The Ville Platte Gazette from Ville Platte, Louisiana on February 6, 1997 · 4
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The Ville Platte Gazette from Ville Platte, Louisiana · 4

Ville Platte, Louisiana
Issue Date:
Thursday, February 6, 1997
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"Without an education this remarkable woman transformed herself from a farm laborer and laundress into a celebrated entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist." , .. Pascal Fusel ler ' ' ' ' ' ! . " .,.,,11 j g I iiir 1 "'11'.'. " I .'. -M-ii iU.i' Vyla" f -"I ;f bbsbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbi ""T " bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb mb -it ... 1 -jJ Mailbag; Scared students don't learn well Violence In schools worries adults. But It scares students. We hope the adults who run the parish school system remember the distinction as they decide the fate of a proposed tougher policy against fighting. ' Fifteen-year-old Joseph Mitchell, who must walk the halls of Glen Oaks High School every day. recently told a School Board committee that fights are routine there, and they are scary. He wants stricter discipline so the 95 percent of students who never throw punches can spend more time worrying about their students and less about violence In what amounts to their second home. After hearing from Mitchell and a lot of adults, the committee voted to recommend the full School Board crack down on fighting. The proposal would require principals to call in the School Drug Task Force - a police unit - every time a punch is thrown by students who are 14 or older. Currently, police are called in for drug and weapons violations and for serious fights. More than 1.500 fights have been reported - there's no telling how many went unreported - in parish schools since September, an average of about 15 a day. That's far too many. We don't want schools turned into a police state. Neither does Superintendent Gary Mathews. He appears to have found a tough but sensible middle ground in his effort to stop the fights. The proposal makes allowances for students who are defending themselves from aggression, and gives officers in the specially trained task force discretion to handle fights as they see fit. School officials are right to focus most intently on weapons, which pose the greatest threatnpf bodily harm. But violence of any kind not only endangers the physical well-being of students, but distracts them from learning. . A reputation for violence also complicates . plans for desegregation: Parents who abandoned the public schools are not likely to return their children to schools parents fear are unsafe. Mathews is not proposing harsher policies adopted by some districts that, for instance, put handcuffs on an unruly 5-year-old in St. Charles Parish last fall and a 12-year-old who refused to do pushups as punishment in Thibodaux last month. We hope police would handle cases with an even hand, that principals would not hesitate to call in help when warranted, and that real consequences await offenders. The policies will not have the Intended effect If students see there are being rules enforced only sporadically or put the offenders through more bureaucracy than real punishment. We feel for students who enter schools from environments where violence might be considered acceptable or even necessary to resolve conflicts. But we feel more for the vast majority of students who don't get into fights but fear being hurt by more aggressive students. All students should leam that schools are one place, at least, where violence will not be tolerated. Sadly, that is one more Job school officials must tackle. If they don't, however, their main Job - getting students to learn - will be even harder. THE ADVOCATE Y0 C8MT PaY YtfUR FiNG WiTM CaMPafcSN FuMP5, KeWT. TH Rf?iT! Y stzrt a m-ewipT J Rft3?aTfoN 1 5riN rT a All - H&MT0''' 4fVJk A .- t History of the first black female millionaire BONJOUR MES AMIS: The first female African-American to become a millionaire was born in Louisiana. Her story should be an inspiration not only to black people, but to all Americans. The lady who became famous as Madam C.J. Walker, was born in 1867. in a shack on a plantation near Delta, Louisiana. At birth she was named Sarah Breedlove - her parents were former slaves. Without an education this remarkable woman transformed herself from a farm laborer and laundress into a celebrated entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist. ,-, At age 7, in 1874. Sarah's mother and father died, thought to be during a yellow fever outbreak. Without a father or mother, hungry and at times homeless. Sarah and her older sister, Louvenia, survived by working in the cotton fields around Delta, La. and Vicksburg, Mississippi. At 14, Sarah married Moses McWilliams to escape from living with her sister's husband whom she later said was "cruel." Sarah's own husband died in 1887 and at 22 she became a widow with a two-year old daughter. Sarah decided to move upriver to St. Louis where she had heard that washtubs and "whitefolks with dirty clothes" replaced cottonbolls and the threat of nightriders. In St. Louis. Sarah soon gained a reputation as being a first class laundress. But she had dreams about better things for her and her daughter. Lelia, who later became well known as A'lelia Walker. Sarah Breedlove McWilliams later said, "As I bent over the washboard and looked at my arms buried in soapsuds, I said to myself. "What are you going to do when you grow old and your back gets stiff?' This set me to thinking, but with all my thinking, I couldn't see how a poor washerwoman was going to better my . condition." Although she had to wear second-hand clothes Sarah Breedlove took pride in her appearance - on the starch on her dresses and on the immaculately ironed collars and cuffs. But the problem was her hair which was thin, patchy and frayed. According to her great-great granddaughter and biographer. ALelia Perry Bundles "Like many women of the time, she suffered from alopecia, a stress-diet-, and hygiene related scalp ailment characterized by excessive, infectious dandruff that made her almost bald." After trying home remedies and store-bought pomades she finally found a solution of another black, St. Louis businesswoman Anne Malone who had founded her own company in 1900. !! a " '"mis.