Blair Underwood will appear
on HBO's 'Sex and the City'
LOS ANGELES (API - Blair Underwood is joining "Sex and
(he City" for four episodes, but producers and his publicist won't say
which of the characters he'll romance.
Underwood, 38. will make his first appear
ance around the ninth of 13 episodes airing this
summer. Daily Variety reported Tuesday.
Another eight episodes of the HBO comedy,
now in its final season, are set to air early next
"Sex and the City," starring Sarah Jessica
Parker, tracks the romances of four New York
City women. Chris Noth, John Corbett. Ron
Livingston and Kyle MacLxtchlan are among
the actors who've appeared on the show as
Underwood co-starred last summer in the Steven Soderbergh film
"Full Frontal" and in the 1980s TV series "L A. Law."
Rastas to meet in Jamaica
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - Rastafarians from around the
globe will gather next week to discuss issues central to their faith,
including the use of marijuana and repatriation to Africa, organizers
Hundreds of followers from the United States, the Caribbean,
England and Africa will attend the July 16-24 conference at the Uni
versity of the West Indies in the capital of Kingston, organizer Mitzie
Rastafarianism emerged in Jamaica and spread throughout the
Caribbean in the 1930s. The movement was largely fueled by descen
dants of slaves and the anger they felt over the colonial oppression of
The movement's message of social justice and African unity was
popularized in the 1970s by reggae artists Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.
On the agenda at this year's conference is how to unify the faith's
many sects and repatriation to Africa, a tenet of Rastafarianism. Fol
lowers also will talk about the religion's most enduring debate - the
right to use marijuana for religious purposes.
Though illegal throughout the Caribbean, marijuana, is openly
used by many Rastas. who believe smoking the herb brings them
closer to God.
Rastas. who wear their hair in matted strands called dreadlocks,
also will discuss ways to overcome discrimination in conservative
Caribbean societies, where they have been blamed for crime and
shunned for their use of marijuana, also called ganja in the Caribbean.
Los Angeles City Council's 'slavery'
disclosure passes another hurdle
LOS ANGELES (L.A. Sentinel/NNPA) - Making it clear that
no business will be held responsible for what it did years ago. Coun
cilman Nate Holden recently received tentative approval of his pro
posal requiring companies that do business with Los Angeles to reveal
if they ever profited from slavery.
The ordinance was expected to be brought back before the coun
cil for a "second reading." where it will need
eignt votes to go into etlecl.
"What we're doing is (the companies) a
check of their records and acknowledging the
fact that these problems did occur and (that)
they did. in fact, benefit from free labor, slave
labor then," said Holden. who proposed the
In 2000. California required insurance
companies doing business with the state to list
any policies they issued to slaveholders. Since
then, municipalities across the nation have
taken up the issue. Last fall. Chicago passed
an ordinance similar to the one under consid
eration by the Los Angeles City Council. New York. Detroit and
Cleveland are considering similar ordinances.
"We've had a history of acknowledging a variety of terrible inci
dents. whether it's the Holocaust. Armenian genocide....For some rea
son what has been in our history as it relates to slavery often goes
unnoticed, or many people believe that things have changed to where
we no longer need to think about it," said Councilman Bernard Parks.
The measure received an 11-0 vote for the proposal, with three
council members absent.
Holden aide Steve Ongele said the dealings in the motion could
include insuring slaveholders, investing in slavery or otherwise prof
iting from it. The proposal, he said, is expected to have little practical
effect on companies that do busmess with the city. But Holden said
the city would be understandings/! companies that lack records dat
ing back to the time of slavery.
Sharpton facing tax audit
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential hopeful Al
Shaipton is the subject of a federal tax audit, a new financial disclo
sure report shows.
The report, filed with the Federal Election Commission last
Thursday by Sharpton attorney Michael Hardy, said Sharpton is fac
ing a civil audit. The Internal Revenue Service audit covers several
years in the 1990s, Hardy said.
"We don't know what the result will be. They could owe me,"
Sharpton. a New York-based civil rights activist, said Friday in a tele
phone interview. Hardy said he didn't know what prompted the audit.
Sharpton's report to the FEC also shows that he earned at least
$381,900 last year through various enterprises, including $120,000
from Rev. Al Productions for speeches and sermons: $78,000 from
the National Action Network, his nonprofit social justice organiza
tion: $75,000 from Kensington Publishing for his book. "Al on Amer
ica"; and $25,000 from PepsiCo, for his work as a member of the
company's black advisory board.
Presidential candidates are required to file reports with the FEC
detailing their finances.
