Black History Month

This month citizens of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom will recognize the amazing contributions of people in the history of the African diaspora. Black History Month has its beginnings in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week”. [1] Woodson created the holiday with the hope that it eventually would be eliminated when black history became fundamental to American history.[2]

The influences of Black people upon America’s history have been critical to its establishment. I appreciate Tom Joyner’s efforts to recognize Black History throughout the year, during his segment titled, Little Known Black History Facts. There are countless names of Black people who have made significant and magnificent contributions to our country, and yet are unsung.

I have a special appreciation for the contributions of Actor, Educator, Author and Playwright Carl Mahon. Mahon was the leading actor in Director and Producer Oscar Micheaux’s early films. These films include: The Exile, Veiled Aristocrats, Ten Minutes to Live, and The Girl From Chicago. “Mahon’s characters were always involved in unfortunate incidents usually regarding someone else. He would intervene to help and in his cool, calm, pleasant, intelligent demeanor always made for a happy ending. Mahon really introduced a new way of acting and a new image of a Black man on screen that Hollywood wouldn’t dare develop.” [3] As an educator, Mahon worked for the New York Board of Education, taught English and Math, and spoke three languages. As an Author and playwright, he wrote From Dusk to Dawn: Verses in Varying Moods in 1978 and several plays. Mahon was born on February 2, 1906 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and passed away on September 12, 1992 in Merrillville, Indiana.

Please join me, Rustin Mahon Lewis – the grandson of Carl Mahon, as I celebrate the efforts, struggles, and accomplishments of Black forerunners who have made it possible for us to achieve.

Carl Mahon1.

2. “Freeman calls Black History Month ‘ridiculous'”. MSNBC. 15 December 2005. Retrieved 14 February 2012.




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guiltyGUILTY!  Within the last year, former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, Trenton’s Tony F. Mack and Illinois Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., have publicly fallen from grace.  Nagin, Mack and Jackson recentlymade national news for being convicted of crimes that range from bribery to larceny.  These once renowned, brilliant and emerging political stars have ended what could have been a meaningful life-long political career.  Instead they chose greed, glitter and the pursuit of their own self-interests. 

After the verdict was read, photos taken outside of the courthouses showed men who regretted their choices, and even more so regretted that for them justice was served. No matter how deplorable the deed, one can only assume that all three men had good intentions at the beginning of their political journeys, and began to establish policies in the interest of the greater good of OTHERS!

For some, there is a tendency to group all Black elected officials. The fact of the matter is that the corrupt- elected officials garnish a lot of national media, while the honest and fully capable officials do their jobs and go unsung.  And so, we recognize the commitment and unwavering faithfulness of our Black elected public servants. 

***The following cities have minority populations over 50%.


East Orange, NJ  

Mayor Robert Bowser



Gary, IN Karen Freeman-Wilson



Irvington, NJ  Wayne Smith



Detroit, MI   Dave Bing



Jackson, MS  Frank Melton



Miami Gardens, FL  Shirley Gibson



Pine Bluff, AR  Carl Redus



Birmingham, AL   William A. Bell, Sr.



Albany, GA   Willie Adams, Jr.



Southfield, MI  Brenda Lawrence



Monroe, LA  James Mayo



Baltimore, MD  Stephanie Rawlings-Blake



Mt. Vernon, NY  Clinton Young



Memphis, TN  A C Wharton, Jr.



Wilmington, DE   James M. Baker



Savannah, GA  Otis S. Johnson



Shreveport, LA   Cedric B. Glover



Baton Rouge, LA Melvin “Kip” Holden



Atlanta, GA   Kasim Reed



Cleveland, OH  Frank Jackson



Portsmouth, VA  Kenneth Irvin Wright



Newark, NJ   Luis Quintana


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National Mentoring Month

We celebrated the 2nd Inauguration of President Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Day. This month we also observed National Mentoring Month. President Obama recognized January as National Mentoring Month 2013.  In his presidential proclamation, Obama noted, “Our American family is bound together by caring individuals who make it their mission to serve others. During National Mentoring Month, we pay special tribute to the men and women who enrich the lives of our young people and fortify the unbreakable bonds between one generation and the next.”[i]

