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August , 2018
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CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a settlement with Safety Publications Inc., ...
 Chicago, IL - In an effort to increase awareness of "Stop the Violence Campaign", Neighborhoods Opposed ...
Former general manager stole more than $2 million The former general manager of a suburban ...
CHICAGO, IL - Native Water Protectors and their allies will move in prayer and unity ...
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) and Judiciary ...
(From the Better Business Bureau)     CHICAGO, IL - With today's technology, cell phone users can surf ...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) responded to the top priorities the American Israel Public Affairs ...
Defendant accused of making false statements regarding his medical condition in order to obtain benefits ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – To reduce the negative impact of the criminal justice system in Cook ...
Limit use of water prior to and during storms   Although the summer has been unusually dry ...

Archive for the ‘People Watch’ Category

Why the 8th Ward Needs Linda Hudson as Alderman

Posted by Admin On April - 3 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Project_MontclareBy Pamela Bratcher-McMillan

Smart people always know how to take the high road, not the low road. This is why it is important to not fight about things we don’t want, but focus on what we need. Many complain and voice their complaints with anger when the energy should be focused on strategy and solutions. Many lose their patience at forums that are not focused on strategy and resolution. It’s too much wasted energy being angry. Like the saying goes, “Don’t get mad. Get smart.”

I’m not going to dwell on the past when the current 8th Ward alderman tried to get a Marijuana Medical Clinic in the community stealth mode, until a woman with much more interest in the community and its preservation and revitalization was monitoring City Hall and the Zoning Department updates for the community.

I won’t talk about how the same 8th Ward alderman is now up to the same old tricks by trying to sneak another project into the community – a one and two bedroom low income housing project aligned with Pill Hill homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many of those homes were built by families that still occupy them.

There were conversations detailing what could be built in the area and zoning changes put in place to maintain its environment of single family homes and businesses. However,  now the 8th Ward wants to rezone property meant for single family homes and businesses to accommodate a behemoth of a building

While I support looking out for the welfare of our seniors, taking away valuable property meant for businesses to populate Stony Island Avenue and keep it vital is deplorable. Certainly, there are other areas, especially along east 95th that are long overdue for improvement, and there are strip malls, a pharmacy and restaurants in walking distance on the business side of the street. Further, if that office is supposed to be proud of this project as stated by the 8th Ward Alderman during last week’s community meeting, I find it interesting that this is not featured on the home page of the Alderman’s website, but others are. They want to turn a quiet family friendly area into a transient community.

Project_MontclarePerhaps, it was a convenient oversight. Hmm, your most proud accomplishment you worked really hard on after 12 years of sitting in a seat unopposed, and feel people should have “a little more faith” in you with a history of lacking transparency, being deceptive and obviously some personal agendas.

While the community sleeps, deals are being made on their behalf. Hey Pill Hill, did you know there is a 200 person waiting list already for a project in your area in phase 2 for a 134 unit with 1 and 2 bedroom apartments in a 7 story building for ages 62 (site currently states 55 and up) and up “but they are allowed to have guests”? This building will be located at 94th and Stony Island, prime business real estate. Some apartments (PRA) will be paying as low as 30% of their income. “A portion of this project is subsidized by CHA to assist independent seniors through the Property Rental Assistance.”

“All residents must pass a criminal background check,” but not their visitors and potential sublets don’t. The features and amenities in the building are for the residents, not the community. Phase one must have slipped under the radar. Phase 2 would have also slipped under the radar, too, if not for a very active community activist named Linda Hudson.

Wake up people! We can’t continue to let things go business as usual. If you don’t believe the community is rotting, take a look at the businesses along a once vibrant and booming avenue. Stony Island Avenue leads into Bishop Ford Highway on the South end and Lake Shore Drive on the North. What other streets in the city can claim that!? The Alderman moves under the radar unopposed making light of peoples’ fears with jokes and sarcasm, is not the answer Alderman, especially when you have a history of this. It’s like trolling the community, and it further shows the lack of recognizing valid concerns, fears and input from the community.

Is a candidate that runs unopposed necessarily best for the community, especially if they feel grandmothered into a position? Is business as usual the best for a once booming community that flourished and now appears run down with uncared for structures, many terrible pothole streets and a neglected business area. Why would a Dunkin’ Donut be allowed to build at the edge of a parking lot with traffic obstructed and backed up daily off Stony Island when it could have taken advantage of some of the vacant property on the avenue with room for expansion? The right businesses increase property value.

