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“Nothing is more destructive of respect than passing laws which cannot be enforced. ” –Albert Einstein

Alford Discusses New Measures to End Gangs See Page 22 •

C e l e b r a t i n g 4 8 Ye a r s o f S e r v i c e

Serving More Than 50,000 African American Readers Throughout The Metropolitan Area / Vol. 48, No. 26 Apr. 11 - Apr. 17, 2013

All Power to the People!

Noted activist and educator Angela Davis addresses a crowd, as media and a host of photographers jostle for position around the former UCLA professor who was unjustly implicated in a botched kidnapping attempt more than 40 years ago. A new film about Davis’ experiences during a tumultuous period in America debuted in theaters last week. See Story on Page 23. /Courtesy Photo

Empower DC Lawsuit Lands in Federal Court Activist Says the Fight Has Just Begun By Barrington M. Salmon WI Staff Writer The lawsuit filed in D.C. Superior Court last week by Empower DC has been bumped up to federal court, and a judge there has set a May 10 date to hear arguments as to why he should act on the organization’s legal request.

Empower DC, a local grassroots organization, is seeking to block D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson from closing 15 of the city’s traditional public schools slated to be shuttered by the end of the 2014 academic year.

“The case was moved to federal court because we

raised federal questions,” said Empower DC’s lead attorney Johnny Barnes. “They [lawyers for the District of Columbia Public Schools] thought they could slow it down but the judge was very gracious and set May 10 as the date for the preliminary hearing. He will decide the

case before May 22.” “What you have here is that the government is treating people differently and that’s a prima facie case of discrimination. D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) is treating people of color and special needs students differently from other people, and that is illegal and

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unconstitutional.” Barnes, 64, said that the legal team’s goal is to seek a decision from Judge James Boasberg before May 22. Empower DC is asking the judge to grant them a temporary restraining order and a prelimi-

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Arena Stage Opening Night of Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop

(L-R) Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Federal Judge Gladys Kessler, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, & Molly Smith (Arena Stage Artistic Director)

Arena Stage held their opening night of Katori Hall’s “The Mountaintop”. The play features the last night of Dr. King’s life. Bowman Wright as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Joaquina Kalukano as Camae. The Mountaintop is supported by PEPCO and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts - Art Works. Molly Smith is the Arena State Artistic Director. The play runs thru May 12th.

David Shiffrin (Arena Stage Chairman of the Bd. of Trustees) with Merrill Shugoll (Bd. Membr.)

Below L-R Ken & Carman Amos & Reggie & Doris Brown

The Mountaintop Playwright Katori Hall with Danielle St. Germain-Gordon (Arena Stage Chief Development Dir.) Below: Michele & Allan Berman

(L-R) Tamara Fields, Sue Bresnahan & Jake Brody

Playwright Katori Hall with Debbie Jarvis (VP PEPCO Holdings)

Above: (L-R) Erika Henderson & Sophia Dillon

L-R Judith Batty & Samuel Greer

DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton & Steve Bralove

(L-R) Former DC Mayor Anthony Williams, Diane Williams & Council Membr. Vincent Orange

(L-R) Former Congressman Harold Ford Sr. & Michele Berman (Membr. Arena Bd. of Trustees)

Dr. Lonnie Bunch (Dir. of Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture) with his wife Maria Marable-Bunch Mr. & Mrs. Edgar Dobie (Arena Stage Executive Director) with his (L-R) Yolanda Adams, Wes Smith (Clark Construction Diversity Dir.) & LaFleu Paysour wife Tracy

(L-R) Debbie Jarvis (VP PEPCO Holdings), Anglatete Gyymptt, Felicia Greer, & Karen Lefkowitz

(L-R) “Mickey” Thompson (Publisher of Social Sightings The CoLumn & The MagaZine) With Katori Hall (Playwright “The Mountaintop”

(L-R) The Ross’ & the The Adams with Councilmember Vincent Orange (C)

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Subscribe Kurt Pommonths, Sr, Photographer * Photo Enhancer * Graphic Designer Social Sightings The CoLumn is published in the Hill Rag, DC-Mid City, East of the River & the Washington Informer Social Sightings “IS Everywhere!” 2003 © SOCIAL SIGHTINGS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED — DUPLICATION IN ANY FORM REQUIRES WRITTEN PERMISSION | E-mail

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4/11/2013 4/17/2013 AROUND THE REGION Black Facts Page 6 PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY Pages 12-13 BUSINESS William Reed’s Business Exchange Page 16 COMMENTARIES Pages 21-22 SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS Pages 28-29 RELIGION Lyndia Grant’s Religion Column Page 31

Rodney Stotts, 42, a falconer, handles a Red-Tailed Hawk on Ridge Road in Southeast on Saturday, April 6. Stotts is part of a non-profit that trains inner-city youth about the art of falconry. /Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

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around the region the Cycle of Women Break Gray’s Plan to Expand Domestic Violence Library Funding Lauded By Tia Carol Jones WI Staff Writer

By James Wright When L.Y. Marlow's 23-yearWI daughter Staff Writer old told her the father of her daughter threatened her The to their expand lilife, andproposals the life of child, braryknew branch hours, refurbish she something had to be the central administrative done. Outlibrary of her frustration offices fund otherhandling library with lawand enforcement's Email comments to: of the situation, decided to projects in the she mayor’s 2014 rburke@ start Saving Promise cambudgetthehave drawn widespread paign. support from residents and city “It seems leaders, be a vicious cycle that won't my family D.C. MayorturnVincent Gray loose,” Marlow said. (D) announced his $12.1Marlow billion shared her story with the audibudget for 2014 on March 28 at ence at the District Heights the John A. Wilson Building in Domestic Violence Symposium Northwest. of the proposon May 7 at One the District Heights als would ensure that all branchMunicipal Center. The sympoWe represent victims of major es of the of Columbia sium was District sponsored by the medical malpractice such as Public Library (DCPL)Services system Family and Youth Sandra Robinson Jack Olender cerebral palsy. remain open every that’s Center of the citydayofand District All 5 lawyers were again elected an idea that Terence Green of Heights and the National Hook“Best Lawyers in America” 2012 Up of Black Women.about. Southeast is excited Karen Evans is a nurse/attorney Marlow a book, I think ithasis written beautiful,” said Attorney/Pediatrician Harlow Case Karen Evans Melissa Rhea “Color Me Butterfly,” which isfora Green, 50. “It will be great Robert Chabon, M.D., J.D. is story about four generations of me because I work on Saturday Of Counsel. domestic The bookon is and I canviolence. go to the library inspired by her own experiences, Sunday to do my work.” and those ofthe heronly grandmother, Currently, branch of her mother and her daughter. the D.C. library system that’s She said every time she reads open onfrom Sunday is the she Martin In Memoriam excerpts her book, still Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, Sr. Luther King Jr. Memorial Lican not believe the words came Wilhelmina J. Rolark brary her. in Northwest. effort from “Color Me An Butterfly” The Washington Informer Newspaper to discontinue hours at won the 2007 Sunday National “Best THE WASHINGTON INFORMER PUBLISHER that branch two years ago by Memoriam Books” Award. NEWSPAPER (ISSN#0741-9414) is InDenise Rolark Barnes Dr. Calvin W. Rolark, Sr. Gray, 70,just triggered a backlash published weekly on each Thursday. “I was 16-years-old when Wilhelmina STAFFJ. Rolark Periodicals postage paid at Washingfromeye residents and D.C. and Council my first blackened my ton,THE D.C. and additional mailing of- NEWSPAPER (ISSN#0741-9414) is published WASHINGTON INFORMER lips bled,”Jack Marlow said. members Evans (D-Ward 2) Denise W. Barnes, Editor fices. Newsonand advertising deadlinepostage paid at Washington, D.C. and additional weekly Thursday. Periodicals Elaine Davis-Nickens, and Tommy Wells (D-Wardpresi6). Shantella Assistant Editor mailing prior News and advertising deadlineY.isSherman, Monday prior to publication. is Monday publication. Andent of the National As a result, the mayorHook-Up restored Announcements be received nouncements must must be received two two weeks prior to event. Copyright 2000 by The Ron Burke, Advertising/ Marketing Director of Women, Washington Informer. All rights theBlack Sunday hours.said there is no weeks prior to event. Copyright 2010reserved. POST MASTER: Send change of addressconsistency in the 59, sponsored way domestic es to The Washington Informer, 3117 Martin Luther King,IV, Jr. Ave., S.E. Photo Washington, Lafayette Barnes, Assistant Editor by The Washington Informer. All In 2012, Evans, D.C. 20032.POSTMASTER: No part of this Send publication may be reproduced without written permisviolence issues are by rights reserved. a bill that would dealt have with opened Khalid Naji-Allah, Photographer sion from the publisher. The Informer Newspaper cannotStaff guarantee the return of change of addresses to The Washphotographs. Subscription rates are $30 per year, two years $45. Papers will be received all library branches daily but the ington Informer, 3117 Martin Luther John E. De Freitas, Sports Photo Editor not more than a week after publication. Make checks payable to: legislation didn’t move through King, Jr. Ave., S.E. Washington, D.C. Dorothy Rowley, Online Editor the D.C. Council because of oth20032. No part of this publication may THE WASHINGTON INFORMER be reproduced without written permisYoung, Design & Layout er budgetary issues at the time. 3117 Martin Luther King, Jr.Brian Ave., S.E. • Washington, D.C. 20032 202 561-4100 • Fax: 202 574-3785 sion from the publisher.Phone: The Informer This year, Evans said in a stateAssureTech /, Webmaster Newspaper cannot guaranteeE-mail: the return ment that he worked with Gray of photographs. Subscription rates are Mable Neville, Bookkeeper to get the library hours increased $45 per year, two years $60. Papers will Mickey Thompson, Social Sightings columnist and to get “$8 million toward be received not more than a week after PUBLISHER publication. Make checks payable to: Denise new hours and an additional $2 RolarkPalmer, Barnes Social Media Specialist Stacey million toward new books.” STAFF REPORTERS THE WASHINGTON INFORMER Brooke N. Garner Managing REPORTERS Editor Tia C. Jones, Ed Laiscell, Gray’s other library proposals 3117 Martin Jr. Ave., S.E Carla PeayLuther King, Assistant Managing Editor Odell B. Ruffin, Larry Saxton, include re-furbishing the branchWashington, Ron BurkeD.C. 20032 Advertising and Marketing Mary Wells, Joseph Young Misty Brown, Michelle Phipps-Evans, Phone: 561-4100 es at Cleveland Park in NorthMable202 Whittaker Bookkeeper Eve Ferguson, Elton J. Hayes , Gale Horton Administration PHOTOGRAPHERS Fax:LaNita 202 Wrenn 574-3785 west ($15.2 million), Palisades Salmon, Stacey Palmer, John E. De Freitas Sports Gay, EditorBarrington Lafayette Barnes, IV, in Northwest ($21.7 million) Victor Holt Photo Charles Editor E.John E. De Freitas,Wright, MauriceJoseph Fitzgerald, Sutton ,James Zebra Designs, Inc. Layout & Graphic Young Design Joanne Jackson, Roy Lewis, Robert and Woodbridge in Northeast Ken Harris / Webmaster Ridley, Victor Holt ($4.8 million). The King Library in Northwest – which houses CIRCULATION PHOTOGRAPHERS Paul Trantham the DCPL administrative offices John E. De Freitas, Roy Lewis, – is slated to receive $103 million Khalid Naji-Allah, Shevry Lassiter facelift after decades of neglect from past mayoral administrations. 4 / May 15 - 21, 2008 The Washington Informer / Gray hasn’t included any new taxes or fees in his 2014 budget.

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law enforcement. She said they threat,” she said. had come together to bring a Among the programs Marlow sense of uniformity in the way wants to see implemented are domestic violence victims and stricter restraining order policies, survivors are treated. more rights for victim's families “She's using her own personal to intervene on behalf of a vicstory, her own personal pain to tim, a domestic violence assesspush forward,” Davis-Nickens ment unit coupled with further said about Marlow. training for law enforcement Davis-Nickens said anyone agencies, a Child's Life Protecwho reads Marlow's book will tion Act and mandatory counsel“get it.” She said she “puts the ing for batterers. case in such a way, the average “If we are ever going to eradiperson can get it.” She said at the cate domestic violence, we must end of the day, the book will look at both sides of the coin. help people begin to have a dia- We need to address both the viclogue about domestic violence. tim and the batterer,” Marlow Also present at the event was said. Mildred Muhammad, the exMarlow would also like to see wife of John Allen Muhammad, programs designed to raise who was sentenced to six consec- awareness among children in utive life terms without parole public and private schools. She by a Maryland jury for his role in feels children need to be educatthe Beltway Sniper attacks in ed about domestic violence. 2002. Mildred Muhammad is “We have to stop being pasthe founder of After the Trauma, sive-aggressive with poor chilThe organization Martin Lutherthat Kinghelps Jr. Memorial Library in Northwest to an the dren about domesticis slated violence,” get a $103 of million facelift in Mayor Vincent Gray’s 2014 proposed budget. survivors domestic violence Marlow said. /Photo by Roy Lewis and their children. Marlow has worked to break “I lived in fear for six years. Six the cycle of abuse in her family, years in feartois rely a long It is and is confident thesaid policies she He intends on time. increased for over 20 years,” Pannell, not an easy thing to come out is pushing for will start that revenue from property and sales 61. “We need the libraries open of,” said. with savings from process. taxes,shealong seven days week in policies this ward “I plan to atake these to cityMildred services Muhammad due to declinessaid in so people and can implore come inthem and do people whoin want helpanda Congress to enrollment fostertocare domestic violence victim must change what they need to do. Libraries our laws,” Marlow said. special needs children’s paybe careful of how they go into “I will not stop until these poliments in private schools. He also are good places to be, particularthe victim's life, and understand cies are passed.” ly for young people.” intends tighten the “survival budgets that shetomay be in Tia Carol Jones can be reached of District agencies, specifically at However, there are those who mode”. those that deal withtohealth care. remain on the fence – and could “Before you get 'I'm going mayoritadded to The kill you,' started$100 as amillion verbal goWI either way. to affordable housing programs “There are some benefits for and provided funding to increase the Metropolitan Police Depart- some folks,” said Annette Merment’s force to 4,000 officers cer of Southeast. “The opening while cutting $6 million out of of branches on Sunday will help the city’s arts program.   school children with some last Gray increased the DCPL minute projects that have to be budget by 25 percent in his pro- finished. Honestly, I don’t see a posed budget, a noteworthy dereal need for it but I am not advelopment for an agency that’s verse to it.” used to being given short shrift. Mercer, 55, said that she has Ginnie Cooper, the chief librarian of the DCPL, said that a computer at her home “like Gray’s proposals will benefit most people these days.” District residents. But, that’s not the case for “We are pleased with the pro- Green.  posed budget,” Cooper said. “It “I have no computer at home would allow District residents to use their library every day across so the library is where I go to the city. We are also excited about conduct my job search, do my continuing to explore making banking and other business the [King Library] amazing.”    transactions,” he said. “I realPhilip Pannell, a Ward 8 activist ly look forward toL.Y. Marlow going to my who served on the DCPL board nearest branch, Francis A. Gregof trustees and remains active in forming library support organi- ory [in Southeast], on Sunday bezations in the ward’s branches, cause I can walk there from my said that he was “thrilled” to house instead of having to go hear Gray’s proposal. downtown to the Martin Luther “I have been pushing for this King Library.” wi

We have to stop being passive-aggressive with poor children about domestic violence. I plan to take these policies to Congress and implore them to change our laws. I will not stop until these policies are passed.


