Washington DC – Obama Picks Shuttle Veteran To Be First Black NASA Chief

President Obama yesterday nominated a former Marine aviator and space shuttle astronaut to become the new head of NASA and oversee a broad review of the agency’s ambitions for manned and robotic space exploration.

Retired Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr. will become the first African American to run the space agency if approved by the Senate. (Washington Post)

Raleigh NC – Controversy brewing in Wake County

Wakefield Elementary is just one of the schools that will be in session Monday. Alyssa and Ashley Losurdo are scheduled to be at school with their year-round track schedules.

And their mother, Heather Losurdo, is one of many parents upset classes are not cancelled for the federal holiday. (ABC TV 11)

Rocky Mount NC – City council looks at tax hike

The public on Tuesday will get its first chance to comment about Rocky Mount’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year that includes several possible tax increases.

The city has scheduled a time slot near the beginning of its council meeting for public comment about a budget that proposes increases in water and sewer rates. (Rocky Mount NC)

Raleigh NC – Bill to pause grad projects gains ground

A bill being pushed by N.C. Rep. Angela Bryant to stop a statewide high school graduation project while it is studied moved to the N.C. Senate after passing almost unanimously in the N.C. House.

The bill to remove the N.C. Graduation Project as a requirement for earning a high school diploma prior to July 1, 2011, also directs . . . (Rocky Mount Telegram)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution -Tale of two students with a twist

Joshua Brandon Norris is expected to graduate soon and become a Morehouse Man, with all its prestige. At 22, he’s had a good run during his time at Morehouse College. He drove a Hummer, co-owned a fashion store at Perimeter Mall and owns a stylish $450,000 townhouse.

He also shot another student. (The Atlanta-Journal Constitution)

Mount Vernon Ga. – Voices From a Prom Divided

To say there is nothing wrong with this because it has always been done that way is just ignant as hell. I bet the students do not want it that way but it is driven by (race) which include the old guards in this town. C. Dancy II – Publisher

Students from Montgomery County, Mount Vernon Ga. has a white and a black prom. (New York Times)

Raleigh NC – House Proposal Axes 12000 Educators, Cancels 5 Days of School

Daily Political Briefing: House Proposal "A Nightmare for North Carolina"

More Info

May 20, 2009


                                             May 20, 2009                                          

House Proposal Axes 12000 Educators, Cancels 5 Days of School

The House Education Appropriations Committee is releasing a tentative proposal that is unprecedented in its cuts in recent history.

7,000 teachers cut, 5,000 teacher assistants slashed, 2.5% cut from educator salaries and five instructional days lopped off the end of the calendar.  With a tax revenue system that is based almost exclusively on an unpredictable sales tax, an emaciated manufacturing industry and a bygone agricultural economy, the state appropriation chairs were forced to present an education budget with 20% less revenue from a year ago. 

"Educators, parents, students and communities need to brace for something the state has not done for generations if this proposal becomes real:  eliminate thousands of jobs and cut out five days of school from the 180 day calendar," said NCAE Government Relations Manager Cecil Banks.  "I’ve heard people complain that they don’t understand how government affects their lives.  They’re about to find out." 

Under the House plan proposed this afternoon, school will be eliminated the last week of school:  no teachers, no students, no administrators, no buses and no money allocated to pay for those expenses during that week.  That’s a 2.5% cut for educator pay and that’s if they’re fortunate enough to hang on to an educator job.  

Many will be given pink slips under this plan.  7000 teachers overall and another 5000 teacher assistants in the 3rd grade will be out of work.  The teachers will be the victims of increased class size of two students and the teacher assistants will be eliminated altogether.     

"These 12000 educators are people with families who need this income and they live in communities that need their employment," Banks said.  "They teach children who need them in the classroom as well.  Today is a nightmare for North Carolina." 

The nightmare doesn’t end there according to reliable sources at the General Assembly.  Early childhood programs like More at Four will be slashed by 10%.  The popular Teacher Academy program will lose all of its literacy coaches and absorb a 15% across the board cut.  The Teacher Cadet program is cut by $60,000 (or 15%) and nearly every nonprofit contracting with the state has been eliminated completely. 

NCAE Executive Director Scott Anderson sent out a dire warning to NCAE members.  "The storm is here and we need all hands on deck," he said.  "If North Carolinians want an educated citizenry, then fight with NCAE." 

