Some say the
is to blame
reaching the top
Chicago Mayor to propose
nation's toughest gun laws
Even if he's not successful, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is doing the
right thing by forging ahead with one of the nation's most strict gun laws
after a Supreme Court ruling upheld the right of Americans to own a gun
no matter what jurisdiction they live in, basically overturning Chicago's
previous gun ban.
The new regulations, a composite of other gun measures around the
country, prohibits Chicago residents from owning more than one gun,
requires gun owners to take a four-hour class and gun-range training, and
prohibits people from owning a gun if they were convicted of certain vio-
lent crimes or multiple drunk driving convictions. Penalties for violating
the new rules are punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and six months in
"As long as I'm mayor, we will never give up or give in to gun violence
that continues to threaten every part of our nation, including Chicago,"
The Chicago City Council swiftly approved Daley's proposal last week.
A couple of weeks ago in Chicago, 54 people were shot within a 48-hour
period, and 10 of the victims died.
Duke lacrosse team rape accuser
holds press conference on her lawn
Crystal Gale Mangum, 31, the woman who
accused members of the Duke lacrosse team
of rape, held a press conference in her yard on
Wednesday to announce that the new charges
against her, involving arson and attempted
murder, are false. Mangum couldn't hold the
press conference in the driveway of her
home, because she she's under house arrest,
but she did treat reporters to hamburgers, hot
dogs, potato salad, deviled eggs and fruit
She called reporters to explain why she allegedly assaulted her
boyfriend, set his clothes on fire in a bathtub and threatened to stab him
as her children, 3, 9, and 10, and police officers watched.
That's right, police officers were already there after one of the children
called them about the domestic violence dispute. When officers arrived
on the scene, Mangum gave them a fake name and age, and as they
processed her information, she allegedly ran upstairs to light the fire in
the tub. The police then called the fire department, which put the fire out.
Mangum told reporters that she will likely not get a fair trial because
of the Duke lacrosse case, that her ex-boyfriend abused her and that
someone else must have set the fire because she didn't.
VA Hospital may have
infected thousands of veterans
ST LOUIS, MI A Missouri VA hospital is under fire because it may
have exposed more than 1,800 veterans to life-threatening diseases such
as hepatitis and HIV.
John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has recently mailed let-
ters to 1,812 veterans telling them they could contract hepatitis B, hepa-
titis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after visiting the med-
ical center for dental work, said Rep. Russ Carnahan.
The issue stems from a failure to clean dental instruments properly, the
hospital told CNN affiliate KSDK.
Dr. Gina Michael, the association chief of staff at the hospital, told the
affiliate that some dental technicians broke protocol by handwashing
tools before putting them in cleaning machines.
The handwashing started in February 2009 and went on until March of
this year, the hospital told KSDK. The instruments were supposed to
only be put in the cleaning machines.
The hospital has set up a special clinic and education centers to help
patients who may have been infected.
Ca. NAACP backs pot legalization
SAN FRANCISCO The NAACP's California chapter pledged its sup-
port on Tuesday for a marijuana legalization ballot measure, saying cur-
rent laws are unfairly used to target minorities.
The group highlighted findings it says show the arrest rate among blacks
for low-level marijuana crimes far exceed those of whites in the state's
"Justice is the quality of being just and fair and these laws have been
neither just nor fair," said Alice Huffman, president of the California
State Conference of the NAACP.
The November ballot measure would let adults possess up to an ounce
of marijuana for personal use. Residents could legally grow small mari-
juana gardens, and individual cities and counties would decide whether
to allow marijuana sales.
The NAACP's announcement outraged a Sacramento preacher who is
leading opposition to the measure. International Faith-Based Coalition
president Ron Allen said African-American leaders are distressed that
one of the country's most respected civil rights organizations would dis-
regard the harm caused by illicit drugs among blacks.
Drug legalization advocates hailed the endorsement as a major step for-
ward in broadening the coalition of groups who support the reform of
marijuana laws. Opponents of current drug prohibitions frequently point
to the issue of race and drug arrests as evidence of a flawed national pol-
Day for Gosset
and racism V,
Page 10 c LB\R
-- WEST CC-IRCULATIONLIBRAR
UNIVERSITY OF FL
p. O. Box 700I
'- Gain l FL 32611
SI- LORI L)A'S 1- R 1 I ( 0A b I QUALI' Y BLACK W E KLY Cents
Volume 23 No.40 Jacksonville, Florida July 8-14, 2010
Civil Rights Under Fire: Feds File Suit Against Arizona
PHOENIX The U.S. Justice
Department is filing a lawsuit chal-
lenging the constitutionality of
Arizona's new law targeting illegal
immigrants, setting the stage for a
clash between the federal govern-
ment and state over the nation's
toughest immigration crackdown.
The lawsuit will argue that
Arizona's new measure requiring
state and local police to question
and possibly arrest illegal immi-
grants during the enforcement of
other laws, like traffic stops, usurps
The action has been expected for
weeks. President Barack Obama
has called the state law misguided.
Supporters say it is a reasonable
reaction to federal inaction on
The law requires officers, while
enforcing other laws, to question a
person's immigration status if
there's a reasonable suspicion that
they are in the country illegally.
Republican Gov. Jan Brewer
signed the law in April, and it was
set to go into effect July 29. The
lawsuit could delay implementation
of the law.
Arizona passed the law after years
of frustration over problems associ-
ated with illegal immigration,
including drug trafficking and vio-
lent kidnapping. The state is the
biggest gateway into the U.S. for
illegal immigrants, and is home to
an estimated 460,000 illegal immi-
grants. Continued on page 3
ASALAH hosts forum directed
at Black on Black crime
Shown above are community leaders and members of the
Association for the Study of African-American Life and History atthe
public meeting. R. Silver photos
i The Cito of Jacksonmille celebrated
America's Independence DaN \ith the
[ annual Iire%%orks displaN downtoiin.
Thousands of onlookers and boaters lined
the bridges, river and do% ntoi n area for
the spectacular fireworks display. During
the recent budget cuts that ended so many
vital programs, some suggested the city end the fireworks. The
Mayor's Office stood firm on keeping an event that always brings the
city together. Shown left enjoying th view from her lawn chair is Ms.
Latricia Smith. FMP photo
AJck o .vi le ;.i-. J/UA .
by Rhonda Silver
The James Weldon Johnson
Branch of the Association for the
Study of African-American Life
and History (A.S.A.L.A.) hosted
their first Annual Community Form
at the Jacksonville Urban league on
Saturday June 26th.
The topic was a hot one: "Who is
Responsible for the Rise of Black
on Black Crime in Duval County?"
The panelist consisted of communi-
ty notables and members whose
experience weighed heavily on the
While there is plenty of blame to
go around, the goal of the forum
was to find solutions, and develop a
plan to change the present condi-
Shari E. Smith suggested a
Biblical approach: Basic
Instruction before leaving Earth
which takes on the acronym of the
tratlo ,..: co Ija elc ( I .. ....ce
Shown above are some of the Links in attendance from from Jacksonville (L-R) Patricia Bivins, Marietta
LeBlanc, Geraldine Smith and Rometa Porter at the White Rose Gala at the Links National Conference in
Members of the both the Bold City and Jacksonville chapters of The Links, Inc. traveled to Detroit Michigan
last week to participate in the women's service organization bi-annual convention.While in attendance, the ladies
joined nearly three thousand other Links for business meetings,workshops, strategizing and inspiration to jour-
ney back and make a difference in their respective communities. A highlight of the event was the election of new
national officers including Kathy Wilson of the Bold City Chapter as National Treasurer. Currently on recess for
the summer, both local chapters will resume their activities servicing the Jacksonville community in the fall.
The personal testimony of
Carlottra Guyton brought the
reality of Black on Black crime
close to home.
should look in the mirror and ask
ourselves, what happens to a dream
deferred? Dr. Roy Singleton spoke
on "Self Esteem (of lack thereof)
and violence in the Black commu-
Bringing the trauma and tragedy
of black on black crime close to
home was the personal testimony of
Carlottra Guyton. A victim herself,
she placed the reality of the nation-
al epidemic into perspective.
Robbed for her purse in front of her
Springfield home, her perpetrators
are still at large.
The poignant testimony was fol-
lowed by Stanley (Doc) Scott who
placed the blame for black on black
crime on Black women which
spurred a question and answer por-
tion of the meeting with some very
~__ i_~ ___I___
-A, -05 Ile, FL
- illkb'. 662
- 5 r,
. .- --z' 77.i -
July 8 -14, 2010
rage 2 -
ms. rerrys reei r ess
Last fall, my wife and I
decided to downsize our hous-
ing and move to something eas-
ier to manage. We successfully
sold our home of thirty one
years and looked forward to
buying another home that
would meet our current and
future needs. We are in a
buyer's market and I am shar-
ing our experience because it
may be helpful to you, if you
anticipate purchasing a home in
the near future.
Think Before You Look
Before we talked with a real-
tor or started looking at houses,
we needed a clear understand-
ing between us of what we
needed. We are both retired and
our son has moved into his own
place. Our list included the fol-
Location- Cleveland eastern
The type of neighborhood-
The type of home- Single
story cluster home
Size- Approximately 2000
Bedrooms- 3 bedrooms
with large master bedroom
Bathrooms- 2 full bath-
Garage- 2 car garage
Price- Under $300,000
Each family's housing needs
are different. For instance, a
working family with children
may need to consider job loca-
tions, school systems, public
transportation, etc. The most
important point is to put your
needs in writing, prioritize it
and use it as your guide.
Select the Right Agent
In selling our previous home
we interviewed three top real
estate agents who had experi-
ence in our market area. All
three agents were well quali-
fied. We selected the one that
we were most comfortable with
as a partner on this journey.
We used the same agent to
help us look for our new home.
The agent reviewed our needs
list and helped us work on our
Get your Loan
We contacted two financial
institutions to begin work on
loan pre-approval. Having a
loan pre-approval letter at the
beginning of negotiations is a
powerful tool. The agents and
sellers know that you are a
qualified buyer. If they can
make a deal, it's money in the
Because of the mortgage
lending fiasco of the past sever-
al years, lenders have gone
back to the basics and are being
prudent in their lending stan-
dards. Below are some general
standards lenders are using for
All income must be verified.