Project_MontclarePerhaps, businesses should have been pursued to take on the so called “swamp lands.” There were businesses there before that included restaurants and a motel.  Another concern is the public verbal spanking of black contractors the Alderman gave and why they aren’t included on jobs, and how training courses had to be given to them to teach them things they did not know. Really, Alderman?  You are going to single out Black contractors as a whole, and talk about them not being suitable? I find it hard to believe there are no qualified Black people available to take on those projects professionally.

Does that mean I should avoid giving work to any Black contractor I come in contact with in Chicago?

At your so-called informational meeting, all of this was done in front of the non-black developers and police officers in the room. Lazy, uneducated black stereotypes were being perpetuated in front of guests, the very people involved with the development of the 7 story monstrosity with a price tag of $38.6 million dollars that will be looking over Pill Hill backyards and homes.

When a concerned resident said she lived on the property line where the building was being built and that she was concerned about her privacy.  I heard someone shout. “They won’t see much.” Guess they never heard of a telescopes and binoculars. I would be very concerned if I had children living on property where people can watch them from their windows. At that height lives can be easily monitored.

Press the play button below for a sound bite from the last 8th Ward alderman meeting to hear what the current alderman had to say about “black people.”

It was also mentioned that a certain ward didn’t want the Kroc (McDonald’s!) center, and they found an alternative space in another ward. I could not help but wonder why efforts weren’t focused on pursuing that center by the 8th Ward alderman for education and business empowerment of the community to serve many, instead of a few. Why didn’t the 8th Ward fight to get the Kroc community center? The area has needed a community center for decades. Why aren’t the young people, especially teens being provided safe places to go hangout after school and during the weekends to learn things like economic empowerment, crafts, physical fitness, sports, business, etc.? They are the future of the community.

If you are a citizen concerned about an area once zoned for single family homes and businesses being changed to include this building, show up at the next zoning meeting scheduled for April.

Linda Hudson, Concerned Citizen and Community Activist

Linda Hudson, Concerned Citizen and Community Activist was in the audience asking questions.

“Energy flows where attention goes.” So I will not focus all of my energy on what people in the community do or do not want. I’d rather focus on what the community needs, and that is an 8th Ward alderman that understands the importance of transparency, honesty and really assessing what the community wants and needs without focusing on gossip and rumors, jokingly wasting time instead of easing trouble minds that have good reason to be troubled. That’s what secrecy and lack of communications brings about. We need a person that won’t make fun of their community, but inform them.

Our youth, especially the overlooked teenagers, are very important to this community. Many of them vote too. Give our young people a place to socialize and learn things about business startups, incubators, activities that include recreation, fitness, education outside of school like other neighborhoods and stores and restaurants like the ones they frequent outside of the community so they can buy and put money back into the community. They shouldn’t have to go downtown, south suburbs, north or Hyde Park to find mentors, coaches, prospective project team members, business partners, etc. and to have a good time. What can the 8th Ward provide for these young people to learn how to hold on to the homes in their community, maintain the ones handed down by their parents and provide for their future?

We need someone that knows joking sarcastically about gossip and making fun of people as a platform to stay in office is not good strategy. It makes them look petty and unprofessional to entertain rumors and have an easily bent ear. We need someone that knows that behavior and the aforementioned are unacceptable, and that is why we need Linda Hudson for 8th Ward Alderman. “It’s Time for Change that benefits the community as a whole, and not a few!

Elect Linda Hudson for Chicago 8th Ward Alderman

Elect Linda Hudson for Chicago 8th Ward Alderman

 

 

Nationally Syndicated Radio Host Michael Baisden bids farewell to radio

Posted by Newsroom On March - 25 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Dallas, TX (BlackNews.com) — Nationally syndicated radio personality Michael Baisden announced a hiatus from his radio show on his Facebook page that will begin on April 1, 2013. Baisden, who commands a daily audience of over seven million listeners, states he is unable to discuss the particulars but concluded that a deal could not be made on mutually agreeable terms. Recognized as one of the most influential men in radio, his “Michael Baisden Show” is one of the top rated afternoon drive radio programs heard in the top urban markets. He is also a TV talk show host, film-maker and New York Times best-selling author with nearly two million books in print.

