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Archive for December 24th, 2010

And they’re off: a Group of African Americans head back as Free Men and Women to the land of their Ancestors

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2010 Comments Off on And they’re off: a Group of African Americans head back as Free Men and Women to the land of their Ancestors

Slave Journey to the Americas


Washington, DC – In late December, Cameroon will be the first African nation to host a DNA-certified group of African American returnees to the country of their origin.  Some 50 African Americans from the United States will travel to the Central African country for a 10-day visit following DNA certification of their ancestral origins. Their ancestors were found to have come from different ethnic groups, including the Tikar, Bamileke and Masa, in the Central African country.

The journey is hosted by the Baltimore, Maryland-based not-for-profit ARK Jammers Connection, which is working with the government of Cameroon to organize the first Ancestry Reconnection Program (ARP). 

“This trip represents, for those who have decided to make it, a major personal and collective triumph, and a completion, under more auspicious circumstances, of an important historical loop,” said Avline Ava, President of the ARK Jammers Connection, Inc. “These men and women will remind the world of a journey that started over four centuries ago with their ancestors traveling to the New World in chains and through dangerous seas. They are preparing to go back home as free men and women, in planes and through open and friendly skies, completing that journey,” Ava added. 

It is emerging from DNA test results that the part of the African continent that became the nation of Cameroon played a significant role during the slave trade, both as a source and a point of exit for enslaved Africans from the region.  “Present-day Cameroon is one of the countries that we find ancestry results from most often, along with Nigeria and Sierra Leone.” said Gina Paige, President of the Washington-based African Ancestry, Inc (www.africanancestry.com), which provided the tests for the program.

The traveling party will include men and women of all ages and backgrounds who seek a historical and spiritual reconnection to their forebears. “I have photographs of my slave ancestors who came from Cameroon,” said a member of the group, “and I will be bringing those with me.”   

Dr. Lisa Aubrey, Associate Professor of African and African American Studies and Political Science, with a small team of student researchers, at Arizona State University, have come up with interesting new information on the role Cameroon played in the slave trade.  “We are finding out, for example, the names and origins of ships, dates, and the number of Africans that were captured and transported during one of the periods under study,” Dr. Aubrey said. 

The Cameroonian-Americans will be exposed to the culture and traditions of their ethnic communities of origin and have a chance to sample the great diversity in language, geography and religion that earned for Cameroon the name, “Africa in Miniature”.  Scheduled to arrive on December 27 in Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital, the group will leave for the US on January 5, 2011.

A mega concert involving the biggest names in Cameroonian music – Manu Dibango, Yannick Noah, Ekambi Brilliant, Noel Ekwabi, etc. – will crown the cultural events planned to mark the homecoming event.

The trip to Cameroon, ARJ Jammers President Ava said, is the first in a series of Ancestry Reconnection Programs through which Cameroon hopes to establish longer term relations with Cameroonian-Americans.

The ARK JAMMERS CONNECTION was founded in Washington DC in 2008 and brings together artists and music lovers from different cultures and from all walks of life, with a dedication to spreading kindness and promoting intercultural dialogue through the unifying power of music.


Founded in 2003 on years of research, African Ancestry, Inc. is the ancestry tracing company that pioneered African lineage matching in the United States utilizing its proprietary DNA-database of more than 25,000 African DNA lineages to more accurately assess present-day country of origin for people of African descent. Since its inception, African Ancestry’s lineage reveals have impacted the lives of more than 100,000 people in the U.S. from communities at large to global leaders such as Oprah Winfrey, Tom Joyner and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. African Ancestry has been featured across the globe in outlets such as CNN’s Black in America series, NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? and Essence Magazine; and was the centerpiece to the ground-breaking PBS special “African American Lives 1 & 2” with Skip Gates. African Ancestry is African-American-owned and operated and headquartered in Washington, DC.  For more information, go to  HYPERLINK “http://www.africanancestry.com” www.africanancestry.com.