Save Educator Jobs!
Modernize Tax Structure, Invest in Education

Take Action!

(Visit www.capwiz.com/nea/nc if the link doesn’t work.)   

Job #1 for NCAE:  Save Educator Jobs

NCAE President Sheri Strickland stated today that NCAE will commit every resource to save 12,000 jobs from the chopping block.

NCAE knew it was bad.  The tax revenue stalled at $17 billion and the state’s needs remain at $21 billion.  Now more than ever, citizens need government and the state is dead broke.  

"We can fix this and we can make this state whole again," said NCAE President Sheri Strickland.  "The next six weeks is going to be a fight for the survival of public education and our members.  We can save jobs, we will save jobs and we will lead the way." 

Strickland committed NCAE’s entire organization to saving 12,000 jobs from elimination.  She pointed out that the state’s tax structure ignores many of the new industries that are making huge profits off the paychecks of everyday North Carolinians without paying for roads, education and needed services. 

"We will save these jobs and we will show our budget writers that it can be done with fiscal integrity and fairness," Strickland said.  "We know it’s going to be painful for everyone, including our educators, but to eliminate jobs is compounding an already horrendous situation.  If we’re not already in a depression, we will be." 

Now More than Ever:  Educator Wednesday Every Wednesday

The fight to save jobs continues.  Please take the time to lobby your legislators in Raleigh on Educator Wednesday.  Sign up with brian.lewis@ncae.orgon one or more of the following dates:

  May 27 ~ June 3 ~ June 10 ~ June 17 ~ June 24 ~ July 8 ~ July 15 ~ July 22 ~ July 29   Educator

Wednesday Begins at 9:30 a.m.  NCAE reimburses 35 cents for mileage. 

Collective Bargaining Day at the Legislature on May 26

You don’t have a contract, until you have collective bargaining.  Support your right to collectively bargain for a real contract.  For more information, click here.  If you would like to attend the event, email susan.kane@ncae.org.

Brian Lewis, Lobbyist/Government Relations Specialist

North Carolina Association of Educators
700 South Salisbury Street

  • Raleigh, North Carolina 27601

(919) 832-3000 or (800) 662-7924 extension 256 or (919) 413-2580 mobile

If you no longer wish to receive e-mail from us, please click here.

Raleigh NC – Fetzer plans to sue over e-mail forward

Tom Fetzer, Raleigh’s former mayor, plans to sue a Wilmington radio host for libel for forwarding an e-mail that alleges he is gay.

A longtime Republican political consultant, Fetzer is running for head of the state party.

"The letter is a lie, written by a lying coward. I can’t sue the lying coward, but . . . (News & Observer)

TV One – Watch Tavis Smiley’s directorial debut, "STAND"!

This Sunday 5/24 on TV One @ 9PM ET/PT, 8PM CT
As America approached the historic presidential election,
the national dialogue and debate intensified about race
relations, politics and the legacy of the civil rights movement.

Tavis Smiley dissects this national discourse with ten Black
male friends over several days during a special road trip
through Memphis and Nashville.  STAND reveals the journey of a unique group of scholars, musicians, comedians and social critics as they gather for a rare reflection of brotherhood while confronting their own roles and responsibilities as pioneers of social progress.

Starring: Dr. Cornel West, BeBe Winans, Dick Gregory,
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and singer Isaac Hayes last on screen appearance.

Website: www.StandTheMovie.com

Pinetops NC – SouthWest Edgecombe Hall of Fame Inductees/Athletic Banquet

Former NFL Pro Bowler Yancey Thigpen formerly of Conetoe NC and James “Teddy” Williams a dedicated Cougar supporter were inducted in the SWE Hall of Fame during the 2009 Athletic Banquet.



