Sunday, August 2, 2020

Three Allentown council members call for Gerlach and Siegel to be censured for joining Black Lives Matter protests

By ANDREW SCOTT and JON HARRIS THE MORNING CALL
AUG 01, 2020 AT 6:29 PM

Allentown City council members Ce-Ce Gerlach, left, and Candida Affa look on as residents hold Black Lives Matter and pro-police rallies Wednesday, July 29, outside Allentown City Hall. Affa and council members Ed Zucal and Daryl Hendricks have drafted a proposed resolution demanding a censure and no-confidence vote against Gerlach and council member Josh Siegel, urging them to resign and alleging conflicts of interest in their participation in Black Lives Matter protests.
Allentown City council members Ce-Ce Gerlach, left, and Candida Affa look on as residents hold Black Lives Matter and pro-police rallies Wednesday, July 29, outside Allentown City Hall. Affa and council members Ed Zucal and Daryl Hendricks have drafted a proposed resolution demanding a censure and no-confidence vote against Gerlach and council member Josh Siegel, urging them to resign and alleging conflicts of interest in their participation in Black Lives Matter protests. (April Gamiz/The Morning Call)


Three Allentown City council members say they support a resolution demanding a censure and no-confidence vote against council members Ce-Ce Gerlach and Joshua Siegel, urging them to resign and alleging conflicts of interest in their participation in Black Lives Matter protests.

The resolution, which was drafted by council member Ed Zucal and could be presented at Wednesday’s meeting, claims Gerlach and Siegel betrayed the oath of office and “are unfit and not worthy to hold the position of councilperson.” Council President Daryl Hendricks and member Candida Affa said Saturday they support the resolution, agreeing that Gerlach’s and Siegel’s demonstrating raises questions about their objectivity in matters pertaining to the Allentown Police Department. Read the full article here:

Monday, July 20, 2020

Coard: Nick Cannon was mostly but not completely wrong

Michael Coard 7/20/2020



—IMAGE / COURTESY OF FOX

At the outset, I must make one thing crystal clear. I do not and will never judge or condemn any Black person for speaking out against racism. That includes Minister Louis Farrakhan, Elijah Muhammad, Khalid Muhammad, Sister Souljah, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Nick Cannon, or anyone else.

I adamantly and reasonably take that position because any particular statement that was made by any of the aforementioned persons- even if factually wrong, historically imprecise, intellectually misconstrued, or maliciously offensive- was a Black symptom of a white disease. Stated another way, it was a benign Black lesion caused by a malignant white cancer.

And, most important, it was an isolated oral response to a systemic physical assault. Not one of those aforementioned Black persons ever kidnapped or bought or sold or whipped or lynched or sharecropped or convict-leased or Jim-Crowed or redlined or gerrymandered or disenfranchised or miseducated or ghettoized or mass-incarcerated or police-brutalized or otherwise systemically oppressed any white person. And not one of those aforementioned Black persons had or has the ability to do so!

The only thing Cannon (and the others) did was say some words- which alone can’t physically hurt anyone. But systemic racism can and does break Black people’s bones, spirit, educational access, employment opportunities, healthcare options, etc.

That’s why I’m neither judging nor condemning Cannon. And besides, although I’m not a Christian, I do recall hearing about Jesus having said in Matthew 7:5, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Therefore, hypocritically, systemically, historically, currently, and blatantly racist white America can’t tell me a damn thing about what Cannon recently said on his “Cannon’s Class” podcast.

By the way, what exactly did he say that compelled so many white folks to clutch their pearls in contrived outrage? You’ll be surprised to know that, despite his obvious lack of substantive knowledge regarding the topics he discussed, he actually got some things right. Here are two examples: Read the full article here


Michael Coard, Esquire can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as at AvengingTheAncestors.com His “RadioCourtroom” show can be heard on WURD96.1FM

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Congressional Black Caucus Calls for Investigation into Allentown Police Department After the Use of a Chokehold

Congressional Black Caucus

For Immediate Release July 18, 2020  Contact Information: Toyin Awesu, 
Director of Communications C: 202.710.0659 E: toyin.awesu@mail.house.gov


(Black PR Wire) Washington, D.C. - Yet again, we have witnessed the use of excessive force, specifically the chokehold, by a police officer in our country. Over the weekend, an officer from the Allentown Police Department was caught on camera placing his knee on the neck of a man, in an attempt to arrest him after the officers noticed the man was vomiting and staggering along the street. In this instance the unarmed man was in need of medical attention but instead was met with force by the police officers. The disturbing video also revealed that the man was distressed and terrified for his life.


