of knowledge for students, so thatchart they their can learn about the roads traveled to help them own about the roads traveled to help them chart their own course.” course.” The Scholars-in-Residence program was established Scholars-in-Residence established by The Dodson in 1986 and has program provided was six-month and by Dodson in 1986 and has provided six-month and one-year fellowships for more than 125 scholars; a sumone-year fellowships for more than 125 scholars; a summer institute to encourage undergraduate seniors to mer institute to study encourage seniors to pursue graduate in theundergraduate humanities; and a junior pursue graduate study in the humanities; and a junior scholars program for young people ages 11 to 17. He scholars program forcampaigns: young people agesculminated 11 to 17. He led two major capital the first in led two major capital campaigns: the first culminated in the opening of the center’s renovated facilities in 1991; the opening of the center’s renovated facilities in 1991; second was the 75th anniversary capital campaign the second wasitsthe 75th anniversary capitaldollars. campaign that exceeded goal, raising $26.2 million He that exceeded its goal, raising $26.2 million dollars. He also conceived, organized and directed the developalso conceived, organized and directed the development of an award-winning website that launched the ment of an award-winning website that launched the

NA The Positive Community Winter 2010–11 NA The Positive Community Winter 2010–11 40 The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

Autoro Alfonso Schomburg Autoro Alfonso Schomburg

Photos: Photos: Courtesy Courtesy of Schomburg of Schomburg Center Center for for Research Research in Black in Black Culture Culture


Center into the 21st century digital age, In Motion: The Center the 21stMigration century digital age, In Motion: The African into American Experience. It comprises African American Migration Experience. comprises more than 25,000 pages of texts and imagesIt documentmore than 25,000 pages of texts images documenting the migrations of people ofand African descent from ing the of migrations of people of trade African descent from the era the transatlantic slave to the present. the“The era ofSchomburg the transatlantic slave trade to the present. is training, uplifting, creating, “The Schomburg training,developing uplifting, and, creating, building, motivating, isinspiring, yes, building, motivating, inspiring, developing and, and yes, transforming lives,” said Dodson. “The Schomburg transforming lives,” Dodson. “The Schomburg and its various staffs, allsaid of its sponsors and its supporters its staffs, all of its sponsors and itsthrough supporters andvarious the greater community that comes its and greater community that comes through its doorsthe have been part of an ongoing celebration, a kind doors have been part of an ongoing celebration, a kind

Prelude: Researchers at the Schomberg Center circa 1940 Prelude: Researchers at the Schomberg Center circa 1940

L–R: Howard Dodson Dodson presenting acclaimed presenting acclaimed hishistorian John Hope Franklin torian, thewith lateSchomburg John Hope (deceased) Franklin with Schomburg Center Africana Heritage CenterinAfricana Heritage Award 2006 Award in 2006

Howard DodsonHoward in 1991 Dodson/Hutson: Dodson with former chief, in 1991 with Schomburg former Schomburg the late Jean Blackwell chief, Jean Blackwell Hutson Hutson (deceased)

of constant revival of the Schomburg mission to reshape how the world views the history, value, contributions and achievements of our people. “There is much to celebrate,” continued Dodson, who will be honored with a special tribute at an 85th Anniversary Gala on January 24 at Jazz at Lincoln Center. And what a celebration it will be with Dr. Maya Angelou, Schomburg’s membership chair as honorary gala chair sharing committee duties with Dr. Chinua Achebe, Dr. Paul LeClerc, Catherine Marron and H.E. Sidney Poitier. On the 80th anniversary, civil rights leader and statesman Andrew Young said, “The Schomburg makes it possible to access our history. If we don’t learn from our history we will be doomed to repeat it. There is much to be learned from this venerable institution.”

The event proceeds benefit the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program along with other Center research and programs. Individual Tickets range from $85 to $2,500. For individual tickets, call the Schomburg Shop at (212) 491-2206. For Gala Corporate Sponsorship, call (212) 491-2260.

Winter 2010–11 The Positive Community NA Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community 41

Saying Yes to Pastoral Care by Rev. Edward L. Hunt, Ph.D. & Rev. Nancy Fields, D.Min.


e have in many ways become a negative and hostile nation. Negativity and hostility have found their way not only into the public arena, but into the workplace, the home, and even the church. How do we reverse the downward spiral that has affected the personal and spiritual needs of God’s people? One answer is pastoral care. Pastoral care can be most easily defined as care for the

inner life or care for the soul. A soul that is cared for is a soul that is being healed, reversing the effects of negativity and hostility that are assaulting it from the outside world around it. Churches and their pastors have an obligation to get involved in creating a more caring environment, and for directly intervening in situations where people are suffering in their inner life. Consider the following case study of what happens when church does not get involved soon enough.

The end of Gail’s marriage and the ensuing bitterness that followed, along with the silent response from her pastor led to her decision to leave the church. Gail suffered from intense depression, accompanied at times by irrational thinking and behavior. Her husband, George, found it difficult to tolerate what he considered to be her unnecessary outbursts and excessive crying. As a result, he often responded with anger. At such times, one of them usually would storm out of the house and spend a night or two with a friend until things calmed down. Gail and George talked with their pastor about the strain on their marriage and listened to his advice. But by then George had already decided he had enough and during their next fight, he walked out, never to come back. In thinking over what had happened, and why Gail had left the pastor wondered, “Was it out of shame, or because of disappointment in how we, the church, responded?” 1

In Romans 7:7-25, the apostle Paul struggles with the “me” of self. In verses 15-25 he fully confronts the inner struggle of the “me” and admits that he wants to do right but cannot. At that junction in his life Paul needed care. The dynamic preacher, teacher, and church planter needed some personal care to deal with his inner struggles. And if he did, we do to! Whenever a person is dealing with struggles, they mentally, emotionally and physically starve other parts of their lives in order to deal with whatever it is that demands their immediate attention. At those moments they need help. Unfortunately, however, in most communities, including the African American community, seeking help is a strong negative. Most people would rather suffer in silence than to bring an outsider into their personal or family situation. How does the pastor convey to the people that the “We” of the church have a problem that must be dealt with through the process of “Care?” The pastor, church leader, and lay persons must each understand that there is no sin in needing help; the sin is in needing help and refusing to seek it. In Hebrews 3:7-15 the writer gives us a stern warning, reminding us not to “harden our hearts when we hear the voice.” God has

called every member to serve and care. God has lifted up medical doctors to heal the body. In the same way God has lifted up mental health specialists to assist in healing the soul, dealing with problems such as stress and helping to address mental illness. There is no shame in needing, asking for, and receiving help, whether it be to heal the body or to heal the soul. The church has a wonderful opportunity during these troubling times to be at the forefront of help through the process of developing a Pastoral Care program. Institutions such as Blanton Peale Institute are there to help with its clinic on 29th Street in Manhattan, and its training programs for clergy and other church leaders. New York Theological Seminary is there to help as well with degree programs and certificates that include training in pastoral care and counseling. We are living in critical times and we must do all that we can to assure that struggling communities are equipped to survive the economic, political, and domestic storms around us. Part of the effort must be to work on the inner life of the soul. If we are not at peace there, we cannot worship and, if we cannot worship, we cannot work for the church.

Adapted from Kenneth Swetland’s Facing the Messy Stuff (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publishers, 2005).


New York Theological Seminary and

nyts partner programs

Blanton-Peale Institute and Counseling Center NYTS has long been challenging the historic divides in theological education between theory and practice, between the academy and the church, or between theology and other disciplines of learning. To do so effectively, the Seminary has often developed partnerships with various other institutions of education or with organizations committed to practical training and learning.