Mentoring is a proven loboy-and-man-woodworkingw-cost strategy that improves one’s sense of self-esteem, socialization and academic skills.   Mentoring is also attributed to reducing juvenile delinquency.  Youth who are mentored at least one hour a week throughout the school year experience a significant advantage.  Yet, despite the many advantages of mentoring, our youth are still being absorbed into the criminal justice system at an alarming rate. “On any given day, nearly 23 percent of all young Black men ages 16 to 24 who have dropped out of high school are in jail, prison, or a juvenile justice institution in America. Dropouts become incarcerated at a shocking rate: 23 of every 100 young Black male dropouts were in jail on any given day in 2006-07 compared to only 6 to 7 of every 100 Asian, Hispanic or White dropouts. While young Black men are disproportionately affected, the report found that this crisis cuts across racial and ethnic lines. Male dropouts of all races were 47 times more likely to be incarcerated than their peers of a similar age who had graduated from a four-year college or university.”[ii]

Mentoring programs have become a commonly accepted intervention that is valuable in promoting a youth’s wellbeing and behavior. This underpinning highlights the importance of creating opportunities where youth can have a mentoring experience that balances their social growth and encourages academic success.  Your legacy will not be your job performance records, the fact that you paid off your mortgage, nor that you bought a car. It will be the life that you saved!  Become a Mentor today!

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Non-Profit News You Can Use

Historically, nonprofit groups haven’t invested in marketing and communicating the effectiveness of their efforts in the communities they serve. By virtue of the sector, nonprofit employees and their leadership do great and important work on behalf of those in need, but it’s a ???????? ?????? labor of online pokie machine online pokies casino internet casino love! A labor of love that is live online casino uk often unrecognized and unsung. In recent decades, larger nonprofits have done a better job of communicating their special qualities, however due to limited funding marketing and communication remains lower on the priority list.

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Non-Profit News You Can Use

Historically, nonprofit groups haven’t invested in marketing and communicating the effectiveness of their efforts in the communities they serve. By virtue of the sector, nonprofit employees and their leadership do great and important work on automaty online behalf of those in need, but it’s a labor of love! A labor of love that is often unrecognized and unsung. In recent decades, larger nonprofits have done a better job of communicating their special qualities, however due to limited funding marketing and communication remains lower on the priority list.

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Racial Profiling: It Could Have Been Me!

President Obama said, “There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are probably very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens [sic] to me — at least before I was a senator.”

The critics of racial profiling declare that the police frequently detain motorists and pedestrians, because they are black or of another minority group. They argue that this practice is illegal and it doesn’t work. In contrast, supporters argue that profiling helps identify criminals and proactively thwarts crime.

Racial profilingprofiliepic2 has impacted black people for centuries. Even before the Civil War, black people who were not enslaved were detained based on their skin color and forced by slave patrols to produce freedom papers to verify their freedom. Nowadays, many black and Hispanic people are disproportionately and randomly pre-judged, stopped, questioned, searched and humiliated by the police, because of their race and ethnicity. After 9/11, Arabs and Muslims in America began experiencing increased levels of racial profiliepic2profiling when travelling through ports and airports. This was solely because the perpetrators of 9/11 were of Arab descent.  Many were followed and their luggage was unjustly targeted, while facing scrutiny under the pretext of national security.

America’s minority families should not have to forewarn their sons about the reality that their dress and behavior, however innocuous, can prompt potentially fatal interactions with armed citizens or law enforcement officials. Americans should not be asked to modify their wardrobe, head-wear, facial hair or change their language and diction to prove that they are Americans. This is a problem that has reemerged after the tragic death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin.

Sadly, injustices will stretch far beyond a single jury decision or even several court cases. And so, I reflect upon this single truth… I don’t want to be judged, convicted and sentenced solely based upon how I look, where I live, who my parents are, how I walk or what I wear. Do you?


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State’s Rights

states-rightsCommonwealths and territories are not States, and therefore do not have equal rights under the law. Residents of the District of Columbia (D.C.) lack full democratic representation in the political process. D.C.’s representation in Congress is limited to a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives and a shadow Senator.

In spite of the fact that D.C. is home to nearly 600,000 people and 120 neighborhoods, the lack of federal voting representation limits their ability to influence policies that shape their daily lives.

Unlike residents of U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico or Guam, which also have non-voting delegates, citizens of the District of Columbia are subject to all U.S. federal taxes. This means they undergo taxation without representation. Ironically, it was the claim of “taxation without representation” that our founding fathers used a basis for declaring independence from England over 200 years ago. The pursuit of independence from England was energized by the colonists who did not have any representation in the English Parliament and had no say in what went on with their taxes. This practice gave rise to the term “Taxation without Representation”. And so, while we commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the reality is that not every U.S. resident in the Union has fair and equal representation under the law.

