4.12 | Monday, Jan. 23, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: Send us your thoughts
:: SPOTLIGHT: Rural Mission
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: QUOTE: What a dog teaches a boy
2012 -- Terrence, a 16-year-old from a single-parent home, and Bill, 67,
have been matched since 2004. For eight years, they've been spending time
with each other -- going out to eat, checking out local sporting events
and talking on the phone. Bill also attends many of Terrence's track meets
and football games, and he provided assistance for Terrence to be able
to attend a national track meet last summer.
mother, who has her hands full with three other children, credits Bill's
influence for helping to turn around Terrence's life. She's watched her
son, who runs track and plays football, improve his grades from C's and
D's to A's and B's.
the support of [Bill], my son would likely be in jail," says Terrence's
Terrence (not their real names) say they will continue to spend
time together even though their official match support through Big Brothers
Big Sisters ends this year.
* * *
is National Mentoring Month -- a time to celebrate the work of mentoring
organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Carolina Youth Development
Center (CYDC) in bringing together people like Bill and Terrence in successful
mentoring relationships. National Mentoring Month is a nationwide initiative
to call attention to the need for mentors in communities like the Lowcountry.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of CYDC is the local affiliate of Big Brothers
Big Sisters of America, the oldest and most effective youth mentoring
organization in the country.
In addition to a need for African American male mentors, Big Brothers Big Sisters of CYDC also has an urgent and ongoing need for financial support of its programs. It takes about $1,000 a year to provide each Big-Little match with the volunteer training, match management and match support that are the hallmarks of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
in Big Brothers Big Sisters pays off BIG for the Lowcountry -- compared
to their peers, matched youth are 52 percent less likely to skip school
and 54 percent less likely to get arrested.
committed board, volunteer leaders, and program and mentoring staff work
with parents, volunteer mentors, donors and partners from the diverse
communities we serve to give children who face adversity every opportunity
to succeed. National Mentoring Month is a time to pay tribute to the Big
Brothers Big Sisters village and to encourage others to Start Something
to extend our reach."
Gingrich did what he does best -- framing his ego
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan. 23, 2012 -- Before a discussion of what happened in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary this past weekend, you should know this: The Palmetto State isn't filled with right-wing, tea party nutcases. Sure, we have a fair share of them, but there are progressives here too.
Compare Saturday's results to those of four years ago when now President Barack Obama faced Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary. In that election, which propelled Obama toward wrapping up the nomination and showed he was a real contender, some 532,000 people voted with Obama reaping 55.4 percent of the votes (295,214).
In Saturday's GOP primary, about 600,000 people voted, including 243,398, or 40 percent, for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 167,957 (28 percent) for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Look at our politics another way. Just 15 months ago, tea party favorite Nikki Haley, an Indian-American Republican, barely beat a moderate Democrat to become the state's governor. Bottom line: South Carolina, the state where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, long has had a streak of political independence. And while the state is fairly Republican, there are a sizable number of folks who don't have knee-jerk, anti-government reactions at the drop of a hat.
So what propelled Gingrich to victory in South Carolina when just a week ago it looked like Romney had the nomination wrapped up? Answer: The red meat of angry rhetoric thrown to a malleable, frustrated GOP electorate looking for a tough candidate to take on Obama.
Ever since Romney's win in New Hampshire, he has been in the crosshairs for the very thing he was touting as his strength -- his business experience. In South Carolina, a barrage of nasty super-PAC ads combined with Romney's squishy, distanced reactions to questions about how much in taxes he paid and how his venture company disemboweled some companies it took over were enough to cause GOP voters to doubt Romney's ability to beat Obama.
And while the thrice-married Gingrich faced a last-minute allegation from his second ex-wife that he wanted an "open marriage," he flipped media interest in her interview by challenging an easy target -- the media -- as being too intrusive. With body language displaying the political frustration of many voters in the South Carolina audience, Gingrich said, "The destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office, and I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that." The audience erupted in applause with Gingrich later adding he was "tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans."
It was classic Gingrich. As he did for years while slogging through the GOP trenches before rising to power, he reframed the political debate in his favor. Look at the words he naturally used: "destructive," "vicious," "negative," "govern," "decent," "appalled" and "elite." They're literally right out of his 30-year-old playbook on framing political debate in which he counseled people who wanted to "talk like Newt" to distinguish their rhetoric and politics by offering "optimistic, positive governing words" and "contrasting, negative words."
Newt played South Carolina, a state with one of the nation's highest jobless rates, like a master conductor by going after Romney, Obama and anything that got in his way as Romney faltered and displayed weakness.
So what happens now? The circus moves to Florida where it essentially becomes a two-way race for the soul of the Republican Party. Establishment Republicans likely are shaking in their boots that Gingrich, who has very high negatives of around 60 percent, may become their candidate. If they want Romney to win and keep from impaling himself from the comfortable lead in the polls that he has -- just like he had in South Carolina -- they'll have to take a page from Newt's songbook and communicate much more effectively.
