January 9 – January 22, 2014


amar group

Long Struggle to the USA

fidel nshomboAfter Congo-born Fidel Nshombo spoke to Senator James Risch of Idaho about the needs of refugees in the United States, Nshombo and I talked about his 11 year trek from Congo to Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, back to Zambia, Zimbabwe and then his deportation to Mozambique and his deportation back to Zimbabwe. He started this journey when he was only 12-years-old. 

“I was most wanted in Zimbabwe after being accused of wanting to assassinate President Mugabe, however, the UN intervened and got me out of custody,” he recalls.  It was the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) that found him a home in Boise, Idaho, USA. He was just 22- years-old, starting a new life in yet another country. 

“Being able to express my voice in a way that I could have not done in any other country is what makes me proud of what I am doing in the United States. In Africa, there is saying that a man exists when his voice is heard. America is making me feel alive again because I have the privilege to have my voice heard,” says the husband and father of two, with one on the way.

Nshombo, who speaks seven languages, including the pan-African language of Ki-Swahili, talks about the lives of refugees in camps in his book of poetry "Route to Peace I" and sexual violence against women in "Route to Peace 2."  He is currently writing his autobiography.

It’s the retelling of his story face-to-face as a human rights activist that occasionally brings him to the nation’s capital.  He is a member of the Refugee Congress, organized by the UN, that has the responsibility of helping refugees settle in the United States.

The Congress includes refugees from more than 20 nations, ranging in age from 22 to 56. They gather to meet policymakers and ensure that the refugee voice is part of the conversation on U.S. refugee policies and programs.  “The United States resettles more refugees than any other nation and few know more about the process than the people who have been through it,” said Shelly Pitterman, United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees regional representative in Washington.

The UNHCR is responsible for the safety and well-being of refugees and serves 35.8 million people around the world. Pakistan is home of the most refugees, mostly from Afghanistan.  One of the most famous refugees that settled in the United States is Albert Einstein.

Nshombo, who once made his living by killing pythons with a machete in Zimbabwe, now makes his living as a public speaker and writer.  Living with an experience that most never want to imagine, he said in a recent speech, “The past never goes away, but it can be powerful and teach others how to live.”

Photo: Nshombo (left) speaks with a congressional aid and Representative Risch of Idaho.

Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Abaraka - Tesitoo

baobab youth development association
The Baobab Youth Development Association  
Port of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership (POHGEP) was able to raise 100% of the funds budgeted to complete our scheduled projects. With that success, we say abaraka, Mandinka for thank you.

Tesitioo is a Mandinka word meaning “working together voluntarily.”  It is with that spirit that the POHGEP looks forward to working mainly with the Baobab Youth Development Association with the funds Port Of Harlem Snippets readers have provided.

POHGEP is also grateful for the members of Cultural Leadership of Saint Louis, Missouri for joining the POHGEP Facebook Friends with the students of Kotu Secondary School in Gambia in the modern day pen-pal program.

The First to Die
in the War on Terrorism

jeannette lee winters 
Wednesday, January 9, 2002, a U.S. military KC-130 plane crashed into a mountain in Pakistan. The fiery crash took the lives of seven marines. One of those marines was Sargent Jeannette Lee Winters.

When the flying vessel exploded, Winters became the first woman in the Marines’ 226-year history and the first American woman ever to leave this world fighting in the U.S. War on Terrorism. “She was a very active, daddy’s girl,” recalled her father, Matthew Winters, Sr., in an exclusive interview during the last July 4 weekend.

Read the full story from our archives

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Bill de Blasio’s New Agenda

de Blasios on subway 
New York City's First Family

Excerpted from Bill de Blasio’s inauguration speech as the 109th Mayor of New York City: 

We will ask the very wealthy to pay a little more in taxes so that we can offer full-day universal pre-K and after-school programs for every middle school student. And when we say “a little more,” we can rightly emphasize the “little.”

Those earning between $500,000 and one million dollars a year, for instance, would see their taxes increase by an average of $973 a year. That’s less than three bucks a day – about the cost of a small soy latte at your local Starbucks.

Think about it. A five-year tax on the wealthiest among us – with every dollar dedicated to pre-K and after-school. Asking those at the top to help our kids get on the right path and stay there. That’s our mission. And on that, we will not wait. We will do it now.

