January , 2019

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The Music Institute of Chicago, transforming lives through music education for 85 years, is giving ...
 Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has been endorsed by the Illinois Education Association(IEA) for ...
(From the IL GOP Party)                                                                                            “I believe in competition, so I want competitive ...
By Vincent T. Sylvain, New Orleans Agenda Attorney Regina Bartholomew   New Orleans, LA (BlackNews.com) -- On ...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) issued the following statement after 42 Senators voted ...
                                                   Matching money to benefit domestic violence agencies   Springfield, IL – More than $10,000 will ...
Los Angeles NAACP President Leon Jenkins rescinded the award honoring Clippers Sterling after a racially-charged ...
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NEW ORLEANS-A panel of esteemed journalists acknowledged the shortcomings of media ...

Archive for May 15th, 2015

Campaign Says 18 Million Black Babies Aborted Since 1973

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

“All Black Life Matters” Project Visits HSBC Fayetteville State College – Educates Students About African American Abortion

Fayetteville State Black Abortion Awareness Campaign

Fayetteville, NC (BlackNews.com) – The Reverend Martin Luther King said in his book, Stride Toward Freedom, “If you will protest courageously and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, there lived a great people – a black people – who interjected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.”

It was in that spirit that the Life Education and Resource Center, along with the Center For Bio-ethical Reform, presented the “ALL Black Life Matters” Project on the campus of Fayetteville State College, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The results were profound and rewarding!

Rev Dr. Johnny Hunter, the National Director of LEARN, commented, “These students were engaging respectful and some very challenging but this was a dream come true, I saw so many being enlightened, some weeping and others willfully joining our opening and closing prayers, the dialogue was transforming.”

The CBR Genocide Awareness Project, under the vision and direction of Greg Cunningham, constructed the signs to seize this moment in time to reach the African American community with the detrimental results of abortion. “CBR has always been burdened by the fact that the abortion rate in the African American community remains tragically high. Black women account for 36% of all abortions despite constituting only 11% of the female population,” said Greg Cunningham. “Black activists also popularized the over-arching term ‘Black Lives Matter’, but we co-opted that too with the pro-life slogan, ‘All Black Lives Matter Born and Unborn.'”

“This was long overdue,” stated Rev. Clenard H. Childress Jr, who is the Assistant to the National Director of LEARN. “This is where the problem is and there is so much misinformation in the minds of many of the students. I met a lot of natural leaders here! The conversations and the debate was, well, ‘off the chain’. I was even invited by the radio station manager to debate the issue for one hour! Those student are so gifted with so much to offer but still a lot to learn, it was awesome!. The host even allowed me to have ‘The Final Say.'” (View GAP Project here).

Michael Novak points out in National Review (Notre Dame Disgrace, April 9, 2009), that “Black women make up 11% of the national female population but have more than 36% of all abortions…” He adds that, “…Of the 47 million children aborted since 1973, some 16 million have been black. If those children had been allowed to live, the black population… [in 2009 would have been] about 50% larger than it…[was] about 49 million instead of 33 million. At that rate, by 2014, 18 million black babies had been killed. Planned Parenthood “abortion care” has suppressed the black vote more effectively than poll taxes, literacy tests, voter I.D. requirements and Ku Klux Klan lynching’s combined. Facts like these were on 12’X4′ signs heralding the message: “Abortion Suppresses the Black Vote”.

Samantha Linnemann, CBR Director of Maryland, says she is very determined to support L.E.A.R.N. and their social activism efforts on college campuses, conventions, schools or wherever they decide to go. She stated, “We had a special three days at Fayetteville our team wont forget and nether will Fayetteville State college. I believe they were impressed to see African Americans along with white working together, holding hands and openly praying together to bring them a message to protect them and warn them of the evil of abortion. We had great conversations!”

Dave Richardson, a volunteer from New Calvary Baptist Church where the Rev. Childress is the Senior pastor, said, “I wish we could do this full time! Sometimes you feel people know these facts, but then you see how lost they are on this issue. I also have to remember I go to a church where we are taught about what abortion is.” (View the All Black Life Matter Project At Fayetteville here).