Attorney General Madigan urges parents to immediately stop use of crib bumpers

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2010 Comments Off on Attorney General Madigan urges parents to immediately stop use of crib bumpers

Madigan alerts families to the potential for suffocation or strangulation from bumper pads


Chicago, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today issued an alert to Illinois parents, grandparents and other caregivers of infants urging them to remove bumper pads used along the sides of cribs. Madigan said immediate action is necessary in light of the number of infant deaths and injuries attributed to bumper pads.

The Attorney General is alerting caregivers of this danger to prevent infant deaths. Babies may suffocate or be strangled if they roll against a crib bumper, press their face against the bumper, wedge their head between the pad and the mattress or crib side, or if their neck gets wrapped by the tie that secures the bumper to the crib.

“We know that children have tragically died in their cribs because of these bumper pads,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Parents and caregivers should remove these bumpers to prevent tragedy.”

Since 2008, the National Center for Child Death Review has received reports of 14 infants who have died from suffocation caused by crib bumpers. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American SIDS Institute and the Canadian Health Department have all urged parents not to use crib bumpers. 

Attorney General Madigan partnered with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kids in Danger, the American SIDS Institute, SIDS of Illinois and the Canadian Health Department to alert caregivers of the danger crib bumpers pose.

Madigan also sent a letter to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association demanding the group release results from its study into the dangers of crib bumper pads. A study commissioned by JPMA to investigate these dangers has yet to be published while the group internally reviews the report. Madigan urged the association to release the study immediately, so the proper authorities can take any necessary steps to prevent further harm.

“The JPMA needs to release results of its study and implement effective measures to remove these bumpers from the marketplace,” Madigan said. “Manufacturers and distributors of these pads must take responsibility for the dangers posed by these products. We must work together to educate parents and caregivers and ensure cribs across Illinois and nationwide are safe for babies.”

The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association is a national trade organization that represents companies across the country that manufacture, import and distribute infant products like cribs, car seats and strollers.

In addition to today’s alert on the dangers of crib bumpers, Attorney General Madigan urged parents and caregivers to take the time to review her Rest Assured guide to be sure they have no other dangerous children’s items in their homes. The Rest Assured guide provides information to consumers about recalls of cribs or other sleep-related items for children from 2007 to date. To obtain a copy of guide, call the Attorney General’s Product Recall Hotline at 1-888-414-7678 (TTY: 1-800-964-3013), or visit her website, www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.

2010 – The Year of 85 Different Architecture Tours

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2010 Comments Off on 2010 – The Year of 85 Different Architecture Tours

Social Media Huge Factor in Success


Chicago, IL – Social media has been at the forefront of the success of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Around Chicago in 85 Tours Challenge.

Jennifer Lucente, the social media expert at the Chicago Architecture Foundation has completed her year of taking tours—taking all 85 tours in 2010. The challenge that began last January with a tour of the Board of Trade building has ended with the architecture foundation’s newest tour: Razzle Dazzle – featuring the Loop theater district followed by a celebration at the Chicago Theatre.

The challenge attracted followers through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the challenge blog at www.85tours.com. This is the first and only 85 tour challenge and brought new audiences to the Chicago Architecture Foundation through social media. Jennifer tweeted during the tours and encouraged fellow tweeters to join her in the challenge. Tens of thousands of followers later, she says, “There is no shame in being a tourist in your own hometown. Chicago has so many hidden gems and amazing stories about the architects and buildings that make this city great.”

She fared bad weather, pigeons, and dancing hot dog street performers during her tour challenge but all of it was worthwhile, having accomplished her goals and attracted a new audience.

All of the tours were open to the public and participants were welcome to join in. Participants followed online for comments, pictures, videos, questions and interesting facts. People were encouraged to share photos, upload videos, and connect with others who love Chicago and its amazing architecture. In addition to attending tours, everyone was welcome to participate in various ways: Blog: www.85tours.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/chiarchitecture Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chicagoarchitecture Website: www.architecture.org/85tours

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public interest and education in architecture and design. The Chicago Architecture Foundation pursues this mission through architecture tours, exhibitions, panel discussions, and youth and adult education programs. The current exhibition, Chicago Model City, includes a highly detailed scale model of Chicago. The Chicago Architecture Foundation is located at 224 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