Of course, I know that our progressive vision isn’t universally shared. Some on the far right continue to preach the virtue of trickle-down economics. They believe that the way to move forward is to give more to the most fortunate, and that somehow the benefits will work their way down to everyone else. They sell their approach as the path of ‘rugged individualism.’

But Fiorello La Guardia — the man I consider to be the greatest Mayor this city has ever known — put it best. He said: “I, too, admire the ‘rugged individual,’ but no ‘rugged individual’ can survive in the midst of collective starvation.”

So please remember: we do not ask more of the wealthy to punish success. We do it to create more success stories. 

Review: Long Walk Humanises Mandela

 long walk to freedom

The timing could not have been more poignant: as South African president Jacob Zuma announced to the world that Nelson Mandela, the father of his nation, had breathed his last, Mandela’s daughters, Zenani and Zindzi, were sitting alongside British royalty and the film’s stars, Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, in the Odeon Cinema Leicester Square at the UK premier of his biopic, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."

"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," named after the former South African president’s 1995 memoir, serves up a series of perfectly punctuated snapshots of the late statesman’s life. But the film lacks the kind of psychological depth befitting a man who was larger than life. Swinging between the political and the personal, the film tries to cover too much ground in less than three hours. As a result, it titillates without fully satisfying and leaves the viewer wondering who the real Mandela was – and if a “real” Mandela only exists in the popular imagination.

But, despite its fault-lines, the film humanises Mandela – gently prying him from the pedestal that we all placed him on. It illustrates the complex, binary faces of the man, without fully reconciling any of them. We are reminded that Mandela was both husband and philanderer; terrorist and freedom fighter; deeply devoted father and absent parent; ANC loyalist and traitor; lawyer and defendant, prisoner and liberator of a nation (interestingly, Mandela was also both health nut and smoker). Despite looking nothing like Mandela, Elba mimics his gait and voice so hauntingly he almost rivals Denzel Washington’s portrayal of slain Nation of Islam leader, Malcolm X.

Read the full article at The Conversation

Note: Pailey is a frequent contributor to POH Snippets and is currently working on her PhD in Development Studies in the United Kingdom.
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ivan brown realty


 dr king as a youngster
A young Martin Luther King, Jr.
Washington, DC
Studio Theater
1501 14th Street, NW
Wed, Jan 8 – Sun, Feb 23, $

The Powerful Strokes Of Robert Freeman
Zenith Gallery Presents
1429 Iris Street, NW
Artist Reception:  Sat, Jan 11, 3p-7p, free

Martin Luther King Jr. Parade
Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, SE and Milwaukee Pl, SE
Mon, Jan 20, 11a, free

Shirley Sherrod
Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Dinner
La Fountaine Bleue
7514 Richie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD
Fri, Jan 17, 6p,$60

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History
Activities include a book discussion with Rev. Dr. Frank M. Reid, III, musical entertainment, crafts for children and films
Sat, Jan. 18, 10a-5p, free with museum admission

Fifty Years Forward: Birmingham to Atlanta to Selma
DuSable Museum
740 East 56th Place
Reception, Fri, Jan 10, 6p-8p, free

Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah
Honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Auditorium Theatre
50 East Congress Parkway, Chicago
Sun, Jan 19, 7:30p–9:30p, $30-$74

Happy 50th Birthday Mrs. Obama Jan 17

first lady gets hug from the president 
First Ladies Influence and Image

Michelle Obama
Mon, Feb 10, 9p ET

michelle obama doll

Born - January 17, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois

Parents - Fraser Robinson III and Marian
Shields Robinson

Occupation – Attorney, Executive for city of Chicago, Hospital administrator

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In Gallup Poll, US is the Biggest Threat to World Peace

In their annual End of Year poll, researchers for WIN and Gallup International surveyed more than 66,000 people across 65 nations and found that 24 percent of all respondents answered that the United States “is the greatest threat to peace in the world today.” Pakistan and China fell significantly behind the United States on the poll, with 8 and 6 percent, respectively. Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, and North Korea all tied for fourth place with 4 percent.

While poll respondents seem anxious about the United States’ role in world affairs, many of them would have no problems moving to America if they could. The United States topped WIN/Gallup’s list of top countries people would move to with 9 percent of the vote. Canada and Australia came in second with 7 percent apiece, while 38 percent said they were happy exactly where they are.

z go go

Most Popular Page and Searched Word
on the Website for January, to Date 

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