For the past three decades, the Seminary has been working with Blanton-Peale Institute in partnership to provide resources to students, partner churches, and others in the wider religious community. Options include both degree and nondegree offerings. As one observer has put it, with these efforts NYTS is actively seeking “to redefine theological education as we know it.�

The Blanton-Peale Institute is a multifaith, non-sectarian educational and service organization that was founded in 1937 by the internationally famous pastor and author, the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale (of Marble Collegiate Church), and the eminent psychiatrist Dr. Smiley Blanton. Blanton-Peale continues today to bring together spirituality and psychotherapy in programs that provide for psychological, emotional and spiritual health. Among its educational offers are a full residential training program that leads to licensure in psychotherapy or marriage and family counseling, as well as a pastoral studies program.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Brings LET’S MOVE! to Our Area

Initiative Aims To Reduce Childhood Obesity Within A Generation


irst Lady Michelle Obama joined Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker, who is also Vice Chair of the Partnership for Healthy America, and Principal Deneen Washington on November 18 at Maple Avenue School in Newark’s South Ward for a Let’s Move! student briefing to discuss how students are shaping school nutrition, physical activity policies and programs in their schools and communities. “Our visit here to Newark today kind of symbolizes how Let’s Move! is coming together because we have Mayor Booker here who has really taken the lead here in Newark to deal with this issue. And he’s pulled in everyone – the superintendent, the police officers, the local community, parents.  Newark is a shining example of how cities can really take the lead and make this issue key,”


Mrs. Obama said. “But it takes all of us. It takes parents, it takes teachers, it takes school cafeteria workers. But more importantly, it takes the energy and ideas of young people. And that’s another reason why today is so special and why this conversation is so special, because you guys, all of you sitting around, are leaders in your own communities and in your own schools, really demonstrating how with some very small, modest ideas and a little leadership, you can make changes right where you live,” she added. Maple Avenue School sixth grader, Hydia Black, was given the honor of introducing the First Lady to the student body “It was awesome!” she said. “The First Lady hugged me and I can’t believe I actually met her. What she said is so important and I learned how healthy eating habits can help me do better in school.”

The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

Later in the day in Harlem, Mrs, Obama led a workout session at the Police Athletic League center. PAL youngsters waited with excitement for the First Lady who arrived ready to work out. She joined the children running in place, doing pushups and jumping jacks and even a relay shuttle run. With very little prodding the children promised Mrs. Obama that they would exercise more and “turn off the TV.” She also took time out to acknowledge the First Lady of the State of New York, Michelle Paterson, who has actively promoted a fitness and healthy eating campaign in New York State. Robert Morgenthau, PAL Chairman and former Manhattan District Attorney said he was delighted with Mrs. Obama’s visit and her positive impact on the children, adding, "She's a great role model.”


John M. Palmer, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist with a practice in New York City and is presently the Executive Director of Harlem Hospital Center and the Renaissance Health Care Network

When Harlem Saved a King Dear Dr. Palmer: I am very interested in the history of the Harlem Community and have recently learned that while visiting Harlem in 1958, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was stabbed and rushed to Harlem Hospital Center where his life was saved. Can you tell me more about this incident? Signed, History Buff Dear “History Buff:” hile the third Monday in January is the nationwide celebration of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, in The Village of Harlem, we celebrate another day in the life of this great civil rights leader. That day is September 20th, also known as “The Day Harlem Hospital Center Saved The Civil Rights Movement.” And, if the Reverend Alphonso Cohen, Director of Community Affairs at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, gets his way, soon everyone will know about this important incident in the life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as, the American Civil Rights Movement. Reverend Cohen is heading a team of researchers, news reporters, and history buffs who are putting together a documentary entitled, When Harlem Saved a King.


After the surgery, Harlem Hospital Center surgeons told Dr. King that the letter opener had been lodged in his chest near his aorta in such a way that he may have died if he so much as sneezed and that he had narrowly escaped death. 46

The Positive Community Winter 2010–11

Reverend Cohen’s documentary will shine the spotlight on this little known chapter in the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s life. On September 20, 1958, while signing copies of his book Strive Toward Freedom in Blumstein’s Department Store on West 125th Street, the Reverend King was stabbed in the chest with a letter opener by Izola Curry, a black woman who was later determined to be “criminally deranged.” Dr. King was rushed to Harlem Hospital Center. Today, the historic site formerly known as Blumstein’s Department Store serves as the location of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Harlem campus, whose mission is committed to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine and training physicians committed to practicing primary care medicine in underserved communities. After the surgery, Harlem Hospital Center surgeons told Dr. King that the letter opener had been lodged in his chest near his aorta in such a way that he may have died if he so much as sneezed and that he had narrowly escaped death. Dr. Aubrey de Lambert Maynard led the surgical team credited with saving Dr. King’s life. The team included surgical attending physicians Dr. John Cordice and Dr. Emile Naclerio. For the past two years, Reverend Cohen has researched this incident through historic books, magazines, and news reports. He has tracked down family members of the woman who stabbed Dr. King, as well as the son of one of the surgeons, Dr. Emil Naclerio,- whose son has shared some of his father’s mementos and documentation from that period that shed important light on the incident. Additionally, Reverend Cohen has interviewed the last surviving member of the surgical team who treated Reverend King, Dr. John Cordice. This film is unique in that it provides new information about the life and times of Dr. King. This groundbreaking work will examine the political, economic, social, and racial issues that impacted Dr. King and by extension, the Civil Rights Movement. continued on page 49

THIS IS WHERE YOU BELONG: In the place you call home. In the community you cherish. In the health plans created to keep you there. We’re VNSNY CHOICE, the health plans from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. So, we understand how much your community means to you. And we do everything we can to help you live independently at home – where you belong. Last year alone we helped our members reduce unnecessary hospital admissions by 22%.* Please contact us to learn more. Call 1-877-99-VNSNY today (1-877-998-6769) TDD/TTY:1-888-844-5530 9 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday Or visit *12 month 2009 medical management data for Dual Eligible plan members. © 2010 VNSNY CHOICE

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10/7/10 3:32 PM

Fast Food & the Lean, Mean Teen Seven Ways to Make Healthier (and Skinnier) Choices at the Drive-Thru


ast food is part of the American lifestyle, and it’s not realistic to suggest that teens—or adults, for that matter—will never eat another burger or large fry again,” says Ellen Shanley, coauthor along with ColleenThompson of the new book Fueling the Teen Machine: What It Takes to Make Good Choices for Yourself Every Day, 2nd Edition “The key is to simply know what your best choices are the next time you need a fast meal on the go.” Shanley and Thompson know what they’re talking about—they're both registered dieticians who practice and teach at the University of Connecticut. They’re also parents, and they’re all too aware that teens’ concerns about their bodies don’t always mesh well with their dayto-day diets. Here are five of their fast-food-savvy nutrition tips... some of which may really surprise you: Fish and chicken don't always deserve their healthful rep. It’s a common (if not universal) assumption that white meat is healthier than red meat—but that’s not always the case. Since many fast-food restaurants bread and fry their chicken and fish, these choices often end up having as much or more fat and calories than a hamburger. “If you're craving white meat, choose chicken or fish that is broiled, baked, or grilled,” advises Thompson. “If you're not sure how a certain menu item is prepared, ask! Actually, most fast-food restaurants have the nutrient content of their menu items either right in the restaurant or certainly on their websites.”   Download the (nutritional) lowdown. It’s important to know what’s in the foods you eat—how many fat grams and calories, how much sugar, and, yes, how much good


