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Commentary

Promises… In Shades of Black

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Briana Boykin
Inspiration finds itself in many shades, but the most brilliant are the ones that can outshine the fog.  Aaron Childress, the product of excellent parental love and one of our very finest, is a young man who possesses the remarkable ability to conquer uncertainty through a careful and relentless determination.

As the son of two Inland Empire community leaders, Willa and Leon Childress, Mr. Aaron Childress had been exposed to great leadership his entire life, and there was no doubt that he would follow in their footsteps.  Upon graduating from John W. North High School in 2001, Childress attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia were he began studying biology and looked forward to a career as healthcare practitioner.  Nevertheless, Childress’s journey soon took a sharp turn when his interest in medicine quickly began to decline. His time at Morehouse helped him to realize that success as a leader was not merely limited to medical and law professions, as he had seen and believed growing up in an area without a large business district, but that success was rather a vast and multidimensional objective that could be attained through a wide array of academic fields.

Consequently, after his first year at Morehouse, Childress recognized a desire for a path very different from one in medicine.

Becoming quite introspective after realizing the opportunities before him, Childress diligently questioned his own motives and interests as they related to his academic and professional goals. After some serious contemplation, he realized that his goals as a leader were not in healthcare but in economics. This decision was based on two questions most pertinent to him: Who gets what, and why? For Childress, these questions became what he considers “gradual eye openers.”

While he had declared a major in economics early on, it took Childress until his senior year in college to discover what field of economics he would like to pursue. As he continued to ask the two questions that most concerned him, he came to find an interest in the field of investment banking. But, by then, it was too late to receive any of the vital internships that would secure him placement at a business school where he could become a top professional in his field.

Although he graduated from Morehouse with honors, and 3.6 GPA, in 2005, Childress spent two proceeding years of coming up empty handed after continuously phone calling and interviewing for internships around the country. It was rough. Soon a dense haze of self-pity and frustration began to encamp around him and his accomplishments.  Backed into a wall where he was forced to decide his next step, Childress understood the ultimatum before him. “Either you are going to break through this wall or you are going to let your current situation stop you,” Childress told himself right before the point of defeat.  Fortunately, through the wall he went. His energy, determination, and perseverance, recognizable by others, landed him a choice of three top internships where he opted to participate in the 2-year Investment Analyst Program at Bear, Stearns & Company Private Client Service.  However, his journey had just begun.

Even with this new glimmer of hope, Childress knew that he had two years of lost time to make up if he wanted to fully maximize his potential for success. Thus, he began carefully detailing a 2 year plan that would ensure him acceptance into a top business school.

In less than six months, Childress was well on his way to a choice graduate school. In December of 2007, Childress passed Level 1 of the Chartered Financial Analyst Designation (CFA), the gold standard in finance, and shortly after passed Level 2 in June of 2008. At the same time, he began to find ways of bridging the gap between theory and practice, learning to work more effectively as an analyst. He also learned the art of focus, which he describes as the “detailing and executing of [a] plan.”

Intent on his goal to attend a top business school, Childress studied for, registered for, and took the GMAT in the fall of 2008 and earned a score that is amongst the highest in the nation. His G-MAT score, coupled with his rich undergraduate and postgraduate backgrounds secured him a spot at the nation’s top graduate school for business:

The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, where he will begin in the fall.

Currently, Childress is waiting for his scores for the third and final portion of the CFA while giving back to our community. He dedicates over sixty hours a week as a Senior Fellow for the Academy of Business Leadership where he collaborates with an MBA instructor to teach financial aid, entrepreneur, and leadership concepts to students ages 10-19 years of age who have high potential but low opportunity to succeed. This is important to him as he firmly believes that his path would have been more direct had he been exposed to more business opportunities at a younger age. “I help,” states Childress, “because I believe that I can.”

And he most certainly can, he most certainly does, and he will most certainly continue doing so.  I, for one, am deeply excited about what Mr. Childress will bring us.  Because he is not only a sign of hard work, determination, and the power of community within our village, but he also holds promise of becoming a tangible icon of economic leadership for which our ancestors have long waited. And he is indeed a beacon of light within the Inland Empire.

