Champ Back with
a Different Telling
of His Story
Museum on the
Mall Ready to
be Set in Stone
Author Richard Wright
Gets Special Postage Stamp
CHICAGO- The achievements
of author and former postal
employee Richard Wright are
being honored with a first-class
The late writer is best known for
his works about racism in
America. such as "Native Son"
and "Black Boy." He also worked for the Chicago Post Office from 1927-
30 as a letter sorter. He died in 1960 at the age of 52.
A stamp featuring his image oent on sale nation%% ide last week and was
the 25th inductee into the Postal Service's Literar. Arts series.
Artwork for the 61-cent, first-class, 2-ounce stamp, created by Kadir
Nelson of San Diego, features a portrait of Wright in front of snow-swept
tenements on the South Side of Chicago, a scene that recalls the setting
of "Native Son." the Postal Sen ice said in a news release. Nelson's por-
trait of Wright was based on a photograph taken around 1945. Carl T.
Herrman of Carlsbad, Calif.. %as the stamp designer.
Report: Congressman Jesse Jackson
Jr. Faces an Ethics Probe
An independent panel that reviews possible
ethical lapses by members of the House of
Representatives has launched a preliminary
revaie% of US. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s efforts
to be appointed to the U.S. Senate b3 ousted
Illinois Gox. Rod Blagojevich, according to a
The Office of Congressional Ethics voted in
late March for the review, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in a story
posted on its Web site, citing documents released to parties involved in
The committee has asked for documents, e-mails and other correspon-
dence from Blagojevich's gubernatorial and campaign staff regarding
Jackson, Jackson's brother Jonathan and his campaign staff, the Sun-
Times reported. citing lawyers close to the probe. It requested informa-
tion from June through December 2008.
The panel reportedly began its work last Thursday, the same day a fed-
eral grand juiy indicted Blagojevich on corruption charges that, among
other things. accuse him of scheming to sell the Senate seat vacated by
President Barack Obama to the highest bidder. Blagojevich denies
Detroit Could Lay off Hundreds
of Teachers, Close Schools
In the face ofa projected $303 million deficit. Detroit Public Schools
may have to lay off 600 teachers and close 23 schools. These measures
are part of a proposal by Michigan's financial overseer, Robert Bobb,
who %%as named to the position in January after the schools' superinten-
dent was fired in December of last )ear.
During this decade, the system has seen its enrollment drop to just over
95,000; almost half the enrollment the system had during the late 1990s,
reports the AP. The drop could be due to families leaving Detroit and the
city's students flocking to charter schools. With Bobb's plan, approxi-
mately 7,500 students would need to change schools.
Teachers union officials appear to back Bobb's proposal. "He's going
to make sure teachers are equipped with the materials that they need,"
said Keith Johnson, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.
In addition, Bobb has requested $200 million from the state for
improvements to the schools that will stay open. The state's Department
of Education is considering his request but has not set a timeline for a
final decision, according to a spokesman.
A decision on Bobb's proposal is set to come in early May after an April
28 town hall, reports the news service.
Companies Sued in Computer
Scam of Northern Churches
WASHINGTON, DC A slick con job had some Black congregations
coughing up hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to prosecutors.
Peter Nickles, attorney general for the District of Columbia, sued sev-
eral people and companies, saying that they finagled African-American
churchgoers in at least 50 houses of worship across the United States -
including in D.C., Maryland, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, California -
out of money.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants convinced several congrega-
tions that they could have "free" computer kiosks in their church lobbies
to provide community and church information. Some of the churches
were even told that they could get advertising dollars. In reality, they
were unv. itingly duped into signing long-term leasing agreements for
the equipment totaling $50,000 or more. They were never told that the
computer equipment some of which didn't work very well was only
worth a few grand.
The defendants are Television Broadcasting Online, Inc., Washington,
D.C.; Urban Interfaith Network, Inc., Oxon Hill, Md.; Michael Morris,
Willie Perkins, and several national leasing companies, including United
Leasing Associates of America, Brookfield, Wis.; Balboa Capital, Irvine,
Calif.; and Chesapeake Industrial Leasing, Baltimore.
15 Year Old Female
a New Trail in
/the World of Golf
SWorse for Jax
kLOURI A'S lIRS1 A 'OA 1 QUALITY 1
Volume 23 No. 29 Jacksonville, Florida April 16-22, 2009
How Will Black Men Survive Failing U. S. Economy?
by Charlene Muhammad
A recent study indicates that of
the major ethnic groups impacted
by unemployment during the cur-
rent U.S. recession, Black men have
experienced the greatest job losses
since the crisis officially began in
"What's missing from national
media coverage of this recession is
plainly a great deal of [honesty]
about who's losing their jobs. This
is overwhelmingly a blue collar,
retail sales, low level recession,"
said Andrew Sum, professor of eco-
nomics and director of the Center
Library Rallies to Encourage
Ribault H.S. Students to Read
The Jacksonville Public Library
has developed a community part-
nership with Ribault H.S. to
encourage its students to read and
register for library cards.
The celebration at Ribault High
School last week rallied the stu-
dents to read Call of the Wild and
participate in a school-wide essay
contest where the winner would
receive a laptop computer. Ribault
High School's drum line performed,
and Mayor Peyton, Council
Member Gaffney, and other com-
munirt dignitaries read selections
from Call of the Wild at the all-
school assembly .Additionall.
Ribault student Liset Bing repre-
sented the Ribault student bod)
with her own reading from the Call
of the Wild.
Students also had the opportunity
to win prizes donated by the com-
munity through a series of draw-
ings. Types of prizes included gift
cards, MP-3 players, and other
The students' essays are due April
29th to Ms. Ywana Allen at Ribault
High School. The winners will be
announced at the May downtown
Art Walk at the Main Library in the
Teen Department on May 6, 2009.
for Labor Market Studies at
Northeastern University in Boston,
Mass.,which published the study.
"The Impacts of the 2007-2009
National Recession on Male
Employment in the U.S. through
January 2009; The Massive
Concentration of Job Losses
Among Males Especially Black
Men and Blue Collar Workers"
tracked employment losses in the
recession across gender groups of
workers overall, and in the four
major ethnicities-Asian, Black,
Hispanic and White.
Continued on page 2
Shown above are former Ailey Dancer Gregory McKinnon, Tracy
Inman and Kezia Hendrix Rolle, Executive Director of The Centre.
Famed Alvin Ailey Director
Scouting and Teaching in Jacksonville
Jacksonville artistic students got a first hand taste of the big time with
recent instruction by Mr. Tracy Inman, Co-Director of the Junior Division
at The Ailey School in New York City. Inman visited the city for a special
three day instructino session hosted by Jacksonville Centre of the Arts
(The Centre). While here, he taught modern dancemaster classes for 12-25
year-old intermediate to advanced dance students from around the com-
munity. His visit also include an opportunity for students, 16-25, to audi-
tion for The Ailey School's 2009 Summer Intensive Program.
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater this year marks its 50th
anniversary of bringing African American cultural expression and the
American modern dance tradition to the world's stages. R.Silver Photo
Community Mourns Loss of
Mrs. Ernestine Bentley Bivens
Mrs. Ernstine Bentley Bivens,.
well known educator, passed away
peacefully April 13, 2009. Mrs.
Bivens, a native of Jacksonville,
was a 1939 graduate of Stanton
Senior High School, followed by a
Bachelor's Degree from Bethune
Cookman-College. Mrs. Bivens
was employed with the New York
Disney on Ice for me please! Even though temperatures outside are in the 80s,
Jacksonvillians still find time to enjoy a little ice capades. The Perry Family indulged in the family activity to the
delight of their youngest member. Shown above are Diane Perry, Wil'Neisha Perry-Burwell, Willie Perry and lit-
tle Gabrielle Perry. Codee Photo
Mrs. Ernestine Bivens
City Schools as a teacher for many
years until she retired and returned
Her many affiliations include
the Bold City Chapter of Links,
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,
NAACP Life Member and the
Deaconess Board of Greater
Macedonia Baptist Church.
Mrs. Bivens will rest in the mor-
tuary for visitation Friday from 5-7
p.m. and at the church from 9 a.m.
until the hour of service, Saturday
April 18, 2009 at 10 a.m at the
Greater Macedonia Baptist Church,
1880 Edgewood Ave. West.
Entombment will be in Evergreen
Cemetery. Services are being han-
dled by Alphonso West Mortuary.
She is preceded in death by her
son Herndon A. Bivens, husband
Woodrow Bivens, brothers Fred
Bentley, Jr. and William Bentley
and sisters Mrs. Inez Walden and
Dr. Mabel Perry. She leaves to
mourn a host of nieces, nephews
Peniii N. 6
SI Against the Odds: How do Black Men Survive a Failing Economy
As it appears race relations are improving, extremists are going back
behind closed doors and under robes to promote their agenda.
Right Wing Extremists
Groups on the Rise
Right-wing extremist groups may
be using the recession and the elec-
tion of the nation's first African-
American president to recruit mem-
bers, a Department of Homeland
Security report contends.
Though the nine-page report said
it has "no specific information that
domestic right-wing terrorists are
currently planning acts of vio-
lence," it said real-estate foreclo-
sures, unemployment and tight
credit "could create a fertile recruit-
ing environment for right-wing
extremists and even result in con-
frontations between such groups
and government authorities similar
to those in the past."
The report, prepared in coordina-
tion with the FBI and published
April 7, was distributed to federal,
state and local law enforcement
officials under the title "Right-wing
Extremism: Current Economic and
Political Climate Fueling
Resurgence in Radicalization and
It compares the current climate
the 1990s, "when right-wing
extremism experienced a resur-
gence fueled largely by an econom-
ic recession, criticism about the
outsourcing of jobs, and the per-
ceived threat to U.S. power and
sovereignty by other foreign pow-
It cites proposed restrictions on
weapons as likely to increase mem-
bership in extremist groups and
expresses concern the groups might
try to recruit veterans.
The report also cites concern
about anti-Semitism, saying that
some groups are blaming the loss of
U.S. jobs and home foreclosures on
"a deliberate conspiracy conducted
by a cabal of Jewish 'financial
elites' in an attempt to recruit
The election of President Obama
is cited as a key recruitment tool.
"Many right-wing extremists are
antagonistic toward the new presi-
dential administration and its per-
ceived stance on a range of issues,
including immigration and citizen-
ship, the expansion of social pro-
grams to minorities, and restric-
tions on firearm ownership and
use," the report said.
It said that twice in the run-up to
the 2008 presidential election,
"extremists appeared to be in the
early planning stages of some
threatening activity targeting the
Democratic nominee, but law
continued from front
Primarily, this gap stems from
differences in job types and fields,
such as health care, education,
social services and well-paying
jobs, which are saturated with
women and still growing. But if you
are a Black man working in truck-
ing, manufacturing, construction or
warehousing, you are getting clob-
bered, the document's lead author
In fact, he said, through February,
Black men who were employed a
According to Young, self-help
and entrepreneurship is a sure route
out of joblessness for Black men.
"It's a low cost investment and
many times a high reward. In
Newark, we have a thriving market
when it comes to folks selling
things, especially when stores are
going up on their prices. We just
encourage the men who attend our
programs to turn their skills when
they were out doing negative things
into something positive," he told
The Final Call.
For instance, he
added, "One of our
guys came to class sell-
ing socks, for $4-$5 a
pack. It won't ease all
your pains, and it's not a
lot of money but it will
help you over that
hump," at least through
about six to eight
months of training for a
According to the
study, the demograph-
ics of job losers in the
U.S. have important
implications for the
design and implementa-
tion of the programs to
be funded under the economic stim-
ulus package and work force devel-
opment policies at the national,
state and local levels.
