Stereotyping is never a good idea!

We often hear about the crimes and homicides that take place in Chicago and in particular the south side of Chicago. The murder and overall crime rate is frightening.

I wouldn’t want to walk around the streets of Roseland, Englewood or a number of Chicago neighborhoods at night. Actually, I don’t think I would want to walk around them during the day. However, that is not to say that all or even a large number of people in South Chicago are hoodlums. I think just the opposite; most of the people are good and decent.

Last Sunday, I spoke at a church in Roseland and spent almost five hours with a group of very sweet, kind people who live in this neighborhood— 99.9 percent of the group was African American. My wife and I had a beautiful time with these people. I asked the pastor who lives in the neighborhood if he felt safe and he replied no. He went on to tell me that he never lets his grandkids out alone to play in his own yard. He occasionally hears shots in his neighborhood and even had some bullet holes in his car some months back. He went on to tell me, I was in one of the most violent neighborhoods in Chicago.

Sadly, there is horrific violence on the Southside of Chicago. Tragically, there are criminals and hoodlums in this incredible city. However, most of the people living on the Southside are not bad people. They are good people trying to survive and overcome the minority of criminals, hoodlums and gang members who make their community scary.

I was raised in Martin County, Kentucky. President Lyndon Johnson began his campaign on poverty in our hometown in 1964. He visited Tom Fletcher about three miles down the road from our family. The Fletcher family became the poster family for Johnson’s war on poverty. We didn’t appreciate the stereotyping of all Martin county people as poor, ignorant hillbillies. I’m sure the Fletcher family didn’t appreciate it either. However, with the history of the Hatfields and the McCoys along with television programs like The Dukes of Hazzard, many of us got the media’s drift about how they viewed Appalachian people.

Yes, just like Chicago, Appalachia has enough ignorance and poverty. President Johnson’s war on poverty just created more poor people. However, lots of people from Appalachia complete college or conduct successful businesses, work hard and meaningful jobs and pay lots of taxes, just like many people do in Chicago. Like all the people on the Southside of Chicago we don’t like to be stereotyped either.

We stereotype in a multitude of other ways. Stereotypes freeze us into time. They limit our ability to communicate, understand and move forward. When we stereotype we make a generalization that limits productivity and success.

I’m so grateful I got to spend a Sunday on the Southside of Chicago. The next time I hear about a Chicago crime, murder or other violent acts I will have some lovely people on my mind and I will be praying and thinking with them about how we all need to work together to rise above the stereotypes and the problems and make this world better.

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist, speaker and the author of 11 books. His column appears in all 50 states. Mollette’s books are available at

Local Mary Kay entrepreneur is first black woman to be top Independent Sales Director

What started as a small goal to make $200 extra dollars a month turned into a record-setting accomplishment and extraordinary success story for Mary Kay Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director Gloria Mayfield Banks. The Detroit, Michigan, native is the first African American woman to hold the number one position within Mary Kay’s independent sales force in the United States based on year-to-date earnings.

Banks started her Mary Kay business in 1988 to earn extra money to pay for her children’s daycare costs. For nearly two decades, the entrepreneur has blazed a trail within the global cosmetics company by breaking numerous company records including achieving the status of Mary Kay Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director, a position held by only three women in the United States. A graduate of Howard University and Harvard Business School, Banks also holds an Honorary Doctorate from University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

“What it means to me to be the first African American to achieve the number one position within Mary Kay’s independent sales force is hope and possibilities,” said Banks. “Whenever someone you know or someone that looks like you achieves something that no one else has done, it just opens up a possibility. I tell people that I joined Mary Kay for the money but I fell in love with the recognition. Being around ambitious women who kept God first, family second and career third was intoxicating because I didn’t have that anywhere else.”

As leaders within their industry, Independent National Sales Directors often mentor other Mary Kay business owners by sharing best practices, knowledge and guidance on running a successful business. Throughout her Mary Kay journey, Banks traveled the world to inspire and train future leaders within the company’s independent sales force, which exceeds 3.5 million people in more than 35 markets around the world.

“Gloria has been instrumental in helping our company grow by enriching women’s lives in the United States and throughout the world,” said Darrell Overcash, President of Mary Kay U.S. “Her leadership, dedication and passion for Mary Kay has influenced and encouraged countless number of women.”