Now in his tenth year on the air, Baisden wants his radio family to know he did everything in his power to continue his “Michael Baisden Show” without interruption. “We’re already planning to return to the air as soon as possible in a way that will give the ‘Michael Baisden Show’ a more direct relationship with our affiliates, and most importantly, our listeners,” cites Pamela Exum, his business manager. “We were unable to reach an agreement with our syndication partner. This was not a hostile situation, sometimes parties have different ideas and visions about how to move forward.”

Baisden began his career as an author, self publishing several best selling books including “Never Satisfied,” “Men Cry In The Dark,” “The Maintenance Man I and II,” “Do Men Know What They Want” and “God’s Gift to Women.” Two of his books were adapted to stage plays, starring such renowned actors as Richard Roundtree and Billy Dee Williams.

His radio highlights include one of his proudest moments when on September 20, 2007, he passionately and skillfully spearheaded the famous Jena 6 March in Jena, Louisiana. This historic and momentous occasion garnered tens of thousands of citizens of all races to peacefully march in support of six young men who had been unfairly treated by the justice system.

Another historic year was 2008 when Michael Baisden endorsed Senator Barack Obama and went on to celebrate President Obama’s victory with over 4,000 fans at a watch party in Miami on election night. The Obama camp, along with millions of listeners, credited him with being one of the major forces behind this historic victory to elect the first African American to the Presidency of the United States and in his re-election in 2012.

In December 2009, Baisden called for a National Mentor Training Day and announced his plans for a 2010 nationwide campaign. He pledged up to $350,000 of his own money to be donated in over 72 markets he would visit on a bus tour. The outreach was named “One Million Mentors National Campaign To Save Our Kids.” His work with the Free Clinics, Trayvon Martin, Black & Missing Foundation, and national ongoing partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Mentoring Brothers In Action are all a big part of what made the “Michael Baisden Show” so successful.

Baisden still vows to continue his Michael Baisden Live Tour with his co-host, comedian George Wilborn. It’s a One Night Only event with seminars, networking, a comedy show, and an ‘old school’ after party.

“If the affiliates still want us to come to town, we’ll be there,” says Baisden. “There’s no reason for our relationships to stop, in fact, this is our chance to get on the ground close to the people where we belong!”

A few of his upcoming events include Las Vegas with Power 88 on April 5th – 7th at the Soul Festival; Charlotte with WBAV on April 20th at For Sisters Only; Oklahoma City on May 3rd-4th for the Cowboys of Color Rodeo and the Annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Conference in Denver, CO June 24th – 25th to present the Michael Baisden Inspiration Award to a deserving mentor.

Baisden reflects, “It’s not about the job, it’s about the journey. I have been grinding for over 10 years, fighting for the underdog, inspiring people daily on my Michael Baisden Live Page on Facebook and working my butt off to produce the best show on radio. I hope my fans miss me… because I’m definitely going to miss them,” Michael says. “But this is not the end, it’s the Next Chapter because I’ll be back in mornings or afternoons! That’s right I said it!”

Pre-recorded “Michael Baisden Shows” will air through March 29th, but to stay current with Baisden, reach him via Facebook at /michaelbaisdenlive / www.facebook.com/michaelbaisdenlive or on Twitter @ BaisdenLive / www.twitter.com/BaisdenLive and at www.BaisdenLive.com.

Photo Caption: Michael Baisden

Slopjar: African American Writer, Ingrid Jennings, releases soul-touching Book of Poetry

Posted by Admin On August - 23 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 Presented in a unique and enlightening format, Slopjar takes its readers into a compelling world that fuses prose and poetry like never before

 

West Palm Beach, FL – From laughter and love to lust, Lucifer and the Lord – Ingrid Jennings’ new book takes a single letter of the alphabet and propels it to new literary heights.

Slopjar, Jennings’ first major release, contains seven chapters of beautifully inspirational poetry. As some have now guessed, each chapter starts with the letter ‘L’; a facet that makes the book unlike anything ever released before.

While each chapter provides a fresh escape into new subject matter, Slopjar is unique in that each poem comes together to form a larger story.

“Everything is written to be profound, seductive and to allow words to melt in readers’ mouths like butter. I wanted to provide people with an escape into an insane mind and a battered soul,” Jennings explains.

She continues, “Readers will find their heart-strings pulled as they immerse themselves into the pure pleasure of a dazzling page-bound work of art. With this in mind, it is time to open up the Slopjar.”

Since its release, the book has garnered consistent five-star reviews.