The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

stuff like calcium and vitamin C. But you can also find this information online. “You can download the nutrition information on all of your favorite fast-food menu items,” says Shanley. “This can really help you make an educated decision the next time you visit the restaurant.” Go green. If you’re not being driven by the relentless need for some deep-fried potatoes, give some thought to ordering a side salad instead. It’s a great way to fit in a serving of nutritious veggies! “Know what kind of salad you're ordering, though,” cautions Thompson. “Salads can actually be full of calories, especially if they have heavy dressings or added items such as chicken strips, croutons, nuts, etc. In fact, just two ounces of ranch dressing—about one typical packet—contains twenty grams of fat. That’s as much as is in a quarter-pounder! Go for the ‘lite’ or reduced-fat dressings, or use less of the heavier ones. And choose a salad that's heavier on the veggies than on the extras.”   Think outside your go-to wrapper. “In recent years, many fast-food chains have become more health-conscious and have expanded their menus,” Thompson points out. “Look for and try more nutritious choices such as soup, baked potatoes, salads, yogurt, milk, or bagels. Who knows? You might even find a new and improved ‘usual.’”   Step away from the soda. Did you know that those caffeinated, refreshing beverages account for as much as 10 percent of the typical teen's daily calories? Many of us overlook drinks when assessing the nutritional value of any given meal, which can be a mistake. You don't have Continued on next page



to cut sodas entirely—but remember that moderation is key. “Consider going back to your childhood mainstays like water, 100 percent fruit juice, and milk when placing your order,” advises Shanley. “Chances are, they’ll be just as tasty as you remember—plus, they’re excellent sources of vitamins, calcium, and even protein. Also consider smoothies made with real fruit, especially if they’re not loaded with sugar.” By simply changing your side item or beverage and being aware of what each choice really contains, you'll save lots of calories and gain a good deal of nutritional value. “The bottom line is, it’s all about balance,” Shanley concludes. Don't worry too much about the occasional supper in a bag—just make the best choices you can and compensate the following day by emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.   Fueling the Teen Machine: What It Takes to Make Good Choices for Yourself Every Day, 2nd Edition (Bull Publishing Company, 2010, ISBN: 9781-933503-37-0, $16.95) is available at better bookstores and major online booksellers. It is also available online at or by calling 800-676-2855.

This past fall, Harlem Hospital Center held a ceremony commemorating September 20 as The Day Harlem Hospital Center Saved the Civil Rights Movement. Keynote speaker Reverend Al Sharpton, president and founder, Nation Action Network, reminded an audience filled with staff and community members that if the surgical team had not saved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on September 30, 1958, the Civil Rights Movement, as we know it, would not have happened. The ceremony included guest speakers Dr. Lee Goldman, dean of the Facilities of Health Science and Medicine, Columbia University, and Dr. John Cordice, former chief of Thoracic Surgery and a member of the surgical team who saved the life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Clips from Dr. King’s well known “I’ve Been To The Mountain Top” speech delivered on April 3, 1968, in Memphis, TN, mentioning his experience at Harlem Hospital Center were also played. The program concluded with a powerful spoken word presentation entitled “To Save A Soldier” by Monique Hedman, Department of Neurology, musical selections by the Addicts Rehabilitation Choir, and Andrea Sanders. To learn more about this little-known episode in Dr. King’s life, you may want to read the transcript of Dr. King’s “I’ve Been To the Mountain Top” speech. You may also want to read the book When Harlem Nearly Killed King: The 1958 Stabbing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Hugh Pearson. Mr. Pearson captures the controversy and drama of the events surrounding September 20, 1958 and paints a powerful picture of change in American history.

continued from page 46

Continued from previous page

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Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


MLK & WORKERS’ RIGHTS Continued from page 33

many of whom are disabled and men and women of color. It is also the reason our union has gone to court to protect employees of the city’s public hospital system whose jobs keep workers, patients and the public safe. And, it is why we are doing everything we can to save the NYC Off-Track Betting Corp. and the jobs of its 1,000 employees, and 40,000 others in racing-related industries throughout the state, not to mention hundreds of millions in revenue. You could say the labor movement is my civil rights movement. It allows me to ensure that working men and women are treated fairly. That is why, after over 40 years in the labor movement at the age of 82, I am still fighting. To me, this fight for dignity and respect for working men and women is essential. It is about more than mere dollars and cents and for those of us at District Council 37 it goes beyond the workplace embracing not only workers, but their families and their communities. When employers fail to pay a decent wage or provide decent benefits, that impacts every aspect of workers’ lives. It determines whether or not they can put food on the table, clothes on their children’s’ backs, or provide them with a decent education, health care and other benefits. It also supports the businesses and other institutions in their communities. After all, we are all connected and at District Council 37 we believe, as Dr. King did, that we are our brothers’ keeper.


Page 25: The wife of Rev. Perry Simmons, was misidentified. Her name is First Lady Emma Simmons.

November Issue

Page 80: The article, Harlem Style, was written by Jeanne Parnell. Regretfully her byline was not included . Page 46: In the story about Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, on page 46 the last sentence in the first paragraph erroneously states Bethany membership at 15,000. The correct number is 1,500. Page 47: the caption for this photo did not identify Richard Roper (third from left) a deacon at Bethany Baptist Church.

L–R: WBGO’s Sheila Anderson, Rev. Howard, Rutgers Distinguished Service Professor Clement A. Price, Ph.D; Richard Roper; Atty. Junius Williams, executive director of the Abbott Leadership Institute at Rutgers University and his son, Che

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The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

Calvary’s renowned end-of-life care also relieves the pain and suffering of the patient’s family. Calvary Hospital’s unique Family Care Center is one more example of why Calvary has been the world standard for palliative care for over a century, caring for not only terminally ill patients, but for their loved ones as well. The fact is, a family member with terminal cancer puts the entire family at risk for depression, anxiety disorders, physical sickness and disruptions in life – both at home and at work. Understanding this need to treat “the whole patient” emotionally and physically, Calvary provides a Family Care Center, exclusively for the patients’ families. Designed with home-like furniture, a large TV, computer and internet, as well as a play area for children, it is a place for families to rest and rejuvenate. Regular health programs are offered based on education and prevention. Calvary automatically assigns a Family Care Practitioner to each and every patient and their family, meeting whatever needs they may have. This family-centric approach to care is unlike any other. After all, this is Calvary Hospital. For more information call 718-518-2300 or visit

1740 Eastchester Road • Bronx, NY 10461 • (718) 518-2300 Calvary Hospital Inpatient Service • Outpatient Services • Calvary@Home (Home Care/Hospice) Center for Curative and Palliative Wound Care • Satellite Services at Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn NY 11220 (Calvary@Home programs are Medicare-certified and contract with most major insurances.)