Must have the last two
year's tax returns
Need a credit score of 670
A maximum of 28% of
gross income for principle,
interest, taxes and insurance
A maximum of 36% of
gross income for all debt pay-
20 percent down payment
required for loans without pri-
vate mortgage insurance.
10 percent down payment
required for loans with private
Finally, be realistic and hon-
est with yourself on how much
house you can afford. If you
like to travel, buy expensive
clothes, etc. don't let a house
payment be an albatross around
your neck. Buy what you can
afford and comfortably live
Nearly all homes for sale are
placed on the Multiple Listing
System (MLS) by the selling
agent. This gives the homes
broad exposure to nearly all
real estate agents and the list-
ings are easily sorted by loca-
tion, price, type of structure,
etc. Our agent sorted the avail-
able homes in the Cleveland
area, using our criteria. The
agent emailed the prescreened
home listings to us and we
would select the ones we were
We looked at approximately
50 prescreened listings and
actually visited twelve homes
over four trips. The screenings
and visits gave us a good feel
for the market and also helped
us to better understand our
needs. We selected two homes
in the same sub-division that
we were interested in and we
began negotiations on both.
Other Lessons Learned
Don't look at homes you
can't afford. They will make
what you can afford look less
In a buyer's market, there
are only a few qualified buyers
looking. Our initial offer was
20% below the listing price.
The final purchase price was
14% below the listing price.
Make your offer contingent
on a home inspection by a pro-
fessional housing inspector and
have major issues corrected by
the seller before finalizing the
Purchasing a home in a
buyer's market is a lot more fun
than selling, but you still have
to do your homework to make it
work to your advantage.
Michael G Shinn, CFP is a registered
representative of the Financial Network
Investment Corporation, member SIPC. visitt
www.shinnfinancial.com, fr more informa-
tion or to send your comments or questions to
Diana Willis, logistics analyst with United States Forces-Iraq supply and services, and a Jacksonville,
Fla., native, discusses logistics operations during a conference attended by soldiers with the 13th
Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and the 103rd ESC at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The conference
addressed the logistics challenges the 103rd ESC will face during the upcoming responsible drawdown
of U.S. troops and equipment from Iraq.
Jax native playing key role in Iraq withdrawal
IRAQ Soldiers with the 13th
(Expeditionary) and the 103rd ESC
recently gathered for a logistics
operations conference at Joint Base
Representatives from the 402nd
Army Field Support Brigade, the
Defense Reutilization and
Marketing Office, the Logistics
Support Agency and the United
States Forces Iraq logistics office
attended the conference, which
offered a chance to bring together
logistics officers from units all
o er Iraq.
"This is a one-stop shop to meet
all the key points of contact for the
(logistics offices) and to under-
stand what they can do to help,"
said Maj. Richard Williams, assis-
tant chief of staff for logistics with
the 103rd ESC and an Urbandale,
Maj. Joelle Derbonne, assistant
chief of staff for logistics with the
13th ESC, and a Lodi, Calif.,
native, said the conference allows
everybody to gain a common
understanding of the logistical role
in support of the upcoming respon-
As USF-I transitions from
Operation Iraqi Freedom to
Operation New Dawn, the 103rd
ESC will be taking the reins from
the 13th ESC
Since the 103rd ESC is relieving
a unit with established contacts and
systems, it is important that each
Soldier establishes relationships
with his or her counterparts here to
facilitate a smooth transition,
Officers from battalion-level
command up to USF-I were at the
conference to confirm the proce-
dures in place for the successful
drawdown to successfully com-
plete the "waterfall," or the transi-
tion of troops from the Iraqi theater
of operation, said Capt. David
Finn, deputy logistics officer with
the 103rd ESC, and an Omaha,
"The goal is to make sure we
streamline the redeployment of
forces," said Diana Willis, logistics
analyst with USF-I supply and
services and a Jacksonville, Fla.,
native. "It is also an introduction to
the incoming logistics (soldiers) so,
they can put names with faces."
"Communication and face-to-
face contact are critical for mission
success," Finn said.
Derbonne added that by bring-
ing all the logistics officers togeth-
er, they were able to identify the
challenges they will be facing and
devise efficient solutions through
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Elder Bernice A. King says SCLC conflict is 'suffocating'
Elder Bernice King
by H.T. Edney
NEW YORK (NNPA) Elder
Bernice A. King, elected nine
months ago as the first woman
president to serve at the helm of
the Atlanta-based Southern
Christian Leadership Conference,
has yet to be sworn in due to cir-
cumstances that she has described
as "a sad state of affairs".
Speaking publicly for the first
time about the debilitating strife
and conflict that has erupted in
the 53-year-old civil rights organ-
ization and landed in court, King
was pointed and clear. The second
daughter and youngest child of
Dr. Martin Luther King and
Corretta Scott King, she told the
attentive audience of more than
200 members of the National
Association, the Black Press of
America, that the infighting has
"Up until now, I have not spo-
ken publicly about the conflict
and turmoil currently suffocating,
the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, an organ-
ization of such significant historic
importance to the Black commu-
nity, America and global
progress. What a timely and won-
derful occasion for me to express
some of my thoughts and feelings
about the great organization my
father co-founded. God certainly
has a way of orchestrating the
proper audience, at the proper
time.," King said June 17, open-
ing a luncheon speech during
NNPA's 70th Anniversary
Convention. "As SCLC's presi-
dent-elect and daughter of its
founder, I am, of course, deeply
troubled and saddened by the
strife and conflict the organiza-
tion is experiencing. It is, indeed,
a sad state of affairs. I was elect-
ed to serve as SCLC's first female
president in October 2009 and as
soon as I was elected -- turmoil
erupted. Amidst the conflict,
chaos and confusion, there
are some who declare the
dead; an organization of a
Although the organiza-
tion is no stranger to con-
flict, the current fight start-
ed last fall over the removal
of two former board mem-
bers, ex-chairman Raleigh
Trammell and ex-treasurer
Spiver Gordon, after allega-
tions that the two misman-
aged SCLC funds. Since
then, the crux of the infight-
ing has been over who are
the true board members.
The two men have refused
to step aside despite federal
and local investigations.
The split has essentially
become like two SCLCs.
The feud between two
factions came to a head
over an alleged break-in at
the group's Atlanta head-
According to reports, the Rev.
Markel Hutchins, who claims he
was recently named interim pres-
ident, CEO and CFO of the
group, welded shut the back
doors of the headquarters and
padlocked three gates May 17.
His rivals, including SCLC
Chairwoman Sylvia Tucker, con-
tend his claims to the presidency
and other positions are bogus and,
in a statement, called his actions
"criminal and deplorable."
Hutchins said there was no
theft, but admits he made the
decision to secure the building.
"I am not responsible for the
mess the SCLC is in, but I will be
responsible for helping to right
some of the wrongs and get the
organization back on course to
fulfill its mission," he was quoted
by the Associated Press. The pad-
locks and chains were removed
from the building on May 19.
The factional breech is obvi-
ously deep. The battle was sched-
uled to continue in court on
Monday, June 28. In a nutshell,
the question over who controls
the organization was to be decid-
ed by Fulton County Superior
Court Judge Alford Dempsey,
who began hearing the case, June
In its long history, the SCLC
has been no stranger to controver-
sy. Nearly seven years ago, it con-
cluded a convention in
Jacksonville, Fla. that was so con-
tentious that police was called to
keep the peace. Her brother,
Martin Luther King III ended his
seven-year tenure of leading the
organization in 2004.
King exuded the passion and
vision of her father and the poise
and resolve of her mother as she
expressed both hope and disdain
in the midst of the latest crisis.
"Once the court hearing is
resolved, it is my hope and prayer
that SCLC will see the absolute
necessity of immediately turning
its attention to rebuilding the
entire organization from the
inside out; with proper gover-
nance, internal controls, fiscal
accountability and sound man-
agement practices, so that it can
effectively be about the business
of social progress; predicated
upon an unwavering love for
God, responsibility to communi-
ty, and a commitment to advanc-
ing human dignity and respect,"
she said. "God called me to lead
the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference and as
long as He calls, I will answer. I
look forward to beginning my
tenure in God's time so that
SCLC can once again forge
strategic alliances to continue the
movement of nonviolent social
change, based on Biblical princi-
ples, into the next generation. I
ask for your prayers that SCLC
will be a phoenix rising out of the
ashes. I hope that you will join
me in looking past the regrettable
conflict, toward a bright and
"I believe that the power of the
Black Church and Black uplift
organizations partnered with the
power of the African-American
press can be a catalyst for the
next generation of social change.
We have certainly accumulated
enough power to enforce
change," King said. "Together we
can make events happen. Our
'nettlesome task' now is to organ-
ize our power, focus our efforts
and utilize our collective strength
in strategic ways not yet
employed in the work of social
progress for the Black communi-
ty. We must now take the major
step of "examining the levers of
power" which Black America
"must grasp to influence the
course of events" adversely
affecting the progress of our peo-
Without knowing it, she echoed
sentiments expressed by Sharpton
on the morning of the same day as
she focused on the historic and
strategic relationship between the
Black church and the Black press.
"I surmise that the Black
Church and Black Press are two
of the most powerful levers to
influence social change that we
have at our disposal. A recipe for
a powerful alliance is the church
with its weekly gathering of con-
gregants and the press with its
ongoing circulation of news. Just
imagine a unified agenda harness-
ing the power of community; with
cohesion in informing and edu-
cating the masses. Building
bridges between the press and the
pulpit is critical to our success.
We must exercise our collective
This racial progress that has
been forged by this historic part-
nership is, in part, the reason that
the SCLC must remain powerful
and thrive, she concludes:
"To suggest that the SCLC is
obsolete and a relic of a bygone
era is to ignore the great social
and economic ills stalling the
progress of our nation. At a time
when monies are at deficit to save
our schools, but at a surplus to
grow and build more prisons,
now is not the time to pull the
Influential leaders during the early years of the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference, Ralph Abernathy (second
from left) and Coretta Scott King (center) march in 1966 on the
Georgia state capitol with Martin Luther King Jr.