“These poems dove straight down to hell, exposing the ravings of a crazed mind, but a mind still able to put words on paper, to show us her mental state and to take us there, too. Every time I read these poems, every time I open this book and read another poem, my heart beats faster and my palms sweat,” says Maragret Fieland, reviewing the book on Amazon.”

Another reader, also reviewing the book for Amazon, was equally as impressed:

Slopjar is an amazing book. While reading Slopjar, I laughed, I cried, and I didn’t stop reading until the end. It was inspirational at some parts and it reminded me of my own life at other parts. Great Book!” they wrote.

Slopjar, published by Lioness Publishing House, is available now from Amazon – as well as the author’s official website.

Jennings’ progress can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Author

Originally from Shreveport Louisiana, Ingrid Jennings is what one would call a true Lioness. As a wife and a mother, she is loyal and a protector, as a publishing guru, she is a team player and works with her clients toward their success. As a teacher, she is passionate about education and as a business woman, she is always on the hunt for new opportunities to learn and grow. She wears many hats and handles each situation with stride and ease.

 With a B.S. in biology and chemistry from Palm Beach Atlantic Christian University, Ingrid decided to go a step further, to get a step closer to her true passion by excelling with her Masters Degree in reading education from Nova Southeastern University, where she graduated with a 3.6 GPA.
Ingrid spent three years working as a public school teacher in Palm Beach County teaching Integrated Science to ninth graders. While teaching, Ingrid self published her poetry into her first book titled “Slopjar.” With rave reviews on not only her creativity, excellent writing and self expression, “Slopjar” was also well recognized for its excellent publishing and marketing.

 Through the experience and knowledge gained while publishing and marketing her own book, Ingrid took not only a liking but a deep understanding of the inner workings of the publishing world and ultimately birthed her own publishing company Lioness Publishing House.

 As an author and publisher, Ingrid is sensitive to all the needs of her clients. She has reached her pinnacle and gives all her gratitude to God. She remains vigil in her vision and steadfast in her motto to “give God all the glory.”Ingrid currently lives in West Palm Beach, FL with her husband and her son. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, bicycling and spending time with friends and family.

 Lindsey is eternally thankful for the gracious gift of God as revealed to us in Ephesians 2:8-9

For more information, contact Ingrid Jennings at 561-386-9381 or E-mail:  lionesspublishing@ymail.com

Les Brown spreads hope during tough times

Posted by Admin On July - 20 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS


Garden Grove, CA (BlackNews.com) — Renowned motivational speaker Les Brown is the featured speaker on the international Christian television program, Hour of Power, which will air July 21-22, 2012.

His inspiring message, “You’ve Got to Be Hungry,” is full of great motivational moments, such as: “It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared;” “Don’t judge your circumstances and the possibilities for your future based upon what you have now,” and “No matter how bad it is or how bad it gets I’m going to make it!”

As one of the world’s most renowned and recognized motivational speakers, Les Brown is the leading authority to prestigious CEOs, small business owners, non-profit and community leaders. He holds the coveted title as one of most powerful and respected motivational resources for achievement, a mesmerizing speaker, workshop trainer, best-selling author, and coach. Les Brown teaches total achievement from his own personal and professional experiences.

Brown’s straight-from-the-heart, high-energy, passionate message motivates audiences to step into their greatness, providing them with the tools to take the monumental move toward working on their dream, and doing what is required to make it a reality. His charisma, warmth and sense of humor have impacted many lives: the leading authority on achievement is definitely in the room.

He weaves his compelling life story into the fabric of our daily lives. The thread is forever strengthened, touting why you must aim high, achieve and actively change the world.

Hour of Power is America’s 4th longest running, one-hour weekly-televised program, currently seen on all seven continents and by global audiences of millions in 72 countries including China, Malaysia, Germany and Russia. In the United States, the show airs on Trinity Broadcasting Network, Discovery, Lifetime, the Church Channel, and can be seen on satellite, cable stations and on the Internet.

Crystal Cathedral Ministries produces the Hour of Power, a groundbreaking Christian television program that has been on the air since 1970. For more information, please visit www.crystalcathedral.org or contact Michelle Anton at 800-733-4226 or yes@lesbrown.com to reach Mr. Brown.

Photo Caption: Les Brown

Thoughts, Love & Reflection: New poetry book proves men can embrace romance, love and commitment

Posted by Admin On July - 19 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Wanting to dispel many of the common misdemeanours related to men, James T. DeShay announces the launch of his compelling new book of poetry.

