April , 2019

Department considers this month’s theme as a call to action Springfield, IL – What does it ...
  (From the Active Transportation Alliance)   The Active Transportation Alliance applauds bridge that will improve trail safety ...
The White House announced the latest recipients of the National Medal of Science and National ...
‘We can’t police our way out of this’   By Chinta Strausberg   Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday said ...
Former Crystal Lake Police Officer and Former Business Owner Convicted CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Department of ...
 Alsip, IL - The world’s “Famous”, “Fabulous”, “Never Ending Impressions” will light up the International Stage ...
CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement today in response ...
NAACP Mobilizes North Carolina Members and Legislators in Opposition to Trump Federal Court Nominee Thomas ...
Henry Wishcamper directs the world premiere production that completes the 2013/2014 Owen Season CHICAGO, IL -  ...
CHICAGO, IL - Members of the military and their families are the targets of a new ...

Archive for November, 2013

Pastor Ira Acree to donate 50 toys to CPS student Toy Drive

Posted by Admin On November - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Pastor Ira Acree to donate 50 toys to CPS student Toy Drive

Tells critics we must support our youth

By Chinta Strausberg

CHICAGO, IL – Pastor Ira J. Acree, head of the St. John Bible Church and co-chair of the Leaders Network, late Wednesday night committed to donating 50 toys to 10-year-old Samuel Love’s disaster project designed to give toys and/or gift cards to children who were victims of natural disasters.

Love, who is a fourth grader at the Beasley Academy Center, 5255 South State Street, is holding his second toy drive on Black Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at his grandmother’s restaurant, Josephine’s Cooking, 436 E. 79th St., where proceeds will go to children who were victims of the Oklahoma and Denver, Colorado flood and tornadoes.

On November 29, 2013, commonly called ‘Black Friday,’ young Love will be accepting unwrapped toys and/or gift cards at the restaurant formerly called Captain Hardtimes. His grandmother, Josephine “Mother” Wade, will be serving free homemade soup to anyone donating a toy and/or a gift card.

Acree, who is author of “In Pursuit of Mr. Right,” said, “For a child to have a heart to want to do something of this magnitude, it’s evident that he’s special person. For this to be Black Friday and he is more concerned about others rather than himself speaks volumes about his character and his heart. This kind gesture is the epitome of selflessness.

“Our community desperately needs these types of selfless acts if we ever truly plan to recover from the madness that we face daily. I’ve already been attacked for pledging to support this effort. The question was asked why send gifts to Oklahoma or Colorado when people are hurting in Washington Illinois. I personally have already committed our church to supporting those relief efforts but even if we hadn’t, by virtue of the fact that a child has a heart and the spirit to think on this level and magnitude compel me to support and go the extra mile.

“The older generation of leaders must look for younger leaders to pour into and to encourage. Rev. Jesse Jackson was a college student under Dr. King, the godfather of soul; James Brown let the boy preacher 10 year old Rev. Al Sharpton follow him around. The prophet Jeremiah was also just a boy when God called and anointed him. Trust me on this, this kid’s action is God ordained,” said Pastor Acree.

Hats off to Pastor Acree for opening up his heart and wallet to this up and coming student who has a passion for helping children who are victims of natural disasters. Acree said his gifts would be ready for Love’s December 14th trip to Little Axe, OK, which is his second planned trip where he will deliver the gifts and meet a number of officials. On Friday, December 6, 2013, Love will be taking 1,000 toys to Lyons, Colorado.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Why Leaders Must Rise Above the Rest of the Pack

Posted by Admin On November - 29 - 2013 Comments Off on Why Leaders Must Rise Above the Rest of the Pack

Soap Box Rants

By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

I pity the fool whose ear is easily bent by gossip, but I’m even more disgusted by managers that call themselves leaders and base their evaluations of others on gossip.

How many times have you watched companies bring in new management only to see the cream of the crop frantically looking for a way out of the place before the catastrophe hits?

I can smell a bad manager as soon as they start talking. They stink of trying to intimidate or bully staff members. They are usually from backgrounds or upbringings where they weren’t treated very well, and either they have the wrong idea that this is the behavior of management or they are just plain insecure or inferior in nature to begin with.

A good leader or manager wouldn’t base employee judgment on hearsay or perhaps what’s in that personnel file. They should make a conscious effort to get to know their staff – where their strengths are in regards to performance, whether they are lacking in production, and of making sure that they get the support and training they need. In other words, instead of trying to ruin their lives or make them miserable, mentor them.