D-_--I -^ A4.T, TVn*--w9w T?o P
Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 3
Governor joins House, Senate and NAACP in Florida redistricting fight
Michael A. Rutledge receives a pat on the back from his
mother and party host Mrs. Doris Rutledge. R. Silver
Retirement celebration held for
JSO Asst. Chief Michael A. Rutledge
Jacksonville Sheriffs Office,
Assistant Chief Michael A.
Rutledge has retired his post after
35 years of service.
Family and friends gathered at his
mother's home recently in a failed
attempt to surprise him. The moth-
er of the honoree, Mrs. Doris
Rutledge, said it was a proud
moment for her. He was presented a
plaque/clock by his brother from
his family with the inscription:
Congratulations on 35 Years of
Michael Rutledge has been
deemed an outstanding community
leader, demonstrating his love for
others through mentoring and the
living example he sets as a
Christian man. There were over 50
in attendance, with more to come
through throughout the evening.
Attendees gave testimonies, acco-
lades and reflections for the hon-
oree. In his career, he served with
integrity as an officer and hostage
negotiator, retiming with impres-
Feds file suit on Arizona
Continued from front
President Barack Obama addressed the Arizona law in a speech on
immigration reform last week. He touched on one of the major concerns of
federal officials, that other states were poised to follow Arizona by craft-
ing their own immigration enforcement laws.
"As other states and localities go their own ways, we face the prospect
that different rules for immigration will apply in different parts of the
country," Obama said. "A patchwork of local immigration rules where we
all know one clear national standard is needed."
The law makes it a state crime for legal immigrants to not carry their
immigration documents and bans day laborers and people who seek their
services from blocking traffic on streets.
The law also prohibits government agencies from having policies that
restrict the enforcement of federal immigration law and lets Arizonans file
lawsuits against agencies that hinder immigration enforcement.
Every ten years Florida lawmak-
ers must redraw maps for legisla-
tive and Congressional districts.
The result of the past drawn "gerry-
mandered" districts have resulted in
Florida being able to elect minori-
ties to Congress. This year, organiz-
ers for FairDistrictsFlorida.org
gathered nearly 700,000 signatures
for two amendments in order to get
them on this year's ballot. The two
amendments would require legisla-
tors to design districts that are com-
pact and do not give an advantage
to an incumbent or someone of a
particular political party. If you
look closely, this also includes
those of a specific race Sixty per-
cent of the voters must vote yes for
the amendment to take effect.
Last month U.S. Reps. Corrine
Brown and Mario Diaz-Balart filed
a lawsuit in Leon County to get one
of two redistricting amendments
thrown off the 2010 ballot on the
contention the measure is mislead-
ing and would reduce the number of
Since then, both the Florida
House and Florida Senate have got-
ten permission to join the lawsuit
and are now fighting to get
Amendment 6 removed from the
ballot. Amendment 6 would impose
new standards for congressional
redistricting. But the Legislature
also wants the court to throw out.
The governor has jumped into the
legal fray as well, but he wants the
court to throw out the lawsuit. Gov.
Crist's general counsel argues that
both amendments was previously
reviewed by the state Supreme
Court before they went on the ballot
and that the lawsuit is "prolonging a
legal imbroglio at the expense of
Districts currently represented by both Cong. Alcee Hastings (L) and
Cong. Corrine Brown (R) could be in jeopardy by the amendments.
healthy political debate."
The governor's legal filing slams
the Legislature for launching an
"attempt to block the people's
opportunity to weigh in on the way
Owens named Executive Director of LISC
Janet Owens has been named
Executive Director for LISC
Jacksonville. She takes the position
previously held by Joni Foster who
retired from LISC Jacksonville in
Ms. Owens most recently was
the Vice President of Marketing and
Communications for the United
Way of Northeast Florida, a posi-
tion she has held since 2002. Prior
to joining United Way she was
Assistant Executive Director of the
Girl Scouts of Gateway Council,
Inc. and Associate Director for
Volunteer Jacksonville (now called
HandsOn Jacksonville). At the
beginning of her career, she spent
nearly ten years in city government
capital improvements planning,
community development, and
budgeting with the cities of
Greenville, South Carolina; Adrian,
Michigan; and the District of
"We are excited about having
Janet join our team," said J.F.
Bryan, IV. "Her communications
skill set, prior experience in com-
munity development, and her
knowledge of the Jacksonville com-
munity will be important attributes
for the continued success of LISC
"Janet's background in commu-
nity building, fund development,
communications, and partnership
development will be vital as LISC
Jacksonville moves forward in the
next decade," said Greta Harris,
LISC Program Vice President for
the southern region of the US.
LISC Jacksonville has been
active in the community for the past
11 years helping to create the com-
munity development infrastructure
that has led to over 200 single fam-
ily affordable homes being con-
structed, commercial core revital-
ization projects, as well as acquisi-
tion and renovation of affordable
multi-family housing. LISC
Jacksonvill helps create safe,
affordable, family-friendly neigh-
borhoods that contribute to the local
economy. They provide technical
expertise, grants and financing to
community development corpora-
tions (CDC's) and affordable hous-
ing providers. For more informa-
tion about LISC Jacksonville, log
on to www.liscjacksonville.org.
their congressional and legislative
districts are drawn."
Crist, however, is not alone in
defending the amendment. Former
Gov. and U.S. Senator Bob Graham
has also gotten permission to inter-
vene in the case, arguing that
Brown and Diaz-Balart are trying to
"nullify" his constitutional right to
vote on the amendment.
Brown and Diaz-Balart -- and
now the Florida Legislature -- con-
tend in their lawsuit that
Amendment 6 "misrepresents the
major ramifications" that will hap-
pen if it passes and that the wording
"overstates" protections for minori-
ties. The Florida Senate in its filing
also contends that minorities will be
harmed if the Senate can no longer
take steps to use "incumbency
data." The House maintains the
amendments would put redistricting
in the hands of the state Supreme
Court instead of "politically
accountable elected officials."
The trial over the two amend-
ments is now scheduled for late
July. But this is not the only legal
battle going on with redistricting. A
separate lawsuit has been filed by
the Florida State Conference of the
NAACP and the League of Women
Voters to knock Amendment 7 off
Gullah/Geechee residents in danger of losing their land
An illuminating article in the
New York Times outlines the injus-
tice endured by the Neck Land
Trust, a group of black landowners
who lived in a thriving community,
hunting and farming, before the
federal government seized their
land to build an airstrip in 1942.
The residents are Gullah/Geechee,
descendants of West African slaves
who became some of the nation's
earliest black landowners. Their
distinctive culture, preserved for
years by isolation on the coastal
barrier islands, has been threatened
by development to such a degree
that in 2006, Congress designated a
Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage
Corridor, stretching from North
Carolina to Jacksonville, Fla.
Their story is about modernity
versus tradition, black versus white
and right versus wrong.
A ; -fing trees and
---14 waking to
depart in for-
Sp mation, are
.' a asking
S. Congress to
return the land
The Gullah Geechee perform an ancestral ceremony to them. They
on Sullivan's Island.
During World War II, when the
federal government was looking for
an area for an Air Force base, the
government condemned the land
and ordered the families to clear out
with the promise, some residents
recall, that they could come back
after the war.
The elders, many of whom are
still alive and remember barefoot
said they were
time to move before their houses
were burned. Some had to live in
barns to survive.
The Fish and Wildlife Service
maintains that the land is a crucial
part of the national refuge system,
implying that residents can't suc-
cessfully coexist with the wildlife
on Harris Neck. Gullah/Geechee
"Wildlife was a part of us all of
our lives," said Kenneth R. Dunham
Sr., 80, who was a child when the
federal government gave Harris
Neck families two weeks to leave
before their houses were bulldozed
and burned. "In my back door, I
could hear the wild geese coming.
We left food in the field, so they
would have something to eat."
Harris Neck was deeded by a
plantation owner to a former slave
in 1865. Black families who settled
there built houses and boats and
started crab and oyster factories.
The independent nature of the com-
munity was too much for the area's
There's no question about what
the right thing would be for the gov-
ernment to do: give the land back to
the landowners. It would continue
to preserve the environment and
culture of the Gullah people -- one
of America's most distinct vestiges
of pre-enslaved African culture.
This likely won't happen without
our support. If you support these
residents, write or call your con-
gressman or call representatives in
Georgia and let your voice be
T.I.. 0 1A ~flfi
Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) will be holding a public hearing to share
information on planned service modifications for September 2010. Your participation in
this hearing is encouraged.
We Heard You!
Routes being discussed
AR3, BH1, E5, L7, L8, M4, M5, NS16, P3, Q3, Riverside Trolley, WS1, WS2
Community Shuttles Broward, Edgewood, Golfbrook, Northside
New Shuttles Dinsmore, Jammes Road, 9th and Penman,
NAS Base Circulator, Ortega, Talleyrand
Jacksonville Transportation Authority
100 N. Myrtle Ave.
Jacksonville, FL 32204
11 a.m. 1 p.m., 4 6 p.m.
Presentations at noon and 5 p.m.
p JACKSONVILLE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
Regional Transportation Solutions
Part of your day. Part of your community. Part of your life.
100 North Myrtle Avenue, Jacksonville, Florida 32204 | www.jtafla.com 1 (904) 630-3100 I TDD (904) 630-3191
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. Special accommodations for persons with disabilities or limited
English proficiency are available upon request. To assist us in meeting specific needs, prior
notice of at least seven business days would be appreciated. Any person requiring special
accommodations should contact Kent Stover at 904-630-3153 or email@example.com.
July o-l T "
July 8-14, 2010
Page 4 Ms. Perry's Free Press
City and Nonprofits Providing Summer Night
Programs for Youth Will it have an Impact?
It's no secret that young African
American males are the highest at-
risk group for everything from
criminal behavior to dropping out
of school to being jobless.