 

ORLANDO, FL – Following a six-year dream, James T. DeShay’s latest project has finally come to fruition. DeShay is delighted to announce the launch of his latest poetry book, ‘Thoughts, Love & Reflection’.

The book is a beautiful display of poetry in which the true emotional depth of men is showcased. Proving that men are able to convey their deepest feelings without fear of being seen as weak, DeShay’s natural talent for moving his readers is evident within every page.

“It is my desire to share my thoughts in a way that will benefit all races and genders. I want to dispel a lot of the misnomers related to men,” Explains DeShay, whose book is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Wellsbuilt Museum.

He continues, “Stereotypes are a simple way of placing people inside a box; but sometimes the information believe is inaccurate and destructive.  When stereotypes are used exclusively, they service only to deny people the wonderful opportunity to discover uniqueness of humanity.”

DeShay sincerely hopes that his book will serve to destroy the age-old stereotype that men cannot share or communicate their deepest thoughts.

Each page will also serve as an enriching journey into male thoughts relating to life, joy, love, happiness and reflection.

“Readers will be able to free and embrace their own emotions, while taking a journey into the emotions of those around them. Above all else, they will be afforded an opportunity to spend many moments simply smiling and reflecting on the depth the poem’s thoughts have travelled in order to become a reality” DeShay adds.

Extract:

The dreams that were so firmly
cemented into all the days of
tomorrow start to faded from
the thoughts of yesterday

Leaving a void that keeps me
unable to see the bright light
once seen miles away as the
joy of life was being truly
experienced

Now it is the sadness that takes
hold; keeping the beautiful smile
of the days past from appearing;
the value of your presence is now
so clearly understood

Why did I allow that which had little
or no value take the priceless joy
of my future away from me. Now
I find myself dreading the sunrise
and hiding from the reality of the day

Since its publication, the book has been received into the literary world with critical acclaim. Many readers are expressing their inability to put the book down, while finding that their entire outlook on the male population is changing for good.

“This is exactly the response I am looking for. I’m not out to change the world or find fame and fortune; but rather to prove that the emotions of men can be deeper and more romantic than society depicts” he concludes.

Thoughts, Love & Reflection is available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and select retail outlets.

More information can be found on the author’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/jdeshay

About the Author: 

James T. DeShay was born and raised in Orlando,Florida. He received his B.S. degree in Mathematics from South Carolina State University.

Writing has been a part of his life from the outset but really came to life about 8 years ago.  His goal is to prove to the world that men have the ability to share their deeest thoughts in a way that bring true beauty to love and romance. 

The connection between a man and a woman is described in away that can be shared with all ages.  It is time for families to be able to talk about love and romance over the dinner table in a way that no ones needs to be asked to leave the room.  His next project is a romance novel that should be completed by the end of the year.

For more information, contact James T. DeShayat: 321-615-7536, djames82@me.com

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s president awarded Woman of Excellence in Business

Posted by Admin On July - 13 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

Elsie L. Scott, Ph.D. Recognized as Trailblazer for Humanity                                               

 

 

WASHINGTON, DC – The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) announced that Elsie L. Scott, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, received the Woman of Excellence in Business award by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

 

Dr. Scott received the award in Chicago during the Coalition’s 41st Annual Conference business luncheon in which the discussion centered around economic development and making small businesses more marketable.

 

CBCF’s Board of Directors named Dr. Scott to her position in February 2007. She had served as interim president and CEO since July 2006, and joined the Foundation in 2005 as vice president for research and programs. Dr. Scott is responsible for CBCF’s public policy, research, educational and fund raising initiatives, most notably, the Annual Legislative Conference (ALC), a much-anticipated, four-day event held each September in Washington.

 

In addition, Dr. Scott has overseen the successful launch of several CBCF projects that have broadened and elevated the influence of African Americans in the political, legislative and public policy arenas, as well as their overall condition and well being.

 

Prior to joining CBCF, Dr. Scott served as deputy commissioner for training for the New York City Police Department and executive director of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). She has also held senior and supervisory roles in the police departments of Detroit and the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She has taught political science, urban studies and criminal justice at Howard, Rutgers, Central Florida and North Carolina Central Universities.

 

Long before her role as president and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Dr. Scott was a trailblazer for women everywhere. She has been blessed with the ability to see beyond herself and help the lost, the least and the left out. This award is being presented to her because not only does she deserve it, she has earned it! She models for us the very essence of the words: ‘Woman of Excellence in Business,'” said Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Coalition.The Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC) is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international membership organization fighting for social change.