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D.C. Political Roundup By James Wright WI Staff Writer

Candidates Debate Returning Citizens’ Issues The candidates for the D.C. Council at-large special election discussed the needs of returning citizens in the District during a forum sponsored by the Re-entry Network for Returning Citizens based in Northeast. The forum, which took place at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library in Northwest on March 30, attracted more than 30 individuals. The candidates who participated included former journalist Elissa Silverman, interim D.C. Council member Anita Bonds, Ward 3 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Matthew Frumin, Ward 1 State Board of Education member Patrick Mara, attorney Paul Zukerberg and community organizer Perry Redd. Former D.C. Council member Michael Brown missed the forum although his attendance had been confirmed. Several days later, the public learned that Brown had decided to pull out of the race. “It is with extreme disappointment that I am announcing my withdrawal from the at-large council race,” Brown, 48, released in a statement that appeared on his website on April 2. “I have some very important personal and family matters that require my immediate attention.” Throughout the two-hour forum, advocates on behalf of returning citizens stayed focused on their specific concerns. Yango Sawyer, co-founder of the Coalition of Returning

izens, queried candidates about D.C. Council member Marion Barry’s (D-Ward 8) recent bill – the Returning Citizens Anti-Discrimination Act of 2012 – that would have essentially outlawed discrimination regarding employment of returning citizens. The bill didn’t pass the D.C. Council in December 2012. Redd, 48, a returning citizen, said that he supports re-introduction of Barry’s bill “… it is the right thing to do” and he was joined by Bonds, 67, and Zukerberg, 55. However, Mara, 38, said that the bill may be a deterrent to businesses that are interested in setting up shop in the District. “We need to look at a better approach to helping returning citizens, such as stressing the importance of family values and workforce development,” he said. Silverman, 40, said that she would add amendments to Barry’s bill “to make sure that returning citizens and employers are both protected.” Frumin, 53, said that he would have further discussions with Barry about the bill before supporting it.”

Budget Autonomy Referendum on the Ballot While the April 23 at-large D.C. Council special election has received the overwhelming attention of the media and political activists, District voters will also vote on whether the city should have budget autonomy from the U.S. Congress. DC Vote in Northwest, an organization dedicated to achiev-

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Eugene Kinlow Jr., of DC Vote, said that it’s time for District residents to determine how to spend their money without congressional interference. /Photo by Lafayette Barnes

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Patrick Mara attended a candidates’ forum at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library in Northwest on March 30. The event was sponsored by the Re-entry Network for Returning Citizens. /Courtesy Photo

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ing full citizenship for District residents, is the main force behind D.C. Home Rule Charter Amendment 8, a referendum that would allow the D.C. Council and the mayor to pass an annual budget and spend its own tax dollars without the approval of Congress. Eugene Kinlow Jr., DC Vote’s public affairs director and a staunch advocate of the referendum, said that the time Denise Rolark Barnes has come to take a stand and tell Independent Beauty Consultant the U.S. Congress and President www.marykay/ Obama how District residents 202-236-8831 feel. “We want to be able to control our own destiny in the District,” said Kinlow, 51. “We should not have to answer to anyone about how we spend our own money. We have the support of the D.C. Council on this, as well as D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and our delegate to the Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton.” If the referendum passes – and it is expected to do so – the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate would have to pass a resolution of disapproval. President Obama would have to sign it within 35 days of the results of the referendum being certified by the D.C. Board of Elections. Kinlow, who lives in Southeast, said that the disap‡ Please set all copy in upper and lowercase, flush left as indicated on artwork at these point sizes: Consultant name in 11-point Helvetica Neue Bo proval resolution is not likely to Beauty Consultant in 9-point Helvetica Neue Light; Web site or e-mail address in 9-point Helvetica Neue Light; phone number in 9-point Helvetica pass because To“ittheisIndependent difficult Beauty for Consultant: Only Company-approved Web sites obtained through the Mary Kay® Personal Web Site program may this Congress to work together” and “based on what I have seen from the Oval Office, the president will not sign it.” wi The Washington Informer

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April 11 1948 – On this day Jackie Robinson signs the contract which would officially make him the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. Robinson became a symbol of pride for Blacks as well as a star player. However, the admitting of Blacks into major league baseball helped bring about the demise of the old Negro Baseball League whose teams had become major economic institutions in cities throughout the nation. April 12 1787 – Famous Black clergymen Richard Allen and Absalom Jordan organize the Free Africa Society which is believed to be the first Black self-help organization or mutual aid society in America. The two, especially Allen, attempted to better life for Blacks through the organization of separate Black controlled institutions. Allen is also the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal church. April 13 1873 – The Colfax Massacre takes place in Grant Parish, Louisiana. Still smarting from the loss of the Civil War and

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enraged by the political powers being given Blacks during Reconstruction, a white paramilitary, terrorist group known as the White League sets out to restore white rule in Louisiana. The spark was a disputed election and a confrontation near the Colfax courthouse between a 60-member sparsely armed Black militia and nearly 300 heavily armed members of the White League. The Blacks took refuge in the courthouse and a gun battle rages for hours leaving three whites dead. Then the whites convince an elderly Black man to sneak into the courthouse and set it afire. As the Blacks escaped the flames, they were either shot or arrested. But even those arrested were later killed. Before the day was over, somewhere between 60 and 100 Blacks were massacred. April 14 1865 – President Abraham Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth and critically wounded at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. Lincoln would linger for several hours but died at 7:22 am the following day April 15th. A debate still rages among historians as to how broad based was the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln. On April 9, 1865, Confederate troops under Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. Later that day, Lincoln gave a speech suggesting that the exslaves be given the right to vote. The speech infuriated Booth and thus the plot to kidnap Lincoln was converted into a plot to assassinate him.

April 15 1899 – Asa Philip Randolph, the organizer of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, is born in Crescent City, Florida. Randolph brought the power of unionism to Black America like no one before or after him. He used his position as the nation’s number one Black union leader to become one of the major civil rights leaders of his era. Randolph helped organized the historic March on Washington during which Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Randolph died on May 16, 1979. April 16 1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill ending slavery in Washington, D.C. Approximately nine months later he would issue the Emancipation Proclamation which had a highly emotional and symbolic impact but actually freed very few slaves when it was first pronounced. The Proclamation targeted slaves in the South. But at the time, Lincoln had virtually no control over the rebellious slave-owning Southern states. April 17 1872 – Activist and fiery journalist William Monroe Trotter is born on this day in Boston, Massachusetts. A close friend of W.E.B. DuBois, Trotter was one of the most militant Black leaders of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. He helped found the Niagara Movement, which led to the establishment of the NAACP. Trotter refused to join the NAACP claiming the group was too moderate and elitist. He was also a leading opponent of the accommodating policies of Booker T. Washington. Trotter’s primary vehicle of expression was his newspaper – the Boston Guardian.

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Viewp int Sharon Peterson Oxon Hill, Md. While I believe that he should have some authority, he shouldn’t have full authority. Giving him more authority will allow him to make a positive difference, and improve the system’s academic reputation. I believe he will set goals to bring in highly qualified professional educators. I believe the fact that he will have more authority will definitely make a positive difference.

Hanna Lawrence Accokeek, Md. I don’t believe that one person should have full control of anything. What if he brings biased opinions and views? By giving him full control, he would have full authority to favor certain schools, areas of Prince George’s County and educators. The state of Maryland and other county officials should be responsible for the Prince George’s County school system. The authority shouldn’t be given solely to just one person.


Norbert Smith Temple Hills, Md. Other school districts in the country have tried this before and have failed. As he’s already serving as the Prince George’s County Executive, I don’t believe he needs to undertake another responsibility, especially one as vast as this. Someone who is impartial, and preferably removed from the area, should be brought in to oversee the administration of the Prince George’s County school system.

Patricia Leggett Suitland, Md. Giving Baker full control of the school system is too much. Especially, considering the condition many of the schools are in. It would be one thing if he served as a school district superintendent in the past, but he’s never served in that role. He doesn’t have the experience. Prince George’s County schools definitely need new direction, but it shouldn’t be given to just anyone without [a] history and experience [in] the position.

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Minnie Cook Oxon Hill, Md. I don’t think he should be given full control of the school system, especially with such a big budget that would be at his disposal. Prince George’s County Schools have been in trouble for quite some time and it’s going to take more than rearranging of elected officials, such as Baker, to solve the problem.

Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013



Empower DC’s Education Director Daniel del Pielago said that shuttering neighborhood schools in black and brown communities has become a national issue that parents are fighting. /Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah




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COURT continued from Page 1 nary injunction. May 22 is the day the D.C. Council votes on the 2014 District budget. “If [the] judge does not grant the temporary restraining order and the preliminary injunction by May 22, it’s a done deal. It is a tight schedule but we will be heard and have an outcome by May 22,” said Barnes. “We’re very pleased with that. Our action would stop DCPS from closing those schools. I think they’d be loathe from doing it again but one doesn’t know what resides in the minds of those people.” The lawsuit is the tip of a contentious, high-stakes power struggle between parents and DCPS over the direction of the city’s traditional public schools. Educators and education advocates across the country are watching the D.C. case closely since this is the first city where opponents of school closings have filed a lawsuit. Barnes also said he’d been contacted by other lawyers who asked to see the filing and he said he hopes they will join in the legal fight. In Chicago, angry parents and frustrated teachers have The Washington Informer

taken to the streets to protest the decision of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and school officials to close 54 elementary schools and save $1 billion over 10 years. Much like the complaints in the District, critics and opponents of Emanuel’s plan accuse school officials of not inviting parental input, putting students at risk by moving them to schools in rival neighborhoods and they add that the proposal will not improve the schools. The battle is being waged in other cities, including Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia and New Orleans, said Empower DC’s Education Director Daniel del Pielago. Northwest-based Empower DC and concerned parents are incensed by Henderson’s January announcement of a decision to close the schools, all of which are located east of Rock Creek Park in Northwest, a historical dividing line in the District between whites and blacks, the wealthy and the working class in the city. Barnes said it’s obviously discriminatory when public schools east of the Park are closed because of under-enrollment while schools west of the park and near Capitol Hill were kept open when

their enrollment numbers dipped significantly a number of years ago. “With the lawsuit, we’re going to let that take its course. We’re working with parents to see what they want to do,” said del Pielago during an interview on Saturday, April 6. “I’m at a conference with the American Federation of Teachers … looking at national actions along the same issues. We’re looking at joining forces. I’ve been telling people now it’s national. There is still a lot of resistance. Parents still want to fight to make sure schools stay open.” Del Pielago, 39, said outside of the lawsuit, the focus remains on strategic planning, providing information and support and the political education of parents. “We’re letting folks know that this is a long, hard fight,” he said. “We have to be organized and strong on a national level to be contenders in this fight – define who and what we are.” Tamara Gorham’s 13-yearold son is confined to a wheelchair and is an 8th-grader at Sharpe Health School See COURT on Page 9

around the region

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Johnny Barnes. /Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

COURT continued from Page 8 in Northwest. The school is one of the 15 on the chopping block. “I’m not happy at all. It’s very disturbing because a lot of factors have not been considered,” said Gorham, a medical receptionist at Children’s National Medical Center in Northwest. “The school is close to Children’s Hospital. Transportation, the way it’s structured, and loading and unloading children in wheelchairs are not a problem at Sharpe.” Gorham, 39, said Henderson and other school officials did not consult with parents, Sharpe administrators, teachers or aides before deciding to move students to River Terrace Elementary School in Southeast. She fears the disruption the move will cause the children, and expressed concern that River Terrace residents may be resistant to Sharpe students being relocated there. “It makes me go wild thinking about it,” she said, as she tried to contain her irritation. “Plans have been made already. They never asked what properties would work best for us. They need to halt all plans, get with us and let us tell them what we need. We have a beautiful garden, a playground, and a brand new therapeutic pool for the children. They’re telling us to make do.” Gorham said Sharpe has caring and attentive teachers’ aides “who have been with our kids for many years” who will have to re-apply for their jobs. She said newcomers will likely not do what current staff does routinely such as

wiping a child’s mouth, or a ‘trach’, or wiping and changing soiled clothes. “We have presented different options to them [DCPS]. They should combine Mamie D. Lee and Sharpe,” she said. “They’ve thrown out so many excuses. Let us tell you where, let us tell you what we need. It’s not fair, it’s inconsiderate; they’re not thinking about my child’s safety, and they’re not listening.” “They just say, ‘they’re all retarded, put them in the back away from everything. They’re not giving us a lot of information; they have not been forthcoming. It’s not fair and it’s not right.’” Del Pielago and a chorus of critics in D.C. and elsewhere, continue to insist that businesses that created tests, the corporate interests behind school reform and charter schools are about making money. In that quest, he said, they are also taking advantage of minority communities. “This is all about the money,” said del Pielago. “We’re not seeing communities having access or input into the decision-making process. We’re hearing this around the country. [DCPS] says it is working with the community … but I’m not holding my breath.” “A lot of threads are unraveling. The way this corporate education reform is going, it’s not working. There’s a great deal of resistance. I think we’re going to have a shift in thinking. We’re working with folks around the country who are committed to fighting. There are very high stakes – either we lose or we keep neighborhood schools. Yeah, the fight is on,” del Pielago said.wi

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African-American leaders hosted a press conference to urge President Barack Obama to end the War on Drugs, on April 4, the 45th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. /Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

Black Leaders Urge Obama to End War on Drugs Recommend Investing in Black Communities By Michelle Phipps-Evans WI Staff Writer African-American leaders recently announced a day of direct action to pressure President Barack Obama to end the longstanding War on Drugs, which historically led to the mass incarceration of young black men and women; and to instead invest in jobs, economic development and social programs in black communities. “To say we’re disappointed in some of the policies of this president is not an understatement,” said Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), an advocacy organization based in New York. “We’re disappointed in his stance on the War on Drugs. This is his second term. What’s he waiting for?” Daniels convened a press conference on April 4 at the National Press Club in Northwest to bring attention to the upcoming day of action on Monday, June 17, the 42th anniversary of the War on Drugs. More than 30 individuals attended the press conference in the Zenger Room to show their support for the upcoming day of action. Daniels has enlisted a group to spread the word. Leading up to the day of action, faith leaders and other community organizers will educate congregations and the community in the greater Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md.,

10 Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013

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areas to mobilize participants to take part in a rally at Lafayette Park near the White House. The IBW, a national network of scholars and advocates, believes the War on Drugs is actually a “War on Us,” a racially biased policy and strategy, the “New Jim Crow,” which has devastated black families nationwide. This war led to policing tactics such as the stop-and-frisk programs, tougher and unequal sentencing for drug possession, and mass incarcerations. The mass incarcerations subsequently led to higher levels of joblessness, underemployment, crime, violence and fratricide within communities of color, said Daniels, a lecturer at York College, City University of New York. There was, in fact, a different philosophy when it came to policing largely African-American communities years ago, said Ronald Hampton, a 20-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department. Hampton, who has since retired from the police department, and focuses much of his energy on educational issues, said a double standard, existed. “It wasn’t written policy in terms of what they wanted us to do, but it was an unwritten policy,” said Hampton, a native Washingtonian and Ward 4 resident. “There were brutal civil rights violations in our community. But when we were fighting crime in Ward 3, these oppressive tactics were not [utilized].” Hampton said that in poorer

communities, residents weren’t involved in solving crimes; but in affluent ones, there was an emphasis on “community policing.” “Poor people don’t complain,” he said. “It’s part of the environment and part of public policy.” Hampton, who is a member of a justice collaborative, including IBW, made his comments following the press conference on April 4, the 45th anniversary of the death of civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The justice collaborative comprises social justice, drug and criminal reform advocates, organizations that have partnered with IBW to ensure that the day of direct action is a success. “What’s the real War on Drugs all about?” asked Dr. Divine Pryor, executive director for the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions, the only think tank in the U.S., led by formerly incarcerated individuals. “When you launch a war, there’s an enemy. There’s a choice to criminalize addiction, which the American Medical Association has diagnosed as a disease.” Forty-two years after President Richard Nixon declared a War on Drugs, to halt drug trafficking in the United States, Daniels said the policy has disproportionately targeted people of color. It was a decision to use “zero tolerance,” paramilitary policing

See DRUGS on Page 11


“To say we’re disappointed in some of the policies of this president is not an understatement. We’re disappointed in his stance on the War on Drugs. This is his second term. What’s he waiting for?” – Dr. Ron Daniels

Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, held a press conference at the National Press Club in Northwest on April 4 to discuss the War on Drugs. /Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

DRUGS continued from Page 10 strategies, “get tough” laws and mandatory sentencing to pacify “out of control” Black communities, rather than focus on so-

cial, racial and economic justice, Daniels said. According to IBW’s research, African Americans comprise an estimated 15 percent of drug users and account for 27 percent of those arrested on drug

charges, 59 percent of those convicted, and 74 percent of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. The press conference was convened on the heels of the Good Friday silent march and rally led by the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Northwest to increase awareness of the disproportionate arrest rates of African Americans. Daniels is hopeful that the increased public pressure on the “state of emergency in black America,” will encourage President Obama to move on the “manifesto,” the collaborative will present in June.

