November 5, 2015 |
There's little question that any list of contemporary pop culture's most beloved fictional characters would have the name "Madea" at or near the top. As played by her creator, show-biz mogul Tyler Perry , Madea - a/k/a the fictional character Mable Simmons - is an elderly, take-no-crap African-American woman who comes off - in a comical way, of course - as more than slightly unhinged. As in, she isn't afraid to threaten gunplay if crossed. Madea is the star of a series of wildly successful films and stage plays, the newest of which, "Madea on the Run," opens a six-day run Tuesday at the Merriam Theater.
November 11, 2012 |
Ivan Vassall Sr., 96, of Roxborough, who operated the first black-owned auto dealership in Philadelphia, died of cancer Thursday, Nov. 1, at home. In May 1969, Jet magazine reported that Mr. Vassall and Edwin McClenton had become the first black owners of an automobile dealership in the Philadelphia area. The dealership, Vassall & McClenton Inc. in Germantown, was an American Motors franchise. After a few months, Mr. Vassall took over the dealership, which became Vassall Motors. In 1974, Black Enterprise magazine named Mr. Vassall one of its Top 100 Chief Executives.
May 20, 2011
Don Barden, 67, a prominent Detroit businessman who sold vegetables from the road as a child before making millions in casinos, cable TV, and real estate, died Thursday from complications of lung cancer. "Don was a stalwart leader and businessman in this community, as well as a friend," Mayor Dave Bing said in a statement. "We were aware of his longtime illness and dreaded this day. " Mr. Barden made millions with cable-TV franchises in Detroit and the suburbs, but lately the news about him was not flattering.
October 7, 2001 |
James J. Zogby is distinctly "Arab-looking. " For years, he says, his dark Lebanese features have drawn the stares of fellow airline passengers and caused him to be pulled out of boarding lines. "I was profiled," he maintains, "under guidelines that were purely subjective. " Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute in Washington, now fears that other law-abiding citizens will be subjected to similar unfair scrutiny, particularly on New Jersey's highways, where the FBI has told state police to "be on the lookout" for nearly 300 Middle Easterners who may have information about last month's terrorist missions.
September 6, 1999 |
Reginald Stevenson, a vice president with BPUM Impact Corp., doesn't want to be stopped at the gates of heaven by the group's founder, Charles "Poppy" Sharp, for failing to tend to his heirs. "I don't want him to say I didn't do something for his babies down here," said Stevenson, who is executive director of BPUM's three child-care centers. BPUM stands for Black People's Unity Movement, a key player in Camden's civil-rights struggles in the 1960s. Sharp, who died in April at age 67, was its charismatic leader, leading marches, burning effigies of mayors, fighting with police officers, and serving time in jail.
August 15, 1998 |
When my friend, the Rev. Jesse Louis Jackson Sr., took seriously ill recently, I stopped to think, "What would I do without him? And where would America be without him?" Do we appreciate him and his work? I don't think we always do. I have worked with Jesse Jackson for more years than I care to recall. I have watched his progress from community organizer to national leader to international statesman. I have witnessed an eager, ambitious young man known as the "Country Preacher" become a viable presidential candidate and then a foreign diplomat.
September 11, 1996 |
He hesitated for just one second, wondering if his eyes were playing tricks. But then Russell Moses let his voice ring out, loud and strong. "God bless you, Rev. Sullivan!" The tall, 72-year-old retired minister with the wide shoulders and confident walk stopped on the sidewalk, turned, and waved to Moses, who shook his head in amazement. "It's Leon Sullivan," remarked Moses, 38, and a North Philadelphia native. "You don't see him every day. It's a blessing to see him. A blessing.
July 13, 1995 |
Whenever it has come to securing executive positions in sports, African- Americans have been shamefully passed over. Though in 1994 blacks accounted for 79 percent of the athletes in the NBA, 65 percent in the NFL and 18 percent in major league baseball, the percentages have been far, far lower in the front office. Now the good news . . . According to Black Enterprise magazine, "a quiet revolution" in America has enabled blacks to enter the front office and ownership ranks of the sports industry.
September 9, 1993 |
When Dolly Winston was laid off from her job in March 1992, she found herself at a career crossroads. She had worked in an insurance company's accounting department for six years. "Being laid off allows you that time to get your mind together," said Winston, 35. "I was torn between working for somebody else and doing my own thing. " Winston, the single parent of a teenage daughter, decided that she wanted to be her own boss. So she opened a restaurant on the north side of Phoenixville.
May 8, 1992 |
Two decades ago, President Nixon launched a series of programs aimed at promoting "black capitalism," declaring that "despite a long history of frustration and lost potential, minority Americans want business ownership - they should. " This week, Black Enterprise magazine reported that in 1991, gross sales for the 200 largest black-owned companies in the United States - 100 industrial and service companies and 100 automobile dealerships - totaled $7.9 billion. That compares with $473 million in gross sales for the 100 biggest black-owned businesses in 1973, the first year the list was compiled.