Tag Archive | "African-American"


African Americans to Hold Flag Raising Event

The Daughter of Eve and in collaboration with North Hartford Women’s Leadership, and Hartford Area Rally Together, will host an African American flag raising ceremony at City Hall on Oct. 22.

Their ceremony, set for 5 p.m., is being held in honor and memory of community.

Isabel Mendes-Blake founder of the African-American Day Parade.  Participants are asked to wear the Black Liberation colors of red, black and green, as they join Mayor Pedro Segarra and other city, state and community leaders as we celebrate the legacy of Mrs Blake.

For additional information, contact Evelyn Richardson at erichardson@yahoo.com, erichardson@hartofhartford.org, or at 860-888-8906.

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CT Selected to Inquiry About Health Disparities, Low Birth Rate

HARTFORD —  Preterm births occur in the black community at a rate 1.5 times higher than that in the white community, a disparity that has not changed over the last 10 years, according for the Centers for Disease Control.

One of the many causes, health experts say, is racism. And this pattern, birth rate less than 6 lbs among black women, is also found in Connecticut, which has been selected along with three other states by the National Governors Association to participate in its Learning Network on Improving Birth Outcomes.

The Learning Network is designed to assist states in developing, implementing and aligning their key policies and initiatives related to improving birth outcomes.

The NGA will hold in-state sessions with the selected states and convene a networking conference for the states to share lessons learned and further their respective planning processes.

“Many states have started working on initiatives that will improve birth outcomes,” said NGA Executive Director Dan Crippen. “The focus of this Learning Network will be to align existing programs and to help states take advantage of new initiatives that can further their goals in this area.”

The Department of Public Health has established a five-member core team with representatives from the Governor’s Office, the Departments of Public Health and Social Services, and the Connecticut March of Dimes to work with the NGA to establish a statewide coalition of state and local agencies to improve birth outcomes, especially within the state’s minority racial and ethnic communities.

“Participation in the Learning Network will help Connecticut achieve a recent challenge among State and Territorial Health Officers to reduce preterm births by 8 percent by 2014, as well as our goal to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in early preterm births,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Through this unique opportunity with the NGA, we expect to learn effective strategies and best practices for coordinating activities across agencies and accelerate the pace of improving birth outcomes and reducing newborn hospitalization costs.”

The initiative is part of the Alliance for Information on Maternal and Child Health Services. AIM is sponsored by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of Health Resources and Services Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Connecticut’s participation in this initiative builds on recent previous activities conducted within DPH, including selection to participate in an Action Learning Collaborative on the effects of racism on birth outcomes, as well as a training program called the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health on the topic of maternal and infant health.

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La Opinión Calls Birthers ‘Absurd’

La Opinión, Editorial

Editor’s Note: An editorial published in Los Angeles Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión argues that it is “no coincidence that the first time the birthplace of a U.S. president has been questioned, it comes with an African-American whose name is Hussein and whose father was from Kenya.”

The belief that President Obama was not born in U.S. territory, thus making him ineligible to be president, is one of the most absurd political discussions of our time. Despite evidence to the contrary, the fantasy that the president wasn’t born in Hawaii, but perhaps Kenya, refuses to disappear.

Even Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who certainly hasn’t shown much insight in the immigration debate, has found the issue ridiculous. That is why she vetoed a state law yesterday that would have required all presidential candidates to show their birth certificate or document of baptism. Brewer recognized that this law would be one more reason to turn Arizona into a national embarrassment.

Unfortunately Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal doesn’t consider the matter ridiculous and he has confirmed that he would sign a similar bill circulating in his state legislature when it lands on his desk.

Likewise, millionaire Donald Trump, who seems to be putting his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination although he has threatened to run as an independent, doesn’t think the question is absurd. In fact, he is using it as a central piece of his campaigning.

The Republican establishment is uncomfortable with this issue —as they should be— – and a long list of well-known figures have dismissed these “birthers” as nuts. However, for too long, they’ve been playing a game of alluding to the criticism and minimally denouncing those who promote the idea because this has been one way to tarnish the president’s image.

However, the consequences of their actions have now caught up to them. One important sector of the Republican base —Tea Party enthusiasts— have suddenly backed Trump, and he now tops the list of Republican presidential favorites, because they resonate with his questioning of the president’s birthplace.

