Guess whose on
this year's roster
for the North
Hall of Fame
I --_-----~__~~~~.~.. .~.~~----- I- ~- ~-- -------- -----
Two of the
nation's top two
team up for
new radio show
U.S. Courts set November
hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal
A U.S. appeals court in Philadelphia, acting on orders from the
Supreme Court, will again review the 1982 death sentence of death-row
inmate Mumia Abu Jamal.
The Nov. 9 hearing could prove a setback for the convicted police killer
who has become an international cause celebre as he awaits execution.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2008 granted the one-time
radio reporter and former Black Panther a new sentencing hearing based
on what it deemed were flawed jury instructions. But the Supreme Court
this year upheld a death sentence in an Ohio case with similar jury issues
and ordered the Philadelphia court to revisit its Abu-Jamal ruling.
Abu-Jamal has argued in numerous appeals that racism by the trial judge
and prosecutors corrupted his 1982 conviction at the hands of a mostly
white jury. Those appeals have so far failed.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, have fought a federal judge's 2001 decision to
grant Abu-Jamal a new sentencing hearing because of the flawed jury
The flaw relates to whether jurors understood how to weigh mitigating
circumstances that might have kept Abu-Jamal from being executed.
Under state law, jurors did not have to unanimously agree on a mitigat-
Abu-Jamal, 56, has been on death row since his 1982 conviction for
killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner the year before.
US: sanctions stay until
Zimbabwe improves human rights
Zimbabwe must show greater respect for human rights and political
freedoms before the U.S. sanctions on the impoverished African nation
can be removed, the U.S. State Department said this week.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle have been
subject to Western sanctions since his ZANU-PF party won an election
in 2000 after a violent campaign.
The sanctions were imposed at the start of his government's policy of
seizing commercial, often white-owned, farms to resettle landless blacks.
Mugabe was forced into a power-sharing deal last year with opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai that has stabilized the economy after a decade
of decline but the United States argues that human rights violations con-
"As long as human rights violations, land seizures, and intimidation of
those participating in the political process continue, the sanctioned indi-
viduals and entities on the list who continue to perpetrate and benefit
from these acts are unlikely to be removed," the statement said.
The statement described the meeting between a top U.S. official and
country leaders as cordial and saying the United States was committed to
keeping the door open for further dialogue.
Man awarded $1.5M over racist debt
collection calls from Bank of America
Ajury has awarded a Texas man more than $1.5 million in a lawsuit over
profane voicemail messages allegedly left by a collections agency.
Lawyers for Allen Jones, of Lewisville, Texas, say he was subjected to
harassing phone calls from Advanced Call Center Technologies.
Employees, lawyers said, used the n-word and the f-word and made
racially-charged remarks about Jones, who is black. "What's up, you f---
ing n---r?" said one of the collection agents in a message to 32-year old
Allen Jones of Dallas, who owed $81 on his Bank of America credit card.
"This is your A$#& wake up call, man," the debt collector said in a mes-
sage left at Jones' home at 6:30 a.m.
In one voicemail message, a collector suggested that Jones "go pick
some (&*(&$#^$) cotton fields," according to recordings provided by
Dean Siotos, a lawyer for Advanced Call Center Technologies, called
the language in the voicemails "indefensible" and said that the calls
allegedly placed by ACT employees "must have been in some sort of per-
sonal attack unrelated to the business."
"It's not in any way, shape or form consistent with the way ACT's col-
lection department attempted to collect debts," he said.
Bank of America has since fired the company.
Facebook CEO gifts $100M
to Newark School district
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the
creation of a new foundation called Startup: Education. He is seeding the
foundation with the initial gift of $100 million to the Newark, N.J. school
system. And the Facebook founder isn't alone in his efforts. Newark
Mayor Cory A. Booker announced the creation of the Newark Education
and Youth Development Fund, a separate non-profit organization with
the goal of raising an additional $100 million to gain the challenge grant
offered by Zuckerberg s foundation, as well as an additional $50 million
to serve disaffected youth. He is already $40 million towards his goal.
In 2009, only 40% of Newark students could read and write at grade
level by the end of third grade, only 54% of high school students gradu-
ated and just 38% enrolled in college.
The plan to get Newark s schools back on their feet include the instal-
lation of a new school superintendent, and the creation of a new educa-
tion plan that includes rewarding excellence in teaching and student
achievement, according to Zuckerberg.
Volume 23 No. 52 Jacksonville, Florida September 30 Oct. 6, 2010
The Full Gospel Baptist
International consecrated a
new Bishop within it's ranks
last weekend with the festive
anointing of one of
Jacksonville's most beloved
pastors Dr. Rudolph McKissick. Sr. of Bethel Baptist Institutional
Church. The ceremonious event was attended by clergy from throughout
the country to witness their new spiritual head of Marriage and Family.
Always a trailblazer and history maker, at the age of 83, Dr. McKissick
became the first Bishop consecrated over the age of sixty in the
Fellowship's eighteen year history. He is also the first to be installed with-
out having previously been a state overseer a true testament to the jour-
ney of spiritual leadership of the well respected pastor. He is shown above
receiving his Bishop's ring in the ceremonious "dressing" from his wife
Lady Estelle as his son, Bishop Rudolph Mckissick, Jr. proudly looks on.
More Americans living in
poverty now than 50 years ago
By Stephon Johnson
Let's add 3.8 million people to
the list of impoverished Americans,
according to the U.S. Census
Last week, the Bureau released a
report that stated that one out of
every seven American citizens
lived in poverty last year. It's the
highest rate since 1959. It wouldn't
be until 1964 that then President
Lyndon B. Johnson would launch
his "War on Poverty" initiative.
About 43.6 million people in
America lived in poverty in 2009.
The poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3
percent, which is an increase from
2008's rate of 13.2 percent. It's also
the highest level since 1994. The
U.S. government classifies an
annual income of $21, 756 for a
family of four as impoverished. A
Raines alumni unite to give back to alma mater
Raines High School Alumnus Casey Barnum ('88), feeling moved and motivated by the recent negative main-
stream headlines plaguing his alma mater, has joined with fellow alumni to make a difference. Accompanied by
Tammie Cannon McGriff ('85), Barnum presented his idea of "Still Raines" to current principal George Maxey,
Guidance Department Head Deborah Norman and Alumni Association President Anthony Rogers. The program
would include 'hands on' pride instilling assemblies hosted by alumni in addition to a mentoring initiative. Maxey,
welcomed the idea and asked for further penetration into the student body by requesting the group to consider
ways to incorporate that same pride into the current curriculum. Shown above with their celebratory cake are
"Still Raines" team members (L-R) Tammie Cannon McGriff ('85), Casey Barnum ('85), Mrs. Deborah
Norman, Tia Mackey Leathers ('99), Emanuel Washington ('90), Will Williams ('85) and Steven Mackey
('85) to participate or for more information, call 517-6876.
Still got that teal pride Following the third game
what's turning into a very dissapointing start of the 2010 NFL season,
Jaguar fans are still smiling and ready to sport that "teal pride". Shown
above leaving Everbank Stadium are Clary Thomas, C Trottie, and Joann
Jones following the 28 3 defeat by the Atlanta Falcons lead by starting
quarterback Michael Vick. Next week the Jaguars will face former
SuperBowl Champs Indianapolis Colts again at home for the Sunday
matchup. Last week's game bring their season record to 1-2. FMP photo
by David Stokes
As additional young adult men are
expected to come forward this
week after four former members of
the New Birth Missionary Baptist
Church, in Lithonia, Georgia, claim
to have been "coerced" into respec-
tive sexual relationships with the
church's senior pastor, Bishop
Eddie L. Long. the 55 year old
preacher told his congregation last
Sunday that he would "vigorously
fight the charges" against him as
nearly 10,000 members applauded,
ultimately vowing to support him.
In court filings (September 21) in
DeKalb County State Court of
alleged sexual harassment against
Bishop Long, New Birth, Inc., and
the church's "off-shoot ministry" of
the Longfellows Youth Academy,
record high 50.7 million Americans
went without health insurance in
2009 amidst the heated debate
regarding President Barack
Obama's health care reform.
And according to a couple of ana-
lysts, things might not get better
until the end of the decade.
According to a senior fellow at
the Brookings Institute in
Washington, Isabel Sawhill, the
poverty rate is slated to hit 16 per-
cent and stay at that level during the
2010s. She also came to the conclu-
sion that the poverty club will add
10 million people this decade,
which includes 6 million children.
Robert Greenstein also has a sim-
ilarly dismal outlook for America.
Continued on page 3
Democrats desperately need
other Democrats to vote.
With midterm elections in just
six weeks and Republicans
fired up and ready to go -
Democratic leaders are pushing
issues that resonate with their
constituencies, from trying to
repeal the ban on gays serving
openly in the military to allowing
thousands of young illegal immi-
grants who attend college or join
the military to become legal U.S.
Democrats also have expressed
outrage over Republican-aligned,
big-money shadow groups. And
they're intensifying efforts to
reach out to their core backers.
"This is the time that counts," an
equally fired-up President Barack
Obama told Democratic donors
in Philadelphia as he harkened
back to the energy in his 2008
campaign. "I want all of you to
remind yourselves why you got
involved and why you care deeply
and not lose heart. But gird your-
self for a battle that's worth fight-
Long is shown above in photos
allegedly sent to his accusers.
