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I M essenger NOVEMBER 22, 2019

DREAMER S helia E ldridge

VOL IX NO 14


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Established 2011 CREDO OF THE BLACK PRESS The Black Press believes that America can best lead the world away from racial and national antagonisms when it accords to every person, regardless of race, color or creed, full human and legal rights. Hating no person, fearing no person, the Black Press strives to help every person in the firm belief that all are hurt as long as anyone is held back.

NOVEMBER 22, 2019

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COMMENTARY by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

Our Children Can’t Breathe Those who brazenly continue to deny climate change should consider the health and well-being of their children, their grandchildren, and the undeniably horrific futures that health professionals say the young will face if the dangers of fossil fuel usage continue. Inaction will result in a world in which their ability to breathe and grow will be severely hampered. In fact, growing numbers of health professionals believe that yet-born babies, still being carried in their mother’s wombs, are frontline victims of warming climates. That is something that adults who make decisions about the use of dangerous fuels may be unaware of, or perhaps simply do not care because their time on earth is limited, or their monetary profits too robust. They seem unconcerned about what the young will face in futures that they, themselves, will not see. Babies and children inhale larger portions of polluted air than adults because their bodies are smaller, according to health professionals and pediatricians. The hearts

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of infants beat faster than those of older people and the rates of their breathing are greater. This and other factors present extreme dangers, they say. Lower birth rates and diseases such as asthma are related to being exposed to poor air quality, they add. According to data contained in a recent issue of the highly-regarded medical journal Lancet, seven million people throughout the world died needlessly in 2018 because of breathing polluted air, caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as gas and coal, even when safer alternatives fuels are available. Additionally, the experts say that children are having to face increasing dangers associated with wildfires which are caused by warming climates and increased wind speed. Smoke from such fires also adversely impact young people, causing breathing and respiratory problems

not experienced in years past. The Lancet report also makes a connection between a changing climate and mental health in our society. The impact on children is greater because they spend more of their time outside of their homes than adults. Outdoors is where they play, where they compete in most sport activities, where they interact with nature and where they play children’s game such as hide and seek. Is it neither wise nor fair to deny them these activities. We must do something and we must do something now! It is morally unacceptable to play with the futures of children as some in our society are doing. They are unconcerned about the future, and about those who will have to cope with it. It is sinful what they are doing. And we must not allow them to get away with it. Our children, our grandchildren and their children deserve better than what they are getting. They deserve prosperous and healthy futures! It is our duty to give it to them. myimessenger.com


INSIDE

I WAS JUST THINKING

DR. JULIANNE MALVEAUX

QUIT PLAYIN’

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit,” Billie Holiday sang in a 1939 song called “Strange Fruit” that also was a poem and a novel.

Even as our legislators grapple with impeachment, they are also charged to pass a dozen budget bills, including a bill on “defense”. Recent elections suggest a paradigm shift in the way we view budget spending, what with Democrats taking charge in both Virginia and Kentucky (I’m not counting Mississippi, Dems aren’t likely to capture that one until lightening strikes).

For years, my publisher Cheryl Smith has had a dream to print a weekly obituary page. Not just for the money, but because we continue to bury giants in this community without telling their stories. Ancestry.com needs us!

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Rodney Reed case merits another look THE LAST WORD

Parts of it were found near where her body was recovered. Other parts were found where the truck of her ex-fiancé, ex-Georgetown policeman, Jimmy Fennell Jr. was abandoned. But 23 years later, the belt has never been examined for DNA evidence. Right now, that fact is central to one of two appeals filed by lawyers representing Reed that await rulings from federal courts. Only DNA evidence collected from the victim ties Reed, now 51, to the case. Expert testimony during Reed’s trial stated that the evidence helped establish when Stites, who was white, died, placing Reed where the body was discovered. Since that time, the medical examiner said his testimony was in error after new forensic testing revealed that the body fluids found could have backed Reed’s defense that he had consensual sex with the victim at least a day before the day she was murdered. Other evidence presented by Reed’s attorneys that resulted in a stay of execution granted in 2015, indicated that Stites’ body had been moved from where she was killed. Since Reed’s 1998 trial, a number of persons familiar with Fennell, who later served 10 years for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman he picked up while on duty, have come forward with accounts of statements Fennell made implicating him in Stites’ death. Some come from members of law enforcement.

Aspects of his case have been appealed up, down and through state and federal courts, even reaching the U.S. Supreme Court BY ROYCE WEST in 2014. Texas Senate Questions have been asked regarding whether Reed received a EDITOR’s NOTE: Sen. Royce West wrote fair trial; if evidence that appears this piece prior to the Appeals Court decision. obvious went without proper examination, could This message is important because there are another person be responsible for Stites’ murder so many more Rodney Reeds and while an and whether or not race played a role, either indefinite stay was granted, he has not been during the investigation or at the trial stage. exonerated. So many questions have gone without satisfactory answers that it is now clear that the By Sen. Royce West fate of Rodney Reed will not fade quietly into the night. They ring so loudly that last week, both Next week, November 20, 2019, Rodney chambers of the Texas Legislature, in bipartisan Reed could become the next person to be put fashion, have appealed to Texas Governor Greg to death by the State of Texas. But there are Abbott to at least delay Reed’s execution date. My enough circumstances and facts - old and new - signature is one of 16 Texas state senators who surrounding the case that I, along with a number signed-on, petitioning the governor on Reed’s that’s growing daily, believe strongly that Nov. behalf. Even one of Texas’ two U.S. Senators 20 should come and go while Rodney Reed thinks further judicial scrutiny is warranted. remains alive. Two weeks ago, I sent a letter to the governor In a case that has now attracted national requesting a stay of execution. I did so because and international attention, Reed was convicted I’m convinced that salient questions surrounding of abducting, sexually assaulting and killing 19 Stites’ death and Reed’s death sentence have not year-old Stacey Stites, whose body was found been answered. road-side in Bastrop County, on April 23, 1996. Undisputed evidence says that the victim’s Reed was sentenced to death two years later. belt was used to strangle her, causing death.

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Still, Bastrop County Criminal District Attorney Bryan Goertz has remained adamant in defending Reed’s conviction, while citing other sexual assault charges that have been filed against him and blocking requests to test the likely murder weapon. Although the clock steadily ticks toward Nov. 20, hope persists. Last week, I requested to meet with Gov. Abbott to discuss a case whose circumstances and questions will be part of the historical record of how justice is administered in Texas. I await his reply.

The Court of Criminal Appeals in Texas, on Nov. 15, halted the execution of Mr. Reed, granting an indefinite stay and calling for the consideration of new evidence by the court where he was originally tried. While this temporary reprieve is being celebrated, we believe we must still share information and keep this case in the public eye and on everyone’s mind. Lest we forget!

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NOVEMBER 22, 2019


MY TRUTH by Cheryl Smith, Publisher

Peace and understanding Communication is key. I’ve talked before about how important it is to communicate and not assume. Recently I received clarity on an issue that I was totally clueless about. While in the airport, I needed to get to a gate that was a serious hike. I hopped on one of the mobile carts and when we got to my designated gate, I thanked the driver and ran to board the plane. I heard some grumbling and turned around and saw the female driver rolling her eyes and mumbling about a tip. I was in a rush so I kept going and later I asked someone if I should have given her a tip. I was told that it wasn’t required but some expect a tip for everything they do. Believe me, I didn’t know I was offending her. Which brings me to my truth. Recently, I had an “ah ha moment” in a class I teach. The discussion was about not NOVEMBER 22, 2019

