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Joe's Editorial

When Life Brings You to Another Crossroads

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - On Black inspiration and crossroadsBlack folks have a long history of things happening that are unjust. That is the time to call on Black fore-fathers who fought greater, bigger battles, for inspiration. Frederick Douglass taught us that power conceded nothing with a struggle; it never did and never will. He taught us that the slave that is whipped easiest is whipped oftenest. Malcolm X taught us that once we set a goal, or entered a battle, we must win by any means necessary. One pioneer after another in every field of endeavor taught us that when one door closes, another opens. In education, the powers that be closed the school house doors and Blacks built their own schools, including a Black College system. As an aside on that subject, I still don't understand why the last Black College was built in Texas, as if the West Coast didn't exist or didn't need Black Colleges. These Black Colleges were mostly built by Black Churches and the mission was to meet the needs of young African Americans who were not welcome in white colleges.




Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Surprise them again and voteWhen Senator Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, the possibility of him winning caught a lot of people off guard. After all, America had seen Shirley Chisholm of New York run for president, talking nonsense about being un-bought and un-bossed. Then, we saw Jesse Jackson running, talking about, I am somebody. Then came this tall skinny guy from Chicago, named Barack Obama, talking about doing things different and changing the way to do things in Washington. That was silly and he would be easy pickings. The impossibility of him winning put a lot of people to sleep. SURPRISE!

I remember someone telling me the story of a local preacher preaching a message called, "Surprise!" He told about when Moses approached the Red Sea and trying to figure out how to get over. Then he stretched forth his hand and, SURPRISE, the waters divided and they walked through. Then there came a time when Jesus had been crucified on a mountain called Golgotha and He was entombed. When they came to the tomb, on what Christians call Easter, and rolled the stone away, SURPRISE, He had risen and was gone.



Original Black Values Are Being Lost . . .

Black Americans Must Return to Our Original Mission

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Rebuild the Dream movementBlack America has always taken great pride in Black Colleges. There are 105 Black Colleges and universities. These colleges and universities have served as the base for the post-slavery progress of Black America. Black professors have served as mentors and living role models for the students of these schools. In large part, the schools were created in response to the American culture of segregation and to counter the vestiges of slavery. They were also created to develop a leadership class to bring the African American builders of America to a position of equality.

Dr. Benjamin Mays, the great educator and mentor of Dr. Martin Luther king, described his experience in a Black College he attended at North Carolina State College in his book, Lord The People Have Driven Me On. He said, "It did my soul good in 1911, to find at State College an all-Negro faculty and a Negro President." Mays went on to describe the inspiration he received from these Black mentors as professors, staff and faculty whose inspiration was of incalculable value. He was impressed that the faculty was not only inspirational in their teaching but that they also fought racial injustice and discrimination.



Watching the Olympics is Watching Black Progress

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - Gabby Douglas and her hairWatching young Gabby Douglas win the gymnastics events was a beautiful and proud moment. And then I heard the negative comments about her hair. Black people are saying things like, "why don't she get her hair done?" For those who don't understand, don't worry about it because as Blacks say, "It's a Black thang." For those who are paying attention to Black history, you know that similar comments had a debut during the 60's with African Americans wearing what we called Naturals or Afros.

To hear this stuff today means some Black folks are still infected with self hate, and to use a popular term, still evolving. We also heard similar comments when the Williams sisters began playing tennis with the braids and the beads in their hair. Well, Gabby will be on the Corn Flakes box next month, signifying that she joins the millionaire class, and all those haters will be looking for a place in line to become her new BFF (best friend forever).



Hard Times Means Skill Times

What Are Your Skills?

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Job skills and jobsIt is a scary time when so many people are losing their jobs. After getting over the lies that these job losses are caused by President Obama, the question for each of us has to be what skills do I have to sell in order to get another job? As part of the problem today, there are school closures everywhere making it harder to get trained for the skills a person may need to either enter or change occupations.

I believe that there are lost opportunities for job training throughout every community, even with the tragedy of schools shutting down. In every church, club, fraternity, or sorority, there are people with skills that they have mastered and aren't using for a variety of reasons. They are retired, or in some way disabled, but still able to teach someone else the skills that they possess.

I am in my thirtieth year of practicing Law and a few years ago I sought a license to teach people how to be paralegals and legal assistants. My problem was, and is, that I have a very full plate of activities. But even with that, I have managed to train a few paralegals. My son Jamal is a theology scholar and has been in the ministry for years. Over and above teaching at long established schools of theology in Memphis and Atlanta, he long ago established J.D. Institute where he can train others in ministry.



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