Banks will be recognized for her accomplishments at Mary Kay’s annual Seminar in Dallas. The event, running July 24 through Aug. 6 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, is comprised of four back-to-back conferences and is one of the largest events in North Texas. The convention is focused on recognizing Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants for their achievements while also providing education, inspiration and motivation for the year ahead.

Banks resides in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband, Ken Banks, and they share four adult children.

North Avenue Rising Project promises efficient, effective transit

— Last school year, Brittany Patterson’s commute to work started at 5:45 a.m. on the 91 bus from Garrison Boulevard and Bateman Avenue. A few stops away at North and Bloomingdale, a block from Hilton Street, the crown of the corridor, she would get off and wait inside the bus shelter in front of the Walbrook Branch of the Pratt Library for the 13 bus with her two-year-old daughter asleep in her arms.

The 13 took her to Penn-North Metro Subway station, where she caught the train downtown to catch another bus over to the East side to her daughter’s daycare. From there, she went to her job as a classroom aide at Harford Heights Elementary School, situated near the rear end of the North Avenue corridor at Broadway.

The Penn-North station plays a vital role in Patterson’s everyday travels. Without it, getting to work would take a lifetime.The same is true for the nearly four million passengers who use the North Avenue corridor to connect to places of work, home and play throughout the city.

To that end, North Avenue, the Maryland Transit Administration’s (MTA) second busiest bus line, is getting a makeover as part of Governor Larry Hogan’s transformative BaltimoreLink Transit improvement plan.

Earlier this month, the MTA was granted $10 million of federal funds to complete the North Avenue Rising Project, which aims to revitalize the community and improve transit in Baltimore. The funds come from the U.S. State Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant. The grant compliments $14.7 million committed by MDOT, $1.6 million from U.S. DOT’s Federal Highway Administration and $1 million from Baltimore City.

“I want to make sure that we who have cars don’t forget about the people who have to take buses,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings at an August 12 press conference. “Transportation allows people to be able to live; it brings life to life.”

North Avenue was already included in the MTA’s $135 million revision of the citywide transit network. Most of the evidence of this plan at work is in midtown, between Howard Street and Greenmount Avenue. Street trees have sprouted from manicured median strips, bus shelters have been redesigned and beautified, and bike facilities are no longer few and far between and bike lanes have been placed on streets crossing the corridor in Charles Village like Guilford Avenue’s Bike Boulevard. Additional federal funds have secured improvements to the rest of the corridor that include dedicated bus lanes, transit signal priority at intersections, streetscaping, roadway re-paving, and enhancements to the Light Rail and Metro Subway stations.

Replacing transit infrastructures on North Avenue is about more than impacting the flow of traffic by adding of bike and bus lanes. It’s also about improving the quality of life for residents and reconnecting the city.

The transit-sector is a vital component of today’s global economy. Economic and development opportunities have become increasingly related to the mobility of information, goods and people. Efficient transport systems provide social opportunity and benefits that include increased accessibility to markets, schools, and employment that have a multiplied effect on the entire community.

According to the demographics presented in the North Avenue Rising Project’s TIGER grant proposal, unemployment in communities along the North Avenue corridor is 16.5 percent compared to the city’s seven percent; vacant houses account for 35.1 percent of dwelling space compared to the city’s 17.5 percent; and 24.7 percent of the population does not hold a high school diploma or GED compared to the city’s 19.9 percent.

“State-of-the-art infrastructure that supports multimodal transportation for city residents makes economic opportunities accessible,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake. “Building effective transit infrastructure has positive impact on the quality of life of our residents including access to jobs and opportunities. When a resident has the opportunity to grow financially it is a positive outcome for the entire community.”

The North Avenue Rising Project is one of 41 winning projects around the country to be awarded the TIGER grant out of over 600 applicants. Congressman Cummings acknowledged this as a major feat for Baltimore and the state of Maryland. But more importantly, he commended the Obama administration’s commitment to a nationwide transportation plan to rebuild and expand transit lines around the country.

“I don’t want us to lose sight of the fact that this is a part of the Obama legacy,” said Cummings. “So many people don’t want to give him credit for anything. But as he leaves office I want to make it clear that these TIGER grants started because of him and they continue because of him and now all of us have to come together as he moves out of the White House to make sure these efforts continue.”