But don't look for Gingrich to go away quietly. The only thing keeping him from wrapping up the nomination soon is the very thing that is his strength -- his mouth. Combined with his dirigible-sized ego, many expect Gingrich to implode because of some pompous, elitist thing that he says. And that scares them to death because they think his mouth will kill their chances at winning the White House.
One thing is for sure -- the fat lady hasn't sung. And this thing may be a long way from over, which helps Obama more than anyone else.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. This issue's featured nonprofit partner is Rural Mission on John's Island. The organization is many things to man people: a hand up in times of crisis and need a mission, service and faith volunteer experience for the young and older a caregiver and advocate for young migrant children and a support system for migrant families a provider of a warm, comfortable home in winter and a greatly appreciated giver of desperately needed home repairs to make low income homes safe, healthy and decent. For all, Rural Mission is a source of hope for low- and very low-income residents, the elderly and families living in the rural underserved Sea Islands of Charleston County, from Johns Island to Wadmalaw to Edisto and Yonges Islands. To learn more about this extraordinary organization, visit Rural Mission online. To talk to someone about giving your time or money to help, phone: 843.768-1720.
JAN. 23, 2012 -- Rescued turtles in Massachusetts have been treated to a small jet trip to Charleston to undergo rehabilitation at the S.C. Aquarium. The coolest thing about it was that bit was done in a revolutionary-styled jet that uses about 25 percent of the usual fuel. "Green turtles on green flight" -- I love it!
earning less than $52,000 a year qualify for free tax service through
a collaborative effort by Trident United Way, the Trident Urban League
and the IRS. Those families also may qualify for a federal Earned Income
Tax Credit that could be worth up to $5,000.
the service will help families avoid unscrupulous preparers, save money
and apply for all of the credits for which they qualify, according to
a press release..
Last year, 2,300 local families claimed nearly $3 million in credits. With more sites and volunteers this year, the coalition of groups supporting free tax service hope more people can take advantage.
Color of Freedom exhibit underway at City Gallery
"Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad" is a new exhibit being presented through March 4 at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston.
Developed by the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, Maryland, the exhibit showcases drawing, painting, and etching works by artist Joseph Holston, a painter and printmaker best known for his use of vivid color and abstracted forms and expressive lines that reflect his appreciation for musical composition.
The exhibition depicts stories of the Underground Railroad, some of the most powerful stories in American history. It features 49 paintings, etchings and drawings by Holston that are said to capture the courage and determination of slaves, required of them to escape to freedom.
says fundraising back to pre-recession levels
was up 3.4 percent in the first 11 months of 2011 over the previous year,
according to a national index of fundraising offered by the local company
Blackbaud. More importantly, fundraising has returned to levels of giving
last seen in 2007, the company said.
Blackbaud's chief scientist and creator of The Blackbaud Index, noted
that while giving is up, the increase is not uniform across all sub-sectors.
But most nonprofits saw greater stability and predictability in their
2011 fundraising than in the past few years, he said.
U.S. charitable giving appears to finally be back to its pre-recession
levels," said Longfield. "Fundraising remains challenging but
hopefully the worst is behind us, and nonprofits will continue to see
positive growth in 2012."
also said charitable giving was up 1.4 percent for the three months ending
in November 2011, compared to the same period a year earlier. Online giving
was up 12 percent in the same time frame.
Local law firm to donate
$55,000 in next 10 months
law firm will give $55,000 to area charities over the next 10 months to
celebrate its 10th anniversary.
this month, Richardson Patrick Westbrook and Brickman will give $5,000
a month each month for nine months. In October, community members will
be able to visit the firm's Facebook page and vote for their favorite
winner from the previous nine months. That charity will get an extra $10,000,
according to a press release.
years of helping clients locally and nationwide is a significant milestone
for us, and we want to do something that not only celebrates this milestone,
but also celebrates our community," said Jay Ward, a member of the
firm and its business manager.
represents plaintiffs in areas of sophisticated civil litigation. More.
The term "Gullah" or "Geechee" describes a unique group of African Americans descended from enslaved Africans who settled in the Sea Islands and Lowcountry of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. Most of these slaves were brought to the area to cultivate rice since they hailed from the Rice Coast of West Africa, a region that stretches from modern Senegal to southern Liberia.
ethnic groups, including the Mende, Kissi/Geessi, Susu, and Baga, cultivated
rice well before European-African contact. The origin of the term Gullah
(for residents of the South Carolina Lowcountry) is uncertain. Some believe
the term derives from "Angola"; alternatively, it could refer
to the Gola people of Liberia and Sierra Leone. The term Geechee (for
residents of the Georgia Lowcountry) may come from the Ogeechee River
or may refer to the Kissi/Geessi people of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.
