By John Telford
Stewart McMillin, my en-
terprising fellow Scot, is at it again. Stewart, who at 70 is four years my junior with four times my energy, is also my fellow past-WSU educator, my fellow Detroiter, and a long- time tour guide for Under- ground Railroad sites.
On May 6, Stewart will
offer an educationally intrigu- ing local tour. The bus will leave from Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church at 8625 E. Jefferson at 9:30 a.m. and return at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $55 (lunch not included). However, lunch will be at the wonderful Steve’s Soul Food in downtown Detroit, where they have a luncheon special for $5.99 that includes a meat, two sides, and a corn muffin. To get more information, call Stewart at (313) 922-1990 or email him at stewartmcmillin- tours.com. His website is www.mcmillintours.com.
Highlights of the tour will
include visits to old Paradise Valley and Black Bottom, to the Charles H. Wright Museum and the Tuskegee Airmen Museum, to the former home of pioneering integrationist Dr. Ossian Sweet, and to a site where the Detroit Stars of the old Negro League played base- ball.
The tour will also visit
historic Elmwood Cemetery. Many prominent Black Detroi- ters rest there, including my fellow WSU Athletic Hall-of- Famer and old coaching rival
By John Telford
Lorenzo Wright. A 1948 Olym- pian, Lo rose to direct the PSL, a job later held by two of my protégés, former WSU quarter- miler Roy Allen and now the sterling Alvin Ward, a former football star at King.
The tour will visit other his-
toric points, too, including the site of the old Finney barn. It was there that Seymour and Jared Finney – a father-son duo of freedom-loving Scots – hid runaway slaves as their last stop before crossing the river to Canada and freedom. In a one-on-one breakfast meeting I had with DPS finan- cial manager Robert Bobb on April 1, I told him the Finney story and I also let him know that the track there is named for me. He assured me that the new school will retain the Finney name at least partially and the track will retain mine. (I don’t think he was April-
THE MICHIGAN CHRONICLE
Detroiter conducts Underground Railroad tours
April 21-27, 2010
fooling me.) Stewart will conduct tours
this summer and fall that will sojourn out of state to Rail- road-related sites in Canada, Ohio and Kentucky. They will include complimentary lunch- es and films shown en route, featuring the original and the later remake of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
The tours will again depart
from the Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church. Pres- byterianism was long the na- tional religion of Scotland. Stewart is a member of the Scottish-American Society of Michigan, as am I. He is also a Presbyterian, as once was I. The fiery, white-bearded Scot- tish-American abolitionist John Brown was a Presbyte- rian. Brown led an attack on a United States arsenal and seized guns to arm slaves (and was caught and hanged for it).
Had Stewart and I been born
and lived in this country in pre-Civil War days, we would have been abolitionists. I see in him a trait that recalls the Scot freedom fighter William Wallace. Indeed, my friend Luther Keith, the intrepid director of Arise!Detroit, once wrote in a Detroit News column, “Stewart McMillin doesn’t just march to his own drummer—he marches to his own drum!”
Get Dr. Telford’s explosive
memoir on DPS at Barnes & Noble, or at www.Alifeonthe- RUN.com, or Harmonie Park Press, (586) 979-2077.
No tuition, room and board increase at Eastern Michigan
In a historic and unprec-
edented move, Eastern Michi- gan University’s Board of Re- gents approved an astonishing “0, 0, 0” tuition, room and board rate initiative at their Tuesday, April 20, board meet- ing. Incoming and returning students will see no increase in tuition and fees, room and board for fall 2010.
“Eastern Michigan cares
about its students and the state,” said Roy Wilbanks, chairman of the Board of Re- gents. “We view ourselves as a partner in our state’s success. During these challenging eco- nomic times, everybody talks about a commitment to higher education. We feel this deci- sion proves Eastern is com- mitted to working families and to young people achieving their dreams.”
Board of Regents’ Execu-
tive Committee member and finance chair Jim Stapleton said, “We have taken great strides to position ourselves as the affordable and acces- sible institution in the state while remaining committed to providing a high-quality educa- tion. EMU is undergoing a re- naissance that is being felt in all areas around our campus. Enrollment and excitement about our institution is higher that it’s been in years. This zero percent across-the-board
Stapleton added, “Our new
budget also maintains our strong support of student fi- nancial aid, a key piece of our strategy to help Michigan stu- dents and families. We will increase our commitment to financial aid by $1.4 million to a total of $30.4 million. Over the last three years we have increased financial aid by 42 percent.”
