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Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper, April 9, 2011

Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper, April 9, 2011

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Published by: The AFRO-American Newspapers on Apr 07, 2011
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April 9, 2011 - April 9, 2011, The Afro-American
By Shernay Williams
AFRO Staf Writer 
Baltimore City Mayor StephanieRawlings-Blake has proposed to cutlibrary and 311 hours, restructurecity employee health benet plansand halve the city’s contribution torecreation centers in an attempt toclose a $65 million budget gap.Her budget proposal, releasedlast week, cuts 10 percent of thecity’s administration costs withoutraising taxes and only charging anundetermined fee for trash pickup.While the plan is based on a $2.7billion city budget, over 8 percentless than last year, it increases theoperating budget by $26 millionand decreases the capital plan by 40percent.At a press brieng, Rawlings-Blake insisted that her proposal fullyfunds schools, street repairs and blightelimination through her Vacants toValue initiative. It also atlines fundsto the police and re departments andsupports recruitment of hundreds of new ofcers.She called the budget decisionsdifcult, but “the right thing to do.”“Through sacrice and smartbudgeting, we will ensure that citygovernment tightens its belt to getmore value for every tax dollar bydoing what families are doing everyday: making tough choices about whatwe can afford and focusing our scarceresources on core priorities,” she said.City employees would still endurefurloughs but lower-paid workerswould see a 2 percent cost of livingboost. An overhauled health benetspackage for city staff and retireeswould save $5 million this year and$10 million next year by encouragingworkers to buy generic prescriptiondrugs through higher co-pays for brandnames and lower co-pays for generics.The proposal cuts Enoch PrattLibrary hours, eliminates 35 library
www.afro.comVolume 119 No. 35Copyright © 2011 by the Afro-American Company
Your History  Your Community  Your News
APRIL 9, 2011 - APRIL 15, 2011$1.00
Listen to “First Edition”
Join Host Sean YoesSunday @ 8 p.m. on88.9 WEAA FM, theVoice of the Community.
Continued on A4
Join the
onTwitter and Facebook 
Coppin Dedicates the CaryBeth Cryor Art Gallery
The Invisible Institution
Obama LaunchesRe-election Campaign
By George Barnette
AFRO Staf Writer 
Leaders from the NationalPan-Hellenic Council along withNational Urban League PresidentMarc Morial are using theanniversary of Dr. Martin LutherKing Jr.’s death to reinforce hisdream. The leaders want trulywant to see equality for allAmericans.“At a time when the needs of the Black community, the needsof poor people, and the needs of children are increasing,” MarianWright Edelman, president of theChildren’s Defense Fund, said,“we’re cutting the very peoplewho need help the most.”The group is upset withCongress for cutting majorprograms which would aid manyminorities in achieving that Dr.King’s dream. They believe aline has been crossed on CapitolHill and it’ll have negativeaffects on people of color.“Under the current leadershipin America it appears that we arebragging about the largest cuts indomestic annual spending in thisnation’s history,” said Kappa AlphaPsi Grand Polemarch Dwayne M.Murray. “We fail to mention thattheir cuts will cut job training for theunemployed at a time when morethan 13 million Americans are outof work.”Cynthia Butler-McIntyre,president of Delta Sigma ThetaSorority Inc., agreed with Murraysaying that these budget cutsare being made on the backs of America’s lower-class, especiallysingle mothers and their children.“[Congress] has decided to balance
Continued on A3
Civil Rights LeadersAsk Congress toReconsider Cuts
Special to the AFRO
Morgan State University will receive a landmark$28.5 million portion of a massive $95.8 million, ve-year grant from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.The grant, which allows the East Baltimore school toconduct research supporting NASA’s Earth and spacescience projects, is the largest in Morgan’s 144-yearhistory.Morgan will now play an integral part in theGoddard Earth Sciences Technology and ResearchStudies and Investigations (GESTAR) researchteam. “This grant represents a signicant recognitionof the quality of Morgan’s academic programsand research in STEM (science, technology,engineering and mathematics),” says DallasR. Evans, chairman of Morgan’s Board of Regents, in a prepared statement. “I am proudthat NASA has acknowledged the talent of the students on our campus by selectingMorgan as a partner in GESTAR.”TheUniversitiesSpace ResearchAssociation(USRA) willlead the GESTARparticipants, which includes Morgan professors andgraduate students. The team will study some of themost prolic and pertinent issues in modern science,including atmospheric chemistry, polar climatechange, oceanography and more.School President Dr. David Wilson, whoannounced plans to double grants and research atMorgan in 10 years during his inaugural speech,celebrated the grant and its potential impact onstudents.