Happy 100th Birthday, Dr. Loving!
By Marjorie J. Hurst
© An African American POV
July 1, 2014
Dr. Ruth B. Loving
Our Online Community Newspaper
Affectionately known as the First Lady of Civil Rights in the
city of Springfield, Massachusetts, Dr. Ruth B. Loving
celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday, May 27, 2014,
with a celebration hosted by the City of Springfield
Department of Elder Affairs. Janet Denney, the department’s
director, summed up the sentiments of the well wishers: “I
would like to wish Ms. Loving a Happy 100th Birthday and
wish her continued Health and Happiness! I look forward to
celebrating her 101st!”
And in their tributes, President Barack Obama and
Mayor Domenic Sarno captured the essence of what Ruth
Loving has meant to the country and to the city. President
Obama wrote, “You are part of a generation who summoned
the compassion and strength to guide our Nation through
some of our greatest challenges and triumphs. . .” And
Mayor Sarno, after listing her many accomplishments in a
Proclamation, noted, “You are truly living history!” (See page
It became immediately clear to me as Dr. Loving and
I talked and looked over the memorabilia she had brought to
our office that there was no way I could do justice to her life
in this short article. She remains as sharp as ever, is still
involved in issues she feels are important, has a memory to
be envied, continues to speak her mind, and although she
has slowed down somewhat since breaking her hip in 2011,
was quick to say to me, “Don’t let this walker fool you. I can
still move around just fine!” And that was evident by her
presence at City Hall this past February 1st for the raising of
the Black American Heritage Flag commemorating the start
of Black History Month.
By Rev. Talbert W. Swan, II
Dear Black Community:
I’m writing you because I am worried. In
urban centers around the nation, our people
are dying at a disturbing rate. Violence here
in Springfield is causing great concern.
Shootings and murders, while
unconscionable, are no longer uncommon.
Far too often, we witness acts of violence in
our most vulnerable communities and mourn
lives lost far too soon.
But it’s not just violence. Every year
we receive reports that our children are
dropping out of school at alarming rates. On
top of that, suicide, HIV infection, drug
addiction, joblessness and homelessness
continue to undermine our life chances.
POVERTY OF OUR MINDS
By Gianna Allentuck
I like to watch TV. Snuggle with my kids and
puppy, and let our minds wander in funny or
fantastical lands. With TV, comes commercials.
All kinds: dramatic, humorous, serious, public
service, etc. A lot of the time, these
advertisements support the cause or promote
the mission of poverty or hunger-fighting
initiatives or programs such as Save the
Children; Feed the World; Stop Hunger Now
and so on… Noble efforts, but also ones that
usually focus on bringing food to people in
nations other than America.
As a caring citizen, I understand that as a
successful country we have obligations to
support others around the world; but as an
Adjustment Counselor in an urban school whose
level of poverty hovers around 96%, I more so
recognize hunger in the hearts and minds of
those in our immediate care. Our children. OUR
NO TIME TO CRITICIZE
By Kirk Smith
The young poet and essayist Criss Jami once said, “The motive behind criticism often determines its validity.
Those who care criticize where necessary. Those who envy criticize the moment they think that they have
found a weak spot.”
Make no mistake – there are plenty of times when criticism is warranted. We all need criticism from
time to time. Constructive criticism comes from a pure place and can positively influence our lives and help us
be successful in our personal, social, academic and professional lives. Without it, we could never grow and
develop into acute thinkers.
But on the flip side of constructive criticism is destructive criticism – the type of criticism that comes
from a place of judgment and self-righteousness. Rather than working toward building someone else up to
become better, this type of disparagement is intended to maintain a place of superiority. It is often based on
the unhealthy need for power and control.