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Thanksgiving Grinch

imagesSanta and the Elves will begin working on the wooden toy soldiers a lot earlier this year. As a child we heard stories about the Grinch who stole Christmas, but now he has stolen Thanksgiving.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which has traditionally represented the start of the holiday shopping period, will not in 2013.  Over the past decade, retailers have managed to hasten our lives as we enter a store in January to see Valentine’s cards on the shelves, Easter bunnies in February, and scary figurines in August and holiday wreathes in October. The sales strategy of getting the products on the shelves early to make more money is understandable, only, because companies can’t change the dates of the holidays.

This year, Kmart has led the retailer pack of wolves to extend the holiday season, if only by a few hours. Kmart will open its doors on Thanksgiving Day at 6am, to allow its patrons to begin holiday shopping. The disgrace is that unlike stocking the store shelves a little prematurely, national retailer chains are asking minimum wage employers to leave their families and dinner tables. Unfortunately, those who are paid the least are again asked to sacrifice the most. Not to mention that by opening at 6am, many employees will not be able to spend time with their families the night before Thanksgiving.

Fortunately for me, I don’t have to work on Thanksgiving Day. So by virtue of the day, I should just be thankful that I can spend time with my loved ones or just sit quietly at home and…well… be thankful. However, this Thanksgiving we all have to do a little more than just to be thankful about our fortunes. Our purchasing power is the greatest voice that we share. So I plan to stay at home with my family, and celebrate this day of giving thanks for the blessing of the preceding year. I intend for this simply silent protest to send a message that Thanksgiving is a time for being reflective and thankful, not shopping. “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” are only a day away!

Read more:

Retailers open on Thanksgiving Day:

Thanksgiving Day:

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The 2013 Presidential Inauguration & The Legacy of Dr. King

As the country celebrates the 2013 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama and the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am overcome with excitement. Today embodies the fundamental work of the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. President Obama said, “Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise, our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character.”

Dr. King’s life epitomized taking personal responsibility, and servant and community leadership.  He said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can casino francais bonus serve. You don”t casino holland have to have a college degree to serve. You don”t have to make your subject and verb maquinas de slots agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”  The significance of the nonprofit sector and its ability to provide meaningful programs that address inequality in housing, education, health and wellness, and childcare for the less fortunate is to be commended and celebrated on this national Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day of service. The well-being of our fellow American brothers and sisters is a collective responsibility. Today we should mark our calendars and ask ourselves 11 months from today, what have I done to aid my less fortunate fellow American citizens?king picture with blog

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University of Missouri: Who are these students?

studentsLet us not be imprudent, the resignation of the University of Missouri’s President Tim Wolfe didn’t come about because the University suddenly became culturally sensitive, nor because they were concerned about the well-being of a black student who began a starvation protest, nor because the students demanded to be treated with a sense of humanity. The swift, or relatively swift change, came about because 30 of 58 African American students unified, and agreed not to suit up for the Brigham Young University (BYU) game until the President was ousted. The football team leveraged the fact that many Division 1 school’s academic programs are funded by the athletic program. The revenue of NCAA football teams rivals that of pro sports. Clearly the President’s resignation was a business decision.

So here is the math….(now former) President Tim Wolfe makes $459,000 a year and Division 1 school- University of Missouri would have to forfeit $1 million just for missing the game against BYU.

The math is easy, yet the social conditions are more complicated. Racial tensions had been brewing on campus for months. As reported by the New York Times (November 2015), “a swastika appeared overnight, drawn with human feces on college dorm’s brand new white wall” and in 2010, “two white students scattered white cotton balls in front of a Black Culture Center during Black History Month were allowed to plead guilty to littering”. These examples only highlight some of their experiences on campus and demonstrate a culture of institutional racism. The resignation of the President is a good first step, but there are others in the cabinet that should tender their resignation as well. Beyond the disgraceful management of the University, the prevalent questions that no one seems to be asking is who are these students that he/she believes that it is appropriate to publish swastika’s and scatter cotton balls? Are these the young scholars whom we are preparing to lead our businesses and government agencies, run for elected office and contribute to think tanks? To add insult to injury, the University’s Administration expects parents and students to pay a tuition of over 25K to be disrespected.

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