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April 2 – April 15, 2015

 
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Should You Take Social Security
at 62?

deniseWhen it comes to Social Security, it can be tempting to take the money and run as soon as you're eligible—typically at age 62. After all, you've likely been paying into the system for much of your working life, and you're ready to receive your benefits. Plus, guaranteed monthly income is nice to have.

But it can be a costly move. If you start taking Social Security at 62, rather than waiting until your full retirement age (FRA), you will receive reduced benefits. FRA ranges from 65 to 67, depending on the year in which you were born. (See your full retirement age.) And your annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is based on your benefit. So if you begin Social Security at 62, and start with reduced benefits, your COLA will be lower too.

Click Here to Read More from Fidelity


Photo: 57-year-old Denise is a cancer survivor, but like most Americans, she has a decision to make on when to start collecting social security. Photo courtesy of Mireille Liong of Going Natural.


Springdale, MD Connects to Juffreh, The Gambia

tina thompson in gambia\

The United States-based Global Mission Society on Friday, March 27 handed over a truckload of goods to the Glory Baptist Church at Old Jeshwang and to Juffureh village in The Gambia. Justina Thompson initiated the project for the Society three years ago while on a visit to The Gambia.

Thompson, CEO of the Society that is based in Springdale, Maryland, said, “We are only three years old; we are a grassroots organization. I decided to establish it to help Juffureh village preserve the historical birthplace of Kunta Kinteh.”  Thompson is a 7th generation African-American-Gambian of the Mandinka ethnic/linguistic group and is related of Kinteh. The famous Juffureh village remains an important symbol of the transatlantic slave trade that was brought to the world's attention by the late Alex Haley, author of Roots.

The goods for both the church and village included computers, novels, Bibles, and other books,  toys, clothes, shoes, medical supplies, TV sets, video home systems, radio sets, dishes, and bikes.

Rev. Felix Banson, Assistant Pastor at Glory Baptist Church, said the donation comes at the right time and will go a long way with supporting the church’s outreach programmes. “It is not just to tell people about the Gospel, we also go out to help people who are in need, and with this donation we are going to do more. It will help us,” he said. “So that is our heartbeat, and I also believe that is what God’s heartbeat is - - that somebody will be saved and somebody will receive the help needed,” he continued.

tina thompson and baba galleh

Part of the donations will stay at Glory Baptist, near the capitol city of Banjul, and the other portion will travel up-country to Thompson’s ancestral homeland, Juffureh. “One of my cousins in Juffureh had a stroke and died, and it is all because of the lack of medical attention that they have in the village. So, we also need doctors and nurses that will come to help them,” Thompson added, fighting back tears.


Photos: Top:Tina Thompson and goods at Glory Baptist Church, Old Jeshwang. Bottom: Thompson (left) with POH's Amidou Baba Galleh Jallow (center).


Netanyahu Stirs Racism at Forum

u of maryland jewish studies

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu’s party won enough seats to form with other like-minded parties a majority and therefore his ability to continue ruling the country.  However, he was only able to do so after an election-eve disavowal of a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians and the employment of overtly racist tactics. 

According to Time magazine, the scare tactics included a video sent early on election day telling supporters to rush out and vote because Arabs were supposedly voting in high numbers.  “Nasty,” is how Brigadier General Sholomo Brom, Visiting Fellow, National Security and International Policy, Center for American Progress, characterized Netanyahu’s tactics at a forum sponsored by the University of Maryland’s Institute of Israel Studies. “Racist themes,” added the other panelist, Yoram Peri, Director of the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies.

Peri added that Arabs now control about 11 percent of the seats in the Knesset, legislative branch of the Israeli government, and their numbers rose from 11 to 13 seats.   About 20% of Israeli’s citizens are Arab.  (Virginia is also about 2o percent Black.) 

South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu has compared Israel's treatment of the Palestinians to the apartheid regime that discriminated against Blacks in his native South Africa.

When asked by Port of Harlem to comment on Tutu’s assessment, Borom said not in Israel that is within the 1967 border, but he could not defend what is happening in the occupied West Bank.  He also added that Netanyahu’s statement only “strengthen this notion” that Israel is a racist nation. 

Peri offered an example of how a settler community contemplated having separate bus systems from the Arabs simply out of fear.  It was reported that some Israelis even believe that President Barack Hussein Obama favors the Arabs become he has an Islamic middle name.

Though Netanyahu has been flip-flopping on the two-state solution, it has been central to U.S. efforts to re-launch peace talks.  In addition, his election strategy came about two weeks after he accepted Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to speak before Congress without consulting President Obama.

