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Bob Murphy Community Day School Essay Winners Announced

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This year, Black History Month sparked many essay contests.  We were proud to be a part of the Bob Murphy County Community Day School Essay Contest. We saw that these students just needed an outlet and they expressed their thoughts and views through writing. These are the winning essays on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

If Everyone Could Get Along
Johnetta Graham

In order for everyone to coexist, we must be able to live together in harmony. This means we must be able to work cooperatively without any racial conflict. We need to be able to go to school without only hanging out with members of our own race. We need to be able to walk in a store and not be judged on our color that we might steal. We should be judged on our knowledge and our character and not our color. The state says that we are equal but we still have not seen an African American, Mexican American, or female president. So..Are we truly equal?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. went through so much for us to be equal and it is so sad that we are still not as equal as we should be. After giving his life so all people would make an effort to appreciate each other based on our accomplishments, many still make judgments based solely on outward appearances. If there is always room for change, then those people who live a life full of racism must be willing to change generational behavior that has been learned. We are separated at school, not because it is fun but mostly because that is how were taught to stick together. My name is Johnetta and I am Black, but still do not mind hanging out with Mexican Americans, Whites, Chinese and any other race.

I do not look at a person based on their color. I would not care if a person were blue or purple and if I judged people on how they look, I would miss out on meeting some really great people.

For example, the other day, I met a boy who only knew how to speak Spanish. He was so amiable and although we did not speak each other's language, we put differences aside and still became friends. If you go out of your way to communicate with a person that you never met, maybe one day that person that you gave a chance to may save your life. That person may be there when others that you thought you could trust are not around.

Similar to Dr. King's dream, I too have a dream for everyone to be treated as equals. All I truly want is for everyone to get along. There are people that hate being in their class or on their job because they are not around members of their own race. It's so sad to know that we must struggle just to co-exist in life. I believe that we all should have a part in the United States. I remember when they wanted to vote that all Mexicans with a green card should be kicked out of the United States. I did not agree with that. if they were able to make a living and contribute to this country, they should be allowed to stay.

The thing that I want to say to my Mexican people and my Black people is "Why can't you try harder to prove others wrong?" We are looked at and told that we will never become anything and that we don't fit the American dream. Prove these people wrong, be something in life, take all the negatives and make it positive! If a person says that you won't make it, try harder and even become their boss. Come on people -- Many people are waiting for you to fail as they stand on the sidelines watching you struggle because it is not that easy when no one can look past the color of your skin. We must know that we all have to stand for something or we will all fall together. We have low expectations in life because many would rather "Slang" with a chance of dying or going to jail than working hard because there is no one there often to lift them up. We are picked on by police because "we must be doing something illegal because that is just how we are." That is not how I want to be judged and I do not believe that any other person would like to be judged in that manner. To speak of a life so perfect there will never be, but we can strive to get close.

I believe that all we need to know is that life is possible beyond what people want to see.

There is a person with knowledge that you may never have looked at twice as being smart. Even with knowledge, people can be overcome with fear. Rather than sit back in the crowd, we need to overcome our fear, our fear of failure, our fear of different races, and even the fear of having a president of a different race because the worse has already happened with the current president. We are already at war for something that could have been prevented without our people dying. How different it would be for a Mexican American or Black president? Would he or she be given a chance to lead or looked down upon because of their color?

In conclusion everyone can get along and we need to stop the thought of failure. Do not give up because others tell us we will never make it. Personally, I am going to make it and I would like to see everyone else make it, regardless of race. Please prove others wrong and show them that we will become something -- we will not fail, we cannot fail. We can co-exist and enable Dr. King's dream to become a reality as anything is possible with a little hope. Reach for Better, Reach for Good, and it doesn't matter what color you are. You are a person with a lot to offer.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Keven Hansen