For Sum, one way to reduce job-
lessness is to try to get all of the
stimulus money distributed as soon
as possible to get people back to
work, and specifically target proj-
ects toward infrastructure, manu-
facturing, transportation and train-
ing money for youth jobs.
In addition, the Obama adminis-
tration, and recipients of stimulus
funds must guarantee public post-
ings of all job openings generated
by federal stimulus dollars on web-
sites of one-stop centers.
Abdul Muhammad, a lead
instructor at the Fatherhood Center,
said people should be concerned
about the joblessness among Black
men because it lends to the large
number of single. Black mothers
who are head of households.
"Black men suffer the worst
when it comes to health and nutri-
tion and they're the first fired and
last hired ... with our national pro-
gram. What I'm finding outside of
Newark is that Black men in all
these cities are going through the
same issues, which is the lack of
employment, financial empower-
ment, and not being able to provide
for themselves and live a conducive
lifestyle," he said.
As a result, Abdul Muhammad
continued, the men feel frustrated
and denigrated to a point where
they give up, and children suffer
when a man, unable to provide for
his family, turns away from being a
Ultimately, Abdul Muhammad
said, society must allow Black men
to become engaged through civic
participation and economic
Otherwise, it will continue to
produce anger, animosity and
the horrific numbers of Black-
men entering the prison sys- I k
tem, advocates warn.
"I can speak personally for
myself because as most of these
guys that enter our organization or
Black men in general, I've sat
where they're sitting
because I've done
time in state prison
myself. I under-
stand their pain
and their frustra-
tion but I was
and blessed due
to the Teachings
of the Most
Eli j ah
have the oppor-
tunity to learn
how to utilize the
Program that he and
Farrakhan have provid-
ed for us as a people,"
Abdul Muhammad said.
Attorney George Garrow, execu-
tive director of Concerned Black
Men, a Washington, D.C.-based
national organization, which helps
provide positive Black role models
for youth, said that although Black
male job rates are bleak right now,
this is an opportunity for them to
reinvent themselves. Some things
that might have seemed risky in the
past may not be now because the
country is not doing well and peo-
ple are more receptive to new ideas,
Atty. Garrow cautioned Black
men against becoming frozen and
lapsing into inaction.
He said, "We make assumptions
that since the economy is tough,
there's no way to get into college to
work on an associate degree or get
Into a training program,
but that's not necessar-
ily true. This is an
skills so as the
,_ e c o n o m y
e rebounds'. you're
in the best position
S' than .a\ rto-years-
month before the recession started
have lost their jobs at a rate five
times greater than everybody com-
bined, ethnicity and gender wise.
"Here we are as a country that
was priding itself on the fact that it
elected a Black American president
of the United States and rightfully
so. At the same time this is the
greatest recession loss of jobs by
Black men since the end of World
War II. This has never happened
before, yet nobody on national TV
has stood up and said this recession
has been catastrophic for Black
men," Sum said.
"This means we're in trouble,"
said Lavar Young, director of the
Newark Comprehensive Center for
Fathers (Fatherhood Center), which
helps men transition who have lost
their jobs, homes, or are reentering
the work force after incarceration.
The Fatherhood Center provides
mentoring, life skills, legal assis-
tance, education and counseling
Pr. Chester Aiken5
505 East5 Union street
in Downtown Jack5onviLLe
8:30 AM 5 PM
Saturday Appointments Available
Dental Insurance and Medicaid Accepted
OBSTETRICAL & GYNECOLOGICAL
& Gynecological Care
Comprehensive Pregnancy Care
Board Certified Laser Surgery
Family Planning Vaginal Surgery
Osteoporosis Menopausal Disorder
Laparoscopy Menstrual Disorder
St. Vincent's Division IV
1820 Barrs Street, Suite 521
Jacksonville, FL 32204
B. Vereen Chithriki, M.D.
William L. Cody, M.D.
The study found that:
*Males are 80 percent (3.1 mil-
lion) of all people who have lost
their jobs in America;
*Black male employment fell by
6.4 percent (482,000), compared
to overall Black employment at
almost 3 percent (463,000); and
*The unemployment gap
between Black men and women is
historically unprecedented with
Blacks the only group where the
gap favors women.
April 16-22, 2009
Page 2 Ms. Perry's Free Press
Ms. Perry's Free
' F- ."
:IM IH I 114
Oil and natural gas fuel our economy in many ways transportation,
pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, just to name a few. And a new study
shows how developing off-limits domestic oil and natural gas resources
- which we can do in an environmentally responsible manner could
dramatically boost our economy.
The ICF International study* shows that developing off-limits federal
oil and natural gas would create 160,000 new jobs; increase American
energy security; and generate $1.7 trillion for local, state and federal
budgets. Develop all potential federal oil and natural gas resources and
that number could exceed a staggering $4 trillion.
It's time to put America's energy to work for Americans and
OIL NO NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY
* ;" .. .' .
. ... .... < -.....
I .,, -,
ril 16 22, 2009
-,' ; d d- i ,t
Page 4 Ms. Perry's Free Press April 16-22, 2009
Jacksonville's Foreclosure Issues May Be Getting Worse
As I look back on the
housing/foreclosure crisis that this
country, state and even more
importantly this city, is facing one
word becomes prevalent in my
That word is greed. Here in
America many of us get caught up
with the notion of living beyond
our means. We lust for things that
we consider relevant, but most of
time these things are not. They are
simply "wants" that feed our egos
and help us "Keep up with Jones's."
I am certainly not saying that I
am above wanting nice things, but
some of us have eyes bigger than
our stomachs as my grandmother
used to say.
Here in Jacksonville there are
obviously several factors that com-
plicate the issue, but living beyond
our means is a key component.
"We tend to forget that happiness
doesn't come as a result of getting
something we don't have, but rather
of recognizing and appreciating
what we do have," said Frederick
By the beginning of 2009,
Jacksonville was averaging an esti-
mated 1,000 foreclosures every
month, which is three times the
amount from last year.
The city even has the dubious
distinction of being mentioned in
Forbes magazine. Unfortunately,
we weren't highlighted for our eco-
nomic development initiatives or
workforce innovations programs,
but our extremely high foreclosure
Forbes predicted that foreclosure
rates in Jacksonville, Naples and
Miami will increase by 14 to 15
percent in 2009 thanks to falling
home prices and increasing job
losses, but Jacksonville will have
the highest foreclosure rate.
Certainly this can't be true, but
Forbes is simply making a predic-
tion based on declining home val-
ues and unemployment rates. In the
midst of this argument we can't for-
get the fact that the need for quali-
ty housing is real.
And that's where the balancing
act comes in how do you help
low-income families and first time
homebuyers obtain housing oppor-
tunities, and not set them up for
While down payment assistance
programs, help with closing cost,
free credit counseling and grants
that allow your mortgages to be
more affordable. If you no longer
have a job it doesn't matter what
your mortgage is.
Couple these programs with a lot
of creative financing from various
banks, relatively modest prices,
and low interest rates and you can
understand why Jacksonville was
considered a good place to pur-
chase a home.
Obviously, these programs are
desperately needed and homeown-
ership skyrocketed nationwide over
the last few years once the bubble
busted it really busted.
So I guess one should never look
a gift horse in the mouth.
Most of the zip codes that were
heavily affected by massive fore-
closures were on the Northside of
Jacksonville and the Argyle area.
So course, many people were
getting homes at low interest rates,
but the rates were adjustable so
three years later their mortgage
payments had increased drastically
and with higher gas, food and utili-
For a family living paycheck to
paycheck an adjustable rate mort-
gage is a disaster waiting to hap-
And you certainly can't throw
every foreclosure case in same bag.
There are also investors out there
that may have bitten off more than
they can chew. Many investors
used the ease of financing a few
years back to overextend them-
selves creating housing surpluses.
This also meant that many of
them are now stuck paying mort-
gages on houses that they didn't
anticipate having to fund. Of
course that's only a part of the
Predatory lending is another
major culprit. Although minority
mortgage numbers have increased
in Jacksonville and around the
country for the past decade that bit
of good news can be very mislead-
Predatory lenders traditionally
focus on blacks and other minori-
ties because many minorities sim-
ply are not familiar with the mort-
gage financing process. Sometimes
we want a home so bad that we do
not do enough homework before
signing on the dotted line.
The Federal Neighborhood
Stabilization Program is supposed
help turn the foreclosure issue
around in communities like
Jacksonville. In 2008, Congress
passed the Housing and Economic
Recovery Act (HERA).
The law created a new
Program (NSP) to provide targeted
assistance to state and local govern-
ments to acquire and rehabilitate
foreclosed upon residential proper-
ties that might otherwise become a
source of blight within communi-
HERA appropriated $3.92 billion
in NSP funding to communities
nationwide. Jacksonville received
$26 million. Now the question
becomes will these funds help stem
the tide or is it too little too late.
Time will certainly tell, but the
onus is now on the City use proper-
ly utilized the funds.
Signing off from an NSP work-
An Honorary Degree for Kermit
The Frog ...... But Not President Obama
It's not clear
if Arizona State University
President Michael Crow had any
say in the decision not to grant
President Obama, the school's
commencement speaker, an hon-
orary degree. But one thing's for
sure the dumbest thing that school
officials said in telling why they
won't grant an honorary degree to
President Obama was not that he
didn't have a credible body of work
and thus supposedly was unfit for
the honorary degree. It was that the
commencement committee may
not have even considered him for
the degree in the first place. Here
are the names of the wise ones on
ASU's Honorary Degrees
Committee who snubbed President
Obama for the honorary degree.
Laurie Chassin, Psychology,
2010 (Chair) Christine Wilkinson,
Senior Vice President and
Secretary of the University, 2010
(Co-Chair) Roger Adelson,
History, 2009 Bill Miller, Applied
Biological Sciences, 2009 Joan
Brett, Graduate College, 2010
Claudia Brown, Art, 2010 Chris
Callahan, Walter Cronkite School
of Journalism and Mass
Communication, 2010 Philip
Christensen, Earth and Space
Exploration, 2010 Luis Gomez-
Mejia, Management, 2010 Jewell
Parker Rhodes, Virginia C. Piper
Center for Creative Writing, 2010
Paul Patterson, Morrison School of
Management and Agribusiness,
2010 Sander van der Leeuw,
Human Evolution and Social
Change, 2010 Linda Vaughan,
Nutrition, 2010 Gary Waissi, ASU
Global Engagement, 2010
The university vice provost and
dean of the Graduate College; and
the president of the ASU
Foundation also are ex-officio
members of the committee.
The. committee members hail
from all over the university map
and they made no mention in the
flurry of press announcements they
put out variously explaining and
defending the snub the exact crite-
ria they used to determine why
Obama didn't cut the academic
muster. That would be tough any-
way. The whole thing is either ludi-
crous or farcical depending on how
charitable one wants to be. By any
mastery, historic trend setting, his
education and legal writings,
research and instruction, and intel-
lect-President Obama's merits
speak for themselves. And ASU
officials pretty much acknowl-
edged that by inviting him to give
the commencement address in the
The reason for the degree snub
then can't be lack of merit or a lack
of a body of work. It's something
else and that something else speaks
to the politics and money behind
who gets an honorary degree and
why they get it. In years past ASU
has laddled them out to a laundry
list of such academic wizards as a
movie director, oil computer and
microchip executives, and newpa-
per publishers. Universities, and
that includes ASU, routinely hand
out honorary degrees to a check list
of fat cat contributors and donors.