Cummings also made clear that in the face of national spotlight on the city’s challenges, his faith in the potential of Baltimore remains unmoved.

“I have often said that Baltimore will be fine. There are so many great things that are happening in our city. We are in one of the top five states for millennials moving in. Businesses are moving in fast. [We have] great leadership,” he said. “The question is never whether, to me, Baltimore will do well. The question is whether all of Baltimore will rise together.”

Breshad Perriman excited to be back on the field with Ravens

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman took the field Tuesday, August 23, 2016, after being cleared to return to practice. Perriman was happy to return after missing all of his rookie season with a knee injury.

“It was real nice,” Perriman said after practice.” I’m very happy and very excited to be back out there with my teammates.”

A major part of returning from injury is the mental recovery. Players have to trust their body and have confidence in their recovery. Perriman is reaching that point.

“I feel really good; I’m confident,” Perriman said. “I feel like my speed is still there. I can’t complain at all.”

As a first round draft pick, the expectations were high for Perriman. He was expected to fill the void created when Torrey Smith signed with the San Francisco 49ers.

Not being able to get on the field to try to live up to those expectations took a toll on Perriman. The rehab process was tough, but it prepared him for the rehab he had to do at the beginning of training camp.

“Last year, it was a much longer rehab process. At the same time, I had to go through not being out there,” Perriman said. “You are really going to get what you put in. I’m not saying I didn’t take it well last year. But just going through that made me have a clearer vision of how I had to attack it. I just went in every day with the mindset of trying to get better each day.”

Perriman says he fully expects to be ready for the start of the season. He knows his workload will increase as he continues to work his way back into the mix.

The Ravens would like to have him on the field to be the vertical threat for their offense. Perriman’s speed showed lay season in mini-camp.

Joe Flacco targeted him frequently and the two connected for a number of deep passes against the defense.

Fans were excited about the possibilities after the way the media raved about Perriman. However, the excitement turned to bitterness because of the questions surrounding the length of time that has taken for Perriman’s to recover from his injury.

Fans had a lot of bad things say about Perriman on social media and when they called into talk show radio. The negativity got to Perriman and he has used it as motivation as he rehabbed.

“It fuels you a little bit but at the same time, you kind of just block it out,” Perriman said. “Of course, it is going to fuel you if you read or see anything negative. It is always going to want to make you go harder. At the same time, you can’t let it get to you. You kind of have to have a balanced mindset towards that.”

If Perriman has it his way, all of the frowns will be turned upside down when he starts the season. His goal is to be the dangerous receiver the Ravens hoped they were getting when he was drafted.

Digital Harbor High School student creates ‘Back to School’ logo for BCPS

The Baltimore City Public School system does not always receive the most positive feedback due to a lack of programming to productively foster educational growth for the city’s students.

Digital Harbor High School Senior Tyjay Jenkins as he prepared to DJ the senior prom.

Digital Harbor High School Senior Tyjay Jenkins as he prepared to DJ the senior prom.

Oftentimes, youth experience distractions that may lure them from the importance of furthering their education. However, despite the odds, many of the city’s youth are defying those odds and are headed for brighter futures.

Tyjay Jenkins, an honors student at Digital Harbor High School is breaking barriers and recently created a logo for Baltimore City Public Schools for the upcoming 2016 – 2017 school year.

Born and raised in West Baltimore to loving parents Tasha and Jerome Jenkins, Tyjay grew up in a very nurturing environment, which often protected him from distractions that would deter his focus.

“I feel as though Baltimore City Public Schools are structured in a way to help you succeed [but] you just have to be willing to maintain your focus. Going through middle school and high school, I felt everything that was offered to me [has] prepared me for the next level,” Tyjay said.

Although Jenkins has had a good experience with the city’s school system, he believes that changes could be made to help more students succeed academically.

“I feel there could be more academic structure in the classrooms. Sometimes, I feel in some of my classes there could be more interactions from the teachers with students [who are] having a hard time understanding that particular subject,” said Tiyon, Tyjay’s younger brother. Tiyon will attend Douglas High School as a freshman this year.

Tyjay has excelled at Digital Harbor High School. He has earned various certificates in computer programs, including: Adobe Photoshop CS6, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Creative Cloud. He was the only student at Digital Harbor to receive two Adobe certifications.

