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Living Legend Buford Johnson Speaks of Tuskegee Airman

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Tuskegee Airman, Inc.'s Riverside Chapter Buford Johnson recently was the guest of honor at the Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce or IEACC chamber mixer at Alvarez Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar in the Riverside Auto Center.

"Buford is a living part of American history.  We are excited that we can hear the story of the Tuskegee Airmen as Americans first Black air squadron and their contribution to winning the second world war", said Dolores Armstead, IEACC chamber vice president. 

According to the history on the organizations website. http://www.tuskegeeairmen.org/Tuskegee_Airmen_History.html  The Tuskegee Airmen were dedicated determined young men who enlisted to become America's first Black military airmen at a time when there were many people who thought that Black men lacked intelligence, skill, courage and patriotism. They came from every section of the country, with large numbers coming from New York City, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit. Each one possessed a strong personal desire to serve the United States of America at the best of his ability. 

Tuskegee Airmen, retired Lt. Col. Harry Stewart, retired Master Sgt. Buford Johnson, and retired Lt. Col. James Harvey III, stand in the restoration hangar of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The three spoke about racial discrimination

The Black airmen who became single-engine or multi-engine pilots were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF) in Tuskegee Alabama. The first aviation cadet class began in July 1941 and completed training nine months later in March 1942. Thirteen started in the first class. Five successfully completed the training, one of them being Captain Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., a West Point Academy graduate. The other four were commissioned second lieutenants, and all five received Army Air Corps silver pilot wings.

From 1942 through 1946, nine hundred and ninety-four pilots graduated at TAAF, receiving commissions and pilot wings. Black navigators, bombardiers and gunnery crews were trained at selected military bases elsewhere in the United States.

Four hundred and fifty of the pilots who were trained at TAAF served overseas in either the 99th Pursuit Squadron (later the 99th Fighter Squadron) or the 332nd Fighter Group. The 99th Fighter Squadron trained in and flew P-40 Warhawk aircraft in combat in North Africa, Sicily and Italy from April 1943 until July 1944 when they were transferred to the 332nd Fighter Group in the 15th Air Force.

The outstanding record of Black airmen in World War II was accomplished by men whose names will forever live in hallowed memory. Each one accepted the challenge, proudly displayed his skill and determination while suppressing internal rage from humiliation and indignation caused by frequent experiences of racism and bigotry, at home and overseas. These airmen fought two wars - one against a military force overseas and the other against racism at home and abroad.

Alvarez Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar and Arrowhead Credit Union sponsored the chamber mixer.

Founded in 1990, the IEAACC helps African American businesses; families and professionals succeed in the Inland Empire.   For more information about the IEAACC call (909) 888-5223 or go online to http://www.ieaacc.com  .

Honoring Our Veterans-- Bufue Lennox -- a Navy Man

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San Bernardino resident Bufue Lennox enlisted in the United States Naval Service September 15, 1943 and served as a U.S. Navy Apprentice Seaman, U.S.N.-I. He served on board the USS Manila Bay during the attack on and occupation of Kwajalein & Einewetok Atolls in 1944. Born in Mansfield, LA, Lennox was discharged honorably.  He has held the rankings of STM3C, STM2C, STM1c, and CK3C.

Tuskegee Airmen Honored at CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO 2007

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Two local REALTORS® who served in the famed Tuskegee Airmen unit during World War II were honored recently at the closing luncheon of the CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO 2007 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif.

REALTOR® Claude Davis and REALTOR® Theodore (Ted) Lumpkin were honored for their service to the nation and the real estate community during the luncheon, which featured legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden and was attended by State Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana.

Themed "REALTOR® 2.0: The Next Big Thing," the EXPO was Oct. 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W Katella Ave., Anaheim.

Davis and Lumpkin were among more than 100 Tuskegee Airmen awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award from Congress, in the Rotunda of the Congressional Building in Washington, D.C., in March.