Yancey Thigpen and Tim Pittman Principal

See related:

View Still Photos

NFL star, samaritan in SWE HOF

Raleigh NC – Saint Augustine’s School Alumna Honored with U.S. Postal Stamp



May 20, 2009

For more information, please call:

Audrey Galloway

Director of Development



Alumna Honored with National Postal Stamp

RALEIGH—Saint Augustine’s College will celebrate famed alumna and former teacher, Dr. Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, in whose honor a United States postal stamp will be released, with a special dedication event on the campus on June 18 at 11:30 a.m. Dr. Cooper, born into slavery, was a quiet feminist, civil rights activist and scholar who—after Emancipation— tutored at Saint Augustine’s College Normal School at the early age of eight. Her life of 105 years was filled with accomplishment, to include her graduation from Saint Augustine’s Normal School and Collegiate Institute, Oberlin College, and the completion of her doctoral studies and dissertation at Gilde Internationale in Paris, then at Columbia University. At the age of 66, she was only the fourth known African-American woman to earn the doctorate degree and among the first women to do so in France. She worked her way through school, and raised two foster children while in her forties. She then adopted her half brother’s five orphaned grandchildren (ages six months to twelve years) when she was in her late fifties. She also wrote and presented a paper entitled, “The Negro Problem in America” in London at the first Pan-African Conference.

Betsy Shaw, a 31-year volunteer tour guide with the Raleigh cemetery, plans to attend the event out of sheer admiration for Dr. Cooper.

“I knew that she was very distinguished and courageous. She was an early forerunner for all of us…during a time when we women didn’t do much. I just think it took so much courage,” said Shaw, who was instrumental in raising the money for a headstone plaque for Dr. Cooper’s unmarked grave. Shaw’s involvement in this endeavor is included in a Smithsonian publication that accompanied an exhibit at the National Museum of American History and the Anacostia Community Museum about Dr. Cooper.

So courageous was this Saint Augustine’s school alumnus that she took on the school board of Washington, D.C., when they decided to dilute the curriculum for African-American children based on the thought that they could not learn as easily as their White counterparts. Dr. Cooper asserted that this was unjust and unlawful: she too, not just her White colleagues, was preparing her students for Yale and Harvard. As a result of the dispute, she was dismissed as principal, but she landed on her feet and became chair of languages at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, then returned to M Street where she had served as principal and as a Latin teacher. During her latter years, she also served as president of a university which specialized in adult education and evening classes.

Cooper not only paid for her husband’s headstone, but purchased and dedicated one of the stained glass windows in the College’s Historic Chapel in honor of her husband, George A. C. Cooper, also an alumnus. She is known for her book, A Voice From the South, and her famous quote: "The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class – it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity.” The quote is included on every U.S. passport.


Raleigh NC – Press conference to call on the North Carolina General Assembly to pass the NC Racial Justice Act without an amendment to restart executions.

When: Thursday, May 21, 2009
Where: In front of the General Assembly, 16 W. Jones Street, Raleigh, NC
What:  The NC NAACP, The Historic Thousands on Jones Street Coalition (HKonJ) in conjunction with the North Carolina Coalition for a Moratorium (NCCM) will be holding a press conference to call on the North Carolina General Assembly to pass the NC Racial Justice Act without an amendment to restart executions.  
The Racial Justice Act would allow a defendant facing the death penalty to challenge his conviction or death sentence if he can show that it was based on inappropriate considerations of race. North Carolina courts are currently sorting out legal questions surrounding the resumption of executions.  An amendment to restart executions attached to a bill to reduce the risk of racial discrimination is highly inappropriate.

Who:  Historic Thousands on Jones Street Coalition (HKonJ) 
         North Carolina Coalition for a Moratorium (NCCM)
For further information contact:
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President, NC National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, (919) 682-4700,
Jeremy Collins, Campaign Coordinator, North Carolina Coalition for a Moratorium, (919) 491-2917,
Charmaine Fuller, Executive Director, Carolina Justice Policy Center, (919) 943-5953,

Philadelphia – Williams earns Democratic nomination for Philadelphia DA, would be city’s 1st black DA

Williams wins DA race, looks ahead to November

In a decisive victory that his supporters heralded as "historic," R. Seth Williams won the Democratic primary for Philadelphia District Attorney last night taking more than 41 percent of the votes in five-man field.

"I’ve been running and walking for district attorney for about five years," Williams said in his victory speech to joyous supporters at a West Philadelphia function hall. "My feet are tired, but my soul, my soul is rested, because together, we will work to make the system better." (Philadelphia Daily News)

Primary Endorsements

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania’s primary election will mark the first step toward choosing a district attorney, city controller, and 11 judges for Philadelphia, along with judges on three suburban benches and three statewide appeals courts.