Digital Harbor High School has also allowed Tyjay to present his creative talents as the school’s premiere DJ. He has mixed for the junior and senior prom, as well as annual homecoming festivities. This experience has inspired Jenkins to pursue a career in music production and graphic design professionally.

“There were only a few students who joined the club, but mostly myself and another student, Austin attended regularly. Mr. Gavin, our former English teacher at the school, managed the club and made sure we had the proper equipment to perform at events,” Tyvan said.

It is programs like the ‘DJ Club’ that not only keeps students active creatively, but also lends a hand in cultivating the careers of future leaders.

Tyjay, a senior, recently completed a summer job assignment with “YouthWorks” as a media producer for the Leadership in Media Production Program. The goal is for students to learn, develop and produce projects such as public service announcements, news reports and promotional spots for Baltimore City Public Schools on Educational Channel 77.

Under the leadership of Jim Mahjou- bian, the video production coordinator, students created advertisements and promotional “Back to School” content for the upcoming 2016-17 school year. The logo created by Jenkins is featured on Baltimore City Public School’s website homepage and Facebook page.

“I believe if students continue to strive for the best, opportunities will present [themselves]. Nothing ever comes to a person unless they make it known that they can persevere through any challenge that comes their way. Regardless of the circumstances, never let anything stop you.”

Maryland schools begin to open for 2016-2017 academic year

— Maryland public school systems began to re-open on August 17, 2016, and another record number of students, are expected for the 2016-17 academic year.

By the time all schools open their doors on September 6, 2016, more than 880,000 K-12 students are expected to fill classrooms and another 250,000 children will be involved in some form of pre-kindergarten, Head Start, or licensed childcare program.

“Maryland schools are some of the best in the nation, and this time of year is an exciting time for both students and teachers,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “We wish Maryland’s students, educators, and parents a safe, productive, and successful school year.”

Schools this fall begin the fourth full year of implementation of the stronger academic standards designed to better prepare students for both college and career.

“Our goal is to provide students with a foundation for what lies ahead, be it college or career,” said Dr. Karen B. Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “We need Maryland high school graduates to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.”

For more information about the objectives and goals of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for the 2016-2017 academic year, visit:

Push for DC statehood picks up steam

Special from The Washington Informer

The issue of whether the District of Columbia (D.C.) will become the United States’ 51st state has been brewing for a long time, and the lack of voting power within Congress has many residents, city officials and presidential candidates saying the time is right for officially lobbying to make the District a state.

As the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia is a federal district under the direct jurisdiction of Congress, despite being more populous than some states. However, without statehood, D.C. lacks representation in Congress and full control over local laws and affairs, which Congress typically does not have jurisdiction over in any other U.S. city or state.

The District of Columbia does choose a nonvoting delegate— currently Eleanor Holmes Norton— but they are largely symbolic since they have no voting power in the legislative chambers. Nevertheless, the District still have to pay federal taxes and have little to no say in the legislative body that sets tax rates, hence the “taxation without representation” mantra.

Norton told The Informer that she believes District residents should have full and equal rights.

“The District should become a state because there is no other way for the residents of the nation’s capital to enjoy full and equal rights with other American citizens, free from undemocratic interference by the Congress of the United States,” Norton said. “Just like every other [Congress] member, I can vote in committee and can introduce and cosponsor legislation, but I do not have the right to express the views of my constituents by voting on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, even on matters unique to the District of Columbia.

“I have been able to establish relationships with senators and we have many Senate allies, but like other Americans, District residents deserve full voting rights in the Senate, as well as the House,” Norton said.

The District of Columbia is more populous than two states, Vermont and Wyoming, which have full voting representation in Congress with two senators and one House representative. The District also pays more federal taxes than 22 other states.

City residents have limited say in who will be in the president’s cabinet, the head any federal agency, or on any federal court, since the decision is ultimately up to the Senate— in which District delegates have no voting power— to approve those appointments.

Being granted statehood would allow D.C. to set its own laws and budgets without Congressional approval, like any other city or state. Several local laws for marijuana policy, gun control and combating HIV/AIDS have been held up due to lack of approval from Congress.