Universities have even been known
to award them to politicians who
have never taken pen to paper. This
was the case in 2001 when Yale
University awarded an honorary
degree to George W. Bush. He was
.barely one year into his presidency.
The sum of Bush's academic
accomplishment from Yale was a
degree in history in 1968.
ASU also honored its favored
political son, Barry M. Goldwater,
with an honorary degree in 1961. It
didn't hurt that Goldwater was the
state's most influential US senator
and could steer a lot of federal cash
to the university. But a Goldwater
honorary degree at least in that
respect made some sense. Not sure
if the same could be said for the
recipient of the honorary degree
from Long Island's Southampton
College in 1996. The academic
marvel that year was a Sesame
Street Muppet Kermit the Frog.
Then again maybe Kermit was
more deserving than Bush since
Kermit had used his celebrity to
spread positive messages about
environmental protection in public
service announcements for the
National Wildlife Federation,
National Parks Service, the Better
World Society, and other groups.
At least that's what University
officials said in defending Kermit's
Then there are the universities
such as the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, Cornell University
Stanford University, the London
School of Economics and Political
Science and the University of
Virginia. They play it close to the
vest, maintain their level of real
academic integrity and cut out the
honorary degree sham.
ASU obviously isn't on that elite
list of academic non-honorary
degree game players. And
President Obama is not Bush or
Kermit the Frog. So here's how
ASU President Crow can erase an
embarrassment. Ignore the Honor's
Committee's blindspot toward or
deliberate egg of the President, and
bestow on him the award that he
richly deserves, an honorary
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author
and political analyst. His weekly radio
show, "The Hutchinson Report" can be
heard nationally on blogtalkradio. com
Thein Business of Pirav
/N. "In East Africa hijacking has developed into a high-
ly structured social and business model. Modem-day
piracy is Somalia's most lucrative business. In the
booming pirate port of Ely, Somalia big villas and
hotels are sprouting and former subsistence fishermen
are driving Mercedes-Benzes.
The pirate city is Somalia's sole boomtown. Somalia has no central gov-
ernment, no banks and few opportunities. In a country that has seen 14 pro-
visional governments since 1991, multimillion dollar ransoms are one of few
ways to earn a living in the war-ravaged and impoverished region. Nearly
half the population depends on aid. Since the civil war many coastal
Somalis have turned to buccaneering as a business.
Eyl is a costal town in the northern region of Somalia and home to Somali
men such as those who hijacked the American cargo ship Maersk Alabama.
Banditry at sea offers power and potential prosperity in a land so bleak that
life expectancy is just 46 years and a quarter of children die before they
In Somalia, where the
average family lives on less
than $1 a day, the lure of
the black flag is intoxicat-
ing. The Somali pirates
made $125 million in 2008.
reach 5. Piracy evolved due to
Somalia's lawlessness and Eyl's
strategic location. Thirty 30 per-
cent of the world's oil goes
through the narrow Gulf of Aden
off Somalia's northern coast. One
of the world's busiest waterways,
20,000 merchant ships pass
through the Gulf of Aden on their
way to and from the Suez Canal
Their booty from one of the world's busiest waterways has made Somali's
coastal bandits the country's wealthiest people and propelled piracy and ran-
soming to the country's largest income-earner. In Somalia, where the aver-
age family lives on less than $1 a day, the lure of the black flag is intoxicat-
ing. The Somali pirates made $125 million in 2008.
In Eyl, hijacking is the main industry. In the boomtown, fancy houses are
being built and expensive cars and consumer goods are being bought. The
going rate for ransom payments is between $300,000 and $1.5 million. Even
though the number of pirates who actually take part in a hijacking is rela-
tively small, the whole modem industry of piracy involves many more peo-
ple that reside in and around Eyl.
These are not the rum-drunk, eccentric, peg-leg pirates of yesteryear:
Africa's modem corsair is well-organized, disciplined and toting a satellite
phone. Now that they are making so much money, these 21st Century pirates
can afford increasingly sophisticated weapons and speedboats.
The number of people who make the first attack is small, normally from
seven to 10. They seek up to hulking ships at night in small, powerful unlit
speedboats, fling grappling hooks over the side and board. Once they seize
the ship, about 50 pirates stay on board the vessel. And about 50 more wait
on shore in case anything goes wrong. Given all the other people involved
in the piracy industry, including those who feed hostages, it has become a
mainstay of the Eyl's economy.
In spite of the Maersk Alabama's rescue, the pirates lost little and still have
much to gain continuing to strike. The pirates, ship owners and insurers all
know that it's more cost-effective to pay ransoms. The pirates' current aver-
age bounty of $300,000 to $1 million ransom per vessel is significantly
cheaper option for owners than buying a new ship. Most tankers and ships
are not armed, or if they are, they have small side arrfs. The pirates circle
the vessel and threaten to blow it out of the water with rocket-propelled
grenades or shoulder-launched missiles. Faced with that prospect, most cap-
tains to save the life of their crew and the vessels will surrender control
Shippers are paying premium prices for coverage of trips through the Gulf
of Aden and millions of dollars on diversions and extra security. The pirates'
business practices are effective primarily because of their simplicity. In a
country where banking no longer functions everything is done by cash. And,
as long as pirates can get shippers to airdrop tens of thousands of $100 notes
as ransom payments Eyl will continue as "Blingtown" flush with new cars,
plush houses, Sean Jean clothes and cologne and satellite televisions and
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CONTRIBUTORS: Lynn Jones, Charles Griggs, Camilla Thompson,
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Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 5
April 16 22, 2009
President Declares the Time is Now to Refinance
Declaring "good news" in the
midst of an economic meltdown,
President Barack Obama on
Thursday urged families to take
advantage of near-record low mort-
gage rates by refinancing their
home loans. "We are at a time
where people can really take advan-
tage of this," Obama said, seated
with a handful of homeowners who
have already lowered their bills.
But he also warned people to
watch out for scam artists, caution-
ing, "If somebody is asking you for
money up front before they help
you with your refinancing, it's prob-
ably a scam."
Rates on 30-year mortgages
inched upward this week but
remain near the lowest level in
decades, allowing borrowers with
strong credit and stable jobs to save
money if they refinance.
The average rate on a 30-year
fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.87
percent this week, up from 4.78
percent last week, Freddie Mac
reported Thursday. That was the
lowest in the history of the survey,
which dates back to 1971.
Low rates have sparked a surge in
refinancing activity, with nearly
80% of new home loan applications
coming from borrowers seeking to
refinance. Freddie Mac's sibling
company, Fannie Mae, refinanced
$77 billion in loans last month,
nearly double February's volume.
"The main message we want to
send today is there are 7 to 9 million
people across the country who right
now could be taking advantage of
lower mortgage rates," Obama said.
"That is money in their pocket."
Foreclosures and defaults contin-
ue to break records. A record 5.4
million American homeowners with
a mortgage, or nearly 12 percent,
were at least one month late or in
foreclosure at the end of last year.
And nearly half of homeowners
Links Ring Closing Bell at the NASDAQ
Shown above are members of the New York Chapter at the NASDAQ
At 4:004.p. on April 9th, members
of The Links, Inc. rang the NAS-
DAQ Stock Market Closing Bell to
celebrate the 60th Anniversary of
the organization's Greater New
With expanded interest in the
economy and financial news, the
ringing of the NASDAQ closing
bell is now seen by millions.
"We thank the NASDAQ for pro-
viding us the honor of closing the
market today," stated Dr.
Gwendolyn Lee, National President
of The Links, Inc. "This event
presents a fabulous opportunity for
us to generate awareness about our
programs and the impact that we
have here in New York, as well as
nationally and globally."
The bell ringing ceremony is
reserved for important milestones
and other celebratory occasions.
"The Greater New York Chapter
was one of the earliest chapters of
The Links, Inc. and as such we have
a long rich history," stated Chapter
President Minta Spain. Our pro-
Clinton to Speak at FAMU Commencement
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Former President Bill Clinton has been tapped
to speak at Florida A&M University's commencement in May.
School officials say Clinton will share his life lessons with graduates and
challenge them to transform ideas into action.
Others scheduled to speak at the graduation ceremony at the historically
black university include U.S. Congressman Kendrick Meek, a FAMU alum,
and CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien, who recently embarked on a project
about blacks in America.
First Lady Adds Full Time Make Up Artist
She's America's top "model."
Michelle Obama is the nation's first first lady to add a full-time makeup
artist to her traveling entourage, according to stylists who have worked with
presidential wives over the past 16 years.
Makeup artist Ingrid Grimes-Miles, 49, helped create Obama's signature
look on her inaugural trip to Europe last week.
Grimes-Miles, who has been working with the first lady for six years, now
splits her time between DC and Chicago, where she dolls up morning-news
anchors for WGN TV.
"No other first ladies have consistently traveled with a makeup artist," said
hairdresser Bernard Portelli, who styled Hillary Rodham Clinton's blond
mane in 1993 and tracks trends in first-lady style.
The Obamas privately paid for the travel expenses of the styling team,
according to a spokeswoman for the first lady. But the high-profile jobs
don't pay much, say former White House stylists.
Need an Attorney?
Contact Law Office of
Reese Marshall, P.A.
214 East Ashley Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Over 30 years experience of professional
and courteous service to our clients
grams and those of our fellow
Chapters have impacted the lives of
countless men, women and children
all over the world."
with a risky subprime adjustable- 0C %I 1 IE.I W,--, W % -
rate mortgage were in trouble. Florida health officials recently marked National Minority Health
Last month, the Obama adminis- Month by discussing the infant mortality among blacks.
tration launched a new plan to pro- According to the Florida Department of Health, black infants are 2.5
vide $75 billion in incentives for times more likely to die before their first birthdays than whites. The
the mortgage industry to modify department also has found that blacks represent 38% of the 1,700 infants
loans to help borrowers avoid fore- who die before reaching age one.
closure. The president is encourag- Bill Sappenfield, state maternal and.child health epidemiologist, saic
ing people to take advantage of a good health habits during pregnancy are not necessarily enough tc
government Web site reverse risk factors that accumulate in the years before a womar
http://www.makinghomeafford- becomes pregnant.
able.gov to see how they can get Emile Commedore, director of the Florida Office of Minority Health
help. said minorities -- especially black women -- are less likely than whites
In recent weeks nearly 200,000 to plan their pregnancies and have regular access to health care
homeowners have contacted Bank According to Commedore. black women also are more likely to hav
of America to find out if they are serious medical conditions, morbid obesity and diabetes when they
eligible to refinance under the become pregnant (Ash. Fort Meyers News-Press, 4/9). He added, "A lo
Obama administration's new guide- of these women hi e in rural areas and there's no transportation that they
lines, said Vijay Lala, the bank's can use" to access adequate health care.
product management executive. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, experts and advocates sai(
"We've seen a tremendous amount more outreach, education and family planning for black women is need
of interest." ed .
Supreme Court to Revisit Voting Rights Act
Since its inception, the Voting
Right Act of 1965 has been used to
ensure that African-Americans and
others of color maintain their right
to the ballot booth. Even those of us
with short-term memory can recall
the panic that many felt when the
misleading email circulated regard-
ing the abolishment of African-
American Voting Rights all over the
Thankfully, the email was a bit
distorted and misleading, but it did
serve the purpose to raise the
awareness and the importance of
the U. S. House and Senate, reau-
thorizing the Voters Rights Act of
1965 (VRA). Immediately after the
reauthorization, amidst the clamour
of critics and opposition groups
alike, opponents moved swiftly to
file lawsuits challenging the consti-
tutionality of various sections of
VRA, particularly sections 3 and 5.