A great leader can breathe life into a dormant organization. Moreover, a “Leader” is not the title you gain as a manager, you earn it as a person able to persuade people to be their best and do their best for the company. You can’t bully the best.

What these people don’t know or may have known and forgotten, is that some staff might want to do just enough work to get by because they are pretty much soured on the previous management. If there are hard working stand out employees in the camp, the lazy or not so brilliant manager often fears that person because of their outstanding knowledge of the job. You go figure.

How many times have we heard “don’t work too hard because they (management) don’t appreciate it anyway?” With that mindset, a person is putting themselves in a very vulnerable position. What if you look up one day and the job does not exist? You have allowed yourself to be a person of little value to another organization. Working hard and smart helps you keep your skills up. Unfortunately, some people are given management positions for the wrong reasons. They were friends with the right people, made themselves standout – not necessarily because of brilliance – or they were the only available body at the time, and knew a little more than the person that appointed them.

So you hard-working, charismatic, knowledgeable folks out there are the types that need to rise above the rest. Anybody can be nasty and bossy. It takes a class act to rule a team with finesse.

There was a company on the near Southwest Side of Chicago that had employees so supportive of their very large family-owned manufacturing business that when the company was losing money and risking closing down, the employees stepped up to the plate and worked for half their wages to try and help the family retain their company, and not lose it. That is a leader, not a mere manager that could pull off that type of support. The difference is respect, admiration and maybe even love from a staff that would be willing to do something like that.

My advice to managers: If you want to be leaders, mind your manners and mentor those you would consider casting out because they aren’t up to what you think they should be or what you have heard.

True leaders make yourself be known and practice good leadership skills in the workplace.

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al. She is also a weekly columnist for CopyLine Magazine

Hypocrisy: Did some U.S. politicians forget it’s unlawful to buy and use controlled substances?

Posted by Admin On November - 27 - 2013 Comments Off on Hypocrisy: Did some U.S. politicians forget it’s unlawful to buy and use controlled substances?

A disingenuous act of deception coming from an elected official sets precedence for youth.

By Rev. Harold E. Bailey

President of Probation Challenge and The PCC Internet Broadcast

How can a hypocritical elected official elected to uphold the laws of the United States not do so? How can American citizens rationalize and justify such behavior with troubled youth? Youth cannot conduct themselves in such an unforgiving manner as our congressional leader without the consequences of jail or prison, and a rehab institute never considered! This truly constitutes a double standard in these Not-So-United States.  How then can hypocritical people stand before the American people, pledge an allegiance to the U.S. congressional flag, knowing that truth is as far from them as day is from night!

God knows and remembers the mentalities of politicians, ministers, and other chosen leaders who disingenuously take to the speaker’s podium with messages geared to disrupt and divide the children of God.  In that God knows the very thoughts of humans before they reach their minds, it’s then safe to say that you can’t fool the Creator with our child-like-mind-games! Humans often forget that with God everything is written in the lamb’s book of life and, all deeds said and done are subjected to God’s law of retribution!  The Judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether…says President Abraham Lincoln.

Perhaps Washington and its mismanagement of governmental affairs is because a ‘controlled substance of sort’ has invaded the mentality of a demented few, thusly causing many fantasy worlds to exist! Or again, perhaps there is a choir of other congressional leaders yet to seek rehabilitation.

Without doubt, others sitting in seats of authority who are seeking to do rational matters are often subjected to the wimps of that few who are looking for a moment in front of a camera. Take note that others are perhaps not involved with a controlled substance, but under some sort of a mind-altering substance, a substance that has caused them to call right wrong and wrong right. This should not reflect merely on Washington, DC, but can extend to the Illinois State House where many are no longer clear in rendering decisions that vastly affect the people they have taken a sworn oath to serve!

Why is there such a distraction in obeying the written law of the land!? Disobedience to obey the laws of the land and the law of God is now by many considered the normal way of conducting business.  What manner of drug or madness is this? It has been asked if this could be for the love of money. Whatever the case, the taxpayer has been raped and suffers the blunt consequences of having bad government.

The scripture states that ‘Above all things the heart is desperately wicked, who can know it but God.’ In the latter days, covers of darkness are being pulled back and evil deeds are being brought into the light. Point: Youth have been charged with far lesser offenses such as marijuana and have been given a far greater sentence. Why is there such a disparity in the law? Whites get slapped on the back-of-the-hand, while African-Americans and Hispanics get kicked in the pants! Now, this is not to say that youth are right in the drug arena, but take a long hard look at who, what and when! This unfair act of what is now considered the ‘law’ for blacks, under the fair-law-of-God would be the same for Whites.