Some detractors argue that the District of Columbia shouldn’t be a state since the Founding Fathers have always meant for it to be under federal control. The Constitution’s Article I states: “The Congress shall have Power … To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States.”

James Madison, one of the Founding Fathers, also argued in the Federalist

Papers that the federal government needs control of the nation’s capital in order to maintain policies that fit federal lawmakers’ needs.

Other opponents argue that since D.C. is reliant on federal funds, the federal government should have a larger say in the District’s local affairs, even though 21 states relied on more federal funding as a percentage of their state budgets in 2013.

Others say that statehood can be fixed if the District is absorbed into neighboring states Maryland or Virginia, which would give D.C. residents congressional representation through either state and stop congressional intervention into local laws.

Many Republicans also argue against statehood for D.C. because of the likelihood that the largely blue city would produce two senators and one representative that are Democrats, which could give Democrats a stronghold in Congress.

Many advocacy groups have been working hard to campaign for D.C. statehood and increase awareness about the issue. The New Columbia Statehood Commission, which pushes for New Columbia as the state name for D.C., have been holding meetings to discuss a draft constitution, present recommendations from working groups and launch the Constitutional Convention.

City Council candidates, Mayor Muriel Bowser, President Obama and Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have all showed their support for D.C. statehood.

Ward 8 Council hopeful Trayon White said it’s a tragedy that D.C. residents don’t have any representation on Capitol Hill.

“We have to get statehood,” said White, who is challenging incumbent LaRuby May for the Ward 8 seat. “We’re considered second-class citizens right now, and we have to start banding together from all parties, all walks of life to fight for statehood.”

May says she wants statehood but that the city also has other pressing issues to address.

“In Ward 8, as we begin to look at getting full representation, there are some other things that are really important for us that I don’t want to kind of get glossed over as we’re fighting for a big fight,” she said.

RAMBLING ROSE: Summer is not over, yet!

Hello everyone, this was an exciting and hot weekend. “Shorty” my Boo-Boo and I had a very busy week covering the last of the “Liberty Live” Festival for the Randallstown Community and the Ruth Kirk Fun Festival for two days at Franklin Square Park. We were also hosts for the New Africa Festival at Druid Hill Park all day long from 12 noon until 8 p.m. Honey Child! We had a ball! Let me tell you why. The festival featured a Travis Winkey, “Dressing for Success Fashion Show,” The Ebony’s, Simply Black, the First Impression, and many other fabulous entertainers. This was my first time in a long time checking out the International recording group “The Ebony’s,” but girlfriend, let me tell you, they were the ice cream and icing on the cake. The event was a great success, well done New African Festival Committee !

The Old School Runners will host the 14th Annual Crab Feast on Saturday, September 3, 2016 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Columbus Gardens located at 4301 Klosterman Avenue in Nottingham, Maryland. For ticket information, call Jim “Magic” Johnson at 443-676-9038.

The Old School Runners will host the 14th Annual Crab Feast on Saturday, September 3, 2016 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Columbus Gardens located at 4301 Klosterman Avenue in Nottingham, Maryland. For ticket information, call Jim “Magic” Johnson at 443-676-9038.

Well, I’m gonna’ take you out of the city a little bit, not too far, but to our sister town, Washington, D.C. Okay, I know I am supposed to say “going to,” but I want to say, “I’m gonna” take you to Washington, D.C. just a little bit to check out some nice live entertainment. Check this out! Did you know that Blues Alley has live entertainment— a mixture of all kinds of music, especially, blues, jazz and R&B? Well they do. Carol Riddick, a soul and R&B artist will be performing at the club on Saturday, August 27 for two shows and Kameron Corvet, also a soul and R&B vocalist will perform on Sunday, August 28. Blues Alley is located 1073 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. For ticket information, call 202-337-4141.

John Lamkin “Favorites” Organ Quintet is kicking up a storm at Lexington Market on Saturday, August 27 featuring John Lamkin on trumpet and Flugelhorn, Mike Hariston on Saxophone, Todd Simon on organ, Marshall Booze on guitar, and Philip Thomas on drums. Always open and free to the public.

John Lamkin “Favorites” Organ Quintet is kicking up a storm at Lexington Market on Saturday, August 27 featuring John Lamkin on trumpet and Flugelhorn, Mike Hariston on Saxophone, Todd Simon on organ, Marshall Booze on guitar, and Philip Thomas on drums. Always open and free to the public.