“Morgan is committed to its graduates beingstrong, not just in the STEM (science, technology,engineering, math) elds but also in critical thinkingand global awareness and that is exactly what thisgrant will do,” said Wilson in a statement. “I amconvinced that through this partnership our studentswill be provided with even richer experiencesand many more opportunities, for example, to dointernships at NASA. On the other hand, NASAbenets from having access to a more diverse body of talent from which to recruit in the future.”It was Morgan’s commitment to STEM disciplinesthat prompted USRA to select the school for its eliteresearch team. Morgan boasts doctoral programsin bioenvironmental sciences, the state-of-the-artRichard N. Dixon Center for Science Researchand the Center for the Built Environment andInfrastructure Studies, which is currently beingbuilt.Baltimore ofcials reacted to news of Morgan’s historic grant, including Sen. JoanCarter Conway, Dist. 43, who lauded NASA’spartnership withthe school. “Iam elated tohear that Morganwas selected forthis partnership withUSRA and NASA,” said Conway in a press release.“This really afrms the University’s stature in thehigher education community as one of the nation’sleaders in producing African-American scientists andengineers.”Among the objectives of the GESTAR team is to“increase the involvement of minority and womenscientists in earth science research.”The Johns Hopkins University and the I.M.Systems Group will join Morgan and USRA asmembers of the GESTAR team.
Morgan Shares in $95.8 MillionGrant; Largest in School History
By AFRO Sta 
Myths about Malcolm X—hislife, his beliefs and especiallyhis death—continue to abounddecades after his assassination atthe age 39. Longtime Malcolm Xscholar Manning Marable attemptsto deconstruct the Black icon’slife and offers “explosive” newrevelations into Malcolm’s death inhis new book,
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.
Marable will not experiencewhat could be the highpoint of hiscareer, however. On April 1, justdays before his book’s launch onApril 4, the scholar, writer, lecturer,and civil rights activist who foundedthe Institute for Research in AfricanAmerican Studies at ColumbiaUniversity, died at ColumbiaPresbyterian Hospital in New YorkCity after a long illness. He was 60.“As Malcolm X died shortlybefore the release of his [rst]autobiography, Marable died threedays before the publication of his life’s work. And as Malcolmlived on through his best-sellingautobiography, so will Marable,through his unmatched bodyof writing, his educationalcontributions, his illuminations onMalcolm X’s legacy and his devotedstudents,” said Maytha Alhassen,a doctoral student in Americanstudies and ethnicity at University of Southern California who worked asa research assistant for Dr. Marable.Alhassen made those statements ina CNN.com commentary about hermentor.Ten years in the making,
A Lifeof Reinvention
tells the “never-before-told true story of [Malcolm’s]assassination,” according topublisher Viking Press. Basedon years of research, includinginterviews, culled from his workwith The Malcolm X Project atColumbia University, the book
New Alleged Malcolm X Assassin Fingered inNew Book
Author, Manning Marable, Scholar and Activist, Dies before Publication
Continued on A4
Photo courtesy of David Shankbone viaWikimedia Commons
Respected historian and authorManning Marable died threedays before the publication of his autobiography of Malcolm X.
Mayor Releases BudgetProposal
“Through sacrice and smart budgeting, we will ensurethat city government tightens its belt to get morevalue for every tax dollar by doing what families aredoing every day.” 
– Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
“Make no mistake about it; those that argue that cutting these programswill create jobs have not one scintilla of evidence,not one report, and not one economist that hasstood behind them onthat point.” 
– Marc Morial
Courtesy Photo
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
The Afro-American, April 9, 2011 - April 15, 2011
Obama Re-electionLaunches with E-mail,Website
WASHINGTON (AP)— President Barack Obamaformally launched his re-election campaign today.And he’s urging grass-rootssupporters central to hisrst White House run tomobilize again to protectthe change he’s broughtover the past two years.The ofcial start of hissecond White House bidcomes amid three wars, abudget ght with Congress,and sluggish economicrecovery. It also comes20 months before theNovember 2012 election.Obama sent an e-mailto more than 13 millionsupporters announcing hiscandidacy. In it, he sayslasting change never comesquickly or easily. And hesays mobilizing needs tostart to protect the progressthat’s already been made.The campaign is based inChicago. Many of the samepeople from his rst bidremain involved, includingformer campaign managerDavid Plouffe, who nowis in the White House, andchief political strategistDavid Axelrod.
