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Items filtered by date: November 2016 - The San Bernardino American News

Inland Empire Economy Grows Faster Than Expected

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The Inland Empire’s Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) grew more than previously estimated, according to a report released today by the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. The region’s economic output grew by 2.6 percent annually through the third quarter of 2016, an upward revision from the 2.2 percent growth reported earlier.

The revision, which is in line with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ recent revision of U.S. GDP, was due partly to continued strength in the Inland Empire’s leading sector, but also due to upward revisions to the region’s construction industry output, which did not decline as much as previously estimated. This aligns with recent data from the California Employment Development Department that shows strong job growth in the Inland Empire’s construction sector—up by 5.3 percent year-over-year in November.

However, the new UCR School of Business report points out that the construction of residential properties has moved at a disappointing pace in recent years with fewer than average building permits filed in the Inland Empire. This could degrade the region’s affordability advantage over neighboring coastal areas. “More residential construction activity is needed to help keep housing costs in check,” write the report authors.

The analysis also finds that technology industry growth in the Inland Empire continues to lag the state but notes intensifying local efforts to develop a skilled high tech workforce in the region. On the other end of the spectrum, the local manufacturing industry has bucked trends elsewhere in the state and continues to be a source of regional strength, increasing its employment counts.

“Overall, the numbers in this report reflect what is happening on the ground in the Inland Empire economy,” said Robert Kleinhenz, executive director of research at the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. “Logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare have been the mainstays of the local economy throughout 2016, and will continue contributing to the region’s growth in the year ahead.”

The December Inland Southern California Gross Metropolitan Product Report is now available.


Publishers Corner - Operation HOPE CEO and Founder John Hope Bryant

January, 2008 — At the request of John Hope Bryant, and inspired by the on-the-ground work of Operation HOPE, U.S. President George W. Bush signed the first ever Executive Order establishing financial literacy as the policy of the U.S. Federal government in the nation’s history.January, 2016 — At the request of John Hope Bryant, and inspired by the credibility and track record of Operation HOPE, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew made the decision to change the name of the U.S. Treasury Annex Building to the Freedman’s Bank Building.This was the first time in American history that a building has been renamed on the 18 acre White House complex. On March 3rd, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation ‘creating a bank to teach freed slaves about money and the free enterprise system.’January, 2016 — John Hope Bryant and his team organized the largest gathering of leaders in the world for the empowerment of the poor and the underserved. More than 3200 Delegates from 25+ countries gathered for the HOPE Global Forum Annual Meeting of Operation HOPE. MSNBC broadcast and webcast the Annual Meeting nationally.The Freedman’s Bank story is now the Operation HOPE narrative, and emerged out of Bryant’s storytelling about the bank in his last bestselling book, “How The Poor Can Save Capitalism. The Solution for the 100%.””How The Poor Can Save Capitalism” has now been translated into four languages (Korean, Portuguese, Arabic, Greek), and Bryant is today one of the only bestselling authors on economics in the world, who happens to be of African-American descent.Operation HOPE, founded by John Hope Bryant, is today the nation’s first nonprofit financial services network for the underserved.John Hope Bryant is an American entrepreneur who, through his network of philanthropic organizations, isresponsible for raising and directing more than $2.5 billion in capital in urban, inner city and underserved communities since the 1992 Los Angeles riots.Bryant has done this with a laser-like focus, using the global economy to help people help themselves. Bryant calls this a “silver rights” movement, utilizing the power of open-source capitalism, and making the free enterprise system work for all.Operation HOPE is building an economy for all.


John Bryant is a 41-year-old whirlwind of ideas and action. Lean, intense, focused, and completely positive in his belief in the potential of poor people to prosper, with ‘a hand up and not a hand out.’”

President Bill Clinton


A natural entrepreneur, John Hope Bryant became a businessman early in life with a modest, but life changing, $40 investment from his mother in his first business idea at the age of 10.

John Hope Bryant is a ‘silver rights’ entrepreneur and businessman, author, thought leader, philanthropist and the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Ventures. Bryant has been an advisor to the last three sitting U.S. presidents, whose work has been recognized by the last five (5) U.S. presidents.