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assuming that someone has the same understanding as you do. Clarity is so important. Ask for what you want. Say what you want. When you say something, make sure you mean it and that the person you are saying it to understands exactly what you are saying. As an example, I asked if anyone in the class ever borrowed money from anyone. Of course, at first, they denied borrowing. So I asked if anyone ever borrowed from them and several hands begin waving wildly. So I asked what were the terms of the transaction and it was pretty much the same — you ask for money, if I give it to you, I want it back. One student said she borrows from her mother and never returns it. I asked why not? She responded, “Because it’s my mother!” Now her answer defied all 4

logic for me. Several others said what I was thinking— If you have no intention of repaying, why do you say the word, “borrow,” why don’t you just ask, “can I have?” I don’t know which is worse: The person who has no intention of paying back when they ask; the person who can find money for everything but paying back a loan; or the person who decides that the person they borrowed from does not need the money anyway. Someone said, there are people in cemeteries because they didn’t honor their commitment. But, you couldn’t get one student to realize the error of her ways. One student said she doesn’t lend money, that she GIVES or says ‘no.’ “I’ve gone so far as to say, ‘You didn’t pay me back the last time and then you had the nerve to myimessenger.com


stop speaking to me, so don’t take your hand, And try to are also other cultures where similar practices are comeven think about it!’” explain…” Wow, strong words from a When was the last time you mon. 19-year-old! tried to explain something, Another statement I’ve Someone else said to anything? heard used over and over me, “What is understood, Well, today we live in a so- again is, “When you assume, shouldn’t have to be said!” ciety where understanding is you make an ass out of you I immediately wrote that about as common as common and me.” statement down because I sense; which doesn’t say Clearly more assumptions wanted to remember it, for a much at all. Surely you’ve are made today because it number of reasons. heard, “common sense ain’t appears folks would rather The Fresh Prince and Jazzy always common!” assume than ask. For many Jeff had a hit song, “Parents The first step toward under- there is no need to communiJust Don’t Undercate. The first step toward understanding is Author stand,” where they S t a c e y rapped: actually hearing, or receiving the mesHanke says “You know parents are the same, sage. So, we need to work on this con- social meNo matter time nor dia has concept, which could begin with: taking out tributed to place They don’t underthe decline the earplugs, removing the headsets, takand lessens stand that us kids, the qualAre gonna make ing your eyes off your cell phone screen some mistakes ity of the So to you, all the or just making eye contact. connection. kids all across the Having a land, There’s no conversaneed to argue, Parents just standing is actually hearing, tion with someone shouldn’t don’t understand…” or receiving the message. be painful, but unfortunately Because after all, parents So, we need to work on this we may have to force some were never “kids!” Were we? concept, which could begin conversations to improve And Jerry Butler and Bren- with: taking out the earplugs, communications. da Lee Eager collaborated on removing the headsets, tak- The reason I say I am instead one of the best songs you’ll ing your eyes off your cell evolving/growing ever hear, from the 1970s hit, phone screen or just making of “grown,” is because I am learning daily. “Ain’t Understanding Mel- eye contact. I remember a time, well I To work on a better world, low.” Ms. Eager sings to Mr. heard about it, when Black it begins with guidelines and Butler: “For it’s very nice to people were not allowed to restrictions, for all ages and see, There’s a man who un- make eye contact with White just like with peace, we need derstands, How hard it is to people in America. There to let it begin today. myimessenger.com

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NOVEMBER 22, 2019


STRANGE FRUIT IN DALLAS?

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit,” Billie Holiday sang in a 1939 song called “Strange Fruit” that also was a poem and a novel. Lady Day’s song lamented the “strange and bitter crop” of black bodies lynched and hanging from “southern trees” with “blood on the leaves and blood at the roots.” Dallas Black history sleuth Dr. George Keaton Jr. describes lynching, slavery, and racial violence as “hard topics” that the public discussed November 19 at a free community forum that explored Dallas’ deadly past related to slavery and that set a future path for memorializing victims of slavery. A second forum seeking community input will be from 7 NOVEMBER 22, 2019

that will memorialize victims of racial violence who were lynched in Dallas county between 1853

p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 4, 2019 at Dallas Heritage Village, 1515 S. Harwood St., just south of downtown

I WAS JUST THINKING... By Norma AdamsWade Texas Metro News

Dallas. The City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture is the main host. Co-hosts are Dallas Heritage Village and the nonprofit Remembering Black Dallas where Keaton is founder and executive director. The forums are asking the public for opinions and suggestions about how to implement plans for a public arts project I Messenger

and 1920. Various steps include community input, approvals by citizen, city, and arts entities, selecting and funding an artist, and possible dedication of the art piece by the summer of 2021, said Kay Kallos, City of Dallas public art program manager. She said Dallas’ Freeman’s Cemetery is an earlier project 6

and some other cities with similar projects include New York; Alexandria, Virginia; and Montgomery, Alabama. “So much of Dallas’... (slavery-related) history is being pushed under the rug,” Dr. Keaton said. “We passed by these places everyday where... (atrocities happened). The victims need to be memorialized.” The victims would include the infamous and well-documented hanging of Allen Brooks who a mob lynched at Elks Arch, then at Main and Akard streets in downtown Dallas in 1910. A historic postcard shows an estimated crowd of 5,000 white citizens watching the atrocity. Another lynching victim would be Jane Elkins, the first Black female legally myimessenger.com


hanged in Texas in 1853, accused of murdering her owner. Authorities hanged her from the gallows in Dallas County Courthouse Square where the Old Red Courthouse now stands. Keaton has been working on his part of the project for more than two years -- to erect a commemorative art work at the almost unknown Martyr’s Park, -- but efforts by earlier advocates go back nearly 30 years. Martyr’s Park sign marker gives its address as 379 Commerce St. (some records give the address as 265 Commerce St), not far from the Grassy Knoll where President John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. The park was designated in 1991 to mark the place where three enslaved Africans were hung in 1860, accused of starting the 1860 fire that burned most of early downtown Dallas. I was just thinking.... It was 25 years ago that I experience a memorable encounter with the legacy of lynching. Walking through America’s Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, my eyes transfixed on the images and artifacts. These were placed myimessenger.com

there to snatch visitors from indifference to a stark awareness of a past world where your black skin could leave you hanging from a tree because of a white person’s

Dr. George Keaton Jr.

brutal whim. Museum founder James Cameron Jr., who was 80 then and my personal tour guide, shared his terrifying personal story of being the nation’s only known survivor of a lynching back in 1930 when he was 16. Two of his friends did not survive. A photo of their hanging became historic. Suffice it to say that Cameron’s experience was indeed an under-standable reason why he founded the museum in 1984. It was his mission 7

to shock the world awake to an evil savagery that enslaved Africans and their descendants faced for centuries while the world looked on with approval or away with apathy. His 1994 memoir is A Time of Terror: A Survivor’s Story. Cameron died in 2006 at age 92. The museum closed it’s building in 2008, converted to an online museum in 2012, and currently is working to reopen in a new building. So, when I learned that Keaton and co-sponsors were hosting public forums about how to commemorate Dallas County victims of lynching and other racist atrocities, I was highly intrigued. I remembered how Cameron’s personal story and the various historic descriptions and photographs of lynchings I’d read about and seen in history books were chronicles and images I could not erase. In promoting the forums, Keaton quotes the late writer and performer Dr. Maya Angelou’s words: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” To inquire further, contact Dr. Kay Kallos at the city’s Office of Arts and Culture, 214-670-3281 or email kay. kallos@dallascityhall.com or Remembering Black Dallas, rbdallasinc@yahoo.com or call 469-399-6242. I Messenger

NOVEMBER 22, 2019


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WHAT’S ON MILES’ MIND? BY MILES JAYE DAVIS www.milesjaye.net

POWER XV: SONS VI – “Words”

Do you use the same words you used when you were in High School? Middle School? Have you added any new words to your vocabulary since college? Have you added at least one new word to your personal lexicon per year? How much do you read? When is the last time you read a book—any book, fiction, non-fiction? Do you listen to your son speak? Do you understand him? Have you noticed him utter any new phrases or figures of speech? Does he sound like he listens to the news? Does your grown son sound the same, speak the same as he did in the eleventh grade? Twelfth grade? Do you ever see him with a newspaper or book? Would he know if Proverbs, Psalms, Matthew, Mark, or Luke is found in the Old Testament or new? Words are power! John 1:1 says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The Book of Genesis tells us that God spoke into creation the world as we know it—the light and the dark as day and night, the land, the seas and the sky. Jesus Christ spoke words of salvation: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 I recently watched a film called myimessenger.com

“The Professor and the Madman” about the first edition of the Oxford Dictionary in which nearly half a million words were compiled. Words and language are the color and fabric of a civilization, but they are also tools of diplomacy or weapons of war. English author Bulwer-Lytton said; “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Shakespeare did with words what Rembrandt, Michelangelo and Da Vinci did with paint. Baldwin, Ellison, Hurston and Wright changed the way we see ourselves. Marcus, Malcom and Martin changed the way others see us. Pac, B.I.G., and Chuck D changed the way we see, and speak, and hear and listen. Ali might have agreed, words shake up the world. To be potent is by definition, to be capable, or to possess power or influence, but how is it possible to influence without word power. Are we raising our sons to be potent or im-potent? Swag is not power, it is the appearance of power. Words, intelligence, brains, logic, language are power. Ben Franklin said: “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

