Beacon website: NewYorkBeacon.com
Vol. 16 No. 20
Showing the Way to Truth and Justice
May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009
HAPPY 84th Harlem remembers Malcolm
IN HONOR OF MALCOLM â€” Omowale Clay of the December 12th Movement gives directions for orderly march celebrating Malcolm X -El Haj Malik Shabazzâ€™ s 84th birthday. All shops were asked to close from 1-4pm in memory of Brother Malcolm. (Kwame Brathwaite photo)
Sharpton leads equal education rally in D.C. (See Story On Page 3)
Thompson, leads advocates protesting cut of MTA agents at subway stations
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
MAJOR BOOST — Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, flanked by plycards-bearing supporters, announces his backing for City Comptroller Bill Thompson’s (second from right) candidacy for mayor of New York City.
David Dinkins endorses Bill Thompson for mayor Mayor David Dinkins has endorsed Bill Thompson for mayor. Speaking at the endorsement ceremony on the steps of City Hall, Dinkins said, “During these tough economic times, our city needs Bill Thompson now more than ever. He will be a mayor who understands the challenges and issues affecting everyday New Yorkers and working families. His longstanding commitment to quality education, affordable housing, job creation, supporting small businesses and creating opportunities for all New Yorkers make him the right person for the job at the right time. I am proud to once again endorse Bill Thompson.” Thompson responded, “I am honored to be endorsed by one of the giants of New York City. I would like to thank Mayor Dinkins for his support and guidance and I look forward to working with him as we fight for fairness and opportunity for all New Yorkers.” A proven leader who has worked aggressively to strengthen the city’s finances, uncover waste and abuse, and
safeguard the city’s finances, Bill Thompson’s work impacts every aspect of the city’s operations, including the budget, public financing and delivery of city services. A champion of New York’s working families; Bill Thompson has worked tirelessly on behalf of the New Yorkers who were battling their own economic crisis, long before the national crisis began. His proven commitment to affordable housing has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars invested in housing in all five boroughs and he has fought for legislation to protect MitchellLama tenants and preserve affordable housing. Bill Thompson believes that New York’s entrepreneurs and small businesses are the engine of our city’s growth and future success and has advocated for the reduction of taxes that hamper their progress. He is committed to creating opportunities for women- and minority-owned firms by spearheading the creation of the largest investment program for emerging managers in the United States.
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Citywide African leaders endorse Mayor Bloomberg Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s campaign announced that African leaders from across the City endorsed Mayor Bloomberg’s bid for re-election. The endorsement was led by Imam Souleimane Konate of Masjid AQSA Mosque, who is also the General Secretary of the Council of African Imams Inc and the vice president of Harlem Islamic Leadership Inc. and by Maboussou Traore, president of United Malian Women’s Association. Other African leaders endors-
ing the Mayor today included: Kane Mamadou, president of African Cab Drivers Association of NY; Ngande Ambroise from the Cameroon community in New York City; Habissatou Bah, vice president, of United Malian Women’s Association; Fuad Maygag, political affairs advisor, from the Republic of Somalia; Naulin Mombo, president of the Gaboneze Association of New York; Poudia Kabory, vice president of Gaboneze Association of New
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New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. and transit advocates, including the Straphangers Campaign, Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 and others, have urged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to keep its promise to restore service, including service agents at 199 subway stations. “Despite the funding package it just received, the MTA is nonetheless proposing to reduce station agents and close booths that would unnecessarily jeopardize rider safety and significantly reduce rider convenience,” Thompson said. “As a critical part of the public service the MTA provides, the MTA needs to ensure that it keeps station agents in the subways where we need them.” Thompson and transit advocates gathered at the 77 th Street subway station on the 6 line to urge the MTA to keep station agents in subway stations, noting that agents bring a feeling of safety to transit riders. They also stressed that agents offer directions, assist with Metro Card Vending Machines, and provide information regarding delays or police activity. “Riders want station agents,” said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney of the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign. “The agents provide security, are there to summon
Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. help in an emergency, and give customer assistance, from directions to buzzing in passengers who need the help.” “With the $2.3 billion bailout from Albany that maintains existing service levels and eliminates the need for 1,100 layoffs, it is foolhardy for the MTA to proceed with its plan to close down station booths which provide a critical safety function for riders in the system,” said Curtis Tate, Acting President of TWU Local 100. “Putting our customers at risk in this age of awareness of terrorism and other possible dangers is not, in my opinion, worth the risk, just to save a few dol-
lars,” said Andrew Albert, chair of the New York City Transit Riders Council and a non-voting MTA Board member. “Anyone who has ever escorted an elderly parent or pushed a stroller in our subway system knows the value of station agents and their role in keeping transit accessible. Removing agents will raise new barriers in a system that already falls short of accessibility standards,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “Older New Yorkers riding the subway must feel safe and receive directions if they need them,” said Bobbie Sackman, director of Public Policy for the Council of Senior Centers and Services. “Station agents provide an important measure of safety and information throughout the subway system for senior citizens.” The group sent a letter – available at www.comptroller.nyc.gov to MTA Chairman Hemmerdinger and asked the MTA to reconsider the cuts: “Reducing station agents and closing booths would unnecessarily jeopardize rider safety and significantly reduce rider convenience.” “The MTA,” the letter reads, “appears to want to have it both ways by claiming that it only committed itself to a restoration of ‘direct service’ to riders. But what would the reduction of agents be but a reduction of direct service?”
City Council holds hearing on Ticket Resale Amendment Bill The New York City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs, chaired by Deputy Majority Leader Leroy Comrie (D-Queens) conducted its first hearing on Introductory Bill 727-A, a proposal to amend the administrative code of the City of New York, in relation to the sale of tickets to individual consumers by operators of theater, music, or sporting events taking place in New York City at places of entertainment. The legislation, also known as Ticket Resale Consumer Fairness bill, would require that all venues with a permanent seating capacity of three-thousand or more reserve at least 15 percent of the total number of tickets made available for purchase to an event for sale at their on-site box office. Season tickets, tickets purchased as part of a subscription package and/or other tickets not available for purchase by the general public would not be included in the 15 percent calculation. Events scheduled to take place on a daily basis at the same venue over the course of more than a week, such as Broadway and Off-Broadway theater productions, are exempt from the legislation. Furthermore, each customer would be limited to purchasing four tickets per event per day at
Leroy Comrie the on-site box office. In an effort to track ticket sales and discourage resale, each ticket would be required to be printed with the date and time of sale. “In the aftermath of the price gouging that took place for tickets to Hannah Montana and Springsteen concerts, I feel it is imperative for the Council to address this issue,” stated Council Member Comrie, the bill’s primary sponsor. “The average baseball
fan can barely afford to attend a game in this City at new stadiums that were built with the help of taxpayers- just look at the empty front-row seats. The ticket resale industry has run amok with no regard for the economic recession that is affecting most New Yorkers. “It is my hope that this bill will operate as “market-correction” legislation and level the playing field for
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Harlem remembers Malcolm on his 84th Bearing witness to Tuesday’s birthday celebration at the Audubon Ballroom, it is difficult to imagine that 44 years ago, El Hajj Malik Shabazz, a God-fearing, religious Muslim who advocated human rights for Blacks would be gunned down at the same location. From all who spoke, the former Malcolm X “represented the best of us,” charismatic, brilliant, dedicated, prophetic and manifested the qualities exalted in the current leader of the United States, Pres. Barack Obama. “It was Malcolm who prepared us for a leader whose father is from Kenya,” Rev. Al Sharpton said, “otherwise we would think he’s a farmer. Malcolm planted the seeds” to flower. Delivering the keynote address at the 84 th anniversary of
the birthday of the now iconic Pan-African advocate, the founder of the National Action Network tried to put in perspective the legacy and fallacies that is Malcolm X. “Malcolm took us to the Nile when some wanted us to stay on the Mississippi.” “Malcolm expected more of us than we expected of ourselves,” Sharpton explained. As well-dressed, guests sipped champagne, Rev. Sharpton explained how growing up he felt “one had to choose whether or not to follow the leadership of Civil Rights advocate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Black nationalist Malcolm X.” He said ultimately, the wives Crowd gathers to commemorate the 55 anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education deof both leaders watched as their cision. (Credit: Pharoh Martin) husbands were taken from them before either leader reached the age of 40. Sharpton bemoaned com-
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Michael Vick leaves prison confinement Suspended NFL star Michael Vick left a Kansas prison before dawn Wednesday to begin home confinement in Virginia, one of his attorneys said, the latest step on a journey that Vick hopes will lead to his reinstatement. Vick, who turns 29 in June, slipped past waiting cameras and reporters undetected to leave a federal penitentiary in Leavenworth after serving 19 months for financing a dogfighting ring. He was headed to Virginia by car to begin two months of home confinement at his five-bedroom house in Hampton before a scheduled release from federal custody July 20. He was accompanied by his fiance, Kijafa Frink, and they were traveling back to Virginia with several members of a security team arranged for by Vick’s team of lawyers and advisers, a person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to comment on the matter.
Michael Vick The traveling party also includes a videographer recording the journey, the person said, although what Vick plans to do with the footage has not been announced. “It’s a happy day for him to be starting this part of the process,” Larry Woodward, Vick’s Virginiabased attorney, said. “He looks forward to meeting the challenges he has to meet.”
Sharpton leads thousands in DC rally to seek equality in education
By. Pharoh Martin NNPA National Correspondent WASHINGTON (NNPA) - A day before the 55th anniversary of the Brown V. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that made segregated schools illegal, Reverend Al Sharpton led a rally for education equality, but solutions are still not clear. “The crisis is that 55 years ago education was separate and unequal,” Sharpton declared to the hundreds in attendance in the White House Eclipse on Saturday. “And 55 years later education is still separate and unequal.’’ Sharpton stood on stage with Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine - a group of nine Black Arkansas teenagers who was escorted by the 101 Airborne Division into a desegregated Little Rock high school after enduring abuses by the previously all-White student body. Together they led a chant urging Washington to “close the gap!” The rally comes on the heels of a McKinsey study that found quantifiable and disturbing educational achievement disparities between students from different racial and economic backgrounds, as well as between the United States and other countries. The study found that by the fourth grade African-American
Sharpton speaks to rally about closing education gap. (Credit: Pharoh Martin) and Hispanic students were already nearly three years behind their White peers, a trend that worsens as they get older. And while students from higher-income backgrounds fare better than those that come from less fortunate backgrounds statistics
show that Black and Latino students in every economic class scored significantly lower in math and reading tests than White students of the same economic class. Closing the education achieve-
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Senate votes to block funds for Guantanamo closure WASHINGTON – In a major rebuke to President Barack Obama, the Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to block the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States and denied the administration the millions it sought to close the prison. The 90-6 Senate vote — paired with similar House action last week — was a clear sign to Obama that he faces a tough fight getting the Democratic-controlled Congress to
agree with his plans to shut down the detention center and move the 240 detainees. Last month, Obama asked for $80 million for the Pentagon and the Justice Department to close the facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by January. In the eyes of the world, the prison has come to exemplify harsh U.S. anti-terror tactics and detention without trial for almost all of its inmates, most of whom were captured in Afghanistan. The administration put its
Democratic allies in a difficult spot by requesting the Guantanamo closure money before developing a plan for what to do with its detainees. Obama is scheduled to give a major address Thursday outlining in more detail his plans for Guantanamo, but it’s already clear that Congress has little appetite for bringing detainees to U.S. soil, even if the inmates would be held in maximum-security prisons. The vote came as FBI Director
Robert Mueller told Congress that he is concerned Guantanamo detainees could support terrorism if sent to the United States. Separately, a federal judge said the United States can continue to hold some prisoners at Guantanamo indefinitely without any charges. In recent weeks, Republicans have called for keeping Guantanamo open, saying abuses at the facility are a thing of the past and describing it as a state-of-the-art prison that’s
nicer than some U.S. prisons. And they warn that terrorists who can’t be convicted might be set free in the United States. “The American people don’t want these men walking the streets of America’s neighborhoods,” Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Wednesday. “The American people don’t want these detainees held at a military base or federal prison in their backyard, either.”
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NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
By Vinette K. Pryce
Minister Farrakhan urges justice for Chicago police torture victims
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
By. Toure Muhammad Special to the NNPA from the Final Call
DC sniper appeals case By. Dorothy Rowley to review the entire case.” Special to the NNPA from the Muhammad was convicted for Afro-American Newspapers masterminding an October 2002 killing spree that terrorized resi(NNPA) - Citing ineffective dents in Virginia, Maryland and all counsel that failed to prevent him parts of the Washington metrofrom acting as his own attorney, politan area. By the time authorideadly sniper John Allen ties caught up with Muhammad Muhammad last week asked the and his teenage accomplice, Lee 4th U. S. Court of Appeals in Boyd Malvo, following 23 days of Richmond, Va., to overturn his terror, 10 people had been shot to 2003 conviction and death sen- death. tence or to return his capital murAccording to the Associated der case to the trial court. Press, Muhammad’s new attorHowever, court clerk Patricia neys, who claim their client had Connor told the AFRO that the ineffective counsel in the original case was back in court where trial, also contend that the prosMuhammad’s attorneys were pre- ecution withheld crucial evidence senting oral arguments. She said and that the trial judge erred in rethe judges’ decision based on the fusing to allow a jury to hear exarguments would be rendered pert testimony about Muhammad’s later. brutal childhood. “Being the appellate court we At the time of the killing spree, do not rule from the bench,” Muhammad claimed he was a Connor explained, “and the opin- prophet and that Malvo - who was ion can take as long as six months sentenced in 2004 to life in prison to issue.” She added that “once had concocted an herbal cure for it’s presented it’s up to the judges AIDS.
