Since that first visit to the school in 2004, when I spent two days and nights on campus, had meals with the students, sat in on their classes, and toured the grounds, I have been advocating for Piney Woods. When former President, Dr. Charles Beady,
told me the story about a national fundraising effort in 1954, I decided to start another such fundraiser some fifty years later; our goal was to raise $1 million ($5.00 each from 200,000 donors) for Piney Woods via a group we established known as the Blackonomics Million Dollar Club (BMDC). We helped a lot but came nowhere close to our goal.
Back in 1954, Ralph Edwards, host of the television show, “This is Your Life,” featured Dr. Laurence Jones’ life. Edwards was so impressed with Jones and Piney Woods that he put out a call to his viewers to send in $1.00 each to the school in an effort to raise $1 million; according to Dr. Beady, Edwards’ campaign raised about three-quarters of a million. I figured if $750,000 could be raised in 1954 from an effort that went out over television, a medium only a few families were fortunate enough to have, surely we could eclipse that effort in 2004 with the Internet at our disposal. Optimist that I am, I am absolutely sure we can do that in 2016.
By way of example, Brother Umar Johnson has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his proposed school. He has not yet determined where it will be located, but donors have responded with their dollars nonetheless. Piney Woods has been around for 106 years; it is viable, competitive, and dedicated to serving students and families, most of which are unable to pay the entire tuition necessary for room and board. Why wouldn’t we do the same—and more—for Piney Woods? Piney Woods President, Will Crossley says, “Our students – both male and female – hail from more than 24 states and foreign jurisdictions; from inner-city urban locations, as well as rural spaces; from points north, south, east, and west. As diverse as they are, our students share this status: they all receive scholarship support to help fund their education here. They also share an amazing result: admission to post-secondary educational institutions. I know these principles well and in a personal way. While I am the fifth president of this historic, 107-year-old institution, I am the first alumnus to head our school.”
The school’s national press release states, “Piney Woods creates a living and learning environment where students are expected to excel academically, and become civically engaged and socially responsible. Over 75% of the pupils hail from lower income areas where the failing public school systems and negative peer pressure often inhibit them from accomplishing their life goals. However, after undertaking Piney Woods Schools’ rigorous educational, spiritual and vocational curriculums 99% of the graduating seniors are admitted to colleges and universities.”
The “Give from the Heart National Challenge 2016” fundraiser campaign for Piney Woods began in February 2016. On Saturday, April 30, 2016, an all-star benefit concert will take place at the Word and Worship Church in Jackson, MS. Please plan to attend; but if you cannot, please send a donation to this deserving and worthwhile institution. This is an opportunity for everyone to help Piney Woods maintain the same high-quality education it has provided for years, an education that results in 95% of its graduates going on to college. I believe in the “little from a lot” way of getting things done. In this case once again, if 200,000 persons sent $20.00 every six months to Piney Woods, the school could be well on its way to building an endowment, continue to have the financial ability to give even more student scholarships, pay its teachers and administration attractive salaries, and maintain the school’s infrastructure. Who knows? Maybe your child or grandchild will have the privilege to attend Piney Woods one day.
Why not plan to visit the campus soon, and please send your tax-deductible donation to Piney Woods School, U.S. Highway 49 South, Piney Woods, Mississippi, 39148. For more information see www.pineywoods.com or call 601 845 2214.
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By Elliot Booker — 2 years ago
Today’s REVIVE show topic is entitled:
“Getting to the Root”
I need you all to be apart of the conversation!
It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832. This episode of REVIVE will be an open forum so all perspectives can be heard through great conversation.
This episode on REVIVE is entitled “Getting to the Root: A Discussion in Honor of World Youth Skills Day” This episode will focus on decision making, the importance of youth developing skills, and ways to build a more prosperous future! You don’t want to miss this episode!
Taylor Frome: Taylor Frome is founder and executive director of YOUTH EMPOWERMENT SERVICES AKA YESPhilly. YESPhilly is a Philadelphia based nonprofit with the mission of developing opportunities for Philly youth who drop out of our high schools. YESPhilly started in 2000, and have had several different types of programs, from community centers, to a GED program, to a Alternative High School—where students can finish their high school education and get a regular high school diploma. YESPhilly is different from other Alternative schools because the focus is on meeting students where they are, and helping them transition into higher education or employment. Before starting YESPhilly Ms. Frome had started the YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, which is still providing a combination of job training and high school education.
Rose McGee: Rose McGee is a “sweet potato pie philanthropist”, storyteller, educator, playwright, and entrepreneur. She is the creator of the Sweet Potato Comfort Pie Initiative, owner of Deep Roots Gourmet Desserts, and has a TEDx Talk on The Power of Pie. Two summers ago, she led her own community of Golden Valley in baking 56 Sweet Potato Comfort Pies and personally served them at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. where nine African Americans were killed. Her Sweet Potato Comfort Pie Approach has become a cornerstone during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend when Rose along with other volunteers bake sweet potato pies at Calvary Lutheran Church, then facilitate conversations around race and equity. Participants then take the pies and distribute them as gifts to individuals and organizations throughout the community as a symbol of concern and celebration. She is author of the book, Story Circle Stories, works for Minnesota Humanities Center, and resides in Golden Valley, Minnesota where she was recently selected as Citizen of The Year.
