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undergroundrailroad's Journal
Posted by undergroundrailroad in Michigan
Sun Aug 27th 2006, 02:27 PM
Owner of Milt's Gourmet Barbecue shot and killed by robbers

Santiago Esparza / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Family and friends are mourning the death of Milton Goodson, a 64-year-old Shelby Township resident they say was killed Friday night in his eastside barbecue restaurant.

Goodson was shot about 10 p.m. as two men robbed his Milt's Gourmet Barbecue at 19143 Kelly near Moross in Detroit, said family friend Robin Rayford.

She said Goodson and other employees left the building as one of the men kicked in a rear door. But a high-school age worker was in a large freezer and did not know about the break-in. Goodson went back inside to check on her and struggled with at least one of the suspects before he was shot.

Family members say he was taken to St. John Hospital & Medical Center where he died.

Police declined to comment on the case.

Goodson was assistant pastor of Restoration Fellowship Tabernacle Church, where he and his wife donated a lift to help wheelchair-bound worshippers. He believed strongly that young people needed to be guided in life and offered many teens jobs at his restaurant over the years
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Thu Aug 24th 2006, 08:42 PM
Black students ordered to give up seats to whites

Status of Red River Parish bus driver is unknown

By Vickie Welborn
vwelborn@gannett.com


August 24, 2006


COUSHATTA -- Nine black children attending Red River Elementary School were directed last week to the back of the school bus by a white driver who designated the front seats for white children.

The situation has outraged relatives of the black children who have filed a complaint with school officials.


Superintendent Kay Easley will meet with the family members in her office this morning.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also is considering filing a formal charge with the U.S. Department of Justice. NAACP District Vice President James Panell, of Shreveport, said he would apprise Justice attorneys of the situation this week. He's considering asking for an investigation into the bus incident and other aspects of the school system's operations, including pupil-teacher ratio as it relates to the numbers of white and black children, along with a breakdown of the numbers of black and white teachers employed.

"If the smoke is there, then there's probably fire somewhere else," Panell said in a phone interview from New Orleans. "At this point, it is extremely alarming. We fought that battle 50 years ago, and we won. Why is this happening again?"

Easley would not comment much on the allegations Wednesday, saying it is a personnel issue. She acknowledged that she has investigated the claim. And she confirmed that the bus driver did not run her route Wednesday, nor would she today.
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Wed Aug 16th 2006, 10:25 AM

Spann Watson seated and seated in his pilot

'WE'RE LIVING HIS DREAM'
A Tuskegee airman who was inspired by Lindbergh

BY MARTIN C. EVANS
Newsday Staff Writer

August 14, 2006

Beneath a picnic tent on his Westbury lawn, while a 17-piece band played swing-era tunes under a sunset sky, a beaming Spann Watson danced a birthday two-step with his granddaughter as more than 100 friends and neighbors crowded around.

Watson had much to smile about as he reached the eve of his 90th year Saturday night: he had achieved a boyhood goal of being a pilot, and had raised five successful children who had given him seven grandchildren.

Along the way, he had also helped win World War II, end racial segregation in the U.S. military and crack commercial aviation's unspoken ban on black employees.

"I've done so much I'm proud of," Watson, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, said later. "That's the real reward."

Friends of Watson came from as far away as Colorado to honor a man known in history books as one of the first black Americans to train with an all-black fighter group at Tuskegee, Ala., then fly combat missions for the Army Air Forces beginning in 1942.
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Thu Aug 10th 2006, 03:05 PM
McKinney's Future Unsure after Loss
By ERRIN HAINES , 08.09.2006, 06:28 PM

Following Rep. Cynthia McKinney's second ouster from office in four years, some are closing the book on her political future.

"She's history," said University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock. "You don't get another chance to come back after losing two primaries. It's rare to come back after losing once."

<snip>

Black voters casting ballots at her Stone Mountain precinct on Tuesday had mixed feelings about McKinney. Vanessa Milton voted for McKinney, and said the congresswoman had a relatively good track record before the Capitol Police incident. But the 48-year-old said she felt McKinney's personality had taken over.