The Gullah/Geechee people of the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry
continue to manifest unique African cultural attributes that have survived
for more than three centuries.
Until the end of the twentieth century, many looked at Gullah/Geechee as broken English, characteristic of those incapable of speaking standard English. In the 1940s, African American scholar Lorenzo D. Turner undertook a linguistic study to find out the origin and composition of the Gullah/Geechee language. He discovered the presence of many words and syntax of West African language origins in Gullah, especially in languages still spoken along the Rice Coast of West Africa.
Linguists have also suggested that some West Africans who were transported to the Lowcountry already spoke a Creole language that became the ancestor of the Gullah/Geechee language. A strong linguistic similarity exists between Gullah and some Creole languages in West Africa, such as Krio, spoken in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Turner's research and other factors, including a growing popular and scholarly interest in the Gullah people and their culture and the visit of Joseph Momoh (president of Sierra Leone) to Gullah country in 1988, have changed the negative image of the Gullah language.
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© 2008-2012, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. Charleston Currents is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.
Five for February about Gullah
If you don't know much about the Gullah culture that permeates the Lowcountry or want to learn more, you can get a taste of it in our Encyclopedia entry below and then consider attending any -- or all -- of these five February events that tout Gullah's importance.
Feb. 4, 2 p.m. Carolyn "Jabulile" White will offer Sea Island
stories and Vera Manigault will highlight sweetgrass basket-making. Location:
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Mount Pleasant. More.
Gullah Galore: Feb. 11, 10 a.m. to noon. The Charleston Museum will offer "Gullah Galore" as a way to educate and entertain children and families through crafts and activities about the unique heritage of the Gullah people. On tap: a performance by the Andande African Drum and Dance Group. Free to museum members and paid admission to non-members. More.
Tales, baskets: Feb. 11, 2 p.m. Anita Singleton-Prather will tell "Pearlie Sue" Gullah tales and Vera Manigault will demonstrate sweetgrass basket-making. Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Mount Pleasant. More.
Rice, baskets: Feb. 18, 2 p.m. Sharon and Frank Murray will discuss rice production in the Lowcountry and Elijah Ford will show how to make sweetgrass baskets. Location: Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Mount Pleasant. More.
Singing, baskets: Feb. 25, 2 p.m. Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers will offer spiritual songs and Jeannette Lee will show how to make sweetgrass baskets. Location: Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Mount Pleasant. More.
"A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down."
(NEW) Bad Day: 3 p.m. on Jan. 28 and Jan. 29, Dock Street Theatre, downtown Charleston. Charleston Stage will present a two-day stage version of the great children's book, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day." Tickets are $22. Ticket ordering and more info is online.
(NEW) Underground fete: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Jan. 28, at a location to be disclosed Jan. 26. Join the chefs at Twenty Six Divine as they participate in a "Local Impromptu Moveable Evening" of nine courses, including a trio of bisques, apple-cider duck, lamb meatballs and assorted petite desserts. Cost is $75 per person with proceeds benefitting The Road to Hope in Haiti and One Respe in the Dominican Republic. More.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON.
(NEW) Let my people go: 6 p.m., Feb. 4, Trinity United Methodist Church, 273 Meeting Street, Charleston. The CSO Spiritual Ensemble, a 35-member vocal group that focuses on traditional African-American spirituals, will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a performance entitled, "Moses, Let My People Go: A Tribute to Moses Hogan." Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children and students. More.
(NEW) Cork Shuckin' Party: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 4, at Irvin-House Vineyards, Wadmalaw Island. Irvin-House will celebrate 2012 with the unveiling of a new product at its inaugural Cork Shuckin' Party. Admission is free. Oysters will be available for purchase with other food. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to enjoy music by Kristi Starr and Gary Hewitt. More.
(NEW) Oyster roast and chili cook-off: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 12, Goldbug Island. Charleston Bay Gourmet will sponsor an oyster roast and chili cook-off benefiting Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina. A $250 prize will be offered for best chili. Tickets are $25 until Jan. 29 and $35 after that. More info.
8:30 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday and Saturday. This is the time
of year that a great variety of migrating birds fly through the Lowcountry
so what better time to take part in one of the regular early morning bird
walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Pre-registration is suggested.
Cost is $5. Learn
Open houses: Throughout January. Palmetto Scholars Academy, the state's first gifted and talented charter school, will hold six open houses between Saturday and Jan. 31 for potential students. The school, which will have students in grades six through 10 next year, has an enrollment period through Feb. 8. More on times and the process here.
(NEW) Charleston Film Festival: March 1-4, Terrace Theatre, James Island. Partnering with Columbia's Indie Grits Festival, the Charleston festival will offer a $2,500 first-place prize and a week of exhibition at the Terrace. Both festivals will release their line-ups and schedules soon. Click here for more.
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