Identifying the problems facing
our communities has never been an
issue, but finding solutions to those
problems has always been a major
At the heart of the challenges
facing the black community is the
disarray of African American
males. Black men are not stepping
up as fathers, falling behind in edu-
cation and going to jail at alarming
The city has stepped up as apart
of the Jacksonville Journey and
implemented several programs that
target youth in an effort to keep
them off the streets and in positive
Another one of those programs is
the Jaxparks Summer Night Light
initiative. Every Friday and
Saturday night throughout the sum-
mer five parks have been identified
for extra recreational activities for
The city has asked several non-
profits to step up and one of those
groups is the Jacksonville 100
Black Men (J100). It's a perfect fit
for the group that focuses on pro-
grams for youth like scholarships
and mentoring. Summer Night
Lights certainly is not a solution,
but it is a decent attempt at provid-
ing fun and safe activities for kids
during weekend evenings.
Several other cities have imple-
mented similar programs that have
been much more robust providing
structured sports leagues and other
activities for youth. The
Jacksonville version is a little
watered down, and doesn't have
the budget to really have a major
impact, but again it's a start.
Organizations like the J100 are
using some of their internal
resources to fill some of the gaps.
For example, the city has allowed
vendor to sell food in the five parks
that have been selected for the pro-
gram, which is good for the ven-
dors, but not the kids who may not
have money to pay for food.
So the J100 stepped up and have
been providing hamburgers, hot
dogs, chips and drinks for the youth
and parents free of charge. And
that's really how we all can tackle
the issues facing our neighbor-
hoods partnering to achieve one
This summer program is espe-
cially important for the J100
because of the mentoring opportu-
nities it provides. Reaching out to
young black males and providing
positive role models and support
services is one way to start turning
around the behaviors so prevalent
amongst black teen males.
It seems like we have lost sever-
al generations of young black men.
It's critical that we change the way
these young men think and provide
positive mentors for them to emu-
late versus the negative elements
they see in their communities.
Finishing high school is no
longer cool. Having a legal job is
no big deal and if you have been
arrested it is almost like a badge of
Former US Senator and presiden-
tial candidate John Edwards per-
haps said it best during an MTV
political forum in 2007.
"The idea that we can keep incar-
cerating and keep incarcerating --
pretty soon we're not going to have
a young African-American male
population in America. They're all
going to be in prison or dead. One
of the two," said Edwards.
In 2000, 65 percent of black male
high school dropouts in their 20's
were jobless that is, unable to
find work, not seeking it or incar-
cerated. By 2004, that figure had
grown to 72 percent, compared
with 34 percent of white and 19
percent of Hispanic dropouts.
Even when high school graduates
were included, 50 percent of black
men in their 20's were jobless in
2004, up from 46 percent in 2000.
Incarceration rates skyrocketed
in the 1990's and continue grow
every year. In 1995, 16 percent of
black men in their 20s who did not
attend college were in jail or
prison; by 2004, 21 percent were
incarcerated. By their mid-30's, 6
in 10 black men who had dropped
out of school had spent time in
So now that I have painted a pret-
ty bleak picture let's figure out how
you attack the issue. Of course
there is no one solution, but it is my
belief that if black professionals
give back to the community
through mentoring we can save one
child at a time.
That's where African American
fraternities and other nonprofit
organizations like The 100 Black
Men come into play.
Around a year ago I joined the
100 Black Men of Jacksonville
because I was impressed with their
education and mentorship initia-
tives. The organization is basically
made of professional black men
from various careers and back-
Each member commits to not
only being active in the various
programs that the organization sup-
ports, but you also dedicate your-
self to be a mentor to a young man.
If you look at the 100 Black Men
website it says, "Mentoring the 100
Way is one of the signature pro-
grams of the 100 Black Men of
America, Inc. This holistic program
addresses the social, emotional and
cultural needs of children ages 8-
The statement continues,
"Members of the 100 are trained
and certified to become mentors,
advocates, and role models for the
youth within their communities."
And the J100 is only one of the
many nonprofits and fraternities
making a difference in
Even the city of Jacksonville has
promoted mentoring through
organizations like Kessler and Take
Stock in Children. Some may say
that mentoring is only making a
marginal difference, but I say if we
can save a few young men it is well
worth the effort.
"You need a whole community to
raise a child. I have raised two chil-
dren, alone," said African
American female author Toni
Signing off from Boobie
Men Don't Let Divorce Stop Your Fatherhood
by William Jackson
What I share is a contradiction of
emotional and mental states, my
contribution to encourage divorced
fathers. My son 18 years old, a high
school graduate, he is in college
now attending Florida A&M
University. You may wonder why is
this important. The importance is
that as a father being divorced from
my children's mother since 1999,
divorce did not keep me from being
involved in my children's life.
I did not use excuses about child
support payments, the excuse that
they lived over an hour away from
me. I still choose to get them for
my visitation and split my summer
vacation with their mother.
Excuses are easy, but sacrifice is
a challenge to the commitment to
important causes; being involved
with your children is important.
Enduring to do the right thing is not
always easy. My reflections as a
father, I watched my son during
orientation allowed me the enlight-
enment of why I nurtured, taught,
sacrificed, worked, prayed, and yes
I fussed and cussed at times to get
my children to do what they need-
ed to do and where they needed to
get to. I had to be proactive to know
what my children were doing at
school even though I was no longer
in the home. I was still responsible
for their growth and welfare
beyond child support monies.
I suffered baby mama drama in
lack of communication, not being
offered school pictures, not being
invited to PTO/PTA meetings, or
parent/teacher conferences, not
knowing when field trips were. Not
being told of school plays and
events that the children were in. I
had to find out for myself, which I
did and attended events as much as
I could. I took off work to go on
field trips, I showed up for after
school functions, even though tired
or sick I was there, sometimes hav-
ing just enough money for gas and
As a father I encouraged my chil-
dren to be productive and success-
ful in school, working hard to do
for my children so I would never
hear that I was a deadbeat father
and talked about in any derogatory
way. There still were exchanges
about me to my children, but I
taught my children to judge me by
my actions not from others words.
Even though I still deal with baby
mama drama it is worth it because
my son is in college, a high school
graduate. My daughter is going to
high school in the fall.
The divorce process is neither
easy nor nice, primal emotions rise
to the surface, but men should
understand that it is not about who
bests who, who is the better parent.
It is about what is best for the chil-
dren. At times the process feels
unfair and it feels like a war, but
many divorcing parent's do not
always look at the future and the
preparation of their children for
higher education. I do not have all
the answers, but do encourage par-
ents to make preparations for your
children to attend college or voca-
tional school while they are young.
During divorce and even when
finalized, putting aside mental and
emotional pain, anger and demean-
ing behaviour to communicate with
each other. Your child's academic
success is important do not make
this impossible with disrespectful
actions and words.
Planning and negotiating while
the children are young and starting
a college fund is a necessity now
because tuition prices are skyrock-
eting. It is harder for minority
youth to go to college or university
so starting when children are
infants is not unheard of.
Those most affected are divorced
parents when they see their chil-
dren want to attend high education,
but realize they do not have the
money and kick themselves when
realizing they should have prepare
when the child was young.
Both parents are accountable and
responsible to stay connected with
their children's academic, emotion-
al and psychological strength and
weaknesses. Fathers need to be vis-
ible in the schools, to follow their
child's academic growth. Not leav-
ing it up to the mother and blaming
her for any failures. An uninvolved
father should not take credit for any
successes of the child. If a father is
not involved in elementary, middle-
Continued on page 7
LvThe saga of Jamaica's
k Christopher "Dudus" Coke is a man worth watching.
Coke is a Kingston, Jamaica resident who caused a state
of emergency and got the leader of the country's ruling
party to put his political career and reputation on the line to keep him out of
American courts. The arrest of Christopher Coke was an urban spectacle,
and his trial has the potential to revel a lot about American and Jamaican
officials' drug trade dealings. If Coke sings much may be told about
Jamaican and American officials' involvement in illegal activities from the
Caribbean to North America to England.
The case is an example of the "strong arm" of the United States govern-
ment and its practices in the drug trade. The US justice department had the
alleged leader of the notorious Shower Posse gang on a "world's most dan-
gerous" list, while a former Jamaican national security minister describes
him as "probably the country's most powerful man". The role and record of
"Dudus" is result of alliances between U.S. imperialism and the predomi-
nately-Black island's governing bourgeoisie. Coke gained his mythical sta-
tus as a linkage between Jamaica's working class elements and the political
ruling class elite that comprises the: Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and the
People's National Party (PNP).
Many Jamaicans say that "if Christopher Coke is a criminal, then so are
the Jamaican ruling parties and the U.S. government" who introduced drugs
and gun violence in poor community districts of Jamaica during the 1970s
and 80s. Dudicus Coke's trial threatens to expose corruption that has been
intrinsic to Jamaican politics for decades and bring to light the length to
which criminal gangs and both local parties are linked.
Last August, the US authorities charged Coke with organizing deals of
marijuana and crack cocaine, and funnelling the profits along with weapons
back to Jamaica. Mr Coke faces life in prison if found guilty. Reports call
it "guns for ganja" trade and labels the island "the Caribbean's largest source
of marijuana" for US users and "a transit point for cocaine trafficked from
According to Jamaican media, Mr Coke is more like a "godfather" to
Kingston residents a benefactor providing the means for food and school-
ing. Over the years, Jamaica's governments created the environment in
which such political entities could flourish. Gang control is at its most per-
vasive in communities entirely under the control of one or other of the polit-
ical parties, known as "garrison communities." His lawyers call Coke a
legitimate businessman and the major shareholder in two successful
Jamaican companies, Incomparable Enterprise and Presidential Click.
People on the streets of western Kingston call him Presi, Bossy, Shortman
or, Dudus. Coke sends their children to school, mediates disputes and gives
Garrison communities Tivoli, Trench Town, Jungle, and Fletcher's Land
- are self-governing, politically protected enclaves striated according to
party affiliation, dependent on and controlled by "Dons" and their gangs,
who are the liaison between the community and political parties. Dons
receive the patronage and political protection of party leaders that insulates
them from law enforcement. In exchange, they finance political campaigns,
deliver votes, and maintain their territories. Dons fill a gap that national and
local governments seem unable and unwilling to tackle; and, in turn, benefit
enormously from government contracts for construction, transportation and
infrastructure as they utilize these legal businesses to launder money.
