port of harlem magazine

December 1 - December 14, 2011


ivan brown realty

Governor O’Malley and the Lifers Parole Bill

tyrone colbertMaryland Governor Martin O’Malley has kept his promise and allowed the Inmates - Life Improvement - Parole Approval bill (House Bill 302) to pass without his signature. So, the bill became law Saturday, October 1, 2011. The bill has ignited optimism and skepticism.

"We have been waiting and praying every step of the way since the bill was first in the House, then in the Senate, and at the governor’s desk," wrote my girlfriend Ivy Alston. (We met after she read my articles in Port of Harlem. Read our full story in the Nov 2009 to Apr 2010 issue of Port of Harlem.)

Advocates have been pushing for the bill, known to many as the lifer bill, since the early 1970s. In 1993, following an incident involving a work release prisoner who committed murder/suicide, 134 lifers where summarily removed from prerelease and work release programs and placed back in maximum security. In September 1995, then Governor Glendening stood outside the Maryland House of Corrections and made his infamous “Life Means Life” speech. In the declaration, he pledged to reject any parole recommendation for anyone serving a life term.

For lifers, like myself, and our supporters, this was a brazen statement. The statement helped launch a concerted campaign by inmates, our families, concerned citizens and the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative to push the bill through the Maryland legislature. In early 2011, the House bill roughly passed 74-66, but the bill easily passed the Senate.

Full Story

Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

New Ship Named for Medgar Evers!

The United States Navy selected NAACP civil and voting rights icon Medgar Evers as the namesake of their newest ship. Christened in San Diego, California on November 12 by his widow Myrlie Evers-Williams, the USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13) will serve as a supply ship for the Navy starting in the first quarter of 2012.

Evers, an Army veteran, was born and raised in Mississippi, where, after completing his military service in 1946, he returned to earn his degree from Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Alcorn State University). After graduation, Evers began working on behalf of the NAACP in the fight to end racial segregation. In 1954, Evers became the first NAACP state field secretary in Mississippi.

As NAACP field secretary, Evers organized boycotts and demonstrations to bring attention to the pervasive discrimination and urge an end to racial injustice. He also led the investigation into the murder of African-American Emmitt Till, who, at the age of 14, was killed for talking to a White woman.

After returning from an NAACP meeting on June 12, 1963, a member of the White Citizens' Council assassinated Evers outside his home. The naming of the ship follows Evers’ name being part of the airport’s name in Jackson, MS, the state capitol.

Us Helping Us Honors Greg Millett and Justine Love

greg millettUs Helping Us will honor Greg Millett and Justine Love at its annual fundraiser Saturday, December 3 at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Millett will receive the Founders Award for outstanding leadership. He is a Senior Behavioral Scientist in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He was detailed in the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, where he served as a Senior Policy Adviser and was one of the principal authors of the President's National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

justine loveLove will receive the Thurlow Tibbs Award for outstanding community service. She is the Director of Community and Public Affairs for CBS Radio Washington and President of Just Ask Justine Media Relations. A known health advocate and educator in the community, she has worked with countless organizations to bring awareness about being healthy and whole, focusing particularly on women of color and youth.

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Election 2012

Obama Basketball Classic
The "First Ever Obama Classic" is slated for a yet-to-be-announced venue in Washington on Monday, December 12. The "Obama Classic" will feature NBA players past and present, with money from tickets going toward Obama's reelection campaign.

Some of the NBA's biggest names have already signed on, including Boston Celtics' guard Ray Allen, New York Knicks' forward Carmelo Anthony and Miami Heat’s forward Chris Bosh.
Other players include Patrick Ewing, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard, and two female players: Cheryl Miller and Tina Thompson.

The campaign is making a limited number of $100 tickets available to the Obama Classic for "Gen44" donors, a classification for Obama's younger supporters. General admission tickets are $200, premium seats are $500, and court side tickets will set fans back $5,000.



Rush Limbaugh Calls The Obamas "Uppity"


obamas shop for books

President Barack Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia shop at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 (above). (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Charita Powell of Amazulu
and Chaya Designs

charita powellCharita Powell has been in business for 27 years, but has been designing jewelry and home lighting décor for 20 years. The brothers on the street in the 70s and 80s vending handmade jewelry were Powell’s initial inspiration to go into business and create jewelry. Later, the Green Movement and her exposure to other cultures through her travels became another source of inspiration. For about two months of every year, Powell travels to the forests of Indonesia to forage for raw materials that she uses in her lighting fixture designs, many consisting of coconut shells, teak and bamboo. The pieces are handmade by a family business based in Indonesia and she will have them for sale at Creative Content Artisans Style Group Holiday Shopping at the Blank Space Gallery.


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amar group

Art by Nicole

  art by nicole summers
Nicole Summers is a passionate young artist who is a wife and mother of two young children. With the challenges of raising a family and gaining more exposure in the art world, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts graduate is attempting to gain more balance in her life. Ironically, interesting, emotional music and emotional states inspire her. “My collection consists mostly of musicians,” says Summers, who will sell her work at the Creative Content Artisans Style Group Holiday Shopping at the Blank Space Gallery. Her current favorite images are of musician Lauren Hill and another of Marvin Gaye. Summers is also a commercial artist, designing logos and cards.

Moving Away from Your Bank to Save Money?

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Things to Do

Kuumba Shopping Bazaar
Northwood Appold Center
4417 Loch Raven Blvd.
Baltimore, MD
Sat. Dec 3
10a- 4p (rain or shine), free

Annual Christmas Bazaar
Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ
4704 Thirteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC
Sat, Dec 3, 9a-4p
Sun, Dec 4, 9:30a - 11a & 12:30p-3p

A Sense of Place Photography Exhibit
The Exposure Group
Center for Green Urbanism
3938 Benning Road, NE
Washington, D.C.
through Sat, Dec 3
Tue-Fri 10a-5p, Sat 11a-4p, free

Oleta Adams
with Metropolitan Community Church Choir
Lincoln Theatre
1215 U St NW
Washington, D.C.
Sat, Dec 3, 7p, $22-$32

World AIDS Day Gospel Music Concert
Featuring Julia McGirt Nixon

& The Mc Girt Singers with David Yivisaker
At Faith Temple
1313 New York Ave NW
Sun, Dec 4, 4:30p, $15

Occupy the U.S. Capitol
Tue, Dec 6

Private Christmas Sale
6506 Luzon Ave NW
Washington, D.C.
Sat, Dec 10, noon-7p, free

Obama Classic Basketball Game
Monday, Dec 12, 4p, $

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree
Metro DC
Linden Hill Christmas Tree Farm
4102 Old Crain Highway
Upper Marlboro, MD
Fri-Sun 8:30a-4:30p

Other Areas in the United States

and Selected Countries

BZB Gift Show
Shiloh Baptist Church
9th and P, NW
Washington, D.C.
Sat, Dec 3, 10, 17
and Fri, Dec 23
10a-7p, free


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