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Archive for May, 2012

Illinois Attorney General Madigan: Legislature passes Bill to combat synthetic drugs

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2012 Comments Off on Illinois Attorney General Madigan: Legislature passes Bill to combat synthetic drugs

AG Investigators, Local Law Enforcement Remove Over $500,000 Worth of Synthetic Drugs from Stores Statewide


SPRINGFIELD, IL — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today applauded state lawmakers for passing a bill that will help combat the spread of synthetic drugs in Illinois.

The bill, which Attorney General Madigan’s office helped craft, targets the retail sale of synthetic drugs by defining a “synthetic drug product” as containing a controlled substance not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. HB 5233 also addresses how these drugs are packaged and sold, often with misleading claims that the products are legal and “not intended for human consumption.” The legislation would make it illegal under the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act to sell any form of synthetic drugs in Illinois.

“With drug makers continually reformulating these toxic substances, our state laws can quickly become outmoded when new variations arrive in stores,” Madigan said. “This bill seeks to end the game of ‘catch up’ by classifying as illegal any chemical that’s sold to be taken as a drug, regardless of what it’s called or how it’s labeled.”

Sen. Kwame Raoul sponsored the measure in the Illinois Senate. House Bill 5233 now goes to the governor for consideration. 

“Too often, our drug laws lag behind the development of new varieties of recreational drugs and new strategies for marketing them,” Sen. Raoul said. “This legislation clarifies the law on synthetic drugs so that retailers know when they sell these products, whether they contain controlled substances or are mislabeled, they will face criminal penalties and risk losing their businesses.”

The bill also significantly increases the penalty for selling synthetic drug products or misbranded drugs.

“As a former police officer who understands how illegal drugs can decimate communities, I enthusiastically sponsored this legislation on behalf of Attorney General Madigan,” said House sponsor Rep. Jerry Costello II.“This legislation directs our focus to those involved in making and distributing constantly evolving drug concoctions.” 

“Operation Smoked Out” Update

In addition to proposing this legislation, Attorney General Madigan is working with local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to address the growing use of synthetic drugs, particularly among teens and young adults. In December 2011, Madigan launched retail store sweeps, known as “Operation Smoked Out,” shortly after hosting the state’s first emergency summit to increase awareness of synthetic drugs. Since the retail store visits began, store owners across the state have relinquished nearly 25,000 packages of synthetic drugs and bath salts with a street value of almost $544,000.

These efforts come at a time when Poison Control Centers across the country have reported a dramatic increase in calls about synthetic marijuana and “bath salts,” another type of synthetic drug that contains chemical compounds that mimic the effects of cocaine or methamphetamine. In 2010, Poison Control Centers nationwide received 2,915 calls related to synthetic marijuana use. That figured jumped to 6,890 calls in 2011. Reports of bath salts were made 303 times to Poison Control Centers in 2010. A year later, the centers received 6,072 calls about bath salts.

States, including Illinois, initially responded to the rise of synthetic drug use by passing laws that banned specific formulas of synthetic marijuana and bath salts. Drug makers attempted to sidestep these laws by replacing the banned chemicals with new formulas. A new Illinois law that went into effect on Jan.1, 2012, takes a broader approach and bans all chemicals that are structural derivatives of the previously banned chemicals. The measures proposed in House Bill 5233 seeks to complement the new law.

African American Clergy must decide: A line drawn in the sand – or – walking the plank

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2012 Comments Off on African American Clergy must decide: A line drawn in the sand – or – walking the plank

By Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress, Jr.

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Dr. Martin Luther King’s book, “A Stride Toward Freedom,” was considered the handbook of the Civil Rights movement of the fifties and sixties. It was in this writing Dr. King expressed the necessity for the Church to be engaged and informed about the social injustices plaguing the country. Dr. King said, “It is not enough for the Church to be active in the realm of ideas; it must move out to the area of social action.” As I have related repeatedly, America is not at the crossroads, it has all ready gone down the wrong road and it’s all happened while the Church in America has stood amicably by.