CHICAGO (NNPA) - Minister Louis Farrakhan has urged the community to support Cortez Brown, who says he was tortured in 1990 by Chicago police officers who forced him to confess to two murders. Brown said he was 19-years-old at the time. Brown was sentenced to 35 years in one case and death (commuted to life in prison by former Gov. George Ryan) in the other. He maintains his innocence in both cases. Min. Farrakhan keynoted a rally attended by roughly 1,000 people late last month at the Life Center Church of God in Christ on Chicago’s Southside. Former Chicago police department commander Jon Burge and those under his command are the main focus of the torture allegations. Organized by the Nation of Islam, the rally aimed to build community support for Brown and a major part of Min. Farrakhan’s message stressed the need to challenge corruption. To make that point, the Minister pulled out a copy of a 1999 Chicago Tribune and read from an article titled, “The Flipside of a Fair Trial.” It described the “Two-Ton Contest,” which was an “ongoing competition among prosecutors to be the first to convict defendants whose weight totaled 4,000 pounds. Men and women, upon conviction, were marched into the room and weighed.” The competition was also referred to as the “Niggers by the Pound” contest. Today, Min. Farrakhan noted, most of those former prosecutors are now judges. During the same time period of the “contest” hundreds of Black men accused Burge and officers
Minister Louis Farrakhan under his command of torture. Some of the alleged victims were as young as 13. Burge was fired in 1993. Last fall, FBI agents arrested the 60-year-old at his home in Apollo Beach, Fla., on two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of perjury charges for allegedly lying about whether he led a campaign of torture and physical abuse of suspects dating back to the 1970s. He was released on $250,000 bond. Attorneys Locke Bowman and Standish Willis have been fighting for the freedom of many of Burge’s alleged victims. “We cannot win these cases in court without your concentrated thoughts and your prayers and your presence in court,” said Attorney Bowman to those at the rally. “The courts have said it was an open secret that folks at Area 2 and later at Area 3 were being tortured. There are 20-plus men, Black men, sitting in prison, like Cortez Brown, who right away said, ‘I was beaten, I was covered with a plastic bag, I was electric shocked, I was tortured
into making a confession.’’ During his passionate, hourlong speech, Min. Farrakhan called for a national movement against police brutality and torture. “The reason we are here is because a cry is going out, not only here, but all over the earth for justice,” said Min. Farrakhan. “(This) is a pandemic that is all over the country and this has to be not a local movement, but a national movement to help the victims of torture.” Recognizing that some historians are trying to write domestic torture out of history, Min. Farrakhan provided a list of grotesque and inhumane torture techniques used by slave masters during the antebellum south and by law enforcement officials in the past 130 years since the end of chattel slavery. He even chronicled water boarding. “Water boarding is not a new invention of the U.S. military. The same technique was used to torture Black inmates in Georgia’s prison system 139 years ago. They called it ‘watering’ then,” he said. While closing out his talk, the spiritual leader of the Nation of Islam highlighted that the “God of justice” was angry at the injustice of this world and was ushering in real change. “It’s time for the change not just that we can believe in, but it’s time for the change that the prophets predicted would come. That a new world would come and new government would come and a new ruler would come that would give justice and peace and mercy to the members of the human family.” Several alleged victims of police brutality and torture were at the rally: Anthony Holmes, allegedly tortured in 1973, was one of Burge’s first alleged victims. “They put a plastic bag over my head and told me not to bite through it … and they shocked me with an electric
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Healthcare reform is important to Blacks, says Obama By. Cash Michaels lower quality healthcare than Special to the NNPA from the other Americans, more likely to Wilmington Journal be uninsured; the death rate from cancer is one-third higher for AfWILMINGTON (NNPA) - If rican-Americans than it is for there is any population where it whites; the community suffers is vital not only that healthcare from a higher rate of chronic illcosts be lowered, but access to nesses like heart disease and diaquality healthcare be improved, betes.” experts agree, it’s the AfricanThen Sen. Obama continued in American community. President the 2008 conference, “Healthcare Obama knows the need first- is universally important, and hand from his former days as a we’ve got to do something about community organizer on the it … But it is especially imporstreets of Southside Chicago, tant in the African-American and First Lady Michelle community.” That’s why Obama’s White Obama’s work as a hospital adHouse reached out to the Black ministrator there. “Over the past several years Press last week in an effort to emthe costs of healthcare have in- phasize “the importance of lowcreased dramatically,” then Sen. ering healthcare costs and the Obama, running in the general long-term impacts on the Africanelection for president last fall, American community.” According to Nancy-Ann told the Black Press in a teleconference. “The average pre- DeParle, director of the White mium has gone up by 100 per- House Office of Health Reform cent; the average deductible the office that “coordinates the dehas gone up 30 percent just this velopment of the Administration’s policy agenda …concerning the year. But obviously the African- provision of high-quality, affordAmerican community continues able, and accessible health care to have poor health and receive and slowing the growth of health
costs” - the president knows that “reducing costs is particularly important for the African-American community because on average, they spend a higher percentage of their income on healthcare costs (16.5 percent) compared to their white counterparts (12 percent).” “And despite spending more of their income on medical care, African-Americans continue to face disparities in terms of the [quality of care] that they get,” DeParle told Black reporters during the May 14 White House teleconference. “Those [disparities] are brought about because [Blacks] tend to visit hospitals that provide lower quality care, which, of course, is directly attributable to the lack of financial resources for the hospital.” DeParle continued, “So we know that there is a special problem in predominately AfricanAmerican communities, where Medicaid reimbursements are lower, charity cases are higher and healthcare providers may find it more difficult to maintain a practice … We want to make
sure that controlling spending is about more than just saving money. It’s also got to be about ensuring that we provide the best patient-centered healthcare system that promotes health and prevents illness.” The administration, through the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, will be making concentrated efforts to minimize the disparities in care and treatment,” Ms. DeParle added. Hospitals that serve low-wealth communities of color will be worked with to improve their standards of care. Obama has made it clear that the key to solving the nation’s long-term economic problems is lowering spiraling healthcare costs to consumers. Democratic leaders in Congress have pledged to have healthcare reform legislation completed, and on the president’s desk, before lawmakers break for summer recess in August. “Our broken healthcare system is unsustainable for our families and our businesses, and our government itself,” DeParle said.
“Nearly 46 million Americans don’t have any health insurance at all. We know that there are millions of families that are struggling to pay skyrocketing premiums, and businesses are sacrificing growth and innovation to cover healthcare costs.” “The issue of [rising] healthcare costs is especially troubling in the African-American community, where African-Americans suffer from higher percentages of chronic diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes, that are due in part to a lack of access to quality care.” DeParle recounted how she met a black newspaper owner in Greensboro, NC who was struggling to keep providing health insurance for his employees amidst mounting costs. “He was telling me that if something doesn’t happen soon, he’s going to have to lay people off, which is obviously the last thing that people want,” DeParle said. President Obama met with healthcare industry leaders last
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NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
Editorial Is there common ground on faith?
Beacon Walter Smith: Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Miatta Haj Smith: Co-Publisher & Executive Editor William Egyir: Managing Editor
Sharpton, Gingrich: An unholy alliance By. George E Curry As anyone who tunes in each Tuesday for my weekly radio segment on “Keeping it Real with Rev. Al Sharpton” knows, he and I usually agree on most civil rights issues. However, Sharpton and I are not clones of each other and there have been times when we have also disagreed. This is another one. While I applaud Sharpton’s campaign to close the racial gap in education achievement, I fervently disagree with his paling around with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the process. I went to Sharpton’s national close the gap rally on Saturday, but left early because I could not stomach listening to Gingrich speak to a largely AfricanAmerican audience about anything. His record speaks louder than any words he can possibly utter. Gingrich perennially earned “Fs” on the NAACP’s Civil Rights Report Card while serving in Congress. He was the architect of the GOP’s regressive “Contract with America,” which civil rights leaders derided as a “Contract on America.” In addition, he suggested that Republicans bypass traditional civil rights leaders such as Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He said, “It is in the interest of the Republican Party and Ronald Reagan to invent new Black leaders, so to speak.” Now that Gingrich is gearing up for a possible run for president, he is using Sharpton – the kind of Black leader he wanted to dismiss in the past – to give
him credibility in the Black community. Saturday’s rally was supposed to be the equivalent of a halfway house visit on his road to political recovery. Presumably, he wants African-Americans to adopt a don’t ask, don’t tell policy toward his voting record. I am going to ask and, as you can see, I am certainly going to tell. In fairness to Rev. Al, he’s trying to gain the broadest political support possible to achieve his goal of narrowing the achievement gap. In an interview with Hazel Trice Edney, editor-n-chief of the NNPA News Service, Sharpton explained that his partnership with Gingrich grew out of his custom of debating a conservative each year at his organization’s annual convention. Last month, he debated Gingrich. Sharpton told Edney: “When I challenged Gingrich on racial inequality, he disagreed with me on vouchers, but he agreed with me that there was racial inequality. I said, ‘You ought to be at our march commemorating Brown vs. Board of Education.’ He said, ‘I will.’” But why give an ardent enemy of civil rights a platform? After Sharpton, Gingrich and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg met with President Obama in the White House to discuss education, Sharpton said that it is necessary to work across party lines in order to develop a national consensus. “The nation’s future is at stake,” he said. “Our children are at stake. We should be bigger than that.”
We should also do better than that. There are Republicans, such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who have demonstrated deep interest in closing the gap. Powell would have been far more suitable – and credible –than Gingrich. The Sharpton-Gingrich Unreality Show does not end with last Saturday’s performance. Sharpton has announced that he, Gingrich and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are going on the road as part of the effort to close the gap. When it comes to African-Americans, Gingrich should close his mouth. As for Secretary Duncan, if he’s truly interested in closing the gap, he can start by doing more to help historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The proposed Obama budget would allow a special 2year allocation of $85 million a year to HBCUs to expire. Therefore, although funding to HBCUs will rise from $238 to $250 million under the Obama plan, HBCUs will experience a drop of $73 in funding. If Duncan were really serious about preserving Black colleges, he would initiate a special plan to save HBCUs struggling for their life, such as Knoxville College, Morris Brown and BarberScotia. Although each of the aforementioned colleges has been around for more than 100 years, their lack of accreditation makes them ineligible for federal funds. It also does not help that organizations established to help HBCUs, such as the United
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By. Julianne Malveaux NNPA Columnist President Barack Obama is a more tolerant human being than I am. He braved critics at Notre Dame and disarmed many with a sanguine, balanced speech that did not sidestep the issue of abortion, but took on aspects of it. He called for mutual respect among folk who don’t see things the same way, and asked for middle ground instead of the hard lines that we now find around the choice debate. Above all, he asked what we have to do to get along as one human family. It was vintage Obama. As an example, he contrasted those who oppose stem cell research because they think life is sacred, with those who support the research because they too, find sacred life in the lives of those whose worlds would improve if there were cures for juvenile diabetes, Parkinson’s, or other conditions that could be helped by stem cell research. Which life, Obama implicitly asks, should we value more. Can one side concede, at the very least, the good will on the part of the other side? And if there is disagreement, should one side or the other be demonized instead of understood? For all the strengths of the Obama commencement speech, the Notre Dame situation was out of control, with disrespectful opponents actually heckling and booing the President of the United States as he spoke. There were students who did not attend their commencement because someone who “supports” abortion was speaking. There were calls by some Catholics for the invitation to the President to be rescinded. And the so-called Christians and Catholics who spent so much energy opposing the President gave an interesting example
of Christian behavior. Indeed, they gave their own faith a bad name with the vociferousness of their opposition. If there is such fervor for life among Catholics, why do these people think it was okay for us to invade Iraq and kill how many tens of thousands there, not to mention our own thousands dead? If there is such fervor for life, why not protest the unavailability of health care that kills hundreds each year. For that matter, why not have such vociferous protests for presidents, like the last one, who support the death penalty. Methinks the outrage is selective! It seems that the bar for respecting our leader has been lowered since President Obama has taken office. The man has not been in office a good six months, and he’s had more hits than misses as a leader, yet not an hour in the 24hour news cycle goes by without some obstructionism. Comments about Obama range from near-science fiction (the birth certificate) to simple political opposition, but there is a tone that is ugly and unfortunate. I think the President addressed issues of tone in his Notre Dame speech, not only in dealing with matters of religion, but also in dealing with matters of simple disagreement. Our commander-in-chief seemingly also has to be our nation’s chief protocol officer. In speaking to the manner of discourse in our nation, he is clinging to his campaign slogan, “yes, we can”. He seems to mean that we can be a better, more civil America, that we can, indeed, live together as one human family, with our differences, including differences in faith. His calm, civil demeanor reminds us of ways that we too can address opposition. His leadership, and his example, remains refreshing even as some Americans are more polarized than they have ever been about issues of choice
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President Barack Obama is truly a genius! By. Dr. E. Faye Williams NNPA Guest Commentary If anyone had any doubts, after listening to President Barack Obama address the Class of 2009 at the Notre Dame graduation, you have to admit he’s a genius. He didn’t in any way back away from the controversy the media had whipped up for the past few weeks regarding his position on a woman’s right to choose. President Obama went right in and addressed a woman’s right to choose, the war, HIV/AIDS, handling differences of opinion - you name it! He acknowledged the conflicts
we have on many issues, but challenged the class to find a way to live together as one human family. He explained how community service can break down walls and foster cooperation for the greater good. He challenged the class to hold firm to their faith and allow it to guide them on their journey. He said that it’s possible to engage in vigorous debate while having differences of opinion— yet work through areas of conflict together. We do that by extending the same presumption of good faith to others that we want extended to us. We don’t have to agree on ev-
ery issue to find common ground on which we can work together. If we disagree on a woman’s right to choose, we can work together to make abortion less necessary. When a woman decides to carry an unplanned pregnancy to full term, we can work together to create health policies that respect women. We can work together on adoption. We can work together on ways to give the child a better life. If we recognize our own imperfections and cease clinging to our worn out prejudices, we can resolve so many of the challenges on which President
Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are offering brilliant leadership. They’ve called us to community service. We all can serve our nation and our world in a way that makes a positive difference—individually and collectively. In the story of Miss Jane Pittman, we are told that people are always looking for somebody to come and lead them. And the Lord has always obliged in some way or another. Anytime a child was born, the old people looked the child in the face and asked if that child was the ONE. Yes, the Lord has obliged us with the ONE, with a President
who is a genius, to lead us. If only we could have a few days of less criticism and questioning the motives of every move he makes…If only we could find a willingness to roll up our own sleeves to do what we can to make this a better nation, a better world, ears have not heard and eyes have not seen the good we could accomplish together! Each one of us can be the ONE to lead our own family or our own community! What a blessing so much leadership would be for the common good! Dr. E. Faye Williams is the national chair of the National Congress of Black Women.
Republican Pelosi’s torture diversion By. Ron Walters One look at the record and several things become clear about the current debate over Torture, which former Bush administration officials – with the help of the media – are attempting to cover up by waging a diversionary campaign against Speaker Nancy Pelosi. First, President Bush, under a weird theory which his Justice Department attempted to codify in law, asserted the right to expand executive power as head of national security that extended to the approval of the use of so-called “expanded interrogation techniques’’ (EITs), such as Water boarding of prisoners in secret CIA camps and at Guantanamo prison. This caused Abner Mikva, former White House Counsel and Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (voicing views of other lawyers), to say that “this has never been the law” and that any President operating under a such theory is “breaking the law repeatedly and persistently.” Furthermore, the use of Water boarding as a technique of interrogation is illegal under U. S. law which, as part of the International Convention on Torture and the Geneva Convention, prohibits, “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” of prisoners of war. So, President Bush has com-
mitted a crime and should be punished. Furthermore, he added perjury to the crime by saying on one occasion in June of 2004, “I have never ordered Torture, I will never order torture, the values of this country are such that torture are not a part of our soul and our being.” Then, media analysts seemed shocked about Pelosi’s comment that although records show that she was briefed by the CIA on EITs they lied by giving the impression that they expressly covered the subject of Water boarding. Oh my God! The CIA lied? Let’s be real, it was cooked CIA Intelligence that started the whole mess, supporting claims by the administration and even Secretary Colin Powell that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. And although none were subsequently found, that did not keep George Bush from giving CIA Director George Tenet a Congressional Medal of Freedom as payback when he resigned. More to the point, in November of 2005, the then CIA Director Porter Goss said his agency’s interrogators used “unique and innovative ways” to extract information – “but they do not practice Torture.” We now know that was a lie because CIA Director Michael Hayden, who followed Goss, told the Congress in February of 2008 that torture had indeed
Nancy Pelosi been used against admitted Al Queda operatives such as Khalid Seikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaida and others in 2002 and 2003. But even more harsh techniques could account for the fact that some persons turned up dead who were confined in U. S. prison facilities. Nevertheless, Dick Chaney pushed hard to legitimize the CIA use of these tactics much later. Finally, Nancy Pelosi was on record during the passage of the 2005 Defense Appropriations Bill as saying, “I urge the Speaker [Dennis Hastert] to appoint House conferees to the Defense Appropriations Bill im-
mediately so that Congressman Murtha can offer his motion to instruct conferees, which would demonstrate the House’s strong opposition to the Torture of detainees.” Rep. Pelosi did not speak up as strongly as she might have because she was not the speaker, and she was giving strong support to Rep. Jack Murtha who was then leading the legislative effort for Democrats to put some limits on U.S. involvement in Iraq by curbing spending and placing criteria on U.S. progress. She subsequently voted for HR 2863, even though many members of the Black Caucus did not vote for the bill which
had no deadline on the U. S. military commitment in Iraq. The Obama Administration has released some of the memos drafted by John Yoo and others of the Justice Department that provided legal justification for the use of EITs. Obama should now set up a blue ribbon commission to get to the bottom of who knew what, did what, where and when. That report should provide the basis of whether or not there should be prosecutions for violation of U. S. law, since I have every reason to believe that if Republicans would Impeach a president of the United States for lying about sex in the White House, Democrats should have the courage to seek justice against an administration that committed war crimes. President Obama has balked at doing this, feeling it could stifle the momentum of his administration enacting measures that will have a future impact on the lives of the American people. But presidents are also custodians of the Constitution and this responsibility calls him to account for the past as well. Dr. Ron Walters is the Distinguished Leadership Scholar, Director of the African American Leadership Center and Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland College Park. His latest book is: The Price of Racial Reconciliation (Univ. of Michigan Press)
Maybe the U.S. auto industry can get it now By. Harry C. Alford It is so easy to excel when you are the only player on the field. Such was the case for the US Automobile Industry for decades. World War II and the Korean War devastated European and Asian automobile capacity. The bombing and aggression left their manufacturing facilities in total disarray. They were knocked back into the “stone ages”. The Big 3 of the United States had virtually little competition during the 1950’s through the mid-`970’s. We foolishly thought it was our ingenuity and prowess but the actual playing field wasn’t level at all. The conversion for our manufacturing from World War II equipment to automobiles was pretty seamless and the ready workforce was there and more willing and able than ever. The manufacturing counterparts of Europe and Asia such as BMW, Mercedes, Toyota and Mitsubishi were crumbled ruins and had to start step by step. It would take them decades to recover.