It has been suggested that Whites go to glorified country clubs, while blacks continue with the chain gang criminal justice way of doing things.

Are you not glad that God gave the human race one set of rules which extends back before the foundation of the world? God did it with no biased intent! However, we have derailed from the right ways of doing things … and now we are way off track with sanity. Some deranged world-known leaders are seeking to establish their own ways of doing things and flaunting it on their sleeves as The New Order. These ways are not the lawful ways, nor the ways of God.

God exposes evil to the true baptized believer

On the scene today, corrupted politicians, ministers, and others who attempt to sway the mindset of non-bible-reading persons, are now being publicly and spiritually exposed! In these latter days, it is noted that radio, television and other media outlets are documenting that hypocritical persons who have been able to vastly influence people for the purpose of dollars are now subliminally showing the public who they really are!

Am I hurt? Yes I am, and I’ll tell you why! African Americans and other minorities are perishing for the lack of knowledge because many were denied book learning and some the wisdom given from God. Wisdom from God was not in many cases given because some did not ask for it! God said ‘If any man or women lacked wisdom, let them ask of me!’

And with a loud boastful voice, those sitting in seats of authority in Washington, DC and Springfield, Illinois have chosen to brainwash their followers and/or anyone who would listen to their corrupted spiritual garbage.

Once again, let us remember what the late President Abraham Lincoln said: The Judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

With a word of warning and without any cautious hesitation, allow me to put unjust humans on notice that whomever would jest as to the judgments of God… be advised that any attempt to steal the heart of man away from the Lord Almighty will have dire consequence!

Rev. Harold E. Bailey, President of Probation Challenge and The PCC Internet Broadcast Network, WWW.ProbationChallenge.org – The Truth Network

Submitted to: CopyLine Magazine

“Click it or Ticket”: Illinois law enforcement to crack down on Front and Back Seat Belt Law violators

Posted by Admin On November - 27 - 2013 Comments Off on “Click it or Ticket”: Illinois law enforcement to crack down on Front and Back Seat Belt Law violators

“Click it or Ticket” Thanksgiving Holiday Campaign Begins; Data Shows more Back Seat Passengers Need to Buckle Up

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced that the Illinois State Police (ISP) and more than 200 local police departments will be out in full force before and during the Thanksgiving holiday to crack down on motorists not buckling their seatbelts or driving under the influence. The stepped up effort, during one of the heaviest travel seasons of the year, is a part of the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which is geared towards saving lives by encouraging seat belt usage by every motorist in every seating position.

This end of the year push comes as Illinois’ year-to-date motor vehicle fatalities are about 4 percent higher than this time last year, and also on the heels of data showing too few passengers are complying with the backseat belt law, enacted in 2012.

“To make zero crash fatalities a reality in Illinois, all motorists and passengers need to buckle up; particularly in the back seat where usage rates are much too low,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “We are encouraged that about 94 percent of drivers are buckling up, but we need to make sure all passengers and drivers are buckling up. When motorists make the decision to buckle up, they are increasing their chances of survival and decreasing the risk of being seriously injured in case of a crash.”

During the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday (from 6 p.m. on Wednesday before Thanksgiving to midnight on the Sunday following Thanksgiving), nine people died in traffic crashes on Illinois roads and 737 were injured. Of the nine individuals killed, three died in crashes where at least one driver had been drinking.

Hundreds of seat belt enforcement zones and additional patrols looking for belt law violators will take place alongside roadside safety checks and saturation patrols looking for drunk drivers in this all-out effort to save lives on Illinois roads.

“Illinois State Police are urging the motoring public to buckle up and drive responsibly when traveling during the busy holiday season,” said ISP Lieutenant Colonel Terry Lemming. “Every second counts when it comes to road safety and our officers will be enforcing all traffic laws and reminding drivers and passengers that seat belts save lives.”

In 2003, Illinois passed a “primary” belt law meaning every driver and front seat passenger could be pulled over for failing to wear a seat belt. On January 1, 2012, Illinois law was expanded to require every driver and passenger to wear seat belts regardless of where seated in the vehicle. Passage of the primary seat belt law 10 years ago has helped to increase belt use by nearly 20 percentage points, saving hundreds of lives on Illinois roads.