On February 26, 2014, Bryant was appointed by President Obama to serve on his new U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, focused on the next generation of young leaders.

Mr. Bryant is one of the only bestselling authors on economics in the world today who happens to also be African-American. How The Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding The Path to the Middle Class (Barrett-Koehler) was selected as the Best Business Book for Economics & Finance for 2014 by 800-CEOREAD, the Best Business Book for Sustainability in 2014 by Business+Strategy and as one of the Essence Magazine Top 10 Best Books for 2014

Bryant is a TIME Magazine 50 (Leaders) for the Future (1994' cover story), and an Oprah’s Angel Network award recipient.


Bryant founded Operation HOPE, HOPE Global Forums, HOPE Global Initiatives, Operation HOPE, South Africa, Operation HOPE, Saudi Arabia, Operation HOPE, Morocco, Operation HOPE, United Arab Emirates, HOPE Inside, HOPE Business In A Box Academies, Banking on Our Future, Banking on Our Future, College Edition, HOPE Coalition America, (Disaster Financial Recovery Score), EFFAK (Emergency Financial First Aid Kit for FEMA), Project 5117, 5 MILION KIDS Initiative, HOPE Corps, HOPE FILE (Fellows, Interns & Loaned Executives) Program, HOPE Office of Innovation, Research & Assessment.

Bryant co-founded Wikia-HOPE Global Money Initiative, Gallup-HOPE Index and Global Dignity.


Bryant created Bryant Group Ventures, Bryant Group Companies, Bryant Speaks, Bryant Group Real Estate, Bryant Group Africa LLC, Bryant Group Motorsports Group (in development) and Bryant Group Racing (in development).


Bryant directly inspired the creation of the City of Los Angeles loan fund (Administration of Mayor Tom Bradley), financial literacy as U.S. federal government policy, circa 2008, (George W. Bush Administration), U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Entrepreneurship Education (George W. Bush Administration), emergency financial disaster preparedness, response and recovery federal policy framework for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA (George W. Bush Administration), commitments for 100+ local financial literacy councils across the U.S., and formalized the inclusion of FEMA into federal financial capability policy (a seat on the U.S. Financial Literacy & Education Commission for the Obama Administration).


Bryant co-founded The New Leaders organization (Los Angeles) and Just Brothers (Atlanta).

Through Operation HOPE and its partners, Bryant is today responsible for more than $2 billion of private capital supporting low-wealth home ownership, small businesses, entrepreneurship and community development investments in under-served communities across the U.S. Operation HOPE operates on-the-ground partnerships in more than 300 U.S. cities, South Africa, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and has served more than 1.5 million clients, recruited and mobilized more than 22,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, enjoys more than 5,000 partners from government, community (including faith) and the private sector, and is the global leader in financial dignity.

Operation HOPE, founded as America’s first non-profit social investment banking organization immediately following the Rodney King Riots of 1992, in South Central Los Angeles, today operates as a global non-profit software company, specializing in the software of human development. Reverse engineering poverty.

Published in 2009, Bryant is the author of business bestseller LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), which remained on the business bestseller list for a total of 18 months. Bryant was at the time one of the only bestselling business authors in America who was African-American.

Published in 2014, How The Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class. The Solution for the 100% (Berrett-Koehler), has already been licensed for Arabic, Korean, Portuguese and Greek languages. The book has also been widely recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek, TIME Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Black Enterprise Magazine and Essence Magazine, and has been featured in numerous media interviews, including CNBC Squawk Box, CNBC On The Money, Fox Business News, and a host of others nationwide.

Mr. Bryant served U.S. President Barack Obama as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment, and a Member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. In this role Bryant represented the broad interest of approximately 100 million American citizens who struggle at the margins. Under President Obama.

Prior to this, Mr. Bryant served U.S. President George W. Bush as Vice-Chairman of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, and Chairman of that Council Committee on the Underserved as well. Operation HOPE’s work led then President Bush to sign an Executive Order establishing financial literacy as federal policy for the first time in U.S. history.