Teacher Mr. Anderson

Do I think that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's. dream has been fulfilled? In a way I don't because there is still racism amongst us and I think that many people are still racists because they think they are better than others. The thing is people who are racist are very small-minded.  They don't take the time to learn about other people, their culture, ways and traditions. Another reason why I don't think his dream has been fulfilled is because people still try to segregate races. They now do this by moving into neighborhoods that most people cannot afford. In prison and jails they make the Blacks, Whites and Mexicans stay away from each other. Police still profile minorities and often we learn of police abuse. Once several White cops beat up on a Black man because supposedly he had a gun. Witnesses said that he didn't have a gun.
Institutionalized racial segregation legally ended during the civil rights movement. However, not all racial segregation laws have been repeated in the United States. For instance, in Alabama their state constitution still says that seperate schools shall be provided for White and Colored children. A bill to change that was narrowly defeated in 2004. The U.S. Supreme ruled in 2005 that the California Department of Corrections, practice of racially segregating prisoners in its reception centers is highly questionable and is subject to strict overview by the courts. They sent the case back to the lower courts for review.
In the United States, the term "racial profiling" has often been paired with accusations of racial discrimination against Blacks and Hispanics, particularly by police. It is one type of racially biased policing. Racially biased policing includes other practices such as discriminatory treatment of racial and ethnic minorities not based on profiling, and differential police practices in neighborhoods populated by minorities compared to neighborhoods populated by Whites.
In my opinion, people are so dumb because all men were created equal. In God's eyes all of us are brothers and sisters, however, not everybody sees it like that. What we need to do as humans is to become more culturally diverse. We should take the time to learn more about our different neighbors background, beliefs and traditions. Just because I didn't grow up eating apple pie doesn't mean that I can't learn to like it once I try it. People are afraid of each other because they don't understand one another. Another reason is because people are scared of the possibility of somebody being superior to them. Nobody wants to be on the bottom so we have lots of conflicts.
I feel that people should stop being so small-minded. People should start treating other people equally and with respect. That's how I feel about the world. That's why I think Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream has not been met.

Black Voice News Wins Big

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Black Voice won big at the West Coast Black Publishers Awards.There were 9 awards presented to the paper out of 11 categories, making it the most award winning paper in the Inland Empire.

In the area of outstanding community service the judges said the Booker T. Washington event held every April around his birthday and the annual tribute and bust to commemorate his 1914 visit to the Mission Inn, Riverside, CA was the best community service activity they had ever seen a newspaper do. It garnered a first place award.

The other first place award was Best Special Edition, for the California Underground Railroad special issue. Other winners were: Chuck Washington, Portland Observer; John Warren, San Diego Voice & Viewpoints; Pauline and Les Kimber, California Advocate; Roland and Clovis Campbell, Arizona Informant; and seated Cheryl & Hardy Brown, Black Voice News.


Comedy’s New Color-line breaking show “Static” Picks Up Where “In Living Color” Dropped Off

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In the Spring 1990 a new show called "In Living Color" premiered on Fox with a novel approach to sketch comedy:  having a predominantly Black cast performing controversial comic bits about Whites, Blacks, Asians, gays, and straights. 

Nearly 20 years later, there's a new show ready to cross the comedy color line. "Static" is a new sketch comedy show that features a predominantly Black cast of unknowns whose brand of humor takes no prisoners.   "Static" doesn't floss a double-edged satirical sword like "In Living Color" or later spinoffs like MADtv and "Chapelle's Show."  "Static" mines the world of pop culture for subjects to parody like its predecessors, but it does with a slow burn. 

"Static" also mixes up the madness with some funny animated characters and on-location comedy sketches that make you laugh out loud.   "Static" - which means producing stationary charges of electricity - charges you up with laughter by satirizing weight-conscious white girls, money-hungry Black ministers, wannabe back in the hood Black preppies and many more.  The word is out on this Internet-based show.  The website, www.staticyabastard.com, logs in hundreds of hits a day without any marketing.

"We're not dangerous, but we are defiant because we want to exert the force of comedy on everyday life; that's what Static comedy is," said Maurice Lockhart, writer and co-creator of Static. "We're like an "In Living Color" crossed with "Jackass" except we don't do anything to hurt ourselves.  But we're crazy, and we're the only predominantly Black comedy show out there appealing to a multiracial audience."

 "Static" is the brainchild of three multitalented men who have formed Professional Hood Entertainment.  Lockhart is the company's C.E.O. and writer. His baby bro Bryan Bostic is the editor and musical engineer and Jeff Gordon is a co-writer and director.  The triple threat are as talented and as they are resourceful. They pooled their finances and came up with about $20,000 to become independent producers, turning intense creativity into immense opportunity to become a new comedy show.

"Each of us had our own strengths and interests, but everyone had to jump in and do triple duty," said Gordon, the writer-director.  "We acted; we did location scouting; we did craft services; we did everything just like Robert Townsend in ‘Hollywood Shuffle.'"

Bostic is the quiet storm in the group who's responsible for creating the original hip hop beats that give "Static" a fresh new urban vibe.  "Right now we're showcasing on the Internet, but we're being approached by studios to take it to the next level," said Bostic.  "We're really grateful that the website is a hit and that people like our work"

Rosa Parks Street Dedicated in Palm Springs

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By Meagan Carter

Stars, community and elected officials attended the celebration in honor of the naming of Las Vegas Rd. after the mother of the civil rights movement Rosa Parks in North Palm Springs.