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Mahatma Ghandi said: “It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” Joel Osteen said: “You can change your world by changing your words… Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Bob Marley said: “People want to listen to a message, word from Jah. This could be passed through me or anybody… the words of the songs, not the person, is what attracts people.” Mos Def said: “The ability to have somebody read something and see it, or for somebody to paint an entire landscape of visual imagery with just a sheet of words—that’s magical.” I love words, I always have. I have to write something all the time. No matter whether it’s on paper or in my head, whether it’s an essay or a poem set to music. Quotes fascinate me because they give me a glimpse inside someone else’s mind—they make me feel human and connected. It’s the feeling I get when I listen to Miles or Coltrane—I feel just a bit more human. Teach your sons the power of the word. Teach your son that reading is better than going to the gym— it’s better than video games. Talk to him about great books you’ve read and share your favorite quotes with him. Have him write you a letter from time to time—on paper, with a pen. Help your son fall in love with words and with language, and the world will be his to find, to discover—one word, one phrase at a time. That’s what’s on my mind! I Messenger

NOVEMBER 22, 2019


Respected, beloved pastor Karry Wesley dies Dr. Karry D. Wesley, after battling cancer, died last week. The founding and current Senior Pastor of Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, a progressively expanding congregation of more than 5,500 members. Delivering his first sermon at the age of 15 at the Zion Hill Baptist Church in his hometown of Camden, Arkansas, Pastor Wesley’s vision was to reach, teach, and preach to those who are a part of the Christian faith as well as those outside of the Body of Christ. Pastor Wesley’s journey in the ministry led him to study religion and psychology at Bishop College in Dallas. He received his BA degree in 1984 and just two years later, on that very campus, he began the trek that would lead to the founding of Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. After meeting with others who were concerned about the trials facing Christians, he began assembling with other like-minded Christians who shared his vision. Within one month, those worship experiences led to a unanimous decision to officially organize a church. He and his wife Cheryl accepted the call as Pastor and First Lady, and prepared to move forward in the name of the Lord. In just two years, membership grew from 500 to 1,000 while worshipping at the campus. It also led to finding a permanent home for the church. In 1987, worship services began at the new home at 7408 South Hampton Road in Dallas. NOVEMBER 22, 2019

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Dr. Karry D. Wesley

During the next few years, under Pastor Wesley’s dynamic leadership and obedience to God’s vision, some 25 new ministries were established to reach the community. As a result of those efforts, more than 1,000 people in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area benefited. While continuing to grow the membership and expand the ministries, Pastor Wesley earned a Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School on the campus of Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth. In 1997, Pastor Wesley had the distinction of being the first African American doctoral candidate at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona where he received the Doctorate of Ministry. Meanwhile, the membership was still rapidly growing, so much so that he instituted three Sunday morning Worship Services. But there was still a need for an overflow section to accommodate the members and visitors. Seeing it as a blessing, Pastor Wesley began

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the next steps in planning how to accommodate the growth. His vision led to the current 84,000 square ft. facility at 7550 South Hampton Road, where there are 25+ administrative staff personnel. Also, a 45,000 square ft. worship center accommodates the members during the Sunday morning Worship Services. Additionally, there are more than 60 ministries reaching within the congregation and beyond, going out into the community. A noted author, Pastor Wesley has written 10 books dealing with various aspects of the Christian life, as well as Friday, November 22, 2019 Lying In State Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church 12:00-6:00pm Wake Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church 6:00-8:00pm Saturday, November 23, 2019 Celebration of Life 10:00am -celebration service will be live streamed

study guides for the Bible. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Dr. Wesley and his wife Cheryl are proud parents of three sons, two daughter-in-laws and three grandchildren: Christopher (Skylan), Karl (Jasmine) and Charles, and grandchildren, Kamden, Karter and Kyrin. myimessenger.com


Check out The Kinsey Collection at the African American Museum in Dallas 3536 Grand Ave, Dallas, TX 75210 214-565-9026

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NOVEMBER 22, 2019


COMMENTARY by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Suspend F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Even as our legislators grapple with impeachment, they are also charged to pass a dozen budget bills, including a bill on “defense”. Recent elections suggest a paradigm shift in the way we view budget spending, what with Democrats taking charge in both Virginia and Kentucky (I’m not counting Mississippi, Dems aren’t likely to capture that one until lightening strikes). Some are suggesting that the government might shut down if Congress can’t get its act on the budget together in the next couple weeks. Alternatively, Congress might look differently at our priorities. A post-Trump America might include a Green New Deal, Medicare-for-All, and free or subsidized higher education. These programs cost. How will we pay for them? One place to look for massive government waste is in the Pentagon, which has too frequently couched in “national defense” but is nothing more than the government providing massive profits for inefficient corporations who have well-paid and highly effective lobbyists. The $1.5 trillion budget for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program is an excellent place to start. Tom Pennington at Truthout.org was spot on when he wrote in a piece titled “The F-35 Fighter Jet Will Cost $1.5 Trillion. It’s Time for New Priorities” on April 11, 2019. The article opened with “It began with such promise, too, as far as airborne weapons of mass destruction go. First conceived by Lockheed Martin in 1997 and built-in collaboration with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, the F-35 first took wing in 2006. The all-purpose fighter was intended to stand as the replacement for the A-10 Warthog, F-15E Eagle, the F-16 Falcon, the AV-8B Harrier, and the F/A-18 Hornet.” The plan was for this aircraft to be everything to everybody in the Air Force, and this would replace all other fighter jets. This idea was great on paper, but not so good when they started to build the F-35’s. Pennington wrote, “It did not take long for a series of fantastically pricey problems to pile up. The NOVEMBER 22, 2019

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production plan had the planes being built before all the highly technical, often brand-new systems had been tested. When these began failing, fixing them in an aircraft that had already come off the production line rapidly turned the program into a financial sinkhole. The eight million lines of code that make up the software controlling vital elements like the aft tails, electronic warfare systems, and flight control were bursting with bugs and subject to malicious hacks. The helmets were too big. The ejection seats didn’t work. The four-piece wings met with assembly difficulties, and the supporting bulkheads suffered from

structural fatigue. The plane itself was 2,000 pounds too heavy.” Those problems were merely the start of challenges that bring us to today where the aircraft has been seldom used and is way over budget. And we are spending $1.5 trillion for that when we could use that money to feed people, provide education, and provide environmental relief ? Who are the lobbyists pushing this illadvised investment? If you believe President Trump (and I don’t), we will be spending less money overseas in the upcoming years. The Balance reported on June 15, 2019, that “the war in Afghanistan began in 2001 and has cost the U.S. $975 billion, including estimates for 2019,” yet “the number grows even more when taking into account increases in the base budgets for the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The George W. Bush administration launched

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the war i n Afghanistan and the War on Terror in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks by al-Qaida. The United States attacked the Taliban in Afghanistan for hiding al-Qaida’s leader, Osama bin Laden. In addition to the $975 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funds specifically dedicated to the war, the base budget for the Department of Defense has increased by about $250 billion, and the Department of Veterans Affairs budget has increased by more than $50 billion. Some of these costs also are attributable to the War in Iraq. There is another pot of money that could be used to make Americans healthy and to help them out of poverty. Taking one year off from the F-35 and ending the overseas wars would pay for the Green New Deal, Medicare-for-All, and free higher education for all. If Democrats prevail in 2020, and Progressives rule Washington come 2021, we will need a comprehensive effort to push our priorities in the face of right-wing obstructionism. Those who talk about waste, fraud, and abuse, cannot defend the $1.5 trillion F-35 and overseas wars that are costing lives and taxpayer money. If deficit hawks are so opposed to the rapidly increasing deficit, why can’t they slash the government contracting that is directly taking away money that could be used to help the poor and underemployed? The F-35 is being funded in the name of “national defense,” but it is a national offense for an unnecessary, inefficient, boondoggle to absorb $1.5 trillion that could be much more appropriately spent. After the F-35 has proven ineffective, it is unconscionable that some legislators are willing to continue to fund it. Let’s eat our losses and move on. Let’s direct these precious funds to the hungry, those who clamor for education, and those who want a more sustainable future for our nation. And let’s draw a line in the sand on useless “defense” spending that simply enriches profit-maximizing manufacturers. myimessenger.com


Featuring Uber Eats • GrubHub DoorDash • Postmates myimessenger.com

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Phenomenal women honored at Salute Her Awards By Monique ”M.P.” Stone