We don’t believe it is coincidence that the first time the birthplace of a U.S. president has been questioned, it comes with an African-American whose name is Hussein and whose father was from Kenya. There is certainly a degree of racism —from discomfort to hostility— toward Obama. Despite being born in Hawaii and being a Christian, he continues to be labeled an African and a Muslim by a significant number of Americans.

Thankfully Brewer put an end to the issue in Arizona, at least for now. We’ll have to wait and see what the Republican populist base will do the same.


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Council Set to Vote on Keith Carr Corner

By Ann-Marie Adams

HARTFORD — The City Council is set to vote on whether a corner at Albany Avenue and Main Street will be dedicated to Keith Carr, “the glue” of the West Indian community who died last January.

The Council will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the chambers on the second floor at City Hall, 550 Main Street.

The issue has caused a stir in the West Indian community. After considering the resolution since March, the Hartford City Council at a special meeting voted to reject the naming of the corner of Albany Ave. in July. There was no debate.

Since then, the West  Indian community has been mobilizing to fight what they considered an affront to not just to the former community activist but to the entire community.

The mobilization came after an article that appeared The Hartford Guardian news magazine online. In that article, Luis Cotto said he opposed the targeted corner because it “belongs” to the Puerto Rican community.

“I originally questioned why name the specific location after Keith Carr, again, a man I highly admired and considered a mentor in my field.  I thought I would hear rationale that spoke to Mr. Carr’s link to that specific site.

Instead I now understand that this represents a compromise between two communities, the communities in the upper Albany area (1.2 miles away from the proposed site) and communities in the North Main street area (1.3 miles away from the proposed site.),” Cotto said.  “It is because of this that I must respectfully NOT support this item.  That Tunnel section of the city is inextricably connected to the birth of the Puerto Rican community in this city.”

Cotto called the Clay Arsenal section of the City “the cradle” of the Puerto Rican community because “we came off the fields of tobacco in Windsor.  My mother and father’s first apartment was on East Street and even decades later when we moved up to Vine, the only store that would give credit was Ernie’s Market.”

Others respectfully disagreed with Cotto’s claim that the community cradled only the Puerto Rican community.

In a answer to Cotto’s letter, Councilwoman Veronica Airey-Wilson stated that “we have got to reach a point in this city where we think unity rather than separation of communities.  It is important for our kids to learn that this is a multi- ethnic city and a variety of people can be celebrated within our neighborhoods.”

She continues:   “As you are aware, the West Indian and the Puerto Rican Communities have similar histories in Hartford.  The Clay Arsenal neighborhood was where the West Indian farm workers settled when they left the tobacco farms in the 50’s and early 60’s.  As a matter of fact, my parents lived on East Street and Green Street and shopped at Ernie’s too.  They attended Church around the corner at Saint Monica’s and Mr. Carr followed the same pattern.”

Cotto earlier this year championed a street dedication for Maria Sanchez, a former community activist from Puerto Rico.  As late as last Friday, he said he stands by his decision about the Keith Carr corner dedication.

And other residents have joined in the discussion.

Jean Walcott Holloway of Fairmont Street said that Clay Arsenal neighborhood belongs to African Americans and the Puerto Ricans and that the West Indians should find another corner to salute Keith Carr.

“It has become far too convenient lately to re-name or superimpose individual’s names on our street names irrespective of the residents’ opinion or the individual’s history in the area,” she said. “Such actions reduce the honor that may be bestowed on an individual and cause confusion in neighborhoods that have no connection with the individual being honored.”

Others in the West Indian community believe that argument is substantially flawed.

“Hartford contains many people of diverse backgrounds; Hispanic, West Indian, African , Vietnamese, East Indian, West African and East European, to name a few. We all share the city,” said Janet Wilson of Bannister Road. “Therefore, I do not understand how an  attempt by one group to rename a street after a respected member of their community can possibly be construed as disrespect to any other ethnic group, especially someone like Keith Carr who was known and beloved by the Hartford community as a whole.”

Ann-Marie Adams is a West Indian, a Caribbean-American and an African-American. She’s also Afro-Latino.

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