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POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 1
POINT
OF
Our Community News Magazine
www.afampointofview.com
VIEW
october 1, 2014
DR. WILLIAM DAVILA, “DR. PAPI”:
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS – UMASS AT SPRINGFIELD
By Frederick A. Hurst
688 Boston Road
2014-15 BRINGS SUCCESS
AND CHALLENGES
“Other exciting news from the state this
fall includes their designation of Brunton
Elementary as a Level 1 school and
Zanetti as a Commendation School for its
significant and sustained turnaround
achievements.”
By Superintendent Daniel J. Warwick – 6
HCS HEAD START IS
TURNING 50
“The story behind the logo is so important
itting down with Dr. William Anto the mission and is a great piece of the
thony Davila, the new Director
Head Start story that powerfully speaks to
of UMass Center at Springfield
the overarching goal of the program.”
(UMass Center) was more an experiBy Nicole Blais – 7
S
MOMMY, MAKE ME
HEALTHY
“The ability to provide a baby with a
healthy start in life is precious.”
ence than an interview. A Springfield
native who was raised along with his
two siblings by his mother in an income-challenged home, Will, as he is
VOTE
NOVEMBER 4TH
By Dr. Anika C. Thrower & Danielle Jurich – 10
WE ARE FERGUSON,
MISSOURI
“The stories of unarmed black men being
killed across the nation make one thing
painfully clear: The killing of Black men
in incidents that begin as investigatory police stops are anything but unusual in
America.”
By Bishop Talbert W. Swan II – 13
FOR GOVERNOR: MAY
THE BEST WO(MAN) WIN
“My big problem, though, is that my editor won’t bend to my wishes. Notice I didn’t say “bend to my will.” We are both
strong-willed so if I make it a clash of
wills, divorce might follow.”
By Frederick A. Hurst – 26
Our Choices in Contested Races
Governor: See article on page 26
Attorney General: Maura Healey
Secretary of State: William Galvin
Treasurer: Deborah (Deb) Goldberg
Auditor: Suzanne Bump
First District Representative:
Richard E. Neal
Senator 1st Hampden & Hampshire:
Eric Lesser
State Representative 9th Hampden:
Jose Tosado
Register of Probate: Gale Candaras
called, absorbed the full benefit (as did
his siblings) of the standards set by a
mother who placed education at the
forefront of her parenting.
It wasn’t easy raising a family by
herself in the Liberty Heights and North
End neighborhoods with limited means
but Will’s mother, a semi-retired
Human Services worker, met the challenge as demonstrated by Will’s success
and the success of all of her kids. Her
approach to raising children is a familiar model that many of us know well.
She held high expectations for her kids
and instilled standards in them that
made their consciousness of higher education as normal as a good night’s
sleep.
A product of Springfield public
schools, Will graduated from the High
continues to page 5
DON’T LET THE
CASINO QUESTION
FOOL YOU!
VOTE
“NO”
on Question 3!
Vote “NO” on the casino
question if you want
Springfield to have the
MGM Grand Casino.
If you vote “YES,” you
will be voting against
having a casino in
Springfield or anywhere
else in Massachusetts.
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 2
african american point of view
page two
SP R I N G F I E LD DA Y A T T H E B IG E
Springfield is well represented by Tony Pettaway and two of its finest, along
with Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, School Committee member Rosa
Perez, City Councilor Justin Hurst, State Representative Angelo Puppolo,
Mayor Domenic Sarno, School Committee Vice Chair Denise Hurst and
City Councilor Orlando Ramos.
october 1, 2014
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 3
african american point of view
page three
AN AFRICAN AMERICAN Point of View
688 Boston Road, Springfield, MA 01119
Phone: (413) 796-1500 l Fax: (413) 796-6100
E-mail: [email protected] l Website: www.afampointofview.com
[email protected] Groove
Leadership Pioneer Valley
Life’s Challenges
Mama’s Boyz
Op Ed
Parents & Community
Pen & Ink
Political Happenings
Reading to Succeed
Religious Point of View
School Comm. Happenings
The Urban Cook
Urban Gardening
Dr. Sweets S. Wilson
Jerry Craft
Deb Goldberg
Mike Heffernan
Rebecca Willoughby
Patricia Spradley
Brenda’s Child
Juanita Torrence-Thompson
Arlene Davis-Rudd
Sally Fuller
Rev. Dr. Atu White, Editor
Denise M. Hurst
Rhonda Jones
Zaida Govan
PRODUCTION
Artistic/Multimedia Dir.
Distribution Manager
Marketing Director
Photographer
Website Designer
Marie Zanazanian
Shawn Merriman
Marjorie J. Hurst
Edward Cohen
Marie Zanazanian
LOCATE OUR ADVERTISERS
S
Lewin’s Boutique ---------------------------------------------25
T
Hurst & Hurst, P.C. -----------------------------------------------16
Jesus Christ Enlightened Christian Bible Seminary- --------29
MBC Realtors--------------------------------------------------16
Mount Calvary Baptist Church------------------------------29
Mt. Zion Baptist Church -------------------------------------29
New Life Calvary Baptist Church --------------------------28
Progressive Community Baptist Church-------------------29
Roberta B. Johnson/Real Living Real Estate--------------16
Shiloh Seventh-Day Adventist Church---------------------29
Solid Rock Community Baptist Church -------------------29
Springfield Dept. of Health & Human Services-----2 & 16
Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services -------------16
Springfield Technical Community College ---------------37
Springfield Unity Festival------------------------------------19
St. John’s Congregational Church --------------------------29
Third Baptist Church------------------------------------------29
Trinity United Methodist Church ---------------------------29
United In Love Ministry--------------------------------------29
United States Postal Service ---------------------------------15
Wesley United Methodist Church --------------------------29
Westfield State University -----------------------------------23
WTCC FM 90.7 -----------------------------------------------37
X-Bankers Check Cashing-----------------------------------15
N
Alden Baptist Church-----------------------------------------28
Baystate Medical Center -------------------------------------11
Bethel AME Church ------------------------------------------28
Big Y Foods, Inc.----------------------------------------------12
Branford Hall Career Institute --------------------------------3
Buckingham Junior High School Reunion ----------------14
Canaan Baptist Church of Christ----------------------------29
Center For Human Development ---------------------------23
Committee To Elect Deb Goldberg-------------------------40
Committee To Elect Eric Lesser------------------------------2
Committee To Elect Mike Heffernan ----------------------22
Community Baptist Church----------------------------------29
Ed Cohen Photography---------------------------------------16
Family Church -------------------------------------------------29
Freedom Credit Union -----------------------------------------9
Gentle Smiles Family Dentistry-----------------------------15
Hall & Hall Siding --------------------------------------------14
Home Inspections by Marco, Inc.---------------------------16
E
Financial Cents
Financially Yours
From the Supt.’s Desk
Health Matters
Renée Flowers
Melvin Wm. Bell, Editor
Kirk Smith
Terri Schlichenmeyer
Geneva Williams
Bishop Talbert W. Swan, II
Nicole Blais
Gianna Allentuck
Emurriel Holloway
Dale Parker
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno
Walter D. Woodgett
Samuel N. Wilson, Jr.
Daniel J. Warwick
Doris Harris, Editor
Crystal Senter Brown
Dr. Anika C. Thrower &
Danielle Jurich
Magdalena Gómez
Lora Wondolowski, Editor
T
Artist in Residence
Black Sports International
Call to the Cause
Children’s Book Corner
Community Info-CT
Community Perspectives
Early Education & Care
Education & Hope
Features
BUSINESS & FINANCE
Financial Cents .....................................................................................9
Financially Yours ..................................................................................9
CLASSIFIED .........................................................................................36
COMMUNITY
Call to the Cause ..................................................................................13
Community Focus.................................................................................18-19, 23, 38
Community Information.......................................................................15
Community Information-CT ................................................................24-25
Community Perspectives ......................................................................13
Congratulations Corner.........................................................................22
Events....................................................................................................37
[email protected] Groove .....................................................................................17
Leadership Pioneer Valley ....................................................................14
Political Happenings-New Haven .......................................................25
EDITORIAL
AF-AM Newsbits..................................................................................4
From the Publisher’s Desk ..................................................................26
Letters to the Publisher .........................................................................26
Op Ed ...................................................................................................27, 33
EDUCATION
Early Education & Care........................................................................7
Education & Hope ...............................................................................7
From the Superintendent’s Desk ..........................................................6
Parents & Community Engagement.....................................................8
Reading to Succeed...............................................................................8
School Committee Happenings............................................................6
FEATURES
Remembering Carole Johnson..............................................................14
Changing Lives through Literature ......................................................17
A True Renaissance Man ......................................................................28
Letter from Mayor Domenic J. Sarno ..................................................38
FOOD TALK
The Urban Cook....................................................................................32
Urban Gardening ..................................................................................32
HEALTH
Health Matters.......................................................................................10-12
LIVING
Life’s Challenges ..................................................................................31
PHOTO GALLERY..............................................................................2, 20-21, 39
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES.............................................................16
RELIGION
Religious Point of View........................................................................28
Religious Directory...............................................................................28-29
SPORTS
Black Sports International ....................................................................34-35
THE ARTS
Artist in Residence................................................................................39
Children’s Book Corner .......................................................................30
Mama’s Boyz ........................................................................................37
Pen & Ink ..............................................................................................30-31
N
PUBLISHER: Frederick A. Hurst
EDITOR: Marjorie J. Hurst
C ONT R I BUT I N G W R I T ER S: T HI S I SSUE
 DR. WILLIAM DAVILA, “DR. PAPI”
 VOTE “NO” ON QUESTION 3!
O
Point of View is a monthly news journal with an African American orientation. It is distributed
free to select locations in Hampden and Hampshire counties and in Connecticut. Letters,
articles and comments appearing in the newspaper reflect the opinions of the contributors
and do not constitute an endorsement by POV and are subject to editing. POV assumes no
responsibility for photos, articles, letters, press releases or unsolicited materials. Decisions
as to the editing and publishing of material are based on space availability and the discretion
of the publisher and editor. Distribution locations are listed on our web site. POV assumes
no financial responsibility for failure to publish an advertisement, incorrect placement or typographical errors in its publication. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content of their
advertising and claims and offers contained within their advertising. POV reserves the right
to refuse advertising for any reason. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without
written permission.
COVER
C
AN AFRICAN AMERICAN POINT OF VIEW
october 1, 2014
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 4
african american point of view
AF-AM NEWS
OTHERS’ BITS
A REASONABLE MAN: “If two
people agree on everything, one of
them is not thinking.”
A POLITICIAN: “Sincerity is
everything. And once you learn to
fake it, everything else comes easy.”
AN INDEPENDENT: “What Republicans do is talk a good game and
don’t do anything. What Democrats
do is talk a good game and do the
same old thing.”
JUSTICE FOR DELANO
WALKER, JR.
B
y the time interest and attorney
fees are added to the 1.3 million
dollar jury award against the city and
police officer Sean Sullivan, who
most certainly caused Delano Walker,
Jr.’s death, the city of Springfield and
officer Sullivan will owe close to $2
million for violating Walker’s civil
rights and other charges. It doesn’t
happen often in Western Massachusetts when the plaintiff is Black and
the defendant is a police officer but in
this case, justice was done.
atching this media hysteria
over Black football players accused of domestic violence and child
abuse does not appeal to me. It is over
the top and smacks of a “witch hunt.”
If every man who ever hit his wife or
girl friend or whipped his kid were to
lose his job, the unemployment rate
would soar and many families would
suffer. Certainly I don’t condone such
behavior and I support laws and rules
that punish it. The law in the football
cases seems to be working pretty well
but the NFL rules, which are not
working, were undefined, if not nonexistent, until the recent media storm
compelled the NFL to action. Now,
the rules are far more slapstick than
uniform and are being made applicable to these young Black athletes
bits
By Frederick A. Hurst
after the fact. Under the Constitution,
such ex post facto and vague “laws”
would not be allowed. Because the
NFL is not government, its officials
can be scared into whatever actions
the news-driven hysteria demands so
we end up with the harshest punishments that even some of the alleged
domestic violence victims, for good
reason, oppose. Let’s get the rules
and the punishments straight and on
the books and educate the players of
the consequences of their actions and
apply them going forward. I, for one,
am not comfortable with “mob action” supplanting the rule of law especially when all the players
subjected to it are Black.
HAVE YOU NOTICED?
T
he Affordable Care Act, popularly called “Obamacare,” is fading as a Republican election issue.
The fundamental cause is that Obamacare is working. And it is working
in Republican strongholds such as
Kentucky and Arkansas where Democratic candidates are touting it and
Republicans are beginning to shy
away from demonizing it. What a difference a day makes.
HYSTERIA DOES NOT
APPEAL TO ME
W
october 1, 2014
page four
RON CHIMELIS IS
PUERTO RICAN
T
he Republican’s Ron Chimelis is
a very good writer and I’ve always enjoyed reading his articles
which cover an appealing and diverse
terrain. But there was always something in his writing that puzzled me
until I read his article, “Don’t forget,
Puerto Ricans are Americans too,” in
which he revealed that he is Puerto
Rican. (August 29, 2014) A light
went off in my head. It was his sensitivity range that puzzled me. Where
did it come from? Whether he was
writing on the opinion page or the
sports page, something in his writing
came through to me that gave the
message that “this man is something
more than he appears to be.” And it
was only after I read “Don’t forget,
Puerto Ricans are Americans too”
that I understood what it was. As his
article so clearly messaged, he is both
Puerto Rican and American and a
Puerto Rican in America. He also has
Anglo features. And because he doesn’t trumpet his Puerto Rican heritage,
he has been privy to a side of the
American racial and ethnic experience that is unadulterated, undeniable
and unfiltered as White Americans
spill their true thoughts on the table
before him. I truly don’t know which
is worse, having White folks tell you
the bigoted truth because they don’t
know you are not White or knowing
the bigoted truth and having them
hide it from you because they know
who you are. Having had a relative on
my father’s side who deliberately
passed for White to overcome the
limitations of segregation, I now regret not having been curious enough
to probe the effect on him. Ron
Chimelis didn’t hide like my relative
did. He just didn’t trumpet his ethnicity like some of us do until his insightful article put down the notion
held by so many Americans that
Puerto Ricans are immigrants, Puerto
Rico is not part of America and
Puerto Ricans are not Americans. All
are incorrect. And I genuinely hope
Chimelis felt some pleasure setting
others straight. But more precisely, I
now know why I am so attracted to
his writings which unabashedly,
though so subtly, reflect the depth and
diversity of his human experiences.
AT LEAST WE’RE
TALKING
“D
emocrats are significantly
more trusted on a variety of
middle-class issues. But the public
critique of the GOP is not merely:
“They don’t care enough about the
middle class.” It is rather: They don’t
care enough about the whole.” The
Republican task is not merely to shift
an impression of interest-group allegiance away from big business and
toward suburban families (though
this would be an improvement). It is
to demonstrate that conservative ideology is applicable to the common
good….In this effort, outreach to
African-Americans is actually cen-
tral. A party that does not forthrightly
address the single largest source of
division in American history and
American life – now dramatized in
the tear gas haze of Ferguson, Mo. –
is not morally or intellectually serious.” (Washington Post’s Michael
Gerson as reprinted in The Republican, August 20 2014)
FACTS SELDOM
SHARED
F
irst term President Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, was expected
to lose re-election to General George
McClellan, the lackluster Civil War
general whom he had replaced because of his reluctance to fight. It was
assumed Lincoln would lose. In desperation, Lincoln and the Republicans decided to dump the sitting Vice
President, Hannibal Hamlin of
Maine, “a staunch abolitionist, and
replaced him with Democrat Andrew
Johnson, a former slave owner and a
deep-dyed racist…For Lincoln, it
was pure political calculation: what
he most urgently needed was support
from wavering war Democrats, and
he banked on Johnson delivering
enough of their votes to swing the
election.” The tide of war turned in
Lincoln’s favor and he was re-elected
by a large margin but, “five months
later Lincoln would be dead – and the
nation would be haunted by his decision to put Johnson on the ticket.
Abolitionist Hannibal Hamlin would
have protected former slaves and
punished those who defied federal
laws. The nation would have experienced a genuine Reconstruction and
not have had to wait a century for the
Civil Rights Movement….Instead,
President Johnson pushed forward
against the will of Congress the rapid
restoration of Southern states toward
their prewar status, often with exConfederates still in control of the
levers of power. He also tolerated
horrific reprisals against blacks who
attempted to exercise their newly
won freedoms.” (Read the full article
by author Fergus Bordewich writing
for The Wall Street Journal, August
30, 2014)
continues to page 26
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 5
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page five
Dr. William Davila, “Dr. Papi”
continued from page 1
School of Commerce in 1991. He attended
the University of Massachusetts from
where he earned his Bachelor’s of Arts in
1996. At the time he graduated, he could
not have guessed that he would return to
UMass almost two decades later as head of
its Springfield campus. But he took more
away from UMass than a degree. UMass is
where he met his wife, Jenny. They were
married in August of 1997 and just celebrated their 17th anniversary.
Will kept moving. He attended
Boston College where, in 1998, he earned
his Masters of Social Work after which he
tested his metal in the employment arena.
He worked in a multitude of professional
jobs that kept him in contact with people, exposed him to
budgets and grant writing, involved him in diversity, training
and educational programs and that provided him with the
management level experience and community involvement
that will be so important to his success at UMass Center.
Will started with a one year stint as Program Director at
Projecto Esperanza of Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities
after which he joined Lesley University as Assistant Director
of Graduate Admissions where he gained his first experience
with college recruitment. And then on to Boston University
as Coordinator of Personnel & Academic Support Programs
where he provided personal and academic support programs
for undergraduate students and performed a variety of other
duties. And, after two years, he moved on to the Devereux
Foundation in 2002 as Metro Boston Regional Manager.
I’m sure you get the idea by now. Will comes to his
UMass Center job with an uncommon breadth and depth of
experience. In 2005 he worked as a West Roxbury Program
Manager for the Mentor Network and thereafter from 2006
to 2011, as Deputy Executive Director of the Children’s Study
Home on Sherman Street in Springfield’s Mason Square. And
it was while he was employed as Division Director of Outpatient Services for the Gandara Center that the advertisement
for the position of UMass Center at Springfield Director came
across his desk. His first instinct was to ignore it. He was
happy and successful at the Gandara Center and not particularly inclined to leave. But something excited him about the
challenge of competing for the Director position for which it
seemed he had been preparing all of his work life and his personal life as well.
In the interim years, Will and his wife, Jenny, had two
kids, 12-year-old son Ajani, who attends Veritas Prep, and
eight-year-old Arianna, who attends Brunton Elementary
school. Their expectations of Ajani and Arianna mirror Will’s
mother’s expectations of her own kids. They will be moving
on from elementary to secondary schools to college and
eventually into professional careers, something Will and his
wife expect and their two kids naturally take for granted.
In 2012, Will earned his Doctorate of Education from
the University of Hartford. It was sort of like a ribbon around
an already complete package. He was ready for “the call”
STCC and HCC
Launch Classes
Downtown at
UMass Center
whatever it might be and from wherever. He recalls how
meaningful his graduation ceremony was for his kids who
watched with awe as he marched down the aisle in full academic regalia to receive his degree. Thereafter, his enthralled
daughter Arianna nicknamed him “Dr. Papi.” What was certain by then is that when UMass came knocking at his door,
Dr. Papi was uniquely prepared, both personally and professionally, to take the helm of the new UMass at Springfield
campus at Tower Square on Main Street in downtown Springfield that opened for business in August 2014.
But Will was not certain he was interested in the position. He was successful and content at Gandara Center. But
the more he thought about it, the more the idea appealed to
him. He had the education, skills and experience. He was
Puerto Rican and bilingual. And he had always been connected to the community as part of his employment and his
volunteer work. The diverse demographic that UMass Springfield was targeting was a natural for him. And although Will
suspected the competition for the position might be formidable, the challenge was compelling. He finally submitted his
resume and waited a surprisingly short time for an interview
that was “different.”