Phenomenal woman were honored at the 2019 Salute HER Awards this past Friday, November 15. Adrienne Evans-Quickley, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Stacey Dickson, Ebony Smith, Virginia Montgomery, Erica Campbell, Cheryl Polote-Williamson and Akwete Tyehimba were recognized for their beauty, talent and the impact they are making in their respective communities. The event sponsored by Sisters From AARP, Cafe Mocha RADIO, American Airlines, The Black Professional Network, Luster's Pink and Majic 94.5FM was held by the Black Academy of Arts and Letters in Dallas, Texas. Retired Ser-geant First Class Adrienne EvansQuickley received the Community Activist Award. Ms. Quickley became a mili-tary police and while on the battlefield she was injured in a helicopter explosion in Vietnam and survived. Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, recipient of the Spirit Award, is a wife, mother, grandmother, leader and the 117th Bishop of the AME Church --a level no other woman has achieved in the denominations history. Change Agent and recipient of the Champion of Diversity Award Stacey Dickson, is the Co-Brand Engagement Specialist at American Airlines. Ms. Dickson is also a published author

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Shelia Eldridge Founder

committed to inspiring others. Ebony Smith, recipient of the Community Advocate Award is founder of Yoga N Da Hood. She is an advocate dedicated to translating what wellness and mindfulness looks like across cultures and socioeconomic barriers. Virginia Montgomery, owner of Tiger House Hat Shop, was the recipient of the Business Legacy Award. The eight year survivor of domestic violence gives back to her community donating hats to cancer survivors and other victims of domestic violence. Five-time Grammy Award winner and multiplatinum Gospel Songstress Erica Campbell was the recipient of the Game Changer Award. Ms.

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Campbell is a strong woman of faith committed to demonstrating that true beauty is found in the passion to find the God In YOU! Author, Motivational Speaker, Producer and Award Winning Film-maker Cheryl PoloteWilliamson was the recipient of the Creating The Legacy Award. Mrs. Williamson, founder of Soul Reborn, provides under-served women with life skills and opportunities helping them to tell their stories in truth with faith. 94-5 and 97.9’s Veda Loca and Cindi B presented the She Represents award to businesswoman, writer, and Pan African Connection owner Akwete Tyehimba. She Represents, is featured on Radio One and is a collaboration between the stations and the Dallas Weekly. The “Step Into Your Power” event presented by and also sponsored by Toyota was hosted by Loni Love and Angelique Perrin. In addition to the warm welcome at the top of the show by Shelia Eldridge the well-attended celebration was graced with performances by Pastor Beverly Crawford and American Idol’s George Huff. Some of the previous recipients of the Salute HER Awards include history-making gymnast Simone Biles, Wimbledon sweetheart Cori “Coco” Gauff, State Representative Stacy Abrams, activist Bree Newsome and actress Leslie Uggams.

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NOVEMBER 22, 2019


ASK ALMA By Alma Gill

Wake up and don’t overstep Dear Alma, I think my nephew is gay. I would even go so far as to say I know that he is gay. I don’t know why my sister, or his father or sisters and brothers can’t see it. This boy is gay and it’s time for him to come “out” and tell the truth. I don’t know if he is worried about what our family and friends might think or if he thinks we will no longer love him. I’m just not sure but things need to change and the truth has to be told. My sister acts like she is blind to this fact and is always talking about him and his many girlfriends. There’s no way this can be true or these friends are just that: friends that are girls, because he is gay. I am sick of it and ready to end the lies. I’m just tired of the charade. These girls are getting their hopes up and I know he is not interested in NOVEMBER 22, 2019

them. Our family needs to stop acting like he is not gay. I’m just not doing it anymore. How would you suggest I tell my sister she needs to wake up and just tell the truth? — Aunt Bea

to stay in your lane, cause you’ve clearly crossed over the double yellow lines. Just because you think he’s gay doesn’t make him gay and just because you want to “out” him, doesn’t mean he’s ready

Although I tried, I can’t resist asking, are you cray-cray? Why in the world would you even think this has anything to do with you? You are so waaay off course, so astronomically off the mark, I just can’t…breathe. Dear Aunt Bea, What! Wait! No, no indeed, this is not your issue. Quick, put it in reverse and back your way out of this personal and private state of affairs. Understand the need for you I Messenger

to reveal is sexual preference – to you, his family or the rest of the world. Clearly to me, Aunt Bea, you’re about to overstep your boundaries. Although I tried, I can’t resist asking, are you cray-

cray? Why in the world would you even think this has anything to do with you? You are so waaay off course, so astronomically off the mark, I just can’t…breathe. Your mindset has me blown. So, please back off before you get more than your feelings hurt. Hear me when I say, for the love of all things dipped in chocolate – back down, withdraw, and extract yourself from this situation. If just for this one time, sit on your behind and mind your own business. Your sister doesn’t need to wake up, you do. Wash your face and clean the thoughtlessness out of your eyes. The path set ahead for your nephew to follow, requires only one set of footprints, his. You are never, ever, invited, welcomed or called to cross it. Alma myimessenger.com


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NOVEMBER 22, 2019


QUIT PLAYIN

by Vincent Hall

Happy Belated Veteran’s Day QUIT PLAYIN By VINCENT L. HALL Vincent L. Hall is

an author, activist

and award-winning columnist

For years, my publisher Cheryl Smith has had a dream to print a weekly obituary page. Not just for the money, but because we continue to bury giants in this community without telling their stories. Ancestry.com needs us! This story came during a funeral for the mother of a friend, Kevin Cowens, and his brother Kenneth. The history was so vivid and vibrant. We get syrupy about “Hidden Figures” from all over and know little about the heroes and sheroes who grew up in our own back yard. Mrs. French L. Cowens was born French L. Jackson to Willie Mae and Willis Jackson in Gladewater, Texas. She grew up in old North Central Dallas. As a little girl, she would walk to church on Sundays by herself to St. John’s Baptist Church. On her way to St. John, she caught the attention of sisters at the Sacred Heart of Mary convent from St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church across the street. They were so impressed with the little girl they asked her mother if she could attend St. Peters Academy and live in the convent tuition-free. Her mother gave permission, and she was raised there. She went to mass, communion, and evening vespers daily. She excelled in academics and graduated at age 16 from high school with honors. She attended the Xavier University School of Pharmacy in New Orleans. She completed the demanding five-year pharmacy program in three and 1/2 years with honors. She pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and become president of the NOVEMBER 22, 2019

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Mrs. French L. Cowens Pharmacy Club. She was crowned, Miss Xavier (homecoming queen) in 1948. After graduation from Xavier, French L. faced a dilemma. She was only 20 years old and too young to take the State Pharmacy Board. The required age was 21. She worked menial jobs for six months until she could take the Louisiana Pharmacy Board and passed. Upon returning to Texas, she faced the challenge of finding a pharmacy position. In the early 1950s, this qualified young African American woman could not get a job as a pharmacist in Dallas, Texas. In the meantime, she began teaching Chemistry, Biology, and Algebra at Dallas Booker T. Washington High School. There she met and married Edward L. Cowens and had two sons. The Pharmacy Administrator at St. Paul’s hospital (Sister Florence) hired Mrs. Cowens to run the pharmacy on the 3-11 shift for the 700bed hospital. She would work alone, and she would arrive 45 minutes after the dayshift personnel left so they would not know she was Black. One day a white pharmacist from the

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day shift made a medication error. An irate surgeon went to the pharmacy that evening to confront the pharmacist. To his surprise, he found Mrs. Cowens running the pharmacy, and the secret was out. Because her work was so impeccable, she was not terminated because of her race. She resigned after a newlygraduated young White male pharmacist was hired to be her supervisor, and she was instructed to teach him his job. Mrs. Cowens continued to pray. She opened a neighborhood pharmacy in North Central Dallas while teaching at her alma mater, S. Peters Academy. There she taught high school Chemistry and Biology. She served as a powerful role model for hundreds of African American students. She was a practicing pharmacist at various outlets in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In 1964, the Forest Avenue Hospital was opened by three Black physicians and a Black entrepreneur, and she became the Director of Pharmacy. It was her dream position. The tiny 65-bed facility provided medical care to over 65,000 Black and Hispanic patients in the South Dallas area. She operated the Forest Avenue Pharmacy until shortly before its closure in 1979. Mrs. French L. Cowens was the first African American woman in the State of Texas to practice pharmacy. Mrs. Cowens lived a life of courage and hard work. She bore great love for her family and her people. She referred to racial discrimination as “the civil war.” She fought it! And her sons; they both became medical doctors. Everybody else resurrects the best part of their history. Why should we keep burying ours? (Thanks to Dr. Kevin Cowens for sharing your mom with us…again) myimessenger.com