Kahlil Carmichael is the Pastor and Founder of It Is Well Living Church located in Clark, New Jersey. 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

Are You Motivated? those things that we must do in life. If you are not yet convinced, let me assure you, exercise is a must do! January is a great time to reflect and renew. So I encourage you this month, to reflect on your motivating factor for exercising. It has to be something that you personally connect with—something that has meaning for you. And after you have reflected on this factor, why not renew your commitment to get it done in 2011? Now is the time. I am a firm believer in establishing habits to help you change your life. So for the first 21 days I am challenging you to do the following to help you get and stay on track for 2011 and for life: Days 1–7 Look at your motivating factor for exercising. Commit to at least 5 minutes each day of doing some type of exercise.

have to be honest in saying that in beginning to write this month’s article I wasn’t sure of what it is I wanted to say, to finally convince you to begin or continue to workout. What could I tell you about changing your life through exercise that I haven’t already said over the course of the past five years that I have been blessed to write this column? But what I realized is that of all the physical and spiritual fitness tips that I may have offered, what it really comes down to is your choosing what the motivating factor is for you to exercise. Are you tired of being sick and tired? Do you want to be free from daily insulin injections for diabetes? Perhaps you don’t want to have a photo taken of you at the happiest yet heaviest moment of your life? What about your family? If you do not lose weight, will you be around to enjoy them? Once you have decided what your motivating factor is to exercise, you have to be willing to begin to exercise and have the discipline, courage and faith to see it through. Exercise is like everything else in life—sometimes we just don’t feel it! Some days we don’t feel like going to work, but we go; and sometimes we don’t feel like having those uncomfortable conversations that we have to have, but we follow through with them anyway. We overcome obstacles, setbacks and adversity to do



The Positive Community Winter 2010–11

Days 8–14 Begin to think about what type of exercise works for you at this time in your life and when you can do it. You may need to receive help from a professional. Begin to exercise for at least 15 minutes each day. Days 15–21 Set a schedule to exercise. Exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes on each day that you have scheduled. Know that you can do this and determine that you won’t stop until you reach you goals! Be encouraged and remain motivated!

Join Rev. Kahlil Carmichael and It Is Well Living Church for 21 days of Consecration January 3–24. Visit for more information. 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.

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The Positive Community Winter 2010-11


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

Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood


Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood Receives Pioneer Award Photos: Hubert Williams

Scene from “The Maafa Suite”


UDELCO, (Audience Development Committee, Inc.), was established in 1973 by the late Vivian Robinson to honor excellence in New York African American Theatre. The Vivan Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre (aka Viv awards) have become a significant event in theater circles promoting “recognition, understanding and awareness of the arts in the African-American community.” The 2010 awards on November 18, 2010 at Harlem Stage Aaron Davis Hall opened with a performance of “We Are Family” by Impact Repertory Theatre, the theme of the event. Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, pastor of Mt. Pisgah B.C., and pastor emeritus of St. Paul Community B.C. both in Brooklyn, brought a new concept to the venerable awards event when he initiated an audience

Daniel Beatty

Scene from “What Would Jesus Do?”

sing-along. Upon receiving the Pioneer Award for the visually stunning and soul-stirring epic theatrical production, The Maafa Suite, Dr. Youngblood broke into song and encouraged the audience to join him. It wasn’t long before “Jesus Is the Best Thing to Happen to Me” filled the room. “What Would Jesus Do?” a play about HIV/AIDS by Yvette Heyliger, garnered seven awards including dramatic production of the year. Daniel Beatty won best male solo performance for his one-man show “Through the Night.” “Langston in Harlem,” received four, including musical production of the year. Glenn Turner won outstanding male in a musical for his performance in Langston in Harlem and Kenita Miller won best female in the same play. Actors Ron Lucas and Joyce Sylvester served as co-hosts. Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


Show of Survival at the Apollo Gloria Gaynor: Aiding Haiti to Survive by Jami Kelmenson


ew piano arpeggios in pop music have come to resonate more than the rolling E7 chord which precedes the immortal words sung by Gloria Gaynor: At first I was afraid. I was petrified. Fans of Ms. Gaynor, and of survival in general, will be able to attend a live performance of the iconic hit “I Will Survive,” in honor of a very special group of survivors – those of the Haiti earthquake which devastated the country on January 12, 2010. To mark the one-year anniversary, Community2Community (C2C), a service organization whose focus is helping to build self-sufficient communities world-wide, will be hosting the first annual "Hope and a Future" Benefit Concert for Haiti at Harlem’s World Famous Apollo Theater on Wednesday, January 12, 2011. Along with Ms. Gaynor, will be appearances by Barbara King, Curtis Haywood, C3YC and more. Coming together as the “Friends of Haiti,” these artists will present an eclectic mix of inspirational, jazz, R&B, hip-hop, rap and Haitian music, spoken word and dance along with special vignettes spotlighting Haitian culture and history. The event will be hosted by WLIB/WBLS radio personality Liz Black. Gloria Gaynor was not in the U.S. at the time of the earthquake in Haiti. When she returned one week later, she wanted to help. She offered the gift of music and her celebrity to various organizations and benefit concerts, but the outpouring of support among the entertainment community was so great, and so quickly mobilized, there was nothing she could do. So she took it upon herself to secure donations for the Red Cross and Unicef through Facebook and YouTube. This live performance for C2C dedicated to the survivors in Haiti is something she’s been looking to do for a long time. How does a song about unrequited love translate to survivors of a deadly natural disaster? According to Ms. Gaynor, “To survive means to fight. It means you have the power to overcome whatever life throws at you. I believe in the words ‘love your fellow man.’ I believe that love is benefiting others at the expense of self, so that’s what I’m there to do – benefit the people of Haiti, helping my neighbor, loving my neighbor, at the expense of myself. With our help, the people of Haiti – they will survive.” Ms. Gaynor’s honorarium for the performance will be donated to the C2C-Haiti Restoration and Transformation Project in Petit- Goáve, Haiti.


The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

“With our help, the people of Haiti – they will survive.” Gloria Gaynor Gloria Gaynor herself is a survivor. “Everybody has things in their life that they feel are insurmountable and that they hope they’ll survive,” she says. “I’m a fighter in that way. I try not to let things get me down and fight my way through it, pray, and then get up off my knees and go do something.” She recorded “I Will Survive” while in a back brace after falling while onstage at the Beacon Theater in NY. She was injured to the point of temporary paralysis requiring surgery. A four month rehabilitation period in the hospital led her to search for meaning. And she found it through Christ. “I had come to a point in my life where I felt I had every “thing” that anyone would call success. And yet I was unfulfilled. And I began a quest to find out what it is that makes a person feel fulfilled when they feel they already have everything.” She found this fulfillment through a personal relationship with Christ and re-recorded “I Will Survive” to let people know that. “The music industry declared the ‘Queen is dead;’ they didn’t expect me to come back, but I believed from the start that it was a timeless lyric that everyone would be able to relate to – that it would give encouragement, support and empowerment to people. That’s why I wanted to record it.” True to her beliefs, Ms. Gaynor plans to open a center of help and healing for teen parents. Living Waters Teen Center, in her hometown of Newark, NJ, will offer hope to the children here at home, as the singing of “I Will Survive” on January 12th at the Apollo will offer hope and healing to the children of Haiti. Tickets for the “Hope and a Future” Concert to Benefit Haiti start at $65 and can be purchased via Ticketmaster (www., 1-800-745-3000) or at the Apollo Theater Box Office, 253 W. 125th St, NYC. Show starts at 8pm, doors open at 7pm, on Wednesday, January 12, 2011. For more information visit C2C - Come Inspired. Leave an inspiration.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Celebrate the life and message of one of the twentieth century’s most inspiring leaders at this annual musical celebration In cooperation with the Newark Unit of NAACP

Thursday, Jan 13 at 7:00

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Celebrate the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Free with Suggested Admission


1.17.2011 12:30-4:30 pm Museum Opens: 12 Noon

Join us for a remarkable day!