Raised in Compton and South Central Los Angeles, California and homeless for 6-months of his life by age 18, John Hope Bryant has traveled to more than 100 countries, tirelessly promoting the virtues of hope, self-esteem, love leadership, dignity, empowerment and opportunity for all.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton described Mr. Bryant in his bestselling book GIVING saying, “John Bryant is a 41 year-old whirlwind of ideas and action. Lean, intense, focused, and completely positive in his belief in the potential of poor people to prosper, with ‘a hand up and not a hand out.”

In his private business, Bryant leads Bryant Group Cos., and serves on the corporate board of Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (ACRE), an NYSE publicly traded company and a division of $90 billion private equity firm Ares Capital Management. Bryant serves as chairman of the ACRE Compensation Committee.

Bryant also serves on advisory boards for the Gallup Government Leadership Academy, the Kaplan University Business School, and the Desmond Tutu Center. Bryant is also a regular contributor for the Huffington Post and LinkedIn Influencers.

Bryant is a former UN goodwill ambassador to the U.S., a partner with former U.S. President Clinton and his foundation teaching financial literacy, and working with HOPE global spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young, is bridging civil rights to silver rights.

Bryant has received more than 500 awards and citations for his work to empower low-wealth communities including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Legacy Award, and was People Magazine’s “Community Hero,” on the 10th anniversary of the worst urban civil unrest in U.S. history.

Bryant’s work has been recognized with the 11th ever John Sherman Award for Financial Education Excellence from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and has received National Community Service Awards from both Spelman College and Livingstone College, and the CUNY/Queens College President’s Award. The USC School of Social Work annually awards an endowed USC John Bryant Scholarship to a deserving student. Mr. Bryant has received an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Paul Quinn College of Dallas, Texas, and in April 2008, Bryant completed the Harvard University John K. Kennedy School of Government, Global Public Policy and Leadership Program, as a Young Global Leader.

In the backdrop of the Great Recession of 2009, Mr. Bryant joined Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, Archbishop-Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Global Dignity co-founders HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland, for the closing session of the Annual ‘Davos’ Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on the subject “dignity for all.” Global Dignity is now active in 55 countries.

Connecting civil rights with a 21st century vision for silver rights, Operation HOPE operates its flagship HOPE Inside location at Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Ebenezer Church was Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.’s pastoral church, and the Center itself was built in honor of Martin Luther King, Sr. Daddy King

Bryant is a co-founder of Global Dignity, a founding member of the Clinton Global Initiative, a founding member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, the founding curator of the Forum of Global Shapers, Atlanta Hub (World Economic Forum), a member of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, and a member of Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2015, Bryant created Bryant Group Motorsports to advance his passion for auto racing, as a sport, and a vehicle for greater social inclusion. He holds a full competition-racing license. In April 2016, Bryant took a 3rd place overall podium finish and a 1st place win in his class during the Phakisa 2-Hour Endurance Race in South Africa. This was his first official race ever. Bryant now races in South Africa as a member of the Fantastic Racing Team, as their U.S. driver.

Bryant launched a live “silver rights” video series on Facebook in early 2016. The impactful channel has received approximately 4 million views in the first three months!

John Hope Bryant was born on February 6, 1966, in Los Angeles, California, and resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, Professor Natasha Bryant.


As Obama departs, we owe him our thanks

The final days of the Obama presidency are upon us. His popularity is rising with the economy, and with the increasingly stark contrasts to his successor. It is worth being clear about the legacy that he leaves behind.

Obama came to office facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The global financial system teetered on collapse; the auto industry faced bankruptcy; the economy was shedding 400,000 jobs a day. He also inherited the catastrophe George Bush had created with the debacle in Iraq and government misrule dramatized by the shame of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, La.

Now, eight years later, the economy nears full employment, with more than 15 million jobs created and private sector job growth at a record 81 consecutive months and counting. Wages are beginning to rise, after long years of stagnation or worse. The auto industry has enjoyed some of its most prosperous years.

This isn’t an accident. Obama helped rescue the economy by passing the largest stimulus in history, the most ambitious financial reform since the 1930s, and daring and direct intervention to save the auto industry. Economic growth helped lower the annual budget deficit to less than half the level he inherited.

