Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:13
These pioneers endured discrimination and opened doors for the next generation without exception. The women we will honor at this year's Women of Achievement Breakfast on April 28th have felt the sting of racism in this great city we call the city of Roses. However, they struggled on, and in the tradition of Maya Angelou's poem, still they rose. Many of them met old man Jim Crow and discrimination in the southern states of Alabama and Mississippi. Leaving the south to come west for a better life, they were met again by old man Jim Crow wearing different suits called discrimination and segregation to cover-up who they were.
One of our honorees came to Pasadena with experience and degrees in hand but was not allowed to teach in the Pasadena School District because, as she was told, they already had their quota of Black teachers. Another was told she could only use her degree from Alabama A & M to be a cook because they didn't hire Black teachers. One who was a third generation Pasadenan at the time had earned a Masters in education, but had to drive daily to 139th School to teach because there was no room in Pasadena for a Black teacher. Another, with her degree in hand from Tuskegee, applied in Pasadena and was told that they couldn't hire her and it would be 10 to 15 years before they hire another Black teacher.
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 21:10
. . . The Failure of One May Cause Disaster
In the last few days, I have been interviewing the ten women who The Journal will be honoring at our annual Women of Achievement breakfast on April 28, 2012. With the exception of one of the women, they are all at least 80 years old. One is "only 78", another is 99 and will reach 100 a few months after the breakfast event.
Their lives are the base and root of Black survival and existence. They were all born at a time after the end of slavery but before the end of public policies and laws that approved of race discrimination in employment, housing, schools, voting, and generally, all public facilities and activities. They are the ultimate consumers of no taxation without representation.
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 22:10
During The Journal's 20 plus years of publishing, we have hosted a number of sponsored events. There has been the Pasadena Black Expo which we founded in 1990 and continued until approximately 1994; The Marketplaces, including The Children's Marketplace which we held for vendors and children under the age of 18; and the Jesus Is the Reason For the Season Gospel/Jazz Concert at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, featuring Jazz/Gospel saxophonists Ron Brown and Kirk Whalen and guitarist Doc Powell. All of these events have been our way of giving back to the community we live in and serve. My wife puts it simply by saying, "The Journal and the things we do in its name for the past twenty-two years has been our ministry."
Watching the young people conduct business at the Youth Marketplace in Hopkins Village was very rewarding, and to see some of the young participants now in college or graduating is very special. Our Professional Career Institute began in March, 2007 and was designed to introduce young African Americans to career options. The Institute has published a book on requirements to enter various careers called, "Career Finder Handbook." The book is available at the Institute/Journal office. Participants in that event included Dr. Joyce Ritchie, an M.D. teaching at the University of Southern California; Charles Bryant, a Pasadena Architect; Dr. Rosie Milligan, author and founder of Milligan Book Publishing Company and "Black Writers on Tour"; Lorenzo Griffin, founder of LaRan Hair Care Products, one of the few remaining Black-owned hair care product companies in the United States, and Attorney Pam Decatur, a practicing attorney who is also a Real Estate Broker.
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 21:42
The Republicans are showing their true colors these days as they work overtime to try to make sure that the first Black President, President Barack Obama serves only one term. Actually, there is nothing new about their program. They have always profited by taking advantage of the poor and the have-nots. When there was a need for cheap labor in the new world called the United States they found Black Africans after the Chinese and European slaves didn't work out. The European slaves were given a nicer name, they were called Indentured Servants. After all, they were the cousins of the profiteers. But when you think about it, we're all cousins, thanks to rape and miscegenation. But let's not get hung up on labels.
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 23:40
In a recent interview regarding black colleges, a young white reporter asked me why I thought there were no black colleges or universities outside the south. I answered that I understood the reason for starting black colleges was because blacks were not allowed into public colleges in the segregated and Jim Crow-ruled south. The creation of the black colleges was to compensate for the absence of Black educational institutions and the need for a black educated population. The second part of the answer is that with integration becoming the law of the land, following the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education and subsequent Civil Rights victories, there appeared to be no need. These victories gave the false impression and a false sense of security that Blacks could then go to any school they were qualified to attend. That sense of security has been shattered by the ongoing efforts of an unrelenting group of white supremacists and self-hating Blacks like Clarence Thomas and Ward Connerly.
In their book, I'll Find A Way Or Make One, Juan Williams and Dwayne Ashley make the point that the principal measure of Black progress over the generations is the growing number of educated Black people trained and positioned to produce better Black churches, businesses and colleges. During and following slavery, it was so important to educate the masses to the point that many risked their lives to even learn to read.
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