On January 9, the Supreme Court,
after a three-judge panel ruled to
uphold the reauthorization in 2008,
decided to hear arguments in the
appeal of a lawsuit brought by an
Austin, Texas, municipal utility dis-
trict under Section 5 of the Voting
Northwest Austin Municipal
Utility District (MUD) No. 1 vs.
Mukasey is the case and it is the
first direct legal challenge to sec-
tion 5 of the act. It is under this sec-
tion that the states in the south in
particular are mandated to obtain
federal approval before enforcing
new voting procedures. So why a
The MUD argued that part of the
law is costly and unconstitutional,
particularly for elections that are
not broad in scope and discourages
local governments from making
changes that might benefit the com-
munity. The utility board sought to
move its polling places from a
garage to a school. Given the nature
of this case as it pertains to the pro-
tection of voter rights, now is the
time to reclaim the cry for action
that so many felt during the midst
of the VRA email hysteria.
Understanding that the court will
hear the case on Wednesday, April
29, 2009, gives us sufficient time to
become proactive on the issue.
What can you do? Impress upon
your elected representatives how
important this is to you. Begin talk-
ing about it with friends and neigh-
bors and if you have to... send
emails, but get the information right
For obvious reasons the justices
don't have public email addresses,
but you can write them at;
Justice (or Chief Justice)
(Justice's Full Name), Supreme
Court of the United States, One
First Street N.E., Washington, DC
Monday, April 27, 2009
University Boulevard W &
St. Augustine Rd
[In lot next to Compass Bank)
Jacksonville, FL 32217
All interested persons or groups are encouraged to attend and participate. Public participation is
solicited without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age or national origin, disability or familial status.
Any person requiring special accommodations should contact Kent Stover at 904.630.3153
or email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than seven days prior to the meeting.
Florida Officials Examine Why Black
s eibaB are 2 5 Times More Likely to Die
Please join us at one of the below follow-up
meetings to discuss final plans for May 4 route changes.
-1 1 AC! lanG-^ ^k/
Pare 6 Ms. Perry's Free Press April 16-22, 2009
Enjoy Gospel with Marc Little
Veteran broadcaster and author Marc- Little will be hosting a late night
gospel show from 2 6 a.m., Monday through Friday, featuring cross gen-
erational gospel music, daily prayerand music by request at 766-9285. The
show can be heard online at www.WCGL.com and WCGL AM.
Church of the Master 1 Night Revival
The A.M.E. Church of the Master Lay Organization will be hosting a one
night revival on Friday, April 17, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. The speaker will be
Rev. James Graham. Join in celebrating a spiritual renewal and rejoice in
His name. We look forward to fellowshipping with you in praise and wor-
ship. AME Church of the Master Pastor is Rev. Mose Thomas
St. Andrew AME Hosts 6th Annual
Mother's Day Breakfast
St Andrew A.M.E. Church will present their 6th Annual Mother's Day
Breakfast at the Village Inn Restaurant, 200 3rd St. in Neptune Beach, FL.
It will be held on Saturday, May 9th from 7 to 9 a.m. For more informa-
tion, call 249-7624 for tickets.
African Children's Choir in Concert
The beautiful voices and charming smiles of the African Children's Choir
will bring the beauty, dignity and hope of Africa to Greater Macedonia
Baptist Church on Wednesday May 13th at 7 p.m. The concert will feature
a mixture of African songs and dances, well-loved children's songs, tradi-
tional spirituals and contemporary tunes. Admission is free.
For more information, call Verdell Wells at 764-9257.
Free grief workshops sponsored by
Community Hospice of N.E. Florida
"New Grief: Good Grief' is a program designed to help individuals iden-
tify common grief reactions and to learn that healing is possible after the
loss of a loved one. This one-hour group workshop provides healthy and
effective ways to cope and achieve a balance in life after the death of a
loved one. They will be held throughout the month of April.
The workshop will help attendees: Recdgnize the loss and begin to accept
the accompanying paid; Identify physical and emotional reactions to the
loss and learn ways to help alleviate bereavement-related stress and
become familiar with the healing process
To be eligible, attendees must be 18 years of,Ige or older and the death
must have occurred within the last 90 days. To reserve your space and
find locations, call Roxanne C. Miller, LCSW, Manager of Bereavement
and Community Grief, at 407-6330.
Free Annual Ladies Inspiration Days
The Northside Church' of Christ is celebrating its 29th Annual Ladies
Inspirational Days with two days of inspiration, education, and fun, on May
1-2, 2009, at 4736 Avenue B.
Activities and food is free to all visitors both days. Events begin Friday,
May 1st at 6 p.m. with registration, vendor stroll, speakers, and refresh-
ments. Saturday, May 2nd opens with a continental breakfast at 8 a.m.; the
program begins at 9 a.m., and features two dynamic speakers. Lunch will
be served immediately following the program. Other activities include
prizes, and gift bags.
The theme is Pearls of Wisdom, Scripture: Proverbs 31: 26, "She opens
her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness..."
For further information please contact the church office at 765-9830.
Shhh...Just Worship Mime Recital
Anointed Kovenant Angels better known as A.K.A. Mimes will present
their 3rd Annual Mime Recital themed: "Shhh...Just Worship" on Saturday,
April 25, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
The celebration of praise will be held at One Accord Ministries
International, (Bishop, Dr. Jan D. Goodman is pastor), 2971 Waller Street
on the westside. Appearing on program is Darrielle Rucker, Pastor Jeff
Johnson, Tina E, The W.O.G. (Warriors of God), Silent Faces For Christ,
The Faithful One, The Men of Valor, and the anointed ones themselves,
A.K.A. Mimes. It is free and open to the public.
For more information, call 708-4788.
Open Arms Christian Fellowship
Celebrates 10th Anniversary with
Charity Walk to Benefit Local Schools
The Open Arms Christian Fellowship will host a 5K Charity Walk on
Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 9 a.m. The walk will begin at the church locat-
ed at 2763 Dunn Ave. The registration fee is $5. The event is open to the
community. All registration fees and proceeds will be donated to Garden
City Elementary School and Highlands Middle School. Founded on April
13, 1999 by Pastor Leofric W. Thomas, Sr. The church will celebrate 10
years of ministry the entire month. To culminate the anniversary, the church
will celebrate by giving back to the two neighboring schools. The proceeds
will assist the schools during this financial crisis that schools are experi-
encing here in the city. For more information, contact Charis Scurry at 476-
NOTICE: Church news is published free of charge. Information must
be received in the Free Press offices no later than Monday, at 5 p.m. of
the week you want it to run. Information received prior to the event
date will be printed on a space available basis until the date. Fax e-mail
to 765-3803 or e-mail to JFreePress@aol.com.
2nd Annual Golf Classic to Benefit
Rhoda L. Martin Golf Tournament
The Jacksonville Beach Elementary Preservation Fund, Inc. will host The
Rhoda L. Martin Cultural Heritage Center's second golf tournament
Monday, April 20th 10:00 am at the Jacksonville Beach Golf Club.
All proceeds from this year's tournament will go toward helping under-
privileged children in the surrounding beaches area. The Rhoda L. Martin
Cultural Heritage Center seeks to provide a multipurpose site to exhibit and
preserve African-American historical artifacts of the beaches area and edu-
cate, enhance and enrich the lives of our community and the larger commu-
nity, culturally, socially, and aesthetically.
For more information, call 249-7624 or 249-4628.
Verizon Search for the Best Choir in
America Kicks Off for $50K Prize
A search for the best church choir
in America has begun, and choirs
from as small as six members to as
large as 100 are being encouraged to
join in the competition.
"How Sweet the Sound," the
search for the best church choir in
America is the only nationwide,
community-focused celebration of
its kind, tout organizers of the annu-
al competition, first launched by
Verizon Wireless in 2007.
Not only will you get to sing in
front of all your peers, but you
could win up to $50K for your
choir. The grand finale winners of
last year's competition, Acme
Missionary Baptist Church from
Chicago, took home $25,000, which
their pastor, Bernard Sutton, said
would help build the congregation a
The 10 other choirs that were
selected to compete in the finale in
Atlanta, meanwhile, each took
home a part of another $25,000 in
cash and prizes.
To participate, a choir must be a
tax-exempt religious organization
or affiliated with one and be located
in one of the 11 cities that the "How
Sweet the Sound" tour will stop by.
Each participant must also be 18
years of age or older.
Once a choir has registered
online at howsweetthesound.com,
they will need to submit a video no
longer than three minutes in DVD,
Mini DVD, or VHS format that
shows the choir singing a song from
the approved song list for "How
Sweet the Sound" 2009. Choirs can
either submit the video by mail or
drop it off at a participating Verizon
Wireless Communications stores.
Videos can also be uploaded online.
Once all videos have been sub-
mitted, judges will then choose the
top 16 choirs, and invite people to
log on to www.howsweetthe-
sound.com to vote for their
favorites. The top eight choirs four
small (6-35 performers) and four
large (36-100 performers) will
then go on to perform in the live
regional event, where four winners
(two small, two large) will be
selected to win $10,000.
, While there is no registration fee,
choirs must register before the
11:59 p.m. ET deadline on Monday,
June 15, to be eligible.
S:00 A.M. Early Morning Worship
9:30 a.m. Sunday School
11:00 a.m. Morning Worship
Tuesday Evening 7 p.m. Prayer Service
Wednesday Bible Study 6:30 7p.m.
Mid-Week Worship 7 p.m.
Radio Weekly Broadcast WCGL 1360 AM
Sunday 2 PM 3 PM
**FREE TUTORING FOR YOUTH IN ENGLISH, SCIENCE,
HISTORY AND MATH EVERY TUESDAY 6:30 8 P.M.
I 9 I a' I -..-.. ....I.....
5863 Moncrief Rd. Jacksonville, FL 32209 (904) 768-8800 FAX 764-3800
Pastor Ernie Murray
Join Us for One of Our Services
Early Worship 8:00 a.m.
Sunday School 9:15 a.m.
Morning Worship 10:45 a.m.
Ist Sunday 3:45 p.m.
Lord's Supper & Baptism
3rd Sunday 7:00 p.m..
Bible Study 7:00 p.m.
Noon Day Worship
Youth Church 7:00 p.m.
The Curch hat eache-Up t.Godand OtetoMan
Bethel Baptist Institutional Church
215 Bethel Baptist Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 (904) 354-1464
Sunday Morning Worship
7:40 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
The Word from the Sons
Wednesday Noon Service
"Miracle at Midday"
12 noon-1 p.m.
and Daughters of Bethel Dinner and Bible Study
3rd Sunday 3:30 p.m. at 5:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
Come share in oly Communilon on 1st Sunday at 4:50 p.m.
AM Thursday 8:15 -8:45 a.m.
- Thursday 7:00 8:00 p.m.
WTLV Channel 12 Sunday's at 6:30 a.m.
Grace and Peace
* ** *A Full Gospel Baptist Church *
Every 3rd & 4th
4 :00 p.m.
Pastor Robert Lecount, Jr
School of Ministry Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.
Thursday High Praise Worship 7:00 p.m.
2061 Edgewood Avenue West, Jacksonville, Florida 32208
(904) 765-5683 Email:email@example.com
Seeking the lost for Christ.