Obama also passed the largest health care reforms in six decades, providing health insurance for 20 million Americans. His reforms saved those with pre-existing conditions, provided the young with protection under their parents’ programs and, although most Americans don’t realize it, slowed the rise of health care costs dramatically.

Running for re-election in 2012, Obama recognized that income inequality had become “the defining issue of our time.” With his progressive tax reforms both in his health care plan and in the partial repeal of the top-end Bush tax cuts, and with expanded tax credits for low-income workers and families with children, Obama made a significant beginning in addressing that inequality.

Abroad, Obama struggled against great opposition to reduce America’s exposure in the wars without end in the Middle East. His nuclear agreement with Iran, not only dismantled its nuclear weapons capable facilities, it also provided the most comprehensive and aggressive verification mechanisms in the history of arms control. In opening relations with Cuba, he helped reduce America’s isolation in our own hemisphere and made the historic turn from a policy of embargo that had failed for five decades.

His most historic contribution was to understand the clear and present danger of catastrophic climate change. The agreement with China and subsequent Paris Accord cemented a global consensus on the need for bolder action on global warming. On his watch, America began to reduce its reliance on coal and its greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama won a majority of the votes in both his election and re-election, something neither his predecessor nor successor achieved. He governed with grace and dignity, despite grotesque and too often racist provocations. His family provided a model for all Americans, with Michelle winning hearts across the country. He and his administration were remarkably free of scandal. His administration demonstrated once more that competence could be valued in Washington.

He did all of this while facing unprecedented, unrelenting partisan obstruction, with the Republican leader of the Senate opposing him at every turn, intent on making him a one-term president. In part because of that opposition, much remained undone. The stimulus would have been larger and the recovery stronger except for Republican opposition. The national minimum wage would have been raised. A national infrastructure project to rebuild America would have been launched. Progress on making America the leader of the green revolution, the next global industrial revolution, would have been greater. Guantanamo, the shameful prison in Cuba, would have been closed. The Voting Rights Act would have been revived, and much more.

For most Americans, the recovery was slow; for many it was invisible. Donald Trump won election promising working people a better deal. He appealed to our weariness with war, suggesting a less interventionist policy. He played upon divisions, rousing fears about immigrants and Muslims. He pledged to “Make America Great Again,” in part by undoing everything Obama.

So it is worth marking what Trump will inherit, as we head into what is already a rocky and tempestuous presidency. Unemployment under 5 percent. Eighty-one months of jobs growth and counting. Average wages rising at 2.4 percent over the last year. Growth at 3.5 percent over the last full quarter. Inflation at 2 percent. 20 million more Americans with health insurance. America, one of the global leaders in the green industrial revolution. A president respected at home and abroad, known for his thoughtfulness and his great eloquence. Let us hope that Trump can build on that legacy, and not lead us into a far deeper hole.

Keep up with Rev. Jackson and the work of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at


Date Festival Bringing Big Entertainers, Big Value, and Big Fun to Fairgrounds

Indio, CA- The Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival is pleased to announce larger than life entertainment at no additional cost! All concerts are included with the price of general admission. 2017 entertainers will include:

Eli Young Band, Saturday, February 18th, 7:30pm

Voz de Mando, Sunday, February 19th, 7:30pm

Cheap Trick, Friday, February 24th, 7:30pm

WAR, Saturday, February 25th, 7:30pm

Super Fiesta, Sunday, February 26th, 3pm. Featuring: Los Dareyes de la Sierra & Sonora Santanera

The Fair will feature several extra value days giving fairgoers even more bang for their buck! Value Days include:

* Opening Friday, February 17th Free admission from 10 am – Noon.

*KMIR Day – Tuesday, February 21st – Say the phrase that saves for a discounted $6 admission. Watch KMIR News for more info.

*Kids’ Days – Tuesday through Thursday 3pm to close - One child free per paid adult.

*Riverside County Department of Waste Resources – Waste Wednesday, Feb 22nd - Free admission when you bring in electronic waste items. (See a list of devices online.)