The group wants the president to intensify efforts to eliminate disparities in sentencing between powdered and crack cocaine; to issue an Executive Order terminating the War on Drugs and replace it with an initiative that treats drug addiction as a public health concern; to issue an Executive Order ending the use of incarcerated persons as prison labor; to publicly support decriminalization of the possession of small quantities of marijuana; and to form a presidential commission to initiate a national dialogue on the regulation and taxation of drugs. In terms of paying a debt to

society, Courtney Stewart, chair of the nonprofit, the Reentry Network for Returning Citizens, said there’re many different categories of crime that shouldn’t be lumped together. “Nobody’s saying that crime isn’t a problem in our community,” said Stewart, 50. “But we have to look at the broader issue of crime in understanding that not all are the same. Some people are only associated with others, and they all get put together. Many were previously incarcerated for non-violent and minor offenses yet face tremendous difficulties in rebuilding their lives.” wi

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Lawmakers Vote to Overhaul County Schools By Gale Horton Gay WI Staff Writer Say goodbye to the status quo. Maryland legislators decided to shake things up in Prince George’s County Public Schools and on April 6 the House of Delegates voted 81-45 to approve major changes to the management structure of the school system. The school system’s next superintendent will be chosen by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and that individual will go by a different title – chief executive officer (CEO). “This legislation creates an environment where the new CEO can be successful, and it is imperative that our new school leader has the support of our county leadership,” said Baker. Once signed by Gov. Martin

O’Malley and the law goes into effect June 1, a three-member commission – appointed by the governor and the state superintendent of schools – will begin the process to find the new school system leader. After the commission choses three finalists, Baker will select the individual he determines is best for the job. The county executive will also have the power to appoint three additional school board members and the chair and vice chair of the board. The county council will appoint one board member. Despite this new authority given to the county executive, Baker advocated for a more drastic overhaul of the top level of the school administration system. The tug of war over whether the next superintendent would continue to report to the school board or to the county executive

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III (D), center, confers with Christian Rhodes, his education policy advisor, during Baker’s testimony before members of the Prince George’s County House of Delegates in Annapolis on March 23. /Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah

that went before the General Assembly has put the brakes on the school board’s superintendent search process that began last September. It also has resulted in a loss of confidence by the three finalists who were vying for the

Prince George’s County April 27 at Watkins Regional Park Washington, D.C. May 4 at Nationals Park Sign up and start fundraising today For more information on all local walk sites, please visit

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county schools top job. Eric Becoats, superintendent of Durham Public Schools, withdrew on April 2. The school board announced on April 5 both Harrison Peters, chief of Chicago Public Schools, and Alvin L. Crawley, who has been serving as interim superintendent of Prince George’s County Public Schools since September 2012 and previously was deputy chief of programming for the District’s public schools, also withdrew from consideration. “Due to the disruption that occurred with this process and the uncertainty of the leadership of the school system in the coming months, we accept and understand why these highly qualified candidates have withdrawn,” according to the school board press release. In Crawley’s two-page letter to the board, he said that when he arrived in the county there was “uncertainty in leadership” and now “the search process for superintendent and the envisioned direction for the school system have changed, in mid-stream.” “I was fully prepared to provide the stable long-term leadership required, but with the changing conditions, I can no longer do so,” wrote Crawley, who will step down June 30 when his contract ends. Verjeana Jacobs, chair of the school board, said the board has suspended its superintendent search efforts. Jacobs called it “disingenuous” for the board not to be involved in the search under the new law. She said she didn’t know if information gathered by the search firm that identified the finalists would be used by the commission or if the candidates would be interested in being considered again. Jacobs said there is much uncertainty about how the new structure

will work. “At the end of the day our main focus will continue to be our kids,” said Jacobs. Another potential problem is timing. By law, schools must have a superintendent in place by July 1. However the new law doesn’t go into effect until June 1, leaving a 30-day window for the identification and selection of the new schools CEO. Jacobs added Prince George’s County will have a structure that doesn’t exist elsewhere in the country, noting that the school board will not select the new school chief but will be expected to confirm that individual. Also the new leader will make decisions without getting approval from the board first. However if two-thirds of the board disagrees with his or her actions, they can vote to appeal those decisions, she said. Currently the superintendent makes recommendations and the board approves or rejects those recommendations. The new approach automatically will create tension between the schools CEO and the board, she said. “It’s hard to conceptualize exactly how it’s going to work,” said Jacobs of working with the new schools CEO now that the board has no input. Both Baker and Jacobs said they are committed to working together. Baker said he is pleased with the outcome and is now focused on moving forward. “Now, our task is to identify the CEO who will provide the roadmap for building a top-notch school system that provides our children with a great education,” he said. wi

Legislature Approves Strict Gun Laws By Gale Horton Gay WI Staff Writer The Maryland General Assembly has strengthened the state’s gun laws, making them some of the toughest in the country. Last week, the legislature approved what is being called a “comprehensive public safety package” that bans the sale of military-style assault weapons and limits high-capacity magazines to 10 rounds. It also requires fingerprints for future handgun purchases and sets restrictions on possession of firearms and ammunition by persons prohibited due to prior criminal offenses and mental health disqualifications. Gov. Martin O’Malley, whose administration sponsored the legislation following the ele-

mentary school massacre in Connecticut last year, praised it as “striking a balance between protecting the safety of law enforcement and our children, and respecting the traditions of hunters and law-abiding citizens to purchase handguns for self-protection.” Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who led town hall meetings throughout the state on public safety issues and testified alongside the governor on the proposal, called the legislation “an essential tool.” “As leaders, we have a responsibility to keep Maryland safe; to prevent senseless violence from threatening our collective potential – violence that takes our children from us too soon and destroys our neighborhoods,” said Brown. O’Malley is expected to sign the bill into law within days.


Gov. Martin O’Malley. /Courtesy Photo

Just days after Maryland lawmakers agreed to the tougher gun control laws, President Barack Obama traveled to Hartford, Conn., not far from the site of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December 2012 that took the lives of 20 children and six adults, to rally

support for gun control measures. The president addressed an audience at the University of Hartford, about 50 miles from Newtown on Monday, April 8 and expressed his feelings about gun control. “This is not about me. This is not about politics. This is about doing the right thing.” The U.S. Senate is set to de-

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bate gun control. The Firearms Safety Act of 2013 was passed in the Maryland Senate 28-19 on April 4. It was approved and sent along by the House of Delegates with numerous modifications the day before. The act also establishes information sharing among federal and state partners for background checks, improvement in mental health services in Maryland and the establishment of a Department of Health and Mental Hygiene-led task force to improve continuity of care for individuals in the community mental health system. “Governor O’Malley has a history of driving down violent crime by focusing on strategies that work,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. “I commend the governor and the General Assembly for focusing on commonsense initiatives that will make our families, our neighborhoods and our communities safer.” Not everyone favors Maryland

See LEGISLATION on Page 14

Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013


PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY LEGISLATION continued from Page 13 gun control measures. Some members of the General Assembly opposed the bill calling it an infringement on Second Amendment rights and saying it targets and hurts law-abiding citizens. Other lawmakers said it

was pulled together too quickly. On the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action website, O’Malley’s efforts to gain support for new gun control laws were called “deceptive tactics and political bullying.” However, local law enforcement leaders give it two thumbs up.

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“From a law enforcement perspective, we know that commonsense reforms like requiring licenses to purchase handguns work,” said Jim Johnson, chief of Baltimore County’s Police Department and chair of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence.wi

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Collapse of Caribbean Regional Group Not a Good Sign By Saaed Shabazz Special to the Informer from The Final Call The 15-member Community of Caribbean States and Common Market (CARICOM) released a report in the first week of March stating that the 40-year-old regional integration movement could come to an end because of poor financing, dissatisfaction and the ongoing world economic crisis. CARICOM’s Guyana-based secretariat noted that the regional bloc formed in 1973 to promote trade and close political and economic ties between member states could collapse by 2017. “There is a danger of CARICOM collapsing but not because of external pressures so much as the weakness and lack of vision of regional political elites who are unwilling to pool their individual national sovereignty into a strong regional grouping,” said Dr. Norman Girvan, Ph.D. in economics, and professor emeritus at the University of the West Indies Graduate School of International Relations in Trinidad, in an e-mail message to The Final Call. “Caribbean nations need to unite their efforts and their economies to promote food self-sufficiency, develop renewable energy, promote transport linkages between themselves and build trade, investment and technical cooperation with Latin America, Africa and emerging economies of Asia,” Prof. Girvan added. A Feb. 22 announcement out of Montego Bay, Jamaica after a four-day high-level session of CARICOM transport ministers demonstrates what some observers call the “political will” needed to keep the regional bloc intact and relevant. Participants committed to providing means and support for marine environmental research, monitoring and evaluation, and maintaining ecological integrity of the marine and coastal waters of the Caribbean Sea. Analysts say the Jamaica 2013 symposium draft resolution will determine the way forward for the marine industry. According

to the resolution, the agreement of a Caribbean maritime policy shows that leaders understand the importance of maritime transport services for the movement of goods and services to the people in the region. “The bad economic conditions are forcing political leaders towards political and economic unity—to the building of self-sustaining mechanisms based on regional industries,” said David Commissiong, a Barbados–based attorney, political activist, Pan Africanist and critic of U.S. hegemony. He explained to The Final Call that the old developmental paradigms “have come to an end. The way forward is not less integration or less unity,” he said. On July 4, 2012, President Desire Delano Bouterse of the Republic of Suriname speaking to heads of government of CARICOM as the outgoing chairman, said, “Unity and solidarity are the real cornerstones towards our success—unwavering solidarity and determination must be the driving force in our community as well as in our region.” Last March, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, of the Nation of Islam, speaking at a press conference in Port of Spain, Trinidad, called for Caribbean unity in order for the region to survive. “At this critical moment in history, the West Indies must not be marginalized,” Min. Farrakhan said. The Muslim leader also noted that Caribbean nations could not continue to seek help from international lenders such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Min. Farrakhan called for an independent Caribbean Development Bank. A Western-controlled development bank for regional nations was downgraded twice in 2012 by Standard and Poor because borrowing governments were unable to pay their bills. A review of the CIA Factbook for several Caribbean nations illustrates vividly Min. Farrakhan’s concerns: Jamaica with a population of 2.8 million people has an external debt of $14.6 billion; 16.5 percent of Jamaicans live

below the poverty line and the unemployment rate is 14.2 percent. Youth unemployment is 27.1 percent. According to an article in Huntington News.Net, Jamaica is awaiting the approval of a new $750 million loan from the IMF. Barbados with a population of 287,733 people has an external debt of $4.49 billion. Overall unemployment is 11.2 percent, youth 26.2 percent. Belize with a population of 327,719 has an external debt of $1.4 billion. Unemployment for youth is 19.5 percent, overall 13.1 percent and with the region’s second highest

per capita income, four out of 10 people live in poverty. Tiny Antigua & Barbuda, with a population of 89,018, has an external debt of $458 million, while youth unemployment is 19.9 percent and overall unemployment 11 percent. How can the region with a population of over 15 million and vast natural resources such as oil, gas, diamonds, gold, bauxite, financial services, fisheries, agriculture, forestry and potential for renewable energy right itself ? “What is needed?” asks Mr. Commissiong rhetorically. “CARICOM needs to rethink its

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direction—a need to deepen our integration in the region—needs to be a greater emphasis on developing our own structures of production,” he said. wi

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By William Reed one,” 24 percent said, the National Action Network and MSNBC’s Rev. Al Sharpton, 11 percent said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and eight percent said NAACP President Ben Jealous. Here is a list of problems we say are facing African Americans and need attention: 1.) The lingering effects of slavery and racism continue to confound African Americans in all phases of their lives. A biased and institutional system of discrimination continues to exist, that no one, neither Black nor White, will admit. 2.) The lack of equal economic opportunity.  The “last hired, first fired” truism still applies for Blacks in America. In daily American conversations, everyone accepts double-digit Black unemployment rates as “normal.” 3.) Breakdown of the family. Seventy percent of Black children are born to unwed mothers. This is a persistent problem and the welfare aid associated with it reduces the value of Black men. 4.) The high incarceration rate of Black men. Agitation, protest activity, and legislation is needed toward healing incarcerated addicts, or in our communities, decriminalizing some drugs and reducing jail time served will return millions of Blacks to their families. 5.) Low expectations of political parties and elected officials. Black leaders and liberal academics do not criticize President Obama for “mediocre” outreach and/or attention to Black problems.  Nor, define “what they want” in their leadership. 6.) Failure of urban K-12 schools. Teachers, unions and the education establishment have been more interested in salary increases and grants than student achievement, testing, and competition from private schools. The failure of urban schools is not attributable to a lack of government

funding. 7.) Building economic development centers in inner-city areas that have high minority populations. 8.) Focused government efforts on unemployment of Black youth, particularly in high crime urban centers. 9.) College loan and grant assistance for those in college, in addition, loan forgiveness or aid for those that complete college. 10.) A highly focused look at the War on Drugs, and the unfair application of crack cocaine sentencing disparities. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, race matters. As you go about daily life, take this truism from Frederick Douglass with you: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” With a Black man in the White House, the majority of African Americans have lost the art of protest, dissention, and promoting a “grievance agenda.” The “race question” is downplayed by Blacks who gave 96 percent of their votes to President Obama without any reservations. Blacks are at the lowest rung of American economics, yet what they get, or want, in return for their support of Obama is in question. Most Blacks benignly accept Obama’s indifference to them as “the price we have to pay” to have a Black in the White House. But, Brother Barack tends to avoid Blacks. If you’ve been keeping count, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has been spending more time with Blacks than President Obama.  Obama should do more for Black people – not because he is Black but because Black people are the citizens suffering most. Black people have every right to make demands – not because they’re Black but because they gave him a greater percentage of their votes than any other group, and he owes his presidency to them. Like any president, he should be constantly pressured to put the issue of racial injustice front and center. Obama’s practices and policies hardly represent the views, or needs, of African Americans, but politics forces them to continue to accept the status quo of an institutional system of racism. wi (William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for speaking/ seminar projects via


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Sequester Hits Federal Court System Hard

African Americans Suffer Most, Say Public Defenders By Stacy M. Brown WI Contributing Writer Six days a week, Brandon Bassett follows the same routine – he never deviates – he sticks to a script. Out of bed by 5:30 a.m., dressed by 6 a.m., and, following a quick bite to eat, his sister, Patricia Myers, drives him to work at a restaurant in Northwest Washington, D.C. “If my sister can’t take me to work, I call a taxi, even though I really can’t afford one,” Bassett said. After spending the better part of his adult life in prison, Bassett, 39, explained that he simply cannot trust anyone other than his older sister to drive him to work. More than a decade ago, Bassett accepted a ride to his job from an acquaintance, who unbeknownst to him, had previously arranged a drug deal with a person who turned out to be an undercover agent. He took the hit. Jailed 14 years ago on federal drug charges, at the age of 25, Bassett is concerned that the sequester, which is decimating the federal public defender’s office, will unjustly cost others long prison terms. “It’s bound to happen now that the public defender’s office is facing layoffs and other cuts to their resources,” said Bassett who lives in Southeast Washington, D.C.