Therefore, when the clouds seem to lower themselves to our eye level, let us look to the promising stories and symbols that demonstrate the brighter light shining above them – for they, like Mr.

Childress, are the promises that have the complete capability of outshining the fog.

promisesinblack@yahoo.com

Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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Juanita Barnes
Eva L. Perry wrote this: “THANK YOU JESUS”. We, as the people of God, have a right to never be anxious for or concerning anything – but in all things be ready to heartily say “Thank you Jesus.” This is my way of saying that we should not murmur nor complain.  Why? Because it is an established fact that God causes all things to work together for good to them that love the Lord and are called ones according to his purpose. So now let’s continue to read our Bible prayerfully and meditate with thanksgiving. Cast all your cares upon Jesus – for He cares for us all. There is no failure in God’s love. Jesus was manifested to “destroy the works of the devil.”

HELLO MORENO VALLEY
“Where Dreams Soar”

Moreno Valley on June 12th 2009 there was a misprint on the repast of Mother Gillis. It was held at the Stratton Center but was given by the Martin Luther King Senior Citizen Center under the leadership of Mrs.  Johnnie Miller. Thanks to all for such a wonderful service.

Animal Shelter Closed Saturday July 4th 2009 -- In observance of Independence Day, the animal shelter will reopen to the public on Monday July 6th 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pet owners looking for their lost pets are encouraged to visit the City’s website at www.moval.org and click on “animal shelter” under resident services. Once you’ve reached the animal shelter website click on “search for pets tab.” Citizens requesting the services of an animal control officer are encouraged to call the animal services division at (951) 413–3790.

WATER CONSERVATION WORKSHOP -- The City of Moreno Valley and Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) will conduct a water conservation workshop at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 9th 2009 at City Hall, located at 14177 Frederick Street, Moreno Valley. The workshop will include information on EMWD’s water budget tiered rates, how to efficiently manage household water usage to save money and eliminate waste, and water wise landscape. For more information about the workshop, call (951) 413–3008 or visit www.morenovalley.ca.us .

To those who love eating “Healthy,” reading in my health magazine I found nine super foods for omen. It says that you stay slim, feel younger, and thwart cancer and heart

disease with these tasty choices. (1) If you love: oranges, try kiwi fruit, (2) If you love broccoli, try mushrooms, (3) if you love blueberries, try raspberries, (4) if you love almonds, try walnuts, (5)           if you love black beans, try red beans, (6) if you love spinach, try swiss chard, (7) if you love salmon, try sardines, (8) if you love tomatoes, try watermelon, (9) if you love dark chocolate, try pumpkin seeds. These are things we must do in order to live this wonderful life that God has given us. I find growing my own veggies and fruits that it is such a joy to eat your own string beans, butter beans, yellow squash, all kinds of peppers, peaches, strawberries I could go on and on. Gardening is so helpful to your health it makes you happy to see something you have grown. I would love to hear from you that have gardens to share with all. I have had a garden since I was nine years old. Let me hear from you.

To Mrs. Brown and the Family, I and my family sat in your seat two years ago this month in the homegoing service of my mother. Hold on to God and always keep good thoughts. As they say, cry if you must, Jesus wept and so can you when you need to. God bless and you do have our prayers with you.

BE BLESSED
J.B.

My Seesaw Emotions on Michael Jackson

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Richard O. Jones
To begin with, I believe that Michael Jackson, the entertainer, is worthy of all the praise this world can bestow upon his memory.  Jackson was an entertainer with class that surpassed the tunnel vision and ghetto thinking of most musical artists. Among the many attributes that I admired about Michael Jackson, the artist, was his genuine love for children.

Jackson spent multimillions in an effort to bring joy to the lives of children all over the world.

According to the Make-a-Wish Foundation several hospitalized children, on their deathbed, asked to see Michael Jackson as their last wish. Jackson honored many such wishes as he could. I also admired Jackson because he did not lead any youth to crime, drugs, or a gangster lifestyle through his fashion or musical lyrics the way hundreds of other Black male artists of his generation did and still do. Jackson was not associated with violence or pretending to be a tough guy to get attention. Jackson encouraged greatness in youth of all races more than all of the others in his business during his lifetime.

