Archives for September 2010
New panel will review and offer input for Bronzeville redevelopment projects
The Common Council today created a new, permanent seven-member advisory committee to review and offer recommendations about redevelopment proposals within the Bronzeville Cultural and Entertainment District.
The Bronzeville Advisory Committee will be taking a proactive and critical role in helping the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee as it considers redevelopment plans and proposals in the Bronzeville area, said Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, the author and primary sponsor of the legislation that created the committee.
“Although the Redevelopment Authority may approve or reject any proposal based on the design guidelines in the Bronzeville Redevelopment Plan, I believe it’s essential that residents, property owners, business owners, and other stakeholders of the Bronzeville community first have a chance to review proposals,” the alderwoman said, “and then provide input as to whether a proposed redevelopment project is in line with their interests, desires and perspectives.”
Under the legislation, the Redevelopment Authority will forward all Bronzeville redevelopment plans and proposals to the advisory committee for its input and recommendations prior to making a final decision.
The committee will include two appointees of the Common Council President, two appointees of the Mayor, and three appointees of the local Common Council member who represents the Bronzeville district (currently Alderwoman Coggs).
All of the appointments are subject to approval by the Common Council.
In July the Council approved the first development project for the Bronzeville district since it was created in 2005.
An investment group, Inner City Arts LLC, announced its plans to buy a city-owned building, at 642 W. North Ave., for $10,000, and spend $501,000 remodeling it into offices.
Two of the development group’s partners will occupy the first floor of the 4,800-square-foot building. Some of the remaining space would be used as a construction plan review room for contractors.
A $171,000 city loan for the project came from a tax incremental financing district.
The tax revenue generated by the development will serve to repay the loan.
The Bronzeville area is bordered roughly by W. Garfield Ave., W. Center St., N. 7th St. and N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. in the 6th Aldermanic District.
The National Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women will host a kick-off reception for the inaugural edition of Who’s Who in Black Milwaukee Tuesday, Sept. 21 at IPIC Entertainment Bayshore Town Center, 5800 N. Bayshore Drive in Glendale. The event will start at 5:30.
The fact that he didn’t even have sense enough to be embarrassed said it all.
On a recent episode of the HBO reality show “Hard Knocks,” New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie struggled to remember something that, for most fathers, is a no-brainer.
Cromartie had to use his fingers to count all the children he had fathered.
Turns out he has eight. With six different women. In five states. Heck, he even had trouble remembering their birthdates and names.
On top of that, Cromartie’s only 26 – but he has some folks joking about whether he’s aiming to set records for knocking down receivers or for knocking up women.
This isn’t funny, though. It’s sad. It’s sad that black men like Cromartie don’t see the damage they do when they perpetuate such stereotypes. For far too many of them, fame means having the freedom to get away with bad behavior, rather than an opportunity to set good examples.
But I’m not going to beat up on Cromartie too much right now. I know what he is: A young black man who grew up fatherless, a young black man who, like millions of others, are left to their own devices to figure out what manhood looks and feels like.
And like so many others, Cromartie keeps getting it wrong.
Today, however, I want to direct some attention to his enablers. Those would be the six women who allowed him to impregnate them – and to invariably leave them with a life that will be marked by them expending countless hours in court trying to force him to live up to the responsibilities spawned by everyone’s irresponsibility.
According to the Miami Herald, the Jets had to front Cromartie $500,000 before he played for them, just to cover all the paternity suits.
That means trouble in the future. But the fact that they, like so many other women, are willing to settle for life as a baby mama speaks to how confused they are.
I’m going to take a wild guess here and bet that few, if any, of the mothers of Cromartie’s children stopped taking their birth control because he promised that he was going to marry them.
There was a time when a woman might get careless if she had a long, loving relationship with a man and had reason to believe they were going to have a future together. That still wouldn’t be smart, but at least it would be an action based on the idea of bringing a child into the world with the promise of stability instead of just bling.
But chances are that’s not the case with Cromartie’s women. The fact that they’re having to sue him to force him to take care of his children proves that. The fact that his relationships were apparently so casual that he has trouble remembering the names of the offspring he spawned with them also proves that.
Sadly, they’ve hitched their fortunes to becoming professional baby mamas. And as far as career moves go, that’s dumb.
Now, I’m sure that these women probably did their homework on how many millions Cromartie makes. Some have probably figured out how they can finagle enough cash out of their child support for a sports car or other luxuries.
But what they should also know is that the average pro football career lasts only six years, and that most players wind up broke afterward.
