Welcome! This free speech community journal was created so the Maple Heights African American community could share videos, photos, events, articles, posts, ideas, thoughts, and information.  We're now exclusively on Facebook, so don't forget to also check out our Facebook page.  Have a fantastic day!

Thursday, February 27, 2014


About National Urban League



As Black History Month comes to a close, we wanted to remind you of the special promotion to help support the work the National Urban League and Ebony Magazine do throughout the year to protect Black History. When you support the National Urban League with a minimum donation of just $15, you will receive a FREE one-year subscription to Ebony Magazine.

The National Urban League has a long history of empowering communities and changing lives, and Ebony magazine has been chronicling the history of Black America for almost seventy years.

With every business that we help get off the ground, young person into college, and educated voter that votes, we are changing the course of history. The National Urban League is an integral part of the struggle and triumph of Black America, and continues to make monumental changes in the lives of over 2 million people across the country each year.

Please forward this limited time offer to your colleagues, friends and families.  Together we can protect black history!

Make a donation today to continue this important work and protect Black history in the making!

Yours in the movement,
Marc H. Morial


How opportunity and racism shaped our American cities.
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The Warmth of Other Suns:
Isabel Wilkerson on the Great Migration

Should they go or should they stay? That was a question millions of African Americans living in the South asked themselves in the 20th Century.
For many the answer was simple. Life in the South was hard and dangerous, with lynching, Jim Crow laws, and lack of economic opportunities. From 1910 to the 1960s an estimated 6 million African Americans left the South and moved North, in what became known as “The Great Migration.”
On this edition, Pulitzer prize winning journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson, author of “The Warmth of Other Suns” traces the legacy of the Great Migration on American society and culture.



Save the Date: Addressing Achievement Gaps Symposium
Marian Wright Edelman: Hall of Famer
 We Have a Recognition!
Celebrating CHIP
Order Your Copy of The State of America’s Children® 2014
What Parents And Teachers Need to Know
WEB DuBois 2.jpg
As Black History Month draws to a close, we hope those of you who follow us on Facebook and Twitter have enjoyed the inspirational quotes from Black leaders we have shared each day. Now we want to put a spotlight on the circumstances of the Black child. Black children are the poorest of the poor, and they need our urgent and persistent attention. Watch Marian Wright Edelman’s video address, “What Parents and Teachers Need to Know” for the National Parent Teacher Association’s (PTA) Every Child in Focus Campaign.

Never Give Up
"You don't have to accept what happens to you.
You're fully capable of doing whatever it takes to change whatever has happened to you, to change your future
—maybe not your past, but your future."
Theresa Tran has fought for her life since the day she was born. Three months premature, weighing only 1 lb. 10 oz., doctors doubted she would survive the night. Her early arrival came with a type of cerebral palsy that severely impaired her ability to walk. In February 2000, five days before her 4th birthday, Theresa had surgery on her legs to help her walk better. The surgery was successful, but tragically, her older brother who had been her best friend and protector was killed in a freak car accident on his way to visit her in the hospital. Then when Theresa was in middle school, her father abandoned the family without warning and returned to Vietnam. Her mother worked three jobs as she struggled to raise four children on her own. Theresa is a self-described nerd who excels in school. She has a 4.0 GPA and is president of her class. Now Theresa Tran is one of the winners of our Ohio Beat the Odds® college scholarship awards and hopes to attend The Ohio State University and eventually become an orthopedic surgeon to change the lives of others in need.
Early next month we will recognize young stars like Theresa Tran in Ohio, New York and Minnesota with Beat the Odds scholarships and an invitation to join the CDF family and our leadership development network. For over 20 years, CDF’s Beat the Odds® program has supported more than 800 students, and has served as a catalyst for them to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, and Peace Corps volunteers and contributing members of their communities.
These young people never give up. Let’s honor their commitment.