Barely seven weeks since the death of George Floyd that sparked a national movement against police brutality, we are seeing police officers deploying the same tactics for an arrest that could have been avoided. The officers opted to use excessive force against a member of the community instead of serving. While this time a life was not lost, a life has indeed been changed forever.


While Allentown’s policy forbids the restraining of a person’s neck unless the officer feels their life is at risk, it is evident that without a national federal ban, there will be minimal adherence. A ban with no repercussions serves no purpose. 

Three weeks ago the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act championed by the Congressional Black Caucus was the first ever comprehensive legislation to reform law enforcement. This bill is a direct response to the moral moment of the time as Americans from coast to coast are demanding for real change that includes prevention, training, a registry of misconduct to eliminate repeat offenders, use of force standards, ending qualified immunity, and making it easier for the Department of Justice to prosecute civil rights violations. If the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was law, the officers in Allentown involved would be listed in the misconduct registry which will provide insight to violations and in turn transparency to other precincts about officers who desire to transfer to their district.  Read More here

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

There’s so much beauty in being Black from Scranton: Meet the historian who’s now an advocate for her community

By Patrick Abdalla -July 5, 2020

Several hundred people surrounded the Gazebo in Nay Aug Park last month for Scranton's first Juneteenth Jubilee.

They heard several local Black activists and allies speak, including Black Scranton Project founder Glynis Johns and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.

“Can you hear me,” Johns asked, at the beginning of the event she organized.

The park is more than 120 years old. Home to a public pool, museum, gorge, walking trails, playgrounds and gathering areas, it’s a popular institution in the region. Over the years it has been held an amusement park, a zoo, and was even seen in the 1982 film “That Championship Season,” starring Martin Sheen, Robert Mitchum and Paul Sorvino.

Johns’ recent work leading the Black Scranton Project is proving that there is another institution with just as strong and old roots in Scranton, even if it’s too often been ignored: the city’s Black community.

“There’s so much beauty in being Black from Scranton that people just don’t know,” Johns said.
Read full article here

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

TOWN HALL ON APPYING FOR Pennsylvania SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE GRANTS by Daniel Betancourt President and CEO at Community First Fund


50% of Pennsylvania's Small Business Assistance Grants MUST GO TO, Historically Disadvantaged Businesses: Black / African American, Latino, Asian and Indigenous Native American Indian Groups.  Learn more about this program by watching this 54 minute video conference held Wednesday June 23rd @ 3:00pm.

For more information on how to apply contact Kevin Easterling of the Black Heritage Heritage Association of the Lehigh Valley @ 484-661-1161 or email bhalv@lvbnn.com.

Beginning Tuesday June 30th, the grant application is scheduled to go live and you will only have 10 days to apply.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Allentown’s COVID-19 Cases

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Allentown’s COVID-19 Cases: COVID-19 has had a disparate impact on different racial and ethnic groups throughout the United States. In Allentown, Pennsylvania, the state’s third largest city, the proportion of the population identifying as Non-Hispanic Black or Latinx is significantly associated with an increase in COVID-19 cases within city wards. Introduction Although all people are biologically susceptible to...




Locked Out And Going Out Of Busines$

Locked Out And Going Out Of Busines$

Juneteenth: 150 Years Ago, Black America Got Its Own Independence Day

Official Juneteenth Committee in Austin, Texas, June 19, 1900 
COURTESY OF AUSTIN HISTORY CENTER, AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY
Posted: June 18 2015 2:30 AM

In 1865, enslaved Africans on Galveston Island, Texas, had been declared free two years earlier but didn’t know it. With the United States still divided over the institution of slavery and recovering after the Civil War, members of the Confederacy weren’t eager to spread the word.