*O’Reilly Auto Parts Day – Thursday, February 23rd – Visit any Coachella Valley O’Reilly Auto Parts store and grab a voucher for free admission into the fair! While supplies last, see store for details. Participating stores

* Fantasy $5 Friday – Friday, February 24th – All day admission $5, sponsored by Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.

Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival 82-503 Hwy 111, Indio, CA 92201 Toll-Free 800.811.FAIR Fax 760.863.8973

Also included with the price of general admission are fair favorite entertainment including:

* Camel & Ostrich Races

* Bull Riding

*Monster Trucks

*Demolition Derby

*Hypnotist Show

*Marvelous Mutts Show

*Nightly Musical Pageant

*Ag Adventure land

*Butterfly Exhibit

*Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival is presented by Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, the desert’s leader in gaming and entertainment. The Fair, in Indio, runs February 17-26, 2017. Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. Purchase your tickets early and receive them at a discounted price: $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for youth, $7 for group tickets or bus tours (minimum of 25), and $22 for Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristbands. For more information, call 800.811.FAIR or visit where you can buy and print your Fair tickets at home.


NEA To Award CSUSB Prison Arts Program $15,000

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The Community-based Art program at Cal State San Bernardino is among the prestigious programs across the United States that will receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The grant will go to the CBA Prison Arts Collective, a program founded and directed by Annie Buckley, an associate professor of visual studies at CSUSB.

The Prison Arts Collective began as a pilot program between CSUSB and the California Institution for Men in March 2013. At that time, the university offered four weekly art classes, including three beginning level classes in painting, drawing, and printmaking and design, and one advanced class in portfolio development, to 45 incarcerated men. Since then, the prison arts program has grown to 15, 10-week art classes and workshops in a variety of topics.

In that first year, about 30 men, under the guidance of four teaching artists, also worked together to create a 45-foot mural over a period of nine months.

The Prison Arts Collective will use the $15,000 grant to set up multidisciplinary workshops at the men’s and women’s prisons in Chino and create an online exhibition of how they make their art.

“This will allow us to collaborate with a guest artist,” Buckley said, “and to engage our diverse teaching team -- including CSUSB students and alumni -- in collaborative artmaking about a social issue with participants at the prison.”

The NEA grant comes through the organization’s Art Works category, which focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

NEA awards are extremely hard to come by, said Rachel Weiss, director of research and sponsored programs at CSUSB.

“It is incredibly competitive on a national level,” she said. “In nearly a decade here, I only remember one or two awards made to the institution from NEA, including this one.”

“The arts are for all of us,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “And by supporting organizations such as the Prison Arts Collective, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts. Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”

Visit CSUSB’s Community-based Art/Prison Arts Collective’s website at for more information on the program.


2nd Annual Scholarship Fundraiser

San Bernardino, Ca, January 6, 2017: Young Women Empowerment Foundation will host their second annual Scholarship Fundraiser at the Shandlin Hills Golf Club, 3380 Little Mountain Drive, San Bernardino, CA 92405, on Friday, January 6th from 8:00am to 12:00am. YWE invites family, friends, and community supporters to this augural event that focuses on raising funds to help deserving students financially as they prepare to go to college. YWE suggest a pre-sale donation of $30.

This year’s fashion show theme is “Classic” and the designer wear will reflect that idea. The soiree will feature Inland Empire’s very own “The Fellas and Ladies 1st” as well as special guest appearances. The event will be hosted by Pastor Sam and Tamika Casey. What better way to start your new year by giving back and having fun at the same time. There will also be light refreshments, appetizers, entertainment, and opportunity drawings.

Before the main event there will be a pre-VIP Happy Hour hosted by the Black Chamber of Commerce- Inland Empire. Join us and meet the designers and local business leaders. Additionally, there will be a special guest book signing by Dr. Margaret Hill. Come for the networking opportunity and stay and enjoy an evening of high fashion, dancing and social interaction.

Topson Down is the special guest designer of the evening. They provide a wide variety of top of the line clothing for the models to strut their stuff down the cat walk. Topson Down has a fantastic online boutique, Sheek, which carries anything a customer desires. The Sheek Boutique is an online boutique that provides women with trendy styles and comfortable clothing at an amazing price. The Sheek Boutique customers are real women of all shapes and sizes. They love to build relationships with women to help them with their wardrobe and encourage them to be confident in who she is and what she wears.

