Why does the local media devote so much emphasis on the crime, violence and trash in Atlantic City when tourism is the lifeblood of our city?
ATLANTIC CITY — Some of Atlantic City’s political and civic leaders I actually consider personal friends from childhood. I am proud of their accomplishments, because I know where they grew up and how far they’ve come.We went to school together and I know their hearts are in the right place when they express their love for our hometown and make decisions accordingly.
What often disturbs me is when I hear them getting caught up in the rhetoric of the oppressor and by “oppressor” here, I mean anyone or anything that keeps or tries to keep people from achieving their full potential as human beings.
Why, for example, would the city’s daily newspaper put so much emphasis on the crime, violence and trash in Atlantic City when it knows that tourism is the lifeblood of our city?
The same goes for our local TV news. Sometimes, one must really wonder if these media companies are working for A.C.’s competition.
Considering that there may be upwards of 300,000 people in our tiny town on any given day, and more than a million during high season, our crime rate is very low. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one casino executive speaking publicly about the violence or crimes that take place in their places of business and yet, we know that these events take place.
Yes, the killing of even one life by another is one too many. I don’t think I’m in denial or naïve about violence in urban communities. I’m simply asking when are we going to hear more talk about the conditions that can make an innocent, playful, smart little boy end up killing someone without hardly blinking an eye?
When are we going to hear more and louder voices talking about solutions to such conditions? I keep asking the same questions and I never get adequate answers.
So, I repeat --- people are not born criminals. When are we going to hear more talk about the many efforts taking place to correct an antiquated educational system that fails far too many of our youth?
I was listening to an NPR program on education recently and some professional educators and experts were discussing the programs and innovative approaches of successful schools, teachers and administrators. One of the main aspects they observed was the student-teacher relationship. It reminded me of the one-room, multiple-grade schoolhouses of yesteryear where many people will tell you that they received the best education of their lives.
People who were educated in such places will often say that despite the limited supplies, drafty buildings and pitiful circumstances, they succeeded, because their teachers believed in them, had high expectations of them and pushed them to achieve so they did just that.
When are we going to hear more talk about the many efforts available to help parents, teen and otherwise, deal with their own lack of parenting skills, feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, depression and outdated employability skills?
I know of numerous resources in our area, AtlantiCare, our Parent Resource Centers and Family Services Association to name a few, but sometimes, people simply do not know where to turn for help.
Eventually, both young men fell in love with skateboarding and wanted to pass it on as a way of giving back to their community.
We didn’t use the term “food desert,” but we knew exactly what consumer advocates meant when they declared our city one. Food deserts are communities where residents have little to no access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes fresh meats and dairy products are also included.
“Three months to hurry and nine months to worry” was the slogan for locals who looked forward to having work and making as much money as possible during this short period.
It dawned on me the other day that I have completed my first year as an acweekly.com columnist. It’s been one of the best years of my life, a year that has forced me to challenge myself and grow as a writer.
One of the best documentaries I watched last month was entitled 'More Than a Month' by Shukree Hassan Tilghman, a film student at Columbia University.
If you’ve never been to the Civil Rights Garden in Atlantic City, you should make it a point to drop by there and sit awhile. It is a contemplative place.
I asked some of the special people in my life why we should NOT make resolutions and got some funny and enlightening answers other than the obvious one — that many of us don’t keep them.
With grandparents from South Carolina, I felt a strong connection to the people of this Lowcountry area of the eastern U.S. when I visited years ago on a Gullah-Geechee tour.
ATLANTIC CITY — The latest “Justice for Nadirah” rally was held last Monday (May 9) at the Soldier’s Home. Nadirah’s grandfather spoke, as well as Imam Wali of Masjid Muhammad, A.C., Rev. McCoy of the Fellowship of Churches, Pastor Matthews of Salem Methodist in P’ville, Rev. Delaney of Central United Methodist in Linwood, Steve Young of the National Action Network and Chief Jubilee, demonstrating a real unified concern. Among other things, the speakers reminded audience members to continue with their present community awareness, to reach out to our youth constantly, not only in troubled times, that whatever affects us in Atlantic City also affects nearby communities and that what happened to Nadirah can happen to any one of us or those we love. Chief Jubilee assured the audience that this crime “WILL be solved.” * * * * Bridge of Faith already has more than 25 sponsors for its 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Memorial. The program is currently in its planning stage, but things are shaping up nicely with representation from many diverse sections of our local community. * * * * Great news! If you missed excerpts from several of August Wilson’s plays back in March, not to worry. The Atlantic City Theatre...
Today, most funding comes from city grants, local businesses and casino donations.
While the older Baby Boomers are beginning to collect their Social Security benefits and the younger Boomers are still holding on to their tenuous employment, we middle Boomers are busy trying to make ends meet “on that slow crawl towards Social Security” as one author put it, many of us working more than one part-time job.
"For blocks and blocks, I would hear no other language spoken but Spanish. Then, there would be blocks and blocks where occupants spoke a different language at every house: French, Wolof, a Haitian patois, Ghujurati, Arabic, Bengali. One house would have a Virgin Mary statue in the front yard and next to it, there’d be a house with verses from the Qur’an on its front door."
"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."
It’s been very weird. When I decided to self-publish my book in Dec. 2009, I did it because an agent in New York told me — and this is pre-Obama — that nobody’s interested in black history now. I said, ‘What?’ And she said, ‘Nobody is interested. That’s just the truth.’ Then, I think it was in April, HBO calls me.
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...
Jacob Lawrence Day in Atlantic City
Black History, Jazz and Poetry