Given the city’s decidedly Democratic tilt, winners in that party’s primary will become favorites to win in the fall, while the county and statewide contests will set up the Nov. 3 judicial face-offs. (Philadelphia Enquirer)

Seth Williams hopes to improve on his 05’ D.A. effort

IN A CANDID moment in Mount Airy several weeks ago, Seth Williams flashed some of the self-confidence that has driven his campaign for district attorney for the last six years.

"Having been there [in the D.A.’s office] for 10 1/2 years, I knew, or I thought, that I could do a better job than the boss," Williams told 40 people at the Lutheran Seminary, on Germantown Avenue. (Philadelphia Daily News)

Speaking Truth to Power – Band (Or Ban) Aid?

The higher they go in America’s institutions African Americans are bound to buy into the system.  Though these Blacks know how establish practices have encumbered us here, they’ve bought into ‘the White Man’s Burden” mindset and paternalistic practices toward Africans.

Blacks in Congress continue treating Africa and Africans as charity cases and are willing partners in the exploitation of their resources.  Whites’ exploitation of Africa stems from their presumed responsibility to govern and impart their culture to uncouth nonwhites.  The colonial mentality is now manifesting itself through benign meddling by Blacks following White Folks’ lead in foreign aid and intervention practices toward Africans.

In the latest in a series of “America knows best for Africa” events, three African American Members of Congress allowed themselves to be arrested in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington “urging world leaders to take a stand against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s decision to expel 13 aid agencies from Darfur”.  Western-based humanitarian leaders joined forces with five U.S. lawmakers, including Black Representatives Donna Edwards of Maryland, Keith Ellison of Minnesota and John Lewis of Georgia to say the Sudanese government’s decision to expel the agencies will leave “1.1 million civilians without food aid, 1.5 million without health care and more than 1 million without potable water.  Ellison calls it “wrong to deny aid to the most vulnerable people on our planet."

Whether or not aid for people in Darfur is being denied differs as to perspective.  When al-Bashir threw the Western aid agencies out, he said “Sudanese would take care of the distribution”.  But, Ellison, et al, view al-Bashir as another hapless African leader needing to be removed from office and Sudanese operations as incapable, lacking in agency, and in permanent need of external direction.

The three Black Congressional Crusaders went spastic because al-Bashir banned the aid groups, willingly        taking the word of the aid agents known to be antagonistic to al-Bashir.  But Africans, and many other nonwhites, could fathom that some among the foreign aid groups “aided” the International Criminal Court (ICC) in their indictment of al-Bashir for “war crimes”.  Why is it beyond Western reason that aid agencies’ agents tattled on Bashir’s government; or that Sudanese can handle relief efforts there?  Al-Bashir says the 13 agencies he expelled “used the Darfur conflict to embezzle money from Sudan”.   He says that the humanitarian groups “claim to spend billions of dollars in Darfur”, but his government calculates “they spend less than $100 million a year”.  Al-Bashir says his government is ready to “match that amount”, and ordered Sudanese aid groups to take over all relief distribution.  Westerners call him “defiant” in saying: "If they want to bring relief, let them drop it at airports or seaports. Let our organizations deal with our citizens."

Who wrote rules that only Westerners can provide humanitarian aid in Africa?  There is a $1.05 billion aid operation planned for Darfur in 2009 and other countries in the region say they will assist in Darfur.  Yet Ellison & Crew are wary of giving money to Sudanese, or regional agencies, without the involvement of Westerners.  Al-Bashir’s alleged Great Expulsion of the Humanitarians must be put into perspective: 85 nongovernmental organizations are still working in Darfur and less than 200 aid workers have left.

Surely “do-gooders” Ellison, Edwards, Lewis, et al, need to slow their roll and be less paternalist and more realistic.  At least the Blacks should pay attention to increasing numbers of nonwhites’ call for “an end” to current aid practices.  Be it Myanmar or Darfur, the sign says: “No (Western) Help Wanted”.  “Trade not aid” is what Africans seek, but the three Congressional “crusaders for conscious” are caught up in a vicious cycle that helped transform the people who possess two-thirds of the world’s mineral resources into the two-thirds that are the world’s poorest.  Instead of paternalistic meddling and demonstrations for 13 aid agencies and 200 people to be returned to Darfur, isn’t it time Black legislators abandon soapbox rhetoric on Africa and do some good toward helping break the bonds, and bounds, of African dependency and Western dominance?

(William Reed – www.BlackPressInternational.com)