Jackson holds numerous Guinness World Records including the most Grammy Awards won in a year, most hit singles in the UK charts in a year, best selling album of all time, longest span of No.1 hits by an R&B artist, best selling music video, highest annual earnings ever for a pop star, and most successful pop music family.

Guinness World Records also recognized Jackson as the most famous person alive on earth in 2006. Guinness awarded Jackson with an award for having the biggest selling album of all time, which was Thriller, of course.

Contrary to the pattern of the rap and hip-hop world, Jackson’s lyrics contained no profanity, derogatory racial, or misogynist terms. Michael Jackson deserves all the honor and fanfare as the world’s most talented artists and monuments around the world should be erected in his memory. The positive accomplishments of Jackson, the artist, are enough to fill a thick book. However, with that said, I have always harbored ambivalence about Michael Jackson, the man.  Michael Jacksons’ androgynous appearance caused me to question his judgment as a sane man.

Jackson also seemed to have suffered an allergy to Black women.

Jackson had having several affairs with well-known white women but never one reported romance with a Black female. He ultimately married two white women, a famous rich shapely blonde, and an overweight poor and unknown blonde.

According to his second wife none of the three white children Jackson claimed to be his were his biologically.  Jackson seemed to have undergone procedures to lighten his skin and narrow his nose.

Generally didn’t know if he was “Black or White,” which is the title of one of his hit songs. However, Jackson seemed to have had the bigger problem being Black.

Another reason that I am reserved with my applause for him as a man is the fact that Jackson reportedly paid multimillions to a family in the 90s to settle a child molestation charge. Then in 2003, in the heat of a new child molestation charges, he admitted on TV that he slept with young boys, though he beat the molestation charges. In conclusion, Michael Jackson, the man, falls short of my admiration; however, may Mr. Michael Jackson, the epitome of entertainment, rest in peace in the assurance that God is the judge, not me.

richardojones1@verizon.net

Heads Of Lettuce In A Vault

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Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.
At no time sinceAfrican American slavery have Struggling Black Americans carefully assessed thescope of what is going on in their world or within themselves as to who theyare; why they are like they are; where they are and why; where they want to goand why; what is being done to them and why; and the best way of getting out oftheir daily trials and tribulations.  Hence,their great intellect, talents, and “genes” of their brilliant Ancient AfricanAncestors have remained dormant and hidden behind self-defeating thoughts, emotions,expressions, and habits.  The originatingcausal essence is that evil and sadistic captors created in the minds of mostSlaves layers of self-defeating coverings around the Real Self of eachindividual.

Together, those layers(like leaves of a head of lettuce) were placed inside a vault called delusions (i.e.believing what is not real and not believing what is real).

The resultant “Head oflettuce inside a vault” was added to by post-slavery racism that has persisted throughouta “Ghetto Tunnel” into today’s inner cities. In my book:

“Special Minds” Among StrugglingBlack Americans I related 100 mental barriers each youth possesses that preventthem from rising above poverty. Each “leaf” represents a barrier which hampers astruggling youth from receiving constructive academic information.  The delusional leaves as well as eachdelusional part of their physical and emotional self-preservation andself-protection need replacement.

After 25 years ofintense research I am satisfied that what keeps struggling Black youth from risingout of poverty is failing to use the appropriate parts of their Left Brain(hence an under-development of their foresight and forethought) and theover-use of an undisciplined Right Brain. Both are survivals from slavery.Instead, they persistently operate out of the Omnibus portion of their Ancient Brain(which is anti-academic). I also strongly believe the remedy is for them todevelop skills in critical and rational thinking—and to that end I have written fivebooks.