Help Children and Families by Increasing the Minimum Wage Now
No one working full-time should live in poverty. Right now, a parent working full-time at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour earns $15,080 a year, $4,700 below the poverty line for a family of three. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as proposed by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), would increase a full-time worker’s salary to $21,008 a year – lifting them above poverty and making it much easier to meet their children’s needs. This increase would put $31 billion additional dollars in the pockets of between 16 and 24.5 million low-wage workers and lift 900,000 people out of poverty. Most importantly, it would improve the lives of an estimated 14 million children -- nearly 1 in 5 children in America. Some resist increasing the minimum wage fearful it would lead to job losses. Many leading economists believe there will be no or very few jobs lost and agree the benefits for the millions who would get a pay raise would greatly outweigh the risk. There is no reason for Congress to continue to deny hard-working Americans a pay raise. Rep. Miller has filed a discharge petition to force a vote on H.R. 1010, which requires 218 signatures. Call your Representative today at 1-888-851-1916, a toll-free number provided by AFSCME, and ask him or her to sign the discharge petition and to vote for the Fair Minimum Wage Act to give hard-working families in your state a pay raise.

Save the Date: Addressing Achievement Gaps Symposium
Mark your calendar now. ETS, the Educational Testing Service, and CDF are holding a symposium for 450 advocates, researchers, practitioners and young leaders on Monday, June 23, 2014 at the National Press Club that will address “Advancing Success for Black Men in College.”
This is the fourth and final symposium in a joint ETS-CDF series to improve the education and development of Black boys and young men in the United States. We began with the early years, birth to 9, and worked forward through the middle school and high school years. This June 23rd symposium on strategies to increase the number of young Black men succeeding in college will address the challenges they face and opportunities for addressing them: What policies and practices increase access and advance success? How do we overcome the college affordability challenge so many young people face? and; What proposed strategies that help them enter college can also help them stay in and graduate? Four young men will open the symposium with stories of their own college experiences. 
We are excited by the way the program is progressing. Learn more about the event and how you can register.

Marian Wright Edelman: Hall of Famer
Congratulations to CDF President Marian Wright Edelman for being inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame earlier this week along with the late civil rights activist Septima Clark! Look for Mrs. Edelman’s Child Watch® column about Septima Clark tomorrow. Today, read the press release about this great honor and watch the video of Mrs. Edelman’s acceptance speech.

We Have a Recognition!
Each CDF Freedom Schools® morning begins with “Harambee!” a time to pull together before the day begins and each morning is filled with recognitions, a time to acknowledge accomplishments and contributions. The Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program is proud to “Recognize!”and announce its partnership with the International United Auto Workers (UAW) Cynthia Estrada Charity Fund and the Delta Service Through Detroit Foundation. This initiative will re-establish the CDF Freedom Schools program in Detroit and empower the emerging generation of children and teens with literacy and leadership skills. A big thank you and recognition to these partners for making a difference in the lives of children in Detroit.

Celebrating CHIP
Earlier this month we celebrated the 5th anniversary of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA). The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which may be called something a little different in your state, provides child appropriate health services to more than 8 million children in working families across America. Since its enactment in 1997 with strong bipartisan support, CHIP has helped cut the number of uninsured children in half, to the lowest level on record, while improving health outcomes and access to care. While CHIP is authorized to operate through 2019, there is no new funding after September of next year. If Congress does not act to fund CHIP, millions of children could lose health coverage altogether or end up paying more for less coverage. Congress must act this year to extend funding for CHIP at least through 2019 to ensure that children do not lose ground. Stay tuned over the coming months to see how you can help protect and improve health coverage for children! In the meantime, here are 10 things you need to know about CHIP and our new CHIP factsheet. 

Order Your Copy of The State of America’s Children® 2014
The State of America's Children 2014
You asked and we listened. Order a printed copy of The State of America’s Children 2014 through CDF’s online store today. The report costs only $6 plus shipping, so order one for yourself and others in your organization or child advocacy network.