Though still technically "in charge" of Tivoli Gardens projects, Coke's
wealth enabled him to move to an opulent former plantation home in Red
Hills, a cool, peaceful retreat favored by entrepreneurs and politicians.
Senior politicians, including Jamaican Prime Minister Golding, have report-
edly been electronically intercepted by US surveillance while talking to
Coke. Many may testify in favor of Coke. He has been instrumental in res-
urrecting and restructuring Kingston commerce and ensuring the safety and
protection of both vendors and buyers in the island's capital downtown.
Coke's business transactions and social interactions (such as the popular
dancehall event, Passa Passa) are beneficial and cause money flows in to
poverty-stricken communities unlikely to benefit from tourist dollars or gov-
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CONTRIBUTORS: Lynn Jones, Charles Griggs, Camilla Thompson, Reginald
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Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 5
Portrait of power: Famed political leader Rangel stumbling but not ready to fall
by L. Margasack
WASHINGTON Just about
everyone likes Charlie Rangel.
Republicans pump his hand,
Democrats put their arms around
his shoulders and women of all
political persuasions give him
pecks on the cheek.
Spend some time with the 80-
year-old congressman from New
York City who's been striding the
Capitol's halls for four decades on
behalf of residents of Harlem, and
there's little evidence he's become
someone to avoid because of an
ethics cloud that's more likely than
not going to darken in days to
Colleagues in both parties still
gravitate to the gravelly voiced,
outgoing, backslapping Rangel four
months after fellow Democrats per-
suaded and Republicans hound-
ed him to relinquish one of the
most powerful jobs in Washington,
chairman of the tax-writing House
Ways and Means Committee.
His influence is waning and
becoming a pariah to those in
Washington. A few Democrats have
returned money that Rangel raised
for them. His influence is sapped.
His wife, Alma, warns him not to
be naive about the glad-handling.
"You know," she tells him,
"they're putting you on."
How did it come to this?
Rangel follows in a tradition of
Ways and Means chairmen such as
Reps. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill.,
and Wilbur Mills, D-Ark., who
waited decades to become congres-
sional titans, then lost that perch
through ethical lapses.
"Some members are old school,"
said Stanley Brand, a former House
counsel and a defense lawyer for
many politicians in trouble. "As
they rise in seniority ... they think
less about (rules) changes that
occur under their nose."
Rangel lost his post because his
conduct gave Republicans an ethics
issue that's ripe for exploitation, just
as Democrats in 2006 and 2008
successfully seized on GOP ethical
Nervous about losing House seats
this year, Democrats persuaded
Rangel to step down after the
House ethics committee concluded
in February in a relatively minor
case that Rangel violated the cham-
ber's rules on gifts. The committee
said Rangel should have known that
corporate money paid for two trips
to Caribbean conferences. Rangel
insists he didn't know. There was no
More ominous is an investigation
into activities far more likely to
touch the nerve of voters: Rangel's
failure to pay taxes on income from
a Dominican Republic vacation
villa; his rent-subsidized apart-
ments in New York; using official
stationery to raise money for a col-
lege center bearing his name; and
his belated disclosure of assets
revealing he was far richer than
Rangel joined the Ways and
Means Committee in 1974 and
ascended to chairman more than
three decades later. He says the pain
of having his integrity questioned is
terrible, but he tries hard not to
He remains a workaholic, some-
times forgetting breakfast even
though he scoops oatmeal into a
cardboard cup at a House cafeteria
each morning and carries it back to
the office. Some busy days, he
warms it in the microwave for
"There's been a force out there.
People feel they have to say some-
thing supportive," Rangel says as
he walks through the Capitol's
"She says it's unseemly," Rangel
says of his wife's advice. "I say,
'Suppose it's not real. As long as
they keep saying these things until I
die, what difference does it make?'"
But he admits, "It's still painful.
It's times like this when I have to
reinforce the facts: I'm alive, I'm
well, and 60 years ago I could have
died when I was surrounded by
hundreds of Chinese" in the Korean
Rangel came back from that war
a Harlem hero with a Purple Heart
and a Bronze Star. He says he's con-
stantly measuring his current trou-
bles against the 20-degree below
zero days of Nov. 29 to Dec. 1,
1950, when he was wounded, but
survived while fellow soldiers died
all around him.
He always falls back on the title
of his autobiographical book, which
comes from his wartime experi-
ence: "And I Haven't Had A Bad
Long before he was chairman,
Rangel took care of his Harlem con-
stituents, many of them poor. He
sponsored empowerment zones
with tax credits for businesses mov-
ing into economically depressed
areas and developers of low income
As chairman, he pushed bills with
tax relief for victims of Hurricane
Katrina, tax breaks for small busi-
ness and stronger environmental
and labor rules in trade agreements,
tax rebates for consumers and an
increase in the minimum wage. He
was a major player in passage of
President Barack Obama's $862 bil-
lion stimulus program, one-third of
it tax cuts.
But Rangel lacked the power of
some of his predecessors.
He was a longtime advocate of
health care reform, but Speaker
Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., passed him
over for guiding Obama's overhaul
to passage. An important part of the
House's climate change legislation
was given to another committee,
when it could have gone primarily
to Ways and Means.
House leaders forced him to
reverse himself and manage a bill to
tax away Wall Street bonuses after
he told reporters that would be a
misuse of tax law.
Leadership aides said those deci-
sions were part of the strategy to
pass important legislation and didn't
represent a loss of confidence in
Rangel. Other committee lawmak-
ers, however, believe Rangel was
hobbled by his ethics problems -
and these decisions reflected that
Says Rangel: "There's no way I
could have taken it personally. The
speaker is more hands on in com-
mittee work than before."
But, chatting outside a House ele-
vator, he recalls how things used to
be, how the legendary
Rostenkowski, who ran the com-
mittee from 1981 to 1994, would
never have stood for a loss of
power. When Rangel was given a
leadership post of deputy whip,
Rostenkowski asked him whether
he was loyal to the committee or the
"You can't do both," Rangel said
he was warned.
In 1970 Rangel upset a Harlem
legend, Rep. Adam Clayton Powell
Jr. a pastor, civil rights leader
and a man known for his womaniz-
ing and his absence from his dis-
This year, Rangel announced his
re-election bid days before his
birthday. One of his primary oppo-
nents is a son of Powell, Adam
Clayton Powell IV.
In Harlem, Rangel ruled as one of
the Gang of Four African-
American politicians who achieved
top political posts: David Dinkins, a
one-time New York mayor; Basil
Paterson, who rose to deputy mayor
and New York secretary of state;
and the late Percy Sutton,
Manhattan Borough president.
He marched with Martin Luther
King. He was a founding member
of the Congressional Black Caucus.
At a meeting of New York politi-
cal leaders after the February ethics
report, Dinkins spoke about his
"Mayor Dinkins was very emo-
tional," recalled Lloyd Williams,
president and chief executive offi-
cer of the Greater Harlem Chamber
of Commerce. "He said if not for
Charlie Rangel, there would not
have been a Mayor Dinkins."
Dinkins declined in an interview
to talk about Rangel's troubles. "He
is my brother, my friend. My inter-
est is in his welfare," he said.
Williams momentarily seemed
worried about Rangel's future.
"I fear these mistakes will
become too much of his legacy," he
Quickly, he switched to a more
optimistic tone. "When the venom
is out of the air, Charlie will be
remembered as one of the most
extraordinary political leaders in
the history of this country."
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y luJ 8-14 2010
Powerful New York Congressman Charles Rangel has been in office for more than 40 years.
IN MORE ^^^f^^^^^WKw~~lpTHANON
Alexander Templecelebrating Does the Black Church keep
dual honors of Bishops
The Alexander Temple Community Church is giving honor to their
Overseers, Bishop Donna McCollors and Bishop Dorothy Everett by cele-
brating their 40th anniversary in ministry and their 65th birthday. The cel-
ebration will be held on Friday, July 9th at 7 p.m. There will also be a spe-
cial church service to commemorate. Guest speaker is Pastor Steve Dobbs
of Paxon Revival Center Church. The church is located at 1860 West 5th
Covenant Connection Fellowship
There will be an Affirmation and Consecration Service of Apostle Dr.
Mary Domes on July 10, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. at 3060 Lenox Avenue, For
more information, ca11485-6500.
Gifts within Summer kids' camp
program sponsored by One Accord
The Temple at One Accord Ministries International, Inc. located at 2971
Waller Street, will continue their "The Gifts within Summer Program" June
14th August 6, 2010 from 6:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The program is for kids
ages 3 17. The theme for this summer is: The Eye of the Beholder. Classes
will cover all facets of the visual arts including a full scale performing arts
program. For more information on the unbelievable weekly fee, please con-
tact Dr. Tanya Brooks at (904) 864-3314 or the church at (904) 389-7373.
A boys prayer prompts surrender
HOUSTON,TX Oscar Almaguer prayed with his mom Friday at the
funeral for his neighbor Maria Hernandez, who was sweeping the end of
her north Houston driveway last week when someone ran her over.
"God, let the person who did this say 'I'm sorry' and tell them to come
out," the 5-year-old boy said.
The next day, the woman police say was driving the car that hit Hemandez
Maria Guadalupe Reyes was arrested a day after her 33rd birthday.
She is charged with failure to stop and render aid after her Toyota mini-
van weaved onto the side of the street and struck Hemandez early on June
20 in the 400 block of Crosstimbers.
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.
Black women Agle adil
The African-American Church
has been put on blast by a writer
with his article "How the Black
Church Keeps African American
Women Single and Lonely."
The article by Deborrah Cooper is
on the heels of "A Religious Portrait
of African Americans" a recently
released study conducted by the
PEW Research Center. The study
showed that Black men are almost
twice as likely as Black women to
be unaffiliated with any particular
The story has been heavily circu-
lated throughout social media sites
as soon as it was posted on her well-
read blog "Surviving Dating." Her
pate in church services.
"Black women feel religion is
very important to them, and about
60 percent attend services at least
once per week. Black men, howev-
er, are almost twice as likely as
black women to be unaffiliated with
any particular religion," explained
"What does all that mean? It
means that black men are not going
to be sitting up in church on Sunday
or any other day! Black churches
are full of lonely black women pray-
ing and waiting on the Lord to send
along a husband instead of getting
outside of the church, placing them-
selves in environments where men
motivations. I believe the
author is confusing the.