Race is not found in heaven but certainly plays a major role here on earth and certainly in America. It is quite ironic, no, just down right insidious that it would be the first Black president to ‘draw the line in the sand’ demanding the Black Church to follow in complete allegiance, in complete lockstep. ‘Drawing the line in the sand’ does not adequately describe the challenge to the Church, since the president has now declared his open support for Homosexual marriage; it is more like walking the plank, and just before you step into oblivion, Obama removes the blindfold.

Being fair, the president inherited Roe Vs Wade. Abortion has been a scourge on the land for nearly 40 years. Unfortunately the Black Church ignored Obama’s deplorable record on the moral issues, his heartless, calloused voting record on abortion, and his ever advancing abortion agenda with many of the key Church leadership knowing the decimating effect abortion is having on the African-American community. Moreover, these last few years, much of the Black Leadership – some well meaning with good intentions – have been blindly following and supporting the president’s policies but last Tuesday, Obama lifted the blindfold.

If you didn’t know where Barack Obama was going all along, you should most assuredly know now. You excused his Klan-like relationship with Planned Parenthood and blatant disregard for the Judeo-Christian ethic you claim as your own. Yes, Church, he’s been cheating on you all along, but you ignored the signs because, you just wanted to work it out. You were hoping you could make him love you and take care of home. Well, we ignored the late nights coming home… the missing cufflinks… the strange numbers on his cell phone… and calls made when you were not around. Now the president has let you know, he is in bed with someone else, and demands you must go along with it. And when you asked him why he cheated on you, he said he “talked it over with his daughters and Michelle,” and to add insult to injury, hoping he’d fooled all of us, had the audacity to claim it was teachings he learned from the One who built and founded you..

Wake Up Church!

In a further effort to blur the lines between truth and falsehood, Nancy Pelosi is emailing America telling you how wonderful it is for the president to stand up for marriage equality, and Al Sharpton has written you letters literally asking you to not let this effect your – voting – allegiance to the president, ‘cause he’s counting on you’ this November. And no doubt, Roland Martin of CNN – appealing to your vanity – is on the phone right this minute, burning up the wires, trying to get the biggest names in Christendom to do another interview with the sole purpose of damage control and further bewitching the minds of the saints so you stay enthralled with the color of the president’s skin and not the content of his character.

Let’s go back to Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘Stride Toward Freedom’ and hear what he says about the preacher…

“It is impossible to speak about the role of the Church without referring to the ministers. Every minister of the Gospel has a mandate to stand up courageously for righteousness, to proclaim the eternal verities of the Gospel, and to lead men from the darkness of falsehood and fear to the light of truth and love.”

One of the “eternal verities” of the Gospel is that, marriage is between one man and one woman; another “eternal verities” of the Gospel is, Thou shalt not kill.

Some who are reading this may say, ‘The Christian is supposed to forgive and go on and stay together.’ Well, first let me say in reply, we are to always forgive, but that does not mean I am to follow and support what is patently untenable and undeniably unconscionable. Others may say, ‘Just as a wife or husband should forgive due to infidelity, we should forgive Barack Obama for his.’ That would be fine, Church, but in the spirit of John the Baptist, I declare unto you, it is not lawful for you to have him, for you are not married to him. Obama is not your husband! You must go back to your first love – JESUS – and ask for His forgiveness. He will take you back, for he is married to the backslider and stands at the gate waiting for the Prodigal….

We must be free to stand up for righteousness as Dr. King charged and we must be bold in our positions, for ‘a man cannot serve two masters.’ We cannot walk in support of ideologies which are destroying the social fabric of the African-American community, this country, and diminish and demean the Gospel we preach.

In closing, let’s look at Dr. King’s ‘Stride Toward Freedom’ once again for insight:

“Any discussion of the role of the Christian minister today must ultimately emphasize the need for prophecy. Not every minister can be a prophet, but some must be prepared for the ordeals of his high calling and be willing to suffer courageously for righteousness.”

A line in the sand – or – walking the plank… brethren, which is it?

Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress, Jr. is the founder of www.BlackGenocide.org – a website designed to reach the Afro-American community with the truth about abortion.

