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Letter to Fannie Lou Hamer

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Letter to Fannie Lou HamerFannie Lou Hamer was born in 1917 in Montgomery, Mississippi, the youngest of twenty children. She died in 1977, after years of Civil Rights activism. She is mainly known for working to get the vote for Blacks in Mississippi. In 1963, she was one of the organizers of the Mississippi Freedom Summer. It brought Black and White students from across the nation to work on voting rights for Blacks in the South and Mississippi, in particular.

The Freedom Summer led to the creation of the Mississippi Freedom Party that attended the Democratic National Convention in 1964. There, a compromise was offered to seat two members of the Freedom Party, as long as it didn't include Hamer.

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Civil Rights Disappointment as Supreme Court Ruling Sets Us Back!

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Civil Rights then and now, Paula Deen, rappers, and moreWhen young people today look back at Black history, and specifically 1963, they must be confused. The confusion comes when they compare 1963 to our living history today, in 2013. The year, 1963, was a banner year for civil rights. We lived the poet's lament that talks of pain and pleasure. Kahlil Gibrahn wrote in "The Prophet", "Your joy is your sorrow unmasked." Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote about life saying, "A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in, a minute to smile and an hour to weep in, a pint of joy and a peck of trouble and never a laugh but the moans come double; And that is life! A crust and a corner that love makes precious with a smile to warm and the tears to refresh us; And joy comes sweeter when cares come after, and a moan is the finest of foils for laughter; And that is life!"

A child, today, stands in the midst of a battle over the N-word. White celebrity chef Paula Deen got fired from her million dollar jobs for using it. Trayvon Martin used it, but got killed by someone who considered him nothing more than the N-word, and said it. Former crack dealers like rappers Jay Z, dope smoking Snoop Dog, and former gun toting, gangster rapper 50Cent, proudly still make millions pronouncing it in rhyme.

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Celebrating Inequality and Making Money Out of Other People’s Misery

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Inequality and politics - Making money off other people's miseryThis week, we learned that our so-called political leaders want to send us back into war so we can spend the rest of the nation's economy with their billionaire corporate friends. This time, we may be fighting on the same side as Al Qaeda. The Congress wants to shut down the Food Stamps program but they would like to keep giving financial subsidies to already rich farmers, some of whom are Congressmen voting to stop the Food Stamps for the less than fortunate.

The states are passing laws to stop abortion so that they can stop the white population numbers decreasing in an effort to bring their numbers up with the darker immigrants who keep producing babies in growing numbers. There's nothing moral in their anti-abortion desperation. They will do anything to prevent being outnumbered or having another Black President get elected.

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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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