Incorporated, two young adult
males who initially were students
within New Birth's youth academy,
Maurice Robinson and Anthony -
Continued on page 7
Looking at Fair
5 and 6 good or
bad for the state's
A ackpaiwille, FL
Pn -AI u Mv Pirr'rE rFre Press
September 30 October 6, 2010
r age L iv. s. r e 3is e .ts
9 11,5 UIEt'UAen3
Black media owners meet in Tampa -The Florida Association of Black Owned
Media met last weekend in Tampa, Florida to strategize and organize for 2011.. The day long forum included orga-
nizational activities in addition to greeting by statewide candidates, Governor Charlie Christ (Senate), Alex Sink
(Governor), Jennifer Carrol (Lt. Governor), Ellen Frieden from Fair Districts Florida and a representative from
the "Nix 5 & 6" campaign.. Shown above are attending publishers (L-R): Kay Andrews -Florida Sentinel
Bulletin, Diane Speights Weekly Challenger, Clara McLaughlin Florida Star, Bobby Henry Westside Gazette,
Gov. Charlie Crist and his wife, Johnny Hunter Tempo News, Gayle Andrews Andrews Plus Marketing,
Jaqueline Miles The Pensacola Voice, Kevin Collins The Orlando Times, Linda Fortenberry Capital Outlook,
Sylvia Perry Jacksonville Free Press and Jim Madison Florida Sun.
Who Am I?
You are at
event, perhaps a national co
ence or award ceremony tee
with many potential business
tacts. You see someone you v
like to make part of your net
You walk up and say, "Hi, ho'
The person looks at you bli
and replies, "Fine." You go t
weather. "How do you like al
rain?" The blank look thickens
the Great Wall of China. "I de
dribbles the response.
Okay, you think, let's go righ
the introduction. "My nan
Susan Brown and I'm with
Nabisco." You then stick
hand out. Mr. Great Wall shall
with all of the enthusiasm of a
meeting his embalmer. Wi
another word, he turns and fol
his nose out of your orbit.
Has this ever happened to yc
it has, it is because you dic
plan what you wanted to sa
you did not say what you
planned. Either way, you m
making a connection. If per
charm doesn't come to you nai
ly in conversation, you ha
work at it. Your opening bant
networking situations is the verbal
version of the foot in the door for
Most people you encounter in
networking situations will be more
courteious than Mr. Great Wall,
but the secret of effective network-
ing is to develop and use your peo-
ple skills to penetrate either the
wall of disinterest or the equally
unsettling veil of insincere cour-
tesy. You do this by giving your
target reasons why he or she
should want to know you better,
whether it's because you are fun to
be around, knowledgeable, or a
potentially valuable contact.
When you boil it down, the initial
phase of networking--making con-
tact--is nothing more than small
talk, just as you might converse
with anyone you meet at a sporting
event, a church gathering, or
around the whist table. But in this
case, your talk is not simply small
talk, it is very important talk. It has
a definite purpose.
Bottom Line: The key to engag-
ing strangers in conversation is
the key also to effective network-
ing: You have to establish a com-
mon ground or a sense of mutual
Credit Q &AA
Q:I was turned down for credit, and one reason was "too many
inquiries." How long do inquiries stay on my credit report, and how
can I get them removed?
A: Inquiries are notations showing that someone has looked at your
credit file. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, creditors must tell you
who has looked at your report in the past two years for employment rea-
sons, and the past six months for any other purpose. All inquiries are
generally reported for two years, but most creditors are interested in
those in the past six months. Keep in mind "promotional" inquiries
(used for preapproved credit screening) and consumer inquiries (when
you look at your own report) are not disclosed to anyone except you.
You can't get inquiries removed from your report. If you are a victim
of credit fraud, however, you can ask the credit reporting agency to sup-
press those inquiries so they won't count against you.
Need an Attorney?
Contact Law Office of
Reese Marshall, P.A.
214 East Ashley Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Over 30 years experience of professional
and courteous service to our clients
from Tavis Smiley
"To be a black leader you have
to accept the 'anyway' proposi-
tion," said Smiley.
"You have to decide that I love
these negroes so much, I want to
serve them so much, that I'm
going to love them and serve
them anyway, they will try you
and will be unappreciative."
"The problem is, we think it's
not about success, it's about
greatness and it's a difference.
You can be successful without
being great but you can't be great
without being successful."
by Michael G Shinn. CFP
It's October and it's that time again
to review your company benefits
options and how they affect your
overall financial plan.
Unfortunately, too many people do
not seriously consider their options
and end up leaving their money on
the table. "Industry wide, fringe
benefits average 25-35% of most
people's pay, but their understanding
and utilization of their benefits is
woefully inadequate," comments
Glenn Cotton, a Benefits Manager.
"It's hard to understand, but most
people don't take the time to read
their benefits and how they can save
money by doing so."
Fringe benefits can be generally
described as compensation, other
than salaries, bonuses, and commis-
sions, provided for the benefit of
employees in exchange for their
services. Common fringe benefits
are health and life insurance, retire-
ment plans, educational assistance
and employee product discounts.
Fringe benefits are advantageous in
several ways and should be a part of
an individuals financial planning.
Typically fringe benefits are lower
cost, below the tax radar screen and
can save money that can be applied
to other financial goals. The annual
enrollment period for many compa-
nies is October and November, so
now is your opportunity to review
your current benefit choices and
make sure that they meet your future
Key Benefit Plans
Medical & Dental HMO and
PPO's typically offer lower out of
pocket costs than comprehensive
plans, however with less choice of
physicians and care facilities. If
your spouse is employed and has
medical benefits available, compare
the cost and levels of coverage
available from both employers and
choose the one that best fits your
Life Insurance- Many companies
offer one to two times salary of cov-
erage, paid by the employer. The
employee may purchase additional
coverage, if available. Integrate the
company insurance coverage with
your personal insurance plans.
Additionally, many employers offer
optional spouse and dependent life
Long Term Disability- Disability
income insurance is simply pay-
check protection. Long-term dis-
ability plans typically start after six
months of disability and commonly
replace 50-70% of the worker's
wages up to a maximum amount.
Most long term disability group
plans require an employee's finan-
Qualified Retirement Plans- For
tax deferred savings plans such as
401K and 403B, most financial
advisors recommend that individu-
als invest at least to the limit that
their employer will match the
employee savings amount.
Additionally, many employers offer
the option for employees to make
voluntary contributions to the com-
pany's regular retirement program.
Flexible Spending Accounts -
Allows employees to set aside funds
for medical expenses that are not
reimbursed by insurance and quali-
fied childcare costs. Pre-tax money
is deducted from each pay. As eligi-
ble out-of pocket expenses are
incurred and reported, the employee
is reimbursed with funds from the
account. A taxpayer in the 28% tax
bracket, setting aside $3,000 in an
FSA will save $840 in federal taxes.
Educational Assistance Many
employers provide educational
assistance programs. Employers are
allowed to pay up to $5.250 of qual-
ified educational expenses, which
are excluded from the employee's
taxable wages. Additionally, many
employers offer educational assis-
tance and/or low interest loans for
Fringe benefits are a part of your
overall compensation, whether you
use them or not. Now is the time to
review your company benefits and
take advantage of the opportunity to
save money, enhance your overall
financial situation and move closer
to your financial goals. If your
financial position is not where you
want it to be, you must take control
and make it happen!
Michael G Shinn, CFP. Registered Representative
and Investnent l.4hiser Representative of and secti-
rities offered through Financial Network Investment
Corporation, n,,enber SIPC. Visit w ,,w.shinnflin-
cial.con for more injorniationl or to send our conm-
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Racist messages continue to pose problems
for mainstream legitimate websites
By Jesse Washington. AP
Although you rarely hear racial
insults on Main Street these days.
there's a place where unashamed
bigotry is all too easy to find: tossed
off in the comments sections of
some of the Internet's most popular
websites, today's virtual Main
Internet anonymity has removed
one of the strongest barriers to the
type of language that can ruin repu-
tations and end careers. Racist mes-
sages are a small percentage of the
wild and woolly web, but they stick
out since they are rare in person -
and they raise a host of questions.
Do these comments reflect a
reversal of racial progress? Is that
progress an illusion while racism
thrives underground? What kind of
harm are these statements doing?
Could there be any value in such
venting? And what, if anything,
should a free society do about it?
"We've seen comments that peo-
ple would not make in the public
square or any type of civic discus-
sion, maybe even within their own
families," said Dennis Ryerson, edi-
Local playwright pens story of one
womans journey to redemption
.' '. .
Shown above are newly inducted members of the North Florida HBCU Hall of Fame(L-R) Dr. George
Maxwell, Dr. Alvin White, Ltc. Robert Porter, Dr. Rudolph McKissick, Sr. and Mr. Emmitt Coakley.
North Florida HBCU Alumni Hall of Fame
inducts 2010 members at Edward Waters
The Third annual North Florida
HBCU Alumni Hall of Fame
Induction Ceremony was held
recently at local HBCU Edward
Waters College. The Class of 2010
honorees included Dr. George
Maxwell (Savannah State
University), Dr. Alvin White
(FAMU), Ltc. Robert Porter
(FAMU), Dr. Rudolph McKissick
(EWC) and Mr. Emmitt Coakley
All of the honorees were recog-
nized for their outstanding contri-
butions to their respective alma
maters, professional accomplish-
ments and/or exceptional commu-
nity service and leadership.
Dr. Alvin White, retired Duval
County School Board Executive
and graduate of Florida A &M
University, was named the 2010
Lifetime Achievement Award win-
ner for his outstanding contribu-
tions in the field of education and
More than 150 attended and wit-
nessed the special recognition of
outstanding achievers who have
made their community and their
environment a better place.
The North Florida HBCU Alumni
Hall of Fame is the only one of its
kind in the country. For additional
information, contact Mr. Brinson at
More Poverty Now Than When Eisenhower was President
Continued from front
The executive director of the
Center on Budget and Policy
Priorities in Washington noted that
in the country's last three reces-
sions, poverty rates don't decrease
until a year after drops in the unem-
As for the numbers concerning
New York? They look even bleaker
than the rest of the country's.
According to Census Bureau sta-
tistics, the poverty rate in New York
State rose from 14.2 percent in
2008 to 15.8 percent in 2009, essen-
tially upping the number of people
in poverty from 284,000 to just
over 3 million. The only time that
New York State suffered a poverty
jump this high in a 12-month span
was from 1989 to 1990.
All of this feeds right into the
desires of one civil and human
rights leader to mark jobs as the
next big issue facing Washington.
Rev. Jesse Jackson of the
Rainbow PUSH Coalition wrote an
open letter to public officials call-
ing on a more efficient way to tack-
le the issue of poverty in the richest
nation in the world.
