As we approach the intersection for the year 2003 and 2004 we reflect on the past and make preparations for the future.
We saw and heard war stories everyday in the year 2003 but could not escape the unequal way in which two female soldiers were treated by the Army and media.
Shoshana Johnson, the first Black woman prisoner of the Iraqi War was treated like a second class citizen as compared to Jessica Lynch, a White female soldier also held captive by Iraqi soldiers.
We saw Senator Strom Thurmond, a vowed racist, pass away only for it to be revealed that over 60 years ago he had fathered a child with a Black young woman employed by his parents.
We witnessed fires burn our mountains and engulf hundreds of homes with many of them owned by local Black citizens.
We witnessed a historic recall election as Gray Davis was removed from office and Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California.
We witnessed the Riverside NAACP honor Robert Byrd, the first Black elected County Auditor as Judge Richard Fields, the first Black to be appointed a Superior Court Judge in Riverside County, delivered the keynote remarks.
In San Bernardino the NAACP honored the first Black female judge of San Bernardino County while retired Judge Paul Egly delivered the keynote on the historic desegregation of our schools in San Bernardino.
We witnessed the small remembrance of Tyisha Miller by some of the family members and community activists who sought justice from that horrible shooting over five years ago.
We also witnessed action by new Riverside County Sheriff Bob Doyle who says he truly believes in community involvement. He has committed resources to recruit more Black and Hispanic officers into the department while increasing the training of all officers on diversity issues. His commitment has already paid dividends by the selection of several new recruits that have passed the vigorous screening, testing, and physical examination and now function as deputies. Doyle is a new breed of leadership in law enforcement.
We also had some losses on the national as well as local scene that made a difference in our lives: Gregory Hinds, Maynard Jackson, John Hobbs, Willie Garrett, Verna Cason, Barry White, Rev. Marvin Brown, Mary Anderson, Fred Rerun Berry, Nell Carter, Bobby Bonds, Lynne Thigpen, Nina Simone, just to name a few.
On the political landscape, Democratic Presidential candidate Rev. Al Sharpton is heating up the airwaves with his famous one-liners.
Locally, Fontana received its first Black city councilmember and San Bernardino saw its first Latino elected school board president.
A lot more has happened this past year but we have even more to look forward to in 2004.
From the Black Voice News and the Brown family, to our readers and friends who have encouraged us, to the advertisers who have supported us, to our contributors who have helped us, we hope we have given back something of quality this past year. Now we give you our thanks for a wonderful year and say
Have a Happy New Year 2004
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