Capture Dr. King’s dream of the beloved community through art. Enjoy hands-on workshops for families, film screenings and performances.


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Publication: POSITIVE COMMUNITY MAG LaPlacaCohen 212-675-4106 Insertion date: DECEMBER, 2010 7 X 4.75 BW

Shirley Caesar


Art, Religion & Faith . . . Inseparable ne of the personalities making the arts come alive in our churches is the inimitable Dorthaan Kirk. Besides holding down her day job as Special Events & Community Relations Coordinator at WBGO-FM since October 1978 (she was the third person hired when the station went from an instructional station to its current internationally known jazz flagship status) she is also the director of the Jazz Vespers program at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark NJ, where she has been a member since February 1991. I had an opportunity to speak with her, and briefly with Reverend Dr. Moses William Howard, Sr. Bethany’s Senior Pastor, about that program and arts in the churches in general. Highlights of our conversations follow here.


How long has Bethany held Jazz Vespers? DK: Jazz Vespers started when Dr. Howard arrived in October of 2000; our first vespers was during his introduction to the Doorthan Kirk and Tia Fuller congregation. Bethany had a Saturday service and it was not well attended at all and so he decided that we would continue the Saturday service but make it a jazz vespers service and promote it as a service to the Lord to the sound of jazz. In January 2001 we started having it regularly every first Saturday. The Jazz Vespers season begins in October and goes through June of the following year. And the audience for it has grown 300% plus. It is my understanding that it [the Saturday service] would be 20 or 30 people. Now we get between 250 and 350 people. Everybody comes, young, old and everything in between. What exactly is a Jazz Vespers event? DK: Jazz Vespers is a religious service, but instead of using our mass choir or our sunrise choir we use jazz for the music. The musicians play appropriate jazz compositions. In December, we had violinist John Blake Jr. who played from his new CD Motherless Child. Jazz Vespers has scripture, prayer, offering, and altar call, the same as our regular service. And Reverend Howard doesn’t call the message a sermon, he calls it a homily and it’s usually about 10 minutes.


The Positive Community Winter 2010–11

“If we look at the history of the arts, art and religion and faith were inseparable.”—Rev. Dr. William Moses Howard, Sr. Our program is from 6 to 7:30pm. Following the service we have a reception; we serve food and refreshments and the artists sell their CD, which goes very well since there are very few record stores left. We do pay the artists; we call it an honorarium because it’s less than they would get paid at a gig. It’s church, so it’s free and open to the public. It’s early enough that you can still go out, you get spiritual guidance and good food, too. I mean, goodness gracious, what else could one want? Our Board of Trustees and Deacons gives us a budget, however having said that, we also receive funding from Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs. One of our really dear, sweet church members, Margaret Hayes, has been wonderful enough to write the grants. What are your plans for the year? DK: In January on New Year’s Day, 2011, is trombonist Steve Turre featuring Billy Harper on saxophone. February is vibraphonist Joe Locke. Each month I present a leader and they hire their group; a different lead instrument each time, for example: drummer, then vocals, then violin, then trombone, and so on. I always include women and try to do a mixture of local artists, as well as nationally known so that everyone can have an opportunity to get showcased. In June we always showcase a young upcoming talent, this year its Brandee Younger, she’s a harpist. How can people get more information about the schedule? They can call the church, (973) 623-8161. They can go to our website, where we have a special section dedicated to Jazz Vespers. Or they can visit the church at 275 West Market Street in Newark. continued on page 60


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BY PATRICIA BALDWIN GOD IS TRULY AMAZING! Grace & Peace! ne thing you can say after the year 2010 is that God is constantly up to something on our behalf. It’s been proven time and time again that He will never leave you confused or bound (we usually do that to ourselves), but He will always allow a way of escape, which is forever evident in gospel music. God has designed an answer to whatever your circumstance— not only in His word, but in a song as well. Moreover, the Lord has chosen gifted minstrels to construct the perfect noise for our disruptive souls that can heal or soothe the need. This year was filled with expectation, encouragement and elation during our time of trouble along with our freedom in victory. Our God has seen us through it all. He is amazing! Unfortunately for us, 2010 allowed a few of our pioneers to leave us in the physical; however, they are rewarded with a crown, living in the spirit with the Master they’ve sung about for decades. Now new artists are making their debuts, giving their contribution to the industry. Yet the world says that record sales are not what they used to be particularly for gospel—it’s not a money-making business especially in this high technology age when music is easily dubbed, leaked, and copied. Well, the gospel labels along with their artists are singing a different song. “As long as there is a need for God, gospel music will always be around,” says Ron Grant, former executive of Sony Records. We serve a God that never fails!


Here’s what we have to look forward to in 2011: • Calvary Records is a new label started by Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church’s Bishop Alfred Owens and co-pastor Susie Owens. Their first client of course, is the home choir releasing their debut album As Told by the Music Ministry, produced by Steven Ford. • Remember that song “Need to Know” from brothers Dawkins & Dawkins? Well, after an eleven year hiatus from recording as a group they are back and signed to Light Records. Expect an album in the first quarter of the year. continued on next page Winter 2010–11 The Positive Community


GOSPEL TRAIN continued from previous page

• As you know, EMI co-signed with Karen ClarkSheard and her husband Pastor Drew Sheard to give birith to their new baby, Karew Records. Taking destiny into their own hands, Karen’s CD All In One is selling strong and her whole family has tagged along to explore musical options and to create their own and to release their own. • The Soul Seekers return with their long awaited sophomore CD titled Soul Seekers II. The glory is given to our Father in their noted hit “Its All God” featuring Pastor Marvin Winans. It’s rising on the charts. By the way, their independent label My Block Records is linked to legend makers Malaaco Records. • Verity Gospel Music Group wants to give you a little sample of what’s to come with singles from artists like: Donald Lawrence, “Your Righteous Mind,” featuring Dorinda Clark Cole; The Gentlemen of 21:03, “Incredible;” and on the radio now, Detrick Haddon’s “Well Done.” • BMI Records has announced Pastor Shirley Caesar along with the renowned group Commissioned as this year’s recipients at the 12th Annual Gospel Trailblazers Awards in Nashville, TN on January 14, 2011. (Check your local listings) The power of God will not be hindered, just ask any of our gospel record labels.

IN THE SPIRIT AND IMAGE continued from page 58

What do you see as the role of the arts in the church? Rev. Dr. William Moses Howard Sr.: If we look at the history of the arts—whether in early Europe, Africa, or Asia, art, religion and faith were inseparable. In traditional African languages there is no word for religion because faith is such an integral part of the fabric of those societies that they never thought to isolate it by naming it. In European architecture, the concept of architecture that communicated a certain feeling originated in houses of worship. So art and religion have been inseparable throughout the ages, except in modern society we have created categories. So our focus on jazz at Bethany is a small gesture to indicate that there is sacredness in this particular art form. The notion that the only sacred music there is can be found in the hymn book or in the so-called category of religious music is nonsense. Look at the criticism that religious people in the black community leveled at Thomas Dorsey, who was a jazz musician, about gospel