While our foreign competitors were slowly recovering we were totally cavalier. Whatever “Detroit” would produce we would gobble up. The advantages of those times were the cost and easiness of maintaining your vehicle personally. Consumers could upkeep their own car. Oh how simple it was to change your oil, tune up your car and, with a 9/16th wrench and screwdriver do just about anything your ride needed. It was fun adjusting the timing, cleaning the valves, changing the spark plugs in your drive way or garage. Young men would show off their ability by letting their machines publicly “purr” before their friends. The simonize wax job you personally put on it would keep it looking like new. If something was remiss, you could be admonished by a friend who would, after listening to the engine say: “It’s missing, can I help you?” You always kept your “ride” in perfect condition. The car cost little and you accepted whatever Detroit would make it look like. It would run on gasoline that cost 25 – 40 cents
per gallon. The gas mileage didn’t even matter. I remember driving from my military post in Utah to my hometown in Southern California without a care in the world. I personally had it in mint condition and would cross into Nevada that had no speed limit laws. I would go about 110 miles per hour and wave at the state troopers who would wave back. There was no concept of a true luxury car. We accepted a Cadillac or Continental regardless of its look or mileage. Even when GM issued that ultra ugly Cadillac Seville we accepted it and took that box called a Continental as is. There was no alternative. By the late 1970’s things changed severely. Gasoline prices had become out of our control as foreign nations took charge of their own natural resources. Gas mileage became a big factor. Germany, Sweden, Italy, Japan began making economical and good looking cars, even luxury models that were super slick. Also, and most importantly, cars started having elec-
tric ignitions and high tech engines that the common person could no longer manage. Affordability, gas mileage, attractiveness and reliability became serious consumer factors. Detroit went into denial – BIG TIME. At the same time, the cost of making a car became a disadvantageous proposition for US automakers. The cost of US steel became prohibitive. The number two cost for Detroit was healthcare while European and Asian manufacturers had that covered by their nationalized healthcare delivery systems (their governments). In addition to those two factors were the luxurious labor agreements made with the United Auto Workers union divisions over the decades. In essence, Detroit could no longer adequately compete with its foreign competitors. Also, it could no longer conceive of what the consumer wanted in a car. Its marketing and design schemes were out of touch and the big demand for improved gas mileage just was not
being met at all. Mercedes and BMW became the true luxury cars and Toyota eventually produced the super slick Lexus. Detroit was heading south. It is still free falling without any end in sight. The auto industry is down per se but our manufacturers are definitely the weaker component of this. The biggest insult is that the European and Asian manufacturers have come to this land, set up manufacturing facilities and are still running circles around us with slicker models, better gas mileage and lower labor costs. Worst of all is the reliability factor which they have mastered and we have yet to learn. It is our entire fault. We had decades of a head start and the biggest captivated market in the world. We took it for granted and got whipped at our own game. It is time to reflect, regroup and bring back that good old Yankee ingenuity. Let us learn from these careless mistakes and malfeasance. Harry Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Website: www.nationalbcc.org.
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
African Scene The White House has confirmed President Obama’s trip to Ghana
M . Mwangura
Samuel L. Jackson eyes new role as Kenyan pirate negotiator (GIN) – Uppity Films, the production company of Oscar-nominated Samuel L Jackson’s has secured rights to the real life story of Andrew Mwangura, Kenyan pirate negotiator. Head of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Program for over 12 years, Mwangura, 47, works without pay to track down missing ships, investigate deaths at sea and negotiate the release of hostages. “There are lots of people making money from piracy who would like us out of business,’’ he says. He survives by working as freelance writer on the side.
Somalia’s 2,000-mile coastline is one of the most dangerous in the world for shipping. Mwangura, who trained as a marine engineer, runs without the help of a secretary, offices or computers. “We don’t have any of that,’’ he says. “We send a little text message, and then suddenly it’s big news, with CNN and the BBC calling.’’ Asked about the possible biopic starring Jackson, Mwangura said: “I don’t want Pirates of the Caribbean. I am a living man, and you can’t say lies about a living man ... I am what I am– someone who does things for forgotten people and the community.’’
Convicted white killer makes financial offer for his freedom (GIN) – Sentencing of convicted killer Thomas Cholmondeley, great-grandson of Kenya’s most prominent early settler, took a bizarre turn this week when lawyers for Cholmondeley offered compensation to his victim’s widow in return for his freedom. The White Kenyan aristocrat had been found guilty by the Nairobi High Court of manslaughter in the death of Robert Njoya, 37, an alleged poacher, on his estate in 2006. Since the death of Njoya, his 31-year-old widow, Serah, has struggled to raise their four sons on her meager earnings selling vegetables. After the hearing, she said she would be happy with a ruling which guaranteed her financial security and allowed Cholmondeley to walk free after 1,097 days in jail. Chief prosecutor Keriako Tobiko cautioned that court to
President Barack Obama will visit Ghana in July, on his first official trip dedicated to the continent of Africa, the White House said Saturday. Obama, whose late father was from Kenya, will visit Ghana between July 10 and 11, after previously announced visits to Moscow on July 6 and 8 and the Group of Eight summit in Italy from July 8 to 10, the White House said in a statement. “While in Ghana, the President will discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues with Ghanaian President Mills,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement. “The President and Mrs. Obama look forward to strengthening the US relationship with one of our most trusted partners in sub-Saharan Africa,” the statement said. Obama also looked forward to highlighting the critical role that sound “governance and civil society play in promoting lasting development,” Gibbs said. While Obama will formally set foot as president on the African continent during his visit to Egypt on June 4 to give a speech to the Muslim world, his Ghana trip will be his first foreign voyage specifically targeting the African continent. Obama has yet to flesh out his Africa policy, having been consumed with major foreign policy challenges in Europe and Asia and the world economic crisis so far in his nearly four months in power.
President Barack Obama But he has appointed a special envoy to Sudan and Darfur and has been critical of the regime of President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Obama also this month said he would ask Congress for $63 billion over six years to battle chronic global health crises, including AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, which will be heavily targeted towards Africa.. The initiative, which officials said would increase levels of spending already pushed to historic heights by the administration of Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush, will also target neglected tropical diseases, in-
fant mortality and other health threats. “We cannot wall ourselves off from the world and hope for the best, nor ignore the public health challenges beyond our borders,” Obama said in a statement. Obama got a hero’s welcome when he traveled to his family’s ancestral village in western Kenya in 2006 while still a senator and before he announced his presidential campaign. Unlike Obama, most AfricanAmericans trace their ancestry back to sub-Saharan west Africa, from which colonial-era slave traders brought Africans in chains to the Americas.
Nigeria MP panel in fraud charge Members of the Nigerian National Assembly in charge of investigating the country’s electricity crisis have been charged with fraud. Four MPs and six officials denied siphoning off $42 million of public funds in a hearing that stretched over two days. Each of the defendants had to rise 130 times to answer “not guilty”.
The MPs had looked into why there was so little to show for the $16 billion of investment in the power sector under former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Their report implicated the expresident, but a second panel set up to look at their findings recently cleared him and others in charge of power generation between 1999 and 2007 of the allegations. Senator Nicholas Ugbade - chair-
remember the seriousness of the offence, the nature of the victim’s injuries, and the fact that he had died from a bullet fired by Cholmondeley’s high-velocity rifle. Manslaughter normally carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. One year prior, Cholmondelay admitted shooting another man – Maasai ranger Samson Ole Sisina – but the case was dropped for lack of evidence, provoking outrage and mass protests in the Maasai community. The end of the three-year trial has provoked fierce debate among ordinary Kenyans and the country’s small community of whites descended from the original British settler families, and the colonial-era High Court has been packed with television crews, Cholmondeley’s family and friends, Njoya’s relatives NO ELECTRICITY —Many Nigerians don’t have a reliand dozens of onlookers. able source of electricity.
man of Senate Committee on Power - his House of Representatives counterpart Ndudi Elumelu, two other MPs and six government officials are accused of taking money from the Central Bank meant for local power projects. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says that in December 2008, just after the MPs concluded their investigation into the power sector, they funneled the cash into a range of front companies. They deny the charges. At the time of the investigation some commentators said it was part of a series of probes into the recently retired President Obasanjo which amounted to a “witch hunt”. But the probe painted a damning picture of the country’s management of electricity generation over the last 10 years. Experts testified to the committee that expensive turbines were rotting in Nigerian ports because the people who ordered them had no way of transporting the heavy equipment to the site of the power station. The committee heard that other
(Continued on page 21)
White House says permanent HBCU funding is increased By. Zenitha Prince Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspapers
Dr. Gregory Williams
City College slates graduation exercises The City College of New York (CCNY) will confer honorary degrees on Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of Harlem Childen’s Zone, and Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem,at its 163rd commencement exercises, Thursday, May 28.Philanthropist and real estate developer Bernard Spitzer, ’43, will receive The City College President’s Medal for distinguished service. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. outside Shepard Hall, at 160 Convent Ave., Manhattan. Dr. Gregory H. Williams, CCNY’s 11th president and an award-winning author, will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2009. Marc V. Shaw, member, Board of Trustees, The City University of New York (CUNY) and Dr. Gillian Small, vice chancellor for Research, CUNY, will offer greetings. This year’s graduating class includes approximately 1,789 students, of whom approximately 1,002 are candidates for bachelor’s degrees. The Class of 2009 valedictorian is Samreen Nayyer. The 21-yearold Queens resident is graduating from the Macaulay Honors
College at CCNY with a 3.93 G.P.A.She will receive a B.S. in Pure Mathematics. Her honors at CCNY have included the Dean’s List (2006-08); the Jack Nash Scholarship (2007-09); the Peter Vallone Scholarship (200709); a Weston Public Service Fellowship (2008) and a Colin Power Center for Public Studies Community Engagement Fellowship (2008). A budding fiction writer, Ms. Nayyer will spend a year taking advanced mathematic courses and fiction writing classes in the CUNY system before enrolling in a doctoral program in pure mathematics in 2010. Andrew M. Rivera is this year’s salutatorian. He will graduate summa cum laude from the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences. Also a resident of Queens, Mr. Rivera enters the New York University School of Medicine next month for the final two years of his studies before he embarks on a medical career. He served as a teaching assistant at Columbia University and spent last summer in Spain on a Mack Lipkin Research Fellowship conducting a community health-related study.
WASHINGTON (NNPA) - The White House reaffirmed its commitment to historically Black colleges and universities last week in response to criticisms that arose when the proposed education budget revealed the loss of an $85 million allotment to Black institutions. “The Administration strongly supports the critical work being done by the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and understands that the system offers students from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to continue their education,” White House spokesman Corey Ealons wrote in a statement to the AFRO. Feathers ruffled last week when education officials confirmed that the College Cost Reduction Act—a two-year program approved by Congress in 2007 that awarded additional discretionary funds to minorityserving institutions, including $85 million per year for Black institutions—was allowed to sunset. “When that money was established as mandatory money it was not anticipated and not authorized as an ongoing program,” explained Deputy Undersecretary of Education Bob Shireman during the press conference. But given the historic and ongoing underfunding of HBCUs, advocates and school officials say, they can’t afford a reduction in direct funding, especially in this economy. “When it comes to direct funding of public HBCUs, there has been a history of these schools not getting their share compared to majority institutions,” said Edith Bartley, director of government affairs at the United Negro College Fund. “… [And] when the world hurts, as it is with this economic crunch, [HBCUs] really feel it.”
Corey Ealons Radio personality and wellknown HBCU advocate Tom Joyner urged the administration to rethink its decision. “As a passionate supporter of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), I am asking, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to seriously reconsider cutting more than $85 million in funding to help our black colleges,” Joyner wrote in an emailed statement. “…I know you have many priorities, but you’ve got to continue - and increase the funding for HBCUs and for Pell Grants.” White House officials contend, however, that rather than decrease funding, as many reports claimed, monies for key initiatives that serve HBCUs have increased in a budget in which a vast majority of Education Department programs have received no new funding at all. According to figures in the proposed budget, discretionary funding for HBCUs and historically Black graduate institutions —Title III, Part B of the Higher Education Act—will increase by 5 percent from $296.6 million to $311.4 million. That’s “more than twice the rate of inflation,” an administration official stated.
And, set-asides for HBCU capital funding will almost double from $10.4 million to $20.6 million. The official also pointed to the president’s “historic investments in college affordability” as another boon to HBCUs. The Recovery Act and the budget invest nearly $200 billion in new college tax credits and Pell Grants, which “will make a real difference for HBCU students,” since half of them receive Pell Grants, the statement read. According to the Office of Budget and Management, under the administration’s proposal, students at HBCUs will gain $3.2 billion in Pell Grants over the next decade—that’s about $320 million a year. Additionally, “the budget also creates a new $2.5 billion fund to boost college access and completion, including at HBCUs, and increases the Perkins loan program six-fold to help more HBCU students get low-rate student loans.” While the UNCF applauds those attempts to increase student access, Bartley said, they are separate from the issue of discretionary funds. “It’s two different types of federal assistance so you can’t compare the two,” she said. Ideally, she added, discretionary funding will not dip below the $323 million level—Bush administration allocation plus the $85 million from the College Cost Reduction Act. And, that’s something for which they will lobby—an effort, administration officials say they expect. Bartley urged Black institutions to view the budget as “just a proposal.” “We have to make sure our schools are at the table” as the budget is refined, she said. “We urge all presidents to work collectively and meet with the administration and their members of Congress; to write editorials and take every avenue to articulate their needs and how they are reflective of this administration’s goal to make this nation globally competitive.”
Stanford psychology professor named Columbia provost Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger has announced the appointment of Claude M. Steele as the university’s 21st provost, effective Sept. 1. Steele comes to Columbia from Stanford University, where he has served as a professor of psychology since 1991, leading the department as chair from 1997 to 2000. He is currently the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences and director of Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Steele succeeds historian Alan Brinkley, Columbia’s current provost, who will take a year-long
academic leave before returning to full-time teaching and research. “Having earned the admiration of students and colleagues for his excellence as a teacher, researcher and department chair, Dr. Steele is an ideal choice to succeed Provost Alan Brinkley, whom I thank again for his tremendous contribution to the university,” said Bollinger. “Dr. Steele is a friend and colleague to many in the Columbia community, and it is a great moment to be able to welcome him here.” A respected scholar and academic administrator, Steele has conducted a wide range of groundbreaking research in the field of social psychology, includ-
ing such issues as self-identity, group stereotypes and addictive behaviors. In addition to directing Stanford’s behavioral sciences center, he has served as president of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, president of the Western Psychological Association, and a member of the board of directors of the American Psychological Society. He has also been an active member of the Stanford community through his service on its Faculty Senate and Board of Trustees Development Committee. “Columbia has long had a unique place in higher educa-
tion and the university has built remarkable momentum in recent years,” said Steele. “As I considered the deepening excellence of its students, faculty, and administrative leadership, this seemed like a wonderful opportunity to work with a new group of accomplished colleagues on the important missions of teaching, research, patient care and public service in an increasingly diverse and global society.” Steele has published widely in academic journals and has worked to translate his findings into practical applications in such public policy challenges as alcohol and substance abuse
and addiction, juvenile delinquency, academic performance and employment opportunity. “Claude is one of the leading scholars in our field whose transformational research has played a unique role in making social psychology relevant to public ideas about the impact of stereotypes on educational achievement,” said Geraldine Downey, a Columbia professor of psychology. “He is an inspiring scientist to his colleagues and a wonderful mentor to students. To put it simply, Claude Steele will be an awesome addition to our department, and to the Columbia community as a whole.”
