Resolute Tigers, with rout of ACC foe Cavaliers, close successful homestand

CLEMSON – During a recent homestand wherein they got back to playing pressure/uptempo basketball, the Clemson Tigers, in a rout of Virginia Sat.(Feb.20), closed that successful series of game with emphasis.

And the take no prisoners like exhibition displayed opposite the visiting Cavaliers, from Charlottesville, which was closed out in a lopsided 23 point (72-49) triumph at Littlejohn Coliseum was apparently just what the doctor ordered for Oliver Purnell’s charges, who were looking straight ahead at challenging road tests against Maryland (Wed., 2/24) and Florida State (Sat., 2/28).

The emphatic defeat of Tony Bennett’s Wahoos was preceded by ACC wins over Miami and Florida State.

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South Carolina’s School Equalization Program

Across South Carolina, old brick schools with low roofs and banks of windows sit in the middle of neighborhoods or cotton fields.  Some of these schools are used for after-school programs or community centers, while others sit with broken windows and peeling paint.  Several still serve the community as schools.  These one- or two-story schools, usually faced in brick and designed in the Modern architectural style, are a physical reminder of racial segregation and the African American fight for desegregation of South Carolina’s schools.

Parents in Clarendon County initiated the legal fight against grossly unequal schools in their local school district.  Protesting against the lack of transportation for students, dilapidated school buildings, and the general lack of interest in black education, the parents sued the school district in a case known as Briggs v. Elliott.  This case was filed in the state Supreme Court system in 1950, arguing for the desegregation of the public school system in Clarendon County.  Eventually, Briggs v. Elliott was heard by the United States Supreme Court as part of a package of school desegregation cases known as Brown v. Board of Education.

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Why Tiger Owes the World an Apology

Tiger shouldn’t apologize; he doesn’t owe us anything. Tiger Woods does not owe us an apology. Even with his indiscretions, Tiger doesn’t owe us anything.

Those are all headlines from well-known sports columnists and other social bloggers. And to them in all their infinite wisdom, I again say, lies!
Here’s the problem I have with all the people who say that Tiger’s affairs are nobody’s business but his and his wife’s. They are basing their opinion on the premise that the only person affected by Tigers indiscretions was his wife. When Tiger cheated on his wife, he hurt and betrayed more than just Elin. He hurt and betrayed his children; his mother and father (even in his death); her mother and father; his friends; her friends; his acquaintances; her acquaintances; everyone who sang his praises; everyone who believed the façade he portrayed.

And Tiger is a public figure, whether he wants to be or not. His business partners paid him millions of dollars for him to be an appropriate, responsible representation of their brands. If it were widely known that Tiger was a womanizer, having indiscriminate and seemingly random sex, do you think Nike would have used him as their front man? What about Gatorade? And Buick? After having collectively paid him billions of dollars, are you telling me this is only between Tiger and his wife? Lies!

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Meaning behind Jobs Meeting

It was good to see the photo of NAACP President Ben Jealous and National Urban League President Marc Morial leave the White House, snow hip deep, after they met with President Barack Obama to talk about the ways the unemployment crisis is affecting African Americans. It was unfortunate that Dr. Dorothy I. Height, who at 97 doesn’t let much stop her, wasn’t able to make the meeting because of the weather. It was puzzling to see the National Action Network’s Rev. Al Sharpton included in the meeting, as I’m not sure that the NAN has done work on employment and unemployment, though Sharpton has been an effective spokesman on race matters. Still, what the NAN is not is an organization of the stature of the NAACP or Urban League. If another leader might have been included, it should have been the Rev. Jesse Jackson, leader of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, or a labor leader like Bill Lucy of AFSCME and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. And it is unfortunate that Dr. Height could not send an NCNW representative so that African American women would be represented in the conversation. I quibble. I’m glad the meeting took place.

After indicating that he is the President of “all” American, I wondered whether President Obama would ever meet with African American leaders. I do hope they shared the devastating impact unemployment has had on the African American community. Our unemployment rate is not 9.7 percent, as the overall rate is. It is not the 16.7 percent that is officially reported. According to my own calculations, the black unemployment rate is at least 28.7 percent. Would such a rate be acceptable if “all” Americans were experiencing it?

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What we can do to help Haiti and its people

I was in Haiti from January 24-29 with 5 other activists and academics, three of whom are Haitian Americans, to assess conditions after the January 12th earthquake.  The trip was sponsored by the Los Angeles-based non-profit organization Scattering Resource, a group formed by Haitian-Americans to raise money, primarily among Haitian-Americans, to provide aid to grassroots efforts in their native country.  The trip was coordinated through Fondation Avénir (FA) a non-profit organization based in Port-Au-Prince, which helps young people develop various means of combating poverty, and helps to establish progressive development programs to include access to information technology, health information, basic education, training, and community building projects.

The task of the group was to meet and speak with a range of people along the various class-lines, with various community leaders of Haitian-led non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and Haitian Americans working and living in the country.  We sought their take on the relief and clean-up effort as well as their view on what it will take to re-build Haiti. 
The group visited most neighborhoods and community centers in Port-Au-Prince, the Toussaint L’Ouverture airport, UN compounds and other vital areas; the Foyer des Filles de Dieu orphanage and the connected Hôpital Notre Dame de Lourdes; Multilink, a Haiti-based provider of internet services that was the first to offer non-satellite international connectivity to the general public in Haiti; workers with The Fondation Connaissance et Liberté / Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète (FOKAL); and doctors working alone and with organizations.

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59th NBA All-Star game draws record crowd to Big-D

In an unprecedented happening, in the annals of the National Basketball Assocation (NBA), the highly respected Association realized something for the Ages, during the playing of its 59th mid-season exhibition….more commonly referred to as the NBA All-Star game.

