Plus this week's new Drew Toonz cartoon, and the MLK Awards with Nelson Johnson speaking set for Jan. 14.
The holidays are when most people give of themselves to others, but it was that way year-round with Sister Jean Webster, and it recurred unabated and without much fanfare for a quarter century. What began with the kindly gesture of serving a homeless man a hot meal in 1986 evolved into a year-round crusade, catching the attention and support of several civic groups that helped Sister Jean feed and clothe thousands of the less fortunate for years. It started in her Atlantic City home, took up residence at A.C.’s Community Presbyterian Church as “Sister Jean’s Kitchen,” and grew to meet the needs of more than 400 people per day. Her reluctance for personal publicity likely masked the fact that for years Sister Jean dealt with cardiac problems, and on Monday afternoon, Jan. 10, her compassionate heart gave out at the age of 76. Her death was confirmed in an Associated Press report by the Rev. John Scotland, pastor of the Brigantine Community Presbyterian Church (BCPC) and longtime president of the Friends of Jean Webster. The BCPC oversees two Sister Jean benefactors — the True Spirit Coalition and the Crossroads Youth Group. “My daughter [Ani] and other kids from Crossroads did volunteer work at Sister Jean’s,” says Brigantine resident Kim Hayes, “and she said it made her realize how we often take for granted things like a hot meal, and how many people there are out there who need the help of others.” David Spatz, an Atlantic City Weekly columnist and Emmy Award-winning TV host, taped an episode of Curtain Call at Sister Jean’s Kitchen when singer Tony Orlando was in town. “On our list of memorable shows, a holiday special [producer] Jake [Glassey Jr.] and I produced on the fly when Tony Orlando visited Sister Jean’s Kitchen is near the top of the list,” says Spatz through Facebook. “Jean was tough, she was a character and — aging and in poor health for years — she stood up to drunks and drug addicts who towered over her. But when Tony broke into an impromptu medley of Christmas songs, Jean was right there singing along with him.” (See photo gallery at acweekly.com)— Ray Schweibert
MLK Awards, Nelson Johnson on Jan. 14
Atlantic County will honor two of its citizens on Friday, Jan. 14, at the 24th annual MLK Commemorative Birthday Celebration at the County Office Building (1333 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City). County Executive Dennis Levinson will present the awards, which are given out annually to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The two individuals are being honored for their upholding King’s principles “through their involvement in the community and their efforts to improve the lives of their fellow citizens.” States Levinson: “Atlantic County is fortunate to have the benefit of these extraordinary individuals who share a commitment to promoting peace and tolerance among today’s youth so that they may build a society where all people are truly equal.” The recipients are Dr. Jacqueline McBride, of Egg Harbor Township, and Atlantic City native Turiya S. A. Raheem. The latter was featured in an HBO documentary regarding Boardwalk Empire and is the author of the terrific book, Growing Up in the Other Atlantic City: Wash’s and the Northside. Speaking of books and Boardwalk Empire, the program will also feature a keynote address from Atlantic County Superior Court judge Nelson Johnson, author of Boardwalk Empire and the newly released The Northside: African Americans and the Creation of Atlantic City. As the release sent out by the county puts it, Dr. McBride is the founder of Love, Peace and Prosperity International and the Atlantic County chapter of “A Season for Nonviolence.” She also was the first female emergency manager in the state and currently serves as a Disaster Assistance Reservist for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Raheem is writer, volunteer and teacher who teaches at Atlantic Cape Community College and volunteers with Bridges, a local interfaith group, and Sisters Together Against Racism (S.T.A.R.), an affiliation of the American Association of University Women. She also contributes to a writing workshop for youth at the Atlantic City Free Public Library. She graduated from Atlantic City High School in 1972. The program starts at 11am. — Jeff Schwachter
The causes vary depending on who you talk to, but for many different reasons, Atlantic City continues to have a large number of homeless people.
“I was interviewed recently [in another market] and the reporter asked me where was my favorite place to play, and I immediately said Atlantic City,” Orlando says.
From Pop Lloyd to Pattie Harris to Nucky Johnson and the Northside, not to mention Nina Simone and Sam Cooke and other entertainers' connections to Atlantic City and region.
The elections may be over, but there is still a bad taste left in the mouths of many local voters.
"By the 1950s, Wash and Sons’ Seafood Restaurant was a full-service place seating more than 100. Among our guests were celebrities, like Redd Foxx, Sammy Davis Jr., Nipsey Russell, Moms Mabley and Count Basie, who were featured at nightclubs on Kentucky Avenue."
The "Conversations & Storytelling" event, featuring a panel discussion on Atlantic City's vibrant history in relation to the new HBO series Boardwalk Empire, was held at Caesars Atlantic City on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010, and was followed by a viewing party of the debut episode of the HBO drama series, based on Prohibition era Atlantic City. The event was presented by Atlantic City Weekly and the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) in cooperation with the Carnegie Library Center of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey; Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah's Entertainment; the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism; and the Atlantic City Free Public Library. The panelists included Ralph Hunter, Pinky Kravitz, Allen "Boo" Pergament, Vicki Gold Levi, Jim Waltzer and Izzy Posner. In the fifth episode of this multi-part series, a distinguished panel of Atlantic City historians and authors continue to discuss the African-American experience with regard to helping to build Atlantic City, how important the city was for blacks in terms of jobs, entrepreneurs, and entertainment....
In the first installment of a two-part discussion on the African-American experience, the distinguished panel talks about early Atlantic City in relation to the black community.
With the new TV series based on early Atlantic City, Boardwalk Empire, coming this fall to HBO, I was glad when I received Turiya Raheem’s book Growing Up In the Other Atlantic City: Wash’s and the Northside. Finally there is a book that researches and documents the sights and sounds of A.C. from the African-American/Kentucky Avenue perspective. In other books and TV specials, places like Chicken Bone Beach, Club Harlem and the Wonder Gardens are footnotes to stories about places like the 500 Club and/or the Steele Pier. In Raheem’s book these places are more than just background. The long-gone...
May Is Month of the Burger