Matthew 28:19 20
Pastor Landon Williams
that's on the
April 16-22, 2009
Page 6 Ms. Perry's Free Press
Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 7
Final Services Set
_ A for Mrs. Violet Bland
A Temple Beth El congregation member rejoices during the con-
gregation's Torah dedication ceremony, in Philadelphia.
Black Jewish Synagogue Gaining Acceptance
PHILADELPHIA The jubila-
tion in Temple Beth'El's packed
sanctuary overflowed into the
aisles, with members dancing, clap-
ping and singing as they welcomed
their first Torah from Israel.
A new sacred scroll the holiest
object in Judaism is cause for
celebration in any synagogue. But
for this congregation, it meant
much more. It signified a tentative
step toward the mainstream of
American Jewish life.
"We have been unable to sleep
and to eat," said Debra Bowen, who
is the rabbi. "We have Torah fever!"
Temple Beth'EI is a predominant-
ly African-American synagogue
formed more than 50 years ago by
the daughter of a Baptist preacher at
a time when many blacks were
rejecting Christianity as a slave reli-
gion. The same motivation led
many African-Americans to move
The founder of Temple Beth'El,
Louise Dailey, studied with a rabbi,
but was not ordained by a recog-
nized branch of Judaism. The syna-
gogue has a kosher kitchen and a
mikvah, or ritual bath, but Dailey
also adopted some traditions that
are alien to the ancient faith.
Congregants called her "Mother
Dailey," and she ordained Bowen,
her daughter, before she died.
Yet, recently, Bowen has been
reaching out to the broader Jewish
community, holding joint services
with other congregations and
speaking to service groups such as
Hadassah. Her timing is good.
American Jews have been showing
a new willingness to build ties to
Rabbi Capers Funnye, cousin of
first lady Michelle Obama, has just
started receiving invitations to
speak to white congregations. He is
chief rabbi of Beth Shalom B'nai
Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew
Congregation in Chicago, one of
the largest black synagogues in the
The San Francisco-based group
Be'chol Lashon, which means "In
Every Tongue," has been working
to persuade Jews to break through
the racial divisions that have alien-
ated African-American, African and
other ethnic minority Jews from the
Estimates of the number of
American Jews and the makeup of
the community vary. But Be'chol
Lashon says that about 600,000 of
the 6 million or so U.S. Jews iden-
tify themselves as nonwhite or from
The question of who can be con-
sidered a Jew is a subject of intense
debate, since individual streams of
Judaism have different ways of
deciding the question under Jewish
law. But in the case of most
African-American Jews, the issue is
even more complicated, since many
did not follow any generally accept-
ed religious law when they joined
"What makes somebody Jewish
is not the congregation you belong
to, but whether you were converted
appropriately," said Jeffrey Gurock,
a professor at Yeshiva University,
an Orthodox school in New York.
Still, Bowen has had some suc-
cess in her outreach. The fruit of her
work could be seen at the recent
Sunday service dedicating the
Torah. Funnye read a prayer at the
event. In the audience was Gloria
Gelman, a white Jew from the liber-
al Reform branch, who had heard
Bowen's presentation to Hadassah.
She is encouraging the synagogue
to start its own Hadassah group.
Dan Ross, a 21-year-old
University of Pennsylvania student,
is a white Jew who is writing his
senior thesis on Beth'El and has
brought many other Jewish students
to visit. At the Torah commemora-
tion, he said, "It really hits you how
significant it is that they have it."
Lewis Gordon, director of
Temple University's Center for
Afro-Jewish studies, has also been a
frequent visitor at other services.
"These are people who are proud of
being African-American and are
absolutely proud of being Jews,"
The ceremony was a mix of
Hebrew readings and shouts of
"Hallelujah!" a worship style
typical of African-American
churches. The booming music came
from what Christians would call a
"praise band" with electric gui-
tars, drums and keyboard. There
was a dress code another unusu-
al tradition for Jews of blue, sil-
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ver or white clothing. Bowen's garb
was far from typical for a rabbi. She
wore an elaborate, flowing white
gown like a wedding dress -
with matching white shawl and a
The Torah was acquired by Rabbi
Emmanuel "Manny" Vinas, who
leads a Spanish-Jewish synagogue
in Yonkers, N.Y. Vinas noted that
many suppliers had been reluctant
to sell a Torah to Temple Beth'El
because of its history, and he
expected strictly traditional Jews
would criticize him for brokering
The synagogue in the city's West
Oak Lane neighborhood grew from
a prayer group in the living room of
Dailey's North Philadelphia home.
She was working as a maid in a
Jewish home and felt drawn to their
religious rituals, such as not work-
ing on the Sabbath and covering
mirrors during mourning. When she
died in 2001, she had a Jewish
funeral and was buried in a Jewish
Bowen, 63, said the synagogue
had lived "quietly" for decades in
order to worship without distrac-
tion, scrutiny and questions of
whether the congregation was truly
But now she said, "doors are
"The greater Jewish community,"
she said, "has been amazingly wel-
Mrs. Violet Odell Bland, 95,
died April 10, 2009 at Baptist
Medical Center Beaches,.
Mrs. Bland was born in
Middletown Twp., New Jersey,
daughter of late Samuel Harris
and Emma (Hopson) Harris on
July 17, 1913. She was mar-
ried to the late William Edgar
Bland and together they had 4
daughters, Doris Daniels
(Willie) of Hawaii, Attorney
Katherine E. Wilson (Richard
Byers) of Jacksonville, Ayesha
Sumchai, of New York and
Wilma Jean Pruden (Dr.
James) of New Jersey.
She became an early widow, -
who singularly raised her
daughters, who hold either a
college or post graduate
degrees. She was a seamstress
during WWII constructing para-
chutes and military garments
which began her life-long career.
She was such a staunch advocate
for higher education that at the age
of 65 she attended the Community
College of Baltimore, Baltimore,
MD. She moved with her daugh-
ter Katherine, on her retirement to
Baltimore from Red Bank, NJ, in
1989 she moved to Jacksonville
Beach, FL. After a brief stint in
Richmond, VA., they returned in
late 1996 to Jacksonville, FL.
Mrs. Bland was a life long mem-
ber of the Episcopal Church, and
on death was a member of St.
Paul's by the Sea Episcopal
Church of Jacksonville Beach,
She had a number of panthlellic
affiliations, first in her heart was a
member in Order of Eastern Stars,
Past Worthy Matron of Martha
Chapter of O.E.S -P.H.A. Behind
her faith, she was extremely proud
to have served as Grand Secretary
of Youth Felicitare of Oziel Grand
Chapter, appointed as Grand
District Deputy for the Fourth
District of New Jersey, also as the
Loyal Lady Ruler of the
Gethsemane Chapter of the
Golden Circle and the Most
Mrs. Violet Bland
Ancient Matron of the Heroines of
Jericho of the Holey Royal Circle
of Prince Hall Masons.
She leaves behind three of her
surviving siblings James Harris,
sisters Sarah and Betty. She leaves
her daughters, grandchildren,
Daniels-Kurt, Nita and Toni, John
Sanford, the Pruden-James, Dr.
Carla (Robert Wilson), William
Joseph, Christopher and Majaliwa
Sumchai and Byers -Elizabeth
Shagam (Doug), Steve and
Suzanne. She has 6 great-grand-
sons and three great-granddaugh-
ters. She has an expansive imme-
diate family of Harris, McGees,
and a number of nieces, nephews
and great grandchildren.
A viewing will be held on Friday
April 17, 2009 from 5:00 p.m. to
7:00 p.m. at Quinn-Shalz Funeral
Home, 3600 Third Street South in
Jacksonville Beach. 249-1100.
Final rites service wilbe held at
1 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, 2009
at St. Paul's by the Sea Episcopal
Church, Jacksonville Beach, FL.
In lieu of flowers, the family
recommends donations may be
made to St Paul's Outreach
Missions, 'American Heart
Association or American Diabetes
Rabbi Rigoberto Vinas, second from right, handles Temple Beth El
new Torah, in Philadelphia, during the congregation's Torah dedica-
tion ceremony as visiting Rabbi's look on.
"Where Service And Satisfaction Excel"
Over 50 years of service to Jacksonville
and surrounding counties ,_
, ..; ."2;" ^
: Wendell P...Holmes, rO ,IC ji
Jacquelyhe Holmes, Assistant"
Tonya M. Austin, Assistant
Je .^ Ask us about bur
FORE THOUGHT .
PRE-NEED ", "
Funeral Planning Program
Visa and Mastercard accepted
2719 West Edgewood Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida 32209
(904) 765-1641 Fax: (904) 765-9579
Project New Ground
needs your help.
Many residents have completed the Project New Ground
access agreement, but we need your help to complete the process!
So, if you live in the Project New Ground area and have not filled
out your access agreement, please call us today.
If you need help filling out your forms or have any questions
just call us at 630-CITY. You can also get information at
P R O J E C T
A City of Jacksonville Cooperative Effort
I.. r 37
A ril 16-22 2009
Anril 16-22. 2009
S. agC 0 IVl ,.TA J *f J .' *-., at I ,,,.______________ ____ _^ ^_^ ___ ,^_ i -t-,- ^ ^- -
What to do from social, volunteer, political and sports activities to self enrichment and the civic scene
Comic David Alan
Grier in Concert
Actor and comedian David Alan
Grier will be in concert at the
Comedy Zone April 16-18th. The
actor rose to fame in "In Living
Color" and other films will bring
his stand up act to the main stage of
the Comedy Club located in the
Ramada Inn in Mandarin. For tick-
ets call 292-HAHA.
The Jacksonville Human Rights
Commission will have their 2009
Fair Housing Symposium on
Saturday, April 18th 2009. Get the
latest information from vendors and
attend workshops on foreclosure,
housing, and more. There will also
be a continental breakfast & awards
luncheon. This is a FREE event for
citizens of Duval County. For more
info or to RSVP call. 904-630-4620
or email JHRCRSVP@coj.net.
Unveiling of Marvyne
The American Beach Property
Owners' Association will unveil an
historical marker in commemora-
tion of the preservation efforts of
the late Marvyne "Beach Lady"
Betsch It will be held at noon,
Saturday, April 18, 2009 on
American Beach across from the
former Evans' Ocean Rendezvous
in the 5500 block of Ocean
Boulevard at the base of the dune so
dubbed "NaNa" by the Beach Lady
years ago. For additional informa-
tion, please contact: Marsha Dean
Phelts at 904-261-0175.
Wing & Rock Fest
Drop your ear buds and get ready
for your taste buds to be tickled,
The New 96.9 The Eagle Wing &
Rock Fest is bringing live classic
rock tribute bands and tasty chicken
wings to the grounds of the
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial
Arena on Saturday, April 18th.
From 12 noon to 8 pm, festival-
goers of all ages will enjoy hot
wings, cold beer and great music.
This FREE all-day outdoor festival
will be held on Duval Street and the
grounds surrounding the arena. For
more details, please visit
www.wingandrockfest.com or call
Jax Youth Poetry Slam
On Saturday, April 18, 2009 the
5th Annual Jax Youth Poetry Slam
will help celebrate the city's love
for literature. This event provides a
venue for Jacksonville's young
poets to share and challenge their
prose-writing skills. Competitors
range from ages 13-18; cash and
academic prizes are rewarded for
their efforts. It will be held at the
Emmett Reed Community Center
located at 1093 W. 6th Street. The
goal and mission is to encourage
and strengthen literacy, along with
creative expression among
Jacksonville's youth. This event is
free to the public. Contact Tonya
Smart at 502-7444 or email at
on Monday, April 20th, 2009. The
tournament will be held at The
Jacksonville Beach Golf Club, 605
Penman Road Jacksonville, FL
32250. The tournament will begin
at 10 am. All proceeds will benefit
our after school enrichment pro-
grams for the youth. For more
information please contact Mrs.
