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Army Staff Sgt.
Curtis T. Howard II
Huron grad killed in Iraq bombing attack
Howard's dedication to family, country recalled
Friday, February 24, 2006
BY TOM GANTERT
Ann ArborNews Staff Reporter
Curtis T. Howard II, a 1991 graduate of Huron High School in Ann Arbor, was killed in Iraq Wednesday by a roadside bomb, his family confirmed.
Howard, 32, was a staff sergeant in the 4th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. Although the Army hasn't yet released details, CNN reported Thursday that three members of the 4th Infantry Division were killed near Balad. The U.S. has a base in Balad, about 55 miles north of Baghdad.
Friends and family gathered at the home of Howard's parents, Curtis and Linda, in northeast Ann Arbor Thursday afternoon
John Woods, a friend of the family, read a statement from the family: "Obviously, we are devastated by the sudden loss of our son, Curtis Howard II. Right now, it's all very hard to comprehend. Our hearts and prayers go out to other members of our son's unit, the 4th Infantry Division, who also made this ultimate sacrifice. Curtis loved the military. He was a wonderful son, father and brother. This was the career he chose. We certainly respect and honor his choice.''
Howard was serving his second tour in Iraq, a family friend said.
Joetta Mial, who was principal at Huron High when Howard was a student there, said a letter that Howard sent home from Iraq was read two weeks ago by the minister to the congregation at his church, Bethel AME.
"It was about a friend of his that was just killed and he wrote, 'Say a prayer for his parents,' '' said Mial, who is a member of the church. "I got the funniest feeling. It was, 'My gosh. I hope he hurries up and gets home.'
"But that letter brings out that he wasn't someone out there for himself. ... He was doing what he thought was right for his country.''
Edward Klum was an assistant coach for the Huron High basketball team when Howard played. He remembered a big game against Jackson Parkside that the team lost and the accountability and responsibility Howard showed after the game.
"Right after the game, he came up to me and said, 'Coach. I didn't play hard enough,' '' Klum said. "That's just the kind of kid he was.''
Klum started to cry Thursday as he remembered the anecdote.
"This isn't a time to talk politics,'' Klum said, his voice breaking, "but when you lose somebody like that, in a situation like this, you wonder what it is all about.''
For Ricco Rowry, a classmate and teammate of Howard's, he now looks at the Iraq war differently. He got a call at 7 a.m. on the way to work Thursday, informing him that his childhood friend had been killed.
Rowry had heard about other soldiers dying in the war through newspaper and TV stories, but he said it's different when you know the person.
"It really hits home when it's someone you know personally doing what he feels is right for his country,'' Rowry said.
An Army spokesman at Fort Knox, Kentucky, said Thursday the military doesn't release information about casualties until 24 hours after all family members are contacted.
CNN reported that the latest deaths put the number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war at 2,285.
Ann Arbor Public Schools spokeswoman Liz Margolis said an e-mail about Howard's death was sent out to schools throughout the district, but officials haven't had time to determine whether they will schedule any events commemorating the Huron High graduate.
Howard is the second Huron High School graduate to make international headlines from the Iraq war. Jill Carroll, a 1995 Huron High graduate, was reporting from Iraq for the Christian Science Monitor when she was kidnapped Jan. 7. A group calling itself the Revenge Brigades has demanded the release of all Iraqi women held in U.S. military and Iraqi jails.
Tom Gantert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-994
Interesting Web Sites
Documenting Our Past:
The Teenie Harris Archive Project
This growing online exhibit features 1,400 photographs taken from The Teenie Harris Archive Project. In his forty year career as a photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, Harris documented the Black experience in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Source: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh)
Detroit African American History Project
This site is dedicated to the impact and contributions made by African-Americans to the social, cultural, political, and economic history of Detroit. Included are searchable biographies, interviews, photos, and a detailed historical timeline, as well as links and bibliographic information for further research. (Source: Wayne State University)
Don Deskins to Receive Association of American Geographers
Enhancing Diversity Award
The AAG is pleased to announce that Don Deskins will each receive an AAG Enhancing Diversity Award for 2005. The new annual award honors those geographers who have pioneered efforts toward or actively participated in efforts toward encouraging a more diverse discipline over the course of several years, whether or not they are current AAG members. Deskins will be recognized with these awards at the Chicago Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon on Saturday, March 11, 2006.