"As people of conscience, as
elected leaders of the greatest
democracy in the world, we ask
ourselves, is there not a need for a
new war on poverty or a Great
Society plan similar to that enacted
by President Lyndon B. Johnson?"
read Jackson's statement.
"Dr. [Martin Luther] King's cry
for a Poor People's Campaign has
come full circle. There must be a
sense of urgency to address this
moral and economic crisis. In
Stimulus I, we have watered the
leaves. We need Stimulus II to
water the roots."
Jackson suggested that the
American government enact a
"modern-day homesteading pro-
gram" where unemployed urban
citizens can reclaim lost homes and
learn carpentry, plumbing and
green jobs skills in order to rebuild
David R. Jones, Esq., of the
Community Service Society of
New York, expressed distress at
what America has become and
hopes that the poor of the country
will not be forgotten like he feels
they usually are. "We are seeing a
new poor-previously middle-class
or working-class people who had
jobs and were able to make ends
meet," said Jones in another
released statement. "Many have
been jobless for so long that they
are queuing up for public welfare
benefits. We are wasting lives, and
we cannot afford to do so. Many
communities-both urban and
rural-now mirror a third world
country, with adults sitting around
with no jobs and no future for them
or their families"
Both Jackson and Jones believe
that jobs sponsored by the govern-
ment are the solution to the eco-
nomic downturn, but both suggest
that the time to debate is over and
the time to act is now.
"It is up to our leaders, both in
government and the private sector,
to move away from old habits and
patterns of thought and respond to
this national crisis," said Jones.
"Unless we change our priorities,
we will be creating generations
mired in chronic poverty. The even-
tual result will be the economic
downgrading of America to second-
"We can begin to work our way
out," said Jackson. "Congressional
leaders, take the bold step of com-
mitting to reducing poverty by 50
percent over the next 10 years-
half in 10! America, give us a lis-
tening ear...There is no time to
waste. It's time for a change."
Robin Murrell, 22; William Cure and Emmett Daniels, members of the
T.J. & Company acting group, are pictured above in a scene from Death
and the Beautiful Woman" which was presented recently at The Eastside
Community Theatre at Bethesda and West Friendship Baptist Church,
where Reverend Timothy Cole is Pastor. Murrell is youngest member of
the Theatrical Company. The play centers around a young woman whose
"carried away" by outward beauty and worldly things. The play takes you
on her journey to discovery of rude awakening to realize that sometimes
you have to sink to the darkest valleys to appreciate your blessings. For
inquiries on future viewings of the play written and directed by Tina
Harris, call 405-0680.
tor of The Indianapolis Star. "There
is no question in my mind that the
process, because it's largely anony-
mous, enables people who would
never speak up on Main Street to
communicate their thoughts."
At the newspaper's website, mod-
erators delete individual racist com-
ments that are brought to their
attention, and will take down a
whole thread if such comments per-
sist. On some stories that are
expected to provoke racism, the
entire comments section is disabled
beforehand, a practice shared by a
growing number of newspapers.
On a single day recently, racially
offensive online remarks were not
hard to find:
In a comment on a Yahoo News
story about a black civil rights era
photographer revealed to be an FBI
informant, someone called blacks
farm animals who "were not and are
not wanted in this society."
Another commenter wrote, "We
all know who MADE America what
it is today, and we also know which
group is receiving hefty tax dollar
pay outs... so until the tables turn
the only thing you should be saying
is 'thank you' to all the hard work-
ing (whites) who gave you the life
you now take for granted."
Some believe such comments
indicate that racism has not
declined as much as people may
think. Joe Feagin, a sociologist at
Texas A&M University, said a
study he conducted of 626 white
college students at 28 institutions
revealed thousands of examples of
racism in "backstage," all-white
Are these comments cause for
"Like the loudest ambulance
siren you've ever heard," Feagin
replied. "All this stuff was already
there. It's just the Internet has
opened a window into it that we
normally would not have had."
Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 3
Sentember 30 October 6. 2010
September 30 October 6, 2010
Paio 4 Ms. Perrv's Free Press
Taking a look at Fair Districts Florida Are
Ammendments 5 and 6 good for Black politicians?
E\ery ten years, following the
census. each state legislature
around the country is told by the
federal government the number of
congressional seats that it qualifies
for based on population.
During that same process state
legislatures are also charged with
the reapportionment of state house
and senate seats as well. In Florida,
our legislature is one of the more
unique bodies in the country
because the body doesn't necessar-
ily represent the state's demogra-
Blacks and Hispanics make up
more than a third of our population,
but only around a tenth of state
elected offices with none in
statewide constitutional elected
Florida has 26 African American
legislators, 19 members of the
House of Representatives and
So while minority access seats
have helped initially, they have also
relegated blacks and Hispanics to
those districts in many cases.
Diversity is still sorely lacking at
the state legislative level.
Now keep that tidbit of informa-
tion in the back of your mind as we
move on to a slightly different, but
One of the biggest issues that
every single state in the union faces
every 10 years is the reapportion-
ment process. Again, it is the
responsibility of each state legisla-
ture to redistrict their state into the
appropriate numbers of congres-
Since a single party usually con-
trols the state legislature, which
would be the Republican Party in
Florida's case, that party typically
attempts to ensure that both the fed-
eral and state seats are drawn to
I always here people associate
the term "gerrymandering" with
minority access seats, but party
gerrymandering is much more
prevalent than racial manipulation.
This exploitation of electoral dis-
tricts or "gerrymandering" is an
illegal process, but that doesn't
stop the controlling party from fig-
uring out ways to get it done with-
in the confines of the law.
If you look at the make up of the
state's electorate, Republicans and
Democrats are fairly even, but
there are slightly more registered
Democrats in the state. So why is
the legislature overwhelmingly
That answer is easy mostly
because Republicans have con-
trolled the last two redistricting
And that's where the issue of
fairness comes into play.
Well, a nonpartisan or at least
somewhat bi-partisan group called
Fair Districts Florida plans to
attempt to take the politics out of
redistricting by pushing a referen-
dum that would require the legisla-
ture to draw lines based on geo-
The reason I say that organiza-
tion is somewhat bipartisan is
because the organization's chair-
man is a Republican and former
state legislator. His name is Thom
Rumberger, and he's a Tallahassee
Black folks and the
by Peter pailey
Unfortunately, too many Black
folks in this country are blinded by
a debilitating condition best
described as the illusion of inclu-
sion. This was graphically demon-
strated at a town hall meeting dur-
ing which Mrs. Velma Hart, an edu-
cated, stylishly-dressed Black
woman relayed her deeply felt eco-
nomic concerns to President
Barack Obama. With a firm voice,
Mrs. Hart told the President that "I
am one of your middle class
Americans. And quite frankly, I am
exhausted. Exhausted of defending
you, defending your administra-
tion, defending the mantle of
change that I voted for, and deeply
disappointed with where we are
right now. I have been told that I
voted for a man who said he was
going to change things in a mean-
ingful way for the middle class...."
It is very disturbing that an edu-
cated Black person could possibly
believe that a Black president, no
matter what he said during his cam-
paign, could bring about meaning-
ful change in a society where race
still really matters. After all, this is
a society that has never, in its entire
history, voluntarily given Black
folks anything. Every move for-
ward in the struggle for equal
rights, equal opportunity and equal
justice came about after many of
our people paid the ultimate sacri-
fice with their lives. It is a society
where when a White male commits
a heinous crime, the focus is on the
pathology of that particular crimi-
nal; when a Black male commits
one, the focus is on the "pathology
of Black males." It is a society
where Rupert Murdock's New York
Post can publish an article on Mrs.
Hart, a financial officer with a vet-
erans organization, with the head-
line "Gal Takes Him (President
Obama) to Task Over Failed Vow at
Town Hall; where Richard
Schuman, a University of Michigan
sociology professor, in a survey
found that Whites consider integra-
tion as 15 percent Black, 85 percent
White with a White person always
in charge. Noted Schuman,
"....when White Americans say
they 'favor' integrated schools or
neighborhoods what they really
mean is a few Black students or
families in a predominately White
environment." It is a society where
conservative icon, William
Buckley, could write in a 1991
National Review article that
"....Blacks, yes, are sensitive, but
Black lobbies are not powerful
enough to punish nonpolitical
transgressors against such taboos.
(A black book-buyers' boycott
against a novelist would not impov-
erish.) If the spoken or written
offense is egregious enough, as in
the case of the joke told (in 1975)
to John Dean by Agriculture
Secretary Earl Butz, a Cabinet offi-
lawyer by trade who participated in
the 1992 redistricting battle and
later vowed to change it.
However, the balance of the
organization's supporters are
minority legislators, civil rights
groups, and Democrats.
Of course, not many Republicans
support the referendum efforts
because it would essentially limit
the amount of "creativity" they
could use when redrawing legisla-
And let me not throw GOP legis-
lators under the bus by themselves
because the measure would affect
some Democrats as well. Most
incumbents are very protective of
the districts they represent and
want to make sure that seats are
drawn so that they have a very high
likelihood of being re-elected.
In fact, the stakes were so high
that a group of Republican legisla-
tors sued to stop the petition drive,
but eventually lost in court.
Fast forward, the organization
got the necessary signatures and the
measure will be on the ballot on
The referendum certainly makes
a lot of sense when you think about
the current process and the unbal-
anced representation in
Tallahassee. But sometimes there
are unintended consequences that
have to be considered when evalu-
ating a movement of this magni-
Caught in the middle of the
debate are black elected officials.