Monday, February 24, 2014


Join in commemorating the success and visions of African Americans of today and yesterday.
BLACK HISTORY CELEBRATION, featuring "The Gospel Chosen Few"
Where:  Lamplight Inn of Maple Heights, 5500 Northfield Rd, Maple Heights, OH 44137
When: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Time: 1pm

Guest speakers, food, fun and music
Strip steak, fried perch, baked potato, seafood salad, roasted zucchini and dinner roll, strawberry shortcake and celebration cake
Sponsored by
Neomia Mitchell 
Lamplight Inn


Mr. Frank R Ross (author of "Soul Dancing! The Essential African American Cultural Dance Book") was (with considerable effort) able to obtain this historic document from the State Board of Education (Ohio).  We thank him for his persistence and dedication to making sure that Black History and Culture is taught in all schools and is recognized and appreciated all over the world.
Statement from Mr. Frank R Ross:
"This resolution is historic and must be implemented in all Ohio schools, as millions of dollars are not being spent on Black history-cultural workshops, Grandmarch - National African American Folk Dance, Black literature - literature curriculum.  This is so important, ... our history and culture must be taught."

Friday, February 21, 2014



WHEN:  MARCH 1, 2014





Press Release
Feb 18 - 11:05am
The free press and freedom of information news service
of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Contact media@rcfp.org or (703) 807-2104
The annual Sunshine Week initiative focusing on the importance of open government is scheduled for March 16-22, with events already planned around the nation.
As national co-sponsors of Sunshine Week, the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are hosting the main website for information about freedom of information, free materials for participants to use, a calendar of events and a list of participants.
"We are very pleased to again be partnering with the Reporters Committee to provide the core resources for anyone who wants to participate in Sunshine Week," ASNE's First Amendment Programs and Partnerships Committee Co-Chairs Lucy Dalglish and Steve Engelberg said in a statement. "Anyone -- not just media organizations -- can utilize the resources, have their events listed or be included as participants. We're always pleased to see the broad reach of this initiative -- to educators, government officials, civic groups, libraries and others. It shows us in a real way that government transparency isn't just the concern of journalists; it's for everyone."
"We are excited to continue our work with ASNE as co-sponsors of the Sunshine Week initiative," said Reporters Committee Executive Director Bruce D. Brown. "Together, we can ensure that Sunshine Week brings the best materials to the widest audience and that its legacy as one of the most effective annual open-government awareness projects endures."
Among the events and activities already planned for Sunshine Week 2014 are:
  • The Newseum Institute's First Amendment Center, in partnership with OpenTheGovernment.org, and separately the Collaboration on Government Secrecy at American University's Washington College of Law, will each hold a celebration of Freedom of Information Day with a series of panel discussions and awards presentations.
  • The Reporters Committee will host a panel discussion with prominent journalists and legal experts discussing transparency and the U.S. Supreme Court. Open government events are also planned during the week by the D.C. Open Government Coalition, FOI Oklahoma and the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
  • New Mexico State University is holding an infographic contest for students, utilizing the state's Open Meetings Act or Inspection of Public Records Act as the work's focus. The winners will be announced at a public ceremony during Sunshine Week. The contest is sponsored by NMSU alumnus Tim Parker, the NMSU Library and the NMSU Department of Journalism & Mass Communications.
  • In Florida, Lee County Clerk Linda Doggett will hold a free public training seminar on how to find public information posted on the clerk's office website. Training brochures and reference materials will be provided to attendees.
A roster of Sunshine Week participants and events listings are posted on the Sunshine Week website. To have your organization or event listed, please email sunshineweek@asne.org. This email also can be used for submissions for the Toolkit, a free online resource of materials available to any participant during Sunshine Week.
For the first time, the Sunshine Week website has added a feature called "The Vault," which showcases some of the Toolkit materials created for 2013. Although these resources cannot be used in 2014 without the creator's permission, they are being posted to spur ideas and inspiration.
Sunshine Week was launched by ASNE in 2005 and quickly grew to a nationwide event celebrated by national and local news media on all publishing platforms; federal, state and local governments; grade schools and universities; libraries; archivists; scientists; nonprofit and civic organizations; and individual citizens. Reporters Committee, which has been a participant since the launch, officially joined ASNE as a leading partner in 2012.
Sunshine Week 2014 is made possible by an endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and by donations from the Gridiron Club and Foundation.
About the American Society of News Editors
The American Society of News Editors focuses on leadership development and journalism-related issues. Founded in 1922 as a nonprofit professional organization, ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism, defends and protects First Amendment rights, and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism workforce, youth journalism and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives. Learn more at asne.org.
About the Reporters Committee
Founded in 1970, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press offers free legal support to thousands of working journalists and media lawyers each year. It is a leader in the fight against persistent efforts by government officials to impede the release of public information, whether by withholding documents or threatening reporters with jail. In addition to its 24/7 Legal Defense Hotline, the Reporters Committee conducts cutting-edge legal research, publishes handbooks and guides on media law issues, files frequent friend-of-the-court legal briefs and offers challenging fellowships and internships for young lawyers and journalists. For more information, go to http://www.rcfp.org/ or follow us on Twitter @rcfp.
Jiyoung Won Communications Coordinator American Society of News Editors jwon@asne.org; 573-882-2430
Debra Gersh Hernandez Communications Director Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press dghernandez@rcfp.org; 703-807-2104

