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Joe's Editorial

Once Upon A Time

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial on 50 year wedding anniversaryEarlier this month, my wife came home from her sorority meeting and I noticed that she he had a button with my picture pinned to her shirt. I asked her, "What's with the button?" She said she wore it because it was our fiftieth wedding anniversary month and she was "wearing her man for the world to see."

June 30, 2012 marks the day of our 50th wedding anniversary. Our oldest granddaughter, realizing how long fifty years is, proclaimed to her Grammy, "You guys have been together a half century. Imagine that, one half a century."

As I thought about this, I wondered, what do you do for an encore? Do you do what you have been doing for the last fifty years all over again, without the mistakes you made during the first fifty? Yes, there have been mistakes, but we weathered them together. During fifty years you learn to apologize, when necessary, and remember to act out the Golden Rule on a daily basis, "do unto (the other half of you) as you would have them do unto you."

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Remember Not to Forget, Graduation 2012

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - Oprah Winfrey commencement message Remember not to forget...The speaker at the 2012 graduation of Spelman College was Oprah Winfrey. On May 20th of this year, Oprah told the 125th graduating class that they were, indeed, special. Oprah embraced Black History, and the words to a number of familiar Black themes, telling the class that their cups runneth over with blessings so full that they couldn't contain it. She told the class that they should be careful not to waste their time with people and things that were going nowhere and that they would live the sweet life.

She reminded the more than 500 graduating class that, for sure, the storms of life would come into their lives, but know that . . . this too would pass. "You shall not be moved," using lines from Maya Angelou's epic poem, Phenomenal Woman, "because that answers the age old question about regular looking women, where her secret lies?" She said there would be questions about their secret. "When they see you coming they will say, 'It's the click of her heels, the bend of your hair, the palm of your hand, the need for your care, cause you're a woman, a Spelman woman.'"

Oprah, as if reminding the graduates to remember not to forget how they got there, told the graduates that regarding their crown as queens, "It's already paid for, paid for by the blood, the lynchings, the tears and the sweat and the toil, the trials and the sorrows, from the burdens and the weariness. Paid for by the sit-ins, the setbacks" . . . and even though they hadn't experienced it or tasted freedom, "they (those fore-parents) knew they were planting seeds of freedom that would bear the fruit that is now you."

Oprah's message to Spelman's Class of 2012 should be repeated to all Black graduates in these difficult times. Yes, we have a Black man who has reached the pinnacle of political leadership in America but we still are ranked last in education, first in crime, last in health care and first, most tragically, in negative imagery around the world.

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My Father Was Old School . . . I Call Him Wise

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial on fathers and role modelsIt is a scary thought but more than 50 percent of fathers live without their children. I know that with that unscientific number I am being generous, so I will say nearly 70 percent of children live without their fathers. For numerous reasons, fathers find a reason to absent themselves from their children.

For first-time fathers, there's that period just after the child is born when euphoria comes with knowing that you have participated in creating a child. God has blessed an act that gave you a feeling of euphoria with a product that looks like you. Men are so proud that they give that child their name, if it's a son. And then, many are gone.

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Who’s Afraid To Talk About The War On Black America?

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial on republicans and black AmericaThe June Issue of the magazine, Mother Jones, the front cover article had the title: "WTF, GOP". It does not explain in the article what the initials mean, but most of us know. I'm going to leave that alone. What the article does say is how the Republican Party, apparently under the influence of drugs or something provided by the Tea Party, seems to have written off different groups of people. The cover lists people who like sex, people who hate banks, soccer moms, Latinos, Millennials, old people, sick people, scientists, economists, Libertarians, dog lovers, the 99 percent, Gays, Vets, and Gay Vets.

I was initially baffled as to why the list had excluded African Americans and Muslims, but in the middle of the article, there they were. The writers assumed that everybody already knew that Blacks and Muslims were long ago written off by the Republicans. I see it as going much deeper for African Americans. The war against us, in my analysis, includes stripping away the right to vote in states with Republican Governors. At last count, there were about 30 such states. It also involves stripping away the right to get a decent education that has historically been free public education.

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The Black Church and The Black Press – A Historical Partnership

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial on the black church and black pressThe first Black newspaper, FREEDOMS JOURNAL, was founded in 1827 to give African Americans a voice in fighting the negative treatment being received under the hands of White Americans. The little known fact is that included among the founders who met in New York at the home of a Black caterer, Boston Crummel, were Bishop Richard Allen, one of the Pioneers of the African American Methodist Church (AME) and Reverend Samuel E. Cornish, pastor of the first Negro Presbyterian Church in New York and John Russwurm, one of the first African Americans to graduate from an American College.

All of these men were fierce anti-slave fighters, abolitionists, and seekers of freedom and Independence for Black Americans. In every fight since that first newspaper, the Black Press has been at the forefront of the fight. In the February, 2012 issue of Black Enterprise magazine, publisher Earl Graves admonishes Black Americans that Black Americans need to keep on telling the story of our struggle and progress. In the May 2012 Issue, he reminds us that we must support the Black Press, even in these down economic times. Maybe even more in order that we all help to keep the Black Press alive.

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