Davis is a past president of the Southwest Los Angeles Association of REALTORS® and a past regional vice president of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.). A bomber pilot in the U.S. Air Corps, Davis, 87, resides in the Ladera Heights area of Los Angeles, Calif.

Lumpkin served as an Air Intelligence Officer and is president of the Los Angeles chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. He also serves on the national organization's board of directors. Lumpkin, 87, resides in the Village Green area of Los Angeles, Calif.

Tuskegee Airmen Inc. was formed in 1972 by veterans of the "Tuskegee Experience" during World War II from 1941-1949 to educate the country regarding the combat and stateside records of African Americans during the war. The organization has 51 chapters nationwide.

Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org)  is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® recently honored two Tuskegee Airmen for service to their nation and the real estate community. The presentation was part of the closing luncheon at EXPO, the group’s annual convention, which drew dignitaries in business and politics.  From left, rear: State Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana; William E. Brown, president-elect of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®; James Liptak, 2007 treasurer of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. From left, front: Tuskegee Airman and REALTOR® Claude Davis; Tuskegee Airman and REALTOR® Theodore Lumpkin; Colleen Badagliacco, 2007 president of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®; and Beth Peerce, 2008 treasurer of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Inland Latinos Honored

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Family members and dignitaries packed the San Bernardino County Government Center Rotunda to honor a few of the Inland Empire's unsung heroes in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The Oct. 29 reception celebrated the culmination of Hispanic Heritage Month, which designates a 30-day period straddling September and October to recognize cultural diversity and the contributions of the Hispanic community.

State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, 32nd District and 5th District Supervisor Josie Gonzales hosted the awards reception in partnership with the Hispanic Employees Alliance of San Bernardino County, Arrowhead Credit Union, Univision KMEX Television Station and Alycia Enciso & Associates.

The honorees distinguished themselves through their work with youth, or their endeavors in promoting a greater understanding of the rich diversity of Latino culture through arts and activities. Military hero Saul Martinez was honored for his patriotism, love of country and for being an inspiration to youth.

Honorees were Muscoy residents Danny and Angelina Flores and Mario Mejia; Rialto volunteers Elyda Reyes-Gandy and Jim Redondo; Fontana residents Lydia Gonzales and Rev. David Zamora; San Bernardino's Art and Lupe Solis and Dr. Ed Perez; Mrs. Jessie Gomez and Dr. Luis Gonzalez of Colton; and Violeta Suazo and Army Spc. Saul Martinez of Bloomington.

KCSB Channel 3 television host and longtime radio personality Alfredo Gonzalez was honored with a Lifetime Media Achievement Award and Sinfonia Mexicana named the Organization of the Year.

(not in order) Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter, Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod and Supervisor Josie Gonzales, Sinfonia Executive Director Anthony Bocanegra, Maelia Macin the new VP and General Manager for Univision, the young Latino cast of L.A. production of Walk Out, Mexican Consul Carlos I. Giralt-Cabrales and Alycia Enciso.

"America's diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and the Latino community has made many contributions to our nation and state. It is fitting that we recognize those contributions during Hispanic Heritage Month," said Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino).

Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales said she was honored to co-host the event.

"It is my honor to recognize and celebrate the professionalism - the outstanding accomplishments and successes of a few of our community's unsung heroes - of men and women who work hard to instill a greater appreciation and understanding of our Latino cultural heritage," Gonzales said.

The reception incorporated the historical photo collection, "Latinos in Hollywood," curated by Enciso that was on display in the 2nd Floor Art Exhibit Hall of the County Government Center.  The exhibit included photos of legendary Hispanics in film. The young Latino cast from the Los Angeles play Walk Out was also in attendance to honor the awardees.

Hispanic Heritage Week was first approved by Congress in 1968 to commemorate the contributions of the Hispanic Community. It was extended to National Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988.

SoCal Native is World-Class Theologian

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By Dr. Sybil C. Mitchell, Tri-State Defender, Memphis, TN

[Reprinted by Permission]

Dr. Jamal-Dominique Hopkins
Dr. Jamal-Dominique Hopkins has lived and traveled all over the world - Scotland, England, Italy, Slovenia - as well as in large, metropolitan centers throughout the country.