This is especially true for players like Cromartie; men who celebrate their NFL invincibility by racking up baby mamas.
Just ask his doppelganger, former running back Travis Henry, who is now penniless after fathering nine children.
Like I said, dumb career move.
But like Cromartie, his children’s mothers probably hail from the same, fractured reality; one in which black boys are left to define themselves by the rewards that their physicality can bestow upon them, and one in which young black women base their esteem and their futures on how well they can make their physicality work for them.
At some point, this has got to change. Because from what we know so far, none of this ever ends well.
NEW YORK /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), announced the official launch of its redesigned website, www.naacpldf.org. LDF, which is celebrating its 70th year, launches the new site in an effort to educate the public and other stakeholders on its historic and continued fight for racial justice.
“Given the pace at which information travels today and the prevalent myth of a ‘post-racial America,’ it is important for LDF to sharpen its technological edge to ensure that our work to secure the promise of equality for all Americans is reaching the broadest audience possible,” said John Payton, LDF President and Director-Counsel.
The new website will allow visitors to learn about historic precedent setting civil rights cases argued by LDF, such as Brown v. Board of Education, as well as modern day litigation that LDF is involved in.
From young students to seasoned attorneys, LDF’s web space is designed to educate and empower visitors with information related to the most pressing civil rights issues in America today.
The new website features video, access to LDF’s advocacy work in Washington D.C., audio of historic oral arguments before the Supreme Court, information about and various ways for users to become involved in spreading LDF’s message.
“It is our hope that by making LDF’s work easily accessible, people can begin to see that though great progress has been made, we have a long road ahead before we are all equal under the law,” said Payton.
by Deborah Mathis, BlackAmericaWeb.com
Word on the street is that the 18- to 29-year-old crowd is pretty much going to sit out the mid-term elections. Black voters who go to the polls in November are also expected to be slight in number.
That would be in keeping with historical trends. Two years after a presidential election, interest always wanes.
Usually, no more than 38 percent to 42 percent of registered voters show up to vote for local and state officials, members of Congress and, in 34 states, governor.
But, it is especially important that both young adults and black voters resist the temptation to skip the ritual on November 2.
The youth and the non-white votes were the ones that propelled Barack Obama into a history-making presidency. His name is not on the ballot this time, but he needs that base support just as much.
There are three important things at stake. One is the success and effectiveness of Obama’s presidency. When the opposition party takes over either chamber, it always makes it harder for the chief executive to get his ideas across and his programs through. It can be said that such is the nature – and purpose – of the two-party system.
But there’s more afoot than intramural function. Partisanship is so fierce and unforgiving these days that it is more than a thick, messy sludge; it has become concrete.
Nothing gets through. When the objective is make a man a failure, even his superb proposals will be dead on arrival.
In the 21 months that Obama has been in office, the GOP and the Tea Party activists they are bowing to have bedeviled the president with disrespect, lies, innuendo and exaggeration.
They routinely portray him as anti-American, fascist, anti-business, socialist, racist, incompetent and, in former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s words, a con man. Clearly, if they actually have the power of majority on their side, Obama faces only a tougher row.
Another thing at stake is the safety and prosperity of the American society.
As institutionalists, Republicans are pledged to protect collections of power – banks, insurance companies, big energy, the military industrial complex, etc.
The individual, while the ward of the Constitution, is less important; his or her rights are fungible, suspendable, even disposable.
It was their kind on the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, that continues to erode civil liberties while expanding corporate rights.
A power grab by such folks bodes horribly for those of us who love freedom, fair play, accountability and the square deal.
Finally, Obama’s re-electability is on the line. Should he be steamrolled and stymied by a mean-hearted, short-sighted and self-righteous band of marauders whose only goal is to grab and grow their own power for the enrichment of their friends and people like them, the president will have little to show for the remainder of his term and, come 2012, the people will kick him out, barring some astoundingly good turn of luck.
Obama has not produced the change that some of us had hoped for and anticipated, but considering the wreckage he walked in on, he has done a decent job in the short time he’s been in office and probably more than we can ever know, since it is impossible to measure what did not happen because of his decisions.
Take unemployment, for example. As terrible as it is, what would it be had there been no $787 billion stimulus package?
Back in April, USA Today surveyed 50 top economists who said there might have been more than 1 million more jobs lost without the stimulus.
Though speculative, their estimates are sobering, but the point is, we can never know for sure.
What is certain is that the president has more time and should be allowed to use it imparting and enacting his vision, not fending off cruel attacks on his motives, his ideology and his character.
Yet, that’s what a Republican majority offers and why it must be stopped.