 

A native of Louisiana, Dr. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., a master’s degree in political science from the University of Iowa, and a doctoral degree in political science from Atlanta University.

 

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., established in 1976, is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy, research and educational institute intended to broaden and elevate the influence of African Americans in the political, legislative and public policy arena.

Street to be named in honor of Chicago icons Ed and Betty Gardner during a dedication ceremony, July 12, 2012

Posted by Admin On July - 11 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

“Celebrating the Gardner Legacy”

 

Entrepreneurs Ed and Betty Gardner, Chicago and worldwide icons, will be honored during the unveiling of a street sign Thursday, July 12,  named in their honor.

The street sign event will take placeThursday, July 12, 2012, at 8830 S. Dobson (Five blocks East of Cottage Grove and six blocks West of Stony Island), in Chicago, beginning at 12:30 p.m.  

The Gardners, founders of Soft Sheen Products, who started a hair care business in their garage, and subsequently grew to a $100 million business, with operations worldwide, including Africa. The firm hired thousands of employees and became an economic engine wherever they had operations.

Ed and Betty Gardner touched Chicagoans in many ways. They are heralded as:

Entrepreneurs – Founders of Soft Sheen Products
Political Activists – Played a Lead Role in Electing Harold Washington Chicago’s First Black Mayor

Anti-Crime Fighters – Founded Black on Black Love – Launched anti-crime movement

Cultural Saviors – Restored and refurbished the former Regal Theater

Role Models – They are the symbols of how love can lead to a happy family, prosperous business and wholesome life

Other notable mention: With their success, the Gardners could have retreated to the suburbs and to a gated enclave. However, always true to their roots, they remained vibrant and active in their South Side community.

The event will be attended by members of the political, religious, business, health and beauty aids, civic and grassroots communities to celebrate the Gardners’ various contributions to Chicago and other places, national and abroad.

Speakers include Alderman Michelle Harris – 8th Ward, Father Michael Pfleger, the Honorable Roland Burris and Television Personality Merri Dee, and many more.
The 30-minute program will feature songs, tributes, and essay readings by schoolchildren – culminating with the street naming ceremony.

The tribute was conceived by Frances Wright, President/CEO of Black on Black Love

For more information, contact: Melody M. McDowell – 773-660-2001 or 312-371-8917 – Cell, or MelodyPR@aol.com

Journalist Strausberg remembers her cousin, a Vietnam War hero

Posted by Admin On May - 26 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

One of men saved still wonders why he paid the ultimate price

 

By Chinta Strausberg

 

For the first time, I will not be one of the speakers for the outdoor 16th annual ceremony and dedication of the General John A. Logan Monument being held Monday, May 28, 2012, 11 a.m. on Memorial Day at Michigan Avenue and 9th Street.

I was on the agenda that is until three-days ago when someone called and informed me that four speakers had to be cut from the outdoor ceremony due to time restraints. Unfortunately, I was one of them.

My heart sunk for a moment because I had promised my uncle, the late Milton B. Olive II, the father of Vietnam War hero Milton Lee Olive, III, I would do everything I could to lift up the name of his son, his only child.

But just as I reflected upon uncle’s death-bed wish, a woman from The Lawrence Pucci Wedgwood Society of Chicago, which along with the Chicago Cultural Mile Association is hosting this ceremony, informed me that I would be allowed to speak during the 12:30 p.m. luncheon being held at The Blackstone Renaissance Hotel following the outdoor program.

My heart skipped a beat then calmed down because it was the late Lawrence Pucci who worked with me in trying to get a flower peace garden planted at Olive Park, located at 500 North Lake Shore Drive that is named after young Olive whom we called Skipper.

At 18, Skipper was the first African American to have received the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. On October 22, 1965, Skipper, who was nicknamed by my paternal grandmother, spotted a live grenade during a search and destroy mission in Vietnam. Without hesitation, Skipper grabbed the device, placed it on his stomach allowing it to explode.

Skipper paid the ultimate price, his life, but he saved the lives of four of his comrades who were behind him. Of the four, only two are alive with one being in a nursing home in Washington State. Retired Captain Jimmy Stanford is alive and well and resides in Texas. We e-mail and call each other often. Stanford used to be a racist until Skipper saved his life.

As he once explained, hating blacks was normal if you were white and grew up in Texas. It was part of his culture, but all that changed on October 22, 1965 when Skipper chose to save his life.

