Friday, February 24, 2012

Trenton Youth Take Part In Spelling Bee

TRENTON-- Empowerment, that's E-M-P-O-W-E-R-M-E-N-T, development, that's D-E-V-E-L-O-P-M-E-N-T. Those were just a couple of the words that local youngsters had to spell Thursday night at  Trenton's First Annual 'Black Pride' Spelling Competition at City Hall. The event was sponsored and hosted by the Capital City Youth Development Council, a local community group whose mission is to 'Motivate And Prepare Future Leaders'.

According to a press release, the event was designed to "promote and continuously enhance the warm spirit of peace and love that was shown at last year's African Pride Festival".  

During the spelling competition, children from throughout the city and surrounding areas showcased their scholastic talent, promoting Black Pride in their quest to become champion spellers. The competition was open to all 4-7th grade students in public, private, charter, and independent schools.

New Black Panther spokesperson, Divine Allah, hosted the event and said that "the spelling bee was designed to offer substance to symbols". He went on to say that "each child has to be a leader, a thinker, and a doer".  

This annual event is being held to highlight the anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, one of the leading figures of 'Black History' in America who embodied educational discipline and scholarship. As a child, young Malcolm Little, - [long before X] was told by an elementary school teacher that he could not become a lawyer. Although discouraged from formal education, and after facing many odds, Malcolm grew to become a worldwide icon and Black America's premier example of courage, manhood, respect and scholarly discipline.

This event is one of many held during Black History Month, where we are striving to showcase positive achievements and educational talents of Trenton children and youth. 

Winners of this competition will move on to the 2nd phase/competition in May [Where Health And Wellness Is The Theme] - and then 'hopefully' onto the main stage at this year’s African Pride Festival, where they will be presented with 'Grand Prizes'.

Included in the spelling competition were Jefreda Presha, Anaya Wells, Ajanay Wells-Daniels, Azikiwe Kemit, Akosua Squarrell-Revell, Corey Hayes, Saleel Siplin, Taylor Green Divine, Trey'von Holt, Chaz Swan, Tyree Swan, DeQuan Rose, Julian Newwman, Ras Makonnen Tafari, Mike Conover, Messiah Crews.

The spelling competition was co-sponsored by Trenton ANTI-VIOLENCE Coalition, WUCUSU Inner & EDUtainment, and the New Black Panther Party.

Please see the video below:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Activists Seek To Restore City

TRENTON-- Area residents and activists alike convened at City Hall Friday morning to protest violence in the state's capitol city.

During the Restoration of Our City community rally, members of the Fathers and Men United For A Better Trenton and the Men of Hope, and other concerned speakers approached the lectern and expressed their outrage toward the current state of affairs in Trenton, New Jersey.

According to news reports in the Trentonian, there were 24 murders in 2011, and there have already been three murders this year, this comes after a sizable layoff of 108 police officers in September last year. Citizens and activists alike are concerned about this current state of affairs.

One of the speakers, Pastor Paula Cook, said that young men need help because they have been abandoned and neglected by many in our society and as a result these young men are now "killing each other for 26 inch rims and gold chains". During her presentation, she expressed disappointment about too many men not doing their part in raising today's youth. Cook went on to call out and challenge church leaders saying that "gang members recruit more than the church". She said that community leaders need to get involved even if it means going block to block. Cook said the city needs a change.

Rally coordinator Anthony Shellman, said that churches and other community leaders need to be held accountable. He went on to say that a bill is in currently in the Senate called Tamrah's law that if passed will make it mandatory that offenders caught committing a crime with a firearm will be issued a 10 year sentence automatically without parole.

Tamrah Leonard, a 13 year old Trenton resident, was killed in 2009 at a stop the violence rally in North Trenton, during a senseless drive-by shooting.

Please see video footage of the rally below:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hometown Blogger Sparks Discussion At Trenton Library

TRENTON-- Marcus Garvey once said that a people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots. It was in this tradition that area residents and activists alike met at the Trenton Public Library Wednesday night for Anwar's Reflections First Ever Black History Panel Discussion.

During the nearly two hour discussion, a variety of topics were explored and addressed. Members of the audience were invited to ask questions as well.

From education to black leadership, to President Obama and social problems afflicting communities in Black America, the panel covered a lot of ground.

Panel members included hip hop artist Big OOH, businessman Tracey Syphax, New Black Panther Party spokesman Divine Allah, Garvey School principal Baye Kemit, community activist Darren 'Freedom' Green, and Today's News NJ's Daryl Brooks.

Baye Kemit said that leadership does not have to be monolithic, it does not have to be one person, our leaders are our parents and grandparents. Darren Freedom Green said that President Barack Obama needs to 'stand up and just be a man on some issues' as it relates to problems afflicting the black community. In his analysis of President Obama, Daryl Brooks said that the president has bailed out Wall Street but failed to mention the word poverty in any of his State of the Union speeches.

As a blogger or citizen journalist, I thought it was important to carry on the tradition of the words of the Negro National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, by inviting a variety of different community leaders and activists to come to the table and have a discussion that would illustrate the diversity of Black America on a local level here in Trenton, New Jersey.

As a viewer and reader, I invite you to determine if the discussion reached that goal.

Please see footage of the event below:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Anwar's Reflections Hosts Black History Panel Discussion

TRENTON-- Anwar’s Reflections, a cutting-edge local blog, will be holding its first ever Black History Month panel discussion Wednesday, February 08, 2012 at the Trenton Public Library, from 6 to 8 pm. The event is scheduled to be held in the library's Community Meeting Room.

Panel members include hip hop artist Big OOH, businessman Tracey Syphax, New Black Panther Party spokesman Divine Allah, Garvey School principal Baye Kemit, community activist Darren 'Freedom' Green, and Today's News NJ's Daryl Brooks.

Discussion topics will include Black Business, Black Entertainment, Black Politics, Black Education, and Black Philosophy.

Guests are invited to ask panel members questions.

Refreshments and a light snack will be provided during the discussion.

For more information, contact Anwar Salandy at (609) 968-6114. You can also reach Salandy by email: