The Jacksonville free press

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The Jacksonville free press
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Mrs. Perry's free press
Jacksonville free press
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Rita Luffborough
Rita Luffborough Perry
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Vol. 4, no. 36 (June 28, 1990)-
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"Florida's First Coast only quality Black weekly."

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Full Text

Will GOP Fight

Fire with Fire?
Race for National
Chairman's job includes
two Black candidates
Page 9

Money in

the Black

A Look at

the World's


of Color
.Page 2

Baltimore Mayor Indicted
BALTIMORE Another big city mayor is in deep
trouble over their conduct in office. Last week,
Baltimore Mayor Sheila A. Dixon was charged by
the state prosecutor in a 12-count indictment,
becoming the city's first sitting mayor indicted on
criminal offenses.
SThe Baltimore Sun and other outlets are reporting
that Dixon was charged with four counts of perjury and two counts of
theft over $500, as well as theft under $500, fraudulent misappropriation
by a fiduciary and misconduct in office. The charges stem in part from
gifts she received from former boyfriend and developer Ronald H.
Lipscomb, who was also charged earlier this week.
Dixon, a Democrat, has been the target of a nearly three-year probe
by State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh into corruption at City Hall, an
investigation that has centered on allegations that Dixon has used her
office to award lucrative contracts to various people including her sister,
her then-boyfriend and her former campaign chairman.
In a statement released by her office this afternoon, Dixon said: "I am
being unfairly accused. Time will prove that I have done nothing wrong,
and I am confident that I will be found innocent of these charges. ... I
want to make it clear, though, that I will continue to put all of my ener-
gies into running the city during these perilous economic times."

First Grandma Moving Into the

White House to Care for Girls
The presidential transition team has announced that Barack Obama's
mother-in-law will move into the White House soon to help her family -
particularly her granddaughters settle into a new routine.
Marian Robinson, the 71-year-old mother of Michelle Obama, will stay
in the White House in what's being described by aides as a trial visit, a
chance for Robinson to see if she's ready to trade her classic Chicago
bungalow for the nation's most famous mansion.
However temporary, the living arrangement is viewed as a plus for sen-
ior advocates, who say Robinson will serve as a role model for the grow-
ing number of retirees moving in with their children and grandchildren.
Advocates say Robinson could show that moving into a grown child's
home does not mean surrendering one's independence or usefulness.
Robinson, a retired executive secretary, is expected to continue her busy
lifestyle, which until a few years ago included both a job and competing
in the 100- and 50-yard dashes at the Illinois Senior Olympics.
Robinson already has media and special interest groups lining up to
speak with her. Generations United, a group that aims to increase inter-
action between children and seniors, has asked her to be the keynote
speaker at its international conference this summer.

Tony Dungy Bids Adieu: First Black

Coach to Win a Superbowl Retiring
Tony Dungy, the first African-American
head coach to win the Super Bowl, walked
away from pro football this week, saying he
was looking forward to what life has in store
away from the NFL.
Dungy, who spent seven years with the
Colts, said that he and his wife discussed his
future felt the time was right to move on.
"I think I've got a chance to do some things
down the road," he said. I think I've got a
responsibility to be home a little more."
When the Colts were ousted from Super
Bowl contention by the San Diego Chargers last week, it was widely
understood that Dungy might announce his retirement. If the coach had
had his way, however, the announcement would have come after his team
was awarded the Vince Lombardi trophy in Tampa on Feb. 1. He said
he does not plan to coach again, but he refused to rule it completely out.
The only thing that seems certain right now is that Dungy, who led his
teams to playoffs 10 times, will land in the NFL Hall of Fame some day.

California D.A. Still Pondering

Charges Against Killer Cop
As prosecutors in Oakland, Calif., ponder whether to file criminal
charges against the 27-year-old White transit cop who shot to death a
handcuffed young Black man on New Year's Day, officials for the agency
that employed the officer say they're perturbed by his attitude.

"Nobody's been able to talk to [Johannes Mehserle]," Linton Johnson, a
spokesman for the Bay Area Rapid Transit, said of the BART officer who
fired the fatal shot. "We've been trying aggressively to get him to come
in, but he hasn't. It's been very frustrating."
All the other officers present during the shooting have been interviewed,
according to BART Police Chief Gary Gee.
Mehserle, a member of the force for the past two years, was captured
on a cell phone camera shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant. When the pub-
lic caught sight of the video on national TV news and the Internet last
week, it sparked protests in downtown Oakland.
Last week, Alameda County prosecutors filed against three protesters
on charges of possession of concealed weapons, causing a public distur-
bance and misdemeanor vandalism. More than 100 people were arrested
during the demonstrations that left some 300 businesses damaged; 70
others were cited and released.
Last week, Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff said that his
office will announce whether to charge Mehserle.

flow will yoou
celebrate the

9inq holidayy?
Check out Communitv
Activities for a day
on not a day off.
Page 5


50 Cents

Volume 23 No. 16 Jacksonville, Florida January 15 21, 2009

Congressional Black Caucus Anticipates Greater Power

by H.T. Edney
The 41-member Congressional
Black Caucus, which often
describes itself as the "conscience
of the Congress", is anticipating a
power surge next week as one of its
former members takes the oath of
office as president of the United
"As I stand here today, I can tell

you with certainty that these 41
members of the Congressional
Black Caucus recognizes that this is
our moment," said U. S. Rep.
Barbara Lee, the new chairwoman
of the 40-year-old caucus at the
group's ceremonial swearing in last
Recalling the mission of the 13
founding members of the CBC as

being "to achieve greater equity for
persons of African decent", Lee, of
California, told the audience of
hundreds in the new Capitol
Visitors Center, "As we change the
course of our country, and as we
confront the economy, and as we
continue moving forward, we will
continue their legacy in working
day and night to make this a better

Shown above in attendance are student scholars from Justina Road Elementary School in attendance (L
to R): Hamilton Yingling, Fredrick Reed, guest speaker Dr. Mae Jemison, Fritzson Sainthilaire, Brandon
Boyd, Princess Roberts, Terrance Thomas, Assata Roberts. FMPowell Photo
Trailblazing Astronaut Imparts Wisdom to the First Coast

The Jacksonville Chamber of
Commerce joined by a host of other
organizations, held their 22nd
Annual Martin Luther King, Jr.
Breakfast kicking off the bevy of
King Holiday festivities in
Jacksonville. Serving as the
keynote speaker was Dr. Mae
Jemison, the worlds first African
American woman to travel in space.
To the thousands in attendance
young and old, Dr. Jemison spoke
about paying attention to the world

around you.
"Be careful of who you hang out
with. Who you associate with tells a
lot about your character," she said.
A physician by profession, she
explained everyone needs to have
problem solving skills and critical
thinking skills.
Other highlights of the communi-
ty event include greetings by the
Breakfast's founder, Willye Dennis
and Mayor Peyton, presentation of
"Tommorrow's Leaders" by Urban

League President Richard Danford,
Reflections by NAACP President
Isaiah Rumlin and the unveiling of
the Race Relations Report by JCCI.
Dr. Jemison said as we look for-
ward to next week's historic inau-
guration, that she has great hope for
our future and our nation's ability
and willingness to accept change.
"We like to think of the world in
a zero sum balance," she said, "but
I challenge you to be ok with your
world being unbalanced

and more secure world."
Then U. S. Sen. Barack Obama
served as a member of the
Congressional Black Caucus with a
consistent record of 100 percent on-
Continued on page 3

Cong. Kendrick

Meek Officialy

Announces Bid

for State Senate

Cong. Kendrick Meek
With former popular governor Jeb
Bush saying he will not run for the
coveted seat, Congressman
Kendrick Meek has officially
announced he would run for the
seat to be vacated by Republican
Mel Martinez's retirement in 2010.
. A win would make him
The second generation south
Florida politician said his cam-
paign platform would include alle-
viating current problems such as
the increase of foreclosures
throughout Florida, rising unem-
ployment rates, the loss of senior
citizens' retirement funds, ending
the war in Iraq, and resolving
healthcare inequalities.
Meek, 42, who succeeded his
mother in Congress in 2002, would
be Florida's first black senator if he

Past Presidents Anxious and Honored to Dine with Obama

WASHINGTON President-elect
Barack Obama hailed a rare Oval
Office gathering of all U.S. presi-
dents as an extraordinary event last
week as the current occupant,
President George W. Bush, remind-
ed his predecessors and successor
that the office "transcends the indi-
"I just want to thank the president
for hosting us," the president-elect
said, flanked by former President
George H.W. Bush on one side and
his son on the other.
Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy
Carter, both smiling broadly, stood
with them.
"All the gentlemen here under-
stand both the pressures and possi-
bilities of this office," Obama said.
"For me to have the opportunity to
get advice, counsel and fellowship
with thems is extraordinary."
In a swift photo opportunity, the
current president wished Obama
well before all five men headed to a
private lunch.
"I want to thank the president-elect
for joining the ex-presidents for
lunch," Bush said, even though he's
not quite a member of that club yet.
"One message that I have and I
think we all share is that we want
you to succeed. Whether we're
Democrat or Republican we care
deeply about this country," Bush

President George W. Bush meets with former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter
andPreidnt-let Brac .amainthe .va.....o the Whit ous ias we

and President-elect Barack Obama
said. "All of us who have served in
this office understand that the office
itself transcends the individual."
He added: "We wish you all the
very best, and so does the country."
Bush and Obama also met private-
ly for roughly 30 minutes. That
one-on-one meeting, coming just
13 days before Obama's inaugura-
tion, likely focused on grim current

events, with war in the Gaza Strip
and the economy in a recession.
It had been an entire generation
since the nation last saw the tableau
of every U.S. president together at
the White House. The presidents
have gathered at other locations
over the years, most recently for the
funeral of President Gerald Ford.
Obama suggested holding the

gathering when he met Bush at the
White House in November.
All the presidents were last at the
White House in 1981: Richard
Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan,
who was president then. The three
former presidents were there before
leaving as part of the U.S. delega-
tion to the funeral of Egypt's Anwar
Sadat, who had been assassinated.

t in the Oval Office of the White House last wee

Short List of Black Billionaires Lead by Africans

Despite Group, which has an estimated current net
there worth of around US$3.3 billion with opera-
tions in Benin, Ghana and Togo, Dangote's
businesses include food processing, cement
manufacturing and freight.
Dangote hit the jackpot when his compa-
ny was listed on the Nigerian stock
exchange last year.
V, Top 100: Mohammed Al Amoudi
Age: 61
Fortune: self made
Source: oil
Net Worth: $8.0 Billion
Country Of Citizenship: Saudi Arabia
Residence: Jeddah Saudi Arabia,
Middle East & Africa
Industry: Oil/Gas
Marital Status: married, 8 children

1,125 billionaires on planet
earth according to the Forbes Rich List with
an estimated combined net worth of $4.4
trillion among the high flyers are people
of colour albeit they count for less then one
per cent.
Collectively African Americans are the
wealthiest black people in the globe but
Africans are now giving African Americans
a run for their money and are making more
dollar signs then ever before catapulting
them onto Forbes World's Wealthiest
Billionaires List.
Mohammed Al Amoudi
Sitting happily at the top of Forbes
World's Wealthiest Billionaires List is
Ethiopian born Mohammed Al Amoudi
who is the richest black person alive with a
total net worth of $9 billion.
Ranked 97th on the Forbes World's
Wealthiest Billionaires List, Al Amoudi
made his fortune in construction and real
estate before betting on Swedish and
Moroccan oil refineries. His svenska petro-
leum conducts oil exploration from the
Nordic shelf to the Ivory Coast.
Al Amoudi is the largest foreign investor
in Sweden and the largest private investor
in Ethiopia, investing in diverse assets such
as hotels, gold
mines and a
food processing
Aliko Dangote
NigerianAliko .
Dangote is the '. I
second richest
black person, '
taking 334th
position on
Forbes' World's ,
Billionaires '
List. He is also ---
the richest ~ 2.
African citizen.
Owner of The Dangote Aliko Da:

Oprah Winfre
Surprisingly Opirah \\infle\ i. 462nd on
For bes
Wor r Id s -"
Wealthiest N '.-4
Billionaires '
List worth V
over $2.5
was listed as
the world's
only black
billionaire in
2004, 2005
and 2006.
She has
been dubbed
as the first '
black bil-
and has been '
ranked the "
A fri can Mohamed Ibrahi
American of the 20tll center,. the most
philanthropic Afitcan American of all time
and arguably the most influential \onman in
"4, the world
\\ nfre\ has
"" i w f taken fornier EBa\
CEO lMeg \\hitman
S'as the richest .wself-
made \omran in
IHer interriationall'\
.:. indicateded talk show
.' The Oprah Winfrey
Show has earned her
multiple Emmy
Awards and is the
highest-rated talk
show in the history of
Winfrey is also an
iote influential book critic, an

Academy Award nominated actress, and a
magazine publisher.
Mohamed Ibrahim
Sudanese-born Mohamed "Mo" Ibrahim
sits side-by-side with Oprah Winfrey on
Forbes World's Wealthiest Billionaires List
worth over $2.5 billion.
Dr. Ibrahim is a global expert in mobile
communications with a distinguished aca-
demic and business career launching the
first cellular service in the UK in 1985 and
founding Mobile Systems International
(MSI), a technology consultancy and soft-
ware business in 1989.
Not stopping there, Dr. Ibrahim estab-
lished Celtel mobile networks in Africa in
1998, which now has operations in 16
countries. The
company was sold
to MTC Kuwait in
2 .'15 for '13 4hil-
]lO l'

Wealthiest Michael Lee-Chi
List worth over $2.5 billion.
Since launching ARM in 1994 Motsepe
has built his company into an $875 million
(sales) mining conglomerate with interests
in a wide swath of minerals precious met-
als (platinum and its cousins), nickel,
chrome, iron, manganese and coal.

The business mogul ako holds 5 5O ,
stake in Sanlam, a pubbll traded firan- -
cial services company ,.Lut~,ide Cape
Michael Lee-Chin
Michael Lee-Chin kno.< I-.
to turn a dollar joyful', taking.
the 677th position on tilhe
Forbes World Wealtliiest
Billionaires List with a net
worth estimated to be $1 -S
The Jamaica native v. ho
lives in Canada is tihe
founder and Chairman ot
Portland Holdings Inc.
Executive Chairmar. of AIC
Limited (a Canadian nIutiulal
fund), and the National
Commercial Bank of Jamaic.
Additionally Lee-Chin ov. n
stakes in National.
Commercial Bank Janiawica.
Total Finance in Trinidad
& Tobago and Colu"mb:.
Comnmunication;. a cable
and conlmilniLncations corn-
pan\ in Barbados. Hi-[l
pei-sornal real es-tate port-
flo inclde- 250 acres
of heachfront property in
Ocho Rio,. Jamaica and
homes in Canada and

Robert .Johnson
The Robert Johnson
eer.\ hod\ kno\s is now
o01\ the l10t,2nd richest
person in the \%orld and
eras merica's first black
bli:,naiie Oprah remains the sole female on the list and the top of the
The very short list of African-American billionaires.

Mississippi born entre- BET for $3 billion.
preneur made his for- Johnson continued to be the com-
preneur made his for-
tune when he create pany's chairman and CEO for
B 1 a c k/ s i\ years but in 2005,
Johnson turned over the
E nte rtainm ent
STelevision(BET)titles of President and
Teeisio( Chief Operating Officer
Eleven year of BET to Debra L.
Eleven years '.-.4 : 'Y.- .
lB Lee, a former BET vice
later, BET '
became the first. president.
black-controlled 'Staying true to his
company listed on entrepreneurial talents,
company listed on
the New York Stock Robert Johnson Johnson
Exchange. As of o w n s

n 2007, BET reaches
more than 65 million U.S.
homes and expanded into other BET related
television channels that, make up the BET
Networks BETJ, and digital cable chan-
nels BET Hip-Hop and BET Gospel.
In 1998, Johnson took the company pri-
vate, buying back all of its publicly traded
stock. However in 1999, Viacom bought

a interest in 100uu notes in
America. He is also the first person
of colour to hold a controlling interest in an
American professional sports team-
Charlotte Bobcats with rapper Nelly and
NBA legend Michael Jordan.
Johnson other investments include record-
ing studios (Three Keys Music), restaurants

Will their commute be longer, tougher, more Public Workshop
expensive? Or will they have more choices about
how they live, work and travel? All workshops are 5:30 -

You may not think about these transportation issues
every day, but we do. The North Florida Transportation
Planning Organization (formerly the First Coast MPO)
is the independent regional agency that plans for future
transportation needs, seeks and coordinates funding,
and mobilizes resources through outreach and
consensus building.

One of the TPO's most important roles is to develop the
Long Range Transportation Plan the blueprint for our
region's transportation future. Please join us in creating
the 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan by attending an
upcoming public workshop. We need to know how you
envision traveling in the future, your values and priorities,
and what tradeoffs you are willing to make.

St. Johns County
Tuesday, Jan. 20
Switzerland Point Middle School
777 Greenbriar Road

Wednesday, Jan. 21
Ramona Boulevard Elementary
5540 Ramona Boulevard
Nassau County
Thursday, Jan. 22
David Yulee Room
FCCJ Nassau Center
76346 William Burgess Boulevard
Monday, Jan. 26
Highlands Regional Library
1826 Dunn Avenue

7:30 p.m.

St. Augustine
Tuesday, Jan. 27
The Meeting Room
Ponce de Leon Mall
2121 US 1 South
Wednesday, Jan. 28
Regency Square Library
9900 Regency Square Boulevard
Clay County
Thursday, Jan. 29
Fleming Island High School
Teacher Training Center
2233 Village Square Parkway

Southeast Duval County
Monday, Feb. 2
FCCJ Deerwood
9911 Old Baymeadows Road

Only you can tell us what you envision.

For more information call (904) 306-7500 or

North Floridai
Transportation Planning Organization

January 15-21, 2009

Pai!e 2 Ms. Perry's Free Press

11v "a"gum


Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 3

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), new chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, (front, striped
suit), is sworn in. She is joined by Immediate Past CBC Chair Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and most of the
remaining 39 CBC members.

CBC Anticipates Greater Power

Continued from page 1
the NAACP Civil Rights report
card. But it is often said that he
must now govern the nation as a
president not as a "Black presi-
Agreeing, members of the CBC
interviewed by the NNPA News
Service at a reception following the
Jan. 6 swearing in, said as they push
legislation to improve the plight of
Blacks in America, they will be
emboldened by the support of the
president because of his princi-
ples, not because of his race.
"It challenges the Congressional
Black Caucus because now more
than ever, America will recognize
that there are three branches of gov-
ernment, the executive, the judicial
and the legislative, the legislature
being the initiator of ideas," says
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas).
"It will be very good to compliment
the leadership of President Obama
to have ideas coming from the
Caucus ideas and solutions to
problems, working on the dream
that is still a work in progress."
For too long have certain tenets
of American democracy, such as
"freedom and justice for all" been
recited, but not fully realized, says
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.). He
ticked off a list of issues that will
need immediate attention.
"Health care, jobs,
education... getting serious about
reducing crime. We have a lot of
work to do and we look forward to
working with President Obama and
we will work enthusiastically to
solve these problems," says Scott.
Black political observers will
also watch closely to see what will
happen with legislation on predato-
ry lending, police profiling and
misconduct, sentencing disparities,
affirmative action, and other areas
of public policy that have largely
remained stagnant.
The CBC was founded in January
of 1969 when 13 African-American
representatives of the 77th
Congress formed the Democratic
Select Committee. The committee
was renamed the Congressional
Black Caucus in 1971. Founding

members of the CBC were Reps.
Shirley Chisholm (N.Y.), William
Clay (Mo.), George Collins (Il.),
John Conyers (Mich.), Ronald
Dellums (Calif.), Charles Diggs
(Mich.), Augustus Hawkins
(Calif.), Ralph Metcalfe (Il.),
Parren Mitchell (Md.), Robert Nix
(Pa.), Charles Rangel (N.Y.), Louis
Stokes (Ohio), and Delegate Walter
Fauntroy (D.C.).
Forty years later, two of the CBC
founding members are chairing two
of the most powerful committees in
Congress. Rep. John Conyers,
known as the "dean" of the CBC,
chairs the House Judiciary
Committee and Rep. Charlie
Rangel chairs the House Ways and
Means Committee. Two other CBC
members chair House committees.
They are Rep. Bennie Thompson
(D-Miss.) of the Homeland
Security Committee and Edolphus
Towns, who chairs the House
Oversight Committee. In addition,
there are 15 subcommittee chairs
who are CBC members.
U. S. Rep. Jim Clybum (D-S.C.),
the House majority whip, is cur-
rently the highest ranking African-
American in Congress.
The growing power of the CBC is
clearly bolstered by Democratic
majorities in both houses.
"This will be an outstanding year
in the history of our great nation,"
Clybum told the audience at the
swearing in. He introduced House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a "strong,
steely petite woman".
Pelosi told the Caucus, "Here we
are in this incredible, incredible
time. With all the good work, all of
the inspiration, all of the volition,
leading the challenge with much
work undone, laying the foundation
for two weeks, Barack Obama for
president of the United States."
The audience burst into applause.
"This is a great opportunity and I
think we'll take advantage of it,"
said Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) at the
Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.),
newly elected CBC secretary, was
emphatic: "The CBC has the
tremendous responsibility to

expose and confront the disparities
that hurt our community,"
Butterfield said in a statement.
"With a solid Democratic majority
and a powerful ally occupying The
White House, the African-
American community can expect us
to be relentless in our effort to
empower our community."

Black Middle Class in Crisis

Part I
by Zenitha Price, AA
The current economic crisis has
waged a particularly severe attack
on the Black middle-class in the
United States, experts say.
For African Americans, "2008 was
not a good year," said Algernon
Austin, director of Program on
Race, Ethnicity and the Economy at
the Economic Policy Institute, "and
unfortunately, it looks like things
will get worse."
The adage that when America
sneezes, Black America catches a
cold has held true, making it almost
inevitable that African Americans
would bear the brunt of the coun-
try's financial woes.
"Whenever there is an economic
downturn, African Americans are
the most negatively affected," said
Jon Schmitt, senior economist at the
Center for Economic Policy
The disparity can be explained by
a persistent gap in wealth between
Blacks and Whites among other
things, he added.
The unique challenge for African-
American middle class is they tend
to have much less financial wealth
(like stocks and bonds) and wealth
in general so they have much less of
a margin to get through tough times.
It was just a decade ago that jour-
nalist Ellis Cose declared that "it's
the best time ever to be black in
America." A tight labor market saw

marked increases in employment,
higher wages and homeownership
and declines in joblessness and
poverty that promised a robust
growth of the wealth base.
However, Austin said, unlike other
Americans, Blacks generally have
not recovered what they lost during
the 2001 recession, making them
even more susceptible to the down-
swing in the economic cycle, which
started late last year.
What makes this recession particu-
larly painful, Schmitt said, is its ori-
gin in the housing market collapse.
Homes comprise 80-90 percent of
net worth of the average American,
he added.
"The problem with housing is you
have two-thirds of Americans who
are homeowners so when housing
prices fall 15-25 percent it has a big-
ger impact on the wealth of a typical
person," the economist said. "So
this is a particularly hard recession
because [people's] wealth was
directly attacked."
For years advocates like the
National Urban League had warned
that the conflagration of subprime
mortgages-products meant for
limited use by a limited number of
people, which were unfairly peddled
in large numbers to Black and
Latino communities-would lead to
increased foreclosures.
But no one listened as the markets
rode high on the growing housing
bubble that enriched many.

Hungry to capitalize on the hous-
ing boom, financial services piled
on features on these loans such as
exploding adjustable rates, balloon
payments and penalties for early re-
payment then packaged them into
securities and sold them at high
profits on the stock exchange.
Unsurprisingly, however, the bub-
ble burst, people began to default on
loans and foreclosures exploded,
sending a cataclysmic shock into
Wall Street that brought the econo-
my-to its knees.
On Black Main Street, however,
the devastation was far worse.
From subprime loans,
Black/African American borrowers
will lose between $71 billion and
$92 billion, and the ripple effect will
exact an even higher toll.
"The spillover effect of the sub-
prime crisis affects whole communi-
ties negatively, in terms of aban-
doned houses, increased crime,
devaluation of neighboring houses,
and erosion of the tax base, causing
revenue shortfalls that mandate
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Pa-e54 M.- erys-re-rssJa ry--1 20

Inauguration the Summation of a Dream

In church last Sunday, I sat lis-
tening to a gentleman proclaim that
in 2009 we all must focus on the
power of God. This gentleman elo-
quently talked about how the by
focusing on the power of God we
would have a better understanding
of what he has in store for us this
Now I am a religious brother
who has been a Christian all of his
life, and sometimes I hear these
"prophecies" and they simply go in
one ear and out of the other. Of
course I know the power of God -
thanks for the unnecessary update
However, the conviction in the
gentlemen's voice and spirit felt
No, I am not about to start
preaching, but later in the service
when the Pastor's message also
focused on the power of God and
connected God's power to the
Barack Obama election the mes-
sage came full circle.
Most men of faith are prophetic
in one way or another. Who knew
that we would see this day so soon
- the United States of America has
elected a black man as its president.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was
prophetic in his preaching and
speeches. He talked about this day
at a time when many felt it was the
darkest hour for African Americans
in this country.
Who would have thought that in

the 1960s when Dr. King was
speaking about unity and the day
America could elect a minority as
President it could really happen? It
was in that dark hour when it
seemed that the Civil Rights
Movement wasn't gaining any trac-
tion that the seed was planted.
Some 40 years later that seed
blossomed into an exotic rose.
In one of Dr. King's most famous
speeches, he said, "I've looked
over, and I've seen the promised
land. I may not get there with you,
but I want you to know tonight that
we as a people will get to the prom-
ised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm
not worried about anything. I'm not
fearing any man."
And that was the power of Dr.
King the movement wasn't about
him, it was about creating equality
and opportunity for everyone.
Barack Obama has that same
spirit. One of Obama's favorite
phrases on the campaign trail was
that the election wasn't about him.
It is about all of us.
This victory is about Frederick
Douglass, Harriet Tubman, John F.
Kennedy, Martin Luther King, all
of the thousands of blacks that died
during slavery, everyone who
marched for civil rights, and every-
one who believes in democracy and
I remember it was almost exactly
two years ago that Obama
announced his candidacy.

"In the shadow of the Old State
Capitol, where Lincoln once called
on a divided house to stand togeth-
er, where common hopes and com-
mon dreams still live, I stand
before you today to announce my
candidacy for president of the
United States," he said.
Of course, the question of the day
was simply could he win?
If you said no, then you obvious-
ly didn't understand the power of
God that I spoke of earlier. Some
may say that God had no hand in
this Presidential election, but I beg
to differ.
Only God could take a race of
folks who were once slaves and
some 40 years ago legally segregat-
ed in the country and lift them up in
this country. That is God's power.
I recall immediately after
Obama's announcement a USA
TODAY/Gallup Poll asked
Democrats and independents that
lean toward Democratic candidates
to choose among 15 presidential
prospects, 18 percent said they
would be most likely to support
That put him second behind New
York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton,
the choice of 29 percent, and ahead
of Al Gore, the 2000 presidential
nominee; John Kerry, the 2004
nominee; and Kerry's old running
mate, John Edwards.
I remember asking in a column if
the country was ready for an

Notoriously Overrated: What Was So Big About

by Paul Scott
There's a new movie coming out
called "Notorious." It's the story of
a black kid who grew up on the
mean city streets, became a Black
Panther and dedicated his life to
stopping police brutality and trying
to organizesteret, gangs into a rev-,
olutionary political movement. The
story ends with him being mur-
dered in his bed by the police as he
slept next to his pregnant fiancee.
My bad, that was the Fred
Hampton story. Wrong screen-
"Notorious" is about the life of a
drug dealer turned rapper who
released a CD, got into a beef with
another rapper, and was shot on the
streets of LA while leaving an after
party. The end.
If you ask any hip-hop fan who
are the greatest rappers of all-time,
dead or alive, he will, most likely,
put Christopher "Notorious B.I.G."
Wallace in the top five. Any omis-
sion of "Biggie Smalls" is consid-
ered hip-hop blasphemy. Even
highly educated college professors
have made a career out of quoting
Wallace's lyrics like "The 10 Crack
Commandments" as if they were
part of some sacred text. Even
today, if you go to any hip-hop
clothing store in any city in
America, you can still buy the t-
shirt of The Notorious B.I.G. with
the crown on his head for $20.
However, as it is with most
American icons, we never take a
minute to ask, at the end of the day,
what was this person's overall con-
tribution to society that made him
worthy of the accolades that we
bestow upon him, posthumously?
The tragic story of the Notorious
B.I.G is the cornerstone of the hip-
hop catechism and has been the

subject of so many books, docu-
mentaries and magazine articles,
that I am not sure how much more
light the film "Notorious" can shed
on his life. I guess that the movie
company is banking on the possi-
bility that thousands of loyal hip-
hop fans will be willing to put
down $8 a head just to pay homage
to their dearly departed idol, even
in the midst of a major recession.
But the question remains, what
makes a person like Christopher
Wallace still relevant, a decade
after his death, when many of our
leaders who sacrificed their lives
for black people are forgotten soon
after their casket drops?
Most hip-hop heads can run
down, in their sleep, how Wallace
sold drugs in Brooklyn, signed with
Bad Boy, married Faith Evans, and
discovered Lil Kim. Who doesn't
know about his infamous beef with
Tupac Shakur during the mid 90s
that had black folks debating who
had the best rappers, the East or
West Coast.
Very few hip-hop aficionados
will debate the fact that many con-
sider Wallace's first release, Ready
To Die, a hip-hop classic. But one
would be hard pressed to find any-
thing even remotely political, intel-
lectually, or insightful in any of the
lyrics on his CDs, where every
thing he rapped about could have
taken place within a one mile
radius of his own block. Besides
tales of black on black homicide
and suicidal thoughts, based on
either self hatred or major depres-
sion, there is little else to justify
any of his work being held in the
same light as a It Takes A Nation Of
Millions To Hold Us Back or The
Talid Kweli once rapped about

how we have the uncanny ability to
find beauty in the hideous. In the
case of Biggie's lyrics, we also try
to find depth in the shallow.
Maybe the reason lies within our
"mis" educational system. We are
trained since elementary school to
accept what the text books teach us
as the absolute, unadulterated truth.
If the book says that Christopher
Columbus "discovered" America,
then Christopher Columbus discov-
ered America. So as we get older, if
a hip-hop magazine says that
Christopher Wallace was the great-
est of all-time, than Biggie Smalls
was the illest. No questions asked.
Perhaps we just have a fascina-
tion with death. Especially the
deaths of other black folks. I know
people who can't start their day
without checking the newspaper to
see who got shot the night before.
We also have the tendency to ele-
vate people in death to levels that
they would have never achieved in
In ancient Egyptian culture,
when a pharaoh died, he was wor-
shiped as a God. So when rappers
die violently, they are transformed
into Gods of war, leading their fol-
lowers on a quest to seek revenge
against all those that had beef with
them when they were alive.
Hollyhood has also capitalized
off of our necrophilia as, for the last
15 years, the plot of black men get-
ting tragically caught up in the
streets. It has been the theme of too
many movies to name. No one
wants to admit that although they
say art imitates life, in the hood,
life imitates art, as the death of
Christopher Wallace only helped to
desensitize a generation of young
black men to the finality of death.
And with the upcoming release of

African American President. My
answer in February of 2007 was an
emphatic no. I guess I was the one
who lacked faith and lost focus on
the power of God.
So here we are while history
has been made, there is still so
much more to be written in this
Obama may have won the battle
for presidency, but there are many
battles still to come. A failing econ-
omy, dead housing industry,
unprecedented unemployment and
gigantic federal deficit, just to
name a few issues, will greet him
on day one.
But despite the challenges ahead,
it still feels good to elect someone
so uniquely qualified. Someone
who will be the change agent this
country needs.
Next week's inauguration will
truly be the summation of a dream.
And I am not talking about a
Barack Obama dream or even an
African American dream.
I am talking about an American
dream. I am talking about a country
finally leaving up to its creed that
"All men are created equal." I am
talking about a country bringing to
fruition its foundation as the "Land
of Liberty."
Congratulations President
Barack Obama.
Signing off from my family room
where I will be watching the inau-
guration, Reggie Fullwood

Biggie Smalls?
"Notorious," we see that we still
have not learned our lesson.
Sadly, although the Notorious
B.I.G became even more famous
beyond the grave, for the young
brothers who followed in his foot-
steps, the only fame they received
,was a,, 15 second news flash on
Channel 9.
Back in the day, Kurtis Blow said
that there were 8 million stories in
the naked city. Unfortunately, most
of our stories end the same way.
Not happily-ever-after. No pot of
gold at the end of the rainbow. Just
black blood being spilled on city
I guess the B.I.G. man was right
when he said that "You're nobody
till somebody kills you."

, t- Should Susan Rice

t Go to the UNP
by Bill Reed
The thrashing the Israelis are administrating the
Palestinians makes confirmation hearings for Susan Rice to become United
States Ambassador to the United Nations all the more notable. If main-
stream media focuses on her becoming the first African-American woman to
hold that post, they will be misleading and feckless gestures. When con-
firmed, Susan Elizabeth Rice will follow three African-American men who
have served as America's ambassador to the U.N.: Andrew Young from
1977-1979; Donald McHenry from 1979-1981; and Edward Perkins from
America's posture at the UN posture has been an unwavering tilt toward
Israel. America's first black UN ambassador got the boot for "controversial"
statements about Israel and meeting with the Palestinians. Appointed in
1977 by President Jimmy Carter, Young's tenure was short. In 1979 Young
said on network news that Israel was "stubborn and intransigent". He made
the mistake of meeting with representatives of the Palestine Liberation
Organization "in violation of American law," and Carter sacked him.
Dr. Rice is unlikely to make Ambassador Young's mistakes of seeking fair-
ness and balance on the issue. President-Elect Barack Obama's choice of
Rice to represent the US before the UN will make her one of his adminis-
tration's most visible faces to the international community. So, when Rice
meets with the Congress for confirmation to the $150, 000-a-year post
there's unlikely to be new revelations about ways to overcome crisis situa-
tions such as occurring in Gaza and the Middle East.
Rice is required to be confirmed to the post by the Senate; subsequent to
that proceeding she and Obama will likely continue American patterns of
hegemony. America has tenuous relations with the UN body, particularly
over issues such as the Palestinians plight, but Obama's act of restoring the
UN ambassador's post to cabinet rank supposedly indicates he means to
work with the world body. Obama says Rice will pursue goals of greater
U.S. engagement with other countries and multilateral institutions: "She
shares my belief that the U.N. is an indispensable and imperfect forum" said
Obama. "She will carry the message that our commitment to multilateral
action must be coupled with a commitment to reform."
How successful will Dr. Rice be mending America's rocky diplomatic
fences with the UN? There is some concern that Rice's appointment sends
the wrong signal. During the Clinton administration, Rice worked for the
National Security Council and the State Department, primarily on issues
related to Africa. Recently her specialty at the Brookings Institution think
tank was on the global impact of weak and failed states. Rice greatest claim
to fame has been criticizing what she calls Sudan's genocide in Darfur. At
a recent TransAfrica Forum, the group's chairman of the board, actor/activist
Danny Glover, said the organization is "conflicted" on Dr. Rice's appoint-
ment and whether she'll "focus to shape new policy directions that prioritize
inclusive human security, multilateral approaches, and interdependence with
other nations rather than focusing narrowly on bilateral and militaristic
If Rice continues US imperial hubris coupled with practices toward Israeli
interests, her role at the UN will be divisive. Israel is the top recipient of US
foreign aid. Since its founding in 1948, America's military and economic
assistance totals over $100 billion. As the horrific conditions were occurring
in Gaza and the UN Secretary General condemned the acts, the US Senate
(that will confirm Rice) passed a non-bind resolution "recognizing the right
of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza" and reaffirmed "the
United States' strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas".
Since President Carter brokered the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty in 1979,
Israel has received up to $3 billion in annual aid from the US. Egypt
receives the US's second largest aid package $1.3 billion in military and
$415 million in civilian aid. Aid to the Palestinians was frozen when Hamas
won elections there.
America is not even-handed in the Gaza crisis. It's folly for Congress to
have Rice go off to the UN mission parroting "humanitarian concern" for
"genocide occurring in Africa," while condoning US-involvement in geno-
cide being perpetrated on Palestinians.

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CONTRIBUTORS: Lynn Jones, Charles Griggs, Camilla Thompson,
Reginald Fullwood, E.O.Huthcinson, William Reed, Andre X, Brenda Burwell,
Dyrinda Sapp, Marsha Oliver, Marretta Latimer, Phyllis Mack, Carlottra
Guyton, Brenda Burwell, Rhonda Silver,Vickie Brown, Rahman Johnson,

Januaryl5-21, 2009

Page 4 Ms. Perry's Free Press



"."-aI-a r -21-' 2. 09. MyP-s

FSU Athlete Chooses

Oxford Over NFL Career

Jan. 15
Celebration Service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., 7 p.m., First
New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 4835 Soutel Drive. (904) 765-3111.
Jan. 17
Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast, 8 a.m., Philippian Multi-
Purpose Center, 7540 New Kings Road. $25. (904) 765-3111.
Volunteer Opportunities
Fire safety information, 9 a.m.-noon, meet at St. Clair Evans Academy,
5443 Moncrief Road, Jacksonville. Volunteers will distribute information
throughout disaster-prone neighborhoods in a celebration of the legacy of
the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. They will canvas door to door, talk with
residents and leave door hangers with fire safety information about smoke
alarms, creating a household fire escape plan and tips for cooking and
heating a home safely this winter. Volunteers preregister at (904) 292-
Peace Tiles event A day of celebration and service in honor of Martin
Luther King, Jr. in the 32208 zip code. HandsOn Jacksonville is hosting
the Global Peace Tiles Project. Volunteers are needed for set-up and break
down of project area, to assist children in creating Peace Tiles artwork and
to engage community members and parents in the day of celebration.
A large scale event with many activities the peace tiles project is just
one part. Lunch is provided, to volunteer or for more information, con-
tact Jessica Smith at 332-6767or 904-874-3905.
Jan. 18
The Dream Lives, a Salute to Dr. King, 7-9 p.m., Florida Theatre, 128
E. Forsyth St. Features rhythm and blues/soul musician Phil Perry and
pianist/composer Alex Bugnon. (904) 355-2787.
Jan. 19
Martin Luther King Day Parade and Celebration, 10 a.m., Federal
Reserve Bank, Water Street, to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium; MLK
Celebration 2009, noon-5 p.m., Metropolitan Park. Celebration includes a
Battle of the Bands, a Gospel Fest, poetry, live entertainment, health
screenings/counseling and speakers. (904) 807-8358 or
Museum of Science and History, 10 a.m. noon, 1025 Museum Circle.
Activities for elementary school-aged children include creating a dream
quilt and developing a timeline of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. Admission:
$9 adults, $7.50 seniors/military, $7 children 3-12. (904) 396-6674.
Celebration at Kids Kampus, 1410 Gator Bowl Blvd. (904) 630-5437
(630-KIDS).10 a.m. 2 p.m.
Old Timers Cookout Reunion The Annual Old Timers Cook Out and
reunion will take place from 8 a.m. 8 p.m. on Monday, January 19th at
Lonnie Miller Park. Bring your own food and grills with music by DJ
Roach. This event is sponsored by Ronald "Track" Elps and friends.
Jan. 29th
Willie Gary Classic 6th Annual Martin Luther King Luncheon will
be held on Thursday January 29, 2009 at 12 noon at the Prime Osborn
Convention Center. The keynote speaker will be The Honorable
Congressman John Lewis of Georgia. Congressman Lewis was one of Dr.
King's foot soldiers in the Civil Rights movement. At the event, the win-
ners of the district- wide essay contest will present their essays and will be
awarded with a trip to the King Center in Atlanta, Ga.
For more information visit

Florida State safety and New
Jersey native Myron Rolle will
study at Oxford instead of entering
this year's NFL draft.
"I'm very excited to go," said
Rolle. The second-leading tackler
at FSU this season, he was a third-
team All-American.
Rolle won a Rhodes scholarship
in November and plans to seek a
one-year master's degree in medical
anthropology. Projected to be an
early round pick, he said he plans to
enter the 2010 NFL draft.
A native of New Jersey, got his
undergraduate degree in pre-med
after two and a half years, and has
been taking graduate courses at
Florida State this year.
After his NFL career, Rolle has
said he plans to attend medical
school and then open a clinic for
the needy in the Bahamas.

Caring for the Caregiver Workshop
Do you know someone caring ing assisted living or long term
for an aging loved one or perhaps care for Alzheimer's patients, hos-
someone with Alzheimers? pice care for Alzheimer's patients,
On Saturday January 31st, from challenging behaviors and more.
8:30 a.m. 2 p.m., there will be a The Keynote speaker will be
,- -1 1, 4Z_-0-_ 1 -4'-

free worKsnop for
caregivers with
care provided for
their loved one.
Caregiving can be
an often lonely,
exhausting and
frustrating role but

Florida State safety Myron Rolle
holds up the trophy after defeat-
ing Wisconsin 42-13 in the
Champs Sports Bowl NCAA col-
lege football game in Orlando,
Fla., Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008.



also can be filled with delight and
satisfaction. The trick, according
to experts, is to find the balance.
This workshop has been designed
to give caregivers the practical
information they need to help take
care of themselves and their
loved ones.
Concurrent sessions will cover
preservation of assets, physical
aspects of caregiving, compassion
fatigue, advance directives, choos-

Carol u ell, author
of "Mothering
Mother," a daugh-
ter's memoir about
caring for her aging
The workshop is
free and open to the

public but reservations are
Home care is also available for
loved ones. To register for the
workshop and to arrange for home
care please call Nikki Tubig at
807-1225 by Monday, January
19th. Complimentary lunch will
also be provided.
It will be held at the Mary L.
Singleton Center, 150 E. First
Street, Jacksonville, FL 3229.

Burris to be Seated in U.S. Senate

Roland Burris
U.S. Senate leaders have finally
approved former Illinois Attorney
General Roland Burris to fill the
Senate seat vacated by President-
elect Barack Obama.
The decision came Monday after-
noon after meetings between Burris
lawyers and Senate leaders came to
a resolution at the behest of Obama,
who had ask that officials solve the

Burris will be seated this week.
Senate leaders had said the
appointment by embattled Illinois
Gov. Rod Blagojevich would not be
respected. The governor had been
arrested on charges that he tried to
sell the seat. Last week, he was
impeached by the Illinois
Meanwhile, the Congressional
Black Caucus weighed in, calling
for Senate Democratic leaders to
allow Burris to be seated.
"Today, we met as members of the
Congressional Black Caucus and
voted unanimously that Roland
Burris should be seated by the
Senate," said a Jan. 7 letter to
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
from all members of the CBC,
chaired by U. S. Rep. Barbara Lee.
The legal struggle over the seat
started after Blagojevich was arrest-
ed on federal corruption charges
alleging that Blagojevich attempted

Executives Working to Create Black-Owned Holding Company

Three African American execu-
tives are trying to raise $50 million
to create a black-owned bank hold-
ing company with some help from
the federal government.
The entity, MBF LP, would be
designed to make capital invest-
ments in and own parts of new and
existing black-owned U.S. banks,
said William Michael Cunningham,
senior investment adviser at

Creative Investment Research Inc.,
a Washington D.C. firm specializ-
ing in minority banking.
Cunningham, MBF general part-
ner, said the company would be an
equity fund based in Washington.
The company has applied for bank
holding company status and is seek-
ing capital from the U.S.
Department of the Treasury's
Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Cunningham said MBF partners
and management team members
would include Elrick Williams,
chairman and CEO of Allston
Trading L.L.C., a firm specializing
in electronic trading of stocks,
bonds and other securities, and
Glenn Harvey, former president and
CEO at Broadway Federal Bank.
Cunningham said the MBF is
needed because black-owned banks

have few sources for investment
capital. A typical investment in a
black-owned bank might total $5
million to boost the bank's capital
base, allowing it to leverage that
money to make new loans of up to
$50 million, he added.
"We will provide capital on better
terms than those provided by the
few limited sources currently avail-
able," he said.

to "sell" Obama's Senate seat to
"the highest bidder."
Pressure had mounted for the gov-
ernor to step down. But, he has not
yet been convicted of a crime. Tape
recordings indicating his intention
of receiving something in exchange
for the seat were widely broadcast-
ed on national media.
Despite the controversy surround-
ing Blagojevich, those who know
Burris say Burris is a man of

With Burris, the 100-member
Senate, will still have only one
"I've known him for about 30
years. He's a man of integrity and
honor," says U. S. Rep. Diane
Watson (D-Calif.). "He was the
attorney general and I don't know
why he had to be tainted with the
scent of the governor. But, the gov-
ernor had not been proven guilty

Minority Internship Programs

Seek Candidates For 2009
Several minority internship programs targeting African Americans,
Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans are now welcoming applica-
tions for 2009. The internships will take place in various cities across the
country during the spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons.
The programs are being administered by a combination of major cor-
porations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. Many of
the opportunities offer compensation for students, and some will even
pay for a student's travel needs. Applicable majors include business,
computer science, engineering, psychology, communications, market-
ing, advertising, and many more.
Students are encouraged to apply right away, as many of the programs
have early deadlines.
Here are just a few of the opportunities that are available: AAAS
Minority Science Writers Internship; IBM Minority Research
Internship; Louis Carr Internship; Google Diversity Internship;
NASCAR Diversity Internship; Nationwide/Tom Joyner Foundation
Internship Program; Minority Access Internship Program; American
College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Minority Internship and
INROADS Internship
For the complete list and for more details on how to apply for the
opportunities, visit:

Who Should Make Our Choices?

Recently, some self-appointed activists have

proposed a legislative ban on menthol ciga-

rettes in a misguided effort to force people

to quit smoking by limiting their choices. So

far, wiser heads have prevailed

and the ban on menthol has not

passed. It could come up again.
It shouldn't.

When government "reforms"
intrude into our lives to the

point of restricting freedom of
individual choices on what we

can enjoy, our basic concept of

liberty is threatened.

that menthol cigarettes increase the known

risks from smoking.The effort to ban menthol

is just another in a long series of attempts

by the politically correct crowd to force

Americans to give up their freedom to

choose to smoke a cigarette.

"Informed grown- Shouldn't People Keep

ups who decide

to smoke should

have the freedom

to choose menthol


Fighting ForThe Freedom

Of Choice?

The history of African Americans

in this country has been one of

fighting against paternalistic

limitations and for freedoms.

We all agree that children should

not smoke, but grown-ups who

How Should Our Choices Be Made?

In the American tradition, laws restricting

freedom of choice must be based on sound

reasoning, rational public policy and verifi-
able data while allowing for a minimum of

governmental intrusion. Menthol is a matter

of taste and preference. The body of scientific
evidence does not support the conclusion

can and should assess the risks of smoking

should have the freedom to choose whether

to smoke or not. If they choose to smoke,

they should have the freedom to choose to

smoke regular or menthol cigarettes. Please
visit and learn

more about how you can help prevent this
ban on menthol from being considered.

Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 5

Januarv 15-21. 2009


xrp "t" M x Free Pres Jan ----0 -----

American Legion to honor Chaplains
at Memorial Service, February 1st
J. Daniel McCarthy, Capt. USN (Ret.), JAG Corps will be the guest
speaker for the Four Chaplains Memorial Service, at 2 p.m., on Sunday,
February 1, 2009, at the Beaches Post 129, 1151 South 4th St., Jacksonville
Beach. Only 230 of the 902 young men survived on board the USAT
Dorchester on February 3, 1943; when the ship was sunk during WWII.
The Heroic Four Chaplains gave their life jackets to save four soldiers,
which left them with no means of survival. They locked arms and bowed
their heads in prayer as they went to their watery graves in the North
Atlantic, off the course of Greenland. Each chaplain received the Purple
Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously. All Military, and
the general public are invited.
The Chapel of Four Chapels, 1201 Constitution Avenue, in the
Philadelphia Navel Business Center, Bldg. 649, in Philadelphia, 19112.
Telephone (215) 218-1943, is open to visitors.

21st Annual JU Gospel Extravaganza
Jacksonville University will present its 21st Annual Gospel Extravaganza,
with Praise and Worship, on Monday, February 16, 2009 at 6:45 p.m., in the
Terry Concert Hall at Jacksonville University. The community is invited to
enjoy an inspirational evening of gospel music and dance. Admission is free
and open to the public. Info: 256-7150.

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 print-
ed on a space available basis until the date. Fax e-mail to
765-3803 or e-mail to

New Year Revival Featuring Rev.
Edwards at Historic Mt. Zion AME

Revive, renew and reconnect
through praise, worship and song at
the New Year Revival, Thursday
and Friday nights, January 22 23,
2009 at Historic Mount Zion AME
Church, as the anointed Reverend
Michael C. Edwards, senior pastor
of Tabernacle Baptist Institutional
Church, brings souls to Christ as the
revival evangelist. Worship service

will begin nightly at 7:00 pm.
The church is located downtown
at 201 E. Beaver Street, on the cor-
ner of Newnan and Beaver streets,
and has an elevator for easy access;
Reverend F.D. Richardson Jr. is the
For additional information or
transportation, please call the
church office at (904) 355-9475.

Local Attorney Offers Opportunity
for two(2) Students to Travel to D.C.
High School Seniors can try for a trip to the Inauguration of President
Barack Obama by writing a 100 Word Essay on the importance of this
Election. Prominent Jacksonville Attorney Eddie Farah has partnered
with Rev. Kenneth Adkins, former Jacksonville resident and Public
Relations Firm owner, and The First Jordan Grove Baptist Church of
Brunswick, GA; to sponsor a round-trip fare on a luxury motor coach to
the Inauguration, and hotel accommodations at the Baltimore, Md.
Berkshire Marriott, for the for two high school seniors that write the win-
ning essays.
Students entering the contest must complete a 100 word essay on the
importance of this election. All entries can be emailed to: Pastor Kenneth For more information, please call (912) 577-3729 or
(904 405-9498.

Join MAD DADS to help address the
Rise in Young Black Male Shootings
You don't have to be a "Dad" to participate in Crime Prevention
Activities with MAD DADS, the national organization working to help
prevent the deaths of our young Black Males. that continues as we enter
a new decade. MAD DADS is continuing community organizing, neigh-
borhood watches and neighborhood canvasses to break "the code of
silence" to aid in the prevention of more deaths.
Elder Donald Foy, Chapter President is working with Bishop Vaughn
McLaughlin, Pastor of The Potter's House Christian Fellowship. These
two strong men are asking other Community Leaders, Pastors, and mem-
bers of the community to join them in the effort to save lives.
For more information, please call (904) 781-0905.

Central Metropolitan CME to Hold
Inaugural Community Symposium
The Central Metropolitan CME Church, Clarence Kelby Heath, Pastor;
located at 4611 North Pearl Street; invites the community to attend a
Symposium, entitled: Barack Hussein Obama 44th President of the
United States Inaugural. Tuesday, January 20, 2009. An Interfaith
Service and Breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Witnessing
of the Historic Changing of America History Satellite Viewing of
President Obama's Swearing-in Ceremony, with an audience "Talk
An Inaugural Reception will begin at 5 p.m..
A Youth Public Forum/Audience Talk Back will follow at 6 p.m.
All of the events on Tuesday, January 20th are FREE and open to the
public. Students, parents and the general public are welcome.

24th Women of Christ Luncheon
Women for Christ will hold their 24th Annual Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.,
Tuesday, February 17, 2009, at the Prime Osborne Convention Center.
Nationally syndicated columnist Shaunti Feldhan, will be the honored
guest speaker.
Ms. Shaunti Feldhaln's best-sellers include for Women Only: What
You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men and For Men Only: A
Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women, have sold more than
a million copies and have been translated into eighteen languages. The
author says, "I'm author, speaker, policy analyst, ministry worker and
newspaper columnist, but most of all, I know I am the child of a loving
Father." Behind this incredibly bright and gifted mind is an abiding faith.
All who hear her are encouraged and refreshed.
For reservations and more information, please call (904) 387-9298.

Inaugural "Day of Prayer"
Churches around the city are planning Prayer and Worship on January
20, 2009, the Inauguration Day of the 56th President of the United States,
Barack Obama, the first President of Color.
A Candlelight Prayer Service will begin at 6 p.m. at Hemming Park.
Everyone is invited and asked to bring candles.
Noon Prayer Services will be held at Stay in Touch with God Church
on Paris Avenue; Agappe on Phoenix Avenue; Fresh Start Church on
Edison Ave.; and at 7 p.m. at All About Jesus Church, on West 41 st Street;
and Pastor Washington's Church, on Soutel Drive.
Apostle Earl S. Thomas and First Lady Shannon Thomas, True House
Deliverance Temple, sponsors. For information call: 766-1666.

Pray Jacksonville Monthly Meeting
Christians will be coming together to pray for Jacksonville, and our
leaders at the first monthly Pray Jacksonville gathering of 2009, on
Wednesday, January 21st, at W.W. Gay Mechanical Contractors, 424
Stockton Street at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be served. Pray will be held for
the late Ted Hires, Justice Coalition Founder.
All elected leaders have been invited to attend and will be invited to
the stage for prayer. Pray Jacksonville was born from an initiative by the
Justice coalition to bring the city together to pray against crime in
Jacksonville. Pray Jacksonville's mission is to bring together the body of
Christ in prayer and fasting Pray Jacksonville reaches out to pastors ,
intercessory prayer groups and prayer warriors for commitment to pray
for a heart change in our children, families, churches, leaders and busi-
nesses, ultimately resulting in a safer city. For more information on Pray
Jacksonville, go to
RSVP by calling the Justice Coalition at (904) 783-6312.

Bethel Baptist Institutional Church
215 Bethel Baptist Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202 (904) 354-1464

Weekly Services

Seeking the lost for Christ
Matthew 28:19 20

Pastor Landon Williams

8:00 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

5863 Moncrief Rd. Jacksonville, FL 32209 (904) 768-8800 FAX 764-3800

Pastor Rudolph
McKissick, Sr.
Senior Pastor

Sunday Morning Worship
7:40 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
Church school
9:30 a.m.
The Word from the Sons
and Daughters of Bethel
3rd Sunday 3:30 p.m.

Midweek Services
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 450 p.m.

Pastor Rudolph
McKissick, Jr.
Senior Pastor

Radio Ministry
WCGL 1360 AM Thursday 8:15 -8:45 a.m.
AM 1400 Thursday 7:00 8:00 p.m.
TV Ministry
WTLV Channel 12 Sunday's at 6:30 a.m.

Grace and Peace

* *A Full Gospel Baptist Church *

Join Us for One of Our Services
Early Worship 8:00 a.m.
Sunday School 9:15 a.m.
Morning Worship 10:45 a.m.
1st Sunday 3:45 p.m.

Lord's Supper & Baptism
3rd Sunday 7:00 p.m.
Bible Study 7:00 p.m.

Noon Day Worship

Youth Church 7:00 p.m.

The hurh'Tht Rachs.Uptoeod nd Ot t Ma

Sunday School
9 a.m.
Morning Worship
10 a.m.
Lord's Supper
Second Sunday
3:00 p.m.
Evening Worship
Every 3rd & 4th
4 :00 p.m.

A church

that's on the

move in

worship with

prayer, praise

and power!

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

Pastor Ernie Murray
Welcomes you!

January 15-21, 2009

Pai!e 6 Ms. Perrv's Free Press

Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 7

Will the Obama's find a

Black Church to call home? -

President-elect Barack Obama
has said the African-American
church transformed him from a
skeptic to a believer.
He has spoken appreciatively of its
vibrant worship and written about
how the black church experience
has moved him to tears. And he has
credited African-American congre-
gations for their work in helping the
powerless and in speaking truth to

But when he officially takes up
residence in the White House, will
the nation's first African-American
president attend a predominantly
African-American church? And, in
a larger sense, does it matter if he
does or doesn't?
No matter where the Obama fam-
ily decides to attend church, their
choice will be dissected and ana-
Some observers think he ultimately
may choose a black church, given
his previous attraction to the pre-
dominantly African-American
Trinity United Church of Christ in
Chicago, which he made his church
home before the fiery sermons of its
pastor, Jeremiah Wright, became an
Noel Erskine, associate professor
at Candler School of Theology in
Atlanta, suspects the president-elect
is considering another African-
American congregation, after his
mainly positive experience at
Erskine expects black congrega-
tions to be part of the Obama fami-
ly's search "as a continuation of the
family's experience of church,"
including his wife's and his mother-

in-law's roots in the African
Methodist Episcopal Church.
"I feel that they will give as care-
ful a search for church as they gave
for the school of the girls," he
said."Perhaps the compromise will
be that since they chose a white
school for the girls they will choose
a black church (and) Sunday school
for them."
After the controversy surrounding
Wright, University of Chicago
Divinity School professor Dwight
Hopkins thinks Obama might
Choose a black congregation that
is in some respects milder than
"There are various forms of
preaching and, of course,
African-American preaching
has various styles," said
Hopkins, a theology professor
who is a member of Trinity. "I
could see him and the first family
settling in a church in the D.C. area
that would have the same liberal
and progressive theological bent
but the emotive and bodily expres-
sion of that element might be more
toned down, mild in that sense."
Washington has an array of pre-
dominantly black churches from
which to choose, including
Metropolitan African Methodist
Episcopal Church, Shiloh Baptist
Church and Covenant Baptist
Although Hopkins can imagine
Obama attending a black church, he
cautioned against making too much
about Obama, or his feelings about
race, based solely on where he
chooses to worship on Sunday
"It's clear that he enjoys (the)
black church, he enjoys black wor-
ship," he said.
Nick Shapiro, a spokesman for
Obama's transition team, said,
"What church President-elect
Obama chooses is a private deci-
sion that he will make."
In his autobiographical books,
Obama captured the ethos of the
. African-American church and what
he found attractive about it.
"Out of necessity, the black church
rarely had the luxury of separating
individual salvation from collective

salvation," he wrote in The
Audacity of Hope. "It had to serve
as the center of the community's
political, economic and social as
well as spiritual life; it understood
in an intimate way the biblical call
to feed the hungry and clothe the
naked and challenge powers and
Hearing Wright preach about "the
audacity of hope" brought Obama
to tears, he wrote in Dreams from
My Father.
"Those stories-of survival and
freedom and hope-became our
story, my story; the blood that had
spilled was our blood, the tears our
tears," Obama wrote, "until this
black church, on this bright day,
seemed once more a vessel carrying
the story of a people into future
generations and into a larger
Whether Obama chooses a black
church or not, his choice will be
dissected and analyzed, just as
many of his other choices have
been and will be, said Eddie S.
Glaude Jr., professor of religion and
African-American studies at
Princeton University.
"No matter what he chooses,
where he chooses to attend, his
choice is already overdetermined
by the legacy, the history of race
and religion in the United States,"
said Glaude. "It's like everything
with this presidency. It is freighted
with symbolic and substantive sig-
nificance. ... It's just uncharted ter-

Bishop T.D. Jakes

Bishop Eddie Long

Watchdog Group Places Popular Pastors

on List of Predatory Preachers List

An independent group that moni-
tors just how "Christian" certain
ministries are when it comes to
handling the money has put several
African-American ministries on its
"donor-alert" list.
Cited among its top 30 untrust-
worthy religious organizations are
the Atlanta-based ministries of the
Rev. Creflo Dollar and Bishop
Eddie Long, and the Dallas-based
ministry of Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Traditionally, the Matthews, N.C.-
based Wall Watchers releases its list
of "Shining Light" ministries and a
regular bulletin of "donor alerts" to
help unwary givers avoid falling
prey to what it deems as question-
able ministries. This is the first
year, however, that it has released
an official list of "30 Donor Alert
Ministries" through its Web site,
"Most donors expect charitable
organizations to act on behalf of

others and not for greed, personal
aggrandizement, or other reasons;
however, ministries are operated by
human beings who are subject to
the shortcomings common to man,
including what some may call the
'principle of ethical entropy,' or as
Christians call it, sin," the evangel-
ical organization states in introduc-
tion of the newly released list.
"Donors do not always have the
power or know-how to pursue
accountability; however, each
donor can do their part by making
an informed giving decision by
looking at various factors and
issues," it added.
The group takes into consideration
such issues as lack of transparency,
high salaries, misleading marketing
efforts, revocation of tax-exempt
status, ties to cultic practices, and
current investigations.
The ministries of Dollar and Long,
along with four others, are being

investigated by a Senate tax over-
sight committee for their spending
practices, which allegedly included
fat salaries and extravagant pur-
chases like private jets, Rolls-
Royces, sprawling cribs and tons of
other tax-free goodies. Others mak-
ing the bad list are Long Paula
White Ministries, Bennie Hinn
Ministries, Joyce Meyers Ministries
and Kenneth Copeland Ministries.
"As a Christian myself, and one
who believes in tithing, I feel I have
a right to know where my money
goes," he explained. "If a person
gets a tax deduction for a donation,
the deduction and donation should
be for a legitimate purpose."
TD Jakes Ministries earned a
"Transparency Grade of 'F,'"
Inspirational Network (INSP) for
"High Salary," and Trinity
Broadcasting Network (TBN) for
four previous "Donor Alerts" that
covered several issues.

Civil Rights Presidential Inaugural Gala and Breakfast Planned
Washington, D.C. In honor of on Washington in 1963 with SCLC Coalition. Holder, President of the Coalition
the legacy of Martin Luther King founder Dr King in pursuit of his In addition, SCLC will also host of Black Trade Unionists AFL-

Jr. and in celebration of the elec-
tion of Barack Obama as the 44th
President of the United States,
Charles Steele, Jr., President and
CEO of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference (SCLC)
announced that it is partnering
with leading civil rights organiza-
tions to host an inaugural ball'-on
the evening of January 20th. The
evening will feature the nation's
civil rights pioneers who marched

dream, and who helped paved the
way for this momentous day.
Co-hosting organizations include
the A. Philip Randolph Institute
(APRI), MLK National Memorial
Project Foundation, Inc., National
Action Network, National
Coalition on Black Civic
Participation (NCBCP), National
Council of Negro Women, Inc.
(NCNW), the National Urban
League and Rainbow Push

a Prayer Unity Breakfast on
Monday, January 19th Martin
Luther King Jr. Day to honor Dr.
King and pay tribute to many of
the organizations and individuals
that participated in the historic
1963 March on Washington.
Expected attendees include
Martin L. King, III, Rev. Jesse
Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, the
Hon. John Lewis (D-GA),U.S.
Attorney General nominee Eric

CIO Bill Lucy, Chair Emeritus
NCNW Ms. Dorothy Height, Rev.
Walter Fauntroy, President of
APRI Ms. Clayola Brown, Rev.
Joseph Lowery and Ms. Juanita
Abernathy. Gospel singing sensa-
tion Dottie Peoples will perform at
the breakfast. To purchase tickets
or for more information, go to:

___________._.....__. ..

Colr, utPedcur & elaerQA ermnen Coor

MaicreSei4o 4 u

What YOU Need to Know
Do you use "rabbit ears" or a rooftop antenna to watch TV on your analog set? If so, you may no longer be able to receive TV signals
after the "digital TV transition!" After February 17, 2009, the government is making all full-power commercial broadcast TV stations
switch entirely to digital. You may need to make some changes to get the new digital signals and continue to view your favoriteTV
stations. Take action now to make sure you're not left in the dark
Prepare Now!
The government says, don't waste any time,"Apply Buy and Try!" APPLY by calling I -888-DTV-2009 or visiting
to request up to two $40 government coupons to save money on new converters. BUY your converter box at a local consumer
electronics retailer within 90 days after the coupons are mailed to you...take it home and TRY it by connecting it to your "rabbit ears"
TV...and enjoy the great new picture and sound of digital TV,
Don't Forget the Antenna
The right antenna is needed for great digital reception. Ask your consumer electronics retailer or visit for more
information about yourTV antenna. You may need a new antenna in order for your analogTV to work with a converter box.
You May Be Ready Already...
IF all yourTVs are hooked up to cable or satellite service...or if you have a newTV with a digital're ready now for the digital
TV transition. Call your local cable operator for more information, or visit

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Januarv 15-21. 2009


January 15-21, 2009

Paye 8 Ms. Perrv's Free Press

x 6, U-lx-x .

Army has been dismissing so many
overweight applicants that its top
recruiter, trying to keep troop num-
bers up in wartime, is considering
starting a fat farm to transform
chubby trainees into svelte soldiers.
Maj. Gen. Thomas Bostick, of the
Army Recruiting Command, said
he wants to see a formal diet and fit-
ness regimen running alongside a
new school at Fort Jackson that
helps aspiring troops earn GEDs
Obesity looms as a bigger chal-
lenge for in the years ahead than
any other problem that keeps young
people from entering the military,
including lack of a GED or high
school diploma, misconduct or
criminal behavior and other health
issues such as eye or ear problems.
According to Defense Department
over the past four years 47,447
potential recruits flunked induction
physical at the nation's 35 Military
Entrance Processing Stations
because they were overweight.
That is a fraction of the 205,902
such exams given in 2005 and


250,764 in 2008, but still amounts
to a hefty number and comes at a
time when the military is more
interested than ever in recruits. The
Army and Marine Corps together
paid more than $600 million over
the past year in bonuses and other
financial incentives to volunteers.
While the services have reported
exceeding their recruiting goals in
the past year, the Pentagon remains
under pressure to find a constant
flow of recruits. The Defense
Department plans to boost the
active duty Army by 65,000 to a
total of 547,000 soldiers by next
year, and grow the Marines from
175,000 to 202,000 by 2011.
In an interview during a visit to
the Army's largest training installa-
tion, Bostick said a slim-down
camp could be part of the new
Army Prep School at Fort Jackson,
S.C. The school opened in August,
and gives recruits who didn't gradu-
ate from high school the chance to
earn a GED before starting their
nine weeks of basic training.
"We are looking at the Army Prep

Getting Your Hair

Readv for DC Cold

L-. Dear Dyrinda,
I'm heading to
D.C. for the
inauguration of Barack Obama and
I'm getting worried about what to
do with my hair. I'm a true Florida
girl and I'm worried if the snow
and possibly rain hit my new hair
do, then what do I do? Do you
have any suggestion on how to
combat the winter hair undos,
while still trying to look fabulous?
La Shawn, ( a true Michele
Obama wanna be), Arlington
Well La Shawn, I know everyone
and there mother is trying to head
up to Washington, D.C. for the
event of the century and you'd bet-
ter believe the sisters will have
their hair tight! And if we are
going to model our new first lady,
then I would suggest starting with
a easy style. I say this because you
know its going to be cold, and
there is no reason for you to be
cute and cold, so when you're out-
side put on your hat. One day of
looking fabulous is not worth your
health. Now is not the time to pull
your hair away from your face.
Stay away from updos, because
the minute you head inside and
take off your hat that updo will be
no more- and we all know you can
never get our hair exactly the way
your styles had it. Like I stated
before, opt for a smooth wrap or a
sleek low pull back. This way it
will be easier for you to maintain
your look. Another option would
be a roller set. Because of the cold
weather there will be no low to any
humidity so your curls will hold
Also, looks with bangs are popu-
lar in the winter because they draw
attention to the eyes, frame the
face, and minimize the winter pal-

lor of the skin. Sideswept bangs
can be dramatic and fun, while full
cut bangs are a classic look that
wears well in any season. But if
you are going to be in the cold
weather for longer than just that
one day, keep in mind that Cold
winter air is dryer than during the
rest of the year, and using an
appropriate conditioner is neces-
sary to keep hair properly soft and
moisturized. Hot oil treatments can
also help if hair is particularly dry
and brittle.
DS Spa and Salon is located at
9810 Baymeadows Rd Suite #2.
Reach her at 645-9044.

Pvt. Idalia Halley,18, left, of Columbia, S.C. stands with her 'battle
buddy' Pvt. Katrina Thompkins, 19 of Greenville, S.C. during rifle
training at a shooting range at Fort Jackson, S.C. Both women had
issues with their weight but with five weeks of training behind them
and doing daily push-ups, sit-ups and running they are confident they

are ready to pass basic training.
School as a place where we might
send recruits that have weight
issues," the two-star general said.
The prep school is housed in sev-
eral one- and two-story buildings
on a small part of this sprawling
training installation. The class-
rooms and living quarters are
Spartan. GED candidates wear
Army uniforms, exercise before
breakfast and study under the guid-
ance of enlisted officers. They do
not mix or conduct weapons train-
ing with soldiers participating in the
nine weeks of basic training maneu-
vers elsewhere on the fort.
Bostick argues that many of the
young people who want to join the
Army have a hard time understand-
ing the importance of daily exercise
and a healthy diet, but could get
within the limits with guidance.
"It took them 18 years to get to
where they are at, so it's very diffi-
cult for them to lose the kind of
weight that they need to on their
own," said Bostick, who did not
provide any timing for when his
idea might reach fruition, nor any
projection of its potential cost.
Besides basic weight and height
guidelines, Bogan said the Army

uses body fat percentages and an
aerobics test to determine whether
recruits can withstand the rigors of
basic training. Recruits must step
up and down on a riser at a certain
rate per minute, then perform some
push-ups and sit-ups and have their
heart rates measured.
One of Bogan's recruits, 18-year-
old Idalia Halley, was shocked
when she found she was too heavy
to enter boot camp.
"My mom was like, 'You better
come run with me,'" Halley
recalled, saying it took several
weeks of healthy eating and runs
with her Army-veteran mom to
finally get into the service.
On her second try, Halley said she
weighed in at 162 pounds and
logged a 30 percent rate of body fat
to meet the Army's standard.
Toting her M-16 during weapons
exercises in basic training, Halley
said she'd slimmed down even more
in the first weeks of training.
"I know I've lost some weight
because I have to pull my pants up
tighter," the Army private said.
"And besides, I don't think the
food's all that great except break-



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Army Recruiter Weighing Fat Camp for Applicants

New Year's resolutions have got-
ten a bad rap. Most folks set them
out of wishful thinking on New
Year's Day, but don't have a clear
vision or realistic plan to reach
them. By the end of the month,
they're long forgotten and the fol-
lowing year it is proclaimed that
"resolutions don't work." But reso-
lutions or goals, do work, if you
don't break these three rules:
1. Aiming at too much
Sure, you may have a long list of
bad habits you'd like to break, but
if you resolve to break them all at
once, you're likely to overwhelm
yourself and give up. Instead, build
your confidence by setting small
goals that you can reach in the near
term. Make your goals small, spe-
cific and attainable.
For example, if your goal is to lose
40 pounds and you've identified 10
bad habits that have led to your
weight gain, start by changing just
one or two habits. Replace your
afternoon visits to the vending
machine with a healthy snack you
keep in your desk, or replace 30

minutes of television viewing with
a brisk walk with someone in your
household. Break your goals into
bite-sized pieces.
2. Not aiming at all
Worse than aiming too high is
having no vision for where you are
headed. Goals contribute to happi-
ness and well being. They don't
have to be daunting or terribly seri-
ous. Create "fun goals," centered
around activities that bring you joy
and lots of positive emotion.
Perhaps it's a hobby you commit to
engaging in at least once a week or
something you add to your sched-
ule that you can look forward to.
3. Aiming at the past
People often feel pressured to
"catch up" on all the things they
think they should have done last
year or the year before, so they pile
on resolutions out of anxiety over
missed opportunities and procrasti-
nation. Can you relate? Forgive
yourself for what you didn't do in
the past and focus on the present.
It's the only moment you can do
anything about.

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STDs Sore Among Black Women
U.S. syphilis rates rose for a seventh year in 2007, driven by gay and
bisexual men, while chlamydia reached record numbers and gonorrhea
remained at alarming levels -- especially among African-Americans.
Blacks make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, but account for
about 70 percent of gonorrhea cases and almost half of chlamydia
and syphilis cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Black women ages 15 to 19 have the highest rates of chlamydia and
gonorrhea, and gonorrhea rates for blacks overall were 19 times higher
than for whites, the CDC said.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea are easily diagnosed and treated, but fre-
quently have no symptoms and remain undetected.
Untreated, chlamydia and gonorrhea -- both bacterial infections -- can
cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women. The two
infections also can cause ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain and
other health problems.

3 Mistakes That Will Sabotage

Your New Years Resolutions

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Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 9

.laniiarv 15-21. 2009


Inaugural Activities

to Many to Name

Ifyou're headed to the nation's Capital with the other two
million anticipated citizens, dress warm, wear comfortable
shoes, bring your wallets and be prepared for long lines
1 everywhere. Just about everyone who can is hosting an
I activity/ball for the inaugural celebration. With over 300 I
planned festivities, we have highlighted on just a few events
during the celebration's main days.
STuesday, January 20, 2009
The 5,000 available parade tickets sold out in 60 seconds on I
I Ticketmaster. you can still view the parade along the route where there
are many parade viewing parties. The Secret Service is requiring guests
enter the security checkpoints at very early hours. At least a handful of
parties have been cancelled due to the early morning deadlines to load in
their guests.
Inaugural Brunch for Change from 9a.m. 2 p.m. at the Monocle.
Congressman Jim Pascrell is the Honorary Host of the event
New York State Society Pre-Inaugural Parade Brunch at Willard
Intercontinental Hotel ($175 ticket)
Inaugural Galas and Balls
Many inaugural balls and galas will take place at venues throughout
I Washington, DC from January 15-24th, 2009. The official balls are
planned by the Presidential Inaugural Committee and unofficial balls and
parties are planned by the State Societies of Washington, DC and a vari-
ety of other organizations.
Official Presidential Inaugural Committee Balls
All official balls require an invitation to purchase a ticket. The President-
elect and the Vice President-elect will appear at each of the 10 inaugural
President-elect Barack Obama will host a Youth Inaugural Ball, five
Regional Inaugural balls, and a ball for his Home States Illinois
(Renaissance Washington Hotel) and Hawaii (Mandarin Hotel).
Vice President-elect Joe Biden will host a ball for his Home States as I
I well: Delaware and Pennsylvania (Ritz-Carlton). These balls round out I
the list of official inaugural balls to be held on Tuesday, January 20,
along with the previously announced Neighborhood Inaugural Ball and
Commander in Chief's Ball.
The Youth Ball, to be held at the Washington Hilton, is intended for
young Americans aged 18-35 Tickets will be available at a reduced price
of $75. Performances include Kanye West, Fall Out Boy and an A-list
performer to be named shortly. Hosted by an A-list celebs with remote
locations around the country.
The Regional Inaugural Balls are an inaugural tradition that President-
elect Obama will continue, inviting guests from the Midwest, the West, I
I the East, the South, and the Mid-Atlantic regions to their own
celebrations. Tickets will be available to invited guests for $150.
Southern Inaugural Ball AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC,
TN, and TX invited guests at the National Guard Armory
Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball Enlisted active duty and
reserve military; National Building Museum
Unofficial Inaugural Balls and Galas on January 20th:
All America Ball 9p.m. la.m. at Westin Washington DC City Center
Hotel ($175 ticket)
American Music Inaugural Ball Two-ball event (3500 guests) event to
be held at the'Marrion \ardmanii Park Hotel. (1) Legends Ball hosted by
I Dionne Warwick (black tie) ($450 ticket)(2) Urban Ball hosted by I
I Ludacris (dress to impress) ($350 ticket or $675 to attend both)
American Indian Inaugural Ball 8:00pm at Hyatt Regency Crystal City
at Reagan National Airport
Ancestors Dream Inaugural Ball Gaylord National Resort from 8pm to
2am, hosted by the Prince George's County Presidential Committee
BET Inaugural Ball Mandarin Oriental hotel from 9 p.m. to 2 p.m.
with proceeds benefiting America's Promise Alliance.
Bytes & Books Inaugural Ball 7:00pm at Folger Shakespeare Library
at 201 East Capitol Street SE
Brandywine Street Association Inaugural Ball Carnegie Institution of
Science from 8 p.m. to 1a.m.
I The Creative Coalition Inaugural Gala Ball Pre-ball VIP dinner, con- I
cert and inaugural ball at Harman Center for the Arts. The event is
expected to include a large number of celebrities including Spike Lee,
Susan Sarandon, and Elvis Costello.
DC's 51st Inaugural Ball John Wilson Building at 8p.m.
Equality Ball Presented by the LBGT community (HRC, PFLAG, etc),
at the Mayflower Hotel. Appearances by Cyndi Laufer, Melissa
Etheridge, Rufus Wainwright and others. ($375 ticket.
The George Washington University Inaugural Ball 8:00 p.m. at the
Omni Shoreham Hotel at 2500 Calvert Street, NW
Georgetown Harbour Inaugural Gala 8p.m. sponsored by: Tony &
I Joe's Seafood Place in Georgetown's Washington Harbour
Google Event The Google party will be at 9 p.m.-2a.m. on at the
Mellon Auditorium (1301 Constitution). Event will be a "lounge", an
I alternative to traditional balls, which means no black tie.
I Heroes Red. White & Blue Inaugural Ball 9p.m. at the Warner Theater.
Celebrate America's military heroes and to honor injured service mem-
bers and families at Walter Reed and National Naval Medical Centers.
The Hill Ball B Smith's Restaurant from 8:30 p.m.-ll:30p.m.
Historic Inaugural Ball 8p.m. to la.m. at the Historic Society of
Washington D.C., at 801 K St NW, Washington D.C.
I Howard University Inaugural Champagne Brunch. Parade Viewing and I
I Gala Howard's Armour J. Blackburn Center I
I Land of Enchantment Inaugural Ball Smithsonian National Museum I
I of the American Indian at 4th St. and Independence Ave. SW
SOfficial Obama Inauguration Celebration Party Fur (33 Patterson
I Street, NE)
Inaugural Peace Ball 7 p.m. at Smithsonian Postal Museum. Hosted
by Busboys and Poets, the Smithsonian Postal Museum and special guest
host Harry Belafonte, the ball will be the largest gathering of peace
activists in D.C. without a protest. ($165 ticket)
Pearl Gala Hosted by Asian Americans for Obama from 7 PM-midnight
at Mandarin Oriental. ($250 ticket) I
I The President's Ball 9 p.m. 1 a.m. at The Washington Times Building I
I ($250 ticket) I

Will history continue? Six-way race for GOP

chairman's job includes two black candidates

As the nation prepares to make
history with the inauguration of the
first Black president, the national
Republican party may be ready to
fight fire with fire with it's first
African-American Chairman.
The contest for the GOP top seat
comes as Republican leaders seek
to redefine their message in a
diverse society known as the arche-
type for southern white men.
The six candidates are four white
men, including two from the South,
and two black men: Michael Steele,
the former lieutenant governor of
Maryland, and J. Kenneth
Blackwell, the former Ohio secre-
tary of state.
Because it is a six-way race in
which ballots are cast anonymously,
it is impossible to project who
might win. But party leaders said
Mr. Blackwell and Mr. Steele were
viable candidates, particularly Mr.
Blackwell, who has strong support
from social conservatives.
The leadership struggle follows a
campaign in which Democrats, led
by President-elect Barack Obama,
made geographical and demograph-
ic inroads, despite eight years in
which President Bush and a previ-
ous party chairman, Ken Mehlman,
tried in their minds to expand the
diversity of the party.
The Republicans are grappling
with sharp ideological and geo-
graphical divides, and the question
of the candidates' race has not been
raised by the committee or the con-
tenders remaining the elephant in
the room.
Nevertheless, racial strains have
emerged in the contest. Katon
Dawson, the South Carolina
Republican chairman, quit his
membership in an all-white country

lvicnael Steei
club soon before he joined the race.
And another candidate, Chip
Saltsman, the Tennessee party
chairman, was roundly criticized
for distributing a holiday CD to
party members that included a par-
ody song called "Barack the Magic
Some Republicans argued that
electing a black chairman could
prove helpful as the party struggles
to rebuild.
"Race is not a consideration of
why a person should become chair-
man of the R.N.C., but if the nation
can celebrate its first African-
American president, I would cer-
tainly think the Republican Party
could celebrate its first African-
American chairman," said Jim
Greer, the Florida Republican
chairman, who endorsed Mr. Steele
last week to the New York Times.
"There certainly is an advantage of
a credible message of inclusion if
you have a minority as chairman."
If Mr. Blackwell or Mr. Steele
wins the chairmanship, it will still
be difficult for Republicans to com-

J. Kenneth Blackwell
pete against a Democratic Party that
made its way into the history books
in November. The new president
will be sworn in just a week before
the 168 members of the committee
are to gather here to choose the
"I don't get the sense that race is
a driver in the context of this elec-
tion," said Phil Musser, a
Republican strategist who has been
leading an effort to get the next
party leader to invest resources and
attention to improving the party's
technological abilities. "If it is, it's
a narrow minority. People are more
interested in the plans for the com-
mittee and the ideological perspec-
tives of the candidates running for
chairman than they are about eth-
Beyond that, given Mr. Obama's
election and the lopsided support
that Democrats drew from African-
American voters, several
Republicans said it was unrealistic
to expect the party to make serious
gains among black voters, at least
for now. Instead, they said, the

party should seek to recover its
standing, in particular among
Hispanic voters, where Republicans
lost ground this year.
Mr. Steele has drawn criticism
from conservatives because, while
he opposes abortion, he supports an
exemption in cases of incest or
when the life of the woman is in
"Those who want to obsess on
those issues will continue to lose
the American public, which is
focusing on the economy and edu-
cation and national security," said
Mr. Greer, the Florida chairman.
"Values and principles are the foun-
dation of our party. But if you are
out of a job, or your 401(k) has
halved in value, people are looking
for leadership in those areas."
Mr. Blackwell, who as Ohio's sec-
retary of state was at the center of a
controversy over voter disenfran-
chisement, is running as a social
conservative, drawing support from
that solid segment of the party.
Over the years, the party has had
its share of criticism over race mat-
ters in contests for public office.
And the tensions it faces as it tries
to deal with these issues were illus-
trated by problems Mr. Dawson and
Mr. Saltsman encountered.
Mr. Saltsman declined to
renounce or apologize for sending
out the parody song, saying it was a
harmless joke. (Mr. Blackwell and
Mr. Steele said they found nothing
offensive about it.) Nonetheless, he
said, the episode had hurt him.
"I don't think it helped," he said.
"But I think we've gotten past it
and people kind of see it for what it
is, and what it was, and now my
challenge is to talk about the future
of the Republican Party."

RIAA/Feeding America (formerly known as Second Harvest) Inaugural
Ball Ibiza from 10pm 2am featuring Rihanna
Sikh Inaugural Ball Benefitting the DC Boys & Girls Club, the event
will be held at the Ascot-I the Indian Experience
The Spirit of Hope Inaugural Ball The Washington Club at Patterson
House Mansion at 15 DuPont Circle
Unity in Service Inaugural Ball Trinity University, Main Hall Social
Room at 125 Michigan Ave NE
Vanity Fair/Estee Lauder Party at The Park from 10 to 4am (invite only)
We the People Presidential Inaugural Gala & Ball Hyatt Regency
Washington on Capitol Hill; Organized by campaign volunteers, the gala
1. recognizes the hard work and dedication of volunteers across the coun-
try with a VIP celebration, featuring open bar, three-course dinner and
live entertainment. Hill Harper and BeBe Winans plus event hosts
1-------- --------------- --- -


Page 10 Ms. Perry's Free Press January 15-21, 2009
- U

Martin Luther King
Jr. Day of Service
Hands On Jacksonville is working
together with several organizations
to host an important day of service
on January 17th in honor of
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day called
the Global Peace Tiles Project.
Volunteers are needed for set-up
and break down of project area, to
assist children in creating Peace
Tiles artwork and to engage com-
munity members and parents in the
day of celebration in the 32208 zip
code. For more information, call

Soul Release Poetry
Soul Release Poetry's "Capricorn
Edition", the longest running spo-
ken word poetry event in northeast
Florida with an open mic for poets
and singers, will be held on
Saturday, January 17th at Mr Q -
1440 Dunn Avenue (inside Dunn
Ave Plaza next to Adam and Eve).
For more information, visit
The show kicks off at 8 p.m.

Open Auditions for
Six female actresses (18-40), two
female and two male dancers (18-
30) and one female actress (10-14
w/parental consent) are needed for
the upcoming production of
BlakWoman Dynamik. Singers are
also encouraged to audition.
Auditions are on a first come, first
serve basis on Saturday, January
17th from 10 a.m. 3 p.m. Sample
scripts can be downloaded at Auditions
will be held at Karpeles Museum
(Lower Level) 101 W 1st St. Jax,
FL 32206. For more information
call call Jana Bradley at 482-9190.

Annual King Parade
The annual parade honoring the
slain civil rights leader martin
Luther King, Jr., will take place on
Monday, January 19th at 10 a.m.
in downtown Jacksonville.
Participantion by local high school

bands, ROTC units, church auxil-
laries, civic organizations and oth-
ers have made this annual event the
biggest parade Jacksonville has
seen. A "Holiday Celebration" will
be held at the parades end.

Old Timers
Cookout Reunion
The Annual Old Timers Cook Out
and reunion will take place from 8
a.m. 8 p.m. on Monday, January
19th at Lonnie Miller Park. Bring
your own food and grills with
music by DJ Roach. This event is
sponsored by Ronald "Track" Elps
and friends.

Watch the
The Main Library invites the pub-
lic to witness history on Tuesday,
January 20th to watch history in
the making with the Inauguration of
the President beginning 12:00 Noon
at various places in the Main

Annual Ringling
Brothers Circus
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
Bailey Circus will be in town
January 22-25 at the Veterans
Memorial Arena. Call 353-3309 for

Ebony Fashion Fair
The 51st Annual Ebony Fashion
Fair sponsored by Alpha Kappa
Alpha Sorority will 1* held on
Friday, January 23rd, 2009 at 8
p.m.. Call Johnnetta Moore at 768-
2255 for more information.

Youth Needed to
Audition for Frat House
100 Youth Voices and Stage
Aurora Theatrical Company, Inc,
will be holding auditions for their
upcoming March production of
"Frat House" on January 24 & 25th.
Teens (8-19) be prepared to step,
sing and act. For more informa-
tion call 765-7372.

