port of harlem magazine

March 22 - April 4, 2012


ivan brown realty

On the Dock for this Snippet

trayvon martin

This Black man was shot through the heart by police men in Los Angeles, California, and they are dumb enough to think we have forgotten it.

                                                                                                 - Malcolm X

Remembering Trayvon Martin (Sign the Petition)

Dr. Gates, Edwards, Moats, Grant, Louima, White, Diallo

Middle Passage:  A Story of Survival

Dealing with Trauma
Sometimes Easier Said, Than Done
By Gregory Bearstop as it was told to him by Christopher Womack

 “Rescue Squad 17, we have four people trapped on the second floor of an apartment fire in the 2500 block of Southern Avenue (S.E. Washington, D.C.),” the emergency dispatcher announced.  Squad 17 responding, I replied.

gregroy bearstopIn a burst of adrenaline, I suited up, grabbed my gear and with sirens blaring, I headed for the call.  I was driving Engine 17 that day, February 1, 1993.  Row houses streamed by in a blur as I maneuvered Engine 17 around parked cars, traffic and pedestrians; in our business, time means lives.  I pressed on.  Yet, without warning, as I headed across an intersection, a drunk driver slammed into the side of the fire truck with such force that my apparatus spun around, struck a tree and burst into flames.  Upon impact, I was knocked unconscious.  I lied slumped over the steering wheel while Engine 17 became engulfed in flames.  Due to the quick thinking of two bystanders, they managed to pull me from the wreckage and carry me to a safe distance; seconds later, the Engine exploded with a blast that literally shook the neighborhood. 

Full Story 

Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Biker Sandra “Goldie” Sowers
- Women’s History Month Replay -

sandra "goldie" sowersLike the larger world, the biker community is not without its sexism attests biker Sandra “Goldie” Sowers. The college educated motorcycle enthusiast says that she has had experiences in “boy” bike clubs where members did not expect women to be in leadership positions, but welcomed to perform housekeeping duties.

In POH’s first video, the Atlanta-based biker shared a story about a sexist encounter where the male bikers expected her to wash dishes and how she handled the situation.


Looking for Low Fee
Credit Union?

Tired of you bank raising fees and minimum balances?  There is a handy site, What's In It For Me, that can help you find a credit union that is near you. 

Similar to banks that belong to the FDIC, credit unions that belong to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) have government-backed insurance to protect your deposits. 

Credit unions added 1.3 million new customers in 2011, bringing total membership to a record 91.8 million by the end of the year according to the NCUA. (Membership refers to the number of new customers, not the number of accounts being opened.)


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Election 2012

Leaders of the NAACP testified in front of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. They described how a wide range of new legislation threatens to prevent millions of Americans, particularly people of color, from exercising their right to vote. Panelists included:

Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President and CEO: “We are here today because in the past 12 months more US states have passed more laws pushing more US citizens out of the ballot box than in any year in the past century.  Historically, when people have come after our right to vote, they have done so to make it easier to come after so many of our other rights that we hold dear.”


kemba smith pradiaFormer POH cover model Kemba Smith Pradia, author and advocate for the rights of formerly incarcerated people: “I struggle with the fact that as of today I cannot vote in Virginia because this is where my offense occurred. But in other states, I wouldn’t have to deal with this issue. It is as if other states understand the need for forgiveness and the right of citizens to not be isolated from the rest of the population because they have been denied this human right.”


NJ Paroles POH’s Larry Walker

POH illustrator Larry J. Walker is home.  “I was paroled from the NJ prison system after 20 years in prison for possession of 5.1 ounces of cocaine with $39.56," he says.  Though Walker does not have a job, he was also fined $7,831.44, which the courts are requiring him repay at $25 per month.    

Like many former prisoners, prison life did not prepare him for release back into society.  “I am fortunate to have supportive family and friends to help me, something that many do not have,” he continued.               

Just getting proper identification was a challenge. “With only a prison ID valid for 30 days, I had to renew all forms of identification,” he explained.  Since most government agencies do not accept prison IDs, Walker had to secure his high school transcript to obtain a copy of his Social Security card. That was not an easy task, the 61-year-old New Jersey resident explained, “I also had to obtain my Georgia birth certificate to get my driving privileges restored.”

Without identification, transportation and money, Walker had to impose on family and friends for life’s basic needs. “I have difficulty understanding how people survive outside of prison,” he continued.

Now, Walker also understands why so many ex-prisoners return to prison.  “Without the support of family, friends and the community, how are we expected to survive or succeed in this ever-changing society?”

Illustration by Larry Walker

vincente guerreroMexican President Vicente Guerrero (1781-1831), He fought for and presided over the arrival of independence and the abolition of slavery.

(We used this illustration with the article Black Presidents in the Americas Before Obama by C.R. Gibbs, Aug – Oct 2009 print issue)

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champion services travel - group travel

Other Prisoners Coming Home

About 12,000 inmates, many of them Black, will be soon heading home because of the Fair Sentencing Act that Congress passed and the President signed that lowers the sentencing for crack-cocaine crimes.  The previous law in effect was racially biased.

Note:  As an inclusive, diverse, Pan-African publication, POH interacts with those who society has incarcerated, unconditionally.  T. Michael Colbert, who is incarcerated for life, is one of our most popular contributors.

Travel - Chelsea, New York City

Are you traveling to New York City this summer?  Besides taking in the sights and sounds of Harlem, an evening in Chelsea along the High Line can be a wonderful side adventure

The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.  On the south end of the High Line is the Chelsea Market Concourse, a center of small, mid to upscale boutiques including coffee shops and bakeries.

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Things to Do

Juanita “BZB” Britton

Savy Strategies for Startup Businesses

Evening Exchange

WHUT-TV Washington Channel 32

Fri, Mar 30, 8p, free

Port Of Harlem’s Gambia Education

Partnership (POHGEP) Opens:

West Africans in Early America

Gambia National Library

Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa

Tue, Mar 27, 11a, free

Follow POH annual trip to Banjul, click here for

periodic e-mail updates. (publisher@portofharlem.net)


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