“First, people cannot afford high-powered lawyers and only high-powered lawyers or the best public defenders can help you in court,” he said. “They helped me even though I went to prison for something I really should not have, but the deck was stacked [against me].” The proverbial deck now appears insurmountable, Bassett said, because the $85 billion in spending cuts that have come with the March 1 sequester, greatly impacts the public defender’s office. Locally, attorneys and personnel in the federal public defender’s office are being laid off or furloughed because of the cuts, which are stifling the judicial system. Now, the scales of justice are more out of balance than ever, particularly for African Americans who continue to be the primary guests of various states in federal prisons throughout the country. “The scales of justice were already tipped, particularly along racial lines,” said Michael Nachmanoff, the federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia, which includes Alexandria, Richmond and Norfolk. The forced cuts have not only stripped Nachmanoff ’s office of lawyers, but also many of the resources it needs to help investigate cases and clear innocent defendants. The United States Attor-

ney’s Office, which prosecutes defendants who are charged with federal crimes, isn’t experiencing the same level of cuts and difficulties as the public defender’s office, said Nachmanoff, 44. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office already has at its investigative disposal, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Justice, state, and local law enforcement investigators, so it is our office that suffers because of these cuts,” he said. In Washington, D.C., employees in the federal public defender’s office are being forced to take as many as 27 days of unpaid leave by Oct. 1 due to the sequester. In Northern Virginia, the cuts currently are forcing up to three weeks of furloughs. “This is terrible. The reduction in pay and the cutbacks are affecting everyone’s work in the office,” said A.J. Kramer, the federal public defender for the District of Columbia. In Maryland, where cases already have been turned down that involved the hiring of expert witnesses or those that require extensive travel, public defenders this week have started to take up to 15 furlough days – which will be staggered throughout the year. “It’s a sad day for our justice system,” said Maryland Public Defender James Wyda, 47.

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NATIONAL DEFENDER continued from Page 17 Ironically, the cuts coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Gideon Decision, a landmark federal court case that provided and continues to provide defendants with the right to have an attorney appointed to them regardless of their ability to pay for legal representation. “While they are celebrating that decision, the government is trying to eviscerate the system with these cuts,” said Kramer, 38. Despite the cuts, the government remains on the hook for the legal costs incurred by low-income defendants. “The cuts make no sense because, in some cases the government has to pay these private attorneys more than

it would cost to have my office represent the defendants,” Kramer said. Nationally, up to 2,000 court staffers are threatened with layoffs and furloughs because of the spending cuts, said Dennis Courtland Hayes, president of the American Judicature Society in Des Moines, Iowa, which works to preserve and improve the legal system. Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan said the sequester cuts, “Strikes at the heart of our entire system of justice and spreads throughout the country.” “The longer the sequestration stays in place, the more severe will be its impact on the courts and those who use them,” said Hogan, 75, the director of the Administrative Office of the Courts in Washington, D.C.

2nd Annual

James Forman, Jr., a professor at Yale Law School and the son of the late civil rights leader, James Forman. /Courtesy Photo

Further, Nachmanoff said, private attorneys may not be as equipped as his office is to

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handle the cases or specific issues that may come up during a trial. “Some private firms don’t have the resources, the time or even the experience for many of these cases that we get,” said Nachmanoff, who recently turned down a death penalty case because his office simply didn’t have the resources for the trial, he said. The sequester and its impact on the justice system is certain to be felt by blacks, who already make up a larger portion of the prison population than they did at the time of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, said James Forman Jr., a professor at Yale Law School and the son of the late civil rights leader, James Forman. “Their lifetime risk of incarceration has doubled,” said Forman, 46. “As the United States has become the world’s largest jailer and its prison population has exploded, black men have been particularly affected,” Forman said. “Today, black men are imprisoned at 6.5 times the rate of white men,” he said. Nachmanoff said his office at one time “represented thousands of people charged with federal crack cocaine offenses, 82 percent of whom were African American,” he said. The young public defender worked to change federal sentencing guidelines, which led to the immediate release of 1,500 small-time crack dealers. “The severity of crack cocaine penalties based on drug type was unjustified and unfair, and had a disproportionate

impact on African Americans, which created the widely held perception that the penalty structure promotes unwarranted disparity between races,” Nachmanoff said. Prior to the new guidelines being enacted in 2010, he said sentences imposed for crack were up to six times longer than for powdered cocaine. Under the old guidelines, a person found with five grams of crack received a mandatory minimum sentence of five years while another person with 500 grams of powdered cocaine received the same sentence. The discrepancy in sentencing runs the gamut. Whites serve a mean sentence of 79 months for violent felony offenses while sentencing for blacks are 107 months for the same offenses, according to a report issued by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in Washington, D.C. Additionally, whites serve a mean sentence of 23 months for felony weapons offenses while blacks serve a mean sentence of 36 months for the same crimes. Overall, whites in prisons nationwide serve a mean time of 40 months, as compared to 58 months for blacks. “This was one of the great stains on our federal criminal justice system,” Nachmanoff said. “The sequester threatens to create even more inequity for African Americans.” wi

Education Briefs Prince George’s County Public Schools: Baker: ‘June 1 Schools Takeover a Good Compromise’ Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker said during an April 8 broadcast interview that a bill that makes him accountable for the outcome of public education in the county is a good compromise that should move forward for Gov. Martin O’Malley’s approval. While Baker’s historic proposal to be made accountable for the progress of the county’s 125,000 students has been adopted, it apparently caught many off guard during a recent late session of the General Assembly in Annapolis. “It’s a big deal and I asked that the General Assembly hold the county executive accountable for improving education,” said Baker, “and right now under the structure that we have, we give $1.7 billion to the school system.” Baker added that while his request is not the bill that he submitted to the

General Assembly, it equates to a good compromise. “It gives me what I want, which is more accountability and the ability to use all of the resources of the government to help move our education system forward,” Baker said. He added that his request to take over the school system – which passed in the Assembly on April 6 in a vote of 81-45 – also keeps in place, the school board, allowing its members to focus on both academic achievement and the budget.

District of Columbia Public Schools: DCPS Prepares for Summer School Program, SYEP Involvement With the regular school term coming to an end in a about six weeks, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) officials are making several improvements to the centrally-run Kindergarten through 8th-grade Summer School program. Plans call for inviting certain students to enroll who will benefit most from the pro-

/Courtesy Photo

gram based on their progress in reading during the school year. In this regard, parents and guardians of students in grades K-8, will receive letters of invitation to register their children. Enrollment for K-8 Summer School is online this year. Parents and guardians can go to the following link to register their children to participate

in this program: DCPS/summer13. Summer Bridge Program DCPS will follow up on the success of last year’s Summer Bridge program by offering the program at selected high schools. The number of sites is being expanded to strengthen the connections between students and the high schools they will attend, with the program focusing on high school readiness and academic support in

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mathematics and literacy. Summer Youth Employment Program DCPS’s partnership with the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) allows students experience in connection with job, college and career readiness, as well as to earn money during participation. However, students who are not involved in SYEP can earn an elective credit toward graduation if they satisfy the program’s requirements. wi

Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013




CBOs Need Funding and Support Darius Cannon is described as a quiet 16-year old who liked nice things and avoided trouble. His mother said she did her best to keep him inside and away from the dangers that lurked in his Woodland Terrace neighborhood in Southeast. Yet, her attempts proved futile last Sunday night when Darius was shot and killed on his way home from his girlfriend’s house around midnight marking the first murder of a teen in the District in 16 months. Ward 8 school board member Trayon White, who struggles to maintain a mentoring program called Helping Inner City Kids Succeed, in the very neighborhood where Darius lived, told reporters that Darius, a student at Anacostia, had been enrolled in his program for the past three years. Like so many other small community based organizations, White’s program targets ground zero in neighborhoods where the real problems of youth truancy, violence, drug abuse and teen pregnancy, among other ills, are kindled. Darius’ mom apparently supported him in his extracurricular activities and possibly welcomed the help that a mentoring group like White’s provided. Yet, that kind of support or the programs that provide support systems are suffering due to the lack of funding by District lawmakers. The fact that the District’s teenage homicide rate was successfully reduced is not only due to the work of D.C. police, but the significant trouble-shooting of community based organizations that focused their efforts on ground zero in neighborhoods across the city, must not be overlooked. That’s the message behind the frustration White expressed when he told The Washington Post, that he can get money in an instant from a city program for a funeral, but he can’t help those who want to go to college. “There needs to be resources allocated to ensure our future has a chance,” White said. Mayor Gray’s $15 million One City Fund, coupled with effective training and management support, should allow community based organization to continue making a difference in troubled neighborhoods across the District. Darius’ life should not have ended so soon, and groups want help to stop more senseless murders.

Parents Take a Stand To their credit, everyone who objects to the school closure plan put forward by D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson is fighting back. Add a lawsuit to the protests, petitions, marches and other demonstrations of displeasure. Empower DC has given Washington, D.C., the distinction of being the first group in the country to file a lawsuit to put a brake on the closures. A look at cities around the country shows that District parents are not alone in their fight to preserve neighborhood public schools. Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans and Philadelphia are among the municipalities where school officials have announced that they’re planning to close schools. And parents have marched, met, argued with, coaxed and cajoled school administrators to reverse course. To date, it’s clear that parents who organize and present a plan have the best chance of stemming this tide. Meanwhile, parents who’ve waited have found themselves mowed over by the school reform juggernaut. A federal court judge will decide soon if the Empower DC lawsuit has merit. If he rules in favor of Empower DC, he could dampen the drive to close schools. One question that Henderson needs to answer is why, if as it’s been forecast that more than 30,000 children will be entering District public schools over the next five to nine years, that she is intent on closing one-tenth of the public schools in the city? Won’t there be a need for buildings to house these new students? It is unanswered questions like these which lend credence to the fear that traditional public schools are being sacrificed at the altar of public charter schools. Lost in the acrimony and the push and pull between angry adults are the children. The over-reliance on testing has produced an environment where children are forced-fed information to pass an exam. That is not learning. In the 21st century, our schools, as well as parents, must use every resource to prepare our children for a challenging, complex, digital-driven world.

20 Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013

Remembering Septima Clark

I am a faithful reader of the Washington Informer and love the wonderful articles you provide on a weekly basis. But every once in a while there’s an story in the paper that sparks something in me, that makes me want to know more about the subject, the time, and the history. The article by Dr. Thandekile Mvusi, “Remembering Septima …” in the April 4, 2013 edition is that kind of article. I must admit, I had never heard of Septima, and I’m probably not the only one. What a fascinating and courageous individual Septima Poinsette Clark must have been. Now, I want to know more about her and the work that she did during that volatile time in our history. We must continue to write our own history, and we must continue to shine a spotlight on those who worked for the rights of all people, but especially black people in America. Ruben McGee Washington, D.C.

Bring Jobs Along with the Ward 8 Renaissance

In the article, “Barry, Gray: Ward 8 is on the Move,” by Barrington M. Salmon, which appeared in the April 4, 2013 edition, everyone seemed to be touting all of the development coming to Ward 8. Well, what about jobs? I mean jobs for the current residents of Ward 8. What good is developing the ward if the residents still can’t find any work? Don’t the mayor and the rest of his partners recognize that we know the drill? It’s the same one that has taken place all over the city: They erect new buildings, new companies set up shop, new restaurants open, and new homes are under construction. All of this attracts new residents, but there are no new jobs for the residents who have lived in the ward for decades, that’s what they do. Jobs and job training are what we need. How can we be more independent if we don’t have jobs? Without training we will continue to be told we are not

qualified when we apply for the jobs that are coming to Ward 8. Let us know when there are going to be job fairs at all of these new construction sites; that’s what we want to hear. Let us be a part of this so called wonderful and exciting time rather than just standing on the sidelines watching it happen all around us. Darryl M. Hancock Washington, D.C.

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Guest Columnist

By Julianne Malveaux

The Burden of Unemployment Unemployment rates were “little changed” in March 2013 – they were either holding steady or dropping by a tenth of a percentage point or so. The unemployment rate dropped from 7.7 to 7.6 percent representing a steady, if painstakingly slow, decrease. This declining unemployment rate was reported with some circumspection because even as the rate dropped, nearly half a million people left the

labor market, presumably because they could not find work. Further, in March, the economy generated a scant 88,000 jobs, fewer than in any of the prior nine months. An economy that many enjoy, describing as “recovering,” has not yet recovered enough to generate enough jobs to keep up with population increases. Of course, there are variations in the unemployment rate, which is 6.7 percent for Whites, but 13.3 percent for African Americans. Hidden unemployment

pushes the actual White rate up to 13.8 percent and the Black rate to 24.2 percent. More than 4.6 million Americans have been out of work for more than 27 weeks. I parse these numbers on the first Friday of each month and note the vacillations in these rates. In the past four years, we have seen a downward drift in rates, but it neither been as rapid or as inclusive as we might like. We know that, in spite of talk of economic recovery, job creation is stagnant, not keeping up with

Guest Columnist

increases in the population. In no month have we created the 300,000 jobs we need to “catch up” and push unemployment rates down. We should pay attention to unemployment vacillations, but we might also consider the human cost of unemployment. Those who are unemployed experience malaise, displacement, and often depression. This malaise, or worse, affects dynamics in families, workplaces, and communities. Some workers exhale when

they dodge the bullet of a layoff. Next, they inhale when they realize that, thanks to layoffs, their workload will increase. In families and communities, the unemployment of just one person has a series of unintended costs for those close to them. Speaking to the National Association of Black Social Workers conference last week, I reminded them that social workers are among those who bear the burden of unemploy-

See MALVEAUX on Page 37

By George E. Curry

Obama Budget Breaks Social Security Pledge Even before President Obama released his budget proposal this week for the next fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, preliminary details about his plan to effectively cut Social Security cost of living increases has caused a firestorm among supporters who now feel betrayed. Under the plan, Obama would shift the way federal benefits are indexed from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to the

“chained” CPI, gradually reducing benefit payments. Without getting overly technical, the chained CPI – a way of indexing living costs – has grown on average by about 0.3 percentage points per year more slowly than the official CPI. Social Security actuaries assume the gap between the two CPIs will continue to average 0.3 percentage points per year in the future; Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich said in a press release that

“Social Security is not driving the deficit, therefore it should not be part of reforms aimed at cutting the deficit.” He added, “The chained CPI, deceptively portrayed as a reasonable costof-living adjustment, is a cut to Social Security that would hurt seniors.” White House officials point out that the chained CPI would not affect initial Social Security benefits because they are based on wages. It is the subsequent cost of living increases that

Guest Columnist

would be affected. According to an analysis by the Associated Press, Social Security benefits for a typical middle-income 65-year-old would be about $136 less a year under the new indexing. At age 75, annual benefits would be $560 less. At 85, the cut would be $984 a year. While that might not seem huge to some, it represents a significant loss of income from the elderly living on a fixed income. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) shares Robert Reich’s outrage.