As of June 2013, Illinois’ overall seat belt usage rate by drivers and front-seat passengers was 93.7 percent, the highest ever. An observational survey conducted by IDOT in September 2013 shows the new law has not yet had the same effect on passengers riding in back seats with only 77.4 percent of back seat passengers wearing seat belts. Further survey data obtained in September shows the upstate counties (sample taken from DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Winnebago) have the highest back seat usage rate at 82.4 percent, followed by Cook County and the downstate counties (sample taken from Champaign, Bureau, Effingham, Rock Island, Madison and St. Clair) at approximately 77 percent.  The city of Chicago had the lowest back seat usage rate at 61.2 percent.

Safety belt use by Illinois motorists (2013)
Front Seat Passengers
Rear Seat Occupants
1. Upstate sample taken from the following counties: DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Winnebago
2. Downstate sample taken from the following counties: Champaign, Bureau, Effingham, Rock Island, Madison and St. Clair
Follow IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety on Twitter @ILTrafficSafety. For more information about Illinois traffic safety programs, please visit www.trafficsafety.illinois.gov.

White House Initiative Internship Program seeks African American student applicants for Winter 2013/2014

Posted by Admin On November - 27 - 2013 Comments Off on White House Initiative Internship Program seeks African American student applicants for Winter 2013/2014

The program is offered through the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The White House Initiative’s Year-round Internship Program provides current undergraduate and graduate students with an opportunity to learn about African American-focused education policy, communications, and outreach at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: Collecting and compiling research and data on African American education, institutions and communities; Participating in strategic planning and staff meetings and other Department policy briefings and meetings relevant to the work of the Initiative; Liaising between the Initiative and local and national African American organizations and federal agencies; and much more.

In addition, opportunities for developmental growth are encouraged, such as interviewing senior Department officials and officials from external organizations, and attending internal/external presentations and briefings related to African American education. Duties also will vary slightly for graduate students, particularly Ph.D. candidates.

Throughout the course of their internships, students will have the opportunity to attend and potentially lead in the planning and management of meetings, briefings and other special events on the Hill, at the White House and in other federal agencies.

For more details and/or to apply, visit:

To search hundreds of other 2013/14 internships, visit:

Jesse White’s Disability Parking Sting Kicks Off Friday, November 29th through Sunday, December 1st for Chicago Area Malls

Posted by Admin On November - 27 - 2013 Comments Off on Jesse White’s Disability Parking Sting Kicks Off Friday, November 29th through Sunday, December 1st for Chicago Area Malls

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s Secretary of State Police will conduct a parking sting to crack down on holiday shoppers who violate the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities, Friday, November 29th, Saturday, November 30th and Sunday, December 1st from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Last year, more than 160 citations were issued to those violating the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities. Drivers caught misusing a placard face a six-month driver’s license suspension and $500 fine. Repeat violators will face a one-year driver’s license suspension and $1,000 fine for a second offense, and a $1,000 fine plus a one-year driver’s license revocation for the third or subsequent offenses. The fine for parking in an accessible parking space without a parking placard or disability license plates can be as much $350.

It’s Only a Deal if it’s Real – Black Friday Tips from the BBB

Posted by Admin On November - 27 - 2013 Comments Off on It’s Only a Deal if it’s Real – Black Friday Tips from the BBB

CHICAGO, IL – Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is the most popular shopping day of the year. If you plan on getting up early and joining millions of other shoppers at your local shopping center, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) urges you to beware of schemes and do careful research before shopping.

“Every year, people get caught up in the hectic pace of holiday shopping and special deals,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It is important for consumers to plan ahead by researching stores before shopping, paying with credit cards whenever possible, and keeping all receipts so that recipients won’t be disappointed if they decide to return gifted items.”

The BBB offers the following tips for Black Friday shoppers:

  • Research before you shop. If you find a great coupon, be sure to print it and bring it to the store with you. Check out Business Reviews at www.bbb.org to make sure you are dealing with a reputable business that will guarantee the sale prices they claim to have.
  • Be Aware of Return Policies.
    Knowing the store policies on returns can help you determine where to buy. Many retailers may include restocking fees and shorter return deadlines.
  • Ask for Gift Receipts. Gift receipts generally include a description of the item purchased but do not disclose the price paid. Without proof-of-purchase, the recipient may be turned down for returning or exchanging the item, or risk receiving an exchange at a lower price.
  • Beware of deals that sound too good to be true. Offers on websites and in unsolicited e-mails can often sound too good to be true, especially extremely low prices on hard-to-get items. Consumers should always go with their instincts and not be afraid to pass up a “deal” that might cost them dearly in the end. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Keep purses zipped and close to your body. Never leave a purse unattended in a shopping cart where it is more susceptible to theft.
  • Remember there is increased safety in numbers. Avoid walking alone and leave malls and stores well before closing time to assure a more active parking lot. Ask mall security to walk you to your car if you feel you are not safe.

