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New Inglewood, New You

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Daylight Savings Time comes early this year, on March 12. Before we know it, Earth Day will be here.  Flowers will be in full bloom again, and some of us will be happily working in our gardens. We’ll lose an hour, but we will gain that forward momentum, which is vital to moving ahead in life.


When I think of the spring, I think of Inglewood and the forward momentum the city is continuing to enjoy.  It’s amazing to think how far the city has come in so short a period of time.


As you get ready for spring—in whatever way you do that—consider giving a little extra time and attention to your surroundings.  Inglewood is alive with so much change and newness that you can’t help  but be inspired.  The change in our outer world reflects how we feel inside about ourselves and others.  And of course, that works both ways.


When you do your spring cleaning, painting or whatever else you do to spruce up your home, keep in mind that thousands of people will soon be coming to Inglewood.  You want your home or apartment to looks its best.  The same thing applies to our schools and parks.  


If you are a homeowner and plan to stay here, any type of investment you make to your dwelling will pay off in some way.  Property values continue to rise rapidly, so your home’s value can only go up even higher when you make improvements.


You can start with your lawn. Even before the drought, Inglewood was known to have some of the prettiest, best manicured lawns around.  That can only improve now that we have got some much-needed rain.  


When you, your home and everything around you looks good, you naturally feel good, and this feeling carries over to how you relate to others. 


We don’t tend to notice dirty walls and other defects around the house until we get new lighting.   Then everything shows up. Every time a new building goes up or a street is improved, a glorious spotlight shines on the city, reminding us of the work that still needs to be done.   


Does your home match the vision of the new Inglewood?  If not, see what changes you can make so your home can reflect the pride that you feel in our city.


Spring is coming in Inglewood in more ways than one.


By Veronica Mackey


The Rams, Kings, Dodgers, Clippers, Lakers, Galaxy, and now the Chargers, are all sports teams in the Los Angeles area. Having two pro football teams to play in Inglewood can certainly be beneficial for the economy, and the $2.6 billion stadium currently being built is just the first advancement. 


New jobs and revenue from the stadium will generate additional income and boost premium brand identity for the Rams and Chargers.  Just living in a higher media market will afford the teams higher visibility, which can affect Inglewood residents and businesses in a positive way.


Inglewood Today sat down with Alan Whitman, a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley, to discuss the impact of having 2 NFL teams in 1 city. 


IT: What is your general assessment of having 2 NFL teams play in Inglewood?


AW:  It’s wonderful for the city, with jobs and exposure. The greatest impact is exposure, and that’s hard to put dollars and cents around.  But the City’s repeated use of newspapers [to publicize the benefits of development] creates an awareness that it has not experienced before.   This awareness also makes business owners reexamine themselves and what they bring to the table.  


The dollar-and-cent benefit is that when people come to the stadium, they will stop and eat and stay overnight in hotels.  Businesses will grow and expand, they will hire people.  The City will enjoy additional tax revenues.  There is an actual dollar-and-cents benefit.  


When the Chargers were in San Diego, they generated over $120 million a year in benefits, which encompasses salaries.  The media will come and they’re going to spend money.  For want of a better term, it becomes a real “game changer.”  


IT:  Entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities that haven’t existed.  For instance, opening up sports merchandising stores…


AW:  Yes, some will look for things that weren’t there in the past and it will open up opportunities for small businesses.  But then, a lot of the big chains will go in, so you need to know what you’re doing.  You need the independent advice of a CPA. People need to tread carefully.  I always say check with advisors and attorneys, and make sure you have an understanding.


IT:  What did Inglewood do right?


AW: You can kinda equate Inglewood to a business.  There are companies out there on the cutting edge and they reinvent themselves.  Companies that reinvent themselves to accommodate changes tend to be successful over time.  


Eastman Kodak never reinvented themselves. They didn’t go digital.  Polaroid never did it either.  With the City of Inglewood, in the 30s and 40s, people went to the (Hollywood) racetrack.  Horse racing hasn’t retained that level of popularity.  But now Inglewood is coming back.   It is again becoming a major sports destination.


IT: Some renters are worried they won’t be able to afford Inglewood because rates are rising. 


AW:  Initially, I wouldn’t get overly concerned.  Rental property values will appreciate and that takes time.  The issue will be when leases come up for renewal.  If property values escalate too quickly, the people may choose not to rent again.  