Mike Nelson: Mike Nelson aka Mike the Motivator is an Author, Minister, Motivational Speaker. A proud native of West Philadelphia Mike, travels the country providing student development to schools. Mike has reached close to 70 schools and 7,000+ students with his message of “making school the new cool” Mike, is the author of Yes, You Can: 7 Keys to student success. A book geared towards students that help keep students academically engaged. Mike is a graduate from Biblical Theological Seminary where he received his Masters degree with a concentration in Urban Studies.
YOU CAN CATCH REVIVE EVERY SUNDAY 11 AM-1 PM & EVERY WEDNESDAY 8 PM-10 PM!!!
It would be amazing to hear your perspective. So please call in we want to hear what you guys the listening audience out there have to say always. Once again this show is for the people. We here at REVIVE thrive off of communication. So call us at (215)490-9832 & follow on Twitter and Facebook @REVIVE_POC !
WE NEED YOU ALL TO BE APART OF THE CONVERSATION!!Post Views: 155
By Elliot Booker — 2 months ago
Omowale Afrika Apr 26
A TRIBUTE TO DR. FRANCES CRESS WELSING
“Black people are afraid, but Black people are going to have to get over their fear… We Black people do not see the war being waged against us because we don’t want to and because we are afraid. We are engaging in behavior designed specifically to block out any awareness of the war — our true reality. Our behavior thus forces us into the insanity of hoping and begging — as opposed to the sanity of analysis, specific behavioral pattern design and specific conduct in all areas of people activity: economics, education; entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war.”
~ Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
Those who love justice must overcome their fear of death. Within the context of this essay, death is synonymous with ‘whiteness.’ Whiteness historically has represented a perversion of all things sacred: life; sex; nature; and spirit. At its core, whiteness is a way of thinking, and a way of being, that is anti-life. In other words, whiteness, whether expressed through thought, word, or action, represents a culture shrouded in death, that we all must contend with. As African people, we must face the reality that the purveyors of this culture currently dominate the planet; and if we — as a species — are to survive the period of white minority rule, we must find the courage to confront the system that presently dominates us. As a race, our domination is reflected in the gods we serve (or no longer serve), the languages we speak (or no longer speak), the cultures we value (or no longer value), and the names we answer to (or no longer answer to). While this global system of white racial domination is maintained through the use of physical force, its greatest weapon is deployed in the realm of ideas.
The intellectual architects of global white supremacy (i.e. death culture) have always been clear that ideas are their greatest weapons of war. As is true in modern warfare, there are some ideas/weapons that are so devastating to the planet, that they constitute weapons of mass destruction. Undergirding white philosophical thought is such an idea: materialism.
Materialism as the basis for European cultural expansion has led to the devaluation of spirit, and the desacralization of nature. The belief that nothing exists except what we can feel, see, touch, dominate, and control reduces life to nothing more than physical matter to be acted upon in pursuit of dominance over the material world. This way of thinking is not only killing humanity — it’s destroying the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the eco-systems we depend on for nourishment. Said differently, the Eurocentric way of life has proven so deadly that the biblical injunction of the “pale horse” pales in comparison to the brink of extinction white culture has brought us to.
Any system of thought based on a Eurocentric materialist philosophy — along with the technology (i.e. tools of death) created from said system — is only capable of producing widespread isfet. If we are to restore Ma’at to the planet, we must reassert the foundational African principle that matter separate from spirit equals death. In order to reassert African principles, we must first reassert ourselves as African people. Doing so will require us to acknowledge that existing as Africans in an anti-African world is to exist as a prisoner, for as long as Africa is held captive.
Loss of life has been the means by which our enemies have terrorized us into accepting their world order — but if Africans are to emerge victorious in the contest of the races, our understanding of both life and death must be regrounded in an African worldview. If we believe, like Europeans believe, that life is no more than the physical world that we see around us, the threat of death will paralyze us into inaction. But if we believe, like our ancestors believed, that death is simply another and superior mode of existence, not the end of life, we’ll have all we need to overcome our fear of Europeans.
Our great teachers, from Marcus Garvey to Dr. Welsing, labored in the trenches to teach us that confronting this fear, is the only way to get over it:
FEAR is a state of nervousness fit for children and not men. ~ Marcus Garvey
He who lives not uprightly, dies completely in the crumbling of the physical body, but he who lives well, transforms himself from that which is mortal, to immortal. ~ Marcus Garvey
Our healing as a captive and exploited people lies in our ability to acknowledge our fear of the system that has been constructed to imprison us. Acknowledging that fear is the operating principle. Acknowledgement of the fear will take away its power. She [Dr. Welsing] knew that confronting our fear would enable us to confront the system itself… Through confrontation we become confident and therefore powerful.