The Positive Community Winter 2010–11

God is truly amazing! This is also the theme of the 26th Annual Stellar Awards. It’s incomparable to other award shows with expectations that every year will be superior to the last. With Donnie McKlurkin as host, be assured the anointing will be in full effect. There are 27 categories (Verity Records boasts 25 artists nominated) and each artist is well-deserving of the nomination. But there are a few stand outs that bear special mention. James Fortune is the front runner with 10 nominations and Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp and Bebe & Cece Winans are tied with 7 nominations each. Of course giving honor where honor is due, three featured awards will be given: Kirk Franklin will receive the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award; the Ambassador Bobby Jones Legend Award will go to Ms. Vanessa Bell Armstrong and Donald Lawrence will receive the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award. Let’s give it up to all the nominees (see the list on the Stellar Awards Official Website) for their labors of love in the music ministry. If you’re not doing anything, on January 15th, you can go to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN to be a part of the live taping. Otherwise, you can make your reservations for January 22 in your own house to watch. Live performances by BET’s Sunday Best 2009 runner up Jessica Reedy, Vashawn Mitchell and Lucinda Moore will offer up praise in song, so you don’t want to miss it. Whew, this is just January and so much is going on. Kingdom business is on the rise and the promises of God are consistently being revealed. Keep praising, loving and flourishing in the things of God. We are examples and it’s our time to shine!

rhythms and syncopation; the people thought this was the Devil’s music. John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Mary Lou Williams and innumerable highly acclaimed jazz artists have composed so-called “overtly religious” music. Coltrane’s A Love Supreme refers specifically to God. As we enter our 11th year, we have had quite a few people join the church in Jazz Vespers. It took well over 5 years for the community to grasp the faith dimension. In the first couple of years people thought they were coming to a jazz concert. But now people understand this is a worship service and they readily visit the altar for prayer and all of that. I hope the broader lesson is that if we can separate our music, it means we can separate our ethics; my position is that you should say nothing in the public square that you would not say in church. Flo Wiley is a disciple at Memorial Baptist Church in Harlem, where Rev. Renee Washington Gardner is Senior Pastor. She is a founding member of the arts ministry, an award-winning actress (AUDELCO, 1978) and teaches acting using faith-based principles. She is the president of Wiley PR, a public relations and production company, and hosts Black Beat New York: The Flo Wiley Show on Harlem Community Radio in audio and online broadcast each Thursday from 6 to 7pm at WHCR 90.3 FM &

Photo: Fran Kaufman

L–R: Kim Nazarian of New York Voices;Romare Lubambo, Brazilian jazz guitarist; Jon Hendricks, jazz lyricist and singer who has been called the poet laureate of jazz and Dee Dee Bridgewater, singer, actress and NPR program host in the finale of Champions of Jazz performance.

L–R: Critic Stanley Crouch and WBGO President/CEO Cephas Bowles

L–R: Dee Dee Bridgewater with young jazz fan, Matthew Whittaker

WBGO Champions of Jazz Herb Alpert Honored with Sachmo Award


JPAC grooved, jived, swayed and bounced to the sounds of the WBGO Champions of Jazz Gala on a cool November night in Newark, NJ. Hosted by jazz songstress, Grammy and Tony Awardwinner and radio personality Dee Dee Bridgewater on November 10, 2010, the show featured and honored legendary trumpeter, Herb Alpert for his contributions to the art form. After cocktails and a silent auction benefitting WBGO, the best-known and most-beloved jazz radio station worldwide, vocalists and musicians took the stage in a show-stopping series of performances. From Ernie Andrews to Gary U.S. Bonds and Brazilian artists Leny Andrade and

by R.L. Witter

Romero Lubambo, there was truly something for everyone. New York Voices performers Darmon Meader and Kim Nazarian lent their talents as well and international recording artist and fan favorite, Maysa added her smooth, seductive yet powerful vocals to the simmering pot of hot and cool jazz entertainment. Local students also proved to be highlights of the evening both onstage and behind the scenes. Brittany Henderson and Destiny Reese, a pair of 16-year-olds who participate in NJPAC’s Wachovia Jazz for Teens program, moved the audience with their vocal talents. They “are a natural musical team together,” remarked their teacher, Roseanna Vitro, a vocal

jazz instructor at NJPAC and NJCU. “Both of these talented singers share a soulful sound rooted in blues, gospel and R&B…They have now developed the exciting element of Jazz improvisation into their sound and style. Both of these beautiful young talents can go anywhere they choose with their talent and confidence.” Matthew Whitaker, a student at the Harlem School of the Arts who was born blind and weighed only one pound at birth, came for a visit to WBGO and really made an impression. He listens to WBGO each Saturday, and his father wrote to Monifa Brown to let her know what a fan he is. He was thrilled to receive an invitation to the gala and take part in Continued on Page 68

Discover a world of visual and performing arts Semester starts January 29

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Winter 2010-11 The Positive Community


No Better Citizen

Gloria Hopkins Buck Personifies the Spirit of Volunteerism BY g.r. mattlx

ne of the best things to happen to the Newark arts and cultural landscape, and one of its greatest advocates is Gloria Hopkins Buck. For more than three decades, she has lived in and worked for the city and demonstrated enthusiasm for its families through working with venues and programs that make family life richer. The concept of family and being a part of organizations that support families are what she calls her “passions” and her commitment to the city is a big part of the city and her life. Known in local philanthropic circles as “Ms. Newark,” she was actually born and reared in Northeast Washington, DC during a time when “Negroes” were not allowed to sit down and eat at department stores like Hecht’s and completely barred from shopping at Garfinckel’s. “I developed my sense of community and responsibility in terms of volunteerism by growing up in a close-knit family within a close-knit community where everybody helped and supported each other,” Buck said. “It was intrinsic to give back and help others and it translated into wanting to be a social worker.” A graduate of Howard University and one of the first in the nation to become certified as a School Social Work Specialist, Buck began an almost 40-year career as a social worker. She spent more than 30 years with Newark Public Schools, 20 of those at Arts High. Her volunteer efforts really took off in the early 70’s with a fundraising project for Symphony Hall, which in turn supported cultural organizations like the Theater of Universal Images, the New Jersey State Opera, Symphony and Ballet. Because of her success as part of that project, in 1975, Buck



The Positive Community Winter 2010–11

was invited to become a part of a new film program the Newark Museum was developing. She became a founding/charter member of the Newark Black Film Festival Selection Committee when the museum was in the forefront of those across the country. It was “a period when they took the celebration of Black History Month to a higher level.” In the 37 years that the Museum has presented the Black Film Festival, Buck and the committee have helped produce, direct and plan over 678 films, viewed by a total audience of over 157,000 people. It is considered to be the longest–running and finest festival of its kind in the nation. She became a member of the museum’s trustee board and in the years that followed Buck got to know the Newark Museum inside out, becoming integrated into all areas of its operation and growing knowledgeable about the history of what has been called “Newark’s living room.” Her many accomplishments include chairing the Community Campaign of the Master Plan, raising $50,000 towards that project and serving as chairperson of the Community Gifts Committee of the Museum’s $21 million development campaign. She currently serves as Vice President of its Executive Board. Buck also co-chaired the committee for the Museum’s 2009 Centennial and received the Centennial Medal for Meritorious Service, the Museum’s highest tribute. “Gloria Hopkins Buck is a role model for all women, a mentor to every woman she knows, and a steadfast friend whom I am honored to know,” said Museum Director Mary Sue Sweeney Price. “Newark knows no better citizen!” “I’ve been involved with the museum for a third of its existence and it embodies all of what I ever want to support and volunteer for,” Buck said. “It has been one of the joys of serving for me.” Buck has also volunteered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark, where she is a former Vice President and member of the Board of Trustees. In 1981 she led the effort which resulted in girls officially and legally becoming part of the Boys Clubs in the city—the first in the state, and one of the few in the country. She is still very much involved as a member of the organization’s Leadership Council. “She is a wonderful person to work with and instrumental in helping us become more known within the community after my first term as president,” said Stephen Gilbert, former president of the board and long time Trustee who, along with Buck, co-founded a yearly wine-tasting 30 years