Moving right along, I’m still on the D.C. train to see the Luis Faife Quartet, which will perform at Twins Jazz located at 1344 U Street NW in Washington, DC on Saturday August 27, 2016. Luis is an Afro-Cuban saxophonist who has played at international festivals in the United States, Cuba, France, Switzerland and many others to numerous to mention. Check him out— I believe you will enjoy him and his group.

I want to end by saying I am so proud of MarvaD, who has presented some of the best of the best concerts and shows in Baltimore. She is a dynamite promoter and fundraiser. She recently produced a show featuring William “Smooth” Wardlaw and his band at Magooby’s Joke House on Deereco Road this past Wednesday night. Honey Child! Listen to me! If he looks like him, dresses like him, sings like him, I say it must be him— I am talking about the late Luther Vandross! When this man Wardlaw performs, believe me my friends he channels the late great Luther Vandross. Ms’ Maybelle did an excellent job hosting the event. All I can say, “Shame of you if you missed it”

Well, my dear friends, I am out of space. But remember, if you need me call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS

‘A Trusted Comrade,’ Black Press Legend George Curry Dies at 69

— The Black Press lost one of it’s most celebrated warriors when George Curry, veteran journalist and former Editor-In-Chief of the NNPA News Wire, died from an apparent heart attack on Saturday, August 20, 2016.

Curry, who was 69, died of a reported heart attack in suburban Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C.

“On behalf of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), we are all saddened and heartbroken by the sudden passing of one our most admired, respected, and gifted colleagues, George E. Curry,” said NNPA President Dr. Benjamin Chavis. “Black America, and in fact millions of African people all over the world, had come to know George Curry as a fearless scholar and writer who used his pen and wit to aggressively advance the cause of freedom, justice and equality for Black people and for the whole of humanity.”

Chavis continued: “George was our trusted comrade on the frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement and on the front pages of the Black Press of America. We will miss him.”

It’s hard to believe that Curry, who led the NNPA as Editor-In-Chief of its news wire from 2003 to 2007 and then from 2012 to 2015, has died, said Washington Informer Publisher and NNPA Chair Denise Rolark Barnes, who called Curry a giant in the journalism profession.

“As publisher of ‘The Washington Informer,’ I admired George’s leadership as Editor-In-Chief of ‘Emerge,’ the preeminent monthly news magazine targeting issues impacting African-Americans,” Rolark Barnes said. “George’s uncompromising journalistic leadership delivered on Emerge’s promise to deliver edgy, hard-hitting, intellectual, well-written and thoroughly researched content that attracted national attention and left an indelible mark on the lives of many.

“As a member and now chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, I was honored to carry George’s weekly column in ‘The Washington Informer’ and to work with him while he served as Editor-In-Chief of the NNPA News Wire. George provided so much of his time, energy, wisdom and incredible journalistic genius to the Black Press,” she said.

“His work will stand as a lasting legacy of journalistic excellence and integrity of which all of us in the Black Press and the journalism industry at-large can feel extremely proud. My prayers and sympathy extend to his family and closest companions. He will be sorely missed.”

Freddie Allen, the managing editor of the NNPA News Wire, called Curry an icon in the Black Press and said that his legacy of mentoring young journalists will bear fruit for many years to come.

Recently, Allen and Curry were part of a black media delegation that worked with the Black AIDS Institute to cover the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.

“George taught me what it meant to be a professional journalist and also about the importance of working in the Black Press,” Allen said. “His writing and insight on critical issues affecting the Black community will be sorely missed. I’m thankful for the time we spent together in Durban.”

Curry was a consummate journalist with integrity as his mantra, said Dorothy R. Leavell, publisher of the Crusader newspapers in Chicago and Gary, Indiana.

“We shall miss this voice of reason and thought-provoking columns full of researched facts. It was just the week of August 13th that George wrote a column titled ‘Even Funerals Are Not Family Reunions Anymore.’ He used his family as an example of the loss of closeness that he had enjoyed during his childhood and early adult life and bemoaned the fact that at his cousin Charlene’s funeral the week before that closeness was no longer there,” Leavell said.