Perhaps what's most ironic is that
African Americans have clearly
been the most loyal Democratic
cer gets fired. If a district attorney
is named to a federal judgeship and
it is revealed that he once made a
pot-valiantly genial reference to the
Ku Klux Klan, he can be defeated
on the floor of the Senate. And no
one running for the office in a state
in which the Black population is
significant would consider post
1965, violating the taboo. On the
other hand, there is discussion of
such questions as relative Black
intelligence, sexual promiscuity,
and upward mobility that still gets a
sober hearing in sober surround-
ings...." And where Forbes a pres-
tigious business magazine, pub-
lished an article by Dinesh
D'Souza, a self-loathing
"tribesman" from Mumbai, India,
in which he accuses President
Obama of governing with the anti-
colonialist beliefs of his father,
whom he describes as a "Luo
tribesman who grew up in
Kenya...." An Indian friend said
that D'Souza, who is treated as an
expert on Black folks in many aca-
demic and journalistic circles, is an
Indian equivalent of Clarence
Thomas and Larry Elder.
A society with such White
supremacist attitudes can't be
meaningfully changed by any sin-
gle individual, but only by a group
of people who are united, alert,
focused, determined and knowl-
Journalist/Lecturer A. Peter Bailey,
voting block since blacks made the
mass migration to the party in the
1950s and 60s.
Because of past discriminatory
practices, the Voting Rights Act of
1965 protects minority access dis-
tricts as a means enabling African
American representation. Here's
the catch though, if a district that a
black elected official holds does
not have a majority minority popu-
lation then that district technically
is not protected by the Voting
So if the referendum passes, one
of the casualties of war maybe
some of the districts currently held
by blacks and Hispanics. If these
districts are redrawn based on
geography and the minority popu-
lation is diluted, then it may be
much harder for blacks and
Hispanics to be elected or re-elect-
And I am certainly not saying
that it will be impossible or unlike-
ly, but it will certainly be much
harder for minorities to win dis-
tricts with smaller percentages of
blacks and Hispanics.
The problem with most referen-
dums is that many voters have no
idea of the pros and cons of each
ballot initiatives so many are
approved without the public clearly
understanding the ramifications.
If the measure is passed, the bat-
tle shifts to how it's implemented.
So regardless of the outcome,
redistricting will be an interesting
process this year.
Signing off from House District
a former associate editor of Ebony, is
currently editor of Vital Issues: The
Journal of African American
Speeches. He can be reached at
BISHOP EDDIE LONG -
Stuck in a situation some-
where between heaven and hell
Black mega churches are big business in the United
States. Take Faithful Central Bible Church, whose for-profit arm now owns
The Forum, former home of the L.A. Lakers. Or Bishop T.D. Jakes, a pas-
tor of a 30,000-member church in Dallas, whose company produces books,
movies, radio shows and conferences across the country.
Black preachers of mega-churches do quite well. Many live in mansions
and drive Bentleys. Their churches have become conglomerates. If Jesus
were to show up at some of these locations, he'd be turning over vendor
tables along with voter registration tables along with ATM machines. The
public rarely gets a glimpse at religious leaders' compensation because
churches are not required to file tax returns.
But continuing accusations have made Eddie Long's money a public
issue. Prosperous Blacks have made Atlanta the epicenter of megachurches.
Self-proclaimed "Bishop", Eddie Long is one of the most powerful men in
the Black megachurch movement. Long mixes gospel, glitz, politics and
finance as he pastors New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, a 25,000-seat
megachurch in Lithonia, Georgia. A "country preacher" from North
Carolina, Long commands a salary near $1 million-a-year, drives a $350,000
Bentley and has a nine-bathroom mansion spread over 20 acres of land in
DeKalb County, Georgia. New Birth is like a stadium, with a lower and
upper deck, multicolored spotlights, six large video screens and loudspeak-
ers. Its services are like concerts and are recorded and sold as DVDs and
compact discs within minutes. A gift shop offers snacks, books, music and
apparel bearing the New Birth logo.
Long holds a Bachelors degree in Business administration from a Black
college, his ventures include a music publishing company and a transporta-
tion service. Born outside Charlotte, North Carolina in 1953, Eddie Long
heads the biggest church in the south. He serves on several boards, includ-
ing: Vice Chair Morehouse School of Religion; North Carolina Central
University-Board of Trustees and Fort Valley State University's Board of
Trustees. New Birth was recognized in 1993 as the fastest growing church
in North America and under Long's tutelage, New Birth Missionary Baptist
Church has become an instrument of international force.
In 1995, Bishop Eddie Long established a nonprofit, tax-exempt charity to
help the needy and spread the gospel. The charity, Bishop Eddie Long
Ministries Inc., provided him with at least $3.07 million in salary, benefits
and the use of property between 1997 and 2000. It is one of at least 20 non-
profit and for-profit corporations Long founded after becoming New Birth's
pastor. In a August 28, 2005 report the Atlanta Journal-Constitution accused
Long of mishandling the charity's funds. You gotta like his the swagger in
his retort "We're not just a church, and we're an international corporation.
We're not just a bumbling bunch of preachers who can't talk ... I deal with
the White House and with presidents around this world and pastor a multi-
If the allegations of Bishop Long's involvement in homosexual acts are
true, it would represent the height of hypocrisy. In 2006, Long was chosen
to host and officiate the funeral for Coretta Scott King. Prior to that in 2004,
Long and MLK daughter Bernice King led a march to MLK's grave to sup-
port a constitutional amendment to protect marriage "between one man and
one woman." Long was a prominent supporter of George W. Bush's faith-
based initiatives. His ministry received a $1 million grant from the U.S.
Administration of Children & Families. Long's critics link such funding
with his anti-gay activities. There are questions as to whether Long used his
youth training academy as a cover to procure kid. sex. Long concedes that
"he has made mistakes", but contends that he represents a "paradigm shift"
in the Black church. Long says he won't be like other pastors who died
broke while giving everything to congregations that "wanted them to live in
poverty and preach about prosperity."
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Avery Sunshine glows on
Nockturnal Escape Soul Release Live, held
every fourth Thursday of the month by Nockturnal Escape. The artist of
the evening was Avery Sunshine from Atlanta, Georgia at the Cuba Libre.
With a style similar to Jill Scott and Nenna Freelon, the up and coming
artist connected with her audience and signed autographs as she soulfully
revealed her talent. Since 2005, the Soul Release Live "urban soul concert
series" has featured national artists such as Goapele, Jaguar Wright,
Anthony David, Julie Dexter, Rhonda Thomas and more. For at least one
night a month, Jacksonville has an opportunity to listen to live music and
feel good vibes in a positive atmosphere.The artist is shown above signing
an autograph for Angela Kelly.
The House ethics committee
split along party lines this week as
Republicans demanded pre-elec-
tion trials for two prominent
Democrats, Charles Rangel and
The rift is important politically
because proceedings in October
could generate negative headlines
for Democrats. Trials after the
election would likely keep the
Democrats' ethics record in the
background in midterm campaigns
largely fought over economic
The split shatters anew the image
of the committee as a panel where
members of both parties work
together to investigate allegations
of ethical wrongdoing.
In past years, the committee has
been stymied by internal, partisan
disputes over its investigative rules
and by a agreement between the
parties to avoid new cases.
A statement by ranking commit-
tee Republican Jo Bonner, signed
by all five Republicans on the 10-
member committee, accused
Chairman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.,
of stalling the Rangel and Waters
cases. Both lawmakers have asked
for trials before the election.
Until now, the committee has
Democrats to Base: Let's Get
Continued from front
Two days earlier, Obama urged
the Congressional Black Caucus to
redouble its efforts: "I need every-
body here to go back to your neigh-
borhoods, to go back to your work-
places, to go to the churches and go
to the barbershops and go to the
beauty shops. And tell them we've
got more work to do."
His appeal to the bedrock groups
of the Democratic Party comes in
the homestretch of an election sea-
son in which Republicans are
poised to gain seats in the House,
possibly seizing control, and the
Senate. Polls show Democrats far
less excited about the Nov. 2 elec-
tions than Republicans are, while
independent voters tilt heavily
toward the GOP. The onus is on
Democrats to mobilize their core
constituencies minorities and
die-hard Democrats among them -
to show up at the polls.
"It's going to be very hard to win
if the base doesn't turn out in big
numbers," said Connecticut Sen.
Joe Lieberman, an independent who
votes with Democrats. Given the
landscape, he said: "Democrats
have to try to change the minds of
some independents, and that's going
to be hard. So, the main priority of
Democrats, to avoid what could be
a disastrous election, is to bring out
the Democratic voters."
A recent Gallup poll shows that
among self-identified members of
each party, 47 percent of
Republicans say they were very
enthusiastic about voting while 28
percent of Democrats say the same.
Republicans also now have a 55
percent to 33 percent advantage
among independent voters.
Efforts by Obama and his belea-
guered Democrats to rallying
dispirited foot soldiers have been
clear over the past week.
Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid, locked in a close race in his
home state of Nevada, dangled
before the party immigration legis-
lation that Democratic-leaning
Hispanics favor. And, with the
White House's support, the
Democratic-held Senate forced a
vote Tuesday on repealing the law
banning gays from serving openly
in the military, a priority for gay-
But neither effort went anywhere.
Reid never did more than promise
to try to get the Senate to act on
immigration, and Senate
faces split over Rangel, Waters trial dates
been actively issuing decisions congresses, commit-
under Lofgren's chairmanship, tee members have
partly due to new procedures that returned to
force the panel to address recom- Washington during a
mendations of an independent recess in an effort to I
ethics office run by non-lawmak- conclude pressing
ers. ethics matters."
Rangel, of New York, is the for- Lofgren "has
mer chairman of the influential repeatedly refused to
Ways and Means Committee, set either the Rangel I
which writes tax law. Waters, of or Waters trial before
California, is a senior member of the November elec-
the House Financial Services tion," Bonner said.
Committee, which approved the Rangel is accused by Cong. Rangel was overwhelmingly re-elected.
recent overhaul of financial indus-
try regulations and established new
Rangel is accused of financial
wrongdoing and misuse of his
office, while Waters is charged
with improperly helping a bank in
which her husband owns stock -
receive federal financial aid.
The Republican statement said,
"Members of the committee have
repeatedly expressed their willing-
ness and desire to move forward
with public trials of these matters
and have repeatedly made them-
selves available to the chairwoman
for October settings."
The House may recess for the
elections as early as this week.
Bonner, of Alabama, said, "In past
Republicans blocked the "don't ask,
don't tell" legislation in a defeat for
Democrats and gay rights advo-
Despite the failure, Democrats,
nonetheless, sent a message to their
rank and file: We're working for
you, now work for us.
Republicans painted Democrats
as desperately playing election-year
Sen. John Coryn of Texas, chair-
man of the committee in charge of
electing Senate Republicans,
accused Democrats of "a blatant
attempt to score last-minute votes
just weeks before an election." He
a House investigating
committee of 13 ethical violations.
Allegations include using House
stationery and staff to solicit
money for a New York college cen-
ter named after him; soliciting
donors with interests before the
Ways and Means Committee, leav-
ing the impression the money
could influence official actions;
and failing to disclose at least
$600,000 in assets and income in a
series of inaccurate reports to
Rangel is also accused of using a
rent-subsidized New York apart-
ment for a campaign office, when it
was designated for residential use,
and failing to report to the IRS
rental income from a unit in a
added, "These tactics are an insult
to millions of Americans."
And Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
said, "In Sen. Reid and the
Democrats' zeal to get re-elected,
this is a cynical ploy to try to galva-
nize and energize their base."
Democratic officials say they
hope the pitch will help motivate
what many Democrats acknowl-
edge is a moribund base, and, per-
haps, persuade at least some inde-
pendents to vote against
From the White House to Capitol
Hill, Obama, House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi and her top lieutenants also
have been granting interviews to
black and Hispanic media as well as
other outlets whose listeners and
Dominican Republic resort.
The New York congressman has
acknowledged some ethical lapses,
including his failure to pay taxes
on time and his belated financial
Waters is charged with trying to
obtain federal financial assistance
for the minority-owned OneUnited
Bank, where her husband is an
investor. She denies any wrongdo-
ing, saying she did nothing more
than request that Treasury
Department officials meet with an
association of minority-owned
banks that included OneUnited.
OneUnited eventually received
$12 million in federal bailout
money, but Waters insisted she had
nothing to do with that decision.
viewers are heavily Democratic.
And starting next week, the pres-
ident will participate in the first of
four big-city rallies in Wisconsin,
Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada
aimed at once again firing up back-
ers of his 2008 presidential cam-
The efforts to stoke the
Democratic base are a striking turn-
around from the last two national
elections, when it was Republicans
who were depressed and seeking to
fire up enough of their core con-
stituents in the campaign's final
weeks to fend off Democrats. They
didn't succeed; Democrats attracted
wide swaths of voters to rise to
power in Congress in 2006 and the
White House in 2008.
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An apple a
day won't keep
the flu away.
Get your flu shot at the Publix Pharmacy!
$25 each shot*
Find a location near you by visiting
publix.com/flu or calling 1-877-FLU-8100.
*Medicare Part B accepted without co-pay.
Age restrictions may apply. Speak to your
Publix pharmacist for details.
P U B L I X
Feeling well. Living better.
NiZs. Perry's Free Press Page 5
September 30 October 6, 2010
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New Bethlehem Missionary Baptist
Planning for 91st Anniversary
New Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church located at 1824 Prospect
Street, is having their 91st Church Anniversary under the theme "Restoring
our Faith, Family & Fellowship In God". The Church Banquet is Friday
October 24th at 4 p.m. at the Cypress Community Center, 4012 University
Blvd. North. Praise Night Service is Thursday November llth at 7 p.m.
Visiting Churches Night is Friday November 12th at 7:00p.m. Other special
services on November 14th include Sunday School at 9 a.m., Morning
Service at 11 a.m. and Youth Explosion at 4 p.m. For more information, call
Deacon Keith at (904) 764-9879. Rev Joe Calhoun, Pastor Emeritus.
First New Zion Missionary Baptist
to hold 25th Anniversary Celebration
First New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 4835 Soutel Drive; invites
the community to the 25th Anniversary Celebration Banquet honoring their
beloved Pastor, Rev. Dr. James B. Sampson. The celebration will com-
mence at 6:10 p.m., Saturday, October 30, 2010, and will be held in the
Church Fellowship Hall, 4810 Soutel Drive (across the street from the
Church. To reserve your space, please call our office at (904) 765-3111.
Sis Sheila Kendrick is Anniversary Chairperson.
Inaugural National Save the
Family Movement Conference
Individuals, Churches and other organizations are invited to join this 21st
Century Movement by attending the first conference, Wednesday, Thursday
and Friday, October 20-22, 2010, in Tallahassee, Florida. It is imperative
that our communities place more emphasis on sustaining family principles
and values. The vision is to bring together Faith-based leaders, African
American Church, Social, Business and Community Leaders, all are invit-
ed to help develop a 2010 Strategic Plan that will outline policies and pro-
grams that champion the family while concurrently advocating the demise
of activities that denigrate and/or demean families. Dr. R. B. Holmes Jr.,
Pastor, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida, is
President and Founder.. For more information, please contact: Dr. Linda T.
Fortenberry at (850) 681-0990 or LFortenberry@betheltally.org.
Donations needed by MMM
Million More Movement Jacksonville Local Organizing Committee, Inc
is asking the public to donate clothes hangers, shoes all size and school sup-
plies to their Clothes Give-Away. These items can be dropped off at 916
Myrtle Ave, Monday-Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. For
more information visit www.jaxloc.org.
Historic Mt. Zion AME presents
85th Women's Day Celebration
Historic Mt. Zion AME Church, 201 E. Beaver Street, Pastor F. D.
Richardson; will host its 85th Annual Women's Day Celebration at 10 a.m.,
Sunday, October 10, 2010. The Presiding Elder of the Alachua Central
District of the East Florida Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal
Church, The Rev. Elizabeth Riley Yates, will be the speaker for the occa-
sion. The Rev. Yates is the first female Presiding Elder in the 135 year his-
tory of the East Florida Conference. This year's theme: "Stepping Out On
Faith." The community is invited to this exciting celebration to hear this
anointed Woman of God.
5th Annual Boys2Men
Symposium and Basketball Game
A collaboration of many Jacksonville nonprofit agencies and organiza-
tions, will present the annual Boys2Men Summit. This year's Symposium
will be held Saturday, October 2, from 8:00a.m to 6 p.m. at the Police
Athletic League (PAL), 2165 West 33rd St. Jacksonville, Fl., 32209. The
Boys2Men Rites of Passage of Manhood Ceremony and the much antici-
pated Celebrity Basketball Game will immediately follow the symposium.
The theme this year is: Bring Your "A" Game. For more information or to
register for the free event, call (904) 521-6416.
Mt. Zion AME 85th
Women's Day Celebration
Historic Mt. Zion AME Church, 201 E. Beaver Street, Pastor F. D.
Richardson; will host its 85th Annual Women's Day Celebration at 10 a.m.,
Sunday, October 10, 2010. The Presiding Elder of the Alachua Central
District of the East Florida Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal
Church, The Rev. Elizabeth Riley Yates, will be the speaker for the occa-
sion. The Rev. Yates is the first female Presiding Elder in the 135 year his-
tory of the East Florida Conference. This year's theme: "Stepping Out On
Faith." The community is invited to this exciting celebration to hear this
anointed Woman of God.
St. Philip's to host EWC Choir
St. Philip's Episcopal Church, under the distinguished patronage of
the Rector and Vestry, will host a sacred concert at 4 p.m., Sunday, October
17, 2010. The renown Edward Waters Choir will be featured along with
other artists. This concert will benefit the College Appeal Fund. For more
information, call Ms. Guyton, Chair, at email@example.com
Inaugural "National Save the
Family Movement" Conference
Individuals, Churches and other organizations are invited to join this
21st Century Movement by attending the first conference, Wednesday,
Thursday and Friday, October 20-22, 2010, in Tallahassee, Florida. It is
imperative that our communities place more emphasis on sustaining fami-
ly principles and values. It is because of strong families that we have come
thus far. Families matter. The vision is to bring together Faith-based lead-
ers, African American Church, Social, Business and Community Leaders,
all are invited to help develop a 2010 Strategic Plan that will outline poli-
cies and programs that champion the family while concurrently advocating
the demise of activities that denigrate and/or demean families. Dr. R. B.
Holmes Jr., Pastor, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida,
is President and Founder; and invites your participation. For more informa-
tion, please contact: Dr. Linda T. Fortenberry at (850) 681-0990 or
Iraninan President meets with US Muslim leaders
Mustapha Farrakhan, Supreme Captain of the Nation of Islam, Minister
Farrakhan, President Ahmadinejad, Joshua Farrakhan, Imam Siraj
Wahhaj, amir of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), an
unidentified Iranian official, and Mohammad Khazaee, Iran's Ambassador
to the United Nations. Askia Muhammadphoto
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in the United States for the 65th
Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.During his visit, he met
with over 100 Muslim leaders from across the country at the Warwick Hotel in
New York. The Honorable Minister Louis Fanrakhan was among the leaders in
addition to members of the New Black Panther Party. No details of their closed
door meetings have been released.
Seeking the lost for Christ b IJ I n If-
Matthew 28:19 20 ....
8:00 A.M. Early Morning Worship
9:30 am. Sunday School
Pastor Landon Williams
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.
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
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1138 Edgewood Avenue South Jacksonville, Florida 32205
(904) 389-7790 Office (904) 389-7797 Fax
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.
Come share In Holy Communion on 1st Sunday at 4:50 g.m.
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AM 1400 Thursday 7:00 8:00 p.m.
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Grace and Peace
* * A Full Gospel Baptist Church * *
September 30 October 6, 2010
Pncro 6 M-. Pi-rrv'-g Free ProssE
Accusers continue to come out of the woodwork against Long
Continued from front
Flagg, stated in civil litigation
documents that Bishop Long exert-
ed his influence as pastor -- "spiri-
tual advisor" -- over the teens, both
age 14 at the time, to eventually
engage in sex and relationships for
(Long's) own personal sexual grati-
fication," all the while furnishing
the impressionable young men with
cars, cash, jewelry and other gifts,
allegedly with church funds, along
with putting them on New Birth's
payroll. In separate 23-page filings
by Robinson and Flagg, respective-
ly, the youth academy "purported to
train young men, from 13 to 18, to
love, live and lead as they proceed
on their 'masculine journey'."
However, as the 50 year old preach-
er is the academy's "pastor/coun-
selor/confidant" to the teens in the
program, the initial plaintiffs allege
the academy is Bishop Long's
modus operandi to influence and
exploit vulnerable teen males who,
in the case of Flagg, have no father,
or father-figure, "to bring them to a
point to engage in a sexual relation-
ship." After they are pronounced as
Long's "spiritual sons" within the
program and church congregation,
furthermore, "defendant Long has a
pattern and practice of singling out
a select group of young male church
members, and (uses) his authority
as Bishop over them to ultimately
bring them to a point of engaging in
a sexual relationship," court docu-
ments indicated. Both Robinson
and Flagg are 21, born in 1989. A
third plaintiff, 23 year old Colorado
resident Jamal Parris, filed a sexual
harassment lawsuit, on September
22, alleging similar charges, with
the additional claim that while
occupying Bishop Long's
Snapfmger Drive guest house in
DeKalb County, he would regularly
request for Parris to be nude for the
pastoral visits. All three are being
represented by Brenda Joy "B.J."
Bernstein of Atlanta. (At late
presstime, a fourth young male,
Spencer LeGrande, filed a sexual
harassment lawsuit (September 24)
against Long, alleging same
charges as a member of New Birth-
Charlotte, a satellite church in
North Carolina. The then-17 year
old engaged in sex with Long, in
2005, after being given a sleeping
pill, according to the lawsuit, and
was ongoing until last year, accord-
ing to Associated Press reports.
In statements by Bishop Long ini-
tially, he denied the allegations.
Last Sunday, furthermore, Long
stood before his congregation,
denouncing the accusations. "I am
going to fight this thing. I am not a
perfect man -- but I am not the man
being portrayed" by the plaintiffs
as, according to one complaint, a
"sexual predator." Although Long
did not definitively deny the allega-
tions to his members, he spoke on
all people having to "face painful
situations. This is the worse time of
my life," the pastor proclaimed at
an 8am. service, adorned in beige-
tan dressing, with New Birth
insignia. Following the service,
Long addressed local and national
news media at a press conference in
New Birth's chapel. Taking no
questions from reporters, he only
said the civil lawsuits "would not be
fought in the media, but within a
court of law," as well as he promot-
ing his church's ministries' work at
home and abroad. After about 10
minutes, he walked away with his
wife, Vanessa, and attorneys, Craig
Gillen and Dwight Thomas of
Atlanta, in tow. Also, in statements
last week to the media and touted
by attorney Gillen to radio stations
upon Long cancelling scheduled
interviews, "it is unfortunate these
young men have chosen to take this
course of action," Gillen said.
"Bishop Long adamantly denies
these allegations. We're reviewing
the complaints ... and will respond
in the proper venue accordingly.
Bishop Long also stated, 'Let me be
clear. The charges against me and
New Birth are false. I have been
through storms, and my faith has
always sustained me. I have devot-
ed my life to helping others, and
these false allegations hurt me
deeply'," Gillen exclaimed the
father of four said. Plaintiffs' attor-
ney Bernstein of Atlanta said to The
Atlanta Inquirer last week, "the
courage of these young men to
stand up is testimony to (obliterate)
Bishop Long's great influence, as
well as they trying to get to the truth
of the betrayal ...for a productive
life." She also warned, "there are
kids right now at risk (at New
Birth)." Ms. Bernstein denied a
reporter from speaking to the plain-
tiffs last week, indicating, "they've
relocated for the moment.... To (ini-
tiate litigation) was very emotional
for them," relaying, too, that e-
mails, text messages and pictures
provided to the young men "will
speak for the cases against the bish-
Bishop Long, a native North
Carolinian, arrived to Atlanta in the
mid-1980s, prepared to brandish his
small-town reputation for the big
city and suburbs of Atlanta. From
1987, after being appointed New
Birth's pastor, to the present day,
membership has grown from mere
hundreds to nearly 30,000.
Primarily teaching God's promise
of prosperity, Long's popularity has
made him a sought-after counselor
among the rich and powerful --
from former Georgia governors and
U.S. presidents to local county
leaders -- along with his member-
ship who travel from near and far
for worship services. Within the
youth academy, however, Bishop
Long allegedly exerted "power and
dominion" with the then-teen males
with "various rituals ..., and dis-
cussed Biblical verses that reinforce
the spiritual and God-like connec-
tion between himself and the young
men," according to the affadavit.
Upon becoming a "spiritual son,"
the plaintiffs claim Long lavished
them with trips within the U.S. and
abroad on jets, housed them in lux-
ury hotels, and provided access to
"numerous celebrities, including
entertainment stars and politicians."
During the out-of-town trips, in par-
ticular, plaintiffs allege Long shared
a bedroom to ultimately "engage in
touching, and other acts" with
Robinson. "Defendant Long would
use Holy Scripture to discuss and
justify the intimate relationship
between himself and friend," there-
by, "causing Robinson great anger
and anguish. With both plaintiffs
Flagg and Robinson, character
could become a key component if
the lawsuit heads into the court. In
2007, Flagg was arrested for simple
assault, and later, his mother agreed
for him to live in New Birth's
"Golod House," the haven for trou-
bled teens, in Lithonia, Georgia,
upon Long's suggestion, "to provide
stability and opportunity to learn
and grow with such an important
spiritual mentor." Flagg also alleges
Bishop Long was "situated to exer-
cise a controlling influence over the
will, conduct, and interest" of
Flagg, and otherwise shared the
same bed "to engage in sexual
massages ...where increased con-
tact included sodomy, kissing,
masturbation and oral contact."
With Robinson, he and another man
were arrested last June for breaking
into Long's personal office on the
New Birth campus site. The plain-
tiffs are seeking punitive and com-
pensatory damages for "Breach of
Fiduciary," various counts of fraud
and negligence, "Intentional
Infliction of Emotional Distress,"
and "Negligent Failure To Protect,"
"Negligent Failure To Warn" and
"Negligent Failure To Intervene-
Supervise" against youth academy
officials, all under the auspices of
New Birth, Incorporated, and its
While attorneys deliberate on
Bishop Long's overall intent to
allegedly "coerce" the then-teens
into sex, New Birth members, past
and present, are "shocked" and "in
disbelief' of the accusations.
Also, others sources indicated to
The Atlanta Inquirer that several
church administrators have
resigned from New Birth last week.
Also, some local ministers gathered
(September 24) at Paschal's
Restaurant, on Northside Drive. to
strategize for a "lock-in," an A.
initiative where pastors -;
will sit and pray with y
Bishop Long for
seven days to
respond to the
church, and "to
show and pro-. .
arms," as ren-' .L
dered in scrip-
ture (Job 2:11-
Rev. Jasper W.
senior pastor of
Church of Atlanta
and Lithonia. "We
are all sinners ..., and we are all N
the body of Christ, including
Bishop Eddie Long," Williams stat-
ed prior to the 12 noon meeting.
Declaring he has "no opinion, either
way" of believing Long's innocence
or guilt, Rev. Williams, who indi-
cated he's known Long "since he's
been in Atlanta (1987)," expressed
"mixed emotions" upon witnessing
the intriguing cell phone pictures,
allegedly transmitted by Long to
Robinson and Flagg, with Long
dressed, in one photo, in a red skin-
tight muscle shirt, and in another,
Long posing in a black form-fitting
gym suit. As Williams calls on the
nation's pastors to come to Atlanta,
beginning September 27, "to pray
with and for Bishop Long," he
noted a rush to any judgment is pre-
mature, and to remember Long's
admirable community service ren-
dered to Atlanta. "He's done
tremendous works here. This nega-
tivity has had a tremendous affect
on him and on New Birth, but the
itself." "I feel like David against
Goliath, but I have 5 rocks, and I
haven't thrown one yet," Long con-
Although the bishop has not spo-
ken out (at late presstime) to refute
the allegations, his children (on
September 23) verbalized com-
ments on Twitter. "We are doing
great; keep my pops lifted up in
prayer!," exclaimed Edward Long.
Succinctly and simply, daughter
Taylor Long declared, "Man, my
dad does NOT deserve this!"
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Some of the 'proof' the boys have came
forward with include photos sent to them b3
their Bishop like the one shown right
would love to
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5. Event photos must be accompanied by a story/event synop-
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why. in addition to a phone number for more information.
Call 634-1993 for
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September 30 October 6,. 2010
rgI 0l Z i'*i. iru' N r r Spe b 3 Otb 6 21x
L. ; I.
Riverside Arts Market
RAM (Riverside Arts Market) is a
high energy weekly arts, farmers,
and food market under the 1-95
bridge on the St Johns River, featur-
ing locally made or grown products.
It will be held on Saturdays starting
at 10:00a.m.until 2 p.m. Leashed
pets are welcome.
and Patio Show
The Jacksonville Fall Home &
Patio Show is the place for you to
experience what's new in home,
remodeling, home decor and more.
Meet over 500 experts and experi-
ence thousands of products and
services. Whether it's a simple
paint job or a major renovation, the
Home & Patio Show has answers to
your home improvement questions.
Sep. 30, Oct 3, 2010at the Prime
Osborne Convention Center. Call
630-4000 for more information.
The September meeting of the
PRIDE Book Club, Jacksonville's
oldest book club for people of color,
will be held on Friday, October
1st at 7 p.m. hosted by Debra
Lewis. The book for discussion will
be "Oprah" by Kittie Kelley. For
more information call 389-8417.
Breast Health Fair
The 4th Annual ABC Breast
Health Summit will be held on
Saturday, October 2, 2010 at St.
Paul AME Church Development
Center located at 6910 New Kings
Road from 8:00 a.m. 1 p.m. The
event is free to the public.
Physicians from Mayo Clinic and
survivors will speak about breast
health. There will be a free break-
fast, lunch, and gifts. Pre-register at
683-1757 or 956-1500.
Full of Bull Ladies
There will be the Redfish
Tournament with prizes awarded to
the top Junior, Senior, and Lady
anglers in addition to a Kid's Dock
Tournament during the day from 11
a.m. to 1 p.m. The tournament will
be held on Saturday, October 2, at
Mayport starting at 7 a.m. For more
info, contact Frank at 465-4552 or
What to do from social, volunteer, political and sports activities to self enrichment and the civic scene
Kim Waters in Concert
The Ritz Theater and LaVilla
Museum Jazz Jam will present
artist Kim Waters in concert. The
smooth jazz saxophonist will have
two shows at 7 and 10 p.m. on
Saturday, October 2nd. For tick-
ets or more information, call 632-
Jaguars vs. Colts
We all kno there is nothing like
Jaguar football. Show some home-
town spirit when the Jacksonville
Jaguars face off against the
Indianapolis Colts. The home game
will be Sunday, October 3rd at
4:05 p.m. at EverBank Field.
On October 6 from 5 p.m. 9
p.m., Art Walk: Hispanic Heritage
will take over Downtown.
Celebrate "La Fiesta" in Hemming
Plaza where EcoLatino and Films
by Design will feature a street party,
complete with food vendors, live
performances and more.
Experience the Jacksonville Music
Video Revival at Snyder Memorial
Church, sample authentic Hispanic
flavors at Zodiac Grill, dance salsa
and merengue at The Ivy Ultra Bar,
"Ying and Yang" fire dancers, and
of Spoken Word
Come out and enjoy an evening of
Spoken Word at the Ritz Theater on
October 7, 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
lyrical voices in a casual open-mic
setting. Call 632-5555 for info.
at the Main Library
Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki
American Indian storyteller and
author, will appear for two free per-
formances as part of The Language
of Conservation initiative at the
Jacksonville Main Library.
Bruchac will tell several Native
American stories and share his
works of poetry. The free event will
be held on Thursday, Oct. 7 at
A ~ 1.:,
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10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the
Hicks Auditorium (Conference
Level). For more information, call
Comedian Mike Epps
& Friends in Concert
Comedian Mike Epps will be in
concert on Friday, October 8 at 7
p.m.at the Times Union Center. For
tickets call (800) 745-3000.
Come enjoy their carnival midway,
costume contest, vendors, food and
fun at Dogtoberfest. For a mini-
mum $25 donation you can partici-
pate in our famous Trick-or-Treat
walk with your dog. It will be held
Saturday, October 9th at 10 a.m.
at Metropolitan Park.
The annual Jacksonville Black
Expo will be held at the Prime F.
Osborn III Convention Center on
Saturday, October 9th, 2010 start-
ing at 1la.m. A highlight will be the
2nd Annual Gospel Best
Competition hosted by David &
Boil at the beach
The Rhoda L. Martin Cultural
Heritage Center located at 376 4th
Street in Jacksonville Beach ill
sponsor a Low Country Boil on
Saturday, October 9, 2010 from 3-
6 p.m. Sit and enjoy a platter filled
with shrimp, corn, potatoes,
sausage and fried fish as music fills
the air. For more information:
center.com or call 904-241-6923.
Men of Soul Tour
The 2010 Men of Soul tour ill be
in Jacksonville for one night only,
Saturday, October 9 at 8 p.m. at the
Times Union Center for Performing
Arts. On stage will be Howard
Hewett, Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo
Bryson, Freddie Jackson. For tick-
ets, call 1-800-745-3000.
Class on "How to get
involved in the city"
JCCI (Jacksonville Community
Council, Inc.) will present a free
symposium on "How to Get
Engagement". Participants will
learn how to get involved in the
community by assessing their own
goals and local options. It will be
held Tuesday, October 12th from
5:30-7:30 p.m. in the JCCI
Conference Room located at 2434
Atlantic Blvd. For more informa-
tion or to reserve your spot, call
Nephew Tommy at
the Comedy Zone
Comedian Eddie Griffin will be at
the Comedy Zone October 14-16
bringing his stand up routine to
Jacksonville. You were first intro-
duced to him on the Steve Harvey
Morning Show. Known as a televi-
sion and film star, Tommy is sure to
please. For showtimes and tickets
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld will be in
concert on Friday, October 15th at
7 p.m. at the Times Unions Center.
For more information call (800)
The National College Fair of
Jacksonville, a local opportunity for
students and their parents to meet
college and university representa-
tives from across the nation, will be
held on Saturday, October 16th
from 9 a.m. 1 p.m. Held at the
Prime Osborne Convention Center,
more than 150 colleges and univer-
sities will be in attendance. There
will also be forums on everything
from scholarships and financial aid
to essay writing and HBCUs.
Students can pre-register online at
SuM Your Nes adCoiL Eve
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S e O 2
Wyclef treated in hospital for stress
Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean was admitted to a hospital
last weekend suffering from stress and exhaustion.
His publicist said she was "suffering from stress and
fatigue based on the gruelling eight weeks he's had".
The singer recently withdrew his bid for Haiti's presi-
dency and had been working on a new album.
He is now at home recuperating and is expected to
return to work in about a week, Salzman said.
Last month, Haiti's electoral council ruled that Jean was not eligible to
run for President in his home country. It was because he did not meet a
requirement that presidential candidates maintain five consecutive years
of residency in the country before running.
Jean, who was born in Haiti but moved to New York as a child, said his
new album, due for release next year, would be titled If I were President,
the Haitian Experience.
Mistrial declared in reegae star's drug
case The Florida drug trial of Jamaican reggae
artist Buju Banton ended in a mistriallast week
when jurors said they could not agree on a verdict
after three days of deliberations.
Banton, 37, was arrested in December in
Sarasota, Florida, and charged with conspiring to
buy 11 pounds (5 kilograms) of cocaine from an
undercover police informant. He has been held' -'
without bail since his arrest.
The 12-memberjury had been meeting since Thursday after a four-day
trial at the U.S. Courthouse in Tampa. U.S. District Judge James Moody
said a retrial would not begin until at least December.
Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, could face life in prison if
convicted. His defense attorney argued that the entertainer was tricked
by the informant, a convicted cocaine smuggler who avoided prison by
agreeing to work as an informant.
Lil Kim opens new salon in NC
Lil' Kim is in fact an entrepreneur. She
recently hosted the grand opening of her sec-
ond salon in Charlotte, N.C. Salon Se Swa by
Queen Bee. Together with her cousin Katrise
0- Jones, the two have joined their efforts and
established the new "fix a wig" spot.
I" n 2004, the rapper opened the first location
in Raleigh, N.C. Haircuts start at $10 for men
and $20 for women. Weaves begin at $99.
It opened this past Saturday, replete with a
champagne toast, ribbon-cutting ceremony,
and celebrity guests from actress Meagan Good to Joe Dudley of Dudley
LL Cool J, Donna Summer, up for Rock
n'Roll Hall of Fame
., It could be a blaze of glory for Bon Jovi at the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Jersey boys are
up for possible induction in the hallowed hall, along
with first-timers Donovan, Dr. John, Alice Cooper
and Neil Diamond. The Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame released its list of nominees this week with
some some familiar names: Darlene Love, LL Cool
J, Donna Summer and the Beastie Boys have all been up for the presti-
gious honor before.
To be eligible for the hall, an act must have
released its first batch of music at least 25 years
ago. Inductees will be revealed in December, and
the ceremony will be in March in New York City.
Jermaine Jackson wants child support -..
reduced to $215
Too bad Jermaine Jackson can't get his hands on -
a fraction of the billions that his brother Michael's .
estate is worth 'cause he could really use some .
cash right about now.
TMZ is reporting that Jermaine just filed new
child support papers in L.A. County Courts complaining about having to
pay $3,000 a month for sons Jaafar and Jermajesty even though his aver-
age monthly income for the last year has been under $1,100.
Jermaine wants the judge to slash support payment to $215 a month.
According to the docs, Jermaine made a onetime appearance on "Big
Brother" back in 2007, raking in a handsome $450,000 for his troubles
- but since then, Jermaine claims his business has floundered.
Jermaine claims his baby mama Alejandra not only earns more than
him ... but she gets a free ride along with his kids at the Jackson com-
pound, thanks to Katherine's generosity. Katherine has asked Alejandra
to move her family into a nearby Jackson condo but Alejandra has
refused and Katherine won't put her foot down.
Tavis Smiley Dr. Cornel West
Smiley and West team
up for public radio show
On Oct. 1, a powerful pair will be
premiering their very own and long
awaited radio show called
"Smiley& West." Yes, Tavis Smiley
and Cornell West will be joining
forces to initiate what is anticipated
to be one of the most dynamic
shows radio has seen yet.
The two will explore some of the
most provocative topics.
"Dr. West is a long-time friend and
I am honored that he has agreed to
go on this journey with me," said
Smiley. "This new venture, Smiley
& West, will not only set the pace
for tomorrow's news but will be a
conduit for the insightful conversa-
tion that America is thirsting for.
chicken and limo
rides for votes
Shreveport, Louisiana elected its
first African-American mayor,
Democrat Cedric Glover in 2006.
After that historic election, one may
have thought that the Southern city
had put its legacy of racial division
behind them. Not.
Republican candidate Bryan
Wooley, who is running for mayor of
Shreveport, has sparked anger
among African-Americans in the
It began with a "Freedom Rally"
event reportedly sponsored by the
The event, which was planned for
this past Wednesday and Thursday,
advertised free chicken and limo
rides to voting polls.
However, fliers were reportedly
only placed in predominantly black
neighborhood also known as the
Martin Luther King neighborhood.
Calls to Wooley's campaign
spokesperson to discuss the flyer
and event were not returned.
I'm excited that alongside one of
America's greatest thinkers, we
will encourage, enlighten and
empower the listeners together."
The weekly hour-long program
will air on Public Radio
International (PRI) affiliates
nationwide. Guests will have the
opportunity to tune in and comment
about any issue, debate with, and
disagree with Tavis and West.