Lillie Sullivan 904-249-2422.
The Jacksonville Community
Council Inc. (JCCI), will host a
New Member Welcome sponsored
by the JCCI Membership
Committee on Thursday, April 23
from 5:30 7:00 at the headquarters
located at 2434 Atlantic Blvd. The
social is open to the public. This
evening is an opportunity to engage
and meet with JCCI Board
Members, Forward's Executive
Committee, existing and other new
members. If you are new or would
just like a refresher in all things
JCCI, please plan to attend. Light
refreshments will be served. RSVP
by mailing Chandra@jcci.org
Kevin Hart in Concert
Actor and comedian Kevin Hart
will be in concert at the Comedy
Zone April 23-25th. The former
BET Comic View host will bring
his stand up act to the main stage of
the Comedy Club located in the
Ramada Inn in Mandarin. For tick-
ets or more info call 292-HAHA.
Jax Beach Elementary Jazzville featuring
Preservation Fund FAMU Jazz Ensemble
Golf Tournament The FAMU Jazz Ensemble will be
The Jacksonville Beach at the Ritz Theater April 25, 2009
Elementary Preservation Fund will at 7pm. Tickets are available at
hold their annual Golf Tournament Ticketmaster. The PM Xperience,
ibi Yor New and Co"iAn Eve
News deadline is Monday at 6 p.m. by the week you would
like your information to be printed. Information can be sent
via email, fax, brought into our office or mailed in. Please
be sure to include the 5W's who, what, when, where, why
and you must include a contact number.
Email JFreePress@aol.com Fax (904) 765-3803
Mail: Coming Events Jacksonville Free Press
903 W. Edgewood Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32208
Commemorate your special event with
professional affordable photos by the Picture Lady!
to reserve your day!
Jacksonville's own youth jazz
ensemble will also be performing
along with Lindsey B. Sarjeant and
Longineu Parsons. Proceeds will
benefit students of the jazz pro-
gram. For more information call
Stage Aurora Step Off
On Saturday April 25th, Stage
Aurora will present a step off from
7-9 p.m. The show is about spirited
team work that sends a message of
pride in one's self and one's
schools. Prizes will be awarded. It
will be held at the Stage Aurora
Performance Hall located inside the
Gateway Mall. For tickets or more
information, call 765-7372.
Dancing with the Stars
& Golf Classic
On Friday, April 24 and
Saturday, 25, 2009, Lito Sheppard
and the Good Sheppard Foundation,
host a weekend of events including
a "Dancing with the Stars" charity
competition on Friday, April 24,
2009 at the Omini Hotel and a char-
ity golf classic on Saturday, April
25, 2009 at the Cimarrone Golf
Course. Proceeds will benefit The
Mitchell Center, a safe environ-
ments for teens. For tickets or more
information, call 260-446-2208.
17th Annual World
of Nations Festival
The City of Jacksonville and our
community's multicultural commu-
nity organizations invite citizens
and visitors to join in the 17th
Annual World of Nations
Celebration. The festival will take
place May 1-3 at Metropolitan parl
Travel the world at Metropolitan
Park. Experience the diversity of
the planet and enjoy the wonderful
sights, sounds and tastes of differ-
ent nations. On Friday, May 1st,
there will be an International Party
from 5- 10 p.m. with free admis-
sion. For more information, call
Ritz Amateur Night
Join Amateur Night at the Ritz on
Friday, May 1st at 7:30 p.m. Some
of the hottest talent in Jacksonville
will be on the stage like the Apollo's
show in Harlem. Contestants com-
pete for cash prizes and the cheers
or jeers of the audience decide who
goes home with the cash. Tickets
are available at the Ritz Theatre and
other outlets or call 632-5555.
3rd Annual Stanton
Alumni, faculty, staff and friends
of Old Stanton, New Stanton and
Stanton Vocational High Schools
will celebrate the 141st year found-
ing of Stanton at their 3rd Annual
Stanton Reunion Gala. It will be
held on Saturday, May 2, 2009 at
the Prime Osborne Convention
Center. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.and
the gala begins at 7:00 p.m. For
ticket information contact: Kenneth
Reddick 764-8795 or visit
The 2009 OneJax Humanitarian
Awards will be held on Thursday,
May 7th at the Hyatt Riverfront
Hotel. This years honorees include
Scott Ackerman, Ann Baker,
Elkenor Gay and Gregory
Matovina. The reception is at 6 p.m.
followed by dinner at 7 p.m. For
more information, call 354-1529.
On Saturday May 9th, come out
to Metropolitan Park for Funk Fest
2009. This year's artist lineup
include Fantasia, Guy, Bell Biv
Devoe, Midnight Star, Dougie
Fresh and Alexander O'Neal. Gates
open at 3 .m. and the show start at 5
p.m.For tickets, go to your local
Chicken Coop or Athletes Foot.
You can also purchase online at
funkfest2009.com or by calling 1-
Humane Society Night
at the Acropolis
Tickets for the Jacksonville
Humane Society's (JHS) Fur Ball
Gala, Jacksonville's only black-tie
event for people and their pets, are
now on sale. The fundraiser will
take place May 16 from 7 p.m. to
11 p.m. at the UNF University
Center Ballroom with the theme,
"A Night at the Acropolis." JHS
encourages attendees to dress cre-
atively, tying the event's theme into
their attire. Tickets are available
online at www.jaxhumane.org or by
calling 904-725-8766 ext. 230.
The 8th Annual Kids 4 Kids
Carnival hosted by the MaliVai
Washington Kids Foundation will
feature arts & crafts, games, prizes,
a live DJ, tennis clinics, bounce
houses & inflatables in addition to
over 30 community organizations
providing helpful information on
health & social services. It will be
held Saturday, May 16th from
10a.m.-2 p.m. at the MaliVai
Washington Youth Center located at
1096 W. 6th Street. It is free and
open to the public. For more infor-
mation, call 359-KIDS.
The Times-Union Center of
Performing Arts will be the site of
the 2009 Ms. Senior Jacksonville
Pageant. The one of a kind event
will be held on June 6th at 2:00
p.m. Pageant contestants age 60 and
above are invites to participate. For
more information, call 887-8156 or
8 M P
Goodbye to another Black show Black College Hit W ith Racism Rap
Series Finale Planned for
S-- ,_ ---.. Three White Teachers At Benedict College Claim They Were Passed Over For Jobs Because Of Race
Everybody Hates Chris
Historically black Benedict col-
lege in South Carolina has been
sued after three white faculty mem-
bers say they were passed over for
jobs or let go for because of their
race, federal officials announced
Alleging that Benedict College
"engaged in unlawful practices,"
the U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission also said
that the Columbia school had
agreed to pay $55,000 to each of the
three former instructors.
Under a settlement reached
between Benedict and the EEOC,
the school also agreed to remind
staff about its employment policy
prohibiting discrimination, provide
administrators, faculty and staff
with training and make periodic
reports to the EEOC.
In its complaint, the EEOC says
art instructor Argiri Aggelopoulou
in December 2004 applied for but
did not receive a position as assis-
tant art history professor, adding
she was instead passed over in
favor of a black instructor.
In 2005, Benedict did not renew
teaching contracts for
Aggelopoulou and two other
instructors art professor Michael
Hale and Katherine Mille, an asso-
ciate English professor -because of
their race, the complaint says.
In a filed response, an attorney
for Benedict denied any allegations
of discrimination and said the
school acted in good faith and treat-
ed the employees fairly.
Aggelopoulou was rejected
because she was not qualified for
the professor job, and her contract
wasn't renewed because she was
only hired for a one-year position,
attorney Carol Ervin wrote.
Hale's contract was not renewed
because, after seven years of
employment, he had failed to attain
tenure a timeframe under which
school policy allowed Benedict to
let him go. And Katherine Mille, a
linguist, was released in part
because the school could not afford
to pay both her and another, more
senior person with the same posi-
tion, Ervin wrote.
"The College further responds
that it embraces diversity and
opposes discrimination," attorney
Carol Ervin wrote, citing part of the
school's mission statement, which
states "Benedict College is an equal
opportunity educational institution.
We seek geographic, international,
and racial diversity in our students."
In a statement, Ervin said
Benedict opposes all discrimination
and noted that it costs the school
less to pay the former employees
rather than defend the claims.
The cast of "Everybody Hates Chris" is based on the life of comedi-
an Chris Rock. The comedy has been a leader in Black households for
ratings since its' inception.
With the news that the CW comedy "Everybody Hates Chris" wasn't
picked up for a fifth season, show creator Chris Rock is planning to give
the show a proper finale. Rock is planning to give "Everybody Hates
Chris," which is based on the comedian's early life, a fitting finale for the
CW bosses as well as fans of the show.
In Rock's real life, he dropped out of high school to start working in
"Our Chris is now a sophomore in high school, so the timing is lining up
pretty well," says Terry Crews, who plays Rock's dad in the series. "Once
he becomes a comedian, the show's over."
The story line of the final episode, which is currently scheduled for May
8th, will mirror Rock's real-life decision to drop out of school in the 10th
grade to pursue his career in comedy. 16-year-old Tyler James Williams,
who plays Chris on the show, told TV Guide that the character will com-
plete a high-school equivalency test. "An envelope arrives," Williams said.
"But before we find out the results, we fade to black. If it ends here, we
ended it the right way."
"It might not be a bad way to go," Rock agrees.
Sharpton Leads 1000+ for Louisiana March Rev.
Al Sharpton leads people down Monroe Avenue during the March for
Justice in the name of Bernard Monroe, Sr., the 73 year old man who was
shot by a Homer police officer in February, in Homer, La. on Friday April
In initial reports to state police, Homer police claim they were checking
out a suspected street drug deal when they pursued Monroe's son Sean into
Monroe's yard. Police shocked Sean Monroe with a stun gun.
Bernard Monroe, whom witnesses said got up from his chair to see what
was going on, was shot multiple times by Cox, who had gone in Bernard
Monroe's house. The shots, witnesses said, came from inside Bernard
Homer police allege Bernard Monroe had a gun and pointed it at Cox and
an unidentified officer. Witnesses countered that, saying Bernard Monroe
only had a drink bottle in his hand; the gun, they claim, was planted or
moved .from the porch to near where Bernard Monroe fell. Bernard
Monroe was known to keep a gun for protection.
AP Survey Says White Colleges Graduate
More Minority Students than HBCU's
The Associated Press released a survey last week which delivered a
severe blow to the image of historically Black colleges and universities
According to the survey, the predominantly Black educational institu-
tions do a worse job of graduating African American students than pre-
dominantly white colleges and universities.
The news agency's analysis centered on the 83 institutions which have
been designated HCBUs by the federal government. The shocking discov-
ery was that just 37 percent of the Black students at these institutions earn
a college degree within six years.
This percentage is not only lower than the national college graduation rate
for African American students but it also runs counter to the images and
claims projected by the HCBUs.
If the survey proves correct [and it has not yet been challenged] the
Black colleges and universities do their worse job graduating Black male
students. According to the Associated Press, just 29 percent of the African
American males entering a predominantly Black college receive a bache-
lor's degree within six years.
Arts Workshop at the Ritz
The Africa's Living Arts Textiles: Silent Oratory Workshop
will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 10:30 a.m.