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
AUDREY'S SOCIETY WHIRL
By Audrey J. Bernard Lifestyles/Society Editor Now, more than ever, New York needs The New York Urban League (NYUL)! In her humble words, the newly appointed president and CEO of the New York Urban League, Arva Rice, welcomed a stellar audience to the League’s 44th annual Frederick Douglass awards dinner at the opulent Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Columbus Circle, New York City on Thursday, May 7, 2009. In her remarks, Rice, resplendent in a red formal gown, told the audience how humbled she was to be part of the celebration and to have been selected to lead this great civil rights organization that has championed the fight against discriminatory practices throughout the world for the past 90 years. “I am humbled and excited to take the helm of the New York Urban League at this point in history. In this time of economic uncertainty, NYUL is ready to serve our community the way we have for over 90 years,” she noted. “The League has made significant contributions to New York City life and will continue to do so for the next 90 years.” Rice also lauded the evening’s distinguished honorees for their vast accomplishments. “Today we come together to honor three exemplary people in a tradition that was started over forty-four years ago. Today’s honorees for the Frederick Douglass Award are Susan Dryfoos, William Lewis, and Jessye Norman. We are indeed honored to recognize their professional accomplishments and commitment to their community.” Four-time Grammy Awardwinning American opera singer Jessye Norman, Oscar nominated director, writer and producer, Susan W. Dryfoos, and co-chairman of Investment Banking at Lazard Frères Ltd, an investment banking firm, William M. Lewis, Jr., were honored for their outstanding contribution in their respective fields. The well attended black tie gala brought together a diverse and esteemed gathering of corporate executives, celebrities, community leaders and elected officials including Kenneth Chenault, chairman & CEO of American Express Company; Vernon Jordan Jr., senior managing director of Lazard; Dr. John Maeda, president of Rhode Island School of Design; and actress Lynn Whitfield. The Fredrick Douglass Awards Dinner was first held in 1965 to acknowledge and honor leaders in the private and pub-
New York Urban League honors Susan Dryfoos, Bill Lewis and Jessye Norman lic sectors whose contributions to society serve to eliminate racial barriers and promote opportunities for the disadvantaged. The award was named in honor of Frederick Douglass, a former slave who escaped to freedom to become one of the nation’s most prominent and influential abolitionists. Michelle Miller, CBS News correspondent, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Michael R. Kansler, president and CEO, Energy Nuclear, and Jim Clerkin, executive vice president & COO, Moet Hennessy USA, served as dinner co-chairs. During the celebratory evening, Clerkin led the audience in a warm Moet
Champagne toast to the milestone 90 th anniversary. “Here’s to many more!,” he exclaimed. Kevin Anthony added to the luster of the themed “a struggle started . . . progress continues” evening with a stirring rendition of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice And Sing.” Proceeds from the event each year enable the New York Urban league to positively impact the lives of more than 15,000 directly and 35,000 indirectly under-resourced residents. The evening exceeded its financial expectations including funds raised from a live auction expertly manned by MC Miller as her husband, Marc H. Morial,
president, National Urban League, looked on with pride and prejudice. The NYUL has a rich history and long legacy of service to New Yorkers. The NYUL was founded in 1919 by an inter-racial group of concerned New Yorkers in response to the difficulties faced by African Americans migrating from the agricultural and rural south, to the industrial, urban centers of the north. Today, the mission of the NYUL is to enable African Americans and other underserved communities to secure a first class education, economic selfreliance and equal respect of
their civil rights through programs, services and advocacy. Some of their signature programs include the Frederick Douglass Awards Dinner, the Whitney M. Young Classic and the Champions of Diversity Breakfast. The NYUL is one of the local affiliates of the National Urban League, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, multi-ethnic, social service organization celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. “We are committed to developing research based employment and education programs to serve youth, adults and seniors. We will provide supplemental and parent education to help young people reach their full potential,” concluded Rice.
(standing) NYUL board chairman Noel Hankin; Marc H. Morial, National Urban League president; MC Michelle Miller; NYUL board members Michael Armstrong, Jeff Burns, Elinor Tatum, David Sussman and Dwight Johnson; Jason Benta (sitting) Arva Rice, NYUL president & CEO; honorees Susan Dryfoos, Jessye Norman and William M. Lewis; and NYUL board member Dolly Christian
Toastmaster & Co-chair Jim Clerkin, executive vice president & COO Moet Hennessy USA
Lynn Whitfield, Alexander Smalls, Laura Smalls, Willis McNamee
Jonelle Procope, honoree William M. Lewis with wife Carol Sutton Lewis, Kathryn Chenault and husband Kenneth Chenault (presenter)
Attorney Charles Mitchell and wife Attorney Yvonne NYUL board chairman Noel Delaney Hankin, Lola West
Nikklas Bates, wife Khalilah Bates, Angela Barbara Smith, Joseph Hollis, NYUL program director Diana Coleman Searle, Arva Rice
Terrie Williams, Xavier R. Donaldson, Esq. (Photos by Audrey J. Bernard and Margot Jordan)
Black women contract HIV/AIDS mostly through heterosexual acts By. George E Curry NNPA Special Correspondent
Eugene Giscombe, Bd. of Trustees, Elsie McCabe Thompson, (widow of founder Eugene McCabe) Congressman Rangel, Dr. Samuel Daniel , Pres. & CEO with picture of new Emergency Department.
N. General celebrates National Nurses Week On May 4 North General Hospital began its week-long celebration of National Nurses Week. The theme for this year’s Nurses Week, Building a Healthy America, acknowledges the contribution that nurses make in the well being of all Americans. The week began with opening remarks by Cong. Charles Rangel, a long-time friend and supporter of the hospital. Mr. Rangel presented the Eugene McCabe Nurse of Distinction Award to Shirley Basa, RN. The award was renamed this year in honor of the hospital’s founder, Eugene McCabe. The Eugene McCabe Nurse of Distinction Award is the facility’s highest nursing honor. Ms. Basa was chosen by her peers for excellence in nursing service and practice. This year’s nursing preceptor award was named in honor of Edward E. Davis, Jr. recently deceased, a NGH board of trustees member and community member. This year’s award was presented to Sonia Villanueva, RN for the guidance and support she offers to novice nurses at the hospital. Other award recipients were: Doris Barnes, RN, Nurse Leader Award; Ronald Denson, RN Novice Nurse Award; Jonathan Zellan, MD, Physician of the Year Award; and Daniel Ogbovoh, MD, Blue Ribbon Award for Collaboration. Mr. Rangel congratulated the hospital’s nursing staff for the hard work they do for the people
of Harlem. He acknowledged their dedication and the vital role nurses play in patient care and recovery – from working long hours and educating the community about health care disparities to treating patients with the utmost professionalism and courtesy. Day two of the celebration began with a keynote addressing cultural diversity in practice by Dr. Fay Spragley, a former North General clinical nurse specialist and currently a clinical coordinator at Palisades Medical Center. The day’s celebration included in a cultural luncheon during which each of the clinical units highlighted their work through a poster contest. The first prize was awarded to the Intensive Care Unit which displayed a creative storyboard of the complex and challenging work of critical care nursing. Other activities for the week included a keynote address by Dr. Alicia Georges, chairperson of the College of Nursing at Lehman College. To a standing room only audience, Dr. Georges offered insight into the health care challenges faced by the Harlem community, and inspired the nursing staff to consider their role in ensuring a healthy America. The celebration culminated with an address by Lynne Holden, MD, associate professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Holden, who is also president of Mentoring in Medicine, discussed the role of mentors in the health care industry.
Dr. Samuel Daniel , Cong. Rangel, Elsie McCabe Thompson, Shirley Basa, RN, Eugene McCabe Nurse of Distinction awardee, Dr. Michael Nozdrovicky , Chief Nursing Officer.
WASHINGTON (NNPA) - C. Virginia Fields, president of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, was giving a speech in Rocky Mount, N.C. last week before a group of social service providers when she made a surprising revelation about the AIDS epidemic. “One of the things I talked about were the numbers for heterosexual Black women,” Fields recounted. “When people heard that, they were very surprised. It’s something that they did not know, it’s something they had not focused on.” What many did not know or focus on was that Black women account for the largest share of new HIV infections – 61 percent – among women. That’s an infection rate nearly 15 times that of White women. And most of those African-American women were infected through heterosexual activity. “Unfortunately, a lot of people associate HIV/AIDS simply with gay people,” Fields explained. “They don’t think it’s only a White gay disease because there has been more attention on Black gay men. To many, it’s a gay disease.” In addition to being grossly misinformed, those who lack accurate information about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, place their health and indeed their life in danger. If they think that AIDS is only a “gay disease,” they should speak with Marvelyn Brown, whose book - The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive – was recently published by HarperCollins. At the international conference on AIDS last summer in Mexico City, she told journalists how she was infected with HIV in 2003 at the age of 19 by the man she had viewed as her Prince Charming. She said he knew that he was HIV positive but did not tell her. “I kept thinking to myself that he doesn’t have a condom,” she recalled. “But I thought, this is my Prince Charming and I wouldn’t mind being his baby’s mother if this is the worst that could happen.” She later learned that getting pregnant wasn’t the worst thing that could happen to her. In a telephone interview from Nashville, her hometown, Brown discussed the message she tries to convey to help others from repeating her mistake. “I have to let people know how easy I contracted HIV,” she said. “It’s the same way you make a child. For whatever reason, women think I got the ‘H’ from this guy, the ‘I’ from another guy and the ‘V’ from another guy and all came together and that’s how I got HIV. That’s not how it happened. I got the ‘H,’ the ‘I,’ and
Marvelyn Brown the ‘V’ from one guy, one time.” She continued, “It doesn’t matter if that guy was straight, bisexual or whatever, in that moment, I should have been more concerned about protecting myself so that I would not contract HIV.” The Food and Drug Administration reports, ‘’The surest way to avoid [STDs] is to not have sex altogether (abstinence). Another way is to limit sex to one partner who also limits his or her sex in the same way (monogamy). Condoms are not 100 percent safe, but, if used properly, will reduce
C. Virginia Fields the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.’’ Brown says she blames herself, not her misnamed Prince Charming, for her disease. “People are looking at women infected with HIV/AIDS as victims,” she said. “If someone gave it to them, it always goes back to, “My husband cheated on me’ or ‘My man was on the down low.’ People ask, ‘How did you get it?’ instead
of, ‘How can I not get it?’” Brown refuses to view herself as a victim. “I look at my diagnosis like someone who was told they have cancer or diabetes,” she explained. “It’s doesn’t define me – it’s not who I am. It’s just something that I have.” But some heterosexual women have AIDS because their sexual partners were on the down low, or DL. Living on the down low is generally defined as men who pretend to be straight while secretly having sex with other men. Trystin K. Francis, an openly gay resident of Washington, D.C., says he has been approached by married men in malls and department stores. “This one man was with his wife or girlfriend and I was by myself. When he got away from her, it’s like, ‘Hey, how are you? Can I get your number? Can I call you?’ It’s the weirdest feeling.” He added, “If you went to a gay club to observe what was going on, you’d be surprised by how many men are in there that look straight and probably have a girlfriend. The girlfriend is probably thinking he is probably out with the boys, it’s poker night, or they’re going to a sports bar when, in fact, they are going out to this club. Their boyfriend or husband is at a gay club getting phone numbers from men and possibly bringing some of these men around you. I’ve talked to friends over the years who have said, ‘I’ve met the wife, I’ve met the kids, I’ve babysat the kids and she didn’t know and I’m not saying anything.” Francis said despite the pain and disappointment it might cause, men should be honest with their mates. “If you’re not going to be committed to your wife as a man and you’re going to sleep with another man, you
(Continued on page 16)
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
The Red Carpet
BBP’s add a touch of luminescence at The Met’s Costume Institute gala By Audrey J. Bernard Fashion & Beauty Editor Although the weather outside was soggy, once inside the lavish walls of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the affluent society luxuriated on a magnificent evening filled with frivolity, flavorful food, fine fashion and fancy drinks. And the paparazzi were there to happily capture every morsel of every savory moment. Flashbulbs blinded the dressed to the nines fashionistas as they stepped from their deluxe rides and into the luxurious party tent replete with umbrella footmen standing at attention and ready to keep the rain off of the celestial bodies entering the Met to attend The Costume Institute gala. There were so many things of beauty at the exclusive party but the talk of the land was the eyecatching plush zebra carpeting with its rich velvety red border. Another standout highlight was the sprinkling of Beautiful Black People who lent a touch of luminescence — with a dash of spice — to the marvelous mix of beaux mondes. The eclectic evening titled “The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion” was co-chaired by Vogue’s Anna Wintour, Justin Timberlake, designer Marc Jacobs and fashion icon Kate Moss who set the tone for the shimmering evening wearing a creation by designer Jacob – a gold lame, backless, one-shouldered mini-dress with a matching turban.
Andre Leon Talley
Amber Rose, Kanye West
The Costume Gala's co-chairs Marc Jacobs and Kate Moss
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
Beacon On The Scene
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
YOU GO, GIRL! American Idol’s 4th seed, LaKisha Jones, declares that music is her ministry
“Singing makes me feel good. It’s the food for my soul and gets me through each day and night. If I touch just one person who can relate to what I’m singing, then I’ve done my job. Music is my ministry.” – LaKisha Jones Edited by Audrey J. Bernard Lifestyles/Society Editor “American Idol” season six finalist LaKisha Jones, who thrilled audiences with her rendition of “And I Am Telling You” during her Idol run, released her much anticipated Elite Music, LLC debut album, So Glad I’m Me, on May 19, 2009 to impressive first numbers. The album, with a focus on R&B and soul music, was a labor of love for the singer who added an inspirational song (“Just As I Am”) as an homage to her gospel roots. Jones also enlisted the help of talented artists such as Grammy Awardwinner Tony Nicholas, Ro & Sauce and Chris Black to produce her inaugural effort. “Singing makes me feel good,” says the Michigan native. “It’s the food for my soul and gets me through each day and night. If I touch just one person who can relate to what I’m singing, then I’ve done my job. Music is my ministry.” Her 14-track debut includes the previously released single, “So Glad I’m Me,” “Beautiful Girl,” a love song to six-year old daughter Brionne, and the upbeat girls night out anthem, “Let’s Go Celebrate.” “This album is basically a story book of my life,” explains Jones. “I sat down with the
writers and producers, telling them about different things happening in my life during the last two years.” So Glad I’m Me resonates from start to finish, propelled by Jones’ expressive, full-bodied vocals. It’s the same arresting voice that electrified “American Idol” viewers with the “Dreamgirls” showstopper “And I Am Telling You” and later commanded the Broadway stage in Oprah Winfrey’s Tony Award-winning musical “The Color Purple.” Whether she’s delivering a gut-tugging ballad, a beat-infused party jam or a spiritual uplift, her voice never loses its soulstirring fervor. “My style is very soulful,” notes Jones. “I’m not one for doing big run-ups, riffs or frills. I’m just a straightforward singer without all the extras, giving out what was given to me.” Helping Jones craft her musical message were hit-making songwriter/producers Tony Nicholas (Patti LaBelle, Gerald Levert, Luther Vandross), Ro & Sauce (Brandy, Ne-Yo), Greg Curtis (Keyshia Cole, Yolanda Adams) and Chris Black (Yolanda Evans). Leading the charge on the album’s spirited mix of R&B and soul is first single “Let’s Go Celebrate.” The song percolates with an understated, hand-clapping groove that’s part ladies
night jam and part spiritual release: “My life has been a blessing/ No need for me to be stressing/ My attitude is changing/I’ll never be the same again … Because tonight is the night and let’s go celebrate.” Another album standout is “Beautiful Girl,” a soaring ballad that extols Jones’ loving commitment to her six-year-old daughter Brionne. “My daughter is very special to me,” says Jones. “A lot of times on this journey I was told no … That I couldn’t make it; that I couldn’t do anything with a child in my life now. But I wasn’t going to stop. Everything I do is for her.” Among other noteworthy songs on the amazing album is the Diane Warren-penned “Same Song,” a sparkling ode to reconnecting the dots on a failed relationship. Not afraid to make a classic song her own, Jones puts her stamp on Whitney Houston’s “You Give Good Love.” Then she gives a shout-out to her gospel roots on the inspirational “Just As I Am.” “I just want to sing.” That heartfelt declaration pinpoints the core essence of LaKisha Jones who was born on January 13, 1980 at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan. The Flint native was raised by her mother, Beverly Jefferson, and grandmother, Ruth Jefferson Morris, whom she cites as her musical inspiration. Jones’ motivation and mesmerizing style date back to her childhood where she was exposed to such legendary singers as Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle. But it was her 92-year old maternal grandmother, who left the most lasting impression on the fledgling singer. It was at her urging (“let your voice shine”) that a five-year-old Jones began singing in church choirs and music programs. “The more I did it, the more I loved it,” recalls Jones of her early “I want to sing” moments. Soon after, Jones was doing the pushing herself. Singing in chorale groups and a cappella choruses through high school, she entered and won the top prize at Flint’s local talent contest, “The Super Show,” in 1997. Upon graduating from high school, the budding singer briefly attended the University of Michigan to study vocal performance. After a few career sidesteps, she auditioned for “American Idol” for a second time where she eventually won the fourth place finalist spot during the sixth season. A two-year stint studying vocal performance at the University of Michigan left the high school graduate wanting to
sing more than hit the books. Relocating to various cities (Dallas, Houston and Virginia Beach) the singer continued to pursue her dream — despite not being accepted by “American Idol” during a 2003 audition. But an eventual move to Baltimore proved a second time can be the charm. Having heard her sing on the job and at local events, Jones’ fellow Provident Bank staffers encouraged her to drive to New York to audition for the 2007 season of “American Idol.” The singing powerhouse has come a long way since the Season Six tour rocked First Mariner Arena. It was while performing on the “American Idol” tour that Jones received a call to audition for “The Color Purple.” After “Idol,” Jones made her Broadway debut in Oprah Winfrey’s Tony Award-nominated “The Color Purple.” During her sensational threemonth run, Jones played two roles: that of a “church lady” and one of the pivotal main characters, “Sophia.” The latter role she alternated with R&B icon Chaka Khan. “One lesson I learned from Chaka Khan is don’t ever be scared to use what God has given you; don’t hold back,”
says Jones. “God has gifted me and has more in store for me. This journey has just begun.” Having accomplished several major goals in two short years, Jones is only getting started. She anticipates more acting and singing roles on Broadway, TV and films, recording a gospel album and establishing a foundation to provide resources and support for single moms. Last year, Jones became Mrs. Larry Davis when she was blissfully wed to financial advisor Larry Davis at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Her daughter, Brionne was the flower girl. Some 50 friends and family, including some of her fellow Idol alumni — Hayley Scarnato, Melinda Doolittle, Gina Glocksen and Sanjaya Malakar — attended the intimate wedding ceremony and reception. Presently, a very pregnant Jones and her new husband and daughter reside in Houston, TX where they are all expecting to add to their blessed family in June. Best known to millions of TV viewers as a top four finalist during the 2007 season of “American Idol,” Jones is ready to reclaim center stage while winning more fans — this time with her first solo album — So Glad I’m Me.