In a taped interview on May 30, 2010, Stanford said back in 1965 he was assigned to Skipper’s U.S. Army, Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade in Phu Cuong, Republic of Vietnam.

“I had a young black soldier assigned” to his unit “by the name of Milton Olive. I did not know Milton Olive. I had only been there a few days. I had learned who the platoon sergeant was…and who the people were that caused a lot of problems, but the people in between I did not get to know them too well before we started our operations,” Stanford recalled.

Referring to that fateful day, Stanford said, “We were assigned a mission of clearing this area…. On that day, we had been operating in conjunction with the other platoons in the company.

“We were moving through the jungles and we had been ambushed for the third time that day, and this time Milton was about a foot and a half to my left…. We were lying on the ground. The grenade fell between Milton Olive and me. I was scared. I left. I was very scared probably more so than my rank called for me to be, but I’m lying there and I’m looking at the yellow writing on this grenade and Milton grabbed this grenade and put it under him….

“The last thing I remember hearing him say was, ‘Look out, lieutenant, grenade and the next thing I knew was the grenade was going off and he died in the blast saving my life,” said Stanford. “A lot of times people have asked me why did he do this. What type of person does this? But, these are questions I can’t answer. There are a lot of what ifs…. What would have happened if he had picked it up and tossed it aside of me?

“A lot of time I go sleepless at night,” said Stanford. “I think about this and it’s been on my mind for many years. I’m beginning to be an old man and I’m still thinking about this, and I still don’t have the answers for this.”

Referring to Memorial Day, Stanford said, “this is the day that we need to think about things such as this and the sacrifices made not only by Milton Olive but by many soldiers like him.

“We can have our barbecues and our picnics and things like that, but we still need to think about these people. Our freedom is not free. People like Milton Olive have given their life to ensure that we have a life of freedom and prosperity,” he stated.

Asked how did Skipper’s saving his life change him, Stanford said, “It has changed my life tremendously. You might say I was a pretty redneck up until this time. It caused me to stop and think. He gave me another chance of life to do something with it, and I think I’ve done the best that I can. I’ve enjoyed it, but I think about this daily. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about this young man.”

“I was very much a racist,” he admitted. “I guess it was the atmosphere in which I was raised in. This changed my life. It wasn’t an over night, complete 380-degrees, no. It was not that, but it began as an acceptance and from there it evolved to 480 degrees. It took many years to undue what I had been taught as a youngster,” Stanford admitted.

Today, Stanford says he thanks God every day he wakes up but admits he doesn’t know why Skipper sacrificed his life for his friends.

Well, my family doesn’t understand why Skipper did what he did either, but as a teenager who was born in Chicago, we are proud of this Englewood war hero who was born on November 7, 1946 to Milton B. and Clara Olive. She died giving birth to Skipper who was a breech baby. My dad’s parents, Jacob Augustus and Zylphia Wareagle Spencer, raised Skipper at 6012 S. Loomis, a building Skipper’s dad purchased.

Skipper went to several schools in Englewood including Copernicus where I once planned Thanksgiving turkey giveaways for the children and their parents. I wanted to go there to see if I could feel some sort of connection with Skipper a young man my cousin, Dr. Barbara Penelton, who grew up with Skipper, described as being 5’6” and never weighing more than 140-pounds.

Penelton said Skipper “was often in the process of trying to prove that he could do what the ‘big guys’ could do” and that he was proud to be a paratrooper. It is with deep pride and respect that we recognize and appreciate his courage and his bravery because he truly did demonstrate that he could do what few others, big or small, could do. He could save the lives of others knowing that it would be at the expense of his own.”

Penelton admits she often tried to discourage Skipper from going to the service but he would write her back. “His letters often included descriptions of events that verified that he could be a soldier with the best of them,” she said. “He was proud of his uniform.

“I remember a time when he and my brother were both on leave. My brother hurried up and changed from his uniform so that he could go to the clubs to party. Skipper was too young to go to the clubs so he kept his uniform on and watched television with my grandparents,” Penelton recalled. Skipper, she said, “felt great pride at being a service man and we feel great pride in his heroism.”

I too feel a deep sense of pride in Skipper’s unselfish and heroic actions that fateful fall day, and I will always remember and cherish the many conversations I had with his father, Uncle Milton, especially his asking me over and over again to always let the world know what his son did for his country.