National Urban LeagueDeclares ‘War onUnemployment’
WASHINGTON,D.C. (March 31, 2011) –With urban and minoritycommunities mired ineconomic uncertainty, theNational Urban League(NUL) declared “war onunemployment” with therecent release of the “2011State of Black America”report.“Our nation hasdeclared war on poverty…war on drugs…even waron obesity,” said NULPresident and CEO MarcH. Morial in a preparedstatement. “The NationalUrban League calls onWashington to declarewar on unemployment,and urban America isthe battlefront. As urbancommunities go, so goesAmerica, and unless thosecommunities have access tojobs and are fully preparedto excel and innovate inthose jobs, the nation’seconomic recovery ismeaningless.”“The State of BlackAmerica,” issued annuallyby the National UrbanLeague since 1976, centerson an Equality Index, whichranks Blacks and Latinosagainst White Americanson issues such as income,homeownership, healthinsurance and education.This year’s EqualityIndex of Black Americastands at 71.5 percent a 0.6percent decline from lastyear.The Equality Index of Latino America, includedfor the second time thisyear, stands at 76.8,compared to a 2010 indexof 76.6 percent.The report was releasedat a town hall event atHoward University andmoderated by award-winning journalists RolandMartin and Jeff Johnson.
Haiti’s New PresidentPromises Change AmidPoverty, Corruption
Michel Martelly’sascendancy to Haiti’spresidential seat marks anunexpected evolution in theCaribbean country’s history.On April 4, Martelly, 50,beat out opponent, professorand Haiti’s former rst ladyMirlande Manigat, 70, witha landslide 67 percent of thevotes,
The Associated Press
 reported.The island nation’s pastis peppered with corruptleaders and nepotism,perhaps most evident inthe 29-year father-sonDuvalier regime, whichresulted in the deaths of anestimated 300,000 Haitiansand a seemingly endlesseconomic slump.But Martelly, a carnivalsinger known more forhis lascivious lyrics thanpolitical insight, says hewill bring change to Haitiwith a focus on “action,recovery and renewal,”according to his campaignwebsite.His outsider statusamong the country’s closeknit political circles mayhave been the decidingfactor in his victory,however. Throughoutthe elections, Manigat’scamp painted Martelly asan uneducated, immoralcandidate who would onlythrow Haiti’s already fragilesocioeconomic state intofurther disarray.
But in an interview withCNN, Martelly said he isa man of the people. “I’vebeen on the ground with [theHaitian people] for 22 years.The people know me. Irepresent the light at the
endof the tunnel.”
(Ofcial White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama meets with the CongressionalBlack Caucus Executive Committee in the Oval Ofce,March 30. Attending the meeting are, rom let; Rep.Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y.; Rep. Donna Christensen, D-V.I.;President Obama; Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo.; Rep.Andre Carson, D-Ind.; and Rep. G. K. Buttereld, D-N.C.
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The Afro-American, April 9, 2011 - April 9, 2011 April 9, 201
1 - April 15, 2011 The Afro-American
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Black Memorabilia,
Art, Doll & Collectible Show
April 16-17, 2011
Saturday: 10 AM – 7 PM**Sunday: 10 AM – 5 PMMontgomery County Fairgrounds
16 Chestnut Street**Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877
“An Education on the African American Experience” 
•Purchase Black Memorabilia and Collectibles from many dealersfrom across the United States
View Educational Exhibits
including Slavery Artifacts, Civil War, Buffalo Soldiers,Jim Crow, Black Panther Party, Marcus Garvey, Tuskegee Airmen, Malcolm X, Blacks inHockey, Madame C. J. Walker, George Washington Carver and others..
Meet and obtain autographs
from former Negro League Baseball Players;Jim Kelly, Karate Champion and movie actor; and Marlin Briscoe, former AFL/NFL player.