ago that remains one of the organization’s signature fundraisers. “She always has the children as her number one concern.” Another highlight of her contribution to the arts in Newark and the State of New Jersey was her appointment by then Governor Tom Kean to the Literacy in the Arts Task Force in 1988, which successfully increased awareness of the importance of art education in schools. Buck has served as board member of many other organizations, including the Board of Governors, Board of Trustees for the New Jersey State Opera, the New Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club and Charter Board member of the New Jersey Coalition of 100 Black Women. She is the former president and founding member of First Friday Group, Inc. a networking and social organization for African-American professionals, and, after her retirement from the public school system, worked as a consultant at a Newark-based public relations firm. Although she has received many awards and honors, Gloria is particularly proud of the February, 2009 recognition by her congressman, Rep. Donald M. Payne. She was one of four people in the 10th Congressional District to be designated unsung heroes who labor tirelessly to improve the quality of life for others while seeking no recognition for themselves. That special honor was read into the Congressional Record Proceedings and Debates of the 111th Congress. Added to Buck’s rich and full life of service is her family, son, Milton, Jr., daughter Allison Stenson and her seven grands. Ashley Wyatt, Buck’s 22 year-old granddaughter said of her grandmother’s passions, “It’s great she can do things like this. It’s really inspiring and encouraging to me in my studies.” Ashley is now finishing up at Rutgers New

Brunswick and just completed the first semester of her senior year at the University of Zwalzulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa as part of the Study Abroad program. A little over a year ago while celebrating the museum’s centennial, Buck was diagnosed with cancer—follicular lymphoma, thankfully one of more treatable cancers. While she has undergone radiation, and will continue chemotherapy treatment every three months for the next two years, she is in remission and doing careful maintenance. “I’m feeling good,” she assures, adding with a chuckle; “I go for another test in March, so I hope it behaves itself.” Buck plans to continue her work for a long time to come. “Arts and culture is powerful,” she affirms. “It transforms and educates us no matter the age or the community. It is a force that is the substance of life—right up there with food.”

Winter 2010–11 The Positive Community


Backstage with the OJays Photo: Wali Amin Muhammad

In Brooklyn; Hal Jackson greets the O’Jays after the show at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) L-R: Eric Cgrant joins, Eddie LeVert and Walter Williams in celebration of Hal Jackson’s 96th birthday.

T IN NEWARK; L–R: Michele Ralph Rawls, representing Mayor Cory Booker, presents proclamation to O’Jays Eddie LeVert and Walter Williams following the concert at Newark Symphony

he O’Jays, brought their concert tour to the New York/New Jersey area last month and were enthusiastically welcomed by their fans at every stop. And concert-goers were not disappointed as the legendary R&B vocal sensations performed their hit songs, such as “I Love Music,” “For the Love of Money,” Put Your Hands together,” “Love Train,” and many, more.


Continued from page 32

Everyday heroes

We Serve New York

National Action Network King Day Public Policy forum and Town Hall Meeting House of Justice 106 W. 145th Street Harlem, New York 10039 11:00 AM. -1:00 PM (212) 690-3070/(877) NAN-HOJ National figures and New York state elected officials, activists, community leaders and clergy. At the end of the forum there will be Town Hall Meeting Shiloh Baptist Church 515 West 4th Street, Plainfield, NJ 4:00 PM Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles, pastor Monumental B.C., Memphis B.C Freedom Youth Choirt

DC 37 Executive Board Lillian Roberts Veronica Montgomery-Costa Executive Director President Clifford Koppelman Maf Misbah Uddin Secretary Treasurer Oliver Gray, Associate Director

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The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

MONDAY, JANUARY 19 BAM Howard Gilman Opera House 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 1:00 PM HBO Documentary Films Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later Marking the 50th anniversary of the forced desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The film will be introduced by Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine. The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 Documentary short, completed in part by the National Civil Rights Museum, captures the last days of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life, recalled by his colleague Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles.

Symphony Hall Holiday Party Photo: Vincent Bryant

L-R: Sharon Fleming of Journeys Unlimited and Faith Jackson of The Positive Community, event sponsors


ewark Symphony Hall hosted its Community Holiday Party for A Cause at the Terrace Ballroom on December 17, 2010. Newark native and star of stage and screen, tap dancer Savion Glover and his mom, vocalist Yvette Glover donated their time and talent to lead a drive for toys, school supplies and winter coats. The event was sponsored by The Positive Community, Direct Air and JourneysUnlimited International Travel Consultants. L–R: Savion Glover, Yvette Glover and Philip Thomas executive director of Newark Symphony Hall



JAN. 14 • FEB. 11 • MARCH 11 Friday, 5:00 pm – 12:00 am Terrace Ballroom

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The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

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NUL Centenial Equal Opportunity Day Xerox CEO Ursula Burns Receives Top Corporate Award Hazel N. Dukes, president, New York State NAACP with Phillip Banks, president 100 Black Men Harriet Michel, former president of National Minority Business Council and her husband Yves Michel


The Positive Community Winter 2010-11

Photos: Seitu Oronde


he National Urban League (NUL) celebrated the successes of its Centennial year at their annual Equal Opportunity Day awards dinner on November 18 at the New York Marriott Marquis. According to Marc H. Morial, president/CEO, it was quite a year. Several of the League’s major initiatives have accomplished their goals including the national “I AM EMPOWERED” initiative, youth achievement, exemplary corporate and civic leadership and the unprecedented $285 million Empowerment fundraising campaign, the most successful fundraising effort by an African American organization in U.S. history. “Over five years, the Empowerment fundraising campaign will have raised a grand total of $285 million, surpassing our original goal by $17 million,” Morial said, noting that total charitable giving fell 3.6 percent in 2009, to an estimated $303.75 billion, the steepest decline in current dollar terms since Giving USA began its annual reports in 1956. At the event, Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula M. Burns was awarded the prestigious Leadership Award. Burns joined Xerox in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern and rose through the ranks to named chief executive officer in July 2009 and chairman of the company on May 20, 2010. MetLife received the Corporate Leadership Award. A partner in the National Urban League’s mission of economic empowerment, MetLife’s Diversity and Inclusion programs set a standard for the industry, according to Morial.  “The Equal Opportunity Day awards honor courage, dedication and commitment,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League.  “The efforts of our honorees have helped blaze a trail toward equal opportunity and social justice, and the generosity of our partners in the just-concluded fundraising campaign have allowed us and our affiliates to make those goals a reality for millions of Americans.”  The dinner was chaired by Verizon Executive Vice President John Killian. British singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae provided the entertainment. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered congratulatory remarks. —JNW

NYC Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott with New York Urban League Eexecutive Director Arva Rice NUL President/CEO Marc Morial with honoree Xerox President/ CEO Ursula M. Burns

CHAMPIONS OF JAZZ Continued from Page 61

the celebration. Alpert was also honored with the first ever “Satchmo” Award for his contributions to music and education. WBGO’s Dorthaan Kirk and E.K. Blessing President Steve Wasser presented him with the beautiful silver trumpet that had been engraved with his name and “Satchmo Award” and was made by the E.K. Blessing Company in Elkhart, Indiana. “I am indeed honored to be the first recipient of this award,” said Alpert. “Mr. Armstrong was not only one of the most important musicians of the 20th century, but also a great humanitarian.” Stanley Crouch, president of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, remarked that the award was created as a tribute to Sacthmo’s life and legacy and his passion for jazz and children. “Future recipients,” said Crouch, “will be selected for their contributions in the worlds of music and education. They should reflect the spirit of Louis Armstrong and his inspiring belief in the power of the language of music to make the world a better place.”