Sharpton also earned $25,000 each from a New York-based mar
keting company he listed as Global Hue Inc. and the Detroit-based
Hawkins Food Group for consulting work: $30,000 from SPN Broad
casting in suburban Detroit: and at least $3,900 from Inner City
Broadcasting in New York.
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Blacks between rock and hard place
as prison will mean economic boon
BY JEFFREY COLLINS
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SALTERS, S.C. - In
Williamsburg County, where
almost one in six adults is
unemployed, the shiny, 10-foot
tall fence going up at the new
federal prison might be the
gleaming answer to the coun
ty's economic troubles.
The prison, scheduled to
open at the end of the year, will
bring more than 380 jobs, most
paying more than double the
county's average personal
income of $12,794.
"And we're just not talking
new jobs from the prison. It will
also create spinoff jobs," Coun
ty Supervisor Richard Treme
said before driving by a con
venience store that recently
opened just a few miles from
A hotel will be built nearby,
and a developer has constructed
a restaurant and small strip mall
that are set to open at the same
time as the prison.
But some aren't so sure the
$110 million medium-security
prison, set to house about 1,150
inmates, is the best answer for
Williamsburg County, which
sits 60 miles inland from the
Grand Strand tourist beaches.
Along with traditional fears
about escaping inmates, some
black leaders wonder whether a
county that's more than 66 per
cent black should tie its future
to a system that incarcerates so
many members of their own
Civil rights activist the Rev.
Jesse Jackson made a series of
speeches across his home state
of South Carolina earlier this
year to address several prob
lems he saw in black communi
ties - including building prisons
in rural, impoverished areas and
calling it economic progress.
It's "all about locking up
poor kids for profit." Jackson
said at the time. "They are pay
ing $17,000 a year to incarcer
ate our youth but just $3,000 a
year to educate them."
But blacks that live and
work in Williamsburg County
are more ambivalent.
Harry Pringle and Hezekiah
Pressley recently reopened the
Station House restaurant in an
old railroad depot in Kingstree
about 10 miles away. The eatery
sits just blocks from the county
courthouse, where monuments
to civil rights leaders Thurgood
Marshall and the Rev. Martin
Luther King Jr. sit near a
memorial to Confederate sol
"I think sending more
blacks to prison is not a solu
tion," said Pressley, who has
lived in Kingstree since he was
born in 1957. "But jobs are
jobs, and economic growth is
economic growth. It's got to go
Treme said opposition to the
See Prison on A9
AP Pholo/Willis Glassgow
Hezekiah Pressley, right, and Harry Pringle, loft, owners of the Station House Restaurant in
downtown Kingstee, S.C., talk about the new federal prison.
Mfume opens NAACP's 94th annual convention
BY CORALIE CARLSON
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -
The NAACPwill press the Unit
ed States to adopt more equi
table and fair foreign policies
toward African and Caribbean
nations. President Kweisi
Mfume said Saturday at the
opening of the organization's
94th annual convention.
The seven-day convention,
which comes as President Bush
is wrapping up a tour of Africa,
will include a Caribbean summit
to be attended by officials from
Barbados, the Bahamas. Puerto
Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands,
Haiti and the Caribbean Com
munity, a regional organization
and trade bloc.
Mtume criticized U.5>. for
eign policy toward African
nations, saying America has
neglected the continent as it suf
fered from wars, famine and dis
"Our policy with respect to
the continent of Africa at best
has been a policy that is incon
sistent and incoherent," Mfume
said. "We've looked away in
many instances because Africa
* was not politically correct or
He said the United States
should be motivated by its his
torical ties to Africa: "Their
resources are not the only things
that attract us, but the history
born out of the evil institution of
slavery that binds us."
Mfume also criticized the
president, who returns to the
United States on Saturday, for
turning down an invitation to
attend the convention for a third
"I think its a little ironic that
the president will go to Africa to
meet with black leaders, but he
won't meet with black leaders
here in the United States,"
Mfume said, adding that his
requests for meetings with Bush
were refused so many times that
he stopped trying to see the pres
ident more than a year ago.
White House spokesman
Scott Stanzel said the president
receives many invitations from
throughout the country, but
"unfortunately his busy schedule
does not allow him to accept all
The National Association for
the Advancement of Colored
People has been expanding its
focus to international concerns.
It was recently recognized as a
by the United Nations. Last year,
it monitored Zimbabwe's elec
tions and Mfume and others met
with Cuban President Fidel Cas
tro - along with other Cuban
officials and dissidents - to pro
See NAACP on A9
vV i i/
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