They’re counting on us not showing up; they need us to not show up. I, for one, cannot give them that satisfaction.
Milwaukee – Contestants on a popular reality TV show, a cable television design expert, and local home improvement and remodeling experts, will share their ideas, insight, and recipes on the American TV Kennedy Hahn Appliance Demonstration Stage at the 20th Annual Milwaukee/NARI Fall Home & Remodeling Show, Fri., Sept. 17 – Sun., Sept. 19, at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park.
Sponsored by the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc., the area’s leading home improvement and remodeling industry resource for more than 49 years, this year’s Show theme is “Bring Inspiration Home.”
Special guests at this year’s Fall Home & Remodeling Show on Sat., Sept. 18 and Sun., Sept. 19, will be John Gidding of HGTV’s “Curb Appeal: The Block,” sponsored by Renewal by Andersen, providing remodeling and home improvement design tips and Kristin Steede & Cathy Skell from NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” doing cooking demos and sharing recipes.
Gidding, who will do presentations at noon and 4:00 p.m. on Sept. 18, and at 12:15 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Sept. 19, brings history and architecture to American Design. The designer for the Atlanta team on HGTV’s Designed to Sell, John’s international background infuses a variety of influences into his design portfolio.
Gidding also hosts Curb Appeal: The Block, beautifying homes on the same block with a variety of makeovers. In each episode, he and his team overhaul one home’s exterior to make it the envy of the block, then make their way up and down the street providing smaller-scale makeovers that create instant impact and increase the value of the entire block.
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1977, Gidding attended American schools in Turkey and then Switzerland before moving to the United States for college, where he attended Yale University. An enthusiastic art and math student, he was immediately drawn to architecture and went straight through to Harvard Graduate School of Design for his master’s degree in 2003.
Gidding has worked in architecture and design firms around the world. His experience ranges from residential and institutional architecture to landscape architecture and urban design. His television career started as an offshoot of modeling, which he started to do to pay for graduate school. Having done runway for Armani and Gucci, he was cast to be one of the host/designers on ABC Family’s Knock First, a design show for hip teens wanting to update their spaces.
Following the success of his first TV show, he moved to New York City to start his firm, John Gidding Design Inc., and has done numerous residential renovations there and around the country. Keeping one foot firmly in architecture, Gidding moved to Atlanta to join the Designed to Sell family. While in residence in Atlanta, Gidding has steadily grown his design business in his spare time and speaks frequently at home shows around the country.
Steede and Skell, who will do presentations at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sept. 18, and at 11:00 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. on Sept. 19, were the mother-daughter team from Greenville, Wis., who combated obesity on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, Season 7. Their vibrant personalities and commitment to each other, combined with their fiercely competitive natures, made them top contenders.
Skell, mother of three and grandmother of four, celebrated her 20th year of sobriety only to realize that alcohol had been replaced with food. As her weight increased, she was diagnosed with high blood pressure and anxiety, which accompanied her already problematic asthma. Growing up as a child with asthma, she never lived an active lifestyle. With a family history of stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, she knew it was time to make a change.
At age 49, weighing 293 pounds, Skell resolved to become a healthier person and stepped into the national spotlight with her daughter on The Biggest Loser. She successfully lost 95 pounds and now, at age 50, has finally begun an active lifestyle for the first time in her life. She credits proper diet and exercise for not needing her blood pressure medication and rarely using her inhaler.
Although Steede struggled with her weight most of her life, she had tried not to let that stand in the way of what she wanted. She and her husband were ready to start a family when she found that her excessive weight was the only thing standing in her way.
She faced her problem head-on and exposed it to the world through the reality TV show. She is an emotional eater, turning to food in stressful situations, and the show helped her reprogram herself to get her weight under control before her biological clock would run out.
Beginning at 360 pounds, Steede was the first woman to lose more than 100 pounds while on the show. She proved that change was possible, and her appearance drew thousands of people to love and admire her courage. She did go on to have a baby, which she believes wouldn’t have happened without The Biggest Loser.
The two women travel the country, speaking with audiences of all kinds about the determination and desire they had to achieve their goals, and helping others achieve theirs. At the Fall Home & Remodeling Show, they will show healthy versions of some football party/tailgate favorites. This will include chicken skewers rather than chicken wings, white chicken chili in place of beef chili, and a healthier version of nachos. Steede and Skell will discuss the substitutions that can be used, with the nutritional value of the new versions they create compared to the traditional options.
