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IN MEMORIAM: The Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts II, Venerable Pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church, Passes at 73

NNPA NEWSWIRE — What Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III said about his friend and neighbor the eminent journalist Les Payne during his eulogy, applies aptly to him, “he was a truth teller…searching for the truth and God took him…and left you a legacy that you can be proud of.” Testaments of Rev. Butts’ legacy abound in Harlem and other parts of the world that received his passion and commitment to the health and welfare of a community.
The post IN MEMORIAM: The Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts II, Venerable Pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church, Passes at 73 first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Herb Boyd | New York Amsterdam News

An announcement that Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III had died on Friday morning, Oct. 28, resonated with sorrow across the social media and news networks. For more than a generation, the venerable Rev. Butts was the pastor at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and was totally involved in the community’s social, political and economic welfare. He was 73 and had been battling cancer, according to close associates.

His passing has evoked a number of encomiums and among the first came from the Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network. “Rev. Butts was a major pillar in the Harlem community and is irreplaceable. He was a dominant faith and academic leader for decades. We knew each other for more than 40 years, and while we did not always agree we always came back together. Over the last three years, he and I worked closely as co-chairs of the Choose Healthy Life national campaign to help the Black community fight COVID. We spoke as late as a couple of weeks ago about this work, as he was still fighting cancer. He will be tremendously missed.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul expressed her sentiments in a statement, saluting Dr. Butts as a “tremendous leader who served our state, our city and our nation with grace, dignity and passion,” and noting his leadership in other capacities. “Dr. Butts was a force for moral clarity, a voice for his Harlem community, a counselor to so many of us in public service and I was proud to call him a friend,” she continued. “Bill and I are praying for his wife, Patricia Butts, children, and grandchildren and for all New Yorkers who have felt the impact of Dr. Butts’ visionary leadership. We will miss him greatly.”

During his remarkable tenure as the church’s leader, Rev. Butts was a tireless advocate for affordable housing through the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a non-profit organization he established in 1989. Under his guidance the corporation raised $2.8 million to purchase and renovate property to be used as a homeless shelter. Also, he oversaw the building of a large apartment complex for senior citizens and apartments for moderate income households. Much of this was done with the Partnership of New York City program.

Though he was born on July 19, 1949 in Bridgeport, Conn., Rev. Butts spent most of his lifetime in New York, beginning in early childhood and it is where he received his primary education, including graduation from Flushing High School in 1967. At the high school he was a promising athlete and scholar as a member of the track team and president of his senior class.

In 2005, he was interviewed by “HistoryMakers,” and said that in 1972 he received his B.A. degree from Morehouse College. While a student there, he pledged to the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and was active in civil rights. After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Butts and several other Morehouse students took to the streets in anger. After graduation, Butts returned to New York where he earned his Master of Divinity degree in church history in 1975 from Union Theological Seminary and later his Doctor of Ministry in church and public policy from Drew University. He was still in graduate school when he was hired to work at Abyssinian Baptist Church, starting as an office assistant and worked his way up to assistant pastor, eventually being named head pastor in 1989.

Following in the enormous footprints of the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Rev. Samuel Proctor was a formidable task, but one Rev. Butts soon accomplished with sterling results, however not without a few political hiccups. Most memorable for some community activists and members of his congregation was his endorsement of the Republican Party’s George Pataki in his re-election campaign in 1998. Current Councilman Charles Barron was among the protesters, charging that Pataki failed to stop Mayor Rudy Giuliani from turning Harlem “into a police state.” Rev. Butts incurred the wrath of many Harlemites again when he endorsed Michael Bloomberg over Bill Thompson in 2008.

Despite the rancor from dissenters, Rev. Butts forged ahead with a sundry of community developments and put his leadership stamp on such institutions as the State University of New York at Old Westbury, where he served as president from 1999 to 2020. Among his achievements at the college was its investment of approximately $150 million in capital projects, technological advances, residence halls, and a major academic building.

A good portion of his impressive resume relates to academic and religious affairs, most notably as an adjunct professor in the African Studies Department at City College, New York, and Black Church History at Fordham University. He was widely sought after for appearances on the lecture circuit where his expertise on education and ethical issues earned him a national reputation.

What he said about his friend and neighbor the eminent journalist Les Payne during his eulogy, applies aptly to him, “he was a truth teller…searching for the truth and God took him…and left you a legacy that you can be proud of.” Testaments of Rev. Butts’ legacy abound in Harlem and other parts of the world that received his passion and commitment to the health and welfare of a community.

In subsequent stories we will update on funeral services and other information about his passing and his family that includes his wife, Patricia, three children and six grandchildren.

The post IN MEMORIAM: The Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts II, Venerable Pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church, Passes at 73 first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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IN MEMORIAM International Soccer Icon Pelé Dies at 82

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves. 

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Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Pelé, the international star who was instrumental in three World Cup championships with Brazil across three decades and who energized U.S. soccer with the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, has died.

The 82-year-old legend had been hospitalized since November, and his doctors reported that Pelé’s cancer had advanced, requiring care related to renal and cardiac dysfunction.

He has been receiving regular treatment since doctors removed a tumor from his colon in 2021.

“Father. My strength is yours,” the international star’s son, Edinho, posted on social media.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

He led the Brazilian national teams to World Cup glory in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

In 1956, he joined the Santos Football Club, where he played inside left forward, winning nine São Paulo league championships and, in 1962 and 1963, the Libertadores Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup.

Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves.

“After the 1958 World Cup, Pelé was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government to ward off large offers from European clubs and ensure that he would remain in Brazil,” Britannica researchers wrote.

On Nov. 19, 1969, in his 909th first-class match, he scored his 1,000th goal.