Artist Rhonda Bristol will demonstrate how to create African inspired
designs using the silkscreen technique with simple stencils and contact
Participants are asked to bring a smooth piece of clean cardboard, (a
cereal box works well), a piece of scrap fabric as well as a plain washed
light colored tee shirt with them. Pure cotton is best but 50% Cotton
and 50% polyester will work well. Cotton knit or woven fabric works
also. School aged children and adults are welcomed. Be prepared,
things could get a little messy. If the weather cooperates, this will be
held outdoors. R.S.V.P. at (904) 632-5555. "
FDA: ILL-SUITED FOR TOBACCO REGULATION
The FDA is Clearly Overwhelmed feel the food recall process is only fair or poor, while
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed 73 percent of adults say they are just as concerned
to approve new medicines, monitor the safety of those about food safety as they are about war on terror.4
-,1- -, ..- ,- -..,. -. .. Before the latest FDA
already on the market, anu Keep
our food safe.
But, currently the FDA is not
doing a good job. In early 2008,
a blood thinner manufactured
in China which the FDA let into
the US was contaminated by a
mysterious ingredientand caused
81 deaths.1 Summer2008 brought
a salmonella outbreak, blamed
first on tomatoes and later on
hot peppers, that infected 1,442
people and resulted in at least
286 hospitalizations in 43 states.2
Just this winter, salmonella in
peanuts killed six people, made
486 people sick and led to the
recall of more than 2,800 foods
with peanut ingredients.3
It's clear that the FDA is
Should they be given
the authority to regulate
the $80 billion tobacco
It's clear that the FDA is already overwhelmed.
Should they be given the authority to regulate the $80
billion tobacco industry, too?
Congress Wants the FDA to
Congress wants to add tobacco products to the
FDA's list. We think that's just wrong. The majority of
Americans are losing confidence in the FDA's ability to
protect our nation's food and drug supply. Recently, a
national survey revealed that 61 percent of U.S. adults
blunders, a poll was conducted
which found that 82 percent
of likely voters are concerned
that a proposal in Congress to
let FDA regulate tobacco would
interfere with the agency's
core mission of regulating the
nation's food and drug supply.5
This is an issue which deserves
to be fully debated, and right
now, that isn't happening.
The FDA is Not the
Place for it
Lorillard supports additional
regulation of the tobacco
industry. But, the FDA is not
the place for it. Expanding the
FDA's role, when the ineffective food and drug safety
programs that are now in place pose an immediate
threat, is a health hazard all its own.
'Harris, Gardner. "Heparin Contamination May Have Been Deliberate, F.D.A. Says"' New
YorkTimes. April 30, 2008.
2"Investigation of Outbreak of Infections Caused by Salmonella Saintpaul." Center
for Disease Control and Prevention. August 28, 2008. URL: http://cdc.gov/Salmonella/
"'"s the FDA a broken agency?"The Associated Press. March 3, 2009.
4"Food Safety: Majority of Americans Feel Industry Doesn't Do Enough." American
Society for Quality. March 11, 2009. URL: http://www.asq.org/media-room/press-
"'Zogby Poll: 82% Fear Tobacco Regulation Mandate Puts FDA Core Mission at Risk."
Zogby International. February 26, 2008.
-' TOBACCO COMPANY
A A 4 p
April -16-22, 2009
Page 9- Ms Perry's Free s
Atlanta Teen Blazing Trail for Black Female Golfers
With a mouthful of braces and a
yearning to get her driver's license,
Mariah Stackhouse comes across as
the typical teenager.
Then she picks up a golf club.
That's when she becomes the
next black hope.
In a sport desperately lacking in
African-Americans outside of Tiger
Woods, Stackhouse certainly stands
out. Having just turned 15, she's
already climbed as high as No. 29
in the American Junior Golf
Association's national female rank-
ings and currently stands 33rd,
making her the top-rated black
player on the girls or boys list.
"If I get an opportunity to play
golf," she said,
like to give that a
Her rise to
vides a handy
to reach the top
levels of golf, but
also reveals just
how many obsta-
cles there are
along the way.
"It's a big
ment and a huge
her father, Ken
Stackhouse. "I've known (African-
Americans) who played before us,
and their concerns were always the
same. They never really got all the
support they needed financially. As
a consequence, they were never
able to rise to the level Mariah has.
Fortunately, she had support early
enough to make a difference."
For Mariah, it started with a dot-
ing father "I was always a
daddy's girl," she said unabashedly
- who loved golf and willing to
spend the time to teach it to his
daughter, beginning at age 2.
Stackhouse also has a job in the res-
idential construction and design
business that allows him to take
time off when Mariah is playing
tournaments during the spring and
"I know most people aren't as
lucky as we are," he said, relaxing
with his daughter on the patio at the
Braelinn Golf Club in this links-ori-
ented suburb southwest of Atlanta.
Even with those built-in advan-
tages, the Stackhouses still needed a
hand from others.
A local pro, King Simmons,
allowed Mariah to hone her skills
on several Atlanta city courses, free
of charge. Then Ralph Boston, who
won an Olympic golf medal in the
long jump at the 1960 Rome
Games, met Mariah and her father
at a local tournament.
Impressed by their passion for the
game, he hooked them up with a
prominent golf course owner who
operated a club where Boston was a
member. That allowed Mariah to
practice and play at high-quality
layouts around the metro area,
minus the huge cost.
While there are certainly no guar-
antees that Mariah will grow up to
become just the fourth African-
American woman to play on the
LPGA Tour heck, she's still in
ninth grade her father has con-
sidered the significant role she
might play in luring other minori-
ties to the white-dominated sport.
"She could do a lot for women,
but particularly African-American
women, by inspiring them to get
more involved in golf," he said.
WASHINGTON The first fam-
ily complimented their Easter fes-
tivities by settling on on a first pet
- a 6-month-old Portuguese water
dog that the Obama girls are nam-
The dog is a gift from Sen.
Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who
owns several Portuguese water
"We couldn't be happier to see the
joy that Bo is bringing to Malia and
Sasha," Kennedy said in a state-
ment. "We love our Portuguese
water dogs and know that the girls
- and their parents will love
The Washington Post reported in
its online editions Saturday night
that Obama's daughters chose the
name Bo for the pup because first
lady Michelle Obama's father was
nicknamed Diddley. The name for
the dog was an apparent reference
to the singer "Bo" Diddley.
Obama promised his daughters a
puppy during the campaign.
The president and first lady had
said their choice was down to either
a Portuguese water dog or a
Labradoodle because they were
considered good pets for children
who have allergies, as Malia does.
Pirates step up their game A photo released by the French
arms shows pirates and hostages on the yacht the Tanit on April 10, 2009.
Somali pirates seized two more ships this week, brushing off their losses
from deadly rescue operations and throwing down the gauntlet to US
President Barack Obama after he pledged to curb piracy.
Whitaker, Glover Named
Nigerian Tribal Chiefs
NIGERIA For Forest Whittiker
and his colleague Danny Glover it
was sweet home coming last week-
end in Nigeria when the traditional
ruler and people of Nkwere, Imo
state welcomed him with a chief-
taincy title after taking part at the
just concluded African Movie
Academy Awards in Bayelsa. The
town was in wild jubilation when
the motorcade entered the ancient
palace of Eshi of Nkwere while the
traditional drummers and women
dancers welcomed the guests with
songs of praises.
The elated ChiefAnyiam-Osigwe
told the jubilant
crowd at the palace
of Eze Dr. Chijioke
Jeki Okwara IV, that
the coming of Danny
Glover and Forest
Whitaker was the
greatest thing to hap- -.
pen to black history
as history was made
on the day the two
with their root.
has done a DNA
which revealed that
he has Igbo ancestral
root and a link with
Nkwerre people. The
Osigwe said, "This
is our lost brother.
We have found him New Nigeri
and brought him and ForrestI
home. It is only an the village fo
Nkwere man that can
find his way home after many
years. We are a people from unpar-
allel kingdom. We are pride of
Igboland. Today our brother
Whitaker and his friend Mr. Glover
will be made Nkwerre Chiefs and it
is not an easy task to be an Nkwerre
chief because there are only 30
Nkwerre chiefs in the whole
world," he said.
After introducing the Hollywood
stars to the people and chiefs, the
King ordered they be brought
inside the inner chamber for tradi-
tional rites preceding their final
confirmation as chiefs.
Upon the public affirmation of
the duo as worthy of the honour,
Eze Okwara asked the palace chief
to bring out a live eagle, a symbol
of strength, vigour and power to
complete the chieftaincy rite. The
king removed the feathers of the
eagle and stuck it in a red cap
before both men wore their caps as
red cap chiefs of Nkwerre.
Whitaker was honoured with the
.title of Nwannedinambar of
ian Tribal Chiefs Danny Glover (L)
Whitaker, shake hands with men of
allowing rites of chiefdom.
Nkwerre which means a brother in
foreign land while Glover had the
title of Enyioma which means a
good friend of Nkwerre.
While accepting the honour, the
two men thanked the people and the
king for accepting them and recog-
nising their achievements as movie
stars and for finding them worthy to
be honoured. They promised the
people that they will live up to the
demand of their traditional offices.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are joined by their daughters, Sasha and Malia, and
Michelle Obama's mother, Marin Robinson, Monday, April 13, 2009, as they wave from the South Portico of the White
House to guests attending the White House Easter Egg Roll. Their new dog Bo is in the inset.
Obama's First White House Easter Adds New Pet
April 16-22, 2009
Pa e 10 Ms Perry's Free s
April 16-22, 2009 Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 11
1 Tyson: New Documentary Reveals His Story
ONCE YOU GO BLACK...ETHIOPIAN PRINCESS
FOILS NY HOUSEWIFE'S MARRIAGE: Husband of
Countess LuAnn cheated with woman from African royalty.
An Ethiopian princess has come between Count Alexandre de Lesseps
and his wife Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, one of the cast members of
Bravo's "Real Housewives of New York City."
According to the Web site EthioPlanet, the "other woman" is Princess
Kemeria Abajobir Abajifar, the granddaughter of the last ruler of the Gibe
Kingdom of Jimmaa, which is located in present-day Ethiopia.
News of the count's breakup with LuAnn surfaced several weeks ago and
was attributed to an affair with "an Ethiopian woman." EthioPlanet says
both Abajifar and the count wanted her identified by name.
Luanne de Lesseps, 43, who celebrated her 16th anniversary with her hus-
band on March 16, discovered that he was seeing another woman last
month, when the count sent her an email.
CALIF. TAX MAN AFTER WARWICK, SINBAD:
Pair owes nearly $5 million between them
Singer Dionne Warwick and comedian Sinbad Adkins are being called
out by the State of California for owing nearly $5 million in collective
unpaid taxes, according to a report issued
Thursday by the Franchise Tax Board.
Sinbad owes $2.5 million in personal income
tax while Warwick owes $2.2 million, putting
them in the top 10 of the state's 250 worst tax
debtors, reports the Associated Press.
Offenders may remove their name from the
site's hall of shame by either paying in full, or
setting up an installment plan.
Warwick's spokesman, Kevin Sasaki, says the
singer has been working with the board to pay
her outstanding taxes. He did not know how much money had been repaid.
A spokeswoman for Sinbad declined to comment.
BOW WOW GIVING UP RAPPING FOR ACTING?:
Rapper says he has a better chance of winning an Oscar than Grammy
At the ripe old age of 22, Bow Wow says he may give up his rap career
and focus on his Hollywood hustle full time. Why? Because, the music
industry is full of too many haters.
