June 26 – July 9, 2014

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Gentrification: Blacks Tricked?

In the Mid-Atlantic

beauty supply stores in black neighborhoods“If Black people already knew about the ‘secret’ plan to remove Blacks from Washington, DC so Whites can take over, then why do Blacks continue to move out of the city?” a friend provocatively asked me years ago. Since then, I have pondered his question and have not been able to find an answer. Maybe you have an idea?

Beside Washington, I have also observed the gentrification of several other cities and wondered why Blacks still find comfort and even security when grabbing the “secret” plan belief system.  I was most disturbed with a rant by Spike Lee, a man I respect. He raged, “I grew up here in Fort Greene. I grew up here in New York. It’s changed. And why does it take an influx of White New Yorkers in the south Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better?”

In DC, I often travel Route 5 (Branch Avenue) into majority Black Prince George’s County, Maryland and find a myriad of beauty supply facilities. Along the five mile stretch from the DC line to the Beltway, there are about two McDonalds, two Checkers, two Burger Kings, two Wendy’s, but no healthier, more costly, and “better” choices such as Panera Bread or Boston Chicken. Yet, these stores continue to get an influx of dollars from Black consumers - - “dollar” votes for the above-mentioned. And the community continues to get the same choices.

In The Midwest

railcats seatingGary is my beloved hometown.  We have a pennant winning independent league baseball team, the Railcats. Gary is more than 75 percent Black, yet 95 percent of the crowd at the home games is White.  Blacks in Gary, who do not attend the eight dollar per seat game, say, “well you know, we are not into baseball." I say, “It’s our team!” So, if Whites start building homes on the vacant lots around the stadium, will Gary’s Blacks get the conspiracy spirit like Lee?

In West Africa

white woman in gambiaGenerally, I find similarities in Black resistance to spend money like they are marks on a ballot when I am in The Gambia. Sure, everyone does not have dreams of walking about any parts of Africa, but I find it amazing when I too often find myself being  the only non-African born Black sharing African space with a White European - - who is also “voting” for Africa by spending her money in Africa.

Often, that White person is a single woman, not afraid being the “only one.” She’s not Jane. There is no Tarzan. However, if you share the same religion as some Black people, you will believe that she, too, is part of the plan to take over.

Tax Breaks for Passing Wealth and Access to Wealth

intergenerational wealthAfter looking how we spend money and the results we get, let’s swing to the other side of the financial jungle and look at the relative lack of Black income and net worth (By 2009, the median net worth of White families was $265,000,while Blacks had only $28,500.) Also keep in mind that much of a person's wealth and access to privileges to earn wealth are not earned, but inherited.

In fact, according to Fidelity Investment’s 2014 Grandparents and College Savings Study, 72% of grandparents think it’s important to help pay for their grandchildren’s college education - - higher education is a privilege that allows you access to greater wealth. And more than half (52%) are currently contributing, or planning to help them save.  (If you are considering passing your wealth to your posterity,Fidelity Investments says there are three main tax-advantaged college savings vehicles to consider.)

Why Reparations Needs to Be Studied

slave beatingIt has been the inability to have wealth and the opportunities to create wealth to pass down through the generations that make me support House Resolution (HR) 40. Michigan representative John Conyers first introduced the bill in 1989 and has re-introduced the bill in Congress ever since. 

HR 40 will simply study the impact of slavery and discrimination on living African-Americans, make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.

If others are worth being repaired, then so are African-Americans.  Recently, many German companies visited their uncomfortable histories with the Nazis. For instance, the Quandt family, a majority shareholder in BMW, discovered that their factories employed about 50,000 slave laborers from Jewish concentration camps. Along with other companies, they set-aside $5.2 billion to compensate those who were subjected to forced labor under Nazi rule.

It took more than a belief of known “secrets,” and public rants to make Jewish reparations a reality. I hope that you will take time to read a briefing on HR40 and not be “tricked,” by any means about how the bill we look into America’s uncomfortable history - - as we observe American Independence Day.

Japan’s New African Approach

japan - africa 
The Brookings Institute hosted a forum on how Japan has changed its engagement with Africa from a donor-donee relationship to investor in Africa’s private sector.   Yoshifumi Okamura, Director General of African Affairs at the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry, called Africa the “continent of hope.”

With a six percent growth rate, Africa is the second most dynamic region in the world. To aid in that development, however, Hiroshi Kato, Vice President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), encouraged Africans to think with a “regional perspective in mind.” Okamura supported this view by adding, “regional coordination is required to make the markets bigger.”  

Using political boundaries as market boundaries are not cost effective JICA states in a report, “custom and traffic problems between countries make transportation cost (in Africa) 2 ½ times higher than in Asia.”