History of the Black Man B.C. – Part 2

Thursday, February 23, 2017

By Veronica Mackey


The Age of Ramses marked the beginning of the Nineteenth Dynasty (1320-1200 B.C.). King Ramses II (1279-1212 B.C.) is believed to be the Pharaoh of Egypt in the biblical Exodus story. A formidable military man, Ramses II fought against the Hittites to regain portions of Eastern Africa and Western Asia.  


He is credited with building some of the most notable temples in Egyptian history and considered a model of what a king should be. The reign of Ramside kings continued into the 20th Dynasty (1200-1085 B.C.) until internal fighting and a series of weak kings brought down the reign of Egyptian imperial power.


The power of the priesthood rose as Egyptian kings became more enthralled with world affairs than their commitments to the Almighty. Egyptian priests held positions of tremendous power.  They were the first men of learning—scribes, historians, scientists, architects, physicians, artists, mathematicians, astrologers, and chemists.  Temples represented schools as well as places of worship.  It was widely known among Europeans that Ethiopia was the world’s center of learning.  An Ethiopian education was viewed with pride.


When Europeans conquered African kingdoms, they took with them the art, science and other achievements.  They took full credit for Egyptian “civilization,” although many of the advancements were in place hundreds of years before their arrival.  The Thebans, for example, were considered the oldest men on earth, and credited with establishing philosophy and astrology.  


White historian Samuel Baker often wrote of swamplands, rotting vegetation, deadly insects and “strange people,” and used this perception to justify his belief that Africans were innately inferior.  The accounts of African history by white historians are refuted by the Bible, and by noted historians like Pliny and Herodotus (known as the “Father of History”).


The Egyptian Myth


In ancient times, conquest and superiority were determined by political and military rule—not race. Asians who took over portions of Egypt did not consider themselves superior to blacks because of skin color. Racism, as we know it today, according to Chancellor, was “practically non-existent.”  But it wouldn’t be long before skin color would take precedence over everything.


Whites and Asians living in Africa began to label themselves and their territory as something  other than African. Some 1,500 years before the Middle Kingdom (2133 B.C.), Afro-Asians far outnumbered Asians.  Unmixed Asians were called Asians and Africans were called Africans, but Afro-Asians were called the “New Breed.”  Being rejected by White Asians, they called themselves “Egyptians.”


According to Williams, “with each mass invasion by whites, the physical characteristics of Egyptian people changed more and more. They became more Caucasoid.”  The word “Egyptian” originally referred to blacks, but was changed to refer strictly to Afro-Asians. Racist historians have presented Egypt as an area separate from the rest of the continent.  Noted scholar Dr. Jeremiah Wright said “Racism seeks to take Egypt out of Africa and put it in a nebulous Middle East.”


“One of the great tragedies has been that, in the last 400 years, Europeans and White Americans have created the whole ideology of white supremacy and they have, in the process, taken the images—sacred  images as well as secular images—that are victorious and positive, and made those images white...By the same token, they have re-cast black into a negative image,” said Prof. Cain Felder, author of Troubling Biblical Waters. 


The racial lineage of Jesus is often debated among religious scholars. The bronze feet and wooly hair referred to in the Bible is used as evidence by some black clergy that Jesus was black.”It’s more likely that Jesus was a man of color,” said Rev. Cecil Murray, Chair of Christian Ethics at the University of Southern California.  According to Murray, God chose Egypt as the place for Jesus to flee because his skin color would be less noticeable there among his own people.


Setting aside the Bible debate and looking to geography, Jesus lived close enough to Africa to suggest that he was—if not black—definitely a man of color.  The white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed images seen in the movies could not have been accurate considering his place of habitation.  He was born a Jew in Bethlehem, just a stone’s throw away from Africa in an area known as Palestine.  The area includes Jordan, Israel, Egypt and the Holy City of Jerusalem.


“Palestine is exactly where it’s always been,” says Prof. Felder.  “If you sent one person from Jerusalem to Berlin, another from Jerusalem to Britain, and another from Jerusalem to Africa, the person walking to Africa would get there many, many days ahead of the others.”


Return to Greatness


We came from greatness, and to greatness we can return, but only if we have the vision to make it happen. The African Diaspora has endured more pain, rejection and setbacks than any other people on earth. We have proven our strength to survive and thrive under the most inhumane conditions.


But we need not be mere survivors. While it is important to know that we are a strong people, we need to also know that we are champions.  Getting a positive revelation of ourselves begins not with our history in this country, but with our history on earth. We were much more than slaves in the Western world. We were kings and queens, inventors of science, art, language and mathematics.  