GOP Chairman Brady responds to Brad Harriman ending his Congressional Campaign

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2012 Comments Off on GOP Chairman Brady responds to Brad Harriman ending his Congressional Campaign
 Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady issued the following statement regarding democrat Brad Harriman ending his congressional campaign in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District:
 “My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Harriman and his family during this difficult time.  I wish him all the best and a speedy recovery as he seeks medical treatment for his condition.
“Mr. Harriman said that he has, ‘confidence that the democratic county chairman will work together in the most transparent way possible to select a candidate that will continue to fight for the southern Illinois way of life.’  
Brady added:
“It is my hope that the democratic chairman live up to that confidence and select a candidate in the most open and transparent way possible.  The voters in southern Illinois need to be included in this process and hear from any possible replacement directly about his or her views to bring jobs back to southern Illinois. We in the Illinois Republican Party recently completed a candidate replacement process in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District.  That process was carried out and completed in an extremely open and transparent manner.  I am very proud of the way that selection process was handled, and I would ask that the democrat chairman that make up the 12th Congressional District act in the same manner because that is what the voters deserve. “

Rights Leader, Art Rocker, responds to President Barack Obama’s personal opinion concerning ‘Gay people should be able to get married’

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2012 Comments Off on Rights Leader, Art Rocker, responds to President Barack Obama’s personal opinion concerning ‘Gay people should be able to get married’


 PENSACOLA, FL –I am a supporter of the President for the work he has done; however, I do have a concern regarding his recent statement. We have never considered anyone’s personal opinion in the commandment “Thou shall not kill,” only how killing destroys lives and families and is against God’s commandment. We must consider the fact that in our communities, the Black Church and the Black Woman are the pillars of the Black Community. Both the Black Church and the Black Woman are the threads of the fabrics that hold our culture and our beliefs together; they are the rocks of the Black Community. Our culture and the livelihood of our communities already have significant and fragile lives. Particularly fragile, in the homes where the Black man is not present in the woman’s life. Overall, the black church is the backbone of our communities.” states Art Rocker


Rocker continues, “We know the church does not need us, but we need the church. We also note, black women have survived and prevailed throughout all of the challenges they have had with black men and families. However, now we do not need this personal opinion in further separation of families in our communities and our culture.”


“We have won all of our uprising on prayer, faithfulness and grace day by day for this industry; the Black church and the Black woman. But for this issue to be placed at a time of lack of jobs, lack of hope, and lack of a prevailing education system, is just creating another issue in the black family; all combined killing the aspirations of Black Children. The churches of our community that were built with nickels, dimes, and quarters, are now having the most difficult time sustaining financially after incurring multiple challenges including the alarming rate of black men incarcerated and away from the home. Additionally, minorities hold the highest rate for unemployment and the highest rate of broken homes.”


“Is there a need for the President to discuss his personal belief that two men should be able to get married? I honestly believe Mr. President could make a better assessment of a personal opinion reflecting on how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi walked and protested peacefully concerning injustice that was not based on personal opinion but fact dealing with true human rights and civil rights. Although I still support President Barack Obama, I do not support any personal opinion that destroys the institution and sustainability of the Black Woman or the Black Church.” Art Rocker


For additional information on Florida SCLC, please visit www.SCLCFL.org or contact,

Jessica Donahue, 404-840-6764

Media’s portrayal of Black Youths contributes to racial tension

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2012 Comments Off on Media’s portrayal of Black Youths contributes to racial tension


By Joshunda Sanders



Mainstream media often portray African-American youths, especially black men and boys, as criminals, crime victims and predators. These stereotypes, according to social justice advocates, can create a racially charged atmosphere that results in violence such as the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.


U.S. popular culture has become increasingly desensitized to one-dimensional portrayals of black youths. Perpetuation of them as dangerous has been embedded in American society not only by words and images projected by journalists but also by a wide variety of other media and entertainment sources, including the Internet, movies and video games.


Clearly, the perception of African-Americans and other people of color as inferior to whites is rooted in the nation’s legacy of racial hierarchy, a system of stratification based on belief that skin color makes whites superior. Also contributing to embedding these stereotypes is that even as U.S. Census data show a growing number of nonwhites in America, fewer people of color are in decision-making positions at daily newspapers, television and radiostations, and online news organizations.