Current Japanese investments are focused in the United States, China, and The Netherlands. Most of its African investments are in South Africa. Aside from South Africa, the Japanese have sizable investments in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Ghana.

When it comes to Africa, Okamura says Japan tries to treat each country equally and had a hard time selecting which country its prime minister would visit when he traveled to Africa in January 2014.  He ended up visiting Cote d’ Ivoire, Mozambique, and Ethiopia.

Opposite of many African countries, Japan is short on natural resources, but abundant in technology.
Much has been made of Chinese involvement in Africa, but Yun Sun, Senior Fellow at Stimson Center, says that China has been engaged more in development financing and not financial aid.

U.S. Election 2014

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting in Harlem, Rep. Charles Rangel led Adriano Espaillat 47.4 percent to 43.6 percent. At press time, there were still an unspecified number of absentee and provisional ballots to be counted.

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown held a commanding lead for the Democratic nomination for governor Tuesday over Doug Gansler and Heather Mizeur. In this heavily Democratic state, Marylanders are expected to elect Brown as their first Black governor and the second sitting Black governor.

t.w. shannonBlack / Native American and conservative Republican T.W. Shannon (left) lost the Oklahoma Senate GOP nomination to Rep. James Lankford on Tuesday despite polls for most of the race showing the two locked in a tight race and headed to an expected August runoff. Shannon also had the support of Sarah Palin, who said of him,“The Democrats accuse us of not embracing diversity? Oh, my goodness. He is it.”

Before Eric Cantor’s lose, there was no Jewish Republicans in the Senate and one Jewish Republican in the House. Now that Cantor is gone, there are NONE in the House or Senate. In contrast, there are 11 Democratic senators and 21 Democratic representatives who are Jewish.

Paul Krugman (in The New York Times):  Mr. Cantor’s defeat shows that lip service to extremism isn’t enough; the base needs to believe that you really mean it.  In the long run — which probably begins in 2016 — this will be bad news for the G.O.P., because the party is moving right on social issues at a time when the country at large is moving left. (Think about how quickly the ground has shifted on gay marriage.) Meanwhile, however, what we’re looking at is a party that will be even more extreme, even less interested in participating in normal governance, than it has been since 2008. An ugly political scene is about to get even uglier. 

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Growing Your Association

 joe pulizze
From fraternity and sororities to faith and neighborhood groups, associations are working to maintain members and effectively communicate with them.  Finding answers to those challenges was the focus of the Marketing, Membership, and Communications Conference in Washington last week.

The increased popularity of visual social media was the focus of a learning lab co-hosted by Stephanie Yamkovenko, web editor at the American Occupational Therapy Association. She reminded participants of the significance of images and that more technology has been developed in the past five years than in the previous 50 years. Canva, she says is software that merges those two challenges by allowing you to quickly and more easily create various graphics for social media.

The Psychology Behind Effective Social Media Communication, with project manager Mandy Stahl, was a well-attended express learning session. Stahl encouraged users to create subject lines that increase curiosity, are persuasive, and convey a sense of scarcity.

Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute gave a dazzling general session presentation on the last day of the two day conference.  He emphasized the need to write communications that are concise and directed to your audience; especially in this day of Facebook and other fast moving social media. Pulizzi also reminded participants that changes in Facebook’s programming means that “Likers” only see about 5 percent (others have said about 20 percent) of what you post in their newsfeeds.

This year’s conference included more than 45 learning labs, two general sessions, and express learning sessions.

Note: You may also find Fundraising 101 from our Achieves helpful.

Summer Reading - Children

 samba ak kumba
Some parents may find Callaloo:  A Jazz Folktale a bit too scary for their children, with monsters at seemingly every turn.  Other may find the book just a delight after having their children immersed in Caribbean-American culture. The book is set in New York and Trinidad. A young boy, Wilson, in the process of fulfilling a mission, learns a life lesson and readers learn a bit about another culture, language, and landscape in the African diaspora. Washington native Marjuan Canady, who is of Trinidadian/Africa-American heritage, wrote the book that will find a home in the Phillis Wheatley Library that this magazine supports in the Gambia.

Majaga Publishing House in the Gambia observes that many Gambians are educating their children using European or American stories, especially stories from Disney.  In response to this situation, they have released City Boy and Samba ak Kumba.  “Learning and appreciating a foreign culture is important in this global village, but knowing and appreciating your own is equally important,” says the books co-author Harr Freeya Njai.

City Boy will remind Americans and Caribbeans of stories of Blacks moving from the rural South to the urban North looking for a more fulfilling life and having to learn that it is not always easy to fit in. In City Boy, Famara leaves his village for Banjul - - Gambia’s capital city. As happens so often in tales, the neophyte misinterprets a word and finds the result of his misunderstanding embarrassing.  The book is in English, with some Wolof.