The local Planned Parenthood came out to question why was the display there, and took business cards to determine who was responsible. Planned Parenthood is the leading abortion provider in America.

“It is obvious they find the HSBC Fayetteville fertile ground. The school’s policy is that they will pay for the first abortion for any female student on campus,” says Childress.

Photo Caption: A concerned student reads about the devastating effects of abortion to the African American community

President Obama to Award the Medal of Honor

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – On June 2, 2015, President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Army Sergeant William Shemin and to Army Private Henry Johnson for conspicuous gallantry during World War I.

Sergeant William Shemin will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions while serving as a member of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division, American Expeditionary Forces.  Sergeant Shemin distinguished himself during combat operations in the vicinity of the Vesle River, Bazoches, France, on August 7-9, 1918.

Sergeant Shemin entered the Army on October 2, 1917. He was assigned as a rifleman to Company G, 47th Infantry Regiment, which moved from Syracuse, New York to Camp Greene, North Carolina, joining the 4th Infantry Division. The Division arrived in France in May, 1918.

While serving as a rifleman from August 7-9, 1918, Sergeant Shemin left the cover of his platoon’s trench and crossed open space, repeatedly exposing himself to heavy machine gun and rifle fire to rescue the wounded. After officers and senior non-commissioned officers had become casualties, Shemin took command of the platoon and displayed great initiative under fire, until he was wounded, August 9.

Ms. Elsie Shemin-Roth of Webster Grove, Missouri, will join the President at the White House to accept the Medal of Honor on her father’s behalf.

Private Henry Johnson will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions while serving as a member of Company C, 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division, American Expeditionary Forces. Then-Private Johnson distinguished himself during combat operations in the vicinity of the Tourbe and Aisne Rivers, northwest of Saint Menehoul, France, on May 15, 1918.

Private Johnson entered the Army on June 5, 1917. He was assigned to Company C, 15th New York (Colored) Infantry Regiment, an all-black National Guard unit that would later become the 369th Infantry Regiment. The Regiment was ordered into battle in 1918, and Private Johnson and his unit were brigaded with a French Army colonial unit in front-line combat.

While on night sentry duty on May 15, 1918, Private Johnson and a fellow Soldier received a surprise attack by a German raiding party consisting of at least 12 soldiers. While under intense enemy fire and despite receiving significant wounds, Johnson mounted a brave retaliation resulting in several enemy casualties. When his fellow soldier was badly wounded, Private Johnson prevented him from being taken prisoner by German forces.  Private Johnson exposed himself to grave danger by advancing from his position to engage an enemy soldier in hand-to-hand combat. Displaying great courage, Private Johnson held back the enemy force until they retreated.

Command Sergeant Major Louis Wilson, New York National Guard, will join the President at the White House to accept the Medal of Honor on Private Johnson’s behalf.


The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while:
engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

Gov. Rauner, Secretary White and State Superintendent Smith Encourage Students to Use Free Online Reading and Math Resources During Summer Break

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‘Find a Book’ Search Tool Aims to Fight Summer Learning Loss

SPRINGFIELD, IL– Governor Bruce Rauner, Secretary of State Jesse White and State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith encouraged all students across Illinois to access free online tools designed to promote reading, maintain math skills and inspire summer learning.  State leaders agree that Illinois’ 2 million public school students can make the most of summer vacation with good books and a plan to continue learning.

“Reading, exploring new concepts and maintaining math skills can be a part of the fun and adventure that makes summer vacation great and memorable,” Governor Rauner said. “With online resources, great public libraries and family support, children can continue to learn and maintain the gains they’ve made during the school year so they’re ready to succeed when school doors open again in the fall.”

The online “Find a Book” search tool utility provides a way for parents and children to quickly and easily find books that match a child’s reading level and interests as well as locate a local library carrying each title. The Summer Math Challenge is a free math skills maintenance program aimed at students who have just completed grades 2 through 6. It is designed to help children retain math skills learned during the previous school year. Parents who enroll their children in the program will receive daily emails from May 1 through July 31 with fun activities and links to educational resources.

Students can find their Lexile scores from a variety of benchmark measures, including many standardized tests.  They can also go to the “Find a Book” website, enter their grade and answer questions to help locate a reading range that best matches their skills.