"As an African-American, I am very committed to our people and being strong, but there comes a time when some people overdo it," Milton said. "I want her to be a strong black woman, but I don't want her to be a buffoon."
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Mon Aug 07th 2006, 10:17 PM

IDLEWILD, the movie




The Real IDLEWILD Story

The luxury resort that discrimination built


By Jenny Nolan / The Detroit News

Lake County was created in 1840 and originally named Aischum after a Potowatomi chief. The present name was adopted in 1843. The county is not on Lake Michigan, but does contain 156 small lakes. It is the geographic center of the Manistee National Forest, has three famous trout streams, abundant deer, grouse, and wild turkey.
Lumbering removed most of the indigenous white pine, and the second growth forest and remaining sandy soil allowed few to eke out a living by farming. In the early years of this century, however, a group of developers bought 2700 acres of land in Yates Township around Idlewild Lake. The land was 70 miles north of Grand Rapids and 30 east of Lake Michigan. Erastus Branch and his partners began to advertise the lots in black newspapers such as the Chicago Defender, and recruited black salespeople by offering them a lot for every one they sold.

Small lots, 25 x 100 feet each, were sold for $35 with $6 down and $1 a week. A typical ad touted: high and dry building sites, beautiful lakes of pure spring water, perfect hard sandy beaches, beautiful timber, profusion of wild flowers and berries, myriads of game fish and game of all kinds.

Excursions were organized for black prospective buyers from Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, or Milwaukee, for groups as large as a hundred, though usually smaller, who would come by bus or railroad. After the excursion, the salesmen would visit the city where the excursion originated and organize the buyers into an Idlewild Lot Owners' Association.


Segregation policies at most resorts kept middle class blacks from vacationing comfortably. The concept of a black resort was very welcome to those who had run into discrimination in their travels.

Herman and Lila Wilson came from Chicago in 1915 along with Dr. Daniel Hale Williams and other 'pioneers'. These early landowners bought 10 miles of telephone wire and set up their own telephone company with 13 subscribers. Dr. Williams' prominence attracted more investors and owning Idlewild property became a status symbol.

Dr. Williams had performed the world's first successful open heart surgery on July 9, 1893, in Provident Hospital, a black hospital which he founded in Chicago. He repaired the heart of James Cornish who had been stabbed, by opening his chest and operating on his pericardium. He was the only black doctor among the 100 charter members of the American College of Surgeons. After vacationing at Idlewild for years, he retired there and died at Idlewild in 1931.

Another Idlewild advocate, W.E.B. DuBois, was the first black American to get a Ph.D. from Harvard and was founder of the Niagara Movement, precursor to the NAACP. He served on the board of the NAACP and as editor of their magazine, Crisis. He was a strong proponent of a black intelligentsia, whose leadership would elevate the position of all black people.

In 1921, DuBois spoke of Idlewild in the NAACP magazine:

"For sheer physical beauty, for sheen of water and golden air, for nobleness of tree and flower shrub, for shining river and song of bird and the low moving whisper of sun, moon, and star, it is the beautifulest stretch I have seen for twenty years; and then add to that fellowship -- sweet strong women and keen-witted men from Canada and Texas, California and New York, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois-- all sons and great-grandchildren of Ethiopia all with the wide leisure of rest and play, can you imagine a more marvelous thing than Idlewild."



DuBois bought lots there, although he did not ever build. He also commended the developers, stating that 'Idlewild is worth every penny.'

Another early resident was Madame C.J. Walker, who invented the straightening comb, sold door to door and eventually had a sales force of 20,000 for her hair care products and cosmetics and opened offices in Denver and Philadelphia. In 1917, her business was earning $250,000 a year. She bought her lots from Dr. Williams.
Charles Chesnutt, the celebrated novelist also owned Idlewild property. A journalist turned lawyer, Chesnutt found his true calling in literature, publishing short stories and novels, although he continued to practice law.
These renowned early residents and vacationers gave Idlewild a cache that attracted many less famous, middle class blacks to the Michigan 'Paradise'. Blacks who could afford resort vacations were unwelcome at most white resorts, and with the imprimatur of the black elite, and its natural beauty, Idlewild had much to offer, as an early promoter promised: "When you stand in Idlewild, breathe the fresh air, and note the freedom from prejudice, ostracism, and hatred, you can feel yourself truly an American citizen."
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Wed Jul 26th 2006, 08:37 PM


Mo'Nique calls for boycott of United Airlines

July 26, 2006

BY BILL ZWECKER SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Chicago-based United Airlines is profitable for the first time in six years, but is dealing with a possible lawsuit and boycott spearheaded by actress and comedian Mo'Nique.