THE IRISHMAN By Hollywood Hernandez Martin Scorsese reunites Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in his latest gangster film THE IRISHMAN. Al Pacino also stars as labor organizer Jimmy Hoffa. The Irishman is very different however from Scorsese’s previous movies with De Niro and Pesci. This movie is about a mob hitman who tells his story from a nursing home wheelchair. It’s a melancholy tale about DeNiro’s character, Frank Sheeran, who’s the last of a group of criminals who remains alive. He also talks about his involvement in the death of Hoffa. De Niro earned his nickname during World War II while fighting in World War II in Italy. He’s fluent in Italian and along with Pesci’s character Russell Bufalino, a boss in the Bufalino crime family is one of a handful myimessenger.com

of non-Italians in the mob. Frank’s story is an interesting one; going from a truck driver to a hired killer and a bodyguard for union leader Jimmy Hoffa, played brilliantly by Al Pacino. Hoffa is a hardcore union leader who not only fights the government and big business for the union’s rights; he’s also a rough and rugged man who demands his personal respect. He is not someone colleagues can mess with. After a long story about his life of crime De Niro’s character becomes reflective about all the things he’s done and along with repenting for his sins, he also prepares for his own 21

demise as a gangster who is now in his 70’s. For the movie, a “de-aging process” is used to show the wide range of ages that the characters go through. This is an excellent movie that suffers from one major flaw. With a run time of 3 hours and 29 minutes, it is simply too long! The movie is rated R for intense violence. It’s out now in limited release (it’s showing at The Texas Theatre) and it will open in wider release. It also starts a run on Netflix on November 27th. Even with the long run time, this is an Oscar-caliber movie and on my “Hollywood Popcorn Scale” I rate The Irishman a JUMBO.

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NOVEMBER 22, 2019


NOVEMBER 22, 2019

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THAT CELEBRITY INTERVIEW

Bill Rancic

By VALDER BEEBE

October is hailed as breast cancer awareness month, yet there are many women who are faced with this devastating disease every day. In the Valder Beebe Show audience, two members, N Jan Ashely currently is battling breast cancer and in November 2019, she has gone through a double mastectomy procedure. Barbara Edwards, a Dallas resident in the recent past has battled breast cancer then started a breast cancer foundation. Please say a prayer for all women on their journey. I’ve interviewed both Giuliana and Bill Rancic over the years on the Valder Beebe Show. It’s been eight years since E! News host Giuliana Rancic, now 45, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now, she and her husband, former “Apprentice” star Bill Rancic are known as breast cancer innovators. Bill Rancic has been involved with C3, an annual program for two years, but his cancer journey began even earlier in 2011 when his wife Giuliana learned she had cancer. The sudden and unexpected diagnosis transformed Bill into the role of caregiver, and he quickly learned the complexities of cancer. The couple experienced firsthand many of the real-world challenges assomyimessenger.com

ciated with cancer care (beyond medicine), from transportation to and from doctors’ appointments to interpreting test results. Bill Rancic, reality television star and entrepreneur may be most well-known for winning the com-

Bill Rancic petitive first season of “The Apprentice,” or for his business ventures with his wife, entertainment journalist Giuliana Rancic. But these days, he is focused on a new title: cancer innovator, and he’s been reaching out to the public to help inspire the next “big idea” in cancer care beyond medicine. Bill has partnered with the C3 Prize (Changing Cancer Care), an annual program that seeks to fuel grassroots inno-

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vation – ideas big and small – by awarding finalists with the best non-treatment ideas to improve the lives of people impacted by cancer with up to $200,000 in total funds and resources to help them bring their ideas to life. An unprecedented number of thoughtful submissions were received for this year’s C3 Prize. Ultimately, three finalists were selected for their groundbreaking ideas pitched to an expert panel of judges (including Bill), in New York City.-Text provided in cooperation with Bill Rancic publicists VBS: Bill, thank you for returning to the Valder Beebe Show. Who is this year’s C3 Prize winner? BR: C3 Prize stands for changing cancer care beyond medicine. It’s really exciting for me. Valder, if you remember many years ago I accompanied Giuliana on her cancer journey. We realized firsthand how challenging that path can be. So when I was asked to be a part of the C3 Prize I did not hesitate. This year we’ve chosen the Nanny Angel Network……. Bill Rancic’s full interview……. ValderBeebeShow.com and SoundCloud.com/valderbeebeshow

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NOVEMBER 22, 2019


Hanging with Hollywood

NOVEMBER 22, 2019

As always, Jimmy Porch doesn’t disappoint. This month’s Flaunt Affair was the place to be!

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HBCU Homecoming 2019 dates: Alabama A&M University Visitor: Texas Southern University Louis Crews Stadium, Huntsville, AL Date: Oct. 5, 2019 | 2 PM Alabama State University Visitor: Prairie View A&M University ASU Stadium, Montgomery, AL Date: Nov. 28, 2019 | 2 PM Albany State University Visitor: Lane College Albany State University Coliseum, Albany, GA Date: Oct. 12, 2019 | 2 PM Alcorn State University Visitor: Savannah State University Spinks-Casem Stadium, Lorman, MS Date: Oct. 12, 2019 | 2 PM Benedict College Visitor: Miles College Charlie W. Johnson Stadium, Columbia, SC Date: Oct. 12, 2019 | 2 PM Bethune-Cookman University Visitor: South Carolina State University Municipal Stadium, Daytona Beach, FL Date: Oct. 26, 2019 | 4 PM Bowie State University Visitor: Chowan University Bulldog Football Stadium, Bowie, MD Date: Oct. 12, 2019 | 1 PM Central State University Visitor: Fort Valley State University McPherson Stadium, Wilberforce, OH Date: Oct 12, 2019 | 1 PM Clark Atlanta University Visitor: Savannah State University CAU Panther Stadium, Atlanta, GA Date: Oct. 19, 2019 | 2 PM Delaware State University Visitor: South Carolina State University Alumni Stadium, Dover, DE Date: Oct. 10, 2019 | 1:30 PM Edward Waters College Visitor: Allen University Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, FL Date: Oct. 12, 2019 | 3 PM Elizabeth City State University Visitor: Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) Roebuck Stadium, Elizabeth City, NC Date: Oct. 19, 2019 | 1:30 PM

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Date: Oct. 19, 2019 | 2 PM

Fayetteville State University Visitor: Livingstone College Luther Nick Jerald’s Stadium, Fayetteville, NC Date: Oct. 5, 2019 | 2:00 PM

Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) Visitor: Virginia Union University LU Football Stadium, Lincoln University, PA Date: Oct. 12, 2019 | 1 PM

Florida A&M University Visitor: North Carolina Central University Bragg Memorial Stadium, Tallahassee, FL Date: Oct. 5, 2019 | 2 PM

Livingstone College Visitor: Fayetteville State University Alumni Memorial Football Stadium, Salisbury, NC Date: Nov. 2, 2019 | 1:30 PM

Fort Valley State University Visitor: Morehouse College Wildcat Stadium, Fort Valley, GA Date: Oct. 19, 2019 | 2 PM

Miles College Visitor: Clark Atlanta University Sloan-Alumni Stadium, Fairfield, AL Date: Oct. 5, 2019 | 4 PM

Grambling State University Visitor: Texas Southern University Robinson Stadium, Grambling, LA Date: Nov. 2, 2019 | 2 PM

Mississippi Valley State University Visitor: Virginia University of Lynchburg Rice–Totten Stadium, Itta Bena, MS Date: Oct. 5, 2019 | 2 PM

Hampton University Visitor: Virginia University of Lynchburg Armstrong Stadium, Hampton, VA Date: Oct. 26, 2019 | 2 PM

Morehouse College Visitor: Benedict College B.T. Harvey Stadium, Atlanta, GA Date: Oct. 26 2019 | 2 PM

Howard University Visitor: Norfolk State University William H. Greene Stadium, Washington, DC Date: Oct. 12, 2019 | 1 PM

Morgan State University Visitor: Delaware State University Hughes Stadium, Baltimore, MD Date: Oct. 12, 2019 | 2 PM

Jackson State University Visitor: Alabama State University Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, Jackson, MS Date: Oct. 12, 2019 | 2 PM

Norfolk State University Visitor: Morgan State University William “Dick” Price Stadium, Norfolk, VA Date: Nov. 2, 2019 | 2 PM

Johnson C. Smith University Visitor: Shaw University Irwin Belk Complex, Charlotte, NC Date: Oct. 26, 2019 | 1 PM