Men’s Prayer March pproximately 300 men, predominantly Christians and Muslims, marched to and prayed at three high crime locations in Brooklyn’s East New York and Brownsville neighborhoods on a recent Saturday in December. The December 11 event started in late morning at the Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 7C. Inside the building, Rev. David K. Brawley, pastor of St. Paul Community Baptist Church, and others addressed the bulk of the 300, while clusters talked informally outside. When the formal speaking ended, the entire gathering split into three components, each led by St. Paul clergy and/or elders and a Nation of Islam leader. Each subgroup walked in singlefile to a different assigned high-crime site. These included The Florentino Houses (Pitkin Avenue from Wyona Street to Van Siclen Avenue); Unity Plaza/Redeemer Houses (Blake Avenue from Alabama to Georgia Avenues); and MLK Park/Miller Park (Dumont and Blake Avenues, Bradford, and Miller Streets) At each site, a leader read names of recent crime victims and described the crimes that had victimized them: shootings, robberies, killings and the like. Then another leader prayed for an end to the violence and crime. At MLK Park, where drug dealing regularly occurs, men were reminded of a child who had been shot through a window by a stray bullet and a police officer had also been shot. St. Paul Elder Michael Lee read names, and St. Paul’s Rev. Richard Honeywell prayed. When, after praying, Rev. Honeywell invited the Muslim leader to pray, the Muslim leader declined, explaining that the reverend’s prayer spoke for him also. “I had tears in my eyes,” the Muslim leader stated. The plan called for the other two prayer marching groups to join this one at the park after praying at the other sites. As one of the other groups arrived and the two groups waited for the third group, they formed a double line and marched around the inner exterior of the park, praying individually. Purposely, Muslims and Christians walked side by side. When the third group reached the park, the entire force walked to the St. Paul house of worship for the wrap-up. As they entered the St. Paul sanctuary, women of the church and of the mosque, who had awaited the men’s arrival, welcomed them with applause and shouts of approval. This was followed by a dramatic presentation by Chionesu Bakari, a St. Paul organization of teenage and pre-teen boys, who re-enacted aspects of the 1995 Million Man March. Finally, there were statements by Pastor Brawley and by the minister of Mosque 7C. The men of St. Paul men have been conducting prayer walks in East New York for more than a year now. Past walks have concentrated on crime scenes nearer to the church complex. On one such walk, the men bowed their heads and faced a highrise housing project building and crime scene—located across the street from the church parking lot. A St. Paul member who had lived in that building led the prayer on that day.


Rev. David K. Brawley hand (outstretched) offers blessings upon the assemblage Photo Credit: SPCBC Griots Photography Ministry

Reportedly, no new similar crimes have occurred in locations where the St. Paul men have prayed. These successes prompted Rev. Brawley to expand prayer march coverage to a broader area. The event on December’s second Saturday marked the first expansion. In addition to St. Paul and Mosque 7C, participants in the expanded prayer march included The Peacekeepers (a community patrol group) and SNUG (an organization that opposes gun violence). The inclusion of and collaboration with Muslims is a new aspect of the prayer march. “When a bullet comes your way, it does not discriminate on the basis of your religious affiliation,” said Pastor Brawley. Working with Muslims significantly contrasts some vocal Americans’ current clamor for confrontation against “radical Islam.” Last I heard, the Nation of Islam is pretty radical. Yet, they worked very well with Christians seeking to radically alter crime patterns and increase the peace in relatively high crime pockets of Brooklyn. My Bible reads that Jesus Christ said “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and was called the “Prince of Peace.” Christ never told us to go to war against Islam. To the contrary, the resurrected Christ commanded us to preach the gospel to all nations. To succeed at that, we must get gain the confidence of non-Christians. I know of Muslims who have embraced Christ; this is not surprising since, historically, Islam grew out of Judaism and Christianity, and has much in common with both. In December, we Christians commemorate the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. We say “Peace on earth, good will towards men.” In January many of us honor The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the nonviolent Christian activist who, incidentally, got along pretty well with a Muslim activist named Malcolm X, without compromising his own Christ centricity. May such behavior serve as an example to all in 2011. Winter 2010–11 The Positive Community



Vol. 11, No. 1

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

The Last Word BY R.L. WITTER t’s January once again. The ball has dropped on a new year, 2011. It’s been 55 years since we fought for and won the right to sit where we please on buses; 47 years since the Civil Rights Act guaranteed our equal treatment under the law in this country, 42 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was taken from us prematurely, 25 years since his birthday was declared a national holiday and more than two years since America elected her first black president. So why does it feel more like 1955 to me? I see politicians and pundits making racially charged statements without hesitation or fear of reprisal. I read comments on websites by angry white people referring to black people as coons, mudpeople, monkeys and even worse. I see statistics that paint a bleak picture of black employment, education, incarceration rates and life in general. I turn on the television to see modern minstrels performing acts of buffoonery for the masses, and beautiful brown women being objectified and sexualized, all-toooften portrayed as women of little substance, value or moral character. And what about our children? I see young boys on the corner, outside the liquor store; chillin’ during school hours. I see young girls—some with swollen bellies—painted and primped, looking older than their years and aspiring to showcase their physical assets in the next movie, music video or nightclub—anywhere as long as people are looking. There is no “whites only” sign outside the school, no “colored only” sign outside the club. The barriers are in our minds and our hearts; we’ve finally seemed to succumb to Stockholm Syndrome or perhaps we drank the Kool-Aid—we’ve got people portraying the parts that have been assigned to us for years and their portrayals are simply too good, too genuine and too believable. What happened and who are these people? Are these the descendants of the proud and dignified people who fought for equality and the right to a better life? Have the leaders and warriors of our past sown such bitter seeds, who would laugh in the face of accomplishment and education and embrace mediocrity and ignorance? I cannot—I refuse to— believe that.


It is 2011, the beginning of the second decade of the new millennium. It’s time for us to go back to our future instead of moving forward toward a bleak and oppressive past. We must go old-school on our detractors and hit them hard with the tenacity, ingenuity and perseverance that made us a force to be reckoned with more than 50 years ago. Complacency and nonchalance are high-priced luxuries we neither need nor can afford. We owe a high-interest debt to ourselves and our forbearers that has come due. The payment has been late and the collection company is calling—they’ve taken our jobs, our homes and some might think our minds, but I know better. I know that we can wipe out the deficit of decency, pride and dignity and return to the days when we had practically cornered the market on them and boasted a surplus. We can pull up our bootstraps (or in some cases, our pants) and put our noses to the grindstone and once again value education and recognize its ability to elevate us all and build roads to freedom and prosperity. We can return to our churches en mass and strength and find solidarity in our faith, our songs and our souls. We can look to our brethren for guidance and leadership, as the Newark Leadership Roundtable Series will do, bringing together people who recognize the problems and feel compelled to help find and be part of the solutions. The problems will not solve themselves and if left unchecked they will compound and continue to poison our community. It’s January 2011; let’s make this year’s resolutions about more than how much we eat and how much money we’d like to make. Let’s resolve to begin a grassroots effort to improve our situation and honor Dr. King’s legacy.

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