“Our students and their
rate plan reflects a continued and tangible effort to make Eastern a destination of choice for students throughout Mich- igan and, in a very real sense, the Midwest.”
“Our low tuition, room and
board rates were largely the result of management’s focus on cost savings and efficien- cies,” said Susan Martin, pres- ident of EMU. “We froze pay for our 100 top-paid adminis- trators and increased vigilance in all areas of spending. At the same time, we have been able to maintain important academic initiatives such as construction of our new $90 million science complex.”
families are thrilled about this initiative,” said President Martin. “Last year, as a result of our low tuition rates and other factors, our enrollment grew by 5 percent. We expect this historic announcement to continue to drive growth at Eastern, as we work to attract first-year students, transfer students and people looking for new skills to launch their second careers.”
Eastern Michigan Univer-
sity is a public, comprehen- sive university with 23,000 students located on 880 acres in Ypsilanti. Eastern offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions, and prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experienc- es to succeed in their career and lives and to be better citi- zens. It is a NCAA Division 1 university with 21 athletic teams, the most in the Mid- American Conference.
By Hugh Burrell
There have been so many
‘A Fighting Little Man’
The Memory Train
Blacks in all walks of life who have never gotten appreciation for their talents. And in the years I have been writing for the Michigan Chronicle, I have learned more about Black his- tory than I learned in the early part of my life.
It was not all our teachers’
fault; a lot of the history was being created during the time I was growing up.
The great things done by
people like George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, Madam C.J. Walker and many other great Black heroes not- withstanding, there is still a big void in information regard- ing Black people. I will do my best to bring out this hidden information. Which is a good lead into this week’s story, “A fighting Little Man.”
Nearly a generation before
Jack Johnson became the first Black heavyweight boxing champion of the world, George Dixon, a small man who barely weighed 100 pounds was rec- ognized as the first Black man to win a world boxing champi- onship title.
On June 27, 1890, Dixon
defeated Nunc Wallace in the 18th round to win the ban- tamweight fight. Dixon was considered one of the best bantamweight fighters in the
offensive manner that it gener- ated race riots and a rebirth of Ku Klux Klan.
In 1927, Able Saperstein orga nized a performing Black bas- ketball team called the Harlem Globetrotters. The team was made up of some of the best Black players in the nation. On July 25, 1935, Leonard Tyner, a 13-year old African American from Chicago, Illinois, became the world’s marble shooting champion.
Quotable Notable: Sam
history of the sport. In 20 years of professional boxing, from 1886 to 1906, Dixon fought and won nearly 160 fights. He died on Jan. 6, 1909. It took over 80 years to recog- nize boxing champion George Dixon because although Black boxers dominate the sport, they do not control who will be recognized.
Charles Follis, born in
1879, grew up to become the first Black professional football player in the United States. He played for a team known as the Shelby Blues.
In 1915, D.W. Griffin’s Film,
“Birth of a Nation,” portrayed Blacks in such a negative and
Philips, the founder of Sun Records and the man who dis- covered Elvis Presley, report- edly said in the early 1950s, “If I could find me a White boy who could sing like a (Negro), we could make him a million- aire.”
I will be doing a show on
April 30 at the Polish Cen- tury Club with some of my best friends. I will be doing a tribute to Lionel Richie. Dave Robbins, will be performing a tribute to Johnny Mathis and Lou Rawls. Also a young lady and a longtime friend Jasmine DuBois will be performing as Diana Ross. Showtime 8 p.m. For information please call (586) 264-7990.
Well until next time, I’ll
plant U now and dig U later. Peace and chicken grease!
Hugh Burrell can be con-
tacted at (313) 872-3437 or
Metro Detroit student finalist in science competition
By Patrick Keating
CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER
Detroit Country Day senior
Sherwin Wu was recently named one of two finalists in the sanofi-aventis Interna- tional BioGENEius Challenge, a competition for high school students who “demonstrate an exemplary understanding of biotechnology through sci- ence research projects.”
Wu now moves on to the
final round of judging which will take place at the interna- tional convention in Chicago, May 3-4..
Wu’s project looked at con-
trolling the spread of cancer by looking at select genes. The project was titled “Glu- cosaminyl (N-acetyl) Transfer- ase 2 (GCNT2) Gene Expres- sion Highly Influences Breast Cancer Metastasis and Pro- motes an Epithelial-Mesen- chymal Transition (EMT).”