North Carolina A&T State University Visitor: Howard University Aggie Stadium, Greensboro, NC Date: Oct. 26, 2019 | 1 PM

Kentucky State University Visitor: Clark Atlanta University Alumni Stadium, Frankfort, KY Date: Oct. 12, 2019 | 1 PM

North Carolina Central University Visitor: Norfolk State University O’Kelly–Riddick Stadium, Durham, NC Date: Nov. 9, 2019 | 2 PM

Lane College Visitor: Kentucky State University Lane Field, Jackson, TN Date: Oct. 19, 2019 | 2 PM

Prairie View A&M University Visitor: Virginia University of Lynchburg Panther Stadium, Prairie View, TX Date: Oct. 19, 2019 | 2 PM

Langston University Visitor: Texas Wesleyan University W.E. Anderson Stadium, Langston, OK Date: Oct. 26, 2019 | 2 PM

Saint Augustine’s University Visitor: Johnson C. Smith University George Williams Athletic Complex, Raleigh, NC Date: Nov. 2, 2019 | 1 PM

Lincoln University (Missouri) Visitor: Northeastern State University Dwight T. Reed Stadium, Jefferson City, MO

Savannah State University Visitor: Albany State University

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Theodore A. Wright Stadium, Savannah, GA Date: Oct. 26, 2019 | 3 PM Shaw University Visitor: Livingstone College Durham County Stadium, Durham, NC Date: Oct. 19, 2019 | 12 PM South Carolina State University Visitor: Morgan State University Oliver C. Dawson Stadium, Orangeburg, SC Date: Oct. 19, 2019 | 1:30 PM Southern University and A&M College Visitor: Alabama A&M University A.W. Mumford Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA Date: Nov. 2, 2019 | 4 PM Tennessee State University Visitor: Austin Peay State University Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN Date: Oct. 19, 2019 | 4:30 PM Texas Southern University Visitor: Missouri S&T BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX Date: Oct. 12, 2019 | 2 PM Tuskegee University Visitor: Miles College Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium, Tuskegee, AL Date: Nov. 9, 2019 | 1 PM University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Visitor: Lane College Golden Lion Stadium, Pine Bluff, AR Date: Oct. 5, 2019 | 3 PM Virginia State University Visitor: Bowie State University Rogers Stadium, Ettrick, VA Date: Oct. 19, 2019 | 2 PM Virginia Union University Visitor: Chowan University Location: Hovey Field, Richmond, VA Date: Oct. 19, 2019 | 1 PM West Virginia State University Visitor: West Liberty University Lakin Field at Dickerson Stadium, Institute, WV Date: Oct. 5, 2019 | 1 PM Winston Salem State University Visitor: Shaw University Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC Date: Nov 2, 2019 | 1:30 PM

NOVEMBER 22, 2019


From Marva with By Marva Sneed

On From Marva with Love, I interviewed Minister Vandra Noel — a woman wearing many hats! Minister Noel says, “I am blessed to be married to my best friend Michael Noel.” They have three awesome children and a handsome grandson. She’s a minister at Ambassadors Today Church, under the leadership of Dr. Regina Spellmon. Minister Noel has been preaching for eight years. Minister Noel has authored three books and co-authored one. She has been a hairstylist for 27 years and the owner of Shear Ambiance Salon. Caregiving has become her new normal and she says, “I don’t take this journey for granted.” MS: Tell us about the many hats that you wear? VN: First of all I am a woman of God, I am a wife, I am a mom, I am a daughter, I am a sister, I am a salon owner, I am an entrepreneur. I wear many hats. I am an author and I just love people so I just try to juggle and I’m doing pretty good by the grace of God. MS: Which are you most NOVEMBER 22, 2019

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passionate about? VN: I would say if I had to put it just in one big glob It would just be the love of people MINISTER VANDRA NOEL because it’s what I do as a caregiver, it’s what I do as a hairstylist and it’s what I do as a wife. It’s the love I have for other people. I don’t know another way to be. So I think that is my greatest passion to be able to love people because I know what it’s like to be unloved. MS: You said that you know what it’s like to be unloved. Is this before you found the love of your life your husband? VN: Right because this is my second marriage. I was married before I was with my first husband for 20 years. And then I got remarried to my new husband and we’ve been married for going on eight years. People treat you the way you allow them to treat you. Even 26

in my caregiving assignment, I had to learn that somedays the people I care for can be snappy they can be rude and do things to hurt my feelings, but I don’t think that it is intentional because they are sick. Some people do things intentionally because they are sick they don’t love themselves. So I love myself. I’m not going to love you, so abuse starts, whether it’s emotional, mental, verbal or whatever. Minister Noel is now the caregiver for her mother, who is the survivor of three different cancers, and her husband who has Sickle Cell. When he is in crisis she goes into caregiver mode instead of being the wife. She says, “I am grateful God chose me because this is not for those who are faint at heart.” For more of the interview with Minister Noel go to BlogTalkRadio.com Cheryl’s World to From Marva with Love. You can follow Minister Vandra Noel on FB, IG and get her books on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble. myimessenger.com


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VOL IX ISSUE 3 October 2, 2019

MY TRUTH Cheryl Smith PubliSher

JOY TO THE WORLD I’ve always wanted to make my parents proud. Never want to bring shame to the family name. I was always thinking about the implications and ramifications of my actions and inactions. Sure there were times when I made slip-ups, but believe me when I tell you that somewhere in my psyche I was thinking about Joseph and Earline. No friends or amount of peer pressure could make me engage in actions that would make my mother cry, I hoped. Kinda reminds me of listening to former Tallahassee mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. Speaking at the 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Arlington Foundation for Excellence in Education, my fellow Florida A&M University

QUIT PLAYIN’ By Vincent L. HaLL As I began to read Pastor Jonathan Carl’s recent letter to the POTUS, my face brimmed with glee and anticipation. The headline said it all: “Pastor Hits back after inadvertently coming under fire from Donald Trump!” That gave me some hope. A

Hallelujah OUCH!

Christian fighting evil? When I found out that Reverend Carl leads the South Fork Baptist Church in Hodgenville, Kentucky and is an Iraq War vet and a Ph.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, I reared back and shouted; “Amen!”

I dove into the text and the advertised headline matched the tenor and the tone of the story. That is a rarity in this “far-toomany-breaking-news” cycles we live in. This preacher admon-ished Trump subject-by-subject

A look at the Amber Guyger murder trial By Jihad hassan MuhaMMad

The Final Call ConTriBuTing ediTor @JihadhMuhaMMad

See QUIT PLAYIN’, page 5

Rep. Bowers welcomes community to Garland office (l) Rep. Rhetta Andrews Bowers with her staff Amber Guyger on witness stand

Community leaders welcomed Rep. Andrews Bowers to her new office. Botham Jean

alum talked about being the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. He also recalled his mother on the receiving of phone calls that made her cry, as she’d hear of an indiscretion or brush with the law, involving one of his older siblings. Mayor Gillum said he decided at a young age, “If I was ever going to make my mother cry it was going to be for something good not something bad.” Which brings me to my truth. Sunday, September 22, 2019, I met Botham Shem Jean’s maternal grandmother, Gloria Charles. Ms. Gloria and I talked about her grandson, who was murdered by then-Dallas Police officer, Amber Guyger. Follow the early narrative that was presented: On the evening of September 6, 2018, an unarmed Botham Shem Jean (26) was relaxing at home in his Dallas apartment, just a few blocks from the Dallas Police Department; enjoying watching television and eating a bowl of cereal. Officer Guyger was coming home from a long shift (13-1/2 hours), physically and mentally drained. She lived in the same South Side Flats, but on a different floor and on that fateful night, she went to the wrong apartment, entered and saw what she thought was an intruder, fired, killing Mr. Jean. Take a deep breath. Monday, September 23, 2019, Ms. Guyger’s murder trial began. Defense attorneys say Ms. Guyger mistakenly entered the wrong apartment, because she was on “mental autopilot” after a long shift. Text messages the defendant’s attorneys wanted to keep away from jurors told a different story. Those text messages were allowed in as evidence. The prosecution says the “dumping” of Ms. Guyger’s cell phone is very telling because it revealed the sexual relationship between the four-year officer and her partner, Sr. Corporal Martin Rivera, and conversations she had immediately before and after the shooting. A different narrative was presented by the prosecution, one where Ms. Guyger texted her See MY TRUTH, page 4

