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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 55,445

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Journal Archives

Super Bowl QB's race not the issue it used to be

NEW YORK - Nine years ago in Jacksonville, an African-American quarterback started for a Super Bowl team, marking only the third time that had happened in 39 Super Bowls. It was a big deal.

Doug Williams - still the only African-American QB to win the NFL championship - talked then about how he was pulling for the Eagles' Donovan McNabb, at a Super Bowl week meeting of The Field Generals, a group Williams founded to preserve the legacy of early black quarterbacks. That week, McNabb recalled being 11 years old and watching Williams win with the Redskins, McNabb realizing then that he, too, could quarterback a Super Bowl team, he said.

This Sunday, Russell Wilson, the great-great grandson of a slave, will quarterback the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, and nobody much cares, it seems, or notices.

"It will be known, if he wins," McNabb predicted yesterday from his NBC Sports seat along radio row in the Super Bowl media center. McNabb said he spoke with Wilson about that very fact a few days ago, but McNabb agreed the matter is not as relevant to society as a whole as it was in 2005, or in 2000 when the late Steve McNair quarterbacked the Tennessee Titans to the brink of Super Bowl XXXIV victory, and certainly not as relevant as in 1988, when Williams made history.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20140131_Super_Bowl_QB_s_race_not_the_issue_it_used_to_be.html#kGMzG9MPcw5QlS2E.99

(full disclosure: Russell Wilson is a family friend, and no I did not pester his family for tickets...But if the SB this year was in MIA-NO-PHX-SD as the gods intended, I would have rang the phone off the hook nonstop)

Va. dealer Moorehead becomes 1st African-American with a U.S. Rolls-Royce store

Tom Moorehead, owner of BMW and Mini dealerships in Sterling, Va., has acquired a Rolls-Royce store, becoming the first African-American with a franchise to sell the ultraluxury brand in the United States.

Moorehead acquired Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Sterling on Dec. 30. That makes him the operator of one of 35 U.S. Rolls-Royce dealerships, a spokeswoman for the brand said. The store had been operated by Euro Motorcars Inc. in Bethesda, Md.

“When you look at it, [Rolls-Royce] is the next step up from BMW,” said Moorehead, who also is chairman of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers.

NAMAD President Damon Lester confirmed that Moorehead is the first African-American to hold a Rolls-Royce franchise in the United States.

This year, Moorehead expects his monthly Rolls-Royce sales to total 30 to 40 new units and 8 to 10 used units. He said his store serves customers of the dealership’s previous owners in Washington, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The first Rolls-Royce Moorehead sold was a two-door Wraith. The Wraith, introduced in 2013, is aimed at 40-somethings. He said many Rolls-Royce Ghost sedans, which were launched in 2009, are returning to the market as off-lease vehicles. He expects those vehicles to provide inventory for his used-car operations.


Trove of Photographs of African-American Life in Jazz-Age New Orleans

These pages come from The Crescent City Pictorial, a 28-page booklet that contains photographs of African-American New Orleans in 1926. It’s recently been digitized by Tulane University’s Amistad Research Center, and the full document is available through Tulane’s digital library.

The Amistad Center’s blog writes that publisher Orlando Capitola Ward Taylor intended the 50-cent booklet to be a souvenir, and a way to boost the prospects of the African-American community. (The front of the booklet reads: “Dedicated to the colored citizens of New Orleans, Louisiana, ‘America’s Most Interesting City.’”)

In the 19th century, historian Elizabeth Fussell writes, the city’s residential pattern was racially mixed, as African-Americans working in white homes often lived nearby their employers for ease of access. In the early 20th century, white citizens moved to newly-drained swamplands on the edges of the city, while stricter enforcement of “Jim Crow” laws segregated public facilities.

The pages of the booklet aim to show off the diversity and breadth of life in the black community. Photographer Villard Paddio, who owned a studio in the Treme area of the city, took pictures of the interiors of businesses, social clubs, community centers, “old folks’ homes,” and hospitals. The booklet contains four pages of the exteriors of homes of its citizens, and two pages of churches.