“If Obama is serious about dealing with our deficit, he would not cut Social Security – which has not added one penny to the deficit,” Sanders said in a statement posted on his website. “Instead, he would support legislation that ends the absurdity of one out of four profitable corporations paying nothing in federal income taxes. He would also help us close the offshore tax haven loopholes that en-

See Curry on Page 37

By Lee A. Daniels

Everyone is Hopping on the Gay Rights Bandwagon You can call it the “bandwagon effect,” or “political opportunism,” or, the “wake-up-call effect,” or, less cynically, an old American tradition. Whatever you call it, in the last month it seems everybody and their momma in the political arena has been expressing support for gay rights and same-sex marriage. The support has come from opposite ends of the political spectrum: from Ohio Republi-

can Senator Rob Portman, who also revealed that his son is gay, to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who said she was free to speak her mind now that she has left office. Even the Republican National Committee seemed in its white paper exploring the causes and implications of the Party’s decisive defeat last November to call for a softening of the GOP’s hard line on gay rights and samesex marriage lest it find itself in “an ideological cul-de-sac.” Martin Luther King, Jr., whose com-

mitment to justice for all got him killed 45 years ago this month, would be pleased. We do know which side this man, who was becoming ever more “militant” in his willingness to challenge the country’s fierce dynamic of exclusion, would be on today. Of course, it’s not literally true that the opposition to gay rights has melted away. We can still expect plenty of venomous rhetoric and obstructionist legislative tactics from right-wing clerics, conservative officeholders (and wannabes) and pundits, and the

conservative talk-show confederacy. But the signs are unmistakable that the American public’s support-to-opposition ratio on the multifaceted issues of gay rights has shifted significantly. For example, a Washington Post–ABC News poll conducted last month found that a record 58 percent of Americans now support same-sex marriage, a finding the paper called “a remarkable – and remarkably fast – turnaround in American public opinion” on the issue since 2010. The poll’s findings were

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underscored by the two cases involving same-sex marriage the Supreme Court took up last month: One concerns California’s 2008 voter-enacted Proposition 8, which bars same-sex marriage in the state. The other involves the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which forbids federal recognition of same-sex marriages performed in the nine states and the District of Columbia where it is legal.

See Daniels on Page 37

Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013



Guest Columnist

By Charlene Crowell

Advocates Push to Preserve Foreclosure Program A broad coalition of state and national organizations is pushing to preserve a key federal program that has helped more than 1.1 million troubled homeowners and reduced mortgage payments by a median savings of $546 each month. The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), created in response to the nation’s housing crisis, is set to close shop on December 31. Housing and consumer advocates are urging

the U.S. Treasury Department to reconsider ending the program. A March 26 letter to Jacob J. Lew, U.S. Treasury Secretary, was signed by 14 national organizations, including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Urban League and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). Another 22 state and local groups, including the California Reinvestment Coalition, Mississippi Center for Justice and New York’s Empire Justice Center, joined with their

national colleagues to fight for more foreclosure assistance. The letter states, “Research has shown that foreclosure and delinquency rates have disproportionately impacted African-American and Latino families, and median household wealth has dramatically declined. . . High foreclosure rates in communities of color have also impacted those homeowners neighboring foreclosed properties, and estimates show that these properties stand to lose $1 trillion in home equity as a

Guest Columnist

result.” Launched in 2009, HAMP initially sought to lower monthly mortgage payments to an affordable and sustainable level through a uniform loan modification process. HAMP funding was a part of the $29.9 billion authorized for the Making Home Affordable Program. Later in 2012, program options were expanded to focus on principal reduction modifications, expand relief for unemployed homeowners and ease other alternatives to foreclosures such as

short sales. To date, $12 billion has been obligated to pay incentives for HAMP homeowners already in the program. With the approaching expiration date, any unspent funds will ultimately be returned to Treasury’s general fund. Yet, many communities have yet to economically recovery. For example, HAMP’s unemployment program offers a minimum of 12 months of temporary forbearance to allow these

See Crowell on Page 38

By Harry C. Alford

New Approach Needed to Dismantle Street Gangs

During my research on street gangs, one thing became clear: They are the primary source for drug distribution. The crimes conducted by these street gangs on a daily basis also include murder, bribery, extortion, robbery, carjacking, prostitution, human trafficking, and money laundering. Some gangs concentrate on some of these crimes but all of

them have drug trafficking as their number one activity. This makes them truly a menace to our society. Yet, we ignore them for the most part. We tend to be blind to their destruction and terror. There are 1.4 million street gang members (2011) and we act like they don’t exist. There are more than 2.1 million men and women incarcerated. The majority are there for drug related -crimes. Approximately 650,000 persons are released from our jails/prisons each year but at least 52 percent

will return within three years for parole violation or a criminal act. It is a social disgrace to have that many human beings incarcerated and then they get into a “revolving door.” The cost of housing a state prisoner can be as high as $45,000 per year. Wait – it gets worse. It is so disappointing that when we persuade a company to hire some of our youngsters for on the job training they cannot pass a drug test. During the Katrina rebuilding, we warned potential job applicants that they would be tested for drugs and


urged them to become clean. For many it was too late because they were hooked and couldn’t shake it. Dealing is a very big “business” for many drug dealers and unlike many other sectors in the U.S., business is booming. The gang leaders don’t have a recruiting program; they “draft” top prospects. One day, my aunt in Los Angeles asked her grandson if he were in the Crips. His reply was, “Grandma, I have no choice; it is Crips or die.” And these young members

have quotas to fill. They must push dope and get as many hooked as possible. The Peoria, Ill. Chamber of Commerce once did a job study for Black youth (18 – 30). The number one employer was the city government; number two was the local utility company and number three was the illegal drug activity. Peoria has a population of approximately 100,000 persons. No place of any size is immune from drug trafficking. I

See Alford on Page 38

By Askia Muhammad

Israeli, Guantanamo Prisoners Discover Weapon Literally for decades the tiny state of Israel (population 8 million, about the size of Maryland) has branded itself as a tiny oasis of freedom in the middle of hostile, despotic Arab nations which hate her. The truth of the matter is that Israel is an apartheid state which treats the Arab population within her borders, as well as in the Palestinian land she illegally occupies, and her surrounding

neighbors as less than human. Case in point (take heed Christian Zionists who believe Israel is a “co-religionist ally”) even the Christians who are citizens of the Jewish state are not permitted to join the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) because they are Arabs. I guess they can’t be trusted with weapons and military training. The Israeli prison system has long been a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. When Palestinian militants have managed to capture an Israeli soldier, the

22 Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013

Israelis will trade hundreds upon hundreds of jailed Palestinians to get that one Israeli released. I guess it may be the fear of karma, or something, like the Palestinians doing to the jailed Israeli what they do to the captured Palestinians. Well, the ticking time bomb in the Israeli jails may be exploding, right before our eyes. Just like in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the prisoners may have found themselves a potent new weapon – starvation. To protest the death in an The Washington Informer

Israeli jail recently of Maysara Abu Hamdiya, who had cancer, thousands, (maybe 80 percent) of Palestinian prisoners refused their food for a day to protest what they considered to be his inadequate medical attention. At Guantanamo, dozens of the 160-some-odd prisoners have been on a prolonged hunger strike, although U.S. authorities claim only a handful are participating. Some of the hunger-striking prisoners have deteriorated so badly that they are being force-fed through feeding

tubes inserted violently into their noses and down to their stomachs. The Americans, anticipate a public relations nightmare, if some of the protesting prisoners start dying. That’s because nearly half of those imprisoned at Guantanamo (half) have already been cleared for release by the CIA, the U.S. military authorities, and all the others who might want to claim they need to be jailed because they are a threat to

See Muhammad on Page 38

Free Angela! Film Chronicles Activist’s Journey

/Courtesy Photo

By Barrington M. Salmon WI Staff Writer In 1969, Angela Davis was every white man’s worst nightmare: Educated, possessor of a formidable intellect, black, assertive, an activist, a woman, and a communist. Davis’ political opinions, social activism and her outspoken criticism of racism, segregation and the way African Americans and other non-whites were treated in a country sharply divided along racial and class lines, brought the full weight of the government upon her head. The fallout is outlined in great detail in Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, a documentary film by director Shola Lynch. The story surrounds Davis’ removal from her teaching post at UCLA, Los Angeles; the charges brought against her for murder, kidnapping and conspiracy; the nationwide manhunt; her inclusion on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List; and her arrest, trial and eventual acquittal. Viewers listen to narratives from Davis, friends, family and associates and witness their comments weaved around documents, videotapes and sometimes grainy historical footage. Today, Davis, 69, is an

Once one of America’s most wanted, the life of Angela Davis, hits the Silver Screen.

Angela Davis became an iconic symbol of Black Power during her arrest and subsequent trial. /Courtesy Photos

claimed political activist, scholar, and author. She remains unapologetic about her views on race, community building, and social justice and she works tirelessly in the struggle for gender equality, economic and racial justice. Of equal importance is her work

to dismantle a prison-industrial complex in the United States in which 2.3 million people, primarily black and brown, are ensnared. Back then, she was a 26-yearold Sorbonne-educated professor, who was immersed in ac-

tivities she hoped would bring social, economic and political freedom for blacks. The 102-minute documentary, shot in cinema vérité style, unfolds with snapshots of 17-yearold Jonathan Jackson and three other men leaving the Marin

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County Courthouse in San Rafael, Calif., with weapons trained on a judge, prosecutor and jurors. As the group gets into a yellow van, police snipers and guards from San Quentin Prison

See DAVIS on Page 24

Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013


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24 Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013

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LIFESTYLE DAVIS continued from Page 23 open fire leaving Superior Court Judge Harold Haley and three of the four hostage takers – including Jonathan – dead. One detective walks from the crime scene with a weapon wrapped in plastic and viewers are told that Davis had purchased two of the guns. In a straight-forward, vulnerable but poignant manner, Davis recaptures the heady, complex, scary days of the emergence of the Black Power Movement, black nationalism, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and an all-too-brief period of time when blacks around the country – like a sleeping giant shook off fear, lethargy and the past, and demanded an end to America’s homegrown apartheid system. The Black Panther Party came to the attention of the authorities when in 1967, a small group of members, all bearing arms and led by Chairman Bobby Seale, marched into the California legislature to protest a pending gun-­control bill and to illustrate that blacks had a constitutional right to bear arms. The group called for armed revolutionary struggle against the oppression and slavery-type conditions perpetuated by the ruling elite and their functionaries in the United States. They also strove to create a society of justice, freedom and equality for the masses of black and brown people. They developed breakfast programs and educated children, while advocating for a 10-point program which sought, among other things, employment, housing and an end to police brutality. So concerned was FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover about the Panthers, he described them as “the single greatest threat to the internal security of the United States.” Hoover was determined to prevent the formation of a cohesive Black movement in the United States and used murder, coercion, extortion, disinformation and other tactics to undermine and destroy black leaders who exhibited leadership, organizational skills and the ability to communicate well. The FBI and police from Oakland, Chicago and elsewhere began targeting and assassinating members of the Panther organization. The documentary reminds viewers of the raw anger, deep distrust and animus between the black community and police. Footage of an hours-long

shootout between police and the Black Panthers illustrates the full-pitched gun battles that often ensued between law enforcement and the organization. “It was as if we were living in a state of war, a state of siege,” said Davis. “We had to do all we could to usher in the Revolution. There was a conspiracy to kill every Black Panther in America and all black people.” Quenesha McNair, 30, was left visibly moved by the film. “I feel grateful for this information,” she said. “My generation knows the criticism directed at her approach to politics but not the level of determination to eradicate her. I’m surprised I’m just learning about her in the film. This wasn’t in the textbooks. I never knew how raw it was. The raid on the Black Panther headquarters was like genocide. I never, ever thought this could happen.” Davis was also on the frontline as a spokesperson for the Soledad Brothers, three men in California’s Soledad Prison accused of killing a guard and persecuted for their political beliefs. George Jackson, John Clutchette and Fleeta Drumgo were each incarcerated for petty property crimes, we’re told, and jailed for years because of their attempts to bring about change in the prison system. “I saw him at a hearing and I was drawn by the tenderness I didn’t expect to see in a prisoner,” said Davis of the man she loved, George Jackson. “He was a beautiful, powerful, passionate writer.” Following the botched kidnapping and hostage deaths, the white establishment called Jonathan and his accomplices thugs, hoodlums and criminals. However, he was seen as a hero by many in the black community. At his funeral, thousands of mourners crowded the streets around the church, standing solemnly with fists raised in the Black Power salute as the coffin was carried into and out of the church. As word about the shootout spread, Davis knew the feds would try to apprehend her. “It was clear that this was not the time to make myself available for arrest,” she said soberly. With a fugitive’s warrant of $100,000 on her head, Davis went underground, moving around for two months through Las Vegas and Miami, ending up in New York with local law

See DAVIS on Page 30

Horo scopes

apr 11 - apr 17, 2013

ARIES When you are guided by spirit, you’ll find that you are working, living, and breathing in tune with the universe. What a great feeling! You’ll be a source of peace and blessings for all that you encounter this week. Soul Affirmation: Time is the greatest peacemaker of them all. Lucky Numbers: 12, 17, 22 TAURUS Remember that you are an intensely physical sign, and you need to move your body in order to relax. Take a walk, go for a swim, play tennis, or scrub that kitchen floor. However you choose to move, you’ll liberate your spirit and relax at the same time. Get going! Soul Affirmation: A week of rejoicing is upon me. I celebrate. Lucky Numbers: 2, 40, 45 GEMINI It’s a week tailor-made for your energies, so get out there and let every perfect moment flow toward you. You’ve got an abundance of pleasant feelings why not spread them around? Soul Affirmation: I will ask joy to marry me. Lucky Numbers: 1, 8, 14

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CANCER Success is a series of small steps. The baby steps you take each week toward your dream will move you closer and closer to your vision. Keep taking those little steps and expect to hear some good news about a big project. Soul Affirmation: Communication is a skeleton key that fits many doors. Lucky Numbers: 5, 7, 10 LEO Expect some surprises this week. You’ll be very happy about at least one of them. Stay flexible and you’ll be in the right place at the right moment, every moment. You’ll want to celebrate at home tonight. Soul Affirmation: All that I need is within me. Lucky Numbers: 20, 34, 45

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VIRGO A burst of enthusiasm will carry you through the early part of the work week, and with a positive outlook, you’ll be very happy with what you’ve accomplished at the end of the week. Have a heap of fun! Soul Affirmation: The grandeur of my presence reflects the sunshine of my soul. Lucky Numbers: 4, 37, 53 LIBRA An older female may extend something valuable to you, and you’ll be very glad about what you receive. Possibilities seem endless this week, and you’ll want to refresh your outlook about a particular project that suddenly looks lucrative again. Soul Affirmation: The sunlight of my spirit shines in the land beyond the horizon. Lucky Numbers: 13, 36, 52 SCORPIO The possibility exists that you’ve temporarily overlooked a powerful way of increasing your income. Still your mind and let your spirit guide you toward a perfect solution to a vexing situation. Soul Affirmation: I am willing to make changes in my life. Lucky Numbers: 20, 21, 24 SAGITTARIUS Personal finance stays in focus this week, and you’ll be looking at new ways of creating and managing wealth. If you keep your mind open to the flow of abundance, you’re sure to be happily surprised this week. Soul Affirmation: This week I find joy in the gifts that life has already given me. Lucky Numbers: 28, 37, 44 CAPRICORN Lots of love and good vibrations are in the air this week. You’ll be whole-heartedly open to a proposal that involves something very important to you. Keep your energy constructive and positive. Soul Affirmation: I give my busy brain a rest from worrying this week. Lucky Numbers: 16, 48, 51 AQUARIUS This week’s vibration seems to have only a single point for you, and that is to get out and have some fun with friends. You could use the relaxation, so leave your chores undone and go have a good time! Soul Affirmation: True friendship is a mirror into which I look to see the beauty of my inner self. Lucky Numbers: 9, 13, 30 PISCES Don’t underestimate the power of persuasion. Continue to persevere and stay adamant with your ideas and pursuit. The universe is balanced, so your efforts will pay off. Learn to positively distract yourself as you wait and continue to let your enthusiasm rise about all negative feelings. Soul Affirmation: I enjoy whatever life brings me this week. Lucky Numbers: 1, 15, 30

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The Washington Informer

Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013


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Please click or call; email; 301.805.5358 Scholarships available for students who demonstrate financial need and strong commitment to learning and music. Limited Metro subsidies available to students enrolled in their school’s Free and Reduced Meal program. Supported by The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County, Council Member Derrick Leon Davis District 6) and Council Member Will Campos (District 2).