It all started right here when the entertainer and her entourage were booted from a New York-bound United flight at O'Hare Sunday -- Mo'Nique was traveling to the Big Apple to tape two gigs as a guest co-host on ''The View.''

Mo'Nique has been mentioned as one of many possible replacements for Star Jones Reynolds on the daily chatfest.

The United brouhaha started when Mo'Nique's hairdresser (seated in coach) attempted to put something (the New York Daily News reported it was a hair dryer) in Mo'Nique's carry-on in the compartment above her seat in first class.

Apparently, a flight attendant challenged the assistant, and Mo'Nique lost her cool when another United attendant told her, ''Tell your people that the next time they have an attitude, they are being thrown off. ... Since 9/11, we don't play around.''

Furious about being compared to a terrorist, Mo'Nique allegedly became extremely agitated -- leading to her being escorted off the plane.

Chicago Police officers were called but, after analyzing the situation, decided no charges were warranted.

Mo'Nique's original flight departed, and she and her entourage took a later flight to New York that night.

The entertainer, whose full name is Mo'Nique Imes-Hicks, considers the incident racially motivated and calls the entire experience ''humiliating'' and ''something that happens to black people all the time. They don't have a voice. I have a voice.''

United spokeswoman Jean Medina regrets the way Mo'Nique felt she was treated, but adds, ''There was a confrontation involving a customer that caused the flight to be delayed. When a situation occurs on a flight that causes a delay or disruption, we must act in the best interest of all of our customers.''

Mo'Nique's representative says she is considering a lawsuit against the airline and encourages all African Americans to boycott United.
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Tue Jul 11th 2006, 02:30 PM

The Original Commodores;l-r top; Walter 'Clyde' Orange, Milan 'Quickdraw' Williams, William 'WAK' King, l-r bottom; Thomas McCleary, Ronald LaPread, and Lionel Richie

Commodores member Milan Williams dies



By Gail Mitchell Mon Jul 10, 6:14 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Milan Williams, a founding member of the Commodores, died Sunday (July 9) at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston after a bout with cancer. He was 58.

Williams played keyboards for the R&B/funk outfit, whose members met as students at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Originally comprising seven members, the Commodores' lineup eventually included Thomas McClary (guitar), Lionel Richie (saxophone), Walter "Clyde" Orange (drums), William King (trumpet) and Ronald LaPread (bass). After touring as the warmup band for the Jackson Five, the Commodores signed to Motown subsidiary MoWest in 1972.

The Commodores' first hit was the 1974 synthesizer-pumped instrumental "Machine Gun." Written by Williams, the song climbed to No. 7 on the Billboard R&B chart. The group went on to score seven No. 1 R&B hits, including "Slippery When Wet," "Just To Be Close to You," "Easy," "Nightshift," "Three Times a Lady" and "Still," the latter two of which also notched No. 1 on the pop chart. Richie left the group for a solo career in 1982, and the Commodores recorded for Polydor in the late '80s.
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Sun Jul 09th 2006, 03:57 PM


Check out Marcus Samuelson prepare his spicy meatballs and chocolate pancakes on his Discovery Home Channel show Inner Chef With Marcus Samuelson. I promise you, good looking food along with an adorable Marcus showing us how to prepare it!
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Sun Jul 09th 2006, 07:52 AM