A collage of images of the Pythian Temple features a group shot in the roof garden, which functioned as a dance hall (you can see a close-up photo of the dance hall in action here). The page also shows the range of professionals and businesses that leased offices in the temple’s space: doctors, attorneys, and the Liberty Industrial Life Insurance Company.



Meanwhile, in Florida Part II:


Meanwhile, in Florida:

You're used to seeing golf carts on the streets on The Villages, but what about a tank?

One man designed a scale replica of an M1 A1 Abrams tank and it shoots T-shirts out of its cannon.

Vince DeSantis tells Local 6 it took about a year to build the 1,000-pound tank.

"It's my tribute to Gulf War veterans and the tanks they drove. It was just phenomenal what it could do. It could do things no other tank could do," DeSantis said.

The idea for the tank struck DeSantis at a tractor pull with a friend and his grandson.

"The grandson was waving his hands trying to catch a T-shirt," he said. "I thought we could make a nicer presentation if we had something with a cannon, like a tank."

After that, DeSantis immediately started designing the tank with only external pictures to guide him. Working 10 to 12 hours a day in his garage, he first built a steel frame and then covered it with plywood and a special primer.

"I was able to work out my problems and bugs and sometimes went down the wrong path, but I worked myself back and did what I had to do," he said


Meet Central Florida's first African-American TV director

“I’ve done everything from sports to commercials to music videos in addition to news” said WKMG Local 6 Director Willie Doby with a huge smile on his face. “My dream has been fulfilled.” But he will always remember that the road to becoming the first African-American TV director in the market was not a swift or easy one.

Born and raised in Orlando on October 5, 1959, Willie Doby is the middle child, and oldest male of 6 siblings. His mother was a homemaker who taught him everything from how to cook to how to do laundry to how to sew. His father was a Navy officer but when Doby was just 4 years old, his father passed. His mother later remarried and he gained a stepfather who was a role model to him and example of how perseverance leads to success. Doby’s parent raised him and his siblings on the principle that the key to life was hard work.

Doby attended Holden Street Elementary School, which at the time was the only school for African-American children in Orlando before desegregation. When the change occurred he was then bused miles away from his home everyday to attend a predominately white school, Cherokee Junior High. The distance was hard for him, but he was able to adapt because of his go with the flow attitude.

After that, Doby attended Jones High School. There he was able to finish his credits and attend a trade program that allowed him to pursue many different paths. Doby has always had a passion for cameras and learning everything about them. This interest led him to enroll in the photography track and graduate in 1977. Luckily, Doby’s older sister Marilyn Harris, who worked at WKMG as a film editor, spoke to her boss, Larry Newton, about Willies love for cameras. Newton shared a love of cameras and allowed Willie to come in, eventually offering him a part-time position.

Doby began as a Production Technician, doing everything from camera work to CG to audio. After a couple of years, he met New Directors Rich Fogel and Mike Krause. Impressed by their leadership skills and production ability, Doby was inspired to become a director and began his quest. With the help of Fogel and Crouse, Willie was given the training he needed to reach his goal, though during this time it wasn’t a door open to African-Americans. He shadowed them for two years and after being turned down 3 times for the floor director position, his manager finally realized that Willie had done the work and deserved the position. As a result, in March 1982, Willie became the first African-American director in the market.


UCLA Faculty leaders considering plan for African-American studies department

The UCLA Academic Senate is reviewing a proposal to build on the strength and increasing popularity of the Interdepartmental Program in Afro-American Studies by converting it to a full academic department.

Since its founding in 1974, the program has built a reputation for outstanding scholarship and innovative courses that attract students from a wide range of backgrounds and draw on top faculty from sociology, history, communications and many other disciplines.

Departmentalization would help provide the resources needed to continue that trajectory by aiding faculty recruitment, expanding partnerships with professional schools and potentially developing a doctoral degree program, said Mark Sawyer, chair of the program and professor of African-American studies and political science in the College of Letters and Science.