Zora Neale Hurston
Festival Bus Trip
The Clara White Mission is spon-
soring a bus trip to the Annual Zora
neal Hurston Festival in Eatonville,
FL on Saturday, January 24, 2009
The bus will leave at 8:30 a.m.
from the Gateway Shopping Center
Parking Lot and return at 7:00 p.m.
Bus price includes transportation
and refreshments (admission not
included.)For more information call

Angelia Menchan
Book Signing
On Saturday, January 24, 2009
from 12 3 p.m., the Highlands
Branch Library on Dunn Avenue
will host a book signing for
Jacksonville's Own, Angelia Vernon
Menchan. Please mark your calen-
ders. One dollar from each book
sold will be donated to the Donna
Hicken foundation to support
Breast Cancer Research.

Wynton Marsalis in
Concert at UNF
Jazz musician and trumpeter
Wynton Marsalis will be in concert
on Wednesday, January 24th at
7:30 p.m., playing at UNF Fine Arts
Center. For ticket information,
please call (904) 620-2878.

JCCI Training Series
All A-BOARD! Interested in
serving on a Nonprofit Board of
Directors but don't know what that
really means? Apply to the JCCI All
A Board Training Class to learn
the tools and basics of board serv-
ice. Classes begin on Tuesday,
January 27th from 5:30 7:30
p.m. Apply today by mailing

One act play
Summer in Sanctuary
The Museum of Contemporary Art
(MOCA) will present Summer in
Sanctuary a one act play told
through monologue, poetry, music

and multi-media by artist Al Letson.
The production chronicles his jour-
ney working at a summer camp in
Jacksonville. It will be held on
Thursday, January 29th, 30th and
31st at 7:30 p.m. at the MOCA
located at 333 N. Laura Street. For
tickets or more information, call
366-6911 ext 208.

Learn how to grow
Florida plants
Get the latest information on
plants, shrubs and trees with the
Extension Service's "Think
Natives" class. Participants will
learn how to identify, plant and
maintain wonderful Florida
Friendly species. It will be held on
Thursday, January 29th from 2-4
PM at the Webb-Wesconnett
Library, 6887 103rd St. The class is
free, but pre-registration is request- -
ed. Call 387-8850.

Community Conn.
Mardi Gras
Community Connections will
present their 2nd Annual Mardis
Gras on January 30, 2009 from 7-
9 p.m. at the Ritz Theatre & LaVilla
Museum. The Museum will include
hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, music,
dancing, silent auction, raffle draw-
ings, prizes for best costume and
crowning of the King and Queen of
Mardi Gras. The museum will also
be be open for tours. For tickets or
more information call 350-9949.

John Legend
in Concert
Grammy award winning artist will
be in concert at the Florida Theater
on Monday, February 2 at 8 p.m.
Tickets start at $50. Call 355-2787
for tickets or more information.

Author Lecture
on Ethics at UNF
Dr. Naomi Zack will discuss
"Ethics of Disaster" at 7:30 p.m. on
Monday, Feb. 2, at the University
Center on the University of North
Florida campus.
Zack has spoken widely and writ-
ten numerous articles on the issues


1st Jordan Grove Miss. Baptist
The First Jordan Grove Missionary Baptist Church will leave on
Monday, January 19th atO a.m. from the church located at 2004 MLK
Blvd. in Brunswick, Georgia. They will return at midnight on Tuesday,
January 20th. $380 ticket price includes transportation in a luxury
motorcoach and lodging at the Berkshire Marriott in Baltimore, MD.
For tickets or more information, call Pastor Adkins at 912-577-3729.

People of Color
Join People of Color to the Martin Luther King Celebration and
Presidential Inauguration in Washington DC. Buses will leave Jan. 18,
2009 and return Jan 21, 2009 For more detail please call 904-768-2955.

Cong. Corrine Brown
Congresswoman Corrine Brown is coordinating a bus trip to
Washington, D.C. for the upcoming Presidential Inauguration. The bus
will depart from the Gateway Mall on Sunday, January 18th at 9PM
and return on Wednesday, January 21st at 12-noon. Ticket price includes
transportation, lodging at the Hilton Baltimore, 2-meals, and a
Congressional Gala. Call 635-0635 for tickets or more information.

of race, gender and 17th century
philosophy. She has also authored
several books, including ,
"Philosophy of Science and Race,"
"Bachelors of Science: Seventeenth
Century Identity, Then and Now,"
"Race and Mixed Race" and the
short textbook "Thinking about
Race." Tickets for this free lecture
can be ordered online at

Club Meeting
Author Tina McElroy Ana will be
the guest speaker for the February
PRIDE Book Club meeting. Held
at the main Library Downtown, the
free meeting will be held on
Saturday, February 7th at 3:00
p.m. She will be discussing her
book "Taking After Mudear". For
more information call 630-2665.

Legends to Highlight
Jax Blues Festival
On February 8th 2009,
Jacksonville will get a major case of
the BLUES! Playing the Veteran's
Memorial Coliseum at 6 p.m., will

be Mel Waiters, Jeff Floyd, Theodis
Ealey, Bobby "Blue" Bland,
Clarence Carter, Latimore, Marvin
Sease and Sir Charles Jones all
sharing the Veteran's Memorial
stage. Tickets can be purchased at

Valentine's Day Dance
for Teens and Children
Stage Aurora is presenting teens a
chance to treat their special guy or
girl, Mom or Dad, or any other fam-
ily member or friend to an evening
of dancing, food, and fun! There
will be music, dancing and socializ-
ing for the under 18 crowd only.
The dance will take place on
Friday, February 13th from 5 9
p.m. at the Stage Aurora
Performance Hall in the Gateway
Town Center. For more information
or tickets, please call Stage Aurora
at 904 765-7372.

MiMlC IOI YOUQ KW N ews deadline is Monday at 6 p.m.
by the week you would like your information to be printed.
Information can be sent via email, fax, brought into our
office or mailed in. Please be sure to include the 5W's who,
what, when, where, why and you must include a contact
Email Fax (904) 765-3803
Mail: Coming Events Jacksonville Free Press
903 W. Edgewood Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32208

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What to do from social, volunteer, political and sports activities to self enrichment and the civic scene

Page 10 Ms. Perry's Free Press

January 15-21, 2009


Ms. Perry's Free Press Page 11

lanuiarvl-_71 '2nno01

By simply walking on stage to promote her
new HBO series "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective
Agency" at the Television Critics Association
conference last week, star Jill Scott revealed she
is six months pregnant with her first child.
The film, due to premiere on the network in
S March, is based on the best-selling novels by
Alexander McCall Smith and was filmed entire-
ly on location in Botswana.
Still, the actress, who is engaged to drummer Lil' John Roberts, says
she's glad she went through with the plans to film. "My doctors gave me
a clean bill of health and said you can do this, so I did it."
Scott, 36, is a three-time Grammy Award winner and was previously
seen on the big screen in Tyler Perry's 2007 film "Why Did I Get
ESPN The Magazine has hired rap star Lil
Wayne to cover red carpet arrivals for ESPN's
5th annual NEXT Big Weekend, which kicks -
off at 9 p.m. on Jan. 30 as part of Super Bowl "
weekend in Tampa.
The private, V.I.P. event is designed to
highlight what is next in sports, technology,
and lifestyle and from ESPN.
Wyclef Jean has been booked to perform, .
while celebrity DJ Samantha Ronson and
guest DJ/ESPN Analyst Marcellus "Dat /
Dude" Wiley will make special appearances ., i ."
Lil Wayne is already working for ESPN the Magazine as a blogger for
the publication's Web site and periodically comments about sports on the
24-hour sports network.
PBS has announced it will infuse hip hop
into a makeover of its 70s children's series
"The Electric Company" in an attempt to
.-" "* i connect with a new generation of viewers.
Known for utilizing sketch comedy, ani-
mation and songs to help elementary
school youth learn and develop literary
skills, the original "Electric Company"
premiered two years after "Sesame Street"
as a follow-up to the iconic children series in 1971.
The new version will ditch the use of sketch comedy and instead incor-
porate narrative threads that run throughout each show. The threads will
include jokes, singing and dancing while teaching five vocabulary words
per episode.
In addition, stories from the new "Electric Company" will focus on a
group of four kids who have superpowers that allow them to manipulate
words and help one another as well as stop the Pranksters, a rival group of
neighborhood bad guys.
The new Electric Company will premiere Jan. 19 on PBS Kids Go.

BET's Latest Reailty Show "Harlem Heights"

Focuses on New Twist Black Professionals

LOS ANGELES Viewers might
not recognize Brooke Crittendon,
one of the eight African-American
professionals starring on BET's new
reality series "Harlem Heights," but
they've probably heard of her ex-
fianc6, rapper Kanye West.
Crittendon, who works at MTV
and is no stranger to the reality
genre, said the reason she put her
life in front of the camera has a lot
to do with feeling misunderstood as
a famous person's other half.
"Because I played the background
to the person I was dating, I had to
go through people saying things
about me or assuming who I was,"
Crittendon told TV writers here. "I
just wanted to let people know who
I am and what I really do. I'm not
just this person's girlfriend."
"Harlem Heights," premiering
March 2 on BET, captures the
"young, black and fabulous crowd"
of one of New York's most famous
neighborhoods. The cast includes a
lifestyle editor for the basketball
publication Dime magazine, an
aspiring actress, a fashionista, a
young man contemplating a career
in politics and even a young dad.

Motown 50t
DETROIT A who's who of
Motown alumni returned to famed
Studio A ofHitsville USA this week
to officially kick off a year-long
celebration of the label's 50th
The Four Tops' Abdul "Duke"
Fakir was joined by other Detroit-
based Motown artists, including
Bobby Rogers of the Miracles,
Rosalind Ashford of Martha & the
Vandellas and Rare Earth's Gil
Bridges, Funk Brothers Uriel Jones,
Ivy Joe Hunter and Dennis Coffey,
producer/arrangers Paul Riser and
Johnny Allen, Motown manners
coach Maxine Powell and song-
writer Melvin Moore.
Many will spend the week work-
ing as celebrity docents at the
Motown Historical Museum,
housed in the company's original

It's a group of friends moving out of
college and into the working world.
"This show isn't 'The Hills,' said
BET president Loretha Jones. "The
cast was friends before, so their
relationships are natural and they
allowed us to follow them in such a
way that they were unconcerned
with the cameras being there, and
let us capture the real interactions."
Jones also said that unlike some
other reality shows about twen-
tysomethings, "Harlem Heights"
would explore not only emotional
drama, but also professional drama
and the excitement and celebrations
of last year's historical election
Participant Pierre Downing, who
works for a nonprofit organization
that does community development
in Harlem, said that "Harlem
Heights" will change the face of
young black America, because he
and his castmates aren't just ath-
letes, rappers or media moguls.
"Here you have college graduates
obtaining a higher level of success
and that needs to be shown," said
Downing. "All of us are here today
to show America we have a voice
and need to be recognized."

"Harlem Heights" creators Kurt
Williamson and Randolph Sturrup
said they chose the upper West Side
not only because of its history, but
its future.
"People are naturally drawn to
New York and when you add the
layer of Harlem, there's a certain
interest and intrigue in that," said
"And with Harlem currently

redefining itself," Sturrup said, "it
parallels what our cast is going
through in their lives."
"This influx of young, urban black
professionals that are really trying
to do it are creating a resurrection
of a new Harlem. There's a new
Harlem renaissance," said
Downing. "[Harlem] is our true
ninth character."

h Anniversary Festivities Off and Running

Duke Fakir of the Four Tops, left, with Maxine Powell, formerly in
charge of artist development.
Hitsville Headquarters in midtown Words series.
Detroit, as part of an In Their Own "Fifty years is a wonderful anniver-

sary," Fakir told
"You've got to give credit to the
songs, but of course you've got to
give credit to (Motown founder)
Berry Gordy for the vision. He had
the whole vision, and he made it
come true. It's just great to be part
of that legacy and still be alive to
talk about it."
Gordy did not attend the kickoff
event but sent a message that was
ready by Robin Tenrry, his grand-
niece and CEO of the Motown
museum. Gordy said he was "hon-
ored" by the celebration and noted
that, "Motown music was for every-
body, and it grew out of love. It has
spread around the world and has
become part of the culture and con-
sciousness in all seven continents,
and it all started right lere."

Castmember Ashlei and a friend Dawn


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January 15-21, 2009

Page 12 Ms. Perry's Free Press