Wu’s father is a medical
researcher and William Beau- mont Hospital physician who emigrated from China because he’d received a research grant through a Rockefeller Founda- tion scholarship.
“Right from the start, my
dad exposed me to a lot of the research environment,” Wu said. “When I was in third or fourth grade he would take me to his research lab and I would be able to see all the things that some of the people who worked under him were doing.”
That started his interest;
and then when he got to high school, he started taking all the science classes. Advanced placement physics and biology sparked his interest the most.
“Particularly because the
teachers in those two subjects were some of the most ener- getic and most friendly people in the school,” he said, adding that his biology teacher sug
Herman B. Gray
Gray named among top 25 Minority
Executives in Healthcare
Herman B. Gray, presi-
dent of Children’s Hospital of Michigan, has been listed among Modern Healthcare magazine’s 2010 Top 25 Mi- nority Executives in Health- care. Gray’s demonstration of leadership, dedication and ability to successfully effect change in healthcare are among the reasons for his se- lection.
A special article and com-
Burt comes home
Cameron Burt (center), a leading scorer for RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), recently played in the NCAA Frozen Four Championship at Ford Field. Burt is a graduate of the Detroit Communication and Media Arts High School. – Dan Gra-
plete list of honorees ap- peared in the April 19 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine. Gray, along with other hon- orees, will be formally recog- nized during a gala to be held in Chicago in June.
The 2010 Top 25 Minor-
ity Executives in Healthcare Award is the magazine’s third biennial listing. The listing honors minority executives from all sectors of the health care industry.
Curriculum Focus: Math, Science, Fine and Performing Arts and Technology
. College Preparatory . Wireless laptops at all grade levels . Extra Curricular Activities . Affordable Latch Key . Tuition Free Public School . Student Diversity . World Languages . Fully Equipped Computer Labs, and Internet Access for all students . Student Uniform Dress Code . Tutorial Services
Public Lottery Dates (If required) Elementary: June 4, 2010 – 5:00pm Secondary: May 28, 2010 – 5:00pm
SCHOOL DISTRICT LOCATIONS
Kindergarten – 12th Grade
2985 E. Jefferson Avenue, Detroit MI (313) 259-1744 – Fax: (313) 393-0460 Cassandra Phillips, Principal
2260 Medbury, Detroit, MI
(313) 923-0281 – Fax: (313) 923-1103 Garnet Green, Principal
gested that he email a pro- fessor about the possibility of working in a professional research lab at a university during the summer between 10th and 11th grade.
“Through that first summer
I got another position at a more prestigious lab the second summer, which is where I con- ducted my project for the Bio- GENEius challenge,” he said.
He initially focused on
cancer in general, as both of his grandfathers died of cancer when they were in their 50s. Then he narrowed it to cancer- based projects which interest- ed him the most, specifically the isolation and identification of genes. So he chose the lab of a professor who happened to work on breast cancer.
Janelle Curtis, vice presi-
dent of programs at the non- profit Biotechnology Institute, which organized the BioGE- NEius challenge, said the biggest initial challenge was to get people to understand what biotechnology was, what the competition entailed and whether they were eligible to participate.
She added that they try to
Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences
give students an additional op- portunity to get excited about science and explore careers in science.
The BioGENEius Challenge
was initially established and run by the biotechnology in- dustry organization (BIO) in 1994. The program was transi- tioned over in 2002.
The event has expanded
over the years to included six regional competitions in the U.S., as well as finalists from Canada and the Australian state of Western Australia in international competition.
The event accepts high
school students, grades 9-12. Wu said one thing he’s
found most beneficial about science research competitions is they allow him to present his research and his work. He also said his father told him he was willing to pay for the airplane flight to the event be- cause he wanted him to have the experience of presenting and disseminating the infor- mation he’d obtained through his research.
He’s looking forward to
the international convention in Chicago, and believes he’ll be presenting to a panel of 15 prominent scientists in the bio-tech field.
Among the colleges that
have accepted Wu are the Uni- versity of Michigan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He said it’s a “big possibility” he’ll choose to go to the latter.
Whatever college he choos-
es, he plans on majoring in biophysics or double majoring in biology and physics if that specific major isn’t offered.
Subsequent to that, he
plans to go to medical school. Career-wise, he’s hoping to divide his medical practice and his researches roughly 60/40.
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