Baltimore Poet Cherrie Amour Hosts 5th Words, Wine & Wings Poetry Show

— Poetry lovers are invited to the 5th Words, Wine & Wings poetry show on March 3, 2018, at Next Phaze Café at 112 E. Lexington St. Baltimore from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Five diverse poets from Baltimore, Baltimore area and beyond will bring their poetic talent to the 5th poetry event in the series with the theme “What’s Goin’On?

Hosted by Baltimore-based poet Cherrie Amour, poets in this show include: Meccamorphosis (Baltimore, MD), Tracy Dimond (Baltimore, MD), Alan King (Bowie, MD), Anthony Morales (Washington, DC) and Lamar Anthony Hill (Newark, NJ). The poetic menu will also include an open mic, a variety of vendors and Next Phaze café bar menu and cash bar.

“I’m a poet who has had the opportunity to be among a variety of poets— both written and spoken word. What they all have in common is talent. That is what “Words, Wine & Wings is all about— bringing together talented poets with wings and wine on the side,” said host and founder Cherrie Amour.

To learn more about the Words, Wine & Wings event and to purchase tickets ($12, admission only / $20 admission, wine & wings), visit: Eventbrite, Cherrie Amour on Facebook or email

Teaching artist “Meccamorphosis”  has performed at venues like Busboys and Poets, and the Kennedy Center

Courtesy Photo

Teaching artist “Meccamorphosis” has performed at venues like Busboys and Poets, and the Kennedy Center

Author Tracy Dimond is a 2016 Baker Artist Award finalist

Mollye Miller Photography

Author Tracy Dimond is a 2016 Baker Artist Award finalist

Writer and educator Anthony Morales has appeared on HBO's Def Poetry and toured the US and Puerto Rico.

Courtesy Photo

Writer and educator Anthony Morales has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry and toured the US and Puerto Rico.

Award winning poet and author Alan King

Award winning poet and author Alan King

Poet, playwright and spoken word artist Lamar Anthony Hill

Poet, playwright and spoken word artist Lamar Anthony Hill

Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Farewell – The Play Tour

— He has his fans. He has his detractors. Yet for 25 years, Tyler Perry has entertained audiences with Madea, his doppelganger, in theaters and on screens. For reasons known only to him, Perry has decided to hang up Madea’s heavy-duty bra, hausfrau flowered dresses and blue-rinse white powdered wigs.

He’s giving her the boot the way he introduced her, on the stage. There will be a movie too (Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral—opens March 1, 2019). But, if you want to watch the big man/woman sweat through her Lane Bryant dresses in person, one more time, you’ll have to see her live in this play.

Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Farewell, a traveling show, pulled into town at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami. Folks who came to witness the end of a tradition were as interesting to watch as the actors onstage. Blue, orange, platinum blonde and pink hair could be spotted everywhere. Ladies in leopard print hot pants and matching shoes strutted around with their men in tow.

African American theatergoers dominated the space, though white and Latino fans were in the crowd too. And, if you had a penny for everyone over 80 years old, some with walkers and motorized wheel chairs, you’d be rich. Showtime.

A character named Darlene stands stage front, male dancers gyrate behind her as she sings Ann Peebles soul classic, “I Can’t Stand the Rain.” The stage splits open, revealing her living room. Darlene expects family and friends to stop by to help her celebrate her twenty something-year-old son Malik’s graduation from medical school. Malik, his extremely tall transgender sister Ti-Ti, his best friend Devin and others show up too. The audience is engaged, respectful and watching the family dynamics unfold.

The temperature in the room heats up when stars from Perry’s TV show Meet the Browns enter. Hot-blooded and elderly Aunt Bam (Cassie Davis) takes a seat at the dinette table. She’s perfectly cordial and lecherous as she ogles the handsome and much younger Devin. Mr. Brown (David Mann) walks in wearing a white suit patterned with loud neon-color shapes that look like narrow road signs. And, Cora Jean Simmons-Brown (Tamela Mann) comes in too. As each of the legendary actors enter, the crowd claps and oos and ahs.