'inordinate amount of
faith in both black
men and black
churches' with .1
able faith in i "
God and His .'
trust in the
According to Cooper, most black men in
church fall in the following groups:
1) A loser working a 12-step program: She describes these men as weak. confused and
looking for structure in their lives; hardly marriage material for anyone.
2) Openly or in the closet gay men.
3) Opportunistic players on the prowl: She says that these men take advantage of all the
horny, single women in the church. Since sex among singles is a sin, he fully expects that th
women will keep their transgressions quiet.
4) Elderly reformed players: According to Cooper, these men are looking for their nurse
and bed warmer. They are seeking someone who can "take care of their broken down asses
before they die."
5) Married men
argument centers on her belief that
spiritual leaders train women to
remain focused on serving the
church rather than their own needs
- through antiquated policies that
limit the woman's ability to partici-
Seeking the lost for Christ
Matthew 28:19 20
Pastor Landon Williams
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 7 p.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.
* * A Full Gospel Baptist Church * *
Every 3rd & 4th
4 :00 p.m.
that's on the
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:firstname.lastname@example.org
are," she said.
Several individuals have posted
comments on Cooper's blog, thank-
ing her for shedding light on this
topic and supporting her point of
view. However, some find Cooper's
statements to be overreaching.
Breahna Blakey, a graduate stu-
dent at the University of South
Alabama, said Cooper's argument is
"one sided" and that she does not
agree that African-American
women in the church are trained to
The author totally exaggerates
and paints the situation in absolutes,
instead of analyzing it in an unbi-
ased way... I don't believe that
black women are brainwashed into
submission, or that we have false
hopes either... Furthermore, no one
convinces women that they must be
in the church, while men aren't. I
believe a lot of that is cultural, and
also attributed to the fact that men
are generally less spiritual beings,"
Howard University alumna
Meghan Nick said that as the daugh-
ter of a minister and an African-
American woman who was raised in
the church, she finds Cooper's arti-
cle to be an "offensive generaliza-
"Everyone who attends does so
with their own predispositions and
Him, and He v
the word of
simply carnal n
Rev. Dr. Lest
that the statistic
article and with
study are reflect
within his cong
agrees that their
the lesser numb
"We don't ha
there are mor
quite a few of o
war... many of
ing on the chur
"We have qu
we use to try t(
but right now
number of won
outside of the
"It's OK to
church for a par
ous, kind of I
water, they jus
find someone o
who will beci
church, then thb
not marry anyo.
is not saved,
Baskin said t
maid your own class-
understand- es for sin-
ing; in all gle women to help them find their
your ways mate.
acknowledge The Rev. Robert Mason of
-ill make your paths Greater Middle Baptist Church in
characterization (of) Memphis says his grandmother
God as a negative introduced him to his faith. He
1 intended to make believes that the reason fewer men
ssive and prude is are attending church is because it is
minded," she added. often left to the women to shape the
er Baskin of Middle "spiritual culture" of their families.
h in Memphis said "When you talk about the church
cs cited in Cooper's and African Americans.. .it has been
hin the Pew research a stronghold in our
active of the numbers community.. .but the other side of it
egation as well and is that in most households the moth-
re is a problem with ers are responsible for shaping the
>er of black men who spiritual culture for their families."
Mason added that going to church
ive an equal number, in order to fimd a mate is a "shallow"
e women in men... endeavor. "When my grandmother
)ur men went into the went to church she didn't go looking
our young men are for a mate, she went looking for a
iat has a grave bear- source of renewal," he said.
ch," he explained. Blakely and Nick agree that citing
tite a few ministries the African-American church as the
o pull them (men) in reason behind the number of single
there are a greater black women is unfounded.
ten in our church." "The relationship issues between
er suggests looking black men and women in America
church for a mate, are multifaceted. Our relationships
doing so cautiously. are hindered by centuries of system-
look outside of the atic social injustice, which has man-
rtner, but it's danger- infested itself in a weak family sys-
like mixing oil and tem," said Nick.
it don't gel...If you "The black community has been
outside of the church badly wounded and the author
ome a part of the seems to suggest that these wounds
at's fine, but I would were caused by the black church
ne if I am saved who when in fact these strained relation-
that just wouldn't ships are a direct result of the injus-
tices faced by a community."
he church also offers
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
and Daughters of Bethel
3rd Sunday 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday Noon Service
"Miracle at Midday"
12 noon-1 p.m.
Dinner and Bible Study
at 5:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
WCGL 1360 AM Thursday 8:15 -8:45 a.m.
AM 1400 Thursday 7:00 8:00 p.m.
WTLV Channel 12 Sunday's at 6:30 a.m.
Grace and Peace a
Come share In Holy Communion on st Sunday at 4:50 p.m.
,,-, - ., I - .. k
July 8-14, 2010
Pa e 6 Ms Perry's Free P s
g the choices no
rs have to make
by Dr. Consuelo Wilkins
African-American women have
the highest incidence of being
overweight in the United States and
they are least likely to have a regu-
lar exercise routine. Amazingly
enough time is not the overwhelm-
ing factor 49 percent of over-
weight African American women
report that hair care directly affects
their exercise patterns.
Think about this issue as it
relates to cultural competence in
healthcare. Virtually no other
group of women (or men) is faced
with such dilemma. Do I choose to
be beautiful now (by maintaining
my hairstyle) or do I choose to
maintain my weight/lose weight
(and have all the other positive
effects of exercising)? This is a dif-
ficult concept for many doctors and
other health professionals to grasp
because other cultures do not
understand the complex issues of
hair maintenance and hairstyles for
don't know the problem of "sweat-
ing your hair out".
There are many issues to consid-
er when discussing hair and Black
women but probably most impor-
tant is that for many Black women,
their hairstyle is a big form of self-
expression. A Black woman's hair
makes a statement and is often the
subject of many conversations.
As depicted in Chris Rock's
movie, "Good Hair," for many
black women, their hair is also the
source of conflict. Although Black
hair can range from tightly coiled
to wavy/curly to straight, Blacks
tend to have hair that is more coiled
and not straight compared to other
groups. In the United States, many
non-Blacks (and some Blacks)
consider straight hair to be the
"norm" and natural hair that is
tightly coiled or 'kinky' to be radi-
cal or militant (this is less so in the
last two decades). Because of this,
many Black women spend a lot of
money and time to chemically
straighten their hair and/or invest
in hair weaves.
It is understandable then that
after investing much time and
money into a hairstyle that a
woman would want the style to last
more than a couple of days.
Usually once the hair is wet (even
just from sweating), a significant
amount of time must be invested to
restore the hairstyle. So many
women choose to avoid exercising
(especially swimming) to maintain
their hair. Even if a Black woman
had the time and skills (or money)
to wash and restyle her chemically-
straightened hair daily or several
times a week, it would be
unhealthy for her hair to wash it
often. Most other cultures/groups
can wash their hair daily without
stripping away the natural oils pro-
tecting the hair and scalp.
But is it worth it? Should we
deny ourselves the benefits of reg-
ular exercise- weight control,
improved mood, more energy, bet-
ter sleep? Is our hair more impor-
tant than decreasing our risk of dia-
betes, heart disease, and stroke?
Sadly, many of us make that deci-
sion every day. Because when we
look in the mirror, we don't see
high blood pressure, high choles-
terol, or diabetes. We see ourselves,
often only from the neck up. So our
hair can be the biggest piece of our
I think part of the answer is to
take our health into the beauty
salons. Let's talk to our stylists
about hairstyles that will keep us
beautiful but allow us to exercise
regularly. Your stylist can offer tips
on what to do to maintain your
hairstyle longer (products, head-
bands, wraps). You don't have to
sacrifice your hair to be healthy.
Let's work on being beautiful from
the inside out!
Fathers Don't Let Divorce Stop Your Fatherhood
Continued from page 4
and high school, don't expect a
graduation invitation when time
Helping to continue to raise chil-
dren does have its financial chal-
lenges. I have and continue to strug-
gle through financial hardship pay-
ing child support, working to re-
establish a shattered credit rating. I
have at times worked 3 jobs just to
make ends meet. Learning that my
children will love me' regardless of
money because they know that I
love them and want to spend quali-
ty time with them. Fathers should
understand it is not the amount of
money that you spend, but the
amount of time that you put in your
relationship with the children, don't
compete for their love, fathers
already have that. Focus on the
importance of being a good, respon-
sible and involved parent. I saw the
fruits of my labour when my son
enrolled in college and I helped him
accomplish this goal.
My labour was in traveling every
other weekend as many divorced
dads do to pick up their children
and spend time with them. Taking a
day off from work to visit my son
and daughter in school, talking to
their teachers and eating lunch with
the class. It did not matter that their
mother did not want me there. I
choose to be visible and in commu-
nication with teachers and adminis-
trators. Many fathers do not know
they have rights to visit their child's
school and check up on their chil-
dren even if divorced. I sent cards,
letters, emails and texts, showing
my children that I love them instead
of just giving lip service and false
words and false expectations. There
are things true fathers/real men do
for their children by being there for
them and showing up when they
say they will.
There were unkind words that
were spoken by my children's
mother and grandmother about me.
That helped motivate me to be a
better father. Men in some cases are
driven away by women because the
woman is angry, hurt and wants to
get back at the man. These actions
in the long run hurt the children's
development when the mother
denies visitation even when support
is being paid. Sometimes mothers
will speak poorly about the father
and make unwarranted accusations
to the male child that they will be
like their father in a derogatory
way. Statements are made by moth-
ers that can destroy their son's men-
tal security and confidence.
Encouraging destructive behaviour
and nurturing behaviour that is anti
social. The resulting behaviour
from the child accumulates into
academic and social challenges that
did not have to happen. These
actions can be seen in our schools
and judicial systems. Because of
hurt emotions by mothers their
words and actions may encourage
and teach the male child to "act
out" because the mother was still
angry even after years of being
divorced. Daughters are influenced
not to speak to their fathers not real-
izing the long term consequences
that affect future relationships.