Admission: $6, Children 16 and under free
All Indoors – Good Food – Free Parking
(301) 649-1915**www.johnsonshows.com
On March 29, the Senate passed a $14.6billion operating budget for the state andBaltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake presented her budget for the city thesame week, which included about $65 millionin cuts. Of course, the cuts (and a lack of property tax relief), is what everybody isfocused on, especially if the budget axe cutstoo close to home.“You can’t manage your way out of thegreat recession. You need to lead your way outof the great recession,” said Rawlings-Blake inreference to the massive nancial challengesfaced by many big city mayors.Among the items potentially on themayor’s chopping block, or perhaps moreaccurately the reduction block: a fewrehouses, libraries, 311 service, swimmingpools and recreation centers.When I was a little boy growing up inthe 1970s “rec” centers were ubiquitous inBaltimore City. They seemed to be on everyother corner and literally every kid I knewhung out at them.And not all of them were run by the city.In fact, several of them were privately fundedand operated. I went to a summer day campon Garrison Boulevard in a church near thecorner of Liberty Heights that also functionedas s recreation center for kids. The church wasshuttered and abandoned years ago, but simplyput, these places kept a lot of us out of trouble.Less than 10 years later crack implodedmany of America’s big cities, includingBaltimore, and the ensuing epidemics of murder and wretchedness vaporized hugeswaths of benevolence and consumedmyriad manpower and tax dollars. Baltimorerecreation centers have been struggling toremain open ever since.Rawlings-Blake said more than half of thecity’s 55 recreation centers would be turnedover to nonprots or other third-party groups.But, if groups don’t step up to take over thecenters by the beginning of next year, themayor said some of them could be closed. CityHall has not disclosed a list of which centerscould be targeted.Of course, our city isn’t the only one facedwith the prospect of closing recreation centers.In February, Columbus, Ohio closed more thana third of its 30 centers because of budget cuts.But, when I heard Rawlings-Blake – confronted with extremely difcult scalchoices – is considering closing some of Baltimore’s recreation centers, one place cameto my mind immediately – the Upton BoxingCenter.Upton, on Pennsylvania Avenue, is whereRonald “Roc” Gibbs – the 17-year-oldchampion boxer and Olympic hopeful – trained for ve years before he was tragicallystabbed to death in February defending hisolder sister just steps from the family home.Gibbs, a charismatic and talented ghter,was anointed “the Roc of Upton Boxing,” andit was a title he carried with grace and honor.His murder hit a lot of people hard.“I just want them to remember Roc for what he was and what he stood for,” his coachCalvin Ford tearfully told me when I went tovisit a couple of days after Gibbs’ murder.“I loved that dude man, he was a good kid.”The truth is there are a lot of good kidsat Upton. It stands as a safe haven for youngmen and women in the midst of a communityravaged by violence, drugs and poverty. Butaccording to his teammates and Coach Ford,Roc was a haven to many of them.“He was one of my homegrown, I took him from the womb, so I’m trying to staystrong because this could either make us or itcould break us,” said Ford, who trains severalprofessional ghters and other Olympichopefuls like Gibbs.Lorenzo Simpson, 10, is another of thoseUpton Olympic hopefuls and a good kid.Less than a week after Gibbs – a friend andmentor – was killed, Simpson demolishedthe last of the opponents he faced in route tothe 95-pound title at National Silver GlovesTournament of Champions in Kansas City,Mo.Simpson, who is 21-0 as a boxer, toldthe
Baltimore Sun
Roc’s memory continuesto inspire and motivate him. “I knew I wasgoing to win for Roc,” Simpson said of the championship he won on March 12. “Isaw him win the Silver Gloves before, so Iwanted to do it for him. I knew everyone wasdepending on me.”And there are a lot of kids like Simpson,and before he died Gibbs, who depend onrecreation centers like Upton Boxing – safehavens from often treacherous streets. Placeslled with stories of heroism, courage, tragedyand honor and young people seeking guidancefrom leaders like Ford.As he so poignantly put it, “These aren’trecreation centers, these are families.”I know we’re facing tough times, but I justhope the city isn’t in the business of breakingup families. 
Sean Yoes is a former staff reporter and contributing writer to the AFRO.