“What was ironic is that he pledged that he would try to get his family back together by saying, ‘Neither Big Mama nor Aunt Julia Mae would be pleased that our once close-knit family is in shambles, but as long as I have breath in me, I am going to try to get my family back together. I know it’s a very long shot, but I owe that to Big Mama and Aunt Julia Mae to keep trying.’

“I’m sure George meant to keep that pledge and perhaps the closeness of his family will become a reality, but at a large cost,” said Leavell, adding that she hoped his family will reunite at his funeral. “We miss you already, George.”

The news of Curry’s death not only reverberated throughout black media, the loss was also felt in the halls of government.

“The Congressional Black Caucus joins with members of the press from around the country to mourn the loss of George E. Curry, a pioneer in Civil Rights and journalism,” CBC Chairman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), said in a statement. “Curry was a giant in journalism and he stood on the frontlines of the Civil Rights era and used his voice to tell our stories when others would not. The CBC offers our sympathies and condolences to his friends and family, his readers from around the country, and to the countless number of individuals he mentored in the art of reporting and journalistic writing until his untimely death.”

Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton even took a moment from her busy campaign to express her thoughts about Curry, whom she called a friend.

“I am saddened by the loss of an outstanding journalist and supportive friend. George E. Curry was a pioneering journalist, a tireless crusader for justice, and a true agent of change,” Clinton said in a statement. “With quality reporting, creativity, and skillful persuasion he influenced countless people, including me, to think beyond their narrow experience and expand their understanding. George may be gone, but he will not be forgotten.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton called Curry a “trailblazer” and said he was “saddened beyond words” at news of Curry’s death.

In 2003, Curry was named, “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists and he was also on NABJ’s list of the Most Influential Black Journalists of the 20th Century.

“We pledge to keep the journalistic genius and spirit of George Curry alive in all that we will do in the future to sustain the liberating and empowering voice of black owned newspapers and media companies,” Chavis said. “George and I were life-long friends and co-workers at the NNPA, NAACP, SCLC, ANC and just about every other national and international organization that is serious about demanding justice and equality.”

Chavis continued: “The legacy of freedom-fighter journalists like George Curry will never pass away, but will always be kept dear and present in our continued struggles to liberate all from injustice.”

Unify Baltimore back-to-school rally at held Mondawmin Mall

— It’s back to school time in Baltimore. Thanks to organizers of the Unify Baltimore Back-to-School Rally, book bags and school supplies were distributed to thousands of children and their families at a back-to-school jamboree at Mondawmin Mall in the afternoon Saturday, August 20, 2016.

Kevin Shird, author and lead organizer of the Unify Back to School Rally said that he found himself asking how he could help unify the city after the 2015 spring unrest.

“It started last year after the uprising. Mondawmin Mall has been very helpful and positive in making sure we could pull this off,” Shird said. “Last year, we distributed 3000 book-bags.”

This year the group prepared 4000 book bags that were distributed to youth who needed to start the school year off right.

The back-to-school event featured youth and adult entertainment and information tables from community-based organizations, including: the Girl Scouts and Black Girls Vote.

“Girls Scouts is a wonderful program for girls from different areas. It’s really important to reach out to the community, to make sure we have included girls from all sectors of the city,” said Leigh Holly, program coordinator for the Girl Scouts. “We set certain standards and we teach girls really important lessons that they will need in life.”

Cierra Jones, who brought her three children and two nephews to the back-to-school event, used the opportunity to sign her daughter up for the Girl Scouts while she browsed the information tables.

“It’s better to be involved in the community instead of being home and not doing anything,” Jones said.

Mondawmin Mall administrators were pleased to invite Unify Baltimore back for a second year.

“The Unify Baltimore Organization continues to touch thousands of school age children each year by preparing them for school, which is an event we will continue to support,” said Romaine Smallwood-Smoot, general manager of Mondawmin Mall. “As a community retail center, we believe it is our responsibility to be a place where people not only shop and dine but offer much more by way of service.”

The new Baltimore Pubic Schools CEO, Sonja Santelises was delighted to see the community support displayed at the Unify Baltimore Back-to-School Rally. She says that she is looking forward to greeting the 84,000 students in the Baltimore City Public Schools System next week according to a statement on the BCPS website. School starts for students on Monday, August 29, 2016.