This, I have expereinced.
I felt the fruits of my labour when
my son hugged me. I hugged him
back not wanting to let him go
because of the years of his child-
hood rushing back through my
mind. I kissed him twice on his
head trying not to be squashy, not
wanting to embarrass him at his
new home away from home. I said
something similar to I Love You
and proud of you, he replied I love
As I turned to leave I had to fight
the feelings to look back because I
knew I would cry, but that did not
work. As I walked back to my truck
tears started streaming.
Fathers do need to cry; it does not
demean you or make you weak. It
just proves that you are human, a
caring person, a parent that loves
their child. Your child needs to
know that you have emotions, that
you can show your affection for
them. I realized my son, whom I
carried in my arms when born, read
to, taught computers to, shared
French fries with, mowed the lawn
with, taught how to drive. The little
boy who was my traveling partner
to the store, who went with me to
work and helped me in my class-
room. Whose hand I held when
walking in the store, who I carried
on my shoulders. I remember talk-
ing about sex, drugs, and life in
general. The young man that I
watched graduate from elementary
school, middle school, high school
and now attending college.
I did not want to be another sta-
tistic, a deadbeat father so I perse-
vered. I say thank you God for
allowing me the opportunity to be a
father, to shape and mold a young
man to be a benefit to society not a
menace or statistic in the juvenile
justice system. I know my son is not
perfect, he has his flaws; I rest in
the knowledge that I taught him
things that my dad did not teach me
because he was not there. Put God
first in everything, the value and
importance of education, being
respectful and honest. Do not let
people take you for granted, do not
allow people to use you. To have
values, morals that you can be and
will be successful. To be of service
to your community and help others
when you can.
As I left the campus I placed my
son in God's hands and said a
To God Be The Glory. I will be
there at my son's college graduation
God willing, but he has started a
journey that I helped him begin.
A message to fathers; press for-
ward to be the best father that you
can. Do not give in to giving up on
fatherhood, because the life you
give up on will be your children.
Your children will not be children
forever. They will grow up and they
will remember how involved you
were, or how uninvolved you were.
Your children will remember who
was there to help them. They will
know who to call when they need
guidance, advice and strength. Men
no matter what color or culture
must understand if we can make a
baby we have to continue to be
responsible to and for that baby.
Making no excuses for not being
there for our children.
Shown above (L-R) are Kecia and Leonard with Shuman with new
friends Vernon and Paulette George at the Aloft Hotel. KFP
Surprise double date twice the fun
Kecia and Leonard Shuman celebrated four years of marriage with new
newlywed friends Vernon and Paulette George (married 6/18/10) recently
for an evening out at the Aloft Hotel on the Northside. Before meeting at
the venue, the couples had not known each other. The couples had a
romantic evening of fellowship and enlightenment discussing marriage
tips, do's don't and wills and wants followed by a "toast to happiness".
Kappas release plans for
2011 centennial meeting
Thousands of delegates of
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.,
convening for its national conven-
tion in Indianapolis next July, will
make a "historic pilgrimage" to
Indiana University Bloomington,
where the organization was found-
ed nearly 100 years ago.
The historically black fraternity
also is planning a National
Founders Day event in
Bloomington in January to mark
the centennial of the milestone,
which took place on Jan. 5, 1911.
Kappa Alpha Psi was the first
African American fraternity incor-
porated as a national organization.
Elder Watson Diggs and nine other
African American students at IU
formed a fraternity that today has
730 chapters and 120,000 mem-
Officials of the national fraterni-
ty announced their plans at a news
conference in Indianapolis on
Monday (July 5). The 80th Grand
Chapter Meeting and Centennial
Celebration will take place July 5-
"We are preparing for the most
significant event in the annals of
the fraternity," said Dwayne M.
Murray, the 31st grand polemarch
(president and chief executive
officer) of Kappa Alpha Psi
Fraternity Inc. "We are convening
with a record number of brothers
at the places where our fraternal
More than 20,000 are expected
to gather for the Centennial
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Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 7
y luJ 8-14 2010
g ,I l otd TOWN e a
What to do from social, volunteer, political and sports activities to self enrichment and the civic scene
The July meeting of the PRIDE
Book Club, Jacksonville's oldest
book club for people of color, will
hold their next meeting on
Saturday July 10th at 4:00 p.m.
hosted by Viola Parker. The book
for discussion, authored by the host
will be "House of Secrets". For
directions or more information to
the American Beach meeting, call
Why Art Matters: An
The Cummer Museum of Art will
host a roundtable discussion on the
arts in Jacksonville. It will be held
on Tuesday, July 13th 7 to 8 p.m.
Participants at the free open dis-
cussion will review the relevance of
art in the life of Jacksonville with
panelists from the areas of educa-
tion, art collecting and culture
including Martha Barrett, Debra
Murphy, David Strickland, Preston
Haskell and the Cultural Council of
Jacksonville, Inc. For more infor-
mation call (904) 355-0630.
Tommy Davidson at
the Comedy Zone
Funnyman and actor Tommy
Davidson will be in performance at
the Comedy Zone in Mandarin
July 15-17. Davidson's impressions
of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Michael
Jackson, among others, have
become infamous. An original cast-
mate of "In Living Color", he also
starred in "Booty Call", "Ace
Ventura" and three HBO specials.
Call 292-4242 for tickets.
The Women's Center of
Jacksonville and the Art & Soul
Gallery will present ARTrageous. A
show where the artists have a
chance to tickle our funny bones,
make a statement, be insane (or a
bit inane), and act a little silly. The
"New Beginnings" exhibit will
open with an artists' reception from
6-8 pm on July 15, 2010 at the
Women's Center of Jacksonville,
5644 Colcord Ave., 32211. It is
open and free to the public July 15
- September 24th from 11 a.m.- 3
p,m., Monday Friday. For more
information contact Cookie Davis,
Monica and Friends
live in concert
R&B Star Monica, will be in per-
formance on Friday, July 16th at 8
p.m. at the Florida Theatre with
Trey Songz. For tickets call 355-
SOS Band in Concert
The legendary S.O.S. Band will
be in performance with
Jacksonville jazz artist Aaron Bing
on Saturday, July 17 at Times
,~ ~ -'
Union Center for Performing Arts.
Showtime is 8 p.m. and ticket
prices start at Call 353-3309 for
Stage Aurora Black
Stage Aurora will present their 3rd
Annual Black Arts Festival July
23-25 right here in Jacksonville.
Headlining will be Melba Moore
and Daniel Beaty. In addition to the
film reviews, there will also be
"Kings of the Kitchen" culinary
event, 70s party, spoken word and
more. Fore more information, call
765-7372. All events will be at their
Gateway Mall headquarters.
Aiken in Concert
American Idols Clay Aiken and
Ruben Studdard will visit
Jacksonville on Saturday, July
24th at the Florida Theatre. The
concert will begin at Showtime is 8
p.m. For more info call 355-2787.
Enjoy jazz by the
sea at American Beach
Historic American Beach will con-
tinue their Summer Jazz Series on
Saturday July 31st and August
28th. "Instant Groove" will be held
at Burney Park (Comer of Burney
and Ocean) on American Beach
from 5-8 p.m. Bring your chairs,
relax and enjoy food, ocean breezes
and music by the sea.
Raines / Ribault
Class of '78 Charity
B-ball Game & Gala
Raines & Ribault have joined
forces to lay aside their high school
rivalry to benefit the stakeholders
of their respective schools. On July
31, 2010, the Old School/New
School Charity Basketball Game to
bring together families and friends
for a memorable time of fun and
fellowship. That evening, there will
be a formal Gala at the Wyndham
Hotel from 7 11 p.m. To partici-
pate or more information call 410-
9603. Stay tuned for details.
of Spoken Word
Come out and enjoy an evening of
Spoken Word at the Ritz Theater on
August 5th, 2010. The free event
will start at 7 p.m. Spoken word
night is held on the first Thursday
of every month where poets, writ-
ers, vocalists and sometimes musi-
cians gather to present and hear
some of the area's most powerful
and profound lyrical voices in a
casual open-mic setting. Call 632-
5555 for info.
The Duval/Nassau Alumni
Chapter will be having their month-
ly Alumni Meeting on Thursday,
August 5th at Bono's BBQ 5903
Norwood Avenue at 6 p.m.The
meeting will be held every first
Thursday. For more information
nichapter.org or call 610-3412.
The August meeting of the
PRIDE Book Club, Jacksonville's
oldest book club for people of color,
will be held on Saturday, August
7th at the American Beach home of
Marsha Phelts. The book for discus-
sion is "Is Bill Cosby Right" by
Michael Eric Dyson. For directions,
location or more information to the
meeting call 261-0175.
Asso. of Fundraising
The local chapter of the
Association of Fundraising
Professionals will celebrate their
50th anniversary with a reception
on Thursday, August 12th from 5-
7:30PM. It will be held at the Omni
Hotel downtown. For more infor-
mation, email vboyer@hmhbc-
Toast to the Animals
Grab a glass and toast the First
Coast's furriest friends at the
Jacksonville Humane Society's
12th annual Toast to the Animals on
Friday, August 13th from 6- 9 p.m.
at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel.
Enjoy more than 100 varieties of
wine, beer, gourmet hors d'oeuvres
and desserts at the fundraiser in
addition to a silent and live auction.
Tickets are available at www.jax-
humane.org or call 725-8766.
Underwood in Concert
Comedian Sheryl Underwood will
be in concert at he Comedy Zone in
Mandarin August 13-15. Sheryl
continues to push the envelope: dis-
cussing sex, politics, current events
and relationships. Shne is also
national president of Zeta Phi Beta
Sorority. Call 292-4242 for tickets.
Cocktails for a Cause
In celebration of the National
Urban League's 100th year, the
local affiliate will be holding
"Cocktails for a Cause" to learn
about their Centennial Movement,
and to network with community
leaders. It will be held at the
University Club,1301 Riverplace
Boulevard on Wednesday, August
18th from 4:30 7:30 p.m. RSVP
your attendance to
email@example.com or 366-3461.
