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‘Friends’ Desert Bill Cosby when he Needs them Most

billcosby"Hey, hey, hey (in my best Fat Albert's voice), please listen to what I have to say. My friend Bill Cosby is in trouble today."

Even Fat Albert knows Bill Cosby is getting a raw deal. As a public relations/crisis management professional. I have worked with some of the biggest names in sports, entertainment, and business. So, let's deconstruct this media frenzy engulfing the man who was once America's favorite TV dad.

Many of these allegations have been around for more than 30 years. Cosby has never been charged with a crime and deserves the presumption of innocence. Simply because several people – okay, eight and counting – provide a similar salacious account doesn't make it true.

Until now, Cosby and his lovely wife, Camille, have not had to defend their hard-earned good name. They have given north of $50 million to educational institutions, especially HBCUs. Cosby has opened doors to many of the top actors and comedians in the industry.

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Learning to Love What You Have

marian wright edelmanIn a season focused on gratitude, 17-year-old Monica Chica has an attitude about choosing to be grateful that's wise far beyond her years: "The most important lesson I learned is that being happy is not about having with you what you loved in the past, but learning to love what you have in the present."

Monica learned this lesson the hard way. She grew up in El Salvador where her father was a lawyer and teacher and her mother was a doctor. Monica's mother suffered from Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a nervous system disorder which caused her a lot of weakness and pain. The disease often left her bedridden and kept her from playing an active role in the family's daily routines. Monica was grateful to have her at home and had lots of other support. The school just across the street from her house where she was a star student, the beloved church where she started teaching Sunday school at age 9, and her best friend's house a block away were the center of Monica's childhood. As pervasive gang violence began striking closer and closer to home, when Monica was 15 her family decided to leave everything behind to try to start a better life in the United States.

Almost immediately, the American Dream wasn't what they'd expected. Monica, her parents, and her older brother and sister moved in with an aunt and other family members in Montgomery County, Maryland. Monica—who only knew a few words in English—was enrolled in a large high school where even other Hispanic students teased her about her accent. For the first six months she avoided speaking in school at all. Her aunt had worked for years to secure legal residency for Monica's family. But her father discovered that being a lawyer and a teacher in El Salvador did not translate into a good job here. It took more than a year for him to find a job as a janitor. Her mother's health took another turn for the worse and there wasn't enough money for the health care or medicine she needed. Before long her parents decided to separate and her mother and brother returned to El Salvador leaving Monica hopeless: "Everything that I had left was my family and now it was destroyed. In less than one year my life had turned meaningless and worthless for me."

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Anniversary Marketplace to Highlight Journal’s Twenty Five Years

joe c hopkinsAs the Journal was being born, in 1989, the news of the day was the release of Nelson Mandela from a prison in his country, South Africa. He was later elected to President of that country, bringing in hope of equality and opportunity for all. In America, we watched as we grew from a country with a few African American Congressmen to a country with an elected Black President who has ushered in Universal Health Care and Immigration Reform for America.

"Find a Need and fill it" is a life theme I picked up somewhere. The story of the Journal was born out of that theme. The initial theme for the Journal which initiated at a time when Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley had no Black newspaper was to lift up all the voices.  Today, twenty five years later,  we are still lifting the voices.

The funds to start the Journal were from earnings from the Law Practice I started in 1982, approximately seven years before the birth of the Journal. We call it giving something back to the community - a sort of tithing.  Hopefully, we have been a blessing to the community that has blessed us. Our three sons have attended school here, as have five of our grand children.  One of our sons was born while we lived here. They got married here, and some of their children were born here. They have all started their careers here and moved on.

The Journal has had a hand in influencing Pasadena in many ways, from changing the composition of the Rose Bowl committees, to the City Council, Pasadena Police Department practices, and city leadership. We have also been an influential voice on Pasadena Unified School District leadership and, through it all; we have printed the good news of Black Pasadena.
We watched, and sometimes prodded, and were part of the cheering section for our city's progress as we gained a voice as leader for city departments such as the Police Department, Fire Department, and the Department of Water and Power. In these leadership opportunities, we proved what President Barack Obama campaigned on, in his 2008 campaign for President, "Yes we can", and yes we did.

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Thanksgiving Blessings

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Thanksgiving blessingsAs we approach Thanksgiving 2014, I have much to be thankful for. I think in terms of God's gifts to me and people, places and things. The people in my family are truly God's greatest gifts to me. Their health and welfare are what are most important, and I thank God their health and welfare are good. When I awake daily and think of my wife of now 52 years, my three sons, their wives, significant others, and my seven grandchildren, I know I am sitting on top of the world. I remember when we all gathered at the Queen Mary for a celebration of fifty years of marriage which was the creation of the family.

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Twenty-Five Year Anniversary Celebration and Marketplace

November 29, 2014

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Anniversary celebration and MarketplaceOn November 29th there will be a celebration for the Pasadena Journal and we hope to make it a great day to remember for the city of Pasadena. The line-up for the celebration is making for a day of local musicians and speakers giving testimonials. Some roasting will probably be a part of the event. There will be vendors distributing information and selling a variety of items by such as home manufactured crafts, blankets, local artists and book authors.

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