For further information visit www.architecture.org or call 312.922.3432 or become a facebook fan: www.facebook.com/chicagoarchitecture or follow on twitter: www.twitter.com/chiarchitecture


Casting is complete for the World Premiere of Thomas Bradshaw’s Farcical and Incendiary Mary, February 5-March 8 at Goodman Theatre

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2010 Comments Off on Casting is complete for the World Premiere of Thomas Bradshaw’s Farcical and Incendiary Mary, February 5-March 8 at Goodman Theatre

 May Adrales directs this Goodman Commission with a cast of seven, including Myra Lucretia Taylor in the title role


Chicago, IL – Goodman Theatre announces casting for the world-premiere production of Mary by Thomas Bradshaw. Director May Adrales stages this Goodman Theatre commission, an explosive new play that takes a provocative, wickedly funny view on families, political correctness and the changing nature of bigotry in contemporary America. Myra Lucretia Taylor (Broadway: Nine, Macbeth) leads the ensemble cast as the Jennings family’s domestic servant, Mary; Barbara Garrick (As the World Turns; Broadway: A Thousand Clowns) plays Mary’s employer, Dolores Jennings; Scott Jaeck (The Seagull; August: Osage County) is Dolores’ husband, James Jennings; Alex Weisman (The History Boys; Peter Pan (A Play)) is Dolores and James’ gay son, David; Eddie Bennet (War with the Newts; Twelfth Night) portrays David’s boyfriend, Jonathan; Cedric Young (Bus Stop; Broadway: Radio Golf) plays Mary’s husband, Elroy; and Steve Pickering (The Seagull; King Lear) is the family’s priest. Mary runs February 5 – March 6, 2011 in the Goodman’s Owen Theatre. Prince Charitable

Trusts is the leading contributor to the Goodman’s New Works Endowment Fund. Principal Support of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives is provided by The Joyce Foundation.

 Named “Best Provocative Playwright” by The Village Voice and hailed as “brilliant” by The New Yorker, Thomas Bradshaw pulls no punches in his comic absurdist drama Mary. At the height of what Time magazine dubbed “AIDS hysteria” in 1983, college student David invites his boyfriend home to his parents’ house in Virginia, where nothing has changed since the 1800s—including the slave quarters. Confronting hypocrisy and oppression with exhilarating wit, Bradshaw’s work is “likely to leave you speechless!” (The New York Times).

Individual tickets to Mary ($10 – $42) go on sale January 7 at GoodmanTheatre.org. Subscriptions—a savings of up to 45% over single ticket prices—to the 2010/2011 season are on sale now: 312.443.3800 or ExploreTheGoodman.org. Four-play Albert Theatre subscriptions start at $79 and 2-play Owen Theatre subscriptions start at $38. A Platinum Subscription of all six plays starts at $117. Artists, dates and ticket prices are subject to change.

Playwright Thomas Bradshaw’s play The Bereaved premiered in New York in September 2009 at The Wild Project, and was produced at The State Theater of Bielefeld in Germany earlier this year. The Bereaved was named one of the Best Plays of 2009 in Time Out New York. In 2008, two of Bradshaw’s plays premiered: Southern Promises, at Performance Space 122 in September, and Dawn, at The Flea Theatre in November, and both were listed among the Best Performances of Stage and Screen for 2008 in The New Yorker. His play Purity was produced at Performance Space 122 in January 2007, and Strom Thurmond Is Not A Racist and Cleansed were produced on a double-bill at Brick Theatre in February of that year. Strom Thurmond Is Not A Racist was also produced in Los Angeles in the spring of 2008. Bradshaw recently completed a residency at the Soho Theatre in London, where he wrote his newest play, The Ashes, which was presented as a workshop at the end of February 2010. He is the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship. His plays Prophet, Strom Thurmond Is Not A Racist, Cleansed, Purity, Dawn and Southern Promises are all Goodman Theatre Announces Casting for Mary by Thomas Bradshaw, Page 2 of 3 a World-Premiere Goodman Theatre Commission published by Samuel French, Inc. A German translation of Dawn was presented at Theater Bielefeld in Germany in October 2008 and published by Theater Der Zeit in that same month. Purity was published by Theaterheute in Germany in April 2008. Bradshaw received his MFA from Mac Wellman’s playwriting program and is an Assistant Professor at Medgar Evers College. He has been featured as one of Time Out New York’s10 playwrights to watch, as one of Paper Magazine’s Beautiful People, and Best Provocative Playwright by the Village Voice. He has received fellowships from The Lark Play Development Center, Soho Repertory Theater and New York Theater Workshop. He recently completed an adaptation of the Book of Job, which was workshopped with the Playwright’s Foundation at Stanford University and Berkeley Repertory Theatre in spring 2009. Job was presented as a Staged Reading at The Wilma in January 2010.

