VOLUME 73 – Number 32★
Dorothy Height, godmother of Civil Rights
At press time we learned of
the passing of legendary civil rights leader and godmother of the movement, Dr. Dorothy I Height. The longtime presi- dent of the National Council of Negro Women died Tuesday at the age of 98 after several visits to H o w a r d University Hospital.
has been at the middle of every chapter of the Civil R i g h t s Movement in Ameri- ca, sitting a few feet
away from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he gave the his- toric “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washing- ton in 1963 at the Lincoln Me- morial.
In May of 2008 Height
told Chronicle senior editor Bankole Thompson during an exclusive interview at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History that she was hopeful America would elect an African Ameri- can as president.
“I hope that we would find
that there are enough people in the country who realize the importance of giving oppor- tunity on the basis of qualifi- cations rather than race and sex to make a choice in this election, ” Height said in the interview focused on a Barack Obama presidency.
remembered as great American
WASHINGTON (NNPA) — The news of the death of former NAACP executive director and CEO Benjamin H o o k s has rever- berated to the very core of A m e r i - ca’s civil rights and pol itical l e a d e r - ship, ac- c o r d i n g to statements that poured into the NNPA News Service last week.
“Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks
was among the greatest Ameri- cans of the 20th century,” said NAACP President/CEO Benja- min Jealous. “He was a giant of hope and humanity who, as executive director and CEO of the NAACP, expanded the circle of opportunity in our nation for millions by greatly accelerating the desegregation of our largest corporations.”
Jealous described the 85-
See HOOKS page A-4
NEW ENVIRONMENTALLY friendly vehicles like the Chevy Volt, being manufactured at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, will reportedly bring 32,000 jobs to Michigan by 2020.
World celebrates ‘Earth Day,’
but what’s in it for Detroiters?
By Marcus Amick
SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
A little odd, right? Go ahead, you can admit it. On some level
the idea of talking about “Earth Day” in the context of Detroit seems kind of strange.
The annual global event, now in its 40th
year, is being celebrated around the world in April with a number of events focused on pro- moting the protection of the environment. But in major urban areas like Detroit, dominated by the brick and mortar of everyday city life, this whole “green” thing is probably a little tougher to grasp.
Marcus Amick See EARTH DAY page A-4
THE DETROIT BASED Urban Farming group promotes environmental friendly ideas through community gardens, employment opportunities and free training for “green”
jobs. – Photo Courtesy of Urban Farming
Despite down economy, small businesses push on
By Patrick Keating
CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER
Service to Humanity (B-1)
Comerica profiles – and cel- ebrates – metro Detroit vol- unteers making a difference in the community during National Volunteer Week.
Coffee and finance A
financial literacy seminar April 24 from 9:30 am -11am presented by ECS Partner- ship McDonald and Metro Detroit Housing Services will be held at 9815 Grand River in Detroit. Call (586) 756-5016 to register.
6 89076 06419 4
Ed Gordon Robin Wright King Dan Mulhern
Ed Gordon and Michigan’s First Gentleman to address fatherhood conference
Nationally renowned jour-
nalist Ed Gordon, who is also an advocate for responsible fa- therhood by creating Daddy’s Promise Inc, and Dan Mul- hern, husband of Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, are among those to speak at the April 22-23 “Strong Fathers/ Strong Families” conference at the Samaritan Center on Detroit’s east side.
Under the theme “Build-
ing, Renewing and Healing the Connection,” the conference, organized by the Detroit Fa- thers and Families Coalition,
led by its executive director, Robin Wright King, the con- ference will have three work- shop areas: Healthy Fathers/ Healthy Families; Respon- sible Fatherhood; and Father/ Daughter Relationships.
A special highlight of the
conference will be a ban- quet on the evening of April 23 called the All Star Dads Father and Daughter Banquet, which Gordon of Black Enter- tainment Media will keynote. King expects 10 to 15
See CONFERENCE page A-4
The down economy has
forced four small business owners in Metro Detroit to make some changes, but they’ve also found silver lin- ings.
Paul Wasserman, president
of Henry the Hatter, said the economy is certainly tough, but he’s discovered that people still want to look good.
“It’s been my challenge to
find things at more affordable prices, and have more avail- able that’s more affordable to more people,” he said. “My high end business has suf- fered.”
Wasserman said that people
are no longer coming in for $160-$175 hats, but rather for $99-$125 ones. So the store has added items it wouldn’t have carried five years ago. These include wool hats that start at $39. Wasserman said less expensive lower end
items have become extremely important.
He also said the haberdash-
ery industry is much different than it was 40 or 50 years ago, when most men wore hats with their suits.
“Most of what’s happen-
ing today is being entertain- ment and music driven,” he said. “People like Kid Rock, Neo, Usher, Alicia Keys, Brit- ney Spears, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt. It’s a whole different ballgame. Stuff is a lot edgier and trendier. In all truth, it’s become a lot of fun.”
He compared it to the
Oldsmobile commercials: “This is not your father’s old gray hat.”
Other changes Wasserman
has made include the clos- ing of the Hamtramck store, which had been open just shy of 25 years (he also has had a store in Southfield since 1992) to save on overhead costs.
See BUSINESS page A-3 Augustine Kole-James
Augustine Kole-James, prominent health care
The sudden passing of Dr.
Augustine Kole-James, a noted medical doctor who used his profession to help the unin- sured and the less fortunate, has greeted the Metro Detroit community like a shock wave.
See MOURNED page A-3
Dr. Benjamin Hooks
April 21-27, 2010
By Bankole Thompson
CHRONICLE SENIOR EDITOR
Detroit is a city with growing pains
and I’ve yet to see anyone who denies that truth. At the same time, Detroit is also a city with evidentiary hope and promise which continue to inspire those who are working tirelessly in the city for the betterment of us all.
So when “Dateline NBC” announced
that it would air a one-hour special on Detroit, “America Now: City of Heart- break and Hope,” about one of the most misunderstood cities in the nation, some of us held our breath and wanted to give the all-knowing reporter, Chris Hansen, the benefit of the doubt.
We expected Hansen — who has
similar credentials to Time magazine reporter Daniel Okrent, who did a
479 Ledyard • Detroit MI 48201
shoddy and lazy job of telling us how Detroit is backward without an incisive view of the city — to give us balanced reporting on the crisis facing this city because both hail from this area. Hansen, in interviews he conducted prior to the airing of the special on Sunday evening, especially his appearance on WDIV’s “FlashPoint,” appeared like a surgeon who understood the city’s ailment and was out to issue the required prescrip- tions. But that was not the case. Ap- parently his interview on “FlashPoint” was a sales pitch for thousands in the
Motor City to watch the upcoming pro- gram. To our disappointment, Hansen repeated the same things that Okrent
Tune in to “Center Stage
With Bankole Thompson”
onWADL TV 38 Detroit,
Saturday, April 24, at 1 p.m., for an in-depth analysis on
the “Dateline NBC” coverage of Detroit last Sunday.
did when he also jetted in like a savior who wanted to deliver Detroit from its varied problems. Hansen’s reporting was devoid of any balanced picture of where the city is currently.
See DATELINE page A-4
The refurbished Westin Book Cadillac
Calling out the ‘Dateline NBC’ HATCHET JOB on Detroit
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