So, once again, Uncle Milton, I am keeping my promise to you and I miss our long talks. I miss seeing how your face and eyes would light up when you talked about your son, but if you were here today, I would tell you that your son’s blood that spilled in Vietnam is still having a healing effect today.

I would tell you how it has changed the life of Captain Stanford who is no longer a racist and like the others Skipper saved, Platoon Sergeant Vince Yrineo who is in a nursing home, Lionel Hubbard, a private from Texas who like John Foster, boxer from Pittsburgh are no longer alive, all have children and grandchildren because of the love and respect Skipper had for his comrades and his country.

Skipper’s life could have been quite different for he dropped out of high school because he was not challenged and went to Lexington, Mississippi to be with his paternal grandparents. When his father found out where his son was he was afraid that the KKK would kill Skipper so he gave him three choices: go back to school, get a job or join the military. The rest is history.

So, I say to soldiers of all wars, happy Memorial Day and thank you for your service to our great country. Thank you for your sacrifice you are and have made on our behalf. And to the families who lost their loved ones, I send you my deepest condolences, but I thank God for bringing your children our way for they have made America a greater and safer place for everyone.

Happy Memorial Day, America.

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.

Black former Secret Service Agent releases new political suspense thriller entitled "The Complex"

Posted by Admin On January - 2 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Phoenix, AZ (BlackNews.com) — Author and former secret service agent Donald Tucker has released his second book entitled The Complex, and it’s quite a thriller with non-stop corruption, murder, and political intrigue. Here’s the synopsis:

A group of self-named outcasts – Special Agents Wesley Charles and Louis Boron, sexy DEA agent Wendy Weisman and Seattle Police officer James Allen – wish they were anywhere but a three-month seminar in Dallas for the Federal Law Enforcement Supplement Office in this new thriller set in 1981. They discover something menacing behind The Complex’s facade of inter-agency cooperation: a conspiracy that threatens the entire democratic fabric of our country. They find it impossible to resist investigating a case featuring a Ku Klux Klan demonstration, a B&E (breaking and entering) that leads to murder, political back stabbings and cover-ups.

The Complex delves into the issues of political corruption, the illegal use of law enforcement and racism, as Wes, a smooth competent Black Agent, finds himself passed over for promotion after “making” more cases than any other agent in his office… including the biggest counterfeit bust in the history of the U.S. Secret Service. Bigoted sheriff’s police, suspicious-acting state troopers and employees with expensive vacation homes and flashy SUVs, add fuel to the fire. When one of them is murdered, they realize they have made a dangerous enemy. A deadly explosion adds just one more obstacle in this case that may have ripple effects at this country’s highest political levels before it comes to its final, unexpected conclusion.

This is the second book for author Donald Tucker, who owns a private investigation agency. The first was his autobiography, entitled The Two-Edged Sword. Tucker worked with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in Chicago after earning a degree in sociology/criminology from the University of Iowa. He transferred to the U.S. Secret Service, where he was promoted to special agent in charge of the Secret Service Office for Arizona. Tucker earned a presidential appointment as U.S. Marshal for Arizona, and was selected as Chief of Court Security in Washington, D.C. for the federal court system nationwide before returning to Arizona and becoming a PI.

About the Book:

The Complex by Donald Tucker ISBN: 978-1457504709
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Date of Publication: August 2011
Pages: 280
S.R.P.: $15.99

For more details, visit www.dontuckerbooks.com

Photo Caption: Bookcover and author/ former secret service agent, Donald Tucker

Andrea Brookins Brown recipient of 2011 Legacy Award

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS
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2011 Legacy Award

 

Andrea Brookins Brown, a phenomenal entrepreneur, mother, wife and community servant is the recipient of the Legacy award.

The Legacy Award is given to an individual who embodies the principles of community service and legacy building.

Although Andrea spends most of her day running her family business, Brookins Funeral Home (www.brookinsfuneralhome.com), her nights are spent feeding the homeless, collecting items for clothing drives, running her girl scout troop and serving on several not-for-profit boards, including Hope College & Legacy Revolution. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta, LINKS, Black Women’s Funeral Service, the York Foundation and Adopt-a-Student.

Andrea Brookins Brown works tirelessly to improve the lives of others. Andrea is very much deserving of the 2011 Legacy Award. Thank you Andrea for all that you do!

In lieu of a trophy, Andrea will receive a complimentary foundational legacy plan from Protecting Legacies LLC.

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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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