However, thatinformation is too involved because the youth who need it the most areunwilling to work as hard to develop their minds as they do to become athletes.This is not to say anythingagainst their intelligence because, after mentoring Black youth for decades, Ifind them to be very intelligent. The problem is: “How to get into their headsto fix the problems?” and hence I call on good-hearted Black adult mentors forhelpful ideas for getting youth eager to improve their lot in life. Whateverthe method, it must be easily teachable to mentees and mentors.

A relatively simplemethod is a modification of that to which Socrates’ name is attached. Step I isto ask questions that will activate the Boys Left and Right Brain/minds inrealms outside of “survival” and of a “live for the day” mentality. Step II isto get the Boys to look at theirbelief system and character from the perspective of “picking them apart” so asto spotlight the flaws or whatever is self-defeating. Step III is to become aware of what causedthese “Heads of Lettuce” to be placed in a vault— an aspect that necessarilyaddresses Europeans. Step IV is for their minds to become sufficiently free asto be in contact with their Real Selves and that will allow them to be open tothe Dream in which their purpose in life is contained. Step V is to design thedots that connect where they are with their Dream and show them how to reachit. Part of this process is helping each youth discover and develop his/hertalent.

Still, nothing will happen until mentors hold their mentee’s handas he moves forward. If today’s BlackAmericans reach back into their “race-memory” they will discover this Socraticprocess would reproduce what their Ancient African Ancestors did. Also back then the belief was that every newborn required the help ofall members of the village in order for that newborn to get started on the pathto pursuing his/her purpose in life—a purpose assigned by that newborn’sguiding spirits. In turn, the youth’s work product would “flower and fruit” thecommunity.

website: www.jablifeskills.com

Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.

The National Scene

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By Linnie Frank Bailey 

While encouraging volunteerism in America this summer with his “United We Serve” campaign—the President continued to monitor the escalating violence in Iran following the election. Ignoring the calls of his Republican critics who say he should speak more forcefully against the current Iranian leadership, Obama instead found the right tone by expressing outrage, however not allowing America to become as he put it, “the political football” in Iran.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
President Announces ‘United We Serve’

President Barack Obama laid the groundwork for a nationwide community service program this summer.  Called ‘United We Serve’ the volunteer program will run from June 22 to September 11, 2009. In announcing the program the President stated, “This summer, I’m calling on all of you to make volunteerism and community service part of your daily life and the life of this nation.  And when I say “all,” I mean everyone – young and old, from every background, all across this country. We need individuals, community organizations, corporations, foundations, and our government to be part of this effort.” The President encouraged Americans to visit the website Serve.gov to find a local project, or to register an ongoing community service project:

“If you’re involved in a service project in your community, go to Serve.gov and register it on this website, so that other people can sign up to join you. If you have an idea for a project – like getting a group together to volunteer each week at a homeless shelter, or read to kids at your local library, or pick up trash in a local park – you can go online and register that too. The website has everything you need to get started. And if you’re someone who’s interested in volunteering, you can go to Serve.gov to find opportunities in your community.”

A ‘Unique Moment in History”

Continuing the theme of community service, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the Greater DC Cares Annual Business and Non-profit Philanthropy Summit. She thanked community leaders for their hard work and encouraged them to continue, saying: “…I believe that we’re in a unique moment in history.  Maybe you’re seeing the same thing. I’m feeling it as I’m traveling not just around D.C. but around the country. But people really want to get involved….They’re looking for a way to turn their frustration, excitement, anxiety into action.”

The First Lady also hosted a harvest party in the White House garden with students from Bancroft Elementary in D.C. who helped with the planting. A healthy meal was prepared with produce from the garden, including harvested lettuce, sugar snap peas, and berries. Mrs. Obama said the garden was “a fun and interesting way to talk to kids about healthy eating and nutrition.”