It was “different” in that Will was more interested in the
interviewers knowing who he was as a person than trying to
convince them that he was the best candidate. He recalled that
his was a somewhat risky approach but it was real. He believed that anybody could prepare a nice resume and defend
it but not just anybody could present their real self convincingly.
As I interacted with Will, it became clear early on why
he was the first choice of the hiring committee. I was so taken
by him and his history and his enthusiasm, his deep seated
commitment to his new job, that for the first time in an interview, I didn’t take a single note! We talked as though we were
old friends. By the end of our discussion, I not only understood why the committee selected “Dr. Papi” for the important job of re-introducing UMass to Springfield, I would have
been astounded had they not.
Will is a rare catch who understands the importance and
the difficulty of his charge. And as reflected in the diversity
SPRINGFIELD, MASS.—Springfield Technical Community College
(STCC) and Holyoke Community College (HCC) are collaborating with the
University of Massachusetts (UMASS)
President’s office to provide workforce
training classes at the new UMass
Springfield Center at Tower Square.
Through a partnership between
STCC, HCC, and the Massachusetts
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 32 students commenced
adult basic education and workforce
readiness classes. Annually the partnership serves over 300 students.
“Collaboration is the key to creating a qualified workforce that will
drive the region’s economic prosperity,” said STCC President Dr. Ira H.
Rubenzahl. “It is essential that as a region we continue to scale up programs
like our basic education and workforce
readiness to provide an access point for
those in need of an opportunity to enter
a pathway to employment.”
STCC Director of Adult Basic Education/English Speakers of Other Languages George Kohout said the classes
are geared toward those who need academic remediation in order to obtain a
high school diploma and transition to
post-secondary education or the workforce.
“The new campus setting, in the
heart of downtown, provides a perfect
location in terms of instructional technology and professional expectations
for these students with goals of marketable skills and industry related certificates,” said Kohout.
HCC President William Messner
said this collaboration continues to
build on HCC and STCC’s expertise in
workforce training.
“Providing individuals with basic
education and workforce skills is essential in order to secure a job and
begin a career,” said Messner. “It also
lays the foundation for further education and career advancement, and contributes to the economic development
of the region.”
continues to page 33
continues to page 13
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 6
african american point of view
page six
october 1, 2014
EDUCATION
SC HO O L C O M MI T T EE H A PPEN IN G S
Know Your School
Committee Members
By Denise M. Hurst
Denise M. Hurst,
Vice Chair
Springfield School
Committee
School Committee Statement of
Purpose:
A
s instruments of the Massachusetts Legislature, local School
Committees function primarily as
[email protected]
a
legislative
body to formulate and adopt
(413) 330-1030
policy, by selecting an executive officer to
implement policy, and by evaluating the
results. They must carry out their functions openly, while seeking comments of the
public, students and staff in its decision-making processes.
The Springfield School Committee consists of the Mayor, who is chairman;
two members who are elected at-large; and four members who are elected by ward
representation. The School Committee operates in accordance with the MGL Ch. 71
and 41, which delegate its authority.
Springfield School Committee Members
Mayor Domenic J.
Sarno, Chair
Christopher Collins
Wards 6 & 7
Calvin McFadden,
At Large
Barbara Gresham
Wards 4 & 5
Peter Murphy
Wards 2 & 8
Denise M. Hurst,
Vice Chair, At Large
Rosa Perez
Wards 1 & 3
Springfield School Committee Subcommittees 2014
Budget & Finance
Christopher Collins - Chair
Dr. Calvin McFadden
Peter Murphy
School Safety
Barbara Gresham, Chair
Peter Murphy
Rosa Perez
Buildings & Maintenance
Christopher Collins – Chair
Barbara Gresham
Rosa Perez
Student, Parent Concerns
Barbara Gresham – Chair
Dr. Calvin McFadden
Rosa Perez
Curriculum & Programs
Denise Hurst - Chair
Barbara Gresham
Peter Murphy
Technology
Peter Murphy– Chair
Denise Hurst
Dr. Calvin McFadden
Legislative & Contracts
Dr. Calvin McFadden – Chair
Christopher Collins
Peter Murphy
Vocational Education
Rosa Perez – Chair
Barbara Gresham
Denise Hurst
FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT’S DESK
2014-15 Brings Success
and Challenges
By Daniel J. Warwick, Superintendent
Springfield Public Schools
he 2014-15 school year is well ments in English
underway and with it are some Language Arts and Daniel J. Warwick
very exciting developments that math have exare taking place in the district. For ceeded their peers throughout the state.
starters, we opened a brand new, first- From 2012 to 2014, SPS students’
of-its-kind school in the district. The Composite Performance Index (CPI),
Springfield Conservatory of the Arts which measures academic progress toopened with 60 students in grades 6 ward proficiency, has increased by 0.7
and 9, and will expand by 60 students points in English Language Arts
per grade.
(ELA), 3.1 points in math, and 1.8
Students have already begun points in science while the state inmusic, vocal, drama, dance and visual creases were 0, 0.4 and 1.0 points rearts classes that are taught by licensed spectively.
Springfield art teachers, artists in resiAlso since 2012, the percentage
dence and special consultants. Just as of SPS students who are proficient in
importantly, the school’s academics are math has increased by five percentage
based on the Common Core standards. points, compared to a one percentage
I am also excited about the dis- point increase for the state during the
trict’s technology plan, which aims to same time period. And over the last two
provide every student with a computer, years, middle schools in Springfield
every day in every class by 2016. With have made greater CPI gains in ELA
the delivery of hundreds of new com- and math than middle schools
puters to schools since doors opened in statewide.
August, we are already approaching a
Despite these gains in middle
ratio of one computer for every three schools, the progress at that level has
students.
not been enough. The state recently
Recently we received the great designated Duggan, Forest Park and
news that Brookings and Brightwood Van Sickle middle Schools as Level 4
elementary schools had exited Level 4 schools. We must look at middle
status based on the tremendous im- schools differently and create new opprovements in student MCAS perform- portunities for success. We know there
ance over the past several years. is much opportunity for improvement
Principals Terry Powe and John Doty at our middle schools and throughout
have been outstanding leaders in that our district and we embrace those opwork and I congratulate them and their portunities.
hardworking staffs. And as a commuAs the school year carries on, I
nity, we should all recognize the great encourage all SPS students, teachers,
work of students in those schools and staff, and concerned citizens to stay fotheir families.
cused and committed. Celebrate our
Other exciting news from the state successes as we work diligently to adthis fall includes their designation of dress our challenges. Working together,
Brunton Elementary as a Level 1 we can and we will create lasting and
school and Zanetti as Commendation significant change for our students’ fuSchool for its significant and sustained tures. ■
turnaround achievements.
Also, we recently
learned that for the second
year in a row, Springfield
Public Schools (SPS) students’ academic improve-
T
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 7
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page seven
EDUCATION
EARLY EDUCATION & CARE
HCS Head Start is Turning 50
izes upward mobility:
By Nicole Blais
Nicole Blais is Director
of Community
Engagement HCS
Head Start, Inc.
[email protected]
●
●
●
O
ctober is Head Start Awareness
Month and HCS Head Start is
ready to celebrate our 50 years
of Opportunity. For the next 31 days
and throughout the 2014-2015 school
year, HCS Head Start will celebrate
and share our history with parents, staff
and the communities we serve. This
will allow us to take pause and recognize the impact the program has had
over the last 50 years.
As part of the War on Poverty,
President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced the Economic Opportunity Act
of 1964 which included programs such
as Job Corps, Urban/Rural Community
Action, VISTA, and Project Head Start.
During this time President Johnson
stated, “We must open the doors of opportunity. But we must also equip our
people to walk through those doors.”
HCS Head Start heeded that call and
since 1965 opened classroom doors to
thousands of children and their parents
and helped to equip families for success. Recognizing that parents are their
●
child’s first and most influential teachers, Head Start works with families to
remove barriers to their success and to
deepen their ability to support their
children. Children who go through
Head Start are less likely to need special education classes or repeat grades
when they’re older, and are far more
likely to graduate high school and help
their families escape a cycle of poverty.
One of the many treasures of
Head Start is the beloved blocks that
embody the heart and soul of the program. Recently, the National Head
Start Association told the story of who
designed the logo and what it represents. Peter Masters, the art director at
that time, conceptualized the National
Head Start logo in 1965. He decided to
use toy building blocks as a metaphor
for the development and growth of
children through Head Start. To reflect
the fact that Head Start is a national
program funded by the federal government, Mr. Masters added an illustration
of the American flag. He chose red and
white stripes and an arrow, printed in
reverse on a blue background. The
arrow is the common denominator of
all antipoverty programs and symbol-
● The two squares represent early childhood
by suggesting building
blocks.
The arrangement of the blocks represents stairs by which this can be
accomplished.
The vertical stripes represent the
child and parent.
The arrow pointing upward represents the direction out of poverty
and on to the future.
The colors, red, white, and blue represent the United States and the
many opportunities it provides for
its citizens.
The story behind the logo is so
important to the mission and is a great
piece of the Head Start story that powerfully speaks to the overarching goal
of the program.
HCS Head Start is also launching
the Annual Community Read-a-Loud
program during the month of October.
This program gives us the opportunity
to invite the community into the classrooms and read to the children to see
first-hand all of the wonderful work
being done throughout the program. If
you would like to get involved with
HCS Head Start or learn more about
the program and its history, please give
us a call at 413-788-6522. We look forward to turning 50 and celebrating with
all of you. ■
EDUCATION & HOPE
A Somebody
By Gianna Allentuck
feeling of support reflected in your eyes,
Gianna Allentuck is an
the look of joy reflected in the laugh and
Adjustment Counselor at
smile lines framing your face, and the
Elias Brookings School,
tone of genuinity and appreciation reVolunteer, Wife and
Mother. For questions
flected in your lilting voice.
or comments on
At Brookings, these are words that
uniting in hope, call
we express toward Students, Educators,
(703) 930-0243
and each other every morning to emphaf you are standing next to someone, size that each of us with our unique
quirks and characteristics is a someturn to him or her and recite these
body. Is important. Vital. A beat in the
words: You are smart. You are spe- rhythm of a whole heart. A complete
cial. You are somebody. If you are alone, body. A bountiful soul.
recite them to yourself. Even better if
Elsewhere in our lives, many of us
you have a mirror nearby to capture the practice some form of recognition or
I
validation of a family member, colleague, friend. We express words of
gratitude. Leave notes of love. Offer
sentiments of praise.
In a parallel universe, however,
there are those among us who have
never been honored, cherished, or
loved. Never felt special. Who drift in
and out of others lives and realities feeling
like
a
nobody.
Alone. Hopeless. Helpless…
On Thursday, August 28, 2014, the
City of Springfield Mayor’s Citywide Violence Prevention Task Force hosted our
4th Annual Peace First: Community
Leadership Luncheon to highlight the
efforts of the Task Force in preventing
and addressing violence; and to promote
networking and sharing of resources
among a spectrum of youth, family, and
community-serving agencies and organizations.
In addition to welcoming and impassioned comments from leaders such
as Sheriff Michael J. Ashe, Mayor
Domenic J. Sarno, Principal Terry Powe,
and Pastor Calvin McFadden, we were
mesmerized by the voices of the youth
participants
of
Task
Force
programs. One by one, boys and girls
from The Officials Club Boxing program shared personal stories of triumph
over adversity; turning a life around
through school and boxing; living
healthy productive lives; and learning
continues to page 32
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african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page eight
EDUCATION
PARENTS & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
READING TO SUCCEED
These are just Temporary
Inconveniences for
Permanent Improvements
Turn Our Writing Crisis into a
Writing Revolution
By Sally Fuller
Sally Fuller heads the Reading Success by 4th Grade
(RS4G) initiative for the
Irene E. & George A. Davis
Foundation, to build community support and align efforts for all Springfield’s
children to read proficiently
on the 3rd grade MCAS.
www.readby4thgrade.com
By Patricia Spradley
Patricia Spradley is Chief
Administrator for
Parent and
Community Engagement,
Springfield Public
Schools
(413) 787-6597
O
ften in life, things happen that
we perceive as being inconvenient or even painful. Sometimes we have plans for our lives that
get interrupted and can cause us mental
anxiety. We become angry, sometimes
act out or blowup, instead of asking
Him for help.
A few weeks ago a visiting pastor
at our church preached a sermon entitled “This is just a temporary inconvenience,
for
a
permanent
improvement.” I slightly modified the
title to emphasize that we will actually
have many inconveniences that will afford us many improvements.
What happens in life is not random and meaningless. Therefore, we
should recognize that nothing happens
to us that He is not aware of. He is interested in every aspect of our lives and
has oversight and complete control. So
why not handle setbacks accordingly.
In other words, just wait on Him. It’s
only a temporary condition.
When we stray off the path, stepping outside our lane, He allows or
sends inconvenient situations to keep
us from doing further harm to ourselves. I’ve come to understand this as
a warning that we are treading on dangerous ground. It’s similar to how
many of us exercise our parenting
skills. Setting parameters and guidelines for our children to follow helps
them to understand that boundaries are
necessary. It’s also important for them
to learn that there are consequences for
choosing to ignore warnings!
As adults, we are held to these
standards too. Sometimes we veer off
the path and He herds us, like sheep,
back into His direction and often
leaves us with few choices. All too
often we wait until we’re in trouble and
then scramble, hoping someone or
something will happen to resolve the
issue. The minister referenced that He
will “make it so tight that there is no
room for us to turn either to the right
or to the left.”
We often see these situations as
curses or punishments, and often they
are. But even His curses are a form of
His grace. Let me try it this way: When
we step on something that’s sharp, we
sometimes get irritated from the pain
and often don’t think about how that
pain is actually a warning to our body
that we have been injured or may be in
a place that is dangerous. And, although we often see these things as inconveniences, it’s actually His amazing
grace and love, much like the love that
we have for our children.
These temporary setbacks are part
of His plan to get our attention. We
have our own plans, expectations, and
dreams, but sometimes, they are not
the plans that He has for us. So He
places inconveniences in our path to
slow us down or turn us around. He
often sends little tests and things into
our lives that are inconvenient, to either teach us something, to test us, or
to guide us in His will. They’re only
temporary.
Celebrate this, even though for a
little while you may have to experience
some challenges and obstacles. When
we come out on the other side, the permanent improvements will be amazing! ■
B
ecause I love to write, this blog
in the Huffington Post had a
strong impact on me. Hence,
this share! This is Steve Graham’s post
and I am giving you a shortened version, but all in his words. I hope you
will share these strategies in your interactions with your children at home, in
the classroom, in the Sunday school
classroom, in the after-school program.
According to Graham, “Our nation faces a writing crisis. And unless
we fix it, we risk a generation of Americans ill prepared for work and society.”
He then cites the data: “…on the National Assessment of Educational
Progress…a mere 27 percent of 8thand 12th-graders scoring at or above
grade level on the written portion of the
2011 assessment.”
Here are his powerful thoughts
and recommendations.
“We have transitioned to a knowledge-based economy in which communication skills are more important than
ever. It’s how we inform, explain,
argue, persuade, and convey actionable
information to others. Therefore, the
alarming decline in writing proficiency
constitutes a true crisis.
So, if we are in the midst of a writing crisis, what’s the solution?
It starts with foundational writing
skills — the building blocks of written
language. As children learn to write,
they develop the knowledge, skills and
processes necessary for skilled writing:
how to recognize letters and how to
shape them, how letters go together to
form words, how words are put together
to form coherent sentences, how to plan
and revise text and how to write for specific purposes and audiences. These
processes are developed concurrently
with reading comprehension skills…
Research has borne out that there
are at least seven foundational skills required for writing mastery. These include:
1. Handwriting. Studies have repeatedly shown handwriting instruction
and practice to be linked to better
letter perception, reading acquisition, word learning, composition
and writing fluency.
2. Spelling. In addition to mastering
letter formation, students must learn
how letters work together to form
words.
3. Vocabulary development. A strong
vocabulary is critical for both reading comprehension and effective
writing. Writers must be able to
choose the right words to convey
meaning and intention to capture a
reader’s interest.
4. Sentence construction. Effectively
using a variety of sentences to convey meaning and emphasis helps
keep readers engaged and ensures
that the intended audience understands the writer’s message.
5. Writing process. Multiple studies
have demonstrated the importance
of explicit instruction in the writing
process.
6. Writing strategies. Students also
need specific strategies for each
stage of the writing process. These
may include brainstorming, outlining, goal setting, and self-evaluation.
7. Genre knowledge. Students must
be able to apply writing skills across
a variety of genres and to write for
a variety of purposes.
Instilling these seven foundational
skills requires intentional focus…” Graham states, and goes on to describe the
need for children to have ample time to
practice, to have frequent feedback and
a safe, positive environment where they
can try out new skills.
continues to page 12
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 9
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page nine
BUSINESS & FINANCE
FINANCIAL “CENTS”
Walter D. Woodgett
Gator Financial &
Insurance Planning
413-455-3765
[email protected]
gatorfinancialins.com
A
s an investor, what are your
goals? You can probably think
of quite a few — but over the
course of your lifetime, your objectives
typically will fall into five key categories. And once you’re familiar with
these areas, you can start thinking of
what they’ll mean to you in terms of
your financial and investment strategies.
So, let’s take a look at each of
these areas and see what they might entail for you:
● Preparing for retirement — With
advances in health care and a greater
awareness of healthy living practices, many of us can expect to live
two or three decades in an active retirement. To pay for all those years,
you’ll need to save and invest early
and often. So, while you’re working,
take full advantage of your 401(k)
or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, as well as contribute to a
traditional or Roth IRA. After un-
Become Familiar with These Five Key Areas
Provided by Walter D. Woodgett
derstanding your desired retirement
lifestyle, your financial advisor can
help you determine how, and how
much, to save to provide for your income in retirement.
● Planning for the unexpected —
You can’t see into the future, so
you’ll need to prepare for anything
that comes your way. By building an
emergency fund containing six to 12
months’ worth of living expenses,
you can possibly avoid dipping into
your long-term investments to pay
for things such as a new furnace or
a major car repair. And planning for
the unexpected also means having
sufficient life insurance to provide
for your family in case anything
happens to you.
● Educating your children — College is already expensive — and college expenses have been rising
faster than the overall rate of inflation. If you want to help your children, or grandchildren, pay for
school, you may want to invest in a
college savings vehicle, such as the
529 plan. You can contribute large
amounts to a 529 plan, and earnings
have the opportunity to grow taxfree, provided withdrawals are used
for higher education. (Withdrawals
not used for education are subject to
income taxes and a 10 percent
penalty.)
● Living in retirement — Once you
reach retirement, your investment
emphasis will shift somewhat, from
accumulating resources to making
them last. By working with a financial advisor, you can develop a withdrawal strategy that can help make
sure you don’t outlive the income
you receive from your 401(k), IRA
and other sources. At the same time,
given the possible length of your retirement, you can’t ignore the need
to invest for growth, so you may
need to consider some growth-oriented vehicles in your portfolio to
help your income keep pace with inflation.
● Transferring your wealth —
When you’ve worked hard your
whole life, you want to be able to
leave a legacy — one that allows
you to provide financial resources to
the next generation and to those
charitable organizations you may
wish to support. So, when it’s time
to think about transferring your
wealth, you’ll want to consult with
your financial and legal advisors to
create an estate plan that’s appropriate for your needs. And because
these plans can take significant time
to create, you won’t want to wait too
long to start.
So, there you have them: five key
financial areas on which to focus as you
travel through life. By doing your
homework, planning ahead and getting
the help you need, you can make the
journey a pleasant and productive one.
Home Ownership Has
Never Been Easier
MORTGAGES
œ˜Ûi˜Ìˆœ˜>ÊUÊÊUÊ6ÊUÊ1-
FINANCIALLY YOURS
There’s a Way to Fix
Tax Return Errors
By Samuel N. Wilson Jr.
Samuel N. Wilson Jr.,
Certified Public Accountant, owns an accounting
firm in Bridgeport, CT and
is an investment advisor.
He can be reached at
[email protected]
sbcglobal.net or
203-368-6086.
FROM BRIDGEPORT,
CONNECTICUT
S
uppose you discover a mistake
or omission of an item on the
2013 federal tax return you recently filed. Should you ignore the
error? Although it can depend on the
nature and significance of the item, the
answer is generally “no.” But the matter may be resolved by filing an
amended 2013 return.