Step N’ Style Fashion Show Soiree event sponsors include: Black Voice Foundation, The Bigger Picture Photography, The FELLAS, Ladies 1st, Young Visionaries, LUE Productions, OFU Productions, Kimmie’s Cakes. Topson Down and The Sheek Boutique.

Please join us and encourage and invite family and friends to register and attend this noteworthy opportunity focused on helping deserving students excel and enjoy a unique, and memorable fashion show like no other. Tickets are limited, be the first and sign up today.

YWE serves to strengthen the character of young women of high school age in the San Bernardino City region of the Inland Empire in Southern California. Young Women’s Empowerment was founded Gwendolyn Dowdy- Rodgers. The mission of our program is to empower these young women to achieve at their highest potential, particularly in education, and to instill in them a commitment to return to their community as leaders and mentors.

The Young Women’s Empowerment Foundation (YWE) is dedicated to strengthening the self-esteem, character, integrity and capacity of young women ages 12-21 so that they may achieve their highest potential. YWE accomplishes its purpose through strategic partnerships with other organizations. YWE is guided by ethics and principles which exhibit respect for cultural diversity.

Tickets available at or for more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 909-965-0810.

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Visit our website http://www.youngwomene



Mr. & Mrs. Abbot

The Chicago Defender, which was founded by Robert S. Abbott on May 5, 1905, once heralded itself as “The World’s Greatest Weekly.” The newspaper was the nation’s most influential black weekly newspaper by the advent of World War I, with more than two thirds of its readership base located outside of Chicago. Abbott began his journalistic enterprise with an initial investment of 25 cents, a press run of 300 copies, and worked out of a small kitchen in his landlord’s apartment. The first issues of The Defender were in the form of four-page, six column handbills and were filled with local news items gathered by Abbott and clippings from other newspapers.

“Abbott began his journalistic enterprise with an initial investment of 25 cents, a press run of 300 copies, and worked out of a small kitchen in his landlord’s apartment.”

In 1910 Abbott hired his first full-time paid employee, J. Hockley Smiley, and with his help The Defender began to attract a national audience and to address issues of national scope. Smiley incorporated yellow journalism techniques similar to those used by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer into the paper in order to boost sales and to dramatize various racial injustices in America. As a northern paper, The Defender had more freedom to denounce issues outright, and its editorial position was very militant, attacking racial inequities head-on. Sensationalistic headlines, graphic images, and red ink were utilized to capture the reader’s attention and convey the horrors of lynching’s, rapes, assaults, and other atrocities affecting black Americans.

The Defender did not use the words “Negro” or “black” in its pages. Instead, African Americans were referred to as “the Race” and black men and women as “Race men and Race women.” The Chicago Defender’s local circulation soon surpassed that of the three rival papers that existed in the Chicago area at that time: The Broad Ax, The Illinois Idea, and The Conservator. The newspaper was read extensively in the South. Black Pullman porters and entertainers were used to distribute the paper across the Mason/Dixon line. The paper was smuggled into the south because white distributors refused to circulate The Defender and many groups such as the Klu Klux Klan tried to confiscate it or threatened its readers. The Defender was passed from person to person, and read aloud in barbershops and churches. It is estimated that at its height each paper sold was read by four to five African Americans, putting its readership at over 500,000 people each week. The Chicago Defender was the first black newspaper to have a circulation over 100,000, the first to have a health column, and the first to have a full page of comic strips.

During World War I The Chicago Defender waged its most aggressive (and successful) campaign in support of “The Great Migration” movement. This movement resulted in over one and a half million southern blacks migrating to the North between 1915-1925. The Defender spoke of the hazards of remaining in the overtly segregated south and lauded life in the North. Job listings and train schedules were posted to facilitate the relocation. The Defender also used editorials, cartoons, and articles with blazing headlines to attract attention to the movement, and even went so far as to declare May 15, 1917 the date of the “Great Northern Drive.” The Defender’s support of the movement, caused southern readers to migrate to the North in record numbers. At least 110,000 came to Chicago alone between 1916-1918, nearly tripling the city’s black population.