Newlyweds-LaKisha Jones and husband Larry Davis
(Real People, Real Advice)
By Audrey Adams
The ‘A’ word
Audrey Adams All around the country we’ve had strange weather patterns. I can remember always being able to count on running to Los Angeles to bask in the omnipresent sunshine and warm Santa Ana breezes whenever I wanted to escape New York’s snow and freezing temperatures. Now I find that more often than not, I need my winter coat in Los Angeles and that New York temperatures are warmer than in sunny southern California. But have faith! Regardless of the type of weather we are experiencing, spring has arrived! Have the changing climates reeked havoc on your skin? Perhaps you’re beginning to notice that your skin is dry, itchy and flaking. You know that beneath the dryness is a brighter more beautiful layer of skin, but you just can’t get to it! It’s covered by a thin later of-and yes I’m going to say it-ASH! If you were a snake, you could count on crawling out of your skin in the spring, but alas, that’s not an option for us. So what can you do to improve the look and feel of your skin? All you men out there listen up! These tips aren’t just for women; you’re not immune to dry skin problems either. You may be re-
luctant to do anything about it, but flaky skin is unattractive on anyone. If you like feeling soft skin, you can bet she does too. Go for it! Before you do anything remotely cosmetic, check with your dermatologist or doctor. Sometimes skin problems are the result of food allergies or contact dermatitis or indicate other, more serious medical problems. Only your medical provider knows the true difference between just plain old ashy skin and a serious rash that may benefit from medical attention. I know that you don’t want to hear this next suggestion, but it works: Your skin needs to be hydrated, and the best hydrator in the world is water. So drink plenty of water and again, check with your doctor to see how many glasses he/she recommends that you drink each day. Soda doesn’t count, nor does the water in your coffee or tea. Plain old water is fine. Water helps flush your system and remove toxins from your body, as well as keeping your skin moist so it maintains elasticity. This may sound like a silly question, but are you using a lotion or water-soluble body oil after you bathe? A good soothing lotion or oil will help to seal in the moisture, and besides it just feels great on your skin. If you’re allergic to fragrance, look for a fragrance-free lotion for sensitive skin. Years ago, I remember dropping a closed jar of Vaseline into my hot bath so that I could experience “Vaseline LaHot.” I loved massaging the warm melted petroleum jelly into my skin and the feeling of a smooth satiny softness.
Remember the snake I mentioned earlier? Well, molting is what I would call the ultimate exfoliation process, but you can exfoliate as well. There are several inexpensive products you can buy off the shelf to easily remove dry skin, from salt scrubs to exfoliating lotions and creams. My favorite way to exfoliate gently is to combine baking soda with a gentle lotion-type cleanser. It’s great for your entire body, doesn’t scratch your skin, and washes down the shower drain easily. You can use a soft wash cloth to gently rub the dry skin away. Remember, your skin is a very delicate organ and does not appreciate being scrubbed too hard. And don’t forget those elbows and knees they need love, too. Summer follows spring, so if you want your skin to look good in those muscle-man tees, swim trunks, sleeveless tops, shorts and miniskirts, you’ll want glowing, ash-free skin. It’s possible if you start now. Think about it. See ya next week. Visit my website, TheAdams Report.com and checkout my online radio and TV show, Talk! with Audrey for a series of interviews that will inform, motivate and inspire you. Audrey Adams, former director of corporate public relations and fashion merchandising for ESSENCE continues to motivate and inspire women through her syndicated columns and motivational speaking engagements. E-mail your fashion, beauty and lifestyle questions or comments to her at Audrey@THEADAMS REPORT.com THE ADAMS REPORT©
Ask Deanna! Is an advice column known for it’s fearless approach to reality-based subjects. Dear Deanna! I broke up with my boyfriend for another guy and now I realize this was a mistake. I had a good man and I should’ve listened to my family and friends as they told me I should’ve stayed with him. I was seeking thrills and excitement. This caused me to be abused, cheated on and we broke up anyway. I want to get my boyfriend back and I’m not sure what to do. I’ve apologized but nothing seems to work. Heartbroken and Torn San Diego , CA Dear Heartbroken: The story never changes when one thinks the grass is greener on the other side. However, in your case, you had a crew telling you what to do but you chose not to listen. It serves you right and your ex-boyfriend shouldn’t have anything else to do with you. Your apology is nice but look at it from his side as you expect him to return after being with another man. Get over it, learn from your mistakes and if he comes back, fine and if not, keep it moving. Dear Deanna! I’m in a relationship with a man I don’t trust. I can’t place my finger on what makes me feel this way, but I feel it in my gut. I have been observing his behavior when he’s on certain phone calls as well as looking at him eyeball other women in my presence. This makes me feel very insecure because he seems insensitive. He doesn’t compliment me, but remarks on other women’s appearance. Am I making too much out of this or is man really not for me? Janine Buffalo, NY Dear Janine: You’re doomed if you don’t have trust because this is an essential element for a healthy relationship. If this is your boyfriend and he disrespects you in your face then obviously he’s not the man for you. However, he may need some training and you should tell him about his behavior and how it makes you feel. If he’s totally unaware of his actions then you have a shot. If he is aware, then you’re right, he’s not the man for you and you should cast your net and seek the other fish in the sea. Dear Deanna! I met a guy that I thought was really interested in me. I helped him get employment at my company, helped with his bills and paid child support for him. As soon as things started looking up for him, our relationship changed. Things hit the fan when he got a promotion and moved into another department. He is now telling me that he’s focused on improving his life instead of dating me. I heard that he’s dating someone else in the company. What do I do? Crying and Miserable On-Line Reader
Grace Institute graduates deny crippling economic downturn While the economy continues to sour and many employers consider layoffs, graduates of Grace Institute continue to have bright prospects due to the highly sought-after business skills and training received at the Institute. Approximately 300 women from diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds graduate from Grace Institute’s tuition-free business skill courses every year. Eighty percent of all graduates attain gainful employment after graduation. These are not minimum wage jobs, but positions with competitive pay rates and benefits, usually in administrative or clerical positions, that allow Grace graduates to improve their lives and become economically self-sufficient. Many graduates are placed with major employers in New York City. “We anticipate a high placement rate for Grace Institute graduates despite the downward turn our nation’s economy has experienced over the last several years. In fact, 83% of our February 2008 graduates are employed as are already 62% of the June 2008 graduates.” said Mary B. Mulvihill, executive director of Grace Institute.
Grace Institute has developed a reputation for providing quality training in business skills needed in today’s corporate environment and producing graduates who are high-quality job candidates. Santa Melazzo, human resources manager, Ropes & Gray LLP said, “As a senior Human Resources professional I am often tasked to think “outside of the box” in my recruiting efforts. All too often that directive presents a myriad of challenges and the search can be long and time-consuming. This is not the case when recruiting for a trainee from Grace Institute. Through their efforts I have come to expect to interview recruits who bring a diverse culture and who are well-trained in the soft skills and the highly technical skills. Among the Grace graduates I have hired, some have gone on to work with Managing Partners, CEO’s and high ranking executives within various organizations. I know firsthand the value of a “Grace Education.” I can proudly say that I, too, am a Grace Graduate!” Other employers of Grace Institute graduates include Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Ogilvy; TD Bank; The Harlem School of the Arts; and other New
Dear Miserable: You set yourself up by confusing help with being used and also giving up your money. You never should mix business with pleasure because it’s a guaranteed recipe for pain. He used you to get ahead and you can see early on that he’s leaving you behind. If you heard that he’s dating someone on the job, it’s probably true. You can’t do anyYork City law firms, corporations, thing other than move on, be glad that you got out early and pray for small businesses and nonprofits. the new lady who will be his next sucker. Grace Institute’s tuition-free programs supply New York-area Ask Deanna is written by Deanna M. Write Ask Deanna! women with the business and of- Email: email@example.com or write: fice skills required by the most Deanna M, 264 S. La Cienega, Suite 1283 , Beverly Hills , CA 90211 demanding employers, giving Website: www.askdeanna.com them a competitive advantage in an increasingly difficult job market. Courses cover computer and keyboarding skills, including hands-on experience with Microsoft Office Suite programs Word, Excel, Power Point, Access Hampton University President dent portion of the student-athlete and Outlook; business writing Dr. William R. Harvey has been was very important. As a member and communication; and office appointed to the National Colle- of this prestigious board, I will conprocedures. giate Athletic Association tinue to be an advocate for studentFounded in 1897 by William (NCAA) Division I Board of athletes to view college as a comRussell Grace, twice mayor of New Directors.The term began on April plete learning environment so that York City, Grace Institute began 30. even after their playing days are as a school to help New York “The board of directors has the over - whether it be college or the women, especially immigrants, awesome responsibility of making professional level - they can befind employment. For over 100 policies to govern fair competitive come useful and productive citiyears, Grace Institute has pro- practices and sportsmanship and zens.” vided tuition-free, practical job to ensure the educational experiThe National Collegiate Athletic training in a supportive learning ence of the student-athlete is para- Association (NCAA) is a voluncommunity for underserved New mount. It’s an honor for me to be tary organization through which the York area women of all ages and associated with accomplished nation’s colleges and universities from many different backgrounds. presidents from major as well as govern their athletics programs. It The curriculum has evolved mid-major universities as we try is comprised of institutions, conthrough the years from domestic to help charter a course for a most ferences, organizations and indiarts and secretarial skills to its important segment of our society,” viduals committed to the best incurrent emphasis on technologi- said Harvey. terests, education and athletics cal business skills and career de“I have always felt that the stu- participation of student-athletes. velopment.
HU president named to NCAA Division I board
15 NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
Ask Deanna! THE ADAMS REPORT Fashion, Beauty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .& Stuff
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
WHAT’S GOING ON By Victoria Horsford
Sharpton, Gingrich: An unholy alliance
WORLD NEWS IN REVIEW
(From page 6)
Ghana will be the first African country that President Obama visits. The President departs for Ghana for an overnighter, at the end of the Russia hosted G8 Summit. This Ghana choice by the President and ostensibly the State Department, has Africa, from Nigeria to Kenya convulsing with envy and despair.
Negro College Fund and National Association For Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), have also turned their backs on the struggling institutions. Instead of more hot air from the Department of Education, we need some real leadership from Secretary Duncan. Speaking at rallies with Sharpton, as he did last Saturday, is no substitute for bold action to preserve HBCUs. If Sharpton thinks that Gingrich has changed and is now genuinely interested in what happens
THE CARIBBEAN: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has named former President Bill Clinton as UN Envoy to HAITI, which is the poorest and, thanks to the Bush Era regime-change policy, the most politically-vulnerable nation in the Western Hemisphere. President Clinton served in a similar capacity for the tsunami recovery (which impacted Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India the Maldives, et.al) and helped generate tens of millions of dollars. Special envoy Bill Clinton top priority will be to attract private and public investors to Haiti. NEW YORK, NY Congrats to Dr. Thomas Farley and John Rhea. Dr. Thomas Farley, an infectious disease specialist who has worked at the Centers for Disease Control and has worked overseas in Haiti, has been named NYC Health Commissioner. The New York City Housing Authority, NYCHA’s new chairman. African-American John Rhea, 43, Harvard BSchool alum, former Wall Street Investment Banker has been named NYC Housing Authority Chairman, NYCHA, a challenging undertaking. In his new job, Rhea and NYCHA will have oversight of the city’s 340 housing complexes, 178,000 apartment units, and 402,000 tenants. Many NYCHA buildings are plagued by crime, poverty, vandalism and poor maintenance. They provide unlimited material for front pages of local tabloids. NYCHA buildings are favored by people in search of affordable housing. Re: price points, a one bedroom rents for $299. NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson, Democratic Party’s favorite for 2009 NYC Mayoralty race, gets endorsements by Congressman Charles Rangel, former Mayor David Dinkins and many NYS legislators. Moreover, Thompson is casting a wide net with outreach to the city’s working and middle class. He has called on Costco Wholesale Corporation to accept Food Stamps, an unwise policy in that Costco opens on East 116 Street later this year. Thompson, along with parent leaders, issued the findings of a report, commissioned by his office, re: Parental Involvement in Schools. Report concludes that the NYC Dept. of Education (DOE) has failed to insure that parents are empowered and have a meaning-
to Black students, all he needs to do is look at the former speaker’s latest behavior. He has sandwiched his appearances with Sharpton between calls for Notre Dame to disinvite President Obama as its commencement speaker and urging the removal of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It’s time for Rev. Al to nuke his new-found friendship with Newt. George E. Curry, former editorin-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. He can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com.