~ Marimba Ani; A Praise Song for Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Our Race Champion
If we are to regain our footing on this earth, as African people, we must confront, and ultimately overcome our fear of whiteness. Our only hopes lies in a global African renaissance, which is impossible without ending the system of white minority rule, and restoring the system of justice, that once governed the planet. In the words of Marcus Garvey, if [we] cannot do it, if [we] are not prepared to do it then [we] will DIE, and forever be known as — A RACE OF COWARDS!Post Views: 202
By Elliot Booker — 2 years ago
Hakim Hopkins wants to be clear: His place will always be a bookstore.
Black and Nobel, Hopkins’ shop at Broad and Erie, is weathering industry shifts. Brick-and-mortar black bookstores have become rarities, hit hard by online shopping and e-books. The African American Literature Book Club maintains a directory of black-owned bookstores, by state. Out of the three establishments listed for Pennsylvania, only two remain open: Hakim’s Bookstore and Gift Shop in West Philly, the oldest African American bookstore in the country, and Black and Nobel.
Hakim’s (Hopkins was named after its founder) is open part-time, four days a week. Black and Nobel — the second part of the name, commonly pronounced “Noble,” is really meant to sound like the estimable prize — is open seven days a week. However, books aren’t the only thing sold there.
Inside the store, shoppers can pick up DVDs, wooden sculptures, flags from countries throughout the Black Diaspora, clothing, smoothies and shea butter. The latter two are huge sellers; Black and Nobel manufactures its own sea moss drinks and products with plants imported from Caribbean islands like St. Lucia and Belize.
“Health and wellness keeps us open,” said Hopkins, “but the books are a foundation — everybody knows us as ‘the bookstore.’”
Both are products not readily available anywhere else nearby. “You don’t see that in the hood,” he explained. He offered, for comparison’s sake, the idea of a sushi spot opening on the corridor. “If someone came to Erie Avenue and opened a sushi restaurant, the line would go all the way to the bus stop.
“Because we’re a bookstore, it’s a big deal for people,” he said. “I’ll always sell books, whether it’s slow or fast.”
In an article for Black Perspectives, the blog for the African American Intellectual History Society, University of Baltimore history professor Joshua Clark Davis evaluated the black bookstore as not simply a book retailer, but as a locus for Black Power.
“African American booksellers were much more than small business owners,” Clark wrote. “In the late 1960s and 1970s, a successful black bookstore could bring together the campaigns for black politics, black arts, black studies, black community control, and black economic empowerment into the space of a single business. In so doing, these activist entrepreneurs realized Black Power’s goals for self-determination, and they helped to redefine what black businesses could and should be.”
Hopkins would concur with this argument, but he also thinks the digital age and political climate are changing the customer base. He pointed out that he doesn’t always know what color his online shoppers are. He set up a table at the Women’s March in DC, where he sold health products and tees.
“I sold out of everything, and it wasn’t too many of us there, as far as black people,” he said. “People were buying black culture that weren’t black… I think we’re living in a different time. People are coming together more now than ever.”
Before you enter the bookstore, vendors greet you outside.
Hopkins says online business is key. The store also maintains an active YouTube presence, where it has nearly 40,000 subscribers.
Hopkins stocks books from mostly independent authors and publishers. He felt inspired to go into the business after voracious reading pulled him through a dark period in his life. He doesn’t like to get into what had happened back then: “I try not to go too deep into negativity.” After participating in a six-week career development program at Temple in 2004, he started vending books downtown and built up the business until he eventually opened a storefront in 2007.
Before books, Hopkins wasn’t a stranger to vending. He had sold oils, tees and the like. “We come from that hustle mentality,” he explained. “Me and my team, we’ll be setting up at 9:30 to sell hot soup and products at the Gucci Mane show.”
Hopkins said he wasn’t unnerved by industry trends. “I’m not bitter at all. I helped develop a lot of talent and artists,” he said. “I can’t be scared, I have to be sturdy.”
He said the store’s evolution has been a natural one: “You don’t need to have a book everyday, but you do need to wash your body everyday, hopefully two or three times a day.”
Inside, it’s not unusual to hear Hopkins having long discussions with customers. The bookstore as a place to hang out and politic — Hopkins loves that. “It’s kind of dying breed, but we’re holding on to it,” he said. “So people can feel human and not nano, not technology. That’s where the world is going. That’s where the world is. We do a mix of both.”
The web domain WeShipToPrisons.com redirects to Black and Nobel’s website. The store, thanks in part to its eye-grabbing signage, has become known for this service. In October 2015, Hopkins told Philly Voice that he was shipping 50 packages to prisons daily. He couldn’t put his finger on a figure when we checked with him. “Every week it varies,” he said.
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