Friday, June 19, 2009
Obama Addresses Hispanic Prayer Breakfast

Speaking on the role of faith in America’s history, the President addressed the Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference. In describing the importance of prayer, President Obama said, “Prayer is more than a last resort. Prayer helps us search for meaning in our own lives, and it helps us find the vision and the strength to see the world that we want to build.” While addressing the group of Hispanic leaders the President also discussed immigration stating:

“The American people believe in immigration, but they also believe that we can’t tolerate a situation where people come to the United States in violation of the law, nor can we tolerate employers who exploit undocumented workers in order to drive down wages. That’s why we’re taking steps to strengthen border security, and we must build on those efforts. We must also clarify the status of millions who are here illegally, many who have put down roots. For those who wish to become citizens, we should require them to pay a penalty and pay taxes, learn English, go to the back of the line behind those who played by the rules.  That is the fair, practical, and promising way forward, and that’s what I’m committed to passing as President of the United States. We must never forget that time and again, the promise of America has been renewed by immigrants who make their story part of the American story. We see it in every state of our country.  We see it in our families and in our neighborhoods.”

The Importance of Dads

In honor of Father’s Day, the President kicked off a series of events and conversations on what it means to be a father, including:

A barbeque at the White House for students from local schools to discuss the importance of fatherhood and personal responsibility. Renowned chef Booby Flay prepared the meal.

A White House town hall meeting where the President was joined by wellknown fathers from across the country, including Dwayne Wade, Antwaan Randle El, Morehouse College President Dr. Robert Franklin, Motorola CEO Greg Brown, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, and White House staffers Reggie Love and Michael Strautmanis.

Obama discussed his own goals as a father and addressed absentee fathers by saying:

“When fathers are absent—when they abandon their responsibilities to their children—we know the damage that that does to our families. Some of you know the statistics: Children who grow up without fathers are more likely to drop out of school and wind up in prison. They’re more likely to have substance abuse problems, run away from home, and become teenage parents themselves.  And I say this as someone who grew up without a father in my own life. I had a heroic mom and wonderful grandparents who helped raise me and my sister, and it’s because of them that I’m able to stand here today. But despite all their extraordinary love and attention, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel my father’s absence. That’s something that leaves a hole in a child’s heart that a government can’t fill. That’s why it is time for all men to step up and be responsible fathers.” Some of you might be worried that if you didn’t have a father, then you don’t know how to be one when your turn comes. Some of you might even use that as an excuse, and say, ‘Well, if my dad wasn’t around, why should I be?’ Let’s be clear: Just because your own father wasn’t there for you, that’s not an excuse for you to be absent also—it’s all the more reason for you to be present. There’s no rule that says that you have to repeat your father’s mistakes. Just the opposite -- you have an obligation to break the cycle and to learn from those mistakes, and to rise up where your own fathers fell short and to do better than they did with your own children. That’s what I’ve tried to do in my life.”

Monday, June 22, 2009
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

The President signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, to protect Americans, particularly children, from the dangers of smoking.  Obama said that more than 8 million Americans suffer from at least one serious illness caused by smoking, and that almost 90% of all smokers began before their 18th birthday, concluding, “I know—I was one of these teenagers, and so I know how difficult it can be to break this habit when it’s been with you for a long time….This legislation will not ban all tobacco products, and it will allow adults to make their own choices. But it will also ban tobacco advertising within a thousand feet of schools and playgrounds. It will curb the ability of tobacco companies to market products to our children by using appealing flavors. It will force these companies to more clearly and publicly acknowledge the harmful and deadly effects of the products they sell. And it will allow the scientists at the FDA to take other common-sense steps to reduce the harmful effects of smoking.”

Lower Drug Costs for Seniors

The President announced a significant agreement with pharmaceutical companies that will help lower drug costs for Seniors. As reported on whitehouse.gov:

“The companies agreed to $80 billion in prescription drug discounts over the next 10 years. The agreement was described as part of the upcoming health care reform legislation. Drug manufacturers that participate in Medicare Part D will either pay a rebate to Medicare or offer a substantial discount of at least 50 percent on prescription drugs to seniors who fall within the infamous “doughnut hole”— payments between $2700 and $6153.75 not covered by Medicare. The deal will help close this unfair gap in coverage, providing relief for millions of seniors who have been burdened by these out-of-pocket expenses, making it easier for them to get the prescriptions that they need. In addition to providing half-price discounts, the pharmaceutical companies will offer other discounts and savings to total an $80 billion reduction in costs.”

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