EDITOR’s NOTE: Right at press time, the jury came back with a guilty verdict. After a break, the punishment phase was expected to begin. DALLAS—The murder trial of a White former police officer, Amber Guyger, caught the spotlight a little over a year after her bizarre killing of unarmed Black man, Botham Shem Jean, in his own home. She insists she mistook his apartment for her own. The onetime Dallas police officer had seemed unemotional, even apathetic during the trial. But defense attorneys said she was sorrowful for killing in self defense and in testimony Sept. 27, she cried. Prosecutors said there was no basis for self defense since Ms. Guyger’s life was never in danger. She entered Mr. Jean’s apartment while he was watching television and eating ice cream the night of September 6, 2018. The Black community and others wonder: Will the family of Mr. Jean receive justice, or will a onetime White law enforcement officer live free and unpunished after killing an unarmed and innocent Black person? Judge Tammy Kemp, the Black woman who presides over the trial, has been firm in saying she wants the jury to decide the case free of influence caused by electronic devices, nodding of heads or gestures in her courtroom. The sequestered jury consists of two Whites, one Asian, four Latinos, and five Blacks. Four jurors are men, and eight are women. There are also four alternates. The first week was an emotional one for the Jean family, many who came from the island of St. Lucia for the trial. They began their time back in Dallas on Sept. 22 by attending services at Cedar Crest Church of Christ. His grandmother, Gloria Charles, told those present it was important to not let her son become demonized as has been the case with other Black men who died at the hands of police. “He was a good boy, a very loving child,” she said. Jurors heard from Mr. Jean’s sister who spoke of how she still can’t believe he is gone. She shared the sense of great loss her family feels because of his death. Perhaps the most emotional distress experienced by the family was a video showing emergency professionals trying with much vigor to save Mr. Jean, who was still breathing when See MURDER, page 3

Name ________________________________________ Phone # ____________________ State Representative Rhetta Andrews Bowers (HD 113) recently hosted her official District Office Grand Opening. As she welcomed constituents and community leaders into their new space she expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support in her District. The ribbon cutting was followed by a reception and tours of the new office space. Among the attendees were several state and local leaders including Reps. Victoria Neave, Carl Sherman Sr. and Ana-Maria Ramos, Garland Mayor Scott LeMay and Rowlett Mayor Tammy Dana-Bashian. “Representing the business community of Garland means a lot, when a legislator’s voting record in Austin reflects how much they support our community. Representative Bowers has demonstrated her commitment to both businesses big and small in her district,” said Paul Mayer, CEO of the Garland Chamber of Commerce. “I am grateful to be here, because Representative Bowers truly cares

about the people of her district. As I’ve gotten to know her, I am inspired by how she engages with her constituents and truly desires to make her community a better place for all, “ said Rep. Sherman.Mayor Scott LeMay said, “We are very honored for Representative Bowers to locate her District office here in Garland. She has a lot of places she could have gone, but were grateful that she is here with us.” “I always want the Texans that I serve to know that I am accessible and that I stand ready to serve. Their concerns are my concerns and today underscores that commitment. I am glad to open our district office in a familiar and convenient location for the constituency and I am pleased to see people here form the Northern to the Southern boundaries of our district,” said Rep. Bowers. She was elected to serve District 113 in the Texas House of Representatives on Nov. 8, 2018. Growing up, Bowers was drawn to a life of activism at an early age.

Following the example of her mother, a prominent community leader, and her father, a nationally recognized surgeon, Bowers volunteered to phone bank for the late Congressman Mickey Leland as a pre-teen. Bowers has continued to invest her time and energy in her community. She has served as a substitute teacher and a PTA member with the Garland ISD. She was appointed to the Rowlett Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, where she served for eight years. She has continued to be an active member of St. Paul United Methodist Church and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., of which she is a lifetime member. Bowers is an alumna of Spelman College and Texas Southern University, earning her bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications, with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism. A native Houstonian, she currently resides in Rowlett, TX with her husband and their children.

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LIFESTYLE

Flow of Ci and Co Wednesday, November 13th, Cierra and Courtney started their podcast with a “Quote of the week.” These quotes help motivate our-selves and others to push through a rough week. “You will bloom if you take the time to water yourself.” A quote from Cierra, as she talked about selfcare being the best care. Selfcare is very important and it will help you grow into the person you want to become. “If you want good to come to you in this world, you better put a lot of it out it’s the degree in which you help others that the universe is going to send it back to you.” A quote from Courtney, as mentions that remember to help the one’s around you while helping yourself. Good deeds are always needed in the world. On the 8th episode of the Flow of Ci & Co, we discussed many topics from: Instagram removing “likes” from their platform, Over-protective Dads and when does it go too far, Popeye’s Chicken sandwich, and human sex trafficking and tips to share. Sex trafficking has numbers have risen and more people are coming forward with their experiences. Courtney: Recently, there was a video trending on Instagram. There was a girl who spoke out about sex trafficking and being a victim of sex trafficking. She had myimessenger.com

escaped out of sex trafficking and had given advice on what to do and be aware. For example, big white vans, don’t park in the back of the parking lot, or next to big white vans. It’s just scary because when I’m walking by myself at night and I see a white van I automatically assume that could be someone trying to sex traffic women. Cierra: We always hear about sex trafficking, but I believe that we are more aware of it now because of social media. It’s becoming more common in Texas, but I heard that it’s really an issue in Georgia. Sometimes, I get off work late. Most of the time when I’m getting gas it’s at night. I always call my mom when I’m getting gas, especially at night. It is important that us women invest in a taser or pepper spray. Courtney: Yes, be aware of your surroundings. My friend realized she was being followed one night. They pulled out at the same time and on the street where she lived, she kept driving and made sure she didn’t pull into her apartment complex. There was a truck following her and she drove to a Kroger and called the cops. At night is when they began to target women. Ladies, we need some type of protection. Cierra: One thing that I will say is that I always have my keys in my

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hand and never in my purse. That is something that my mom has always taught me too. Especially when you’re at a grocery store. I always clip my keys on my purse because when you’re walking out of a store you don’t want to be searching for your keys. If something happens, you’re not able to get your keys fast enough. If you’re keys are already in your hands, it’s easier for you to get in your car and protect yourself that way. I also put my car keys in between my ring and middle finger. That way if I need to strike someone, I will strike them with that key. Courtney: I have to start doing that. I never thought about keys being a weapon. That is a great tip. Cierra: Yes, and always make sure you lock your car doors. It’s sad to say but you may think you’ve locked your car door and don’t. Always check your back seat before getting into your vehicle. When you’re out, always make sure you check for exits. Prayers to those who have been a victim of sex trafficking. Remember to always be aware of your surroundings. Make sure to tune in next week, listening in on the Flow of Ci and Co. The show airs every Wednesday from 2p.m. to 4p.m. on Blog Talk Radio, and you don’t want to miss it. I Messenger

NOVEMBER 22, 2019


NOVEMBER 22, 2019

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COMMUNITY CALENDAR COMMUNITY CALENDAR Diabetes Awareness Month Family Caregivers Month Recurring Events The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection, A. A. M. 3536 Grand Ave. 9-21-19 - 3-1-20. West African Drumming and Dance Class, South Dallas Culture Center, 3400 Fitzhugh Ave. 11a-1p. (10-26)(12-7), Ages 5-18. Info: Marilyn Clark, 214-671-1998. Arthello Beck Gallery Presents: Nitashia Johnson The Self Publication, So. Dallas Culture Center, 3400 Fitzhugh Ave. Census Bureau hiring for 2020 Census, Frazier House 4600 Spring Ave. Submit on-line application in computer lab Mon. & Wed, 10a-2p. Dates: 11-1-22-19. If Scrooge Was A Brother, Jubilee Theatre, 506 Main St. Ft. Worth. 8-10p. Tickets: jubileetheatre.org. 1222-19.

November 20 COPD Awareness Day

Happy Birthday to Team Member, the Lady who gets it done, Rosalind Vaughn 105.7 Rudy Rush Comedy Hr. Arlington Improv 309 Curtis Mathis Way, #147, 6-11:59p. Improvarlington.com. Garland ISD Students Honors Staff, Bradfield E.S. 3817 Bucknell Dr. 8:30a. Garland ISD Students Honors Staff, Golden Meadows E.S. 1726 Travis St. 9:15a. Garland ISD Students Honors Staff, Freeman E.S. 1220 Walnut St. 10:a. Gym. Garland ISD Students Honors Staff, Beavers, E.S., 3232 March Ln. 2:p. Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce Education Committee Meeting, OCCC, 1001 N. Bishop Ave. 8a. Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce Quality of Life Committee Mtg., OCCC, 1001 N. Bishop Ave. 9a. The MLK Fresh Produce Distribution Center, (Building A) 2929 MLK, Jr. Blvd. Wednesday’s 10:30a-1:30p. Carol Donovan Reception Democratic Chair, Hon. Harryette Ehrhardt, 5731 Swiss Ave. 5:30-7:30p. Business After Hours Mixer, Nosh & Bottle, 370 W. Las Colinas Blvd. 5:30p-7p. RSVP by 11-20: irvingHCC.com.