In an editorial, Gambia’s Foroyaa newspaper saw the movements this way:  “It is Hamas which they used to accuse of denying the existence of Israel. Now it is Netanyahu who is denying the existence of a Palestinian people with a right to self-determination and Independence.”

Photo: L to R, Brigadier General Sholomo Brom and Yoram Peri at a forum sponsored by the University of Maryland’s Institute of Israel Studies.

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End of the Year Financial Check

credit report 

You may obtain free copies of your credit report from each of the three nationwide credit agencies by going to Annual Credit Report or  calling 877-322-8228. Under federal law, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  The reports do not include credit scores.  

Reviewing your report can help you detect identity theft. Regular checks also ensure that the information about you stays accurate. Credit reports may affect your mortgage rates, credit card approvals, apartment requests, or even your job application.


Perfume Chick Celebration April 4

 perfume chick

To celebrate The Perfume Chick Galleria’s 4th anniversary and to honor the late co-owner LaShawn Lindsey’s birthday, the store will offer “pin-the-wheel” discounts and light refreshments Saturday, April 4 from 11:30a - 5p.  “It would have been her 44th birthday,” said her widower Antonio Lindsey. 

Lashawn transitioned unexpectedly and suddenly January 25, 2015. The store in Suitland, Maryland continues to be open Wednesday through Saturday, added Antonio, and managed by one of their children, Antoinia Lindsey, “The Perfume Chick, Jr.”

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studio theater

Yours Naturally Ends April 25

 naturally yours at dc library

The Martin Luther King Library is hosting the exhibit “Natural Hair,” March 25 – April 25.  It will also hold a panel discussion, "The Politics of Natural Hair" Saturday, April 4, 2p-4p with Pamela Ferrell of Cornrows & Co, Jonelle Henry of Districtly Speaking,  Shanti Walker of Natural Kinks, Stephanie Suthers,  and others.

naturally yours kennedra tucker


National Black Memorabilia Show

muhammed ali 

 “Civil Rights memorabilia may provoke thoughts of the struggles and sacrifices that were made to achieve equality and fair treatment as human beings as portrayed in the 2015 movie “Selma,”” explained Dr. Lindsey B. Johnson of Johnson Shows, producer of the 31st annual National Black Memorabilia, Fine Art & Crafts Show.

The Show happens Saturday and Sunday, April 11 & 12 to educate the public on African American history and culture. The event is at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut Street, Gaithersburg, Maryland. Admission is only $7 and students are admitted free. Show hours are 10am to 7pm Saturday and 10am to 5pm Sunday.

Beside history buffs and black memorabilia collectors, the event is an opportunity for the whole family to become better informed on African American history and culture.  Also, sculpturer Woodrow Nash will hold a chip and ding sale  and another  will sell traditional soul food. To reach the Fairgrounds, take I-270 exit 11 and follow the signs. For additional information call (301) 649-1915.

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woodrow nash black memorabilia show

Woodrow Nash at Black Memorabilia Show

Washington, DC
To Go Boldly: The History of Black Exploration
CR Gibbs
Greenbelt Library
Tue, Apr 7, 7p

Discussion: The Politics of Natural Hair
Martin Luther King Library
9th and G Street, NW
Saturday, April 4, 2p-4p, Free

Dissonance Dance Theatre
Black To Silver: Sons of Baldwin
Jack Guidone Theater
5207 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Sat, Apr 11 – Sun, Apr 12,  $

National Black Memorabilia Show
Montgomery County Fairgrounds
Gaithersburg, MD
Sat, Apr 11 - Sun, Apr 12
Sat (10a to 7p) - Sun (10a to 5p)
$7 and students are admitted free.

Healing Harmony
Inclusive Love Concert
Convent Baptist Church
3845 South Capitol St, SE
Sat, April 11, 2p-4p, donations

Flower Power in Historic Anacostia
1200 Block of Good Hope Road
Sun, Apr 12, 12-4p, free

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper:
Harriet Tubman's Homegirl
Lavonda Broadnax
Greenbelt Library
Tue, Apr 14, 7p

Baltimore
Dance Theatre of Harlem: Forty Years of Firsts
Reginald F. Lewis Museum
830 E. Pratt St.
Wed, April 18 – Sun, Aug 30, $

Chicago/Gary
Art From Excess exhibit
Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts
540 S. Lake St
Gary
through Apr 5, free

Careers in the Environmental Field
at Green Drinks Gary
18th Street Brewery
5725 Miller Ave
Tue, Apr7, 6p, free

New York
Melvin Van Peebles and Walter Mosley in Conversation
New York University
Institute of African American Affairs
Global Center NYU Grand Hall, 5th Floor
238 Thompson Street btw 3rd and Washington Square
Mon, Apr 6, 6:30p, free

USA
National Sibling Day
Fri, Apr 10

 
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