"The diversity of the African-American experience in the U.S. is a vehicle not just for understanding African-Americans but for understanding all cultures and the social world, literature, the arts, history and other areas of intellectual inquiry," said Sawyer, who also directs the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Politics.

The proposal to create a department of African-American studies has the support of Chancellor Gene Block and other campus administrative leaders.

"The Interdepartmental Program in Afro-American Studies is a model of collaboration and innovative curriculum that reflects UCLA's commitment to robust scholarship and teaching," Block said. "Elevating the program to a full academic department would facilitate its growth in further service to both our students and to society."

Creating an African-American studies department would "immediately position UCLA as a major player among the top departments in the U.S. with a similar interdisciplinary focus," said Alessandro Duranti, dean of the Division of Social Sciences in the College of Letters and Science.

The College's Faculty Executive Committee unanimously approved the proposal for departmentalization last year.

Silicon Valley: Budding African-American scientists learn from both success and failure

SAN JOSE -- Attention, Tesla Motors: Your next budding engineering genius lives right in your backyard and has a question and a hunch about aerodynamics for you.

Ayinde Olukotun, 11, was intrigued by the electric car company's decision last year to raise its new Model S higher off the ground after a series of well-publicized battery fires.

"As a car guy, I wondered if this small change would alter the aerodynamics of the car," said Ayinde, a sixth-grader at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto.

He was among about 100 young scientists explaining their displays Saturday at the 12th annual Greene Scholars Program Science Fair.

The fair is part of the Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program, aimed at nurturing African-American students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math -- often called the STEM fields. The program offers workshops, enrichment, a summer institute, a career fair and other activities to the 110 students in third through 12th grade enrolled in the program in four Bay Area counties, Program Director Gloria Whitaker-Daniels said.

The science fair, she said, provides a safe place for students to showcase their achievements and practice presentation skills and speaking to strangers.


Profiles Of Courage: The Rich History Of African-American Firefighters

The men and women who serve on the front lines as firefighters, rescuing citizens in harm’s way, should be saluted daily for their bravery. In one of the most-dangerous and selfless occupations in the world, firefighters risk their lives for the safety of others at a moment’s notice. Even though history has not been kind to the memory of African-American firemen, their contribution to firefighting is a significant one. Still, even with the most-dedicated research, it is difficult to ascertain who were the first African-Americans who took up the role as firefighters.

Several sources, including the richly detailed website from historian Mike Legeros, all point to the summer of 1817 as being the earliest record that Black firemen existed in New Orleans, La. Although Black men stamping out blazes could have happened before then, there is no real evidence available in capturing this historic truth. According to Legeros, 1821 and 1833 also show evidence of freed men joining firemen ranks in New Orleans, but like before, the records were poorly kept and the facts disjointed.


The Ohio State University To Name 1st African-American President

The Ohio State University is setting a historic precedence just in time for Black History Month. Dr. Michael Drake, the current University of California Irvine Chancellor is said to be the next president of Buckeye Nation as a successor to former president Gordon Gee, following his July retirement. Reports The Lantern: University of California Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake is expected to be named the next president of Ohio State, The Lantern has learned. Ria Carlson, associate vice chancellor of strategic communications at UC Irvine, declined to comment on whether Drake was a finalist for the OSU presidency Wednesday afternoon. Carlson had said Monday she hadn't heard anything and didn't think Drake would want to comment, but would look into it. Drake was appointed chancellor of UC Irvine in 2005. Before his appointment, he served as vice president for health affairs for the University of California system for five years. UC Irvine has more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, according to UC Irvine 2013 Facts and Figures. Drake is an alumnus of Stanford University and UC San Francisco. Dr. Drake is an ophthalmologist by trade but is also a member of the NCAA Division I board of directors. - See more at: http://hiphopwired.com/2014/01/30/michael-drake-ohio-state-1st-african-american-president/#sthash.SszeWpRj.dpuf
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