For more advice on safe shopping during this holiday season, visit www.bbb.org

Thodos Dance Chicago Youth Dance Program offers professional dance training for children 3 and up in the Heart of Lincoln Park

Posted by Admin On November - 27 - 2013 Comments Off on Thodos Dance Chicago Youth Dance Program offers professional dance training for children 3 and up in the Heart of Lincoln Park

Register now for classes in Hip Hop, Jazz, Modern, Musical Theater, Ballet, Tap and Ballet/Tap Combo; Winter session starts Jan. 6, 2014

See TDC’s Youth Ensemble perform Dec. 7 & 8 at the Drucker Center,
Menomonee Club for Boys & Girls

CHICAGO, ILThodos Dance Chicago is growing its Youth Dance curriculum for children ages 3 to 18 at the company’s professional rehearsal home, the Drucker Center Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls, 1535 N. Dayton St. in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Youth dance classes with Thodos Dance are fun, inspiring, and different in that all instructors are also professional dancers and current members of the company’s 12-person ensemble. Thodos dancers Jessica Miller Tomlinson and John Cartwright, Co-Artistic Directors of the Youth Dance Ensemble, along with TDC ensemble members Kyle Hadenfelt and Tenley Dorrill oversee a dance curriculum rich in diversity, with classes in seven core areas – Hip Hop, Jazz, Musical Theater, Modern, Ballet, Tap and Ballet/Tap Combo.

For the more serious dancer, the Thodos Dance Chicago Youth Ensemble is a next-level, audition-based opportunity for children grades 5 through 12 to perform in a pre-professional dance company. Auditions for the Thodos Dance Youth Ensemble can be arranged by calling the TDC office at 312.266.6255.Selected participants will enjoy a fun, yet rigorous training program that includes appearances alongside Thodos Dance Chicago, the opportunity to choreograph their own new work, and performances at Youth Ensemble concerts and special events.

Registration for Thodos Dance Chicago Youth Dance Classes is now open at thodosdancechicago.org/DanceEducation, or by calling (312) 266-6255. The Winter session runs January 6 through May 17, 2014. Classes within each core subject area are offered in basic, intermediate and advance levels, and in a variety of age ranges, primarily junior kindergarten to grade 3, grade 3 through 6, and grade 7 through 12. Classes are held late afternoons, evenings and weekends to fit into busy family schedules, and Drucker Center offers free parking. Prorated prices are also available for students joining classes throughout the year. For class times and registration fees, visit thodosdancechicago.org/DanceEducation.

Note:  Parents and children interested in sampling the program are encouraged to attend the Thodos Dance Chicago Youth Ensemble Winter Concerts, Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday, December 8 at 6 p.m. in the Fasseas Whitebox Theatre at the Drucker Center, Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls, 1535 N. Dayton St., Chicago. The concert will feature imaginative works created by professional Thodos dancers especially for the ensemble, a full company dance piece choreographed by 14-year-old Youth Ensemble member Ileana Lopez Martinez, plus special guests the Old Town School of Music Rock Youth Ensemble. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by calling (312) 266-6255 or the door, subject to availability.

More About Education Initiatives at Thodos Dance Chicago

Thodos Dance Chicago (TDC) is an ensemble of twelve versatile dance artists with a captivating style that uses a variety of dance forms. The company holds an innovative place in American contemporary dance due to its unique mission of inspiring expression through 1) dance performance, 2) dance creation and 3) dance education.

Thodos ensemble members sharing their professional talent, knowledge and skills with our next generation of dancers through the company’s Youth Dance initiative fits precisely into the company’s mission. Full integration into a professional dance studio environment is conducive to teaching performance, choreography and even production skills. In fact, all members of the Youth Ensemble are invited to submit choreography proposals for the ensemble’s annual Winter Concert, and one is selected for full production. This closely models Thodos Dance Chicago’s New Dances professional choreography series featuring new works created by the company’s own ensemble members, one of TDC’s key dance creation initiatives.