Certainly, you will need to file
“Form 1040X: Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return” if you discover
that you made a significant error on
your original tax return. But this form
is also used to make other changes to
your original filing. Perhaps you decide
to change your filing status, or you find
more deductions and decide to itemize
them rather than claiming the standard
Federally insured by NCUA. Shares and deposits in excess
of NCUA limits are fully insured by MSIC.
s #ONVENIENT ,OCATIONS s WWWFREEDOMCOOP
deduction. You may have overlooked
the earned income credit, or perhaps
even forgot to report a dependent. You
could also be unlucky enough to receive a “revised” brokerage statement
or Form K-1 from a partnership or LLC
long after you filed your original return.
Why bother to file a Form
1040X? If the IRS owes you money,
you’ll want to file this form in order to
receive your additional refund. Even if
you owe the IRS, it’s wise to file Form
1040X rather than waiting for the IRS
to catch the error, which will likely
happen eventually. By being proactive,
you’ll avoid some potentially stiff
penalties and interest charges. However, the timing is critical. You have
three years (including extensions) from
the original due date of the return to file
an amended return. If you didn’t pay
your taxes in full when you submitted
your return, you only have two years
from the date you finally paid your tax
bill to make the corrections.
If you think you should file an
amended return, contact our office or
another professional advisor for any assistance you need. ■
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 10
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page ten
H E A LT H
HEALTH MATTERS
Mommy,
Make Me Healthy
By Dr. Anika C. Thrower and Danielle Jurich
Dr. Anika Thrower,
MPH, CLC
WIC Program
Manager/Cornell Scott
Hill Health Center
New Haven Food
Policy Council
-Your Health
Is My Wealth-
he ability to provide a baby with
a healthy start in life is precious.
For a healthy birth outcome, a
pregnant woman has to be willing to
sustain health habits and/or make an effort to live a healthier lifestyle daily.
Though some pregnancies are planned,
many are unplanned. Twenty years ago
the unintended pregnancy rate among
women within incomes below the federal poverty level was 88 per 1,000
women ages 15–44. This rate increased
to 120 per 1,000 women in 2001 and
132 per 1,000 in 2006. In other words,
there was a 50% rise over nearly two
decades (Finer & Zolna, 2006). This
means a woman can go months with
poor health habits, including smoking
and unhealthy eating habits, before she
learns she is pregnant. In 2010 there
were 3,999,386 births reported in the
United States (U.S. Census Bureau,
2011). This meant that there were millions of expectant mothers who faced
the need to assess their health habits.
Many studies showed that a
mother’s health status, in particular her
weight, has a direct impact on the health of her infant (Moschonis, Grammatikaki, & Manios, 2008) and even the
baby’s future weight. In other words,
many times a parent’s weight/health heavily influences their child’s weight/health. Minority women continue to
experience the greatest impact of poor
birth outcomes such as gestational diabetes (diabetes only while pregnant).
Poor health is often directly linked to
being overweight. According to the
Centers for Disease Control, for the
weight categories: underweight, normal
weight, overweight, and obese, the corresponding body mass index (BMI)
T
value ranges are: below 18.4, 18.5–
24.9, 25.0–29.9, and 30.0 and above,
respectively (CDC, 2011). In other
words, a BMI of 25 and over is considered unhealthy. During pregnancy,
women with unhealthy BMIs are at
greater risk for developing preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, fetal loss, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and congenital
anomalies.
Sometimes newly pregnant females have a difficult time separating
fact from fiction regarding foods to
consume and how much. This can be a
time of excessive food intake “for the
baby’s sake.” Poor nutrition can potentially affect birth outcomes to include
such issues as prematurity or low birth
weight, not to mention morbidity (illness) and mortality (death). Together a
WIC nutritionist, along with one’s medical team, can play a valuable role in assisting expectant women sort out the
facts through health-based conversations and offering up-to-date maternalbased literature.
(Please contact author for a citation list)
Dear Robust Reader,
B
eing pregnant can be a treasured experience as the first
bond is established. One discovers
quickly that sustaining a new life
goes far beyond considering baby
names, decorating a space, and
buying clothes. It’s a time to be optimist about the prospects of the
healthiest birth outcomes possible
for the infant and a pivotal time in
which a woman has to take preventive steps to ensure a baby has
the best start in life.
Next month we will dig deeper
into issues around maternal health.
Please forward your thoughts, comments, and ideas, as they are important
to me, to:
[email protected],
attention: Anika. ■
Are You At Risk For
Developing Breast
Cancer?
By Crystal Brown, Senior Representative,
Community Engagement, New England Division
American Cancer Society, Inc.
Doris Harris, Editor
Prevention Specialist
Caring Health
Center, Inc.
Doris can be
contacted at
[email protected]
Seven Risk Factors You
Need to Know About
A
ccording to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is
the most common cancer
among American women, except for
skin cancers. About 1 in 8 (12%)
women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
Risk factors for breast cancer include:
1. Getting older: As you age, your
risk of developing breast cancer increases. About 1 out of 8 invasive
breast cancers are found in women
younger than 45, but about 2 of 3
invasive breast cancers are found in
women age 55 or older.
2. Family history of breast cancer:
Your risk for developing breast cancer is higher if you have a close
blood relative with the disease.
Having one first-degree relative
(mother, sister or daughter) with
breast cancer approximately doubles a woman’s risk.
3. Personal history of breast cancer:
A woman with cancer in one breast
has a 3- to 4-fold increased risk of
developing a new cancer in the
other breast or in another part of the
same breast.
4. Race and ethnicity: Overall, white
Crystal Senter Brown
women are slightly more likely to
develop breast cancer than are
African-American women, but
African-American women are more
likely to die of this cancer. However, in women under 45 years of
age, breast cancer is more common
in African- American women.
5. Having children later in life:
Women who have had no children
or who had their first child after age
30 have a slightly higher breast cancer risk. Having many pregnancies
and becoming pregnant at a young
age reduce breast cancer risk. Pregnancy reduces a woman’s total
number of lifetime menstrual cycles, which may be the reason for
this effect.
6. Oral contraceptives: Studies have
found that women using oral contraceptives (birth control pills) have
a slightly greater risk of breast cancer than women who have never
used them. This risk seems to go
back to normal over time once the
pills are stopped.
7. Being overweight or obese: Being
overweight or obese after
menopause increases breast cancer
risk. Having more fat tissue after
menopause can increase your
chance of getting breast cancer by
raising estrogen levels
You can join in the fight against
breast cancer by joining the 2014
American Cancer Society Making
Strides Against Breast Cancer on
Sunday, October 5 at Stanley Park in
Westfield. Teams may register online
at
http://www.makingstrideswalk.org/p
ioneervalleyma. Call 413-493-2100
for more info! ■
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 11
african american point of view
page eleven
october 1, 2014
Patient Yvette with
BBWC Supervisor Linda Garvey
With You for Life.
At the Baystate Breast & Wellness Center, our specialists and surgeons are committed to life.
Your life. Our entire team works together to bring you the latest diagnosis and treatments.
More than that, we offer the care and support you need every step of the way, including the
region’s most comprehensive Breast Cancer Survivorship Program.
Our beautiful, new center offers comfort and convenience, backed by experts committed
to providing a meticulous level of care. If it’s time for your screening mammogram, call us
today–we even offer early morning, early evening, and Saturday appointments.
Call today: 413-794-8899
100 Wason Avenue, 3rd Floor | Springfield
Learn more and take an online photo tour at baystatehealth.org/breastcenter
CS147886
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 12
african american point of view
page twelve
october 1, 2014
H E A LT H
HEALTH MATTERS
New Information for Those Considering
Double Mastectomy
W
hile many women are opting to have a double mastectomy for early stage breast cancer, studies are beginning to show that the
procedure is not linked to a lower risk of death than
other options, such as breast-conserving therapy in
conjunction with radiation.
“This is a trend that we have seen here in Western Massachusetts. Many of the women that we see
who have been diagnosed with breast cancer are concerned about the future risk of breast cancer in the
other (non-affected) breast and, therefore, are asking
about the double mastectomy as a way to improve survival,” said surgical oncologist Holly Mason, who
serves as director of Breast Services at Baystate Medical Center.
“As evidenced in this study, as well as in other
recent studies, this is not the case. For the individual
patient, optimizing treatment of the cancer that we
know about now (and not a potential future cancer) is
the treatment that will improve survival,” she added.
The study was published in a recent edition of
the Journal of the American Medical Association
(JAMA). In the study, out of Stanford University
School of Medicine, the authors noted that previous
research has shown that patients with early-stage
breast cancer have similar survival rates whether
treated with a combination of breast-conserving therapy and radiation or a mastectomy. Yet, they note in
their published study that the number of breast cancer
patients undergoing a mastectomy, in particular, a
double mastectomy, is increasing.
In an accompanying editorial addressing the
study, the point was made that doctors must inform
their patients of the surgical risks – especially that
there is still a chance of new or recurrent breast cancer.
“This is a very important part of the surgical consultation for breast cancer. It is essential for patients to understand the
multidisciplinary approach (surgery, medication, radiation) to breast cancer treatment. A
more extensive surgery does not necessarily
improve survival,” said Dr. Mason.
The Baystate breast surgeon noted that
although the idea of the double mastectomy
may be appealing, it is a significantly larger surgery
than breast conservation.
“We are seeing data that shows that the complication rate (the risk of bleeding, infection, wound
breakdown or need for reoperation) is higher in patients undergoing the double mastectomy than in patients undergoing
breast conservation
or a unilateral mastectomy. In terms of
breast cancer treatment, this can mean
a delay in the start of
the other treatment
that is absolutely
necessary to control
the breast cancer,
such as chemotherapy or radiation,”
said Dr. Mason.
However, Dr.
Mason implied that
arguments over the
double mastectomy
do not necessarily
apply to the BRCA
gene mutation carri-
READING TO SUCCEED
Turn Our Writing Crisis into
a Writing Revolution
continued from page 8
“Our national transition to a
knowledge-based economy is certain
to continue, requiring an increasing
level of writing proficiency for workers across all industries and job levels. Giving young students a solid
foundation, intervening with older
students who struggle, and sharing
responsibility for writing across the
entire education community can help
turn our writing crisis into a writing
revolution.”
I will support this writing revolution. Will you make it happen in
your home and advocate for it to happen in your child’s classroom?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stev
e-graham/fixing-our-nationalwriti_b_5708625.html?ncid=fcbklnk
ushpmg00000020 ■
ers or patients with a strong family history for breast
cancer.
“For these patients, the question may be whether
or not the double mastectomy should occur at the time
of breast cancer treatment or at a later date, once breast
cancer treatment is completed,” she said. ■
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 13
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page thirteen
COMMUNITY
COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES
C A L L TO TH E CA USE
We Are Ferguson, Missouri
Protect The Good Inside
Of You At All Cost
By Bishop Talbert W. Swan, II
By Kirk Smith
Bishop Talbert W.
Swan, II is Pastor of The
Spring Of Hope Church
Of God In Christ &
President of the Greater
Springfield NAACP
T
he violent scenes from Ferguson, Missouri in August are not
what most Americans expected
to see in 2014. Yet, the simmering tensions in that town, following the shooting of an unarmed teenager, did not
come as a big surprise to those of us
who have been warning that we were
nearing the boiling point of racial tensions.
We don’t yet know everything
about what’s happened, or is happening, in Ferguson, but here’s what we do
know. Michael Brown was shot and
killed by police and protests in the
wake of his horrible death were met
with a virtual militarized response from
law enforcement in the area.
We also know that the myth of a
“post-racial” America is contradicted
by a criminal justice system in which
young African-American men are, by
almost any measure, disproportionately
more likely to be arrested, sentenced,
or even killed when compared to white
peers. It’s not just the situation in which
there’s disparity, but also even in the
perception of the problem. A recent
Pew study showed that when asked the
question, “Do police treat blacks less
fairly?” 33 percent of whites said “yes”
while nearly 80 percent of AfricanAmericans said “yes”. Whatever the
particulars of the terrible situation in
Ferguson, racial division is far from resolved in America.
In today’s racially divided nation,
we cannot simply advocate for racial
justice; we must embody it. We ought
to speak to the structures of society
about principles of morality and righteousness, but we also ought to model
those principles in our homes, congre-
gations and communities. The quest for
racial justice comes not just through
proclamation but through demonstration. I attempted to get Springfield
Mayor Domenic Sarno to appoint a
commission to study police/community
and race relations and make recommendations on how we can avoid a Ferguson-like situation. He responded by
noting the city’s efforts against gang violence as if that was the root of racial
divisions.
I’ve got news for the mayor and
all those who think Springfield is prepared to avoid a Ferguson-like reaction:
racial and ethnic division and bigotry
are not merely historical vestiges still
existing in our city and across the nation, these divisions and hatred are
older than America, and are rooted in
an evil deception that tells us that God
made one race superior to another.
Ferguson reminds us that American society has a long way to go in
healing old hatreds. The stories of unarmed black men being killed across
the nation make one thing painfully
clear: The killing of black men in incidents that begin as investigatory police
stops are anything but unusual in America. In this sense, Ferguson is Everytown,
U.S.A.
Springfield,
Massachusetts is Ferguson, Missouri.
When we examine what happened
in Ferguson – at the violence and the
anger and sorrow and the repression, at
the profound and agonizing questions
that swirl concerning integrity and people’s rights to live – we understand that
we’ve been through it before in our
own beloved city. We must understand
that this isn’t something new. It isn’t a
new phenomenon. It is in our nation’s
fabric. This is who we are. It’s who
we’ve been for a very long time. We are
Ferguson, Missouri. ■
Kirk Smith is President
& CEO, YMCA of
Greater Springfield
413-739-6951
www.springfieldy.org
I
believe that every person is born
with a high degree of goodness.
And, throughout the course of our
lives, we have many opportunities to
gain more good ― our living situations,
parents, grandparents, care givers,
teachers, friends, neighbors and others
all play a role in our goodness. These
opportunities shape everything about us
― our manners, work ethic, intelligence, athleticism, and many other personality traits.
Although not everyone is brought
up in ideal settings, even challenging
environments can contribute to our
goodness. In fact, difficult situations
where our goodness is tested can often
inspire personal greatness.
As time goes on, personal goodness grows or goes. As much as you
may become a better person, there are
threats against your goodness every day.
Over time, some people succumb to
these threats and lose their goodness.
For as many opportunities as we have to
enhance our goodness, there are equal
chances for our goodness to diminish.
The goodness in kids gets tested
every day. They may have classmates
who don’t share their values. They may
have friends who have different priorities. Certainly, technology and social
media provide very easy threats to our
goodness.
As adults, the more successful and
visible we become in our careers, the
more our goodness gets tested. There
are people who will attack your character and speak poorly of you, all in an effort to take away your God-given
goodness. Call it jealously or insecurity,
but people will try to compromise your
goodness and cause you to be consumed
by bitterness, anger and distrust.
But if we stop being good, what’s
the point of living?
Answer the call to the cause: protect your goodness. Stay good by surrounding yourself with good people. No
one is good enough to surround themselves with bad people and think they
are going to stay good. It’s impossible.
(To view this editorial and Smith’s past
articles, visit www.springfieldy.org/category/news/president-ceo-editorials.) ■
COMMUNITY INFORMATION
STCC and HCC Launch Classes
Downtown at UMass Center
continued from page 5
Executive Director of the UMass
Donahue Institute and Co-Director of
the Springfield start-up Dr. J. Lynn
Griesemer applauded the two community colleges for embracing a partnership with UMass.
“Through offering adult basic education classes at the UMass Center we
are creating another pathway, making
higher education a reality for everyone
in our community,” said Griesemer.
Classes began September 15 and
will run through December 19 at the
UMass Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
All classes and curriculum materials
are free for students enrolled in the program.
To sign up for classes in the future
or to learn more about the Adult Basic
Education classes held at the UMass
Center, please contact the STCC Adult
Education Center, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at (413) 755-4300.
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 14
african american point of view
page fourteen
october 1, 2014
COMMUNITY
LEADERSHIP PIONEER VALLEY (LPV)
Don’t Just Think About It, Run!
By Lora Wondolowski
exhausting, but also a rush. Although I
Lora Wondolowski,
have not been very active on camDirector of Leadership
Pioneer Valley, she is
paigns since that time, I still feel compassionate about
pelled to get involved and advocate for
strengthening the
citizen involvement in elections. CamPioneer Valley.
Contact her at
paigns still have a “pull” on me.
413-737-3876 or
We are now in full swing for this
www.leadershippv.org
year’s mid-term elections. The primarvery fall, geese and other migra- ies have been decided and the general
tory birds get restless and jittery, election is only a month away with canbeing pulled by a force outside didates vying for seats from the State
of themselves to do something. Similar House to the Governor’s office. Sadly,
to the birds, every other year I also get the primaries drew historically low
restless being pulled by a different turnout numbers last month. Each year
force. I spent ten years prior to Leader- this number seems to shrink. We can
ship Pioneer Valley working for politi- only hope that there will be more excal environmental organizations. citement around the general election.
During those campaign seasons, my
Where is everybody? Our goverschedule was not my own. There were nor and state legislators will address
countless long days and late nights of important issues such as local funding,
door-knocking, phone calls, debates, domestic violence, jobs, minimum
and rallies in support of the candidates wage, climate change, and the list goes
my organization had endorsed. It was on. With so many complex issues, why
E
do we stay home?
In the Commonwealth, we are
among the least competitive in elections in the nation. Five of our nine
members of Congress were unopposed
in the primaries, including our U.S.
Senator. In the legislature, 52% of state
senators were unopposed and roughly
50% of representatives lack challengers
this year. With few contested races on
the ballot, it’s no wonder that few voters got excited about voting.
Now don’t get me wrong, I respect and appreciate our incumbent
elected officials and their dedication
and service. Experience and relationships are important on Capitol Hill and
Beacon Hill. But without challengers,
how can we ensure new ideas, legislators that mirror our communities, and
root out complacency? Our democracy
relies on both active voters and candidates.
As leaders, our obligation does
not stop at the ballot box. We need to
take the next step and get involved in
elections. We can foster a culture of
competition in state politics, like we
saw in the open senate seat for the First
Hampden and Hampshire district with
five Democratic candidates. We can
urge members of our organizations and
community groups to start running in
primaries. We can support candidates
as individuals with our time and treasure. Better yet, we can consider running ourselves. I am proud that two
Leadership Pioneer Valley alumni ran
for local elected offices last year and
one of them won. What would it take
for more emerging leaders to consider
running (besides money)? Countless
potential candidates—thoughtful men
and women—could bring a lot to public affairs. Don’t just think about it, run!
413-273-4022
COMMUNITY FOCUS
Remembering Carole Johnson
By Dale Parker
C
arole Johnson, the originator of
the Buckingham Jr. High
School Reunion, was called
home on September 6, 2014. She recruited committee members Elaine
Scott, Ruth Malone and David Montgomery at the 1991 Stone Soul weekend, and, in a little more than a month,
they held the first Buckingham Reunion in October, 1991. Carole remained the driving force, the head, and
the glue for the reunion committee for
many years until unfortunate circumstances cause a few postponements.
This year Carole said: “We have to do
this.” Regrettably, her health declined
and she succumbed before completing
plans for this year’s reunion.
Carole was devoted to her mother,
her sisters, her children and grandchildren. She believed that education is the
key for people of color so that we don’t
repeat the past or let others determine
our future. She exemplified her passion
for education by earning her bachelor’s
and master’s degrees at AIC and was
currently pursuing a doctorate at the
University of Phoenix.
The Buckingham Junior High
School Reunion will be held this year
in memory of Carole Johnson on October 18, 2014 at the Cedars Banquet
Specializing in Siding, Repairs on siding, Insulation, Windows,
Roofing, Drywall, Flooring, Painting and much more!
Hall. Tickets are $50 with a complimentary fish fry on October 17th at
Cozy Courtyard.