Mikki Shepard ful role in education decision world. Fisk Jubilee Singers NYC making. schedule is two free concerts at Harlems Schomburg Center PEOPLE IN THE NEWS on May 22 at 7 pm and May 23 What a week it has been for co- at 3pm; and May 24 at St. Pemedian/actress Wanda Sykes ters By the Seas Episcopal who is still feeling the heat for Church, Bay Shore, NY, which untoward remarks about Rush is $8. Email tom@stpetersbay Limbaugh at the White House shore.com Correspondents Dinner. Last FriBrooklynite, fine artist day, print and tv media reported extraordinaire Otto Neals has that her wife, Olivia, gave birth crossed the East River and travto twins. eled north to Central Harlem. Entrepreneur cum Queen of Ur- Some of his works are on exhiban Radio, Wendy Williams, is bition in the lobby of the back on her WBLS-Radio throne, Strivers Garden building at 300 after a short suspension. Fox TV West 135 Street in Harlem. Exgreenlighted her Wendy Williams hibit runs through June. Show for a full season, to begin The nonprofit 651 ARTS will in mid 2009, after her successful honor its co-founder Mikki 6-week trial run in 2008, in four Shepard at a gala dance perforurban markets: NY, Los Angeles, mance/reception on Sunday, Dallas, and Detroit. May 31 at the Kumble Theater Terence Tolbert, native son and for Performing Arts, Long Island Democratic Party rising star is University, Brooklyn Campus, gone but not forgotten. NYC De- on Flatbush Avenue, between partment of Education, Harlem- DeKalb and Willoughby., at 3 based PS. 195 was recently named pm. The First 5 Ladies of Dance the Terence Tolbert school...Bob - Germaine Acugny, Carmen Tate, NY Gemini phenom, former DeLavallade, Diane McIntyre, publisher and marketing execu- Bebe Miller and Jawole Willa tive, achieve his three score and JoZollar are gala co-chairs. 10 birthday. His daughters Debra Founded in 1988, by Shepard and Jeanine plan a big invita- and Dr. Leonard Goines, 651 tional gala on June 1, to honor ARTS, has showcased the conBob’s 70th. temporary peforming arts and Altovese Davis, 65, Sammy’s artists of the African Diaspora. A household name in local, widow, died recently from causes related to a stroke a new film in- national and international arts carnation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. circles, Ms. Shepard is being Hyde is set for pre-production, honored for her vision, generstarring Forrest Whitaker and 50 osity, advocacy and commitCENT in the Robert Lewis ment to innovative arts proStevenson classic about a doctor grams and the myriad beneficiaand his dark, violent alter ego. Film ries. Tickets are $100. For more will be directed by Abel Ferrara. info, call 718.488.1624. The Abyssinia Development Corporation, ADC, a nonprofit ARTS STUFF Congratulations to Off Broad- satellite of New York City’s reway play RUINED and its two vered Abyssinia Baptist Drama Desk Awards, one for Lynn Church, which devotes itself Nottage for Outstanding Play to the economic and social reand one for Dominick Kanza for vitalization of Harlem. ADC Outstanding Music in a Play, and plans a behemoth gala, the to The Lincoln Center Theatre ABYSSINIAN HARLEM REPresentation of August Wilsons NAISSANCE BALL, a twin celdrama, JOE TURNER’S COME ebration of its 20th Anniversary AND GONE, which garnered six of service to Harlem and of the Tony nominations, including Best artistic period its name evokes. Play Revival. JOE TURNER runs Held on Tuesday, June 2, the through June 14. For discount ADC ABYSSINIAN HARLEM group sale tickets, call Marcia RENAISSANCE BALL, at the Pendelton at 646.467.7393. ADC Renaissance Tent, an The FISK JUBILEE SINGERS, adhoc structure, located on 135 one of nine recipients of the 2008 Street, between Lenox and SevNational Medal of Arts, are en enth Avenues. Tickets are $500 route to NYC this weekend. and $1200. For more info and Formed in 1871 on the campus of reservations, contact Sharmin the same name, the Fisk Jubilee Mahmud, ADC Director of SpeSingers introduced slave songs cial Events at 646.442.6132 or to mainstream America and the email HRB2009@adcorp.com
Black women contract HIV/AIDS mostly through heterosexual acts (From page 11) need to tell your wife,” he said. “I think Tyler Perry said it best: There are so many men out here that are cheating on their wives, but if you’re going to cheat on your wife, use protection. That’s a line from his movie, ‘Why Did I Get Married?’ But it’s true. Why cheat on your wife and have unprotected sex with a stranger and bring it into your bedroom or household, particularly when one’s life is at stake?” And women are not the only ones that should be concerned, he said. “Don’t rule out African-American women sleeping with other women, cheating on their husbands,” Francis said. “We’re so focused on the DL phenomenon, but there are a lot of women out there cheating on their man with other women. Oprah just did a show about it.” Virginia Fields, the head of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, said in addition to the DL and infected men refusing to share their HIV status with
unsuspecting sexual partners, the growth of heterosexual Black women being infected with HIV is also being fueled by men with multiple partners. “In North Carolina, I was talking to a minister who told me about this 35-year-old woman he had just buried. She has two children. She had become involved with a guy who had just moved down from New York and he was HIV positive. He infected her. She developed AIDS. He infected two other women since he has been in the area. More and more women are being infected as a result of this men shortage.” In addition, she said, men returning from prison are also frequently HIV infected. Fields said her organization is placing more emphasis on reaching heterosexual women who may not know how to protect themselves. She explained, “I’m hoping it will lead to more women demanding and participating in safe sex, insisting that condoms be used and that they will get tested and become more involved with talking about it among themselves.”
Is there common ground on faith? (From page 6) and faith. Has race got anything to do with this? I happen to think the lower bar in respect has some correlation with the President’s race but that just happens to be my opinion. Initially I was frustrated at the way President Obama seemed to
turn the other cheek at fools, but as I listened to and reread the Notre Dame speech, I concluded, instead, that he is not turning the other check, simply showing us another way. And that’s a good thing. Julianne Malveaux is president of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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By Don Thomas
Historic Apollo Theater celebrates 75th anniversary with big gala benefit tribute
Apollo Theater Marquee The Apollo Theater, one of the nation’s greatest cultural treasures, has announced plans for its 75th Anniversary Gala Concert and Awards Ceremony, to be held at the historic Theater on Monday, June 8, 2009. The Gala celebration will bring together the best and brightest in business and entertainment to raise funds in support of the non-profit theater’s 75-year legacy and its initiatives for emerging artists and community and educational programs in New York City and beyond. The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with red carpet entrances, followed by the Gala concert and awards ceremony at 7:00 p.m. and ending with a grand afterparty, the Apollo Supper Club. Hosted by comedian, actor, radio personality, and former Showtime at the Apollo host Steve Harvey, the gala will feature the induction of two new honorees into the Apollo Leg-
ends Hall of Fame, music impresario Quincy Jones and soulful superstar Patti LaBelle. Jones’ contributions to American popular music as a composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, multimedia entrepreneur, and humanitarian are unparalleled. Powerhouse vocalist LaBelle, who is revered for her nonesuch range and amazing versatility, has enjoyed one of the longest-lived careers in contemporary music. Jones’ award will be presented by Oscar-winning actor, accomplished singer/musician, and comedian Jamie Foxx and LaBelle’s award will be presented by mul-
tiple Grammy-award winning singer, songwriter, producer, and actress Mariah Carey. The awards ceremony will continue with the Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis Arts and Humanitarian Award presented to Bill and Camille Cosby. This award, named after the late Ossie Davis and his wife, Ruby Dee, is given annually to a couple who embody the powerful beliefs of this unique pair: a rarified command of their craft, a deep commitment to their community, and an unshakeable connection to each other and their family. The Theater’s annual corporate award recognizing superior corporate leadership will be presented to The Coca-Cola Company for its ongoing commitment to the Apollo and the Harlem community. Produced by Ron Weisner of Ron Weisner Entertainment, the evening will feature performances by the incomparable Anita Baker and one of soul music’s greatest outfits, the O’Jays. Ray Chew, whose credits include musical director for the Inaugural Neighborhood Ball television special (ABC-TV), NBC’s The Singing Bee, Showtime at the Apollo and the Apollo’s weekly Amateur Night show, will serve as the show’s musical director. The event will culminate with the Apollo Supper Club — a stylish lounge atmosphere created by David Monn and featuring spectacular gourmet creations prepared by Great Performances. DJ D-Nice will provide music for late-night dancing. Jonelle Procope, president and CEO of the Apollo Theater Foundation, said, as we celebrate our 75-year legacy, we are also enhancing our role as a center of artistic innovation, education, and discovery for the next 75 years. The artists we’re honoring today provide irrefutable proof of the Apollo’s continuing power as a transforma-
Bill & Camille Cosby
tive cultural force in America and around the world.” Richard Parsons, chairman of the Apollo’s board of directors said, “The Apollo Theater shares a unique relationship with everyone who walks through its doors — from the generations of stars whose careers were launched on our stage to our world-famous, international audience to the thousands in Harlem who are served by our programs.
This event is the Apollo’s largest annual fundraiser and all proceeds of the event will benefit the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc., a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, dedicated to preserving and developing the Apollo Theater and its initiatives for performing artists, educational programs, and community outreach efforts in New York City and beyond. Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2009, the Apollo Theater is one of Harlem’s, New York City’s, and
“With the support of businesses combined with commitments from civic-minded individuals, this milestone event will go far in helping to guarantee the future of the Apollo and its programs.” The Apollo’s 75th Anniversary Gala is chaired by 75th Anniversary Gala Co-Chairs Pamela Fiori and Debra Shriver and National Committee Co-Chairs Alicia Riley Bythewood and Yolanda Ferrell-Brown. The gala’s sponsors include lead sponsor The Coca Cola Company and sponsors Bloomberg, TV One, Belvedere, Hennessy and Moët & Chandon. Individual tickets for the Apollo’s 75th Anniversary Gala are $1,000 (tax deductible amount $850). To purchase tickets to the event or to make a donation to the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc., call 800.618.3444, or visit www.apollotheater.org.
America’s most iconic and enduring cultural institutions. The Apollo was one of the first theaters in New York, and the country, to fully integrate, welcoming traditionally African-American, Hispanic, and local immigrant populations in the audience, as well as headlining uniquely talented entertainers who found it difficult to gain entrance to other venues of similar size and resources. Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has played a major role in cultivating artists and in the emergence of innovative musical genres including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Based on its cultural significance and architecture, the Apollo Theater received state and city landmark designation in 1983 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (AJB)
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
Iconic bassist Stanley Clarke invites you to join him for ‘Jazz In The Garden’ Edited by Audrey J. Bernard Lifestyles/Society Editor In a career that spans nearly four decades and includes gigs with Return to Forever, Rite of Strings and a variety of other solo and collaborative projects along the way, bassist Stanley Clarke – one of the most prominent voices in electric jazz and fusion – had seemingly covered every possible corner of the jazz landscape. But there was one avenue he had yet to explore. “I had never done an acoustic bass record, ever,” he says. “There’s a long list of people on whose records I’ve played acoustic bass – Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Joe Henderson and many others – but I’d never done an acoustic jazz trio record of my own. So I wanted to record one that would just feature the piano and the acoustic bass in a way that you could really hear the bass.” This long-overdue dream project becomes a reality with the May 12, 2009, worldwide release of Jazz In The Garden (HUCD 3155) on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group. For his first straight ahead acoustic jazz trio recording, Clarke assembles two brilliant collaborators at the top of their respective games: pianist Hiromi Uehara and drummer Lenny White. Each represents a distinctly different generational and cultural perspective, but given the range and versatility of both, the net effect is superb. Indeed, the synergy resulting from all three of these luminaries makes for one of the most refreshing Stanley Clarke recordings in recent years. The set opens with “Paradigm Shift,” an introspective piece written by Clarke following the historic election of Barack Obama, which took place on the day Clarke returned from a long series of international tour dates. “I’d been getting the whole European and Asian perspective,” he says. “There was a lot of energy for Obama over there. There are a lot of reasons why he got elected. It wasn’t just a matter of being the new black guy on the scene…It’s a complete shift in the way people interact with candidates and with government. I was watching all that unfold, and I just kept saying, ‘Wow.’” Cinematic and sweeping, “Sicilian Blue” is a stirring piece written by Hiromi, inspired by her visit to the Mediterranean island in 2008. Per Hiromi’s suggestion, Clarke plays the opening portion with a bow – a difficult technique, he admits, but one with a satisfying payoff. “The place has such a special atmosphere, with all of its old landscapes,” says Hiromi. “It’s hard to explain in words how I write music, but it almost always
involves some kind of image in my mind. All of my songs are visual in one way or another.” “Take the Coltrane” is a sly sounding duet between Clarke and White. “When I hear that tune, what I hear is brotherhood – the brotherhood that has developed over the years between Lenny and me. There are little musical subtleties that can only happen between the two of us…I really get a kick out of playing with Lenny. He’s probably my favorite drummer to play with.” Also on the nostalgic side is “Isotope,” a tune that Clarke and White played with Joe Henderson in the early days. “I grew up with this tune,” says Clarke. “It was part of my youth. So when I hear it, I think of the early ‘70s and the years I spent with the great Joe Henderson. I was going for that same feel. Whenever I play that tune – or even just hear it – I’m always thinking of Joe.” “Global Tweak,” a playful and melodic duet between Clarke and Hiromi, is exactly what the title suggests. “We both just sat down and tried to tweak each other musically,” says Clarke. “It was total improvisation. We both really enjoyed this.” Jazz critic Don Heckman points out in his liner notes the beauty of two seemingly disparate perspectives converging so perfectly in a single improvised moment of music: “How fascinating it is to hear these two gifted players – thousands of miles separated by culture, decades different in age – come together in such complete, on-the-spot musical understanding and companionship.” “Under the Bridge,” a 1991 hit by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is rearranged here by Hiromi for jazz trio – not as big a leap as it might seem, she notes. “I don’t know how to differentiate jazz from rock,” she says. “It’s so hard for me. When a melody is good, it’s just good. I brought this song up because Stanley and Lenny wanted something that wasn’t a jazz standard, and yet it works so well with the rest of the record.” In many ways, Jazz in the Garden is Stanley Clarke’s way of reconnecting with a time much earlier in his career before his plunge into electric jazz – a time when he earned his stripes playing acoustic bass with some of the most enduring names in the annals of jazz. “There are times when you want to revisit the things that really established the foundation in your life,” he says. “I spent many, many years studying acoustic bass, and many years playing in New York after I left Philadelphia in the late ‘60s. I played with everyone who was there at the time. It was a long time ago, but all that stuff from that period is what made me who I am. This record is my way of reconnecting with that time and that music.” Bassist Stanley Clarke was
“I’d been getting the whole European and Asian perspectives. There was a lot of energy for Obama over there. There are a lot of reasons why he got elected. It wasn’t just a matter of being the new black guy on the scene…It’s a complete shift in the way people interact with candidates and with government. I was watching all that unfold, and I just kept saying, ‘Wow.’” – Stanley Clarke barely out of his teens when he exploded into the jazz world in 1971. Fresh out of the Philadelphia Academy of Music, he arrived in New York City and immediately landed jobs with famous bandleaders such as Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Pharaoh Saunders, Gil Evans, Stan Getz and a budding young pianist-composer named Chick Corea. All of these musicians immediately recognized Clarke’s ferocious dexterity and complete musicality on the acoustic bass. Not only was he an expert at crafting bass lines and functioning as a timekeeper – in keeping with his instrument’s traditional role – but the young prodigy also possessed a sense of lyricism and melody distilled from his bass heroes Charles Mingus, Scott LaFaro and others, as well as non-bass players like John Coltrane. Clarke envisioned the bass as a viable, melodic solo instrument positioned at the front of the stage rather than in a background role, and he was uniquely qualified to take it there. The vision became a reality when Clarke and Corea formed the seminal electric jazz/fusion band Return To Forever. RTF was a showcase for each of the quartet’s strong musical personalities, composing prowess and instrumental voices.
“We really didn’t realize how much of an impact we were having on people at the time,” Clarke recalls. “We were touring so much then; we would just make a record and then go back on the road.” The band recorded eight albums, two of which were certified gold (Return To Forever and the classic Romantic Warrior). They also won a GRAMMY (No Mystery) and received numerous nominations while touring incessantly. Then Clarke fired the “shot heard round the world,” the one that started the ‘70s bass revolution and paved the way for all bassists/soloists/bandleaders to follow. In 1974, he released his eponymous Stanley Clarke album, which featured the hit single, “Lopsy Lu.” Two years later, he released School Days, an album whose title track is now a bona fide bass anthem. School Days has since become a must-learn for nearly every upand-coming bassist, regardless of genre. Aspiring bassists must also master the percussive slap funk technique that Clarke pioneered as well. While Sly and the Family Stone’s Larry Graham had already developed a rudimentary slap technique, Clarke took the idea and ran with it, adapting the technique to complex jazz harmonies. “Larry started it, but he had only one lick,” says Clarke. “I took it from there. A lot of guys could
jam all day in E, but couldn’t play it over changes.” Clarke became the first bassist in history to headline tours, sell out shows worldwide, and craft albums that achieved gold status. At 25, he was already regarded as a pioneer in the jazz fusion movement. He was also the first bassist in history to double on acoustic and electric bass with equal virtuosity, power and fire. In his ongoing efforts to push the bass to new limits, he invented two new instruments, the piccolo bass and the tenor bass. The piccolo bass is tuned one octave higher than the traditional electric bass. The tenor bass is tuned one fourth higher than standard. Both of these instruments have enabled Clarke to extend his melodic range to higher and more expressive registers. Clarke teamed up with keyboardist George Duke in 1981 to form the Clarke/Duke Project. Together they scored a top 20 pop hit with “Sweet Baby,” recorded three albums and continue to tour together to this day. Clarke’s creativity has been recognized and rewarded in every way imaginable: gold and platinum records, Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards, virtually every readers and critic’s poll in existence, and more. He was Rolling Stone’s very first Jazzman of the Year, and bassist winner of Playboy’s Music Award for ten straight years.