With rapid fire, the characters exchange funny lines, accuse each other of all sorts of misdeeds and let their feelings be known (“I betcha you sweat prune juice”). The trumped-up drama and petty arguments escalate as Madea makes her entrance and the fans go wild. The big lady acknowledges members of her family and the audience, some of whom she heckles: “You know the show started at 8! Why are you late? Turn off that camera!” She engages the audience, harasses a few and the place is reeling with laughter as Perry breaks the fourth wall.

What ensues is a steady stream of comic putdowns, infidelity, betrayals and rivalries that build and build until Madea pulls a large silver object out of her purse and slams it on the table to gain control of the hysteria. The actors looked shocked. The audience too. It’s a gun. Chuckles turn into group laughing fits that are so forceful a few bladders must have lost control. As the first act ends, the tattered family heads out to attend the graduation ceremony.

Knee-deep into the second act there is shocking revelation about two lovers who have kept their dalliances a secret. Their affair announcement provokes audible gasps from the cast (fake) and the fans (real).

Finally, it is Madea who calms the family, assuring them that if they express their true feelings and trust in God, they will all be fine. As in most Perry productions, there is a spiritual aspect to the story, and that’s an element audiences expect. They come from afar for the humor and stay for the soul-cleansing. Madea: “When you build walls to keep people out, you can’t get out.”

At points in the play, actors walk to the front of the stage to perform pop, soul or gospel songs that advance the plot. Toward the end of the second and final act, this shtick becomes an over-abundantly used crutch. It’s as if Perry ran out of ideas or had no faith in the three-act play format and decided that one and a-half acts will do.

The drama ends abruptly and actors break into songs that have no connection to the proceedings, though they’re fun to watch. The most interesting musical performances are the male cast crooning and dancing to Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” and the superb Tamela Mann singing her heart out with “Take Me to the King.” Minus the frustrating ending, what’s on view could have a solid shot as a Broadway comedy, even though that may not be part of the plan.

The play is a great way for Perry’s fans and naysayers to have a fun night out and laugh together. After 25 years of Madea being front, center and all up in your face, she’s about to bow out gracefully. The wigs, falsies and plus-size dresses will gather dust in a closet or be periodically refreshed in a museum showcase. She’ll be history.

Regardless of what you think of Perry, his humor and crew, the big lady is an indelible part of black culture. Something like Flip Wilson’s Geraldine—only on steroids and able to tackle Odell Beckham Jr. or body-slam Hulk Hogan.

The national tour of Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Farewellis scheduled to end in Atlanta, GA at the end of May. Until then, Perry and his gypsy troupers will portray the iconic characters that have surrounded the well-known matriarch until they run her into the ground. Literally.

Visit NNPA News Wire Film Critic Dwight Brown at and

Congresswoman Norton Fighting For D.C., Black Press In New Congress

— Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is a living legend with more than 50 honorary degrees and a list of accomplishments the size of her beloved District of Columbia. One of the ways that Norton remains updated through her book club.

“I think the book that I enjoy is ‘On the Basis of Sex,’ about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg,” Norton said. “But, as far as having a favorite movie, television show or song, I don’t have time.” That’s because she’s busy fighting for the rights of her fellow Washingtonians.

It’s a battle she’s fought for nearly 30 years as the District’s representative in the House of Representatives.

“Certainly nothing can be more important than making the District a state and I don’t suppose that any member of Congress can do anything that’s more important,” said Norton, 81. “We are going to get a vote on statehood this time and I expect it to be successful in Congress. We’ll just have to see what happens in the Senate,”

Norton arrived in Congress in 1991.

Already a national figure known for her work during the civil rights movement, Norton arrived with a determination that others could easily see.

Her hard work helped to break barriers for Washington as she successfully fought for a bill that provided up to $10,000 annually for high school students in D.C. to attend any public U.S. college or university.

That bill also provided up to $2,500 per year for D.C. students to attend many private colleges and universities.

She also gained a unique $5,000 D.C. homebuyer tax credit for residents and helped stabilize the city’s population with various incentives during times of economic crisis.

Most of that was accomplished while Democrats sat in the minority.

“What really excites me is that for most of my time I’ve been in the minority and now I’m subcommittee chair of the biggest subcommittee,” Norton said. “Being in the majority means I get to vote on the House Floor in the Committee of the Whole. This is very important for the District on its way to statehood,” she said.