For tickets and information,
contact: Ruth at 413-734-6919, Carol
at 413-636-9196, Elaine at 413-7888175 or Solid Gold Beauty Palace, 40
Berkshire Ave. at 413-732-4542. ■
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 15
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page fifteen
COMMUNITY
COMMUNITY INFORMATION
Massachusetts Commission on the Status of
Women Hosting Holyoke Public Hearing on
Women’s Issues
The October 22 hearing at Holyoke Community College provides a forum
for the region’s stakeholders to discuss issues and concerns important
to women, gaps in provision of services
T
he Massachusetts Commission
on the Status of Women will
host a public hearing on October 22, 2014, from 4:30 pm to 6:30
pm. The hearing will be held in room
205 at the Kittredge Center at
Holyoke Community College, located at 303 Homestead Avenue,
Holyoke, MA 01040.
The purpose of the hearing is to
give all stakeholders in Holyoke as
well as those in the surrounding communities the opportunity to discuss issues and concerns important to women,
as well as the gaps or barriers they have
experienced in the provision of services
available. Citizens, government officials, and organizations that advocate
for women and families in the region
are invited to attend and encouraged to
participate in the open public hearing
by providing testimony/recommendations.
The Massachusetts Commission
on the Status of Women serves to advance women toward full equality in all
areas of life and to provide a permanent, effective voice for women in
communities across the Commonwealth. The October 22 public hearing
is one way the Commission fulfill its
mandate of surveying, reviewing and
reporting on the status of women in
Massachusetts.
The testimonies provided will be
recorded and discussed by the commissioners to consider the impact of policy
on women and families in the region.
The findings will be cited in the
MCSW Annual Report to the Commission’s appointing authorities and to
state and local officials. In following up
on the recommendations, the commissions will work with regional organizations and elected officials to assess the
impact of legislation.
The commissions will accept both
written and oral testimony at the Octo-
ber 22 hearing. Those interested in testifying should sign in upon arriving at
the event and will be called upon in
order of entry. Oral statements should
be limited to three minutes per speaker
and should include recommendations
to the commissions.
For more information about the
Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women or the October 22 hearing, please contact Jill Ashton, director
of MCSW, at [email protected] or
617-626-6520. ■
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POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 16
african american point of view
page sixteen
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POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 17
african american point of view
page seventeen
october 1, 2014
COMMUNITY
[email protected] GROOVE
Unity Is An Unlocked Door
By Magdalena Gómez
Magdalena Gómez is the
Co-founder and Artistic
Director of Springfield’s
first and only
[email protected],
Teatro V!da.
Ms. Gómez has been a
teaching artist for
over 35 years.
P
lantation models have left an enduring and highly effective
trademark of divide and conquer
between the field and the house. When
we rip each other apart, scrambling for
the crumbs that fall from the king’s
banquet, we will find ourselves in the
company of rats.
While it is imperative that we provide venue where our individual cultures may gather and organize, it is in
forming alliances and trust across ethnicity and class that we activate true
and enduring power for social change.
The Civil Rights Movement, which is
not past tense as we still must tend to
civil and human rights violations here
in the U.S., was never monochromatic;
it was diverse and intergenerational. It
was
not
hetero-normative;
it
wasn’t/isn’t always “civil” in disobedience (nor should it be) and it was nurtured globally by the great heroic
actions of many, such as Steven Biko,
who in the mainstream, remains in the
shadow of Mandela. Yes, we have created iconic representations of great
movements, but countless events of
human sacrifice preceded and continue
to follow Rosa Parks getting on that
bus or Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream”
speech. Nelson Mandela didn’t do it
alone either. What schools, except for
one or two, teach stateside Puerto
Rican and Cuban children the role of
tobacco workers in their shared struggle for independence? Who among us
can call Los Tabaqueros by their surnames?
Harvard Arts Medal recipient,
Fred Ho, my dear friend and comrade
who died in April, often reminded his
audiences that alliances for what is just
can happen among the most disparate
groups. The cause is greater than the individual.
As a self-identified “Matriarchal
Socialist,” Fred had a staunchly conservative, blue blood Republican benefactor. She respected his art and embraced
him, disregarding politics. They were
great friends who worked together to
heal hearts and open minds with his
singularly historic, undefinable and
prophetic music.
When ethnocentrism dominates
one’s worldview, we deprive ourselves
of allies in the never-ending struggle
against tyranny. Michael Brown’s execution in Ferguson, Missouri is not
simply the result of “police brutality”
but a society that has permitted such
human degradation to perpetuate; some
do so with intent, others by tacit consent. No tyrant comes to power in a
continues to page 31
FEATURE
Changing Lives through
Literature, a Powerful
Partnership
By Emurriel Holloway
Western New England University and
the Hampden County Superior Court
Emurriel Holloway is a
Probation Department honored nine
retired Springfield Public
probationers who successfully comSchools Administrator
pleted the CLTL program. During a 10and a freelance writer for
week, nationally recognized program,
Point of View
this group of men read poems, essays,
short stories and the always inspirational, “To Kill A Mocking Bird,” using
here are people in places that literature to change their lives. Professor
truly can and do make a differ- Brad Sullivan of Western New England
ence. They skillfully employ the University, Assistant Chief Probation
synergy of partnering and collaboration Officer Lorraine Samuelson Sigall and
for the greater impact. Such was the the Honorable Judge Tina S. Page
case with the Changing Lives Through spearheaded the program in Western
Literature (CLTL) Program.
Massachusetts.
On September 12, 2014, the HamThe honorees, the first Western
pden County Superior Court Depart- Massachusetts CLTL program class,
ment of the Massachusetts Trial Court, presented handsomely for the occasion.
T
Nine probationers successfully completed the Changing Lives through
Literature program and were honored at a ceremony held in Hampden
County Superior Court. The program was headed by Western New England University Professor Brad Sullivan, the Honorable Judge Tina S.
Page and Assistant Chief Probation Officer Lorraine Samuelson Sigall
They engaged comfortably in conversations with program supporters and other
guests. And why wouldn’t they? The literature seminars of the CLTL program
give probationers an opportunity to
build self-esteem, practice social skills
and behaviors, and rehabilitate through
discussions about literature as a condition of their probation. The program
helps probationers to integrate into so-
continues to page 33
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 18
african american point of view
page eighteen
october 1, 2014
COMMUNITY
COMMUNITY FOCUS
FANNIE LOU
at Carnegie Hall to Benefit
Social-Justice Center
Esmeralda Simmons
W
hen it came to the
question of how to utilize her life, Esmeralda
Simmons had little trouble deciding exactly what to do.
“I cut my teeth as an activist
in the student protest movement.
So I have been active since then.
This is my calling,” said Simmons
about her days as a student at
Hunter College and the political
climate during the late 1960’s and
early 1970’s, which sparked her
career choice.
As founder and executive director of the Center for Law and
Social Justice (CLSJ) at Medgar
Evers College (CUNY), Simmons
has been an advocate for the disenfranchised in the African American community for the past 28
years. During that time, she’s seen
the need for the center’s services
intensify.
“I wish I could say we didn’t
need to do this work. But there’s
so much of it, we can’t handle it
all,” she said.
CLSJ is a nonprofit, community-based service organization
that provides advocacy, research,
training and legal services in a
number of areas. Those areas include education, immigration,
misuse of police authority and voting rights.
To help Simmons and CLSJ
help the often underserved and underrepresented members of its
Brooklyn community and beyond,
a special production of “Scenes
and Songs from Fannie Lou”
will take place at Zankel Hall at
Carnegie Hall on Oct. 9. Part of
the proceeds from the event will
benefit the center; a portion of all
parterre-level tickets sold will be
donated to CLSJ.
Felicia Hunter
Fannie Lou is a new, original
musical inspired by the life of
grassroots voting rights activist
Fannie Lou Hamer. The work,
written by playwright/composer
Felicia Hunter, had its world premiere in New York City in 2012.
“Scenes and Songs from Fannie
Lou: At Carnegie Hall” is a sumptuous evening of selected music
and dialogue from the musical,
presented in concert format. More
than a dozen singer-actors, accompanied by a six-piece instrumental
ensemble, will bring Fannie Lou
Hamer’s struggle for voting rights
to the world-renowned Zankel
Hall at Carnegie Hall stage.
In addition to the performance, the evening will feature per-
Some of the "Scenes and Songs from Fannie Lou: At Carnegie Hall"
cast members and musicians
spective-setting dialogue about the
history, impact and importance of
voting rights in the United States.
Simmons will be a featured
speaker during this portion of the
evening, highlighting some of the
work CLSJ has conducted and the
areas, such as redistricting, where
it continues to focus its efforts.
Another issue that will be discussed is the Voting Rights Act, itself. Fannie Lou Hamer and other
civil rights pioneers fought long
and hard – many giving their lives
– so the 1965 legislation ensuring
the right to vote for all citizens
would see the light of day. Yet, in
2013 the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a crucial section of the
Act, grossly weakening its effectiveness. The development arguably has made the job of CLSJ
as a voting-rights watchdog and
legal advocate even more difficult.
“Half of my career doing voting rights work was doing volunteer work,” she said, adding,
“Nobody has enough money to
pay you to fight for your freedom.”
That was something Fannie
Lou Hamer also understood, Simmons noted.
“Fannie Lou Hamer was an
inspiration to me because she
knew exactly what the consequences were going to be before
[she acted],” said Simmons. “She
had a ‘good job’ on the plantation,
which she lost. Then she organized others, telling them not to be
afraid.”
“If Fannie Lou were alive
today, she’d be on Twitter, she’d
be on Facebook, all those other social media avenues,” said Simmons, “letting people know what
they have to do and when.”
Support the work of the Center for
Law and Social Justice by coming
to see “Scenes and Songs from
Fannie Lou: At Carnegie Hall,” on
Oct. 9. To purchase a ticket or for
more
information,
visit
http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2014/10/9/0730/PM/Scen
es-and-Songs-from-Fannie-Lou/ or
www.fannieloumusical.com, or
call CarnegieCharge (212) 2477800, or visit the Box Office at 57th
and Seventh. ■
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 19
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page nineteen
COMMUNITY
COMMUNITY FOCUS
St John’s Singers among Hundreds to Perform at Springfield
Unity Festival Concert Saturday, October 18
W
hen you think about the city
of Springfield, you can’t
help but notice the multiculturalism that gives Springfield its
uniqueness. It can be found by simply
walking up and down the city streets,
visiting the many local restaurants, and
listening to conversations people hare
having amongst themselves. We hear
and see this wonderful cultural diversity virtually anywhere. With this melting pot of a city, it can sometimes be
hard to find the place where you feel
like you fit in.
Lee Hagon, Vocal Music Director
at Minnechaug Regional High School,
and York Mayo, Community Volunteer,
envisioned an event that would promote racial and cultural peace and understanding; an event with no cultural
or language barriers, but of acceptance
and unity. The idea was the Springfield
Unity Choral Festival (SUCF). Together, they sought support for the idea
and engaged community leaders Jay
Adams of St. John’s Congregational
Church, Ray Drury of First Baptist of
East Longmeadow, and Rafael Osorio
of the Apostolic Renewal Church.
Together, this music team would
begin to cultivate the idea of the SUCF.
A leadership team, made up of outstanding volunteers, was formed to
make the idea a reality. One thing each
leadership team member has in common is that they see a need for uniting
the people of Springfield. “Our city is
filled with so much potential and bringing the people together and fostering a
spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood is
key in creating a positive outlook on
Springfield,” said Kenneth Young, Senior Associate Pastor at St. John’s Congregational Church.
What exactly is the SUCF?
It is a unique opportunity for the
citizens of the greater Springfield area
to celebrate our diversity, and unite in
song, with people from all the rich cultures in the Pioneer Valley. This one-ofa-kind choral event will take place at
York Mayo, Community Volunteer (far right) and Lee Hagon, Vocal Music
Director at Minnechaug Regional High School, envisioned an event that
would promote racial and cultural peace and understanding.
Springfield Symphony Hall on Saturday, October 18, 2014, at 7:30pm.
The choral group will be made up of
three hundred local singers from diverse backgrounds. Dr. Raymond Wise,
Choral Director for the event, is one of
the leading gospel choral directors in
the world. He is also a renowned
singer, dancer, lecturer, teacher, recording artist, and composer and serves on
the faculty of Indiana University.
Dr. Wise has been commissioned
to write an anthem celebrating greater
Springfield’s unity and cultural diversity. In addition to the three hundredvoice choir, a small fifty-voice choir,
named Una Voz (one voice), will be
rendering selections promoting unity in
various languages such as English,
Spanish and Hebrew. “I think it’s imperative that we sing in various languages because that’s what Springfield
is, diverse in culture but unified in
spirit,” said Brian Bailey, an Una Voz
participant.
Not only is the SUFC an outlet for
citizens but it is also invested in enriching the community. The SUFC will be
hosting a “music swap,” a nationallyknown speaker on unity and diversity,
and an all-day music seminar conducted by Dr. Raymond Wise. The
seminar will be held at the Rebecca
Johnson School for Springfield
school students on Friday, October
17, 2014. The seminar will be topped
off by a short concert showcasing what
the students have learned at 1:30 p.m.
The SUFC is hoping that the impact left on the city from these events
will be indelible. “It has been a dream
of mine to see all of Springfield’s cultural diversity gathered together in
song, celebrating our unity and diversity. Springfield Unity Festival will be
a unique vocal concert and we encourage all to attend and be inspired.” Tickets for the Springfield Unity Choral
Concert are $10.00 and are available
for purchase from the City Stage box
office or online at www.springfieldunityfestival.com. ■
Visit www.springfieldunityfestival.com
for more information and to purchase tickets.
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:47 PM Page 20
african american point of view
page twenty
october 1, 2014
Around Town & . . .
2014 Ubora Award recipient Jerald “Jay” Griffin (seated center) with previous
award recipients, standing from left: Dr. Albert Garner (2011), Chester Gibbs
(1999), Jesse Lanier (2004); seated from left: Bettye Webb (1996), Geraldine
Garner (2011), Griffin (2014), Barbara Lanier (2004), and Denise Jordan (2007).
The Baystate Health contingent at the annual Puerto Rican parade
held in Springfield.
Martin Luther King Jr., Inc. Family Center Director Ronn Johnson receives the
deed to the Center from Atty. James Martin of Pillsbury Doherty and Wallace as
board member Trish P. Smith (left) and Atty. Craig Brown also from the law firm
(right) look on.
YWCA YouthBuild Springfield and Rebuilding Together Springfield celebrate
their completion of a house on Bowles Street with a ribbon cutting and reception.
Baystate Health again sponsored a Diversity Conference. The morning panel
from left: Nathanael Harris, Comcast; Delores Campuzano, MGM; Jennifer Silvestri, Baystate Health; Joelle Murchison, Travelers; Kimberley Williams,
Baystate Health; and Phillip Berry, PRISM International.
Pastor Angelo Dawson (center), the Bethel AME church family and the Goodman
family celebrate the 102nd birthday of Mrs. Viola Goodman (center).
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 21
african american point of view
page twenty-one
october 1, 2014
. . .In The Community
The Peter Brace Brigade take part in the Stone Soul Festival parade.
The Stone Soul Festival recognized Mr. Lee Davis who poses with family
members during the picnic.
The Stone Soul Festival recognized community members for their outstanding
contributions.
Springfield City Councilor Justin Hurst and Springfield School Committee Vice
Chair Denise Hurst celebrate their first “100 Days in Office and Counting. . .”
with special guest Sheriff Michael J. Ashe, Jr.
Brookings School Principal Mrs. Terry Powe
with two of her students, who
were recognized at the “Peace First” luncheon
at the Western Massachusetts Correctional
Alcohol Center on Howard Street.
Progressive
Community Baptist Church,
Joe C. Long, Jr., Pastor, held
their annual Harvest Clothing
Drive to benefit the community.
Board members, volunteers and participants gather after the Carl Joseph
Walker-Hoover Anti-Bullying Back-to-School 5k Road Race/2k Walk held
at Forest Park in Springfield.
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 22
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page twenty-two
CONGRATULATIONS CORNER
C
C
C
C
ongratulations to Paul Robbins of Paul Robbins
Associates, Inc. “who won two awards in the 2014
Summit Creative Award® competition for his documentary-style video titled “Wally, Derek, Gladys” produced
for HAPHousing. Robbins is now a six-time winner of the
Summit Creative Award for video.”
ongratulations to Kamari Collins who was recently appointed Dean of Academic Advising & Student Success at Springfield Technical Community
College. He previously served as the college’s Director of
Academic Advising.
ongratulations to former Hampden County District
Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni who was nominated as a U. S. District Court Judge, District of Massachusetts, by President Barack Obama on September 24,
2013, confirmed by the Senate on June 4, 2014, received his
commission on June 5, 2014 and was sworn in on June 9,
2014. Rick and I wish you the very best and know that you
will admirably follow Judge Ponsor’s legacy.
ongratulations to Mayor Domenic J. Sarno who
was voted Best Local Official in The Republican and
MassLive.com’s Reader Raves poll. After getting
over his initial surprise, he responded in his typical, humble
manner by thanking the readers and accepting the award “on
behalf of all our dedicated and hardworking city employees.”
Congratulations, Mayor Sarno, you deserve it!
C
ongratulations to Jamina Scippio-McFadden
who was recently appointed Director of Student
Services, Academic Support, Marketing and Community Relations of the UMass Center at Springfield. She
previously was Assistant Professor of Communications at
American International College.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE MORROW FAMILY
T
wo hundred plus Morrow family members from the East coast to the West Coast and North
and South―MA, CT, CA,WA, MI, IN, IL, OH, WI, KY, GA, SC, NC & FL―attended the
42nd year of family reunions held this year in Beloit, WI. Family matriarch, Dora Morrow
(seated center), who is 92 years of age, and just retired a year ago from the International traveling group “Young At Heart Chorus” of Northampton, MA, is surrounded by 14 of her 15
children. Sally Morrow Arnold passed away in 2010. Photo taken from www.beloitdailynews.com
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 23
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page twenty-three
C O M MUNIT Y
THROUGH
COMMUNITY FOCUS
th
10 Annual Through Her Eyes
Girls Conference – Girls Can!
Featuring Keynote Speaker,
MC LYTE!
October 23, 2014
MassMutual Center
T
he Center for Human Development (CHD), in partnership with
Springfield College School of
Human Services (SHS), is excited to
welcome MC Lyte as the keynote
speaker for the 10th annual Through
Her Eyes Girls Conference! The event
is held every year to address the issues
facing girls and young women at risk of
personal and social dangers in our culture. Through inspiring presentations
and informative workshops, the conference focuses on the most current methods and practices for working with girls
confronting challenges in their lives.
MC Lyte truly embodies the theme
of this year’s Conference: “Girls Can!”
As a pioneer in the hip-hop music industry, MC Lyte was the first solo female rapper to release a full-length
album in 1988 with her critically acclaimed Lyte as a Rock. Throughout her
career, MC Lyte achieved a number of
distinctions including the first rap artist
ever to perform at New York’s historic
Carnegie Hall and the first female rapper to ever receive a gold single.
MC Lyte continued promoting
positive images of women of ethnic diversity by founding the Hip Hop Sisters
Network, a non-profit foundation providing national and international support to women and youth around the
globe. The HHSN has presented two
$100,000 scholarships to college students each year since its inception.
The lunchtime presentation entitled #GirlsCan will feature Helen
Caulton-Harris, Commissioner of the
Division of Community Services for the
City of Springfield, Crystal SenterBrown, Latoya Bosworth (Brenda’s
Child), and Lynette Johnson. These
amazing women who themselves exemplify the conference’s theme will inform
the audience through a powerful spoken
word performance coupled with a
multi-media presentation that will discuss the essence of girls and the many
abilities they possess. Participants will
leave inspired and reminded that there
are no limits to what girls can do!
John Roberson, CHD Vice President of Children & Family Services, has
been organizing this conference for 10
years: “I’m very proud to be a part of
the team that has grown this conference
into an indispensable resource for professionals from all over New England
to develop practical skills that help girls
thrive and become successful adults.
Partnering with Springfield College’s
School of Human Services is a great
way to ensure that the workshops and
presenters continue to be the best available.”