Now, armed with an epic-caliber education and a wealth of experience in academia and practical ministry, he is carving out a place here in Memphis to serve and grow.

Jamal-Dominique Hopkins is an ordained elder in the Church of God in Christ and earned a Ph.D in Religions and Theology from the University of Manchester in Manchester, England. Currently, he serves as a professor of Bible and Theology at Crichton College. Dr. Hopkins will also teach a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls at Memphis Theological Seminary this fall in an adjunct capacity.

Dr. Hopkins is the only African American scholar (known) trained in the Dead Sea Scrolls. He wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on the topic, Sacrifice in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Khirbet Qumran, The Essenes and Cultic Spiritualization. He preaches, teaches, and lectures both nationally and internationally. Conferences in Edinburgh, Scotland; Washington, D.C.; Tempe, Ariz; Manchester, England, and Pasadena, Calif. are only a few of the many prominent lecture sites where he has been featured in a stellar career.

This summer's conference invitations will take him to Camoldoli, Italy, for the Fourth Enoch Seminar and Ljubljana, Slovenia, to the International Organization for Qumran Studies.

Dr. Hopkins also conducted a lecture and lead a tour of the actual scrolls in San Diego, Calif. last July. Among his many works, his essay entitled "Dead Sea Scrolls: Jerusalem Priesthood in the Scrolls" is due to be published in the Encyclopedia of the Historical Jesus (ed. Craig Evans, New York: Routledge) in 2008.

This year is the 60th anniversary of the initial Dead Sea Scrolls discovery.

Dr. Hopkins is a native of Southern California; he was born in Los Angeles and raised in Pasadena. A former child entertainer, he has acted in several theater, film and video productions. He acted alongside Malcolm Jamal Warner (of the Cosby Show) in the 1983 production, Little People, at the Inner City Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

He also worked as an on-air radio show co-host at KMAX Gospel Radio Station. After graduating from high school, Hopkins got involved in the ministry and received his barber's licensed. He ran his own barber shop (Classic III) for seven years while attending the local community college.

In 1993, he earned an Associates of Arts degree from Pasadena City College. Over the course of that same year, he was licensed as a minister in the Church of God in Christ and moved to Washington, D. C. to attend Howard University, graduating cum laude in 1995, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio/TV/Film Production with a theater minor. After graduation, Dr. Hopkins worked as an inner-city youth Bible study leader and videographer for the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville. He was part of a traveling team which ministered in various cities throughout the south and east coast.

In 1995, Dr. Hopkins became the religious editor of the Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Journal Newspaper and enrolled at Fuller Theological Seminary, also in Pasadena. At Fuller, he went on to earn his Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies and Theology in 1997.

While at Fuller, he became the second president of the African-American Seminarian Association, and was listed in "Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges." After graduating from Fuller Seminary, he was honored with the "Outstanding Alumni Award" from the Association of Black Employees at Pasadena City College and subsequently asked to join the Pasadena City College President's African American Advisory Committee.

In the fall of 2000, Dr. Hopkins and his wife moved to Manchester, England with their newly born son, Joshua, where he pursued doctoral studies at the University of Manchester. During this time, he served as an associate minister at Moss Lane Church of God of Prophesy in Manchester and sat on the board of directors of the Church's Outreach Project.

Dr. Hopkins has taught in the public school system in California, as well as at various colleges and universities, which include: Pasadena City College, California Institute of Technology, California State University at Los Angeles, Memphis Theological Seminary and Azusa Pacific University. An almost endless array of awards and accolades over the years has greatly enhanced this credentialed theologian.

Dr. Hopkins presently serves as the Minister of Christian Education and the New Servant's Ministry at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church where Dr. Frank A. Thomas is senior pastor.

He is the son of Pasadena Journal publishers Joe and Ruthie Hopkins.

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BVN National News Wire