Fingerprints On Our Souls

African American news from Pasadena - Commentary - Mitrice Richardson murder, Chip Croft and documentary Lost CompassionOn September 17, 2009, Mitrice Richardson, 24 years old, disappeared after she was released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department into the dark of night from the Malibu/Lost Hills substation in Augora Hills without her car, purse, ID or cell phone. Eleven months later her remains were found in a secluded mountainous area. To this day, her murderers have not been publicly identified and brought to justice by either the Sheriff's Department or the FBI. The case is officially designated as "open and active" by the Sheriff's Department Homicide Division. The FBI created a file number for Mitrice's case which allows anyone with pertinent information to contact them. Mitrice's death was listed as "unknown" by the L.A. County Coroner.

Mitrice's death gives life to "Lost Compassion," a new documentary by filmmaker Chip Croft that captures the essence of Mitrice's life and chronicles the painstaking and painful work of a dedicated group of volunteers who worked tirelessly to find out what happened to Mitrice and to guard against this happening to anyone else. Chip moved from New Haven, Connecticut to Los Angeles in the 100 degree heat on September 1, 2009. He was reading the September 27, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Times and saw the picture of a young girl with the caption, "Help Find Mitrice." Chip read the article, saw an email address and contacted Dr. Ronda Hampton, Psychologist, who knew Mitrice and spearheaded the activities to solve the mystery of her disappearance and subsequent murder. Ronda invited him to attend a press conference. Chip went, and as usual, took his video camera which he never left behind as he consistently documented and amassed over 150 hours of footage over a 4 ½ year period. He put a good portion of the footage on YouTube that is still available.



Women Get Unequal Pay for Equal Work

African American news from Pasadena - Commentary - Lily Ledbetter and unequal payWhen John and Ann started working on January 1, 2013, John had an immediate advantage. Because women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn, it took Ann until last Friday [April 11, 2014] to earn the same amount of money that John earned in the calendar year of 2013.

The issue of unequal pay is so important that President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act 50 years ago. While we have come a long way, baby, the pay gap has remained stubborn. This is why President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act as soon as he assumed office.

This year, to commemorate National Equal Pay Day (that's the day Ann finally earns as much as John), the president signed an Executive Order protecting workers from retaliation when they speak of unequal pay in the workplace (one of the ways employers can maintain unequal pay is to make discussing pay grounds for firing). The president, through the Secretary of Labor, is also requiring federal contractors to provide data on pay, race, and gender to ensure that employers are fairly paid. Furthermore, the Senate is considering the Paycheck Fairness Act, which may pass the Senate, but not the House of Representatives.



Our Gratitude

Just a note to let you know how much my family and I appreciated the Women of Achievement recognition. It was such an AMAZING day! We were truly blessed with the powerful invocation, wonderful entertainment, the dynamic keynote speaker and the MC.

I hope you'll have a little time to get some R&R (rest and relaxation). Being an event planner, I know the hard work that goes into the extraordinary results of Saturday's event.

My gift bag and contents were beautiful and much appreciated. I was in dire need of a new Bible cover and you supplied just what I needed.



Re: Kevin Ollie

Just a note to say how pleased and grateful that I am that you placed a photo of Kevin Ollie on the cover of the Journal. Collegiate and professional sports activities have changed, and are continuing to change the culture of the United States.

This is especially true in the Southern States. Please consider the following examples:

  1. The Texas Rangers, a major league baseball team, has an African-American manager.
  2. The University of Texas and Texas A & M, both have African-American head football coaches.
  3. Florida State University, has an African-American head basketball coach.

This has all happened within the last 10 years. Prior to that, it would have been almost unthinkable. The interest in the excellence of sporting activities has in many cases, overwhelmed racist and religious bigotry.



The Myth of Sisyphus

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - civil rights and myth of SisyphusAs I watched the national college basketball championship game between Kentucky and University of Connecticut, I was struck by a couple of facts. First, here we were watching Kentucky, a state in the heart of the historical Confederacy that was determined to maintain slavery. They were so determined because of what they considered inherent inferiority of Blacks to Whites that they fought and died to maintain the slave industry. And second, here we were watching a team of, primarily Blacks, fighting for the national championship for Kentucky. The third thing I was struck by was the fact that a Black man was coaching the team that won the brawl. The result was that the University of Connecticut won. The Confederacy lost, again.



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