Cedric the Entertainer
Comedian and actor Cedric the
Entertainer will be in concert on
Friday, August 20, 2010 at the
Times Union Center for Performing
Arts. Showtime is 8 p.m. Call 353-
Kuumba Festival 2010
The Carter G. Woodson
Committee for Positive Education
of Jacksonville, Inc. (CGWC) is
kicking off its 22nd Annual
Kuumba Festival of Florida on
Saturday, August 21st, 2010.
11:00am until 8:00pm. The festival
will take place at 500 N. Davis
Street (across from the Lavilla
School of the Arts). For more infor-
mation visit www.kuumbafesti-
valfl.org, or call 1 888-477-0565.
The September meeting of the
PRIDE Book Club, Jacksonville's
oldest book club for people of color,
will be held on Friday,
September 10th at 7 p.m. hosted
by Ellen Young and Priscilla
Williamson. The book for discus-
sion will be "The Right Mistake"
by Walter Mosley. For more infor-
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Pa e 8 Ms Perry's Free P s
Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 9
Pregnant Alicia falls at Essence Festival
At the Essence Music Festival, a pregnant Alicia Key took
a tumble during her performance on Saturday night.
At the time of the fall, Keys was doing "Love Is Blind"
from her latest album project "The Element of Freedom"
when she stumbled backward and fell.
But being a pro, the singer didn't skip a beat, got up and
sat at the piano and kept it moving. As far as we know she
didn't cause any damage to herself or her unborn child.
Dave Chappelle acting "strange" again
Uh oh, Dave Chappelle is acting weird again.
TMZ is reporting that a private jet had to make an .
emergency landing in Pittsburgh last night &
because the comedian was freaking out the pilot. -
The source says the flight was headed from
New Jersey to Ohio where the comedian lives.
During the flight Chappelle reportedly "freaked
out" and refused to put his seat belt on. Then
repeatedly walked into the cockpit, asking how
much longer the flight would be, and started grabbing the pilot's arms.
At that point it was determined that he was a safety risk and diverted the
plane to Pittsburgh.
TMZ says after landing the funny man checked into a hotel, but sources
at the hotel said Chappelle told hotel employees he wanted to rent a car
remember where he lived.
Woods to pay $100M
Reports say that that Elin Nordegren will get
i-a $100 million in her divorce from Tiger
Woods, and not the record $750 million that
has been previously released.
"Tiger is not even worth $750 million," TMZ's Web site states. "We're
told his net worth is somewhere between $500 and $600 million. The
$100 million is way more than Elin would have received under the
Citing sources "with direct knowledge of the property settlement agree-
ment," TMZ also says Elin will receive child support, but the specific
amount is unknown.
Ii 1 "
Mary J. Blige
Walking the walk: Mary J.
to enter Howard University
The 39-year-old recently
announced on "Good Morning
America" that she will be heading
off to Howard University and plans
to get her Bachelors in 2014.
Blige, who dropped out of school
in the llth grade, has had her fair
share of drama throughout her life,
from being molested as a child to
battling drugs and being physically
abused by a former lover. All of
these situations derailed any plans
for furthering her education.
The nine-time Grammy Award
winner has refused to let life's
knocks lay her out flat, though, and
has continued to be an inspiration to
listeners. Her latest CD, "Stronger
with Each Tear," is undoubtedly a
testament to her survival instinct.
Blige has not released any infor-
mation on what her area of concen-
tration will be at Howard, but rest
assured, when the diva puts her
mind to something, she follows
through all the way.
During her career, she established
a foundation for at risk young girls
to receive scholarships.
The successful songstress plans to
launch her fragrance, My Life, later
this month and an eyewear line,
Melodies, in the fall.
,Louis Gosset details his
independence from drugs
and racism in
S ", B 'as H But ef'or Gossert C
nt ..t horn .,I h e callj "Craci-m
S or, tlie 'of tile best supporting
totirth O:f fi ,r plaig, a touih-.
Iul,. hut serie.aiit in I 52's "An
SL o i < a GernilenCan" had to
,', (Gc ti. Ir hell
celebrite- ii Hi, life didn't stain o
like 1 I in fact. Go-sett desci
bi rth a , con'sidei.i charmned
nonihelhecs up in Biook\li. Ne%%
I .I Not becau-Le he \'.a rakied bh, '.ork.
Jil\ 4 !in- i .X erc'ic a coIinlllllltlrl te .i lthi
Independence Da, no'it am tor much and
Rather. bec.au-e it of \ Illence because ,
mark, the (-scar-- in- hi, friends and fan,
i ninL act.n''i looked oui to:i hiui
0 % o ', n He ''.a skilled in b
ouldJ ork on
," the % inner
a- -nal, Is drill
n Officer and
ut tha1t 1a,
nrbes ,. hati he
life gro\' wuig
ing parents in
ganIgs. he did
escaped a lot
had an innate talent for acting that.
ai a teenager. landed him a plum
iole in a stage pla\ of "Take a
SGiiant Step Gosseft took
classes at the Actors
Studio -- thile famed
ends his bid
for a stipend of
independence from xears of lI\ ung
in a haze of freebase cocaine., alco-
hol and a toxic mold that invaded
his house and his body.
Gossett, 74, has detailed his
rebirth, which began with a trip to
rehab in 2004, as well as details of
his remarkable life in a new mem-
oir, "An Actor and a Gentleman,"
which hit bookstores in May.
Six years after his own independ-
ence day, Gossett, has regained his
health and dedicated his life to eras-
ing racism, which caused anger and
resentment in his career and fueled
,a need to escape through drug use.
"Once you put it through a
blender, we are one people. We are
all equal, and we need one another
to survive and save this planet," he
times was home to
James Dean, Marion Brando and
Gossett writes that in those days,
when Monroe was married to play-
wright Arthur Miller, she was one
of the best actresses he ever worked
with and, if she had lived and been
able to explore her acting, she
would have won Oscars too.
"He (Miller) made her think
deep," Gossett said of Monroe.
"She was born with an instrument,
but then her sexuality was used
instead of what was inside her."
CHAINED TO A TREE
Throughout the 1950s and 60s,
Gossett made a good living in
Broadway theater before
Hollywood beckoned with fat pay-
checks for television work. And
while those jobs were good -- he
% on Emmys and Golden Globe tro-
phies -- Los Angeles was hard.
In his chapter, "The Bubble
Burst" Gossett recounts his first trip
to Hollywood in 1967, when he
took a stroll off the grounds of the
Be% early Hills Hotel only to find
himself stopped by police who
chained him to a tree for hours.
Gossett complains that on TV and
in movies throughout the 1970s and
l0SOs, getting jobs was twice as
hard and he was typically paid on a
lo\w er scale than his white co-stars.
E en winning the Oscar, he said,
"Somewhere along the way, that
charm disappeared," Gossett said.
But he is quick to add, "I needed to
get experience from that, to get
\" here I am today."
In his book, Gossett recounts
good times and bad, such as
t his court battle with one ex-
wife who accused him of giv-
ing his children cocaine -- a
charge that was proven untrue.
Through it all, he continued
to work when jobs came his
way, but by the 1990s and early
2000s, he was sick. At one
point, he was told he had six
Months to live.
Little did Gossett know, until
2001, that much of his illness was
caused by a toxic mold growing in
his Malibu home. Yet, the actor
does not dodge the fact that drugs
and alcohol altered his life, and his
inability to deal with the racism he
experienced was one crack in his
armor that allowed drugs in.
Gossett has now dedicated him-
self to mentoring young people and
helping them overcome problemat-
ic issues in their own lives, as well
as stamping out racism around the
world. -. .:
"I also think racism is one of
those addictions. It's one of things
in your system, and you have to do
something everyday" to deal with
it, he said.
Michael Jackson's father is with-
drawing his request to receive more
than $15,000 a month from his late
A court filing says Joe Jackson is
dropping his bid to receive a
monthly allowance, opting instead
to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit
over his son's death.
Joe Jackson filed a lawsuit in fed-
eral court a week ago against Dr.
Conrad Murray, who has been
charged with involuntary
manslaughter in the singer's death.
The Jackson family patriarch was
omitted from his son's will, but in
November sought a stipend to pay
his monthly expenses.
Joe Jackson's filing indicates he
may renew his request for a stipend
later if necessary.
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Pa e 10 Mrs. Perrys Free Press
16th Annual Essence Music Festival continued to be a stunner
LL Cool J remains a crowd pleaser.
Janet Jackson opened the festival.
The legendary Gladys Knight
War performed in one of the Super Lounges.
Earth Wind and Fire closed out the show Sunday night.
Actor Idris Ela and rapper T.I.
Jill Scott entertains the Essence Music Festival crowns sunday nignr.
Pastor Debra and Bishop Paul Morton receive the Essence Advocates
Award during the All-Star Gospel Salute at the Essence Experience.
Essence first began 40 years ago,
and it was 16 years ago that they
held the first Essence Music
Festival, which has now become a
Fourth of July tradition.
Trey Songz. Jill Scott. Mary J.
Blige and Earth,Wind and Fire
closed out the 16th annual Essence
Festival in New Orleans capping
off a star studded weekend.
Previous performers included
Alicia Keyes, Janet Jackson,
Charlie Wilson, Gladys Knight,
There was something for all ages
at the festival of music and spirits
celebrating empowerment, enlight-
enment and entertainment in the
During the day, workshops and
shopping filled the convention cen-
ter. A special star-studded program
honoring Shirley Caesar, Kirk
Franklin and Bishop Paul Morton
and Pastor Debra Morton of
Greater St. Stephen's Full Gospel
Baptist Church was included in the
celebration of gospel. It also includ-
ed a sermon by Pastor Marvin
Winans' and performances by
Marvin Sapp, Ledisi, Mary Mary,
Tye Tribbett, Juanita Bynum and
The Clark Sisters.
Other convention center highlights
included DJ Dougie Fresh, Boris
Kodjoe, Idris Ela, Bill Cosby, Tyler
Perry, Chef G. Garvin and book
"The spirit and atmosphere is so
easy. There's nothing negative
about it. Total strangers are coming
up to you and embracing you. It's a
good way to spend the Fourth of
July." said attendee Monica Lee.
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