More than 325 booth spaces will feature providers of home improvement and remodeling products and services, including design/build, kitchens, decks, cabinets, windows, wall covering, bathrooms, lighting, landscaping, roofing, and fireplaces.
Special attractions at the event will include the Milwaukee/NARI Information Center, the Time Warner Cable Relaxation Station, the Boucher Automotive Group Vehicle Display, and much more.
Hours on Fri., Sept. 17, are 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 18, and Sun., Sept. 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $5 in advance, and $7 at the door.
Tickets for seniors, 60 and older, are $5.00, with a special price of $4.00 for seniors at the door on Friday, Sept. 17 for Callen Construction Senior Day.
Children 12 and younger are admitted at no charge with free childcare, sponsored by Pekel Construction & Remodeling, Inc., available for ages 3 – 12.
Free admission for two people will be provided to those that participate in the Fall Show Blood Drive coordinated by the Blood Center of Wisconsin between 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Fri. Sept. 17.
For more information on the Fall Home & Remodeling Show, visit www.milwaukeenari.org or call the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council at 414-771-4071.
Could Fantasia Barrino be right? Did she get negative press coverage about her affair with a married man and alleged suicide attempt because she’s “too brown?”
Fantasia is a sister I’ve admittedly been hard on in the past. I took her to task for that awful “Baby Mama” song of a few years back, upsetting her fans who think the sun rises and sets on that more than ample badunkadunk of hers.
“How dare you?!” was the main thrust of most of the critics. All Fantasia was doing, they claimed, was paying tribute to “baby mamas” everywhere.
No, she was doing much more. She was glorifying a tragic situation that needed no glorification. With nearly 70 percent of black households not having fathers, and with the social problems connected with those homes having no daddies in them, Fantasia’s warbling about “This goes out to all my baby mamas,” was the last thing black America needed.
And controversial lyrics aside, the song was just God-awful. I liked her singing and the melody to “Hood Boy” much better, but then again, there was that message. Praising guys who “wear wife beaters and jeans” and who spend much of their time in “the trap,” slang for a drug house? I prayed Fantasia was just singing stupid and not living stupid.
A few years pass, and now comes the affair-followed-by-alleged-suicide-attempt scandal. Fantasia’s claim of bias against dark-skinned sisters may be just her attempt to play the victim after some bad publicity, but I have to admit that maybe she has something this time.
Those scoffing at Fantasia’s claim will note that Jennifer Hudson is darker than Fantasia, performed in the same season of “American Idol” and got voted off while Fantasia won. Hudson’s being a good deal heavier at the time probably didn’t help either (But DARN, doesn’t she look like a smokin’ hot babe now!). And, Fantasia’s critics (and Hudson’s fans) are likely to point out, Hudson never claimed that either her weight or her complexion were factors in her being voted off “American Idol.”
The sad truth is, they probably were. But we didn’t hear a peep from Fantasia then about sisters who are too dark or too brown (or too heavy) getting the shaft. Well, maybe she’s lived, and she’s learned.
Would Beyonce be the superstar she is if she were, say, Hudson’s complexion? Wouldn’t somebody in the press have climbed all over both Hudson and Fantasia if either one had said, “I wish I was born Latina?”
Beyonce did precisely that, a few years ago, in an interview she gave to Latina magazine. The exact quote is this: “I’m just jealous I wasn’t born Latina. I wish I had been because the culture is so beautiful.”
The implication is that her own African-American culture – you know, the one whose music is the source of her fame and also changed her country and the world – isn’t beautiful, or, at the very least, is inferior to Latin culture. And that Latino culture Beyonce is so fond of isn’t what might be called “Negro friendly.”
Here’s how Beyonce ended the interview with Latina: “I’m very grateful Latinos are embracing me.”
Trust me, sister love, if you were Fantasia’s or Hudson’s complexion, there’d be a lot fewer Latinos and Latinas embracing you. Ditto for many white fans and, much as it pains me to say it, the same holds true for many African-Americans as well.
Yeah, I said it: A lot of us are still color-struck, 1940s Negroes who think we have bad hair and that a lighter complexion is a better one.
Before critics start howling about how absolutely wrong I am, consider this: Is Beyonce a better singer than either Fantasia or Jennifer Hudson? Who did the better singing AND acting in the movie “Dream Girls?” Was it Beyonce or Hudson?
Fantasia and Hudson can both sing rings around Beyonce on their worst days, in their sleep and just about any time they feel like it. But who’s the one that has attained superstar status? Who’s the one getting interviews with Latina magazine?
I rest my case. You may have made some boo-boos in your personal life, Fantasia, but I’m with you on this color thing, sis.