Media coverage of the February shooting of Martin, 17, in Sanford, Fla., by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, exemplifies negative treatment of black youths in the media. After a controversial delay, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the unarmed teenager’s death.


At the center of the case are issues related to race, gun rights and whether Zimmerman was acting in self-defense.


In most media stories last week, autopsy results showing that Martin’s blood had traces of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, overshadowed other new evidence. An Associated Press report from Orlando, Fla., began: “Trayvon Martin had marijuana in his system. He was shot through the heart at close range.”


Many of these stories were published with photographs showing cuts and scratches on Zimmerman’s face and head. A police report said he“appeared to have a broken and a bloody nose and swelling of his face.”


In the same week, an all-white, six-person jury in Houston acquitted Andrew Blomberg, 29, a white police officer, in the alleged beating of 15-year-old Chad Holley after Holley was arrested for burglary in March 2010.


In video footage from a security camera, which jurors were shown in court, Holley was seen falling to the ground after trying to hurdle a police squad car, the AP reported, and was “surrounded by at least five officers, some who appear to kick and hit his head, abdomen and legs.”


Blomberg testified that he didn’t kick or stomp Holley. Community activists decried the verdict and the racial makeup of the jury.


The presumption of guilt can also apply to young black women. When Rekia Boyd, 22, was fatally shot by an off-duty Chicago police detective in March, her death was overshadowed in mainstream media by the Martin case.


Boyd was with friends on a street near the detective’s home when words were apparently exchanged and he fired several shots, one of which struck Boyd in the head. No charges have been filed in the incident. Boyd’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against the detective and the city.


In its report on the shooting, one Chicago television station noted that Boyd was hanging out with a group “at 1 in the morning.”


Stories about black youths that don’t reinforce stereotypes, don’t involve celebrities and that tell narratives about everyday lives of black people haven’t been a priority in news coverage, says author Bakari Kitwana, executive director of Rap Sessions in Westlake, Ohio. Through Rap Sessions, Kitwana leads discussions on college and high school campuses nationwide to counter mainstream media narratives about the hip-hop generation.


In addition to being stereotyped in media, Kitwana says, black youths are also criminalized by three other circumstances.


“Job options are limited, especially if you’re working class, which is different from previous generations,” he says. “The military doesn’t have a draft so, ultimately, it’s composed of people who are so pushed out of other life options. The military becomes a way of not being totally impoverished. Add to that limited education because of the cost of a college degree.”


Publishers, editors and producers who decide which news stories are important often don’t choose ones that humanize or contextualize lives of black youths. In journalism, decision makers are largely white.


A 2011 study by the Radio Television Digital News Association and Hofstra University showed that while the percentage of people of color in the U.S. population had risen since 1990 from 25.9 percent to a projected 35.4 percent, the number in television rose 2.7 percent and fell in radio. TV news diversity, it noted, “remains far ahead of the newspaper.”


“The way that journalism is currently practiced and structured doesn’t allow for the telling of stories of underrepresented people,” says Malkia Cyril, founder and executive director of the Center for Media Justice in Oakland, Calif. Privatization of corporate media is one reason that continues to be true, she says.


In 1983, 50 corporations controlled U.S. media, according to “The Media Monopoly” by Ben Bagdikian, a longtime journalist and media critic. By 2004, in his revised and expanded “The New Media Monopoly,” Bagdikian wrote that the number was five – Time Warner, Disney, News Corp., Bertelsmann of Germany and Viacom, with NBC a close sixth.


“The way that journalism is on the open market means that stories are for sale, and what sells is stereotypes,” Cyril says. “Market-produced coverage will tend to misrepresent youth.”


The implications of “this charged environment can result in the dehumanization of black life and regressive political decisions that can lead to violence, as the Stand Your Ground Laws resulted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin,” she added in a follow-up email. “Otherwise, the story gets framed as coverage leads to bad individual behavior, and the systemic piece gets lost.”


When media producers in journalism and popular culture media like movies, television series and video games are mostly white, chances that young people will be humanized and fully represented are slim, says Eleni Delimpaltadaki Janis, public opinion and media research coordinator for The Opportunity Agenda in New York.


