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Graduation - 2013

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Graduation 2013 and Miss Ruthie SpeaksIt's that time of year again when we try to find new ways to tell graduates congratulations on achieving their goal of getting over the education hurdle. Whether you are graduating from elementary school or are one of a new crop of barbers, plumbers, doctors, lawyers, teachers or preachers, the words are the same, "Congratulations on your accomplishment. You made it over."

Graduation is like a hurdle race. As soon as you've cleared one hurdle, you look up and there is another staring you in the face.

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Step Forward and Get Busy!

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Building New City - step forward and get busyA few weeks ago I complained about CHAPS having transformed their staff from integrated, under the former Director Wilma Allen, to over 90 percent Latino, under the current director Margie Martinez. In the article I also mentioned El Centro De Accion having no Black staff, even though they had recently received a grant to fight Black gang violence as well as Latino gang violence. In fact, the then Director Randy Ertill, had hired one African American but immediately fired him within 30 days and made no Black replacement. So I was pleased to see that Ertill resigned last week. We shall see if the new director is more inclusive.

We were all saddened by the recent passing of Versie Mae Richardson, the founder of AlKebulan, Pasadena's only African American Cultural Center. Hopefully, the dream of Richardson for an African American Cultural Center will somehow survive. We badly need it.

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Investing in Summertime Opportunities For Our Youth

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Summer opportunities for our youth tipsThe old song says, "It's summertime and the living is easy." So what are you going to do with the easy time? We all know another saying: "The idle mind is the devil's playground." I think the summer is a prime time for planning some constructive activities for young people to keep them busy and learning. Otherwise, trouble will find them and find something destructive for them to do.

As we contemplate our grandchildren's visit for a few weeks this summer, we are working feverishly to adjust our schedules and find something for the children to do. We thought the planning and juggling phase of our lives was over. It looked so easy for my parents when they took our sons to stay during the summer. That was a time when there was plenty for the young to do and, and my parents just included them into their daily routine. One son loved to get up early with my father and go to the café for breakfast where he went every morning and meet up with his buddies there. The other sons loved my mother standing at the stove cooking pancakes for as long as they would eat them. They loved going to the thrift shops with her, shopping to replenish her store. They also loved to explore around the house for treasures they would find upstairs, downstairs, in the garage, the garage apartment, or the basement. They would go to church with them on the weekend, where they would stay half the day and then eat lunch in the church hall.

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We Need to Invest More in Our Children to Reap the Reward

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Public Education discrimination, Dr. Dre's donation, and President Obama...The news made a big deal out of the fact that one Dr. Dre who made millions as a rapper gave 70 million dollars to the University of Southern California to create a school dedicated to Hip Hop. All I could think of was that's just what we need, another class of rappers.

I thought of the 70,000 kids that will be kicked out of Head-Start as a result of the current Federal budget crisis. With all of that, we need another group of rappers to rap to kids who can't read, write and reason. I thought of the preachers who take our money on Sunday morning and use it for their personal wealth rather than for the good of the community. I thought of the Charter School movement that takes our tax dollars to create a few schools for a few kids while the masses are forced to go to non-productive schools. It's as if you have 10 children and you decide to invest in two, and the rest are on their own. Don't we owe it to all of the kids to treat them equally? That's what the Taliban does, educate the boys and shoot the girls who have the audacity to want to go to school and get an education. The worst part is that the statistics are showing that Charter Schools are not producing a bumper crop of geniuses either. Why not improve the whole school system?

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In the Land of the Blind the One Eyed is King

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Here's what we know about today's Republican Party...A young Black man came to my office to seek support of The Journal for a position he was seeking. When the subject of his being a Republican came up, he volunteered that his father had introduced him to a lot of Republicans and they were nice to him. My response at the time was that he should look at the evidence to see who is a Republican and who is a Democrat. There are at least 40 Black Democrats in Congress and no Black elected Republican Congressmen or Senators.

If Black Politicians are to maximize their power, they will do it as a group. What if Dr. King had decided that he would work alone? We who are Black and proud would still be seeking the right to eat at a lunch counter, unmolested. We would not have Civil Rights Laws outlawing discrimination in employment opportunities.

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