Staged in Big-D—Dallas, Texas—Sun. (Feb. 14), the most recent display of NBA talent was unveiled before an unheard of 108,713 people (at a basketball game), who braved very cold weather to be on hand at the Dallas Cowboys new state-of-the-art stadium, in Arlington near Dallas.

Miami guard Dwayne, who tallied 28 points, and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the game, sparked the East to a 141-139 win over the West All-Stars.

And at the end, Wade, who was selected as the MVP in the 2006 All-Star encounter,in Dallas, pointed out that the unexampled number of individuals assembled at the aforementioned venue “would be something to talk to his kids about.”

Son pay in the National Football League (NFL).

Tigers claim much-needed back-to-back ACC stretch run wins

After losing three of four games in the latter days of January and early February, Clemson, apparently keyed by improved play, recently claimed much-needed back-to-back Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) wins last Wednesday  (2/10) and Saturday (2/13), in the friendlier confines of Littlejohn Coliseum.

Oliver Purnell’s Tigers picked up win number one in the before-noted two-game stretch when they whipped Florida State (FSU) by 10 points (77-67) this past Wed. night, on their homecourt.

Purnell’s cats, who sank 8 of 20 baskets from beyond the arc, were paced in scoring by David Potter with 19, including 4-5 shooting from 3-point land. Other leading scorers included sophomore Andre Young, who had a career-high total of 19, freshman Devin Booker, with a career-high 14, senior Trevor Booker, 13 and junior Demontez Stitt, 8.


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Rallying “Rainbow Warriors” to Create a Progressive Third Force

With the “Tea Party Convention” concluding in Nashville with wall-to-wall coverage by the mainstream media, it is clear that the right continues to outmaneuver the left in terms of capturing the limelight to promote the conservative cause. One has to admit that the concept of having a “Tea Party Express” was a brilliant stroke that rightwing talk show hosts and Fox News could propagandize to the hilt. The cold fact is, for all of the intellectual capital and organizing genius, there has been no equivalent concept or response from a liberal/ left/progressive “movement” that are disgruntled, disjointed, disoriented and ineffective. If a return to power of the conservatives in 2010 is to be blocked, there must be far more innovative thinking, meaningful messaging and creative organizing on the left.

I would not begin to claim to be an innovative thinker, but I could envision rallying “Rainbow Warriors” to offer a vigorous defense of the historical legacy of liberal/left/progressives fighting to improve the quality of life for the majority of working people, the middle class, women, people of color and the poor. Unlike the virtually all White “Tea Party Movement,” the “Rainbow” symbolizes the promise of a 21st century “patriotism” rooted in the commitment to a multi-racial/ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural, inclusive and expansive democracy with a “socially responsible” economy. The Tea Party crowd represents a dying order. Rainbow Warriors could represent the birth of a new future. It occurs to me that somehow, minds that are more gifted than mine could take this concept and shape it into a vehicle that could capture the imaginations of millions of Americans who have been wounded by eight years of Bush-Cheney. The millions who are focusing their anger/frustration on President Obama and the Democrats rather than the villains whose misguided policies and misdeeds are responsible for the pain/suffering vast numbers of Americans are experiencing.

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Restoration Efforts to Begin at Historic Randolph Cemetery

The first phase of restoration efforts at Historic Randolph Cemetery will take place the third week in February 2010. Randolph Cemetery is located in downtown Columbia, South Carolina adjacent to Elmwood Cemetery. The site, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the burial place for nine black Reconstruction Era legislators, Civil Rights pioneers and many local African-Americans who have both influenced important events and those who simply lived life. Kreilick Conservation, LLC a restoration company based out of Oreland, Pennsylvania has been contracted to complete this first of three phases of repairs to the historic markers at the cemetery. Scott Kreilick, the company’s CEO and president will conduct an on-site workshop for local students and interested members of the public. The workshop will take place Saturday, February 20 at the cemetery located at 538 Elmwood Avenue Extension in downtown Columbia from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Spaces for the workshop are limited and interested persons should contact Keilah Michal Spann at 803.252.7742×25 or


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Blood Done Sign My Name to open in theaters

Jeb Stuart’s Blood Done Sign My Name is an epic story of empowerment and the struggle for social justice based on the acclaimed book of the same name by prize-winning author and scholar Timothy Tyson.  Part family drama and part history of the civil rights movement in America’s south, the film is set in Oxford, North Carolina in 1970 and recreates the circumstances surrounding the small-town murder of Henry “Dickie” Marrow, a 23 year-old black Vietnam veteran who was shot and beaten to death by one of Oxford’s prominent white businessman and his two grown sons. In response to the crime, and the sham trial that followed, many young African American men took to the streets, engaging in riots and vandalism.  However, schoolteacher and burgeoning activist Ben Chavis, (who was also Morrow’s cousin), decided that the best way to protest the injustice was to organize a peaceful march on the state capitol. What began as a small group of outraged friends and relatives grew to a crowd of thousands over the three day, fifty-mile trek to Raleigh.  Ten years old at the time, Tim Tyson watched as his father, pastor of the town’s all-white Methodist church, tried to get his congregation to accept the inevitability of integration.

I was first introduced to the book in 2004, and took it along for the ride while enduring the seven hour bus trip to Atlanta for a Fund for Southern Communities board meeting. Tyson’s rich, textural backdrop that held these all too familiar characters was so compelling; I didn’t take my dinner break when we pulled into Augusta Station. I was thrilled to learn it was being adapted for film and even more so when I managed to arrange an interview with director Jeb Stuart.


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