"Many of America's most impor-
tant discussions aren't necessarily
happening in the boardroom or
between the pundits on cable televi-
sion," West said. "Rather they're
happening at BBQs, cocktail par-
ties, barbershops, and salons
between real people. With this new
endeavor, Smiley & West, Tavis
and I hope to really tap into the con-
cerns of everyday people."
The first half of the show consists
of Tavis and West discussing cur-
rent news topics. They will focus
on stories that deserve attention, but
are being ignored by mainstream
media outlets. They will also give
listeners the opportunity to directly
engage the co-hosts on issues they
may disagree with on a segment
called "Take 'Em to Task." The
final 30 minutes of the show will be
a conversation between Tavis,
Cornel, and a special guest. The
first episodes will feature New York
Times columnist Frank Rich and
comedian, actor and writer Garry
Shandling. Future episodes will
No doubt Vick was the
right pick for any team
Vick spends the morning talking to school students the day after bat-
tering the Jaguars.
Michael Vick sparked a rally
against Green Bay, dismantled
Detroit and picked apart
What does he have left to prove?
Maybe nothing until some guy
named Donovan McNabb returns to
Philadelphia next week.
For now, though, Vick made
Coach Andy Reid's quarterback
decision look like the right one.
Vick threw three touchdown pass-
es, ran for another score and led the
Philadelphia Eagles to a 28-3 victo-
ry over the Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday. Jacksonville fans headed to
the exits early in the fourth quarter,
with their team trailing by 25 points
and having seen enough of David
Garrard. Garrard was benched last
week after throwing four intercep-
tions against the Chargers, was
even worse against Philadelphia.
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick
spoke humble words of determina-
tion and focus to a group of stu-
dents in Philadelphia the day after
pummeling Jacksonville as part of
his work with the Humane Society
and its End Dogfighting campaign.
At Imhotep Charter School No. 7,
he was greeted by cheers as he
strode into the gymnasium fol-
lowed by student drummers.
Vick said that as a teen he worked
hard both on the field and in the
classroom. He reached his goal of
becoming a number one draft pick
in the NFL and a top quarterback,
but then lost everything after get-
ting "involved in something I never
should have been involved in."
Vick spent 18 months in prison
for dogfighting. After his release,
the Eagles signed him as a back up
quarterback. Last week, he was
named the starter.
"Not everyone gets a second
chance they just don't," said Vick.
"But like me, if you mess up and
get a second chance, defend it at all
costs. Stay focused and stay deter-
At one point during Vick's visit,
students were asked if they had
ever seen a dog fight. About 80
children, of 300 assembled in the
gym, raised their hands.
"I always believed I could come
back and play quarterback," said
Vick, who missed two years while
serving time for his role in a dog-
fighting operation. "It was all about
me getting an opportunity. I got it,
and it's time to make the most of it."
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Ms. Perry's Free Press -Page 9
September 30 October 6, 2010
Pane 10 ----J Ms erysFeePes etmer3 Otbr ,21
President Barack Obama fist bumps Vice President Joe Biden, with Sen-
ior Advisor Valerie Jarrett looking on, before a meeting in the Oval Of-
fice, Sept. 16, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
racial abuse by some elderly and dementia patients
by J. Cunningham, TG
When Certified Nursing Assistant
Brenda Chancy saw a nursing home
patient sprawled on the floor, her first
instinct was to go to her aid.
Instead. Chancy had to find a white
health care worker to tend to the res-
ident, because the woman insisted
that no African-American certified
nursing assistants care for her. The
rule at Chaney's then-employer, the
Plainfield Healthcare Center -- a
long-term care facility that houses
hundreds of residents in the suburbs
of Indianapolis -- was one of racial
preference, where patients could re-
quest members of a certain race assist
them, while preventing others from
Plainfield tolerated requests from
Nation's first Black doctor finally gets a headstone
White descendants of the nation's
first professionally trained African-
American doctor gathered in a ceme-
tery last weekend to dedicate a
tombstone at the unmarked grave
where he was buried in 1865.
"Right now I feel so connected in a
new way, to actually be here," said
Antoinette Martignoni, the 91-year-
old great-granddaughter of James
McCune Smith. "I take a deep breath,
and I thank God, I really do. I am so
glad to have lived this long."
Smith, born in New York City in
1813, wanted to be a doctor but was
denied entry to medical schools in
the United States. He earned a degree
from the University of Glasgow in
Scotland, then returned to New York
to practice. Besides being a doctor,
he was celebrated in his lifetime as a
writer and an anti-slavery leader.
Although scholars have written
books about Smith, who set up a
medical practice in lower Manhattan
and became the resident physician at
an orphanage, his descendants knew
nothing about him until recently.
The story of why Smith was nearly
overlooked by history and buried in
an unmarked grave is in part due to
the centuries-old practice of light-
skinned blacks passing as white to
escape racial prejudice. Smith's
mother had been a slave; his father
was white. Three of his children lived
., .. 0
Antoinette Martignoni, right, places a flower atop the new tombstone
of her great-grandfather Dr. James McCune Smith, the nation's first pro-
fessionally trained African-American doctor, as Martignoni's daughter,
Elizabeth Strazar, second from right, looks on during a ceremony hon-
oring Smith, in the Brooklyn, New York. Smith's gravesite had been un-
marked since his death in 1865. Dr, McCune is shown in the inset.
to adulthood, and they all apparently
passed as white, scholars say.
Greta Blau, Smith's great-great-
great-granddaughter, made the con-
nection after she took a course at
Hunter College on the history of
blacks in New York. She did some re-
search and realized that James Mc-
Cune Smith the trailblazing black
doctor was the same James McCune
Smith whose name was inscribed in
a family Bible belonging to Mar-
tignoni, her grandmother.
Her first response was, "But he was
black. I'm white."
Blau, of New Haven, Conn., con-
cluded that after Smith's death, his
surviving children must have passed
as white, and their children and
grandchildren never knew they had a
black forbear, let alone such an illus-
Blau contacted all the Smith descen-
dants she could find and invited them
to join her for the ceremony dedicat-
ing the tombstone at Smith's grave at
Brooklyn's Cypress Hills Cemetery.
Eleven of Smith's descendants went
to lay flowers at the cemetery, the
final resting place of other notables
including baseball player Jackie
Robinson and actress Mae West.
Blau's aunt Elizabeth Strazar said
she had grown up believing her eth-
nic heritage was English, Irish, Scot-
tish and French.
"Now I can say I'm English, Irish,
African-American and French, which
I feel very proud of," she said.
Joanne Edey-Rhodes, the professor
whose course led Blau to discover
her ancestor, said Blau had written
about Smith in her paper for the
"She was writing about this person
and didn't realize that that was her
very own ancestor," Edey-Rhodes
Edey-Rhodes, who's black, said that
to be black in America in Smith's
time "was a horrible condition."
"Black people were a despised
group, and to many we still are a de-
spised group in the world," she said.
"I think that it is so important that at
this time in history, that a family that
is classified as white can say, 'I have
this African-American ancestor,' and
be able to do it without any shame,
without having to hide it."
residents who did not want African-
American's to care for them, under
the belief that they were legally obli-
gated to do so, according to court
In fact, on Chaney's daily call sheet
next to one patient's name was
"Prefers No Black CNA's." White
certified nursing assistants also in-
formed Chaney that she couldn't go
into certain patient's rooms or assist
them because she was black, said
Denise LaRue, Chaney's lawyer.
LaRue said Plainfield administration
never told her otherwise.
"It bothers you inside," Chaney said
from her home in Indianapolis, Ind.
"You wonder, 'Because I'm the color
I am, I can't go in there and help this
lady?' And I can do just as much or
her law office in Indianapolis.
probably better than anybody there."
Chaney said she was alarmed and
upset by Plainfield Healthcare Cen-
ter's policy, but went along with it be-
cause at the time she was putting her
son through college and needed the
"Of course, it affected me very
deeply inside," she said. "When I
thought about it, it made me sad. But
on the same token, I didn't want to
lose my job. Sometimes we have to
set aside our pride and go with the
rules. And that was one of the rules.
No blacks allowed."
After three months, Chaney was
fired from Plainfield, allegedly for
cursing in front of a resident, a
charge that she denies. She then
lodged a complaint with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commis-
sion, charging that her firing was
racially motivated and that Plain-
field's racial preferential policy,
among other issues, contributed to a
hostile work environment.
The complaint led to a lawsuit
against Plainfield, where Chaney
contended that the nursing home vi-
olated her civil rights when they al-
lowed patients to bar workers from
providing healthcare based on race.
She also alleged that Plainfield ad-
ministration fired her because she
A district court dismissed the case.
But in July the 7th U.S. Circuit Court
reversed the ruling on appeal, finding
that Chaney's civil rights had indeed
been infringed upon.
"Plainfield told Chaney that it was
excluding her from work areas and
residents solely on account of her
race, thereby creating a racially-
charged workplace that poisoned the
work environment," the ruling states.
According to a published report,
there have been at least two other
complaints of racial discrimination in
nursing homes. One in Indiana was
settled for $84,000 and in Montana
10 years ago, the state's Department
of Labor and Industry found that a
nursing home was wrong to reassign
a black health care worker to avoid
race-based clashes with patients who
Robyn Stone, senior vice president
of research for the American Associ-
ation of Homes and Services for the
Aging, a Washington, D.C.-based or-
ganization that works to empower
and advocate for the aged, Stone said
cultural competency training is cru-
cial in nursing homes, as is support
to workers from nursing home ad-
ministration in matters of racial dis-
"The issues of cultural competence
are really significant, and they are
going to be even more significant in
the future," Stone said, adding,
"Nursing homes are increasingly
faced with, 'How do we actually
work on communication and care is-
sues that both address the client/care-
giver relationship, but also the
relationship between staff?'"
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Attorney Denise LaRue, right, and her client Brenda Chaney pose in
September 30 October 6, 2010
Page 10 Ms. Perry's Free Press
L'.,A:U, d~fA 1