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Opinion

Original Black Values Are Being Lost . . .

Black Americans Must Return to Our Original Mission

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Rebuild the Dream movementBlack America has always taken great pride in Black Colleges. There are 105 Black Colleges and universities. These colleges and universities have served as the base for the post-slavery progress of Black America. Black professors have served as mentors and living role models for the students of these schools. In large part, the schools were created in response to the American culture of segregation and to counter the vestiges of slavery. They were also created to develop a leadership class to bring the African American builders of America to a position of equality.

Dr. Benjamin Mays, the great educator and mentor of Dr. Martin Luther king, described his experience in a Black College he attended at North Carolina State College in his book, Lord The People Have Driven Me On. He said, "It did my soul good in 1911, to find at State College an all-Negro faculty and a Negro President." Mays went on to describe the inspiration he received from these Black mentors as professors, staff and faculty whose inspiration was of incalculable value. He was impressed that the faculty was not only inspirational in their teaching but that they also fought racial injustice and discrimination.

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Watching the Olympics is Watching Black Progress

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Gabby Douglas and her hairWatching young Gabby Douglas win the gymnastics events was a beautiful and proud moment. And then I heard the negative comments about her hair. Black people are saying things like, "why don't she get her hair done?" For those who don't understand, don't worry about it because as Blacks say, "It's a Black thang." For those who are paying attention to Black history, you know that similar comments had a debut during the 60's with African Americans wearing what we called Naturals or Afros.

To hear this stuff today means some Black folks are still infected with self hate, and to use a popular term, still evolving. We also heard similar comments when the Williams sisters began playing tennis with the braids and the beads in their hair. Well, Gabby will be on the Corn Flakes box next month, signifying that she joins the millionaire class, and all those haters will be looking for a place in line to become her new BFF (best friend forever).

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Hard Times Means Skill Times

What Are Your Skills?

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Job skills and jobsIt is a scary time when so many people are losing their jobs. After getting over the lies that these job losses are caused by President Obama, the question for each of us has to be what skills do I have to sell in order to get another job? As part of the problem today, there are school closures everywhere making it harder to get trained for the skills a person may need to either enter or change occupations.

I believe that there are lost opportunities for job training throughout every community, even with the tragedy of schools shutting down. In every church, club, fraternity, or sorority, there are people with skills that they have mastered and aren't using for a variety of reasons. They are retired, or in some way disabled, but still able to teach someone else the skills that they possess.

I am in my thirtieth year of practicing Law and a few years ago I sought a license to teach people how to be paralegals and legal assistants. My problem was, and is, that I have a very full plate of activities. But even with that, I have managed to train a few paralegals. My son Jamal is a theology scholar and has been in the ministry for years. Over and above teaching at long established schools of theology in Memphis and Atlanta, he long ago established J.D. Institute where he can train others in ministry.

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The Challenge of Freedom for All vs. Freedom for the Rich

If You Don't Vote in November You May Be Giving Back Your Birthright to America as a Christmas Gift to Republicans in December

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Freedom for all vs freedom for richOne news commentator said we may all wake up on the morning after the November 2012 election and see it was purchased by seventeen rich old white men. That's similar to my daddy teaching me that there are some white folks who don't sleep at night trying to figure out new ways to keep Black folks down. If the November purchase is successful, it will be the second time America was a great Christmas gift to rich old white men. The indigenous people, or Indians, can tell you about the first time. It was purchased by gunpowder in 1776. This time it will be by purchased ballot boxes.

Ever since our African ancestors arrived on these shores in 1619, the methods have been endless. There was slavery. There was Jim Crow. There was discrimination. There was separate and unequal. There was segregation. There were hangings, lynching, and rapes; Court rulings that said there are no rights that a Black man has that a white man should honor. They took the right to vote, the right to own land, the right to marry, the right to call ourselves Kunte, and any other African name. And now the rich white men are considering electing a white man whose religion, up until 1979, didn't allow us to worship the same God as he worshipped. It's not that we want to become Mormons, but what is next? We have not forgotten that the Southern Baptists were the ones who called on Supreme Courts, Bull Connor, and George Wallace to keep us in our places.

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Entrepreneurship . . . A Solution

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - EntrepreneurshipThe stories of how businesses start should be a class for young people to take in order to understand that they are capable of starting a business and surviving, even in hard times. A local newspaper carried a recent story of how Howards Appliance and Television stores first started as a radio repair shop in the rear of a sporting goods store, called Jeff's, some fifty plus years ago. Howard started out repairing radios as a hobby. Today, Howards owns ten giant stores and the land they sit on.

I love the story of how my mother started her first store. She took the hand me downs and throw-a-way clothing given to her when she worked as what we call today "The Help". She figured that if the goods were good enough to hand down, they were good enough to sell. She rented an empty little storefront, and thus, Hopkins Used Clothing and furniture store was born.

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