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Instead of doing a separate piece for Black History Month, we thought we'd honor Black Americans by linking to a few webpages/websites:

Newsnet 5 Cleveland


10 Great Myths of American History Dismantled

Top 10 Black History Month Scholarships -- Now Accepting Applications

African and African American History - "Maple Heights African American Gazette" Playlist

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Rites of Passage Institute

Soul Dancing! The Essential African American Cultural Dance Book

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

This Black History Month, Help Make A Better Black Economic Future With PurchaseBlack.com

PBS Celebrates Black History Month With New Programs and a Digital Campaign That Unites More Than a Century of History and Culture

Grio books: Great reading for the start of Black History Month

Black History Month: The Descendants

Black History Month: Celebrating African-American
female inventors

Black History Month: Remembering African-American women who have served

Huffington Post - Black History Month

Black History Month: 23 Prominent Black LGBT Icons

What Black History Month Should Be

Other Black History Month Search on The Grio

Great African-American Entrepreneurs Who Made History

African American News


African American Firefighter Museum

While you're on these websites/webpages/youtube, check out other topics related to African Americans; and, of course check out relevant posts and links on this blog.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Presidential Proclamation -- National African American History Month, 2014

Presidential Proclamation -- National African American History Month, 2014

- - - - - - -
Americans have long celebrated our Nation as a beacon of liberty and opportunity -- home to patriots who threw off an empire, refuge to multitudes who fled oppression and despair. Yet we must also remember that while many came to our shores to pursue their own measure of freedom, hundreds of thousands arrived in chains. Through centuries of struggle, and through the toil of generations, African Americans have claimed rights long denied. During National African American History Month, we honor the men and women at the heart of this journey -- from engineers of the Underground Railroad to educators who answered a free people's call for a free mind, from patriots who proved that valor knows no color to demonstrators who gathered on the battlefields of justice and marched our Nation toward a brighter day.
As we pay tribute to the heroes, sung and unsung, of African-American history, we recall the inner strength that sustained millions in bondage. We remember the courage that led activists to defy lynch mobs and register their neighbors to vote. And we carry forward the unyielding hope that guided a movement as it bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. Even while we seek to dull the scars of slavery and legalized discrimination, we hold fast to the values gained through centuries of trial and suffering.
Every American can draw strength from the story of hard-won progress, which not only defines the African-American experience, but also lies at the heart of our Nation as a whole. This story affirms that freedom is a gift from God, but it must be secured by His people here on earth. It inspires a new generation of leaders, and it teaches us all that when we come together in common purpose, we can right the wrongs of history and make our world anew.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 2014 as National African American History Month. I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Lonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story.