Organizers of the event said they were pleasantly surprised when about 200 people attended the event. The major sponsor, TV One representative, Antoinette Brown-Leon  said that she was pleased to see such a great crowd on such a beautiful day.

The renaming of the street was the brainchild of Kris Benz, who introduced Mistress of Ceremonies, Tanya Wright from the Fox Television show "24"..

After and invocation from Rev. C.W. Parker, pastor of Ajalon Missionary Baptist Church, the dynamic Community Choir led by Linda Crawford had people feeling good.

Palm Springs Mayor Ron Oden, welcomed visitors and read a proclamation dedicating the day to the memory of Mrs. Parks.

Pearl Taylor Devers, a Palm Springs native, represented the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute, and gave the report that they were pleased that Mrs. Parks was being recognized in such a wonderful manner. Jarvis Crawford, Manager of the James O. Jesse Community Center gave a welcome to the community he represents and then said the magic words, "you are all invited for dinner at the center following the ribbon cutting." But before the program ended and dinner could be served there was much more to be heard.  Rev. Dennis Brown caused the emotions to rise when he recited a compilation of works by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  But News Anchor Larry Carroll gave a keynote message that left attendees thinking, feeling and pondering the words he said in the following excerpts:

"It was December 1st in 1955. There were automobiles, busses, and people walking on the sidewalk. One of those people was tired that afternoon. She decided to sit down and in that moment stood up for the pain and fatigue of generations unable to speak their volumes of frustrations, despair and disenfranchisement at a system that professed freedom, yet delivered slavery, disenfranchisement, brutality, fear, hopelessness and abuse. Ordered to rise for an able bodied man, she sat down and stood up for freedom, for justice and for equality. On day on a street in America brought America face to face with itself and changed hatred into hope. Turned rage into righteousness and defined heroism for common men women and children of every color in every nation of the world. She never had a struggle to survive in the Coachella Valley, but like her, thousands struggle daily in dignity to reach for America's unique promises in this very special place. Rosa Parks, may you rest in perfect peace. May your spirit live forever on this street in America and on every street around the world."

Joseph Beaver, Rosa Parks Committee Chairman, a respected member of the community and Executive Director of the Black Historical and Cultural Society said he was pleased and surprised that so many came out for the historic event. There were children and youth who were proud to be identified with the name change and one group calling itself the Rosa Parks Street Group, (staying away from the gang stigma). They wore black shirts with Parks name and likeness on them. Posters of Parks were presented by artist Jameel Rasheed and one from Artis Lane was given to the committee by Willis Edwards of the NAACP.

After a benediction by Rev. Rodney Croom, Pastor of First Baptist Church a special solemn moment came. Just before the ribbon was cut Elder Joe Benitez, of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians gave a touching spiritual blessing. He said that the Indians in that area have always welcomed Black people because of the oppression they had in common. He wanted to be there to bless the land and the street cementing that relationship. He requested no photos be taken and said that if photos were taken of the blessing it would create an unhealthy response.

And then it was time, the ribbon was cut, and many marched symbolically to the community center to have the lunch that was promised earlier.

Other sponsors were African Chamber of Commerce of Palm Springs, Aqua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Ajalon Missionary Baptist Church, Black Historical and Cultural Society, Black History Month Committee, Black Voice News, Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, Canyon National Bank, City of Palm Springs, Mayor Ron Oden, City Council Members, Engineering Director David Barakian, Police Department, Chief Gary Jeandron, Desert Highland Gateway Community Action Association, Elephant Bar and Restaurant, Palm Desert, Enzo's Ristorante, First Baptist Church, Lily of the Valley Church of God in Christ, New Bethel Church of God in Christ, Merchant Investment and Management Company, Jim Bartlett, Negro Academic Scholarship Fund, Palm Springs Resort and Spa, Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, Palm Springs Motors, Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, Union Bank of California, 4th District County Supervisor, Roy Wilson, 37th Senate District, Jim Battin, Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, 80th Assembly District.

The committee members who were responsible for the dedication were, Jarvis Crawford, Co-Chair, Angie Patrick, Secretary, Cynthia Session, Treasurer and members Sandra Beaver, Kris Benz, Joe Ann Crawford, Joe Grant, Janice Harrell and Selma Moloi.

Click HERE to view pictures.

Gov. Schwarzenegger Makes Key Appointments

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Click HERE to view.

Page 17 of 93

BVN National News Wire