Director May Adrales has directed and developed work at Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Public Theater, Second Stage Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Hangar Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Her recent work includes Thomas Bradshaw’s The Bereaved with Partial Comfort Productions (Time Out New York Critics’ Pick), Lisa Ramirez’s Exit Cuckoo with Midtown International Theatre Festival (Best Solo Show), Emily Mann’s Mrs. Packard with Fordham University, Lauren Yee’s Ching Chong Chinaman with Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and the upcoming production of Tommy Smith’s The Wife. Adrales’ awards and residencies include SSDC Denham Fellowship; Van Lier Fellowship, New York Theatre Workshop Fellowship, SoHo Rep. Writers/Directors Lab, Women’s Project Directors Lab; SDCF Observership, and Drama League Directing Fellowship. She served as an Artistic Associate at The Public Theater for two years. She is a recipient of the TCG New Generations grant and is in residence at The Lark Play Development Center where she directs and manages several core artist programs. Adrales is on the faculty of The Public Theater Shakespeare Lab and received her MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama.

About Goodman Theatre

Now Celebrating A Decade on Dearborn, Goodman Theatre, “the leading regional theater in the nation’s most important theater city” (Time), is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago, generating nearly $300 million in economic impact over the past decade in its state-of-the-art two-theater complex on North Dearborn Street. Founded in 1925 and currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls, “Chicago’s most essential director” (ChicagoTribune), and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit resident theater has experienced unprecedented success over the past 10 years in its new downtown facility, welcoming nearly 2 million patrons to productions and events—including 10 festivals celebrating playwrights such as David Mamet, August Wilson and Horton Foote, as well as the biennial Latino Theatre Festival—serving 30 percent more students through its Education and Community Engagement programs (including the FREE Student Subscription Series and other interactive programs) and employing more than 3,000 artists and theater professionals. The Goodman has earned more than 90 awards for hundreds of productions, including the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage—one of 25 new-work Goodman commissions in the last decade. The chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees is Patricia Cox and Joan Clifford is President of the Women’s Board. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre.

Visit Goodman virtually at GoodmanTheatre.org; discover the 2010/2011 Season at ExploreTheGoodman.org; catch the latest news on the Goodman’s Blog; Like us on Facebook; Follow us on Twitter; share photos with us on Flickr; and peek behind-the-scenes on the Goodman’s YouTube Channel.

Book Reviews: “Minorities Deceived” and “Kenya: Rehabilitation”

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2010 Comments Off on Book Reviews: “Minorities Deceived” and “Kenya: Rehabilitation”

By Lynia White


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Resilience is defined as “the ability to recover from illness or adversity.” We all face various degrees of adversity in our life. Therefore, resilience is an extremely important quality to cultivate. Sherman L. Turner is an outstanding example of resilience. He has chosen to share his remarkable story in two books – Minorities Deceived and Kenya: Rehabilitation. His story inspires hope and helps readers to develop determination to overcome all obstacles.

Turner grew up in a poor family in Buffalo, New York. Schools in his area were substandard. It was very difficult for him to get a good education. Despite his humble beginnings, he worked very hard to become a plumber. Because of racism, he encountered many obstacles. Even though Turner’s grades were the highest in his apprenticeship class, it was difficult for him to secure employment to receive the field-training that he needed. He chose to take the Master Plumber test and start his own business. At that time, the city of Buffalo had never had a black master plumber. He received death threats for taking the Master Plumber test. That fact did not stop Turner. He was determined and it paid off. He became Buffalo’s first black master plumber. He paved the way for other minorities to reach their potential.