Research shows that struggling learners score significantly higher on standardized tests taken at the start of summer than they do on the same tests taken at summer’s end. This summer learning loss is particularly evident in reading and is most pronounced among students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who may not have access to books. Studies show children who read through the summer months retain more of their academic skills and are better prepared to learn at the start of the school year.

Librarians, who have long promoted summer reading, are also encouraged to use “Find a Book.” Library staff can assist parents and students with the “Find a Book” tool and Lexile measures to help them find appropriate books.

“As the State Librarian, I applaud Illinois libraries for their efforts to encourage year-round reading,” said Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White.  “The `Find a Book’ search tool complements these efforts and helps parents who wish to read with their children every day over the summer.  This year, I also encourage parents to enroll their second- through sixth-graders in the summer math challenge in an effort to keep their math skills sharp.”

The “Find a Book” utility at www.lexile.com/findabook uses a student’s reading score, reported as a Lexile® measure, from many standardized tests to provide a Lexile range and corresponding list of texts within that range. The Lexile range for a reader is from 50L above his or her Lexile measure to 100L below. If a student attempts to read material above their Lexile range, the text may challenge the student and his or her ability to construct meaning from the reading experience may decrease. Likewise, material below a reader’s Lexile range will provide him or her with little comprehension challenge.

The Lexile® Framework was used in the development of the reading standards for the new Common Core State Standards, which are incorporated into the Illinois Learning Standards. The new benchmarks replace the standards that had not been changed since their adoption in 1997 and ensure students leave high school ready for college and careers.

Users of the “Find a Book” search tool can also find appropriate books without a Lexile measure by submitting a child’s grade level and answering questions about their level of comfort with the typical reading materials at that grade level. The search utility will produce a starting Lexile range that can be further refined.

“Our annual Summer Learning Program recognizes we must all work together to encourage good reading habits and a love of learning,” said State Superintendent Smith. “Parents, local librarians, and teachers all help develop strong, lifelong readers and learners. The `Find a Book’ site gives children another modern tool to develop the timeless love of reading.”

“Find a Book” also offers a Spanish option that allows users to search all of the titles with Spanish Lexile measures. More information on Spanish Lexile measures is available at http://www.lexile.com/about-lexile/el-sistema-para-leer.

State officials urge school administrators, parents and librarians to promote summer reading with letters and informational fliers posted on the State Board of Education’s summer learning website at http://www.isbe.net/find-a-book/default.htm

They also encourage parents and educators to participate in iRead, an Illinois Library Association program to develop and provide high-quality, low-cost resources and products to enable local library staff to promote reading. The program’s audience is kindergarten through grade 8, but it also provides supplemental materials for pre-schoolers, teens and adults. This year’s theme is

“Read to the Rhythm!”

Additionally, they encourage parents and educators to participate in Illinois Reads, a statewide literacy program launched by the Illinois Reading Council to encourage state residents of all ages to read books by Illinois authors. Secretary of State White serves as honorary chair of the program; more information, including recommended children titles, can be found at www.illinoisreads.org.

VENOM Security Threat: Better Business Bureau Says Most Don’t Need to Worry

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL –  Better Business Bureau is telling consumers and businesses not to panic over a newly-discovered security vulnerability, dubbed VENOM for “Virtualized Environment Neglected Operations Manipulation” by the researcher at the technology security firm CrowdStrike who discovered it.

“Although the vulnerability is widespread, it’s not likely to impact individual consumers or the majority of small businesses,” said Bill Fanelli, chief security officer at the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “It’s being compared to Heartbleed, but VENOM would take much more skill and planning to exploit. Fortunately, it was discovered by one of the good guys before the bad guys figured it out.”

The vulnerability has existed for more than a decade in the floppy disk code of many virtual machines that are housed together on a single server, potentially allowing malicious code to move from one system to another. The potential damage of VENOM is enormous, but patches have been released for most affected vendors, and most cloud-based vendors are already working to close the hole.

“Because of the number of major data breaches that have impacted consumers, VENOM may still cause some concern,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Since it is impossible to predict when or where the next breach will occur, we must see these issues as a product of the technical age we live in. It’s one of the technological risks.”