SHS is also proud to partner with
CHD for the Through Her Eyes conference in appreciation of the important
work that CHD does to improve our
communities. The conference’s focus
on nurturing the extraordinary potential
of young women as they navigate societal challenges coincides with the
School’s goal of providing higher education and leadership development to
the adults who work to empower these
young women.
For more information or to register, please visit www.chd.org/throughhereyes.
Springfield College’s School of Human
Services offers weekend programs to experienced adults who care deeply about
their communities. It is interesting to note
that the SHS awards more bachelor’s
and master’s degrees in social services
and public administration to African
American and Latino students than most
other institutions in the country. It is consistently ranked first or second for awarding bachelor’s degrees to minority
students in the U.S.
With over 70 programs and services,
CHD is Western Massachusetts’ largest
and most successful social service organization, delivering a broad array of critical services with proven effectiveness,
integrity and compassion. Each year,
CHD’s community based social service
and behavioral health programs reach
over 18,000 people.
1 0 th A N N U A L C O N F E R E N C E
“GIRLS CAN!”
Thursday, October 23, 2014
MassMutual Center | Springfield, MA
HER
Hosted by
EYES
In partnership with
Speaking & Performing:
M. C. LYTE
Lyricist, hip-hop pioneer, entrepreneur,
social activist and an example for people
everywhere that Girls Can!
Workshops will focus on current methods
and best practices to help today’s girls grow
into tomorrow’s strong women.
For more details or to register, please visit
www.chd.org/throughhereyes
OCTOBER 16, 2014 · WILSON AUDITORIUM · 6:30 P.M.
Disrupting the Status Quo:
Creating a Youth Empowerment Model
for Undocumented Immigrant Youth
Lauren Burke, Esquire
Since graduating from the NYU School of Law in 2009, Attorney Burke
has dedicated her career to empowering immigrants and children, focusing
on survivors of trauma. Lauren Burke is
the Executive Director of Atlas: Developing
Immigrant Youth (DIY), a public interest career
counselor at NYU School of Law, and a 2014
Echoing Green Global Fellow.
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 24
october 1, 2014
page twenty-four
african american point of view
COMMUNITY
COMMUNITY INFORMATION
Strong Schools, Strong City
Achieve Hartford!’s
New Attitude
HARTFORD,
CONNECTICUT
(September 18, 2014) – Achieve Hartford! announced today the launch of its
new brand that includes the tagline
“Strong Schools, Strong City.”
Achieve Hartford! believes that
strong schools lead to a strong city. Developing great schools requires not
only that the school system operate
with excellence, but also the entire
community. Paul Diego Holzer, executive director of Achieve Hartford!, said,
“It takes a village to educate a child and
it is our job to help families, community members, school leaders, philanthropy, businesses, and policy makers
to play their unique roles to ensure kids
succeed at school, college, career and
life.”
Convening each stakeholder
group to play its own role has been the
organization’s focus since it was
founded by business and community
leaders in 2008. Throughout the strategic planning process Achieve Hartford!’s vision has become more clear. It
was discovered that the organization
needed to create more urgency to improve the educational and economic
wellbeing of children and families in
Hartford.
The next logical step for the organization was to create a brand identity that reflects its new value
proposition that includes not only its
tag line, “Strong Schools, Strong City,”
but a website and multimedia collaterals.
“Achieve Hartford!’s new strategic plan puts the focus of our efforts directly on student outcomes, and pushes
us to convene business, university, K12 education and the community to
make
significant,
measurable
progress. We ask the community to
hold us accountable,” said Eric Daniels,
Achieve Hartford! Board Chair, Partner
of Robinson + Cole.
What is their big idea? Together
with the community, Achieve Hartford!
envisions Hartford Public Schools
graduating all students prepared for
college and career, thereby building a
viable talent pipeline for local businesses and secure futures for Hartford
residents. We maintain high expectations for schools, students, families and
the community.
“It is becoming increasingly clear
that to address seemingly intractable
urban issues, like education, there must
be a force that is pushing for collaboration and alignment that cuts across the
sectors. That is what I see Achieve
Hartford! doing in its new strategic
plan, and it’s exciting,” said Ted Carrol,
President of Leadership Greater Hartford.
A better education leads to better
career opportunities which leads to better lives. If we believe and invest, we
can create strong schools and a strong
city!
About Achieve Harford!:
Achieve Hartford! was founded in
2008 by the business community to
build a culture of education excellence among families, communities,
and schools in Connecticut’s capital
city. As an education advocacy organization, Achieve Hartford!,
serves more than 23,000 students
and families throughout the city.
Through conducting independent
research, evaluation, and engaging
the community, Achieve Hartford!
creates urgency and shared responsibility for closing the educational
achievement gap in Hartford.
Visit achievehartford.org.
Join us on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/AchieveHartford.
Follow
us
on
Twitter
at
www.twitter.com/AchieveHartford.
Ayala and Malloy Announce
Increased Resources to Improve
Bridgeport Schools
Alliance School District
program providing towns
with support for full-day
Kindergarten, early
education, and student
services
Andres Ayala
HARTFORD, CT – State Senator An-
dres Ayala and Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced a major state investment
in local schools. Alliance School Districts in communities around the state
will receive a total of $132,901,813 in
additional funding for the 2014-15 academic year to help implement academic
improvement plans. Bridgeport will receive $14,704,804 of this total.
The Alliance District program is
the state’s lead initiative to improve student success in the state’s 30 most chronically struggling school districts and to
help close achievement gaps. Since its
creation in 2012, the Alliance District
program has invested $259,843,832 in
Connecticut’s high-need school districts.
“Bridgeport’s membership in the
Alliance District program has helped
keep students in school and improve the
quality of education available to them,”
said Senator Andres Ayala. “This additional support has opened so many doors
for students who may have otherwise
struggled to complete their educations. I
thank Governor Malloy for his continued commitment to improving Bridgeport’s schools.”
“A central part of our effort to improve public education is to make sure
that districts that need the most help are
getting the extra support they need, and
that’s exactly what the Alliance District
programs does,” Governor Malloy said.
“With this additional funding, districts
are doing everything from focusing on
early literacy to adding full-day kindergarten. It’s a huge step forward, one that
is led at local level to the benefit of every
child in that district.”
The increased financial investment
is tied to greater accountability for how
this funding is spent. A true state-district
partnership, the Alliance District program requires an annual submission of
turnaround plan amendments for approval from the state.
Dannel P. Malloy
Bridgeport schools have benefited
from the additional funding by improving curriculum, offering students in high
school more college and career-oriented
classwork opportunities. Schools have
also improved efforts to improve attendance and help keep students from dropping out of school. Students who are
chronically absent, missing ten percent
of school days, in the ninth grade are less
likely to graduate high school within
four years.
Early education opportunities in
Bridgeport are also improving thanks to
the Alliance District program. Students
in Kindergarten through grade three are
given additional support by helping educators identify and correct any socioemotional problems students are having
that may inhibit learning.
In addition to improving attendance and early education, Alliance Districts around Connecticut use the support
provided by the state to strengthen preKindergarten programs, extend instructional time for students, expand
professional development opportunities
for educators, and more directly engage
families in the children’s education.
The Alliance District program was
established in 2012 when Governor Malloy signed Public Act 12-116, An Act
Concerning Educational Reform, into
law. In total, the Alliance Districts serve
over 200,000 students and 410 schools.
Over the course of the year, the
state supports the districts’ implementation by providing technical assistance to
help problem-solve if challenges arise
and by tracking key indicators like
chronic absenteeism and disciplinary actions. The department’s Turnaround Office also convenes the 30 Alliance
Districts on a quarterly basis to analyze
district performance and to provide the
opportunity for collaboration with other
districts. ■
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 25
african american point of view
page twenty-five
october 1, 2014
COMMUNITY
POLITICAL HAPPENINGS - NEW HAVEN
COMMUNITY INFORMATION - CONNECTICUT
“Colored Women as Voters”
F.T. Simpson-Waverly School
and PTO, Farmington Valley
Chapter of the Links to Present
Community Health Fair
By Arlene Davis-Rudd
n my continued
Adequate school facilities in city,
quest to bring village, and plantation districts greatly
forth our history concern the black mother. But without a
from “back in the voice she has no choice in educational
day,” I discovered a legislation, and no power to see that her
most provocative ar- children secure their share of public
ticle that should be school funds.
of great interest to
Negro parents admit that their own
Arlene Davis-Rudd our women of color, children are not all angels, but they know
and others who that the environments which they are
make up most of our devoted readership. hopeless to regulate, increase misdeThe article, “Colored Women As meanor and crime. They know, too, that
Voters,” first appeared in the September officers, as a rule, recognize few obliga1912 issue of THE CRISIS, the tions to voteless citizens.
NAACP’S informational news magazine.
Not only is the colored woman
Here are excerpts chosen from that amaz- awake with reforms that may be hastened
ing and profound article written over 100 by good legislation and wise administrayears ago, before women were given the tion, but where she has the ballot she is
right to vote.
reported as using it for the uplift of soci“More and more colored women are ety and for the advancement of the state.
studying public questions and civics. As
In various states, the colored
they gain information and have experi- woman bore her part creditably in the
ence in their daily vocations, and in their campaign for equal suffrage and also with
efforts for human betterment, they are commendable patriotism in the recent
convinced, as many other women have presidential nomination campaign.”
long ago been convinced, that their efforts
At that time, a number of colored
would be more telling if women had the women were active members of the Naright to vote.
tional Women’s Suffrage Association.
The fashion of saying “I do not care They were well- informed and diligent in
to meddle with politics,” is disappearing the spread of propaganda. ‘Women who
among the colored woman faster than saw that they needed the vote saw also
most people think, for this same woman that the vote needed them.’
has learned that politics meddle conHistory has taught us that, “Passed
stantly with her and hers.
by Congress on June 4th, 1919, and ratiGood women try always to do good fied on August 18th, 1920, the 19th
housekeeping. Building inspectors, sani- Amendment to the Constitution of the
tary inspectors and food inspectors owe United States of America guarantees all
their positions to politics. Who, then, is American women the right to vote.”
so well-informed as to how these inspecRemember, colored women were
tors perform their duties as the women included in that right to vote. Let us
who live in inspected districts and in- show the world how much we value
spected houses, and who buy food in in- that right by getting out to vote on Nospected markets?
vember 4th. This is a must! ■
I
LEWINS BOUTIQUE
Scitico Plaza Enfield, Ct /585 HAZARD AVE. (Rt. 190)
Exit 47E off I-91, 3.25 miles from the first McDonalds
PRODUCTS:
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www.lewinsboutique.com
860*749*2877
SERVICES:
Mother of Bride and Groom gowns
Bridesmaid-orders of 5 or more, hems are free!
Prom gowns
 Homecomings
Pageants
 Quinceñeras
Sweet sixteens
 Eastern Star
Social occasions
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Dress making
Expert Alterations available
Shoe dying
Professional Bra fittings
Tuxedo Rental
We specialize in Plus and Petite sizes "Personal service is our style"
Always a sale on in stock samples
By Geneva Williams
make meaningful choices about their individual and familial health. This community health fair will demonstrate that
young and old embrace good nutrition
and home safety. It will show that our
community chooses health and wellness
over sugar and smoking!”
The fair will provide children and
their families information on a wide
range of health issues, along with financial information on home ownership, financial planning for college; safety issues
such as fire prevention and safety, emerartford, Conn: — The F.T. Simp- gency preparedness, injury prevention;
son-Waverly School, in partner- and scouting.
ship with the Farmington Valley
Health issues covered include afChapter of The Links, Incorporated, will fordable nutrition; oral and dental screenpresent its Fourth Annual Community
ings; healthy homes; diabetes and
Health Fair on Saturday, October 4,
diabetes prevention; cancer awareness;
from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the F.T. Simpson Waverly School, located at 55 Wa- skin care; organ donation; eye examinaverly Street in Hartford. The theme for tions; prostrate screening; clinical beast
the fair is “Healthy Families Make examinations; blood pressure and glucose
level testing; and anti-smoking informaHealthy Communities!”
Kimberly Oliver, director of the tion; mammograms, which require preHartford Opportunity Youth Collabora- registration by calling (860) 545-1243;
tive and radio personality at W.Q.T.Q flu shots, (which will be covered by all
(89.9-FM), will serve as host at the health insurance including Medicaid; if no infair. The public is invited. Admission is surance, flu shots and mammograms
free!
are free!); CPR training; medication reComplimentary healthy snacks and
view by on-site pharmacist; pre-natal
refreshments will be provided. Children
will enjoy arts and crafts, storytelling, care; and family planning, including beand face painting, along with ample give- havioral health information and referrals.
At noon, the fair will also feature a
aways; the first 30 children will be preforum on heart health titled, “Ask The
sented free bicycle helmets!
“In many urban communities, resi- Cardiologist: The Secret to A Healthy
dents find it easier to enjoy high fructose Heart.” Dr. Anita M. Kelsey, the
corn syrup and nicotine than fresh veg- renowned director of echocardiograph;
etables and whole grains,” said Lean- medical director of Hoffman Heart
dardo Watson, principal at the F.T
School and Cardiac ultrasound; and diSimpson-Waverly School. “Children
rector of the Phillips Women’s Heart Proprove vulnerable to poor nutrition, and
are often exposed to environmental pol- gram at Saint Francis Hospital and
lutants that damage their developing bod- Medical Center, will lead the discussion.
For more information on the fair,
ies. However, armed with healthy
call
(860) 965-3532 or email:
lifestyle information, Hartford’s parents,
children, and community members can [email protected] ■
Theme — “Healthy
Families Make Healthy
Communities”
H
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 26
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page twenty-six
EDITORIAL
Frederick A. Hurst
MY POINT
OF VIEW
FROM THE PUBLISHER’S DESK
W
ell, here we go again. It is
testimony to the old adage
that one should not be in
business with family, especially not
with one’s wife. Point of View is committed to endorsing political candidates,
especially the top tier candidates. Our
rule is to follow candidates in the news,
watch what they do, meet with them
and decide who to endorse. We try to
make decisions as a committee but in
the final analysis, if there is no confluence of opinion, the publisher gets the
final say.
“We,” by the way, is me, the publisher, and Marjorie Hurst, the editor,
who also is my wife.
FOR GOVERNOR:
MAY THE BEST WO(MAN) WIN
I am for Charlie Baker for Governor. And for good reason. I don’t think
it will make a lot of a difference, more
or less, whether our next governor is
Charlie Baker or Martha Coakley. The
predominant Democratic legislature
will continue to set the Massachusetts
government agenda, which will continue to be pretty much left of center but
middle of the road. I’m focused on the
little stuff. Generally speaking, in my
opinion, this all-Democratic line up
doesn’t work so well. And balance,
however small, is desirable. A Republican governor will, at least, be able to
challenge the Democratic status quo
and might temper some of the excesses
and reverse some of the omissions. And
even though a Republican governor
may never speak to me, I can at least ex-
AF-AM NEWS
WHAT THE GHETTO
GURU ALWAYS KNEW
“
…my experience has shown me
that it is futile, counterproductive,
and dangerous to try to arrest our way
out of this very real problem
(drugs)….Heroin’s status as a Schedule I illegal drug has ceded its control
and distribution to the most unscrupulous and unregulated players
among us with the predictably tragic
results. Prohibition has completely
failed to curb either supply or demand for opiates. It has not only
failed to protect our young and vulnerable, but also cost many of their
lives – deaths from heroin overdose
alone have increased nine fold since
the drug war began. The whole family of opiates is dangerous, seductive,
and addictive under the best of circumstances, but when the circumstances are defined by a destabilizing
cat-and-mouse game for those in the
bits
By Frederick A. Hurst
thrall of addiction, those dangers intensify.” (By Jack Cole, a retired New
Jersey State Police narcotics detective, Boston Sunday Globe, August
24, 2014)
WE WON ONE
T
he suburban Detroit White homeowner who shot and killed a 19year-old Black woman who came to
his door seeking help after a car accident was found guilty and sentenced
to 17 years for manslaughter. One
down but so many more to go.
WE MIGHT WIN
ANOTHER ONE
Y
ou might not understand the
game the Ferguson, Missouri
police and prosecutor are playing. It’s
old school. They’re going after the
jury pool which will assuredly be predominantly White and, they believe,
sufficiently racially biased to be in-
By Frederick A. Hurst
pect that the “HNIC” concept won’t
govern his relations with a diverse
African-American community as has
been the case with Democrats in Massachusetts for the last 50 years. (For a
definition of “HNIC,” White folks
should consult their local “HNIC.”)
My big problem, though, is that
my editor won’t bend to my wishes.
Notice I didn’t say “bend to my will.”
We are both strong-willed so if I make
it a clash of wills, divorce might follow.
But to get to the point, my editor
is fully committed to Martha Coakley.
She structures her commitment in logic
as witnessed in her recent article (Point
of View, August 1, 2014). But bottom
line her commitment to Martha Coakley
is also understandably emotional.
Martha Coakley is no more qualified to
be governor than Charlie Baker but she
is a woman who is as qualified. And a
lot of men in Massachusetts have been
elected governor and no women. It’s a
sad fact, given that women’s right to
vote is almost a century old. And although it is a morally unacceptable fact,
especially in so-called liberal Massachusetts, it is, in my mind, politically irrelevant to current circumstances.
But, right or wrong, my editor is
in a “feminine-seize-the-moment” state
of mind. And although I support Charlie
Baker for governor of Massachusetts, I
don’t sleep with him and I’m not going
to risk my marital rites for a vote. So we
are going to split this one. I’m for Charlie Baker and my editor is for Martha
Coakley and may the best wo(man)
win. ■
fluenced by the leakage of information that suggests the Black victim,
Michael Brown, who was shot six
times by a White police officer while
his hands were extended in surrender,
was a thug with a felony rap sheet.
Even though the White cop fired at
least 11 shots at the unarmed 18 year
old, the officer’s protectors know that
most White folks are conditioned to
condone the murder of Black men by
cops if they can raise the slightest insinuation of thuggery by the Black
victim even if the alleged thuggery is
unrelated to the shooting. And they
are even extending the logic to the
Black witnesses to the murder. Of
course, they didn’t anticipate the recent testimony of two White witnesses who were recorded on camera
expressing outrage at the shooting of
the unarmed, arm-raised Brown. Sad
to say, the discovery of White witnesses has tipped the scales against
the White police officer. I guess that’s
American justice at work. ■
LETTERS TO THE PUBLISHER
T
hank you for acknowledging our Program Chairman, J. Jay Griffin
as the recipient of the Ubora Award (“Congratulations Corner,” POV,
August 1st issue). The Point of View is very essential in the community and
city.
Thanks again and may God bless!
Stone Soul Committee (7/31/2014)
Letters to the Publisher and other content MUST
be sent electronically to: [email protected]
(Please reference a subject matter or e-mail is automatically deleted.)
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 27
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page twenty-seven
OP - ED
MIKE HEFFERNAN
DEB GOLDBERG
For Treasurer
For Treasurer
Mike Heffernan
I
learned to appreciate not only the
value of a dollar but the value of education, hard work, faith and compassion for others from my family. My
grandfather earned his U.S. citizenship
by enlisting in the army during WW I.
My grandmother was a maid. My dad,
a public school teacher, was the first in
his family to go to college. My mom
worked nights to make a better life for
her four kids.
I worked my way through
Georgetown University, studying economics, then through NYU earning an
MBA in finance. I would spend the
next twenty-five years in banking with
leadership roles at Salomon Brothers
and Citigroup, doing first hand what the
state treasurer does, working with
money and investing wisely. In recent
years I helped start two small companies, creating jobs here in Massachusetts.
Along the way I never forgot the
Jesuit creed “in service to others.” I
have served on numerous charitable
boards both locally and at my college.
I have been caregiver to my parents,
giving back to them, in small part, the
love and sacrifice they unselfishly gave
me. Wanting to do more, I went back to
school at the age of 50, earning a Masters degree from Harvard’s Kennedy
School, preparing me for public service.
I am running for Treasurer to realize the tremendous untapped potential
we have across the Commonwealth.
Through the lens of my business experience, I recognize the significant challenges before us.