He worked as a contractor for the Small Business Administration (SBA). Turner was accepted into the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program. This program was designed to assist small businesses that are owned and operated by individuals who are at a social and economic disadvantage. Turner intended to hire minority workers on his jobs. However, the “Wall Street Money” contractors did not want black workers on government jobs. Turner struggled for many years to fight for minority rights.

Partially due to the stress at his job, Turner suffered a massive stroke. The stroke left him in a coma for several weeks. When he woke from the coma, he realized that he was paralyzed. In his second book, he tells the story of his recovery. It was a tough road for him. Again, he was determined to overcome all obstacles. He worked hard to learn how to walk and talk again. As a result of the stroke, he lost much of his memory. His doctors encouraged him to learn a new language to help with his memory loss.

Turner enrolled in a local college and began learning Swahili. He could have easily remained in that school close to home. Instead, he chose to travel to Kenya to attend the School of Languages and Rehabilitations. It was no easy task to travel such a long distance. He did not let his disabilities stop him from making the trip. In fact, he made several trips to Kenya. He regained his memory and graduated from the language class.

The Sherman Turner story led me to question my own resilience. I wondered how I would fare if I had to face all the hardships he endured. This story truly touched me. Turner’s life shows the strength of the human spirit. Anyone who reads this heartwarming memoir will be strengthened and encouraged.

Lynia White is a columnist, book reviewer and the founder of The Quality Corner Bookstore – www.thequalitycorner.com. For more book reviews by Lynia, visit her blog at http://thequalitycorner.blogspot.com. To request a review, go to www.blackbookreview.com

Better Business Bureau alerts consumers how to protect their identities during Data Breaches

Posted by Admin On December - 24 - 2010 Comments Off on Better Business Bureau alerts consumers how to protect their identities during Data Breaches
(From the Better Business Bureau)



CHICAGO, IL – The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois warns that data breaches such as those that occurred recently with McDonald’s, Walgreens, and the online media company Gawker show how easily your personal, medical, or financial information can be compromised, through no fault of your own.


In the case of these three companies hackers did not obtain any medical or financial information; however, for McDonald’s their customers were potentially exposed to having their e-mail information, names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and gender information compromised. Walgreens said hackers only gained access to customers e-mail information which may have allowed them to send spam asking their customers to input personal data into a false website.


“One very important lesson learned with the Gawker breach where more than 1.3 million people had their emails and passwords compromised is to develop good habits for updating passwords and at the very least, not using the same password for every website,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “As consumers, we must always be vigilant in protecting ourselves against becoming a victim of identity theft.”

Should you find yourself a victim of a data breach, the BBB advises six things to do:


  1. Contact the organization that suffered the breach – A hot line may be setup to address your concerns and answer your questions.
  2. Contact any affected financial companies – If your bank accounts, credit card accounts, or investment accounts are affected, immediately contact the companies and request that the account be closed and a new one opened.
  3. Monitor your bank and credit statements closely – Check every item on your bank statements and credit card statements to be sure they are legitimate charges and expenditures. It is imperative this is done immediately after a data breach.
  4. File a fraud alert with all three (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion LLC) credit reporting agencies – Credit reporting agencies are required by law to flag your credit report for 90 days if you file a fraud alert. Then if someone tries to open a new account using your information you should be contacted for verification.
  5. Sign up for any free credit report monitoring that’s offered – If the company that compromised your information offers a free monitoring program take advantage of it.
  6. Obtain Annual Credit Reports – Consumers should obtain their credit report on a yearly basis to see if they have been a victim of identity theft. FREE reports can be obtained from www.freecreditreport.com

 Bernas adds, “Identity theft is still the fastest growing white collar crime. The BBB is here for consumers not only when they need help finding a trustworthy business or when they have a grievance with a company, but also to help protect their identity. Go to www.bbb.org for free information and www.chicagoshreds.com for free shred day events.”

For more information on preventing identity theft, visit www.bbb.org.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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