The history of D.C. and her upbringing has kept Norton active and fighting, she said.

“I’m [was] born and raised in this segregated city without any Home Rule rights and no equal rights when the city was segregated,” Norton said. “I’m a third generation Washingtonian and I’m the great, great granddaughter of a runaway slave, so motivation is built into my DNA.”

As a child, Black History Month was known as Negro History Week, but the importance of the observance is hard to lose when you are a child of the District, she said.

“Washington had slavery and it wasn’t liberated until just before the Civil War. So, the black part of things is that it’s a major part of the life of my country,” Norton said.

“Women’s History Month is likewise because I had parents who encouraged me to be whatever I wanted to be. I’m fortunate enough to be at the birth of the Women’s Rights Movement. It means that [she and her two sisters] have been a part of the most important movements of the 20th century,” she said.

Each movement arrived when she was a young woman so she feels that happenstance being a part of both movements of freedom, Norton said.

Along with the many battles still ahead, Norton has also tackled the issue of federal agencies and how they spend their combined more than $5 billion advertising budget.

She said she’s gathered co-sponsors for a bill that will require all agencies in the government to produce their spending reports and detail what they have spent and will spend with black-owned newspapers and media companies.

“I introduced it the last session, but it’s a new session and [Democrats] are in the majority so there’s a difference,” Norton said, adding that she remains amazed at how black newspapers – particularly in a major city like Washington – have been able to thrive.

“You just wouldn’t know what’s really going on if you didn’t have the Black Press of America,” Norton said.

“That’s why I asked for a Government Accountability Office report to detail what federal agencies spend with the Black Press. My legislation will make the government lead by example in advertising with the Black Press and make them more conscious of their obligations.

“That’s why I push it the way I am pushing it now,” she said.

For Norton, it all syncs with a motto she adopted from the Declaration of Independence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal,” Norton said, quoting that famous document.

“What I love is the saying, ‘self-evident.’ Take a moment and think about that saying. I do,” she said.

The Battle For Mayor In One Of America’s Proudest Black Cities Is Underway

— Ernest D. Davis served four of the five allowed terms as the mayor of Mount Vernon, N.Y. With 70,000 mostly African American residents, Mount Vernon sits north just of the Bronx and in the same county as Westchester’s wealthy elite.

For Davis, an architect by trade, the idea of Mount Vernon taking a backseat to any city or town is quite insulting.

For the 80-year-old Davis, the only thing worse than a negative perception of his beloved city, is a constituent believing that anyone sitting in the city mayor’s seat is there simply for political and personal gain and not for the people.

Davis firmly believes that his successor, the city’s current mayor, Richard Thomas, is in it for himself and has done much more harm to Mount Vernon than perhaps anyone whose held that office.

So, after reading an NNPA Newswire article that featured Thomas in December, Davis said he began to contemplate a strategy to help unseat the young mayor.

He envisioned working behind the scenes, not running himself.

“I was trying to get other folks that I believe in to run and for different reasons, they refused,” said Davis, a North Carolina A&T Graduate who, in the 1970s, became Mount Vernon’s first black building commissioner and later Westchester’s first black county legislator.

Davis would eventually become Mount Vernon’s second African American mayor when he won election for the first time in 1996 – serving three terms before a defeat to Legislator Clinton Young and then a comeback four years afterwards.

Davis was again was unseated in 2016. This time by Thomas, whom the former mayor now says is ruining the city.

And, as he walked through the streets of his beloved city, Davis said the cries for him to run again began to grow. “Let’s do it again,” people would say.

That coupled with the NNPA Newswire article presented Davis a “Godfather” moment. “Yes, just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in,” he said, paraphrasing the famous line from the Oscar-winning classic.

Like the late Marion Barry in Washington, Davis has a reputation throughout Mount Vernon as “The People’s Mayor.”

He said he’s long been a champion of the citizens of Mount Vernon and points to his prior tenures as reasons why residents just may elect him again.

“These are very turbulent times, the hills are steep and the road is rocky,” Davis said, with the flare he’s demonstrated since first taking the office more than 20 years ago.

“Thomas is destroying the city. His theatrical performances and lies. If you were writing a play, you’d say, I don’t want to see this play because it’s not real. But it is,” Davis said.