Pelé made his international debut in 1957 at age 16 and played his first game in the World Cup finals in Sweden the following year.

The Brazilian manager was initially hesitant to play his young star. But, according to Britannica, when Pelé finally reached the field, he had an immediate impact, rattling the post with one shot and collecting an assist.

He had a hat trick in the semifinal against France and two goals in the championship game, where Brazil defeated Sweden 5–2. At the 1962 World Cup finals, Pelé tore a thigh muscle in the second match and had to sit out the remainder of the tournament.

Nonetheless, Brazil went on to claim its second World Cup title.

Researchers said rough play and injuries turned the 1966 World Cup into a disaster for Brazil and Pelé, as the team went out in the first round, and he contemplated retiring from World Cup play.

Returning in 1970 for one more World Cup tournament, he teamed with young stars Jairzinho and Rivelino to claim Brazil’s third title and permanent ownership of the Jules Rimet Trophy. Pelé finished his World Cup career, scoring 12 goals in 14 games.

Pelé’s electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals made him a worldwide star.

His team Santos toured internationally to take full advantage of his popularity. For example, in 1967, he and his team traveled to Nigeria, where a 48-hour cease-fire in that nation’s civil war was called to allow all to watch the great player.

Pelé announced his retirement in 1974 but, in 1975, agreed to a three-year $7 million contract with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and to promote the game in the United States. He retired after leading the Cosmos to the league championship in 1977.

Pelé was the recipient of the International Peace Award in 1978. In 1980 he was named Athlete of the Century by the French sports publication L’Equipe, and he received the same honor in 1999 from the International Olympic Committee. In 2014 the Pelé Museum opened in Santos, Brazil.

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COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips

THE AFRO — Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours. 
The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Megan Sayles | AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
msayles@afro.com

We’ve all heard the age-old saying that “hard work pays off.”  But, sometimes, working too hard can do more harm than good.

“Burnout” is a form of work-related stress in which an individual experiences physical, emotional or mental exhaustion caused by their job’s demands. It can also make workers feel distanced from their jobs and engender negative feelings about them, according to the World Health Organization.

Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours.

This makes it even more important for people to know the signs of burnout and the strategies to combat it.

Natasha Charles is the founder and CEO of Intuitive Coaching with Natasha Charles, a comprehensive life coaching and consulting firm. She created the business after gaining 20 years in senior administration roles.

Charles was motivated to open the firm in 2018 out of a desire to create a business focused on inspiring continuous improvement. There, she works with individuals and executives to create lives that they love and offers them personalized solutions to address critical work and business challenges.

“It’s really about thinking about you, the person, and all that you are,” Charles said. “People tend to be very focused on one aspect of their life, and a lot of times, it’s about their career, so it’s really about making space for all of your goals and all of your dreams.”

When someone experiences burnout, Charles said they could be actively doing their job while simultaneously worrying about their other responsibilities and priorities, whether personal or work-related. She also stressed that burnout can be experienced no matter what profession you are in and what you are being paid.

Aside from the physical and mental impacts of stress, burnout can impact finances if it causes an employee to take extended periods of time off or miss work, according to Charles. It can also reduce their productivity.

In the beginning of 2022, the term “quiet quitting” emerged, and for some, it’s being used as a method to avoid burnout. It involves individuals meeting the minimum requirements of their job descriptions, investing no extra time or effort than what is mandatory.

For Charles, quiet quitting is a signal that a person is not fulfilled by their job and may need to think about changing workplaces or careers.

“I get that people are not always able to up and quit, and it can take time to find what that next role is,” Charles said. “I would come from a space of encouraging the person to start thinking about what that is. What is it that you ultimately desire to be doing in your life and seeing your work?”

One of the most important steps in reducing and preventing burnout is educating yourself about the syndrome, so you can be aware of the warning signs, according to Charles. She also said it was crucial for employers to talk to their employees about it.

Awareness can help prevent the shame and guilt that comes with burnout and allow people to give themselves grace.

After a person has weighed whether they are experiencing burnout or not, they should think about how they want to confront it. This could include engaging in self-care, asking for extra support at work or home, and creating stronger boundaries between their personal and professional lives.

When burnout is impacting your performance, it’s time to consider making a career change, Charles said.

To ensure your work life does not invade your personal life, Charles said people need to assess the goals they have for all areas of their life. Once you’ve set goals, it’s easier to devise a plan and set the necessary boundaries to achieve them.

Charles also said it’s important to carve out time for yourself where you’re not constantly checking your phone or email for work reasons.

“There is life beyond your work. There is an entire world out there to be discovered,” Charles said. “There’s a world within us to be discovered as well, and I encourage everyone to invest in discovering those pieces.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting 

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.
The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Canadian rapper Tory Lanez faces more than 20 years in prison and deportation after a jury in Los Angeles found him guilty in the 2020 shooting of hip hop star Megan Thee Stallion.

Lane, 30, was found guilty of three felony counts, including assault with an unregistered semiautomatic weapon, carrying a loaded gun, and discharging a firearm in a vehicle with gross negligence.

The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.

The 27-year-old Megan, whose real name is Megan Pete, testified that Lanez offered her hush money and didn’t care about her injuries and pain suffered because he shot her.

Lanez, who declined to testify, claimed there was another shooter, Pete’s friend who was also arguing with the hit maker as they drove home from a party.

“[Lanez] told me to dance,” Pete told the jury, adding that he also cursed at her following the shooting.

Sentencing for Lanez is scheduled for Jan. 27.

“You showed incredible courage and vulnerability with your testimony despite repeated and grotesque attacks that you did not deserve,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said, referring to Pete.

“You faced unjust and despicable scrutiny that no woman should ever face, and you have been an inspiration to others across LA County and the nation.”

The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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