Art Tatum - Biography

Art Tatum was born Oct. 13, 1909 in Toledo, Ohio and despite being blind in one eye and only partially sighted in the other he became arguably the greatest jazz piano player who ever lived.  He came from a musical family and when younger had some formal training at the Toledo School of Music, however he was largely self-taught.  His teacher their recognized his talents and tried to steer him towards as a career as a classical concert pianist.  Tatum was more interested in the music of Fats Waller, which would be a strong influence on his music.  At 18 he was playing interludes at a local radio station and within a short period of time he had his own show.  In 1932 he was heard by the singer Adelaide Hall who brought him to New York as her accompanist.  One year later he made his first recordings, among which was "Tiger Rag". This song which features breakneck tempo and rippling left- andright-hand cascades and crashing bass notes had every pianist in the country amazed by his astonishing dexterity.  While in New York he established his reputation in "cutting contests" with other top pianists, which he never lost.  He spent the next few years playing in Cleveland, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles and even England in 1938.  During this time he established himself as a major figure in jazz circles.  In the early 1940s Tatum formed an extremely popular trio with bassist Slam Stewart and guitarist Tiny Grimes.  He spent much of the next decade touring North America.  In 1953 Tatum signed by producer Norman Granz and recorded extensively both as a soloist and in small groups with Benny Carter, soloist and in small groups with Benny Carter, Buddy De Franco, Roy Eldridge, Lionel Hampton, Ben Webster and others.  His incredible talent allowed him to be extremely productive during this time.  Ray Spencer in his biography, noted that Tatum was constantly "refining and honing down after each performance until an ideal version remained needing no further adjustments".  This allowed him to achieve a remarkable work rate.  For example, his solo sessions for Granz were mostly completed in two days.  That is a total of 69 tracks and all but three of them needed only one take.  Sadly, on Nov. 4, 1956 his prodigious output was cut short when he died of uremia, however his artistic influence has been strong and long-lasting.

Listen to Art Tatum's biographer, James Lester, talk about Art Tatum.
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Wed Jul 05th 2006, 04:34 PM




BY MELISSA GRACE and DAVE GOLDINER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS


Lil' Kim spent her Fourth of July the same way as millions of other Americans - with friends, family and a big plate of barbecued chicken and ribs.

The raunchy rapper, fresh from a 10-month stint in prison, relaxed with her mother in the morning before a stream of pals arrived at her Alpine, N.J., mansion in the steamy afternoon.

"She's happy to be home," said Ruby Jones, Kim's mom.

The pair spent "a little mommy-daughter time together," Jones added.

<snip>

The only hitch was the new top-of-the-line grill that was supposed to be delivered last week only arrived yesterday.

So some of Kim's crowd of rap royalty had to unpack the barbecue and assemble it before they could fire up the grill.

Lil' mom time
and a lil' hitch>

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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Wed Jun 28th 2006, 01:07 AM

Star Jones Reynolds

Star Jones Reynolds fired from The View

Talk show co-host confirms departure next month
 
canada.com

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Star Jones Reynolds confirmed Tuesday morning on The View that she is leaving the daily gabfest in July. But she didn't tell viewers she was fired.

Jones Reynolds, who has been with the show since it began nine years ago, told People magazine her contract was not renewed.

But on the show, she said only: "After much prayer and counsel I feel like this is the right time to tell you that the show is moving in another direction for its tenth season and I will not be returning as cohost next year."

The studio audience gave her a standing ovation.

In an interview in the upcoming issue of People, Jones Reynolds, 44, admitted: "What you don't know is that my contract was not renewed for the tenth season. I feel like I was fired."

She claims she was told her contract would not be renewed just days before Rosie O'Donnell was announced as the new co-host, replacing Meredith Viera.
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Wed Jun 28th 2006, 12:48 AM





Esteban Carpio after conviction

Carpio found guilty

The jury rejects Esteban Carpio's insanity defense, convicting him of the murder of Detective Sgt. James L. Allen and the stabbing of Madeline Gatta.

01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, June 28, 2006

BY GREGORY SMITH
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE -- A Superior Court jury yesterday convicted Esteban Carpio of the murder of Providence police Detective Sgt. James L. Allen and the stabbing of an elderly woman, concluding that he was not insane at the time.

<snip>

The verdict by an all-white jury of nine women and three men was reported at 3:25 p.m. on the 14th day of the trial, after about nine hours of deliberation over two days.

Carpio's relatives in the gallery began crying, including Yvonne Carpio, his mother and a teacher in the Boston public schools, who had taken the stand in her son's defense. She recalled how she had him picked up in an ambulance and treated at a hospital when he began acting strangely in the weeks before Allen's murder.

She and her son's girlfriend, Samein "Soul" Phin, who lawyers for both sides called a prostitute during the trial, testified that they warned Allen and other officers who took Carpio into custody for questioning in the stabbing that their suspect was mentally disturbed.

When Carpio's guards stood him up at the defense table after the proceedings yesterday, he turned to his mother and mouthed the words, "I love you, Mom." "I love you, Stevie," she called out, using the English translation of her son's first name.