State tax revenues are up $6 bil-
lion in 5 years while state aid to cities
and towns is down by 40 percent. We
are considered one of the most indebted
states in the U.S., making us vulnerable
to an economic slowdown. Statewide,
job growth is stagnant with 60 communities in Massachusetts still grappling
with high unemployment. We rank only
45th in job creation. Beacon Hill has
defunded our pension system from 84
cents on the dollar to 60, putting the entire system at risk and rated as failing
by the Urban Institute. Our rates of
homelessness are climbing. Two thousand Massachusetts families live in motels far from their communities.
This election is not about Democrat or Republican; it is about a change
in leadership. Our problems have
grown too large to be tackled by government alone. We must marry business
sector experience with public sector institutions to meet these challenges.
Only then will we deliver the resources
of our Commonwealth to those that
need it most.
What happens in the greater
Springfield area is personal to me. My
wife grew up here. Her family is very
active in the community. Too many
statewide candidates campaign in Western Mass but do not serve Western
Mass. I will invest in its future.
I am the only candidate for Treasurer supporting the MGM Springfield
casino plan. I am the only candidate
promising to bring 1 billion dollars of
small business capital into the areas of
the state, like the Pioneer Valley, that
need it most. State aid to Springfield
has been cut dramatically, over 20 million dollars in just the past five years. I
will work to bring state money back to
Springfield.
My children attend Massachusetts
public schools. Public education and financial literacy are the best tools we
have for creating lasting opportunity.
Every child deserves a great education
provided in a modern, connected
school building. Let’s not just close the
education gap, let’s close the skills gap,
allowing affordable education to translate into job security and economic security.
As Treasurer I will invest the
state’s resources in all of our people, regardless of zip code. ■
Deb Goldberg
F
rom the time I was a small child
I learned that everything in life
is opportunity. Economic empowerment, economic security, economic stability are not just buzzwords,
but a personal mission for me and my
whole family.
I was raised understanding the importance of community, beginning with
my mother’s great grandmother. Yente
came, with her 11 children, to the North
End of Boston and opened a small grocery store. Every friend or relative who
arrived was given a job and a roof over
their heads. Those families worked together growing the food business,
which eventually became Stop and
Shop.
Stop and Shop was a company
where thousands of hardworking families for generations could have good
paying union jobs and build careers
with excellent benefits. I worked there
as a retail clerk in Local 1445 then later
on as an executive after college, after
getting my law degree from Boston
College, and my MBA from Harvard.
At the same time every one of us was
involved in the community, in politics,
at non-profits; we were activists.
Then Stop and Shop went through
a takeover and I saw a very different
corporate model, not one I could live
with. I turned to public service bringing
my business and finance skills to issues
facing women, children and families. I
was elected a Selectman in my community and became Chair. I was a Founder
and Treasurer of a school for kids with
severe cognitive disabilities. I am an
Advisor at The Greater Boston Food
Bank.
But it is as President of an adoption agency that I have learned the
most. My two wonderful children are
adopted. Through them I have learned,
deep inside of me, that we can change
lives forever. Today both my children
have chosen paths where they are making a difference too.
I am running for Treasurer to give
every woman, man, family the financial power they need to get ahead in
today’s tough economy. The Treasurer’s job is running a large office with
many departments. And I can do that
job. But I will also be a Treasurer who
invests in people.
We will put a laser focus on creating a statewide financial literacy program, insuring people don’t fall victim
again to a mortgage crisis or go into serious debt to pay for college. We will
provide free tax preparation for low-income families, so they don’t rely on
companies that promise fast cash instead of refunds they have worked so
hard for.
We will create a college savings
plan for kindergarteners at no cost to
taxpayers. Research shows that a kid
with college savings is seven times
more likely to go to college. And, to
make sure we create a level playing
field, I know where we must
begin. Wage equality. This is not just a
women’s issue. It is a family issue!
I have the skills to do the job of
Treasurer but also the values, passion,
and commitment to make a difference
in people’s lives. Yes, economic empowerment, security, and stability are
not just buzzwords, they are my personal mission!
It would be an honor to be your
Treasurer. ■
OP - ED
CONTINUES TO PAGE 33
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 28
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page twenty-eight
RELIGION
RELIGIOUS POINT OF VIEW
Dr. Atu White, Editor,
serves as Pastor of the
Mt. Zion Baptist Church,
368 Bay Street, Springfield,
MA and as Second Vice
President of the United
Baptist Convention of Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
and New Hampshire.
[email protected]
Luke 18:1-5 (NLT):
One day Jesus told his disciples a story
to show that they should always pray and
never give up. (2) “There was a judge in
a certain city,” he said, “who neither
feared God nor cared about people. (3) A
widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ (4) The judge
ignored her for a while, but finally he
said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care
about people, (5) but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she
gets justice, because she is wearing me
out with her constant requests!’”
A
pproximately 78% of Americans
declare Jesus as their Lord and
Savior. We have Jesus. We have
the freedom to practice our religion, to
organize denominations, and to worship
freely any day of the week. We require
politicians to announce their faith, their
loyalties to Christ, and their devotion to
hot button topics. We have Jesus. Ap-
Pastors, Ministers, Professors and Theologians, please submit your
articles for this page to Rev. Dr. Atu White at [email protected]
We Need Justice
By Rev. Dr. Atu White
proximately 33% of the world’s population affirms Jesus as the Messiah. The
church has multiplied its followers since
the 120 gathered in the upper room.
Sadly, the Church’s answer to difficult situations and injustices is to advocate more Jesus versus advocating for
justice. I contend the world does not suffer from the lack of Jesus, but it suffers
from the startling silence of His followers. Our silence perpetuates injustice. Regardless of who you are, justice suggests
fair treatment.
As Christians, we cannot afford to
continue cultural norms, institutional biases, and economic oppression and
greed, but we have an imperative to advocate for justice. Christians have been
complicit waiting on the sweet bye-andbye, while the oppressed continues to
suffer from the lack of justice. Some have
inverted this parable by saying, “Give me
Jesus, and later for justice.” Christians
should unite for the sake of justice.
Jesus tells the story of a persistent
widow who refused to hide behind religious platitudes and she challenged the
oppressive system of her day. Perhaps,
this widow was not a figment of Jesus’
imagination, but a living legend whose
story he wanted to highlight.
She sought justice in the dispute
with her enemy. She demanded the eyes
of the law view her as a human being and
not a widow. This bold woman persisted
for fair treatment. She was not suggesting
that life is fair. She did not seek special
privileges. She did not ask the judge to
side with her, but she persisted daily for
justice.
The widow created her own movement. If she received justice, it might ignite and inspire other widows to not sulk
in their predicament, but to demand justice also. Each of us is responsible for
challenging oppressive systems, even if
we personally do not identify with them.
Christians cannot remain silent. We have
to be diligent in our persistence.
We have Jesus, but we also need
Justice in every region of this country
and the world.
[To be continued…]
I
649 State Street
Springfield, MA 01109
413-788-9910
Rev. J. Willard
Cofield, Jr., Pastor
Rev. Karen Rucks,
Associate Minister
“We believe God has
called us to be a vital
sign of faith at work in
the community. This
vision is actualized
through our Ministries.”
By Marjorie J. Hurst
ing whenever he saw you. That smile
He was a talented musician and
was so much a part of him that his sister- composer and excelled as an athlete and
in-law, Rev. Jacquelyn Randall, com- a scholar. He belonged to the Hartford
mented during his eulogy that if we just Jazz Society and was inducted into the
remember to smile when we encounter Norwich Free Academy, Thames Athpeople, we would be honoring Lew’s
letic and American International College
memory. I’ve been doing just that.
Lew was a man of service who had Halls of Fame. He played football, basties to both Springfield and Connecticut ketball, tennis and baseball, having
as evidenced by the organizations of played minor league baseball for the
which he was a member. He belonged to Cleveland Indians and Washington Senthe Springfield chapters of Alpha Phi ators. The town of Norwich, CT recogAlpha Fraternity and Sigma Pi Phi nized his lifelong achievements by
Boulé. He was an Elder in the Eastern presenting him with their Native Son
Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut. Award.
And the tributes paid to him by these
But above all, it was abundantly
three groups were heartwarming, making
clear that Lew loved his family and they
it clear that Lew wasn’t just a member,
he was a contributor, and a significant in turn loved him; and although he will
one at that. And these three were just the be missed, his life was truly the epitome
tip of the iceberg, as he served on many of a life well lived. He was a true Renaissance man. ■
boards as well.
Sunday School
9:00 a.m.
Sunday Morning
Worship Service
10:00 a.m.
Prayer Service
Monday - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday
Noon & 6:00 p.m.
Bible Study
Monday &
Wednesday
7:00 p.m.
Youth Ministry
Friday
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
BETHEL AFRICAN
METHODIST EPISCOPAL
CHURCH
27 Pendleton Avenue
Springfield, MA 01109
(413) 734-7611
Rev. Angelo S. Dawson,
Pastor
Rev. Donald A. Thomas,
Associate Minister
Rev. Amelia Eddy,
Associate Minister
■
A TRUE RENAISSANCE MAN
recently attended the
funeral of
my
cousin
Helen’s
husband, Dr. Lewis
Dr. Lewis Everett
Everett Randall,
Randall
Sr. It was a
August 27, 1937
poignant time
September 12, 2014
as many of us
sat and reflected on our special memories
of Lew as photographs of his life played
on the screen at the front of the sanctuary. My special memory was of the time
Lew asked me to dance at a Squire’s holiday party. Lew was such a smooth
dancer that he made me look good as effortlessly as only my husband can.
Lew was a man of character, firm
but quiet, eschewing emotion over facts,
caring, never bragging about his many
accomplishments. He had a way of smil-
Alden Baptist Church
James D. Bullock,
Minister of Music
Pastor’s Bible
Study
Sunday 8:50 am
Sunday Morning
Divine Worship
10:00 am
Bible Study/Prayer &
Church School
Class Meeting
Saturday 11:00 am
Wednesday 7:00 pm
New Life Calvary
Baptist Church
A N EW
B EGINNING
Sunday School
9:00 AM
Morning Worship
Service
10:00 AM
Rev. Jesse E.
Prayer/Bible Study
Williams Sr.,
Wednesday
Pastor/Teacher
6:00 & 7:00 PM
981 Wilbraham Road Springfield, MA 01109
(413) 796-1600
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 29
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page twenty-nine
RELIGIOUS DIRECTORY
PROGRESSIVE
COMMUNITY BAPTIST
CHURCH
g{|Üw149UtÑà|áà
V{âÜv{
Walnut Street
P.O. Box 91166
Springfield, MA 01139
413-734-4143
599 State Street
Springfield, Massachusetts
(413) 736-8844
Join us for our Worship Services
Reverend Nathaniel
Smith, Sr., Pastor
Sunday School
Sunday Worship Service
9:30 a.m.
10:00 a.m.
Prayer Meeting & Bible Study
Thursday 6:00 p.m.
“A Church Determined To Follow Christ”
Rev. Joe C.
Long Jr.,
Pastor
Âg{x YÜ|xÇwÄç V{âÜv{Ê f|Çvx DKIL
Where all who enter may be blessed
Sunday Worship - 10:00 a.m.
Sunday Bible School - 9:00 a.m.
Bible Study - Wednesday - 6:30 p.m.
ÂT W|äxÜáx cxÉÑÄx ã{É tÜx
bÇx ÉÇ fÉÄÉÅÉÇËá cÉÜà|vÉÊ
Shiloh Seventh-Day
Adventist Church
797 State St., Springfield, MA
413-734-0103
[email protected]
Canaan Baptist
Church of Christ
1430 Carew Street
Springfield, MA 01104
413-739-5053
Rev. Dr. W. C.
Watson, Jr., Pastor
Sundays
Sunday School (all ages) ------9:15a.m.
Morning Worship Service ----10:45a.m.
Acts 5:12b
Sunday Worship— 10:45 AM
Sunday School— 9:00 AM
Tuesday— Book Club — 7:00PM
Wednesday—“Noonday Hour of Power”
With Lunch
Thursday— Live Bible Study — 7:00PM
Ordinance of the Lord’s Supper
First Sunday— 4:00PM
17 John Street, Springfield, MA 01104
(413) 737-9583
Church Life
Wednesdays
Worship, Prayer, Mid-day Prayer & Praise--12:00-1:00p.m.
Bible Study --------7:00 p.m.
Praise & Study
Dr. Mark E. Flowers, Senior Pastor
Mountcalvarybaptistchurchspringfield.org
Wesley United Methodist Church
Solid Rock Community Baptist Church
“Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.”
741 State Street
Springfield, MA 01109
413-734-3233
Office & Fax
: catharine.cummings
: PastorCatharine
Pastor Rev. Catharine
A. Cummings
Sundays
Sunday School (all ages) 9:30 a.m.
Morning Worship Service 10:45 a.m.
COMMUNITY
BAPTIST CHURCH
"A People being transformed by God to shine
God's Light of Love, Justice, and Hope"
143 Shelton Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 562-7060
Senior Pastor Rev.
Timothy L. Jones
Worship Service:
Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
Bible Study Wednesdays:
12:00 noon and 6:30 p.m.
Sabbath School 9:00a.m.
Sabbath Services:
(Saturdays)
Divine Worship
11:00a.m.
Adventist Youth Services
— 6:00pm
Adventist
Community Service
Dr. Walton H.
Mondays & Tuesdays
Rose, Pastor
10:00a.m. — 1:00p.m.
Prayer Meeting
The Church
Wednesdays
7:00p.m.
In The Heart
of The City Church School (SSAJA)
Monday — Friday
821 Liberty Street, Springfield, MA 01104
Telephone (413) 734-5441
Fax (413) 734-5438
Transportation (413) 575-4035
Sunday Morning Worship 10:30 am
Weekly Bible Study/Prayer Service Tuesday 7:00 pm
Bishop Curtis L. Shaird, Pastor
Reverend Harold P. Dixson, Assistant Pastor
J E S U S C H RIS T E N LIG H T E N ED
C H RIS T IA N BIBLE S E M IN A RY
AC C RE D IT E D
P.O. Box 90294
Springfield, MA 01139
(413) 309 - 8456
Fridays 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Contact Bishop Emanuel Brown, President
Pastor Ricky E. Bowens / Co-Pastor Linda Bowens
413-426-2825/413-285-4631
Sunday School — 9:00AM
Sunday Service — 11:00AM
Monday—Thursday
(Noon Day Prayer)
Tuesday Bible Study
7:00PM
Friday Night Service
7:00PM
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son; John 3:16
This Space is Available
for your AD
Call: 413-796-1500
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 30
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page thirty
THE ARTS
PEN & INK
CHILDREN’S BOOK CORNER
“Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Reality Shock!”
BRENDA’S CHILD has made it her life’s mission to inspire people
through poetry and stories and through leading by example with
courage, confidence, and integrity. In April 2007, she self-published
her first book of poetry, “A Piece of My Mind...Poetic Confessions of
a Self-Proclaimed Diva.” Since then she has published four more titles.
For more information, email: [email protected]
c.2014, Ripley Publishing $28.95 / $32.95 Canada 256 pages
Reviewed by Terri Schlichenmeyer
The Bookworm is Terri
Schlichenmeyer. Terri
has been reading since
she was 3 years old
and she never goes
anywhere without a book.
She lives on a hill in
Wisconsin with two dogs
and 11,000 books.
Why “Truth Tastes Better
with a Side of Rhyme”
May be My Definitive Work
Raise your fingers high.
W
T
hat’s what you’ll be doing this
school year, because you’ve
been practicing. You’ll be the
fastest hand-raiser in the entire school,
fingers pointed at the ceiling, ready to
answer any question the teacher throws
your way. You know things, and you’re
going to prove it with a sky-high hand,
fingers pointing up.
So how do you get to be so smart?
You’ve got “Ripley’s Believe It or
Not! Reality Shock!” and that helps a
bunch.
Robert Ripley was one of those
people with “true star quality.” Everybody, it seemed, knew who he was, and
they all loved him ― maybe because he
had a “multitude of dazzling achievements” that he enjoyed sharing with the
world.
Ripley, you see, liked to travel and
he liked weird, unusual things.
Nowhere was too remote for him to go,
and nothing was too dangerous. The
novelties he collected simply astounded
people almost a hundred years ago;
today, you can see some of the items he
might have gathered in this book.
Things, for instance, that are
creepy, like spiders and alligators that
lurk beneath beds, squirrels that make
knots with their tails (accidentally, for
sure!), and snakes that curl up in piles
with other snakes. Ripley would have
liked jeweled skulls, color-changing
frogs, monster fish, and a bug that
looks like he’s wearing fiber optics.
Ripley liked oddities, too: names
that are super-long or made up of silly
words; “death zones” on mountains;
By Brenda’s Child
hen I self-published my
first book, A Piece of My
Mind, back in 2007, I was
afraid to offend so I carefully chose
which poems to include. I wanted my
material to be appropriate for both
teenagers and adults, so I avoided
taboo topics and what might be seen
as offensive language. Two years
later, with plenty of poems still in my
head, and a bit more experience in
spoken word performance, I held
nothing back with the release, Outspoken…Poetry for the Bold. I had
grown gutsy and I needed to vent. I
had fallen in love and wanted to
share. I had become comfortable
with being a woman, and I wanted to
very first page. Each thematic chapflaunt it. I took off the filter, and to
ter starts with a quote by those
this day, I still get a little abashed
who’ve been influential in my life,
when an elder flips through the book
from Mary McLeod Bethune to
and opens to the last chapter.
Tupac Shakur. With Black Pride and
After a five years, seven publiFemininity at its core, this book is the
cations and a thousand more moartistic expression of my desire to be
ments of inspiration, I felt the time
a voice for those who are often unhad come to create another antholheard. Truth… is official announceogy. Truth Tastes Better with a Side
ment that I am ready to take my place
of Rhyme is still written with the
as a word warrior, championing
same rawness and vulnerability exchange though rhythmic flow.
pected from any Brenda’s Child poTruth Tastes Better with a Side
etry collection, but this time around,
of Rhyme and all titles by Brenda’s
maturity, empathy, and a whole new
Child are available on Amazon.com
and www.brendaschild
consciousness are apparent from the
rickety wooden sidewalks on the face
of a sheer cliff; pictures of sneezes;
chewing gum portraits; or South
African games that involve spitting antelope poop.
He might have personally seen
rainbow trees in Hawaii, rainbow waterfalls in British Columbia, or rainbow
mountains in China years ago.
You can see them in this book
now.
Ripley also liked things that were
outside of normal, like the world’s
shortest lady, the tallest man (who also
has the biggest hands), the largest waist
and hips, the biggest foot, the longest
tongue, tattooed people, and the longest
fingernails.
And, by the way, how does someone live with long fingernails?
The answer to that is in this book,
believe it or not…
In the first few pages of “Ripley’s
Believe It or Not! Reality Shock!” the
authors promise readers that “everything in this book is definitely true…”
For parents and grandparents, that’s really good news: ever since we were
kids, Ripley’s stories have been based
on authenticity and that hasn’t changed
― it just gets weirder for the next generation of readers to enjoy.
And enjoy it they will, because
this book is filled with everything a kid
could want: disgustingly fascinating
full-color pictures, quick anecdotes to
share with friends, entries to astound,
and superlatives that could spark creativity.
Packed as it is with that kind of
greatness, I can’t imagine any kid age
12-and-up who wouldn’t like to page
through this book. Leave “Ripley’s
Believe It or Not! Reality Shock!”
lying around the house, and I think
even reluctant readers will want to get
their fingers on it. ■
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 31
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page thirty-one
THE ARTS
LIVING
PEN & INK
LIFE’S CHALLENGES
JUANITA TORRENCE-THOMPSON: Pushcart nominee. Published fiction, children’s stories, feature articles, hundreds of her award-winning poems in dozens of U.S.
and international journals, 12 anthologies, 7 books including her Talking With Stanley
Kunitz (2012). Writes print & online newspaper poetry columns; produces poetry salons
and reads internationally. Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of acclaimed 30-year-old Mobius, The Poetry Magazine. Her poetry is translated into 15 foreign languages. Talking
With Stanley Kunitz and New York and African Tapestries were best pick by Small
Press Review. Mobius, The Poetry Magazine, best pick 2007 thru 2012 www.poetrytown.com
Narcissism vs. Humility
By Dr. Sweets H. Wilson
an expert at many different things. If
Dr. Sweets S. Wilson is a
you are part of an organization with a
Christian life purpose
leader exhibiting such characteristics,
coach, motivational
speaker and CEO of
you have a problem. However, narcisInspire ME, LLC.
sism is not a fair label to apply to any
[email protected]
person who thinks differently and has
gmail.com or
By Juanita Torrence-Thompson
the courage to assert or act on their
860-869-8067
convictions.