Upton Boxing – More Than aRecreation Center
the budget by going afternon-security discretionaryspending; proposing todrastically cut or completelyeliminate social safetynet programs that helpAmericans most in need,”Butler-McIntyre said. “Whenthey target programs likeHead Start, which provideseducational and healthservices to low-incomechildren and their families, weare going to rock the boat.”The group is not onlyasking that the cuts not bemade, but it is also callingHouse Republicans out ontheir plan. Morial says thatthe claims Republicans aremaking that the cuts willcreate more jobs isn’t truthful.“If [the cuts] went throughthey would cost the nationbetween 500,000 and 700,000jobs,” Morial said. “Makeno mistake about it; thosethat argue that cutting theseprograms will create jobs havenot one scintilla of evidence,not one report, and not oneeconomist that has stoodbehind them on that point.”In fact, Morial claimsthat the very programsCongressional leaders wantto cut are not the programsthat have thrown the nationinto this decit. He says theunending expenditures ontwo wars have brought thenation to the point of nearbankruptcy. “Two unpaid-forwars have led to a doubling,in a 10-year period, of thebudget of the Department of Defense,” he said.The group is calling onCongress to fund programsthat will protect education,jobs and job trainingprograms. They say thesethings are what people of color, particularly AfricanAmericans, need to live theAmerican dream.“We are here this morningto say, unequivocally, thatour national priorities arein the wrong place,” saidWade Henderson, presidentand CEO of the LeadershipConference on Civil andHuman Rights. “We arehere to call on legislators toput their money where theirmouths are. The future of thisnation depends on investmentswe make now, particularly inour young people.”
Continued from A1
Reconsider Cuts
By Shernay Williams
AFRO Staf Writer 
A week after her gruesomemurder, several teddy bears,owers and cards lay strewnon the sidewalk before JhomaBlackwell’s home. A child’spencil drawing of what lookslike a girl and a large ower istaped to a porch wall.One man, who lives threedoors down from Blackwell,remembers her as a quiethomebody. “It’s scary. Younever know what’s going tohappen,” said Robert Cole.“You try to look out for eachother, but you never knowwhat some crazy person isgoing to do.”On March 29 Blackwell,18, was found dead in theupstairs bedroom of herRemington home, withmultiple stab wounds.Television news reports sayher father found the body,and neighbors heard shoutingcoming from the house earlierthat day. Soon after arrivingon the scene, police carriedBlackwell’s 2-year-old nieceout of the home.Ironically, BaltimoreMayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had planned acommunity walk to promotesafety in the area the day afterthe murder. During the march,Rawlings-Blake said sheunderstood the heartbreak of losing a loved one.“I can’t diminish what(the family) is feeling atall,” she told reporters. “I’mcommitted to working withthe police force, the detectivesto get to the bottom of whathappened.”Authorities remain tight-lipped about possible suspectsas the investigation continues.Police spokesman JeremySilbert said ofcials have nonew updates on the case, butsaid he doesn’t believe thekilling was a random act of violence.The
attempts tocontact Blackwell’s familywent unanswered April 4,but a woman who identiedherself as Blackwell’s eldestsister appeared in a ve-minute YouTube video shecalled an ofcial statement onbehalf of the family. She didnot mention her name, but thevideo was uploaded under theusername “sanctiedchild.”During the video, shemused on the “callousnessof the killing and pleaded foranyone with information inthe case to come forward.“The person or the personsresponsible for this horriccrime – to take someone’s lifein the manner that my sister’slife was taken – has got to bea troubled soul, has got to bea person who has experiencedimmense pain of their own,has got to be a person that’sbound by their own demons inorder to subject someone elseto experience the pain that(they) caused,” she said.Blackwell attended CoppinState University last fall withhopes of becoming a nurse,but a school spokeswomansaid Blackwell had notenrolled this semester.According to herFacebook prole, Blackwellgraduated from MergenthalerVocational-Technical HighSchool last year and had aboyfriend she’d dated sinceJuly 5, 2010.Nick Copeland, a Coppinstudent that befriended herduring an English class lastSeptember, shared fondmemories of his peer. “Shewas a mature, respectfulyoung woman,” he said ina Facebook message. “Wealways used to goof aroundin class…I don’t understandwhy someone would kill her.”The family held a publicviewing for Blackwell April6 and a funeral the followingday at Manna Bible BaptistChurch on Belvedere Avenue.She will be laid to rest atthe Interment Oak LawnCemetery in Dundalk.In the second half of theYouTube video, her sisteraddressed the murderer. “Youmay be pondering if you aregoing to get away with this…You may be even trying torationalize in your head thatshe deserved this for whateverreason and you may evenelude the authorities, but letme tell you something, youcan’t elude God.”
Family, Neighbors, Friends Mourn Remington Woman
Courtesy photo
Jhoma Blackwell, an18-year-old Remingtonwoman, was foundstabbed to death in herbedroom March 29.

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