Thodos Dance also engages young audiences with education outreach programs including master classes, residencies and assemblies. A current example is Connections, an interactive, experiential assembly program for schools and community groups that builds on the company’s acclaimed story ballet A Light in the the Dark, the Story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, using contemporary dance to spur discussions about disability awareness.

Connections is being offered throughout Chicagoland in anticipation of Thodos Dance Chicago’s Winter Concerts 2014, February 22 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, and March 8 and 9 at the Harris Theatre for Music and Dance. The program for both local engagements includes a world premiere dance+architecture collaboration with Studio Gang Architects, and a reprise of A Light in the Dark, back by popular demand.  For tickets and more information, visit thodosdancechicago.org.

About Thodos Dance Chicago

Thodos Dance Chicago was founded in 1992 by Melissa Thodos, a young Evanston-born, Chicago-based dancer and choreographer who wanted to create opportunities for local dancers to create, perform and educate. Fast-forward 20 years, and Thodos is the only female choreographer to have helmed her own mid-sized, contemporary dance company in Chicago for two decades with this unique, three-part mission.

Thodos Dance Chicago is supported by the Illinois Arts Council-a state agency, Target, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Arts Work Fund, The Morrison-Schearer Foundation, The Saints and many individual and corporate sponsors.

For more information, visit thodosdancechicago.org.

African Americans, chronic disease and the Holiday Season

Posted by Admin On November - 27 - 2013 Comments Off on African Americans, chronic disease and the Holiday Season

News from the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention

An unhealthy lifestyle that consists of smoking, poor eating habits, and lack of exercise are contributing to an epidemic of chronic, preventable diseases that are alarming for the future health of the nation and for African-Americans, in particular. These diseases often include heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 1.4 times more likely to be obese than non-Hispanic Whites and Black women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese. African American men are 30% more likely to die from heart disease. We are also twice more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes than their white counterparts. While the diagnosis for the current state of African American health may appear bleak our community has an opportunity to collectively influence a prognosis of a healthier lifestyle.

The Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention (ILAACP) works very hard raising public awareness and consciousness about health disparities that negatively affect African American communities.  As we embark upon celebrating three holidays planned around food and more food – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Kwanzaa – we wanted to take a moment to provide you with a few resources that will allow you to indulge your palette while watching your waist line.

Here are a few resources to checkout to prepare for a healthier holiday:

  • Prepare your favorite African American dishes in ways that protect you and your family from heart disease and stroke. This cookbook provides recipes for 26 tested and tasty favorite African American dishes check out the cookbook here .
  • The Black America Cooks website celebrating healthy flavors of home, for a list of healthy snacks and recipes click here.
  • Take a look at Holiday Cooking Adventures from Julie Topping of The 80% Solution here.
  • From Kids Eat Right check out Healthy Soul Food your way, embracing the healthier roots of soul food here.
  • From the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health the Key to Cooking “Down Home Healthy” is a Pantry Stocked with Healthy Ingredients listed here.

Have a safe, healthy, and happy gobble, gobble day!

In Service,

Malik S. Nevels, J.D.
Executive Director

“Juanita’s Perspectives”: A New Column Premiering in CopyLine Magazine

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On November - 26 - 2013 Comments Off on “Juanita’s Perspectives”: A New Column Premiering in CopyLine Magazine

(Editor’s Note: This Editorial was published in the First Issue of CopyLine Magazine, November 1990)

By Juanita Bratcher

Author, Editor & Publisher of CopyLine Magazine

It’s hard to remember many of the things that occurred during the early stages of my life. But I have a vivid memory of what it was like as a kid growing up in Georgia when I would read the newspapers or magazines or turn on the television or radio. It was a feeling of discontent, a feeling of anger, and sometimes a feeling of outrage, to see just how Blacks were projected in the media.

And never in my wildest imagination, at that time, did I entertain the thought that one day I would be part of a “Medium” that I so detested. The reason being, perhaps, was my one-woman opinion that the media engaged in stereotypical, lopsided and imbalanced reporting of the Black experience in America.

I knew – as a kid growing up in Georgia – as well as numerous others, that there were many Black role models in our community, and many “Unsung Heroes”. But the mainstream media, more often than not, focused on the criminal aspects – robberies, burglaries and murders; letting the positives go begging, whether intentional or not.