Celebrating its twentieth anniversary, City Parks Foundation is pleased to announce the 2009 season schedule of its flagship free performing arts festival, Central Park SummerStage. During its run, the Foundation will offer 31 free programs all summer long from the center of it all. Internationally acclaimed for presenting world-renowned and emerging talent from around the globe and New York City’s own backyard, the Central Park SummerStage season promises to be as electrifying as ever with a calendar chockfull of culturally diverse programs in multiple disciplines including music, dance, word, film, and comedy. The 2009 Central Park SummerStage season is marked by innovative collaborations and will open on Friday, June 12 at 8pm with a performance by the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Josh Ritter and his band for the evening, The New York Pops.
City Parks Foundation also welcomes The Metropolitan Opera for the first time ever to Central Park SummerStage as The Met launches its free Summer Recital Series of outdoor concerts in neighborhood parks on Monday, July 13 at 8pm with a special performance of opera arias and popular songs headlined by the Tony Award-winning baritone Paulo Szot and featuring Lisette Oropesa (soprano), Alek Shrader (tenor), and Vlad Iftinca (piano). Additionally, Central Park SummerStage is thrilled to bring a not-to-be-missed evening of dance and music to its stage with two special performances commissioned by City Parks Foundation on August 14 and 15 at 8pm by Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and Martha Wainwright. The company will premiere a new work featuring musical accompaniment by the popular songstress, who has composed a new, fifteen minute score especially for the program. Mor-
phoses/The Wheeldon Company will also participate in the CityParks Dance festival, produced by City Parks Foundation on Sunday, August 16 at 4pm in Manhattan’s East River Park. Further highlights include two series within the festival. The first is a series of four consecutive Word programs featuring renowned authors (Wally Lamb and Zoë Heller), acclaimed poets (including Sharon Olds), comedy (Gabriel Iglesias and Pablo Francisco), and a “Green” themed afternoon of spoken word artists hosted by environmentalist Majora Carter. The second series consists of four consecutive nights of Music & Film which will focus on the cultures of Brazil, Cuba, Africa, and the US. With a goal of satisfying virtually every taste, Central Park SummerStage also has an afternoon bill featuring indie-folk singer M. Ward and innovative music makers Nels Cline and Mike Watt; for lovers of R&B there is a noteworthy line-up
comprised of today’s hottest stars - Jazmine Sullivan, Chrisette Michele, and Jon B; and for hip hop fans there is a headlining show by Q-Tip. As always, Central Park SummerStage encompasses a wide-range of talent from all corners of the world. This season proudly welcomes the global talent of Yannick Noah and Les Nubians (France), Mazhar Fuat Özkan (Turkey), Oumou Sangare (Mali), Juana Molina and Los Fabuloso Cadillacs (Argentina), Alpha Blondy (Côte d’Ivoire), Jerry Rivera (Puerto Rico), and many others. City Parks Foundation Executive Director David Rivel comments, “As so many throughout New York City and the country face financial hardships, we feel, more than ever, the importance of presenting free, high-quality performing arts programs to our residents and visitors alike. We are proud to be able to bring such outstanding, culturally diverse programs again this year to Central Park SummerStage.”
James Burke, Director, Arts & Cultural Programs adds, “SummerStage is a celebration of the many cultures and sub-cultures that make New York City such a special place, and as such it is really the people’s festival. So in addition to the outstanding global talent that we are proud to host in Central Park, I am thrilled at the exciting collaborative programs that we will be producing this summer such as the dance and music premiere that we commissioned from Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and Martha Wainwright, and The New York Pops backing up singer/songwriter Josh Ritter.” City Parks Foundation is one of the city’s largest arts organizations, presenting over 1,200 performances each year in parks across all five boroughs. Its performing arts programs include Central Park SummerStage, CityParks Concerts, CityParks Dance, CityParks Theater, CityParks Kids, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, and puppet performances through the CityParks PuppetMobile. (AJB)
Step aboard the Bateaux – the most magnificent vessel in New York Harbor By Audrey J. Bernard Lifestyles/Society Editor If you want to impress your Dad on Father’s Day on Sunday, June 21, I suggest that you show him how much you love him by taking him on an elegant cruise on the beautiful Bateaux New York vessel on the Hudson for a remarkable journey that he will long remember way after the yacht docks. Spoil the man in your life with a water experience aboard the European-inspired, all-glass vessel — an architectural masterpiece designed for optimal comfort and flexibility, as well as stunning views. As the magnificent New York skyline spreads before you in all directions, the premier yacht’s pristine staff will indulge you with gourmet cuisine, fine wines, live jazz and
Bateaux New York Exterior
Bateaux New York Interior
sophisticated dance music. I might add that the amazing entertainment can compete with any Broadway show. You have a choice to pamper your loved one on the brunch cruise (boarding at 11:30 a.m., and cruising from noon to 2:00 p.m., children age 3-11 are halfpriced); or the dinner cruise (boarding at 6:15 p.m., and cruising from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.) For additional information go online or call 866-817-3463. Unique features of the ship include: climate-controlled comfort enhanced by a ceiling shading system; spacious hardwood dance floor; revolutionary deck layout gives every table a view of the entertainment; uniquely designed seating arrangements create an inviting and intimate
dining experience; state-of-theart sound system with speakers that offer customized volume levels; two outdoor strolling decks; handicap-accessible restroom; and two suites that can host up to 300 guests. As you cruise the Hudson and East Rivers, you pass the contagiously beautiful skyscrapers of Manhattan providing you with a breathtaking view of some of the world’s most celebrated landmarks – the likes of the Chelsea Piers, Empire State Building, World Trade Center site, Battery Park City, Battery Park, South Street Seaport, Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights, Governor’s Island, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal and the Colgate Clock.
19 NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
City Parks Foundation announces the 2009 Central Park SummerStage season
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
Capital City Chapter of The Links, Inc. provides support for Sojourner Truth bust On Tuesday, April 28, 2009, Sojourner Truth, an American a b o l i t i o n i s t a n d w o m e n ’s rights activist (1797 – November 26, 1883), became the first African American woman to be memorialized with a bust in the United States Capitol. This honor was made possible in large part due to the support of The Links, Incorporated’s Capital City Chapter whose members provided the pedestal on which the likeness will be placed. First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the bust at a ceremony in the Capitol. She was joined by Speaker of the
House, Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and other sponsors including members of The National Congress of Black Women, Inc. and The Links, Inc. Following the unveiling, representatives of The Links, Inc. were joined by the National Congress of Black Women at a luncheon hosted by Cicely Tyson and Yolanda Adams at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington. The National Congress of Black Women, Inc. undertook the campaign effort to place the bust in the United States Capitol and established the So-
journer Truth Memorial Fund. The Fund is designed to carry on the life and legacy of women who have paved the way for equality for all women. Under the leadership of C. Delores Tucker (also a Link) the effort became known as the “Sojourner Truth Crusade.” Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of the Houston Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, and then-Senator Hillary Clinton, authored the legislation that made the bust possible. The Links, Inc. Capital City Chapter and national membership are proud supporters of
Sojourner Truth (1797 - 11-26-1883) the Sojourner Truth Memorial Fund. The Capital City Chapter raised the money from its membership to provide the stand that the bust will be placed upon. “We are very excited to be a part of this historic occasion,” stated Gina Adams, president of the Capital City Chapter of The Links, Inc. “Our members continue to make an impact on the communities that we serve in very special ways. The fact that we are providing the support – literally - to honor such a courageous pioneer is truly humbling.” “I could not be more proud of The Links, Inc. Capital City Chapter and all our members nationwide that make such historic tributes possible,” stated Gwendolyn B. Lee, national president. “We Sojourner Truth Unveiling (l-r) Artis Lane (bust designer) with Speaker of the House are proud to help others rememNancy Pelosi, First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Con- ber Sojourner Truth’s sacrifice, suffering and struggle to make gresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (Photo by Marcella Jones)
the world a better place.” The Links, Inc. is committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. In January, the organization was honored by the Trumpet Awards Foundation and inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. Sojourner Truth was an ens l a v e d B l a c k Wo m a n , b o r n Isabella Baumfree in 1797. She worked to abolish slavery and fought for women’s rights to vote. The separate memorial to Sojourner came about when it was discovered that Sojourner had been left off the Portrait Monument that commemorates the right of women to vote. Agreeing to a stand-alone memorial of Sojourner Truth finally corrects the injustice of leaving her off the original monument, organizers said. (AJB)
General Colin L. Powell throws out ceremonial first pitch More than 6,500 fans, friends and supporters of the New Newark Bears braved the rain and wind when the Atlantic Division minor league baseball team took their home field for the first time on Friday, May 1, 2009. The home opener featured fireworks and General Colin Powell, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and a soulstirring version of the national anthem sung by the incomparable Patti LaBelle. In honor of the legendary Jackie Robinson the entire Newark Bears team wore number 42 for the first game. In addition, to continue their commitment to the community, the Newark Bears donated $60,000 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation and $7,500 to America’s Promise Alliance, the national children’s advocacy organization that General Powell founded. Hosting a 71 home-game season for 2009, including the At-
lantic League’s All-Star Game on June 23, the two-time champion Newark Bears display a full roster of top-notch talent on the field and a full season off the field, with special associations for the 2009 season celebrating the spirit of the game and the community, including support for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, the Jorge Posada Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The North Ward Center, Turtle Back Zoo, Habitat for Humanity and Covenant House of New Jersey. The Bears hope to enlist the Newark community at-large in their efforts to empower their community and the country and have created the “I’m In” campaign. Through this initiative, the Bears are affirming their commitment to the City of Newark and pledging to do all they can to enrich it. They hope adults, children, organizations and the local government will all do the same. (AJB)
Newark Bears announcer Spencer Ross (left), General Colin Powell (center) and Newark Bears President/CEO Jim Wankmiller stand in awe of Patti LaBelle’s extraordinary talent as she sings the National Anthem on the opening day of the Newark Bears 12th season.
City Council holds hearing on Ticket Resale Amendment Bill working class New Yorkers. Many entertainment venues in our City receive public support in the form of tax-exempt bonds, payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs), property tax abatements, levies on parking, etc. If the taxpayers of this City are subsidizing these arenas, then certainly they should have a fair opportunity to purchase tickets to events at these venues. Since current state laws encourage price gouging, I saw the need to introduce legislation that will empower these venues to legally reserve tickets for the average New Yorker.” Testifying at the hearing was
Charles Bell, program manager for Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports Magazine, which urged the Council to enact a strong, comprehensive anti-ticket scalping law for New York City. “Ticket scalping is a deceptive and unfair business practice that deprives average sports, music and entertainment fans of opportunities to see popular events,” stated Bell. “Moreover, since most- if not all – larger venues are impressed with a public trust by virtue of having been built, maintained and/or subsidized by taxpayers, there is a public imperative to keep admission prices to events held at these locations affordable and to prevent un-
Citywide African leaders endorse Mayor Bloomberg (From page 2) York; Siredione Conde, president of the African Day Parade. Additionally, Tahirou Sawadodo, from the Burkina Faso community in New York City; Imam Muhammad Saitou of the Bilal Mosque in the Bronx and also from the Togo community in New York City; Beliard Lucien, president of African Caribbean Television; Mahamadou Keita, president of the United Council of Mali, and Elhadji Ndao, president of Seno Africa Radio and also from the Senegal community in New York City. “One of the best things about Mayor Bloomberg has been his ability to bring communities together,” said Konate. “Our community respects his independent style of governing, commitment to doing what is best for New York City and its diverse resi-
dents. We are proud to support his campaign for re-election and look forward to working together.” “Two years ago members of our community faced one of the City’s saddest tragedies in a Bronx fire,” said Traore. “The Mayor and his administration quickly jumped into action and provided needed help as temporary housing, health services and fire prevention education. “In such a time of need, Mayor Bloomberg and this City were there for the African families who desperately needed the help and had made the Bronx their home. “This is Mayor Bloomberg’s style of governing. He is a man of action who has given steady leadership for all of us who live in this great City. We could not think of a more qualified person to keep this City running than Mayor Bloomberg.”
limited mark ups by businesses that had no role in planning, underwriting, producing or executing these events.” Bell argued that standard marketplace theories about supply and demand do not apply in the case of ticket scalping because it is a limited supply monopoly marketplace. “Since live sports and entertainment are unique ‘products’ not allowing a competitor to introduce competition (the Yankees and Bruce Springsteen can only be at one event at any given time), allowing scalping only adds costs to the end user. There are no consumer benefits to permitting the unlimited resale price of tickets,” he added. Andrew Eiler, director of legislative affairs for the Department of Consumer Affairs, also testified, stating, “The Department admires the chair’s efforts to ensure that the public has the opportunity to purchase tickets to special events and performances at the box office and at face value. We also appreciate ticket sellers’ legitimate interests in selling their tickets, and while protecting consumers, we don’t want to unduly burden the marketplace. We remain entirely open to working with the Committee to try to identify mechanisms by which we might realistically be able to achieve these important goals.” Since 2007, when New York State repealed its ban on ticket resale, the secondary ticket market has grown exponentially. New York City consumers currently must compete against ticket resale agencies or ticket brokers to purchase tickets to musical, sporting or athletic events taking place throughout the City. Ticket resale agencies and ticket brokers often use computer software to purchase tickets in bulk, giving themselves an unfair advantage over individual purchasers
and creating a secondary market in ticket sales that gouges consumers by charging several times the face value for tickets. The negative effects of unfettered ticket resale came to light just months after ticket pricing deregulation was signed into law in New York State. In September 2007, tickets to Disney pop star Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus’s entire 54-date tour were sold out within 14 minutes. Within days, online ticket brokers were selling those very tickets to New York State residents for over sixty-five times their original face value. More recently, in February 2009, New Jersey consumers attempting to purchase Bruce Springsteen tickets online through Ticketmaster were informed that tickets were sold out and were redirected to Tickets
Now.com, Ticketmaster’s own ticket resale vendor, where tickets went for several times the original price. Several attempts have been made at the state and federal level to govern the sale of tickets. U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) recently announced plans to introduce legislation that would impose a twoday waiting period before a ticket reseller could purchase tickets for the resale market. In addition to ensuring that fans get first access to tickets to events, his prospective bill would also impose greater regulation on the ticket resale industry by requiring resellers to get a federal registration number from the Federal Trade Commission and, to strengthen enforcement, requiring that all tickets include the time and date of purchase on their face.
David Dinkins endorses Bill Thompson for mayor (From page 2) Dinkins said, “As Mayor of New York City Bill Thompson will continue to build on these accomplishments, working tirelessly each day to create jobs, expand access to city services, streamline government operations, expand the access of capital to small businesses, increase affordable housing and improve the quality of life for all city residents.” Bill Thompson has also been endorsed by State Senator Eric Schneiderman, Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, Assemblymember Micah Kellner, Assemblymember Peter Rivera,
Broadway Democrats, GramercyStuyvesant Independent Democrats, Independent Neighborhood Democrats (Brooklyn), McManus Midtown Democratic Association and members of the Greek community including Tasso Manessis, President of the Pan Gregorian Fund, Dean Angelakos, Dr. Steve Gounardes, former President of the NY Dental Association. Also, Dino Ralis of the Broadway Merchants Association, Helen and John Psaras of the Brooklyn Homeowners Association, Stella Kokolis President of the Federation of Greek American Teachers, Nicholas Chahales, Gus Prentzas, New York State Committeeman 36 AD Queens, George Patsalos, President of Aegean Travel Group.
