Wednesday, 09 May 2012 10:12
A Tool for Making Mother's Job Easier
The headline in the April 19, 2012 Tri-State Defender newspaper out of Memphis, Tennessee caught my eye. It said, "State To Parents: Get On Your Job!" The article is about a new law in the state of Tennessee that was designed to urge parents to "get involved and stay engaged in their children's school and education."
I don't know whether it is sad or creative that the state has to mandate by law that parents get involved in their child's education. But it doesn't really matter how it came to be as long as it works to improve a child's education prospects and keeps them out of the pipeline to a criminal track and to the State's prison system. The Law has two parts to it. Part one is the Parental Contract, and part two is a Parental Report Card.
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 11:56
An article in the Wednesday, March 21, Pasadena Star News caught my eye because it was about educational opportunities for a select group across the country. The article entitled, "Growing In Pasadena" had a subtitle that said "Providence Christian College plans merger." It was about a small local Christian college, Providence, joining with a larger Southern Christian college, Covenant College in Lookout, Georgia, planning to expand their capability to educate more Christian students on the west coast. Providence, located in Pasadena, CA, has only 74 students. Covenant has over 1,000 students.
The article caught my eye because I have been talking about such a project since the first issue of the Pasadena Journal published in November, 1989. I have been asking why one of the Historical Black Colleges didn't create a western arm as an extension or why someone doesn't just create a new Black College in the West? The recent step by the University of California partnering with the Historical Black Colleges is evidence that it can be done.
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 08:46
History tells us that throughout the history of America, any progress made by Black Americans was destroyed by racist White supremacists. The motto of White America has been to keep African Americans in the place designed by the American Slavery Movement. That place is as a servant who is never to be equal to the white man. Time and time again, the African spirit rises to the top to prove that, indeed, Blacks are not just equal but they can rise to lead, whether it is in politics, business, athletics, the arts, or in leadership. Each time the spirit of hate that created the evil empire of Black slavery rededicates itself to trying to crush the African spirit, we rise and fight.
The spirit cannot be crushed, except by the spirit being withdrawn by God or the bearer's silence and acceptance of being crushed. History tells us that this has not happened, no matter the obstacles and pitfalls placed in the way. The poet Maya Angelou writes, "And still I rise". Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quoted the poet, William Cullen Bryant, who writes, "Truth crushed to earth will rise again." Prophet, teacher and preacher, Jeremiah Wright, taught us that it is the Spirit of God that keeps us strong, again and again.
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 10:54
A few weeks ago I spoke to the Ujima class at Pasadena City College. The professor is Gabrielle Pina, the author of the play, "Letters From Zora." Because I think that when we speak to young people we need to leave them with something meaningful, I prepared an exercise. The exercise involved requesting them to write in a little booklet while or after I talk. I handed the booklet out at the beginning of the class, and picked it up at the end of the class. On the booklet cover is the picture of a hobo/bum with the words, "If You're so smart why aren't you rich." I've spoken of this topic many times before in this column. You may remember, the picture idea comes from a drawing that my mother gave me after I passed the bar exam. The original was drawn in 1929, the year of the great depression. I prize the picture for a lot of reasons, not the least of which, it keeps me humble and is a constant reminder of the wisdom my mother and my father taught me.
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 20:24
With all that is going on in the world during this era of the Obama presidency, I opened one of my old Law School Constitutional Law casebooks and reviewed the 1896 case of Plessey vs. Ferguson. One case was called The Dred Scott decision of 1857. In Plessey versus Ferguson, a Black man named Plessey got on a train in Louisiana in 1890. Plessey was, as we say, "light, bright and damn near white." In fact, he was 7/8th's white and 1/8th African. Plessey got in the railroad car and sat in the white section. Apparently, he had forgotten that he was Black or that the law said there was to be segregation of the races on the railroad. Or maybe he was trying to be the Rosa Parks of his day. Consequently, Plessey was arrested, I guess, for sitting while Black. He sued and attacked the ridiculous state laws regarding segregation and, in a sense, he won. That is, if you call the decision of the Supreme Court a win where they said, in effect, that the rail cars could be separate as long as they were equal. I note that this will tell you what we have to look forward to as the present Supreme Court looks at President Obama's affordable Health Care Bill. I must say that I believe that so-called Justice Thomas' wife has already told him to stay in his place and vote to strike down the bill, just like (Massas) Scalia and Roberts tell him.
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