During that time, very few Blacks were seen on the “happy medium” television screen. Nat King Cole, a very talented Black entertainer, was a victim of racism when his nationally televised show was abruptly canceled.

Cole, the first Black to have his own nationally televised show, was dropped from the airwaves because of white protest. Sponsorships were canceled.

Today, however, the television industry has changed somewhat in that regard. There are many more Blacks in television roles, mainly sitcoms, but certainly more change is needed.

I can wholeheartedly relate to the first editorial that appeared in the first Black newspaper published on March 16, 1827, although it was long before my existence.

The editorial, published in Freedom’s Journal, stated: “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us.”

In January 1859, the Anglo African magazine stated that in order for Black people in the United States to maintain their rank as men among men, they must speak for themselves, that no outside tongue, “however, gifted with eloquence, can tell their story; no outside eye, however, penetrating, can see their wants.”

Reportedly, the founding of the first black published newspaper in the United States was spurred by the New York Enquirer. A few freedmen had become adept at oratory, poetry, and autobiographical writing that had produced moving accounts in book form of what it meant to live as a slave. Some freedmen had seen their articles or letters published by white editors in the mainstream press. But then a vicious attack was made on some Black leaders by the editor of the New York Enquirer, and thus, the founding of the first black newspaper.

It is obvious that the same scenario is taking place today. Imbalance news reporting of the black community is still a stark reality. Black leaders are being attacked on every front; some deservingly so, yet many undeserved.

Between 1827 and 1865, 40 struggling black newspapers sprung up, all dedicated to the anti-slavery abolitionist movement.

Over the years, voices from the black community have criticized the mainstream media’s unfair reporting of the black community, the small percentage of minorities working in the industry, and the fact that very few minorities are in key decision-making positions. However, very little change, if any, has been made.

While the media have put Corporate America under close scrutiny for discriminatory practices against minorities – which is commending – it has failed to place its own industry under the same kind of scrutiny.

The Kerner Commission report, released in March 1968, reported that “Along the country as a whole, the press has too long basked in a white world, looking out of it, if at all, with white men eyes and a white perspective.”

The report also stated that “It is no longer good enough,” that “the painful process of readjustment that is required of the American news media must begin now.”

Perhaps the advice fell on deaf ears, because 22 years later, things have not changed very much.

In a published report some years ago, Carl Rowan, a renowned Black journalist, said that Black America is being “shafted” by the media, which does not employ blacks adequately, and which Blacks do not exploit to their best interest.

In that assessment of the media, Rowan alluded to a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Report which stated that minorities and women are misrepresented on the television screen and under-represented in jobs behind it.

In a 1984 study conducted by the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE), it was revealed that the news industry was still largely segregated – that more than 60 percent of the daily newspapers in America employ no minority journalists; less than six percent of journalists working on daily newspapers are minorities; 92 of the nation’s newspapers have no minorities in news-executive positions; and only 13 percent of broadcasting professionals are minorities.

Four years later (1988), ASNE conducted yet another study of the news industry. Statistics showed that very little, if any improvement was made in regards to minority hiring practices in the mainstream media.

The 1988 report found that 54 percent of daily newspaper newsrooms in the United States do not employ one minority professionals, that minorities make up only 7.54 percent of 56,200 newsroom professionals, and that the total industry employment of minorities is 16 percent.

The news industry is a powerful entity. It has a “Profound” impact on public opinion.

Former Vice President Spiro Agnew, a constant critic of the media, once stated: “No medium has a more profound influence over public opinion” than network television over which the three networks (ABC, NBC and CBS) have a “virtual monopoly.”

Critics of network television argue that news the public will see is determined by a handful of people, responsible only to their corporate employers who wield a free-hand in selecting, presenting and interpreting the great issues of the nation with broad powers of choice over which news pictures to select and which to reject.

Further, this small group of executive producers and correspondents can, by selecting the news, “create national issues overnight,” can make or break an individual, group, corporation or whatever; can elevate men from obscurity to national prominence, and can give national exposure to some, and ignore others, critics said.

The black community has long been victim of “selective” news reporting. And, it appears that things won’t change anytime soon. That’s why it is important that black publications, black radio, and black television, for that matter, take their rightful places within the news industry to try and fill the “balanced void.”

As for CopyLine Magazine, we will work toward balancing the imbalanced.

Juanita Bratcher is an Award-Winning Journalist, the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com and the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 37 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.

Recent Comments

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

Recent Posts