Don Deskins receives the award in recognition of his leadership toward enhancing diversity within geography. Deskins served as the first Director of the Commission on Geography and Afro-America (COMGA) in 1968. In that role and others, he worked tirelessly to increase the representation of African-American students in geography departments. His efforts resulted in a core of newly trained Black geographers during the decade of the seventies, in the collection and dissemination of critical information on the status of African-Americans in geography, in important liaisons with Black colleges and major universities across the country, in at least one issue in major geography journals devoted to research on Black America, in leadership conferences for faculty from predominantly Black colleges and universities, and many other tangible and intangible benefits of his deep devotion and dedicated leadership in promoting diversity in geography.
Please direct all other queries to:
Association of American Geographers
1710 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Voice: (202) 234-1450 Fax: (202) 234-2744
CRITICAL LANGUAGE SCHOLARSHIPS FOR
INTENSIVE SUMMER INSTITUTES
|BANGLADESH • EGYPT • INDIA • JORDAN • TUNISIA • TURKEY • YEMEN
The United States Department of State and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) are pleased to announce the availability of scholarships for intensive overseas study for Summer 2006 in critical-need languages such as Arabic, Bangla, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu.
As part of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), a U.S. government interagency effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages, the Department of State Critical Language Scholarships will provide funding for U.S. citizen undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. students to participate in beginning, intermediate and advanced level summer language programs at American Overseas Research Centers.
Recipients of these scholarships will be expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their professional careers.
Please note applications and deadlines vary; check the program descriptions for more details.
PLEASE SEE http://www.caorc.org/language/index.html
FOR PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS, APPLICATIONS AND DEADLINES
Wednesday, March 8th
This keynote/experiential workshop will change how you see the world.
It will make you more insightful,
more perceptive, more creative, more open.
who is invited:
✔ U of M Students
✔ U of M Faculty and Staff
Michigan League —
The University of Michigan
911 N University
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
It Takes a Community to Sustain a Museum: Join Us!
Dear Colleagues, Friends, and Family,
It’s that time again. On behalf of the Black History Month Membership Drive Committee (BHMMDC) chaired by Judge Craig S. Strong, I would like to invite you to join us in our efforts to increase our Museum membership. This year’s campaign is “Driving Membership to the Max”.
The Kresge Foundation will award a $500,000.00 grant to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History provided there are 20,000 members by June 30th. Currently the Museum only has 13,000 members. We desperately need you to become a member and join the Museum. The Charles H. Wright Museum is the largest African American History Museum in the United States, and it continues to grow. Each year it hosts visitors from all over the world and since its’ inception, thousands of children and adults have visited to view exhibitions and/or participate in various programs and community events.
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History needs you now more than ever to either become one of the new members or renew your membership during Black History Month. Members will receive a unique set of benefits, a tax deduction, along with the personal satisfaction of knowing that your annual membership is helping support the largest African American History museum in the United States to meet its ongoing financial needs. You and your membership are the lifeblood of the Museum.
Please take a minute to view the link www.maah-detroit.org and visit the Museum through its’ website. There are several ways to complete the membership process. You may copy the application to mail to the Museum with your check or money order. Also, there is a link to submit an application electronically, which will transmit directly to the museum. Please indicate # 125 on your application, so that we may keep track of the responses that we get from this mailing. If there is anyone willing to collect memberships for us at your office, church, and community activities, or willing to host committee members to do so, let me know.
Again, we would like to thank you for your continued support, and remember that this is a tax-deductible contribution.