FAME is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing equal access to all children and young adults, regardless of social and economic need, to quality music and music education as part of their lifelong journey to adulthood.

26 Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013

(L-R) Bowman Wright as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Joaquina Kalukango as Camae in Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater’s production of The Mountaintop. The play runs through May 12. /Photo by Scott Suchman

“The Mountaintop” Arena Stage Presents an Alternate View of Martin Luther King Jr. By Eve M. Ferguson WI Contributing Writer In the opening minutes of “The Mountaintop,” playing at Arena Stage’s Kreeger Theater, one could easily become defensive about the portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as viewed through playwright Katori Hall’s lens. But as the play progresses, the subtle nuances that present the iconic and deeply revered preacher as human, capable of frailties that go along with humanity, come forth and not only redeem the production, but elevate it to the heights of greatness. The setting is the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., on the night that King delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech at the Mason Temple on April 3, 1968. It is also the last night of King’s life, and that is the central theme of the play. The two-person, one-act play, which premiered on Broadway in 2011, is the fictional interaction between a weary and pensive King and a maid in the motel, who comes to be known by her nickname “Camae.” Their conversation, which starts innocently enough over the want of a cigarette by King, intensifies, giving the initial impression that the two are entering into a sexual dalliance. But then, through humorous, touching and often times, combative dialogue, we find the deeper significance of this meeting, and the beauty of King’s message shines though, evoked and provoked by this The Washington Informer

Joaquina Kalukango as Camae, a housekeeper in The Mountaintop. /Photo by Scott Suchman

Bowman Wright as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in The Mountaintop. /Photo by Scott Suchman

young woman whose delivery is often laced with profanity and affront. King is played by Bowman Wright, who reprised the role for this Washington, D.C. premiere of “The Mountaintop” after honing the role in the Alley Theatre of Houston, Texas’ acclaimed run. Camae is played by Joaquina Kalukango, who also played the character in Houston. The dynamics between the two actors make for an amusing and thought-provoking discourse on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I looked at documentaries, footage of his speeches and read a few of his books,” said Wright. “However, in no way was I trying to imitate him, but rather was trying to find his essence.”

The essential man is what playwright Katori Hall was trying to bring forth in this production. She came to Arena Stage through the organization’s American Voices New Play Institute, and was one of the playwright residents. A native of Memphis, Tenn., “The Mountaintop” came out of a very personal experience that Hall had. “When my mother was 15 years old, Dr. King came to speak at the Mason Temple in Memphis, and she wanted to go and see him,” Hall writes. “She lived around the corner from the Lorraine Motel and had seen King speak before. But this time Big Momma told her no because she had heard through the

See MOUNTAINTOP on Page 27

MOUNTAINTOP continued from Page 26 grapevine that someone was going to bomb the church. Even a friend of hers had overheard the mayor say that if Dr. King came back to town, he wasn’t going to leave alive.” The character, Camae, is “an extension of my mother, but also my alter ego as well.” The setting is simple, using a carousel mechanism, only showing the outside of Room 306 and the plain, understated interior of the motel room that King stayed in. All the action takes place in the tension created between the characters, and the surreal lighting and special effects that move the dialogue from a conversation between two people, to a supernatural event as King’s hours dwindle away until his eventual assassination. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has been my greatest role,” Wright, an experienced actor, said. “Before my involvement in this play, my knowledge of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was what I learned back in elementary school. I looked at him as a saint,



a man who has never done any wrong. He was untouchable.” In his second reprisal of the role, and in his Arena Stage debut, Wright concluded, “Now, I look at him as someone I can relate to. He is a greater hero to me now because he made me see the greater purpose within myself. He has inspired me to do great things in spite of my imperfections. This has truly been a blessing for me.” “The Mountaintop,” which had its official opening night on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, continues at the Arena Stage’s Kreeger Theater through May 12th. On May 4th following the 2 p.m. matinee, a special panel discussion on the evolution of the civil rights movement, from the 1960s to today, and the theater’s role in creating change has been scheduled. wi




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Tickets for “The Mountaintop” are $40-$85. Tickets can be purchased at, or by phone at (202) 488-3300 or from the Box Office at 1101 Sixth Street in Southwest.

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The Washington Informer

Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013



Sports Weekend Highlights D.C. Public Schools introduced bowling as a varsity sport for the first time last winter – but only for girls – in an effort by the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) to boost girls’ participation in sports and improve its compliance with Title IX ¬– the law mandating gender equity at all federally funded institutions. Recently, the School Without Walls’ bowling team captured the 2013 DCIAA championship. Members of the team, from left to right: Whitnee Epps, Clara Meir, Breanna Jeffcoat, Aliyah Pearson, Paris Pryor, Imani Mclean, Sydney Barrett, Diamond Pinder and Coach Wanda Jones-Hinnant. / Photo courtesy of Abdullah Yusuf

Friendly High School sophomore Khaleel Todd slides into 2nd base for a steal attempt. He later pitched in the 7th inning to seal the win over Surratsville High School 9-8 and earned the save in Clinton, Md. /Photo courtesy of Wallace Barron

Washington-Indiana halftime entertainment brought back historic memories to the Verizon Center in Northwest on Saturday, April 6. The Bullets’ championship squad from 1978 was honored as the franchise celebrated the 35th anniversary of the 1978 NBA championship. In this photo, former Bullets player Phil Chenier, and Irene Pollin, widow of long-time Wizards/ Bullets owner Abe Pollin, embrace as sons Robert and Jim watch. Former coach Dick Motta, former general manager Bob Ferry, and players Elvin Hayes, Bobby Dandridge, Phil Walker, Greg Ballard, Joe Pace, Larry Wright, Kevin Grevey, Tom Henderson, former trainer John Lally and former executive vice president Jerry Sachs, also attended the halftime event. /Photo by John E. De Freitas

28 Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013

The Washington Informer

Washington Wizards Defeat Indiana Pacers 104-85 Washington Wizards center Emeka Okafor duels with Indiana Pacers power forward David West in the first half of NBA action on Saturday, April 6 at the Verizon Center in Northwest. The Wizards defeated the Pacers 10485. /Photo by John E. De Freitas


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Washington Wizards guard John Wall entertained the crowd on Saturday, April 6 with his ability to rain down points as he scored 37 points to help the Wizards defeat the Pacers 104-85 at the Verizon Center in Northwest. /Photo by John E. De Freitas

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Indiana Pacers center and former Georgetown University player Roy Hibbert uses his height to go above the outstretched arms of Washington Wizards power forward/ center Kevin Seraphin in the second half of NBA action on Saturday, April 6 at the Verizon Center in Northwest. Hibbert scored 25 points as the Wizards defeated the Pacers 10485. /Photo by John E. De Freitas


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The Washington Informer

Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013


LIFESTYLE DAVIS continued from Page 24

Black Memorabilia,

Art, Doll & Collectible Show

“29th Year Celebrating the African American Experience”

April 20-21, 2013

Saturday: 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm

Montgomery County Fairgrounds 16 Chestnut Street ** Gaithersburg, Maryland

- Vendors & Artisans from 15 States with Black Memorabilia and Collectibles

for sale including historical documents, slavery artifacts, black dolls, books, autographs, stamps, advertisements, toys, kitchen collectibles, jewelry, postcards, paintings, prints, photographs, coins, Civil War, political & Civil Rights memorabilia, sports & entertainment memorabilia, movie posters & More!

- Educational Exhibits include Slavery Artifacts, Jim Crow, Black Panther Party, Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen, Marcus Garvey, Madame C. J. Walker, Malcolm X, George Washington Carver, Dorothy Dandridge, Negro League Baseball & More!

- Celebrity Autograph sessions with Negro League Baseball Players and others. - Verbal Appraisals of black memorabilia for a fee of $5 per item, Saturday only. “Join Several Thousand Attendees at this Educational Event for the Whole Family”


Admission: $7, Children 16 and under free Free Parking - Good Food - All Indoors - Rain or Shine (301) 649-1915 **

30 Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013

enforcement and the FBI not far behind. As she evaded them, police descended on black communities around the country accosting black women with big afros and gaps between their front teeth. The FBI had agents conducting surveillance on anyone who knew Davis, and also began to wrangle information from her friends, family and associates. “I knew there were countries that would accept me, but I decided I didn’t want to flee the country because I knew I’d be in exile for the rest of my life,” she said. “… I was pretty scared, always thought I’d be on the verge of being caught. I thought about the family I left behind, worried about mom and my siblings …” Davis was traveling with a wealthy friend, David Poindexter, and the pair left Miami when the FBI questioned his mother. “We were rapidly running out of money and I had a palpable sense that the FBI was closing in,” she said. FBI agents had been searching parking lots in New York City looking for Poindexter’s car and found Davis at a Howard Johnson’s motel. Davis, exhausted, pale and gaunt, said she was placed in a ward for women with psychiatric disorders. “I hadn’t thought about what it meant to be a woman in prison,” she said. Her sister Fania agreed. “Angela’s education is now being put into practice,” she said during an interview in the documentary. Davis’ capture ignited a firestorm of criticism of the Nixon administration and strident calls for her release. The Free Angela! Movement hopscotched from the U.S. abroad, with hundreds of defense committees calling for Davis’ release as well as the release of all political prisoners. Demonstrations, marches and fundraisers kept Davis’ case in the public eye even as Nixon called her “a dangerous terrorist.” “It was lonely, very lonely. I read a lot and wrote a lot,” she recalled. “I followed the example of others like George and created a kind of freedom within that experience. They wanted to break me, wanted me to feel the burden of solitude.” Davis was spirited from New York on a military aircraft, in the The Washington Informer

/Courtesy Photo

“I knew there were countries that would accept me, but I decided I didn’t want to flee the country because I knew I’d be in exile for the rest of my life. I was pretty scared, always thought I’d be on the verge of being caught. I thought about the family I left behind, worried about mom and my siblings …” –Angela Davis middle of the night and against her wishes, to be tried in California. In all, she spent 18 months behind bars. The prosecutor built an elaborate case around Davis’ all-encompassing love and passion for George Jackson which drove her to try to free him. But through the efforts of lawyers Howard Moore Jr., Leo Branton, Jr., and Doris Walker, Davis was granted bail and later freed after an all-white jury found her not guilty of all three charges, which initially carried the death penalty. Her exoneration touched off exuberant and emotional celebrations inside the courtroom, around the courthouse complex and across the world.

“This is the happiest day of my life,” Davis later said at a press conference. At the conclusion of the film, Davis crystallized the arc of her life since her release. “I wanted to keep the structure and energy in place and to bring about more victories to the people. That became the theme of my life and here I am today …” wi The documentary is being shown in select theaters around the country, including Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif., New York and Philadelphia. In the Washington metropolitan area, the movie can be seen at the AMC Hoffman Center 22 in Alexandria, Va., and the AMC Magic Johnson Capital Center 12 in Largo, Md.

The Religion Corner


When Our Faith is Tried That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1 Peter 1:7


hile listening to Joyce Meyers recently, I heard her talk about how our faith will be tried. This week’s column was inspired by those words; as we continue to have faith and trust in God, even when we are tested; this column discusses how we must trust him during our trials; turn from the past and look only to the future; and finally, we must honor Him in our thoughts. Our faith is tried when we have to obey God and follow His lead when we don’t understand the path. Abraham had to leave his homeland and go in faith, would you? We have to obey God even when He has not given complete details of where He’s taking us. By faith we must trust in His goodness and faithfulness and follow Him. Hebrews 11:8. My faith was tested when I learned I had diabetes last year; but by treating my body as a temple and doing exactly what was given to me to do by God and my doctor, I am no longer a diabetic. I took immediate action; came home and threw out everything sweet, discarded every food from my cabinets and refrigerator that had high carbohydrates. This new way of living

must last a lifetime if I expect to continue to be healthy. Our faith is tried when we have to prove the blessings God has given us have not taken first place in our hearts. Abraham, tested when he was asked to sacrifice his son had to prove he still loved God first more than the blessing of a son he received from God, and he did. As he drew the knife to offer his son, an Angel of the Lord stopped him with praise and told him about the lamb in the bush. Genesis 22: 1-19 Our faith is tried when we turn from the past and look forward to the future. In the Bible, God asked Samuel to turn from the past by ending his mourning for the failure of Saul and look forward to the future by anointing the person whom God had chosen in place of Saul. We have to turn from the sorrows, hurts and disappointments of the past and by faith, we must look forward to the future blessings God has in store for us. I Samuel 16:1 Philippians 3:12-14; President Obama’s campaign theme was “Forward.” Stop mourning over divorces; loss of jobs; loss of homes and focus on this scripture “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:3. Our faith is tried when God meets our needs and answers our prayers in ways that differ from our own thoughts. Naaman the leper, disappointed when told to receive his healing differently was counseled, urged to receive his healing even though it was different from what he thought.

Twelfth Street Christian Church

Advertise Your Church services here:

(Disciples of Christ) 1812 12th Street, NW Washington, DC 20009 Phone: 202-265-4494 Fax: 202 265 4340

call Ron Burke at

Reverend Dr. Paul H. Saddler Senior Pastor Service and Times Sunday Worship Service 11:00 a.m. Communion every Sunday 11:00 a.m. Sunday School 10:00 a.m. Bible Study Tuesday 12Noon Pastor’s Bible Study Tuesday 6:30 p.m. Motto; “Discover Something Wonderful.” Website: Email:

202-561-4100 or email

Advertise Your Church services here: call Ron Burke at 202-561-4100 or email

with Lyndia Grant Be willing to allow God to answer your prayers or meet your needs in any way He chooses. II Kings 5: 1-14 Do you find yourself saying “I thought God was going to help me get this job; or I thought He would have healed me by now; and so many other expectations we may have? Yet our blessings continue to come without us even realizing how blessed we are. Take inventory of your blessings and notice the tests he sends our way when we’re tried; trust Him always and don’t even think about what He’s asking you to do, just do it.wi Lyndia Grant is a radio talk show host on WYCB 1340 AM, Fridays at 6 p.m., a Radio-One Station; Religious Columnist; Media Coordinator; Major Special Events Coordinator; Author & Inspirational Speaker. Visit her website at www.lyndiagrant. com; call 202-518-3192; send emails to

Listen to


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Register Now! Call Today 202-518-3192 Tune In …WYCB-AM 1340

Radio-One with Lyndia Grant

The Washington Informer

“Praise In The City”

The New Public Affairs  Talk Show Hosted by Praise 104.1’s Sheila Stewart   Saturday 5:30am-6:30am on Praise 104.1 For more info visit  

Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013


religion BAPTIST

african methodist episcopal

Historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Rev. James Manion Supply Priest Foggy Bottom • Founded in 1867 728 23rd Street, NW • Washington, DC 20037 Church office: 202-333-3985 • Fax : 202-338-4958 Worship Services Sundays: 10 a.m. Holy Eucharist with Music and Hymns Wednesdays: 12:10 p.m. - Holy Eucharist Email: All are welcome to St. Mary’s to Learn, Worship, and Grow.