He even compared Thomas – who, like Davis, is a Democrat – to President Donald Trump. “Trump said he’d take responsibility for the shutdown and then he blamed the Democrats,” Davis said. “That’s what Thomas does.”

In his interview with NNPA Newswire, Thomas blamed Davis and “The old guard” for the continued crisis the city faces as Mount Vernon again faces bankruptcy and an almost non-existent bond rating.

Davis said the blame lies at the feet of Thomas.

“I was at church the other day and I heard one of the best sermons – ‘What happens when the family falls out?’” Davis explained. “What I was left with is that it’s about purpose over position. These people who want the power but don’t know what to do with that power … sometimes it’s misused and in the case of Thomas, it’s a mixture of greed, emotional immaturity and no experience,” Davis said.

Davis pointed to an incident in January in which students at Mount Vernon were taking midterm examinations and, unannounced, Thomas made a surprise and unapproved visit to the school with comedian and rapper Fatboy SSE.

Fatboy began “making it rain” by tossing money around the school, reportedly causing a mad dash to grab the cash and leaving classes in chaos.

School officials said as many as 400 students were involved in a melee that resulted in seven suspensions and one arrest for assaulting a security officer.

The school suffered extensive damages and officials said they plan to launch legal action against Fatboy and the mayor. “I think it shows his incompetence,” Davis said of Thomas. “I don’t think anyone thought he’d be the catastrophe that he is. I had no idea,” Davis said.

As was once true of Davis (in 2014), Thomas is currently facing federal corruption charges leading three other Democrats to announce intentions to unseat him. Thomas was indicted last year for alleged misuse of campaign funds and for allegedly using city funds for personal legal bills.

A trial date hasn’t been set.

In 2014, Davis pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion charges in which he failed to file an income tax return despite earning more than $100,000 in income.

He was sentenced to probation.

“I know [the media] will bring up some things, but I’m most proud of what we’re going to do,” Davis said.

Asked about the highlights of his tenures as mayor, Davis pointed out that each time he left office, the city had millions of dollars in surpluses, only to see it become a deficit after his departure.

He mentioned the city’s annual “Arts on Third Street” celebration that attracted about 4,000 people when he founded the event.

Eventually, it grew to more than 100,000 attendees.

The city’s parks, once a haven for unseemly activity, have turned into an oasis where children and adults alike can play and relax. Davis said the city’s history must be respected.

“We will refurbish Betty Shabazz’s house, the (city founder) John Steven’s house and put to good use the facilities at the old YMCA,” Davis said.

He still wants to bring a major hotel chain into Mount Vernon and an artist loft.

Davis said his plans include fixing sidewalks by using grant money instead of taxpayer funds and to appoint a liaison to work with downtown businesses and City Hall.

“We have to get back to trying to bring service, especially to our young citizens,” Davis said. “We talk about hiring more police but wouldn’t it be better having a community where you don’t have to hire more police? People will keep order if they see there are things the city is doing to help them,” Davis said.

The city’s Democratic primary is in June.

Director Spike Lee Wins First Oscar At 91st Annual Academy Awards

— Director Spike Lee, who was famously passed over for Best Film and Best Director for his 1992 film “Malcolm X,” won his first Oscar at the 91st Annual Academy Awards.

Wearing a purple suit and hat and seated in the front row at the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, Lee was nominated for two Oscars: Best Adaptive Screenplay for “Blackkklansman,” and for Best Director of the same film.

Though Lee did not win for Best Director for “Blackkklansman,” the evening featured a great deal of diversity as the Director of the film “Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón, was awarded for Best Director.

Lee’s production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983. Lee, 61, has created several memorable films including, “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986), “School Daze” (1988), “Do the Right Thing” (1989), “Mo’ Better Blues” (1990), “Jungle Fever” (1991) and “Malcolm X” (1992).

When Best Actor nominee Denzel Washington, who starred in “Malcolm X,” lost to Al Pacino for his performance in “Scent of A Woman” it was considered one the biggest snubs in Oscars history. Overall, “Malcolm X” won no major awards.

“It was so funny and so horrifying because it was based on the truth and truth is so precious these days,” said legendary singer and film director, Barbra Streisand, as she introduced Lee’s film “Blackkklansman,” at the Academy Awards.

