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Remembering Sis. Ida Roberson, The Lady in the Second Row

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Some people called her Miss Ida, Sister Roberson or described her as the lady on the second row wearing a fashionable hat. Some even called her mom because of the special attention paid to them by Sister Roberson. For many she was the clerk of the church as she kept the minutes of business meetings, number of people taking communions, recording births, bapti sm and keeping records of all new members joining church. She was someone the church could lean and count on. She also helped keep the children in line just looking at them as only a mother of the church could do.

To me she was Sister Roberson and more importantly a friend. I first met Sister Roberson in 1972 after I joined St. Paul AME. I was somewhat cautious of her at first because of the way or manner in which she would come across as sharp and straight to the point. I noticed those who knew her would say this is Miss Ida’s way of showing she loves you. I also noticed that if people wanted an honest opinion, accurate information or history lesson, they sought out Sister Roberson, and so did I.

Thi s friendship grew to where Sister Roberson supported and worked in every political campaign of mine or any I was involved in. She would call voters on my behalf or worked in the campaign office. The other thing about Sister Roberson I noticed was when my son, Hardy was sick, she would come to the hospital, to sit and pray silently. She would not interrupt in any way but wanted the family to know we were not alone in this situation. I likened her faithfulness to this duty like the friends of Job sitting with him during his trial. They said nothing but being there showing support in his time of trouble. This is the kind of lady Sister Roberson was and she will truly be missed by all.

So to the members of St. Paul AME and visitors, give her a nod when you pass the second row on Sunday mornings during service.

Again? “Ain’t the Black Voice News” a Newspaper Too

At the last city council meeting in San Bernardino, they were discussing advertising a special message to the public. They wanted the public to be informed so the staff recommended they place ads in the Sun Newspaper and the Penny Saver to reach the public. I could not believe what I was hearing since they know that the Black Voice News has an office in the city and people read our paper. The reason I know they read our paper is because if the circulation manager does not arrive and deliver between 25 and 50 papers to city hall, we get a call at the office from people complaining.

When it came time for public comment, Publisher Cheryl Brown, happened to be at the meeting and reminded them “Ain’t the Black Voice News” a newspaper too. She informed them that she pays taxes and covers news of the city but when it comes to the city doing business with us, they have a lapse of memory.

So to my surprise Chas Kelly made a motion to include the Black Voice News to the motion before them. I want to commend Councilman Kelly for stepping up to the plate and speaking out for us on this matter, once it was brought to their attention. Of course this prompted others to name other publications in and out of the city to become a part of this educational opportunity to the public regardless of known readership.

My concern or issue wi th not only this city but many cities and businesses that advertise services or products to our people is; you come to us with your free public news releases, you seek us out for guidance on some critical issues but hesitate to spend money with us. You even took the suggestion of city attorney Jim Penman to include a paper located in Highland. I have no issue wi th that because you should use credible publications and vehicles to reach the public but to be continuously ignored is troubling and I would like to know why we are always forgotten. Is it because we do not print daily? No, that cannot be the reason because the Penny Saver is not daily. Is it because our corporate office is in Riverside? No, that cannot be the reason because the Penny Saver is located in another county. You and other city elected officials are always touting to do business with local vendors, in other words keep some of the money local to help with the economy. Yet when the opportunity presents itself with our community you forget.

Maybe I will get my staff to make a presentation to government agencies on who we are so we can become a part of the discussion when you spend our tax dollars on advertising to notify the citizens.

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