Blessed Word of Life Church Dr. Dekontee L. & Dr. Ayele A. Johnson Pastors 4001 14th Street, NW Washington, DC 20011 (202) 265-6147 Office 1-800 576-1047 Voicemail/Fax Schedule of Services: Sunday School – 9:30 AM Sunday Morning Worship Service – 11:00 AM Communion Service – First Sunday Prayer Service/Bible Study – Tuesday, 6:30 PM e-mail:

Campbell AME Church Reverend Daryl K. Kearney, Pastor 2562 MLK Jr. Ave., S E Washington, DC 20020 Adm. Office 202-678-2263 Sunday Worship Service 10: am Sunday Church School 8: 45 am Bible Study Wednesday 12:00 Noon Wednesday 7:00 pm Thursday 7: pm “Reaching Up To Reach Out” Mailing Address Campbell AME Church 2502 Stanton Road SE Washington, DC 20020

Mt. Zion Baptist Church Rev. John W. Davis, Pastor 5101 14th Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20011 202-726-2220/ 202-726-9089 Sunday Worship Service 8:00am and 11:00am Sunday School 9:15am Holy Communion 4th Sunday 10:00am Prayer and Bible Study Wednesday 7;00pm TV Ministry –Channel 6 Wednesday 10:00pm

Pilgrim Baptist Church

700 I. Street, NE Washington, D.C. 20002 Pastor Louis B. Jones, II and Pilgrim invite you to join us during our July and August Summer schedule! Attire is Christian casual. Worship: Sundays@ 7:30 A.M. & 10:00 A.M. 3rd Sunday Holy Communion/Baptism/Consecration Prayer & Praise: Wednesdays @12:00 Noon @ 6:30 P.M. – One Hour of Power! (202) 547-8849

Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ Drs. Dennis W. and Christine Y. Wiley, Pastors 3845 South Capitol Street Washington, DC 20032 (202) 562-5576 (Office) (202) 562-4219 (Fax) SERVICES AND TIMES: SUNDAYS: 8:00 AM and 10:45 AM Worship Services BIBLE STUDY: Wonderful Wednesdays in Worship and the Word Bible Study Wednesdays 12:00 Noon; 6:30 PM (dinner @ 5:30 PM) SUNDAY SCHOOL: 9:45 AM – Hour of Power “An inclusive ministry where all are welcomed and affirmed.”

Morning Star Baptist Church Pastor Gerald L Martin Senior Minister 3204 Brothers Place S.E. Washington, D.C. 20032 202-373-5566 or 202-373-5567

Church of Living Waters

Rev. Paul Carrette Senior Pastor Harold Andrew, Assistant Pastor 4915 Wheeler Road Oxon Hill, MD 20745 301-894-6464 Schedule of Service Sunday Service: 8:30 AM & 11:00 AM Bible Study: Wednesday 7:30 PM Communion Service: First Sunday

St. Stephen Baptist Church Lanier C. Twyman, Sr. State Overseer 5757 Temple Hill Road, Temple Hills, MD 20748 Office 301-899-8885 – fax 301-899-2555 Sunday Early Morning Worship - 7:45 a.m. Church School - 9:30 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship – 10:45 a.m. Tuesday – Thursday - Kingdom Building Bible Institute – 7:30 p.m. Wednesday – Prayer/Praise/Bible Study – 7:30 p.m. Baptism & Communion Service- 4th Sunday – 10:30am Radio Broadcast WYCB -1340 AM-Sunday -6:00pm T.V. Broadcast - Channel 190 – Sunday -4:00pm/Tuesday 7:00am

“We are one in the Spirit” e-mail:

Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church Rev. Dr. Michael E. Bell, Sr., • Pastor 2498 Alabama Ave., SE • Washington D.C. 20020 Office: (202) 889-7296 Fax: (202) 889-2198 • 2008: The Year of New Beginnings “Expect the Extraordinary”

Crusader Baptist Church

Isle of Patmos Baptist Church Reverend Dr. Calvin L. Matthews • Senior Pastor 1200 Isle of Patmos Plaza, Northeast Washington, DC 20018 Office: (202) 529-6767 Fax: (202) 526-1661

Rev. Dr. Alton W. Jordan, Pastor 800 I Street, NE Washington, DC 20002 202-548-0707 Fax No. 202-548-0703

Sunday Worship Services: 8:00a.m. and 11:00a.m. Sunday Church School - 9:15a.m. & Sunday Adult Forum Bible Study - 10:30a.m. 2nd & 4th Monday Women’s Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Tuesday Jr./Sr. Bible Study - 10:00a.m. Tuesday Topical Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Tuesday New Beginnings Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Wednesday Pastoral Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Wednesday Children’s Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Thursday Men’s Bible Study - 6:30p.m. Friday before 1st Sunday Praise & Worship Service - 6:30p.m. Saturday Adult Bible Study - 10:00a.m.

Sunday Morning Worship 11:00am Holy Communion – 1st Sunday Sunday School-9:45am Men’s Monday Bible Study – 7:00pm Wednesday Night Bible Study – 7:00pm Women’s Ministry Bible Study 3rd Friday -7:00pm Computer Classes- Announced Family and Marital Counseling by appointment E-mail:

“The Amazing, Awesome, Audacious Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church”

“God is Love”

Third Street Church of God Rev. Cheryl J. Sanders, Th.D. Senior Pastor 1204 Third Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 202.347.5889 office 202.638.1803 fax Sunday School: 9:30 a.m. Sunday Worship: 11:00 a.m. Prayer Meeting and Bible Study: Wed. 7:30 p.m. “Ambassadors for Christ to the Nation’s Capital”

Sunday Worship Services: 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Holy Communion: 2nd Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday Church School: 9:20 a.m. Seniors Bible Study: Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Noon Day Prayer Service: Tuesdays at Noon Bible Study: Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Motto: “A Ministry of Reconciliation Where Everybody is Somebody!” Website: Church Email:

Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church Bishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr.; Senior Bishop & Evangelist Susie C. Owens – Co-Pastor 610 Rhode Island Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20002 (202) 529-4547 office • (202) 529-4495 fax Sunday Worship Service: 8 AM and 10:45 AM Sunday Youth Worship Services: 1st & 4th 10:45 AM; 804 R.I. Ave., NE 5th 8 AM & 10:45 AM; Main Church Prayer Services Tuesday – Noon, Wednesday 6 AM & 6:30 PM Calvary Bible Institute: Year-Round Contact Church Communion Every 3rd Sunday The Church in The Hood that will do you Good!

ST Marks Baptist Come Worship with us... St. Mark's Baptist Church 624 Underwood Street, NW Washington, dc 20011 Dr. Raymond T. Matthews, Pastor and First Lady Marcia Matthews Sunday School 9:am Worship Service 10:am Wed. Noon Day prayer service Thur. Prayer service 6:45 pm Thur. Bible Study 7:15 pm

We are proud to provide the trophies for the Washington Informer Spelling Bee

Service & Time Sunday Worship 7:45A.M & 11A.M Communion Service 2nd Sunday 11A.M Prayer Service Tuesday 7:00 P.M Bible Study Tuesday 8:00 P.M Sunday Church School 10:00 A.M Sunday “A church reaching and winning our community for Christ”

Mount Carmel Baptist Church

52 Years of Expert Engraving Services

Joseph N. Evans, Ph.D Senior Pastor 901 Third Street N.W. Washington, DC. 20001 Phone (202) 842-3411 Fax (202) 682-9423 Sunday Church School : 9: 30am Sunday Morning Worship: 10: 45am Bible Study Tuesday: 6: 00pm Prayer Service Tuesday: 7:00pm Holy Communion: 3rd Sunday 10: 45am

32 Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013

The Washington Informer

religion Baptist

All Nations Baptist Church

Friendship Baptist Church 900 Delaware Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20020 (202) 488-7417 (202) 484-2242 Rev. Dr. J. Michael Little Pastor Sunrise Prayer: 6:00 AM Sunday School: 9:30 AM Morning Worship 11:00 AM Holy Communion: 3rd Sunday-11:00AM Email:

Rev. Dr. James Coleman Pastor 2001 North Capitol St, N.E. • Washington, DC 20002 Phone (202) 832-9591

King Emmanuel Baptist Church Rev. Daryl F. Bell Pastor 2324 Ontario Road, NW Washington, DC 20009 (202) 232-1730

Sunday Church School – 9:30 AM Sunday Worship Service – 11:00 AM Holy Communion – 1st Sunday at 11:00 AM Prayer – Wednesdays, 6:00 PM Bible Study – Wednesdays, 7:00 PM Christian Education School of Biblical Knowledge Saturdays, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM, Call for Registration

Sunday School – 9:30 am Sunday Worship Service – 11:00 am Baptismal Service – 1st Sunday – 9:30 am Holy Communion – 1st Sunday – 11:00 am Prayer Meeting & Bible Study – Wednesday -7:30 pm

Website: All Nations Baptist Church – A Church of Standards

“Where Jesus is the King”

Zion Baptist Church

Israel Baptist Church

Full Gospel Baptist Church

Emmanuel Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Clinton W. Austin Pastor 2409 Ainger Pl.,SE – WDC 20020 (202) 678-0884 – Office (202) 678-0885 – Fax “Come Grow With Us and Establish a Blessed Family” Sunday Worship 7:30am & 10:45am Baptism/Holy Communion 3rd Sunday Family Bible Study Tuesdays – 6:30pm Prayer Service Tuesdays – 8:00pm

Sermon On The Mount Temple Of Joy Apostolic Faith

Florida Avenue Baptist Church Dr. Earl D. Trent Senior Pastor

Rev. Dr. George C. Gilbert SR. Pastor

623 Florida Ave.. NW • WDC. 20001 Church (202) 667-3409 • Study (202) 265-0836 Home Study (301) 464-8211 • Fax (202) 483-4009

4504 Gault Place, N.E. Washington, D.C 20019 202-397-7775 – 7184

Sunday Worship Services: 10:00 a.m. Sunday Church School: 8:45 – 9:45 a.m. Holy Communion: Every First Sunday Intercessory Prayer: Monday – 7:00-8:00 p.m. Pastor’s Bible Study: Wednesday –7:45 p.m. Midweek Prayer: Wednesday – 7:00 p.m. Noonday Prayer Every Thursday

9:30AM. Sunday Church School 11:00 Am. Sunday Worship Service The Lord’s Supper 1st Sunday Wednesday 7:00pm Prayer & Praise Services 7:30pm. Bible Study Saturday before 4th Sunday Men, Women, Youth Discipleship Ministries 10:30am A Christ Centered Church

Matthews Memorial Baptist Church

Rev. Keith W. Byrd, Sr. Pastor

Rev. Dr. Morris L Shearin, Sr. Pastor

Rev. Charles Y. Davis, Jr. Sr. Pastor

5606 Marlboro Pike District Heights, MD 20747 301-735-6005

Dr. C. Matthew Hudson, Jr, Pastor

4850 Blagdon Ave, NW • Washington D.C 20011 Phone (202) 722-4940 • Fax (202) 291-3773

1251 Saratoga Ave., NE Washington, DC 20018 (202) 269-0288

14350 Frederick Rd. Cooksville, MD 21723 (410) 489-5069

Elder Herman L. Simms, Pastor

2616 MLK Ave., SE • Washington, DC 20020 Office 202-889-3709 • Fax 202-678-3304

Sunday Worship Service: 10:00 A.M. Sunday School: 8:30 A.M. Holy Communion1st Sunday: 10:00 A.M.

Sunday Worship Service: 11:00 am Sunday School: 9:30 am Wed. Bible Study/Prayer: 6:30-8:00 pm Holy Communion 2nd Sunday Pre-Marital Counseling/Venue for Weddings Prison Ministry Knowledge Base

Prayer Service: Wednesday at 6:30 P.M. Bible Study: Wednesday at 7:00 P.M.


Sunday Worship Service 10:15AM- Praise and Worship Services Sunday School 9:00am Monday: Noon Bible School Wednesday: Noon & 7PM: Pastor’s Bible Study Ordinance of Baptism 2nd Holy Communion 4th Sunday Mission Zion Baptist Church Shall; Enlist Sinners, Educate Students, Empower the Suffering, Encourage the Saints, and Exalt Our Savior. (Acts 2:41-47)

Mount Moriah Baptist Church

St. Luke Baptist Church Rev. Aubrey C. Lewis Pastor 1415 Gallatin Street, NW Washington, DC 20011-3851 P: (202) 726-5940 Sunday Worship: 11:00 a.m. Sunday School: 9:15 a.m. Holy Communion: 11:00 a.m., 3rd Sun. Bible Study: Monday - 7:00 p.m. Prayer Meeting: Thursday - 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Lucius M. Dalton, Senior Pastor 1636 East Capitol Street, NE Washington, DC 20003 Telephone: 202-544-5588 Fax: 202-544-2964 Sunday Worship Services: 7:45 am and 10:45 am Holy Communion: 1st Sundays at 7:45 am and 10:45 am Sunday School: 9:30 am Prayer & Praise Service: Tuesdays at 12 noon and 6:30 pm Bible Study: Tuesdays at 1 pm and 7 pm Youth Bible Study: Fridays at 7 pm Web: Email:

Rehoboth Baptist Church

St. Matthews Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Maxwell M. Washington Pastor 1105 New Jersey Ave, S.E • Washington, DC 20003 202 488-7298 Order of Services Sunday Worship Services: 9:05 A.M. Sunday School: 8:00 A.M. Holy Communion 3rd Sunday Morning Prayer Meeting: 7:00 P.M. (Tuesday) Bible Study: 7:30 P.M. (Tuesday) Theme: “Striving to be more like Jesus “Stewardship”. Philippians 3:12-14; Malachi 3:8-10 and 2 Corinthians 9:7 Email: Website:

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church

Sunday Apostolic Worship Services 11:00 A.M and 5:00 P.M Communion and Feet Wash 4th Sunday at 5:00 P.M Prayer/Seeking Wednesday at 8:00 P.M. Apostolic in Doctrine, Pentecostal in Experience, Holiness in Living, Uncompromised and Unchanged. The Apostolic Faith is still alive –Acts 2:42

New Commandment Baptist Church

Rev. Terry D. Streeter Pastor

Rev. Stephen E. Tucker Pastor and Overseer

215 Rhode Island Ave. N.W. • WD.C. 20001 (202) 332-5748

625 Park Rd, NW • WDC 20010 P: 202 291-5711 • F: 202 291-5666

Early Morning Worship: 7:45 a.m. Sunday School: 9:15 a.m. Morning Worship: 10:45 a.m. Holy Communion: 4th Sunday 7:45 a.m. & 10:45 a.m. C.T.U. Sunday: 2:45 p.m. Bible Study: Wednesday 11:00 a.m. & 7:00 p.m. Prayer Service: Wednesday 8:00 p.m. Noon Day Prayer Service: Mondays 12 p.m.

Sunday Worship Service - 11 am Sunday School - 9:45 am Bible Study & Prayer Wed. - 7 pm Substance Abuse Counseling 7 pm (Mon & Fri) Jobs Partnership - 7 pm (Mon & Wed) Sat. Enrichment Experience - 9:30 am

Salem Baptist Church

“A Church Where Love Is Essential and Praise is Intentional”

Shiloh Baptist Church

Early Worship Service 7:30a.m Worship Service 10:45a.m. New Members Class 9:30a.m. Holy Communion : 1st Sunday -10:45a.m Church School 9:30a.m. Prayer, Praise and Bible Study: Wednesday 7p.m Bible Study : Saturday: 11a.m. Baptism: 4th Sunday – 10:45a.m “Empowered to love and Challenged to Lead a Multitude of Souls to Christ”

Peace Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Michael T. Bell 712 18th Street, NE Washington, DC 20002 Phone 202-399-3450/ Fax 202-398-8836 Sunday Morning Worship Service 7:15 am & 10:50 am Sunday School 9:30am Sunday Morning Worship Service 10:50am Wednesday Prayer & Testimonies Service 7:30pm Wednesday School of the Bible 8:00pm Wednesday - Midweek Prayer Service 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm “The Loving Church of the living lord “ Email Address

First Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Rev. R. Vincent Palmer Pastor

Rev. Alonzo Hart Pastor

Rev. Dr. Wallace Charles Smith Pastor

Rev. Reginald M. Green, Sr., Interim Pastor

621 Alabama Avenue, S.E. • Washington, D.C. 20032 P: (202) 561-1111 F: (202) 561-1112

917 N St. NW • Washington, DC 20001 (202) 232-4294

9th & P Street, N.W. • W. D.C. 20001 (202) 232-4200

602 N Street NW • Washington, D.C. 20001 Office:(202) 289-4480 Fax: (202) 289-4595

The Church Where GOD Is Working.... And We Are Working With GOD

Sunrise Prayer Services - Sunday 7:00 a.m.