Though Lee was born in Atlanta, he was raised on New York and has made Brooklyn, NY his hometown.

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist and writer for NNPA as well as a political analyst and strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at and on twitter at @LVBurke

Dr. Sheila Brooks, Author And Emmy Award Winner, Nominated For NAACP Image Award

— It isn’t an ordinary day when someone gets nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

And, it certainly isn’t an ordinary day when renowned journalist Roland Martin is the one texting the nominee and alerting them of the honor.

That’s why Tuesday, Feb. 19, wasn’t an ordinary day – at least not for Dr. Sheila Brooks, the Emmy Award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who has dedicated a large part of her professional life to advocating for minorities, women, diversity issues and small businesses.

Dr. Brooks, the founder, president and CEO of SRB Communications, a full service Washington, D.C.-based advertising and marketing agency, has earned an Image Award nomination in Outstanding Literary Work as one of the authors (along with Clint C. Wilson) of the new book, “Lucile H. Bluford and the Kansas City Call: Activist Voice for Social Justice.”

Dr. Brooks will walk the Red Carpet on Saturday, March 30, in Los Angeles where she’ll find out if her nomination turns into a win at the 50th NAACP Image Awards.

“I’ve known [Martin] since he was 19 and he texted me and said, ‘Congratulations on your NAACP Image Award nomination,’ and I just screamed,” Dr. Brooks recalled.

Still stunned, she texted Martin back and he replied by sending her “the whole nomination and the book cover that’s been announced.”

“I said, ‘I guess I’m going to Los Angeles and walk the red carpet,” Dr. Brooks said.

Her new book discusses the life and pioneering work of Lucile H. Bluford, an activist, editor and publisher of the Kansas City Call during the civil rights and women’s rights movements.

“It traces the beginnings of her activism as a young reporter seeking admission to the graduate program in journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia, and it details how that battle became the catalyst for her seven-decade career as a champion of racial and gender equality,” Dr. Brooks said.

Buford had already enjoyed a successful career at The Call and historians said she didn’t need further training. However, she saw an opportunity to challenge segregation in public universities.

Though the University of Missouri’s journalism program accepted Miss Bluford based on mailed transcripts, when she showed up to enroll officials saw she was black and denied her entrance.

“She fought the case and it went to the state Supreme Court 11 times and she finally won, but she never did attend the school because it closed, and 50 years later she received an honorary degree,” Dr. Brooks said.

The story has added significance for Dr. Brooks because she grew up in Kansas City.

“The Kansas City Call is the weekly black newspaper in my hometown and I used to play in front of the building,” Dr. Brooks said. “I was very familiar with [Bluford] but not as familiar until I took a deep dive into research,” she said.

The makings of the book began as Dr. Brooks took night courses at Howard University.

She said her plans were to write about a modern day media company owner and decided that most of those stories were already being told. So, she began looking at historical figures where she focused on three individuals in particular:

Mildred Brown of the Omaha Star, Charlotta Bass of the California Eagle and Bluford.

“I decided it was important to talk about Bluford,” Dr. Bass said. “I took a selection of her writings that appeared in the Kansas City Call over a 15-year period and I examined those articles so I could analyze how she articulated a Black feminist viewpoint in her commentary, looking at it from the perspective of women’s rights and civil rights.”

Dr. Brooks ultimately discovered that Bluford used her social authority in the formidable power base of the media she owned to shape and mobilize a broader movement in the struggle for women’s and civil rights.

“She masked her black feminism with a unique angle of vision as it relates to oppression, race, gender and class,” Dr. Brooks said. “Bluford used her voice to break down the barriers of inequity and injustice against both women and Blacks, especially in news coverage that the mainstream news ignored.”

For more information about Bluford or to purchase the book, visit

Janet Jackson To Launch A Las Vegas Residency

— Janet Jackson is headed to Sin City.

The five-time Grammy winner announced on Tuesday that she will be launching her first-ever Las Vegas residency in May. Titled “Metamorphosis,” show will begin May 17 and run until August.

“‘Metamorphosis’ peels back the layers of the immensely private life of Janet Jackson, sharing her transformation from a young girl with issues of self-esteem to global Icon,” a press release for the show read.