- " I Crow's Nest 'htiMl'imatfirn- Evidently finding Malone's product beneficial Sarah McWilliams moved to Denver in 1905 to sell Malone's "Wonderful Hair Grower," but by 1906 she had her eyes trained on more lucrative horizons. Marrying an ambitious promoter by the name of Charles Joseph Walker in January 1906 and adopting the title Madam C.J. Walker, she quit selling Malone's product and started mixing her own formula which she said had come to her in a dream after praying for a remedy to restore her hair. Her great-great grandchild and biographer, A'Lelia Bundles, wrote that she told a reporter: "God answered my prayers, for one night I had a dream and in that dream a big black man appeared to me and told me what to mix up for my hair. I put it on my scalp and in a few weeks my hair was coming in faster than it had ever fallen out. I tried it on my friends. It helped them. I made up my mind I would begin to sell it." For a year and a half the new "Madam C.J. Walker" traveled through the heavily block South to promote her products. In 1908, she moved her base to Pittsburgh and opened Lelia College to train Walker "hair culturlsts" but by 1910 she settled in Indianapolis, then the U.S.'s largest manufacturing center. There she built a factory, a hair and manicure salon and another training school. By 1912 she had a thousand Walker agents. That same year she was divorced from Charles J. Walker. By 1917, the daughter of former slaves, was a millionaire with a mansion in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York and she had organized her agents into local and state clubs of the Madam C.J. Walker Hair Culturlsts Union of America. In July 1917 white thugs in East St. Louis murdered more than three dozen blacks and a few days later Madam C.J. Walker, accompanied by Abyssinian Baptist church minister Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. and other black activists, went to Washington to meet with President Woodrow Wilson, the first southem- See Pascal, Page 12A There are good people Dear Editor: j I read Miss Mabel Thorny-son's Chicot article in the Gazette, and agreed that mary people are so rude and quicktempered that it is unbelievable. I also think about all t&e nice people we have. Sometimes, I spend a grefct deal of time thinking howj I can be a better person. j If you are in a hospital In Ville Platte or Lafayette, ysu will meet some of the worlcj's best. j Not only nurses and aides, but doctors themselves. During my wife's stay Before she left me, doctors jn the floor would just visit us My wife was in a wheelchair long before she ditd. Once in Dollywood in Tennessee, they refused to take pay for either of us, even though I persisted. Miss Mabel, we must remember the good outweighs the bad. It must be this way or we could not survive. Sincerely, Robert K. Bennett Wake up senior citizens! Dear Editor, Wake up senior citizens! A recent rate increase with bur cable company by $2.55 has prompted me to write this letter on behalf of other senior citizens on fixed-incomes. We feel this increase will only continue each year and ja , , i . . . we get extra ciiaiuieis uicu wc- don't need or want. For instance, we watch Channels 3, 5, 10, which are free. We watch an average of 14 channels, which many of them are free. We have had an increase of channels with this rate increase, but these channels we don't care to watch. For instance, the space channel sure don't interest me and Channel 37 or the Chicago Channel we aren't interested in. I would like to see the cable subscribers have the option of having all these channels or just the ones they are interested in watching. I wish cable companies would keep in mind when considering increases that a large number of their cable subscribers are on fixed-incomes and cannot afford these annual increases. Sincerely - Rodney Manuel Ville Platte BUSt.Ol' LOOSe: Staying healthy costs money Trying to stay healthy cost a person big bucks. Let's face it - it's cheaper to die than to be laid up in the hospital for a week or two. One trip to the doctor and the drug store and you'll have to figure what you can live without - food or electricity. Yeah, trying to stay healthy could put you hi the poor house. There's a lot of things that figure in the cost of health care. Most of the time doctors have pretty women working In the office. Now. It costs a doctor a few bucks to get a pretty young female to work. Pretty ladies don't work for minimum wages. After all. they have a monthly car note to pay. Avon to buy. and aerobic classes to attend. To look good costs money, so they need to work for a decent salary. You see. in business you have to have Guest ilj Columnist something to bring your victims, I mean, customers. Most bars, convenience stores and fast food Joints have pretty women in their employment. It's simple. Who would you want to spend your money with - a pretty young thing or the daughter of Frankenstein? Another factor you have to consider In the high cost of health care is insurance. Now. you think you pay a high premium to keep liability on your 1969 International pickup truck? Try buying malpractice insurance. A doctor goes through the same thing we go through. You screw up and the TV lawyers swoop down on you to pick your bones clean. The chances of a doctor getting sued are pretty good. So, malpractice costs a pretty penny. Naturally, malpractice insurance -along with country club dues, are considered an expense and must be figured in with their office fee. It's just another fact of life my old man forgot to tell me about. Medicine sure ain't cheap. I know a dude whose drug store bill runs him anywhere from $300 to $400 a month. Hell, for $99 down and $99 a month he could buy a Toyota pickup. But it ain't enough to get his medicine for the month. Again there are factors that cause , See Healthy. Pe 12A "Serving the information and communication need of our community by providing quality products at superior vskw while fulfilling our civic responsibility." David Ortego Publisher Danielle Wood Managing Editor Bernice Ardoim Lifestyles Editor Roland Manuel Parish Editor Jerry Matt Adrertising Manager Dawn Gulllory Circulation Manager The Ville Platte Gazette, 145 Court Sum, Ville Platte. Louisiana 70586, ISSN-87567851, periodicals postage paid at the Post Office, Ville Platte, La. is published semi-weekly on every Thursday and Sunday. Effective January 1, 1996: Subscription rates - $26 per year in-parish; $31 autof-parish; $36 out-of-state; and $47 out-of-country (sales tax included), Single copy 75 Thursday and Sunday. Official journal of The City of Ville Platte, Evangeline Parish Police Jury, Evangeline Parish School Board, Village of Chataignier, Village of Turkey Creek, Village of Pine Prairie, Evangeline Parish Solid Waste Commission, Ward Four Water District, Evangeline Parish Water District No. 1 . Telephone: 363-3939 Postmasters Send form 3579 to The Ville Platte Gazette, P.O. Box 220, Ville Platte, La. 70586. I

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