Yvonne Carpio
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Mon Jun 26th 2006, 03:25 PM



Morehouse to own historic King papers

Sotheby's auction called off in favor of Atlanta college's offer

By Errin Haines
Associated Press
Published June 25, 2006

ATLANTA -- Morehouse College President Walter Massey said Friday that Martin Luther King Jr.'s alma mater will receive the more than 10,000 handwritten documents and books from the King estate that have been housed at Sotheby's auction house in New York.

In an effort led by Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, a coalition of businesses, individuals and philanthropic leaders have come together to purchase the King Collection, Massey said in an interview, adding that the college was intimately involved in the negotiations.

The collection, which had been valued by Sotheby's at $15 million to $30 million, had been scheduled to be auctioned off June 30. Massey said the Atlanta group offered more than the estimated value.

"I don't know exact figure, but it's more than $30 million," Massey said. "My understanding is that the auction is off."

This auction is indeed off, Sotheby's Vice Chairman David Redden confirmed. But he said the public exhibition of the King Collection will continue through Thursday.

"I can't imagine a better home than the home of Dr. King for this collection," Redden said.

continue here
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Posted by undergroundrailroad in African-American Issues Group
Mon Jun 19th 2006, 09:23 PM



JUNETEENTH. On June 19 ("Juneteenth"), 1865, Union general Gordon Grangerqv read the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, thus belatedly bringing about the freeing of 250,000 slaves in Texas. The tidings of freedom reached slaves gradually as individual plantation owners read the proclamation to their bondsmen over the months following the end of the war. The news elicited an array of personal celebrations, some of which have been described in The Slave Narratives of Texas (1974). The first broader celebrations of Juneteenth were used as political rallies and to teach freed African Americanqv about their voting rights. Within a short time, however, Juneteenth was marked by festivities throughout the state, some of which were organized by official Juneteenth committees.

The day has been celebrated through formal thanksgiving ceremonies at which the hymn "Lift Every Voice" furnished the opening. In addition, public entertainment, picnics, and family reunions have often featured dramatic readings, pageants, parades, barbecues, and ball games. Blues festivals have also shaped the Juneteenth remembrance. In Limestone County, celebrants gather for a three-day reunion organized by the Nineteenth of June Organization. Some of the early emancipation festivities were relegated by city authorities to a town's outskirts; in time, however, black groups collected funds to purchase tracts of land for their celebrations, including Juneteenth. A common name for these sites was Emancipation Park. In Houston, for instance, a deed for a ten-acre site was signed in 1872, and in Austin the Travis County Emancipation Celebration Association acquired land for its Emancipation Park in the early 1900s; the Juneteenth event was later moved to Rosewood Park. In Limestone County the Nineteenth of June Association acquired thirty acres, which has since been reduced to twenty acres by the rising of Lake Mexia.

Particular celebrations of Juneteenth have had unique beginnings or aspects. In the state capital Juneteenth was first celebrated in 1867 under the direction of the Freedmen's Bureauqv and became part of the calendar of public events by 1872. Juneteenth in Limestone County has gathered "thousands" to be with families and friends. At one time 30,000 blacks gathered at Booker T. Washington Park, known more popularly as Comanche Crossing, for the event. One of the most important parts of the Limestone celebration is the recollection of family history, both under slaveryqv and since. Another of the state's memorable celebrations of Juneteenth occurred in Brenham, where large, racially mixed crowds witness the annual promenade through town. In Beeville, black, white, and brown residents have also joined together to commemorate the day with barbecue, picnics, and other festivities.

Juneteenth declined in popularity in the early 1960s, when the civil-rights movement,qv with its push for integration, diminished interest in the event. In the 1970s African Americans' renewed interest in celebrating their cultural heritage led to the revitalization of the holiday throughout the state. At the end of the decade Representative Al Edwards, a Democrat from Houston, introduced a bill calling for Juneteenth to become a state holiday. The legislature passed the act in 1979, and Governor William P. Clements, Jr., signed it into law. The first state-sponsored Juneteenth celebration took place in 1980.

Juneteenth has also had an impact outside the state. Black Texans who moved to Louisiana and Oklahoma have taken the celebration with them. In 1991 the Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian Institution sponsored "Juneteenth '91, Freedom Revisited," featuring public speeches, African-American arts and crafts, and other cultural programs. There, as in Texas, the state of its origin, Juneteenth has provided the public the opportunity to recall the milestone in human rights the day represents for African Americans.
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