“The centerpiece of this all new thought-provoking show, will be Janet herself, captivating you through your senses with electrifying visuals, explosive dance numbers, chart-topping hits and fan favorite deep cuts,” the statement continued. “Fans will follow her path to self-love, empowerment, motherhood and activism, amidst the challenges faced along her personal journey.'”

Jackson welcomed her first child, a son, in 2017, and talked about the joy motherhood has brought into her life.

“The height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness,” Jackson shared in Essence. “When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep. During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere. Happiness is in gratitude to God. Happiness is saying, ‘Thank you, God, for my life, my energy and my capacity to grow in love.'”

The singer dropped her first single in three years last March titled, “Made For Now.”

Jackson joins Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and the Backstreet Boys as artists who have had Las Vegas shows. Her concerts will take place at the Park MGM’s Park Theater, where Lady Gaga is currently in residence.

Tickets for “Metamorphosis” go on sale Saturday.


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Students Rally In Support Of Teacher Facing Deportation To Kenya

— A Denver man came to the U.S. from Kenya to start a new life. Now, he’s fighting to stay here with the help from area high school students.

Two weeks ago, Anthony Wanjiru received a letter stating an application to extend his H-1B visa had been denied. He is just days away from being deported with no idea of what the future holds.

Wanjiru has been in the U.S for eight years after escaping the infamous slums of Nairobi.

“It’s an area known for prostitution, drugs, and crime,” said Wanjiru. “I used to rummage for food in the dump sites. Seeing your friends die from malnutrition and gangster activities.”

He has worked in the IT department at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch since 2014.

“He cares so much about the community and a person as a whole, ” said student Spencer Pankratz.

Wanjiru is set to be deported March 7.

“This has been my home. My work is here. My friends are here. You’re packing your bags and just leaving,” said Wanjiru.

He was one of three people selected out of 1,200 applicants to come to Colorado for a scholarship program. He received a master’s degree and volunteers with the Denver Rescue Mission. He also helps new refugees.

“Coming to the U.S. was a godsend of opportunity,” he said. “A chance to really better my life.”

Once back in Kenya, Wanjiru would have to enter a lottery to return to Colorado — a year-long process with no guarantees.

Meanwhile, students at Valor have started a campaign to keep him here, with #AnthonysVisa.

“He’s the most humble, caring person you’d ever meet,” said student Hunter Khan.

“He’s an amazing guy, and he’s really brought an amazing influence to Valor,” said student Lindsay Stenstrom.

The Highlands Ranch school said in a statement, “our prayers and support for him are unwavering.”

Wanjiru said it’s his students and his adopted country he’ll miss the most.

“If there’s one thing that keeps me crying at night, it’s the thought of not seeing them. I love America very much,” he said.

Monday, Wanjiru met with the offices of Cory Gardner and Michael Bennett. He said they’ve offered to help him, which may give him a few more weeks to plan an appeal.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Auto Workers’ Union Sues GM To Keep Three Plants Open

— The United Auto Workers union sued General Motors on Tuesday, claiming the company’s plan to shutter three auto plants violates the union’s labor contract.

The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Ohio, asks the court to order GM to reverse its decision to close plants in Baltimore; Lordstown, Ohio; and Warren, Michigan. It also seeks damages for affected employees, including back wages and benefits.

The UAW says the closings breach a 2015 labor agreement that “prohibits the Company from closing or idling any plant during the term of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

GM, along with Ford and Fiat Chrysler, has contracts with the UAW that are set to expire in September.

The Lordstown plant is scheduled to close next week and the other two plants are set to do the same in coming months.

GM said in a statement that the company is not in violation of its labor contract with the union.

“The announcements made by General Motors on November 26 do not violate the provisions of the UAW-GM National Agreement. We continue to work with the UAW on solutions to our business challenges,” the statement said.

GM announced a major restructuring in November, including the closure of five plants in North America and the reduction of its salaried workforce by 15%. GM laid off 8,000 salaried workers, and 6,000 hourly workers will either lose their jobs or be reassigned to other plants.

The company has found new jobs for many of the workers at soon-to-close auto plants. Last week, GM said it would delay the closure of its Hamtramck, Michigan, plant until January 2020. It was scheduled to close in June.