Only after Union soldiers, led by Major Gen. Gordon Granger, worked their way South for more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation did word reach Galveston Island. On June 19, 1865, known as Juneteenth—a melding of the day’s month and date—the last remaining slaves in America were declared free. Juneteenth, America’s “second Independence Day,” is now celebrated around the country. It is officially observed in 43 states and is a state holiday in Texas, home of the last to know.

There are conflicting explanations for the more than two-year delay of the news that slavery had ended in Texas. Among the possible reasons: Plantation owners withheld the news; federal troops allowed the delay so that slave owners could reap one final cotton harvest before the Emancipation Proclamation—which was issued on Jan. 1, 1863, to free the slaves in the Confederate South—was enforced; and a messenger who was on his way to Texas to deliver the news was murdered. Adding to the issue that made Texas the last holdout was that Union troops never made successful inroads against the Confederacy in that state.

Whatever the reason, June 19, 1865, is regarded as the day all enslaved people in the nation were finally free. “There were many emancipation days prior to June 19, 1865, in other states, but each of those days celebrated freedom while Texas still had enslaved people,” Galveston native Sam Collins tells The Root. “Galveston, Texas, represents the last place enslaved people were freed after the Civil War. It’s the day slavery finally ended everywhere in the United States, and we should celebrate that day.”  Read more here

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Lessons About White Supremacy and Resistance in the United States



&
 

The Color Line
 

A lesson on the countless colonial laws enacted to create division and inequality based on race. This helps students understand the origins of racism in the United States and who benefits.


Who Gets to Vote? Teaching About the Struggle for Voting Rights in the United States
 

This three-lesson unit provides historical context for the contemporary struggle against voter suppression and for voting rights in the United States.


What We Don't Learn About the Black Panther Party ---- but Should
 

A mixer role play introduces students to the pivotal and largely untold history of the Black Panthers.

How Red Lines Built White Wealth: A Lesson on Housing Segregation in the 20th Century

The mixer lesson shows how 20th-century government policies segregated every major city in the United States with dire consequences for African Americans.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Vote By Mail by 5:00 PM on 05/26/2020


Vote By Mail 

Getting your ballot in the mail will save time and will ensure the health and safety of voters and poll workers alike. Your vote matters. Apply today! https://votespa.com/ApplyMailBallot

Please note, if you plan to vote using an absentee or mail-in ballot in the 2020 GENERAL PRIMARY held on 06/02/2020, your completed application must be received in the county office by 5:00 PM on 05/26/2020. The deadline to return your voted absentee or mail-in ballot is 8:00 PM on 06/02/2020.

Instructions:

If you’re a voter with a valid PA Driver’s License or PennDOT ID number, you may apply with this online form.  If you do not have one of these ID numbers, you will need to download a paper application and mail it to your County Board of Elections. Otherwise, you may visit your local county elections office.  For an absentee application in English, download the absentee paper application form


(Para recibir una solicitud de voto en ausencia en inglés, descargue el formulario de solicitud en papel para voto en ausencia).
For an absentee application in Spanish, download the absentee paper application form (Para recibir una solicitud de voto en ausencia en español, descargue el formulario de solicitud en papel para voto en ausencia).

For a mail-in application in English, download the mail-in ballot paper application form (Para recibir una solicitud por correo en inglés, descargue el formulario de solicitud en papel en el correo).
For a mail-in application in Spanish, download the mail-in ballot paper application form (Para recibir una solicitud por correo en español, descargue el formulario de solicitud en papel en el correo).If you're unable to submit an application online or don't have a printer to download an application form, you may submit an online request to have a form mailed to you (Si no puede enviar una solicitud en línea o no tiene una impresora para descargar un formulario de solicitud, puede enviar un pedido en línea para recibir un formulario por correo).

Notice for Military and Overseas Voters: When applying for an absentee ballot, use the federal form.

NOTE: You must apply for an absentee or mail-in ballot for each election, unless you qualify for and request permanent status to vote by mail-in ballot.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

How Black business owners in Pittsburgh are coping amid the pandemic

Chef Claudy Pierre of Arnold’s Tea at the Energy Innovation Center, where he is preparing food as part of the E.A.T. Initiative. (Courtesy photo)
Muffy Mendoza | May 11, 2020

Friday, May 8, 2020