You see few images of black men and boys being good students or being good fathers,” she says. “They’re really fewer images of men in those roles compared to reality. It’s not just the news coverage. It’s also every type of media, but also in entertainment media, including video games. They all do a good job at using negative images of black boys and men for entertainment.”


Solutions include reporters intentionally incorporating black youths into everyday or evergreen stories like those about Christmas shopping, Janis says. Kitwana adds that it’s also important for journalists to remember that their profession carries the weight of social responsibility since democracy can’t function properly if journalism doesn’t function properly.


Eileen Espejo, director of media and health policy at Children Now in Oakland, says producers across the media spectrum should seek ways to avoid stereotypes. “We don’t want there to be a quota,” she says. “But we want you to think more creatively about the roles that people of color can play, and break out of the traditional mold.”


Joshunda Sanders writes media critiques for the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Her stories and other media critiques are available atwww.mije.org/mmcsi and can be republished free of charge.


For more information, please contact Elisabeth Pinio at epinio@mije.org or 510-891-9202.


MWRD worked behind the scenes during NATO Summit; credits Chicago Police Department for keeping the peace

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2012 Comments Off on MWRD worked behind the scenes during NATO Summit; credits Chicago Police Department for keeping the peace
The Cook County agency responsible for sewage treatment and stormwater management for the five million residents of Cook County worked quietly behind the scenes in preparation for the NATO Summit as thousands of protestors and foreign dignitaries converged on downtown Chicago the past week.
“We place a heavy emphasis on security year round, but we have been especially prudent in preparing for any emergencies that may have affected our operations before, during and after the NATO summit,” said St. Pierre. 
The MWRD maintains a police force that is responsible for physically protecting personnel and securing facilities and outlying properties. Operating remote monitoring cameras with digital video recorders and networking capabilities, the police remained on duty 24/7 before and during the NATO summit, along with other essential MWRD personnel.
It is a credit to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) that this week has been quiet and calm.  The CPD maintained composure and kept the downtown area peaceful and safe. 
“There is no better outcome in a high alert condition than the outcome this weekend,” said St. Pierre. “CPD, thank you and job well done!”

The NAACP Professional & Executive Diversity Job Fair comes to Chicago, June 5th

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2012 Comments Off on The NAACP Professional & Executive Diversity Job Fair comes to Chicago, June 5th

The NAACP Professional & Executive Diversity Job Fair is coming to Chicago, and everyone with a four-year degree or above is invited.

This event provides a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with companies that are hiring and looking for experienced candidates.

The Job Fair will be held Tuesday, June 5, 2012 from 10 a.m until 3 p.m., at Navy Pier, Lakeview Terrace, 600 E. Grand Avenue, in Chicago. 

Employers are seeking candidates with experience and interest in sales, engineering, government, security, education, military, medical, banking, financial services, and more. The Professional & Executive Diversity Job Fair is free and open to everyone with a four-year degree or above.

Bring plenty of copies of your resume and get ready to jump into gear with a new career!

For more information, visit http://psijobfair.com/Schedule/ChicagoJune52012.aspx or call (952) 595-4496, ext. 112.

New self-help book, “You, Me, and EBT” exposes truth about welfare system

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2012 Comments Off on New self-help book, “You, Me, and EBT” exposes truth about welfare system

First-time author, Jahi Kweli, recounts his experiences in the Los Angeles, California welfare-work program in his new self-help book, “You Me And EBT.” It includes a myriad of stories with tones of comedy, romance, and those ‘diamonds in the rough’. The non-fiction book is designed to be a tool of empowerment for tax payers while revealing the truth about welfare, welfare recipients and those who work with them.


 Long Beach, CA (BlackNews.com) — The truth about the effectiveness of California’s Los Angeles welfare work program is revealed in Jahi Kweli’s new self-help book, You Me and EBT. Kweli shares his experiences as a career enhancement professional within the southern California program in this book that aims to give empowerment to its readers. Within its pages are stories that contain humor, romance, success, and characters that can only be described as ‘diamonds in the rough’.

There is a lot of criticism when it comes to the American welfare system but what is the truth and what is not? Hundreds of thousands of people are recipients of welfare across the nation but the question is whether they should be. Every so often, news agencies publish stories about individuals who are living lavishly and fraudulently on welfare, benefiting at the public taxpayers’ expense while others, who are working, struggle to make ends meet. These stories raise the questions as to whether these welfare programs are working, and if recipients of welfare are using them in the way they were designed to be used.