FROM HARTFORD,
met Yala through the Fresh Meadows Poets in Queens, New York, and soon
Humility, on the other hand, is the
learned she was a holocaust survivor from Lvov, Poland with an incredible
CONNECTICUT
quality that lets us go more than
*story. Besides being a talented writer and poet, she was also a gifted painter,
here are many books, articles halfway to meet the needs and demand
sculptor and teacher. In fact, I purchased a few of her paintings and one day when
and studies that warn us of the
of others. Resolve to work on your own
I visited her, she presented me with her small, beautiful sculpture of a woman in a
dangers of not exercising humilflowing blue gown. I was touched.
humility and you will begin to notice
Since we lived in the same neighborhood, we exchanged names of electri- ity. Humility is not hospitality, courtesy and appreciate its power all around
cians, plumbers, snow shovelers. Whenever I visited Yala, she told me about the or a kind and friendly demeanor. Hu- you. Humility as a virtue is a major
latest book she was reading. I used to think, “Oh to be that free to have time to mility has nothing to do with being
theme of both the Old and New Testaread novels or more non-fiction books.” I only had time to read poetry books due meek, weak or indecisive. Perhaps
more surprising, it does not entail shun- ments. Why do qualities such as courto the length.
Yala and I talked about many things including world affairs, politics, litera- ning publicity. Humility or humbleness tesy, patience and deference have such
ture, poetry. I took her to an Italian restaurant for dinner one summer night and is a quality of being courteously re- a prominent place in the Bible? It is beshe said, a bit misty eyed, “I told my son I was having dinner with a famous editor.” spectful of others. It is the opposite of cause a demeanor of humility is exactly
Then it was I who became misty eyed to know she held me in such high esteem. aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness what is needed to live in peace and harKnowing Yala loved literature, I told her my husband and I attended the an- and vanity. Narcissism, on the other mony with all persons. Humility dissinual Queens College Reading series of famous poets and writers. She was inter- hand, is an exaggerated sense of one’s pates anger and heals old wounds.
ested so the next season we ordered three season tickets and I picked Yala up and own abilities and achievements with a
Humility allows us to see the dignity
drove her home after the program. Well, she was so elated, it was as if she had constant need for attention, affirmation
and worth of all God’s people. Humilwon the lottery!
and praise.
ity distinguishes the wise leader from
Moreover, I had great respect for Yala. This woman had overcome great odds
Fame is equated with success and
the arrogant power seeker. Here are
in Poland and eventually married and found her way to the United States via Paris,
being self-referential has become the
France. Still, Yala had a wonderful perceptive view of life and was a gold mine of
some suggestions for identifying if you
norm. We are encouraged to pump ourknowledge. Incidentally, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a master’s degree
selves full of alarming self-confidence. are humble:
from Queens College.
Now when I drive near her block, I look to my left and realize I will not have A serious problem can emerge when ● Embrace and promote a spirit
afternoon tea anymore with Yala. I will not read my latest poem to her and we will forceful individuals intermingle narcisof service
sistic tendencies, resulting in persons
not discuss the joys of life and the problems of the world again.
behaving in a self-absorbed way; psy- ● Are passionately curious
*(To Tell the Story: Poems of the Holocaust” by Yala Korwin)
chologists have known narcissism to be ● Resist falling for your own
a formal personality disorder for some
publicity
and a real impediment to their forming ● Know what you do not know
healthy relationships.
● Listen, even to the weird ideas
Friendships and marriages are dis- ● Never underestimate the
mutually beneficial partnerships, even solved over angry words. Resentments
continued from page 17
competition
vacuum; they evolve from an insidious in the most unexpected places.
divide families and co-workers. PrejuYes, we must nurture the mind dices separate race from race and relicorruption that begins in our most
Acting with humility does not in
and
spirit
among the people and culture gion from religion. Reputations are
thoughtless daily actions, to the most
any way deny our own self-worth.
vile exploitations of all that lives by with which we are most familiar. We destroyed by malicious gossip. Greed
Rather, it affirms the inherent worth of
those who value profit over life itself. must adamantly protect cultural mem- puts enmity between rich and poor.
The term “Police Brutality” implies an ory and be intractable sentinels of truth Wars are fought over arrogant asser- all persons. Some would consider huexpected behavior; “The Brutality of in history as we fight for justice. If we tions. The narcissist lacks self-aware- mility to be a psychological malady
Police” allows the possibility that not are consumed by the arrogance and ness and empathy and is often that interferes with success. However,
every officer is a hater. In creating “us” weakness of “I am not you,” we are de- hypersensitive to criticism or perceived wealth, power or status gained at the
and “them” we contribute to our loss of pleted of the power and dignity of the insults. The individual frequently exag- expense of others brings only anxiety,
gerates contributions and claims to be never peace and love. ■
empathy and obviate possibilities for simplest “I am.” ■
About My Friend, Yala Korwin
I
T
[email protected] GROOVE
Unity Is An Unlocked Door
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 32
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page thirty-two
FOOD TALK
URBAN G AR D E N IN G
THE URBAN COOK
I Love New England!
Excuse Me
By Zaida Govan
By Rhonda Jones
Zaida Govan is a native
of Springfield via Puerto
Rico with a passion for
improving the community
she serves. She can be
reached at 413.301.2533
or
[email protected]
W
e are fully into a great New
England autumn. I love the
seasons here in the northeast.
As a novice gardener, I always thought
that you put your gardens to rest during
these times; however, I am learning that
you can plant cold weather crops in late
July and even September and eat fresh
lettuce, spinach and other cold weather
crops right now and sometimes into November. Many crops that grow well in
cold weather are low-growing, leafy
green vegetables. These vegetables,
which include members of the cabbage
and lettuce families, are slow to freeze
because of their low-growing habit.
They also absorb more energy from the
sun due to their green color. Crops like
cabbage, collard greens, kale and Brussels sprouts are hearty down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Oregon
State University. These types of greens
are not what I am used to eating because
if you know me, you know I don’t eat
vegetables! I know that sounds funny
coming from a gardener, but that is part
of the reason I started gardening. I
wanted to eat more veggies, in addition
to getting more of a sense of community―thus I started working on community gardens.
October is a month in New England that still has farmers markets open.
The leaves are turning to create an
amazing work of art in nature this time
of year. Everyone is getting ready to
begin their winter semi-hibernation. But
don’t forget the amazing things you can
still do in the fall in New England. The
Mason Square Health Task Force will
continue doing its work to improve the
overall health of the community; Just
Food will continue to work to bring a
full line grocery store to Mason Square;
and, of course, our children are into
their full schedule of school. This is a
great time to get involved in school
PTO’s, maybe plan a spring garden at
the school or join in whatever fundraiser
they may have. There are many good
things to do this time of year in New
England. Leaf watching is a favorite of
mine. For me as a gardener, I will be
planting flower bulbs in my flower garden with the expectation of seeing the
many different colors of flowers in the
spring.
In the spring, the Bay Street community garden group will re-convene
and look for another location for our
community garden. With the city’s help,
we will find an empty lot to garden in.
We have about eight avid gardeners
who are eager to have our community
garden back. This year we did find a
small piece of land where only two of
our gardeners were able to garden. Next
year we hope to be able to accommodate all of us and more. I am looking
forward to a great fall and winter here
in the city of Springfield. In New England we tell newcomers that if you don’t
like the weather, don’t worry, wait a
minute; it will change. I love New England! ■
Rhonda Jones is a
Personal Caterer and a
Food Consultant
[email protected]
A
s an experienced cook, I pride
myself in learning new techniques and different ethnic cuisine. There’s a story coming behind this.
Last month I was hired to cater a
small, intimate gathering for 25 people.
The menu consisted of fried chicken,
tilapia, green beans, baked beans, rice
and peas and salad. Now this is an easy
menu, all except one dish that I wasn’t
comfortable making. You guessed it―
the rice and peas. Many people say they
grew up eating rice but I grew up on potatoes and maybe had rice once every
other month. We never had gravy on
our rice; it was eaten with sugar and
butter and we always had rice left over
for rice pudding.
Since I wasn’t comfortable with
my rice and peas skills, I decided to go
to a reputable Caribbean restaurant and
order some for my event. Let’s face it,
Caribbean people have a soft spot for
rice and bean dishes. I went to the
restaurant the night before and ordered
rice and peas for 25 people and I even
gave them the aluminum pan and top to
put the rice in for my pick up the next
day. My party was at 1pm so I arrived
to pick up the rice at 12:30. The owner
comes out with my rice. I inspected it
and it was good. I asked him, “How
much do I owe you?” It was loud in the
establishment since the music was blaring and his accent was strong. I thought
I heard him say $60.00 but my mind
said he said $16.00. I said, “Excuse me.
How much did you say?” And he repeated himself and I said, “You mean
$16.00?” My heart dropped. I replied to
him by saying, “You charge $60.00 for
rice for 25 people!”
What was I to do at this last
minute? I wanted to leave the rice but I
didn’t have time to make my own or go
elsewhere. I was stuck and bewildered
because he not only cheated me but dug
into my profit. As I drove away from
this place, I told myself this will never
happen again! I went home and called
my Caribbean friend to teach me how
to make proper rice and peas. Now, my
family is sick of eating rice and peas
every week but practice makes perfect.
Rice and Peas
1 pound red kidney beans
24 ounces vegetable stock
2 lbs white rice
8 ounces coconut cream (already
made in can)
1 onion finely diced
1 clove garlic chopped
Thyme
1 scallion
1 scotch bonnet pepper
Salt to taste
Soak kidney beans. Place beans and
stock in pot. Boil over medium heat
until done. Add rice to bean pot. Add
coconut cream, onion, garlic and
thyme and the other ingredients. Reduce heat, cover and allow to cook
about another 15 minutes.
EDUCATION & HOPE
A Somebody
continued from page 7
how to release anger and embrace
hope. Deeply profound concepts from
ever-emerging spirits.
One young man in particular spoke
to the draws of gangs because they make
you feel like a part of something. Like
you belong. In his own words, he
painted a picture of a broken, tired fam-
ily without much to offer. Without any
hope of competing with the big shiny
promises of a gangster’s life.
This would have been his life, he
emphasized, had it not been for the boxing program, and especially for the love
and care of his Counselors at The High
School of Commerce who encouraged
and supported his participation in the
program.
With poise and grace, this young
man described the prescribed fate of so
many of our youth and families to turn
to gangs and violence and crime to belong. To control. To survive. To live. His
salvation came in the form of 20 peers
and a handful of adults gathering once a
week to exercise bodies, but, more especially, to open hearts. To let others in. To
belong. To walk through a crowd and no
longer feel like a nobody. But realize you
are a somebody. You are a somebody.
This young man is just one somebody. But he is the face and essence of
thousands of somebodies who have yet
to be discovered…
Join us in reaching out, connecting,
and supporting their journey to belonging…
Author’s Note: For more information regarding the Task Force
meetings, programs, initiatives, and
how you can get involved, please
contact Gianna Allentuck at
703.930.0243.
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african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page thirty-three
OP - ED
A Few Thoughts on your Workforce Development Issue
By Rebecca Willoughby
I
truly appreciate the issue you recently published on Workforce Development. (POV, August 15, 2014
Education Special issue.) I have been
in this largely overlooked field for over
25 years and hold several credentials
and certifications, including training
with Richard Knowdell, one of the pioneers. You have provided excellent
definitions for many of the positions
found in Workforce Development.
Workforce Development has
evolved and diversified over time. It
now encompasses job seeker services,
career coaching, employment counseling, workforce policy and forecasting,
programming, training, and employer
services.
There are resources available to
your readers interested in this field. Accessing resources can assist in making
better decisions in order to innovate.
Your readers can greatly benefit from
several organizations.
The first of which is the National
Association of Workforce Development Professionals. This organization
provides valuable information and resources. Their monthly newsletter The
Advantage is invaluable. Articles on the
many uses of labor market information;
rules of job reference etiquette from
both sides of the desk; and solving
human resource dilemmas are just
some of the useful articles. They list the
latest federal publications, reports, and
information on grants and other funding sources. In addition to their website, they have a presence on LinkedIn,
Facebook and Twitter, host webinars,
youth and adult conferences, and partner with other workforce entities nationwide. Since 1999, they have
offered the Certified Workforce Development Professional credential with
specialty endorsements in national
competency standards. Their website
for
further
information
is:
www.nawdp.org. I currently hold a
Certified Workforce Development Professional credential with an endorsement in Job Seeker Services. I have
been a member since 1990.
Another great resource for those
in Workforce Development is holding
the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) credential offered
through the Center for Credentialing
and Education, cce-global.org. This is
an international organization. Many
states now require their middle and
high school teachers and guidance
counselors to hold a GCDF. The good
news is that this credential can now be
obtained locally at Holyoke Community College. I currently hold a GCDF.
I was the 18th person in Massachusetts
to achieve it.
There is a lot said about there
being a ‘skills gap’ especially here in
Western Massachusetts. There is a
book by Dani Moore called Untapped
Talent that suggests that there is more
employers can do to tap the talent
within an organization. Just a thought
to consider: The age to impact our future workforce may be younger than
previously realized. I personally do not
think third grade is too early to institute
workforce development. In today’s
global village, do we really want to
wait until eighth grade to get the competition started?
Lastly, your readers should not
overlook the value of Workforce Development associations such as the National Association of African
Americans in Human Resources and
others. ■
FEATURED ARTICLE
COMMUNITY FOCUS
Dr. William Davila
Changing Lives through Literature
continued from page 5
of his qualitative staff, he understands
the importance of putting familiar faces
on those who will be interfacing with
and outreaching to a diverse community. But most important, Will is only 41
years old. He represents not just the
present but also the future. Even though
it may be an additional burden for him,
like his mother who was the first to have
high expectations of him and of his twin
brother, Anthony, who has a bachelor’s
in Psychology and an M.Ed in education and his 38-year-old younger
brother, Malwin, who has a bachelor’s
in Sociology from UMass Amherst and
his 34-year-old sister, Julisa, who holds
a bachelor’s in Education from Westfield State University, so do we have the
highest expectations that Will is going
to make UMass Center at Springfield a
successful educational oasis.
I intentionally omitted details
about the educational programs offered
at UMass Center at Springfield. They
have been well publicized and for those
who missed the publicity, the 26,000
square foot UMass Center at Springfield
is open for business and welcomes visitors who are interested in their amazingly diverse offerings.
Most
impressive is their class scheduling
which is so sensitive to the needs of the
population the school is targeting. It
ranges from weekend classes to night
classes to university without walls
classes and, most exciting, avante
garde, on-line classes. And the best part
of it all is that UMass is not in competition with local colleges. To the contrary,
UMass is collaborating with local colleges to provide an even greater diversity of educational opportunity to
Greater Springfield residents. All you
have to do to avail yourself of this new
opportunity is to take the time to visit
UMass Center at Springfield at 1500
Main Street, Suite 260 at Tower Square
and learn.
Dr. William A. Davila (Dr. Papi),
Director of Operations at UMass Center
at Springfield is one of our own who ran
the streets of our neighborhoods and
was educated in our elementary and secondary schools and at UMass and
Boston College and just across the state
line in Hartford. And he returned to us
after a long, though compact, and fruitful career. Let’s hope that he is a beacon
for the many other young people from
our community who might consider
bringing their resources home. ■
continued from page 17
ciety and provides them with the chance
to change their lives.
During interviews, the probation
participants shared how they enjoyed
the experiences and were grateful for
the opportunities provided through the
program. Paul Young was particularly
impacted by the college campus atmosphere and he now believes he can accomplish anything he sets his mind
to. Gabriel Cartagena said it got him
back to reading. Edward Cisero, who
kind of emerged as spokesman for the
group, said he couldn’t thank
Judge Page, Professor Sullivan and Assistant Chief Probation Officer Samuelson Sigall enough for their
encouragement and support during the
program. One probationer (I think he
was the oldest in the group) said,
“Everyone needs someone to believe in
them and to care. These people care.”
The CLTL program is not new. It
was founded in 1991 by UMASS Professor Robert Waxler and Judge Robert
Kane as an alternative sentencing program, using literature as a way of reaching criminal offenders on probation. It
now exists in more than 20 courts in
Massachusetts and operates in Rhode
Island, Connecticut, New York, Maine,
Texas, Arkansas and Kansas. Over
3,500 offenders have participated in the
program. The impact on these individuals and their families has been dramatic―studies indicate a reduction in
recidivism rates and decreased violent
behavior.
The caring described by the participants was evident. Assistant Chief Probation Officer Lorraine Samuelson
Sigall in her remarks during the program shared that a quote by James
Baldwin: “For these are all our children...We will all profit by or pay for
whatever they become,” is in her mind
daily in whatever issue she has to address. The participants and Judge Page
referenced repeatedly how Lorraine
gave so much of herself to the
CLTL program. Judge Page, court officers and Western New England University staff all appeared to be proud of the
accomplishments of the participants. It
was also apparent that they had enjoyed
the experience of giving of themselves
in support of and with the hope of
“changing lives through literature.”
What a wonderful partnership!
What a great story! People helping people. I was helped by this program, too. I
reread “To Kill A Mocking Bird,” and I
will be more vigilant about caring. ■
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african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page thirty-four
BL ACK SPORTS
B L A CK S PO R T S IN T E R N A TI O NA L
Shoni Schimmel
1st Native-American Player in the WNBA
S
honi Schimmel is a Native-American basketball
player. She was an All-American college player
at the University of Louisville and a first round
draft pick of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.
Schimmel, a 5’9” point guard, first received notoriety as a high school player in Oregon.
Born May 4, 1992, and raised on the Confederated
Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Mission,
Oregon, she was the subject of a documentary by filmmaker Jonathan Hock called Off the Rez, which chronicled her journey to earn an NCAA scholarship with her
basketball ability.
She transferred from Hermiston High School in
eastern Oregon to the larger Franklin High School in
Portland, Oregon, to increase her chances of being recruited to a Division I school. After her senior year at
Franklin, Schimmel was named a First-Team All-American by Parade magazine.
Schimmel was selected to the 2010 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) High School
Coaches’ All-America Team. The top twenty high school
players in the country are named as WBCA All-Americans, and eligible to play in the all-star game. She participated in the 2010 WBCA High School All-America
Game, scoring six points.
Schimmel chose the University of Louisville for
college, and became a four-year starter for the Cardinals.
As a junior in 2012–13, she led the team to the championship game of the 2013 Tournament.
In her senior season, Schimmel averaged 17.1
points per game to lead the team in scoring. She was
named an All-American by the USBWA and Associated
Press.
For her career, she finished second on the
Louisville career scoring list, finishing with 2,174
points.
Schimmel was selected to be a member of the team
representing the U.S.A. at the 2013 World University
Games held in Kazan, Russia. The team, coached by
Sherri Coale, won the opening four games easily, scoring in triple digits in each game, and winning by 30 or
more points in each case.
After winning the quarter-final game against Sweden, they faced Australia in the semi-final. The U.S.A.
Team opened up as much as a 17 point lead in the fourth
quarter of the game, but the Australian Team fought
back, and took a one point lead in the final minute. Crystal Bradford scored a basket with 14 seconds left in the
game to secure a 79–78 victory.
The Gold Medal opponent was Russia, but the
U.S.A. Team never trailed, and won 90–71 to win the
Gold Medal and the World University Games Championship.
Schimmel averaged 4.6 points per game.
On April 14, 2014, Schimmel was selected in the
first round of the 2014 WNBA Draft (eighth pick overall) by the Atlanta Dream.