Sunday Morning Prayer Service: 8:00 a.m. Sunday Church School: 9:15 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship: 10:40 a.m. Third Sunday Baptismal & Holy Communion:10:30 a.m. Tuesday Church At Study Prayer & Praise: 6:30 p.m.

Morning Worship: 8:00 a.m Church School : 9:30 a.m. Morning Worship: 10:55 a.m. Bible Study, Thursday: 6:30 p.m. Prayer Meeting,Thursday : 7:30 p.m.

Sunday Service: 10 am Sunday School for all ages: 8:30 am 1st Sunday Baptism: 10: am 2nd Sunday Holy Communion: 10 am Tuesday: Bible Study: 6:30 pm Prayer Meeting: 7:45 pm

Motto: God First

The Washington Informer

Holy Trinity United Baptist Church

Sunday Worship Services: 7:45am & 11:00am Sunday school For All Ages 9:30am Prayer Services Wednesday 11:30am & 6:45pm Bible Institute Wednesday at Noon & 7:45pm “Changing Lives On Purpose “ Email: Website:

Mt. Bethel Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Bobby L. Livingston, Sr. Pastor 75 Rhode Island Ave. NW • Washington, DC 20001 (202) 667-4448

Sunrise Prayer Service 6:00 A.M. Sunday Church School 8:30 A.M. Pre-Worship Devotionals 9:45 A.M. Morning Worship Services 10:00 A.M. Holy Communion 1st Sunday Worship Services Bible Study Tuesdays, 6:00 P.M. Thursdays, 1:00 P.M. Prayer Meetings Tuesdays, 7:00 P.M. Thursdays, 12:00 P.M.

Pennsylvania Ave. Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Kendrick E. Curry Pastor 3000 Pennsylvania Ave.. S.E Washington, DC 20020 202 581-1500 Sunday Church School: 9:30 A.M. Sunday Worship Service: 11:00 A.M. Monday Adult Bible Study: 7:00 P.M. Wednesday Youth & Adult Activities: 6:30 P.M. Prayer Service Bible Study

Mt. Horeb Baptist Church Rev. Dr. H. B. Sampson, III Pastor 2914 Bladensburg Road, NE Wash., DC 20018 Office: (202) 529-3180 Fax: (202) 529-7738 Order of Services Worship Service: 7:30 a.m. Sunday School: 9:00 a.m. Worship Service: 10:30 a.m. Holy Communion: 4th Sunday 7:30 a.m. & 10:30a.m. Prayer Services: Tuesday 7:30 p.m. Wednesday 12 Noon For further information, please contact me at (202) 529-3180.

Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013


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SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131 Administration No. 2013 ADM 283 Frances R. Greene Decedent Dalton Howard, Esq., Brooks and Howard 6701 – 16th St., NW Washington, DC 20012 Attorney NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT, NOTICE TO CREDITORS AND NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS Lillian Gant, whose address is 2515 Alabama Ave., SE, Apt. 301, Washington, DC 20020, was appointed personal representative of the estate of Frances R. Greene, who died on December 23, 20032 without a Will, and will serve with Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W. Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before October 11, 2013. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before October 11, 2013, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship. Date of first publication: April 11, 2013 Lillian Gant Personal Representative TRUE TEST COPY Anne Meister Register of Wills Washington Informer SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131 Administration No. 2013 ADM 179 Patricia Ann Yates Decedent George L. Garrow, Jr./Garrow Law Firm 300 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC 20001 Attorney NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT, NOTICE TO CREDITORS AND NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS Jacqueline Yates, whose address is 3274 15th Place, SE, Washington, DC 20020, was appointed personal representative of the estate of Patricia Ann Yates, who died on November 29, 2011 without a Will, and will serve without Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W. Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before September 21, 2013. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before September 21, 2013, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship. Date of first publication: March 21, 2013 Jacqueline Yates Personal Representative

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Probate Division Washington, D.C. 20001-2131 Administration No. 2013 ADM 268 Evelyn H. Van Putten aka Evelyn Van Putten Decedent NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT, NOTICE TO CREDITORS AND NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS Jo Constance Bond, whose address is 1712 Second St, NW, Washington, DC 20001, was appointed personal representative of the estate of Evelyn H. Van Putten aka Evelyn Van Putten, who died on February 13, 2013 with a Will, and will serve with Court supervision. All unknown heirs and heirs whose whereabouts are unknown shall enter their appearance in this proceeding. Objections to such appointment (or to the probate of decedent’s Will) shall be filed with the Register of Wills, D.C., 515 5th Street, N.W. Third Floor Washington, D.C. 20001, on or before October 4, 2013. Claims against the decedent shall be presented to the undersigned with a copy to the Register of Wills or filed with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned, on or before October 4, 2013, or be forever barred. Persons believed to be heirs or legatees of the decedent who do not receive a copy of this notice by mail within 25 days of its first publication shall so inform the Register of Wills, including name, address and relationship. Date of first publication: April 4, 2013 Jo Constance Bond Personal Representative



Anne Meister Register of Wills Washington Informer

Anne Meister Register of Wills Washington Informer

34 Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013

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hold them, those who lose them, and what this means in terms of poverty, education, and community health. We could expand our understanding of the employment situation if we looked at those who bear its burden. There are politicians who rail that people are unemployed because they are lazy. The fact is people are unemployed because the economy is not generating enough jobs. The French philosopher, Albert Camus, mused, “Without work all life is rotten.” Everybody wants to be useful; and until “use” is defined as something other than paid employment, many will feel marginalized because of their vocation situation. When unemployed, people

hear about our “recovering” economy. They wonder what is wrong with them. We all need to wonder what is wrong with an economy that generates such unemployment. We need to wonder about an economy that has soaring stock prices and robust corporate profits, while so many individuals are struggling financially. We need to do more to include those at the margins into the vitality of our “recovering” economy. And we need to understand that if one in four African Americans and one is six of the overall population, experiences unemployment, this is not a personal problem, but a societal one. Will our society fix it, or let it roll? And who pays?wi

mandate to cut these benefits, and progressives will do everything possible to stop him.” Critics note that any “savings” from the chained CPI would go into the government’s general fund, not the Social Security Trust Fund. Therefore, it does nothing to “strengthen” Social Security. “It’s not the president’s ideal approach to our budget challenges, but it is a serious compromise proposition that demonstrates that he wants to get things done,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday. As I have noted in this space before, Obama is an Apprentice Negotiator. We saw that in 2012 when Republicans goaded him into extending the Bush tax cuts. In a failing effort to garner Republican support, Obama keeps offering up programs cherished by progressives, sometimes before the negotiating begins. President Obama’s new proposal also calls for placing a 28 percent cap on tax deductions and other exclusions. Because the change would raise taxes of the wealthy, GOP leaders are expect-

ed to reject the plan. Social Security provides monthly benefits to more than 50 million retired workers and workers with disabilities, their dependents, and their survivors. Obama faces considerable opposition from his own party, largely because of the importance of the popular retirement program. “Social Security benefits play a vital role in reducing poverty,” observed the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. “Without Social Security, 21.4 million more Americans would be poor, according to the latest available Census data (for 2011). Although most of those whom Social Security keeps out of poverty are elderly, nearly a third are under age 65, including 1.1 million children.”wi George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.) He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, You can also follow him at currygeorge.

ilarities between the Black freedom struggle and the gay rights movement. It’s perfectly clear now that the gay rights movement is this era’s “gateway” tolerance issue – that it is the movement whose successes are most critical at this moment to advancing tolerance and equal opportunity in American society. That isn’t to say gay rights has pushed into the background the struggle for full equality of Black Americans – or of White women and other people of color. Rather, it’s to acknowledge what hindsight has made apparent: Because the issue of gay rights has

been the most contentious issue of tolerance for the past two decades, the advances gays and lesbians have made in gaining their rights, and the recognition of those rights by their fellow Americans have broadened the boundaries of tolerance for all. That last point goes to the core of the common bond between the Black freedom struggle and the gay rights movement. Both groups were so stigmatized, so disregarded, so exiled from the American mainstream that they, separately and in different eras, had to forge an extraordinary, decades-long movement to change the thinking

MALVEAUX continued from Page 21 ment. These committed public servants work with the threat of layoffs in their worksites, given sequestration and state budget cuts. Yet they are also challenged to advise those who have experienced the fate they may have to grapple with themselves. As employment is cut among social workers, others are forced to take on larger caseloads. Unless some of these social workers are superhuman, there will be clients who will slip between the cracks. Heretofore, we have mostly looked at unemployment data as a reflection of the number of jobs our economy generates. We’ve also looked at those who

curry continued from Page 21 able large corporations and the wealthy to avoid paying $100 billion a year in federal taxes.” Social Security payments and COLAs are not limited to the elderly. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, approximately 6 million children under age 18 (8 percent of all U.S. children) lived in families that received income from Social Security in 2011. That includes children who received their benefits as dependents of retired, disabled, or deceased workers as well as those who live with parents or relatives who received Social Security benefits. Democrats are irked that Obama is breaking a pledge he made in 2008 not to cut Social Security. And regardless of how he couches it, that’s the net effect of his action. “You can’t call yourself a Democrat and support Social Security benefit cuts,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “… The president has no

Daniels continued from Page 21 Regardless of how the court rules on these cases – expectations are that the justices will issue narrow rulings effectively gutting both laws – full civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans will become a reality much sooner rather than later. The fact that this marked shift in public opinion about same-sex marriage became apparent at the moment of another calendar-driven commemoration of King’s prophetic mission helps illuminate the

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about them as a critical minority of Americans. That shift the respective movements engineered led to the social and political breakthroughs for them and, importantly, for other groups. Just as the gay rights movement benefited from the inspiration and the practical successes of the Black freedom struggle of the last 50 years, so now Black Americans are benefiting from the gay rights movement’s expanding the “space” for greater tolerance in American society. Of course, what has happened on the same-sex marriage front over the past month hardly means that

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struggle is finished. Black Americans can point to an entire catalogue of breakthroughs stretching back to Emancipation; yet, their struggle for full citizenship goes on. So it will be with the gay rights movement. To be sure, this is a watershed moment for the movement. But, as with the Black freedom struggle, it will be some time yet before justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream wi. Lee A. Daniels is a longtime journalist based in New York City. His most recent book is Last Chance: The Political Threat to Black America.

Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013


HAMP program performance report shows that the program is working as it increasingly helps eligible borrowers by forgiving a portion of their mortgage debt. HAMP homeowners who received permanent mortgage modifications were granted a total of $9.2 billion in principal reductions. Additionally, 114,000 homeowners avoided foreclosures through short sales or deed-in-lieu. Nationwide, the average nonHAMP mortgage modification reduced monthly payments by $389; while the average HAMP modification reduced the same monthly payments by $558. Similarly, nonHAMP servicers reduced interest rates in 73 percent of modifications made in the fourth quarter of 2012. Participating HAMP servicers reduced interest rates for 81 percent of borrows during this same period. Of all HAMP trial modifications, 80 percent of the homeowners were at least 60 days delinquent

at the trial start. The chief reason – for 68 percent of the troubled homeowners – was financial hardship because of reduced income or unemployment. In 2012, CRL research found that among the 10.9 million homes that went into foreclosure between 2007 and 2011, more than half of the “spillover” cost to nearby homes have led to a $1 trillion loss in home equity for African-American and Latino families. High concentration of foreclosures in neighborhoods of color perpetuated disproportionate burdens in America’s continuing foreclosure crisis. Coalition leaders agree: “Effective housing policies must recognize that neighborhoods with higher foreclosure rates and deeper foreclosure-related impacts will take more time to recover.” wi Charlene Crowell is a communications manager with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at: charlene.

could not find credible estimates of how large the illegal drug business is in America but with certainly it is at least $250 billion per year. I bet we would be surprised where some of it ends up. My brothers and sisters we have an extreme problem that needs urgent fixing. I would like to see Black elected officials become more active about addressing this problem. It is my firm belief that withdrawal programs are not the end solution. We need to come together and do something radically progressive. Nothing that has been tried in the past has improved this “illness.” The time has come for bold, Americana style action. The first thing we should do is legalize drugs. Treat it like liquor and cigarettes by taxing it to the limit and regulate it wisely. The demand for illegally transported

drugs will soon dry up and the use of street gangs will be a public danger. We could close many prisons and reduce enforcement officers along with parole and probation officers. The next thing we need to do is to write new legislation. Organized street gangs are already being broadly prosecuted as racketeering enterprises. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) should be amended to explicitly include street gangs with certain, severe prosecution of their leadership. Everyone knows who the leaders are and where they live. A good example of this is how authorities are currently going after the street gang MS – 13. According to the Associated Press, “The Obama administration declared the ultra-violent street gang MS – 13 to be an international criminal group ….The aim is to freeze it out of the U.S. financial system and seize what are estimated to be millions of dollars in criminal

profits from drug… and other crimes committed in this country”. Let’s form a taskforce like the old “Untouchables.” Make them forfeit their assets, bust up their leadership and strongly police our banking system that plays along with some of the vast money laundering that is taking place. If we follow the money and clean up the inside corruption, we will begin to turn the tide. Imagine our nation becoming a populous of people living productive lives once again. Right now we are just seeing our cultures and neighborhoods slide into oblivion. It is not something so great that we cannot manage. Some common sense, a lot of courage and a taste of vision could change it around. God bless us.wi Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: Email:

demise … oh, and in the death of American and Israeli integrity. Their daily protests – should several of them start falling from their moral high ground and dying – are shredding the invincible U.S. military and the IDF in ways the detonation of a suicide vest could never do. “These men, including many of my clients, say they are determined to leave Guantanamo one way or the other – alive or … in a box,” David Remes, a lawyer

for some of the detainees said, according to a published report. Who would have thought that these suspected terrorists, that these Arab extremists might wrest the moral authority from the United States and from Israel – two sister democracies holding back the tide of “Jihadism” and extremism in the Middle East, in a place that has been described as a “tough neighborhood?” Meanwhile, because Israel defines Iran as its greatest remain-

ing threat, the U.S. is now obsessing over that country’s peaceful nuclear enrichment plans, North Korea has built and tested nuclear bombs and the missile delivery system to strike with those weapons, and this country just hopes “cooler heads will prevail.” It’s like the Americans and the Israelis have the tiger by the tail. It’s too dangerous to hold on, and it’s unthinkable to let go.WI

CROWELL continued from Page 22

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Muhammad continued from Page 22 this country or its interests. But in jail they all remain, with no prospects of freedom. That’s a depressing scenario, and it already led to the suicide death of a prisoner who had been cleared for release, but who languished in prison with no promise of ever seeing free-

dom again. So now, both at Guantanamo, and in Israeli jails, these men who would be labeled “suicide bombers,” and “existential threats” have chosen suicide by starvation, which is a much more courageous path than strapping on bombs and killing innocent civilians. Their pacts with death will only result in their own personal

38 Apr. 11, 2013 - Apr. 17, 2013

homeowners time to focus on securing new employment while still owning their homes. Depending upon homeowner circumstances, forbearance plans can be approved with some required payment or none at all. Thus far, more than 30,500 homeowners have accessed this program. It is also relevant to note that African-American unemployment is higher than most. According to recent U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, Black unemployment at 14 percent is double that for White Americans. The nation’s metro areas with the largest HAMP participation rates are Los Angeles-Long Beach, NewYork-New Jersey, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Chicago-Northwest Indiana, and California’s Riverside-San Bernardino. California and Florida homeowners represented more than a third of all HAMP activity. Additionally, the most recent

Alford continued from Page 22

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