Healthcare reform is important to Blacks, says Obama (From page 4) week, reportedly gaining their commitment to reduce the annual healthcare spending growth by an average 1.5 percent a year for the next ten years. DeParle said that doesn’t sound like a lot, except that costs were originally expected to grow six to seven percent a year over the next decade.
“If they are able to do that…we can save our country, American families and businesses more than $2 trillion…which we estimate to about $2,500 per family, which is something the president really cares about,” DeParle noted. In fall 2008, Obama, then a Democratic presidential candidate, told black reporters via tele-
conference call that beyond lower healthcare costs through modernizing electronic medical records and billing to reduce bureaucracy, if elected, he would also push for targeted prevention measures in the African-American community. “The emphasis on prevention will include addressing disparities. That means we’ll make sure that AIDS education programs are in the communities where we’ve seen the highest growth in AIDS. We’re making sure that there are regular screenings for The second report, yet to be things like prostate cancer and made public or debated by the breast cancer that occur at higher House of Assembly, accuses the rates in the African-American authors of the previous investigation of holding “personal vendettas” against the former president. Nigeria generates less than 1,000 megawatts (MW) for a population of 140 million. In large cities blackouts are a daily occurrence, and some areas (From page 4) have “never seen light” as people say in Nigerian pidgin. machine that shot volts through Those who can afford it rely on my body,” said Holmes at the generators. rally. Large scale business and indusJohnnie Savory, allegedly tortry in the country is almost impos- tured in 1977 at the age of 14, was sible because of the power gen- one of the youngest reputed viceration problem, correspondents tims. He said he was falsely acsay. cused and unjustly convicted of double homicide in his hometown
Nigeria MP panel in fraud charge (From page 8) turbines were installed, but noone had planned how they would be fuelled with gas as the country had sold all its supply for the next 16 years to international oil and gas companies. The committee also uncovered several shady deals between high-ranking politicians and private companies where they failed to build contracted power stations. But local media has reported that the panel reviewing that investigation concluded there was no money missing, as the Central Bank still held letters of credit meant for the contracts.
community. That all of those [prevention efforts] are adequately funded on the front end so that we can save money on the back end.” Six months later, there have been “general” discussions with President Obama about ways to emphasize prevention of chronic ailments in the Black community, DeParle told the Carolinian/Wilmington Journal newspapers. In the $787 billion stimulus package that the president signed into law in February, $1 billion was designated to fund prevention efforts and public health campaigns across the states.
More than $2 billion was allotted to the National Institutes of Health for further research into chronic diseases, “making sure that that research is something that looks at not just the White community, but the African-American community,” vowed DeParle. “That will be part of what we will make sure happened with that. …The problem of costs and access in the African-American community is something that this president cares a lot about,” Obama’s healthcare reform adviser added, “and that we will be working closely with the Congress to make sure (it) is addressed as part of healthcare reform.”
Minister Farrakhan urges justice for Chicago police torture victims of Peoria, Ill. In 2006, after spending 30 years in prison, Savory was granted parole and released. He is currently fighting to have DNA testing conducted so his name can be cleared. “I want those who did this to me to be held accountable,” he said. Howard Morgan, a then 23year Chicago police veteran and
senior patrolman for the Burlington Northern Railroad, who was shot 28 times by Chicago police officers joined the rally. Also in attendance were host pastor Rev. T.L. Barrett; Father Michael Pfleger, Rev. Helen Sinclair; Rev. James Bass; Rep. Bobby Rush, Alderman Ed Smith, activist Wallace “Gator” Bradley, activist Kublai Toure, and Chuck Bowen.
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
(From page 2)
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
Harlem remembers Malcolm on his 84th (From page 3) pounded suffrage Dr. Betty Shabazz endured by witnessing the murder of her husband in the presence of her six daughters. He explained the widow’s “unprecedented pain for a mostly ungrateful people.” Sharpton did not mince words. While honoring the legacy of Dr. King’s widow, Coretta ScottKing, he said “Malcolm’s family watched as his body was riddled with bullets.” “It took 30 years for the family to return to the location” which is now known as the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial, Educational and Cultural Center. Sharpton explained back then “no one knew a stamp would be issued:” libraries would be named for Malcolm X or that mayors would call his name. Malcolm X’s third daughter Ilyasah also clarified misnomers repeated in media releases. She explained that the Ku Klux Klan persecuted her grandfather Rev. Earl Little, and how as a youth her father witnessed and endured those injustices growing up in Omaha, Nebraska.
“My father was just a young man when he took a stand against the power and might of the US, he was only in his 20’s,” she added. In one breathe, she related how “Brother Malcolm” hoisted the entire Black community on “his shoulders and carried us. He exalted greatness.” She talked about his passion for reading and reeled off a litany of tomes he studied. “He read the Bible, the Koran, the dictionary, encyclopedias,” Ilyasah explained. She mentioned how he sought information on “the Ethiopians, African antiquity, the University of Timbuktu and the University of Alexandria.”
She relentlessly defined Omowale, Malcolm X, El Hajj Malik Shabazz, the prophetic speaker who would have been 84 years old had he not been assassinated at the same location on Feb. 21, 1965. Behind a red, velvet rope, a red and white flowered wreath marked his absence. Candles lit his everlasting light, and 11-year-old poet Autumn Asante, the Juxtapower Dance Troupe, HBO’s “The Wire” star Jamie Hector, Xavier Artis, Rev. Herbert Daughtry, Prof. Leonard Jeffries, and others showered tributes to the man acclaimed as ‘Harlem’s shining prince.’
Luminaries of the Village of Harlem packed the venue. Cultural artist Camille Yarborough, Schomburg curator Howard Dodson, Dr. Betty Shabazz’s groom, Sister Aisha, relatives of Malcolm X, his bodyguard Philemon, inspirational speaker Dennis Rahim Watson, Amy Ruth’s restaurant owner Carl Redding, PR guru and author Terrie Williams and others reveled at the birthday gala. The unveiling of a millennium tribute marking the timeline from 1965 to future honorariums launched a national, photographic campaign championing Malcolm X martyrdom.
Billed The sign of the Time, the photographic exhibition and contest will feature numerous artistic compositions of snapshots featuring Malcolm X Blvd. markers taken all across the country. The hope is that art students attending high school and colleges will be motivated to capture the tribute signs, enabling new generations to realize Malcolm X. Video reflections also marked the celebrations with the guest of honor punctuating his message from the: “Ballot or the Bullet” speech. Earlier in the day a panel discussion at the Schomburg Library as well as the annual gravesite visit filled the day’s events.
Senate votes to block funds for Guantanamo closure (From page 3) But Obama’s new Pentagon policy chief, Michele Flournoy, said it’s unrealistic to think that no detainees will come to the United States, and that the government can’t ask allies to take detainees while refusing to take on the same burden. Obama ally Sen. Dick Durbin,
D-Ill., pointed out that not a single prisoner has ever escaped from a federal “supermax” prison and that 347 convicted terrorists are already being held in U.S. prisons. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, among the few Republicans joining former GOP presidential nominee John McCain of Arizona in calling for Guantanamo
to be closed, scoffed at the idea that the government can’t find a way to hold Guantanamo prisoners in the United States. Graham noted that 400,000 German and Japanese prisoners were held during World War II. “The idea that we cannot find a place to securely house 250plus detainees within the United States is not rational. We have
done this before,” Graham said. “But it is my belief that you need a plan before you close Gitmo.” While allies such as Durbin have cast the development as a delay of only a few months, other Democrats have made it plain they don’t want any of Guantanamo’s detainees sent to the United States to stand trial or serve prison sentences.
Sharpton leads thousands in DC rally to seek equality (From page 3) ment gap, as its referred to by the study and by the Education Equality Project (EEP), an education advocacy organization founded by Reverend Al Sharpton and New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, has become a national priority but there is not a consensus on solutions for reform nor is there a consensus on why such great disparity of achievement exists between different student groups even though the gap was widely considered to be even as recently as 1998. “The McKinsey report was focused on collecting the data and measuring the economic impact — both individually and socially,’’ says Bennet Ratcliff, a representative of the Education Equality Project. “It did not address why the achievement gap exists. EEP believes — and studies support — that AfricanAmerican and Latino students can dramatically close the gap if they are taught by quality teachers. The current education system offers — and has historically offered — some of the lowest performing teachers to African American and Latino students which is a significant part of the problem. Rev. Sharpton has spoken eloquently on this subject of receiving a “back of the bus education”. The issue is serious enough that even fundamental conserva-
tives like former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich jumped on board to speak in favor of education reform at Sharpton’s rally. The McKinsey study estimates that the U.S. economy lost more than $3 trillion dollars in potential gains because of failures to close the educational achievement gap to its 1998 near even levels, a figure that is more than the amount loss during the current deep economic recession and the one experienced at the beginning of the 1980s. This is a number that will only grow if nothing is done to curtail the trend because the US Census Bureau forecasts that non-White students will make up more than half of the national student population as earliest as 2023. Why are Black students, even those from privileged backgrounds, performing worse than their White counterparts? “I think it’s an institutional racism,” Sharpton responds in an interview. “I think it’s because we see education in our communities, regardless of economic income and class, is different.” It’s easy to simply cite institutional racism as the reason that African-Americans are falling behind but that doesn’t account for Black students that don’t attend majority Black schools. “What we saw going into the end of the 1990s was an actual closing of the gaps, and by 1999 we found that we reached parity in African-American’s ability to graduate high school and move
toward college,” said Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP’s executive vice president of advocacy and director of the civil rights organization’s Washington bureau. “It was a corner stone for real first-class education for all. However, some of the provisions of the No Child Left Behind act, including the high-stakes testing provision, which was supposed to be put in place to keep track of how well schools were doing ended up being used to penalize students.” Shelton said that while some students who traditionally did well in classroom assignments and tests were held up when it came time for high stakes testing, which students must take in the 4th, 8th and 12th grades in order to matriculate to the next grade or graduate high school, a test score became the determination if a student could advance or not. “The graduation rate for African-Americans started declining again, and in that time, we started seeing that great gulf happening again,” he said. “Now you have cities where one-half of Black males are dropping out because they can’t pass that test. The test should be reevaluated. The tests should have never been the single source to determine who matriculates,” Shelton says. The high stakes testing standard is nationwide so all students, regardless of race and class, must pass the same re-
quirements. Black students are not less capable of passing tests, but rather, as one parent suggests, may be more complacent because expectations are lower. “I think that African-American kids are testing lower than White kids … because the expectations are not as high for our kids,” says Virginia Watkins-Ford, executive director of DC Parents for School Choice, an organization that fights for school reform in DC on behalf of the District’s parents. “When you don’t expect kids to do well then they have no reason to do well. If we raise our expectations and the general education raises their expectations than we will see some positive outcomes.” During his rally speech Sharpton insinuated that it’s possible for a man of color who comes from a single-parent home to become president but a significant part is because he also went to the best schools. According to National Center for Education Statistics, less than ten percent of students from the most selective colleges in the nation came from the bottom half of the income distribution. In most cases, school districts must cut through time-consuming layers of political red tape internally and from teachers unions in order to make any type of grandiose educational reforms happen. For those very reasons, orga-
nizations such as the Broad Foundation, whose education work is focused on dramatically improving urban K-12 public education, specifically urban schools, which educates 40 percent of all students in poverty, favor charter schools and school districts that are controlled by a single entity such as a mayor instead of a school board. Shelton thinks that charter schools can be helpful as long as they are not being used as tools to undercut public schools and warns that because they are not regulated as heavily they could also have problems. “The way the charter school system was being used by their administration is that you could have teachers in the class room who [weren’t] even certified, who didn’t have degrees and weren’t allowed to bargain to become a part of teachers unions,” Shelton said. “But the concept of charter schools is a very good one.” EEP is advocating on a national level around issues like merit pay, tenure reform, accountability, and charter schools while supporting on a grass-roots level urban districts that have begun reform efforts. “We want equal funding, accountability of teachers and incentive for teachers to teach in areas that are considered disadvantaged, and parental participation. And we must reform the public school system. These privatized schools only help some students,” Sharpton said. “We gotta save them all.”
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NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
NEW YORK BEACON, May 21, 2009 - May 27, 2009 newyorkbeacon.com
Injuries test Mets mettle By Adam Salazar Baseball is a marathon and during the course of 162 game schedule, teams will invariably experience injuries. The difference between winning teams and losing teams is how well they handle this adversity. The past week has seen the Mets lose Carlos Delgado for 8-10 weeks with a hip injury, Jose Reyes has been sitting with a tender calf, JJ Putz revealed he’s got a bone spur in his elbow, back-up SS/2B Alex Cora hurt his hand, Brian Schneider continues to languish on the DL and now Ryan Church hurt his leg. That’s no excuse for Church missing 3rd base when heading for home with the potential game winning run, as he did Monday night in LA, but the fact that the Mets started Ramon Martinez at SS, Fernando Tatis at 1B and Angel Pagan in LF does not bode well for winning games. Pagan ran into some trouble with Beltran and the old “I got it – You get it” routine when running down a fly ball that fell in for a hit and allowed the game winning run to get aboard. Later in the same 11th inning Jeremy Reed, the second nonfirst baseman the Mets had in the game, fielded an easy grounder with the bases loaded only to uncork a wild throw home that went to the backstop to end the game.
It’s hard to get on guys too hard when they’re playing out of position as numerous Mets are these days but as always wins and losses are the bottom line and there are no mulligans in baseball for losses due to injuries. Minaya has some difficult decisions to make because not only is he without Delgado’s bat for possibly the rest of the year but as evidenced by Monday’s loss, he needs a guy who can play solid defense at first base. N a m e s s u c h a s Vi c t o r Martinez, the Indian’s catcher/ 1st baseman have been mentioned as a possible trade target but he won’t come cheap. In other words Cleveland would surely demand a package starting with Fernando Martinez. Unfortunately Nick Evans, who was tearing it up in spring training but didn’t make the team has gone into the proverbial tank in AAA. So much that he’s been demoted to AA in an attempt to get his confidence back. That’s a shame on 2 levels because not only is he no longer a candidate to step in for Delgado but he’s also lost all trade value. One has to wonder if Evans might refocus and kick start his promising career again if he were given a shot in “The Show” but that also might ruin his confidence forever after. One thing is for sure, there are no easy answers to these problems so it’s time for Omar to earn Carlos Delgado's hip problem is just one of the many injuries that have transformed the his money. Mets' roster into a MASH unit listing.
New York welcomes Michael Boley By Dr. Ira Warhei
Michael Boley, the New York Giants latest defensive addition, who signed a five year twenty five million contract this post-season, was the star linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons until an alleged domestic incident caused the “squeaky clean” Falcons to decide that Michael no longer fit that image. Fans, who considered Boley to be “a pretty upright dude”, were frustrated by the sudden loss of their young defensive leader. Previously, the well-liked player was considered to be a community- minded individual who gave back also being recognized for his involvement in the fight against autism. It is not surprising, that at such an early
age Michael began to think of others less fortunate than himself. Boley’s mom, Marilyn Pointer was a mother who believed in getting involved. In a sport that is considered male-dominated, Marilyn became an active member of the Professional Football Player’s Mother’s Association so that she could remain active in her son’s football career. It was easy for Michael using his mother as a role model to continue his community involvement in his new city. Last month at the Nations Lounge in Manhattan, he attended the first “Monthly Network Party” sponsored by Alex: The Magazine, one of the best resources for metropolitan professionals to get news and be connected to other profession-
als nationwide. The magazine’s publisher Alex Everett was present with several board members of the Lorenzo Jackson Foundation and myself, the C.E.O. of International Sports and Entertainment Management Co., a consulting firm that besides advising professional athletes, seeks out scholarships for worthy scholar- athletes. We were so impressed by the new Giant, that they plan to approach the community-minded Boley to become a board member of the foundation as well as a host of the next network party. The future Giant star stated, “They are a tough, physical, hardnosed team that is about winning. I’m excited to be here.” Michael Boley, we are proud to welcome both you and your mom, two class acts aboard.
Published on May 21, 2009
Published on May 21, 2009
The New York Beacon features Bill Thompson, his endorsement by David Dinkins and Charles Rangel, and his efforts to ensure station agents ar...