In subsequent years The Defender provided first hand coverage of events such as the Red Summer Riots of 1919, a series of race riots in cities across the country. It campaigned for anti-lynching legislation, and for integrated sports. Its columnists included Walter White and Langston Hughes. It also published the early poems of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks.

In 1940 John H. Sengstacke, Abbott’s nephew and heir, assumed editorial control and continued to champion for full equality. During that year, he founded and became the first president of the National Negro Publishers Association. Now known as the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the organization was established to unify publishers of African American newspapers across the country. On February 6, 1956, The Defender became The Chicago Daily Defender, the largest black-owned daily in the world. In 1965 Sengstacke purchased The Pittsburgh Courier, including it in his “Sengstacke Newspaper chain,” along with such papers as The Michigan Chronicle in Detroit, and The Tri-State Defender in Memphis. John Sengtstacke served as publisher of The Defender until his death in May, 1997.



Drake, St. Clair and Horace R. Cayton. Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1970, 1962, 1945.

Grossman, James R. Land of Hope: Chicago, Black Southerners, and the Great Migration. University of Chicago Press, 1989.

Hughes, Langston. Langston Hughes and the Chicago Defender: Essays on Race, Politics, and Culture, 1942-62. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995.

Ottley, Roi. The Lonely Warrior: The Life and Times of Robert S. Abbott. Chicago: H. Regnery Co., 1955.

Tuttle, William M.. Jr. Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919. New York: Atheneum, 1970.

Washburn, Patrick S. A Question of Sedition: The Federal Government’s Investigation of the Black Press During World War II. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Source: PBS-Soldiers Without Swords

Robert Abbot

Witness For Justice #820 - Listening for signs of hope

This has been a dark season for many. Every time I look at a screen (and they are everywhere - in my hand, at my desk, on the side of buildings, at the bus stop) I am confronted by stories depicting vivid acts of hate.

Many of my friends and colleagues are increasingly fearful. They worry that they will come under attack because of the way they worship, the color of their skin, or who they love. And I can't tell them they're wrong to be afraid. Not in the face of mounting evidence on the evening news.

The weight of that knowledge makes me want to crawl into bed and stay there. It's so tempting to hide from all the ugliness. It's definitely better for my anxiety. But I find it's not really better for my heart. Shutting off the news and hiding my head under the covers doesn't make me feel better; it just makes me feel lazy. And maybe a little bit complicit.

So I've decided to take a different tack. I've decided to show up more and listen harder for signs of hope.

So far the results have been positive. My first discovery is that many people are good. This should be obvious, but I had forgotten. For the first time in a while I'm having regular conversations with people of different political persuasions, and discovering that they too are feeling bewildered and concerned about increasing attacks on the rights of women, refugees, and people of different faiths. This is an encouraging place to begin the work of making a better world.

I'm also rediscovering the power of local politics. In recent years I've become so focused on efforts to create change at the national level that I've underappreciated the profound impact a small group of dedicated individuals can have on their city and state. Did you know that during the last election voters in four states passed minimum wage measures, and in three states they approved gun safety measures? In Arizona voters unseated Joe Arpaio, the notoriously anti-immigrant Sheriff of Maricopa County, after 24 years in power (the impressiveness of that cannot be overstated). And right now the D.C. City Council is working to pass the most expansive paid family and medical leave legislation in the country. These are powerful movements for change and I want to be part of them. I started by writing a letter to my D.C. Council member last week and got a thoughtful response back within three hours. It was a very satisfying experience. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Finally, I'm trying to be intentional about the activities and relationships I put my time into. I have a limited number of hours in each day, which means I have to prioritize the things that are life-giving, both for myself and my community. For me that means showing up for the wonderful moments (a friend's elopement on a Thursday afternoon or a weekend with my Godchild) and also making time for the meetings and the planning we'll need to do to prepare for the challenges to come.