Kweli uses his 19 years of experience as a career enhancement professional to take readers into the relatively unknown world of welfare in his new self-help book, You Me and EBT. The book shows the challenges and barriers that exist for people in the welfare system while also pointing out how many welfare recipients make no effort to find employment despite the many programs designed to help them do so. The empowerment book spans the years, 1995 through 2010 and goes into great detail about the welfare program in Los Angeles County.

Miss Shy, a radio personality on the Long Beach, California radio program, Flyy radio, states that You Me and EBT is an “interesting read” and has “social implications on people living in southern California.

Kweli and his book are being featured on the daily satellite radio show of Mr. Arthur Brooks, CEO and founder of DNBSRECORDS/ Live 365 Records Radio. Brooks says that You Me and EBT will bring further community awareness about welfare work and how it is affecting communities.


About The Author:

Jahi Kweli worked for the adult welfare-work program in Los Angeles County as a Career Enhancement professional for 19 years. He is the founder and CEO of Scholar Nation Inc. and has a B.A. degree in Communications from California State University Fullerton. You Me and EBT is his first published book and is available for purchase on Amazon.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jahikweli.

Photo Caption: Book Cover

Discussing financial issues should be essential step in wedding plans

Posted by Admin On May - 30 - 2012 Comments Off on Discussing financial issues should be essential step in wedding plans


(From the Better Business Bureau)



CHICAGO, IL – Summer is a popular time for weddings. However, even before the ceremony, the couple should take time to sit down and get serious about finances. Newlyweds need to take control of their finances, advises the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois (BBB), or else the walk down the aisle will only lead to a rocky financial future.


“In a marriage it’s important for newlyweds to realize that they are making a financial commitment, as well as an emotional commitment,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Couples need to have the conversation sooner rather than later, so they can develop healthy personal financial habits together.”


The BBB offers the following advice for newlyweds planning their financial future together:

  • Let Financial Skeletons out of the Closet. After marriage, any personal debt becomes “our debt.” It is important to sit down early when marriage is being discussed to discover what outstanding obligations exist on both sides. These could include car loans, school loans and credit card debt. Review your credit reports to get a better idea what both people are bringing to the marriage.
  • Build a Budget. After you’ve gotten a grasp on your debt, it’s time to build a monthly budget. Look at your monthly bills to create a realistic picture of how you spend. Discuss your long term goals-such as buying a house or car and having kids. Figure out how much money to set aside each month to reach those goals.
  • Designate a Driver but Travel Together. In order to avoid confusion, one person should be assigned to pay the bills every month. This doesn’t mean that the other person takes a back seat role in managing the finances. Have a discussion at least every month about your financial progress in order map your path and nip in the bud any bad spending habits.
  • Plan for Emergencies. Many young couples fail to save money to get them through hard times such as health problems and unexpected unemployment. Experts recommend you set aside three to six months of salary in a rainy day fund-ideally an interest-bearing account that can be easily accessed.
  • Save for the Future. Retirement may seem like a long way off to newlyweds, but setting aside money now means reaping big rewards later on. Take advantage of both employers’ retirement matching programs-if available-or set up individual retirement accounts.
  • Make a Vow to Be Savvy Consumers. Many families have had their life savings decimated after becoming a victim to fraud or identity theft. Check out your BBB’s website to find trustworthy businesses, get educated on the red flags of fraud and learn how to protect your identity.

For more advice on managing your money, visit www.bbb.org/us/consumer-tips-finance/.


“The Color of War”: An explosive account of the month that changed the war in the Pacific and transformed America

Posted by Admin On May - 29 - 2012 Comments Off on “The Color of War”: An explosive account of the month that changed the war in the Pacific and transformed America

James Campbell’s new book The Color of War is the story of the critical battle for Saipan, where for the first time in WWII black troops were sent to the frontlines to fight side-by-side with white Marines. It also details the massive and little known explosion at the Port Chicago Naval Ammunition Depot in July 1944, and the resulting mutiny trial of 50 African-American sailors who were on duty that day– a trial which would transform race relations in the military and in America.