Samba ak Kumba has a stepmother who eats her stepchildren and includes a kidnapping, something that may not play well in contemporary America.  But, it is an unyielding bond between a sister and her brother and a tune they share that brings this tale to a very happy ending. Both Majaga’s books are in the Phillis Wheatley Library that this magazine supports in The Gambia.  (Available e on i-tunes)

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port of harlem events


 do the right thing annieversary
Do the Right Thing
25th Anniversary Block Party
Washington, DC
CR Gibbs
Battle of Ft. Stevens
150th Anniversary Commemoration
Ft. Stevens (btwn GA Ave & 13th Sts, NW)
Sat, Jul 12, 10a-noon, free

Jazz Concert Series
Benjamin Banneker Historical
Park and Museum
300 Oella Avenue
Sat, Jun 28, 6p-8p
Sat, Jul 26, 6p-8p
Sat, Aug 23, 6p-8p
Tickets $15-$36, 410-887-1081

Broward County, FL
The Anancy (Anansi) Festival
South Broward Regional Library
Broward College
7300 Pines Boulevard
Pembroke Pine, FL
Sat, Jun 28, Noon-5p, free

African/Caribbean International Festival of Life
Washington Park
Thu, Jul 4-Mon, Jul 8, free

Hampton, VA
47th annual Hampton Jazz Festival
Hampton Coliseum
Thu, Jun 27-Sat, Jun 29, $

4th Annual Afrikan American Festival
Downtown Hampton
Fri, Jun 27,  5p-10p
Sat Jun 28, 11a-10p
Sun Jun 29, 1p-6p, free

New York
Harlem Pride
Sat, Jun 22-Sat, Jun 29

Do the Right Thing
25th Anniversary Block Party
Stuyvesant Avenue
btw Lexington Ave and Quincy Ave
Sat, Jun 28, 12p-6p, free

Black Angels Over Tuskegee
Actors Temple Theatre
339 W. 47th St. (btw Eighth and Ninth Aves.)
Ongoing, $

21 Kids Need You by July 31, 2014

omar jaw 
Omar Jaw and 20 other Gambian kids are hoping that the Port of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership will find 21 people like you who are willing to donate just $75 so they can attend school this fall. Believe it or not, but the $75 will pay for their school fees for the entire year, school books, uniforms, shoes, daily lunch, and a school bag!

We administer the scholarship with the Baobab Youth Development Association (BYDA).  Your donation is fully tax deductible. Your child will send you a thank you note during the holiday season.  You can help us make the goal by Thursday, July 31, 2014 with a credit, check or via PayPal by clicking the donate button now.

BYDA Opens Library and Mobile Recharging Service – Builds Bridge


This has been a groundbreaking month for the BYDA. On June 8, they opened the library you funded. On June 22, they begin their mobile and car battery recharging service that you also funded via a micro-loan. Also, this month they secured partial funding from Trust Bank for one of two concrete foot bridges they want to build and is short only $150 to build the first one - - which they have already started to build.  (The foot bridge plan calls for us to only fund it if they fail to win full funding from Trust Bank and/or via a US Embassy grant.)  

While the US Embassy grant is still pending, we are focusing on fully funding the scholarship program.

Recurring Giver

When giving on the Port of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership (POHGEP) website, you can become an automatic reoccurring donor. For each type of donation listed on the site, there are two Donate buttons. If you wish to make an automatic monthly donation, use the second Donate button which is the Donate button in the second column. To make an automatic monthly donation, you have to set-up or already have a PayPal account.

donate button

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Trips Abroad Planned

 miss isreal who is Black

Yityish “Titi” Aynaw, 22, Ms. Isreal

Cultural Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, South Africa, Israel, and Australia and New Zealand are the places that Champion Services Travel announced it is planning to conduct group tours in late 2014 through 2016. “What makes our agency different is that we focus on group tours,” says Bernadette Champion (301-686-0970).

The tour of the Vineyard will include a stop at the Zion Union Heritage Museum, while the trip to South Africa will include a side trip to Zimbabwe. In Israel, says Champion, travelers can be baptized in the River Jordan, and the trip to Australia will commemorate Champion’s 20 years in the travel business.

racist ice cream truck song 
The Most Popular Page and Searched Word
on the Website for June, to Date 
facebookThe Most Poplar Posting on our Facebook Page Since the Last Snippets

wayne young with benjamin banneker 

POH publisher Wayne Young with
Benjamin Banneker reenactor
at the Banneker Museum and Historical Park, Oella, Maryland

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