"I think I have a better chance at getting an Oscar
before a Grammy. The music industry is so fickle,
there's so many politics." he said. But that's how the
record business is. But for acting, I got that covered."
Bow Wow, born Shad Gregory Moss, returns to HBO's
"Entourage" this summer and appears in the Hurricane
Katrina-inspired basketball drama, "Hurricane Season,"
with Forest Whitaker, Taraji P. Henson and Lil Wayne,
later this year.
Meanwhile, his just-released eighth studio album, "New Jack City II," is
a reflection of just how much he's grown since his last album, "The Price
of Fame," in 2006.
"I told myself that I would never force it upon people to make them
think or make them believe that I'm grown (and) I said I'll just do it all
through my music and that's something I always preach," he told the AP.
"The closer I get to the ring the
more I'm in control. Once I get in
the ring, I'm god," Mike Tyson.
When we think of a boxing hero,
we think of Mohammed Ali. When
we think of a boxing enigma, or the
man whose behavior shamed the
world of boxing, we think of Mike
Why? Well Tyson's persona was
years in the making, and when you
consider his background and
upbringing the world is lucky he
turned into a volatile, international
champion and not just another
Filmmaker James Toback reveals
the best and worst of Mike Tyson in
this thoughtful-provoking docu-
mentary answers intimate questions
about the world's youngest and
most controversial international
Though he may be most infa-
mous for biting off a chunk of
Evander Holyfield's ear during a
grudge match and for giving the
boxing world a black eye, Tyson
gets a very balanced, even-handed
treatment in this probing bio-doc.
Born June 30, 1966 in a section
of Brooklyn so rough he only
remembers getting his ass kicked
Isiah Thomas is back.
The disastrous ex-Knicks execu-
tive was hired this week as head
ho-laktlil coan h a Ftorida
mas to Coa
International University signing a
Thomas, who has been a special
assistant to Knicks president
Donnie Walsh since his ouster last
spring, has never coached on the
college level. His five seasons of
coaching experience was with
Indiana and the Knicks.
In two years behind the bench
with the Knicks, Thomas posted a
Florida International fired coach
Sergio Ruoco after his fifth straight
losing seasons. The school is locat-
ed in Miami and part of the Sun
Belt Conference, where other mar-
quee name coaches have resurfaced
to get second chances, as Thomas is
doing. Florida Atlantic is coached
by ex-St. John's coach Mike Jarvis.
Tyson, "It was like I lost my whole photos and live interviews, this illu
life. 1 felt vulnerable, scared, minating expos unmasks a mai
naked." Despite his grief, in two
short years and at age 20, Tyson
won the AB, ABC, and IBF belts,
the first time any fighter accom-
plished so a feat.
who was both an international icon
and a piranha in one short tumul-
tuous career. As Tyson looks back
over his life he contemplates his
mistakes and triumphs; his recollec-
for the first 12 years of his life,
Tyson remembers the first time he
won a fight. He was raising pigeons
on his roof, and when a thug decap-
itated one, Mike fought back.
It was a defining moment, the
first time he stood up for himself
and the last time
he took crap off
anybody. That was
the beginning of a ;
hard veneer that
led to multiple
arrests, landed him
in jail and eventu-
ally in a juvenile
in upstate New
York in 1979.
While incarcerated, he came to
the attention of Cus D'Amato,
Floyd Patterson's old coach. Cus
turned Tyson into a disciplined
fighting machine and became his
legal guardian, confidant and surro-
gate dad inl984.
Tyson made his professional box-
ing debut in '85, knocking out
Hector Mercedes in the first round.
Quick knockouts became Tyson's
trademark. But as fate would have
it, the central, stabilizing influence
in his life, Cus, died that same year.
tions and revelations reveal a
pained man who is tortured by his
past, but a survivor.
Tyson's path to infamy is aston-
ishing, and credit Toback for mak-
ing the examination of his tortured
journey engaging from start to fin-
ish. All involved contributors can
consider themselves the boxer's
trusted cornermen in this riveting
documentary that makes a polariz-
ing icon completely fascinating.
That said, the star of this film is
Mike Tyson, who fluctuates
between pure bravura and a pity
party with equal ease. He's very
cognizant of the records he broke,
the championships he won, the
noses he broke and the
$300,000,000 he earned. He is
equally contemplative at the people
he hurt, the loved ones he lost, the
children he loves and the fortune
that slipped through his fingers. On
the surface, his jittery eyes, line-
backer shoulders and timeworn face
is somewhat intimidating.
As he speaks, with that light,
stammering voice, his legendary
lisp and at times with tears rolling
down his cheeks, you know this is
an emotionally and psychologically
scarred human being who is lucky
to be alive to tell his story.
Tyson, ".... old too soon and
smart too late." In fact, for audi-
ences this enlightening film is right
on time and a TKO.
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Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 11
April 16-22, 2009
As in a Greek tragedy, his heights
were counterbalanced by deep
lows. Femme fatale Robin Givens
emasculated him on Barbara
Walters TV show in front of mil-
lions. He was sent to prison for
allegedly raping Miss Black
America contestant Desiree
Washington. And upon his release,
he hooked up with Don King, who
in Tyson's words is a, "Wretched
reptile slimy mother who
would kill his mother for a dollar."
With stock footage, split screens,
ich at FlU
Thomas was embroiled in a sexu-
al harrasment trial and found liable,
along with the Garden, in a case
involving a former Garden execu-
tive, Anucha Browne Sanders. But
Thomas has an eye for talent and
his ability to recruit should help
him in his new job.
Thomas has been looking for a
fresh start since being replaced by
Walsh last spring, telling friends
that he would even accept a college
coaching job at a lesser-known
Thomas still has two years left on
his Knick deal, worth about $14
million. His challenge will be to get
players to FIU, which hasn't been a
basketball hotbed. The school's top
Winning Design Chosen for National African-American Museum
The Smithsonian unveiled models
from the six architecture firms com-
peting to design the National
Museum of African American
History and Culture last month left
to public opinion and now they have
made a choice.
A glowing bronze crown meant to
evoke historical imagery of African-
Americans has emerged as the win-
ning architectural concept for a new
black history museum on the
A Smithsonian Institution jury
selected the team Freelon Adjaye
Bond, in association with
SmithGroup, from six finalists in a
design competition to build the
National Museum of African
American History and Culture.
Members of the group previously
designed San Francisco's Museum
of the African Diaspora, the Nobel
Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway and
Baltimore's Reginald F. Lewis
Museum of African American
History and Culture.
The bronze, layered corona atop a
stone base would be the defining
element of the structure, which
I Team members from Freelon Adjaye Bond/ SmithGroup, who
The design concept for the National Museum of African American designed the winning concept for the National Museum of African
History and Culture submitted by Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup American History and Culture, meet with members of the
was chosen as the winning building to be built on the National Mall. Smithsonian Institution, from left, Hall David, Peter Cook, Museum
could be the last major building Tanzania, and is now based in Director, Lonnie Bunch, David Adjaye, Phil Freelon, and Smithsonian
added to the expanse between the London and New York. His parents Secretary Wayne Clough. in front of a model of the winning design.
U.S. Capitol and Washington
"I think it definitely gave us a
very clear position that was differ-
ent to the other schemes," said lead
designer David Adjaye, 42, who
was born in Dar es Salaam,
are both from Ghana. "We are cele-
brating an incredible journey and
looking to the future."
The crown concept, which would
allow natural light to flow into the
structure through bronze screens,
was inspired by images from
African and American history,
Adjaye said, "this idea of uplifted
praise sort of imagery."
It evokes traditional headdresses
worn by African-American women,
as well as the colonial crown from
Africa and the idea "that a hat-wear-
ing person is a free person ... who
doesn't have to carry a load but
could wear a hat," he said.
The bronze exterior would have a
"dynamic and changing view,"
depending on the sun's angle and
cloud cover. At night, it would glow
with light emerging from its skin,
the architects said.
Adjaye, who designed the Nobel
Centre in Norway, said winning the
National Mall project is the defining
moment of his career.
The design process will take up to
three years and is subject to
approval from groups that oversee
architecture in the nation's capital.
Construction is expected to begin in
2012, with an opening slated for
Congress has pledged to provide
half of the museum's $500 million
cost, with private fundraising to
cover the rest.
Museum Director Lonnie Bunch
said he was looking for a building
that would speak of the resiliency,
optimism and spirituality of the
"This does it," Bunch said, stand-
ing near a model of the proposed
design. The shimmering bronze, he
said, "talks of a people's presence,
regardless of what happens," and
will mark a change in Washington
Thousands Celebrate Legacy of Marian Anderson
Wearing Marian Anderson's gown, Den
during a concert to commemorate Ma
formance 70 years ago, at the Li
Washington Sunday, April 12, 2009.
black, couldn't sing at Constitution Hal
of her skin.
More than 2,000 people were on
hand at the Lincoln Memorial
Sunday for a concert honoring the
70th anniversary of Marian
Anderson's historic performance at
In 1939, the
S., (DAR) denied
.1 opportunity to
sing to an inte-
ence at nearby
she was black.
yce Graves performs Franklin D.
rian Anderson's per- Roosevelt and
ncoln Memorial in
Anderson, who was First Lady
I because of the color E 1 e a n o r
stepped in and
arranged for Anderson to perform
on Easter Sunday, 1939, on the
steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a
crowd of more than 75,000 people
and a radio audience in the mil-
On Sunday, African-American
opera star Denyce Graves wearing
one of Anderson's old dresses per-
formed three of the same songs
Anderson sang 70 years ag
"America (My Country, 'Tis of
Thee)," "0, Mio Fernando" and
Former Secretary of State Colin
Powell was also on hand to read
excerpts from President Abraham
Lincoln's second inaugural address.
Afterward he remarked on
Lincoln's famous call to heal the
nation's wounds after the Civil War,
"with malice toward none, with
charity for all,"
telling the audience they should
aspire to those words.
The Chicago Children's Choir,
women's a cappella group Sweet
Honey in the Rock and the U.S.
Marine Band also performed at the
Professor Finds Lost MLK Recordings in his Attic
Dayton, OH The Rev. Martin
Luther King Jr. opened his Nov. 29,
1964, address at the University of
Dayton Fieldhouse with a joke.
King apologized for being more
than one hour late, saying it was
because of slick, snow-covered
roads he had to travel to arrive.
A long-lost audio recording of that
speech was discovered in late
January by filmmaker David
Schock of Grand Haven, Mich. He
found the unlabeled reel-to-reel
tape in a box of recordings by
Herbert Woodward Martin, a UD
poet and professor emeritus who is
the subject of a film by Schock.
"Either somebody gave it to me
because I was teaching an African-
American literature class, or I
picked it out of somebody's trash,"
said Martin of Washington Twp. "I
probably never listened to it and
did not play it for my students."
Speaking to more than 6,200 peo-
ple, King said the system of segre-
While searching through boxes ot tapes in his garage, UD professor
emeritus Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin discovered a recording of Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at UD on Nov. 28, 1964. He's seen
with other tapes from his collection like the ones containing the King
gation was on its deathbed, "and do with his rare, historical find.
the only thing uncertain about it is "I'm thinking that perhaps it ought
how costly the segregationists will to be with the rest of (King's)
make the funeral." effects in Atlanta, but I haven't spo-
Martin was unsure about the ken to anyone there about that,"
tape's dollar value, or what he will Martin said.
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Page 12 Ms. Perry's Free Press