The writer is executive director of the Penn North Community Association.
The coming black history
Black History Month, for many of us African-Americans, is a time for celebration, for feeling proud.
The accomplishments of those who struggled over the years to pave the way for our people will not, nor should not, ever be forgotten.
When I was a child, I recall a somewhat different period of time that was set aside for my people to feel proud. It was called "Negro History Week."
That's right, no month, but week. I guess the prevailing powers-that-be felt that that was all the time we needed to learn of those few "colored" heroes and heroines we were allowed to know.
We were given Douglass and Carver and Truth and Washington, but then it was back to the real world. We accepted this, but only because that's the way it was.
Time, fortunately, brings change. And that's good.
The efforts and achievements of many more of our people have, at long last, left undeniably shining marks. Black Americans now have access to the rich and vast history of our existence.
Surely the trip from slavery to the front seat may not have been as fast as we would have liked it, but at least we got there.
Time, unfortunately, sometimes brings change that's not so good.
We, as a people, have come a long way, but we've had a lot of help. We've had the sit-ins, the Freedom Riders, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Malcolm X, Joe Louis, boycotts, voter registration drives and on and on.
But where do we go from here?
Many of our "leaders" are now either aging or dead. Now we must look to the next generation to carry on. But where?
Do we find them in today's politics? Religion? Entertainment? Sports? Or are they indeed invisible?
Yes, you can still see a lot of prominent black faces on the local TV newscasts. You can see them being carted off to jail, on wanted posters or shot down in the streets.
But why? What's happened? Where is the pride and determination that have brought us this far?
Where do we look for the inspiration necessary to complete the journey for which so many have given of their blood and tears? Where do we go from here?
Must it be inevitably true that if you kill the dreamer, you kill the dream?
Robert D. Womack
Your Feb. 5 article on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi mistakenly claims all meditations are equally beneficial. They are not.
In a published meta-analysis of 146 independent studies, Stanford researchers found Transcendental Meditation markedly more effective than other programs at reducing stress and anxiety.
Benson's technique was no better than a placebo. Another meta-analysis found TM three times more effective than other programs in optimizing psychological health.
In the Stanford study, TM proved effective regardless of whether studies were by "pro-TM" researchers or by ones "with negative or neutral attitudes toward TM."
Yet your newspaper attempts to discredit Maharishi's offer to eliminate crime in Baltimore by assuming the extensive evidence supporting this offer is biased.
In fact, your newspaper appears biased by failing to report that these studies were rigorously scrutinized by the respected scientific journals that published them.
These studies show that Maharishi's approach is more effective than the current placebos (more jails and police) that we all know will never eliminate crime.
Howard M. Chandler