A Page From Our American Story

Civil War era Photo of slaves on plantation
Family on Smith's Plantation, Beaufort, South 
Carolina, circa 1862. Image courtesy of the 
Library of Congress.
Slavery: perhaps the last, great unmentionable in public discourse. It is certainly a topic that even today makes people very uncomfortable, regardless of their race.
American society has often expressed its internal problems through its art. Perhaps the most powerful medium for important discussions since the turn of the last century has been the motion picture.
For decades Hollywood has attempted to address the issue of slavery. For the most part, films have represented the period of enslavement in a manner that reflected society’s comfort level with the issue at the time. Director D. W. Griffith’s 1915 silent drama, Birth of a Nation, for instance, depicted African Americans (white actors in black face) better off as slaves. Griffith’s movie showed the institution of slavery “civilizing” blacks. Birth even made it seem like slaves enjoyed their lives and were happy in servitude.
That wasn’t the case, of course, but it was what white society wanted to believe at the time.
Birth of a Nation movie poster
More than two decades after Birth of a Nation, the portrayal of African Americans in films had changed only a little. 1939 saw the release of one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed movies, Gone with the Wind. Producer David O. Selznick believed he was serving the black community with respect — he made sure the novel’s positive portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan was eliminated from the film, for example. But Gone with the Wind nevertheless treated the enslaved as relatively happy, loyal servants, a depiction that continued to reflect America’s segregated society. History was made, however, when Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award for her role as “Mammy.” Still, her part, and the parts of the other black actors drew harsh criticism from major African American newspapers and civil rights groups.
Nearly forty years later, one of Hollywood’s most meaningful attempts to portray the period of enslavement came in 1977 with the television blockbuster mini-series, Roots. Based on Alex Haley’s 1976 best-selling book, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, the mini-series was groundbreaking on many levels. It was a dramatic series with a predominantly African American ensemble that captured a record 37 Emmy nominations — television’s highest artistic award.
Hattie McDaniel publicity photo
Promotional photograph of 
actor Hattie McDaniel (1939).
And Roots marked the first time America witnessed slavery portrayed in detail. Along with the scenes of transporting, selling, and trading men and women, were scenes showing the brutality African Americans often suffered at the hands of slave owners. The depictions of abuse and cruelty were limited, of course, by the medium and by what American society would accept at the time. In keeping with the series’ marketing campaign, the show focused heavily on the family’s ultimate triumphs. For all ofRoots’ firsts, and there were many, it was ultimately a story of resiliency.
Fast forward three-plus decades — American society is undeniably changed. African Americans are regularly featured in movies and television shows. The nation elected, then re-elected, an African American president, Barack Obama.
Drawing critical acclaim today is the movie 12 Years a Slave. 12 Years is a watershed moment in filmmaking. Not only does it feature remarkable performances, excellent cinematography, and powerful direction; it also offers the first realistic depiction of enslavement.
Unlike prior motion pictures and television shows, 12 Years does not retreat from the brutality many blacks endured. The movie is not for the faint hearted, as the violence and cruelty it portrays is not the highly stylized violence found in films like Django Unchained. 12 Years is true to the reality that for years many Americans treated fellow human beings with ruthless brutality — and that reality is harder to face.
The film, however, is not only drawing praise from critics — it recently received nine Oscar nominations, including Best Picture — but enjoying audience appreciation, as well. With that appreciation comes an opportunity to bring the discussion of slavery to the mainstream.
This, then, is an exciting time for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Among its many virtues, the Smithsonian is a great legitimizer with a long tradition of providing venues for Americans to examine their shared history. One of the over-arching goals of the National Museum of African American History and Culture is to create a place where issues like enslavement can be viewed through an unvarnished lens.
12 Years a Slave movie poster
America today needs this discussion and I believe it is ready for it, a sentiment undergirded by a belief in the public’s ability to deal with and care about the issue. The great strength of history, and African American history, is its ability to draw inspiration from even the worst of times. No doubt people throughout the nation and around the world will find that inspiration when they visit the Museum and view our major exhibition on “Slavery and Freedom” when our doors open in late 2015.
Before I close, I want to recommend four insightful narratives written by African Americans during this period of American history. The first is Solomon Northup’s book, 12 Years a Slave. Next is Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs. One of the first books to describe the sexual abuse and torment that female slaves endured, Incidents became one of the most influential works of its time. Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, by Harriet Wilson, is believed to be the first novel published by an African American in North America. Though fictionalized, Wilson’s book is based on her life growing up in indentured servitude in New Hampshire. Finally, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, remains today one of the most important autobiographical works ever written by an American.
12 Years a Slave book cover
12 Years a Slave 
by Solomon Northrup. 1853.
Incidents book cover
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs. 1861.
Our Nig book cover
Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free Black by Harriet Wilson. 1859.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass book cover
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass. 1845.
 dd-enews-temp-lonnie-bunch-2.jpgAll the best,

Lonnie Bunch