She also earned recognition as the 2014 WNBA
All-Star Game Most Valuable Player on July 19, 2014
in Phoenix, Arizona.
BOBO BRAZIL
First African-American
Male Professional
Wrestler to Win a
World Heavyweight
Championship
Shoni Schimmel’s Bio
WNBA’s Atlanta Dream: No. 23
Point guard
Born:
May 4, 1992
Nationality:
FIRST NATIONS (Native-American)
Height:
5 feet 9 inches
High school:
Hermiston (Hermiston, Oregon)
Franklin (Portland, Oregon)
College:
Louisville (2010–2014)
WNBA Draft:
8th overall, 2014
Atlanta Dream
WNBA career: 2014–present
WNBA Teams: Atlanta Dream (2014–present)
Awards and Honors
o WNBA All-Star (2014)
o WNBA All-Star Game MVP (2014)
o All-American – USBWA (2014)
o Second-Team All-American – AP (2014)
o First-Team All-AAC (2014)
o 2x First-Team All-Big East Conference
(2012–2013)
Medal Record-Women’s Basketball
o World University Games
● Gold
● 2013 Kazan, Russia
● Team Competition
Re-print permission and photo courtesy of www.blacksportsthemagazine.com.
H
ouston Harris was an American professional
wrestler, better known by his ring name, Bobo
Brazil. Credited with breaking down barriers of
racial segregation in professional wrestling, Harris is
considered one of the first successful African-American
professional wrestlers.
He was born July 10, 1924, in Little Rock,
Arkansas, but later lived in East St. Louis, Illinois, and
Benton Harbor, Michigan. He played baseball and
worked in a steel mill.
Harris was trained by Joe Savoldi, after meeting
him at matches at the Naval Armory. Originally, he was
to be known as “Boo-Boo Brazil,” but a promoter misprinted his first name as “Bobo” in an advertisement, and
it stuck.
Early in his career, some wrestling promoters
would match Brazil against fellow African-American
wrestlers, including Ernie Ladd and Abdullah the
Butcher. Fans clamored to see Brazil face opponents of
any type, and he would have many matches with competitors such as Killer Kowalski, Dick the Bruiser,
Johnny Valentine and The Sheik, who feuded with Brazil
over the course of several decades.
These and other rivals would all fall victim to
Brazil’s finishing maneuver, the Coco Butt. Brazil also
once wrestled Bill Miller to a draw, and challenged
Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF Championship in a
battle of two top babyface competitors.
continues to page 36
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african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page thirty-five
BL ACK SPORTS
B L A CK S PO R T S IN T E R N A TI O NA L
“Gus” Johnson
Sportscaster Extraordinaire
A
ugustus Cornelius “Gus” Johnson, Jr., is an
American sportscaster. Formerly employed
by CBS Sports, he currently calls play-byplay for Fox Sports, Showtime, the Big Ten Network
and the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer.
Johnson was born August 10, 1967. He attended
the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and
Academy. He graduated in 1985. That same year, according to the winter 1997 edition of University of Detroit Jesuit’s alumni magazine, Highlights, Johnson
was all-league quarterback for the school’s football
team, an all-league shooting guard on the basketball
team and first baseman and catcher on the baseball
team.
The 1984-1985 University of Detroit Jesuit yearbook also notes that Johnson was a co-captain of both
the football and basketball teams and most valuable
player on the latter.
Johnson attended and subsequently graduated
from Howard University with a degree in Political
Science in 1990. He was a four-year letter winner on
Howard’s baseball team. Born in Detroit, Michigan,
he is a resident of New York City.
Johnson called play-by-play for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves (1996–97), Big East Basketball
on the Big East Network, college hockey and college
basketball on ESPN and Canadian Football League
games for ESPN2. He also did some NFL games for
CBS.
He hosted ESPN’s Black College Sports Today
in 1991. After brief stints as an on-air personality with
KXXV-TV in Waco, Texas, WAAY-TV in Huntsville,
Alabama, and WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, North
Carolina, he served as the weekend anchor for WTTGTV in Washington, D.C., from 1991 to 1992. Johnson
also had a small cameo as an announcer
in the 1998 film He Got Game.
Johnson is known primarily for his
enthusiasm and excitement that he shares
with the game. He often uses signature
phrases “Oh my goodness!” - “Rise and
fire... Count it!” - “Here comes the pain!”
- “From the parking lot!” - “And the Runner....Bang!” - “Pure!” - “BAM!” - “Hot
Sauce!” - “Cold-Blooded!” - “What a
game!” and “HA-HAAA.” ESPN’s Bill
Simmons frequently cites Johnson to be
the “cause” of the many exciting finishes
to the games he calls, calling it “the Law
of Gus.” “He’s got ‘get away from the cops’ speed!”
is also a famous quote from Johnson.
He called numerous sports for CBS Sports, with
his most recognized role as a play-by-play announcer
for CBS’ March Madness, which he worked each year
from 1996 to 2011. Johnson is particularly known for
his calls at the end of several close NCAA Tournament
games, including the double-overtime Xavier vs
Kansas State game on March 25, 2010.
He worked for the Madison Square Garden Network (MSG) from 1994–2010, where he was the radio
play-by-play and backup television play-by-play announcer of the NBA’s New York Knicks, in addition
to providing television play-by-play for MSG’s coverage of the WNBA’s New York Liberty. With the
Knicks, he was well known for some of his calls. For
example, one famous Gus line occurs after Knicks forward Al Harrington scores: “My name is Al Harrington... And I get Buckets!”
Perhaps Johnson’s most famous Knicks call was
his yelling and screaming during Allan Houston’s last
second shot to knock off the top-seeded Miami Heat
in the first round of the 1999 playoffs, en route to an
unlikely NBA Finals appearance.
Johnson has also provided commentary for
MSG’s coverage of the Golden Gloves Tournament,
and served as host of the “Yankees ScoreCard” and
“SportsDesk,” as well as the New York Rangers and
Knicks “GameNight.”
Beginning in 2006, Johnson served as the preseason TV voice for the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia
Eagles. He also provided play-by-play commentary
for the Arena Football League’s defunct New York
Dragons.
In 2008, Johnson handled play-by-play duties for
the Detroit Lions pre-season games on The Detroit
Lions Television Network.
Johnson became lead blow-by-blow caller for
Showtime Championship Boxing on CBS-owned
Showtime, replacing longtime voice Steve Albert.
He was also a mixed martial arts commentator
for both EliteXC and Strikeforce through mid-2011.
Johnson was widely derided for his commentary during the Kimbo Slice vs Seth Petruzelli fight, where he
announced that the fight was “the most incredible victory in the history of mixed martial arts.”
He was also the play-by-play man alongside Bill
Raftery in EA Sports NCAA Basketball 10.
In May 2010, it was announced that Johnson
would be the play-by-play announcer in EA Sports
Madden NFL 11. He is also the play-by-play announcer in Madden NFL 12.
Johnson is also the play-by-play announcer for
the fictional football games seen in commercials for
Buffalo Wild Wings, in which games are rigged and
sent into overtime to allow patrons to stay longer and
enjoy the experience.
He has also been an announcer for the Big Ten
Network’s Sunday Night basketball games since the
2008-2009 season, and was slated to announce 23
games for the network in the 2010-2011 season.
Before the 2010–11 NBA season, it was announced that Johnson was let go by MSG Network,
the television flagship station for the New York
Knicks. Johnson explained on February 16, 2012, on
the Scott Ferrall Show, that he wanted to leave the
Network in order to spend more time with his son.
CBS released Johnson on May 5, 2011 following
a contract dispute. He was still scheduled to call a boxing match between Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao for Showtime two days later. On May 9, 2011,
Johnson finalized a deal to call college football and
NFL telecasts for Fox Sports.
In 2012, Johnson served as a radio play-by-play
announcer of Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes, working a few of the team’s away games on
radio. He is currently being groomed by Fox Sports to
be its lead soccer announcer, and called his first UEFA
Champions League match on February 13, 2013.
It has been anticipated that Johnson will be Fox
Sports’ lead announcer for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
He is also the lead play-by-play announcer for Fox
College Hoops, reuniting with Bill Raftery, who
works for CBS and formally with ESPN.
Re-print permission and photo courtesy of
www.blacksportsthemagazine.com.
F O R M O RE SPO R T S G O T O : w w w . b l a ck sp o r t s t he ma ga z i n e .c o m
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african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page thirty-six
BL ACK SPORTS
B L A CK S PO R T S IN T E R N A TI O NA L
BOBO BRAZIL
continued from page 34
On October 18, 1962, Brazil made
history by becoming the first AfricanAmerican to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title by defeating “Nature Boy”
Buddy Rogers (this distinction is usually
given to Ron Simmons, the first recognized African-American World Champion
after winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship). Although Brazil
initially refused the title (because of an
“injury” that Rogers had claimed to have),
he was awarded the title the next day after
doctors had found nothing wrong with
Rogers. However, this title change is not
recognized by the NWA.
On October 9, 1970, Brazil and El
Mongol defeated Mr. Ito and The Great
Ota in the first racially mixed match in Atlanta history.
He served as a mentor to wrestler
“Soulman” Rocky Johnson.
Brazil’s manager was James Dudley,
the first African-American to be in charge
of a major arena in the United States.
Dudley would run to the ring waving a
towel, as Brazil followed behind.
Brazil retired in 1993 after a four
decades career. His last official match was
in Chicago, Illinois, against Kelly Kiniski,
son of his rival, Gene Kiniski.
He was inducted into the WWF Hall
of Fame in 1994, by Ernie Ladd. The following year, Brazil inducted Ladd into the
WWF Hall of Fame.
After retiring from wrestling, he
managed a restaurant.
Harris died on January 20, 1998, at
the Lakeland Medical Center in St.
Joseph, Michigan. He had been admitted
to the hospital on January 14th, after suffering a series of strokes.
Championships and Accomplishments
Championship Wrestling from Florida
o NWA Florida Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Sweet Brown Sugar and
Dusty Rhodes
Eastern Sports Association
o ESA North American Heavyweight Championship (1 time) Japan Wrestling Association
o NWA International Heavyweight Championship (2 times) Maple Leaf Wrestling
o NWA Canadian Open Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Whipper Billy Watson
o NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (Toronto version - 1 time)
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
o NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (Mid-Atlantic version - 1 time)
Midwest Wrestling Association (Ohio)
o MWA Ohio Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
o MWA Ohio Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Frankie Talaber
National Wrestling Alliance
o NWA Hall of Fame (Class of 2013)
NWA Detroit
o NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (Detroit version - 9 times)
o NWA World Tag Team Championship (Detroit version - 8 times) – with Art
Thomas, Bill Miller, Athol Layton, The Stomper, Tony Marino (3 times) and Fred Curry
NWA Hollywood Wrestling
o NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship (3 times) NWA Los Angeles
o NWA “Beat the Champ” Television Championship (1 time)
o NWA International Television Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Wilbur Snyder (2 times), Sandor Szabo, and Primo Carnera
o NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Championship (Los Angeles version - 1 time
NWA San Francisco
o NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (San Francisco version - 1 time)
Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
o Television Era (Class of 2008)
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
o PWI Editor’s Award (1998)
Superstars of Wrestling
o SoW United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
World Wrestling Association (Indianapolis)
o WWA World Heavyweight Championship (2
times)
o WWA World Tag Team Championship (1 time)
– with Chris Carter
World Wrestling Association (Los Angeles)
o WWA World Heavyweight Championship (2
times)
World Wide Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling
Federation
o WWWF United States Championship (7 times)
o WWF Hall of Fame (Class of 1994)
Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards
o Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame
(Class of 1996)
Bobo Brazil Bio
Birth name: Houston Harris
Born:
July 10, 1924
Little Rock, Arkansas
Died:
January 20, 1998
St. Joseph, Michigan
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s):
Bobo Brazil, Boo-Boo Brazil,
BuBu Brasil, Houston Harris
In wrestling Finishing moves:
Coco Butt (Headbutt)
Signature moves: Piledriver -- Elbow
smash to the back of the head
Billed height:
Billed weight:
Billed from:
6 feet 6 inches
270 lbs.
Benton Harbor,
Michigan
Trained by:
Debut:
Retired:
Joe Savoldi
1951
1993
Re-print permission and photo courtesy of
www.blacksportsthemagazine.com.
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POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 37
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page thirty-seven
OCTOBER 2014 EVENTS
For more events, go to:
www.afampointofview.com
WEDNESDAY―1
THURSDAY―16
Westfield State University
presents “Disrupting the
Status Quo: Creating a
$50 with Complimentary Fish Fry on Friday,
Youth Empowerment Model for Undocumented Immi- Info:
10/17, 6―8pm at Cozy’s Pavilion,
grant Youth” with Lauren Burke, Esquire
666 State Street;
When: 6:30 pm
See Ad and Article on page 14
Where: Westfield State University, Wilson Auditorium,
577 Western Avenue, Westfield, MA
WEDNESDAY―23
Info:
FREE and Open to the public:
Center
for
Human
Development 10th Annual ConferSATURDAY―4
westfield.ma.edu/events; See Ad on page 23
ence
“Girls
Can!”
featuring
M. C. Lyte
Dr. Bethune & Dr. Height Recognition Award Luncheon
When:
9am―4pm
SATURDAY―18
presents Honoring Women of Color in the Military
Where: MassMutual Center, 1277 Main Street,
Armed Forces with Guest Speaker, Major General Dr. Springfield Unity Festival, “We Raise Our Voices”
Springfield, MA
When: 7:30pm
Irene Trowell-Harris
Info:
$125; www.chd.org/throughhereyes;
Where: Springfield Symphony Hall, Court Square,
When: 12noon―2pm
See Ad and Article on page 23
Springfield, MA
Where: Hartford-Windsor Marriott Hotel,
Info:
$16.50; 413.788.7033;
28 Day Hill Road, Windsor, CT
www.springfieldunityfestival.com;
Info:
$50; 203.777.8775
See Ad and Article on page 19
Springfield Technical Community College Diversity Series
features Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning
author, musician, and screenwriter, James McBride
When: 11am
Where: STCC, One Armory Square,
Scibelli Hall Gymnasium, Springfield, MA
Info:
FREE and Open to the Public; 413.755.4414;
www.stcc.edu/diversity
VO T E !
SUNDAY―12
Behavioral Health Network, Inc. 2nd Annual 5k Run/2m Buckingham Junior High School Reunion Weekend
When: 6:30pm Social Hour; 7:30pm Dinner;
Walk, “Better Health Now!”
8:30―11pm
When: 10am start
Where: Cedars Banquet Hall, 375 Island Pond Road,
Where: Forest Park, Springfield, MA
Springfield, MA
Info:
413.301.9542; 413.301.9538; www.bhninc.org
Tuesday
November 4, 2014
Interested in starting or
finishing your college degree?
Attend STCC’s
Evening Information Session.
Thursday, October 16
5:30pm–8:00pm
3CIBELLI(ALLTH&LOOR
WTCC is your source for music - from jazz to R&R oldies,
gospel to salsa, R&B to blues, Motown and more,
as well as Caribbean, Portuguese, Latino, Polish, Greek,
Native American and Italian programming plus talk shows with local hosts discussing local issues.
by
R SVP
a t:
to b e r 9 4
c
O
,
y
a
Thursd c.edu/10161
tc
www.s
Learn more about:
s !SSOCIATE$EGREE#ERTIlCATE0ROGRAMS
s &INANCIAL!ID
s .ONCREDITTRAININGCERTIlCATIONS
s /NLINE,EARNING
www.stcc.edu
Your all-volunteer community radio station
broadcasting 24/7 from the campus of STCC
www.wtccfm.org
Scan to take a virtual
campus tour!
(413) 755-3333
Springfield Technical
Community College
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 38
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page thirty-eight
COMMUNITY
COMMUNITY FOCUS
August 29, 2014
Point of View ― “Rick” & “Marge,”
Naomi White-Inniss
July 10, 1937
August 22, 2014
Just a note of sympathy and encouragement to the
family of Mrs. Naomi White-Inniss. She was a
wonderful person. I loved watching her “Heritage
Corner Show” as a kid on TV40. She was all about
our Springfield community coming together as one
of mutual respect. All of us must continue to work
together to honor her legacy. God rest her soul.
Respectfully,
Domenic J. Sarno
Republican photo/DAVE ROBACK
File Photo by Mark M.Murray
Naomi White-Inniss, who
did a TV show in the
1970s called "Heritage
Corner," holds one of
her favorite dolls from her
collection in this file
photo from 2004. WhiteInniss uses the dolls to
help teach about diversity.
& the Springfield Food Policy Council’s Annual Meeting
Springfield Food Policy Council
presents its Annual Meeting and
Celebration of National Food Day
This community event calls attention to food access issues in Springfield
and celebrates the national movement for healthy,
affordable, and sustainable food.
SPRINGFIELD, MA – On October healthy meal, and the annual election
22, 2014 at St. Michaels Cathedral, for the Springfield Food Policy Council
Bishop Marshall Center, Elliot St. en- will also take place.
trance, 260 State St. Springfield MA
Food Day is a nationwide celebra01109 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., the Spring- tion and a movement toward more
field Food Policy Council will conduct healthy, affordable and sustainable
its 5th Annual meeting along with Food food. Food Day is a chance to celebrate
Day—the nationwide celebration and what our food system does right and
movement toward more healthy, afford- take action to bring us closer to a food
able, sustainable food and a better food system with “real food” that is produced
system. This event, which is open to the with care for the environment, animals,
public, will help residents to be a part of and the women and men who grow, haran undertaking to improve the availabil- vest and serve it. Food Day’s priorities
ity and safety of local food for all resi- are to:
dents. This event will include a free ● Promote safer, healthier diets
● Support sustainable and organic
farms
● Reduce hunger
● Reform factory farms to protect the
environment
● Support fair working conditions for
food and farm workers
Locally, the Springfield Food Policy
Council aims to:
● Improve the nutritional content of
foods served in the Springfield Public School System by incorporating
more local food and by creating
school gardens where students can
learn how to
grow, harvest
and prepare their
own fruits and
vegetables.
● Increase
the
amount of urban
agriculture in
Springfield,
which will help
local communities gain access
to fresh produce.
● Work with the
City of Spring-
Suzi Swain, a staff member at Project AIM in Holyoke, lights a candle
during a Kwanzaa ceremony Tuesday at St. Paul's Church while
Naomi White-Inniss, director of
multicultural affairs at American International College in Springfield,
watches.
Photos and captions were
taken from masslive.com
field to accomplish the goal of increasing accessibility to healthy, affordable food in Springfield.
Many people from Springfield and
surrounding communities are expected
to attend the event. The Springfield
Food Policy Council looks forward to
working with new membership, as well
as increasing its presence in Springfield
and accomplishing some of its major
goals in the upcoming year.
Please RSVP to Johnetta Baymon at
[email protected]
or at 413-263-6500 x6539.
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 39
african american point of view
october 1, 2014
page thirty-nine
COMMUNITY
C E LE BR A T IO N S
A RTI ST I N RESI D ENCE
Renée Flowers is Point of
View’s Artist in Residence.
More of her original art
pieces can be viewed at
our office at 688 Boston
Road, Springfield. You can
also contact her directly at
(413) 209-9882 to arrange
a private viewing of her
work. (See May 1, 2014 POV Community Focus article on Renée by Emurriel Holloway for more information on the artist @ www.afampointofview.com.)
Ribbon is cut by U.S. Representative Richard E. Neal, Caring Health Center
President and CEO Tania Barber, and Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno at
Caring Health Care Center Richard E. Neal Complex
Springfield Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick, Mayor Domenic Sarno
and Freedom Credit Union President & CEO Barry F. Crosby celebrate the
opening of Freedom Credit Union’s newest branch at Roger L. Putnam
Vocational Technical Academy
1st Annual Patricia Brown Scholarship Banquet honors recipients Joy Snowden
and Natasha Mitchell. The award will be given annually to adult women
who are returning to school.
Every month different
paintings created by
Renée Flowers
are displayed at
Point of View
688 Boston Road
Springfield, MA
POV_October_1_2014_POV_October_1_2014 9/24/2014 12:48 PM Page 40
october 1, 2014
african american point of view
A Treasurer
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