In this case BBB advises that most consumers and small businesses do not need to do anything:

  • You are safe if:
    • You have no virtual machines.
    • Your virtual machines are VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • You need to take additional action if:
    • You have other types of virtual machines such as Xen, KVM, Oracle’s VirtualBox, or other Linus variants.
    • You have services in the cloud that might use vulnerable virtual machines.
For those consumers who are concerned about protecting their computers and personal information, here are some general rules to follow:
  • Make sure you have a firewall installed.
  • Apply patches for routers, computers and other devices as they are available.
  • Run up-to-date- security software on your devices.
  • If you have specific questions, contact your manufacturer.
  • Monitor all credit and debit card accounts.
  • Change your passwords to protect your personal and financial information and to restrict access to those accounts.
For tips you can trust, visit bbb.org/chicago, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or add us on Pinterest.

NAACP Holds First Canvas of Sandtown/Winchester Section of Baltimore

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Baltimore, MD — Tuesday, May 11th, the NAACP Baltimore Branch with the support of the Maryland State Conference and NAACP National office staff, led the first canvas of the Sandtown/Winchester neighborhood.  Over 50 volunteers, from Baltimore City, Baltimore County and other neighboring locales, convened to knock on doors and let Freddie Gray’s community know that the NAACP Baltimore Branch Satellite office is open and ready to serve the community by recording complaints of police misconduct.  Monday, the Department of Justice opened up a “pattern and practice” investigation in Baltimore City.  The NAACP intends to collect complaints of police misconduct while (in a safe environment) and turn those witnessed reports in to the Department of Justice.  Every other Tuesday, the NAACP will be canvassing the neighborhood to inform the community about the services available at the NAACP Baltimore Branch satellite office at 1135 N. Gilmor Street, Baltimore, MD.  Volunteers may sign up to volunteer here or text BALTIMORE to 62227.

From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO:

“Our commitment to rebuilding, restoring and addressing the social and economic challenges in the Sandtown community is ongoing and this canvassing effort is only the beginning of the many more resources and opportunities that we look forward to connecting members of the Sandtown community to.  We thank our NAACP Baltimore Branch for their leadership and are eager to continue working towards achieving criminal justice reform — particularly police accountability and transparency and economic development throughout the city of Baltimore.”

From Gerald Stansbury, NAACP Maryland State Conference President:

“The NAACP Maryland State Conference is committed to eliminating instances of police misconduct, excessive force and racial profiling throughout the state. Our canvass efforts in Baltimore City as well as our Sandtown based Satellite Office speak to our unyielding resolve. As the Baltimore City Branch continues to receive complaints from local residents, the Maryland State Conference looks forward to working with state and local law enforcement to ensure that the rights of all citizens are protected.”

From Tessa Hill-Aston, NAACP Baltimore Branch President:

“The underlining idea behind the NAACP Baltimore branch satellite office was to bring our advocacy efforts directly to the Sandtown/Winchester community. Canvassing is the best and most effective way to bring our news to the people.  In the wake of the Freddie Gray tragedy, we have shifted our focus from outrage to action and helping build the Sandtown community. The Baltimore Branch of the NAACP is going to work to build and support this community at this pivotal point for our city, as we have done for our long history here in Baltimore City.”

United Negro College Fund announces 2015 Michael Jackson and Ray Charles Foundation Scholarships

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Nationwide — The United Negro College Fund has announced two new scholarship programs that are now accepting applications – the Michael Jackson Scholarship and the Ray Charles Endowed Scholarship.

Michael Jackson

The Michael Jackson scholarship provides financial assistance to communication arts and social science students attending a UNCF college/university during the upcoming academic year. High School seniors must be planning to matriculate at a UNCF member school in the fall. Proof of acceptance will be required.

Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The scholarship will provide an award up to $5,000 depending on the financial need of the student as verified by the attending University or College.

For more details and/or to apply, visit www.scholarshipsonline.org/2015/05/michael-jackson-uncf-scholarship.html

Ray Charles

The Ray Charles Endowed Scholarship.helps African-American students with high academic promise that have significant financial need. Scholarships will be awarded to students who meet the following recommended eligibility criteria, and will be renewable up to one year.