Relocated workers will be given opportunities to work in Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. Workers at the Baltimore and Warren transmission facilities will be offered transfer opportunities closer to the shutdown of their plants, GM said.

GM’s new motto is “Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, Zero Congestion,” as it shifts to self-driving, electric vehicles. But the restructuring is also about making cars that people currently want. Customers are increasingly shunning sedans in favor of SUVs and hatchbacks.

The company said the restructuring would make it more efficient, saving $6 billion a year by the end of 2020. GM said its slimmed-down production plan would allow it to share technology across all of its vehicles and reduce the amount of time and workers it takes to build cars.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Rambling Rose: Most Worshipful Prince Hall Foundation Honor Black History Month

Hello everyone, I am hoping everything is well with you and you enjoyed the activities in Baltimore and the surrounding counties that many organizations hosted this month. The one that stands out with me is the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Foundation of Maryland, Inc. Thurgood Marshall Black History Month Celebration that they hosted last week entitled “Voices of Triumph”.

Prince Hall Free Masonry has played an important historical, as well as a modern day role in the shaping of the African American community and experience in the state of Maryland and nationally. Prince Hall Masons were present at the conception of prominent organizations such as the NAACP and the Urban League. African American Masons organized events such as the “Freedom Now Rally” and were a significant force in the Civil Rights Movement.

“Black History Month is a time when the community can make a focused effort to reflect on the contributions and shared experiences of African Americans” said Rainier C. Harvey, Sr., 32 degree Prince Hall Foundation CEO. “Such reflections are required in order for us as a nation to continue to make advancements towards equality, access, and justice.”

Last Sunday, the Masons of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge publically honored the work that a chosen few have done and are doing on behalf of the community. I was blessed to be one of the few to receive the “Golden Trowel Award” along with Ericka Alston-Buck, Larry Young, Carl O. Snowden, and Kweisi Mfume received the “Life and Legacy Award. Held at Morgan State University in the Murphy Fine Arts Center, it was a beautiful event and I want to personally thank the Foundation Committee and our wonderful, the Honorable Emanuel J. Stanley, Most Worshipful Grand Master for including me in such a celebration. I am proud to be a member of the Eastern Stars for the past 35 years, and a sister in one of the “baddest” chapters in the order— Trinity No. 5 at Prince Hall.

Well, my dear friends, it’s about that time. I am out of space. But remember if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474, or email me at: You can also send me your correspondence to 214 Conewood Avenue, Reisterstown, Maryland 21136. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.

Lou Fields presents the 6th Annual Langston Hughes Book Fair hosted by the Baltimore African American Tourism Council of Maryland at the Empowerment Temple AME Church located at 4217 Primrose Avenue in Baltimore from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to the public and free. For more information, call 443-983-7974.

Lou Fields presents the 6th Annual Langston Hughes Book Fair hosted by the Baltimore African American Tourism Council of Maryland at the Empowerment Temple AME Church located at 4217 Primrose Avenue in Baltimore from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to the public and free. For more information, call 443-983-7974.

Shirley Duncan and Lawrence Bradford invite you to their Hand Dance Workshop and Dance Classes on Tuesdays at the Zeta Center located at 4501 Reisterstown Road in Baltimore and on Thursdays at 2270 Park Hill Avenue from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Come out to experience the traditional exciting, smooth rhythm and blues style of swing dance. For more information, call: 410-523-0575 or 410-370-3439.

Shirley Duncan and Lawrence Bradford invite you to their Hand Dance Workshop and Dance Classes on Tuesdays at the Zeta Center located at 4501 Reisterstown Road in Baltimore and on Thursdays at 2270 Park Hill Avenue from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Come out to experience the traditional exciting, smooth rhythm and blues style of swing dance. For more information, call: 410-523-0575 or 410-370-3439.

Marva Laws invites you to her Same Gender Love Boutique located at 339 N. Charles Street in Mount Vernon on Sunday, February 24, 2019 and every Sunday for “Mimosa Sundays” to support, socialize, shop and sip from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Marva Laws invites you to her Same Gender Love Boutique located at 339 N. Charles Street in Mount Vernon on Sunday, February 24, 2019 and every Sunday for “Mimosa Sundays” to support, socialize, shop and sip from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.