Lynne Crittendon -
Office of Child Support - Southeast Region 1145 W. Grand Blvd. Detroit , MI 48202
Black History Month Membership Committee
Hon. Lydia Nance-Adams, Juvetta Bell, Julius Bender, Joyce Brown, Atty. Delphia Burton, Ben Carter, Mark Carter, Leon Cohen, Lynne Crittendon, Francis Davis, Irene Davis, Margo Diomonde, Sherman Eaton, Victoria B. Edwards, Dennis Evans, Joy Farish, Barbara Favors, Kathy Frye, Atty. Wyatt Harris, Kim Hill, Ted Hunt, Joseph James, Mable Jones, Arthur Joy, Jacob Keli, Hon. Leonia Lloyd, Barbara Mapson, Bettie Martin, Hon. Greg Mathis, Vera Morgan, Mario Morrow, Oladipo Oyinsan, Ray Solomon, Hon. Craig S. Strong, Edward Thomas, Atty. Nathan Tounsel, Janice Turner, Rep. Mary Waters, Atty. Nikki Wright
WORD BECOMES FLESH
Friday, March 10, 8pm at the Power Center
Poetry Slam Winner- Marc Bamuthi Joseph makes his UMS debut with the extraordinary hip-hop theater piece Word Becomes Flesh. Presented as a series of performed letters to his unborn son, Word Becomes Flesh is a highly personal creation that documents nine months of unplanned pregnancy from the perspective of a young, single father. Named “Cutting-Edge Performer of the Year” by the Seattle Times, Joseph examines family relationships, black male identity, and fatherhood while reevaluating the link between spoken language and body language —all accompanied by a hot, live music trio. “Word Becomes Flesh is at its core a profoundly intimate work. It puts shameful thoughts, secret pleasures, embarrassing truths, and all manner of human messiness under the spotlight, and arranges the jumble into what feels like the most glorious of heroic adventures: the journey by which the birth of a baby becomes the rebirth of a man…The ruthless honesty of this account makes this 75-minute work feel like part of your own soul when it’s over.” (Washington Post)
MEET MY TWIN SISTER!
A double take in black & white
When Kylie Hodgson gave birth to twin daughters by caesarean section, she was just relieved that they had arrived safely. It was only when the midwife handed them over for her to hold that she noticed the difference between them.
Remee, who weighed 5lb 15oz, was blonde and fair skinned. Her sister Kian, born a minute later weighing 6lb, was black. "It was a shock when I realized that my twins were two different colors," said Kylie, 19. "But it doesn't matter to us - they are just our two gorgeous little girls."
The amazing conception happened after two eggs were fertilized at the same time in the womb.
Both Kylie and her partner Remi Horder, 17, are of mixed race. Their mothers are both white and their fathers are black.
According to the Multiple Births Foundation, baby Kian must have inherited the black genes from both sides of the family, whilst Remee inherited the white ones.
"I noticed that both of them had beautiful blue eyes, but whilst Remee was blonde, Kian's hair was black and she had darker skin.
"It seemed strange, but I was feeling so ill that I didn't really take it in at that stage."
The next day she mentioned the color difference to her mother, who told her that Remee's skin would darken as she grew older.
But as the weeks passed, Remee became lighter still while Kian went darker. And while Remee's eyes stayed blue, Kian's turned brown.
"There are some similarities between them," said their mother. "They both love apples and grapes, and their favorite television program is Teletubbies.
"If they haven't seen each other for a few hours, they are so pleased To see each other and will hold out their arms, wanting to hug each other. And their smiles just light up their faces.
"I'll explain it all to them when they get older about why they look so different."
The odds against of a mixed race couple having twins of dramatically different color are a million to one. If a sperm containing all-white genes fuses with a similar egg and a sperm coding for purely black skin fuses with a similar egg, two babies of dramatically different colors will be born.
The odds of this happening are 100 x 100 x 100 - a million to one.