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November 21-23 Selah Leadership Encounters for Women 2019, Speakers: Cheryl Polote-Williamson Omni Frisco Hotel, 11 Cowboys Way. Reg: vashtimckenzie.com.

November 21

Free Dance Classes, Ballet Classes South Dallas Culture Center, 3400 Fitzhugh Ave. 6-6:55p. Tuesdays, Ages 11 & up. Register: www.becklesdancingco.org.

African American Heritage of White Rock & Far North Dallas. White Rock Chapel, 5555 Celestial Rd. 10:30a-3p. Tickets: Eventbrite.

November 27

A Poets Groove, Sway’s Room Inside The R Lounge 1175 N. Watson Rd. Arlington. 9p. Tickets: instaseats.com. Village Lights, Hillside Village, 305 W. FM 1382 #350, Cedar Hill. 5:30-7:50p.

Marshall Taylor, DOB 1878, 1st Black World Bicycle Champion Great American Smokeout

TriCities NAACP Monthly Meeting, Museum of International Cultures, 411 E. Hwy 67, Duncanville. 7p. Garland ISD Students Honors Staff, Stephens E.S., 3700 Cheyenne Dr., Rowlett. 9:15a. Garland ISD Students Honors Staff, Rowlett E.S., 3315 Carla Dr., Rowlett. 10a. Zan Wesley Holmes Lunch & Learn with Attorney Antonio Glenn, “The ABC’s of Business Entities, Frazier House 4600 Spring Ave. 11:30a-1p. Dallas Comedy House Gives Back, Host: Bald Mama, Dallas Comedy House, 3036 Elm St. 7p. Tickets: showclix.com.

The So. Dallas Bus. & Prof. Women’s Club, Inc., An Evening w/ Rick Bernard James, TBAAL, 1309 Canton St. 7:30p. Tickets: southdallasbwpc.org. The MLK Fresh Produce Distribution Center, (Building A) 2929 MLK, Jr. Blvd. Saturday’s 10:a-2:p.

November 28

Colorful Thanksgiving Cooking Class, Preston Hollow Village Apartments, 7801 Fire Fall Way, 12-3p. Tickets: Eventbrite.com.

Crimson Sunset Featuring Don Diego, Slate at II Creeks, 2701 Custer Pkwy. Richardson. 7-10p. dstndsa.org.

The Oak Cliff Veggie Store, St. Luke Presbyterian Church 5916 Singing Hills Dr. 8-11:30a. Election of 2020-2021 Officers, Host: Texas Coalition of Black Democrats Ft. Worth Ch. Charles F. Griffin Sub-Courthouse, 3212 Miller Ave. 5-6:30p.

November 24

Garland ISD Students Honors Staff, Rowlett H.S. 4700 President George Bush Hwy. 9:30a.

2nd Annual Southern Dallas Feast of Hope, Pan African Bookstore, 4466 S. Marsalis Ave. 2-5p. Tickets: Eventbrite.com.

Dallas Bar Assoc. Oak Cliff Friday Clinic, OCCC 1001 N. Bishop Ave. 12-1p. Info: yhinojos@dallasbar.org.

Thanksgiving for the Homeless by: Hollywood Hernandez Live 1691 Corsicana St., Dallas. 3-6p.

Fourth Fridays Music Series, Feat. Bandan Koro, DeSoto Corner Theatre, 211 E. Pleasant Run Rd. 8p. Tickets: 972-230-9648.

November 25-27

Sacrificial Fridays, Inspiring Body of Christ, 7701 S. Westmoreland Rd. 7:30p. www.IBOCCHURCH.ORG.

November 23 Resurrection Body of Christ Presents: 7 Up Lifting & Empowerment 2019, Host: First Lady Dareia Jacobs2439 Cedar Crest Blvd. 9a.

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Thanksgiving Service, Inspiring Body of Christ, 7701 S. Westmoreland Rd. 10a. www.IBOCCHURCH.ORG. All New Thursdays Ladies Night Soulful Soundz, Vinetti’s 14833 Midway Rd. Addison 5pm-12am. Free Cover.

November 29 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. DOB 1908, Pastor and Politician, U.S. House Representative for Harlem, New York, 1945-1971

November 29 SWDCA Delta Sigma Theta Black Friday Party, Elks Lounge, 1316 S. Hampton Rd. DeSoto. 9p-12a. Tickets: Eventbrite.com Happy Hour with Don Diego, Chocolate Lounge Exclusive 4222 W. Camp Wisdom Rd. 6pm-8pm. Fridays. Up Town Happy Hour Friday’s, Tate’s, 2723 Mc Kinney Ave. 4.-10p. Evenbrite.com. 3rd Annual All Black Affair, Foundation Room, 2200 N. Lamar St. 10p-2a. Tickets: Eventbrite.com. R & B Only, House of Blues, 220 N. Lamar St. Dallas. 8:30p-1a. Tickets: rnbonly.com.

Behind The Scenes, DBDT Studio, 2700 Ann Williams Way. Times vary. RSVP: dbdt.com

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November 25

DWF Districts HHF, The Study USA, 801 W. Irving Blvd. 8a-2p. RSVP: IrvingHCC.com. Lunch Served.

Wednesday Wine & Jazz, Box Garden in Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave. Plano. 6-11p. Tickets: Eventbrite.com.

Thanksgiving Day

Neo Soul Old School House Party DFW Social, The Attach Cigar, 4099 camp Wisdom Rd. #101. 3-9p.

Unity in the Community, Urban Networking Mixer & Social, FUBU Mobile DFW, 209 E. Pleasant Run Dr. #121, DeSoto. 6-10p. Tickets Free: Eventbrite.com.

Thanksgiving Feast, St Phillips School & Comm. Ctr., 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. 11a-1p. Info: signupgenius.com.

2019 Annual Turkey Shoot Out & Turkey Bowl, Lancaster Rec. Ctr. 1700 Veterans Memorial Pkwy. 11a-1p.

Women Of the West, Guest: Dr. Shaneka Baylor, Friendship-West Baptist Church, 2020 Wheatland Rd. 7p.

Kem and Keke Wyatt, Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave. Tickets: Ticketmaster.com.

Jeffery Osborne & Peabo Bryson at Music Hall in Fair Park 909 1st Ave. 8pm. The MLK Fresh Produce Distribution Center, (Building A) 2929 MLK, Jr. Blvd. Wednesday’s 10:30a-1:30p.

Where are You? Presents: Thanksgiving Shower for Moms in need, VIOLA’s HOUSE, 1828 South Blvd., Dallas 10a-12p. RSVP: 972-885-9296.

November 22

In 1897 Andrew Beard patented the Jenny Coupler for the Railroad Industry.

The Intelligent Hustle Radio Show, DWFi Radio. com, 921 W. Pioneer Pkwy, Grand Prairie. 4-8a. Dallas Zoo Lights: by Reliant, Dallas Zoo, 650 S. R.L. Thornton Fwy. 5-9p. Tickets: mydallaszoo.com. Irving-Carrollton NAACP Monthly Meeting, Georgia Farrow Rec. Ctr., 530 Davis Dr., Irving. 7-8p.

November 26 Karaoke Night $2 Tuesday’s, Hero’s Lounge 3094 N. 35 Fwy. Dallas. 7pm-2am. Tickets: Eventbrite.com.

The MLK Fresh Produce Distribution Center, (Building A) 2929 MLK, Jr. Blvd. Saturday’s 10:a-2:p. DeDe’s Winter Wonderland Ball, W Dallas Victory Hotel & Residencies, 2400 Victory Park Ln. 7p.1-a. Tickets: Eventbrite.com. 7th Annual Coats & Cocktails, Frontiers & Flights Museum, 6911 Lemmon Ave. 8p-1a. Tickets: coatsandcocktailsdfw.com. Dallas City Temple, 100yr. Concert, Dallas City Temple, 1530 Bonnie View Rd. 6:30-8:30p. Tickets: Evnetbrite.com.

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NOVEMBER 22, 2019


NOVEMBER 22, 2019

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