Imagine that you’re an African-American in 1943. You live in the fiercely racist South and have heard that the military is looking for strong, patriotic black men. The local recruiter fills your head with visions of glory: You’ll serve as a sailor aboard a destroyer or a submarine, or carry a rifle on the frontlines among your white Marine comrades. When you return from the war, you’ll be treated like a hero.


Fast forward six months. If you opted for the Marines, you’re working with a malarial control unit in the swamps of North Carolina among the mosquitoes and snakes. Or you’re sent to Saipan where you and your fellow black Marines manage to unload 6,000 tons of essential equipment each day.


The Japanese are trying to kill you, and you are unarmed. You pray. Later, as casualties mount, a colonel hands you a rifle and sends you into battle alongside seasoned white Marines.


If you opted for the Navy, you’re sent to the Port Chicago Naval Ammunition Depot near San Francisco, a base that reminds you of a prison work camp or a plantation – white officer overseers and black workers. You’re ordered to load bombs that you’ve never been trained to handle onto ships that will pave the way for Marine assaults of the Pacific islands. “One day this place is going to explode to Kingdom Come,” is what your fellow sailors say.


One day it does – July 17, 1944 – with nearly the force of an atomic bomb. Three hundred and twenty men die. Another 390 are injured. Most are black sailors.


Almost six thousand miles away, Admirals Ernest King and Chester Nimitz celebrate the end of the brutal battle for Saipan, an island that would become the launching pad for U.S. bombers headed for Japan.  According to historian Donald Miller, seizing Saipan was “as important to victory over Japan as the Normandy invasion was to victory over Germany.”


Weeks later, the Navy blames the Port Chicago sailors for the explosion. And when you and the other survivors refuse to handle ammunition again, it launches the largest mutiny trial in U.S. history. Thurgood Marshall, chief counsel for the NAACP and future Supreme Court Justice, attends. When the Navy court convicts and sentences you and 49 more men for mutiny, Marshall handles your appeal and mobilizes the black community for a struggle that will  foreshadow the country’s bitter Civil Rights battle.


Using extensive research and first-hand interviews with veteran white Marines and black Marines and African-American sailors who survived Port Chicago, Campbell  crafted The Color of War topainta gripping picture of July 1944, the explosive month that changed the course of history. The Color of War juxtaposes the spirit of the Greatest Generation with the scars of segregation.


This June, in a timely and fitting tribute, the black Marines who fought in Saipan will be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their WWII service.




How One Battle Broke Japan and Another Changed America

James Campbell


List $30.00 Trade Hardcover  $14.99 Kindle edition

512 pages  Published by Crown Publishing

Official Publication date May 15, 2012

ISBN-10: 0307461211 ISBN-13: 978-0307461216

Historical non-fiction


About the Author James Campbell




James Campbell is a native of Wisconsin. He received his B.A. from Yale University and M.A. from the University of Colorado. He has written adventure travel, environmental, and military history pieces for Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Islands, Backpacker, Audubon, Coastal Living, Field and Stream, Sports Afield, Military History and many other magazines and newspapers.


His first book, The Final Frontiersman, won one of two nonfiction prizes at 2006 Midwest Booksellers Choice and was named by Amazon editors as the #1 Outdoor Book of 2004 and one of the Top 50 titles of the year.  In 2006, in conjunction for the research and writing of his second book, The Ghost Mountain Boys, he followed the footsteps of the Ghost Mountain Boys across New Guinea — a journey that historians describe as “one of the cruelest in military history” — and shot a documentary film in the process. No one from outside New Guinea had ever attempted to retrace the soldiers’ route. He discovered a wilderness and mountain villages largely unchanged in sixty years.


He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and three daughters.


What People Are Saying


“A fine account of a little-known milestone in the battle for civil rights.” – Kirkus Reviews


“Excellent battle narrative and black history rolled into one.” – Booklist


“James Campbell’s powerful account of what happened instead is a[n]…important chapter of American history, too little known until now.”

-Harry Belafonte


For more information, contact:  Lynda O’Connor lyndao@oconnorpr.com 847-615-5462


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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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