Students must be an African-American junior enrolled full-time at a UNCF member HBCU, must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and must have a demonstrated unmet financial need as verified by their college or university

For more details, visit www.scholarshipsonline.org/2015/05/ray-charles-foundation-uncf-endowed-scholarship.html

Castings Announced For E. Lynn Harris Musical

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Castings announced for “Invisible Life The Musical”

Proteus Spann Directs Special Equity Presentation June 25 to 30 at the Apollo Theater in Harlem


New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — Casting has been announced for the upcoming Equity presentation of the first theatrical staging of a new musical INVISIBLE LIFE THE MUSICAL, based on E. Lynn Harris best-selling novel, Invisible Life. Tony Award nominee for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Broadway veteran (Chicago, Smokey Joes Café) Brenda Braxton, will create the role of Mama Tyler.

Grammy nominated Frenchie Davis, known on Broadway for her tenure in RENT, was seen by millions in the 2003 season of the television blockbuster American Idol and Top 5 Finalist on The Voice will play JJ. Legendary Drama Desk Award Winner and 2 times Tony Award nominee Vivian Reed, will make a special appearance as Aunt Susan. Milton Craig Nealy, esteemed Broadway performer, recording artist and television actor (Motown, Dreamgirls, NYPD Blue) will originate the role of Coach Tyler. Ann McCormack will create the role of Candance. Gregory Williams is the leading man Raymond Tyler Jr. Brianna Horne will play Sela and Terry Lavell, recently seen on Broadway in La Cage Aux Folles, plays the fashionista Kyle.

The special limited run will feature six performances of this poignant and heartwarming new musical for the general public and industry audiences on June 25, 26, 27, 29 and 30 at the world famous Apollo Theater in New York City. With a musical score by Motown Legends Ashford & Simpson.

In a statement, Proteus Spann commented, “It is a tremendous honor to work with some of the most talented group of actors this industry has to offer having gone through an extremely delicate and grueling audition process where casting the most appropriate and qualified actors to breathe life into these unforgettable characters the public has come to know and love through E. Lynn’s novels was highly critical.”

Invisible Life The Musical is based on the New York Times best-selling novel by American author E. Lynn Harris published in 1994. The plot follows an African American man’s journey of sexual discovery, in which he realizes he is bisexual. The book coined the phrase “on the down low” and has touched readers through the beautifully written narrative and characters that evoke humanity, common sense, and truth.

In 2010, the Los Angeles Times listed E. Lynn Harris Invisible Life as one of the top 20 “classic works of gay literature” ever written. There are still casting opportunities for leading lady, Broadway Diva Nicole and the beloved sex siren Basil. Please send photo, resume and link to reel to casting@invisiblelifethemusical.com


Mama Tyler

Coach Tyler


Aunt Susan

Raymond Tyler Jr.


Photo Caption: Bookcover and picture of E. Lynn Harris
Collage courtesy of OUT magazine

Five Steps to Buying a Business: What Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Marvin Wilcher

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Buying an existing business can be a fast way to move your entrepreneurial future along. Some of the benefits of existing businesses include having a salary in place for yourself the day you take over; having an existing customer base willing to buy your products and services, and having company history already in place so that obtaining vendor credit and borrowing funds is much easier.

While there are some downsides such as existing company debt and long‐term purchase payments to the seller, the upside outweighs the downside 5 to 1. If you want to move forward then heres what you will need to do:

1. Determine Which Type of Company to Buy
Consider your own interests, talents, and experiences. Create your basic criteria listing at least 5 key minimum requirements. Examples: industry type, location, minimum annual sales, net income, length of time in business. Look for opportunities within your criteria that are both profitable and reasonable. Look for businesses with existing inventory, existing assets and customers. Businesses with history and employees will make your job of moving the business forward much easier since a lot of the groundwork has already been done. Be sure to ask yourself why this business is for sale; find any downfalls before its too late.

2. Determine The Business Value Assess the return on investment, cash flow, tangible and intangible assets.
Determine the value of the business you are looking to buy, do your research. Look into financial statements, tax returns, sales records, customer lists, employee contracts, property documents, and any other important documents.