Wendell Berry once wrote, "Be joyful though you have considered all the facts." I can't think of a better advice for the moment that we're in. Now is the time to cultivate the things that bring us joy, to rally our people, and start building together from the ground up. In the face of hate and intolerance, we must choose to listen for signs of hope and seize upon opportunities for doing good.


“It’s Over Now!”

I’ve had enough; Jesus says….The Charade… Pretending to Love Me… No More! It’s Over Now! Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity.”

Can you imagine those words falling from Jesus lips? “You don’t know what to say. You close your eyes to hide the pain you feel inside because you know that truly, it’s over now.” No More Charades! No More Pretending! For some people, this will come as the shock of their lives. They had expected to be in the kingdom, but they will be forced to walk away into the judgment. I tell you, it’s a good thing though, that none of us “church going “Christians” will ever have to hear those words. I mean, there‘s no way that Jesus would turn you away is there? You do serve Him, right? You do love him right? You do worship Him as the one and only true God, right? You do understand the necessity of being sincere and faithful in one’s worship and service to God, right?” Because of all the scripture that comes to mind, perhaps the saddest one of all is found in [Matthew 7: 23.] Here Jesus tells us that at the second coming, there will be some people who will fully expect to ascend to heaven with Him in the clouds of glory, but He will have to tell them; “....depart from Me, I never knew you.”

How terrible is this warning to the false prophets, apostles, pastors, teachers, bishops, elders and evangelist, who have prophesied, who have really preached and taught and who expect to go to heaven, but yet, will wake up in Hell, Jesus says; because everything they do is done for men to see [Matthew 23:5]. They are like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside is full of dead men’s bones… On the outside [they] appear to people as righteous but on the inside [they] are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Hypocrites! Their primary concern is projecting the right image. They make sure they walk right, dress right, and talk right. But oh, on that great day, the Day of Judgment, they will be commanded to depart into everlasting shame and torment! Multitudes of people who expect to go to Heaven will go to Hell. Thousands of “good” people, “moral” people, church members, even church workers, will find themselves lost when they expected to be saved, condemned when they expected approval, cast out of Heaven when they expected to be received into eternal bliss. Jesus’ words cut to the quick. “I never knew you.” Can you imagine…. It’s Over Now!

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” [Deuteronomy 30:19]


Initial Lineup Announced For 2017 Essence Festival In New Orleans

December 15, 2016 (New York, NY) – Time Inc.’s (NYSE:TIME) Essence today announced the initial lineup for the 2017 Essence Festival Concert Series in New Orleans featuring headliners Diana Ross and Mary J. Blige, among many others. The 23rd annual event will take place June 30-July 2, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The initial performance lineup is outlined below. Additional acts will be announced in the coming weeks.

Artists confirmed to perform at the nightly Essence Festival concerts over Fourth of July weekend at the Louisiana Superdome include: Diana Ross, Mary J Blige, Chaka Khan, Doug E Fresh, Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Jazmine Sullivan, John Legend, June’s Diary, Lalah Hathaway, Lizzo, Master P, Michel’le, Moses Sumney, Ro James, Shaggy, Sir the Baptist, Solange, Teyana Taylor, The Jones Girls Feat. Shirley Jones, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Tweet, Yuna, and many more to be announced soon.

“This year’s Festival lineup puts women at the forefront of an incredible weekend of entertainment featuring more than 40 of the world’s most gifted artists and performers,” said Essence President Michelle Ebanks. “It is an honor to welcome the inimitable Diana Ross to the Festival for the first time. Plus, Festival veteran Mary J. Blige is back to share ‘Strength of a Woman’ with her most passionate fans.”

The A-list nighttime concerts will feature more than 40 acts and will take place across five stages — including the Festival’s renowned Mainstage and four intimate Superlounges. Mary J. Blige will headline a special night, themed My Path to Strength, introducing her highly anticipated album “Strength of a Woman.”

Weekend ticket packages are on sale Friday, December 16 at 10am CT with prices starting at $126. For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the Essence Festival visit Essence Festival. Join the Festival community: follow us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2017 Essence Festival on Facebook.

The 2017 Essence Festival is presented by Coca-Cola.

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