Black history must be both a reminder of where we came from and where we can return to by discovering the truth of our heritage.  Learning to believe in ourselves again, no matter how far we have fallen, is the key that can shape the future of our lives.


Note: This article, originally published in 2003 in Family Health Guide, has been edited.


By Veronica Mackey


For 13 seasons, he played for the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers at the Forum until he retired in 1991. His presence has been seen and heard as the voice of early detection for HIV, and a business mogul with a string of restaurants and movie theatres.   


In 2012, Earvin “Magic” Johnson became co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers with a group of investors, and bought the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014.  But his heart was never far away from the Lakers (his first love).  Magic Johnson has held several positions with the Lakers organization since he retired.  Now he has come full circle, taking over as president of basketball operations.


In his new role, Johnson will answer directly to co-owner Jeanie Buss, daughter of the late team owner Dr. Jerry Buss, and oversee the general manager.


"It's a dream come true to return to the Lakers as president of basketball operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family," Johnson said in a statement.


Buss fired longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak and removed brother Jim Buss as executive vice president of basketball operations to make room for Johnson.  In true Lakers fashion, Johnson was handed the job last minute—just 2 days before the league’s trade deadline of noon on Thursday.


Shakeup within the Lakers organization is expected to reshape the team’s winning prospects.  The Lakers, who won three back-to-back champions during the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant Era, trails the league with the third-worst record in the NBA.



"Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect," Buss said in a statement Tuesday. "Our search for a new general manager to work with Earvin and coach Luke Walton is well underway and we hope to announce a new general manager in short order. Together, Earvin, Luke and our new general manager will establish the foundation for the next generation of Los Angeles Lakers greatness."


Buss and Johnson would not predict how long it will take to turn things around.


"It's going to take us a while," Buss said. "I don't want to fool the fans. We're going to build this thing the right way."


Johnson added: "I can't turn it around tomorrow. Or I really would be Magic, right?"


According to ESPN, Sports agent Rob Pelinka will be the next Lakers general manager.  He will have to divest himself from his clients at Landmark Sports agency, which he co-owns with Kobe Bryant.


















By: Willie Brown


America has just celebrated Valentine’s Day, or the “Day of Love.”  It is the day folks get all mushy about their husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends.  People go out to dinner, and buy cards, candy and gifts for their love interests.  It’s so romantic.


If you live in Inglewood, there’s another reason to get excited about February 14.  It is the official birthday of the city.  That’s right.  The City of Inglewood was incorporated back in 1908, which makes it 109 years old.


Like most relationships, Inglewood and those who love it have gone through ups and downs.  It has seen major demographic shifts. Caucasians were the predominant group in the early days.  Black folks began to integrate Inglewood in the 1960s, followed by Hispanics during the 1980s.   Now, with a multibillion dollar development underway, which includes an NFL football stadium, Caucasians are returning. 


Inglewood became a haven for Hollywood royalty in 1938, when the Hollywood Park Racetrack opened. The venue’s board of directors included chair Jack Warner of Warner Brothers Studios, Walt Disney and Bing Crosby.  It was one of the hottest tickets in town for many years until   horse racing began to slowly die out, giving way to computerized table betting.  


At one point, Inglewood was simultaneously home to horse racing at Hollywood Park; the NBA Lakers and NHL Kings, and world class concerts at The Forum, earning the nickname “City of Champions.”  It remained an iconic city for professional sports until the Lakers and Kings relocated to Staples Center in1999.  


The Forum lost its footing as a major sports and entertainment attraction … for a while.  The presence of gang violence, reports of excessive force by Inglewood police, and a depressed business economy hung over the city like a virus.  


Like a distant lover determined to recapture its object of desire, Inglewood came back! A new relationship was formed and built by new leadership.  Madison Square Garden bought the Forum and reopened it as a major concert hall in 2014.  The Rams and Chargers relocated and will play at the new NFL stadium when it is completed in 2019. 


Now residents are proud of their city again (some never lost their pride).  They are proudly proclaiming Inglewood as home and no longer describe themselves as living “near Westchester.”


So, here’s to another year of life in Inglewood! May the city continue to experience good financial health and prosperity, positive growth, public safety, harmony and success.


Let’s show our love by keeping it clean, supporting our young people and shopping here whenever possible.  Happy Birthday, Inglewood!  You are truly a Valentine


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