3. Generate a Business and Development Plan
Think about how you will improve on this business. Evaluate potential growth, profits, and pitfalls. Take the time to project what you think the next 3 to 5 years will look like under your ownership. A short business plan will come in handy when you are looking for financing in near future.

4. Explore Financing Options
Whether you have the savings to buy a business out right or need an external source, weigh and evaluate your options thoroughly. You can apply for a small business loan, grants, or investors such as venture capitalist. All have their own benefits and disadvantages.

5. Close the Deal
With the assistance of legal counsel, agree to an adjusted purchase price, review important required documents, sign a promissory note if the owner is financing, take over or renegotiate the existing lease, transfer vehicle titles and ownership, transfer patents, trademarks, and copyrights, agree to any employment or consultation arrangements between yourself and the seller, get the seller to sign a covenant to not compete. Finally, create a bill of sale describing the sale in detail, complete an Asset Acquisition Statement with the IRS indicating allocation of the sale, and comply with all bulk sale laws that apply.

Marvin Wilcher (www.MarvinWilcher.net) is President of NationWize Solar and Managing Director at Solar Capital Inc. Mr. Wilcher also sponsors a clean energy camp for kids called Camp Green USA (CampGreenUSA.com). To learn more about Mr. Wilchers expertise in entrepreneurship and green business, visit www.MarvinKnows.com.

Spike Lee Sets Record Straight About ‘Chiraq’

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Pfleger ‘We can’t ignore reality’

By Chinta Strausberg

With several Oscar nominations and 35 films under his belt, director, writer and producer Spike Lee set the record straight about his upcoming movie, “Chiraq,” during a press conference Thursday outside of Saint Sabina Church where he told his critics “They don’t know what they’re talking about” and when the dust settles, they’ll be on the “wrong side of history.

Flanked by Father Michael L. Pfleger, Evanston native actor John Cusack and a number of mothers who have lost their children to gun violence, Lee told a bevy of reporters who were camped outside of the church, “A lot of things have been said about this film by people who know nothing about the film. A lot of people have opinions about the so-called title of the film; again (they don’t) know nothing about the film.

Rather than listening to “people from afar and again don’t know what the hell they’re talking about,”  Lee set the record straight about his film saying he wanted to tell not just Chicago but the world “why this film matters.”

Artists, Spike Lee said, “hold a mirror up to what is happening in the world, and they do that with no fear. If you have fear, how are you going to tell the truth.” Referring to the time he made “Do The Right Thing,” Lee said, “There were people who said this film would cause riots all across the America, that black people would run amuck. People wrote that this film would stop David Dinkins from being the first African American mayor of New York City…but those people ended up on the wrong side of history and the same thing will happen in Chicago. They will look stupid and be on the wrong side of history. We’re here for peace. We have to stop this,” Lee said.

“Last night, May 13th, 2015, 13 human beings were shot, 3 were murdered. Let’s not play games with the names. Let’s call it what it is. It’s murder. It’s taking someone’s life, and it’s a ripple effect.”

Saying he has made several trips to Chicago to make this film and had to go to a funeral of one of the members of his production team’s brother “was shot down in cold blood. That’s not the way you want to meet somebody…someone’s family at the cemetery with her son laid up in the casket. We have to stop the madness. It’s insane. Don’t go for the Okey doke. It is nothing to do with Chicago losing tourism…. It’s not about Chicago losing business,” said Lee.

To those critics who wonder why isn’t he putting more emphasis on the destruction of property, Lee asked where were the voices about the deaths that caused the destruction. “Let’s not put property and profit over human life,” he said. “This is not a joke. This is not a game. This is real life and death…. This is serious business.

“We are not playing around and no one wants to be a member of this club up here,” Lee said referring to the Purpose Over Pain mothers who lost their children to gun violence. Rather, he said, “We want to shut it down. I love Chicago. Wait to the movie comes out. If you like it you don’t like it, but see it first. Pray for us, pray for all Chicago…,” said Lee.

Lee has been criticized by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Will Burns (4th) who wants to block Lee from getting a $3 million tax break if he titles the movie ‘Chiraq.’ However, Pfleger said people have to deal with the reality of violence in Chicago.

Father Pfleger read a statement by NBA star Joakim Noah. “I realize the title, ‘Chiraq,’ can be perceived as a glorification of violence, but the realities of what is happening in the city of Chicago is not something any of us should hide from. I am confidant that Spike will present a thoughtful portrayal of this city. I am honored and excited to support the film, and the continued movement for positive change.”

Pfleger told reporters, “First, we have to deal with some realities. The reality is in the first 134 days of this year…there has been 780 shootings, 664 shot and 116 killed. Last night, there were 14 shot in the city, 3 of them fatal. That’s nearly six a day being shot in Chicago since January 1st.

“We must face the reality of what is going on not just in Chicago but across America,” said Pfleger.  Saying people have to face reality, Pfleger said, “We cannot become immune to it. We cannot ignore it. We cannot deny it. Violence is real in America, and we must face the reality” like guns, he said, “where it is easier in so many neighborhoods to get a gun than a computer.

“We got to deal with the reality of guns and the proliferation of guns in this country and those who are making money off of those guns,” Pfleger said. “We cannot ignore this reality,” he said looking over a sea of parents holding the pictures of their loved ones. “This is proof of the reality. These are all stories of pain and tragedy….

“We are not painting a city. We’re painting a reality that’s difficult and it’s hard,” Pfleger said praising Spike Lee. “I can’t think of a greater person to face this reality than someone with the history and a body of work of Spike Lee.

“Nobody should better be able to face this reality than someone who has proven his consciousness, proven his professionalism and proven his willingness to be courageous in dealing with issue…a man who is an African American director, and one of the best directors in America, who did casting in an African American community, who is hiring from the African American community, dealing with African American issues…sounds real right to me,” Pfleger told reporters.

Rather than criticize the movie, Pfleger said, “Let’s face it and let’s offer solutions. Let’s offer peace and let’s call us all to look within ourselves in how we can solve this horrific tragedy in America.”

As an example of the effects of gun violence, Pfleger introduced Pamela Bosley, from the Purpose Over Pain organization comprised of parents who have lost their children to gun violence.

Rather than wallow in their grief, Bosley, who lost her son, Terrell, 18, on April 4, 2006 as he was unloading musical instruments in the parking lot of his church, said they demand commonsense gun legislation and on last Mother’s Day placed nearly 500 red flags outside of Saint Sabina to bring awareness of the gun violence.

To those who are constantly complaining about the title ‘Chiraq,’ Bosley suggested that they “put that same energy behind saving our children…” whose lives were taken. Bosley rolled off several names of those children who were victims of violence like her son, Terrell, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, Blair Holt, 16, and others. “No grounds are safe in Chicago,” said Bosley. To critics who say Chicago is not a war zone, Bosley said, “in my neighborhood, it sounds like a war zone to me. We need to get it together and save our children because this has to stop.”

Pastor Brenda Mitchell’s son had two tours of duty in Iraq. He had to come back home and bury his brother. “For me, it’s my reality….” “For us,” she said violence “is real….”

Cusack said when Spike Lee called him he looked him in the eye and said, “the only reason to do this film is to save lives.’  Cusack said he understands why politicians are upset with the title of the movie but that “art must be courageous…. Anybody who wants a more peaceful America will understand where the heart of this film is.

“There is no controversy around this film” other than a “manufactured political controversy. A few people say it’s controversial and then the press repeats it…. controversial to whom,” asked Cusack. “Making himself clear, he added, “I am 100 percent sure that the great city of Chicago can survive a film of conscious just like it did ‘Transformers.’” “I love my city Chicago, and I would never do anything to hurt it. I am very proud to be in this film…and will try to do a very good job.”

Spike Lee’s co-writer, Kevin Willmott, who is a professor at the University of Kansas, said this issue of gun violence is the same in Kansas City as it is in Chicago.  “We’ve lost several babies to shootings. Spike and I have worked for years to make this film. It’s a film about hope…peace…justice. It’s a film about taking ownership of the problem, and we hope this film can make Chicago better” and other urban areas. “We hope the film can bring us all to another level.”

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.

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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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